Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Body and Soul

The reality of Rootedness that I spoke of in my previous body is not some static thing but rather something that is dynamic and vital. It’s not something that imprisons or keeps one anchored in some kind of stationary or sedentary way, but rather it is an ecstatic , spiritual reality that provides a dynamic connection to a source of spiritual power. From the womb of the Mother life is conceived following transformation and this is birthed anew within. All is change and change is constant, the evolution of the soul. The fire from the core of Earth pulsates within whilst my Spirit cries to the starry heavens. And here is a tension that I have struggled to reconcile for some time, a mystery that I have not fully understood: the relationship between body and soul. If you think I am going to explain that mystery in this post, then I am going to have to disappoint! This journal is simply a journal of markers, signposts within the fog of my own spiritual journey, I don’t claim to have any answers of any great significance. All I do here is record the steps that I take, as well as my frustrations of how slow those steps are all too often.

More than once, in a variety of ways, I have questioned the relationship of body and soul. I’ve been criticised in some pagan circles over the years for what some have called being ‘too serious’ or of blurring the line between the celebration of the body and spiritual experience, but I think some of the criticisms miss the point. In understanding the relationship between body and soul one starts to understand who one truly is. Am I my body? Am I not my body? I know that I am of this body, but I am also aware that I transcend this body. There is a dynamic relationship here that I still don’t fully understand. I am of the dust of the Earth, and my body will return to this Earth, but I also know, with increasing conviction, that housed within this body is something far greater. What has bothered some of my pagan friends, over the years, is that when I start to speak in this manner is they misunderstand my comments and interpret them as Christian-esque. Trust me, with my evangelical Christian past, this has bothered me too, but nothing could be further from the truth. What I am beginning to see is that the soul within me, far from being some kind of separate entity seeking salvation in order to return to God is in fact the spark of Divinity itself, not separate from, but part of, an ever evolving expression of the Divine Mind, part of The All, my own Divinity. In many ways I know not of what I speak, yet I sense this and as I sense it I feel such a resonance within that I can’t begin to explain, which probably isn’t any help to anyone!

This can’t be some kind of intellectual exercise, it has to be something of an experience, and whilst theory is important, at the end of the day what really counts is ones own spiritual experience. Increasingly what I am seeing is as one lives dependant upon the body one is dragged into a kind of spiritual treacle that is almost impossible to move within. The body is the vehicle, but it is not the all in all. The body is important, and it is to be celebrated, but it is not the end in itself. It has a purpose, but it is not the purpose itself. Attachment to the body does not allow for spiritual evolution because such an attachment leads to a dependence upon that which is seen, whereas, weird as it sounds, the reality it actually that which is unseen. And the unseen is not some kind of airy-fairy made up candy floss fluffy superficial thing, it is pure spiritual reality and part of spiritual growth is learning to cross the bridge from this level of consciousness to that which transcends dependence upon the body, it’s senses, it’s delusions and its limitations. Yes, these are all words that I’ve read before, but slowly they seem to be falling into place at a new level, at a new depth and in a new way.

But this raises anxiety as well as excitement because I know, only too well, how I cling to this body, even though this body fails me at every turn. The frailty of my body is evident, in recent months it has failed me further, requiring to be (surgically) patched up, once again, until it fails, again, and yet still I cling to it because to do otherwise causes fear to rise within me. The existence of this fear tells me that I have further to walk across the bridge and that whilst my picture of what lies beyond the bridge is getting clearer, I’ve still yet to fully cross the threshold that separates the levels of consciousness of which I speak. And the more I cling to this body the more I will suffer because that is all this vehicle can do, ultimately. My attention needs to shift from the seen to the unseen, from the delusion of the seen to the reality of the unseen.

From my humanity to my Divinity.

Thursday, 14 May 2009


I, like you and many others I am sure, have been to countless ceremonies where one has been encouraged to visualise ones roots descending deep into the earth from the soles of ones feet. I’ve been taken through this so many times it’s almost become hackneyed, but in recent days this is something that has started to take on a greater and more powerful meaning for me. It’s starting to become real. I say starting as I feel that I am taking further steps into a deeper and more profound experience of what it means to truly be of the Earth, yet also of the celestial heavens.

We do not have to ‘get back’ to Nature because we ARE Nature! This truth is something I constantly have to remind myself of when the pressures of living in this incarnation seems to cause me to take my eye off the ball and I feel that I have lost that sense of connection. I haven’t lost it at all – the roots of Nature People are not suddenly cut off when other things rush in an attempt to seize our consciousness, any more than walking would snap them off. They are always there, travelling deep into the very heart of the Earth. And the fire that is found at the Earths core also travels through our veins. Nature, the wonder and the mystery of life, death and rebirth, this Earth, the Great Mother, is part of us and in us as we are in Her and of Her. We are from the dust of the Earth and we are touched by the hand of the One Divine Life just as all Nature is the Divine made manifest.

There is an art to being able to step back and shift ones consciousness, even whilst engaged in what seems to be the most stressful aspects of ones working life, and re-entering that area of consciousness that allows us not to reconnect, but to once again become aware of the reality of that continual connection; our rootedness. It is a constant, we just need to move into the awareness of that fact. I don’t claim to have mastered this, I don’t claim to be any kind of expert, I am just beginning to discover, however, that this is a truth that I can fully enter into. Our roots travel deep and wide into the heart of the Earth, just like a tree. We are not some flimsy seedling, we are as the most mighty of trees with roots the depth and strength of which cannot be overestimated. We are HUGE!

Yet at the same time we are filled with light from the One Divine Life, filled with the light from the One where Being comes from Unbeing. Our Higher Self can radiate from our physical eyes. From the void the One Divine Life flows into our Kingdom, this earthly, physical existence and brings life and I am filled with Divine Light. A child of Nature in my physical existence, a Son of the Gods in Spirit. My soul sings to the One Divine Life for I am of Them, yet my body celebrates and glories in being a Child of Nature. This is not a situation of conflict, but a wondrous union, a sacred mystery, a magical celebration. This is something of power. And as all Creation flows from Unbeing so I can bring into reality that which resonates with the Divine Will, for as above so below.

This is the true wonder of Oneness, of interconnectedness, and it comes from moving out of Ego into the reality of our Divine Relationship. Leaving attachment and moving into our God-Self. This is a process, an evolution, and I am a Learner in every sense of the word, yet I sense the reality of this and my intention is to move ever deeper into the truth of who I am.

My roots travel deep into the Earth, yet I am filled with Inner Light that flows from the One Divine Life and I am of and in that One Divine Life and both aspects resonate with the mystery of creation.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Blissfully Unaware

A number of people I have spoken with recently have told me that they choose not to read newspapers, read news sites on the internet, watch TV news or listen to radio news as they prefer (and I use the term they used) to remain ‘blissfully unaware’. What bothered me even more was the fact that they shared this information with me with a kind of piety, as if, by being in this blissfully unaware state, they were somehow enjoying some kind of deeper, more fulfilling kind of spirituality than I could achieve, as I chose to remain up to date with current affairs. I came away from all these interactions both confused and concerned. I’ve been mulling this over now for a couple of days.

I am bothered by these comments on a number of levels, not least because if one is blissful because one chooses to bury ones head in some kind of pseudo-spiritual sand, then one should expect to have ones head cut off! This kind of attitude causes me to picture people rearranging deckchairs on an ethereal Titanic. I was also reminded of the rabbits in Richard Adams ‘Watership Down’ who thought they had a wonderful life, unaware that they were captive and being bred for the pot. I just can’t see that this is what we are called to as magical beings. We’re here to affect change, not to live in some kind of self imposed ivory tower refusing to acknowledge that change, or evolution, is required. We are the people who can affect change!

I’ve not read Dion Fortune’s ‘Magical Battle Of Britain’ but the little I have read about it leads me to believe that during one of Britain’s darkest moments she encouraged people to come together in a series of meditations with the sole aim of not just protecting the UK, but the world, from a terrible fate. Far from burying her head in the proverbial sand, she sought to lead and train people in using their spiritual and magical energy in such a way as to bring real light into the world during a time of terrible darkness. Here was a demonstration of the immense power we hold as people of spirit and how we can affect very real change when we come together with focused intent. If we are truly magical beings, then change will be a constant, both within, and without.

This has bothered me because of where Europe finds itself at the moment. In a few weeks we have the European election. In my own country, the UK, this generates very little interest, and voting apathy in this regard is well known. This bothers me because it is at times of economic recession, as well as times when people lose fath in the political and democratic process, that people turn to the more extreme political parties for answers, usually because they offer scapegoats for all the worlds ills, scapegoats that some people are willing to accept with the consequence of many minority groups suffering as a result. It is already becoming apparent within the UK that some extreme right wing parties are spending more on this European election than they have in all the others put together because they sense their opportunity to gain their first seats in the European Parliament.

Far from being blissfully unaware, people of spirit need to seeking the Divine Mind and working magically to bring about positive change. At times such as these our spiritual path cannot be something that brings gain just for the individual practitioner, but needs to be something that spills and reverberates out from this and brings positive change for all. I have a very powerful and genuine sense for the need for our spiritual practice to be used in part to send out protective energy to guard and protect our nations at what is a very vulnerable time.

This isn’t a party political post, but it is my attempt to call us all to action, whether this be in a magical sense, or in the sense of causing any European readers not to rest on your laurels, but to firstly use your vote, and to use it responsibly.

Whilst we are not in the situation Dion found herself in, let’s follow her lead, and look outward at such a time as this, as well as within.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The Apprentice

I hate the BBC TV programme The Apprentice. There – I’ve said it and I feel quite alone is saying so! I feel alone as it’s one of the UK’s most popular TV programmes, gaining plaudits, awards and millions of viewers and it is peddled as very much the programme to watch – but I really don’t like it. I actually find it disturbing and worrying. I’d go as far as to say that it actually offends me.

The Apprentice is one of the ever increasing number of reality television shows to hit our screens. In this programme people are set tasks by Sir Alan Sugar to test various aspects of their business acumen. Each week, the candidates are divided into two teams and Sir Alan briefs them on the new task. The team appoints a project manager and this person is responsible for leading the task. After each show, the candidate who has impressed Sir Alan the least is ‘fired’ and usually in rather humiliating fashion. The goal for each candidate is to make it through all the various tasks in order to win a six figure salary as Sir Alan’s Apprentice.

Why don’t I like the programme? Because it has the affect of bringing to the surface all the aspects of the human personality that I really struggle with. Those aspects that I feel that as spiritual beings we should be moving away from. The candidates all appear to be prepared to sell their own Grandmothers if this would secure victory. Everything within the programme plays to their own ego and their inflated opinions of themselves. When they feel they’re in trouble; that is, when they feel they are in danger of being fired, the venom that spews from their mouths and the pure hatred that is sometimes evident in their body language in order to denigrate the others is nothing short of scary. Perhaps it reminds me too much of the office politics that all too often surrounds my working day.

Yet, I watch it each week. I think I watch it to convince myself that what I don’t like about it is really what I don’t like about it! Perhaps I want to see it improve; perhaps I want to see someone actually look out for someone else. Perhaps I want to see someone demonstrate a degree of understanding of another person, perhaps I want to see someone demonstrate empathy, put someone else first, recognise another for who and what they are as opposed to seeing each and every other candidate as nothing other than a back to stab and a carcass to climb over in order to get what it is they want for themselves. They feign teamwork, but in the end the single motive is about self. In other words, there is no authenticity, no transparency, everything is false.

I guess the reason I struggle is because everything about this programme challenges my own values. Some people have labelled me as naïve because of the values I hold, but I refuse to believe that other people exist merely as a means to my own gain. It is fellowship that is important, not what someone else can do for me to make me look or feel better. We should be celebrating each other, not denigrating each other.

The Apprentice appears to further popularise the misconception that we should use force to obtain our goals, that the means justify the end result. Conflict, it would appear, is fine as it brings about selfish ends, whereas what is truly important is purification, a stripping away of all the former, in order to bring about a deeper and fuller manifestation of ones Higher Self and therefore selflessness. It’s about a laying down, which, ironically, once we fully move into this arena, brings far more worth and value than one could have ever initially realised.

Domination is a theme that runs through The Apprentice, and of course this programme simply reflects where we are as a society. It’s all about survival, it’s all about profit and gain, whereas the magickal being is called to lay down and surrender, not control and dominate. Magickal power is birthed in sacrifice.

This is what Dion Fortune refers to as the death of the personality and increasingly I am beginning to understand what it is she actually means. I don’t pretend to have arrived at this point but I see more clearly than ever just what it is that is required of me in this moment in time.

Where it will lead . . . well, that has to be another story!