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This brief and timely segue is just for kicks; an interesting and thoughtful tale of synchronicity (or–dare I speculate–fate?) that goes a long way toward illustrating how Hermekate has unfolded magically. For the first time on the blog, I’ll explain the uncanny background behind this site’s banner.

The story begins with my first marriage, seems to sort of “hug” the issue of its inevitable end by coming to highlights during each of that marriage’s two separations, and ends with my current engagement–with a twist that brings said engagement full circle back to the beginning of the story. It also introduces one of the concepts central to Hermekate: Synthesizing “Eastern” and “Western” esoteric currents.

As I discussed in Part I of my recent series, Of Chalices and Chariots, my first wife emigrated from Norway to be with me, and we lived together while I worked at The Theosophical Society in America’s headquarters in Wheaton, Illinois. We had fought like cats and dogs from the first time she came to visit me here in the U.S., and on top of that, she was both isolated and culture-shocked living here with me in the suburbs of Chicago. The town she was from was just on the edge of the Arctic Circle, a remote village nestled at the tip of a fjord, minding its own business. Chicago was a huge adjustment, and making friends was difficult for her.

In 2010, she went back to Norway and we were intent at that point on getting a divorce and going our separate ways. However, during the course of the Summer National Gathering, a Theosophist visiting from Amsterdam inspired me to ask my ex if she’d be willing to give our marriage a second chance if I went to Norway. She agreed to give it a try.

That summer was rough because I knew then that I would be leaving my country and the T.S., which was the closest thing I had to a family, being the black sheep that I am. I remember taking a day trip downtown, though, during Lollapooza, just to what I could see at Grant Park. I had been to Lollapalooza twice with my father in middle school and I was curious.

While I was down there, I visited the Chicago Cultural Center, where I laid down on my back to take this picture of a Tiffany glass dome there, which constitutes the “Western” element of the site’s banner:

On Halloween night that same year, I flew to Norway, where I came to empathize with what my wife went through while living here; I had just as much difficulty adjusting to Mo i Rana as she had to Chicago.

As I’ve mentioned in a few posts, one of the things that I have always held to be a result of the Self-Initiation ritual referenced in this post was my first divorce. I say this in part because it was a bit strange how it all developed, and how, looking back, I believe I felt it coming.

Just months after the ritual, my wife and I took a vacation to Thailand. I had visited previously with my father and stepmother, and the place had a profound impact on me. I felt things there that I hadn’t felt anywhere else in my life, and it transformed me in ways that I will write about another day. At any rate, I knew my way around the places I’d been and I wanted to share that place with her. However, one thing that I noted only in retrospect was the odd number of photographs I took while we were there of her walking away, with her back turned to me; I think that she was already walking away, and I think I knew it.

We visited Lumpini Park in Bangkok, where I got on my back once more to take this photo, which constitutes the “Eastern” layer of the site’s banner:

Alas, an entire marriage followed eventually in the wake of my return to the United States, but that’s not what we’re here to focus on. Today, I am happily engaged to my vivacious, voluptuous Veronica, whom I met in a story well worth its own blog post in the wake of that marriage. When we met, the chemistry was effervescent and easy; there was something timeless and familiar that we each saw in one another’s eyes, almost as if we had met before.

It is quite possible, considering we came from the same neighborhood…and considering the fact that while I was on my back taking that first photo in 2010, she was right across the street at Lollapalooza.

Perhaps, as I like to imagine, we crossed paths–perchance at the entrance to the festival, past which I walked twice that day….

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