Comprehending God ~ The Orientation of Heaven and Hell ~ “The Red Chakra”


I’ve just woken from a dream. I seldom remember my dreams, although I’m sort of aware that there is another world I return to each night. This particular chink in the wall, showed me a dream of devastation and loss.

I’ve been up for 2 hours and I can’t sleep although I want a simple oblivion before the coming day.

It’s difficult to focus at the moment, but the Red Chakra purrs a warming vibration.

Sometimes the heights of blue and violet are too intense and the frequency of their astral song is beyond my hearing.

I am not ready for Heaven


Obama and the Great Bear

When my friend Robin Easton asked for support to save the Great Bear rainforest, I knew I had to go right to the top…..well Virtually.

Please send a “one click” message to the government of British Columbia, urging them to keep their promise to the world. There is no letter writing, only clicking and 2 minutes of your time.

The scenic route would be to go to Robin’s blog, read more about the petition and click from there: 

Robin Easton "Naked in Eden"

If you are in a hurry, then go straight to the petition site…

Democracy in Action

We owe it to the world and to our future generations.

The Journey


Today we’re going on an expedition.  Remember to prepare yourself well - a glass of wine (or something stronger) might be a good idea. Whatever else you do, try to give yourself enough time to get into the whole journey…don’t just set off for two minutes or so. Give your treck between five and ten minutes (hence the red wine)

…when you return jot down a few words, making sure your impressions are spontaneous and genuine (and no looking at anyone’s work and cheating before you’ve done your own)

Ok…When you’re ready, click on the photograph.

(Make sure your sound is up)

Later, you might like to visit the lady below. She discovered the journey first

janet gardiner (2)-1


don’t lose your way

Messages from Beyond ~ Help from Michael…


michael barnes reduced 250x358 The theatre tour this year has been very arduous and the weekly change of venue, has found the company and myself, zig zagging up and down and across the country - Glasgow, Bournemouth, Ireland, Newcastle-upon-Tyne - of all the aspects of my profession, travelling is the part I would miss the least.

Touring requires both stamina and also a strong sense of a personal centre to cope, not only with different theatres, but also with the wanderers life-style of different "digs" and various accommodations each week.

Last year I was able to get home, at least for Sundays, but this year I am lucky if I see my home twice a month - and then only for a day or part of it.


This has also meant that my usual regular visits to Spiritualist Church have been interrupted. Perhaps oddly, I think that this may not be such a bad thing. During the first two years after Christina passed away, the church became my centre and my support, but I know in my heart that my centre should be within myself and not external, no matter how comforting that external support may be.

Neverthless, I was able to visit my friends at church, on the Sunday before we all flew to Belfast three weeks ago. The visiting medium was an elderly charismatic lady, who I immediately felt drawn towards and who, in her ‘messages’ to the congregation, turned to me and announced that there was a gentleman with her in spirit, who was here to help me.

Now I have received many messages through spiritual mediums, all encouraging me to write. The reason I have four blogs and a website, is solely through my experiences and contact from ‘beyond’. Yet I remain (and maybe always will) a sceptic when it comes to the existence and the nature of the spirit world.

The message was encouraging however, in that it seemed to be the same as all the others over the past three years. The medium described my spiritual helper as being:

’surrounded by books’

I suppose it was natural for me to assume that the ‘help’ would be with my writing…


Northern Ireland and Belfast has changed enormously since my first visit in 1980. At that time, the ‘troubles’ were at a high and everyone was affected by them. I expect there was some risk in being there at the time, especially being English, but the Irish are such a warm spontaneous people, that I seldom felt in any danger.

It was in this climate of unrest, that an eccentric professor of Modern History, became a leading figure in the continuance and development of the performing arts in Belfast.

20725 Michael Barnes cut a strange and angular figure that somehow complimented and blended with the unrest of the time.


My first impression was that I had met Fagin from Oliver Twist, in fact the character as played by Ron Moody in the film and stage musical version, could have been his twin brother, this likeness together with a total disregard for his own appearance, increased with time, until our last meeting in 1989.

Photo: Chris Hill

Last meetings grow with increasing years, but I was still a relatively young man, when Michael treated me to a banquet of a meal in the theatre restaurant. I can remember roast pork on a spit, roast potatoes covered in herbs and peas that tasted like they had just come straight from the pod. All that and a really beautiful bottle of vintage red wine. I was frankly overawed with the man; there is no other word to describe the disheveled academic other than ‘erudite’.

There is a natural gap or difference between the English and the Celts of Ireland, Wales and Scotland, that political correctness tends to avoid, but which is fascinating when traced right back to it’s origins, at the time of the Teutonic/Nordic invasions. So the unlikely success of Michael’s tenure as Artistic Director of the Grand Opera House and the affection with which he was regarded owed as much to his uncompromising aura of ‘Educated Englishman’ as it did to the natural Celtic appreciation and understanding of a man driven by the convictions of his heart.

At a time when British Actors Equity was advising theatre companies not to go to strife-torn Northern Ireland, Michael was persuading managements in England, Scotland and Europe, to send their productions over to Northern Ireland and to the Opera House. The current success and reputation of the Opera House is due in no small part to the shambling Professor Barnes.

Our current visit was the first in over three years and I noticed a painting of Michael in the ‘Green Room’ that seemed to be new - there was no indication that he had died, but I had a distinct feeling that he had passed on. The painting fascinated me and each day I spent some time, looking at the posture and expression of the man I remembered so well.

Everyone has good days and bad days and the first Thursday of our visit was one of the latter. I have a love/hate relationship with my work and on that particular day, I felt that I never wanted to see the inside of a theatre again, or choreograph, or act, or for that matter, dance again.

At one point during the dismal day, I passed through the Green Room and said firmly and loudly to the painting:

"Michael, I know you’ve passed on - What am I going to do with my life?"

Michael looked down from the wall, with an expression I remembered so well.


Belfast has now been transformed from a war-torn city, full of British soldiers, barbed wire, armoured tanks and constant searches and check-points, into a bustling city with shops, stores and a shortage of cabs on a Saturday night. After unsuccessfully trying for around half an hour the following Saturday, I was eventually successful in ‘bagging’ on of the busy drivers. My driver turned out to be from the Philippines.

Cab drivers, the world over, are natural conversationalists. I have in the past (now to my regret) cut short the first expected question of "What do you do?" opting instead for silence and thinking time. Since my Stonehenge transformation however, I have turned over a new leaf and in fact started off the chatter by asking my driver, how he came to be living and working in Belfast. It turned out that his wife was a nurse in a local old-peoples home and that he had come over to join her. His ability with the English language had not improved in relation to his smooth driving however and the conversation was slow - until I told him that I was working at the Opera House.

"You know Michael Barnes then?"

How on earth did a taxi driver from the Philippines know about Michael?

"My wife nursed him just before he died. He used to get out of bed, put on his dressing gown and dance with her"

"He just loved to dance"

and then I remembered the medium at church and the message of help…

Yes Michael, I’ve got the message

"I’ll keep dancing"


As Thomas is my patron saint, the doubts inevitably crept in. As I passed by the painting each day, I became less convinced that I had actually received a message from beyond - a spiritual medium, a message of help, a Phillipino cab driver’s wife who danced around hospital beds with Michael, only weeks before he died. It all made a lovely story - but maybe also a lovely illusion.

 Like Thomas, I needed more proof…

The cost of hotels and guest-house accommodation has soared in Belfast, but I had managed to find a local woman on the theatre ‘digs-list’ who was delighted to let me stay in her spare bedroom for a nominal rent   - except that, as she was having a conservatory built at the back of her house, there would be a lot of noise from the workmen - and there was!

On the final Friday, I pottered downstairs to make a cup of tea and found myself in a long conversation about Irish comedians as opposed to English ones. The whole thing developed delightfully into a Celtic-English contest, as to who could come up with the most names and the most memorable jokes. I must have done well, as one of the workmen suddenly said

"Do you work in the theatre then?"

When I affirmed that I did, his reply could have come straight from the mouth of the medium at the beginning of the story, or indeed from Michael himself:

"I worked for Michael Barnes, just before he went into the nursing home. I put up lots of bookshelves for him. He was surrounded by books you see. The whole house was full of them and he only had space for one chair in his living room because he was…

                                      …surrounded by books."


I passed by Michael’s picture the following day and I swear he smiled at me…

                           (but maybe it was just a trick of the light)

michel portrait from below 465pix


Michael Barnes, OBE, arts administrator, was born on October 31, 1932. He died on May 14, 2008, aged 75


Obituary in "The Stage"

Obituary in "The Times" 

Soul-Less Angels by the Oak

waiting for the morning 300pixA couple of weeks ago I wrote an entry in "From Dusk ’till Dawn" about the Tree of Life.

That morning was one of the most spiritual moments I have had during the past few years and since then the memory of the dawn breaking over a sea of mist and standing by ‘my’ Oak, has stayed in my mind almost constantly.

Adam and Eve

The first encounter Christians have with the tree of life, occurs in Genesis; the tree of life or indeed "knowledge" is viewed as forbidden.

The Tree of Life

Around 4-5000 years ago, there was a Jewish sect called the Essenes, who believed in a tree of life, together  with many other Pagan religions. The tree had seven branches and seven roots which represented the mornings (branches) and the evenings (roots) of the week. This can be related to the seven Archangels:

Michael ~ {love,fire,south,autumn/fall/aries leo sagittarius}

Gabriel ~ {conquering fear,water,west,winter,emerald,cancer,scorpio,pisces}

Raphael ~ {healing,air,east,spring,blue,gemini,libra,aquarius}

Uriel ~ {clear thinking,earth,north,summer,white,taurus,virgo,capricorn}

Raguel ~ {friend of god - maintaining the standards of heaven}

Sariel ~ {the teacher of moses,the maintainer of discipline}

Remiel ~ {hope - the pathfinder to heaven}

Metatron ~ {the closest to the throne,the king of the angels,the only angel that was once human. In his earthly form of ‘Enoch’ he was carried to heaven where the archangel michael anointed him with oil and he became an angel. All of the other angelic host had been created, all at once, shortly before the ‘beginning’.

Soulless Angels

Carl Jung the psychologist described angels as "soulless beings who represent nothing but the thoughts and intuitions of their Lord." An angel is a messenger of God - hence the wings, but not an opinionater. It is interesting to note that through the the Fall of Satan and the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, we seem to be given the blessing and protection of a Soul.

The Recurring Seven

The tree of life is recorded as having seven fruits or grains: wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates - not an apple anywhere to be seen. (Adam being tempted by Eve with a bowl of muslie, makes me smile). "Seven" fascinates me with a power I can tangibly feel. We are all in a way governed by seven. Seven days per week, seven Archangels, seven fruits - and then I smile again because every night, I stand on stage and listen to Joseph singing "…seven years of bumper crops are on their way". The inverted tree is a symbol, that is common to many religions, with it’s seven branches and roots representing not only the brain and nervous system of the body, but also the link between ourselves and the spiritual dimension.

The Birth of the Soul

And was the Soul born at the moment Adam succumbed to temptation? It’s a line of thought

that takes me back to the taproot of the Tree of Life…

 tree of life2

And what about Angels being "soulless"? At first the thought seems shocking - "soulless" - but then the understanding dawns that they are the doorway to God; the prism through which we can see the full spectrum of "The All".


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Sorry for Missing Posts

Due to two posts being corrupted, I have had to erase them. Therefore "The Hurtful Spirit and the Jigsaw Puzzle" and "Soul-Less Angels by the Oak" will be re-added later.



The Hurtful Spirit and the Answered Prayer


If your prayer is for others, I really do not see that a limit should be put on the frequency or amount of sincere prayer. Equally if your prayer is to honour your God, your prayers should be wholehearted and follow the ritual activity of your chosen or inherited religion - but what about a prayer for help with personal misfortune?

A Prayer for Yourself

If you are praying for yourself, I would suggest as little as possible and only as a last resort if all your attempts at solving your problem have failed..  The line “Know then Thyself, Presume not God to scan…” from “The Rape of the Lock” by Alexander Pope has stayed in my mind since I was a callow youth of 18yrs and now seems to be the key to my own intermittent prayer activities.

A Prayer of Thanks

oak We live in an extraordinarily beautiful world. Sometimes I look up at the sky on a clear night and feel that the lid has been taken off the world and that I can see heaven amongst the stars and the changing moon.

Because my God is a God of Nature, I find I give thanks, often wordlessly in a rush of Joy at a clear blue sky, or in a dance like the wheat   around my favourite Oak Tree. And yes I do tingle and sense a sacred power when I approach the ancient tree - a sense of reverence toward the power of nature that was nurtured within me by Christina and which has grown  since she passed on, not far into infinity, nearly three years ago.

A Prayer for Help

POD_PrayingWhen I passed the speed camera (see previous post) my sense of reverence became slightly corrupt and my prayer went something like “Oh God, please let me get away with it and I’ll go to church every Sunday” - God must have been having a nap however, as the speeding ticket arrived a week later (how could God let this happen?)

When I pranged my car I wanted the angels to come and deliver me from a busy roundabout complete with hooting impatient cars and an extremely irate driver who had decided that it was all my fault… “What DO you think you’re DOING!!” (the angels must have been on a tea-break however…)

During the course of my battered week, I also discovered I had lost all my credit and debit cards, so I phoned and cancelled them all, only to discover them in the bathroom five minutes later. My new cards were then subjected to a fraud investigation - and subsequently went missing in the post, causing me to lose a months hosting on a new website. (is the Devil getting in on the act?)

Buchbinder-Rabbi_PrayingYou may recall that my central heating boiler had also stopped working. No matter how many plumbers I rang, they were either unavailable or if they did arrive, managed to produce the familiar sucking in of breath between their teeth (do they do that in the USA and Japan?) a habit they must learn in plumbing school, before declaring the hapless piece of equipment irreparable; an average estimation as to the cost of a new boiler seemed to lie between £1,500-£2,500. My polite response that I would try to get another opinion, invariably produced a look of professional pity and a sniffy intake of breath.

(who Is the hurtful spirit?)

The Hurtful Spirit  

Toward the end of the week however, things started to get rather worrying and dangerous…

chinese woman praying I had taken to going to the Chinese restaurant opposite the theatre each day  before a series of ‘between-shows’ rehearsals I was doing with the company. I have (had) a bad habit of reading whilst I eat and I was so engrossed in my book that a piece of underchewed  meat managed to wedge itself in my gullet jamming itself solid, like a cork in a bottle. Thank goodness it was my gullet and not my windpipe, as I would have choked to death. As it was, I couldn’t swallow at all and saliva poured from my mouth as I hacked and coughed as I staggered to the toilets. I stayed in the toilet area for nearly half an hour but no matter what I did, the meat-lump stayed put. My  throat started to bleed and the toilet bowl began to resemble a scene from a horror movie. My throat and upper chest had started to make frighteningly loud gurgling sounds and so I tried to drink a little water from the wash-basin tap in order to dislodge the meat, but the water simply poured out the sides of my mouth. I was really frightened by this time, as I had lost all ability to swallow. I was eventually helped out of the toilet by a group of anxious waiters, and staggered across the road to the theatre, perhaps unwisely refusing the offer of an ambulance. (I should imagine they were glad to get rid of me as I did notice the aghast looks on the faces of the other patrons as I passed by on my way to the door ) Back at the theatre and amongst friends I started relax a little although the meat-cork was still wedged in hard, but after a further half hour of moaning, choking and salivating, the obstinate chunk of beef at last recommenced its journey to my stomach and I collapsed in an exhausted heap with only half an hour to go before the evening show. I got through the performance somehow, but my throat was sore for days.

(by now I was convinced that a hurtful spirit or thought-form had either attached itself, or had been attracted and/or created by me - see previous post)

Bolivia_aymara_praying_locThe next night was almost as shocking and even more painful.  It’s very dark   around the back of the Regent Theatre in Ipswich and I was thinking about this blog entry and how overdue it was - when I literally walked into a wall. I was going at quite a pace and the wall, a mere three foot high, caught me just above the knee, launching me head over heels over the unyielding brickwork, where I slammed down, onto my back on the other side. Just before the pain started, I thought of my airborne computer-bag and of the cost of laptop repair - this image faded however as the pain, nausea and dizzyness overtook me. Simon and Wayne, two members of our company, found me staggering and whimpering in the car park and helped me to my car, staying until I was able to drive (very slowly) back to my ‘digs’.

If my hurtful spirit was real, then I had a problem, but on the other hand, if it was a tulpa or delusion, it would be just as bad, because I may then have created a negative form of me - self harming myself in the most spiritually and physically frightening way. I was thinking about the film “Flatliners” a couple of days ago, in which the character played by Keifer Sutherland is attacked by the spirit of a little boy he had accidentally caused to fall to his death from a tree. The scene I am talking about occurs when Keifer is alone in a van and is then found by a friend who sees him beating and mutilating himself - although it is really the spirit of the boy who compels Keifer to act in a self-destructive way. (the spirit - or the Tulpa that Keifer’s character has created). Coincidentally(?) the film is showing on TV tonight, even though I had decided yesterday to include it in this account, when I was unaware it was due to be aired.

My hat goes Missing

soulMerlin Logo   I have a favourite hat (it’s the one I’m wearing here). Anyway the hat went missing after my Chinese restaurant ordeal and I naturally assumed that I had left it there during the meat plug episode, as it was nowhere to be found in my dressing room, or in the theatre. So the following day I limped over to the restaurant - only to find it had been closed by the local police, following some kind of “bust”. I would normally have been very upset, as I have owned the “titfer” for a few years, but adversity had by this time hardened me and so I shrugged it off with surprisingly little regret and resolved to buy another - a “countryman’s tweed” one - when I got home the following day. The performances went without mishap and although my knee was very stiff and painful, I felt it added to my performance as Jacob.

I was very surprised to find the hat on my dressing-room table at the end of the final show and it was like embracing a good friend when I jammed it low down on my forehead and made my way to the car…

…and walked straight into the sharp end of a scaffolding pole that protruded horizontally from the back of a parked lorry. I was striding out briskly as it was cold, and the unseen pole caught me right in the middle of my forehead. I was shocked and saw stars; if I had not been wearing my hat, I would muslim women prayinghave been badly hurt. I broke into tears and for the first time in quite a while

I really Prayed…                                                   

It was not a neat nor was it a pious or solemn prayer. I didn’t kneel and clasp or hold my palms together like stone-angel then close my eyes and bow my head and say “Amen” at the end. I remember just standing and looking up at the night sky and shouting “Please help me” then “Please stop” then Please help me” over and over again, in between my tears and sobs.

When you have tried to help yourself as much as you possibly can - then “The All” will take over.

I felt calmer after the 150ml journey home and although I knew the house would be very cold (I slept in my clothes that night) I was glad to be in my own space…

I think that actors and dancers on tour are often erratic and moody emotionally, due to the negative and often jarring influences  they pick up in the many and varied places (especially beds) they stay in each week. Psychic cleansing and protection should at least be addressed or better still, taught in many theatre schools and colleges - some do, but I think they may be in the minority.

My Keys Return

asian boy praying   …I got out of the car and reached into my jacket pocket and found two sets of keys. The previous week I had arrived home to find I had lost my keys and had to drive several miles to pick up a spare set from a friend (see last post)

I had emptied all the pockets and searched them thoroughly when the keys went missing and all through the following week, I had only the spare set of keys in my jacket, I know for certain because I empty my jacket pockets every night.

I could feel a sort of warm-tingle as I stood outside the front door - holding both sets. First the hat and now the keys.

The following day I went to see a psychic friend and her husband, as the dark  aura of negative influence and danger around me had started to become rather frightening. The psychic’s husband suggested a meditation session, but I was feeling too tense and jittery to submit, so I rather rudely declined the kind offer and was about to leave when the psychic turned and ordered me to “Stand still”  then “Relax”. I closed my eyes as she traced her hands down the outline of my body - either side - from the crown of my head to the soles of my feet.

I could feel a vibration from her hands as they passed over me and I instantly felt much better. She then remarked that I looked glum, so I explained about my broken central heating boiler…

muslim prayer


“My son-in-law’s a plumber… ” (she said)


   …So now my boiler is working again, at a total cost of £85 - a far cry from the quoted £1,500 - £2,000; it’s warm and cosy and good things are starting to happen again, just like the sunrise. Except for one little cloud - the negative spirit or thought-form…

Last Sunday the medium turned to me and said (as closely as I can remember) “I have a man here who’s saying “That’s not Henry Metcalfe, that’s Harry Metcalfe” (the medium then kept repeating the statement in a rude skittish way) “He say’s he knew you”. She then looked directly at me and said that all the things that were moving around, vanishing and re-appearing would stop. She also described ‘him’ as having a hurtful sense of humour. “The sort of man who would unscrew the back of a settee so that it would collapse if anyone sat on it. She went on to say that man knew that the joke had gone too far and that it would now stop. Calling me “Harry” was totally correct; I was “Harry” right up until I went to college at eighteen.

shinto prayerAnd this is where the story would have ended, except for a thought I had an   hour ago while I was leaning like a bat, out of my guest-room window to have an illicit smoke.

The one thing in the mediums message to me that did not add up, was the reference to the settee and the hurtful spirit. Then I remembered that when I was sixteen, I had worked for a few months in a furniture store with a few guys who made my life difficult and who always made fun of my dancing ambitions. I also have a fragment of a memory of a settee being burnt behind the furniture store and the one who disliked me the most, jumping up and down on the back to break it.

That was forty-eight years ago. I have lived on, in and with Giai for longer than I can reasonably look forward to and I have no desire to go back in time to the furniture store in Claypath Durham City (you see I’m halfway there already). 

To go back yet again and create further destructive ripples, some of which I have very recently felt, would be regrettable.

snow angelOn Sunday morning, I got up at 7am in my warm and snug house with the  feeling that I was about to be shown something.  Going over to the window, I looked out onto a literal wonderland of fresh snow that glistened in the early light. Snowflakes continued to drift to earth like soft white feathers and I sank back into a deep, peaceful sleep. When I woke again the snow had vanished as if it had been a beautiful dream.

It was then I knew that my prayer had been answered.

(c)soulMerlin/henry metcalfe


Images from top

Nearly all the images are from Wikimedia Commons - either follow the links below, to go to the relevant Wiki page containing the illustration and a mass of detail regarding the source of each image. I found over 700 images related to Prayer alone. Go to the home page and enter your search terms in the box at middle left


2. The Oak and the Wheatfield (c)soulMerlin~henry metcalfe (you may use the image for none-commercial use - a link back to this site and a picture credit would be appreciated - for other use, please email me with details before publishing. Note that the oak image and ’soulMerlin’ (7 below) are very small, so if you want a large image, please email me.





7. soulMerlin ~ you may use this image as you wish with a photo credit and a link to this site.





12. Snow Angel ( please note that Adobe is discontinuing their stock, royalty-free image service at the end of this month - March 2008.

“Flatliners” ~

“The Rape of the Lock”

Creating Heaven and Hell

483px-Paradise_Lost_13Do we create everything? I’ve just finished a two-week run at the Liverpool Empire Theatre on Lime Street; a two-week period in which a very close-knit sequence of unfortunate happenings have occurred and which continue to do so…

I was driving home on the first Wednesday night (at a comfortable 80’sh) when I noticed a boffin-like man sitting by an instrument that looked like a monitor scr….Owww! I slammed on the brakes with a vengeance, reaching to below 70mph by the time I passed him. The monitor-screen was in the shape of a vertical oblong; rather like the ‘odds board’ of the racecourse ‘bookie’, with a successive patterning of little lights in green. A possible three points on my licence and a £60 fine.

oh dear..

I drove back rather carefully the following day - a case of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted if I continue my equine theme - and was just recalling the previous night as I coasted at a comfortable 70mph, wondering why I ever rushed to save 10 min’s on a journey, when the big seven-zero was just so smooth….Flash Bang Owww! I had forgotten that the end of the motorway has a half-mile 50mph limit. Another three points and a further £60?

oh dear oh dear…

nothing further happened until that night, when an Internet/bank transaction I had set up failed to function…two calls to the USA and around 12 emails and the matter is still not resolved at time of writing - I now have the possibility of a website hosting arrangement being cancelled (not this site I hasten to add) …and all for the princely sum of $14.70 (around £8).

Then on Friday morning I pranged the car - my second accident in 38 years of driving…

oh dear etc…

Going back to the Wednesday night;  I had tucked myself up in bed and I was at the point of sleep, when a rough workmanlike spirit, rather like an electrician or plumber, shouted at me or to be more accurate - ‘past’ me as if warning another entity or force. At first I thought that the spirit didn’t like me and was being aggressive, so I told ‘it’ to either be quiet and let me sleep, or to simply go away. I turned over onto my side and started to drift off to sleep, when I felt his/it’s embrace. It was such a gentle hug; I could feel arms around my shoulders and a gentle loving pressure. It amused me that I could feel an arm around me on the side of my body that touched the bed - spirits it seems do not have the problem of what to do with the arm that goes under the person as they lie in bed - unlike the ‘living’!

I decided that the spirit was warning me about something (perhaps the forthcoming traffic accident), or warding off other negative influences…

…was that my spirit guide/guardian angel?

On Saturday night after the final show, my friend David S the musical director drove me home and dropped me at the garage, where I picked up my car and continued toward home…

…to find that I had mislaid my front-door key (at 1am)

One hour later, after waking up my friend Debbie and driving over to collect a spare key, I returned to the house and managed to get in. A cup of tea seemed to be in order, so I filled the electric kettle and switched on the central heating boiler…

…only to discover that the main burner would not fire up!

The events of Sunday involved multiple calls to central heating engineers; all of whom let me down after promising "excellent availibility" at a price which varied from £100 - £300. The last "Mr Fixit" left around an hour ago, promising to return on Friday with the parts needed which he was "90% sure" would solve the problem…

…but what about the remaining 10%, and why am I almost sure that my problem will fall within that margin?

Creating My Own Reality

Consider the following possibilities:-

a) I could be under psychic attack - either from another Magick worker or from a discarnate entity.  This would explain my spirit "guardian" and his warning shout.

b) I could be suffering God’s retribution for my attitudes to conventional religion as expressed in this almanack - or for some other misdemeanour.

c) It could be the universe giving me a "wake-up" call. I tend to live in a dream-world and neglect the "reality" of coping with the nuts and bolts of everyday life.

d) It could just be a run of bad luck. The Law of Probability will allow for clusters of what we term "good" or "bad" luck.Spin a coin a thousand times and it will record almost exactly 500 "heads" and 500 "tails" (try it), but within the 1000 spins, you will note runs of up to 17 consecutive heads and tails - depending on which side you favour, this could represent periods of fortune or misfortune.

e) I could be creating Everything myself, both normal and para-normal.

Let me explain…


Tulpas are thought-forms which are projected and created by spiritually adept people. Wikipedia has a page which you may find interesting: .  Madame Alexandra David-Neel in the 1920’s, managed to create the thought form of a monk who started as a fat and jolly benign presence, but which changed over time into a lean malevolent creature. The "monk" appeared quite solid and real and was seen by  many people. The spiritual writer Dion Fortune found a wolf in her bedroom which only "dissolved" when she withdrew it’s life-force through the astral-cord she visualized as being attached to her. Herbie Brennan writes in his excellent book "Death - The Great Mystery of Life" about the case of Emilie Sagee (amongst many examples) who in 1845, was sacked from her position as a teacher because her pupils kept seeing two of her. Her second body or Tulpa was seen wandering the grounds or sitting with the class watching herself teach. No fewer than eighteen schools dispensed with her services…

Richard Webster in his book "Spirit Guide and Angel Guardians" talks about creating an Angel, as does Donald Mckinney in "Celtic Angels", in fact many writers acknowledge the power to create spiritual entities from seemingly nothing…

…All of which leads me to a concept which goes beyond our three-dimensional reality, yet which has been expressed by many people…That we create not only our lives, but also our Afterlives. We may actually create our own Heaven and Hell, both in this world and the next one, unless we have not believed in and therefore have not created an Afterlife of our own making. In which case we will "condemn" ourselves to ‘Nothing’ (whatever that is)

My line of reasoning is this. The thought-forms of Madame Alexandra and Emilie were quite independent of their earthly "doubles" until the "originals" decided to get rid of them; in Madame Alexandra’s case, it took six months of meditation and concentration to ‘dissolve’ the Monk. It follows that we may each of us create our forthcoming Heaven (or Hell) and the spiritual body that will inhabit it.

Collectively we may in fact be responsible for creating everything. We may be indeed be our own God and our own Satan…and we may find we have created a Heaven, a Hell, or an Oblivion - all to our own design.

Note: If you have ‘come in’ through Google or another search engine, you may be looking for comment 2 below, which is a long and authoritative compendium of religious and spiritual thought and philosophy.

Image "Satan" Wikimedia Commons - an excellent source of visual and literary material. Click the link below, or on the image to go to:

The Soul, The Spirit (and Christiana) ~ a three-dimensional view of the Infinite


egg in hand3I had decided to write about “Soul and Spirit” for this week’s Almanack entry, when I suddenly realised that I actually

“knew” (and had always known) what my Soul looked like. Within me was an awareness of a soft and warm, oval-shaped mass. The awareness was both dove-like and egg-like.

The Soul Egg
We belong to “Spirit” and yet have our own individual identity – or” Soul”. The Soul is often thought of as an egg – anyone who has seen the excellent, allegorical film “Angel Heart” starring Robert De Niro and Mickey Rourke will understand – but I’m not going to give the plot away; “Angel Heart” is still available and if you haven’t seen it, it’s a “must”. (I’d hate to spoil it for you in the same way many theatre and cinema critics do, when they analyse the plot of the movie or play they are reviewing and stupidly give the game away)

You can buy Angel Heart at

The Spiritual Dimension

As human beings, together with all the other animate and inanimate entities of our universe we function within the three dimensions of height, breadth and depth. If any dimension could be taken away, we would simply cease to exist. Although scientists and cosmologists postulate the existence of seven, ten or even more dimensions, our concepts of the spiritual-dimension are still limited by our surroundings and the nature of our own physical existence and sensory awareness.

The bible states that God made Man in his image – the trouble is we can only easily perceive ourselves within three dimensions and therefore we often fall into the trap of limiting our perception of God to that of a three-dimensional white-bearded, King-like ruler. More importantly, we limit our own understanding of the nature of ourselves to what we can see in the mirror, neither recognizing nor comprehending the extent of our own spiritual dimensions.

The Spirit Soup

soup and croutons

The word “Spirit” has a more general sound than “Soul”

“Everything is Spirit” as the Rev’ John Chapman, the minister of Bedworth church would say… The Universe can be likened to a womb, expanding and growing, creating galaxies, planets and stars from a pre-big bang state of “nothingness”, a state which scientists such as Stephen Hawking and Michio Kaku are still trying to understand comprehend and explore.

At the time of writing, the snowdrops and the crocuses are out and the earth smells of new life; a fertile soup bowl of spirit from which we originally emerged and of which we are inextricably a part.


If Spirit is the soup of the Universe then we are the Croutons.


The River of Life

My parents first home was called Riverside House. It was situated along the banks of the River Wear, which flows in a 800px-Durham_Kathedralehorseshoe around the magnificent cathedral and the wooded walks of Durham City in the North-East of England.

When my mother died, it therefore seemed right to return her remains to the beautiful city where she, my father and I had all been born. I scattered her ashes all around her favourite walks and finally swam to the centre of the river where I unscrewed the urn and let the remaining ashes disperse into the water. Watching the ashes dissolve made me think of her soul dissolving into infinity. My ex-wife Liz and our friend Debbie had joined me on the trip, which had begun to feel more like a pilgrimage and which had become increasingly full of laughter as we remembered and honoured her life. When I returned home, I wrote the following passage:-

~If Spirit is seen as a river, then a Soul can be seen as a glassful scooped from the water. At the end of a lifetime, the glassful is poured back; and the Soul rejoins the river source, blending and dispersing within it and yet in no way ceasing to exist or being lessened in any way. The soul-water is enriched by its return and it’s re-merging with its source and with all the other returned souls. When another glassful is taken from the river, the ‘new’ soul is a mixture of many, perhaps all of the souls that have existed before~

At this point, I spent some time considering my three-dimensional ‘Spirit-Soul-River’ description above, in relation to a recurring theme in hymns, psalms and sacred songs. The theme I am referring to is “Losing Oneself” – either in “The Light” or the Glory, or the Love of God.

I typed a random phrase: “lose ourselves in thee”, which seemed to be a combination of all the ‘going into the light’ hymns I had ever heard, into Google and the first example I pulled up surprised me by having my late mother’s name in the title:

Hymnologia Christiana.
Anyone who has read my Almanack in any depth will know that I have been told by many psychics that my mother is now my spirit guide. Of course any sceptics (including me) might just put it down to co-incidence – except for the following:-

Around five years ago, my mother and I were going through some of her paperwork, when I came upon her birth certificate. Now my mother’s name was Christina, but the certificate read “Christiana”. My mother was amazed that at the age of 87 she had at last found her real name and although we never actually used it, I could see that she rather liked it.

There on the Google entry was the quote I was looking for:-

“Till in the ocean of Thy love We lose ourselves in heaven above.”

Hymnologia Christiana, Or, Psalms and Hymns Selected and Arranged … - Google Books Result

by Benjamin Hall Kennedy - 1863 - Hymns, English - 404 pages
2 Shade of eve with morning ray Took from Thee the name of Day; Now again the shades Till in the ocean of Thy love We lose ourselves in heaven above. …

It was perfect, my random choice of words, being answered by my mother’s real name, then the spirit-river of life flowing into the ocean of God’s love. But the final mix of the river, the ocean and heaven, was the unexpected reply to my Google search: My river and cup had been transformed into the all-embracing sea and sky. For a moment I glimpsed the all transformed into the divine… 

…and then literally, down to earth: The Big problem for me (and I suspect many people) is that although we all sing about “losing ourselves in Thee” and talk about “going into the light”, I for one most certainly do not relish losing the ‘myself’ of this particular incarnation. After all the sense of “Myself” is also the Awareness of my Soul – as Wikipedia would say:-

“The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. In these traditions the soul is thought to incorporate the inner essence of each living being, and to be the true basis for sapience, rather than the brain or any other material or natural part of the biological organism.” (wikipedia)

But I must accept that my “self-aware essence” is perceived by me from only a three-dimensional viewpoint and I must remember that if we all are part of the Great Spirit of existence then we must all be part of each other. Each and every one of us is a tiny part of a God, who instead of being merely the personification of an old warrior, is indeed both “The All” and “The Divine”.

I was delighted to get two internet media reviews a couple of days after posting this entry - however I had more website problems and erased them by mistake.

(Nothing daunted, I’m putting the links to their organizations below)


— Movie Information blog
http: / / 2008/ 02/ 12/ the- soul- the- spirit- and- christiana-

http: / / ? p= 1579

it’s nice to be appreciated

To Love and be Loved in Return

Today was the first day of rehearsals for the new part-company change-over and I (as usual) had spent a restless night in my usual state of pre-rehearsal nerves.

I’ll admit to feeling very old and ‘passed-it’ as I struggled against the icy wind that was blasting down the full length of Princes Street in Edinburgh this morning. I had hoped to go on the “Ghost Walk” that Anthony (the Ant) Wren had arranged for the previous evening but the prospect of teaching and keeping up with a group of 18-23yr old fit young dancer-singers had caused me to withdraw to my room in the hope of managing to prepare for the moment of truth when my 64yr old body would have to demonstrate to the young athletes exactly how to do the choreography.

Preparation for me involves sitting and pondering and thinking and worrying and trying to visualise exactly how the day will go and exactly how I am going to be and how the dancers are going to be (all of which is rather impossible - and I really should have gone on the Ghost Walk, instead of just gradually becoming more and more neurotic as the evening passed.)

There is something very formal and gladiator-like about doing things “right” the night before rehearsals. I had eaten early and had decided that a hot bath and an early night would be the best for me, especially as I had recently gone through a colonoscopy procedure - all the months of worry about cancer of the intestines which happily turned out to be unfounded - but which had nevertheless started during my stint on Whistle Down the Wind in the USA last summer, when a feeling of weakness and ill health crept up on me and stayed until I got the “all clear” around three weeks ago.

To be honest, I still don’t feel 100%, but the knowledge that the cause isn’t the “Big C” as John Wayne used to call it, but most likely the “Big A” does help somewhat.

After a really hot bath, I tucked myself up in bed and waited for Somnus the God of Sleep - and yes, Somnus did arrive………………..eventually.


8am ~The alarm rang all too soon at (I’ll be rehearsing in two hours!)

8.45am ~ I dozed off for a while (rehearsing in an hour and a quarter!)

9am ~Sitting by my bedroom window, smoking a cigarette with my third cup of coffee I’ve got to be out in half an hour - (why does time fly so quickly when a dreaded moment approaches?)

When I was a child, life beyond a forthcoming visit to a dentist was impossible to contemplate. It was the same this morning. How I wished for the day to melt away, so I could go straight to the evening, without the problem of the eight-hour rehearsal period that was due to start in less than an hour.

snow storm princes street gardens-1I looked out over the floral gardens and the open-air theatre that Liz my ex-wife and I had performed in 43 years ago…

Forty-Three Years Ago!!

And here I was, still dancing (or still trying to) Still choreographing (or still trying to)

With five minutes to go before I struggled on my winter anorak, I did the only thing I could think of; I asked the universe for help.

Just please help me - please help me.

I arrived at the theatre at around 10mins to 10am (I wish I had got there earlier) and changed into my rehearsal jeans and t-shirt, uncomfortably aware that the new dancers were already warming up and waiting for my arrival on-stage.

My cellphone bleeped -10am -time to start

Please, please help me.

I had only just started when help arrived. My cellphone rang. It was Bill, my producer and friend. ‘I just thought I’d ring you and tell you that you’ve got a good review in America for “Whistle”. Bless him. Bill works so hard that he makes me look like I’m standing still when I’m going flat out and yet he had found time to give me a boost. Then Adam, my assistant seemed to go into top gear and even I managed to get a little momentum into my teaching.

The day passed well and 6pm arrived a tad too soon. I decided to have an Indian meal in the “Shazan” tandoori restaurant across the road from the theatre. Half way through my Lamb Korma, Liz rang. She had been thinking about me all day and wishing me well…

I am not especially good at acting or dancing or singing or choreographing but I love it so and my feelings as I write this post can be summed up in two song lyrics:-

“I get by with a little help from my friends”

And especially:-

“The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to Love and be Loved in return.”

Thank you.

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