"like sky-blue air" (part 1)

A little while ago, a visitor to this site left a comment regarding the apparent suicide of an actress. I have looked at a few Hollywood deaths because they came to my attention in one round about way or another. The information that comes my way does so via word of mouth. I followed Jaspal’s link & found Lucy Gordan whom I’m sure you all know about. It was her method of death that made me take notice as well as her linking with Heath Ledger – both synching up for me with the death of Adrienne Shelly in 2006.

Former Oxford High School pupil Lucy appeared in the 2002 film The Four Feathers with Heath Ledger, 28, the Australian star who died from a drug overdose last year. Lucy died two days before her 29th birthday and hours before she was due to be interviewed at the Cannes film festival.” (Adrienne Shelly was waiting to hear from the Sundance Film Festival).

I had thought this would have been a continuation of that Fair Phantom series, but instead a different path has opened up.

This last week has been a struggle for me. I’ve had the worst head cold I’ve ever had & it led to some nights where breathing was a struggle. Is it a coincidence that I should start researching hanging at this time?

I have to admit that in the beginning I was pretty immune to hanging, after all I grew up with it.

Hanging is very familiar to us as both as a historical fact & as a popular method of dispatching victims in murder mysteries. It also turns up from time to time in the news. I was also fairly desensitised to the siblings of hanging – strangulation & suffocation – I simply recognised the words & what they meant on a descriptive level.

Researching hanging has been the worst thing I’ve ever looked into. I was so afraid of slipping onto a site where I would see what I could not unsee. My friend Michael from Hidden Agendas has been helping me, as well as allowing a firing back & forth of ideas, so I owe him a big thank you for his strength & his ideas which are also a part of this article.

Hanging is ugly beyond words. Wiki states thusly: “Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is “specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck.” I won’t be posting any pics.

Memories of hanging on tv or in stories has always been clean & tidy, with the sad but pathetic figure of a still body suspended by the neck. The often familiar suicide scene set in police cells.

Wiki on suicide: “In Canada, hanging is the most common method of suicide, and in the U.S., hanging is the second most common method, after firearms. In Great Britain, where firearms are less easily available, as of 2001 hanging was the most common method among men and the second-most commonplace among women (after poisoning).”

A little more fact “…There are four ways of performing a judicial hanging — the short drop, suspension hanging, the standard drop, and the long drop.”

The more I looked at hanging the uglier it became. The descriptions of the different methods of hanging, reeked of cold-blooded murder. I was informed that hanging was a blood free method that was easy to carry out & thus was adopted widely.


Recently historical mis-facts have been ‘coming to light’ & we are being ‘treated’ to ‘the truth’ – history is being cleansed of exaggeration. One such cleansing is the revelation that almost all witches were hanged rather than burned – ahh what a relief, that’s all right then.

Calculated hanging (a more recent invention) was designed to break a human beings neck – it required (cold-blooded) planning – “The standard drop, which arrived as calculated in English units, involves a drop of between four and six feet (1.2 to 1.8 m) and came into use from 1866, when the scientific details were published by an Irish doctor, Samuel Haughton.”

This being seen to be an improvement on the short drop – “A ladder was also commonly used with the condemned being forced to ascend, after which the noose was tied and the ladder pulled away or turned…The condemned prisoner dies of strangulation, typically between ten and twenty minutes. Before 1850, it was the main method.”

There are horrific variations of what people suffer & this includes loss of control of bowels & bladder.

Human history is shamefully full of murders & a huge amount of this was through hanging. I think it was writing so recently about air that made me sit up & start asking questions. All killing is wrongful, but I believe there are reasons to ask questions about why hanging has been such a ‘popular’ & worldwide sport for thousands of years.

When I wasn’t sure whether or not I should write about this topic I was inundated with synchs. I was drawn to a book at the library, called ‘The Way of the Dream.’ On opening it randomly, I found myself looking at a chapter entitled The Hanged Man. Within that chapter was a wealth of information. in particular we are told that hanging is a type of negative deification & we are reminded that the God of Western Civilisation was, after all, a hanged man. Indeed wiki says that hanging “… also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain “hanging“.

gallows c.1230, pl. of M.E. galwe “gallows,” from… P.Gmc. *galg- “pole” (cf. O.Fris. galga, M.H.G. galge “gallows, cross“)… Originally also used of the cross of the crucifixion. Plural because made of two poles.

Hanging is one of the most ancient forms of execution. The Book of Esther, for example, centers on the hanging of the genocidal traitor Haman, and British and U.S. law have always incorporated death by hanging.”

So my question is this “Was hanging designed to impact upon the human psyche & if so why?”

You do not need me to include a picture of a noose, in order to understand what I’m referring to do you?

Well actually you do – here is one I borrowed earlier

noose: c.1450, from O.Fr. nos or cognate O.Prov. nous “knot,” from L. nodus “knot.” .”

A noose is a knot. A browse in the wikimarket aisle of death reveals: “According to popular belief, the hangman’s noose must have 13 coils… Also, tradition holds that nooses be wrapped in a left-hand spiral.Nothing strange about that then.

I remembered a little book I used to own on natural magic. I remembered that it had a chapter on knot magic. I went to the library & found it – magic! It told me that “knot magic stretches back “at least 4000 years.”

Then I went to the Internet as it’s easier to cut & paste, than type out passages.

Throughout history many different traditions and peoples have believed that knots in cords are magical, and can be tied or released to activate the spell. There is the famous Greek myth of Jason and the Agurnaughts , who had a magic cord, as he released the knots, it released the winds.”

“…especially in Celtic lands where, it was believed, the Faerie folk could not be held in any knot, the skill of tying knots was a faerie gift. A very sacred and holy thing.”

“…some of the best knots are used for binding an enemy, symbolically tying up the enemies intestines, shortening someones life, or sending them to the gallows, and other such lovelies from the horror hit parade.”

Tying up an illness, binding a demon, securing someones love – for all these things and more, knots were used. In older times illness or misfortune was regarded as an evil Spirit to be bound up in cloth or rope, therefore inhibiting its progress.”

The gods, perceiving now that ordinary bonds, however strong, would never prevail against the Fenris wolf’s great strength, bade Skirnir, Frey’s servant, go down to Svart-alfa-heim and bid the dwarfs fashion a bond which nothing could sever.”

We can take another look at knot work, in the specialised skills of old fashioned midwifery. As soon as a child is born, and the umbilical cord is cut and tied, this is the first act of magic practiced upon the new born infant, and in older times, the midwife would have been responsible for giving the child his future good fortune, by saying a little prayer or blessing as the cord is cut and tied, securing his future health and happiness.”

It was believed that witches of old cast a death spell over a person by tying the knots and then hiding the cord, and the only way to undo the spell was to find the secreted cord and untie each knot.”

A bit far fetched you think?

Well… legend has it that the Prophet Mohammed was bewitched by an evil man & his daughters, who tied 11 knots in a cord & hid it in a well. Mohammed had all but kicked the bucket (though not the one in that particular well), when God intervened & sent an obliging archangel to reveal the secret location & the advise on the unspelling techniques.

In the Koran there is a request for protection “from the evil of those who practice witchcraft when they blow in the knots

A book entitled Knot Craft tells us that in a show of hands scenario, Plato would have raised both of his in favour of the death penalty for ‘those who injured others by means of magic knots.’

Witches & sorcerers were believed to have the power to bind the wind with knots & sometimes these were sold to sailors – “loose one knot, you get mild winds. Two knots gives stronger winds and three hard storms” – at last a way to make a little money on the side – I wonder if I’d have to pay tax on that?

In Western African witchcraft, the tying of a knot while saying a person’s name gave the ‘knotter’ power over the ‘namee’.

We cannot slip (knot) by this search without a little 1st degree look at la maison de masons

“…A hangman’s noose is then placed around his neck, the end of the rope hanging down behind him. He is blindfolded.” I couldn’t help thinking of this masonic ritual & rolled up trouser legs’n’things when I first spied this painting. (You have to click on it, it won’t come to you, but be warned it’s a painting of a hanging)

Seeking,(knot searching) elicited a few more images

From a carving at the da Vinci ..err sorry I mean Rosslyn Chapel “One carving may show a blindfolded man being led forward with a noose around his neck — similar to the way a candidate is prepared for initiation into Freemasonry. The carving has been eroded by time and pollution and is difficult to make out clearly

There are few known figures of the period showing nooses about their necks. The best known is the statue called ‘The dying Gaul’.”

I have also read that the common or garden variety neck tie is a variation on a knot theme

The tie is a noose turned upside down.It tightens around the neck. The closing tension is not caused by an intentional collapse-of-the-body-beneath-the-weight-of-the-world, but an auspicious and determined yank of the arm towards it.”

Should you still doubt there is weight behind knots just recall what happens when you get married & ‘tie the knot’. I don’t know if business mens ties come in red tape (they should do) for they are so often the purveyors of ‘binding‘ agreements. How often have you used the phrase that “something was bound to happen”?

For every article written there is a ton of information left out. This article has tested my endurance during a week when I have felt way below par. The worst thing was reading (but trying not to) about the effects of hanging on human beings, you know those people like you & me. With any luck I’ll now go to the wiki page on hanging for the last time:

It seems that on top of all the other atrocities of hanging, men often get erections when hung “It was a common belief in some countries that a mandrake plant would grow in the shadow of a gallows, where the semen of a hanged man dripped on to the earth; this would appear to be the reason for the methods employed by the alchemists who, in alchemy terms, “projected human seed into animal earth.”

Thus far in this article we have looked at an act of murder that has been accepted in human society for thousands of years. We have added the suggestion that hanging is a ritual (possibly a sexual ritual) using knot magic. I have to leave this for now. There is much more to come as we look at just why the neck has been targeted & what that has meant or means for humanity.

Now your cord must be programmed for a specific purpose such as healing or as a magickal storage system for use in any number of things in the future.”

May 30, 2009. Uncategorized.


  1. Christopher Darrin Horn replied:

    Really good article. Very interesting. Love the way that even something as simple as a knot can be a view into wisdom. Really excellent. Thank you

  2. Alex Robinson replied:

    Thanks ChristopherIt amazes me at how we constantly overlook the simple, maybe this is why life has gotten so tied up in knots :)'To be or knot to be' – oops did I spell that rite?Cheers

  3. celticrebel replied:

    Interesting avenue of exploration. The terms "auto-erotic assfixation" and the subtler term "breath control" come to mind. My spelling may not be completely on either. So does a cryptic comment left by one Eugene on one of my posts:"This afterall is the single riddle of Judas and his twink on a tree. Both died of asphyxiation. Essentially it was having conspired, ie breathing together, to make the “hand over”, ie penetrating the darkness, finally result."I'm sure this is a DISturbing road to take…

  4. Alex Robinson replied:

    Oh what a joyous comment Mr Rebel!It has indeed been a DISturbing road, wasn't sure if I could handle it, but I listened to my gut & was reminded that my heart needs to be fully involved. That allowed me to see with different eyes & take the course that follows my own nature – which is towards life. Somehow I'd forgotten about Judas – thanks for the round-about reminderCheers

  5. Michael Skaggs replied:

    Very interesting mon’ami!I see Celt beat me to the reminder on Judas! Lest we forget the “so called leaked” Saddam Hussain hanging video that circulated the internet for some time, not quite sure if his head remained intact either. Gruesome!Was unfamiliar with Knot magic, I’ll be Vodoo has it’s variation(s) too. Happy to help out anytime Alex. I think your onto unraveling some knots that occult Hollywood has tied!WV = ISOWEEDE :)Cheers!

  6. Alex Robinson replied:

    Hi MichaelMuchas gracias for your help :)I have been wondering about Saddam & how hanging was brought into world wide media attention via his suspension. Hanging is a very visual event & I believe it requires the 'watchers' to complete the ritual.Wv perhaps 'I sowed' or 'sewed' – rather relevant & a part of furture posts.All the best to you

  7. Jaspal replied:

    Heath Ledger the hanged man:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJl8_O4pGhA'A ledger or lieger (from the English dialect forms liggen or leggen, to lie or lay; in sense adapted from the Dutch substantive logger), is the principal book for recording transactions.’A death note?http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758742/Your article also reminded me of the death of Michael Hutchence. Birth 22/01, death 22/11, those numbers just leap out at you. He was raised in HK, somewhere I just happened to be yesterday.The haves/hives and have knots, to be or knot to bee! (I see they are bringing back some Bees from NZ to the UK).I hope you feel better soon.

  8. Devin replied:

    Very much enjoyed this article as I do all of yours although as you stated the subject matter isnt the most pleasant-when you blog about things that people like me you michael -heck so many of us-although i dont see myself as even close to your abilities you have to blog about unpleasantness sometimes there is no way around it!! Due to my own apparent cold/flu returning this afternoon I do not have anything to add other than that I will be back-best to you as always my friend!! WV=jacalike -gosh Jack (alikes) any twinsel town Jacks ;-)

  9. Devin replied:

    ok please accept my aplologies in advance for this bit of stupidity alex-you know i cant help myself sometimes-This post had me tied up in knots-again so sorry-and people wonder why i try not to subject them to my sense of humor!! omg WV-mouwnting -several images come to mind with this-none of which i will speak of!!

  10. Nina replied:

    makes me wonder if any of the masonic groups/secret organizations engage in ritualistic hangings or ceremonies involving knots and ropes. i’m sure you don’t want to research that given how you are feeling and how difficult this research was for you. very interesting the connections you found–in particular the term “tying the knot” referring to marriage. i wonder if that was also created during the days (and in the lands that still exist today) where marriage was primarily of benefit to the male. i once read something about suffocation. perhaps it was in one of my metaphysical books on past lives/reincarnation. anyway one of our universal fears is of suffocation. looking at our history, i’d say we all experienced at least one death by suffocation. i know something in me alerts panic mode when i feel suffocated–whether it’s due to physical or emotional conditions.you have a very fascinating mind!

  11. Devin replied:

    Nina! so great to see you here along with the other commenters-I missed a part I had intended to put in earlier-relating to the symbology of the tie. In the 1980s well before i was even a quarter awake I read a fascinating book (if memory serves it was Michael Grosso’s The Final Choice-not totally sure) there was a bit about Henry Kissinger-not my favorite person-I call him Henry Killinger like others I have read-well anyway during the talks to end the Vietnam war -Killinger pointed at his tie in answer to a reporters question and said something like “There will be progress unless another strangulation occurs” something like that-such an obvious tie-in here that forgot (please excuse the stupid pun;-) best as always my friend!!

  12. Alex Robinson replied:

    Hi JaspalBack so soon :) Many thanks for your lead.I find that my mind keeps insisting that Heath was hanged rather than died of an overdose – very strange esp as I have not watched Ned Kelly! His death may well have been a 'transaction'.Funnily enough I was just making notes about Michael Hutchens today – a very dodgy death indeed all the more 'wrong' as I look deeper at hanging."father forgive them for they know knot what they do" – these knots 'tie in' with so much of history & literature.Thanks for your all thoughts. I will be glad when this cold too shall passAll the bestHeya DevinSorry to hear you are 'crook' too! I hope you will be well very soon. Was watching an old series a little while ago & a very old movie was mentioned – "Arizona Guns' – of course I thought of you – LOL with your 'mouwnting' word veri – I also couldn't help but think of Brokeback Mountain – I won't go there either :)That was a very nasty quote by he who shall not be named. It makes the tie issue even more telling.Get well very soon my friendHi NinaMany thanks for your thoughts – it would not surprise me if as you say these groups have practised such hangings – I have a feeling it already happened with the kkk – was that really JUST racial hatred?Very interesting about the suffocation fear. It was having this really bad cold & struggling to breathe that made me realise how awful hanging must be, like I said I was kind of immune, it was there but not thought of. The other day I swallowed a fraction of a drop of water 'the wrong way' – I was coughing & spluttering for ages – this was my body's fierce reaction to a challenge to my breathing, it brought home to me how disgusting it is to rob someone of air.I too can't stand things around my neck & neither can my sister, I would not be at all surprised if we each had such memories – it works well with some other theories I have yet to post.All the best to you

  13. Michael Skaggs replied:

    To plant another “little seed” for the article…and I am sure you’ll touch on this in future write ups, how Hollywood’s “symbolic hangings” via movies/t.v. effects our “subconscious mind”. Our conscious mind knows it’s Hollywood “magic” [or should I call it deception?], but does our subconscious mind register that as “real”? Definitely more than meets the eye(s) when it comes to this reality. My word verify is OMPINISS[ominous? Let’s hope not!]

  14. Jaspal replied:

    Yep only a week, we don’t get much time off here in the UK. I once read somewhere that people were more free under the old feudal system, having over 1/3 of the year to do whatever they liked. And they keep telling us we’ve never had it so good!I’ve had lots of random thoughts going from the Titanic through to Atlantis and back to good old Troy! That French plane crash with a diagonal route from Rio to Paris got my attention, especially as it happened after the news that the last survivor of the Titanic died. Planes are modern day ships, the language used when talking about planes, like having a crew and boarding, and those life jackets (as if that is ever going to save anybody, it is more symbolic of the link between the plane and the boat). It got even more confusing when I was directed to watch a Doctor Who episode where he is on a space ship called the Titanic! That Airbus that crashed was like the Titanic, the plane that had a impeccable record, no crashes on any commercial flights. And Troy? Well the D day landings have been in the news, again in France, and with the Earthquake on the Achilles heel of Italy, and even Saint Obama making the effort to attend, there is a lot of Trojan energy around this.Then there was another death in Paris, of Kinga Legg, and the suicide of two parents on the White Cliffs here in England. We’ve got blue skies and sunshine, a rarity here, but the news is just so depressing and negative.

  15. annemarie replied:

    Hallo Alex :)Before I read any o' the comments…Ritual eh? You just know it's gotta be for power or pleasure, even both. Sex or money often being the "delivery" mechanisms. Which brings to mind …what with me being a fan of crime/detective stories … a phenom by which people engage in acts of mock or pseudo strangulation during sex and which apparently heightens the arousal or pleasure of the one being strangled, and possibly the one doing the strangling. However, it also increases the chances of dying. Talk about coitus interruptus. heheh Seriously, it just seems pathetic to me.And recall too the hideous act of lynching (of black people, predominantly men). I'm sorry but this subject really sickens me…..now, after having read the comments as well as your piece…Neither my mother nor I have ever been able to tolerate wearing turtle-necked sweaters or have anything tight around our necks, including scarves or short necklaces. I can only tolerate wearing winter scarves very loosely and while I like the look of a long necklace and own a few, I still can't wear even them very often or for too long. It's really odd. Yeah, there's too much ritualistic shite involved in the acts of hanging and lynching, or strangling and choking. I can see how it must have been difficult for you to have researched this one. Hope you're feeling better and fully recovered by now. Splendid work here. Thanks for it.take care,

  16. Alex Robinson replied:

    Hi MichaelYep there's definitely some ritual movie hangings that need 'airing'- …hmmm makes me think of the the term 'curtains'- they are hung & that term means 'death.'Thanks for the inspiration :)Hi JaspalPerhaps a news break might do you good – I highly recommend them, I've been having one for the last five years at least! It's funny tho because if you need to know something, someone will bring it to you. A friend told me about that plane crash today – couldn't help thinking of the Air NZ plane that went down on the exact anniversary of the only other Air NZ crash in 1979 – perhaps history's repetition is speeding up!We're not made to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders – is anyone helped by being force-fed woe on such a ongoing basis?Be well & enjoy those blue skies :)Hi AnnemarieI thought you'd be pleased.Yep I was aware of the 'strangling for arousal' gimmick – learned about it via the heart-warming media when they decided that was how Michael Hutchens exited this plane – his date of exit is so very interesting – 22 November, but I guess he was just having a bad day, that day. Interesting that you also dislike anything round your neck. Nina was very helpful with her info on the universal fear of strangulation – hadn't really thought about that.Well I'm off to work on part 2.All the best to you

  17. Michael Skaggs replied:

    Might be worth mentioning—Kung Fu star David Carradine was found dead in Bangkok, and get this:"The Web site of the Thai newspaper The Nation cited unidentified police sources as saying Carradine was found Thursday hanged in his luxury hotel room.It said Carradine was in Bangkok to shoot a movie and had been staying at the hotel since Tuesday."The rest of the story is here. WTF? WV = balds

  18. Alex Robinson replied:

    Hey MichaelThanks – I actually just got thro' replying to the Rebel who also gave me a heads up – I used some four letter words, but I think you get the drift!!This is all so wrong. You know it reminds me of Devin with his story synching so closely with the Atlantic air crash. Perhaps there are stronger vibes in the air at the moment I don't know. It is of course part of this article so will certainly look that way after the upcoming post.Be well my friend

  19. Jaspal replied:

    I tried to take your advice and ingore the news, but I havn't been able to so far!I was also going to mention David Carradine, and the fact that just a year ago, he was in Richard III!

  20. Alex Robinson replied:

    LOL Jaspal – perhaps you need to break yourself into it a little at a time :)Thanks for the info on David Carradine – I'm still rather stunned by this but not as much as I might once have been – I don't know if it's simply because of the repetition of patterns & nothing new under the sun or what. The best I can do for him is to write the next part of my article & wish that he "Go with love".Well at least you know that there is someone who survives without the news & still finds out what is needed. I don't wear a watch either but am always fine, nor do I use an alarm clock to wake up for work. I think we've been tricked so badly with technology into believing that we can't get the info that we need thro' other channels.All the best

  21. aferrismoon replied:

    David carradine in THAI-land , no less.The comments at my Red Rowen post have some stuff about Caincheers

  22. Alex Robinson replied:

    As awful as the situation is, that word play is so good – missed it completely.Will take another look at Cain, actually another look at him spells Inca :)Cheers

  23. Anadæ Effro replied:

    Alex, I am so late to this … Jaspal … thank you for your kind mention of Jake's & Steve's collaborative video feed Masquerade Infernale, The Hanged Man, and The Loom of Fate to which I'd FURTHER like to remind everyone over that Heath Ledger first came to prominence to the TV viewing (read: conditioned) audience in 1997 when he was just 18, playing the teenaged rebel leader, Conor, of a 5th century clan of Irish, battling the Roman occupation of the year AD 400 in the series ROAR … exactly mirroring your use of the anonymously sculpted marble, The Dying Gaul, which you incorrectly cite as having a noose around his neck … it is, instead, a torc, the twisted metal neck ring that was so prevalently the one item identifiable as a distinct Gaelic form of jewellery, for lack of a better word, that most likely had held religious significance for them.As regards to knot work … other than its prevalence as a motif IN Gaelic art, its application in Magic is well utilised in a scene in the film TheShipping News (based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Edna Annie Proulx)with devastating affect. Please see it, Alex, if you've … knot.Thank you for all your brilliant connexions in the Synchrosphere & have a wonder-fill'd weekend,Anadæ Effro (•:-)}

  24. Alex Robinson replied:

    Hi AndaeI watched Shipping News quite some time ago, before any inklings of looking otherways – I wikied it today & saw mention of the knotty knaming from the 'Ashley Book of Knots' – funnily enough I was in the library today looking at the the "Ashford book of Spinning'- ah the threads, the threads.Had done a bit of torc(h) hunting when I remembered the accoutrement that Heath was 'bound' to wear in RO-AR – the links & synchs with that showing are far from over – it seems to me that that was where his fate was set in motion.Have yourself a wonderfully wild weekend too :)

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