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sat hat

rainbow in the dark

Posted on 2010.08.27 at 23:07



The ancient Egyptian symbol for the letter 'I' describes and also translates as feather, blade and tree; is the same hieroglyph. Evidently this is to link the three themes into one multi~layered concept. I meditated upon this and came to the following, seemingly obvious, conclusions. A feather is the quill, a tool for writing, a pen that is dipped in ink. A blade is a tool for cutting the tip of a feather to make a nib, and also for engraving into wood that printing blocks are made from, or for cutting papyrus that Egyptians use as paper. In todays western culture sawdust pulp from trees is mulched into paper.

This symbol refers to all of this industry, that of the Scribe and therefore it becomes apparent why the Ibis is used to symbolise Thoth the Egyptian Scribe God, who taught humankind the sum total all of our knowledge from only one of his forty thousand books of wisdom. I can guess at Ibis feathers made the finest quills known to the ancient Egyptians.
I was taught from another tradition that a feather symbolises dreams. Certainly people put soft small downy feathers, too little and not reedy enough for making into quills, in their pillows for a good nights sleep. Thoth is from where we get the word Thought so you can see the theme as a whole construct.

Thoth later became Hermes the Alchemist of the Greeks and Romans; so as it develops, as we follow the thought, we can read further insight into its development, as the story grows.

Here we are dealing with Crows, a species of bird common throughout the world in its many guises and known also as Raven. There are many legends and myths of Raven from many different cultures. This account is of my own dealings with them as well as some cultural folklore.

1. the vanishing crow

One morning in 2007 I decided to leave the flat and go for a walk. My head was full of cobwebs and a jaunt out into the fresh air of the nearest park would do me some good. The path along the side of the park is next to a stream, a drainage system, it is sunk down somewhat and there are many bullrush's (reeds) growing there. I sat on the bench at the far end of the park for a while until I felt that now was the exact proper moment that I should move. I did not feel it was time to return to the flat but knew that I had to start walking anyway. Why this precise moment and not later I could not reason but my instincts were telling me strongly to start moving.

There is a tree which several months previously I had climbed and tied a bird box which I had found in the street, figuring it would be better placed somewhere useful than in the street. As I walked beneath this tree, remembering my previous incident with it, time seemed somehow to slow. My attention was drawn up as if by reflex and I saw a huge crow swoop down from the trees and fly very steadily straight toward me above the path, level with my head. I was stunned and froze on the spot. My mind had enough time to notice the creature, realise that it was about to fly right into me, and feeling excitement came came into a sharp focus, bracing in preparation to defend myself. It did not feel that it was going to attack me. I felt time slow down, and simultaneously accelerate, something like watching ink poured into water suddenly reaches that point where it dissolves so the water is no longer two liquids meeting in the same jar, but one blended solution. I have experienced this sensation quite a few times and now believe it to be ‘when two time~streams are syncronising’.

A few meters in front of me our eyes connected, for the flash of a moment.

And then it was gone.

It did not simply change its direction or altitude and fly off somewhere else, and neither did it stop mid~air and flutter. It dematerialised. I took a few steps forward to the place where the crow had vanished, my head now occupying the same space.

I looked up, I looked around, and finally I looked down.

On the grass at the side of the path, just next to my feet, lay the longest crow feather I have ever seen. Forty or fifty centimeters long. I stooped down and picked it up, and discovered two things about it. First, that it is wet from the morning dew. In Wales uk we get a ground frost, as the cool air comes down the moisture in the air freezes and leaves a frost on top of everything it touches, which then melts when the sun rises. This can be extreme enough to kill off saplings as gardeners know. That the feather is damp from the ground frost signifies that it has been there all night long. Secondarily this is backed up by further evidence, that a snail has slithered its way all over the feather and left a silvery trail. The snail was obviously dizzy because the trail is swirls and spirals and squiggles all over the feather. So I knew that the feather had not just dropped from the vanishing crow only a moment ago, but had been there at least for several hours.

In a daze I took the feather and sat back on the wooden bench to go over the incident in my head. Then a thought struck me. The bench is made of wood and painted black. It has a seat and a back, opened like the pages of a book. As well as the marker~pen and pocket~knife graffiti carvings, there are silvery snail markings all over the bench. The snails have been busy with their writing here too. I remember something that a goth~witch friend told me in college years ago when explaining her paintings, about ‘the silver thread’ being ‘the mortal coil’ that connects us to life; I think it was after a poem by an Edgar Allen Poe.

2. Watchmen

Some time after the incident in the park, in 2008, I went to visit my friend Basket-Feather-Owl, who owns a shop selling blades. Outside of her shop on this day was a huge crow. He had been sitting above the door all day and could not be persuaded away from it. As I arrived he hopped down to the floor. We watched the crow and talked of this for a while. I explained that Crows are, just as in the famous Brandon Lee movie ‘the Crow’ (which if you look closely in the background is full of chalk symbols from the Egyptian Hermetic tradition) the Watchmen, who guide souls through Life and death; intermediaries and servants of the Ferryman Charon, boatman of the river Styx, the river of souls. I told her also of my experience in Shaftsbury Park roughly eighteen months previously. I searched to find if there were any other hidden layers of meaning within this experience but could not find any, nor have I since.

In spring of 2009 my Mam wrote an entry on a website called Facebook about how a crow had been seriously attacking her vehicle. It had been at it on and off it all morning, scratching and tearing at the roof with its beak and talons as if trying to get in. I told her that crows are watchmen and that this must mean something significant.

I have just recently met my life partner Kat and us both being goths, I was reminded about the incidents from my past involving crows, since they seem to be following both of us quite a lot recently. I remember my mentor Bryan Charliewood, a very beautiful gothic man teaching me in a park in 1999. The teaching I recall is that he searched around for a few moments beneath a peculiar tree that grows at a 45 degree tilt to the North, and then picked up a specific leaf. This he held up in front of us, having led us away from the tree so that the leaf was precisely covering the tree in my line of sight; so that the leaf matched the shape of the tree perfectly in tilt and veins/branches. I can still feel that moment even now. It feels bluegreen. At that moment my perception of time slowed and it froze. I looked up to the source of a profound peace whose aura we were basked in of a sudden; two crows glided in parallel like train tracks above us toward the west.

2009, May 26. Last night through Facebook I met an Egyptian shaman with whom I have been discussing spirit allies. He told me that crows have been following him recently.

I always know when Kat is focusing on me because I am soothed and it feels bluegreen. We are planning to go to Egypt. She phoned me today and I jumped through the window of my fathers house where my internet console is, to speak with her in the garden so my father couldn’t eavesdrop on our private conversation. I heard the sound of a crow crowing directly above my head and I looked up to smile at it. Then I looked down at my feet and discovered a long crow feather here, beautiful with its greenblue sheen. Nearby I found a second long crow feather, the same greenblue sheen.

3. Bran the Blessed

Kat & I both live in south wales. Wales has a legendary historic figure called Bran the thrice blessed. Kat is from the west; I am from a region near the town Cwmbran which translates into english as ‘Well of Bran’. The Ogham is the Celtic triple~spiral, which like the Buddhist Ohm (it is pronounced the same) refers to a source of energy, a spring, as well as it being the name of the druidic tree script.

After his death Brans head was taken and kept safe. It was awoken many years later by the pagan druids who asked him questions of the changing political state of the states now collectively known as the British Isles. Bran is divinatory, foretelling of that which is to come, and on this occasion he gave a detailed quatrain, something like those of the famous diviner Nostradamus. Bran spoke the poem in secret symbolism known only to the druids and so although we do have a translation copy of events yet to come (which at this time of writing we assume have already happened), nobody can really understand much of it any longer because the christian conquistadors killed all the druids, burned all their wood carvings; so nobody remembers any longer how to interpret what the poem actually is talking of.

Brans head is one of the powerful magickal items of Celtic Britain, along with the Welsh Ceridwens cauldron, a spear of healing taken to Germany during the second world war (Hitler who like Churchill was visited by the magi Aliester Crowley two months prior to the war officially began, was collecting such artifacts); several other mystical items of the proto~British tribes which in general terms relate one each to the four elements, the same symbols as used in the tarot suits; cups, wands, coins, blades.

Brans oracular head is currently protected by the Monarchy of Britain kept locked in the Tower of London on White Hill, which I guess to be a barrow mound. Oh yes do the ruling elite of this nation of nations know full well and guard with military might, in this case the famous Beefeaters, the powers of such magickal items.

Brans sacred spirit animal is the Raven, the crow. There is a legend told that ‘should the ravens ever leave the tower of London then England will fall’. What the public are not generally informed of is that the only reason the Watchmen would stop nesting in the eaves of the tower where they are fed by the Beefeaters, is because they follow and are guarding Brans severed head.

There is an Arthurian legend of the Green Man chopping off peoples heads which I had assumed to be an initiatory story about the death of ego so that true sight can be known, thus true action; the mark of manhood as opposed to childhood. In druidry this can happen at any age although most of the characters of Arthurian legends are middle~aged men.

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