The right side is female and the left is male. The HyperImage is the combination of images viewed in the same place, at the same time. After a short period of adjustment balance wins as we view the 4DXHyperVUE Stereo/Subliminal version. Drawn in 1986, I hadnt yet heard the word hemp nor did I ever expect to go any where near the Far East. I had a journey in store for me that would forever leave a profound impression on my understanding of the origins of the ancient myths, past, present, and to come.
A decade later, the kind hemp fibers had brought me to the land of Korea. Their history is rich in hemp cultivation for at least 3600 years. They call it Kryptomerria. Until just recently, their cultures heritage been largely ignored by anthropologists. Despite its indigenous roots throught the Korean culture. A friend, Chris Boucher (as in touché) of the Hempstead, and I, had to investigate its cultural roots. We met our contact Kim, Sun IL and his family in Seoul. He owns the premier, all seasons sports & accessories store, Troika Sports. We were treated with great respect. Chris and I enjoyed the best vegan meals and shown the sites of Seoul for the first three days.
journey to the heart
We were whisked away on a long journey 340 miles south. I thought we were on our way to a textile factory. Instead Sun IL took us through blooming country hills and rural villages. On the way we were told their word for mens pants was Paji (pa gee). If they are made from hemp, they are called Paji Ma. Pajama? I asked. Do you think thats the root word? Korean men, Sun IL explained, wear a hemp loin cloth, or hemp underwear for virility and power.
Several hours and a restaurant or two later we finally entered the village gates of Ahn Daung, guarded by 2 tigress statues on either side. Later we discovered the village is the epitome of the female equation for the Taegook You might recognize it as the sign of the Yin Yang which has actually been Koreas logo for at least 2,000 to 4,000 years. The division between male and female is physically represented by the Taebeck mountain range which naturally divides the North (male) from the South (female). The Taebeck mountains are considered the backbone of Korea and we were in the eye of the female.
The little village harbors at least three Goddesses who have kept the ancient looming traditions alive. The first appeared to be in her late sixties but was actually 84 years.She opened a door and there stood her hand built loom. I confess I experienced a lump in my throat as she demonstrated her looming techniques and it remained the whole visit. A little later she showed us a tray she had made years before with hemp leaves, hemp fabric, and laquer. Chris and I had a similar experience with the Navajo Project in Arizona, two weeks earlier. We brought them, at their request, 228 lbs of industrial hemp seeds, (four of which Woody Harrelson recently used to protest the hemp laws in Kentucky). In exchange we were introduced to the Navajo weavers. The Navajos are a matriarchal society and it is the weavers who must make the big decisions. As opposed to the Korean culture which appears to be totally patriarchal. We noted the similarities between the weaving techniques of the two cultures.
After a few photos, we were taken by the local farmers to a small house where we found a blind and deaf Goddess with a great grand daughter, sleeping at her feet. Our guides asked her to demonstrate her loom for us. I felt as though we were imposing, but she agreed and sat down. I noticed she slipped her big toe through a looped hemp cloth near the base and she pulled when she wanted to tighten the weave. Afterwards, we
were served a traditional rice wine to mark the occasion. I felt honored to have seen her at work. Something very few people have ever seen.
Sirius, the Two Dog Star, was burning bright behind us as we met, Koreas finest hemp loomer. Standing on a slab porch, She greeted us, 91 years of age
on the third day
Chris asked, What do you do with this fine fabric? Sun IL answered in broken English, ... make dead clothes.! By the time Koreans are married, they must have earned enough to buy a roll, $100 to $600 each, from these Goddesses. The family taylor then fashions the traditional burial robes. Sun IL described his death experience at 17 years caused by a burst appendix. On the third day, he was prepared for burial, his hemp robe was pulled over his body, and suddenly, I breathed life in... deeply. He told us his mother had called to him in a lifeless dream state. I was stunned this man actually did rise again on the third day, fulfilling the myths of the ages. Now I now know why everyone bows extra low to him. I murmured to Chris. He asked Sun IL,Is everyone buried in hemp? He nodded and said, ...For 3600 years... in Ahn Daung, and all Korea. it is how we show our respect for the dead.
of myths and legends
My thoughts went to the ancient Tamarians. Their dead were dressed in the sacred hand loomed hemp wrapings, oils and resins. For thousands of years they honored the east and the Goddess Aset whos star is the Two Dog, in the constellation Cannis. Her daughter Bast, the Goddess of the sunrise, of hope, and cannabis. And the images of those two female tigresses who have stood guard of her village all this time. Suddenly I realized, we were probably standing in the origins of the all the great ancient traditions, myths, songs, and legends. I had great difficulty sleeping that night. My mind was reeling with the stories of our ancestors and their historical ramifications. I stared at my star filled painting of Joseph Chambell, Ghandi, and the Dali LLama, through my fold flat stereo viewers. I found myself thanking Dr. Campbell, for his advice on following my bliss. Ghandi and the LLamas good spirit were my guide in a most honored of journies. In prayer, I asked the great Goddess Mother Earth, to protect and bless all who have practiced the sacred art and acts of hemp cultivation and looming. I felt as though I had touched the ancients through the hands of three living Goddesses. I thanked her for revealing herself to me in the most beautiful and poetic of ways. A most pleasent sleep over came me.
Back at LAX, waiting for my ride, I pulled a news paper out a trash can. The headline read... 4000 year old Chinese mummies found. ...At the beginning of the Silk Road, outside a town called Xian. (I pronounce it as Zion) The greyscale photo revealed a Caucasian Goddess adorned in hemp stalks and finely loomed textiles. I flashed on a sacred vision, told on a cable access TV Show, I produced, called Time for Hemp1991. A native American Indian Chief said, In a dream, I saw my people in great despair. Hope was almost gone... I looked to the east at sunrise and saw a five fingered leaf rising on the horizon. The plant brought prosperity to my people, and peace to the world.
If I will continue to be so graced I will journey back to the far east. The sacred herb, and the bast fiber, have affected many different cultures of the world. I wonder what new visions and revelations await? top