Hunting the ‘Tree Demon’…


…”Where Hu-Wa-Wa comes and goes becomes a track and all those ways are well trodden.

As Hu-Wa-Wa passes through the forest the birds begin to sing…

Wood-Pigeon moans.

Turtle-Dove coos in answer.

As Hu-Wa-Wa passes through the forest the animals call…

Monkey-Mother shouts.

Monkey-Child shrieks.

Like a band of musicians and drummers the birds and animals

bash out their rhythm daily in the presence of Hu-Wa-Wa.

Hu-Wa-Wa hears all the sounds of the forest.

Even the faintest rustling amongst the leaves.

Who amongst Gods or Men can enter his domain and defeat him?”…


The Silent Eye’s Spring workshop for 2019


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 this quest of a life-time, next 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


Click here to download the Booking Form



For further details or to reserve your place:


Lord of the Deep: The Quest for Immortality

26-28 April, 2019 – Great Hucklow, Derbyshire


The Dancer ~ Jordis Fasheh

Jordis Fasheh is a Companion of the Silent Eye. When we brought the School to birth at our very first April workshop, Jordis was the first to walk through the portal and has been held in our hearts ever since.

At the Jewel in the Claw workshop, Jordis embodied the role of Lady Rab’ya El Anouri, a Sufi mystic with a dancing soul. Inspired by her experience of that role and by one of the meditations in the course, she wrote a poem to capture where she is now. Jordis writes, “My studies with The Silent Eye; Steve, Sue, Stuart and all our lovely companions have had a profound and positive impact on my being present, alive and at one with Who I Am.”

I asked her permission to share her poem here.

Image~ Jordis Fasheh

The Dancer

moment within moment
ever present,
breath within breath,
with ever evolving joy in being

spiraling within and without
an atom’s core,
center of all things,
yet of nothingness

with one, yet divisible,
distinct, yet eternal,
she swirls in arcs,
the Sun,

weaving a fabric of light,
with no beginning nor end,

as divinity’s expression,
eternal bliss

Jordis Fasheh

Where be dragons?…

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?

Where earth and time and heavens meet

Look to the dragons’ soaring might

To seek the circle’s treasure trove

And solve the riddles of the night.

Riddles of the Night…

Hidden in plain sight.

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

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.

The 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:


Never look Back?

Never look back! It’s an adage that makes a lot of sense. It also characterises a certain stage of mystical development – a point at which the aspirant comes to realise that the only place of reality in our lives is within the moment; and that our history is simply a container that has conditioned how we react to experience. A skill-maker, certainly, but also a straitjacket…

The kindly man with a right arm full of tattoos takes our six pounds for the car park fee, and suggests that, in view of the thick mist, and our early arrival (there are only three other cars in the Land’s End parking area) we might like to explore the southern loop of paths and the artisan workshops before returning to the main buildings, which by then will be open…

There is something wonderfully Cornish about all this – the great care with which the tattooed ticket man helps us; the gentle way in which he offsets the possible late arrival of some of the staff in the thick sea-mist that is the hangover of a night of torrential rain at the end of the first day of our holiday.

I had been to Land’s End before – and stayed near Sennen Cove; the location of our present rental cottage, high on the hill, a little further along Whitesands Bay. Land’s End was just around the corner, then as now, which was why we are early…

Back then- and I shuddered to accept it had been forty years ago – the holiday home had been a small touring caravan, borrowed from my father and towed behind my first car capable of towing anything; a beloved Renault 16.

On a morning with nothing better to do, my girlfriend and I had driven the couple of miles from Sennen to the car park overlooking the famous ‘New York 3147’ signpost, which, apart from the ‘First and Last Inn’ pub was pretty much all that was on the Land’s End headland, back then.

It’s still there, as I was to discover, later. But now set into a complex- a small theme park – which undoubtedly fits the bill of a ‘good wet day out with the kids’. I remember those, too; they were essential if you wanted to stay sane on holiday with small children.

Now, approaching the old mill next to the ‘petting farm’ with Bernie, my mother and our party’s two dogs, I smile at the thought that I was both parent and child in this company. Technically child to a mother with vascular dementia, yet also parent in that I am her short-term memory and her maker-of-sense.

Cornwall has always been her favourite place and this holiday is likely to be her last chance to revisit it.

The mist surrounding the farm, with its working water-wheel, is like the fog that creeps through her brain, paralysing the speed of anything new, anything logical. She is still there, but all the most complex – and challenging parts of her personality are exaggerated.

I look at her face, glowing with enjoyment at the experience of something new, and smile at the thin layer of moisture she, and the rest of us, bear, within this seemingly perpetual mist. It’s giving us all a ghostly glow.

To our right as we pass the artisan hamlet, the light gets brighter, and I can sense that the sea isn’t far. A moment’s concentration reveals that the roaring sound coming from the same place is not the strong wind that buffets us…

Memories are starting to tumble out from that distant past. It was a cold day and we stayed only a few minutes, looking at the famous sign before fleeing back into the car. As we were leaving, I distinctly remember looking south, and seeing a cluster of huge rocks out to sea. This outcrop looked out of place at that distant spot; as though the official Land’s End position should have been shoreward of it, thereby lining up the symmetry.

With that memory came another: that of a intense but lovely dream when my mother was overnight in the operating theatre at Bolton Hospital, twelve years ago, having most of her lower intestines removed, due to advanced colitis that would have certainly killed her, otherwise.

The consultant treating her, whom we had got to know well, gave her a fifty:fifty chance of survival.

I had slept, eventually, after the barrage of family phone calls asking about her status.

Somewhere around three in the morning, I drifted off, awakening at seven struggling to remember the most intense dream. In it she and I had travelled to some future place, and were sitting on the rocks of a promontory, far out from the land. The sense was that of a future time and place… but a place of hope and refuge; like a time-magnet that pulled at possibilities.

She had survived, with some miracles of artificial plumbing. Twelve years on, we are in Cornwall for what may well be her last such holiday.

Now, I stumble through the mist, wondering at the import of this collision of recall. At that moment, the land drops away to reveal that we are on the very edge of a landscape where huge rocks mark an impossible path to a turbulent sea below.

She is holding onto my arm, tightly. I ask if she wants to go back, but she shakes her head, enjoying the gale and the challenge. Arm in arm, we find a path to the very edge, which becomes a narrow corridor of stone, at the end of which is a massive dark figure.

Nervous minutes later, we stand in a place we should not be and raise our heads to stare across a misty distance we cannot measure.

There is a now-familiar sense of the sky dropping. Her arm clutches mine tightly as a gust of wind threatens to unseat us from the stone ledge. But I am not lost in caution; I’m lost in the knowing that the huge, dark mass across that foaming distance is a friend, and its also the landmark I saw all those years ago.

It is also the place in the dream, and, twelve years later, we are still here…

I grab the phone to try to capture something of the moment – a moment whose intensity I might not remember, otherwise. As I press the shutter, a large bird flies across the distance between us.

Birds and mist, I think, smiling…. Don’t forget that combination… and then the sky drops again and I realise the friend across the water has communicated something shamanic in the way of names…

On the way back to the car, Bernie observes that I am more than usually silent.

Stephen Tanham is a director of the Silent Eye School of Consciousness, a not-for-profit organisation that helps people find the reality and essence of their existence via low-cost supervised correspondence courses.

His personal blog, Sun in Gemini, is at

©️Stephen Tanham<<

An Eye full of Reflections (7 of 7)

Amidst the seemingly pristine field of stones, the old oak tree usually went unnoticed…

Like this group of happy but somewhat weary pilgrims, newly entered via the gate at the top of the narrow, fern-lined path, most visitors stood in amazed silence at the large oval of twin-chambered stonework in front of them, conscious of the oak within the oval of stones but seeing it as out of place and not part of the sacred grove where the revered ones had met… and some had died.

The act of dying-in-place had pervaded the ground so deeply that the oak as seed, some thousands of rounds later, had felt the guiding presence in its infancy; urging it to grow strong and be the most it could be, reaching for the sky and creating a four-dimensional picture of time-meeting-life.

The Oak watched, speeding up its vertically-flowing heart to synchronise with theirs, seeing something unusual, something lacking in triviality in the tired but intent expressions. The act would have cost it dearly, but the nearing of the Fullness filled the sky with energy, and it, like them, fed from the gold-flecked deep blue, above.

Those with the knowing in their eyes sometimes came at the Fullness. Not understanding, perhaps–but seeking to, at least. Few looked at the Oak. Most were captured by the pureness of the field of stones with the twin nipples.

So many stones? said their thoughts. Why were they not taken away for the making of dwellings? Another: What a perfect oval... then the Oak would place into their minds the picture of the great oval of the above, with all the great children, laughing with the evening breeze in its hissing leaves and showing them the wonderful ‘accident’ that time had wrought in a place that should no longer look like this… as though it had been protected, thus.

Which it had, of course. On a hillside which contained the fresh and lovely minds of the schoolchildren and the church a minister who was strangely sympathetic; and whose neighbouring roads included one named Bro Arthur.

As though it had been protected…

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The Oak pulled its climbing life back from the outer edges of the canopy and reached back into the pilgrims’ afternoon. They were spread around its base, but not seeing it, taking their photographs. The Oak read their own history of the afternoon. The salty moisture still on their sandy ankles, their heads alive with snippets of wisdom, their eyes full of sun… solstice sun, Sun of the Fullness.

The Oak liked them, it decided. They knew it not, but revered the place. That was enough. The Oak, the alive one, would always help those that loved the place, its home. They that loved the stones always helped it to protect them, like the children and the minister and the great names etched into the landscape.

The Watcher Oak whispered its name to the one who had first seen the aberrations of the light, now avidly trying to capture their images in his machine… and smiling, as she, his companion had done, moments before.

There were two others, two who stood back and studied the joy of the group. Two with a sense of almost mischief in their eyes, delighting in the wonderful feeling of discovery that always greeted those who came here near the Fullness. The Oak, the Watcher Oak whispered to them, the hissing of summer leaves, the story of the great oval in the sky and the small oval of the pristine stones with the twin chambers, below.

One of the two began pacing the oval, while the other watched. With delight, the Watcher Oak read their intent, sending the inner breeze to clear their minds of doubt. Yes, the leaves hissed, that will do wonderfully…

And so it was that the two asked the rest to align themselves in the North, at a place where the radial from the centre of the oval projected. They were greeted, in turn, by the woman of the North, who spoke softly of their journey around the oval to the south, the reflection of her radial, then bade them make pace it in silence and in reverence.

Around the small oval, below – and around the great oval, above – they walked, individually, slowly and with reverence. He – the other, the man of the South, the place of the sun’s Fullness – stepped from the Watcher Oak’s shadows to intersect each one, bidding them hold the beauty and the energy of the Fullness and take it into the darkness of the West – and the greater darkness of the North. Oval meeting great tilting oval, life in its roundness recognised and honoured.

They had come with a phrase in their heads: Authority. The Watcher Oak took it and replaced it with another: Inclusion in Life; then the rustling leaves kissed them farewell, for now.

But it did not loose its eye on the thread of their immediate lives. Drawing from the golden energy above it, followed their moves as they returned, sated, to their temporary dwellings, and later, replete and happy, as the sun set on the mellow waters.

The rose. At the limits of its perception into space-time, the Watcher Oak smiled as the morning’s plans were changed and one – the memory man – took them on a journey to the landscape of his childhood, within the glory of a green, tree-lined valley named Pennant.

There, they sat and carried out the last of their readings, by a river that was crystal clear and full of the blue sky.

The Watcher Oak strained to follow them into the valley, losing contact at the bend in the road where the sheep were herded for shearing; the woman of the great heart weeping for their fear.

And then the long curve to the next part of the valley took them from its golden sight. The Watcher Oak could follow no more. Just before the seeing was lost it passed their keeping to a child oak growing on the side of the valley.

With distant leaves hissing, it held them, briefly, one last time. Then, they were gone…

Across the miles, it gathered its strength, returning to the guardian task for which it had been born, rejoicing in its inclusion in the glory of outer life on this new and most beautiful day.

In the returning Fullness it was embraced and loved. Its roots reached deep into the ground… and it was good… In the ancient place the Watcher Oak watched.

——- End ——-

Other parts in this series:

Part One,   Part Two,   Part Three,

Part Four,

Part Five

Part Six

©Stephen Tanham

All right reserved, text and pictures.

Circles Beyond Time – The enclosure

derbyshire-heather-gardoms-carl-wark-moon-134We had, quite unfairly, asked the company to dowse for the next stone we were to visit, giving them the simplest of descriptions. Following the person who was on the right track, we set off through the sodden grass in the direction of a curious bank of bracken. When the green fronds do not bury the bank its true nature is revealed and its scale is staggering. It is a Neolithic enclosure of dry stone walls that still stand up to five feet high in places, although many of the stones have been removed to build more modern walls. The enclosure they contain has seven entrances and runs for around two thousand feet in length over a width of up to thirty feet. No trace of settlement has been found during the archaeological explorations there and the conclusion is that it was a ritual gathering place. The other structures found there seem to confirm this idea, for although there are the remains of nearly thirty round houses and several other enigmatic structures quite close by, none of them seem to indicate a permanent settlement and the largest was used to perform funerary rites over a period of time.


If we seem to spend a lot of our time walking the realms of the ancient dead, there are several reasons for that. First and foremost is that it is in these very places, the ritual and mortuary sites, where the realm of spirit walks hand in hand with the living lands, that our forefathers seem to have lavished the most care and invested the most effort to create permanent structures of such strength that they still survive today after many thousands of years. While the domestic sites may have fallen to plough and bulldozer over time, the legends and folklore may have kept many of the standing stones and cairns safe from intrusion. Even today, many of these places are woven about with strange tales, and sightings of eldritch creatures and spectral lights are not uncommon.


There is another reason too, less ‘logical’ perhaps, but no less real for all that. We spend a lot of time on the moors and while we feel welcome in the realm of the rites of the ancestors, there is an uneasy feeling about walking through their settlements, as if, being outside their time, we should not be there. There is another part to that theory that has to do with time and perception that we shared with our companions as we walked through the wet grass within the enclosure.


The boulders within the enclosure are strange. Many would not look out of place in Fred Flintstone’s back yard and, although we have no knowledge of their individual significance, it is obvious that here again we are looking at stone that was left for a purpose in an area that could have been cleared. The stones themselves would have provided perfect material with which to build the enclosure walls, yet their strange shapes were left untouched and the walls built around them.


One huge boulder is covered in white lichen and stands out from the rest. It was to this we were drawn and everyone was intrigued by its hollowed bowl. One of our companions wondered if it was the particular energetic properties of the stone that made it a target for this particular variety of lichen…. none of the others seemed to wear it. Another suggested that it looked like a ‘font’ in which infants might be cleansed and purified… tying the two extremes of life together at a place where only the rites of death have left any trace.  Whatever the truth and the purpose of the stone, it brought the enclosure to life for us as we looked back upon the lives of the people to whom this place had meaning.


Having left the main path, we walked back to one of the seven entrances that pierce the enclosure wall. There is a path here to the stone that was our final destination on this stretch… but the bracken is taller than most people here and the fronds, heavy with mist and rain, were bowed across it. We forged through, knowing it was worth the wetting and brought the company to the little clearing of the carved stone…


Harvest of Being 2015: Ilkley Moor…

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Joshua said, “Judas Thomas, while you are still
in the world, attend to the questions of your heart,
and it shall be revealed to you: who you are,
why you exist, and how you will come to be.”

“Who are you to say these things to me ?” Said Judas Thomas.

Joshua said, “you do not know who I am from what I say to you ?
Then you have disregarded the living one who is in your presence.

You are like a fruit picker who loves the fruit but hates the tree.

I am the light that is over all things,
I am all: from me all has come forth,
and to me all has reached.

Split a piece of wood…
I am there.
Lift up a block of stone…
I am there also.

I shall give you what no eye has
seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no hand has touched,
for the thing that I shall give you
has not arisen from the human heart.

I have thrown fire upon the world, and
look… I am watching it until it blazes.

Whoever is near me is near the fire.
Whoever is far from me is far from the kingdom.”

-The Living One

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The Song of Seven Veils…

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…From Heart to Head a Lay…

My First is sinuous, scaly and smooth
It is found in lake but not in love,
what is below is like that above…

My Sixth lies at sea and in
the depths of the night, it is hard
to engender this spark of light.

My Second twinkles on high and
stands proud in the earth, this double
entendre is light strewn when birthed

My Fifth is a man-child
forgotten by time, adrift on
a lotus… the flowering kind.

My Third is fire-bright and
flies like a flash, it is feathery
too, forever rising from ash…

My Fourth is hawk borne
and can teach us to fly it is
also known as the Silent Eye

…From Head to Heart, a Way…

In Loving Light

The Riddle of the Initiate

Ghosts of the past

Avebury SE weekend 037

Friday dawned. Sort of. Instead of the brilliant sunshine of the previous day, the morning managed to do little more than open a rheumy eye before retreating back into a mist of tears. Still, we were not about to let that put a damper on the day. Duly fortified with bacon and eggs, we readied ourselves for our trip south-westwards for the Silent Eye’s Mountains of the Sun weekend. Failing to be my usual Virgoan self, I hadn’t even packed, but managed to cram at least half of the absolute essentials into the weekend bag. I may prefer to travel relatively light, but a spare pair of trousers and shoes would have been useful. The Mountains of the Sun were wet.

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The planned weekend would not officially begin until we all converged upon a village in Wiltshire, but everyone was ready so, not wanting to waste the day, we had left earlier than intended, choosing instead to visit Uffington… a first for two of our number. For Stuart and I, this was something of a special place on a personal, as well as a historical level… it was here that our adventures together had really begun; a journey that had given life to our books and which had deepened a long love affair with this land. That day we had arrived to mist, buzzards and skylarks.

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We had not returned together since that day, though we had passed and paid our respects as we glanced at the distant hills. I had been back once, with dear friends, on a day of blazing sun when a magnificent sunset marked our parting for another year. But it seemed as if the land itself was preparing to repeat our first experience. The fine rain was not as heavy as our morning mist, but overhead a buzzard soared, corvids and pipts were everywhere and it was as if all the skylarks in the world had joined together to greet the day with song. We had seen the small, white scar on the hillside from a distance, knowing what it was that our eyes sought as we drove through the narrow village lanes. The undulations of the landscape are unmistakeable once you have seen them and their shadows capture the eye and lead it to the strange marking on the hillside known as the White Horse.

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First, however, we walked up to the gateway that cuts through the embankment of Uffington Castle, a huge earthern enclosure of ditch and bank set high on the hilltop. It is a strange place. The air sparkles and time has no meaning there. The enclosure covers an area of some 35,000 square yards… and was built around the same time as the Horse was cut. Yet there is almost no evidence of occupation from that time. What few fragments have been found date most activity to the Roman period, when a shrine seems to have been built there and two burial mounds close by.

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You have to wonder what the occupants were doing there. To my mind it was, perhaps, not a permanent settlement… more a gathering place for whatever festival was celebrated around the Horse. Perhaps a small group resided there, serving the figure and the divinity it represented. Perhaps tending travellers who walked the Ridgeway… that ancient High Way that has run along the hills, passing beneath the shadow of the grassy banks of the Castle for at least five thousand years.

We turned and looked back, following this path with our eyes towards the trees where Wayland’s Smithy is hidden… wondering how many feet have passed this way over the millennia and wondering too if it is the echo of their passing that makes this old track so easy to walk as we too pass like ghosts into history.

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