The Alchemist: Last Judgement…

File:Gargoyles, Notre-Dame, Paris (3584514985).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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Perhaps, taking his cue from what little was left of the Mediaeval originals,

Viollet-le-Duc incorporated and emphasised horns, and claws, and talons,

and tusks, and fangs, and beaks, and raised heckles, in his grotesques.

Even the feathers of the birds resembled scales, or chain-mail.

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Gargoyles of Notre Dame Cathedral - Album on Imgur

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Nature for the denizens of the two towers, which between them

encompassed the directions of West, North and South,

appeared to be red in tooth and claw,

with little or no desire to transcend that state.

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As monsters of the human mind, presumably,

this state also applied to the collective psyche,

and was, perhaps, forever exemplified by the

 inhabitants of Paris who moved through the streets below,

and over whom the grotesques so rapaciously brooded.

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Nevertheless, the monsters became objects

of deep and prolonged fascination for both Parisians

and those who came from much farther afield

to climb the spiral-stairwells, and gawp.

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File:Gargoyle, Notre Dame, Paris, France, about 1870.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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Many of the fantastical beasts had captured prey,

and feasted, ravenously, some of them fought,

others appeared to be in the process of hunting.

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This is quite deliberate and contrasts with the Angel of the East

which sounds its heavenly horn to announce the Last Judgement.

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Behind Gabriel, arrayed along the length of the base of the harmonious spire,

pointing the way of ascent, stand the apostles, upright, and serene.

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But wait, what of the Christ Spirit?

Should not it too have been there?

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Folded Victory: Gargoyles at Notre-Dame de Paris | Gargoyles, De paris, Lion sculpture

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Oh, but it was…

It was one of the grotesques!

A Harmony of Eight…

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The point sits at the centre of the square,

where its two diagonals intersect.

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From the same intersection, another square

can be drawn at right angles to the first.

Like this, we create eight equidistant points.

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By taking the original squares and extending all

eight sides, a new set of intersections is generated.

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The new Octagon, bigger than the first,

 is perfectly derived from its archetype.

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https://silenteyeblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/domeplan.gif

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Extending the sides of the Octagon generates another pair of larger squares.

The pattern is infinitely extendable around the point of origin with

perfect symmetry in every direction…

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A point indicates a location in space which is present but has no dimension…

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https://silenteyeblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/09/dragon.jpg

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The Alchemist: ‘A Violet Duke’?…

Eugène Viollet-le-Duc - Wikipedia

Architect in the guise of Thomas-the-Apostle.

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If our Alchemist was pulling his beard,

it would be because he and the grotesques surrounding him

on the tower balustrades of Notre-Dame, Paris,

were not actually mediaeval statuary at all,

but nineteenth-century restorations.

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Charged with the task of renovation, in eighteen-hundred-and-forty-four,

Eugene Viollet-le-Duc, found only the stumps

of claws and talons on the tower corners

but with the help of a body of stonemasons

he set about re-envisioning the cathedral’s mediaeval past…

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File:Gargoyles and chimeras 1, Notre-Dame de Paris 2011.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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They did a pretty good job!

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If our Alchemist was tugging at his beard,

it was doubtless because

he was not an alchemist at all,

but the wandering jew, Ahaservus,

as some have made claim, doomed to wander

the annals of time forever in search of his messiah…

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Gargoyle Notre Dame - Free photo on Pixabay

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But, well, really, our ‘Violet Duke’

had put enough occult blinds in his work

to obscure the Christ Spirit itself,

though that was far from his intent…

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And if our Alchemist was stroking his beard?

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If he was stroking his beard he too would be

contemplating the prospect of statuary which

had been spread out before him but apparently

just out of both reach and gaze of scrutiny.

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Notre-Dame de Paris - Wikipedia

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The restoration undertaken by Viollet-le-Duc

included a reconstruction of the cathedral’s central spire

which had been dismantled in seventeen-hundred-and-ninety-two,

and repair of the angelic horn-blower which topped the apex of the nave.

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The spire he made octagonal and along four of its edges,

he placed copper-statues

of the Evangelists, and the Twelve Apostles.

Instead of Judas Iscariot, though, he included a self-portrait,

in the guise of Thomas-the-Apostle.

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Unlike all the other figures who faced outwards

and looked far and wide to the horizons of Paris

Viollet-le-Duc faced the spire and looked up to the heavens.

Except, he appeared to have his eyes closed,

and raised an uncertain hand to his forehead in a gesture of concern.

Was he straining to hear something indistinct from above?

Had he just been struck by an omission of extreme importance?

Or was this merely Thomas-the-Apostle in the throes of his doubt?

First Things First…

 

3

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 One is All…

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In Alchemy there are no short cuts.
Many are those who have spent a life-time seeking its treasure in vain.
On the other hand, everything it promises to reveal is freely given at the outset.
One need only attend properly to its stories and dictates to succeed in the quest…
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THE TREASURE OF ALEXANDER
In my native land where I was an orphan there stood a stone statue upon a golden column on which was written:
‘Behold! I am Hermes, he who is three-fold in Wisdom. I once placed marvelous signs openly before all eyes; but now I have veiled them by my wisdom so that none should attain them unless he be a sage like my good self…’
On the breast of the statue one could read:
‘Let him who would learn and know the secrets of creation and of nature look beneath my foot.’
I reflected on what this might mean and started to dig beneath the plinth…
Before long I came to a dark underground chamber in which winds arose and blew without ceasing.
I could go no further.
Exhausted by my toil and full of chagrin at my failure I sat down to rest and immediately fell asleep.
It was then that an old man appeared, resembling myself in build and appearance.
‘Arise and enter into this chamber so as to obtain a representation of nature!’ He said.
‘I cannot,’ I replied, ‘for I can see nothing in the darkness, and the winds that blow there will put out every torch flame.’
‘Then why don’t you put your light into a glass vessel…’ He said.
I immediately awoke, set a light inside a glass, as instructed, and entered the chamber.
There before me sat an Ancient Man on a Golden Throne, holding in his hand an Emerald Tablet on which was written:
‘This is the secret of the world and nature… the knowledge of creation and the cause of all things’…
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All…Ex…Andros…
Could anything be clearer or simultaneously more obscure?
How many Fairy Tales commence with a ‘Native Orphan’ who ends by first recognising and finally realising their ‘High Estate’?
And what should be made of our immobile Stone Figure which stands upon Gold?
He is a God, no less, yet he points not at heaven above but below to the earth.
Or of the Old One who appears in dream as our ‘bodily’ twin?
A simulacrum…
Nature’s representative advises we still the flickering, buffeted flame of our minds eye in order to see…
Deep in the Dark of Earth our enthroned kin who holds…
A Jewel in the Crown…
*2*

‘Stone of the Wise’

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PROJECTION OF GOLD
In truth, it is certain and without doubt that whatever is above tends toward that which is below and whatever is below tends toward that which is above for the accomplishment of the One Perfected Thing.
As all things are discovered by one, alone through contemplation so all things are born from this one, alone by permutation: its Father is the Sun, its Mother is the Moon, the Wind bears it in its Belly, the Earth nurtures it in its Heart; Power of all powers it contains the subtle and penetrates the solid and is the progenitor of all wonder in the world yet its efficacy is only perfected through embodiment.
In order that the little world may be re-created in the image of the great world the Spirit must be separated from the Body gradually by the regulated heat of a gentle flame: it rises to heaven from earth and falls back to earth from heaven and thus it acquires the inferior and superior powers for the glory of the whole world and the dissipation of all darkness…
This is the Way of Perfection…
I alone transmit this threefold wisdom which is why I am called The Thrice Raised Hermes.

– The Emerald Tablet

The Alchemist…

L'Alchimie de Notre Dame de Paris – La Nuit / La Nuit

A drawing by Julien Champagne.

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Why would the Mediaeval Stonemasons sculpt figures

on the top of their buildings which no one can see from the ground?

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Like some church towers, it was possible to scale

the towers of Notre Dame, Paris, and acquire a closer view

of the sculpted forms which inhabited its roofscape.

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Should this endeavour be approached in a symbolic frame of mind,

it might be useful to regard the spiral staircase which led there,

as a series of right-angles arranged around a lineal ascent,

and to take note of how many steps were required to reach the top.

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Any work of alchemy

unfolds in a series of steps,

or processes…

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The steps themselves might be regarded

as achievements or ‘crowns’ upon the Royal Way.

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And when one reached the top?

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Of the figures on the square-sided towers

only one was nominally human.

There is no doubt, therefore, that we would

be meant to identify with him…

Julien Champagne’s illustration, above,

is a masterful representation.

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Our ‘inner’ alchemist for such as he been designated,

primarily because of his Phrygian Hat, or ‘liberty cap’,

his liberia, was nevertheless a curious figure.

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Did he stroke, tug at, or pull his beard?

All three of these actions have different connotations.

Did he strain forward to see, or call out to, or even warn,

someone below, who was ascending to reach his position?

From a different perspective his mouth can be seen to gape wide.

Was that person, if person there was, ascending to save or release him?

Or merely to question him about the strange company he kept?

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File:Chimera of Notre-Dame de Paris.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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All the other figures that peered from the parapets

of the towers alongside the Alchemist were what might be termed

grotesques, they were certainly not gargoyles,

for gargoyles are water-channels of which these figures have none.

Most of them also appeared

to be displaying a predatory or demonic nature.

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File:Gargoyles of Notre Dame.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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Ever vigilant over the movements of humanity,

in the busy metropolis beneath them, some of them fed…

The Alchemists: Fulcanelli…

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This skyscape no longer exists due to renovation and the recent fire at Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.

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‘There are deeper secrets in stone than in iron.’

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It is not to everyone’s taste.

Some respected proponents of the Western Mystery Tradition profess

to not caring very much for it all.

Although, I strongly suspect that their ‘not caring’ is a euphemism for non-understanding.

It is a mystery certainly.

But one all but impossible to ignore if you are engaged upon

a search for meaning in life.

What were they about, these savants?

At odds with the mainstream yet courted by kings.

Their published claims regarded by most as gibberish.

That term itself a reference to Geber, one of the most illustrious of their ilk.

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We have already briefly considered, Newton, today regarded as a ‘man of science’

but at heart a seeker after the secret fire,

and Paracelsus, nowadays regarded as a quack doctor

but in fact an early practitioner of both Homeopathy and Mesmerism,

and today, we shall take a look at Fulcanelli…

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But already we run into difficulties.

For one thing, we do not know what Fulcanelli looks like,

or indeed, if he exists, or even if he ever existed at all!

He is purported to be the author of two books:

The Mystery of the Cathedrals and Dwellings of the Philosophers.

Both are classics of esoteric science.

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‘…Cathedrals’ sets out to explain the ‘books written in stone’,

which are the Gothic Cathedrals of Europe,

and really, who could do such a thing without being involved in some way

in their construction or design?

For the most part, these art-works of stone were designed

and constructed during the Middle Ages.

The book was written in the nineteen twenties,

and is not the work of a young man.

As late as Nineteen-Seventy-Eight adepts were claiming

to have spoken with Fulcanelli in Florence!

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Perhaps the claims of the Alchemists are not entirely without foundation?

His name means, ‘Little Volcano’ or ‘Mini-Vulcan’.

Could we translate this as ‘The Gentle Flame’?

It would be nice to think that we could…

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Let us then take our flame and apply it to the following question:

Why would the Mediaeval Stonemasons sculpt figures

on the top of their buildings which no one can see from the ground?

The Alchemists: Paracelsus…

File:Paracelsus.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Phillipus Aureolus Theophratus Bombastus von Hohenheim 1493 -1541

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‘The sun comes out and many reptiles spawn.’

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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Many to whom the name of Paracelsus is familiar are wont to regard him as a singularly successful ‘quack’ who revived traditions of an earlier school of occultism in defiance of the more ‘scientific’ methods of his own time.

Nothing could be further than the truth.

In fact the ‘doctors’ of Paracelsus’ day were for the most part theorists with very little, if any, practical experience. Paracelsus, on the other hand, derived his medical knowledge from both experiment and experience and travelled the world practising his medical science in more countries than any other medical expert of his day.

The name Paracelsus was a self adopted nom de plume possibly connoting ‘the highest of the high’ a Greek/Latin hybrid play on his surname Hohenheim (‘High-Home’).

To understand the writings of Paracelsus it is advisable to possess the keys to his alchemical code.

He held that there were three principles necessary for the existence of all bodies, to wit: Inflammability which he called Sulphur, Fluidity which he called Mercury, and Soilidity which he called Salt.

‘Azoth’ was the creative principle in Nature.

‘Illech Primum’ was the causative force.

‘Cherio’ was the essence.

‘Evestrum’ was man’s astral body and the ‘Elementaries’ were astral corpses of the dead.

These latter should not be confused with ‘Elementals’ which are Nature Spirits.

‘Magic’ for Paracelsus was, ‘the conscious employment of spiritual powers to act on external nature.’

Much of Paracelsus’ medical thinking is what we would now designate homeopathic, ‘we teach that what wounds a man also heals him and the things that heal a wound in nature heal the same sort of wound in man.’

He must also be regarded as a pioneer in that branch of healing utilising magnetic forces. His animal magnetism he called ‘Mumia’ and held that, ‘as the lily spills forth an invisible perfume, so too does the invisible body send forth its healing influence.’

Finally he was also one of the first and greatest ‘Faith’ healers, holding that faith had a great deal more power than the physical body.

‘If imagination is the cause of many diseases,’ he said, ‘then faith is the cure for all.’

It is tempting to map his three aspects of healing onto the three principles we listed above.

Which would be which, I wonder?

‘Let him not belong to another who has the power to be his own.’

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The Alchemists: Isaac Newton…

Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).jpg

Portrait of Isaac Newton aged forty-six years by Godfrey Kneller.

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‘Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the Sumerians…

The last great mind which looked out on the visible world with the same eyes

as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance ten thousand years ago.’

‘Newton the Man’, J.M. Keynes.

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Isaac Newton was born on Christmas day, 1642. At first his genius seemed more mechanical than intellectual. He constructed water works, windmills, kites and sun dials, but nurtured by the King’s School at Grantham his intellectual prowess and prodigious powers of concentration gradually became apparent. A maternal uncle intervened and had him prepared for Cambridge, to which seat of learning, young Isaac went up in 1661.

Stimulated by the Cartesian ferment in physics, philosophy and mathematics, by Kepler’s optics and laws of planetary motion, and by Galileo’s mechanics, the young Newton soon tackled and solved many of the physical and mathematical questions of his contemporaries. In January 1665 Newton took his Bachelor of Arts Degree but in the summer of that year he was compelled to retire to his home at Woolsthorpe as the University was closed due to an outbreak of the plague. It did not reopen again until 1667 but rather than hinder Newton’s progress, this enforced confinement at his mother’s manor proved to be his making. During this time he invented calculus, discovered that white light comprised all the colours of the spectrum, and found out a mathematical law for gravity.

Rather than trumpet these discoveries in 1667 he returned to Cambridge, quietly proceeded to his Master of Arts, was elected to a College Fellowship and settled down. In 1672 Newton disclosed some of his optical discoveries to the Royal Society and was immediately elected a Fellow of that illustrious company but it was not until 1684 that the full extent of his gravitational studies came to light. At the insistence of Edmund Halley, Newton returned to his proofs for the planetary motions and worked them up into a volume which eventually became his masterwork, The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Now, commonly referred to as, The Principles, this work is, by some, still held to be the greatest work of science ever published.

Newton’s life of retiring scholarsip ended in 1696 with his appointment to Warden of the Mint. He had already been engaged in the re-organisation of the nation’s finances, establishing the Bank of England and founding the national debt to finance international wars. In 1699 he was promoted to Master of the Mint which post he held until his death.

Honours accumulated for the ageing Newton. In 1703 he became President of the Royal Society and he was knighted in 1705.

The Newtonian world-view, developed almost wholly on the basis of his success in mathematics and the physical sciences is apt to confuse and occlude. His studies in astronomy and optics occupied only a small portion of his time. Most of his great powers were poured out upon church history, theology, the chronology of ancient kingdoms, prophecy, and alchemy.

‘Why do I call him a magician? Because he looked on the universe as a riddle,

a secret that could be read, a cryptogram set by the Almighty…’

‘Newton the Man’, J.M.Keynes

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Hunting the Green Lion

All hail the Noble Company,

True students in Holy Alchemy,

Whose ardent practise does them teach,

To veil their secrets in ‘misty speech’.

It may please you dilecticians

To hear my protestations

For that practise which I have seen,

 A hunting of the Lion Green.

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Whose colour doubtless is not so,

And surely that, your wisdoms know,

For no man lives that has ever seen,

Upon four feet a lion the colour green.

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Green he is called for his unripeness,

And yet so quickly can he run,

To soon outstrip the sun…

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It brings to him more perfection,

Than ever he had by nature’s direction.

Vicar of Malden

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Green Lion Alchemy Poster | Zazzle.co.uk

 

 

 

 

Anatomy of Evil?…

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We commenced our survey of St Michael and St George,

many months ago now, by querying the notion that,

according to a number of well-known esotericists, in 1879

a great victory of light over darkness had been achieved.

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One of these eminent esotericist even went as far as to suggest

that the age of the ‘Kali Yuga’ had ended in this year.

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Notwithstanding the inadvisability of mixing

eastern and western esoteric traditions in this way,

not to mention, cosmic and historical time frames,

subsequent historical events tend to contradict this assertion,

and perhaps even suggest the complete opposite.

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Visions, dreams, and icons are always, and for all time,

open to interpretation, and re-interpretation,

or at least, in a free democracy, they always should be.

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Toeing a particular party line may seem expedient

at one time or another

but is usually antithetical to any notions of ultimate truth.

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So, what do we do when we are accosted by a vision

of St Michael in the form of a stained glass window

in Skipton Church?

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We head off to Cornwall, of course…

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The genesis and development of this theme is covered

in a series of nine of our books which commences with, The Initiate…