Last Call for Castlerigg…

sculpture, abbots bromley

*

Tarot Card – The Fool: Penetrated Egoic Nature

results in a ‘reckless fool’.

*

‘There and back again…’

*

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

*

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

J.R.R Tolkien

***

‘The Hero’s Journey’


Photograph – courtesy, the estate of Sue Vincent

*

‘…For three days Gwythyr-the-Bright journeyed

in the gullet of the Black Salmon of the Lake of Light.’

– Crucible of the Sun

*

In his book, ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’,  Joseph Campbell used knowledge of philosophy and psychology to describe how many human myths share a common fundamental structure, which he called the Monomyth.

What does the Mono-Myth describe?

What relevance does it have to seekers of light in the 21st Century?

How are the Ancient Sacred Sites of all lands linked to these questions?

And what techniques can we bring to bear when departing the ordinary world and embarking on adventures in the sacred realms of the Supernatural Order?

Join the Silent Eye on this magical landscape workshop in the Cumbrian Hills of the Lake District, UK which takes place over the weekend of  May 6th-8th, 2022.

Click below to
Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

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

 

Aligning with Gods

When we encounter the word ‘Gods’, we think of entities related to ancient views of the world; of ages before science threw the ‘definitive light’ of repeatable and numeric method onto our subjective experience of the world. In other words, we think of an outdated symbol system; one that describes natural events, and which seemingly lost its relevance to modern man a long time ago. Mankind came to define itself by reflections of the ‘without’ – such as wealth, and stability, rather than what was ‘within’.

Until the advent of modern psychology, we lived in a world that was fixated on the fruit of the senses, with no thought to how we as ‘selves’ experienced and related to it.

After the pioneering psychologists, Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, we began to have a picture of the inner landscape that had some significance, instead of the random and meaningless flow of sensory impressions – plus the mysterious things called dreams. The psychologists recognised that this sense of ‘me’ had some validity; moreover, it had a structure, one shared by us all. Our inner architecture had rooms… Together, these rooms made up a mental and emotional construct we called ‘self’. When we act, we act from within this self. It has likes and dislikes, fears and triumphs,

(Above: The Silent Eye’s mystical enneagram; a map of the ego’s potential to take us home)

In Freud’s model, which is often used as a foundation by those studying the interior paths to a ‘deeper self’, the regular ‘daytime’ self is divided into the (1) the lower passions – unruly and energy filled; (2) the image of perfection, such as a child might inherit from a stern church; and (3) the daily self (ego), whose impossible job was to mediate between the two, managing excitement and guilt while maturing a strong sense of being the ‘captain of the ship’.

Superimposed upon this were the elements of character, variously indicated and interpreted by systems such as astrology and, latterly, the findings of developmental psychology expressed in the mysterious figure of the enneagram; and historically related to the esoteric Christian work of the Desert Fathers, who mapped mankind’s highest ‘Christ’ potential to the lowly state of the average personality, and showed the latter’s weaknesses, yet linkage with the original nine deadly sins. These included acidia: the turning away from spiritual purpose, perhaps the most deadly in the face of much-need alignment.

All of these encouraged us to examine our inner lives, where we find not only psychology’s broader ‘containers’ but also encounters with certain archetypal figures – first pointed out by Jung – that appeared to correspond closely with the cast of ancient mythology – the Gods, heroes and heroines.

Those interested in the esoteric ‘mystery traditions’ were the first to point out that this was no coincidence; that the visualisation of such Gods were, in fact, examples of early teachings designed to take us on active imaginative journeys of ‘inner workings’ – landscapes loosened from the grip of the material in such a way that our consciousness is free to explore other realms of our interior, and literally ‘meet up’ with that which was trying to reach us from ‘within’.

(Above: the hour-glass, two worlds and a narrow channel. Image Pixabay)

We can envisage two worlds, set in an upper/lower relationship like an hour-glass, in which the sand grains glide through, vertically. To change the relationship of the worlds, we turn the glass over… a similar state to that of the Hanged Man in Tarot, who, though apparently sacrificed, is smiling…

(Above: The Hanged Man Tarot card)

These symbolic systems are reference maps to states of consciousness. For example, the Tarot card of the Hanged Man corresponds to one of the paths connecting the spheres on the Tree of Life (see below). On one level, it’s just a cleverly painted and striking image. On another it’s a place we live in when we are on a particular journey.

(Above: The Kabbalistic Tree of Life – a truly cosmic symbol)

To be on that journey, we need to have a longing for reality…

This may seem a strange notion. Surely, we already live, firmly, in a reality? Well, yes and no. We do appear to live in a physical reality, but what of our interior one? Does that offer us the same stability of existence and purpose? And what about those ‘rooms’ that divide the ‘self’ into id, superego and ego? We may find we need to understand ourselves at the level of the everyday self, or psyche, before we can use that as a start-point for a journey into the beautiful interior world that appears to be much bigger and real than we had thought. This doesn’t mean we need to be psychologists; just that we need to borrow a few of their well-worked notions to help us on our way.

The mystical enneagram will give us the rigour to work with our psyche, showing us how our outer characteristics are closely related to deeper and more spiritual layers of ‘us’, and requiring us to strip away ideas and attitudes that are detrimental to that journey.

(Above: The Silent Eye’s mystical enneagram; a map of the ego’s potential to take us home)

Once we have a clean foundation, the Tree of Life is there to show us a journey to a different Self, one that lives with the Gods and has always done so.

The Sufis would simply say that our one task is to look for love and the bestower of that love – the Beloved. In this task, no map is necessary, since we can always determine if we are closer this day than we were the day before, by how we feel. The work of that path, as with the enneagram, is to remove the obstacles to love.

Each of these systems, and many more, are the ways to align ourselves with something higher within us, and to make that a way of life rather than an idea which will soon fade. The intellect of the modern age is a wonderful thing… but it won’t take us to the Gods.

Only the whole of you can do that.

©Stephen Tanham 2022

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

http://www.thesilenteye.co.uk and http://www.suningemini.blog

Spirit-Born…

Tarot Card – The Magician: A conduit of forces

From High to Low

*

‘Love under will shall be the whole of the law…’

***

The wind blows where it will…

You hear its sound but know not

Whence it came or whither it goes…

Likewise, those born of the Spirit.

John: 3.8

 

***

‘The Hero’s Journey’


Photograph – courtesy, the estate of Sue Vincent

*

‘…For three days Gwythyr-the-Bright journeyed

in the gullet of the Black Salmon of the Lake of Light.’

– Crucible of the Sun

*

In his book, ‘The Hero with a Thousand Faces’,  Joseph Campbell used knowledge of philosophy and psychology to describe how many human myths share a common fundamental structure, which he called the Monomyth.

What does the Mono-Myth describe?

What relevance does it have to seekers of light in the 21st Century?

How are the Ancient Sacred Sites of all lands linked to these questions?

And what techniques can we bring to bear when departing the ordinary world and embarking on adventures in the sacred realms of the Supernatural Order?

Join the Silent Eye on this magical landscape workshop in the Cumbrian Hills of the Lake District, UK which takes place over the weekend of  May 6th-8th, 2022.

Click below to
Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

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

One name…

Tarot Card – The Lovers: ‘open up and get out of the way.’

*

‘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…

Tarot Card – The Star: The feminine figure

represents the planetary being of the earth.

*

‘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…

Tarot Card – The Chariot: The balanced psyche

moves forward without hindrance in the world.

*

“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…

Tarot Card – Death: although the ground is strewn

with body parts a glorious sun rises on the horizon.

*

‘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…

Tarot Card – The Devil, In this instance,

represents the Egoic Nature.

*

‘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…

Tarot Card – The Blasted Tower: The Egoic Nature

is penetrated by Higher Forces.

 

*

‘…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.