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Seeking a light…

The Silent Eye

Rites of Passage: Seeing beyond Fear

A weekend with the Silent Eye

Derbyshire, UK

Friday 13th – Sunday 15th September 2019

Beyond the serene beauty of the Derbyshire Dales, old stories cast shadows across the landscape. From the veiled rites of prehistory to folklore, from legend to history, we listen with a shiver to tales of another time and place… and yet, the fears faced within these stories still echo our own.

Fear gets a bad press. It is almost always portrayed as a negative emotion, an uncontrolled reaction to the events and circumstances of our lives. When we allow fear to rule us, that can be an accurate description. It can be paralysing, preventing us from following our dreams and embracing the possibilities life offers. And yet, fear helps keep us safe and alive; without fear, we would not step away from danger or take our hand away from…

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‘Aye’ of the Unicorn…

Image result for Alchemical unicorn

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With almost prescient clarity

we commenced our summer workshop in a graveyard!

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Except, not quite, for before we entered the graveyard,

we stood by the swiftly flowing waters of the river Spey

and entered into a guided meditation.

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The Unicorn of Spirit

sailed down the Spey

disembarked from its boat,

and invited us all astride its back

for a tour of the elements…

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Somewhat unsurprisingly then,

our first pentagram was that of Spirit,

which could be called the ‘parent’ of the elements.

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Have the bodies buried in the earth,

hereabouts, had their constituent parts

returned to spirit?

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One might well hope so!

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In Macbeth, the Bard uses the three witches

to represent the spiritual realm.

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As with a lot of things he wrote

this is simultaneously;

a joke,

a reflection of characterised psychology,

and can also allude to something far deeper…

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We all enjoyed ‘hamming up’ the witches as we are meant to.

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Does the feminine aspect of the spirit appear

‘bearded’ to those with purely political ambition?

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Whatever our perceptions,

this realm moves and motivates all…

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Mister Fawst! Study…

 

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Mister Fawst: (Rises to stand, still clutching the weighty tome to his chest. He walks in front of his study desk reading out loud.) ‘I think, therefore, I am’… Hrmph, but if life is no greater a miracle than to think? Then, surely, I need read no more…

Mephisto: (From behind the Veil of Beyond) Surely, a greater subject befits Fawst’s wit!

Mister Fawst: (Still showing no signs that he has heard Mephisto) Pah! I have that… (He casts the tome to the floor in the East and returns to his desk.)

Ira and Luxuria are seated simultaneously.

Mister Fawst: (Once at his desk Fawst scrutines the other books on his desk and selects one.) ‘The way that can be named is not the way’… (Fawst considers the proposition as he moves to the West) Hmm, the unamed way would be difficult if not impossible to formulate, let alone think about, and then follow. Could it even be seen? And if unseen and hence to all intents and purposes unknown, of what possible use could it be?

Mephisto: (Moves out from Beyond the Veil and perches on the edge of Fawst’s desk) A great man should be both seen and heard. Why, how else will his disciples know who and who not to follow…

Mister Fawst: (Apparently, neither seeing nor hearing the entity in his study) Enough of obscurity! The miasma of mystery will not further my ends. (Fawst casts the book to the floor of the West and returns to his desk)

Avaritia and Invidia are seated simultaneously.

Mephisto: (Watches Fawst move back to his study desk with no little amusement. He rises from his perch and points to one of the books on the desk.)

Mister Fawst: (Seemingly of his own volition, picks up the indicated tome from his desk) ‘The reward of sin is death!’ (Fawst wheels away from his desk and heads to the North)

Mephisto: (Throws back his head and laughs loudly) Ha Ha Ha…

Mister Fawst: (On reaching the North) But this saying is hard… If we say we have no sin… We lie… We sin… We die…

Mephisto: (Still unseen and unheard by Fawst) What doctrine call you this?

Mister Fawst: Che sera sera… Divinity, so long! (He casts the book to the floor of the North and returns to his desk.)

Tristitia and Gula are seated simultaneously.

To be continued…

Dance of Fire and Water: Relations…

‘…As all things are discovered by one,

alone through contemplation,

so all things are born from this one,

alone by permutation…

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… Its father is the Sun,

its mother is the Moon,

the Wind bears it in its belly,

the Earth nurtures it in its heart…’

The Emerald Tablet

Dance of Fire and Water: Tablet…

 

‘In truth, it is certain and without doubt,

that whatever is above tends toward that which is below…

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… And whatever is below tends toward that which is above,

for the accomplishment of the One Perfected Thing…’

The Emerald Tablet

 

Dance of Fire and Water…

Circle – Sun – Spirit

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… After satisfactorily explaining

the nature of the Earthly Realm,

The Alchemists turned their attentions to the stars…

Crescent – Moon – Soul

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To those heavenly bodies

which seemingly ‘wandered’ across the fixed backdrop of the constellations,

they gave the generic name planets,

and held them in especial reverence.

Cross – Earth – Body-Matter

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The symbolic system they developed

to designate the planetary beings

also linked them to the human psyche.

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Magical Elements: Unfurling…

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… Not content with speculations

on the nature of the physical world,

their deductions led the Alchemists to contemplations

of a metaphysical nature…

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If Magical Elements could be transmuted

each into the other

then they must ultimately be equivalent.

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They posited a fifth element

which possessed all the properties of the other four,

and called it the ‘Quintessence’…

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Magical Elements…

Air

Earth

Water

Fire

From such simple devices the ancients sought to traverse the stars

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Most people, if asked, would claim to be familiar with these elements largely because in the physical world they can recognise substances which, today, go by that name.

“I know what earth, air, fire and water are,” they might haughtily declare before moving on to something infinitely more befitting their lofty opinion of themselves.

But they would be wrong.

Nobody knows what the elements are.

We may be able to recognise them and in some instances we may also be able to predict what they will do, how they will operate, what results will follow from their mutual interactions, but we do not know what they are, anymore than we can ever claim to know what electricity is, except, perhaps, in very vague terms…

Electricity is a force of nature which can be harnassed…

The elements are forces of nature which can be harnassed…

So mysterious are these forces that some mystical schools refuse to call them elements at all, referring to them, instead, as principles.

For modern man this mystery is a failing, so it is not accepted and certainly not talked about…

For ancient man this mystery was a joy, embraced with open arms, and became something of a raison d’etre.

The ancients never tired of observing the kaleidoscopic interplay of these forces constantly taking place around them.

Consequently, they discovered some pretty amazing things about them.

They called this study, Alchemy…

Mysteries…

mystery

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“You’ll know it,” he said, “by the stone stairs and the hawk’s head over the lintel.”

I was expecting a carving, or a painting, or possibly even, an offering, not half a cliff-face…

Nevertheless, it had still been a bugger to find.

The light was fading when I tip-tipped down the stone steps and stood before the crudely imposed entrance.

I stepped inside…

A dim glow lit the interior and the odour of old incense, clung…

He stood and turned, a huge bull of a man.

“What took you so long?”

“I got here as quick as I could.”

“Coffee?”

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