Monday, July 22, 2024

For whatever it's worth, the Tarot deck predicts a Kamala "win" this November

I don't give a crap about the upcoming fake election, but I remain somewhat interested in how the "standing prophecies" in the Tarot deck will hold up. The deck was right about the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential elections but wrong about 2020 (and the 2022 midterm, if you want to count that). If the prophecies continue even though there is no trump numbered 24, the deck predicts a Kamala Harris "win" this year. And if I had to predict her running mate based on the card alone, I'd go with J. B. Pritzker.

For all the details behind this prediction, see my 2022 post "Oh, no, does this mean the 'standing prophecies' continue beyond 2021?"

Note added: Notice the palm leaves on the veil behind the High Priestess. The palm tree has very recently become a symbol of Harris's candidacy. From an NPR piece posted yesterday, "The Kamala Harris coconut tree meme, explained as best we can":

In the weeks before President Biden announced he would not be seeking reelection, some Democrats online rallied behind Vice President Kamala Harris to become the party’s new nominee. And their symbol became the coconut tree.

Not long after Biden announced on Sunday he was dropping out of the race, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis tweeted out just three emojis: a coconut, a palm tree and an American flag. EMILYs LIST, the PAC focused on electing Democratic women, explicitly endorsed Harris in a tweet and, in a more subtle show of support, also added the tree and the coconut to its username.

If Sesame Street is anything to go by (and why wouldn't it be?), Kek, the frog-god of chaos, might abandon Trump in favor of this even more "chaotic" personality.

Google News: Last week’s headlines, today

When a reader left a comment here shortly after the Ear Affair saying, “Have you heard what just happened to Trump?” I searched for trump on Google News and couldn’t find anything special. Not one of the results on the first page was about the alleged shooting. I ended up finding about it several hours later via the most censored publication in history.

This morning, I already knew through /pol/ that Slow Joe had dropped out of the race, but I ran a Google News search for biden anyway. Of the ten articles that made the first page of search results, the most recent was three days old, and therefore not a single one mentioned the big news.

How is this level of incompetence even possible?

Tinbad is Sartre

Tinbad the Tailor killed some flies
Which in the telling grew in size.

When I wrote that couplet in “With?” I had nothing deeper in mind than the story of the Brave Little Tailor, who bragged about killing seven flies at one blow but was misunderstood by his hearers, who assumed he was claiming to have killed seven men or (in some versions) seven giants.

I’d assumed the couplet had some hidden meaning like the others but had failed to discover it. Attempts to connect Tinbad to the Tinleys or to James Taylor led nowhere.

Today I read a passing reference to Sartre in The God Who Weeps, and I had a sudden hunch that this person, whose name presumably means “tailor,” might be Tinbad. I thought I’d search for Sartre quotes having to do with flies or insects, but autocomplete soon informed me that Sartre was actually the author of a play called The Flies. Such was my ignorance of Sartre (whom I have never read, outside of some philosophy-class excerpts) that I didn’t even know that!

Apparently (based on online summaries), the play is about swarms of flies that plague a Greek city after a murder, and the citizens interpret them as a curse from the gods. As a result of their “telling” themselves this, the insects “grow in size,” morphing into the Furies, goddesses of vengeance. Sartre’s point, though, is to “kill” these overgrown flies, insisting (in keeping with his Existentialist stance) that they have no inherent meaning but only that which the Greeks freely choose to give them.

Sunday, July 21, 2024

Humpty Dumpty: After the Fall

My wife is on some kind of weird diet recently which requires her to eat lots of hard-boiled egg whites every day but no yolks, so she always leaves the yolks for me. Often as I'm about to leave the house, she'll say, "Wait! Eat all the egg yolks before you go so I can wash the dish." Today it occurred to me that this makes me like Patrick in the William Alizio story (see "Pleased to meet you, hope you guess me name"), who has to eat all the Hidden Treasures before he, Tim, and William can leave. In the story, "Hidden Treasures" are a sugary breakfast cereal, but in The Hobbit, egg yolks are called hidden treasures:

A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

I've been eating "hidden treasures" for my wife for a couple of weeks now but never made that connection until today.

This afternoon I visited a small used bookstore in Taichung with an even smaller foreign-language section, but I nevertheless hit the jackpot. I snapped up several dirt-cheap volumes of Baudelaire, Rimbaud, and Villon, some in French, others translated. I was about to leave with my loot but then thought that I might as well give the children's section a once-over and see if there was anything suitable for my school's library. That's when I saw this:

Funny that the author's name is Dan, which is the Chinese word for "egg."

Why does Humpty get up on the wall in the first place? This book makes the obvious connection, which I had nevertheless never thought of: Humpty is, in his inner nature and potential, a bird, and therefore longs to be high up:

Somehow -- it is never really explained -- Humpty survives the fall and is put back together again.

The incident leaves him with a fear of heights, though -- which is illustrated with, of all things, a picture of supermarket shelves full of sugary breakfast cereal.

He's afraid to climb the ladder to get the sugary cereals, so he has to content himself with the bland grown-up cereals on the lower shelves. One of these is called, interestingly, Leaves. Gray leaves, though, not the fiery ones of my own Humpty poem.

Humpty takes up the hobby of making paper airplanes and little model birds. When one of these lands on top of the wall, he has to face his fear and climb back up there, which he does. There, on top of the wall, Humpty starts to crack.

And then bursts out of his shell, a fully fledged adult bird.

Why does he emerge from the egg all ready to fly, rather than as a helpless hatchling? It is never explained in the book, just as it is never explained how he could possibly have survived his fall. In terms of symbolism, though, I think we have to conclude that it is because of the time he spent climbing walls when he was an egg. He entered the next stage of his life with that experience already behind him.

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come (D&C 130:18-19).

This ties in with something else I've been dwelling on recently as part of my Rosary meditations: the legend of the Visitation as recorded by Luke. In Luke's story, the mother of Jesus is related to the mother of John the Baptist and visits her while Jesus and John are both in the womb, and the fetal John somehow recognizes the fetal Jesus and jumps for joy. Taken literally, it's a fanciful story, as fanciful as that of an egg climbing a wall. I believe what happened is that Jesus told his disciples that one of the reasons John had been able to identify him as the Messiah was that the two of them had already met, before either of them was born. He was referring either to the spirit pre-existence or to past incarnations, but the story was misunderstood and eventually evolved into the form preserved by Luke.

Ever since coming up with this interpretation, I've associated the Visitation story with the phrase "The World is Bound by Secret Knots," which is the title of a Noe Venable album I used to listen to a lot. As I was writing the above paragraph just now, another phrase that came to mind was Elective Affinities, the title of a Goethe novel I've never read. I had a vague inkling of a memory that I'd once seen a copy of Elective Affinities with an egg on the cover, which led me to do an image search. It turns out that Elective Affinities is also the title of a Magritte painting. Perhaps that's what I was remembering, or perhaps some publisher once used the Magritte as cover art for the Goethe. In any case, the Magritte relates directly to After the Fall, as it depicts an egg trying prematurely to be a bird:

The surprise ending of After the Fall, where the transformed Humpty flies off into the sky, also reminds me of the ending of Goethe's Faust, where Faust, despite having literally sold his soul to the devil, unexpectedly ascends to Heaven at the end, because "Whoever strives with all his might / We are allowed to save." Since the Simon and Garfunkel album Bookends has recently come up ("Crescent waxing"), After the Fall also has a lot in common with one of the songs from that album, "Save the Life of My Child":

It's strange that I haven't thought of it at all as I've been making all these posts about Humpty Dumpty, but in 2020 or thereabouts I suddenly became very interested in climbing walls. Almost every night I would go out very late, and instead of just doing my usual night hike, I would find brick walls, climb them, and walk around on top of them, sometimes jumping from one wall to another, which was kind of a stupid thing to do if you think about it. Inevitably, I ended up having a "great fall" and having to limp all the way home with a sprained ankle. And that's why to this day I eat only Granola Harvest and Sad Clown cereal instead of the Hidden Treasures I used to enjoy. (That's a joke. I don't eat cereal at all. The rest of the story is true, though.)

Saturday, July 20, 2024

Ace of Hearts

On the A page of Animalia, an Ace of Hearts is near a picture of a running man whom I interpreted as a reference to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Today I realized that the actor’s initials, AS, coincide with the French word from which our word ace derives. The Ace of Hearts, for example, is As de cœur. This made me curious as to what the card was called in Ahnold’s native German. If you guessed Hertz-Ass, you’re absolutely right. If you guessed that I’m juvenile enough to find that extremely funny, you’re right again.

The transformation of the Ace of Hearts into Hurts-Ass made me think of a Spanish cartoon I saw ages ago, showing a young man and woman on a date. In the woman’s thought balloon was a heart pierced diagonally by an arrow, symbolizing love. In the man’s thought balloon was the same heart and arrow, but the heart was turned upside down, and the arrow was piercing it vertically from below, right between the lobes.

I went to the night market tonight, and there I passed someone wearing a T-shirt that said “Kiss My Ace” — the same juvenile pun I had just been thinking about. A few minutes later, I passed someone with a T-shirt made to look like the Three of Spades but with the colors reversed (white spades and numerals on a black shirt). The Anglo-French suit of Spades derives from the Italian or Tarot suit of Swords, and in the Rider-Waite Tarot, the Three of Swords looks much like an Ace of Hearts, except that (as in the Spanish cartoon) the heart is pierced, both diagonally and vertically:

That looks like it Hertz.

I’ve interpreted the Ace of Hearts as having to do with references in Mormon scripture to “one heart” and the “pure in heart.” In the Book of Mormon itself, most of the “pure in heart” references are in Jacob 2. Jacob laments that he must preach fire and brimstone “in the presence of the pure in heart,” fearing that his words will be like “daggers placed to pierce their souls.” After dutifully calling the wicked to repentance, he again reminds them of this regrettable collateral damage:

And because of the strictness of the word of God, which cometh down against you, many hearts died, pierced with deep wounds.

He then goes on to address “you that are pure in heart” directly. It’s a major theme.

After the visit to the night market, I happened to see a bit of TV news, reporting on a political convention in the United States. They had a clip of an American commentator saying something like, “One party is getting its butt kissed, and the other party is getting its butt kicked.” That’s a link both to “Kiss My Ace” and to “Hertz-Ass.” And of course the main focus was on a politician with the playing-card name Trump.

Note added: I checked that quote. It was CNN's Van Jones, and he said, "A bullet couldn't stop Trump. A virus just stopped Biden. You've got the nominees of this party getting their butts kissed. Biden's getting his butt kicked by his own party. The Democrats are coming apart. The Republicans are coming together."

And since we've got hearts and butt-kicking, I'll go ahead and throw in this clip:

Friday, July 19, 2024

I've been a miner for a heart of gold

My last post linked Emmett Brown, from the Back to the Future movies, with the brown emmets, or ants, on the A page of Animalia:

As the syncs drew my attention to the word brown, I remembered that its curious etymology had come up on this blog before, in the October 2021 post "Bern, baby, bern!" According to Etymonline, brown comes from:

Old English brun "dark, dusky," developing a definite color sense from 13c. . . . The Old English word also had a sense of "brightness, shining," preserved only in burnish.

In the 2021 post, I discuss this strange case of a single word meaning both "dark" and "bright." Rereading it now, though -- after writing "With?" -- I immediately thought of Darkinbad the Brightdayler:

And last of all comes Darkinbad,
Who is Brightdayler hight,
Who'll go down in the dark abyss
And bring all things to light.

(Hight, incidentally, is an archaic synonym for "named, called." It was particularly favored by Edmund Spenser, who like me found it a convenient rhyme.)

Emmett Brown would be a good alternative name for Darkinbad. Brown, as discussed, captures his oxymoronic dark-brightness. Emmett, the name, is thought to be from a Germanic word meaning "whole" or "universal" ("all things"). Emet also happens to be the Hebrew word for "truth," that which is brought to light. "It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know?" (Job 11:8). "Truth shall spring out of the earth" (Ps. 85:11).

This image of Darkinbad going down into the dark to bring out the light of truth, combined with that of the brown emmets, made me think of the old legend of gold-mining ants, recorded by Herodotus and picked up by the medieval bestiaries. Herodotus says these emmets were "the color of a cat," which I guess means brown, since that's the natural color of cats in the wild. I ran an image search for gold mining ants to see if they would be portrayed as brown, and the first result was from a site called A Book of Creatures:

A Book of Creatures, abbreviated ABC. Creature and animal are roughly synonymous, so this is a link to Animalia, which is an alphabet (ABC) book, and which also features brown emmets.

The emmets in Animalia aren't mining gold, though. Instead, they seem to be interested in the Ace of Hearts.

Last night I used the YouTube Music app and let the algorithm choose the songs. The second one it chose was Neil Young's "Heart of Gold":

I want to live
I want to give
I've been a miner
For a heart of gold

In my last post, I interpret the Ace of Hearts as a symbol of having "one heart" and being "pure in heart." A "heart of gold" is obviously a very similar concept. I specifically understood "oneness" or "purity" of heart to mean having "an integrated self, not one torn apart by conflicting motives." It is therefore interesting to see that just below the Ace of Hearts in the picture is the word ATOM in big gold letters. The etymological meaning of atom is "not cut" or "not divided."

Also last night, I was listening to a podcast with John Dehlin and Matt Harris, about the Mormon Church's history of racism:

In the course of the discussion, Harris mentions that one of the only Mormon apostles of his era to question racial inequality in the church was Hugh B. Brown. The part of my mind that makes puns instead of thinking found this funny and said, "Well of course he was critical of 'white supremacy'! The dude's name is literally Hue Be Brown." Just now I looked up what the B. stands for and found that his full name was actually Hugh Brown Brown. That seems like a pretty strange thing to name someone; apparently his middle name came from his mother's maiden name, which was also Brown. That double Brown, paired with a first name that sounds like hue ("color"), seems to be the sync fairies' way of underlining the importance of that word and color.

Thursday, July 18, 2024

The brown emmets, the Ace of Hearts, and drinking absinthe with yaks

I'm not sure if it came from a forgotten dream or what, but I woke up this morning with a strange image in my mind: I was sitting at a card table, and opposite me was a yak, standing on the floor on all fours, with its head over the table. I had a small tumbler in front of me, and the yak had a shallow bowl, and we were drinking absinthe together, neat. (Nobody drinks absinthe neat. I'm pretty sure it would burn a hole in your stomach.) I would fill my glass and its bowl from a bottle, and we would both drink, the yak lapping it up like a dog. The most vivid element of this little image or fantasy was the intensely bitter taste of the absinthe.

Absinthe is made with wormwood and thus has biblical resonances:

And the name of the star is called Wormwood [Greek apsinthos]: and a third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter (Rev. 8:11).

In Mosaic times, "bitter water" was used as a sort of ordeal or test of purity. A wife suspected of unfaithfulness was made to drink "the bitter water that causeth the curse" (Num. 5:19) and if she was innocent, she would be unharmed by it.

Sitting at a card table with a yak of course made me think of the Y page of Animalia, discussed in "Pushed to Zion with songs of everlasting joy," which shows yaks on yellow yachts, one of which has what looks like a poker hand on its sail, though I later decided it was probably a reference to the Israeli card game Yaniv.

A couple of days ago, I was in Taichung and happened to see an advertising billboard with what was pretty obviously an AI-generated knockoff of Cassius Coolidge's Dogs Playing Poker paintings. That, combined with today's card-table image, gave me the idea of trying to use AI to produce a picture of Yaks Playing Yaniv. I first tried the prompt "yaks playing poker, style of Cassius Coolidge" but was unsatisfied with the result. All the chips on the table made it too clear that they were playing poker, not some other card game:

So I tried another prompt: "yaks playing cards; each yak has five cards in its hand." The AI completely mis-parsed this, giving me not yaks which are in the act of playing cards but rather some "yak playing cards" -- i.e., playing cards with yaks on them:

Although I didn't notice it until later, the only card fully visible in the above image is the Ace of Hearts. The only card fully visible on the sail of the yaks' yacht in Animalia is also the Ace of Hearts.

So I gave up on the AI stuff and instead checked a few blogs. First I skimmed America’s Flagship Meme Post. One of the memes, which didn't particularly stand out to me at the time, was this:

Then I checked William Wright's blog, and found that the latest post was called "Back to the Future." It's about Back to the Future 2, and although I've never seen any of the movies in that series, I believe the still in the meme also comes from that movie. In the last section of the post, William discusses the character Dr. Emmett Brown's catchphrase "Great Scott!" and connects Scott with Gael and thus with GAEL, Joseph Smith's Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language. I posted "GAEL" on June 23 and connected that acronym with Animalia because at that point I had been focused on the G and L pages. I wrote:

But G and L are only two of the four letters in GAEL. What of the other two? Well, I don't have much to say about A at this point, but recent syncs have strongly suggested that I give the E page another gander.

I still haven't posted anything about the A page, but William's post made me want to look at it again. It was actually the name Emmett Brown that suggested this. Emmet is a somewhat old-fashioned word for "ant," and I figured the A page would probably have an ant on it somewhere. Indeed it does. Here's what the page as a whole looks like:

And here's a closer view of the part that most caught my eye:

Not only emmets, but specifically brown emmets -- corresponding perfectly to the name of the Back to the Future character -- and right between them, what else but the Ace of Hearts!

Also touching the Ace of Hearts is an airliner, and nearby is a picture of a running man with an A on his tank top -- A for Ahnold, of course, star of The Running Man and of everyone's favorite gratuitously offensive meme that doesn't make any sense:

The Y page in Animalia features yaks yodeling -- or, in my interpretation, singing "songs of everlasting joy." This made me think of the Coasters' 1956 song "Yakety Yak," which kind of rocks, so I decided to give it a listen:

One of the comments on the video said, "i can easily imagine how this song will sound if it was sung by an Austrian bodybuilder!" A quick search revealed that, sure enough, Ahnold does sing this song -- while on an airliner -- in the 1988 movie Twins:

The twins of the movie's title are played by Schwarzenegger (6'2") and Danny DeVito (4'10"). This ties in with my story The Tinleys, about a very big knight and a very small knight, both named Tinley. When I first posted about that story, I wrote, "I believe the two Tinleys became friends after Small bested Big in a fight." I had misremembered, though. In fact, the two Tinleys -- like the characters played by Schwarzenegger and DeVito -- are brothers.

Coming back to William Wright's post, it includes a YouTube video compilation of every time Emmett Brown says "Great Scott!" in the Back to the Future films. At the end of the compilation is this ad for an apparently defunct website:

That specific phrase, "yellow car," with the image of a Volkswagen Beetle, got my attention. I have interpreted the lines "Hinbad the Hailer traveled far / By riding in a yellow car" as referring to Elijah and his chariot of fire. In "Valhalla, I am coming!" I linked this with the yellow Beetle on the badge worn by Victor the Vulture in Animalia.

Notice that Emmett Brown in the meme above is wearing a Hawaiian shirt decorated with yellow trains. The yaks are on yellow yachts. Yellow forms of transportation are a definite theme here.

The yellow Beetle badge is worn by Victor the Vulture. In "How is an armadillo like a griffon vulture in the Crimea?" I connected the two things in the post title, with The Tinleys being one of the connecting links. In "Armored vultures and the Cherubim," I brought in another character called Victor the Vulture, created by me as a child. I mentioned that Victor's sidekick was a snake that likes to eat apples.

The A page of Animalia prominently features an armadillo, and it also has a snake (anaconda) and some apples.

The biggest thing in the picture, though, is a big green alligator wearing a white apron with the alphabet on it. A green figure with a white apron has come up here before, in "Temple clothing in reverse, green shooting star, green figs."

That green head with a green baker's hat suggests an alligator, as you can see if you add eyes and nostrils:

Coming back to the Ace of Hearts, what is its significance? We first encountered it on the sail of the yaks' yachts, in a post about being "pushed to Zion." In Mormon scripture, the name Zion is associated with the idea of "one heart":

And the Lord called his people ZION, because they were of one heart and one mind, and dwelt in righteousness; and there was no poor among them (Moses 7:18).

That's today's date, by the way: 7/18.

"They were of one heart and one mind" -- that could be read to mean that all the people shared a single mind, a group or "hive" mind (like that of a colony of emmets), which does not sound desirable. Another reading, though, is that each of them had one heart and one mind -- that is, an integrated self, not one torn apart by conflicting motives. "Purify your hearts, ye double minded," says James (James 4:8). This latter reading seems to fit better with what is said about Zion elsewhere:

Therefore, verily, thus saith the Lord, let Zion rejoice, for this is Zion -- THE PURE IN HEART (D&C 97:21).

If the Ace of Hearts references this purity of heart, this being "of one heart," it is appropriate that it appears on the sail of a yacht. This passage from Unsong is relevant:

Finding God wasn't the sort of thing you did with a spy satellite or a submarine. It was the sort of thing you did on a quest. So [the Comet King] built himself a ship. A superfast yacht with seven sails, six from the colors of the rainbow and one jet-black. Every beam and mast built with strange magics only he knew. He called it All Your Heart, because it is written in Jeremiah: "You will seek God and find Him when you seek with all your heart."

Note added (10:30 p.m. same day): This post emphasizes appearances of the Ace of Hearts in a book by Graeme Base. Some hours after posting it, I checked my YouTube subscriptions and found that Emily Linge had recently uploaded a cover of "The Sign" by Ace of Base. I wasn't a huge fan of this particular cover, but the fact of its showing up seemed like a "sign."

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Seventh month, seventeenth day

Yesterday I started reading the Old Testament. This morning I picked up where I had left off, with Genesis 8. Thus it was that today, July 17, I read this verse:

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:4).

To a bear, man is a gorilla

I dreamed that I was in a cabin in a rural area, and a black bear cub wandered into the front room. I was a bit afraid of it but figured it could be mollified by feeding it. My wife said that was a bad idea, but I insisted. Looking around the cabin, I found a tray of tofu and congealed duck blood and fed it to the cub.

I stepped outside, and the bear cub followed me. Then, at the top of a nearby hill, I saw the mama bear. She saw us, too, and was absolutely enraged, making a horrible sound that sounded more like a mountain lion than a bear, and she began charging down the hill at top speed.

“Why is she so angry?” I said. “I didn’t hurt the cub.”

“Don’t you get it?” said someone (not sure who). “You’re Harambe. You’re Harambe to her.”

After a bit of running and hiding from the bear, I eventually woke up. For some reason I’m never scared in dreams anymore, not even in dreams like this one.

Harambe the gorilla was killed because his mere proximity to a human child made him a threat, even though he had shown no sign of wanting to harm the child. The mother bear felt the same way about a human being in proximity to her cub. We are to bears what gorillas are to us. In the dream, I also thought of Harambe as meaning haram, or “forbidden.”

The afternoon after the dream, I was reading The Tarot by Richard Cavendish. He was discussing the baboon as a symbol of Thoth, referring to this animal incorrectly as an “ape,” and he wrote that “the ape is to man as man is to God.”

This connection, together with the similarity of Harambe to haram and arktos to ark, made me think of the poor chaps who reached out to steady the Ark of the Covenant and were summarily struck dead.

Monday, July 15, 2024

Visions "open" and "close"; mental images and real experiences don't

Continuing from my last post, "Visions as irruptions of dreaming consciousness into waking life":

In Joseph Smith's account of the visit of Moroni, I think we can see a distinction between the visitation of the angel, which was an actual experience, and a vision which occurred during that visitation. Here is how the arrival of Moroni is described:

While I was thus in the act of calling upon God, I discovered a light appearing in my room, which continued to increase until the room was lighter than at noonday, when immediately a personage appeared at my bedside, standing in the air, for his feet did not touch the floor (JS—H v. 30).

There is pretty clearly described as something taking place in Smith's actual room; and the initial change, from a dark room to one "lighter than at noonday," is a progressive one with no discontinuities indicating a transition to a dreaming or visionary state. The sudden appearance of the personage is a discontinuity, I suppose, but on the whole I would say the text suggests that the angel (or perhaps a projection or recording of the angel) was actually present in the bedroom, and that this was not a vision.

As the angel tells Smith about the Golden Plates, though, he does experience a vision, beginning with the characteristic "opening" sensation:

While he was conversing with me about the plates, the vision was opened to my mind that I could see the place where the plates were deposited, and that so clearly and distinctly that I knew the place again when I visited it (v. 42).

This is clearly a vision; Smith is still physically in his bedroom, not at the hill where the plates are deposited.

After this vision, the angelic visitation ends. It does not "close" or dissolve like a vision; rather, the scene changes by continuous steps back to an ordinary condition:

After this communication, I saw the light in the room begin to gather immediately around the person of him who had been speaking to me, and it continued to do so until the room was again left dark, except just around him; when, instantly I saw, as it were, a conduit open right up into heaven, and he ascended till he entirely disappeared, and the room was left as it had been before this heavenly light had made its appearance (p. 43).

From now on, I'm going to be paying close attention to such distinctions in the reported experiences of Joseph Smith.

Sunday, July 14, 2024

Visions as irruptions of dreaming consciousness into waking life

There's a theory -- I'm not sure who deserves credit for it -- that dreaming goes on all the time, but that it is imperceptible when we are awake because it is drowned out by the much "brighter" and "louder" stimuli of waking consciousness -- much as the stars are always there but only become visible when there is no sunlight. In theory, then, it should be possible to experience dreaming during waking if the "sunlight" can be tuned out.

I think that's what's happened with my two recent "vision" experiences. Both occurred while I was praying the Rosary -- a meditative-like state where the discursive mind is disengaged and external stimuli are tuned out -- and at least one of them had features that mark it as being more like a dream than like a hallucination. In the "Étude brute?" vision, I was able to move and act in the vision -- walking through a wall from one cavern into another -- while at the same time my physical body was sitting in a chair and not moving at all. I would assume that in a classic hallucination, you would sea unreal stimuli within the real world and would react to them by actually moving your physical body. Therefore, I think that what I had is probably accurately described as a "waking dream," and I have referred to it as such.

On July 9, I was reading Doctrine and Covenants Section 110 and noticed language that hadn't really stood out to me that last time I'd read it (which was more than 20 years ago):

The veil was taken from our minds, and the eyes of our understanding were opened. We saw the Lord standing upon the breastwork of the pulpit, before us; and under his feet was a paved work of pure gold, in color like amber. . . .

After this vision closed, the heavens were again opened unto us; and Moses appeared before us . . . .

After this vision had closed, another great and glorious vision burst upon us; for Elijah the prophet, who was taken to heaven without tasting death, stood before us . . .  (vv. 1-2, 11, 13).

In the past, I had always thought of this as a series of actual visitations by Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. The visionary character of the experience (indicated by the phrases I have bolded) hadn't really registered. The language about the heavens opening and closing never had any specific meaning for me before, but now I recognize it as a very natural way of describing visions like my own. There is a sense that the visual field "opens up," as if one is seeing behind a backdrop, and when I read Smith and Cowdery's language about a veil being taken away and the heavens opening, it seemed to me that they had to be describing the same kind of experience. These things are impossible to express properly in words, but the words they chose are immediately understandable to one who has had the experience, just as those who have experienced the "fire on Emmaus" know it when it is described.

So Moses and Elijah weren't actually there in the Kirtland Temple and didn't actually give Smith and Cowdery the "keys." They just had a vision that that happened, which is not the same thing at all. I'm not discounting dreams and visions, of course, but vision is not reality. I mean, I myself have had a vision of the Holy Family, but I would never presume to say that I have seen Jesus Christ with my own eyes or anything like that.

 Visions need to be clearly distinguished from actual events. Visions are symbolic.


I dreamed that representatives of a secretive organization were going around to elementary schools and interviewing the “gifted and talented” kids, trying to identify individuals of possible interest to their group.

Part of the interview involved playing brief clips of various national anthems and noting in particular how each child reacted to “La Marseillaise.”

Children were also asked about their favorite colors and why they liked them. If a child expressed a preference for black and white, the interviewer was to say, “So you probably like zebras, right? Are you a Neomonotonist?”

The child’s reaction at this point was extremely important. Some would ask what a Neomonotonist was. Others would bluff and say yes or no as if they had understood the question. Neither was the response the interviewers were looking for.

Saturday, July 13, 2024

Europa again

Today I was once again trying to go to, but autocomplete sent me to instead. The random post it served up was this:

Friday, July 12, 2024

Hatched by a monkey

My dream about an unpublished red book titled Unhenned has been interpreted by William Wright as being about Israel -- citing Jesus' statements in the Bible and Book of Mormon about gathering Israel "as a hen gathereth her chickens" and Daymon "Doug" Smith's reference to the history of Israel as a book with "red chapters."

This morning I was in my study, and it occurred to me to scan my shelves for red books. The Eustace Diamonds . . . The Seven Sins of Memory . . . The Uninscribed . . . ah, The Circle by David Eggers! The title of the book reinforces the "egg" in his name, and an egg is the sort of thing that might be described as "unhenned" -- that is, without a hen to sit on it and incubate it.

Most of my books are in cabinets with glass doors, but two small shelves are behind opaque doors. I don't usually keep books on those shelves, but today I thought I'd better look inside just in case there were any more red books hiding there. And there, sure enough, I found a bright red three-ring binder containing selections from the Scarlet Notebook, a collection of Tychonievich juvenilia. The full Scarlet Notebook (still so called for historical reasons) is currently in a massive white binder in America somewhere, but I have PDF scans of the whole thing. As soon as I saw the red binder on my shelf, I remembered that among its contents is a little fragment called "Hatched by a Monkey," written by one of my brothers as a child. It didn't make the cut for inclusion in the small red binder in Taiwan, but I looked it up in the PDF. Here it is in its entirety:

Desnor wondered, as he often did, why he had to be the one who was hatched by a monkey! His long, flexible tail still hurt from his last entry into the chicken-house. The other roosters had nearly murdered him, but he had escaped, with the helpy of his two extra lages and usable wings.

The only person who really cared about him was Henry. Tomorrow, they were going to run away. Henry was an orphan birth, trying to survive until he was old enough to get a real job, not just assistant chicken-keeper.

Suddenly, all the chickens started to squawk and run around, flapping their wings and causing a general ruckus. Then Desnor saw the reason: The butcher was coming, equipped with a large axe and a miniature crossbow.

Immediately, Desnor flew down, opened the gate, and flew into the top of a pine tree.

Amongst all the mess of chickens, the butcher dropped his weapons and tried to get all the chickens in the pen at the same time!

Desnor flew down and took the crossbow and quarrels onto the roof, where he stayed.

When the butcher saw this, he yelled, "Chicken's out!" so loud that the shutters rattled.

This lines up with the dream pretty neatly. It's from an unpublished book with a red cover, and it's about a creature that apparently hatched from an "unhenned" chicken egg that was incubated by a monkey.

In the context of William Wright's interpretation -- that "unhenned" refers to the House of Israel, with the absent hen being the rejected Jesus Christ -- the idea of being "hatched by a monkey" made me think of the prophecy that "the kings of the Gentiles shall be nursing fathers unto [Israel], and their queens shall become nursing mothers" (2 Ne. 10:9) -- i.e., that the Gentiles will raise Israel in the absence of the father hen. Gentiles essentially means "barbarians," of which monkeys or apes would be a natural symbol.

Desnor is an anagram of Red Son, which came up in my 2020 post "Robin Hood."

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Why I talk about the paranormal

Bruce Charlton has an important new post up: "Belief in the supernatural/ paranormal/ occult phenomena." He begins thus:

I don't know how unusual it is; but I find that I combine a firm belief in the reality of many supernatural/ paranormal/ occult phenomena; with an almost 100% reflex dis-belief in the objective reality of nearly-all specific examples of these phenomena, by nearly everybody.  

So, although in principle I am convinced of the reality of - in no particular order - telepathy, ghosts, miracles, synchronicity, personal destiny, magic, purposive personal evil (demons), angels, fairies... Nonetheless, I am very sceptical of the objective truth of almost every single report of such things I have encountered. 

Even among people whom I respect and trust; I find I often do not believe the specific truth of what they say or write...

"I don't know how unusual it is" -- not unusual at all, I would wager. I assume that most people can easily understand and sympathize with Bruce's stance here, and that most of us probably share it at least to some degree and with respect to some phenomena. It's obviously somewhat paradoxical, though. On what grounds does one assent to a general truth -- or what does it even mean to say that one so assents -- if one rejects every one of the specifics on which the generalization is based? If there is no x such that I believe x to be a genuine instance of telepathy, for example, why would I say I have "a firm belief in the reality of" telepathy?

Bruce emphasizes his skepticism of reports of the paranormal, so one possibility is that his firm belief in various phenomena is based entirely on his own firsthand experience. I think this is unlikely to be the whole story, though, since there are so many different phenomena in which he believes. It seems highly improbable that he personally has seen ghosts and angels and fairies and miracles and so on through the whole list.

We could also note the qualifiers he uses -- "almost 100%," "nearly-all," "nearly everybody" -- and infer that for each category of phenomena on his list there exists at least one specific instance in which he firmly believes, and that -- since one well-authenticated ghost is all it takes to establish that ghosts exist -- it is on these exceptional cases that his general beliefs rest. I doubt this is the case, though. If asked, for example, "Which ghost stories do you find uniquely convincing?" I assume he wouldn't have any to point to.

Another possibility is that the firm general beliefs are logical inferences. For example, each and every one of my beliefs is, by definition, something that I believe to be true. Nevertheless, at the meta level, I recognize my own fallibility and am therefore firmly convinced that some of my beliefs -- a great many of them, in all likelihood -- are in fact false. A general belief in "miracles" can be similarly grounded: Given the fallibility of our knowledge, it is virtually certain that some phenomena we consider to be impossible are in fact possible and do occur, and these are what we call "miracles." For more specific paranormal beliefs, though, this doesn't seem to work. From what general principles could one derive the likely existence of ghosts, say, or of fairies? I don't see how such beliefs can be anything other than empirical.

It's possible, then, that stances like Bruce's are inherently unstable and that this can only be resolved by persisting in one's folly one way or the other. During my atheist years, I found myself in the opposite but equally unstable position of "officially" not believing in anything supernatural while at the same time believing in practice in certain specific instances. I would often find myself saying things like, "Of course I don't believe in omens, but this is pretty clearly an omen." In the end I came to understand this as a sign that I was not being honest with myself about my own beliefs. My attempts to rectify those discrepancies -- particularly with regard to "free will," in which I purportedly disbelieved -- precipitated my eventual reconversion to theism and a supernatural worldview.

Coming back to Bruce's post, he writes of those who claim paranormal experiences:

And indeed; to my mind, across such people, they have said and written a vast range of incompatible and often incoherent things. If I tried to base my life upon believing the specific information (facts and understandings) of even those relatively few sincere persons who I respect and trust - I would nonetheless be building my faith on a seething mass of sand, rubble, and water - not on solid rock!

I agree with this. We cannot base our beliefs or lives on anything as slippery as the paranormal. That is, we can't believe something simply because it was allegedly communicated by an angel or a miracle or a synchronicity or whatever. We have to judge content from such sources the same way we judge any other content. I discuss this in my post "Who or what is the ultimate spiritual authority? (a Mormon perspective)." As is well documented on this blog, I learned this lesson the hard way after making some extremely confident predictions about the outcome of the 2020 election based on synchronicity alone -- some really extraordinary synchronicities, I must say, most of which were objective and publicly verifiable (meaning the fact that there were such synchronicities, not the correct interpretation of the same) -- but the predictions failed.

I've been quoting John Dominic Crossan on this for decades now:

Altered states of consciousness, such as dreams and visions, are something common to our humanity, something hard-wired into our brains, something as normal as language itself. They were recognized as common possibilities in the early first century, and they are still recognized as such in the late twentieth century. And only when their human normalcy is accepted can a proper response be offered. That response should not be, We deny the fact of your vision. It should be, Tell us the content of your vision. And then we will have to judge, not whether you had it or not, but whether we should follow it or not.

The distinction Crossan makes is an important one, one which perhaps tends to be blurred by Bruce's ambiguous language about "believing in the reality of the phenomena." Questioning whether someone in fact had the experience they claim to have had is entirely different from questioning the conclusions they draw from it.

I generally suspend judgment on the correct interpretation of paranormal experiences, including my own, to a degree that sometimes annoys others. When otherwise trustworthy people report the fact of a paranormal experience, though, I mostly believe them -- "mostly" because of the danger Bruce identifies in the following quote from his post:

This is why I try to refrain from ever communicating my own such experiences; because I know that they will be unconvincing to others, that there are many alternative mundane explanations, they can be explained-away or else my own honesty and competence will be rejected - and therefore in making such communications I feel an almost irresistible temptation to persuade, exaggerate, distort - and I assume others do also.

The temptation he mentions -- to "photoshop" one's experiences a bit in order to make them more presentable -- is very real and very hard to resist. I make an effort to be strictly factual in my reports, but everyone should definitely take them all with large quantities of salt. Paranormal experiences are so slippery that articulating them at all inevitably involves distortion, and much of this will be, even with the best of conscious intentions, motivated distortion.

My policy is, obviously enough, the opposite of Bruce's. I do try to communicate my paranormal experiences, and in fact for some time now this blog has consisted almost entirely of reports of synchronicities, dreams, visions, and such, with more discursive posts like the present one increasingly few and far between.

In doing this, I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. I don't generally draw firm conclusions from my own experiences, let alone try to push those conclusions on others. My primary concern is simply to normalize the paranormal. To quote Crossan again, "only when their human normalcy is accepted can a proper response be offered" -- because paranormal experiences absolutely are a normal aspect of the human condition. Quite a few people have shared theirs with me -- but nearly always in confidence, on the understanding that I will keep my mouth shut (and I do). I've been there, and I sympathize, but at the same time, how much progress can we make in understanding such things when everyone is too embarrassed to compare notes? Embarrassment is fear, and fear is the mind-killer.

If we report our paranormal experiences, the reports will inevitably include distortion. If we systematically avoid talking about a whole area of experience, though, that's an even greater distortion. And if we coyly hint that we have had paranormal experiences without giving any specifics -- the old Mormon trope of "I know by experiences to sacred to relate" -- well, that path has its own temptations and corrupting influences. As always, "playing it safe" is not really one of our options.

To end on a synchronistic note, earlier today, as I was thinking about Bruce's post, a quote from William Blake came to mind -- from The Ghost of Abel -- and I looked it up:

To Lord Byron in the Wilderness: What doest thou here Elijah? Can a Poet doubt the Visions of Jehovah? Nature has no Outline: but Imagination has. Nature has no Tune: but Imagination has. Nature has no Supernatural & dissolves: Imagination is Eternity.

It came to mind because of the theme of "doubting visions," and also probably because I've recently been reading, thinking about, and dreaming of Lord Byron. After looking it up and reading it, though,my main impression was the emphasis on the value of imagination.

Before looking up the Blake quote, I had been reading Section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which is quite long. After rereading The Ghost of Abel, I returned to Section 124 and soon encountered this passage:

And he shall be led in paths where the poisonous serpent cannot lay hold upon his heel, and he shall mount up in the imagination of his thoughts as upon eagles’ wings. . . . Therefore, let my servant William cry aloud and spare not, with joy and rejoicing, and with hosannas to him that sitteth upon the throne forever and ever, saith the Lord your God (vv. 99, 101).

Is this the only positive reference to "imagination" in all of scripture? I think it may be -- and it's in reference to "my servant William" and is closely followed by an injunction to "cry aloud and spare not" -- i.e., to speak up and not hold back.

I took this as synchronistic confirmation that, whatever path may be right for other people, I at least should continue to speak openly about these things. To me it seemed like a message from the sync fairies -- though I quite understand if you, reader, reflexively doubt that.

Sunday, July 7, 2024

Sweet Baby James

I've been reading Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers rather slowly. Today I came to Frankley's poem about Saint Brendan, with its interesting rhyme scheme:

We sailed for a year and a day and hailed
no field nor coast of men;
no boat nor bird saw we ever afloat
for forty days and ten.

As you can see, in the first and third lines of every quatrain, the first foot (not the second as in limericks) rhymes with the fourth. Sometimes this is done in a very clever way which would not have been possible if rhymes came only at the ends of lines:

We turned away, and we left astern
the rumbling and the gloom;
then the smoking cloud asunder broke,
and we saw that Tower of Doom:

What this made me think of, oddly, was the James Taylor song "Sweet Baby James." In my 2019 post "The rhyme burden of various poetic forms," I had noted the song's rhyme scheme as being slightly more challenging to write in than the ottava rima of Byron's Don Juan. (By the metric used in that post, the rhyme burden of ottava rima is 0.35, while "Sweet Baby James" is 0.357. Frankley's poem is 0.429, the same as a Spenserian sonnet.) 

These thoughts led me to listen to "Sweet Baby James," and some of the lyrics hit differently than they had in the past -- "Good night, you moonlight ladies," for instance. What really got my attention was this verse, though:

There's a song that they sing when they take to the highway
A song that they sing when they take to the sea
A song that they sing of their home in the sky
Maybe you can believe it if it helps you to see
But singing seems to work fine for me

In "Pushed to Zion with songs of everlasting joy," I wrote about the song the ransomed sing as they return via a "highway" which is actually the sea. And of course this "sea" may in fact be a figurative reference to outer space, hence the song "of their home in the sky." In that post, the ransomed are portrayed as singing yaks, tying in with the cattle-herding theme of "Sweet Baby James."

Lord Byron on a motorcycle

My dreams of last night ended with this brief scene: Lord Byron, dressed in the clothing of his era, with a black cape about his shoulders, was standing astride a black Yamaha crotch rocket with a long bridge ahead of him. Behind him, the late afternoon sun was shining. Before him, dark storm clouds gathered. He stood there for a few moments, gazing into the distance as if sizing up the situation. Then he started the engine, hunched forward in the seat, and sped off over the bridge and into the storm.

This afternoon, I experienced a weird sense of déjà vu when, motorcycling back home from Taichung, I came up on a long bridge and saw black clouds lowering ahead, even as the sun shone bright behind me. I had a paper bag full of books hanging from a hook in front of me and was not prepared to deal with rain, but what choice did I have? Like Byron in the dream, I went over the bridge and into the dark. The first fat drops began falling literally seconds after I arrived at my destination.

Rolex doesn’t sound like a watch

It sounds like a prescription medication.

Ask your doctor if Rolex is right for you.

Saturday, July 6, 2024


I think I've finally solved the mystery of the five playing cards on the Y page of Animalia, as discussed in "Pushed to Zion with songs of everlasting joy."

I had pretty much given up, to the point where I was trying to contact the author and ask him to reveal the answer. Graeme Base is a difficult man to contact, it turns out, but that's okay because I think I've got it. I had looked at a few lists of card games, none of which had anything beginning with Y. After checking a few more such lists, though, I found Yaniv.

Yaniv is a draw-and-discard game in which each player always has exactly five cards in his hand, and the object is to have the hand with the lowest value. Aces are low, so the hand depicted -- two aces, two deuces, and a trey -- would be a pretty good one.

In my post about the Y page, I interpreted it in terms of the return of the Lost Tribes of Israel -- particularly the House of Joseph, whose symbol is the wild ox. It is then singularly appropriate that Yaniv is not only an Israeli game but one particularly associated with Israeli backpackers -- i.e., with nominal "Israelites" who are traveling overseas.

Yaniv is named after one of the two backpackers who invented it. Yaniv is a modern Hebrew name (not biblical) and means "he will bear fruit, yield, produce." According to Wikipedia, the game is also known as Yusuf -- i.e., Joseph ("he will add") -- which also begins with a Y. The other co-inventor of the game was named Asaf, which means "collector, gatherer."

Friday, July 5, 2024

Fire and Ice 2: Geothermal Boogaloo

The first synchronicity that registered with me as such had to do with Robert Frost's poem "Fire and Ice." It happened around 1991, and I discussed it in my 2019 post "Fire and Ice."

I was reminded of this today when I received an English magazine with this on the cover:

I also noticed "The Little Helicopter on the Red Planet" in connection with "The Gospel of Luke on Lobsterback." In that post, I discussed the transportation of the "Gospel of Luke" from "Britain" to "Armorica" on "lobsterback" -- all in scare quotes because probably none of those terms is meant literally. "Snails" were involved in this transportation. A helicopter could also be used to transport things across the sea, and the first element in that word is the combining form of Helix, which is a genus of snails. In the post I noted that lobsterback was historical slang for a British soldier, referring to the red coats they wore, and that previous dreams and syncs had introduced the idea of "Britain as another planet." The planet the lobsterbacks are from would naturally be the Red Planet, just as the planet the little skinny creatures are from is the Little Skinny Planet. In fact, in my post "Britain as another planet," I explicitly bring in Mars, referencing, among other things, a Muse music video featuring "a planet that looks like Mars but turns out to be Britain."

Coming back to the main cover story, though, it sent me back to my 2019 post, which included a still from This Is Spinal Tap. (That absolutely perfect movie, together with The Princess Bride, is why I will never denounce Rob Reiner, no matter how much of an ass he has made of himself since then.) The scene I was referencing was this:

Derek Smalls says of his bandmates:

We're very lucky in a sense that we've got two visionaries in the band. You know, David and Nigel are both, like, like poets, you know, like Shelley and Byron and people like that. They're two totally distinct types of visionaries. It's like fire and ice, basically, you see, and I feel my role in the band is to be kind of in the middle of that, kind of like lukewarm water.

Rewatching the clip just now, I noticed the Luke reference ("lukewarm water") and the names Shelley and Byron. Byron is, by a very wide margin, the English-language poet I have read the most and whose poetic style has most influenced my own. I haven't read too much of him recently, but just a few days ago, as documented in "No more a roving," I was nudged by Claire to take down his collected works and see what page was bookmarked. It was "So, we'll go no more a roving." This poem is very prominently featured in Ray Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, so that's another link to the Red Planet.

I'm fairly indifferent to Shelley as a poet, though he's been in the sync stream from time to time, mostly in connection with "The Sensitive Plant." When I heard the name Shelley in the video, though, my thoughts immediately went to a children's book I have at my school called What's in My Classroom? It's a very short, very simple book, only 10 pages, in which children give each other clues and try to guess what in the classroom they're thinking of. It ends with this:

Shelly appears to be a red-eared slider, a fairly close relative of the box turtle. In "Fruit grown from a ruby in a cup (with a turtle)," I recount a vision involving a box turtle and compare it to a story by William Wright about a Herbie the Hamster. Herbie lives in a glass enclosure which apparently has no lid, because in the end he succeeds in climbing out of it. Shelly the Turtle, as you can see, also lives in a glass enclosure with no lid, and also gets out of it in the end.

Also, take a look at the books the children are reading on p. 9. The boy's book has pictures of golden autumn leaves -- a major theme here recently. The girl's book has golden flowers, something William Wright has just posted about in "Gold and Red Stars: El-Anor and the Sawtooth Stone." His "Red Star" reference is of course another link to the Red Planet.

Finally, I should mention the possible significance of the book title What's in My Classroom? In a comment on his post "Behold, God's gift! Peter-Pharazon to come back together with John," William Wright links the idea of a classroom with the Mountain (i.e., in his reading, planet) of the Lord's House:

In my story, shoes are associated with reach the Peak, just as changing one's shoes in William's school is also required to ascend the stairs to the classroom. The classroom reference at the top of the stairs is interesting because Isaiah mentions that when the Mountain of the Lord's House is again established in the top of the Mountains, people will want to go there so they can learn, like one does in a classroom.

Update (later the same day): Hours after posting the above, I was preparing for a class and saw these three pictures:

All together on the page, there’s a turtle, a snail, Mars, and a red coat (“lobsterback”).

I also got word that a new student is going to join one of my classes, and the English name he uses is Byron.

Then this evening I checked Slate Star Codex for the first time in months and found a newly posted review of Byron’s Don Juan written in the style of the poem itself.

(Don Juan has its moments, but writing it in clunky pentameter stanzas was a mistake. Tetrameter with an irregular rhyme scheme suited Byron perfectly, and a Don Juan written in Giaour-style verse would have been brilliant. No, I’m not going to do it myself.)


I dreamed about a soon-to-be-published book called Unhenned. The author, rumored to be a major literary figure writing anonymously (I imagined him looking like Philip Roth), had released photos of the cover — all red, with just the one word Unhenned on it — but refused to reveal anything else about it, not even whether it was a novel or a work of non-fiction. Rumors swirled, mostly about how misogynistic it was probably going to be.

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

Fruit grown from a ruby in a cup (with a turtle)

I had another brief vision or waking dream today, while praying the Rosary and contemplating the Descent of the Holy Ghost.

I saw a large golden goblet, and a big ruby -- about the size of a large walnut -- was put inside it. I couldn't see who was putting it there. I just saw the ruby move through the air and down into the cup, but slowly and deliberately, not as if it were falling or being thrown. My impression was that it was being placed in the cup carefully by an invisible hand.

A few seconds later, a box turtle walked up to the goblet. It stood up on its hind legs and put its forefeet on the rim of the cup, trying to peer inside. As soon as it did this, all kinds of fruit started bubbling up from the goblet until it was full almost to overflowing. There were bananas, grapes, a pineapple, and lots of other fruits whose individual identities didn't register. The whole thing reminded me of Carmen Miranda's fruit hat. It was just a lot of fruit -- no plant or tree from which it was growing -- but my impression was nevertheless that it had all grown very rapidly from the ruby, and that the turtle's attempt to look into the cup was what had triggered it.

I have no clear interpretation of this, just a few hints at possible connections. One thing I immediately thought of was the Rider-Waite Ace of Cups card:

Here, too, we have something being put into a golden goblet. The imagery of the descending dove ties in with the context of the vision (I had been contemplating the Descent of the Holy Ghost), and of course turtle is a word that can refer either to a shelled reptile or to a dove.

I also thought of "This episode is brought to you by the letters G and L," where a gorilla seems to be about to put a bunch of grapes into the Holy Grail.

The ruby in the cup made me think of one of Debbie's dreams, where she was given a cup with a crystal in it, and the whole thing had something to do with Heaven's Gate. Since comments aren't searchable, I can't find that dream, so Debbie, I'll have to ask you to post it again. (You might consider starting your own blog so that these things are searchable.)

I also thought of William Wright's "Herbie the Hamster: A Short Story." The story is about a seed, and the ruby in my vision functions as a seed. Hamsters and box turtles play similar roles as low-maintenance pets often kept by small children, and the turtle's standing up on its hind legs to look into the cup reminded be of Herbie's efforts to get over the wall and see what is outside.

For whatever it's worth, the Tarot deck predicts a Kamala "win" this November

I don't give a crap about the upcoming fake election, but I remain somewhat interested in how the " standing prophecies " in t...