Continued from Part One
As the group walk through the arched entranceway to the interior of the castle, a new feeling emerges: one of ‘being in it, together’. The transition from outer to inner space of the newly considered ‘organism’ of the castle brings with it other changes of perspective. One of these is that a process – that of the weekend, itself, has begun.
One of the weekend’s companions, new to what the Silent Eye does, asks a question:
“Is this – she points to the entire interior of the walled space – to be looked at as a representation of life, and the possibilities of spiritual work within that life?”
The answer is unhesitating. “For the purposes of this weekend, we are using several of the Northumberland Castles to be exactly that.” He pauses, “So, this, as the beginning, is the place where the elements of that search, that quest, begin to work towards the goal.”
The new companion considers this. “So, what is our start point? What is the core idea that powers the rest?”
Its a great question. The man looks around him, seeking, not inspiration, for he has begun such discussions many times, but the spirit of the moment. Then he smiles, as an image forms in his mind…
“This is a medieval castle; imagine a shield…”
The new companion is listening. Alert and as keyed into the moment as the group leader. She waits… silent and attentive.
“A shield that belongs to you – that has grown to defend you.” He uses his fingers to draw a circle in the air, and then lets the hand fall and draws it down towards the ground, describing an outline around the group that mirrors the interior shape of the castle.
“So the castle perimeter – the walls – is the shield?” asks the companion. “But why call it a shield. Wouldn’t ‘castle wall’ have been sufficient?”
“It would,” the man answers. “but the image of a shield is more useful as a symbol of something that belongs to you.”
“My shield, then…”
“Exactly so. A deeply personal object, one you have crafted and groomed for all of your life.”
She’s getting into this. “A shield alone… I don’t have a matching sword?”
She smiles, as does he. “We’ll get to swords, later. One symbol at once – your shield, alone, took a very long time to make…”
“It defends me, this shield?”
“Look around you – don’t you feel defended? Or would have in the days when this was a functioning structure?”
“Yes,” she hesitates, clutching a the edge of a thought, an important one. “But it’s sad, too.”
“Why sad?” his eyes flash in the morning sun. The smile is one of deep encouragement.
“Because it cuts me off from all that beautiful world, outside…”
Everyone in the group is silent – as though the words of a very important prayer or salutation have just been whispered.
“Yes,” he says, softly. “It does, but it keeps you alive…”
The sadness of her realisation has affected her voice. “Must it be that way?”
“No,” he says, running with the hidden wild horses in the moment. “Which is why the shield, your personal shield, has the most beautiful outer face.”
Not wanting to dwell on the sadness, she laughs. “Tell me?” she turns to see the smiling faces of the group. “Tell me…”
“The shield, your beautiful shield, has nine powerful jewels set into its face. They defend, too, but they can be something different.”
She is laughing now. “What can they do?”
“They can be a map back out into the beautiful world.”
“Couldn’t I just turn round and make a run for it now?”
Now he is laughing. “You could… but you’d still be a servant. Wouldn’t you rather leave the castle as a King or a Queen?”
You can see she wasn’t expecting anything like this. “A King or a Queen? A shield has this power?”
“Not alone, but the jewels, and their arrangement do…”
Other parts of this series:
To be continued…
Castles of the Mind is the forthcoming September 2018 workshop of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit teaching organisation that promotes and enables the investigation of our true self, using a combination of modern spiritual psychology and traditional magical symbolism. The workshop is open to all, not just existing Companions of the Silent Eye School.
The dates are 14-16 September. The workshop will be centred on the Northumberland town of Seahouses, but will involve travel to other locations along the coast.
The Silent Eye holds four workshops per year – in April, June, September and December, mirroring the major events of the solar cycle. The April event is the main one, and is always held in Derbyshire. The other three are ‘Living Land’ or ‘walk and talk’ events such as that described above, and are held in different locations each year. The administrative cost is £50.00 per person which does not include accommodation and meals. Meals are usually taken together, in a local pub, and the costs shared.
To register your interest, or for more details email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.