This is page 3 of Journey 1.

The father’s grave

The first two pages of our Journey were concerned with finding a path to follow. We have chosen a path starting with CEMETERY. This is therefore our first step on that path.

Although she knew it was her first step toward finding her father, she felt unsettled.

The grave is a a top view. We have an overlook of a stone engraved with the name KNUTSEN, bearing the date JUNE 11 1980. As indicated in the Castenada/Boone solution, the back of one of two monuments at Tennessee Pass bore the same date. This fact does not preclude the possibility that this date also plays a role in finding the solution.

She would search the cemeteries that lay hidden among the hills of her childhood.

It seems that we have to find the cemetery. A good candidate is the table of contents on pages 6-7. The information appears on three gravestones.

Table of contents

There are other clues indicating that this is the right place:

  • The table of contents is indeed some kind of overview of the book . This reminds us of the overlook on the grave.
  • JUNE 11 1980 is day 163 of that year, and there are 163 characters making up the chapter’s titles, including the period in MR. MAPS and RULES.

On the eight day of her search she found a cemetery that was older and odder than any she had seen before.

Here we draw a parrallel betwen days and the number 163. This number was arrived at by calculating how « old » the year 1980 was on June 11. It is also a prime number, making it « odder ».

Between the clouds and the trees soared a large black bird, unnaturally shaped and making an unpleasant cawing sound.

We seem to draw our attention on something that is wrong, perhaps having to do with THE MAN WITH BLACK GLOVES. What comes next explains the problem

A chain of curious links was carved atop the archway of the cemetery gate. Each was a different shape and each a different color.

How hard Amanda found it to cross this portal.

Hre we are drawing attention to the entrance of the chapter. Here is the first sentence, starting with the tall letter.

Nothing Aunt Margaret told her revealed how her father died or where he was buried.

This is about dying and being buried. About « nothing ».

Three times she found stones with names worn away.

We must remove three letters. From where? From NAME. It is NAME that is worn away. And this combination of letters is only found in one place:


The three letters to remove are given by the capital letters in the first sentence. Nothing Aunt Margaret = NAM

So the word MAN must be removed, bringing the number of characters left to 160. Removing MAN is consistent with the fact that « the man is also a bird », thereby subject to flying away.

Now we have to find out how to arrange these 160 letters. Given what we have discussed about the card of many meanings (i.e. the rabbit’s card), it is tempting to arrange them in a 16 x 10 grid. But that should be supported by some clues found in the chapter, and this is not easy to find. There are other possibilities for a grid (2 x 80, 4 x 40, 5 x 32, 8 x 20 plus the reverse order) and even more possibilities if the arrangement has another shape (circle, spirals, etc.). A cobweb is mentioned in the chapter, which may suggest a spiral or concentric circles with spokes (as seen in various places in the book). But this may be for another Journey. For now, here is my justification for the 16 x 10 grid.

Many stones were carved with messages of sorrow and love, but now cobwebs connected them all and lizards played among them. Old flowers rustled in a dry wind.

Here we have the word SORROW, which of course contains the word ROW. There are 2 rows of characters carved on the stone. But then we also have AND LOVE. Love is a name for 0. So we have is instead 20 rows, which would indicate an 8 x 20 grid. The rows are connected. They forms a grid. This may explain the use of the word COBWEBS. But what about the lizards?

If we look at the image, we see that the rose (the ROWS) is placed on the base of the monument. Note that the « lizards played ». This is interesting, as a lizard is also a musical instrument, the tenor cornett. This is due to its shape. This is a wind instrument, hence the reference to flowers rustling in the wind. Cornetts cover a range of instruments, ending with the rarer bass cornett. Although the cornett having the S-shape of the lizard (see Wikipedia) is the tenor cornett, I am assuming a bass cornet. The lizard is providing the base. The animal is supported by 20 fingers (its base!). We therefore have 20 rows to be interpreted in base 20. This means 10 rows. We have our 16 x 10 grid!

Of course, a much simpler way to arrive at 10 rows would be to notice that the leaves on the rose (ROWS) form the letter X, which is 10 in roman numerals.

Note: GRAVE in French means a low frequency sound. The lizards are playing among the graves. Could this mean that they are playing bass?

16 x 10 grid

We are now starting the most difficult part. It is at the heart of this Journey’s procedure. We will interpret the rest of the text, including the text in coming chapters of our path, as instructions telling us how the letters (rows, columns, words, etc.) should be moved or modified. As these instructions are never perfectly clear, there is room for interpretation. Since we are always building on previous steps, an error at any point will likely compromise future steps and the final result.

Each step echoed many steps she had taken in the years gone by.

We will however find that, in some cases, the text makes references to words or combination of letters that have appeared only as a result of previous manipulations. This will be a way to confirm that we are on the right track. The most dramatic example involves a solution to the four « things/concealed letters » of the rabbit’s card.

It is remarkable that most of the text in the relevant chapters (i.e. the path) is significant in providing instructions on what to do, or information as to where to do it. Failure to understand what a single paragraph is about may result in missing a critical step leading to the solution.

Let us move to the next paragraph.

Amanda had brought a single red rose to lay on her father’s resting place.

We are looking for the resting place.

As she walked from stone to stone, reading the names and messages inscribed, she was frightened, for the loss of her father was still an unhealed wound.

We are looking for an unhealed wound. Going from stone to stone may refer to the colored square at the begining of each chapter.

Yet she felt that each step took her closer to him, and closer to herself when she was small.

The colored squares spell STIGNORESTATESHAPEATA. The ESTATE is where she lived with her father. It covers chapters 7-12. And indeed, we find an unhealed wound in the mountain in Chapter 7 (ROAD)! And the wound has the shape of a state: IDAHO.

When she found her father’s grave, her heart leapt up in joy, as if she had climbed to the top of a mountain. It was a simple stone, shaped like an arch.

The state of IDAHO is roughly shaped like an arch. We will take the stone in chapter 7 (the letter E), and place it over MOUNTAIN. Where? On the letter O, because we have IDAHO = HIDE A « O »

She bent to lay the rose upon the grave.

All at once the air was alive with an invisible wave of emotion, the feeling of something released.

Note that we have created the word FREE or FREED, justifying the « something released ». But something is missing. « All at once » suggests that different things are happening at the same time. Laying the rose upon the grave means « rising » the stone. We are also talking about E-motion.

Looking up, she saw a stallion. He was running on the other side of the trees–a magnificient vision. She heard the snorting of his breath and the echo of his hoofbeats. She wanted to run to him, but before she could move… He was gone.

The stallion is a vision. What Amanda saw was a deer, « running on the other side of the tree ». If you look at the image above, Amanda is on the mountain and sees the car on the other of the trees. As we said before, the car is the stallion. But looking through the branches, she sees a stallion with antlers.

But we know that the stallion is on the ROAD and moves according to the 4-beat 7-2-13-4. This column must move up by one of these numbers. But which one?

But the stallion was exactly as she had remembered him, as if he were frozen in time.

Only a shift up of the DEER column by 2 will keep HORSE unchanged in the last row.

This move also creates FUN, our « emotion » or « feeling ».

This completes CEMETERY. I realize that it is not very convincing (and may be totally or partially wrong), but moving forward from here nevertheless provides some surprising results.

The next step in our path is FISH.

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