Medieval Lore: The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries — Under the influence! (Reblog)

The rare and elusive, mythical, magical unicorn has been part of folklore and legend for centuries, evolving spectacularly into the modern age.

Medieval Lore: The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries — Under the influence!

*** Wonderful information here. The unicorn imagery is fascinating.

What Happened to Tom Thompson? — Words and Worlds (Reblog)

There is a mystery surrounding painter Tom Thompson’s death. Last time, I shared with you a letter written by his friend to Thompson’s benefactor. Tom left here on sunday about one o’clock for a fishing trip down the lake and at three oclock his Canoe was found floating a short distance from my place with […]

via What Happened to Tom Thompson? — Words and Worlds

The Man From Taured. So Where’s Taured?

man wearing grey jacket
Photo by Aviv Perets on Pexels.com

Recently I posted a puzzle of a piece regarding the sudden, strange appearance of an individual in Prussia in 1850, a man calling himself Jophar Vorin. This man of mystery does not appear in many books but his supposed story can be gleaned online.

Just over a century later in 1954, another unusual bearded man arrived at Haneda Airport in Japan. At first sight the man appeared to be a any regular well dressed European businessman on a routine trip to the Far East.

Evidently his first language was French, though he was capable in other languages too, including the vernacular. He was even carrying several European currencies in his wallet, so nothing much seemed awry – at first.

Peculiar

It was when he was asked about his home country that things took a rather peculiar turn. Not one of the officials at the airport had ever heard of ‘Taured‘, even though he purportedly showed them a passport issued from his native land containing visa stamps, supposed proof of previous trips to Japan and elsewhere.

Unfortunately for this man, whose name is unknown, the company he was due to have a meeting with in Japan did not know of him, neither did the hotel he had supposedly reserved a room with, nor did the bank whose name was emblazoned on his checkbook.

The man seemed to be nonplussed by the situation. When he was shown a map of the world he pointed to the small Pyrenees principality which we know as Andorra, yet which he called Taured.

Detained

The perplexed officials decided to detain him, housing him in a hotel for that evening, in the hope that they could cast some light upon this strange situation.

Unfortunately the mystery only grew more complex by the following morning. The man from Taured had disappeared, despite the vigil kept outside by immigration staff all night. What is more all of his documentation also vanished from airport security.

Despite a strenuous search no sign of this man or his effects ever came to light again. It was as if it never happened. So what are we to make of it? It could be a story, a hoax, to tease or confuse. Conversely, if this odd event was factual – and there is no reason to doubt it – what are we to make of it?

If it was a hoax, for whose benefit was it to propagate the story? To me logic suggests that this is not a hoax, though the story may have grown a little in the telling.

Are we looking at an example of the existence of a multi dimensional universe? If they are limitless, then it is possible that the world he knew may have only differed in a few details, such as the name of his homeland in the Pyrenees.

And does the name of his country, Taured, which to his mind corresponded with the known land of Andorra, hold the key to solving the riddle?

A Load of Bull?

The name Taured suggest Taurus, or bull in English astrology. The Iberian lands, which could include Andorra, are still famous for bull fighting and the bull is an ancient astrological and cultural symbol.

If we accept that there are astrological ages brought about by the so called precession of the equinoxes, the age of Taurus would have been, roughly, spanning from 4000 to 2000 BC.

If there are multiple timelines there could be sensitive points at various times and locations where perhaps certain individuals can ‘cross over’, so to speak.

However, this probably doesn’t explain the fact that he knew French, or that he looked like any regular westerner of that time. A timeline diverging from a period as far back as 4000 BC would look very different from our own, one would suspect.

My idea that Taured is somehow related to the previous Taurean Age is probably just another red herring, though it is intriguing to speculate. Nevertheless, if there is an allegorical element to this story, then the name Taured may still be represent a significant clue.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Jophar Vorin — 19th Century Man of Mystery

photo of man wearing guy fawkes mask
Photo by Frank K on Pexels.com

I have previously written a piece about the 1851 Great Exhibition in London in an astrological context. It is probably coincidental but around the same time there was one other less well publicised and rather odd occurrence in Prussia, in what is now northern Germany.

This involved the appearance of a stranger calling himself Jophar Vorin, in the small town of Lebus. He was subsequently taken for further questioning to nearby Frankfurt an der Oder.

Strange Caucasian

This strange Caucasian spoke what sounded like an obscure German dialect, but he also stated that he spoke Abramian and Laxarian, the official written and spoken languages of his country. Jophar was also nominally Christian, the name of which he gave as Ispatian.

He called the country of his origin Laxaria, in a region of the world called Sakria. However, when asked to locate his home on a map provided he could not do so. He stated that his country was hundreds of miles away, that the reason for his ‘voyage’ was to locate his long lost brother, and that he had been shipwrecked en route. Intriguingly, he described his world as having several regions, perhaps continents, namely Sakria, Aflar, Astar, Auslar, and Euplar.

It appears that the authorities in Frankfurt an der Oder took his story seriously. He was taken to the then Prussian capital of Berlin for further examination. As far as I can tell, it is not known officially what happened to him.

Parallel Universe?

So what are we to make of this highly irregular case? Many have speculated that it was simply a hoax, or even an example of the existence of parallel universes. Could they exist?

The fact that Jophar could speak a kind of broken German is interesting. Whilst Laxaria does not suggest too much to me, the name of his country or region, Sakria, may give us a clue.

In our known histories the Scythians, a people who appeared in a broad region north of the Black and Caspian Seas sometime around 2,500 years ago, were also known as Saka, or Sacae. The word Saxon may originate from this. These people were fierce warriors and metalsmiths of great skill. It was these same people who were to later move en masse to central and northern Europe, speaking a form of the Indo European language related to modern day German and other Germanic languages, like English.

Not of this World

So whilst Jophar Vorin does not appear to have been a time traveller, how can we explain his ability to communicate in a form of broken German?

The other regions of his world, which he named as Aflar, Astar, Auslar, and Euplar, have prefixes at least tenuously related to some continents of our world, namely Africa, Asia, Australasia and Europe.

One of the languages of his people he described as Abramian, which is highly suggestive of Abram, or Abraham, perhaps hinting of a link to Hebrew origins. Abram means ‘high father’ in Hebrew, whilst Abraham means ‘father of many’ nations.

Multiple Timelines

This unusual individual’s Christian name, Jophar, might have been interpreted as Joseph, which indeed some people called him at the time. However, it is even closer to Japheth, one of Noah’s sons, whose name means something like ‘wide expansion’ – highly appropriate considering much of humanity today is still believed (by some) to be descended from Japheth and his two brothers, Ham and Shem.

What is more, Noah’s ark is said to have come aground in the Mountains of Ararat (Genesis 8:4), exactly between the Black and Caspian Seas, where the Scythian (Saka, Sacae) people were to develop centuries later.

Jophar’s second name, Vorin, sounds almost Slavic, though this may be a genuine coincidence, unless you are a particular fan of Star Wars mythology.

Speculation

So whilst some speculate that here may be proof of parallel universes, the existence of multiple timelines is also an interesting concept and is of course related. Is it possible that these timelines occasionally cross over or meet, allowing some to intentionally or accidentally pass through?

If you will allow me the indulgence of speculation, perhaps Jophar’s own timeline diverged from the one we are currently on around 2,500 years ago. Maybe his country of Laxaria developed from the Saka, or Sacae and followed a divergent course to our own, yet retained a few similarities in language and custom.

If the Sacae (Scythians) were speaking a form of proto German, that may explain how he could, at least to some degree, converse with the German speaking Prussians of the mid 19th century, who were in part descended from the Scythians in our own accepted timeline.

Allegorical

The world he described had clearly developed along very different lines to our own, however, even though his religion, Ispatian as he called it, was apparently Christian.

Finally, it strikes me as highly allegorical that the reason for his voyage was to find a long lost brother. Maybe Jophar was as surprised as those who questioned him to discover he could make himself understood. But what if he had actually found his long lost brother, not a single individual, but a ‘brother’ people?

Hoax or true story? We will probably never know for sure, yet it will remain endlessly fascinating.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

The 1960s Cultural Revolution – Love Is All We Need? Part 1: The Dissonance of Neptune

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Photo by Mike from Pexels

Of course, the mid 1960s cultural revolution is the stuff of legend. I am just about old enough to remember significant parts of it.

I started school in January 1964, less than two months after the Kennedy Assassination, a matter of weeks before the Beatles made their first iconic appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in the United States in February.

The world really was changing and although few may have suspected it at the time, we had just got on board a big roller coaster. By the end of the decade the world really was a very different place.

Shaking Up

As someone who has had a long standing interest in astrology, I thought it was about time I had a look as to what was happening during this period.

Better astrologers than me, such as the great Dane Rudhyar, were assessing the situation with true vision around the time of the mid 1960s. They realised the significance of the Uranus Pluto conjunction in Virgo of 1965/6, that human culture and society was about to be seriously shaken up.

I have recently posted a couple of other pieces in regard to the important 127 years Uranus Pluto cycle, and in particular the conjunction. I believe that this has encapsulated symbolically the vast cultural changes of humanity, particularly since 1710-11 and most especially with the 1850-1 and 1965-6 cycle inceptions.

Generational Influence

The power of the outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have emerged significantly into human consciousness since the discovery of Uranus 1781. I think they represent concepts which can be ‘utilised’ for generational effect.

Uranus brings the idea of thinking differently, revolution, turning things upside down, often for the sake of it. Neptune brings new beliefs, new ways to ‘unite’, concepts but also accompanying delusion, confusion. Pluto is fundamental power which is often hidden and all the potential danger that can bring.

The two planets Uranus and Pluto were drawing relatively close by late 1963. The shock of the Kennedy Assassination on November 22 1963 cast a long shadow over the entire world, but particularly in the United States of course, the most powerful country militarily and culturally.

Counter Culture

This awful event acted almost like a psychological primer for the emergence of the so-called Swinging Sixties and counter culture. Maybe here was evidence of the foreshadowing effect of the Uranus Pluto conjunction, the urge for change merges with fundamental power – a cultural revolution fostered at all levels of society.

I think we should also briefly examine the sign in which the conjunction was to occur, namely Virgo, the mutable earth sign. Virgo and the sixth house represent many totally practical facets of everyday life, our efficiency, work and health. In other words, this conjunction was potentially going to turn upside down all of that, it would be felt by everyone in their everyday lives.

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Photo by Sebastian Ervi from Pexels

You Say You Want a Revolution?

And certainly from early 1964, with the cultural phenomenon that was the Beatles, the ensuing ‘British Invasion’ and everything that went with it, to important events like the true beginning of the Vietnam War in August with the Gulf of Tonkin incident, began to set the scene for the rampant cultural dichotomy of the period.

Very interestingly, Uranus Pluto were first exactly conjunct on John Lennon’s twenty fifth birthday, on October 9 1965. By this time the Beatles had virtually conquered the world through their music and films.

The conjunction in Virgo was roughly opposed by Saturn in Pisces, but was in easy aspect to Neptune in Scorpio. I think this is highly significant. Saturn represents the conservative (often religious) reaction to the societal changes, whilst Neptune essentially being in step with both from watery Scorpio cast an other worldly veneer over all of the growing melee.

Although I contend that the three outer planets do not rule any signs, and do not have personal influence – unless they are brought into the equation either through being angular or in strong aspect – I think they do have a transpersonal effect which needs to be carefully examined, even warned against.

Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll

Although drink and drug abuse are often associated with this planet, I think Neptune also has much to do with music, particularly modern, sometimes formless, chaotic music. Neptune in Scorpio could be said to epitomise that ‘sex, drugs and rock n roll’ culture which developed at this crazy time.

Neptune’s transition through Scorpio from 1957 to 1970 witnessed this whole period of world in transformation and the planet’s sextile (60 degree) aspect to the Uranus Pluto conjunction in the mid 1960s particularly allowed mediums like music and also art to manipulate the masses into general acceptance. Music, after all, has a profound effect on the emotions.

Perhaps it was almost like an escape valve in which we were all invited, through the words of Timothy Leary, to ‘turn on, tune in, drop out’ – all very ‘druggy’ and Neptunian.

It was a concept which was to mushroom with all the power of a nuclear explosion in the ensuing years, encapsulated astrologically and symbolically by the transformative meeting of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. The changes instigated at that time have only cast stronger ripples in our world since then.

Part 2 will follow soon.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

 

‘The Kissing Game’ – Short Story Serialisation, Chapter 1

Here is my partner in crime‘s latest short story, a romantic mystery spanning the centuries.

couple kissing
Photo by Сергей Гладкий on Pexels.com

The Kissing Game

By Milly Reynolds

Chapter One

Elena Trimble awoke with a fright. “What was that all about?”
Michael, her husband, was stirring beside her. “What’s up? Bad dream?”
Elena wiped the sweat from her face. “No. I mean, maybe.”
Michael hauled himself upright, blinking rapidly. “Do you want to talk about it?”
Did she? Elena wasn’t too sure.
Michael was watching her. “Ok, so you’ve had a dream about some other guy. It happens, I get that.”
Elena felt herself blushing. “Well, it wasn’t anyone I know, if that’s what you mean.”
Michael swung his legs around and gazed at the clock. “Look, it’s only half five, and it’s Sunday. What chance of getting back to sleep now?”
Elena reached for the notebook, if she wrote it all down she might be able to make more sense of it later. They said that recording your dreams was important.
“So what was he like, this guy? I presume it was a guy…”
Of course it was a man! Sorry, for shouting.”
“That’s alright. What was he like though?”

Elena found it difficult to explain, in words. The dream took place somewhere with
quite poor lighting. He was young, charming, powerful in some odd way. And his eyes,
she could remember them, quite dark.

“He kissed me.”
Michael laughed spontaneously. “Did he now. And was this Lothario a good kisser?”
“Yes, he knew what he was doing, if you know what I mean. He had these nice lips.”
Michael smirked. “Was he as good as me?” He reached across, kissing Elena full on the lips, lingeringly.
“Mn, that was nice.”
He looked into her lovely blue-green eyes. “You are so beautiful, did you know that?”
“Get away.”
“Actually, I was wondering – is all this kind of..?”
She pushed him firmly from her. “Not at five thirty on a Sunday morning! And besides, I feel a little queasy.”
“Hm, it must be the shock.” Michael flopped back onto his side of the bed. “Ok, so did this Romeo have anything to say?”
Elena flinched at his question. “Romeo.”
“Yes? Juliet?”
“Shut up. It was just you, calling him Romeo, that’s all. I don’t know.”
“What are you scribbling?”
She was trying to draw Romeo’s face. She had already been doodling some things which had come to her.
“What does that mean?” Michael asked, leaning across.
“What’s the date today? The twenty third?”
“Yes, is it important?”
Elena breathed in and sighed. “I think it might be.”

more follows next week

copyright Milly Reynolds 2020

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