Monday, April 18, 2011

Underground river. Blood and lambs.

All my life I have been fascinated by caves, underground passages, pyramids, the Valley of the Kings. The idea that there are passageways, interconnecting, catacombs and lost worlds, all right under our feet, has excited and maybe occasionally obsessed me for as long as I’ve been awake.

Later I discovered that some of these vast mazes aren’t physical. I read Robert Graves’ “The white Goddess”. Then I began to study the Kabala. I began to see our culture, the complexity of language, belief system, and metaphor that we take so for granted that we no longer think of it as metaphor, as a doorway.

Easter and Passover converge this year. When they do, as they did on the first Easter, when Jesus came to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and died there, the intersection generates a lot of power, opens a channel. People balk at these things sometimes; they’re ‘religion’. The channels are deeper than that. Over centuries we build cities along the rivers. the cities grow, thrive, become decadent, turn into forgotten mounds of buried treasure along the banks of the river. The river is, in a way, a river of story and metaphor – it’s the river that nourishes us, not the cities that rise and fall on its banks.

Let’s just jump in for a bit, see what happens. When Pharaoh wouldn’t release the Jews from slavery God sends plagues. Interesting point here. Moses threw his staff on the floor and it became a snake. Moses attributed this to God. As he did the frogs, the boils, the locusts. He held out his staff and separated the sea. He struck his staff on a rock and water came out. All the time he’s saying “God did this.” I’m not thinking about whether or not these things are literally true, actually ‘happened’. More about who was doing them. I think there’s a case for seeing Moses as having some powers of his own.

Then comes the dread night when the Angel of Death comes to kill the firstborn son in every household. To protect themselves, the Jews were told to paint their thresholds with lamb’s blood. The Passover Lamb. The Blood of the Lamb. The Lamb of God. The Lamb whose blood will save mankind. Washed in the Blood of the Lamb. Behold the Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world. And finally, the Lion and the Lamb. What is this? You can easily see the structures that have built at the source of those rivers, from Passover through the Christian Eucharist to Evangelical language. But those are just the structures, the cities along the river. What is the river? If we try and swim back up it, j up past the bodies of Egyptian babies floating on the water, past the blood of the slaughtered lamb, where does it take us?

It’s always easier to swim downstream. Sometimes to get upstream we have to get out of the water and hike along the shore, past the shrines and ruins, and then go back into the water. And there are always plenty of trails.

Here’s one. We have entered the Age of Aquarius. Before the Age of Aquarius, we had the Age of Pisces. Jesus as the Fish. Before that, the Age of Aries, The Ram. The Golden Fleece. A baby ram is a lamb. Each of these ages takes about two thousand years. Maybe we follow that river back and find nomadic shepherds drinking from it. The future of their herds and the survival of their children depends on the power and fertility of the Ram, their hope for the future in the Lamb.

I’ll leave it for you. If you read this, and you like this game, get in touch and we can play it together.

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