With contributions from the Companions of the Hawk
The Hawk has crash-landed on the planet Idos, the crew awake from cryogenic sleep to find that their captain is missing and the ship has been taken over by a cyborg who bends them to his will, making them play out the stories of the ancient gods of Egypt as it seeks to understand what it is to be human. Their only hope of survival lies in the strange touch of the Mindstream, and their own inner hearts…
Land of the Exiles is a practical and teaching guide to a fully scripted ritual workshop from the Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School.
“This principle of theatre as initiatory space remains with us today in modern Mystery Schools, particularly in the West. There is something deeply ‘opening’ about being part of a staged production. It is very liberating when it goes well. There is also the risk of it being a poor experience if it goes badly.
Yet, few people think of the other, and much more common meaning of the word ‘Play’. Literally, to do as children do, and explore by Playing. Built into the development of our brains, this principle hides a deeply serious purpose – to come to terms with the world as it really is – Objective Reality, learned by fun, trial and error. We do not often think about the juxtaposition of the two meanings of Play. Yet they are deeply entwined in the human soul. To learn by doing, with fun and without fear, is a natural process within our minds.
A normal theatre production takes a well-rehearsed cast and an appropriate stage. Given the vast range of styles, there are few rules, but that appropriateness is everything. As in life, the overly ornate will lose out to the simple when it comes to that passage of meaning from object to viewer, given the right script . . .
What happens if you take away the time to rehearse? In a staged production, you would get a state of panic, with the more experienced actors being able to cope, and the less experienced being less able to manage the shift towards the edge of chaos. But what if you wanted that edge of chaos to prevail, to transform itself into something very different? What happens if you reduce the rehearsal time to zero?
In the Silent Eye School, we are pioneering a new type of Ritual Drama. In our major workshops, we work with a different type of Play – a single story which spans a whole weekend. The various Acts within that play will divide the action into its major stages, with the first Act being a relatively gentle introduction to the major theme of the weekend, but told, in role, by the whole cast. By the middle of the weekend the tension will be high, with elements of opposition at the peak of their power. By the final Act, on the Sunday morning, there comes a longing for all the stretched threads to be pulled together; for the Alchemy of Transformation to work its magic, bringing the improbable into the now in an act of super-physical, psychological healing whose function is to create a gateway through which all the participants pass – an initiation, in its truest sense. For the players, the performers (and we are all performers at these events), it can be a life-changing moment. As the production team, our job is to ensure it is – and many years of getting it right speak for our record in this.
And the audience? Well, there isn’t one, because we are all Players in this . . .”
Land of the Exiles is available in Paperback and for Kindle via Amazon worldwide.