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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.

There is an old Scottish saying "Tis sweet to die for one’s country."

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.

Any lessons here? Don’t let your maidens go wrestle with sharks? It is

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?

I’ll tell you how Scotland got its land back sometime soon. As always,

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

SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

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

Dear Folk,
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.

Dee was a whiz kid. At fifteen he entered Cambridge U and was made an

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.

While in the slammer, he met Elizabeth Tudor (the future Lizzie I).

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.

Dee not only did Lizzie’s astrological advice (he even picked out the

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.

In 1564, Dee published his most important book, the Monas

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.

In 1581 Dee’s life took another strange turn. He was praying and was

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

all down.
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.

Small aside about Enochian. Some of my sources think either Dee or

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.

Dee and Kelley had to leave England because the preachers really were

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.

In the last dies of his life he was reduced to telling fortunes and had

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

another story.

What have we learned from Dr. Dee (and Mr. Kelley)? Friends help

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."

As always, forward these to whomever might be amused but keep my name

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,

J. Ellsworth Weaver

SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 14 -- Just a hypothetical question

Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2000 21:38:45 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

Dear Folk,
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.

We need something symbolic, an action, to get the ball rolling. How

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,

Ellsworth Weaver

SCA - Sir Balthazar of Endor

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)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

Dear Folk,
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:

St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain

For forty days it will remain

St. Swithin's day if thou be fair

For forty days 'twill rain nae mair.

Well, that is proof enough for me! Makes him sort of a saintly

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,

J. Ellsworth Weaver

SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 16th -- I'm Innocent, I Tell You!

Date: Sun, 16 Jul 2000 11:12:29 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

Dear Folk,
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.

Innocent III supported kicking the Germans out of Italy. The Holy Roman

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.

Remember when we mused on the Cathari and the Albigensian crusade? Yup,

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.

It was while trying to get another crusade going that Innocent III died

at Perugia on July 16, 1216.

What have we learned from all of this? If you kill lots of folks, it

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,

J. Ellsworth Weaver

SCA — Sir Balthazar of Endor

AS – Polyphemus Theognis

TRV – Sebastian Yeats

Subject: Musing on July 17th -- You Can't Go Back to Constantinople

Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2000 19:23:20 -0700 (PDT)

From: Ellsworth Weaver

Dear Folk,
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?

You might remember that the Fourth Crusade was stalled out in Venice.

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

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