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Monday, September 12, 2011

Long Black Cape

When I first arrived in Hamilton, late in November 1973,I was wearing a long black cape that made me look like a witch. A friend had given it to me as a going-away present, and now that I think of it, he had received it himself as a present from a woman who I believe was a practicing Wiccan. My friend said it would help keep me warm – it was made with heavy black wool and had a roomy peaked hood. In Montreal, a cape like that would have passed as just another fashion statement. But Hamilton was not Montreal. As I explored the downtown streets of my new, temporary home, I attracted considerable attention. More than once, someone in the street would come to a full halt, stare me in the eye, and one even asked, “Who are you?”

I would sometimes chat with these friendly people, whom I took to be an informal greeting committee, albeit some struck me as a bit strange, even by my standards. Then, usually deciding we had little in common other than a superficial interest in the colour black, I would continue on my way, my costume drawing more looks from other passersby.

Nor did I know that Hamilton is the Masonic capital of Canada. Even if someone had told me all this, it would have meant nothing to me, a young woman of 23 with a B.A. in History and English, and very few marketable skills, one of which was writing.

It was on York Street that my strange adventure began. York Street was originally an Indian trail, and later a military road built along a portion of Hamilton harbour. It was lined with old, Victorian-style mansions which offered cheap rent and access to a neighbourhood where hippies had gathered, a few years earlier. Not much was left of that scene: a natural food store, a coffee house offering folk music, one or two book or record shops. And a few community organizations, like the newly opened Hamilton Women’s Centre, which was the first place I went to look for work in early January of 1974. A bad choice as it turned out, but a logical one since I was qualified for the job of coordinator. I arrived for my first interview, in my long black cape, and before I knew it I was on the short list, and then hired. I was advised, as a welcoming gesture, to pay a visit to one of the Centre’s founding directors, a woman named Nairn Galvin. I wondered why, and was told “You would have a lot in common with her.” So, out of politeness but also curiosity, I phoned her number and was invited over for dinner. As it turned out, Nairn Galvin was a witch, a role she played to the hilt, living with 14 cats in a candlelit apartment filled with rare knickknacks, Indian tapestries, and the like. She served me wine in a silver goblet, and told me about her decision, at age 30, to become a witch – up to then, she’d been a Catholic nun. Then she read my Tarot cards. It was all very interesting – no more than that. I thanked her and went home. That night, she appeared to me in a dream in which she seemed to be trying to take possession of my soul. I managed to fend her off and never saw her again.

My job as women’s centre coordinator began in a blaze of light, but ended in dishonour. First, the Hamilton Spectator sent a reporter to interview us for a feature. She quickly took a deep dislike to my two co-workers, and focused on me. When the article came out, quoting me liberally, while describing the other two in disparaging terms, there was hell to pay.Intensely bored with feminist politics, I decided to quit.

I found another job, a few doors away, writing a booklet on the history of York Street for a citizen’s group that was protesting the demolition and redevelopment of the neighbourhood. That kept me employed until mid summer.

I was riding my bicycle down York Street in the direction of downtown, having just dropped off the finished manuscript of York Street: a People’s History. I’d also collected my final pay cheque. I was suddenly, once again, unemployed, but that hardly mattered, just then. The sun was slanting through the trees, glinting off the windows of old abandoned buildings as I pedalled east in rush hour traffic. I passed the natural foods store, where I had worked for a few days earlier that spring.When I stopped at a traffic light another cyclist came up on my left. He looked to be a boy of about 19, small and scrawny, with lank black hair tied down with an Indian headband to reveal one pointed ear, like that of an elf.

"So, where you goin'?"

The light changed and I took off, ignoring him.

"Aw come on, " he persisted, cycling alongside. We exchanged a few brief sentences. Somewhere downtown, where we parted ways, he expressed his wish that we meet again sometime.

The next day was a Saturday and I was parking my bike at the market, when he showed up again on his bicycle. "Why’d you take off so fast? " he asked. We chatted the length of time it took for me to lock up and get away. He reminded me of some grinning, undernourished street kid, the kind that attaches himself to you in a foreign country and begs to show you the sights. I found him unthreatening since I towered over him in height. I didn't need anyone to guide me around Hamilton. I was already familiar with its constricted social life. All the well-off people lived up the hill, overlooking the downtown where the rest of us went about our lives. Hamilton had a light and dark side. It seemed you were either a practicing, fundamentalist Christian – one of the saved – or you were like this boy. One of the damned.

At the time, I had made friends with a woman my own age, a devout Christian running an agency called “Adopt a Grandparent.” From an old, Anglican, Hamilton family, Margi was one of the few people I had met, so far, with whom I could actually talk.

The following afternoon, a Sunday, Margi and I decided to cycle over to the Botanical Gardens and around Hamilton escarpment. We were crossing the Queen E. bridge, where we had a view of a park called Cootes’ Paradise. Midway across the bridge, I caught sight of a familiar figure cycling toward us in the opposite lane.

He screeched to a halt an did a U turn. " "Three times in three days,” he said. “Must be a reason!" He was wearing a little cap, this time, and carrying a beat-up knapsack. By now, I almost felt I knew him.

There was no dissuading him. He came along with us on our ride and kept up a stream of conversation, first with me, then with Margi, who had a softer disposition and bigger breasts. We came to a densely wooded area, and as we passed a cemetery, our friend threw down his bike and told us to wait while he crossed the highway and headed for one of the grave stones. He stood by the grave for several minutes. From where we waited by the roadside, we could see his lips moving as if in prayer.

Jumping on his bike again, he told us he'd been talking to his grandfather, who had passed away some years earlier but often still appeared to him in dreams. A little farther on, he stopped again, pulled a hunting knife out of his backpack, and disappeared into the woods. We wondered if we should wait this time, or keep going, but after a minute or two he came crashing through the brush and was back on his bike. "Got a trap in there I was checking," he explained. "And now I have something I want to show you girls. It's a lookout at the top of the escarpment, where you can see for miles. A fantastic view of Lake Ontario and a 500-foot drop to the ground below."

We said, No thank you. We needed to be getting home now. We'd skip the view, and the 500-foot drop, this time around. We turned around and an hour later we were back downtown, but still he clung to us. He said he was suddenly feeling very sick, and needed us to come home with him, now. We offered to take him to the hospital. He rode off in a huff.

At her front door, Margi wondered why I’d befriended him in the first place. I said I’d never befriended him. He’d attached himself. He’d turned up three times in three different places in three days. “Maybe he’s following you,” she suggested. Given the locations of our encounters, especially the last one, in the middle of a long bridge over a ravine that divided Hamilton into two separate halves, I didn’t think so.

“Well, you attracted him,” she concluded.

I braced myself for the prospect of running into him every day for the next few months, but I never saw him again, the rest of that summer, fall and winter. In September, I found a new apartment on East Avenue, not far from downtown. In November, my father died, and my mother came to stay with Margi and me. I was working a split shift as a proofreader at the Spectator, correcting wire service copy and front page stories which were often about gangsters and terrorists in Quebec, stories that painted a bizarre picture of Montreal as a violent, crime-ridden place – although I remembered it as a place where art and culture flourished.

Then came spring, when my mother and I decided to move back there. I had packed up my belongings, and was arranging the final details. Margi would take over the apartment at 72 East Avenue North, # 2.

A few days before we were to leave, a misdirected letter arrived in our mailbox. It was an official looking letter, from National Steel Car and was addressed to a James Brewster, 72 East Avenue. Apartment 2. I had never received any of James Brewster’s mail before, but I assumed he must live at 72 East Avenue South, a few blocks away across Main Street. I pencilled in “South” but forgot to mail the letter. It stayed on the table in our hallway until the day before we were to leave, when I dropped it in a mailbox on my way to the laundromat.

When I walked in with my bags of dirty laundry, sitting in a chair near the door was my little pointy-eared friend. He looked surprised, as well as pleased, that our paths had crossed again. I avoided his eyes as I loaded up the machine, added detergent, shoved in three quarters. “Want to go for coffee?” he asked. I declined, and hurried out the door. Then I made sure to stay away for at least two hours, so he would be gone by the time I went back to use the dryer.

I half expected my clothes to be gone, too, by then, but instead, on my machine I found note in ballpoint pen and round, childish handwriting:

“Come on over to my place and have a beer with me.”

It was signed:
“James Brewster, 72 east Avenue South. Apt. 2.”

I reread the note several times, not quite believing it. I wished to God I had not mailed that letter! Otherwise, I would have shown it to Margi along with the note, and got her reaction.

In a city of 500,000 people, what were the chances that any individual you randomly met on the street even once would turn out to be living at the mirror image of your own address? One in 500,000… I guessed. And the chances that person would show up three times on three successive days, and attach himself to you for no apparent reason, and that this person would also be someone who speaks to the dead, carries a knife, and tries to lure you to his apartment, not once, but twice. And that he would resurface a few days after you received a letter for him in your mailbox, and 48 hours before you were to leave town for good –

The odds of all that happening, by the normal laws of probability, were infinitesimal.

Even if I had wanted to go over to James Brewster’s for a beer, there was no time – we were leaving. And even had there been time, I would not have answered this invitation. I had read Jung, and thought of myself as a connoisseur of strange coincidences. But this one set me on edge.

I couldn’t even prove it had actually happened. No one but me had touched, or seen, the letter addressed to him that had arrived at our house. Other than me, no one but Margi had met James Brewster – and she had only met him once, eight months earlier, not three days in a row, as I had.

Had we gone home with him that day, last summer, when he told us he was sick and needed our company, we would have found out where he lived. But that did not change the fact that, a few weeks later, we would move into our new place, at almost exactly the same address.

It was not just the improbability of such a series of coincidences occurring in the order that they did. It was my sense, even back then, that they were not coincidences, but something else, for which I had no proper name and no explanation, except one that whispered that there were “forces” out there, capable of arranging such a series of events. That it was up to me, the single witness, to figure it out.
And most important: it was up to me NOT to get involved in asking How or Why. Because at the bottom of it all, lay a powerful Joker who might not be joking. One does not pop over for a friendly beer with such a joker, or his representative.

Not that, of course, James Brewster would have known the answers. I suspected, rather, that he was someone who dabbled in strangeness. That he liked to flow with the dark currents that ran through town. In the 18 months I'd lived there, I had heard enough. People had told me about the covens that met at the University or on the escarpment where a friend’s daughter and her friends had stumbled on animal bones from a recent sacrifice. Another friend’s upstairs neighbour had been writing a sociology paper on one of these covens, when she was warned to abandon her project. She didn’t, and soon after she fell three storeys, and was now a vegetable.

And there was Nairn Galvin, and her silver chalices, and those chronically angry women at the Women’s Centre. And the people who took my black cape as a sign that I was one of them. And the lost-looking creature I sometimes saw, when I worked the night shift, prowling the downtown streets in sequins and platform shoes and David Bowie hair. There was spooky Dundurn Castle and the Masonic Lodge, and the Pentecostal Church, and the cloud of depression that hung over Hamilton, a city that seemed to exist on the dividing line between heaven and hell. All of it was strange. All of it suggested a world of secrets and closed doors guarded by powerful entities – some of this world, others not.

I closed the door on all that on the day we left for Montreal. Every now and then, on a very few occasions, I told this story to someone, always drawing the same blank stare. “What do you think it means?” I would ask.

No one had a thing to say. Except Leonard Cohen, who nodded. “It’s good you told me that story, because I’m one of the few people around who might understand it.” He never elaborated, however.

John Lilly, the neuroscientist who liked to spend time in flotation tanks on LSD and Ketamine, at around the same time Leonard was in similar experiments at McGill, came up with a theory that there are entities in the universe who arrange these mind-bending coincidences that can change our lives. You can read about them here.

I know nothing of those entities. I do think there are dimensions we can enter, however, in which the laws of cause-and-effect are scrambled.

Another just happened to me when I published this blog.

I was looking for an image to represent "Hamilton" and found several depicting the Mohawk leader, Joseph Brant. That's how I learned that good old James Brewster bore an uncanny resemblance to one of Hamilton's legendary personalities.

Brant was a peculiar figure, with traits that normally don't coincide: he was both Mohawk and Mason, as well as a United Empire Loyalist. Originally from Ohio, he fought with the British against the American revolutionaries who were making raids on the Canadian border, and in the area around Hamilton on Lake Ontario. He would have been very familiar that old Indian trail that eventually became a military road and later, York Street.

The resemblance is so outstanding that in the first seconds when the image of Brant came up, all I could see was the face of James Brewster grinning out at me.

I wonder where he is now... and why it has taken me all these years to write this story.


Gwida's Assistant said...

Hey there Ann! :D

Hmm... a very interesting post indeed. Why did LC not elaborate? OK, first thing that popped into my mind was his Church of Scientology ties. Secondly, what if any of his mind-control shit he went through involved pagan-based rituals? (Especially in the Church of Scientology, that could've been a biggie too). Maybe it was after saying the following to you that he realised that he'd already said way too much and shut up before he was reprimanded for it.

Also, you mentioned in the post that you'd met James Brewster on 3 different days, 3 times in 3 different locations. After those meetings, there was a period of stillness before your father passed away on November and your mother came to stay with you. I know this sounds very far-fetched, BUT the 1st thing that popped into my mind was:

a) the #6 is a family-orientated number. Hence "3 days in 3 different locations" I randomly linked with your mother moving in...

b) following the end of a cycle "3 days in 3 different locations, 3 times" represented by the #9. The "end of the cycle" I took to be both the death of your father, and your physical move from Hamilton to Montreal.

Who knows? Maybe James Brewster's "coincidental" meeting with you wasn't a coincidence at all. Perhaps he did actually have something to say to you, a lesson to be taught, but you chose not to meet him. Yes, could well have been malicious. Yes, he could well have been perfectly "sane" and just more spiritually involved than most people around him (lol, in my book, satanic cults do not count as spiritual involvement)

Gwida's Assistant said...

So, it got me thinking... what could this lesson have been? Well, you were often looked upon strangely for wearing that "cloak" (damn it must've been awesome!!!) because people involved in cults in Hamilton mistook you as one of them and their surprised expressed was almost like: "Oh! I didn't realise you were in with us love!" rather than the fact that they'd never seen you around before. I likened it to someone you're taking a course in uni with, and only after a prolonged period of time (1+ years) you realise at a practical/exam period that you had someone close right under your nose, yet were not fully aware of them. Selective attention, perhaps???

Also, looking up Joseph Brant on wiki ("best" place to look up things, eh?) his personality seems to be rather manipulative, but one that has a double-edged knife. Bad things happened to those close around him -- whether it was of his direct cause or not -- and perhaps this is the same with James Brewster??? James could've been more aware and in tune with spiritual entity communication than most people, and could've wanted to desperately pass on more information to someone he sensed had an open, accepting aura (I was thinking of you Ann... don't really know why you attracted him, as you said to Margi) but who could still think for themselves??? Still, something didn't seem to tie up with that Brewster kid -- I'd most likely do as you did and stay the f*** away from him (although after a night or 2 my "curiosity killed the cat" nature would lure me back in 'cause I'm dumb like that). You'd probably find something like numerous Indian American tapestries/incense sticks and large portraits of past Mohawk leaders plastered all over the walls... that's what I imagined his home interior to be like back then...

Gwida's Assistant said...

Also, his address being a mirror image of your own. Back to front. The same, but presenting a different face. A two faced liar... It could have been symbolic of someone in your life at the time who displayed those characteristics, or even as a prelude to your own regression, representing two aspects of yourself (your past and present self. No, for the love of god no, I'm NOT calling you two-faced! I was referring that to someone who may have been extremely close to you who was). Perhaps it could've had ties-in with that "witch" (although I'll call her a satanist 'cause "real" witches in my book wish good only. "Dark witches/wizards" are only "as good as" satanists!!!): she presented a completely different side to you on the night she met you, and a completely different one in your dream. Maybe she saw the immense light of your soul and got jealous to the point she wanted to steal your "inner fire" and use it for her own selfish ends??? Also, I was thinking about family members. We all present different faces to the world, depending on who we're comfortable at. I most certainly feel more comfortable in smaller group gatherings (esp. in familiar ones!) than in larger ones with strangers involved, and will act more subdued/objective and observant in "alien" environments. So... there could've been something critical which happened in your life that was family-related around that time -- or shortly would??? I dunno... family relation changes??? Changes to the way you viewed the world and yourself and others??? Maybe you started seeing mirror images of people and their alter-ego sides more clearly after that? I don't know, but those are my best guesses at the moment.

You're right: the odds of someone living in a mirror-image of your address, and meeting you on 3 consecutive days, 3 times in a row in 3 different places in the whole of Hamilton are infinitesimal. So, my own personal view is that this didn't happen purely as a coincidence, but perhaps a rough "wake up" call to take more notice of company around you, of where you were headed in life and maybe, just maybe, the fact that you'd never know who would live next door to you.


Gwida's Assistant said...

P.S (seriously, my final comment for the night. I had to divide my initial comment into 3 parts! Haha!)

Maybe that "witch" you visited showed up differently in your dream also as a prelude to you meeting somebody who would want to steal your soul??? Quite "literally" at that??? She could've (although I doubt this personally; I just had this brainwave in the bathroom whilst brushing my teeth!) tried to forewarn you about letting apparent strangers into your life and letting them stick around you. You never know what they might want in the end, eh???

Ann Diamond blog said...

Gwida's A -- by the way, who is Gwida? You are brilliant. I think you have a great future as an intuitive counsellor -- along with your veterinary skills, that is!

After writing this story the other day, I came to many of the same conclusions and insights that you have just written here. Yes, the number 6 is somehow important in this. Both JB and I were living at 72 East Avenue, #2. That's 7 + 2 + 2 = 11, or 2 -- which suggest twins, twinning, mirrors.

72 divided by 2 is 36, which is 6 x 6. Multiplied by 2, 72 is 144, or 12 x 12.

Lots of sixes and threes. Six being both messianic and satanic. And the number of karma. Karma is the law of cause and effect, but certain elements in my meetings with JB seemed to overthrow cause and effect. In the 6th dimension, I think we are confronted with certain mysteries of karma -- and anti-karma. People who delve into black magic may be trying to evade the laws of karma: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." But many witches will also tell you "What goes around, comes around."

Yes, I now feel JB was more positive than negative. He was a trickster figure. He came into my life to bring change, and to make me more aware of my environment and certain people in it. It was not all "peace and love" and after I left Hamilton, my world view got darker and perhaps also more realistic.

I still wonder, though, about all those strange coincidences. I also think you're probably right about JB's place - it would have looked as you describe it. But I'll never know for sure. Still, I believe you're right about there being a message -- but maybe it was one that could not be expressed in words. I.e. I "got the message" and got out of town at the same time.

Had I stayed there, I think I would have been confronted with a world, and certain choices, which would not have worked in my favour. As things have turned out, much of what I most dislike about Canada is based in that part of the country: e.g. a lot of our backward, colonial mentality and the secrecy.

Joseph Brant was quite an interesting character -- do you think JB could have been his reincarnation? That only occurred to me the other day when I stumbled across Brant's portrait, while I was looking for images of Hamilton. I could not get over the likeness!

Ann Diamond blog said...

Another thing that just occurred to me about those twin/mirror addresses:

72 East Avenue North/South

is the presence of three of the four directions: east, north and south

West is missing.

In Mohawk spirituality, you have teachings about the Four Directions:

"Among the People, a child's first Teaching is of the Four Great Powers of the Medicine Wheel. To the North is found Wisdom. The South is the place of Innocence and Trust. The West is the Looks-Within Place, which speaks to our introspective Nature. The East is the Place of Illumination, where we can see things clearly, far and wide....

Maybe what was "missing" at that time, and needed to come next, was "introspection" --

Gwida's Assistant said...

Yeah, you see I did not bother looking into the entire address thing so deeply. Haha! I really am a lazy sucker, aren't I? I wasn't too sure if I should've made the correlation between James Brewster and Joseph Brant being a reincarnate, but I was thinking about it at the time! (I just wasn't sure if matching initials were such a biggie... haha! I imagined James to look like Joseph but scrawnier, as you described him).

I know that 11 is a master number. Reduced to 2 means operating from a lower level (mentality, spirituality, whatever). 11 is a highly spiritual number -- and symbolises honesty, spirituality and teaching.

"Eleven brings the gift of spiritual inheritance, is gifted as the "Light-Bearer". It is the number of the Light within all. Strengthened by the love of Peace, gentleness, sensitivity and insight. Greatest facility is the awareness of Universal relationship. Is related to the energy of Oppositions and the Balancing needed in order to achieve synthesis. Eleven is The PeaceMaker... Colours : Gold, Salmon, Prune, White and Black."

The number 2 symbolises mystery, healing properties and shyness. Basically, I think of it as the #2 but operating from a lower level. Gargh! Screw it, I'll just copy and past and the url as well in here:

"Shy and sensitive, emotional but repressed, indecisive and moody, much like the waxing and waning of the moon, an on and off changeable nature. Fragile, reflective, poetic, artistic and romantic. Possessing natural healing gifts."

Gwida's Assistant said...

So, as you said, heaps of 3's and 6's. The 6th dimension is responsible for shaping this dimension through 6D "strings" (hey! The String Theory!) and the 9th dimension is one of the highest...

Aha! Here we go: "The 6th dimension: sacred geometry and Platonia"
Basically, it describes here that different shapes posses different vibrational frequencies:

tetrahedron -->
hexahedron -->
octahedron -->
dodecahedron -->

"are the 5 five Platonic solids"

I find it interesting how "3" is one of the most predominant numbers after "4" which symbolises grounding.

Once again: don't you love it how often the number 2 shows up in those equations???

So my very lame theory on that is: the higher vibrational frequency of 11 had been brought down to 2. Now the world -- and perhaps you -- were operating from a lower perspective, and things could rapidly change (like the waxing and waning of the moon). So, your life was a roller-coaster for a while! :P

Scroll down to "Nature and technology" on the wiki article.
I believe that that Circogonia icosahedra is what the book Alchemy of the nine dimensions is referring to when it states this:

"A number of physicists are finding fundamental flaws in relativity; they are realising that there was no real reason to drop the directing world of forms, since there have to be geometric structures that hold EM (electromagnetic) frequencies. Whether thought of as tiny little strings or great big triangles, fundamental forms exist that order the universe. Otherwise, all would be chaos."

Gwida's Assistant said...

So, linking in the 6th and 9th dimensions now. In Alchemy of the nine dimensions it is stated that 6D forms are generated through 7D via sound waves. Hence, all 6D forms vibrate at a specific frequency as generated from higher dimensions.

"The 6th dimension is the real of geometric forms that replicate as plants, animals, humans and material objects in 2D, which is called morphogenesis. For example, in 6D exists the idea of "cow", and then many cows replicate in 3D. It is also the home of the Ka -- the human spirit body -- which makes it possible for us to read the vibratory ranges that define our bodies, emotions, thoughts, and souls."

Everything possible is generated in 6D all the way through to 3D from the 9th dimension, which is the source of our omnicentric universe. This means (according to Alchemy of the nine dimensions) that our events/world etc. unfold from the centre outwards. Therefore, our realities unfold from the beginning, and events "spiral out" as we mature. I was trying to link this in with how events unfolded for you in Hamilton, and then how you stated that things got more bumpy for you when you moved to Montreal. Yet if you had stayed in Hamilton, you would've continued to "revolve" on the same wavelength, and not have gotten any results. So the actual physical act of moving alone helped to spiral you on your journey outwards and created a shift (positive or negative depending on how you define it) in terms of your physical relation to the world around you.

Also, you mentioned that the West -- the Quest Within -- was absent from your physical address. Moving to Montreal (oh dear god, it IS west of Hamilton, is it??? Yes, please laugh) could've been the actual physical change of moving west which helped you to really sit down and think about your life and where you were heading, how you related to everything around you etc. In doing so you "awakened your omnicentric sensitivity in 3D and opened doorways to the subtle worlds where the Ancestors live." Alchemy of the nine dimensions.

Also, what is mentioned in that book got me thinking about just what time is. If at the centre of our galaxy is a great big collapsed star, and the gravity is so intense that it is able to suck light in, then these "gravitational waves" (made up of EM waves or however it was described in the book, radiating from an object outward) would have the far-reaching implications of making the world around us appear to have time when it is actual all an illusion??? (Yes, I am thinking of that Stargate episode which made me question just what time is).

Gwida's Assistant said...

Finally there are an additional 3 directions: above, below and centre.

Above is connected to... well, how you relate to the above! Haha! How you relate to the higher dimensions and spiritual beings around you. It is symbolised by the colour yellow -- a very positive colour, but one that denotes sposmadic attention spans if misused. Those are my personal views of the colour yellow. Now here's what: Animal speak by Ted Andrews says:

Yellow/gold: positive qualities: communication, inspiration; optimism
negative qualities needing clarification, overcriticalness

The West is represented by the colour Black:
positive: protection, birth; magic
negative: secretiveness, sacrifice

Below is represented by the colour Brown:
positive: grounded, new growth
negative: lack of discrimination

Centre is represented by the colour Green:
positive: growth, healing; abundance
negative: uncertain, miserly, greed

OK, so in moving to Montreal you restored balance to the wheel (below) -- and hence your life -- even if it meant sacrificing a certain aspect of your old life (leaving your mother behind in Hamilton), and initiated new growth (centre). I don't know how optimistic and positive you were feeling about this move, but perhaps you were being a bit too critical of the events which unfolded around you when you did make the transition??? Its just my thought. :)
So, in the criticalness, you could've went into the "introspective" stage (as you said) and really started thinking about your life at that point. Also what's always at the back of my mind is when you moved to Montreal you first met LC, or did you know him personally prior to that? (That's what I was trying to not-so-subtly get across about "never knowing who could be living next door to you") Because that could've indicated yet another growing phase but one that was more "observe what happens to people when they decide to do such and such said things".

Anyway, those are my thoughts for now! :D And you asked me who Gwida is.
Basically I was lying in bed and thinking: "Man, you know, I really should try to meet my guide and ask them what their name is!" So I did and started getting really random as names pelted out at me. "Gwida" however stood out most clearly, so when I looked it up, I found out it meant "guide" in Maltese!!! xD Hence the name.

Now the only thing I would like to ask you is... do you have any idea of where the Polish last name: "Mailowski" comes from??? (I mean, I know its Polish, I was wondering if its the name of an old village/town or something). I was trying to look up any old towns that may have had a similar name, but couldn't find any. Nothing came up via google search either. So I'm stuck on it! :P

Ann Diamond blog said...

All very interesting... but Montreal is about 650 km EAST of Hamilton.

Leonard Cohen came through Hamilton in early 1975, i.e. a few months before I left. I had never met him but he represented "Montreal" to me. I went to his concert, along with some friends, and he all felt he had somehow hypnotized the audience, especially with the song "WHO BY FIRE" -- We discussed this later because it seemed a bit uncanny that he had the ability to do that.

I suspect that had something to do with my move back to Montreal. There was an artistic energy there that I wanted to be connected to. In Hamilton, I could survive as a proofreader -- in Montreal I became a writer. Probably those were the sorts of underlying issues that were percolating in the background.

I was born on April 11, and I am a twin. My lifepath number is 22.

I also probably have some Mohawk ancestry, and my grandmother was involved with the Masons -- not that I was aware of that, back then.

JB was probably dealing with issues from his previous incarnation. He WAS a scrawnier version of Joseph Brant. He also seemed to see himself as "larger than life" -- he was someone with a dream. I wonder what happened to him...

Interesting stuff, that string theory...

Ann Diamond blog said...

I've been receiving mail about this story. Not that I think it's of earth-shattering importance, but --

Someone asked why I connected James B and Nairn G to "the dark side" and I realized I had heavily implied that both were "dark" people but the fact is, at the time I was just groping my way through a mystery called "Life" --

Here's my response to one of the lovely, patient people who actually took the time to read this story and comment on it:


Ann Diamond blog said...


I do think it was just a series of coincidences, nothing more. I don't think JB was following me or stalking me or that any aspect of it was "arranged" -- at least not by human hands. I think he probably saw auras, or something of the kind, and that's why he attached himself to me initially. The other two encounters over three days were, I believe, completely accidental. By the the third time we both were wondering "Hey, what's going on" -- which is why I may actually have invited him to accompany us. Yes, in fact, I think I did. I also did not find his behaviour all that strange or dark, at the time -- but his intentions were unclear and we decided to play it safe just in case, and not take him up on his invitations to view Lake Ontario from the edge of a cliff, or accompany him to his home. I think these were just conventional reactions; it was all kind of ordinary, really, at that point, except that in Hamilton, he stood out as someone with a different type of spiritual outlook. I think it was his native background -- but he didn't talk about that -- in retrospect, I see the Mohawk in him. Maybe I also did at the time. I didn't know if he was from the "dark" side but there was a lot of occult activity in Hamilton...

Ann Diamond blog said...

It's weird, but now that you mention it, I realize that over the past few days I have shifted -- and started thinking of him as a "positive trickster" -- whereas, the way I wrote that piece a few days ago, I placed him against the backdrop of some of the dark activity in Hamilton -- and the Masonic presence -- and the stories I used to hear about cults operating there.

Years later, there was a trial, sometimes dubbed "The Hamilton witchcraft trial" -- if my memory serves me, a woman was accused of sexually abusing her daughter, and the daughter claimed to have witnessed rituals in which she was forced to eat human flesh, etc, and during the trial the mother denied all this but sometimes "switched" and appeared to be listening/talking to invisible entities who were telling her what to say. And all this was in the newspapers, but I never heard the outcome.

This relates to the phenomenon of "secret societies" eg the Masons, which people join with the thought of bettering their lives, becoming more spiritual, etc., but which at the higher levels are reputed to be Satanic. And you can be a lifelong member, thinking you're helping e.g. sick children, while certain members of your secret society are actually using charity as a front for things like "mind control experiments" -- and you would never know. Or, you can be born into a family which, unknowingly, is part of a cult -- you can even attend rituals, go home, get into bed, and wake up in the morning with zero memory of having participated in human sacrifice the night before, just wondering why you feel a bit tired...

I think I was riffing on the idea that there is a dividing line, and you can cross over unconsciously.

Ann Diamond blog said...

I.e., that someone like JB might have been an agent of the dark side, yes, and following "orders" not necessarily consciously -- but Darya's version is that he was a messenger that forced me to wake up and take notice. And amazing, I seem to be have gravitated suddenly to that interpretation, which actually was mine all along (: -- if that makes any sense -- that he was just a kid with certain spiritual "connections" that put him in my path in unexpected ways. E.g., did I already mention this? I had never been to that laundromat -- Margi had a small washing machine that we used, but on that day I had too much laundry -- and suddenly there he was. I was NOT afraid of him, but I found him a bit annoying.

The letter arriving; yes we all get misdirected mail, but how often have you received mail for someone you actually know -- ? Or don't know you know, until three days later when they show up suddenly and leave a note on your washing machine with the same address you're living, minus the "North" -- you know, it's spooky, although I did not feel the slightest FEAR -- it was always "why would the universe be arranging this?" I stayed away -- because the invitation was to his home -- not a public place -- and because I had to move my sick mother to Montreal in the next day or two, and did not want to expose her to any weirdness. It seemed like a silly indulgence to go over and talk to this kid. In any case, what would he have told me? I would probably have said, "Hey -- I got that misaddressed letter from National Steel Car the other day, and now you show up, and you're the James Brewster? What's with that?" And he would have said "Huh?" And I would have explained, and he would have thought about it and by the time he figured it out, I would have been gone anyway... And by telling him, I would have been revealing my address to a stranger, someone who might or might be OK to know --

Ann Diamond blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Diamond blog said...

In the background of that story, there were other recent histories that I didn't go into, e.g. that I left Montreal to get away from a couple of "witches" who had taken over the women's centre where I had been a volunteer, and who singled me out for a special sort of attack -- And going back a few months earlier, I had travelled to the Maritimes, had an encounter with some ghostly ancestors at a place called "Poxy island" followed by a car accident and head injury, after which I became more intuitive, and started connecting with events on the psychic plane, i.e. I had experienced some kind of shift, away from rational thinking to something more elusive and spiritual...

And so on...


Gwida's Assistant said...

I saw a clip for LC's live perform of "Who by fire". The only part I liked was the harp intro.! The rest was like... "OMG dude, seriously, sing in another friggin' pitch. The whole reason people are still listening to you is because they can't believe how unbelievably depressing your performance is." Well, that was the feeling I got from that song anyway (still LOL-ing at my interpretation: "'Who by fire and who by water'" referred to the crossing of the Suez Canal by Egyptian forces and the firearm battle...") =

LOL, sibling rivarly! The only other thing I can add to that is that you guys share a Life path number of 22. Jeez! 1 is a challenge, 2 is a test! :P Hope your sis's having an awesome time, chick!

If James Brewster is dealing with PL challenges, first thing that came to me as I read that was "family and communication issues". Well, he did have family issues. Maybe communication in terms of learning to better balance spiritual and mundane dealings, eh? :)
He does sound like he was very spiritually aware though. I don't know how long a gap he had between his Joseph Brant and James Brewster incarnation... maybe the longer one leaves it, the dimmer one's memories and the soul was really reconsidering the pros and cons of reincarnating into the best possible environment to maximise growth and development? (Speaking of which, makes me wonder how many years had passed between the death of my PL self and the birth of my present day self).

The dividing line between sanity and insanity. I think that's a really good point! It would be very disconcerting thinking the organisation you were part of was a charity, and yet you never remember anything "charity-related". Which reminds me of that entire "child-tracking" package people are able to buy to keep track of their child safely. More like for sick bastards to better keep track of other people's children! My sister has an excellent book about secret societies of the world, but the way it's written is very heavy and monotonous, droning on and on and on... I felt like my mind couldn't think for itself after reading through several paragraphs, hahaha! I should probably read through it over the summer holidays and see if I'm able to glean any messages "between the lines" from it. :)

As for the weirdness -- I embrace that every friggin' day! :D I think you did right with all of the personal things that were going on in your life to have left for Montreal quickly with mum. It was probably for the better for both you and James Brewster to just "figure it out" for yourselves at a pace which wouldn't have interfered with your day-to-day lives to the point of affecting your normal thinking patterns (if that makes any sense).

The witches coven thing in Montreal sounded creepy... I'm glad you got out of that one chick! Haha, hope that if I ever end up going through N. America sometime in the future I don't run into those creepers in Montreal! Gonna have to brush up on my French first though! :P

Gwida's Assistant said...

*NB Sorry! I didn't mean "you" were part of a charity! (Hits self over head). I meant "you" as in the general sense that anybody could be part of such an occult organisation and "you would never realise the crap you were doing 'cause it would be locked away in your subconscious".

Ann Diamond blog said...

My twin is a brother, and we are obviously not identical, but...

re: LC, I do love that song, Who By Fire. I imagine it's quite cabalistic...

Am trying to locate a book I read a few years ago, by an Australian woman. I think her name is Christine Gow and the book had a title like SECRETS AND LIES... but not exactly. I can't find it on Amazon or anywhere else. It was the story of an Australian family who slowly discover they are involved with a Satanic cult. They appear (even to themselves) to be completely normal, good people -- but in fact they are all attending horrific rituals, for which they have total amnesia until the mother begins to have flashes, and consults a therapist.

Our two-sided, two-faced, dissociative "civilized" culture relegates our "evil twin" to the underworld, where we can't consciously access her/him, while we live behind our nice, friendly masks...

A cautionary tale. Wish I could find it.

Gwida's Assistant said...


I was trying to look up the author, and I hit a dead end, so I looked up on google: "Satanic ritual abuse" and in
and I was wondering if this part here rang any bells to you:
"In 1987 a list of 'indicators' was published by Catherine Gould,[48] featuring a broad array of vague symptoms that were ultimately common, non-specific and subjective, capable of diagnosing SRA in most young children.[31] By the late 1980s allegations began to appear throughout the world (including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, the Netherlands and Scandinavia), in part enabled by English as a common international language and in at least the United Kingdom assisted by Gould's list of indicators. Belief in SRA spread rapidly through the ranks of mental health professionals (despite an absence of evidence) through a variety of continuing education seminars, during which attendees were urged to believe in the reality of Satanic cults, their alleged victims and to not question the extreme and bizarre memories uncovered. Proof was provided in the form of unconnected bits of information such as pictures drawn by patients, heavy metal album covers, historical folklore about Satan worshippers, and pictures of mutilated animals. During the seminars, patients provided testimonials of their experiences and presenters stressed the importance of recovering memories in order to heal."
Or maybe not... :S

And then a quote from the same chick apparently on this site:
"'[M]ind control is originally established when the victim is a child under six years old. During this formative stage of development, perpetrating cult members systematically combine dissociation-enhancing drugs, pain, sexual assault, terror, and other forms of psychological abuse in such a way that the child dissociates the intolerable traumatic experience.'

- Dr. Catherine Gould -"

Just wondering if this would've helped!

Gwida's Assistant said...

Haha! That was an epic fail for me! Oh well, at least the wishes were good.

That's really creepy, about that Auzzie family though... It would be an interesting book to read if you could ever find it!

I read somewhere (can't remember where; it probably wasn't even a legit. website) that we all have "two sides" -- like you said! Then I remember a friend I had back in Perth who (to quote as accurately as I can) said: "It's a matter of how well you control it, because we all have that side that can maim and kill,"

Ann Diamond blog said...

Another coincidence: In Brantford Ontario yesterday, Mohawk leaders announced they have forensic evidence of mass graves of their own children killed in residential schools.

Brantford is about 30 km from Hamilton, and was named for Joseph Brant.

Unknown said...

Hi Ann, thanks for the great read. I'm thinking that the Australian author you're thinking of (in the Comments section) might be Kathryn Gow? She seems to have the right background; hope this helps.