Sunday, 28 November 2010

Symbolic warmth charming Frozen birds,

The North wind blows, the country is experiencing the onset of the winter in no small measure, our friends of fur and feather search the frozen landscape for food and water that is not in solid form.
Cattle stand with patience at the trough, waiting among the clouds of vapour for one to shatter the ice and enable the herd to drink, above the bovine rabble the smaller winged fellows huddle together for warmth upon the lines of power and communication that our modern society now worship with all the reverence once payed to the divine hosts of the universe, the lays of modern man that span this Island from coast to mountain, civilisation contained within covered wires of progress.
As the cold descends, it brings chaos to much of our modern world, people risking life and limb in the pursuit of the almighty pound, a preconditioned sense of importance, a feeling that the world might somehow fall apart if Mr Anonymous should fail to turn up to work, unprepared as we are in this land, is it not a great shame that the masses are unable to cope with something a simple as the changing seasons.
The lessons are there to be learned from, do the cows pace up and down the fields? do the birds fly frantically trying to find food and warmth? They do not, they wait patiently, they conserve energy, they know that within their very existence and within this temperate land provision will be made, a farmer breaks the ice, a kind soul will place food and water and an impatient tractor driver will spill some of his cargo in the rush to get things done, somehow all of nature is tuned in to the stream of fate, a flow that so many do not see and acknowledge.
A time to be more like our animal kin, repose and thought, the clarity brought in by Jack Frost is a gift, slow and deliberate action may be the key, conservation of our supplies, we will not rush toward our own demise because we do not have bread and milk, the impatience to maintain this idea is more likely to be the cause of death, do those in lesser developed places keel over when faced with these minor distractions, or do they learn to develop the mechanisms to cope?

An interesting week for this one, work continues alongside greater learning, the period of distraction and indeed disruption is coming to an end.
A good friend and far wiser man than I has been very much forced into making a statement to clarify his position, with regard to those usurpers of an highly disruptive nature, that we have mentioned and have indeed met upon the rambling pages of the cunning man.
The statement can be viewed here for those who are interested, beyond that no further discussion is of value here today.

I for one have sound something for which I have searched my entire adult life, I have been given advise on technique which has started to allow me to bring the spiritual aspects of my world together in a solid way with the more mundane, to finally bring acts of devotion into my everyday waking existence and dispense with the distractions therein, to tune in to those distractions instead of trying in vain to block them out, an epiphany, a true revelation that will bring much fruit and contentment on my own search for the truth, at the age of forty one I now have one life, no longer the two separate realms of existence, it requires more practice and devotion but I see it more as an achievable act rather than an unobtainable state of being.
There are those who may read this that would presume this is the failing of a first year neophyte, it is not, it is an area I have struggled with for many years, only recently have I seen the importance in the unity of these aspects, and now with help from others can finally hope to achieve this more priestly existence.

During this week of learning, I have seen many things on many levels, I have paid attention to the petty machinations of others and seen the mess left by dirty undisiplined magics, on a another level I have looked at the mechanics of apparently simple charms, I have been utterly bamboozled and astounded at the depths of symbolism within these tools and trappings of the traditional craft, realising also the need for those of us who would hope to use them with any real effect need also to look beyond and to constantly re-examine the familiar, this is paramount, I am not talking about searching the net for pertaining information but searching with intuition and instinct (there's that word again), going away and then returning to think upon the riddle once more.
Listen to what the symbols say to you, just because another might disagree with your interpretation does not mean that you are wrong, this is the true magic of symbolism, the key to your own doors and not that of another, we all live in the same world but our view of that world is different depending very much on where we stand at any one time, further pushing forward the "Truth is variable " motif once more.

My own keys may not fit any of your doors, but if you hear a jingle and a scratch at the entrance to your home during those hours of darkness ,it might be me trying them out, if you don't try it out how are you to know, only joking of course, I would be looking for an open window.

Flags,Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Hecate and the musings of a daytime lunatic

A slate grey sky looms over head as wrapped up warm against the cold I depart my abode, no pattern to be seen, no shadow, no points of light to guide, pure infinitesimal nothing in the realms of expectation, a blank canvas.
The light from my candle splutters in the breeze as aloft my head virtue is poured down into my cup, filled to over flowing I see her, clearer than I ever thought possible, with more clarity than could be seen in her reflection, as she bestows her gifts upon me, her loyal servant.
I lower my cup and the flame dies, yet far above my head the curtains of cloud briefly part, just enough for her smile in actuality to shine upon my soul, lighting the way, the brief walk to the crossroads where an offering is left, a devotion made, then to return home, never once to look back.
No fire or mill this night, I seek only communion, and that is what I find.

Many a time myself and others I have known have shown disappointment when upon the full moon night we have seen no sign of our lunar Majesty, perhaps for many a month we have indeed been distracted by the radiant Celeste in all her beauty, maybe as many believe she is but a reflection of the greater virtue within the universe.
I myself am coming round to this way of thought, the above experience although graced with an actual appearance would have held no less magic had it not been so, to say that to see the moon on such a night would be the goal would be to deny the blind man the pleasure of her knowledge, could it instead be thought that we are in turn some what blinded by this bright light within the night sky, that by being so we could remain ignorant of some thing much deeper and of far greater significance.
I do not seek to put down any of those who seek to revel in this Lunar spectacle, I only offer a slightly different take on the whole affair, it is the face of Cain that we see after all.

The moon as a planetary body effects all water upon this planet, as we ourselves are mostly made of this divine liquid we, like the tides are similarly effected, it is assumed that when the moon is full that this would have the greatest effect, mad people or Lunatics * are said to very much react to this phenomena , this may not be true if we examine the great seas and tidal estuaries that surround our island, perhaps we are chasing the lapwing here, seeing what we are told to see, cyclical lunacy may have little to do with the full moon, menstruation cycles rarely follow either, only to coincide on occasion, more likely to align themselves to other feminine influences than lunar ones.
If indeed we examine the tidal pull we see that although at the times when the moon is at it's fattest we also have high tides, when we look at the phase of the dark/ new moon those tides are always higher, which could illustrate a far greater influence.
Could this be why the Dark moon has greater significance to those within traditional craft, a wary time perhaps but one that is often put to good use, a time of chthonic brilliance, not Cursing necessarily, there are indeed other more appropriate activities at this time.
Are we in fact puppets of she who stands reflected in the moon? reacting to her ways, needs and plans for us.
"In fate and the overcoming of fate, lies the grail." R Cochrane.

So why go out?
What is the point?
Well, if one owns a watch there are occasions when you need to set the time, to make the connections to the divine it is important to reset your own clock to keep in time with it, what better way is there than once a month at least, the full moon is easily discernible the dark moon is less so, we are not stepping out to commune with a planetary divinity but the divine entity or source that is behind it. Regular observance of this calendar strengthens all our connections, so there is every reason to do so.

What we see with our eyes wide open to the material world is not all that is there, some times we need to view this world as a blind man would, to feel and sense our way through it without the distractions of what our eyes tell us is there.
After all Odin himself had to sacrifice one eye to enable him to see into the other realms, this is not a flight of fancy but perhaps I may have at least touched on why.

Just to add A note on my slightly morose piece last week, with regard to people who create a nuisance in our communities read on, you know who you are, we all know your dirty business and are indeed aware of your actions.

"This man is fortunate who, can get for himself praise and goodwill;
very difficult it is when a man lays claim to what is in anothers heart." Ods own words maybe, taken from the poetic edda, so those who claim to be his own men might like to take heed.

FFF. Tony.

*(The word lunatic is borrowed from the Latin "lunacus", in turns stemming from "luna" (moon), which denotes the traditional link made in folklore between madness and the phases of the moon. This probably refers to the symptoms of cyclic mood disorders such as bipolar disorder or cyclothymia, the symptoms of which may also go through phases. As yet there is no evidence whatsoever for any causal link between phases of the moon and the progression of mood disorder symptoms.) .

Monday, 15 November 2010

Thought, Memory and a frosty outlook.

A cold morning, Venus burns brightly by the clouds that tower over the horizon, red, pink and grey, the imposing towers stand vigilant over this waking world as the bovine herds of pasture and field breath mist into the ether, the busy life of the countryside returns to the land of the Cunning Man.
The sun rises, as it ascends it draws the stars back to the heavens, pulling with them the strands of gossamer thread, then only to leave them hanging in the air, pulled this way and that by the gentle breeze on this beautiful autumnal day, finally coming to rest upon the steaming hides of the cattle who tread without a care.
The crisp ground is short lived, warmth is still to be taken when the cold wind of the north departs, this bright star of ours can still comfort the bones when time allows to bask in its radiance, even so at midwinter during those calmer times, blessed indeed those of us that dwell on this blessed isle.

We take what we can from where we are , finding those special moments to reflect on how fortunate we are to walk this land, we complain when it is hot and again when it is cold, often forgetting that variety is indeed the spice of life.
Here in Cornwall we can experience all conditions in a matter of moments, a blessing or a curse , you decide for yourself, but for this one it is a blessing ( providing the right clothing and footwear is available).

My mind has been filled once more with the petty machinations of others, pitfalls and traps await us at every turn as there is much deception in this world, treading carefully is still the order of the day, I despair of the nature of some.
It would seem that there are those who create and build in all areas of this life, unfortunately for them there are also those with no such talent, this failure to achieve creates bitterness and hatred, the reaction is to claim anothers thoughts as their own or just simply to tear the creation down, in the all consuming torrent that follows, people get hurt, it becomes hard to build upon dreams when it is apparent that someone else will tear those very dreams apart.

So how have I dealt with all this?
Firstly, I have tried to remember that it is not something to be taken too personally, while also being aware of how these things may affect those whom we would call our kin, it is only with absolute clarity that we can even begin to heal these wounds and deal with situations such as these, to react openly and with anger is no longer my way, mainly because that particular modus operandi has indeed cost me dear in the past, as you might know.
Look deeper, the obvious is not always apparent, the truths can be obscured in the mists of grey magic, intuition is the key, if it feels wrong it probably is, failing intuition look in what ever other way you are accustomed to, cards, stones, bones or the proverbial crystal ball will all guide, this is the time when any personal use is most justified, however, always be aware that those who would work against us or those we love are lacking any real personal talents, especially of an occult nature, the preferred method is to harass from the position of the waking world, they may be quick to curse but that really has no weight.
So armed with facts at hand that only really leaves us with the baggage that we may have to carry around, today was a good day to deal with this, I will not go into the mechanics of the Arte only that a walk off the beaten track, fast flowing water and a small island in a stream, which is where my baggage now resides.

A much needed healing experience was to lead me up to the high moors for further regeneration of the soul, in the good company of thought and memory who circled calling in the air above.
So with my spirit lifted and my stomach full, home with my precious family I gaze out to a star filled sky that heralds yet another crisp autumnal morning, there is much still to see and know, but with the load off my back I may be able to lift my head a little easier.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A lesson learned, upon the wind knowledge for those who would listen

The rain beats it's persistent rhythms upon the doors and windows of the Cunning man's abode, as the wind bends the trees to the limit, preparations are underway for a midnight foray into the darkness to honour our beloved now passed beyond the veil.
Apprehension and anxiety, the lonely journey into the unknown, perhaps a secondary soaking as wet ground is trodden both with the sun and against, in the compass of living and the compass of the dead, alone yet accompanied by the shades of times past.
At the strike of the witching hour the rain ceases, the wind no longer blows and Herne's own stop the chase to listen to the voices that drift through the air between fires across the land.
One flame to light a fire and the simple flow of this hallowed night unfolds.
Rare is the occasion that things run as smoothly as they did this night, simple ritual the key together with a willingness to listen to the knowledge on the breeze, many of the spirits from this one's own past have moved on and are no longer available at this or any other time of year, even the spirit of the one so unfortunately taken this year was eager to move on to the next, as a wiser man than I proclaimed " the boy was as impetuous in death as he was in life" I never really considered him so until I pondered upon this statement, which of course is true to a point, great to see that this young man's soul was eager to have another go at life.
There were many truths and wisdom to come from the lessons of this man from the grey world, home truths and criticism together with more keys to unlock the doors to further knowledge, direct and very to the point, but I can see further now as a result of our conversation than I have ever been able to see before.
I know the things I must do and the doors in my own workings that are to be done and opened accordingly, only then will the tree truly bear me the fruit, the serpent will not impart his wisdom to the ignorant or the unprepared, only when the time is right and the subject is ready will he emerge fully from the shadow, on this occasion and in that place I did not expect to be, he showed me only a glimpse of his majesty.
The only other thing that I feel I can mention at this time with relation to this rite is the subject of being alone in my work, those who know me also know that on occasion I struggle with this concept, failure to grasp this as a gift has in many ways slowed me down by distracting me, longing for the company of others, especially my dear T, needing more than I to witness these times, the justification of like minded folk to prop up my faulty ego, who knows, but no more.
This is the way it is and I except it now as the blessing it indeed is, it will not always be so but for the time being I will make the most of this part of my journey, a true gift, beholden to none other than the Divine, the holy Fool, Odin's path ( oddly enough, I feel that this realisation was one of the keys T wanted me to find before making any foray herself in my company, a wiser soul indeed).
Interestingly, the noise that brought me home from the circle of the dead on this night was a ravens call, not an unusual sound here in my world but a rare one at one o'clock in the morning, emanating across the fields of the waking world and not the island.
I sat and watched as the embers of the fire began to fade away with the spirits of the ancestors, the gentle distraction as drops of rain started to hiss amongst the amber glow, my work was done, a meditation on the nights happenings to sort the wheat from the chaff , to bring at least some order and sense to the chaos in my head, then that was me to bed, to open the next chapter in my existence as the hunt resumed its own collections of the dark time.

To close this piece I will include part of a song written by Justin Sullivan of New Model Army, it was written about his Friend and companion Robert Heaton and I feel that it is hugely appropriate and it captures the whole feel of this time of year.

" And I'm numb, I'm numb,
like when you've been driving so fast for so long that it feels as if you're hardly moving at all,

my body rigid with tension and my soul all knotted and wound up like a twisted tree,
the way we used to be, when we sang of passion and justice;
and faith was easy and celebrated in a ritual of swirling smoke,
arms all raised up towards the lights...
And we said what we said but we made what we made

And so by now you'll be further on than I ever went. Is it still painless?
Do you get to float and look down and do all of that?
Tonight would be as good a night as any - you'll see the city alive like a great resting animal
lying in the lea of the hills and the moor-land
and breathing little patterns of fire into the cold dark coming of winter
and I'm warming my back against the heat of a bonfire, like the ones you so loved to build,
and I'm thinking about it all and I'm sorry and I'm not sorry -
our time was made up of confused emotions and little whirlwinds
and all those things we couldn't really talk about but,
most of all, it was sealed in sacred moments like these and then it was gone."

Much love and Blessings of the season to all of you.

Flags,Flax,Fodder and Frigg...

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Heavenly Virtue, Truth and Lies and a Damp Seat.

The time of the thinning veil is now upon us, the wild hunt tears through the night sky removing the vestiges of the autumnal trees as is passes, the first stormy winds of winter bring with them the dark sky as the season of the witch arrives.
From those clear nights, when the light from uncountable stars shine with radiant beauty on the land of our home we awaken to a dawn of silver hue, a refection of the night sky's majesty, crisp and clean, virtue from the heavens beneath our feet.
Is it any wonder that this time in our year should be held with awe and inspiration, moving through the darkness to find the bright fires of chthonic wisdom and knowledge, to reach out , to seek the truth, as the Hornet seeks a warm shelter, a place to rest out the biting winds and bitter frost, so we depart upon our quest, warm clothes and stout footwear are indeed the order of this season.

Commercially speaking, the Halloween festivities are over, to become transformed into the gross commercialism of the yule tide, which as the word tide suggests might well and truly drag away any spiritual importance out to sea with the rest of the detritus cast upon our shores, unlike the supermarkets and chain stores I for one am not ready to move into this phase this is not a discussion for today, my own ritual of the ancestors has not yet taken place, soon though.
The youngest in my home spent the calender night of all hallows eve terrorising the local village with other members of her clan, tired yet satisfied with her lot she returned to the house less a few bits of costume and with a full stomach of sugar based confectionery.
So the night of the 31st passed quietly, no visitors here as usual but then our own outlook is considered to be perhaps a little spooky for those of less understanding.
The Air itself seemed not to speak of other activities, like the etherical leech I went out to listen and soak up some feeling but alas, there was little, I feel in my heart that although this time is considered sacred to many within the pagan community, there appears to actually be some lack of understanding, as if there are many who somehow miss the point, perhaps this is in part due to the media and the saturation of the festival by corporate bigwigs, who knows? Only that the wind brought with it less activity than it did back at Lammas or indeed at any full moon.

As we embark on our voyage toward the truth, how do we know what we see, hear or feel is indeed that truth, does truth in any form really exist?
There are some definites, you are born and you will die, what you come in with and depart with is another matter, to assume that would be nothing may well be considered a greater Lie, perhaps that first statement may also be a lie, philosophy has long argued about such issues, but to get to my point I am reminded of one of Robert Cochrane's wiser sayings, and one I consider to be an undeniable indeed absolute truth;
"Truth is variable – what is true now, will not be true tomorrow, since the temporal truths are dependent upon ethics and social mores –therefore wisdom is possibly eternal Truth, untouched by man’s condition"
Not that it would be my place to say, however I would also add that "What may be the truth for one may be considered a lie to another", concepts globally and locally will vary considerably depending as is said above by the pressures and social mores of life which may in turn reflect an others perception, what I may perceive as a shade of green another may consider it to be a shade of blue, what we see is true for us the individual but not always for others, even the concepts of Good and Evil may be treated with suspicion, no evil act is ever committed for evils sake and vice-versa, this is merely another journey into the moral considerations of personal geography, where we stand at any particular time, who would argue that the deployment of nuclear weapons against the Japanese at the end of WW2 was an act of evil, even though those who perpetrated this atrocity would deny this, even consider it to be a good thing.
So, the search for truth although laden with pitfalls and traps has to continue, it is not important to justify your own perceptions to another as long as in your heart and at that time feel that it speaks true to you, and do not ever feel that time may well have been wasted when tomorrow the truth has turned to dust, it is particles of wisdom itself, there may be truth within the dust.

So as we move toward the Dark moon of this celebration, anticipation and a touch of anxiety reside within my bones, I am ready to pay my respect and dues to the others who built the styles and tracks of the hedges I cross and the twisting paths I walk, their knowledge is there upon the wind for any who will listen (RC), and listen for it I will even if it means cold ears and a damp seat, amidst Cornish mist and November rain.

Blessings of the season to all who read this and some of those who don't.

FFF. Tony.