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Riddles of the Night – Templar Shadows (3)

Sun in Gemini

Mock Beggar's Hall

A bastard’s bastard, he would never know that he carried the blood of the Templars in his veins. That was only speculated after his death, being proved, later, by the researcher who followed his short life.

He did it because he was a runner…

Hardship was the key; hardship and the words his cruel companions at the parish school carved on his leg with a blunt knife, the day he won the local race, aged seven. As he sat, crying in the shadows, he lamented the departure, that year, of his father, who might between drunken bouts, have defended him. His mother had surrendered to the bitter cold the previous winter.

The wound in the thigh, though infected, had healed, but its shadow had never entirely faded. The yellow and pink scar of three words would remain, and the pain of the memory with it.

He bettered himself, using scripture…

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The Curious Folded Stones

Walking with a Smacked Pentax

It seemed like I have been stuck indoors forever. I know I was out a couple of weeks ago with Mackenzie up Penyghent, but if I am inside for more than a couple of days I go crazy. I had things to do, photographs don’t sell themselves and I had some marketing emails that were long overdue.

I can see the moors from my window, and the clouds were constantly changing and moving – it was very windy, but bright. Ideal conditions for a bimble with a camera.

I didn’t have a set place in mind, sometimes it is nice to just wander around. I would never get lost on the moors – half a century of wandering them has paid dividends. I probably know the moors better than most and have no fear of them. Only one place I avoid, the Green Bog, where it is rumoured people have…

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Riddles of the Night: Templar Shadows (2)

The Silent Eye

Bakewell blog2 - 18

Imagine a tiny village, just a few miles from a major Derbyshire town, yet unknown to most people passing by on the busy road between Bakewell and Matlock. The village contains an ancient mound of boulders of millstone grit layered on the underlying limestone base – typical of this part of the White Peak.

Aside from its geology, the intricate and serpentine rocks hold a deeper mystery. They show signs of being used for initiatory purposes for at least the past six thousand years.

Initiation is a process whereby an experience is arranged for an incoming person who has proved themselves worthy of a higher, and life-changing, viewpoint. The selected person(s) is led through a series of strange encounters in order to ‘open’ their being to higher spiritual truths. If successful, the arranged and symbolic nature of what is experienced will trigger a different relationship with the world for that…

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Yoga: When You Are Not Used To Love

Not Tomatoes

Yellow rose in garden A Rose Opens to Light

I have started working with the mantra Aham Prema, which translated into English means “I am Divine Love.” 54 repetitions with the mala beads brings my voice outside of myself to a state beyond insecurity. My body becomes a humming vibration of energy amplified by the back of my throat. Constrictions releases as I settle into the frequency of the ancient notes of Sanskrit.

“I am Divine Love.” Aham Prema.

Quite some time ago, I was sitting in a pub with a friend of mine. We were talking about yoga, and she was telling me of how it brings her to a state of discomfort. “It’s like welcoming the divine into your body,” she told me.

Aham Prema. “I am Divine Love.”

Is this not what we all seek? Yoga, and all that it encompasses, for it is not merely a series of poses, asks us…

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Linking the Chain II…


“The Elements, then, were not links in a simple chain but acted more as ‘inherent principles’ within the chain as a whole…”



“Similarly, the perfected parts of inanimate nature, operated at heights far removed from what might be termed the lower specimens of the animate classes…”



“The stars and constellations were linked, not with plants and beasts but, with angels.” …



Call of the Summer lands

Shamanic Paths

Caught in this stream whilst falling asleep under last night’s “mackerelled moon”. An oddly, out of season, theme which made little sense till the title came at the last.

“Moon and Mackerel Sky Over Woodbridge”
Copyright: Phillip Hirst


“Scythe mown”
Copyright: Scythe Cymru

I thought I heard you call last night.

Maybe it was the moon; full and bright;
shy, flirting, in a dark mackerel sky;
stars playing peek-a-boo amongst
the shoals of silvered clouds.
An ocean sky, yearning to clear,
but not, quite, able.

How I miss the fresh cold of mountain air;
and the silence, absolute on a night like this,
far from Neptune’s incessant sigh,
and bubbling, rolling, salty breath.
Here, only the silence of foxes can catch
the dove’s night song in the far wood.

I thought I heard you call last night.

“Family hay raking” Copyright: Found at

As the sun beat hard…

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Riddles of the Night – Templar Shadows (1)

Sun in Gemini

Sue and Stuart opening the Riddles of the Night weekend at Baecca’s Well.

It began at Baecca’s Well…

Sue and Stuart have run many successful weekends in the course of the Silent Eye’s short history, but the start-point for this one had a rather mundane location, given the ancient and exotic hill-forts for which they are best known.

“We’ll meet at the far end of the Recreation Ground on the Matlock road just out of the centre of Bakewell…”

Recreation ground, I remember thinking, with a smile, when I read it. Which just goes to show how wrong you can be…


From Baecca’s Well

Via All Saint’s Spire


To a rocky height

That holds initiatory fire…


We’d never done this before: used clues like a treasure hunt to seed the next location in the ‘chase’ for knowledge. It worked really well. At the well, Stuart and…

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A Harmony of Eight…

The Silent Eye


The point sits at the centre of the square,

where its two diagonals intersect.



From the same intersection, another square

can be drawn at right angles to the first.

Like this, we create eight equidistant points.



By taking the original squares and extending all

eight sides, a new set of intersections is generated.



The new Octagon, bigger than the first,

 is perfectly derived from its archetype.



Extending the sides of the Octagon generates another pair of larger squares.

The pattern is infinitely extendable around the point of origin with

perfect symmetry in every direction…


A point indicates a location in space which is present but has no dimension…



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Doe, A Deer, A Female Reindeer: The Spirit of Mother Christmas


Oh wondrous headed doe… Amongst its horns it carries the light of the blessed sun…” Hungarian Christmas Folk Song

Long before Santa charioted his flying steeds across our mythical skies, it was the female reindeer who drew the sleigh of the sun goddess at winter solstice. It was when we “Christianized” the pagan traditions of winter, that the white bearded man i.e. “Father Christmas” was born.


Today it is her beloved image that adorns Christmas cards and Yule decorations – not Rudolph. Because unlike the male reindeer who sheds his antlers in winter, it is the larger and stronger doe, who retains her antlers. And it is she who leads the herds in winter.


So this season, when we gather by the fire to tell children bedtime stories of Santa and his flying reindeer – why not tell the story of the ancient Deer Mother of old? It was she…

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On the trail yet again…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

We opened the door of St Mary’s and walked in. It felt rather odd as the altar was at the ‘wrong’ end for the door. Usually, you enter from the south and turn right to the altar, here, the main door is on the northern wall, so the altar is to the left and it is quite disconcerting.

For a split second, the immediate impression was deceptive… the church looked fairly plain and simple. It had obviously been restored at some relatively recent point, but had not been too unsympathetically modernised. Then, we took in the details of what we were seeing. On the far wall, St George and his dragon take pride of place in a memorial window designed by R. O. Bell of Clayton and Bell. And, “Oh, good grief, would you look at this?”

The first thing to catch the eye was the font. Its date…

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