Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Labyrinth of Initiation

With the energy of Samhain increasingly evident, my attention is being drawn to the reality of initiation. I’ve mentioned initiation a number of times in recent blog entries, and this is because I have been led to see the depth of initiation and also the cycle, or perhaps more correctly, the spiral of initiation. In recent days I have come to see that this is in fact a labyrinth, and in fact the initiate travels this labyrinth throughout their journey, spiralling in and out, travelling back into the centre, that place of death and rebirth, and then spiralling out once again, at a new level, at a new depth, in a new place and with a new energy, before returning once again, for a new encounter with death and rebirth. Initiation is a process, and one that is not trivial, but rather is hugely profound.

My tarot spread this week has been really very pertinent to all that has been happening with me of late and this week has seen my eyes being opened to a great deal of powerful things.

The theme this week has been very much about initiation, and a challenge from the gods to really assess and evaluate my own motives in light of what I seek. Is it about me? What I can gain? My own self projection, or is it about my own transformation through the laying down of self in order to achieve the manifestation of Higher Self? This involves travelling into the heart of the labyrinth, of daring to approach Cerridwen’s cauldron, of truly experiencing death in order to be reborn into a new place of experience and existence. There’s nothing shallow about this, the challenge this week has been clear – am I prepared for this, is it truly what I want and am I honestly prepared to bring those final bastions of resistance down to secure my hearts desire?

Initiation isn’t something that’s conferred by ceremony. Although ceremony of some kind may mark this rite of passage, it isn’t the ceremony that brings the initiation; it’s the intention of the heart of the Seeker. Motives, integrity, transparency, and openness before ones gods are key. Being honest with oneself, and with ones gods.

The journey of the labyrinth isn’t easy, because as one spirals in, so one spirals into death. At the centre of the labyrinth resides Cerridwen’s cauldron, and this is the cauldron of transformation, knowledge and rebirth, but before rebirth and knowledge can be bestowed, there has to be a death. There’s no shortcut, this process cannot be avoided, and although it may happen over many stages and on many levels, happen it must. As I am walking towards the centre, I see the various things I have laid down over time, but there is more. The cauldron represents the womb of the Mother, and I am going to be expelled from this womb, born into a new place, but before this happens, I have to let go, and let go especially of the past – even of that which I think I have learned.

I say this because although two cards spoke of initiation and motives, the third card spoke of the illusion of the past, of looking back with nostalgia, but this nostalgia is false. Things of the past may look attractive and appealing, but when I reach out for them, they disappear, or they fail to satisfy, because they have little substance. They may be full of appeal, full of sparkle, full of quick fixes and many promises, but in truth, they are empty and shallow and will leave me as such. They are illusory, and I have to walk away – and vow never to return.

In the past, when I have walked the labyrinth, it has been at much shallower levels. I have walked it on the level of emotion, or on the level of desperate seeking. Now I walk it as a matter of Will. I choose to let go, I choose to abandon myself to my gods and I choose to embrace the womb of the Dark Mother in order to be reborn. I choose the path of true initiation. I choose this because I seek to be reborn, with new eyes, new vision and with new knowledge and I want to move from the emotional and psychological to the arena of spirituality. I want the Inner Light of my Higher Self to radiate from my eyes and spirit to flow from this chosen vehicle.

I choose to move to a new level and to a new state of consciousness. The past has been a preparation, and a valuable one, but however appealing and however seemingly attractive, if I am to grow, then I have to move on. This may be painful in places, but it is a test of how serious I am and a demonstration of my level of commitment. This is a breaking of old patterns, a letting go, even of people and places, and a goodbye to old systems of support. This is about reality.

It’s a tough call and I have to ask myself if I am truly ready.

I am called to open myself to the Fires of Sulis and abandon myself to Cerridwen’s cauldron. A sacrifice of control.

As I prepare for Samhain, so I continue to walk the labyrinth of initiation, ever closer to the womb of the Dark Mother, shedding all that stands in my way, until I too am in the cauldron, dead, transformed and reborn, not on a superficial level, but truly reborn, with a new name and new vision, ready for the next phase of my journey.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Flying Beds

I have a feeling that this is going to turn into something of a self reflective ramble so it will therefore be rather disjointed. This will not surprise regular readers of this blog, but to any newbies out there, my apologies!

In a recent conversation with my sister, she reminded me how, as children, we would play what we would call ‘Flying Beds.’ This was simply a childhood fantasy, where we would imagine that our beds had secret powers and would, at our command, take us anywhere at all, by taking to the air. We would soar, far away, in our imaginations, to places and people that we would create, painting on the canvass of young minds, uninhibited and unrestricted. As I have reflected upon this I have come to appreciate the longing for freedom that I have always sensed, deep with me. This is a desire to be free from the limitations and restrictions of the physical body and a deep conviction that there is more to life than that which presents as physical matter. I’ve never been fooled into believing that all I see is all that exists.

What I have come to see, in recent months, is that this longing I felt then was the voice of my Spirit – what Dion Fortune calls the ‘immortal spirit of man’ - that part of me that is of the One Divine Life and which seeks to make that divine and eternal connection. The immortality goes two ways. This is the God/dess within me, if you like, that part of me which makes me divine and which seeks communion, meaningful relationship, with the One Divine Life. This is a hunger that has always been there, it’s something that I’ve always known, and these whispers from Spirit, to my spirit, although expressed through various traditions along my somewhat complicated spiritual journey, have always been there, even at the times in my life when my communication receptors were rather ineffective or seemingly non-operational altogether! The One Divine Life has never let me go, even when I could be seen running at full speed in the opposite direction! And trust me, that has happened!

I don’t consider myself to be particularly psychic. I don’t see the aura’s of people as they’re walking towards me in the High Street, and I hardly ever seem to remember my dreams. I rarely see visions (although I have a few times) but I do find that I have a highly tuned intuitive nature and this has often shown itself when I’ve been reading tarot for people. Somehow, I just seem to know. I’ve been working with people, using the tarot, and somehow Source has spoken directly into their lives through me, often with dramatic results. This has often worked at its most powerful when I have allowed the cards to speak directly to me, not always following the established interpretation of the card as detailed in the accompanying book. This is a gift I’ve not used for some time, and is something that I would like to see develop. However, I use the tarot a few times each week for my own personal use and I’ve always found this to be really effective and meaningful. So the tarot, for me as well as for others, has been one vehicle where I have been able to fly from the restriction and limitation of this mind and body into a different place, with positive results.

“Confusion is the beginning of wisdom” says Dr Taverner to Rhodes in the Dion Fortune book ‘The Secrets of Dr Taverner’ and I’ve been feeling that way myself in the past few days. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a negative thing, I’m not throwing my arms in the air in some kind of doubting fashion, but I do have a feeling of ‘the more I read the less I seem to know’! Does that make any sense? I think this is because I have moved from the starter to the main course! I so relate to this Fortune quote because to me it speaks of being open, honest, and transparent. No one will ever grow on their path if they assume a kind of ‘know it all’ pretence and, sadly, I have spent too much time with people of this ilk during my spiritual journey. I am in a place now where I dare to ask the questions and whilst I know I have a firm foundation, this is not where I want to remain. I’ve not come this far simply to tread water. No, I want to build upon this foundation and establish something wonderful and lasting. So I am in a place of mild confusion at the moment. I feel like a chap who has just purchased a flat pack kitchen and can’t quite work out how to bring it all together. I have all the parts I need, I have the tools in the house, somewhere, if I can get my hands on them, but I’ve not yet quite connected the tools to the appliance! I remember feeling this way when I started a new school. Everything around me looked somewhat familiar, the routines were similar, but I was also painfully aware that I was the ‘new boy’ and I simply had to get on with it. That’s how it feels right now in the sense that I know I have some serious learning to do.

I think this is because I am seeking a way of bringing magic into my pagan practice in a real and meaningful way. I have been working with my gods, working with their energy, and therefore using magic in the sense of it being a gift from my gods and flowing from their energy and vitality. For me magic has to form part of my devotional practice. The object of my magic is to bring my manhood into my Godhood, to become more like the person I was created to be, before name and form, by allowing my Higher Self to manifest within me so that it is my Higher Self who looks through my eyes. I don’t see my magic as a way of obtaining ‘things’ necessarily, but I do see it as a way of transforming myself.

“Magic is more than waving a wand” says Dr Taverner, and this is obviously not news to me. I’m done with the fluff, done with the bubble gum, candy floss ‘buy a spell off the shelf’ mentality. I’m moving on to deeper and more profound things and in many ways it scares me! I’m far more aware of what I don’t know than what I do, I also know that I am a bear of very little brain! Part of me longs for a teacher, but at the same time I am aware of how I have learned so much over the years directly from Source. And this is objective of my quest, to get ever closer to Source. I don’t want fame or riches; I simply want to know, even as I am fully known.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Six Random Things About Me

I’ve been tagged by the lovely Mary, of Tea, Sympathy and Perfume blog, to write six random things about myself. So, in a little departure from my usual blog topic, here I am honouring the tag request! I think this is a great thing, as it provides you with something of the person, the human being, behind all the ramblings posts I make.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Post the rules on your blog.

3. Write six random things about yourself. (See below)

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them. (See further below...)

5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things About Me:

1. I adore cats! Cats are so intelligent, sensual, loyal and loving. People often refer to cats as being aloof, I’ve never known this to be the case in my experience. I lost my Lilac Point Siamese called Dusty two years ago this December and I miss her, dreadfully, to this very day. Here she is on my lap:

2. I’m vegetarian. I know some pagans get upset about this, but I just find it impossible to eat other sentient beings. The way we intensively farm animals, the inhumane way we house and keep animals and live animal exports are other reasons for my vegetarianism. I don’t preach about it, I don’t criticise others for eating meat, just don’t expect me to do so!
3. I only see in one eye! I had a detached retina in 1986, and almost lost the sight in both eyes. I’ve had lots of ocular operations and the sight in my right eye is okay, but not brilliant!
4. I’m 6’4.5” tall!
5. I’m gay – but I think you know that! I’ve always known that I was gay, it really does feel like something I’ve known forever. It’s as much part of who I am as the colour of my eyes – it’s an intrinsic part of me and I am proud to be an openly gay man. I assert my right to be who and what I am! As a young boy it terrified me, I just couldn’t see how my life was going to pan out. As it is, I have been in a relationship with a man I love for the past 20 years, and that’s something else I am very proud of.
6. I’ve just made a Facebook page! Why, I’ve no idea, it just seemed like a fun thing to do at the time. If you have a Facebook account, please add me as a friend! I only have 6 at the moment and it feels very lonely!

Normal, serious posting will resume tomorrow!

And now for 6 friends blogs I really love and read every day:

The Green Witch – I love the TGW as she is always open and honest and shares from her heart. A real spiritual journey has it’s times in the valleys as well as on the mountain tops and I admire the Greenwitch for her honesty.

The Voice of Seshat. Seshat has taught me so much through her prolific writing.

House of Inanna
– Brian shares a range of topics that never fail to interest me. I like the way he writes and I am often challenged by his thoughts.

Angels In The Whirlwind – A new blog to me, but I am intrigued by Boleskine’s magickal journey. As I move into a more magickal experience, albeit on a path different to his, I find his experiences fascinating and inspiring.

Starweavers Corner – because I have learned so much on this blog, Starweaver never fails to get me thinking.

This Guys Journey – a new blog to me and I just love the way that Bret writes, it’s so honest and refreshing. I think he has a real talent.

So a mixture of blogs, do please visit them and all the blogs on my blogroll. They’re there because I love them all!

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Married To Amazement

By way of 'surfing' some blogs recently I came across this beautiful poem. It touched me incredibly deeply and I am posting it here for your own meditation. However, please visit the blog Conversing With Paradise where it was originally posted and let Jeff (as well as I) know how much you enjoyed it!

When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;

when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,

I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?

And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,

and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,

and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,

and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.

Mary Oliver

Posting this may appear to be something of a cop out, but this could not be further from the truth. There is something so very powerful in the poem, the whole feeling of embracing life and running with it. For us, as Magickal Beings, we would want to take this further, to be sure, but as a springboard for journeying and meditation, I think this is wonderful.

I hope you like it too!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Western Esoteric Tradition

My spiritual development of recent weeks has led me back to the Western Esoteric Tradition, and I find this keeps happening. It’s interesting, because although I feel led here, in a very strong way, I still struggle with certain aspects of it, such as the heavy Christian leaning. I think that this may perhaps have more to do with my lack of understanding at this present time, as opposed to anything about the Western Esoteric Tradition itself. Having a fundamental Christian background, it’s almost guaranteed that I would struggle when I see biblical quotes popping up in the books I’ve been reading by Dion Fortune and W.E. Butler recently.

However, all that to one side for the moment, I have to say that when I am reading the books that talk of the Western Esoteric Tradition, the quickening I feel in my spirit is incredible. I feel it rising up in my solar plexus and at times it is all I can do to contain it. It’s more than a feeling of excitement, although I definitely feel excited, it’s more like a spiral of energy pulsating from within me, working its way outward. It’s a tangible feeling and one that seems to not only come from within me, but also surrounds me. That sounds so fluffy it’s almost laughable, but I can’t deny the reality of the sensation. It’s like something of a homecoming and I have a genuine sense that at last I have found a tradition that I can finally hang all the things that make sense to me upon. This is not to say that I understand it all, necessarily, I am acutely aware that the vast majority of all this is very new to me indeed, but at the same time, the little that I have read and meditated upon is starting to make sense to me. There is a real and genuine resonance and it’s something that isn’t leaving me, it’s not a passing thing, there is something real here and it’s very clear to me that my future explorations, however tentative they may be, need to be in this direction.

I’ve gone mad today and purchased a number of books by Dion Fortune. It’s no accident that I have just joined a reading group who are exploring the works of this amazing woman and I am so excited to be part of this group. I have such a sense that we are on the periphery of such a time of discovery and I know that things are going to open up for me from here-on-in. It’s like the months leading up to today have been a time of preparation, a real tilling of the soil. What it leads to, obviously, is yet more preparation for the next stage! I am not claiming any kind of revelation as such, just a real and powerful sense of ‘this is it!’ this is where I need to be for the next part of my present incarnation. My intellectual and spiritual teaching will come via the books of Dion Fortune through the reading group and will inform my spiritual practice in the months ahead. I also see the New Moon Ceremonies that I run as a place where some group ritual work will begin to implement the things that I learn. It’s all coming together in a very real and exciting way, but I am also terrified!

Is ‘terrified’ the right word? Probably not, that’s probably too strong a word. I think I mean apprehensive, and I mean this because I know that I am about to venture into a new phase of my journey. I have a real sense of stepping out of the old and into the new, and I will use Samhain to ritualise this. I don’t fully know or understand where I am going, I never seem to know that, but I do have such a sense of this being the right step for me. I feel that I am about to launch into a new seat of learning and I am being led by Spirit. I also know that this is going to lead to a real time of personal challenge as I lay down aspects of personality that need to come under the subjection of Higher Self. This won’t be easy, but I know it needs to happen.

My Higher Self is starting to expand within me. It’s like I’ve created just enough room, brought down just enough pillars, cleared enough personal debris, for my Higher Self, that immortal spirit of man, to begin to radiate within me. I’m not being egotistical here, I’m claiming nothing huge, I am more than aware that I am still, very much, fallible man, but I am aware of things shifting and moving and changing. I am changing. I actually don’t feel the same. I’m stronger, I’m clearer, I’m more in tune with myself and with Source and I have a sense of destiny about me. It all sounds very grand, but it’s true, and if all this sounds like a load of tosh to you, to me it sounds and feels very real indeed.

The Death card that has been following me around over recent months is also coming back to my mind and focus. I think there is an ending here, but one that is signalling a new beginning. Dion calls very clearly for sacrifice, leading to death and new birth. She talks about sacrificing our preoccupation with our human senses, and through this to allow the Higher Self to manifest. “An appreciable clearance has to be made” she says, and I can attest to this. I also don’t think I’m anywhere near that ‘appreciable clearance’ as yet! I think all I’ve managed to do is just about clear out a very dusty corner, but it’s enough for my Higher Self to just about begin to radiate. I feel it, and I feel and sense it in my own meditations and ritual activity to know that things are genuinely shifting for me. It’s also starting to be reflected back from those I work with in ritual, and for that I am terrible excited.

When I was interviewed on the radio recently the interviewer said “your job and your spiritual path seem to be at odds with each other.” This threw me, momentarily, because it’s also something that has been on my mind a great deal. Managing people, services, budgets and the future, especially for the Local Authority, isn’t easy and there are times when I feel a genuine inner conflict and that’s not comfortable for me. I want to move away from this falsification of self. What I want and what I am seeking now is a way of bringing into my daily life, in a greater way, a more transparent way, a way that causes people to encounter Source when they encounter me. It’s a goal, a long term goal at that, but I once read about someone who aimed at nothing, and guess what? They hit it! I’d rather aim at something lofty and at least get half way there!

Sunday, 12 October 2008


. . . the work of a magician is to know and master his or her own self. The magicians task is to concentrate and manipulate the diverse forces in his or her own nature until those forces interact, disintegrate, and change to emerge reassembled and reborn. What occurs is not only a mystical experience or immediate perception of the presence of an almighty and supreme power, it is a complex rebuilding of the machinery of experience and perception itself.

I came upon this quote today which seems to encapsulate much of where I have been led in recent weeks and months. Whilst I cannot and do not consider myself to be a magician (yet!), the goal of this quote resonates deeply with me.

When I am called to 'know thyself' this really isn't a surface, self indulgent thing. It is about knowing myself in my physical body, knowing the reactions and interactions (as well as the intra-actions) of my body and senses, but it's also about something much deeper than that. It's also about knowing that I am not my body, but rather I am that which uses this body. The Spirit within me is that of the Universal Spirit - Source, that which is part of everything, in everything and is everything. This is the foundation upon which everything has been built and upon which I must also build. It's a concept which blows my mind, and in truth I don't think I've fully got my head around it as yet! However, it is something to which I am constantly being drawn, so without doubt I am being called to know and understand the profundity of this message.

The 'disintegration' part of the above quote is also interesting. This is another concept to which my mind is continually drawn. This is a process that I feel I shy away from in many ways, although I've been through it on some levels in the past. This is about another form of changing my perception - as the quote itself concludes. It's the way I see myself, my body, and consequently my ego, or talking self. It is about bringing the pillars of self down, of making that room, that space, that capacity within me that will allow the Inner Light of my Higher Self to manifest and shine from within me. I think it is a process as much as an event, but there is a personal call for me to work at a higher level on this very issue.

This leads to my rebirth, and at this time of Samhain death and rebirth are very much in the forefront of my mind. This is the rebirth of the Initiate. There is something here about really embracing Cerridwen's cauldon, of seeing myself in there, in the mix, so to speak, and being transformed as a result. Not just on a mundane day by day level, but on a true initiatory level. A letting go of the pampering and clinging to self, and an embracing of the true reality of me and what it means to be a Child of the Goddess - an Initiate.

The more I meditate upon initiation the more I see that it is not a one off event, but rather it is something like a spiral, and I spiral in and I spiral out, on this continuous cycle of initiation.

What I am after, what I am seeking is reality. I am not interested in delusion of self. I am setting my intention very clearly as this year closes and that is to open myself to Deity in a new and more profound way and to truly embrace my path and my calling. I don't fully know where this will take me and maybe I don't even fully appreciate the depth or gravity of what I am saying here, but this is the desire of my heart; to truly move into a new area of experience and depth. I seek to dance with my Gods in a close and profound way and for this to reflect itself through my own personal transformation and for this to be evident to others.

Saturday, 11 October 2008


I had a really lovely day out on Friday. My special friend Jacquie and I, went to Avebury in Wiltshire, UK. We wanted to revisit the Avebury Henge, Silbury Hill and also the West Kennet Long Barrow.

There will be 3 videos in this post, so I hope you're able to view them as they will convey more than I am able to write. I would love to know how you experienced them and the energy they contain.

Avebury Henge is an incredible place. Not as visually striking as Stonehenge, perhaps, but what is remarkable, to me at least, is the different energy. Stonehenge has a very masculine energy, whereas Avebury has a very feminine energy. This struck me particularly as we entered the middle field. I had a great sense of 'birthing' energy here.

I've made a couple of videos for you, but they're not brilliant! They were simply taken with my camera, but hopefully they capture something of the spirit of place for you. Here's Avebury Henge:

From Avebury Henge we moved on to Silbury Hill. This is a most remarkable place. It is the largest man made mound in all Europe, yet no one really knows why it was made. As far as anyone can tell, it has no hidden treasures, artifacts, or any hidden religious significance, yet the energy from Silbury is almost overwhelming. I had a great sense of emotion - a real, deep tapping into my emotions. Joy, real joy was present and strangely both Jacquie and I burst into song - silly song - simultaneously. The energy from Silbury is peaceful, loving, in a way, there's nothing vengeful or aggressive here at all, as far as I can tell. People came from all over to contribute to the building of this mound, so it clearly had great significance to them. To connect with these people was special. I hope this video shares something of Silbury with you.

From Silbury we walked to West Kennet Long Barrow. To get there we passed by two very special trees, the second of which was covered in ribbons, prayer ribbons, left by many pilgrims.

West Kennet Long Barrow is one of the many prehistoric monuments that are part of the Avebury complex of Neolithic sites. It is one of the most impressive and well-preserved burial chambers in Britain, as well as being one of the most visited.

It was really odd, as there were a family of wasps in the entrance, making getting in there very difficult - almost as if they were guarding the place! Also, a couple had visited just before us and as well as lighting some lovely tea lights, had burned a lot - and I mean a lot - of incense, you can see the clouds of it billowing out from the entrance to the chamber!

The energy here is quite incredible. To connect with these people, my ancestors in many ways, is remarkable. Again, here it feels peaceful, nothing to be avenged, as far as I can tell, and it feels very much about respect and honour. This is a brief video, but again, I hope it captures something of the moment for you.

A lovely, special day, with a very good friend, and some lovely moments spent connecting with people, spirits and places that are, like me, part of The All.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

The Road to Samhain

Today I took myself out on a walking meditation. I have a few days leave from work, and I’ve been determined to put them to good use. No prizes for guessing where I went – yes, as I thought, you’ve guessed it - Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Well! I just love these places and I have such a genuine connection with them. I am so aware of how blessed I am to have such amazing places close by, but then I guess we all have our ‘special places’ and our connections to sacred sites. I also know that our mere presence, as a Magickal Being, makes any place sacred, as we connect to the Spirits of Place and work with them. And, over the years, such as with Glastonbury Tor and Chalice Well, these places become imbued with this energy. The words we speak, from the intentions that we make, have the power to create, or destroy, build up, or break down.

I also intend to visit Stanton Drew and Avebury during the oncoming days.

I have been aware of Samhain calling in recent days. Energy is shifting, and this has been reflected in a number of blogs that I regularly visit. As energy shifts, so my inner work shifts, and I have become increasingly aware that Samhain is just around the corner. Samhain is one of my most favourite festivals. The energy and power of this season drives right into the very core of me and both thrills and terrifies me, simultaneously. I think it needs to do both, and as such I never become complacent but rather see this time of death and rebirth as hugely significant as I step into a new spiritual and magickal year. It also makes this time real, and not superficial, on any level. It can be an incredibly painful time, as one lets go things that no longer serve, and then one reaches out to embrace the new. It’s not just about an acknowledgement of the season, but a real, genuine, and total connection with the season of death, and then rebirth. This is the time of transformation and transformation is central to my path. As I get closer to Source, the One Divine Life, how can I not be transformed?

As I reached the top of Glastonbury Tor, I was calling to Gwyn Ap Nudd, who I relate to as the king of the Underworld. He is the God of death and rebirth, as the Underworld is where souls are prepared for their rebirth. I was seeking guidance on that which I need to release, in preparation for my Samhain ritual. Words and images were flooding my mind and soon one word stood out about all others: Restriction.

I sat, leaning against the tower, in the wonderful warmth of full sun, seeking more insight into this word, and soon it became clear. So much of my work has been that of letting go of old patterns, both of behaviour and thinking, and moving into a new place. I am amazed at how far I have travelled, yet I still restrict myself, and this was key – the message for me was to let go of the limitations I place upon myself. It’s time to see how I limit me, mainly in my thinking, but also in my interactions with others.

Together with this were the limitations I place upon my progression upon my own path. Sometimes these limitations are borne of fear that stems from my Christian upbringing. It’s over 20 years since I broke free from the yoke of Christianity, yet still the echoes remain, quieter, much fainter than before, but at times they are still there. They are but whispers, just whispers, but whispers that at times hold me in check, stop me moving forward, because I doubt and fear and I feel that this doubt and fear often has its origin in a belief that I am not worthy. These things need to go as I want to move forward and I need to release the lies of the past as I move into the truth of Now.

There is no glass ceiling, nothing has been imposed, any restriction is there because I alone place it there. As my trust and belief in myself increases, so I need to step into my own personal responsibility and integrity. I am in charge of me. My words both create and destroy. As I embrace my own True Will I am my own light and I am my own master and therefore the bars of this self imposed prison can be torn apart – and this is my intention for this Samhain.

As I walked to Chalice Well I sat at the Wellhead and spoke with Sulis, my patron Goddess. She is the Goddess of the hot, healing springs of Bath, Goddess of blessing and of curse, Goddess of fire and water. As I listened to Her promptings I was increasingly aware that I have embraced her Water aspect – my intuition is well developed, I am aware of my own emotions, I own them, and disown those that are not of me, and my inner relationship is finely tuned. These things can always develop further, however I need to embrace her Fire and bring this further into the centre of my being. I need to allow her Fire to rise within me, that fire of passion, of alchemy, of transformation, of purification. This is the Fire that burns the dross and leaves the gem – the Fire of Inner Light. This is a clear call and a clear challenge.

Linked with this is the ability to receive. When I doubt my worth it is difficult to receive anything. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no wilting wallflower, but there are times when it’s difficult to receive because I don’t feel good enough, and I know where this has its root – firmly seated in the past indoctrination of Christian teaching.

So my Samhain ritual begins to take form. A relinquishing of the limitations and restrictions I place upon myself, a letting go of self doubt and limiting self belief, walking away from old concepts of me. And then a stepping into the truth of who I am – a Magickal Being, and a genuine stepping into the element of Fire, embracing the Fires of Sulis and seeing them rise and take hold within me. This will be a ritual that is designed to cement a process that is already at work within me and that will result in a deepening of this work through the art of causing changes in consciousness at will.

So mote it be!

Monday, 6 October 2008

What Is My Path?

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted, but this hasn’t been because I’ve fallen into inactivity or procrastination! Mind you, both things have been enemies of mine in the past, and I am mindful of the different guises they assume with which to lure me!

I have a feeling this is going to turn into one of my rambling posts! Apologies! I just feel a need to summarise my journey to date, as I have a need to declare where I am here and now. Obviously, I’m leaving loads of detail out, just for the sake of space and to save you, dear reader, from pure and guaranteed boredom! I just have a need to make this post another significant marker, which for me, at the moment, is the main purpose of this journal. I hope that in some small way this post will also provide an essence of who I am and what I’m about. I feel it’s timely.

This was confirmed when I read one of Seshat’s recent posts. She writes in a way that often touches my spirit and soul, and this confirmed to me that I needed to make this entry.

As I have said in recent entries, things have been happening for me of late that have moved me on, spiritually, and there are doors opening for me, and I’m both excited and nervous about these things. I have a real sense of anticipation and expectation. There are many things changing around me, professionally, personally and spiritually, and some of these changes will be a constant, I just need to go with them for the time being, whilst other changes I need to take control of, magickally speaking.

I have been walking a pagan path for some years, but I think it’s true to say that probably half of that time I was walking a somewhat ‘fluffy’ path. I don’t say that disrespectfully, I think perhaps many of us come to our paths this way, it’s only with reflection that I see my time then was one of walking into awareness, step by step. This is why I don’t criticise those who seem ‘fluffy’ to me, although at times I may feel irked by them, especially when I feel their fluffiness is being inflicted upon me! I don’t criticise, because it’s not for me to judge where they happen to be on their path. That’s for them to work out. Only they and their Gods know where they are at this point upon their journey. It’s none of my business.

Recently I’ve felt a need to define my path anew. Not that it’s changed, as such, rather there has been something of an evolution, the result of my own spiritual development over time. I’ve felt the need for this redefinition only because I have felt a need to declare my Own True Will – the purpose I was placed here, in this incarnation, at this moment in time. My recent growth has been a result of study together with application and a heart that truly seeks to connect with the One Divine Life and to bring this connection to others, in whatever form they are ready to experience it at the point of development they themselves are at. I feel that is my True Will.

My background is one of fundamental Christianity. I mean the real Charismatic, speaking in tongues, healing the sick and raising the dead type. I even attended an evangelical/charismatic bible college in a bid to ‘get closer to God’ but none of this met that genuine sense of longing and healing I was experiencing within. Indeed, attending the bible college almost destroyed me, because all it showed me was that God found me, as a gay man, and someone who found this patriarchal presentation of religion difficult and uncomfortable, detestable. I was also seeking healing for my visual impairment. I was rejected by the Divine – or so it felt to me at the time, as none of this came to pass. I left the college empty, more empty than I had arrived.

In time I was thrown out of the Christian Church, because of my sexuality, and thrown out of the town, because my parents, pillars of the local charismatic church, felt me to be possessed of the devil. This, as you can imagine, sent my life into turmoil.

After a process of many life events, I moved into a kind of spiritual no-man’s-land, a kind of agnosticism that was pure self indulgence and which resulted in spiritual death – and potentially physical death, such was my carefree abandon. I just lived for myself. At the end of this period I was left with a real gaping whole within that was longing for spiritual fulfilment.

However, the One Divine Life had not let go of me, or my calling. And I do feel that I have a calling, dramatic and over the top as that may sound. I’ve wandered down too many blind alleys to count, but the fact is, the hand of the Divine always brings me back, and in these past few years I’ve found myself in a place I’ve never felt possible. This all began with my eyes being opened to the wonder of nature – or more correctly, Nature. I began to see that my years of searching, this desperate need to feel a sense of ‘belonging’ was futile, because I was seeking that which already existed – I WAS CONNECTED! That connection already existed, it was there, unbroken and vital, and this was such a sense of revelation and joy as I moved into the truth and the reality of this connection.

In time this led me to people who were practising a form of Goddess spirituality locally. I thought that I had found my spiritual home, but in time this proved not to be the case. I think some people there found a gay man – a man who loved and had sex with men – in the middle of a Goddess movement, difficult to handle. I don’t think they knew what to do with me or what to make of me! I don’t say this with any criticism towards any of the sincere and lovely people there at all. I loved many of them, but I think I was ahead of their time in some ways in that my mere presence perhaps challenged them in too many ways. That sounds arrogant and I don’t mean it that way, I just mean that as many of them were working out their own relationships with men, a man who openly professed to being gay forced them into a place that perhaps they were not ready for at that point in their own journey. I felt it right to withdraw from that particular expression of that movement and chose not to dedicate at the end of my first years training. It was the right decision; time has shown that to be the case.

This led me to concentrating and practicing my own solitary practice and it is here that the fireworks really started! As I began, somewhat blindly and with huge ignorance in many ways, to practice my own solitary pagan practice, embracing both the Divine Feminine and Masculine, it was like Source spoke directly into my life – honestly, it felt that powerful. Within my own practice my connection with the One Divine Life was realised and I dedicated myself to Sulis, Goddess of the hot healing springs of Bath (a local city) and to the Lord of the Wildwood. Opening myself to them began a process whereby their qualities began to manifest within me and I was enthralled within my pagan spiritual practice. I love my patron Goddess, and Her connection and energy in my life is a real and constant Truth, The Lord of the Wildwood has shown me what it is to be truly divinely masculine, and to Him I am both thankful and grateful. I have also made connection with a number of Guides and I have worked closely with my ancestors. All of this has led, as you can imagine, to real personal spiritual development.

However, of late, things have moved on, to an extent that at times provides great clarity, but at others throws me into confusion, and it is because of this that I feel a need to define my path. Not to put me into some kind of spiritual package or false bondage and restriction, but in a bid to express where it is I am coming from of late.

Flowing from recent happenings within my own spiritual practice I have found myself drawn to a more magickal expression of my spirituality. This has led some to describe me as a Magician, but this is a title I do not feel worthy to accept and neither do I feel it appropriate. I say this for a number of reasons. One, I know very little of Magick, although I am reading and studying for all I am worth. Also, I have a very real sense of my devotion to my Gods, and this relationship is powerful and real to me. As Seshat says in her post, Magick to me is a genuine gift from my Gods – an outworking of that dynamic relationship.

Boy, I am rambling today, I am sorry! I just need to get this down!

So this combination of a real and genuine pagan practice, that has been so personally powerful for me, and a progressing magickal element to this practice, has been confusing me. How do I combine the two? What does this make me? Am I turning into a ‘pick and mix’ pagan – something that I have never, ever, wanted to be? Have I finally lost the plot somewhere?!? Have I finally lost my very last marble?!?

All I can say is that my connection with the term ‘Hedge Witch’ has never felt more real and genuine. Yes, I am experimenting with Magick. Yes, some of Crowley’s writings have inspired me in ways that the written word has never done before. But, so have the writings of Dion Fortune. Another conundrum!

My path is one of combining the spiritual celebration of my connection with my Gods, with the magickal outworking of that relationship. In truth, right now, I’ve no idea how the fruits of this relationship will express themselves, all I know is, this is the path I am walking today. I am in the ever constant state of Becoming. This is my present home!

As for doors opening, I was walking down Glastonbury High Street the other day, and in a shop window was a very inconspicuous note asking for people to join a reading group exploring the works of Dion Fortune. My heart was in my mouth, and I signed up! I go to the first meeting this week, and this is what I mean about new doors opening, I don’t know where this is going to take me ... but I’m walking through the door!

I am Becoming!