If you want to go beyond words, which I admit have vast limitations when it comes to trying to describe cosmic influences, then do try listening to Gustav Holst’s Planet Suite to get a feel for the qualities of each planetary governor.
It is obvious that Holst was skilled in the language of the initiate because this magnificent musical odyssey is organised into sequential movements that follow the planetary governors of the houses in their correct order around the zodiac. Not only that, but to me, the whole suite is a musical story of Sovereignty restored on behalf of the ancestors, which is the common metaphorical understory of all great myths.
In my experience, the Saturn Return is one of the most important features in the path of the zodiac hero, because metaphorically-speaking, Saturn is the planetary governor that represents the father who has to be redeemed by the son (Jupiter) in the Underworld, and the redemption of the ancestral line is a major part of the work for any initiate or shaman.
The character of Pinocchio steps straight out of the Italian travelling marionette theatre which developed from of an older tradition called the Commedia dell’Arte that featured the likes of the battling Harlequin and Pulcinella who were earlier prototypes for Punch and Judy. The Commedia dell’Arte had its roots in Roman and Greek “new comedy” that was, in itself, an evolution of the Mystery Plays of the medieval period. So we do not have to dig down too deeply to find the mythological blueprint underneath, and it is choc-full of magical clues and golden keys that will unlock many doors and build new pathways, bridges and crossings in the mind of the budding initiate.
It is important to understand about the wisdom and knowledge of our earliest ancestors to avoid falling foul of all sorts of misunderstandings about space aliens building the Pyramids and such like. No, our prehistoric forefathers were more than capable of great engineering feats because they had an inner wisdom that grew out of their perception of their holographic interconnectness with the universe – a perception that has been lost to most of us today.
As the Fire-Worshippers of the Southern Bu-Kongo said: “Man’s environment is the world as a whole, and the latter’s environment is our solar system. Man is part of the stars — and the stars, sun and moon are all part of man.”
This perception of the holographic interconnectedness of man was once widespread upon the Earth and it was told about in their stories – which we today call myths. The importance of this interconnectedness was given great value by our ancestors, much more than we are taught to value so-called folk tales today, because they totally understood how the right narrative, told correctly, moulds the individual into helping him find himself and his place in the cosmos.
When I do Tarot readings, I say to the person I’m reading for: “You have the opportunity now to ask a question of God or the Higher Power, whatever that means to you – man, woman or unspecified something,” and they usually reply, “Well, I believe in something, but I’m not sure what.”
I’ve come to realise that that the “something, but not sure what,” seems to be the cognitive landmark that many have now reached since seeing through the false narratives of religions that were only ever designed to control us, not to spiritually empower us. It was a story that gave us a foothold on the path when we were but children in our spiritual progress but, now that we’re growing up, we realise that God is probably not an old man in the sky like this version by Michelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, who sends fire and brimstone in our direction whenever we displease him.
In the last article, Lesson 3, Forging our own faery sword of truth, we discussed the metaphorical meaning of the Three of Swords, and I used an example from the Fey Tarot in which a male faery is rising from the sea with the dawn breaking just behind him.
Dawn is a major character in my books where she plays the same role as she does in the Tarot, which is to denote the promise or covenant of rebirth after ‘death’ – whether it’s just the end of a cycle in our lives or the final initiation in which we leave this dimension forever. For this reason, the character of Death in most good decks has a red, pink or apricot sunrise behind him. Continue reading
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.
This article forms the beginning of a shamanic quest for my readers to help them understand and work with the imagery contained within my books that are based on Celtic magic. So if you’ve just stumbled into this Mystery Teachings class, you may want to go to the Introduction first, and then follow the links from there.
Before we start the shamanic or magical work for healing the Wounded Queens with the Thirteen Treasures of Britain, we need to get in touch with what needs healing within us because our power will come from what originally disempowered us. Continue reading
Classic Grail literature, scribed by the Normans around the 12th century, concentrates on the Wounded King archetype – one which is immensely valuable for deep inner healing at the shamanic level. But I go back much further into the Celtic roots of these stories and so I will be describing, in a series of articles here, how to work magically with the Wounded Queen archetype because it is through Sovereignty rites that a Queen of the inner planes makes a wounded man into a King of Earth.
The doorways to the Enchanted Land of the Magical Queens is plain to see in my books and the keys to their locks are all there too for those who can recognise them. However, through lack of a proper education many today cannot recognise the keys or know what to do with them. So these articles will help you find them, and also teach you how to work magically with them yourself. This will enable you to develop your own connection to the spirit of Sovereignty of this land, which, in turn, will empower and enlighten you to realise your own inner Queen. Continue reading
In my researches as a story archaeologist, I often find myself plundering the same rich, golden seams of ancient Celtic and Norse myths that inspired the imaginations of much greater writers that went before me, notably J.S. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. And as I stand there, trowel in hand, before these gloriously resonant archetypal images – such as the dragon Smaug, from The Hobbit, that hoards piles of gold – I become fascinated to find out where such imagery came from because I know that will also give me its deeper, original wisdom meaning.
So where can we find the derivation of the dragon Smaug?
Well, we need to dig down even further into a dark, peaty layer that hasn’t seen the light of day for many thousands of years.
When Odin claimed the Mead of Wisdom and Poetry it was the final episode of a larger mythic cycle covered partly by the Prose Edda and partly by the Poetic Edda. It records the origins of the mead and its passage through existence, returning full circle to its starting point. Along the way, the mead is met by several of the beings who inhabit the World Tree; suggesting all of these different beings contribute to the progress of wisdom itself.
The mead’s first ingredient came about when the Aesir and Vanir Gods agreed a truce after their futile war. They all spat into a vat and out of their spittle arose a being called Kvasir.
The Vanir Gods are associated with wilderness, nature, fertility and possibly magic. The Aesir Gods seem more associated with the protection of social order, “civilization” and religious observance. Kvasir embodies their differences and their common peaceful interest. He contains everything those deities stood for, a compendium of cosmological knowledge. As Snorri Sturlason stated in the Prose Edda “He was so wise that no one could ask him a question that he could not answer”.
Ken or Kennaz is the rune most associated with the Autumn Equinox, and it represents a flaming torch that lights up the darkness, leading to flashes of enlightenment. I had such a flash today when reading about it in Nigel Pennick’s excellent book “Runic Astrology”. Continue reading
By Rosemary Taylor, Shamanic Practitioner
As I explained in my last article, Odin Part One – Journeying God of Magical and Social Wisdom, Odin travels throughout the Nine Worlds in his quest for wisdom and to avert his own prophesied end, told him by a Seeress. He gains amazing resources along the way, including the runes and the mead of wisdom and poetry. He grows in magical and transformative power.
I also ventured that gaining this kind of occult wisdom may not be everyone’s path in life. If this path is your choice then you might well ask what were the processes, the methods by which he gained such power? Enough information is given in the Poetic and Prose Eddas to establish that he engages in forms of initiation and sacrifice in order to alter or expand consciousness, gaining knowledge of himself and the nature of reality. Continue reading
I’ve described myself previously as a sort of story archaeologist – someone who digs underneath the story mats of the wandering troubadours and tale-tellers of old to find the original myths. What I didn’t say, though, is that when you eventually reach the bottom, what you find is not the first rug but a richly woven carpet depicting remarkably similar tales and sagas, with just small local differences, that must have been spread all over the Northern Hemisphere.
Why would that be? Well, ancient myths are stories that contain allegories and metaphors for cosmological truths that our ancestors wrote in the stars, and everyone north of the equator looked up at the same stars. However, this form of storytelling was not just an an idle pastime of the wandering hunter gatherers; many of these sagas were only written in the eternal stars because they held an eternal message.
Fast forward to modern times, when people are no longer taught the real meanings of these star stories, or the importance of what they represent, and we find others – Death Cult initiates with evil in their hearts – who pull up just a handful of the carpet’s silken threads and twist them into a whole new narrative which they use to serve their own war-like agendas.
This Gordian knot of deception becomes very clear when we examine the likely origins of the story of Adam and Eve – so hopefully you’re ready for a bit of untangling? Continue reading
By Rosemary Taylor
Odin – such a complex character: a warrior, god of poetic inspiration, shapeshifter, leader of the Aesir Gods; husband; father; and mysterious man of the road. Often depicted as a lone traveller, a wide-brimmed hat pulled down over his face hiding his true identity, ravens perched on his staff or upon his shoulders.
I was told he has 99 names, which in itself seems to demonstrate his variety and changeability; sometimes these names are “fake IDs” that disguise and protect him as he travels through the nine worlds seeking wisdom. Continue reading
In order to interpret the metaphors contained in ancient myths, one has to first of all understand that they were meant to act as mnemonics, and so they were based on characters that our ancestors drew in the stars over their heads. In this way, these nomadic nocturnal wanderers and seafarers could carry their memory guide with them; they only had to look up and it was there.
This is no less true of the stories of the Celts, the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse – loosely known as the Northern Tradition. However, the stars of the Northern Tradition are not the same as those that were valued by the Greeks or the Egyptians astrologers, who created classic Western astrology. Therefore, to correctly interpret the stories of our ancestors in the northern hemisphere, we must know which stars were important to them. Continue reading
The Bright World of the Gods was gifted into my Dreamtime by the spirits of the land that inhabit the other dimensions that are found, shamanically, through the mists of Avalon, in Somerset, England. These spirits are known locally as the Gentle Folk, or the Fae, although you might know them better as faeries.
So this is a real faery story for enlightened adults that comes from a benevolent Elder race whose role it is to guide the steps of humanity. As such, it is perfect for curling up with by the fire when the white frost of the Sugar Plum Faery is crackling the grass underfoot, or to inspire dreaming on balmier days, under a gnarled old apple tree in an enchanted wood.
In this romantic magical mystery tour around the Glastonbury enchanted landscape, you will follow Bridie and Gwyn ap Nudd as they meet the challenges necessary for alchemical inner growth that leads to full spiritual realisation, along with other archetypal characters that have stepped out of Celtic myths such as Manawydan, Gwyddion, Creiddylad, Taliesen, Elen and Morgan the Fae.
You may just want to enjoy this epic tale on a superficial level as a beautiful love story that is full of intriguing escapades and interesting ideas – which is fine. But those looking for keys to unlock faery doorways into deeper cosmological teachings will also find them here along with the instructions on how to unlock them.
Either way, just relax and wander through the wonderous hills and dales of The Bright World of the Gods, and let it permeate into your own Dreamtime so that it can do its magic there and give you insights into your own destiny, and the meaning of your life.
On 23rd June 2016, the British people up and down the land voted resoundingly to leave the European Union. If this vote had been counted as if it had been a General Election, it wouldn’t just have been 17 million-plus in favour of leaving; two-thirds of constituencies voted overwhelmingly to Leave. And they did so, in such vast numbers, not solely because of out-of-control immigration, nor because they were swayed by a big bright number on a shiny red bus. The majority voted for Brexit in order to claim their country back from foreign domination. They did it to reclaim their Sovereignty from those who, if they don’t actually seek to drive us over the cliffs like Gabriel Oak’s poor sheep in Far From the Madding Crowd, are driving our race in that direction. Continue reading