Images and Text from the Silent Eye Workshop: Whispers in the West…
But according to some, Wayland has far more onerous
responsibilities than shoeing the horses of passing way farers…
A group of local lads were enjoying a drink
one evening at the White Horse Inn, Woolstone,
when an unknown man wearing old fashioned garb
entered and ordered a pint of the local beverage.
He wore a leather apron, a tall hat,
and he took his drink and sat
to one side of the ale-house by himself…
After awhile the sound of a horn rang out
and could be heard
echoing eerily through the vale…
Startled from his reverie by the horn,
the stranger leapt to his feet and hobbled
out into the night, his pint unfinished.
As the uncanny sound faded over the downs
the locals looked out and up to the hillside
to find that the White Horse was gone!
When dawn broke the following day
more than a few of the previous night’s imbibers
looked out of their windows
and up at the hill with some trepidation…
Only to see the White Horse
back where it should be on the green hillside
but with feet-tips
that seemed to shine in the morning sun light.
As the weekened progressed
we were to work our way around ‘the limbs’
of an elemental pentagram.
Two sites from the region
were given over to each element.
In the first we would consider the element in question
with the help of a conducive environment and our core text.
In the second we would construct and walk our pentagrams,
again in a conducive environment,
whilst examining notions of our magical self
in relation to the element and its inner psychology.
On Saturday morning and afternoon we
considered and worked with the element of air.
Our character was Lady Macbeth who displayed
her own inner boundaries by acting as Super Ego
and inciting her husband to commit regicide
before turning insane with guilt and taking her own life.
What did we not want to become in our magical self?
Master of the Universe.
Instead, we shall blow where the spirit listeth…
“You know Shuruppak, the ancient city?
I was its king, long ago, when the Great Gods sent a flood.
Ea informed me and I built a big boat.
I loaded up the boat with everything that was valuable.
Soon after, the flood burst forth…
For six days and seven nights the storm raged, swamping the earth.
On the seventh day it stopped raining.
No land could be seen, no life at all.
The human race was turned to clay.
When the waters dried the Great Gods assembled.
Enlil blessed us: ‘Utnapishtim and Shiduri shall live forever!’
We were taken to a distant place at the source of two rivers.
This is where we live.”…
The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop 2019
The glories above were unamed.
The word for that world beneath, unuttered.
Source and time, unfettered, merged…
From the mingling waves-of-water came mud and slime.
Enshar and Kishar, twin halves of the globe, shone out of them.
A DRAMATIC ADAPTATION BASED ON THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH
The Oldest written story known to man…
What spiritual treasures lie hidden in this, five thousand-year old, Epic?
What can this ancient civilisation teach us about the questions of existence?
Join us on the quest of a life-time, this April, to find out…
‘Gilgamesh is among the greatest things that can ever happen to a person.’
– Rainer Maria Rilke.
Fully catered weekend package, including room, meals and workshop: £235 – £260
We do not take these things lightly.
We try to approach them as informally as possible.
We want to share their magic and inspiration with others.
We want people to enjoy them as we do, in respect and reverence.
We ask people to give as they receive.
We never ask anyone to do anything we are not also prepared to do.
We never insist they take part in any of the exercises or meditations.
We meet always as a community to share our experiences and to learn.
We leave in peace and harmony.
An email came in from one of the Silent Eye’s Companions. He was wondering about our perception of the world around us, saying that we walk through our days not really looking, because we are so used to our environments that we don’t give our attention to the details. Same workplace, office, staircase, or traffic every day. It would, he suggested, be interesting to develop goggles that only record what we truly see.
He went on to speculate that the playback of that movie would be for the most part a blank screen with perhaps a few people popping in and out of existence, or a tv show we have watched, maybe a few personal interactions. That, he thought, would be it. The rest would be blank because we don’t really see it, we expect it to be as usual and so we don’t truly register or process what we look at. Or perhaps we think we see only what we expect to see. It would be an interesting experiment.
To be fair, we have things on our mind, or we are busy, or stressed… or any number of other excellent reasons for being so self-contained that we fail to notice details. But most of the time, if we are honest, it is that we simply do just that… fail to notice. And we don’t even notice we are doing it till someone or something brings it to our attention. It might be a walk with a friend new to the area when they spot an interesting feature that we have walked past for years without it ever registering. Or it may be the loose flagstone we have walked over every day… until the day we stub our toe and pain brings it to our consciousness.
We are encouraged as children to play memory games. We think we are training memory, but really what we are doing is training attention… the ability to register and process what we see. We are learning to look. Now, it may be fun to use the tray full of jewels, but there are enough wonders all around us every day and it is easy to open our eyes and begin to notice them. It might be something as simple as a fly on a leaf, a fish blowing bubbles or the reflection of a deep blue sky on the ripples of a pond.
It is amazing just how much we miss. Try it and see… close your eyes and picture your room right now. Then open your eyes and look… really look. You’ll remember the main things, but details like the cobweb in the corner, the chip in the paintwork or the iridescent beetle crawling on the pot plant you will probably have overlooked.
Attention is not just about sight… the other senses come into play too. Textures, scents, sounds and taste are all part of the picture we build of our worlds. And not just the physical senses form our attention. Part of the process of perception is what we do with that information, and when we start to really look at what is around us, we see much more of the people in our lives. By giving them our full attention, we begin to understand them better, picking up on the minute changes in face or stance that allow us to understand their moods, concerns and fears. It allows us to be there for them when they need us, or to share their laughter and tears with a depth we might have missed.
Whatever you practice becomes stronger. The longer we walk around with our attention switched to ‘off’, the less we notice and the more we miss. As soon as we begin to look around and ‘smell the roses’, the world opens up in all sorts of hitherto unnoticed detail. It is by paying attention that we find ourselves caught up in the adventure of living… and I, for one, would prefer to think that if ever those goggles were invented, I would be able to have a full screen, rather than a blank one when I sit down to watch the movie of my days.
…’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.
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?
Bugs… If 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.”
Cara… repeats… ‘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?
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.
Move therefore and show yourselves.
Appear unto us; open the mysteries of your Creation, the balance of
Righteousness and Truth.’
to be continued…