So, do you reckon the existence of your soul and psyche began here on Earth?
Here, Palden talks about tribes, nations and civilisations, material and multidimensional, in which each and all of us have our roots as souls.
This is key to finding our true, deep identity, not solely as a product of Earthly evolutionary experience, but from a deeper level way beyond. It concerns the initial reason we decided, or it was decided, that we’d partake of the Earth experience.
If we anchor to this root source of our being, it can help us identify and serve the deeper purposes for which we came – to learn and, especially nowadays, to contribute. One of the great crimes of our time is withholding of our gifts and capacities – often because we think we’re not good enough, not ready yet, or ‘little me’ will make no difference.
Yet we are part of larger soul-collectives. We need to peer beyond our individualism to cleave to the contribution our soul-tribes seek to make. We are, after all, the people we’ve all been waiting for. And if not now, then when?
Recorded in Somerset while on tour. Worth hearing if you are attending any of Palden’s magic circles. As a follow-up, try the podcast Close Encounters too. 27 mins.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I’m not a lightworker or a conventional prayer-circle type. But I believe we need to take a multi-pronged approach to ‘world work’ – meditative, religious, psychic and process work to assist the world. I’m esoterically more activist and gutsy – it’s born out of a political background, humanitarian experience and an aged-hippy approach to life.
If you do psychic work over a period of time, in conjunction with inner friends or ‘guides’, then you’ll tend to develop an operating style between you – and that’s what happened to me. It’s not that I’m an advanced psychic. It’s more that I’ve been at it for a long time, with formative and defining inner experiences along the way.
An example: when I was 41, in an inner process I found myself walking backwards toward the abyss – a vulnerability we humans just aren’t happy with. I had tremors of fear but just had to go over the edge anyway. Tipping backwards, I fell into the void, falling, falling… until an instinct made me turn, spread my arms like wings and fly… Since that moment, I’ve been able to set my mind more free, and my busy brains don’t interfere so much.
One bizarre benefit of cancer has been the inner experiences that have come with it. Forced to spend time in bed, I went on adventures. It gave me a sense of usefulness at a time when I was wondering whether it was all worth it. But no, the management clearly said “Don’t ring us – we’ll ring you“. Well, you do get some comedy sometimes!
I’m of the opinion that, if you give a flower to an asshole or shower them with light, it will likely be a turn-off and inappropriate, with the opposite effect to what was intended. Billionaires and terrorists don’t change just because you want them to, and you wouldn’t either. You have to get in there, make friends, gain trust and work it out, as if there, relating to a real person – albeit perhaps to their wiser, more feelingful self.
Sometimes I’ll give a backrub to a mountain jihadi, or sympathise with the rigours of a politician’s life, or make an etheric cup of tea for an old lady – ‘confidence building measures’. It goes on from there. Dialogue with them as a guest in their space. When someone can see it’s in their own best interests to change, they’ll change (though not always). Typically for stroppy humans, if you push them around, they’ll resist.
If you want to penetrate a computer, work with climate issues, deal with a natural disaster, do longterm work with ‘megatrends’ (like population growth or deforestation), it’s a question of getting right inside the matter, stepping into people’s shoes, seeing what life looks like to them, getting into the back office, ferreting through the datachips or feeding helpful ideas to people in need.
One key thing is social attitudes and particularly the freeing up of groupthink, cover-ups and polarised positions. These can involve societal resistance or oligarchies who like to believe they’re in control. Changes in attitudes form the basis of world change. A valid notion here is unconcealment, the exposure of things people should know of and think about – whether withheld, or people don’t want to know, or it is simply thitherto not known.
This is not about steering things in ways we want to see things go: it’s about helping humanity accelerate its evolution. Humanity’s group soul knows what it’s doing even if we humans don’t. Sometimes the ‘wrong’ thing seems to have to happen in order to catalyse a wholesome and fundamental change. This concerns defining moments – events embodying big issues and forcing critical shifts or decisions. By this means the collective unconscious and force majeure leak into real life.
In 1995 a circle of eighty or so of us worked with Bosnia – a powerful and moving session lasting some six hours. We heard later that, while in session, some drunken Serbs had bombed a marketplace in Sarajevo, killing 60. This was sobering, shocking – definitely not our intention. What had gone wrong? Yet, a week or so later, this defining event made NATO go in, ending the war within a short time. Something ‘bad’ led to something ‘good’ – though we couldn’t and wouldn’t have designed it that way. We can’t say we made NATO go in, and that wasn’t our thought, but the synchronicities, considering the war had gone on for three years, were too close. We must assume some involvement, even if but to oil the works or connect some dots.
One of the big lessons here is: carefully consider what you pray for. Also, only take on doable challenges, and be willing to follow them through later on.
The main idea is to help foster forwardness and a sense of progress – it’s like midwifery. We cannot force progress but we can do our best to facilitate it. Deep change doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes we must work at it over time. Humanity’s problem is that it feels blocked, jaded and discouraged, as if nothing will make any difference. So the key issue is to help people gain a sense of relief and momentum – get a taste of the benefits of accelerating evolution.
It’s a matter of getting our politics, cultural judgements, ideologies, values and comfort-zones out of the way. This isn’t easy. It helps to have travelled outside the rich world to see things from another angle. Be aware of the way the media and your education shape your thinking, and listen more closely to events than to what people say. Study a little history, background and smallprint. Step over your beliefs and conditioning, using sensitivity, imagination and intuition to experience things from the inside, to see the dynamics going on underneath. It’s a challenge to set ourselves aside – though just for half an hour or so.
There are many ways to do world work, and if you resonate with what’s written here, then give attention to feeling your way forward, developing your own path. Use the inner tricks, tools and background you already have.
Here’s a crucial, human bit: we need to connect our own issues, pain and challenges into this, to power it up emotionally. We know what our own pain is like, and plenty of people round the world are in similar or worse situations. So they can act as a psychic entry-point. You can see life through their eyes. In recent months I’ve experienced heartbreak, and plenty of people in Ukraine, or Palestine and Yemen (the two main places I regularly focus on), have heartbreak too, and we all need a bit of there-there, and thus we can serve each other well.
With cancer, I tune into cancer patients, because it means something personal to me and I know what it’s like. The feeling-tones around this gives the work more grace, astuteness and firepower. If you’re a nurse, a truck-driver, a gardener or a pensioner, tune in through your own situation and its problems and joys and use this empathically to connect with others.
There are holistic and surgical/pharma treatments for disease. In this context, disease can encompass riots, volcanoes, storms, wars, famines, insecurity, collapses and ‘black swans’ – events no one expected. Holistic treatment works best for building conditions for good health and immunity, while surgery and pharma are best when it’s too late or too serious. This kind of meditation is more surgical, applicable when deep matters of principle are at stake.
But it depends really on whether this is your thing. Or perhaps you might be best continuing with what you already do, with a new slant to it.
There are all sorts of methods and procedures, such as mopping up dead souls after disasters, working to raise the level of the collective mood, inwardly supporting threatened species, love-bombing and truth-mining a conflict zone, or working with whatever comes up in the news that really gets to you. If it’s Ukraine, work with Ukraine because you will also assist other places and situations where similar issues apply. One longterm aim is to remove enough problems from the overall system so that its inherent, homoeostatic self-healing capacity can revive.
Sometimes it’s an A&E and intensive care job, and cutting out a tumour or infected organ can save the whole body, if that is the only option left. That’s how focusing on specific acute issues and crises can help the world as a whole. Don’t forget to support the helpers too: the on-the-ground activists, good-hearted people, dedicated public servants, people who hold society up and do the donkey-work, and people who take brave initiatives. I’ve even found myself sitting with an abandoned dying person in an apartment block in Sian, China, and it was good for both of us. He found a comforting welcome on the other side.
If you do this once a week for a year, out of fifty meditations, ten will be really worth it. When done in a group (three upwards), even if remotely at a chosen time, it powers it up. Stick with it. Don’t seek results – just do it. Give it time. This is a life-long work. It can empower other stuff you’re doing or give meaning to what you might believe to be a meaningless, insignificant life.
Based on earlier experiences in the 1970s-80s, in the 1990s I started a large-group project doing ‘inner aid’, the Hundredth Monkey Project, which pioneered much of this approach, and later a smaller group, the Flying Squad, continued in this work for twenty years. They’re both closed now, but the meditation time-slot, agreed with the Council of Nine thirty years ago, is still open every week on Sundays at 7-7.30 GMT (8-8.30 BST). I’m there, every week, wherever I am, dead or alive, and with a number of others (I know not how many). Tune in on that channel if you wish. If you continue over time the management will give you a direct line.
In my experience there is more personal growth in ‘world work’ than in personal growthwork. You find that out by doing it. The more you do it, the better you get. So just work at it, don’t make a big deal, keep motivation simple and intelligent and, remember, it is for the highest good, for the wide, longterm benefit of humanity, our planet home and all who live in her.
Thanks for reading. We’ll be covering this in my forthcoming ‘magic circles‘.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The amazing thing with dying is that it really is about setting sail into the great unknown.
I can say this because, over the last twentyish years, I’ve tracked and handheld perhaps forty souls through the transition, and what has been striking has been the sheer variety of different kinds of experience people seem to have. And, for myself, the closer I come to dying, the more I’m needing to loosen up my preconceptions.
And my conditions – which are futile, because they’re all about clinging on to the known, and it’s loss of control that is the key issue here. It’s a challenge to go with the flow, to let be, have done with it, to trust and feel your way forward. Suddenly the perspective you harboured about life can change and reveal things very differently. You have to make a real deal with God. Or however you see it.
It’s not binary. We aren’t either alive or dead. We’re all a mixture of both. Medical ideology has it that death means ‘clinical death’, when your life-signs hit zero, but no, this is but a stage of dying. You’re still alive afterwards, and you might be able to see and hear people for a while, but unless their psyches are receptive, they won’t see or hear you – and that can be problematic.
But we’re all part-dead. This is a useful way of looking at it. I’m more dead than most readers, though there might be one or two who are more dead than me (hello!). Last February I think I went up to 95%, very close, but I was reviving by spring equinox, down to perhaps 80%, and now I’d put myself at 70%. But only last week I had a lurch and drooped for two days. This happens with cancer – you go up and down a lot. Small things can have big effects.
I had a near-death experience at age 24 – I was unconscious for nine days – and that permanently changed me. I was very different before and after, going through substantial memory-loss. It made me mission-driven, uncompromising on certain basic issues, though it took about seven years after the NDE to ‘come back’ enough to be fully functional. Two years after that I started the camps movement and the mission began.
Fascinatingly, my near miss in February this year shook, fried, drowned and wrung me out, and by April, to my surprise I was served some new instructions. I went from the slough of despond to a new vision – amongst other things to do my ‘far beyond’ tour upcountry. There’s something here about sinking into the deep dark, then reviving with a new impulse. Shaky as I am, I’ve been given something new, even though time is not on my side. But this is a motivator, to do it while I can and enjoy it.
It might be a goodbye tour and swansong, or the beginning of something. I cannot tell. I have osteonecrosis (a dying jawbone), peripheral neuropathy (feelingless feet), a deteriorating back, my stomach is in permanent trouble, I have a low-level permanent ache, I’m now super-sensitive to all kinds of radiation and, even with my thin body, gravity weighs heavily. Oh, and I have a cancer of the blood and bones called Myeloma. In case you needed to know, those are all my moans! Life is bloody hard, and sometimes it gets me down, and this last six months I’ve had a bit too much of it. I nearly buckled.
So can you understand that, if this gets much worse, it could be a relief for me to go? Can you see how this might be a positive thing?
When I’ve gone, please don’t get into this ‘sorry for your loss’ thing with each other. Why be sorry when I’m being given pure relief? And yes, a gap will be left by my absence, but another kind of presence is possible which, in the end, might be really valuable. After all, time and geography keep us separate anyway, here on Earth. There comes a point where people have done enough for this lifetime – even when, sometimes, their lives are quite short. We need to be released. But we haven’t gone away.
I had a good friend, Mike, who died a seemingly sad death on booze, drugs and despair. Always uncomfortable in this world, he was a spirited man, a solid part of our team in the 1980s. When I heard of his death, I tracked him over and he was in the ‘holding bay’ – a buffer and between zone you usually go to initially, to process the life you’ve just left and make yourself ready to go further. In terms of Earth time, this often takes weeks, though it varies. The funeral (in the West, some time after death) can be a key moment. But not always.
Well, in the holding bay, Mike was tripped out of his skull and having a great time, really happy, flowering, almost Buddha-like. This was a surprise, but that’s what you get in this game. I returned a day or two later and he was completely gone, even before his funeral. I felt happy for him. He had had no resistance to passing over once he got to his death – if anything, perhaps he was in a bit of a hurry. Just goes to show, the judgements made of our behaviours and lives here on Earth don’t necessarily match who and how we actually, truly are, deep down. But this was also characteristic of Mike. The manner of people’s deaths always seem to be true to character.
My mother couldn’t really handle death, even at 92. She had that confusion many people have – a weird mixture of Christian heaven-and-hell stuff and secular it-all-goes-blank stuff. Both are fictitious and unrealistic. She died and went straight to sleep, curled up and unresponsive. This felt kinda okay, because of what she’d been through, and because of that contradiction, though after a while I got a sense she wasn’t facing the fact of being dead. Her funeral was approaching and, since she was locally a popular figure, I wondered what to do. I wanted her to witness poeple’s love and regard for her. On the day of the funeral I tried waking her up but she wouldn’t surface. I made a prayer, feeling a bit clueless.
Then came a solution. Her little terrier Pepper, who had died some years earlier, came along, yapping at her, waking her up, and she was able to witness her funeral. Bless her, she hadn’t really appreciated the contribution she had made. She and I hadn’t reconciled by the time she died, but the changes she went through after death allowed her to encompass what her strange second son had been. What’s interesting here is that, right now, I’m going through a lot of early-life patterns of vulnerability, unsupportedness and loss – mother stuff – while now being completely at peace with my Mum.
It might surprise you that, across the world, one faith that is in relative decline is secularism. [This might interest you, about faiths and secularism]. Most other faiths have some form of afterlife – somewhere to go to when you pass over – so dying can be different for them than for modern seculars, who have nowhere to go. Seculars think this is ‘just’ belief or superstition, but when they die they discover something else is happening, and of course different souls react differently to this.
My cousin’s husband Al was a bit like that, a good-hearted man though solidly secular. Then he got cancer and he started changing. By the time he died, he was ready, and he saw the world of spirit. He was far away and in a state of grace. At one point his eyes opened, he saw me, and he gave me the thought, “You’re here!” After a pause he thought, “But you were there“. “Yes“, I thought back. I could sense him trying to figure that out. Al had a good death – my cousin Faith really did well by him – and I sorted out his connection with the destination, making sure there was someone there to meet him, and going over to give him a couple of tweaks from the other side. It worked. Since his death we have nodded and smiled to each other, and he helped me solve some issues with exorcisms I was doing on two occasions, from the other side.
Sometimes I’ve been able to say who will be there waiting. It melts the last doubts and resistances. When I told my Dad that his brother Laurie, who had died in WW2, would be there, he went very quiet and a tear came to his eye, and from that moment I knew he was more ready to go. He felt safe. His bro would be there.
On the day before he died, he was unconscious and I held his hand and told him all that I knew about what would happen and what to do. I knew he heard it and took it in. After his death we were having a chat and he thought to me, “You’ve done your duty to your father, and you became my father“.
My parents did their level best but, in their lives, they could never encompass me – their strange boy who, as he grew up, became a hippy revolutionary and a total disappointment and embarrassment. The only sins I failed to commit were running off with a black woman and being gay (I became a ‘womaniser’ instead). Poor them, they got the lot.
They must look at me now and think, “OMG, is he still at it, still getting himself into trouble, even at his age?“. But I think they now understand more about why I’m like that. When my Mum used to say she knew me better than I knew myself, she was incorrect, but now it might actually be true, from where she now stands.
What happens in death has a lot to do with how we deal with life. If we are willing to own up in life, as much as we can, the matter of owning up in death gets easier. Life on Earth is such a fucked-up and complex thing that we’re all damaged and up to our eyeballs in karmic cobwebs, so this isn’t about being perfect – it’s about getting through. Leaving the world a slightly better place than when we started. At death you just can’t do anything more about anything. It all was as it was, and that’s that. The task is to accept that as much as possible and come to peace about it, to hand in your resignation wholeheartedly. This involves releasing and forgiving, letting be. It’s too late. Working on this before dying does help.
But there’s more to this. The more we are able to get through our life-crises and make them good, the more we establish a pattern of doing it. When death comes, it makes dying easier because the ‘growth choice’ is a habit, and we habitually do it even in death. The looser, more centred and psychospiritually flexible we are in handling life, the more we handle death. Though also, as I mentioned in a recent blog, we also get taken a level deeper, with new hoops to jump through. But look at this another way…
When you die you are entering a new world, and the way you get born into it, as is the case with incarnate life, greatly affects what happens afterwards. That is, as a (retired) astrologer, I can tell you revealing things about yourself on the basis of the time, date and place of your planetary birth, even without meeting you. So, when you sally forth to the other world, if you die well and do your best with it, you’ll start well on the next bit. This is important. It affects the decisions that are made about what you’ll take on next – your next incarnate life on Earth, if that is your path, or whatever happens instead, if that is your path.
But remember, you don’t get chocolate up there – if you want chocolate, Earth is the place. It’s a pretty good place for abuse, pain, violence, toxicity and insensitivity too. Get a load of that – it’s special, and it really rubs you up and grinds you down.
Your family, tribe and angels up there will help you get all this sorted out. It’s rather a process, and it involves referencing to all of your existences and their overall storyline and purpose. And your place in the tribe and its own wider evolution – we’re not just individuals but part of something much larger. There’s some bliss, relief, love, healing, rest, fellowship, education and soul-melding to be had too.
Unless perhaps you believe so strongly that you don’t deserve them that you wall yourself into an imaginal reality that carries you off somewhere else. Then you get another round of the same old thing, until you get it – a turning in the deepest seat of consciousness.
Part of our reason for being here is to evolve and train ourselves as supertrooper souls – souls who’ve been through the mill, shed some blood, sweat and tears and learned from it – experiences that just aren’t available elsewhere, in this way. Loads of shit flies here, and we have the profound option to become greater souls through handling it.
This is some of the stuff we’ll be covering in my forthcoming ‘magic circles’ in August and September. Standing where I am right now, not too far from popping clogs, I can share some clues.
You see, there’s something many ancient peoples knew: the souls of the living and the souls of the dead walk alongside each other and help each other out. We’re in the same tribes and networks. We’re all still here. You can talk to your Mum (well, not anytime, but sometimes). They knock on our heads every now and then. It’s important to take note, to listen within and to answer.
I’m wondering whether it might be possible to set something up here. After I’ve gone, if any of you feel me twiggling the top of your head, please acknowledge and signal back. With one or two people I’d like to see whether it’s possible to drop information and impressions into you, and for you to get it down somehow, in whatever format works for you. See if we can do something with it. I’ll request permission first. If I know you well, I shall tell you something only you and I can know, to confirm the connection.
But it depends on whether anyone picks me up sufficiently, giving it full credence, and whether it is in their growth to do so, at that time (it might be hard work). From my end, I think I can do this, though I’m not absolutely sure – we shall see. It’s not uncommon for anyone with a dash of intuition and receptivity to pick up on the dead – go on, own up, you’ve had it lots, actually. So if you get a buzz from me, please work on the basis that I am actually there.
Also, for prospective parents, get this: you can talk to your future child. Back in the 1990s, my then partner Sheila and I called in a soul. We made a deal. We talked with Upstairs about our characteristics, what we could offer and what we needed, and we asked for a soul who would benefit from that kind of deal and find it helpful, so that we would work well together. It did work. He’s now in his mid-twenties, and what’s fascinating here is that there has been a consistent thread between the impressions we got of him before birth and the person he has become. I think Sheila would agree.
In life, it’s not primarily what we do that matters – it’s how we do it. And how much we make it good in the end. As an astrologer, there’s one prediction I can safely make: you, ladies and gentlemen, are all going to die. The choice lies in how we do it, in that moment of peaceful intensity. That is the full-on exercising of free will.
Bless you. Whatever your faults, you’re a fine person. Don’t you forget it. I’ll try not to either.
Paldywan’s ‘magic tour’ is starting in Glastonbury on Tuesday 2nd August – details below.
It will continue to Avebury (right next to the stone circle) in August (date not finalised yet), and then it goes to Totnes area on Saturday 24th September (by Buckfast Abbey). Full details about these two are to follow soon.
The Glastonbury details given here will be common to all of them, but these circles will be different in each place and at each time. You see, these aren’t rehearsed. I have some basic themes to work around, but it arrives on the spot and it’s a process.
Some people might say it’s channelled, but I don’t really use that notion much – it has been corrupted and romanticised. Let’s just say it arrives on the spot. If you’ve seen me on stage, you’ll notice I stand in front of you silently, fumbling with my ear and I look at everyone in the audience. It gets a bit weird, just for a second or two. Then I just come up with the first thing that arrives, and we’re off.
If you’ve heard my podcasts, they’re unrehearsed too, and that’s how I work. When you’ve done this kind of thing countless times for many years, it kinda sinks into your bones. Since I have a bone cancer (myeloma), it looks like it’s coming out!
That was one of my wry jokes – please excuse me. After all, life is rather a joke – when we’re in a position to see it that way. Which does happen sometimes, amidst the treacle-journey of earthly existence, during partings of the fog. It’s all about getting lost in our stuff and then getting found again. The regularity of this as life goes on obliges us to ride it a wee bit better as we go along.
It never ends, and this is paradoxical. The more accumstomed you get to riding life’s waves, and the more tools you gather, the deeper the challenges that Life presents us with. You clear the last lot and become eligible for the next lot. You become ready to handle stuff a level deeper. So, really, it never ends. It’s relentless.
When I was a young Buddhist I used to think that, once you attained enlightnment, you’d be at peace and everything would be alright. But, watching my Lama teachers, HH Gyalwa Karmapa XVI and various other remarkable rinpoches, it became clear that, the more they resolved things inside themselves, becoming more enlightened, the more deeply they were involved with the woes of the world.
This process of inner growth really doesn’t end. Dead or alive, it goes on, and at any age of life. Cancer and other recent experiences have rather put me through the mill, and the grinding action really has helped me become a better version of myself.
Well, I hope. It’s not really for me to judge. Cancer is an amazing crash course in navigating a much altered reality, and it goes on for the length of time you survive in this life. And then you’re free.
So, people who wish me a long life, and I appreciate the thought, but it’s not necessarily as easy and welcome as it sounds! My approach instead is to be straight-up with myself and others about my real prospects and to do the max with the time I have left – hence this tour. Because cancer is wearing, and it depends how much I really want to struggle, hurt, worry and endure. And for what? How much more willpower do I have left in my account?
Well, I’m doing alright at present, and excited about the tour, and enjoying the summertime, but I cannot rely on holding up longterm. In a way the tour is an experiment to see how much I can take. But it feels really good to be doing it. If I get through these three, then I might be able to do another three – it depends on organisers, on being pulled there and on whether it feels right.
If your antennae twitch over this, please consider coming. With the Glastonbury event, don’t leave enquiring about it until late, if you want a place. Otherwise you might have to head over to Avebury – which has its virtues too. The organiser in Glastonbury is my old friend Bruce Garrard, a well-known character around town.
Three themes: 1. transitioning (about incarnation and excarnation); 2. world work (inner aid and disaster response) and, 3. our personal origins, roots and purpose as souls. And the way these knit together. They have knitted together for me, and some of you might get some vital clues for yourselves.
If you cannot come (perhaps you live too far away or just can’t break out) but you’d like to play a small part, then this is what to do. Put your name on some paper, or send a small photo, or a very small item like a bead or a very small stone or piece of wood – anything, but pls keep it small and keep it simple! These will be put at the centre of the circle in each of the circles we do, and they will be dealt with mindfully afterwards (they can’t be returned).
Send it by post before 25th July to: Palden Jenkins, Botrea Farm, Penzance, Cornwall TR20 8PP, UK.
I shall be at the OakDragon camp in early August (the founder returns on his sticks!) and I’ll do an evening talk in Glastonbury (the Inner Light Group) – to be announced. Then in September I’m really looking forward to the Devon circle. News about Avebury and Devon soon.
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.
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.
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.