seal the deal, Willie gave up castles of Edinburgh, Sterling, Berwick,
Roxburgh, and Jedburgh. All of those fortresses were then staffed by
Hank’s English troops. Willie got to go home but it wasn’t to a free
and independent land anymore.
Willie the Lion just never believed it. He traded his country for his
life. The Lion Rampant which flew so proudly for a short while was
surrendered to a king who let some monks whip him.
one thing to claim to be a lion, it is quite another to act like one?
Dungeon stones with English cooking and beer can be strong persuaders?
How about: no matter who you are, horse-play leads to tragedy?
forward these musing to whomever you think will like them and laugh.
Leave my name and sig on them lest you be made to eat English cooking.
You can’t hide those lion eyes,
J. Ellsworth Weaver
AS – Polyphemus Theognis
TRV – Sebastian Yeats
Subject: Musing on July 13 -- Open Channel Dee
Date: Wed, 12 Jul 2000 10:42:52 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ellsworth Weaver
Happiest of Solar Returns (birthday anniversaries, sort of) to a
mathematician, an alchemist and an astrologer to queens, . Was he a
scoundrel or a dupe? A fool or wiser than any of us? You decide for Dr.
John Dee was born on this date, July 13, 1527.
Underreader (staff at low pay) before he graduated. After Cambridge, he
decided to get some more education (wise move) and went over to the
Continent (1547 - 1550). He wowed them in Paris with lectures on the
recently dug up works of Euclid. Wasn’t that a golden age: Euclid
getting a packed houses? When he got back home, he was recommended to
Queen Mary Tudor. She hired him as her astrologer (see: Nancy Reagan
wasn’t the first, after all) but that gig turned sour when he was
accused of being a magician. I guess it was that rabbit that kept
popping out of his hat.
Lizzie was being held in protective custody by her half-sis, Bloody
Mary. Dee and Lizzie were both in rather scary straits, smart folk,
young, well educated – nerds in trouble. My confidential sources do not
tell me how close they became but it was a lifelong friendship that
they struck up. Later on when Lizzie was queen, she gave John money
and protected him from charges of witchcraft. Pretty important meeting
they had, I would say.
date for her coronation) but also gave advice on navigation to English
pilots who were exploring the New World. He taught Lizzie how to
interpret mystic writings. Said she was a very avid pupil. Dee had an
enormous library (over 4000 books) of very rare tomes which he rescued
from the Protestants set on burning them all. Many of these books had
been in the Roman Catholic Church monasteries of the which had been
dissolved in England during the Reformation.
Hieroglyphica, (One Hieroglyph). He said that there was a primal symbol
which incorporated the blue print of all of reality. Drop this symbol
upon the lake of possibilities and all matter and energy would organize
into a Universe very much like this one (with a few less Starbucks and
Blockbuster Videos, though). What this symbol looked like, I am not
quite sure. It was not the thing used by the Artist formerly known as
Prince. If any of you have a good copy of it, scan it in and send it to
me. *G* Just wonder if it would cause the Internet to crystallize out.
Al Gore would just have to reinvent it then.
visited by the angel Uriel (played by Christopher Walken.) Uriel told
him there was a mission for Dee. Uriel dropped off an egg-shaped
crystal, Dee later called it his "shew-stone," which Dee was to use to
talk with the dead and with angels. It was a sort of psychic cellular
phone. BTW, can anyone tell me why I have this unreasonable wish to
grab cell phones away from people and smash them to little plastic
bits? I am just afraid I shall succumb to temptation some day. Maybe I
need to see Dr. Dee about this. But I digress.
Just like so much of technology, the shew-stone was a bit touchy, not
fully beta-tested. Dee found that he had little or no luck in using it.
As William Burroughs might say, "He was an unworthy vessel." He had to
hire others to look into it and tell him what they saw. Dee wrote it
The most enterprising of these seers was Edward Kelley. Kelley had been
a lawyer and a ventriloquist. Oh, he actually had had his ears cropped
(ouch!) for being a counterfeiter before he met Dee. That Kelley had
also been accused of necromancy – using dead bodies for magickal
divination – did not deter lovable old Dr. Dee from hiring the
morally-impaired. From Kelley, Dee learned that through the crystal
angelic beings were attempting to teach Dee the Enochian language which
was spoken by angels and Adam and Eve when they lived in the Garden of
Eden. It appears that Dee and Kelley were trying to contact the ancient
ones, the Watchers, known in the Bible as the Nephelim.
Kelley were improvising this as they went along. Some think Dee had an
ancient copy of the Book of Enoch in Ethiopian which he could not
translate and so just made up some stuff sounding like it. One source
speculates that it really was a code that Dee used as a spy on the
Continent for Queen Lizzie. That is a cool thought: former cell block
mates, now Royal Astrologer and Queen, sending encrypted spy messages
back and forth. I rather like that.
down on anything which smacked of magick. These guys were as bad as the
Harry Potter books, at least. A mob destroyed much of Dee’s books. Dee
and Kelley toured Poland and Bohemia from 1583-1589, giving magic shows
and mystifying princes. Wow! I wish I had a tee shirt from that road
tour. In 1595, Kelley got busted in Prague by the Emperor Rudolf II for
wizardry and sorcery. He tried to escape but fell to his death. Dee
returned home to a quiet life protected by Queen Lizzie. He was
appointed a warden of Christ’s College in Manchester and even got a
small stipend from the Queen.
to sell his books one by one to have something to eat. He died in 1608
in Mortlake, England. His work is still regarded highly by modern
alchemists, and may have been very influential upon the mind of Adam
Weishaupt, father of the Bavarian Illuminati. But that, as they say, is
friends move, but real friends help friends move bodies? Just because a
being is disincarnate does not make it wise or benevolent? Be careful
to whom you show magic tricks and always, always emphasize they are
*tricks*? Lawyers can be unreliable mouthpieces, especially for the
dead? I like the Girl Scout song "Make New Friends but Keep the Old."
and sig attached. You don’t want I should send Uriel over to hit you
with a shew-stone, believe me.
Doing something magickal every day,
Subject: Musing on July 14 -- Just a hypothetical question
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 21:38:45 -0700 (PDT)
What if you and I wanted to take over a country and make it our own
playground? Say the country was ruled by a line of kings (but had very
few poor serfs or slaves), had lots of money (most of it in the hands of
businessmen and women), well-fed, religious, and by-in-large happy. How
could we get rid of the nobility, church, and middle class? In the
meantime, can we make ourselves rich and in the driver's seat? Let's
First thing is we need to find someone else to apparently lead this
take over. Unsuccessful coups get conspirators whacked. It would also
help if that person "leading" had some money. Causes cost gold. That
done, we need some dire grievances, thing that the king and company
have done to "wrong" the people. Keep it below 9 so folks can remember
them. If we can artificially introduce some nice food shortages, that
will surely hack off folks.
We might want to recruit some members who are not quite the upper-upper
crust but would like to be. Tell them how we know they are the ones who
should be running things: barons, marquis, knights. We will
indoctrinate them through a secret club; tell them it is death to
anyone who talks. Convince them that they shall be the new kings soon.
We can tell them that religion is what has been holding them back.
Substitute "reason" for religion. Make each feel like they are secret
MENSA members. We are going to be doing some serious bloodletting so we
had best preach that whatever we do is okay as long as it winds up
doing it for the right cause. Teach extremism in pursuit of "liberty"
(or libertinism) is no vice. Speaking of vice, teach that the only vice
is not doing exactly what you want right then. Get more money from
them. Remember, once we accomplish what we want, these dupes get
whacked. On the top there is only room for thee and me. Oh and,
Darling, you are looking a tad pale.
You know, once we convince folks that the king and church have been
holding them back, we might teach that national borders are part of the
same conspiracy to keep man in chains. We could get really lucky and
franchise this out to other places. Alexander the Great was so crude in
his strong arm tactics. Don't you think.? We can let others do all of
this for us.
about we "liberate" some political prisoners? It does not have to be
more than say seven but we can make a media event of it. Fact is, we
could just spring some counterfeiters and a couple demented dudes. No
prob. We would need something easy to attack, nothing with real
guards. Don't worry, we would not have our moneyed gentry doing that
attacking. We could hire some thugs from out of town, maybe from other
countries; get them from the rough trade in a sea port. If in the
process we can get weapons from this prison, all the better. When we
tell others of this, we can say it was "the people" who arose to throw
off the chains of oppression. I like that a lot! What is really funny,
after all this is over, they would probably make a national holiday out
of this action.
Well, that was a fun exercise. Nobody would be so immoral as to ever do
such a thing. No one would be dumb enough to fall for that. And lest I
forget: Happy Bastille Day!
Let us breath together,
AS - Polyphemus Theognis
TRV - Sebastian Yeats
Subject: Musing on July 15 -- St. Swithin's Day
Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2000 15:49:57 -0700 (PDT)
I hope it is not too late to wish you happy St. Swithin’s Day. Did it
rain where you were? If it did, you can expect rain for the next forty
days. Wow! I think we are pretty safe from that in central California
but who knows? This is also the day that a medieval pope said that
Jews were forever damned to servitude and hell for crucifying Jesus.
Since he died on July 16th (not on the same year,) I think we can wait
for Innocent III.
Swithin was a smart Saxon, ‘cause he knew all the Angles. *Ba-dum-dum!*
Sorry, I have been wanting to use that for awhile. It is out of my
system now, promise. He was born in Wessex, England sometime around 800
CE. He was educated in the monastery of Winchester where he was
ordained a priest. Swithin was in pretty tight with the royal family.
He became chaplain and advisor to King Egbert of the West Saxons
(Wessex, remember?) and was put in charge of tutoring Egbert’s son,
Ethelwulf. When Egbert went to the royal court in the sky to meet the
board of directors, Ethelwulf became king. King Ethelwulf (would that
name get by any herald’s office today?) named Swithin to be the bishop
of Winchester (Oct 30, 852 CE.)
We don’t know much about Swithin. He was said to be an okay guy, built
some churches, did some missionary work, knew the Scriptures. When the
West Saxon’s decided they did not like Ethelwulf, Swithin stood by him
(856 CE). On his deathbed Swithin begged that he should be buried
outside the north wall of his cathedral where passers-by should pass
over his grave and raindrops from the eaves drop upon it. Isn't that
sweet? Really. At least his grave would be low maintenance.
More than a century later (931) his body was moved with great pomp to a
shrine within the new church erected by Bishop Ethelwulf (note the name
and connection?). A number of miraculous cures took place (nobody today
is sure exactly who or what got cured) and Swithin was canonized by
popular acclamation. In 1093 his remains were again trucked over to the
new church built by Bishop Walkelin. The shrine was destroyed and the
relics scattered in 1538. Guess he is at peace now.
The bit about the forty days of rain is curious. Some folks say it is
because it is almost impossible to get rain there in the middle of
July. Others say that it did rain for forty days when they were first
moving his bones back in 931. Here is the rhyme:
For forty days it will remain
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.
groundhog. He is the Patron Saint of Winchester Cathedral. There is
even an orchid named for him.
What have we learned from St. Swithin? Remember to go home from the
dance with the fellow who brought you? Some folks will always want to
mess with you, even after you are dead? Plan for your burial plot to
cost your loved ones less? How about if you are autocratting an outdoor
event (tournament, feast, wedding, picnic), St. Swithin might be a good
guy to include in your prayers? I know I will remember that. That and
"never take a herald on a picnic." (Old saying but a wise one.)
As always, if you decide to spread these pearls of wisdom or
foolishness, please keep my name and sig attached lest it rain for
forty days on your parade.
It can’t rain all the time,
Subject: Musing on July 16th -- I'm Innocent, I Tell You!
Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 11:12:29 -0700 (PDT)
On this day July 16, 1216 one of the greatest medieval popes went to
find out if what he had been preaching was righteous or just plain
mean. Lotario de’ Conti, son of a count, nephew of a pope, was Innocent
Lotario was born around the year 1160 in Anagni, Italy. Well, it was
not quite Italy in those days; there were many feuding and occupied
city-states. His dad, Trasimund, was count of Segni. Lotario was a
nerd: studied everything he could, hung out in Rome, Paris and Bologna.
He became a lawyer specializing in church law. His uncle, Pope Clement
III, made Lotario a cardinal. That meant he was able to elect popes and
was in line to become one. After Uncle Clement there came Celestine III
and then in Feb 22, 1198, Lotario was made pontiff himself. Pontiff
means bridge builder. Interesting.
Empire was none of the three at the time. The Germans and Swabs were
battling for control of it. Otto IV, when he finally won the crown,
continued the repression of the Church. Fredrick II (son of the late
emperor Henry VI), who defeated Otto IV, had been Innocent’s ward so
you would think that Freddie would be delighted in returning the favor
of guarding the Church. Freddie turned out to be a tad forgetful or
maybe Innocent wasn’t as innocent as his name. We will probably follow
up on his story in a different musing.
Innocent was pope during the reigns of Philip of France, Richard the
Lionheart and King John Lackland of England. When John needed to get
his country out of excommunication (a dire strait for a Roman Catholic
country) and a baronial rebellion, he made England a fief of the
Vatican. Pedro II of Aragon did likewise. Think on that: Innocent III
was sovereign lord not just over the Vatican, the whole of the Roman
Catholic Church, the kingdoms of Aragon, and England. Not too shabby!
He became the Judge Judy of his time and had many tough cases brought
before him. Innocent even declared the Magna Carta null and void
because it was extorted from his vassal by the threat of violence.
it was Innocent who declared the need for it. He encouraged Dominic de
Guzman to kill all those heretical folk. He recognized Dominic’s
warrior friars as an order. To ensure everyone was on the same page of
the Daily Missal, so to speak, he made a rule at the Fourth Lateran
Council that all Catholics had to receive communion at least once a
year, preferably on Easter. To give him his due, Innocent also
recognized the spiritual craziness of Francis of Assisi as Divinely
Innocent III also had that divine crusading spirit against the Moslems.
There was heathen to whack! He believed that the Church should be in
charge of crusades not worldly kings. He ruled a husband did not even
have to get his wife’s permission to go on crusade. He sent the call to
barons and knights, telling all the Christian kings to kiss and make up
for just a second so that their people might be released to follow the
pope’s summons. Richard and Philip did declare a five year truce.
Unfortunately Richard took that crossbow bolt which "elected" Prince
John who promptly restarted the war.
The rest of the fourth crusade did not do much better. The Venetians,
who were supposed to be simply ferrying the troops, played politics
right heavily. Well, there was a significant lack of turn out for the
crusade. Money promised the Venetians just did not show. The crusaders
who were camped on the Lido, a small island outside of town, were
running up enormous bills. As a relief, the Venetians struck a bargain:
if the crusaders did a little contract job or two for them, the debt
could be postponed until real looting and pillaging down in the Holy
Land began. Seemed like a small request. The crusaders wound up
attacking the Catholic city of Zara (under the king of Hungary, himself
a dedicated crusader) and then sacking the Greek Orthodox city of
Constantinople. In both cases Pope Innocent told them not to do it, but
business is business. You know? Those battles await telling another
day, I fear. Innocent excommunicated the crusaders. Knowing that those
Moslems for the most part would remained unwhacked, King Aimery of
Jerusalem signed a six year peace treaty with Saladin.
at Perugia on July 16, 1216.
helps if you call yourself Innocent? The folks who build the weapons
and transports of war often are the ones who wind up directing it? In
this world the smart and talented rise to the top but it helps to have
an uncle in the business? No battle plan ever survives first contact
with the enemy? I think I like: it is bad luck to tell husbands to
disregard the wished of their wives.
As always, please forward these scribblings to whomever you like. Do
keep my name and sig. intact. Remember what happened to the folk in
As innocent as any pope,
Subject: Musing on July 17th -- You Can't Go Back to Constantinople
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 19:23:20 -0700 (PDT)
Today on July 17, 1203, the mostly French forces of the Fourth Crusade
(remember Innocent III and his crusade?) landed in Constantinople and
took the city / state without any resistance. Sounded like a good idea
at the time even though the Pope opposed it. Was this wrong?
The expected crowds of crusaders and their money did not appear. The
Venetians told the crusaders it was time to pay up for all the victuals
and boats. The only thing the crusaders had was muscle, and plenty of
it. The first contract hit the crusaders did for the Venetians was to
attack a Roman Catholic city, Zara, which belonged to the king of
Hungary. Teach him to mess with the Venetians!
The second hit was in the nature of restoring a deposed emperor to his
throne in Constantinople. Isaac Angelus had been kicked off the throne
by his brother Alexius III. The lack of brotherly love was pretty
evident in that Alexius III had Isaac blinded and put in prison.
Fortunately for Isaac, his son (also named Alexius) had escaped and was
now looking for help. Hey, the Venetians had this ready group of buff
guys with broadswords. What was Alexius, the young dude, offering for
help? Nothing too shabby! He offered the Venetians 200,000 silver
marks, an army of 10, 000 Greeks to fight in the Middle East for a
year, and 500 knights (maintained by Constantinople) to be a permanent