My Notes on The Magical Carousel by Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet, chapter ninth, Sagittarius.1
The Higher Mind
Moving quickly into the land of Sagittarius, the shallow waters and fiery fog fade into the background, leaving certain death behind. The centaur lets out a belly laugh that is half mockery, half bumptious, and reveling in the delight of his own daring success. Everyone’s spirits are lifted by the antics and playfulness of the centaur who is prone to all fun and games all along the way but vulnerable too to all sorts of distraction.
Interestingly, the change from Scorpio to Sagittarius is fast and dramatic but the change goes by almost unnoticed if one isn’t paying apt attention. The course is lit with the bright light of Archer’s arrows, fired into the air; he is simply chasing the arrows or else he is following the illuminated path. It is difficult to know which is which, but then matters suddenly come to a full stop. He has run out of arrows.
The mood changes, the atmosphere becomes deflated, as quickly and dramatically as it had become inflated. The jovial adventurer vanishes inside a dour and morose slug of a creature whose shoulders slouch as his head droops into profound resignation. Nevertheless, progress continues as the journey enters unfamiliar territory, which seems foreign and distant from anyplace they’ve ever been before. Shades of purple, in all its hues and tones jumps out at the travelers the way it color jumps from a clown’s costume, or a priest’s garment, or a royal sovereign’s robe. There are all sorts of buildings peaking over a tall wall, one more different from the next. As the excitement builds in the children, they increasingly feel the urgency to pick up speed, but the horse has lost his giddy-up. Down in the mouth, he confesses to not being able to go through doors without having proper access and admits to simply jumping over the high wall like a trespasser during previous visits. But he’s unable to do so now because he’s out of arrows and without the arrows his powers are diminished. The children suggest they knock on the door, and as they approach, they discover a new sign and the number 9.
The Archer appears extremely diffident and unsure of himself, almost timid, as if he’s afraid of being caught with his hand in the cookie jar. This confuses the children. Suddenly all chaos breaks loose as who knows who is chasing them all over the land with brooms swishing and switching back and forth. The chase is on. Everyone is running in hot pursuit, or else fleeing in desperation. The children and the Centaur jump inside a pile of hay, a good hiding place or so they thought. But it’s not so fast since Pom-pom is allergic to hay and starts sneezing. They’re found out and now a pitchfork is thrust into the hay pile right into the Centaur’s rump. The three fugitives are finally face to face with their accusers and a big argument ensues about who is responsible for creating such chaos, to which of course no one wants to take the blame, and everyone thinks their own argument and explanation is best. They go back and forth at one another until finally Val mentions as an aside that the Centaur did in fact save the children from Scorpio.
Now all eyes turn toward the Centaur, who it appears is the guilty party, for leaving Sagittarius in the first place, and who after exhausting all argument confesses to everything, with the caveat that it’s still not his fault because he really isn’t to blame. He points to his lower half and says, “it’s him, he’s the one.” The keepers of the brooms remind him that such an excuse is false since “you know very well that you and he are one and the same.” The arguing subsides, and the Centaur is bribed with the promise of new arrows. He agrees to behave, since life has become tedious without his beloved arrows.
Achieving some semblance of composure, the three compatriots head for a large archaic building that is filled with dust. It is of course a hall of higher learning, in Sagittarius, and considered the home of the great Heropodus Heronimus, the famed professor of philosophy. The place looks like a disaster happened. It’s deserted with things strewn about and all over the place. Everything looks in disrepair with pieces of broken furniture scattered on the floors. In short, it’s a mess. They meet the registrar who escorts the three interlopers to a door. He knocks! There is no response from inside the room. It sounds like no one is home. But the guests make such a racket outside the door that they rouse HH from his nap, and he finally presents himself. The door opens and they meet the archetype of the absent-minded professor, who nonetheless they will learn has the power and foresight of a Merlin, or Dumbledore. His room and laboratory are in such disarray, it’s no wonder someone wouldn’t get lost inside.
HH mumbles something about not sleeping, saying that his eyes were merely closed in contemplation of the lofty things in life and in so doing he disregards the registrar’s apology for waking him. His whole face lights up with joy and anticipation when he learns that the children are there with the Centaur to learn. Disorder is the apparent rule of the classroom here, but this doesn’t stop the children from fetching numerous books. Their gumption and eagerness upsets HH and he lets the children know directly when he says, “That’s an insult to my higher mind. When you come to H.H., you need no books. It’s all up here,” he says putting his finger on his temple, “and in here, he says pointing to his heart.” The mind and the heart must work together or there is no concrete knowledge. You must learn to shoot the arrows of the mind forward, and the rest will follow. So, what if the knowledge only comes in the distant future? Who cares? “Send off the arrows! That’s the point.”
H.H. continues his lecture, waxing and waning on all sorts of topics and how all the buildings are representations of all the regions of the mind, but then he gets sidetracked by a few wandering clouds, wondering aloud “what’s for supper.” He needs to be reminded to get himself back on track. When he is back on course, he states that “the higher nature shall come forth in all its splendor as a result of a cultivation of the higher mind which lies dormant…” but he’s easily distracted again. To get on track again he mentions an interesting observation where “the higher nature awakens in meditation,” but then immediately seems to contradict himself when prodded. He had just been discussing the cultivation of the mind and immediately disagrees with himself saying, “Impossible! In meditation the mind must cease! You’ve misunderstood.” He then segues to an endless story that is too entertaining to interrupt. Just then the bell rings, a reminder for H.H. to start a certain ritual…
At the very mention of the word ritual, Val and Pompom scurry under a desk to hide. They want nothing more to do with rituals after their experience in Scorpio. Surprised at the children’s reaction, H.H. tries to suss out the truth from the children. They relate the whole story to him, which he listens to attentively. When they get to the part about the magic potion in their necklace H.H. becomes exceedingly enthusiastic and leads the children and the Centaur down to a large ceremonial hall, which is somehow well kept and in proper order. H.H. is focused on getting the correct rituals lined up, retrieving them from a catalog arranged according to some numerical order, indexed by thousands. The Centaur is getting restless so H.H. hushes him, reminding him of the work ahead before “the magic potion can be drunk.” H.H. is hard at work mixing and remixing, as the children pipe in that they have no interest in being the ones to drink the potion. H.H. too pronounces his disinterest in drinking the potion. All three of them then turn to the Centaur. “Me? Ha! Why me?”
“Because you’re a horse and it would take ten times this quantity to do anything to your nature.” Notwithstanding his inattention, and over the Centaurs’ objections, H.H. proceeds with his mixing. There are nine invocations in all. Mistakes are made. Mixing needs remixing. Starts and stops ensue. Eyes half-shut, the wrong rites are performed and then redone correctly. After what seems like an eternity, the time has arrived for the Centaur to drink the potion. But the Centaur isn’t cooperating, and H.H. becomes increasingly distraught as the Archer retreats, avoiding his duty. Val shouts out “Remember your arrows!” And so, the Centaur does and finally succumbs to the experiment remembering how bad he wants his arrows back.
Immediately, the Centaur becomes distraught with great burps of energy that have him bouncing off the walls and ceiling. A disagreeable reaction to the potion has his horse nature acting in revolt and emitting sounds of distress and discomfort. But it all passes like gas, after an indigestible moment, and eventually the horse is giddy again, smiling contentedly sitting in the middle of the room. H.H. stops for the day and dismisses the class, suggesting that everyone has learned enough for the year…
Val, always mindful of what time it is, reminds Pom-pom that they must go. But H.H. informs them that they’ll never make it out of Sagittarius in time since it is too far to travel that distance with the time they have left. It seems hopeless. But a great idea invites itself into the conversation, which is that the Centaur got them into Sagittarius, so why couldn’t the Centaur carry them out? H.H. ponders the thought and agrees. But first insists on preparing them with the proper credentials just in case they are stopped along the way. This is so “whoever you meet will know that you have come from the renowned foundation for Higher Knowledge.”
H.H. leaves the room and returns with two cards which he hands to the children. They rush to join the Centaur, excitedly, to make haste and be on their way. But he is completely indifferent to such a long journey. The magic potion has taken its desire effect. The children and H.H. are puzzled. Time is running out. Quickly, H.H. exits the laboratory once again to create an antidote. It works! The Archer’s eyes reignite, his spirit fires back up. He becomes overjoyed at the sight of his arrows. The children mount the Centaur, and the Archer is given fair warning to behave this time, reminded that he is given only enough arrows to get him to the border and back. He is to act the part of the savior once again, and in their farewell at the gate H.H. “with a faraway look in his eye,” says to the children in a whisper, “You are about to discover the last three realms, the regions very few consciously reach. Remember Heropodus Heronimus and all his teachings, for in those realms this knowledge is used.” The Centaur staying true to his mission this time, seems to travel “faster than sound and light, and at a certain moment the very space around them disappears, they are almost unaware of moving at all and seem to have entered a point right within themselves.”
1 Norelli-Bachelet, P. (2017). The Magical Carousel and Commentaries: A Zodiacal Odyssey (2017th ed.). Notion Press, Inc.
Leave a Reply