All posts by Stuart France

About Stuart France

Writer and Director of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School.

The Silent Unicorn ~ Summer in the Cairngorms with The Silent Eye and Lodge Unicorn na h’Alba

The Silent Eye

THE SILENT UNICORN

A joint magical workshop between

Lodge Unicorn na hAlba and The Silent Eye.

Grantown-on Spey, Northern Cairngorms

14-16th June 2019

“When shall we three meet again, In thunder, lightning, or in rain…?”

Weird Sisters, Macbeth

Well, hopefully we will meet in sunshine and with more than three of us ! Join us in the northern Cairngorms where, from mountain to coast, we will explore the magic of Macbeth Country in a triangle from Cawdor Castle to Findhorn Beach, down to Glenlivet. Through the Archetypes of Lord and Lady Macbeth, the Witches, King Duncan and a Unicorn! We will use the writings of The Scottish Play and other media to discover these characters within us…..

We shall travel and explore the land during the long June days and lingering twilight at Midnight to discover this land where Celts met Picts. Where heather-clad mountains tumble down…

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Dear Don: Dorcas…

France & Vincent

Dear Don ,sheffield chesterfield hare 537

Well, we may have thought we’ve done little more than assimilate and read from the fabled Book this weekend, but over 1500 pictures say otherwise… I’d lost track of half of what we’ve managed to do till I looked… for a leisurely weekend we did manage to pack quite a bit in!

Granted, I started solo on the way up, contrary to express instructions… I repeated the mantra all the way up the motorway… “ I will not go finding things…” But as I explained… it was the pigeon that made me do it. And with Breedon being so close to my unplanned exit from the motorway, it would have seemed impolite not to call in at the church… At least we know with all the Saxon carvings and the location we really do need to go there properly.

Then there was Bakewell and the Holy Well……

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Lair of the Black Shade…

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…A flutter of recognition flicked across his gaze.

“What is it?” Asked Wen, her icy tone slicing through the summer haze like a frosty stare.

“There’s an old lay, I can’t quite remember how it goes…”

“Try!”

*

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“I don’t know, something about a green valley between two hills…”

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“And a sentinel of stone which has to be appeased…”

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“Before entry into the living rock is granted…”

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“The last bit goes on about the embrace of a One-Eyed God, or something…”

*

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“By Odin, I know that place!” shrieked Wen, leaping to her feet.

Moments later the Beast was again roaring along the lane.

Anyone would think she was glad to be back on the road…

*

Dear Wen: Wednesbury…

France & Vincent

Dear Wen

I suppose ultimately ‘Odin’s Steed’ is the eight-spoked wheel of the year, which he rides like the wind and which could almost be yet another parallel with the ‘Christ-Spirit’ that blows where it listeth…

Repton and Breedon would be good at some point but I also have a yearning to spend some time in Bakewell this weekend and not just for the tarts…

There is a hill-fort to the left of the bend as you approach the bridge into the village and I would quite like to have a shufty at the crossroads, which may have once sported our Saxon Cross from the frontispiece of Aethling…

I know it now makes a lot of sense for the crosses to be in the churchyard, for all sorts of reasons, but can you imagine what it would be like coming across one in original situ…?

It is possible that the…

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What do you see..?

The Silent Eye

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An email came in from one of the Silent Eye’s Companions. He was wondering about our perception of the world around us, saying that we walk through our days not really looking, because we are so used to our environments that we don’t give our attention to the details. Same workplace, office, staircase, or traffic every day. It would, he suggested, be interesting to develop goggles that only record what we truly see.

He went on to speculate that the playback of that movie would be for the most part a blank screen with perhaps a few people popping in and out of existence, or a tv show we have watched, maybe a few personal interactions. That, he thought, would be it. The rest would be blank because we don’t really see it, we expect it to be as usual and so we don’t truly register or process what we…

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All about the Pear Tree…

France & Vincent

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…One of the things they taught me at High Furrow was that love has gone out of fashion.

‘Love, is passé,’ they said.

In fact, so outmoded a concept was love that the people there could not even bring themselves to say the word.

In order to put love in its place they changed its spelling and pronunciation.

They called it ‘lurve’.

Now this is a terrible thing.

The day love dies is the day the world ends.

*

But I am the last person to speak for love.

To see me struggling about the gaff would be to assume I had slung the woes of the world across my shoulders and that nothing could possibly shift them, ever.

Most of the time now all I can see before me is a grisly end, while the past…

The past looks like a bombed shack.

It is just a mess…

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Way Old Time…

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‘Of circular possibilities’…

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‘Eyeing the Chasm’…

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‘Extending a welcome’…

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‘An Other Time’…

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‘Presence is everything’…

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‘Two O’Clock Shadow’…

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‘There was an Old Woman’…

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‘Who looked out’…

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‘Through a Shoe’…

Contexts: kingship…

The Silent Eye

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Kingship was the only form of government in Ancient Mesopotamia.

It was ordained by the Gods for the guidance and prosperity of people and cities, to maintain order and to protect the wealth in society.

Among the kingly duties were military leadership, priestly functions, law-giving and city building.

When kingship broke down so did law and order, with terrible consequences.

*

 … “We are talking ‘Divine Kingship’ here, are we not?” asks Wen.

“Possibly… Possibly, not. It is not exactly clear is it? One thing is apparent though.”

“Oh yes?”

“At this juncture in time the institution was already ancient.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“The kingly duties listed here would originally have fallen to different individuals.”

“You mean, our king has been busy usurping the functions of his ruling elite?”

“Something like that.”

“Naughty, naughty, Mister Kingship!”

“Indeed! In cases such as these we may even have to…

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