Deep Calls To Deep: Iona Pilgrimage 2017: The Plan

20170913 IONA PILGRIMAGE PLANPeriodically, it is right, I believe to take stock of where we are, where we’ve ‘come from’ and where we’re headed, and where we would like to head to, where we feel called.

It seems an age away, when I last visited the isle of Iona, off the Scottish rugged and wild west coast. Infact it was twenty-eight years ago to the month. Then, in my mid-thirties and with umpteen years of informal study, theological practice and experience under my belt, I stepped out of seminary, after a three year period of formal study. [Tadhg’s Journal: 1989]

Quote: ‘Too often we don’t trust our own deepest truth; it makes us feel too vulnerable or it seems incongruous with the person we think we are or must be.’  Emily Hanlon

And, right now, with various significant things that have happened this year, and a number of major decisions ahead, I need to return to the beginning, to where it all began in earnest for me.

Twenty eight years ago I was on the isle of Iona. Just south-west of the island’s centre is a path that leads westward. It leads to the seashore, but just before you get there, there is a small hill. The hill has two names. Some know it as Sithean, the Fairy Mound, others know it as Cnoc nana Aingeal, the Hill of Angels.

It was in AD563 that columcille, also know as St Columba, sailed from Ireland and settled on Iona, founded the Abbey on eastern part of that island, and from there (officially) set out to evangelise the Pictish tribes (of what is now Sctoland) and the rest of the country.

And so I sat on the top of the hill and pondered. To me, this place is Sithean. It was humbling. Humbling to know that 1426 years ago, that Columcille had sat or stood here, on this very spot – and according to Adomnán, Columcille was seen meeting with angels.

There is a power here.

I know that we don’t need to travel to far off places to encounter, that we can encounter wherever we are, and can even encounter using our imagination, our mind’s eyes or what some call our vision-eye. But, at this time, this place assisted me.

There is a peacefulness about the island, a ruggedness, and yet in the wind one can hear the soul of the island, or is it angels or the fae?

And as I sat there, I lay back, half closed my eyes, and rested. It ‘felt’ as if a ‘thin place’, a liminal-door had opened. In the distance, when the wind changed it sounded like children playing. Then the wind blew from another direction and the sound was lost, and then it was, again, ushered along with the breeze. I could hear the sound of children in the distance, high-pitched laughing and giggling. Playing? I immediately opened my eyes, sat up and looked around. No laughing. No children could be seen. There was just the silence. Silence, apart from the low ‘murmur’ of the continual wind blowing from the sea.

Wherever we are, we are encouraged to expect the unexpected. There is a story from ancient times, of a man sitting at his tent door. In the heat, desert heat, of the day, he looked over at the oak trees of Mamre. Suddenly, he saw three men standing there. He was gracious to them and offered them food. It is said that these three men were infact angels, and some believe that the man had, infact, encountered The Source Of All.

Expect the unexpected.

I lay back, again. Half closed my eyes. Some minutes later the sound of children laughing was back, but this time I remained still. It grew louder. And then suddenly the giggling sound, subdued but distinct, was all around me. I was bathed in innocent laughter. I remained there, not moving a muscle, enjoying the experience – knowing there was nothing I could do to enhance the experience. It was a sacred time, a sacred place. I just enjoyed it. So much so, that after many, many minutes I couldn’t help but fall into a light sleep.

I woke up about half an hour later. The was no sound, except for the howling wind. It had started to rain.

But, this is Scotland and I had come prepared. The rain was fine, but constant. Typical for this area. The Scots call it dreich (pronounced ‘dree-ch’. The ‘ch’ sound is like that in loch. It’s not a ‘k’ sound, but a guttural sound as if you’re clearing you throat).

I walked back to were I was staying, and pondered further my experience at Sithean, the Fairy Mound, or Cnoc nana Aingeal, the Hill of Angels, and that encounter

That evening, I considered the reason I was here.

It is good to draw away from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and if that means not going to a remote area like Iona, then perhaps a change of habit and a relocation of a few miles for a couple of days. But, then there’s always the imagination.

I sat there, pondering. As I gazed at the horizon the word reverence sprang to mind. John O’Donohue wrote: ‘Our world seems to have lost all sense of reverence…Ultimately, reverence is respect before mystery…Reverence is also physical – a dignified attention of body showing that [the] sacred is already here.’

Having finished theological studies, it was time to embark on further studies and a ministry centred on Christian Celtic, and then later, Druidic theology, but inclusively. In a way that would draw alongside all people, to share and to learn as iron sharpens iron, and to know them as friends. A fledgling ministry in serving The Way, that would grow, was my Iona prayer, then.

And so it started, twenty-eight years ago. And now with major changes ahead, I plan to go back to Iona, and to Sithean in the next few weeks. It will be a time of return, re-energising, and renewal for me. A time to decide the future of this ministry as vows need to be re-made, tasks finish but new ones approach, and a time to decide whether to write as I do here or write and lead workshops, and more. Good challenges ahead.

In your heart and mind’s eye, your vision-eye, in your imagination, I want to invite you to join me when I embark on my journey to Iona, and will write daily. It will be a time of return, re-energising, and renewal for me. And, hopefully for you, too.

Quote: ‘Life is a journey. When we stop, things don’t go right.’ Pope Francis

However,  articles continue as normal, and your company is always sought now, and even more so on the planned Iona pilgrimage.

Blessings, Tadhg.

 

‘Eucharistic Planet’ : Celtic Thought About Life & Geography

20170824 EUCHARISTIC PLANET CELTIC THOUGHT ABOUT LIFE AND GEOGRAPHYI am back in that place of paradox. Fulham cemetery in central London, so ancient and full of the remains of human bodies and ashes, and yet with the lush trees and foliage that abound here , it is a place teeming with life. To the materialIst, to those steeped in twenty-first century (maybe so, even without knowing it), to those who see only with physical eyes, there is no more.

But, there is more.

We are surrounded by ‘biological’ life: insects, animals, trees and plants etc, but even there, there is more. I’m in a physical location that has pebbles for pathways and a myriad of other stones with etchings on them, but there is more. There are things I cannot see – some would call them spirits or entities associated with this place (and, the Romans called the genii loci), and then there are the ancestors. How materialistic and limiting to presume that because we cannot see something that it does not exist (especially as ‘our science’ informs us that more that 90% of the universe is invisible to us).

There is more.

‘It’s life Jim, but not as we know it…’ Quote/Misquote from Star Trek

There are some who believe that all things – that which we call animate and inanimate – are ensouled. Even the pebbles on the pathway that I’m currently looking at are ensouled. They have a story to tell, are part of the created order, and though many would say that that idea is nonsense their was a time when those who thought the earth was the centre of the solar system would have argued vehemently that they were right and others were wrong.

‘I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’ Luke 19:40, The Book

Having the view that everything has a soul, may sound bizarre to some, but even to sceptics there are benefits. If I gaze lovingly at a tree – and their are two beautiful, old, gnarled and noble trees to my left and right with stories to tell, and I believe they are ensouled and I’m in error, then nothing has been really lost. I slowed down, I might have given the trees some ‘respect’ that some materialists would say I didn’t need to do, but nothing is really lost.

‘Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.’ Gerard De Nervalok

However, even then there are benefits. I will not be so quick to view these trees, and creation in general, as a commodity to be dug us, used, and causally discarded. Even if the is no ‘ensoulment’ of all things and we act as though there is, it makes for a kinder, cleaner and more nature-based world, and one that is appreciated because it is reverenced. However, currently at the hands of materialist-thinkers the planet is being merely being ‘used’ and poisoned. ‘Ensoulment’-believers are very good for the planet and for future generations, at the very least.

There’s more.

For me everything is ensouled, and using the wisdom of ancient Celts, proto-Christians and Druids etc that ‘theology’ is wonderfully (and logically) life-preserving.

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Hamlet, Shakespeare

I’ve now relocated. I needed to stretch my legs and I’ve walked about a mile south-west of the cemetary, and I’m now in the delightful Bishop’s Park (see header photo, above) which nestles against the River Thames .

And what of other entities? We live in such a materialist age that even many of those who frequent churches, mosques and synagogues etc struggle with the concept of angels. Call them Angels, elementals, genii loci, dryads, ancestors; there are things known, and there are things unknown. Perhaps we’re not meant to solve this mystery, but just to admit that this mystery exists, to experience it, and to revel in it.

These other entities, the spirits of the place, they exist. They exist here in this ancient land called by some, myself included, Clas Myrddin (or Merlin’s Enclosure), and they exist where you are. Even if you’re the other side of the globe, and in a ‘new’ country with a modern history of several decades or a just a handful of hundreds of years, the land is more ancient than that and so are those who inhabit it in the unseen realm. If I said this land was more special that would be for my ego to gain the upper-hand, or to give credence to some kind of ‘purist’ or arrogant fantasy. I would say every place on the face of the earth is special, and holy, and inhabited by genii loci. So, make friends with yours, wherever you are.

‘What if the universe is not merely the product of God but also the manifestation of God – a ‘eucharistic planet’ on which we have been invited to live?’. Joseph Campbell quoted by  Barbara Brown Taylor

In Bishop’s Park just a short walk away from that cemetery, the geographical location is different, my view is different, the ‘feeling’ is different, but the spiritscape shares an ancient commonality wherever we go, wherever you are, wherever I am. Different, but the same. Indeed, a ‘eucharistic planet’. Ensouled.

To Be Here Is Immense: Celtic Thought About Life & Time

20170822 LIFELINE TO BE HERE IS IMMENSEI’m sitting on a somewhat rickety bench seat in Fulham cemetery, in central London. It’s about mid-day and it’s August, and its overcast and cloudy. A wee bit humid, too, and it could threaten to rain, but so far it’s dry.

I’m alone.

There are parts of this cemetery which are more recently used than others and consist of fairly ‘well-manicured’ lawns. The part of the cemetery where the bench seats are – their are three of them – are in the oldest part of the cemetery, and the least used part now, and there nature is ‘wilder’. I like that area. That’s where I am.

With many tall trees and overgrown shrubs around me, the noise of nearby buses and other traffic is hardly noticeable. It’s like being in another place. Another world. It is, after all, known as ‘God’s acre’.

It feels as though I am alone. And yet…

As I sit here it feels as though things have always been this way. But, each one of us had an arrival date, each one of us navigates our way through a myriad of days, and as the names and dates on the gravestones reveal, there will be a time when we will all ‘move on’.

There is a Presence in this place. I don’t feel alone anymore.

Some might say this Presence are the souls of the departed here, others might say it’s angels or the Source of All. Still others may talk of dryads and elementals. Who knows? Whatever we call that Presence, and I think there’s room to ponder there, we’re acknowledging two things: the Presence connotes life (or should that be Life) and the paradox of this place; and that each one of us can, if we’re not distracted or too busy, be aware of the Presence.

‘To be here is immense’. Rainer Maria Rilke.

Almost in front of me is a large gravestone listing three members of the same family. The husband died in 1903, his wife died in 1908, and oh, that dear woman’s mother died two years after her. These three have gone from our sight, but the Presence is a ‘guarentee’ that life goes on, albeit in another form. Gone, but their memory lives on. It lives on in my mind as I have just read the gravestone. But, there are others alive today that came from their ancestral line, just as these three people came from their parents’ ancestral line.

‘In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.’ Robert Frost

None of us is alone.

We are all part of that which has gone before, and we all contribute to those who are yet to come (or those who are here now and maturing, or contribute in a myriad of ways to others’ lives now, if not genetically). Like runners in a baton race – receiving and giving.

We can metaphorically look back at the ancestors with gratitude, look forward with anticipation and hope, and look around us, today, with wonder and awe…..perhaps at the very fact, that we can actually do that!

‘To be born is to be chosen. To be created and come to birth is to be blessed. Some primal kindness chose us, and brought us through the forest of dreaming until we could emerge…’ John O’Donohue.

As I sit on this wooden bench it’s easy to forget the marvel, the miracle, that is Life. As I gaze around at wild nature, but it’s the same wherever we are – or wherever you are – the fact that we are aware of those who have gone before us, those we know now, and can envisage those who might yet come, that we can look around us and be aware ‘is immense’.

And yet, ‘amnesia’ sets in, and we can so easily forget our part in that long ancestral line or the calling of the Presence to ‘be’, and to ‘do’. Then, the visible seems to overpower the invisible, our hurried present seems to ‘crowd out’ the Presence…except in those still moments of solitude when the Presence, or angels, or dryads or elemental or the ancestors, or whatever our theology ‘permits’, still cry out to us. I have a hunch that the Originator of this ongoing message is more concerned about us hearing the message than debating who is, or what is, or what the Originator looks like.

‘We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead… And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.’ Paul Tsongas

The wind is picking up, and it’s time for me to leave. I stand up slowly, momentarily aching somewhat from sitting in a less-than-anthropometically designed, old bench seat, but it was wonder…and, I cannot leave without pausing for a moment and giving a nod of my head. To do less seems disrespectful to the Presence, and to others, such as the ancestors. Life is sacred. Life goes on. There will never be a time when you won’t be!

‘You are the fairy-tale told by your ancestors’. Toba Beta

 

The Coimimeadh & You: Celtic Thoughts When Out Jogging

20170609 THE COIMIMEADH WHEN OUT JOGGING 1Thoughts from earlier today: I’m in London. It’s early, probably about 6.30am and I’m out jogging. Well, walking now as I’ve done my stint for the day. I’m walking back home. The weather is mild, a little cool, grey cloud overhead, and it’s threatening to rain. There are few people out and out, but there are a few.

Strangers?

Have you ever noticed that when people are not in a rush, perhaps when you pass them first thing in the morning, such as I’m doing now, that there is a ‘connection’. They are more willing to look you in the eye, albeit momentarily, as you pass them by. A friendly nod of the head, perhaps a verbalised greeting and eye contact ensues. This happens a lot in this part of London – I like to think of the city as a friendly place – but there’s a deeper looking into each others soul – if that’s what it is – when passing by, unhurried, early in the morning.

Recognition?

‘When we can look into each others eyes, however briefly, without any agendas or scheme of desire or need, something indescribable and essential takes makes us more than we…’ Mark Nepo

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it’s as if I know them from some other place or time, but don’t know where and when. Odd. There’s something familiar about them. And then it’s gone as we pass each other by.

Could it be that that recognition that I see, and presumably they see in me, and I’m sure the same applies to you, is something deep and profound. It certainly feels like it.

‘Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable.’  Rhonda Byrne

Could it be that in some way I am ‘seeing’ myself in them, and they see themselves in me. Do we ‘see’ ourselves in others. Not just the human condition reflected back, not just separateness, not just another human being passing you and me by, but a genuine soul-connectedness. Perhaps a recognition that is soul-to-soul, deep within, and/or of having even one-soul such as, say, at the centre of a wheel’s hub and waking up to that commonality or oneness?

‘Each time you say hello to a stranger, your heart acknowledges over and over again that we are all family.’ (Suzy Kassem)

Could it be, allied to that soul-to-soul link, that each one of us has another! Yes, you are not just one! That you have something like a spiritual doppelganger. There’s an unusual and wonderful reference to this in the Book (see Acts 12:15, The Book).

‘The angel seeing us is watching through each other’s eyes.

To ancient (Irish) Celts and Druids this mysterious being, this other-us, is the coimimeadh [pronounced koym-imah]. In the late 17th century, Reverend Robert Kirk wrote about the coimimeadh (literally the ‘co-traveller’), and wrote that it is part of you (your soul), who walks beside you, generally, but sometimes can even go walk-about (in which case you, too, can be bi-locational).

Have you ever felt another presence nearby? An elemental in the forest? An angel? Your (own) coimimeadh? Who knows?

Could it be, and I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m amongst friends, so here goes, could it be that that person and I have, indeed, met before? Yes, I’ll nail my colours to the mast and declare that I’m a firm advocate of not only accepting the existence of the life hereafter, but also of pre-life. Perhaps, that’s where I know them from. Perhaps all the people in your (earthly) life and mine, all those that we fleetingly ‘see’ deeply in the early morning (or in similar settings) are friends from that realm of pre-existence? And, they have been put here as your companions to assist each you on our journey back home, and you for them?

‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..’ Jeremiah 1.5a

Meanwhile, I’m almost back home, and the person passing me right now has quickened their pace and is looking down. Perhaps, they’re not someone I met in pre-life, perhaps not a coimimeadh, perhaps not my soul-reflection or an angel as no deep connected is felt. Perhaps they aren’t soul-open?. Or, perhaps I’ve got it completely wrong.

Now time for a shower, and to make myself look presentable again.

‘My soul is not asleep. It is awake, wide awake. It neither sleeps nor dreams, but watches, its eyes wide open far-off things, and listens at the shores of the great silence.’ (Antonio Machado)

But, in any case, it’s only good manners to be polite, and smile and greet strangers, first thing in the morning (and at other times), isn’t it? As it says somewhere, ‘Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.’

But, what do you think?

The Imaginal Realm 1: Introduction [And The ‘Three Boxes’ Imaginal Exercise For You To Try]

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In yesterday’s Journal I mentioned about the imagination, and that as adults we seem to consider it a childish faculty, and that we seem to have lost that ability…or have we?

‘Children see magic because they look for it.’ Christopher Moore.

Here’s some thoughts about the imagination. Yes, we’ll look at:

– how we still use our imagination (even though we may think we don’t), and
– why the imagination is a blessing (but is misunderstood and underused), and
– how we can take the first steps in purposefully using the imagination.

And there’s more…

  • there’s a free ‘three boxes’ imaginal exercise for you to try, and possibly benefit from.

The Imaginal Realm 1: An Introduction

There are several areas where our imagination runs riot, even if we’re not aware of that fact. Yes, we still use our imaginations, even as adults (and can use them more so!)

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.’ Albert Einstein

So, how do we use our imaginations (still)?

Firstly, advertisers know how to temp us. Take holiday adverts. We see a brochure containing photographs of a sun-drenched beach, read wonderful things about it, and then over a cup of coffee we ‘dream’ of ourselves on that beach. That’s exactly what the advertisers want – you imagining yourself in that setting. Yes, you’ve used your imagination, and in a good way, and in a profitable way from the advertisers’ point of view.

The imagination is powerful.

Secondly, when we dream when asleep, our sleeping mind is flooded with strange scenarios, smells, sounds etc. When asleep our imagination continues to function – yes, it actually never sleeps and is functioning even as you read this. But, the imagination, when we’re awake’ is ‘drowned out’ somewhat by the general busyness of the day – though it still functions, and still sways us – remember those holiday brochures?. But, when we’re asleep, and the body is immobile, and the busyness of the day is ‘a million miles away’, oh, yes, then the imaginal playground opens up and the fetters are off. Then, we revel in the imagination.

The imagination, active all the time.

Thirdly, there’s that half asleep-half awake realm, that we all experience, as we drift off to sleep or have ‘forty winks’. We might be conscious of our surroundings, but in our mind’s eye we might ‘see’ something in our peripheral vision, or hear something (so, I guess that should really be the mind’s ear, also). Interestingly, as an aside, it is in this state that one can experience the ‘exploding head’ syndrome’! Don’t worry- your head doesn’t literally explode, its just that, sometimes, you can be jolted out of that blissful half-sleep by a loud bang (which is ‘in’ your head, or mind).

So, in what way is using your imagination (more)
a blessing and bring benefits to you?

Your imagination is a blessing, and using it more (or allowing it to ‘play’ in the background) can bring many benefits, which would hitherto not ‘arrive’. For instance, it is said that August Kekulé, the renowned chemist, and very much into the research of chemical structure, was said to have dreamed the benzine molecule’s composition, which greatly aided his (and others) research.

I feel more and more every day, as my imagination strengthens, that I do not live in this world alone, but in a thousand worlds.’ John Keats

Our imagination as it ‘plays’ allows us to ‘think outside the box’, to ask ourselves ‘what if?’ and to see things differently, and so, increased our perception. According to the American Psychological Association imagination can also enhance memory – good news for everyone, but especially those with exams. It is said to make us more empathetic towards others, and promote self-growth and maturity.

‘The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.’ Henry Ward Beecher

Now, some may view the imagination with some distrust. This paragraph gets a little theological so if you want to skip over it, that’s okay. Some, and they still remain friends, have said to me that there are several Bible verses that speak against the imagination and the use of it, such as: Romans 1.21 and other places, where, in the King James’ Version, the word ‘imagination’ appears. But, a little research into this, shows that a more accurate rendering of the Greek word(s) is, infact, ‘understanding’, which is a different faculty altogether. In addition to this, although sometimes where the heart is mentioned it is in the negative, it is always (some might say usually) that the ‘challenge’ is in the ‘arena’ of the heart, and not necessarily the heart itself. Just a a couple of theological thoughts to show that, imagination, per se need not be frowned upon.

‘The individual imagination is not its own invention: its source is elsewhere’, and ‘We are from God and we carry in our minds and hearts the ripple of the Divine mind’. John O’Donohue

The imagination is a spiritual faculty and resource.

But, the benefits are even wilder than we first thought. Your imagination can affect your physical body. We know this can happen, for when we imagine something to be dangerous or scary (and movie-makers play on this when they make horror or thriller movies) our hearts speed up, our breathing increases, and we may feel shock or pain. There are times I’ve seen operations on tv and felt (albeit greatly reduced) some pain! I’m sure you can testify to that, too.

Wilder still. A university research team did some experiments, and the findings were reported in the newspapers. It seems that (merely) imagining exercise can have a beneficial effect on muscles. This is good news to all those ‘hitting’ the gym for sport etc, as combining physical exercise with an ‘imaginal gym’ can enhance performance and give one ‘the edge’ over others, potentially.

‘It’s an extraordinary result,’ says Dr Mosley. ‘The measurements showed it wasn’t due to muscles growing bigger, so it wasn’t to do with a change in the amount of muscle.’

So, how had it happened?

‘The electrical stimulation test gave the answer,’ he says. ‘These results showed by the end of the month of thinking, our volunteers were using more of the muscle fibres they had always had.

‘Our volunteers had gone from using 50 per cent of their muscle fibres to using 70 per cent. They didn’t grow more muscle, but they were much better at using the muscle they had.’

See this link to the newspaper article [here].

So, imagination can enhance untapped efficiency of muscles – to make them more efficient, and from those results, muscles can be up to 40% more efficient!

The imagination can give physical and practical benefits.

Good news for sportsmen and sportswomen, especially footballers, weight-lifters, wrestlers and those requiring strength and stamina etc, if they use imaginal techniques.

How we can take the first steps in purposefully using the imagination?

We can use our imaginations in many ways, and gradually build up our imaginal-prowess! Wherever you are in the ‘use of imagination’ stakes, there is always more. There are always more benefits we can access, both for ourselves and on behalf of others, as energy-workers will know.

Imagination, as a link to that imaginal realm of power and potential, can feature in our prayers, good-wishes, positive-thinking, energy-working, ritual by fellow Christians and fellow Druids, and when we use the Caim [see here], when we move or unblock energy and/or bless others for healing and other positive outcomes.

The imagination is a powerful tool.

‘In difficult times you should always carry something beautiful in your mind.’ Blaise Pascal

For sometime I’ve worked with clients using creative visualisation, imaginal-awareness, those dream-like states for their benefit in one-to-one sessions, mainly.

Exercise: But, here’s one practical exercise to ‘ease’ you into this, and which may benefit you.

‘Everything you can imagine is real.’ Pablo Picasso

And, during November, I’ve decided that will be a separate ministry called Liminal People. I’ve worked with some people in this area over a number of years, but now it’s time for it to separate, to come of age, with its own internet website and expand.

So, Liminal People will organise one-to-one sessions in person or via the internet eg Skype, and organise workshops. Using liminality – that threshold or bridge between here and the other, and using your imaginal powers – I would (continue to) guide clients into that imaginal realm of power and potential, so they benefit.

‘Believe that you have it, and you have it.’ Latin Proverb

Some of my clients, in the past, have wanted to interview and ‘adopt’ an archetype (those powerful personified-attributes we all posses and which ‘power’ our skills and attributes ), others wanted to encounter angels or their animal guides, still others wanted to explore that inner world of the psyche for the purposes of growth, maturity, healing, or because they are inquisitive etc.

So, how about booking a session to enter that imaginal realm, and encountering your guardian angel?

Or booking in to an imaginal gym? [Remember those university research results] to complement your physical gym work?

Or how about wanting to explore strange new inner places, discovering inner’ treasure’, being guided by inner companions, and more?

Everything is possible in that imaginal and highly symbolic realm, and whether one prefers a poetic and symbolic imaginal realm experience, or a more prosaic one, there is room for all ‘adventurers’; and maybe, however we describe the imaginal realm it is a metaphor (and contains metaphors as symbols), a representation of something that is far too big for us to imagine at the present, and so we’re all given (different) glimpses of it.

And, in entering that imaginal stream of power and potential, we benefit. That is, if we enter it.

‘Imagination is an almost divine faculty which, without recourse to any philosophical method, immediately perceives everything: the secret and intimate connections between things, correspondences and analogies.’ Charles Baudelaire.

That’s where Liminal People will come in. And more details of that will follow every few days over the next two weeks. But, if you want to email me with questions etc, please feel free to do so at: tadhg@tadhg.cymru

The ‘Three Boxes’ Imaginal Exercise For You Tryxercise

Exercise: But, here’s one practical exercise to ‘ease’ you into this, and which may benefit you. Try it. Even if you only think it’s fun. I do believe at all levels it is useful. It’s called the ‘three boxes’ exercise

Take time to sit comfortably in a place where you won’t be disturbed for a few minutes – that’s all this initial exercise will take. Close your eyes, breath deeply and then relax. And just try not to focus on any competing thoughts. Just remain silent for a minute or two. Then imagine that three boxes appear in front of you. If you believe in angels you can imagine that your guardian angel left them here for you. If you believe in elementals, then a friendly elemental left them for you, or your companion, or the universe, or an archetype, whoever you might believe left them here for you, has left here for you.

But, the boxes are in front of you. Let’s say, that you’ve had a tough day, and need encouragement for tomorrow. Then, in your mind, ask the one who left the boxes for you, to put a word or symbol or object in the middle box. A message from them to you. A positive message, a word, symbol or object for encouragement for tomorrow.

So, ‘….please leave an encouraging word, symbol or object in the middle box, a message for tomorrow’

And then wait. Savour the moment. Enjoy it. There is no rush.

Okay, slowly open the middle box. What’s in there? A word? Perhaps typed? Or the actual sound of a word is liberated when you open the box? A picture? A symbol? An object? Slowly consider what it means. By all means lift it out of the box, if possible. There’s no rush. Explore. Take your time.

Don’t forget to show gratitude by thanking the one who left the ‘message’ for you. Then, slowly you can open your eyes. That’s it. You might like to ponder upon the word, symbol or object left for you, and ascertain what it might mean.

Ofcourse, this is only a basic level exercise, and there is more, much more. Other exercises might encourage you to meet to one who left the boxes, to ‘interview’ them, and interact, to visit ‘inner’ locations’, and inform you about residuality, or to meet other characters etc. Finally, as regards this exercise, if the results are confusing to you, do email me.

‘A prison is never narrow when the imagination can range in it as it will.’ Marguerite of Navarre.

Celtic Thought: ‘C Is For Coimimeadh’ [The ‘Co-Traveller’]

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Do you ever feel as though there is someone with you? Close? Very close? As close as your shadow? You may be right!

Here’s just a thought on which to ponder. As I was reading, several strands of information came together and joined some prior research and memories.

I was reading online of some research done several years ago about the ‘many worlds theory’ on quantum physics. Essentially, there are a huge number of worlds (infinite or almost infinite) which coinhere with this universe of which we’re are part, and so there are multiples of you! Co-existing! Yes, there’s more than one of you – albeit, I’m guessing each ‘you’ in a parallel existence may be slightly different.

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Shakespeare

Padre Pio, also known as Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap., was a friar, priest, and mystic, and is now venerated as a saint of the Roman Catholic Church.The phenomenon of bilocation is one of the most remarkable gifts attributed to Padre Pio. His appearances on various of the continents are attested by numerous eye witnesses, who either saw him or smelled the odours characteristically associated with his presence, described by some as roses and by others as tobacco. Among the most remarkable of the documented cases of bilocation was the Padre’s appearance in the air over San Giovanni Rotondo during World War II. [1]

Peter, in the Bible, had been imprisoned, but a miracle had freed him, and he ran  to the house of Mary, the mother of John. When he got there, he hammered on the door, and when Rhoda, inside, heard Peter’s voice she ran back to the others to tell them, leaving dear Peter still outside! Their reaction was understandable.

They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It  is his angel.” Acts 12:15

But, the interesting thing is that, depending on which version you read – they assumed it was his spirit or his angel! So, something connected to/with Peter, but separate! At least, that’s what they initially thought and what was on their mind – in their ‘theology’!

To ancient (Irish) Celts and Druids this being is the coimimeadh [pronounced koym-imah]. In the late 17th century, Reverend Robert Kirk wrote about the coimimeadh (literally  the ‘co-traveller’) who is part of you (your soul), who walks beside you, generally, but sometimes can go walk-about (in which case you, too, can be bi-locational).

I am not I.
I am this one
walking beside me whom I do not see,
whom at times I manage to visit,
and whom at other times I forget;
who remains calm and silent while I talk,
and forgives, gently, when I hate,
who walks where I am not,
who will remain standing when I die.

By Juan Ramón Jiménez
Translated by Robert Bly

There are some common themes here, I think: We are not alone. We have a companion (or more than one) and some will call this doppelganger the ‘you’ in one or more of the ‘many worlds theory’ planes of existence, perhaps. Others might say your companion is your True Self or your Higher Self or glimpses of your spirit, others might say it’s a friendly elemental, or that it is your guardian angel(s), or, maybe even an energetic, personal, real-but-elusive, metaphor of…… [fill in the blank].

What do you think?

 

[1]https://www.ewtn.com/padrepio/mystic/bilocation.htm

Essential Celt: Angels In Essex?: Close Encounters

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‘Angels, living light most glorious! Beneath the Godhead in burning desire in the darkness any mystery of creation you look on the eye of your God never taking your fill: What glorious pleasures take shape within you.’ Hildegard

We live in a sceptical age, and there is seldom talk about angels, even in many churches. The result is that anyone who talks about angels is likely to be branded ‘new age’ (no disrespect to those amongst my friends who call themselves’ new age’). By default, the subject of angels is left to others – who talk a lot about angels, and why not? – and I think those who might not consider angels as much are the poorer for it. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

What do you think?

Down the ages, Celts, Druids and wiccan people, and others, accepted (almost ‘casually’) the existence of angels (by one name or another), as do many of my Christian, Druid, Wiccan and other friends (Light-workers etc) today.

‘The Celtic mind was not burdened by dualism. It did not separate what belongs together’. John O’Donohue

Angels are said to guard individuals (Psalm 91:11), and even sang at creation’s dawn (Job 38:7). We’re commended to extend hospitality to strangers, lest they might be angels (Hebrew 12:2). And they ministered to Jesus (Luke 22:43 et all).

Angels and angelic encounters, then, are not the domain of one particular belief-group, but open to all.

Have you seen an angel? Have you encountered an angel? Would you like to?

This is one of my favourite, almost humourous, accounts from the Book: Peter, having miraculously escaped from prison, ‘…knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, ‘Peter is at the door!’.

‘You’re out of your mind,’ they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, ‘It must be his angel.’

But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. Acts 12:13-16. The Book.

Scepticism & Change: So, why the scepticism? Why can’t we expect to see an angel in Essex?

The scepticism exists, in part, I believe, because it goes unidentified, and therefore unchallenged. We don’t ‘label’ it, and we should. We consider ‘our way’ of thinking ‘normal’, and others, from a different group or belief system or from another age in history (as we read those ancient records), if they think or say something different to us, must be  ‘wrong’.  And, so what they say is discarded.

We can suffer with an unhealthy dose of twenty-first century arrogance, a huge amout of materialism, even as we seek out Celtic ways!

Celtic ways were different to ours, and so any honest desire to ‘recapture’ the passion and depth of their ways, will result in some upset, some ‘judder’ and some honest appraisal of our own personal theology. If you are concerned at the aforementioned sentence, please don’t read on.

But, once we’re aware of such scepticism – once we can, metaphorically, hold it at arms length and objectively inspect it for what it is – then we can make adjustments, and look at things differently, and see, just as the Celts of old, did.

Hint 1: Are you sceptical? Be objective! Check to see if you’re a sceptic, and if so,  work on it!

Perception: And, why don’t we see angels in Essex or elsewhere? Maybe we’re not looking, maybe we  are too busy, or perhaps we don’t have the awareness-tools to perceive them.

It’s interesting, that on several occasions in the Book, angels appeared to people as they took shelter from the noon-day sun in the shade of a tree, or in their homes – places where they might be expected to rest, or make time for themselves, and ponder.

‘Pay attention to your dreams – God’s angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep.’ Eileen Elias Freeman.

Yes, angels can appear even in our dreams. Here’s a record of my most memorable dream about angels: [Link]

Hint 2: Are you too busy? If so,  make some time for yourself, time to  relax,  ponder, even day-dream, to make time for an encounter.

Expect the unexpected:  We sometimes relegate angels to a bygone age. Oh, that was then, and this is now. Things are different now. Perhaps we’ve entered a different epoch and it all works out differently today? Some say. Maybe not.

Have you read the accounts of the Angels of Mons? On 22–23 August 1914, it is recorded that during the first major engagement of the British Expeditionary Force , the British troops were protected by angels!

And what about this video clip? Much more recent. Okay, you won’t see an angel, but just listening to, and watching the reaction of an outside news broadcaster on the banks of the River Thames in London is worth its weight in gold. [Link]

I think, generally, we’re still too ready to explain things away.

Hint 3: Do you jump to conclusions too quickly Sometimes its better to say, ‘I  just don’t know what happened’, and  come back to it later. Why not journal. Maybe it was an  angelic encounter?

Research: Why not read some accounts that others have had regarding angelic encounters?

The more ‘modern’ the account, personally, the better. When we only look at Victorian woodcarvings of angels, or dwell on those awesome renaissance paintings of veiled cherubs, or read ancient accounts (all good), when we only do that, we can subconsciously ‘program’ our mind to think that such encounters only happened in the past and don’t happen now. Oh, but such encounters do happen now!

 Hint 4: Why not read a contemporary book on angelic encounters? I have to  admit I like some books, on this theme, written by Doreen Virtue. I might not  agree with her theology, but the books are entertaining at the very least, and do  contain some  interesting accounts, to ‘fire up’ receptive neurons, and make us  more receptive.

Make a date: Many would think nothing of praying and asking God to assist them, and make time to pray, so why not ask angels? Infact, may of my wiccan and Druid friends, and others, do just that! Why not you?

Asking assistance – not the same as worshipping angels – doesn’t seem to be wrong, and seems a reasonable way to go. Infact, may in the biggest denomination in the West and many in the eastern Orthodox Church do just that. It has been said that one day, when our eyes are fully opened, we will be shocked (in a nice way) at the amount of angelic involvement in our lives.

 Hint 5: Why not ‘diarise’ an angelic encounter, or go to a place of solitude (for  me, that would be deep in a forest or at the summit of a mountain), and just be  still, and see what happens. It’s what many Celts of old did.

Becoming arational: One objection to angelic encounters is that is irrational, in an age of rationality, to believe that angels exist and can be encountered.

Arational: Not within the domain of what can be understood or analysed by reason; outside the competence of the rules of reason…

I would say that the belief in angels’ existence is arational! But, that isn’t a bad word.

If rationality is the way of the logical mind, and that which is irrational is discounting things because they fall outside what one can deem rational; then arational is okay – arational, such as the belief in angels are above and outside the realm the rational mind, and acceptable, because rational ‘rules’ and logic do not apply.

Hint 6: Consider the arational, and that angelic encounters, as with many other  spiritual concepts, operate to a higher form of understanding.

‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.’ Albert Einstein

If you have any queries, if you would like to know more about making time for angelic encounters, if you want to know about encountering angels in Essex or wherever you are (which is part of the ministry of Tadhg), then do contact me – leaving a message below, or sending a confidential ‘messenger’ message, or by emailing me: tadhg@tadhg.cymru

Journal: Cancer And The Green Angel

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Journal excerpt: I’m coming up the my ninth [re-]birthday! I really am!

Nine years ago, last May, I went for extensive hospital tests (so we’re talking about May 2007), and as I sat on the end of the bed the oncology consultant returned to the room. He said,’ I’m guessing , Mr Gardner, you’re a person who likes to be told things quickly’. I nodded. He was professional and yet sensitive, and then said, ‘You have oesophageal cancer’.

The rest of the day was a blur. I can only describe it as total soul loss. It was as if I was disconnected from reality, that my being had received a hefty kick n the backside and been propelled a mile alway; and as people spoke to me, it was as if I was at the far end of tunnel, struggling to hear, struggling to comprehend, struggling to reply.

Sleep came late that night, as I thought about that awful news and further tests they were to do, and later, my memory was jolted to a dream I had had just weeks before.

Did you know God speaks through dreams – ancient sacred texts are full of such events. That some chemical discoveries (benzine?) were found when a scientist had (night) dream. And, that we’re continually in a light-sleep, daydream state throughout even our waking moments (but the physical events of the day ‘crowd out’ that dream-like, imaginative  state. It’s the way we’re wired up! To have dreams.

So, there was this angel, all green. Absolutely green. Green eyes, green skin, green clothes. Everything was green. So much green, that it was difficult to know where his body stopped and his unusual clothing started. He didn’t have any wings, but I just knew I was in the company of an extraordinary being. He must have been about 6ft 6 inches, well over 2m high and ‘solid’; he was built like a Olympic wrestler. And, there he was, standing in my garden as I looked out the living-room window. I have to admit I was somewhat confused and perplexed.

A dream it may have been, but I was aware. I knew what was going on. In that dream I was thinking and reasoning to with myself, and an internal dialogue was taking place about my next course of action. The very next moment I was in the garden, and just a few feet away from the angel. He started to walk away, as if to leave.

Immediately, my mind went into overdrive as I sought to delay him. The only thing I could think, was to ask him a question, to ask him if there was anything he needed.

‘Water,’ he said.

Immediately, I found myself in the kitchen, reaching for a glass and started to fill it with water. Even then, I was thinking of how to prolong this extraordinary encounter, and so I only half filled the glass. Surely, I thought, that won’t quench his thirst, and he’ll stay even longer.

I went back to the angel in the garden, and he took the glass of water, and drank. He turned slightly and started to leave. Again, in my dream I was reasoning how to make the most of this encounter. I knew I had enough time, probably, only for one question. I thought to myself, should I ask, ‘Is there a God’, but I had answered that one myself – after all, here’s an angel, a messenger from God. Still moving towards the garden wall as if to leave, the angel stopped monetarily, probably anticipating my one and only question.

‘What is God like?’, I asked. He replied, ‘Love(ly)’.

The reply was more of a ‘feeling’, an experience, rather than just words, and so his reply could have been ‘love’ or ‘lovely’. I like to think that in that Otherworldly, brief encounter where experiences are as important as words, and maybe, more so, that it was both of those words, and more! And, then the angel vanished.

I woke up, and over the next few weeks and months researched the Green Angel, and found that he appeared in the writings of at least two or three cultures, is a messenger of Life itself, and in Islam has an association with water, the water of Life.

I’m recounting this dream because it meant something to me, and still means a lot to me. There’s just a little bit more to this encounter. Timing.

This dream occurred a few weeks before that shocking diagnosis of cancer, and – the sceptic that I was, then – had it occurred after the diagnosis I would have explained it away as the mind trying to ‘comfort’ itself. But, it happened before all this, and was given at that time for me to ponder upon at a later stage, that is, at the time of diagnosis.

Some may discount dreams as the random firing of nuerons, or this dream as the result of a piece of undigested cheese laying in my stomach, but to me, it meant something profound, something reassuring. Howver, tough the time was ahead (and it was ), I took some comfort and strength from that dream. I knew that what would happen, would happen, and there was life beyond this.

The Time Of The Thaumaturgist #3

03 tnott word face pexels TIME 111 SML wristwatch copyEpisode 3: The air, as I stood in my garden, had a slight ‘bite’ to it, but the sun was shining against the side of Ty Gwyn, my oh-so-white-walled cottage near Capel Curig in north Wales, and though this was decidedly still ‘coat weather’, the day promised better things. It was 6am, and I had ‘greeted’ the new day, filled my lungs with fresh air, and the sun rays had beat against my skin, and my bare-feet felt the cold, wet grass underfoot. Bliss.

It was time to head back inside and have breakfast. My attention was arrested.

Having left the side door ajar – no one really uses the front door in rural areas – I noticed a set of wet boot prints evident on the stone doorstep. Bootprints? I was barefoot! I wasn’t expecting visitors, not today and certainly not at this early hour.

Gingerly, I crept inside the cottage. That door leads directly to the kitchen. And there he was! My ‘visitor’. I didn’t know his name, but twice now he had visited me in the past, and twice had he disappeared just as quickly. A real mystery.

Episode 1

Episode 2

Before I could say anything, he turned around in the chair, and supping a cup of tea, raised his eyebrows and nodded in the direction of the kitchen table, to indicate that he had made me a cup on tea.

HOME

‘Make yourself at home,’ I said sarcastically. ‘I knew you were going to say that,’ he replied, ‘and I have, but make yourself at home, too.

‘But this is my home,’ I said indignantly. Without a seconds pause, he spoke: ‘Oh, but it’s not. Not really. You and your kind, humankind, are passing through. Home is elsewhere. You asked me to remind you of that the last time we had a cup of tea together, knowing that you’d forget….and you’ve forgotten, haven’t you?’. He continued, ‘Mae mwy, there is more!’.

‘I really don’t know who you are,’ I said, ‘and I really don’t understand it when you say ‘there is more’, so why not just tell me who you are, and what your business is with me…please?’, I pleaded in exasperation.

‘Okay, it’s time for experiential theology 101. Are you ready? If so, take a seat, and relax’, the Visitor said.

‘Always,’ I replied, and sat down on the opposite side of the kitchen table to him, sipped a really well-made cup of tea, and closed my eyes, placed my hands on the table, palms down, and relaxed.

‘I’m just going to rest my hands on your hands, and when I do you will experience a glimpse of ‘home’,’ he said, ‘And, the sequences of events you will experience will seem bizarre and out-of-order, and it’ll only be in retrospect that you’ll even begin to make sense of them. Whatever happens, for the glimpse to be meaningful, you must not open your eyes until I tell you too.’  With my eyes closed, I nodded. A few seconds later I felt the palms of his hands rest on the top of my hands.

THE GLIMPSE

‘Only a glimpse,’ he said. His voice seemed to trail off into the distance and I only faintly heard the last syllable.  Immediately my whole body was encompassed in what I can only describe as ‘tangible love’. It was like taking a very warm shower but not getting wet, it pervaded every cell in my body with a ‘cosmic hug’, and it caught my breath. My eyes were closed, but I could feel tears of joy run down my cheeks, and I could hear myself laughing, as though someone had told me the funniest of jokes, a real hearty laugh that went on and on. The more I tried to stop, the more I laughed. My head was swimming, and my body jolted as though I was on a helter-skelter, but I could feel the kitchen chair beneath me. Laughing, disorientated, feeling warm, I was cocooned in pure, unadulterated love.

With my eyes closed, I shouted, ‘That’s enough!’. He calmly, and with an air of authority, he said’, There is more, so much more. Keep your eyes closed. Do not try to make sense of this now. This is but a glimpse, and a necessary glimpse. You’re doing well. Hold on!’.

With all that going on, I turned my head from left to right – my eyes remaining closed – and I ‘saw’ events from my life, as if in a picture-book where the pages had been rearranged and were out of order. I saw my wedding day, followed by my first day at primary school, my last day at secondary school, then I saw the time when the consultant sat me down and told me I had oesophageal cancer, followed by scenes of my birth, my first day at theological college, leading my first baptism service, I saw what happened yesterday, and more. This was followed by scene of an argument with a good friend that happened last week, then I saw the day that I first moved into the cottage near Capel Curig many years ago, and other events too, all in quick succession. A jumble of pictures, an anachronistic montage of two to three seconds worth of action for each stage of my life, followed by the ever-increasing sounds of others talking, some laughing, some crying, and smells, the smell of fish frying, of spring flowers, of the wind in my face, the taste of a salty ocean, and the smell of death, all mixed together, all connected and yet disconnected from the actions I saw.

It suddenly went quiet. You could have heard a pin drop.

Quiet, except that I could hear the sound of my own breathing. Heavy, laboured, exhausted. I couldn’t feel the Visitor’s hands on mine, and I opened my eyes. I wasn’t in the kitchen any more. I was in a majestic, grand, hall. It had no lights whatsoever, but I could see. I turned to my left, and there was the Visitor. He looked different: seven feet/over two meters tall, see-through almost, and emitting a wonderful radiant yellow light. He looked at me, and smiled the most loveliest of smiles and exuded peace. ‘You see me as I really am. What do you think?’ he said.

I could only fall to my knees, having been totally overwhelmed by the love and grace that swept in waves from this being of light. ‘You are so handsome, and so perfect and so powerful, ‘I said.

He laughed, and put his hand under my chin, as I knelt before him, to urge me to stand. He spoke: ‘I want you to see yourself as you really are, you and your kind, humankind; what you call humanity are really the ‘Great Ones’ whom my kind gladly serve, all nine billion of you. Look in the mirror, powerful being that you are’.

I looked. I saw a being three feet/one meter taller than even the Visitor. I too, was almost see-through and emitting a brighter, golden light. There was more. I felt so powerful, so free, and felt unlimited, and yet so connected to the Source, to others, to nature, to everything. The same, but separate!

Then, a swirling light appeared as if from nowhere, and it got closer, and closer, and there was a noise like a thousand tornadoes, but I wasn’t afraid. Almost as if knowing what to do, I grabbed the Visitors wrist and walked toward the light. ‘Ah,’ the Visitor spoke, ‘Now you’re beginning to remember, aren’t you?’.

The swirling light moved right through me and him, and I found myself in what could only be described as a café. No one there acted as if they could see me, as if I was just an unobserved observer – and I was , but I could see that I was standing in a 1920’s’style classical café with the smell of great coffee filling the air. Seated at tables were similar translucent beings emitting golden hues, some emitting red hues, or a blue light, and a myriad of other colours. And, on the far wall there was wide picture window that looked out on to deep space, then it changed to a forest scene, then it showed a huge white, pulsating light that exuded grace, and then back to depict a deep-space scene! Incongruent.

I knew this place. I had been here before. We all had. Before birth. Pre-life. I smiled at the Visitor. ‘Brace yourself. It gets even more confusing’, he said.

He was right. At one table nearby, were three beings all  emitting a golden light, so much so that their light’s brilliance connected them in one, huge, golden ball of light, of love, of connectedness, of authenticity. I knew one of them was me. There I was drinking coffee in some kind of celestial café. The other two beings: one I just seemed to know was my mother who had ‘passed on’ just over two years earlier. The other was my father who was still alive in London. ‘But, how….?’, I gasped. I looked at the Visitor somewhat confused. He guessed my real question.

He spoke: ‘By the physical realm’s standard your mother passed on two years ago and yet here she is, alive. Your father, by earth’s standards is still ‘down there’ and alive, but here he is, and with you at that table, too. You see, ‘down there’ and ‘up here’ is all the same, in reality. They are just metaphors, and notions of placement will only take us so far spiritually. Humankind just think there’s a separation. Whilst you’re all ‘down there’, you’re all also ‘up here’ –  you never really left this place. All three of you together, without separation, even when you ‘get back’ to Earth, you’re all still here. If you want to think in ‘time’ terms, imagine that those three people at that table  – you, your mother, your father – sitting at that table, just popped down to Earth for a nano-second, as do all of humanity, a whole life-time on Earth is really the time, here, that it takes for  a blink of an eye, and there you all are, ‘back’, enjoying each others company for all eternity. And why the café? It’s a glimpse, a metaphor of heaven, but not the whole thing.

‘But, why do we all visit Earth?, I asked.

He spoke again: ‘All of humankind was in this place, is in this place and will always be in this place, but it is beneficial for each of you to visit the Earth. You see, you all agree to go. You discussed with the Source, what you would do ‘down there’, how it would benefit you and others, the jobs you would get, who you would fall in love with, who you would meet – or meet again, because the ones you meet ‘down there’ you’ve already met ‘up here’, and then you discuss with the Source how you will exit the Earth and return home (though, remember, you never really left).’.

JUST WHO ARE THE GREAT ONES?

He continued, ‘And once you’re birthed on Earth you forget, when in that physical realm – but remember, you’re also here with your loved-ones. And then it all begins. You don’t remember your mission, you forget what will happen to you, when ‘down there’, you don’t understand the illnesses and misfortunes that affect you and others, and you don’t know why the Source would take loved ones away from you. It’s a mystery to you, there, but not so here.  And all that I’ve shown you and said to you applies to all of humankind, all of the ‘Great Ones’. But, there are two things each person should know:  though it is a mystery it is all worthwhile, and though it makes no sense whilst you (think you) are on Earth (only), it will one day make complete sense when you’re here (but, you never really left). But, there’s something else all should know. Though you forget how your life will unfold and what will happen to you on Earth, any course of action you take ‘down there’…well, you cannot go wrong. So, don’t worry too much if you’re on the right spiritual course or not. All shall be well’.

He concluded, ‘It’s time to go’.

I took hold of his wrist, and that swirling light re-appeared and came towards us, so bright and so loud. As we stepped through into the light I looked back at those three golden,  tall beings of light. In just the last two seconds of perception, as that cosmic café seemed to melt away, one of the beings stood, looked in my direction and bowed a low bow. I cried. I knew that that being was me in bliss. It was strange to witness myself as another, and yet be connected at the same time. I knew it was the same for every man, woman and child on earth, those that had gone home and those that were yet to come. All in bliss. All safe. All part of the Source and yet distinct. All light-beings, all love, all powerful! I knew that what I had just witnessed was witnessed by all of humanity if they could only but remember just their own personal glimpse of bliss in whatever form it manifested itself.

HOME AGAIN

My body jolted. I nearly fell off my chair. The Visitor had given me a right-hook, a powerful punch to the right side of my jaw, almost knocking me off my chair.

‘What did you do that for?’ I shouted in anger, and in a fair amount of pain.

‘It’s the quickest way to ‘wake’ you,’ he said calmly. ‘If none of that made sense, it will do in time. But remember, it was only a glimpse, it was a metaphor of what really is, and, yes, there is more.’

I sipped my cup of tea, turned to put it in the microwave to re-heat it, as it had gone cold. I noticed the clock on the microwave showed 6.56am. Had that ‘visit’, which seemed to take just five minutes, really lasted over fifty minutes? I turned to ask the Visitor, but… he’d gone.

I was left with more questions than before, but I knew he’d be back. After all, mae mwy, there is more, for us all!

The Time Of The Thaumaturgist #2

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It was a bright and sunny day, albeit a somewhat chilly March day in London. Walking briskly toward the café before leading a service at St Chad’s later on, I couldn’t help but notice the scarves wrapped tightly around the necks of passers-by, hats of every colour being worn, and that, others were walking, like me, briskly to generate some body heat. It was a very chilly day. It was one of those ‘no cloud, blue sky, but ‘don’t-stay-outside-too- long’ days that occur around this time of the year, here.

COFFEE-OLOGY
As I opened the café door, the comforting aroma of freshly-brewed coffee filled my nostrils, there was the familiar murmur of indistinct chatter, and warm air enveloped me like an invisible, comforting, almost tangible ‘welcome-back’ hug. A drip, due to the change in temperature, hung on the end of my nose and tickled (and, yes, I left it there, well, at least for a few seconds to enjoy the experience), and my stomach churned in anticipation. This place was my second home….well, third home, but it’s a long story.

Moving toward the only place that was free – a place on the bench, communal table, in the centre of the café, I disrobed and hung my coat and scarf, and knitted hat of many colours (avec un pompon) on the back of the chair, as did everyone else (that is, on their own respective chairs), except the guy sitting opposite me. He, busy typing on his iPad, oblivious to everyone around him, and seemed not to have any outer layers on his chair, and was dressed in an unseasonal open neck, thin cotton-like shirt and shorts! No scarf. No woolly hat. No outer coat.

As I sat down, I caught the eye of the barista, who smiled and nodded a knowing nod, and who started to prepare the usual latte for me, with an oh-so-welcome warm croissant. My stomach ‘groaned’ in expectation, and I pulled out my IPad from my backpack, placed it on the table, to check my emails.

Twenty-five emails!

Oh boy. As I trashed most of them – and answered the remaining few, I was caught by surprise. I had trashed twenty ‘buy this’ type of emails, but the figure ’21’ appeared in the trash folder.

‘There is more?’, I questioned, out loud, though I had intended to say it only to myself.

‘Mae mwy*,’ came the reply from the shirt and shorts guy, opposite.

That phrase! Could this be the ‘shadow man’, who had used that phrase before; the one who described himself as being ‘like an angel’, and who had saved that elderly woman’s life by knocking her down and (only) breaking her ankle? It sounded like him, but it was such a brief encounter before, and it was some weeks ago. [[Previous episode, #1]

I wasn’t entirely sure if it was him. But, the hair on the back of my neck stood on end as he spoke, and though I was in a warm café, an icy chill now enveloped me just for a second or two.

‘Pardon?,’ I said.

‘Mae mwy*, it’s Welsh for ‘there is more’, he said in an exquisite Welsh ‘valley’ accent. ‘It’s what you said in English,’ he said, and smiled.

‘Rw i’n dy ddeal di!**’, I replied in my north Wales ‘wilderness’ accent [which means ‘I do understand you!’], and smiled a somewhat sarcastic smile, widening my grin just a little more than usual, raising my eyebrows, and tilting my head.

He continued typing on his IPad, as did I.

THEOLOGY
A few minutes later he spoke again. ‘What do you see, Tadhg?’.

Having finished my emails, and closing the iPad into the add-on keyboard, I smiled, and now had some time to engage this mysterious, unseasonally-dressed guy, and, perhaps, find out if he was, indeed, the ‘shadow man’ I had encountered some weeks earlier.

‘So, what do you see, Tadhg?,’ he said again.

‘Well. I see the latte and croissant the barista has just brought over!’, I replied.

‘That’s a good start’, he said. I wasn’t sure now if he was being sarcastic.

He continued, ‘I know you know that there are three ways of perceiving reality as your type perceive it, but sometimes it’s just good to pause and take it slow and really know. It’ll help you in the future, for what is ahead.’

‘Do you know, you have me at a disadvantage. I really don’t know what you mean. What is my type? What does the mean? What is going to happen in the future? How will this help me?’, I quizzed him.

‘It sounds bizarre, Tadhg, so I’ll take it slow’, he said, and now I knew he was being sarcastic, paying me back for my sarcasm to him, earlier. ‘We’ve met before. Your kind, which includes all the people in this café, and indeed all the people on the planet have been around, in another form, for some time before physical birth. Think, ‘big bang!’. It’s just that you can’t remember it now in this form, well, at least for a little while, but one day you will, when you’re home again. And your type? We call you ‘the Great Ones’, and if you need more information, as a book-lover, check out C S Lewis’s ‘The Great Divorce’ which will explain more about the phrase and your kind, and your kind’s amazing status’.

He paused as if to let me digest that information, and then continued, ‘Knowing that all that happens in the future is something you’ve agreed to, and you have (before birth), will get you and your kind through some tough challenges ahead in this life. And knowing, that ultimately, all roads lead home will spur you on, will assure you all, immensely. You will draw strength from that. All planned. All agreed by you. A touch of telluric-amnesia, perhaps. And then, finally, back home.’

‘But there’s more’, he said, rather pleased with himself that that was the umpteenth time he had used that phrase. There’s the three ways of seeing things! I know you know about that, but now must know that. Go deeper!’.

I was intrigued. Slightly uneasy that those to my left and right might hear the conversation, which was an odd conversation to say the least, but, as if by magic, they seemed oblivious to me, the strange guy and the conversation.

I looked at the croissant on the plate, paused, then bit into it, chewed and sipped the coffee, and kept both in my mouth, momentarily. I know. An awful habit to mix the two in my mouth, but so wonderful. Bliss! Before I could swallow, he continued.

‘There are three ‘depths’ or realms to everything, including your croissant. Firstly, there’s the shallow, surface understanding. Taking the croissant as an example, I’m sure you can tell me it’s composition by analysis, where it came from by pointing to the map, how it was made, and the marks of a good and bad croissant. You like warm croissant, don’t you?’, he said, without pausing for an answer. ‘That’s first level perception. The senses. The physical. The visible realm.

‘The second level of perception and second realm’, he said, ‘is the intelligible realm, the invisible realm, and understanding of that comes not by the senses but by the mind, by reason and imagination. I’m sure you can tell me about the goodness of that croissant, and the effect it will have on your body, and what that means. Bread is life. You know that. It’s reasonable to believe that. It’s about going deeper’, this man of mystery said, and who now had my full attention.

‘But, there’s even more,’ he continued’, the third level of perception and reality is the ‘why? and beyond’. The spiritual realm. The fact that you need it, to eat, to live, and have been given it, and by whom is a mystery, that is beyond reason, and can only be merely accepted and enjoyed. It’s why each time you eat, first thing in the morning, whether it’s a cereal breakfast at home, or this croissant this morning in this café, you pause and pray the HaMotzi*** blessing over it each time’.

‘Hold on,’ I interjected’. How do you know that? It’s true I do say that blessing over whatever I eat first thing in the day, sometimes at home, sometimes here in the café, sometimes under my breath so as not to attract attention in a public space, and sometimes just in my head. But how do you know that?’.

‘Ah, each time you do that, he replied, ‘I’m right there, invisibly, right by your side joining in, in gratitude, to the Great Provider. I never miss an opportunity for giving gratitude. You know, If your kind in their current state, when they pray, could see the awesome vicarious power you spur into action and mingle with, the magnitude of that pure and loving energy that you invoke and direct, the ripples that permeate from you that affect both space and time itself, the interest of the Great Provider who is always near you (all) and yet draws closer still in awe of you all, you would pray a lot more, and a lot more confidently. I wish your kind could glimpse just for a second the power of it now, that you were all once aware of, when you where at Home, before birth, and see what I see.  It’s a powerful gift given to all from the Great Provider. This is the third and deepest level of perception and of reality, and you need to be aware of it, really aware of it, the power of Spirit, and use it in the days of transition ahead. You and your kind.’

With that, he picked up his iPad, walked toward the door, as I tried to fully recall what he had just said. His words were going over and over in my mind. He opened the café door to leave. I knew I had the opportunity of asking only one question before he left.

‘Will you be back?’, I asked. ‘Of course’, he replied, ‘Mae mwy, there is more’.

–  oOo –

 

*     Mae mwy [pronounced ‘may moy-oh’] roughly translates as, ‘There is more.’
**   Rw i’n dy ddeal di [pronounced ‘RRoo een duh theh-arll dee’] roughly translates as ‘I do understand you!’.
*** The HaMotzi blessing is, ‘Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who brings forth bread from the earth’, and is said by Tadhg before eating cereal breakfast or croissant each day. He loves liturgy and ritual, and sees it as a conduit to that third realm, that third level of perception.