Harlequin Solstice

Harlequin Solstice

St John Kin

A picture in the fading sun

A race of fingers, digits

Of Solstice long earned

Short departed

How little

How sadly

You are understood

Your music the struggle

Of madness

Made harmony

Until this moment

When kings detach your strings

When single song

Descends

Towards the dark arms

But brighter eyes

Of St Stephen

©Stephen Tanham

Two for the Solstice

Two poems for the coming Solstice.

The first is The Iron Hand from Barbara Walsh, who is in the process of establishing her own WordPress site:

The Iron Hand

The iron-hard earth imprisons life below

Cold darkness, gripping life that glows

But not to conquer or destroy;

That life now sleeping waits to grow

Till winter’s touch so cold yet needed.

Releases gentle fingers new to spring’s caress

Waves goodbye to winter’s tending

Starts the cycle never ending

©Barbara Walsh

And one from me…Dark Solstice

Dark Solstice

If I had different eyes

That shone a bolder hue

I’d see the cycle of the year

As a single act surrounding you

If I had larger ears

For a wider range of sound

I’d teach you of the double chord

St Stephen and St John resound

If I had a bigger heart

That could hold both death and light

I would raise your gaze to the brightest day

Beyond this cold December night

©️Stephen Tanham


Stephen Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people find a personal path to a deeper place within their internal and external lives.

The Silent Eye provides home-based, practical courses which are low-cost and personally supervised. The course materials and corresponding supervision are provided month by month without further commitment.

Steve’s personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at stevetanham.wordpress.com.

You’ll find friends, poetry, literature and photography there…and some great guest posts on related topics.

For fifty years I sought you…

For fifty years I sought you

Beneath an ashen tree

And when at last I caught you

You were hiding behind me

What jests your lips had whispered

As I darted too and fro

Till I lay down at the wayside

With nowhere else to go

Quiet, your fingers touched me

Bidding stillness in their grace

Made soft with love the journey

By turning round the face

The night of sight was ended

From this head that wore a frown

And the throne of Self lay open

As your palms displayed a crown

Now my tiny kingdom’s hidden

Beneath a starry sky

But my eyes drink light forever

As the opening days roll by

For fifty years I sought you

Beneath an ashen tree

And when at last I caught you

You were smiling back at Me

©Stephen Tanham

Dedicated to Rumi, who lit the way…

Why Myth? IV…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

Those of you with an eagle eye will have realised that next year’s Silent Eye, Spring Workshop has a mythological theme.

It is based upon The Epic of Gilgamesh which is a story worked up into its present form over four thousand years ago.

Prior to its re-incarnation as an epic poem it existed as five independant mythological episodes, which, as we traditionally split our April Workshops into five ritual dramas tends to suit our purposes rather well.

But why do we insist on revisiting the past in this way?

It is our contention that drama as we now have it derives from sacred drama as practised in the mystery temples of old where it was used to develop the psyche of the neophyte and initiate them into the sacred and secret realms of higher living and life.

A contention spectacularly borne out whilst working on Leaf and Flame in 2016, when the Arthurian Mythos which we used as the basis for the weekend revealed itself to be one strand of the Hibernian initiation sequence.

This year we will concern ourselves with the nature of the Planetary Being and how the processes worked out in the here and now relate to and body forth the wider workings of the Cosmic Undertaking.

We will be retaining the Sumerian setting of Gilgamesh’s epic tale but drawing on all currently available sources of the story and feeding this through the matrix of the Enneagram in order to bring you five dramatic rituals of high magic, no little mayhem, and the customary dose of madcap mysticism which we hope will ultimately culminate in something of a spiritual transformation for all those involved.

But that is also down to the participants.

With an interactive agenda of talks, meditations and practical presentations we think that the Nightingale Centre, nestled deep in the Derbyshire hills, is the place to be on the weekend of 26th – 28th April 2019.

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A Dramatic adaptation of The Epic of Gilgamesh

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

Click here to download the Booking Form

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

Lord of the Deep: The Quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire

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A Second-Self…

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Gilgamesh

My vizier says you have tidings of some import to my realm?

Trapper

Great lord, I bring dire news! A threat to the kingdom… 

Gilgamesh

Speak, man! If what you say is true, let us have no ceremony. What is it that you have seen?

Trapper

Why, I have seen a giant, my king!

Gilgamesh

A giant? Pah! You have been listening to tavern stories.

Trapper

No, my lord, with my own eyes I saw him.

Gilgamesh

If your eyes have played you false, then your tongue sets you at risk, Trapper. Tell me of this giant…

Trapper

My eyes serve me well, my lord, and are, as always, at your service. 

Gilgamesh

Where and when did you see this apparition?

Trapper

I was hunting in the forest, lord. It is true that there was gossip in the tavern, but I thought as you…that it was no more than a drunken tale.

As the dusk fell near the watering hole, three days ago, I saw him… My lord… forgive me…but I have seen such a savage man at the watering-hole.

He has muscles like rock.

He outruns the wild animals he lives with.

Tall he was… and broad… as an ox.

Rough, unkempt, uncivilised.

His speech, if speech it was, is like to that of the animals with whom he runs.

He fills the pits I have dug and tears out the traps I have set so that the animals again run free.

I can catch nothing.

My livelihood has gone.

I fear no beast, my lord, but seeing this creature, I was afraid…

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The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019

THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH

The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on this quest of a life-time, next April, to find out…

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‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.

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Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260

*

Click here to download the Booking Form

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

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Lord of the Deep: The Quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire

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The Dancer ~ Jordis Fasheh

Jordis Fasheh is a Companion of the Silent Eye. When we brought the School to birth at our very first April workshop, Jordis was the first to walk through the portal and has been held in our hearts ever since.

At the Jewel in the Claw workshop, Jordis embodied the role of Lady Rab’ya El Anouri, a Sufi mystic with a dancing soul. Inspired by her experience of that role and by one of the meditations in the course, she wrote a poem to capture where she is now. Jordis writes, “My studies with The Silent Eye; Steve, Sue, Stuart and all our lovely companions have had a profound and positive impact on my being present, alive and at one with Who I Am.”

I asked her permission to share her poem here.

Image~ Jordis Fasheh

The Dancer

moment within moment
ever present,
breath within breath,
with ever evolving joy in being

spiraling within and without
an atom’s core,
center of all things,
yet of nothingness

with one, yet divisible,
distinct, yet eternal,
she swirls in arcs,
the Sun,

weaving a fabric of light,
with no beginning nor end,

as divinity’s expression,
eternal bliss

Jordis Fasheh

My Secret Self

How long it took to make him

My secret self and I

To stabilise and raise him

That he might touch his sky

Then watching as he made the world

In image of his days gone by

The jewelled world was wonderful

For secret self and me

So far removed from vulnerable

Was where we went to be

But jewel is as dual does

And splits the him from truly free

This freedom loathes the static

In secret self and me

It’s life is found erratic

Where beating heart learns just to be

Among the streams, beneath the boughs

Of life’s eternal tree

No longer is there room

For secret self – the we

The summer sun is bright

And overhead we see

Its song is keyed to one alone

And so my secret self has flown

Urging not-so-secret I to seek and find the key

©Stephen Tanham

The journey- by Sheila Chadwick

rose

At our August meeting, one of our Companions, a woman of both beauty and grace, read us something found amongst her papers… something that she had written down many years ago. We asked if we could transcribe it and share it here. It seems appropriate to share it once more for although our friend is no longer with us, the gifts that she shared with us remain. 

As life is more in touch with the Spirit now… as you begin to see the curves and twists of the Spiral Dance, the only reference you need is the ability to manoeuvre through the valleys of uncertainty that loom towards one in the unseen mists of repetitive uncertainty. The leap of faith is definitely needed then.

Traversing the many hills of weakness and temptation, eventually a plateau is reached from which the view is overwhelmingly in favour of Beauty of Being and the joyful acceptance of one’s inner state reflecting, like a mirror, that eternal landscape from which we draw our sustenance, life everlasting.

It is obvious, as never before, how far one has gone from that ‘State of Grace’.

In time and space we dance and twine as energies direct and mould an earthly gaze.

The past is history, the future a mystery; NOW is a gift we call the present.

                                                                                                                                                                      Sheila Chadwick