About Britain At Occult War
To commemorate the 66th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, beginning in September 2005, English Heretic will be embarking on an exciting series of lectures, exhibitions and researches detailing the occult aspects of Britain's war campaign. 66 in Hebrew qabala is the mystic number of the qliphoth and of the Great Work. It is our belief that war time blitz experiences continue to have a powerful effect on the collective unconscious of our nation's psyche and that the architectural remnants of WWII provide a modern adumbration of the qlipha of Hebrew mysticism. During our year long investigation, we hope to provide evidence of occult pathologies
unleashed by the war and their continued relevance for our times.
The Peregrinations Lecture Series I: The D-Daimons Of Menabilly (The Birds Stripped Bare)
Download The Menabilly Pathworking (mp3) 13min 24sec
The linguistic travel of peregrination begins with the Latin root "peregrinus," which means "foreign" or "foreigner." That root also gave us the words "pilgrim" and "peregrine," the latter of which once meant "alien" but is now used as an adjective meaning "tending to wander" and a noun naming a kind of falcon (the peregrine falcon is so named because it was traditionally captured during its first flightor pilgrimagefrom the nest). From "peregrinus" we travel to the Latin verb "peregrinari" ("to travel in foreign lands") and its past participle "peregrinatus." Our final destination is the adoption into English in the 16th century of both "peregrination" and the verb "peregrinate" ("to travel especially on foot" or "to traverse").
We are delighted to present you with the opportunity to experience a recent pathworking experiment performed at Menabilly Barton, in Cornwall. The writer Daphne Du Maurier lived at Menabilly for many years and the area provided inspiration for some of her most famous works, including Rebecca
and The Birds
. The travelogue we are to describe was conducted under the expert guidance of The English Heretic field group and was designed to allow us to gain insight into the significance of the locale with respect to Du Mauriers' story, The Birds
. Du Maurier claimed that the inspiration for this story came to her one day when she was walking across to Menabilly Barton farm from her house. She saw a farmer busily ploughing a field whilst above him the seagulls were diving and wheeling. However, the numerous references to war time blitzes, radio broadcasts, and a general theme bunker mentality, suggested to us that a deeper unconscious assignment had inspired the story.
The extent to which the psychological effects of subterranean wartime experiences have flourished as pathologies is well known. For example, in the extreme, the eminent forensic psychiatrist Park Elliot Dietz points to the relative prevalence of gas mask fetishism within the British populace compared to say the American populace. He postulates that this is intrinsically linked to formative Blitz experiences that were endured in Britain but not in the USA during the Second World War. Taking this argument to its logical occult conclusion, it is not unreasonable to assume that a modern manifestation of qliphothic obsession is approximated in our seemingly perennial nostalgia for sand bagged shelters and the echoing EVP of war time radio.
Written in 1952, it has also been said The Birds
might be interpreted as a cold war allegory. However the main focus of our study was in geography of imaginative inspiration. What creative juxtapositions of landscape might have created such a metaphorical layering?
What intrigued us was the proximity of Polridmouth Cove, which can be reached by means of a short walk from Menabilly Barton farm down an old sunken sand road. Polridmouth Cove has a decidedly melancholic and brooding air, even in summer. It has been the scene of countless shipwrecks and indeed Du Maurier used the bay as the setting for the death of Rebecca. Clearly to a suggestive mind such a place would exude an effluvia befitting of a spiritualist parlour.
More interesting still, there are a number of ornamental lakes at the cove. These structures date from between the wars. During the Second World War they were used as a decoy site for nearby Fowey Harbour. Lights placed around the lakes were supposed to draw air attacks away from the real harbour around the corner (at Fowey), particularly during the build-up to D-Day when Fowey was bristling with 2,000 US Navy personnel preparing for embarkation. The story of World War II decoy sites is one of the most surreal aspects of military history. Under the auspices of Colonel Sir John Turner, 'Col. Turners Department', as it was codenamed, oversaw the development of wartime deception. In the realm of aviation this involved the creation of dummy airfields in the vicinity of genuine operation stations. Col. Turner's Dept. drew heavily on the field of cinema. Decoy sites employed fake bombers made from wood and canvas, inflatable tanks and sounds effects to simulate intense military activity 1]. But at the risk of digressing here, what we are trying to point out is that, essentially, Polridmouth cove has a phantasmal history, serving as a magnet and deliberate target for the Luftwaffe. Could this have influenced du Mauriers, The Birds
and what is the true nature of the avian menace that haunts the environs of Menabilly Barton.
The crest of Col. Turners Department
The final geographic cipher in the conundrum is the Day Mark tower at Gribbin Head west of Menabilly Barton and Polridmouth Bay. This beacon, a handsome Graeco Gothic Square edifice, it was erected to solve an ancient problem. From earliest times sailors tended to mistake the Gribbin for nearby St. Anthony's Head and gamely entered the treacherous shallows of St. Austell Bay believing them to be the deep waters of Falmouth bay. So what we have here is an interesting psychogeographical paradox: the circular lakes, feminine, yet enticing and designed to lure the enemy and the obelisk, phallic and masculine, yet protective.
Using all the above features, we were able to construct a framework for our pathworking. The first section of the narrative is derived from the text of Du Mauriers, The Birds
, in which we have abstracted phrases from her story, concentrating solely on describing the landscape. From this naturalistic setting we allowed the derive
to launch into an imaginative discourse based on the following parameters: the birds, the tower, the ghosts of Polridmouth and phantasms of war.
The results were disturbing. What has emerged is a rapport with what can only be described as an angel, with which a member of the research group has fallen into almost constant contact. This daimonic entity purports to be the tulpa of an RAF wing commander. He has instructed our researcher to conduct a series of séances at World War II airfields. Our researcher is in the process of channeling what appears to be a modern grimoire of angeology (or demonology) based on the plans of various airfields around Norfolk2], which it has been imitated to him are infact sigils for contacting the spirits of dead airman. We only hope our reseacher can handle these conversations better than did John Dee and Edward Kelly when they called the Enochian aeyrs, for in some way we sense that our researcher is perhaps undertaking a very similar discourse. But in relating to the workings of Dee, we are keen to alley our approach with that of heretic Giodarno Bruno. 3]
In presenting an edited version of the pathworking, we have overlaid various sound effects and sympathetic music. These have been taken from field recordings at Menabilly Barton and Polridmouth. In deciding on a suitable musical overlay we have opted for the use of Elgars Cello concerto
itself, a piece of music heavily influenced by specter of World War I - and the songs of Vera Lynn. Finally, we have included some fragments from the séances currently being undertaken by our researcher. Under instruction from the daimon, he is manipulating the war time speeches of Winston Churchill in a fashion not dissimilar to automatic writing and as an invocatory method for summoning these otherworldly entities.
A page from English Heretic's Aeyr Field Grimoire
I would inspect that most of you will have lost patience with our perceived grip on reality, construing the exercise of using Churchills voice to scry for angels, as at best trite post- modernism. However we must point out some occult aspects of Churchill: that he was a Druid 4], and a Freemason, that as a young man he was rescued by a spirit in the African jungle and consulted this spirit before making key decisions.
More profoundly from a Neoplatonic viewpoint, Churchill was a prime example of the acorn theory which postulates that the soul of each of us is given a unique daimon before we are born, and it has selected an image or pattern that we live on earth. Churchill was a sufferer of dyslexia and had severe stutter during childhood. The psychologist James Hillman comments:
As for Churchill, of course he had language problems. How could a person who was awarded a Nobel Prize in literature and whose eloquence in 1940 and 1941 saved western civilisation for a while take on this huge daimon? It was far too much for a small size schoolboy. Invisible fates may show as visible failures" 5]
To paraphrase Hillman - often, great future skills will manifest as childhood failures, precisely because the genius is too large for the young person to handle.
Churchill (center) at his inauguration to the Druids at Blenheim Palace
Little is known about Churchill's reason for joining a Druidic order as a young man. However the Druids, as most of you will be aware as operated through an oral tradition, in which its lore consisted of many verses learned by heart. Their oral literature consisted of sacred songs, formulas for prayers and incantations. In The White Goddess
Robert Graves, discussing Battle Of The Trees, comments that the Druids were credited with the magical power of transforming trees into warrior and sending them into battle. Of course the trees are allegorical, meaning letters, since the Bardic alphabet (Beth Luis Nion
) is derived from the names of trees - Beth Luis Nion itself coming from the first three trees in the sequence Birch-Rowan-Ash. Is it possible then that Churchill joined a druidic order, in order to master the power of oration, to accomplish his calling? Though, more likely did his daimon instruct him to seek out this ancient bardic sect to realise its genius and there did Churchill learn that magical power of transforming trees (word or instructions) into warriors?
Stranger still may the daimon that spoke through Churchill have been the same daimon that manifested through the druid Myrddin. There are some interesting parallels between the biographies of these two legendary British figures. Both Myrddin and Churchill were accompanied a black dog... During Myrddin's self-imposed exile in the woods, he was supposed to have been accompanied by a black dog. Churchill created the image of the black dog to symbolise his own depression. We venture to suggest that, given his Druidic training, the black dog was really a poetic allusion that he used consciously or unconsciously to link himself to the Myrddin and the bardic tradition. What is more, Myrddin's woodland exile was precipitated by the trauma of a war-time experience at the battle of Arfderydd. Similarly Churchill suffered a political exile for his role in the disastrous Gallipoli landings during WWI. From this he gained the notorious epithet of the butcher of gallipoli.
Some commentators on Myrddin suggest that he was actually killed at the battle of Arfderydd and that his madness or wildness was a cipher for the wondering of soul of a dead man, in the woods of Celyddon.
In the Welsh Poem The Dialogue of Myrddin and Taliesen it is said that at Myrddins Battle of Arfderydd, seven chieftains became gwyllon
. Gwyllon means wild ones and is derived from gwyllt. The Welsh epithet for Myrddin is Gwyllt Myrddin the wild. In this context wild may mean the existence is spirit form. If we accept that there was a belief that certain individuals could communicate with or perhaps even channel such spirits and extract from the information available from the dead, then this may account for the prophecies of Myrddin. Perhaps the entity we are dealing with is a modern counterpart of the Gwyllon.
Alternatively, from a psychiatric perspective the allusion to Myrddins wildness may have been a mythic interpretation of the well attested phenomenon of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In this respect could exposure to the horrific violence of the battlefield have induced some kind of gnosis that awakened the powers of prophecy? Outlandish this may seem, though the appearance of Angels on battlefields5] not unknown and modern theurgists have been known to experiment with Gnostic possibilities of extreme emotional states such as anger 6].
Whatever the truth of these somewhat fanciful speculations it is fair to say, for all it's failing and triumphs, speech was Churchill's calling, genuis or ochema.
And what more tangible means of communicating with the troubled angels that haunt the qliphoths of our ghost fields than via the essence, distilled of another greater commanding daimon.
Appendix: Extracts from the transcript of the pathworking
Our pathworking begins at Menabilly Barton car park; we shall follow the muddy lane past the farm and down the old sunken sand road to Polridmouth Cove. Picture the farmland, remark on the wispish nature of mist that seems to shroud the earth in a strange autumn bandage, as if to protect the rich wounds of new turned soil from hedge to hedge.
In the distance, notice a procession of figures silhouetted against the western hills, a party of walkers we presume. But they appear to be carrying implements with which to toil. Through a gap in the fence we cross a stile, crossing a threshold of sorts to a field, where Campion blooms in the weak morning sun and leaves linger in the trees with the rhythm and ritual of life. We are going to join the procession. We are that procession.
It is dusk we are now in some light woodland, lost. The tower that has haunted our peregrinations of the day, become a focus of solace. We decide to walk up to the edifice, hoping it will afford us an orientation. From its highest parapet we can see great distances across great spans of time. We can see as far as 1940, U-Boats under the moonlight and droning skies of Luftwaffe.
Though it is now dark, we resolve to the reach the bunker, aware of the ominous hum overhead, we negotiate the angular brick entrance and blast wall. The room is bare but for sleeping bags arranged for us in number as if by presentiment.
The following morning, you find yourself on a village green; you are alone among bewildered locals, all around you, bleached bones and giant plumage.
"The remains of a crash landed angel", a scientific officer in the vicinity is heard to say. A voice calls from a nearby meadow where once the Campion bloomed in the morning sun. Reaching the perimeter you are warned to keep out by ministry signs, though you can clearly amid the rubble of a destroyed shelter and laid out in rows - a phalanx of gelatinous matter; you realise instinctively, these are the remains of your fellow walkers.
That night you take sanctuary. At the entrance to a bunker, local married girls procure young dead R.A.F men. Floral-dressed maidens and uniform clad skeletons caress against hessian sandbags, beneath the light of a silvery moon. The door is open; upon extemporaneous command table resides a technical manual of sorts. You are compelled to inspect the book. You recognize schemes and illustrations. And when the air raids come, proceeded by a quiet loveliness and horror, you see him appear - a white silk dressed casualty from the kingdom of Cornwall. For a few seconds he flickers on the threshold, creating the illusion of someone entering or leaving a lighted building.
Did you feel the gnosis? Did you feel the gnosis? Did you know who he was? You reason: he may have merely been the specter of a childhood memory. You recall a war film playing in the corrugated school halls of your nightmares; bodies on stretchers carried away from a burning ship, you cover your face in horror and turn away. More disquieting yet you ponder that he may have been a proprioceptive doppelganger, a phantom foetus from the temporal lobes, awakened by seizure on the screeching wind of a psychotronic war. But really, deep down in your soul, you know he is the avenging tulpa of a fallen wing commander, forever circling the imaginary currents over Polridmouth Cove. And that once he reified as a blood beaked gull in the dreams of Du Maurier, harrowing on the furrows, picking at the flesh, picking at your flesh on the fresh ploughed fields beyond Menabilly Barton.
For all you know this entire life is a complex masquerade, a perichoresis, an interpenetration. And in the glare of this epiphany, stripped bare by the birds, you find yourself sitting among desolate rocks, by bitter streams, and with what companions?
I was posted to VISTRE (Visual Inter-Services Training and Research Establishment) at the old cavalry barracks at Netheravon, about ten miles north of Salisbury on the A545
I found VISTRE a very interesting place in many respects, mainly in visual deception. Personnel comprised: 30 RAF personnel under an RAF technical flight lieutenant; Naval officers who painted various stripes in model ships, to deceive the enemy in many climatic regions, which demand different colour schemes, and about 180 army personnel, including a REME Major and electricians, and the Royal Signals Aural Deception Unit, who were always turned out like a Guards unit, unless they were on an exercise. They operated self-contained units mounted in/on two white painted, light armoured American Scout cars Through large loudspeakers they played decoy and deception sounds of all kinds; from men building a Bailey bridge that included occasional clinks of tools on steel, tools dropped and quiet curses, etc. to a full scale air raid, with screaming dive-bombers, guns, flak, exploding bombs and so on. All this was carried on 35mm film soundtrack, so they carried appropriate film stock without vision for each particular operation. As I recall all the gear was contained within the two Scout cars, the large speakers being elevated from the body bay to the top of the cab, so that a quick get-away could be made if the shelling or mortaring of the sound got too close or accurate.
Colonel Turners Department Memoirs of the Men that operated the secret decoy sites of Wartime Britain
- Huby Fairhead.
2] For his séances our researcher will be attempting to map the remains of 32 Norfolk airfields to the 32 tunnels and cells of the Tree of Death. To this end he will employ two key texts: The Ghost fields Norfolk History, plans and photographed remains of 32 Norfolk airfields
by Roderick McKenzie (Larks Press 2004) and Nightside Of Eden
by Kenneth Grant (Skoob 1993)
3] As Frances Yates points out: Brunos return to an all-out Egyptianism means that he returns to an old style frankly demonic conjuring. The final figure in Brunos De Monade
is a triangle tilted sideways, with three curious looking curly things, rather like worms, outside the triangle. I am inclined to think that these maybe intended to represent links with demons
Compare this with John Dees conjuring with Kelley, in which they are so nervous about demons and so careful only to have dealings with good and holy angels
Even Agrippa, one feels, would have been shocked Giodarno Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition
(Routledge Classic 2002, 1st publ. 1964) Frances Yates
4] In 1781 English Druidic enthusiasts decided to establish an Ancient Order of Druids
Curiously, it was into this sect that the newly appointed President of the Board of Trade, Winston Churchill was inaugurated, joining the Albion Lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids, at Blenheim Place, where he hosted their meeting on 15 August 1908. The summer had been a busy one for Churchill. Following his appointment to Cabinet, under the then rules of the House Of Commons, he had to defend his Manchester seat in a by-election. He lost. Asquiths Liberal Government immediately found him a safe Liberal sear in Dundee and on 11 May he had managed to get back into Parliament. The new Cabinet minister was obviously relieved as he joined the festive Druids at Blenheim. Some of the participants were wearing false beards and looking more like applicants for a job as Santa Claus than any self-respecting Druid. The Druids
(Constable 1995) Peter Berresford Ellis
5] The Souls Code - In Search of Character and Calling
(Bantam 1997) James Hillman
6] cf. Arthur Machens recounting of the vision of the Angel Of Mons
in The Bowmen
7] Concerning the prophetic use of gnosis, Peter Carroll writes: Emotive arousal of any sort can theoretically be used, even love or grief in extreme circumstances, but in practice only anger, fear and horror can easily be generated in sufficient strengths to achieve the requisite effect. Gnosis Liber Null & Pychonaut - An introduction to chaos magic
(Weiser, 1987) Peter J. Carroll