Uniforms Saturday, Jun 7 2008 

Miss Barbara admits:
I’m writing to prattle on about how utterly wonderful uniforms are. We all love a nurse in a crisp white uniform, and what blonde’s knees don’t tremble at the sight of an aviatrix in dress uniform or a sailor pette all decked out in her lovely white and blue? We know the joys of seeing pettes in uniforms, but have we ever stopped to think about why uniforms are so thrilling? I think it might be because when we see a girl in a uniform, we see first her archetype and her function, and then we notice the girl underneath, all the more attractive for being a bit hidden by these greater and grander things. We love those girls who give themselves over to their functions because we know that by doing so, they are helping build the civilization to which we belong. Though I personally don’t wear a nurse’s or sailor’s uniform, I do often think of my hat, gloves, makeup, and up-to-date clothes as my Aristasian uniform, which I wear very proudly, of course!

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A Legend of Ithelia (fragment) Monday, Mar 31 2008 

Readers may be interested in a fragment of Old Aristasian literature that has recently come to light. It appears to be from a blank-verse drama concerning the Novacairen Princess Ithelia. Whether it is a translation of an older text or was originally written in Westrenne is not known, and, frustratingly, the subject of the conversation does not come to light.

Ithelia was a famous queen of Novacaire. This story is clearly set in her youth, when her mother, Ehrejene was still on the throne. While the story remains unclear, the piece provides us with a pleasing example of this style of rhetorical verse and gives a strong flavour of the ancient Aristasian East particularly in its powerful assimilation of the royal maidens to the sun and moon, which, we must understand, would have been for the writer far more than a mere literary simile.

The only points of elucidation that are really necessary is that “Rayin” (pronounced as one syllable) is the old term for “Queen”, and a Rani is a schoolmistress.

Ehrejene: Welcome thee Daughter, and enter thee close to our presence,
Speak freely the words that thy heart has engaged thee to say.

Itheleia: What is to say, shining Sun, that is not said already?
Or what words of mine can recolour the hue of thy heart?

Ehrejene: Speak you again, good my child, of these wearisome matters?
Wherefore come you nigh the great throne but to trouble me thus?
Are they not settled and done, O most radiant Daughter?
And wherefore should the Child seek to colour the heart of the Rayin?
Should not the heart of the Rayin be steadfast and unchanging?
Should it not weather the storm-winds, withstand the high flood?
Alter not in its bearing by even the breadth of a finger?
Alter not though a Child may weep tears that shall call forth her own?

Itheleia: All you say is most true, O most royal and radiant Mother.
For the words of the Rayin are like Scripture writ down in a book,
And whoso shall alter the book hath forsaken the pathway,
The pathway that leadeth the soul into radiant light.

Ehrejene: What is there more to be said, O most wise among childer?
All I should teach thee is by thee already beknown.
Go then thy ways and let peace ever cradle thy spirit,
Thy turbulent spirit that troubles herself without cause.
Go then thy ways, or yet better, remain with thy mother,
With thy Mother that loveth thee near; and disturb not the Rayin.

Itheleia: To my Mother most lief will I fly, like a bird at the even;
Like a bird that is young and whose small wings do tire from long flight;
Like a bird that hath held herself up on the wind’s mighty stairway,
Hath held herself up by a strength she doth scarcely possess.
To my Mother most lief will I come when my long flight is ended,
And that it were ended betimes doth my heart most desire,
Yet desireth in vain, for still must I bear myself upward,
Ever up must I climb to the radiant feet of the Rayin.

Ehrejene: O, Ithelie, my Child-

Itheleia: no, I pray thee, break not my flight’s rhythm,
For it cometh not easy, this scaling the wind’s subtle thread;
Neither call me thy Child, for I speak to thee not as a Daughter:
I speak to thee now as a Princess may speak to the Rayin.
O, most far-raying Sun, ’tis the Moon that has enter’d thy presence,
Who would tell thee of what she hath seen by her own lesser light.
For the words of the Rayin are like Scripture inscrib’d on a tablet,
And whoso shall change the least jot of them, surely she sins,
All these things know I well, and it needeth no Rani to teach me
For the Scripture is sure and eternal-but not so the Scribe.
The Scribe is a right goodly maid that is true to her calling,
Yet her finger may slip: and the light, may it not fail her eye?
And the Rayin, at the last, is a Scribe; and the words she declaimeth,
Are they not copied from those that are written on high?

The Symbolism of the Fairy Tale Quest Monday, Feb 18 2008 

The fairy tale opening, “Once upon a time”, sets the scene: as in all true mythology and folklore we are out of mundane history and mundane space, in a realm beyond that of everyday experience. We are in illo tempore “that time”, the primordial time of which it can be said that human actions were symbolic of Eternal truths and the spiritual quest was the daily task – when maid, true to her essential nature, occupied her true “central” position.

The reality of our state upon this earth, separated from the Spirit, Source of all life and joy, and seeking reunion with Her, is the most essential of the symbolic themes of mythology and folklore. Every prince seeking the princess, every child seeking her mother, every questing hero seeking the grail, the golden apples, the singing bough or the water of life – all ancient symbols of our Mother God – is the soul seeking Her.

Often the central character is not the only one to set out on a quest, but is one of three, the youngest and silliest. This “silliness” is a purity of heart and a humility (“the wisdom of spirit is folly to the world”) which listens to advice from old peasant women and talking animals. And the supernatural aid which rewards this humility leads to success in the quest.

Those souls not open to Spirit can achieve only on the human level, where they achieve at all. More often they are deceived by a pleasant but maleficent stranger (the illusions of the world) or lured into a wayside inn where they are pauperised or even killed; while the despised youngest, with supernatural aid, becomes the highest in the land.

Often it is simplicity, humility and obedience – which prompt the soul to the other virtues: courage, generosity (freeing trapped animals, sharing scanty food with strangers), wisdom (correctly solving riddles, performing impossible feats – helped or instructed by Spirit in Her various guises). For it is only through Spirit that Spirit is attained.

From Fairytales from Eternity

Duality and Vintesse Sunday, Jul 8 2007 

Vintesse is the Aristasian province asssociated with jinky music, Art Neo and “Pippsies” (bright young things). Its tutelary spirit is Sai Candre, the angel of the moon.

The flag of Vintesse has a horizontally divided field, half yellow, half blue. The charge is a lunar crescent with the points upward in the colours of the field counterchanged.

The themes of this flag are clearly lunarity and duality. We have an image of the sublunary world where all things are in a state of flux and change and where things are seen with the two eyes of lunar reason rather than the single eye of Solar Intellect; thus all is divided into dark and light, yin and yang, meli and chela (“brunette” and “blonde” sexes).

In her highest aspect, Sai Candrë, the Moon is called the Great Priestess and is the ruler of earthly priestesses and the type of Our Lady as Priestess of the World; for the Moon stands between earth and Heaven, mediating Heaven to earth and Earth to Heaven. This is precisely the function shown in this image, with the Moon appearing suffused with Heaven’s golden light on the field of earth and with earth’s darkness on the field of Heaven. She is the Mediatrix who stands between Dea and maid, being both Dea and maid. She is the Bridge Who leads from earth to Heaven, and the Barque of Swift Crossing (the resemblance of the horned moon to a boat is another minor aspect of its symbolism).

Thus the flag of Vintesse speaks both of the inherent duality of the world and the resolution of that duality by the mediated Light of Heaven.

Stylistically, the counterchanged image, with its perfect line and curves, represents the quintessence of Art Neo — Vintesse being the home of Art Neo par excellence — but counterchanging is also a very traditional heraldic technique, reminding us once again that true Art Neo is simply the application of traditional form within a new milieu. Once again, the resolution of duality — in this case of the apparent duality between the “modern” and the traditional — forms the theme of the Vintesse flag; just as this very resolution is the whole purpose of Westrenne Aristasia in general and of Vintesse in particular.

From The Nine Flags of Aristasia

Rosa Mundi Friday, Jun 22 2007 

Rosa Mundi, the Festival of the Rose of the World, begins the magical Season of Fire and Rose.  The season is not of a fixed duration, but is generally held to be between Rosa Mundi and the end of the month of Rosea (vide the Aristasian Calendar).

During this season it is a custom to place a single rose on shrines and before statues and pictures of the Mother.

Last year at the Rosa Mundi service, Lhi Raya Chancandre Aquitaine spoke about the Midsummer Solstice as the Southern Gate of Heaven, and told how its symbol is the lark, which ascends vertically from the ground into the clear blue sky, even as the soul may ascend toward Dea.

She also told us the old saying that “the veil between the worlds is thinner at this time”, for midsummer is one of those times of the year when the subtle realms draw closer to the gross realms. That is why a play about the encounter of mortals with fairies was entitled A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

We learned about the Rose as symbol of the Mother and also of Sai Sushuri, who is the Divine Love; and also the Rose as symbol of the world, whose many petals are the many different things of the world, and whose single heart, from which all petals grow, is Dea Herself, “from Whence all comes, to Whom all must return”.

The service for Rosa Mundi will take place at The White Rose Room this Saturday: see The Blue Camellia Club for details

The Feminine Sun Sunday, Jun 17 2007 

Amaterasu Omikami

The Flag of Caire and the Aristasian Imperial Flag feature a central Sun, the symbol of Sai Raya. Solar associations are also central to traditional symbolism all over Telluria, for example the lion or the eagle figure in most Western national and imperial emblems. In the East the direct representation of the Sun is found in national emblems, such as that of Japan. The emperor of Japan is the direct ancestor of the Sun Goddess, Amaterasu Omikami, just as the Empress of Aristasia is the direct ancestress of
Sai Raya.

Despite Western familiarity with the patriarchal classical world which sees the sun as masculine and the moon as feminine, this is rather an unusual perspective worldwide. The Sanskrit tradition masculinises both luminaries, while throughout the world the original Feminine Sun is to be found in a very large number of patriarchal cultures, sometimes with a masculine moon.

Japan has already been mentioned. Old Lithuanian songs have a feminine Sun-Deity, which is interesting because Lithuanian is the only still-living Indo-European language as ancient as Sanskrit, with which it shares many features. Its Solar Deity probably represents the pre-masculinised form of the Sun of the Sanskrit tradition. In the Celtic world the Sun Goddess is Grainne or Igraine; in Old Slavonic, Saule; among the ancient Semites, Athtar and various other names. In Germany, popular tradition still refers to Frau Sonne. The very word “Sun” comes from the name of the Scandinavian Sun-Goddess Sunna or Sunnu. Sunday, of course, is Her day. Just as Friday is a contraction of Freya’s day, Sunday is a contraction of Sunna’s Day.

Sai Raya and the Sun Wednesday, Jun 13 2007 

Sai Raya is the Sun: the Great Luminary. As such, she is the Janya most immediately assimilable to Dea Herself (though all the Janyati may be seen as Her Aspects). Her Aristasian name means simply The Lady, as well as The Radiant. Raya is the Aristasian word for Lady (in the Lord sense —
there is no such specific word in English). Dea is sometimes addressed as Raya (Lady) even when
the specific Aspect of Sai Raya, the Sun, is not intended. Her ancient Greek name is Theia, which is simply the feminine form of God, equivalent to Dea.

Very much might be said about the Sun. She is the Primordial Light, and it goes without saying that the physical luminary that represents Her in the material solar system is but an outward body or symbol of Her, just as the Sacred Mountain may be incarnated in some particular mountain on earth. The modern mind, with its shallow rationalism, finds it hard to grasp how very real is the incarnation of the Sacred Mountain in, say Mount Sinai, Mount Meru or Mount Olympus, how for their respective Traditions they are the one Sacred Mountain. But the Sun is a little simpler to understand, for there is only and can only be one Sun for the whole of terrestrial humanity.

And so materialism can fall into the opposite error — that of confusing the Supernal Sun with Her outward body (and so ludicrously imagining that traditional peoples worship “what we now know to be a ball of gas”). Sai Raya was before there was an earth to light or a Sun to light her. The same may be said of the Moon, and of each of the planets. They are Eternal Principles: principles that existed before our cosmos came into being and that will exist when all the worlds are dust.

As a principle governing terrestrial life, Sai Raya’s influence (the word “influence” means, originally and literally, a “flowing-in” from the “stars”, or celestial beings) is the most expansive and positive of all. Among the attributes of this influence are generosity, wealth, health, radiance and pride (pride in the negative sense is also the earthly perversion of the Stream of Sai Raya).

The Sun, as symbolic centre of the macrocosm, is equivalent to the heart in the microcosm of the human body and the hearth-fire in the microcosm of the house. Thus it is that Intelligence is situated in the heart (governed by Sai Raya) and reason in the head (governed by Sai Candre). Needless to say, we are speaking of subtle centres, not of the mere bodily heart and head.

See also
The Seven Great Janyati
Sai Candre and the Moon

Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush Monday, Jun 11 2007 

Many of the traditional rhymes and games of childhood have a deep inner spiritual meaning. The acting game “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” is an example. Here one player stands in the centre while the others form a ring around her. During the choruses they dance round her like the planets about the sun, while in each verse she chooses and leads the action (this is the way we clap our hands, sow the corn etc.). In some versions she is a bramble-bush, but both the bramble and the mulberry are associated with forms of Dea*, and is a minor representative of the World Tree. In each case she represents the still Point at the centre of manifestation, the solar Spirit Herself, by Whom all the forms of manifestation are expressed in their perfect Essence and are reflected upon the rim of the wheel of being, (in the realm of movement and multiplicity).

There are many rhyme-games of this sort. Strictly (because of the perfect “obedience” of the ring) this one represents not the relation of hub to the rim of the wheel, but of the axle-point to the hub that is to say, of God Herself to the Angelic or Archetypal realm of unfallen creation. Competitive versions which turn upon the mistakes made by the players represent the relation of the hub to the rim the fallen world of matter, which mirrors the Spirit, yet is ‘a broken and imperfect reflection’ of Her.

* Note: There are Tellurian parallels – for example, in the Iliad the goddess Hera decorates her pierced ears with mulberry clusters and the mulberry is also sacred to Minerva; the bramble was sacred to St Bridget of Ireland (originally the goddess Brighde); the Chinese goddess Ma-Ku took land from the sea and planted it with mulberry trees. Many more examples can be found.

From Nursery Rhymes: the Inner Meaning 

The Flag of Caire Wednesday, May 30 2007 

This is the flag of the Cairen Empire, which is the founding Empire of the current Historical era in Aristasia Pura and was established some 3,300 years ago. The flag is used by several Eastern Princesses whose realms and monarchies are held to be the direct descendants of Caire.

The rays of the sun combine both the orthogonal and the diagonal cross, representing the extension of a world-order in all possible directions of material space, while the governing Celestial principle is represented by the central Sun. This expresses the Imperial ideal: both the early mission of the Cairen Empire to expel the Outlander and establish the Divine Order throughout the Aristasian lands and the later task of unifying and administering the widespread Empire.

The heart in the microcosm of the body is the incarnation of the sun in the macrocosm of the universe, and just as the sun supplies the surrounding world with warmth and light necessary for life, so the heart supplies the whole body with its life-blood. Thus the Sun of the Imperial flag is also the Solar Heart of the Empire, and the rays are like the many paths to and from the Holy City of Caire. The saying “All roads lead to Caire” has a clearly metaphysical significance, as does the designation of such roads as “arterial”.

The Cairen Imperial Flag represents, at the highest level, Dea as the Supernal Sun at the centre of Her created universe and at the lower or “political” level, the Imperial City providing the lifeblood of the Empire, the maternal nourishment of civilisation and order. One may also note here a reflection of the relation between wisdom and method (often illustrated by the parallel of the blind maid carrying the lame maid — for the blind maid has the material power to walk, being method or substance, and the lame maid has the spiritual power to see, being Wisdom or Essence). The arterial rays transmit the life-light or lifeblood of the Spirit to the Empire, while the arterial roads also bring material support — food, goods, servants etc — to the Capital.

The Solar Centre represents the Celestial City at the heart of the Empire, the Temple-Palace at the heart of the city, the Imperial Throne at the heart of the Palace, the Solar Empress, Incarnation of the Sun at the heart of the throne, and the Divine Solar Heart — the essence of her incarnated ancestral divinity — at the centre of the Empress herself.

The two colours of the Cairen Imperial Flag represent the two qualities of the sun: light (gold) and warmth (red) which are respectively Wisdom (or Solar Intelligence) and Love, the two Divine Nutrients of the Empire.

The Curtsey Friday, May 25 2007 

It is believed the curtsey originated in certain parts of the further East and that the rationale behind it was as follows:

Human beings are the only creatures with an upright posture, and this is because they are the Axial being. When we bow we defer our axiality bringing the upper body nearer to the horizontal in homage to the verticality of another.

It is said that certain ancient Estrenne cultures held that blondes – being sacred – could never lose their axiality even relatively, thus they made reverence without inclining themselves toward the horizontal. In later times, of course, most curtseys came to incorporate some degree of inclination, but this is held – by some at least – to be their origin.

Incidentally, it is also said that the quasi-upright posture of birds when not in flight betokens their position as winged symbols of angelic powers.

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