Saturday, May 9, 2015

Q is for the Qesheth Connection

Preface:  I missed posting this on its proper day yesterday.   I was on a plane back from a crazy 3-day trip to give a talk in a foreign land, and now I'm back to packing boxes for our ongoing move from a temporary apartment into our new home.  Busy busy!  :-)

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Some letters require a stretch.  You'll see the meaning of my "Q" soon, I promise.  I also apologize in advance if I'm including too many song lyrics to the detriment of "real" manifestos.  But this is one of the first ones that I knew I had to include somewhere in this list.

The Rainbow Connection, written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher, was the first song that you heard in 1979's The Muppet Movie.  Sung by a little green frog and his faithful human Jim, it's a wistful and hopeful song that I think goes a lot deeper than Kermit's Florida swamp.
Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.
I'm finding it hard to put into words what moves me so much about this song.  If I someday find that fabled connection, I think I'll find in these lyrics a resolution between the extremes from the previous two posts: Crowley's ultra-libertarian Do your own thing, and Queen/Bowie's compassion-at-all-costs urge for us to Be kind to one another.  There's got to be room for both.

I'm sure that people have pointed out that Kermit's vision of optimism and hope is probably meant to echo (in part) the events following Noah's flood in the Book of Genesis.  The "bow of promise" was set in the sky as a sign that better days were coming for humanity.  That same basic idea seems to be coded in other rainbow tales, from the leprechaun's gold to the bridge to Asgard.
Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.
In Hebrew, the word for "bow" or "rainbow" is Qesheth.  In the late 1800s, a secretive British society known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn made use of this word, and its optimistic symbolism, to discuss some even stranger ways that better days could be ahead.

Much like the Freemasons, initiates to the Golden Dawn had to go through a series of initiation ceremonies.  Unlike the Freemasons, though, these rituals were meant to take place in a complex symbolic landscape (known as the "Tree of Life") that describes the conscious and subconscious parts of the human mind, their interconnections, and their relationships to the divine.  The initiate's long journey "up the tree" parallels what they hoped would be an internal process of meditation, prayer, and mystical visions.  The end result would be a perfected, saint-like soul, that some claimed would be "more than human" (but many others dismiss that last part, saying that this is what it really means to just be fully human)!
All of us under its spell,
We know that it's probably magic...
Where's the rainbow connection in all this?  The first paths up from the bottom of the tree (where we all start out in life) were labeled with the Hebrew letters Q, Sh, and Th.  Put them together and you get Qesheth.  You need a little optimism when you're just getting started.

But the bow was only one half of the equation.  One of the key paths to mystical attainment was situated a bit above Q, Sh, and Th.  The vertical path corresponding to the letter Samekh shot right up into the heart of the Sun.  It also corresponded to the Zodiac sign of Sagittarius (the archer), so it was seen as the arrow let loose by the bow.

In that swamp, Kermit was just waiting for his chance to shoot that arrow into the air.  May we all get that chance.
Life's like a movie -- write your own ending --
keep believing, keep pretending.
We did just what we set out to do,
Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers, and you!


  1. Replies
    1. Urp... did the body of your comment get eaten by Blogger? Happens...

  2. I'mana go with fully human.

    Absolutely beautiful post, Cygnus. Thank you.

    1. They say a good Ipsissimus is hard to find, but I think I'm talking to one.