Sunday, 21 December 2008
This book is a unique study of Glastonbury mythology with special reference to the Grail Mysteries and King Arthur. It explores the concept of ‘British music’: the amorphous mixture of weather, landscape, atmosphere, mythology, ancestors and culture that combine to make what some have personalised as the spirit of Albion.
Any book that name checks both Enid Blyton and John Cowper Powys has to arouse interest and one of Paul’s great strengths has always been his knowledge of the source material. It is particularly pleasing to see frequent quotes from Geoffrey Ashe, our venerable Glastonian prophet, whose work has attracted so many to Glastonbury.
The opening chapters discuss Arthur as archetypal hero of Britain, successor to Bran the Blessed, and hope for the future as Dark Age Britain suffered from pestilence and plague. There is an excellent exploration of the different Grail writers and the times they lived in. Templars, Sufis and Troubadours make their entrance along with the Plantagents and Eleanor of Acquitaine.
Paul goes on to talk in detail about the esoteric history of Glastonbury Abbey and particulalry the ubiquitous Henry de Blois, who was the longest serving and most influential Abbot from 1126 and 1171.
My favourite section, given modern Glastonbury’s popular association with crystals, is entitled Medieval Crystal Consciousness. Building on the well known myth of Arthur’s vision of a crystal cross at Beckery, Paul expands on the the use of light and crystal in religious rituals.
Another section deals with the ‘music’ of Tintagel, a key counterpart to Glastonbury. Further chapters explore the significance of the number seven in ancient cultures, the Glastonbury Zodiac and the role of the Goddess in Glastonbury mythology.
This is the third Glastonbury book to come out in as many weeks and should take its place on your bookshelf alongside the two reviewed in last month’s Oracle.
Perhaps best to finish with a quote from John Cowper Powys’ ecstatically overweight novel A Glastonbury Romance
“Ages before any saint or Saviour of our present Faith appeared in Glastonbury - the earth-goddess had her cauldron of the food of life safely guarded in our Island of the West... Its hero is the Life poured into the Grail. Its message is that no one Receptacle of Life and no one fountain of life poured into that Receptacle can contain or explain what the world offers to us.”
Spirit of Albion.
Reviewed by Alex Langstone
"Before going any further may we take it that the object of art is to obtain a partial revelation of that which is beyond human senses and human faculties – of that, in fact, which is spiritual? And that the means which we employ to induce this revelation are those very senses and faculties themselves?" Ralph Vaughan Williams
To review this book is to allow myself to indulge in some of my favourite pastimes. Enjoying the sublime and mystical qualities found within British classical music; reading the works of English novelist and historian Peter Ackroyd and an obsession with the sacred Arthurian landscape of the British Isles. For these are some of the central themes in this new book by Glastonbury visionary Paul Weston.
Paul has attempted to bring together some diverse historical, cultural and mythical themes and ideas which evoke Arthur, the Grail and a very British sense of place. We are introduced to Arthur as an archaic deity, dark age hero and Norman inspirer. We are then led on a grail journey through 12th century Europe, Dark Age heresies, Hermetic ideology, Sufism, the Templars and the building of the first Gothic cathedral in France. Paul then leads us to Glastonbury via the politics, idealism and esoterica and we end up visiting Tintagel, mystical jewel of North Cornwall - and a place very close to my own heart.
Upon entering Paul's Tintagel of the Heart via the famous and evocative Arnold Bax tone poem Tintagel, we are led into some of the deeper and less well known tales from the small North Cornish parish, inlcuding the Rudolph Steiner connection. From here we return to Avalon and delve into the Glastonbury Zodiac of Katherine Maltwood, and if by this point you are wondering where the proverbial kitchen sink is lurking; be assured that this is not a coffee table journey. Mysterium Artorius is a fine poetic evocation of many of the high points relating to the Matter of Britain, or as Paul calls it (borrowed, but modified from Ackroyd) British Music!
Dion Fortune's Avalon of the Heart and John Cowper Powys' A Glastonbury Romance are entwined with the beautiful music of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Elgar, and the book ends with a Dion Fortune inspired path working called A Glastonbury Qabalah, where we are invited to enter the inner realm of Glastonbury Tor.
Paul Weston has produced an inspirational lyrical evocation of his personal mythic, artistic and poetic vision of Albion, and because of this, the book is a great starting point for your own journey into the hidden heart of Britain.
A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Paul Weston MYSTERIUM ARTORIUS (Avalonian Aeon Publications, 2007). Paul Weston has been one of the most outspoken supporters of psychic questing for nearly 20 years, having been a member of my questing group when material for books such as THE SECOND COMING, THE SEVENTH SWORD and THE CIRCLEMAKERS was unfolding on a day-to-day basis. Since then he has moved to Glastonbury, given outrageous talks across the town, and generally attempted to write the definitive history of psychic questing from his personal perspective - this magnum opus being his ever promised AVALONIAN AEON, five years in the making so far! Frustrated that it is taking too long, Paul has culled stand alone material from the book and expanded on it for an intermediary publication entitled MYSTERIUM ARTORIUS, which rewrites the development of the Grail mysteries with reference to their impact on the Glastonbury legends. Not enough has been done in this area of study and so Paul's work is a major new contribution to the Glastonbury mythos, which includes a complete path working based on the cabbalistic resonations of the different Glastonbury holy sites as reflected in their Arthurian or Grail attributes.
unlike anything on the subject you've ever read before, 16 Dec 2007
By Pierre Dervish "Pierre Dervish" (UK)
Paul Weston is, evidently, 'a man whose time has come'. This volume is an essential and unmissable addition to any library of arthurian studies. Weston's approach to extremely diverse source material is unique, adeptly performing the highly unlikely task of shedding new light and perspectives on a subject with which many might feel themselves to be already saturated; yet even someone well-versed in the area will find something to entrance, amuse, bewilder or intrigue. There are some books which instantly take pride of place on your bookshelf and are certain to be re-read and re-visited. This is undoubtedly one of them. Weston is clearly someone who has immersed himself in the mythos and has returned to share his insights and illuminations. Don't miss it.
Following a year of writing the soon to be published Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus I am relaunching Mysterium Artorius.
This process began a few weeks ago with the posting of the Dion Fortune inspired Glastonbury Qabalah section from the book on her birthday.
The web site front page has now been reconfigured timed deliberately for the winter solstice. It better showcases Yuri Leitch's cover art and features photos of some of the illustrious figures that feature in the work and are a significant inspiration behind it.
For those that may not recognise them they are (as shown):
Ralph Vaughan Williams Katharine Maltwood Dion Fortune Arnold Bax
Edward Elgar John Cowper Powys Rudolf Steiner Rene Guenon
The general format links in with the look of the web site for the upcoming Crowley book that will probably go live in January 2009.
Mysterium Artorius is a historical and cultural esoteric extravaganza introducing and evoking Arthur and the Grail through the magic of the landscape and the sensibilities of artists and mystics from the ancient to the modern world.
Featuring places physical and fabled: Glastonbury, Tintagel, Hyperborea, Shambhala, Wewelsburg, Cadbury Castle, Gothic cathedrals, Hall of Chivalry, Grail mountains, Camelot Castle Hotel, Tor labyrinth, Glastonbury Zodiac, New Jerusalem.
Mythic figures: Fulcanelli, Prester John, Melkin, Morgan La Fey, Melchizedek, the Wandering Jew, the Wild Hunt, the Lord of the World.
The wonders of the twelfth century: Knights Templar, Troubadours, Sufism, Hermetica, Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Abbot Suger, Henry of Blois, Hildegard of Bingen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Joachim of Fiore.
Twentieth century visionaries: Dion Fortune, John Cowper Powys, Katharine Maltwood, Frederick Bligh Bond, Geoffrey Ashe, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Rudyard Kipling, Flavia Anderson, PD Ouspensky, Jessie Weston, Hank Harrison, Walter Johannes Stein, Edward Elgar, Arnold Bax, Rene Guenon, Rudolf Steiner, Frederick Thomas Glasscock, John Michell.
And, of course: Geoffrey of Monmouth, Chretien de Troyes, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Perlesvaus, Joseph of Arimathea, Arthur’s grave.
Mysterium Artorius contains no bloodline considerations and no theories in favour of any specific Grail artefacts.
In 2009 I will be putting on a series of presentations on various themes from the book.
Watch this space for details.
Saturday, 6 December 2008
As part of a revamp of the Mysterium Artorius site I have chosen to include the Glastonbury Qabalah section that was inspired by the wartime magical workings of Dion Fortune as part of the book preview pages and to post this comment on her birthday as an acknowledgement of the extent of her inspiration on the whole feel of the work. It was always my intention that much of the material served as an Avalon of the Heart transmission.
Thursday, 4 December 2008
Studies in the Aeon of Horus from the Nazis to the atom bomb, LSD and the psychedelic era, Ufology and beyond.
Jack Parsons, L Ron Hubbard, Marjorie Cameron, JFC Fuller, Hitler, Charles Manson, Timothy Leary, Robert Anton Wilson, Anton Szandor LaVey, Gurdjieff, the Beatles, CG Jung, Kenneth Anger, HP Lovecraft, John Keel, Jacques Vallee, Aldous Huxley, Philip K Dick. Abraxas, Babalon Working, Nazi Occultism, Sirius Mystery, Stele of Revealing, Church of Satan, Montauk, Process Church of the Final Judgement, Manson murders, the Loch Ness Monster, Men in Black, Mothman.
And the man himself (Aleister Crowley): the occult superstar, yogi, pornographer, mountaineering junkie, sexual adventurer, mystical poet, the legend of infamy, the supreme prophet of the modern world?
This is the information age. We have access to more data in a shorter space of time than could ever have been imagined even a few decades ago. That still leaves us with the issue of what we choose to look for and why.
Kids leave school today without being able to recount any details of Auschwitz or
The passion, intensity, and brilliance of popular music in the sixties have become all but unknown to new generations. There are hippie kids in
On one level, I can’t understand that at all. On another, seen from the perspective of the idea of Gurdjieff’s sleep walking humanity and James Joyce's nightmare of history from which we need to awaken, the Gnostic prison of the Matrix, I can.
As far as I’m concerned this whole thing, the twentieth century, with it’s Nazi and psychedelic eras, this time that Crowley has called the dawning of the Aeon of Horus is so mind shatteringly, heart-bustingly, compellingly interesting and important that at times I feel like I’m straining with every nerve to take on board every last nuance in order to maintain the altered state of gnosis necessary to comprehend it. In that comprehension is ecstasy and terror, “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star.”