Log24

Monday, October 2, 2017

Springer Link

Filed under: General — m759 @ 7:08 PM

A check of the second editor of the history of modern algebra
in the previous post yields

The "first online" date, 13 May 2015, in the above Springer link
suggests a review of Log24 posts tagged Clooney Omega.

Another remark by Parshall, on her home page

"… and I will brought out the edietd [ sic ] volume, Bridging Traditions:
Alchemy, Chymistry, and Paracelsian Traditions in Early Modern Europe:
Essays in Honor of Allen G.Debus,
 in 2015 in the Early Modern Studies
series published by the Truman State University Press."

Happy birthday to the late Wallace Stevens.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

White Mischief

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:29 AM

From a post of Christmas Eve, 2012 —

Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by C. G. Jung

Recorded and edited By Aniela Jaffé,
translated from the German
by Richard and Clara Winston, 
Vintage Books edition of April 1989

From pages 195-196:

“Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is:
‘Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind’s eternal recreation.’*
And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality,
which if all goes well is harmonious,
but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions.”

Faust , Part Two, trans. by Philip Wayne (Harmondsworth,
England, Penguin Books Ltd., 1959), p. 79. The original:

                   … Gestaltung, Umgestaltung, 
  Des ewigen Sinnes ewige Unterhaltung….

Jung’s “Formation, Transformation” quote is from
the realm of the Mothers (Faust Part Two, Act 1, Scene 5:
A Dark Gallery).

The speaker is Mephistopheles.

"Mephistopheles is not your name…" — Sting lyric

"You see, technically, chemistry is the study of matter,
but I prefer to see it as the study of change :

Electrons change their energy levels.
Molecules change their bonds.
Elements combine and change into compounds.

But that's all of life, right? It's the constant, it's the cycle.

It's solution, dissolution. Just over and over and over.

It is growth, then decay, then transformation! .

It is fascinating, really."

— Walter White, Season 1, Ep. 1, "Pilot"
more or less as quoted in huffingtonpost.com

See also Gestaltung  in this journal.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Brazil Revisited

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Yesterday's post Treasure Hunt, on a Brazilian weblog,
suggests a review of Brazil  in this journal.  The post
most relevant to yesterday's remarks is from
August 15, 2003, with a link, now broken, to the work
of Brazilian artist Nicole Sigaud* that also uses the
four half-square tiles used in 1704 by Sebastien Truchet 
and somewhat later by myself in Diamond Theory 
(see a 1977 version).

A more recent link that works:

http://vismath9.tripod.com/sigaud/e-index.html

ANACOM PROJECT

 

APPLICATIONS
HISTORY
THE FONT
ALGORITHMS
FAMILY I
FAMILY 2
EXAMPLES
EXAMPLES II
DOWNLOADS
INTERACTIVE PROGRAM (JAVASCRIPT)
 
VisMathHOME

 

© 1997 – 2002 Nicole Sigaud

* Sigaud shares the interests of her fellow Brazilian
   whose weblog was the subject of yesterday's
   Treasure Hunt.—

   "For many years I have dedicated myself to the study
    of medieval magic, demonology, Kabbalah, Astrology,
    Alchemy, Tarot and divination in general."

     — Nicole Sigaud (translated by Google) in a self-profile: 
     http://www.recantodasletras.com.br/autor.php?id=78359.

    I do not share the interest of these authors in such matters,
    except as they are reflected in the works of authors like
    Charles Williams and Umberto Eco.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Eternal Recreation

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , , — m759 @ 3:17 AM

Memories, Dreams, Reflections
by C. G. Jung

Recorded and edited By Aniela Jaffé, translated from the German
by Richard and Clara Winston, Vintage Books edition of April 1989

From pages 195-196:

"Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation, Eternal Mind's eternal recreation.'*
And that is the self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all
goes well is harmonious, but which cannot tolerate self-deceptions."

* Faust , Part Two, trans. by Philip Wayne (Harmondsworth,
England, Penguin Books Ltd., 1959), p. 79. The original:

                   … Gestaltung, Umgestaltung, 
  Des ewigen Sinnes ewige Unterhaltung….

Jung's "Formation, Transformation" quote is from the realm of
the Mothers (Faust Part Two, Act 1, Scene 5: A Dark Gallery).
The speaker is Mephistopheles.

See also Prof. Bruce J. MacLennan on this realm
in a Web page from his Spring 2005 seminar on Faust:

"In alchemical terms, F is descending into the dark, formless
primary matter from which all things are born. Psychologically
he is descending into the deepest regions of the
collective unconscious, to the source of life and all creation.
Mater (mother), matrix (womb, generative substance), and matter
all come from the same root. This is Faust's next encounter with
the feminine, but it's obviously of a very different kind than his
relationship with Gretchen."

The phrase "Gestaltung, Umgestaltung " suggests a more mathematical
approach to the Unterhaltung . Hence

Part I: Mothers

"The ultimate, deep symbol of motherhood raised to
the universal and the cosmic, of the birth, sending forth,
death, and return of all things in an eternal cycle,
is expressed in the Mothers, the matrices of all forms,
at the timeless, placeless originating womb or hearth
where chaos is transmuted into cosmos and whence
the forms of creation issue forth into the world of
place and time."

— Harold Stein Jantz, The Mothers in Faust:
The Myth of Time and Creativity 
,
Johns Hopkins Press, 1969, page 37

Part II: Matrices

        

Part III: Spaces and Hypercubes

Click image for some background.

Part IV: Forms

Forms from the I Ching :

Click image for some background.

Forms from Diamond Theory :

Click image for some background.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Defining Form

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: , , — m759 @ 10:10 AM

IMAGE- MLA session, 'Defining Form,' chaired by Colleen Rosenfeld of Pomona College

Some related resources from Malcolm Lowry

"…his eyes ranged the Consul's books disposed quite neatly… on high shelves around the walls: Dogme et Ritual de la Haute Magie , Serpent and Siva Worship in Central America , there were two long shelves of this, together with the rusty leather bindings and frayed edges of the numerous cabbalistic and alchemical books, though some of them looked fairly new, like the Goetia of the Lemegaton of Solomon the King , probably they were treasures, but the rest were a heterogeneous collection…."

Under the Volcano , Chapter VI

— and from Matilde Marcolli

Seven books on analytical psychology

See also Marcolli in this morning's previous post, The Garden Path.

For the relevance of alchemy to form, see Alchemy in this journal.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Diamond Theory vs. Story Theory (continued)

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 5:01 PM

Some background

Richard J. Trudeau, a mathematics professor and Unitarian minister, published in 1987 a book, The Non-Euclidean Revolution , that opposes what he calls the Story Theory of truth [i.e., Quine, nominalism, postmodernism] to what he calls the traditional Diamond Theory of truth [i.e., Plato, realism, the Roman Catholic Church]. This opposition goes back to the medieval "problem of universals" debated by scholastic philosophers.

(Trudeau may never have heard of, and at any rate did not mention, an earlier 1976 monograph on geometry, "Diamond Theory," whose subject and title are relevant.)

From yesterday's Sunday morning New York Times

"Stories were the primary way our ancestors transmitted knowledge and values. Today we seek movies, novels and 'news stories' that put the events of the day in a form that our brains evolved to find compelling and memorable. Children crave bedtime stories…."

Drew Westen, professor at Emory University

From May 22, 2009

Poster for 'Diamonds' miniseries on ABC starting May 24, 2009

The above ad is by
  Diane Robertson Design—

Credit for 'Diamonds' miniseries poster: Diane Robertson Design, London

Diamond from last night’s
Log24 entry, with
four colored pencils from
Diane Robertson Design:

Diamond-shaped face of Durer's 'Melencolia I' solid, with  four colored pencils from Diane Robertson Design
 
See also
A Four-Color Theorem.

For further details, see Saturday's correspondences
and a diamond-related story from this afternoon's
online New York Times.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

St. Ursula’s Day

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 4:07 PM

Mathematics and Narrative continued

A search for Ursula in this journal yields a story…

“The main character is a slave woman who discovers new patterns in the mosaics.”

Other such stories: Plato’s Meno  and Changing Woman

Changing Woman:

“Kaleidoscope turning…

Juliette Binoche in 'Blue'  The 24 2x2 Cullinane Kaleidoscope animated images

Shifting pattern within
unalterable structure…”

— Roger Zelazny, Eye of Cat  

Philosophical postscript—

“That Lévi-Strauss should have been able to transmute the romantic passion of Tristes Tropiques  into the hypermodern intellectualism of La Pensée Sauvage  is surely a startling achievement. But there remain the questions one cannot help but ask. Is this transmutation science or alchemy? Is the ‘very simple transformation’ which produced a general theory out of a personal disappointment real or a sleight of hand? Is it a genuine demolition of the walls which seem to separate mind from mind by showing that the walls are surface structures only, or is it an elaborately disguised evasion necessitated by a failure to breach them when they were directly encountered? Is Lévi-Strauss writing, as he seems to be claiming in the confident pages of La Pensée Sauvage,  a prolegomenon to all future anthropology? Or is he, like some uprooted neolithic intelligence cast away on a reservation, shuffling the debris of old traditions in a vain attempt to revivify a primitive faith whose moral beauty is still apparent but from which both relevance and credibility have long since departed?”

— Clifford Geertz, conclusion of “The Cerebral Savage: On the Work of Claude Lévi-Strauss

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Plato’s Code

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 12:00 PM

John Allen Paulos yesterday at Twitter

"Plato's code cracked? http://bit.ly/ad6k1S
Fascinating if not a hoax or hype."

The story that Paulos linked to is about a British
academic who claims to have found some
symbolism hidden in Plato's writings by
splitting each into 12 parts and correlating
the 12 parts with semitones of a musical scale.

I prefer a different approach to Plato that is
related to the following hoax and hype—

HOAX:

From Dan Brown's novel Angels & Demons  (2000)

IMAGE- Illuminati Diamond, pp. 359-360 in 'Angels & Demons,' Simon & Schuster Pocket Books 2005, 448 pages, ISBN 0743412397

HYPE:

Image-- From 'Alchemy,' by Holmyard, the diamond of Aristotle's 4 elements and 4 qualities

This  four-elements diamond summarizes the classical
four elements and four qualities neatly, but some scholars
might call the figure "hype" since it deals with an academically
disreputable subject, alchemy, and since its origin is unclear.

For the four elements' role in some literature more respectable
than Dan Brown's, see Poetry's Bones.

Although an author like Brown might spin the remarks
below into a narrative—  The Plato Code — they are
neither  hoax nor hype.

NOT  HOAX:

Image-- From the Diamond in Plato's Meno to Modern Finite Geometry

NOT  HYPE:

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10A/100626-CrossOnSocratesSm.gif

For related non-hoax, non-hype remarks, see
The Rational Enterprise: Logos in Plato's Theaetetus,
by Rosemary Desjardins.

Those who prefer  hoax and hype in their philosophy may consult
the writings of, say, Barbara Johnson, Rosalind Krauss, and—
in yesterday's NY Times's  "The Stone" columnNancy Bauer.

Image-- The Philosophers' Stone according to The New York Times

— The New York Times

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tuesday July 28, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:00 AM
Monumental
Anniversary

Four hundredth anniversary of the Sea Venture's shipwreck at Bermuda

The Associated Press this morning —

“Today’s Highlight in History:

On July 28, 1609, the English ship Sea Venture, commanded by Admiral Sir George Somers, ran ashore on Bermuda after nearly foundering at sea during a storm.”

“… the Sea Venture story is two tales in one. There’s the hurricane at sea, and then there is the Bermuda wreck becoming an inspiration for ‘The Tempest.’ The first is one of the most dramatic adventures of the era, and the second is a fascinating detective story.”

Robert Sean Brazil, scholar


“It has been a commonplace in English literary criticism that Shakespeare’s play, ‘The Tempest,’ was modeled on these accounts…. However, this common wisdom is almost certainly a falsity. A monumental error.”
Related material:

Plot summary by “Anonymous” at imdb.com of a feminist film version of “The Tempest” (now in post-production):

“In Julie Taymor’s version of ‘The Tempest,’ the gender of Prospero has been switched to Prospera. Going back to the 16th or 17th century, women practicing the magical arts of alchemy were often convicted of witchcraft.”

Taymor’s “Tempest” stars, as Prospera, the famed portrayer of monarchs Helen Mirren. Another work dealing with alchemy suitable for Mirren (who is also known as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison):

The Eight, by Katherine Neville, is perhaps the greatest bad novel of the twentieth century. If it were made into a movie, who should be cast as the Black Queen? (“…the dignified silver-haired woman danced sinuously…” — p. 241)


'Prime Suspect'-- Helen Mirren as Inspector Tennison

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday July 15, 2009

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:09 AM
The Plot Thickens

Thanks to David Lavery
see previous entry— the
word for today is…
 
Cover of 'Zaddik,' a novel by David Rosenbaum

"As the story develops, an
 element of magical realism
 enters the picture."
Amazon review   

Related material:

For background on magical
realism, see the update to
today's previous entry.

See also
A Year of Magical Thinking
(June 6, 2009) and
the entries of May 19-22,
featuring Judy Davis in…

Poster for 'Diamonds' miniseries on ABC starting May 24, 2009

(Cf. St. Bridget's Day, 2003)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday July 14, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 8:00 AM
For Galois on Bastille Day
 
Elements
of Finite Geometry


Some fans of the alchemy in
Katherine Neville’s novel
The Eight and in Dan Brown’s
   novel Angels & Demons may
  enjoy the following analogy–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/090714-Lattices.jpg

Note that the alchemical structure
at left, suited more to narrative
than to mathematics, nevertheless
 is mirrored within the pure
mathematics at right.

Related material
on Galois and geometry:

Geometries of the group PSL(2, 11)

by Francis Buekenhout, Philippe Cara, and Koen Vanmeerbeek. Geom. Dedicata, 83 (1-3): 169–206, 2000–

http://www.log24.com/log/pix09A/090714-Intro.jpg

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday May 22, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:29 AM
Steiner System

New York Times
banner this morning:

NYT banner, 9:21 AM Friday, May 22, 2009-- Ears are ads for HSBC.

Click to enlarge.

Related material from
July 11, 2008:

HSBC logo with framed version

The HSBC Logo Designer —

Henry Steiner

Henry Steiner, designerHe is an internationally recognized corporate identity consultant. Based in Hong Kong, his work for clients such as HongkongBank, IBM and Unilever is a major influence in Pacific Rim design.

Born in Austria and raised in New York, Steiner was educated at Yale under Paul Rand and attended the Sorbonne as a Fulbright Fellow. He is a past President of Alliance Graphique Internationale. Other professional affiliations include the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Chartered Society of Designers, Design Austria, and the New York Art Directors' Club.

His Cross-Cultural Design: Communicating in the Global Marketplace was published by Thames and Hudson (1995).

Yaneff.com

 

Charles Taylor,
"Epiphanies of Modernism,"
Chapter 24 of Sources of the Self
  (Cambridge U. Press, 1989, p. 477):

 

"… the object sets up
 a kind of frame or space or field
   within which there can be epiphany."

 

Related material suggested by
an ad last night on
ABC's Ugly Betty season finale:

Poster for 'Diamonds' miniseries on ABC starting May 24, 2009

Credit for 'Diamonds' miniseries poster: Diane Robertson Design, London

Diamond from last night's
Log24 entry, with
four colored pencils from
Diane Robertson Design:

Diamond-shaped face of Durer's 'Melencolia I' solid, with  four colored pencils from Diane Robertson Design
 
See also
A Four-Color Theorem.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday March 19, 2009

Filed under: General — m759 @ 4:00 AM
An image from
 
Quintessence:
A Glass Bead Game

 
by Charles Cameron

Christ and the four elements, 1495

Christ and the Four Elements

This 1495 image is found in
The Janus Faces of Genius:
The Role of Alchemy
in Newton's Thought
,

by B. J. T. Dobbs,
Cambridge U. Press,
2002, p. 85

From
Kernel of Eternity:

Pauli's Dream Square from 'The Innermost Kernel'

From
Sacerdotal Jargon
at Harvard
:

The Klein Four-Group: The four elements in four colors, with black points representing the identity

From "The Fifth Element"
(1997, Milla Jovovich
    and Bruce Willis) —

The crossing of the beams:

The Fifth Element, crossing of the beams

Happy birthday, Bruce Willis.
 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday March 6, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 7:30 PM
The Illuminati Stone

TV listing for this evening —
Family Channel, 7:30 PM:

"Harry Potter and
  the Sorcerer's Stone"

In other entertainment news —
Scheduled to open May 15:

IMAGE- Illuminati Diamond, pp. 359-360 in 'Angels & Demons,' Simon & Schuster Pocket Books 2005, 448 pages, ISBN 0743412397

"Only gradually did I discover
what the mandala really is:
'Formation, Transformation,
Eternal Mind's eternal recreation'"
(Faust, Part Two)

Carl Gustav Jung  

Related material:

"For just about half a century, E.J. Holmyard's concisely-titled Alchemy has served as a literate, well-informed, and charming introduction to the history and literature of Western alchemy." —Ian Myles Slater

From 'Alchemy,' by Holmyard, the diamond of Aristotle's 4 elements and 4 qualities

For more about this
"prime matter" (prima materia)
see The Diamond Archetype

The Diamond Cross

and Holy the Firm.

 

Background:

Holmyard —

'Alchemy,' by Holmyard, back cover of Dover edition

— and Aristotle's
On Generation and Corruption.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday March 2, 2009

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 11:30 AM
Joyce's Nightmare
continues

Today in History – March 2

Today is Monday, March 2, the 61st day of 2009. There are 304 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On March 2, 1939, Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was elected Pope on his 63rd birthday; he took the name Pius XII.

IMAGE- Illuminati Diamond, pp. 359-360 in 'Angels & Demons,' Simon & Schuster Pocket Books 2005, 448 pages, ISBN 0743412397

 

Log24 on June 9, 2008

From Gravity's Rainbow (Penguin Classics, 1995), page 563:

"He brings out the mandala he found.
'What's it mean?'
[….]

Slothrop gives him the mandala. He hopes it will work like the mantra that Enzian told him once, mba-kayere (I am passed over), mba-kayere… a spell […]. A mezuzah. Safe passage through a bad night…."

 

In lieu of Slothrop's mandala, here is another…

Christ and the four elements, 1495
 

Christ and the Four Elements

This 1495 image is found in
The Janus Faces of Genius:
The Role of Alchemy
in Newton's Thought,
by B. J. T. Dobbs,
Cambridge University Press,
2002, p. 85


Related mandalas:Diamond arrangement of the four elements
and

Logo by Steven H. Cullinane for website on finite geometry

For further details,
click on any of the
three mandalas above.

 

Angels and Demons cross within a diamond (page 306), and Finite Geometry logo

Happy birthday to
Tom Wolfe, author of
The Painted Word.
 

Monday, June 9, 2008

Monday June 9, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:20 PM
Lying Rhymes

Readers of the previous entry
who wish to practice their pardes
may contemplate the following:

NY Lottery June 9, 2008: mid-day 007, evening 563

 
The evening 563 may, as in other recent entries, be interpreted as a page number in Gravity’s Rainbow (Penguin Classics, 1995). From that page:

“He brings out the mandala he found.
‘What’s it mean?’
[….]
Slothrop gives him the mandala. He hopes it will work like the mantra that Enzian told him once, mba-kayere (I am passed over), mba-kayere… a spell […]. A mezuzah. Safe passage through a bad night….”

In lieu of Slothrop’s mandala, here
is another, from the Dante link
in today’s previous entry:

Christ and the four elements, 1495

Christ and the Four Elements

This 1495 image is found in
The Janus Faces of Genius:
The Role of Alchemy

in Newton’s Thought,
by B. J. T. Dobbs,
Cambridge University Press,
2002, p. 85


Related mandalas:

Diamond arrangement of the four elements

and

Logo by Steven H. Cullinane for website on finite geometry

For further details,
click on any of the
three mandalas above.

“For every kind of vampire,
there is a kind of cross.”

— Thomas Pynchon, quoted
here on 9/13, 2007

(As for today’s New York Lottery midday number 007, see (for instance) Edward Rothstein in today’s New York Times on paradise, and also Tom Stoppard on heaven as “just a lying rhyme” for seven.)

Time of entry: 10:20:55 PM

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Saturday August 11, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 10:00 PM
Four Colours

The previous entry dealt with Plato's myth of the ring of Gyges that conferred invisibility. Another legendary ring, from Hermann Hesse, with some background from Carl Jung:

From C. G. Jung, Collected Works (Princeton U. Press), Volume 12– Psychology and Alchemy (1944)– Part II– "Individual Dream Symbolism in Relation to Alchemy"– Chapter 3, "The Symbolism of the Mandala"– as quoted in Jung, Dreams, published by Routledge, 2001– Page 265–
 

"… the dreamer is wandering about in a dark cave, where a battle is going on between good and evil. But there is also a prince who knows everything. He gives the dreamer a ring set with a diamond….

Visual impression (waking dream):

The dreamer is falling into the abyss. At the bottom there is a bear whose eyes gleam alternately in four colours: red, yellow, green, and blue. Actually it has four eyes that change into four lights. The bear disappears and the dreamer goes through a long dark tunnel. Light is shimmering at the far end. A treasure is there, and on top of it the ring with the diamond. It is said that this ring will lead him on a long journey to the east."

Hermann Hesse, The Journey to the East (1932):

"'… Despair is the result of each earnest attempt to go through life with virtue, justice, and understanding and to fulfil their requirements. Children live on one side of despair, the awakened on the other side. Defendant H. is no longer a child and is not yet fully awakened. He is still in the midst of despair. He will overcome it and thereby go through his second novitiate. We welcome him anew into the League, the meaning of which he no longer claims to understand. We give back to him his lost ring, which the servant Leo has kept for him.'

The Speaker then brought the ring, kissed me on the cheek and placed the ring on my finger. Hardly had I looked at the ring, hardly had I felt its metallic coolness on my fingers, when a thousand things occurred to me, a thousand inconceivable acts of neglect. Above all, it occurred to me that the ring had four stones at equal distances apart, and that it was a rule of the League and part of the vow to turn the ring slowly on the finger at least once a day, and at each of the four stones to bring to mind one of the four basic precepts of the vow. I had not only lost the ring and had not once missed it, but during all those dreadful years I had also no longer repeated the four basic precepts or thought of them. Immediately, I tried to say them again inwardly. I had an idea what they were, they were still within me, they belonged to me as does a name which one will remember in a moment but at that particular moment cannot be recalled. No, it remained silent within me, I could not repeat the rules, I had forgotten the wording. I had forgotten the rules; for many years I had not repeated them, for many years I had not observed them and held them sacred– and yet I had considered myself a loyal League brother.

The Speaker patted my arm kindly when he observed my dismay and deep shame."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday July 30, 2007

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 7:00 PM
The Deathly Hallows Symbol

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070730-HallowsSymbol.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Some fear that the Harry Potter books introduce children to the occult; they are not entirely mistaken.

According to Wikipedia, the “Deathly Hallows” of the final Harry Potter novel are “three fictional magical objects that appear in the book.”

The vertical line, circle, and triangle in the symbol pictured above are said to refer to these three magical objects.

One fan relates the “Deathly Hallows” symbol above, taken from the spine of a British children’s edition of the book, to a symbol for “the divine (or sacred, or secret) fire” of alchemy. She relates this fire in turn to “serpent power” and the number seven:

Kristin Devoe at a Potter fan site:

“We know that seven is a powerful number in the novels. Tom Riddle calls it ‘the most powerfully magic number.‘ The ability to balance the seven chakras within oneself allows the person to harness the secret fire. This secret fire in alchemy is the same as the kundalini or coiled snake in yogic philosophy. It is also known as ‘serpent power’ or the ‘dragon’ depending on the tradition. The kundalini is polar in nature and this energy, this internal fire, is very powerful for those who are able to harness it and it purifies the aspirant allowing them the knowledge of the universe. This secret fire is the Serpent Power which transmutes the base metals into the Perfect Gold of the Sun.

It is interesting that the symbol of the caduceus in alchemy is thought to have been taken from the symbol of the kundalini. Perched on the top of the caduceus, or the staff of Hermes, the messenger of the gods and revealer of alchemy, is the golden snitch itself! Many fans have compared this to the scene in The Order of the Phoenix where Harry tells Dumbledore about the attack on Mr. Weasley and says, ‘I was the snake, I saw it from the snake’s point of view.

The chapter continues with Dumbledore consulting ‘one of the fragile silver instruments whose function Harry had never known,’ tapping it with his wand:

The instrument tinkled into life at once with rhythmic clinking noises. Tiny puffs of pale green smoke issued from the minuscule silver tube at the top. Dumbledore watched the smoke closely, his brow furrowed, and after a few seconds, the tiny puffs became a steady stream of smoke that thickened and coiled into he air… A serpent’s head grew out of the end of it, opening its mouth wide. Harry wondered whether the instrument was confirming his story; He looked eagerly at Dumbledore for a sign that he was right, but Dumbledore did not look up.

“Naturally, Naturally,” muttered Dumbledore apparently to himself, still observing the stream of smoke without the slightest sign of surprise. “But in essence divided?”

Harry could make neither head not tail of this question. The smoke serpent, however split instantly into two snakes, both coiling and undulating in the dark air. With a look of grim satisfaction Dumbledore gave the instrument another gentle tap with his wand; The clinking noise slowed and died, and the smoke serpents grew faint, became a formless haze, and vanished.

Could these coiling serpents of smoke be foreshadowing events to come in Deathly Hallows where Harry learns to ‘awaken the serpent’ within himself? Could the snake’s splitting in two symbolize the dual nature of the kundalini?”

Related material

The previous entry

“And the serpent’s eyes shine    
As he wraps around the vine
In The Garden of Allah” —

and the following
famous illustration of
the double-helix
structure of DNA:

 Odile Crick, drawing of DNA structure in the journal Nature, 1953
This is taken from
a figure accompanying
an obituary, in today’s
New York Times, of the
artist who drew the figure
.

The double helix
is not a structure
from magic; it may,
however, as the Rowling
quote above shows, have
certain occult uses,
better suited to
Don Henley’s
Garden of Allah
than to the
  Garden of Apollo.

Seven is Heaven...

Similarly, the three objects
above (Log24 on April 9)
are from pure mathematics–
the realm of Apollo, not
of those in Henley’s song.

The similarity of the
top object of the three —
the “Fano plane” — to
the “Deathly Hallows”
symbol is probably
entirely coincidental.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Thursday January 30, 2003

Filed under: General — m759 @ 2:45 AM

Poetic Justice:
The Peacock Throne

Yesterday was the death day of two proponents of Empire: George III (in 1820) and Robert Frost (in 1963).  Lord Byron argued that the King slipped through heaven's gate unobserved while a friend distracted St. Peter with bad poetry.  We may imagine, on this dark night of the soul, Frost performing a similar service.

Though poets of the traditional sort may still perform such services in Heaven, here on earth they have been superseded by writers of song lyrics.  An example, Roddy Frame (formerly of the group "Aztec Camera"), was born on yesterday's date in 1964.  A Frame lyric:

Transformed by some strange alchemy,*
You stand apart and point to me
And point to something I can't see….

Back Door to Heaven         

Namely:

    The Back Door to Heaven    

For poetic purposes, we may think of surreptitious entry into Heaven as being conveniently accomplished through a portal like the above back door, which is that of a small hotel in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

This is not your average Motel 6 back door.  As a former New York Times correspondent has written,

"Over the years, the guest list has drawn the likes of Prince Philip and the Shah of Iran, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. But informality still reigns."

This small hotel (or its heavenly equivalent), whose gardens are inhabited by various exotic birds, including peacocks, may still be haunted by the late Shah, who apparently styled himself "King of Kings and Emperor of the Peacock Throne."  Of course, the ghost of the King of Kings, after entering the garden of Paradise, may not be able to resume his former human shape.  He might still, however, be among those greeted by his fellow Emperor, George III, with the famous words

"My Lords and Peacocks…"

*For more on alchemy and Cuernavaca, see
  my journal note "The Black Queen."

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