Nine Deadly Sins: The Eye for an ‘I’~ a book by Steve Tanham

Their meetings are necessarily brief… seldom no more than a coffee, a momentary pause between the demands of life and work… but for John and Alexandra time matters less than the connection they share…

“It’s about where you put the “I”, isn’t it?” I asked John, as he sat down, late with latté, and smiled, apologetically, at me.

“Where is the “I’ now?” he asked, smiling over the hot coffee he was trying to sip, to catch up with mine.

“That’s what I’m wrestling with,” I responded, trying not to lose the thread that I had carefully assembled in the past week, parts of which were trying to sneak away in the face of the lovable but infuriating man who might just help me unravel it…

Why Nine Deadly Sins, when the world speaks of only seven?

When John and Alexandra meet for coffee, a challenge is issued that will take Alexandra on a strange journey into the depths of the human psyche.

These coffee-break encounters bring to life the mysteries of the spiritual enneagram as explored by the Silent Eye, a modern Mystery school.

Available now on Amazon


About the author

Steve is an ex-software entrepreneur who left the corporate IT world behind in 2011 to concentrate on his first love – the teaching of the mystical life. He is one of the founding directors of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, which uses an evolutionary version of the enneagram to identify the lenses of perception that obscure the world of the real and the spiritual.

Born into a Rosicrucian family in Bolton, Lancashire, in 1954, Steve grew up surrounded by mystical discussion and fascinating but often peculiar grown-ups. In adult life, and alongside a career in IT, he was an active Rosicrucian Officer for AMORC in the North of England. There followed seven years of service with the Servants of the Light – Dolores Ashcroft Nowicki’s Qabalistic school of modern magic, culminating in the entry to SOL’s highest grade – the House of the Amethyst.

Steve’s fellow director of the Silent Eye is Stuart France. In 2013, he published his first book, “The Song of the Troubadour” based on the teachings and ritual dramas of the Silent Eye’s 2013 launch and Workshop in Derbyshire. In July 2014 he published his second work, “The Land of the Exiles” – a combination of esoteric psychology and drama that formed the backbone of the 2014 Silent Eye workshop in the Derbyshire Hills. Both books are available on Amazon and Kindle. In November 2015, he published Ben’s Bits – The Ballad of Bakewell Gaol, a bitter-sweet graphical novel of a man imprisoned in a Victorian gaol for the relocation of a sacred monument. The book is written in the style of Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol, said to be his greatest work.

Steve believes in light-heartedness and humour as much as spirituality – seeing the two as intrinsically linked. He publishes a regular blog where irony, humour and occasional insights may be found.


Find and follow Steve

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Also by Steve Tanham, available via Amazon

 

‘Sympathy for the Devil’?…

The Lovers - Wikipedia

*

I saw a garden blossom in a valley. A man and woman stood there.

Their love for each other was a service to the cosmos,

and through it they received the highest revelations and the deepest truths.

They lived in a magical world which also served them.

Through love they experienced the mystery of the world’s equilibrium,

and they themselves symbolised that very balance…

*

I saw the woman look out of the garden into the valley beyond,

rapt by its beauty.

A snake slid up the trunk of a fruit laden tree and whispered in her ear.

She listened suspiciously, and then smiled with joy, and spoke to the man

who, it seemed, held only admiration for her.

*

And I heard a voice saying, “The vision you see is one of temptation…”

*

The Devil (Tarot card) - Wikipedia

*

… Black night enveloped the earth.

Far away in the distance an ominous red-flame burned.

High above, in the sky, appeared a repulsive red-face,

with large hairy ears, a pointed beard, and goat-horns.

On either side of the hideous visage spread large, leathery, bat-wings.

The monster’s right arm was held aloft, palm-spread,

and bore the sign of Black Magic.

A burning torch adorned its other hand

which was held down, pointing to the earth.

This form crouched on a pedestal, its eagle

claws, extending from shaggy goat legs, gripped each corner.

*

A man and woman, with horns and tails tipped with flame,

were chained to the pedestal.

They were dissatisfied in spirit and filled with protest and repulsion.

All they heard was the voice of the Devil,

“I am evil,” he said, “I am the Prince of Lies because I am

the most monstrous product of human lies.

In order to see me one must be able to see unfairly, incorrectly and narrowly.

I close the triangle of Time and Death.

In order to quit this triangle it is necessary to see that I do not exist.”

*

And I heard a voice saying, “The vision you see is one of weakness.

The man and woman are the same you saw in the garden

but their love, ceasing to become a sacrifice, became an illusion.

They forgot that love is a link in the chain leading to Eternity.

Love became dissension, and fettered them to matter on which sits deceit.

They forgot the key which leads to the magic world.

The torch which lights the higher path.”

“Life is so good,” I said, “and the world so beautiful.

The man and woman wanted to believe in the reality of the world

and of themselves.

They wanted to take from the world what it can give.

They made a distinction between themselves and the world.

The world separated from them and became hostile.”

“So true,” said the voice, “the everlasting mistake is to see a fall in love.

Love is not a fall, it is the soaring above an abyss.

The higher the flight, the more beautiful and alluring the earth.

The fall of man repeats itself perpetually because

man continues to believe in his separateness.

Only by means of a great struggle can he liberate himself

from the control of time and return to Eternity.”

*

The Lovers - Wikipedia

*

Adapted from, The Symbolism of the Tarot – P.D. Ouspensky,1913

‘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

 

Petals of the Rose

Petals of the Rose

Guided Journeys

Sue Vincent

A collection of guided meditations, designed to open aspects of the personality in as gentle and natural way as the petals of the rose open at the touch of the sun. Each inner journey will carry you to a haven within your own psyche from which to explore layers of your own being, learning their meaning and purpose.

From mystical and silent castles, to the song of the unicorn… each journey takes you deeper into your inner being and carries you out beyond the stars.

Stories stir the imagination, casting images upon the screen of mind that allow us to explore, in safety, aspects of our lives and being that we might otherwise avoid or overlook. There is a rich vein of experience in memory that can be mined for its treasures. One of the simplest and best ways of exploring the labyrinths of the mind is to do so through a guided journey.

Meditation and visualisation are not arcane practices in which a few indulge… we all use these tools every day, to navigate our way around the world and our lives. We ask ourselves ‘what if?’, creating imaginary scenarios before we act. We visualise the route we walk to work, or what the basket full of ingredients will look like, once assembled and cooked, on a dinner plate.

There is no mystery in meditation… but when you give time and attention to the practice, it can open the door to many mysteries… including those of our own being…

Available via Amazon.com, Amazon UK and worldwide in Paperback and for Kindle

WHAT’S UP DOC? Lines of communication V…

*

…Cara… ‘I reign over you, saith the God of Justice.

ELEXARPEH

COMANANU

TABITOM.

Move therefore and show yourselves.

Appear unto us; open the mysteries of your Creation, the balance of

Righteousness and Truth.’

*

Bugs: The three names are the Angels who rule over the Tablet of Union in the Enochian System devised by Doctor John Dee and Edward Kelley…

Cara: So, some questions… What are Angels? Anybody… (discuss)

Bugs: Who numbers them? (we do…)

Cara: Who gives them names? (we do…)

Bugs: What is the Angelic function?

Cara: So… Horizonal polarity, the mundane oppositions of the world which as we have seen are interchangeable and are ever flipping, versus… Vertical polarity… World/Otherworld… Heaven/Earth… Human/Divine, we’d like to propose two definitions.

Bugs: Horizontal Polarity encompasses, ‘Everything we know or think we know.’ … which is mutable.

Cara: Vertical Polarity encompasses, ‘Everything we don’t know or don’t think we know.’ … which is immutable.

Bugs: The Angelic function is to mediate between the poles of a vertical polarity.

Cara: From whom to whom? (discuss)

Bugs: From here to where? (discuss)

Cara: Angelos means, ‘messenger’.  In Christian Mysticism where the divine is regarded as the beloved, the angel is the lovers ‘chaperone’

Bugs: In Sufi Mysticism where the divine is spoken of in terms of an intoxicating beverage

The ‘Wine-house dispenser’, or ‘bar-tender’, is the angel.

Cara: Also, in Islamic mysticism we have Al Khidr –  who is Another Green or Verdant Man…

And, somewhat inevitably, an angel.

Bugs: The function of al-Khiḍr as a ‘person-archetype’ is to reveal each companion to

themselves, to lead each companion to their own theophany, because that theophany

corresponds to their own ‘inner heaven,’ to the form of their own being, to their eternal

individuality.

Cara: This latter, then, conforms to the idea of ‘contact’.

Bugs: And in Magical Tradition to, ‘Conversation with the Holy Guardian Angel’….

Cara: Where language fails in its attempt to adequately describe this state…

Art… Dance…Music… may succeed…

Intro music…

Bugs: So, we would like to conclude this presentation with a piece of music.

This piece of music, in our opinion, possesses the ability to make the ‘beyond’ tangible.

Before we do that for you we would like to rearrange things slightly as a symbolism and an act of sacrifice

Cara: As you move your intent should be ‘I move, in order, to achieve my vertical polarity.’

(seat swap) S1-N9, N8-S2, S3-N7, N6-S4, (S5-N5, already accomplished) S6-N4, N3-S7, S8-N2, N1-S9)

Bugs: (closes curtains and dims any lights.) Explain meditation… Seed thoughts. ‘Never perfect always changing. Ever changing always perfect.’

Music…O Holy One… by John Tavener…

Cara: reads… (over start of music)

Most subtle of the shifting forms and yet most constant too.

Whose moonlit transformation cannot change the heart that’s true.

It harkens to each season’s turn and reads the twilight air

And listens to the inner song and knows both foul and fair.

Between two worlds It journeys and in both It can be seen

In adoration of the moon yet always clothed in green…

END

Rabbit Excerpt abridged from ‘Watership Down’ – by Richard Adams

Thanks to those Companions who acted as Adjudicators, and all those whose contributions to this presentation helped make it work…

WHAT’S UP DOC? Lines of communication IV…

*

…’All colour had faded from the sky and although the big board by the gate creaked slightly in the night wind, there was no passer-by to read the sharp, hard letters that cut straight as black knives across its white surface.
They said…’

Bugs… (pause) CARROTS! (pause) Reads…

THIS IDEALLY SITUATED ESTATE
COMPRISING SIX ACRES
OF EXCELLENT BUILDING LAND
IS TO BE DEVELOPED
WITH HIGH CLASS MODERN RESIDENCES
BY SUTCH AND MARTIN, LIMITED
OF NEWBURY, BERKS

Cara… In the context of the story then, this notice spells doom for the rabbits and the warren…

Bugs… So, what’s going on? Why have we presented you with these cards?

Cara… A spanking, brand new pair of Bunny ears for anyone who can tell us?

(Interplay)

BugsIf no takers… Well, you are all now Rabbits anyway…Why?

Because you are in the same position in relation to the first inscription on the card as the rabbits in the story are to the second… (both Cara and Bugs elaborate on that position) So, to emphasise that position…

*

Cara… In the darkness and warmth of the burrow Hazel suddenly woke, struggling and kicking with his back legs…

Bugs… It was Fiver, who was clambering over him, clawing and grabbing like a rabbit trying to climb a wire fence in panic.

*
Cara… ‘Fiver! Fiver, wake up… It’s Hazel. You’ll hurt me in a moment. Wake up!
He held him down. Fiver struggled and woke.

*
Bugs… “Oh, Hazel! I was dreaming. It was dreadful.
You were there.
We were sitting on water, going down a great, deep stream, and then I realised we were on a board, like that board in the field.
There were other rabbits there but when I looked down the board was made of bones and wires…
I was looking for you everywhere and trying to drag you out of a hole in the bank.
You said, “The Chief Rabbit must go alone, and you floated away down a dark tunnel of water.”

*
Cara… Well, you’ve hurt my ribs, anyway.
Tunnel of water… What rubbish!
Can we go back to sleep now?

*

Bugs… “Hazel – the danger, the bad thing. It hasn’t gone away.

It’s here – all round us.

Don’t tell me to forget about it and go to sleep.

We’ve got to get away before it’s too late.”

*
Cararepeats… ‘The bad thing.

It hasn’t gone away.

It’s here… all around us…’

So, we ask again…

Is our script.

Our unknown script good or bad?

Repeats invocation…

*
Bugs… Is it worthy or unworthy of ridicule?

If any Companions claimed to know at outset let them reveal, alternatively, Reveal…

This is a fragment of angelic language used by Dr John Dee.

It is part of an invocation…

*

Cara… ‘I reign over you, saith the God of Justice.
ELEXARPEH
COMANANU
TABITOM.
Move therefore and show yourselves.
Appear unto us; open the mysteries of your Creation, the balance of
Righteousness and Truth.’

to be continued…

WHAT’S UP DOC? Lines of communication II…

*

…Cara: If we can’t trust the written word what can we trust?

Bugs settles at the West and Cara at the East.

Bugs: Vertical Polarity!

Cara: recites…

OL SONUF VAORSAGI GOHO IADA BALTA.

ELEXARPEH COMANANU TABITOM. ZODAKARA,

EKA ZODAKARE OD ZODAMERANU. ODO KIKLE

QAA PIAP PIAMOEL OD VAOAN.

Bugs: (Addressing the Companions) Don’t say what this is but if anyone does know what it is please raise your hands. (If any hands are raised to each of those who raised their hands) – Just say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Do you know what it means? (if so) – Please don’t take part in the next bit. So, everyone else.  Those of you who feel that this piece holds power, raise your hands.  (If any hands are raised) Would anyone like to expand on that? Would anyone like to categorise how that made them feel.  In a general way was that feeling Good or Bad? We’ll come back to this…

Cara: But first…

Cara walks to the central altar and removes the cover from the Top Hat and Ears, lifting out the rabbit ears in time honoured fashion they are revealed to be part of two rabbit masks…

Bugs: For those with ears to hear…

Bugs walks to the central altar. Cara hands one of the rabbit masks to Bugs (Black) and keeping the other for herself (White) they both don them.

Cara (now wearing a white rabbit mask) … A story about rabbits…

Bugs: (now wearing a black rabbit mask) … ‘What’s up Doc!’

Bugs explains that the cards have two inscriptions, one on either side but that the companions must not turn the cards over to read the second inscription until directed to do so by the utterance of the ‘Trigger’ word- ‘Carrots’ as Cara hands out the cards. After handing out the cards Cara returns to the central altar. Bugs and Cara circle the altar and then Bugs retreats to the east, while Cara retreats to the west.

TO EACH READ, IN TURN, WHILE CIRCLING…

*

Bugs… The primroses were over…

The May sunset was red in clouds, and there was still half an hour to twilight.

The dry slope was dotted with rabbits…

Here and there one sat upright on an ant-heap and looked about:

ears erect

nose to the wind.

The blackbird, singing undisturbed on the outskirts of the wood, gave lie to their caution.

There was nothing to alarm the peace of the warren.

*

Cara… At the top of the bank where the blackbird sang was a group of holes hidden by brambles.

In the green half-light, at the mouth of one of these holes, sat two rabbits side by side.

The larger of the two came out of the hole, slipped along the bank, hopped down into the ditch and then ambled up into the field…

A few moments later the smaller rabbit followed.

The first rabbit stopped in a sunny patch and scratched an ear with rapid movements of a hind-leg.

He looked as though he knew how to take care of himself.

There was a shrewd, buoyant air about him as he sat up, looked round and rubbed both front paws over his nose.

Once satisfied that all was well he laid back his ears and set to work on the grass.

His companion seemed less at ease.

He was small, with wide eyes and a way of raising and turning his head which suggested a sort of ceaseless nervous tension.

His nose moved continually and when a bumble-bee flew, humming, to a thistle bloom behind him he jumped and spun round with a start…

*

to be continued…

WHAT’S UP DOC? Lines of communication…

Presentation from, The Jewel in the Claw workshop, April 2018…

 

*

For those with eyes to see…

*

Floor Set up

Altar, placed centrally on chequered floor and covered… With, placed on it, top-hat, upended, with, placed in it, rabbit mask and ears x2, and ‘pack-of-cards’, all also covered. South and North lined with nine chairs for Companions.  Adjudicator 1 (male) to sit on central chair of South. Adjudicator 2 (female) to sit on central chair of North. Two chairs in East. One chair in West.

Bugs and Cara initially sit on chairs in East. When all Companions have entered and are seated Cara and Bugs rise to stand, simultaneously, and Cara walks clockwise to stand in front of the west chair.

*

Bugs: Friends, Britons, Countrymen…Welcome to our presentation. In keeping with our Shakespearean theme this year, we have determined to develop some of the concepts of the weekend…

Cara: Horizontal Polarity!

(Bugs and Cara walk anti-clockwise. Bugs to stand before West chair. Cara to stand before East chairs. On the way, Bugs hands Adjudicator 2 Gold Parchment with a sonnet printed on it. On reaching the West Bugs declares…)

Bugs: Love!

Cara:  recites the Shakespearean sonnet as a ‘lover’…

Being your slave, what should I do but tend

Upon the hours and times of your desire?

I have no precious time at all to spend,

Nor services to do, till you require.

Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour

Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you,

Nor think the bitterness of absence sour

When you have bid your servant once adieu;

Nor dare I question with my jealous thought

Where you may be, or your affairs suppose,

But, like a sad slave, stay and think of nought

Save, where you are how happy you make those.

   So true a fool is love that in your will,

   Though you do anything, he thinks no ill.

(Adjudicator 2 ‘follows’ the recital from the Gold Parchment. On finishing the reading Cara and Bugs switch positions again but this time they move clockwise. On the way Cara hands Adjudicator 1 Silver Parchment with the sonnet printed on it. On reaching the East, Bugs declares…)

Bugs: Loathing!

Cara: recites the same Shakespearean sonnet but this time as a ‘loather’…

(Adjudicator 1 ‘follows’ the recital from the Silver Parchment. On finishing the reading Cara moves clockwise to the South to collect Adjudicator 1 and leads him to the central altar. Bugs moves clockwise to the North to collect Adjudicator 2 and leads her to the central altar. Both Adjudicators follow the central line of the ‘board’ and square corners around the altar, to stand facing each other centrally as directed by Bugs and Cara. Once at the altar they are asked to verify that both the scripts are the same. When they have done so they swap parchments and then are led to opposite seats and re-seated.)

Bugs returns to East.

Cara returns to West.

(During the following exchange they circle the altar, alternating between East and West as they speak.)

Bugs: Ladies and Gentlemen, please, a hand for our adjudicators…

Cara: And so, we see, that, Horizontal Polarities are interchangeable, and represent two sides of the same coin…

And we can also see, that, opposite ‘emotions’ can be evoked by the self-same words?

Bugs: The written word, it seems, needs context…

Cara: But if we cannot trust the written word what can we trust?

to be continued…

Bah’t ‘at

north 111

Well, two of us were up there on Ilkley Moor bah’t ‘at… the third stubbornly clung to the trademark headgear that makes him look like something feral. To be fair, it was a little chilly up there.

idiots abroad

We had arrived early and, after fortifying ourselves with a toasted teacake and a coffee apiece, headed off to the parish church to look at the ancient Saxon crosses and Roman altars, now safely ensconced in the base of the bell tower to protect them from the depredations of the elements. We had an hour before Steve was due to arrive, and that was enough to see what we needed to see and wander out into the morning sunshine. It was going to be a long day.

north 054
We… the inner team of the Silent Eye… were meeting to tramp the moors in search of a landscape for use in a private School event. From the Cow and Calf to the Swastika Stone, by way of White Wells, Heber’s Ghyll and the ancient petroglyphs I took them to the places of my childhood, places where I have dreamed, wept, laughed and played.

north 164
It was a beautiful day. Regardless of the fact I will be returning there soon, there were the inevitable tears on leaving. I cannot help it, the place has a home in my heart deeper than any other or perhaps it is that my heart has its home there. As we turned the car off the moorside road a red kite flew over… I have not seen them there before… the sight of that distinctive silhouette in the air, wings outstretched, felt like a blessing. A perfect way to end the day.

north 176
Tall the cliffs of stone
That mark the entry to my heart’s domain,
Wild and empty in its vastness
The solitude of living earth.
The wind lifts the heart
And bears it through the storm
To where the lichen crusted rocks
Cling to the clouds.
Part of my heart remains there
Scattered with the ashes of a lost love
Mingled with the joy and pain of memory,
Of childhood wonder and a lover’s kiss.
Deep the roots which bind me to that land,
Like the weathered pines that cling for life
To the purple hillside…
Genuflecting, but standing, still,
Naked in the mist.
Or the great stones,
Ice carved in aeons past
Into a landscape of dreams,
Marked by ancient hands
With figures of Light,
That I may stand beside them,
Millennia apart,
And recognise my kin.

north 063