Dear Joseph,

     Many thanks for your letter - which I enjoyed reading.

     I found your interpretation of the five Queen lines of Amergin of great interest, since it shows you are well on the road. Basically, they follow the Pentagram, that is Life, Love, Maternity, Wisdom, Death. Obviously, since the interpretation of the Faith is deeply personal, we differ somewhat in our approaches but basically we seem to be traveling in the same direction. The line "I am a Spear" refers to the Cauldron mystery - the original Holy Grail - in the sense that the Grail (Divine Inspiration) was activated originally by a priest bearing a spear, who like Sir Gawain performed the sacred marriage by thrusting the spear into the cauldron. Symbolically he was taking the principle of life made of ash and steel (Ash the Mother tree - earth - steel or iron the metal of Chronos - Wayland - the God of Time/physical life) and so continuing life by bringing down the principle of movement to earth - literally drawing down the Moon. In thrusting the spear the priest performed an act of love - thus bringing us to the next point of the ritual, "I am a Salmon". Ritually as you will find by reference to the Arthurian legends, he then withdrew the Spear, and cast drops of blood that fell from its tip upon the earth and surrounding congregation. This action was based upon observation of the actual mating habits of the salmon (a fish who anciently represented fertility and wisdom - there are records of trout or salmon being used for divination as late as the sixteenth century). The salmon comes in from the sea to spawn and die, but in dying the male salmon casts his sperm over the eggs - so a sequence of love and death is built up - which idea is confirmed by Gwion's further poem 'Preidui Annwn', when he writes - "Where the evening Star and the dark of night meet together". The ritual at this point is like the Catholic sacrament. The Host has been raised and transubstantiated - in other words spirit and matter have been brought together in the action of the ritual - as spirit and matter may be considered as the Female Spirit, and the Spear as phallic in the sense that the Goat God represents time or physical life, the ritual becomes that of Union or Love.

     The contents of the Cauldron are now transformed into the Aqua Vitae - the Waters of Life. Anciently, as Taliesin pointed out, the Water of Life was impregnated with one of the plants that bring dreams such as Fly Agaric mushroom, or the Peyote cactus. However I am not suggesting that you do this, since they have extremely bad side effects and need care, caution and discipline to use efficiently. However, the sacred drink is now administered in the same fashion as the wine of the sacrament. Now how does this tie up with Motherhood? The Goddess feeds us, as a mother does - so in this aspect She is Bountiful Nature - Mother Earth, feeding Her children, in the same way as any mother feeds the child. The priests of Isis carried a dish that was shaped like a female breast, and from the nipple fell a constant stream of water and milk, with perhaps wine mixed in it. So then the congregation at the assembly are fed with the Water of Life - which as you already appreciate is inspiration or spirit brought to earth. This is, apart from the actual physical/differences, exactly the same concept as the sacrament to be found in Christianity.

     Then we come to the extremely puzzling line 'I am a lure'. The lure was more than a snare, it was usually an imitation bird or animal used to attract the genuine article into the trap - Why is love a lure? Because it creates inspiration - and from inspiration comes the thirst for wisdom. The onset of physical love is also the onset of the two destructive/creative forces in man. He can be fascinated by the object of his fancy, so that he will forget everything else. The stress of the love act produces poetry and in poetry is wisdom. Therefore, as we English say "A sprat to catch a mackerel" - something smaller to catch something bigger. The reason why the Goddess of Love in Britain was depicted as carrying a net, was that She ensnares the souls of Her men with a devotion that very few women are able to command. In Her love (this is a hard thing to say) there is death - and She rends Her poets/lovers apart before finally making them all wise. Graves follows this theme in the White Goddess - and there is always considerable truth in it. Be careful throughout your life of Her traps - They will make you wise, but you will sing sweetly and sadly afterwards. She is Fate, the Creatoress and the Destroyer. You will understand why She destroys, but the destruction will bring its own sorrow. As the Goddess of Love, She humbles us all at some time - and that sorrow is perhaps Her greatest gift to the moon-struck poet.

     'I am a Hill' is a reference to Wisdom, since in vision you will see the Castle of the Seven Gates or Winds, standing upon a gloomy hill, turning four times to the Elements. The Hill is Life - the steady climb with its triumphs and disasters to Illumination or Wisdom. It is the Dark Tower that Roland fell in front of, it is the Castle Dolor of the legend of the Grail, the Caer Ochran of 'Predui Annwm'. The abode of the High Goddess - the One in Seven Wisdom, the destroyer and creator of men. You will die many times to be reborn in this religion, and each little death is the resurrection of new hope and spirit. Whatever Madame la Guiden has in store - the law is that you will overcome - and in the overcoming find spiritual strength. Never be like I was for a short while, arrogant in the knowledge of power, for She soon tripped me up, and brought me home across my black horse, and I like the knights of old lie wounded, and at this moment without hope.

     Anciently the castle upon the hill is a very common motive in folk art. You will find many specimens of this in traditional Romany caravans - in that the inner walls are painted with roses (red and white), a roadway with nineteen trees lining it, and a castle at the end of the road upon a high hill. Armorial and coats of arms are also good examples, and about a 150 mile trot from here there is an old inn that has as a sign a castle founded upon three silver spheres. In qabbalism, the sphere becomes the moon - and is known in Hebrew as Yesod, or foundation. Now the three moons represent inspiration or spirit in these aspects: Life, the Virgin; Love, the Mother and Death/Wisdom, the Hag. As such then the hill is representative of the three major sources of inspiration and fate in physical life - the problems that we face are based upon these three foundations - Graves writes they are the poetic theme - but they are the structure of existence before that.

     "I am a sow" or 'I am a boar'. This refers to Kerridwen - the greedy sow who in Keltic poetry eats her own farrow. The nightmare fertility and death in one creature - and so we come to the end of the Pentagram. The principle of Fate giving birth to life, then for reasons of her own destroying her own litter - a fact that any pig farmer will tell you about.

     As you have realized - the poetry of the ancients was based upon observed natural fact. From the lesser phenomena of nature, they drew conclusions about the greater and spiritual phenomena - reflecting as I do, that there is nothing created but it has a symbolic link with spiritual principles. I am not saying that physical creation has what the Theosophists like to call a purpose - that is something different - but in creation one uses a greater force to create the lesser - and there is an indivisible link between all things and their spiritual counterparts. As you say the Gods are in Man, and Man is in the Gods.

     You will also find contained within my letters to you, a ritual which is the basic ritual of the Faith - that Of the Cauldron. You know now how to approach an altar, how to create an altar - how to create the sacrament houzle (bread and wine), and what to expect from it. You have in your possession the Broom - later we will speak of the Sword and Stone which is to do with Fire. But now you are girded, and can administer the Water of Life to your family - if you so desire. Remember though that male and female work together - and where the male intellect or fire gutters and burns out, the female water will wear at the problem gently, until it is reshaped and understood. In the final analysis rely upon what a woman feels rather than upon what you think is right. Of air and earth we have those between us.

     Please do not thank me for helping you - you also help me. To describe the Faith is like teaching, but if you teach then eventually the pupil must turn on the teacher, since wisdom is only found in freedom, and teacher and pupil alike are not truly free, since the teacher is bound by dogma in order to explain - and therefore forgoes inspiration. The pupil has to follow the dogma in order to understand the teacher. Wisdom is not dogmatic - and when the pupil becomes wise he must necessarily break from the teacher, and interpret dogma and the promptings of his soul as he sees fit. Therefore I explain to you what I know - but I am not teaching you, you are taking from it what you require - and transmuting these ideas to your own needs.

     The buckle in the photograph is a spouted pot used for pouring the Water of Life. You will find all the physical parenphanalia of ritual in it, and much of the symbolical stuff also.

     If you wish I will do a complete reading upon your immediate future - or for that matter upon your complete future. It is easily done.

     My best wishes to Daisy, yourself and the children - I sense that it will be a girl, and I got an impression that she will be fair headed. She (if I am right) will live long and happily - and also be wealthy by marriage to a man that she will love.