Buckfastleigh

Magic Circle recordings

Palden at Avebury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hamish Miller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Palden

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

and perhaps a task to do

Glastonbury Tor, from Ebbor Gorge

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

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

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

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

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

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

St Michael’s Mount, from Botrea Hill

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

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

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

Palden at Avebury. Photo by Rebecca Brain.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo by Rebecca Brain

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

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

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

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

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

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

A member of the herd on our farm

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

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

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

Lots of love from me. Palden.

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

The view from my window

Friends

with everything

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

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

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

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

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

Nanjizal Bay and Carn Boel

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

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

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

The cave at Nanjizal Bay

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

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

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

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

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

Guardians of Albion, at Pordenack Point

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carn Barra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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