All posts by Stuart France

About Stuart France

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

The Green Harper…



“…all the great thinkers recognise the importance of rational thought but they also recognise the importance of getting beyond the rational and that is where the myths and fairy stories come in… Plato spends the greater part of his master work ‘The Republic’ berating the poets and story-tellers for telling lies in their myths and then he ends his opus with… a myth.”

“Well, to err is human… But no one’s going to read a book in which all the characters are Giants.”

“Yet we all live in a world dictated by them… but perhaps you’re right… they have become something of an obsession… the more self-remembering I do… the more giant-like my body and everyone else’s body seems to become… and they do make an appearance in all the mythological traditions… the Titans… the Jotunn… the Asuras… the Fomoire… as opponents of the ‘gods’ usually, which have to be overcome and subdued…and then kept at bay lest the heaven world be breached… and fall.”



Wen becomes pensive for a time, “we need to go to Cerne Abbas…”

“Father Corn…?”

“Possibly…and then there’s the Long Man of Wilmington…whose ‘long man’ is no longer visible, and of course, Gogmagog…”

“…At a girl! I’m thinking these are all chalk figures…”

“They were all hill figures once though Gogmagog no longer exists…but he was also a rock…and was later split in two and represented in the stonework of Cathedrals…and other media…wicker-work figures carried at the Lord Mayor’s show for one…the ‘gianting’ traditions of our country and others in Europe for that matter are still very much alive and kicking and that’s even before we start to consider the biblical references…”

“The Giants are right up our street then…so to speak…or a street nearby… when do we start?”

“We do,” smiles Wen, “and I think we already have… you know the Long Man of Wilmington is an Opener…at least, that’s one interpretation of his stance, but the ‘door jambs’ could also be staves…or sight-lines…”

“In which case the Long-Man… is a Dod-Man…and responsible for marking out the Leys…”

“We still don’t really know what those energies actually are…”

“On the contrary my dearest Wendolina… I know…precisely… what those energies are.”

“Can you wait while I swallow this mouthful of food before telling me?”

“Your faith in me… is most reassuring…but you will like this…ready now?”

“Uhuh… ready…”

“The Ley-Lines are Cause-Ways…”

“…You’re right… I do like that… where’s it from?”

“It’s from the Myth of the Green Harper…”

Heart of Albion




34377711106_4103b0609c_b Image: photo credit: SilverTorch66 20160924_160604 via photopin(license)

It’s been a while since I heard from The Opener, as Anubis is sometimes known. He can be an elusive entity, frustrating even. The past few months have been challenging, forcing me to look inwards, a necessary process in hindsight. I’ve been clearing out defunct mind-sets, beliefs and behaviours. There’s still more work to be done and doors to be closed. Fortuitous that He’s appeared at this moment, as all manner of obstacles have separated me from my “Mentor” for too long.

I’m trusting myself and the Universe more, which is producing positive results. You could say I’m beginning to see the return of my authentic self, the Jan that I love and believe in. So many people suffer the frustration of not being who they truly are due to life circumstances. This is something one shouldn’t dismiss easily as it’s an…

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My Lady Solitude

Sun in Gemini


When Winter’s call

Strips bare the wood

When Summer’s kiss

Is but a brood

Upon your heart

I will intrude

My lady solitude


When silent spell

Slows heartbeat’s time

And reaches deep

To chill the wine

Upon your lips

I will intrude

My lady solitude


To wait the green

And keening ride

That signals Spring

Begins its tide

Emergent green

We will extrude

From deep within your solitude


©Stephen Tanham

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Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

It has been a busy few weeks, and in some ways, not the best in my personal history. It had begun with a very sick car just days before we were to go north. The last-minute repair really did go right to the last minute…  and then I drowned my camera on the first day of the workshop.

Then a lousy dental infection got out of hand. It started a few days after getting home from the Scottish trip, just before I was turning around to go back up north again with my son. By the time we got home, it wasn’t good. I looked like a hamster, much to the amusement of the aforementioned son, and it cost me one molar with another still under threat. And I’ll soon be off north again on my travels…

On the other hand, it has not been all bad. In fact, quite…

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Solstice of the Moon: the Battle Stone

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

The road carried us towards Forres, on the way to Inverness. We were, fairly predictably, on the trail of a stone. Not just any stone, though, this one is rather special. It is also quite a large one…though quite how large we did not realise until we parked the car and stood looking up at the thing. At twenty-one feet, it is the tallest carved stone of its kind in Scotland.

Sueno’s Stone stands at a crossroads where three roads meet.Legends tell that it was on this spot that the infamous witches met Macbeth, and their spirits were imprisoned within the stone, waiting to be released should it ever be broken. The only problem is that   Shakespeare wrote Macbeth  many centuries after the stone was first raised, but it does give a good reason for the glass case in which the stone now sleeps.

Another and more plausible legend…

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Names Matter…


…The weather is being unkind again.

There are other reasons this time, however, for our sense of anticipation for the first of the Glastonbury talks being perhaps less enthusiastic than it might be. The intrusion of Christmas left little enough time for promotion of the event and then a last minute revision in the form of the talk has added further uncertainty. Morgana appears to have gone missing and Ben too seems to be less than his usual communicatory self. Doubtless he will currently be stranded in Motorway Hell somewhere in the middle of the country. Still, we are back at ‘The George’, which is no bad thing, and have just tucked in to an incredibly easy to demolish dish of braised-pork with apple and cream sauce. The Preceptor from the Templar arras eyes me in a somewhat accusatory fashion and I take to wondering which texts he would have used to bolster the faith of the ‘faithful’ during their long crusades.

“I know which one I would use,” says Wen.

“Go on…”

“And the Lord spoke concerning the mustard seed,” says Wen.

Which is like the smallest of seeds.”

“But which if it falls upon prepared soil,” says Wen.

“Produces the largest of plants…”

“…And shelters the birds of Heaven,” says Wen.

“And that same evening he said to his followers, ‘Come, let us pass over to the other side.”

“But when they embarked on ship a great storm arose,” says Wen.

“And the followers went to him in consternation saying, ‘We will surely perish’.”

“To which the Lord replied, ‘What is it that you fear? How is it that you have no faith?’” says Wen.

“And the storm was immediately quelled.”

“And if each of us could only adequately answer those two questions,” says Wen.

“Then our sojourn here would be very brief.”



…I see you.

I called, and you have come.

The time is now.

I know you fear what you will find and the veils you will part.

I see it in your eyes… in your footsteps… in the tilt of your head.

Wind in hair the colour of faded bracken, beside you he who sees the world with the eyes of the heart, while you see with eyes aflame.

I know your name… though you do not.

Not yet.

Not yet, little sister.

Names matter…



…Wen is keen to go to Winchester.

Not because it is renowned, historically, as one of the holiest places of Old Albion, oh no.

Not because it used to be our capital city and still houses a rather splendid looking Cathedral built to the same geometric proportions as the now ruined Abbey in Glastonbury, nope, not for that reason either.

So what then?

Wen wants to go to Winchester because it has got her name in it.

She now refers to it as Wen-Chester!

It is, though, partly my own fault.

I did encourage her with the ‘Wen-Co-Bank’ thing… but only as a joke!

How was I to know she would take it seriously?

How was I to know that Old Albion would be choc-a-block with ‘Wen’ words?

Teeming with them… festooned even…positively seething… a bit like I am now but in a different sense…



…Names matter.

They contain the power of bringing into being; the power of making.

Mine was never spoken, after my choosing.

And after the flames only one remained to hold it safe; he could not speak it, his voice ever given to the gods except in service.

We never spoke, never whiled away the winter darkness…our voices touched only to serve the seeing.

Yet he saw me as clearly as I see you now, a mirror of destiny across the bridge of time…

…An empty vessel of the gods.



…I mean, there is even a Win Hill, which is Wen Hill now of course and which, to make matters infinitely worse, actually resembles Glastonbury Tor from one angle, or is that Crook Hill? With all these hills it is very easy to become confused, and which means that, ‘yes’ Wen, it is one of Our Hills and ‘yes’ Wen, we are going to have to climb it.

“How come there are no hills called Don?”

“There’s a Don valley…”

“It’s not the same.”

“…And there is a Don-Caster of course…”

“Don-Caster is no Winchester though is it?”

“And if there’s a valley and a town there has to be a river of course.”

“The River Don, hmm, a bit girly, rivers are usually women you know.”

“And… there’s always the Children of Don! There’s actually a whole mythological branch in Wales given over to them.”

“Yes, you’re right, there is, isn’t there, are you still in touch with Hat?”

“I am still in touch with Hat but there’s also Ba-Don Hill which hosted Arthur’s victorious battle and ‘don’ in Celtic place names appears to actually mean a ‘hill’.

“There, I just knew it! I am a child of the hills after all.”

“Of course you are dear, but that still doesn’t alter the fact that Win Hill was the pre-eminent peak of what is now ‘The Peaks’ and was probably once regarded by the native populace as sacred and hence sacrosanct.”

“All of which means that we are very definitely going to have to climb it.”

Doomsday: The Aetheling Thing



Reflecting reality…

The Silent Eye

Thilo Frank’s Mirrored Room. Image google search, source unknown... appropriatelyThilo Frank’s Mirrored Room. Image google search, source unknown… appropriately

My son has an infinity mirror in his bedroom which startled the electrician who installed it. He thought it was ‘just’ an illuminated mirror and nearly fell through the imaginary black hole it creates when he switched it on to test it. Tiny LED lights are mirrored back into ‘space’. I take great delight in showing it to people… it always elicits the same surprise and delight, from child to adult, and it reminds me every time I see it of moment from my own childhood.

Standing between the two mirrors in the rather swish cloakroom of the store, I saw my reflection stretching, apparently, to infinity. I was fascinated by the fact that I could see myself from both the front and from the back… a view we seldom see. Not only myself, but others in the cloakroom and…

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Solstice of the Moon: What on earth…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

“…is that?!”
I immediately went into ‘there has to be somewhere to park’ mode. You don’t just drive past a humungous mound without stopping…not when it is so very obviously man-made. And especially not when there are two of them. And in an urban cemetery, of all places! We have had a bit of trouble with mounds in the past, especially on workshops. They have a tendency to go missing. But here, we found ourselves with a brace of the things and completely unexpectedly too.

We had just said farewell to our companions after a fabulous weekend and were simply planning on getting back to the hotel, relaxing for a while and starting to process what we had seen. We wanted a fairly early start the next morning as we had a long way to go… and were fully intending on being sidetracked several times. I also had…

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