Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Nieu Bethesda


Dear Friends, 


Yann Martel, in his 2002 Booker Prize novel: ‘Life of Pi’, writes: 


  “The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.”    


This is true, but at the same time, considering the control of the media by vested interest, we need to work for the open ground of the public arena. For example, one little action by the late Rosa Parks had vast repercussions. So too, the latest: 

The Nobel lecture: Art, truth and politics:  This is the text of the lecture to be given by Harold Pinter when he receives the 2005  Nobel prize for literature on Saturday. Forbidden by doctors from going to Stockholm to  receive the £720,000 prize, the ailing playwright and poet has delivered his speech by video . . this can be read online, as published by The Guardian, London, Wednesday December 7, 2005, 

I also just read: Margaret Atwood, Crake and Oryx A stunning novel which confirms my belief that contemporary writing is delivering a much more important message than the vain posturings of modern Art. Just finished the Philip Pullman Trilogy: His Dark Materials - which under the surface contains a rich stream of Gnostic speculation and  some magnificent ideas and images. And for a heartfelt  journey through Love and AIDS do read: Edmund White, The Married Man,  Chatto & Windus, London, 2000.


STEPHEN KARCHER writes: I am finally coming out of the Village Beneath the Water. My website with a new downloadable Consultation Program is up and running. If you would, please take a look and put the news out with a link to:

Would be happy to talk with you about any of this. love and blessings, Stephen Karcher



The new animated film of Hayao Miyazaki, Howl’s Moving Castle is now on circuit . . it features the voices of Jean Simmons; Christian Bale; Lauren Bacall; Blythe Danner; Emily Mortimer; Josh Hutcherson and Billy Crystal. The film recently played to great acclaim at the 2004 Venice Film Festival . . . hopefully will be released in South Africa for the Christmas holidays. Do not miss . . . his last film, Spirited Away, was brilliant, and from the previews this looks even better.


Some new research material on THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE, Arcanum 10  the THE TAROT

Beautiful collection of Art on the theme of VENUS 


And here, a valuable image of:  THE MEMORY THEATRE OF CAMILLO




Depictions of Jesters and Fools in Medieval and Renaissance Art

Grimani Breviary. 1490-1510. Illumination on parchment. Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Venice

Mystical Encounters

New exhibition at Houghton shows how Renaissance scholars used ancient Jewish Kabbalah to prove Christian doctrines



Michael Stevenson Contemporary  -   F r e d   P a g e   ( 1908 - 1984). A sadly neglected, visionary Port Elizabeth artist. One image only.


Carlson's Fractal Gallery



The magical amulet collection at the University of Michigan's Taubman Medical Library was a gift of Dr. Fredrick A. Coller. The amulets were collected and formerly owned by Dr. Campbell Bonner. Dr. Bonner purchased the amulets in Syria and Egypt and from dealers in Greece and England. According to Dr. Bonner's definition, an amulet is, "any object which by its contact or close proximity to the person who owns it, or to any possession of his, exerts power for his good, either by keeping evil from him and his property or by endowing his with positive advantages. " *  

Legends of the Gods, The Egyptian Texts, edited with Translations, by E. A. Wallis Budge [1912]




The Chemical Wedding, by Lindsey Clarke.  Based on the life of Mary A. Attwood, whose original book on alchemy is online at:  

A Suggestive Inquiry into the Hermetic Mystery


Pointers to Esotericism in the Early Tarots  by Christine Payne-Towler. 
Medieval World View, Dr. Charles Bergengren, Cleveland Institute of Art 



Excerpt from Foreword to Meditations on the Tarot 

Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar A catholic Christian Hermetic version of the Tarot.



Try the wonderful Monica Ramos on harp; or   BLISS – Music for Dreams - Danish Copenhagen group. Marc-George Andersen & Steffen Aaskoven; or David Daniels . . .a wonderful counter tenor . .




The Directory is a who’s who pf parliament, listing MP’s and other members of staff, their roles, qualifications, professional history and contact details.


The Contact Trust keeps non-governmental organizations, lobby groups and community based organizations informed on what is happening in parliament. It was founded in 1988 because new legislation passed through parliament every day without the input of the communities directly affected. It forms a link between civil society and the legislature.




The Circle, The Wheel of Fortune, and The Rose Window 


Rose Windows: Beyond Art to Mysticism includes the Tao, Christian mysticism and Carl Jung as references in this scholarly view on the rise of the Gothic.


The Architecture Of Notre-Dame Of Chartres: The Victory Over Darkness is a highly polished history that follows the transformation of Romanesque’s gloom-and-doom to Gothic’s ‘invasion of light.’


Stories abound as to the Grail’s current whereabouts: In England? Wales? Italy? Spain? The World Wide Web is a depository for clues new and old in the quest for the one, true Holy Grail…

For a quick, illustrated overview, Earthlore Explorations highlights the restorative and healing powers of The Holy Grail as told in literature. With quotes from the writings of Alfred Lord Tennyson and Thomas Mallory…

Holy Grail site covering the cultural legends and locations where the Grail may yet be found…


From Medieval to Modern in the Islamic World. The 2001-2002 Sawyer Seminar at the University of Chicago. Thomas E. Burman, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Reading the Qur'an in Latin Christendom, 1140-1540

Read about medieval Islamic contributions to the West in the fields of mathematics, zoology, medicine and physics - with thumbnail biographies and images at Muslim Scientists and Islamic Civilization

Follow the dynamic menu to museums around the world exhibiting Islamic Art & Architecture

Although Islam forbad figurative images in art, that only extended to the religious sphere. Islamic Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art… 

A U.S. tourist company introduces travelers to Cairo’s Blue Mosque and dozens of other Monuments and Sights as part of a generous architectural history tour…







Cape Town Medi-Spa, in conjunction with the Office of Tibet in South Africa, is proud to inaugurate a Tibet support group on Monday 6th Feb at 6pm. This is ahead of the launching of the South African Inter-Parliamentary Group for Tibet (SAIPGT) in Parliament in Cape Town.

The mission of TARA is to facilitate and share resources for cultural exchange and support. Based at the Medi-Spa, the Cape Town chapter is open to all who are interested in learning about and supporting increased awareness

s of the immense wellspring of Tibetan spiritual wisdom. 

Ongoing activities will include:


The launch on Feb 6th will be addressed by the Chairperson of the Assembly of Tibetan People's Deputies from Dharamsala. Vegetarian snacks and refreshments will be served.

Cape Town Medi-Spa, 99 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town, Western Cape, Tel:  021 426 1156 | f: 021 426 1136. email: |



Gregorian Chant Group Workshops: Gregorian chant is also known as plainchant or plainsong, and is a form of monophonic, unaccompanied singing, which was developed in the Catholic Church, mainly during the period 800-1000. It takes its name from Pope St. Gregory the Great, who is believed to have brought it to the West based on Eastern models of Byzantine chant. Gustavo is the only teacher of this rare art in South Africa and after being trained internationally, he has customized its therapeutic applications both individually and for groups.

By one of those miracles,  25 copies of THE GARLAND OF MORNING PRAYERS, resurfaced from an archival box. Printed in Cape Town 22 years ago,  these copies are in good condition with a few stains enhancing the paper here and there.

A Donation to cover Postage, where applicable, and to top up the non-existent funds for the work ahead, would be appreciated.


Reprinted by Mandala,  P.O.Box 15438, Vlaeberg, Cape Town South Africa, October 1974.  The Original First Edition ends with: This book comes to you as the bounty of His Majesty the King of Bhutan founder of  monasteries, protector of the Sangha. Published by the nun Karma Khechog Palmo, of the Karma Drubgyu Tharjay Ling Mahayana Buddhist Nunnery, Tilokpur, (Kangra) H.P. in the Holy Land of India in 1970. Illustrated by Tashi Gyamtso, refugee Tibetan artist. PRINTED AT: EMJEET PRINTERS NEW DELHI. Electronic Edition August 21st 1999. It is Offered in Devotion to the Memory of The Venerable Gelongma K.K. Palmo to help spread the Ocean of the Mahayana, by Samten de Wet and Sheila Fugard. 



Hi Samten, thanks for the brilliant set of annotated links, Chris Wildman, Cape Town.


Dear Samten   

What an astonishing resource you have created. Well done and thank you. So much here it could take a life time to cover, and as my time is limited I tend to follow one thread at a time. I also have unfortunately very limited web skills so would be grateful for a little help. Bon Gertz


Hello Samten - Thank you, as always, for this amazingly comprehensive and fascinating newsletter. When do you get the time -? This newsletter of yours is such a valuable service. Thank you! Jennifer Woodhull.


A brief line to inform you how much I enjoy your communications.


Hi Sam, thanks a million times for all your interesting mails, especially for the x-mas and New Year paintings. They are beautiful ! Chris, Amsterdam 

The day is coming, soon, where our interrelatedness will be part of the basis of our understanding of ourselves...

---Govinda Dickman.
January 19, 2006  

What a interesting article! While I knew most of it all along and just needed an article like this to confirm my thoughts. Savi Verapan, Johannesburg, 2006


After yesterdays wonderful article on hope, again, an article that encapsulates everything that I believe in and would hope for. An excellent manifesto for sanity, reason and the aspirations of all who would see the end of suffering for all sentient beings. thanks and lotsa love. Tony van der Veen, Amsterdam.November 25, 2005


This is just to say that I am alive and I'd like to thank you for all the interesting things that you keep sending me. Francesca Faraggiana, Turin, November 23, 2005


Dear Samten,  Just a word to say I think of you often and am very grateful for the amazing information you send me with all the different websites. Anne Baring, London, November 08, 2005


Dear Samten, What an astonishing resource you have created. Well done and thank you. So much here it could take a life time to cover, and as my time is limited I tend to follow one thread at a time. I also have unfortunately very limited web skills so would be grateful for a little help. My current quest is "indigenous soul";  I was captivated  by Ann Baring's Quest of the Goddess and then found enchantment in the Mayan material in Martin Prechtel's books and most recently Malidoma Some "Healing wisdom of Africa". Amazing how the cosmologies resound so with Tibetan Buddhist sources. So what sites will help me trace good material on other indigenous soul, especially from European people? Hope you can help without too much trouble, kind regards, Bon Gertz, Cape Town, November 05, 2005. PS thank you for Exploring consciousness info, I was very involved in the early festivals so glad to se a lively revival and looking forward to many of the offerings


i am in awe of your wonderful web site! Thank you for sending me your work and information!  It is sometimes very lonely working on this alone!  In love and light   Adrienne Verney, August 30, 2005.  


It would be good to meet over a cup of tea one day. With love,  Lucille  Ivydene Accommodation


The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion: Thomas Paine


'If you're really listening, if you're awake to the poignant beauty of the world, your heart breaks  regularly. In fact, your heart is made to break; its purpose is to burst open again and again so  that it can hold ever-more wonders."


-Andrew Harvey, *The Return of the Mother*




subscribe to Sub Rosa: The Daily Grail

Yes, you are seeing things. gotta love it. 


Totally weird and wunnerful stuff. Just click around.


Subject: bubble wrap 


Herewith is a partial list of some new material recently scanned and available, if you need. Please note, that I will NOT automatically send these documents, unless you request them specifically. Yours sincerely,  Samten.

Kaygusuz Abdal, To the Ones Who Would Listen, Translated by Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al Jerrahi. The following text is extracted from Budalanâme, “a letter from one who gave himself up to receive his Lord," written by the fifteenth-century ashik (wandering lover-poet) Kaygusuz Abdal. The original manuscript is located in the Nuruosmaniye Library in Istanbul.





Clarke, Lindsay, Parzival and The Stone from Heaven, HarperCollins, London, 2001.



WILLIAM A. NITZE, The Siege Perilleux and the Lia Fail or "Stone of Destiny" Speculum, 31, 1956, pp. 258  ff.


Otto Brendel, "Origin and Meaning of the Mandorla," Gazette des Beaux-Arts, N.Y., 6 Ser., XXV, 1944, pp. 5-24.


The 2004 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture delivered by Arundhati Roy, at the Seymour Theatre Centre, University of Sydney:  Peace & The New Corporate Liberation Theology .


Welsford. Peter, ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES  - THE LIFE F0RCE, RILKO, 64, 2004, pp. 16 – 17. 


More blood than ink. Pablo Neruda, whose centenary is marked this month, achieved fame with his love poems. But to the Chilean Nobel laureate, politics was the real force behind his verse, writes Adam Feinstein. The Guardian,  3rd July 2004


And where are the lilacs?

Pablo Neruda: A Passion for Life by Adam Feinstein Bloomsbury 497pp

Guardian Weekly, September 10 – 16th 2004


Barb, A.A. Birds and Medical Magic, JWCI, 1950 - Vol. XIII, 13, pp.151ff.

Barb, A.A. Mensa Sacra - The Round Table and the Holy Grail, JWCI, Vol. XIX, (19), 1956, pp. 40 - 67. Fantastic Mandalas of the Round Table.

Otto Brendel, "Origin and Meaning of the Mandorla," Gazette des Beaux-Arts, N.Y., 6 Ser., XXV, 1944, pp. 5-24.


FLINT (V.I.J.), " The Transmission of Astrology in the Early Middle Ages ", in Viator, 21, 1990, pp. 1– 27




Gaster, M. "The Legend of the Grail" in Folk-Lore, Vol.2, 1891.


Gingerich, Owen, Islamic Astronomy, Scientific American, April 1986, volume 354, no.4, pp. 68 ff.



Hooke, S.H. Fish Symbolism, Folklore, 71, 1960, pp. 535 – 537.

Philip Morrison, How the Chinese created paper and printing, Scientific  American, May 1986, Vol. 254, No.5, pp. 18 – 20.

     A superb article on the History of Paper in Ancient China.


Lon R. Shelby, “The Geometrical Knowledge of Mediaeval Master Masons,” 

Speculum, 47, 1972: 


O’MAHONY, JOHN, LONDON CALLING, The Guardian Books, 3rd July 2004


Samuel M. Waxman, Chapters on Magic in Spanish Literature, Revue Hispanique vol. 38, New York-Paris, 1916, pp. 325 ff.


Michael Scott: The great 13th century alchemist: articles by George Sarton and L. Thorndike - 


Material on Castel del Monte in Italy and the TEMPLARS.




Chaper 9 of the great classic: Charles H. Haskins, The Renaissance of the Twelfth  Century, Cambridge, Mass., 1927, pp. 278 ff.




The Art of Healing in Ancient Tibet, B. C. Olschak

What is Tibetan Medicine? Yeshe Dhonden & Gyatsho Tshering

Tibetan Medicine on Cancer, Theodore Burang



And for those of you who can speak or read German, here is a definitive scholar on the  Mantegna Tarocchi:


Brockhaus, Heinrich, Ein edles Geduldspiel: "Die Leitung der Welt oder die Himmelsleiter" die sogenannten Taroks Mantegnas Vom Jahre 1459-60.


Levenson, Jay A. Masters of the Tarocchi. Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, pp. 81 ff. [ MCMLXXIII]


Excellent articles on the symbolism and Medusa, Gorgon  & Artemis Orthia for Goddess Studies.

Elworthy, F. T. A Solution of the Gorgon Myth, Folk-Lore, Vol. 14, pp. 212-242.

Frothingham, A.J. "Medusa, Apollo and The Great Mother" AJA (15) XV, p.349 -377.

Frothingham, A.J. "Medusa" AJA (19) XIX, p.13 -23.

Thompson, M.S. The Asiatic or Winged Artemis, JHS, 1909, p. 286 - 307.

Sheppard, H.J. Chinese and Western Alchemy: The Link through Definition, Ambix, Vol. 32, Part 1, March 1985

Eliade, Mircea. Metallurgy, magic and alchemy. Paris 1939

A most amazing early work by Mircea Eliade on the symbolism of metallury, the embryology of metals, and mining myths.

Conybeare, F.C. The Baetul in Damascius, Transactions of the 3rd International Congress for the History of Religions, Oxford, 1908, Volume II, pp. 179 183.

The baetul is a mysterious Stone that Sings.

Nancy C. Zak, The Earth Mother Figure of Native North America, R e V I S I O N Vol. 10 No. 3.

H. J. SHEPPARD, REVIEW OF De Jong, Michael Maier's ' Atalanta Fugiens'. Sources of an Alchemical Book of Emblems

Sleeper, Helen Joy, The alchemical figures in Count Michael Maier's Atalanta Fugiens, Journal of Chemical Education, 15 (9) September 1938, pp.410 - 415.

Davis, T.L. Count Michael Maier's use of the Symbolism of Alchemy. Journal of Chemical Education 15 (9) Sept.1938.pp.403-410.Item 1290 in Pritchard.

Rendel Harris, J. Some Points in the Cult of the Heavenly Twins, Transactions of the 3rd International Congress for the History of Religions, Oxford, 1908, Volume II, pp. 175-76.