Pagan Pride

THE GAME (Part 0)

Foundation

To have begun categorising and formalising my writings on myth and magick over the years at all seems to me to be something of an achievement in itself. I have written so much of my experiences and my understanding of them and of the whole in which they have taken place it would have been all too easy to accept the trite nature of much of it and dismiss it as pleasant and lucid ramblings but undeserving of elaboration. That said it has come to seem a worthier task as I have re-read my work and found much truth in the earlier and, apparently, more profane writings. Interesting here to draw a parallel progression with my poetic efforts. I have indeed come a long way from the wide-eyed neophyte awed at the world opening up beyond the physical realms of my life and drawn by the alluring notion that there is something more to it all than a bunch of chemicals imbued with synaptic electrical impulses. We are, I was relieved (as much as anything else) to discover, beings of great light, wonder and endurance and our lives as a biochemical by-product of the planet's surface chemistry are but a small part of our whole. I learned through my time experimenting with the Tarot, the Runes and the initial workings of ritual magick that my connection with the cosmic whole is anything but tenuous: the archetypes I had previously associated myself with (albeit unconsciously) were every bit as real as I had imagined and it was great fun tracking down and communicating with them on the inner planes as I had done so in the physical world visiting the ancient sites associated with some of them

Much of my time at university was spent in solitary pursuit (not that I didn't appear to be a most social creature), I went fishing a great deal, walking and reading too and at night, when alone, I would dedicated myself to the training of my mind and the exploration of my soul. Having made up my mind to travel the physical world on finally completing my degree I had a breathing space of some three months to undertake what I later recognised as a magical retirement but which culminated in the most powerful and ambitious act of magic I had ever operated. I had moved on from the keen student at the hands of the EMIN group and pupil at the table of several ritual magicians. I became, to all intents and purposes a solitary magician working my way through the paths as they came to me with very little cognizant direction except the theme of "getting back to nature" which I suppose with hindsight made me something of a pagan/animist. During my University career I had suffered deep depression and resolved this with a series of deeply dangerous psychological dissections of myself which finally resulted in me anihilating my personality, teetering on the brink of clinical insanity and stripping away all vestments of understanding of myelf as a human being,I had become an initiate into a new order of being I did not even recognise until later when I realised that experiences dating even further into my past (which I will reveal later) had an impact on and were, in their turn, impacted upon by these actions.

While I travelled the world I was a wanderer in other realms, frequent visitor to astral and ancestral worlds. I should also note that much explanation of my earlier life was to come to me during these few years, finally I had understanding of the forces I had invoked in myself as an adolescent and then evoked into my life and which had haunted me with ill fate, ill temper and a mania that perpetually bubbled under the surface but which I hid from all and sundry until I could do so no more. The demons had been on my case during the more normal traumas of my teenage years. The memory is still rather painful to me of how such a state had come about but those flushed couple of nights in a deserted churchyard with my chalk, my candle and my glass, armed with enough knowledge to be dangerous - but no more - were certainly the cause of much agony for me as the forces I had released turned upon me, in true tradition, tenfold. I will try during these writings, for the first time, to describe those events with full knowledge that the wise reader will constantly grimace at my foolishness - ritual magick making no excuse for the follies of youth - and I am grateful that my abilities were as limited as they were or I may have found the tasks of achieving relief in later years much more difficult and maybe even impossible.

Much discovery, learning and training took place in my final year at university and in the 3 months prior to my departure for America and I finally, though with great trauma and difficulty, banished the influences of the demons of my early years from my life. While travelling and when I finally settled in Canada high in the Rocky Mountains I had the opportunity to put into practice what I had learned and I also experienced a vast relief from the years of anguish and I experienced a wonderful period of discovery and light. It was in the wilds of the Bow River valley that I began to perform regularly the working rituals that I had been learning about with a real sense of purpose. I invoked the four Primal Powers (which I would now describe as the four Watchtowers) daily, habitually greeted the coming day at dawn with meditation and inner workings then, one late night on the side of Mount Rundle, I opened and entered the higher temple for the first time. My job as hostel night manager enabled me to spend many of my waking hours studying and writing about my discoveries and when I went to manage a tiny hostel high up in the mountains in almost complete solitude (few guests came that way with so much snow on the trails). I made more elaborate rituals, deeper workings and great spiritual progress. My accounts of these workings come from the notes I made at the time. The release of troubled spirit, the emotionaly health and stimulus of travelling in a foreign country combined with the rejuvenating atmosphere of the mountains brought forth a positive spring of inspiration and writing, my output of poetry and music was phenomenal and my ritual workings took on a much more enlightend feel enabling me to perform more potent and rewarding workings in the ancestral worlds and the far astral.

The purple patch did not continue so kinetically when I returned to England. I had no choice but to work among the lowest of the crawling sychophants of modern society, the world of high finance and low purpose. It was not too long before my pagan leanings reasserted themselves and I began my crusade against the injustice of the human treatment of the planet. Living in a place like Banff, Alberta one was constantly reminded of the might and the fragility of the mother world, it was accepted practice to treat the land with respect, recycle all possible litter and develop a deep and abiding care for nature. To be flung from this, albeit by forced choice, into the world of the oil industry was a shock. The despicable nature of big business was bad enough without the relentless pressure of the equation 2% more profit = 5% more pollution and my final futile stance against the abomination of 10,000 gallons of dirty synthetic oil going into the sea simply because it was cheaper than disposing of it properly and the chance of being caught negligible finally sealed my fate. I could have made a lot of money in the oil business but the creatures whose company I was constantly told was necessary to my continuing career was so unbearable I slumped slowly into darkness again.

I was rescued in part by the surprising party of my father who gave me a job and taught me, in his admirably unassuming and, I believe, unconscious way that people were after all worthy causes and that despite the appaling depths of human depravity the world is more or less composed of the great creatures of love and light I had previously glimpsed. there is goodness in all and although accountancy is an unlikely salvation it is (in my father's view) a protection of the individual from the oppression of the mindless machine that is society as well as paradoxically enabling such a society to flourish.

Although I worked very hard and long hours for my father I began to re-discover my creative side and slowly to assimilate more of my experiences previously. Journalism became another of my avenues of enlightenment, local history and even ancient history held scant appeal though I had been fortunate enough to have had several friends studying archaeology at university and felt that I at least understood the drive towards knowledge of our ancestors, I have no doubt that there were many areas of human existence that supposedly primitive people understood more completely than we in the modern world do. Again as I write of my experiences travelling I realise that living hand to mouth brings one more in touch with one's spirituality than the lazy days of eat, work, rest, sleep which stupefying routine allows all these activities to take place without passing through the stage of discerning how best to make their achievement happen with virtually no resources. When you live day to day not knowing where or how you will eat or where you can safely sleep you put yourself much more in touch with your inner resources than any amount of stimulating reading by the comforting light of your own hearth and home with a full belly.

So my work in the research of the sinister black magicians of Britain was a revelation to me, endless hours in libraries checking out psychic material on obscure historical figures enabled me to learn a great deal about the history of magick and the ways in which the arts were practiced by peoples infinitely more in tune with the cycles of spirit than I or most of the modern world could hope to be. I should of course state now that my role in such quests is over and my unwillingness to be so closely involved with dark and negative ritual work at last won out. Yes, I am still concerned about the consequences of these peoples' activities and, in the case of The Wheel, even it's existence is a worrying thing but this is not Hollywood, the lone hero does not always defeat the massed ranks of the bad guys and I have no wish to live with my eye over my shoulder all the time although it was, for its time very exciting and revealing.

Working for Dad I blossomed in the air of feeling like I was helping people, the poetry and inspiration was back in my life and I became once more a caring soul revelling in the study of the arts which transformed into a mystical journey. I fought the base bigotry of the greedy at every turn and the campaign to prevent another pointless road being driven through my beloved countryside was a natural theatre to reintroduce my magickal talents. It was with several acts of ritual magick that I discovered the means to prevent the imposition of the monstrosity. So it was really no surprise to find that my green activism helped my beacon to go out to others and at last witchcraft (which I had read a great deal about) finally found me though within a year, before I could progress through its later initiations, would desert me again as the group I became attatched to dissolved in a pit of in-fighting and bitterness. I cherish deeply my time then, with great affection I remember that day in Sherwood Forest when I first met Margaret (not her real name) but it was not to be for me and I lost contact with the craft and went back to the solitary practice of magick albeit with the new light of paganism and the new intellect of Wicca to invigorate my studies and workings.

It would be wrong not to mention my time in the music business with Magnum, my days on tour among good friends and good booze and fun. My level of travel in that period was the nearest approximation to my previous hobo-ing across the USA and I made great use of the opportunity. I'd stop frequently or detour to view another interesting site, I visited many locations around Britain and made innumerable contacts on all levels with the energies there which I'd write about in innumberable hotels up and down the country and even in clubs and concert halls when my tour managerial duties allowed me moments to myself. Again I have a wealth of notes about the specific encounters and more generally on the events and experiences that tied one to another upon which I will elaborate later.

All in all "The Game" has been well played and its only as I write here that I understand fully that I have barely scratched the surface of the future but also that it is a good and healthy thing here to write about the past and set a context for the massive depth of experiences I have learned to recognise and fully intend to continue writing about in the future to come . . .

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