About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Divine breeze

Have you heard about PHYLLOMANCY?
    It is a form of divination from leaves. In ancient times it was a way to be inspired by a god or gods and to discern the divine will. In its classical form it meant listening to the rustling of lives in some special tree or in a sacred grow. (By the way, don’t we sometimes use a poetic metaphor speaking about a breeze whispering in the trees?)
    Breezes or winds were signs of divine presence or at least a presence of God’s very own messengers and trees and their leaves were instruments which made this divine presence discernible by our human senses.
    In 2 Samuel (5:22) David receives an instruction to wait until he hears in the crowns of balsam trees the sound of marching angelic army. And in Genesis 3 the first humans in Eden recognized the LORD’s presence by hearing the breeze in the garden.
    The Bible itself gives us these examples of this beautiful practice of Phyllomancy. And that is something you might not know about the Bible.

And when you are in a park or a forest away from the rumble and rattle of our modern world, stop for a moment and listen to the whispering of leaves. Perhaps you will hear God’s angels coming close.

And even in our large and busy city we can still visualize even a slight breeze. We can make a prayer flag and every wind can propel our prayers to our neighborhood. Join us this Sunday in the worship as we replace the prayer flag which disappeared few weeks ago.



The Morning Star above the East horizon
If you know me on Facebook or Instagram, you might notice that I love colourful dawns and dusks. In summer, I am happy to get up at 5am so that I can have a look on the theater of colours and shapes. That way I also often encounter the planet Venus in its dual form of Morning or Evening Star.
    Interestingly, many cultures and languages, including my native Czech, have two completely different names for the Morning Star and for the Evening Star. It is also true about Latin, old Greek and biblical Hebrew. It is quite possible that a very long time ago people did not recognize the Morning and Evening Stars were the same planet.
    But then a very old myth told the story that morning and evening stars were born as twins. Before the invention of writing, such stories were the way to preserve and pass on to next generations the recognition that the morning and evening stars were closely related - just like a pair of twins. There is a myth from West Semitic culture inscribed on cuneiform tablets from Ugarit (KTU 1.23), which preceded the Hebrew bible by number of centuries that states Shachar and Shalim (Morning and Evening Star) were twin brothers and an identical planet - Venus.
    And that is something you might not know about the Bible.

      Similarly in the ancient Greek culture Phosphoros (Morning Star) was identified with Hesperos (Evening Star) and in Latin Lucifer was identified with Vesper.
       Join us this Sunday as we decipher how and when it happened that the Latin name for morning star LUCIFER got such a bad rap. In fact, Lucifer is such a beautiful and meaningful name! In Latin it means “the light-bringer”. How, why and when did it happen that Lucifer (Light-bringer) was made into a personified evil? You might be surprised!

July Northern skies from my living room (about 38 hours apart)


Counting stars

Calibration lasers of the Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea
God famously promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars (Genesis 15). Of course it was a metaphor because stars were proverbially innumerable. But are they really? It all depends how you count and what instrument you use.
    Abraham had the great benefit of dark nights unpolluted with our modern electrical lights, but on the other hand, he had only his naked eyes. How many stars can an eye observe?
    Astronomers came up with the answer. Under ideal conditions in a moonless, deep dark night without any light pollution a sharp healthy human eye can observe stars down to 6.5 magnitude and such celestial objects can be counted. If we subtract the Sun and the Moon and all the planets, we end up with 9,096 stars across the entire sky. With a wide open horizon you can see about 4,548 stars and if you add few planets we end up with 4,550 or so stars - and thus also descendants promised to Abraham.
    Interestingly, such a number is not far off from what archeology tells us about population in ancient Judea. The Early Iron Age settlement in Jerusalem, a period to which the Bible positions David and Salomon, was about one or maximum two thousand people. Judean highlands had perhaps a few more thousand. Only the Judean Plain by the Mediterranean Sea was slightly more populous.
    The entire Judean kingdom with Jerusalem as its capital could have a population of 10-12 thousand. It was truly a small, pocket size, provincial kingdom and counting descendants like stars with a naked eye might not be far off. And that is something you might not know about the Bible.

Join us this Sunday as we continue our Celestial theology observing, counting and rejoicing in stars.