phpkxivx3PM   Take a look at this picture, what does it  mean or say to you.  Now write down your spontaneous  feelings  as a comment.

Whatever you do, don’t try and over-rationalise your initial impressions, just get them down. Don’t read any other comments until you have entered your own

Monday 25th August ~ will explain.

best wishes


ps: "class dismissed"

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.


The Angelic Prism

prisms for almanackMy last Almanack entry Soul-Less Angels by the Oak  was inspired by Carl Jung’s statement

Angels are: "Soulless beings who represent nothing but the thoughts and intuitions of their Lord."

I then finished the entry with a statement of my own

"Angels are the Gateway and the prism through which we can see the full spectrum of God". 

If you look at the illustration here and imagine that the prism is an Angel, I think my statement becomes clear. An angel does not (according to Jung) have a Soul, because the Angel’s soul is in fact a gateway and a focus to the Soul of God. An Angel enables us to see, not simply white light, but the full spectrum of the Divine.

Newton experimented with prisms and discovered that the prism did not colour the light, as had previously been thought. People had been experimenting with prisms and light for many years, but thought that the prism itself coloured the light in some way. Newton proved that in fact, the prism allows us to see the colour ‘within’, or more exactly ‘that is’ the light.

prismTherefore, viewing an Angel as a prism is compatible with the Angel’s main function (as the name angelus implies) namely that of a messenger or transmitter of ‘The All.’ In other words, the angel interprets but does not add (his) own colour to the transmission.

Despite amazing advances in science and technology, I think that we as human beings, still only tend to believe what we can perceive through our five senses. Any sixth (and more) senses are regarded with suspicion and are usually at best palmed off as ‘instinct’ or at best ‘intuition’. There is a line of thought however, which equates ‘instinct’ or intuitive hunches  with angelic influence. Richard Webster "spirit guides guardian angels" states: "Are these (intuitive) messages from our angel guardians? I would have to say "yes."  It follows then that we perceive that part of the physical and spiritual spectrum which is visible within the limitations of our human senses - we tend to think that what we cannot perceive or register through our known senses, does not exist - despite knowing, through acquired knowledge, that the full spectrum of light ranges from infra-red to ultra-violet.

roygbivI’m sure you’re ahead of me in relating the visible spectrum to that most beautiful of natural phenomena, the rainbow.  A rainbow is comprised of seven (yes seven again) colours: Red, Orange, Yellow,Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. The illustration here gives the British mnemonic for the colours, but since 48% of this blog’s readership comes from the United States and Canada, perhaps you have your own memory-aid (or make one up and leave it in ‘comments’ :))


There was some dismay when Newton published his findings. Many people thought that the scientist had taken away the mystery and the holiness associated with God’s Covenant, failing to appreciate the natural miracle because it took away the personified image of God as a grey-bearded craftsman/creator, making a rainbow as a direct result of Noah and the Flood. The more feminine religions of the East however had naturally woven what could be described as a spiritual science which can be found in the 7 energy centres or Chakras of the human body and it’s holistic relationship to the world and the universe.

Angel Guardians

300px-All_Gizah_PyramidsAs well as being a Gateway to the All, Angels are the filters or guardians of our perceptions and contacts beyond the Gate. The triangular shape of the prism has long been regarded as the entrance to the spiritual plane; from the pyramids to the Holy Trinity, the number three and it’s triangular construction is regarded as sacred throughout humanity.

The Need for an Angel Guardian

Part of my motivation to start this series of posts on Angels and what I will call the "Otherworld" is to show that there is actually no division between the two. The division is caused by our inability to see and experience what is all around and within us. Not all influences beyond our five senses are safe however and ‘going it alone’ on a spiritual search can lead us into great danger.

Ouja (Weegee) Board

This is usually played at university or summer school after a good night out and with a cut-out alphabet and an empty wine glass (empty because it’s usually played when the red wine has run out). So the scenario is already perilous; slightly tipsy people having ‘fun’ with ghosts. This is the reverse peril of ‘personification’ - because the old images of the Devil, Pan, Cernunnos, Fairies and other Elementals are rejected by our ‘advanced’ society, people therefore fail to see that the forces that make up the old images are very real and conscious and existing at a level beyond our ability to easily perceive them.

The Planchette

Usually this is the wine glass or tumbler, but on a manufactured board, it is likely to be triangular. Therefore the participants in a Ouija-Séance are going it alone through their own unguarded gateway, without angelic protection. My advice is to not do it. The results are real, no matter if you ‘believe’ or not. You may be lucky and meet a benign presence - or you may find that your angel guardian has been replaced by the hounds of hell. If you are serious, I cannot in all honesty dissuade you from trying - just don’t mess around with it.

Working with Angels

I thought I’d finish this overview by suggesting a way of working with your angel guardians: Go to the previous post and look at the list of the seven archangels. Choose the archangel  who you think will help you with a specific problem and invite that angel to help you. For example, if you need clarity of thought, focus on and ask Uriel for help: 

Uriel ~ {clear thinking,earth,north,summer,white,Taurus,Virgo,Capricorn}.

Try it, you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.




(the Fire It button looks a little dangerous)


All images are linked to source material from wikipedia to the met office. highlighted text will take you to source documents.

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:

Angels to the Rescue

  There have been quite a few times in my life when I have felt not only protected, but actually “saved” by forces which can be thought of and personified as Angels. To be accurate, according to Christian Muslim and Jewish doctrine, Angels are beings who have never incarnated upon this earth. It would seem that they came into existence all together, just   before our planet and the Universe were created.

Angels are spirit entities, but can appear as men when needed - they can also protect and save human beings from harm…

…It was Easter 1964, the year after John Kennedy was assassinated. Liz my ex-wife and I set off from our guest house in Ambleside. Five shillings a night for a Bed and a large English Breakfast was about average in the early ‘60’s, although the mind boggles when I convert the sum to our present currency and realise that I am talking about the princely sum of 50p! (around a dollar!)

We set off in the fresh morning sunlight, taking the country bus from Ambleside to Langdale, side by side with country-wives and farmers and the pungent aroma of pipe tobacco, mixing with gamey smell of earth, manure and good honest country-folk. I can remember adding to the delicious fug by puffing away at my own pipe, filled with a wonderful tobacco called Erinmore Flake, which I had adopted from Liz’s father who was head-gardener to the local squire. We eventually arrived and clambered off the bus in our hiking boots, setting off along the mountain path to Stickletarn which lies at the foot of Pavey Ark. The weather slowly became more blustery, with an increasing chill as we climbed higher. We skirted the tarn in bright sunlight, and followed the mountain path up toward the ridge, which would mark the start of our descent into Grasmere. Suddenly the weather changed, and within minutes the sky turned dark grey and our surroundings became obliterated by the snow, which was now falling all around us. The change was dramatic and Liz and I felt chilled, disorientated and increasingly frightened. Mountains are like sleeping giants and if we had disturbed this one, he certainly was showing his irritation.

By now we were standing, unsure of which way to go, on the thigh of Pavey Ark , in what now seemed to be a blizzard. Liz looked at me through the small porthole of her anorak hood. “I don’t want to die on the Mountaintop,” she said. (and this was many years before Southpark and ‘Kenny’!) We were both a little scared. Slowly and carefully, as the snow had began to settle, we crossed the ridge. Then to our great relief, the weather started to clear. We were safe - or so we thought…

…We had reached the ridge and had just started to make our descent, when the weather, as if playing a dangerous game, changed again. The returning snow swirled and the visibility grew even less, until we could see no more than 10 feet in any direction. Again the fear started to grow within us. Then out of the greyness two figures came into focus, looking as if they had stepped out of a Victorian novel. The leader who was dressed in plus-fours, a stout tweed jacket, wearing a deerstalker hat and carrying a game bag, approached us…

…“Are we near the ridge?” he said in an upper-class military accent.

“Yes,” said Liz. “We’ve just come over it.” Liz continued to talk to the man, who turned out to be called Nikolei, explaining that she had been frightened we would miss the path the two men had just climbed.

Nikolei replied with a gentle smile, “It isn’t very nice, thinking you are going to get lost on a mountain in the snow, is it?”

“No,” replied Liz quietly. There was something very unworldly about the moment, something timeless and strangely electric… 

…Suddenly we heard a call, “Come on Nikolei!” Nikolei’s hiking companion, who was carrying a wicker picnic hamper and dressed the same, except for being bare headed, with a shock of dark brown hair, had continued on their trek and seemed impatient to go on. A moment later Nikolei turned and set off toward him.

The transformation happened in a blink of an eye. The sky turned blue and the sun shone! We turned to wave and shout goodbye to the strange pair, but they had disappeared without a trace. We could now see right to the top of the ridge – there was nowhere they could have gone or hidden – absolutely nowhere! It was as if they had melted into the mountain.

We headed off in the direction the two strange travellers had come from and a ray of sunlight inexplicably seemed to guide us down the mountain path to the village of Grasmere, shimmering in the valley below It was almost unbelievable, but it actually happened.

Were they Angels or Guardian Spirits - I’m not sure, but as Liz says to this day, “They came out of nowhere, went back into nowhere and the weather cleared.” (a good Christian analysis of Angels)  (’simple’ wikipedia is a great source of information)

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© henry metcalfe ~ “soulMerlin”

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

The Blessing of Thomas

Doubting Thomas 390pix (2)

I call it the “Blessing” even though we are lead to think the “Doubt” was a flaw in the nature of Thomas and that Jesus admonished him for his failure to believe without proof.

The “Doubt” of Thomas is taken to refer to his scepticism about the physical re-incarnation of Christ as reported to him by the apostles – that Jesus had indeed beaten the “death-barrier” The other possibility that Thomas simply wanted to be certain that it was indeed Jesus and not an impostor is somewhat underplayed. “Doubt” is therefore vilified as being unchristian – at least in John’s gospel.

This excerpt from a sermon I pulled up on the web, seems to support my contention…

“~The question is, will we be a doubter, or will we be one of those who Jesus said were blessed because they believe, even though they have not seen?

Dear Father, help us to believe in our heart those truths we find in your Holy Word, even though we have not seen them with our eyes. Amen.”

I personally find the above quote rather invidious, in that a member of a Congregational flock (especially a child) really has little choice but to try to believe without question, in order to remain part of the group. In one fell swoop, the prayer above brands anyone who doubts as being wrong and therefore not blessed by Jesus. The conclusion, that it is in some way unchristian to doubt and question, cannot be avoided. The conditioning is further underlined by the fact that the excerpt comes from ‘Sermons for Kids’:

‘Questioning belief’ therefore becomes a secret process, carrying with it the guilt of deception, together with a sense of inadequacy and ‘wrongness’.

All the translations of the Holy Bible I have looked at, including the modern-language ones, read in a steady scholastic way, probably due to the influence of the translators, who were probably ‘bookish-monkish’ and almost certainly cloistered.

So let’s go back 1,974 years and look at the scene in the familiar ‘human’ way of newspapers and contemporary writing:

~ Jesus has just been crucified – his disciples are in great danger from the authorities, who having ‘seen to’ the group leader, are now keen to ‘mop up’ his possibly disorientated followers. It would have probably been wiser for the sect to disband, at least for a while, until the heat died down; but no – their elation at having seen Jesus eight days earlier when he was supposed to be dead has brought them together again, this time with Thomas who wasn’t at the first meeting.

I cannot understate the danger they must have been in:

Ciaiphas had persuaded the Romans, through the political face-saving manoeuvrings of Pilate, to remove any remaining threat to their authority. The establishment would no doubt be hoping that the group would attempt to meet. Roman and possibly Jewish spies would be dispatched to merge and infiltrate the close community. Every move made by the disciples and Mary would be tracked. One can imagine bribes, rewards and promises of promotion being given, together with threats to the Jews to reveal the whereabouts of the criminals – the blasphemers.

I can imagine the thoughts of Thomas:

“Mary didn’t recognise Jesus at the tomb”

“What if he is an impostor and a spy?”

I can imagine him listening to Mary and asking:

“But why didn’t you touch him? Why didn’t you touch the wounds?”

Mary’s response “he told me not to” would only raise the suspicion that the wounds were false and painted on the body of the impostor.

Thomas was probably aware that Mary touched Jesus often; bathing and anointing him…she would know by touch or smell if Jesus was genuine.

“Maybe that’s why the man claiming to be Jesus told Mary not to touch him, and now he’s probably tracked us down to one of our risky meetings behind closed and locked doors.”

Thomas may have come to the conclusion that the authorities were trying to capture them all. He had not been there when the disciples saw him the previous Monday, eight days ago – plenty of time for a possible Jesus-spy to sort out an ambush.

All that would be needed would be a signal, like the Judas-kiss and they would all suffer a slow painful death.

So it is understandable that Thomas would consider that the only practical way of being sure that the man was not an impostor, would be to examine the wounds to see if they were real. If they were real, then that would be the proof he needed.

So here we are the following Tuesday. Again a clandestine meeting behind locked doors; fear and danger are palpable. Suddenly Jesus or the impostor is in the room –

Perhaps he was there all the time, although John does make it sound like a miraculous materialization…

~“And after eight days, again his disciples were within and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst and said, Peace be unto you.

Then said he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.”

“…and be not faithless, but believing.”

How often the above statement is used to quell doubt; to bring conformity and obedience within religious groups. How many of a congregation in a church, temple or mosque, would have the courage to stand up and say:

“I’m not sure if a God exists, but I’m looking and thinking, analysing and praying that one does exist because if there is no God and no Afterlife, then all I have left are of few years on this planet before final oblivion.”

Of course those are my words and fears and yet my Doubt is what actually motivates me and drives me on. It is my doubt that spurs me to attend meetings; to read and meditate on the concept of eternity. Sometimes I think that if this planet and this three-dimensional existence were “all” then maybe we would take better care of it and of ourselves, instead of putting up with this life and its problems as merely an annex to a “better place.”

It’s no use leaving this world in a mess, or destroying it because there’s a Heaven to go to.

Meanwhile, back in the locked meeting room, “Doubting Thomas” has got the proof he needed:

“And Thomas answered and said unto him, “My Lord and my God.”

By uttering the words above, Thomas at once exposed himself to the greatest physical risk if caught or betrayed. He had not referred to Jesus as the Son of God, but as God Himself – as God incarnate – total blasphemy to any establishment surveillance. Death would be a blessed release from the torture he would have to endure if reported and captured. No wonder Annas Ciaiphas, Pilate and the Jewish community wanted rid of Jesus. The upstart Christ had the potential to destroy the Jewish holy order – not that the Romans would have minded too much, except as an occupying force, they would have sought to keep the Jews “in their place”. Pilate would be keen to “keep the peace” – as the envoy from Rome, he would be blamed if dangerous uprisings threatened the stability of the Roman occupation. How very modern and News 24 it all sounds…

It is the final statement of Jesus that is used most often today, to quell doubt and the inevitable questioning that follows – questioning that might destabilise the current religious establishments, much in the way Annas and Ciaiphas feared the influence of Jesus:

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Of course “They” or blessed; “They” do not have the gnawing doubt; “They” do not have the moments of elation, followed by misgivings. “They” are the believers.

But then, what is “Belief” and would you die for your belief, without the proof Thomas needed? Perhaps more importantly, would you take the risk of losing that belief in the light of critical analysis, or would you prefer to embrace what you perceive as “The Mystery”, and are afraid that investigation will reveal “the light” to be an illusion? It may be more virtuous to doubt courageously, than to hide behind a group-screen of blind belief and conformity.

The Blessing of Thomas for me is that I do not feel so alone in my doubt.

illustration at top of page:

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