The road goes ever on

amazing places, Musings, nature, poetry
Lye Valley Nature Reserve, Headington, Oxfordshire

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Photo copyright © 2020 by C L Barton. All rights reserved.

The Dead Hand

books, favourite places, history, photography, retro

To obtain the power and secrets of witchcraft, it is necessary to visit a churchyard at midnight, and cut off the hand of a recently buried corpse with your own hand. This is preserved by drying or smoking, and can then be used with great and fatal effect. Old women are known as the strongest tools of the devil, and as having the most fatal powers of witchcraft. These witch-women are recognised at once by their glittering eyes and long, skeleton fingers; and if they have a dead hand in their possession, their influence is irresistible.

Lady Wilde, Irish Cures, Charms and Usages of Ireland (pp 49-50)

Close up of fisherman sculpture, plaster cast gallery at the Ashmolean; copyright c l barton 2020 all rights reserved

Extracts from my current work in progress

books, poetry, Tarot, writing

Been working on a sequence of 78 poems inspired by the cards of the Margarete Petersen tarot deck.

A selection of poems can be viewed here:

More information on the tarot deck in question here:

Watch this space for more on Arcana, my second collection of poetry! I will be posting some extracts here as well as on In the meantime, here is a cover (prototype).

Cover design copyright © 2020 by C L Barton: detail from arcanum VIII/Justice, from the Margarete Petersen Tarot © 2004 with permission from Margarete Petersen and her publishers Königsfurt-Urania.

Words cannot express my delight in having obtained Ms Petersen’s permission to use an image from her tarot deck for the front cover to this volume. The card in question is VIII: Justice. My deepest gratitude therefore to the eponymous artist, poet, and creator of the deck in question; as well as to her publishers at Königsfurt-Urania, especially Felicia Gartner who was most helpful.

An Emblem of Thought

Alchemy, art, Symbols


Splendor Solis Image 11: Boiling the Body in the Vessel [Trismosin]

“…The alchemists insisted that one should heat the retort many times before making the final distillation. This is an emblem of true thought: one must pass one’s thinking through the furnace many times, to be sure. One should think with a hammer, rather than with a brain, as one shapes our thought from dross matter.’ [Hedsel, The Zelator p306]


Folklore, Musings, nature

“Good morrow, good morrow,

To thee, braw yarrow,

And thrice good morrow to thee;

I pray thee tell me today or tomorrow

Who is my true love to be.”


“I will pluck the yarrow fair

That more benign will be my face,

That more warm shall be my lips,

That more chaste shall be my speech,

Be my speech the beams of the sun,

Be my lips the sap of the strawberry.

May I be an isle in the sea,

May I be a hill on the shore,

May I be a star in the waning of the moon,

May I be a staff to the weak.

Wound can I every man,

Wound can no man me.”

Gaelic speakers would never harvest Yarrow without reciting some formula at the same time, such as this beautiful example (translated by Carmichael).

Photo Copyright © 2020 by c l barton

A Serious Situation

books, Consciousness, Existence, Musings

If it is true that humans are being bred and raised like cattle in a global stockyard and fed upon both psychically and sometimes even physically, we have a truly serious situation going on here, to put it mildly.

…. In the case of the idea of man being food for hyperdimensional beings, there is an enormous amount of both vertical and lateral corroboration of all kinds. So much so that, in fact, it is almost impossible to understand why it is not generally known. Clearly, there have been deliberate efforts to hide this fact, and the fact that it is hidden may itself tell us something.

The point is, when don Juan and Gurdjieff and the Cassiopaeans and others tell us that our religions, our social structure, our values, our beliefs about our spiritual nature and condition have been deliberately created to perpetuate the illusion that we are free… that we can do anything at all of a positive and powerful nature, we need to carefully examine this issue.

It is work to examine it objectively, hard work, because it consists of long and difficult self-examination in order to be able to overcome the emotions that prevent us from discovering what illusions we are hanging onto, what illusions are preventing us from seeing and acting in such a way as to become free.

…. When you read the collected information of Charles Fort, you see that the alien reality that is so widely reported today was just as active then as it is now. In fact, you see that it may even be somewhat cyclical. Just as we have cycles of food production, planting, growing and harvesting, so may hyperdimensional beings harvest us according to some “seasonal” rule.

In any event, before people began to become literate it was a lot easier to keep the lid on the matter. Then, books, papers and magazines were published and distributed. Travel became easier and information from around the world about these odd intrusions into our reality could be collected, giving an overall pattern that something was not right.

Before Charles Fort, there were a few people who already smelled a rat, but Mr. Fort kindly shoved it right under our noses and the reaction has been quite interesting. The cover-up machine went into full operation through the most effective vectors of mainstream science and religion.

But, the rat had been smelled and some people couldn’t just shove it back under the rug. The stench kept wafting in the open window. And so, certain people began to start searching for the source of this stinky rat. They began to gather knowledge and information.

[Laura Knight Jadczyk, The Wave Ch27: Stripped to the Bone]

“unusual and highly fortuitous conditions”

books, Existence, Musings

20200628_133220“…the world has never seen – and… unless through some series of accidents goading the noblest order of mind into distasteful exertion, the world will never see – that full extent of triumphant execution, in the richer domains of art, of which the human nature is absolutely capable.

“…from the violation of a few simple laws of humanity arises the wretchedness of mankind – that as a species we have in our possession the as yet unwrought elements of content – and that, even now, in the present darkness and madness of all thought on the great question of the social condition, it is not impossible that man, the individual, under certain unusual and highly fortuitous conditions, may be happy.”

[Edgar Allan Poe, The Domain of Arnheim. 1847]

Image: 9 of Cups, from the Thoth tarot, Harris/Crowley. Photo c l barton 2020 all rights reserved


Consciousness, Metaphysics, Mysticism, Spirituality


“The day of the corpora is the night for the spiritus. When the bodies cease their labour, the spirits [in man] begin their work. When the body of man rests, his spirit begins to become active; and when the spirit rests, the body resumes its work. Therefore is the waking of the body the sleep of the spirit, and the spirit’s sleep a waking for the body. They will not sleep or operate together; one acts, while the other reposes.” (Philosophia, v)

“But dreams will be pure or impure, wise or foolish, rational or irrational, according to the position which man occupies in his relation to the light of Nature…. all that takes place in the outer world is mirrored forth in the inner world, and appears as a dream…

“The quality of the dreams will depend on the harmony that exists between the soul and the Astrum [Universal Mind]. To those who are self-conceited and vain of their imaginary knowledge of exterior things, having no real wisdom, nothing can be shown to them, because the perverted action of their own minds opposes the harmonious action of the Universal Mind and repulses it. The spheres of their souls become narrow and contracted, and cannot expand towards the whole. They rest self-satisfied, buried in the shadow of their own ignorance, and are inaccessible to the light of Nature. Their attention is fully absorbed by the smoke of the candle-wick of their material reason, and they are blind to the light of the spiritual sun. The activity of the Universal Mind can only come to the consciousness of those whose spheres of mind are capable of receiving its impressions. Those who make room for such impressions will receive them.” (Philosophia Sagax )

“Thus one spirit may teach another during the sleep of the body; for spirits deal with each other and teach each other their art. A foreign spirit cannot enter into a body which does not belong to him; it is bound to its own body. Therefore, the body of man must learn from its own spirit, and not from a foreign one; but his spirit must learn from other spirits, for it cannot always have everything out of its own self.” (Philosophia, v)

Hartman, Paracelsus pp 74-75; in-text citations, in parentheses, are writings by Paracelsus

Illustration by Doré, Divine Comedy

Legend of the Rollright Stones

favourite places

20200608_183817Not far from the borders of Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, and within the latter county, is the pretty village of Rollright and near the village, up a hill, stands a circle of small stones and one larger stone, such as our Celtic antiquaries say were raised by the druids.

As soon as the druids left them, the fairies, who never failed to take posses- sion of their deserted shrines, seemed to have had an especial care over these stones, and anyone who ventures to meddle with them is sure to meet with some very great misfortune.

The old people of the village, however, who generally know most about these matters, say the stones were once a king and his knights, who were going to make war on the King of England. And they assert that, according to old prophecies, had they ever reached Long Compton, the King of England must inevitably have been dethroned, and this king would have reigned in his place. But when they came to the village of Rollright they were suddenly turned into stones in the place where they now stand.

Be this as it may, there was once a farmer in the village who wanted a large stone to put in a particular position in an outhouse he was building in his farmyard, and he thought that one of the old knights would be just the thing for him. In spite of all the warnings of his neighbors he determined to have the stone he wanted, and he put four horses to his best wagon and pro- ceeded up the hill. With much labor he succeeded in getting the stone into his wagon, and though the road lay downhill, it was so heavy that his wagon was broken and his horses were killed by the labor of drawing it home. Noth- ing daunted by all these mishaps, the farmer raised the stone to the place it was to occupy in his new building.

From this moment everything went wrong with him. His crops failed year after year. His cattle died one after another. He was obliged to mortgage his land and to sell his wagons and horses, till at last he had left only one poor broken-down horse which nobody would buy and one old crazy cart.

Suddenly the thought came into his head that all his misfortunes might be owing to the identical stone which he had brought from the circle at the top of the hill. He thought he would try to get it back again, and his only horse was put to the cart. To his surprise he got the stone down and lifted it into the cart with very little trouble, and, as soon as it was in, the horse, which could scarcely bear along its own limbs, now drew it up the hill of its own accord with as little trouble as another horse would draw an empty cart on level ground, until it came to the very spot where the stone had formerly stood beside its companions.

The stone was soon in its place, and the horse and cart returned home, and from that moment the farmer’s affairs began to improve, till in a short time he was a richer and more substantial man than he had ever been before.

• Edwin Sidney Hartland, English Fairy and Other Folk Tales (London: Scott, 1890), pp. 151-52. Hartland’s source: Folk-Lore Record, vol. 2, p. 177.

• The Rollright stone circle was probably erected about 3,000 B.C.E. and thus predates by millennia the druids to whom it is here attributed. This monu- ment is near the town of Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire. There are three parts to the Rollright complex: the circle itself (about 100 feet in diameter and consisting today of seventy-seven upright stones), a nearby solitary monolith (the king stone), and a group of five standing stones (the whispering knights) about 400 yards from the circle. The king stone has been severely deformed by countless individuals who have—for centuries—chipped off fragments to serve as good-luck charms, suggesting a belief quite contrary to the views reflected in the above legend.

[From Greenwood, Fairy Lore pp84-86]

Hide and Seek

Mysticism, nature, poetry


Hide and seek, says the Wind

In the shade of the woods;

Hide and seek, says the Moon

To the hazel buds;

Hide and seek, says the Cloud,

Star on to Star;

Hide and seek, says the Wave

At the harbour bar;

Hide and seek, say I,

To myself, and step

Out of the dream of Wake

Into the dream of sleep.

[Walter de la Mare, Hide and Seek, from Peacock Pie)


Photo C L Barton Copyright © 2020 all rights reserved