Dumnonia rises again

Making Magic Circles

[Devon and Cornwall were once united as Dumnonia until the Saxons took Devon a millennium ago and ethically cleansed it. I’ve always felt that was one of history’s mistakes.]

If there’s a swarming of UFOs over Buckfast Abbey on Saturday afternoon, it’s okay, it’s just our lot doing a quickie. They’re doing some frequency modulation and levitatory assistance while us lot downstairs are cranking up a transdimensional forcefield down at Southpark community centre.

Yes, the Cornish are coming back, bearing a load of insight detonators and love-bombs but, since Dartmoor is geologically stable, we’re not setting out to create too many earthquakes. Just some gentle, barely-perceptible humming, though it might make a few loose bits in the vicinity rattle surreptitiously.

Penny will be making sure the urn is hot for a cuppa afterwards. It’ll be okay – not exactly routine maintenance, but we don’t anticipate major security breaches, though we might stretch the laws of nature a wee bit, but it won’t hurt. We’ll have it sorted by the time we’re finished. And we’ll wash up the dishes afterwards – though there might be a whiff of incense left behind.

There’s a jackdaw on my roof, crarking away trying to wake me up, but it hasn’t twigged that I’m already up – my computer keyboard is already being finger-pounded and all is well here at The Lookout. Bags almost packed, walking sticks at the ready, blueberry muesli waiting for nutritive ingestion, and I’m finishing everything off before Penny comes in a van to pluck me up, collect Jahnavi and Galen and teleport us up the A30 toward England. She’s dropping me off near Scorhill stone circle to meet Rebecca and they’ll camp down near Holne tonight. Rebecca and I have some homework to do – we’re cooking up something for the future and getting aligned for tomorrow. Then we all meet up late morning, ready for… um… well, I’ve got something prepared, but….

At my last gig in Glastonbury we went off on a completely different trajectory, and all my prep, such as it was, just evaporated. So who knows where this will go? But I’m hoping to fix things so that people in the circle can back plug back into the place they came from, and this might prove useful in coming times. You see, it’s not much point trying to figure out where we’re going next unless we have a clearer grasp of where we’re coming from and why we’re here in the first place. So, getting anchored back to that is critical in clueing in to what to do next and how to do it. Not that there’s anything there that we don’t already know, but, well, problem is, living in this strange, intense, contradictory and rather heavyweight world, we forget this stuff.

I do too. I struggle too, believe me. But the stuff I wade around in becomes fermenting compost for something else, and the slough of despond eventually turns into a healing spring, and it all works out in the end. That’s what we’re here for, after all – to make the best out of a pretty tricky and convoluted situation called ‘life on Earth’.

Nowadays I’m blessed with the emergent presence of a growing circle of bright souls who really make a difference for me. As a cancer patient I have to struggle through each day, more than many of my fellow mortals, and it’s uphill most of the way. I’m so heartened by people’s response and support to my writings, utterings and appearances. It’s really meaningful that, in my current constrained state, I can make a contribution that others seem to value. I’m one of those souls who, if he can’t make a contribution, tends to wander off to find somewhere he can.

I’m lucky to have two really sharp characters around me nowadays who don’t let me get away with anything. It’s great. They’re on my case in the most caring of ways, and I’m much blessed. They scrape me up when I’m in a splurge, and if I’m going off track, somehow they seem to nudge me back again, often with one short sentence or one little action that flips the situation and lights up my smile. This summer, Penny and Rebecca have been minding me on my journeys upcountry, and it has worked really well. I’ve got both of them this weekend, lucky boy.

There’s something going on here, with them and with others who are hoving into view and making connections. One thing I’m really liking about this is that, since my life-span is short, as far as I can see, my hope is to leave something behind for people to continue and take forward from there. As a rather mission-driven person, it looks like I’m being given a last chance to see if I can fulfill something that’s meaningful to me and potentially valuable to folks like you. I have Jupiter in Pisces, and it doesn’t look as if I’ll be leaving money and estates, mashallah (as God has willed it), but I might be able to leave something else instead, inshallah (if it is the will of God).

Oh, and by the way, I’m not big on God, actually, but, by using that term, I’m alluding to something many people will, I think, understand. Since That Which Can Be Named is Not What It Is – and neither is it something else either. Perhaps I spent too much time in the Holy Land and God rubbed off on me. But actually, he’s rather an interesting chap – very busy and in demand.

Anyway, regarding plans, we shall see. All I can say is that something is likely to emerge in 2023, and events and developments will guide and shape it. It seems I am being given the grace of time – even though, medically, I do have problems, and I do feel rather tired deep down and ready to go home. It feels as if I’m being given a gift, and this has perked me up. When I’m standing before you, holding forth, you see me change before your eyes and my posture rises as I get flooded with a blessing-wave drawn through by you. Because it’s for you.

I rather like doing this – it’s something I can do, while I can, and it’s a capacity that came as a bizarre compensation for having cancer. It’s nothing big, but it is necessary, and I’m not by any means the only one doing it. All of us are challenged to do it, each in our own ways, expressed through our actions of thought, word and deed in the situations we conduct our lives in. We’re here to bring solutions, at a time when the world is in deep trouble. If what I am doing resonates with you, then stay tuned because, inshallah, all things being well, something will happen. It’s in gestation stages at present.

And time is what stops everything happening all at once. Which is one of the experieces we came to Earth for – to live inside time, so that our experiences are strung out along a stream of present moments, on one level sorted sequentially into days, weeks and years, but on another level sorted by the quality and depth of those experiences, in impactful more than sequential order.

For those of you who’d like to be there at the Magic Circle but can’t, keep your antennae up at the time and, if you ‘get’ us at any moment, that’s because you’re there with us – hello, and welcome. One way to do this is to listen to my recent podcast, ‘Soul Tribes’ (link below), and that’ll help you tune in. We’re in session from 12 noon to 5ish on Saturday, a few hundred yards from Buckfast Abbey in Devon.

There will probably be two twentyish minute occasions of inner process and meditation, but I can’t say exactly when. In the world healing process (unless something changes) we’re likely to be visiting Pakistan to help with the inner aspect of the mop-up – millions of souls are going through it there. So have a think about that. This is an exercise in using your spirit, your experience and your imagination in working with ‘inner aid’, and the trick is to find the ways you’re good at it, and the ways you can ease people’s hearts and help them find answers, or talk to the Himalayan glaciers, or help the helpers. When we do this kind of ‘surgical’ approach in larger groups, a lot can get covered – it has a homoeopathic, radiative, channel-clearing effect on the general situation in Pakistan and in the wider world. There will be a protective force field around us, so if you experience difficulty entering, check your motivation and try entering more slowly, because that’s the key.

Bless you all. Time to go. Thanks for being you. Hopefully there will be sound recordings of the Magic Circle online within a week or so afterwards.

Palden

Magic Circles: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Pods from the Far Beyond: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Avebury Magic Circle recording: www.palden.co.uk/podtalks.html

Transmogrifications

and perhaps a task to do

Glastonbury Tor, from Ebbor Gorge

It was deeply moving to walk into the Assembly Rooms in Glastonbury to a hall full of amazing people. I had been there so many times over the years, organising things or performing, and now, here we were in 2022, and these people were all waiting to hear whatever I was to come up with.

Whatever, indeed. I had a rough idea of talking points, but my talk didn’t follow that track. It went deeper and further than I thought it might. It’s funny when that happens: something in me suddenly decides to change course or to go deeper or faster, and off we go, plunging into the unknown.

While I’m speaking, I see the faces of people in the audience but my normal way of assessing their responses, watching body-language, is kinda switched off. Something else is doing it. I’m strangely unaware of what I’m saying. At the end of my talk, when I stopped and saw people lit up and clapping, I got a funny feeling of relief, as if it was a surprise. Which, in a way, it was.

There came a moment when my mind interjected on the side, wondering whether the talk was dragging and drooping, but that thought evaporated as fast as it came. Next day, Caroline, whose perceptions I find worth listening to, reported that my talk kept lifting, building and covering a lot of ground. I was glad to hear that, since it’s a bit strange being the person who missed much of what went on.

I didn’t miss everything. I’m aware of the gist of what I’m saying but I’m not following it – it goes past me. This isn’t verbatim channelling – I don’t get words or word-based concepts, and it’s me who does the translation and interpretation of what they’re trying to bring forth. A sub-verbal part of my psyche is busy meta-processing. My brains process the concepts and verbiage. And I need to slip into a rather altered, hyperintuitive state to do it.

Bundles of material are dropped in and it’s for me to unravel and unpack them. There’s also plenty of stuff lodged in my psyche from years of doing this. I’ve got used to the feeling of a dropped-in bundle and what to do with it. I wouldn’t call myself an advanced psychic – it’s just that I’ve chosen to listen, take note, hear and accept what comes up inside as real and valid. Not indiscriminately, since it still goes through my filters, to make sure it makes sense.

St Michael’s Mount, from Botrea Hill

Over time, things have evolved. I went through a critical breakthrough at age 42. Up to then, something in my busy intellect was interfering. Something doubted what I was getting, trying to detach from it, check the facts or worry over the improbably crazy yet ultimately quite useful insights I sometimes came up with. Then, one day, I had a deep inner experience. I found myself walking backwards toward an abyss – and walking backwards is something we humans are built to avoid at all costs. I had a moment of panic, followed by a critical moment in which I made an act of trust.

I went over, falling backwards over the edge. Falling, falling, this was an Alice in Wonderland moment, and I didn’t know what would happen. Would I just go splat? Suddenly, in mid-fall, something inside me snapped together, I turned, spread my wings and found myself flying, and a tremendous sense of uplift and a feeling of agency followed. I was flying over a wide landscape, safe on my wings. It became clear that, in the innerworlds, I had to trust my perceptions, natural capacities and ‘inner friends’ like never before. From then on, it all worked better and clearer.

I’ve been public speaking since age 15 – and, before that, would you believe, I was quiet and shy. I became good at notes-free speaking. Up to age 35ish, I did it on thought and preparation, but then something started happening. Two weeks before an event I’d have a clear idea what to speak about and how to do it, but as the time came closer the idea would melt away. This worried me. I was suffering fear of embarassment and of screwing up in public, and I knew it. One day I was nervous and decided, for want of anything better, to entrust myself to it, let go of fear and simply get on stage, take three deep breaths and start with the first thing that entered my head. This worked brilliantly. It became my new approach. But the trade-off was that, after that time, I was no longer fully aware of what I’d said while speaking.

Palden at Avebury. Photo by Rebecca Brain.

In the last three years cancer has changed my psyche. A combination of the cancer, the chemo drugs, the deep states I entered while ill, the fatigue and long hours alone… these moved the circuitry around, changing my perspective and perceptions. My capacity to deal with facts, names, information, decisions and left-brained issues declined, and my right-brained, creative, insightful, intuitive side grew stronger. I became less concerned about life and its intricacies and more like the Fool on the Hill. Out came my blogs and podcasts, surprising me at what was coming out and the way it was doing so. Something new was starting up.

The fluent side of me is what you see in my talks. But ask me whether I want tea or coffee and I’ll probably look blankly at you. On Glastonbury High St an old friend stopped me. Joseph had changed, and it was at least fifteen years since I’d seen him. I looked blankly at him – a very Aspie response. To him it might look like nothing’s happening but, inside, I’m searching memory banks, piecing together gallons of feeling-tones and associations, often too slowly to give a decent response right then. He must have thought I didn’t recognise him – I did, but I needed five minutes to piece a hundred bits together. Sorry, Joseph.

In spring 2022, something in me started wanting to come out of hiding. I was tired of hanging around at home ‘shielding’ and getting bogged down in risk-aversion. Something new had emerged in my blogs and podcasts and people were appreciating them. I thought of doing events and ‘magic circles’, moved by a sense that I might be popping my clogs before long. I wanted to find a way of seeing many friends in a way I could manage, and pass on some gems before I went. I thought it would do me good. Besides, I had run out of interest in my own company.

It’s funny how life can trick us into things. My late aunt Hilary Bedford was closely involved with Alan Turing at Bletchley Park in 1942-3 and, at the time, they thought they were breaking Hitler’s codes. Well, yes, they were, but the significant thing for which history will more enduringly remember them is that they made big steps in inventing the computer and laying the foundations for artificial intelligence. Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans – and that’s what happened to John Lennon too, after he wrote those words in a song for his son. In turn, when I was planning the magic circles, as a way of meeting people and sharing some insights, I wasn’t aware that something else was going to start happening. But it did.

On my trip upcountry in August 2022, I did two magic circles and attended an Oak Dragon camp. All sorts of things happened in those two weeks. The experience lit me up and a profound healing and breakthrough came with it. Something started emerging that I hadn’t been aware of. Back in May I’d got the message that “There’s something more for you to do…”, but only in August did it start revealing itself.

Photo by Rebecca Brain

When you come close to death, as I did last winter, you become acutely aware of what you haven’t done in life. Then, when you die, you have to live with that. Mashallah, it’s done and gone. In my life I’ve made some progress in the matter of consciousness, deep geopolitics, history-redemption and world healing, and I felt a kind of duty to leave some of this knowhow behind – it was a task not done. It took my illness of last winter to wring this realisation out of me, and by summer an initial vision had emerged.

The whole picture came quickly: suddenly one evening I saw how it could work. Well, theoretically. That was the 1% inspiration bit, and now we get to the 99% perspiration bit. It’s time now to mull it over and map it out a bit more. Also I must figure out my capacity to do things, how much active service I have left, what I would need, and how all this fits. Do I have what it takes? Do I need simply to suggest ideas and set a tone, or do I need to put in a few years of active engagement?

How small or big, and how discreet or how public should this be? It would need setting up so that it works well when I’m gone. There’s an extra personal twist: it’s my last chance, and getting things wrong is not really an option. Currently I might have three, five or, at a push, seven years to play with. And the best way to make the gods laugh is to tell them your plans.

On Thursday I was so unwell that I found myself wondering whether the gods indeed were laughing… I was weak, wan, clogged and weighed down, spending much of the day in bed. I wasn’t dealing as well as normal with my cancer drugs, administered on Wednesday. I think it was also a ‘healing crisis’ of sorts. Sometimes an illness comes to help us meta-process big changes in one fell swoop – some downtime and a re-boot are needed. A lot gets sorted out at once, in a kind of controlled burn or a induced churn. It was all about opening up to the future and dealing with the past and the full facts of my situation. But I was on my way back up by Friday.

I’ve gone quickly from a quiet to an active life. Something rather magical seems to be happening. It’s a possible coming together of a new constellation of people, happening rather naturally without deliberate action from me – except that people coming forward all know me or are tweaked by what I’m flagging up. This kind of thing has happened before and I recognise the symptoms.

Caroline urged me to write down my ideas, but I’m not so sure. The prospect of sitting at a computer for hours on end, writing yet another book (my thirteenth), doesn’t really light me up – though something will need recording somehow, and it might be better in audio. I feel more of a need to focus on people-foundations and processes for evolving things since, if this project is to work, it will rest on these. Perhaps I’ll assist energetically from upstairs once I’m gone, but it will be up to the living to do with it what they can and will. That’s fascinating: my obsolescence is built in. I feel rather good about that.

A member of the herd on our farm

I’m fermenting these questions, waiting for clarity. And giving other people thinking time. It’s important also to do a devil’s advocate job on myself. Why not just hang out in Cornwall and take it easy, walking the cliffs, tinkering around and writing the occasional blog? Or I could go to Sweden or Palestine – even Mali or Kirgyzstan. Or I could be a guest speaker at lots of gigs and supplement my pension talking about cancer and clog-popping. I could even join the grumbling classes and become a pain in the ass for the younger generation.

What will be will be, and it’s not really the goal but the journey that matters. And the next step. In Buckfastleigh in Devon on Saturday (24th Sept 2020) there is my last planned magic circle for a while – until something else happens. These magic circles are evolving each time, and this one will have some live music and perhaps more energy-working than before. We shall see what emerges. You’re welcome to come, though do book in advance. It’s all about soul-networks, channelling our root-source, world healing, remembering the reasons we came, and sharing something rather special.

I cannot organise future events myself, but something will unfold in future, inshallah. In future I’m likely to spend more time visiting places, but I shall stay based in Cornwall because my spiritual roots and inspiration lie here, and without them I am lost. Which wouldn’t be helpful at all. Something is happening, times are changing and all is well.

Lots of love from me. Palden.

Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Magic Circles: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Recording of my Glastonbury talk: www.palden.co.uk/podtalks.html

The view from my window

Friends

with everything

Rain falls on saints and sinners alike. That’s what it did down’ere in Cornwall on Saturday. The Atlantic wrapped its blustery rains around us and I lit my woodstove.

Classic weather for the time around my birthday, 5th September. Often it fell on the first day of the school year, when I was young – great, huh? Everyone is too busy doing other things around that date (and this is a pattern of mine too). I don’t go big on birthdays as a result. Instead I have a special day, a pilgrimage in nature, in inner space or with a special person. On my 50th, I went out on the Somerset Levels with philosopher and fellow crop circle researcher Stanley Messenger, then in his 80s, for some amazing encounters with otters and big waterfowl beings – it was a blessed day.

My 33rd was exceptional. All my friends came. It was the party of my life. Unbeknownst to anyone, including me, I was soon to start the camps movement, so it marked a departure on a journey I didn’t know I was about to make. The journey involved stepping over the line between looking after my own best interests and playing a part in a larger chessgame. Once you’re over that line, going back is difficult. There are times to step up to it and times to fall back, and it goes on through a progression of phases that seem to end only when you pop your clogs.

Two of the most special experiences we have in life are getting born and dying. There’s something hyper-magical about both, as if they’re stage-managed to set and then to release a particular pattern that is unique to each of us as individuals – the specific identity and face we adopt for the duration of a lifetime. What happens at our births and deaths is somehow meant to be. There’s a narrative, a riddle to it, a kind of cosmic punchline, personalised for us. It somehow sums up our story.

My friend Sophia, a gifted potter and sculptor, died unexpectedly in bed on the night before her big exhibition. On reflection I realised this was classic for the kind of soul she was: perhaps she needed simply to get there and to leave an artistic legacy behind, which she did, and the rewards of success might not have suited her. In the logic of our world her death was untimely and out of place, but in the logic of the otherworld it made complete sense. She went home, probably rather relieved.

Nanjizal Bay and Carn Boel

I’ve been reflecting on my birth at Hartfield, Sussex in 1950, in what, earlier, had been the WW2 American Generals’ HQ in Britain. It was in the former operations room where Eisenhower had directed the American part of D-Day. Well, that was a portentous start. It was a baby-boom nursing home after the war and, being the last child to be born there before it closed, most of the staff were present. The doctor was one of the first in Britain to use relaxation techniques in childbirth – and, lo behold, I’ve been involved in childbirth and now with dying. But my mother still had to work hard with me since we both had our own reluctances. This picture fits me neatly: war, peace, public involvements, big squeezes and acts of will have been recurring themes in my life.

I dropped much of my reluctance to be alive in my mid-30s during a rebirthing session. Finding myself pulled back to the world where I’d originated as a soul, I was taken in again by my people. This reconnected me with the source of my being – it was deeply feelingful – and, from then on, I felt more wholehearted about being here, losing my doubts.

But here’s a funny twist. Next door to Hartfield House was the Hundred Aker Wood, from A A Milne’s Winnie the Pooh. Hmm… that’s a whole lot different. There’s always been a certain childlike optimism, innocence and naivete to me, a tendency to see the angel, not the devil, in others, and this acts both as an asset and as a bane. It helps me see through and beyond many things, though it’s best that someone more astute than me does the real business. In Pooh’s world, despite their scrapes, everyone gets on with each other, and this has been big for me – people getting on – with some successes and a good few failures. But in the end life isn’t about success and failure: it’s about what we learn, what endures and what in the end really matters.

The cave at Nanjizal Bay

History eats up our lives like a big fat slug eating your lettuces. Our life-stories become buried in the rubble of endlessly progressing events. We’re forgotten, and our lives, with all their drama-rich significances, dissolve into a recycleable pile of compost for coming generations to make use of. Generations of which we ourselves might become members. Ooops.

We’re part of a planetary race – we come from it and return to it. Our purpose is to co-evolve together into a diverse yet united planetary race, and we definitely aren’t there yet. This is necessary because, without it, we can’t meet the neighbours on terms that would be good both for us and for them.

For this to happen, a few big things need to happen first. One is this: we humans need to make significant progress in becoming friends with each other. Like it or not, we’re part of one human tribe with one shared bundle of interests – especially to survive and thrive. We need to agree sufficiently on what needs to be done. Emotionally, this means feeling we are against no one, and they are not against us. There will always be differences and contentions, but the way we handle them needs to change. This is deep and historic stuff, going back to times before anyone felt a need for conflict.

Consensus and cooperation. Shifting away from competition, argument, insecurity, reactivity and strife. Sorting out our differences in other ways. For everyone to feel okay about joining this, progress on the world’s major injustices also comes into focus – without it, stranger danger and public distrust of institutions and oppressors will continue to prevail. Trickier still is this: planetary priorities need to override smaller priorities while somehow honouring and incorporating them.

It doesn’t even stop there – it’s deeper. It means the end of the human war on nature and on animals. Deeper still, it means changing the way we habitually go against even ourselves – psychospiritual stuff. Further, it involves getting friendly with the universe, with intelligences and people in other worlds and realities. Yes. Modern humanity’s wilful blindness on this matter does it no good.

Guardians of Albion, at Pordenack Point

All this sounds rather big and difficult, and it is, but ultimately it is easier and more realistic to do it than not to do it. That’s the nub of the matter.

In Britain, back in the neolithic 3000s BCE, people saw the lives of the dead to run in parallel to those of the living. They were all of the same tribe, simply in adjacent worlds. The ancestors helped the living and the living acted with their ancestors and descendants in mind. Patterns of reincarnation have changed since then, as our genetic tribes have broken down and dispersed, but the principle survives – the worlds run in parallel. In different cultures and areas of the world at different times, the breakdown meant a disintegration of the ‘ring of power’ within society. An implicit contract of care and enchantment between people and landscape dwindled too. In Britain this worldview-collapse occurred around 1500-1200 BCE, with the decline of the megalithic era.

Every problem in the world today is a solution in disguise. It’s a matter of observing crises and issues with ‘second sight’, seeing what’s underneath and behind, and ‘listening more closely to things than to people’. Nowadays, the future increasingly causes the present, sucking us toward it and facing us with issues we need to sort out – fundamentals, not tweaks. Look outside the rich world for many of the world’s dawning solutions and for the people who will bring them.

At some stage, so many big crises will happen at the same time that we are overwhelmed, and systems changes will happen. Force majeure. It will come in waves over the next few decades, up to a probable crescendo around 2050 (I’d estimate) – not that far ahead. During this period, the world’s future is likely to be decided, and things will unfold from there. By the mid-2060s the question won’t be ‘what will happen?’ but ‘what do we do with what has happened?’.

One of the central obstacles to progress is our beliefs, attitudes, principles, values and groupthink – these colour all our decisions. And: ‘for the triumph of evil it is necessary only that good people do nothing’. Where there’s a will there’s a way, but if the will is a won’t really, or if it pulls in divergent directions, then there’s no way. Here lies the root of our problem.

Humanity is in discord, disarray and dissonance. We’re pursuing conflicting agendas and, until this jangle is reduced, major global concerns won’t be resolved. The tension involved literally stirs up the atmosphere, prompting weather events and climate extremes, and it sparks uprisings, crises, outbreaks and tragedies. There are mass hypocrisies, willful blindnesses, cultural denial and an infectious pandemic of sub-surface fears to sort out too.

Carn Barra

The groupthink issue has preoccupied me all my adult life, since being part of a suppressed revolution half a century ago. It was painful, and I tried figuring out how and why it had happened that way. As time went on, studying astrology, psychology, Buddhism, history, geopolitics and allsorts, and watching the unfolding of world events, the mechanisms gradually came clearer. What set the cat amongst the pigeons, for me, was what we did at the ‘Chernobyl Camp’ in 1986, when we found that consciousness work indeed can and does affect the course of world events – it wasn’t just wishful thinking. The implications and responsibilities involved took a few years to digest.

Working with the Council of Nine in the early 1990s helped me understand how it all works and the larger picture within which it stands. This led me to start the Hundredth Monkey Camps in the mid-1990s, in which we tested and tried world-healing methods and did some remarkable things, gathering much experience. Out of this, a smaller group of ‘Monkeys’ started the Flying Squad in which, over twenty years, we found out a lot about what long-distance, high-commitment, high-focus world healing work really involves in real-life, doable terms.

A big thing for me has been the collective psyche of humanity and how to jog it into caring for its own overall best interests. Progress has been made, experience gathered, and there’s further to go. I’d like to leave something about this behind, before I go. I’m gnawing away at it, opened up by experiences that cancer has brought. In my ‘Magic Circles‘ I seek to share perspectives and tricks to help demystify and bring alive some of the issues around consciousness work – the next is in Buckfast, Devon on 24th Sept (best to book before it fills up).

I might write something about world healing or prompt some movement in that work but, for now, I’m sitting on it, ruminating until things come clearer, watching for signs, consulting my and others’ feelings, thinking things through. The process will unfold over winter and, if conditions are right, something might emerge in 2023.

I must attend to my health, pacing myself well and giving space for the necessary downtimes that are part of the cancer process. These quiet times are important for restoration, rumination and steadying up. ‘Chemo-brain’ is not just a mental and memory issue: it has reduced my capacity to process ‘stuff’ and deal with complexity, and I need more time and space for them than before. So each time I have a busy period I need to give my psyche a chance to freewheel and defragment. But on the other side, I get insights, and it gives me time to cook up crazy blogs, podcasts and ideas, get them down and get them out. Which is how I managed to get this one out!

Thanks for reading, everyone. Bless you all. Thanks in advance for your birthday wishes. Palden.

—————–

Events and Magic Circles: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Everything else: www.palden.co.uk

Seal caves under Carn Les Boel

Return

and full circles

It’s fascinating. I’m in a state of positive shock. Six months ago I was in the lap of darkness, falling, flailing, falling… and it has all completely reversed.

This is weird, and I wasn’t quite ready for this! It has happened so fast and completely. So I’m making some big adjustments. This is one of the things about cancer – as least, for me – since everything impacts so much more than it did BC (before cancer). I’ve become more permeable, more affected and vulnerable, in all areas of life. This has its good and tricky sides. At times in the last month I’ve been overcome with pure joy, rather childlike and overwhelmed – I break out in tears so easily nowadays. Perhaps I should hire my services to a water company to help them restore the water table.

Some months ago I asked myself what I would have been doing if I hadn’t contracted cancer. Answer: just carrying on. What has happened since cancer joined me? I’ve been living each day quite intensely, in a very here-and-now way, and the difficulties I’ve had have given me a completely new focus. It’s now all about staying alive, staying happy, living life fully and resolving the loose threads of my life as best I can, while I can. In a bizarre and at times painful way, that’s called ‘a new chapter of life’. And I’ve been given it.

This is where free will comes in. Free will is not about Toyatas and Volkwagens, or left-wing, right wing, or this or that. Free will is all about how we deal with what we’ve got and what’s in front of us and, particularly, staying true to the root reason why we chose to come into life in the first place. Because we did choose. No one is here by accident.

This then leads to the question: what kind of life am I setting out to live? Well, the issue with me is that watching TV, eating, socialising and carrying on with a routine don’t tend to lift me up – I lose interest quite quickly. That’s an aspect of life on Earth that doesn’t do much for me. I have this strange obsession with having a deeply meaningful life. Some or all of you might suffer this syndrome too.

I can’t sit around waiting for something – though much of my life has involved a lot of abiding and patience. And strangely, at times when life has been most difficult, I get deeply motivated to do things. Not necessarily about the problem at hand, but more about some sort of strategy that changes the game more than it changes the situation. I seem to be at it again. Strangely, it took the cancer experience to really get me fired up. Or perhaps sufficiently desperate that I have no alternative! Free will is sometimes about making a choiceless choice.

I wake up with instructions, sometimes. Well, it feels like that. Something fizzy is inserted in my psyche and it starts fermenting. Before long, a whole picture of possibilities has formed. But nowadays, I’m wise enough to know that, first, I must put it on the ‘perhaps’ shelf in my psyche, to let it sit there for a while. This will show whether what I see is solid and feeling dead right. If it isn’t, it fades away or changes, as life progresses. But there’s a central issue or motivator to it, an aim and strategy which, if it is solid, can form the core idea or axis or pattern of something that could take shape in the next few years. Here’s the rub: the intended fulfilment date is around 2050. If I’m incarnate at that time, I’ll be a young’un. I get the feeling I’ll return a bit later, but that’s not entirely my own choice, and it’s subject to review.

There’s an interesting twist to this. I have a limited shelf-life. I do know this. Some people will try to dissuade me from such ‘negative, deathist thinking’, but often they need to learn something about acceptance, surrender and the otherworlds. Here’s a riddle: we do not and cannot choose the time and manner of our dying, yet, in another way, we can. Sort of. Particularly through attitude and power of spirit, though also with the helping hand of medications, supplements, healers and so on. However, ‘the hand of God moves in strange ways’, and when facing death we do need to hand ourselves over, to accept our progressive loss of control. Why? Because such acceptance leads to another kind of control. Metaphysically, it’s the control of a slalom-skier, where you have to lose control in order to gain a new kind of balance. It’s not fear-driven, though it’s one helluva ride.

This happens in life too, and many people stand on this precipice at present – it’s the Great Unknown, gaping at us and shaking us out of our comfortable stupours. Yes, folks, shit’s happening and there’s little we can do about it. We’ve been in ‘good’ times, and now it’s going to be ‘bad’ times. Many people resort to complaining – that’s unwise and gets no one anywhere. It’s necessary to get real, make it simple, focus on what’s essential, stay happy and look for the gift in this evolving situation. Do this, and you’ll survive. Dig in your heels and trouble’s coming.

However, when the economy rises, society declines, and when the economy subsides, society rises. So what is our choice here? What do we really want?

Photo by Rebecca Brain

I too must square with this one. My cancer immunotherapy (Daratumamab) comes in a little refrigerated phial once a month by special delivery, and a nurse comes to administer it (Janice or Nicola – they’ve been really good and helpful). This phial costs £4,500 each month. I am privileged to live in a country where this is possible – elsewhere I would be dead or, if so blessed, rich enough to pay ridiculous sums for treatment. During my life there is a possibility that the state support I receive will dwindle or disappear. Yes. One of the existential risks we face that no one talks about, is ‘sovereign insolvency’. Government and national bankruptcy (it’s happening in Sri Lanka). Caused mainly by debt, by excessive public and private borrowing on a rosy future that didn’t happen.

That’s life. And it’s okay. I don’t have money but I have some social cred and survival instincts, and I’ll manage somehow – worse has happened, and I’m not in receipt of incoming mortar shells. A number of us will have to go – as was the case with Covid. Some might think it’s Big Brother pulling this off, and there’s a smidgeon of truth in that, though not as much as some might like to think. But are we going to sit around blaming others for our plight, or are we going to rise up and come out to help our fellow humans? Sorry to be blunt, but it does come down to that. That’s one reason I live in Cornwall – we do this down’ere.

I have a limited time left – current estimate, 3-5-7 years. When I’m performing in public I brighten up and come alive, so that’s not a truly accurate read-out of how I am overall. I go down too, megaflopped, with gravity running double-heavy and systems creaking along on three cylinders. Though, on average, I’m doing much better now than some months ago, and things are looking up. I no longer have to strive for hope or optimism: it’s coming at me in torrents! This is the positive shock I mentioned earlier. I guess I’ve fallen into a kind of miracle zone in which, at first, you have to go right down into the depths of The Pit before revival kicks in. Revive I did. It might be true to say that conventional medicine has kept me alive, but healing from so many people and from ‘friends upstairs’ has given me a new life.

In early May a message was dropped into me which said, ‘We have one more thing we’d like you to do…’. Part of me said, OMG, not again, leave me alone, and another part sparked up and was fascinated with what might happen and what exactly this might be. I have some starting notions and I’ve twigged the core objective, but this must unfold in its own time and way. Next we come to the earthly manifestation bit. Thing is, since I most likely have only some years to play with, anything I do, unless it’s something brief, is to give to others to take forward. I need to sit on that and mull it over, and some of those others might need to do so too. It’s necessary to let various things take shape, which will serve as indicators from Real Life that there’s support for it in all worlds and that it has some chance of actually working. I have a wee bit of experience in that matter, and I’m a ‘sensible Virgo’ (I am told), and nowadays I look before I leap. But I don’t tend to sit on my hands and hang back either.

One of my weird gifts is a capacity to articulate things that people already half-understand, or things that are coming up for them that they hadn’t quite ‘got’ – and also to make connections between things people hadn’t quite seen before. Such as the relationship between humanity’s psychospiritual condition and climate change – think about it. I tend to look a bit further than the next horizon and the narrowness of short-term fixes. Thirtyish years ago I realised what this was about, for me: I came here not exactly to bring change, but to bring suggestions about what comes after that change.

As a former revolutionary (we lost), I’m now dedicated not to bringing down the old but to bringing up the new. This is what I told young Syrians and Egyptians in 2011 in Amman, Jordan, as their revolutions were failing… Yes, you lost, but, Allahu akbar, God is great, history is on your side and, look guys, I’m still here decades later, still at it, so you do that too. It’s hard and it takes a long time, but real change does take time, and that’s no reason to give up. They got it. I told them to tell their friends.

The Nine once said something interesting, that the revolutions of the late 1960s were meant to bring social-spiritual change but, instead, in the 1970s, they brought personal change to a relatively small number of people. This did lay the foundations for future developments, but it was a slower path to take. The social change is yet to come: a big opening for this starts in 2024, as Pluto enters Aquarius, accelerating rapidly through the late 2020s, and the complete process continues for a few decades. (For more about this, try here: https://penwithbeyond.blog/2020s/ ). It depends, of course, on what we humans do about it, and a wide range of issues, problems and solutions will come up. We shall see both the wisdom and the madness of crowds. The questions of social trust and care and also good leadership are biggies to sort out.

On my recent trip upcountry to England, I was really happy to meet many remarkable people, and impressed with the quality of those who attended the two magic circles. Attending the OakDragon camp was like a turnaround for me, rather like reaching the top of a high mountain pass, suddenly to see the vista on the other side. I felt welcomed, included and valued, and it was warming to heart and soul. At the magic circles, it felt as if people were right there, and they definitely seemed to understand what I was sharing. Also, I survived the magic circles myself, better than I expected (after all, it’s 5-6 hours), and I’m up for more.

If you’re the kind of person with the connections in your area or network to organise one, you’re welcome to get in contact – I go where invited! The next Magic Circle is in Buckfastleigh, Devon, on Saturday 24th September (see palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html). I’m really looking forward to that.

In Devon we’ll have a little music from Galen and Jahnavi, two musicians coming all the way from Portland, Oregon, to join us. As I wrote this they were stuck at Heathrow, waiting for the plane to Newquay, Cornwall. Such are the ways of this world. Penny is picking them up – they’re staying in a bell tent in the Field of Dreams, our wild-camping field here on the farm (thanks, Jo!). An old friend, Kevin, is here too – he’s an old Flying Squad member, and he, with Sian and Sarah, three core members, came to the Avebury circle. I was so happy and moved to see them – we’ve been through so much together, for so long. We’re realising in a new way that perhaps we prototyped something more valuable for the future than we thought at the time (flyingsquad.org.uk). So we’ll have a campfire in the field and share dinner together. Guess who sorted that out? The Rt Hon Dame Penny Cornell MBE, haha.

Lots of good stories have happened for quite a few people in recent weeks, and I’ve met with new friends and old. Bless you all for that, and thank you to Bruce, Ivan, Pia, Lily and particularly Rebecca, with a host of others, for lighting up my life and helping me on my way.

If you live in Glastonbury or within easy reach, I’m giving an evening talk at the Assembly Rooms on Friday 9th September – called The Tipping of the Scales. It’s for Glastafarians of all generations. A Glastonbury veteran (1980-2008) returns to his old home to meet the folks. I’m coming up the Michael Line with some messages from the end of the world. (Info here.)

I need to hobnob with people through doing talks, magic circles, blogs and podcasts because, as a cancer patient, I don’t have the energy it takes to meet so many people except in EM-free groups. I love you all, but I can’t get round everyone. Yet magic happens too, and I’ll get round everyone who somehow matters – whatever that means.

The EM-bombardment my dearest friends give me, even if accidentally, makes meeting you extra tricky. It takes three seconds to be infected and two days to get back on balance. What proportion of the population has electroesensitivity? One hundred percent. It’s just that only some people notice it, and I fear for the rest.

Recently I’ve been talking about dying as a gradual process. Here’s a quote from the website of my root Lama, Rangjung Rigpe Dorge, the Sixteenth Karmapa, about his death of cancer at Samhain in 1981, in a research hospital in USA:

The hospital allowed the body of the Karmapa to remain in the room where he had died, because it was obvious that this was not an ordinary death. Even though he had died, for three days he remained in the Tugdam, a state of meditation. This was clear from signs such as the area around the heart remaining warm and the body remaining supple. The signs were witnessed by the medical staff present.” (karmapa.org/life-16th-karmapa/)

Though the quality of my meditation isn’t anywhere close to his, I don’t believe only Tibetan lamas or similar can work with their death process in this way. But we shall see, won’t we?

Love from me. Palden.

Collected blogs: https://penwithbeyond.blog
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Events: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html

The Stones of our Motherland

Another ‘last’ has passed

Happy Solstice, everyone.

This is something of a turning point for me. I hope it is so for you, and in a benign way. After a disastrous winter I feel I am now moving on, step by step. One small symptom of this is that I’ve just completed the Meyn Mamvro Archive.

After two years’ work, I’m rather relieved to complete it. Who knows how many mouse-clicks were involved, but it would be thousands. What’s significant here, for me, is that it’s the last such project I shall do. I’ve done a good few over the years.

It’s an archive of 100 copies of the magazine Meyn Mamvro, about archaeology and earth mysteries in West Penwith and wider Cornwall, edited and published by a friend and soul sister, Cheryl Straffon. I’m glad to have done it.

There have been a number of lasts in my life since getting cancer, and a few more are to come.

In West Penwith, where I live, I’ve done a number of projects in the prehistory area, apart from this. This subject really interests me, and I so much love West Penwith.

One is a series of maps of the ancient sites and geomantic alignments in West Penwith and wider Cornwall (six years’ work) – they’re here: http://www.palden.co.uk/shiningland/maps.html

Another is the Ancient Penwith website, a very comprehensive site providing alternative ideas about West Penwith’s prehistory. It goes through the different kinds of sites in Penwith, and it highlights the role of ancient site alignments in the creation of the whole system of ancient sites in Penwith.

It’s here: www.ancientpenwith.org

Another is my forthcoming book Shining Land – the ancient sites of West Penwith, and what they say about megalithic civilisation. It’s not out yet though. But there’s some interesting material on the book’s website to be getting on with. It’s here: www.palden.co.uk/shiningland/

I’ve been overwhelmed with things since my partner departed some months ago, so I’ve been unable to focus on the book to get it published. But that will happen in due course, inshallah. Being a cancer patient, I can’t push myself as most people do, or multitask and remember all the details involved in living a modern life. I go at half the rate of most people.

My support system isn’t working well – if I had my way I’d like a digital PA, a minder or two for adventures (such as in a month’s time) and a close companion. But that’s life – you get what you get, especially on Saturn transits!

The uphill grind of the last 6-9 months has taught me a lot, squeezed and raked me out, pushed me through an accelerated change process and moved me a long way. I can feel it moving without yet knowing where it is going. The process isn’t complete, though things are brightening up.

In August and September I shall be doing the first three events of my ‘Far Beyond’ magic tour, in Glastonbury, Avebury and Totnes area, plus a couple of talks. Full details to be announced soon, when everything is hammered out. I’m really looking forward to that and, if you’re pulled to join me, I’d love seeing you. I have a feeling this is going to be rather special.

It’s great working with each of the local organisers, and many thanks to them. This is limited-edition, one-off stuff, since my capacity to do such things will decline in time. I hope to go to Wales and the North too (organisers sought), perhaps during autumn-winter, inshallah.

The good news I’ve had recently is that my cancer is not deteriorating, according to the latest tests. In February my cancer indicators (such as paraproteins) started climbing – I was very ill and in a dark tunnel – but as I improved they have pegged at a new level. It means I don’t have to change cancer drugs. This is a relief, since the new drug is a kind of thalidomide, which my mother took when gestating me, and intuitively I just don’t feel safe with the prospect of taking it.

There’s another benefit too. The nurses from a private healthcare company (Pharmaxo) who visit me monthly to administer my drugs are really nice, and they answer questions and take on issues in ways that NHS nurses and doctors don’t. If my drugs are changed, I shall lose them (because I’ll be taking pills, not injections). This has been important, since I feel quite neglected by the NHS, and I’ve lost my medical confidante too (my ex-partner), so the advice and support of the nurses has been really valuable.

It’s the peak of the year – it comes so fast – the time when fruition begins, when the drift of our lives since winter solstice reaches a climax and it turns a corner. Something has taken shape, and now we need to do something with it – harvest it and then put it to use. If you’d like to read something about solstices and equinoxes, then here’s a book I wrote 35 years ago, Living in Time, that explains all – now archived free online. Living in Time: The Ancient Festivals.

Love from me to all of you, from down’ere in Cornwall.

Beeee goooood. Palden.

Ancestral Passages

Age doesn’t mean the learning stops

Carn Lês Boel

So what happens next? This question hovers around me now. It’s not unique to me: even though I’m spending most of my time alone and rather disconnected from society, the whole world is in a similar state and I’m very tuned into it. But the fascinating thing about living with cancer, at least in my case, is that, while death is a prospect facing all of us and it can come at any moment, it comes closer when you have cancer. So, in the last two months or so, I’ve been wondering whether I’ll get to the end of 2022 or whether I have longer.

This was prompted by a new health crisis that started in late October, prompted not by the cancer itself but by its side-effects and the vulnerabilities it and cancer treatments create. In November and December, at times I felt I was losing strength and spirit, deeply worn out. My spirits hold up well if I’m feeling reasonably clear inside, but if my psyche is befogged by illness I labour through a tiredness of spirit that makes me wonder how much longer I can carry on. It was becoming a question of whether to fight for life or hand myself over.

Well, I’ll be wherever is best and wherever I’m most needed. The time and manner of our passing is not in our gift to control. Even so, many of the more awakened souls I know who are currently leaving Earth seem mostly not to have a long illness and a slow decline – their angels pull them out with a quick heart attack or an accident, or they die in their sleep or their armchair and, whoosh, they’re gone.

I’ve had a number of near-death experiences and I know that, when I ‘let go and let God‘, I have, thus far, quite quickly bounced back. It’s not a genuine let-go to do this in order to bounce back, because that’s all about setting conditions, and that doesn’t work with death. The releasing needs to be wholehearted and complete. You just gotta be willing to pass through that door. This permits something else to take over. It takes things deeper onto a soul or a ‘causal’ level, which then can then override the rules and norms of body and psyche, and decisions are made that lie far beyond what we humans are aware of. But, us humans, we struggle for control. We’re addicted to life and, in the modern West, we’ve even persuaded ourselves that being alive in a body is the only reality there is – so we have a bias against dying.

The problem with this is, it’s not like that. And we miss a trick. There’s more to life than this.

A frosty field below the farm, today, at dawn on a magical fullmoon morning

The releasing I went through in late December was in no way dramatic or quick. I just got fed up with holding myself up and keeping going. So I stopped worrying about it and got on with life as it then was – feeling like a 95-year old crock on his last legs. Yet gradually, things picked up and, in early January, I began to see glimmers of a future. Hope tends to keep me going, and somehow my hope had faded. But here, amongst the ashes, something was germinating. Not a roadmap or a sense of how long I have left, but more a sense that there’s something more to do before I go. There’s reason to carry on. As far as I can tell.

It’s funny how the world magically responds to an inner change like this. In the preceding months, Lynne and I had not been able to see each other much – me, because of my immobility and state of ongoing lockdown, and she because of overwork and life-struggles, followed by two months wiped out with Longcovid. She really went through it, last year. By November, both of us were flat out in bed with fatigue and illness, a hundred miles apart. Messaging and phone contact got difficult. But eventually she started reviving and her reappearance was a bit like what it must be like for my eldest daughter Maya and her family, who live north of the polar circle in Swedish Lappland, when the sun first comes up in mid-January after a month or so of darkness. Suddenly life lit up and started looking very different.

That wasn’t all. Maya contacted me to say she was coming over from Sweden – we haven’t seen each other for about six years. Despite Covid restrictions and plane cancellations, and with the help of Tulki, my son, who ferreted out solutions, met her at Heathrow and brought her down here, she came to visit. Wierdly, here in cold, midwinter Britain, the temperature was 20-30 degrees warmer than in Lappland, and on one day we even had sunshine!

On that day we did a clifftop walk from Porthgwarra to Carn Lês Boel, a dramatic headland looking out over the Atlantic, and my favourite pilgrimage place in West Penwith. It’s where, in spirit at least, I’ll probably dance my last dance. I had anticipations about getting back from the Carn to Porthgwarra, nearly two miles, but my spirits were up and antigravity drives were humming, and my legs and sticks teleported me back. Plus the old mountaineer’s trick of avoiding thinking about how far there is yet to go. And the company.

Maya, Tulki and I had some close and meaningful sharings, huddled around the stove while it rained and blew dismally outside. It lifted up my heart, and I think and hope it was the same for them too. Though I have brought together hundreds of people into groups, communities and tribes, I’ve never done well with family and often I’ve been judged as the one at fault in relationships, so this was a healing on a very deep level – or the beginning of one. It felt ancestral as well: I grew up in a dysfunctional nuclear family that was an offshoot of a wider family that had become alienated and atomised in the earlier 20th Century, and it felt to me like this was a cross-generational turning of the tide, a healing of ancestral hurts. Maya’s and Tulki’s generation feel to me as if they’ll bring family back together in a new way.

It’s a new kind of family too: my four grown up ‘children’ are born of three different mothers. In case you think I’m some sort of toxic pervert male, two of those mothers had also had children by multiple fathers, and Lynne has four ‘kids’ by three fathers! So either they are toxic property too, or there’s something new and different going on here. Something transformative and tribal. They and their peers are the founders of the new families, communities and clans that will constitute an answer for the future. As I often say, we’ll only get the the other end of the 21st Century by working together – something my generation made some progress with, but changing the course of human history takes more time than we’d like.

I mention these two events because, late in 2021, I felt there was nothing much to hope for or look forward to. I was feeling leaden, redundant and uncreative – hence that it has been a month since my last blog. Surreptitiously, things changed. Also, I realised that there’s one more writing project to do, which partially I dread (since I’ve sat at so many typewriters and computers for so long that it’s no thrill at all), and partially it gives me a feeling of relief and release, to think of finally getting it out. The added bit is that, at the end of life, I don’t care too much about what others will think – it’s quite liberating for a long-distance author, that. Whether I’ll manage to actually do it, I do not know. I need to write down a good smattering of my inner experiences and extraterrestrial contacts – a story I haven’t told. For the record. And, well, it’s not the first time I’ve broken a cultural taboo or been shat upon for doing it.

As a Virgo I’m rather attached to making a contribution and being useful. Being on Earth hasn’t been a great pleasure, even though I’ve had loads of amazing experiences. It has been a bit like a duty and a mission, a bit like holding your breath underwater while trying to get to the other end of the pool – and it’s further than you thought. So I’ve always had a feeling that, to justify continuing, I must contribute something, to make it worth it. Lots of people have given me lectures about getting over this pathology and about being more realistic and responsible. But from another viewpoint, though such a view conforms to the comfortable groupthink-consensus of our majoritarian society, that’s rather a complacent position. We’re all getting on with our own lives while the world is going down. In the end it’s the reason why we have dictators, hunger, injustice and environmental destruction – we allow it. We’re too busy to worry about it. For some reason, throughout life I’ve felt a strange need to do something about this, driven by Edmund Burke’s enduring statement: for the triumph of evil it is necessary only that good people do nothing. This presents dilemmas that hit anyone with a conscience.

Six months ago I learned that one factor affecting many or even all cancer patients is that we have spent our lives tuned in to the needs and emotions of others. Cancer comes to pull us back to ourselves. This is true: I’ve had to draw new boundaries and look after myself like never before. But the funny thing is, my soul is still oriented toward service, even as a crippled old cancer-freak. Problem is, this service has benefited others but not my close family. My mother was like this too: at her funeral she was much loved and honoured for all she had done in public, but for me and my brother, while she did her best in a 1940s-50s way, she wasn’t a good mother. If I was hungry she would tell me to go away and play because it wasn’t teatime yet. Thanks. Looking back, I wonder whether she, like me, had Asperger’s Syndrome, with its attendant relationship issues. She channelled her feelings and love into public service, and so do I. To the cost of some and the benefit of others.

Lynne is admirable in this regard. She just about manages to bridge the contradictions here. I’m a very loving man, and I do try, but I don’t and can’t do many of the things in relationship that most ‘neurotypical’ people apparently do. I don’t see and judge life in the same way. I’m programmed up differently, very much in my own bubble-world, and while I’m locked away on a remote farm having cancer treatment, she’s out there in the world, doing battle with its swirling challenges and very much experiencing the ‘too busy’ syndrome that so much plagues our society. As a counsellor and life-wisdom teacher she needs to maintain inner clarity, but mortgage-paying and modernity’s complex pressures pull the other way, and this is a struggle even for the best of souls.

That’s where I was at two decades ago and, bizarrely, as a pensioner and cancer patient, for the first time I have a consistent though modest income, and am more or less released from all that grind. Well, sort of – I’m doing a different kind of grind instead. So Lynne and I have to bridge that wide gap at present, and she also has to deal with the weird Aspie in me, and the possibility that I might pop my clogs any day, and she deserves a medal for all that. All I can give her is delightful chocolate-and rose flavoured tea lovingly brewed in springwater from up the hill – well, I have some pleasant quirks.

Lynne and Maya have made me aware how, through relationships and family, I have unconsciously tried to bridge a gaping chasm between two parts of myself – the mad-professor hermit and the former philosopher-king with no kingdom. I have not succeeded. The only consolation is that there have been benefits in other ways. Nelson Mandela had this problem: a conflict between his allegiance to his family and to his people that he never quite resolved. But in the end it was better for everyone that he did what he did, and perhaps he was supporting his great-grandchildren better than his own children. And life takes many strange turns.

I don’t know how long I shall live. Every estimate of how I shall be tomorrow, in a month’s time or next year is provisional and guesswork. Should I buy a new winter coat or put the money into financing my funeral? Well, there’s only one answer: live day to day, do my best and find out. And be grateful for small things.

The big event yesterday was a hobble down the old trackway into the valley, turning right into the field, balancing my way through a muddy, tractor-ripped gateway and down to where Paget, Andrew and Jon were digging out the old pool by the woods in the low afternoon sun. This will create a revived habitat for pond and stream plants, geese and waders, dragonflies and allsorts. It was great to see, even if at this stage it’s mainly mud and unfinished fencing to keep the cattle out. But then, it’s January, and the right time for it. Capricorn: a time for carrying on regardless and getting on with the digging. And the tax returns. And the daily grind. But underneath, hidden away, something is moving, taking shape.

The corvids are massing and krarking around in the clear, cold sky above the farm, ready for bedding down in the trees down below. They’ve been out and about around Penwith and they gather together to sleep in the woods. The geese will come in soon, settling on the lake shores down the valley. I think it’s time to finish this blog and post it. Time to light the stove and get some dinner on. Thank you to Teri in Australia for prompting me to write this. And bless you all for being you.

Love, Paldywan Kenobi.

Down’ere in Cornwall, right at the far end
www.palden.co.uk

St Michael’s Mount, as seen from the iron age courtyard house on the hill on our farm – probably eight miles away

Royal Cornwall

Going through the Grinder

The Judaean Desert, Palestine

I was in hospital yesterday, Monday. I’ve been ill for two weeks, and four days ago it got a lot worse. I was exhausted, in pain, fatigued and raked out. My stalwart helper Penny took me down to Penzance hospital on Sunday evening where, after the customary endurance test of waiting too long, a rather brilliant young doctor prescribed me antibiotics. Although I really dislike antibiotics, and have had to rebuild my biotic system over the last year since the last load, I knew I was in real danger, and it would be necessary to nuke it. Modern medicine is good in crises.

For me, it’s a matter of strength of spirit too. Recently I’ve been getting worn out, and my survival capacity has been flagging. In recent months I’ve been struggling somewhat with circumstances around me, and when the illness started I wasn’t strong. As the two weeks of illness progressed, I was getting exhausted. As it happened, Lynne was ill at her home too (much from overwork, and if there were a proper allowance for family and friend carers, such as £500 per month, down from the £1,500 that professional care would cost, it would make such a difference for her and for me).

In post-lockdown Britain we’ve gone back to the ‘no time’ syndrome – the basic psychosocial cause of the care crisis – which, for many people needing care and support, means we just have to sort ourselves out quite a lot, whether or not we actually can or should.

I am still shielding – being on immunosuppressants, I have to avoid infection. Some people don’t respect this, and one person who is most likely to have given me the infection is one of those. But, on the other hand, people who are more mindful of infection tend not to visit at all. Then, some people over-care and want to help too much, and this is awkward, when all I need is friendship – and if I need anything I shall say so. Some people chatter too much, and when they see me get tired they suddenly leave – when really I just need them to slow down, accept my different states of being, and simply be here with me, or even bring their knitting. Much of the time I don’t need fixing, healing or helping – I’d just like some company.

But as an astrologer, I know this is part of my deeper process too. Those of you who are astrologically literate will probably chuckle when you hear the major transit I’m on: Neptune opposition Saturn. It’s a test of spirit, a state of adversity, a loss of control, an uphill grind, and… you’re on your own with it, whether you like it or not. The fascinating thing is that, even though I was quite well set up in my life circumstances, in the end, and at the time I needed help, circumstances had it that I had to go through it alone. And here’s the rub: on a deep level, I manifested this. It’s me, my pattern. Realising this instead of complaining about it, I began to make a turn-around.

Hebron

Within a day I was in the hands of the young doctor in Penzance, probably Indian, who referred me to the Royal Cornwall hospital at Treliske, Truro, 45 miles away. Yesterday, when I told the doctors at Treliske (one Irish and one Russian) what he had prescribed for me, their eyebrows rose, and they said he’d done exactly the right thing. This is the other side of the Neptune transit: my guardian angels were with me.

Although it was hard (mostly involving waiting, again) at Treliske, some quite remarkable things happened. In hospitals, there are a lot of people in pain or an altered state, and to some extent they are helpless. Some of the conversations I had were remarkable, and I was able to bring some people something to think about, or a smile, or a shift of mood – and they to me. The nurses and doctors were amazing too. The Nigerian x-ray technician was surprised when I asked where in Nigeria he came from. “No one ever asks me that”, he said, pensively, “They just think, ‘Ah, he comes from Africa'”. He came from Kano in the north, so I greeted him in the Islamic way. Here’s this lovely black guy in Cornwall, an overwhelmingly white region, and his face lit up.

There was a guy in the A&E waiting room who was under guard of two police. They’d brought him in for a post-arrest injury check. The guy couldn’t handle it – he was a laddish guy, physically quite powerful, who solves every issue with a fag and a can of beer, or a flailing fist. He was really in difficulty – he couldn’t face himself and his situation. Others moved away but I didn’t. Eventually, after an outburst, I eyeballed him with my rather penetrating eyes and said, “I’m a smoker too”. He was surprised. I had him nailed. “And I’d like a smoke too. But it’s not going to happen.” He went quiet.

Then I said: “I sat in jail once and it was a real shock. But, d’you know what? It was a turning point in my life. It made me make promises to myself about how my future was going to be.” Pause. “And good luck, matey, and I really hope this is a turning point for you.” At that very moment a nurse came out, calling my name, and I hobbled off with her for a walk down a few endless corridors.

Later, one of the police asked me, “So what have you been doing in your life to be able to do that?”. I told him this guy was easy compared to some Israeli settlers. I also said that meditators like me would say this guy had a restless monkey-mind – he couldn’t face himself, couldn’t just sit. So I addressed his monkey-mind and the guy was stunned that this stranger was giving him attention and speaking to him sympathetically. It changes the agenda and shifts the monkey-mind into a different gear. “My wife says things like that – she does yoga”, said the policeman.

Tuwani, a settler-harassed village south of Hebron

So, I’ve been going through another chapter of soul-education. On the one side, life has been really hard, and my batteries were getting low, and I was in danger. On the other, I was being given some really meaningful interactions that lit me up. Particularly concerning one thing: I’m an inbuilt social activist and humanitarian and I’ve been really missing it. I miss the engagement, the interactions, the risks, the full-on challenges. But now I cannot mix with people easily and I cannot travel. I’ve been crying tears over this recently. Yet here I was being reminded that, although in recent years I’ve been focused on Palestine and the Tuareg in Mali, humanity is everywhere in need. In our society, hospitals, police and first-responder situations form the frontline. And from a soul-education viewpoint, the people involved, as victims or as rescuers, are at the deep end of human experience.

And here’s another rub: we all have our stories, but every one of us will visit this frontline personally, sooner or later. This place of vulnerability and dependency. How we deal with it very much affects our experience of it and what we gain from it as an evolving soul. Ultimately, it concerns dying. It concerns facing our stuff. It’s best to do this ahead of need. But if we don’t, when we’re faced with it, it’s good to roll with it and use the experience to clarify something deep and profound – life-secrets that we often don’t get until we’re really flat on our backs and helpless.

So today I am back home, still fatigued, still quite unwell, though something is turning round. I must return to Treliske next Monday for an assessment. The last two weeks have been really hard. You’ll get a sense of this in my next podcast, recorded from bed in the depths of this crisis a few days ago. My hope and intention is to keep blogging and podding until I no longer can. After that, it will depend either on your psychic capacities or on someone doing some blogging and podding for me.

Two old Bedouin meet a Palestinian Christian, Bethlehem

But there’s more life to be lived first. I’ve been reminded that I’m in the lap of the gods, and all plans and statements about the future are provisional. Lynne and I have both been floored and bedded, 100 miles from each other – a strange solidarity of such kindred souls. And Penny has been a star: driving to Truro twice in one day is not the greatest of pleasures. As for me, I seem to have got through another crunch – though there were times I began to wonder.

God bless the doctors and nurses: they’re overstretched and they handle it well, but once they get to your case they can be brilliant. I really liked the Irish doctor. Once he’d done his doctoring duties he voiced concerns over Brexit. I told him that, on behalf of my fellow countrypeople, I wished to apologise to him and his fellow Irishfolk for the way we have seriously let them down. Again. He took it with a smile.

One thing I found interesting was that, though they all practiced due diligence, the doctors and nurses did not seem anxious about Covid. In fact, as I was leaving in the late afternoon, I was asked, almost in passing, whether I’d had the jab or not, and the nurse who asked seemed quite unworried when I said I hadn’t.

As I say in my podcasts: thanks for being with – there’s more to come.

Love from me. Palden.

Doing the Work

About what I’m working on right now

The known ancient sites of Cornwall. See it in more detail.

I’m on an astrological transit called Neptune opposition Saturn, and one symptom of this is aloneness. This is a life-pattern of mine, both a blessing and a bane. Much of my greatest work, in terms of studies and writing, has emerged during times of isolation and adversity – as if I’ve been given a perverse gift of extended time in which the only thing I can do is the work.

Kinda serving time – but there’s a double-entendre to that term. I’m a saturnine type, and that’s what it’s about – fulfilling the agreement, the covenant, as best I can. And Saturn says to each and every one of us, each in our own way: you can do it now and there will be consequences, or you can do it later with other consequences, but you will do it – and the easier path is to take what appears to be the harder path (though it isn’t harder in the end).

Writing a book, building a website or doing research… most other options become mysteriously unavailable when it’s time to do one of these. But not forever, and the window shuts if I don’t seize the time, even when I just have potatoes to eat.

But then, that’s one of my best contributions and people benefit from it, and if I sat around chatting, socialising or treading the money-mill I wouldn’t be doing it and it wouldn’t happen. Cos it takes hours, days, months and years, and a life’s work takes a life to do (sometimes longer).

So the current fiddly operation I’m on right now is tweaks to the ancient sites maps of Cornwall that I’ve been doing for the last six years. This time I’m looking at ancient site alignments coming from Dartmoor and Exmoor in Devon into Cornwall. Bodmin Moor acts as a kind of hub for incoming alignments, though some pass through it. It’s amazing, the accuracy with which these alignments cross quite long distances of up to 100km, hitting ancient sites within just a few metres.

One remarkable thing is this. I was reluctant to get involved with Devon (too much work), but I chose a few sites, such as Berry Head and Start Point, and found some amazing alignments. More recently I decided (after procrastinating) to add key sites in Dartmoor to the map (takes about 5-10 minutes per site) – and fascinatingly, some of those sites appeared exactly on the alignments I had already found. Amazing. How they did this without satellites, I do not know (though I have a few theories).

That’s Bartinney, as seen from the 2,000 year old iron age courtyard house up on Botrea Hill

It’s in gradual progress – but (if you wish) check out those alignments from Berry Head, Torbay, and Start Point – one goes all the way to Bartinney Castle, just on the other side of the valley and visible when I look up from my desk. As I write in my forthcoming book, if you wanted to land a mothership in West Penwith, that’d be the place.

I have to do the uploads from a non-public ‘sandbox’ map of Cornwall to the public maps late at night, since many people will (hopefully) be in bed, and their visits to the maps won’t get disrupted as the maps blink on and off, one layer at a time as each layer is replaced, tweaked and twooked. Well, that’s how it gets late at night… it takes about three hours.

The latest upload happened last night. I was buzzing on Dexamethasone at the time – a legal and free cancer drug, just like meditation, but fundamentally different and prescribed by different sources). But Dex helps me get a few things done, in the two days I’m taking it.

So you’ll find the current stage of this research here:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer…

There’s one more thing… no one can take away your life’s work from you. If you feel they are doing that, then you have a short-term, not a longterm problem and the value of the experience is to confirm that it’s right to get on with it somehow, and to oblige you to get right behind it.

Whatever is going on in your life, your life’s work goes with you on a somewhat separate track, fed by and feeding through to things that happen to you, or books you read, or people who deliver prompts and clues. Withholding and hanging back on our life’s work is one of the great causes of the global problems we have today. It’s also a cause of future illness.

I’m not a great withholder, but cancer put the cards on the table and told me: there’s more, and it’s time. Part of me doesn’t care so much about how my ideas and initiatives are received any more – though of course I do care a lot, but not for the same reasons as before. So I’m getting down many of the threads I’ve pursued in life, for the record, because I’ve been privileged to live through a pretty exciting and edgy time, and I’ve shared this with so many good people. It’s worth leaving tracks, whether or not future generations know or care whose shoulders they’re standing on. Because human history and the passing of the generations simply eats us for breakfast and dissolves us into nothingness.

Even those of whom history thinks well are often remembered for weird and often incorrect reasons. Once upon a time, on Iona, I had an inner dialogue with the soul of St Columba, a founder of monasteries and evangelist for the faith, looked on as a shining light of former times. Not so – he was a murderer and completely screwed up in Ulster, got out, saw the light, and did all that from guilt and a sense of penance. He disliked the way he is remembered.

Similarly with Salah-ad-Din, regarded as a great and just Kurdish ruler of Syria and Egypt. He had offered a power-sharing arrangement in Palestine that would have changed future history, and the Crusaders (Richard the Lionheart) didn’t take it. (It wasn’t helped by the fact that his son and a rich European lady, who would be required to marry to guarantee the treaty, didn’t want to.) He didn’t like that. He got the Crusaders out of Jerusalem and penned them up in Acre, but then, tired of campaigning against assholes and wanting to complete the job, he made a fatal error, causing many deaths. He died, heartbroken, not long after. What he remembers of that life is not the same as what many remember today.

So much for posterity.

Love, Paldywan

A Rather Slow Farming Revolution

Paldywan shares his thoughts about living on an organic farm

Here’s my next podcast from the Far Beyond. This time it’s about farming, happy cattle, feeding the badgers, self-fertilising fields resilience and… well, you know, I usually range around loads of things…

Don’t worry, it takes only 16 minutes. Free, no strings, no ads, no sign-up. Phew.

http://www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html

Recently I’ve been circumambulating around ancient mysteries, though later I’ll be getting all geopolitical. Might even get astronomical, just to bring things closer to home.