The original post from 22nd March, 2013 in which Sue describes day three of our adventures in what was to become the story of, The Initiate…
I woke yesterday to two lines in my inbox that brought a sense of wonder and awe to my first coffee of the day. Something so simple, yet so incredibly beautiful that it made the day sing.
So it is no surprise that it was a good one.
My friend and I had no real plans except to visit a tiny village church and perhaps the Hellfire caves. But first there was work for the School. We mulled over options, plans and possibilities, throwing ideas around between us. The inspiration came all of a sudden and we found an idea that was perfect… just as a huge red kite sailed over the house. It seemed appropriate… the hawk of the morning is one of the symbols we use.
We got organised and departed in search of history and adventure. The tiny church we wanted to see was closed and the wardens not answering their phones, so we headed for the caves at West Wycombe. It seemed as if the birds from yesterday had conspired to accompany us and we had an escort of hawks and kites sitting watching from the roadside or soaring overhead. So many we stopped counting and started laughing at it.
The caves, sadly, were also closed, so we ascended the hill to the church on top, nestled in the remains of an iron age hill fort and topped by the golden ball, where allegedly Sir Francis Dashwood and his cronies from the caves beneath held card parties. Of course, the church was locked, so we wandered off towards the mausoleum, an intriguing structure.
My friend caught sight of something and ran towards it… a red kite had landed. I followed, praying the camera would be quick enough. For the next hour or more we were treated to aerial acrobatics and sheer delight by nine red kites on that hilltop. Spectacular.
When they flew off eventually, we wandered over to the other side of the valley, stopping at an old church… also closed. As we went back to the car, we had to chuckle at yet another bird on an unusually carved gravestone… then looked up and were caught by another red kite that soared above before diving yards away from us. So we stood and marvelled again for quite some time.
It seemed the birds were leading us yet again. Whatever random turn we took they were there.And we took some very random ones, ending up standing on top of the Neolithic barrow above Whiteleaf Cross, a huge ancient chalk figure cut into the hillside, again on the Ridgeway. With a solitary kite overhead.
In search of coffee we headed down towards the ancient little town of Wendover. However, there is a tiny church I have always meant to visit but had never managed to find open. A small sign says it has medieval wall paintings… though I expected only fragments of them, nothing near as grand as the ones a couple of days before.
I was wrong.. they survive on most of the walls… including, we noted, one of a tree full of birds….
There are glorious medieval floor tiles as well as the 700 year old wall paintings, and even some stained glass… through which the light streams in a curious blue haze. Most of the windows are only a couple of hundred years old, but very beautiful nonetheless.
The entire church is probably the size of my living room, very tiny, very simple… but a real jewel of history and art. We were breathless at the simple beauty of the place and the history in its very walls. Photographs do not do it justice… come and visit and I’ll take you there.
Coffee was found in the King’s Head in Wendover, itself nearly 600 years old and we sat on an old oak settle near the ingle nook with beer and sandwiches, chuckling at the wall hanging of birds.
Dinner at the old coaching inn in my village was wonderful. Even if the paintings on the walls were also avian. But it was dark as we walked, we knew we were safe from their over-attentiveness now. Yet oddly, just as we remarked on this, laughing after a superb day, the unmistakable cry of a kite keened in the night air.
It was truly a day of kites.
Book One of the Triad of Albion
Stuart France & Sue Vincent
The Initiate is the story of a journey beyond the realms of our accustomed normality.
It is a true story told in a fictional manner. In just such a way did the Bards of old hide in the legends and deeds of folk heroes, those deeper truths for those ‘with eyes to see and ears to hear’.
Don and Wen, two founding members of a new Esoteric School, meet to explore an ancient sacred site, as a prelude to the School’s opening event. The new School is to be based upon a nine-fold system and operate under the aegis of the Horus Hawk.
The trip does not unfold as planned.
Instead, Don and Wen, guided by the birds, find themselves embarking upon a journey that will lead them through a maze of spiritual symbolism, to magical mysteries and the shadowy figure of the Ninth Knight.
As the veils thin and waver, time shifts and the present is peopled with shadowy figures of the past, weaving their tales through a quest for understanding and opening wide the doors of perception…
Now available via Amazon worldwide.