Buckfastleigh

Magic Circle recordings

Palden at Avebury

It’s raining and blustering, grey, with low cloud over Bartinney Castle outside my rain-bespattered window.

I’ve been fiddling away at home on the recordings of my Magic Circle in Buckfastleigh, Devon, and now they’re ready.

The first is about our origins as souls and about the people we come from, ending with an inner journey to uncover your own particular story – where you came from and what your people are like.

The second is about world healing, where we visit Pakistan to work with the psycho-emotional aspect of the devastation that people there are going through.

The third is about the gift of living on Earth and what we can do about the predicament we’re in, living as we do in a currently rather crunchy and crazy world.

They’re here: www.palden.co.uk/podtalks.html

That’ll keep you busy for a while, I hope! It kept me busy this week, and it was a great way of finding out what I actually came up with during the Magic Circle. Sometimes there are teachings in there for me too.

Since getting cancer I’ve gone through a big systems reset. It has changed my psyche and partially disabled me, so that I can’t carry on in life in the way I used to. Though I’ve stood on stages and led workshops and events for yonks and I’m drawing on lots of experience, cancer has made me start afresh and feel my way forward in a new context, with a rather different me who is doing it.

That’s partially what these Magic Circles were about – to feel my way forward in a new way, following a level-shift that cancer, and my way of dealing with it, seem to have given me – together with a few big Neptune transits that floored me and brought an unexpected rebirth. I’ve needed to start again, feeling out a new way of doing things that reflects where I’m now truly at. Each of the Magic Circles has therefore been part of a progression.

Hamish Miller

But another reason I’m doing this is also because my old friend Hamish Miller taught me a lesson. At the time when I was staying with Ba Miller and him, twelve years ago, I was fresh to Cornwall and didn’t know enough about it to dredge his memory for his own local knowledge, while he was still alive. Unthinkingly, I assumed he would be around for a while. Then suddenly he was gone and then, four years later, I embarked on a research project into the prehistory of this area, West Penwith. I’d really have liked to sit down with Hamish to raid his brains. Well, he did nudge me occasionally from upstairs, as did John Michell (another pair of shoulders on which I stand), but with dead souls you don’t get the detail and information you can with living souls – you might get energy and support, but not maps, diagrams and details. So that knowledge is gone.

When cancer came along and I thought of my own recyclability, something in me realised I needed to disgorge as much of my stuff as I could, in useful ways that people can make use of once I’ve gone. Three years later, they’ve taken the form of a book, a blog, podcasts and events. I haven’t given my life to fame or capital accumulation, but this is something I can leave behind. I’ve got Jupiter in Pisces after all – treasures in heaven, even though my bank account rarely did well.

We all have a contribution to make, and this was mine, acting out a planet-fixer’s karma in a world heading the other way, as best he could, with a few goals scored, and a lot missed. That’s the way the cookie crumbles, and that’s what life’s about. I regret the ways I’ve made life more difficult or painful for some people, and I’m glad for those whose lives I’ve helped or lifted up. It’s really a mixed bag, this Earth business, and I’ve been pretty mixed, and mixed-up, too. Though something gets distilled amongst all this and, in the end, this is what survives death. It survives as a bundle of experiential memory for the soul that passes on, and as a legacy for those left behind.

So editing and preparing material for uploading and leaving to posterity is what I’ve been doing this week, and now it’s done, uploaded and ready. Thank you to you who organised the Magic Circle and helped me through the weekend, and to those who came and those who couldn’t or didn’t.

Something else is brewing, and it has surfaced through these Magic Circles, and I’m making no decisions about it until at least winter solstice – it needs careful mulling over. Also, for future events, I’m taking my lead from requests that come from people who are happy to organise things.

I must go at the pace of a cancer patient who must manage his energy well. I have few energy-reserves, so every period of activity needs to be followed by a time of quietness and downtime. Energy-management has been a fascinating learning experience in the last three years – how to stay within my scope of possibilities, pace myself, and particularly how to recognise in advance the signs that I’m drooping and need to go into self-protect mode.

That’s a fascinating challenge. As is this: anything I start now will be intended to outlast me, and to grow forward from where we left it when I pass away. With all that I have done in group process, world healing, astrology, geomancy, geopolitics, history and other things, it’s all incomplete, a ‘work in progress’ that I hope will be taken forward by others from the place where I was able to leave it.

So, for people who were there and couldn’t be there, and for those of you who are interested, here are three pod-talks from the Magic Circle in Buckfastleigh, with love from me. Some vitamins and enzymes to feed the soul.

And now, guess what, it’s time to put the kettle on.

Palden

Blog: https://penwithbeyond.blog
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
PodTalks: www.palden.co.uk/podtalks.htm
l

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

The Tipping of the Scales

Glastonbury Friday 9th Sept 2022

Carn Les Boel, Land's End, Cornwall
Carn Les Boel, Land’s End, Cornwall. Click for info about my evening talk in Glastonbury

Paldywan Kenobi beams down in Glastonbury, next week, on Friday evening, 9th September. If you live in or around Avalon, whether or not you know me, it’d be great to see you! I’m really looking forward to this.

I’ll share some tales from my time there, rattling the bars through the eighties, nineties and naughties. Also I wish to share with you a parapolitical panorama of where we stand in the long planetary revolution we’re all variously a part of.

A lovely quote popped up on Radio Four a week or so ago (from an American evangelical, no less) and it’s really pertinent now in the 2020s:

Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle.

I’m an old LSE student protester who didn’t quite give up, an old acid head who’s now tripped out on bone marrow cancer, staggering around on his sticks like a cripple on the wrong planet. Recently I’ve had to align to spirit like never before, to stay alive – death is my personal trainer and the therapy comes for free.

I’ve always been a strange combination of an esoteric extremist and a socio-political activist. The last three years squaring with cancer have been like ten – it was dark down there but there’s gold there too, and I brought some up.

Then suddenly a voice inside said, ‘Ah, we’ve got one more job for you…’. Oh shit, not again. I wasn’t expecting that – I thought I was on my way out. But then, when you enter an edge-treading miracle zone where it feels like your life is at stake three times a week, anything can happen, and it does. So I’m under new instructions, and this gig at the Assembly Rooms is a small part of that.

So this might be ninety minutes of utter crap (though it’s usually interesting), or a special sharing that you might remember longer than the next day. We shall see. That’s why I’d really like you to come – if, that is, you hear a little tinkling in your heart when you read this.

If you can’t make it, I’m doing a five-hour ‘magic circle’ in Buckfastleigh, Devon, on Sat 24th Sept.

The pic here is of Carn Les Boel, a cliff sanctuary near where I live, and it’s a really strong place at the southwestern end of the Michael Line – next stop, the Mayalands of Yucatan, Mexico.

Greetings from the Far Beyond, West Penwith, Cornwall, with love from me. Palden.

Site: palden.co.uk
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Events: palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
West Penwith: ancientpenwith.org

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

Magic Circles

First of a series of PodTalks with Paldywan

Palden Jenkins at the Oak Dragon camp near Glastonbury, August 2022

I’ve started doing ‘Magic Circles’ – five-hour sessions (attendees do get breaks!) – thus far in Glastonbury and Avebury. They were well attended, with a lovely quality of people coming to them.

Here’s a recording of the first segment of three from the Avebury event. If you like my podcasts or you attended the Magic Circle, or you just want something a bit more than what you get in the podcasts, you might like this. It’s an hour long. Stream it or save it to your computer or phone.

It’s the beginning of a new series of podcasts of my live talks, called PodTalks. The first is on the PodTalks page on my site, and more will follow:

Palden’s PodTalks

The next Magic Circle will be in Buckfast, near Totnes in South Devon, on 24th September 2022 – info here: Magic Circles with Palden

With love, Paldywan

Home from Home

The turning of circles

Palden with old friend Barry Hoon. Together we created isleofavalon.co.uk in the 1990s

Oak Dragon called me. I returned. Something came full circle.

It all goes back to 1986-87 when I started the Oak Dragon Camps. For three years previously, with a lot of help from friends I had run the prototype Glastonbury Camps on a spontaneous, improvised basis, and this was the next step. Apart from a solar eclipse camp in 1999 in Cornwall, I hadn’t been back since 1993. I had been ousted by ‘we, the people’ (well, some of them), and went my way, soon to work for the Council of Nine and then to start a new generation of camps, the Hundredth Monkey Project, in 1995-97, inspired by the Nine and drawing on experiences gained earlier.

Ruby is on the right

Ruby and Penny took me to the camp and, in the process, found a new family. Ruby, 12, grew a year in one week. Penny, one of those souls who holds the world up, found new context for it in a big-family setting. Everyone loved them. As for me, staggering around on sticks, periodically drifting off into dozy psychic reveries while flopped in my seat, I was so welcomed and cared for that I was moved to tears by the poignancy of it all and the love of a tribe I had set in motion, lost and suddenly regained. “If you hadn’t started this, all of us wouldn’t have met, and some wouldn’t even have been born“. Believe me, it was really moving to hear that.

Fiftyish of us were camping in a big circle divided into four smaller circles. Some were regulars who had met up for years, some hadn’t been for years and some were new, finding themselves melting into a new family they hadn’t anticipated joining.

Each day started with an optional meditation and the Dance of Life (a native American greeting of the day). Then came a daily camp meeting in a big, circular marquee, then group activities or a ‘council’, a talking-stick sharing session.

Ronald Hutton with a group at the yew tree

In the afternoon and evening, group activities ranged from talks, artwork, Breton dancing and making things, to visits to a nearby ancient hill camp, Dundon Beacon, or the ancient yew tree at Dundon church. One day we had a sweat lodge, a day-long process that Ruby and I joined. Some days we cooked the evening meal over campfires in our tent circles and sometimes we did it communally. Nowadays, Oak Dragon has all its developed ways and custom kit – marquee, domes, showers, tools and bits – but, in the earliest days it had been a matter of makeshift improvisation and doing our level best.

This is not just a nice bunch of people doing enjoyable things. In originating the camps I sought to create a space in which people could experience living in an accelerated growth zone, a different world without walls and with very different ways. Crucial here is life-education and what community living does to us as individuals, but the main issue is that an enspirited magic circle like this helps people go through breakthroughs, revelations, resolutions and great leaps forward. Then they spend the rest of the year integrating it, and they return for more whenever it’s right.

Throughout the camps, one of the most rewarding things has been watching young people grow in leaps and bounds, and seeing whole families release their power issues, conflicts and tensions. Everyone comes out glowing, whoever they are. There is pain, dilemma, choice and wobbliness too yet, when a camp is well set up, focalised and run, a supportive and safe atmosphere makes it all very different from the world out there.

Penny, actually sitting down

I myself was a case in point. Back home, I rely on one helper, Penny, who comes once a week and is also reliably on call, plus a number of people who assist in disparate and occasional ways, and it is something of a burden on them. With my partner, our relationship had gone from one of equals to one of dependency, and this had weighed heavily on her. Meanwhile, at the camp, anyone would roll up with offers of tea or carrying my seat and I was both cared for – amply hugged, heard, supplied and assisted – and much appreciated for what I could, within my scope, contribute.

Becky

When Becky, the camp focaliser, invited me, I wondered how long I would last, physically. At the camp my body ached, camping was an effort and my psyche was rather overloaded after 2-3 years of relative isolation. But my spirits were lifted up, they kept me going and, on balance, I had a great time. It’s all a matter of attitude, really.

And… what goes around comes around. Once upon a time an organiser, this time I was on the receiving end. I was relieved of a pattern of mine: I couldn’t work my ass off. I used to be one who felt unconsciously that he had to pay off karmic debts to family, people, society and ‘God’ by contributing more than was due. I tried too hard. This is a common ‘server soul’ syndrome, though it does cause amazing things to come about.

I watched Penny acting out her own version of it, a few times dropping a hint to her that she could also sit down and hang out for a while, but she’s a compulsive helper and lifesaver, and this is her path. Frankly, if there were more people like her, the world would be so much better. Humorously I introduced her as my bodyguard – well, she is a former nightclub bouncer. She’d be great in a war zone. She calls me ‘boss’, with a cheekily ironic look that keeps me safely in my proper place.

In a week from now I’ll be back in Cornwall doing blood tests and scans. When I was tunnelling around in Hades in February-March, my readings got worse. In spring I stabilised. I suspect that, now, the readings might improve. At the camp I found I could keep going longer, sit cross-legged for a whole three minutes, my posture and digestion improved and the biggest medicine of all, spirit, shot up. I even started forgetting my sticks, which worked for about ten paces before rather painfully I remembered I couldn’t hold myself up any longer.

It feels like I stand at a new beginning, perhaps a new mission. A mission-driven person, this is my path, even in this last chapter of life. It gives me something to live for and I feel that, if I can bring about what is asked for, I’ll be kept alive to do it. If not, something else will happen.

I reckon I have between one and seven years to live – longer than I reckoned during last winter. But this brings up various questions. It makes life more complex, surrounded as I am with people living more normal lives and going at a pace I cannot keep up with. Then there’s the matter of making plans and how I shall live during whatever time I have left. I’ve been lonely and under-supported and I need that to change. Losing my partner six months ago impacted all areas of my life and, in a variety of situations, I still find myself wishing she were here, not only out of need but also from a wish to share and to give – we had grown into each other so much.

Today I planned to go clothes shopping but, frankly, I’m unsure I can do it alone – I need a second brain, an extra pair of hands and someone to scoop me up when I droop. But I’ll try anyway. Many of my life-needs are quite specific and it doesn’t work for just anyone, however well-meaning, to help me. That’s tricky – it has taken Penny time to figure out my nature and quirks, and really I need an extra person to complement her and cover those times her hands are already full. So there are issues I must contemplate when I return home. Something needs to change. Or I need to change. Or both.

Pete and Dot, my camp neighbours – they were so kind

Coming close to death made me acutely aware of what I haven’t done – you’ll find this happens when death approaches you. My book Shining Land, about ancient civilisation in Cornwall is now finished and coming out before long, I hope. I think it’s my last book.

This cancer blog, and my podcasts and events, all grew out of squaring with cancer. But I’m unfinished on a few fronts: family (I miss them), love (a big gap that is not healed by admonishments to love myself), world-work projects, and finding someone to step into my shoes with the Tuareg and the Palestinians. I’d like to close these circles before I’m done, if life permits. In the last chapter, some things we must accept as final and some can still be progressed.

While this cancer blog is not as medically oriented as many others are, it’s about the side-issues that have arisen for me as a cancer patient. Life has been hard overall, and one reason I appear to do cancer relatively easily is that it follows in a continuum, albeit in a new format. If you’ve done jail, exile, unpopularity, poverty, loss and bullets, cancer is just one step further. I’m a flawed human like anyone, with lots yet to learn, but I do hope that, by exposing my struggles and joys in this blog, you might gain a few glimmers of light.

Soon I turn 72 but cancer has thrust me into my eighties, with what seems like 120 years’ worth of experience trailing behind. This happens when you live intensely, wading around in a variety of high-risk zones and deep altered states where time shifts into another dimension. Cancer has pushed me into a new phase: I’ve stepped into a new archetype and even the patterns on the palms of my hands have changed. Even so, one thing I do need to learn is how to write shorter blogs, and I never seem to manage.

As for the ‘magic circles’, the first one in Glastonbury went really well. Thanks to Bruce Garrard for organising it and to the remarkable people who turned up, and to Avalon, my old home, for wrapping us in its energy-field. The next is in Avebury, this Saturday 13th August, and another follows in South Devon on Saturday 24th September (a link is below). It lights me up to do these – at last Tuesday’s circle I started out frail, coming alive and on-the-pulse as I warmed up. I think I’ll tighten up the next one – time went too quickly and I need to present everything more succinctly.

John and Chrissie Ferngrove. Chrissie was one of the founding Oak Dragon team, back in 1986.

This is an experiment and a new way of working, for me, an old hat entering a new chapter. I’m fishing for new avenues, people and a way forward, while finding out whether I have it in me to follow through. So far, so good.

Sometimes ‘guidance’ comes from within but, for me, it reveals itself when I act on possibilities and prod the future – this is how the alchemy works. Besides, when I get inner guidance, it’s often cryptic, pointing at principles and possibilities that then have to be applied in real life. It starts with preparing the ground, planting seeds and seeing whether and how they germinate.

An old friend, Dechen

After Avebury, I’m back to Cornwall for a recharge, cancer drugs and blood tests before the next wave of activity in September. One step at a time.

Right now I’m staying for a few days with Lily, a new soul-sister, having a quiet time in her studio, writing and recuperating under the calming gaze of Tibetan thankas, sorting myself out before the next bit at Avebury.

May you be blessed. You bless me by reading this. There’s more to come, inshallah.

With love, Paldywan Kenobi.

Magic Circles: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Forthcoming book: www.palden.co.uk/shiningland/

The sweat lodge fire, busy cooking hot rocks

Off to Pow Sows

The Land of the Sowsnek

Scenes from the OakDragon Camp in Wales in 1987

Pow Sows is the Cornish name for England, where the Sowsnek live.

When you have cancer, everything becomes a much bigger challenge. It could be easy to lapse into staying inside a comfort zone to keep difficulties down, but I don’t feel like that. It’s time for a change.

So on Friday I sally forth upcountry into the great wide and wonderful, feeling a bit like the little boy I was when I made my first trip to London, around age eight – my Mum put me on the train hauled by an impressive steam loco and I was met by my aunt at Paddington. But this time, this seventysomething little boy is under the Amazonic protection of Penny and Ruby and we’re off on an adventure to meet a dragon and work a circle or two. Erk, fasten your safety belts.

We’re going to an OakDragon camp. I’ve been invited back, and this is rather an honour. I was OakDragon’s originator. It’s a long story. It started in 1983, when a friend asked me to help organise a gathering in Glastonbury for earth mysteries enthusiasts. We did one at Samhain 1983 in the Assembly Rooms, seventyish people came and it was dynamite. In 1984 I did two gatherings in May, on earth mysteries and astrology. Again, dynamite. A weekend wasn’t long enough. How could we cheaply bring people together for a week? Ah, a camp. Hm, that’s much more to sort out. I was reluctant. But I knew it had to happen, and that year too. As an astrologer I pulled on my contacts, and Glastonbury friends appeared to help run it and, in late August 1984 the first Living Astrology Camp took place. A hundred people came. The Glastonbury Camps were born.

In 1985 we did three memorable camps, in earth mysteries, astrology and music and dance, and three or four more in 1986. One, an earth mysteries camp that turned into a Chernobyl camp, was a life-changer for everyone. But the volunteer crews were burning out and much was changing. The idea for a new start, the OakDragon Camps, dawned. The camps formula had worked and started proliferating – others started camps organisations in the following years too.

The OakDragon Camps’ first season was in 1987, running seven week-long camps in four locations. It was big, intense, amazing, memorable and tumultuous. But things also started going awry. There was a rebellion out of which, the following year, were born the Rainbow Circle camps – it weakened us but we kept on going. There were internal issues too, and by the end of 1988 I was leaving, rather burned out, undermined and unpopular.

I left them to it and OakDragon carried on. Within three years I was working for the Council of Nine and, in 1995, I started the Hundredth Monkey Camps. Here I managed to demonstrate more clearly what I had been seeking to bring about – the Nine had clarified my understanding of it all. Looking back, in the 1980s so many new ideas had been taking shape, we improvised as we went along, the challenges were big, and complex dynamics tugged in different directions. Yet it was a flowering, an awakening, an eruption of possibilities, a collective peak experience, and it was great to be part of it – and I think everyone involved would agree.

In late life, I’m moved to do more circle-working, with a little help from my friends, to share new ways of doing this work that have dawned on me during my cancer process. It’s not cool to build up expectations, but what’s available is quantum group transformation, if and when it works right. It’s the principle of ‘more than the sum of its parts’: when a group of individuals synergises into one being, something can happen beyond anything anyone imagined.

I believe that, later this century, this is how things will change. It’s all to do with the hearts and minds of humanity. It’s about mass focus of consciousness. When multiple minds give attention to one objective with a certain intensity for a certain amount of time, things can change, particularly in terms of human values, viewpoints and mindsets. It is these that determine so much else. Unless at least a majority of humanity joins together to pull in roughly the same direction, I don’t think we’ll get to where we need to go, this century. Humanity is in disarray, and this is no way to run a planetary home. We need to go through a kind of mass synchronisation of basic human intent, a re-resonance of human dissonance. This isn’t as airyfairy as it sounds: we have seen something like this happen in Ukraine this year, with the mobilisation of a nation.

How such a situation can be engineered globally is anyone’s guess, but a fortuitous combination of pressures could do it, if felt worldwide pretty simultaneously and if they evoke a similar response from everyone. Today’s major crises are quite unexpected, deeply stirring and breaking new ground, so this is in the hands of the Great Unknown. But there is something in the nature of these crises that is pushing us ultimately in a good direction. They are accelerating things. I’d even suggest there’s a guiding hand behind it, forcing us to face a plethora of important issues, for our own good. I’m not referring to Big Brother but to the group soul of humanity, or the heart of Gaia (or however you prefer to see it). A crunch-point could come where multiple simultaneous crises force us over a hump of social mobilisation and a collective melding of intent. That’s when the magic starts.

What is needed is an intense global situation activating sufficient shared feeling, fear, awe or goodwill, or all of them, so that billions of people find themselves spontaneously focusing on one basic thought – probably to do with survival or breakthrough. It needs to be sufficient to create a reality-wave that tilts the scales, making life look and feel quite fundamentally different, shifting people’s values and core aims over a critical hump. If we are to succeed in solving our problem here on Earth, some variant of this is what is likely to be needed.

Small groups can’t do it on their own, but they can lay tracks, train people, gather experience, evolve networks and embed and propagate the principles involved. It becomes a body of knowhow available to others to adopt when the need arises. It is a quality, not just a numbers issue, and a matter of time. For global-scale miracles to take place, a combination of factors must be dead right.

This has been a preoccupation for me since the LSE ‘troubles’. Fifty years later, I wasn’t expecting to be doing what I’m now setting out to do, but cancer has prised me open and I’ve seen something new. This winter I nearly kicked the bucket but my rebirth instincts eventually fired up and suddenly, to my surprise, by springtime I found myself with an ‘instruction’. It’s a bit like falling into hell and finding a lump of gold there, in the murk. I get these now and then.

It was strange because I had honestly felt I was heading for the final fall. But suddenly Life was saying, ‘No, there’s more’. I work on the basis that, if it is meant to happen and if I can pull it off, I’ll be helped and kept alive for it. Or the right thing will happen, whatever that needs to be. We shall see. But it does fire me up, this. And, as a cancer patient, having a good reason to stay alive is, well, a good reason to stay alive.

Meanwhile, OakDragon still exists decades later – and well done to them for doing that. No doubt it has changed a lot. I haven’t been part of it. I go now to the OakDragon as a guest, though it’s a bit like going home. It’s a healing. Everything comes round in the end, especially if we let it – and this is what’s happening. I’ll be interested to find out how I manage with camping – it’s one of those addictions I have difficulty letting go of, despite bone cancer.

On Tuesday 2nd August, during the camp, it’s the first ‘magic circle’ in Glastonbury and, whatever state I’m in, I’m going. Just as well, really. As a cancer patient I don’t know how I shall be on the day, so I can’t necessarily put on the competent airs of a normal person and get away with it. I’ll have to fall back on my root-resources, and there’s something rather special about that. It puts me on the line. Something in me loves that because it pulls out a second strength, or ‘superpowers’ that normal life doesn’t demand. So it doesn’t worry me, whether I’m weak or strong – the right thing will happen. It does. And, believe me, it’s a wee bit easier than operating in a war zone.

I have no idea when I shall next write a blog or do a podcast. They will come when they do. I’m peripatetic for two weeks, and around 15th August I return to Cornwall for my next shot of cancer immunotherapy, and to take a break before September adventures start. For you who cannot come on August 2nd, we’ll be in session from shortly before 14.00 to about 18.00 UK time so, if you wish, take a few pauses during that time to see if you can get us and pick anything up. Get a sense of the invisible presence that, I hope, will be with us. The next magic circle is in Avebury on Saturday 13th August (info below).

Hey, I really love you – whether I know you or not. I really appreciate your eyeballs and the goodwill you seem to feel, and it really does me good. Thank you so much for that – it makes a big difference to me. Thanks to Bruce, Ivan, Jackie and Jeanne for organising magic circles, and to Penny, Ruby and Lily for holding my hand. There’s an enormous smile on my face.

Muslims give God ninety-nine names, and they leave the hundredth entirely open. That’s pretty nifty. The Nine used to refer to ‘what you call God’ – they had their way of putting things. When Parkinson the talkshow host asked the Dalai Lama whether he believed in God, the Dalai Lama simply said, ‘No’. Spot on, Tenzin. Lao Tzu said, ‘The Tao that can be named is not the eternal Tao’. So when I say ‘God bless you’, you know what I really mean.

God bless you.

Paldywan Kenobi

The photos are by Tara Dancer, taken in Wales and Cornwall. Ironically, the campsite for the first OakDragon camp, held at Sancreed in Cornwall, is but a mile from where I now live, and I have the same landlord!

Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
Magic Circles: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html

Here’s a rather historic amateur video record of the second camp ever, Beltane 1985, at Butleigh, Glastonbury, made by the late Mark Walters:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZaNwHo9wrM

Circles and Circles

and things changing

Mount’s Bay, Cudden Point and St Michael’s Mount, as seen from Halzephron Cliff on the Lizard

A deep rumble shook my cabin. Six in the morning. Tuesday. Heavy atmosphere. The rumbling came from the south, over the sea. I got up, made tea.

One of those expectant, crackly intensities was in the air, where the clouds take on an ethereal, colourful irridescence. Suddenly, an enormous crash close-by. A flash crackles out of the phone socket and the lights go off.

Hm, just as well I had made tea first. The power was restored in an hour or so but, while the landline worked, the internet didn’t – an engineer’s visit would be necessary, according to the friendly Yorkshirewoman on the helpline. Ah, I was to get an unforeseen break from being online. Actually, that was a bit of a relief. Even so, in the afternoon I wrote this blog, ready for uploading when I could. But the engineer came on Thursday and found that the fault would take longer. So I’m over at Penny’s, doing my online stuff.

In recent weeks I’ve had a lot of solitude. A big question has been this: if I need to hit the red button, who do I turn to? Who will check me out and do something? At present I can rely on only one person – my helper Penny, a real trooper, though she can’t cover everything, always. She’s often busy with other clients or the rigours of life, though she does down tools and come if it’s an emergency. A person in my situation needs to be able to rely on that. Suddenly offline, I decided to see who would ring up that day. In the end it was just Penny and my son Tulki – he’s good like that.

St Michael’s Mount from Penzance harbour

Unconsciously, I create this situation myself. I give off a positive vibe, my tolerance levels are high, I seem to take things in my stride, and everyone therefore assumes I’m alright. Often I am, and sometimes I’m not, and that’s the tricky bit. Forty years ago in a men’s group we did an exercise: we were stuck in a boat in the middle of the ocean, and one of us had to jump out to save the others. Reckoning I could handle it better than any of them, they chose me. That’s the pattern. I vowed then to release and change it, but life doesn’t quite work out like that. Our patterns remain and they are what we are. What can change is the way we handle them. Sometimes life takes us back to square one, to get us down to the pattern’s roots. And one problem with addressing shadows is that we can convince ourselves we’re worse persons than we actually are.

When I’m not alright I naturally go quiet and often no one checks me out. There’s a societal issue here: everyone is so busy. NHS staff are run off their feet. People tell me to ring if I need help but most times it hasn’t actually worked. Back in December I was really ill and it took five days and twentyish phone calls to get nowhere. So I have a problem, I haven’t cracked it, and it’s also bigger than me.

In a week’s time I’m sallying forth from furthest Cornwall. But first, on Wednesday this week a nurse came along to shoot me up with Dara and Dex, my cancer drugs. That gives me time to get over the ensuing problems and go through the most immuno-suppressed part of my monthly maintenance cycle of cancer treatment. Well, at least the drugs are free, legal and prescribed!

St Michael’s Mount and Penzance from Cudden Point

I’m really looking forward to meeting some people, at last! Loads of you! Penny, her delightful daughter Ruby and I are first going to the Oak Dragon camp near Glastonbury. It’s a case of ‘the old founder returns, thirty years on’, and rather a heart-gladdening honour, actually. Though my bones will probably ache and it could wear me out, camping is a blessing I’m reluctant to let go of. But, you never know, this might be the last time.

On Tuesday 2nd August I’ll dip out of the camp for a day to do the first, now fully booked ‘magic circle’ in Glastonbury. I’ve spoken publicly, broadcast, written and taught for decades but, after some years’ break, and acquiring cancer along the way, a lot has changed. A new approach has emerged, consistent with everything I’ve done before but now coming from a different, deeper place. Cancer and hard truths such as the grief of loss do hone your soul, yielding gifts of light. I might be experiencing battlefield-madness but, somehow, in my current weakness, a certain cards-on-the-table openness has come about, prompted by having reduced options and a limited time left. So, while I can, it’s time to share a few of the insights and secrets that have grown out of this – and spend some time with those of you who are able to come.

When the camp ends at the weekend, I’ll either find someone to spend time with or go back home to Cornwall for the week (I’m kidnappable).

Then comes the magic circle in Avebury on Saturday 13th August – right next to the stone circle. If you couldn’t join the Glastonbury event, try this. Of all three magic circles I’m doing this summer, this could be the most ET-related. I have a feeling the Devon magic circle on Saturday 24th September could be more ancient-oriented and soul-familyish. The Glastonbury one, well, that’s Glastonbury, and what comes up is what comes up, and that’s the wonder of the place. For local Glastonbury friends old and new, later on I’m doing a talk in the Assembly Rooms on Friday 9th September called ‘The Tipping of the Scales’, and that’s for you.

Cudden Point

What will happen at the magic circles? A mixture of me doing my thing with some inner processes and group sharing, but there’s a hidden Factor X here. What I call my ‘friends upstairs’ will also be quietly beavering away – well, that’s the way I see things, though you don’t have to. If we get things right, a background override can set in and something deep arises. You see, I don’t work to a script. We get what comes up. I don’t do standard old channelling either – I stay myself and speak for myself, though prompted and jogged by something more. I hope to cover three main themes, with breaks in between. That’s all I really know in advance. Sorry about that. This is why we ask you to come at the beginning and leave only at the end.

If you can’t come and you wish to ‘be there’ with us, send your name to me before 28th July. It will be written down and placed under a motherly rose quartz crystal at the centre of the circle. With her mate, a big hunky quartz, she has sat at the centre of countless such gatherings since 1983. Please keep this simple: I can’t handle complexity – just send in your name. After 28th July you’ll be included in the next circle.

Here’s the first theme. Astronomers want us to believe intelligent life in the universe, if indeed it exists, is yet to be found. I humbly disagree – we already have contact. So you’ll get a taste of the dimensional vastness of the universe and the diversity of its inhabitants, as I understand it. Us lot, we’re one variant, living on, or in, a very unique world. A world is a greater thing than a planet, since it includes the sumtotal of all of the experience happening on a planet, and there are eight billion incarnate humanoids here, all having human experiences, and some really intensely so. A world is an experiential process, and we all came here for a dose of it.

So we’ll look at our place in this rather bizarre world and what we’re here for – from the outside. It concerns not only our personal paths through life, but also helping to fulfil the aims and objectives of the soul-families and the worlds we each originate from and unconsciously work with. Gurdjieff called this partkolg duty (a Russian term), meaning our duty to the universe.

Note that dread word, duty. We, exercising our dubious freedoms, often forget duty. One of the end-of-life hard facts I’ve had to own up to is the multifarious ways in which I have avoided and erred in rising to my own duty – and screwed up and regretted some of it, caused pain and also paid a price. The funny thing is that the ultimate act of free will is to rise to our partkolg duty. If we humans did so, this planet’s problems would get fixed much quicker.

Here’s the second theme: planet-fixing and ‘world work’. My preceding blog on ‘world work’ was a taster. The idea here isn’t to get you to change path and do it the way I do it – it’s to work with the tools you have and the path you follow, perhaps giving them a shift of context and new application. Some of the tricks and experiences I’ll share will be useful and, for some, it might be the start of something new. I take both an activist and a spiritual approach to world work, and I believe combining the two is important.

The third theme is about dying. It’s something imminent for me, but it’s coming to a heart like yours, sooner or later. There’s the small matter of having a ‘good death’, whatever that really means, and there’s also the matter of the life-issues that come into sharp relief toward the end of your life. There’s something of a karmic crescendo to it. What have you been and done, and what have you not been and done? Death is potentially a great resolution of life’s story. Or it can be a crunchy confrontation with all those things we didn’t want to look at. It throws new light on everything and pulls the plug on delusions and lapsed possibilities. We’re powerless to do anything more – life’s deeds are done. The choice available is how we deal with it. We can build a habit of dealing with it in life, or we can do a crash course when dying, and each path has its ins and outs. Inevitably it’s a bit of both.

Predannack Head on the Lizard, looking into Mount’s Bay toward Tregonning Hill

These magic circles, quite simply, are something I’m moved to do before I go. When you’re in decline there are things you have to accept you can no longer do, and there are certain things you still can do and, for me, this is one. Well, I hope so, but if I die in the process, I died doing things I wanted to do, didn’t I? I don’t get the feeling that’ll happen though. For all of us, the prospect of dying brings up the question of why am I truly here and what am I doing about it? Our society is geared to setting such questions aside in favour of paying bills and staying out of trouble, and yet this is important, and many people have an itching in their hearts over precisely this question. Perhaps it’s not a question of what we want to do, but more one of what we must do. It’s that relentlessly choiceless choice – it keeps coming up at certain times of life.

For the two or more weeks I’m away, new blogs or podcasts will depend on time and circumstance. I won’t be available on mobile phone. If you need to contact me then I might occasionally pick up messages online. For enquiries about magic circles, please contact the respective organisers – all great people I’m really happy working with. By September I might know whether I can do further magic circles in autumn or winter, if wanted – it depends mainly on my cancer, energy, infection avoidance and the viability of travelling. And an organiser or two.

This is my sixtieth blog. That’s rather amazing. Someone suggested I make a book out of it, but four big issues come up: 1. I can’t do the last bit of the story about my passing away and what happens afterwards (I’ll be otherwise occupied); 2. I don’t know what is most enduringly valuable to my readers (someone else will know better); 3. when I’m dying, I can’t do all the publishing business, and, 4. gimme a break – I might be rather a workaholic, but this is ridiculous! So I’ll just carry on writing blogs until I can’t.

So much rests on how we see things. That is a matter for each of us and now it’s going global.

Love you lots. Speaktya soon. Paldywan.

Magic circles info: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Podcasts: www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html

Looking over Mount’s Bay toward the Lizard and Predannack Head, from Lamorna in Penwith

Aloneness

Latest podcast

When I was doing the design work for these podcasts, this one came close but didn’t quite make it.

This podcast is all about… Aloneness.

I had rather a debate and struggle about what to blog or podcast about next. So I decided to drop it and go up the hill on our farm to sit on the bronze age barrows up there and have a good think. Or a non-think. Those barrows have energy and I go there for an energy-bath.

On the way up I had an encounter with our big thumping bull. He’s great – he’s not a threat, but he’s definitely worthy of respect.

The whole of his herd of wives and children was spread across the field. Often they’re mainly to one side, so I go up the other side. But today it wasn’t possible, and the bull was right in the middle, staring at me.

We eyeballed each other. I let him hear the sound of my voice. Since we both have low voices we can read each other quite well. He grunted. We both wondered what to do. It took a while but we weren’t in a hurry. This was contemplation of the scene rather than anxious concern, for both of us. I decided to take an initiative, slowly heading uphill toward the left and, fascinatingly, as soon as I started moving he lumbered off to the right. We had both had the same thought.

As soon as he starts moving the whole herd starts moving. Belted Galloways, they’re a real herd, this lot, socially as well as genetically. So they shambled over into the next field. They have a big ranging ground all over Botrea Hill, with organic pasture and wild moor. I staggered uphill on my sticks toward the badger sett – a big, old and mature sett that apparently has been there for centuries.

On top of Botrea Hill. One of the barrows is in the background – low, wide and rather rain-eroded now. It’s not exactly exciting up there, but 4,000 years ago this would have been pleasant grassland, with a fantastic all-round view.

Further on, up on the barrows, I lay there absorbing the sun, connecting my heart and solar plexus into the earth and letting my psyche float free. Then I turned over and opened up my aura to the heavens, drifting off somewhere. Came to, had a drink, fired up my sound recorder (a Japanese Zoom H4N Pro) and suddenly realised I was going to talk about aloneness and loneliness. Out it came. This is it.

I have a feeling some Far Beyond listeners will relate to this podcast quite personally. Loneliness falls on all of us at times in life, but it falls heavily nowadays on certain people – it’s a hole you can fall into and get stuck in, getting so accustomed to your own company that you start losing interest in normal social interactions. It’s insidious.

That’s weird, considering the world’s population is at its highest ever. That’s about social isolation, even alienation.

But we have a new issue today: you can be physically alone for much of the time but well-connected remotely over internet with loads of people. Online home-workers can get isolated – not just grannies and the disabled. As a book editor, I would take 2-3-4 weeks over each book, with little need to talk to anyone for that time – I specialised in tricky, intricate books that demanded a lot of editorial thought. This online connectivity is both a blessing and a sad symptom of the way we moderns have adopted a surrogate digital life.

I too use this medium as a way of overcoming isolation, and this podcast is an example. Though this highlights one of the points I make in the podcast: it’s possible to turn even loneliness to good use.

You can listen on Spotify
or on my website at www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html
and it’s also on Apple and Google Podcasts.

This is an old part of the badger sett. Top-left you can see the runway into a new hole they’ve dug out. Badgers are very clean, and they keep their property spruce and tidy.

Far Beyond yet Amazingly Close

and round in circles

In August and September I’m going to be doing three ‘magic circles’ – An Afternoon in the Far Beyond with Palden Jenkins.

I’m really happy about the way these are working out. They’ll be in Glastonbury, Avebury and Buckfast, near Totnes, in Devon.

If you’re able to come, it would be really good to see you and share this with you.

Since getting cancer in late 2019, and with only some time left, I’ve been reflecting on what I need to pass on before I go. Over the decades I’ve had privileged exposure to profound experiences and played my part in the movement for change, and there’s something from all this that I want to share, while I still can.

Photo: Sunny Tresidder

I’ve always worked on creating energy-spaces, tastes of the world we’re heading towards, taking people deep and high, though keeping it simple. You get a taste of this in my blogs and podcasts. I can be quite metaphysical and political too, with a way of connecting wide-apart dots and helping people see and feel things they half-knew but hadn’t quite got.

I have a few friends Upstairs who will be in on this, so everyone present will get some personal treatment! You see, in this ‘last chapter’ phase of my life, though I’ve done all this kind of thing many times before, it feels like it’s going to a new level. It feels right to do this. We’ll do three ‘magic circles’ to see how it goes, and how I hold up, and then see what’s next.

All of the information is here: www.palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html

So I shall be venturing upcountry from the far beyond (I live right at the far end of Cornwall), and if you’re able to make it I’d love seeing you.

I’m doing an evening talk in Glastonbury too (date not fixed yet) called The Tipping of the Scales. If you live in or around Glastonbury or are visiting at the time, you might find it rather interesting!

Gurnard’s Head, an ancient cliff sanctuary on the north coast of West Penwith, Cornwall