Built by the sea
But not of the sea
These enclosing walls…
It is a ‘Celtic’ thing
The Spirit tied-to-tide
And it is still understood
By today’s Old Bones…
There they sit
Lining the sea-front
Of the waves
Which lap the shore
On the out-breath
In ceaseless rhythm
Which hints at beyond…
Built by the sea
But not of the sea
These enclosing walls.
Another one of Robin’s early efforts.
When invoking the Bardic Spirit there are not too many candidates around, unfortunately…
For a spell this was my all time favourite song ever, if only for its helter skelter whirl of minor key madness…
We are the tablecloth, and also the table, and also the fable of the dancing leaves…
as never was
The new moon is shining
above the years
Ask the snail beneath the stone,
are there any stars at all?
Like an eagle in the sky,
safe in the care of
The humane train
The new moon is shining,
‘Waltz of the New Moon’ appears on The Incredible String Band’s third studio album, ‘The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter’, which is widely regarded as their finest album.
The title is colloquial slang for a gallows or scaffold.
… “Before Ogma, I swear.
Before Sun and Moon and Stars,
before Sky, Land and Sea, I swear.
Before the Sidhe-Folk, I swear…
Defenders of the land,
victory and defeat are created in each of you.
What I ask of you in dealing with this foe
is not the work of cowards.
Our hosting in this conflict
will defeat those who have destroyed
the prosperity of the land.
Circling leftward I curse them!
Rod of Aspen
Sod of End
May the foe-men be hindered.
May fear be heard among them.
The End-Time has taken form.
Ravens will come upon our foe with doom,
and be their shared torment.
Their end goes before us to the foe;
they are mournful and doomed.
O, my Warrior Band;
my most warlike host,
in the burning fields of battle,
High-Folk will sustain your form in the clouds of the sky.
O you, my Glorious Ones,
a nine-fold brightness is upon us,
through the powerful skill of our men-of-art,
the battle fire will not falter until victory is won.
My Troops, greatest of sea-like hosts,
here in the beauty of the land,
a frenzy of battle invites you to embrace fate.
With mighty waves of golden, powerful, burning fires,
and battle lust may you seek out your foe upon the field,
embracing fate in a frenzy of battle.”
Dark the frame and dark the spur
About the light which shines over there.
Lost to memory, lost to time
Good and great cut down in their prime.
Ever the longing, we yearn to know
Traversing the ‘now’ via ebb and flow.
Yonder, the stars circuit their course.
Back to silence, back to still
After we’ve been and had our fill.
Yonder, the stars circuit their course.
Where were we?
…“But the Angles were a British tribe, right? And the Saxons were German?”
We are back in Wen’s study after the half triumph of the first of our Glastonbury talks, which aside from a few timing problems, went as well as could have been expected in view of the weather and the somewhat intricate complications of the run up.
“No, that’s not right either; both the Saxons and the Angles were Germanic tribes.”
“Our country is now named after a Germanic tribe! I think we need to know more about the Anglo-Saxons and the original Britons who could, perhaps, be more or less synonymous with what we now like to call the Celts.”
“As you may have already surmised my sense of history is somewhat sketchy at the best of times but in relation to the Anglo-Saxons and what went before it is practically non-existent.”
“That’s hardly surprising. Much of their contribution to these lands was conveniently forgotten after 1066, for obvious reasons.”
“Well, they certainly seem to have got the proportions of their churches spot on at least for the smaller sites. There is an Irish reference to the coming of Christ in one of the Conchobar stories, something about a ball being shaken loose from his head and killing him. He was also regarded as a sort of giant if memory serves. I had always assumed that the story, or at least that particular aspect of it, was merely a monkish interpolation.”
Wen is checking something in the Dictionary, “Get this… ‘Ætheling from O.E . . . . Æpling, ‘son of a king, man of royal blood, nobleman, chief, prince, king, Christ, God-Man, Hero, Saint…’
“Wait a minute… wait a minute… give me that last bit again.”
“…Christ, God-Man, Hero, Saint…”
“Didn’t we call our Arthur, Aeth in, ‘The Heart of Albion’?”
“And didn’t we set his story in Mercia?”
“And didn’t Mercia grow to become the largest and most powerful Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Albion at one point in its history?”
“It did indeed.”
“Well that’s it then…The Anglo Saxon kings were claiming divine descent.”
“…Along with most other European kings at that time no doubt.”
“That’s true, but the Anglo-Saxon kings’ descent wasn’t from God it was from Christ.”
“And how did they get there?”
“They got there from their very own High One who also hung from a tree with a spear in his side… shrieking.”
“They evidently regarded Christ as an avatar of Odin.”
“Blimey, you’ll not read that in any history book!”
“Just as well we’re not writing a history then isn’t it?”
Four seats there
And four sages
who taught them;
A plentiful sowing…
A dutiful flowing…
A beautiful glowing…
An artful knowing…
Wen catches a brief sight of the poem I have been showing Ben before he has time to hastily secrete it about his person.
“You’re obsessed with that dog!”
Which as anyone who has read any of our books well knows is utter nonsense…
…The girls are back outside on another ‘fag’ break and Ben is considering the somewhat crude geometry which accompanies my poem. He grins and twinkles mischievously, “Why are the North Isles depicted as black?”
“The quaternary, or four directions, are governed by the sun. Do I need to go on?”
Ben nods, “But of course you need to go on.”
“…In the Occident the sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west. Its zenith symbolically conceived as the point of maximum light is in the south so the north is the point of maximum darkness and hence depicted as black.”
“So far so good,” says Ben, “but why are we starting in the north rather than the east and the rising sun?”
“There are a number of magical traditions which regard the darkness of the unknown as the basis for generation. Metaphorically it corresponds to the seed of light nestled in the depths of the earth. The tradition of eve’s in our country reflects this, especially All Hallows… Esoterically speaking then the day stretches from Noon to Noon rather than from sunrise to sunset.”
Ben nods again but more slowly this time, “Interesting.”
“Even Genesis has a chasm and chaos before the breath of the word.”
…Ben is again contemplating my crude geometries, “I can see that you have moved the ‘North Isles’ towards a centre point to get this pattern,” he says “but I’m not quite sure why.”
“Because Anu’s folk studied there and to study is to focus on and concentrate. A stud after all is single pointed.”
“The isles are now shaped like seats. A lot of the Bishop’s chairs we have come across in our numerous ecclesiastical wanderings retain this shape as well as the choir stalls but there is a lot going on with this seat thing. The word itself is multi-valent and as I am sure you know it can be rendered siege as well as ‘caer’ which is also a Celtic stronghold or citadel and which also gives chair…positions of prominence in our universities are referred to as chairs…I could go on.”
“Please don’t,” says Ben looking bewildered. He appears relieved to see the ladies as they breeze back into our corner…
“What have you been doing to him?” asks Wen in a somewhat accusatory fashion.
“He’s missing your dog,” I reply and smile as sweetly as I am able…
“There are three worlds which we can seen while we are still in the body:
the earth-world, the mid-world and the sky-world.
The shining beings belong to the mid-world,
while the opalescent beings belong to the sky-world.
I cannot decide whether or not the life and state of these beings
is superior to the life and state of maknind.
They themselves are certainly more beautiful,
and their worlds seem to be more beautiful than our own world.
Among the shining beings there does not appear to be any individualised life.
If one of them raises a hand they all raise their hand.
If one drinks from a fire-fountain, they all do likewise.
They seem to move and have their existence in a being other than themselves
for which they act as a sort of body.
Theirs is a collective life and so calm
that we might have more varied thoughts
in five hours than they would have in five years,
yet one feels an extraordinary purity and exaltation about their existence.
Beauty of form has with them never been broken up by the passions
which arise in the developed egotism of human beings.
Some of the tribes of these shining beings
seem to be little more than one being
manifesting in many beautiful forms.
Among the opalescent beings in the sky-world,
there is an even closer spiritual unity,
but also a much greater individuality.”
– Seeing the Unseen
“There is a distinction between images seen in the ‘memory of nature’,
and the vision of actual beings now existent in the inner world.
Just as one may close one’s eyes and see a vivid picture memory
in the mind’s eye, or, one may look and see actual images with the physical eyes.
When seeing these inner beings the physical eyes may be open or shut
but if open these beings are not seen with the physical eyes.
It is comparatively easy to see while at ancient monuments
because such places are naturally charged with psychical forces
and were for that reason made use of long ago and deemed sacred.
The inner beings fall into two classes; those which shine,
and those which are opalescent and appear lit from within.
It is very difficult to intelligbly describe either class of being.
The first time I saw the shining beings I was lying on a hillside.
I was listening to the music of the air and to what seemed to be the sound of bells
and was trying to understand the aerial clashing in which each gust of wind seemed to
break upon another with an ever changing, silvery sound.
Then the space before me grew luminous
and I saw one beautiful shining being after another.
The first opalescent being I saw, there was initially just a dazzle of light,
and then I realised that this light came from the heart
of a tall figure seemingly made of air.
Throughout the transparent body ran a radiant, electrical fire
of which the heart seemed central.
Around the head and through the waving luminous hair
which was blown about the body like living strands of gold,
there appeared flaming wings like auras.
Light seemed to stream outwards from all directions
and the effect of this vision left an extraordinary lightness, and ecstatic joy, of being.”
– A Seer Speaks