Where be dragons?…

What links sacred sites, ancient and modern?

Are the clues all around us?

Do the keys to heaven lie hidden in the earth or are there keys to earth hidden in the heavens?

Where earth and time and heavens meet

Look to the dragons’ soaring might

To seek the circle’s treasure trove

And solve the riddles of the night.

Riddles of the Night…

Hidden in plain sight.

1st-3rd December 2017, Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Join us in Bakewell in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales to explore some of the ancient and sacred sites of our ancestors. The weekend will take the Companions on a true quest, seeking out the hidden magic in the landscape that echoes the magic of heart and soul.

The weekend is informal, no previous knowledge or experience is required. We ask only that you bring your own presence and thoughts to the moment.

The workshop costs £50 per person. Accomodation and meals are not included and bed and breakfast/hotel in Bakewell should be booked separately by all attendees. Lunch and dinner are usually shared meals.

Click below to

Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

For further details or to reserve your place: rivingtide@gmail.com

 

Eldest

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“Just how old are you?”
Although youth has long died,
“As young as the moment,”
My body replied.
“If I want to play out
In the sun, or climb trees,
Run laughing through dewdrops,
…I’ll do as I please.
I have a few wrinkles,
My hair’s going grey…
Inside I’m a child
And I still need to play.”

“Just how old are you then?”
My body asked mind,
“As old as conception,
Just think and you’ll find
I’ve been here all along,
In your cells and your brain,
Learning forever and seeking to gain
From experience, wisdom
That I can impart…
But perhaps we should ask
Just how old is the heart?”

“Just how old are you?”
Said the heart, “Here’s the deal…
I’m living two lives,
One to beat, one to feel.”
To the body, heart answered,
“My beating is yours.”
To the mind it replied,
“When you feel…

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The Lion’s Share

 

 

“Tell me,” said Joshua, “why is that person carrying a lamb to the city ?”

Judas Thomas said, “So that he may kill it and eat it.”

Joshua said, “Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy.

Damn the soul that depends on the flesh.

Damn the flesh that depends on the soul.

How miserable is the body that depends on these two ?

Together they are like a dog in a cattle manger, where neither the dog nor the cattle can eat hay.

During the days when you eat what is dead you make it alive, but when you are in the light, where the dead are not alive and the living will not die, what will you do ?

If the body came into being because of the spirit then it is a marvel: if the spirit came into being because of the body then it is a marvel of marvels; I marvel that such great wealth dwells in so much poverty.

Cursed be the man who eats a lion

that the lion becomes human.

Blessed be the lion that eats a man

when the lion becomes human.”

Extract from The Living One

 

A Bibliomantic Tale IX…

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Our encounter with Dyffryn Ardudwy on the previous day had whetted our prehistoric appetite.

The challenge now was to find a suitable site on our journey back en-route to Llandudno.

There was no shortage of possible contenders although many of them involved steep climbs and the hot June weather was becoming a reckoning factor.

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The sensible thing would have been to keep driving.

The flow of air at high speed was proving an effective enough coolant.

But legend reached us of a disturbed and reconstructed cairn not far from Betws-y-Coed.

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Capel Garmon Burial-Chamber

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No 8 (Light)

God is nearer to us than our own soul and God is the means whereby our Substance and our Sensuality are kept together so as never to be apart.’

– Julian of Norwich

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No 9 (Dark)

‘I saw that God never began to love us… We have always been in God’s foreknowledge, known and loved from without beginning… We were made for love.

– Julian of Norwich

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“That’s the reverse of the reading we got at the summit of the Great Orme.”

“I thought I recognised it.”

“The same story holds good both on a height and in a tomb.”

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“That’s probably a fitting enough conclusion to the readings.”

“Until the next time.”

“You’ll need a different book.”

“Undoubtedly, but I’ll leave it to them to furnish me with one.”

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‘Be seeing you.’

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With thanks to Steve Tanham and Barbara Walsh, event organisers, and the Companions of the Silent Eye who joined us for the event and contributed their own readings.

Readings taken from ‘Christian Mystics’ by Matthew Fox.

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A Bibliomantic Tale VIII…

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Pennant Valley

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A slight change to the Sunday Morning plans means that there are two readings for one location this time.

Escape

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Pages Two-One-One and Two-One-Two

No 4 (Light)

‘The profoundest disclosure in the religious experience is the awareness that the individual is not alone. What he discovers as being true and valid for himself must at last be a universal experience or else it ultimately loses all of its personal significance. His experience is personal, private, but in no sense exclusive. All of the vision of God and holiness which he experiences, he must achieve in the context of the social situation by which his day-by-day life is defined. What is disclosed in this religious experience, he must define in his community.’

– Howard Thurman

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No 5 (Dark)

‘Jesus rests his case for the ultimate significance of his life on the love ethic. Love is the intelligent, kindly, but stern expression of kinship of one individual for another having as its purpose the maintenance and furtherance of life at its highest level… If we accept the basic proposition that life is one, arising out of a common centre – all expressions of love are acts of God. Hate, then, becomes a form of annihilation of self and others; in short – suicide.’

– Howard Thurman

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But that we could escape to such an idyllic green world.

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No 9 (Light)

‘The strictly scientific view of the universe needs this dimension of love and play, which it sorely lacks. That is one thing I like about space flights: at last there is something of cosmic play getting into the sombre, unimaginative, and super serious world of science. But what is a little play of astronauts against the great, gloomy, dogmatic seriousness of the death game, nuclear war? Can we recover from the titanic humourless of our civilisation?

– Thomas Merton

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No 8 (Dark)

‘The contemplative life should liberate and purify the imagination which passively absorbs all kinds of things without our realising it: liberate and purify it from the influence of so much violence done by the bombardment of social images. There is a kind of contagion that affects the imagination unconsciously much more than we realise. It emanates from things like advertisements and from all the spurious fantasies that are thrown at us by our commercial society. These fantasies are deliberately intended to exercise a powerful effect on our conscious and subconscious minds. They are directed right at our instincts and appetites and there is no question but that they exercise a real transforming power on our whole psychic structures. The contemplative life should liberate us from that kind of pressure which is really a form of tyranny.’

– Thomas Merton

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We concluded our reading reveries with a walk along the valley in an an attempt to draw closer to this green idyll and, perchance, enter in, beyond its sacred veil.

What we discovered was ‘Big Farmer’.

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to be continued…

A Bibliomantic Tale VII…

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Harlech Castle

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“Patrick McGoohan’s, ‘The Prisoner’, displays many thematic similarities to Franz Kafka’s, ‘The Castle’ and ‘The Trial’.”

Authority

Pages One-Five-Two and One-Five-Three

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No 8 (Light)

O God, the longer I gaze upon your face, the more acutely do you seem to turn the gaze of your eyes upon me!…Thus when I meditate on how that face is truth and the best measure of all faces, I am expanded into a state of immense wonder…

Those who look upon you with a loving face will find your face looking at them with love… Those who look upon you in hate will similarly find your face hateful. Those who gaze at you in joy will find your face joyfully reflected back at them.

– Nicolas of Cusa

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“Nature reduces all physical constructs to rubble and all mental constructs to hot air.”…

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No 9 (Dark)

O Divine One, all beauty which can be conceived is less than the beauty of your face.

Though every face is beautiful, no face is beauty’s self but your face, God/ess, has beauty and this having is being.

It is absolute beauty itself, which is the form that gives being to every beautiful form.

– Nicolas of Cusa

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Dyffryn Ardudwy Dolmen

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To close the day we repaired to a sacred site and performed a simple but effective turning of the year ritual.

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Pages Two-Two-Seven and Two-Two-Eight.

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No 2 (Light)

‘To understand the world, knowledge is not enough. You must see it, touch it, live in its presence and drink the vital heart of existence in the very heart of reality.’

– Teilhard de Chardin

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No 3 (Dark)

‘Let us advance one step further. What name should we give to this physio-moral energy of personalisation to which all activities displayed by the stuff of the universe are finally reduced? Only one name is possible, if we are to credit it with the generality and power that it should assume in the cosmic order: love… The conclusion is always the same: Love is the most powerful and still the most unknown energy of the world.’

– Teilhard de Chardin

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to be continued…

A Bibliomantic Tale VI…

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A Prisoner of Portmeirion?

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Resistance

“Pages Two-Five-One and Two-Five-Two”

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No 8 (Light)

‘The sexual origin of the lingam is, of course, obvious, but this only brings out the extraordinary depth of understanding in ancient India. Sex was always regarded as something ‘holy’ – I think it still is, except where the Indian spirit has been corrupted by the West. The lingam was therefore a natural symbol of the sacred ‘source of life’… The natural reaction of a European is to think that this is something ‘obscene’; but to me it seemed a touching expression of the sense of the sacred, the awareness of the essential holiness of nature and of faith in her generative powers.’

– Bede Griffiths

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It would be easy to be distracted by the Candy-House allure of Clough Williams-Ellis’s nothing-is-quite-what-it-seems creation.

But soon enough the false facade’s and painted-on windows lead one to the inescapable conclusion that not only was this an architect with a wicked, if anti-authoritarian, sense of humour but also that he was one with a complete mastery of ‘living-space’.

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There is not one unpleasing angle for the photographer and the prospects and backdrops work precisely as intended to integrate man-made structures with their natural surroundings.

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That there should be a ‘Japanese Water Garden’, then, now seems entirely appropriate.

What is nurtured here, is an ‘Eastern Ethic’.

As ‘Portmeirion Village’ begins to fill up with its western holiday makers it is difficult not to be reminded of the inhabitants of McGoohan’s village. Prisoners all of both State and a self imposed state of mind. We prepare to take our leave.

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No 9 (Dark)

‘Perhaps this is the deepest impression left by life in India, the sense of the sacred as something pervading the whole order of nature. Every hill, tree and river is holy, and the simplest human acts of eating and drinking, still more of birth and marriage, have all retained their sacred character…In the West everything has become ‘profane’; it has been deliberately emptied of all religious meaning… it is here that the West needs to learn from the East the sense of ‘holy’, of a transcendent mystery which is immanent in everything and which gives ultimate meaning to life…

The Western world must recover this ancient vision of the three dimensions of reality. Then everything is sacred. That is what one finds in India; everything is sacred – eating, drinking or taking a bath; in any of the normal events of life there is always a sacred action… We have lost that awareness… This sacramentality of the universe. The whole creation is pervaded by God.’

– Bede Griffiths

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Perhaps, that is what the readings are trying to tell us?

Cherish the past.

Adorn the present.

Construct the future.

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to be continued…