‘Claims to ancient reach’?…

Arbor Low and Stanton Moor Imbolc 001 (15)

Throughout the books written with Stuart France there are visions; moments of a past long fled that ‘Wen’ still sees written in the ancient stone of the landscape and within the circles of the Old Ones. They come when they will, flooding her consciousness with something that may be no more than imagination, no more than a waking dream… or perhaps they are shadows that are cast across the face of time…

The stone is warm beneath her back. Above her the clear blue of the sky is powdered with clouds, barely moving. It is sheltered here in the circle, the earthen banks of the henge protecting the centre from the ceaseless assault of the winds in this high place.

She closes her eyes and waits, feet towards the centre, hands crossed on her breast, relaxing each muscle, each limb in turn, breathing deeply of the clear air.

The shift comes. The world falls away. She can see her companion through closed eyes, across the circle, mirroring her. She does not need to look to feel his presence.

On the screen of inner sight a single glowing point of light that seems farther than the farthest star, yet closer than the sun. Between her and the light nothing but the streaks of passage… a stream of movement, as of a million suns caught racing comets in the blackness of space. A wormhole… dragons… serpents aflame with brilliance… a tunnel through which she is rushing faster than the light itself, falling inwards, forwards, upwards… she does not know.

Then a figure blocking the brightness… a dark silhouette against the torchlight and the tang of smoke. A hand extended, smiling eyes unseen but felt. She takes the hand, stiff after the long vigil in the chill of night, accepting assistance to regain her feet.

The grass is cold, frost biting her bare toes. Above, a million stars streak across the heavens. It is done. The old one smiles, raising his hand…

…. Voices call her back. The sunlight casts a pale golden glow … across the circle her companion opens his eyes. There is something she recognises in them…. She knows not what it is.

***

Arbor Low and Stanton Moor Imbolc 001 (49)

Atop the mound the grass is chill and damp though the sun shines clear. There is no shelter and the wind ruffles her hair, an ancient grandmother caressing her child.

She closes her eyes, folds her hands on her breast beside him, relaxing into the other sight.

The shift comes. The world falls away. She is glad of his presence as the veins of her eyelids are painted green against the grey light… green and grey he had said of the one he had seen….

On the screen of inner sight a single glowing point of light that seems farther than the farthest star, yet closer than the sun. Between her and the light nothing but the streaks of passage… a stream of movement, as of a million suns caught racing comets in the blackness of space. A wormhole… dragons… serpents aflame with brilliance… a tunnel through which she is rushing faster than the light itself, falling backwards, away from the light. The unexpected sensation is sickening, stomach twisting.

Hands reach up from the earth, dragging, clawing… nightmares and hell… women, children… She refuses their hold and turns. Flesh melts from her bones and she dissolves into earth… She is only the wind…

He moves. She opens her eyes to a world wreathed in fog, ghostly shapes, amorphous and shifting…

It takes a moment before reality returns…

“We need to go to Fin Cop.”

Arbor Low and Stanton Moor Imbolc 001 (21)

***

Doomsday:

The Aetheling Thing

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

 ‘Doomsday: The Aetheling Thing’

‘Big Secrets’…

The Lovers - Wikipedia

Key 6 from the Rider Waite Tarot

*

The modern fifty-two-card deck of playing cards retains only one of the Atu, or Keys, or Major Arcana, of the original game of Tarot which was first popularised in mediaeval Europe –

The Joker, which is The Fool of the earlier decks…

Significantly, there are two Jokers which are used to book-end the current deck but usually without taking part in most of the card games now played with the cards.

This hints that The Fool of the Tarot was an adventurer, the human psyche, or soul, who journeyed, there and back again, through the psychological landscapes represented by the rest of the twenty-one Major Arcana of the Tarot, now missing from the current decks…

Because each of the Atu, or Keys of the Tarot are numbered with roman numerals, lettered with Hebrew letters, and assigned zodiacal attributions, the psychological landscapes to which they allude are legion, and do not just traverse, for example, 1-21 and back again but rather every available combination of those sequences in between, both back and forth…

1-2, 2-1, 1-3, 3-1, 2-3, 3-2 etc.

Thankfully, our current predicament demands only that we focus attention on Keys six and fifteen…

*

The Devil (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

Key 15 from the Rider Waite Tarot

 

The Star of St George…

*

The red cross on the white shield of St. George is made up of red scales like the scales of the red dragon that wakes at the foot of St Michael’s Spear.

The red cross on the breast of St. George’s white breast-plate is made up of red scales like the scales of the red dragon whose forked tongue licks the root of St Michael’s Spear.

…And since when did the Archangel Michael become a Saint anyway?

Since the wings from the dragon subdued by St George became the self-same wings unfurling from his shoulder-blades.

Red as blood in the fight the fiery dragon rises

Pinioned and led, fled from earth to pole.

A posited pole that starry spear… arrowing straight to light… eddying out… to and fro… back and forth… body and soul… to soul.

For the sight of the night pole leads to the flight of the light soul.

In passion fled…red to red…unbled.

A bright, spear point fed…

to the dragon, bred.

***

***

The Triad of Albion is now Live on Amazon.

THE INITIATE  ~  HEART OF ALBION  ~  GIANTS DANCE

Don and Wen, two founding members of a new Esoteric School, meet to explore an ancient sacred site, as a prelude to the School’s opening event.
The new School is based upon a psychological, nine-fold, system and operates under the aegis of the Hawk of Horus.
The trip does not unfold as planned.
Instead, Don and Wen, apparently guided by a plethora of birds, embark upon a journey that will lead them through a maze of spiritual symbolism, to magical mysteries and the elusive figure of the ‘Ninth Knight’.
The Initiate is the story of a journey beyond the realms of our accustomed normality.
It is a true story told in a fictional manner.
In just such a way did the Bards of old hide in the legends and deeds of folk heroes, the deeper truths of existence for those ‘with eyes to see and ears to hear’.

“From heart to head a lay, from head to heart the way…”

Now imagine that the lens of the camera captures a magical light in soft blues and misty greens and gold. A light that seems to have no cause in physical reality. What would you do? If you were open to the possibility of deeper realities, perhaps you would wish to explore this strange phenomenon… something two people came to know as ‘sacred chromatography’.

As the veils thin and waver, time shifts and the present is peopled with shadowy figures of the past, weaving their tales through a quest for understanding and opening wide the doors of perception…

Available via Amazon UK, Amazon.com, and worldwide

 

SEE: August Zoom Cyber-Room…

John the Evangelist (Stained-Glass, Swanbourne Church)

‘John was challenged to drink a cup of poison to demonstrate the power of his faith,

and thanks to God’s grace the poison was rendered harmless.’

Acts of John

*

Silent Eye Exploration…
Charisma versus Persona
If the persona, ‘mask’, is the product of our ‘little self’ (‘s’) could charisma be that of our ‘large Self’? (‘S’) What is the latter and how does it differ from the former?
Dictionary definitions of charisma:
1.The special magnetic appeal, charm, or power of an individual (e.g. political leader) that inspires popular loyalty and enthusiasm? (to enthuse someone is to give them ‘God’)
(Gk. ‘favour’ or ‘gift’ (of the Gods?) fr charis ‘grace’)
Examples… Churchill… Mohammed Ali, Ghandi, Hitler… Glamour… Black Magic… Any Women?
More importantly, perhaps, is it possible for us to cultivate charisma, and if so how can we do so?
Two Wolves… Two Worlds… Inner and Outer…
Reaction and the fractured psyche…
Psychologically speaking anything which the ego ‘rails against’, or reacts negatively to, in the outside world is a projection of the shadow.
By engaging in this process the soul energy is depleted at the expense of the shadow and the charisma is decreased.
Integral techniques…
Conversely, by responding positively, or proactively, to the outside world, the shadow is depleted and the charisma increased.
This process acts like a ‘sacrifice’.
By ‘offering up’ the negative energy… a positive boon is ‘received’.
A Holistic response. which questions the universe…
2. An extraordinary power (e.g. healing) divinely given to a Christian?
Matthew 15:11 – Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man but that which cometh out of a man…
Mark 7:15 – There is nothing from without a man that, entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
Luke 10:8 – And into whatsoever city ye enter and the receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick that are therein…
The synoptic gospel accounts all derive from one or two common sources. They appear to have displaced the instruction to the disciples to hide the technique by which they are to heal the populace.
At (Matt. 10-8) seventy new ‘Disciples’ appear to have been summoned to propagate the teachings.
The gospel of John does not contain this material, however, the compiler of the Gospel, John the Evangelist has a legendary tale attached to his story which embodies the same technique! (see epithet above)
In the Gospel of Thomas the instruction and technique are retained in their ‘proper’ place.
Logion 14 GoT – …If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourself… When you go into any region… When people receive you, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them for… what goes into your mouth will not defile you rather that which comes out…
Sin Eating ?
Traditionally… A ‘sin-eater’ is a person who consumes a ritual meal in order to spiritually take on the sins of a deceased person. The food was believed to absorb the sins of a recently dead person, thus absolving the soul of the person. Sin-eaters, as a consequence, carried the sins of all people whose sins they had eaten. Cultural anthropologists and folklorists classify sin-eating as a form of ritual. It is most commonly associated with Wales, English counties bordering Wales and Welsh culture.
In wider Christian practice, Jesus of Nazareth has been interpreted as a universal archetype for sin-eaters, offering his life to atone or purify all of humanity of their sins.
Listening?
To listen one needs to be silent. Silent on both inner and outer planes.
The role of the Psychiatrist… ‘A problem shared…’ ‘Get by with a little help’… etc.
The Confession in Roman Catholic utilises the same technique although with its own particular flavour…
Ultimately ‘Divinity’ may simply be a case of accessing One’s RIGht mINd…
Having built or strengthened Charisma, and drawn your seekers, what then would be the teaching?
Be me?
No, Be You…
How?
Find your Self…
Know your Self…
Be your Self…

*

“Show me the place where you are,”

said Judas Thomas, “for I must seek that place.”

Joshua said, “Your teachers have taken the keys of knowledge

and have hidden them. They have not entered the kingdom,

nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.

You examine the face of heaven and earth

without recognising the one who is in your presence,

for you do not know how to examine the moment.

Know what is in front of your face,

and what is hidden from you will be disclosed,

for there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed,

and there is nothing covered that will remain undisclosed.

The one who knows all but lacks the self is utterly lacking.

What you look for has come but you do not know it.”

Excerpt – The Living One

*

THE LIVING ONE

Caravan to Cairns

Stuart France

Two young men, a road trip across the Australian Outback, strange encounters in isolated settlements… and a book that will change one of them forever.

From the harsh heat of the dusty road to the cool of the Temple, two stories… one immediate, one timeless… intertwine to illuminate each other.

Many scholars believe that the Gospel of Thomas preserves a glimpse into the oral tradition of the Essenes. The book is a collection of sayings, parables, and dialogues attributed to Jesus. In this unique interpretation author and essayist, Stuart France brings the oral tradition to life, retelling the Gospel in his own words, in the way it may have been told around the hearth-fires of our fore-fathers.

Accompanied by in-depth comments which draw upon the Mystery School Tradition, The Living One provides a new window on an age-old story.

“… fascinating and unique …”  Amazon review

Available in Paperback Amazon UK & Amazon.com

and for Kindle Amazon UK & Amazon.com

St Just…

*

Not only did our last hotel

fail to provide any windows, to speak of, in our room,

  it also failed to provide us with a breakfast…

*

Which is just as well, really,

for we were up, and off, and away

long before breakfast would ordinarily

ever have been dreamed of…

*

However, by nine bells one might be forgiven

for expecting the local sea-front eateries to be offering

something in the way of refreshment?

*

Not so!

So, we headed for St Just…

*

How to disguise your sacred monument…

 

*

Firstly, cover it with the Dragon’s Breath…

Secondly, consign it to a relatively late historical period…

Thirdly, invent for it a plausible name…

*

*

“What is a miracle play, anyway?”

“It’s a medieval drama based on episodes from the life of a saint.”

“What, like St Just?”

“Yes, just like St Just, Hermit and Martyr.” …

*

“And what did St Just do?”

*

*

“Well, apart from displaying his true colours,

and confirming the link between the stonework

of ancient and less ancient sacred sites,

he also reminded us why we’re here.”

*

*

“That’s the church of St Just, what did the real St Just do?”

“Oh, pretty much the same sort of thing, I expect.” …

***

A Sacred and Profane Memoir

 by Alfred John Prufrock

*

Note on Celtic Saints:

These ancient savants seem of an entirely different cast to their Roman Catholic successors.

Like the Bards of old they travel the land far and wide, taking their entourage with them, seeming reluctant to ever settle…

St Samson, though born in Wales of ‘royal stock’, enjoys legendary status on Caldey, in Ireland, Cornwall and Brittany!

These places are all centres of stone.

The official hagiographies of the saints often seek to conceal much more than they reveal.

One charming account has both Samson and Arthur, as children, playing together in their eponymous Dolmen.

The notion of St Samson as Itinerant Pendragon is greatly appealing.

 

Excerpt from Kith ‘n’ Kin by Stuart France and Sue Vincent…

***

 

Lands of Exile:

KITH ‘N’ KIN

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Beeley Stone, ‘liberated’ from the churchyard at Bakewell, stands proudly in the centre of its village green once more. While the locals enjoy the fruits of its restoration, Ben, who had led the daring raid against authority, still languishes in jail.

Don and Wen, arrested and released without explanation in Ireland, now plot an erratic course through the wild places of Wales, while Jaw-Dark and Kraas, seeking the legendary stone of Fergus Mac Roy, have been separated in the most uncanny of circumstances…

As the darkness closes around them, the Black Shade haunts the moors above Beeley and, in the shadowy rooms of the old tower, an ancient and even stranger story begins to unfold…

Available via Amazon UK, Amazon.com and worldwide, for Kindle and in full colour illustrated paperback

***

Nightingales: July Zoom Cyber Room…

***

The Self, is it real or a psychological illusion?

In this hour of focus on what many consider to be our most precious possession, we will look at the arising of the self and its potential.

Many mystics have considered that we have a self and a Self.

What is the difference?

Does one subsume the other or do they meet halfway.

Join us for some spiritual companionship, fun and discussion on what might just be the most important topic of our lives…

***

“We’re really close to the Church that we tried to get into before lunch the other Sunday but which was closed.”

“What, the one with the remains of a standing stone in the graveyard?”

“That’s the one.”

As we approach the South door, I can hardly contain my excitement and take the lead. I can hear voices within… there is some sort of tour going on in there.

“…and to your right we have the South door which is the oldest working church door in Buckinghamshire…” I twist the door handle and lean into the door fully expecting it to open onto the interior of the church which it does not. “…since 1211…hold on a moment there… the door is barred. I’ll just open it for you.”

There is a heavy thud from the inside of the church and then a scraping sound and slowly the door creaks open to reveal the aged but very friendly face of the tour guide…

“…the door was barred, I’ve just unbarred the door for you,” he smiles and then nods somewhat knowingly and resumes the narrative of his tour, “Further to your left…”

I cast a cursory glance at his charges, three elderly looking tourists, two male and one female who are doing their best to affect an air of nonchalant acceptance of our unscripted entry.

I glance too at Wen who has skipped into the church and whose mirth appears palpable.

Suppressing my own mirth and sense of triumphalism at gaining entry to the church I head for a most impressive stained glass window depicting our old friend George with his Dragon and Damsel and… I am instantly transported…”

“Sire”
“…”
“SIRE”
I turn to the enquirer, imagining it to be one of the tourists and somewhat irritated that my reverie has been so rudely interrupted. But it is not one of the tourists, it is someone who I have never seen before. A small, weasel-like man dressed in rough leathers is standing at the front of the church just before the nave.
If this were not shocking enough, the church itself looks very different from the one I stepped into mere moments before. It is also ram jam full of people who are all looking intently at me, awaiting my response.
I turn back to the window hoping that the nightmare will abate but the window too has changed and, instead of depicting my beloved George with his blessed Dragon and lovely Damsel, it depicts a farmer sowing seeds upon the ploughed earth.
“Sire, the court is awaiting your response.”
I gulp… and turn… and start to walk down the centre of the church.
“My response?” I muster,  attempting to affect nonchalance. As I progress down what used to be the central aisle of the church, I notice out of the window that what remains of the standing stone is not a standing stone at all but a village cross. Next to the cross stands a hooded executioner sharpening his axe blade…

… I come back, still scrutinising the rich colours and beautifully executed form of the stained glass window before me and immediately glance over my shoulder… The scene has returned to one of relative normality. The tour guide has manoeuvred his charges into the chancel and, from Wen’s position in the church, I would estimate I have been gone for only a matter of minutes. I move over to her, still a little shaken by recent events, to find she is busy photographing two more utterly stunning windows which bear the epithet, “I bore you on eagle’s wings and brought you into myself.“…

The Triumph of Horsenden – The Initiate

***

THE INITIATE

Book One of the Triad of Albion

Stuart France & Sue Vincent

The Initiate is the story of a journey beyond the realms of our accustomed normality.

It is a true story told in a fictional manner. In just such a way did the Bards of old hide in the legends and deeds of folk heroes, those deeper truths for those ‘with eyes to see and ears to hear’.

Don and Wen, two founding members of a new Esoteric School, meet to explore an ancient sacred site, as a prelude to the School’s opening event. The new School is to be based upon a nine-fold system and operate under the aegis of the Horus Hawk.

The trip does not unfold as planned.

Instead, Don and Wen, guided by the birds, find themselves embarking upon a journey that will lead them through a maze of spiritual symbolism, to magical mysteries and the shadowy figure of the Ninth Knight.

As the veils thin and waver, time shifts and the present is peopled with shadowy figures of the past, weaving their tales through a quest for understanding and opening wide the doors of perception…

Now available via Amazon worldwide.

Paperback UK     Kindle UK    Paperback Amazon.com    Kindle Amazon.com

The watchers

sheffield chesterfield hare 590

We were being watched. It was palpable. In fact, as I raised the camera to watch the watchers, others could see it too… we weren’t imagining it. They had been following us all day, dark, hooded figures flitting in and out of vision, all across the Derbyshire landscape. Sitting on fences, following our footsteps, watching our every move at every site we visited. We even had evidence in bag and pocket… and the camera had quietly documented their stealthy observation…

Sitting in the little courtyard of the pub in Castleton, by some miracle on the part of my companion, the staid half of shandy I had reluctantly asked for had been transformed into a nicely chilled Stowford’s … I love Derbyshire!… and we were surrounded.

sheffield chesterfield hare 579

There were jackdaws on the low rooftops, on the chimneys… whole families of them, including the young one that misjudged and went flying in a way that failed to involve wings.

I snapped away happily while the pint of Guinness and half of Stowford’s slowly disappeared, then passed the camera across to my companion so he could see the day’s photographic haul. As always I wait, judging his reaction by the tilt of his head and the set of his lips.

“We’ve got our Dark Sage.”

sheffield chesterfield hare 576

Yes… it looked a bit that way. We had been waiting to be ‘given’ a picture for the cover of the next book… Doomsday: The Ætheling Thing is in the final stages of editing and the second book in the series is about to begin. Honestly, with all the stuff we have at present we barely dare go out in case we find some more! Not that we have to… from north and south of the land the pages of books rustle, the keyboard taps research terms and texts and emails fly between… some of them so weird that they sound like coded messages. The latest research has seen me rifling the tool box in search of a saw and soldering iron…nothing like some practical experience! Mind, the scalpel should be interesting…

But we had a meeting to attend, so it was time to go, reluctantly and promising ourselves a return trip in the not-too-far-distant future.

We had a lovely evening; the meeting went well and in spite of absent friends everyone seemed to bring something beautiful and individual to the mix and we took the long road home much later feeling relaxed and awake… which may explain the late night talking in our accustomed positions… my companion on two legs of the chair, I on the ‘hobbit cushion’ on the kitchen step.

sheffield chesterfield hare 589

Saturday morning brought rain. For once we decided to avoid getting wet and drove to the pub… only for coffee and toasted teacakes, I might add, and access to the internet… and there we played with pictures and created the cover for Dark Sage. It is odd, but it isn’t until we have a cover that we feel we have a book, and starting with the cover always seems to be the point of departure for the next phase of the adventure.

Then, as the heavens continued to douse the world in water and with continued determination not to get wet again, we very sensibly turned the car towards Chesterfield and the ancient cathedral with the twisted spire….

sheffield chesterfield hare 565

El Drac? …

*

Geography!

Never our strongest suit.

There are some places though, where we seem to already know the lay-out.

Edinburgh for one, and Durham.

Tavistock proved to be another of those.

And coming so soon after our Elizabethan workshop, one has to wonder…

*

*

Not to be outdone, our ‘Old Friend’, Kempe, decided to get in on the act.

Insisting we ponder again the expedience of canonising angels.

“Isn’t it obvious,” says Wen, with a twinkle.

“Only when you already know.”

“It’s about opening lines…”

“Of communication?”

*

*

Anyway, our ‘heavenly overseers’, had clearly, not quite done with us, yet.

Fittingly fortified, we finally headed off for a reunion, and the start of our adventure…

*

 

 

The opening of the Eye – the artists eyes

We continue our retrospective of past School events through Sue’s eyes…

Astral Eyes-Painting by the companions, image rendered by Matt Baldwin-Ives

Astral Eyes-Painting by the companions, image rendered by Matt Baldwin-Ives

Looking around the assembled faces as we sat waiting to begin the first of the lectures on the Saturday morning, it occurred to me how many artists of all types were sitting there.

From the professional to the gifted in visual arts, the musicians and the dancers, the writers and poets, our consummately talented photographer, a maker of beautiful things and the creative gifts of the Temple team…it was quite astonishing.

Steve, brush in hand
Steve, brush in hand

I cannot wait to share some more of the photographs created by Matt that show how a simple room can be transformed into a sacred space. I have seen only the unedited shots and they are spectacular. And there is one shot that will, I think, capture the essence of the weekend in the most amazing fashion. But we all have to wait for the work to be done on that image.

Detail from the group painting
Detail from the group painting

There were drums. The most beautiful and profound of music, both visceral and haunting in the temple as Adam used sound in place of incense to symbolically bless and purify the working space. His is a rare gift and those moments when he and the drum seemed to become one, both with each other and with something beyond both, will, I think, live in our hearts and memories a very long time.

Detail from the group painting
Detail from the group painting

There was music. Alienora with fiddle, recorder and piano, joining Adam in the library and filling it with laughter and sound.

There was Steve, the Troubadour, guitar in hand, seated in the Temple as he and I sang the song we had written for the School.

Detail from the group painting
Detail from the group painting

There was the painting created by all. Disjointed impressions, symbols and words that somehow came together to create an energy on canvas that captured the bright spirit of the companions and the time out of time that we shared. Matt’s otherworldly artistic impression of what was created shows, I think, the soul of what was placed on that canvas. And an email from Kevin that reduced me to tears placed Ani’s paw print among the symbols as, he wrote, “she must be an honorary Nerk 1st Degree by now at least.  A trace of her soul should be on it I think, she has journeyed with you all the way.”

Detail from the group painting
Detail from the group painting

There was the cake, decorated with the symbol of the Silent Eye by our wonderful Lil, shared before the companions departed on the Sunday.

The Mother, Benjamin Prewitt
The Mother, Benjamin Prewitt

There were three small paintings from Benjamin, gifted to me before he left me yesterday, that capture the depth and beauty of what was wrought over those few days and how it touches the life and heart of those who take that leap of faith into the inner landscape.

A Sunny Day, Benjamin Prewitt
A Sunny Day, Benjamin Prewitt

And there were words. Humour, banter and wilful misinterpretation causing riotous, and as Alienora describes in her post, of raucous laughter. Small things said in quiet moments that leave an indelible impression on the heart. Words written and spoken in beauty and the overwhelming sense of loving kinship that was shared as we were bound together in our journey. Words unspoken, poems crafted by the heart and written in eyes that met, sharing smiles and love in a place and a moment outside of time.

Ascend, Benjamin Prewitt
Ascend, Benjamin Prewitt