The Giant and the Sun – Open minds

Crossing the land upon which the Abbey of Cerne Abbas had once stood, our party split into two groups. The more adventurous went to climb a hill. Having climbed it once before, on the hottest day in memory, and without hats or water, Stuart and I joined the more sedate party that skirts the bottom of the hill. We knew too that although the view across the Dorset hills was well worth the climb, the gentleman we had really come to see could only be viewed from a distance…or from the air.

We had come to see the Cerne Abbas Giant… for us an old friend, but for the rest of our party, this would be their first encounter with the great figure carved into the chalk. Our secondary quest, though, was for a crop circle. We had heard of one ‘in a field below the giant’ and there had already been one rather fortuitous crop circle in that area.

We wondered some time ago if we should run a workshop in and around Cerne Abbas. Not only is it an area rich in archaeology and curious remains, there had been the ‘Glastonbury effect’. As we walked from the Silver Well to the church that first day, Stuart had been moved to blurt out that it ‘didn’t feel as if we were in England’. Later discussion revealed that this was the same, peculiar feeling he had experienced at a particular spot in Glastonbury and again at a little church in Nevern in Wales.

Now, both of these spots are associated with large-scale sacred geometry in the landscape, on which much work has been done over the years, by eminent researchers and surveyors of both spiritual and scientific persuasions.  Archaeoastronomy and sacred geometry in the landscape are, it must be said, not accepted by all, but having done our own research, we are convinced there is a basis of truth, even though the more extravagant claims may push the boundaries of believability sometimes.

The thing with this kind of stuff is to keep an open mind. Science, as well as alternative archaeology, is continually widening our vista on the past.  Many things that our ancestors were once considered too primitive to accomplish have now become accepted as mainstream fact.

In both the locations where the ‘feeling’ had been apparent, it has been demonstrated that ancient sites mark out specific points on a figure called the vesica piscis, a geometric shape formed when two circles overlap in a particular way. What, we wondered, if there was a vesica at Cerne Abbas?

We Googled. If there was one, someone would have found it, surely? It certainly looked that way, as the very first thing to come up was the image of a crop circle containing a vesica and the figure of the Mother goddess. And that one was in the field just below the very masculine giant… and had gone down just days before.

Now, crop circles are another area wide open for debate. Personally, I don’t buy the ‘aliens’ theory, and some are quiet obviously commercial, jokes, or quite personal… but there are some curious anomalies with these complex and beautiful patterns. Is the land itself trying to  speak through the makers of some of these designs? I do not know enough about them to judge… so I’m keeping an open mind.

From ‘maybe’ to ‘we should run a workshop there’ was a very quick shift. Especially when we realised that, although no-one had reported finding a vesica, they had found a large-scale geometric figure, marked by sacred sites in the landscape… and so the two of us had dived down to Dorset on a research trip and the workshop had evolved from there.

The most obvious ‘pattern in the landscape’ around Cerne Abbas, though, is the Giant… and he too demands an open mind. He stands a hundred and eighty feet tall on his hillside, within a six-sided enclosure whose outlines are still faintly visible. In one hand he holds a club, the other arm is outstretched and archaeologists have found traces of what may be a skin draped over it… and the possibility of a severed head in his hand. Some have compared the figure to that of Hercules with the lion-skin draped over his arm. Others see Orion… and the stellar alignments with that constellation are striking.

He is a curious figure, with his own head being not only minimally sketched and sized, but invisible from most of the viewpoints close to hand. His virility, on the other hand, is not open to question. The giant is cut into the chalk of the hillside, gleaming white against the green. Above his shoulder, to the viewer’s right, is an Iron Age earthwork enclosure known as the Trendle, and there are burial barrows on the hill too dating from a similar period.

These figures need regular ‘scouring’ to keep them bright and this would have been a task that the villagers performed together as a community. Couples too would come together at the obvious spot when they wished to conceive a child.

The purpose of the giant, as well as its date of origin, is unknown. The most prosaic theory is that it was cut in the seventeenth century as a political joke aimed at the Puritan Parliamentarian, Oliver Cromwell. This is supported by a lack of documentary reference to the figure before that date. My favourite is the legend that the giant is the actual outline of a real giant who came from Denmark to invade the land at the head of an army, but who was beheaded by the villagers as he slept on the hill.

The most prevalent belief is that he is an ancient figure, like the prehistoric White Horse at Uffington. As the grass grows over the chalk, the figures disappear… which might be one reason why no mention of the giant has been found before the seventeenth century. But then again, the earliest mention of the White Horse only dates to the twelfth century…and that has indisputably been there since prehistory!

The most compelling indication of the giant’s antiquity though, must lie in the astronomical alignments with Orion. While we know that very many prehistoric monuments indicate the procession of the seasons, the movements of the stars and planets and were used to predict celestial events, I find it wholly unlikely that a political satrist would go to that much trouble for what must have been, by the very nature of politics, a transient joke.

Perhaps the giant represents something else altogether… an archetypal figure, protecting, defending and fertilising the land. Could he be a depiction of some father-warrior-god-king, deeply entrenched in the psyche of the early inhabitants of the land? Perhaps a figure from which the very earliest myths were born that would eventually be grafted onto the legend of Arthur…

Interior image of the book ‘The Cerne Giant’ by Peter Knight

For now, the figure keeps its secrets… and we ponder on who, or what, his mate… his feminine counterpart… might be. Are we looking at the Earth herself? Or might there be some symbolic figure in the landscape, just waiting to be discovered…

In the shadow of the giant, we withdrew to a quiet spot beneath the trees for the second part of our visualisation in preparation for the next place we would visit…

 

 


The Giant and the Sun: Patterns in the landscape was the Silent Eye summer workshop weekend. These informal events are held several times every year and are open to all. You do not have to be a member to join us as we wander the rich landscape of Britain, visiting ancient, sacred and intriguing places. We seek out myth and mystery, exploring what the land and its stories can teach us about our own daily lives and our place in the intricate tapestry of human Being.

After each event, we publish an account of the places we have visited and share a little of what we have discussed during the course of the weekend to give a taste of what we do.

If you would like to join us for a wander through the mysteries and history of Britain, please visit our Events page.

The Giant and the Sun – The Silver Stream

“There is an alchemy of fire and water going on within and without.”

Alethea Kehas

It is early. The streets of the Dorset village of Cerne Abbas are quiet as we make our way through the hush of morning to a place of perfect peace.  The churchyard attached to the old Abbey has been planted with a row of young yews, marrying Christian tradition and an older paradigm and carrying the past and the present into the future. Old stone bears carvings of angels and the abstract images of lichen and there is something very appropriate about walking through a place of the dead to a moment that marks a new beginning.

Our destination in a green temple… a grove through which a pure spring flows, sheltered by stone and with a colonnade of living trees arching overhead. These linden trees are known as the Twelve Apostle by locals. It is a place of miracles and magic, legend and folklore. Long held sacred and, to judge by the prayers, offerings and clooties that abound there, still held sacred to this day.

The Silver Well, also known as St Augustine’s Well, has its origins clothed in legend. One version states that St Augustine himself struck the ground with his staff to bring forth water for thirsty shepherds, crying, ‘Cerno El!’, which means ‘I see God!’ and for him the well was named, and a shrine built over it. Another says that a hermit paid silver to drink from the well. The hermit was the Celtic saint, Edwold, a member of the Mercian royal house, who lived with the birds and wild things, much like St Francis of Assisi. We would learn more of Edwold later that morning and eventually visit the chapel where he was finally laid to rest.

The little glade has a link to St Catherine too, and has a stone from her chapel which once stood on the hillside above. The stone, like another outside the church garden in the village, bears the symbol of a Catherine Wheel. Catherine, according to the Christian legend, was a pious virgin martyred for denouncing the pagan Emperor Maxentius. She is said to have converted many during her imprisonment, including the Emperor’s wife. Angels ministered to her and doves fed her during her torture, until the Emperor proposed marriage to her. She refused, having dedicated herself to Christ… so Maxentius ordered her to be tortured to death on a spiked wheel. The wheel shattered at her touch, so…as is frequently the case…she was beheaded.

The story is not quite so simple, though, with modern scholars believing her legend to be a twisted version of the violent death of Hypatia, the mathematician, astronomer and philosopher of ancient Alexandria. The main alteration to the story being that it was Hypatia who was pagan and the Christians who literally tore her to pieces.

There may be an even older interpretation of her symbol as it is portrayed on the stone too. The eight-pointed wheel may refer to the pre-Christian celebrations of the Wheel of the Year, and there are many older fragments of folklore associated with this well. It has been credited with oracular powers, enabling those who look into its waters on Easter day will see the faces of those who will die within the year. At the opposite end of the journey, drinking from the well from a cup of laurel leaves or placing your hand on the ‘wishing stone’… the one with the Catherine Wheel… will allow maidens to find husbands, and wives to fall pregnant. And once the baby is born, it should be protected by dipping it into the well as the first rays of the sun shine on the waters. If that is not enough, it is also a healing well, that cures problems with the sight and many other ills.  Vision, health and creation… all quite appropriate, in essence, for our purpose too.

Many birds sing in the trees, a robin and a wren dart through the leaves, rabbits graze the green lawn and skitter just a little further away as we enter the shelter of the venerable trees. Later, at the close of day, two of us would return to savour the silence and watch the creatures who live there, delighting as, with no fear at all, a tiny shrew sought its supper around our feet and swam in the spring. It is a place that seems to welcome all.

There is a small lawn with a stone bench and an altar, over which carved water flows. Separating the little lawn from the path is the crystal-clear stream. It emerges from the darkness beneath a stone and collects into a pool before continuing its journey unseen. The analogy of the underground stream and its emergence into clarity and light was perfect, as we were here to celebrate and ratify the Third Degree Initiation of one of the Companions of the Silent Eye.

‘To initiate’ means simply, ‘to cause (something) to begin’. The road to that inner state we call initiation begins long before we consciously set our feet upon that path… it is a lifetime’s journey. Within an organisation such as the Silent Eye, it is also a moment of completion, marking the end of one phase of life and study, and the beginning of another. For the initiate, who has watched and worked to emerge from the shadows of unknowing to this point of both completion and new beginning, it is a threshold, a point of transition… and for those who have walked with them a little way, it is a moment of joy and beauty.

Initiation cannot be conferred by human hands. Not all who reach the Portal will pass the Threshold. Not all who knock will see that door held open to the Light. Initiation cannot be bought, nor can it be earned through effort. It is not a goal. It is a recognition of the soul, and a symbol of the contract between the Candidate and the Inner Light. It comes not as a reward, nor as a gift, but as a Grace.

Barbara Walsh and Alethea Kehas had both arrived at this point of the journey at the same time, but while we celebrated Barbara’s passing of the threshold in April at our annual workshop, Alethea had not been with us. At the time, we were saddened, but she was able to fly over from America for the June workshop… and there could be no more fitting person to guide Alethea through the celebration than Barbara… and no more perfect setting than the Silver Well in which to celebrate Alethea’s new beginning.


The Giant and the Sun: Patterns in the landscape was the Silent Eye summer workshop weekend. These informal events are held several times every year and are open to all. You do not have to be a member to join us as we wander the rich landscape of Britain, visiting ancient, sacred and intriguing places. We seek out myth and mystery, exploring what the land and its stories can teach us about our own daily lives and our place in the intricate tapestry of human Being.

After each event, we publish an account of the places we have visited and share a little of what we have discussed during the course of the weekend to give a taste of what we do.

If you would like to join us for a wander through the mysteries and history of Britain, please visit our Events page.

Consider the lily…

Riddles of the Night.

1st-3rd December 2017, Bakewell, Derbyshire.

 

 

 

Sometimes it can be hard to see
The difference twixt wood and tree
Seek out the Lily and the Oak
Without a flame there is no smoke…

 

 

What links sacred sites, ancient and modern?

Are the clues all around us?

Do the keys to heaven lie hidden in the earth or are there keys to earth hidden in the heavens?

 

Riddles of the Night…

Hidden in plain sight.

1st-3rd December 2017, Bakewell, Derbyshire.

Discover for yourselves the hidden jewels of the night as the darkness of the winter solstice enfolds the land.

Will you find the jewel at the heart of the mystery?

Join us in Bakewell in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales to explore some of the ancient and sacred sites of our ancestors. The weekend will take the Companions on a true quest, seeking out the hidden magic in the landscape that echoes the magic of heart and soul.

The weekend is informal, no previous knowledge or experience is required. We ask only that you bring your own presence and thoughts to the moment.

Workshop costs £50 per person. Accomodation and meals are not included and bed and breakfast/hotel in Bakewell should be booked separately by all attendees. Lunch and dinner are usually shared meals.

Click below to

Download our Events Booking Form – pdf

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

Unexpected Shaman (7, End) – King of Jaguar – Child of Sun

They placed him on a bier and tended his bruises and the flow of blood from his elbow. Bandaged and victorious, he was carried into the Temple of the Jaguars from where, elevated high above the level of the Ball Court, he  was invited to watch the start of the new game, below.

He wondered if this was just for him; wondered if his presence in this harvest of spirituality was an extension of the grace as witness… or whether the difference in time and place didn’t matter, that condition and readiness were everything, and, once fulfilled, the dawning horizon’s fingers of purpose would weave their anciently-spun magic, no matter what the era in which they were invoked.

They gave him water for his parched body, then a sweet liquid that contained a contrasting brew of bitter herbs.

In trust he drained the cup…

When he woke, it was much later, and very dark. He relieved his body and removed the plain, white robe in which they had dressed him. He bathed and put on the laid-out robes of the Warrior, the single human priest that the process of Chichen Itza was designed to create – or, rather, recreate.

Chac MoolAA 300

He became aware of the light from outside the portals to the Ball-Court below. Passing to the window he looked out on a sea of candlelight. In total silence and shared light, his fellow priests waited for him…

When he descended the steps, there came a hissing noise, like that of a snake. Listening and smiling, he realised that it came only from the priests’ natural breathing and a narrowed throat, They were greeting him in the most revered way they knew.

They directed him to sit on a ceremonial chair placed on the bier and garlanded with flowers. The candles they set around him made a light greater, even, than theirs. In silence he was led from the Temple of the Jaguar, a master now of his lower nature, and opened to the higher. They carried him past the Temple of Venus, stopping to acknowledge it to the left and the pyramid of Kukulcan, waiting unlit, to the right. There was a sense of return in that gesture, though his mind could not grasp it, yet. The unvisited western stairway, with its ninety-one steps, sat like the world’s biggest jaguar in the darkness, watching him.

The giant building ahead was the Temple of the Warrior. He knew it to be so without asking. The Sun had come through the stone circle to claim the ball struck by the accurate elbow of the Newfound. What followed must reflect that on a more cosmic scale… Three of the priests flanked him with large candles as he climbed the many steps to the platform of the Chac Mool – a stone figure lying on its back with shoulders and knees raised, its hands supporting an unseen object with upraised palms.

The Feathered One whispered into his vision… and he understood. He smiled away the tears and returned to the embrace of his fellow priests who broke their silence and carried him – this time without the bier – into the heart of the Warrior Temple, beneath the Chac Mool.

There was drinking and feasting, but most of all, there was rejoicing. The air would be clean, the waters would fall from the sky – Chac, the God of Rain would bring it. Only the seed of life, itself, now needed to come down from the sky.

At the end of the seventh day, they embraced him, again, then presented him with the feathered robes of the ascent. Alone, he climbed the Warrior Temple’s steps and gazed down at the Chac Mool. The dark sky was paling. It was the dawn of the eighth day, the start of the new cycle…

The dawn came fully, bright and fruitful in the spring sky. It rose cleanly between the twin giant serpents that flanked his body, lying behind the stone figure of the Chac Mool, nearer the sunrise. As the sun cleared the upper stone surface, his hands were offered and steady, and a huge sigh came from the thousands below who saw him hold the solar disc, if only for the duration of a heartbeat.

His eyes shone, now, this Child of the Sun. No longer human but not yet a god. The Newfound had gone, his atoms scattered by the Sun’s energy as petals of hope among the crowd. Those who watched him descend from the Warrior Temple would see his feet barely touch the smooth stone. As he strode across the brightening plaza all made way, many frightened of the depth of the light before them. To all of them he radiated love, only love.

Still alone, he climbed the steps of the small Temple of Venus. The bier was there; once more garlanded with flowers and surrounded by an ocean of candles – candles that were now unnecessary. The temple held only one more object – a stone chalice of dark liquid. For hours, he watched the Sun climb along its course. When it was nearly overhead, he stood and raised the drink to Kukulcan waiting in the centre of the temple complex.

In trust he drained the cup…

They watched, weeping with both joy and sorrow, as he refused the bier and dragged his dying body up the south stairway of Kukulcan. At the top, he staggered the final step into the cube and sat down on the stone throne reserved only for the ascending Warrior, the man of perfection.

His body died then. But his eyes shone through the stone and up to the giant feathered serpent that had come for him. With claws that passed through the stone he was lifted beyond the heavy and carried down the stairway in a time behind time. To those below, the spring solstice made the pattern of the snake as the day progressed, sliding its segments down the pyramid to greet its carved likeness, below.

In the fields around the temple, snake skins – shed and left behind – would be found this day to mark the return of fertility to the land. The year would be fruitful.

But the Newfound, now the Newborn, was long gone… though his reality remained.

©Copyright Stephen Tanham

Steve Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye school of Consciousness. His personal blog is at stevetanham.wordpress.com

—————————————————–

Other posts in this series:

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six

Unexpected Shaman (6) – The Ball in your Court 


Manuel is speaking, but he’s wrong…

This thought hits home as my unseen flight ends with a trip over the ledge that marks the boundary of a small incline. Ahead of me, the tourists turn and politely ignore the unhurt figure in the dust, though others are laughing.

What was it that Jerome had said? ‘Shamanic methods are ultimately kind…’ The exactness of that hits home, and with it comes a realisation that the Shamanic world – really the objective world seen by the Shaman – is brutally centred in the now, but has an implicit trust in the motives, or rather, direction, of that living wave of Creation.

Conventional ‘goodness’ has nothing to do with it, though individual kindness does. Perhaps this is one of the secrets: that the true Shaman can swim skillfully enough in that flow to create a little eddy, a safe-moment, in which to slow the drowning of another?

Reality has a hard edge; this I know from years of practical and spiritual experience, and that is why a moment with a Shaman is unnerving… they don’t have a heartbeat to waste. This shifting plane of water is full of drowning people…

Mistakes are fine – even wonderful, if you see them as signposts and don’t sulk in the face of this tidal flow.

Manuel pauses while I pull myself to dusty knees and pretend I’m okay.


“It was a game with a purpose,” says our gentle guide, waving his arms to indicate the vast open space in which our group are a tiny cluster of humanity along the south wing. He picks a quiet moment, then makes an animal-like clicking noise with his hands. A fraction of a second later, the noise bounces back from the Jaguar temple at the north end of the quadrangle to our open mouths, which collect the echo.

“The ball game could last for months, while the single winner was sifted from the best of the priests,” he says, not even letting us reflect on this miracle of arcane acoustic engineering.

On my feet once more, I think about this. Months to score a single goal! What would it feel like to rise each day at dawn (for the priests didn’t live within the complex), walk several miles to enter the city of the water magicians, to begin again the task of directing a heavy leather ball, cleanly, through a perfect circle of stone, placed eight metres off the ground on your side of an acoustically-perfect court much larger than a football pitch?

Difficult? Yes. But add to that the complexity of only being able to use your elbows, hips and thighs – no hands, head or feet, and difficult is dimensionally wrong.

Why? Just to create a winner, as Manuel is suggesting, with a smile that is too subtle?

With an authority whose origin may be the onset of heatstroke, I whisper the word “Trance.” Only it doesn’t come out a whisper; it slithers through parched lips and becomes an overly-loud hiss.

Tourists who have witnessed the dusty Englishman’s fall from grace politely ignore this theatrical outburst, but the claws on my shoulders are rolling back time, and I’ve ceased to care what anyone thinks.

The shadow of a large, single feather casts itself over my head, reminiscent of the ancient carvings all around, and plays on the ground before me. I feel childishly proud of the thought I’ve just had, as though separation from others’ expectations is somewhat central to this game of balls.

The spiritual blood of Chichen Itza surges within, and I know there’s no going back. The shadows of other feathers – six in all – etch into the dust along the line of my sight.

I turn around in the flashing heat – for not to do so is more uncomfortable than to stand motionless. The force behind the claws acknowledges the rightness of this movement, and the centuries unwind with my spinning.

In a world that is eternally the same, though to me seems youthful, the newfound has become a player, out there in that vast arena, a player who is now the ‘captain’ and allowed to run along the raised edge that takes him an all-important measure nearer to the stone hole through which the ball must pass.

Pass… the ball is skilfully extracted from the melee by one of the veterans of my team of priests. Taking advantage of a deflection from the thigh of another, he whips his torso clockwise, using the elbow to cast the leather projectile a short distance ahead of my sprinting form.

Mirroring my companion’s move, I dive for the opportunity, grazing my right elbow on the stone as my whole body spins, then falls to the narrow ledge below. Bleeding and now upside down to the direction of the ball’s flight, I watch as it arcs upwards…

And, in this secret place, only I and the Feathered Serpent see the sun reach through the hole and pluck the sodden, wrapped and ragged ball of leather from the fevered and ancient air, raising, in a single act of grace, the organic to the solar…

There is silence…. though all are watching the appearance of the shadow of the seventh feather.

To be continued…

Steve Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye school of Consciousness. His personal blog is at stevetanham.wordpress.com

Other posts in this series:

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven – end

 ©️Stephen Tanham

Unexpected Shaman (5) – Life and Death on Kukulcan (repost)

Kukulcan1

{(Reposted because of a scheduling error)}

The count had reached forty steps by the time the newfound realised what was happening. Below him, the rising air from the plateau smelled, newly, of summer grasses and deeply-perfumed flowers. 

The sun, near vertical overhead, beat down with a ferocity that touched skin which seemed naked; and yet fed, unburnt, from the sky-borne radiance. It was summer’s height and yet, at the same time, it was midday. Disbelieving eyes blinked, as the import of the snarling lines of light bore into what had been his brain.

Eighty steps, and the ground below seemed to be falling away. Ninety and it was a distant memory, yet still there. His legs were walking in the air, in large circular steps, as the Jaguar sought and weeded out the pale image of a calendar on his study wall, replacing it with a movement that involved his whole body in ecstatic, radial motion.

The fevered brain was halted in its numeric ascent at ninety one. A brief glimpse of a cube of stone, within which was a vast granite cup; then, his erect body was spun around another whole face of the cube to face the sun, vanishing into the earth in the north. The descent was called, each step counted again as the ground rose to meet his now-weightless form, blazing with the midsummer’s energies. The ground offered no resistance to the Jaguar’s physics, nor its bright passenger’s.

But, the limestone and darkness had a mass that slowed the exploded descenders, consuming their energy until the dark earth seemed to be so dense that all life must end… but it did not. In the moment of his charge’s death the Jaguar breathed its own stored measure of the Sun’s now-liquid gold into the mouth of the newfound.

“Chichen It-Za… Kukulacan…” chanted the distant, priestly voices:

“mouth of the well, voice of the water-magicians, egg of the feathered serpent.”

His frozen body pulsed with so much light that it broke open the earthen tomb to find he was rising from the base of the eastern side of the Kukulcan pyramid. He counted the rising steps without prompting, joyous in the arising from the dark earth into the light of a new day… it was only much later that he would realise that the light of that dawn was his own.

Forty, eighty… ninety one. The voice behind the relentless steps was now more urging than commanding.

And then he stood at the head of the eastern steps looking at the stone face of the upper cube. The Jaguar’s voice moved him right, left, then left again with a turn; and he looked down on the remaining ninety-one steps – the last untravelled space of Kukulcan.

“Two hundred and seventy-four steps,” he whispered, into Air so quiet he knew it waited. One face plus one step to complete it – the year… the great cycle of life and death on Earth.”

The Air waited.

“But these steps lead down, which will take me away from the cube?”

For the first time the Jaguar’s silent voice was gentle. “Perhaps you are not finished?”

He thought about that. He had seen the fullness of life and the darkness of death, but on none of these faces of experience had the motion ceased, or even slowed.

Not far away, Manuel was laughing. “So, now, before us, we have the vast space of the first kind of football!”

The gentle guide’s voice became joyous as it got louder, calling him to rejoin the party. Could they not see what was happening – what had happened here so vividly that it was etched into the very atoms of the place? The sense of regret was immense as he felt himself pulled from the top of the Kukulcan pyramid and into the air by unseen hands, and carried across the temple city to the place of the Ball Court.

Shaman Ball Court for blog

The body he should have had struggled, futilely, as he was taken through the heavy air of mid-afternoon.

“Do not rush to be back there,” said the new voice in his head. “Live while you can…”

It was only then that he realised that what held him had claws… and a voice that hissed; and that though he felt safe, he was living a trajectory that was anything but…

As the sense and presence of the Jaguar fell away, and he accepted this shadowy tunnel in the bright sun, the newfound realised he had said goodbye to many things.

To be continued…

Steve Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye school of consciousness. His personal blog is at stevetanham.wordpress.com

Other posts in this series:

Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven – end

 ©️Stephen Tanham

River of the Sun – in flood

river of the sun SE15 027

Okay… I cried.

Possibly more than once over the weekend… it was a few days filled with laughter, learning and the kind of beauty that transcends any words we might try and use to capture its essence. How, after all, can you describe the fragrance of a rose?

And yet, it was not the only moment of joy. Nor was it the only time when emotions too poignant to be contained fell as tears. For a time out of time a group of friends…faces familiar or those attending for the first time… came together to Work.

The word may imply that we faced an onerous task, and with four of the group unable to attend due to ill health, it could have been so… but instead we shared an intense and moving experience, where people… friends and strangers alike… came together in love and laughter, stepping in to fill the gaps… sharing stories, music and knowledge, thoughts, chocolate and ideas… and generally having fun whilst riding the tide of shifting emotion as the weekend unfolded towards a very special moment.

But at least, this time, the Egyptian make-up was waterproof and a very kind member of Ramases’ Royal Guard passed me a handkerchief. Last time I had witnessed such an event, it had been the sleeves of my nice, white robe…

Of course, last time I had only been an observer; witness to an event of such beauty it will live in my memory for a very long time. This time it was me who was supposed to serenely deliver the carefully crafted speech… but that simply went right out of the window as the emotion of the moment flooded the room and I hugged the woman standing in front of me, sobbing and laughing, with, “I knew I wouldn’t get through this….”

No-one seemed to mind. It was, I think, an expression of something we were all feeling… though it did seem to set one or two of the others off as well… But then, what else can you do when there is a room full of people radiating joy and love as they celebrate an Initiation?

This was, without doubt, the most joyous moment of a wonderful weekend. This, after all, is why we… the Silent Eye… do what we do; to enable the Seeker to open the inner doors that lead towards the light of understanding and onwards… and there is such beauty in seeing that light shine from a pair of eyes illuminated by the heart, mind and soul. Sometimes even tears of joy are not enough…