A Little LOTUS DE PAINI Sampler – Part I
Crow Canyon Petroglyphs
in Farmington, New Mexico.
Picture by Steven Yabek.
Today’s sharing from the Blue House of Via-HYGEIA, is the first of a planned few little samplers dedicated to Elvezia Gazzotti, better know under her pseudonym of ‘Lotus de Paini‘. After a sizable procrastination, we finally begin with the first excerpts of her visionary, trail-blazing, challenging and influential writings in our Via-HYGEIA English working translation to fill-in a gap (as there are no current English editions of her major works so far; hopefully this will change in the near future). Elvezia Gazzotti was born on November 28, 1862, in Copparo, in the region of Ferrara, Italy and died on July 22, 1953, in Fumel, France. Admired for her singularity, her publications are of an anthropological, sociological, mythical, symbolical and even of a broad esoteric nature, as a reflection of her many travels, with her second husband Paul Péralté, to South America, India, Africa and many other places, discovering and collecting primitive art for museums, like the Parisian Musée Guimet, for instance, where donations and curated expositions of their collections were held. For her artistic career, as a gifted painter and sculptor, information is available online. She still remains today an enigmatic, attractive and oddly neglected figure, despite her fascinating ideas and undeniable talent.
(Note: Images added in the core of the text are our additions
to illustrate the author’s presentation and are not to be found in the original.)
From ‘Les Trois Totémisations’-1924-
From page 67 to 71.
‘…Magic is a conception of the universe, as felt and perceived by our distant ancestors. It is therefore an experimental science of the subconscious and of the elementary powers of the soul in the phenomena of nature and Man. It was there even before all the human dawns, because it is what makes humans engendered from beasts. It is based, consequently on a world of notions that are to us fundamentally alien, and that nowadays, in its survivals, we can only discern the external aspects (note: the letter, from ‘the spirit and the letter’ expression), that are the ‘pétrifications‘, the superstitions.
Magic and religious sense gave birth to the human world. These two, and them only, were the agents of the most powerful internal phenomenon that existed: metamorphosis. It went quite fast in the obscure and quite admirable plasticity of the primitive Man during the ritual mystery. Then, through his successive metamorphosis he became an intellectual.
The strongest argument in favor of the prevalence of totemism over the other form of religious experiences is precisely the fact that this odd art needed, i repeat it again here, an essentially psychical organization, like only the creatures of a remote and fabulous age could have. Quaternary and historical periods, talk to us of a dogmatic magic and a materialized rite.
Scientific magic and religious sense casted the religions of dawn and the very first human races.
Magic dominated the old world, it regulated the life of the primitive beings, it enclosed them as early as in their nubile age in a rigid circle of religious prescriptions, in strange and dramatic initiations. It shaped this remote humanity so deeply, that even today-so far from its origin-it is alive, active in the degenerated circles of all of our ethnic groups. In these old tribes, there is not a gesture that is not prevented by magic. It crimped the existence of black; it is here a fact that stuns the observer.
The field of action of magic was the old geological epochs, where still dominated elementary forces, and when these forces were still in the fulness of their creative sap. The magical rite made these forces react against one another; it kneaded them, hammered them, metamorphosed them into human substance; it made them cross from the instinctive to the conscious state.
There was there an astonishing conception of the psychism of the elements, a very rooted knowledge of their transforming powers in the human soul of the time, exposed to all of their breaths. All of the magical rites: singing, dancing, animal and human sacrifices, rites of water, milk, fire, earth, stones, etc…All these rites were transformations, ‘spiritualisations’ of elementary principles in the human soul’s plasticity. Men absorbed the emanence of these elements. They took deep inside the spychic entities of this fire, of this water, this plant, this stone, of this blood, this wind… They made out of them a spiritual universe, a universe belonging to them. They filled themselves with the living Imagination of these elements, rich of a powerful soul-content; they accomplished this in the unfathomable extatic fascination of their religious beings!
In order to transmute elementary forces, carry them to a newer might, that of the spirit, the magical process was the very process of nature. Magic ‘imitated’ like nature imitates itself in order to metamorphose itself and create a new type of existence. Magic imitated nature on different level of existence: the spiritual level, imaginative.
Nature imitates itself to go from value to value. It imitates without getting tired, and in doing so it specialized, individualized itself, always further, until it created new forms. Because such is its mysterious law, that she completely metamorphosed itself by imitation.
The metamorphosing steps of the seed, the ovary, the egg are imitative. The hystologic forms of the organs are imitative and show themselves as mysterious flowers of flesh. The eye, the testicle are strange asters, the penis an anther. The nervous system is tree-like. The cerebellum is a strange vine leaf. the ear in which the aerial sound strikes, is imitating a sea-shell that kept the sound of the ocean. The lung imitates breathing leaves, the living being born from the ocean breathes in and out like the waves on the sand of the shore. The ultimate element is a solar system that irradites obscure rays…And so on, for ever…Everywhere this imitative rhythm of life is to be found, defying our comprehension!
And, by the way, what do we do ourselves? Our children what do they do if it is not imitating us? Do we have another method to learn from life, to cultivate ourselves? Are we not imitating the existing values of science, of art, of human activity in order then to metamorphose in ourselves by our individuality, our genius, all the littles scraps we are able to take in…Our organic memory, our automatic, instinctive lives that make up for the ¾ of our lives, and almost all of our daily life, what are they made of, if not of ancestral imitations that were once intentional, conscious and made under the authority of occult laws we do not know anymore. Our TRUE conscience weigths very little in our every day life…It is through imitations (imitations that our consciousness mysteriously transforms in our inner life) that we have conceived a phenomenal universe and we became audacious in facing the world of matter!
Magic in a spiritual manner replaced nature to achieve the human type and create a new world.
Magic imitated the mysterious transformations of life. It IMAGINED the natural phenomenon, it modulated them, danced them, painted them, dramatized them; it filled the world with rhythms, sonorities and human colors.
Men grew in this intensively imaginative atmosphere…Splendidly imaginative…They re-kneaded the world through vertigo, the fascination of their sensitive soul-largely exteriorized in the aetheric intensity of the nature back then. This was the very odd spiritual pedagogy of the ritual mystery…In those remote times, miracles were natural!
The faint magical survivals, displayed for us, for instance, by the Australian aboriginal tribes, are nevertheless interesting for those who seek-without any prejudice-scraps of this remote art.
Nothing else than magic could have been capable to accomplish the rought human metamorphosis, overcoming the untamed, elusive and wild forces of the subconsciousness of the soul, at the time of human dawn.’
From ‘La Magie et le Mystere de la Femme’-1928-
From page 75 to 78.
‘…This examination of the mystical sexual force, life generating, and of the mental substrate, would not be complete if I would not talk about its hieratic symbolism as seen in the figurations of the Asian gods.
Gods are by excellence providers of divine Mana, as their corporeity is exclusively composed of it. The are not tied to the physical element itself bound to gravity; they are made of spiritual fire and from it they achieve another polarity. The symbolism that, at best, highlights this aethereal nature is the hand. The multitude of ‘hands’ of the gods points towards this spiritual essence. Here is the explanation, because this symbolism is not just an interpretation, but as always give rise to a reel phenomenon: the hand is always one of the centers of the igneous power.
To advise us on this subject, we can call upon besides the observations of the Od by Reichenbach, or those of Albert de Rochas and doctors who all did experiment on human effluences in hospitals. From the hand gushes forth effluences of the most toughest nature, spurting out; de Rochas calls this fluid outlet, ‘hypnogen’, ‘hypnogens points’, he says, because the alternate pressure of these ‘points’ awakens or pulls asleep the subject into an hypnotic state. De Rochas busied himself about this question with Dr. Pitre from the Bordeaux hospitals and the former talks of entire areas where the sensitive fluide flows. (See his ‘Externalisation de la sensibilité.)
Reichenbach is even more precise, and in his own observations: the hand, he says, allows the odic effluences to bubble, raising the hand augments them; each attitude of the fingers modifies them. These indications, which oddly find their confirmation in the ethnic survivals, are emerging from experiments made in a scrupulously scientific spirit. The reading of the very thorough work of the physicist on this question is its guarantor.
It is then from the hand that the inner fires gushes forth, which in the ancient mysteries indicates the spiritual nature of the gods, their nourishing might; the hand, this remarkable organ of Man that places him at the top of the universal order! Only him has got such a hand, ‘will-in-the-making’.
In Egypt, the hand is the sign of spiritual offering, of prayer, of adoration; the offering of internal fire. Its representation is as such: two raised arms which emanating open hands. This hieroglyph of a great religious importance, is to be found at the top of the head of the Ka-Horus, the ‘superior self’ of the pharaoh-priest, as i have indicated earlier. This hieroglyph of the ‘hands’, at the upper part of the head of the god, achieves to specify the very spiritual nature of Ka-Horus. -‘The living Ka that dwells in the double chamber of adoration‘, says the text. (dédicace to King Hor-Ouibra. Musée Guimet. Bibliothèque de vulgarisation, XIX, page 201.)
The pharaoh is, by divine rights, of aetheric birth-the pure fire in him-so that when the queen of Egypt was giving birth, she would have to raise her arms with open palms in offering, ‘divine gesture’. She would give birth traditionally to the KA-Horus, that is deep consciousness, ‘the self of the king virginally conceived’. She was to receive first the spirit, alike her Australian sister the ‘ratapas’ of the totemic ancestor. Ancient traditions, so old, of the virgin mother! Hieratic and royal survival in Egypt, and an even more deeper conviction in the heart of the Arunta (Australian aboriginal tribe also called the Arrernte people.)
The representation of the hand as an object was considered extremely sacred and it was carried in a solemn way during the processions of the rites of Isis. She symbolized Justice and solar Truth.
In the wide range of Asian symbolism, the hand indicates the ignite aetheric character flowing from the gods. The representations of Bouddhas have four, six, eight hands; the representations of Brahma, Siva, the Chinese gods have a numerous set of hands, sign of the creative emanation in the element ‘soul’ and particular movement of the fingers define the special quality of their emanation. (Via-HYGEIA note: look for the Mudras)
In the Sunda islands in Java, the Javanese priests still perform a curious prayer using their fingers. ‘Each position of the fingers modify the odic effluences‘, as Reichenbach said earlier.
The pyramid of Borsippa (Sumerian: also called Birs Nimrud (having been identified with Nimrod) is an archeological site in Babil Governorate, Iraq.) is called the temple of the ‘right hand’. One of the names of Babylon was ‘city of the hand of Anou’. Mitra and Varuna were called ‘kings with fair hands’. The spiritual might of the hand, as mysterious sign, exists since primordial times.
In some Australian aboriginal tribe, the survival of the hand as representation of aetheric effluence is still very much alive and of importance. When a chief dies, a hand is severed from him and kept preciously by the tribe. This hand is all powerful to conjure against evils, tradition says.’
From ‘Pierre Volonté’-1932-
From 11 to 14
‘…Oaths were taken upon stones and were then considered sacred; the perjury would be put to death or at least cast away from society.
At his initiation the young brahman step with one feet on ‘the stone’, while the participating crowd repeats the following words in a litanical manner: ‘Step on the stone, walk on the stone, become firm as the stone.’
In Westminster, central London, is located the old royal stone of the ancient Scots: The ‘Lia-Fail’, or ‘Stone of Destiny’. The English sovereigns still take their oaths sitting on it, which according to Leslie Forbes came from Africa.
In Athens, the nine archonts were climbing on a stone to take the solemn oath to rule with justice and in respect for the Law.
In Uppsala, there is a great stone upon which the kings take their oath and is considered sacred. This stone is surrounded by twelve others; it is call the ‘Mora Sten’.
In the southern part of the Peleponese, the Laconia region has a rough stone that was displayed and according to the legend, the parricidal Orest sat on it and was freed of his madness; he had his WILL restored. Also, Zeus was healed from his obsessive love for Juno by sitting on a certain rock in the island of Leucas.
In the ancient times, the ‘stone’ is the highest power. Man puts in it all his faith, his soul; in exchange it gives strength, stability, ethics and its deep essence. It is benevolent.
The traveller, in order to find protection, call upon the care of his spirit, displayed by the gesture of throwing a silex on a ‘pile of rocks’, called ‘Cairn’ in Ireland, and ‘Galgal’ in Asia Minor that are spread upon the vast and desertic steppes.
The great stones are therefore alive: they prophesize; the slightest breath of air puts them in motion. Everywhere we find these stones, in Europe, in America, in Phenicia, Greece, in Asia, Africa. They are to be found in numbers along coastal areas: the ‘Manal’ stones of the Romans (Lapis manalis), living stones of the Armorican legends, rocking stones, that lives, swing, dance in the region of the Landes (Lanas (Occitan)
In the original version of Apollonius of Rhodes’ ‘Argonautica’, by the end of the first book, comes this curious episode: ‘For as they were returning from the games held when Pelias died, he killed them in seagirt Tenos, and heaped earth over them and set two pillars on top, one of which-an extraordinary marvel for Men to behold-moves at the gust of the whistling north wind.’ (English translation from the Loeb Classical Library by William H. Race). One could still admire this stone three centuries later, as it was reported in historical chronicles.
The ‘Logan’ stone in Cornwal, weighting 70 tons is such a rocking stone.
The ‘Pendre’ stone on the moutain of Bhilston, is set in motion at the slightest touch and is still in use as a place where people’s justice is seeked and served.
Artemidorus found, while paying visit to the sacred headland at the extremity of Spain, a rocking stone upon which people where performing sacrifices.
There were also to be found in the Etruscan land, Fulgentius also reports.
As for the aerolythes, they had an even higher mystical value. They were the ‘stones of the temples’.
Only Islam has kept the ancient living cult of the stone…The black stone of the Meccan Kaaba, still greets the same extatic crowds: a sacred CUBE it is always the ‘Bait Oullah’: The House of God!’
More to come soon
with sampler Part II