Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Tuesday, 29 May 2012
A few highlights from various May activities.
See more pics of Stourhead
|The final procession of The Jack|
May day was spent in Hastings at the Jack-In-The-Green festival - a pagan biker interface. Talking of biker culture, we've recently produced some embroidered patches. Drop us a line if you are interested in purchasing one.
The following week I had a fascinating excursion out to Bentley, on the Suffolk/Essex border, in the company of a local chap whose family has a long tradition of Horsemanship. We were joined by Dylan Carlson who is currently researching material for an album exploring fairy faiths, cunning men and British folklore. It was an incredible experience of primal magical psychogeography stripped of intellectual affectations and pseudo-academic retrofitting. We were taken to a haunted meadow where horses were tamed, to the streams where toad charms were collected, a fairy path called "The Procession", and a man-made auditorium scalloped into the land for public executions.
The walk rekindled my interest in the toponymy of corpse roads and Iam keen to do the Orchid Walk at Walsham Le Willows. What really intrigues me about this walk is its hermetic toponymy. As well as having a possible corruption of Corpse Road in the title of "The Causeway", there is also "A Procession Way", echoing the name of the fairy path at Bentley. Orchids of course have strong onanistic connotations, being able in some species to have sexual intercourse with themselves, as this article in The National Geo points out. There is also, on a more detailed map, a lane called "The Rookery" which conjures the negating impulse of Nigredo.
|Scalloped out auditorium for duckings at Brantham, near Bentley|
Reading James Hillman's "Alchemical Psychology" I am always heartened by his deep acuity in seeing through the cliches of light and dark which seem to permeate even academic occultism and hermeticism. Of Nigredo he states,
"each moment of blackening is a harbinger of alteration, of invisible discovery, and of dissolution of attachment to whatever has been taken as truth and reality, solid fact, or dogmatic virtue. It darkens and sophisticates the eye so that it can see through."
Could it be that Walsham Le-Willows is a great big eroto-thanatological hermetic mystery waiting to happen. Further broadcasts to follow, Iam sure?
The "Night Of The Demon" event at Hastings' Electric Palace was a lovely evening. Antony's book was delivered on the day and he provided a fascinating talk on "Netherwood". We were pleased with our English Heretic set. A live edit together with the backing video will hopefully be up online in a few days. Thanks to Dean and Sarah for fabulous controlled performances.
Tony's book is a wonderfully executed and presented piece of work.
|Tony Clayton at The Electric Palace with a copy of "Netherwood" - photo by Sarah Sparkes|
This weekend together with my brother I visited another amazing folly theme park, this time at Stourhead, in Wiltshire. The processional conceit of the garden is modelled on Aeneas' descent into the underworld. Over the door of the Temple of Flora is the inscription,
"Aeneid: 'Procol, O procul esete, profani'"
('keep away, anyone profane, keep away.)'
|An obelisk Heliogabalus would be proud of - at Stourhead|