14th March ~ A Sacred Song for Christians and Pagans

•March 14, 2008 • 2 Comments

P2110038

(photo (c)soulMerlin/henry metcalfe) I took it one very early morning around two weeks ago – the dew is real and not faked by a sprinkler ūüôā ¬†

One of my favourite hymns has always been “Morning Has Broken” by Eleanor Farjeon. It was my favourite hymn as a child and continues to be so. I included it in my mother’s funeral service, together with “Jerusalem” and I never fail to be ‘lifted’ by the lyrics, which I feel can be enjoyed by both Christians and Muslims and also by those who follow the ‘Wild Soul’ of the ancient Pagan ways. I really cannot think of a Faith which would not respond to the natural reverence of Eleanor’s lyrics

The first line “Morning has broken like the first morning” never fails to move me and lines such as “praise for the secrets of the wet garden”, “like the first dewfall” and especially “God’s recreation of the new day”, show a spirituality which I think can be shared by all people, irrespective of their faith or belief.

It is significant to me that the song/hymn was recorded by the singer Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) who turned his back on fame to become a headmaster and a devout Muslim. Yusuf came to see our West-End production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat a few years ago and sat smiling in the front row – a simple and unpublicised visit which showed a unity of faith and belief that is much needed at present.

(here’s a short version with illustrations of Spring)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=7ESHjYat9rk

(and now the full version with Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=1TWd3skb-Rw

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God’s recreation of the new day

lyrics by Eleanor Farjeon

 

Eleanor Farjeon shows a natural spirituality and a love of nature in her work. A prolific writer, she has in my opinion, not only crossed over, but has taken up the tramlines that separate creed and culture. I looked her up in Wikipedia discovered that one of her first books was ‘Pan-Worship and Other Poems (1908)’

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_Farjeon

I think that many of us have cause to thank her for the lyrics of such a beautiful song

~

 

 

the term “Wild Soul” is taken from “Living Druidry” by Emma Restall Orr, Head of the international Druid Network

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Druid-Priestess-Emma-Restall-Orr/dp/0007107692

13th February 2008 ~ The Lure of the Night

•February 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment
the-moon-2.jpg

There is something wild about the night

I become a small child, listening to a story of a nymph and a goblin

of creatures that reflect the twilight nature of my secret self

~

 

Overheard on a Salt Marsh

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?

Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?

Give them me.
No.

Give them me. Give them me.
No.

Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.

Goblin, why do you love them so?

They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man’s fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.

Hush, I stole them out of the moon.

Give me your beads, I want them.
No.

I will howl in the deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.
No.

harold munro

 

 

A Lost-Love Spell at Bedtime

•December 18, 2007 • 3 Comments

450px-AntonioCanova_PsycheRevivedByCupidsKiss

Technorati Tags: ,

Night-time is when the pain of a lost-love is often at it’s greatest. Instead of pacing around in a cloud of self-indulgent grief, perhaps it’s better to do something constructive and Weave a Spell.

When you go to bed – no matter how much you’re grieving, go through this simple process if you want another chance…..

The One Last Chance Spell

Lie in bed and relax totally.

Check your hands and arms – Feet and legs and gradually relax until your body seems to melt into the bed.

After a while (5 to 15mins or even more if your really tense and upset)

Become aware of your breathing; In through the mouth and out through the nose; regular and steady.

Don’t over-ventilate – Just steady breathing.

With each exhalation, visualize your breath as creating a red ball-shaped mist in the air above you

Each exhalation increases the density of the “ball”

Your breath is red – full of Love and Passion.

See your lovers face in the middle of the red-mist ball

Don’t use words (this is my own method, as I do not personally respond to quasi-medieval incantations) just see your lover and send out feelings of love to him or her.

Wordlessly create within yourself the desire that your lost-love will think of you and miss you

Near the end of the spell, repeat in your mind “another chance please”

(but try to do it wordlessly – just the emotion – make sure you are not being intrusive and manipulative – it’s only a chance not a contract)

then

realise that a return may not be the best for your lover and honour that realisation

“but only if you wish”

(see your Lover clearly – even if it hurts to visualise them)

Now inhale and swallow the red ball

Finish with

“I Love you”

Have Faith and Go to Sleep.

~

The next day, spend some time analysing why your lover left you. If it is your fault (any fault) resolve to change your ways – Do that and wait in full optimism for their return.

If they return (and they almost always will) resolve not to make the same mistakes again – there is no second chance.

illustration: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:AntonioCanova_PsycheRevivedByCupidsKiss.JPG

soulMerlin

15/Nov/07~A Selfish Spell at Dawn…

•November 16, 2007 • 1 Comment

Technorati Tags: , , ,

dawn-450.jpg


Around 1982, I had a young friend called Heather. Heather was a dancer in a show I choreographed, which was billed as the premier summer spectacular of Margate‚Äôs finest moments, but for some reason (maybe the reason is obvious) failed to attract more than a handful of people each day, despite having Norman Vaughan (remember ‚Äėroses grow on you‚Äô?) and ‚ÄúThe Great Soprendo‚ÄĚ a magician, who was in fact Chris Durham, the husband of Victoria Wood and also Renee and Renato of the one hit ‚ÄúSave Your Love‚ÄĚ.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX2bjYmUM5U

Heather was in love with a young singer called Ralph, who after first becoming very close and attentive to Heather, had recently drawn more distant and unloving. My young friend was determined to regain the full focus of his attentions and confided her love-plight to me.

As it happened, I was also in the midst of my own love-plight drama; I was it love with a dark eyed nymph who resembled (almost exactly) Jennifer Beals on the poster of Flashdance; the nymph however, seemed to be dancing ever further from the heat of my own passion. Heather and I discussed the similarities of our love problems and decided to combine forces and invoke a love spell to end all invocations of the heart.

I have always had a fascination with the occult and with ‚Äėotherworlds‚Äô. I can remember when I was quite small – around three years old – having a recurring nightmare fantasy of what was named by CS Lewis, as That Hideous Strength. I can recall the drum-beats of Hell rumbling toward me in my half-sleep and of a fear of Evil that was a confrontation too far for the small mite I then was. I had a florid imagination, fired by the beginning of an ability that I didn‚Äôt really understand and consequently treated like a game. I was indeed ‚ÄúThe Sorcerer‚Äôs Apprentice‚ÄĚ; unaware of just how potent a spell could be and of it‚Äôs affect on people‚Äôs lives.

In full ‚Äúapprentice‚ÄĚ mode, I looked up love spells in a variety of esoteric books I had collected and in a Grimoire I had bought by mail order, and found a spell to be performed at the first light of dawn, whilst facing the East and the rising sun.

Heather knocked on my door at around 4.15 am and we set off toward a park I had spotted, complete with four golden candles which I had purified with salt for the previous twenty-four hours and the Grimoire which contained the ritual invocation we were to chant as the first rays of the sun broke the dark horizon.

I can remember trying to light the candles – after half a box of matches and a sudden lull in the busy little breeze, I managed to get all four lit. Together Heather and I acknowledged the four directional powers and turned our full attention to the east and to its element of Air and the yellow-gold aura symbolized by the now spluttering candles.
I must admit to feeling a little foolish as Heather and I stood, chanting our invocation to draw our respective lovers back to us, but the expression on Heather’s face showed that was fully intent on the task in hand and so together we chanted the invocation a full seven times, until the breeze grew and extinguished the candles one by one.

The results were almost immediate; by the evening, Ralph had phoned Heather and arranged a night out and I had also been contacted by the Nymph, who was intent on coming down from Scotland to see me that weekend.

It would be nice to say that all ended in happy togetherness, but it didn’t. Both our partners seemed almost zombie-like in their attachments to us and not entirely happy. It was as if they were compelled to be with us, against their own will. As the following days passed, the happy reunions Heather and I had desired had turned to a numb listlessness.

And then it ended. The sad thing was that I no longer felt the same about my Jennifer Beals look-alike and Heather was glad to wave goodbye to Ralph.

In the final analysis, there seems little difference between a Spell and a Prayer – both work – but a Spell is often (due to the motivation of the practitioner) more selfish.

Then again – how many selfish Prayers have you made?

Perhaps they were Spells and you didn’t realise it.

Both Spells and Prayers have immense power

copyright-free photograph “Red Dawn” from Wikimedia http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Red_sunrise_-_swifts_creek.jpg

The Moon ~ Of Corn Fields and Shooting Stars

•October 13, 2007 • 1 Comment

When I was small, I had an alarm clock with two pixies on a seesaw that rocked back and forth as the seconds passed.  Behind the pixies and the glade on which they played their nocturnal game, rose a turreted castle under a night sky filled with stars and a crescent moon. I can remember the stars and the moon glowing in the dark beside my bed, but because the pixies where not decorated with luminous paint, only the ticking of the clock betrayed their unseen rocking.

       

 

 

śó•śú¨Ť™ě¬†¬†

I have always been fascinated by the hours between dusk and dawn; when¬†the¬† blue lid of the sky has been¬†removed and¬†I am only a gravity-switch away from flying into¬†an infinity of stars and planets.¬† I can remember one magic night,¬†more years ago than it seems,¬†lying in a corn-field with a girl whose name I remember but will not share.¬† We had spent the¬†evening in a country-pub,¬†the sort with horse-brasses down either side of¬†an open hearth¬†and a ceiling festooned with pewter tankards.¬† When at last “Time” was called, we walked across the moon-silver countryside,¬†until we found ourselves in a¬† field where the¬†late august corn¬†rose above our knees.¬† I can remember spreading my jacket over the corn stalks¬†so that we could lie¬†together and look¬†into the¬†curved infinity –¬†in love with infatuation.¬† The¬†goddess hung in¬†a clear star-filled sky,¬†with only a few smokey clouds passing over her oval face –¬†and the corn sang.¬†

I will never forget that night. The girl and the moon became the same in the romance of my mind.  We lay quietly and watched a shooting star curve above us, followed by another and yet again, until the jealous clouds gathered and the goddess faded from our view.

Some weeks later I received a letter, full of corn-fields and shooting stars, but we never met again.  If the moon was a galleon on-course to Neverland, we were also ships that passed that night, on our separate journeys to our different destinations. 

Whenever I look at a harvest moon I remember. 

O Fortuna                           O Fortune,
velut luna                          like the moon
statu variabilis,                   you are changeable,
semper crescis                      ever waxing
aut decrescis;                      and waning;
vita detestabilis                   hateful life
nunc obdurat                        first oppresses
et tunc curat                       and then soothes
ludo mentis aciem,                  as fancy takes it;
egestatem,                          poverty
potestatem                          and power
dissolvit ut glaciem.               it melts them like ice.

Carl Orff – Carmina Burana