In the book I’m currently writing, Stories in the Land, I am describing the Mystery Rites in which I analyse William Blake’s poem “And did those feet in ancient times …” through an alchemical lens, and I reach a conclusion about its meaning which may surprise you.
Here is the relevant extract.
The Roman Catholic Church has spent a lot of time arguing over whether Mary Magdalene really was a prostitute. I can tell them that she was, but that her mythic character was developed from the honoured tradition of the sacred whore whose role is vital in producing the avatar of the age.
Unfortunately, though, because this occult understanding has been hidden from the masses, in my view it has given rise to the Madonna/Whore complex, which some men suffer from when they are rooted in base consciousness, and cannot see both the the Madonna (Virgin Mary) and Sacred Whore (Mary Magdalene) in the same woman and therefore need different partners to serve those different needs.
If I was asked to describe, in just seven words, what you’ll learn to do from my new book, Stories in the Stars, it’s this:
How to reincarnate into your own life
Why is that?
It’s because ancient myths are actually the vessels or arks of our ancestors sailing the seas of Time and containing, deep in their submarinal holds, precious messages about our innate holographic relationship to eternal astrological and alchemical cycles which drive each of us along our life’s path.
Over thousands of years, these orally-transmitted wisdom teaching stories have been twisted and bastardised into fake histories in order to serve various and changing political imperatives. And they have been concertinaed, truncated and dumbed-down to satisfy the appetites of light entertainment through the shifting narratives, over time, of the mytho-industrial complex.
I’m a sort of story archaeologist who digs up the originals of these epic tales that were drawn in the glittering night skies of the last Ice Age. I brush them off and then break down their meanings in the simplest of terms, so that we can unlock the doors of our perception with their metaphorical keys.
Once we understand the substance of the messages our ancestors left for us thousands of years ago, we realise the value and meaning of human life, and finally know what to do with it.
I’ve just been watching the birds on the feeders in my garden. I have two bird feeders and there are also two nests in my garden – one of robins and the other of house sparrows. And what I realised today, for the first time, is that the robins all like to eat on one bird feeder and the house sparrows on the other. There is no mixing. It’s not that the robins hate the sparrows, or that the sparrows think they are superior to the robins. It’s just a matter of what works best for all of them– and what has always worked best.
We also have flocks of starlings around here that make extraordinary patterns in the skies when they all meet together in the evening, to return home to roost overnight on the reeds of the marshes. It’s called a murmuration of starlings. There are also lots of ravens, crows, wood pigeons, cranes, hawks and owls – but you never see any of those birds flying with the starlings and messing up the patterns of their murmurations.
In other words, the birds like to hang with their own kind, and no amount of calling them racist or talking about diversity will make the slightest bit of difference to how they behave. It doesn’t occur to them to do other than will serve the highest good of their kind, for their sake of their own survival.
Sometimes people use old myths about faeries, dwarves and wizards to build a cosy, walled cognitive space – in the same way that as children we used to construct camps from blankets and bedspreads in which to hide from the realities of the adult world.
However, the ancient myths were not meant for that purpose, and neither are my books, because these deeply rich allegorical tales contain wisdom keys that provide us with ways of meeting the seeming impossibly difficult challenges of the human condition. These challenges don’t change from generation to generation. The problems that we’re faced with today were also faced by our ancestors thousands of years ago. From the minute we give out that first scream at birth, we’re in a life-and-death struggle between good and evil, whether we realise it or not – and often our adversaries prefer us not to realise it, as they soften us up for the killing blow.
That’s why I chose the archetypal symbol of the sword to begin this series of lessons that make up these mystery teachings, which are based on the stories in my own books and particularly The Grail Mysteries. The last article, Lesson 2, was about the faery woman who raises the sword from beneath the frozen Hart Lake under the stars of Capricorn, and I’ve shown various ways of getting in touch with the faery gold buried within our own frozen emotional pain and forging it into our own Fragarach, the Sword of Truth. Continue reading
If you have followed my guidance in Lesson 1, you will hopefully have begun the process of diving down deep into the frozen lake of your emotions and using the heat of concentration – through visualisation or shamanic journeying – in the alchemic crucible of your own inner space to release them and bring them to the surface in the form of a faery sword.
In this article, Lesson 2, I will be referencing the image in my book The Grail Mysteries where a woman’s sword arm appears from beneath the white, frozen Hart Lake under the stars of Capricorn at the Winter Solstice.
Since its starring role in Danny Boyle’s Olympic opening ceremony, friends have been asking me about the magical significance of Glastonbury Tor. Well, I don’t profess to know everything about the Tor. I doubt there are many that do. But I do live here in Glastonbury and, as a shaman, when I walk these lands, they reveal to me some of their secrets. And so I can share with you what I know, and also the thoughts of those more expert than me.
On a cold November’s day in 1539, Henry VIII’s soldiers dragged the last abbot of Glastonbury, Richard Whiting, up through the High Street on a horse-drawn hurdle and then up to the summit of the Tor, where he was hung on a gibbet with two monks hanging either side of him, like two thieves, in a pastiche of the scene at Calvary. Continue reading
The alchemy practised by Plato has recently become a subject of great interest since the Royal Wedding, when they rolled back the carpet in front of the high altar at Westminster Abbey to reveal the Cosmati pavement bearing the ancient Greek natural philosopher’s splendid alchemical vision of the creation of the universe. Continue reading