Walking Between the Sun and Moon

This month, I have been mostly believing in astrology. As we enter a few days of Sun conjunct Uranus, this entirely true story really wants to be told to you…

Today is Easter Sunday. Last night I stayed awake until dawn, celebrating a close friend’s birthday with a meal, a few drinks, and lots of talking through the night with some truly beautiful people.  Walking home in order to appreciate the quiet streets, as is my wont on the (now rare!) occasions I do this, I could see the sun about to rise, and the full moon about to set, opposite each other. The growing light behind me, pink clouds framing the moon’s pale disc ahead. The lunar eclipse of the night before, and the solar eclipse of a fortnight before that, had brought both heavenly orbs to the keen attention of many the planet’s humans.

As I walked the mile home, from my friend’s home to my own, I noticed the tiny feathered dinosaurs in the dawning spring light, singing and perching, pecking up the first food of the day. Several pairs of crows caught my eye. The crow is especially important to me, as an inhabitant of this island I live upon, as they play a major role in the northern European mythology. Companions of Odin/Wotan, Huginn and Muninn (thought and memory) fly over the world and return at the end of the day to tell him of all they have seen and heard.

Huginn ok Munin 
fljúga hverjan dag 
Jörmungrund yfir; 
óumc ek of Hugin 
at hann aftr né comiþ, 
þó siámc meir um Munin.

As is customary, the first crow one sees is Huginn, with Muninn never far away if you but turn to look.

[Edit: The real Huginn and Muninn are of course ravens, not crows. Extensive persecution from gamekeepers led to whole areas where for the last century they have vanished. As such, crows have had to act as their ornothimancical stand ins… Ravens are now rapidly reclaiming their previous territory, so hopefully soon I can deduce profound auguries from the correct avatars.]

Concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other, I had a nicely empty head. Watching my thoughts arise, then become memories, whilst being so aware of my position directly between the sun and moon, it seemed I walked between the crows too. Between thought, and memory. The imagination of the future (the possible), and the past. Here and now, in that infinitesimally small ‘gap’ between, so ineffable, so fleeting, yet eternally present.

A smile grew as I felt the visceral sense of this, and at that moment a single crow flew in from my left, swept over my head, and as I turned my head to look behind it flew away along the road I had just walked.

6.20 a.m. Eternal

6.20 a.m. Eternal

Back down that same road a few minutes earlier I had paused to photograph the golden sky, bright and shining with the Easter light. And as I paused I said the words XIQUAL CHAORAS, Ouranian Barbaric for “manifest aeon”. During the night it had become apparent that shifts in family dynamics were occurring, relationship constellations clicking into new forms for several of us. Shifts in our own identities, as children and parents, moving from one level to another as the generations change, as others change; whether by dying, or growing up, or appearing into life and adding new names to our tangled trees. As these things happen we must needs move ourselves a step along the shared path of all life from cradle to grave.

Recognising for myself this new aeon, this new position of the stars of my life, by simply uttering these words, was a way for me to catch up with events of late. And, a way of acknowledging the fact of my own death.

So Huginn flew towards me, and Muninn flew away from me, into the physical location of that tiny magickal event in the past, into the sunrise, as this planet I live upon spins around.

One foot in front of another, to my door. Wondering if the experience warranted a blogpost; a sign, please…?

Obviously indoors, after cleaning my teeth and in bed, cyberaddict that I am I pressed the screen of my phone to call up the company of facebook, my sleep deprived mind having nearly forgotten my previous request.

And the first newsfeed item, a minute old, was a quote:

“The function of the Magister Templi is to cause the desert to blossom by transmitting the Logos of the Æon to those that are below the Abyss.” [Commentary to Liber LXV, IV:61-63]

Let us feast for the Annihilation of the Adept, who’s word is Agape.

“…to him who would be a Master of the Temple, the reverse applies. He wishes to remain perpetually in Samadhi, and it is therefore his renunciation to descend further and further into matter. He has volatilized the fixed; now he must fix the volatile. He has ascended from his particular body to the Universal Soul. That Universal Soul must now incarnate itself ever more completely in that body, and in the bodies and minds of all men. He has made his darkness light; that light must illuminate the darkness of all…. The Great Work is accomplished. The new Great Work is proclaimed. He has finished with Solve. He must begin Coagula.” [The Temple of Solomon the King]

So, here & now then, on Sunday afternoon I started to type. I thought the synchronicities had piled up enough by now, but another newsfeed item manifested one paragraph after I had begun to write. Lo! there appeared a post from a friend of a friend:

The frequency generators which stabilize the universe were breached in the early morning hours of 04/05/2015, at first it was thought by many to be a simple shift of consciousness generated by the world’s Christian communities united in prayer due to the Easter Holiday… It was soon realized that this unauthorized disturbance in the universal frequency was being deliberately tampered with, as reports poured in from across the globe of strange sensations, realizations and even hallucinations…
Unable to reset the generators remotely, a team of undisclosed personal trained in psi-ops was dispatched to reset the devices manually…
Upon attempting to gain entry it was also discovered that these personnel no longer had security clearance privileges and were being detained by the very security system that they had created to avoid such a thing ever happening in the 1st place…
Interestingly enough, shortly after sunrise there was a brief power outage which left the entire stabilization zone without any measure of security and access was finally gained… At present it is unknown as to whether or not the generators can be successfully reset to their previous frequencies, it is simply being looked upon as a surprise that the equipment was not in any way destroyed…
With no lead as to what person or persons may have been involved, it is still much too early to speculate as to why these generators were tampered with…
This report has been brought to you by “DreamLand Productions”

Windy Fox

To finish this tale with the important part of it: I spent a few minutes of my journey playing with the linguistics we might use when describing the future, and trying out only using permissive language instead of the usual determinate style we tend towards. “Later on I’m going to..” becomes “Later on I could…” We may consider the implications, the difference such a small shift can induce. The different qualities that thought could have, compared to memory.


Walking in the Stillness of Spring

For me psychogeography (or less formally, ‘going for a walk’) is a key practice. By moving through the landscape in a suitably mindful way one can use the journey to literally explore both the inner and outer landscape. I made a journey recently, walking beside the great river that forms the valley in which I live.

At the outset I’m impressed by the weather. On this occasion this is the unusual stillness of the early spring, the river forms a silver mirror to the high grey sky above. A few wading birds explore the shallows, dipping for their food and silent gulls row through the motionless air.

Turbulent river made still

Turbulent river made still

As I walk my mind picks over recent events, as in a dream, processing and probing experience in order to put it in place. These events included an opportunity to explore ways in which visitors to historic sites engage with the objects in those collections. The National Trust had invited me to speak at their conference and I was pleased to find that a rather lovely sign had been produced to direct delegates to my presentation.

sign of the times

sign of the times

A few days later I was in the Ashmolean Museum with my Sister. This is a world class collection which contains all manner of wonderful things. As I’ve written before visiting a museum is literally a chance to enter a Shrine to the Muses. Mindful of the ethical difficulties that museum collections frequently represent (in Britain our major museums are often free, though it is often through our colonial imperialism that the objects we see found their way into those display cases), these are places in which to be inspired.

Jai Ganesha!

Jai Ganesha!

Walking on. Catkins stand watch as the spring rises, and gorse glows yellow gold at the edge of the wood (and tastes sweet and alive). Having walked through the outskirts of my home town, I took a turn off the path and into some woodland. Here memory gives way to the immediacy of the surroundings. A stand of pine trees rise up, creating a soft woodland floor of needles. This yielding leaf litter is punctuated by the first furled forms of Lords and Ladies.

Here I spend some time with the pine spirits. Often overlooked as being not so cool as broadleaf trees, I am captivated by their repeated fractal forms. I am deeply aware that these are living beings. Alive just as I am and, in their own tree-ish way, aware of the world just as I am.

As well as our commonality I wonder about our differences. While it’s clearly not about better or worse it does seem that my awareness is different from that of the tree. I wonder about the common religious suggestion that humans are somehow specifically created in the image of God and reflect that (aside of the obvious anthropocentrism) this is because we are deeply self-aware. The development of this egoic boundary is both our connection to the divine, as the embodiment of God, and the cause of our Fall (at least according to some paradigms).

I run my hands over the bark and collect some of the resin exuded by the trees. This locally, and freely gathered incense is perfect for the ritual of purification I’m planning to do (that is, Spring Cleaning my home).

Later, on my return, I stop to gaze at the river and my memory drifts back to the death of my Dad that happened in December of last year. At a good age, and after a brief illness, I was able to be by his side in his last days. I was blessed with a kindly, caring father and in my own way I hope that I can honour his memory by being a good parent myself and in the work that I do (much of my professional work is about teaching and supporting people to realise their own aspirations).

At the end my Dad had the best of medical care. Care that would have been beyond my means in many other nations. This puts me in mind of a conversation with a Brother who works within the National Health Service. Though the NHS isn’t some perfect panacea, it does represent a tremendous investment of care by the State and the people who provide those services, to the people of Britain. The fact that I can summon, with no cost at the point of provision, an ambulance to help someone taken ill creates a deep unconscious sense of being cherished by the people and organisations I share my island with. As an election begins to loom here in the UK I can fully understand why the NHS is seen as one of the critical services that politicians must convince us that they will support.

Once a close loved one dies something very interesting and deeply powerful may happen. As their individual narrative ends so the relationship that one still has with that person becomes a relationship with The Ancestors. My Dad has become part of that archetype of The Father and luckily for me the fact that we had a good relationship when he was alive allows me to find healthy and beautiful ways to now connect with that psychic structure. Wrathful Jehovah and his kin may be part of The Father archetype too, but my pathway to this force is now guided by the psychopomp of the kindly man whose large hand I held as the warmth evaporated from it. While there is certainly a sense of loss and of sadness, I also know his body was tired out. The spirit of the man I knew is now liberated from its outworn shell and is become part of that Great Spirit.

Turning back to home I can’t resist the temptation to again cut away from the path and ascend several hundred feet to the crest of a rolling Devonian hill. Great beech trees stand sentinel over the rising green earth, and gnarled oaks ride like Hagazussa on the dry stone walls marking the boundaries of grazing lands.

Smack my beech up

Smack my beech up

This exertion galvanises me, and I return home to work, more and better, refreshed by my walk, inspired and enthused. For me this walk is an act of magic, an everyday magic, where we use skilful means to process those things that have been rattling around in our minds. The walk, be it the pilgrimage or the situationist drift, gives us a literal new perspective, it shakes up and smooths out our psychic selves, as well as exercising our physical bodies.

It reminds us, away from our books, and screens, and other people, of all those other beings in the world; sky, birds, river, pine, gorse and more, and gives time for us to hear their teachings.