The Illusion of Ordinary Life

Audience, Chairs, Show, Hall, AuditoriumI wanted to tell you about my weekend.

That simple intention has taken me on a brief but fascinating journey this morning, so I’ll probably end up telling you about that, too.

Let me start by saying that both the weekend and this morning’s journey have involved little more than sitting in a chair.  As we all know, huge and wondrous journeys can be experienced that way.  We sit in chairs and watch screens, read books, listen to speakers, and new worlds open up.  Then – for the majority of us, at least – the desire to move beyond this vicarious existence kicks in, and we feel the need to head away from the chair and to once again immerse ourselves in ‘ordinary life’.

Ancient, Art, Cemetery, EnglandI’ve spent two solid days sitting in a darkened hall at a conference, listening to a glittering array of speakers – academics, field archaeologists, explorers and the odd metaphysician, all immersed in the study of ancient megalithic sites.  They had devoted huge portions of their lives to the meticulous observation and measurement of structures, carvings and rows of standing stones and now they had gathered to share their discoveries with us.

Flower Of Life, Spiritual, TrippyAgain and again we watched aerial images upon which intricate patterns of geometry had been superimposed.  The golden mean, perfectly dissected circles and squares, Pythagorean triangles and Platonic solids hung ethereally above and within structures created – who knows how? – in times at least as far distant from Pythagoras and Plato as those gentlemen are from us.  We were shown how only by building at that exact latitude could this or that angle exactly mirror the one created by the sun, the moon or some other significant heavenly body with the Earth at a given time.  We marvelled at the accuracy, the deliberation, the sheer effort made by our ancestors to achieve this perfection, only now clear to us thanks to the devotion and vision of the researchers, aided by Google Earth, drones and sophisticated software programs.

I was hunting for a title for this post, and found it in the name of a fine art card I’d purchased at the conference – a sublime piece of artwork by one of the speakers, Nicholas Cope RCA.  I’d love to reproduce it here, but didn’t gain permission, so please momentarily click on The artwork to take a look.

This beautiful image sums up the content of the conference I’ve been discussing here rather well.  However it was the title which intrigued me even more.  It encompassed an idea that had been tugging at my consciousness – just beyond reach of words – throughout the weekend.  ‘Where does the idea come from?’ I asked myself.  That led to this morning’s journey.

Image result for rene guenonI typed ‘The Illusion of Ordinary Life’ into the search engine and found myself reading an article by V Susan Ferguson, based on the work of one René Guénon.

Yes!

I’d never heard of him until today, yet here was this French Catholic, turned Sufi, metaphysical intellectual, writing back in the 1940s and encapsulating the very idea that had been nagging at me:

We are devoted to measuring the endless surfaces of what we imagine to be solid matter.

The full article (well worth reading) can be found here.  I suspect I’ll be getting better acquainted with Monsieur Guénon over the coming weeks.

You see there were hints – tiny subtle numinous ones – throughout the weekend nudging me towards that utterly obvious idea.

There was the speaker who marvelled that many of his measurements of an ancient artefact came out at an exact, and significant, number of centimetres. (Did the ancients use centimetres??)  There was the story recounted by one of my companions of a sarcophagus in Egypt which – she’d been there and experienced it – despite being solid granite was an exact fit for everyone in their party who lay inside it, from a guy 6ft 5 tall to a lady of barely 5ft and all in between.  There was a symbologist who  showed a dizzying array of connections between words and symbols from widely different cultures and time-frames which could be meshed together to create a perfect whole, with each element adding greatly to the gestalt so formed.
“What’s real,” this lady told the audience, with a knowing smile, “is the space between the forms.”

Cpu, Processor, Electronics, ComputerSo, if I can tear myself away from the magical information technology that seamlessly brings me together with concepts, images and ideas from other times and places via electromagnetic waves in the aether, I’ll head off to the garden, to ground myself in the ‘ordinary world’ – the sensory feedback that is integral to my physical experience.  As I do so, though, I won’t fall into the trap of pondering the wonders I’ve been shown in the past two days in terms of physicality alone.

We have far more gnosis available to us, far more ways of connecting to the Ancients and their megaliths than with software, tape measure and protractor.  Just as the archaeologist’s meticulous drawing of a ground plan gives us only a limited idea of the 3D structure, so that physical structure, as we perceive it in terms of length, width and height, gives only the smallest hint of its full conception and significance.  For that we have to relinquish our addiction to the illusion of the physical and move into realms that are not governed by time and space; move into realms more like the ones we connect with on our computers, yet very different.

Stone on Stone

Image result for John Aubrey

John Aubrey, courtesy of Wiki

I have ‘Rosie’ (author of the brilliant La Tour Abolie site) to thank for introducing me to Ruth Scurr’s wonderful biography of John Aubrey.  It is, as Philip Pullman says on the cover, ‘Irresistible’.  I’m quite certain that if we hadn’t inconveniently lived 350 years apart, Mr Aubrey and myself would have found many common interests to converse about.

We share – across time – a keen interest in antiquities.  His discovery of the Aubrey holes at Stonehenge, his insistence that this structure was NOT a council chamber built by the Danes but dated back much further and his devotion to preserving what was left of Avebury before local residents could demolish any more of it to build their homes and walls are well known.  His jottings, meticulously collected and compiled by Scurr, though, tell so much more of this indefatigable gentleman.

He was not a meticulous diarist like Pepys.  He charted the English civil war, the rule of Cromwell, the Great Fire of London and other major events almost in passing.  There is a brief account of the Restoration of King Charles II, for example, but at that time, Aubrey had something more pressing on his mind.

In March 1660, you see, he acquired a ring containing ‘a curious Turkey, or turquoise stone’.  This stone fascinates him for years.  When the ring breaks, he decides not to have the stone remounted, in case the heat should cause damage to the crystal.  Why the fascination?  Well this is where the story – and time itself – become rather fuzzy…

As synchronicity would have it, I too acquired a curious crystal – in March of this year.  It’s the one I found mysteriously sitting on a path in my garden.  Three hundred and fifty-seven years apart, both Mr Aubrey and myself found ourselves pondering our respective stones with much interest and surprise.  We both noticed that areas of the stones which had been cloudy became inexplicably clear, while other areas clouded.  Our ponderings continued independently of each other until I reached the point in the book where he had made this discovery: a day or two after mine appeared.

Strange, I thought.

In the July, Aubrey records:

My turquoise ring has changed again.  Now the cloudy spot in the north of the ring has vanished entirely and the one in the south has lessened.

By October:

(It) has become cloudy again in the north and a little speck has appeared in the middle.

The following February he finds a halo has formed around the northern cloudy spot and determines to take it to Mr Robert Boyle, no less, who has an interest in ‘movement within stones’.  Sadly, there does not seem to be an account of this meeting, if it ever took place.  I’d love to have known Mr Boyle’s opinion.

So now, not only did I have my own curious stone to watch and contemplate, but Mr Aubrey’s turquoise to consider as well.  How could these solid objects go through such obvious changes?  Were we imagining it?  Was it simply dependent upon the light in which we viewed our respective stones?  And if it WAS happening… why?

Bubbles!

Then, last Friday morning, I woke to find the most amazing transformation in my stone.  There is a face, roughly the shape of a parallelogram, which had been a diffuse, swirling, misty purple.  Overnight, though, it had transformed to contain countless tiny, and very clear, bubbles.  Almost all of them contained a central tiny circle or dot, several of these being a deep red colour.  Some seemed near the surface while other appeared as if deep under water.  It resembled a clump of frogspawn, and gave me the distinct but illogical sense of new life forming.

It continues to change.  The ‘bubbles’ are still visible, but are gradually fading into the mists again.  I wonder what its next trick will be.

At the weekend I asked my friend Will to try a remote viewing of the crystal, asking him to search within it and hunt for impressions beyond the physical.  As he focused on it, he didn’t see the stone at all, but gained some clear impressions of shapes, colours and a landscape – a vast desert with hills or mountains in the far distance.  He also commented that time, and especially the future, felt relevant.

So what do you make of all that, dear reader?  Comments would be most welcome.

I’ve long felt that the distinction between living and non-living is wrong.  I subscribe to Seth’s view that all matter contains consciousness.  When I consider the enormous discoveries made by the late Masaru Emoto about memory in water, I wonder if we are on the brink of discovering similar properties in crystal.

How I wish I could chat this through with Mr Aubrey.  But then, who is to say I’m not doing so already, at some level of consciousness?  After all, I’m unable to account for how this pristine crystal appeared in the middle of my garden.  Maybe it was sent to me, or left by a passing etheric gentleman on horseback…

 

 

Warning – nudity and flashing images

Oh dear, sorry about the gratuitous title, but there may be some readers who will find the image shocking or upsetting.  I’m certainly not sharing this to shock or arouse.  It’s just that it helps me to tell a most interesting story.

Last Wednesday was Imbolc – February 1st: the celebration of the first stirrings of the Celtic year.  Such events are taken seriously here in Glastonbury, and I’ve always thought it a lovely festival, with the promise of renewal and springtime to come.  Be that as it may, on this particular Imbolc, I wasn’t feeling at my best.  There was a keen wind, the usual grey cloud cover and I’d been to the doctors (something I only do when absolutely necessary – about once every 3-4 years, on average) as I needed medication to clear up a persistent infection.

As the sun was getting low in the sky, I started the ten minute walk home from the town centre to my cottage, which is on a busy road leading towards the famed Glastonbury Tor.  Although I’d stopped to admire a garden full of snowdrops, I couldn’t claim to have been celebrating Imbolc in any sense.  One of my fellow pedestrians, however, had chosen her own unique way to do so.  I heard the light slap of feet on the pavement behind me (feet, mark you, not shoes) and was overtaken by a completely naked woman, jogging lightly towards the Tor (or maybe Chalice Well or the White Spring – they’re all clustered together).  She appeared calm, intent and focused, not in any distress and quite comfortable with her condition.

My first thought was how cold she must be; I was huddled in my padded waterproof.  My second was how easy, comfortable and confident she must feel in her body, to allow the world to see her that way.  My third thought, I have to confess, was that this incident would make a most interesting remote viewing subject for Will.

Consequently, the following Sunday, I suggested he tune into the street outside my house (which he has never visited) at 4.15 on the previous Wednesday, to see if he could locate something incongruous and unexpected.  This was his response:

Got strong feeling of a large animal like an elephant or hippo, a large flat high visibility reflective-like board or screen. Generally a lot of bright colours across the scene. Weaker feelings of a lot of brightly coloured balls moving around.

Right.

Well the large wild animal made me laugh, obviously.  As you’ll see from the video below, the poor lady was by no means hippo-like!  On the other hand we are very rarely exposed to so much bare skin outdoors – especially in an English February – and there was something of the wild animal about her, but not one with fur (and as Will pointed out, the wild animals you would expect to see are far smaller than humans, which could be why his mind gave him a large animal).  As chance would have it, someone had taken this video of her walking past my house in the other direction, earlier in the day and posted it on You Tube, so I was able to show Will what he saw.

But the bright lights and coloured balls??  That had me foxed completely…. until later in the day, when I was mentally replaying my journey home from town in my mind.

Signal Lamp, Siren, Ambulance, PoliceSuddenly it came to me. Moments before my encounter with the lady, an ambulance had gone screeching past – a riot of bright colours and high-vis yellow, momentarily lighting up the grey day.  Its signal lights flashed on and off – balls of light appearing and disappearing.  To William, viewing the scene remotely some days later, the image of the vehicle would have moved across the scene so fast it would have appeared like a screen flashing past.

When I shared that information with him, Will commented:

Yes that fits well.  I only saw it from the side but did wonder if it was an ambulance.  Not usually very good at identifying specific objects unless they’re something that can be expected, due to the scene.

For me – and I hope for you – it was a fascinating insight into how visions are interpreted by the mind.

A Journey into Consciousness

Scientists now say that energy and matter are one.  They must take the next full step to realize that consciousness and energy and matter are one.
Seth – Dreams, ‘Evolution’ and Value Fulfillment Sept 25th, 1979

Computer, Quantum, Science, SpaceAre we there yet?

Quite a huge leap for us isn’t it?  Especially, I’d guess, for scientists.  By and large, they don’t seem to like Consciousness very much.  I suspect that’s because Intelligence gets in the way.

But I digress.  Already.  Before I’ve even started.

Re-finding that Seth quote yesterday, I discovered that – while it had gone right over my head the first time I read it – I was now ready to look it squarely in the eye and at least attempt to see what it was showing me.

I’ll start by travelling, figuratively, inside my body.  Here I can locate a cell.  It’s very small.  I’d need a microscope to see it.  However I know it’s there.  At this very moment it’s busily doing whatever it is that cell is supposed to do, in order to keep my body working.  The cell is matter – definitely; it’s part of me.  It is also energy; if I could look deeper, I’d see all the electrons and photons and so forth whizzing around it – pure energy.  And is it conscious?  Yes.  I’m happy to accept that ‘my’ consciousness is spread around my body, not lodged in my head or heart, for example.  I’m also aware of the concept of Cellular Consciousness, as proposed by Bruce Lipton, which is gradually taking hold in some areas of science.

Right, so my cells are conscious units of matter/energy – every single one of them.  Are they conscious of the entity I call me?  Maybe, dimly.  They certainly work very hard to keep me in shape, to repair me when bits get injured or protect me when I’m ‘under attack’ from other conscious bits of energy/matter.  Perhaps somewhere in their consciousness they have a blueprint of the organ they are part of – the lung or kidney or nerve.  Possibly their consciousness extends to the physical body that contains all those organs and substances – the one encased in skin – the one I’m accustomed to define as ‘me’.  Or not.

Where shall I go next?  I’m tempted to start scrabbling around hunting for the consciousness in my pen, my mug, my keyboard.  They all have matter, after all, and thus energy.  And I think I’m just catching a glimpse of the consciousness inherent in them, but to find it, I need to head off somewhere else first.

Let’s go here:

Oh I love fractals!  They make it all so easy.  So that – if we think in terms of pure consciousness – could have been me heading into my body and finding an organ, and then a cell, then delving into that cell and finding other stuff that is also a perfect replica of all the rest.  Similarly, the ‘me-body-thing’ could have been somewhere in the middle of the zoom and ‘my’ consciousness would be out there in something far vaster and wider.  Am I aware that I am a part of that something?  Maybe dimly…  Maybe a bit more so than I was a year ago.

Like the scientists (and others) I get ensnared in Intelligence.  I start out wondering how conscious something is, although I never ask ‘how matter’ or ‘how energy’ it is.  That’s because I’m linking consciousness to thinking and knowing.  I may know things a cat doesn’t and think things it can’t, and vice versa, but I’m no more or less conscious than it.  When I can shake off the intelligence thing and accept that consciousness simply IS, it becomes far easier.

Man, Winter, Snow, Sitting, WoodI’m all caught up in ‘I think, therefore I am’.  But where am I when I stop thinking?  When am I, where I stop thinking, for that matter?  It doesn’t happen that often, but when it does, I’m no place and no time.  I’ve moved beyond them and beyond my physical body, yet ‘I’ am still conscious.

Regular readers won’t be surprised to find remote viewing popping in here.  I’m quoting it because it’s a state in which logical/intelligent thinking seriously gets in the way.  My viewing partner and I find that frequently.  Sensations arrive from the location or object to be viewed, whether that is in the past, present or future, but then the mind starts to suggest something like, “Ah, well if I’m viewing a railway station that must be the platform, or the buffet…” and then you lose it.  When the intelligent mind has nothing much to latch on to (the location of a specific person a week into the future, for example) the viewings tend to work best.

In a recent post from Ask The Council, I was given answers to a question about how RV works.  Here’s a small portion of the reply:

The Council says when you are able to do remote viewing, you are very connected to your higher spiritual self. They say because we are all one, in a spiritual sense, someone who is able to view remotely is theoretically able to know anything about anyone, anywhere.

The Council says remote viewing works as we become more than our human selves. With the belief in remote viewing and by trying to accomplish this, you open up part of yourself that’s ready to see what you choose to view remotely. Because we are all connected and all one, when you view remotely you are really looking at an expanded version of yourself that includes others you are connected to.

Theory Of Relativity, Albert Einstein

Is ‘c’ the speed of enlightenment/consciousness?

So Consciousness:  We have it at cellular level and beyond, and those of us ‘evolved’ enough to be able to, can expand it outwards to where time/space/physicality is no longer a barrier and connect with those with whom we have a conscious connection.  Beyond that, of course, we’re connected to everyone and everything – even my mug and my pen…

 

A Newly Tiled Roof

Roof, Home, Tile, New, RoofingI remember a time when Time seemed to behave itself almost perfectly.  I went through life, things happened, and once they’d happened they were consigned to a bit of my mind labelled ‘Memories’.  Anything beyond the Now I was in at that moment was labelled ‘Future’, and although I could sometimes have a good guess at some of what was to come, there was never anything fixed or certain about it.

It wasn’t quite perfect, though.  I remember that, too.  There were the glitches.  Most were too brief or indistinct to take much notice of, but a few of them stuck stubbornly in my mind, nagging me to notice them.

You get them too?  Of course you do.  We all do.  Maybe we try to pass them off with a casual, “Oh, what a coincidence…”

You ‘knew’ that friend was going to ring you.  You were just thinking about that person, and there they were, walking round the next corner.  Somehow you knew which song was coming up next on the radio, before it started playing.

Sometimes, though, ‘coincidence’ just won’t do as an explanation.

The day I lay in bed, in that drowsy half-awake-half-asleep state and heard a lady telling me I’d have to move out of my house, would have been easy to pass off as a dream, except that five hours later I was phoned by an estate agent with the same voice, telling me my landlord was selling up and I would have to leave.  I think that was the day I stopped believing Time worked the way it was meant to.

Since that day, I’ve been on the lookout for proof that there’s more to this Time malarkey than might seem apparent.  With the help of a couple of very good friends,  I’ve come as close as I can to a double blind experiment.  See what you make of this:

  • I tell my remote viewing partner that I have no idea where I’ll be at 1 pm six days ahead.  I ask him to view my location at that point.
  • He does a viewing and texts me to say I’ll be somewhere with a row of tall, thin trees, a car park, a statue with something round at its base – maybe containing water, a very strong light source and a rectangular building with a newly tiled roof.
  • In order to avoid consciously hunting out a place that would fit his description, I ask another friend – one who has no connection with him at all – to drive me to a location of her choice on the target day, and at 1 o’clock.  I tell her Will has viewed the place, but nothing of what he has seen.
  • On the day, she has chosen a venue and drives me there, arriving at 12.15, but the place she had chosen has closed down, so she makes the decision to head to a garden centre some miles away.
  • 20161008_125920_resizedWe reach the garden centre at 12.56.
  • I immediately see a row of trees, including two tall poplars.
  • We stop in the car park.
  • We walk into the main building and see a small and peculiarly ugly statue of a cherub/fat child pushing a wheelbarrow, containing a well-watered plant.
  • As we walk out towards the plant area, I notice that the building is lit by huge, industrial halogen lamps.  At exactly 1 pm I am standing directly under one.  I then walk outside and – for the first time in two days – the sun comes out.
  • None of the buildings is tiled – newly or otherwise, but apart from that, the matches seem pretty good.
  • We spend some time in the garden centre, then prepare to leave.  As we come out of the main entrance, a movement beyond the boundary fence of the car park catches my eye.
  • It is a builder climbing a ladder on the roof of a newly built house.  It is covered with black roofing felt, with piles of roof tiles laid out across it.  The man is just beginning to tile the roof.  Next to the house is the one he and his companion had presumably completed during the morning.  It is the only building on this new housing development that has a finished roof.

So where does that leave Time?  William didn’t just see where my location would be six days ahead – a location neither I nor anyone else had decided on; he saw it at the moment in time that I was there.  Six days before, those houses would only have been partially built.  A few hours later, there would have been more than one newly tiled building.  Will only saw one.  Therefore he must have viewed it as it was at 1 pm on that particular day.

I’m not denying the existence of Time.  Obviously, it played a crucial role in our experiment.  What I’m suggesting, though, is that Time is infinitely bendy.  Once we believe that we can move beyond it, dipping in and out where we wish, that can happen.  Certainly I’m incredibly lucky to have William to work with.  He possesses exactly the kind of ‘A-Thought‘ or autistic thinking which allows him to open his mind beyond ‘common sense’ and into realms most of us can only glimpse.  No matter how seemingly crazy the experiments I suggest, he simply responds, “Yes, I’m happy to try that.”

And he succeeds.

 

 

Out of Time

Yes, it’s complicated.  What I’m discovering about LIFE isn’t the way we expected things to work.  It flies in the face of just about everything we’ve been told and there will be some – probably many – good, wise and thoughtful people, who just won’t be able to understand this, or fit it into their world view.

Note:  It is nothing like what The Matrix portrays.  It is not sinister.  It is not a tale of cruelty and exploitation.  But, like Neo, once you are exposed to it, there’s no going back.

My world view is being expanded by it, and a few people may want to similarly expand theirs.  If you are one of them, I bid you welcome.  If not, take the blue pill, dear friends, and simply click off here.

So, how deep does the rabbit hole look?

On Sunday 11th September, I texted William, my remote viewing partner, who was, as usual, right across the country in London.  I told him I knew where I would be the following Saturday (17th) at 12.45.  I asked him, as he’d done on a previous occasion, to try remotely viewing this future location of mine and to tell me what he got.

Fifteen minutes later, Will sent me this text:

I got initially two large tanks of water with something large floating/submerged in them.

A room with a curved ceiling and tiled walls, possibly yellow.

Loads of bright colours a bit like a rainbow.

Not so sure about this but did think maybe a tall round tower a bit like a helter-skelter.

Later got a circular arrangement of tall pillars.

A dome shaped thing with something tall on top – possibly a cross.

Some concrete steps.

A strange kind of triangular-shaped wall that has a door/gap in it – possibly white.

Something like trenches with a small thing sticking up by them.  I think it’s red.

Got an image of a board-like thing with lots of information on.

Also did briefly get an image of you in a darkened room but with lots of extremely varied and brightly coloured objects around.  Some at least were like hanging sheets.  I think there was someone else.

I knew that on that future date I would be at my hairdresser’s.  I had the appointment card in my pocket.  I hadn’t, of course, told Will that, and he has never seen the place.

You’re wondering, now, what kind of crazy hairdresser’s I attend!  How could he have got those wild images from a hair salon?

Well, the last section was a pretty good fit for the room I’d be in.  It’s eclectic, with those trendy, rather dim light bulbs, where you can see the filament, and lots of pretty hanging things and mirrors.  On the day of the appointment there was, very unusually, only me and my stylist in the salon, so he’d got the number of people right.  (A week in advance, remember, yes!)

20160919_105530_resized_1Now I’ll show you a picture of the building I was going to be in.  I’d be in the ground floor room, behind the purple window, just the other side of this mural.  He always tends to pick up the outside of a building if I’m indoors, and I was really hoping he’d get this.  (I took this photo today.  Someone has dumped an old mattress beside the litter bin, but that wasn’t there on Saturday, so of course it wasn’t viewed.)                                     Let’s look carefully:

The ‘two tanks of water’ are the lake, split by the black framed information board into two as you look at it.  The hand of the – submerged – Lady of the Lake floats out of it, holding the sword.

20160917_122403_resizedWould you see the whole image as a ‘room’ with a curved ceiling, if you had no idea what you were looking at?  There’s a yellow border all round it with a design reminiscent of  tiles.

 

The rainbow is obvious.

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And this has to be what he saw as a helter-skelter.  Can you just see the spiral energy lines around King Arthur’s sword?  No wonder Will was doubting himself by this point!

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The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey – an arrangement of tall pillars.

 

20160917_122151_resizedBetween the eye and the rainbow is Glastonbury Tor – dome shaped, with concrete steps and the famous ruined church tower on top.

Next I think Will’s viewing pans out to see the whole wall with its triangular gabled top and the tourist information board (which he later identifies) appearing like a doorway in it.

20160917_122245_resizedThe trenches are probably the black base of the wall with a course of brick paving below them.  This detail shows why they made him think of trenches, perhaps.  And the small thing sticking up is the litter bin, I suspect.

Apologies for the dreadful formatting, but I hope you can see enough of it to get the idea.

I’m not going to attempt to explain or theorise about it today.  All I’m saying is that this seems to me to give the best proof I’ve yet received that my friend is able to ‘see’ my location at a specified point in the future in considerable detail and to describe it to me a week before I get there.

Image result for glastonbury mural

Stone Mullions

2014-02-28 11.01.26A lovely word – mullions – don’t you think? And the sheer romance of having stone mullions (window frames) was one of the factors that induced me to buy LIME Cottage.

Of course they’d been painted and were yellowing and peeling when I first saw the house, but my meticulous builder and his lads cleaned the outside windows back to the original stonework, even going to the local quarry at Doulting (from where the original stone came, all those centuries ago) and bringing back stone dust to mix with the filler for any cracks that needed repair.

The results were fantastic.  I was delighted.

IMG_20150708_100309Then I began decorating the upstairs front room.  Without a thought I started removing the flaking paint on the window frame, expecting to sand it down and paint over it.  That was when I discovered that with minimal effort, I was revealing the stone on the inside too.

Exciting!

I beavered away with the paint scraper – some parts were easier than others, and had soon exposed a decent sized chunk of stone.

My Man Monday arrived the next day.  LIME Cottage and I like our Man Monday.  He’s a wonderful, intuitive odd-job man who adores old buildings and knows exactly how to treat them.  He comes on Mondays because that’s his day off from running his organic wholefood restaurant.  He was as thrilled as I was to see the stonework and agreed that it had to be cleared.  He showed me how to use various parts of a chisel to remove the paint and buff up the surface.  IMG_20150708_100316A YouTube video taught me how to re-putty the glass (surprisingly easy and fun – like playing with Plasticine) and I was happy.

I suspect the stone had remained untouched for centuries.  Then someone – probably in the 1950s, judging by the materials used, had skimmed a layer of plaster over the stone and covered it with a thick golden lacquer of some sort.  I remember the front door of my parents’ new-build house, in 1956, being covered with this same material, and my father’s deep delight and pride at having this new state-of-the-art finish applied to it.  Maybe whoever was the cottage’s custodian back in those days was equally proud of their work.

The next layer – in the sixties perhaps – was a very pretty pale turquoise – just the colour I probably would have chosen myself, had the mullions not decided it was their time to breathe again.  A few coats of ‘brilliant white’ gloss topped things off, but sun and many years of neglect had worked their magic, providing cracks and crannies for my chisel to get a hold.

IMG_20150711_172246I’ve left flecks of the earlier coats here and there.  They are, after all, part of the cottage’s rich history, as are the dents and chips in the stone.

Sometime in the future, no doubt someone will decide to cover the stone again, with some new technological breakthrough.  That’s fine, and as it should be.  History doesn’t stop.  The cottage will do as it’s always done, adapt and change with the ages.

The stone mullions will continue to look out on the road below, The camper vans and hatchbacks, delivery lorries and tankers, tourists and neo-pagans added to their store of memories.

I love to imagine black-clad puritans and straw-chewing ploughmen passing beneath them; earnest men with pitchforks and muskets rallying to Monmouth’s rebellion; gents in curly wigs, smoking long clay pipes; ladies in lace and sprigged muslin frocks; farm carts and haywains; ponies and traps; horse-drawn coaches filled with journeying Victorians, keen to view the Abbey’s ruins; Dion Fortune and her retinue heading to secret ceremonies at her house, just down the road; eager young farm boys hurrying to sign up to fight in the Great War; heartbroken parents heading to church to mourn for them; hippies with flowers in their hair off to climb the Tor…

My beautiful stone mullion windows have seen all that and more, and caked as I am in stone dust and lead paint chippings, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my intimate encounter with their story.

 

In another life…

Tipis painted by George Catlin who visited a n...

I wonder which side of the fence you’re on.

‘Past Lives’ is one of those subjects that tends to divide people pretty squarely into those on the one side who roll their eyes and mutter, “Oh yeah – always Pharaohs or Native American chiefs.  Why never a road sweeper from Luton in the 1920s?”, and people on the other side who are more than eager to discuss their latest regression to a lifetime in days of yore.

Me?  I’ve been on a knife edge between sceptic and believer.  I’ve always had sympathy with the non-believers, and their point is a valid one.  You never DO find mystics who regress you to road sweeping or pig-farming days, and statistically, there must have been far more of these over the centuries.  On the other hand, I’ve been convinced by too many personal experiences and trusted channelled messages.  I do believe in reincarnation and while I don’t go off hunting my other lives out, they do tend to find me, once in a while.

In the last week, it finally dawned on me why the ‘past’ lives we hear about take place at some pivotal and celebrated point in the world’s history.  It’s so blindingly obvious, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to figure it out.  Never mind, I’m there now, so what follows is my explanation.

Edgar Cayce (1877–1945) was a psychic of the 2...

Edgar Cayce (1877–1945) was a psychic of the 20th century and made many highly publicized predictions.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently bought a slim and elderly book entitled Edgar Cayce on Atlantis.  It was written by his son in the 1960s and claims to bring together all his comments on the fabled land, mostly from his ‘entity life readings’ – what would now be called channelled past life information.

The sceptic in me raised a quizzical head when I read in the introduction that over 50% of the people he did readings for had – according to Cayce – past lives in Atlantean times.  As I read on through the book, I noticed that almost all these lives were said to take place around times of huge upheaval – just prior to, during or after one of three cataclysmic events in which vast parts of the Atlantean lands were destroyed, apparently by weaponry or technology invented by the inhabitants.

Cayce’s subjects all seem to have belonged to one of two warring factions.  A sizeable proportion were priests or priestesses, while most of the rest were what would now be seen as engineers, technologists or scientists of some kind – many personally associated with the building or maintenance of the weaponry which caused the destructions.

Obviously we have all heard the legends of the sinking of Atlantis and some will have read other accounts of scientific experiments or technology being tragically misused in various ways in those far-off times.  It seemed to me rather odd, though, that all these people – living in the first half of the 20th century – should have such similar past lives.

Then I thought on.

Has everyone had other lives? How many have we had?  This is the reply Neale Donald Walsch received in Conversations With God, Book 1:

“It is difficult to believe there is still a question about this. I find it hard to imagine. There have been so many reports from thoroughly reliable sources of past life experiences. Some of these people have brought back strikingly detailed descriptions of events, and such completely verifiable data as to eliminate any possibility that they were making it up or had contrived to somehow deceive researchers and loved ones.

You have had 647 past lives, since you insist on being exact. This is your 648th. You were everything in them.  A king, a queen, a serf. A teacher, a student, a master. A male, a female. A warrior, a pacifist. A hero, a coward. A killer, a savior. A sage, a fool. You have been all of it!”

That makes sense to me.  Given this plethora of past lives to select from, then, and the era in which Cayce was working, it’s unsurprising that these particular lives were pAble, atomic bomb detonated in 1946 by the US ...ulled out of the psychic bag.  In the twenties, thirties and forties, weapons technology was developing at an alarming pace.  The first WMDs were created.  Of all the lives these individuals had experienced, surely the cataclysmic destruction of a civilisation provided them with exactly the warnings they needed.

There is no way for us to know whether some of the people Cayce spoke to in his ‘sleep’ went on to avert another series of catastrophes, but I like to think they did.

If there is any value in hearing about our past lives, surely it is to find the events that can help us to make positive and informed decisions in our current lifetime.  That has certainly been the case for me.

 

 

 

Imbolc – Stirring Stuff

English: Wheel of the Year with Fire Festivals...

It would be difficult, living where I do, not to be aware of Imbolc.

I’m neither Wiccan nor Pagan.  I’m not anything that has a code of beliefs, special days, rituals or particular observances; I’m simply a soul, part of which is being human for the time being.  That, though, doesn’t stop me from enjoying aspects of the beliefs others hold and Imbolc is one of my favourites, because it resonates deeply with my own feelings at this time of year.

It lies midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox and marks the first stirrings of the year, as the Earth wakes from its winter sleep (at least, here in the Northern Hemisphere it does).

English: Catkins

That stirring is evident all around Glastonbury.  Catkins, snowdrops and new lambs – even a few early daffodils can be seen, despite the biting winds and frozen ground.  All of them signals that winter is passing, days are lengthening and spring is not too far away.

Surely I’m not alone, though, in feeling that same stirring within myself.  A month ago, when everyone was heralding the New Year, new beginnings, resolutions and the like, I’d cheerfully have snuggled up in bed, content to dream the days away – happy to hibernate and mirroring the Earth in its need for a deep slumber to recover from a frenetic year of growth and build strength for the times to come.

Now, though, I’m restless.  I want to read – make new discoveries and connections.  I want to travel, internally and externally – visit unfamiliar places or find new routes to the old ones.  I want to study, learn and share new ideas, visions and insights.

The cottage is a chaotic mass of new projects – everything from knitting a fantasy rainforest (to decorate an empty hallway 🙂 ) to scribbled notes on Atlantis; from exploring crystal technology to fine-tuning my ideas for educating Version 2.0 children.  Nothing has blossomed yet or come to fruition.  It’s far too early for that, but beneath the surface, all is seething movement and activity.

In my heart, body, mind and soul I’m marking this magical time of the year and celebrating these stirrings that welcome the new, as the seasons turn again.

Celebrating Solstice my way

 

Living as I do in Glastonbury, there are endless ways in which to welcome these turning points in the year.  All day today there have been and will be meditations, retreats, activations, celebrations and gatherings.  Robes will be donned, headgear dusted off and worn; drums will be hit and fires lit.  Invocations will be said to ancient gods and goddesses and dances and rituals will be solemnly performed.

 

The diversity of beliefs and observances is wonderful and adds to the magic of this unique place, but I have not joined in.

 

My pictures are grainy and blurred, but they mark my own personal Solstice celebration.  I don’t follow the angelic or shamanic paths.  I’m not a pagan or a druid.  I simply AM and I walk my own path, happily and with humility and gratitude for being a part of this wonderful game of Life.

 

Yesterday I welcomed the longest night of the year by watching a beautiful sunset across the Polden Hills as I painted the walls of LIME Cottage’s study.  What a glorious back drop for such a mundane task!  (No photos of that – I was far too paint-spattered to risk touching the i-Pod 🙂 )

So today Chalice Hill winter solstice 2014I headed out early and admired the mistletoe-laden apple trees on Chalice Hill as the sky started to lighten.

solstice torFurther along the road, the Tor came into view.  The angelic light to the left came from a street lamp, by the way – at least I think it did…

Usually I – and many others – head up to one of the hills.  Today, though, I decided to take advantage of my first solstice spent living just above the edge of the Somerset Levels, so I took the Old Butleigh Road and wandered down to the fields and rhynes below the town.

By now morning had broken, so it seemed very fitting – solstice blackbirdin an Eleanor Farjeon kind of way – that a blackbird began singing in a tree right next to me.  You can just see him – tail in the air – in the lightest part of this photo.

Away to the left, across fields that are already heavy and clogged with water, the clouds had parted enough to let in some dawn light.  No sunshine, but solstice sunrisecertainly an ending to the longest of nights and a promise of the return journey, with days gradually lengthening at the turn of the year.

So no drums, robes, bells or whistles for me as I headed back uphill along the gloriously-named Cinnamon Lane (pausing to greet a pair of sheep who had somehow strayed into the children’s playing field there and were grazing gratefully).

I felt grateful too, to have witnessed and welcomed the solstice dawn in this beautiful place at this very magical time of year.

In homage to that blackbird and with seasonal greetings to all who read or follow my little blog, I send this with a wish that however you mark or celebrate the turning of the year, you may have a peaceful, joyful and memorable experience and find something to enjoy as each new dawn arrives.  Meanwhile, I’ll return to the painting 🙂