Transmogrifications

and perhaps a task to do

Glastonbury Tor, from Ebbor Gorge

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

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

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

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

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

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

St Michael’s Mount, from Botrea Hill

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

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

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

Palden at Avebury. Photo by Rebecca Brain.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Rebecca Brain

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

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

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

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

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

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

A member of the herd on our farm

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

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

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

Lots of love from me. Palden.

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

The view from my window

The Tipping of the Scales

A PodTalk and a Magic Circle

I’ve been away on Dartmoor and in Glastonbury, where I delivered a talk on Friday evening. It was really moving to see everyone who came, to feel their good vibes and interest and the atmosphere that evening in the Assembly Rooms. Hostess Samia Gelfling’s intro and outro to my talk were remarkable.

I wish it were possible to get round everyone in the audience personally, but nowadays three meaningful conversations a day are all I can do, and it would take ages to do justice to everyone.

Doing these talks, it’s my way of connecting with as many people as I can, within my energy-range. There’s a deep smile lurking in my heart. I’m now enjoying being back in Cornwall for a necessary reflection pause and for my cancer treatment (and its after-effects).

Magic Circle in Devon

Click to book for the Buckfastleigh Magic Circle

Next up comes a ‘Magic Circle’ in Buckfast (near Totnes) on 24th September 2022. This will be a 5-6 hour session in three segments. It’s all about our origins, the soul tribes we come from, passing over to the otherworlds, bringing otherworlds into our lives, world healing and the way the world is going.

Stuff like that. You’re really welcome. We’ll also have a dash of chi gung with Jeanne Hampshire, garnished with some live music from two friends visiting from Oregon in Turtle Island, Jahnavi and Galen. And me, rabbiting on at you and lifting the cork off your crown chakra, with a little help from my friends.

Are we visitors from far away having a human experience or humans blessed with periodic uplifts? Soul-food for folks who’ve been at it for some time and are looking for new angles on this strange experience called life on Earth.

A new PodTalk

Following my talk in Glastonbury, I’ve now uploaded a recording of it (you can stream it or download it as an MP3). It’s 1hr 47mins long. The last quarter of it was taken up with some really interesting questions and contributions from the floor. Find it here:

palden.co.uk/podtalks.html

It was great visiting Glastonbury. It is, after all, a pilgrimage place, and that’s what it is and does well. On Saturday I braved the town, had a maca smoothie, a few of those deeply meaningful conversations, some path-crossings with old friends in the street, and retreated twice to the calmness of the Abbey to ‘just sit’ and to defrag from the buzzy atmosphere and dense electromagnetics.

Glastonbury is a vortical place of contrasts, a karma-exchange and somewhere between an experiential kaleidoscope and a transdimensional roundabout. In vibe, it’s rather like Jerusalem, actually – though much less extreme – while both equally share a similar craziness, intensity and bizarre sanctity.

Thanks to Lily Lionheart for her hospitality, to Jonathan and Penny for trans-Dumnonian teleportation and to Rebecca Brain for her magical companionship and for being a superb minder and a really interesting person.

Inshallah, there will be more.

With love, Paldywan

Booking for the Devon Magic Circle:
trybooking.com/uk/events/landing?eid=30869
About the Magic Circles: palden.co.uk/magic-circles.html
Podcasts: palden.co.uk/podcasts.html

Website: palden.co.uk

Friends

with everything

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

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

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

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

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

Nanjizal Bay and Carn Boel

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

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

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

The cave at Nanjizal Bay

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

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

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

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

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

Guardians of Albion, at Pordenack Point

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carn Barra

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————–

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

Seal caves under Carn Les Boel

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

Soul Tribes

Latest podcast

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.

Get it on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/episode/2c4OCSOwmHY6lNbWIFBVSR?si=49BN1sKBRQufN0jTw_-eEA

or on Palden’s site at www.palden.co.uk/podcasts.html

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