“Pan – Hermes as the Lord or Guardian of the Earth can be seen in this image as the manifestation of ideas onto the physical plane via the creation of form.
Pan as Lord of Arcadia is the guardian of hidden sanctuaries, caves, grottoes and places of worship that are, have been, and continue to be sacred to those who visit them as part of their cultural heritage. Unfortunately, over the years much misfortune has come to these physical places, especially during times when belief structures changed. The Roman equivalent of this horned one is that of a cloven hoofed faun who is one of the incarnations of Hermes wielding his magical staff.
This archetype of Pan is connected with January and Saturn as the part of the year when in the gregorian calendar, the previous year is ending and another is beginning. The astrological sign associated with this image is that of Capricorn, or the mountain goat. The qualities you find when considering this image are that of stability, inner resources, down to earth with no nonsense attitudes and knowing yourself well enough to recognise what you are required to change in order to progress. Better the Devil you know.”
“The “Art of Temperance” heralds the beginning of a process which requires bravery on the part of the seeker for it means putting yourself into the cauldron of regeneration. This may take years or months once the process has begun, as each and every person going through the experience will have different life circumstances and progression. So what occurs slowly for one person over a lifetime may happen in a short space of time for someone else.
On early Tarot decks this image has an angelic figure pouring water between two vessels and is associated with the figure of Aquarius, the water bearer, with a foot on the land and a foot in the water. Endlessly transferring the living water between the two urns signifying the ebb and flow of life force in the individual concerned. On the Initiate’s way image the angelic figure is facilitating the rebirth of the individual in the cauldron, by breathing out the phoenix at the end of the process of alchemical transformation.
Consciously put yourself into this cauldron and choose what it is that you want to change. You can begin by asking the cauldron for a gift. If the gift that you wish for is success then you will have to be prepared to put in the work and the effort, as that will also be required for you to bring it to fruition. It’s no good asking for fame and fortune then sitting back and waiting for the process to happen all of its own accord!”
The process of birthing this image has taken many twists and turns. Looking through magical journals I saw an entry about a path working that I had done for the Empress using the Thoth Tarot deck many many years ago. When I had gone to sleep that night I dreamed of barefoot walking through a frosty woodland, and coming across a stag in the woods.
Many years passed after this encounter and then I saw a stag again in a dream. Appearing to me as the archetypical figure of the spirit of the woods, and I often see him now during mediations and journeying with my drum.
He is a guardian of the otherworld, a doorkeeper standing sentry to greet those who seek to enter.
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“You are dealing here with a reversal of the ordinary and a completely different perspective from that which you are used to. The fact that the figure is hanging upside down and doesn’t look at all bothered about it, suggests that this has been a voluntary course of action and a self sacrifice for the greater good.
You could say that it is a willingness to immerse ones self in the true nature of things, in order to achieve and complete the great work that we are all capable of. This is the image of the Mystics and those who are unafraid to travel in the shadow lands, to further understand their place in the world and the nature of things.
In some decks the figure is poised with one leg crossed at the knee resting behind the other which forms the symbol for sulphur, suggesting the attainment of or reaching for the completion of something. The connecting of spirit within and without, the god- consciousness or however you decide to look at it in terms of your own understanding.
You are suspended at this point in the spiritual journey as you question everything, including your reasons for being, and the surrendering of yourself to that which is bigger than you, and for the greater good of all. Knowing your place in the world however obscure that may seem to others around you and trusting that once you have answered that higher calling and begin to step out on your own and with the acceptance of responsibility for yourself, even though the journey may not be as easy as you thought it might be.”
Excerpt from the Initiate’s Way.
If you would like to perform the path working for the Drowned Man, the video is below.
If you would like to order a copy of the Initiate’s Way you can get this directly from the Publisher.
After much blood, sweat and tears the Initiate’s Way book has finally made it to print. It really has been a groundbreaking momentous journey for me while writing this book, and to see it in its final printed format was one of the most emotional moments of my life.
The 22 pathworkings included in the book preceded the imagery and are the result of many years of studying, meditating and inner seeking. The magickal images I painted after doing the inner workings, which can serve as a focal point as I guide you step by step through the process of the whole journey.
Using creative visualisation you can discover your own innate wisdom. You will learn simple breathing techniques, and how to bring the magical images to life within your imagination. You create your own healing sanctuary, awaken the god and the goddess, and bring forth your own inner teacher or guide. This book will teach you how to work internally with each of the twenty-two magical archetypes, so that you can perform spiritual alchemy on yourself and bring change into your life.
Every conscious step you take into the Initiate’s Way is signposted by these magical images and as you take time to study, meditate with, and explore each of them in turn you will become your true and authentic self.
This book contains full colour plates of the twenty-two magical images which correlate with the Tarot. They each tell the archetypical story of the spiritual journey into enlightenment.
You can, as a solitary practitioner, use this book to learn how to build up magical images and tread each step of this amazing journey for yourself. If you are working within a group, it can serve as a guidebook for creative visualisations during the year, to align with the seasons. If you work in a group or coven, one of the group members can lead the others through each stage of the journey. This path takes strength and courage as you become who you are truly meant to be.
I have worked with lots of people over the years using the material presented here, in small groups, and with the turn of events this year, it felt like it was time for the creation to take on a life of its own. The groundwork was there. The 22 parts of the journey road tested by myself, and others, and the feedback from those participating convinced me that this could be a useful tool for anyone who wanted to begin to use their creative imagination to make positive and lasting changes.
When I first started out writing this book it was for a number of reasons. It was a learning experience for me and as I was travelling the inner realms myself and journalling, it occurred to me that this was not just the product of my own imagination. That I had tapped into a source, a stream of wisdom that I could share with others in the hope that they too could share the path and access these inner resources. Along the way I met inner teachers, archetypes, gods and goddesses and entered a magickal world that became more real to me with every journey. It also felt like something I was ‘meant’ to do, That there had been preparation in past lives which I started to recall while participating in the pathworkings myself.
My understanding of spiritual alchemy is that it is a practical journey that you can embark upon, and that the gold is the enlightenment experience of reaching that place within, where innate knowledge erupts like a fountain. To attain that it was necessary to create the spaces in which to do the work. So after using the pathworkings myself for a few years I led small groups through the experiences, so we could share and learn from each other.
Essentially you are setting out on a mythical journey but it all takes place in your imagination using creative visualiation. I studied hypnotherapy in 2016 which really helped me to craft these into tools with purpose. Doing this inner work myself helped me to create a foundation upon which I could set future goals upon, reflect and categorise experiences and learn from them rather than repeating the same mistakes.
If you are ready to find out who you really are then this book is for YOU.
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Welcoming in Autumn in 2020 this year has been like the embrace of an old friend. Long awaited and just the right time for the Initiate’s Way book to be unleashed on the world. Merlin the Hermit has been instrumental in this process of guidance in the form of an inner guide, a teacher who stepped forward to lead the way, so that I could choose with confidence this path that I have taken.
This book contains full colour plates of the twenty-two magical images which correlate with the Major Arcana of the Tarot. They each tell the archetypical story of the spiritual journey into enlightenment.
You can, as a solitary practitioner, use this book to learn how to build up magical images and tread each step of this amazing journey for yourself. If you are working within a group, it is a guidebook for creative visualisations during the year, to align with the seasons. One of the group members can lead the others through each stage of the journey. This path takes strength and courage as you become who you are truly meant to be.
In Tarot usually you will find here a male figure of the wise old man archetype which I attribute to Merlin. The importance of silence and retreat from the physical world for the purpose of meditation is stressed here, and the internal seeking of one’s own being.
In terms of psychology this archetype represents a journey into the underworld or the world of shadows. If you cast a light onto something, it casts a shadow and you cannot ignore it, instead you must retreat further into the silence and reintegrate these parts of yourself before you can progress any further on this journey.
In silence, solitude and retreat is where you can heal yourself, by going within and spending time alone. It is an intensely personal journey and each person is unique by having different life circumstances, but if you do not allow yourself significant time to explore the shadows and avoid doing inner work on yourself, it can manifest in physical and mental illness. The hermit is carrying a staff which is topped with the orphic egg, also being protected by the snake that is climbing up the staff, this is a universal symbol for wisdom.
The chapter for the Initiates Way concerning the Hermit and Numerology is a fantastic contribution written by Richard Abbot.
I have to thank Richard from the bottom of my heart for his numerological readings and the guidance that he gave me because it was priceless, at the outset of the journey of writing the Initiate’s Way.
Richard is Author of ten wonderful books and is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to be reckoned with. I would highly recommend his services if you every found yourself in need of his counsel.
It took me nearly a day to paint this image. Once I had finished painting it I decided to go for a drum journey and visit the tunnel in the picture to see where it would take me. The image was painted from a photograph I took of one of the entrances in the Valley of the Caves, or Grottes de Saulges in Thorigné-en-Charnie, in France.
Visit the Valley of the Caves and Prehistoric Museum Website.
There is a prehistoric network of caves that is well documented in the Museum. Previously in the week I had recorded a drum journey outside in preparation for the new moon so that I could listen to this on headphones to do some journeying to explore the caves.
6th Aug 2020
I saw a tunnel like the one I have just painted. Followed it in to the sound of the drumming. All of a sudden I was walking through caves of people who were drumming and chanting. There were lots of little fires and people huddles around them in the networks of caves. It was night time. There was a shamans hut that I felt drawn towards. I went in and she was hanging herbs to dry, and other things that I couldn’t quite make out. There was a cauldron bubbling. She had been expecting me! She ushered me to a space with furs and things to sit down on. Then she gave me something to drink. It was some kind of elixir she had prepared from roots and vines.
I drank it and lay down on the furs. It was like a veil was lifted and I could hear many voices that were all talking in different languages. As the ‘medicine’ began to work, the foreign languages began to make sense and I could understand them all. Lots of information ready for me to translate and speak in my world on my return.
The image I saw of the shaman looked like a carved image from the book which I had brought home from the museum. Showing only her eyes, the shape of her head and braided hair with a crosshatched style on the top of her head. Perhaps she was carved to represent some kind of medicine woman?
When I came around from the drumming journey I went in to speak to my mum and she said she had heard me drumming outside. Interesting thing is that I was listening on headphones to the drumming journey and not playing it out loudly on any kind of speakers. Except perhaps the frequency that I was broadcasting on, which my mum had picked up on from inside the house.
If you would like to try the drumming journey for yourself I would be very interested to hear what kind of an experience you have with it.
If you would like to come and join the Initiate’s Way group on facebook to participate in group pathworkings you would be more than welcome.
During the current climate I decided to start recording some of the individual Pathworkings for the Initiate’s Way on Youtube.
The book is almost ready for publication so if you would like to try these, and see how you manage, please go to the playlist and start from the first episode, and work through the Tarot path workings at your leisure.
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