Category Archives: Miscellaneous Articles


Bloodsport for All!

A few threads have recently woven together into a little knot surrounding the use of ancient megalithic sites that I feel is worth highlighting. As mentioned in my review of the Psychic Questing weekender (below), the venue this year was Avebury and one of the visualisation exercises we performed was to float back in time and see how whether we could catch a glimpse of the past at this site.

I had rather an odd image come to mind that was of warriors with swords hacking down in what I can only describe as “in an industrial rhythm”. Two groups of men lining up and striking something (unseen) in between with every second man moving in synch (and hence half a turn out of sync with the people on each side of them) – giving a piston-like precision to the strokes.

In fairness I can claim no originality as Andrew Collins had previously been vocal about the possibility of these sites as a focus for death cults or funerary rites so the suggestion had already been planted. Still the image was a striking one and it lasted with me long after the weekend had ended.

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Book review: The Sacred Quest

The “positive thinking” approach to self-improvement has recently converted a whole new generation thanks to Rhonda Byrne’s bestselling book “The Secret”. From reading Steven Heller’s “Monsters and Magical Sticks” in my late teens through to the recent “Soulcraft” by Bill Plotkin, I have ingested a steady stream of such thinking and while I can appreciate the slickness of Rhonda Byrne’s packaging, I don’t find a whole lot that’s new in it. Having said that, I can immediately name three people (all women if that is significant) who claim to have had their lives significantly altered by reading “The Secret”.
To that I can now add a fourth – Louise Langley, author of “The Sacred Quest”. Louise begins her tale as she is contemplating a separation from a husband she admits has done nothing wrong. Clearly, however, there are fundamental spiritual and psychological changes taking place within the author’s psyche and a constant thread through the book – admitted, as is so much else in this book, bravely and openly – is her emotional turmoil as she struggles to understand the changes that are ripping her old self apart. The number of times that someone (usually the author herself) is described as crying is phenomenal and the sense of a life turned upside down, palpable.  

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Review: The Temple #11

Temple Booklet#11I always regard The Temple booklet as being like a taster menu in your favourite posh restaurant. You know that you generally like what they serve but each new supplement brings its own surprises. The helpings are small but introduce you to ideas that you might not have ordered yourself. Some of the servings are complete in their own right but others point the way to a “full-size” version with the taster letting you know what you can expect from the bigger dish.

Thus it is with Issue 11 of The Temple…(Click on “Read More” below to see the full review).

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List of Quotes

I’m rather proud of my selection of quotes that appear from time to time in the quote block but I suspect they don’t often get viewed as they are sporadic and not easily visible when you come to the main page. To rectify this I have assembled the first 55 quotes from my database. The idea was to have a new one each week but in reality the frequency has been far less so what you see here probably covers the first two years of Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.


“I suspect I am working through some business left over from my heritage, as if mystical yearnings run, like rogue genes, in family trees.”, Daniel Pinchbeck


“We need to let our intuition guide us, and then be willing to follow that guidance directly and fearlessly.”, Shakti Gawain


“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that inner string.”, Ralph Waldo Emerson


“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”, CG Jung


“All prayers are answered when the individual doesn’t tell God just how to answer them.”, Edgar Cayce


“The true worth of a man is to be measured by the object he pursues.” ,Marcus Aurelius Antoninus


“There is a soul force in the universe, which, if we permit it, will flow through us and produce miraculous results.”, Mahatma Gandhi


“If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”, St. John of the Cross


“We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time.”, T.S. Eliot


“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.”, CG Jung


“Only the light within us is real.  We are not afraid of the dark within ourselves, so much as we are afraid of the light.  The dark is familiar.  It’s what we know…The light, the thought that we might indeed be good enough, is such a threat to the ego that it takes out the very big guns to defend against it.”, Marianne Williamson


“Our eyes believe themselves, our ears believe other people, our intuition believes the truth of the spirit.”, German proverb


“When one has made his demands upon the universal, he must be ready for surprises.  Everything may seem to be going wrong, when in reality, it is going right.”, Florence Scovel Shinn


“You must not let your life run in the ordinary way; do something that nobody else has done, something that will dazzle the world.  Show that God’s creative principle works in you.”, Paramahansa Yogananda


“We cannot change anything unless we accept it.”, CG Jung


“Old age, to the unlearned, is winter; to the learned, it is harvest time.”, Traditional Yiddish saying


“If you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there the whole while, waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living.”, Joseph Campbell


“And I thank you, I thank you for doing your duty/you keepers of truth, you guardians of beauty/Your vision is right, my vision is wrong/I’m sorry for smudging the air with my song.”, Leonard Cohen


“To young men of a studious turn of mind, who did not desire to go into the Church or the Law, magic was very appealing, particularly since Strange had triumphed on the battlefields of Europe.  It is, after all, many centuries since clergymen distinguished themselves on the field of war, and lawyers never have.”, Susanna Clarke


“The attempt must be made; the outcome is irrelevant.  Right action is a pale material reflection of the divine, but reflection it is, nonetheless.  Define your goal and exert reason to accomplish it by virtuous action; success or failure is secondary.”, Iain Pears


“But the world turned down/My offer to become its poet-clown.  When I turned around and breathed the cruel thin air/ I found I’d lost my heart somewhere/I’d left myself in pieces/scattered on a hundred shelves/and I hadn’t even noticed they were gone/All I had were shadows and sad songs.”, Nick Kelly


“Sometimes it happens that way – that is, there is the pull, the sense of nameless demand that draws me where it will, when it will.  The purpose of such a summons is rarely apparent, but when it comes, it is not to be denied.”, Paula Volsky, The Grand Ellipse


“But it’s just the price I pay / Destiny is calling me.” The Killers, Mr Brightside


“Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die.” ,E.M. Forster, Howard’s End


“You were right.  Any fact becomes important when it’s connected to another. The connection changes the perspective; it leads you to think that every detail of the world, every voice, every word written or spoken, has more than its literal meaning, that it tells us of a Secret. The rule is simple: Suspect, only suspect…”, Umberto Eco, Foucault’s Pendulum


“If I’d known it was harmless I would have killed it myself.” ,Philip K Dick


“Only shadows, only shadows die, for their souls remain intact, their names waiting to be called again, their spirits waiting to be born again to understand and follow Eternity that calls for them, there, in heart of the night where there is only light. Know your soul. Hear you name. Listen…”, The Darkest of Nights


“I have kept hidden at the instep arch/Of an old cedar at the waterside/A broken drinking goblet like the Grail/Under a spell so the wrong ones can’t find it,/So can’t get saved, as Saint Mark says they mustn’t.”, Robert Frost


“Igne natura renovatur integra – Through fire nature is reborn whole.”, Alchemical Aphorism


“Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you.”, CG Jung


“I choose a block of marble and I chop off whatever I don’t need.”, Auguste Rodin when asked to explain his technique


“Understand ye Sons of Wisdom, the Stone declares: Protect me, and I will protect thee; give me my own, that I may help thee.”, The Golden Treatise of Hermes


“There are sheep and then there are the anti-sheep, who are no more independent than the sheep.”, Anon


“The grass is greener where it rains.”, Bell X1


“If our consciousness and therefore our intention is embedded in the structure of reality – as quantum physics, for instance, tells us – then how we focus our thoughts could catalyze certain possibilities and support more or less desireable outcomes.”, Daniel Pinchbeck


“I can’t say that I ever gave myself permission to go for it spiritually, although it was a thirst for knowledge that led me into this quest. What seems to happen is closer to what Gurdjieff talks about that as you begin to become fascinated by this area, you activate something he calls the magnetic center and in a very real sense that magnetic center then takes over and impels you along your path – sometimes whether you like it or not.”, Daniel Pinchbeck


“Direct your attention on your breath. Inhale by the Solarplexus and count internally thereby to sieved. Then, if the eight comes, notion briefly the breath and switch over to your cardiology center. Breathe out here and at the same time over the arms and hands again and count thereby again to sieved. To eight switch again over to the Solarplexus etc.. If you are probably centered after a time well in the breath and and also your ‘ thinking machine ‘ calmed down, then begins with the exercise, which calls itself ‘Lativa’.”, Description of the Lativa Exercise by Reshad Feild translated automatically from the original German by Google.


“Alexander wept when he heard from Anaxarchus that there was an infinite number of worlds and his friends asking him if any accident had befallen him, he returns this answer: “Do you not think it a matter worthy of lamentation that when there is such a vast multitude of them, we have not yet conquered one ?””, Plutarch


“The existence of separate mitochondrial DNA suggests that, at one point, mitochondria were separate entities from their current host cells.”, Wikipedia entry on Mitochondrial DNA


“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”, Ralph Waldo Emerson


“One must explore deep and believe the incredible to find the new particles of truth floating in an ocean of insignificance.”, Joseph Conrad


“Reality is becoming increasingly psychically responsive and materially less dense…indeterminacy is part of the phenomenon.”, Daniel Pinchbeck


“If you only read one book in your life, read this one. If you only read two books in your life, read it twice!”, Psychic News, quoted on the front of The Green Stone


“A blind chameleon still changes colour to match its environment.”, “Fact” from drink bottle lid!


“If you find this world bad you should see some of the others.”, Philip K. Dick


“It is no great accomplishment to hear a voice in the head. The accomplishment is to make sure it is telling the truth, because the demons are of many kinds: “Some are made of ions, some of mind; the ones of ketamine, you’ll find, stutter often and are blind.” The reaction to these voices is not to kneel in genuflection before a god, because then one will be like Dorothy in her first encounter with Oz. There is no dignity in the universe unless we meet these things on our feet, and that means having an I/Thou relationship. One say to the Other: “You say you are omniscient, omnipresent, or you say you are from Zeta Reticuli. You’re long on talk, but what can you show me?” Magicians, people who invoke these things, have always understood that one must go into such encounters with one’s wits about oneself.”, Terence McKenna


“I did not know then how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them there with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream…the nation’s hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.”, Black Elk


“My people figured that maybe there’s something at the back of it all, a creator, a great spirit, and so we say thank you to it, because it’s always good to say thank you. But we never built churches. We didn’t need to. The land was the church.”, Neil Gaiman, American Gods


“When you follow your bliss … doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else.”, Joseph Campbell


“I wake in the morning/And try to be brave /But it’s hard to move on/When the ghost of you stays,” The Ghost of You, The Tears


“There Are No Answers, Only Choices.”, Solaris, Stanislaw Lem


“The psychic world is as colonized as the physical world by the whole image industry.”, Richard Kearney, The Wake of the Imagination


“We who are seeking to sustain this great order must never forget that whatever we build in the imagination will accomplish itself in the circumstance of our lives.”, W.B. Yeats – Is the Order of R.R. & A.C. to remain a Magical Order?


“Technology is a trickster, and it has been so since the first culture hero taught the human tribe to spin wool before he pulled it over our eyes.”, “Erik Davis, TechGnosis”


“If you, who are organised by Divine Providence for Spiritual communion, Refuse, & bury your Talent in the Earth, even tho’ you should want Natural Bread, Sorrow and Desperation pursues you thro’ life, & after death shame & confusion of face to eternity.”, William Blake (in a letter to Thomas Butts)



Book Review: In Search of the Knights Templar

I was lucky enough to be given, as a present from my wife, a copy of Simon Brighton’s recently published “In Search of the Knights Templars: A Guide to the Sites in Britain”. In the synopsis on it claims to be “the first comprehensive survey of all the Templar sites in Britain.” While I can’t say whether this is true or not, it would certainly seem to be a fantastic addition to the library of any UK-based Templar aficionado. Continue reading

Journal Software Review

One of the things that comes out strongly when talking to any veteran quester is the need to keep a questing journal. Writing down intuitions, visions, dreams, ideas – even a basic summary of the day’s activities – appears to have two concrete results. Firstly it tells the mind that you are taking its promptings seriously and the mind typically responds by throwing out more and better. Secondly it provides a comprehensive record of your questing material which can be consulted and cross-referenced. Which brings us to journal software. Continue reading

Book Review: The Holy Grail – The History of a Legend

I’ve been commuting to Olympia for most of this week and with the arduous and intricate sequence of trains that I’ve been obliged to take to get there (for example I can get from Haslemere to Clapham Junction directly very early in the morning but not thereafter – and I can’t get directly from Clapham Junction to Haslemere at all) I have finally had the chance to read Richard Barber’s treatment of the Grail legend, “The Holy Grail: The History of a Legend”. Continue reading