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Thread: The Cicada

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    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Default The Cicada

    Long ago, cicadas were human beings. Enchanted by the wondrous works of the Muses, they devoted themselves entirely to music and the arts, forgot to eat or drink. and their physical bodies wasted away. To reward them for their devotion, the Muses transformed them into cicadas and charged them with reporting on how other humans honored the Muses. The cicada fills its short span of life in devotion to love and song. From underground, the cicada, a model of the human soul, emerges and rises to the canopy of the sky. In whom balance in life and philosophy has prevailed, their cicada will be fully winged. The cicada's progeny, ideas in the minds of men, emerge again anonymously from the soil in the distant forgotten future, in a cycle dictated by the earth's revolution around the sun.

    Cicadas sing loudest at midday during the hottest days of the summer corresponding with the time when the sun is at the center of our lives. How the Dog-Day Cicada knows of Sirius' solar conjunction to time it's reemergence shows why cicadas symbolize our ability to connect and harmonize with the divine, The cicada's attributes are timing, patience, longevity, and rhythm.

    Socrates, confiding to Phaedrus in the shade of a cicada-filled plane tree in the sylvan countryside far from Athens, shared his private belief that some of life's greatest blessings flow from madness induced by the muses and their natural agencies. These mania fall into four categories: prophetic, poetic, cathartic, and erotic. Socrates confides that nymphs and local divinities or "spirits of place" inhabit the countryside; he talks of the Muses and Pan; he describes his own daemon: a guiding spirit within the psyche that serves to animate the soul's individuality. Abandoning the dialog form, in lyric prose, he links divine inspiration to religion, poetry, art and love; all of which are informed and rendered in symbolic relief by the cicada chorus.

    In Athens, men and women traditionally wore a cicada hair clasp or pin. It symbolized that they had sprung from the very earth of Athens, and like the cicadas, they informed the gods of the works of man by example in their arts and deeds. In Delphi's origin, Apollo slays Python, Gaia's protector of the subterranean feminine mystery with the golden arrow, linking the imagery of the sun's rays penetrating the mists of illusion rising from the mire and fumes of the serpent's underground corpse. It is in the interpretations of these illusions, through the voice of the manic Pythia, that the priests obtain the gift of prophesy. Here men first fell under the spell of the Muses, whom Apollo had appointed to grace the temple, and here where those perished shepherds were first transformed to cicadas.

    Tithonus, a Trojan mortal, lover of the rose-fingered goddess of dawn Aurora. was granted immortality to share with his love, but not eternal youth, so as he got older and weaker with time eventually all that was left of him was his voice. In pity, the gods transformed Tithonus into a Magi cicada, a fate granted to him, so that in eternal life, he may experience mortality in its essence, and otherwise rest peacefully. A magicicada's life is but a few hot summer afternoons every 17 years, a message of hope to the future from the dawn of today.

    The Egyptians shared the same idea in the Sacred Scarab, and also the icon's symbolic relationship with dawn and the middle path of the soul. The sun-god Ra rolls across the sky each day, transforming bodies and souls. Beetles of the scarabidae family roll dung into a ball as food and as a brood chamber in which to lay eggs that are later transformed into larvae. For these reasons the scarab was seen as a symbol of this heavenly cycle and of the idea or rebirth or regeneration. The Egyptian god Khepri, "Ra at Dawn", analogous to Eos/Aurora, was often depicted as a scarab beetle or as a scarab beetle-headed man. The ancient Egyptians believed that Khepri renewed the sun every day before rolling it above the horizon, then carried it through the other world after sunset, only to renew it again the next dawn.

    In both systems, the soul is metamorphosis, each instar's "death" merely the dawn of the next phase life from zygote to chrysalis. Through an opaque mirror, we can see a parallel to human development: we have collected all of our various metamorphoses in our embryonic development as instars. We start as an egg, become a serpent, then a bird, then a dolphin, and so on, until, after the first 64 days of gestation, we assume our recognizable form in utero. As our developments were written into our genetic code by Chronos. The instars were left as stepping-stones, in case nature should ever need to recall an older design as a superior adaptation to a world in chaos: one in which we do not travel in linear time, but in a cyclical oscillation between different archetypical worlds of stone, iron, bronze and gold.

    Like the cicada, our language and ability to communicate allows us to transcend any terrestrial limitations, and as we dawn, we assume the chorus: the carrier wave by which our individual codes and songs acquire meaning, and by which collectively our instrument is tuned to the universe. We all, as cicadas, participate in this over-soul which both limits and defines us, in the same way as radius expresses the individual, and pi the divine; the circle cannot exist without pi, yet even the divine is defined and measured by the the observing radius. Ying and Yang, they participate in the one of the circumference.

    One day the tragedy of our history will lay behind us like our molted husks, symbols of the conquest of our base nature, and our transcendence of mortality. When we finally begin to use our wings and call the tune hail the Great Instauration, begun anew.

  2. #2
    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Please contribute your insect themed prose, verse, and lyrics here if you like. I am interested in imagist poetry in constrained forms. Here for example, is a translation of Meleager's The Cicada, from the Garland. It is an attempt, but probably unlike any other translation, and certainly would not pass muster at any academic venue. But I think ee or WCW would like it.


    The Cicada

    Drunk with dew
    The little minstrel sits
    singing his rustic song.
    In melancholy fits
    His rough legs work like fire
    Sounding the Lyre
    All day long.

    Sing, Sing, Sing,
    Sing under azure skies,
    Sing to the Nymphs and Pan,
    That I may hidden lie
    Long in the shady deep
    In noon-day sleep
    Far from love

  3. #3
    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Here is another, by Anyte in which she describes the funeral of little girl's pet grasshopper. The imagery moves me deeply.

    The Cicada and the Locust

    Myro the sweet girl-child
    Let fall a tear
    To raise the Locust's tomb,
    Who was so dear
    In seed-land near.

    Now, in the old grey Oak
    Where summer clings
    The good cicada mourns,
    Beating his wings
    And sadly sings.

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    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Now, before our species stepped into space, the scientists warned about what messages we may send unintentionally. Scientists such as those in the video warned that any expression of technological prowess or high development could be disastrous. A project was undertaken in 1967 to explore the idea of a broadcast that would be universally understood that we are a species of peace. We'd practice on Earth first. As a result, the BBC planned the first ever worldwide simulcast featuring the song that Lennon and McCartney had composed for the experiment. US and British Intelligence lent personnel and expertise: eager to analyze the data scientifically by culture and language to see if it succeeded and if so, it's potential for propaganda. The scientists quietly didn't mention that this was also in theory the first outbound extraterrestrial message in Earth's history. They also didn't mention that in order to achieve simulcast, enormously high energy signals, using computer controlled relay circuitry: again, borrowed from the spy's garage while they weren't asking the right questions, used the Earth's magnetic field as a parabolic dish. This was going to be a big signal. George Martin insisted on a live performance in pure analog, with full orchestral accompaniment. Since we are in tune and in time with the universe by definition, there's no way the signal can be misunderstood. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s-pFAFsTFTI

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    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    Lyrics from the Garland by other poets:

    [deGrasse Tyson]
    We are all
    connected;
    To each other,
    biologically
    To the earth,
    chemically
    To the rest of the universe,
    atomically

    [Feynman]
    I think nature's imagination
    Is so much greater than man's
    She's never going to let us
    relax.

    [Sagan]
    We live in an in-between
    Universe
    Where things change,
    according to patterns,
    Rules,
    Or as we call them,
    Laws of nature

    The beauty of a living thing
    is not the atoms that go into it
    But the way those atoms are put together.
    The cosmos is also within us
    We're made of star stuff
    We are a way for the cosmos to know itself

    Across the sea of space
    The stars are other suns
    We have traveled this way before
    And there is much to be learned

    I find it elevating and exhilarating
    To discover that we live in a universe
    Which permits the evolution of molecular machines
    As intricate and subtle as we

  7. #7
    magicicada is offline Junior Twelever +1 Bronze magicicada is an unknown quantity at this point
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    5/24/16
    Three Days Past
    Mays Full Moon
    Brood Five Arises
    Tuesday Afternoon.

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