One name…

The Lovers - Wikipedia

*

‘Leaf and flame hath but one name’

*

Yva followed on Abadam’s heels, “O Abadam,”

she cried, “you have walked in the garden in the

east, where every precious stone was your covering.

             *

You were a sealer of the sum, whose works and trappings were

prepared, and set all about you, on the day you were created.

*

You were a guardian of the Holy-Mountain,

anointed in the shadow of the Sacred-Tree.

*

You were perfect in wisdom and filled with beauty,

and you walked with the Spirit amidst the stones-of-fire.

*

Yet, for me, you have relinquished all of this.

I will come with you, wherever you may go.”…

*

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

*

Star-of-the-Sea…

The Star (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

‘A point has the power to let a line emerge from it in any direction…’

Practical Geometry

*

… The conscious acceptance of life as finite reminds us of how precious our time here should be.

At a time when the Church ruled the lives of men and women in a way we no longer really understand, it would also have been a constant reminder of the need to live a life that would pass muster at the Gate of Heaven, as well as the equality of all men in the sight of God.

Merit, not wealth, would be all that mattered…

Most pertinent to us, though, was the window whose three panels show Saints Michael and George, each with their dragons. St Michael, it must be remembered, is also an archangel…

Between them, this time, we do have St Anne teaching the Virgin to read.

The story appears in The Golden Legend, a collection of tales of the lives of saints, compiled around 1260 and very popular in mediaeval times.’

Don paused for a moment and looked to what would have been the heavens had it not been covered with boat cabin.

“Go on, what did we miss?”

“In order to make Gold one has to have Gold, said the Alchemists.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Which means, in order to project Gold, one has to be Gold.”

“I still don’t get it.”

“Considering the almighty hullabaloo that the, at first sight coincidental, alignment of St Michael and St George previously created, you’d have thought that this particular arrangement would have at least raised an eyebrow – The Virgin taught to read between Dragon Slayers.”

“There was an awful lot in that little chapel.”

“I’ll say it again – the Virgin taught to read between Dragon Slayers.”

“Well, if nothing else, it’s at the very least emblematic of another world opening up.”

“The windows could be regarded as operating like the Mediaeval Tarot,” says Don, pensively.

“They would have been roughly contemporaneous, but how so?”

“Revelation by Juxtaposition.”

“Oh, I like that, but I can probably deal you one better?”

“Twist!”

“Revelation by Extension.”

“Explain?”

“There are women involved in the stories of Saints George and Michael.”

“I’ll give you Beatrice, certainly, whom we might expect to be thrice times beautiful and then there’s, erm… and then there’s…”

“Stella Maris!”

“The Star of the Sea… Jeez, yes of course, I’d forgotten about her… In traditional Christian terms they are advancing Jesus as the New Adam, and his Virgin Mother as the New Eve.”

“And in heretical Christian terms?”

“You mean in Templar terms, I’m not altogether sure.”

“Return all that exposition to pictorial form and symbolically what have we got?”

“The Virgin stands for vertical polarity!”

“Enjoyed, ‘stands’, but that won’t be all we missed.”

Extract from Beck ‘n’ Call

***

Lands of Exile Volume Two

BECK ‘N’ CALL

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)

 

 

Like time…

 

The Chariot (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

“I see a chariot coming over the plain.”

***

“…The next day Connor Cruel-Crest and Long-Horn O’Leary

met at the stables of King Grim-Gaze the slug-man.

 

“Let our horses be brought and our chariot’s yoked,” said O’Leary.

 

“There will be little profit for you in that,” said Connor,

“by the men of Albion, the clumsiness of your horses is renowned,

as is the unsteadiness of your going and turnabout.”

 

“And your chariot’s movement is so heavy that it’s two wheels

raise turf on both sides,” said O’Leary, “so that for a year after your passing

the track is still recognisable to the men of Albion.”

 

“Put not on me the precedence of kings until I have fared

before the champions of Albion in woods and confines,”

cried Connor as he stepped into his chariot.

 

“Put not on me the precedence of kings until I have nimbly

crossed fords and outstripped the champions of Albion,”

cried O’Leary stepping into his chariot…

***

…He watched two figures striding across the hilltop.

A man and woman laughing in the dusk.

They were talking.

He could hear their voices, but the words were strange.

The woman stopped and picked up a feather, holding it out to the man.

They stopped and looked at it.

He knew.

It was an owl.

The birds too saw things other eyes did not see.

The man was tall and slender, carrying a leather pouch across his shoulder.

All in black, tight like a knight’s gambeson.

She was small, brightly coloured, her hair like flame catching the last of the light.

He liked their laughter.

It warmed the coldness around him.

He watched as they walked on.

She looked over and met his eyes.

She smiled at him.

He could see the castle lights through her.

But she saw him and she smiled.

He watches the surface of the pond.

as the ripples merge one into the other…

Like time.

***

…So the heroes of Albion set out for the Cave of Cruachan…

Through the Gap-of-the-Watch,

over the Plain-of-Two-Forks,

across the Ford-of-the-Morrigan

into the Rowan-Meadow-of-the-Two-Oxen

by the Meeting-of-the-Four-Ways they drove

before a dim, dark, heavy mist overtook them…”

Extracts from Heart of Albion

***

Heart of Albion – Stuart France & Sue Vincent

Lazarus…

 

Death (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

‘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

BECK ‘N’ CALL

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)

 

Wilderness…

 

The Devil (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

‘You were a sealer of the sum…’

The Living One

*

…Then was he led up into the deserts

and hungered in the wilderness

with wild beasts for forty days.

*

Said the voice, “If you are a Child of God

command these stones become bread.”

He said, “It is written that man shall not live by bread alone

but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

*

…Then was he led up into the city

and set upon a pinnacle of the temple.

*

Said the voice, “If you are a Child of God

cast yourself down, for it is written…

‘He shall give his angels charge concerning you

and on their hands they shall bear you up

lest you should happen to dash your foot against a stone.’”

He said, “It is written that man shall not tempt the Lord his God.”

*

Then was he led up into the mountains

and shown the kingdoms of the world

in all their glory.

*

Said the voice, “All these things shall be yours

if you will only fall down and worship me.”

He said, “Get behind me.

It is written that man shall worship God

and shall serve him alone.”

*

Said the voice, “You are my beloved child

and in you I am well pleased.”

 

…And the Spirit, as a dove, descended upon

him and the angels ministered to him.

Babble on Babylonia…

 

The Tower (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

‘…Let us make bricks and bake them…’

*

… And the whole earth

was of one language

and one mind.

*

The Sons of Shem journeyed from the east.

They found a plain in the land of Shinar and dwelt there.

They had mud for stone and slime for mortar.

“Let us make bricks and bake them,” they said,

“Let us build a city and a tower to reach heaven.

Let our name be spoken

far and wide

across the whole earth.”

*

The Spirit came down to see

the city and the tower

that the Sons of Shem were building,

“Look, the Children of Men are of one mind

and will accomplish all they have imagined.

They will breach the Gate-of-the-Gods!

Their language must be confounded

so that they cannot understand each others speech.”

*

And the Spirit scattered them

far and wide across the earth

so that they left off building their tower.

*

From then on that plain was known as Babel,

the place that saw the confusion

of all the tongues of earth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Jewel in the Crown…

The Hermit (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

‘…And it makes me wonder…’

Stairway to Heaven

*

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

*2 ‘Stone of the Wise’

Wisdom’s Way…

Tarot Notebook Journal - Strength: Medium College Ruled for Your Daily  Readings Illustrated with the Beautiful Rider-Waite tarot deck (Major  Arcana Journal): Queen, Layla: 9781099435560: Amazon.com: Books

*

‘…Before his works of old

I was fashioned from everlasting,

At the origin, as ever the earth was…’

Proverbs viii 22-23

*

So if the story of Samson as given in the Old Dispensation

is no longer reliable as a reputable store of lore

where can we look for the key to this symbolism?

*

Fortunately the underground stream preserved

the keys for us and re-presented them to the waking world

in the medieval picture book now referred to as the Tarot.

*

It is not the lion that is strong

for the lion represents merely the animal life-force

of which we humans too partake

when we blindly follow ‘the will to power’.

The feminine figure who subdues this force

and subjects it to the divine life-force

thus sublimating it into its higher form

is known in the Gnostic wisdom tradition as Sophia.

*

The sublimated animal life-force is known as Spirit.

 

 

Unpacking the Lion’s Share…

Tarot Notebook Journal - Strength: Medium College Ruled for Your Daily  Readings Illustrated with the Beautiful Rider-Waite tarot deck (Major  Arcana Journal): Queen, Layla: 9781099435560: Amazon.com: Books

*

‘It is the strongest of all powers,

the force of all forces.

It overcomes every subtle thing,

and penetrates every solid substance.’

Emerald Tablet

*

The glosses in the biblical text make it clear

that this tale has been ‘recommissioned’ for use in the canon.

*

It is also clear from the related marriage customs which set-up the riddle

that the Philistines were a matriarchal community.

A bride-price is demanded rather than a dowry offered.

*

Most weird of all, perhaps, is the riddling episode itself.

It is the only example of an overt riddling sequence in the Old Dispensation.

And it is ‘all wrong’…

The riddle question reads like an answer.

And the answer, which is only half an answer, anyway, reads like a question!

*

Ox’s not lions are traditionally renowned for strength.

Lions are more usually associated with ferocity.

Perhaps by attempting to answer the riddles

as they stand some light may be shed.

*

What is stronger than a lion?

The midday sun.

What is sweeter than honey?

The look of love.

*

As this is ostensibly a marriage tale which goes wrong

we might begin to see why what has been done to the tale has been done.

*

Samson has long been regarded as a type of ‘sun-god’…

Perhaps his wife, who is not even graced with a name,

was originally a ‘moon-goddess’.

‘Out of the eater, something to eat’

could certainly describe the waning-waxing moon.

Both visually and practically by dent of the growth cycles of plants

being linked to the waxing phase of the moon.

*

If the thirty wedding guests are the ‘days of a month’,

it means that the story originated in a culture

with a calendar similar to that of the Egyptians.

A three-hundred and sixty-day year with five intercalary days or ‘divinities;.

*

The bride-price as sacred and profane dress is also interesting,

and, again, is ultimately only half-met.

*

The great sun-hero storming off in anger at the close

is perhaps less a show of strength and more one of petulance.

Which may, or may not, be deemed fitting.