Thursday, December 31, 2015

Banias Spring

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

Well, well,...hmmph...I've been mulling over the 'great god pan' to make a post for the last few's not easy!...I hadn't ever given Pan much thought...just smiles and laughs when I see him surrounded by nymphs and satyrs in cartoons!...don't know but the celebrants tonight, New Years, will be behaving panlike!...Happy New Year!'s take has it that the medieval Christians morphed Pan into the Devil, borrowing the goat legs and horns and such...don't know but that iconographic image has always been a bit cartoonish to me too!...I should take such serious, I guess, as there were those over history that have, and still do, and to some extent such have made the 'history' I live in...

Plutarch great god Pan dead

According to the Greek historian Plutarch (in De defectu oraculorum, "The Obsolescence of Oracles"),[29] Pan is the only Greek god (other than Asclepius) who actually dies. During the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14–37), the news of Pan's death came to one Thamus, a sailor on his way to Italy by way of the island of Paxi. A divine voice hailed him across the salt water, "Thamus, are you there? When you reach Palodes,[30] take care to proclaim that the great god Pan is dead." Which Thamus did, and the news was greeted from shore with groans and laments.

Pan (god)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The story has long been seen as a symbolic representation of the death of the Classical world and its replacement by Christianity -- a process which actually occurred, with much strife and agony, over the next few centuries.
Clash of Civilizations: The Great God Pan is Dead

Caesarea Philippi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caesarea Philippi Jesus
When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? 14And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. 15He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 20Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.
Gates of Hell Pan
The pagans of Jesus' day commonly believed that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves. To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld—the gates of hell.

My Jewish friend informed me that there were parts of the Bible that only a student over forty years old could, or should, read......but it's a lovely place, the springs where the old temple of Pan is remembered still...

temple Pan....


The Banias Spring emerges at the foot of Mount Hermon and flows powerfully through a canyon for 3.5 km, eventually leading to the Banias Waterfall, the most impressive cascade in Israel. Nine kilometers from its source, the Hermon Stream meets the Dan, and together they form the Jordan River.
Israel Nature and Parks Authority

and while much is made of Jesus opposing the worship of Pan, though I don't quite see that, there are those whose suggest the opposite, and a self similarity, seeing in Pan a shepherd like Jesus...

Jesus Pan Shepherd

But the similarities are there. For example, they were both shepherds, after a fashion. Also, neither of them were entirely divine: Jesus was supposed to be one hundred percent divine and one hundred percent human simultaneously, and Pan was likewise a god and "also an earthly being, by virtue of his mother Dryope, his occupation, and his association with man. This fusion of the human and divine in one creature has led many later Christian poets most notably Milton to describe Pan as a pagan prefiguration of Jesus Christ" (Baker 11). The crucial point here, however, is that such comparisons were made by poets and mostly poets who lived after the Reformation not by priests or bishops of the Church and certainly not by any of the popes.

The Demonization of Pan.
Kevin Hearne (c) 1998 I said, a difficult post!...and in the reading was this at wiki's Jordan River take...

Jordan River

The use of Jordan River's water was cited as a cause of the war by Ariel Sharon, who said,
People generally regard June 5, 1967, as the day the Six Day War began. That is the official date, but in reality it started two and a half years earlier on the day Israel decided to act against the diversion of the Jordan River.[8]

Oh, the old Roman name for the Greek god Pan was Faunus, where our word 'fauna' comes from...



Saturday, December 26, 2015

Spil Mountain National Park

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

hmmph...on page 58 of Robert Graves' book The White Goddess, there's this:

"The Centuars' Mother Goddess was called, in Greek, Leucothea, 'the White Goddess', but the Centaurs themselves called her Ino, Plastene, and her rock cut image is still shown near the ancient pinnacle-town of Tantalus..."

and I tasked myself with finding that rock cut image on the web...the town Tantalus, I believe is at...

Tantalus Turkey Plastene

Her father was the ruler of a city called "Tantalis"[1] or "the city of Tantalus", or "Sipylus", in reference to Mount Sipylus at the foot of which his city was located...


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 A more famous monument, a full-faced statue carved in rock mentioned by Pausanias is a statue of Cybele, said by Pausianias to have been carved by Broteas is in fact Hittite


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I'm not sure where the 'pinnacle town' is, possibly a monastery built on the slopes of two mountains close together thereabout, one a volcano with a crater lake,  and the other...
Mount Sipylus
Spil Mountain National Park is rich in history with many myths. According to one, the mountain was named after Cybele, the wife of god Cronos where she is carved into the rocks in Akpinar.
and of course there is some controversy now as to if the carving is a goddess or a god! is much eroded, which gives it even more charm!...anyway, it was a fine roundabout searchabout to find it, and seems a very fine thing that it is nested in a Turkish National Park...another quote from same site:
"You will also find a wide variety of flora and fauna. Cavernous developments in the area have resulted in many canyons, caves and steep valleys. The main species of trees here include pine, juniper, poplar, walnut, elm and oak, 20 of which have been determined in scientific research as scarce. Also found here are the Manisa tulips, which gave their name to a period of the Ottoman Empire and were taken to Europe. Species of wildlife living in the park include bears, jackals, roe deer, foxes, badgers, wild goats, vultures and eagles, and there is also a pheasant production farm. You can find some great furnished housing options in the area when visiting as well as camp sites."
bit suspicious of the wild goats...but the great god Pan is next!...

Friday, December 25, 2015


...from the memoirs of Fray Francisco Palau...1769...

Sunday, December 24--On this day before Christmas we two said Masses, which all heard, and we set out in the morning on the same road by which we came.  Because the water had washed away a pass on the steep descent to the beach, which we had repaired on the way up, it was necessary for us to look for a pass in another valley, that was full of brush, so that in order to get through it the men had to go ahead and open the road with machetes. The march covered three leagues, and we halted in the same spot of the valley of El Osito de San Buenaventura.  It was God's will that we should celebrate the Nativity joyfully, which was done in this way: more than two hundred heathen of both sexes came to visit us in this place, bringing us Christmas gifts, for many of them came with good baskets of pinole and some fish, with which everybody supplied themselves, and we had something with which to celebrate Christmas Day. Blessed be the providence of God who succors us more than we deserve! Their gifts were returned with beads, which pleased them greatly.

Monday, December 25--On this day of the Nativity of the Lord we could not celebrate in any other manner than by saying Mass, we two, one for each, for the march gave time for no more. The cold is so biting that it gives us good reason to meditate upon what the infant Jesus, who was this day born in Bethlehem, suffered for us. We made three leagues and a half, and went to stop a little further to the south of the estuary of Santa Serafina, close to the small village of Indian fishermen, from whom a great deal of fish was obtained in exchange for beads, with which all provided themselves. So we celebrated Christmas with this dainty, which tasted better to everybody than capons and chickens had tasted in other places, because of the good sauce of San Bernardo, hunger which all had in abundance. And there was not lacking in Christmas gifts of good baskets of pinole and atole, which, being white and made of acorns, tastes like manjar blanco, because of its color and the pleasure with which it is eaten.


Squirrel and story is one of my Oranges issues, Dec ' page folded...I don't think I ever 'issued' this one, too shy, and thought myself too foolish!...on the last fold some of it reads:

Poems and Stories, Fauna and Flora, of Orange County, California
from the memoirs of Fray Francisco Palau...1769
editor's note:  Merry Christmas!  The quoted text is from: "Palau's Historical Memoirs of New California" by Fray Francisco Palau, edited by Herbert Eugene Bolton, Volume II, New York, Russel & Russel, pp 245-246
There's more, how to subscribe, copyright notice, DolphinWords, desktop publishing, my name, address, and a note I was using a Macintosh computer...actually, I did very well laying out the bare bones of a  publication...there's really not much to them!
Anyway, it's been cold and windy all day, not unlike Christmas 1769...and where is Santa Serafina?...brb...looks to be in Ventura, California, and I can't locate the estuary, or where that fishing village exactly is...

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Acorns And Pine Nuts

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

Arcadia California

For over 8,000 years the site of Arcadia was part of the homeland of the Tongva people ("Gabrieliño" tribe), a Californian Native American tribe whose territory spanned the greater Los Angeles Basin, and the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys.

Arcadia, California

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arcadia Greece
Due to its remote, mountainous character, Arcadia seems to have been a cultural refuge. When, during the Greek Dark Age, Doric Greek dialects were introduced to the Peloponnese, the older language apparently survived in Arcadia, and formed part of the Arcado-Cypriot group of Greek languages. Herodotus says that the inhabitants of Arcadia were Pelasgians, the Greek name for the supposed 'indigenous' inhabitants of Greece, who dwelt there before the arrival of the 'Hellenic' tribes.[

Regions of ancient Greece

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Arcadia in California is named after Arcadia in Greece...and both have landscapes of oak tree dotted foothills, and near mountains, though Arcadia in California is now built up, with an economy to rival the Balboans in Newport Beach, California...Arcadia in Greece is more of a region, and it is still to this day sparsely settled it would seem...a visitor to either Arcadia eight thousand years ago would find the tribes thereabout engaged in the same pursuits as hunter gatherers, acorns and pine nuts major staples...
While taking marine science classes at Orange Coast College, I had a class, forget what it was called, where I had a project to make acorn cookies...I went out to Irvine Park, gathered up acorns, broke the shells and crushed the pith? into a mush, that I dutifully hung in the toilet reservoir tank which flushed out the tannin from the acorns mush with each flush--I was following instructions!...and I baked some cookies, and made a display explaining with labels, and set it outside along the sidewalk for passing students to peruse, along with everyone else's was much fun...should do it again just to do it!...and I left for another class, and, and, when I returned, to my chagrin, students had been eating my cookies!...I think I got all the tannin out!...and tried a cookie my own self...kind of bland, overcooked, but no ill effects...
and, and, with Arcadia in Greece, I'm back on p.58 of Robert Graves White Goddess...the natives hereabout at an ancient time, around the fall of Troy, were thought in the lore of ancient Greece to have been the original inhabitants, the original Greeks...
pelasgians arcadians
The first person was a different story. In this tradition, the first human was the man Pelasgus who sprang from the soil of Arcadia (soon followed by others). They made little huts and ate acorns and wore pig-skin tunics.
The name Pelasgians (/pəˈlæziənz, -ənz, -ɡiənz/; Greek: Πελασγοί, Pelasgoí; singular: Πελασγός, Pelasgós) was used by some ancient Greek writers to refer to populations that were either the ancestors of the Greeks or preceded the Greeks in Greece, "a hold-all term for any ancient, primitive and presumably indigenous people in the Greek world".[1] In general, "Pelasgian" has come to mean more broadly all the indigenous inhabitants of the Aegean Sea region and their cultures before the advent of the Greek language.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
it's an aside, but a curio for sometime, the connection with the Pelasgians and the regions of Troy in Turkey...
Pelasgians Troy
An ancient etymology based on mere similarity of sounds linked pelasgos to pelargos ("stork") and postulates that the Pelasgians were migrants like storks, possibly from Egypt, where they nest.[4] Aristophanes deals effectively with this etymology in his comedy The Birds. One of the laws of "the storks" in the satirical cloud-cuckoo-land, playing upon the Athenian belief that they were originally Pelasgians, is that grown-up storks must support their parents by migrating elsewhere and conducting warfare.[


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
oh...the linking of the Pelasgians with Troy is on that page too...but that about the Storks is a fine curio too!
It isn't just that the Greeks regarded Pelasgos as the first man, and the Pelasgians their ancestors, they were the people that came from Deucalion's ark...the ark is said to have landed at two places, near Delphi, and near Dodona in Arcadia...
Pelasgians Deucalion ark
Plutarch mentions a legend that Deucalion and Pyrrha had settled in Dodona,


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deucalion Dodona
Dodona is the Mythological landing place for Deucalion after the flood, while Ararat is known in Hebraic as the landing place of the Ark for Noah. Apart from this early mythological connection between sites, there is a geographical similarity in that both have ancient oracle centres to the earth-mother placed next to dominant mountains and the distance between them is the same as the distance between Dodona and Thebes, so that the three sites form an almost exact equilateral triangle .
well...that's diverting!...but what I'm reaching for is the Oak Tree at stepping stones: Arcadians to Pelasgians to Oracle at Dodona
Oracle Dodona
ZEUS DODONAIOS was the god of the great oracle at Dodona, reputedly the oldest in Greece. It was located in Epeiros, in the north-west of Greece. The oracles were received from the rustling of the branches of the holy oak tree by the bare-footed priests of the god, the Helloi or Selloi. Later three elderly priestesses, named Peleiades ("Doves"), were appointed to be the voice of the oracle.
in the lore of Dodona there's a story of Doves...
Dodona Doves
Herodotus follows with what he was told by the prophetesses, called peleiades ("doves") at Dodona:
"...that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona; the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there; the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine. The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon; this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra; and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true."
In the simplest analysis, this was a confirmation of the oracle tradition in Egypt. The element of the dove may be an attempt to account for a folk etymology applied to the archaic name of the sacred women that no longer made sense and the eventual connection with Zeus, justified by a tale told by a priestess. Was the pel- element in their name connected with "black" or "muddy" root elements in names like "Peleus" or "Pelops"? Is that why the doves were black?
Herodotus adds:
"But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia; and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there; for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes, she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come. After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination; and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her."
"I expect that these women were called 'doves' by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds; then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech; as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian."


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
hmmph...I kind of fixed on those two doves, as in earlier post I went on about how ancient temples, certainly the ancient Egyptians, used messenger pigeons...
and Dodona is a fascination, more so than most ancient wasn't a grand acropolis temple was set in wild Arcadia, the priests/priestesses went about barefoot and slept on the make a prophecy they'd listen to the wind rustling the leaves in the Oaks, one Oak in help, the Oaks may have had like wind chimes in their branches...
Dodona oracle oak

The oracle was renown throughout ancient Greece and it is mentioned in both the Iliad and the Odyssey"O thou supreme! high-throned all height above! O great Pelasgic, Dodonaean Jove! Who 'midst surrounding frosts, and vapours chill, Presid'st on bleak Dodona's vocal hill: (Whose groves the Selli, race austere! surround, Their feet unwash'd, their slumbers on the ground; Who hear, from rustling oaks, thy dark decrees; And catch the fates, low-whispered in the breeze;)" Homer. The Iliad (Kindle Locations 9147-9151).
This passage of Achilles' words at the funeral pyre of Patroclus describe how the Dodona priests slept on the earth and never washed their feet so they could always be one with the earth (perhaps a remnant of the earlier worship to the Great Goddess), and recited their decrees after listening to the "rustling oaks" as they "low-whispered in the breeze". While this seems to be the dominant account of the oracle delivery, several other versions exist. Sophocles mentions "oracular doves", Herodotus implies a lot process, and a 1st century version indicates that the sounds of bronze cauldrons hit by fallen acorns provided the source for the priests' prophecies.

I listened to the acorns fall from the Black Oaks over the Creek like rain...

anyway, a Christian zealot, destroyer of libraries, uprooted the most revered Oak at Dodona...

Oak Dodona

And so, after all of the centuries that bore witness to the violent destruction and desecration of this holy sanctuary, the tree itself remained.  It was left to the Christians to destroy the most sacred tree in Greece.  Prior to its murder, this ancient oak had stood, speaking its messages in the wind, for many more than two and a half thousand years.  The one that stands in its place today was planted by the archaeologists who unearthed the site. (79)  No doubt they felt the emptiness in a place that once filled the world with hope.  


by Tracy Boyd
© 2004

oh...and I find in these readings that Philopoemen, the last Greek, was an Arcadian...from Megalopolis...I named my Death Knight, my second toon in World of Warcraft, Philopoemen...

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Skellig Michael

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

Well, Friday afternoon I checked to see if Star Wars was playing, and it was, and I got in to watch...much nostalgia...bit like new rock and roll band doing a cover of best songs of old rock and roll band, with guest parts by the old rockers themselves!...much fun!

The last scene I found fetching...'that could be near Harlech, Wales, Robert Graves favorite place!...' (see previous post)...and indeed it is, a scene from an island off Ireland, Luke Skywalker's favorite place of late, it would seem...

force awakens film locations

During one reconnaissance helicopter flight in advance of initial filming last year, kittiwake chicks in nests on a ledge below were swept into the sea by the downdraught and devoured by gulls, and this resulted in further flights being curtailed.

Star Wars: Habitats directive ‘breached’ on Skellig Michael

The Irish monks have a tale to tell, which I have only sketch, but will study out for sometime post!...

hmmph...Robert Graves and Ezra Pound...famously they were introduced with: "Ezra, Robert; Robert, wont like one another..."...indeed, and it is almost like there are two off shoots, followers of one or the other, who may not get along much either!...I haven't studied it out, but one can begin such a study with Ted Hughes, the poet, and his take on Graves and environmentalism, and Gary Snyder, the poet, and his take on Pound and environmentalism...and such a study will carry one through the canon of twentieth century poets and the commentaries about them...Hollywood movies have critics, and likewise poets nowadays, and it's too much for Fauna and Flora!..I wont delve...anyway, Hollywood has out distanced all the print poets (Hughes seems to have noted this, and fashioned Iron Man, (not Marvel comics'))...there's nothing any of them are saying that isn't in the film Avatar, or for that matter in Star Wars The Force Awakens...

I made it into the theater in time for the previews...a new Batman, another Independence Day, Ninja Turtles, X Men Apocolypse, and a true story of a large ship torn in half in a storm....along with the main feature, Star Wars, they are all alike, for goodness sake, in their depiction of impending doom...I guess we need such films, to allay our most innermost anxieties so we can go on about our day to day!

anyway, Star Wars is much fun...Lucas came upon Joseph Campbell, who came upon Frazer's  Golden Bough, who Graves came upon too, and acknowledges in the intro to the White Goddess...and Pound was clearly of the Dark Side!

for tomorrowmorrow, Acorns and Pine Nuts...


Friday, December 18, 2015

Harlech, Wales

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

Well, here's a notion that I'll lay out as simply as I can, and then reference a few things that complicate it really fast!

Robert Graves has it that in the Stone Age, religious awe was inspired by women giving birth, so much so, that for a long time, well into the bronze and early iron age, religious rituals celebrated women...then came along agriculture, technological inventions, and the strength of arms in warfare became all important, and religious rituals celebrated men, which is pretty much how things are, Graves sees this transition from matriarchal tribes to patriarchal tribes, and something was lost in the transition, that regard for women and birth and birth's sacredness...and there's this sentiment that in the Stone Age people lived in harmony with Nature as Hunter Gatherers...don't know but when the Spanish happened on the Indians of California, they happened on the Stone Age just as Graves' suggests...the climate of California is much like Greece...and the tribes here and there were Acorn eaters...and the Indians lived in harmony with Nature...and what happened is the Spanish horsemen arrived, just like once the Centaurs came to Thessaly, and the rest is California's early parts of the world, like the Western United States, Australia, the Stone Age is not that far back...and it could be argued that these tribes not knowing how to work with anything more complicated than stone, were living in harmony with Nature for just that reason, and connecting this harmony with a religious awe of women and birth might seem just a sentimental sentiment...Nature's harmony was going along fine for millions of years before the arrival of the tribes, and in places one can find that harmony still in place...ecosystems untouched by the tribes...and that is the age beyond the Stone Age, and in truth, likely the age Graves, and many, are reaching for...the long age when the Earth didn't have people...and I can't find Graves' using the terms, ecosystem, or, ecology, and yet, I'd say, anyone reading about his notions of the Goddess, and the return of the Goddess, would say, 'oh, he's writing about the Earth reasserting her harmony, her ancient ecology!'...terms like ecosystem and ecology are kind of new...Richard Nixon made NOAA in 1970, and Apollo 11 gave us the first full on photo of the Earth from Space...

Robert Graves Ecology

In the last chapter of the book he talks about the suppressed desire of Western people for the return of the goddess and foretells ecological disaster if it is postponed, for the longer it is:

"… and therefore the more exhausted by man’s irreligious improvidence the natural resources of the soil and sea become, the less merciful will her five-fold mask be, and the narrower the scope of action that she grants to whichever demi-god she chooses to take as her temporary consort in godhead."

Sunday, 27 March 2011

True Poetry and Ecology: The White Goddess Revisited
As a child, Graves spent time at a family home on vacations at Harlech, Wales...nearby was a ruined Castle, and mountains, and was a wild was his favorite place...when he moved to Majorca it was because Majorca reminded him of Harlech...I found a little notation that a zinc mine, or zinc mining, was nearby Harlech...
"unheeding the ancient deities wrath called down by Mr. Robert Graves..."
ARIADNE, 7 January, p 37

I can't find that 'p37' on the web, but I gather it was a letter to editor of some sort protesting the mining... go further with this, I need to explain how Graves and his take on mythology is a bit like Ezra Pound and his take on Chinese poetry!...for tomorrowmorrow!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015


a poem by Robert Graves...

by Robert Graves
(August 6, 1916. Officer previously reported died of wounds, now reported wounded. Graves, Capt. R, Royal Welsh Fusiliers)
...But I was dead, an hour or more:
I woke when I'd already passed the door
That Cerberus guards and half-way down the road
To Lethe, as an old Greek sign-post showed.
Above me, on my stretcher swinging by,
I saw new stars in the sub-terrene sky,
A Cross, a Rose in Bloom, a Cage with Bars,
And a barbed Arrow feathered with fine stars.
I felt the vapours of forgetfulness
Float in my nostrils: Oh, may Heaven bless
Dear Lady Proserpine, who saw me wake
And, stooping over me, for Henna's sake
Cleared my poor buzzing head and sent me back
Breathless, with leaping heart along the track.
After me roared and clattered angry hosts
Of demons, heroes, and policeman-ghosts.
"Life, life! I can't be dead, I won't be dead:
Damned if I'll die for any one," I said...
Cerberus stands and grins above me now,
Wearing three heads, lion and lynx and sow.
"Quick, a revolver! but my Webley's gone,
Stolen... no bombs... no knife... (the crowd swarms on,
Bellows, hurls stones)... not even a honeyed sop...
Nothing... Good Cerberus... Good dog... but stop!
Stay!... a great luminous thought... I do believe
There's still some morphia that I bought on leave."
Then swiftly Cerberus' wide mouths I cram
With Army biscuit smeared with Tickler's jam;
And Sleep lurks in the luscious plum and apple.
He crunches, swallows, stiffens, seems to grapple
With the all-powerful poppy... then a snore,
A crash; the beast blocks up the corridor
With monstrous hairy carcase, red and dun -
Too late: for I've sped through.
O Life! O Sun!
It's interesting that Graves in this early poem, he was like only twenty one when a sucking chest wound landed him in the row of too wounded to make it, he depicts Cerberus' three heads as lion, lynx, and sow...all three sacred icons of Cybele...I read it, and the book, Goodbye to All That, his account of WW1, years ago, and maybe that subconscious memory brought to mind the notion of Cerberus escaping Tartarus (see yesterday's post!)...Hercules did bring Cerberus out of Tartarus, it was his last quest, and returned Cerberus unharmed...Cerberus has an important task, he not only guards the door to keep the lost souls in, but to keep the living souls out too!...some modern fiction has Cerberus appearing here and there...if I can ever manage some modern fiction, Cerberus might appear in the here and nowabout!
Oh, I thought Cerberus resides in Tartarus, but Hades' Hades is:
"Some accounts say that the distance between Tartarus and Hades was the same as between the earth and the heaven. Although the kingdom of Hades was the place of the dead, Tartarus was where ferocious monsters and horrible criminals were banished, or where the gods imprisoned their rivals after a war."
For places that no one can return from to tell the tale, the Greeks, and more than a few other tribes, seem to have good accounts!

Monday, December 14, 2015

NOAA and the Sibylline Books

A text only post, and about history, afield from fauna and flora, sort of...and grim, so dear readers, a caution to read on...

I'll put the search strings in bold, these are the beginning of a quote, and the link(s), the ulr(s), which are highlighted too, will be the quote(s) end(s)...

quote...from me...

hmmph...our new found skills at monitoring the atmosphere and such uncover our errors, but they may also show some dangers to the earth from other sources...and just for that I wouldn't throw us out with the bath water!


quote is a thread response to an unexpectedly sad lament observing that we have messed up the environment to the point that maybe we just don't belong here, on the earth, oft time observation by many, I'd say!...I tried to offer a glimmer of hope...and as I oft time do, I worried my own off the cuff remark...'there's something more to that..' my thought...and by 'worried', I mean like my dog Maya chewing on the chew toy I just gave her...this to say I can be like Maya with a chew toy, with a thought!...or a water heater packaging box...Maya had that box into less than foot square pieces within an hour!

anyway...I was a adrift with no thought for a post last few days, and thought to visit Hades...I'm not one for putting up etymology of words to further a thought, but Hades is curious!


The origin of Hades' name is uncertain, but has generally been seen as meaning "The Unseen One" since antiquity.

... ... ...

Perhaps from fear of pronouncing his name, around the 5th century BCE, the Greeks started referring to Hades as Pluto (Πλούτων, Ploútōn), with a root meaning "wealthy", considering that from the abode below (i.e., the soil) come riches (e.g., fertile crops, metals and so on).


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In that poem by Ben Johnson, 'Queen and Huntress', I learned that Hesperus was another name for Venus, and 'The Wreck of the Hesperus' popped into my head, and  I looked it up, and gave it some study, and was reminded how gloomy 19th century poets were...they just went on and on about death...myself, I have the same superstitious aversion to 'death' in my writing that the Greeks had to mention of 'Hades'...there are things I just don't go on about least I evoke them....or in the case of my using the word 'assassins' for those named in the news, I don't name them least I 'feed' them and their ilk...much has been made, and can be made, that the media doting on such, evokes such...the ancients were well aware of this, hence superstitions and taboos...'superlatively unscientific' as they are, I find superstitions 'charming'...I don't know if John Muir was superstitious, but he seldom goes on about doom and gloom, an exception in the doom and gloom milieu of the 19th century...and it's remarkable in today's 'milieu', in the day to day, doom and gloom is sort of taboo, not mentioned...kind of like the Japanese and their reluctance to discuss illness...but in our entertainments, the movies, it is in our face relentlessly...happy endings a kind of quick dream wake up from our long indulgences in the long and gloomy nightmare!
anyway, Hades, have I given you your due!...I like your dog, and would like to borrow for a story...'Cerberus escapes from Hell...' 
anyway, anyway, I'm reading along wiki's Hades take and note the Sibylline Books...
Hades Sibylline Books
Kinsmen they knew not, and they formed intrigues
Against their brothers. And they were impure,
Having defiled themselves with human gore,
And they made wars. And then upon them came
The last calamity sent forth from heaven,
100 Which snatched the dreadful men away from life;
And Hades then received them; it was called
Hades since Adam, having tasted death,
Went first and earth encompassed him around.
And therefore all men born upon the earth
105 Are in abodes of Hades called to go.
... ... ...
 Hades.--The conception of Hades here set forth, as the great receptacle of the souls of men after death, is in essential harmony with both the Jewish and the Christian doctrines. The derivation of the name from Adam is noticeable as a purely arbitrary conjecture. Comp. book iii, 30, note; comp. Plato's explanation of the word in Cratylus, 404.]



Don't know but Hades, the unseen one, might be one god every religion agrees on!...Hades was awarded Hell after the Titanomachy...Poseidon was awarded the ocean, and Zeus the sky...all three could have affairs on land, the earth, which had belonged to Gaia...the Titanomachy was an earlier conflict between the gods like the Gigantomachy, which I have still to go on about like I intended!
Insomuch as Gaia's earth after the battle comes under the purview of these three gods, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades, the story would seem a good example of the ancients documenting a shift in religious preference from goddess worship to gods worship, which eventually manifested as the White Beard reaching out to Adam in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel painting...I haven't studied them out before, but I was always curious about the Sibyls and their books Michelangelo painted on the ceiling too!
There are two Sibylline Book sets...the first, the original, was Greek, and borrowed by the Romans, who lost them in a fire, but searched all the empire for remnants, and made another set, which lasted until like 405 a.d. .  After that, they were lost, except for fragments, and memories, as when they existed, they were a closely guarded treasure...but they're influence was such that another set arose, which was a combination of pagan and Christian and Jewish lore...
sibylline books
The Sibylline Books should not be confused with the so-called Sibylline Oracles, twelve books of prophecies thought to be of Judaeo-Christian origin.
... ... ...
Thus, one important effect of the Sibylline Books was their influence on applying Greek cult practice and Greek conceptions of deities to indigenous Roman religion, which was already indirectly influenced through Etruscan religion. As the Sibylline Books had been collected in Anatolia, in the neighborhood of Troy, they recognized the gods and goddesses and the rites observed there and helped introduce them into Roman state worship, a syncretic amalgamation of national deities with the corresponding deities of Greece, and a general modification of the Roman religion.

Sibylline Books

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yes, the second set of Sibylline Books are the Oracles, and those for a sometime post!...but what in the world was the first set that was so important to the Romans?
sibylline books Rome
The Roman Senate kept tight control over the Sibylline Books;[1] Sibylline Books were entrusted to the care of two patricians; after 367 BC ten custodians were appointed, five patricians and five plebeians, who were called the decemviri sacris faciundis; subsequently (probably in the time of Sulla) their number was increased to fifteen, the quindecimviri sacris faciundis. They were usually ex-consuls or ex-praetors. They held office for life, and were exempt from all other public duties. They had the responsibility of keeping the books in safety and secrecy. These officials, at the command of the Senate, consulted the Sibylline Books in order to discover not exact predictions of definite future events in the form of prophecy but the religious observances necessary to avert extraordinary calamities and to expiate ominous prodigies (comets and earthquakes, showers of stones, plague, and the like).
'and such' I would write!...
wiki's page has a chart of for what events the Books were consulted:
"205-204 BC: During the Second Punic War, upon consultation of the Sibylline Books, an image of Cybele was transferred from Pessinos (or Pergamon) to Rome."
Well, there's Pergamon again, and Cybele is brought to Rome because of some oracle in the, it is all very strange!
But, but, these Books, in their time, must have held the same place, niche, that science does now with regard to explaining, or dealing, with natural disasters. 
"345 BC: The books were consulted when a "shower of stones rained down and darkness filled the sky during daylight". "
I imagine that was a volcano...
"A spreading bay is there, impregnable
To all invading storms; and Aetna's throat
With roar of frightful ruin thunders nigh.
Now to the realm of light it lifts a cloud
Of pitch-black, whirling smoke, and fiery dust,
Shooting out globes of flame, with monster tongues
That lick the stars; now huge crags of itself,
Out of the bowels of the mountain torn,
Its maw disgorges, while the molten rock
Rolls screaming skyward; from the nether deep
The fathomless abyss makes ebb and flow.


which Romans are familiar with...


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, pronounced /ˈn.ə/, like "Noah") is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere.

NOAA Aetna Italy

Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

INGV reported that after a progressive intensification of activity during the evening of 2 December, an eruption at Etna's Voragine Crater peaked between 0330 and 0410 on 3 December. During the peak period sustained lava fountains rose over 1 km above the crater with some jets of hot material rising 3 km high. An ash plume rose several kilometers high and drifted NE, causing ashfall in Linguaglossa, Francavilla di Sicilia, Milazzo, Messina, and Reggio Calabria. Activity had almost ceased by dawn. This event was among the largest in the last 20 years, similar to large events occurring at the same crater on 22 July 1998 and 4 September 1999.


I love you son, I love you to Pluto and back.

Alyssa Milano on her facebook page...