Tag Archives: Brian Swimme

Evoking the Twelfth House

A tiny frog, barely half an inch long, flopped, dead, on the tip of a teaspoon as I gently lowered it toward the plug hole of the kitchen sink. Soon, I’d turn on the tap and its fragile little body, already liquefying, would be washed down the drain.

Just holding on....

Just holding on....

http://www.sarasites.com/css_images/frog.jpg

Yesterday, it had been leaping around, full of life, inside the  plastic refrigerator box in which I had created a little aquarium with water, moss and stones. The tadpoles which I had brought home a few weeks previously had all survived. Satisfaction and pleasure at having achieved this, however, was tempered with the growing knowledge that these delightful new pets would soon have to be returned to their original habitat.

But this little fellow would never go home.

This small incident, which occurred well over thirty years ago, offered such a poignant illustration of the transient fragility of life that it has never left my memory.

There are times when something apparently tiny and fleeting can illustrate much larger truths.

The constant dance between order and chaos, form and formlessness, being and non-being, seems to occur in all epochs and at all levels. Humans have created a range of paradigms and metaphors, from ancient myths through the world’s great religions to modern cosmology, within which to explore this dialectic.

Cosmologist Brian Swimme in his inspirational invocation of ‘The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos’ speaks of “each instant protons and anti protons…… flashing out of, and …… absorbed back into, all-nourishing abyss……” The abyss is his term for “a power that gives birth and that absorbs existence at a thing’s annihilation.”

Astrology has its own name for this inchoate territory where everything, tiny or vast, which has ever had form dissolves back into the primal waters of the Source. It is called the Twelfth House.

In my horoscope the Sun, Moon,Venus, Saturn, Pluto, and Mercury the planet of communication and writing are all to be found in the Twelfth House. I have been preoccupied with the mystery of whence we arise and where we return since I opened my eyes to the world. Thus it doesn’t require much of a leap of imagination to work out why this blog is called ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’……

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2011
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

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Your votes: Top Six posts on “Writing from the Twelfth House”

Today is a special day. At 12.30 GMT, Aries fire kicks off the first New Moon of the new solar year. This is a great month to focus some fiery energy on lively departures from normal routines. We are off tomorrow to Totnes in Devon, to spend a week in old hippy heaven in the West of England, UK.

(We didn’t get there! Check out The summer of disruption starts here: Jupiter and Uranus team up! )

Not wishing to leave my many “Writing from the Twelfth House” fans bereft of new input during this of all weeks, I had a brainwave. I would check out my stats for the year, and feature your top six favourite posts for the solar year just past.

Here they are! I am happy with the result, since it affirms my original decision to set up a site which covers not just astrological themes, but  is aimed at informing, inspiring, encouraging and entertaining…..”those writers and readers who share my preoccupation with questions of mystery, meaning, pattern and purpose.” Your top six favouritesspan the range. That pleases me!

Enjoy the reads, tell me what you think, and don’t  forget to read the PS  at the end….

 

On Writing

Not the Astrology Column

Cartoons

Favourite Quote: “This being human” by Rumi

The life changers: Neptune, Uranus and Pluto cross the IC

Book Review : “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” by Brian Swimme

**********

Mysterious Mercury

and PS….it’s nearly that Mercury Retrograde time again….

The Mercury Retrograde periods for 2010 are:

Retro 17/04/10, Direct 11/05/ 10.

Retro 20/08/10, Direct 12/09/ 10.

Retro 10/12/10, Direct 30/12/ 10.

There’s a brilliant new article on creative ways of dealing with those tricky times thrice yearly when the planet Mercury APPEARS to be going backwards in the sky, and matters communicative go awry :

check out writer Jodi Cleghorn’s advice at

http://writeanything.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/10-writing-tips-for-using-mercury-retrograde-energy/

300 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2010
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page


Book Review : “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” Brian Swimme

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy

Brian Swimme “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” (Orbis Books April 2003) pp115

For as long as I can remember, the questions cosmologist Brian Swimme raises in the Preface to this wonderfully lucid, accessible and poetically written book have fascinated me:

“Where did it all come from? Where is the center of reality? Where is the heart or source of the universe? Where is that place where everything sprang forth into existence?”

In “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” he sets about confronting these questions, with due modesty, and without “any naive expectation that we will now answer with certitude questions which eluded our ancestors.” He does so in a positive and optimistic spirit, stating that “the opportunity of our time is to integrate science’s understanding of the universe with more ancient intuitions concerning the meaning and destiny of the human.”

Swimme makes it clear that cosmology isn’t simply about scientific teaching about the facts and theories of the universe. It is “a wisdom tradition, drawing upon not just science but religion and art and philosophy” .

The book centres on the major cosmological discovery of our time: that the Universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago and (in Swimme’s own words from his website)” ….is so biased toward complexification that life and intelligence are now seen to be a nearly inevitable construction of evolutionary dynamics.”

His approach in explicating this shattering discovery is one of evocation rather than merely conveying the facts, although he does the latter extremely well in language which elucidates rather than obfuscates. It is hard for people like me, who lack a grounding in science, to get to grips with the kind of world in which we live from the perspectives of  modern physics and cosmology, when so much of what is now known is so counter-intuitive to how our five senses perceive both the earth and the starry heavens.

Each chapter I read, from The Sun at the Center, through Looking Down at the Milky Way, via The Large-Scale Structure of Space and Time, to A Multiplicity of Centers, helped me to understand  more clearly than I ever had before not only the nature and structure of “the vast ocean of the cosmos”, but also evoked a deep sense of the numinosity of belonging to that cosmos.

Everyone interested in humanity and the new story, which is being revealed to us by modern cosmology, should read this book.

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2008
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

Evoking the Twelfth House

A tiny frog, barely half an inch long, flopped, dead, on the tip of a teaspoon as I gently lowered it toward the plug hole of the kitchen sink. Soon, I’d turn on the tap and its fragile little body, already liquefying, would be washed down the drain.

Tiny frog on lotus bud

Tiny frog on lotus bud

Yesterday, it had been leaping around, full of life, inside the  plastic refrigerator box in which I had created a little aquarium with water, moss and stones. The tadpoles which I had brought home a few weeks previously had all survived. Satisfaction and pleasure at having achieved this, however, was tempered with the growing knowledge that these delightful new pets would soon have to be returned to their original habitat.

But this little fellow would never go home.

This small incident, which occurred well over thirty years ago, offered such a poignant illustration of the transient fragility of life that it has never left my memory.

There are times when something apparently tiny and fleeting can illustrate much larger truths.

The constant dance between order and chaos, form and formlessness, being and non-being, seems to occur in all epochs and at all levels. Humans have created a range of paradigms and metaphors, from ancient myths through the world’s great religions to modern cosmology, within which to explore this dialectic.

Cosmologist Brian Swimme in his inspirational invocation of ‘The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos’ speaks of “each instant protons and anti protons…… flashing out of, and …… absorbed back into, all-nourishing abyss……” The abyss is his term for “a power that gives birth and that absorbs existence at a thing’s annihilation.”

Astrology has its own name for this inchoate territory where everything, tiny or vast, which has ever had form dissolves back into the primal waters of the Source. It is called the Twelfth House.

In my horoscope the Sun, Moon,Venus, Saturn, Pluto, and Mercury the planet of communication and writing are all to be found in the Twelfth House. I have been preoccupied with the mystery of whence we arise and where we return since I opened my eyes to the world. Thus it doesn’t require much of a leap of imagination to work out why this website is called ‘Writing from the Twelfth House’……

400 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2008
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page