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  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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I saw a Peacock with a fiery tail
I saw a blazing Comet drop down hail
I saw a Cloud with Ivy circled round
I saw a sturdy Oak creep on the ground
I saw a Pismire swallow up a Whale
I saw a raging Sea brim full of Ale
I saw a Venice Glass sixteen foot deep
I saw a Well full of men's tears that weep
I saw their Eyes all in a flame of fire
I saw a House as big as the Moon and higher
I saw the Sun even in the midst of night
I saw the Man that saw this wondrous sight

Anon (17th century)

Echoes of Saturn
by Amy Acheson

I found the above poem on a London subway. (Well, I wasn't actually in London, but I found the poem in the archives of an Internet site that's maintained by the folks who display poems on the London subways.)

I couldn't help but be impressed that most of these "wondrous sights" listed by the anonymous poet seem strangely resonant with the mythical backdrop of the Saturn thesis. Not because a catastrophe of Saturnian dimensions occurred in the 17th century!–but because the poet was still immersed in the literary and symbolic echoes of more ancient events. Perhaps the true meanings were lost ages ago, and now the symbols can only appear unlikely and incomprehensible, twisted by time into mere hearsay. But, by Zeus, he couldn't have done more justice to ancient motifs if he'd read Symbols of an Alien Sky the day before he penned the poem.

Echoes of the Saturnian epoch STILL surround us. For example, California's storms this winter were the result of "El Niño", linked to Christmas, with Santa and flying "chariots" and the north pole. Certainly there are countless instances in which deep mythical images have been projected onto terrestrial events, and perhaps it is this very process that helps to preserve these enigmatic images long after we have forgotten their original references.

What about the Chicago fire? Or the legends of King Arthur? The black plague? The death of Caesar? We expect to find symbolic references to gods and planets and comets in all of these tales. And we do. But will we cultivate the necessary discipline to find the EVENT which first gave meaning to the symbols?

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