Orphic Mysteries in Five Minutes or Less
Commissioned by David Thomson for his piece, “1959” performed at St. Mark’s (NYC) in 2010.
“For you are not stars, sky-set in the shape of a lyre,
but the dust of those who have been dismembered by the Furies”
Please turn to page 59 of your Hymnal:
The Parable of the Sea Turtle
The female of the species is a secretive creature. She lives submerged, breaking the surface then and again to mate. She traverses ashore at night and lays more than 80 eggs at a time. She does so several times during the nesting season giving rise to a profusion of potential offspring. Not unlike the Lilith. She covers her eggs with sand before returning to the sea. The eggs incubate: an 82 degrees temperature will produce a male, at more fiery temperatures they will become female. In two months these offspring will hatch. And when they do, flesh eating birds crowd the sky as the newborns make a mad dash for the sea…
You will note from the diagram on the opposing page that we are describing human consciousness. It is the theoretical far side of the moon. Acquaint yourselves with this diagram: a cylindric canister with hemispheric ends, a wide flanger near the top. This canister is a hermetically sealed text pressurized to withstand a thousand years of curiosity. We like to call it the Lilith or the hypothetical far side of the moon. Our calculus is simple: an ecliptic forms an axis of the perigee when the moon’s orbit is closest to the earth and it’s apogee when it’s orbit is furthest from the earth. It is an empty area, a void—moving roughly 40 degrees each year in short taking 9 years to complete it’s cycle.
Turn with me to the next page: A Geography of the Hypothetical Far Side:
As far as we can discern, there are three seas that mark this topography—
Mare Moscovrae Or the Sea of Moscow
Please kneel brethren as we recite the prayer that encompasses the traits of this ocean:
Grant me citizenship in this unmarked territory
And all those to come,
My initiation begins and now it expires now
I am the 82nd degree– I emerge yang
I am the 90th degree– I evolve yin
I hatch, the predator circles
My mother was a secret submerged in the depths
My thoughts are the search-party submarine
And there is no water in this ocean.
Mare Desiderii, or Sea of Dreams:
A body marked by stars.
A body splintered into life sparks.
The nomad children are watching beneath clear desert skies, they point, delighted at the star clusters of your body, new to the constellation game. A body crushed immortal under the weight of history. Dismembered in fatal grasp of an adoring public.
So you want to be a Rock Star.
In the Sea of Dreams yet another riddle, Mare Ingenii, “Sea of Cleverness” and thus the ability to interpret this dream you find yourself in the midst of.
Behold, I tell you a Mystery.
Ponder these things, for Orpheus was Priest and he was sacrifice. Be wolf and dove: server and served; Constellation and astronomer; hatchling and vulture. Do this and you will have completed your initiation into the Orphic Mysteries in five minutes or less.