…the children of a lesser god

Blade runner is the movie based on the novel by Phillip K Dick, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep”

Rutger Hauer plays Roy Batty – an android, with a limited lifespan,(he dies in the scene above), but who nevertheless possesses emotion and self-awareness – Hauer’s role made him a cult icon.

I remember walking towards Hauer in a backstreet in London, some years ago. He was magnetic…big and tall, with piercing ice-blue eyes. I thought he was like a giant, brutal Paul Newman…perfect casting.

Synthetic life is now upon us. Only yesterday the press proclaimed the creation of an artificial reproducing cell…artificial DNA, typed on a computer and inserted into the hollowed out shell of a bacteria…

Is it right or wrong? Is it simply inevitable that science will finally be able to create life – intelligent, self-aware life – from scratch?

Or does possible distaste depend on a localized God…who does God’s work

What about  a universal “God” which includes ourselves and everything – plants, animals, rocks –  even ‘synthetic’ life’.

If we are part of that “All”, does that allow us to ‘play’ God?

I think humanity will inevitably create synthetic living creatures from the living cells that scientists have just begun to create. We have always made images of ourselves and our fellow creatures – perhaps reaching for the  immortality that Rutger Hauer’s Android desired.

Will they go to Heaven when they die? Will they re-incarnate?

Or will they just be the children of a lesser god?*


*Children of a Lesser God is the title of a play by Mark Medoff

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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


Comprehending God ~ Into the Underworld and through the Dark to Home(ii)

SRT_caving_deviation When I was in my 20’s, I had a great time, potholing (caving) in the Yorkshire Dales. Time off work from my job as a cave-guide, would find me sliding and slithering as I worked my way underground, often in spaces so small that it was impossible to get through without taking off my protective helmet and its lifesaving headlamp and sliding them along in front of me.

I often used to wonder what would happen if the bulb failed – I never went caving alone – but I knew one or two foolhardy types, who would disappear off by themselves, beyond the back of the show-cave and along passages and underground streams that led to the centre of Ingleborough mountain – and I don’t remember them ever taking spare bulbs.

I can remember myself and another guide, pausing for a rest in a narrow slit in the limestone only about 18" high, but wide enough to go off in many (wrong) directions - and switching off our lights. The blackness was absolute. The total lack of light fascinated me and my eyes felt as if they were standing out of their sockets as they strained hopelessly to find a glimmer of the vibration we perceive as ‘light’.

Light can only exist and be perceived, if the energy source/transmitter is present and the receiving visual mechanism and its link to the brain is in working order and operating at the correct frequency. If the receiver is none functional, light as a personal experience within our five senses is therefore an impossibility - although there are cases of people with the ability to see through skin tissue. 

If the sun were to extinguish and if the energy of all the other molten and volatile planets and stars that emit the vibrations of light and heat were to dissipate and fade, there would be no source and therefore no transmitter - then again, there would be no ‘me’ or ‘you’ either – at least in this dimension.

In the evenings, after I had taken the last party of tourists around the natural stalactite and stalagmite formations and returned from my own cave-explorations, I would walk home through the dark forest at the base of the mountain, towards the village. I would usually stop at some point and stand silently amongst the trees. On moon and starless nights, I would again find myself in almost total darkness, until my eyes became attuned enough to pick up the faintest glimmer of light around me - a glimmer that did not exist underground.

Slowly my surroundings would start to become apparent. The outline of trees and rocks would form from the blackness and gradually I would be able to see enough of the path to be able to walk through the forest, without slipping and falling down the slope to my left, into the stream that flowed from the mountain and from the entrance to the cave in which I worked.

As I trudged home, usually alone as my companion was staying in a semi-derelict cottage near the cavern, I would stop and listen carefully. Gradually my ears would pick up the small rustling sounds of unknown animals in the darkness – and the giggling and gurgling of the forest spirits. Of course it was the sound of the stream (I thought) as it flowed over rocks and boulders - but it did sound like words and muffled laughter. It was easy to imagine the malevolent  *boggarts as they clustered in the dark and to almost hear their whispered secrets.


Some people will see a fairy at the bottom of their garden, another will see a flower - the energy-cluster is the same. The fact that one person sees the energy-cluster as a Bluebell and another person sees it as Tinkerbell, does nothing to disprove the existence of the energy-cluster itself - it only goes to acknowledge an initial perception and the many variations of comprehension that may follow.

                                                              ~                                                            -

I’d love you to go to Robin Easton’s blog Naked in Eden - she has a beautiful video of a stream and equally beautiful thoughts for the New Year.

Happy New Year :) h

*boggart ~ ‘In the folklore of North-West England, boggarts live under bridges on dangerous sharp bends on roads, and it is considered bad luck for drivers not to offer their polite greetings as they cross.’ ~ Wikipedia.

They also live in the limestone caves in the area. “Boggart’s Roaring Hole” is a pothole on the flanks of Ingleborough Mountain, from which mysterious and frightening sounds can sometimes be heard. ~ h.

image at head of post from Wikimedia Commons - click on photo for link

Comprehending God ~ The Orientation of Heaven and Hell (i)


Hieronymus_Bosch_-_The_Garden_of_Earthly_Delights_-_Hell The location of spirit is a natural outcome of our three-dimensional perceptions and of our physical location upon this planet.

Many people will acknowledge Heaven as a state of afterlife with celestial trees, fields rivers and sunlight in the company of Angels; but avoid a similar three-dimensional perception of Hell as a place of flames and darkness, inhabited by clove-footed demons and tortured souls.

One perception cannot live without the other. A Heaven of green fields and blessed sunlight together with the sounds of joy and laughter, cannot be part of our three-dimensional comprehension of the spiritual world, unless we also acknowledge the existence of a Hell of molten rocks and lava and the wailing despair of souls lost in the sulphuric darkness.

Exercise 1.

Look downward and focus on the centre of the earth.

Now recite the Lord’s Prayer.                   

What are your thoughts and feelings after doing the exercise? (or declining)

image: Hieronymus Bosch-The Garden of Earthly Delights-Hell.

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Demystifying Paganism - (Younger/Stigers)

I will be publishing the final part of my trilogy on the Summer Solstice celebrations  at Stonehenge in a few days and I thought that  the video below might be helpful.

The terms "Paganism" and "Pagan" can strike a chill in many people and give rise to a fear that to study or follow it may in some way be a betrayal of deeply held Christian or other mainstream religious beliefs. I admit that for quite a long while, I avoided the term and used "natural" or "nature" religion in order to spare peoples feelings and also to avoid misconceptions about the path I was following.       (I have found I can silence a dinner-party by using the term a little too loudly.)  I feel that ‘Paganism’ has such a potent, often media-sensationalised loading, (especially as I am currently writing about the Solstice) that it is a good time to share the Rev. Youngers honest sermon.

I used to have a similar problem with the word ‘drug’ - when my mother had to start treatment for her heart, she returned from the doctor’s surgery one day, alarmed and angry. "He wants me to take Drugs!" ….if only the doctor had used the term ‘medicine’ it would have saved me a long explanation (which still didn’t convince her).

I must say I find the Reverend’s manner a tad aggressive, but I guess that must have been in relationship to the group to whom he was addressing his sermon.

The video is 23 min’s long, but there’s a lot of information there, and apart from a bit of a cough, Rev. Younger is on form. So I suggest you make a cup of tea (or whatever) and get comfortable.

As for me, I am a Pagan - and I’m also a ‘Jesus-fan’.

When you’ve finished watching and if you’re still interested, double-click on the screen and go through to MySpace, where you can read some of the 111 comments that have been posted since the video was first published in October 2006 - the latest comments were posted only last month. 

 Demystifying Paganism


If you want to read about my visit to Stonehenge go to Dusk ’till Dawn for the first episode and to Flowers and Scorpions for the second. I have decided to put the third and final part in "Flowers" in a few days - click  alerts/contact if you want to be notified by email when it’s published.


Finally my gratitude to Roger Stigers "He Who Walks in the Shadows" for publishing this on MySpace - He must have the credit for putting the vid’ up in the first place. :) - click on his name to go to his "MySpace" page, where you can contact him and read/see more of his work - and link to his blog.

I hope you find it interesting.


Wednesday 23rd May ~ All Creatures Great and Small

So, I’ve bailed-out for a few days, with my Almanack entry on “Fraud”. The reason this week is lack of time. I didn’t realise when I started on the story of “The Cottingley Fairies”, quite how much information and links to spiritual matters I would find. So rather than push together a hurried entry, I have decided to continue writing it during this week and put it on-line either this coming Sunday evening, or Monday morning.

I have been spending a lot of time with Webmeister Alison, bringing together the ‘fun’ additions to the site. Of all of them, I’m most fascinated with the Virtual Host (V-Host). The V-Host is linked to a general knowledge database, I guess somewhere in the States and it is really fun to use. The important thing is to treat the little figure as human and make statements, eg: I am fed-up/happy/sad/angry etc. This seems to set up a conversation mode and I think you will be impressed. However, now that all (well nearly all) the ‘bling’ additions to the site have been put in place, it’s time to input some serious articles. I have two in the pipeline which will appear as soon as Alison has finished her current, north of the border production of My Fair Lady – Good Luck Alison!

But back to the V-Host - as well as linking into the USA database, I can update and modify the responses given, to suit this site. Naturally, over the coming months, I will be inputting as much spiritual information as I can. I would be delighted to receive your comments eg: any answers that were insufficient or one’s that you disagreed with. I would, of course, upgrade the V-Host accordingly.

All Creatures Great…

I am sickened by the continual reports in the news, about yet another stabbing, vicious beating, torture and atrocity. The human body is the most wonderful construction; strong and yet so vulnerable and delicate.

It is interesting how religions often shy away from a glorification of the human body, but rather focus on its undesirable(?) Carnality. I can remember Mark Brandist, himself a spiritual medium, suddenly turn to the congregation one Sunday and exclaim “Have you ever seen a fit medium?” The congregation looked startled and then seeing the truth of his observation, burst into laughter. The laughter subsequently increased when Mark did a hilarious impression of a medium staggering up to the lectern.

Shakespeare got it right:

“What a piece
of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in
faculties! in form and moving, how express and
admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension,
how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of

Maybe the Yobs should think of that, when they next ‘stick the boot’ in. Sadly they’d only laugh.


…..And Small


It is arrogance that makes us assume that the earth is only for us and all the creatures on it, only for our benefit. We share this space with the most wonderful creatures, who have an equal right to existence.




I went small game hunting in the Grove the other day and ended up stalking a bumble (humble) bee. I must have looked very odd, scampering about with my camera. Bee’s humble or otherwise, don’t know how to pose for a photograph.



photos by soulMerlin


Enjoy the world, it is yours - to share.



I am the owl and the echo

Sunday 6th May ~ “The Winds of Change”

The winds of change are blowing…

I had just put the phone down this morning, after talking to the friend who told me about Martin’s Oak. I’d been thinking about S. – he’d gone to hospital at the beginning of the week, after suffering bouts of breathlessness. Now S. has been going in and out of hospital, over the last few years and I guess I’d got used to the fact that he’d disappear for several days and then return, as right as rain – not say much – and just get on with it.

This call was different; he was confused and sleepy, “they gave me a double heart pass”.

Now S. isn’t particularly old; he’s a sort of late 40’s, ex-dancer; pretty fit sort of person and so it was a shock.

S. is fun,
S. has a nice house,
S. has a good relationship,
S. has ducks.
(S. is kind - he gives me duck-eggs)

Now I think S. will get over this health problem. Everything had gone well with the operation and now it’s just a matter of recuperation, rest, rehabilitation and most importantly, the acceptance of change.

Good luck S. (and D.)


It was a golden spring evening when I first met Martin-of-the-Oak. He looked out over the fields toward the solitary oak tree that S. had told me about…

“Nothing is ours really” he said, “The people who owned the farm before – they’ve gone.” It’ll all change; always has. He looked at me “The universe is a loop” he said.



Now the significance was not lost. The symbol for infinity is a loop; it just seemed strange, coming from the mouth of a farmer, rather than a college lecturer. I have a mistrust of ‘unqualified’ or ‘lay’ advice, when it comes to matters of cosmology and physics. I have to fight against the conditioning that learning can only be genuine, real and true, if it comes from the mouth, pen or keyboard of a ‘qualified practitioner’ I would not go to a self-taught surgeon and I’m pretty sure that S’s surgeon had all the relevant letters after his name. Neverthless I listened intently to Martin as he continued…

“…Even time changes; the seasons get longer and shorter. Heat is energy, you know… …you can’t get sound through heat very well… I see that on the top of bonfires when they’re burning. Jet engines…that’s the principle…the sound can’t get through the heat, aircraft designers know all about that…

…everything is happening at the same time, only we can’t see it all, just our little bit…”

As Martin continued his rambling conversation, that owed more to Stephen Hawking than Percy Thrower, we approached The Oak.



The oak has a power, a radiation and a vibrating charisma that would stop anyone in their tracks. If you personify that power, it becomes the Green Man; formidable and a bit frightening, but good in a rather non-pious way. Forget the ‘good’ that is based on the moral values and customs of any particular one place or time; the ‘good’ I am talking about is that of life and growth, as opposed to death, destruction and religious/political censorship and control.



The Green Man’s image begins to blur and all the qualities that I have personified as human, quiver in the air, yet stay and become stronger as the ‘Man of Green’ fades and the tree glows with a natural and unspecified power.

I realise that I am seeing life…

Maybe I am wrong and maybe also Martin in a way - wrong but also right - and all at the same time. Life is ours,(for a while anyway). We do own it, but we must recognise the process of change. As soon as we try to hold onto a moment, it slips through our fingers. It’s slipping all the time really – and it should. If it sticks, we die.

I remember one gloriously happy Sunday in 1999. We were playing at Newcastle Theatre Royal for a week and my friends from the show, J. V. and T., came over to Durham, where I was staying with my mother. Christina took us on a walk around the river banks. At 84 yrs of age, she skipped ahead of us; so proud to show us her favourite walks. It really was a wonderful day; sunny and mild. I can remember thinking, ‘this is as good as it gets’. We were all very happy and like Dylan Thomas we “sang in our chains like the sea”

Of course, things did inevitably change; T and V grew apart and J and I have grown together. Whatever we do, we cannot go back. Christina has slipped her chains, but her charisma and essence is still around, even stronger now that her outline, like that of the Green Man, has dissolved into the process that James Lovelock calls ‘the Gaia’, after the Greek goddess of the Earth.

I have to accept the fact that, although my bathroom mirror can still whisper a kind lie, my reflection in shop windows, tells a different story - I have aged and I have changed. Somewhere along the line, the sweet bird of youth took to the skies. I think it tensed and looked skyward when I was around 39, and then flew off slowly,toward the sun. I can still see it in the mirror occasionally – but no one else does.


It’s been a great week, with blue skies and a warm stillness that I could feel, right down to my bones. Predictably today was grey and windy. Neverthless, having failed to get to the oak, during the sunny weekdays, I set off in the car, all 329,000miles of it, (the car’s mileage, not the journey) and arrived at The Oak.



Never has the Green Man looked so beautiful to my eyes. The change in the two weeks since I last visited, has transformed it into the most verdant oak tree I can ever remember seeing.

In place of the animal-like buds and the finger like catkins (the oak has both male and female) were young ‘May Leaves’.


But the wind was blowing and it was hard to find a brief moment of calm to make sure my photo’s were sharp. Every time I framed the picture, a gust of wind would swirl through the ancient branches and my carefully composed photograph would alter and blur – just when I thought I’d ‘got it’, things would change.




It was getting really chilly and I was thinking of home and a hot cup of tea, when I heard footsteps behind me. Martin had seen me from the farmhouse and had wandered over. His mood was like the weather…



Martin has the problem that is shared by many farmers in this country; his farm is too small to produce enough to make a living, due to the artificial price structure set by the EEC; unable to compete with imported product, Martin has to live off government grants, whi ch are awarded, as long as he does not produce. His land is lying to waste. If we had a programme to supply food to countries with populations that are starving, Martin could put his rich land to good effect. If he did now, the grants would be withdrawn and he would go bankrupt.

For Martin and all the farmers who share his inability to change (other than turning his farm into a hotel and his land into a golf course) I pray for the winds of change to blow…


The wind of change blows straight
Into the face of time
Like a stormwind that will ring
The freedom bell for peace of mind
Let your balalaika sing
What my guitar wants to say

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow share their dreams
With you and me

Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change
Title :Scorpions - Wind of Change

The wisdom of the oak - No one knows their fate.



I am the Owl and the Echo


all pictures by soulMerlin

March 18th ~The Nature of God





photo by soulMerlin

Now most believers would agree that God can be seen in a flower – “God’s handiwork”. But most would regard it as the work of God, rather than God himself; there is always the three-dimensional concept of an invisible hand at work. The full understanding of God – what and who ‘he’ is, could be said to be beyond our conception. Perhaps we should consider that it is not just ‘his’ handiwork and ‘his’ design, but that it is ‘him’.

But should we use the term ‘him’ for God? Is the supreme ruler really a man? I still find the Lord’s Prayer difficult in many ways; looking between my fingers, at the women chanting: “Our Father….” - what about a Goddess instead? The trouble with the term “Goddess”, is that it sounds Pagan and therefore, perhaps dangerous. The women at church don’t seem to mind though. Maybe they’re right and I’m wrong; it could be that the moment of creation was masculine and instigatory and the created universe feminine and nurturing.



The female body is undoubtably built for birth and nurturing, whilst the male body is built strongly to attack in order to protect the family unit. But the stereotype is limiting; We still expect a man to be able to deliver a straight penetrating punch and a woman to execute a swinging curved slap, or hide behind a man’s protection (although that does seem to be changing, if current behaviour outside nightclubs is taken into account!) Neverthless it is still a source of humour if a woman can punch straight and knock the male bully off his feet. Sadly, the man who declines to fight, is often ridiculed.

photo DianeM



Our leaders still exhibit primitive ‘physical-superiority’ stereotypical behaviour. I was watching TV the other night with Liz, when she observed that Blair and Bush were walking “like a couple of apes”. They truly were: Shoulders swinging, arms curved and biceps tensed, they marched into a conference at an indecent pace, their aids scurrying along behind them. (By ‘scurrying’ their aids were also fulfilling the stereotypical behaviour-pattern required of them - for their advancement, employment and ‘place’.)


This ape-tactic is still effective in our 21st century western culture. We feel re-assured if our leaders look that they could go the distance and more, with a young Mohammad Ali – even though, it is their intelligence, not their brawn that we really need.

But it’s our fault – my fault, that these limiting stereotypes exist. The male/female conflict lies within all of us; aggravated on the one hand, by the breakdown of the traditional male and female roles and on the other, by our inherited instinctive resonance to those roles. Only by being aware of the nous between instinct and rational thought; can human beings begin to find their own correct proportion of masculinity and femininity, together with their conception of the nature of God, within themselves – for themselves.






Sunday 11th March - Green Spirits

This post is not intended to knock Extraordinary Rendition off the top-spot. I think the world is getting “atrocity punch-drunk”. We can watch somone dying on tv and then go to tea…..(including me) No…this post is to celebrate Spring! In the pagan calendar, we are half-way through ‘Imbolc’, which commences on the 1st or 2nd of February and gives way to the Spring Equinox (March 20/21st). I can smell the earth, as I walk through the Grove with my morning coffee.

I’ve been driving to Liverpool each day - there is a Victorian Ghost, chasing a servant-girl up the stairs, at the Empire Theatre in Lime Street (just next to Lime Street Station) ChrisP, a young performer told me about the apparitions; (just before he managed to sprain his foot and then, no doubt in emotional hysteria, throw himself head-first into the scenery) - and no…I didn’t see either the man or the girl (only ChrisP), but it was a busy week and I really wasn’t ‘tuned’ to things beyond the concrete dimensions.

Driving to Liverpool each morning was wonderfully different. In the middle of each tree I passed (it’s a good drive..lot’s of forests, fields and trees) there seemed to be a shimmering green ‘tree-soul’. Yet the trees were/are still in bud. Why could I see green? The tree spirits are there - go and have a look.

(the hours before and up to dawn)
Life is renewing, the light is returning

The life force is awakening ~ Vivianne Crowley

Finally….a quiz

What tree is this? sargents-cherry-bark.jpg



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