Self-Propelled Flowers

“Butterflies are not insects,’ Captain John Sterling said soberly. ‘They are self-propelled flowers.”

Robert A. Heinlein
The Cat Who Walks Through Walls

 
 

Photographs by Roberto Kusterle

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Letters From the Earth

Lettere della terra (Letters From the Earth), photo by Roberto Kusterle, 2004

 
 

A Goddess, not a God, was usually credited with the invention of alphabetical letters. All letters were originally symbols-the literal meaning of hieroglyph. In Egypt the art of writing was the gift of the Goddess Isis, Maat, Menos or Seshat; In Rome, that of the Goddess Carmenta or the Fata Seribunda (writer-fate); In Scandinavia, that of the Norms as Schreiberinnen, “writing-women”; in Babylon, that of the Gulses of Logos power, that is the power to create the world by means of words. That is why the fifty letters of the Sanskrit alphabet appeared on the necklace of skulls worn by Kali Ma, perhaps the oldest Goddess of Creation. These letters were matrika “the mothers”, which brought all things into being when Kali formed them into words. The Logos Doctrine is still extant in Christian theology, though the original idea of creation by the Word has been made more abstract to conceal its primitive naiveté. In the third century A.D., Jewish mystics spoke of the biblical smith Bezaleel as an expert on alphabetical wizardry; he “knew how to combine the letters by which heaven and earth were created.”

A number of symbols systems have been devised for alphabetical letters. Here is one for the English alphabet in its present form: A, the cone, mountain, pyramid, First Cause or birth; B, mother’s breast; C, the moon; D; day, diamond, brilliance; E, the sun; F, fire of life; G, creative power; H, Gemini, dualism, the threshold; I, number one, self-hood, the axis mundi; J, tree and root, K; connections; L; power arising from the earth; M, undulating mountains; N, a serpentine path; O, perfection, completion; P, the staff; Q, the sun tethered to earth (rising or setting); R, support; S, the serpent; T, the double ax, hammer, or cross indicating conflict or sacrifice; U, the chain; V, convergence, a receptacle; W, water, waves; X, the cross of light, union of two worlds; Y, the three-way crossroads; Z, the lighting (destroyer).