Sunday, 16 September 2012

A Fool at journeys end.

Upon the rough twisted edge of the abyss I stand.
Dawn breaks the change of man.
Beyond the reach of the beloved and upon the wings of destiny,
we Fly.
Head long, straight into the arms of Fate.
To stand upon that distant land,
To knock upon the castle doors.
Many rivers to cross,
many mountains to climb.
A road less travelled to a destination rarely seen.
That blessed isle, that perilous realm.

Pray be with me now,
for this holy fool does stand or fall at your will.
An Infant soul, to the arms of his mother goes.
I would beg you now to be kind,
to hold me in your love,
not brush me aside as autumn leaves to the wind,
Ash to this storm.
I am the clay to be shaped,
the sword in the stone.
Mould be, Temper me.
I am yours.

Until we meet again.
Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony Macleod.

Friday, 14 September 2012

The sword in the stone.

Blood veined stone, hewn from chthonic realm, glows and iridescent sparks of promise adorned, callused hands and damp brow gaze upon, turning, inspecting, this gift of earth.

She is born.

This Forge of clay, the flames of inspiration dance within, as this melting, smelting womb of transformation ignites, it is though one of the chosen has captured the sun.

She burns.

Heat Intense below the acrid smoke, tears at the lungs and scorches the skin, broken she is placed within, black fuel and the gasping, wheezing breath of man.

She breathes.

Bellowed wind, forced in to this hell through a mouth Iron born as she, the crack of the whip, and screaming release, this heart of clay beats once more, no flames of desire only doom for the flesh, hope for the ploughman and the warriors arm.

She feels.

The serpent she comes, emerging tentatively at first, feeling her way, beneath and beyond Vulcan's mound, slowly to begin then a rush forward into the world, she scorches all she touches, steam consigned to the void, sand becomes glass upon her demon touch, she journeys forth then.

She waits.

Hammers fall, a cacophony, a symphony, a riot of sound, the tap tap tap of the blacksmith's tune, the cling clang clattering music of steel upon steel, woodsmoke and sweat fill the air, and that gentle gasp of wonder, of all those who would hope to take her for their own.

She is shaped.

Water's sweet kiss and the rasp of stone, razor sharp edge reflected moon born anew striding among the ancestor souls, held up to the morning sun and kissed by her touch.

She lives.

Flags,Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

One perfect moment.

It is colder this morning, my brothers oath echo's within my ears, borne of love and loyalty, an honest petition to the great lady of light.
A bright crimson orange scar, tears its way across the eastern sky, feathered fellows dance and chatter in the grasping air, haste and a sense of urgency at the taste of autumn's change.
Preparation for shifting times, journeys far and winter's icy bite, we all make ready.

That pale blue atmospheric shield that hides the stars, so that we may gaze at this bright emerging world seems so distant, That washed out bolt of cloth that awaits the vibrant bright dyes of the rising sun, does make all else seem razor sharp, keen edged and crisp in this half light liminal beauty.
Luciferaian Radiance, creeps up the Ash's stalwart frame and the mighty oak is raised high as queen of the forest, bathed within fiery tones, she would rule this world.

I become ready, prepared for this change, soon will come the time when this old tattered leather shell is shaken of in the blissful light of transformation, to move beyond and bask in pools of Venusian light once more, to set foot upon new lands, familiar to the soul yet strange upon the eyes, to walk with my brother, and hear his words spoken to my ear and not upon the winds.

I am within her grasp. Her mighty strength wraps itself around my spine, tendrils creep between each and every joint and into my being, moving, living within me, held in my mothers arms, the cradled infant at peace with the world.
And yes, change requires sacrifice, and like the long tailed acrobats that grace the summer skies of our land, I too must depart for autumn shores, I too will give all of myself, I too will take all that she would bestow upon me. A thousand miles I would go, for just one glimpse of her beauty, one kernel of truth.
To the ends of this earth and further still, just to touch the bright hem of her cloak, to walk with her for one perfect moment, and hold it all for all times to come.

Preparations are made.

I am ready for winters change.

Flags,Flax and Fodder. Tony

Wednesday, 12 September 2012


Fire burns, in hearth and heart, reflected in the eyes and faces of the many beloved, gathered about it's warming flames as shadows dance and leap upon the walls of our hall.
Vapour hits the air with a bubbling hiss as hot skin and transforming sinew, releases its virtue to the hot orange coals below. Woodsmoke and steam rise to the flags and straw rooftop then linger, above this joyful band of brothers and sisters, as busy weavers make their way to avoid the hot damp, the charred scent of mans appetite for flesh pushes them deep into the high corners to weave their magic in comfortable bliss.

It seems to have been a while, but now the mead flows and honey sweetened ale is consumed and spilt, some by the hap hazard near drunken revelry, some for those before and a drop for those to come, a drop for the old ones, and several for the winds, huzzah! the toast for those many who would carry us to richer lands, one day to the great hall of the gods, but not today.

Beyond the stones, the earth lies crisp with hints of silver, dark trodden soil illuminated by the moon in perfect reflection of that heavenly spectacle above, accented, diamond white sparkling gems that shift and move beneath the face of Cain, that shrine to our ancestors, that map to our lives, that guiding sky.
Old Toby raises his nose to the wind as the smell of revelry reaches his senses, desire to sate his hunger remains for a second but the danger is too great, tonight he waits for the midden pile to be refreshed and then to dine among his kin.

Safe and warm, beyond the fox's gaze, a cup of horn is raised as the old chieftain is remembered, another for the King upon the hill, within castle walls of impenetrable stone and safe from the concerns of other tribes, once again to our gracious lord, another to his lady fair and many many more to this raggle taggle bunch who fill this place with vibrant laughter and life itself, for we are gathered home at last, the many as one we become, united in this flesh and fire banquet, for now and all times to come.

I partake of the feast,  hot meat, my mouth exalts at this divine pleasure, salted fat runs down my chin, this revered tribute to our continued voyage, its essence, screaming through my every fibre, I fill my tired weary boots, tonight we eat, tonight the famine passes, tonight we remember our own.
Thankful for the company and for the beast we devour we remember our own.
We consume this flesh and its virtue with hope and love, the bonds of family, flows through us to become us.

Blood brown, bark skinned, bristle brushed backed ploughman. within the upturned furrows of forest drear, of upended sod and broken branch, wise excavator of the mysteries, devourer of wisdom and rugged companion of the dark terrible beauty that is the enchantress of men.
Midnight wanderer, secret seeker, path finder, Iron boned, bright lamp of the hidden road, god bearing, rule breaker, earths own herald.
We devour you, as your spirit consumes our selves.

For this merry band.


Flags,Flax and Fodder.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Danger, may contain nuts.

Consider for a moment, those implications and complications of the mystical path.Were we, as operators to consider in this modern age the health and safety, blame someone else, I couldn't possibly take responsibility, risk assessment factors, demanded within even the lowly village fete culture of todays western society .
Those simple pleasures of rural life now tied up with food safety legislation, fire risk, possible slipping, pointless bureaucratic nonsense, serving to remove control from the grasp of the individual, come to mother policies, nanny state nightmare.

Our own mysterious roads are fraught with such matters, but to ourselves we look to grasp that light, take those chances, for if we fall it is written, if we scald it will be known.
Dark nights gathered around bright blazing fires, sparks lifted upon the wind circle round, high and low among the stones and often come to rest on the clothes of the chosen, mostly unnoticed within the acrid smoke of the young flames until this holy marker finds its heat and the air around clears, tiny parts of the whole drift up to the heavens in mockery of our voyage. Thankfully, the polyester shell suit is not the desired attire for such occasions, cotton and wool do no generally combust under such circumstances, if such cares were a concern we could not focus upon that work, that common thread that brings family together.

Wind, rain, snow, sharp objects, precarious wet grass underfoot, a possibility of sunstroke, rare but to be considered. Tired hungry devotees, fixed in one purpose, turn and move as one being, long gown and feathered cloak within dangerous proximity of Prometheus's gift, but thankful for its warmth or hypothermia might mean another fall, we know we will rise, so why worry, if she comes to take us we are ready, there is no fear.

High hills far from the beaten track, inspiration takes us far beyond the ambulance's grasp as we ourselves reach to the sky, often alone or far from family, cliff climbing, cave descending craziness.
Comfort zone, Tish, what's a comfort zone to one who would touch the void, which of course could contain every nightmare, fear, failure, the monsters of your imagination and security, perhaps even those hopes and successes you have always dreamed of, imagine that, nice things in the places reserved for terror in the popular comfortable imaginings if those who never had the stones to take a peek,comfort zones are for pussys and we don't need them,ha ha.
To run with wild abandon along the tracks of our ancestors is our love, to share our meals, to drink from the same cup, I know, I can see the vicar now, sanitising the chalice as each confirmed approaches for that taste of blood, can there really be a faith in god if such concerns are considered holy.

To reach out to that which calls, and maybe discover why, where the fearful fool would throw salt at this perceived enemy from his "protective bubble of radiant blue light", we don't have one of those on our risk assessment code of good conduct, it blocks out all the good stuff, its a sanitised chalice for the child who is not allowed near the flames, wouldn't want to let him burn-Would we? Do we throw rocks at hunch backed strangers because we don't like the look of them, or the salvation army band for the racket and din it makes as twenty would be musicians attempt to produce a "tune". Crikey, if we could do that it might actually be worth watching the X factor, deluded morons, talentless proles, stoned to death upon live television,actually doesn't sound that far off, does it? It goes without saying that those rocks would have no sharp edges as the hurling crowd might injure itself.

So why in this madness, do we do what we do?
There is no reward without risk and true, honest, straight up, no nonsense Faith takes all fear from our hearts. It is a scathing world that looks at the mountaineer, the parachutist, the diver and asks Why? Why take those risks?
The truth of theirs is like our own, we do it because we must, choice is really an illusion, one granted to those who would make Charlie Darwin wince, and he was a spiritual man also.

Flags ,Flax and fodder. Tony.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Two leaves.

Imagine if you will.

Two leaves falling from the high effulgent canopy of midsummer's crowning glory.
Caught up by the breeze, carried by the swirling current, dancing winds of change, opportunity, fire and air.
Destination unknown to them both, hidden, far below in the silent shadows, among whispered words and dark promise.

Two leaves upon solstice fair, pass beyond and away from the illusory comfort and shelter of this woodland height, to dance with the Devil in the glades below, to live and love with truth and honour, among those fallen, once lost rangers of the soul, choicest of companions upon this lonely road.
Far Far from this maddening crowd that grabs and grasps at hope and delusion, rubbing, swaying as one impossible creature, content in its discontent, this world where illusion wears the crown of kings and where there is safety in the flock.

Two leaves rise up and down upon the heady thermals of summer's glory, spinning, twisting, turning, flipping, this strange tide, this spiral dance, born of need and ever moving, closer now to the rivers of change, those stony shores where the dispossessed find solice among the paths of the wise.

Two leaves, held within the safe hands of one who would catch the fallen, one who would place them where it is they should need to rest.
Immersed in the shelter to which they belong, this strange brotherhood, this sublime collective, far beyond the hum drum, rustle and rattle of those who chose to remain "connected" to the hoard, far from the stinking piles of rotting mulch that decay upon this forest floor, those that allowed others to make the choices and forgone were their own, in finer favour of comfortable lies, deaf to the word and blind to the sight, this land of great terror and fearsome dread.

Two leaves that together did fall.
Two leaves that together stand  side by side, back to back.
Two leaves that have fallen before.
Two leaves that found the place where they fit.

Imagine if you will, Two leaves that do journey together and were nearly home.

Flags Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Call to Arms.

I see you clearly now.

The bright eternal tresses of your hair, autumn leaves trapped with strands of golden corn made brighter in the light of his fire.
Your Verdigris leafen shirt, beneath tattered robe, scars of battle, cut by force, bring forth suns light in copper and gold from within that mottled plate.
How many have stood before you? How few have dared to gaze into those virescent wild eyes, those emerald pools, set within a pale vision untouched by the ravages of time and the many trials upon the path of human life.

Dark and terrible Magisty, so bright this truth I must avert mine eyes, does it sully your presence, for this low born, bastard fool to gaze upon such vision, I answer your call and pray to the winds that I should not disappoint, this hapless pilgrim, this beggar at your door.

My heart pounds with a strange fear, my chest, my throat, the rushing of the sea crashing with salt laden waves inside my head, should that you choose to strike this one from the Wyrd, this exited child who would know you, would feel you, within every fibre of his being, willing child of Fate should that You see fit to part soul from life.

Yet I stand before you still, as an arrow once set loose from the blanched sinew of your bow, aimed with absolute purpose toward the heart of the black sun, to one day return, for I have stood within your sight before, raw, untempered, a material yet to face the fires of that holy forge, imperfect, I recognised you not for who you were and only as another's eyes would see, like wise your perfect stare fell upon empty ground , so we parted .

Oh my Queen of heaven, I am with you now, mistress of my soul, you have called me home and I have finally gained the ears to listen, home at last to the warmth and comfort at your hearth, it has been an age my love, yet forever it would seem that I saw your reflection, chased those shifting shadows of your beauty, glimpses that sprung from the corners of my vision. Oh my Queen of hell I am with you now.

The Iron, solid, unwaivering in my hand, held with love and the conviction of my heart is yours in truth, the helm I would wear upon my head is as a mark that would brand me as your own, Faith is the shield I would carry forth, solid resilient in the face of the unwavering foe.
Your Holy knight, your judicial Sword bearer, severity incarnate, tempered with the many blessings of humanities plight and the mercy that attaches itself to this mortal coil, balanced to the scales themselves, polished golden, radiant and fair, your will is my command

Moon sister, guiding star, lover, teacher and prophet, I will become your shining steel, your instrument through fate, destruction and creation at your own behest, a scarlet thread woven into the fabric of your story.

My queen.

Once unseen I see you clearly now.

Flags,Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Perfection in the confusion

Perceptions Change as we move our way between the myriad pools of inspiration that lie scattered within the landscape of our many coloured land.
Vistas shift and fade, in and out of conscious thought as requirement and time shift far beyond our own control.
That, which in this moment seems so precious, previously hidden by dark grey shadow and only within the one cycle of our heavenly solar star, now rises as the phoenix, bright golden splendour from the ashes of our vision.

I have the Hawk's sight today, nothing escapes these watching eyes, silent sentinel high above the affairs of men, unnoticed hidden within plain sight, unseen for there are no eyes that wish to see, time and tide wait for no man they say and then their lives are gone, those tiny sparks that fly around the great fire, gone in an instant, the only signature a pit full of refuse covered in earth to mark the passing of wasted potential, the saddest epitaph of all.

But high above this madness I see perfection, sublime beauty stretches out before me on all horizons, the green grass of our glorious England, patchwork sky cerulean blue , the grey criss cross tracks of civilisations travel, all so small from up here.

Heaven and hell, the doors are wide open, in a time long passed, when such divine gifts were abused by a younger man, in search of other, found only confusion within the abuse of the heavenly Soma. Strangely it may seem that this vision shares a truth with that history, a connection to the void that remains out of reach for time and space.

Bright sunlight, cuts through the trees, blazing rays of light dance between the shadow falls, each leafy blade when touched by the sun seems as steel edge, corrupted copper and acid green, a collective all ready to leap to earth, the fall of all those who would attempt to touch the sun, the infinite sons of Icarus, poised and waiting, doom awaits and willing they will fall.

The grass below soaked in sweat from the fall and rise of Lucifer passing, I see a thousand million individual drops each one resting upon its own personal elven blade, some share yet separate from their kin, fantastical iridescence, all the shades of the artists pallet and more, the eighth, the one colour that is life itself, that one pigment that human kind has striven to master, eluding him still, for that is in the hands of the gods and not even Prometheus sought to steal that from them. Fire may belong to man but never that spark within life which truly colours this world.

I see perfection in the confusion, all of life,s petty machinations, the concerns of the social classes lie far beyond me in this perfect moment, untouched, pure soul, watching, reaching out, burning inside with love, stretching far that open heart in what is perhaps a vain hope that I can hold this moment, and I can.


Perceptions change.

Flags,Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

An unspoken When.

So, When exactly did she come to you my boy?

At what point among the confusion of your life did she pluck you up and mark you as one of her own.
Was it The Sun's rise upon a crisp autumn day, or perhaps that night you sat and watched the Lunar spectacle as she travelled from east to west, radiant reflection upon black water and golden sand, sea spray illuminated bright white as it bubbled and foamed along the shore.

Was it that lone piper who gently serenaded you and yours as the sun rose above the mists of Avalon, those notes that carried you far beyond the realms of men, further still than Arthur's quest.
Maybe it was the broken man, who's own quest for shelter left him cold and desolate, asleep at night beneath the eves of the local cinema, gone soon after dawns break, his whole life consigned to a pair of scruffy polythene bags intended for groceries and not much else. Empathy, compassion and anger were her gifts to you that day, and like the bags, you carry them still.

Could it be the day when you found an injured bird, shaking in its terror, broken wing and eyes as wide as the hub caps of the car that struck it down, the injustice of it all, the lack of sense in this senseless world, you thought a night in an old shoe box with some worms freshly dug from the garden would resurrect this fallen angel, yet in the morning, the dull and lifeless body lay upon and old towel, surrounded by dried up worms intended to fix it's broken wing. Nature was cruel that day as is her way at times, reality and fate also.

Was it That time within the bustling metropolis, when across a sea concrete, of lost and lonely souls, you did first set eyes upon your beloved, that single moment in time when that sense of wyrd was so strong, you knew then that this was a forever moment, a joining, fate's busy plan in action and fruition, that which was alone would never be so again, a kiss beneath the sodium light to seal that bond for eternity with never a regret, Every precious moment a gift from her.

Was it This vagabond tribe that gathered around you both, the sense of absolute love that came with it, blessed with the company of like you found your own, or perhaps they found you, still the result was always the same, an oath unspoken yet tied to it you are, the bonds run deep, was that when she marked you as Hers my boy?

Was it When you took another's life to feed your children, did the blood on your hands make you sad, was the sacrifice worth it my boy? It may not have seemed so, yet it tied you to her in ways you did not know, reaper of souls, pale faced wanderer.

Was it within the cloak of darkness, where you deigned to meet her, never a demand, and yet he took you to her, the crackle of the need fire, music of the night, that acceptance at the crossroads, that divine gift from you both, she told you there would be others, that you would find your family and you did, you never doubted her for a moment.

Was it then my boy?

Well, The truth is my boy!

Are you listening?

You were hers all along.

That breaking light upon a spring day, when you were unceremoniously expelled from your mothers womb, kicking and screaming, into this world of mixed blessings and hurt, before then you bore her mark and will carry it ever more.

You were Hers from day one My Boy.

As was I.

Flags, Flax and Fodder, Tony.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Grey Mist, Salt and Blood.

As I sit beneath the shadow of the great door, it's leaves bearing a touch of rust cast shadows of the signs of autumns coming, in the haze that is the end of summer my heart wanders, to another time,
when we were waiting.

This grey mist that surrounds us all, our breath upon the cold air brings sustenance to our lady's veil, thick impenetrable alike to the bare faced granite of our home, yet moving, seething, around and before us.
This ragged brotherhood, side by side, steel gripped by rock solid ice, stone cold hands, precipitation that drips into eyes from brow and helm, the taste of salt upon our tongues and the scent of blood within out nostrils.

We wait.

Concealed, hidden in the realms of our own doom.

We Wait.

Figures of the air and water surround us, twisting, turning beauty, the dance of the warrior queens, to goad our spirits, to spur us on, perhaps upon the winds of fate carry us home to the great hall of our ancestors.
Our hearts in our mouths, life's blood rushing in our ears, anticipation grows, the page turns and this saga remains unwritten, we know from where we come and step with honour to where we need to be.

But now we wait, we always wait.

A surge at this worlds end and we are pitched forward, our steady legs remain firm upon the deck as fallen land and empty shell make signature upon softer wood in a tumult of salt and spray, high into the air it flowers, this glorious arriving , each of us a part of this many petalled and deadly rose.
I am so alive, standing on solid ground I still sway with the poetry of the ocean waves, back and forth, up and down, this motion that would send a child to sleep or drive a man to madness is in my soul, a part of who I have become, I am ready.

Behind the shield wall, we wait.

Patience, a virtue not considered of our kind, yet driven by need we come, from Ice covered land and barren field, food for the belly's of our kin and passion for our ever starving hearts, the spirit of the great bear rises within, fuels those fires born of necessity.
The grey mist swirls its black and grey in and around our mail clad forms and,

We wait no more..

And so I remain, beneath canopy of green and brown, sublime beauty the eye never tires to behold, within a far off time and a far off land, I can remember. The ship, the family and my tribe, that grey mist follows me still, hides me from prying vision, carries me toward my doom and will always do so.

I wait no more.

Dragon prow-British museum

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Saturni corvus

Dawn breaks and I hear her call.
Black ragged wings upon a cobalt sky she soars,
far above this waking world that lies bathed in dew,
shades of green and long faded shadow.

My heart awakens to this call,
Thought and memory stir to the resonance of that sound,
purpose and destiny entwined within that weave of dark cloth,
a tapestry filled with yet unseen imagery.

All eyes fall upon her form.
The panicked flutter of the vulnerable as they flee,
the fear, the terror as those who would attempt to avoid their fate,
to hide from morning's shadow, all calling.

"She is here, she is among us, hide from her gaze."

Those steel eyes were forged in fires long departed from this world,
belonging to another time they see all,
There is no malice, no bitter vengeance,
all is well, high within the rising warmth of mornings steady rise.

There are those who would berate her for this magisty.
The vengeful, the bitter and the curious.
Toward that which stirs the unknown within they soar, then away,
as if that word was enough, a sated curiosity returns all to the business of the day.

Then she is gone, disappeared from view.
To where I cannot see, yet my heart still hears her voice,
it still echo's it vibrant tone through my spirit.
Wise mistress, mentor to the lost and gatherer of souls.

It is to you I look.
Glorious Black Star, Radiant in the light of day.
Sister, mother, resurrector of the fallen.
Beneath your wings I am.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

When fire in no longer given freely it must be taken.

To what do we aspire?
How do we keep our heads within the insanity of the hell that surrounds us all.
It is a dangerous man that finds himself with nothing left to lose,
Trapped, the rat who wades through the detritus of modern civilisation.
With our backs to the wall we have limited choices,
to leap, to confront our jailors, to crouch further within our prison,
or to ascend to places where we are no longer subject to such hideous torment,
Holding back that black tide of reaction.

Our beloved children,
have come to view this world through the eyes of diseased vermin.
Raised to a life and trapped in a sewer, given little and have little to lose.
Taught to circumvent the virtues of love and life, even themselves.
Waves of faithless automatons would seek to destroy in them that which they themselves have lost,
forgoing that privalage of nurture, removing self worth, that which makes us strong,
blinded of the vision which would allow plain sailing over seas of derision.
A million seeds, allowed to rot in the storehouse of ignorance,
 as faith soon departs from the blind.

Ice requires fire to thaw that potential.
When fire in no longer given freely it must be taken.
Undirected and undisciplined it burns far beyond control.
Prometheus weeps,  when this divine gift is fanned by the flames of destruction,
that was never its purpose.

Be patient with the young and give good council.
What will be will be but we still shape our own fate.
To give all of our selves.
To hold dear all we are given.
We keep our heads above the water, and enjoy this sacred life,
for this gift is not ours alone,
we hold it in trust for our kin,
we must pass it on to them for it is theirs afterall.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Monday, 3 September 2012

To those who would sit among the gods

Brave is the Warrior who would embrace the truth borne upon dark winds.
Patient in the face of the adversary.
Blessed is the child who can rest assured, nursed within those arms of fate.
That holy fool that takes it's first steps toward the light.
No one ever said that this journey would be easy but which path ever is.
A dark and crooked road it is not, yet pitfalls lie in wait for the unwary pilgrim.
Within those corridors of truth brightness often conceals the cracks at our feet.
It is the eyes that deceive, the heart knows the danger,the soul still clutches to the mother,
wyrd itself becomes both destiny and guide.
Far from land, to a place less travelled our journey ends, a reckoning, a beginning,
Who knows?
Only those who chose to know.
Only those who have gone before.
Only those who would sit among the gods.
Within those walls of stone, beneath the cradle of the heavens.

Brave are the chosen.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The Steel grey skies herald the season of change

 Steel grey Skies herald the new beginnings within this season of change.
The laughter of the old king still ringing in my ears.
The embrace of family dear, still warmth to my heart.
A seed of potential, an essence,
 if not appearance as the wheat stands tall beneath the echo of the blue moon.
An emerald land lies in pestilent hunger for a drying sun
 as the fields whisper words of poison ergot to the winds of becoming.
The shifting sands of time are upon us still as we stand at this worlds end,
 the bite of winter within those dark and remote places,
to look.
to prepare for the thread to which we grasp.
 Jack, master of frost does stretch forth his icy grasp, a touch,
a bite for the unaware,
a promise,
of that which is yet to come.
Still there is She.
She who is with me always .
She who gives sight to this blind fool.
 She who makes my blood pulse at her promise.
She who makes my heart race with her love.
Today and all days to come.
beyond the perceptions of man.
far beyond the lives of our kind.

The Steel grey skies herald the season of change.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Quiet Warrior at the feast of John

I was taught as a young man that "Unless I had something positive to say I would be well advised to keep my mouth shut ", the truth of the matter is -that of late this has been sage advice, of course this is not the only reasoning for this prolonged silence, the answer there lies within the realms of personal thought and the nature of oaths taken, there has been much learnt and great gains within the often turbulent life of The Cunning man, a good deal of which serves no purpose in display here or anywhere else, family business is for family only and our concerns are not and should not be the concerns of others outside of such.

Silence during and after the storm will often furnish rich dividends, it allows the mind to reorder the troubles and distractions of modern living, it enables less reaction to the stresses and strains often placed upon us by others, when acknowledged the flood subsides and we are once more left to wander the fertile lands of our being, stronger for the temper having been held and forced to strengthen the soul, action engenders reaction and so forth, for a situation to be allowed to dissipate we must cease to continue to give it energy. This is not easy at all times  but the reward is vast and resolve becomes as a Shield.

Yet opinions and views cast upon myself and upon my own kin and the nature of action/inaction still force me to examine why it is we act the way we do, perhaps to enlighten those who would criticise our perceived inaction.

A study of the art of war is as good as any place to start, one of the great manuscripts on warfare and studied still within the military colleges the world over despite its considerable age, this is not some how separate to spirituality but another oft overlooked facet of it, in order to protect the faith we become warriors of the faith,an army itself is made up of many people all with different skills that becomes a force far stronger through unification, but must we always run to war.

 Our warrior nature allows for us to let our foes do the work, for them to send arrows badly aimed in our direction with intent yet with no power behind then, the wise man will wait until those same missiles are depleted from the stores of our enemies and the field is safe, then we have a deterrent and our own stores are plentiful, the attacker has become sterile no longer a threat to our peace. Let the angry warrior jump and swing, thrust and cut without thought or care as we step aside the badly placed blows, yet he becomes tired as we remain fresh and once more the field becomes quiet. Perhaps a time to strike will come around and when it does it shall be well aimed and truly find its mark, it will not be an action born of vengeance or anger but one child born of thought and justice. A silent assassin may complete the work efficiently where a thousand men can fail!

It would seem that in the eyes of others, that the quiet warrior is nothing more than a coward of inaction, unbloodied and impotent, when one truly studies the martial ways it may become apparent that the focused mind is the warriors most potent weapon, the unfocused mind or the enraged ego can be seen to be of benefit of the enemy and no one else.
So there in part explains my recent absence, thought and meditation, to be seen by some as unthinking inaction. Yet in all honesty there have been times of late where I have been physically restrained from action and now with hind sight I am glad for that council, for the moment at least I have gained more this way than I could have the other, and now the storm has passed I count my blessings as many and the curses as arrows that lie upon the field of battle, unbloodied and impotent alike to the perceptions of the ignorant.

Unfortunately within this time of electronic communication there are those who fail to adhere to the above metaphor, the computer keyboard has replaced the bow, sword and spear, it still seems to retain some similar properties of the shield however. Internet conflict is the modern form of warfare where the warriors of cyberspace duel with each other without fear of being hurt(physically), the dramas that seem to play out within the lives of teenagers are theirs alone no longer. I have been witness to all manner of threats and bullying, not as one would think coming from the adolescents within our community, but fully fledged adults, occult forums where grandmother stories proliferate at every level become the village gossip centres upon the book of faces, here it has become where talk is more about what so and so is doing and healthy debate seems to have taken a back seat. believe if you will but I have witnessed grown men challenge each other to Wizard's duels in the Harry Potter style fantasy, adults who cannot seem to grasp any kind of reality yet often have claims of power and heritage, the occult world is in danger of becoming a laughing stock in the eyes of "Muggles"(had to put that in, sorry), because those of us who refuse to react are laughing, although it is with pity and not mirth. As for the duellists,well, my own stang is quite heavy, it does not shoot out malefic flame but if I were to hit some one with it, my it would hurt.
Sadly of course, those lost individuals who might have a interest in the many faced jewel of occultism may feel today that is is not for them, up and coming talent is suppressed by the carrying on of those who in truth know nothing, the quiet ones are the ones to find, within the noise they become far harder to seek out with all the distractions and shouting everywhere, look for the one who watches, the one who thinks without the need to reply and listen to the heart.

 My own climb upon the ladder continues as ever, I am within the arms of Fate and she continues to astound me. Midsummer is nearly upon us and family gathers for the feast of John, it truly seems like another life when I stood alone in the wilds of my home and wished for company below the stars.
To those who would seek companions of the Arte I would say, trust in yourself and only when you are content in who you are and what you do will something happen, the craft requires people that are whole or on the way to becoming so, you may well be capable of becoming so by yourself. Do not wait until the opportunity arises, do your thing, explore the worlds and find some of the keys, when you need to be among family  she will provide, if it is through desire you will be a long time solitary.
You will only ever get out the equivalent of what you put in, she will aid and assist but if you treat her as a servant you will go hungry, devotion takes on many forms and she sees them all, displays of devotion are often just that when conducted with an empty heart, a true craftsman know this and I would say it is the one thing every "Witch" should know. So watch with care and take note.

Before I depart I will add one more message to those who have bought storms to my door- I am the quiet Warrior, I consider my actions carefully, do not think me impotent for if you do it will be your own down fall, I am not weak, I have a strength that you do not yet understand(I am not sure I do myself as yet) I shall not make threats or curse your pitiful souls, but sleep well tonight for one day I shall come, or perhaps I shall serve the lady Salome gladly and the choice of dish shall be up to you, perhaps within the dark of night or upon the field of war but your times will come, I promise you that.

Flags,Flax and Fodder.. Tony.

Friday, 6 April 2012

An unpredictable spring, Truth and lies.

It has been a strange time of late, seeds planted at the warm turn of spring timidly peek from the dark soil to find bitter frost and chill wind awaits, unpredictable British weather at its best and as such brings no surprise.
The land is still radiant down here in the wilds of Cornwall, Mr Frost has had cause to nip at the greening flora but here at least to little effect, astounding when we consider how the equinox moon had bought with it such warmth and joy, relevant and welcome yet veiled behind lie the teeth of winter still.
The changing temperatures bring changing fortunes as the blessings and curses of life form those who would be within the arms of fate, stress and misfortune comes and fades from which we take what lessons are offered and continue to grow with hope and the love of all who surround us, blessings that come are to be treasured indeed as the year has yet to be shaped.
As a time of great change is descending upon us we journey forth, blind into the mist, not volcanic eruptions and tsunami floods but an end of a different kind, the values and dreams of the west are crumbling as I speak, propped up with false hope and paper gold, delusion and false prophets are the true kings of this "civilised" age, man has failed to see the divine so therefor it cannot be seen.
So it would seem that what we consider to be the advanced culture of western civilisation shall be the first to crumble, all beneath the light of secularism and greed, where evolution is measured in terms of technology, when in fact the very opposite is occurring, a race of beings who when faced with adversity would be unable to perform the simple tasks of feeding themselves or to create fire for warmth, a roof over the head and be capable of judgement, moral or otherwise, an idiocracy where no one is ever asked to think for themselves, nanny states and religion that is bought and sold, the second fall of mankind as it descends further away from the source.

I guess that in the light of this truth it might be pertinent to speak of the secret world of the craft, one might even ask why such secrets should be kept from the bulk of mankind upon the eve of its fall.
The truth is that there are no secrets, a wise man once said that" all knowledge is there upon the wind for one who would listen".
There are in this land secret societies and groups of occultists who would keep secrets for secrets sake and little else, to many it seems that is the case of most who practice genuine traditional craft, although it is not.
That which one would have to search for is part of an individuals argosy, to be told what the journeyman will encounter does not serve the journeyman, quite the reverse as it creates delusion, clouds judgement and becomes part of the lie. To tell someone what they will encounter within the void is to deceive, all that is gained is an insight into what the mentor has seen and if he or she is from a longer line of mentors the lie itself is spread and shaped far beyond any hope of truth. Sadly there is so much of this deception prevalent within the occult world "you shall journey to a dark cave where upon the horned one shall greet you and......." sigils and visions that might belong to the writer or even his teacher are of little use to the seeker of truth.
The hidden truth is thereby a blessing in itself, it protects the seeker from the lie and allows the seeker to glimpse something that is a reality and not a falsehood, this will later be concurred by others who have walked the path and will have experienced this divine essence in whatever shape it took, yet after the effect and not before, it is by this essence that we shall no one another and all shall be revealed in time.

And so to reveal a secret of the crooked path to all my fellow voyagers.
The crooked path is no such thing, when the foot falls with truth and devotion all can see that it is in fact the straightest path possible, the way is clear and the view is splendid, illumination and not darkness are the true ways of Fate, deception is that which lurks in the shadows among those unscrupulous individuals who would sell you your fortune, the only crooked thing about the crooked path is those rotten souls to be found along it and who actually have nothing to sell in any case, in fact it can often be said they have nothing of value at all.
The moment that we begin to think that the truth can be bought and sold as a commodity we fall further from that which we seek, beware false prophets and occult salesman as though they were thieves within the shadows of a dark alley, be patient and all will be revealed in time.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony..

Friday, 10 February 2012

The Teeth of Winter, the Love of Family and the Hunters Tale.

Candlemass brings upon its winds the teeth of winter, Jack does stalk the land in shades of white and muted green, his bite drawing that core warmth from within our bodies and moving our souls far closer to the other realms as we shiver at his touch.
Not so white yet hard ground crunches underfoot down here on this far southwestern peninsula, the threat of snow upon the air but it is as rain that falls upon the frozen soil today.

A far cry from the bright sun and still air that did mark yesterday's passing, as this hunter took to the woodland and fields of his home in search of sustenance for the tribe, by need and never desire to stalk the wild within the footsteps of winter ever hopeful to place beast upon the hearth and food within the bellies of his dearest kin.
Silently across the field, the ground as fragile glass beneath his feet he moves, delicate, deliberate steps toward the standing wood of alder and willow, the favoured food of his prey at this time of year, the trees are stripped of the mosses, lichens and barks and some will fall within the passing of thirteen moons, with far too few predators the forest would be gone, would that it be if not for those children that find the spirit of Herne himself within their souls abide.
The grey brown towers of the woodland obscure the view, it is not with eyes alone that this hunter finds his way, the cloven hoof leaves its mark twixt the fallen twigs as does the bare strips left where once the armour of trees was wrapped. He moves between the frozen stalks and lying branches which would alert his quarry to his presence should careless haste take hold, aware that he is not alone here yet it is the eye that sees the eye that will give him away, all senses finely tuned, the sounds of the startled bird, the feather that falls from overhead to land softly upon the loam, the taste of the trees and the air that gives up its secrets as it passes though the mouth and into the lungs, yet there is more, the connection between hunter and hunted grows, it is felt, sensed, almost beyond description, it is a knowing, a certainty that the years of walking this path has taught him. All that we might strive for in our esoteric world is here, in this moment, you are closer to the source than possibly at any other time, within the trees one is almost blind so it comes to pass that eyes cannot deceive the mind, relying of that which would lie dormant within this modern world.
There is no time here, the clock may still turn but the turning is not felt or heard, you become -out of time, the bridge between the worlds, the walker in the void.
Under and over the fallen wood he moves, as silent as is humanly possible he dances through the trees, tuned to the world around him until, it is there, the beat of another's heart, again felt and not heard, the life of his quarry sensed somewhere ahead, something that is not of the flora yet the fauna, through the forest he gazes, looking for that sign of something that alike to his own kind does not quite fit within the surroundings, animal and plant have very different spirit and it is this that gives the position of the deer away.
In the distance there is a movement as she weaves quietly through the wood, head down to fill the belly with moss then up to nibble at the much beloved bark, it is a waiting game, the opportunities are rare to gather the harvest and to take a clear shot through the trees, closer he moves until with those same senses she catches his own spirit, he averts his eyes from her gaze, to connect on that level would give the chase away, this act alone gives her the strength and somewhat misplaced confidence to continue in her own hunt for nutrition and brings her calmly within the hunters sight.
It is here the game ends, the battle for survival is over, for one of the participants anyway, cradled within the hunters arms she is given food for her journey and the words of lament are spoken to her in her last breath, "I am sorry to take your life, my sister, you bring much to my family and you are greatly valued", there is no celebration, no trophy for the great hall, only sadness and relief, as her spirit soars toward the source she will be remembered by all that partake of her bounty, we are Herne's children after all.

And there ends this hunters tale, it is not desire that should steady the aim, it is as I said- need, the times are lean at the moment so the Cunning man has to use his cunning Arte, whether that be fair of foul, in this world or the others, it becomes necessary. The rites of the hunter are fairer than many would imagine, those who would rather stalk the chiller cabinets in the local supermarket are far less responsible and show far less respect to the flesh they consume, than those who walk with mud, blood and bone, the hunter and the vegan are two sides of the same coin and have far less splinters in the arse than those who would sit atop the fence and those who would allow others to hold the burden, to take responsibility for what we do is a means to send hypocrisy packing, I eat the flesh of animals and I try to be responsible when doing so, if any would like to question my ethic then please look upon your selves before doing so, then and only then I will embrace your opinion through and from the point of truth.

Spring I feel will be hot upon the heels of Mr Frost, the serpent has shaken his coils and awaits his journey, my own journey continues to take me far from the Cornish moors, moments shared between brothers and sisters of Arte serve to strengthen the bonds, although time and distance on the surface seem far, it will always feel that it was only yesterday that we were gathered as one. When leaving upon the blessings of Imbolg, we received an unseasonal gift from the divine, as on that day the sun brought news of the coming Spring tide, melting snow upon my coat and the shadow of Angels within the compass leave fond impressions within the heart and soul.
For now I return to the "real" world, always with one foot within the others as there is no separation after all, the many make up the whole and we are a part of all.

May the spirit of candlemass wash away that which is unnecessary and may you face the world anew.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Clearing mist, A lust for blood and the end of the world.

After what would seem an age in itself the chaos has started to subside, there is illumination at the top of the well and I can fully begin my ascent once more, not so much a fall on this occasion but a retreat, an enforced journey into an uncertain realm which until this point has left me with deep insecurities and a veil that has somewhat hidden the path from view.
The mists are clearing before the eyes as I head toward the light, order is starting to return as the great serpent stretches his coils beneath the earth of our land, the troublesome vermin run for the safety of their own nests as the hunter steps into the bright light of day once more, there is great change within the serpents wake, yet I am ready to accept it and all that it will bring.

2012 shall indeed be the end of this world, not the paranoid delusions peddled by ignorant conspirators but a new beginning, for that to happen something needs to die and death will force change in no small measure, what that will be I cannot see, yet in my heart I know that it will come and the masses shall rise as the great leveller takes its toll, perhaps 2012 shall be known as the year the world changed for the better- we shall see!

The Twelve days were for us a truly mixed bag of blessings and curses, time was spent with dearest of kin yet others were sorely missed, insects were biting at the skin and although no great wounds were struck the ache and the itch were at times unendurable, threats to much beloved family members left this one with an insatiable lust for blood yet wiser council bade me keep my sword together with that of my brothers within its sheath (for now at least). Our financial circumstances changed in no small way when the work dried up, not unexpected yet an uncertain future on that level which does leave us free to pursue new and old Ideas.
Still we journey on, and all serves its purpose, stronger and with renewed vigour we face the world head on, as the end of one thing heralds brighter beginnings, the chance for a new start in many ways, plans and projects that had to go upon the back burner can resurface and I for one have found great joy in this prospect.

Plough Monday has passed and gone, this one spent the day quite literally as the vegetable patch was in need of some tender loving care, financial security has made me idle upon that front so change again forces a valuable reconnection to the land, the soil turned and the labours of Cain have prepared the ground and greenhouse for a hopeful bounty in the leaner times to come.
Many agricultural customs still have those roots within the traditional craft, the actual doing aids the soul and the mind in an understanding of the subtleties and reasons for them, although Horse drawn team and garlanded plough were replaced by eager woodsman,spade and fork, the task of turning soil and feeding the earth becomes a greater ritual that is indeed reflected within the heavens as the old man pushes his own plough across the sky, That in itself brings strength to the back and much joy to the heart.
Plough Monday CTC- this is an article well worth a read if there is any confusion between the Craft and Agricultural traditions.

As we head toward the rites of Candle mass, Imbolc, call it what you will, there are still sacrifices to be made before we can properly emerge from the dark, dead weight to shift from our lives and sins to be absolved, from now to that time when we can finally shed our skins it is worth considering all that which would hamper our forward motion and stop us from evolving, those things that pull us back and make us as rooted as plants, we are the children of Cain after all, I love the forest dearly as every hunter does, yet I am not a tree I am a man and I need to move along the path, as much as I would enjoy the vista I cannot stay and watch it become overgrown as would seem to be the way for the many.

So Journey on we must, and to all who happen upon this Cunning page, a Happy new year to you, may it bring great change and many blessings in the time to come, but remember, all things must die and it is that fragile nature of life that makes it so perfect, divine teacher of souls that grants us joy in every tender moment, if we open our hearts, our spirits and our eyes.

Flags, Flax and Fodder. Tony.