Chapter Four

- chapter 4 index -
pg. 1 - In the Wake of Poseidon | pg. 2 - The Devil's Triangle | pg. 2 - Garden of Worm
pg. 3 - World on the Scales


- page index -
Temperance | Dionysus and Demeter | Hecate

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n The Court of the Crimson King is closely associated with Zeus, and Frederick II.
Of the four elements, Zeus is associated with air. This would not be significant if the second album, In the Wake of Poseidon , were not so obviously associated with water.

Each of the four Sinfield albums correspond to one of the four elements and a particular Tarot card. Also, on each of the albums, symbolism associated with the particular Tarot card provides a way for Peter Sinfield to describe alchemical transformation.

On each of the four albums there are songs describing a relationship to an element or love songs to opposites.

In the Court of the Crimson King (The Air album) - the sun is romantically intrigued by the moon in Moonchild and a relationship with the air element is described in I Talk To The Wind .

In the Wake of Poseidon (The Water Album) - Cadence and Cascade are romantically intrigued "by a man named Jade. Jade is a mineral, the earth element. A cadence (a musical term) is a rhythmic flow and may refer to wind (Air) or water. Both wind and water can produce a rhythmic flow and both can keep the Earth, jade, "cool in the shade". Cascade is an obvious reference to water. In this album, a musical term will be again be invoked in a compositon involving the wind, the next time signaling us to an important theme.

Cadence and Cascade , like I Talk to the Wind , is in the Aeolian mode (which includes an Aeolian cadence). Aeolus was the Greek god of the winds and Aeolian means "born of the wind".

"The diatonic scale is most familiar as the major scale or the "natural" minor scale (or aeolian mode). The modes of the diatonic scale are most commonly found in medieval music and folk music, so using them can suggest a somewhat "ancient" quality."

- The Tone Centre

Here is a short piece from The Tone Centre that uses a chord progression which harmonizes an aeolian melody.

The love songs to opposite elements for the other two albums are discussed in chapters five and six dealing, respectively, with Lizard and Islands .

In relation to Zeus, a significant event took place "in the wake of Poseidon". The title of the second album is a statement about inter-generational conflict, a burning issue of the counter-cultural youth movement of the time.

"Out of all of the Olympians, Zeus was the most powerful. Zeus' father, Kronos, was warned that one of his offspring would dethrone him. Wanting to remain the king, Kronos began eating all of his children as soon as they were born. Rhea, Zeus' mother, saved Zeus by wrapping a blanket around a rock and presenting it to her husband, who quickly swallowed it. When Zeus grew up, he managed to make Kronos vomit out his swallowed children by poisoning his father's drink. Poseidon then held Kronos at bay, while Zeus struck Kronos dead with a lightning bolt."

- Greek Religion by Professor K.E. Carr

In the wake of Poseidon's action against Kronos there was peace in the Olympian realm. The album is framed with a song called "Peace." Note that Kronos ate his young. Re: the Vietnam conflict, "They eat their young" was a common complaint levied against the older generation by the nascent youth culture of the era. This also explains why Crimson and the Kronos Quartet have never managed to collaborate - Zeus and Kronos just don't get along!

In The Wake of Poseidon provides some clues as to Peter Sinfield's intentions on the first album. The album's back cover includes a depiction of the archetypal emperor. "Bishop's kings", from In the Wake of Poseidon , suggests Frederick's struggle with the pope in the first album and, in light of what has been discussed, the title, In the Wake of Poseidon , suggests the first album could have been called "In the Court Of Zeus". As discussed in chapter three, the song, In Wake of Poseidon , deals with neo-Platonism. It is my contention that the purple piper, in Court of the Crimson King , is Thomas Aquinas, whose chief claim to fame was successfully addressing the problem of medieval neo-Platonic thought. Because Peter Sinfield was bothered enough by neo- Platonism to devote the title song of the second album to the subject, it is likely that he also made reference to neo-Platonism in the first album.

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Just as the Sun and Moon Tarot cards provided the basic theme for the first album and the blueprint for side two, the Temperance card seems to have served the same purpose for the Water album, In The Wake Of Poseidon .

Recall that the first album represents the mating of sun and moon/emperor and empress.

"…this is the mating of Empress and Emperor to beget Temperance, who mixes the wine and water, the red and white tinctures (Silberer 122, 125)."

- The Pythagorean Tarot by John Opsopaus

The first album, appropriately enough, begets the second.

"One of the archetypal emblems projected by the psyche is the water of life, the vital force depicted as a stream, or as a vessel containing liquid, or as a flowing sap or shining essence. In the Tarot the water of life is depicted in relationship to two pitchers. In this emblem (Temperance, number 14) the water or liquid is poured from the sun pitcher to the moon pitcher by a winged angel - a tempering or uniting of the male and female energies."

- Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential

"I am the ocean
Lit by the flame
I am the mountain
Peace is my name
I am the river
Touched by the wind
I am the story
I never end."

"The declamatory statements "I am..." are softened by lines in the passive voice, in which the speaker becomes the receptive object of external ("masculine"?) actions (lit by the flame, touched by the wind). However, the boldness of the final lines is still there."

- HyperRust

In this verse, Peter Sinfield has achieved "a tempering or balancing of the male and female energies." Similarly, Cadence and Cascade is told in the third person but from a decidedly feminine viewpoint. The album, as a whole, is an attempt to temper or unite the male and female energies.
While the first album adhered to the medieval axiom "As above, so below", the second is just as concerned with "As within, so without". The album, therefore, has twin Temperance themes: the tempering of male and female energies within the individual and without (the earth's environment).

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These twin themes are clearly present on the album cover (the Tammo de Jongh painting, Twelve Archetypes ). Portrayed as the purple laughing man and the blue woman with a crescent moon on her forehead, Dionysus and Demeter are the central image in the cover painting and counterpart male and female earth deities.

"ZEUS prophesied: My son, bringer of a glorious gift, shall plant in the earth the most fragrant fruit of vintage the Allheal my son Dionysus Alljoy will cherish the no-sorrow grape and rival Demeter. (Nonnos 7.85) He, along with Demeter, are the greatest upon earth for men."

- Dionysus, Welcome Home

The feast referred to in the title song is the feast of Dionysus, the god of wine (fermentation).

"Who fireside fear fermented words
Then rear to spoil the feast,"


Indo-European "Da" (earth) and "Mater" (mother)

- Myth Demeter

" female keeper of the underworld, pushes the vital force of the plants from below to above, sending the wealth of the earth, the crops, to the living."

- The Mysteries of the Dark Moon; The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George

"The White Goddess as Robert Graves named her, has found a place among many hearts in Britain. Few seem to link Guinevere with her as a direct translation of her name (Gwyn Welsh white). The tradition has arisen to see the Goddess as threefold, Virgin, Mother, Crone. This image is drawn from Hecate, as queen of the underworld."

And in the painting we see all three aspects of the Goddess. The Virgin (Kore) is the blonde haired girl in the top left corner of the front cover painting. Demeter, the Earth Mother, is the blue woman in the center. The Crone, frequently referred to by the name of all three, Hecate, is on the back cover. These three entities correspond to the three aspects of the moon (waxing, full and waning) and to the three stages of life.
The Three Fates are also a manifestation of the triple goddess, and they turn up on the first Emerson Lake and Palmer album. It could be that Greg Lake introduced a bit of the subject matter of In the Wake of Poseidon to his new band.

"The Green Man is often seen as the counterpart of the White Goddess. A pastoral deity, sometimes identified with Herne the hunter. A mixture of ideas have been blended into this image. Seen as the fertile bounding god as a complement to the corn goddess,..."

Demeter is the corn goddess.

"...the rutting deer, often taken as the god of 'wine women and song', as Bacchus or Dionysus. Yet these are images drawn from more than one tradition and, like the white lady herself, fall more into the category of Jungian Archetypes than Divine Expressions."

- Paganism by Keith Armstrong

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The Goddess, as Hecate, is also mentioned in the lyrics of In the Wake of Poseidon .

"Whilst dark in dream the Midnight Queen
Knows every human pain."

"Queen of the Night, triple-faced Hekate (heh-KAH-tee) is one of the most ancient images from a pre-Greek stratum of mythology and an original embodiment of the Great Triple Goddess.
On an inner level, Hekate is a guardian figure of the mysterious depths of our unconscious that accesses the collective memory of the primal void and whirling forces at the onset of creation.
As the Queen of the Underworld...She enables us to converse with the spirit and thus is mistress of all that lives in the hidden parts of the psyche."

- The Mysteries of the Dark Moon; The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George

The Triple Goddess is an expression of the Pythagorean idea of the triad. In Pythagorean terms, just as a child is the product of the union of man and woman, the triad is the 'harmonia" or joining of the polarities (opposites).

"This is the Alchemical Wedding, in which the alchemical Mercury attracts alchemical Sulphur towards itself so that they can be joined be means of the alchemical Salt; the result is the Living Gold or Philosophers' Stone. The Triad corresponds to the second cosmological stage in which some active agent (e.g. Eros) causes Earth and Sky to mate and beget the Gods."

"THE SACRED FAMILY (Synchronic Triad) The Triad can manifest in the Godhead in many different ways, but one of the most common is as three archetypal genders, masculine, feminine and neuter (or androgynous). (Needless to say, they are only loosely correlated with biological sex.)..."

"THE SACRED LIFECYCLE (Diachronic Triad) Whereas the Sacred Family is a static relationship within a Triad of Gods, the Sacred Lifecycle is a Triad in the life of an individual, which manifests as a Triple God or Goddess; I'll call the stages Virgin, Parent and Sage."

- Arithmetical Theology of Triads by John Opsopaus

In the Court of the Crimson King ~ Remember the Future return to
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In the Wake of Poseidon ~ The Devil's Triangle

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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