Thursday, 29 September 2011
To commemorate the feast of the Archangel Michael, the signature date on my book Mysterium Artorius, I am re-posting this piece, originally published here exactly 2 years ago, that I feel to be appropriate for the date considering his role in the great War in Heaven. Some of this can be found in the preview section of its website. The Glastonbury Qabalah section also appeared in Avalon magazine in 1997. The most notable upgrade is the image above, painted last winter by Yuri Leitch, that will eventually appear on the cover of a whole book covering this subject.
Remarkable events occurred during the Second World War that I have come to feel represent Glastonbury’s finest hour so far. It seems strange to me that they are not better known. To any occultists of the time it was obvious that the Nazis were making use of magical techniques. They had helped to mobilise a nation’s consciousness through the manipulation of folklore and mythology. The energy unleashed by this was immensely powerful and had easily swept all before it.
Dion Fortune felt that a British response was urgently needed. We had plenty of traditions of our own that could be invoked. The mediocrity represented by years of appeasement and non-entities like Neville Chamberlain needed to be transcended. What followed was a new departure in the history of magic.
Dion Fortune as magical priestess by Chesca Potter.
Shortly after the start of the war, letters were sent out every week to a group of associates across the country. They contained details of visualisation meditations that were to be carried out in unison every Sunday morning. The focus became Glastonbury Tor. Imagery gradually built up over a period of months. The participants would find it coming to life and developing of its own accord. Feedback would be exchanged and this would influence the next sequence. It was believed that messages from discarnate sources were received.
To begin with, the scene consisted of a large cavern inside the Tor. A red rose on a cross of gold hung in the air.
For those initiated in the Golden Dawn tradition this was seen as a more detailed glyph covered in magical symbols.
Tor Rose Cross and Qabalistic colour rays by Yuri Leitch.
Three rays of light, red, purple and blue, emanated from a point above and behind the cross.
The fully developed form of the imagery saw Christ at the apex of the converging rays. The purple light was central, reaching down behind and beneath the cross.
Our Lady of Glastonbury
At its base could be seen the Virgin Mary, holding a chalice.
The red beam came down at an angle to the left of the cross and culminated in an image of Arthur, sitting on a white horse and holding Excalibur aloft.
To the right of the cross, the blue ray projected a vision of Merlin, holding an orb of sovereignty. The imagery was arranged over the broad schemata of the Qabalistic Tree of Life, a design and philosophy that Fortune had written a whole book about, it having formed the basis of her magical education.
To me, it seemed a very powerful equilibration of Britain’s pagan and Christian heritage. When it mattered, they functioned from a space of unity. From this inner plane realm, spiritual forces streamed through into the soul of the nation fortifying it against the potent will of Nazism. That’s what Dion Fortune and her associates believed and my temperament inclines me to agree with them.
My sense of that time was hugely expanded by the unbearably poignant powerful feeling of the Tor as the spiritual heart of the nation, from where the guardians of the Grail fought the forces of darkness. There was something else that amplified my feeling for the magical Battle of Britain even further. I’d been fascinated by the subject of Nazi occultism since the start of the decade. I had done a dissertation on it towards my degree. I saw something very clearly that Dion Fortune may never have known the details of.
Himmler had taken control of a Schloss at Wewelsburg in Westphalia. He had lavished immense time and resources into turning it into a Grail castle for his SS. People can argue about the extent of Hitler’s occult interests and their effect on his career but with Himmler, there is no doubt of the matter.
The SS were quite clearly conceived of as a modern chivalric order after the manner of the medieval Teutonic Knights. Schloss Wewelsburg was a place for their elite. It was a shrine to German history. There was actually a circular table there around which twelve men would gather.
Ceremonies took place in the crypt that one can only speculate upon. Without doubt, processes of a meditational, ritualistic and occult nature were generally engaged in over a period of years.
We don’t have to go as far as Trevor Ravenscroft in The Spear of Destiny as to see Himmler as some empty shell manipulated by demonic forces, but the man’s track record speaks for itself. Wewelsburg was his spiritual base. It was believed that many ley lines passed through it. This was where he and his buddies like Reinhard Heydrich recharged their batteries.
The thriller writer Duncan Kyle wrote a novel about Wewlesburg. It’s a tale of espionage rather than occultism but its title evokes the magical reality: Black Camelot. The place can be thought of as a kind of antithesis of Glastonbury, it’s polar opposite.There is no mention of it in Dion Fortune’s published letters of the period. It does seem that the Nazis managed to keep the place secret. How appropriate that the Tor, our British inner plane Grail castle, situated in a landscape imbued with Arthurian associations, functioned as the focus of spiritual resistance.
There’s been a tendency in recent years to try and detrimentally deconstruct the myth of the finest hour. It really does seem that Hitler was never completely committed to invading Britain. His main concern was always Russia. The construction of fleets of apparent invasion barges at channel ports was, on one level, a form of psychological warfare. Coupled with the Luftwaffe bombing campaign, he hoped to intimidate Britain into surrender. Therefore, so some have argued, the Battle of Britain wasn’t really that important after all and so on. Our stiff upper lip, fight them on the beaches attitude had nothing to do with the reality of the situation and subsequently, by some trick of logic, becomes devalued. I shall merely say by way of response, that the number of people who knew where Hitler was really at was very small. None of the German soldiers along the French coast had any sense of being involved in some huge ruse. Their superiors were not in on the joke either. As the barges got built, all were full of apprehension and excitement for an imminent huge undertaking. A lot of plans were drawn up for it. The pilots of the planes that bombed Britain were not exhibiting the relaxed disposition of a bunch of guys out having a laugh. They were potentially open to attack at any moment and therefore the whole business was clearly a matter of life and death to them. To the British public and armed forces, the threat of invasion was perceived as the most fundamental and urgent reality. It brought out a quality of response that has become the stuff of legend. The basic point is this: invasion may never have been as real a possibility as it seemed but the morale and character demonstrated by the British in the face of that apparent threat was real and nothing can diminish that. Period.
At the time of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War in 1995, I was inspired to recreate Dion Fortune’s visualisation of the inner realm of the Tor. The result was entirely satisfying and I gave considerable attention to it during the time of my moving to Glastonbury shortly after. On December 6th 1996, in acknowledgement of her birthday, I put on a public event in Glastonbury with the intention of using the same material again to see how a group of people would respond to it in the modern world. I was very aware, through reading the wartime letters collected together and published by Gareth Knight as The Magical Battle of Britain, that Fortune believed the Glastonbury work was not just relevant to the immediate circumstance of the war but also to the regeneration of the national consciousness in the future and the birth of a New Age.
As the time drew near I found that I spontaneously thought of vivid imagery that developed from the original core to create a full Glastonbury Qabalah. Notice that I term it a Glastonbury Qabalah, not the Glastonbury Qabalah. I claim no exclusivity or definitiveness about it. It may mutate as time dictates. The main point is that cultivating a feeling for “British music” and the Grail epoch material so important to the western mystery tradition was a vital precondition for the appearance of such inspiration. Much work was later done with this revival and expansion of Dion Fortune’s work, including an episode on the night of Princess Diana’s funeral, but that forms part of another tale.
This material is presented in a form which can be used for pathworking visualisations if desired.
The Company of the Avalon of the Heart invite you to join them.
Come, by whatever means, to the cavern in the Mount of Illumination, where the brethren assemble and those who come in light appear. In the air hangs, in a blaze of light, a red rose on a cross of gold or, for those with such a background, the Golden Dawn Rose Cross in all its complex detail. This image is of the sphere of Tiphareth, realm of the sun, equilibrium and harmony. By its light is the cavern made visible. A celestial perpetual choir intones unseen in the background.
Be aware that a winding stone staircase cut in the rock joins the cavern with other chambers above and below it.
Beneath is a path that reaches deep into the earth where dwell ancient ones, ancestors, faery folk, elementals, chthonic deities.
Immediately above the cavern is a Hall of Learning, a library, where volumes of arcane knowledge await the seeker. Look in its books for answers to your deepest questions.
Above this is a Grail Chapel. A place of devotion and grace, of sublime spiritual power. This corresponds to the physical space of the church and monastery atop the Tor.
The Tor tower is the physical sign of an inner plane Watchtower where a silent watcher, cowled and cloaked, stands in perpetual vigil, seeing the inner tides of the destiny of nations.
All of these places are accessible but let those who would join the Watcher’s vigil take heed of the warning that here is a place of power not suitable for all.
Having sensed the other chambers of the Hill of Vision focus again on the cavern lit by the Rose Cross.
Above the cross, from the realm of Kether, the most high, a sphere of white light appears. Within it as vision and presence emerges the figure of Christ. He wears a diamond encrusted crown of pure white brilliance flecked with gold.
Beneath the cross appears a purple sphere of light. Yesod. Within it a vision of Glastonbury Abbey on a full moon night. The Virgin Mary walks along the centre of its ruins. She wears a black cloak covered with shining silver stars. A crescent moon adorns her head. She carries a Grail Chalice. The geometric grid plan of the Abbey foundations light up in silver from beneath the ground. The presence of the monks of the Company of Avalon can be sensed all around.
The monks of the Company of Avalon from Glastonbury Abbey
To the right of the centre of the cross a blue sphere. Chesed. Within it, seated on a stone crystal throne, is Merlin. He is dressed in blue-violet and deep purple and is holding a diamond sceptre and orb. Representing the most archaic of lineages, he wears a stag-antlered headpiece. A unicorn can be glimpsed somewhere behind him.
Opposite, to the left of the centre of the cross, a red sphere forms in the air. Geburah. Here is Arthur, sitting on a stationary white horse, holding aloft the sword Excalibur.
So is a cross formulated that harmonises Glastonbury and Britain’s Christian and Pagan heritage. Around the four points of the Rose Cross the images hover in their spheres of coloured light in the great cavern. Four more spheres will now join them.
Joseph of Arimathea with the Glastonbury Zodiac by Yuri Leitch
On the right above Merlin’s sphere, but a little below the level of that of Christ, a grey ball of light appears. Chokmah. In it a vision of Wearyall hill. It is daylight. A grey mist surrounds the foot of the hill like a sea. The sky above is a clear spring blue. Across it can be seen shining the outline forms of the Glastonbury Zodiac. The Holy Thorn comes into focus. It is in bloom. Joseph of Arimathea is standing with his right outstretched hand around its trunk. He is facing to the left towards the Tor so we see in profile his bearded face.
Opposite, above the sphere of Arthur, comes Binah. Firstly a black sphere like ink. In that deep dense liquid darkness many flickering points of light can be seen. Moving nearer to them in vision they reveal themselves as innumerable candles. The location is the Chalice Well gardens at night. Many are present for a rite of silent contemplation. In the inner sanctum around the well-head, the vesica piscis cover is raised and its metalwork shines with reflected candle light. Standing to its left and facing right, wearing a black outer robe of concealment, is Morgan. A raven is perched on her shoulder. In the shadows behind, sensed more than seen, is another presence. A mature woman. Dion Fortune herself.
A vision of beauty triumphant
Beneath Merlin and the cross but above the level of Mary, on the right forms a green sphere. Netzah. In here is Chalice Hill in spring sunshine. The Tor can be seen behind. All around are spring flowers. Bees hover and buzz about them. Now comes a naked Venus like Botticelli’s. She wears a head-dress of roses. Women looking like the graces of Primavera accompany her. They are the Melissae, the Bee Priestesses. This is the inner plane realm of their secret garden. They are keeping bees for an alchemical nectar. Somewhere beyond the Tor they work their rites of the Chalice of Green Fire to bring a vision of beauty triumphant to earth.
Opposite, beneath Arthur, an orange sphere. Hod. Bride’s Mound as it is physically today. Superimposed upon the scene its inner plane reality as sanctuary and powerhouse of Brigit. A perpetual flame is burning. Priestesses go about their duties. Brigit stands to the forefront holding a snake staff.
Within the cavern now is access to a complete Glastonbury Qabalah and the chambers of the cavern itself. Any of these realms can be worked within. Perhaps connections seek to be made between them. And the conduit of manifestation, the earthing in Malkuth, is we ourselves and our lives that change through connection with these ideas. And it is the land itself. Following the end of an epochal century of word-historical destiny, Great Britain needs to take stock of its sacred history and inner resources to regenerate itself for the vast unknown future.
Let there be no misconception that because Christ, Mary, Merlin and Arthur represent old traditions that they are now ineffectual, outmoded and generally redundant. These forces were, at one point in the war, bravely invoked by Dion Fortune to purge the nation of all that was corrupt and inert so that progress could be made. This can be done again. Masks that these beings are given by different eras can likewise be purged and their raw essence remains. Arthur and Merlin are no staid Victorian gentlemen when they are contacted today. Indeed, during the two minutes silence on VE Day 1995, before the lighting of beacon fires across the nation, Arthur Pendragon was seen by one person as naked and powerfully ithyphallic within the Tor. The mysteries of Sophia and the Magdalene are now explicitly inherent in the Abbey vision of Mary. And an ever more enigmatic and powerful Gnostic, Essene, Buddhist, Druid, Magician, revolutionary (the list is endless) Christ calls the many emanations of the One to unity at the divine heart that is Consciousness itself. Is it any wonder that the totality of the mystery that Glastonbury represents is activating ever more strongly and that a beacon shines from the Mount of Illumination? Light your own torch from it and go forth. Now is the time.
Most of the text of this blog entry comes from Mysterium Artorius
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
Long time, no blog post.
What have I been doing?
First and foremost, the birth of my second son at the start of August made a bit of a difference to my writing schedule!
Secondly, after nearly a year of working on a Dion Fortune centred book that will be a companion volume to my Aleister Crowley and the Aeon of Horus, I have suddenly had a series of synchronicities and general indications that I need to return to Aquarian Phoenix, the follow-up to Avalonian Aeon. The material already written is full of 2012 related themes so it seems a good idea to try and actually finish it and get it published before that much anticipated year has come and gone. It's going to be unashamedly far-out in all the best ways, dealing with Glastonbury, Giza, Shambhala, Quetzalcoatl,and a Zechariah-Sitchin-free wealth of Nephilim material from the work of Andrew Collins. All of this will be focused around psychic questing and the seven Meonia swords.
I am also developing a new website with more options. When I feel it's fully ready, I will invite you all over.
Here then is a little taster of the work in progress, a section quite near the beginning that deals with the early nineties expansion of the crop circle phenomenon.
It was an event that rapidly attained mythic status, making verification of some of the details difficult to establish. The location was the quiet Wiltshire farming village of Alton Barnes, a few miles away from the famous megalithic sites of Avebury and Silbury Hill. During the early hours of the morning of July 12th 1990, the local dogs began barking and would not stop. Some accounts mention a thunderous rumbling sound in the sky, possibly suggestive of a low-flying plane. Farmer Tim Carson was moved to investigate his fields around 2.20am. He was aware of a vague anomalous shape in the wheat. Daylight revealed a scene that would soon be shared across the world via an immediately ravenous media. It was a huge crop formation consisting of circles, keys or tridents, rings, and straight lines, in a design that appeared both meaningful and inexplicable. The scale and design exceeded all previous manifestations. A uniform flatness of the indented crop, coupled with the clockwise swirling in the circular sections, added to the mystery. Local car batteries were now suddenly dead. It was as if a force field was emanating from the mysterious pictogram. TV crews, so it was said, found their equipment malfunctioning within it.
Strange circles had been appearing in summer fields with increasing regularity during the eighties. The subject had begun to intrude into popular consciousness. Theories ranging from rutting hedgehogs and plasma vortex whirlwinds to ETs had been put forward. 1989’s summary of the action so far, Circular Evidence by Pat Delgado and Colin Andrews, became a major publishing success. The Alton Barnes pictogram was a quantum leap in the phenomenon that made conventional naturalistic explanations seem unlikely.
In the weeks ahead, the Carson farm opened itself up to a remarkable influx of visitors drawn from across the world. A most peculiar mood was apparent. There was widespread euphoria. Strangers readily conversed. A kind of contact-high was in evidence. Simply setting foot in the temporary temple seemed to induce an altered state of consciousness. In some, these changes were to prove radical.
The agri-glyph seemed to be a message in some tantalising unknown language that many felt they somehow recognised and were strangely moved by. The image was rapidly spread through the media across the planet. Led Zeppelin featured it on the cover of their Remasters compilation album.
In the coming decade, what came to be generally known as Crop Circles would function in a similar way to the UFO phenomenon during the sixties, serving as a strange trigger effect whereby a whole expansive package of unusual ideas were activated. In fact Warminster, Britain’s major focal point for classic sixties UFOlogy, was remarkably adjacent to the main Wiltshire matrix. Some minds immediately leapt to Extra-Terrestrial conclusions. The ingenuity involved in interpretation was considerable.