Tomar - in Portugal. That's the ancient church of St. John the Baptist. It was also a chapel of the Ordem Cristi, the Portuguese brand of the Knights Templar. They owned Tomar & Pooler Jones says they still do. He warned me that it wasn't safe to ask too many questions about the Ordem. The Bell Tower is rumored to once have sported an inscription: "Have eyes that see nothing."
Slag, the Captain, Simon the Gael, and IwoJima could hardly lift the rough draft of our first Temple Bell. We plan to trim the transom to a better proportionality & then scallop its unders. Skippy put the camera down long enough to join the Victory Shot below. Skippy wears a torn & soiled Boy Scout scarf on both work & installation missions. He swears there are 7 levels of Irony and that he practices them all. When I asked him if the 7 Planetary Elements theme of the Temple Bell Project had any resonance with the Irony thing he just grinned, winked, and whispered about the Ogdoatic, and the Uroborus, and the inevitability - in fact, the necessity - of Apocatastasis. "We are Baitin' & Waitin' for Satan!" Slag screams, but then that's only a metaphor.
"Giordano Bruno is the direct and logical result of the Renaissance glorification of Man as the great Miracle, man who is divine in his origin and can again become divine, with divine Powers residing in him. He is, in short, the result of the Renaissance Hermetism. If man can obtain such powers through Hermetic experiences, why should not this have been the way in which Christ obtained his powers?" Pooler bristles when he quotes Yates. He knew her & I think there was something unresolved between Pooler Jones, the Passer-by, and Francis Yates, the Renaissance scholar from the University of London.
By this time we had decided that the prototype we were working on would become the first model in the Temple Bell series - Sol himself. So we set about finding the right rock, an Alpha Rock - one with girth & profundity. Iwojima took to scalloping the edges of the lintel while Skippy and the Captain cut morticises where the horizontal and the vertical members would grasp each other in the rising. Walking the Guff - the Hall of Souls - looking for rocks which are ready for their weight to be forgiven is heady stuff for Michigan Alchemists and sometimes we damn near take it seriously.
To the left, Slag taps Sol with the first of two drills necessary to get a hole wide and deep enough to accept the lead sleeve - called a pud - which when dorjéed - expands to grasp the rock for lifting. To the right, the first of two steel jugs set in concrete drying in the spring sun. The jugs accept the verticals and marry the sculpture to the earth.
Bruno's Law: You must engrave in your memory the Shadows of Ideas - the celestial images and archetypes - which are the penultimate to the divine Mens, on which all things below depend. This is the "Egyptian Experience." Thus you become the Gnostic Aion and have divine Power within you. Mold yourself to those forms, those shadows, and move beyond the plurality of things to their unity. Thus the universal parts are subsumed by their order.
Magic marrys the world. It unites the above with the below. It joins spirit to matter thru the links which carry the senses up to meaning - thru symbols, sigils, names and numbers, thru all things which can stand for other things and give them a means of expression. Renaissance Magic is built on sympathies between levels of existence. Knowing the symbols is the key to all attempts at communication between different minds or different parts of the same mind.
By the middle of the Spring we had the prototype standing in the field next to the atelier. Skippy and Pooler were off for another month in Italy - there was to be an exhibition of Alchemical and Hermetic manuscripts at the ornate Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana in Venice. The show was called: "Magia, Alchimia, Scienza dal '400 al '700: L'influsso di Ermete Trismegisto." Jacopo Sansovino built the library in the mid 16th century and the two halls were filled with paintings by Veronese, Salviati, Schiavone, and Tintoretto, as well the center ceiling canvas "Wisdom" by Titian. Pooler had lent the exhibition his 1st edition of Ficino's translation of the Pymander - the one printed in the Veneto in 1471 at Treviso. He and Skippy were going to hand deliver the priceless book to the Sansovino Library and then hang for the party.
Continue to page 4 Temple Bell - Sol