Alternate Realities

Nightingale Centre morning ace shot 2011 copy

We have a pretty good idea what reality is, don’t we?

It’s something that relates to what we already know. It follows the same behaviour, roughly, each time it happens. It has a familiar ring to it. If I were to get into my neighbour’s new car, and it slide out of the drive on an anti-gravity cushion, I would probably feel slightly sick and worry that I was ill. ‘This cannot be“‘would echo in my head and I would begin to doubt my sanity.

Yet, this coming weekend, in the depths of lovely Derbyshire, a group will gather whose purpose is to travel back before recorded time, uniting around a strange, nine-pointed symbol that purports to be a pretty good map of the human consciousness; and a route-planner to the way of getting beneath that everyday consciousness and to the ‘spiritual realms’ beneath. The event is called ‘The Feathered Seer’

SE17 ST Feathered Seer image

They will meet in the comfort of a familiar retreat centre, with an equally familiar pub, the Queen Anne, a two-minute walk away. The food will be good, the accommodation excellent for the inclusive weekend price, and the company will be brilliant. Serious work will be mixed with much humour and convivial reunions, and a few new people will be warmly welcomed into the expanding fold. Many will be returning for their third or fourth such weekend, some of them will be crossing continents or oceans.

They will be doing what some people would think is ridiculous for a bunch of intelligent adults – playing… But this playing is a serious business. There is a slight pun in the word, since we could more accurately have said ‘play acting’. For a weekend we all become actors (carrying our scripts with us) in a five-act drama that begins on Friday night and ends, with great sadness and often a few tears of departing cameraderie, in the early hours of Sunday afternoon, after a feast of a Sunday lunch that will ensure that most of them have to stop for a short nap in one of the many cafes, service stations or airport lounges that dot the map of their return journeys.

We can imagine approaching one of them to talk.

“Sorry to disturb you, I believe you have just come from a Silent Eye weekend – The Feathered Seer?”

Opens sleepy eyes and puts down coffee. “Yes,” smiles knowingly. “I have…”

“Did you enjoy it?”

Laughs… “Oh, very much. I got to play an ancient light of consciousness – one at the heart of what we now view as behaviour, buried deep within us, but recoverable…”

“But you were just playing, surely?”

“Oh no…” sips coffee. “Not at all…”


Details of our Feathered Seer weekend are available here. Next April will see us stage another one, this time an Elizabethan-based drama of magic, science and political intrigue: The Jewel in the Claw. Details will be available on our website

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