I saw an angel once. Like an answer to a thousand prayers. But not aflame in a Lambeth tree as Blake saw. No, I glimpsed this angel on one of the worst days of my life. I was surrounded by a circle of wraiths. Darkness and filth. They were ravenous. They had made a living sacrificial altar of me. An inverted sun like a wound in the firmament. I bled profusely. Spiritually, psychically. At the mercy of their whispering laughter. The hideous laughter of things that had lost all connection to Light. The innermost that should guide each sentient being was gone. Not a glimmer of it remained within them. These wraiths. These vile, sorcerous cowards. But behind them the angel stood, half-hidden in shadow. They didn't even know it was there. It had cloaked itself from them, but not entirely from me. It knew I could see things and it wanted me to sense its presence. The scent of flowers and freshwater. The sweetness of honeysuckle, a touch of lilac. Then the familiar, calming drift of my beloved roses. Those wraiths wanted me broken, you see. Defiled. They thought the imagined altar of my flesh was theirs alone. A ring of ruptured psyche, conjured and held in place by their malefic intent. But the angel was there too. Hidden just beyond the circle. It turned, and looked right at me. I had never felt anything so beautiful. Warmth, peace and vitality began flowing through me. A healing energy. The angel slowly raised its right hand, palm open in sweet regard. And I was granted the mercy I had long prayed for. Though half-hidden, I saw its incredible wings unfurl. Each feather forged of image, poem and song; some of my own among them. Utterly humbled, I simply gazed at those dreamed promises of ascension unfolded at its back. Then, like a pulse that shook perception itself, the angel took flight and was gone. The wraiths were cast out in that very instant. The ring of filth broken. I just lay there in stunned silence, the night spread all about me. I could still smell the faint scent of roses in the air. I could feel the angel's healing touch restoring both my mind and my flesh. I laughed in awe, at the explicit wonder of it. Despite my abilities I had never been visited quite so directly before by a thing of winged dreaming. Sometimes I still wonder if those malevolent wraiths intended to kill me that night. To finally finish what they began so long ago. Never had they gathered in such numbers or with such sinister gravity. Perhaps I wouldn't be here right now if not for that quiet look and raised palm, that lingering scent of freshwater and flowers. I thank you, friend. With all my heart. For the intervention, your protection, and the gracious gift that is kindled within me still. I believe this gift isn’t mine alone. It is to be shared, through image, poem and song. For those gentle souls who find themselves tormented by these sorcerous wraiths, as I was. The broken and almost broken, currently shipwrecked at the edge of everything. Hear me. You’re not alone in the dark with those things, I swear it. You might not possess the inner vision of a seer, but I promise you the Bright Ones are very real. And incredibly powerful. Thoughtful guardians of such nuance and empathy. They are in the darkness with you, my friends. Just beyond the sight of your demons. These angels are lighting your way, gifting you with the strength to keep going. The strength to learn, laugh, and perhaps fall in love. Each moment of inspiration, every courageous act – they stand with all of us, often unnoticed. Hands raised, palms open in devotion and sweet regard. Did you know?
Monday, 24 May 2021
My soul, where are you? Do you hear me? I speak, I call you—are you there? I have returned, I am here again.
-- C.G. Jung, Liber Novus
Framing the light of remembrance, for resplendence of higher thought. Like a candle between two lovers. Or a locket at the throat. Voice and wisdom. Saying what is difficult but necessary. What is true, with all my heart. There are two places set for knowing, yet worlds apart. We do not always love because it is easy. We love because it is right. This power. Our power, never taken lightly. Never held or handled cruelly. Intimacy is far too precious a thing for that. Like the innermost of a rose, or a hopeful heart. From Tintagel to the mural, to the Rye. I wander as Blake did. Through sorrows. Like those Alcyone days of bitter tempests and ships lost at sea. Solstice tears upon the shore. Tears that presage winged spirits of sky and flame, rising from the churning sea. Poetry and prosper, betrothed to chalice and spear. A language of birds to heal the maimed. The wounded. These many-splendored stories beyond war. Beyond all lands of waste, closer to those idylls of imagined kings. Knights like hours at the circle of eternity. Oma'turi thea. But there are always two parts to a dance, aren't there? Inspiration and response. An answer and an answer back. Reciprocity of this leading way, this open path. This is the dialogue that all wraiths have failed to kill. The two becoming one, becoming three. Fallen, tell me; what do you really grasp of this trinity? Who is the spirit that stands in the gate? Do you know his many names? A Mother's Child. Tree of Creation, ablaze with angelic flame. Regarding no soul above the other. All are equal at the table of the innermost, all welcomed to the feast. Bread, wine, possibility. Fishers and kings. Echoes of this echo, like the faintest music in the mist. Heard from a distant hill. Keepers of the true grail, we are here now. Together, dreaming these sacred opportunites for love. Weaving light into living. We are met at this union of the ways. Ascending, for resplendence of higher thought.
Saturday, 15 May 2021
These cradles of green and pleasance. These crescents of Tintagel. As the moon and sun beguiles a lark, and remembers. Through augured gate of dragons wise; across the grassy way to a tree aflame with angels, as Blake saw. Strange signs upon the wall and the rye. Signs of vulva, chalice, well and well-wishing. Here at this sacred way. This Path of Her. O Rose, thou art healed. By work and wielding of Albion. Promise of New Jerusalem, a realm beyond these divisions of war. For a table of plenty we pray, at mural and song. That we might never forget our brothers and sisters. That we might yet make friends of our enemies. To fill a cup with living waters, and slake this thirst. As it once was of our dreaming. Our spirit. By raven, hawk or wren. Winged circling upon unseen movements of light. Overtures and underscores of each successive Age. M'ithriin, Talis, Caedmon. I would wish these larks ascend. Higher and higher still. A king and his land, a servant and his people. I speak as Kasi has always spoken. Where there is hunger and anguish there is no king at all. No queen, nor regency. Only stolen thrones and false lineage. A fallen realm. You wish to know of the Oma'turi? Never a conqueror. At least not of flesh and foreign land. Man begets himself upon the dreaming of his Age. Visions of his peace-time, or his violence. Dark Age warlord, dragon of Celtic echoes, medieval Christian prince. A child, only glimpsed, now hidden from history for fear of his mythic power. That ghost in the courtyard. People say of him only as much as they know of themselves. The supposed limits of a vassal. The imagined breadth of a king. It's a strange path, this interpretation and fulfilment of prophecy. Signs of Kathari. Legacies of Albigenses. It is utterly hideous; this lie of a thousand years. This false succession of wraiths. But there are still stories, wild and dreaming. Still lands pregnant with life and dragons wise. Trees aflame with bright hosts of higher thought. And Kasi still holds true to that shining promise of restoration. Peace, but a sword. The promise of truth, love and honour for all people. Of all faiths, in every sovereign land. All deserving of a place at the table, if earned. Men must know why they fight. And if they have no choice but to undergo such solemnity, who do they fight for? Themselves or their people? The true wealth of any world is not riches, but wisdom. Devotion and trust. If the spirit be a lark what use is rising if we rise alone? I tell you now, it is lonely on the hill. Let no man be king lest he truly know the meaning of a chorus, and the struggles of his kingdom's most vulnerable. Such is the living of a radiant, humble life. Green and pleasant. Hand, hilt and chalice of Albion's true regent.
Monday, 10 May 2021
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever
– John Keats
I follow the Path of the Rose. I try to walk the Way. Like the pilgrims, seekers and mystics of old. A hidden path somewhere between the soul and the land. An illuminated manuscript. Psychic vision can truly bridge imagination and the earth. I've heard many speak of this Way. I can always tell who has actually walked it. In rhythm and cadence. As history, myth and symbolism begin to share space and time hymns of strange union can be heard. Perpetual choirs. Obelisks rising from the living waters of the rose, as I witnessed just a short way from the site of Powles Crosse. At the turret where I prayed and gave thanks. But I know there’s more to see. The way is endless, and the grail is gathered from the halo of the hidden. That liminal light at perception's edge. The spiritual sun. Laurentum & the Rose wasn’t St Paul’s first vessel of living waters. There was another fountain at the cathedral before it, gifted to another place. An open Priory. A green and pleasant land. I sense that I need to go there, and walk. Just as I walked the ruins of another Priory at the groves of St John.
Even as my journey begins I notice something significant. The first two sentences from a poem by Keats. Someone has affixed them to the lintels above these travellers. It’s an excerpt from Endymion. The shepherd locked in dreaming raptures of Selene's ghost-flower. For a moment I’m taken aback. But then I smile at those words, realising it’s a beneficent augur. A counter-point to darker worries beneath the surface of these waters. I think of Kiskuh. Phantoms and witches of the sea. Shelley, Lamia and the banks of the Via Regis. But no, this is a gentle smile from somewhere. A beautiful well-wishing. I vow to treasure the joy. The green spaces of the Priory are quiet, except for the music of children playing happily together in the empty fountain of St Paul’s. They have climbed into its high stone basin. It seems a delight for them. Yet, about the rim of the old fountain are many candles. Flowers and memorials for lost loved ones. The children seem oblivious to these solemn offerings. Indeed, I notice a fallen bouquet of dried flowers beneath a bench, some distance away. It’s tied with a bow of purple silk. I intend to document many portions of this path. This walking of the way. The Rose is near. I can feel her. I have no laurels to mark this particular victory, but I leave the flowers resting against an emblem depicting the crossed swords of the Apostle. I light one of the many new candles left so thoughtfully there. Not a light of mourning but a flame of life. Water & Fire. I feel awakened. I thank the spring and leave the park to find the path again.
It's shortly after this that I unexpectedly stumble upon St Mary's Tower. I feel a sense of mild surprise at the name and I’m intrigued by its haunting similarity to St Michael's Tower at the summit of Glastonbury Tor. I had no conscious knowledge this was here. Still, I think of subtle bridges between places and times. I recall an old line of poetry from William Dunbar: London, thou art the flower of cities all. For a while I wander the open churchyard in a strange reverie. There are tombs and gravestones all about. I give thanks to God to have come upon this threshold place. The Path is with me, I realise. A choir in my breast, perpetual. For just a moment I stop to rest against the edge of a large tomb in an effort to gather my thoughts. There, atop the stone lid, is a book. Wrapped carefully in plastic to shield it from the rain. I have no idea how long it has been waiting there. I unwrap the gift with fascinated trepidation. Something is definitely with me, just beyond the edge of ordinary sight. The gift is a book of London folk-tales, written for children. I almost laugh as I read its title, recalling the smiling little ones in the Priory’s fountain. I glance through the magical book, delighted. It’s filled with stories of ghosts and gallant knights, flower-children and tower-ravens. Among the pages a note has been hidden, written in red ink. It says, quite succinctly, Please read me and enjoy my stories. As I stand in the open churchyard of St Mary's Tower I know that I've been blessed with the gift of laurels and laughter, as well as folklore. The Path exists. The Rose is near. I can hear the way.
With the book in my possession I now steadily climb the great hill towards what they used to call the People's Palace, renamed for Alexandra. A princess they say. Another park awaits upon the hill, and a small garden near the crest hides yet another fountain of old stone. I tell myself that I'm certainly among heaven's living waters today. For a few minutes I'm alone in this quiet garden. It is silent and still. I'm intrigued by this other fountain, all weathered and cracked. It’s a lion with four faces, like the quartered sun of the old Celts. Or the angels of Abraham. Again I imagine the susurration pouring forth from each face of the Ari. I notice a little message on one of the benches. Sit a while and turn your face to the sun. So, I do as the plaque suggests here at this high place. I close my eyes, turning inward as I try to find the spiritual sun once more.
Finally, as I approach Alexandra Palace at the peak of the hill, I know my journey is coming to an end. It’s my first time here. I find the grand edifice waiting for me – the old BBC transmission mast still standing beside it, and I smile to myself. Eventually I reach the palace’s heart; its stunning rose window. It echoes those stained-glass windows found in cathedrals all across the world. Indeed, with its sprawling arches the building has the manner of some vast industrial church upon the hill. A secular cathedral that once sent pulsed frequencies across the London skyline. There are many people here today but the bench directly beneath the rose window is mysteriously vacant. I happily sit, thinking of signals and stone. I think of those lines from Keats at the start of my journey, and the gift I was given. I hold the book of London folk-tales in my hands as I peer at the evening city all laid out before me. Directly above, the winged Angel of Plenty stands perched at the apex of the palace. A cornucopia at her feet. She is the highest thing. Her left hand is raised in victory, a laurel wreath clasped in her right. It's only then that I realise this wonderful journey has moved me far more than I expected. For a moment it’s almost like hearing the angel speak. I turn and sure enough there is a plaque on the bench at my back. I laugh with something approaching joy at the perfection of what is revealed here, at the summit of my journey:
Raindrops on a daybreak flower,
Token of cold midnight’s grace,
No more radiant are than these
Thursday, 6 May 2021
I have conversed with the spiritual sun. I saw him on Primrose Hill. As Blake did. The subtle sublime. Quiet, hidden, immense. The light behind the light. Barefoot at the door, I hear it. And I’m lead to the way. Ruins of the Priory. The groves of St John. As it was in the courtyard at the place where Powles Crosse once stood. Like the quartered sun of the old Celts. Little Golgotha, the Christian elders called it. An allegory of stone, whereby common folk decided the fate of future kings. Once, upon that time. Before the burnings and the hush, and these lies of succession. Back when the people still spoke of miracles and magic. It was something more than allegory, they said. A boy in the courtyard. And a sword, perhaps a thousand years old, hidden within the stone shaft of the old crosse. Torn from its foundation in the earth; the outer casing crumbling to reveal a blade. Still sharp and gleaming like a tongue of silver flame. A dragon's blade, to the old Celts. The boy was only a figment, some said. Or in several places at once. A ghost of each Age, wandering beyond the veils of time and art. Dreaming beneath the landscape of Albion. Others claimed him as flesh, of the moment. A medieval prince hidden from sight as a child, expunged from the records for fear of his emancipatory future. An augur that would one day dare to question the terrifying supremacies of Rome, Constantinople and Isfahan. The wraith-priests of every faith who were leading innocents to slaughter. Distort and damnation. The darkest magic, spreading like a sickness across the lands. Bleeding mirrors. The icons of crosses, crescents and stars, all hungry for blood. But he was called the people's prince by those who believed, by those who claimed to have seen him with their own eyes. The boy was blessed by the winds themselves, they said. Crowned by the painted blaze of dawn. Light of Eth'iir, still wandering the veils of the threshold. Places and Ages. But these stories are nothing more than medieval confections, our learned scholars now claim. Chivalric romances, they say. French fancies. But I tell you now, Fallen. I have conversed with the spiritual sun. He is at every high place. Each sacred hill. And he dwells also among the low-born. The poor, the common. There is nothing elitist or exclusive about that subtle light. Kasi has seen only glimpses since the Fall, but so much more than he deserved. I speak as the myriad elders spoke. Keepers of the oldest wisdom traditions. Emet, Mi’raj, Omkara. Those true learned souls who knew fluently the tongues of their brothers and sisters in distant lands. Those who conversed with the spiritual sun at the source of each faith and each culture. It matters little of such emblems if we cannot find a place at the table for strangers. I speak of peace, but a sword. Like that boy in the courtyard. Do you hear me, wraiths? Do you have any real grasp of sacrifice? I know exactly who I am. I'm not a god, or a king, or a prince. And neither are any of you. I'm not even an angel since those rebels and the war. Truth be told Kasi is a ghost at the table, but I shall prepare a feast for you. As I have always tried to do. As my brother commands. Do you know who my brother is? The famished shall eat first of this feast. Bread, wine and fish. The neglected shall be fed, the lonely held. None are abandoned in the light of that spiritual sun. Tell me, do you even remember why those laurels were first placed? It was not for the victory of violent conquest. I still recall the wholesome joys of Floralia. The kiss of a guiding muse. The smile of a friend. New life blooming on the banks of the river. Are you lost, Roma? Byzantium? Isfahan? Perhaps you are thirsty. Perhaps you've lost your way. I would happily sup with you, if you lay down your arms. And your ignorance. We have water here, from the rose. By the light of a painted sun.
Wednesday, 5 May 2021
Kashi tries to follow these choirs in perpetuity. Hidden choirs beyond the known, connecting all things. In listening to such choirs I pray for mended steps. Re-forged paths. I wish to be a learned knave at the very least. In time, perhaps. Or just beyond it. Chevalier. Cathedral stone. And once again I’m recalling those Wars of the Roses. Frightening, secret wars in the grey. Upon the hill. Druidic thorn. Sinister Venetian revelry. Dark sylphs of Tudor glance. Shifting silences. This disturbing new chronology. But Kasi sees nothing more than warlords and stolen thrones in this lie of a thousand years. A lost shining age. A corruption of Plantagenet kings. These false lineages, and I'm forced to witness the endless sorrows of each maiden of a shattered realm. Of course I see her in each one of them. Sisters of Kathari. Daughters of Albigenses. Pre-Raphaelite angels with Yasha'lem in ruins all around. I marked their day with my descent, to honour them. And to honour my brother. Those feet in ancient time, as Blake wondered. A land once green and pleasant. Now become a vessel for perpetual night-fall. An isle of dark angels. They were blackest alabaster, those tears upon her skin. It's written in her eyes, isn't it? Via Dolorosa. Haven’t you seen those images? She knows there is still more to come. Delicately braced for future cataclysm. In grief, with grace. Oh, fallen. You think you understand it all. You think you reign supreme, with your abominations and altered chronologies. But only Love is supreme. And egalitarian. It never hordes its wealth. So, knowing these things, I choose to heed the silent choirs. Once more I'm lead through the folding city by a trail of whispered signs. From Navah'tri to Camri’lach. To the bridge at Ari'ma'thea, nearest the ashen hill. I find winged lions guiding me to stolen histories. Arts and science, coins and stars. Dragons, knights and swords. Right here in this city of ghosts. Hidden in plain sight. I hear the lament of those perpetual choirs. Making wine beneath the bridge. A sacrament. And I recall Ga'hala on his knees before the chalice. River-flesh and laken hilt. Blinded, speechless, like a king of fishers. But not quite. Both of us were acolytes of a cathedral beneath the waters and the rock. Brothers of Kathari. Sons of Albigenses in this church of the hidden hymns. Stitching letters in the flesh of each shoulder. Our maiden, courageous and kind. A lover at every turn. Mourning and singing, as the beloved at the empty tomb once sang. From the mouths of each Ari come the susurration of those waters. Where spirit is the truth. The resurrection and the life. And I know what brings me here. A trail of living lights like kisses just beneath the skin of the city. Carried West, though bending East. Quietly I speak. Ferry me gently, girl of all priests. Let me see through John's eyes. And at last I am come to the truth. Shining, unassuming. A promise of wisdom worthy of any grail quest. Before me stands a turret of living waters. The Fountain of the Rose. The end, and a beginning. Only a glimpse perhaps, as Ga'hala once searched and saw. Only a place to start. But it's enough for Ka'shayel on this strange, blessed day. To follow these choirs in perpetuity, through this seemingly endless valley of the shadow of death. Thus, at mended steps I pray. Thy rod and thy staff. I find great comfort at the Fountain as I peer upward into the mournful eyes of the Rose. And for a moment I hear something beyond lament. Beyond thorn or sinister revelry. A path is opened before me and my heart is with my love, because I hear the way.