Many thanks for your kind letter, and the very good advice in it - however it is not what people said, but what they have done, which has hurt. John has also betrayed his trust - and spoken the name of a hereditary member to the Gardnerian's - who seeing that it is Taliesin, are now intent upon making trouble for him. As such when the Clans people get to hear about it, John will be put under the Ban - that I am sure of - and you know as well as I do, there is terror and death in that. The thing with Audrey and myself goes much deeper - but as you said - I should not get involved. Still enough of my troubles, and thank you for your attentions and prayers.
I am pleased to read that you know something of the old High Magic, not many do, although many claim to. Can you cast the Mound and the Skull? In fact thinking about it, I am more than pleased, since you are the first person I have met for many a long day who knows something about the Craft. I am in correspondence with a young man in the United States who seems to have a feel for it, but he has much to learn.
The mystery you speak of is that of the Broom. it is the basic magical and mystical practice, and corresponds with the exercise of the Qabalistic middle pillar. Unlike the principle and mystery of St. John though, the principle of Fire is removed, and that of Air put in its place. This practiced every day is the path way to the Seven Gates of perception - Now what is it all about.
The Faith is made of three parts - of which I know two. The first part is the masculine mysteries - in which is enshrined the search for the Holy Graal - and is the basis of the Arthurian legends. This is the order of the Sun - the Clan of Tubal Cain. Under it come learning, teaching, skill, bravery, and truthfulness. In the distant past, the male clan was lead by a woman who was their priestess and chieftan. This is the origin of the legend of Robin Hood - and surprisingly enough began the Old Testament, and later, Christianity since both Jesus and Moses alike preached a version of the Masculine mysteries - Mithriasm was also a development of this - and the tradition was followed through into the middle Ages when the Plantaganet Kings were officers of the masculine aspect of the Faith (The name 'Plantaganet' means 'The Devil's Clan'). The effect of the masculine mysteries upon the world can hardly be under emphasized - since a very considerable portion of civilization owes its origin to them. To name but a few - Commerce, Lawmaking, Law- giving, Parliament, The early forms of universities and craftsmen's guilds - which lead to knowledge being contained and taught, surveying, all sciences such as metallurgy, astronomy and so on ad infinitum. The masculine mysteries were the direct creators of modern civilization as we know it now. It must also be remembered that originally the Mystery was conducted by a woman - and that she was the presiding genius behind many of the fundamental discoveries that created civilization. These mysteries are depicted as a javelin, a cockerel upon a pillar, a ladder, a flail, a twelve-rayed sun and a ladder of eight rungs and a sword or battle ax. Basically they have to do with control over three of four elements, especially that of Fire.
Firstly then we must begin with the fundamental practice of the Faith - the correct way to approach an altar.
Have you ever watched cattle? The way one cow will always turn her back upon you and regard you over her shoulder? This then is the correct way to approach an altar. The cow is using 'kundalini' to analyse you, to sense out what you are, and whether you are dangerous, and she uses her spinal column as a sensory device - in much the same way as water diviners use a wand to sense water. Now the practice of kundalini, is as you know, the transmutation of sexual energy. So this is where the broom comes in - in the sense that this transmutes the energy of the sexual impulse into the higher grade energy of sensation, feeling and thought. Physically one perambulates a given number of times around the seven sided ring such as seven to call upon the seven stars. One stops in the exact center of the ring, and has the back to the altar, balancing upon the right foot, with the left foot pointing out, and looking over your shoulder at the altar - so that the spinal column forms a spiral - which incidentally you have already performed in your turning about the ring. At this point of balance - one begins the first principle of the broom - which equates to that of the Qabalistic Malkuth. Before the altar is greeted though, one prepares the ring by imagining a bright star very far away, and above your head. From this star should fall waves of light, and one should imagine that it is getting nearer - or rather you are getting nearer to it. The light should enter your body through the right shoulder, and work in a spiral downwards, and emit through the left foot upon stopping to greet the altar. As such the ring, which has been censed and purged by whatever method you use, is charged, and this in its turn becomes a well of wisdom - of the water of life. You like the trout spiral in this pool, and then by sheer poetry which should be spontaneous and inspired - take your body in an anti-clockwise spiral until it reaches the base of the spine - Malkuth - which is earth, and corresponds to the anus and the genital area surrounding it. This is the foundation, and the seat of all transmutation, since the area of skin between the anus and the sexual organs is that which holds the super-physical power. Hence broom stick riding, since in the past they rode a staff in order to activate that small area of sensation - and then transmuted it by mental power to the ascending snake. The broomstick was anointed with the flying ointment. I will demonstrate the techniques of the broom when we meet - and if you can get Jill and her mother along since I have a distinct respect for Jill's psychism - I will show you how to approach the Holy Ones - that is the Deities who rule us. In this exercise, and once it is fully carried out and understood - the final stages is that when a sensation of being near a great bell is felt, and your mind and body appears to tremble with the vibrations. It is at this point that you utter the prayer for whatever you are requiring - but always remember Norman - no man has power within himself, we are all but expressions of Godhead. This belief that tricks, or techniques bring power is a blasphemy since the magician is nothing but a channel for the forces he raises by prayer - and prayer and faith are the greatest secrets of them all. To be a channel of the force of Godhead is all we can ever hope to attain. obviously you are well aware of this - but having told others - I always add this as a precaution, since some people think that power comes from within.
The ritual you speak of is pretty basic, although we begin with movement - for that is the correct way to greet an altar, and end with sitting still. To run about brings an emotional release that should for purity sake be sexually released in its final stages - but for the big prizes one meets before the Knot the number of days devoted to the Goddess awakened, and then upon the knot, invokes the Goddess through 'The dark of night and the evening star meeting together', which as you should know is brought about in the beginning by "in an uneasy chair above Caer Ochren".
"Spinning without motion between three Elements" this was the way it was in Long Compton, Shropshire, Lancashire and the Isle of Man, and since one of my informants is now a very old man, who has been in it all his life - and understands both the Broom and the Sword - I should think it has been traditional for many centuries. I agree though about movement - but as you know movement of any spectacular sort is nearly impossible once "Bell tone" has been reached, since by then you are verging up on the other world and preparing to enter beneath the hall of the King. Forgive me for saying so but you seem to be confused slightly as to the actual making of power - this of course is not suggesting that you have failed in discovering power, but that you have discovered it instinctively - which will work for you, but for nobody else. The Star of David is, of course, the basic explanation of the Sword and Broom - do you know how to apply this principle, or have you followed your instincts? As such it forms a cross pattern at the base of the throat and forehead - and is extremely difficult to operate, since it is a point of perfect balance of two totally different yet complimentary forces - and the Noble Ones are loath to help, since once it is mastered, it gives incredible power to the master - but in the search for it, one can so easily be destroyed, for it is the genuine philosopher's work and Stone, and twice in my life I have grasped it, only to lose it again.
Really it is impossible to teach this - just as it is to teach someone how to bring the 'Morning Star and the Dead of Night together' by writing. It has to be demonstrated so that faith is created, and so a standard is wrought to work by. As for other rituals - The Cad Goduie and the Predui Annwm by Gwion, who was a poet in the twelfth century, will act as a gateway - since in poetic form (and that means in terms of images, a matter for which you have a gift) the answers are all ruled and laid out for the eye of the seer. You will find these in that very excellent book 'The White Goddess' by Robert Graves. It costs 12/6 and is published as a paperback by Faber. In that book is indicated wisdom, and by unraveling some of the riddles - wisdom is to be found.
Concerning your magic mirror .... with or without the horn? Or do you mean a scrying glass. I know of two mirrors, one the Lady holds by a very old piece of wood, and the other that is between my eyes. One mirror speaks of the trees (eight in all) of the forest, the other speaks of Tides that is still to come.
May the Hare, owl and pussy cat ...