Archive for the Spiritual Category

Old Saint Peter’s Basilica

Posted in Historic Architecture, Pub Library, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2020 by Drogo

The greatest case of Christian architectural evolution is the Constantinian Christian basilica of St. Peter in Rome, Italy. Roman Emperor Constantine had the original St. Peter’s Basilica built (320-360 AD) on the site of Nero’s Circus, to honor the tomb of St. Peter, respect other Christian martyrs, and honor Christianity as the new Roman religion. The adjective ‘old’ was only added after it was demolished in the Renaissance, to distinguish the current from the former building. Pagan Romans used basilicas as public meeting halls, and the architectural form began to change as Christians used it. Although St. Peter’s is still called a basilica (Pagan), it is a large church or cathedral (Christian). The Catholic Church reserves the word ‘cathedral’ for large churches held by bishops, but architecturally for the masses there is no distinction between a cathedral and a basilica. Papal (pope) coronations were held at the basilica, and in 800 AD Charlemagne was crowned emperor of the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ there. Soon after in 846 Saracens sacked and damaged the tombs and treasures.

Old St. Peter’s set an example for related cathedrals and thousands of smaller churches, which followed for hundreds of years and still continues today world-wide. It was a synthesis of assembly hall, temple, and villa. Old St. Peter’s held 4,000 worshipers inside, and thousands more outside in the atrium (akin to St. Peter’s Plaza today). The atrium was added later and had 5 doors (portas) in the gable wall leading into the nave. The atrium was called the “Garden of Paradise” during the Dark Ages. As a large colonnade courtyard plaza, the atrium served to filter  and shelter entry into the interior nave arcade. Atriums or plaza squares are similar to typical Roman villa interior courtyards with fountains or sculpture in the center; in this case a bronze pine-cone fountain and Vatican obelisk. The transition from narthex to nave matches the Roman traditional private upper-class family household altar or chapel and open atrium relationship. Early Christian domestic architecture linked worship with privacy not only because Christianity was illegal, but also because it was conventional to have religious (Pagan ancestor) shrines in homes. Pilgrims approached the atrium portico typically by the eastern stairs.

Old St. Peter’s exterior was fairly plain, and resembled what we would consider a large stucco-masonry barn, rather than a classical temple. This lack of architectural adornment reflected the decline of the Roman Empire and the simplicity of early Christianity, which would continue into the Dark Age that followed. Ironically the new St. Peter’s basilica was the first time the facade had classical pilasters, as the Renaissance revived the Pagan styles. Old St. Peter’s long nave main aisle was flanked symmetrically by four side aisles, and lit by clerestory windows. A great arch framed the entry view of the altar and vaulted apse beyond at the western end. The apse and altar combination with nave procession comes from a long line of imperial Pagan temples (Egyptian Hatshepsut Temple 1480 BC to Roman Leptis Magna Basilica 210 AD). The 100 marble columns were spolia taken from earlier pagan buildings. Old St. Peter’s was over 350 feet long, with a colored marbled transept making a T-shaped Latin cross. The gabled roof with wooden beams was 100 feet high along the ridge peak, and despite fires and thin walls lacking buttresses it lasted for over a thousand years. Old St. Peter’s design was like St. John Lateran’s Arch-basilica Cathedral, built around the same time in Rome. The Renaissance reconstructed basilica was designed by architects: Bramante, Raphael, Michelangelo, Sangallo, and Maderno. The new St. Peter’s is larger, and contains some relics of the old structure.

The nave arch had a mosaic of ‘Constantine and St. Peter’, presenting a model of the church to Christ. On the walls between windows were frescoes of Bible themes. Ghiberti and Vasari wrote that Giotto painted five frescoes which were “either destroyed or carried away from the old structure of St. Peter’s during the building of the new walls.” Some medieval relics survived reconstruction. From some descriptions and fragments, the Navicella atrium mosaic (1310) was recreated. It occupied the whole wall above the entrance arcade facing the courtyard. Matthew’s scripture (14:24) was the basis for the large medieval mosaic by Giotto. “After Peter came down out of the ship and walked on the water, he became afraid of the storm and began to sink. He called out to Jesus for help. Jesus caught him and reproved him for his lack of faith, and led him back to the ship, whereupon the storm stopped.” A standing Madonna and fragment of an Epiphany mosaic (circa 700) also survived; but many gold items, like Constantine’s Cross on the Tomb of St. Peter, were lost long ago.

Old St. Peter’s architecture is confirmed by archeology, historical written accounts, and archival drawings. The oldest depictions we have are from 4th century frescoes and 16th century architects before demolition and reconstruction. Excavations confirmed some of the writings and renderings. One of the written sources ‘Liber Pontificalis’ mentions the rumor that Constantine was urged by Bishop Silvester to build the basilica on the site of St. Peter’s grave, and make his coffin with layers of solid bronze with spiral ‘Solomonic’ columns. Its’ construction involved removing or relocating tombs and constructing an enormous foundation on an expanded hillside level-cut.

The turmoil in Rome from conversion to fall (300-500 AD) begins with the 2 main christian basilicas being built to try to appease the oppressed masses of protesters all over the empire who sympathized with the infamous Christian martyrs. It is easier to study the architectural language changes, because the politics was very culturally complex and hard to translate, other than to say it is always about power. Despite the old Roman Pagan authority being replaced from within by Christian Imperial authority, the city was sacked by Christian barbarian mercenaries and migrants (Visigoths and Vandals) for centuries (600-100). Finally even the basilicas were not safe against the last of the barbarians (Saxons, Vikings, and Saracens), until the Roman Church authority was supreme enough across European kingdoms to focus violence against the Eastern Empire and Jerusalem (again) with the Crusades (1100-1300). [dates circa nearest hundred]

 

Plan_of_Circus_Neronis_and_St._Peters1590-Alfarano_plan

‘Magic Rock’ song spell

Posted in Hikes, Pagan, Sculpture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2020 by Drogo

It was a case of unsolved mystery
jamie and trevor makin history
johnson family makin good
magic creek rock in the wood
signs in a stone to summon luck
magic rock helped them to make a buck
nature walk, magic rock, magic rock, magic rock

– Lyrics by Drogo

‘Magic Rock’ Punk Rock Karaoke version on Audiomack

inspired by a true story, told by ‘Unsolved Mysteries’ the show:

“On Saturday, May 14, 1988, thirteen-year-old Jamie Parks and his friend, Trevor Johnson, went into the woods in Washington State near the Canadian border and found a bizarre rock with strange, cryptic, alien-like drawings on it. Trevor told his parents, Steve and Pattie, about their discovery. At the time, the Johnsons were struggling to pay the bills and risking everything on a small dress shop that was opening in a new mall. Pattie took a second job as a receptionist to help pay for their rent, while Steve worked as a prison corrections officer. She later quit her job to open the store; however, this backfired when construction on it fell behind. After learning of the rock, Steve hiked to the spot with Trevor and was also interested in it. Just two days later, the Johnsons’ luck began to change for the better.”

One Faith To Rule Them All

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Legal / Laws, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2020 by Drogo

Pagan & Christian Empire History

An essay on the radical problems of ‘one faith’ conservatism from Pagan Roman Empire to Christian Roman Catholic legacy which forms modern Capitalist Empire. 

 

When the world was mostly Pagan, conservative (fundamentalist) radicals persecuted minor cults like Christians; then when Christianity became dominant they treated all other religions the way that Romans treated rebel cults (Barbarian mercenaries had become Christianized, but still sacked Rome and killed in the name of the Roman Catholic Church), due to force dominance ‘might is right’ theory so prevalent in Patriarchy. Oligarchical conservatives in any culture feed hatred of ‘the other’ with ‘we are the best’ nationalism or dogma. It is therefore up to the main-stream led by radical liberals to deconstruct the ‘change is bad’ narrative perpetually as progress is made between cultures due to marriages, migration, trade, and tourism. The most popular changes tend to become the new cultural norms, social conventions, and eventually laws (this is why liberals tend to like democracy, and conservatives prefer oligarchy).

Little is known historically for sure about Jesus and Peter. Saint Peter is said to have helped to found the early basilica congregations in Rome, but fires destroyed most evidence and records. Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism. This radical ‘my god is the only one for everyone’ syndrome that unifies for hierarchical monopoly is baked into Judaism and Christianity doctrine, and is dominant rather than more peaceful Pagan unity which would be ‘some of our gods are so similar, we might share the same universe with different names for different aspects’. Christian refusal to join pagan celebrations meant they were unable to participate in much of public life, which caused non-Christians–including government authorities–to fear that the Christians were angering the gods and thereby threatening the peace and prosperity of the Empire. In addition, the peculiar intimacy of Christian society and its secrecy about its religious practices spawned rumors that Christians were guilty of incest and cannibalism; the resulting persecutions, although usually local and sporadic, were a defining feature of Christian self-understanding. Most of the fanatical dogmatic oligarchy of formal Christianity did not come from Jesus or Peter, but Saint Paul who was not even an original disciple apostle, but a Roman Jewish ‘ICE Agent’ who arrested and persecuted Jewish-Christians, who ‘saw the light’ and now wanted to tell everyone how to be a Christian, and for his radical sedition became a state criminal and spent years under arrest for civil disobedience, mainly trying to Romanize Christians to increase conversions by minimizing Jewish rituals like circumcision. Later Roman Christianity became more based on Paul than on the more communal aspects of Jesus and his original disciples, which were lost in translation to the main-stream audience who conformed to the conventions of empire more than helping the poor.

A series of more centrally organized persecutions of Christians emerged after the ‘Great Fire’ of 64 which Nero blamed on Christians, and continued into the late 3rd century, when emperors decreed that the Empire’s military, political, and economic crises were caused by gods angry at the evil Christians who denied the official state religious power (they chose to ‘take a knee’). All residents were ordered to give sacrifices or be punished. Jews were exempted as long as they paid the Jewish Tax. Estimates of the number of Christians who were executed ranges from a few hundred to 50,000. Many fled or renounced their beliefs. Disagreements over what role, if any, these apostates should have in the Church led to the Donatist and Novatianist schisms.

Christianity spread throughout the early Roman Empire, despite persecutions due to conflicts with the pagan state religion. Emperor Constantine legalized the practice of Christianity in 313 (Edict of Milan), and it became the state religion in 380. Many Germanic barbarians (400-500 AD) had previously adopted Arian Christianity as Roman Mercenaries, eventually adopted Catholicism to ally themselves with the papacy and monasteries. By the time of Constantine, the state of apocalyptic expectation must have worn rather thin (every year after Christ was to be Armageddon). The imminent coming of Christ, expectation of the Last Day on this mortal sinful earth constituted radical social danger. The spirit schism of the old Jewish law being so widely separated from new Christian mysticism (including all the gnostic cults), “was not so very different from the Roman spirit itself” (Weil), with all the Roman sects and cults within the Pagan pantheon and the Republic vs Empire schism. Rome could come to terms with the Jewish-Christian God, perhaps because it fit with the uncompromising empire model which was needed to maintain taxation obedience, if not martial law.

 One faith or state monopoly is too powerful for one entity to wield over all humanity, no matter how benevolent or wise they are. The artificial ‘ring’ of central authority must be broken, to allow for more democracy and at least better representation. The rebel fellowship that fights the power will be flawed, and when they take power in the vacuum of revolution, they must admit responsibility for the flaws and put themselves on trial by seeking council from those who want peace, love, and sharing the most.

Cultural Middle-Ground

Posted in Atheist/Agnostic, Cooperative collaboration, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Ethics & Morals, Languages, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2020 by Drogo

Most of us can be called poly-cultural in some major aspects in our lives. It is common to be part of a culture to some degree, while being part of other cultures or sub-cultures (religions, sects, social movements, political parties, ethnicities, etc). Like in Middle-Earth, there are many cultures that merge and create new cultures; talking about middle ground or coming to terms with other cultures, religions, ethnicities, or sub-cultures.

What religions, nations, or ethnicities am i 100% a part of? American? Depends on the definition and what the percentage means. I could say i am 100% American in that i am a natural born citizen of the USA and it includes so many other cultures; but North American USA DC christian style to be specific. Yet when i break that down it is not well defined beyond geography. Although part christian, i would be called a heretic by other christians to question dogmas like “jesus was perfect” (which is a classical question within christianity). American english with major influences and deviations into other languages and idiosyncrasies which are “wrong” by any institutional standard (besides SCOD).

Methodist – florida, iowa, harpers ferry

Catholic – st johns, franciscan, student

Agnostic – means i ask questions and hold positions which are heresy

Atheist – i think it is possible and probably to some degree there are no gods

Pagan – i worship Nature, FLW, organic, trees, death, neo-pagan

I like to find common points of agreement with Christians and people from other cultures. I talk on the phone or in person with as many religious people as i can, to work on moral theology. Brother Father Jay Hess was right in that mystery is ok in belief, we do not always need to have strict definitions for everything. In fact it may be impossible to agree on not only all religious concepts; but even linguistic semantics, as languages evolve and living languages flow organically and never totally conform to rules during the period. What is popular in speech or writing may deviate from grammatical dogma and the lectures of scholars. There will even be those who like to argue more than get along, rather to resolve any problems.

“There has been constant debate over the classification of ethnic groups. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be associated with shared ancestry, history, homeland, language or dialect and cultural heritage; where the term “culture” specifically includes aspects such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing (clothing) style, and other factors. By the nature of the concept, ethnic groups tend to be divided into subgroups, which may themselves be or not be identified as independent ethnic groups depending on the source consulted.”

Middle ground or meeting someone part-ways (half-ways is ideal), negotiating for cooperation in community vs exiling and isolating by exclusion and neglect. This is how to avoid holy wars, and strive for peace. We can make peace with our enemies, assuming we are capable of it with our friends and families to some extent. Peace, love, and sharing are 3 great ways to practice faith in humanity, no matter our religion; and this is another ethical concept I am happy to say many people I talk to can agree on no matter their belief system. The most basic moral code being the ‘Golden Rule’, which is preferred over ‘An Eye For An Eye’; although treating others well being dependent on self-esteem and attitude (how we want to be treated) is another debate for an essay on ‘the limits of love’ probably.   [Audio Draft]

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Arthurian Legends

Posted in Biographies, Pagan, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2020 by Drogo

Allusions to the paradigmatic (original) Arthur, from related Welsh & Irish traditions

[ notes from my RWU Mythology text book p,211 ]

Fionn of southern Ireland (Leinster); 2 Old Welsh Poems (600 AD)

Historia of Nennius (800 AD) – Arthur fought Celtic Kings of the Isle of Britain in the time of Octha, son of Hengist. Dux Bellorum (Commander of Armies) 12 Victories: Battle of Mt Badon, in one he killed 960 men himself in one day.

Mirabilia of the Historia: Tomb of Amir (his son) in south-east Wales

Culhwch and Owen (1100): Glewlwyd was there when Arthur conquered Greece to the Orient. Had been in India, Africa, and Corsica Islands. It was believed Arthur was still alive and would return. during troll and boar hunt, stone bears the paw print of Cabal (Arthur’s dog)

Annales Cambriae (900 AD): battle of Camlann, where Arthur and Medrawd fell

Lives of Saints (1000-1100): Arthur was pivotal ruler

Vita Gildae: reunited with Gwenhwyfar kidnapped by Melwas.

Welsh Poem 1: refers to Pwyll and Pryderi, cauldron of Chief of Annwn, Arthur and men sail to Caer Siddi (Irish-Sidh). Of 3 full ships only 7 men return.

Welsh Poem 2: Glewlwyd, Cai, Bedwyr, Manawydan son of Llyr, Mabon son of Modron, Arthur is Emperor. Peredur, Owain, Gereint were knights. Celtic Maponus and Matrona.

Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia (1136): knowledge, combat, wealth.

 

[ more to come ]

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Odin’s 18 Rune Spells

Posted in Pagan, Song Lyrics & Analysis, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2020 by Drogo

In the Hávamál, found in the Elder Edda (or Poetic Edda) there is a section where Odin talks about the 18 rune spell songs (words of power) he has discovered and their uses. Not to be confused with the 9 power songs from Bestla’s father.

  1.  Hope
  2.  Healing
  3.  Defense
  4.  Escape
  5.  Dexterity
  6.  Reverse Magic
  7.  Fire Fighting
  8.  Peace
  9.  Calm
  10.  Confuse
  11.  Blessed Courage
  12.  Death Speak – speak to the dead
  13.  Battle Baptism – for fortune and victory
  14.  Sacred Names – gods and elves
  15.  Dwarven Doors (Thjodrorir) – power, glory, wisdom
  16.  Charm Women – white-armed
  17.  Love Revenge – loath to forsake
  18.  Love Knowledge (self-love and sacrifice)

 

 

 

 

 

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In Garden of My Mind

Posted in Organic Gardens, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2020 by Drogo

I did alot of digging and tilling by hand for years.

I also trimmed hedges and trees since i was a boy,

because it was just chore maintenance for our yard.

Then i earned a living working on organic farms; 

until i realized i could not competitively do hard labor anymore; 

and wanted to focus on other jobs like teaching and the military.

I prefer only working with plants on my terms now;

I enjoy nature in between indoor work, without a boss.

I worked so many years on gardens that i did not “own”, 

and then to have my own taken away from me with the sale of our house, 

has made me not want to get attached to gardens anymore.

The ways of working and designing for others only gets me so far.

It has come as a shock to me, to realize how attached I became to wanting

To be the master of my own garden and designs, or else to let it all go.

If i was able to walk out every morning into a garden that was mine for the rest of my life, then i would want to again shape a garden. 

The wilderness is a huge natural garden,

which requires less work to enjoy than a manicured artificial garden.

My efforts now are for the preservation of wild organic nature.

I am focused on protecting Nature for all to use, since i don’t “own” a garden.

I never want to leave the garden in my heart anymore, 

so i live with that state of mind as my goal.

–  Drogo

drogo in g2002

The Problem with Taking Religion Seriously

Posted in Ethics & Morals, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2019 by Drogo

Christianity forced itself on me when i was a boy, and it constantly tries to get me to submit and sacrifice to the authority of its Churches, so I feel that I always have a right to speak out about it. 

Christianity cannot help itself, it is designed to convert others. When I am critical of Christianity I do it not as a native repelling an alien invader, but as a Christian who wants to try to be something more than what tradition and convention dictated. I am constantly reminded of inescapable antiquated social limits that I will always be contained inside by living in current US culture. We can all agree on some basic ethics and habits (like washing and sleeping and cleaning), but needing one book or a god to tell us is a bit juvenile.

Being able to resist and deconstruct Christian authority is important because it is insipid. Christianity by design gets into all aspects of culture, from churches to schools and governments. Based on the rebel family unit, the slave religion was devastating to the Roman Empire because people were peacefully protesting authority by resisting as sacrifices unwilling to function for the Empire. Rome of course solved this by adopting the slave religion as the state religion, and therefore to resist authority became Christian heresy. The Bible has several passages not only of arrogant egocentric God-level pride, but also dictates about spreading the word to the heathens, so it is constantly on a mission of conversion. If one chooses not to be a Christian in society for the past several hundred years, they must constantly be on guard and resist by every means possible, which means not only ignoring conventions, but also at times mocking the insanity of dogma. Although the Bible says that God is too jealous to be denied his power, joking about religion is certainly a good test of its power. 

This same problem of aggressive religious authority also applies to any fundamentalist religion. The problems of power are not confined to religion, but also apply to government in the form of conservative Nationalism. The Nazis did not need Jesus to act like the Popes of the Crusades.

Kresge Chapel at M.I.T. by Eero Saarinen

Posted in Alternative Architecture, Recommendations & Tributes, Sculpture, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 27, 2019 by Drogo

The Kresge Chapel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) by Architect Eero Saarinen in Cambridge, Massachusetts [report written by Walton Stowell II for Modern History of Architecture II in 4/22/96]

 

“No less than religion at its best, architecture is best as a witness and custodian to the spirit of modern man.” – Pietro Belluschi, B’rith Kodesh Synagogue

 

“A brick wall didnt realize how beautiful it was until it was touched by sunlight.” – Louis Kahn

 

Eero Saarinen’s Inter-Denominational Kresge Chapel at M.I.T.

 

While  taking a leisurely stroll through the seemingly haphazard campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), I came upon a sweet and blissfully rotund form that was clearly composed of masonry brick set in a common Bond. It’s cylindrical form appeared pure and abstractly severe from afar. Closer inspection revealed a more intricate reality.  The surface was roughly textured by randomly protruded bricks, and a series of low arches of random size. The arches formed the base of the cylinder, backed by a smooth light-colored secondary interior wall. The base was set into a shallow pit, filled with water and ring with a rim of concrete. the Chapels massing was as conservative as your basic cylinder,  but the sharp alien Bell Tower steeple was an elegant antenna, A giant holy lance piercing the sky as though ready to shoot a beacon.

 

(sketch of perspective looking at Chapel from the front court-yard)

 

In relation to the other neighboring structures on campus, the brick construct was petite. The Kresge Chapel marked itself as part of the MIT campus, distinguished by having a remote location many yards from its neighbors; thus respectfully differentiating its functionality while remaining part of the whole, despite its blatant differences denoted by its particular scale and multi-dimensional form expression. The chapel makes its own transcendental statement  without being an eyesore. It does not fight the more conventional styles of buildings that surround it; in fact the traditional brick that was used matches the surrounding dorms.

 

Across the lawn from the Kresge Chapel, was another of Eero Saarinen buildings, the Kresge Auditorium. Both buildings were designed and built from 1950 to 1955, and dedicated to donor Sebastian Kresge, founder of Kresge (Kmart) Stores. The auditorium was much larger than the chapel, and completely different in style and materials.

 

(sketch of 2 buildings showing distance adjacency)

 

The narthex was a rectangular hallway encased in black glass, attached to the chapel from behind; like an extended arm connecting auxiliary rooms to the primary cylinder. I say that the hall was located in the back of the cylinder, because of my site orientation. My interpretation  being the front of the chapel was the side facing the auditorium, and their shared lawn space; where as the back was directed towards the alley. The structure of the black back hall was comprised of dark thin Gray repetitive vertical steel members. Each section of black glass was then further subdivided by smaller horizontal muntins spaced unevenly, from inches apart to feet apart. On either side of the black rectangle on the farthest end from the main cylinder, there were doors of Entry. They were double doors on each side of the hall, opposite each other and made of solid Pine with metal knockers as handles that open outward together. It made for a fine contrast between the bright Pine doors, and the sleek black enigma of the hallway repetition.  Above the doors were four conic lights with their tops cut off.

 

I reached for the door handles with no sense of what to expect within. I entered. The interior of the hallway was transparent to the outside, with only a faintly darkened tint. My natural, but false assumption that a dark structure with no direct openings for light makes for an even darker interior, was shattered. The narthex was very generously lighted on the inside, and I felt very safe. Flower baskets were placed on either side along the hall, for lovely interior decor. I turned to look down the glass hallway of adequate human proportions, and saw a beautiful white marble altar, with shimmering gold strands behind it. The richly tiled floor led me to the double height space. All in one breath I was taken into the space, and in one breath I took it all in.

 

Beautiful organ music began playing. It was coming from within that sacred vault, and yet I could see no one, nor even an organ. The tones undeniably complemented the space, and light poured in from an Oculus directly above the altar, which was refracted by a suspended Golden sculptural Screen. It was as if I were in a subterranean Realm, with no direct view to the outside world; but only washes of light on heavy Earthen walls. It was small for most churches and intimate, but I was not scared of being trapped in the confined space. I felt safe. It was as though I had been worming my way through the claustrophobic Labyrinth of Moria, and at last come to the inner Sanctum. I had risen from the catacombs, and been rewarded with the gift of space;  generous and conducive for personal prayer.

 

(sketch of altar with oculus)

 

I felt like an archaeologist after breaking the seals on a tomb, rolling away the barrier stone, and breathing in air undisturbed for eons. Spiritual fervor of ancient mysterious gods for every individual were welcome there. I had made the journey to the dreamy meditational sanctuary,  and now felt cleansed and purified; looking at the vulnerable and innocent white altar. The secret stairs behind the altar made me swoon like a willing sacrifice.

 

There were three walls of the Kresge Chapel itself. The outer wall had low arches which allowed light to reflect off the water in the moat, and up into the inner chamber. The inner wall undulated like a frozen wave, and the lower wall followed its example. In the daylight the textured brick work was highlighted by the exterior light Wells. The floor could fit a Congregation of 130 people,  and as I turned in circles to experience the space, I saw the pipe organ located above the entry-way. A student head their back to me, intent on playing the instrument with its elaborate pipes on display. Mass was about to begin.

 

(sketch of oculus)

 

Criticism of Eero Saarinen was common place because consistency of style was expected,  and his level of architectural innovation was way ahead of his time. Saarinen’s unpredictability and bold diversity irritated and even enraged his critics. Each new project was so vastly different, how could they judge his progress? As Philip Johnson put it “Eero  was all together unpredictable. Had he lived longer, he would have influenced everybody, and all of us.” Saarinen developed his own architectural style which was always a unique combination of Art and engineering. I chose Saarinen’s chapel because i knew about him from when i was a child. When Dad took me to Dulles and JFK (TWA Terminal) Airports, it was clear how special the buildings were, and told me who the architect was. Every building that Saarinen designed has blown my mind with its expressiveness and unearthly beauty. During my first year of architecture studio at RWU, professor Rico introduced me to this chapel based on my sketches of circles for a temple to the elements, and so i was inspired to have light filter in around the edges of the temple floor from water and air outside, on all levels.

 

Eero Saarinen once said that he began his projects with basic considerations of the particular job. Eero also respected the spirit, the client, the expression of the program, and site surroundings. To him the site area should include nature and technology; and a good balance should reduce egotism. He felt that MIT landscape should be more unified with the auditorium and chapel for integral flow. However I enjoyed the seclusion of the chapel, like a humble grove of trees for peaceful worship. Saarinen also felt his connection of the narthex and chapel was clumsily executed, but I feel it was perfectly successful for a small structure. Saarinen’s Chapel has axial intersection with its dominant cylindrical container of spiritual light.

 

By abstracting the Chapel’s form, Saarinen also simplified specific needs for spiritual practice. The shape and form of the chapel was derived from basic instincts like our desire to feel loved, protected, and respected. A circle symbolizes oneness like the power of the earth, the sun, the moon, and even a mother’s womb. Saarinen was deeply inspired by one of his travels as a student to the mountain village of Sparta, Greece. Eero recalled sitting with bright moon-light over-head, and a secondary light band around the horizon, soft and hushed.

 

“Kresge Chapel is all about light, drama, and interior serenity.” – Architectural Record Lighting (Nov. 1994)

 

End Report.

Poem on Death or Loss

Posted in dreams, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Poems, Poems, Rhymes, Riddles, relationships, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2019 by Drogo

My gardens, my pets, my friends, my family… those I lose are still with me every day and every night. i still see, hear, and feel them around me and inside me. im always reminded of those things that make me who i am. the things i lose are alive in my dreams or in the presence of other things. Sometimes my dreams of my dead father being alive feel very real. To be remembered is not a depressing concept it is the dying and absence aspects that hurt; but only in forgetting is there absence of our conscious minds; but that is limited absence in the totality of being. 

– Drogo

Alkistis Agio Philosophy

Posted in Health & Fitness, Services, Sales or Trade, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2019 by Drogo

Why I recommend Alkistis Agio Method of Therapy

“Alkistis life coaching methods are different significantly from others in the commercial market, and work better for me as philosophy does for therapy. I like being able to talk to her about psychology and mythology on various issues. Her tone is more compassionate and her demeanor more wise than average motivational speakers. It was a pleasure working with her on experimental music concepts; we were able to talk about contrasting and matching, and collaborate to make a finished up-tempo trance DJ project with Greek inspired pop music mixed with her guided meditation vocals. Her methods work for me every time, because I always feel better after listening to her.”

– Drogo Empedocles

Alkistis Agio Website

Alkistis Agio Youtube Channel

Confidence Dance Mix with Alkistis

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Power Corrupts People

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Education / Schools, Ethics & Morals, History, Recommendations & Tributes, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2018 by Drogo

Baron J.E.E. Dalberg-Acton (aka Lord Acton 1834-1902) was a noble English Catholic historian, politician, and writer. Lord Acton knew several major foreign languages. Acton’s linguistic and religious passion may have influenced Tolkien many years later. A fellow Catholic, Tolkien used the literary legacy that power tends to corrupt even the best men, as his main theme. In Lord of the Rings, the most powerful Ring cannot be used as a tool for good by even the best heroes, because they too would eventually be corrupted, no matter their intentions. The revelation seems to be that power is part of Original Sin as described in the the Bible, in the book of Genesis, in the Garden of Eden. The Old Testament myth that humans fell from the grace of godly paradise because we submitted to the evil temptation of power (the apple advocated by the serpent), seems to have found new expression in the words of these men. Acton collected a large historical library for the “History of Liberty”. Acton was politically Liberal, and travelled greatly. Acton loved reading original historic letters. Acton lived at his country house in Aldenham, Shropshire; and served in the House of Commons. Acton admired the U.S. Government for the Constitution, but oddly sided with the southern Confederacy for defending individual citizen liberties against the tyranny of Union Federal empire (while ignoring slavery). Acton was appointed to the Royal Victorian Order, as a Knight Commander (KCVO).

“History is the arbiter of controversy, the monarch of all she surveys.” “There is not a more perilous or immoral habit of mind than the sanctifying of success.” [about Oliver Cromwell] “The strong man with the dagger is followed by the weak man with the sponge.” “Liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought.”

In 1887 Lord Acton wrote his most famous quote:

“…I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you super-add the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it. That is the point at which the negation of Catholicism and the negation of Liberalism meet and keep high festival, and the end learns to justify the means. You would hang a man of no position like Ravaillac; but if what one hears is true, then Elizabeth asked the jailer to murder Mary, and William III of England ordered his Scots minister to extirpate (destroy) a clan. Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman (biblical Persian minister in the Book of Esther), for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

He is best known for that remark he wrote in a letter to an Anglican bishop; but according to an editor of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica: “Lord Acton has left too little completed original work to rank among the great historians; his very learning seems to have stood in his way; he knew too much and his literary conscience was too acute for him to write easily, and his copiousness of information overloads his literary style. But he was one of the most deeply learned men of his time, and he will certainly be remembered for his influence on others.”

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Mohandas ‘Bapu’ Karamchand Gandhi (1869-1948) was an Indian Hindu non-violent civil disobedience activist. Gandhi was leader of the Indian independence movement against British colonial rule. Gandhi’s self-sacrifice inspired freedom movements for civil rights across the World. Raised in a merchant caste family in India, he later trained in law in London. Gandhi first used non-violent civil disobedience in South Africa, for colonial civil rights. Returning to India in 1915, he organized farmers and workers to protest against high land tax and bigotry. Leading the Indian National Congress in 1921, Gandhi led national campaigns for social causes and self-rule (Swaraj).

Gandhi helped India challenge the British salt tax by marching in 1930. In 1942 Gandhi called for the British to leave India. He was imprisoned for many years, upon many occasions, in South Africa and India. Gandhi lived modestly in a community and wore a traditional hand-spun Indian dhoti and shawl. Gandhi was vegetarian and took long fasts for spiritual and political reasons. Muslim Nationalism (Pakistan) and Gandhi’s Hindu pluralism in India helped to force Britain out of India in 1947.

Displaced Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs migrated; and religious violence broke out in Punjab and Bengal. Gandhi visited the riots to help and fasted to stop religious violence. Hindu nationalist conservatives criticized and assassinated Gandhi. Gandhi’s birthday is commemorated in India as a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Nonviolence. As with all martyr heroes that lives real lives, Gandhi had many human flaws of the sort that might be emphasized more when historical writers express loss of popular favor their cults.

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s work was certainly influenced by the events of the World Wars, despite his public refusal of metaphor speculation. ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ explores abuse of corrupt power, by considering that the temptation of use of power can eventually corrupt anyone. The One Ring of Power created by Sauron promises great power, but eventually corrupts all who use it. Even good people are corrupted by lust for the Ring because of its power to rival Sauron, and by using its vast powers even the lightest souls darken. The ones best able to carry the Ring are innocent souls with meager ambition, and the best they can do with the Ring is to destroy it.

Tolkien said these words about power: “The proper study of man is anything but man, and the most improper job of any man . . is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.” [Letters #52] Tolkien believed that leaders should be judged by their example, more than common people are judged [James 3:1]. Power and authority allow for the most terrible things. The misuse of power often ruins leaders and followers who allow the abuse to happen. Vigilant active citizens will demand wise balance.

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Power within us and others is clearly our responsibility; not only to control our own will power to keep it within reason, but also to influence the power that we allow others to hold over us and others. If citizens cannot control their own leader’s passion for power from within a government using democracy, then it will be left up to other governments in other countries (see World Wars). The conclusion to the problem of power is perhaps best summarized by Spiderman in Marvel Comics – “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

Samhain (Halloween) Ritual

Posted in Pagan, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 11, 2018 by Drogo

Sowin, End of Fall, Annual End of the Celtic Year, Celtic New Year, Start of Winter,

Ancestor Night, Feast of the Dead, Devil Night (Friday or night before), All Souls Night & Day, Time of Scorpio / circa Oct. 31 – November 1

The significance of this night is great, for it is the Celtic New Year and Ancestor Night. On November’s Eve the Celts celebrated Samhain (now pronounced Sowin). The veil between worlds is thinnest at midnight when the Dark Lady Crone and Dark Lord Wizard work their magic. Test your bravery, and rid yourself of fears by confronting them. Sacrifice that which no longer serves you, but will scare you from living the fullness of your potential. We must find the light within us with the aid of Hecate and Herne, to make it through Winter. We must find ways to cooperate together.

Samhain Poem   [ AUDIO Reading & Music ]

Leaves have turned brown, and fallen down; or will soon.

Silhouettes of trees lean creepily against the Moon.

Smells of smoke and spice, feel very nice.

Pumpkins become Jack-o-lanterns to ward off vice.

Wearing costumes to dance with the dead.

Thin Veil Time, our spirits full of dread.

Fire burn bright, in the dark of night!

Trick or Treat, let us eat; despite our fright.

Another growing year is done,

Now let the new year bring more fun!

*

Samhain Sabbat Spell

Components: Candles (white, black, red, yellow, orange, brown, blue), orange cloth, cauldron or plate, horns and skulls, staves, wands, daggers, fire, water, incense, salt. Fire pit optional.

(Darlock)

“Be it known our power is here. There are spirits with us, ours and those of others. The circle is about to be cast, let those who desire attendance gather here within, so long as they wish us no ill will. Lesser spirits of evil or selfish purposes should stay away from this place and these strong souls. For if they come near seeking to harm us, they will find us difficult to possess and they will be the one’s hurt this night, by their own anger. For we are the guardians of light and darkness, and tonight we welcome visits, but support only positive intention towards catharsis and healing at the end of the growing year.”

(Drogo)

“We must not fight each other, and so must communicate loving reassurances to those that we want within our circle. If one of us becomes possessed by evil, those with enough strength to see the good should wish them life and seek to save them this night. For the path is perilous. We should remind ourselves why we are here, and what must be done, as one. We must guard against ill intent from spirits that distract us from our duties to the circle and our goals that we set for the new year. We can fight them in the ethereal spirit world, and banish them from us. If a kindred spirit becomes confused, it is our duty to keep them safe by reminding them that they are loved and important to us. Even if they cannot control themselves due to madness, fear, or anger we must not give into those selfish dark emotions. Defend yourselves, but do not leave the safety of the circle unless retreat is needed, or brothers and sisters will watch your back, and let you back in by protecting you in a bubble that does not dispel the circle. Our path is perilous, but we are one.

(Drako)

“The dead are with us this night, more than usual. Be strong for our ancestors, and smart enough not to harm a brother or sister, even if you feel them attacking you in any way. Ask them their intent if you are confused. If their dark side answers in a way that seems to conform they wish us ill, then with the brightness of love and life, defend the circle. Seek to remind, subdue, and release any level of threats. Remind any enemies of their positive worth. Subdue with minimal harm. Release those unwilling to participate from obligations. Hold no one against their will if they will leave peacefully. Even when faced with the most destructive force, the goal of the circle is to keep our loving light lit in our hearts and minds. May Hecate light our way and shine through our actions. Great darkness and cold will come this Winter, and we must be together in our readiness to survive, despite death and sickness around us.”

Place salt, water and candles around the circle. Set altar and prepare to light the candles. Light incense. Wear masks, costumes, or paint as appropriate. Music.

Ollumh the high priestess leads coveners along the procession and into the circle area.

(Priestess)

“For all the Ancestors and relations, in acknowledgment of all who have gone before, we honor you with offerings. We bow to your memory within us, and the lives you led as part of our legacy. We are the living and you are the dead. Some are living dead, and others are dead living. Be here only of your free will and sympathy. Let us cast the Circle!”

Elements – casting Circle

Visualize light drawing a circle perimeter deasil.

East – Air

(Emma)

“Here I do bring light to Air in the East. To illuminate breath of life. Listen to the Spirit Winds that herald the voices of the ancients. From the realm of Gorias and Paralda, come forth clarity, truth, sunlight, starlight, moonlight, and shine bright! Thoet se! We call upon you powers of Air to witness this rite and guard this circle. So mote it be, blessed be.” Light the Air candle.

South – Fire

(Drogo)

“The flame of Life reaches us, climbing up and surrounding us. We are within it dancing. The flame can destroy life, burning it like a wick. From death comes life reborn from ashes. We can sprout from devastation, with fiery passion, like the phoenix. On this night we honor the dead year, and the new year to come! We honor the ancestors and spirits and our sacred selves in this circle of Albred. So mote it be, blessed be.” Light the Fire candle.

West – Water

“Here I do illuminate Water in the West, to wash and clean. From the realms of Murias and Niksa, come forth fertility of plenty. Ocean circles the Earth, seas flowing and ebbing, rivers running. Thoet se! Taste tranquility and baptism to rest and be born again. Witness this rite and guard this circle. Blessed be, so mote it be.” Light the Water candle.

North – Earth

(Avalock)

“Here I do bring the light to Earth in the North. We illuminate and give you strength Mother Earth! From the realm of Falias and Gob, come forth earth elementals. La Falia, La Fail (Stone of Destiny), solid strong! Foundation below thoet se, shelter and food (throw salt). We call upon you powers of Earth, to witness this rite and guard this circle. Tuath, North, Earth, so mote it be. Blessed be.” Light the Earth candle.

(Priestess)

“Flames leap high, inside life! Flames rise forth, outside death! Flames burn bright, inside eternal day! Flames keep us warm, outside everlasting Night! I consecrate this circle with power all around, to the ancient ones. Here may they manifest and bless their children.”

Lights white, red, and black candles at the altar.

“White candle, glorious Maiden we honor your joy. Red candle, Great Mother we honor your love. Black candle, Dark Crone we honor your wisdom. We welcome the Triple Goddess in all her forms. Also let the Triple God be with us too, through her.

*

Offerings and spell work

*

Closing

“By the powers of light and dark, so closes the fullness of our energy in this circle, here this night, yet this circle will be open to all spirits who linger or remain. Depart in peace, all those visiting. So mote it be, thank you gods, goddesses, ancestors, and elements. Blessed be, so mote it be.”

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Mutual Symbiotic Intention

Posted in relationships, Spiritual, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2018 by Drogo

mutual symbiotic intention in relations – substantial biological success and sustainable deep full spectrum communication or cooperation is needed to maintain symbiotic stasis equality with a focus on mutual goals. Mutual Goals are achieved by dreaming, planning, and doing together. Love is the key, wishing is the window, doing is the door. Techniques can be explained for each step of a process of change, but the desire must be serious for the commitment to compel like addiction. In various communities and individuals symbiotic intention can be both philosophical and spiritual in practice. Buckminster Fuller referred to this engineering aspect of architecture as ‘synergy‘, integral structural integrity that is greater than the sum of its parts. Social challenges progress as new social issues become concerns regarding the roles of various types of characters in society (men, women, hybrid genders, children, racial hybrids, leaders, workers, etc). Social balance or utopian equilibrium is often a goal of politics and religions; however how to evaluate evolving success is an interesting subject. Synchronicity is related to synergy and symbiosis in a holistic space and time correlation. Commensal symbiotic exchange is one-sided where one benefits and the other is unaffected. Parasitic symbiosis is ‘predator vs prey’ or ‘vampiric’, and to be avoided in relationships to both avoid being a victim, and to avoid being an abusive psychopath.

Symbiosis = “any type of close sustained interaction between two different biological organisms, be it mutual, commensal, or parasitic. The organisms, each termed a symbiont, may be of the same or of different species. Symbiosis is also classified by physical attachment; symbiosis in which the organisms have bodily union is called conjunctive symbiosis, and symbiosis in which they are not in union is called disjunctive symbiosis.” – Wikipedia

Synergy = “the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.” – Google Dictionary

Synchronicity = “the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.” – Google Dictionary

“For with the picture in the tapestry a new element has come in: the picture is greater than, and not explained by, the sum of the component threads.” – JRR Tolkien

Akasha and the Elements of Nature

Posted in Nature Studies, Pagan, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2018 by Drogo

Akasha – the Assemblage of the Elements of Nature

Akasha is a Hindu word meaning space, aether, or heavenly sky in traditional Indian cosmology. Metaphysically Akasha is a primal aether fluid that allowed physical existence by universally containing and being a part of the building blocks of the 4 elements of the material plane. Akasha can be considered the fifth element within Nature that also super-naturally transcends it. Akasha binds the 4 other elements spiritually to our souls, the Material Universe, and the Spirit Universe. The four Elements are aspects of Nature, but also a connection to the spirit world through Akasha aether. The 4 elements widely accepted by Celtic Wiccan and other polytheist Pagan spiritual paths are: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. These four elements are represented by an equal cross (Celtic Cross) often in conjunction with the cardinal directions, with the Akasha circle border around the cross being the 5th all encompassing element that binds them all together, and from which they come (according to Hindu). In ancient Native American culture this was the Earth-Sun Cross (Medieval Mississippian).

The fifth element is shown in diagram when using a pentagram, to include Spirit as the directional point. Fire’s place on the pentagram is often the lower right point (Tao upper right). Chinese Taoism believes the 5 elements to be Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water; having Metal instead of Akasha Spirit, and Wood instead of Air. Taoists also apply their Yin-Yang dualist theory of opposites to the elements, like polarities of particles. Fire is considered the most Yang (active) energy, and Water the most Yin (passive). Too much fire element in a dwelling can stimulate Chi (Chinese word for Spirit ‘Life Force’) aggressively; resulting in anger, impatience, impulsiveness, ambition and burnout. Chi should be used sparingly in the bedroom, since the main use is resting. Feng Shui (Wind-Water) is about balancing physical, mental, and spiritual levels to attempt harmony. It takes a great deal of Feng Shui study to determine how to design Akasha spaces, and where best to apply the elements in physical symbols and shapes.

The alchemy of elements using Akasha chi or spirit as a catalyst, allows transformation such as Fire changing Water to Air. Akasha is present in elements at their crossing, as well as around them. Akasha can also be intention of our spirit or mental will, as the 5th point on the pentagram. Akasha allows us to transcend our physical existence, and experience the Sublime daily, not just when our spirit separates from our mortal bodies.

 

Elemental Alchemical Effects

(Stop/Start or Hinder/Promote)

Air Stops Earth – Flying above the surface winds & precipitation blow.

Air Starts Fire – Oxygen allows Fire to consume other fuel (wood)

Fire Stops Water – Heat melts ice into Water and aids its evaporation.

Fire Starts Air – Fires cause smell & smoke H2O heated evaporates to Air

Water Stops Fire – H2O quenches (extinguishes) Fire.

Water Starts Earth – Rain nourishes trees, plants, and animals of the Earth.

Earth Stops Water – Dams of Earth and Trees block or slow Water Flow.

Earth Starts Air – Vegetation Flora creates Oxygen and many Scents.

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Spirit Makes Metal – Air, Fire, Water, Iron, & Fuel of Earth by Humans

Refines Metals allowing purification & combination alloys

Spirit (Metal) To Earth – Water & Air oxidize & rust Metal back to Earth.

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pentagram 5