Tuesday, 26 July 2011

The Crossroads, the cave and Elder wisdom.

There comes a time in everyone's journey when choices have to be made, along the crooked path of life we are often faced with decisions and dilemmas, forks within the road and crossroads after crossroads.
A time such as this is approaching within the threads and weave of this ones own life, I have climbed the tree and now to ponder which of the branches will ultimately serve my own purposes, which ones will take the strain, give me a foothold that is both steady and secure, which branches are strong enough to enable this seeker of the truth to ascend yet further into the mists of wisdom. The way forward is clearer now than ever before, a bright star illuminates the way, yet within its blinding light there are deeper shadows that in many ways are harder now to see.
All is well for the time being, change lurks below the horizon and I have the wit to see it coming. The path of this soul is solid and tangible, yet that which facilitates the voyage is uncertain, to live as a priest of the Arte would of course be the Ideal, but that time is not yet upon me, the concerns of the mundane world, of Flags, Flax and Fodder themselves are what would vex this one in times to come, Irons lie in fires and coin is quick to disappear, a difficult time fraught with uncertainty, in truth though, tis but a small cloud in what is turning out to be a most beautiful sky, Faith will secure the future and she will provide. She always does in the end, despite any concerns bought about by time relaxing and a corrupted view of the lives of others.

A few days away from the mill, among the blessed company of dearest family and the dark Serpentine of our most southerly reach, The swiftest of birds did accompany us all with whistle and grace on our exploration of this rugged coastal land, to secluded cove and rich heather moor, from high wind (not to mention rain) to magical caverns that stand with Majesty upon the grey shore, Green black rock veined as if it were the very flesh of the land on which we walk, these caves beckon to the traveller to enter and take joy in the mysteries within, to sing the song of the land, to join in tone and verse as we all become that which is the same through resonance, "you made the rock sing to you dad" were the words that sprung from the mouth of my youngest, as other visitors along the way smiled at this strange and unlikely occurance, need overtakes modesty at such times and that gift is gladly recieved.

The Rain did pour for a day, drumming its rhythm upon the tin shell that was our home for this time, yet from fair to foul and back to fair is the nature of this windswept land, so off across the fields I go, to encounter the Elder tree (pictured above) with arms outstretched to welcome me home, a specimen that bought sheer delight, old and wise was she that has stood for an age, far longer that the broken chapel that cast its shadow among her radiant leaves and growing fruit, although that too was a vision to behold.
Biting insects from flower to flesh, a grave yard long forgotten, reclaimed by nature yet standing as a monument to a simple faith that now lies forgotten, peace among the ivy clad stones that once held the celebrant's passion, those people from the past, those who once held this place sacred, now covered by thorn and grass, the words In loving memory" emblazoned on slate and stone, still none remember.

I am counseled in this place by one stone, the sound of my mentors voice echos with the engraved name, one forgotten lady who whispers advise into the Cunning man's ears,"Prudence", and there is the guiding light in an uncertain time.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Sweet blooms, clashing steel and knowing oneself.

The delicate aroma of the Meadowsweet flower brings pleasure to the mind as it passes through the senses, plentiful along the abundant hedgerows of my home, this gentle bloom a gem among the effulgent green and scarlet, an awakening amongst the sleepy Valerian herb and the tall fairy glove that mark this sleepy county in shades of red.
Black rock and golden gorse, perhaps the colours of this once Celtic land, overlooked the broom that glows within the partial shadow of the majestic oak, ingredients for love of a very different nature, at least to the magicians that walked the land in a time that lies forgotten to most.

It comes to pass that this would be wise man realises the importance of that well known council that once stood above the Oracle of Delphi, always acknowledged, yet perhaps not fully understood.
In truth aspects of the self, of who we truly are may still be discovered, perceptions and ideas brought about by social pressure may not be truths, growth can only take place at those times when we are prepared to open our hearts and minds, take a leap and to trust in fate once more and see what she throws at us.
What we think we are will often prove to be a misconception if we actually stop and pay attention to what we actually are, those subtleties in our own character's that we shy away from or bury beneath whatever mask may serve the purpose, if we allow them to surface there may be a pleasant surprise that awakens.
For this one there was a fear, a fight or flight reflex which has always become apparent at those testing times, a fear of failure, to be at that point when great change is afoot but to turn and run, to not even try, deluded by the fact that "I would have achieved but it wasn't really what I wanted", failure in itself but not one that is seen by the mundane world, as I would only allow success to be viewed.
In no small way, this very act is to cheat fate, to ignore the gifts or trials she has given, to remove or try to remove yourself from her influence is a witches heresy, yet it is only in Knowing oneself that we come to realise our worst traits, likewise, strengths we might never of known we had might blossom and bloom alike to the flowers that bring delight to our summer days, it takes another view to spot these, more often than not.

Friends and family met amongst the clashing of steel upon steel at Teweksbury medieval festival this past weekend, an absolute pleasure to catch up with so many that we rarely see, together with those who we see more often, fortunate indeed to be blessed with such company, not to mention a certain corvid who was unable to come yet sent a precious gem by way of a wren which was most welcome to boot, many thanks Bran if you should happen upon this witter.

This Cunning man makes preparation for what is possibly one of the greatest steps and commitment he has ever taken, the fight and flight instinct has well and truly been blown away by the wind of change, as doors open and gnosis lies like a veritable banquet before my eyes. When the call went out many moons ago, my own green fire sent skyward to the heavens, I would have known no Idea that my own path would end up at the place it has, not to mention the pleasure at meeting the souls who's company I have enjoyed along the way, my own among them and one I am just beginning to enjoy.

Flags,Flax and Fodder... Tony

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A candle For Roy.

Thoughts both fair and foul dance among the shadows of my mind, a reflection upon the soul of the candle's flickering light and to the purpose of that for which it was set to flight. From within hollow eyes I see fire and flame, radiant wisdom that more than forty years ago departed for another land.
Yet, to walk within his shadow, to glimpse the beauty he has seen, one man with such perfect vision, is privilege beyond recognition, to know and to love a soul that I am knowingly yet to encounter within this life, brings strength, family and knowledge far greater than I could have dreamed possible.
The hand that stretched forth to draw this lost soul from those dark places, realms that once walked no spirit would ever wish to return to, the words upon the page that say little save to those who can hear the whisper "you know me, we are blood you and I, patterns cut from the same cloth, her cloth, woven upon the loom by the three", to those who would hear those precious words he is everything, those simple works contain far more to one who would have the sight to see and the ear to listen, there are no secrets to such as these.

In the bright light of day, the candle's light appears far more subdued, yet it's purpose is still far brighter, mixed emotions, joy and sadness are played with brush and colour upon canvas white, a meditation that manifests itself seemingly in but two dimensions, the others hidden from plain sight, yet perfectly visible to another of the blood, this merry dance, this funeral march, the silent echo of one mans mark that paints the soul all shades of light, bringing illumination within chthonic thoughts, gnosis from chaos and wisdom out of confusion.

The table is set for honoured guest, although four places within the square, one can only hear the beat of three hearts, a toast to our absent friend, a meal is shared with beloved kin and absent heart. The silent supper of the witches, far more than the petty stories of lust and betrothal that persist within the realm of folklore, a perfect way to reach beyond the veil and honour those that have passed through the same.

I stare intently at the scene, over the shoulder of one who would acquire knowledge by the light of a candle, black hoods obscure the congregation and the pace of the mill is slow, resplendent he enters, white bone gleaming from within this darkness a hand of fealty and friendship is offered to all, united in purpose beneath horns of wood and horns born of bone, joined in blood and vision, the family is together again, past, present and future, this world I see does not obey the petty restrictions of time as we see it, it stretches far beyond that which we can perceive within the here and now, there is pain and joy, heart and thorn, all is as it was meant to be.

The sky is clear, I stand beneath the ploughman and his plough, words as yet unknown to many I read to the sky, upon the wind they shall travel far, reaching the minds of others who would perform this vigil upon this night, as time within our own world would sound twelve bells, the candle is extinguished, its light to forever burn within the green fire of my own soul.
To know and remember, all blessings to you Roy, and to all those who carry your flame that we may all bath within its light, and thank you.
Dedicated to Roy Bowers 1931-1966

Flags ,Flax and Fodder. Tony Macleod.

Thoughts from Roy's own hearth as it has grown and blossomed- Clan of Tubal Cain blog