Watershed Tales -The Tree is a Fountain: The Man in the Ravine

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This post, and the next few – though probably not consecutively – will include a story from my Watershed collection.   In the mid 1970s I went through a very difficult time, which flowered at night – or under earth – into hundreds of vivid dreams, many of them visionary.

I wrote them all down, and years later, began to de-code and compose some of them into stories.  They became my experiential laboratory; the archetypes arose. 

I call it the Watershed, because it is like a mountain ridge.  The “waters” from it, irrigate the channels of my whole life and landscape around it, far into the past and future.  Because of the Watershed, I don’t perceive a life-time as a linear progress, but as a solar orbital system:  a sphere.  A pulse.

My spacetime diagram is of a leaf dropped on water: the concentric ripple.  The same are soundwaves, light cones, and the Watershed: from which the events of a lifetime descend and flow to manifest in all directions …the way a tree grows.   We are not normally sensitive enough or “programmed” to detect the wavelengths of warning and encouragement which come from “future” wisdom.  But they are there!  and hindsight always reveals them.

A peak of intensity in any lifetime irradiates the past and future equally.  It is that life’s gravitational centre and purpose to be.  It is like the circling beam of a lighthouse.

Thus we are seen from “Above” – like ourselves looking down at rain-circles on the lake.


Comprehending this, is in the way we breathe consciously.  What is the fountain breath?

The fountain breath is this, in whatever shape or teaching it takes, up and down, root and shoot.

Invoking the very best in life:  peace to all beings:  a prayer for a friend in pain, or those in the storm:  a drawing together of the Great Work … light the candle, focus the third eye, and stretch open armed  a Tree, a Chalice, an Albion witch, moving a little with the dancing Ch’i.

The Tree’s branches receive the sun.  The sun bedews and sparkles in them.  The sunlight trickles down them into the trunk.  The trunk with all its oaky bark flowing upward is a fountain, resplendent from the ground.   This is “meditation”.

tree diva

Think of the trees everywhere now, whose leaves turn gold and fall, preparing for the winter nude, the cold deep dark waters of polar tide – the tide beneath the waves;  receive back into essence the wet, wild kingdom, Mother Ceres of the tiny seeds that grow – Persephone in Hades – in the ground.

Ceres & John 

Drenched I am with the rain, the frost and sea salt, dark and drenched and wet my wood:  and vibrant is my capillary in the sky, its leafy burden shed.  Vibrant are my fingers in the silver sky – the throbbing of the festival.


Here is one of my Stories of Life – 

“The Man in the Ravine” …  Dreams No.189  27 September 1975

Events led me down the valley into this very deep ravine.

It is like the tale of the Water of Life.   Three princes set out to find the Water of Life for their sick father.  The first two were walled up in a ravine along the way because of their churlish behaviour.   Others, I know, have been here before me,  and come to grief.   Perhaps I’ve come here to find out what happened to them.

The ravine had sheer high cliffs that walled it around three sides.   It was a cul de sac.  So deep down was it enclosed that in here it was always night or a very murky twilight.  If you looked far up, right up the mountain walls, you could see daylight or the sinking sun.   But the base of the ravine was not much larger than the floor of a large room or hall.   To reach its depths you went down a natural stairway of rock, a kind of ramp.   Over the floor of the ravine you had to pick your way over the mud and over the puddles of water murkily shining.   It had a warm and velvety miasma.   I explored it carefully.   I had to cover the whole of it or reach the enclosing wall over on the far side, what was I looking for?   Because assuredly I was seeking out something.   What happened to those poor fools right down in this darkness from whence if you looked up the walls you could see, like a great rose, the day above?   The place was repugnant.

Suddenly I stepped in some soft mud and was sinking.   I had waded into one of those bogs that suck you down and down into the morass to drown.   I fell full length on the mud and struggled to get my right foot free of the all-enveloping ooze, and I succeeded.   I pulled myself out.   Then I went over to the right side of the ravine where there were some big stagnant puddles, and began to wash my feet and sandals which were covered with sticky smelly mud.   From there I watched the bog where I had almost sunk.   It was displaying a curious activity.   A sort of waterspout or turbulence of liquid mud began to jet out of it like a fountain.   Out of that unrest came a small solidity, a box or a square tin;  it fell and lay upon the quivering mud.   Then out of that mud came a man!

A man lived here, within the mud, within the bottomless floor of the ravine.   He emerged, a stocky sort of man.   The place had been disturbed by a question, and out he came.   It was extraordinary that he should live and breathe down under the mud.   He had a malign power.

We had a conversation, him by his bog-hole and me by the puddles where I’d been cleaning my feet.  He is a sorceror.   He causes in me very strange physical changes.  A certain look from his eye immobilizes all my nerve.   I can see him a little.   Stocky, squat, with dark curling hair.   The lines of his face flow downward.

“What is in the box?”   I ventured to wonder.

“I am,”  he said.

That makes perfect sense.   The box is discarded.   It contains me.   The mud erupting flies apart into disjointed brown crescents of time.  Between them are swirls of chaos.   The newborn cannot read the signs.   Lots of animals live down here.   My right arm has gone.   But now I have three heads,  and I see and believe in a different world from each one of them.   I am terrified.   But I have been told to open to my fear.   Now I am an animal, a creature I do not know.   Now I have branches like lopped limbs from a tree.   This branch waves from one of the rock walls of the ravine.  But this one too is deep in the silty floor.   Yet another strains in the sky in a great bolt of wind.   All over the ravine is scattered the (w)hole not I.   It is the darkness.   It is the vivid strength of the man in the mud, his trident, his trident touches and jerks me into three-plane being.

I am the Great Cat.   I am the life that runs in cold metallic vein through the fish.  I run like a rat, the colour of the ground.   I am the bull and the goat and the twins.   We are having a kind of conversation, him by his bog-hole and me …  ah yes, that is it,  he has stopped the time.   The quintessence of each animal spirit broods in this place where no beginning ends.   “You are too mercurial …”  but my shoulder has burst.   I cannot describe it.   I fall yet I stand.   I have no control over any of these changes that succeed one another rapidly as air.   They are all in his alien hand, whatever he draws or gestures,  that I form,  and then form un-begun suddenly an owl.   The bird is shrieking.   The form like soft clay silent is putty and quicksilver in his alien hand, my penance.   This is not me.   It is according to his powers.   I accept this, for I trust him.   I have no choice but to trust him.   There is no other way save submission to these curious disturbances and transformations.   Some of them are painful like fire and blood.   Some are nauseating, and some are cataracts of water:   it is a tempest buried in earth.   This is where I am.   I am here with this man of the bog and his powers, and that is that.

That is clay on the potter’s wheel.   That is the bed of the river.

“Water,”  I said to him  “the Water of Life.”   (I think the others were devoured by the bog).

“You are their successor,”  he replies  “but you didn’t succumb you know, to what drowned them”  “What was that?”   “It was the walls you know.   Walls they rode themselves into, grew up around them.  These people were interested only in their own ends.   You must pay the price.   But we can speak.   Here we may speak.   There never was any prince with whom I could hold conversation.  This is unique you know.   You must stay.   You are the first of them returned.   So I must hold you here.”   And thrice with his wand he struck me.  Water gushed from this rock, this matter.   Life.   Cried out.

I am the prisoner of the man of the bog who till now killed everyone,  the wrestler without a friend.   The angel is all of the night.   A curious friendship seems to be developing between us.  In this dim grey light we became close.   He came over to the puddles where I am and I stroked his arm a little, to teach myself to like him.   He didn’t bite.   He didn’t stomach-sickeningly change me into anything else.   He emerged, a stocky sort of man, so darkly invincible that my strange commitment to him must be total, else I die in darkness, unseen.   I surrendered.  There is no escape from the ravine.

Once he told me, gesturing skyward, that in the east with dawn, there rises the lotus of a thousand petals white and pure.   It floats over the azure sky, the tip of every petal blushes with gold, but earth dark,  deep and dank holds her underwater root.   He said that in the west this flower sets.   It furls into a great rose, rosy red song of the heart, the scent of the Spirit.   I have to learn to love and obey the one who reveals to me such things.   He is stronger than me.   Many of me that came down here before, have come to grief, and are prisoners.   My bond with him may release them.   “You are their ransom,” he said “if you survive.   There are more to come, Proserpine.”

Whether or not I wanted to escape from the ravine, I cannot now remember, nor what I did in captivity.   I know only what the hostage knows.   He was stronger than me.



This post combines a Pluto initiation with the fountaining tree of life.  The pictures and images for this, proceed in waves, an alternating current.

Tree lovers, Quantock hills

Dark Hades and Persephone the day.



Trees love, by a creek in Arizona



Descend:  look down from the cliff top through trees to Sea – (Alet, St Malo, Brittany 1988)



Stone slab and secret hieroglyph (language) 1987



Hermes and Persephone 1987.

This drawing has many Hadean elements:  three ears of wheat, the Goddess under earth, the ferrying of souls.  The curving spinal column is a “shorthand” reminder of my ancient lizard nature, containing all those souls and deaths of life and consciousness to come – in horizontal mode.  The ears of wheat are seasonal appearances.  Hermes Trismegistos, top left, oversees.



Pluto and Persephone ’87

Persephone meets her subterranean dark lover.  Alchemical engravings often feature a Saturnine gentleman with an injured leg.  I used to see this in my dreams also.  It is a place or a someone where some healing or completing or time is needed.  And time and the way it unfolds and manifests, is Karma !



Plutonic Mysteries (1) 

This was the first time I twigged the graphic relation of the Venus and Mars glyphs.



Plutonic Mysteries ’87(2)

Looking down through spinal chord into a Yab-Yum of sorts.  I didn’t know the terminology when I did the drawings, and had not heard of Kundalini.  The language arose spontaneously.  It was explosively satisfying to create and combine the light and darkness.  I drew quite slowly and thoughtfully in the surfacing storm.



Elephant trees: Alet, near St Malo, Brittany ’87

Studying Castaneda’s books at the time, these drawings explore and outline the space between the branches and the leaves – my defining lesson as a visual artist.



Conference in the  Wind:  Alet, near St Malo, Brittany ’87

Another outdoor study.  Tipp-ex is a marvellous enhancer, depending what you are drawing.

Tree space atoms ’87

Living upside down and inside out like this, was scary and exhilerating – every atom of the air alive.  Space and the feeling of interior and outer space, is the key.  That same awareness implanted the dimensions of the Cube of Space and the Tree of Life, yet to come.  It acts subconsciously nowadays, but informs my life and work, generally.



4our Trees

They form a four-towered “tower of alchemy” – the vessel, our body, the Tree of Life all in one.  For a lucid and detailed guide to this practice, combining Kabbalah, the Grail, Yoga, breath work and Tibetan Buddhism, see The Tower of Alchemy by David Goddard, Weiser books 1999.



Caduceus Tower Tree 2002

Here is everything combined – the caduceus or healing polarity, the Kabbalah Tree, the levels of the Tower, an oyster idea, and a stimulating problem for the right and left brain:  try to draw the solar and lunar spirals, both hands simultaneously, crossing over, without stopping or leaving the paper.



Grail Trees 2002

Sanctus sanctorum:  rose cross:  the trees’ rings:  oyster shell:  pyramid:  pearl


Fountain linga 

A much more recent drawing, done earlier this year.  I copied it from a photo of a carved Shinto shrine in The Cosmic Embrace by John Stevens.  Apart from reminding me of the Fountain symbolism in trees and human beings, it makes an unusual door-knocker.



Tree Spirit ’88

This image combining bud, yoni and encircling growth of time, is in my mind’s eye this week.  It is like a baby’s hand in utero.



The Chakras on the Tree of Life (1992)

There are seven surrounding sheaths, probably for the planets.  The sheaths of a tree become its bark.  They fountain through the crown, and encircle again the root.



Roots in the Quantock hills



Tree seed Siva Shakti Yantra


31 October, this morning’s thought before posting:  regarding cosmic synchrony, with life’s small details.  This is more apparent to some of us, than to others.  The visibility depends rather on the type of astrology pattern we are born into – and whether we can honour or whether we resist what we are given.

If it is hard to see synchrony as a whole, if daily life is frustration, fog and violence – focus on any one event, relationship or understanding, that has harmony.  Cultivate it like a rose in a garden.  Be creative with it.  The principle invites its own, and gradually expands and links to its own – the osmosis of oasis.  It is like a pattern of fields slowly becoming visible as fog or impediment clears:

“the silvery light that gleams around the clouds 
breath taking, undulates 
a floating, patchwork cloth of fields 
whose margin into faery fades …” 

But we have to keep practicing.  That part of life which is magical or wise – it is not just an island.  Keep giving it attention.  The unfaltering principle is Self created.  If I put my money on connectivity, sooner or later the connections appear for real, and are sustained.  It is a dialogue, Self reflecting:  but left to right, always changing.


This self portrait was done without a mirror, with left and right hand simultaneously;  building the bridge through the brain’s sides, subconscious and self conscious, crossing over.  Here’s looking at you!   The power of my left hand, which falters in life, is where the Teachers are.

Profiles welcome across atlantic;  1987

My heart goes out to all whose homes and lives are devastated in the big East Coast storm, and have to rebuild, recover and be prepared.

At election time:  a wake up call.  It makes the campaigning circus look somewhat irrelevant.  Who looks best able to respond? Who has the gravitas and the troops?  Who is truthful and trust worthy in emergency?  Open question.


Elephant sky 1998




The Man in the Ravine” echoes and invoked a certain spine tingling sound – for me – in Liszt’s late piano piece Sunt Lacrimae Rerum.  It is in the Third Annees de Pelerinage.  The music plummets to a fracturing, jarring depth and height: then into the abyss enters a Hungarian lullaby, far away and ancient like an angel, tender as a child – a strangely integrating  alchemy.  My favourite recording of this, if you can find it, is by Zoltan Kocsis; but this Youtube of Nyiregyazi playing it, has an antique curiousity value;  and Liszt’s manuscript is displayed with it.  The link in caps will find it on google, and other interpretations.  Or the weblink, pasted onto your address bar, opens the video:




On the Liszt topic – (see my 11 August post Maestro – Some Views of Liszt) – there is  more material on his and other composers’ work with Rosemary Brown – including recordings and sheet music – on Elene’s interesting blog,  Elene Explores.  (http://elenedom.wordpress.com)





My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom.

This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.  

I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.

Hades, the Hierophant, and Hallowe’en

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This post, based on seasonal insights with Hades, covers a lot of ground.  About ten days ago it came to mind: last year’s images of Hades and of Hallowe’en from my book about Tarot Arcanum Five, including Ida Craddock’s teaching on sexuality.  Today I added more pictures, and the section on the Hierophant.  It is in three parts, linking Hadean symbolism with the inner Teacher, sexual alchemy, the witchy feminine, and more past-life reflection.   A certain “blue tint” is spreading … a lapis lazuli aroma into the air.


Tarot Arcanum Five: the Hierophant (JA 1991)

4 October 2011 – (1) HADES, Soul maker, Artist

Some time ago, I chose a book from Elisabeth Tomalin’s library:  James Hillman’s The Dream and the Underworld.   It is reminding me of the real meaning of death, which is “completeness”.

Hades, archetype of the Underworld, underlies each psychic and mundane event of life, where the face beneath the mask touches it;  all roads return here. There is the invitation again, to go deep;  without which, everything tends to turn brittle.  Be tuned towards the depth.  Our dreams at night, no matter how apparently prosaic, are alien to life’s oracle.  They arise from the ontology of Hades, outside our enclosures of time.  “Hades’ realm is contiguous with life, touching it at all points, just below it, its shadow brother giving to life its depth and its psyche.” 

This has a strange and consoling thrill.  It reminds me of my childhood odyssey, in touch with the Greeks … and this drawing of Hades – his Grecian beauty – abducting Persephone.   His other name Pluto, is not a Romanisation.  It is from Attica, like Plato, and it means WEALTH.

Hades, 1957

There are other words:  TELOS, like the Telesma.  “When we let it go to Hades, when it dies out of life, (‘what has this to do with my death?’) then essence stands out.”   Hades is the Soul Maker.   From fields of asphodel, the more I turn my flower to Hades, the more it opens to discover. “The call to Hades …   the one absolutely certain event of the human condition, Hades is the unseen one and yet absolutely present.”

I’m aware of this, through one of Francis Lucille’s talks in Shropshire long ago, and also through reading Ann Widdecombe’s delectable novel, about people’s tragic resistance to death and dying, which chains them to tight rooms.   The resistance is instinctive and biological, but it is more than that isn’t it – it is conditioned?  Didn’t wisdom begin with embracing death?   Doesn’t our consciousness stretch across the loom and through the narrow threads of grief and suffering?  Death has no end, death moves, transforms;  it begins here.  I am, you are, eternally alive as essence;  for the cosmos is the thought, the bright glow of an oriental carpet …  and everything I see and smell on a sun-filled Quantock walk along the sky-hills and into the combe-creases, is stuff of thought …  and most things in the human world are fantasy.

Some old men came along in their boots and looked at the view, a fragrant chequer of fields in the Brendon valley. The secret steam train to Minehead crosses it, with intermittent puffs and a long childhood whistle.  But the old men were very sad.  Like the Three Grey Sisters in the story of Perseus, who are blind, they passed the eye around:   “It’ll all be wiped off the map and destroyed, just you see.  Europeans and gypsies, building rubbish everywhere.  The government.  Nobody cares.


They heard this on TV, at home:  so they come, they look, to see what they are told;  plaintive testosterone passes the ball.  And now, on the bus going home, another pair of comrades in the seat behind me, jog up and down the pitch with the gloomy glory of the teams, and whom they lost to.  The skin is thin, stretched on the bones of Reality, it dis-eases and they fall.  It is a pendulum;   a pit for an existential while.

In the creases of the Quantock hills, brown brooks trickle down to Holford Combe, dappled with the sharp gold sun through curly oaks on shining stones. Elder brother, are You with me where my Hades opens and my shades dissolve?   Is that so?  The place of meeting is where life begins.  In the Lovership of Eros and Thanatos, the seed of death is the babe.  Each instant, each freckle of the sky is in the potency so.  The star pierces our screen through the black hole of eternity.


My screen saver came on and I watched it for a while – pictures from my Green Book of Alchemy form conduits of connection one to another, they flow randomly over a series;  the interior Master elicits a subconscious connectivity in the images and their oracular promptings.

Too seldom am I given over to this.   Meetings with my mother sometimes prompt it, not surprisingly, because she encouraged me to draw and to walk long distances, and talked to me about the stars when I was tiny.  She told me, “it has no end, but did it ever begin?”   I am helping her with a small flat laptop, brand new, to store and look at her photographs.  She calls him Thomas.  He will be her picture-box;  but learning him is a frustrating confinement – like words and spelling when we were very young.

Mary on the Quantock hills

It was a clear night, and she set up her telescope, and I saw Jupiter and three of his moons.  No, four!   like Galileo.  Two were very close together.   The furthest are a very long way out from the golden disk;  his gravity.

There is a subconscious flow of pictures.  They are points of Hades through the skin of life stretched over it to tan and dry.   Wherever there is a point, an echo or connection, the soul quivers.   So also are the oaks and fields going past the motorway.   I am in the elder Attica, which discovery blossomed upon me again when I was seven, as soon as I could read fluently enough, and write.  For at the same time, my mother explained to me the constellations.   Ancient Greece is then my early education since time (relatively) immemorial;  a stepping stone from Neolithic lifetimes.  Watch the wood on water, then make something which floats;  and travel upon it.  It is a privilege and an unending adventure, to be human.  When we grew up from childhood and learned to spell, we lost the timeless;   but an artist recaptures and is the timeless.


A person who is dying, who wishes to die, must lose all interest in drinking from the cup;  must inward dive to the essence.  This time comes sooner or later, willy nilly.  It is not to do with the surface will.  Its time cannot be fought, brought forward, nor delayed.  It is the deepest place of meeting, and the most neglected, the most unprepared, in the blind general rule.  All spiritual work encounters death first, to befriend.   It isn’t true to say “There is no death” (as some new-agers and advaitins do);  for death is everywhere!  But it depends how we see it, and if there is a freedom of movement, or if there is tension.  The emotional tension traps muscles, blood and psychology – a window box fantasy.   Emotional tension creates pain.   Mostly we get locked in painful situations of every kind, because the sensation is familiar and in general agreement:  to complain.

Quantock galactic waters



October 2011 – (2) HIEROPHANT:  Interior Perception

Firstly:  the four leading to five.  My vision of Brahma is Siva’s aspect, with four out-facing faces and one in his lotus crown, looking up.

Siva ace of Lotuses, Sacred India Tarot copyright Yogi Impressions books 2011


This means there’s one at the throat hidden, looking down into the interior earth too.   My head Sivaically, is a Cube of Space, a window for the world to happen in:  a window without a frame.

Brahma as  Emperor, Sacred India Tarot copyright Yogi Impressions books 2011

The Power of the Master – the mental plane – gets things to happen.   It is beyond my decisions and resistances, but they are its working tapestry. It is a privilege to feel the LAW OF ATTRACTION in its actual gravitational operation, the green veins of Venus.   The green Colorado river flows through the red Grand Canyon:   Empress through the Emperor, who sits and stands still, erect, all seeing.

Travelling today through my pictures, I close my eyes to immerse.   On the Tarot Cube of Space, the Emperor’s currency as Arcanum Four, flows downthe north east corner edge, as interior sight opens and adjusts.


I seek my inner guide or affirmation, who rises to meet me, as by reflection.   The Emperor (who sets in order) descends to “Hades”, the interior waveband.   The Hierophant’s currency as Arcanum Five, flows up the Cube’s south east corner edge, from the subconscious lower face – The Priestess.   The movement is like the Lovers in the Sri Chakra Yantra:  the male, questing intuition, dives, descends and becomes feminine.   The female moving into expression, rises through a masculine channel – the High Priest or Hierophant.

The male and female triangles – the siva and shakti – arise and fall through each other.   In western metaphysics, this is the Seal of Solomon, or Star of David.



The picture sequence is intuitive, bringing me … this contact, face to face  – by answering activity or response.

Sacred India Tarot Hierophant – Laws of Manu

It is authentic – an unexpected gift from the subconscious.   The Tantric scholar-poet, Ganapati Muni, was Ramana Maharshi’s spiritual brother.  The Muni’s lineage meets me by the waters of Siva’s mountain, Arunachala.   I write:   he is writing.    Like artists, we sketch each other.   You can see by his open face inside the mountain, that he is an artist, a seer, a prophet.   We come to meet, where waters meet;  wherein “the sound is seamless”.    Namaste!

I was originally commissioned to draw the sage Manu, the ancient codifier of Indian laws and spirituality.   He still is.  The Muni’s features flowed as one with Manu;  they have no difference.  The discarnate Masters are radiant through one another;  their faces seem individual to us, but their essence is universal.  They pierce the moving cloth of clouds, as rays from the one Sun.

Manu in the olden days, was a scribe;  a Guardian of the Mysteries.   The Muni, in the twentieth century, was a Sanskrit poet and alchemist;  he unlocked the mantras of the Rig Veda.  He breathed them into his disciples’ hairy ears and they went on ringing.   He wrote epic love poems to the Mother of the worlds. The Hierophant is an intermediary, heaven to earth.   The Muni wears a cloak of peacock hues, resonant also with Siva’s son Skanda, and with the fire god Agni.    The peacock’s cry is an Ashramic sound;  the vessels hold the sacred fire.   The feathers are eyes.  There is a story, that when the Vedic gods and goddesses rashly, using Mount Meru as a stick, stirred up the poison of the world, Siva swallowed it.   It stayed and was transmuted in his throat, turning it brilliant peacock blue.

The Vedic scribe transmits revelation:  the Law.  He keeps the Creator Brahma (see Arcanum 4) under control through strict Sanskrit meter.   The tiger skin is marked rather like a wheel or vortex.   He is like a lily bowed, or a snowdrop.   The five black goats behind him are Sanskrit letters:  the river of wisdom.   Down that peaceful valley flows a brook, and the thin little goats come to drink.    Their horns and hooves connect Pan with Earth:   Pan is “Everything”.   This Hierophant is a poet.  He loves the Goddess, and guards her mysterious Trees.   He is a kundalini adept;  a seed of the Sun.

The river stones at his feet are jewels – indigo, russet, olive and citrine – the colours of earth, the colours in Kabbalah of Malkuth on the Tree.  The uncut precious stones have ruby tinctures.   The ruby is the Stone of the Wise.  The blue periwinkle with five petals, is the Priestess.   The scrolls are Her akashic records, into which he writes and rhymes anew.    Lord … thou art God. The Hierophant is a maker of weddings and weldings, man and woman:  nature, sea and cloud.  Through him they join:  from him the teachings flow like children.

Siva as Rudra dives, to fertilize the deep of the aeons



31 October 2011 – (3) HALLOWE’EN

Now what!   The clock change is hibernatory.  In the night, sharp jags jolt my mind with pictures that invade and fracture my solace.   They are samskaras, touches from past lives;  or they are a rats-tail someone else is thinking, they fly in through the window.  They sting and flush. The nation shifts into winter mode.  The early birds twitter and trains run along their rails.

Sketch of Ida 

I read on into Ida Craddock. She was a Victorian revolutionary, and the book Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic, edited by Vere Chappell, collects together her story and her writings.

Many witches consorting with the devil had in fact heavenly bridegrooms, but, befogged in superstition, projected onto them their bitter old age and persecutions.   The heavenly bridegrooms  patiently attended the deeply buried young soul – the maiden in the tower –  whatever devilish mud was thrown at them.   Astral contacts are notoriously difficult to assess, through the medium’s obscurity and the shadows – pointed hat, broomstick:  she grasps at straws.   The witch situation in womanity has deep scars which were slashed and burned for centuries.   (Perhaps Mr P’s women are sitting with their elder sisters and lighting candles.)

In Ida’s thesis, there are no evil astral entities, even among the incubi and succubi.  Perversions are in the distorted human imagination and its priests.   There are no evil astral entities, because they do their job, like the angels, along the laws of nature.  This is largely a matter of what one asks to “be thou my good.”  The subconscious is amenable to suggestion, and will develop any field the way she is planted.

In Ida’s thesis, for the bridegroom touch of God to manifest in all its glory, a strict social and sexual rectitude is sine qua non.   There are three grades:  “alpha”, “Diana” and the third, which is the intercourse being three way with God.  The first two, comprising procreation-only and ojas retention – i.e. self control – clear the way for the third.  Her point is that penile and vaginal fluids touch and invigorate each other in the Spirit, and flow around body and soul when consciously child making or love making:  and that orgasm sustained peacefully in Binah (sicTree of Life) backs up into the physique and is ecstatic:  the mode of life.  She will flower like the queen in the hive, and receive the whales.  Adapt this subtle private knowledge to the circumstance;  put the seed in the garden, grow the rose. It is the oil of the alchemist for all the working parts!

soul fertilizing 1987

Victorian husbands raped subservient petticoats and despoiled their sensitivity.  They bred generations of blundering libertines and hard pussy;  this has not changed much today, but certain attitudes about it are questioned.  Go on questioning!  When the fire is lit there is a sweet severity and constancy, the passing through the path which has no end.

I think Ida’s conditioning as a Victorian miss is powerful here.   On the one hand she writes about sex with such bold courage and erudition, that they locked her in the loony bin.   On the other hand, her explicit occult principle requires demure conduct.  Conscious orgasm – the self control which is heaven – drives the elixir through breath and pranic blood stream, in child making and love making. The demure conduct in her day was the ruling feminine–subconscious principle in society.   It was shockingly abused, but it prevailed.  It bustled the Empire’s power.  The demureness was, when sexually opened, ecstatic.  When misunderstood, it became hysteric in both men and women.

Today’s women are not demure.   It is in our genes, but the opposite of demureness moves today’s dispensation, and has perhaps desensitized us.    I talk of the depth social currents.   When my cher ami saw the book cover Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic, out popped the male platitude about burning bras and feminism.   I said Ida was not a feminist, but her unlacing of the corset is behind the feminist movement and the getting of the vote and the breaking out of jail.

Ida is an occult flower, of the kind that breaks the hard ground.  Her petals are lotus soft.  Churchmen were sickened by her impudence.  They crushed with all their might and main.   When she was still a young woman she eluded them, she lit the gas oven – and slipped back home through the astral gate.  She left her essays and her scent in circulation.


Goodness!  Today is Hallowe’en, and I am talking of witches:  what we were, and why we are deep down still swirling our black cloaks and howling to the moon.    Why our daughters and ourselves went through the labyrinth;  why some of us are so bereft, why our lovers would not meet us;  why we crossed the valley unfucked, unlit.   Why we are asphodel, seeking the Sun.   Why we must embrace Time and our own witch’s room, to cross the abyss and meet the groom.

Cauldron & black cat

My old r&b friend recorded his new song of Little Bo Peep.   It is about a woman chained to the kitchen sink – (chained to gas ovens in Ida’s day;  their only way out, to put their head in and through) – and so he liberates her, he sends her into her sky, like a butterfly.

This morning’s thought raises Sarah and her guardian, Aunt Zofira – my last life, Cancer 1848 – Capricorn 1895.  An antipodean seer “read it” for me.  The dates and the ongoing theme are verified with a “mathematic” precision, in my present Capricorn-Cancer birth map. For the moment, rest with these two women, the young one and the elder;  give them my silence.

Zofira was a witch.   She had been an Elizabethan witch and she practiced “sexual magick.”  I – Sarah – returned to England from the Caribbean in disgrace.  I became her ward in Chiswick, and then her apprentice.    She taught me drawing and music;  she was an accomplished pianist.   The story goes that a young lad called Didier arrived half dead from Paris where all his family had been slaughtered.  Zofira thrust us together into the cooking pot, knowing I was not destined to live long, and that my and Didier’s passion would burn up many Karmas, plus generating a few.   In some of my dreams there is an old fire of glowing embers, behind a house;  in others, I am shaping a phallic flame-like entity from an underground cauldron.

The tale was tantalizingly left there, back in 2010, when the antipodean seer abruptly and without explanation ended our correspondence.

Be still as Sarah;   let her flower.  It may happen with Mother Demeter in the spring, that my memory awakes and  joins fully with hers, joyfully.

These vivid lifetimes are brief seasons, blown like rainbow bubbles from clay pipe, when I was a woman seer in very ancient Egypt, living between the stars and grains of sand.  I was then the essence and saw all that was and is to come;  at moments I have this whole feeling again, and I call it the Delta, as I befriend human history.   I reconnect that glowing night among the dunes, which are waves whispered by the African wind.   I am the hallows.

This pre-Egyptian perception helped to heal at Hallowe’en, some years ago, a past-life theme in the Peruvian forest border.  My “travel agent” Paul took me around the globe on an inner tour, and I alighted on the emotional force of this South American impression:  a Mayan or Aztec High Priest, who cut out living hearts for the blood of the Tree of Life.   I was pulled into it.  I was this religious monster cutting the trees – like they do now for cocaine and rubber –  and I was also one of his victims, a young girl captured from my forest family;  a child was torn from my womb.    He is my dark force.

My Sarah-life is in the laboratory of Dr Lebecq, a well travelled pseudonym of the Light.  He knew and corresponded with Leibniz mathematicus, so he looks rather like him.  The discussion about all this, just begins.  The equations in my inner life, are images.

The tantra principle is embedded in my life style.   On the physical plane, I crossed the abyss and in due time found the cher ami, who is emotionally very like myself.  (Was he young Didier? … ) But the writing is my love life, with God joining in.  The code is spelled out just sufficiently.   I am not a disciplined meditator.   It is the agreeable muddle which real life is:   it works.   It works because of resting with God – by which I mean, the cosmic laws and their delight.

My Elder Bro – by your wit, LB, and by your leave with frilly sleeve – Greensleeves –  I had a question for you about romance, so as to hear your dry voice;   but life as usual inundated my question (writ in sand) with the answer.   It is the tide.  J Krishnamurti once said there is no conflict with the tide going in and out over the wet sands:   the opposites.   There is no conflict in the flowing nature of the tide:  the living breath.






And now to draw the Hadean threads together:

Early last week, before the Buddha’s blue flower surfaced into my blog (previous post), my father rang up, from his care home cottage, on a Devon hilltop.  In January he will be 90. “When I opened the door into my garden just now, there was a sparkle in the air.  It is so clear and blue, I’m on holiday by the sea.  I don’t have to go anywhere else but here!”

A day or two later, Mr P rang up:  he dreamed he dived into the sea to a turquoise room.  As soon as I started to blog the Buddha piece, the colour of blue periwinkle – the Pure Land – floated in and rested me.  It seems to travel in the air just now;  I feel less tired.   I wonder how universal it is?   The play of the currencies and tones changes week to week. Who else caught sight of and bathes in this colour … or something like it?


It re-invoked the light, recalling the following story – to draw the Hadean threads together:

The Sunflowers –  A dream from the Watershed, in June 1976 

I went into a house in this valley, belonging to an old woman.  Here in her house I have taken off all my clothes, and am lying on a bed.  She and I talk together, she is a maternal sort of person.  In the room we look at two huge white sunflowers on long stems.  Their enormous white blooms, dipping and swaying, devour the heads of dead sunflowers, brown and dry around them, petal by petal – with their own petals.

I am fascinated, spellbound by this miracle, the purposefulness with which the two white flowers eat the dead ones. The beldame seems to live in a place where tourists drop in, perhaps to drink a cup of tea and inspect the marvel of her sunflowers.  She doesn’t run a café or anything like that, but she doesn’t refuse travellers and wayfarers.  She lives in the crease or fold, of this valley.

The sunflowers almost fill the whole room.  I admire them so much that she asks me “would you like to take them home with you?”  They are like an animal in the house.  Perhaps they are a burden to her.

“No,” I said “thank you, but I don’t want to take them from you.  I couldn’t keep them properly fed, it is too great a responsibility for me, it’s very difficult to find suitable food in London for them.  They are so beautiful!  Don’t they need lots of light?  And you know, my place in London faces north.  I don’t think it would be good for them.”

“Ah yes, they do take to the light,” she remarked.  A flickering blue light is flowing into the room all the time, quite intense;  it plays around the great white sunflowers, and they seem to thrive.  But I think I am rather afraid of them … shirking ownership, I’d rather be a spectator.

Something was happening in that other-worldly blue light that does not lend itself to talk or to explanation.  That colour itself has a radiance through which all can be seen, and which is yet impenetrable.  I see the living which bends to take sustenance from the dead.  And there are always the dying.  I can tell only of a magic sunflower, white not yellow, which behaves like an animal, is beautiful, and scares me.

Back in my parents’ car the radio is playing Faure’s Requiem.  Never can I forget such beauty, a multiple acoustic flower, the purity of the boy singing, the hooded waters of the chorus.  The dead in the ground support with a strange tenderness the living generations.  Or is it the other way round?  for they bend, they give each unto the other …  The stereo, being in some way connected to the car’s engine, is making some very strange noises.

My parents think I imagined the sunflowers, or made it all up, because I so longed to see sunflowers like these:  like when I told them I saw swallowtail butterflies down the meadowsweet lane in Cornwall.


Hades and Persephone and Nymphs 1957




My adventure invites fellow travellers.  I am a poet, an artist and a seer.  I welcome conversation among the PHILO SOFIA, the lovers of wisdom. This blog is  a vehicle to promote my published work – The Sacred India Tarot (with Rohit Arya, Yogi Impressions Books) and The Dreamer in the Dream – a collection of short stories (0 Books) – along with many other creations in house.   I write, illustrate, design and print my books.   Watch this space.