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Sun Mar 12 2017 at 04:00 pm EDT
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Fri Feb 3 2012 at 11:34 am EDT
On Learn It Live Since:
Friday Feb 3, 2012
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John Dee and Shakespeare-with author JAMES EGAN- Quick bio and intro -For thirty-five years I was a professional photographer in Providence, Rhode Island. Living in rural town of Foster, I became fascinated by the stonework in the woods near my house. To learn more about these stone chambers, stone walls, and cairn fields, I joined the New England Antiquities Research Association, a group of amateur historians who study lithic structures across the whole Northeast. One of the most unusual structures we studied was the 28-foot-tall stone-and-mortar tower that stands in Touro Park, in the heart of Newport, Rhode Island. Over the years, there have been many theories about who built it: the Vikings in 1150, the Templars in 1398, the Chinese in 1421, the Portuguese in 1501, and the main theory is that it was a windmill built by the first Governor of Rhode Island in the 1660s. But none of these theories rang true for me. In the early 1990s, fellow NEARA member William Penhallow, Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of Rhode Island, found several astronomical alignments in the windows of the tower. One pair of windows is aligned with the sun at sunrise on the winter solstice. Another pair is aligned with the full moon at Lunar Minor, an event that happens once every 18.6 years. And another pair is aligned with the bright star Dubhe, in the bowl of the Big Dipper, which points to the North Star, Polaris. Dee River of 1583 One day I was browsing the stacks of the local historical society and came across a 1956 book entitled Newport Begins. I was quite surprised to see that author Lloyd Robson wrote that, in 1583, Narragansett Bay was called the “John Dee River and Port.”In 1934, William Goodwin of Connecticut had journeyed to London and found a 1583 deed in the Elizabethan State Papers stating the bay was “called by John Dee, the Dee River.” In 1970, historian David Beers Quinn, in England and the Discovery of America confirms the “Dee River” refers to Narragansett Bay. Digging further, I found that Narragansett Bay was the site of the first Elizabethan colonization effort in the year 1583. John Dee had written eight books convincing Queen Elizabeth she had a legal right to North America, and she had deeded it to one of he bravest courtiers, Sir Humphrey Gilbert. On the summer solstice of 1583, Gilbert left England with five ships and 260 men, destined for the Dee River. Unfortunately, on the voyage they hit a hurricane. Gilbert’s ship got swallowed by a huge wave and he drowned. So he couldn’t have built the Tower. However, Quinn found that a year earlier, in 1582, Gilbert had sent a preliminary expedition that stayed in the New World for at least nine months. I claim this mission, with two ships and about 80 men, under the leadership of Anthony Brigham, built the tower to be the city-center of this first colony. But they abandoned it when Sir Humphrey Gilbert failed to show up. John Dee was not only the architect entire colonization effort, I claim he was also the architect of the tower. (Incidentally, a year later, the Queen deeded all of North America to Sir Humphrey Gilbert’s younger half-brother, Sir Walter Raleigh. But Raleigh decided to send his three missions, in 1584, 1585, and 1587, to Roanoke Island in what is now North Carolina, where there was a longer season for growing tobacco.) Dee and 252 Besides having a library of 4000 books and manuscripts, John Dee was the author of over 40 texts. Reading his “Preface” to the first English translation of Euclid’s Elements provides insights into Dee’s interdisciplinary mind. He astutely describes over twenty “Arts and Sciences,” like “Perspective, Astronomy, Music, and Astrology,” which he calls “Derivative Arts.” He says they derive from the two “Principal Arts: Geometry and Arithmetic.” Dee claims “Number” has one foot in the natural world and one in the supernatural world. Dee’s 1558 Propadeumata Aphoristica consists of 120 “Preparatory Aphorisms” on astronomy, astrology and his mathematical cosmology. 2520 days, or “seven years” later, Dee published his most cherished work, his 1564 Monas Hieroglyphica, or “Sacred Symbol of Oneness.” Over the years, several translations have been made, but they all sounded rather confounding. So I decided to make my own. With the help of a Latin translator, I went through Dee’s 24 Theorems, which are essentially a series of riddles cryptically expressing his mathematical cosmology. Some historians see Dee’s work as an alchemy book, with some mathematics thrown in. But I came to see it as a book of mathematics, written in alchemical language. Dee uses his “Monas Symbol,” made from points, lines, and circles, as a sort of visual-rhetorical-device. He turns it upside-down and breaks apart in various ways. In one theorem, he gives a precise geometric description, warning that if the parts are not in the exact proportions he prescribes, the whole symbol loses its power. At the end, next to his summarizing “Thus the World Was Created” chart, is a flow chart in which he says there are “Fixed Limits” in the realm of number. And he boils the whole thing down to one number, the “Magisterial Number: 252.” Dee and Bucky Googling around, I found that Buckminster Fuller extolled the virtues of 252 in his compendium of wisdom, Synergetics. I soon realized that what Bucky had discovered about geometry and number in the 1900s, was the same thing that John Dee had discovered about geometry and number in the 1500s. And furthermore, the Monas Symbol was the hidden blueprint for what I call the John Dee Tower 1583, that still stands in Touro Park, Newport. In short, Dee’s book, his Monas Symbol, and his tower are all versions of the same thing: his mathematical cosmology. Over the last decade, I have written 20 books on the Tower’s history and have become the curator of the Newport Tower Museum at 152 Mill Street, just 50 steps northeast of the Tower. Plunging even deeper into Elizabethan history, I reread The Tempest and recognized parallels between Shakespeare’s play and the Elizabethan colonization effort of 1583. Even encyclopedia articles will tell you John Dee was the most likely inspiration for the main character, Prospero. My thesis that is that each of the characters in The Tempest represents an actual person involved in the Elizabethan Colonization effort of 1583. (Which ended abruptly when Sir Humphrey Gilbert drowned. In a tempest.) Something for everyone In short, this is an interdisciplinary story that involves astronomy, architecture, geometry, arithmetic, optics, and horology, the art of keeping time. As a Renaissance man, John Dee was fascinated by all these subjects. And he discovered they all embodied the same principle: coincidentia oppositorum, or the union of opposites. Though most of my work involves the pre-1583 John Dee, it’s certain to provide many clues to those interested in the more spiritual, post-1583 John Dee. He might have changed his focus from academic to angelic, but he was still the same man — the perspicacious John Dee.
Nina Elliott
Recorded: May 09, 2016 at 07:00 pm EDT
In this 3-part series learn about Jyoti Meditation--a silent meditation to facilitate spiritual growth. Whether you a new to meditation or experienced, you'll find useful tools to help you train the mind to be still so you can access the inner regions of light and sound, wisdom and bliss.
Yogini and Indian dancer Hemalayaa combines these two sacred traditions into a clandestine and mystical adventure. The movements of the dance become endearing expressions of timeless tales and the yogic postures and breath-work remove the obstacles to perfect health, abundance and joy. Find the portable paradise the mystics have hinted too through the alluring dance of the feminine divine and triumph to gain the sanctity of the great Yogi’s. Explore the immeasurable union of art and science into one striking moment in time.
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Hemalayaa teaches a unique combination of yoga and Indian dance in Los Angeles and travels the globe transforming lives through these practices. As a yogini, dancer and fitness educator, Hemalayaa has a natural gift for bringing out the joy and the dancer in everyone. The daughter of Indian parents, Hema's upbringing taught her that dance was important to health and well-being, and her yoga training began at home at an early age. Her first teacher was her father. She went on to study yoga, philosophy, and meditation. A life devoted to yoga and dance animates Hemalayaa's playful spirit. Laughter, her own and that of her students, is the trademark sound of her classes. Hema loves turning her students on to the vibrant styles of Indian dance, which is revolutionizing conscious movement. She is the creator and author of numerous health and fitness DVDs and has been featured in publications such as Yoga Journal, Body & Soul, Fit Yoga, The New York Times and LA Yoga Magazine among others. When she's not shimmying with Ellen Degeneres on her talk show, strutting her stuff with the ladies of the Today show or leading workshops and retreats around the world, Hemalayaa is most likely to be found in her kitchen whipping up some healthy, organic food, riding her bike around Los Angeles, spending time with friends and just generally enjoying life.
Nina Elliott is a licensed massage therapist who specializes in manual Lymphatic Drainage, Myofascial Release, and helping people bring their physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual aspects into harmony through personal development. Too often we focus on developing one aspect of ourselves and forget that we are multi-dimensional beings in need of overall balance and harmony. Nina has practiced meditation for 14 years and has also studied a variety of personal development tools (such as Emotional Freedom Technique, Inner Child work, Breathwork, Vision Boards, Mandalas, and more). She has appointments & classes available where she uses her hands or skills as the tools to help tune your physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual dimensions so you are no longer in discord (or pain!).
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