Monday, 31 May 2010

The divine Fool, fate and sacred fire.

How do we learn to deal with the world?, when there so few of us walking the path, those that there are can be often suspicious of the motives and actions of others, and with good right on occasion, those that are not upon this road also, if we are to be truly alone for much of the time of our journey how are we able to sustain our earthly needs, measure our achievements and failures, discover those who travel along side in the dark, who is there to guide us among the subtle ways of truth and knowledge.

The journey the solitary man or woman has to make is that of the divine fool, the perfect mentor to those without another more tangible teacher to guide us, a much over looked character by many, a word and term that has been linked to idiocy and carelessness within the modern world, however when we examine the fool we see perfection, absolute trust and one who excepts fate and all she will throw at him.

Within history the fool has been allowed to enter the homes of the poor and the castles of kings', a confident to all, the true records of deeds and time recorded by the one who is able to move between the wealthy and the poor, one who is above suspicion, trustworthy entertainer, inspiror to all and confident, chronicler and yet often unseen shaper of the realm.
The symbology within this character directly reflects those traits and attributes of the historical fool, this being a pointer, a sign to remind us all of who or what we are , or intend to become, we must of course attempt to look further at what makes this man what he is and how we can hope to become more like him, and to do this we will examine the fool within the context of the Tarot.

Often pictured in his simple form, at first glance he is unprepared about to step into extreme danger with foolish pride, to take his own life and that of his companion into the abyss, the modern, simple pictorial explanation is that he is beginning his journey and he needs to bring all of the aspects of the world together in order to achieve success and fulfilment.
As those who study this oracle with more perception than the fairground or parlour tricks now most commonly associated with it will know, this is not the case, the fool has no number he is above and below in the scheme of the cards, he is both beginning and end, there is no need for him to lay out and inspect his tools as he already knows that he has all the tools he needs, he is not about to carelessly leap to his death, he has reached the state where he is prepared to trust in fate and give himself to her in his whole.
In truth the fool appears to have little or nothing, what he has is knowledge, absolute faith and the ability to move through the world with relative ease, he is indeed prepared, he will accept the consequence of his actions whatever they may be, he will lead the others in his merry dance, yet he is also ready to be lead by those that wish to lead.
I could elaborate to the other images within this card but I am only interested in the man at this time, what the whole card may or may not represent is not for me with my limited knowledge to discuss at this time, we all should perceive these keys in our own way anyhow.
We must remember that in the past, the Fool has taken his place at both ends of the major arcana and this is indeed where he belongs.
On the start of our journey we must admit to ourselves that we have much to learn and far to go, as knowledge comes this also becomes quite apparent, we must not have the pretence that we have nothing to learn, and in that respect each step along the journey must be accepted as if it were the first steps of a child, to work with instinct requires the fools acceptance of fate and willingness to lead or be lead, to bend to your needs and the needs of others, when we arrive at the end we are able to return, to castles of Queens and the hearths of the poor.
The fool is appears as nothing yet he is capable of anything, this is how we need to be to accept our solitary place in this and all worlds, we have the tools for anything we could wish to do, we must be prepared to accept Fate and become part of her rich tapestry, we can take the leap into the abyss because we have faith, it may well appear Foolish to throw ones self from the cliff, but with absolute faith and the ability to accept the consequence it is not so.

So in those times when there is no mentor to light the way, we must look to the divine fool for inspiration, in time and even when judged by modern standards we can realise that The Fool is indeed no Fool at all.

Finally, in my own scheme of things and in an attempt to illustrate the above, I feel I must mention last weeks celebration of the lunar cycle, The Hecate's sacred fire celebrations were a global event, organised in no small part by Sorita D'Este who had prepared an invocation to our lady to use on the night, so I prepared to set aside my usual chaotic prancings in the dark and join with the theme of the night, putting instinct to one side yet at the same time instinctively knowing this was the right thing to do, I used Sorita's invocation instead of my usual off the cuff declarations and enchantments, took an all be it small leap of faith as it were.
A beautiful and inspirational invocation, and what transpired into for me, a night of what I can only describe as a long overdue moment of devotion to she who stands at the meeting of ways.
Well, I have been so caught up in the unlocking of doors that it became the right thing to take a night out to give praise and thanks to my guide and mentor in that other place, to show my devotion and to declare once again that I was Hecate's man.

Thank you Sorita for your words of devotion on that beautiful night, inspiration for this old Fool.


Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Of Love and the pursuit of understanding.

What are the things that drive us into those darker places of the world?

For me it is love, a love of the world and love of the creative forces that shape, mould and bring life to it in all its myriad forms, the magic of birth, death and of course earthly love, the ebbs and flows of the seasonal year and the changes in the flowing energies that follow, a love of the creative, of poetry, art and music, all this and more, and to see it all one has only to look and listen.
Many of these things have been devalued in today's society, the constant chasing and grabbing for financial gain is often the cause, wanting to cash in on our primordial love, even those seemingly untouchable energies of the world have been bought and sold under the guise of the "new age" or some other off the shelf philosophy.
This of course is not a problem in itself, providing that we as individuals do not let these preconceptions muddy the waters of our world, not always easy but possible.

So, how does love drive my being?
Well, I believe that love of anything drives you to want to understand that thing, absolutely, every facet of it, understanding and knowledge leads to a deeper love, the mechanic who loves his engine needs to take the engine apart to see hour it works, the principals of mechanics are similar in all engines but an exploration of the engine will reveal the deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of its working.
This has been and continues to be my life's work, a stripping down and pursuit of the world that I love, hopefully I have attained some greater understanding of it, I can say for certain that everyday my capacity to love grows and grows, and so does my passion for knowledge and the truth.
I have done and achieved many things in the pursuit of knowledge, I have worked as an Artist, photographer, gamekeeper, woodsman, handyman, decorator and currently builder, mostly in an attempt to further explore the muses( although lately for financial reasons), I love the light, the creatures of the wood, the trees, craftsmanship and beauty,on a deeper level than I possibly could have had I not explored them all.
I have met my soul in my own wife, and friends who have been with me on both sides of the veil, I have two beautiful children and a roof over my head, we are financially poor but rich in the one thing I believe pushes us on and that is love, if given the chance to change anything of the past, even the emotional turmoil and destruction we all have at times to endure, I would decline.

So this is the force that compels us all, the true magick, the beauty of the soul, the truth.
The one overriding force that connects everyone of all faiths and beliefs upon this heavenly globe we call the earth, if only all could recognise this fact this world would be a much nicer place to live in, instead the relentless pursuit of money, land, oil and power has allowed the populous within what we know as the developed world at least, to concentrate on those ideas that continue to separate us, and those in the undeveloped world to aspire to our notions of greed and consumerism, when the lives many of them lead are indeed far richer than our own.

Love is also the cause of all pain and sorrow, even the cause of hate and loathing, as the underlying force of human creation even this must be accepted as a key to understanding the mystery itself, to forgo love is to forgo all emotion, death and loss are hard to bear for some, those who have a greater understanding less so, even the heart rendering pain of a love lost will bring something in the way of repayment, it may take time but it will come.
Even in the midst of death we find love!
I will illustrate
Modern medicine fails to recognise love and often the soul, I was present and the departure of my own grandmother, just she and I were there, I was able to sit with her and say my farewells as I watched her soul disappear from its shell and depart on its new voyage, a deeply emotional moment driven again by the love of a woman to whom I was possibly closer to that any other relative within her family.
The medical establishment refused to acknowledge that I had been witness to her leaving although my own mother acknowledged that truth , they kept her body alive for four more years, a soulless creature in agony and pain, destroying the life of her husband (who was not a spiritual man) and that of those other relatives who had not understanding .
My mother then had to watch her own father degenerate before her over the following years clutching at a hope that his beloved may recover, where as my mother and I both knew that she had gone, only we were denied the right to celebrate her passing for a long time, which itself is a lesser evil.
Would I change anything about this ? No, it bought me closer in understanding to my mother, and for her a deeper understanding of me, to be present at that moment of departure was also a privilege, one that the old lady wished to share with me alone, deepening my understanding of love, death and the soul, if at that point I had any doubt about the existence of the spirit it was able then to depart with my Grandmother, my grandfather came to terms with his loss upon the burial and set off on the voyage some time later.

There we are once more, the cunning mans thought of the morning, not so magickal or esoteric, but a secret that is behind all magic and things of that nature not to mention all existence, try to achieve anything without love and you will fall flat on your face, find love in the things you do, the art and poetry of the world, the hills valleys and mountains, the woods, the lakes, the sea and sky,
If you start here a depth of understanding will unfold, the true Grail if you like, the caulron of inspiration, the sublime gift if the feminine.

The Creatrix is love.
Love is the Creatrix.
Let LOVE be the whole of the law.


Saturday, 22 May 2010

Smouldering fire greets the Queen of May

Here at last, the May it has arisen.
The sky here is filled with the sound of birdsong, the hornet crawls in its exploration of the eaves of our cottage, the swallow flies low over the evening field to catch those also newly arrived to greet the sun, preparations underway from all that is furred and feathered, winged and walking, all eagerly awaiting their own new arrivals, the air is warm and the smouldering fire has started to burn bright.
Patience has again been the lesson here, together with expectation, things do not always turn out as expected!
The month has been a long wait for the shift, started as you know with the marriage of some dear friends, then, as warned descended into a period of illness, trickery and financial difficulty, all very draining.
Here for me, the May arrived in a cloud of mist, a fiery confrontation with a dear one ( not my beautiful wife, but my youngest girl) virtually wiping out any energy had had left after this trying time, the call still came, so stepping out into the fog beyond the gate and protection of my home with wood, pot and stang I set off across the fields to the chosen spot, an open field on the edge of the woods where often I find solice and inspiration.
As always I sat, contemplating the place before laying out my space, thick mist made the use of any light pointless, when "bang" then another "bang", a flash of a light through the air, nothing ethereal about this one, someone was out shooting close by, what they were shooting at and how could they indeed see what they were shooting at I do not know, even the question of weather or not they had permission to shoot at what they were shooting at,or were they poaching.
Anyway, I did not feel that this place was appropriate to my working any longer, I had not the strength or the will for confrontation, not to mention a sense of self preservation, these guys were blasting at shapes in the cloud, there was no conceivable way they could see what they were doing properly, I didn't fancy my chances if they were to spot my fire or catch the reflection of my retina in the beam of the lamp, so back across the fields I returned to my garden to work in safety tonight,(interestingly the spirits of the place felt the same and accompanied me home, I welcomed that and felt it such a privilege to have them glide along side,if not a little sad) .

To work here is no hardship, we live on a high place with virtually no neighbours, those that there are understand the ways of things and tolerate our "spooky goings on", as someone not so understanding once said, the house is surrounded with Oak, Ash,Thorns(Back and Haw), Holly and elder in fact most species of tree dwell upon the boundary of my house.
So to the business of the hour, the Compass cast,the fire lit (more of an enthusiastic smoulder in the damp air) and the old ones and the winds invited to attend, I set about my usual method with great expectation, soon I would be accompanying those already traveling the spirit road (incidentally one, "The Giants Hedge" is visible from my house, at least if falling precipitation will allow) and welcome in the roodmass in good company.
Again this was not to be, energy levels to low, distracted and beaten by emotional turmoil, stumbling around like the proverbial fool, while pyewhacket rubs himself against all objects in an attempt to push them over, this is where realisation and instinct over ride logic and planning, as someone once said to me , try to shoot from the hip, hard but the results pay off, so with wise words in my head I sat in my circle and let the night pull me along.
One simple bit of magick put the confrontation to bed, then to wait.
It wasn't long before I heard the steps behind, that dread feeling that something ancient and very powerful was standing right behind me, the excitement as I gave in to absolute trust, knowing within myself that I was safe but only because he willed it and she willed him to will it, an instruction and a nudge and the rest of the night went perfectly,the mists lifted, both metaphorically and actually, the fire burned with a little more enthusiasm, the spring barking of the red fox accompanying the night calls of the watching Tawney, all the while the steady drip of spring rain falling from the trees, here I was in the middle of natures Beltane symphony, a place where I could once more become complete.
The rite of the Rood was not as I had planned or indeed expected, but a fabulous one none the less, I had not the ability on this night to join them, but felt the warmth of those who were out, those spirits and energies of people not unlike myself, all doing their thing, I was in no way alone.

So there we have it, The tide has changed and we carry on with our lives, to all those who have shared this interest I welcome you, I am communicating with people the likes of until recently I never thought would exist, my thanks go out to Nathaniel for your inspiration and words of wisdom, and those Internet friends who readily give their support, Thank you to those of Tubal Cain and the 1734 tradition your input is of great inspiration, long may it continue, Bendith Y Mamau to you all.
This is not so lonely, this life on the crooked path, rich and full to the brim indeed.

The May queen has danced the dance and Lucifer radiates upon this land.


Monday, 17 May 2010

Waiting for the Rood

Nearly half the way through the month of may, I for one was expecting to be telling tales of life on the other side of the Beltane hedge, but alas we are still waiting for the may to rise, the sky soon once again to be clear of the vapour trail is somewhat deserted by the trail of the broom , the spirit roads remain quiet.

As I write the warm spring sun pushes its heat through the barely white tips of the Hawthorn outside and through my window,unseasonably cold this month has been until now, after all the roodmass usually heralds the start of summer, the time of the oak, even down here in the southwest the leaves of said tree are still stretching their limbs and pushing sap toward their tips, the greening is coming but taking its time this year.
On the spring time theme, our hens are enjoying the shift, half of them are now sat on eggs while old Foghorn struts around the garden like the expectant father, the cruak of the raven fills the sky above while old shuck continues to bark at shades in house and grove.

The trickster has taken a break from harassing the Cunning mans beloved, perhaps himself deciding to take a rest amongst the bluebell woods, while the others prepare for the time of love, lust and frivolity.
An odd time for those of us who feel we are governed by the tides of nature, puzzled looks when replying to the question "how was your Beltane" with the answer"actually I am still waiting", how many people have carried the Blackthorn boughs into their homes, the blossom on that one has stayed well into this month, even turning this old tree man's head on occasion.

T's artwork is springing forward to new levels of excellence, this is how the changing times effect her, some truly marvelous soul art is being born as I write, this is how she performs her rites of spring.
The creative energy in that one humbles me and my efforts, yet I take an enormous pride in the fact that in some way she paints the world and its symbols, exactly as I see it. In this time of deepening love and partnerships I am trying to coerce her back into the compass once again, selfishly trying to tap into that force to create something magickal in the other places, we have enjoyed those pleasures in the past and hopefully they shall return in the future.
I know she will read this, and to her I give my love and it shall endure across all eternity, between all worlds, not even to be separated by the veil, as it has always been.

There you are, Cunning mans heart bared open for all to see, waiting as patiently as I can for manifestation of summer, poetic thought and declarations of undying love, Roodmass is definitely approaching.

On the final point, the may pole is eager to receive the maid, T says that it has a mind of its own and possibly its own solar calendar, as it seems to think that every day should be May Day....


Monday, 10 May 2010

Dancing with the Trickster.

Well, another strange time, The May has yet to arrive, so while we are all waiting who should arrive to remind us that we are human, Loki, the trickster is abroad, taking fair advantage from what is otherwise a quiet peaceful air.
Friends and relations all over this blue planet have been plagued for a week or more with mostly minor little things going awry, testing times indeed, this one did not escape Loki's mischievous eyes.
In order to get to my friends wedding we required transport, transport with an exhaust system that will remain intact, this was the first trick, then there was a virus that had both T and myself layed out for a couple of days, finally (hopefully) the water tank in the roof decided that it wasn't big enough, so then proceeded to spit excess water onto the ceiling, three a.m. and I am awoken by the delicate sound of water alighting with some urgency upon the floor outside my bedroom.
Just as we think the storm has passed my youngest J returns from school in tears, a young reprobate had decided to bully a friend of hers, when she defends said friend she aptly rewarded by being thrown to the floor then punched in the face, so I guess the time of the chaotic fool has yet to end.

What has any of this got to do with my usual esoteric ramblings?
Coping mechanisms, that is my answer.
Unfortunately, for me at least, my ability to use Magick is not good enough to conjure a new pipe for the underside of the car, it can heal, although to heal oneself when low on energy is hard to say the least, neither am I capable of charming a fleet of broomsticks to clear up the torrent of water outside my bedroom, as for the boy with the over active fist, it would already seem that there is a small army waiting to exact Karmic retribution upon him, so the need for me to act(in any way) has lessened for the moment.

The coping mechanisms that I have are ones that have been acquired through the patience and study of the mystery's, my natural instincts are far hotter, in the past it has occasionally been an "if in doubt, lash out" kind of reaction, to any misfortunes that have come my way, the price is always paid and this way of dealing never comes cheap.

Patience, being in tune with the unseen, leaves us with a better foundation for dealing with the seen, the petty mundane troubles that accompany our everyday lives become far less of an issue when an understanding of the greater picture is playing a greater part in our lives.
To turn the mains water off to stop a leak, to take the knocks, to go back to bed and gain the strength to fix the problem in the morning, learning to swim with the river instead of trying to thrash against the flood, most of our own troubles are not of any real consequence and are rarely of any importance to the greater scheme of things.Let the petty drama's play out by themselves, save the energy in case anything really serious happens.
Quite honestly, we are not anywhere as near as important as we like to think we are.

So there we are, today's lesson(personal one), Magick doesn't solve all the problems,what it gives us is the tools and discipline to cope, it also helps in learning to deal with the real world and that has for me (not to mention my beloved)become a rather pleasant side effect.

I think that to keep in the spirit of things, i might go and cause a little mischief myself, eager as I am to tread the mill, perhaps a game of knockout ginger in the village will sate my spring energy for the moment, May even appease the Trickster to boot.


Monday, 3 May 2010

Natural Magick, In the house of the desert God.

May the first has now been and gone, although Beltane true is yet still waiting in the wings.
The weekend spent in oxford, at the wedding of my dear friends Matt and Emmi.
Well! what a hum dinger of an affair that turned out to be, This old Witch never thought for one second that he would witness wild natural magic in the house of the desert god.
An old church on the banks of the Isis, watched over by an old Yew tree, over a thousand years or more, back from a time when the old religion lived happily alongside the new, I think the Priest was a little disturbed to see this old Devil and his stang, walking upon his hallowed ground, however , he was polite and courteous to me (if not a little secretly disgusted judging by the look on his face in some of the pictures, most vicars don't expect to be faced with an antler clad man on there way to work, although there are some that by their own deeds and beliefs perhaps should), a big enough man to know that this day was not for him, me or even his chosen Deity, the day truly belonged to the happy couple.
The two mentioned, performed one of the most powerful binding spells I think I have ever seen, the wild sparks of true love filled the air between them, weaving a bond that I believe shall last an eternity, The Cunning Man's eyes where truly brimming at the event, witnessed by christian and our Clan alike, all were touched.

The first reading came from the Song of Solomon, which was appropriate to the couple, the second was this by W B Yeats.

Had I the heaven's embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with gold and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I being poor, have only my dreams;
And I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

Read by the brides mother, a most poinient poem, The pair live a simple life upon the canal, they have little money or possessions, what they have is Love, brimming bucket loads of the stuff, and a tribe that holds them very dear.
A great day in all, the old ones allowed the weather to remain beautiful until the end, where upon the two departed west into oxford, along the river for a night of passion in a nice hotel(when I saw the happy couple the next day,they told me that amongst the obvious , they also enjoyed using the Hotel's bath, several times as on the boat a shower is all they have).
The rest of the night spent for the rest of us drinking and laughing with friends from all over the world, a time to catch up and make promises to keep in touch, most of which will not be broken, thanks in part to the thing known as Facebook.
So, a short one today, Big thanks to all those who helped Matt and Emmi's day go so beautifully ( especially my youngest Girl who was bridesmaid, J you make me proud), I left in the knowledge that I could not have done such a good job as they did for my beloved family, and as such my door shall always be open to these new additions to my tribe, there lies the rest of it really, what a marvelous family we all have become, and our love goes out to you all, more often than you might realise.
A long journey back to Cornwall, made all the sweeter by a visit to The White horse at Uffington and Wayland's smithy, Stonehenge and finally home.
Mayday celebrations in the village are today , so up for a pint or two I think.
Blessings of the Roodmass be upon all who read this.

Oh! and yes I did claim my right as Dark Fairy Godfather to the firstborn.

Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg.