HAARP antenna array


Each antenna element consists of a crossed dipole that can be polarized for linear, ordinary mode (O-mode), or extraordinary mode (X-mode) transmission and reception.[24][25] Each part of the two section crossed dipoles are individually fed from a specially designed, custom built transmitter, that operates at very low distortion levels. The Effective Radiated Power (ERP) of the IRI is limited by more than a factor of 10 at its lower operating frequencies. Much of this is due to higher antenna losses and a less efficient antenna pattern.

HAARP antenna array



Screw head - cross.svg

A cross or double-slot screw drive has two slots, oriented perpendicular to each other, in the fastener head; a slotted screwdriver is still used to drive just one of the slots. This type is usually found in cheaply-made roofing bolts and the like, where a thread of 5 mm (0.20 in) or above has a large flattened pan head. The sole advantage is that they provide some measure of redundancy: should one slot be deformed in service, the second may still be used.


Cruciform types[edit]

See also: Cross-slotted, Torq-set, and Phillips/square

The following are screw drives based on a cruciform shape; i.e., a cross shape. Other names for these types of drives are cross recessed, cross-head, cross tip, and cross-point. A double slotted screw drive is not considered cruciform because the shape is not recessed, and consists only of two superimposed simple milled slots.



Screw Head - Phillips.svg

Phillips drive tool and fastener sizes[3]

Tool size Fastener size

0 0–1

1 2–4

2 5–9

3 10–16

4 18–24

The Phillips screw drive (specified as an ANSI Type I Cross Recess[5]) was created by John P. Thompson, who after failing to interest manufacturers, sold his design to businessman Henry F. Phillips.[6][7] Phillips is credited with forming a company (Phillips Screw Company), improving the design, and promoting the adoption of his product.[6] The original patent[8] expired in 1966, but the Phillips Screw Company continued to develop improved designs.[6]


The American Screw Company of Providence, Rhode Island was responsible for devising a means of efficiently manufacturing the screw, and successfully patented and licensed their method; other screw makers of the 1930s dismissed the Phillips concept because it called for a relatively complex recessed socket shape in the head of the screw — as distinct from the simple milled slot of a slotted type screw. The Phillips screw design was developed as a direct solution to a number of problems with slotted screws: too-easy cam out; precise alignment required to avoid slippage and damage to driver, fastener, and adjacent surfaces; and difficulty of driving with powered tools.


Phillips drive bits are often designated by the letters "PH",[6] plus a size code 0000, 000, 00, 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 (in order of increasing size); the numerical bit size codes do not necessarily correspond to nominal screw size numbers.[3][9]


A Phillips screw head is significantly different from a PoziDriv;[6] see § Pozidriv section below for details.


The design is often criticized for its tendency to cam out at lower torque levels than other "cross head" designs. There has long been a popular belief that this was actually a deliberate feature of the design, for the purpose of assembling aluminum aircraft without overtightening the fasteners.[10]:85[11] Extensive evidence is lacking for this specific narrative, and the feature is not mentioned in the original patents.[12] However, a 1949 refinement to the original design described in US Patent #2,474,994[13][14][15] describes this feature.



Screw Head - Frearson.svg

Frearson vs Phillips.svg

The Frearson screw drive, also known as the Reed and Prince screw drive, and specified as ANSI Type II Cross Recess, is similar to a Phillips but the Frearson has a sharp tip and larger angle in the V shape.[16] One advantage over the Phillips drive is that one driver or bit fits all screw sizes. It is often found in marine hardware and requires a Frearson screwdriver or bit to work properly. The tool recess is a perfect, sharp cross, allowing for higher applied torque, unlike the rounded, tapered Phillips head, which can cam out at high torque. It was developed by an English inventor named Frearson in the 19th century and produced from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s. The Reed & Prince Mfg. Company of Worcester, Massachusetts, was put into bankruptcy in 1987 and liquidated in 1990. Another entity called Reed & Prince Manufacturing Corporation, now of Leominster, Massachusetts, purchased some of the assets including the name at the liquidation sale.[17]


French recess[edit]

French Recess intern (fcm).jpg


French recess driver bit

[icon] This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (June 2010)

Also called BNAE NFL22-070 after its Bureau de normalisation de l'aéronautique et de l'espace standard number. A cross-head screw with a two-step driver design, with the blade diameter stepping up at a distance from the point.


JIS B 1012[edit]

Screw Head - JIS B 1012.svg

The JIS B 1012 is commonly found in Japanese equipment. It looks like a Phillips screw, but is designed not to cam out and will therefore be damaged by a Phillips screwdriver if it is too tight. Heads are usually identifiable by a single dot or an "X" to one side of the cross slot.[18]


Specific "JIS" standardized cruciform-blade screwdrivers are available for this type of screw.



Screw Head - Mortorq.svg

The Mortorq drive, developed by the Phillips Screw Company, is a format used in automotive and aerospace applications. It is designed to be a lightweight, low-profile and high-strength drive, with full contact over the entire recess wing, reducing risk of stripping.[19]



Screw Head - Pozidrive.svg


Screws with the Pozidriv head.

The Pozidriv (sometimes spelled incorrectly as "Pozidrive") is an improved version of the Phillips screw drive, and is specified as ANSI Type IA Cross Recess. Pozidriv was jointly patented by the Phillips Screw Company and American Screw Company. The name is thought[by whom?] to be a portmanteau of the words "positive" and "drive." Its advantage over Phillips drives is its decreased likelihood to cam out, which allows greater torque to be applied.[6][20][21][22] In ANSI standards, it is referred to as "Type IA".[16] It is very similar to, and essentially compatible with, the Supadriv screw drive.[23]


Pozidriv drive bits are often designated by the letters "PZ" plus a size code of 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 (by order of increasing size);[6] the numerical bit size codes do not necessarily correspond to nominal screw size numbers.


Attempting to use a Phillips screwdriver bit is likely to cause damage because the design difference between them is fairly significant even though at first glance they appear to be very similar.[6] A Phillips driver has an angle on the flanks, a pointed tip and rounded corners. The Pozidriv screwdrivers have straight sided flanks, a blunt tip and additional smaller ribs at 45° to the main slots.[6] The Pozidriv was designed specifically to allow much greater torque to be applied because of its more positive engagement.[6]


The Pozidriv screws are visually distinguishable from Phillips by a set of radial indentations (or "tick marks") set at 45° from the main cross recess on the head of the screw.[6] The manufacturing process for Pozidriv screwdriver bits is slightly more complex. The Phillips driver has four simple slots cut into it, whereas in the Pozidriv each slot is the result of two machining processes at right angles. The result of this is that the arms of the cross are parallel-sided with the Pozidriv, and tapered with the Phillips.[20]


The chief disadvantage of Pozidriv screws is that they are visually quite similar to Phillips; thus many people are unaware of the difference or do not own the correct drivers for them, and often use an incorrect screwdriver. This results in difficulty with removing the screw and damage to the recess or driver, often rendering any subsequent use of a correct screwdriver unsatisfactory. Phillips screwdrivers will loosely fit in and turn Pozidriv screws, but will cam out if enough torque is applied, potentially damaging the screw head or driver. Because the drive wings on a Pozidriv screwdriver are square edged, their fit in a Phillips screw head is even worse, so they are more likely to slip or tear out the screw head.[6]



Screw Head - Supadrive.svg

The Supadriv (sometimes spelled incorrectly as "Supadrive") screw drive is very similar in function and appearance to Pozidriv— indeed, the two are often thought[by whom?] to be identical—and is a later development by the same company. The description of the Pozidriv head applies also to Supadriv. While each has its own driver,[24] the same screwdriver heads may be used for both types without damage; for most purposes it is unnecessary to distinguish between the two drives. Pozidriv and Supadriv screws are slightly different in detail; the later Supadriv allows a small angular offset between the screw and the screwdriver, while Pozidriv has to be directly in line.[23][25][26]


In detail, the Supadriv screwhead is similar to Pozidriv but has only two identification ticks, and the secondary blades are larger. Drive blades are about equal thickness. The main practical difference is in driving screws into vertical surfaces: that close to a near vertical surface to drive the screws into the drivers, Supadriv has superior bite, making screwdriving more efficient, with less cam out.[24]


There are four important versions of Sefer Yetzirah. They



1) The Short Version


2) The Long Version


3) The Saadia Version


4) The Gra Version.



Since the Gra Version was considered the most authentic by the

Kabbalists, this is the one that we have chosen for the initial transla-



Copy righted material





tion and commentary. The other three versions are presented in

Appendix I.


The still life painting measures 95.5 by 68.8 centimetres (37.6 in × 27.1 in), and is signed and dated "Rembrandt f. 1655". It shows a butchered carcass of a large bovine, a bull or an ox, hanging in a wooden building, possibly a stable or lean-to shed. The carcass is suspended by its two rear legs, which are tied by ropes to a wooden crossbeam. The animal has been decapitated and flayed of skin and hair, the chest cavity has been stretched open and the internal organs removed, revealing a mass of flesh, fat, connective tissue, joints, bones, and ribs. The carcass is carefully coloured, and given textures by impasto. In the background, a woman's head and body of a woman appear at a door, lifting the painting from still life into a genre painting, a scene of normal everyday life. It is sometimes considered a vanitas or memento mori; some commentators make references to the killing of the fatted calf in the biblical story of the Prodigal Son, others directly to the Crucifixion of Jesus.

There are even further interpretations possible of Rembrandt’s Slaughtered Ox. The carcass might even be linked to Christ hanging from the cross. That this reading is not farfetched shows a print from a bible moralisée. Here the killing of the fatted calf is specifically mentioned as a symbol of the crucifixion of Christ. Rembrandt was a well educated painter and knew a lot about the bible and (older) art, so it is not unthinkable that he painted the dead ox with such a ‘hidden’ meaning in mind.


Bible moralisée, the killing of the fatted calf and the crucifixion of Christ, thirteenth century.


Art historian Kenneth Craig published the most compelling interpretation of the Slaughtered Ox, explicating it is a religious painting by demonstrating Rembrandt distilled the essence of a storied Flemish vanitas tradition that depicted the Prodigal Son parable by prominently featuring a flayed carcass as allegorical of Christ’s crucifixion. He concluded:


The killing of the fatted calf at the joyous return of the Son is the symbolic equivalent of the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Sermon after sermon as well as innumerable commentaries on Luke 15 make this point: the ox stands for Christ.


Craig uses the “fatted calf” and “slaughtered ox” interchangeably here and several other times. And so it begs the question: does the calf stand for Christ or is it the ox, or is it maybe both?


Digging into the various lexical histories doesn’t really solve the problem. The original Greek word from the parable is “moschos,” in the Latin Vulgate it’s “vitulum” and in the 1637 Dutch Bible, it’s “kalf” and all clearly denote a young bovine, not an ox. While there appears to be a conflation, dating back thousands of years, perhaps the argument should be made that the calf stands for the infant Christ and the ox, His passion.


Figure with Meat is a 1954 painting by the Irish-born artist Francis Bacon. The figure is based on the Pope Innocent X portrait by Diego Velázquez; however, in the Bacon painting the Pope is shown as a gruesome figure and placed between two bisected halves of a cow. The carcass hanging in the background is likely derived from Rembrandt's Carcass of Beef, 1657.[1] The painting is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.



Velázquez's portrait of Pope Innocent X was a direct influence on Bacon's work

According to Mary Louise Schumacher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bacon appropriated the famous portrait, with its subject, enthroned and draped in satins and lace, his stare stern and full of authority. In Bacon's version, animal carcasses hang at the pope's back, creating a raw and disturbing Crucifixion-like composition. The pope's hands, elegant and poised in Velázquez's version, are rough hewn and gripping the church's seat of authority in apparent terror. His mouth is held in a scream and black striations drip down from the pope's nose to his neck. It's as if Bacon picked up a wide house painting brush and brutishly dragged it over the face. The fresh meat recalls the lavish arrangements of fruits, meats and confections in 17th-century vanitas paintings, which usually carried subtle moralizing messages about the impermanence of life and the spiritual dangers of sensual pleasures. Sometimes, the food itself showed signs of being overripe or spoiled, to make the point. Bacon weds the imagery of salvation, worldly decadence, power and carnal sensuality, and he contrasts those things with his own far more palpable and existential view of damnation".[2]


Crucifixion (1933)

Artwork description & Analysis: Crucifixion is the work that first launched Bacon into the public eye, long before the much greater successes of the post-war years. The painting may have been inspired by Rembrandt's Slaughtered Ox (c.1638), but also by Picasso's Surrealist style(perhaps sensing this latter connection, Herbert Read, in his book Art Now, illustrated Crucifixion adjacent to a Picasso Bather). The translucent whiteness painted over the bodily frame in Crucifixion adds a ghostly touch to an already unsettling composition,introducing Bacon's obsession with pain and fear. Exhibited at a time when the horrors of the First World War were still remembered, Crucifixion spoke of how brutality had changed the world forever. At the time of writing the picture is owned by Damien Hirst, an artist who has acknowledged a large debt to Bacon.

- Murderme collection, London

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944)

Artwork Images

Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion (1944)

Artwork description & Analysis: Three Studies launched Bacon's reputation in the mid 1940s and shows the importance of biomorphic Surrealism in forging his early style. Bacon may have originally intended to incorporate the figures in a crucifixion, but his reference to the base of such a composition suggests that he imagined them as part of a predella, the scenes at the bottom of a traditional altarpiece. The twisted bodies are all the more frightening for their vaguely familiar human-like forms, which appear to stretch out toward the viewer in pain and supplication. The perspective lines in the background create a shallow space,alluding to captivity and torture. The figures are based upon the Furies, goddesses of revenge from Greek mythology that play an important role in the Oresteia, a three-part tragedy by Aeschylus. Bacon may have been drawn to the play's themes of guilt and obsession. The piece profoundly influenced images of the body in post-war British art.

Oil on board - Tate Gallery, London

Painting (1946)

Artwork Images

Painting (1946)

Artwork description & Analysis: The layered images of this enigmatic painting blend into each other, giving it a dreamlike (or nightmarish)quality. From the top, the outstretched wings of a bird skeleton seem to be perched upon a hanging carcass, the latter motif influenced, like Bacon's Crucifixion from 1933, by Rembrandt. In the foreground, a well-dressed man under an umbrella sits in a circular enclosure which might be decorated with more bones and another carcass. The strange, collage-like composition of this work reveals Bacon's method. "The one like a butcher's shop, it came to me as an accident," he once said of the picture. "I was attempting to make a bird alighting on a field. And it may have been bound up in some way with the three forms that had gone before, but suddenly the lines that I'd drawn suggested something totally different, and out of this suggestion rose the picture. I had no intention to do this picture; I never thought of it in that way. It was like one continuous accident mounting on top of another."

Oil and pastel on linen - The Museum of Modern Art, New York


The figures and shapes that Francis Bacon nails to the Cross are always anonymous; there are no redeemers or saviours to be found in his pictures. In the 1950 Crucifixion the wound inflicted on the carcass has even acquired the form of a gaping mouth that flashes its teeth wildly at us. Yet Bacon still seems to have been dissatisfied with his handling of the theme: distorted as it may be, the figure was not close enough to the condition of pure meat for the artist's liking. Instead of continuing his investigation of the Crucifixion motif, he embarked on another series of pictures - the screaming Popes - which, as he stoutly maintained, had nothing to do with religion. Only in one case do these works touch on the theme of the Crucifixion: in the 1954 Figure with Meat, the most gruesome of all the papal portraits. The Holy Father is seated on his ceremonial throne in the cold-room of the slaughterhouse. Immediately behind his head the split halves of a beef carcass dangle from the ceiling. The structure from the ribs is faintly reminiscent of angels' wings. Why, one wonders, is the Pope screaming? Is he protesting against the fact that the Crucifixion has become part of the everyday life, as an endlessly repeated act of torture? Or does he merely wish to be relieved of the burden of witnessing the agony?



The title of this triptych refers to figures sometimes depicted at the foot of the cross in religious paintings. Bacon later related themto The Eumenides, vengeful furies of Greek myth. Typically, he drew on various sources, including photography. The work’s exhibition in April 1945 coincided with the release of the first photographs and film footage of the Nazi concentration camps. For some, Bacon’s triptych reflected the pessimistic world ushered in by the Holocaust and the advent of nuclear weapons.


Four Paramatthas[edit]

The Abhidhamma and post-canonical Pali texts create a meta-scheme for the Sutta Pitaka's conceptions of aggregates, sense bases and dhattus (elements).[52] This meta-scheme is known as the four paramatthas or ultimate realities.


Ultimate realities[edit]

There are four paramatthas; three conditioned, one unconditioned:


Material phenomena (rūpa, form)

Mind or Consciousness (Citta)

Mental factors (Cetasikas: the nama-factors sensation, perception and formation)



In the Pali canon,[8] the most basic elements are usually identified as four in number but, on occasion, a fifth and, to an even lesser extent, a sixth element may be also be identified.


Four primary elements[edit]

In canonical texts, the four Great Elements refer to elements that are both "external" (that is, outside the body, such as a river) and "internal" (that is, of the body, such as blood). These elements are described as follows:


Earth element (pruṭhavī-dhātu)

Earth element represents the quality of solidity or attractive forces. Any matter where attractive forces are in prominence (solid bodies) are called earth elements. Internal earth elements include head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bone, organs, intestinal material, etc.[9]

Water (or liquid) element (āpa-dhātu)

Water element represents the quality of Liquidity or relative motion. Any matter where relative motion of particles is in prominence are called water elements. Internal water elements include bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, nasal mucus, urine, etc.[10]

Fire element (teja-dhātu)

Fire element represents the quality of heat or energy. Any matter where energy is in prominence are called fire elements. Internal fire elements include those bodily mechanisms that produce physical warmth, ageing, digestion, etc.

Air (or wind) element (vāyu-dhātu)

Air element represents the quality of expansion or repulsive forces. Any matter where repulsive forces are in prominence are called air elements. Internal air elements includes air associated with the pulmonary system (for example, for breathing), the intestinal system ("winds in the belly and ... bowels"), etc.

Any entity that carry one or more of these qualities (attractive forces, repulsive forces, energy and relative motion) are called matter (rupa). The material world is considered to be nothing but a combination of these qualities arranged in space (akasa). The result of these qualities are the inputs to our five senses, color (warna), smell (ghandda), taste (rasa) and sensation of body (ojha). The matter that we perceive in our mind are just a mental interpretation of these qualities.


The Four Elements are used in Buddhist texts to both elucidate the concept of suffering (dukkha) and as an object of meditation. The earliest Buddhist texts explain that the four primary material elements are the sensory qualities solidity, fluidity, temperature, and mobility; their characterisation as earth, water, fire, and air, respectively, is declared an abstraction – instead of concentrating on the fact of material existence, one observes how a physical thing is sensed, felt, perceived.[16]


Understanding suffering[edit]

The Four Elements pertinence to the Buddhist notion of suffering comes about due to:


The Four Elements are the primary component of "form" (rūpa).

"Form" is first category of the "Five Aggregates" (khandhas).

The Five Aggregates are the ultimate basis for suffering (dukkha) in the "Four Noble Truths."

Schematically, this can be represented in reverse order as:


Four Noble Truths → Suffering → Aggregates → Form → Four Elements

Thus, to deeply understand the Buddha's Four Noble Truths, it is beneficial to have an understanding of the Great Elements.


Meditation object[edit]

In the Mahasatipatthana Sutta ("The Greater Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness," DN 22), in listing various bodily meditation techniques, the Buddha instructs:


"...Just as if a skilled butcher or his assistant, having slaughtered a cow, were to sit at a crossroads with the carcass divided into portions, so a monk reviews this very body ... in terms of the elements: 'There are in this body the earth-element, the water-element, the fire-element, the air-element.' So he abides contemplating body in body internally...."[17]

In the Visuddhimagga's well-known list of forty meditation objects (kammaṭṭhāna), the great elements are listed as the first four objects.


B. Alan Wallace compares the Theravada meditative practice of "attending to the emblem of consciousness" to the practice in Mahamudra and Dzogchen of "maintaining the mind upon non-conceptuality", which is also aimed at focusing on the nature of consciousness.[18]


Buddhist sources[edit]

In the Pali canon, the Four Elements are described in detail in the following discourses (sutta):


Mahahatthipadompama Sutta ("The Greater Discourse on the Simile of the Elephant's Footprint," MN 28)[19]

Maharahulovada Sutta ("The Greater Discourse of Advice to Rahula," MN 62)[20]

Dhatuvibhanga Sutta ("The Exposition of the Elements," MN 140)[21]

The Four Elements are also referenced in:


Kevaddha Sutta (DN 11)[22]

Mahasatipatthana Sutta (DN 22)

Satipatthana Sutta (MN 10)

Chabbisodhana Sutta (MN 112)

Bahudhatuka Sutta (MN 115)

Kayagatasati Sutta (MN 119)[23]

Anathapindikovada Sutta (MN 143)[24]

Catudhatu-vaggo (SN ch. 14, subch. IV), several discourses[25]

Saddhammapatirupaka Sutta (SN 16.13)[26]

Bija Sutta (SN 22.54)[27]

Asivisa Sutta (SN 35.197 or 35.238)[28]

Kimsuka Sutta (SN 35.204 or 35.245)[29]

Dutiya-mittamacca Sutta (SN 55.17)[30]

various brief Samyutta Nikaya discourses entitled, "Dhatu Sutta" (SN 18.9,[31] SN 25.9,[32] SN 26.9,[33] SN 27.9[34])

Tittha Sutta (AN 3.61)[35]

Nivesaka Sutta (AN 3.75)

Rahula Sutta (AN 4.177)

In addition, the Visuddhimagga XI.27ff has an extensive discussion of the Four Elements.[36]

Electronic amplifiers use one variable presented as either a current and voltage. Either current or voltage can be used as input and either as output, leading to four types of amplifiers.[4] In idealized form they are represented by each of the four types of dependent source used in linear analysis, as shown in the figure, namely:


In the Grail myths we find a merging and overlapping of symbolism as the central archetype of the Self surfaces in its many forms. Christ, King Arthur, the Fisher King, Launcelot and Perceval all typify the masculine Self as the archetype of the Wounded Healer. Their feminine counterpart is Perceval's sister, Blanchefleur, who accompanies the three knights, Bors, Galahad and Perceval on the only successful Grail quest. These four together form the archetype of the quaternity in its characteristic '3 + 1' structure, where the fourth - in this case the feminine - represents the principle that needs to be consciously integrated with the male trinity to complete a four-fold picture of wholeness. (6)


Blanchefleur, meaning "white flower", takes from a casket a belt woven of gold, silk and strands of her own hair, all natural and personal things which symbolise the feminine principle as the relatedness which binds together in harmony with Nature. It is she who makes a knight of Galahad, who, like Perceval and Christ is symbolised by the union of white and red as the lily and the rose. (7) Later, when the four are held captive in a castle, Blanchefleur is required to bleed a dish full of blood to heal a sick lady in order to obtain their release, and she dies as a result of her self-sacrifice. Again, one does not need to look too hard to see the mythic parallel with Diana. Charles, William, Harry and Diana form a quaternity whose feminine fourth has undoubtedly helped awaken the feminine principle along with its attunement to feeling in the three males. It is surely significant, for instance, that among the Royals at Diana's funeral, these three were the only ones to openly cry. (A corresponding negative quaternity was evident in the '3+1' configuration that featured in the car crash that killed Diana and two of her male companions).


As we move to embrace the era of personal and social wholeness, the feminine is coming to be seen in various retellings of the Grail myth not just in terms of its supportive role in the masculine quest, but in a counterbalancing and complementary development the masculine is increasingly understood in its supportive role in the feminine quest for self-realisation. Marion Zimmer Bradley presents an instance of this in the development of Arthur's half sister, Morgaine, the central character of her magnificent Arthurian novel, The Mists of Avalon (1983).


Although in many Arthurian sources Avalon is identified with the Christian island of Glastonbury, Bradley with considerable insight maintains a distinction between the two as a reflection of the distinction between the Grail as a Christian relic and its broader significance as a symbol of the divine union of masculine and feminine. The Grail rightly returns at the end of the tale to its true origin, Avalon. Glastonbury, on the other hand, represents the superficial narrowness of what William Blake would derogatively call the "Negation" of reasoned belief, whose exclusive masculinity, embodied in the authority of the priesthood and later in the Protestant Church, suppresses its feminine unconscious, the Goddess who is not approachable through detached dogma but can only be intuitively known as the archetype of a deep inner wisdom, a lunar consciousness attuned to Nature and soul.


The latter is personified in the Grail mythology by the Lady of the Lake, who in Celtic myth is an Otherworldly guide and teacher of Arthur and his court. It is this particular facet of the Goddess which is evoked in the last of a series of four Dreams (three, including the one recounted above, spent with Diana and a fourth with one of her sons).


In this fourth Dream, I was taking care of Prince Harry, who was still feeling very fragile, emotionally vulnerable and distraught after the loss of his mother, to whom, as I could feel in the Dream, he had been extremely close. In the Dream, I had been 'given' the task of guiding him protectively on the way to school, and as we walked down a long, winding roadway, we were watched from the roadside by a large crowd of folk, as if we were acting out a kind of ritual procession. In my hand I carried what I knew to be Princess Diana's silver tiara, which was partially broken, and was shaped like a crescent Moon. In the Dream I was wondering what to do with the tiara - who to give it to or where to take it - since I knew it was not for me to wear or own. But I could find no-one to hand it over to and the more I mused over it, the more it seemed 'right' that it belonged to no-one in particular; furthermore, it was obviously no longer something to be worn, but rather had taken on another significance.


It has been postulated by Gary Jay Williams that Shakespeare used a general cast of 16 actors, 12 men and four boys


Tchaikovsky's "Cross"-motive, associated with the crucifixion, himself, and Tristan, a variation of which first appears in mm.1-2 of his Pathétique Symphony[17] About this sound Play (help·info). Tchaikovsky identified with and associated the cross-motif with "star-cross'd lovers" in general, such as in Romeo and Juliet.[17]





In order to suggest the profundity of the old man’s sacrifice and the glory that derives from it, Hemingway purposefully likens Santiago to Christ, who, according to Christian theology, gave his life for the greater glory of humankind. Crucifixion imagery is the most noticeable way in which Hemingway creates the symbolic parallel between Santiago and Christ. When Santiago’s palms are first cut by his fishing line, the reader cannot help but think of Christ suffering his stigmata. Later, when the sharks arrive, Hemingway portrays the old man as a crucified martyr, saying that he makes a noise similar to that of a man having nails driven through his hands. Furthermore, the image of the old man struggling up the hill with his mast across his shoulders recalls Christ’s march toward Calvary. Even the position in which Santiago collapses on his bed—face down with his arms out straight and the palms of his hands up—brings to mind the image of Christ suffering on the cross. Hemingway employs these images in the final pages of the novella in order to link Santiago to Christ, who exemplified transcendence by turning loss into gain, defeat into triumph, and even death into renewed life.



Hymn-Like Iambic Meter in Quatrains

If you're familiar with hymns, you'll know they're usually written in rhyming quatrains and have a regular metrical pattern. Dickinson's quatrains (four-line stanzas) aren't perfectly rhymed, but they sure do follow a regular metrical pattern. We'll show you what we mean.


Iambic meter is supposed to follow the most common pattern of English speech, so if you didn't notice that this poem was written in meter, don't worry about it! That just means Dickinson pulled it off without it sounding forced. The first and third line in every stanza is made up of eight syllables, or four feet. A foot is made up of one unstressed and one stressed syllable. So the first line, if you were to exaggerate it, might sound like this:


Be-cause | I could | not stop | for Death,


The vertical lines mark the feet. Since there are four ("tetra") feet per line, this is called iambic tetrameter. The second and fourth lines of each stanza are in the same iambic metrical pattern, but because they have fewer syllables (and therefore only three feet) it's called iambic trimeter (tri = three).


The important thing to know is that there is a regular pattern here, even if Dickinson, rebel that she is, breaks it a couple of times. Can you find where?


The rhyme isn't regular (meaning it doesn't follow a particular pattern) but there is rhyme in this poem. "Me" rhymes with "Immortality" and, farther down the poem, with "Civility" and, finally, "Eternity." Scattering this same rhyme unevenly throughout the poem really ties the sound of poem together. Also, "Chill" and "Tulle" are half or slant rhymes, meaning they sound really close to a perfect rhyme but there's something a little off.


Another thing that ties the poem together is the repeated phrase, "We passed," which is changed a bit in the fifth stanza to, "We paused." This repetition of a word or phrase throughout a poem is called anaphora and it's a technique poets use a lot in order to help the poem progress as a well as tie it together.


You probably noticed that Dickinson likes to capitalize nouns, but what is the effect? Capitalization can make the words seem more important; it certainly stands out, and it can also slow the reader down a little, making us pause to consider the word rather than breezing through the poem. Those dashes have a similar effect sometimes. They both make us pause and usher us on to the next line. You might think of them as connecters or strings, pulling you through the poem.


Drawing from primarily musical forms such as hymns and ballads, a Dickinson poem is unusual in that it both slows down and speeds up, interrupts itself, holds its breath, and sometimes trails off. The reader is led through the poem by the shape of her stanza forms, typically quatrains, and her unusual emphasis of words, either through capitalization or line position. The meter varies quite a bit even from the stresses expected in a hymn or ballad. Hymn meter differs from traditional meter by counting syllables, not “feet.” Unlike ballad meter, quatrains are typically closed, meaning that the first and third lines will rhyme as well as the second and fourth. Some common forms of hymn meter that Dickinson used are common meter (a line of eight syllables followed by a line of six syllables, repeating in quatrains of an 8/6/8/6 pattern), long meter (8/8/8/8), short meter (6/6/6/6), and common particular meter (8/8/6/8/8/6). However, unlike writers of traditional hymns, Dickinson took liberties with the meter. She also allowed herself to use enjambment more frequently than traditional hymn writers, breaking lines where there were no natural or syntactic pauses. For example, in the second stanza of "I cannot live with you," she writes:


The Sexton keeps the Key to –

Putting up

Our Life – His Porcelain –

Like a Cup –


Dickinson breaks the first line after a preposition and before a direct object; in both places, one would not traditionally punctuate with a comma, semicolon, or dash, and there would be no pause.


Because so few of her poems were published during her lifetime, the posthumous discovery of Dickinson’s cache of poems presented an unusual variety of challenges. What is now known as her poetics or prosody is bound to a discussion of how her poems have been edited and how her handwritten manuscripts have been interpreted in contemporary editions.


Beyond deciphering her handwriting and trying to guess at dates, editors have had to work from poems that often appeared in several unfinished forms, with no clear, definitive version. Early publications of her selected poems were horribly botched in an attempt to “clean up” her verse; they were only restored in the collected poems as edited by Thomas H. Johnson in 1955, first in three volumes with considerable variants for each poem, and then in a single volume of all 1,755 poems five years later in which a “best copy” was chosen for each poem. In no case were several versions of a poem combined. Only twenty-five were given titles by Johnson, and those that were titled were often done reluctantly. The titling system used most frequently today is the numbers assigned by Thomas H. Johnson in his various collected editions, along with the first line of the poem.


A typical manuscript for a poem might include several undated versions, with varying capitalization throughout—sometimes a C or an S that seems to be somewhere between lowercase and capital—and no degree of logic in the capitalization. While important subject words and the symbols that correspond to them are often capitalized, often (but not always) a metrically stressed word will be capitalized as well, even if it has little or no relevance in comparison to the rest of the words in the poem. Early editors removed all capitals but the first of the line or tried to apply editorial logic to their usage. For example, poem 632 is now commonly punctuated as follows:


The Brain – is wider than the Sky –

For – put them side by side –

The one the other will contain

With ease – and You – beside –


The Brain is deeper than the sea –

For – hold them – Blue to Blue –

The one the other will absorb –

As Sponges – Buckets – do –


The Brain is just the weight of God –

For – Heft them – Pound for Pound –

And they will differ – if they do –

As Syllable from Sound –


The above capitalizations, which include such seemingly unimportant words as “Blue," “Sponges," and “Buckets”—and the capitalization of “Sky” but not “sea”—were regularized into the following traditional capitalization and punctuation by early editors:


The brain is wider than the sky,

For, put them side by side,

The one the other will include

With ease, and you beside.


The brain is deeper than the sea,

For, hold them, blue to blue,

The one the other will absorb,

As sponges, buckets do.


The brain is just the weight of God,

For, lift them, pound for pound,

And they will differ, if they do,

As syllable from sound.


The punctuation is equally difficult to decipher; what is now known as Dickinson’s characteristic “dash” is actually a richer variety of pen markings that have no typographical correspondents. Dashes are either long or short; sometimes vertical, as if to indicate musical phrasing, and often elongated periods, as if to indicate a slightly different kind of pause. Poem 327, “Before I got my eye put out," the original manuscript of which can be found online, ends with one of these markings:


So safer – guess – with just my soul

Upon the Window pane –

Where other Creatures put their eyes –

Incautious – of the Sun –


In keeping with her background in church hymns, some modern critics have even discussed the upwards or downwards movement of a dash, as if it might correspond to a “lifting” or “falling” phrase. Dickinson uses dashes musically, but also to create a sense of the indefinite, a different kind of pause, an interruption of thought, to set off a list, as a semi-colon, as parentheses, or to link two thoughts together—the shape of any individual dash might be seen as joining two thoughts together or pushing them apart. One of the most characteristic uses of the dash is at the end of a poem with a closed rhyme; the meter would shut, like a door, but the punctuation seems open. In these cases, it is likely meant to serve as an elongated end-stop. The dash was historically an informal mark, used in letters and diaries but not academic writing, and removing the dashes changes, even upon first glance, the visual liveliness and vigor of her verses. While Johnson’s system of transcribing all dash-like markings as a printed “n-dash," or short dash (as above), is imperfect, in early editions, these dashes were replaced by more regularized punctuation, such as commas and periods. Poem 320, “We play at Paste," was changed in punctuation, capitalization, and even stanza form.


We play at Paste –

Till qualified, for Pearl –

Then, drop the Paste –

And deem ourself a fool –


The Shapes – though – were similar –

And our new Hands

Learned Gem-Tactics –

Practicing Sands –


The above poem, when published for the first time, looked like this:


We play at paste,

Till qualified for pearl,

Then drop the paste,

And deem ourself a fool.

The shapes, though, were similar,

And our new hands

Learned gem-tactics

Practicing sands.


Not only does the poem leave a completely different visual impression on the page, but the pacing created by the punctuation is distorted as well, causing “The Shapes – though – were similar –" to be compressed into “The shapes, though, were similar.” Finally, a traditional period ends the poem with more certainty than the original would suggest.


While altering capitalization or punctuation seems like a horrible offense to these poems, other editorial gestures were even more egregious. In an effort to make Dickinson’s poems seem more educated, words were replaced. What is now known as “the heft/ Of cathedral tunes” (from 258) was altered, with no textual variant, to “weight” by Dickinson’s first editor, Mabel Todd. Other changes included fixing misspellings, which seems innocuous enough, but sometimes involved removing a New England pronunciation that she might have been trying to indicate, as well as more serious swapping of lines and regularizing of her most unusual rhythms and meters. The selected poems were arranged in no particular order; one great challenge of Dickinson scholarship has been reassembling her hand-bound packets—or fascicles, as they are sometimes called—to reflect the order that she may have intended. They were originally taken apart and deemed useless or merely chronological. As is typical with most poets, the most frequently anthologized poems have not often reflected the breadth of Dickinson’s political range, erotic sensibilities, theological challenges, or depth of darkness. Her poems were cleaned up not only in mechanics, but also in subject matter.


The critical reaction to Dickinson’s poems did not occur during her lifetime, as only seven poems were published, and those were published anonymously. Since she was “discovered," critical and popular reaction has historically trailed the various publishing strategies for her work. Once seen as religious, bland, even sentimental, she is increasingly becoming understood for her strangeness and versatility, especially after the publication of Johnson’s 1955 edition, and most recently, facsimiles of the manuscripts. The myth, or perhaps exaggeration, of her reclusiveness (recent scholarship has shown that at least an element of it was quite normal for an unmarried woman devoted to her family) and the tendency of biographers to attach her poems to a mysterious unrequited love have obscured more serious scholarship for too long as critics have overlayed a fantasy of her life onto her poems. Unsurprisingly, she has benefited greatly from feminist scholarship, most notably in the biography by Alfred Habegger. She is now regarded as one of the two founders of American poetics, alongside Walt Whitman, but her legacy provides an alternate direction for American verse—her abstract, spare musicality and contemplative introversion providing a counterpoint to Whitman’s sprawling lines, concrete subject matter, and grandiosity.


Reading Dickinson requires that we tune our ear to her peculiarity, and look, as she did, into the “look of death," observe “a certain slant of light," and perhaps “play at paste”—consider ourselves to be, as she considered herself, “of barefoot rank” until we are transformed by this strange apprenticeship.


Common metre or common measure[1] — abbreviated as C. M. or CM — is a poetic metre consisting of four lines which alternate between iambic tetrameter (four metrical feet per line) and iambic trimeter (three metrical feet per line), with each foot consisting of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable. The metre is denoted by the syllable count of each line, i.e., 86.86, or 86 86, depending on style, or by its shorthand abbreviation "CM".


The number of metrical systems in English is not agreed upon.[8] The four major types[9] are: accentual verse, accentual-syllabic verse, syllabic verse and quantitative verse


Ballads were originally written to accompany dances, and so were composed in couplets with refrains in alternate lines. These refrains would have been sung by the dancers in time with the dance.[7] Most northern and west European ballads are written in ballad stanzas or quatrains (four-line stanzas) of alternating lines of iambic (an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable) tetrameter (eight syllables) and iambic trimeter (six syllables), known as ballad meter. Usually, only the second and fourth line of a quatrain are rhymed (in the scheme a, b, c, b), which has been taken to suggest that, originally, ballads consisted of couplets (two lines) of rhymed verse, each of 14 syllables.[8] This can be seen in this stanza from "Lord Thomas and Fair Annet":


The horse | fair Ann | et rode | upon |

He amb | led like | the wind |,

With sil | ver he | was shod | before,

With burn | ing gold | behind |.[4]


There is considerable variation on this pattern in almost every respect, including length, number of lines and rhyming scheme, making the strict definition of a ballad extremely difficult. In southern and eastern Europe, and in countries that derive their tradition from them, ballad structure differs significantly, like Spanish romanceros, which are octosyllabic and use consonance rather than rhyme.[9]


Ballads usually are heavily influenced by the regions in which they originate and use the common dialect of the people. Scotland's ballads in particular, both in theme and language, are strongly characterised by their distinctive tradition, even exhibiting some pre-Christian influences in the inclusion of supernatural elements such as travel to the Fairy Kingdom in the Scots ballad "Tam Lin".[10] The ballads do not have any known author or correct version; instead, having been passed down mainly by oral tradition since the Middle Ages, there are many variations of each. The ballads remained an oral tradition until the increased interest in folk songs in the 18th century led collectors such as Bishop Thomas Percy (1729–1811) to publish volumes of popular ballads.[7]


In all traditions most ballads are narrative in nature, with a self-contained story, often concise, and rely on imagery, rather than description, which can be tragic, historical, romantic or comic.[8] Themes concerning rural laborers and their sexuality are common, and there are many ballads based on the Robin Hood legend.[11] Another common feature of ballads is repetition, sometimes of fourth lines in succeeding stanzas, as a refrain, sometimes of third and fourth lines of a stanza and sometimes of entire stanzas.[4]


A quatrain is a type of stanza, or a complete poem, consisting of four lines.


Existing in a variety of forms, the quatrain appears in poems from the poetic traditions of various ancient civilizations including Ancient India, Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, and China, and continues into the 21st century, where it is seen in works published in many languages. During Europe's Dark Ages, in the Middle East and especially Iran, polymath poets such as Omar Khayyam continued to popularize this form of poetry, also known as Ruba'i, well beyond their borders and time. Michel de Nostredame (Nostradamus) used the quatrain form to deliver his famous prophecies in the 16th century.


There are fifteen possible rhyme schemes, but the most traditional and common are: AAAA, ABAB, and ABBA.


The heroic stanza or a elegiac stanza (iambic pentameter, rhyming ABAB or AABB; from Thomas Gray's "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard")

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,

The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,

The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

The Ruba'i form of rhymed quatrain was favored by Omar Khayyám, among others. This work was a major inspiration for Edward FitzGerald's Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, written in Persian. The ruba'i was a particularly widespread verse form: the form rubaiyat reflects the plural. One of FitzGerald's verses[1] may serve to illustrate:

Come, fill the Cup, and in the fire of Spring

Your Winter garment of Repentance fling:

The Bird of Time has but a little way

To flutter—and the Bird is on the Wing.

The Midnight Songs poetry form is from Fourth Century China, consisting of regular five-character lines, with each quatrain formed from a pair of rhymed couplets. The person matter involves the personal thoughts and feelings of a courtesan during the four seasons, into which the quatrains are individually assigned.

Shairi (also known as Rustavelian Quatrain) is an AAAA rhyming form used mainly in The Knight in the Panther's Skin.

The Shichigon-zekku form used on Classical Chinese poetry and Japanese poetry. This type of quatrain uses a seven characters length of line. Both rhyme and rhythm are key elements, although the former is not restricted to falling at the end of the phrase.

Ballad meter (The examples from "The Unquiet Grave" and "The Wife of Usher's Well" are both examples of ballad meter.)

Decasyllabic quatrain used by John Dryden in Annus Mirabilis, William Davenant in Gondibert, and Thomas Gray

Various hymns employ specific forms, such as the common meter, long meter, and short meter.

The thirty syllable, Celtic verse form Englyn from the Welsh language is another interesting variation of the quatrain, and is also now popular in the English language.


Shairi (Georgian: შაირი, pronounced [ʃairi]), also known as Rustavelian Quatrain, is a monorhymed quatrain used by Shota Rustaveli in the Knight in the Panther's Skin.


It consists of four 16-syllable lines, with a caesura between syllables eight and nine. While there are stanzas with as many as five syllables rhyming, generally shairi uses either feminine or dactylic rhyme. It is worth noticing that despite the feminine and dactylic forms of rhyme, in Georgian shairi stress is very weak due to the nature of the Georgian language, which is characterized by dynamic and very weak stress placed on antepenultimate syllable in words longer than two syllables and on penultimate in two syllable words.


Two distinct forms of shairi exist: Magali (high) Shairi and Dabali (low) Shairi. Rustaveli used both types in his poem.


Maghali Shairi[edit]

In Maghali Shairi, lines are broken into four sections of four syllables, with a caesura after the second section: xxxx xxxx//xxxx xxxx.


Dabali Shairi[edit]

In Dabali Shairi, each line is broken into four segments of five and three syllables: xxxxx xxx//xxxxx xxx.


"Fee-fi-fo-fum" is the first line of a historical quatrain (or sometimes couplet) famous for its use in the classic English fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk". The poem, as given in Joseph Jacobs' 1890 rendition, is as follows:


Jack and the Beanstalk Giant - Project Gutenberg eText 17034.jpg


I smell the blood of an Englishman,

Be he alive, or be he dead

I'll grind his bones to make my bread.[1]


Though the rhyme is tetrametric, it follows no consistent metrical foot; however, the respective verses correspond roughly to monosyllabic tetrameter, dactylic tetrameter, trochaic tetrameter, and iambic tetrameter. The poem has historically made use of assonant half rhyme.

Another Quatrain rhyme scheme appears in traditional English nursery rhymes, for example:

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are,

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.


Here the rhyme scheme is A-A-B-B. I haven’t used this rhyme scheme myself, even though I’ve become interested in it because it appears naturally in English poetry of seven syllable lines (for line 4 I read “diamond” as “dymond”). My feeling is that this rhyme scheme feels more like a series of couplets, that is to say it sounds like two two-line verses, rather than a organic Quatrain of four integrated, woven together, lines. On the other hand, this kind of rhyme scheme probably has potential in English since it is already clearly established; it shouldn’t be put aside and some subject matter might be agreeable to such a structure. I am thinking of, for example, a Quatrain which opens with a question in the first two lines, and then the last two lines either offer an answer, or a comment on the question. In this kind of Quatrain there is a natural division into two sections and a rhyme scheme of A-A-B-B would support that division.

Close to the beginning of the middle volume of the Divine Comedy, the Purgatorio, Dante writes (Canto I, 22-27; Allen Mandelbaum’s translation, Bantam, 1984):

Then I turned to the right, setting my mind
upon the other pole, and saw four stars
not seen before except by the first people.
Heaven appeared to revel in their flames:
o northern hemisphere, because you were
denied that sight, you are a widower!

(I’ mi volsi a man destra, e puosi mente
a l’altro polo, e vidi quattro stelle
non viste mai fuor ch’a la prima gente.
Goder pareva ‘l ciel di lor fiammelle:
oh settentrional vedovo sito,
poi che privato se’ di mirar quelle!)

What a mystery! Dante wrote this around AD 1300 (he was born in 1265, and the Inferno, begins with: “When I had journeyed half of our life’s way,” Nel mezzo del cammin di nosta vita, which scholars have take to mean he wrote it at about age 35). The verses above clearly describe the southern-hemisphere constellation Crux — better known as the Southern Cross. But the stars of the southern hemisphere were only explored for the first time by northern-hemisphere navigators a century and a half after Dante’s time!

The Southern Cross asterism, in the constellation Crux, photo:

How could Dante, writing in the very early 1300s, know about a constellation first seen by the Venetian explorer Alvise Cadamosto, who noted it while sailing off the African coast in 1455, and more precisely described by later navigators: Amerigo Vespucci (who saw the constellation as an almond, Mandorla) in his voyages to South America in 1499 to 1502, and later by Ferdinand Magellan, who sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific in 1519 to 1522? I’ve posed this question to some of the world’s leading astronomers, but no one has an answer.

As a map of the sky shows, Crux is far south — a third of the way from the south celestial pole to the equator.

The Constellation Crux within the Southern Sky. Wikimedia Commons

Let’s look more closely at what Dante says. This conundrum was addressed a few times in the nineteenth century, including a note by N. Perini in Nature in 1881, but not much since. In his 1997 book The Starlore Handbook (Chronicle books, pp. 72-3), Geoffrey Cornelius interprets Dante as follows: “The ‘first men’ are the first Christians, as Crux was just visible at the latitude of Jerusalem in the era of Christ. Dante, who was clearly aware of the effects of precession, refers to a godless age after the death of Christ, when Crux had gradually slipped out of view at this latitude.”

Mandelbaum, in the Notes accompanying his translation of the Divine Comedy, interprets Dante’s “first people” as Adam and Eve and speculates that Dante suggests that they could see the “four stars” of the cross until they were expelled from Eden to the Northern Hemisphere, from which the constellation can’t be seen. (Mandelbaum’s translation of Purgatorio, Bantam, 1984, p. 318.)


Cornelius’ explanation of precession seems more likely to be true, since astronomers have shown that precession — the gradual “wobble” of Earth’s axis of rotation, with a period of about 26,000 years — does change the apparent positions of stars in the heaven as observed over centuries. It is known that because of this gradual shift of Earth’s orientation in space as it rotates on its axis and revolves around the Sun, the ancient Greeks could see the constellation of Crux above the horizon, describing it as a kite (Jay M. Pasachoff and D. H. Menzel, Stars and Planets, Houghton Mifflin, 1997, p. 144).




A Demonstration of the process of precession of Earth’s rotational axis over thousands of years (By Ereenegee (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (via Wikimedia Commons)


Either way, how would Dante, living in the Middle Ages, understand precession, and know about an asterism that looks like a cross, not seen in the northern hemisphere for centuries and not to be identified in a popular star atlas (Johann Bayer’s Uranometria, 1603) until the 17th century? These questions remain unanswered.


The souls in the Fifth Sphere form a Greek cross, which Dante compares to the Milky Way, Canto 14.

The planet Mars is traditionally associated with the God of War, and so Dante makes this planet the home of the warriors of the Faith, who gave their lives for God, thereby displaying the virtue of fortitude.[21] The millions of sparks of light that are the souls of these warriors form a Greek cross on the planet Mars, and Dante compares this cross to the Milky Way (Canto XIV):


As, graced with lesser and with larger lights

between the poles of the world, the Galaxy

gleams so that even sages are perplexed;


so, constellated in the depth of Mars,

those rays described the venerable sign

a circle's quadrants form where they are joined.[22]

NORTHERN CROSS BACKBONE OF THE MILKY WAY…/the-northern-cross-backbone-of-the-mi…
The Northern Cross is a clipped version of the constellation Cygnus the Swan, and is really an asterism – a pattern of stars that is not a recognized constellation. However, most people have an easier time making out the Northern Cross than they do Cygnus the Swan. Follow the links below to learn more about the asterism called the Northern Cross.

How to find the Northern Cross

Backbone of Milky Way

Northern Cross as a marker of seasons

Northern Cross, part of Cygnus the Swan, within the larger pattern of the Summer Triangle. Image created by Stellarium via Bob Mohler
Northern Cross is an asterism, or noticeable pattern of stars. It’s within a true constellation Cygnus the Swan. The Northern Cross and Swan pattern are within a larger asterism, consisting of three bright stars, called the Summer Triangle. Image via Bob Mohler

Photographed and composed by Susan Jensen 
Northern Cross and Summer Triangle. Image via Susan Jensen

How to find the Northern Cross. The first step to locating the Northern Cross (or Cygnus the Swan) is to find the Northern Cross’ most brilliant star, Deneb. Deneb marks the top of the Northern Cross. Deneb is perhaps just as well known for being one the three brilliant stars of the Summer Triangle, along with the even brighter stars Vega and Altair. Knowing the three stars of the Summer Triangle gives you good footing for locating the Northern Cross, which is embedded within the Summer Triangle asterism.

Roughly halfway between Altair to Vega, and somewhat offset toward Deneb, look for the brightest star is that part of the sky. That’s Albireo. Although a modestly bright star, Albireo is easy to see on a clear, dark night. Since there are no similarly bright stars near Albireo, it is fairly easy to find. Once you locate Deneb and Albireo, you’re only a hop and a skip away from piecing together the Northern Cross.

The bright star Deneb marks one end of the Northern Cross. The famous double star Albireo marks the other end. Photo via Janne/Flickr

Backbone of Milky Way. The Northern Cross serves to point out the Milky Way – the luminescent river of stars passing through the Northern Cross and stretching all across the sky.

You need a clear, dark sky to see this hazy swath of sky, whose “haze” is really myriad stars. But it’s a sight well worth pursuing. The Milky Way band we see stretched across our sky is an edgewise view into the disk of our galaxy, the flat part of the galaxy where nearly all the visible stars are.

Keep in mind, though, that all the stars outside this band visible to your unaided eye still belong to our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

When you look at the Northern Cross, you’re looking directly into the Milky Way disk, where the soft glow of millions of stars glazes over the heavens. In fact, the galactic plane (equator) runs right through the Northern Cross, encircling the sky above and below the horizon.

On some clear, dark night, use binoculars and the Northern Cross to enjoy the star fields, stars cluster and nubulae that abound within the disk of the Milky Way galaxy!

Northern Cross, with bright star Deneb at the top of the Cross, on a November evening via AstroBob
Northern Cross, with bright star Deneb at the top of the Cross, on a November evening. Image via AstroBob

Northern Cross as a marker of seasons. As seen from mid-northern latitudes, the Northern cross is out for at least part of the night all year around. It’s out all night in summer. On Northern Hemisphere summer nights, the Northern Cross shines in the east at nightfall, sweeps high overhead after midnight, and swings to the west by daybreak. By the time northern autumn arrives, the Northern Cross is still out from nightfall till midnight, but it appears high overhead at evening and sets in the northwest after midnight. When winter comes, the Northern cross is standing upright over your northwest horizon.

When you see the Northern Cross in the east on summer evenings, it’s sideways to the horizon. On autumn evenings, the Northern Cross beams high overhead but runs diagonally across the sky. On a winter evening, this wondrous star formation stands vertically to the horizon!

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Bottom line: The Northern Cross isn’t a constellation. It’s an “asterism” or recognizable pattern of stars, part of the constellation Cygnus the Swan, and a beautiful guide to the wondrous band of the Milky Way.


In the film Constantine, John Constantine (Keanu Reeves) carries an ornate shotgun, covered with engravings and religious symbols. The Holy Shotgun is seen as a firearm constructed out of Holy Relics, firing gold rifled slugs encased in engraved 12 gauge sized shells


The Pak 43 (Panzerabwehrkanone 43 and Panzerjägerkanone 43[1][2][3]) was a German 88 mm anti-tank gun developed by Krupp in competition with the Rheinmetall 8.8 cm Flak 41 anti-aircraft gun and used during World War II. The Pak 43 was the most powerful anti-tank gun of the Wehrmacht to see service in significant numbers, also serving in modified form as the 8.8 cm KwK 43 main gun on the Tiger II tank, to the open-top Nashorn, and fully enclosed, casemate-hulled Elefant and Jagdpanther tank destroyers.


The main version of the Pak 43 was based on a highly effective cruciform mount, which offered a full 360 degree traverse and a much lower profile than the ubiquitous anti-aircraft 8.8 cm Flak 37. However the manufacture of this version was initially slow and costly.


To simplify production some were mounted on the two-wheel split-trail carriage from the 10 cm le K 41 (10 cm Leichte Kanone 41)[8] field gun, resulting in a version known as Pak 43/41. The 43/41 proved heavy and awkward to handle in the mud and snow of the Eastern Front and gunners referred to 43/41 as the "barn door" (German: Scheunentor),[9] a reference to the size and weight of the gun. Nevertheless, the improvised Pak 43/41 proved an effective substitute for the Pak 43 until sufficient of the more complex cruciform mounts could be manufactured to replace it in service.


The Pak 43 was also mounted in German armored vehicles, and this version was known as the 8.8 cm KwK 43. Versions of this gun were mounted in a number of German armored vehicles under different designations, including the Tiger II heavy tank (KwK 43 L/71) and several tank destroyers: the Hornisse/Nashorn (Pak 43/1), Ferdinand/Elefant (Pak 43/2, early name Stu.K. 43/1), and Jagdpanther (Pak 43/3 and Pak 43/4, early name Stu.K. 43). A few examples of the Tiger II-based Jagdtiger were also completed with the 8.8 cm weapon due to a shortage of the 12.8 cm Pak 44, but these tank destroyers are not believed to have seen operational service.


8.8 cm Flak 18 barrel on a Flak 36 cruciform at the Imperial War Museum in London

The 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 (commonly called the eighty-eight) was a German 88 mm anti-aircraft and anti-tank artillery gun from World War II. It was widely used by Germany throughout the war, and was one of the most recognized German weapons of that conflict. Development of the original model led to a wide variety of guns.


The Flak 18 was mounted on a cruciform gun carriage. A simple-to-operate "semi-automatic" loading system ejected fired shells, allowing it to be reloaded by simply inserting a new shell into a tray. The gun would then fire, recoil, and, during the return stroke, the empty case would be thrown backward by levers, a cam would then engage and recock the gun. This resulted in firing rates of 15 to 20 rounds a minute, which was better than similar weapons of the era.[citation needed] High explosive ammunition was used against aircraft and personnel, and armour-piercing and high-explosive anti-tank against tanks and other armored vehicles.


The PaK 43 (an abbreviation of Panzerjägerkanone 43[24][25]) used a new cruciform mount with the gun much closer to the ground, making it far easier to hide and harder to hit. It was also provided with a much stronger and more angled armour shield to provide better protection to the crew. In addition to the towed version, there were also self-propelled versions of the PaK 43 gun, including the lightly armored Nashorn, and the strongly armored, fully casemate-enclosed Elefant and Jagdpanther tank destroyers.