Sunday, 31 January 2010


This is one of my most favourite times of the year. The promise of Imbolc, for me, is one of the most powerful and moving of seasons, as we celebrate the fact, the truth that nothing ever dies. Here, for me, is where the wheel of the year brings forth its promise, those first stirrings of hope, those very early signs that the pain and challenge of the Dark Season is now bringing forth its promise. Just when it felt that all was lost, that death and dark were all there ever would be, comes the very early sign that there is hope. There is life . . . that the journey has not led to death, but it has led to transformation, to change, and now here, once more, is the promise of life. Nothing really dies.

And the Dark is often terrible – but necessary. I can’t subscribe to the fluffy notion that as a spiritual person all will be love and light. It’s not all about dancing and singing. That’s not real. That’s not life and it certainly isn’t a true spiritual experience. To embrace Light is to embrace Dark. Every seed of promise has its bed in the dark and germinates in the dark and only after the process of germination does it begin to reach of the light.

It’s so easy to lose sight of our spiritual reality and to believe that what we see, touch, hear, feel and taste is all there is. We experience this temporal existence through our five senses and at times it’s easy to become fooled into thinking along these temporal lines. We become attached to the material and to the physical, however subtly, and then it’s not long before we’re projecting the temporal into some kind of superior and only reality. This is a blind alley I have walked down too many times and it’s only when I fall into the pit at the end of this alley that I realise the folly of my ways. It’s The Fools Journey.

In my experience it is the Dark that reveals the folly of this and causes me to look within, as well as up, and to see the true reality and not just that which presents itself before me each day. Gwyn ap Nudd, Keeper of the Underworld, strips away all that is pretence, all that is not needed, all that does not serve, to reveal that which is of the Higher Mind. It is impossible to fully embrace the wonder of the Light if one has not travelled with the Dark. The Dark is the place of true transformation, where one is honed and then free to burst forth into the Light, as Light. Here is the mystery, here is the wonder.

Some like to look at the Dark as evil. This is a terrible but commonplace misunderstanding. The Dark is not evil at all, rather it is part of Life, part of the mystery, and part of me. As I journey into the very womb of the Mother so I am confronted with that which is unnecessary and contrary to my own spiritual evolution. Yes, here is often pain and here is often torment, but this is not evil or bad. The pain and torment comes from me, from my own attachment and refusal to let go. The pain is about my own resistance. The Dark is all about release, liberation and freedom and a true sense of being prepared for the wonder of rebirth. It is that continual process of Little Death that leads to the wonder of continual rebirth. I cannot appreciate the true wonder of rebirth if I have not allowed that to die which no longer serves my better interest.

There is nothing fluffy about this.

There has to be Death before Life. No matter how hard I have tried to avoid this in the past, the reality of the fact comes home, and at times has had to hit me hard. There are no short cuts, no quick fixes. If I want to walk in the way of the Gods, then I have to accept that I open myself to the fires of transformation and, if I want to know the joy and release that first has its promise at Imbolc, then I need to journey through the Dark that is Samhain.

So the promise of Light at Imbolc is a celebration because to me it’s about being catapulted out into a new place. It’s also about knowing that I am part of that Light. I am a Light of the World. As I continue to journey with The Mother, so I am being transformed, part of my journey before I return to source.

Nothing really dies. We may taste terrors, we may experience pain, we may stare death in the face, but we do not die and this is the promise, the wonder of Imbolc. The cycle continues, the circle is joined, the mystery is revealed.

Goddess and God reveal the wonder of this time of year in those swelling buds, those first green shoots that we can see in our own gardens. Within us too, those shoots are growing, those intentions set in the Dark are now reaching for the Light and will, very soon, burst out of the Dark, triumphant, as they reach for the Light, toward heaven, our true home.

And I am a Light of This World, as are all who walk with the Gods and who seek initiation. We bring Light because we are Light. The Light of our Higher Self radiates from within at ever increasing levels as we walk our path.

So at Imbolc I celebrate my true reality, my true connection. I am birthed, once more, from Darkness into Light and look to the forward year of promise and growth.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Papa Don't Preach!

I didn’t like having to delete one of the comments to my post of last week, as I don’t like censorship at all. However, as this space is my own spiritual journal where I record my own thoughts and spiritual journey I felt that someone posting the Christian gospel, asking me to walk a different path and stating that the Christian way was the only way, was not only disrespectful and rude, it was also insulting.

People who have journeyed with me over some time will know, from the posts I have made over the years, that I once was Christian. I was raised in an evangelical/charismatic Christian family and even went to Bible College. I know the Christian gospel as well as anyone. I have also chosen to reject it.

I’m making this the theme of my post this week for a reason, and the reason is this: I don’t believe anyone holds the key to absolute truth. I also don’t believe that any of us have a right to criticise the spiritual path of another. I cringe in horror and embarrassment when I look back at my life and think of the times when I have ‘preached the gospel’ at people, instead of respecting them, their journey and where they happen to be in terms of their journey. I really wish I could go back and apologise to each and every one of those people. This kind of attitude shows no respect for individual intelligence and neither does it respect people as individuals. It also shows an utter disregard for the integrity of others. It is this kind of fundamentalism that has caused our world to enter into many dubious and dangerous moments in recent and not so recent history.

Who am I to tell another what they should believe and who am I to tell another what they believe?

My spiritual journey has shown me that my body is a shell, it’s a tent, and it’s something in which I am choosing to live at this moment in time. My body is not me. My body simply houses that part of me that is before name and form, that part of me that is part of Source, part of The All. My soul is on an evolutionary journey and at this moment in time it lives within this body. No one can criticise where my soul is at today as it is where it is meant to be! By the same token, who am I to criticise you, your journey or where your soul is at today, for the very same reason. We will travel on our respective journeys until we have leaned and experienced what it is we needed until we rejoin Source and become at one with the One Divine Life. We make our own journey and we follow our own path and each is valid, each is special and precious and each deserves respect and honour.

I am not one of those pagans who hate Christians. I don’t understand people who dislike the followers of other paths so vehemently. I just don’t get that. I have reason to dislike the Christian path for so many reasons, but suffice to say that for me it was too restrictive and for me if did not value difference and diversity enough. The Christian doctrine to me was little short of a clone making factory and I found it to be something of a suffocating and claustrophobic experience and one that I have no desire to repeat. But this was my experience and for others who feel this is their way, I wish them well and I wish them blessings. I simply ask that they wish me the same.

I have no doubt that I am on the right path for me in this incarnation. Some people have wished me well on my ‘new path’ as some may perceive my recent draw to the Western Way as a new path. To me it isn’t a new path at all, rather a step along the path that I have always been walking. Where I have been informs where I am now, and there is no contradiction. I am simply placing my feel on the path that opens up before me.

And this brings me to where I am today. The comments made on my previous post were so very helpful as they have helped me to see the very real connection, or should I say, relationship, between my thoughts around ancestors and others thoughts around ‘the spirit of place.’ What I have seen is that there is indeed a relationship between the two.

I know that the wisdom, knowledge, experience, creativity and insight of my forebears reverberates within my very DNA. Their very being is present in the cells of my body. At the same time, the land they have walked has been invested with their energy through their spiritual practice as well as their everyday life and therefore the land also reverberates with this self same energy. Ancestors and land coming together.

And with this is the spirit of place. My forebears called to the elements, they called to their Gods, and as they were called, so the Gods responded. Someone once said that the more a God is called the more powerful in terms of energy and presence the God becomes. I don’t know what I think about that, but I can see that as a people call to the One Divine Life in the way that has been revealed to them, so this Deity forms part of the Group or Folk Soul.

As I walk the land I am beginning to sense all this in new and powerful ways. It is bringing a new sensitivity to the spirit of place and I can sense the energy of both those who have walked before and the Spirits of that place. The Gods have not deserted that space just because they are not called so frequently.

So the wisdom and mystery of my forebears, the land upon which I walk, and the Deities of that place lies before me. I just need to learn how to truly connect in such a way that I receive this wisdom.

I guess that is something of a lifetime journey!

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Acknowledging Ones Roots

I blogged some time ago about the importance of roots and this is something that has been with me again the past week or so. Truly knowing that sense of connection with Earth. I don’t mean this is a simple, fluffy visualisation sense, but in a true and dynamic sense of genuine and dynamic connection – a connection of power.

I have become increasingly aware of how this aspect of my spiritual path is frowned upon, not just by the Christian world but also by some parts of the magical community. Christians often view talk of connection with Earth, and our roots being firmly planted in our Mother as evil and wrong, and some people who follow a magical tradition have said to me that they consider such a practice to be ‘fluffy’ and without true foundation. I can the latter comment when one considers how trivialised such pathworking has become over the years, by some. But this is by no means the case for all. I think one has to delve deeply beneath the surface to find the true reality and it is important to avoid judging every book by its cover.

I have become convinced in recent weeks and months that the importance of connection with the spirit of place cannot be over emphasised. This is about truly connecting with ancestral wisdom, and this can be accessed through connection with the landscape, through tradition, as laid down in songs, myths and legends; and mystical connection with those who have gone before. To my mind this is both a valid and crucial aspect of spiritual practice.

Over the years I have allowed this apparent division between those who embrace Earth based spiritual practice and those who pursue a more Hermetic tradition to confuse and muddle my spiritual progress. I had allowed myself to get boxed into a pattern of thinking that was simply a case of ‘either or’ and that there was little, if any, room for a combination of both. Now I am starting to understand that one informs the other and the two can rest comfortably side by side as both are required for true spiritual development.

I cannot dismiss the wisdom of my ancestors. I see and sense a very real dovetailing of the Otherworld and the very real sense of the God-self. The two are not mutually exclusive. I know and understand and have experienced the power and majesty of the ‘spirit of place’ and know that what I see with my physical eyes is an expression of deity, of the Unseen. I think it is the dilution of this into commercial off the shelf packages of spirituality that has caused the damage for those who have truly experienced a powerful and real Earth based connection and celebrate deity in this way.

Ones roots cannot be dismissed. How can my branches reach to and celebrate and glory in the wonder of the heavens if I am cut off at the roots? How can I produce fruit that feeds and nourishes my fellow travellers if I have no way of drawing up rich and life giving energy? How can my spiritual self exist if it is separated from that wonderful and rich source of ancestral memory?

I am really beginning to see and understand not just the validity, but the crucial importance of connecting with what has been described to me recently as the ‘folk soul’. This speaks to me of that immeasurable and profound spiritual reservoir that is full of ancestral knowledge, wisdom, experience and power; a rich and dynamic spiritual energy source.

What I am not speaking about here, however, is a slavish adherence to the past that expresses itself through some kind of nationalistic spiritual expression of the past. To my mind the person who walks between the worlds today brings back ancient wisdom that meets the needs of human kind today. Our path has to be relevant to today and whilst we know and experience our connection with ancient consciousness, we bring the power of this into the world that we find ourselves in now.

That’s not to water it down, that’s not to pretend, but rather to bring ancient wisdom and knowledge to our current situation through a moving on from our roots rather than an attempt to remain stuck.

This is the challenge for me as I take my next faltering steps on my spiritual journey. My intention is to connect with my guides and forebears and to truly understand and experience the wonder and power of their connection with the One Diviner Life and bring this into my experience in the Now. This is not about living my spiritual life vicariously through them, but rather to fully and dynamically appreciate the foundation upon which my spiritual path and experience is based. I want to truly value and appreciate the wonder of my forebears experience and to fully appreciate the roots that sustain me and the energy that springs from these roots that in turn spurs me on to new experiences and growth.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Relationship With Deity

On reading through some of my old writings there are a number of themes that strike a chord with me today. One that resonates most strongly with me at the moment is relationship with Deity. It’s been good to check back and evaluate my spiritual journey as it was happening some months ago, in some cases, many months, because this has allowed to me capture the essence of that journey and has enabled me to see where I want to walk in the months that lie ahead. It’s no coincidence, I am sure, that Imbolc is just around the corner! Things are starting to stir indeed.

I think my entire spiritual journey can be summarised in the title of this entry – it’s all about my relationship with Deity. Back in the days of my Christian upbringing, whilst God was portrayed as a God of love, there was a theme running parallel to this that whilst not saying “this is what you have to do in order to win God’s love”, it was saying, and very clearly, “this is the behaviour, conduct, attitude, thought processes, beliefs and lifestyle you have to mirror in order to maintain God’s love.” There was this incredibly rigid, inflexible, almost hostile, heavy and suffocating code one had to adhere to that had the result of driving any creativity, spontaneous expression, diversity or freedom right out of the door. This had the simple and sad result of creating nothing other than clones, people who all spoke, thought and acted alike, no difference, no diversity, no creativity at all. Just sameness, all stirred together with a sense of having to reach out for God.

And it’s that sense of ‘reaching out’ that is weighing heavy on me today and it is this that has caused me to write this entry today. A mental picture that remains with me from my Charismatic Christian days is of gatherings of people (and don’t get me wrong, the majority of these people were sincere, lovely people) all singing praise to their God with their hands lifted to heaven. But these hands were not just lifted, there was something desperate here, something that spoke of a desperate hunger and a need to reach out and grab something and to pull whatever it was they found back into themselves. There was a tragedy about this and it was this picture that struck me quite vividly even when I still moved in those circles. This desperate desire was something of a neurosis and it spoke of huge effort on the part of the seeker. It left me empty.

No relationship, and most especially one with the Divine, is about rules and regulations. It can’t be about an adherence to a code or religious following of some kind of dogma – this isn’t what relationship is. Relationship is dynamic, it’s real, it has energy and power, it makes things happen, it creates things, it brings things to birth, it changes things and it’s celebratory and has moments of pure ecstasy. This is relationship!

Reflecting on my path to date I have come to see that my relationship with the One Divine Life is not about this strict and inflexible system, and neither is about looking up or back, it’s about looking within. I’ve come in for some criticism in saying this, and it’s so easy to interpret my words as little more than a call to navel gazing. This isn’t what I am saying at all. What I am saying is, as Doreen Valiente was inspired to write in her Change Of The Goddess “for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.” This isn’t just about knowing how one ticks, it’s not just about a call to psychology, it’s about understanding the Mystery and wonder that lies within each one of us.

Each of us is an expression of the One Divine Life and in this each of us is divine. Within me is the very magick that birthed creation. The same energy, the same dynamic, creative relationship. It’s not about a desperate and hungry reaching out, begging to be filled by some distant God, but rather an understanding of that relationship that already is manifest within. The wonder of all this is within me. And this doesn’t exist just to make me feel better, it’s not some egotistical thing, it’s a realisation that the beginning of which brings wholeness and healing not just to individuals, but to the land, our Earth.

My path is a journey that possibly over many lifetimes will take me closer to that ecstatic embrace of the Divine. And this starts, I feel, with understanding where my place truly lies with the One Divine Life, and taking that place begins with an acknowledgement that I, as I am today, am a perfect and pleasing expression of the One Divine Life.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Heaven and Earth

In many ways I know little of which I speak! The Western Way is a magical path that I feel has been calling me for some time, yet I’ve been in something of a haze of confusion as I’ve been looking for a way forward. Sure, I’ve read Dion Fortune, yet at the same time I have been sure that there has been something missing in my search. I was reminded today of a quote from Dion Fortune’s book “The Goat Foot God”. Hugh Paston says:

I don’t want anything spiritual, it isn’t my line, I had an overdose of it at Oxford. What I want is that something vital which I feel to be somewhere in the universe, which I know I need, and which I can’t lay my hand on

And for me, this is my quest. I want to make and experience that true connection with the One Divine Life and for this connection to change me and those I come into contact with. What I want is spiritual in the sense that I hunger for the inner courts of reality and not the outer courts of theatre. I don’t want pretence, show, theatre, costume and pseudo-glamour, I want all that stripped away in order to get hold of that which is real and to truly experience Them in my being. I think one of the reasons I have been silent here for so long is that I have been disillusioned with the peddling of spirituality, and whilst I know that each and every one of us has a living to make, there is something cheapening about it when it is peddled by people who have simply read the right books but experienced little. And reality has to be what it is all about.

I am conscious that I am setting out my store, and in a way I already feel the pressure of that, but by the same token one does not become an initiate of the Mysteries by attending a weekend workshop, I know that this is about commitment, dedication, spiritual practice, meditation and sacrifice. Key themes that have been with me for some time. So what I am talking about here is a process rather than an event, and one that I have control over.

As I stood on Glastonbury Tor yesterday I became aware of two things:

1. That I was deeply connected to Earth, at the same time I was aware that through this connection I was drawing up fire from the very centre of Earth and this fire became the centre of me

2. That I was connected to the Stars and celestial light radiated from my head and poured into my head.

These two things are the power of connection and to, at the moment, show the first steps on what I am understanding as the Western Mystery Tradition. There are two things running parallel: the deep connection to Earth with roots firmly planted in the ways and traditions of my ancestors, whilst at the same time reaching to the heavens and experiencing that deep connection with the One Divine Life. Here is a perfect union and one cannot be had without the other, the meeting of heaven and earth. This is something that I need to explore, as there is something about bring the reality of this into the Now – into my daily experience.

And here is an issue that trips me up again and again – bringing all of this into my daily working life. I’ve not cracked that as yet. On a daily basis I still see things that upset and offend me in terms of how people are treated and their humanity walked over, and increasingly, I find this impossible to accept. The actions of others have the detrimental affects upon the not only the careers of others, but also violates their human dignity, and somehow I am expected to support this in the name of progressing the organisation. This I find increasingly impossible. I feel that 2010 will be a time where, drawing on the fire that burns within me and the inspiration of my Gods I will be speaking not only my truth, but the truth, into these situations. Courage and strength, two words that were given to me by a Facebook friend yesterday, will be key in tackling this . . . and I will need them by the bucket load! It is stuff like this work situation that I allow to block my spiritual progress. I feel that it almost robs me of something. Instead I need to turn it around, and pour in to this spiritual void that is work, something of me. My true self.

I want to step away from Heaven and Earth as simply concepts, so that their reality radiates within and from me so that change is engendered, both for me, and for those who experience me in various ways as I go about my life.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

The Desire Of My Heart

I’ve been wondering what title I can give this blog entry as it’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything here. All titles that came to mind appeared to me to be either sentimental, out of proportion or simply stupid. So, I shall simply write what is on my heart and see what title reveals itself from that.

This blog has always been about keeping my own personal journal, a spiritual journal because I consider myself to be a spiritual person. From all the labels that one could attribute to me, and there are many,’ spiritual’ is the one that best defines me and who I am whilst also describing where and what I want to be. It is both a description and an aspiration and the wonder and magick of that can be found in the apparent contradiction. I guess what I have just written could sound arrogant to some, but to me this is an important statement of fact that I need to get clear in my own head. I am, first and foremost, above all else, a man of Spirit. That others have joined my journey by way of making comments on this blog has been a bonus in terms of the support such comments provide, but my writing was never about engendering comments, and that, I feel, is an important boundary to emphasise, because losing that sense of perspective is one of the reasons that I’ve been away.

I need to set out why I’ve been away in order to make sense of my return to the blogosphere.

2009 was an incredibly tough year on many fronts. In terms of my own health, serious health issues for people with whom I am deeply connected, challenging situations at work and my own internal challenges provided me with the need to retreat, to regroup, to challenge what is really important to me and what it is I actually believe. Many of these issues and situations, including my own health status, remain currently unresolved. I needed to step away from this public space because it was simply that: public. To write for the sake of blogging alone would be to move away from what this blog is all about, and at times there was nothing to write, as all I could do was ‘be’. The apparent external inactivity belied the huge inner workings that were taking place.

Motivation was also a key reason why I stepped back from the blogosphere. As I have set out, this space is simply my own spiritual diary. I found that in making this a public thing there was a huge temptation to write simply for the comments of others, or to impress. Much of this was a subconscious pressure that made its way into my conscious mind and when I became aware of it, I was really uncomfortable. I was also concerned about some of the things I witnessed within the blogosphere and the damage that some of this was doing to people. I needed to retreat, to examine my own motives and be clear about them. Was this blog something of ego, or something of Spirit? To put it to death seemed to me to be the most appropriate way of exploring that issue and for that to be true and sincere, it needed to be put to death without fanfare.

So why make this thing public at all? My answer to that is simply that I want my journey to be open to the scrutiny and the support of others, whilst also supporting others on their path. Whilst my path is essentially solitary, and no one else can walk my path for me, I value the support of those spiritual people of stature that I respect. Anything I say or experience should be open to challenge as well as support, otherwise there is no growth. And growth is what I want. This was something that I had to get absolutely clear in my head because the very last thing I wanted was for this blog to become something other than what I intended. I did not want to become some kind of minor pseudo-pagan celebrity; I wanted it to be real in terms of reflecting my own spiritual journey.

I thought of opening a new blog somewhere else, and then I saw that as opposing what this space represents. All the posts that go before reflect my journey; they are all stepping stones to where I am today, so why would I want to move away from them? They are important, even those where I sound confused and bewildered, because those states are also true reflections of where I have been, and probably where I will be again!

And I think here again is a reason I retreated. Some people saw me as some kind of teacher, and I can’t set myself up as that. I’m not. I’m simply a soul in a spiritual evolutionary experience, no different, no more special or important that anyone else . . . or perhaps I should say as important as everyone else. Mutual learning is wonderful, but that is not the primary objective of this space.

I think I also began to feel an unspoken pressure to adopt some kind of formally accepted path. I can’t do that, at least, not at this moment. I am simply me working with what has been revealed to me. However, I want a formal framework upon which I can hang my journey, and I feel that is the Western Mystery Tradition, but this is a path of which I know little and need to explore and experience on a much deeper level. I set this as an intention for the forward year.

From that, some may say I cannot call myself pagan. I understand the reasoning behind that, but for the purpose of this blog, and in terms of it reflecting where I have been, and in a sense, remain, I see no reason to change the blogs title at this point.

So why am I back? Because it is time to further the internal work that is part of my spiritual evolution. By committing my thoughts, feelings, revelations, disasters, progress, joys, sadness, highs and lows to a permanent medium I see the stepping stones of my journey, like setting cat’s-eyes in a new road; they beam the way ahead as well as showing the road travelled. All that I have written, including the silent times where nothing has been written, reflect where I have been, where I am now and where I am going. All of it needs to be in the mix to be real.

Today was an important day, and one that has thrown me back into the blogosphere as I needed to document this. I fully expect to be writing here more often from here-on-in. Important because today I faced an issue that I’ve been avoiding for some time, and that is one of trust. I have shied away from words like ‘faith’ and ‘trust’ because to me they had too many echoes associated with my Christian past. But today, this was challenged.

I was standing atop Glastonbury Tor, one of the most important places in my life, and was seeking to connect with Owl, one of my power animals. To my surprise, a Swan appeared to me, and to my even greater surprise, I realised that I was being invited to climb onto the back of this bird, and the fear this engendered was tangible. To do this means to place my safety and security into the hands of another, and life has taught me that I need to be in control of me, I need to be strong, I need to be the one who decides what happens and where . . . but this was a call to faith. A call to trust. Those words that scare me the most. In an attempt to dismiss this visualisation my head began to tell me that this nothing more than a Walt Disney fantasy, but the clear impression remained, I knew this was real and I knew this was a test. I needed to take the step . . . this was a call to embrace faith and trust but in a way in which those words were not loaded with historical context.

So I stepped onto the back of this bird and experienced the immediate protection of those powerful wings. I was safe. The immense power of this bird was not lost on me, I could feel it, and I also understood and felt its fierce protection, in this respect a reflection of Sulis, my patron Goddess.

So now I know I am being taken into new things. I don’t know the destination, but I know I have accepted an invitation to travel deeper into the Mysteries, and this is the desire of my heart.