Tarot Card – Death: although the ground is strewn

with body parts a glorious sun rises on the horizon.


‘Loose him and let him go’

John 11.44


… “So, why do you suppose that both Mary and Martha say, ‘…my brother had not died.’ Instead of ‘… my brother would not have died.’?”

“The vagaries of King James?”

“That might not be too far from the truth, but not in the sense you mean, and why do both Mary and Martha say pretty much exactly the same thing anyway?”

“Well, that fair smacks of interpolation, actually.”

“To what end?”

“To cover up the fact that the Man was very friendly with one particular woman by insisting there were two.”

“Which also simultaneously halves the importance of the role played by that woman if all her functions and actions are split with another character.”

“Sounds infinitely plausible to me and the napkin bound about the face is also suggestive.”

“It puts us right back in Veronica’s ball-park, especially as the literal translation of ‘face’ renders ‘visage’.”

“And if the Pseudo-Mark with his ‘young man and linen cloth’ be believed the veracity of the Turin shroud also appears to be a distinct possibility.”

“So, why do you suppose that both Mary and Martha say, ‘…my brother had not died.’ Instead of ‘… my brother would not have died.’?”

“Because Lazarus hadn’t died?”

“Quite so.  If Lazarus had died and had been raised from the dead by Jesus, it is inconceivable that the writers of the Synoptic Gospels would have failed to mention it.”…


“So, if Lazarus wasn’t raised from the dead by Jesus, what happened at Bethany, and why is Lazarus so important for our ‘Templars’?”

“It can only be an initiation and it would only take Jesus to be the member of a mystery sect for that to be a distinct possibility…”

“’Let us go and die with him.’”

“Say what?”

“That’s what the disciples say when they and Jesus get news that Lazarus has died.”

“Hmm… not an altogether recognisable notion if we are dealing with an actual death, but if we are dealing with an initiation…”

“They could even be referring to the role of witnesses.”

“Quite easily.”

“…There are esoteric mutterings to the effect that both John and Jesus were members of the Essene Brotherhood which was current at the time and active in the area…”

“Which would explain the stone and the cave.”

“I mean, how usual was it for people to be buried in caves and how usual was it for people to have communal burials in caves?”

“And there’s the emphasis on linen!”

“Linen was an extremely expensive item at the time and was used almost exclusively by the priesthoods in all manner of rites.”

“The stone and the cave could even have been borrowed from Jesus’s own rising.”

“Which was also an initiation?”

“Quite possibly.”

“Jesus as Lazarus?”

“It would explain the importance placed upon Lazarus by our Templar friends, or to give him his original nomenclature, Eleazar, which purportedly means ‘The Lord helps’.”

“But not their insistence on him being a leper. ‘The Lord helps’, hmm…”


… ‘Leprosy entered Albion in the fourth century and had become a regular feature of life by 1050.

In its extreme form it caused loss of the sufferer’s fingers and toes, gangrene, blindness, collapse of the nose, ulceration, lesions and a weakening of the skeletal frame.

Some people saw the suffering of lepers as akin to the suffering of Christ.

Lepers were regarded as enduring purgatory on earth and as such it was believed that would go directly to heaven when they died.

In that sense they were closer to God than most of the laity.

Those who cared for them or offered financial charity believed such actions would reduce their own time in purgatory and hence accelerate their journey to heaven when they in their turn died.

Care in religious leper houses, known as ‘Lazars’ i.e. Help Houses, centred as much on a person’s spiritual needs as on their physical problems.

Most Houses consisted of a group of cottages built around a detached chapel where praying and singing continued throughout the day.

The emphasis in these Help Houses was on cleanliness and wholesome food.

Clothes were washed twice a week and a varied diet was supplied.

The therapeutic effect of horticultural work and the beauty of nature were recognised.

Many Houses had their own fragrant gardens of flowers and healing herbs, and suffering residents took an active part in their upkeep.’

“Hmm… I can’t help thinking that somewhere in all this there is an eloquent argument which links skin disease with the natural health of the planet so that the care of lepers would become a metaphor of ecological expediency but, unfortunately, its precise formulation eludes me.”…

Extracts from, Beck ‘n’ Call


Lands of Exile Volume Two


Stuart France and Sue Vincent

Ben, fast becoming a folk hero after the apparent theft of a standing stone, now languishes in Bakewell Gaol. Don and Wen, suspected of being his accomplices, are on holiday… or ‘on the run’ if Bark Jaw-Dark and PC 963 Kraas, hot in pursuit, are to be believed.

From England to Scotland, the officers of the Law have followed the trail of the erratic couple as they visited the ancient sites of Albion. This time, though, as Don and Wen take the slow boat to Ireland, Kraas and Jaw Dark are one step ahead.

But Ireland is a land of mystery and magic, where reality intertwines with vision and standing stones are still open doors…

How long can Don and Wen continue to evade the long arm of the Law?

Who are the men who wear the Templar emblem… and what are they doing in Derbyshire?

In the shadows, a labyrinth of secrecy shrouds a mysterious figure. What is Montgomery’s interest in a small standing stone?  Just how many high-level strings can he pull… and why?

And what is the dark, winged creature that is now on the loose?

Join Don and Wen as they continue their adventures in the sacred and magical landscape of Albion.

Available in Paperback and for Kindle via Amazon

(Illustrated in full colour)


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