SS Vulcania

Cruising the Seven Lemurian Seas

Ssss-surrendering

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To travel the Serpentine Road is to surrender, to surrender to fate and to let your guides direct you. Your donkey is just one of your guides. Others will appear as you travel this sometimes treacherous path.

Anon! I come with satchel and spade

Reins in hand, astride my humble steed

Wait!

I feel I have left something important behind

Methinks ….

Yes, it is… something that has held me back

For far too long…

Rigidity

Encapsulated in a wrung out skin called

Fear

It is only important because now I am left

Unencumbered by shedding the skin

Of burdens it enshrouded me with

The leaving has left me Free

Now

Ah! The new country ahead

Promises discoveries

I am of the plant world knowing

Collector of herbs and maker of medicines

Speaking the language of green things and lofty trees

There!

All is well.

I ride free now

Stella Raye 2006

Prepare before arriving at the House of the Serpents. Make a surrender box and and leave a serpents skin – something you need to surrender – at the door to the Serpentine Road.

Written by Heather Blakey

April 21, 2009 at 12:46 am

P Deck – Pythian Games

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Some  passengers choose to meet their inner donkey, behind the Swan and Rose Inn, in Gilead, Lenore. These folk respond to the call to Travel With a Donkey and trek overland in Lemuria.

Other passengers are just as happy to stay on board the ship and, when the mood takes them, appear from their cabins and participate in Deck Games. Passengers can participate, on a daily basis, in training for the Pythian Games on board P deck.

Participants are welcome to encourage others to join them doing things like the Artist’s Way and Poetry Challenges or whatever happens to excite the imagination.

All participants should include a link to their cabin, when they post on the Pythian Games. Then, interested folk may just come visiting to see what they are doing.

Written by Heather Blakey

April 13, 2009 at 1:33 am

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Trek to Rainbow Beach

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Each night, as the clock strikes twelve in Gilead, someone comes, ready to undertake the long and dangerous trek to Rainbow Beach. This trek involves traversing rocky mountain peaks, travelling through remote parts of Lenore, catching a barge to Kerith, clambering over the high mountain tops, stopping to drink from the waters of Mnemosyne, visiting places like Kerith and Mudgimba and finally reaching Rainbow Beach. Participants will reach the cave of the Wild Mother, work with Dream Masters and much more.

A group of stoic donkey’s wait, in the stable behind the Rose and Swan, a Gilead Tavern, for their companions to arrive. As travellers arrive they will immediately know which donkey is to be their companion. Each donkey has a special saddle bag that has been provided by Enchanteur. Each bag contains special talismans which will be essential on this journey. Travellers will find a pouch which they can keep their precious Walnut Teleporter in. They will also find wild seeds, a dream catcher, tiny rock climbing equipment, an anchor, special eye glasses, a tiny orienteering kit and some first aid equipment.

At the stroke of twelve the party will set out towards the Mountains and will head towards the area of the Alluvial Mines where so many miners have dug and seached. Upon arrival at the Mine travellers will only gain entrance by gifting the Keeper of the Mine with something of great value. This journey will require that participants relinquish seven things. At the mine the first of those things is to be gifted.

What will your gift to the Keeper of the Mine be?

Journey records will be preserved in travellers Cabins and on the Travels with a Donkey blog.

Written by Heather Blakey

March 27, 2009 at 12:21 am

Travel With A Donkey

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The horns of the Vulcania have sounded and some passengers are making their way back to the ship for a slow cruise to Rainbow Beach. Others will take the time to meet their Inner Donkey and journey to more remote parts of the islands, to find and spend some time in the Cave of the Enchanteur.

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In the chapter entitled ‘The Cave of the Enchantress’ Marina Warner writes about the Grotto della Sibilla in the Umbrian Mountains which was first mentioned in classical legend. Guerino the Wretch reaches a mountain pass near Norcia in Umbria where he meets with the Devil. The Devil, of course, wants Guerino’s soul and tempts him by describing a subterranean kingdom where every delight will be his. Seemingly, in this kingdom, trees flower and fruit at the same time and there is no pain or age or sorrow.

No pain! No sorrow! Lead me to the Umbrian mountains immediately! Of course, what the Devil failed to mention was that the cave is inhabited by an enchantress who turns into a snake every Saturday.

It is the truly brave who commit to coming to the Grotto to work with the current Enchantress.

A group will meet at the tavern on the island of Lenore. Donkey’s will take you on the first leg of your journey through the Mountains of Myrr.

Be there when you hear the clock sound twelve.

Written by Heather Blakey

March 13, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Dionysian Revelry

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In his book ‘Ecstasy’ Robert Johnson points out that we live in a world almost completely devoid of good-quality ritual and ceremony. An increasing number of people have lost contact with old ways and are denied the nourishment that comes with tradition and collective ritual. Contemporary Westerners have little concept of the mythic world and are actually afraid of it. Where as, prior to the twentieth century, myth and fairy tales were the repository of wisdom of a whole culture they are now relegated to the fantasy world of childhood. Television and information technology have removed a lot of the story telling which once took place and now many children miss hearing the old stories.

Psychologists like Carl Jung have observed that when we begin to understand myth on a deep level we open ourselves up to communication between our conscious and unconscious selves, gaining important insights and so enriching our lives.

James Hillman elucidated the potential of fantasy and personification when he wrote about the house the psyche actually inhabits. According to Hillman this house is “a compound of connecting corridors, multi leveled, with windows everywhere and with large ongoing extensions under construction, and sudden dead ends and holes in the floorboards; and this house is filled already with occupants, other voices, reflecting nature alive, echoing again the Great God Pan.”

Modern man may not appreciate it but all of the gods of mythology continue to claim residency within the house of the psyche. Take Dionysus for example. He is still alive and well in the subterranean dungeon. In Ancient Greece Dionysus was the god of wine and ecstasy. His cult promised individual salvation and held particular appeal to women. The Dionysian cult was of particular concern to the ancient authorities and in 186 B.C. the Roman Senate passed severe laws against orgiastic rites of the newly arrived god. Several thousand maenads were subsequently executed. But Dionysus himself clearly escaped, for his spirit lives on in similar behavior which can be seen today. Unfortunately, the divine ecstasy of Dionysus often manifests itself in addictive behavior. Dionysus has come to embody some of the darker sides of human behavior.

While the Romans gave Dionysus a really bad name, Socrates knew that it was pure folly to upset the gods. When he lay, stretched out on the delicious slope of grass with Phaedrus he enjoyed the shade of plane trees that spread out their boughs and luxuriated, thoroughly enjoying the summer scents and sounds. He knew that Dionysian rituals were of benefit to him.

When Phaedrus read his treasured speech and Socrates responded with a provocative discourse on love Socrates was suddenly troubled. Sensing that he had offended Eros, the God of Love, the son of Aphrodite, Socrates was compelled to produce a second discourse proposing that love is a condition of the soul.

The gods of ancient mythology have a lot to offer us. Prior to the twentieth century Greek mythology provided a major source of inspiration for artists and poets. Indeed a cursory glance of the art collections of the world reveals that mythological themes were second only to the stories from the Bible.

Given the rich treasury that lies within mythology it is possible that if we take the time to honour Dionysus and other gods and goddesses in small, ritualistic ways, they will bless us and restore the muse. Within the safety of our journal and visual diaries it is possible to travel deep within and rekindle the spirit of Dionysus. We can make our own Dionysian rituals and discover the world of anticipatory pleasure without engaging in wild revels which were of such concern to authorities. If we are daring you can feel the flow of Dionysian energy and permit it to ripple throughout the bloodstream, right down the tip of the fingers and into the pen. Through writing it is possible to live out those parts of ourselves that can have no practical expression. Through writing it is possible to satisfy inner urges without doing any external damage. It is possible to express the seemingly inexpressible. Writing offers us a Dionysian ritual that saves us from nastier addictions.

While you are on the Lemurian Archipelago take the time to engage in the rituals and ceremonies. Take the time to experience Dionysus. Engage in the traditional, March 15, Dionysian Revelry

Written by Heather Blakey

March 9, 2009 at 11:03 am

Digging on Lenore

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The SS Vulcania is currently in dry dock on White Owl Island, being refurbished in readiness for the next leg of her journey. She will be in dry dock for awhile and so passengers are asked to take their time and explore Owl Island, the Abbey and Lost Lenore.

If you are going to spend some time on the Island of the Lost Lenore you may want to spend some time digging and finding some of what you thought was lost. You might just find your lost voice! Of course, you might find things you were not looking for too. But that is all a part of the whole deal. Dig at your own risk!

Written by Heather Blakey

March 3, 2009 at 3:19 am

Abbey Alchemy

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abbeyalchemy4

While you are cloistered in the Lemurian Abbey you might like to practice the Soul Food Way and making writing and art a daily practice. Take the time to explore the A to Z of Alchemy. Simply randomly click on alphabet letters and find activities.

Written by Heather Blakey

February 26, 2009 at 12:16 pm