Whispers of Ancestral Voices

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Image: Pixabay

Fellow bloggers and old friends who attended the recent Silent Eye workshop, The Feathered Seer, have written far more eloquently than I of their experiences.  This is my attempt at making sense of the weekend’s events, my guide Anubis will walk beside me as I recall all and perhaps nothing. I ask my Muse and Guide, The Opener and Walker between the Worlds what he makes of this tapestry woven from our histories. He gives me an inscrutable look (haven’t seen that one before) and whispers:

We carry in our DNA the sum of all existence and memory, from before time existed and beyond the ending of worlds. Linking with others to form gigantic DNA chains in the body of something beyond comprehension. Purposefully flying towards evolution and completion. Harmonious and beauteous in all ways. All return to the point of origin, from whence they came. Then there is no-one and no-thing, we just ARE but our conscious minds are unable to understand this concept except only in dreams and moments of true insight. Continue reading

Visions of Love (Guest Blog)

A mystic’s vision of Love.

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Image: Pixabay

This is a story birthed as a result of two visionary and powerful poems written by Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. He is an individual I admire much for his creative talents and ideals. The breadth of his work ranged from fiction, poetry, songs, dramas, stories, literary criticism, philosophy and social issues. An extensive list it has to be said! Tagore was awarded the Prize for the following reasons, which I would like to quote in full:

Prize motivation: “because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West”

Field: poetry

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The Dream (Guest Blog for BnV)

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Things of beauty, gossamer fancies and rainbow dreams. The Dreamer weaves. The Great Emptiness gives a knowing look. Stardust flows from her hands and wondrous mysteries from her thoughts.

Billions upon billions of stars, diamond bright and filled with unceasing fire sing their songs of praise. They know what it is to be born from the depths of the furnace. They live with a passion untouched by doubt. There is no death, only immortality. There is no sadness, only joy.

She is the eternal mercy, compassion and love. These gifts she weaves into matter, flesh and blood. To dream is her gift, an act of creation and regeneration. She is the Mother and the Father. She is the beginning and the end. Such gifts She passes to Her twin. The Universe thus continues its cycle of being.

She has knowledge of all in the Great Dream, memories vanishing…

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The Wizard of Odd

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Image: Pixabay

I can’t explain myself, I’m afraid, sir, said Alice, because I’m not myself, you see.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll

Alice has a point, I consider myself a fellow sufferer. What’s happened recently to bring about this state of affairs? The time of year is an important factor in this identity crisis. It’s a season combining aspects of death, regeneration and resurrection. Our departed loved ones, including the Ancestors gather near the thinning veils to grace us with their presence. The Shaman senses and sees all between the worlds, viewing the interplay of Light and Dark unfold. The iconic Star Wars theme is playing in the background whilst I reveal the workings of my inner life. Geek alert, geek alert. Most of my recent posts have been related to mythic journeys taken to the Underworld. For those of us sensitive to the nuances of Nature and the mysteries of veiled realities it is a time of change and reflection. Accordingly my writing has echoed such themes. Sounds heavy going, please stay with me. Not sure whether I can due to having a grotty cold. To be honest I’m sporting a hairstyle that says ‘dragged through a hedge backwards’ rather than stylish; wearing white, rose patterned jammies and furry slippers reminiscent of yeti feet. ‘What a terrible fashion sense’ my alter ego remarks, dabbing her nose delicately with a scented hanky. Apologies in advance for these, these cavalier interruptions. Since the Shed altered its admission policies all manner of ruffians have wandered in. Where is the Force when you need it?

Such unseemly digression, time to get back on track. The absence of silence is noticeable in a world filled with discordant and at times frightening noise. When we enter into a state of silence the voice of the Universe can be heard in all its beauty and simplicity. The Mystic, Poet and Writer are familiar with its rhythms; we offer our prayers within that space. Prayer is attuning yourself to the life of the world, to love, the force that moves the sun and the moon and the stars (Music of Silence, David Steindl-Rast & Sharon Lebell, 1998). How right they are! Mystics aren’t restricted to just the main spiritual and religious traditions. Our paths are varied and we are many, all united in a search for meaning and illumination in an often mysterious Universe.

‘I’ve not heard from you in a while Jan’, a voice comments from the sidelines, ‘sounds like it’s been busy.’

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Image: Anubis, Jan Malique

His Nibs. I turn to look at Him. The Wizard of Odd makes another appearance. For all those unfamiliar with my relationship with this entity, you may know him as Anubis. It’s been a while since we had a chat. I look at him tiredly; he lifts an eyebrow and suggests we take a seat. The silence flows around us for a while. He clears his throat and makes a remark about the weather, then shudders in shock. Spending too much time in temperate climes. How do I tell him that there is another one waiting in the shadows, someone I’ll have to share my affections with. He has a bright and utterly mischievous gleam in his eyes. The god’s face rearranges itself into a semblance of pathos. It isn’t working; I’m immune to such dastardly tactics.

‘When is Anubis number three coming? I’m a little upset understandably but will try to cope,’ his voice breaks on the last word.

Is he joking? His Nibs leans forward and starts laughing. This light-hearted banter vanishes the previously heavy atmosphere. He reiterates the importance of trusting my intuition and self-belief. The power of the mind and soul are immense he reminds me. Attune to the flow of the greater Consciousness, see  how it permeates and infuses matter in all its glory, including myself. It speaks clearly and resonantly within the silence, it hears my prayers, it hears my heart.

The Universe is manifest in his eyes, he steps aside and shows me the extent of the silence that is available for the Mystic to immerse themselves in. It is a liminal place, mighty like the Ocean breaking upon the shores of our dreams. A strange and luminous space. Charles Panati offers us one viewpoint of this creature named the ‘Mystic’ in his book ‘Sacred Origins of Profound Things’:

‘Mystic: A person who professes to undergo enigmatic experiences, occult or parasensory, not always pleasant, often unpredictable, by which he or she intuitively comprehends truths that lie beyond ordinary human understanding. The moniker is from the Greek mystes, “one who is initiated”. Mystics have always been regarded with a certain degree of suspicion.’

Hm. That explains a lot. Why are words necessary when the heart can understand things most profound and seemingly incomprehensible? My exposition is meandering down paths that appear random, they are not. I look across at the Great Silence and wait. He waits with me.  A Hare appears at my side.

The Gathering #writephoto

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Photo: Sue Vincent

My response to Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt, Beacon #writephoto.

Once again something stirs deep within my mind. I see images of things past, images of things held dear. The great mage, prophet and madman Merlin was going to feature in my offering but his visit has been rescheduled to another day. The High Priestess in this tale is one that has visited the shores of ancient Britain before. She and I are known to each other…Her story is intimately linked with my past history you could say. I had a clear picture in my mind of the story and how it would unfold. This Beacon offers a light through often dark and choppy waters, both on the inner and outer. It acts as symbol of the triumph of Light over Chaos and Darkness. It also acts as a herald, bringing with it news of much importance. Like the High Priestess we can sometimes find ourselves waiting on distant summits, waiting for a glimpse of something which will bring us hope and healing. Our world is in much disarray as hers, nothing much changes in the long and troubled history of humanity! Yet, we must find the strength and courage, as well as humility to stand against things which seek to destroy our spirit and compassion. Above all we must hold fast to our Soul’s mission. Continue reading

Master of the Hidden Self

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The Mystic begins another journey, this time as an observer outside the circle of Knowing and Being. They perceive patterns within patterns in the sacred dance, yet unable to penetrate the mystery at its heart. The visit to the holy well in North Wales was only one aspect of the face of the numinous, there were other roads to explore. Rumi had laid the foundations of this particular path, so what to do but follow it to its destination of course. Sufism continues to hold a strong fascination for many in this modern age, in particular the activities of the Mevlevi Order (or Whirling Dervishes) in the performance of the Sema Ceremony or Ritual Dance. To express the beauty and mystique of the Ceremony in words is difficult, more so for an outsider. What is the Mystic searching for? Perhaps Gurdjieff’s insightful words may provide one answer:

“Man is asleep, he has no real consciousness or will. He is not free; to him everything ‘happens’. He can become conscious and find his true place as a human being in the creation, but this requires a profound transformation.” Continue reading

I’m off to Mystics Anonymous, call you later

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Here I am preparing for another journey into the unknown, taking a moment of rest to replenish the soul. I suspect my last foray into the heart of the Collective Unconscious was either mere illusion or a glimpse into a world behind a world. Talking in riddles again. It helps keep the mind agile, or so I like think!

Let me ask you a question, please humour me, there is a point to this. Have you ever had random encounters with strangers which have left you feeling the Universe is rather like a Russian doll? One hidden inside another, another and another, retreating into infinity. One such encounter occurred a few days ago. I was attending a course at work with other colleagues across our business, nothing unusual about either the course content or attendees. Until I was paired with one of the course facilitators in a communication exercise, the point being to express honestly what we felt about our hopes, loves and fears with another. The tone of the conversation veered into mystical waters, which resonated with both of us. A strange state of affairs and rather surprising. With apologies to Casablanca, “Of all the seminar rooms, in all the towns, in all the world, he walks into mine…”.

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Hail Mighty Anubis!

Anubis as Guardian of the Portals

Anubis as Guardian of the Portals

There is a statuette of an icon of the Egyptian Mysteries in my porch, Mighty Anubis, great Initiator and Lord of the Dead. I pay him respects before bedtime and again before going to work in the morning. This has gone on for years and likely to continue for many more. Funny how certain behaviours become second nature to us. All part of being human I say to His Nibs, he gives me an inscrutable look. I shrug my shoulders.

This relationship between neter (abstract/divine principle) and human may have its roots in the dawn of human civilization. Death has walked hand in hand with humanity for eternity, the only constant in a world that appears stable but never has been. At what point did the solitary jackal become elevated to divine status by the ancient inhabitants of the Nile Valley? When did personal religion become overshadowed by State religion? All these ideas rolling about in my mind with nowhere to go. What relevance do they have in my life I ask him. Not much, he replies, but it certainly focuses the mind on the journey you are engaged in now. Oh. I need to learn to just BE and live in the present? Makes sense Wise One, you certainly give sound advice. Don’t push it, he replies smiling. I bow my head in mock apology and wonder what else is coming.

Insight and self-awareness he whispers in my ear. I look at his face and then outside, which is bright and sunny on this Solstice day. There is more to ancient Egypt than death, a perception that has rightly changed. Looking at the past from our comfortable lives will always contain within it a hint of romanticism. The ordinary folk had lives which were often harsh but tinged with pragmatism. We are still deciphering the fragments of the ancient Egyptians’ mundane and spiritual lives. There is quite an art to walking in the footsteps of those that are long gone and I am still learning the techniques. On this occasion the call has been quite strong. Something has been bothering me for weeks and it refuses to go away. By this time you may or may not be wondering what I am doing talking to a statuette. My sanity was looking healthy last time I looked. To the worshipper of these ancient beings the image of the deity WAS the deity, a vessel containing the divine within it. I hope that clears the confusion, somehow think it doesn’t but unimportant at this stage. Dear reader, what is unravelling before you is a symbolic landscape and this is only the matinee before the main show starts. The Walker between the Worlds has made his pronouncement and I obey.

The Eternal Temple

The Eternal Temple

My mind shifts subtly and I am in a different space. Clasping an amulet of Anubis in my hand I walk through a blue door into a timeless scene somewhere in Egypt. The rising Sun is resplendent in gold and flame. Its colours are echoed in the desert sands beyond the jewelled green of the vegetation along the life giving Nile. This is where it all started, where one part of the cycle will end and another begins. Much like everyday events in our mundane lives. At times there appears to be a mathematical precision to life events.

“Of course there is” a voice answers behind me.

The man is tall and well muscled. He wears a short white linen kilt and simple rush sandals. In his left hand he clasps the uas sceptre. His eyes are dark and bright, almost as if there was a light behind them. There is an air of great wisdom and humour about him. Nevertheless I need to be careful, illusions can be a dangerous distraction. I ask him in the name of the One that creates and destroys what his true name is three times. Three times he answers. All is well. He nods and offers a hand, which I grasp and both of us walk towards a simple reed hut further down the riverbank. We talk in low tones. I am here for an important reason, that much is obvious.

“Insight and self-awareness you said Mighty One. What did you mean by that” I question him quietly.

“That is for you to find out. I can only show you the way to greater Knowledge. The path is for you to walk. Raise yourself from the torpor that traps and blinds you to the Inner Light. It is time now to act.” He is sure and firm in his words.

I see the truth of what he is saying but how to achieve this regeneration of Self? The skies start to darken and the ground shakes. What on earth? He mutters that it has begun and I need to be fearless. I have no intention of breathing my last in the astral, damn right! My right hand grips the sceptre Anubis had passed to me and I stand ready to face anything now. One tiny thought ambles through my head at that moment, do the ironing when I get back. Even adventurers and dimension travellers have to deal with the mundane aspects of life. I digress, apologies.

The Sacred Pool

The Sacred Pool

The darkness is total now, we can’t see anything. The ground beneath our feet has changed, it is humming with energy. The silence is periodically broken by the sound of “things” moving through water. It feels rather eerie. Are we on the Primeval Mound? He answers in my head that we are indeed. It seems that thought comes before speech, only because my vocal cords are unable to operate properly in this wilderness. Time seems to behave in strange ways in this place. I use my sceptre to navigate the mound, movement is slow but my mind is functioning at top speed. I think of being elsewhere on this patch of land and find myself there in the next moment. Feels like the dense material body is unable to function properly in this Universe, it is the realm of pure consciousness. The God interrupts my thoughts and announces that it is time for the Light to appear. I think I know what is coming.

I can sense “Him” rising through the endless depths of the water around us and tentatively reach out. The energies I connect with are intense and very uncomfortable, and then a shimmering wall enfolds me and a voice that warns I am not ready to face the Unknowable yet. A relief. The darkness is soon pierced by an intense golden light that illuminates as far as I can see. The silvery waters of Nun stretch into infinity, the surface occasionally broken by emergence of strange creatures – serpentine and frog like animals. Humans aren’t meant to be here, it is a place for gods and silence.

The light intensifies in one area and we witness the rising of a beautiful blue lotus from the depths. What a tremendous sight! One by one its mighty petals unfurl to reveal an utterly sublime sight, a golden child. The child appears asleep. Not so as he raises his head to reveal a face that is serene and wise. His eyes are the colour of lapis lazuli and his skin a luminous gold. Wondrous Re, He who is self-begotten. I never thought to be witness to such a sight. The light infuses every single atom of this Universe, including me. His consciousness is pure Light. Hard to describe the experience, even harder to understand its implications. The Ignorance of Darkness has been pierced by the Light of Knowledge and Understanding. So Mote it Be!

Too soon I am back on the riverbank and facing my Initiator. I hand him the sceptre and bow with my right hand over my heart. Till we meet again Walker between the Worlds, Mighty Anpu, Lord of the Dead. The blue door beckons, my point of safety and entry out of the illusionary world of the astral. I shut it firmly behind me and find myself back in the porch staring at His Nibs. The archetypal symbols and players will take their time in revealing the truths contained within the experience. The inner life does not give up its secrets that easily.