Dear all.. it may surprise some of you to know (unless you are my facebook friends) that I have been sleeping in the garden in a tent…for 5 months now.. rain or shine.. storms or summer breezes. It started on 7th August 2015..and today marks 5 months. (even when i have been out and about, like Glastonbury & Sussex, I had still only stayed out in a tent). Of course day time is spent on all sorts indoors (internet, socials, work, events, out and about, parties etc…but always I have returned to the tent at night…sometimes a bit hard..what with gale force finds and freezing temperatures).
I have had many thoughts, ideas, few insights… and some magical / psychic progress and personal developments..
Over the coming weeks, I will write more about those..and share my thoughts and experiences..
But for now…here’s a bunch of pictures I took of my garden as it is this morning. Be kind with these and me.. as I am now `exposing’ my personal space..
So Brad Pit talks about standing by his woman (Angelina) when she lost 30 pounds and went through a low of all time.. and Dustin Hoffman emotionally explains the interesting thing about being a woman in Tootsie ..(`That was never comedy for me’..*tears*) ..
Do you think it’s time the rest of us men started to speak of our discoveries, our emotions, our hopes, sacrifices, dreams and nightmares.. and about the women who lifted us up.. and those who used us, abused us, envied us, feared us, toyed with us, loved us, hated us, and wanted to put us on planes and shoot it down?
Or shall we speak of those who could only see a threat and the large monstrous shadows the small boys within us cast? Shall we ordinary men speak of the darkness and light we have found in the hearts of the women in our lives?
Why must a man be praised only when he shows sensitivity to a woman or a child?
Why must he tuck his tooth, tail and claws, and submit or be vilified?
Why can’t a man’s voice be as strong as thunder and as sharp as a sword, as well as his touch be as gentle as feather and eyes soft and smokey as mist? Do we not worrhip Odin & Thor, Hern and Ares, as well as Pan and Sol and Osiris too? What of Chiron the mortally wounded warrior-Healer-Teacher? And Prometheus bringer of fire?
Isn’t it time.. for men to educate the world that we have more than just testosterone and beer flowing in our veins.. ?
There are moon-huts and red tents for women.. So isn’t it time for some Weyland-Huts and Sun-Circles..for men??
Being a modern-man is not just about a pussy-kiss, a cock-rub or a bunny-tail dabbing on our faces and arses..
It is more than a spear to the Cauldron..
Deeper than a lance to the boil, more joyous than a wand to the Chalice.
It is not about the guilt of not being sensitive or strong, providing or not, or carrying the shame of men gone before and what they have done to other women..
Being a man is about the dance of light and life in all our dark places… turning war into peace, and peace into prosperity, with Sun in our hearts, moon in our brows, and Stag-horns adorning our Crowns..
It is much much more.. ! Background :
Back in 2002, in `Unicorns’ (my then-coven), a small group of men studying transpersonal psychology with the late Maureen Brown, began to meet monthly for `Male Mysteries’ discussions, prompted by Maureen. It lasted only few months. Some years later, I went on to start Hern’s Tribe, with ideas of it being a male mysteries group..but it evolved in a different way, encompassing men and women. For a long time, I have thought about these. A few years ago, Chris Crowley mentioned something about a Wiccan Male mystery meeting..that never materialised. With the guys of Hern’s Tribe, I’ve made some explorations (closed) on this subject.. exploring fire, using animals (road kills), tool making and so on (I once had to `procure’ a dead-Stag head using only a sharp edge of a branch..and later clean it all up only with craft knife to the bone..! So let’s just say Ia m no longer `squeemish’)
The NEWS: (Male Mysteries is coming to London)
So..in 2014, look our for one or two new things.. as preparations have been already underway..for few months on the exploration of `Male Mysteries (London). A facebook page & group are already set up (secret for now)..and additional pages in my Hern’s Tribe website are being developed too.. Dates for meeting are set.. and all will surface soon 🙂
Bright Solar Blessings
Winter Solstice 2013
The song goes “..One day when my crying’s done, am gonna wear a smile and walk in the Sun.. until then, I do my crying in the rain..” Do you guys? And I am talking to guys..as in men.. (‘cos these days everyone calls everyone guys.. so it gets confusing).
The other day, I was in a particularly emotional state. and had broken down into a few tears .. in front of my mother and my sister..no less. Just for a few seconds, mind you! (well,I had ..by some personal miracle, been holding back the emotions for a good 2 hours as I traveled through the London Transport system at evening peak travel time.. without any tears showing in public!). So you know what my mum said, as she patted my back briefly? That men don’t cry.. Okay so she said that in a consoling tone..but that’s what she said.
Now I am a deeply sensitive guy (as in Man!) inside, and most of the time the best expression of emotions I have is anger.. and frustration.. I can give all sorts of psychology- but the truth of it is, it’s a habit learnt from my father (sadly). I had of course seen him cry in the past – either when he was drunk, or that one time..when he held me ( I was a 5 yr old boy) and while watching his father (my grandfather) die!!
Between then and now, I have shed tears.. in sympathy, empathy..or just because I am plain old upset or deeply sad.. about one thing or another. (Some 4-5 months ago, when a select few people of a Pagan community were hell-bent on bullying and harassing me online.. I had had darker days..and only my partner saw me in moments of despair and tears). But yes, most of the time.. 99% that is.. I hide… either very late at night, quietly.. or out in the garden ..underneath my sacred Willow Tree ..(a weeping Willow is no good if one can’t actually weep under it sometimes…!) And yes, I have stood out in the rain at times crying too.. The other great excuse I’ve used to hide tears is…cold! Yeah, just say you have a cold, and that’s why your eyes are watery.. Sniffle a few times, and blow your nose in a tissue in front people..or go as far as to act out a quick sneeze…and no one will guess!!
Seriously, leaving my personal trials and tribulations aside (and what’s the point of a personal blog if I can’t do the occasional revelation?).. I got to thinking about all sorts of things.
Firstly that if more men do express emotions, then for people like me, those suppressed emotions won’t surface as `anger’.. and the world will really be a better place.
Secondly, that if there are more groups, places or support – for men ..to help deal with our struggles, then much breakthrough can happen. It’s not about some great big scheme, where men turn up and do communal crying… as some therapeutic act (though here may be serious merit in that too). No. It’s about a place.. physical or online, where without this social stigma that men can’t show emotions, ..we men can live emotionally enriched lives.. and face crisis and struggles better (instead face them with aggression – something I am known for doing!)
Male Mysteries – Esoteric & Magical Explorations
Some 8-9 years ago, I was having weekly counselling . No, not because there was something wrong.. I was studying Transpersonal Psychology, and training in Counselling Skills. So the course required me to be in counselling to deal with old stuff…and so much resolutions and wisdom came out of that. The lady who helped me was the late Maureen Brown. And she often spoke of a deep lack of `Male mysteries’ in pagan, esoteric and spiritual communities… Or just in modern world…for all ! We got a little group going.. monthly. But it did not progress. However, I took some of those ideas and started forming the pagan outdoor group `Hern’s Tribe’ – which was to be a Male Mysteries group. That changed however, and became a unisex general outdoor shamanic group. Some of the guys in Hern’s Tribe did how ever explored a few male mysteries in 3-4 outdoor special activities & ceremonies (ideas of fire, hunting etc). It was a private subgroup we called Obsidian Order (taken from the fact that Obsidian is a hardened glass-crystal that stone age man used to fashion sharp spear-heads or arrow tips).
But recently I had been thinking about all that, and have been inspired (by Circumstances and just socially aware thinking)…to take those ideas forward. Already I have set up a facebook group and a page (Can you believe that? almost 1 Billion people on facebook, and no Male Mysteries group or page until yesterday!) It’s just a seed…work in progress…but do look for it, and become a member or a fan.. I’ll of course promote it once it has taken shape.
I’ll close this blog post with one final though.. on tears again. Very much all those ancient Egyptian statues and art works seem to have that specialised Eye-design.. and why does it always show a tear? Tears of Isis? Tears of Ra? Tears ..why?
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Touching the life you take: Initiation rites for a Warrior-Hunter
The first rule of being a Hunter is `Be within reach of your prey but out of reach of the prey!’ – which means that a Hunter must be able to get to his or her prey quickly, but the prey must never know that the hunter is anywhere nearby! This is something I learnt while reading Carlos Castenado’a books on Shamanism. He was of course referring to this same principle applying to anyone seeking other objectives in life. It is a Warrior principle that applies to almost anything that people want.
One other principle that I have come to appreciate, admire and even practise is this one – `Touching the Life you take…’
What does it mean? Well, in older days (even as recent as…say 300 years ago), a hunter would have to go after his or her prey directly, and i person. Even if it involved traps to catch an animal, it will still come down to the fact that the Hunter will have to gain direct sight, handle the animal caught, and strike the killing blow – with a knife, spear or a mace – to kill the animal, before taking it body for either food purposes, creating survival products (fur for clothing) and o on. Even a hunter using a spear or bow & arrow to hunt will still need to have a line of sight.. on the target / prey, when the killing blow is delivered.
Not so in modern societies! This is now a remote-control society, where
the Hunter or the Warrior is seated in a safe enclosed environment that is so far removed from the prey’s habitat or the hunting grounds.
The Hunter or Warrior is using modern remote control tools or devises to sight, hunt and kill his or her prey.
Modern warfare is a fine example of this. Soldiers, experts, commanders and experts all sit inside big ships, aeroplanes, tanks, and in control rooms miles away from the war zone. They use radar and satellite imagery to pinpoint he target – which is now a town or a nation, with hundreds or thousands of people (on te target site). And these modern warriors press a button ..and a missile or rocket launches… flies hundreds of miles ..and hits the target.
Even when the kill comes, there is no immediacy. Yes, people can `empathise’, `imagine’, and even fake al sorts of feelings, either as part of self-delusions, or as part of some political marketing tactics to sway mass public opinions.
None of this gives the real feelings, the struggles, affinity, respect.. and the trauma that a Warrior- Hunter would feel.. if he or she were to approach the prey and strike the killing blow with his or her own hands into the heart of the animal, and take its life!
In a computer-generated reality such as remote viewing, or playing games, the difference between playing and really hurting someone else blurs beyond belief.
Years ago, when I was small (back in Sri Lanka), I had to get rid of a large number of Chameleons from our vegetable patch. My father & I had to stand still with sticks, and hunt down the lizards, and after delivering the killer-blows, we had to lift the dead Lizard bodies one by one and dispose of them. This still haunts me.. It was a mass-killing of about 20 lizards I also remember many decades ago, back in Sri Lankan, where I had to dig for earth worms…and then cut them up as tiny pieces..to feed my gold-fish. That still stays fresh in my mind.
Few months ago, when a mouse pest problem re-surfaced, I set the traps, and caught one that was still alive. And it presented me with a dilemma. I could not just release it as it would return (upto 2-3 miles!). So only way was to kill it. And I had not killed anything for a long time. Even the mercy-killing of a pet Angel fish that was so ill and beyond curing (years back) was a problem.
As a magician, I was also interested in a magical solution to the pest problem. (yes, I had tried praying to Ganesh, and talking to the mouse spirits etc, tried all sorts of `tuning in/ communicating’). In the end, I took the mouse to the garden, looked at it, and hit it with a small garden-tool , and in one strike killed it. I then gave it a respectful burial near my outdoor altar.
This may seem a big deal or practically nothing. But it illustrates the serious point- that in modern societies, many of us are so far removed from the results of our own actions, that it ceases to have any kind of reality for us. It’s as if ordinary people are becoming those Soldiers who sit in rooms pushing buttons that kill hundreds elsewhere, and it all just seems like a Computer-game. How people respond online to matters that can give warped impressions (if one is already clouded by other personal feelings) can escalate matters ..and hurt others, and you won’t even know.
As a final thought, I will mention some magical / shamanic work I undertook over 2 years ago, as a Hern-worshipper and follower of the hunter/warrior principles. It became obvious to me that as a pagan I was beginning to slide into the `remote control’ life style or worship . As part of Hern’s Tribe, I have been doing outdoor rituals at least 8 times a year for the past 8 years. ..in the rain and storm and sun-shines. But the warrior-hunter aspect gets lost.
So about 2 years ago, I did some magical work in Winsor great Park (Hern’s realm) – a new initiative for male mysteries.. to hone our tracking and hunting skills, making real tools, and setting about doing a ritual hunt – very much what tribal people would have done! No sooner had our ritual been done, and we were walking to the car, we found 3 dead animals…and we had to take them home to clean and use. I could not even touch a bird (Pheasant) that had been a road-kill.
But some months later, I was faced with something much much larger.. a stag! And what I did with it became my personal rite of passage, in preparation for my own handfasting (pagan wedding). In tribal societies, young men must undergo all sorts of coming of age rites of passage, aided by rest of the clan, before he can get married. What do we do in modern society, apart from stag-nights out that are nothing but foolish pranks (a pale reflection of those serious rites of passage!). Well, that’s a big subject. I’ll write more on that in the future…and on `male mysteries’ in modern times!
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