This week we continue our deeper investigation into the Lingua Ignota of Hidlegard of Bingen. I’m mostly focusing on this specific subject because I am racing against the interlibrary loan clock attempting to critically read Sarah Higley’s book on the subject prior to having to return the tome. And while I feel that, at least within the frame of Lovecraftian Magic, that this type of armchairing is magical practice, I don’t want to neglect the practical while I’m at it.
I have been, I guess dabbling is the right word, into the Greek Magical Papyri. There is so much here that connects with Lovecraft’s fiction-as-grimoire (to steal a phrase from my friend, C-Dawg). The PGM has so many very practical spells and its post-modern fragmentary nature not only appeals to me but also enmeshes with twenty-first century magical practice a lot better than say, the Clavicula or the more rigorous versions of magic. That is not to say that Solomonic magic cannot be done now that we live in this future of our own making. Julio Ody and Jake Stratton-Kent (among many others) have proven that it can be. I just can’t find the time in my supporting-the-digital-ecosystem-and-robot-takeover full time roll at work and a suburban-father-and-husband life to apply the rigor effectively. Some can, I just can’t do it, not right now anyway. Magic does take some sacrifice to be effective. I won’t argue against that. A millenia of post-Laurasian evolutions of magic have kept this element of sacrifice as a prerequisite. Personally, I need to find a balance of where and how to apply that sacrifice, or else this whole house of tarot cards will come tumbling down, real quick.
That is why I’ve found the following ‘Oracle of Kronos’ spell in the PGM to be so appealing. Let’s take a look:
“PGM: IV. 3086-3124:
Oracle of Kronos in great demand, called ‘little mill’: Take two measures of salt and grind with a handmill while saying the formula many times until / the god appears to you. Do it at night in a place where grass grows. If while you are speaking you hear the heavy step of [someone] and a clatter of iron, the god is coming bound with chains, holding a sickle. But do not be frightened since your are protected by the phylactery that / will be revealed to you. Be clothed in clean linen… Offer to the god sage…
The formula to be spoken while you are mixing is this: Formula: ‘I call you, the great, holy, the one who created the whole inhabited world, against whom the transgression was committed by your own son, you whom Helios bound with adamantine fetters lest the universe be mixed together, you hermaphrodite, father of the thunderbolt, you who hold down those under the earth,
AIE OI PAIDALIS PHRENOTEICHEIDO STYGARDES SANKLEON GENECHRONA KOIRAPSAI KERIDEU THALAMNIA OCHOTA ANEDIE;
come, master, god, and tell me by necessity concerning the NN matter, for I am the one who revolted against you,
PAIDOLIS MAINOLIS MAINOLIEUS’
These are to be said while the salt is being ground.
And the formula which compels him is:
‘KYDOBRIS KODERIEUS ANKYRIEUS XANTOMOULIS.’
You say these things when he appears threateningly, in order that he might be subdued and speak about the things you ask.
The phylactery in great demand for him [is]: on the rib of a young pig carve Zeus holding fast a sickle and this name:
ANAEA OCHETA THALAMNIA KERIDEU KOIRAPSIA GENECHRMONA SANELON STYGARDES CHLEIDO PHRAINOLE PAIDOLIS IAEI,
go away, master of the world, forefather; go to your own places in order that the universe be maintained. Be gracious to us, lord.”
This spell from the PGM is of interest to me for several reason. First, the Clavicula states in a number of places that Saturn is not to be worked with lightly, if at all. When necessary, the talismans and rituals are quite involved and still contain many warnings. While the above invocation of Kronos is not by any means sugar-coated, it does offer an incantation and a phylactery that allow you to safely work with the spirit. Second, the Barbarous Names in this spell are quite beautiful and in some cases, for instance the name carved on the phylactery (CHTHOUMILON) is extremely Lovecraftian and abundant, which will allow for a significant amount of time spent in a xenoglossoliac space (we will touch on this in a minute) while performing the ritual. My Third Reason is that this seems to me to be a spell engineered for the American lifestyle. Independence Day is next week and for many, young pig ribs will be abundant, as will freshly tended ‘places where grass grows’ (read: your lawn). Salt and sage are very likely in your kitchen right now, likely ready to be put on those ribs that can be used for the phylactery later.
This spell has all of the necessary elements as well, Barbarous Names as mentioned, a first and second invocation for the troublesome spirit, and a banishing specific to the god-form. It appears that the purpose of invoking Kronos is wisdom, to know of a thing or things, which the master of the universe should handily be able to tell you once coerced. His form, his myth, and his tendency towards cannibalistic infanticide should insight the appropriate emotions in the magician, excite the right amount of fear, to push a mage into the right space to receive information for the celestial spirit.
That word I used above, xenoglossia, is probably still bothering you. Follow me into this week’s critical reading of Higley’s ‘Hildegard of Bingen’s Unknown Language’ and we will work our way towards a definition. We left off last week with Higley wrestling with the nature of invented languages in general and where Hildegard fits in their spectrum, throughout timedepth. She invokes the venerable J.R.R. Tolkien’s thoughts as a fulcrum, moving towards the best expression of her thesis:
“[Tolkien in] his essay ‘A Secret Vice,’… emphasizes the intensely personal nature of this pursuit… He perpicuously examines invented language in light of poetic language, and a passion that is private, obsessive, and slight embarrassing… Compare this attitude to Hildegard’s brazen announcement of her Lingua to Pope Anastasius, proof of her right to counsel him.”
The authority that Hildegard invested in her language is absolute, its accomplishment see by her as proof of her intellectual and spiritual prominence over even the Vicar of Christ.
Perhaps it is the aura of aleatory serendiptious conjunction of thought that has infected this entire research process or perhaps it is an underlying universality of the fiction of Lovecraft, but I have more than a few intersections between Higley’s commentary and what I have come to learn about Lovecraft, thus far. When discussing the juxtaposition between Hildegard’s invented language and the glossolia of her contempories, she states:
“We are still moved by… the regressive dreamworld of linguistic distortion… insane inventions [of language] are interesting because they are tormented and/or secret, and sane inventions are not…”
Which invoked in me the feeling that this might explain some of the allure and potency of Lovecraft’s work, the intersection of an insanity and language invention. In closing the reading of the introduction to Higley’s thesis, we read the following:
“In Hildegard’s day there was no rival, no sense of vision as pathology or language creation as child’s play, and no paradigm against which she and her invention could be set except Adam naming the animals, the Apostles at Pentecost, and the summaria of Latin terms that she may have contemplated. The one danger was that it could be considered demonic, but Hildegard’s Lingua with its ordered sequence and translations escaped that identification.”
Returning us to that vision of invisible colored flames puppeteering the limbs of the orchard in ‘The Colour Out Of Space.’ Hildegard’s obscuring of magic beneath a cloak of order and science is an exact match to the Lovecraftian Magical Aesthetic. Hildegard is proving to be, at least on a theoretical level, the original steampunk.
The first chapter of Higley’s book offers us a perspective of the Lingua Ignota as it is defined by the woman that created it. She begins with a reference to Hildegard’s bioecological model of the universe:
“Hildegard’s metaphor is scattered throughout her writings: viriditas, ‘greeness’ or ‘greening power,’ or even ‘vitality,’ is associated with all that partakes of God’s living presence, including blossoming nature… It is a ‘profound, immense, dynamically energized term…”
To this researcher, ‘greeness’ suggests a connection between the human and natural worlds, a natural world populated by spirits, i.e. viriditas is another term for animism. Greenness, the forest, is metaphorically juxtapositioned against the desert:
“Aridity, on the other hand, represents the faithless, the unspiritual, the abandonment of virtues in their greeness… ‘Watch with caution,’ [Hildegard] writes… lest your greenness, given to you by God, should dry up through the fickleness of your thought.”
Her work on the Lingua Ignota is a method to maintain her greenness, to stay in touch with the spirit through the most human of activities, language. This point aligns with those aspects of Lovecraftian Magic that place as much emphasis on research and study as they do bacchanals and ritual. According to Higley, Hildegard viewed glossopoia as a spirito-intellectual exercise:
“Language invention is a new way to approach linguistic concerns, but also to investigate the matter of writing and thinking… [it is] how language becomes green [filled with spirit] through reinvention… through a process of defamiliarization…”
Looping back to the beginning of the post, to the Oracle of Kronos, the ‘process of defamiliarization’ of language is evident in the spells of the PGM and throughout grimoiric history. The use of barbarous names in all classical grimoires, are an example of Hildegard’s ‘greening,’ of creating magical power words by defamiliarizing ourself with what is known and attempting to pronounce the unpronounceable. Again from the text:
“to ‘green’ language is to strip it of its withered bark, the overly familiar associations we normally give to words…”
Along with language invention, deconstruction of known words to their origins and back out from that node is a way to strip off overly familiar associations. As is the concise defining of buzzwords and jargon, words that have lost meaning through overfamiliarity, through overuse. This is as true in my-life-as-a-real-boy as a knowledge manager as it is in my life-as-a-Lovecraftian-mage; the use and overuse of the vernacular of magic has grown out of control. Instead of endlessly arguing on Reddit, however, about what ‘pagan’ means, or what falls into the ‘occult’ bucket, if we are to follow Hildegard’s path and through her open gate to the garden of divinity, it is a better approach to deconstruct and rebuild the vernacular of our path. As Higley states:
“There is something divine, as Hildegard understood it, about renaming the physical world and our spiritual concepts in unique euphonious words, giving a new body to humanity and nature… she hints that she had every intention of providing humanity with a redeemed form of speaking, one associated with sound, authority, and music.”
Similar to the barbarous names of the classical grimoires, the Lingua Ignota is designed to establish authority, its use in the commanding of spirits is prefigured in its design.
Stepping off of our theoretical footpath, let’s look closer at some of the details of the Lingua Ignota that Higley turns her investigative eye upon:
“There is reason to believe that both Latin and German words inspired the invented [words]… There is an abundance of winged creatures (including the gyphon), but no beasts of burden (only their drivers) or any other mammals… no forest animals, no foxes to harry the hens, no mice to eat the spelt, no cats to chase the mice, no sheep although there is a shepherd, and no wolf to worry him. There are no fish, although there is a fish hook… of the metals only three are mentioned… her Ignota Lingua remains a material record… [of] the sublunary world, and with it the humanly manufactured one…”
If her language invention is an act of imbuing items with spirit, then why would she have verbs? Why would she include nouns of those things that did not require her linguistic beatification? Higley continues:
“The Lingua is a linguistic distillation of the philosophy expressed in her three prophetic books: it represents the cosmos of divine and human creation and the sins that flesh is heir to.”
What happens when we bracket Lovecraft’s unknown language found in his invented books with this same idea? What are the passages of the Necronomicon, those that are available to us, when examined as a distillation of his philosophy? What if we apply the same to Tolkien? Or Ursala K Le Guin? Within the invented language, and indeed, all language, are the kernels of culture and more so, of how a people think, how they put together and understand the natural world.
As Higley dives deeper into her commentary, she can’t help but loop back to the bioecological model of Hildegard’s work. For instance, when she states:
“The earthiness, the sudor, of the Lingua appeals to a Hildegard that is every bit a part of this world as she is of the next…”
The author is painting the Lingua as a form of saintly relic, which, if true (and I wager it is close to the truth, pointing back to her tongue as a physical relic) means that to use the Lingua Ignota is to be touched by Hildegard, to be in direct contact with the saint and her miracles. When we establish this edge between our reality-node and the macro-node of the saint’s influence, we find ourselves consumed by its mystery.
Since scholars and researchers began to wrestle with the origins of language, there have been attempts at reconstructing the tongue that was spoke during the construction of the Tower of Babel. Language itself as a fallen tower being another connection between our armchair approach and the Lovecratian Magical Aesthetic’s most prevalent archetype. Again from the text:
“the Lingua is an attempt at… a language that seeks to correct the errors of post-Babelian speech and recreate the… language of Adam as he heard it… from the angel-choir in Eden… which also inspires examination of the one text in which Hildegard’s invented words appear outside of the list: her famous… song in dedication to a church… ‘O Orzchis Ecclesia’…
O orzchis Ecclesia
armis divinis precincta
et iazinto ornata
tu es caldemia
et urbs scientiarum.
O, o, tu es etiam crizanta
in alto sono et es chorzta gemma
O immense Church
Girded by divine arms
and ornamented in jacinth!
Thou art the fumigation
of the wounds of peoples
and the city of knowledge.
O, O, though art also anointed
in sounds on high and art a glittering gem”
If Hildegard’s Lingua Ignota has the same qualities as other fragmented manuscripts (like the Nag Hammadi library and the PGM), then it is possible to find a balance of experimentation and research that leads to practical results. The song above, for instance, gives us the shape of a consecration spell for tools of the art, perhaps only a slight shift in the combination or inclusion of different power words from the Ignota are required to gain the attention of the proper authorities. Concluding the first chapter of her book, Higley pulls on the thread of the Lingua embedded in a performative piece when she states:
“It is easy to understand why the invented words in the antiphon seem so much more authentic to some than the dry taxonomy. The musical context gives them the feel of something produced in an ecstatic state…”
Invented words, barbarous names, need to be performed to breath into them the spirit required for miracles. This, however, is only after the necessary work required to invent the words, to uncover the barbarous names, to begin with.
In the second chapter the author turns her focus on defining the acts of glossolalia and glossographia and placing Hildegard’s Lingua up against this definition. To begin, she recounts Hildegard’s own description of how the Lingua manifested itself to her:
“in [a letter, Hildegard] gives a rare description of her personal visions… declaring… those words that I see and hear in vision are not like words that a human mouth utters, but like a glittering flame…”
Bringing us once again to Pentecost and by extension, Lovecraft’s ‘Colour Out Of Space.’ In fact, Higley goes so far as to define Hildegard as:
“[not like] the female mystics of the later Middle Ages, but rather [more like] the male prophets of old.”
Which brings us to the aforementioned promise of a clarification of the term, xenoglossia. The author enters this new territory via way of the inestimable Umberto Eco:
“Umberto Eco puts Hildegard’s language-making in the category of the ‘oneiric,’ that is, that composed in a dream or trance state… speaking in tongues… is not free vocalization, but rather the utterance of a natural language known to the listener as his own, but foreign to the utterer… This phenomenon is referred to as ‘xenoglossia,’ to distinguish it from the unintelligibility of glossolalia.”
This is an excellent data point, but it begs the question then, when Phil Hine speaks of glossolalia as a facet of Lovecraftian Magic, wouldn’t xenoglossia be a better fit? There is structure in Lovecraft’s transcriptions of the unknown language of the Necronomicon, there is also structure in the Barbarous Names of the PGM and the grimoires. These aren’t nonsense words ‘filled with spirit,’ through the act of speaking, but rather, a type of aural encryption where some listeners (or readers) are able to easily interpret their meaning and others are not. Further, Umberto Eco’s framing of Hildegard’s language as oneiric is also dead-on when layering these thoughts on top of Lovecraftian Magic. An Oneiric Xenoglossia/graphia encapsulates the use of both Barbarous Names and the fragments of the Necronomicon given to us in magical practice quite well. Higley continues, driving home her argument on the fundamental differences between glossolia and this new terriotory of oneiric xenoglossopeotics:
“The difference between speaking in tongues and inventing a language is this: the essentially oral, performative, and spontaneous nature of glossolalia is not replicated in the written and thought-out nature of glossopoeia where meanings can be rationally applied to words and parts of words… the nature of the words and the list with its repeated endings and beginnings, the seemingly naive repetition of the first syllable of the words it glosses, and the graphic preference for the letter ‘z’ may suggest that Hildegard is randomly producing sounds in a state of dreamlike suggestiveness… texts upon which a high value has been placed become especially susceptible to the transformations wrought by those who seek spiritual sense behind the carnal… the term ‘hermeneutics’ comes from the trickster god of messages and secrecy — Hermes. The Lingua is either divine or dismissed by those who see behind all of the products of this religious woman some kind of mystical energy.”
Layering these thoughts on top of Lovecraftian Magic, we can see that the imaginary text of the Necronomicon is subject to these types of transformations throughout time. Since Lovecraft created it, or rather, brought it and its language forth into the dark of night, its fragmented passages have presaged expansion of its meaning into a coherent system. Should there be a hermeneutics of the Necronomicon or should we, like Higley suggests, put aside both the voluminous refutations and the acts of transformation in favor of a different approach. An approach that finds the true spiritual meaning of the invention using more academic rigor.
And finally, wrapping up the extent of my critical reading this week, I would like to offer some final kernels of thought surrounding the linguistic Holy Grail, the Language of Adam:
“The language of angels has been a subject of contemplation from early medieval times on up, perhaps induced by Paul’s famous remark in 1 Corinthians 13:1: ‘If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.’ In the following chapter he declares this ‘language of angels’ to be unequal to the task of proselytizing… [in the] De Occultis Philosophiae, or Of Occult Philosophy… Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa had Paul in mind when he described the ‘Tongue of Angeles and of their speaking amongst themselves, and with us…’
'We might doubt whether Angels, or Demons, since they be pure spirits, use any vocal speech, or tongue amongst themselves, or to us; but that Paul in some place saith, If I speak with the tongue of men, or angels: but what their speech or tongue is, is much doubted… how Angels speak it is hid from us, as they themselves are…'
Swedenborg describes in his ‘Heaven and its Wonders and Hell’ the language of angels from what he had ‘heard and seen’…
'the speech of the celestial angels is like that of a gentle stream, soft, and continuous, but the speech of the spiritual angels is rather vibrating and discrete. The speech of celestial angels greatly resounds with the vowels u and o; while the speech of spiritual angels that of e and i, for vowels are sounds and in sounds there is emotion…'"
I will continue working out loud with Higley’s text next week, but for now it is time to take a sharp left turn onto that mountainous back road lined with dilapidated cabins and explore our Lovecraft tale for the week, ‘The Very Old Folk.’ This tale, according to its introduction in my anthology, is a long description straight from a dream of Lovecraft’s — essentially a pure example of Lovecraft ‘Red-Booking’ his dream world for us:
“I have myself been carried back to Roman times by my recent perusal of [the] Aeneid… This Virgilian diversion, together with the spectral thoughts incident to All Hallow’s Eve with its Witch-Sabbaths on the hills, produced in me… a Roman dream of such supernal clearness… and such… hidden horror… Roman dreams were no uncommon features of my youth… but I had long ceased to experience them, that the present one impressed me with extraordinary force.”
This is a clear admission of not only Lovecraft’s classical roots as a fiction writer, but also of a youth spent essentially journeying back to Rome on a regular basis — this is the territory of a natural magician. For all of those critics that state blindly that Lovecraft did not perform magic nor had any interest in religion, pagan or otherwise, throughout his entire life, The Very Old Folk is a smoking gun to the contrary. Lovecraft names himself as one L. Caelius Rufus, a type of roaming investigator judge endemic to Roman society. L. Caelius Rufus is our primary archetype for this tale. Let’s join our dreamer:
“I was a provincial quaestor named L. Caelius Rufus… a horror… brooded on the hills. All the townsfolk were frightened, and had begged the presence of a cohort from Calagurris. It was the Terrible Season of the autumn, and the wild people in the mountains were preparing for the frightful ceremonies… They were the very old folk who dwelt higher up in the hills and spoke a choppy language… every spring and autum they held the infamous rites on the peaks, their howlings and altar-fires throwing terror into the villages…”
This scene, the fire, rite, and terrible sounds emanating from the mountains on pagan holidays is a very common part of the Lovecraftian Magical Aesthetic. Mountain bonfires can safely be added to our list at this point, I think. Our investigator continues, giving us some insight into his education:
“I had studied deeply in the dark forbidden lore, and… believed the very old folk capable of visiting almost any nameless doom upon the town… a Roman settlement…”
When applying the lens of esoteric criticism to this tale, the fact that Lovecraft’s dreamself, L. Calelius Rufus (who very well might be the adult version of the journeying child that walked the avenues of Rome as a young Lovecraft dreamt) is studied in the dark arts *in the dreamlands* means that this wisdom could very well have filtered up into his waking self, especially given his propensity to Redbook his dreams and present them to the world as hypersigilized fiction. The dreamer continues his litany of intellectual resources when he states:
“The danger to the town and inhabitants of Pompelo was a real one, I could not from my studies doubt. I had read many scrolls out of Syria and Aegyptus, and the cryptic town of Etruria, and had talked at length with the bloodthirsty priest of Diana Aricina in his temple in the woods bordering Lacus Nemorensis. There were shocking dooms that might be called out of the hills on the Sabbaths; dooms which ought not to exist within the territories of the Roman People… A Postumius being consul, had executed so many Roman citizens for the practice of the Bacchanalia…”
Lovecraft is exhibiting here such a deep familiarity with not only Roman society and culture, but of those cultures that were supplanted and pushed into the mountains as Rome expanded. His Roman dream self also appears to be well versed in the aforementioned current topic of my own magical study, the Greek Magical Papyri, practically calling it out by name. Our investigator, out of concern for Roman citizens (which if unpacked would take us too far off course this week) petitions to take a legion of three hundred soldiers into the mountains to stamp out the indigenous tribes during their autumnal Sabbath:
“As twilight fell on the wild autumnal slopes, a measured, hideous beating of strange drums floated down from afar in terrible rhythm. Some few of the legionarii shewed timidity, but sharp commands brought them into line and the whole cohort was soon drawn up on the open plain east of the circus… great difficulty waw suffered in getting a native guide to point out the paths up the mountain… Finally a young man… of pure Roman parents agreed to take us at least past the foothills. We began to march in the new dusk, with the thin silver sickle of a young moon trembling over the woods on our left. That which disquieted us most was the fact that the Sabbath was to be held at all… there were the sinister drums… as if the celebrants had some peculiar reason to be indifferent whether or not the forces of the Roman People marched against them… Once and awhile it seemed as though we detected a skulking form in the woods nearby, and after a half-hour’s climb the steepness and narrowness of the way made the advance of so great a body of men — over 300, all told — exceedingly cumbrous and difficult. Then with utter and horrifying suddenness we heard a frightful sound… It was from the tethered horses — they had screamed… not neighed, but screamed… At the same moment bonfires blazed out on all the peaks ahead, so that terror seemed to lurk equally well before and behind… All the torches now began to dim, and the cries of  frightened legionaries mingled with the unceasing screams of the tethered horses… as the torches faded I watched what I thought were fantastic shadows outlined in the sky by the spectral luminosity of the Via Lactea as it flowed through Perseus, Cassiopeia, Cephus, and Cygnus. Then suddenly all the stars were blotted from the sky — even bright Deneb and Vega… and the lone Altair and Fomalhaut… above… horrible altar-flames… silhouetting… mad, leaping, and colossal forms of… nameless beasts… old Scribonius Libo… uttered words amidst the screaming, and they echo still in my ears. ‘Malitia vetus — malitia vetus est… venit… tandem venit…’ [The evil of old - oldest evil… he finally comes…]… the town at least was saved — for encyclopedias tell of the survival of Pompelo to this day, under the modern Spanish name of Pamplona…”
The Vascones inhabited the area of Pamplona prior to the Roman arrival in the 1st century. The Vascones are considered the ancestors of the Basques. According to Biblioecapleyades the most ancient remains of Basque peoples date to the Lower Paleolithic and it is well known that their language has no modern cognates and cannot be traced back to or reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European. Looping back to our discussion on Hildegard de Bingen’s Lingua Ignota, one Dominique Lahetjuzan believed strongly that the Basque language, Euskara, was the pre-Babelian language of Adam, spoke in the Garden of Eden, as did the French Abbot Diharce de Bidassouet and the Basque priest Erroa. The ecclesiastical authorities in Pamploma, after much consideration on Erroa’s argument, declared it correct. All actual records of the investigation, however, surreptitiously disappeared. The Greek’s had a name for the Basque people, the Ouaskonous, or Goat People, after their alleged habit of sacrificing goats to their gods. There is plenty of evidence here that point to Lovecraft’s journeying connecting with primordial, possibly Laurasian, spirit forms as they are represented in his dream state by the Vascones and their Sabbath rites. If The Very Old Ones is, in fact, a page from Lovecraft’s own Red Book, the implications of this vision are vast.
With L. Calelius Rufus, Lovecraft’s own dream investigator, maps to the Seven of Wands, our Tarot Card match for this week. Our Etteilla deck offering us the keywords ‘delay’ and ‘crossing’. On the surface, the beginning of The Very Old Folk consists of expository text detailing the delay that the dreamer came across attempting to navigate the Roman bureaucracy and convince his superiors to allow him to take a legion of soldiers into the realm of the Vascones. Upon doing so, the final scene, or rather, the shift between the manufactured reality of Rome and the more archaic reality of the Basque is represented by crossing into an area of the mountains via a deep high walled ridge. These crossing-over events are exhibited in almost every Lovecraft tale, in one form or another.
Delay can be traced back to the PIE root *leip-, this root means ‘to stick, to adhere, to persist, persevere, to allow to remain. *leip- describes the Vascones and their connections throughout timedepth to an older, alien, Laurasian ancestor of religion, ethnicity, and connection to spirits.
Crossing, on the other hand, beginning in the middle of the 15th century, meant to make the sign of the cross. The Old English form of its root, ‘cross,’ is the term ‘rood.’ Rood can beam a stake, a pile, a stand of trees on the bank of a stream, a spear, or (looping back to the suit of our card), a staff.
The Seven of Wands contains within its keywords the dichotomy exhibited in our archetype, L. Calelius Rufus. The dreamer who was at once a student of the old, and investigator of the occult and the esoteric, and yet, a devout patriot of a Christianized Roman state. It contains within it the poles in which the agents in Lovecraft’s ’The Very Old Folks’ revolve around.