My 2016 book The Michael Line, the Qabalah and the Tarot: Visionary Ley Pilgrimages is now available on Kindle.
From the Preface
The Michael Line, the Qabalah, and the Tarot was one of the first public presentations I gave in Glastonbury after moving here in 1995. Since then the material has increased and I have periodically returned to the subject. It was aired at one of Andrew Collin’s Questing Conferences in London. I commissioned Yuri Leitch to paint the artwork now featuring on the cover of this book as far back as 2006 to accompany my talk at Glastonbury’s first Megalithomania gathering. A short article featuring two of the landscape tarot visualisations appeared firstly in the ASH (Albion’s Sacred Heritage) journal and then Glastonbury’s Avalon magazine in the nineties. It has long been somewhere in the back of my mind that I should turn it into a book.
This is not a work of history and archaeology. That’s probably not a big surprise to most people but there might be a few who get the wrong idea of what realm of discourse I think I am involved in here. It’s not news to me that the concept of leylines has not exactly been entirely accepted by academics. I also wouldn’t dispute that the reasons for that are often valid. The story starts in the realm of psychic questing, a subject even further out on the fringe. There’s no shortage of people who start foaming at the mouth when the topic is raised, particularly the Green Stone story. For the record, I was seriously involved in Questing as part of a group led by Andrew Collins and I consider the Green Stone to be part of the greatest paranormal drama played out in Britain in the twentieth century. What matters here though is how useful that story became in stimulating some faculty in me that helped the creation of a fabulous framework for a magnificent journeying. Picking around the minutiae of the original story would miss the point here altogether.
Andrew Collins included the Lights of Knowledge story in his original version of The Seventh Sword but the publishers asked him to remove it. I had the strange experience of reading it again, twenty five years later, thanks to Andy and Michael Tazzar, who has the manuscript. My account is brief. I hope that Andy’s full version of this remarkable adventure appears in print one day. It is the fundamental inspiration for my own material. Without it, there would have been no Qabalistic tarot Michael Line journeys. The questing of the Lights of Knowledge and the later ley pilgrimages have very different flavours. Seeing them together though presents a mysterious and powerful unity, an affirmation of psychic questing and the numinosity of the sacred landscape.
Some serious adepts of the Qabalah might get annoyed about all kinds of things. The use of the Jewish mystical system by western occultists of the last century or so, primarily the Golden Dawn tradition, is consistently contentious. And the most contentious point of all is the placing of the tarot into that framework. A nineteenth century invention we are reliably informed. As to which cards are supposed to fit the various paths, well that seems to be somewhat variable as well
I have made use of the Golden Dawn tarot attributions in this work. They were accepted by Dion Fortune and, with one notable exception that will feature in the narrative, by Aleister Crowley, the two most important and influential occultists of the twentieth century. I make no arguments for anything being set in stone however. I have simply found that the material worked amazingly well in the context in which I experimented with it. It served a purpose. It served the purpose of leading me and, over the years a number of other people, on unique journeys that took in a diverse selection of ancient mystical sites across an endlessly inspiring landscape, an expansive journey that left an enduring appreciation of Britain’s extraordinary heritage and that showed how the magical traditions sit alongside poetry and history as profound creative vehicles. I certainly seek to stir poetic sensibilities though my combination of influences. The presence in the narrative of William Blake helps make that clear.
The wonderful cover painting by Yuri Leitch is an example of where artistic concerns have taken priority over magical details. In the Qabalisitc terms later explained here, the rainbow should connect the lower spheres depicting the White Horse of Uffington and Silbury Hill and pass beneath the image of Glastonbury Tor. I felt it worked better passing over all three.
Maybe we can say that the subject matter of this work is a bit psychogeographical inasmuch as it deals with the interaction of the human psyche with the landscape and makes use of some distinct mental mapping techniques to do so. Perhaps that might make some a bit more comfortable as that is a realm where we are allowed to be a bit weird and quirky.
I’ve travelled along the Michael Line in 1991,92,97,98 and 2011. I’m not going to feature any details of ’92 and ’98 here. It’s not because they weren’t great journeys. 1992 was a real biggie on a personal level. It’s simply a case of avoiding repetition. There were no innovations to the format in those years.
My friends often joked with me about how long it was taking to complete my Avalonian Aeon. In the end, it was ten and a half years. In recent times I have gone to the opposite extreme. The Glastonbury Zodiac and Earth Mysteries UFOlogy and Glastonbury Psychogeography were each created in two weeks, albeit making use of some already written material, in both cases with the aim of launching at a conference. This process has now reached probably its maximum level of crazy intensity as I have gone from ten years to ten days to create this work for Laura Daligan’s Avalon Tarot Conference. I sincerely believe it is a feast for all tarot enthusiasts and leyline pilgrims, presenting remarkable ideas in a way that will hopefully inspire many to go forth on their own journeys.