Yesterday Stephanie and I drove to Essex to visit a house we have been reading about for several years – Talliston. We were invited by John Trevillian, an author of dystopian fantasy novels, who started converting his 3 bedroom semi-detached ex-council house in Great Dunmow into a magical house 25 years ago. Now that the project is completed, John wants the house blessed by representatives of different faiths, and so he asked me to give a Druid blessing.
I can’t even begin to describe our experience on arriving at a crescent of very ordinary small houses, only to find ourselves, like Alice, being led into another world. Like every powerful experience it can only really be appreciated by going through it oneself. Suffice it to say that John and his partner Marcus have performed alchemy: they have taken the lead of a dreary house (you should see the before and after photos!) and turned it into an exquisite world, that is underpinned by an understanding of esoteric cosmology. For those who know their symbolism the house comes alive with hidden meaning. Above is just one photo, but you can see more on Talliston’s website, and read an article on it and see some before-and-after pictures here. The text of the blessing follows. I took an old Celtic blessing and preceded it with some scene-setting for context:
A Blessing for Talliston
In all of our hearts is a dream waiting to be born, waiting to be realised in the world. And every time someone realises a dream and manifests it in the world, it acts as a beacon of hope to those of us who have not yet made our dreams come true. Talliston is such a beacon – a place of magic and beauty, where a dream has indeed come true. And so we are here today to celebrate the completion of a story that has taken 25 years to unfold. And now that this story – formed in the Otherworld of fantasy and imagination – has been fully born, it can act as a gateway for all of us to enter that magical realm – that realm of the True, the Good and the Beautiful.
And so, in my role as Chief of the Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids, I ask that Talliston – this house, this garden, this home, be blessed by all the beneficent powers of Earth and Sky, of the Ancestors and of the Guardian Spirits of this land.
O Great Spirit, O Goddess, O God we ask for your blessings on Talliston – this home, this hearth, this house, this garden.
O Spirit of All, may this house be blessed from site to stay, from beam to wall, from end to end, from ridge to basement, from balk to roof-tree, from found to summit, from found to summit.
And a blessing on all who visit Talliston and live within its walls!
Awen! Awen! Awen!
NB the house and gardens are open for one weekend only for tours and private evening views with this link.