Sunday, October 26, 2008

...and more blather.

The symbols! Remember the symbols from last week? Well, the combination of two symbols?

They're from really old European ceremonial magic, and are based on kameas, or magic squares. The ones with all the numbers? Then symbols are drawn over the numbers, to add up to certain words. This is a combination of the planetary spirits of Jupiter and the Sun. Jupiter is about plenty - joy, happiness, sometimes material wealthy and money, but more accurately, having all the stuff you need to be happy, and recognizing it, and BEING happy. The sun is about all the good in humanity - healing, kindness, generosity of spirit, the quest for wisdom. Unfortunately any web sites available on the web seem to be run by kids trying to piss off their parents and lack a whole lot of information. These have been around since at least the 1500s, when talisman magic became popular in Europe. Lots of alchemy symbols are based on these old planetary seals.

I was looking for something nice to stamp on fabric, and after sifting through hundreds of traditional symbols from cultures all over the world, I finally thought "Duh, why not stick with symbols I KNOW?" and came up with this. Mind you, I chose them as much because they look cool as because of their meaning; there are other symbols of Jupiter and the sun that don't look nearly so nice.

Yes, I've studied the occult. Technically, depending on how you look at it, I still do. If you want to e-mail me about it, that's fine. If you're going to tell me I'm going to hell, please be aware of the occult basis of your own religion before judging me by its standards. (I can go on for days about occult symbolism in organized religion. I was amazed when the DaVinci Code came out and people acted like the information in the book was NEWS.)

Otherwise. The cat is still alive. She didn't snag the shawl.

I stupidly sat down and figured out where halfway is on this shawl - by total number of stitches knit. According to my chicken scratch, halfway is at round 148. I'm on round 140. That means I AM NOT HALF WAY YET. Sure hope I've got the yarn to finish this thing. It's looking like it will take 3,500 yards to knit this thing. I have been working on it since September 18. Daily. Hours daily. I am beginning to worry.

I haven't had a sold night's sleep since last weekend when we put the Goober in her bed. Interrupted sleep triggers migraines for me. And thanks to that stupid bitch I saw for my medication refills, I don't have any migraine medication to TAKE. (I asked her if it was okay to take the migraine stuff for my nerve damage because it seems to help. All she had to do was say no. Instead she cut me off and sent me to a neurologist.) Which means taking/drinking massive amounts of caffeine, which circles back 'round to not sleeping very well and triggering migraines. This new doc is in for an earful.

I just got done watching 'The Naked Archeologist' (he's a Jewish dude who does Biblical archeology) and the half-hour show was all about tekhelet, the blue dye from snails that we covered in the purple discussion (over in the side bar). There is still some controversy over whether or not it's supposed to be purple or blue ('cause the word is the same for both in Hebrew, or at least ancient Hebrew). In my mind, the warning about not being fooled by fake tekhelet made from indigo says 'blue' pretty loudly, but these guys were off on obscure ancient texts and quoting Hebrew at each other, so I'll leave them to it. But they did show the dye process itself and the dye has to oxidize - be removed from the dye pot and exposed to air for a minute or two - which must have seemed miraculous to those who did it. Heck, it is still really cool, and I understand the chemistry involved.

At the end, the young guy doing the dyeing said something sweet about 'what color is a cup of sea? It has no color. What color is a cup of sky? There isn't color. But if you look at ALL the sea, or ALL the sky, you see that beautiful blue. It's like finding god. And that's what the blue fringes are there to remind you of.' I don't know if that's the traditional view, but I liked the way he put it, all the same.

Now I have to go knit something. I'm debating between the shawl or the sweater... should I finish up the sweater all in one blast of knitting, so I can relax and know SOMETHING is done? Or should I keep working on both as the mood strikes? Or should I just bloody well quit typing and go KNIT SOMETHING?


Regenia said...

Oooh! Occult in religion... I think that would be a fabulous blog series, but I'm just a scientist that trusts your version of history more than the Western Civ prof at my undergrad institute... a Presbyterian private college. I say knit as the mood strikes... on what you're in the mood for. But I'm also pretending that November doesn't start in less than a week.

Liz said...

OK; nice. And I totally agree on the Da Vinci Code thing - well, duh. It was the sort of thing mu Sixth Form RE teacher used to entertain us with in my Catholic school (because we had to be there and we could legally have left before this...) - I was so pissed off that that was the denouement of all that rubbish. But I was listening to it on audio-book while painting my kitchen, so it wasn't as if I'd sat there and read the thing...

Amy Lane said...

A. If you're going to hell I'm going to hell. I've got some friends bringing the wading pool, the ice, and the margaritas. I wish I knew 1/10 of what you did about the occult--but maybe, as I keep writing about it, I will.
B. My daughter bought her damned cat a hat. I told her that Sekhmet would kill her face to face if we put that hat on, but that Gordie's sort of a doofus--he might wear it.
C. Knit. Knit often, knit well.
D. That 'cup of sea' thing was gorgeous--I likes it. It's how I feel about literature:-)

Alwen said...

Interrupted sleep is one of my biggest migraine triggers. The only time it didn't trigger was when I was pregnant. I went something like 530 days in a row with no migraines. A personal record, yaaay.

If people really need to know, I say, "I follow my dad's religion."

"What one is that?"

"I don't know. I've never asked him."

I mowed the grass and my wrists hurt, so I am full of attitude tonight.

Louiz said...

I've seen that! They showed it here a few years ago (when I was off on maternity leave). I found it interesting... but incomplete and did shouting at the television stuff... (I frequently do this, and no one will go to the cinema with me anymore).

Roxie said...

The symbols are appealing and evocative, but I like them better on point rather than square.

Truth is where you find it. No one has the only key. Use the ones you have and good for you!

No sleep triggers migraines, and you have to ingest caffeine to fight them? Man, that's a VISCIOUS cycle!

Knit what you like and good cess to your fingers!

Donna Lee said...

I like that cup of sea bit. It's such a potent piece of imagery. I stopped worrying about hell a long time ago. People make their own heaven or hell and some are bound and determined to have hell way before it's due.

walterknitty said...

I'm sure I'm not telling you anything you dont know when I say the Minoan's on Crete had plumbing before the Greeks arrived on the scene. There are so many Occult symbols in religon, especially around holidays. Easter Eggs and bunnies are fertility symbols after all and what about that Christmas Tree? Hearing you talk about this today reminds me of a friend who got angry when her ex-husband was going to refuse to allow their son to celebrate Halloween because it is a "pagan holiday." The first words out of her mouth were that if he felt that way then he and his wife better not celebrate Christmas or Easter either.