Respondens Vitae

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(Image: ‘Allegory of Life’ by Guido Cagnacci)

‘The Mistress of Vision’
by Francis Thompson;
(1859–1907)

WHERE is the land of Luthany?
Where is the tract of Elenore?
I am bound therefor.

‘Pierce thy heart to find the key;
With thee take
Only what none else would keep;
Learn to dream when thou dost wake,
Learn to wake when thou dost sleep.
Learn to water joy with tears,
Learn from fears to vanquish fears;
To hope, for thou dar’st not despair,
Exult, for that thou dar’st not grieve;
Plough thou the rock until it bear;
Know, for thou else couldst not believe;
Lose, that the lost thou may’st receive;
Die, for none other way canst live.
When earth and heaven lay down their veil,
And that apocalypse turns thee pale;
When thy seeing blindeth thee
To what thy fellow-mortals see;
When their sight to thee is sightless;
Their living, death; their light, most lightless;
Search no more—
Pass the gates of Luthany, tread the region Elenore.’
Where is the land of Luthany,
And where the region Elenore?
I do faint therefor.

‘When to the new eyes of thee
All things by immortal power,
Near or far,
Hiddenly
To each other linkèd are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star;
When thy song is shield and mirror
To the fair snake-curlèd Pain,
Where thou dar’st affront her terror
That on her thou may’st attain
Perséan conquest; seek no more,
O seek no more!
Pass the gates of Luthany, tread the region Elenore.’

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

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(Image: ‘Meditative Rose’ by Salvador Dali; 1958)

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Towards Tomorrow’s Dawn

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Another turn of the Mill, onward and upward I strive until I am aloft in the Halls of Heaven.

Do I recognise myself, another year passed? Do I recognise others? As momentum skews the observer’s vision of their external environment. I have seen such folly! A warning to the pilgrim to not fall foul of acting the same. Mere opinion deems one paradigm better than another. Humbly consider that one man’s tree is as great as another’s; whether a system clawing back the bones of the dead, a system aspiring toward lofty idealism or a hybrid of differing approaches, it is only through the fruit that it yields may it be known to any deeper degree.

Yet too, I have seen such yearning from true Seekers of the awakened heart, what inspiration and nourishment these pilgrims offer to one another!

I have stumbled and tripped forward as I traverse this pilgrims’ way. I am not infallible, I am not without fault, I am human and I am that I am, I am no more or no less than this. What a gift the awareness of this state is! A zero-point of being. As the Holy Fool, we can travel the road in a state of profound being, forget not, however, that the Fool carries the weight of past thought, word and deed upon his staff, whether from a previous existence or from the turn of Mill just gone. Each carries the self-constructed load upon their staff, each has their self-made cross to bear. Yet a step at a time we may move forward nonetheless. Carnal desire seeks to grasp at the legs, to make the pilgrim fall and halt the journey’s progression, yet with an ambiguous smile let us move ahead.

A year passed, what is shown for it? Are we a step nearer to becoming a ‘decent’ human being? Have the months past brought us each collectively a step closer to God? Or has it been a year of accumulating trinkets and opinion? What are the fruits of your individual paths this year?

The words that shall accompany this wanderer through 2013 are; ‘Physician Heal Thyself’. What words shall accompany you?

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle.

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Letter to the Lover

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Most Beloved Lady, You who have loved freely and are scorned for such. You whom the gods seek counsel and aid.

You, whose distaff has spun creation, whose girdle denotes Your unsullied office. You who rides with the Winds, granting Life and bestowing Death

Who holds the golden radiance of the Sun, whose pale complexion haunts and intrigues like the Moon. Your eyes glisten as the ever-burning Stars and your ruby lips remind of the blood-bond shared since inception.

May You treasure I who will be tempered until am a shining jewel to adorn Your body.

We have enjoyed a chase, a tryst. You have danced for me. I have laid myself down for you, upon you. Yet you have surmounted me and directed me. You treat me as Your beloved, though truly as my Lady I serve You.

You whisper to me and I linger on every word. You’ve shown me wonders and offer more. The servant is crowned. I crumble in Your presence and give You all that I can.

I have no name save the one You call me, my only face is the one You hold dear.

Together in this embrace Time is overcome and the Wasteland erupts in bloom.

Together I have died and am reborn…

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle.

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Mundus Occulta Lux

Many of the varying Gnostic sects were view as ‘World-haters’, trapped in mortal and material existence by a cruel and callous Demiurgic figure, erroneously assumed in this modern day to have been solely the Judeo-Christian ‘personage’ of ‘God the Father’. Judeo-Christianity too has in many of its forms nurtured an outlook toward domination of the World, as if Providence Herself provided playthings for Man to enslave for mere gratification and proof of ‘superiority’, this conclusion has been reached through misguided interpretation of:

18 And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

~ Gen. 2; 18-20. (KJV)

A number of esoteric traditions view this ‘help’ provided as differing means to know the Totality and this mortal existence as a place of schooling for the individual soul and ascension of spirit towards desired union with Godhead.

We are irrevocably bound to the World, not to be seen as a shackled bondage but as bond of necessity. The Old Ones, given many names and guises through Time and culture, had ‘fallen’ to the Worldly sphere in order to provide differing avenues and filters to attain Gnosis.

This existence isn’t one of dread and dire entrapment but one which has all in balance, it is through the acceptation and perception of mortal Man to how they react to stimuli at any given moment, will one day be lived through the lens of severity or the lens of mercy? The beauty of Nature is balance of all forces. The beauty of the World mirrors the sublime purity of Godhead for all to experience and ‘know’. This love and beauty lends a direct bridge to Gnosis. With this view, material existence becomes the most awe-inspiring eternal theophany, not a landscape to be militantly conquered and nor a squeaky-clean Disney-esque fantasy for its mere form to be worshipped. Divine grace offers a myriad of sensible and non-sensible forms of expression in order to match the myriad of souls in reception of them and aid them in their yearning for God on an individual basis.

As stated above, throughout Nature or the sensible World, She provides a wide range of knowing completely; instead of writing off as superstition that which has been retained in song or rhyme such as “One for sorrow” rhyme:

“One for sorrow,

Two for mirth,

Three for a wedding,

And four for death.”

~ ‘Observations on Popular Antiquitites’, Brand, J. (1780)

;

Briefly consider the development of such a rhyme through the practice of Augury; to know the thought or will of the gods through the flight of birds. This is just one creature, one method of understanding, one step closer in embracing All That Is. Consider now all that has been offered to us to know and to explore, all that has been relegated to superstition through loss of context and understanding, the multiple ways in which we can see Divine within and without us.

Remember that in darkness the Holy Breath swept over the face of the waters (Gen. 1; 2) and Light was then given, it wasn’t just dead form to be manipulated and abused as it had received the first inspiration, it was inspirited by Herself. Woden hung from a wind-swept tree before the mysteries were open to him; he also learnt that which was hidden from him via the enchanting and beautiful Lady of the Vanir, Freya, the most beloved of the gods. The ‘Sons of God’ too taught Humanity the different arts and crafts, of civilisation and of survival, as the Watchers, know that their voices remain for those who will lose themselves and listen, as the Old Ones, know that they never left..

Fall not to a false sense of pride and superiority, how can a work of art stand proud when it lies shattered in a thousand pieces on the floor? The artist silently laments as a repairer is dutifully working on reconstruction.

‘He who has ears, let him hear!’

Listen indeed to the whispers on the wind; do not look past auspicious signs offered in plain sight. She is trying to open your eyes, open your hearts; in reverence for offered Beauty may you cross the bridge to Gnosis and may that in turn be your key back Home.

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

“Strength in Your Arms”

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‘Most gracious Lady,
when I fall,
Hold me.

When filled with Love,
but am greeted with Hate,
Comfort me.

When I give all
And my body breaks,
Heal me.

If words fail,
And deeds falter,
Teach me.

In times of solitude,
lost in creation,
Know me.

If this death,
Be all for naught,
Mourn me.

When gathered Home,
And at your side,
Love me.’

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

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Living Gethsemane

‘Gethsemane’ by Carl Bloch (1879)

I have been a student of the Mysteries for most of my life. I have been an ‘initiate’ of traditions for some years and without doubt further years still. Call me ‘Brother’, ‘Frater’, ‘Sir’ or ‘Mister’, whichever so pleases you and seems to fit at the time, it is of no consequence.

Though have I lived a life worthy of distinction from the populus?

No, I can’t say that I have. Not distinct in any way that is worthy of praise, if any distinction is to be made let it be for pity upon me instead. For who is to be laden more-so with accountability, the one who ‘sins’ in ignorance or the man who transgresses though as one of ‘knowing’?

Truly, She knows every hair on my head; my inner-most thoughts, my words, my deeds, each one and all are put before God. Yet still, She offers me to partake of the chalice, in drinking from such I am doomed, in drinking from such I am indebted. Every day I bear my Cross, I have received but when shall I reciprocate? Am I strong enough to hang on the tree and endure the five wounds, the Round of Life? Will I rise gloriously in Her Name? Or will I be labelled merely as a fallen messiah? Dutifully laying in the womb of the tomb.

Man is unable to read the thoughts and the feelings of the hermit hiding in the cave or cell, no matter how well-intended those thoughts are. Man benefits from action, from selfless behaviours not self-gratifying wanderings of mortal minds.

This is where Love is the bridge, between internal germination and external flowering. This is where I pray that Love shall expose the Light from under the bushels of crania and facades of persona and shall illuminate each and every individual as they interact throughout this web of existence. After all, what merit is there for hoarding gold for gold’s own sake? If one holds more than is necessary for individual need of survival, shouldn’t it be shared for the survival and development of the whole Kingdom?

Indeed, preaching an uncomfortable message will lead one to be mocked, jeered as they experience the course of the five wounds. My message does not appeal to all, maybe the imagery causes some to close their eyes and ears, maybe the message is of no consequence to them? Enjoy hearing it again in the next round.

True, any fool can achieve execration from society, talk is indeed cheap when ‘the proof will be in the pudding’, as it is said.

Christed by She who is Lover, announces me both as a regent and a dead-man.

Will She take this cup from me? Not by my will, but by Hers……

Not likely.

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

‘Valkyrie’ by H. W. Bissen (1835)

“Last Breath and Beyond”

‘The Accolade’ by Edmund Blair Leighton (1901)

“Queen of All, Fair Beauty, Dark Enchantress!

I, of low birth, am blessed to be called kin,

A wandering poet was I,

not knowing the true extent of my sacred heritage.

Bound by no land,

but by blood.

You, would choose me as champion,

I, had no choice at all,

Your Name cannot be denied,

my loyalty cannot be questioned,

Lady, my Light,

my Life!

A servant to my kinsmen,

Of no design but Your own,

Grant Your kin wholeness,

honour and steadfast hearts.

Though Queen,

You bear the mead-horn to kin,

You offer toward foreigners too,

A pure heart is admission into Your hall,

renowned as Many Seated.

Always I shall carry you,

until shod with blood and bare-back breaks,

then I will carry You further still;

until each kingdom has been graced with Your Light

and kin are safely Home again.

Til my last breath and beyond”

 

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

Drinking Horn from the Sutton Hoo Hoard
(The British Museum)

“The World Ablaze”

(Image: “The Fall of Lucifer” by Gustave Doré)

Am I fallen now?

 

Once at the lofty heights of heaven, my gaze thought that it had found you in the depths of the underworld. Now, I find myself at the level of men. Why?

 

Am I forsaken now? Am I a herald?

 

Is it a gift to be a bearer of Light, or is it my curse to be losing a position once held? One standing at the side of the throne. Pious, was I. Unabashedly devout I remain.

 

Descent through Love.

 

Merely a single flame in a sea of pitch, am I here to ignite the world?

I will lose myself in the process.

 

A death decreed for the Love of All.

 

A word scorned in this misguided aeon, to reject “Love” is to lose all inheritance in existence. To mock free offerings of Love is to lose Humanity.

 

I am dying for you,

and I will die in every age,

til the world is set ablaze

in Love.

 

In Lux Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle.

“The Vigil” by John Pettie (1884)

Venusian Vernacular

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(Image: “Lamia” by John William Waterhouse; 1905)

Golden tears shall fall,

nourishment seeking Man’s inspired mind,

one sup from the gleaming-draught,

enchantment ensues,

for lover and beloved it is the seduction of Sacrifice.

 

Dawn and dusk, I see You waiting,

Liminal Brightness,

blinding to the unprepared soul,

neither this, nor that,

yet You are it All!

 

“Touch me.” You say. “I am within reach.”

“Keep trying.” ………. “Loosen your fetters and run free as you should!”

 

“You need not taste Death, in order to ride with Me….”

“……..though if you fail to heed my calling I shall take what is mine…. you!

You mortal shell, immortal fire,

the fragile hope of my desire!”

 

I hear You, in You I am doomed.

 

Your breath intoxicates, myself forgotten.

I live in You.

Is this Death? Or if not, Birth?

Thrice burned and born,

the living tithe of Love.

 

 

In Lux Veritas,

 

The Cunning Apostle

 

Image(Image: “In the Venusberg” by John Collier; 1901)

Necessarium Haeresis

‘For nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered and nothing secret that will not become known.’ (Matthew 10:26)

Heresy, what more a succinct way to burn the proverbial bridges than this? Heretical proclamations are sometimes delivered for mere satisfaction of the ego, other times they are delivered out of necessity, how the proclamations are received is dependent on the discretion of the audience.

Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.’ (Matthew 10:34)

Does peace in this instance suggest the habitual order of things, the comfortable ‘status quo’? The verses immediately following the above quoted suggest that it is indeed the case:

‘for I have come to set man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s foes will be members of one’s household.’ (Matthew 10:35-36)

Societal order, expected norms are threatened to be destroyed and those who desire more their constructed realm of comfort than the path laid out before them will be left as a shade within illusion, as it is written; ‘Those who find their life will lose it, and those who will lose their life for my sake will find it.’ (Matthew 10:39).

Words of an Adversary no less; words of one who strives to enlighten the listener. These are the words of Jesus whom is Lucifer.

‘I have come not to bring peace, but a sword.’

This adversarial sword of Judgement is none other than ‘the Word’, for it is written ‘the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God’ (Ephesians 6:17). Let Robin-the-Dart’s (Magister of the Clan of Tubal Cain) statement also be remembered here:

‘May the Word protect you from the Lie.’

And also:

 “The Word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight.” (Hebrews 4:12)

 One would do well to remember the first mention of the sword within the Old Testament, in the book of Genesis:

‘and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life’ (Genesis 3:24)

 The Cherubim and flaming sword are placed ‘at the east of the garden of Eden’, east being the compass point directing us to the element of Fire, the point of the rising sun/son, the bringer of Lux, Dawn’s radiant Light. The orthodoxy of Abrahamic faiths place the altar in the east and some esoteric traditions also count their direction of veneration in the east, however, let another perspective be held in regards to this. Rather than one worshiping what is in the east and holding that direction as the desired destination in itself, let one consider that it is the journey toward the east and the en-Lightened perspective that is gained upon completion and return hence from to the origin-point (if Grace be granted) which is key. We then approach Eden/Origin, from an en-Lightened perspective, which is metaphorically suggested as approaching from an eastern direction. The approach is then brought to a halt by the guardianship of the flaming sword which is the keeper of the way to the Tree of Life, again placed in eastern orientation. ‘The Word’ then, or the One who wields such, is seen as keeper of the Way. He is the guardian to Her; the enlightener, or to repeat what is written as the words of Jesus:

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; No man cometh unto the Father *(Ineffable Creatrix/Truth/Wyrd)* but by me.” (John 14:6)

 The flaming of the sword lends forth the imagery of Tubal-Cain, the smith avatar of Lucifer. Not only does the sword guard the way, but upon contact with its flames all is transformed, as fire burns the dross from the ore and the cleansed material is then tempered and refined further within Tubal Cain’s forge until deemed a worthy article, we will be “tested by fire” and it shall be a “fiery ordeal” (1 Peter 1:7 & 4:12). Let it be seen that the uncompromising necessity for transmutation will be dealt by He who is ‘the way’; before Eden’s gate will be clear in order for pilgrimage Home from exile in the East will be achieved and so then finally succour will be provided by She who is the Tree of Life. Judgement must come before Mercy can be bestowed, and through the presence of the sword may the pilgrim be scorched with Grace so as the return to Eden can then be granted.

 As one hears the adversarial words of Jesus saying: ‘I have come not to bring peace, but a sword.’, let us remember then who He really is and that His is an action of necessity in order for the illusion of the status quo to be overcome and all to be transmuted according to His mastery of the spiritual Fire, truly the ‘Word of God’.

“When Thomas returned they enquired ‘What did Jesus say?’

Thomas replied, “If I tell you what he had said,

you will pick up stones and hurl them at me;

And fire will come out of the rocks and consume you.”

(Gospel of Thomas)

In Lux Et Veritas,

The Cunning Apostle

“Cherubim and a Flaming Sword” by J. Kirk Richards