Sunday, 30 January 2011

From the deep well of despair to the shoulders of giants.

I asked him, "What is that which I have to renounce?"

"All that is evil in order to occupy yourself only with that which is good. The proneness with which nearly all of us are born to vice rather than to virtue. Those passions which render us slaves to our senses which prevent us from applying ourselves to study, tasting its sweetness, and gathering its fruits. You see, my dear son, that the sacrifice which I demand of you is not painful and is not above your powers; on the contrary, it will make you approach perfection as near as it is possible for man to attain. Do you accept that which I propose?"

"Oh my Father," I answered, "nothing conforms more to my desires that that one should choose propriety and virtue." (Taken from the Black Pullet)

One small piece that very much speaks of the moment, the whole year has lead to this moment. Twelve months since my return to the compass proper, I could never have envisaged the importance of this time prior to this decision, am I a wise man? Perhaps that is for another to decide yet wiser I have become within my own understanding of the worlds, the stepping stones continue way into the distance, one at at time I take the leap from where I stand into the unknown, they no longer wobble beneath my weight as assured stability is my gift, a knowledge that if I were to fall there is a greater presence ready and willing to catch this wayward son of the divine she.
The Sins of this one are gathered up, I hold within my arms the shackles, the ball and chain that has slowed my progression into the light of Gnosis, in preparation for the coming rite that same consideration left me falling once more into the black well where the light of wisdom seems to far, too impossible to grab, the black walls are unclimbable, each attempt only serves to take this one further into the abyss, despair tears at my heart until at that moment all the purpose comes flooding back into the soul, the memories of all that has transpired over the year, the good, the bad, the lessons and the love.
There descends a hand, held open in warmth and my own reaches out to accept it, lifted cleanly from the dark water I am once more revealed to the light, his radiant smile like gold to my heart, "This is why my son, these are the chains that tie you to this pain, to be consumed in the late winter fires, then and only then will you be free to fly again".
Another lesson learned, to the fire of the Candlemass all the tethers will go, eaten in the spirit of the season, the February sun shall bring new strength to my cold bones upon it's arrival, another stone passed in my crossing of these sometimes treacherous waters.

A year on and this lonely Crafter is no longer alone, there is one who watches, who brings strength and support within this waking world and within the place of dreams, pointing out the direction to go, explaining the floors within my own workings, a mentor, a friend and one whom I respect, the spirits no longer hide from my enquiring mind and the serpent no longer recoils from my advances.
I continue to meet others who walk the solitary path, we become companions, friends, fellow travellers along a crooked road, together we are on our life's journey's no longer to be by ourselves in any real sense any more.
Then there are those within the exoteric plane that have taken this would be Cunning one under their wings, there is warmth and comfort it that knowledge alone, questions answered, my own doubts(although I have fewer now) are too consumed by the fires, in no small part to the influence of these wiser people, I feel in my very being a long and prosperous relationship with all whom I now hold dear yet whom were once strangers in the blink of time.
Communications along the digital highways that serve to bring armour to this wandering spirit, and an army ready to defend those who may me lost or vulnerable.

So, there we are once more my dear friends, the wheel has turned full circle and is ready for the off once again, in truth it never stops, to stop would bring stagnation and none of us want that.
Forward motion, evolution (my favorite word of the moment), let us all throw the rubbish upon the flames and continue on our respective journeys, there is change ahead and in another years time we will all be standing in a different place with a different view, upon the shoulders of giants we shall ride, beneath the radiant wisdom of the divine, all threads together in the tapestry of life, love and magick.

Flags,Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

A pre-spring cleaning and the Devil who cares.

The cold wind blows, chases the cloud to the west and leaves a crimson sky in its wake, an ice moon sails across the night sky, freezing all that her divine light touches, there is a hunger in the land once again, as the wild food is at a premium, desperate hedgerow birds will take the risks that they need in order to survive the rest of this frozen winter, the rewards may be great for those who venture to my own country home, the robin becomes king of all he surveys beneath the shadow of the circling raven.
Beneath the Cold Moon I have received a repose from the biting insects that attempt to blight my otherwise pleasant existence, the distracting bites and probes are beginning to become less of a distraction, do they become something that happens less frequently or do they become like that pain that descends into our tired bones, an uncomfortable ache that we have become somewhat used to, still this one refuses to bite back yet there is a powder keg that is building, the fuse remains long and optimism is the key, anger and bitterness are the thorns and brambles that trip and distract us from our true purpose and they have no place in my life at this time.

The seasons continue to flow one into the next as the wheel turns, now we reach an important time, if all has gone well over the winter we should have gained the insight and information to make those changes within our selves that will very much influence our future lives, this is a time for renewal, the year begins , the plough has turned the soil and the seeds of the first harvest will soon be planted, within our own cultivation of the soul, gnosis like the steel that slices deep into the earth should have turned up many of those weeds, stones and Brier that block our way, at the same time it enriches us, pulls the knowledge in and and serves to make the ground suitable, fertile for planting.

All of this knowledge we have attained so far is of no consequence unless we rid ourselves of the clutter, the seeds will only be strangled by the Brier, suppressed by weeds and rocks and never see the light of day, some are still rooted deep, others seem too big, but move them we must or we shall fail in our journey, stagnation is not acceptable, if we want to be still we would join some other religious cult wouldn't we, there is no place for this within the realms of the true craft, we are men and women not plants rooted in the mud.
It may not be easy to wash this detritus from our crafty lives, personal sacrifice or atonement may well be the order of the day, the choices must be made and resolution kept, this is an oath we take to ourselves and the Gods regardless of whatever other oaths we take in our lives, not something that we can easily put aside for some whim or another.
A devotional life is my own personal goal, to move closer to the divine, to become one with the same, we must evaluate, what we need, where we need to go and stick with it, the decisions are ours and ours alone, we may be within the flow of fate yet, if all has gone well we should at the very least be able to steer the rudder to the parts we wish to explore.
So whatever methods we need to use, the coming time is the time to be rid of hindrances, our sins, some will have another to help, the rest of us will need to work out ways to purge ourselves, be honest and show integrity, this is not some secular resolution that in a months time we can throw to one side, these are the decisions that could effect the rest of our lives and even the next.

As the days are now noticeably drawing out , Lucifer rises, each day growing stronger, his radiant heat can be felt once more upon the skin at those moments when the winter wind subsides, he like the wild kin we share our world with, reflect beautifully the growing strengths of our own tiny lives, his fire brings warmth to the soul, as the first greens of spring appear in the hedgerows.

To finish I would like to wish all who stray onto my path blessings in this coming time of thought and planning, I hope that you will not need some kind of metaphorical refuse skip in which to put your rubbish, for me the cleaning has begun, issues are being addressed, so come Candlemass it should be a bit of a flick round with a duster then to burn the last of the rubbish once and for all.

There is a phrase that says "The Devil may care", I personally know of one that does indeed and what is more he is quite happy to make work for these idle hands to boot, not to mention this easily distracted if not totally idle mind, most welcome he is as well, a great and much valued companion as are all his own kin, many thanks to him and his lady at this time, deeper consideration is just what this would be cunning one needs.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony..

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Moon torn, but not quite broken...

A Cold moon rises, radiating silver hue upon the grey evening sky, upon this night a veil of frost shall fall and cleanse the path to the divine beauty that is she, Darkness wraps itself around the land and within that comfort I can find peace at last from the petty machinations of this world, tasting the air of the other as I compose my piece, the directions are clear yet the choices remain my own.

Testing times have been the order of the previous week, the lack of integrity among those who participate in this secular society will never fail to astound, straw has been piled high upon the shoulders of this one, small piece after small piece until the weight was in danger of forcing the break, yet my back remains unbroken and my own values remain firmly intact, the thorn that dances within the confines of my home remains unsaited in it's desperate passion for retribution, but my own soul is now lighter for resisting those primal urges.
Night after night my sleeping world has been disturbed by my waking concerns, yet all the way there is one who's very presence serves to protect my resolve and bring strength to heart and soul, a beacon and guide that aids me by his very presence, he says nothing yet he is there and that is enough, decisions will be made very much aided by this sign, this also brings much joy and hope.

This veil of disruption has now lifted and at last my mind is free to consider the things within my own life that I would wish too, Tomorrow I shall share the virtue of the bright night and all that she will bring, a monthly communion that has over time become some of the most important rituals of my working year, simplicity is the key to that moment shared with our pale faced goddess and with my own beloved, Virtue, Gnosis and love.
Blessings have also been found through my own dear children, J continues to blossom and C has discovered the value of learning, it is a shame that we have had to take her out of the education system for her to do this, yet she is excelling in ways that we could not believe, the results say it all, so well done my loves, not to mention my dearest lady, who's patience, together with her refusal to let this awful school ruin a bright girl's future has won through.

So, a short one today, a little morose and for that I apologise, I can only write about my own experiences after all, to talk of matters of which I have no experience would be a falsehood in the extreme, I would be kissing goodbye to my own integrity, and that is one of the only things that no one can take from any of us, unless we let them.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Monday, 10 January 2011

A road less travelled, driving snow and a song from the soul.

Deep inside the belly of the great mother we sit in contemplative silence, the constant drip deeper underground the only sound we hear until, a sacred prayer breaks forth from the soul of my subterranean companion, the oldest instrument mankind has ever had at his disposal gently flows from the vicinity of my friend, notes high and low, a devotional act that transcends sound itself and it is not long before it becomes as the rock, the world, it is all, the sound envelops me and I become a part of it, vibrating through my body this man's song takes me far beyond that shell, I am one with the rock, the water the very wyrd itself, caught within that moment where space and time disappear into nothingness, to become as everything.
The song stops but the sensation continues to hold me, the vibrational note lingers for some while and then myself moved almost to tears we ascend back into the land of ice and snow, " the spirits be with you my friend", kind words from the dark world serve to distract me from my emotionally charged state, as we emerge from from the womb, high above us upon the cliff edge a single hawk watches, a fellow traveller that points to a belonging, like this one a traveller in an unfamiliar land together we navigate through the flow of the wyrd.

Moments such as these are rare and precious gems, shared with others they become as a bond, a connection that runs deeper than the holy springs of this very land upon which we walk , the past week has brought many of these.
Love, trust and shared insights, understanding and many truths were the order of this time, spent in the north of our country among the dearest of friends a treasure is found.
As the red hind leads the way for her offspring through the driving wind and snow, so I too find that those who lead me along the hidden paths are similar in that very nature, guides and mentors within the realms that I would wish to explore, and like the calf I trust them completely.

Meetings and merriment, well fed both spiritually and literally I depart for my return to my home in the south, but not before one more parting gift is given, a gift horse that is not examined in any way, some things seem too good to be true but on occasion they are just good and true.

The noise of the sisters, the clack of the loom is soon replaced by the similar clack of the train as it Carries me toward my home and my beloved, across wood and steel, through cities and across our great land I return to where I am needed, although soon I shall indeed return to what felt like a home from home, and to those that dwell there.

The traveller, perhaps this is the path this year, worthwhile and refreshing, I think I may have caught the bug, and to finish up I have to put that famous saying back into the box marked nonsense as I have found that it is most definitely not grim up north, far from it.

FFF. Tony..

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Phoenix rising, A Strange brotherhood and the cracking of nuts.

Within the silver cup the scarlet liquid turns, full circle we turn with it, except the gifts that it brings as we are reunited with those fibres of the universe.
Wyrd flows back into the body, connections are reestablished once more, becoming the part of the greater whole we become whole ourselves. The sounds of the changing year echo upon the breeze, sparks of change fly up into the night sky as the spectators coo with drunken awe at this spectacle, hopes and dreams are born, the failings of the past hopefully discarded and the modern world attempts to move forward along its path into the new year.

Realisation dawns, there is a dark cloud upon the horizon as this one comes to realise his own place in the new world, there are responsibilities, there is more control than before "what will you do with all you have been given?", it dawns upon me that at last the choices are mine, I stand at the crossroads and it is for this one to decide how and where to go, fate is allowing me to see the way clearly, if I step one way or another I can now see the outcomes of either choice, I am in fate and this is her gift to me.
Disappointment as even I seem to have fallen victim somewhat to that plague that ravishes our society, the sickness that wishes for others to make those important decisions for us, to shun our own responsibilities, passing the blame onto another party for the mistakes we make in our lives, I thought I was above that already, yet rising up through the flames this Phoenix truly hopes to fly above that now.

The decision is made, I choose to wade in the river, no longer to be just carried along in the flow, to be guided by the currents that surround me and no longer become washed up upon the shores of strange and unfamiliar lands that I do not wish to walk upon.

Messages come down the static cables of our waking world, as my own strange brotherhood makes contact, old friends that remind me of my place in time and space, my own beloved kin that for what ever reason has been spread far and wide across this land, all of us on different journeys yet in some way connected, the universal joke that starts with the words" A Boatman, Woodsman, Barrister and a Witch walk into a bar" the punchline is still to be written but I can hear the laughter already.
Grabbing the mood and the moment I ascend the stairs of the house, inviting my dear children and their confused friends into the heart of my choice, to bring the joy and optimism that only the youth can bring to our simple celebration, this is the path, the moment to seize, a simple act of choice that brings the virtue of joy and much laughter into the world, the way to start a new cycle, this is truly the way to bury the detritus and move forward.

My own path spreads out before me as I prepare for my journey to the north of our country and a visit to dear friends, the festivities over, normality returns with renewed vigour, gone is the mundane life, this path is sacred, to be trodden with care, to watch and learn, stopping often to pick of the fruits and gifts that are placed there to aid the weary traveller.

The great loom still sounds in the ether, weaving, creating, a constant beat that is always there, the heartbeat of the world unfolding the rich tapestry of life along which we travel.
Last year was a year of contact, this one also I feel, journeys far and wide within all context, meetings with like minds, with friends old and new, there will be much to celebrate in this coming time as meetings are planned and the union of souls from across the great sea is brought to pass within the hills and levels of my own home county. Like the serpent of my own dark places, this fiend of the shadows is emerging into the light of the great sun, a time to bask within the warmth of all the blessings I have been given.

So expect a visit my friends, because this one is off his leash and running wild, She who walks in the realms of shadow has sent me into this world to taste of the abundance there, I like the taste so don't be surprised when you find this faithful hound standing upon the path of your home.

To finish for the day I would like all who read this to picture the look upon the young face of a teenage boy (my eldest girl's current devotee), as this devious soul cracks Walnuts in a single hand to feed to his daughter while the poor lad observes the various weapons of Arte that clutter my abode, the splintered shells mimicking the sound of the weavers work... Priceless.

Flags, Flax, Fodder and Frigg. Tony....