Chess, Ageio and the Second Square: Excerpts from Clock Shavings, by Tracy R. Twyman


The following is a collection of excerpts from Clock Shavings, my new book, now available. The topic involves a game called “Ageio” that was purported to be the ancient origin of modern chess. In the book, I explain what I and my friends have been told by the spirit of Cain regarding that game, which, he claimed, is an alchemical game with magical power. He said that it is based on a war that led to the Fall of Eden, Atlantis, and the Deluge of the Bible. Here is a sample of what we were told. Full analysis and more details are available in the book.

Meditating on the mystery of Rennes-le-Château once again, I became intrigued by the prevalence of chess references and symbolism in the story. A chessboard had been embedded on the floor of Saunière’s church in Rennes-le-Château, and there were several nearby landmarks with chess-related names, such as “Pas de la Roque” (“the Pass of the Rook.”) Also, the coded parchments found by Saunière in his church, which may have led him to discover the alleged treasure, had been written in a cipher that was made using a Knight’s Tour on a chessboard. Furthermore, there were several chess references in Le Serpent Rouge, the poem published by the Priory of Sion that was supposedly full of clues to the riddle of Rennes-le-Château. As well, I remembered that a chequered floor was considered the standard in a Masonic lodge, and the Knights Templar also made prominent use of the pattern in their heraldry.

One night Brian and I called up Cain again on the Ouija board Mainly we wanted to ask him once more about the curse Baphomet had placed on us, and how it affected our finances. I thought that by repeating questions from the previous session, maybe I would get a clearer answer. So I asked him once again if we were cursed, which he affirmed. When I asked, again, why, he said:


Well, I took the goat reference to mean “Baphomet,” but I still didn’t understand what he meant. So I switched gears and asked him about the origins of chess, something I had not yet researched on my own. The exchange that followed was absolutely fascinating.

Tracy: Who invented Chess?


He used the old, now politically incorrect term to denote the noble race that some historians believe civilized the ancient world.

Tracy: Where on a modern map was it invented?


Tracy: What was it called?


Tracy: Is that pronounced ‘Ah-Gee-Oh,’ like the Agean Sea?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Are those two words related?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Were the pieces the same?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Did they move in the same way?

Cain: YES

Tracy: What are the pieces called?


Tracy: How do you play?


Tracy: What are bucks?


Tracy: What do the Agei represent?


Tracy: Are bucks like tokens?

Cain: YES

Tracy: What are they tokens for?


“Sangreal” was the original French word used in the Grail romances that has been translated as “Holy Grail.” The Grail is thought by many esoteric researchers to be a symbol synonymous with that of the Philosopher’s Stone. This object, in the system of alchemy, has the power to transform lead into gold, or any one thing into any other thing. It is the transformative power of magic, and in the romances the Grail is said to possess a similar power. So I began to understand what Cain was saying here. The “tokens” used in the game of “Ageio,” which Cain said was the origin of chess, represent the Holy Grail or the Philosopher’s Stone. He also called them “bucks” and “goat money,” indicating that they possess the power to produce wealth, to make gold out of dross.

Somehow this had something to do with Baphomet the Goat. As it later occurred to me, Baphomet is associated in the occult with alchemical transmutation. He is thought to embody the concept of the power of transmutation, which is why occultist Eliphas Levi famously depicted him seated upon the Cubic Stone of the alchemists with the words “solve” (Latin for “dissolve”) and “coagula” (“coagulate”) written on either side of him. This alluded to the idea that practitioners of magic were meant to somehow utilize Baphomet to dissolve a thing (or a situation) down to its most basic constituents, and then rebuild them into the object of desire.

I also learned later that the root syllable, “Ag,” meant “goat” in Greek, and in other languages too. This is why the Aegean Sea, and the culture associated with it, were so named, as that civilization was largely based on goat husbandry. Also, there is a word in English, “agio,” that to this day actually refers to the profit made from currency exchange, such as the wealth gained by the money changers who famously traded at the temple in Jerusalem (to the ire of Jesus).

Even the word “buck” originally indicated specifically a male goat, and the syllable “buc” can still be found in goat-related words in several languages. As I later determined, “buck” ended up as a slang term for money because goat skins were at one time used for currency. It seemed to me Cain was saying that the original game of chess, Ageio, could be used for magic and alchemy, even to make yourself rich, somehow. So I asked:

Tracy: What’s the object of the game?


Tracy: How do you gain the Agei?


Tracy: Does gaining the Agei allow you to change reality?

Cain: YES
Tracy: What do you have to do to win?


Tracy: Why is it important to accept defeat?


Now I was getting awfully excited. I had to know exactly how this original game worked. I didn’t know much about chess, but Brian did, having been a chess champion as a school boy. He helped me interpret Cain’s answers. Since we knew that the rules of the game were largely the same as modern chess, we asked what exactly needed to happen differently in a game of Ageio in order to make it work.

He answered “KxK.” That meant, as Brian told me, that one king captures the other king. Well that made sense, and – at least I thought initially – was no different than normal chess (but I was wrong). We asked if there were more special rules, and were given several.

The next answer was “QxB”: the Queen takes the Bishop. So in Ageio, before the checkmate, the Queen on the victor’s side must take one of the loser’s bishops. Furthermore, he said that pawns could take each other “HORIZONTALLY.” When we asked if the knight’s moved in the same way as modern chess, he said:


As we sat dumbfounded, wondering how you “keep score” in chess, Cain sudden announced:


Now this was the second time he had mentioned the “second square.” We asked which one of the 64 squares on the board was the “second square,” and he replied:


We had no idea what he meant, but we did have a chessboard available. It occurred to us that Cain could just show us directly how to play, which he agreed to do. We brought out the board, placed the planchette on top of it, and asked Cain to show us the second square. He immediately used it to mark out the corners of the 36 inner squares on the board. This was the “second square”: the square within the larger square!

Then we asked what these agei tokens looked like. He said they were coins that were black on one side and red on the other. We asked if we could use pennies to represent the agei, since the binary “heads or tails” system could apply just as easily as a black and white system. Cain replied:


Of course! The Chinese system of I-Ching involved a binary heads-or-tails coin toss. Cain told us to take 36 pennies and place them on top of the “second square,” with one in each of the little squares. In I-Ching, each possible arrangement of six “heads or tails” coins corresponds to a glyph with a particular divinatory meaning. Here, in Ageio, it was explained that each possible arrangement of the 36 agei tokens represents a “FORTUNE,” which defined the spell that you were trying to cast, the specific type of transformation that you were trying to make through magic. This was the “CODE OF THE SQUARE.”

We asked what kind of fortune we should cast for our very first trial. He suggested that we make a “LEARNING” spell, to help us learn Ageio. For this, he said, the “AGEI NEED TO BE SET UP IN A PATTERN OPPOSITE THE COLOR.”

We set up 36 coins, declaring that heads represented red, and tails indicated black. We put them in a simple head-tail-head-tail pattern, with each coin on an opposite-colored square among the 36 squares of the Second Square. For our purposes, we considered the white squares on the board to be “red,” which I assume was the proper color on the original game board. Then Cain used chess shorthand to tell Brian which moves to make for both sides. When a piece had to stand on a square that had an agei tokens on it, we just placed the piece directly on top of the coin. They went through the whole game together, and when the white king checkmated the black king, Brian assumed that the game was over.

But it wasn’t. Cain insisted that Brian go through the motions, remove the black king from the board, and place the black king on the vacated square, victorious. That’s when it occurred to us: This isn’t a competitive game. It’s a ritual. The pieces were like voodoo dolls. This was a ritual sacrifice of regicide. The sacrifice was what powered the ritual, enabling the desired outcome, encoded in the agei fortune, to become reality.

So now we had been told about the origins of chess. I did some research, and sure enough, although the exact origins were unknown, Northern Afghanistan was in fact one of the places where the earliest versions of the game have been discovered. Furthermore, it was thought to have been developed from an Indian game called “Chaturanga.” This same game was, amazingly, also the origin of playing cards, since the Indian game included cards made of goat skin which featured four suits very similar to those of the modern card deck.

Cain told us that the pieces were originally called “tenats,” which may be related to the English word “tenacity” and the Latin “tenacitus” (“a firm holding”). The word basically seems to indicate something that you grip or hold with your hand. Also, in the oldest forms of chess, the pieces did move on the lines instead of the squares, just as Cain had said.

The actual earliest game found so far that is thought to be a direct ancestor to chess was the Chinese game of Xianqi. The pieces stand where the grid lines intersect, instead of the squares, just like in Ageio. These crossroads, as I just discovered now while editing this book, are actually called “points,” just like Cain said they were in his game.

Instead of statuettes, the pieces in this game are coins with symbols on them representing the characters. They are red on one side and black on the other, just as Cain described the agei tokens. The rooks or “castles” of modern chess are said to be “chariots” in Xianqi, as they are in Chaturanga. In early chess boards the rooks, as upright-standing figurines, still retained the imagery of a siege tower. Even today, the piece is called a tower in many European languages. It’s called a “tour” in French, but it is also sometimes called a “roque.”

In Chaturanga, the “bishops” are ships, which may be an echo of something from the original proto-chess game. Considering that Cain said the events commemorated in Ageio include the Deluge and Fall of Atlantis, it would be fitting for there to have been boats on the board. In Xianqi there is a “river” running through the center of the board. When a pawn crosses it, he acquires the power to capture other pawns by moving horizontally. This is significant considering that Cain told us “PAWNS CAN TAKE EACH OTHER HORIZONTALLY” in Ageio.

Another interesting detail that I learned is that the I-Ching system involves exactly 64 of those binary six-part glyphs, or “hexagrams” as they were called. The whole system had come to Fu Hsi, one of the fabled ancestors of the ancient Chinese, in a vision he had of a dragon emerging from a river with these hieroglyphs imprinted on the creature’s back. Also worthy of note is that ancient China was also host to some of the earliest versions of playing cards as well, in which each suit was a different type of monetary coin.

Consider also that the name of God in Hebrew, “YHVH,” adds up to 64 in the Jewish numerology system of Gematria. Meanwhile, if you add the numbers 1-36 all together (36 being the number of squares in the “Second Square” on the Ageio board), the sum is 666!

While researching chess, I learned that it was thought to be one of the oldest board games ever. It was also presumed to be related to the oldest known board game. This is the Royal Game of Ur, from ancient Sumer, which is also related to backgammon. In general, from what I was reading, most of these original board games and card games were used mainly for purposes of divination and gambling. These two things were apparently not mutually exclusive. Many of these old games also had various calendar systems encoded into them, and some modern researchers have connected chess to the lunar calendar as well.

Perhaps most provocatively, I learned several historians had theorized that the Knights Templar had been largely responsible for spreading the popularity of chess in the West during the Crusades, because of their extensive contacts with Arab traders who played it all the time. They may have even used chessboards somehow in the keeping of their financial accounts for the banking system that they were running throughout Europe (the first in history). This is interesting considering that the “agei tokens” in Ageio are said to represent “GOAT MONEY” and the alchemical power to make gold.

The Templar system relied on the use of “chits” (coded parchments that functioned like modern checks). Interestingly, the words “check” or “cheque” and “chequer” come from the English “exchequer” (a state revenue manager). This is because in medieval times the royal treasury used an abacus made out of a chessboard and tally tokens to square the various accounts. So the chessboard may have a connection, via the Templars, to the evolution of today’s credit-based monetary system as well. Note that this is even more significant when you consider the aforementioned financial term “agio.”

Also, I have just now, while editing this book, discovered two more possible clues about the etymological influence of the word “Ageio.” Apparently, in the Greek language, “agios” means “sacred,” “holy,” or “saint.” (It is more often written “hagios.”) Interestingly, there is supposedly a ceremonial magic grimoire called The Book of Soyga that famous magician Dr. John Dee purportedly owned at one point. It was allegedly dictated to Adam by angels while still in the Garden of Eden, and requires an invocation of the archangel Michael to interpret. The meaning of the book’s title has been interpreted to be a backwards rendering of “agyos,” yet another alternate spelling of the Greek word.

“Ageio” also may be related to another word from the Greek language as well: “ageiro,” which means “to extract.” This, when combined with the Greek word “spao” (“to collect”), was the inspiration for the term “spagyric,” coined by alchemist and physician Paracelcus to refer to medical remedies prepared alchemically. “Spagyric” is thus equivalent to “solve et coagula” (dissolve and coagulate), the alchemical phrase associated with Baphomet.

So everything that Cain had told us about the origins of chess seemed to fall in line with, and even explain certain mysterious aspects of, the known history on the subject. But what about the history of Cain himself, I wondered.

Cain was, according to my research, one of the oldest kings of the ancient world. The controversial Orientalist L.A. Waddell, whose work I took very seriously, had written several books theorizing that the myth of the rivalry between Cain and Abel in the Bible represented the historic reality of an ongoing military feud between this ancient king and a kingdom ruled by one of his brothers. In fact, he thought it was a war between two federations, or an empire against its satellites that were trying to break away. This, he believed, all happened in pre-diluvian times, before the flood of Noah.

We decided to call up Cain again, to ask him more about himself. First we asked about his relationship with Baphomet, and he indicated that they were somehow two opposing halves of the same being. However, he implied that this had not always been the case.

Then we asked, since he had identified himself as the “Black Sun” of mythology, if he was in fact speaking to us from the center of the Earth (where the Black Sun purportedly resided). He answered “YES,” and the most depressing feeling came over me all of the sudden. When asked why he was there, he answered “JAIL.”

So Cain was in Hell. He was imprisoned in the center of the Earth, just as the fallen angels, the Watchers, and their descendants, the Nephilim, were said to have been jailed by God beneath the Earth after the Flood. We then asked him why he was being punished. The exchange went as follows:

Tracy: Why are you in jail?


Tracy: Who was your father?

Cain: ADAM

Tracy: Who are your descendants on Earth?


Tracy: Are your descendants cursed?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Why?


Tracy: What is the origin of civilization?

Cain: EDEN

Tracy: Was there a war between you and your brother, as L.A. Waddell suggests?

Cain: YES

Tracy: What was that about?


Tracy: Why are you called the Black Sun?


Tracy: Are you within a prism?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Is there a connection between the word “prison” and “prism”?

This suggestion was Brian’s idea.

Cain: YES

Tracy: Do you radiate energy through the prism? Is that why they call you the Black Sun?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Tell us about the war with your brother.


Tracy: Is this the same as the Flood of Genesis?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Was there an Ark?


Tracy: Adam was on board the Ark?

Cain: BODY

Tracy: His dead body was carried on the Ark?

Cain: YES

Tracy: So who were your enemies in the war?


Tracy: Who were they the descendants of?

Cain: CAIN

Tracy: So they were your own children? On your brother’s side?

Cain: YES

We asked about the connection with the Ageio board. He said it represented the “BATTLE,” and that there were special spots on the board that marked where each of the “DOHIR KINGS” fell in the battle. He indicated that the game was somehow meant to recreate this battle, and what he kept calling the “WRATH OF CAIN.” We asked “Who defeated the KINGS OF EDEN?” and we were told “KINGS OF NOD MEET WITH ALL.”

Nod, of course, was the name of the land that Cain was exiled to after killing his brother in the biblical version of the story. It was said to be to the “east of Eden,” and that Cain “built a city” there, naming it after his son Enoch. This son had the same name as one of his brother Seth’s descendants also. It was Seth’s Enoch who is credited with writing the famous Book of Enoch about the sex crimes of the Watchers and the Flood that resulted. The conversation continued:

Tracy: So were the kings of Eden rebellious against your authority?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Where on a modern map was Eden?


Tracy: Does that mean that a portion of Eden is now underwater?

Cain: YES

Tracy: What is the connection between playing cards and Ageio?


Tracy: What is the analog of playing cards in the original game of Ageio?


Tracy: Are you referring to the red and black bucks?

Cain: YES

Tracy: So does the Aegean Sea have anything to do with this?

Cain: YES. NOD.

Tracy: That’s where Nod used to be?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Where is Eden now? I mean the parts that sunk underwater? Is it under the Persian Gulf?
Cain: YES

Tracy: So the battle was over who would rule over Eden?


Tracy: Is that the position of Emperor over the Dohir Kings?

Cain: YES

Tracy: How many Dohir Kings were there?

Cain: 10

Tracy: Were there multiple kings in Nod as well?

Cain: YES. 70.

Tracy: What kinds of weapons were used?


Tracy: You mean it was hand-to-hand combat?

Cain: YES

Tracy: So why did the lands of Eden and Nod both sink underwater?


In response to a series of questions that we were inspired to formulate, Cain affirmed that what he kept calling the “WRATH OF CAIN” was an anger-driven magical operation that he performed against his enemies, which tragically resulted in the Flood somehow. We asked for more details.

Tracy: Was Dohir under the control of the land of Nod before the war?


Tracy: Is this what the twelve tribes of Israel symbolize?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Do all of these races still exist?

Cain: NO

Tracy: How many still exist?
Cain: 3

Tracy: Which are they?


Tracy: Were the giants one of the races?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Are they still around?

Cain: NO

Tracy: Were they killed in the Flood?

Cain: YES

Tracy: Are there such things as gods?

Cain: YES

Tracy: How does one become a god?


Tracy: Who gives divine authority?


Tracy: Are there entrances to the Hollow Earth where we can travel to where you are now?

Cain: YES

Tracy: What’s the nearest one to where we are?


Tracy: Where’s that?


Tracy: Aspen, Colorado?

Cain: YES

Tracy: One more thing before we leave off. Where can we look to understand more about the origin of playing cards and their relationship to Ageio?


Tracy: What do you mean by that?


Tracy: You mean the painter?


Tracy: That doesn’t make any sense.

Cain: HOW DO YOU NOW (sic)

Certain aspects of what was said that night became clearer later on after further research. As it turned out, Botticelli the painter and his mentor Montegna are both credited with producing tarot decks that were thought to have been some of the earliest. Botticelli was also one of the illustrious historical figures on the Priory of Sion’s list of alleged Grand Masters. So Cain was telling us to “Bug Botticelli,” or conjure the painter to ask about the relationship between tarot, playing cards, and the divination connection with Ageio.

Moloch is a Semitic root word that means “king.” It was also the name of a god worshiped by the Ammonites, Canaanites and Phoenicians, to whom human babies were given as burnt offerings. Moloch worship is strictly prohibited in the Old Testament of the Bible.

The word “Dohir,” identified by Cain as a name for the “KINGS OF THE FALLEN LAND EDEN,” is not found in any known language. However, “Dohat,” is an Arabic word for “bay” or “gulf,” and Cain did say that part of Eden is now under the Persian Gulf. On the shores of the Persian Gulf, we find the city of Doha in Qatar.

The origin of the name is unknown and scholars simply speculate that the word might come from “dohat.” Another theory is that it stems from “Ad Dawha” (“the Big Tree”), a reference to a landmark that used to be there. But is it possible that both “dohat” and “Doha” connect somehow to an ancient memory of a “fallen land” that one day, ages ago, sank beneath the waves where we now find the Persian Gulf?

To this point, there is another Arabic word found in a passage in The Koran (Surah 7 – “Al-A’raf” – verses 10-20) that turns out to be very relevant. It is “dahhar,” which means “banished,” or “put away and outside of a particular enclosure.” The word also specifically has a connotation implying the bringing down and casting out of an enemy.

The surah in question describes the angel Iblis (Lucifer) refusing to bow down before Adam when ordered by God to do so. He is then cast down into Hell, as the Koranic version of the story goes. The story of Adam and Eve’s temptation by the serpent and expulsion from Eden is then related as well. The entire passage is worth quoting. I have highlighted line 18, which contains the word “dahhar,” and underlined the word – “banished” – that was translated from it.

“And We created you, then fashioned you, then told the angels: Fall ye prostrate before Adam! And they fell prostrate, all save Iblis, who was not of those who make prostration. He said: What hindered thee that thou didst not fall prostrate when I bade thee? (Iblis) said: I am better than him. Thou createdst me of fire while him Thou didst create of mud… He said: Go forth from hence, degraded, banished. As for such of them as follow thee, surely I will fill hell with all of you.”

This is very important, as will become obvious later on when this Koran passage comes up again in another séance. However, it is still unclear whether the phrase “DOHIR KINGS OF THE FALLEN LAND EDEN” refers to Adam and his lineage falling from Paradise, or Iblis and his companions being cast down to Hell, or the angels loyal to God dutifully falling down prostrate in worship before Adam.

It has occurred to me, recently, that the line “KINGS OF NOD MEET WITH ALL” might connect to the end of line 18 in this surah: “… surely I will fill hell with all of you.” Of note is the fact that the Greeks perceived Hades, the lord of the underworld named after him, as being the “all-receiver.” He was the god with the largest territory and subjects in his kingdom, because it was the ultimate destination of every living soul (Elysium, the “Paradise” section, being a mere chamber within this underground realm). This concept is still reflected in the symbol for the planet Pluto, named after the Roman equivalent of Hades. That sign features a figure with arms outstretched in the shape of a cup, receiving a circle that descends from above, representing the souls of the dead.

The phrase “Wrath of Cain” brings to mind The Wrath of Khan, the second Star Trek film from 1982. In this film there is something called the “Genesis Device” which reorganizes matter for the purpose of terraforming planets. The title character, Khan, attempts to utilize it as a weapon of mass destruction to wipe out everything in an entire nebula of space. We don’t know what the “Wrath of Cain” was that purportedly caused the sinking of Eden/Atlantis and Nod, but Cain may have been trying to indicate that it was something like this. Wrath of Cain is also the title of a prison-themed film from 2010 — nine years after this séance occurred.

That night we tried out the board [that Brian had designed while under the influence of inspiration] for the first time. We also conjured Baphomet himself for the first time. Once again, I could feel the influence of the spirit, and it was qualitatively different than what I had felt from Cain. It was perhaps stronger, as well as swifter and more dynamic.

The first thing he did was quickly explore every letter on the wheel and every element on the board, with quick, jerky movements. He went through the alphabet in inverse order. This caused our hands to form zigzag patterns as the planchette moved from letter to letter. Then he went around the board visiting all of the other elements, very methodically.

We opened by asking what else Baphomet could add to what Cain had already told us about Ageio. His reply was “FAERY QUEEN OF BOAZ.” Well, I knew that Sir Edmund Spenser had written a book called The Faerie Queene, and that Boaz was one of the pillars on the Ouija board. But I didn’t know what he meant. Then I asked, “What is the aim of the game?” He replied:


He then used the planchette to point out the “Second Square” on the chessboard that Brian had placed in the corner of the Ouija board. Brian had marked out the inner square of 36 smaller squares with an equilateral Templar cross in each corner. “REAL POWER IS IN THIS BOARD,” he added, just as Cain had emphasized.

We then asked if he could tell us the names of the ten Dohir Kings that had fallen in the battle Cain had talked about. I told him to show us the places on the Ageio board that were meant to mark the spots where they reportedly fell. The planchette began spelling out bizarre names, giving each one a corresponding number as well. The list started off like this:


We were then given a name – “LAUDPA” – without a corresponding number given first. Rather, the next number came after “Laudpa” was spelled. It was the number 2. It was quickly followed by yet another name: “FEARY.” But this time, it seemed that the planchette had been taken over by the Dohir king in question. It was not Baphomet speaking to us anymore. It was FEARY. It is unknown if this character is the same as the “FAERY QUEEN OF BOAZ” mentioned earlier, but the name was spelled “Feary” consistently from there on out. He introduced himself, and made a strange proclamation:


The transition occurred seamlessly, and the message was spelled out so quickly, we didn’t have time to analyze it before the rest of the Dohir Kings started taking over and introducing themselves as well:










The Dohir Kings seemed to be fighting for control of the planchette so that they could state their names and their personal declarations. They were all whipped up into a frenzy and moving at a fevered pace. This phrase “I REAP ALL THE WEALTH” sent a shiver through me. It seemed to stir up an ancient ancestral memory within me that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. We called for Baphomet to restore order.

Only just now, in July 2014, while doing the final edit for this book, have I come to understand many of the clues about Ageio that the spirits gave us. As I said, Brian was inspired, while designing the Ageio board that sits at the corner of the Ouija board he created, to mark off the 9 x 9 field of the “Second Square” inside of it with four small Templar crosses. As it turns out, in the Chinese game of Xianqi, the starting points of soldiers and cannons are marked on the board with small crosses.

Also, in Xianqi the king and queens on each side reside in areas on the board called “palaces” or “forbidden cities” which they are not permitted to leave. This is based upon the truth about the Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing, where the emperors, as well as their wives, concubines, children and staff, were not allowed to leave without official escorts watching their every move. This carries an eerie echo of the testimony of Cain, allegedly locked in a subterranean prison, presumably along with all of those who fought with him and lost the war for Eden.

Furthermore, the reference to a “FEARY QUEEN” makes much more sense to me now, as I have just read that the piece now known in chess as a “queen” was originally a “vizier.” The name was “farzin” in Persian,” “firz” in Arabic, “alferza” in Spanish, and “fierce” or “fierge” in French. In Russia they still call it the “ferz.” Writer Marylin Yalom has theorized that the piece morphed over time because of the influence of powerful European queens like Blanche of Castile, and the growing reverence for the Virgin Mary, the “Queen of Heaven.”

Formerly, the ferz could only move one square diagonally per turn, but now the queen is the most powerful piece on the board, able to move any number of squares in any direction. At one point in history, according to author H.J.R. Murray, she could even move at right angles like a knight. Yalom argues that this change took place after 1300 as it took on aspects of the “Fierce Dieu,” an image of the Virgin Mary as a powerful chess queen that was referenced in medieval poetry.

Also interesting in this regard are some other figures from Greek mythology mentioned by Robert Graves in his book The White Goddess: King Phoroneus, founder of Argos; his mother Argeia (whom Graves equates with Hera Argeia), and Fearineus, the God of Spring. He writes:

“Pausanias … [disregards] the Prometheus legend … [by] making Phoroneus the inventor of fire. Hyginus gives his mother’s name as Argeia (‘dazzling white’), who is the White Goddess again. So Phoroneus … was borne by, married to, and finally laid out by, the White Goddess: his layer-out was the Death-goddess Hera Argeia to whom he is said to have first offered sacrifices. Phoroneus, then, is Fearineus, the God of Spring to whom annual sacrifices were offered on the Cronian Mount at Olympia at the Spring equinox. His singing head recalls that of Orpheus….”

As for the possible connection with Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene, I will discuss that in the final chapter of this book. As I learned just recently, it does, in fact, tell a story about a war in Eden.

Clock Shavings by Tracy R. Twyman, now available!
First Edition, blue hardcover w/ glossy jacket


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