Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Politics, the Greedy bird and a beer with the Beast
A return to the autumnal beauty of Cornwall after an hectic weekend in the big smoke, I can see and feel the sky once more, a great relief after the claustrophobia and oppression of the tall buildings of central London, the Oak, Ash and Thorn of my residence resplendent still with green, tinged with the browns of the coming season, there is a tired restful nature in the trees now empty of the summer visitors to our land, as they prepare for the more dormant time of the year.
The hearth of my home still yet to feel the warmth of the winter fuel, yet I feel it will not be long before the radiant flames cast their shadows across the walls of the Cunning man's dwelling.
London itself is a strange creature, it works with a hive like mentality only in reverse, lack of cooperation seems to persist, busying about life without any acknowledgement of those who surround you seems to be the key to survival there, it works well and is a demonstration of the evolution of a species that is not really designed to live in such large groups.
To step out of our own land into this world is a challenge to say the least, but a good one, our capital is not only filled with people ignoring each other it is also home to some of the greatest cultural diversity you can hope to experience on this island, art and architecture to marvel and astonish are absolutely everywhere, but despite what any might think there are good people there also.
So why was I up there? As some of you might know the book by Doreen Valiente titled "Where Witchcraft Lives" was launched this Sunday past, my illustrations are on the cover so I was asked to attend and accept my copy upon the stage, a nerve racking moment for one that has opinions and observations yet does not actively court publicity, although by writing this there are further clues to my identity for those who do not know me.
The event was the work of John and Julie Belham Payne and their "centre for pagan studies/the Doreen Valiente trust", the couple them selves made me more than welcome and it was a pleasure to meet them, the event was an interesting collection of speakers that included Professor Ronald Hutton and Philip Heselton, all of which delivered an interesting biography of the late Gerald Gardner, I left the event with a greater knowledge of the man although it did not alter my opinions of Gardner himself, his legacy or many of his subsequent followers, I have come to realise that many are acceptable even decent and honourable people, those willing to listen and learn, unfortunately, due to the actions and behaviour of certain people I am sad to say there is a rotten core, back to the noise of the shallow end once again, far from bringing the pagan faiths into the realms of general public understanding, there are those who would bring the flaming torches and pitchforks of the past back into our world for their own selfish purposes. I will say at this point that this opinion does not have anything to do with the above event or any of the organisers.
A moot in London as a distraction from the above event is the cause of my anger, I knew it would be so was foolish to attend, the focus of one man and his visitors from across the ocean, here to distract attention,politicise, perpetuate falsehood and promote a writing on which I will not comment as I haven't read it, in fact I have no intention of doing so.
T and myself do not perpetuate the stereotype of modern neo paganism so we attended the moot as though we were just visitors to our capital having a drink in a real ale pub, no announcements or declarations, just a quiet drink and the dropping of an eave or two.
The conversations that took place were appalling, the drunken volume negating the need to hush and listen, foul sewage erupting from the mouth of one man, a friend of the moot organiser, a torrent of swearing and opinions, declarations of the fact that no one would be able to teach him anything , he felt it was pointless to even attend the event as he knew it all( he must have complete divine knowledge), yet he still went, slurs and slants against those who have in recent times become very dear to this one, and those also passed from this world, All of this at a decibel level that could have alerted environmental health while wearing a t-shirt that advertised his pagan beliefs like the neon signs of our capital city.
Those visitors from across the pond conducted themselves with the dignity of normal folk even if the entourage did not, all bought together by one clucking bird, keen to build his castle and line his nest with the straw from anothers roof, creating politics where there is no need, forgoing the truths of the world in order to appear the great modern day occultist.
Any castle built of straw with no real foundation will one day burn to the ground with the very fires of corruption and deception that it took to build it, and there will be nothing left at all, so tread carefully, for you do not know whose feet you are stepping on, or who may be listening.
So we have arrived at the same place once again, noisy shallow end of the pool, those who seek to obtain titles and claims of wisdom they do not have, politics and faith are not good bedfellows, so we must avoid all those who try to politicise issues of such.
Back to the British Museum on Monday morning then off to have a pint of beer in the Museum tavern with the spirit of the great beast, into the Atlantis bookshop( possibly one of the oldest Occult bookshops in the world) and back home to the west country.
A great long weekend, Interesting and invigorating in a different sense to what I am used to, regretfully I did not get to meet a friend that I was hoping to meet, but will settle with the phone conversation we had outside the above moot for now.
Grey Sky's and a sense of pleasure in the knowledge, that both physically and metaphorically I have a slate roof, to heavy for the lazy bird, yet a welcome shelter for those whom I hold dear.