ZAZAZA ENTER AZAZAZ
HISTORY OF GOD
Karen Armstrong 1993
The God of the Mystics
"Perhaps the most famous of the early Jewish mystical texts is the fifth century Sefer Yezirah (The Book of Creation). There is no attempt to describe the creative process realistically; the account is unashamedly symbolic and shows God creating the world by means of language as though he were writing a book. But language has been entirely transformed and the message of creation is no longer clear. Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is given a numerical value; by combining the letters with the sacred numbers, rearranging them in endless configurations, the mystic weaned his mind away from the normal connotations of words."
THERE IS NO ATTEMPT MADE TO DESCRIBE THE CREATIVE PROCESS REALISTICALLY
THE ACCOUNT IS SYMBOLIC AND SHOWS GOD CREATING THE WORLD BY MEANS OF LANGUAGE
AS THOUGH WRITING A BOOK BUT LANGUAGE ENTIRELY TRANSFORMED
THE MESSAGE OF CREATION IS CLEAR EACH LETTER OF
VALUE BY COMBINING THE LETTERS WITH THE SACRED NUMBERS
REARRANGING THEM IN ENDLESS CONFIGURATIONS
THE MYSTIC WEANED THE MIND AWAY FROM THE NORMAL CONNOTATIONS OF WORDS
THE LIGHT IS RISING RISING IS THE LIGHT
THIS IS THE SCENE OF THE SCENE UNSEEN
THE UNSEEN SEEN OF THE SCENE UNSEEN THIS IS THE SCENE
FAR YONDER SCRIBE
AND OFT TIMES SHADOWED SUBSTANCES WATCHED IN FINE AMAZE
ZED ALIZ ZED
SWIFT REPEAT SCATTER STAR DUST AMONGST THE LETTERS OF THEIR PROGRESS
THE SEARCH FOR THE SIGMA CODE
Cecil Balmond 1998
Cycles and Patterns
"The essence of mathematics is to look for patterns.
Our minds seem to be organised to search for relationships and sequences. We look for hidden orders.
These intuitions seem to be more important than the facts themselves, for there is always the thrill at finding something, a pattern, it is a discovery - what was unknown is now revealed. Imagine looking up at the stars and finding the zodiac!
Searching out patterns is a pure delight.
Suddenly the counters fall into place and a connection is found, not necessarily a geometric one, but a relationship between numbers, pictures of the mind, that were not obvious before. There is that excitement of finding order in something that was otherwise hidden.
And there is the knowledge that a huge unseen world lurks behind the facades we see of the numbers themselves."
FINGERPRINTS OF THE GODS
A QUEST FOR THE BEGINNING AND THE END
Graham Hancock 1995
Speaking to the Unborn
"It is understandable that a huge range of myths from all over the ancient world should describe geological catastrophes in graphic detail. Mankind survived the horror of the last Ice Age, and the most plausible source for our enduring traditions of flooding and freezing, massive volcanism and devastating earthquakes is in the tumultuous upheavals unleashed during the great meltdown of 15,000 to 8000 BC. The final retreat of the ice sheets, and the consequent 300-400 foot rise in global sea levels, took place only a few thousand years before the beginning of the historical period. It is therefore not surprising that all our early civilizations should have retained vivid memories of the vast cataclysms that had terrified their forefathers.
A message in the bottle of time"
'Of all the other stupendous inventions,' Galileo once remarked,
what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate his most secret thoughts to any other person, though very distant either in time or place, speaking with those who are in the Indies, speaking to those who are not yet born, nor shall be this thousand or ten thousand years? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangements of two dozen little signs on paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of men.3
If the 'precessional message' identified by scholars like Santillana, von Dechend and Jane Sellers is indeed a deliberate attempt at communication by some lost civilization of antiquity, how come it wasn't just written down and left for us to find? Wouldn't that have been easier than encoding it in myths? Perhaps.
"What one would look for, therefore, would be a universal language, the kind of language that would be comprehensible to any technologically advanced society in any epoch, even a thousand or ten thousand years into the future. Such languages are few and far between, but mathematics is one of them"
"WRITTEN IN THE ETERNAL LANGUAGE OF MATHEMATICS"
Thomas Mann 1875 - 1955
"In the evening, on the stroke of ten, they gathered privily, and in whispers mustered the apparatus Hermine had provided, consisting of a medium-sized round table without a cloth, placed in the centre of the room, with a wine glass upside-down upon it, the foot in the air. "Round the edge of the table, at regular intervals, were placed twenty-six little bone counters, each with a letter of the alphabet written on it in pen and ink."
"ROUND THE EDGE OF THE TABLE, AT REGULAR INTERVALS, WERE PLACED TWENTY-SIX LITTLE BONE COUNTERS. EACH WITH A LETTER OF THE ALPHABET WRITTEN ON IT IN PEN AND INK."
"BY WRITING THE 26 LETTERS OF THE ALPHABET IN A CERTAIN ORDER
ONE MAY PUT DOWN ALMOST ANY MESSAGE"
(THIS BOOK IS WRITTEN WITH THE SAME LETTERS AS THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA AND WINNIE THE POOH, ONLY THE ORDER OF THE LETTERS DIFFERS).
IN THE SAME WAY NATURE IS ABLE TO CONVEY WITH HER LANGUAGE HOW A CELL AND A WHOLE ORGANISM IS TO BE CONSTRUCTED AND HOW IT IS TO FUNCTION. NATURE HAS SUCCEEDED BETTER THAN WE HUMANS; FOR THE GENETIC CODE THERE IS ONLY ONE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE WHICH IS THE SAME IN A MAN, A BEAN PLANT AND A BACTERIUM.
1 000 000 000 'LETTERS'."
AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA AND DNA
THE LIGHT IS RISING NOW RISING IS THE LIGHT
MATHEMATICS A LANGUAGE OF LETTERS AND NUMBERS
MATHEMATICS A LANGUAGE OF LETTER AND NUMBER
The Upside Down of the Downside Up
THE DEATH OF GODS IN ANCIENT EGYPT
Jane B. Sellars 1992
"The overwhelming awe that accompanies the realization, of the measurable orderliness of the universe strikes modern man as well. Admiral Weiland E. Byrd, alone In the Antarctic for five months of polar darkness, wrote these phrases of intense feeling:
Here were the imponderable processes and forces of the cosmos, harmonious and soundless. Harmony, that was it! I could feel no doubt of oneness with the universe. The conviction came that the rhythm was too orderly. too harmonious, too perfect to be a product of blind chance - that, therefore there must be purpose in the whole and that man was part of that whole and not an accidental offshoot. It was a feeling that transcended reason; that went to the heart of man's despair and found it groundless. The universe was a cosmos, not a chaos; man was as rightfully a part of that cosmos as were the day and night.10
Returning to the account of the story of Osiris, son of Cronos god of' Measurable Time, Plutarch takes, pains to remind the reader of the original Egyptian year consisting of 360 days.
Phrases are used that prompt simple mental. calculations and an attention to numbers, for example, the 360-day year is described as being '12 months of 30 days each'. Then we are told that, Osiris leaves on a long journey, during which Seth, his evil brother, plots with 72 companions to slay Osiris: He also secretly obtained the measure of Osiris and made ready a chest in which to entrap him.
The, interesting thing about this part of the-account is that nowhere in the original texts of the Egyptians are we told that Seth, has 72 companions. We have already been encouraged to equate Osiris with the concept of measured time; his father being Cronos. It is also an observable fact that Cronos-Saturn has the longest sidereal period of the known planets at that time, an orbit. of 30 years. Saturn is absent from a specific constellation for that length of time.
A simple mathematical fact has been revealed to any that are even remotely sensitive to numbers: if you multiply 72 by 30, the years of Saturn's absence (and the mention of Osiris's absence prompts one to recall this other), the resulting product is 2,160: the number of years required, for one 30° shift, or a shift: through one complete sign of the zodiac. This number multplied by the /Page205 / 12 signs also gives 25,920. (And Plutarch has reminded us of 12)
If you multiply the unusual number 72 by 360, a number that Plutarch mentions several times, the product will be 25,920, again the number of years symbolizing the ultimate rebirth.
This 'Eternal Return' is the return of, say, Taurus to the position of marking the vernal equinox by 'riding in the solar bark with. Re' after having relinquished this honoured position to Aries, and subsequently to the to other zodiacal constellations.
Such a return after 25,920 years is indeed a revisit to a Golden Age, golden not only because of a remarkable symmetry In the heavens, but golden because it existed before the Egyptians experienced heaven's changeability.
But now to inform the reader of a fact he or she may already know. Hipparaus did: not really have the exact figures: he was a trifle off in his observations and calculations. In his published work, On the Displacement of the Solstitial and Equinoctial Signs, he gave figures of 45" to 46" a year, while the truer precessional lag along the ecliptic is about 50 seconds. The exact measurement for the lag, based on the correct annual lag of 50'274" is 1° in 71.6 years, or 360° in 25,776 years, only 144 years less than the figure of 25,920.
With Hipparchus's incorrect figures a 'Great Year' takes from 28,173.9 to 28,800 years, Incorrect by a difference of from 2,397.9 years to 3,024.
Since Nicholas Copernicus (AD 1473-1543) has always been credited with giving the correct numbers (although Arabic astronomer Nasir al-Din Tusi,11 born AD 1201, is known to have fixed the Precession at 50°), we may correctly ask, and with justifiable astonishment 'Just whose information was Plutarch transmitting'
AN IMPORTANT POSTSCRIPT
Of course, using our own notational system, all the important numbers have digits that reduce to that amazing number 9 a number that has always delighted budding mathematician.
Somewhere along the way, according to Robert Graves, 9 became the number of lunar wisdom.12
This number is found often in the mythologies of the world. the Viking god Odin hung for nine days and nights on the World Tree in order to acquire the secret of the runes, those magic symbols out of which writing and numbers grew. Only a terrible sacrifice would give away this secret, which conveyed upon its owner power and dominion over all, so Odin hung from his neck those long 9 days and nights over the 'bottomless abyss'. In the tree were 9 worlds, and another god was said to have been born of 9 mothers.
Robert Graves, in his White Goddess, Is intrigued by the seemingly recurring quality of the number 72 in early myth and ritual. Graves tells his reader that 72 is always connected with the number 5, which reflects, among other things, the five Celtic dialects that he was investigating. Of course, 5 x 72= 360, 360 x 72= 25,920. Five is also the number of the planets known to the ancient world, that is, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus Mercury.
Graves suggests a religious mystery bound up with two ancient Celtic 'Tree Alphabets' or cipher alphabets, which as genuine articles of Druidism were orally preserved and transmitted for centuries. He argues convincingly that the ancient poetry of Europe was ultimately based on what its composers believed to be magical principles, the rudiments of which formed a close religious secret for centuries. In time these were-garbled, discredited and forgotten.
Among the many signs of the transmission of special numbers he points out that the aggregate number of letter strokes for the complete 22-letter Ogham alphabet that he is studying is 72 and that this number is the multiple of 9, 'the number of lunar wisdom'. . . . he then mentions something about 'the seventy day season during which Venus moves successively from. maximum eastern elongation 'to inferior conjunction and maximum western elongation'.13
"...Feniusa Farsa, Graves equates this hero with Dionysus Farsa has 72 assistants who helped him master the 72 languages created at the confusion of Babel, the tower of which is said to be built of 9 different materials
We are also reminded of the miraculous translation into Greek of the Five Books of Moses that was done by 72 scholars working for 72 days, Although the symbol for the Septuagint is LXX, legend, according to the fictional letter of Aristeas, records 72. The translation was done for Ptolemy Philadelphus (c.250 BC), by Hellenistic Jews, possibly from Alexandra.14
Graves did not know why this number was necessary, but he points out that he understands Frazer's Golden Bough to be a a book hinting that 'the secret involves the truth that the Christian dogma, and rituals, are the refinement of a great body of primitive beliefs, and that the only original element in Christianity- is the personality of Christ.15
Frances A. Yates, historian of Renaissance hermetisma tells, us the cabala had 72 angels through which the sephiroth (the powers of God) are believed to be approached, and further, she supplies the information that although the Cabala supplied a set of 48 conclusions purporting to confirm the Christian religion from the foundation of ancient wisdom, Pico Della Mirandola, a Renaissance magus, introduced instead 72, which were his 'own opinion' of the correct number. Yates writes, 'It is no accident there are seventy-two of Pico's Cabalist conclusions, for the conclusion shows that he knew something of the mystery of the Name of God with seventy-two letters.'16
In Hamlet's Mill de Santillarta adds the facts that 432,000 is the number of syllables in the Rig-Veda, which when multiplied by the soss (60) gives 25,920" (The reader is forgiven for a bit of laughter at this point)
Thee Bible has not escaped his pursuit. A prominent Assyriologist of the last century insisted that the total of the years recounted
Joseph Campbell discerns the secret in the date set for the coming of Patrick to Ireland. Myth-gives this date-as.- the interest-
Whatever one may think-of some of these number coincidences, it becomes. difficult to escape the suspicion that many signs (number and otherwise) -indicate that early man observed the results.. of the movement of Precession . and that the-.transmission of this information was .considered of prime importance.
'With the awareness of the phenomenon, observers would certainly have tried for its measure, and such an endeavour would
But one last word about mankind's romance with number coincidences.The antagonist in John Updike's novel, Roger's Version, is a computer hacker, who, convinced.,that scientific evidence of God's existence is accumulating, endeavours to prove it by feeding -all the available scientific information. into a comuter. In his search for God 'breaking, through', he has become fascinated by certain numbers that have continually been cropping up. He explains them excitedly as 'the terms of Creation':
"...after a while I noticed that all over the sheet there seemed to hit these twenty-fours Jumping out at me. Two four; two,four.Planck time, for instance, divided by the radiation constant yields a figure near eight times ten again to the negative twenty-fourth, and the permittivity of free space, or electric constant, into the Bohr radiusekla almost exactly six times ten to the negative twenty-fourth. On positive side, the electromagnetic line-structure constant times Hubble radius - that is, the size of the universe as we now perceive it gives us something quite close to ten to the twenty-fourth, and the
strong-force constant times the charge on the proton produces two point four times ten to the negative eighteenth, for another I began to circle twenty-four wherever it appeared on the Printout here' - he held it up. his piece of striped and striped wallpaper, decorated / Page 209 /
with a number of scarlet circles - 'you can see it's more than random.'19
So much for any scorn directed to ancient man's fascination with number coincidences. That fascination is alive and well, Just a bit more incomprehensible"
All about the planets in our Solar System. The nine planets that orbit the sun are (in order from the sun): Mercury,Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, ... www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/astronomy/planetsOur solar system consists of the sun, eight planets, moons, dwarf planets, an asteroid belt, comets, meteors, and others. The sun is the center of our solar system; the planets, their moons, the asteroids, comets, and other rocks and gas all orbit the sun.
The nine planets that orbit the sun are (in order from the sun): Mercury,Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto (a dwarf planet). A belt of asteroids (minor planets made of rock and metal) lies between Mars and Jupiter. These objects all orbit the sun in roughly circular orbits that lie in the same plane, the ecliptic (Pluto is an exception; it has an elliptical orbit tilted over 17° from the ecliptic).
THE LIGHT IS RISING NOW RISING IS THE LIGHT
TIME IS COMING AND NOW IS
LOOK AT THE 5FIVE5S LOOK AT THE 5FIVE5S LOOK AT THE 5FIVE5S THE 5FIVE5S THE 5FIVE5S
ADVENT 1071 ADVENT
THE WHITE GODDESS
Robert Graves 1948
"Who cleft the Devil's foot?"
People often ask me how I came to write The White Goddess. Here is the story.
Though a poet by calling, I make my livelihood by prosebiographies, novels, translations from various languages, and so forth. My home has been in Majorca since 1929, Temporarily exiled because of the Spanish Civil War, I wandered around Europe and the United States; and the Second World War caught me in England, where I stayed until it ended and I could return to Majorca.
In 1944, at the Devonshire village of Galmpton, I was working against time on a historical novel about the Argonauts, when a sudden over-whelming obsession interrupted me. It took the form of an unsolicited enlightenment on a subject which had meant little enough to me. I stopped marking across my big Admiralty chart of the Black Sea the course taken (the mythographers said) by the Argo from the Bosphorus to Baku and back. Instead, I began speculating on a mysterious 'Battle of the Trees', fought in pre-historic Britain, and my mind ran at such a furious rate all night, as well as all the next day, that it was difficult for my pen to keep pace with it. Three weeks later, I had written a seventy thousand-word book, called The Roebuck in the Thicket.
I am no mystic: I avoid participation in witchcraft, spiritualism, yoga, fortune-telling, automatic writing, and the like. I live a simple, normal, rustic life with my family and a wide circle of sane and intelligent friends. I belong to no religious cult, no secret society, no philosophical sect; I belong to no secret society, no philosophical sect; nor do I trust my historical intuition any further than it can be factually checked.
While engaged on my Argonaut book, I found the White Goddess of Pelion growing daily more important to the narrative. Now, I had in my work-room several small West African brass objects-bought from a London dealer-gold-dust weights, mostly in the shape of animals, among them a humpback playing a flute. I also had a small brass-box, with a lid, intended (so the dealer told me) to contain gold dust. I kept the humpback seated on the box. In fact, he is still seated there; but I knew nothing about him, or about the design on the box-lid, until ten years //Page 489/ had gone by. Then I learned that the humpback was a herald in the service of the Queen-mother of some Akan State; and that every Akan Queen mother (there are a few reigning even today) claims to be an incarnation of the Triple Moon-goddess Ngame. The design on the box-lid, a spiral, connected by a single stroke to the rectangular frame enclosing it-the frame having nine teeth on either side-means: 'None greater in the universe than the Triple Goddess Ngame!' These gold weights and the box were made before the British seizure of the Gold Coast, by craftsmen subservient to the Goddess, and regarded as highly magical.
Very well: put it down to coincidence. Deny any connexion between the hump-backed herald on the box (proclaiming the sovereignty of the Akan Triple Moon-goddess, and set in a ring of brass animals representing Akan clan totems) and myself, who suddenly became' obsessed by the European White Goddess, wrote about her clan totems in the Argonaut context, and now had thrust upon me ancient secrets of her cult in Wales, Ireland and elsewhere. I was altogether unaware that the box celebrated the Goddess Ngame, that the Helladic Greeks, including the primitive Athenians, were racially linked with Ngame's people-Libyan Berbers, known as the Garamantians, who moved south from the Sahara to the Niger in the eleventh century A.D., and there intermarried with negroes. Or that Ngame herself was a Moon-goddess, and that the White Goddess of Greece and Western Europe shared her attributes. I knew only that Herodotus recognized the Libyan Neith as Athene.
On returning to Majorca soon after the War, I worked again at The Roebuck in the Thicket, now called The White Goddess, and wrote more particularly about the Sacred King as the Moon-goddess's divine victim; holding that every Muse-poet must, in a sense, die for the Goddess whom he adores, just as the King died. Old Georg Schwarz, a German-Jewish collector, had bequeathed me five or six more Akan gold-weights, among them a mummy-like figurine with one large eye. It has since been identified by experts on West African art as the Akan King's okrafo priest. I had suggested in my book that, in early Mediterranean society, the King fell a sacrifice at the end of his term. But later (to judge from Greek and Latin myths) he won executive power as the Queen's chief minister and the privilege of sacrificing a surrogate. The same governmental change, I have since learned, took place after the matriarchal Akan arrived at the Gold Coast. In Bono, Asante, and other near-by states, the King's surrogate victim was called the 'okrafo priest'. Kjers-meier, the famous Danish (expert on African art, who has handled ten thousand of these gold-weights, tells me that he never saw another like mine. Dismiss it as a coincidence, if you please, that the okrafo figurine lay beside the herald on the gold box, while I wrote about the Goddess's victims.
After The White Goddess had been published, a Barcelona antiquary read my Claudius novels and invited me to choose myself a stone for a seal-ring from a collection of Roman gems recently bought. Among them was a stranger, a banded carnelian seal of the Argonaut period, engraved with a royal stag galloping towards a thicket, and a crescent moon on its flank! Dismiss that as a coincidence, too, if you please.
Chains of more-than-coincidence occur so often in my life that, if I am forbidden to call them supernatural hauntings, let me call them a habit. Not that I like the word 'supernatural'; I find these happenings natural enough, though superlatively unscientific.
In scientific terms, no god at all can be proved to exist, but only beliefs in gods, and the effects of such beliefs on worshippers. The concept of a creative goddess was banned by Christian theologians almost two thousand years ago, and by Jewish theologians long before that. Most scientists, for social convenience, are God-worshippers; though I cannot make out why a belief in a Father-god's authorship of the universe, and its laws, seems any less unscientific than a belief in a Mother-goddess's inspiration of this artificial system. Granted the first metaphor, the second follows logically-if these are no better than metaphors. . .
True poetic practice implies a mind so miraculously attuned and illuminated that it can form words, by a chain of more-than-coincidences, into a living entity-a poem that goes about on its own (for centuries after the author's, death, perhaps) affecting readers with its stored magic. Since the source of poetry's creative power is not scientific intelligence, but inspiration-however this may be explained by scientists-one may surely attribute inspiration to the Lunar Muse, the oldest and most convenient European term for this source? By ancient tradition, the White Goddess becomes one with her human representative-a priestess, a prophetess, a queen-mother. No Muse-poet grows conscious of the Muse except by experience of a woman in whom the Goddess is to some degree resident; just as no Apollonian poet can perform his proper function unless he lives under a monarchy or a quasi-monarchy. A Muse-poet . falls in love, absolutely, and his true love is for him the embodiment of the Muse. As a rule, the power of absolutely falling in love soon vanishes; and, as .a rule, because the woman feels embarrassed by the spell she exercises over her poet-lover and repudiates it; he, in disillusion, turns to Apollo who, at least, can provide him with a livelihood and intelligent entertainment, and reneges before his middle 'twenties. But the real, perpetually obsessed Muse - poet distinguishes between the Goddess as manifest in the supreme power, glory, wisdom and love of woman, and the individual woman whom the Goddess may make her instrument for a month, a year, seven years, or even more. The Goddess abides; and /Page 491/ perhaps he will again have knowledge of her through his experience of her as another woman.
Being in love does not, and should not, blind the poet to the cruel side of woman's nature - and many Muse - poems attestation of this by men whose love is no longer returned:
'As ye came from the holy land
Met you not with my true love
By the way as ye came ?'
'How should I know your true love,
That have met many a one
As I came from the holy land,
That have come, that have gone?'
She is neither white nor brown,
But as the heavens fair;
There is none hath. her divine form
In the earth, in the air:
'Such a one did I meet, good sir,
Such an angelic face,
Who like a nymph, like a queen, did appear
In her gait, in her grace:
'She hath left me here alone,
All alone, as unknown,
Who sometimes did me lead with herself,
And me loved as her own:
What's the cause that she leaves you alone
And a new way doth. take,
That sometime did you love as her own,
And her joy did you make ?'
'1 have loved her all my youth,
But now am old, as you see:
Love likes not the falling fruit,
Nor the withered tree:
It will be noticed that the poet who made this pilgrimage to Mary the Egyptian, at Walsinghame, the mediaeval patron saint of lovers, has /Page 492/ adored one woman all his life, and is now old. Why is she not old, too? Because he is describing the Goddess, rather than the individual woman. Or take Wyatt's:
They flee from me who sometime did me seek
With naked foot stalking within my chamber. . .
He writes: 'They flee from me', rather than 'She flees from me': namely, the women who were in turn illumined for Wyatt by the lunar ray that commanded his love -such as Anne Boleyn, later Henry VIII's unfortunate queen.
A prophet like Moses, or John the Baptist, or Mohammed, speaks in the name of a male deity, saying: 'Thus saith the Lord!' I am no prophet of the White Goddess, and would never presume to say: 'Thus saith the Goddess!' A simple loving declaration: 'None greater in the universe than the Triple Goddess!' has been made implicitly or explicitly by all true Muse-poets since poetry began.
THE WHITE GODDESS
Robert Graves 1948
Chapter Twenty - Four
THE SINGLE POETIC THEME
The acacia is still a sacred tree in Arabia Deserta and anyone who even breaks off a twig is expected to die within the year. The common Classical icon of the Muse whispering in a poet's ear refers to tree-top inspiration: the Muse is the dryad (oak-fairy), or milia (ash-fairy), or melia (quince fairy), or caryatid (nut-fairy), or hamadryad (wood-fairy in general), or heliconian (fairy of Mount Helicon, which took its name as much from helics, the willow-tree sacred to poets, as from the stream which spiralled round it).
Nowadays poets seldom use these artificial aids to inspiration; though the sound of wind in the willows or. in a plantation of forest-trees still exercises a strangely potent influence on their minds; and 'inspirationvis therefore applied-to any means whatsoever by which the poetic trance is induced. But a good many of the charlatans or weaklings resort to automatic writing and spiritism. The ancient Hebrew distinction between legitimate and illegitimate prophecy-'prophecy' meaning inspired poetry, in which future events are not necessarily, hut usually, foretold has much to recommend it. If a prophet went into a trance and was after wards unconscious of what he had been babbling, that was illegitimate; but if he remained in possession of his critical faculties throughout the trance and afterwards, that was legitimate. His powers were heightened by the 'spirit of prophecy', so that his words crystallized immense experience into a single poetic jewel; but he was, by the grace of God, the sturdy author and regulator of this achievement. The spiritistic medium, on thy other hand, whose soul momentarily absented itself so that demonic principalities and powers might occupy his body and speak pipingly through his mouth was no prophet and was 'cut off from the congregation' -if it was found that he had deliberately induced the trance. The ban was presumably extended to automatic writing.