Archive for the ‘writing, muse, inspiration’ category

Nechtan’s Pictish Nation—8thC Strongholds of the New Religion

September 29, 2019

PICTISH PETERKIRKS IN ABERDEENSHIRE & MORAY—
King Nechtan’s 8thC Stone Strongholds of the New Roman Religion

Pictish 8thC stronghold of Duffus, near Elgin had its own stone Peterkirk at Gordonstoun, Morayshire

If Pictish sagas were unearthed from oblivion into which they descended after A.D.843 ‘union’ with the Scots, Nechtan, High King of Picts, last in the Heroic Age of Pictish warriors, anointed leader of his people, evangelizing monarch, would top the bill.

In a reign of less than thirty years (706-729), Nechtan of Derile—who held matrilineal sacred stronghold lands of Darley-Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, and hunting forests stretching as far as royal Duffus on the Moray coast, above—brought deliverance to his northern peoples from Dark Age beliefs. Dissolving petty rivalries with Scots’ Dal Riata on the West, he united his nation through church, wealth, and powerful alliances. He was one of few Pictish royals to die in his bed (†732).

In Northumberland, just south of the border with Pictland, Anglian church historian Bede wrote a contemporary account during Nechtan’s reign. He died within three years of the great king. Contemporaneous Annals written at Iona are particularly detailed at this time too; so accurate sources are not lacking. Bede was a meticulous researcher, especially in ecclesiastical matters, and Nechtan was considered both spiritually and socially enlightened by the Anglian church.

Aberlemno Class III (mid-9thC) Pictish carved stone depicts seminal battle of Nechtansmere, 685, which consolidated Pictland/Prydein independent of Northumbria & Anglian church

In the quarter-century prior to Nechtan’s modernizing ways, two of the most powerful northern nations fought a battle which was to be a cultural watershed. Nechtansmere—A.D.685, May 20th—was fought on Pictish soil at Dunnichen Moss near Forfar, in southern Pictish heartland between Angles and Picts under Bridei son of Bili. A Pictish victory—and death in battle of Anglian King Ecgfrith—it radically put an end to Northumbrian interference in Pictish affairs. The solitary small outpost of Anglian religious education at Abercorn-on-Forth was closed, and its monks politely asked to return to Northumbria. Bridei paraded Northumbrian Ecgfrith’s body around the country and had him ritually buried on Iona.

The two nations returned to relatively amicable relations until the end of the century.

Six years later Nechtan was to take the throne.

He came from impeccable matrilineal succession of the Royal house. He was cousin to Bridei son of Bili, c.672-693, who had fought ‘for the inheritance of his (maternal) grandfather’ at Dunnichen, when Nechtan was an impressionable child at court.  So the cataclysmic turnaround of affairs which resulted, of great Northumbria having to hand back part of conquered Pictland to the Picts, must have made a deep impression on him.

When he came to the throne in 706, following his brother Bridei son of Derile (697-706), Nechtan son of Derile was well-versed in power, spoke fluent Latin, knew ecclesiastical ropes and how to wield them—and understood the importance of allying himself with Rome. By contrast, the rustic, colonial Celtic Church of Columba centered on Iona, was fumbling along traditional lines—out-of-date and unaware of major changes happening with its powerful neighbor. In addition to works of its celebrated founder, Iona was famous for one other historical gem, without which we would all be lost in the Dark Ages.

Iona kept a series of remarkable ‘Chronicles’.

Eight Great Brittonic Nations
For the most part these were written contemporary accounts of major incidents and alliances of the eight great nations which made up ancient Britain: from Cornwall in the south, through ancient Wales, Man, Anglesey, Dunbritton (Dumbarton), Strathclyde, Anglia (Northumberland) and Prydein (Pictland).  Many copies were made and originals are now lost. It is accepted within historical circles that each ‘nation’ had its own chronicle and an original Pictish Chronicle existed as a separate series of documents held at Pictish church centers like Deer, St Andrews and in the Pictish capital, Forteviot. None survives.

While not available to us until recopied in the 12th century, the ancient origin legend of the kingdom of the Picts is preserved in an Irish quatrain:

Royal Forteviot’s triumphal Arch fragment, c.8thC, from the Pictish palace in the capital Fortriu—Dunning—modern Perth & Kinross

‘Morsheimer do Cruithne clainn raindset Albain i secht raind: Cait, Cé, Cirig, cétach clann Fib Fidach, Fotla, Fortrenn Ocus is o ainm gach fir dib fil for a fearand’ Seven of Cruithne’s children divided Alba into seven divisions: the portion of Cat, of Cé, of Cirig a warlike clan, the kingdoms of Fife, Fidach, Fotla and Fortriu and the name of each of them remains upon his land

These were sub-kingdoms of Nechtan’s great realm—in the north, Cat (Caithness), Cé (Mar and Buchan)* and Fidach (Moray and inland Banff)*; south of the Mounth—Cirig became Magh Circenn, plain of the Mearns; Fib (‘Kingdom of’ Fife), Fotla (Atholl) and center of the court, Fortriu (Forteviot). By contemporary standards, it was a massive kingdom to administer and rule.   *Kingdoms of Fife and Forgue in Buchan retain ‘kingdom’ status to this day.

Thirty Years of Peace—and Peterkirks
Nechtan’s childhood included education at court by monks from the highest monasteries of the day. He was fluent not only in Latin but in all northern British dialects, and learned Gaelic on visits to Iona, which he maintained through contact with a Columban familia of monks who attended his brother Bridei’s court. An enclave persisted from the time Anglian Abercorn mission returned south of what became the permanent border. In spite of Abercorn’s closure, good relations were maintained with the Anglian church through contact with Northumbrian Jarrow. This was a clever device allowing the Pictish court to be fully informed on church doctrine via both outlets: Iona created a Celtic connection with the Irish church; Northumberland provided a direct line to Rome.

Within five years of his accession, Venerable Bede records that Nechtan decided to ask his powerful Northumbrian neighbours—descendants of those who fought and lost in 685—for advice on how to go about building stone churches throughout his kingdom, along the lines of those already spreading in Anglia, ‘in the manner of Rome’.

He was aware of the strategic nature of his request. As a powerful ally, not only would his wish be granted, but by spiritually kneeling before Rome, he was joining a European alliance of other wealthy and powerful nations.

Bede’s superior, Abbot Ceolfrith of the Jarrow monastery, responded volubly, subsequently sending architects to Nechtan to assist in his nationwide reform.  They helped build the first Peterkirks, revolutionary buildings in stone named, like the citadel in Rome, after the first apostle of the Roman Christian mission. It served to create another schism with Iona, whose missions were rustic, simple constructions of earth and rubble.

Ruinous Cistercian Abbey on site of Deer foundation & Peterkirk in Buchan, where Pictish monks penned the 10thC Latin Book of Deer

These stone structures were to become the first network of Peterkirks throughout Pictland, many of which survive, at least in name. From St Peter’s at Restenneth in Forfarshire through the Mearns (Meigle, Tealing). Over the Mounth—mountain range dividing present Kincardine and Aberdeenshire from Mar and Buchan—foundations to Peter were placed at Glenbuchat, Peterculter, Aberdeen (Spittal), Fyvie, Peterugie (Peterhead), Deer, Rathven-in-Enzie (now Buckie), Bellie, Essil-Dipple, Duffus, top, Drumdelgie and Inveravon.

Because they were made of stone—compared with earlier turf monastic cells—they were in the later Buchan vernacular called ‘fite kirks’—white, as in gleaming stone. Two of these survive, albeit altered, at Tyrie in Buchan and Rayne in the Garioch.

‘Hammer of the Scots’ Edward I sends Oaks in Apology

Morayshire’s Peterkirk at Gordonstoun School’s west avenue is a 13thC reconstruction of the original 8thC stone building. Recorded as ‘savagely burned’ by Edward I in 1298, the English king repented and sent the then Rector a ‘gift of twenty oak trees to help with repairs.’ Now roofless, remains of Duffus Peterkirk feature a 14th-century tower and finely vaulted 16th-century porch.

Along with his request for physical assistance, Nechtan asked for guidance in the correct calculation and maintenance of Easter tables. This question had been a matter of stigma among northern kings since the religious controversy at the 664 Synod (gathering) of Whitby—present Yorkshire—nearly fifty years earlier. Columban Iona maintained calculations by an antiquated calendar, a lumbering process which sometimes had east and west celebrating on wildly differing dates. Anglian Northumbria was more modern, calculating according to tables approved by popes in Rome.

Essentially papal calendars were never going to celebrate alongside their Jewish counterparts. Easter had to fall after spring equinox, but separate from Passover.

Easter for the Picts was obviously a festival which was going to catch on, accustomed as they were to sacred seasonal celebrations. A wave of new religion spread like wildfire through a nation only recently converted in pockets by wandering monks.

The North did not have to wait long for Iona. It ‘converted’ officially in 716. By then Nechtan was already in full progress: Roman tables were in use, stone churches were being built nationwide in the name of Peter; Pictish monks now wore ‘Roman’ tonsure. All the Pictish king had left to do was to thank his southern neighbors politely for assistance and, equally politely, ask the Jarrow monks at court to leave.

In his first decade as king, he consolidated a strong alliance, formed the matrix of a new religion for all his peoples, and, because with religion came learning, initiated a process to educate at least his Pictish upper classes, thus making his kingdom a superior Christian power. If he had retained the Columban familia at court, its monastic simplicity would have continued to relate religious matters to ‘conversations with God’. By introducing a building program, Latin instruction via the church and the correct way to celebrate the highest festival of that religious body, he elevated his nation into the light—but a light which he as supreme ruler controlled.

Church Under ‘Servitude’ After Fashion of the Picts
It was a brilliant concept by a northern king to spread religion by secular means.

Significantly, 175 years later, when Scots ruling dynasty was struggling with an essentially Pictish concept it had inherited in its takeover–the power of ‘lord over church’—King Giric (c.889) made history by ‘liberating’ the Church which was ‘under servitude up to that time, after the fashion of the Picts’.

Nechtan’s new wave relied heavily on his nobility for its introduction. In his large but scattered nation, wherever there was a lordly stronghold, there would be a private chapel. If no foundation already existed dedicated to British holy men of the previous century’s wave of wanderers, a stone church would appear in Peter’s name–the new fashion.

Copying out Easter tables and sacred Latin texts became the norm in schools for the educated. A Latin Pictish chronicle appeared. Previously the sole domain of Irish and Welsh monasteries, it contained a Pictish king-list celebrating and chronicling Nechtan’s royal line which Anglian, Welsh and Irish chroniclers were quick to copy. But, with the new wave came something which Picts across the land understood. The message was carved in stone.

Pictish Class II carved Cross slab in laird’s wing, Monymusk kirk

Class II cross-slabs date from Nechtan’s reform: either mounted warriors conversing with angels, or the cross carefully fused with pre-Christian symbols which were familiar, the message was clear: landed Pictish aristocrats are following in the ways of Christian heroes–and you can too!

In Nechtan’s second decade as king, centers for carving sophisticated new imagery sprang up everywhere: in Angus there is a cluster of Class II stones—at Meigle, Aberlemno, Brechin. The new religion took hold at centers around the Moray Firth—at Rosemarkie–a former Peterkirk–and at Kineddar-Spynie near the great Elgin stronghold of Duffus which had its own Peterkirk, above. There at least 26 fragmentary slabs have been found. An equal number have been unearthed at Tarbat-on-Beauly on the Black Isle, within monastic walls.

Easter, Roman Style, and St.Fergus as Pictish Emissary
Conservative Cé—Aberdeenshire provinces of Mar and Buchan—seem to have held out the longest: with only the merest scattering of cross-slabs within a huge proliferation of Class I pre-Christian symbol stones.

Four apostles in simple illuminated manuscript endpages of 10thC Book of Deer, Buchan, with 12thC margin notes in both Latin and early Gaelic

Exceptionally, it was at Deer in Buchan within that conservative culture that monks produced the exquisite sacred calf-vellum pocket gospel, left, The Book of Deer, now held at University of Cambridge.

A number of Pictish holy men played a rôle in Nechtan’s great plan. After all, Latin was not exactly a language the countryman was going to pick up spontaneously. Bede says Nechtan promised to introduce Latin usage for his people ‘insofar as their remoteness from the Roman language would allow.’

It was essential that his bishops–already fluent in Latin–should be completely familiar with Pictish patterns of speech.

St.Fergus chapel, Dyce Aberdeen 8thC Class II relief-carved Pictish cross stone with familiar symbols

Gone were the days before 585 when Irish Columba had needed an interpreter to speak to king Bridei son of Maelcon, at the Pictish court in Inverness. Nechtan used Picts to speak to Picts.

One of them—Bishop Fergus—attended Rome in 721 to sign papal decrees, on behalf of his royal patron. This saint features both south and north of the Mounth: as patron of Glamis at the center of cross-slab carving in Forfarshire; but, as Northerners know him, patron of Moy in Moray, St Fergus in Buchan and, most significantly, Dyce which has one of the few magnificent Class II cross-slabs, right, in Aberdeenshire. Cé was conservative, not pagan. The simple cross was already understood.

Nechtan’s Golden Age had begun, and it looked as if it might continue forever.
©2009-2019 Marian Youngblood

Event Horizon for the Human Race—Moving Beyond Our Own Boundaries

April 11, 2019

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) on Hawai’i’s Mauna Kea and Atacama’s Large Submillimeter Array (SMA) answered some cosmic prayers this week.

Event Horizon Discovery by Global AstroSci Team

Summit of Mauna Kea at 13,000ft has ideal microclimate for Harvard-Smithsonian Event Horizon 8-telescope array

The Submillimeter Array of eight radio telescopes alongside the James Clerk Maxwell Observatory on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawai’i have sent earthling skywatchers skyrocketing with delight, as they released their first picture of Messier-87—a super-dense neutron region or ‘black hole’ in Virgo galaxy this week.

Hawai’i is crucial to Event Horizon (EHT)’s world network. Its high volcanic setting provides cloud-free receiving/bending of its own multiple signal—from three points in an array of eight new [radio]telescopes, top, with Mauna Kea Observatory’s James Clerk Maxwell 49-foot dish telescope, and reusing CalTech’s nearby CSO ‘redundant’ observatory.

Previously co-funded by Great Britain, Canada and Netherlands, EHT is presently co-sponsored by Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts with the Academia Sinica, and a consortium of astrophysics interests from Taiwan, China, Japan, South Korea and Chile. EHT is in international partnership with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) of Japan, together with NRC (Canada), NSC and ASIAA (Taiwan), and KASI (Republic of Korea). Vital cooperation is the link with the Republic of Chile—where ALMA‘s 66 high-precision antennae are located on the Chajnantor plateau, at 5000 meters altitude/one mile high in northern Chile.
(ALMA)=Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

Event Horizon Telescope —EHT— world’s 1st super-array captures its first picture of ultra-dense neutron region M-57 in constellation Virgo

The Event Horizon Telescope—EHT—is a global array of radio telescopes involving dozens of institutions and astrophysicists round the world. Breakthrough discovery by the EHT is an image of Messier 87 (M-87)’s supermassive neutron black hole at the center of the Virgo galaxy cluster, 55 million light years away. This neutron-dense region contains 6.5 billion times the mass of our Sun.

Affectionately named ‘black holes’ are extremely compressed cosmic objects, containing extraordinary amounts of mass packed densely into a tiny region of space. This mass is shrouded by an event horizon—a boundary beyond which nothing—not even light—can escape its electromagnetic/gravitational pull.

They affect their surroundings in extreme ways, including warping spacetime and heating surrounding material to hundreds of billions of degrees. Albert Einstin in his 1915 Theory of General Relativity predicted that a black hole would cast a circular shadow on its bright, glowing material. The newly-released image of M87 from EHT reveals this shadow.

Light emitted from inside the event horizon can never reach the outside observer. Likewise, any object approaching the horizon from the observer’s side appears to slow down and never quite pass through the horizon—its image becoming more and more redshifted as time elapses. This means that the wavelength of the light emitted from the object is getting longer as the object moves away from the observer. The traveling object, however, experiences no strange effects and does, in fact, pass through the horizon in a finite amount of ‘proper’ time.

As high as the Swiss Alps, Mauna Kea hosts climate-immune radiotelescope array for worldwide science cooperative

Black hole event horizons are widely misunderstood. Common, although erroneous, is the notion that black holes vacuum up material in their neighborhood, where in fact they are no more capable of seeking to consume than any other gravitational attractor. As with any mass in the universe, matter must come within its gravitational scope for the possibility to exist of capture or consolidation with any other mass. Equally common is the idea that matter can be observed falling into a black hole. This is not possible either.

Astronomers can detect only accretion disks around black holes, where material moves with such speed that friction creates detectable high-energy radiation. Matter from these accretion disks is forced out along the axis of spin of the black hole, creating visible jets where the streams interact with matter—such as interstellar gas—or if they happen to be aimed directly at Earth.
J.A.Peacock Cosmological Physics, 1999

A distant observer—or world-class telescope array—will never actually see something reach the horizon. Instead, while approaching its edge, the object will seem to go ever more slowly, while any light it emits will be further and further redshifted.

Earth-size Telescope Dish
In order to see a black hole for the first time, the Event Horizon Telescope team hooked up an array of radio telescopes in Hawai’i, Central and South America (Atacama), Europe, Greenland and Antarctica, with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) dish in Cambridge, MA.

EHT signals from global telescope network create earth-size dish receiver, beamed Mauna Kea HI to Cambridge MA for image resolution by the EHT team

Using a technique known as very long baseline (vLBI) interferometry, the CfA-MIT team took precisely-timed data from each radio telescope, combining them to produce images comparable with what an Earth-hemisphere-sized dish would capture. The resulting virtual telescope has the highest resolution of any instrument ever built on earth, in orbit within the Solar System—or even beyond the Heliopause where Voyagers I & II entered Interstellar Space.

We’re a melting pot of astronomers, physicists, mathematicians and engineers. That’s what it took to achieve something once thought impossible.
Katie Bouman, PhD CfA elec.engineer/computer sci
Co-author six papers in Astrophysical Journal Letters

EHT’s image reveals that this enormous black hole—large enough to engulf the solar system—anchors a jet that extends outwards for tens of thousands of light years.

Hawai’i’s Mauna a Wakea—white mountain—multiple telescope array at 13,803feet on the dormant volcano played crucial role in Event Horizon success

There are already plans to expand the EHT: to enable the team to make time-lapse movies of the dynamics of this (newly-discovered) living system, and to discover how the jet draws its energy from this negative source.

Creating the EHT was a formidable challenge which required upgrading and connecting a worldwide network of thirteen pre-existing telescopes deployed at a variety of challenging high-altitude sites. These locations included volcanoes in Hawai`i and Mexico, mountains in Arizona and the Spanish Sierra Nevada, the Chilean Atacama Desert, and Antarctica.

All Very Baseline Interferometry
Event Horizon observations use a technique called very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) which synchronizes 13 telescopes around the world, using earth’s rotation to form one huge, Earth-size telescope observing at a wavelength of 1.3 mm. This lets EHT achieve an angular resolution of 20 micro-arc-seconds—enough to read a newspaper in New York from a sidewalk café in Paris.

From Chile’s Atacama high desert to Spain’s Sierra Nevada to Mauna Kea’s multiple array, telescopes worldwide combined to bring new images beyond human expectation and belief

Resolution of the EHT image depends on separation distance between the telescopes—the baseline—and the short-millimeter radio wavelengths captured around the world. EHT’s finest resolution is achieved by the longest baseline, which for M87 stretches from Hawai’i to Spain and Greenland to Antarctica. To optimize long baseline sensitivity—or make detection possible—the team developed a specialized system which combines all signals from Mauna Kea’s SMA dishes, letting Hawai’i act as a single EHT station.

Beaming-coordinating signals from night-time (western) half of the globe employs optimum use of precious telescope time when the other—Asian—hemisphere is in daylight.

After separately recording signals at all thirteen telescopes, data are flown to a single location and combined by computer to create an image by a virtual Earth-size telescope—first of its kind.

Petabytes, Raw Data and Red Shift
Lindy Blackburn, EHT data processing team leader and coauthor explains that EHT holds millions of gigabytes of data from many telescopes that weren’t originally designed to work together. ‘We developed multiple pathways to process and calibrate data, using new algorithms to stabilize the Earth’s atmosphere and to align the signals from all sites within trillionths of a second precisely.’

Rapidly spinning supermassive hole surrounded by its accretion disc of rotating leftovers from Sun-like star ripped apart by the hole’s tidal force, courtesy ALMA Large Array, Atacama

Telescopes contributing to this result were ALMA*, APEX, the Spanish IRAM 30-meter telescope, the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano, the Submillimeter Array, the Greenland Submillimeter Telescope, and the South Pole Telescope. Petabytes of raw data from all telescopes were combined by highly specialized supercomputers hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Munich, and MIT Haystack Observatory, Cambridge, MA.
*Atacama Large Millimeter-Submillimeter Array in Andes high desert, Chile

Global teamwork meant a close collaboration by astrophysicists, technicians and researchers around the world—and a first for science.

Construction of the EHT and this week’s observations represent the culmination of decades of close technical theoretical work. Thirteen partner institutions worked together to create the EHT, using both pre-existing infrastructure and support from a variety of world agencies. Key funding was provided by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), EU’s European Research Council (ERC), and funding agencies in East Asia, above.

On a planetary level, we sci-fi addicts thank the team for rising above national barriers and creating something previously only dreamed of.

On a Cosmic level—look out—unlimited data incoming.
©2019 Siderealview

Hallowe’en was Always Weird—A Look at Wynton’s 1420 Chronykil

October 31, 2018

MACBETH & THE THREE WEIRD SISTERS

The three witches—current version—in forecourt of Glamis Castle, ancient thanage in Angus, Scotland

Andrew Wyntoun, known as Andrew of Wyntoun (c.1350-c.1425), was a Scots poet, canon and prior of Lochleven & St Serf’s Insch, Aberdeenshire, where he is thought to have written this poem to his hero, Macbeth—11thC King of Scots, who died at Lumphanan fifteen miles distant. Wyntoun then became canon at St. Andrews, a most hallowed position for a cleric of his time. His greatest work (1420) is his Orygynale Cronykil of Scotland

‘All night he thought in his dreaming
That sitting he was beside the King
At a seat in hunting where his sire
Unto his leash had greyhounds two
He thought while he was seated thus
He saw three women going by
And those women then thought he
Three weird sisters most likely be

MacBeth cairn, Lumphanan, where the King of Scots was slain by Malcolm in 1057

A nycht he thowcht in hys dreamyng,
That syttand he wes besyd the kyng
At a sete in hwntyng; swa
Intil his leisch had grewhundys; twa
He thowcht, quhile he wes swa syttand,
He sawe threw wemen by gangand;
And thai wemen than thowct he
Thre werd systrys mast lyk to be.

*The first he hard say, gangang by,
‘Lo, yhondyr the Thane of Crumbawchety!’
The tothir woman sayd agane,
‘Of Morave yhondyre I se the thane!’
The thryd than sayd, ‘I se the kyng!’
All this he herd in his dreamyng…
Sone eftyre that, in his yhowthad,
Of thyr thanydoms he thane wes made;

Queen/St. Margaret’s arms—Lion Rampant & sacred Martlets around Christian cross

The fantasy of his dream
Moved him most to slay his overlord
…And Dame Gruoch, his sovereign’s wife
He took and left with her his lands
And held her both as his wife and queen
Which, before then, she had been
To his sovereign—queen living Queen
—who was Kyng with Queen Regnant
For few honours then had he (Macbeth)
Only the grace of lineage affinity

Thane of Glamis, Thane of Cawdor
Shakespeare’s stirring predictions by the three witches to a dreaming king reaching for the throne describe the cauldron scene magnificently. Macbeth will not only become thane (mormaer) of Glamis (Forfar, seat of current Earl of Strathmore), thane of Cawdor (Cawdor Castle is Nairn seat of Campbell Thanes of Cawdor since 1320), but King of Scots—whose royal court in MacBeth’s time was the Palace of Scone, Perthshire.

Dupplin 6thC Pictish Cross Forteviot before removal to museum names Constantin son of Fergus King of Picts

Syne neyst he thowcht to be king,
Fra Dunkanyis dayis had tane endying.
The fantasy thus of his dreme
Movyd hym mast to sla his eme;
As he dyd all furth in-dede,
As before yhe herd one rede,
And Dame Growky, his emys wyf,
Tuk, and lef wyth hyr hys ly,
And held hyr bathe hys wyf and queyne,
As befor than scho had beyne
Till hys eme qwene, lyvand
Quhen he was kyng with crone rygnend
For lytil in honowre than had he
The greys of affynyte.

*Wyntoun’s Cronykil refers to Cawdor in Morayshire, as Moravia, but the closest the first witch comes to Glamis? is the Thanage of Glenbuchat? in nearby Donside as his Crumbuchaty. The second sees him as Thane of Moray, leading to the third witch’s prediction: ‘I see the King’.

Wyntoun clarifies: “Soon after that, still in his youth,
“Of those thanedoms he Thane was made.”

All this when his Lord was dead
He succeeded in his stead;
And seventeen full years he reigned
As King, as he was then, of Scotland.
During his reign were times of plenty
Abounding both on land and sea.
He was in justice right lawful
His laws fair to all.
When Leo X was Pope of Rome
As pilgrim to his court he came
And in his alms he gave silver
To all poor folk who had none
And always tried he to work
Profitably for Holy Kirk

Illuminated apostles: 10thC Iona Book of Kells, now in Trinity College, Dublin show Matthew as Man, Mark winged Lion, Luke surgeon winged Bull, John as Eagle

All thus quhen his eme was dede,
He succeedyt in his stede;
And sevyntene syntyr full rygnand
As kyng-he wes than in-til Scotland.

Corgarff Castle on the Lecht pass military route between Braemar Castle, Ft.George and Cawdor

All hys tyme wes gret plente
Abowndand, bath on land and se.
He was in justice rycht lawchful,
And till hys legis all awful.
Quhen Leo the tend was Pape of Rome,
As pylgryne to the court he come;
And in his almus he sew sylver
Till all pure folk that had myster;
And all tyme oysyd he to wyrk
Profitably for haly kyrke.

Wyntoun extols the virtues of his hero, Macbeth, who claimed the throne of Scotland through his mother’s kinship with Duncan—whom he killed in Elgin (Moravia, Moray). Rival Malcolm also claimed the throne through the female line. In Lumphanan, he succeeded in killing the wounded Macbeth and, (after stepson Lulach’s pitiful six months as king), took the crown to become Malcolm III (Canmore) of Scots in 1058. He married Saint Margaret of Scotland (1070-1093), bringing peace and prosperity to northern lands during his (long) reign of 35 years.

He and Margaret are credited with pulling Scotland out of the Dark Ages and into Medieval Europe.
©2018 Siderealview

Whales, Nuclear ‘Wessels’ and Ocean Clean-Up

July 11, 2018

WHALES, NUCLEAR WESSELS AND OCEAN CLEAN-UP
ALAMEDA—Chequered History or Check-Mate?

Alameda—where they keep the Nuclear Wessels, according to Pavel Chekov, in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, 1986

With a flourish of ceremonial shovels, construction began last week on the site of the (closed) U.S. Naval Air Station, on what will become Alameda’s first major market-rate multi-family development in four decades. Alameda Point sits on the North shore of San Francisco Bay, with strategic connections to Oakland, the Sacramento River and the Bay Area.

Manila Bay whale sculpture made entirely from plastic beach waste in Philippines, image courtesy Greenpeace

It will be familiar to vintage Star Trek fans for its connection with whales, nuclear generators and Space. Alameda has tolerated empty lot syndrome since the ‘nineties—vast spaces where appropriate development could enhance the former NAS site, but records of clean-up procedures are causing concern. The Navy contractor’s method of landfill and dumping radio-active soil and ground liquids has been questioned.

Developers for the project assure that testing and re-certification will continue, as old naval buildings and pavement are torn up to make room for the new 70-acre development, known as Site A: it will include 800 residential units, up to 600,000 square feet of commercial space and a ferry terminal that will connect to San Francisco—plus parks and open space.

According to U.S. Navy’s Environmental Coordinator for the Alameda cleanup, Cecily Sabedra:

“Tetra Tech was the contractor who performed environmental investigation and cleanup tasks throughout the former NAS Alameda, including Site A. The Navy’s internal-review safeguards and the regulatory-review process indicate Alameda data are accurate and the work completed to date at Alameda is protective of human health. Quality assurance and quality control measures, including field oversight and data review by Navy personnel and regulatory agencies, have been and continue to be in place at Alameda to verify data are representative of site conditions.”

From Cold War Seaplane Landing to Wildlife Reserve

Old Alameda Naval Air base runways for U.S. fleet flight deck and seaplane landings, now rare bird lagoon

Tetra Tech was deeply involved at another portion of the 2,800-acre Alameda Naval Air Station property, Site 2, which is deemed a toxic Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The station was an active military installation for fleet aviation activities from the 1930s to the 1990s. Former jet runways, and anchorage for Cold War sea planes and Navy submersibles can still be seen.

In Tetra Tech’s 200-page remedial action work plan, submitted to the Navy and other U.S. government agencies in 2013, Site 2 contained radium-226 and other radioactive materials. In the 1940s, workers coated instruments such as dials using a radio-luminescent paint containing the isotope. Rags and paint brushes were then discarded at the site.

Over a period of sixty years, the land had been a dumping ground for other materials like asbestos, pesticides, sandblasting grit, medical waste and tear gas agents. In ‘cleaning’ the area, Tetra Tech bulldozed in a multi-layer soil mix, to cover the old landfill.

Wilderness will Find a Way—Wildlife Move Back In

Osprey landing on rusty light-stand nest to feed young, in former Seaplane Lagoon

Site 2—owned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs—will remain closed for the ‘foreseeable future’.

Since becoming redundant in the 1990s, Mother Nature has stepped in to reclaim such wasteland: now home to several endangered species of birds. Harbor seals have moved back into the lagoon and this is third year a pair of ospreys have nested on the old light stand at the entrance to Seaplane Lagoon.

After an impasse was reached in 2004 between the U.S. Navy and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (aka Fish & Game) for creation of a national wildlife refuge, the property was offered to the Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.). The V.A. plans to build an outpatient clinic and columbarium on 112 acres of its land, but the other 511 acres of V.A. land will remain undeveloped. The undeveloped area is where egrets and endangered California Least Terns come to nest early April to mid-August each year.

Wild Mountain Lion Migrate Across 101

Baby cougar faces future from her den in Thousand Oaks, Santa Monica mountains

Megalopolis concerns are with a family of cougar kittens in Thousand Oaks, CA.—being monitored/tagged by National Parks Service researchers—where as grown wildcats they will have to cross Highway 101 to find new breeding grounds—the nearest wild forest being several hundred miles to the north. Cougar have had to adapt to urban sprawl before. Most famous is Parks’ Service favorite, “P-22” who crossed several freeways in Santa Monica, headed south into Los Angeles and took up residence in downtown Griffith Park.

He’s still there. What a Cool Cat.

San Francisco’s former military HQ, the Presidio, with its unparalleled view of the Golden Gate Bridge, has become a model for native plant species and habitat restoration since 1994. That year, the U.S. military machine turned its back on war and handed the land over to the National Parks Service. It subsequently created the Presidio Trust which now oversees 80% of the park. Here endangered and indigenous plant life is being nurtured back to profusion by Parks’ botanists, with a little nightly help from vole, gopher, racoon, fox and coyote. The bears left a long time ago—ages before it was a military stronghold.

Chernobyl nuclear hazard sign after April 26, 1986 explosion blanketed Europe in radio-active fog for a week


Encouragingly, wildlife in Chernobyl, a former 50,000-population density town in Ukraine within a 1,000-sq.mile forest (4300km2 Chernobyl Exclusion Zone) are moving through the irradiated landscape in droves, and showing little sign of becoming mutants. European research teams have been tracking population growth of wolves, bear, mountain lion and multiple migrating birds for over a decade, and proclaim so far no adverse genetic change.

Crop Circles Echo a Nuclear Warning

Nuclear warning by crop circle? Latest to appear in Wiltshire field near Stonehenge, drone shot courtesy Nick Bull

Even our crop circling Alien friends seem concerned for our welfare. The latest—July 8th, 2018—depicting a nuclear device—appeared overnight in unharvested wheat in Coneybury Hill, near Stonehenge, Wiltshire. Whereas Salisbury farmers were formerly stressed over public trespass and crop trampling, they now tolerate drone fly-overs and crop circle photography has taken an upswing.

There are positive aspects to our human concern for proliferating the planet with our own waste. As we become aware of our past destructive habits, like dumping plastic in the ocean—the city of New York only stopped dumping municipal waste by barge into the Atlantic in 1992—we discover alternative methods of clean-up.

Within the last five years Woods Hole, Massachusetts marine microbiologists have recorded a reduction in marine plastic waste in world oceans.

They are convinced it is being eaten.

Leave it to the Micro-Plankton
NOAA has recorded a massive 90% drop in ocean pollution statistics worldwide since 2011, declaring there is no Pacific garbage patch.

Marine bacteriologists are convinced, however, that, as plastic degrades through sunlight and the wave action of salt water into the tiniest fragments, this plastic confetti becomes the preferred diet of micro-organisms who attach to such clustered ‘reefs’ of food, extracting toxins in their digestion.

Casualty on Huntington Beach—at least he pecked his way through the bag

”Plastic-eating bacteria help explain why the amount of debris in the ocean has levelled off, despite continued pollution. But researchers don’t yet know whether their digestion produces harmless by-products, or whether it might introduce toxins into the food chain.”
Tracy Mincer, Marine Microbiologist Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

If NOAA’s “missing 90%” of microscopic plastic fragments in the oceans is being eaten—mostly by bacteria and other microbes—these little microscopic helpers will continue to eat the plastic. If we can reduce the amount of plastic going into the oceans, via our beaches, they may eventually eat it all up.

Wouldn’t that be a world initiative worth achieving?

Seattle and Starbucks have banned the use of plastic utensils and cups; and Hawai’i has agreed to ban all commercial sunscreens as of January 2021, to help slow coral reef decay.

If we continue with responsible water cleanup worldwide—as some humanitarian philanthropists are currently showing the way—we ‘oldies’ may emerge from the “Plastic Age” unscathed, sooner than our grandchildren predict.

Then we, the guilty, messy generation, can turn the tables on our former selves and become our own success story.
©2018 Siderealview

Lifting the Veil: Humanity at the Gate: Solstice 2012

November 29, 2012

Santiaguito volcano, Guatemala, September equinox 2012; Earth stirred in transition from summer to autumn

Serpentine Mind disentangles from branches of confusion uncoils its knowledge to greet the dawn and sees In the growing light
Great Colored, feathered wings
That grew unnoticed in its sleep
Understanding perfectly
In a single rush of joy
It flies above the ancient promises
Beyond where the forest lies to the Sea
The open sea
As rings around the Morning Star
Light corridors through the air
Kukulkan

During classic harvest time, a crop circle appeared on new moon August 17th/18th, predicting thirty-six days stretching from then until autumn equinox, September 22nd; and coincidentally twenty days backwards to Lammas and the Avebury masterpiece, more below.

According to some Maya present-day research, Equinox is the famed day for witnessing the serpent of light creep down its light staircase at Chichen Itza. Equinox ceremonies there are attracting increasing numbers each year on that day, and it added to the excitement this year that seven “triangles of shadow and light” appeared on the northern staircase. The August crop circles appeared to reinforce this appearace of Kukulcan.

Today, one hundred days farther on, the full moon in Gemini/Sagittarius—plus a partial lunar eclipse——may be closing one door——the end of an astronomical sky show and spectacle which the Heavens have been giving us all year—

2012 Astromical Highlights
May 4 Partial lunar eclipse, off Mexico
May 14 First standstill Venus during retrograde loop
May 20 Annular eclipse of Sun
June 6 Transit of Venus (above) and Inferior Conjunction
November 13 2012 Total solar eclipse, in which Sun and Moon align with head of the Serpent (constellation Serpens)
November 18 Solar system conjunct dark ridge Galactic Center
Nov 28 Partial (penumbral) lunar eclipse

—or a preparation for what is —more energetically— to come.

We are told by all Cultures that moments of experiencing the “Shift” are individual: that we will be taken by the Light, know if it is meant for us, that it matches our own inner right-ness, intent, and it will allow us to move on down the new path. Our spiritual senses are being honed. It is thrilling to believe the crop circles—particularly later in the 2012 seson—are showing us a kind of starmap of consciousness: in the essential original meaning of the Maya calculation of time: they appear to be more a calendar to consciousness.

Sadly, out there in television land there is a war being waged to capture our attention “in fear” and to distract us from what is happening in our inner-spiritual world.

Avebury forecast solstice dawn to precision limits; photo M.Etchepare

Human consciousness is rapidly transitioning to a new state, a new intensity of awareness that will manifest as a different understanding, a transformed realization, of time and space and self.
Daniel Pinchbeck

Several years ago Michael Glickman suggested some crop circles were representative calendars or ‘maps of time’. A square within a circle in 1997, itself made up of twenty-six rows of 30 squares, the total number of squares coinciding with the number of weeks remaining from its appearance date until the end of 2012. Glickman and Pinchbeck both believe that the focus on the end of this year too marks a dimensional shift and the purpose of crop circles is to key us in to this change, and to give us clues as to how this shift in dimension will manifest itself in our world.

Thankfully, help from the crop circles has only continued to manifest and inspire us—with the magnificent series of serpent formations all summer, and the Avebury culmination, commented on in so much detail by astronomer Miguel Etchepare.

More sigificant than the development of language…
We are all aware that there is a Shift going on. In physical terms, it has taken some by storm; continents have upheaved, hurricanes have raged; and the December portal beckons.

Ken Carey writes:

The great day of purification has begun—a short but essential division that will gather those who promote fear and volence and separate them from from this Season of the World like chaff is separated from wheat at binding.
During these next two and one half decades [written in 1988] humankind will experience this separation, a transformation in human consciousness more fundamental than the development of language, more significant than the shift to agriculture, more meaningful than any historical revolution.

The dawn approaches.

What if they are all right?

Returning to Galactic Birth Canal
There has been such a plethora of celestial events, from Mars lander, to Voyager breaking through the heliosheath, to Venus transit, and potent crop circle reflections in autumn fields have echoed events, even after the crop crowd had closed down group hopes and expectations for the year.

Venus's Heliacal Rising, November 2011, her return from the Underworld presaged solstic dawn 2012

Something in between dreaming and doing
Something arching down from there to here
We are the arching
We are neither here nor there
We are the hope that lives between
The continual blooming outward and upward
of something we want
but cannot see

– Author unknown

The Etchepare series of videos is important to view—especially for budding astronomers or those less aware of the movement of the skies. On the Maya count, above, November 13th’s total solar eclipse brought the sun and moon to co-align with head of the Serpent (Serpens caput); while last week on November 18th, the Solar System became conjunct with the dark ridge of Galactic Center. Please read various back up blogs on Venusian cycles, significance of Galactic Center, the Maya Sacred Tree.

Each year we spin in and out of this Dark Rift: it is a cosmic sign of our balance in the system, a prelude to our annual rendezvous with Galactic Center—that dark patch in the Milky Way—when the Sun, including us, microscopic specks of energy clinging on to the plane of the ecliptic, all nine planets of our system as one, aligned again with our Motherboard-birth canal, the Creator-energy-vortex, on November 18th in the middle of our Galaxy. The portal is still open—our consciousness is being assisted before the sun spirals away one more time, and we shall head off for another year of peripatetic searching through infinite realms of space.

What is significant about Etchepare’s starmap—interpreted solely from his inspired reading of the Lammas Avebury crop circle, above, is that by associating each planet as it rises ahead of the sun just before dawn on solstice, December 21st, 2012, not only do the planets—led by Saturn, Mars, Venus guide the solar rays ahead like a plough or cosmic train of starlight and planetary bodies—along the line of the Ophiuchus’ [Serpent-bearer] arms, holding both ends of the Serpent—Serpens:caput, head, above November 13th led by Spica and the edge of constellation Virgo; pulling serpens cauda (serpent tail) after him.

But … when all these miracles have been witnessed all over the planet —various earth views are given, making it easier to understand the sky program from any earth location, including Antarctica—the dawn sun … rises from the very mouth of the Galactic Rift.

For the Maya to calculate so far in advance of their own time and to see this train of heavenly bridal veil enticing the light to re-emerge from its birth-hole—was indeed unprecedented. It is still difficult for some to comprehend such detailed knowledge of the heavens so vastly ahead in time. However, their predictions for solstice are phenomenal—to an exact celestial degree: Saturn joins Spica/Virgo to ensnare Ophiuchus, who, wrestling forever with the head and tail of the Serpent, drags—alongside Venus and Mars—the reluctant Sun at the exact moment of dawn from his cosmic birth cavity at Galactic Center to be reborn for a new cycle.

Indeed a spectacle worth keeping predictive records of witness for over three thousand years. And we are the civilization alive to witness it.

In the eyes of the Ancestors, we are the ones we have been waiting for. We need to get our heads round this soon: and … before solstice would be good.

Above all, group consciousness, or combined intuition is clearly the way to perceive what is happening to us.

For those perhaps not willing to take another [spiritual] leap, the earth will continue in her beautiful bounty, I do believe; but I also believe there is an added dimension out there—not just because the crop circles have succeeded in describing “portals” in detail; but because all the ancient calendars can’t be wrong.
©2012 Siderealview

Volcanic Surprise: Take your Toys and Go Home

April 18, 2010

Eyjafjallajökull erupts during the strongest geomagnetic storm to hit Earth in 3 years; photo Albert Jakobsson

Tomorrow morning, April 19th, 2010, at around 5a.m. PST the Space Shuttle Discovery is due to reenter Earth’s atmosphere on a trajectory that takes her over the Pacific Northwest, and then on a southeasterly heading towards Cape Canaveral, Florida. She undocked from the International Space Station at the weekend in preparation for reentry.

Early birds in the states of Montana, South Dakota, Missouri and Mississippi and those driving to work in the cities of St. Louis, MO, Memphis, TN and Columbus, GA may catch a glimpse of the descending craft as it prepares for landing at the Kennedy Space Center, ETA 8:48a.m.

Trajectory of space shuttle Discovery on her way home tomorrow

Viewers in continental U.S. will be able to see Discovery as a blazing fireball in the dawn sky on first reentry over Northern California, Oregon, Washington and BC, and then, when daylight progresses, as a bright high-altitude object, as the craft heads east. Those who may not be sure of what they are seeing will hear a double sonic boom about a minute after the shuttle passes overhead.

Discovery’s appearance in the skies over continental USA is unusual, to say the least.

NASA is normally super-cautious, not only to schedule reentry on a trajectory over ocean (south Pacific or Atlantic) – to avoid potential conflict with commercial air traffic or the complication of an accident over such an important landmass – but also does not issue a specific schedule beforehand – for ‘security reasons’.

In the case of tomorrow’s landing, another issue has complicated NASA’s plans: the volcanic cloud emanating from Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland. Because the eastern hemisphere is affected by dust and volcanic ash in the atmosphere resulting in the grounding of all European airlines, the shuttle’s choices were drastically reduced.

It is perhaps our present crazy world’s greatest irony that tomorrow, when the whole continent of Europe has not a single aircraft in the skies, except for patrolling military Tornadoes or light prop craft which can fly below radar, United States air traffic controllers will be overworked as they reroute planes so as not to provoke a chance encounter with the spacegoing shuttle on her way home.

Air travel all over northern Europe has been disrupted, with flights grounded or diverted due to the risk of engine damage from sucking in particles of ash from the volcanic cloud.  Even the usually noisy skies of helicopter traffic to and from North Sea Oil fields are silent.

Eyjafjallajökull sub-glacial eruption

And what of Eyjafjallajökull?

What series of convoluted circumstances caused her to erupt just when airlines the world over were pulling in their horns in response to global recession, cutting frills and flying fripperies to an absolute minimum?

Eyjafjallajökull is merely responding to a ripple in the mid-Atlantic ridge.

Iceland can’t help it: her island kingdom sits astride a large tectonic anomaly, where two plates meet, and – rather like Hawaii – has confounded scientists for centuries in their ability to ride the volcanic storms and still maintain buoyancy as islands. Icelanders have benefited in cleverly channeling underground heat from natural hot springs to provide comfort – even luxury – to every home, but, like Hawaiians, their tiny population (300,000, about the same as a medium-size British city) is not unaware of the fragility of their situation.

Eyjafjallajökull has erupted five times since human settlement in the ninth century and its most recent eruption has been going since March 20th this year, but it is only in the last week that ash from this eruption has reached the stratosphere of its continental neighbour.

And Europe is freaking out.

In terms of aviation, when almost all transport is presently airborne – people, freight, goods and services – it is understandable that Eyjafjallajökull’s blasting through its surface glacier and spewing dust and ash into the airlanes should cause concern. Health and safety have become buzzwords in industry: the natural reaction for air traffic regulators was to close everything down. So soon after Easter, when many were starting to enjoy the prospect of spring following a very hard winter, holiday travel numbers were high and planes fully booked.

Those airplanes are now dead in the water.

And, with no change in the foreseeable future, Europeans are stranded in remote locations worldwide, unable to get back home; British-based airlines may not take off and US-based airline traffic may not land in Europe.

Europe – the northern portion of it, certainly – is like a plague zone.

They’ve always said character comes to the rescue when crisis descends or hard times rule. And the other thing they say: Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

During the hard snows and frosts of winter – that in northern Scotland and pockets of Europe lasted until spring equinox – Britain went through a series of threats from companies in conflict with employment unions – with aviation and transportation strikes imminent – until intervention by a well-meaning Icelandic volcano moved the goalposts.

Suddenly, within the last week, other means of transportation – bus, taxi, train, ferry, tube, metro, hot air balloon, microlite, bicycle – have reared their heads again and a dumbed-down population re-creates, starts to think outside the box, begins to invent.

In early ‘seventies ‘3-day-week’ Great Britain, share-a-ride became an everyday occurrence, nobody drove a car without at least two other passengers, public transport was in full use and the struggling population again became aware of their parents’ post-war attitude of ‘conserving’ energy. It is possible that the present crisis may bring about a similar respect for alternative means to get from A to B, and consequently even more respect for the entity which caused the hiccup in the first place: Mother Earth.

Many of us have blogged over last winter about impending changes the Earth may put us through: for most of us those earth-changes were remote: reports from Haiti, Chile, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Turkey. But changes are starting to happen closer to home (Home being the First World).

large swathes of Amazon rainforest under threat

The First World has not traditionally reacted well to being threatened by Nature. It has acted (particularly over the last two generations – fifty years) as if nature were subservient to Man. It has turned a blind eye to decimated rain forests, depleted habitat for endangered species, global poverty, substandard housing and polluted drinking water in those ‘other’ worlds. It’s not accustomed to having its toys taken away and told to go home.

With the grounding of aircraft run by some of the world’s most elite flying operations, those ‘toys’ are getting a shakedown. And Big Business doesn’t like it.

Already on shaky ground over fears of recession, many airlines are already in debt or about to seek bail from world governments. Now governments themselves are questioning whether there are funds in the coffers to cover planetary transportation meldown. Big Business has traditionally used London, Paris, Stockholm, Frankfurt, Amsterdam as staging posts in its hops between hemispheres. Suddenly their wind-up toys aren’t working. No immediate replacement in sight, they’re having to think of ways around the situation.

Pressure/precipitation 4-day forecast, courtesy Unisys

Fortunately, continental Europe has remarkably efficient waterways, rail links, passenger liners, trains and autobahns. Every one of them has suddenly become remarkably important as an artery of communication in an atmospherically-deprived world. But if Icelandic ash continues to spew forth it will take some really revolutionary thinking for Big Business to survive. Seven million passenger-journeys have been cancelled in a few days. There’s talk right now of losses in the millions – Emirates Airlines calculating 25 million dollars per day in lost revenue, British Airways losing one million pounds every hour. Pretty soon those losses will be billions and thereafter . . . if Eyjafjallajökull doesn’t let up – or worse, if her neighboring volcanoes on the Ridge join in – figures will be incalculable. ‘Business’ as a concept will have no meaning.

None of us wants the approach to ‘End Times‘ to come suddenly. But there have been warnings; we have had clues; our history is littered with references to ‘preparing’ for when those ‘decline and fall’ times will come. So should we be surprised when the Earth herself is the instigator?


It is a well-known phenomenon that spacecraft engineers, pilots and scientists, on their return to Earth after a space mission, express feeling ‘transformed, changed, uplifted’ and ‘born-again’ by their experience outside Earth’s atmosphere. From liftoff as hardened scientists, electrical engineers, they return as philosophers, enlightened spirits.

It might be seen by some that Discovery’s reentry to Earth coinciding with the Earth’s growling northern latitudes indicate a sign of impending doom; for others it may signal the onset of liberation from earthly institutions which were beginning to cripple creativity; a top-heavy bureaucratic mechanism that smothers the budding creative spark.

Heaven knows, now is the time for creativity to surface and be recognized: time for the toys to come alive and play for real: our future and our future home – the planet Earth – depend on it.

©2010 Marian Youngblood
Marian Youngblood is the author of a prescient novel (in the light of this week’s events) ‘SHASTA: Critical Mass‘ which relates volcanic earth changes to Man’s ability to rise above his own beginnings and become superconscious human. Her book is entered in James Twyman’s contest to find the ‘next spiritual author’. Press this LINK if you would like to read an excerpt and vote for her entry. Round One (voting round) of the competition ends on May 3rd.

Lobo and the Future of Mankind

August 31, 2009

SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS
The following is an excerpt from the new back-to-the-Earth spiritual novel by MARIAN YOUNGBLOOD

A video presentation of the novel’s story and setting can be seen on YouTube here.

… or a shadow over my grave…

The wolf pack had been gathering all day under the watchful eye of Tawnia, the mother, and were about ready to head out. Her mate Lobo, the tribe’s great white alpha male, experienced in the ways of Men and the natural world, would lead them. If they walked all evening and most of the night, they would travel beyond the perimeter and out of danger. In the Park they were protected; out there their lives were not safe because Man and they didn’t always get along, It was a risk they had to take. Staying behind was for the aged or sick. The young were hitching rides with cousins, allowing aunts to carry them in their mouths. Never in Tawnia’s time had she seen such cohesion and trust within the pack: young warriors were cowtowing, behaving like wise old beasts, just this once. They knew something big was afoot.

Lobo’s instinct was pure; his decision contained wisdom beyond their own limited view. They trusted him to lead them to safety. He called the Elders together and they agreed.

They had to leave the camouflage and protection of their Yellowstone home and take their chances in desert night temperatures because Lobo had read the signs and Yellowstone was telling them to leave: west across the desert, through the badlands lay sanctuary. There a new home beckoned. Lobo knew. Now the young had practiced and could imitate and howl the name of their destination.

Three Sisters.

Back at daybreak, Lobo called together and addressed a conclave of Elder wolves, experienced in the ways of canis lupus. They all agreed. Craters of the Moon was close, but barren; lava beds had a familiar smell but supported little wildlife. They would have to go farther to find the perfect place.

 

Lobo's wisdom would guide them

Lobo's wisdom would guide them

They may be of Wyoming stock, their strength in their connection to volcanic timber slopes and grassland, but their experience was gained in richer territory. Expert and lethal at trapping niche animals in a familiar shared habitat. Specialists in foraging as a posse. Community skills handed down, kept their tribe alive and strong for ten generations. Lobo’s direct ancestor founded the dynasty. Nine-times-great grandfather had been a traveler, himself: descended from New Mexico’s original and celebrated Lobo, the great wolf emulated by teenagers; one of whom even human beings had heard. He, a son of the Great Wolf Spirit, inspired respect.

 

Much had changed since Man created the first National Park in their hunting grounds; some Elders believed and hoped that ethos of the original parks was alive and active in the human young.

More senior Elders felt Man had not yet learned to put aside his ancient fear of Wolf. It was even said their Ranger friends in the old homeland were persecuted in their stead for allowing Wolf to return.

Elsewhere in this great country, canis lupus was, if not extinct, definitely rare and there were few areas where they and domestic animals shared territory. But Yellowstone was a milestone park, even if it was about to die, and there was talk among humans of giving wildlife a fairer portion, a more sensitive sharing of habitat, of a new kind of park where the lion might lie down with the lamb.

Even Abuela had heard such talk and encouraged Lobo before departure to head for the most dreamed-of location because dreams come true. Oregon had volcanoes, people there were also descended from original pioneer stock and a place would be found.

After Lobo patiently explained her words, they listened thoughtfully to her opinion and came to a consensus. There was no doubt about the Elders’ decision. They were agreed their aim was for Three Sisters. There the Great Wolf Spirit would provide a place for them.

A couple of hours later, the pack was on the move.

Only Abuela, the old grandmother, stayed in her den. If Lobo’s guidance proved less than accurate or the crisis was somehow averted, they would return to her. Age gave her resignation. She watched without blinking from her rock ledge, head between outstretched paws. As she saw the last straggler leave, her eyes closed.

LOBO is an excerpt from my forthcoming spiritual novel:
SHASTA: Critical Mass by Marian Youngblood

 

Book cover by Joris Amerlaan for SHASTA: Critical Mass by Marian Youngblood

Update:April 2010
When I wrote this, who would have known that the Bush administration would cancel the US Endangered Species Act and allow wholesale murder of Wyoming and Yellowstone wolves. Wolf killing continues as a ‘sport’ in March and April 2010-2012 in Wyoming and Idaho.

I entered SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS in James Twyman and Robert Evans’ 2010 spiritual author competition, Nexttopauthor.com. The video presentation was created at that time. Another excerpt –which gives more of the novel’s volcanic flavor– can be accessed here.

‘SHASTA: CRITICAL MASS’ has been picked up by AllThingsThatMatterPress for publication during 2012. I continue to encourage all genuine interest from agents who may wish to represent the novel with its déjà vu scenario and may feel its publication is prescient. I may be contacted via this page. Thank you.


%d bloggers like this: