A story about craft, with a bit of mythology, magic, science and modern culture.
A bridge between the worlds of the living and the dead...
The theme is taken from the book by J.G. Frazer in which he discusses mankind’s development from magic, religion and science. I believe he took the title from a painting by J M W Turner depicting ’The Golden Bough’. The subject comes from Virgil’s poem, the Aeneid. The Trojan hero, Aeneas, has come to Cumae to consult the Sibyl, a prophetess. She tells him he can only enter the gateway to the Underworld, and meet the ghost of his father if he offers Proserpine a golden bough cut from the sacred tree.
The roman god of fire. Civilisation, the rise of capitalism and the industrial revolution. In Roman times, on August 23, a festival was held in his honour, associated with earthquakes, fires and volcanic eruptions. In 64 AD, after the great fire of Rome, it was believed that Vulcan needed to be placated and large sacrifices were made to the god during Vulcanalia each year.
Despite this, one day after August 23, 79 AD the great eruption of Mount Vesuvius that caused the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum took place.
Interestingly in Star Trek, Vulcan is a race of extraterrestrial beings. The Vulcan planet had a surface filled with fire, fields of lava and volcanoes, in reference to the god. The Vulcanite race appeared to have a greenish hue, due to their copper-based blood, as Vulcan was also the god of metallurgy.
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1910- 1995) Indian American astrophysicist. Made the first mathematical predictions about the existence of blackholes. The Chandra x ray telescope looks out into space able to detect X-ray sources billions of light years away. Chandra also means ‘light’ or ‘shining’ in Sanskrit.
‘Chandra has imaged the spectacular, glowing remains of exploded stars, and taken spectra showing the dispersal of elements. Chandra has observed the region around the supermassive black hole in the centre of our Milky Way, and found black holes across the Universe and traced the separation of dark matter from normal matter in the collision of galaxies and is contributing to both dark matter and dark energy studies’ Nasa
Trees relating to history, civilisation, folklore and the psyche, visions of the future and the times we find ourselves in of depleting woodlands. A good oak tree can take hundreds of years to mature.
The oak tree is significant in its primal connection to nature and its association with druids and magic, and the mistletoe, growing in the oak tree, not rooted in the ground, imbued with special powers. In Roman times, Caesar reported Germans travelling for 'two months through forests without end'. And in Medieval England measures were put in place to protect the oak tree, for future use in ship building.
There is a lesson in history and a modern parallel with countries like Brazil wanting to clear the forests and use the land for agriculture. The forest has always been associated with magic, folklore and beasts unknown. It is the opposite of the control that modern industrial nations seek gain over nature. What does the future hold for mankind holding too much power and knowledge yet facing ecological disaster?
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!