Art & The Occult

Hope this finds you well, and rested after Thursday…

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Gwyllm

On The Menu

Adam Shaikh – Essence

Art & The Occult

The Links

Sufi Quotes

How the Son of The Gobhaun Saor Shortened the Road

Poems and Quotes of the Winged Hearts…

Revisiting The Art of Jean Delville (1867-1953)

Jean Delville – an introduction:

Jean Delville was born in Louvain in 1867 and died in 1953. He headed the Brussels branch of the Rosicrucian revival, and organized Salons de l’Art Idéaliste in imitation of Joséphin Péladan’s Parisian Salons de la Rose+Croix. These Salons commenced in 1896.

The Salons d’Art Idéaliste were intended to continue the grand tradition of idealistic art, which Delville traced back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Delville rejected a long list of popular subjects, including:

“…history painting (except synthetic, or symbolic history), military painting, all representations of contemporary life, private or public, portraits, if it is not iconic, scenes of peasant life, seascapes, landscapes, humorous scenes, picturesque orientalism, domestic animals or sport animals, paintings of flowers, fruits, or accessories.”

— J. Delville, quoted in J. Dujardin, L’Art Flamand, vol. 6, 1900, p. 190, translation mine. Delville had considerable academic success: he won the Prix de Rome in 1895, and was a professor at the Glasgow School of Art for a number of years in the early 20th century. He admired the great artists of the Italian Renaissance, especially Raphael, Leonardo, and Michelangelo, and tried to imitate them. He emphasized content over form, preferring a mediocre painting of a spiritual thought to a great painting of a realist scene.

As a mystic strongly influenced by Neoplatonism, Delville believed that visible reality was only a symbol, and that humans exist in three planes: the physical (the realm of facts), the astral (or spiritual world, the realm of laws), and the divine (the realm of causes). These higher planes of existence were the only significant ones. Materialism was a trap, and the soul had to guard against being trapped by its snares. The human body he considered to a potential prison for the soul. Rejecting Darwinism and evolution, Delville refused to believe that humans had come from animals, nor did he believe that people could degenerate to animals. He considered humans to be the highest development of terrestrial beings, though at a mid-point between animals and angels. Reincarnation was to provide the path to the highest level for those who perfected their will and spirit through initiation and magic. He reconciled his interest in the occult with Christianity by considering Catholicism to be in harmony with magical laws: the external forms of devotion concealed occult truths. Above all, however, Delville considered art to play a key role in uplifting people from their blindness. The true artist was an initiate who would present images which would teach and transform human nature. Artists were to become priests and prophets:

“It is necessary to speak clearly and precisely of the civilizing mission of art… It is also necessary to speak of the moral effect which a work of art produces on people, on the public, the moralizing strength of Art, [which is] more salutary, more pacifying than that of Politics.”

— J. Delville, La Mission de l’Art, Brussels, 1900, p. 88, Delville also emphasized the perils of materialism and sensuality in an image of souls ensnared by the tentacles of Satan: The Treasures of Satan, 1894, Royal Museums of Art, Brussels. In this work the voluptuous sinners are not so much being punished as they are being trapped at a low level of spiritual evolution. The depths of the sea corresponds to their low development. They are trapped by being fixated on material treasures: jewels, pearls, and sensuality. They are also the “Treasures of Satan,” being trapped by him. Satan, although handsome and graceful, is himself a low-level being, as revealed by his tentacles. His physical form reveals his spiritual nature.

Other paintings by Delville, such as The God-Man, 1895 (5 meters by 5 meters, Groeninge Museum, Bruges), contrast this bondage with the vision of enlightened, pure souls ascending to heaven. This painting represents the merciful figure of Christ, the great initiate, towering over the bodies of souls striving for union with the divine.193 The dominant blue color is a symbol of spirituality, just as red was a symbol of materialism and sensualism in The Treasures of Satan. These works are complementary, in that they represent the poles of human destiny.

— Jeffery Howe

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On The Music Box: Adham Shaikh – Essence

“Essence is gorgeous, daring and respectful, blending the globally renowned bansuri (indian bamboo flute) playing of Catherine Potter with the beat contributions of Montreal producer Freeworm, dubwise skills of Sean Hill, flute stylings of artist Jean-Marc Guillemette, percussion of Yasmine Amal, and much more. Somptin Hapnin (water in me) dubs and flows and shakes as vocalist Kinnie Starr pays tribute to water, trees and life. Sabadhi cements Shaikh’s reputation for producing finely tuned, ambient loveliness while its sister masterpiece Sabadub offers a more beat-heavy, dub-wise treatment of bansuri, bermibau, and viola.

Adham also beautifully balances traditional and experimental, natural and organic during Sufi Spin. Here, recordings of Balinese dancing, chanting and flute meet complex beats, the tabla playing of Ekkos’ E.Shankar, and thick grooves, resulting in a deep, heartfelt, engaging whole.

Essence also showcases Adham’s remix skills, with solid treatments of both Ekko’s shiraz (the albums most up-tempo number) and Lisa Walker’s Orca whale-inspired. Orcadrift. But it’s the with his dubbed-out reworking of Legion of Green Men’s Consellation that Shaikh really cuts loose, adding tension, builds, and thick slabs of bass. Its a massive treatment that’s as true to the original as it is fresh to the ear. ”

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Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing,

there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,

the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’

doesn’t make sense any more.

Jelaluddin Rumi

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Art & The Occult

A recommended book, that lives in our library.

It is now out of print, but worth the time if you can find it, and if you have an interest…I saw several on Amazon and a couple of other sites btw

Mary gave it to me during the mid 80′s, when I was just getting back into painting. It really brought a certain awareness to the table for me with my dealings with the creative…

Wonderful read, full of interesting ideas and speculations on the hidden and not so hidden aspects of the occult in various artist works. All the illustrations are in black and white, but still add much to the text.

The writers’ father was the renowned artist Manfred Schwartz. Worth looking at as well. Not my cup of Tea, but well thought of in his time.

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Enlightenment must come little by little-otherwise it would overwhelm.

Idries Shah

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The Links:

The Local Police Recommend… Prescription, not Prosecution

Darwin, the father of Terrorism…

Before you buy it… view it here!

Police have a solution for every situation: Tazers!

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If men had been forbidden to make porridge of camel’s dung, they would have done it, saying that they would not have been forbidden to do it unless there had been some good in it.

Muhammed

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What is done for you – allow it to be done.

What you must do yourself – make sure you do it.

Khawwas

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How the Son of The Gobhaun Saor Shortened the Road

One day the Son of the Gobhaun Saor was sitting outside in the sunshine, cutting a little reed into a pipe to make music with. He was so busy that he never saw three stranger-men coming till they were close to him. He looked up then and saw three thrawn-faced churls wrapped in long cloaks. “Good morrow to you,” said the Son of the Gobhaun Saor. “Good morrow,” said they. “We have come to say a word to the Son of the Gobhaun Saor.” “He is before you,” said the Son. “We have come,” said the most thrawn-faced of the three, “from the King of the Land Under Wave to ask you to help him; he has a piece of work that none of his own people can do, and you have the cleverness of the Three Worlds in your fingers.” “‘Tis my father has that,” said the Son of the Gobhaun Saor. “Well,” said the other, “bring your father with you to the Land Under Wave and your fortune’s made.”

The Son of the Gobhaun Saor set off at that to find his father. “I have the news of the world for you and your share of fortune out of it,” he said. “What news? ” said the Gobhaun. “The King of the Land Under Wave has sent for me; if you come with me your fortune is made.” “Did he send you a token?” “No token at all, but do you think I would not know his messengers? ” “O, ’tis you has the cleverness!” said the Gobhaun Saor.

They set out next morning, and as they were going along, the Gobhaun Saor said: “Son, shorten the way for me.” “How could I do that? ” said the Son, “if your own two feet can’t shorten it.” “Now, do you think,” said the father, “that you’ll make my fortune and your own too when you can’t do a little thing like that!” and he went back to the house.

The Son sat down on a stone with his head on his hands to think how he could shorten the road, but the more he thought of it the harder it seemed, and after a while he gave up thinking and began to look round him. He saw a wide stretch of green grass and an old man spreading out locks of wool on it. The old man was frail and bent, and he moved slowly spreading out the wool. The Son of the Gobhaun Saor thought it hard to see the old man working, and went to help him, but when he came nearer a little wind caught the wool and it lifted and drifted, and he saw it wasn’t wool at all but white foam of the sea. The old man straightened himself, and the Son of the Gobhaun Saor knew it was Mananaun the Sea-God, and he stood with his eyes on the sea-foam and had nothing to say. “You came to help me,” said Mananaun. “I did,” said the Son of the Gobhaun Saor, “but you need no help from me.” “The outstretched hand,” said Mananaun, “is the hand that is filled the fullest; stoop now and take a lock of my wool, it will help you when you need help.” The Son of the Gobhaun Saor stooped to the sea-foam; the wind was blowing it, and under the foam he saw the blue of the sea clear as crystal, and under that a field of red flowers bending with the wind. He took a handful of foam. It became a lock of wool, and when he raised himself Mananaun was gone, and there was nothing before him but the greenness of grass and the sun shining on it.

He went home then and showed the lock of wool to his wife and told her the sorrow he was in because he couldn’t shorten the road for his father. ” Don’t be in sorrow for that,” said she, “sure every one knows that storytelling is the way to shorten a road.” “May wisdom grow with you like the tree that has the nuts of knowledge! ” said he. “I’ll take your advice, and maybe to-morrow my father won’t turn back on the road.”

They set out next day and the Gobhaun Saor said–” Son, be shortening the road.” At that the Son began the story of Angus Oge and how he won a house for himself from the Dagda Mor: it was a long story, and he made it last till they came to the White Strand.

When they got there they saw a clumsy ill-made boat waiting for them, with ugly dark-looking men to row it.

“Since when,” said the Gobhaun Saor, “did the King of the Land Under Wave get Fomorians to be his rowers, and when did he borrow a boat from them?” The Son had no word to answer him, but the ugliest of the ill-made lot came up to them with two cloaks in his hand that shone like the sea when the Sun strikes lights out of it. “These cloaks,” said he, “are from the Land Under Wave; put one about your head, Gobhaun Saor, and you won’t think the boat ugly or the journey long.” “What did I tell you? ” said the Son when he saw the cloaks. “You have your own asking of a token, and if you turn back now in spite of the way I shortened the road for you, I’ll go myself and I’ll have luck with me.” “I’ll go with you,” said the Gobhaun Saor; he took the cloaks and they stepped into the boat. He put one round his head the way he wouldn’t see the ugly oarsmen, and the Son took the other.

As they were coming near land the Gobhaun Saor looked out from the cloak, and when he saw the place he pulled the cloak from his Son’s head and said: “Look at the land we are coming to.” It was a dark, dreary, death-looking country without grass or trees or sun in the sky. “I’m thinking it won’t take long to spend the fortune you’ll make here,” said the Gobhaun Saor, “for this is not the Land Under Wave but the country of Balor of the Evil Eye, the King of the Fomorians.” He stood up then and called to the chief of the oarsmen: “You trapped us with lies and with cloaks stolen from the Land Under Wave, but you’ll trap no one else with the cloaks,” and he flung them into the sea. They sank at once as if hands pulled them down. “Let them go back to their owners,” said the Gobhaun Saor.

The Fomorians ground their teeth and cursed with rage, but they were afraid to touch the Gobhaun or his Son because Balor wanted them; so they guarded them carefully and brought them to the King. He was a big mis-shapen giant with a terrible eye that blasted everything, and he lived in a great dun made of glass as smooth and cold as ice. “You are a fire-smith and a wonder-smith, and your Son is a wise man,” he said to the Gobhaun. “I have brought the two of you here to put fire under a pot for me.” “That is no hard task,” said the Gobhaun. “Show me the pot.” “I will,” said Balor, and he brought them to a walled-in place that was guarded all round by warriors. Inside was the largest pot the Gobhaun Saor had ever laid eyes on; it was made of red bronze riveted together, and it shone like the Sun. “I want you to light a fire under that pot,” said Balor.” “None of my own people can light a fire under it, and every fire over which it is hung goes out. Your choice of good fortune to you if you put fire under the pot, and clouds of misfortune to you if you fail, for then neither yourself nor your Son will leave the place alive.”

“Let every one go out of the enclosure but my Son and myself,” said the Gobhaun Saor, “until we see what power we have.” They went Out, and when the Gobhaun Saor got the place to himself he said to the Son: “Go round the pot from East to West, and I will go round from West to East, and see what wisdom comes to us.” They went round nine times, and then the Gobhaun Saor said: “Son, what wisdom came to you? ” “I think,” said the Son, “this pot belongs to the Dagda Mor.” “There is truth on your tongue,” said the Gobhaun, “for it is the Cauldron of Plenty that used to feed all the men of Ireland at one time, when the Dagda had it, and every one got out of it the food he liked best. It was by stealth and treachery the Fomorians got it, and that is why they cannot put fire under it.” With that he let a shout to the Fomorians: “Come in now, for I have wisdom on me.” “Are you going to light the fire,” said the Son, “for the robbers that have destroyed Ireland?” “Whist,” said the Gobhaun Saor; “who said I was going to light the fire? ” “Tell Balor,” he said to the Fomorians that came running in, “that I must have nine kinds of wood freshly gathered to put under the pot and two stones to strike fire from. Get me boughs of the oak, boughs of the ash, boughs of the pine tree, boughs of the quicken, boughs of the blackthorn, boughs of the hazel, boughs of the yew, boughs of the whitethorn, and a branch of bog myrtle; and bring me a white stone from the door step of a Brugh-fer, and a black stone from the door step of a poet that has the nine golden songs, and I will put fire under the pot.”

They ran to Balor with the news, and he grew black with rage when he heard it. “Where am I to get boughs of the oak, boughs of the ash, boughs of the pine tree, boughs of the quicken, boughs of the blackthorn, boughs of the hazel, boughs of the yew, boughs of the white-thorn and a branch of bog myrtle in a country as barren as the grave? ” said he. “What poet of mine knows any songs that are not satires or maledictions, and what Brugh-fer have I who never gave a meal’s meat to a stranger all my life? Let him tell us,” said Balor, “how the things are to be got?” They went back to the Gobhaun Saor then and asked how the things were to be got. ” It is hard,” said the Gobhaun, “to do anything in a country like this, but since you have none of the things, you must go to the Land of the De Danaans for them. Let Balor’s Son and his Sister’s Son go to my house in Ireland and ask the woman of the house for the things.”

Balor’s Son set out and the Son of Balor’s Sister with him. Balor’s Druids sent a wind behind them that swept them into the country of the De Danaans like a blast of winter. They came to the house of the Gobhaun Saor, and the wife of the Son came out to them. “O Woman of the House,” said they, “we have a message from the Gobhaun Saor.” He is to light a fire for Balor, and he sent us to ask you for boughs of the oak, boughs of the ash, boughs of the pine tree, boughs of the quicken, boughs of the blackthorn, boughs of the hazel, boughs of the yew, boughs of the whitethorn and a branch ot bog myrtle. “You are to give us,” he said, “a white stone from the door step of a Brugh-fer, and a black stone from the door step of a poet that has the nine golden songs.”

“A good asking,” said the woman, “and welcome before you!” “Let the Son of Balor come into the secret chamber of the house.” He came in, and she said: “Show me the token my man gave you.” Now, Balor’s Son had no token, but he wouldn’t own to that, so he brought out a ring and said: “Here is the token.” The woman took it in her hand, and when she touched it she knew that it belonged to Balor’s Son, and she went out of the room from him and locked the door on him with seven locks that no one could open but herself.

She went to the other Fomorian then and said: ” Go to Balor and tell him I have his Son, and he will not get him back till I get back the two that went from me, and if he wants the things you ask for he must send a token from my own people before I give them.”

Balor was neither to hold nor to bind when he got this news. “Man for man,” he said; “she kept one and she’ll get back one, but I’ll have my will of the other. The Gobhaun Saor will pay dear for sending my Son on a fool’s errand.” He called to his warriors and said:

“Shut the Gobhaun Saor and his Son in my strongest dun and guard it well through the night. To-morrow I’ll send the Son to Ireland and get back my own Son, and to-morrow I’ll have the blood of the Gobhaun Saor.”

The Gobhaun Saor and his Son were left in the dun without light, without food, and without companions. Outside they could hear the heavy-footed Fomorians, and the night seemed long to them. “My sorrow,” said the Son, “that ever I brought you here to seek a fortune, but put a good thought on me now, father, for we have come to the end of it all.” ” I needn’t blame your wit,” said the father, “that had as little myself. Why did I send only two messengers? Why didn’t I send a lucky number like three? Then she could have kept two and send one back. Troth, from this out every fool will know there’s luck in odd numbers!”

“If we had light itself,” said the Son, “it wouldn’t be so hard, or if I had a little pipe to play a tune on.” He thought of the little reed pipe he was making the day the three Fomorians came to him, and he began to search in the folds of his belt for it. His hand came on the lock of wool he got from Mananaun, arid he drew it out. “O the fool that I was,” he said, “not to think of this sooner! ” “What have you there? “said the Gobhaun. “I have a lock of wool from the Sea-God, and it will help me now when I need help.” He drew it through his fingers and said: “Give me light!” and all the dun was full of light. He divided the wool into two parts and said: “Be cloaks of darkness and invisibility!” and he had two cloaks in his hand coloured like the sea where the shadow is deepest. “Put one about you,” he said to the Gobhaun, and he drew the other round himself. They went to the door, it flew open before them, a sleep of enchantment came on the guards and they went out free. “Now,” said the Son of the Gobhaun Saor, “let a small light go before us; and a small light went before them on the road, for there were no stars in Balor’s sky. When they came to the Dark Strand the Son struck the waters with his cloak and a boat came to him. It had neither oars nor sails; it was pure crystal, and it was shining like the big white star that is in the sky before sunrise. “It is the Ocean-Sweeper,” said the Gobhaun. “Mananaun has sent us his own boat! ” ” My thousand welcomes before it,” said the Son, “and good fortune and honour to Mananaun while there is one wave to run after another in the sea! “

They stepped into the boat, and no sooner had they stepped into it than they were at the White Strand, for the Ocean-Sweeper goes as fast as a thought goes, and takes the people she carries at once to the place they have their hearts on.

It is a good sight our own land is! ” said the Gobhaun when his feet touched Ireland. “It is,” said the Son, “and may we live long to see it!” There was no stopping after that till they reached the house of the Gobhaun, and right glad was the Woman of the House to see them. They told her all their story, and she told them how she had seven locks on Balor’s Son. “Let him out now,” said the Gobhaun, “and ask the men of Ireland to a feast and let the Fomorian take back a good account of the treatment he got.”

Well, there was the feast of the world that night. The biggest pot in the Gobhaun’s house was hung up, and the Gobhaun himself put fire under it. He took boughs of the oak, boughs of the ash, boughs of the pine tree, boughs of the quicken, boughs of the blackthorn, boughs of the hazel, boughs of the yew, boughs of the whitethorn, and a branch of bog-myrtle. He got a white stone from the door-step of a Brugh-fer, and a black stone from the door-step of a poet that had nine golden songs. He struck fire from the stones and the flames leaped up under the pot, red blue and scarlet and every colour of the rainbow.

It is not dark or silent Gobhaun’s house was that night, and if all the champions on the golden crested ridge of the world had come into it with the hunger of seven years on them they could have lost it without trouble at Gobhaun’s feast.

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Poems and Quotes of the Winged Hearts…

You’ve no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.

Nothing seemed right. What’s the point of bringing gold

to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean. Everything I came

up with was like taking spices to the Orient. It’s no good

giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.

So- I’ve brought you a mirror. Look at yourself and

remember me.

Jalaluddin Rumi

Love came and spread like blood in my veins and the skin of me,

It filled me with the Friend and completely emptied me.

The Friend has taken over all parts of my existence,

Only my name remains, as all is He.

Amir Khusrau (d 1325 A.D. ) one of the most beloved poets of the Chishti Sufi lineage

The noise of the lover is only up to

the time when he has not seen his Beloved.

Once he sees the Beloved, he becomes calm and quiet,

just as the rivers are boisterous before they join the ocean,

but when they do so, there are becalmed forever.

Moinuddin Hasan Chishti (d 1229 A.D) beloved spiritual leader who carried the Chishti lineage to India.

The one who knows becomes perfect only when

all else is removed from in-between him and the Friend.

Either he remains or the Friend.

If you desire the Beloved, my heart,

Do not cease to pour out lamentations.

Observing His existence, reach annihilation!

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Let tears of blood pour from your eyes

May they emerge hot from the furnace

Say not that he is one of you or one of us

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Let love come that you may have a friend

Your distresses are a torrent

Sweeping you along the way to the Friend

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Take yourself up to the heavens

Meet the angels

And fulfill your desires

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Pass beyond the universe, this [unfurled] carpet

Beyond the pedestal and beyond the throne

That the bringers of good tidings may greet you

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Remove your you from you

Leave behind body and soul

That theophanies may appear

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Pass on, without looking aside

Without your heart pouring forth to another

That you may drink the pure waters

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

If you desire union with the Beloved

Oh Uftade! Find your soul

That the Beloved may appear before you

Say “Oh He and You who is He”.

Hazret-i Uftade (1490-1580 A.D.) Mehmed Muhyiddin Üftade was the founder of the Jelveti order of Sufis.