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"Thou Preparest a Table Before Me In The Presence of Mine Enemies"
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Horoscope Symbols by Robert Hand, Para Research, 1981
Night Blooming, by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Warner Books hc., Oct. 2002
In the November 2002 issue of The Monthly Aspectarian, Guy Spiro shared some insights into the magical power embodied in the 23rd Psalm. Look up his article and re-read it. He zeroed in on precisely what I was discussing in my December column, "7th House, 6 of Swords & Storycraft Part II."
Under "Thou preparest a table…" Guy wrote, "I know that it has become unfashionable to think in terms of enemies … "
In my December column, I wrote:
"Robert Hand wrote under the explanation of the 7th House, "That both marriage and open enemies are symbolized by the seventh is a clue to understanding this house. The seventh represents a certain kind of relationship common to both marriage and two persons locked in combat.""
No way the 7th House is going out of fashion anytime soon. However, Guy is right that we need to look within -- to our problems -- for the definition of our "enemies." Without being able to correctly identify our enemies, we'll never be able to understand what's happening when Divine Assistance is showered upon us -- or when it's withheld.
And Guy is right to look to the Psalms, a set of the most powerful mantras ever composed -- well, Revealed or Channeled -- for the adjustments a magician needs to make to the nervous system in order to handle the power levels that come to us at certain times of our lives. Invoking Divine attention via the psalms of David at these times of danger, of ill health, or when fear paralyzes us is a proven method of change.
And as Guy notes, there's a knack to using these songs of praise effectively. They do sound like nonsense to the uninitiated -- as any truly powerful magic must. Every word of these complex texts requires deep study.
So let us look closely at the concept "enemy" -- (In Hebrew, Oyev - Aleph, Vav, Yod, Vet). This is a concept as complex as the concept "love" and often just as ill-defined in our minds. And as Robert Hand has pointed out, one serious key to understanding where enemies come from, how we acquire them, and how we may deal with them effectively is to study the 7th House in general and our own natal chart in particular.
And the key to understanding the 7th House is of course, the 1st (your "self"). As I quoted Hand in the December column, "… the planets in the seventh may describe the energies one puts into as well as receives from the intimate relationships. The difference between the seventh and the first is that the first-house energies are generally broadcast to the world at large as the individual encounters it, whereas the seventh-house energies are put out only into close relationships."
The 1st and 7th Houses lie square (or athwart) the 10th House, reputation. What others think of you always complicates relationships, especially intimate ones.
Come down from that high level of abstraction and read Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's latest Saint-Germain novel, Night Blooming. These vampire novels are really historical novels that use the vampire's long life as a vehicle to transport you into ancient times. Night Blooming is set in the reign of Charlemagne, around 800 AD.
The general pattern of these novels is that Saint Germain arrives in a place, establishes himself as a rich foreigner, draws the attention of the local aristocracy, walks a tightrope of palace intrigue, jealousy, fear, and hostility, does some selfless good deed and is denounced for it, driven from town, or flees before deadly force. Within that context, Yarbro gives us a taste of what it would be like to live in that time and place.
Here below are a number of very bad "spoilers." Read the book before reading the rest of this column.
In Night Blooming, the pattern varies a little. Saint Germain is summoned to Charlemagne's court, arrives, is given a small area to govern and tasks to perform. Meanwhile, the main character of the novel, who has no power, whose decisions do not make any difference to the plot, whose life hangs in the balance and who is totally helpless, has become embroiled in a deep religious controversy within the Church.
At that time, the Church was in schism, the Pope in Rome squaring off against his enemy, the Patriarch in the East. Issues of theology were shaping the course of history.
The main character of this vampire novel is Gynethe Mehaut, an albino woman bearing an odd stigma, wounds in her palms that bleed incessantly. These wounds are not apparently caused by anything. Theologically, she has 3 things against her - the Churchmen have never seen or heard of an albino (though Saint Germain has) and think her red eyes are demonic. She's a woman. And she bears the stigmata of Christ's wounds. If she were a man and normally pigmented, the stigmata would mark her a Saint. But for a woman to bear such stigmata is blasphemy - an act of the Devil. With her coloring, it is obvious to at least some of the clergy (though not to the Pope) that she is the Anti-Christ or at the very least possessed by the Anti-Christ and therefore the Enemy.
Meanwhile, St. Germain helps heal the wounded soldiers, and leaves medicaments with a Monk who, unknown to St. Germain, routinely smothers his patients to relieve their suffering. The Monk doesn't tell anyone of the medicaments and takes credit for being a great healer, thus getting a promotion to Bishop as reward.
Charlemagne charges St. Germain with the task of escorting the albino to Roma to be examined by the Papal Court. St. Germain does his best to alleviate her loneliness and give her a taste of what normal life could be like. We learn that she believes what she's been taught by the nuns, that she must pray as a penitent for the sin of bearing these stigmata.
They become lovers and St. Germain tells her about the rules of his existence, warns her about coming to his life. After months in Olivia's (another Vampire St. Germain has made) house in Roma she chooses not to become a vampire.
The Pope decides to send Gynethe Mehaut to a monastery up in the mountains, where the Monk is now Bishop. This Bishop is convinced she is the Anti-Christ or possessed by same and tortures (vivid depiction of what was done to her - I'd have broken too!) a confession out of her.
But interestingly enough, though she denounces St. Germain, she does not reveal his Nature. She takes his secret to the grave.
Meanwhile, Charlemagne strips St. Germain of the lands he has granted him, and sends him out of the Kingdom. The Church however sends operatives to find him and kill him. Without actually knowing that's what's going on, St. Germain employs stealth enough to escape unscathed.
The most singular, revealing, powerful, comprehensible and direct discussion of power abuse is in the chapters where the torture and torment of Gynethe Mehaut is described. As disgusting as this chapter is, it depicts the concept "enemy" with more exacting precision than I have ever seen done anywhere. The chapter can't be read out of context though - it takes every word of what has gone before to comprehend the concepts underlying this chapter.
We see this situation through the eyes of this killer-of-the-helpless Monk made Bishop by virtue of secret medicaments given him by St. Germain. We live this situation inside this Monk and we understand how - if we knew what this Monk knows, we too would torture a helpless woman and believe every word of confession we beat out of her. You see, this Monk is not a "bad guy" in his own eyes. In his own eyes, he's just like you and me.
It's what he knows to be true that makes his actions seem good in his own eyes. He knows there is a Devil. He knows there is an Anti-Christ. He knows that his salvation is conditional upon his faith. He is terrified of failing to eradicate the Devil from the world, from possessing people.
He does not know how his fear and jealousy colors his judgment of others. He does not know he feels jealous of St. Germain because St. Germain can make powerful medicaments. So he hates St. Germain. Given that he hates St. Germain, it becomes instantly clear that St. Germain is the source of the possession he's beating out of this stigmatized woman. Given the confession, he is perfectly justified in sending the Church's mounted men to kill St. Germain.
Being Gynethe Mehaut then being this Monk, you will come to an intuitive grasp of 1st/7th polarities, and the real meaning of the concept Enemy. Monk, woman and vampire mis-identify the Enemy. When Power is given to you to handle, will you mis-identify your Enemy?
To send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg, email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
To send books for review in this column email Jacqueline Lichtenberg, email@example.com for snailing instructions or send an attached RTF file.
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