Sharing the quest…

In the books written with Stuart France, we wove a detail our journeys through the sacred landscape of old Albion, the ancient and inner heart of Britain. They are not factual guides or journals of our travels, nor are they fiction… they fall somewhere between the two. The books are illustrated in colour with photographs of our wanderings, and at the end of each book we decided we needed to include a gazetteer.

We had a bit of a problem there. One of the beauties of these ancient churches and sacred sites is that they are usually open and can be visited freely. While we wanted to share their beauty and magic, there is something very special about finding them for yourself. Then again, we really did not want the entries to be the dry, factual guides of a work of non-fiction either, so we decided to do something different.

Some entries are riddles… verses that are clues to the places we have visited. Some, like Station to Station, take a set of symbols and explore them in greater depth, stripping away the accepted meaning and approaching them from new angles in order to try and shed light upon their deeper meanings. Others take an idea and see how the symbols we have found can elucidate it. All are puzzles that can be simply read or, we hope, spark a new train of thought.

Verses in the gazetteer contain clues to some of the locations mentioned in the books. The answers to the clues can be found with a bit of detective work in the book itself or online, by using the keywords hidden in the poems. We also wanted the reader to be able to share the quest, so The Initiate begins with a riddle and ends with one….but the clues for that one are a different story…

The Hollow Hill

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Deep underground lie chalky caves and many tales are told
of arcane goings-on beneath the hollow ball of gold.
From hell and flames within the hill to sacred space above…
where holy water waits within the serpent and the dove.
A mausoleum, wrought of flint, upon a hollow hill,
a secret order following the dictates of the will…
Palmyra’s temple mirrored here, and when your quest is done,
you will stand at the centre of the star behind the sun.

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An Arrow and a Hind…

Where Milton wrote of Paradise, Salome dances still,
and holds the platter while the Jester moves in for the kill.
The walls tell many stories, some forgotten, some unknown,
the paint depicts the legends, but the tenderness is stone.
Look up, above the altar, and in Saint Giles loving hold,
a story of compassion for a fellow heart is told.
The King sent out his hunters, but the arrow’s flight is blind,
the wound was in the saintly hand protective of the hind.

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The Riddle of the Initiate

The Song of Seven Veils
…From Heart to Head a Lay…

My First is sinuous, scaly and smooth
It is found in lake but not in love,
what is below is like that above…

My Sixth lies at sea and in
the depths of the night, it is hard
to engender this spark of light.

My Second twinkles on high and
stands proud in the earth, this double
entendre is light strewn when birthed

My Fifth is a man-child
forgotten by time, adrift on
a lotus… the flowering kind.

My Third is fire-bright and
flies like a flash, it is feathery
too, forever rising from ash…

My Fourth is hawk borne
and can teach us to fly it is
also known as the Silent Eye

…From Head to Heart, a Way…

In Loving Light

You can read Paul Andruss’ review of The Initiate here

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Are we there yet? III… Stuart France

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 “I shall give you what no eye has seen,

what no ear has heard,

and what no hand has touched,

for the thing that I shall give you

has not arisen from the human heart.

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Continue reading here

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Busy #midnighthaiku

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18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More! by Susie Lindau

Reblogged from Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride:

After six years of blogging, I’ve compiled my best blog tips for you including how to promote blog posts and ways to increase traffic. I’ve learned a lot. Maybe this will help keep you going until 2023.Blog tips from six years of blogging. New ways to promote, increase traffic, grow community, and more.

The first time I hit publish was in spring of 2011 as an attempt to build an author’s platform. I had an idea for a snarky book about living in Boulder and was told I needed to blog. Back then I was a hunter who pecked each key with her index finger and spent days typing each post. Editing killed me.

18 best blog tips learned through six years of blogging:

All of these tips may help you to engage readers and increase traffic. Most of them I learned by trial and error. I’m still learning, believe me.

Write in your own voice.

I write the way I talk. This includes slang when appropriate which is pretty much in every dang post. I have omitted profanity where I didn’t think it would add anything to the story and have *included cuss words when I needed to be truthful about how I felt.

Try not to over polish your writing since it kills the natural tone. Your readers will find it harder to get to know you if your words sound like an encyclopedia.

“What’s that?”

I mean, Wikipedia.

Continue reading: 18 Best Blog Tips: New Ways to Promote Your Blog, Increase Traffic, and More! | Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride

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It’s A Girl! by Eliza Waters

Reblogged from Eliza Waters:

IMG_8836The first of the monarchs (Danaus plexippus) I have been fostering on my kitchen counter this past month hatched today and it’s a female. Like any proud parent, I think she is perfect and beautiful! I feel hopeful for her future, but it will be a long road for her, fraught with obstacles. After fattening up on coneflower, Joe Pye weed, zinnias and other favorite flower nectars, she sails 2,500 miles to the Michoacan Mountains in Mexico.

Overcoming human activity such as speeding autos, loss of nectar feeding habitats, as well as excessive cold, drought and predation will be daunting. If she reaches her winter roost site in the few remaining acres of oyamel pine trees (which are cut for their valuable timber by the local people), she must safely survive possible severe cold or snowstorms, predatory birds and mice that take advantage of the bounty of millions of clustered monarchs. If she survives until next Feb./March, she will then fly 500-700 miles north, mate, lay eggs on milkweed and then die. Her legacy will be offspring that repeat this process 3 more times, until her great-grandchildren reach us in July to start the process once again. How can anyone not be impressed by such a lifecycle?

Population estimates in 2013 numbered 33 million, down from a peak of one billion butterflies. A sustainable average is estimated to be 300 million. One particularly cold winter in the 90’s, 95 million died, so researchers were justly worried the species was at risk for extinction.

The good news is that many rallied to save this imperiled species by raising awareness, planting milkweed and other flowers favored by adults, eliminating the use of pesticides and Mother Nature herself gifting them with mild winters and ending the Texas drought that risked the first stage of their northward migration in spring. Last winter’s estimated number was 143 million, about halfway to the sustainable number goal.

Continue reading: It’s A Girl! | Eliza Waters

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How we are three…

There are three of us who work together to run the Silent Eye. It started with one when Steve took the decision to build the School. I was drafted in soon afterwards and Stuart, who had been working with us from the start, was eventually persuaded to make the position official. Working as we do with the triangle at the heart of the symbol of the enneagram, three was a perfect number. It ensures that there is a constant cross-fertilisation of ideas, as well as echoing the spirit and the form of the equilateral triangle.

One of the things about which we have always been adamant is that we did not want to build a school built around a single personage… the cult of personality is too prevalent in our society and seldom has a happy outcome. On the other hand, the people who run a school such as ours should, we believe, be both approachable and visible. No student should be asked to entrust themselves to a nebulous shadow. Nor should we ask students to look at their own personalities if we are not prepared to share our own.

We all three have our own, personal blogs, where we share and explore our own ideas and beliefs. The Silent Eye subscribes to no single or political viewpoint and both we and our students are free to follow the dictates of heart and conscience. We also share some of our personal perspecives here on the Silent Eye’s blog, in that same spirit of openness.

So, some time ago, I thought it would be a good idea for each of us to tell our stories… and after a little prodding, the gentlemen sent me their tales to which I added mine. Our journeys have been very different, yet our paths have come close to crossing so many times over the years that there is a strange feeling of inevitability about where we now find ourselves. I have a feeling we are exactly where we are supposed to be… The stories were duly filed on the website, somewhere behind the Menu button, and barely saw the light of day again. I thought it might be of interest to share them here…

Steve Tanham

I was born in May 1954. I came into the world (with the help of my mother and a good midwife), in a terraced house belonging to my grandparents in a working-class district of Bolton. I had the good fortune to be born into a Rosicrucian family. My father had come across an advert for AMORC (one of the best-known Rosicrucian Schools) in a magazine he was reading while waiting at a railway station. He was on his way to carry out his basic training at an army camp. Later, he became the spiritual beacon of our family, and my mother married him, largely, she claims, because he was “different” from other men in this respect…

Continue reading Steve’s story here

Stuart France

I grew up in a religiously tolerant family which knew a thing or two about love and faith. Nan left the Catholic Church to marry Gramps and their eldest son, Uncle Geoff, my mum’s little brother eventually rejoined the Catholic Church in order to marry Aunty Cath which meant that when we went to spend holidays with Little Geoff and Janet and Mandy we went to their Church with them which was Catholic and when Little Geoff, Janet and Mandy came to spend the holidays with us they came to our church which was Church of England. It didn’t seem odd to do this and it came as something of a shock to realise that in olden times people had lost their lives for less.

Continue reading Stuart’s story here

Sue Vincent

My grandfather gave me his annotated copy of the Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune when I was 15. “This is the only magical book that you will ever need,” he told me. “But you’ll fill a good many bookshelves before you get there.” He was right. It was all in that first book; but learning is a spiral and you have to come back to the same point over and over again, bringing new knowledge and understanding each time before you can really see what lies in your hand.

Continue reading Sue’s story here

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How to be King… Stuart France

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The title is a phonetic rendering of the spiritual classic, ‘Tao Te Ching’.

A more literal rendering would be, ‘How of the King’

All of which is widely known.

A little less known, perhaps, is that the text is an alchemical treatise.

Therefore, the king that it treats of in such fine detail is not necessarily an outer monarch of earthly empire.

The same can be said of many of the worlds spiritual teachings.

The compilers of these classic texts seem more than well acqainted with the maxim, ‘to transform the outer, change the inner.’

As, presumably, were the transcribers of the following Vedic tradition:

Continue reading here

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