Sacred Geometry: The National Mall

In The Star Family, I wrote about the sacred geometry of Washington, D.C. I had Knight walk Jane down the National Mall and explain it as a Tree of Life. Also there was a magical battle to reclaim this tree for the light.

Capitol DomeMany people have spread this idea that the National Mall is built as a Kabalistic Tree of Life. Some dispute this idea, pointing to the fact that L’Enfant’s original plan stopped just past the White House and the far side was still marsh. Masons have continued to influence the architecture in D.C., however, embodying spiritual principles in stone, wood and landscapes.

Many place the Capitol at the foot of the Tree, representing Malkuth, Earth. This is where the ideals of liberty and freedom are supposed to be made manifest in law. If the Capitol is the foot of the Tree, then the Lincoln Memorial is the top, representing Kether, pure consciousness. The Gettysburg Address and Lincoln’s second inaugural speech are inscribed there. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his moving “I Have a Dream” speech from its steps.

I’m not sure how Chokmah and Binah are represented on the National Mall, but the next levels do seem clear. The White House stands at Chesed, the station of Mercy, the place of ideal rulership. The Jefferson Memorial represents Geburah, ideal justice. Inside, Jefferson’s idea of a world ruled by justice inspires the visitor. The Jefferson Memorial is backed up by the Pentagon, a five-pointed star, a prominent symbol for this fifth station on the Tree.

Washington Monument 1The Washington Memorial is the heart of the Tree, Tiphareth, represented by an obelisk. In ancient Egypt, the name for obelisk was “Ib-Ra,” with “Ib” meaning heart:  the heart of the sun. The Washington Memorial stretches high into the sky to capture the sun, the planet of this sphere, and channel that energy back down to illuminate the Tree and spread that light all through the governing bodies of the U.S.

The National Museum of Art, the Sculpture Garden, the National Archives and American and National History hold Netzach’s place on the Tree. Netzach is Victory, expressing the bounteous energy behind the arts and literature. Across the mall, we find Hod represented by the Air and Space Museum and the Department of Agriculture. Hod takes the exuberant energy of Netzach and brings form to it. The intellect and science reign more on this side of the mall, balancing the arts.

Fountain outside Capitol BuildingYesod is probably the fountain in front of the Capitol. Yesod is the Moon, the Imagination. Perhaps it needs to be better represented on the mall. The Capitol Building receives all this energy and is topped by a statue of Liberty. Malkuth is represented by a Queen on her Throne.

Some people on the web have suggested that all this mysticism is satanic. Why? Because it uses pagan imagery. Because the National Mall is supposed to be aligned to Sirius. More learned writers say the whole city is aligned to constellation Virgo and dedicated to the Goddess. But satanic? The Masons are one of the recipients of a stream of wisdom that has been passed down through the ages, through different religious and spiritual expressions of those ideas. Seeing the common teachings in different religions is not evil. It is the opposite.

Has the United States harnessed all this idealism and expressed it perfectly yet? No. We are still striving for a more perfect union, just like it says in the preamble of the constitution. Have the opposite energies sometimes flowed through the Tree that is the National Mall? I imagined this in The Star Family. Next time you walk there, imagine the balanced expression of each of those Ideals manifesting themselves to flow through that grid and bring us more in harmony with our ideals.

Interview with Thriller Writer J. Robert Kennedy

Today please welcome J. Robert Kennedy. I discovered his first book The Protocol during an Amazon Kindle sale. Much to my delight, it was about crystal skulls. As many of you know, Stephen and I met during a meditation session with Max, the Texas Skull. Max makes a guest appearance in my second book, Beneath the Hallowed Hill. Stephen started researching the skulls in the 1980 at the Rosicrucian headquarters in San Jose and has written a book with David Hatcher Childress, The Crystal Skulls:  Astonishing Portals to Man’s Past. So I recognized great research when I read it and enjoyed the first of many thrill rides with archeologist James Acton. It’s an honor to have a best-selling writer visit us.

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Please tell us a little about yourself.

I wrote my first story when I was five. Everyone in it died. I still have it, illustrations and all. I think it ends with something like, “And no one in the kingdom was ever happy again.” Creative Writing was my favorite part of school and I still have many of my short story assignments in a filing cabinet somewhere. When I look back at them occasionally I have to laugh at what I put my poor English teachers through. My favorite teacher was my grade 8 & 9 Language Arts teacher, Miss Boss. I was able to find her on Facebook and send her some of my books. I even dedicated one to her, and named a character after her in another.

As an adult, career and family came first, but I was haunted for years by the vision of a young girl walking through tall grass, the blades flowing through her fingers. One night about ten years ago I finally sat down and wrote the story. A few years later after encouragement from friends I sent it to a magazine and it was immediately accepted. Another short story acceptance and I was ready to try a novel.

A friend had just seen a documentary on the crystal skulls and suggested I write a book about them.

Challenge accepted.

This book, The Protocol, was accepted by a traditional publisher; however after many headaches and false starts, it was finally published after over three years of waiting. My second novel was accepted by a different traditional publisher, but the eBook craze had just started and I decided after my first experience going independent might be a good idea. A month later I bought back my rights to The Protocol.

Three years and fifteen best sellers later and I think I made the right decision.

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Please tell us about your latest book.

My latest book is called The Venice Code. It is book #8 in my James Acton Thrillers series, and ties up a lot of loose ends left dangling as teasers in previous novels. It is closely tied to my debut novel, The Protocol, as it deals with the discovery of a thirteenth crystal skull. It’s written in such a way that you don’t need to have read The Protocol or the other novels to enjoy it, however if you do like it, please feel free to buy the others to see how it all ended up culminating in The Venice Code.

Does this book fit into a series?

Yes, it does. The focus is on two archeology professors—now engaged—James Acton and Laura Palmer. They keep stumbling into situations that have them fighting for their lives, and friends made along the way either try to help them or they them, such as a crotchety Interpol agent, a young Scotland Yard detective, and the elite Delta Force. Acton has been described as Indiana Jones meets Jack Bauer.

How did you prepare to write about the book’s specific area or field of study?

My process is to just start writing and see where it goes. As I move forward, anything that I don’t have an answer to, such as a character name, a location, a type of weapon, etc, I’ll just put an X or Y in the document so it doesn’t slow me down. I then have an open email where I put questions for my researcher (my dad!) who then looks up the information I need to fill in those X’s and Y’s. It makes for a very quick, efficient process.

How does this book fit into your real-life interests?
I love action movies, and when I write I picture everything as a movie so I visualize the fights, the gun battles, the explosions and try to convey that on the page. Growing up as a military brat I was exposed to the military life constantly, and loved it. I am a huge supporter of our troops and try to highlight the sacrifices they make every day in my books.

What are you working on right now?

I’m working on Acton #9 right now. I can tell you that it once again mixes the historical with a modern day, “ripped from the headlines” event. If you want to know more, you’ll have to buy the book!

 My website:  http://www.jrobertkennedy.com

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/J.-Robert-Kennedy/e/B004GV2OR6

http://www.amazon.co.uk/J-Robert-Kennedy/e/B004GV2OR6

Kobo:  http://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/Search/Query?q=j+robert+kennedy

 

Comenius and the Rosicrucians

In The Star Family I suggested that Comenius was a Rosicrucian, therefore having strong ties to mysticism and the Western Metaphysical tradition. How true is this?

comeniusFirst, who is Comenius? Born Jan Amos Komenský in 1592 in in the town of Nivnice in Moravia, a Province of Bohemia now in the Czech Republic, he was orphaned at the age of 12 after his parents died from plague. Raised in the Unity of the Brethren, known as the Moravian Church in the US, he resisted Ferdinand II’s attempts to return Bohemia and Moravia to Catholicism. He went into hiding during the Thirty Years War, and then fled to Poland where he kept what is now called “the hidden seed” of the church alive to reblossom in 1722 in Saxony.

Best known for educational reform, Comenius supported universal education for all (including women and the poor), taught logical thinking over memorization, stressed the importance of physical activity for children, compassionate guidance over harsh punishment, and developing concepts from the simple to the complex.

He espoused teaching “all things, “ a philosophy he called “Pansophia,“ “a doctrine of universal harmonies, and a connection between the inner world of man and the outer world of nature” (Yates 217). Comenius said he was influenced toward this idea and writing encyclopedias by Johann Valentin Andreae. Remember him? One of the seventeenth century founders (or publicizers) of the Rosicrucian movement.

Both Comenius and Andreae attended university at Heidelberg at the same time that Frederick and Elizabeth began their rule of the Palatine. Remember their aim was to create a Rosicrucian state there, according to Frances Yates. See how it’s all coming together? So Comenius was influenced by the Rosicrucians in his youth, and as Yates points out, the philosophy and teachings of the Unitas Fratrum most likely influenced Andreae and the Rosicrucians just as much.

He continued to read Rosicrucian documents as evidenced by his long discussion of them in his famous Labyrinth of the World (see Yates 210-219). Both Andreae and Comenius moved away from using the title “Rosicrucian” when the organization went into disfavor in Europe, but they continued to teach the same ideas.

I found the last piece of evidence that convinced me Comenius was a member, perhaps even the head, of the Rosicrucian Order in Rosicrucian Question and Answers with Complete History by Harvey Spencer Lewis, their Imperator from 1915 to 1939.  In a list of “either Masters of various Lodges or [those who] assisted in bringing the mystic fraternity into their respective countries” (89), Comenius’s name is found right below Andreae’s on page 91.

Comenius lost two families to religious persecution. His library was burned twice. He lived most of his live in exile from Bohemia. He and members of his family achieved many things that I don’t have the space to discuss here. Comenius is buried in Naarden, Holland.

The Sacred Spring

The climax of The Star Family takes place at the source of a sacred spring that flows out into Washington Park. Does such a place exist?

Washington Park exists. I played in the park as a child in a mossy grotto with a creek, rocks, a couple of deep pool (well, they were deep for a child), and crayfish. Water trickled down the rocks, creating a special feel. I used to tell my friend Susan that a good witch lived there in a childish attempt to express how magical I felt the place to be.

Here’s a picture of it from 2013 when I visited in the spring. It’s much smaller than I remembered it, but I am taller now.Washington Park 6

I don’t know the source of this creek. The little stream runs down a hill across the street from the park in a small open space that has never been built on. As far as I know, no cave exists like the one I added to the novel.

Imagine my delight when I discovered there definitely is a spring in Washington Park. Michael Breedlove talks about it in his article “Secret sites, hidden history, and natural wonders inside the city.” This spring on the hillside near Gloria Avenue used to feed Forgotten Lake in Washington Park, “a grand lake that offered sailing in the summer and ice skating in the winter.” Drained decades ago, the only remaining evidence of it is the steps to the lake on a sloping hill near the Gloria Avenue entrance. I wonder if this is the same spot. It’s hard to tell from both his description and picture.

Digital Forsyth has two images of a spring house in its archives. They come up when you search for “Washington Park,” but the captions say one is from Old Salem Park and the other says Wachovia Park, “established in 1884 out of a strip of woodland separating the Salem Academy and College and Salem Cemetery.” That’s where the May Queen used to be crowned at Salem College before that practice was stopped. I have Jane walk here with her friend Roxanne in the novel.

spring house at washington park 2 spring house at washington park

It’s interesting that we think we’ve made something up, but it turns out there’s some truth in it after all.

Rosicrucians, Moravians and The Thirty Years War

Last week I talked about how Frederick V and Elizabeth wanted to create an ideal court based in Rosicrucian teachings, according to Frances Yates (The Rosicrucian Enlightenment). They moved their court from Heidelberg to Prague.

The Protestant estates of Bohemia rebelled against Ferdinand, their Catholic king, in 1618. Frederick, as head of the Protestant Union, was asked to take the throne. He was crowned Frederick I, King of Bohemia, on November 4, 1619. Frederick had hoped for the support of Elizabeth’s father, the king of England, but James I did offer military assistance. The Protestant Union sealed the deal with the Treaty of Ulm in 1620, in which they promised neutrality in the war. The hope to overthrow Hapsburg and Catholic rule in Bohemia failed at the Battle of White Mountain on November 8, 1620. Frederick ruled as King of Bohemia for one year and four days, thus earning the nickname The Winter King. The imperial forces invaded the Palatinate and the royal family fled to the Dutch Republic.

The attempted to create the ideal court was defeated that day, but the dream lived on.

Members of the Unitas Fratrum, known as the Moravian Church in America, fought with Frederick during this war. “With the Peace of Westphalia at war’s end, Catholicism became the official religion of Bohemia and Moravia. The few surviving members of the Unitas Fratrum either left their homeland or worshiped in secret, becoming known as ‘The Hidden Seed’” (Determining the Facts).

How connected were the Unitas Fratrum to the Rosicrucian ideal Frederick and Elizabeth hoped to create? Let’s explore Moravian and Rosicrucian connections next week.

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