Scroll below for access to the Spike pages.
Scroll below for access to the Spike pages
Slag is only too quick to admit it - the term "Spike" is unabashedly ripped off from Bo Grites & other military minds. A Spike is a Mission. A Mission is an organized assault on an objective. To Kenny La Roche, a Spike is usually the result of a year's work & planning. For the most part the separate installations of the pieces of our Cathedral must be done clandestinely - surreptitiously - out of the public view. We have an argument that what we do is nearly legal, but there are others with a different perspective.
You take the scene above, for instance, which captures one scenario from the 2001 Spike called Fallen Warriors. The photo shows the better half of the village of Northport pulling a 33' Cedar Pillar down a Michigan road. Anyone who believes you can get a permit for a gig like this doesn't live in the same woods we do. So sometimes you have to follow the great wisdom found in the statement: "Forgiveness is easier to get than Permission" & tack a "Slow Moving Vehicle" sign to the Rear while you take the Van. To the left, Skippy starts his climb while The Captain postures wildly and the Archangel Gabriel waits patiently in his stone for his installation. There are, however, some local, state, and federal agencies who would not describe these things as simply as Kenny La Roche. So we need to take care of the way which we portray ourselves and what we do. We are not vandals but we tend to discover our rules as we go.
The 45th Parallel North has a range of bad weather and when you have to organize 20 people to carry heavy equipment miles into the wilds, bad weather can give good cover. To the right, Iwojima takes a picture of the Spike Trismegistus - the Cathedral's Mihrâb - just after we spent the morning hacking out enough permafrost so we could set the base of the piece level on the earth. For Gabriel, it was necessary to haul a full ton of things more than a mile across a field and then winch, pulley, and block & tackle that ton up the shear side of 200' high wooded dune. Then we had to get the beast up into the trees. Stuff like this takes imagination & skills, but it also takes endurance and sometimes courage. Re-enchanting the denuded environment is not a "stay-home" activity. Alchemy demands more active participation than any organized faith. It's not an Art for Poseurs & New Age questors searching for meaning in Store-Bought crystals. Kenny La Roche practices Adventure Theology - we're mixers - we are actively after the Philosopher's Stone.
That's John Dee up in the Hardwood and that's the Head of John the Baptist bejeweled in its Reliquary & hanging 45' high strung on a wire between two trees. We called that Spike: Sagittá Electá - church latin for "Chosen Arrow" - we hung the Head on the highest hill of the Cathedral so far. You see it takes material skills beyond the purely metaphoric to rummage around in a faith like this. If god is caught in the web of matter than humans have a pressing responsibility - Pooler Jones calls it "un devoir" in its medieval sense - a string of obligations which bind the parts to the whole. Erecting a Cathedral out of parts is our Work. It is the Opus - at least for us. In an existential world everyone finds his own Work. For Kenny La Roche, Art is physical as well as metaphorical and the upshot of that is taking risks. Physical, legal, mental, and spiritual risks. Adventure Theology is Active Art which does not always conform to community standards.

We have decided to order the Spikes below in the reverse order in which they occurred. So that the mission: Speculum Veeaye was actually the last project in our Cathedral (2006) while the Spike called Three Pillars (1993) was the initial. The pages will be created in that reverse order also so be sure and return to this part of the site often to oversee the construction of the Cathedral Our Lady of the Ligne.

All of the Spikes are described and illustrated on branching pages. Use your Back Button on your browser to navigate. The Font of our Cathedral is the Baptistry - the watery element of our Alchemy. The Mission "Font" goes on and on . . . so far it is composed of 5 separate pieces which were constructed and installed over the past 7 summers or so. These are pieces which are set like jewels on the bottom of various waterways which compose the Great Lakes. They are set deep enough to avoid being a hazard to navigation - yet shallow enough so that a passing pirogue might just catch a glimpse of something in the deep winking up at you. Be patient with this part of the site: all of these missions are in the past and they must now be recreated for the website - this will take time. Be sure and keep up with the Current Mission on the Home page.

As of November 2009 we have just completed the Mission called Heiligmichael Erzengel and it is now being reconstructed on the website. Click on its button to the right and follow along.