On the Road to Mysteries…


Well here we are on Tuesday. I am happy to share Jofra with you if you have never seen his artwork. He is a favourite here at Caer Llwydd. Truly wonderful stuff.

Our Poet today is Joumana Haddad. She is a resident of Beirut, talented and gifted I would say.

We are moving further down the line with our excursion into the Autumn mysteries of Eleusis… more coming on that end.

Spent the evening talking to Rowan. It was enjoyable. He is moving along at leaps and bounds, and making connections that I didn’t until my 30′s. Other times he is every bit a teen ager going through the changes. I read him a chapter out of Pinchbecks’ “Breaking Open The Head”…. dealing with the transistion from the mythic that Shakespeare was recording in his plays. The family shares a passion for Midsummers’ Night Dream, and Mr. Pinchbecks’ take on the subject was a novel new twist on the situation.

Rowan is starting to work on his understanding of the Tarot. We discuss a card a night after he has investigated and noted down his impressions. Not ready to do readings yet, but we will get there…

More Later, Wood to chop, Water to carry.




On The Menu:

The Links

Article: The Eleusinian Mysteries: Healing and Transformation

Poetry: Joumana Haddad

Art: Franciscus Johannes GIjsbertus Van Den Berg: Johfra

Johfra Bosschart was born in Rotterdam, Holland on December 15, 1919, and died in Fleurac, France on November 6, 1998 at the age of 78. He signed his works “Johfra,” an acrostic of his full name Franciscus Johannes Gijsbertus Van Den Berg. He sometimes added his mother’s maiden name, “Bosschart,” to his paintings as well. The founder of the now defunct “Meta-Realist” group, he described his own works as “Surrealism based on studies of psychology, religion, the Bible, astrology, antiquity, magic, witchcraft, mythology and occultism.” An autobiography of Johfra Bosschart, “Symphony Fantastique,” ISBN: 90 804422016 (de Verbeelding/Woerden) has been available since 1998.


The Links

Thee Sigil Garden…

The drugs did work

Greenland’s glaciers have been shrinking for 100 years: study

Decimals and Logarithms in the Works?

Oliver the Humanzee?


(Pan Woodland God)


The Eleusinian Mysteries: Healing and Transformation

Major Events of the Myth

+Kore (in her pubescent state) is picking flowers with the other *Virgins including Artemis and the daughters of Ocean on the Nysian Plain.

+Hades makes a deal with Zeus and carries her off in his golden chariot,

+Hecate in her cave and Helios [the Sun} hear her cries.

+Demeter, searching for her.

+Hecate, flame in hand, tells Demeter she heard a cry.

+Helios reveals to Demeter that Zeus gave Kore to Hades.

+Demeter, hearing of her fate, tears the veil from her divine hair, throws a black cloak (the mantle of death) over herself.

+Demeter, carrying blazing torches, searches the earth for nine days, refusing ambrosia, nectar and the bath.

+Demeter, disguised, avoids the gods, dwells with mortals.

+Demeter, inconsolable, by the Virgin’s Well (Well of *Beautiful Dances ), is invited to the Palace by Celeus’ four daughters.

+Demeter claims to be a Cretan, has escaped from pirates.

+Daughters and Metaneira invite her to Celeus’ Palace to nurse the infant boy Demophoon.

+Entering Temple, Demeter refuses Throne.

+Demeter mourns on a ram’s fleece stool. Iambe/ Baubo induces laughter by the bawdy display of her pudenda.

+Demeter refuses wine, asks for barley water with glechon.

+Demeter nurses Demophoon on ambrosia and burns him in the fire [but he isn’t harmed].

+Discovered by Metaneira, Demeter throws child to the floor, reveals herself as the Goddess, letting down her hair.

+Demeter establishes battle games for Celeus’ kingdom.

+Demeter demands a Temple to institute her rites which, when performed, will conciliate her wrath.

+Celeus builds a Temple.

+Demeter mourns Persephone for a year at the Temple.

+Demeter declares a year of famine.

+Gods, lacking offerings, protest. Demeter demands Persephone’s return.

+Zeus sends Hermes to the Underworld for Persephone.

+Hades releases Persephone. Because she’s eaten a pomegranate seed, she must return to Hades.

+Zeus promises to honor Demeter and guarantees that Persephone will be with her 2/3 of the year.

+Demeter demonstrates the performance of her rites, teaches the Mysteries and gives the gift of grain to Triptolemus


(The Reconciliation Of Titania And Oberon)


Poetry: Joumana Haddad

Wildcats shall meet with hyenas;

goat-demons shall call to each other.

There too Lilith shall repose,

and find a place to rest.

Isaiah 34:14

I am Lilith, returned from her exile.

I am Lilith, returned from the prison of white oblivion, lioness of the master and goddess of the twin moons. I gather in a cup what cannot be gathered, and I drink it, for I am the priestess and the temple. I leave no drop for no one, lest they think I have had enough. I copulate and multiply by myself to make a people from my own, and then kill my lovers to make way for those who did not know me.

I am Lilith, the forest woman. I did not know a hopeful wait but I have known lions and true beasts. I impregnate all parts in me to weave the tale; I gather voices in my womb to complete the number of slaves. I eat my body so I am not accused of hunger and I drink my water so I am not thirsty. My tresses are long for the winter and my bags have no ceiling. Nothing quenches me and nothing fills me, and I return to be the lioness of the lost on earth.

Long are my tresses


And long

Like a smile fading away in the rain

Slumber after pleasure reached.

My shivers are scars of shadows sometimes

And gleams of the blade, at all times.

I am the guardian of the well, the sum of contrasts. Kisses on my body are the scars of those who tried. From the flute between the thighs my song rises and from my song flows the curse, water on the earth.

I am the two moons Lilith. The hand of every maiden, the window of every virgin. The angel of the fall and the conscience of light slumber. Daughter of Delilah, Magdalena and the seven fairies. From my lust mountains rise and rivers break. I return to injure the wisp of virtue with my water and rub the ointment of sin on the wounds of deprivation.

I am the curse of past curses

The enticer of boats so the storm will not abate

My names bejewel your tongues when thirsty you

Follow me as the touch follows the kiss

And take me like the night on his mother’s breast.

I am Lilith the secret of fingers that insist. I open the road and uncover dreams and lay bare the cities of manhood for my deluge. I do not gather two from each kind but I become them so the species will be pure from any virtue.

The dreams are all open to me

I am the conscience of light slumber

I wear and shed the dream

entice the boats away and don’t guide the storm

I scatter the sky with the cunning of a cloud

So no one gets my honey

I have no home and no pillow

I am the naked

Who gives nudity the flower of its meaning.

I am Lilith the cup and the server

I came to say:

More than one cup for me

I came to say:

The server is blind

I came to say:

Adam, Adam, you are busy with many matters but the need is one.

Gather me

The need is one

Come gather me in the rain of your eyes

Stab your mounts in my abyss

Carve your features in the memory of my palms

And breathe the tigress lurking at the drop of the shoulders.

I am Lilith, the verse of apple. Books wrote me even if you did not read me. I am the unbridled pleasure the renegade wife the fulfilment of lust which brings the great destruction. My shirt is a window on madness. Whoever hears me deserves to die and whoever does not hear me will be killed by his remorse.

I am the moon within

Astray is my compass and migration my home

No caller knocks at my door

No house leads to my window

And no window exists but the illusion of a window.

I am not the stubborn steed or the easy ride, rather the shiver of the first seduction.

I am neither the stubborn horse nor the easy steed, rather the debacle of the final regret.

I am Lilith the destiny woman

Salome’s last dance and the fading of the light

I climb your night stone by stone every time the sun of absence bleeds the horizon

I climb to set a dream to the table

I delve into your vagabond mind

I make room for my head in your sleep.

For my blazes I climb up the stairways of the night

And for your dreams

I seek not certainty but obsession

Not arriving but the pleasure of not arriving.

Your night is my ladder to me

And my hand to beneath the imaginary.

I am the two genders Lilith. I am the desired gender. I take and am not given. I bring back to Adam his truth, and to Eve her ferocious breast so the logic of creation is appeased.

I am the one who was conceived under the sign of ecstasy

She whose presence rises

She whose tongue is a beehive

She who is a cake, eaten and kept

She who is the crying hunger

And who Limbo preserves.

I am the arrogance of the two breasts

Budding to grow and laugh

To want and be eaten

My breasts are salty

So high that I do not reach them:

Kiss them for me.

Two lamps hint in two lights

Budding so that their mischief may be forgiven.

I am Lilith, the lascivious angel. Adam’s first steed, corrupter of Satan. The shadow of stifled sex and its purest scream. I am the shy maiden of the volcano, the jealous because I am the beautiful whisperer of the wilderness. The first paradise could not stand me. I was pushed out to sow conflict on earth and arrange in beds the matters of my subjects.

My hand is the key to flame and the fierceness of hope

Your bodies are firewood and my hand is the fireplace

My hand is unbridled desire:

With faith

It moves mountains.

I, the goddess of the twin nights, the destiny of the wise. The unity of sleep and wakefulness. I am the foetus poet. I slew myself and found her. I return from my exile to be the bride of the seven days and the destruction of future life.

I am the seducing lioness. I return to slay the prisoners and rule the earth.

I return to mend Adam’s ribs and rid the men from their Eves.

I am Lilith, returned from exile to inherit the death of the mother to whom

I gave birth

Translated by Henry Matthews


I am a woman

Nobody can guess

What I say when I am silent,

Whom I see when I close my eyes,

How I am carried away when I am carried away,

What I search for when I stretch out my hands.

Nobody, nobody knows

When I am hungry, when I take a journey,

When I walk, and when I am lost.

And nobody knows

That my going is a return

And my return is an abstention,

That my weakness is a mask

And my strength is a mask,

And that what is coming is a tempest.

They think they know

So I let them think,

And I happen.

They put me in a cage so that

My freedom may be a gift from them,

And I have to thank them and obey.

But I am free before them, after them,

With them, without them.

I am free in my suppression, in my defeat.

My prison is what I want!

The key to the prison may be their tongue,

But their tongue is twisted around my desire’s fingers,

And my desire they can never command.

I am a woman.

They think they own my freedom.

I let them think so,

And I happen.

(Translated by Issa J. Boullata)


Mere shadows

I pretend that I am myself

But unknown creatures live in me.

Eyes that are not mine see the world for me,

And other bodies walk about with my life.

I pretend that I am myself

But I am the known one, concealed.

Neither my mines have been discovered

Nor my metals polished.

What appears of me

Are mere shadows you cast

And they act for me.

They are mere ideas you invented.

You may think that I live here,

But I have not yet arrived, nor am I about to.

There is no space for me to cross toward you,

No moon to make an appointment with,

No night to descend from to daylight.

I pretend that I am myself

But in my inexistence I wander.

Laziness there continues to be an invitation,

Chaos is still shepherding the seasons.

Time there has not yet become time,

Nor forms have yet become forms.

Lips are lips by nature,

And clouds do not pursue their rains.

Free, I disappear in my mirage.

I have no identity to abstain from,

Nor a belonging to be threatened by.

I multiply until numbers get tired

And I am ignorant of them as is the sea of its names.

No one calls me,

No one knows me.

Only words

Slowly make me.

I pretend that I am with you all

But other creatures live in me.

And if I am not yet born

if my illusion has preceded me to you,

it is because I have preferred to be a little late

Until my moment arrives

And then those other creatures I have been will disappear

And I’ll become myself.

(Translated by Issa J. Boullata)


JOUMANA HADDAD was born in 1970 in Beirut, Lebanon, where she lives and works. A poet and translator, and speaking seven languages, Joumana is chief editor of the cultural pages of the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, for whom she has interviewed many international writers such as Umberto Eco, Wole Soyinka, and Paul Auster. In April 2006 she was awarded the Arab Press Prize in Dubai for her interview with Mario Vargas Llosa. She has five collections of poetry, including Return to Lilith (translated and published in Banipal No 24, Autumn/Winter 2005). She has translated several works of poetry and prose into and from Arabic with selected poems of her own translated into several European languages.


This is the image on my desktop… Have a great day!

(The Vision Of Hermes Trismegistos I)

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