REFERENCES AND NOTES
1.The Goddess Venus, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, calls on
Poseidon to recognize her claims for his support:
“Ocean, where once I grew, should own my claim,
Since formed from foam, I bear in Greek that name”
The Metamorphoses of Ovid, English version by A.E.Watts, University of California, 1954. Book 4, lines 617-9.
2. These schoolfriends were, presumably, amongst the German soldiers who died fighting the Russians on the Steppe around Stalingrad in the Winter of 1941-2.
3. Crowley, A. 777, Weiser, Boston, MA, 1977. p. 30.4. The Aether is an invisible, unexplained, fifth element, a kind of force-field which binds our physical world together and in which all other mysterious, unexplained energies, like gravity, magnetism and light, as well as energies associated with the spirit and the soul, function.
5. Estelle Roberts (1889-1970) was a widely respected English medium who was very influential in the Spiritualist movement. She held huge and remarkable séances at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and in her autobiography, Fifty Years a Medium, she describes many public séances and ‘healings’. Occasionally she confronted spirits “face-to-face”, rather than through her spirit guide, and on one such occasion she questioned, then exorcised, a spirit which had been filling a young man with an almost irresistible urge to murder his mother.
6. Scholem, G. On Kabbalah and its Symbolism, Schoken Books, NY, 1996, p. 104.
7. Op. cit. p. 104.
8. Op. cit. p. 130. The whole of chapter 4 of Scholem’s book deals with Kabbalistic ritual and is very relevant to this discussion of ‘Possession’.
9. Op. cit. p. 133. The Zaddik’s ritual leap into the abyss of the ‘other side’ is essentially the same as the journey of the fully-fledged shaman who, in Ted’s words, “can enter a trance at will and go to the spirit world… to get… a cure, an answer, some sort of divine intervention in the community’s affairs”. Faas, E. The Unaccommodated Universe, Black Sparrow Press, Santa Barbara, USA, 1980. p. 206.
10. In Paradise Lost, Milton also links the various myths
of sacrificed gods across the centuries. He writes of
Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate
In amorous ditties all the summer’s day,
While smooth Adonis from his native rock
Ran purple to the sea, supposed with blood
Of Thammuz’s yearly wound”.
11. There is an ancient cave on Mount Zion which holds the tombs of King David, King Solomon and other kings of the Davidic line. The Sefer Torah (the Hebrew Book of Law) is held there. It is also the reputed site of the Last Supper, which Jesus held with his disciples before his crucifixion. Ted visited the Dome of the Rock Cave when on a British Council assignment in Israel in 1971. He spoke of it in an interview as “the most sacred and important place, where rites were probably performed, a place of shamans, of visionaries”. Negev, Lover of Unreason, Robson, USA, 2007.
12. ‘Aurora’ a poem by Orkney poet, George Mackay Brown, whose work Ted knew and enjoyed, begins “The Arctic girl is out tonight / (Come to the doors) / She dances… ” Brown, Selected Poems 1954-1992, John Murray, London, 1992. P.114.
13. In some accounts, Zorya is a star goddess whose husband, Myesyats is the Moon God. Sometimes, too, she is a triple goddess. She is always associated with the night and, as the midnight star, she is responsible for the resurrection of the Sun God.
14. New Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, Hamlyn, 1982. p.294.
15. The form, the yellow eyes, the association with magic, witchcraft, fertility and death, and the double nature of Bastet, the Egyptian Cat-Goddess, clearly link her with all the earlier Moon Goddesses.
16. Budge, E.W. Egyptian Magic, Dover Books, NY, 1971. P. 142-6.
17. It was Thoth who originally demanded revenge for the theft of his book by Ptah-Nefer-Ka and his sister, both of whom died because of this. But it was the Goddess’s priestess who cast the spell over Setnau because, in his pride, he ignored the Goddess’s warnings.
18. Ted Hughes to Keith Sagar, 26 March 1973. Both these letters are held in the British Library manuscript archive. Dep. 10003.