A multitude of the heavenly host…

It’s a funny old day.

Shortest of the year in Northern climes, and sacred in these parts through most of humankind’s religious history; marking, as it does, the beginning of a return to light after the long fall into darkness.

For the Zoroastrians, it was Ahura Mazda who brought light and fire (truth and wisdom) to humankind; the supreme, Creator God of a duo-theistic pair. The other, Ahriman, brought only darkness, seeking to destroy all that Ahura Mazda had created.

Odd then, that as YHWH gained precedence, the light bearer became Lucifer; effectively subverting Ahura Mazda to the role of his own nemesis. It doesn’t end there, of course; it couldn’t end there.

Christ, bringer of light to all mankind, he who shall ultimately defeat that very same Lucifer at the end of days, subverted any remaining deities of the North who dared be born on this day.

Seems that religion is one long history of light defeating light presented in the form of darkness.

The primal duality may not be a duality at all.

Build your pyre high, Ahriman; for tomorrow the eye of Ahura Mazda will be longer upon thee, and he shall know what thee have done.

Fear not, for unto you is born this day, in the City of David, a Saviour.

Happy Solstice.

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Conversations with a Shaman — The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey

Now, for something completely different.

Really enjoyed my conversation with Gary, so if you have 40 minutes to spare, or just like ear wigging in on what other people are talking about (isn’t it always the way?), have a listen to the bits that could be published below.

If you enjoyed it, give Gary a follow – his regular podcasts include the great and the good of a diverse community of various esoteric interests (and me!)

Season 2, Episode 2 of the Magical World of G. Michael Vasey is out this morning. It features a lovely conversation with Allan Pringle, who trained as a Zuni shaman. Please do give it a listen and if you enjoy it, please do share it around. I’ve know Allan for some time and I always […]

Conversations with a Shaman — The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey
Looking more like my mother than I care to admit
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Chasing the Goddess

Gary’s incredibly powerful journey to meet a Slavic Goddess.

Intrigued by the similarity of root with the Mór-Ríoghain and the merging of that archetype’s function with those of the Cailleach in a single, elemental form.

The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey

Having sort of stumbled onto a method of connecting with Slavic God forms after reading Alan Richardson’s ‘Dark Magery’, I am convinced that this is a powerful magical method of work. I chose the duality Perun and Veles and by taking on the form of each god in turn, I discovered more magic and synchronicity that I had eve done before. I wrote this up in a short book called Chasing Dragons in Moravia which is available in Kindle format and shortly, in paperback. In it, you will get a sense for how what appeared to be random visits and events were actually synchronicities that opened up a whole world of understanding.

I wasn’t able to communicate everything. Some of it is for me alone and some things are too big an experience to even begin to describe with any spiritual depth. I’d need a Vulcan mind meld to do…

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Solstice of the Moon: Graven Images

Day 3: Touching on continuity of sanctity…

France & Vincent

Our last visit of a weekend that seemed to have flown by all too quickly was to a little church on the edge of Aberdeen. The sun finally decided to show its face… though it still managed to rain anyway, but at least we had blue skies through the roofless ruins of St Fergus’ Church.

Originally built around eight hundred years ago, the old parish church of Dyce sits high above a bend in the river Don. It was a place of Christian worship long before the present church was built…and possibly already a sacred or significant site in the pre-Christian era. Little now remains of the church apart from its shell, with the curious doorway to the east, where the altar would normally be situated.

Fergus the Pict was an Irish bishop, responsible for bringing Christianity to many in this area of Scotland. He may be the same Fergus…

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Solstice of the Moon: Circles Out of Time

Day 3: Return to the stones.

France & Vincent

It looked, for a while, as if we might escape being rained on at our second site of the morning, but no… that would have been too much to ask The ritual cleansing would continue. We were heading for another recumbent circle, with a few unusual features… Loanhead of Daviot.

The car park was full so I parked the car at a little distance and we walked back, arriving to find the group listening to a ghost story about the lady seen in the woods through which we would walk to the circle. The trees could not have been there when the circle was constructed, or they would have blocked the view of the moon and made the recumbent redundant, but they do provide a beautiful approach and backdrop to the stones. The green lawn opens out beyond the shadows of the trees on a spectacular site.

There are two…

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Solstice of the Moon: Sacred Earth

Day 3 – Some of our stones are missing…

France & Vincent

The weather was looking none too promising for the final day of the workshop, but at least it wasn’t really raining. It seemed incredible, under the heavy grey of the sky, that we’d had the clear weather-window the night before, just long enough to show us a starlit sky above the stone circle.

We had another visit to a stone circle after breakfast, but this one was quite a bit different…and suburban. I want to state here and now, that to have quite so much archaeology concentrated in Abereenshire seems a little unfair, when the place where I live has virtually nothing for miles. North or south yes, but not here. Oh, it is probably all there under the surface… ploughed and sown by centuries of farmers, but little of it is visible. It can be rather frustrating at times.

And yet, there is a lesson for me in that…

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Solstice of the Moon: Circle of Timeless Light

A night sojourn.

France & Vincent

Stars over Scotland. Image: Pixabay

A few stars twinkled above Inverurie as our group gathered for dinner. It wasn’t even raining much. That probably explains why, some time after nine o’clock, when the moonless night had well and truly fallen, four people would once again walk the path up to the stone circle at Easter Aquhorthies…

We arrive first and, switching off the lights of the car, allow our eyes to gradually become accustomed to the complete lack of artificial light. We have torches, but they seem an intrusion somehow and will only be used to navigate the potholed track. There is no moon tonight and the little town is far enough distant, and set low enough in the landscape, to be invisible. Even the lights of Aberdeen make only a smudge of sickly ochre on the far horizon. We can see very little… only the ink-black silhouettes of the…

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Solstice of the Moon: Switching the Lights On

New beginnings… A chance to restart.

France & Vincent

We had returned to Easter Aquhorthies for a second visit. It was still raining, but this time the sky was much brighter than the iron-grey deluge of the day before and there was already a sense of revisiting an old friend as we each returned to our stones. For myself, I was pondering some of the things we had learned here the day before… beginning with a rather obvious question from Running Elk.

“Where does the sun rise?” He was answered by silence. Twelve intelligent, fairly well-educated people had all apparently reached the same conclusion. The answer was so obvious that stating it was obviously going to turn out badly. Only the dog grinned. The sun rises in the east… that’s what we learn in school and that’s exactly what we think we see whenever we watch a dawn. Only, apparently, it isn’t. Who knew?

Well actually, I did. Except…

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Solstice of the Moon: Stone of the Maiden

Day 2 – Symbol intermission (part 2)

France & Vincent

Once upon a time… twelve or thirteen hundred years ago… there lived a fair maiden. She was, it is told, the daughter of the Laird of Balquhain. She was betrothed and very soon to be married. On the eve of her wedding, she went down to the kitchens, rolled up her sleeves and set about making bannocks to serve to the wedding guests who would be arriving from far and wide.

As she worked, a dark stranger came into the kitchen and, seeing the mountain of flour, said that he could build a road to the top of Bennachie before she would finish her task. Now, Bennachie was sixteen hundred feet high and two miles distant. The maiden laughed and the dark stranger made her a wager… if he could build his road before the bannocks were baked, she would marry him instead of her betrothed. The maiden, certain of…

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Solstice of the Moon: Unfamiliar Territory

Day 2 – Symbol intermission (part 1)

France & Vincent

It is raining again and about to get worse. You are in a suburban green space between neat-gardened houses, the last place you would expect to find an ancient treasure… and you are confronted with something both so alien and so hauntingly familiar, that it stops you in your tracks. A carved stone, covered in symbols, strange incisions and fantastic creatures. You have absolutely no idea what it may mean… no frame of reference… no starting point for comprehension. Yet somehow, it is not only familiar from all those pictures in books, but it feels as if you really should know how to read it.

The stone is one of the many Pictish symbol stones that dot the landscape. It is far from the best example, being both broken and weathered. The Brandsbutt Stone was found in pieces, used as part of the construction of a farm dyke and wall…

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