Pooler Jones says that the essence of a truly great Cathedral is its Pillory. Its Pole. Over time, he says, the uses of the word Pillar shifted from a freestanding support column in a temple to "Pillory" - a slender column on the village commons or in a Cathedral Square to which one could neatly attach criminals and heretics. Like Jesus, for instance, or Giordano Bruno. Pillar, post, mast and tree. We've always seen these as the Axis-Mundi, the world axis about which everything revolves. "God needs a spine," is the way Pooler describes it. "In Africa," he says, "there are tribes who believe that every pillar is a caryatid which has lost it's human form - a priestess coaxed into the stone." So god, it appears, uses us as the backbone to support our own temples.
We found our Djed Pillar in a swamp north of Northport. It was a 50' Cedar which was blown down in the wetlands near Christmas Cove. The tree was alive when Kenny La Roche felled it and thus we could strip the bark off without knives and skin it clean. But first we had to top & trim it & then drag it out of the swamp and up onto the road. After which we attached wheels to the beast so that we could pull it to the shop. The mission plan was more complicated.
The central irony in Alchemy as an Art is that the objects produced, while central to the metaphor, are not the sum of the Art. Alchemy is dependent on actions and attitudes as well as objects. The Opus unfolds thru the "artistic" manipulations of the mixers. Success in "The Work" follows a processional theme which makes the goal into a drama, a presentation, as well as an elixir of magical potents. Alchemy is a Play, a Ludibrium; it's a Divine Comedy in the exact sense that Danté used the term. When the age of Magic decays into the age of Allegory all of Metaphor becomes a sullen substitute for Metamorphosis.
The "objective" part of the plan was to bejewel this Djed Pole with rocks and larger stones by attaching them to the pole along a spiral path which winds from the bottom to the top. The first rocks, we figured, would be placed so that they were emerging out of the earth itself, and the last stones arrayed in a "feathery" crown. So you could say that the piece is a Post-Post Caduceus and you'd have a lot of reason. But you wouldn't have half of it.
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