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Προφητεία (82)


Alkaid: we know Alkaid only by its Arabic name—and the Arabs do not have much to say about Alkaid. She is “the leader of the daughters of the bier”—the maidens. Indeed, the Arab poets even thought that this star is “good for nothing”, since its rising and setting does not bring rain. O, my Arab poets—mistaken are thee.


In truth Alkaid is an obscure star, and to understand her we must turn to the Hindu tradition—where she is seen in her male aspect, as one of the seven rishis (the rest being contained in the Great Bear) sent to guide mankind.


In this respect, Alkaid becomes the “sage Marichi”—he is one of the original creators, he is grandfather to Surya (the sun god). He appears everywhere in the Hindu epics as the son, father, or grandfather of the key deities in the creation of the universe—yet little is said about his own life.


So Alkaid is always obscure, yet very important. In Hinduism, Marichi is the son of Brahma—one of the creator trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva). He is “the ray of light” (literally, that is what his name means)—one of Brahma’s 10 mind-born sons (all these gods map on to various senses and supra-powers in the human body, by the way). Marichi is described as “an intense figure”—god of storms and tempests. Indeed, he eventually marries Kali—goddess of destruction and war.


Marichi-Alkaid's position becomes more apparent in his adoption into Buddhism—where he once again becomes female. Here he becomes “the goddess of the morning sun”; and she is particularly popular in Tibet and Japan.


As with her Hindu counterpart, she is associated with natural disasters and danger from any living thing—to invoke her is to ask for protection from attack (she is a bodhisattva herself). In general, she is associated with the acquisition of wisdom and protection (especially during journeys).


In keeping with the “storm and tempests” tradition of Hinduism, she is said to control what people see—she cultivates mirages and changes perceptions (she is the goddess of smoke and mirrors); and, of course, this conforms to Alkaid's position as the invisible god.


She can “block, obscure, or confuse” an enemy's perceptions—and she also “determines who wins and loses battles”, hence she is known in Japan as “Lady Victory or Lady Wealth” (you pray to her for luck in gambling, war and gambling being connected).


This recapitulates her Arabic designation, “Alkaid-destroyer-of-nations”. In Zen warriorship, to contemplate “Marishiten” causes the warrior to reach “transcendent fearlessness and selflessness”. With no fear about life, death, victory, or defeat the warrior can reach “desireless desire” and act without consideration for the result.


The goddess appears as either very beautiful or very fierce (she wears a necklace of skulls) and is invoked at the crack of dawn (she is associated with pigs in particular, and also the numbers “7” and “9”). She is often said to ride a white horse through the sky—being the goddess of daybreak she carries the orb of the sun in one hand and uses it to banish the night. So the general spiritual theme of Marishiten is lightness overcoming the dark.


She is the goddess of the samurai (and, in particular, their passion for justice)—Alkaid, destroyer-of-nations. It fits very neatly—obscure to the Arab poets, because camouflaged. Indeed, in her warrior personification, she is depicted with a heavenly fan decorated with the swastika; and, as the goddess of “mirage” or “invisibility”, she was particularly revered by the ninjas—the assassins of ancient Japan (her veneration fell off when the feudal system was dismantled).


She is the rays of the sun in the Dzogchen tradition; hence: “In order to demonstrate the source of light rays, there is the tantra known as the Marici Tantra.” It runs OM MARI ZEYE MUM SVAHA. Alkaid, ray of light—bringer of the dawn, banisher of darkness, destroyer-of-nations.


I have tried to discover Alkaid’s name in the Scandinavian or Greek tradition, but have had no such luck—so I use the Arabic name, as is conventional in the Western tradition (though the Indo-Aryan designation would be closer to it I prefer “Alkaid”, it feels better in my mouth). I suppose this all fits with this rather obscure god, herald of the light who works behind the scenes—and that could describe myself, being Alkaid’s servant.


Yet I would like to domesticate Alkaid, bring Alkaid into the Western domestic orbit—and so I may stare at Alkaid and ask him his name in a European tongue, in English (or even, on the occult level, his secret name—the name that commands and controls him, possible if I relate to him as an astral body).


Of course, much has been lost—destroyed by the Christians in their fanaticism, no doubt (but also destroyed before that, for we have been on a downward trajectory for so very long). As with all symbols, Alkaid has a masculine and feminine aspect—there is no contradiction that he-she is known as a female deity in some regions and masculine in others.


It’s also why disputes over whether the sun is “masculine” and the moon “feminine” are null—sometimes it is said Jungians are wrong to say this is so, for there are tribes that see the sun as masculine; but symbolically it is usual for every symbol to have a masculine and a feminine aspect.


So we see Alkaid in its true aspect—the end of the Big Dipper. The obscure star and the obscure god—but obscure for a purpose, “master of magic, spells, and illusion—enemies crumble in fear and confusion (Mandrake)”. Indeed, a relation to Mandrake the Magician—the bringer of the dawn is disguised, and the best disguise is found in a mirror (and, after all, do we not live in a mirror world?). It’s all smoke and mirrors—and, yes, it really is, with Alkaid, destroyer-of-nations. **** * * *

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