Thursday, May 31, 2007

Kudos to MACDaddy

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Leda & The Swan

The Swan is a potent symbol that is present through multiple mythographies.  The appearance of the Swan is usually accompanied by a transformation of some kind and tension between opposites - example being that in Leda and the Swan, Zeus is the Swan and representative of the Sun while Leda symbolizes the Moon.  The alchemy of opposites is also implied in the poem as the White Swan denotes the whitening process, a step along the journey to the quintessence in the alchemical marriage and a process with which Yeats was certainly familiar.
Blackening - Black Crow, Raven, Toad, Massa Confusa.
Whitening - White Swan, White Eagle, skeleton.
Greening - Green Lion.
Rapid cycling through iridescent colours - Peacock's Tail.
White Stone - Unicorn.
Reddening - Pelican feeding young with its own blood, cockerel.
Final transmutation - Phoenix reborn from the fire.
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Friday, May 18, 2007

Leda and the Swan and alchemy

Do you ever have one of those days?  One of those weeks?  Perhaps one of those months?!
SIGH.  yes - yes - yes.
Where the mundane actually batters at the brain?  Where the Self (big S) starts stuttering if it is not nursed Immediately?  I hate spreadsheets.  I hate Excel and any information that goes in it.
I felt like I needed LXV administered intravenously to extract the weight of the coil.
SO - on this grumpy Friday - hoping that Saturn is a relief (how awful is that?! lol) and adding some good selections from our Esteemed P and the ineffable Yeats ...

17. Also the Holy One came upon me, and I beheld a white swan
    floating in the blue.
18. Between its wings I sate, and the aeons fled away.
19. Then the swan flew and dived and soared, yet no whither we went.
20. A little crazy boy that rode with me spake unto the swan, and
21. Who art thou that dost float and fly and dive and soar in the
    inane?  Behold, these many aeons have passed; whence camest
    thou?  Whither wilt thou go?
22. And laughing I chid him, saying: No whence! No whither!
23. The swan being silent, he answered: Then, if with no goal, why
    this eternal journey?
24. And I laid my head against the Head of the Swan, and laughed,
    saying: Is there not joy ineffable in this aimless winging?  Is
    there not weariness and impatience for who would attain to some
25. And the swan was ever silent. Ah!  but we floated in the
    infinite Abyss.  Joy! Joy!
      White swan, bear thou ever me up between thy wings!

Leda And The Swan by William Butler Yeats
A sudden blow: the great wings beating still
Above the staggering girl, her thighs caressed
By the dark webs, her nape caught in his bill,
He holds her helpless breast upon his breast.
How can those terrified vague fingers push
The feathered glory from her loosening thighs?
And how can body, laid in that white rush,
But feel the strange heart beating where it lies?
A shudder in the loins engenders there
The broken wall, the burning roof and tower
And Agamemnon dead.
Being so caught up,
So mastered by the brute blood of the air,
Did she put on his knowledge with his power
Before the indifferent beak could let her drop?
September 1923
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Saturday, May 12, 2007


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