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Glossary to The Secret Mountain and Other Tales

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1 The Secret Mountain

Camelot is a castle and court associated with the legendary King Arthur. Absent in the early Arthurian material, Camelot first appeared in 12th-century French romances and, after the Lancelot-Grail cycle, eventually came to be described as the fantastic capital of Arthur’s realm and a symbol of the Arthurian world.

Xanadu, China or Shangdu, the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan empire

Kaf or Mount Qaf (Jabal Qaf or Djebel Qaf) is a mysterious mountain of ancient Muslim tradition renowned as the ‘farthest point of the earth’. Owing to its remoteness, the North Pole is sometimes identified with this mountain. According to the famous historian Tabari, the Prophet of Islam is reported to have said: “Allah created the mountain Qaf all around the Earth. It is called stake of the Earth, as it is said in the Quran, ‘And the mountains as pegs?’ This world is in the middle of the mountain of Qaf as the finger is in the middle of the ring. No man can reach there, for he needs to spend four months in the darkness, In this mountain there is no sun, no moon no stars and it is so blue that the azure color of the sky is the brightness of the mountain Qaf that reflects on the sky, and it appears this color, If this was not so, the sky would not be blue. All the mountains that are seen in this world are from the mountain Qaf. …

Qaf is the arabicized form of the Persian word “Gap” which means “Unknown”, it is interesting to know that the oldest mention of an Unknown Mountain is in an inscription of Shapur I (241-272 AD) for the mountains between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. He has mentioned it Gapkuh (“Unknown Mountain” Gap=Unkown & Kuh=Mountain) = Arabic Qafqaz = Russian KAVKAZ, and in English it became Caucasus. Caucasus is originally a name for the far north where the Aryan race, as an instance, was first developed.

Rigel or Beta Orionis, is the brightest star in the constellation Orion, situated ‘right below’ and the seventh brightest star in the night sky.

Betelgeuse or Alpha Orionis, is the ninth-brightest star in the night sky and second-brightest in the constellation of Orion, situated ‘Left top’.

Astarte (Ἀστάρτη) is the Hellenized form of the Middle Eastern goddess Ishtar, Ishtar is the East Semitic, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of fertility, love, war, and sex. She is the counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna, and is the cognate for the Northwest Semitic Aramean goddess Astarte.

2 Red-Peach-Blossom Inlet

Tao. The Path or Way that cannot be described, and at the same time the goal. Tao is the essential, unnamable process of the Universe. Tao has been described in De ‘Weg’ die niet beschreven kan worden, tevens het doel, the essential, unnamable process of the universe. beschreven in de the Tao-te Ching or Daodejing of Laozi or Lao Tzu

Han dynasty. The Chinese dynasty which lasted 207 BCE – 220 CE, apart from a small interregnum from 9-25 CE. It is also called ‘the golden age of China, and was succeeded by ‘The Three Kingdoms.

Siwangmu (or Xi Wangmu, Hsi Wang Mu). This shamanic great goddess of China, is one of the oldest deities of China. She lives in the Kunlun mountains in the far west, at the margin of heaven and earth. In a garden hidden by high clouds, her peaches of immortality grow on a colossal tree, only ripening once every 3000 years. The Tree is a cosmic axis that connects heaven and earth, a ladder traveled by spirits and shamans.

from: Max Dashu at http://www.suppressedhistories.net/goddess/xiwangmu.html

The Old Philosopher is Laozi/ Lao-tze (c. 6de century BCE) or Kongzi/ Confucius/ Kong Fuzi (551–479 BCE.

3 The Last Adventure of Don Quixote

Cide Hamete Benengeli is the fictional Moorish author created by de Spanish novelist Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, ca. 1547 – 1616) and listed as the chronicler of the adventures of Don Quixote. In his Don Quixote de la Mancha.

Alonso Quijano is the ‘real’ name of Don Quixote.

Mambrino was a fictional Moorish king, celebrated in the romances of chivalry. According to legend, Mambrino possessed a helmet of pure gold that rendered its wearer invulnerable. Cervantes, in his novel Don Quixote de la Mancha, tells us of a barber who was caught in the rain, and to protect his hat clapped his brazen basin on his head. Don Quixote insisted that this basin was the enchanted helmet of the Moorish king. Don Quixote wishes to obtain the helmet in order to make himself invulnerable.

Sancho Panza was the illiterate companion and helper of Don Quixote during his adventures who rode on a donkey next to his masters steed.

Bucephalus (Βουκέφαλος). The ‘bull-headed’ horse of Alexander the Great.

Babieca was the war horse of El Cid – Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar (c. 1043 – 1099), a Castilian nobleman and military leader in medieval Spain. He was called El Cid (the Lord) by the Moors and El Campeador (the Champion) by the Christians. He is the otherwise real but made legendary national hero of Castile.

Campo de Montiel. An autonomus region in Albacete, Spain.

La Mancha. A region in Central Spain, south of Madrid.

Amadis van Whales is the correct translation of the name Amadis de gaula, not ‘of Galle’

Pentapolín was an imaginary chieftain in Don Quixote’s imagination, but in reality the drover of a flock of sheep.

4 Sion ap Siencyn

Siôn ap Siencyn is The Chief of the Old Lore’. Siôn ap Siencyn is one who symbolically descends from the lineage of the Bard-Poets, the semi-shamanic hearers of the spiritual song. The following information we copied from http://www.alignment2012.com/Sion-ap-Siencyn3.html.1 

Siôn ap Siencyn is the Welsh name meaning John, son of Jenkin. It becomes the common Anglicized name John Jenkins. Popular folktale uses the name, which echoes an earlier meaning of “Siencyn” used by Irish Bards (such as the 7th-century AD Irish Bard named Senchán Torpéist, a historical leader of a band of poet-philosophers who sought to retrieve the ancient story of the mytho-historical hero Cuchulainn). The folktale seems a late survival of the story of Culhwch and Olwen from the Welsh Mabinogi, which involves an Otherworld journey with Arthur in search of a Magic Cauldron (one of the oldest references to what later became the Grail Mythos).2 These themes in turn are echoed in other tales from the Mabinogion including the Noble Head of Bran the Blessed, which was delivered to the White Tower at what later became London.

The Senchan name, as a kind of vocational title, evolved into “Seanchaí,” (or Seanachie) which is what the Irish storytellers and poets call themselves today. (The name may even be behind the term “Yankee”, via a Dutch derivation.) The deep etymology of the Jenkins name is (despite later Anglo conflations with “-kin” meaning “relative of”) Gaelic and Brythonic, and means: old / lore (Sen or Sean), chief / head (cyn, ken, chinn, cain). The Chief of the Old Lore. In Wales, the Senchán name became popular as a given first name, Jenkyn, which today is rare but still occasionally found. So, John, son of Jenkyn (Siôn ap Siencyn) is one who symbolically descends from the lineage of the Bard-Poets, those semi-shamanic hearers of the spiritual song. And this is exactly what the Siôn ap Siencyn folktale illustrates.

It is the origin of the Rip Van Winkle story written by Washington Irving in the early 19th century. In the original folktale, which is still discussed by British mythologists, a man named Siôn ap Siencyn becomes entranced by the otherworldly singing of a bird. This is the theme of the fairy music that enraptures travelers, found in ancient Welsh poetry. Often the stories involve a special spot under a tree, or a “fairy ring” — a demarcated circle of sacred space created by mushrooms. Obviously there is a reference here to shamanistic use of psychoactive mushrooms by Celtic Bards. That would be the province of the Senchán, the Bardic shaman who travels between the worlds and incantates the poetic sayings that express the ancient lore. A key feature of the story is that Siôn ap Siencyn, having been entranced by the fairy birdsong for what seemed like a few minutes, continues on his way and discovers that centuries have passed. This is a nice portrayal of the alteration of the passage of time that occurs in the mushroom trance. And it can work the other way around, too, where it seems one was gone for years and when one returns, only a few minutes have passed. The Rip Van Winkle story adopts the former scenario, faithful to the original folktale.

There are deep meanings in the name John Jenkins, bringing us far back into a secret history of Druid and Celtic traditions. A late echo is seen in the Siôn ap Siencyn story, known in the late 1700s (see the book called British Goblins), and the name appears in a large spectrum of related contexts throughout British history and literature. It was nicely retold in 19213 by Kenneth Morris (Cynedd Morus), a member of the Celtic revival with A.E. and W. B. Yeats. It is the root of the popular Jack o’Kent trickster figure of Welsh-British folklore. It is the root of the Little John character (John-kin, using the Anglo inflection of “-kin” as “little”) in the Robin Hood mythos. It is found in curious use in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales and a popular song of the early 17th century called “Of Noble Race Was Shenkin.” The Bardic and shamanic associations are most curious; the ancient Druid Sencha or Seanchán was a poet, historian, a counselor to kings, and sometimes a trickster whose machinations kept things aligned with higher spiritual intention.

Copyright. April 2014. John Major Jenkins: http://www.johnmajorjenkins.com

Birds of Rhianon, Rhiannon. Rhiannon (the Virgin of Annwn) is a personage in the ancient Welsh mystical-mythological Mabinogion, and she is a fairy princess. The Mabinogion has been retold by Kenneth Morris as The Fates of the Princes of Dyfed. In the earliest prose stories in Britain in the the Adar Rhiannon; ‘birds of Rhiannon’, are specifically three magical birds, whose song can ‘wake the dead and lull the living to sleep’. They also have a non-rational effect on space as they can be remote but seem very near. They are connected with Rhiannon the Queen of Dyfed who is thought to be a British euhemerized horse goddess, so part of Welsh mythology.

Rhian(n)on was the daughter of Hefeydd, de wife of Pwyll, and later she became the spouse of Manawyddan and the mother of Pryderi. During the period that she was (unjustly) banned the gods, spirits and other beings became filled with compassion. For her consolation they sent birds which kept her company during the night and cheered her up with their songs during the nights. In the beginning she heard the lovely songs just as we today hear bird songs, without distinguishing and understanding their ‘language’. But as she listened longer to them she began to understand their language. The songs became for here songs of consolation about events in the past and great deeds that still have to be done in the future. Also the birds predicted the restoration of het honor and more even: as a result of the purification by her lonely suffering she would transform into a goddess. The birds have become known as ‘the birds of Rhiannon’ and it is to them that Rhiannon owes her image as ‘Goddess of the birds’ and because of her forgiveness despite her inhuman suffering she is also the Goddess of compassion and pity.

5 The Rose and the Cup

Qaf Mountain. See under paragraph 1: The Secret Mountain: Kaf.

Jamshyd’s cup. The seven-ringed cup of the (mythological?) magician-king Jamshid, which was filled with the elixir of immortality and allowed him to observe the universe. It has also been said (by Edward FitzGerald (1809 – 1883) an English poet and writer, best known as the poet of the first and most famous English translation of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam): Jamshyd’s [Jamshid’s] Seven-ringed Cup was typical of the 7 Heavens, 7 Planets, 7 Seas, &c. and was a Divining Cup. [Esoterically the cup stands for the doctrine concerning the seven regions (lokas) and hierarchies of the living solar system and the cyclic laws appertaining to them –RJ]

Garden of Iram (or Eram). A historic Persian garden in Shiraz, Iran. It was begun as a garden in the 11th Century CE. The garden, and the building within it, are located at the northern shore of the Khoshk River in the Fars province. It is still in existence and maintained in the botanical garden of the university of Shiraz.

Mahmud van Ghazni. The Ghaznavid dynasty was a Persianate Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin, at their greatest extent ruling large parts of Iran, much of Transoxiana, and North India from 977–1186.

Ghazna was the capitol of Mamud van Ghazni, in the East of present-Day Afghanistan.

Firdausi (or Ferdowsi (935–1025 CE). The famous poet who completed under Mahmud of Ghaza’s reign his Shahnameh or Book of Kings in Persian.

Avicenna or Abû ʿAlî al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allâh ibn Al-Hasan ibn Ali ibn Sînâ (c. 980 –1037) was a Persian polymath who is regarded as one of the most significant thinkers and writers of the Islamic Golden Age. Of the 450 works he is known to have written, around 240 have survived, including 150 on philosophy and 40 on medicine. His most famous works are The Book of Healing – a philosophical and scientific encyclopedia, and The Canon of Medicine – a medical encyclopedia which became a standard medical text at many medieval universities and remained in use as late as 1650. In 1973, Avicenna’s Canon of Medicine was in modern times reprinted in New York. Besides philosophy and medicine, Avicenna’s corpus includes writings on astronomy, alchemy, geography and geology, psychology, Islamic theology, logic, mathematics, physics and poetry. (Wikipedia).

Aflatun. Arabic for Plato.

Aristu. Arabic for Aristotle.

Caliphate of Abbassid. The third sultanate, 750–1258 en 1261–1517) since Mohammed, that in its heydays stretched from North Africa to the border of India.

Iskander. Alexander the Great.

Sassanid Empire or Sassanian Dynasty. Name for the Persian dynasty that lasted from 224 to 651 CE.

Xerxes the Great was a Shah of Iran (485–465 BCE) of the Achaemenid Empire.

Munkar and Nakir. ‘The Denied and The Denier’ in Islamic eschatology, are angels who test the faith of the dead in their graves. Muslims believe that, after death, a person’s soul passes through a stage called barzakh, where it exists in the grave (even if the person’s body was destroyed, the soul will still rest in the earth. The questioning by the angels will begin after the funeral is over. (Wikipedia)

Turan, Tûrân. Literally ‘the land of the Tur’, is a region in Central Asia, just North of Iran. The term, of Persian origin, may refer to a certain prehistoric human settlement, a historic geographic region or a culture. The original Turanians were an Iranian tribe of the Avestan age. The Turanians are the people who together with the Iranians stem from the (mythological king Fereydun (Freydun)

Iblîs. The Devil or Satan, Shayṭân or Shaitan of Islam. He was the only angels who refused to bow for Adam. Orthodoxy sees him as a Jinn, an evil spirit.

Khusru (1587 – 1622) or Prince Khusrau was the eldest son and deemed sucessor of the Mughal emperor Jahangir He was born in Lahore (now Pakistan) and killed by his younger brother, who became Shah Jahan (builder of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India.)

Omar Tentmaker was Guy Bates Post (1875 – 1968), an American actor who played that role. He is best remembered for his role of Omar Khayyám (1848-1 on stage and in film production of Richard Walton Tully’s, Omar the Tentmaker. Besides this role G.B. Post appeared in at least twenty-one Broadway plays and twenty-five Hollywood movies.

Omar Khayyám; born Ghiyâth ad-Dîn Abu’l-Fatḥ ʿUmar ibn Ibrâhîm al-Khayyâm Nîshâpûrî, 1048-1131was a Persian mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, and poet, who is widely considered to be one of the most influential scientists of all time. (Wikipedia)

İsfendiyar Bey (full name: İzzettin İsfendiyar) was the bey (ruler) of Candaroğlu Beylik between 1385 and 1440. (Anatolia is the Asiatic part of Turkey) Although the name of the dynasty is Candar, the Ottoman Empire historians call the beylik İsfendiyaroğlu because of İsfendiyar’s long reign))

The tragedy of Rostam and Sohrab forms part of the 10th-century Persian epic Shahnameh by the Persian poet Ferdowsi. It tells the tragic story of the heroes Rostam and his son, Sohrab. Rostam spends a night with a princess, but never knows his child. Later the two meet in battle for different countries , Rostam not knowing that he is fighting his son, kills him.


Rostam lamenting Sohrab

Feather of Zal; Rûdâba or Roodabeh. A Persian mythological female figure in Ferdowsi‘s epic Shahnameh. She is the princess of Kabul, daughter of Mehrab Kaboli, and later she becomes married to Zal, as they become lovers, and they had two children, including Rostam, the main hero of the Shahnama (who later by mistake kills his son Sohrab)

In Persian mythology, Rudabeh’s labor of Rostam was prolonged due to the extraordinary size of her baby. Zal was certain that his wife would die in labor. Rudabeh was near death when at last Zal recollected the feather of the Simurgh, (a benign mythological bird) and followed the instructions which he had received, by placing it on the sacred fire. The Simurgh appeared and instructed him upon how to perform a caesarean section, thus saving Rudabeh and the child Rostam, who later on became one of the greatest Persian heroes.

Zal. (see also: Feather of Zal) The father of Rustum or Rostam in the Shahnameh by the Persian poet Ferdowsi.

Israfel or Israfil (Arabic) meansThe Burning One’. He is the angel of the trumpet in Islam, though unnamed in the Qur’an, and is the alternative name of the archangel Uriel for the Jewish people. Along with Mikhail, Jibrail and Azrael, he is one of the four Islamic archangels. Israfil will blow the trumpet from a holy rock in Jerusalem to announce the Day of Resurrection.

Gabriel or Jibra’il is one of the four archangels whom God sent with his divine message to various prophets, including Muhammad.

6 Daffodil

Aldebaran. Alpha Tauri, a Giant, first magnitude ruddy star star at a distance of 65 million light-years away from the earth, the principal star in the zodiacal sign of Taurus. Astrologically, Aldebaran is a fortunate star, portending riches and honor. This star, named Tascheter by the Persians, is one of the four ‘royal stars’ of the Persians from ancient times. It approximately marked the solstices and equinoxes about 4000 BC. It represented the spring equinox; the others being Antares in Scorpius (summer solstice), Regulus in Leo (autumnal equinox), and Fomalhaut in the Southern Fish (winter solstice). They have been connected from an early time in India with the legends concerning the four Maharajas (regents of the cardinal points) and the four primitive elements, and have come down to us in connection with Hebrew and Shemitic writings as the archangels Uriel, Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael, as well as in the Christian symbols of the four evangelists: the bull, the eagle (Scorpio), the lion, and the angel or man. Blavatsky says that the spring equinox was in Taurus at the beginning of the kali yuga (3102 BC), though it was approaching Aries [Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary.]

Fomalhaut. Arabic for ‘mouth of the Southern Fish’, The star Alpha Piscis Austrini is the brightest star in the constellation Piscis Austrinus (the small fish constellation as distinct from Pisces of Fish constellation) and one of the brightest stars in the sky, 25 light-years away. In ancient Persia and elssewehere it was associated with the winter solstice.

Alpheratz. Alpha Andromedae. Alpheratz (or Alpherat) in Arabic means ‘the navel of the mare’. The word horse [mare] reflects the star’s historical placement in Pegasus. Is the brightest star in the constellation of Andromeda and is situated 97 light years from the earth.

Achernar, Achenar. Alpha Eridani Its Arabic meaning is ‘The End of the River’. It is the brightest and bluest star in the constellation Eridanus and the tenth-brightest star in the night sky. It is about 139 light years away and is part of a binairy system.

Algol. Beta Persei, the Demon Star, is a bright star in the constellation Perseus. It is one of the best known eclipsing binaries, the first such star to be discovered, and also one of the first (non-nova) variable stars to be discovered. Algol is actually a three-star system. Distance c. 90 light years. Historically, the star has received a strong association with bloody violence across a wide variety of cultures. Medieval Arabic commanders tried to ensure that no important battle began when the light of Algol was weak.

Algenib. From the Arabic al-jânib, ‘the flank’) is a name of the following stars: Gamma Pegasi and of Alpha Persei (usually known as Mirfak). Gamma Pegasi is a star in the constellation of Pegasus, located at the southwest corner of the asterism known as the Great Square. It also has the traditional name Algenib; confusingly however, this name is also used for Alpha Persei. The average apparent visual magnitude of +2.84[2] puts this at fourth place among the brightest stars in the constellation. The distance to this star has been measured using the parallax technique, yielding a value of roughly 390 light-years.

Mârt(t)anda. The sun in Vedic mythology. He is also the son of Aditi (i.e. the unbound, the location in space where heavenly bodies will be born) by the sun, and her eighth son or aditya. (From Encyclopdia Mythica). He is one of the solar deities (adityas.)

According to the Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary , Martanda or Marttanda (Sanskrit) Mârtâṇḍa, Mârttâṇḍa [from mârta mortal, transitory + aṇḍa egg] The sun or sun god of the Vedas; an earlier form is mṛtâṇḍa. Cosmologically a title applied to any celestial orb, though most commonly a name of the sun or Surya, as being phenomenal productions of Brahma-prakriti or of the productive and generative dual cosmic spirit. Just as the egg bears the seed of a future being, so the celestial bodies were each supposed to contain the life-germ of its own future embodiment as a higher entity — in other words, the celestial bodies reproduce themselves in new embodiments. The highest adaitya of the sun is likewise called preeminently Marttanda; it is also a name for the number 12, referring to the 12 solar logoi, intimately connected with the 12 mansions or constellations of the zodiac.

Alderamin. Alpha Cephei is a second magnitude star in the constellation of Cepheus near the northern pole. Alderamin, an Arabic name meaning “the right arm”.The star is relatively close to Earth at only 49 light years. It has the traditional name

Pleiades. In astronomy, the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters (Messier 45 or M45), is an open star cluster containing middle-aged hot B-type stars located in the constellation of Taurus. It is among the nearest star clusters to Earth and is the cluster most obvious to the naked eye in the night sky. The celestial entity has several meanings in different cultures and traditions. The cluster is dominated by hot blue and extremely luminous stars that have formed within the last 100 million years. Dust that forms a faint reflection nebulosity around the brightest stars was thought at first to be left over from the formation of the cluster.

Pleiades (Greek); Also Atlantides. Six stars (the seventh being invisible or missing) in the constellation Taurus, and their heliacal rising in May was considered by sailors as a sign of propitious weather. They were, especially Alcyone, regarded as the point around which the divine breath or motion works during the manvantara.

In legend, the seven daughters of Atlas (Maia, Electra, Taygeta, Asterope, Merope, Alcyone, and Celaeno), complained to the gods because they were pursued by Orion and were then changed into pigeons or doves and made into a constellation. Atlas represents the Atlantean root-race, and the daughters are the seven subraces. They married gods and became the mothers of heroes and the founders of city-states. They are connected with the destiny of nations, which is shaped by the events of their past lives, so that truly our destiny is written in the stars. In India, as the Krittikas, they were the wives of the seven rishis, six visible, one concealed; and the function of the rishis is concerned with times and events.

The first pyramids in Egypt are said to have been built at the beginning of a sidereal year under Dhruva (alpha polaris), when the Krittikas looked over his head. In India they have a very occult meaning connected with sound and other mysterious potencies. (Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary)

Vega. (or Wega). Alpha Lyrae is the brightest star in the constellation Lyra, the fifth brightest star in the night sky, one of the most luminous stars in the Sun‘s neighborhood and the second brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere. It stands at only 25 light-years from Earth. It takes its name from the Arabic word wâqi‘ meaning ‘falling’. Its constellation (Lyra) was represented as a vulture or eagle so that Vega was referred to as the ‘falling vulture or eagle’. This is a Pole star. Around 12,000 BC the pole was pointed only five degrees away from Vega and through precession, the pole will again pass near Vega around AD 14,000.

Vindemiatrix. Epsilon Virginis; also known as Almuredin, Alaraph and other names). It is a yellowing-hued giant star. Vindemiatrix comes from Greek through Latin and means Grape Gatherer or harvestress. Is the third brightest member of Virgo. This star lies at a distance of about 109.6 light-years.

Rigel. Beta Orionis, the brightest star in the constellation Orion ‘right down under’ and the seventh brightest star in the night sky, with visual magnitude 0.13. The star as seen from Earth is actually a triple star system.

Mintaka. Delta Orionis, is a multiple star some 1,200 light years distant in the constellation Orion. The name Mintaka comes the Arabic mantaqa, which means ‘the belt’ in Arabic. Together with Alnitak (Zeta Orionis) and Alnilam (Epsilon Orionis), the three stars make up the belt of Orion.

Alnilam. Epsilon Orionis Together with Alnitak (Zeta Orionis) and Mintaka (Delta Orionis), make up the belt of Orion. Alnilam is from the Arabic for “string of pearls”. It is a large blue supergiant star some 1,340 light years distant in the constellation of Orion.

Betelgeuse. Alpha Orionis, in Arabaic Ibt al-Jauzâ’ ‘the hand of Orion’, is a pulsating star and the ninth-brightest star in the night sky and distinctly reddish, the second-brightest in the constellation of Orion, Roughly 643 light years away. It is situated as the ‘left upper’ star of Orion.

7 The King and the Three Ascetics

(Original title: The Tower of the Gandharvas)

Gandharvas. Hindu devas or divinities called celestial singers or musicians. Esoterically they are intermediaries between the gods and mankind, and hence can be called the instructors of humanity in the secret science.

The Gandharva of the Veda is the deity who knows and reveals the secrets of heaven and divine truths to mortals. Cosmically the gandharvas are the aggregate powers of the solar-fire, and constitute its Forces; Spiritually they are the noumenal causes of Sound and the ‘Voice of Nature.’ Hence, they are called the 6,333 ‘heavenly’ Singers and musicians of Indra’s loka [the world of the gods of which Indra is the king.] who personify (even in number) the various and manifold sounds in Nature, both above and below. (SD 1:523n). The Gandharvas are similar to the various classes of Greek daimones or to the classes of the … highest gandharvas, are equivalent to the higher dhyani-chohans. They are intelligent streams in the cosmic economy, at times active and at times passive in the working out of karmic destiny.

Ushasti Shalavatya; Atidhanvan Sanaka; Prasnayana Jaivali; Vaka Kakshaseni, Satyakama Kapeya, Gautama Kaushitakeya en Pautraya Glava are names in this story which resemble those of ascetics in the Upanishads – the esoteric summaries of the Vedas – especially the Chandogya Upanishad. However none of them I could find exactly.

Raikva with the cart. A poor seemingly unremarkable cart-driver, appears in Chapter IV of the Chandogya Upanishad where it is learnt that he knew “That which was knowable and needed to be known, he knew That from which all this had originated.”

Videhas. Mystical kingdoms around the Mountain Meru (the mystical North Pole) where only the highest yogis are taught. Videha was also a country in North-east India during historic times

Chakravartin. King, literally holder of the chakra (wheel) a (magic) throwing weapon.

Chakra. Throwing weapon in the form of a dented wheel. Also the symbol of time. It has great magical properties and an intelligence of its own.

Pâtala. The underworld (hell) or counter world; also the other side of the Earth as seen from India (i.e. America).

Krita. The highest throw of the dice game.

Kshat(t)riyas. Those of the warrior cast or nobility, including kings, military and police; derives from Chattra – umbrella – symbolizing protection. There task is the protecting of the people.

Brahmins. The religious, ritualistic priestly caste, originally those who communicated directly with gods. Traditionally they are the keepers of spiritual knowledge, hiding this from the eyes of the unfit. Formally the are the first or highest caste, while the kshattriyas form the second, because they are the worldly caste. But kshattriyas can also be spiritual warriors, those who conquer themselves by their spirit, not others by physical force, and ultimately reach liberation, and as such, then, are higher than the Brahmins.

Udgitha. The OM or AUM sound.

Vâyu. The (god of the) wind.

Soma. The moon.

Kusha grass. Various species of grass to which beneficial magnetic properties and assigned, and which in India is used for meditation pillows.

Hotri Priest. A Vedic priest who is responsible for the invocations of the gods and litanies during the ritual.

Indra. The king of the gods.

Prajâpati. The god of creation (Brahmâ), literally the father of progeny; also the progenitor or procreator any strand of living beings or of a human lineage.

8 The Saint and the Forest Gods

Of none of the names and places mentioned in this story we have been able to find any external information.

9 The Divina Commedia of Evan Leyshon

Prometheus (Greek) [from pro fore + metis counsel] The fore-knower, he who knows beforehand, in contrast with his brother Epimetheus (the one who knows after, or when it is too late). Like other symbols, it has its seven keys of interpretation, which not merely reconciles but renders necessary the various versions of the story. Prometheus stole fire from heaven in a hollow tube (narthex) and brought it to mankind, who thereby was enlightened; for this Prometheus was chained by Zeus to a rock on Mt. Caucasus, where an eagle devours his liver by day, the liver being restored by night; until finally he is released by Hercules or Dionysos.

Ovid tells that after Deukalion’s flood, Zeus ordered Prometheus and Athene to create a new race of men out of mud; he made them in the image of the gods with an upright posture, after Epimetheus had succeeded in fashioning only mindless creatures. This represents a stage in the history of the downward arc of evolution, which may be interpreted cosmically, geographically, and in relation to man. It is in one sense the descent of the mânasaputras, agnivâttas [who in ancient Greece were collectively personified by the epic figure of Prometheus] and other Sons of Flame, who endowed the mindless forms with the divine spark; so that Prometheus is Lucifer, Phosphoros, the Light-bringer, the serpent of Eden, etc.

Prometheus, may also be taken as representing humanity, is fastened to a rock representing karmic destiny, while the vultures of new-born knowledge and self-consciousness gnaw at his inner being. But the curse ends in a blessing, and Hercules or Dionysos delivers the Chrestos or immanent Christ, enlightens and raises the neophyte.

The story is in one sense but another version of that of manas between kâma and buddhi. Zeus represents the host of primeval progenitors, pitris (fathers) who formed man without mind; and Prometheus symbolizes the host of spiritual creators who ‘fell’ into matter — humanity — to enlighten the latter. The drama of Prometheus is thus still enacted through the ages — but man can rebecome the unfallen titan. Geographical allusions to the locations of the great root-races are seen in the mention of Mt. Caucasus, a name for the far north where the Aryan race, as an instance, was first developed.

Orestes. In Greek mythology Ὀρέστης was the son of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon. He is the subject of several Ancient Greek plays and of various myths connected with his madness and purification, which retain obscure threads of much older ones. The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus . The name derives from the character Orestes, who sets out to avenge his father’s murder. – condensed from: Wikipedia.

Ægeans. The prehistoric civilization that preceded the historic Hellenic period and flourished on the various islands and nearby regions of the Aegean Sea, as at Crete and Argolis.

Pallas. A giant, and son of Uranus and Gaia, killed and flayed by Athena (Athena was the great Olympian goddess of wise counsel, war, the defense of towns, heroic endeavor, weaving, pottery and other crafts.)

Furies. In classical mythology, hideous female monsters who relentlessly pursued evildoers. (classical myth) the snake-haired goddesses of vengeance, usually three in number, who pursued unpunished criminals.

Resolfen (Welsh: Resolfen) or Resolven is a small village in Neath Port Talbot county borough, Wales. It is located in the heart of the Vale of Neath.

Shelley, Percy Bysshe (1792 –1822). One of the major English Romantic poets, whose works are regarded by some as among the finest lyric, as well as epic, poets in the English language. He was a radical in his poetry as well as in his political and social views, Shelley was a key member of a close circle of visionary poets and writers that included Lord Byron; Leigh Hunt; Thomas Love Peacock; and his own second wife, Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein.

Osiris. (Egyptian: As-ar, Us-ar) was an Egyptian god, usually identified as the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and the dead, but more appropriately as the god of transition, resurrection, and regeneration. (Wikipedia.) After meeting with death on earth Osiris became resurrected, and then became the ruler of the other world (Khenti-Amentet). His death and resurrection depict the drama of the initiation chamber which is one interpretation of glorification or osirification of the defunct human, as mystically portrayed in the Book of the Dead. (Encyclopedic Theosophical Glossary).

Cosmologically, Osiris is the Third Logos, containing in himself the seeds of all things and beings in the universe to be unrolled from the Logos: “the self-existent and self-creative god, the first manifesting deity (our third Logos. Osiris is the collective unit, and when differentiated and personified, becomes Typhon, his brother, Isis and Nephtys his sisters, Horus his son and his other aspects. . . . The four chief aspects of Osiris were — Osiris-Phtah (Light), the spiritual aspect; Osiris-Horus (Mind), the intellectual manasic aspect; Osiris-Lunus, the ‘Lunar’ or psychic, astral aspect; Osiris-Typhon, Daimonic, or physical, material, therefore passional turbulent aspect. In these four aspects he symbolizes the dual ego — the divine and the human, the cosmico-spiritual and the terrestrial” (Theosophical Glossary, p. 243).

Typhon (Τυφῶν) or Typhoeus in Hesiodic theogony was the most fearsome monster of Greek mythology. He is a son of Tartarus and Gaia, a fire-breathing titan with a hundred heads and begetter of destructive hurricanes. Tartarus, is the name for the “infernal regions of ancient Greek mythology, originally used for the deepest region of the world, the lower of the two parts of the underworld, where the gods locked up their enemies. It gradually came to mean the entire underworld. As such it was the opposite of Elysium, where happy souls lived after death. In some accounts Tartarus was one of the personified elements of the world, along with Gaea [Gaia] (Earth) and others. According to those accounts, Tartarus and Gaea produced the monster Typhon.” (Encyclopædia Britannica) . According to Hesiod, Typhon was “terrible, outrageous and lawless”, and on his shoulders were one hundred snake heads, that emitted fire and every kind of noise. The earth-born Typhon rebels against the gods and is killed by Zeus with a thunderbolt and buried under Mount Etna. He represents the necessary counterpart of Zeus, as darkness is of light, Set of Osiris, or Satan of God. He is the Dragon Apophis, the Accuser in The Egyptian Book of the Dead, murderer of Osiris, destroyed by Horus; the dark side of Zeus, as Set is the dark side of Osiris, and night the dark side of day

The original meaning is sublime, for Typhon in its prototypal significance is chaos, the unorganized womb or fountain of production, which calls forth the creative energy by resisting it, and is equally necessary with the former. When humanity falls into matter, then these dark-side potencies of nature acquire for mankind a distinctly evil connotation, and their names can be given to vast destructive forces which the misuse of the human will has engendered.

In a more restricted sense as connected with our earth, Typhon was not only the causative agent, but likewise the symbol of all seismic and volcanic phenomena, as well as being, even according to ancient Greek philosophical thought, in intimate connection with meteorological phenomena as evidenced by winds and storms.

Cardigan (Welsh: Aberteifi) is a town in the county of Ceredigion in Mid Wales.

Aceldama. In the New Testament the place near Jerusalem that was bought with the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas for betraying Jesus (Matthew 27:8; Acts 1:19)

Gehenna. From the Hebrew Gehinnom is derived from a place outside ancient Jerusalem known in the Hebrew Bible as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom . The Valley of Hinnom is the modern name for the valley surrounding Jerusalem’s Old City, In Jewish Rabbinic literature, and Christian and Islamic scripture, Gehenna is a destination of the wicked. (condensed from Wikipedia.)

Mwnt en Aberporth are to coastal towns on walking distance in Cerdigion (a coastal county in the west of Wales).

Hades (ᾍδης) was the ancient Greek chthonic (subterranean) god of the underworld, and eventually the underworld itself became associated with this name.

Tophet (Ταφεθ, Tapheth) was a location in Jerusalem in the Gehinnom where worshipers influenced by the ancient Canaanite religion engaged in the human sacrifice of children to the gods Moloch and Baal by burning them alive. Tophet became a theological or poetic synonym for hell within Christendom.

Milton, John (1608 – 1674) was an English poet, polemicist, man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell. He wrote at a time of religious flux and political upheaval, and is best known for his epic poem Paradise Lost (1667), written in blank verse. Milton’s poetry and prose reflect deep personal convictions, a passion for freedom and self-determination, and the urgent issues and political turbulence of his day.

Sirius. The brightest star (in fact it is a star system) in the Earth’s night sky.

10 The Apples of Knowledge

Gonmar and Targat and their respective kings, Bortin and Reinaak refer to kingdoms of a very ancient past, of which no further information could be found. This also applies to the geographical names mentions in relation to these kingdoms.

Sesostris I was an Egyptian king (1908-1875 BCE) who brought Egypt to its sunmit of prosperity.

Semiramis was the legendary spouse and successor of King Ninus in Assyria.

Nimrod was the king of Shinar who must have lived well before 2000 BCE According to the Bible he was the great grandson of Cush, son of Noah. The Bible tells that he was ‘ a mighty hunter for the Lord … and began to acquire power on earth. Non-biblical sources associate him with the Tower of Babel, and this resulted in his reputation as someone who rebelled against God.

Nineveh was the oldest and biggest city of the ancient Assyrian empire, situated on the right bank of the Tigris. The area is now covered by the modern city of Mosul in Iraq.

  1. Copyright April 2014. John Major Jenkins. http://www.johnmajorjenkins.com. []
  2. The Mabinogion itself has retold for modern times by Kenneth Morris as The Fates of the Princes of Dyfed, also readable online: http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/dyfed/fates-hp.htm]. []
  3. In the Raja-Yoga Messenger []
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