Saturday, December 9, 2023

With spider’s oil the lamps of Salem burn

Quite some time ago, I guess it was 2002 or thereabouts, I briefly immersed myself in Les Prophéties of Nostradamus, consisting of hundreds of French quatrains written in a trance state. I decided that I, imitating what I imagined the French seer's methods to have been, would try to produce such a quatrain myself, in English. The first line "came through" almost immediately:

With spider's oil the lamps of Salem burn

And that was it. Try as I might, I couldn't get any more than that one line, and that one line didn't make any sense. Nostradamus had written over a thousand quatrains that didn't make any sense, and here I couldn't even get two lines! Well, all have not every gift. I turned to other pursuits.

That one opaque line has been filed away in the back of my mind ever since, just in case it should ever turn out to mean anything, but the contingency has seemed a remote one. I've mostly assumed it's meaningless, but then nothing is ever really allowed to be meaningless, is it? Every idle word . . . .

Today, William Wright posted "A familiar symbol, secret combinations, and Mama Ungoliant." He discusses a repeating theme in music videos in which lights are set up "almost like beacons or signals, . . . as if they are expecting and signalling for someone to arrive from space." He then brings up Ungoliant, Tolkien's evil spider-demon, and speculates that it is "her, perhaps, that these signals are meant for." Spiders and lamps -- the juxtaposition made me think of my old Nostradamic monostitch.

That post also included the old Mormon Tabernacle Choir logo, which William thinks suggests a spider:


In the past, I've noticed the hidden NaCl in the name of this Salt Lake City-based organization, but today what jumped out at me was Bern. The Mormon temple in Bern, Switzerland, has been in the sync-stream recently, and of course it's also a homophone of burn, the final word of the "lamps of Salem" line. Then I noticed what I had somehow missed before: that one of the music videos discussed in William's post is actually called "Burn" -- a song by Ellie Goulding.

On a hunch, I ran a search for ellie goulding spider. The first hit was a song called "Mama" by a band called Clean Bandit, featuring Goulding, for which someone had created a video consisting of scenes from one of the Spider-Man movies:


William Wright's post explicitly connects the word Mama with spiders ("Mama Ungoliant"). One of the music videos he discusses -- where Mama came from -- is Panic! at the Disco's "High Hopes," in which "Brendon Urie climbs a tall building (walking up on the outside)" -- obviously the sort of behavior one associates with Spider-Man.

I certainly wouldn't say my monostitch makes sense now, but at least there are now, at long last, some hints that it may actually mean something. I'll see if anything develops from this.

6 comments:

Lucas said...

Sounds like the sort of one liner that leads to a short hp lovecraft story. That just is a creepy line. Imagine how many teenage girls (to tie back to that book) you could creep out if you told them "This lamp burns spider oil".
I'm going to tell my sister that one sometime.

William Wright (WW) said...

I hadn't connected Urie walking up a building on the outside with Spider-man, but that totally makes sense. Nice find.

As another fun thing from last night: I was driving my son to a hockey game, and I heard (or thought I heard) the radio DJ say "And this is crazy, but Jay Leno climbed up the Empire State Building! I have a hard time with even the stairs and elevators!". The name of Jay Leno, based on your dream, caught my attention, with the obvious mention of the Empire State Building. It also seemed fairly unbelievable.

I looked it up after we got to the rink, and it turns out that no, I didn't quite get the name right. It was actually Jared Leto, and I had misheard it. But Leto did climb the Empire State Building, and he did it on the outside, just like Spider-Man or Brendon Urie would have.

It happened like a month ago, so I don't know why the DJ brought it up last night as if it had just happened. Here is a story link:

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-67380226

William Wright (WW) said...

I just scrolled down the images on the link I just posted, and noticed that on the last image Leto has a circular patch on his left shoulder with a triangle on the inside of it. So, similar to the other symbol in my post, but reversed in a way. The triangle fits within the circle in this one.

I guess it is the logo or symbol for his band "30 Seconds to Mars", which he was climbing the building to promote.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Keri’s band is said in the article to be “known for hits such as Kings and Queens.” Did you catch that?

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Leto’s band. Typo.

William Wright (WW) said...

Yes, saw that later after I posted the follow up comment.

I think there is a lot in that one-liner you wrote, potentially. So although just one line, perhaps an entire story as well.

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