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Welcome to the 1996-1999 Serendipity Entries

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Phantacea Publications in Print

- The 'Launch 1980' story cycle - 'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Fantasy Trilogy - The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels - The phantacea Graphic Novels -

The 'Launch 1980' Story Cycle

The War of the Apocalyptics

Front cover of War Pox, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2009

Published in 2009; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Nuclear Dragons

Nuclear Dragons front cover, artwork by Ian Bateson, 2013

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

Helios on the Moon

Front cover for Helios on the Moon, artwork by Ricardo Sandoval, 2014

Published in 2014; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here;

The 'Launch 1980' story cycle comprises three complete, multi-character mosaic novels, "The War of the Apocalyptics", "Nuclear Dragons" and "Helios on the Moon", as well as parts of two others, "Janna Fangfingers" and "Goddess Gambit". Together they represent creator/writer Jim McPherson's long running, but now concluded, project to novelize the Phantacea comic book series.

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'The Thrice-Cursed Godly Glories' Epic Fantasy

Feeling Theocidal

Front Cover for Feel Theo, artwork by Verne Andru, 2008

Published in 2008; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The 1000 Days of Disbelief

Front cover of The Thousand Days of Disbelief, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published as three mini-novels, 2010/11; main webpage is here; ordering lynx for individual mini-novels are here

Goddess Gambit

Front cover for Goddess Gambit by Verne Andru, 2012

Published in 2012; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Circa the Year of Dome 2000, Anvil the Artificer, a then otherwise unnamed, highborn Lazaremist later called Tvasitar Smithmonger, dedicated the first three devic talismans, or power foci, that he forged out of molten Brainrock to the Trigregos Sisters.

The long lost, possibly even dead, simultaneous mothers of devakind hated their offspring for abandoning them on the far-off planetary Utopia of New Weir. Not surprisingly, their fearsome talismans could be used to kill Master Devas (devils).

For most of twenty-five hundred years, they belonged to the recurring deviant, Chrysaor Attis, time after time proven a devaslayer. On Thrygragon, Mithramas Day 4376 YD, he turned them over to his Great God of a half-father, Thrygragos Varuna Mithras, to use against his two brothers, Unmoving Byron and Little Star Lazareme, in hopes of usurping their adherents and claiming them as his own.

Hundreds of years later, these selfsame thrice-cursed Godly Glories helped turn the devil-worshippers of Sedon's Head against their seemingly immortal, if not necessarily undying gods. Now, five hundred years after the 1000 Days of Disbelief, they've been relocated.

The highest born, surviving devic goddesses want them for themselves; want to thereby become incarnations of the Trigregos Sisters on the Hidden Continent. An Outer Earthling, one who has literally fallen out of the sky after the launching of the Cosmic Express, gets to them first ...

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The '1000 Days' Mini-Novels

The Death's Head Hellion

- Sedonplay -

Front cover for The Death's Head Hellion, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Contagion Collectors

- Sedon Plague -

Front cover for Contagion Collectors, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2010

Published in 2010; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

Janna Fangfingers

- Sedon Purge -

Front cover for Janna Fangfingers, collage prepared by Jim McPherson, 2011

Published in 2011; two storylines recounted side-by-side, the titular one narrated by the Legendarian in 5980, the other indirectly leading into the 'Launch 1980' story cycle; main web presence is here; Character Companion starts here; ordering lynx are here;

In the Year of the Dome 4825, Morgan Abyss, the Melusine Master of the Utopian Weirdom of Cabalarkon, seizes control of Primeval Lilith, the ageless, seemingly unkillable Demon Queen of the Night. The eldritch earthborn is the real half-mother of the invariably mortal Sed-sons but, once she has hold of her, aka Lethal Lily, Master Morgan proceeds to trap the Moloch Sedon Himself.

In the midst of the bitter, century-long expansion of the Lathakran Empire, the Hidden Headworld's three tribes of devil-gods are forced to unite in an effort to release their All-Father. Unfortunately for them, they're initially unaware Master Morg, the Death's Head Hellion herself, has also got hold of the Trigregos Talismans, devic power foci that can actually kill devils, and Sedon's thought-father Cabalarkon, the Undying Utopian she'll happily slay if they dare attack her Weirdom.

Utopians from Weir have never given up seeking to wipe devils off not just the face of the Inner Earth, but off the planet itself. Their techno and biomages, under the direction of the Weirdom of Cabalarkon's extremely long-lived High Illuminary, Quoits Tethys, have determined there is only one sure way to do that -- namely, to infect the devils' Inner Earth worshippers with fatal plagues brought in from the Outer Earth.

Come All-Death Day there are more Dead Things Walking than Living Beings Talking. Believe it or not, that's the good news.

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phantacea Graphic Novels

Forever and Forty Days

- The Genesis of Phantacea -

Front cover of Forever and Forty Days; artwork by Ian Fry and Ian Bateson, ca 1990

Published in 1990; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

The Damnation Brigade

- Phantacea Revisited 1 -

Front cover of The Damnation Brigade, artwork by Ian Bateson, retouching by Chris Chuckry 2012

Published in 2013; main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Cataclysm Catalyst

- Phantacea Revisited 2 -

Front cover for Cataclysm Catalyst, artwork by Verne Andru, 2013

Published in 2014, main webpage is here; ordering lynx are here

Kadmon Heliopolis had one life. It ended in October 1968. The Male Entity has had many lives. In his fifth, he and his female counterpart, often known as Miracle Memory, engendered more so than created the Moloch Sedon. They believe him to be the Devil Incarnate. They've been attempting to kill him ever since. Too bad it's invariably he, Heliosophos (Helios called Sophos the Wise), who gets killed instead.

On the then still Whole Earth circa the Year 4000 BCE, one of their descendants, Xuthros Hor, the tenth patriarch of Golden Age Humanity, puts into action a thought-foolproof, albeit mass murderous, plan to succeed where the Dual Entities have always failed. He unleashes the Genesea. The Devil takes a bath.

Fifty-nine hundred and eighty years later, New Century Enterprises launches the Cosmic Express from Centauri Island. It never reaches Outer Space; not all of it anyhow. As a stunning consequence of its apparent destruction, ten extraordinary supranormals are reunited, bodies, souls and minds, after a quarter century in what they've come to consider Limbo. They name themselves the Damnation Brigade. And so it appears they are -- if perhaps not so much damned as doomed.

At least one person survives the launching of the Cosmic Express. He literally falls out of the sky -- on the Hidden Continent of Sedon's Head. An old lady saves him. Except this old lady lives in a golden pagoda, rides vultures and has a third eye. She also doesn't stay old long. He becomes her willing soldier, acquires the three Sacred Objects and goes on a rampage, against his own people, those that live.

Meanwhile, Centauri Island, the launch site of the Cosmic Express, comes under attack from Hell's Horsemen. Only it's not horses they ride. It's Atomic Firedrakes!

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Jim McPherson's Phantacea Mythos Online

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SERENDIPITY in the 1990s

A PHANTACEA Mythos Web-Feature

[Blow-Up of aerial shot taken by Egyptian Air Force, circa mid-30s, of the Gizeh Plateau, photograph of Something Like Sedon's Head by Jim McPherson, Year 2000]

© copyright Jim McPherson (PHANTACEA)

- Lady Luck's Legacy -

| The List | The Nineties | 2000 - 2004 | 2005 - 2009 | 2010 - 2014 | 2015-2019 |

 

  • May 1999: Is that the Moloch Sedon in Star Wars?
  • November 1998: Is the US military using Centauri Island for bombing practise?
  • October 1997: The Smiling Fiend as Judge Druj
  • September 1997: Sed's Head on the Giza Plateau in Egypt for 4500 Years
  • August 1997: The Spear of Destiny, Youthful Sex, Elvis & a near Sedon-sighting
  • May 1997: Wormwood, Fox's Millennium & the CHI-RHO (x-p) or 'Chrismon' (Monogram of Christ) as a Mithraic Labarum
  • February 1997: Of Ravenscroft, Rubens, Spears of Destiny, Korantism, & Mithraism in the Nazi SS
  • December 1996: Egyptian Heliopolis, Phoenician Heliopolis, Human Heliopolises; were he Zerosses from Etocretan Ziros; & how much of PHANTACEA did Jim McPherson actually make up?
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May 1999: Is that the Moloch Sedon in the latest Star Wars?

Dark Sedon retalliating from the PHANTACEA Graphic Novel, artwork by Ian Fry 1985-1989A character from the new Star Wars movie, copied from a newpaper

I'm more of a Trekkie than a Warrie but, with all the publicity surrounding the release of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace lately, I thought I'd throw in a phantom something or other myself this time. Wouldn't want to disappoint my myriad and many phants, would I?

Just buy the bye, doesn't Ian Fry's version of my guy on the left remind you at least somewhat of George Lucas' guy on the right. Thought so.

Another thing you might consider serendipitous are the two Circled-X's I found when preparing the first instalment of 'Travels in my Pants', which debuts this time up. Too bad I'd already decided not to start running the 'Helioddity' serials out here in Cyberia. Would have been doubly-serendipitous then.

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November 1998: Is the US military using Centauri Island for bombing practise?

I'm one of those boomer types who still watches Sixty Minutes on a relatively regular basis. On its November 9, 1998 episode there was a feature on all the unexploded munitions left in Panama. The presenter noted that there was an uninhabited Island in Hawaii that has been used for target practise by the U.S. military for something like fifty years.

So, you might ask, what's so serendipitous about that? Well, as it happened I was building my latest set of webpages when I saw it and immediately thought about 'Centauri Island', the first new chapter in well over a year of which I had recently proofed. What if the U.S. military had only been blasting this Island for twenty years, I wondered. What if this Island was Centauri's?

And why would the U.S. military be bombing Centauri? To destroy it or, rather, something that was on it. And what might that be? Ah, that's one of the reasons why I publish PHANTACEA on the Web. So you can read my stories and find your own answers.

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October 1997: The Smiling Fiend as Judge Druj

Here's a good one. May not be up there with last month's offering, or even some of my earlier entries in this section, but it's appropriate for the page and interesting to me. Hope it's just as interesting to you.

For months now I've been teasing readers about a character whose name I just can't seem to recall. The idea is that that's one of his attributes, -- that folks can't remember he even exists unless he's standing right there beside them. He's the dominant bad boy in the Launch Ternary, appeared in the comic books, and will be showing up, howsoever briefly, and anything but unforgettably, in the upcoming Helioddity serial due to debut in December. Like most of my characters he's myrionymous; has myriad names.

One of them's Daemonicus, the faerie-dusted half-life primarily responsible for the destruction of the Cosmic Express over in Centauri. Primarily, that is, until his mommy dearest, Lady Guillotine, took him out a few instalments ago in the same Ceres-Couer-Kore, Colonel Kernel-Concord cereal-surreal series of story sequences. (Sorry, -- can't help myself. Been writing too many fairy tails lately.)

Then again, that Daemonicus was Solomon Mandam, circa 1980. In '38's Heliodyssey cycle of His Stories, Sol's yet to be an Apple/Apis Rug-Rat Ape in Daddy Jesse's third, Hindu/Etruscan tika, oculus, or mind's eye. Eye of Horus too? And is Egyptian Horus really PHANTACEA's Xuthros Hor, the Biblical Noah? (Question's not something the Serendipity section's designed to address, I'm afraid. But maybe I'll come across something interesting in Sicily or Malta that'll alter all that.)

Another of his name's Rhadamanthys. In PHANTACEA also known as Smiler, -- the Laird of the Laughing Lands, aka dot-ditto the Elysian Fields --, Radical Rhad's mythic origins are shrouded in your proverbial mystery. (Myth-tery, without the lisp; Mithras' territory too.)

According to Graves in his landmark 'The Greek Myths' (copyright © Robert Graves, 1955, 1960; Combined Edition, Penguin Books 1992), Rhadamanthys isn't even a Greek name. In fact Graves says he tries only Asians, which suggests he's originally a Scythian or Persian deity of some sort.

Rhad's definitely from the somewhat perverse Zeus/Poseidon, Europa/Europe/Pasiphae, Daedalus-Wrought White Bull/Boss Cow, Minoan/Minotaur, Cretan/Phoenician/Theban, Cadmus/Harmonia/Spartae, near-prehistoric cycle of, -- fay-fairy fair's --, her stories however. And, as noted early on in Gambit, he does appear in Homer. At least his name does.

(That'd be the 8th Century {BC} Grecian, Non-TV's Homer Simpson, blind poet variety of a Homer; the one of Iliad/Odyssey fame. Non-PHANTACEA Homer Skullian, father of Island's Dr Angus Skullian, as well.)

In on the Web, Bad Rhad's intended to be the 'A' in the VAM Entity: the Ahriman between Varuna and Mithras; the Plutonic Under Earth between Mystic Moon and Shining Sun. Ahriman's also Iranian or Aryan Man, -- Iran and Aryan, like the meteoric mineral iron, being much the same word. (Which is not something I made up, just by the way.)

Since a lot of my characters, once they recognize him of course, call him Judge imagine my delight when I serendipitously discovered that: 'The spirit of deceit and wickedness was earlier personified as Druj.' (Quote's from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, 1989, published by Harper & Row. Reference is the book's entry under Ahriman.)

I suppose there are some who might pronounce 'Druj' as Drug but, as Wilderwitch is the only one of my more prominent characters who ever gets into that sort of thing, we'll leave that topic, should it arise, for future instalments of Serendipity.

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September 1997: Sed's Head on the Giza Plateau in Egypt for 4500 Years

Those skimming this month's story instalments of PHANTACEA on the Web might have noticed Wilderwitch and the Awesome Akbar discussing Judge and Wiccan Warlock on their way through the Faerie Garden.

[Unfinished Depiction of Sedon's Head, drawn by Ian Fry]

These two estimable characters made their reputations on Sedon's Head but were actually from the Outer Earth. Over forty years later, how the Warlocks got through the Cathonic Dome remains a mystery to the Witch. As the writer, I of course know how they did it. As the writer, also, I wanted some more information on their link way. Which, since the Judge in particular used the Male Sphinx to pass through the Dome to reach the Female Sphinx, meant I had to do some research into the Egyptian Sphinx.[Blow-Up of aerial shot taken by Egyptian Air Force, circa mid-30s, of the Gizeh Plateau, photograph of Something Like Sedon's Head by Jim McPherson, Year 2000]

And, lo and behold, look what I found!

The scanned-in image at the top of this webpage as well as to the right of this paragraph is a blow-up of an area just to the right of the Great Pyramid. The image to the upper left is an unpublished, unfinished version of PHANTACEA's Sedon's Head, as drawn by Ian Fry a bit less than a decade ago now.

Aerial Shot of Giza Plateau taken in the 20s or 30sThe image to the left of this paragraph is an aerial photograph of the Giza Pyramid Plateau. The version of the Head that's been up for over a year now was drawn by either Tim Hammill or Ian Bateson almost two decades ago.

The latter was based upon a design I made on a brown paper bag in the late Sixties or very early Seventies. I assume, unless it's longer, this rather obvious head has been situated on the Giza Plateau for at least 4500 years!

So, tell me if it's just my imagination or am I going crazy? I'd really like to know. (So would my employer, I'm sure.)

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August 1997: The Spear of Destiny, Youthful Sex, Elvis & a near Sedon-sighting

Couple of discoveries of the reading/viewing variety have struck me as serendipitous lately. First is the Fox series called Roar. Yes, the Longinus character is referring to the same Spear of Destiny I mentioned a few months ago in this space.

Second is the matter of sexual activity among some of my teenage characters, -- unmarried ones like the Summoning Children being introduced throughout PHANTACEA on the Web. Almost as much so as, for shame, the fiction-fact that some of my youthful female characters, notably Memory of the Grey in 'The Moloch Manoeuvres' and the early-days Wilderwitch, as recounted in 'War of the Apocalyptics', seem to enjoy it.

While the bloodshed in PHANTACEA, particularly the ultra-violence currently on display in Apocalyptics, is considered 'comic book' in nature and doesn't seem to bother many people, the issue of teenage sex in the 'Heliodyssey' serials does arouse a certain degree of controversy. Somewhat sillily, I have pointed out that the latter series of stories were set just prior to World War Two, when teenage marriages were relatively commonplace. (Still are, in many places, these days.) But that doesn't seem to lessen the controversy.

Although people tend not to talk about it, that most bizarre of modern day icons, Elvis Presley, married a fourteen year old. However, I'm told that's irrelevant. The issue isn't teenage sex, even its enjoyment for recreational and/or religious reasons, so much as sex out of wedlock. (Not to mention with a Warlock or Moloch or Beast Maker or whatever Etzel Sangati purports to be at any given minute.)

Personally I don't see a great deal of distinction between teenage sex in or out of wedlock. If one is controversial, why isn't the other? Don't forget, in the era of Moloch, Lil Abner was one of most popular comic strips of the day and Daisy Mae was a perpetual 17 year old. So what's all this got to do with Serendipity and PHANTACEA, you might ask.

Not much, I have to admit but, in a recent issue of Time Magazine (August 4, 1997), there was an article on Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE). Seems Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, the aforementioned former fourteen year old, has done very well managing EPE. Seems her money-manager is a man named Jack Soden. And that's what qualifies it for an entry in this section.

How's that? Question of vowel placement, you see. (UC?)

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May 1997: Wormwood, Fox's Millennium & the CHI-RHO (x-p) or 'Chrismon' (Monogram of Christ) as a Mithraic Labarum

Did you see the recent episode of Millennium, the one about Wormwood/Chernobyl? The image on the Church gate? That's the same sign Count Molech branded on Donar Lancz's chest in Manoeuvres. However, according to Barbara G. Walker in 'The Woman's Dictionary of Symbols & Sacred Objects' (Harper & Row 1988, p. 211), it didn't come from the Greek letters for chi & rho; did not therefore stand for Christos, at it does today in the Eastern Churches.

A Chrismon or Monogram of Christ as taken from the the WebIt was a Mithraic Labarum or emblem, one thoroughly familiar to the Emperor Constantine's legionnaires because they worshipped Mithra, not Christ, -- as did Constantine until accepting Christian baptism on his death bed. As well, again according to Walker, the labarum derived from the Cretan labrys or Double Axe and not the Hammer of Thor, which is what Lancz comes to think it does in later instalments of 'Heliodyssey'. Of course I tend to believe the Hammer of Thor came from the labrys.

In PHANTACEA fact the Gods and Goddesses, the Demons and Monsters, of Ancient Mythology came not so much from Crete as neighbouring Strongyne, modern day Santorini or Thera, before it blew its heart into the sky thanks at least in part to Kore's Hell simultaneously erupting on the other side of the Cathonic Dome.

While watching Millennium wasn't serendipitous, -- I do have a VCR & watch TV for late evening relaxation --, for reasons primarily having to do with the Soviet Supra City referred to in the 'Launching' serials, I found this episode very interesting. Although I'm a long way from confirming it, in PHANTACEA Mythos Chernobyl/Wormwood may well turn out to be the site of the Soviet Supra City.

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February 1997: Of Ravenscroft, Rubens, Spears of Destiny, Korantism, & Mithraism in the Nazi SS

Last time up, I went into some of the weird connections I keep coming across that sometimes make me think I'm onto something besides just pure fiction. Of course I'm hardly the only one who's noticed irrefutable similarities between mythologies in widely various corners of the globe. The Great Flood Story, for an obvious example, is pretty commonplace anywhere you look. I'm also not the most dutiful, nor thorough, researcher around.

Therefore, finding stuff that I didn't know about previously, -- stuff that I only found out about long after I began what has become PHANTACEA way back in '69 but is, dare I say, startlingly apropos to my stories today --, often both delights and frightens me. A case in point, discovering references to Sedon, an essentially archetypal character I (but for the name) thought I'd made up, in Crete and after reading some books on Ancient Egypt, was discussed in my earlier rant on this subject.

To carry on this theme, I have spent a fair amount of time trying to track down material on the Mystery Cult of Roman Mithraism (and long, long before Rome; before Persia too). I knew it was for men only, so it seemed natural to try to invent an equivalent for females only, -- hence, PHANTACEA's Korantism. It wasn't all that difficult, goose and gander stuff really, but I think my muse may have been just as much with me when I equated the Korant's fifth step with the Roman Sibyls, and the sixth with the Grecian Muses, as when I decided the Mithraic Persian (Magus) had to master Earth Magic, while the Heliodromus mastered Sky Magic.

In the latter case, it fit nicely with my concepts of Solidium-Stopstone (as personified by Pluman, Rom Kinesis's father) and Brainrock-Gypsium (Slipper, Doc Defiance's mother). In the former case, it gave me something 'important' to call a couple of characters, Mata Avar & Medea Annulis, besides Basilisk & Cockatrice. As references made to them throughout 'The Launching of the Cosmic Express' should indicate, I had long had them in mind but had never fully 'fleshed' out Ophirants such as them (and the Queen of Sheba) before 'The Moloch Manoeuvres'.

With me so far? Hope so!

To digress slightly, I dated the start of Manoeuvres on January 12, 1938, mostly because I opened up a big, thick, approaching heavy, picture-filled book ('Chronicles of the Twentieth Century'), read the Pope back then made a perhaps risky crack about Hitler on that particular date, and decided to roll with it. All I wanted was an at least semi-significant date in Italian history, one that was near the beginning of 1938, on which to hang the Tethys-Tails of Count Molech, the Ring of the Nibbling/Nebuland, the Twin Tantaluses, and the Summoning Children/Society of Saints.

It had to be Italian history because of my previously determined chronology as to the likes of Sedon St. Synne, Donar Lancz, Steltsar (Sharkczar), the Emperor Mammalian, the Diver, and the Family D'Angelo, -- some of which, as you may have already realized, are significant when it comes to the 1980 'Launching' storylines. (But I digress even further.) Given entirely unsavoury but, nevertheless, unavoidable history, I knew I'd have to deal with Nazis eventually. Not a pleasant prospect for someone of my delicate sensibilities, I have to say. However, I had already figured out what was going to happen to Donar Lancz and Valfreja Volsung (although not until 1943 on my plot chart).

While I've had to revise my estimations of their life spans during the course of what's become 'Heliodyssey', -- had to revise a lot of stuff, truth told --, it was only in the last month or so, when I was trying to figure out a 'hook' for the fourth novel in order to conclude 'Heliodyssey' (working title: 'The Volsung Variations'), that it dawned on me just how fortuitous (serendipitous?) picking the date of January 12, 1938, had been. That's largely because of 'Anschluss', as the movement whereby Austria would unite with Germany was called since sometime around 1931.

Austria's unification with Germany did occur, -- on March 12, 1938. But, apparently (I'm a lousy historian too), there were significant events in February of that year; events I reckoned I could chain into what was already scheduled (by me) to happen to our pal, 'Fred Faust', on Apple/Apis (Ap) Isle. Not that I'm about to tell you what those are/were. Mostly because I haven't altogether decided how to handle them yet.

Actually, it wasn't so much 'Anschluss' as legends learned about the fabled 'Spear of Destiny' that finally got me going on this last book in the 'Heliodyssey' Tetralogy. By the way, the spear I was thinking about wasn't Blind Sundown's Solar Spear, nor the one you're likely thinking of, -- what the Roman Centurion (Longinus?, Maurice?) used to pierce Christ's side while he was dying on the Cross. (Honestly, -- it wasn't. At least not initially.)

It seems there are a number of such spears. One's found in Japanese mythology; got print-pictures of it in my files to boot. Another's the blood-dripping spear found in Wolfram von Eschenbach's 'Parzival' which, like the Holy Grail itself, seems to have non-Christian origins. No, the one I had already been thinking about was Gungnir (or however you want to spell it), which is the name of One-Eyed Odin's 'Yggdrasil Wood' spear. (As you might have guessed if you're following Manoeuvres, it's contained in the Northern Tantalus, that of Aesgard, the one in Count Molech's possession.) But I know a good hook when I see one.

Peculiarly, what's purportedly Centurion/Christ's Spear of Destiny is housed in the Hofburg in Vienna. Even more peculiarly, Hitler was supposedly fascinated by the object. There's been a bunch written about the Nazis' singular mania with regards to the 'occult', and at least one book that I know about having to do with Hitler's obsession (Ravenscroft, 'The Spear of Destiny', © 1973) with this talisman. Book's still in print (comparatively costly, though) so I picked it up and that's where this fright/delight business comes into play again.

Want some pictures? I haven't scanned any of them in due to concerns about the legality of doing so (they're not on the Web; not that I can find) but, if you pick up the book, you'll find the Spear Itself (if it glowed, could it have been made of Brainrock, the Gypsium-Godstuff of the Holy Grail in PHANTACEA?), the Head of an unsmiling Ahriman (part of the VAM Entity in PHANTACEA, another part being Thrygragos Mithras), the Head of Lazarus (Baphomet minus the jewels?), and the Goetheanum (which looks like an oversized Tholos Ghost-Guest House to me and which was presumably built in the round such that 'no devil can hide in the shadows', -- just like Churches constructed by the Knights Templar).

In the same book there's also an image of Lucifer. (Lucifer being PHANTACEA's Domdaniel, -- and someone else (Doc Dark, Mr Brilliant), again connected to the Family D'Angelo's 1980 'Launching' history). Additionally, if you checked out a related book I read quite sometime ago (Baigent, Leigh, & Lincoln, 'The Messianic Legacy', © 1986), you'd find a shot of the crypt beneath the north tower of the Wewelsburg Castle. Planned by Himmler to be an SS 'cult centre', the castle's crypt also seems to be based on a Grecian-style Tholos. In fact, it looks remarkably like the remains of the Olympia Tholos, a picture of which, taken from the Web (which may or may not make it okay to steal), is incorporated elsewhere in these webpages. In PHANTACEA the guest-ghosts who come to visit the Outer Earth in Tholoi Structures are demon-devas.

In Ravenscroft's book, there's talk of Azuras (reference: devazurkind). It's even spelt the same way I do; that is to say, not as the Hindu-Zoroastrian 'asuras'. (Note: according to the 'Oxford Companion to the Bible', Azura is also the name of the Golden Age Patriarch Seth's wife.) After Ahriman and Lucifer, who apparently are more concepts than individuals, Ravenscroft claims these azuras are the third aspect of the Hierarchy (Triarchy? -- Trigon?) of Evil.

Also, and I have to look into this further, he says Himmler's SS had a seven step initiation procedure. Guess what? If Himmler didn't steal these steps directly from Roman Mithraism then I am making this whole thing up!

Oddly enough, I was in Vienna last September (1996). Since it wasn't until a couple of months afterwards that I made any of these connections, I didn't check out the Hofburg to catch a glimpse of the extant, so-called, 'Spear of Destiny', -- didn't know much of anything about it at the time, as it happens. However, I did take a few decent snaps.

For example I got a shot of one of Medea's lamia from an Egyptian sarcophagus and another of Mithras slaying the Celestial Bull, to name two. It was also in Vienna that I spotted Jervis Murray, as Ian Bateson first drew him, Mystery Might (Clymene Atreides, Laodice's mom), and Vayu Maelstrom, Devil Wind, though not in the proverbial flesh. In a painting by Rubens entitled the 'Miracles of St Ignatius Loyola', no less!

Talk about serendipity!

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December 1996: Egyptian Heliopolis, Phoenician Heliopolis, Human Heliopolises; were he Zerosses from Etocretan Ziros; & how much of PHANTACEA did Jim McPherson actually make up?

'Honestly, I didn't make it all up, -- Just Most of It!'

I didn't get to the Sedoni Cave on my latest trip to Crete but I did go to Phaestos, where Rhadamanthys (another name for the A-aspect of the VAM Entity in PHANTACEA) supposedly ruled something like four thousand years ago. Once there, though it was under a mountain at the time, I found what might be Daemonicus-Smiler's shrine. Also while on the Island, fast becoming one of my favourite places to visit even though I can't speak the lingo, I was on my way to check out the scant to the point of non-existent Etocretan ruins at Prassos when I discovered a town called Ziros.

Although I had never heard of it before, I promptly decided that this was where the Zerosses, -- Angelo, Harry, Oriani, Megaera, Argiope Bright Face, Sagitta-Artemis, Persephone, Helen, Etocretan-etcetera --, got their familial name. Which is an almost artfully-constructed dodge to the topic at hand: namely, the relationship between Serendipity and PHANTACEA.

As per a feature I put up on the Web in the Autumn of 2002 entitled 'Sedon's Head: Inspiration or Destination?', I started fooling around with PHANTACEA and the concept of a Hidden Continent, Eden's Zoo, Big Shelter, Sedon's Head, over a quarter century ago, shortly after I began University. Yet, to this day, every now and then, I stumble upon bizarre links that sometimes make me think I may actually be onto something besides pure fiction.

For example, Helios, a non-Olympian Sun God, has been connected to Mithras since some of the earliest written times. The Colossus of Rhodes, just off the coast of Anatolia, was built to honour him, Joseph of Jesus Christ fame supposedly had a father named Heli, and Mithras is mentioned in the Treaty of Kadesh, -- a copy of which is now in the foyer of the U.N. Building in New York, while the original inscription remains in Istanbul.

It's Hittite, dates from around 1200 BCE, -- according to some 'experts' about the same time as the not-so-mythical Trojan War --, and is considered the oldest peace treaty in the world. From what I understand, there's now a provable connection between Hittites (or their predecessors, the Hurrians) and the Etocretans. Some even suggest they're the same people. Not only did they undoubtedly trade together, both worshipped or venerated bulls. So did the Ancient Egyptians and Sumerians, with whom the Hittites and Etocretans were contemporaneous and may have predated. Equally so, they both built Tholos Tombs (Ghost Houses?), which are also found in Mesopotamia.

Tholoi are probably more correctly considered shrines since, and not just in PHANTACEA, inside them is where real-life deities physically visited their adherents. The concept of a Living God is hardly a recent concoction, -- only the Ancients had living gods, a plethora of them. A plethora of Pantheons too! But were they all the same, just with as many different names as there were different languages Post-Babel? Were these deities devas, what were reduced to devils by the Christians? Could well be!

Devas are an Aryan notion found in both Indian and Persian mythologies. Aryans (Iranians or Iraryans, -- as one might expect, the word has something to do with iron) came out of Central Asia, Scythia to the Greeks or Russia to us, and, even if they weren't Aryans themselves, the Hitto-Cretans would have had commerce with them. Was, as is now being speculated, the Biblical and Sumeria-Babylonian (Gilgamesh) story of the Great Flood or Deluge, PHANTACEA's Genesea, a direct result of the dramatic rise of the Black Sea some six thousand years ago? Needless to say, the Black Sea bordered Hittite and Scythian territory and, clearly, its rise would have affected pre-Minoan Crete as well.

All my Heliopolis characters (Ulysses, Agenor, Roxanne, Kadmon, Etocretan-etcetera and, particularly, Heliosophos) go back, at the latest, to when I was publishing PHANTACEA in comic book format. Consequently I've virtually always conceived of Kadmon as an incarnation of King Cadmus of Thebes, the man who supposedly brought the alphabet and, therefore, writing to Greece. Cadmus was the brother of Europa, who gave her name to the continent, and Phoenix, among others, who gave his name to Phoenicia. Makes one wonder where the term phonetics comes from, doesn't it?

Also, my dictionary says Phoenicians ethnically belonged to the Canaanite branch of the Semitic peoples. And, if Canaanite, Cainite, doesn't stem from Anti-Patriarch Cain, Slayer of Abel, then I'm a monkey's uncle.( Which, given the way my nephew sometimes behaves, I may well be.) Anyhow, according to the myth, Olympian Zeus swam Europa from Phoenicia, -- that is to say from today's Lebanon, which was definitely Hittite territory way back when --, to Crete, his birthplace, in the form of a white bull. (Then there's Poseidon, his white bull-self, Daedalus, Pasiphae, the Minotaur and all the rest of it. None of which, unlike Poseidon, I intend to get into right now.)

The point being that, while I can't exactly remember where I got the name of Sedon from, I only learned there was a Sedoni Cave on Crete a year ago (1995); that Sedona, Arizona, was the site of some sort of major league cataclysm in prehistoric times; and, just today in a Time Magazine article, that you can now arrange a 'personal transmission' with Gabriel of Sedona on the Internet.

It was also only recently that I found out about a mysterious ritual actually called the Sed Ceremony that was held every nineteen years, around when the phases of the Planet Venus, a Mother Goddess, and the Planetoid Moon, often considered a goddess as well, coincided. This would have been a couple of millennia before Christ in, wait for it, Egyptian Heliopolis, the Biblical On or An.

And, as you may already know, Anu is the name of the Sumerian Father-God, the Celestial Bull (EL) as opposed to the gods-made Bull of Heaven which Gilgamesh and Enkidu (Dervish Furie's prototype?) slew in the Cedar Mountains. Or was An named after Flowery Anthea, the devic patroness of the Antediluvian Sisterhood featured so prominently in the PHANTACEA Mythos? (Then again Ants would tell you their sisterhood was named after Anthea, the wife of Xuthros Hor, the Biblical Noah.)

[NOTE: While anthesis, melanthaceous, and melanous are English words; while 'anthos' is Greek for flower and Anthea was an antique Goddess of Spring; I made up Malanthean (war witch, also Athenan) and Malantheus to refer to the Black Rose symbol of Heliopolitan-style Anarchism in both 'Heliodyssey' (uncle and father) and the 'Launching of the Cosmic Express' (son?).]

I've long known that the other antique Heliopolis, or Sun City, modern day Baalbek in the Lebanese Cedar Mountains, was incredibly ancient; so much so that, as alluded to above, the site may have figured in the Gilgamesh Saga. Equally so, I knew that Moloch or Molech meant King while Baal, like Bel, El, and Adonis, meant Lord (the Biblical Balkis, Solomon's Queen of Sheba, just meant Lady); and that therefore Baal was a Moloch, a lord or king of the gods in a couple of mythological pantheons, -- hence PHANTACEA's Baaloch, Sinistral Sloth of Satanwyck, as well as both Count Molech, from 'The Moloch Manoeuvres', and the Moloch Sedon, from virtually everywhere else on the pH-Webworld.

But, again, I had no idea until not very long ago that the Jupiter-Helios-Mithras Sun Temple built atop the Trilithon at Baalbek was once dedicated to Apollo, the Christian Apollyon or Angel of the Bottomless Pit of Abaddon, and that he, Apollo, sometimes changed into a wolf, very much like PHANTACEA's Count Molech might be able to do. Actually, now that I think about it, Count Molech's changes into a Bat-Wolf. Unless of course it's a Wolf-Bat!

Stay tuned for more installments of Serendipity and PHANTACEA!

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Dark Sedon retalliating from the PHANTACEA Graphic Novel, artwork by Ian Fry 1985-1989A character from the new Star Wars movie, copied from a newpaper[Unfinished Depiction of Sedon's Head, drawn by Ian Fry][Blow-Up of aerial shot taken by Egyptian Air Force, circa mid-30s, of the Gizeh Plateau, photograph of Something Like Sedon's Head by Jim McPherson, Year 2000]Aerial Shot of Giza Plateau taken in the 20s or 30sA Chrismon or Monogram of Christ as taken from the the Web

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