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Psychogeography walk: land of stories

I decided to conduct an experiment for which I must thank lucyas, who talked about psychogeography in her badwitchblog. The idea is to take a map, say of London, place a glass on it randomly, draw a circle and go walk the walk, finding the symbols/stories/ magical history of the place. I got it wrong from the start, having no such map. Instead, my resolution was to take the first bus anywhere, and always get off at the first place I hadn't been to before, unless I seriously didn't like the feeling of it.

This worked in terms of finding a magical part of London, not so well for finding places unknown to me; my walk started at St Pauls, an area very familiar to me. So my decision was to find the inner and middle temples, as I've never been there. The first thing I learned was that I have been there...many times, taking short cuts from the Devereaux down to the river. I recognised old steps I had stumbled down with friends, drunk and close to midnight, all trying to find our way to Temple tube station. What I hadn't noticed was the symbolism everywhere; pegasi on lintels and over doors, at least one of them leaping over the sun. From there I found a place with cross-bearing lambs. I later learned from a barrister chum that these are the symbols respectively of the inner and middle temples, and have yet to learn their significance, though said chum has mentioned she might be able to invite us to a temple dinner at some point. I'm going to check the pegasus symbology out. It's been following me around ever since.

The actual temples were shut, it being a bank holiday and me just not thinking. All was peaceful except for the rustling of trees...leaving the area and wandering along the embankment, the peace turned to a heavy silence. I was beginning to regret my choice of walk, when I saw Somerset House looming ahead, advertising a free exhibition. It was called, TIME Tattoo Art Today. Symbols aplenty, I thought, so in I went. Naturally there was plenty of standard tattoo symbology, skulls and scythes, but they were the usual stereotypes. Photos were allowed, so I snapped a few. It occurred to me after to make a story from the photos in the order I took them, taking their titles into account if I could remember them.

Here then, is the story within a story.

Once there was Mother Pelican, in the time of birth and death...or the birth of death and time, I can't remember.

photo 1(3)

She gave birth to Mother, who was wild and mad, faerie and beast, many eyed and horned.

photo 3

And Mother gave birth to a strange green daughter, with long curved fingers and strange dreams.

photo 2

Green Daughter was given the key to time and death.

photo 4(1)

And on opening the doors of death, met great Kali and was destroyed.

photo 5

Upon which her soul rose upwards as a swan to the moon, watched by her friend the rat, and Kali herself.

photo 1

And she became one with the elements, dispersed and coagulated.

photo 2(1)

And returned as the Dragon Beauty.

photo 3(1)

However, the Dragon Beauty could do very little having neither head nor feet, so she shrank into a doll and her guardian dragons turned themselves into stories and pictures on her body.
photo 4(2)

Then she grew up, and knew humanity though she kept the stories. S/he met pain and learned a little of suffering
photo 1(1)

And was harvested by stern Saturn himself, in the light of the sun
photo 2(2)

And when she returned, changed and faun-like, she still wore the curve of his beak to recall Saturn's beauty and majesty, and a tattoo of her former self on her arm.
photo 3(3)

And out s/he went into a world of colours and flowers, words, music and learning, with her dragons returned.
photo 4(3)

Then the story left the gallery, and continued over the river, where the explorer found life and people. S/he discovered Muses

photo 1(2)

and Mermaids

photo 2(3)

And Meringues

photo 3(4)

And that was the walk done.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Aug. 26th, 2014 08:05 am (UTC)
Yes, I intend to do it properly at some point - really got to get a map!

Edited at 2014-08-26 08:10 am (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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