‘Root and branch shall change places
And the newness of the thing shall seem a miracle.
The healing maiden will return, her footsteps bursting into flame.
She will weep tears of compassion for the people of the land,
Dry up polluted rivers with her breath,
Carry the city in her right hand, the forest in her left
And nourish the creatures of the deep.
With her blessing Man will become like God waking as if from a dream.’
from Merlin: The Prophetic Vision and The Mystic Life
by R. J. Stewart
In the online course many of you have joined – Lessons in Magic – I give examples of how simple acts of ‘magic’ have changed people’s lives dramatically for the better. You may well have an experience from your own life that demonstrates this rationalist-mindset-defying possibility. In the course we then dive into how we can work with this – to improve our own lives but also to effect positive change in the world.
If a magical act can change – sometimes very quickly – our own lives for the better, what if we could harness this same power to help solve the most serious challenges facing the world today – climate change and mass species extinction? Such an idea seems so irrational, I hesitate to suggest it, but if I am to be true to what I believe, and what I have experienced in my own life, and seen in many other people’s lives too, then I must talk talk about it.
I am not suggesting we abandon practical, rational, activist, scientific, down-to-earth attempts to solve these big problems the world faces. But in addition to these, why don’t we try magic too?
I talked to artist Emma Watkinson the other day about this, when she interviewed me for Pilgrim Radio.
Emma was about to set off on a deliciously whacky pilgrimage that was to start with a Beltane ceremony at the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset, and then take 69 pilgrims on a double-decker bus to Carl Jung’s Bollingen tower in Switzerland via the temples of Damanhur in Italy and the Cerne Hadron Accelerator. These few facts may help you to decode some of Emma’s wonderful collage shown above.
The purpose of the pilgrimage was partly to put on a performance at Damanhur of Daisy Campbell’s Cosmic Trigger play, based on her father Ken Campbell’s legendary 1976 staging of Robert Anton Wilson’s Illuminatus Trilogy. But it was also to make magic, to create a better world.
How does Jung fit in? How do the stirring words of Merlin’s prophecy quoted above fit in? See what Cae Mabon’s Eric Maddern has to say about the magic of this extraordinary pilgrimage.