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Posts Tagged ‘wicca’

To the ancient (male) poets, poetry was the resulting progeny of a part unconscious, part inspirational, part devotional intercourse with a mythical yet hauntingly ever-present creature called the Muse. Anything else was doggerel and not worth the papyrus scroll it was written on. Beautiful, merciless, demanding of unwavering dedication, yet disproportionately frugal with her favours, the Muse has many guises, but all of them essentially female.

If a poet was respectful of his muse, in sufficient awe of her, and sufficiently in thrall to the muse’s more corporeal and multifarious projections onto mortal women, then his poetry would be profound and recognised at once as the purest utterings of the Divine One herself, unsullied by the poet’s rather more imperfect, and all too human excretions.

In other words, a man does not make poetry up, or for that matter fiction, or music, or paintings, or indeed any other form of art. He seeks inspiration, and by some mysterious contract, all too often signed in the poet’s own blood, the muse delivers the art to him. He merely transcribes it, therefore a wise poet never takes credit for his best work, lest he should court her wrath. Conversely, he must always be ready to accept the crap as his own.

But what happens if the poet, the artist or whatever, is a woman?

Male Muse-Goddess psychology is amply explained in the theories of Carl Jung, who would have termed her “Anima”, the divine feminine. It’s from Anima a man derives his wisdom, his inspiration, and his more intuitive faculties. When it comes to women though, I find Jung is less clear – her soul image being defined instead by an amorphous harem of male figures – which doesn’t sound very mystical and muse-like. But to stick with Jung for a moment, it’s through him the concept of the Muse, the Goddess, or even a belief in fairies is rendered accessible and relatively harmless to otherwise rational minds by a process of de-literalising and internalising.

Rather than devaluing such concepts however, Jungian psychology achieves the opposite, promoting the unconscious imaginal realms these daemonic creatures inhabit to a real, if hidden, collective dimension – or what in classical mythology might be called the Underworld. Jung thereby granted the Goddess a supernatural reality she’d not enjoyed since the banishing of the pagan gods by a stern, male-centric, Christianity.

Through our mythologies we see how many a powerful Goddess once influenced the world stage, and one might be forgiven for thinking both contemporary religion and rational secularism have banished her to such an abject obscurity only poets and other unreliable types still talk of her. But we should be careful, for it is through our own selves the old deities have always lived, and through our own irrational and so often inexplicable behaviour they still wield their mysterious influence in the world.

Thus it was in the middle of the twentieth century, the Goddess found herself reborn among a resurgent neo-pagan faithful, who have been quietly redefining the nature of mystical spiritualism under such banners as Wicca and Modern Witchcraft. And it is from among their ranks, some might argue, and some might even hope, she is earnestly plotting the rescue of both the Great Mother (earth), and humankind from ten thousand years of blood letting at the behest of the formerly all-powerful (and male) Sun God, and his equally misogynic demi-gods of War, Rape and Avarice.

The poet Robert Graves (1895-1985) was a vociferous champion of the Goddess, and in his book “The White Goddess” (1948) he claimed to have uncovered, by a process of linguistic analysis of ancient European and Greek myths, persuasive evidence for a Goddess-centric civilisation predating the classical period and stretching back into Neolithic times. The book was largely ignored by scholars who paused only briefly to point out it’s shortcomings and Graves’ embarrassing lack of authority on the subject. However, later work by archeologist and leading feminist Dr. Marija Gimbutas (1921-1994), found persuasive evidence in support of Graves’ hypothesis.

It seems there are indeed enigmatic traces of a lost European culture – matriarchal, sophisticated in its industry, and possessed of some of the earliest known writing on the planet – dating to 4000 BC – possibly the equal of the Chinese in its documented antiquity. This old European civilisation, according to Gimbutas, also distinguished itself by having left no trace among its artifacts of any history of warfare, or weapons, suggesting a political philosophy of admirably passive coexistence, resulting in a society that was breathtaking for its multi-millenial longevity.

It has to be said, not withstanding the physical evidence, Gimbutas’ unashamedly feminist interpretation does not go uncontested. However, her thesis, presented in her book The Goddess and Gods of Old Europe (1974) along with Graves’ The White Goddess became essential reading for the feminist and Neo Pagan movements.

But whatever the evidence for her possible role as a Neolithic deity, what we can say for sure is that the Goddess-Muse constitutes an abiding pattern of psychic energy, one whose presence has always been a powerful force in creation. But to come back to my earlier question, given her voracious and vampire like appetite for men, what about women?

If the muse is possessed of such sexually desirable feminine attributes, how can a woman show sufficient devotion as befits art, without distorting her own sexuality? Do women poets, for example, have male muses instead? Can the muse even be conceived of in masculine terms? As a man myself I’m outraged at the very thought, so devoted and protective am I of the Muse-Goddess. Therefore, are only men and moon-struck Lesbians capable of writing decent love letters? And are not all love letters incantations to the Muse, rather than to the poor young lady in question, and on whose shoulder the Muse just happens to be sitting at the time?

These are provocative questions, and clearly I’ll need to tread carefully. Or perhaps not, for since women are every bit as capable as men of sublime artistic expression, the Muse, or the Goddess, is clearly working through them anyway, and we can define it however we like. Just because a woman is an artist it does not make her Saphically inclined, so what is the nature of her relationship with the Muse? And similarly if she aspires to the ranks of neo-pagan neophytes, how does she relate, spiritually, to the Goddess, given that the female psyche is wired so differently to the male? Ah,… I think there might be a clue here.

Graves addresses this enigma in The White Goddess, and I also see answers to it in the WordPress musings of neo-pagan adepts, a great many of whom of course are women. And of those women, a great many I note are also very young. This is interesting, for they are exposed to the same youth-targeted, and overwhelmingly consumerist distractions as others of their age, yet they draw something from the archetype of the Goddess they find uniquely empowering, uniquely capable of granting them the gift of transcendence. By this I mean that through the Goddess concept, they are capable of communing with the spirit, where so many of the godless, and even the nominally religious see nothing of the spirit at all, but instead a bland consumerist edifice where is written the somewhat cynical mantra of our times: “I consume, therefore I am”.

Graves, although a severe and curmudgeonly critic of faddish and pretentious poets, did not admonish women who dallied with the perils of poetic genius. Rather he urged women to recognise their essential femininity, and to write as women, and not to try to write like men whose vision and whose relationship with the muse, by dint of male psychology, is always going to be different.

So after all of that I think the answer slowly reveals itself. A man’s relationship with the Goddess-Muse is one of subservience. She is the dominatrix, sometimes cruel, but just sweet enough, and often enough, to hold the man in thrall. Sometimes dismissed by non-artists as the result of infantile male sexual fantasy, this is none the less how the Muse engages men and goes about her business. For the woman though it’s different. For the woman, the aim is never to court the Goddess, but rather to avail herself and, if favoured, then to be the Goddess. And therin lies the innate power of any woman, be it through her art or in the potential of her relationships with men.

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We humans are more than physical beings. There’s also a psychological dimension to our lives and both require nourishment if we are to thrive.

Our physical needs revolve around the instinct for survival. We need food, warmth and shelter in order to achieve a basic level of contentment. In the modern world, this equates to money. But once these physical needs are met, and our survival theoretically assured, the business of contentment can become problematic – its attainment and its retention a seemingly haphazard and unstable affair. Even in the lap of great luxury we find human beings who are profoundly unhappy. Contentment, it seems, has as much to do with the mysterious processes going on in the inner life as in the outer.

The nature of both the inner and the outer life are complex. Physical scientists have gone some way towards exploring the remarkable depths of our biological processes, to the extent that they can fix a lot of the malfunctions our bodies are prone to. Yet much of the workings of the inner life, even after a century of analytical psychology, remains largely unknown. Broken minds all too often remain, sadly, broken, and we don’t know why.

What we can say is the inner life, consists of two regions, not clearly divided, and both of them imaginary in that they have no physical component, relying instead, obviously, on the workings of the mind. In one region, the conscious, we can control, develop and play with the images we self-consciously create. In the other region – the unconscious – the origin of the images it generates remains mysterious, yet these images come to us unbidden in dreams, moments of quiet reflection, or creative inspiration. Yet more mysteriously, these images can remain hidden but still have the power to colour our moods as we discover at times startling reflections of them in our behaviour, our relations with others, in the way we view and value our lives, also in the way we react to the physical world.

So, as well as being able to visualise the world around us with our physical senses, we are also able to envision it with this remarkable faculty of the subjective imagination. Thus one person can look at a situation and be uplifted by it, while another is rendered cold or hostile, or depressed.

The unconscious dimension is a thing entirely independent of our personal control. It is a part of us,… yet seemingly also apart. It possesses an eerie autonomy, creating for each of us the complex and highly personal world view only we can know. It is of vital importance to us – as vital as the air we breathe. Without it, even possessed of a physical life, we would be nothing at all.

It’s worrying then, given its importance to our vital selves, how this inscrutable inner world yields so little to rational methods of enquiry. For centuries, professional scientists have given it a wide berth, abandoning it as a playground for poets, mystics and those still enamoured of the multifarious forms religious thinking – fields where some might argue intellectual rigour is notable only by its absence.

Yet it’s via the aegis of this subjective and infuriatingly Mercurial inner world we are granted the imperishable sense of our self awareness, and through it an exquisite view of life which makes us cherish our lives above all other things. But this great treasure comes to us at the price of an acute awareness of the fleeting nature of our lives. It also renders us vulnerable to psychological damage at those times we find the tides of our conscious mind seriously out of tune with the tides of the unconscious.

Maintaining harmony of the inner world, this harmony of the tides has always been, in part at least a task we delegate to the uniquely human phenomenon of supernatural belief. Through the inner life, through an interplay of conscious imagination, magical thinking and mysterious insights, we can construct systems of belief in order to make sense of those parts of the universe that would otherwise remain unknown and perhaps frightening to us. We also do it to ease our existential aches, and to lessen the fear of our inevitable demise. We tell ourselves there’s more, that our lives are not in vain, that we each mean something in the greater scheme of things, no matter how unlikely it seems given all the aeons of physical evidence to the contrary. We want to believe there’s a trick of nature that will render it so, a supernatural charm that will reveal or in some way guarantee the immortality of our souls.

Whether we consider ourselves religious or not, I think there is in each of us a kernel of the psyche resonant to such thinking. And however we choose to express this function, express it we must if we’re not to risk damage by discord between the conscious and unconscious aspects of our inner life and, remaining undamaged, live a useful, productive life, reconciled to the infinite mystery of the universe around us, and to our painfully finite obscurity within it.

Religions can do this for us of course. They provide a variety of serviceable blueprints covering the geography of inner world, and a set of useful dialogues for communing with its denizens. But religion can also be an unwieldy, ill fitting instrument and it’s often been pointed out that among the dogmas there’s many a self annihilating reference. It’s easy to become mistrustful then. Religions preach tolerance, while being themselves at times conspicuously intolerant of dissent. They preach inclusiveness while at times excluding from their communion anyone residing outside of their carefully delineated bounds. And perhaps most fatally, religions find themselves caught in the warp and weave of the nefarious power-structures of the world, contaminated by cultural noise and by the ignorant or the deliberately divisive mistranslations of ancient texts, which render profound truths intended to release the human spirit, more as shackles to bind it. And thereby have too many good men and women fallen to the slaughter of wars and religious persecution in the belief that God was on their side.

Such arguments, though not without their own flaws, remain persuasive to anyone with an enquiring and an open mind. So what’s a simple man and woman to do then, intent on harmonising their inner lives, if they reject the metaphysical mainstream?

Well,… there’s always Paganism.

But we need to be careful with Paganism too. In the strictest definition of the word, Paganism describes any ethnic belief system that lies outside of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic tradition. It’s also a word that carries a lot of pejorative baggage, and in the western world at least, conjures up images of flaming pentangles and silly looking naked bottoms, dancing in a circle by moonlight. But beyond this it also includes of course the wisdom traditions of the east, and the rites of the ancient world – the Egyptian hermeticists, and the mystery traditions of the Greeks.

From time to time these old ways reassert themselves in the west. The turn of the nineteenth century saw a resurgence of hermeticism under guise of the “new thought” movement, and from the middle of the twentieth century, Celtic Paganism too found itself reborn under the guise of Wicca, and has been quietly thriving ever since, along with other pre-Christian beliefs that might crudely be huddled together under the general heading of “Modern Witchcraft”.

So, if you’re looking for something outside of the mainstream, and you’re tired of watching the rational world disintegrating after two hundred years of petrification on account of its own arrogant, soulless inflexibility, then you have many contemporary forms of pre-rational belief to choose from. Like any religion, you simply learn the ropes and allow their patterns to inform the shifting tides of your inner world. Then, in Canute-like fashion, armoured with these new contructs you can attempt to stem the tide of your own alarming inner world, only to find the tides rushing in as usual, sweeping before them all bullshit, rendering it as an incoherent tangle of flotsam on the foreshore of your experience, and leaving you as mystified as ever regarding the correct way to tackle the mystical path.

I have to admit to a certain attraction for those who mark the passage of their lives in terms of Esbats and Sabbats. Such things put you back in tune with the turning of the earth, and the cycle of its seasons, make you more sensitive to and appreciative of the natural world – things which appeal to me. There’s also something romantic about measuring the year by counting moons, but I find my moods fail to conform neatly to its waxings and wanings.

And those bare bottoms trouble me.

Perhaps I’m just too much of a misanthrope to be a coven type, but my experience of any group of human beings is that cliques are formed, the noisy ones gather front and centre, while the quiet ones take the back seat, and though equally present might as well have disappeared. Church, school, even the Archery club I attended once – all are the same and I don’t see why witchy covens should be any different.

I’m a solitary then? Yes, there’s a version of pagan witchery that allows for misanthropes, and I’ve explored this possibility, but I really can’t be bothered with the ropes.They slither through my hands as if greased, and I can gain no purchase on them at all. I also find my muse tittering girlishly at them. Her rituals are different, and she’s always fully if somewhat eccentrically clothed when we go about our business.

Much of Buddhism and Taoism and Hindiusm remain similarly misty to me, though I’ve dallied with them for decades and instinctively revere their teachings, but I’ve a feeling all of this is leading somewhere else now, away from any kind of religion, away from the pre-rational and magical thinking of the witches and the geomancers, into a new kind of paganism.

When I come back to the central paradox of my life, I find the journey of enquiry has left me quietly assured of the existence of a dimension beyond – or rather deep within – imagination. It helps that I stepped into it by accident one summer’s day, long ago, mystified at first and then astonished to find references to to it in the accounts of mystics down the centuries. I can’t explain it, or even adequately describe it, but its impact has left me confident of its abiding nature. The tides of my inner life are as tumultuous now as they’ve always been, but I seem to ride them better – touch wood – no need for daily prayer, nor spells, nor runes nor bare bottoms by moonlight, nor even the mysterious glowing alembics of the alchemists.

I find, much to my surprise, science is helping, first of all by having become less scientistic in recent decades, at least around the more dubious of its edges, as it steps back from its hard materialist dogmas. I find myself persuaded by respectable, scientific studies which seem to confirm what the less materialist philosophers have been saying for centuries, that the mind is separate to the brain, and essentially non-local. This makes sense of my own experience, also of the many unexplained faculties of the psyche.

I find I’m also persuaded by similarly sober studies of near death, and willing to accept that the tales told by survivors are exactly what they appear to be. I do this because they appeal to reason, as much to mystical thinking, and the counter explanations by the scientistically inclined, seem the more desperate, contrived and childish by comparison. I’m therefore no longer as bereft at thoughts of annihilation as I have been in the past, at the passing of friends and loved ones. Instead I’m persuaded that we must seriously reckon with the possibility of a journey that continues, that what awaits us at the end of our dream of life might be the greatest and most lucid dream of all, the dream of the universe itself, and ourselves safe within it.

That you can arrive at such conclusions simply through a spirit of open-minded enquiry, and a reading of respectable, intellectually coherent literature, tempts one into viewing all the dancing and prancing and magical chanting of our multifarious religions as merely the decorative trimmings of folklore, a lore from which the underlying meaning has been stripped or rendered so opaque as to be inaccessible to all but a few. I don’t mean to denigrate religion. Any system, no matter how fanciful, that attempts to map out the inner landscape must be respected, and sincere persistence within a system of belief is perhaps still the surest route to any kind of spiritual enlightenment. But my own experience is that you don’t need religion to make your way. You already carry the clues inside your head, and there are a sufficient number of footprints now, crystallising from the fog of intellectual enquiry, to lead us on. We may not find ourselves rocketed into the core of the paranormal, nor even religious enlightenment, but in any kind of spiritual endeavour it is not the destination that’s important, so much as the journey.

It’s not that I can explain any of this, or tell you with any more certainty than the next muddle headed mystic what any of it means. Nor less have I the guile, nor indeed the intent, to persuade the non-believer to my peculiar point of view. Indeed I suspect that for the modern pagan at least the journey and one’s relationship with the inner world must always be a personal one.

And of course the great mystery remains unsolved, why the cosmos would want to take such a limited view of itself, and from the perspective of so many different pairs of eyes – also that since it’s so very, very old, there surely can’t be many lessons it has left to learn through the pitfalls and pratfalls of our small, intermeshing lives. But even Hermes that master alchemist of old, couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer that one.

For now, this modern pagan shoulders his pack and moves along the trail, curiously and perhaps inappropriately reassured by the journey so far. And if you find any resonance here, sufficient to have reached this closing paragraph in my narrative, I suspect you too are a modern pagan my friend. And not a bare bottom between us,…

Bibliography

Consciousness beyond life – Pim Van Lommel

The Spiritual Brain – Beauregard/O’Leary

Science and the Akashic field – Laszlow

Science and the near death experience – Carter

A course in Demonic Creativity – Cardin

Is there Life after death? – Fontana

Life beyond death – what can we expect?  – Fontana

Randi’s Prize – McLuhan

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Nonsense rhymes, the truth about women, and fairy folk at large in the modern world.

As I was walking up the stair, I met a man who wasn’t there. He wasn’t there again today, oh how I wish he’d go away.

So run the first lines of William Hugh Mearns’ 1899 poem, later published as “Antigonish”. It’s a charming nonsense rhyme, one that’s been rolling around in my head since childhood. I’m not sure how it’s meant to be taken. A bit of nonsense? A bit of fun to get the imagination rolling? Or is there more to it? At the risk of overanalysing – which isn’t like me – the rhyme can provoke some serious thinking if you let it.

It’s reminiscent of a Zen Koan – one of those inscrutable meditative walnuts you can only crack by disengaging your normal, rational thought processes. So, let’s see: you meet this guy who isn’t there; you meet him again at another time, in the same place, but he’s not there again either, and even though he’s definitely not there, you’re so fed up with him hanging around you wish he’d go away.

It doesn’t make sense of course, unless you can accept the existence of an imaginary man.

Imaginary?

Let’s analyse that word for a moment. He’s not really there, not literally. Nor is he a drug, nor a psychotically, induced hallucination. So, you don’t actually see the man with anything other than your inner eye. He’s a mental image, an imaginary man triggered into being by something in your head, but with sufficient force to arouse your emotions. Why else would you want him to go away if his habitual presence wasn’t irritating you? He doesn’t exist but he effects your life, the way you think, and the way you feel.

Now this I understand.

I’ve been seeing my own imaginary person recently. I wasn’t walking up the stair, but across a meadow at dusk. It wasn’t a man either, but a woman, wild haired – a crazy mix of straw and dreadlocks, and bits of ribbon. Her clothing was nineteenth century – country tweeds, but with a ripped and ragged new-age traveller, hippy-chic look about them. All told she was like a tripped-out Beatrix Potter. I wasn’t irritated by her presence – quite the opposite. I was very pleased to see her, and rather than go away, I’m hoping she’ll stick around for a while. I was just surprised, that’s all; I’d begun to think my imagination had fallen asleep.

I’d actually gone out that day to snarl and shake my walking stick at a couple of giant wind turbines that have popped up on my patch in recent weeks. I was lamenting the fact that even the limited potential for romantic enlightenment that my local West Lancashire landscape possesses was now truly blasted with the appearance of these damned whirligigs, sticking like poisoned arrows out of the soft flesh of the earth. The last thing I was expecting in their fickering shadow, with the sound of their grinding gears drowning out even the wind, was a romantic encounter.

Romantic?

Let’s not forget we’re talking about an imaginary entity here, not flesh and blood, nor was it an hallucination, nor even a ghost or a spirit – though perhaps those latter two definitions come the closest to describing it. Michael Graeme is also a happily married man, so we’re obviously talking about a different kind of romance here – one that won’t land him in the divorce courts (hopefully). This woman exists only as an imaginary creation, yet she possesses a life-like autonomy. I can summon her image at will, just as any of us can summon up the image of a real person who is known to us but, like a real person, I cannot summon up her presence. Her actual presence – or the very real sense of it – is goverened by more mysterious processes – a mixture of unconscious psychology, and geography. I have to be in the right place, both physically, and mentally before her psychical existence becomes a part of my personal reality.

Her name’s Squirrel, and the last time I saw her she was sitting atop a solar-powered canal boat called the Mattie Rat – another imaginary creation – in my story “the Magician of Monkton Pier“. This was a couple of years ago. I was never really happy with that story, nor the title, to be honest. The magical parts seemed too fantastic, too farcical to be swallowed – even tongue in cheek. I don’t think Squirrel liked it either, and maybe that’s why she’s haunting me now. The story was useful as a vehicle for introducing her into my consciousness which, in the narrative sense, was personified by the owner and navigator of that boat, a guy called Joshua. I haven’t followed it up though, and I think Squirrel’s giving me a gentle reminder that we have unfinished business.

My personal version of Mearns’ ditty might run as follows then:

As I walked through meadows fair, I met a woman who wasn’t there. She wasn’t there again today. If she could speak, what would she say?

That’s it with Squirrel, you see? She doesn’t speak. She’s either mute, or she’s taken a vow of silence in order to preserve her power. She doesn’t tell,… she shows. There’s something magical about her, something shamanic, something of the earth mother, and that’s a little worrying because we’re talking about the old world Roman deity, Diana here, and I’d thought She was a Goddess who only haunted the minds of adepts of certain sapphically inclined Wiccan covens.

In the three ages of womanhood, according to the new version of the “old religion”, Squirrel’s the sunny side of Crone – perhaps just the sort of creature to arouse a man of mature thoughts and middle years who isn’t still hampered by more maidenly projections. I mean we’re not talking a toothless, bent old hag here – just a woman past normal childbearing age. And we’re not talking about running off and making whoopee either. What we’re about is the meaning of life, and that means plotting a course back to the world soul.

My first thoughts were that Squirrel had come to cast her spells upon the whirligigs and have them catch fire, because practical magic is her thing and she pops up whenever the natural balance is disturbed. I don’t think that’s it, though. The landscape of Western Lancashire has been crafted by man for hundreds of years. You can’t look anywhere without seeing straight lines, be it in the run of a hedgerow, a ploughed furrow or a drainage ditch – man’s linear geometry is everywhere. And with the appearance of these wind turbine’s this evidence of man’s hand has gone three dimensional, even effecting the light, making the sun blink during the evening hours. In short there’s nothing left of original nature worth preserving here, so why worry about it?

Talk to me Squirrel. What does all of this mean? Well,… getting back to plotting my course, I’m hoping it means she’s come to show me at least a part of the way.

For a male writer of a romantic bent, all encounters with the muse are significant, and essentially spiritual. Their courtship and their  metaphorical lovemaking advance him a little further along his inner path, and their resulting offspring: the words, the stories, the paintings, the poems,… these can be picked up by others looking for a spark of something universally recognisable in them. And all stories are, after all, the plagarisation of archaic myths, rising from the soul of the world, and all interested readers know a truth when they see it, even if they can’t explain it. The writer’s contribution to this love-match is his openness to inspiration, and his sincerity, also his ability to hold a pencil, or put his fingers over a keyboard. The rest comes from the muse.

Which brings us to the truth about women. A young man, enamoured of his rational faculties, yet also bursting with an inexpressible Romantic desire, might make the understandable mistake of bestowing such divinity on a mortal woman. Then, like John Ruskin on his wedding night, recoiling at the sight of his darling Effie’s all too human anatomy, he realises the awful truth: that women are human beings, and everything we feel about them is a mixture of instinct and projection. We must take care then not to seek the divine in them, or through our love-lives we will for ever run the risk of Byronic self-immolation – the risk being in direct proportion to the strength of our romantic sensibilities. Can a man successfully love more than one woman at the same time? Well, yes he can, and many do, so long as only one of those women is mortal, and the others divine. Anything else is just emotional suicide.

So, these whirligigs appear on the Plain of Western Lancashire, like arrows shot from Diana’s bow. They form giant markers in the mud and I’m drawn to them. And once I’ve done with all my huffing and puffing and my predictable nimby indignation, I realise that actually they’re quite beautiful. The sky no longer seems so vast it dwarfs the land, and makes you feel insignificant. The whirligigs connect heaven and earth and the landscape here, a place I wasn’t born to and one I’ve often felt alien in, becomes at once more intimate and knowable.

How strange!

Is that what you were trying to tell me, Squirrel? Oh,.. never mind. Just take my arm and walk with me a while.

I’m sure it will come to me eventually.

This woman, who still was not there, runs her fingers through her hair. Gently then, she takes my arm. My bosom swells, my heart is warm.

Who says there’s no such thing as fairies? It’s just a question of knowing how to see them.

Graeme out.

Regarding Diana’s Arrows – my own name for them, and not official in any way. There are two at present on Mawdesley Moss, I believe another one is planned, making three in total. My romantic sensibilities might be shattered if the three were to become twenty three.

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