I was a Cross of Light Templar…

I performed the Cross of Light Six-Part Rite 636 times between 9 April 2003 and 29 August 2016. I kept a record of each performance, which is known as the Cross of Light Temple Record. I have performed the rite on a number of occasions since August 2016 but these performances have been noted in my everyday diary, rather than in the record.

The method of recording involved giving the date, noting the Year of the Temple (Year 1 of the Temple being the year that followed the foundation of Cross of Light Temple on 16 January 2003, 16 January being known as ‘Cross of Light Temple Day’), providing the number of the entry, recording the experience associated with the individual performance of the rite and recording additional comments.

The first performance of the six-part rite took place almost three months after the foundation of the Temple; elements of the six-part rite had been performed with varying degrees of ritual sincerity before this first performance and these experiments led to the development of the final form of the rite.

The first reference to Cross of Light appeared in a notebook from the period January 1991 – February 1992 and stated: “I saw a vision of the Cross of Light formed by the stars in the sky.” Prior esoteric, mystical, or metaphysical experience also relates to the Temple before its foundation; for example, the Cross of Light Temple sign or symbol was channelled through me in Sidlesham, Chichester in summer 1986.

The Cross of Light Temple Record contains numerous reflections noted in association with the performance of the rite, which fall outside the method of recording outlined above, and these reflections form the basis of the present text.

I used to conceive of Cross of Light Temple as my life’s work in eternal drift and ceaseless process…

Cross of Light Temple was a place where the body of flesh met the body of light. I entered an altered state of consciousness and performed the six-part rite. I embodied Cross of Light Temple and filtered the passing lives of others, but what did this mean? It was about crossing thresholds, receiving, storing, and emanating light, experiencing bright – brighter – brighter still – as a prelude to new being, new doing and new telling. I stored light in the region of what is known as the third eye in the form of a triangle. I stored light in the region of what is known as the heart chakra in the form of a circle. I stored light beneath the navel in the form of a crescent. I meditated on the signs in their stations. I thought about the sun and the moon and what lies beyond the sun. I noted that light beyond light stood in relation to light as light stood in relation to the absence of light, as I passed alongside light beyond light as it travelled through a gateway. I noted the impact of my exercises on day to day lived experience and sometimes manifested Cross of Light Temple in mundane work settings.

I linked the six-part rite to my breath as an exercise in focused breathing. I breathed deeply before each stage of the rite. I breathed deeply three times in each station during the meditative phase. I conceived of the whole six-part rite as a cycle of breath, with stages one to three related to the in breath, stage four as holding, and stages five and six as out breath.

Was the body of flesh constructed on top of a pre-existent body of light or was the body of light dependent on the prior existence of a body of flesh? Which came first and which took precedence? Could the locus of the six-part rite be associated with the other lights to the same extent as it could with the light behind the forehead between the eyes, or with the greater quintessential light associated with the heart chakra? Was the light behind the left breast or right breast associated with the light behind the navel or behind the forehead between the eyes to the same extent as the lights behind left breast and right breast were connected? Was it necessary for the light behind the left breast to pass through the heart chakra before it could connect with the light behind the forehead between the eyes?

I overcame the tendency to tremble. I stood alert and full of purpose at the threshold and anticipated entry. I bid farewell to the inhabitants of the Temple, who were subsumed in the sign of the Temple, in the form of an equal armed cross of light, and the light beyond light, rendered blank and open at source.

I learned that the Temple was born of inspiration and became the development of an idea. It spoke of the relationships between different faculties of being and hinted at how being manifested in the world. It was concerned with consciousness, creation from consciousness, new ideas arising outside of consciousness, religious sensibility, and magical sensibility. It ensured that these faculties were guided by particular forms of wisdom and it ensured that everything in the Temple was guided by wisdom. The altar was for sacrifice and the tomb was for burial. The altar-tomb was filled with light; this light was the light of life and passed through a threshold to illuminate the Cross of Light Temple sign. The sign was filled with light as the altar-tomb was filled with light. Light from the Cross of Light Temple sign filled the Temple. I travelled on light to the threshold and the Temple lay behind me. I returned to the world but the Temple formed the foundation of my actions in the world. I looked down on an equal armed Cross of Light, which was a sign of the Temple in the world. The Temple was entered through the centre of the equal armed Cross of Light.

I conceived of a pillar of light originating in my genitals that travelled up through my navel, heart chakra and third eye before proceeding beyond my crown, where it became a plant form resembling a lily, whereupon branches of a similar nature emanated to left and right of the heart chakra, extending beyond my body.

I experienced Cross of Light Temple as a form of metaphysical fury and in my fury, I learned three things:

  1. The life of all living things is one life.
  2. Birth – endurance – death is one thing, not three.
  3. The dead are of one nation.

As Cross of Light Temple led beyond self-disgust, I asked myself what I could do for Cross of Light Temple. I asked how Cross of Light Temple could stand against or be harmonised with the urgent so-called realities of the mundane world. From the perspective of Cross of Light Temple, profitable and productive thought and action meant thought and action that was undertaken with Cross of Light Temple in mind. I decided to apply Cross of Light Temple methods to everything I did. I was self-reliant. I entered a Cross of Light Temple state of mind, based on lived experience, and viewed this foundation as my legacy and inheritance.

I thought about presenting Cross of Light Temple as a charity or social enterprise engaged in training provision, information dissemination, community activism, and network facilitation. I created a performance artwork from the demonstration of the Cross of Light Temple signs, which expounded on the qualities of light.

Doing things the Cross of Light Temple way meant resting in a state of unfocused mindfulness, aware of the stations of light, seeing from the third eye, feeling from the heart chakra, making connections from the navel. It meant doing things well and assessing the relative merit of potential actions by measuring the extent to which they accorded with the Cross of Light Temple mission statement and any programmes that had been developed in furtherance of that mission. It was about filtering out unnecessary and unprofitable mundane experience. It was about transforming the experience of the reality of the moment and recognising that the time to accomplish anything was now.

I recognised bodily correspondences. I recognised the rarefied third eye. I noted organs of generation mirrored by organs of excretion. I noted arms and legs as agents of action and feet as the possibility of standing firm. I went beyond the established centres and investigated the properties of other faculties. 

Cross of Light Temple was a vehicle for the imperfect expression of the process of trauma – imprisonment – distraction – escape. There was no charismatic leader of Cross of Light Temple. It did not relate to popular culture. It did not offer a step by step programme to enlightenment and it did not claim authority. I was not complacent. I asked myself repeatedly, where is the centre located? I asked myself repeatedly, if the six-part rite represents a dedication, then what is being dedicated to what? I asked myself, what is the significance of the experience related in the Cross of Light Temple Record? Beyond recording immediate super sensible experience, what purpose did the record serve? I asked myself, is it the invocation or evocation of power and balancing power? I asked myself, what were the themes of Cross of Light Temple works? I immersed myself in the nineteen physical, external, and visible gestures of the six-part rite and I ventured some answers.

The Cross of Light Temple Record was a record of first-hand experience, based on the repeated performance of a ritual devised without instruction from pre-existing organisations, in accordance with the mission statement of Cross of Light Temple. All parts of the ritual were tried and tested and found fit for purpose, and the parts fitted together to form a harmonious whole. The gradual unfolding and development of the system enabled me to access information that would otherwise have remained inaccessible and this information provided the foundation for new ways of understanding the world.

Cross of Light Temple had primary and secondary concerns. The core texts of Cross of Light Temple consisted of  the Cross of Light Temple mission statement, the Cross of Light Temple Record, the Supplementary Record, which recorded material of interest arising outside the performance of the six-part rite and a number of other texts, which have been collected and published as ‘Cross of Light Temple, 2003 – 2017’. All of these works were based on first-hand experience and were primarily concerned with metaphysical themes. Cross of Light Temple was a research project, which aimed to establish a method of engaging with the world through the development of a system based on linking a particular kind of experience. Cross of Light Temple works refuted commercialism, materialism, mystification, established authority, challenged the notion of expertise, refused to accept self-serving hierarchies, implicitly accepted the possibility of going beyond, and valued transcendence as something worthy in itself whilst recognising that transcendence was not an end but a beginning.

The construction and development of Cross of Light Temple offered the world the results of the unfolding of a system based on personal experience, which was not dependent on the acceptance of the super temporal authority of pre-existing texts, organisations, or systems. I read texts to see how they related to the work of Cross of Light Temple and I acquired knowledge as a by-product of this process, which I presented to other people. I saw the value of this enterprise but the world did not share my estimation of its value.

Cross of Light Temple was about the relationship between consciousness, creation, that which enters consciousness from outside of consciousness, religion, magic, wisdom and light beyond light, the totality of these relationships, and the manifestation of the Temple in the world.

Performance of the six-part rite was preceded by the desire to trace connections based in the recognition of an underlying unity. It involved entering an altered state of consciousness, which provided access to the astral temple. There is a saying, ‘In my father’s house, there are many mansions’. The Temple was housed in one of the mansions of the father.

The first stage of the rite involved the opening of the stations of light and the greater light at the centre.

The second stage established the celebrant in the light at the centre. It also established the identity between the light in which we abide and the kingdom of heaven. It taught that we have the necessary resources within us and that we are not reliant on external forces.

The third stage established contact between the light at the centre and the light beyond and unified them as light beyond light, which is the light of origin.

The fourth stage concentrated the power of the first three stages in the centre. It was a period of reflection and sealing. It was more than the sum of its parts. The light at the centre represented life and the stations of light represented the elements that were enlivened.

The fifth stage was a dedication and a further consolidation of the celebrant’s position at the centre.

The final stage provided an indication of how far I had travelled through the performance of the rite and spoke to the condition of change. 

This process could be further simplified as follows:

  1. Opening the stations of light. Opening the light at the centre.
  2. Establishment at the centre.
  3. Going out from the centre.
  4. Reflection on opening, establishment and going out.
  5. The dedication.
  6. The seal.

And it could be concentrated still further:

  1. Light
  2. The centre
  3. Connection
  4. Reflection
  5. Communion (or dedication)
  6. Seal

When considered as an emanation and manipulation of light, the six-part rite could be expressed in these terms:

  1. Light
  2. Light to light
  3. The outer light
  4. The inner light
  5. Cross of Light
  6. The light as seal (and gateway)

In this case, rather than the light at the centre arising as a consequence of the stations of light, the stations of light arose as a consequence of the light at the centre. This could be verified through reflection on the symbols associated with the performance of the six-part rite, which could be summarised by the equal armed cross in a circle.

In reality, what was referred to as light was devoid of properties, but in terms of simile it was more closely related to the positive associations of light than the negative associations of darkness (as light and darkness are commonly understood).

In terms of underlying structure, I noted the following:

The first stage was an opening and facilitated the transition from one way of being to another. It emphasised the elements and the quintessence, the cardinal points, and the centre.

The second stage was an invocation of power. It also established the participants in their stations and highlighted the relationship between the centre and the outer circle (which was an inner circle when perceived from outside).

The third stage was the invocation of a balancing power. It also established the relationship between inside and outside, bringing what was without within.

The fourth stage involved the strengthening of what had gone before but also provided a space for new adventures. It was also about deepening.

The fifth stage was a seal. It was a seal of approval and an act of dedication.

The sixth stage closed the temple and mirrored the transition from one way of being to another that was experienced in the first stage, this time bringing the practitioner back to earth.

The whole was both linear and circular, and each of the stages embraced the linear and the circular at the same time, which was an abstraction of condensed eternity. The whole spoke of the relationship between the body and something beyond the body, which remained connected to the body, and was therefore called the body of light. The whole spoke of interconnection and flowed from stage to stage. The whole could be traced by one finger, three fingers, a hand, the body moving through space, or by travelling through the land.

Cross of Light Temple was North European, 20th and 21st century, although normal space time conditions did not apply in Cross of Light Temple, which recognised that one thing could occupy many different places and many different things could happen at the same time.

The six-part rite was about travelling through portals, getting out or deeper in, cutting through nothing, appealing to transitory authority, beseeching mercy, and entering the void. It was about communing with what was encountered at the heart of the void and reflecting and sealing the experience.

On 1 February 2014, I read through the record of the six-part rite for January of that year and felt distant from what I had written through tiredness and other alienating influences. I concluded that the maintenance of a written record served no purpose beyond the accumulation of data and I decided that the practice should be abandoned. I recognised that the record had formed the basis for a number of Cross of Light Temple texts and recordings, which attested to its overall value, but I decided to confine myself to recording only those details arising from the performance of the six-part rite that called for themselves to be written. The practice of the six-part rite continued unchanged but the manner of recording differed from this point on. And this was as it should have been because it was the experience rather than the record that counted.

I used to build temples in the woods, placing circles of stones around what appeared to be magical trees, with stone cairns in front of the trees, to make them even more magical. I photographed this work, which I performed so often that I came to name the temples. And I named one of the temples the Temple of Silenus in Ecclesall Woods, Silenus being the name of the spirit of the woods who announced ‘the Great God Pan is dead’, and Ecclesall Woods being the name of the woods I circuited for years from 2003 on. Once I had named the temple, I developed a ritual to elevate what I had done, calling it the Ritual at the Temple of Silenus. This ritual involved lighting incense cones and placing them on the central cairns and the surrounding stones, ‘starting in the east’ (whatever that meant) and photographing myself performing each ritual act of incense cone lighting.

The Cross of Light Temple Record indicates that I restored the temple in the woods on six occasions between January 2005 and September 2007. Although it was initially called the Temple of Silenus, it was renamed the Temple of Ing during the first of these restorations. The record contains two descriptions of what this restoration consisted of.

The first description relates that the temple was housed in a forest of mystery and that the work of restoration involved placing the stones around the tree that formed its central feature, selecting a stick from the fallen branches of the tree, sweeping the interior of the circle formed by the placing of the stones and inscribing a rune on the surface of a wooden plaque that had been formed by the removal of a major branch from the tree, presumably a long time ago, as a result of unknown forces of nature.

The second and longer description contains brief accounts of the history and prehistory of the temple and the nature of the work that was done there, which was summarised as an act of purification.

The temple consisted of a circle of stones surrounding a central stone placed in the hollow at the base of an extraordinary tree. The temple was once called the Temple of Silenus, the spirit of the woods who announced the death of the Great God Pan. The temple was later called the Temple of Ing, because the Ing rune was inscribed on the plaque left by the removal of a major branch above the central stone.

The tree was discovered several years before the temple was founded. The discovery of the tree was accompanied by the sound of drumming and chanting. On the first visit to the tree, a kind of altar was formed in the hollow in front of the tree, made of three large stones. On the next visit, it was discovered that the altar had been cast down. Over a period of a year, the altar was restored, a circle of stones was created, the Ing rune was inscribed, the temple was dedicated and a stone observation seat was created beneath the branches of a small tree a short distance from the tree that formed the centre of the temple.

The later form of restoration consisted of lighting incense and placing it in the tree, renovating or constructing a new three stone central cairn, and constructing the surrounding stone circle after pacing out appropriate measurements before placing the stones. Superfluous stones and fallen branches were removed (using fingers pricked by sweet chestnut coverings), the rune was retouched and leaves and other detritus were swept from the circle.

The record also makes passing reference to the Mound ov Krekja, another location for outdoor Cross of Light Temple activities, situated in Crookes, about 5 miles from the temple in the woods.

In July 2007, I developed Cross of Light Astral Temple. I did not know that I was doing this at the time. It happened by degrees and this astral temple did not acquire fixed form until the spring of the following year, and even then, this fixed form was not final.

The foundation of the astral temple introduced me to the Secretary, the Gardener, and the Guide. Although it was the middle of summer, I experienced a warm bright autumn day. I came to a cottage made of large smooth pebbles. It had a red wooden door. The interior seemed larger than the exterior. The floor of the hall of the cottage was made of obsidian like black polished stone. I observed that most of the inhabitants of the building wore neat and formal Victorian or Edwardian costumes and noted that they went about their tasks efficiently. The secretary had blonde hair and blue eyes and wore a white blouse. The gardener had red hair, blue eyes and wore a green dress that looked like a robe; she was accompanied by a slim black cat with glossy fur. The guide was reflected in a mirror; he was bald and dressed in a blood red robe. I was aware of the presence of a white robed guide with greater power beyond the Secretary, the Gardener and the Guide, and the presence of a bright eyed angel beyond this greater guide. I was overwhelmed by the thought of what would come next and I had to steady myself. I registered the experience as a process of changing coloured light, proceeding from white to green to red to light to light beyond light. I realised that the bright angel was an angel of victory. I felt deeply relaxed and full of good will upon my return from this foundation experience.

During my next visit to the astral temple, I perceived a being dressed in a white robe with a sleeveless green mantle, with blonde hair, wearing a gold crown, and I knew that his name was Olanziel. I communed with this Olanziel and received knowledge from him. He taught me that the Secretary, the Gardener, and the Guide represented organisation, creativity and leadership or self-guidance and that all three were necessary for the progress of the work. He taught me that the forces that were present in the temple were related to consciousness, creativity, new ideas, religion, magic, and wisdom and that the temple represented the threshold between light and light beyond light and provided a gateway between them. The astral temple acquired further inhabitants, in the form of Seraphiel and a brotherhood of White Robed Ancients, a group of five beings, with one leader. Seraphiel was associated with magic and the White Robed Ancients were associated with wisdom. The temple also acquired furnishings and indicative signs.

I moved swiftly through the astral temple as if it were a mind space, reflecting on consciousness and creation, developing new ideas about religion and magic, opening myself to wisdom, meaning that which accords with truth, as opposed to folly, which accords with error. I was bathed in light and travelled through a gateway to light beyond light, and the threshold of something beyond that. I meditated on a sign that represented these things and this movement, and perceived that the temple was a mind space at the centre of these signs. I engaged in a form of perpetual motion, which seemed circular, or cyclical. I observed the inhabitants of the astral temple in the form of upward rushing light, which focused my attention on the sign at the centre of the temple and the equal armed cross at the threshold beyond light beyond light. I guided the inhabitants as emanations of light to the region of what is known as my third eye and perceived that the light they were formed of was the same light as the light that filled the altar-tomb, which was the first of the furnishings one encountered after entering the astral temple. The light of the altar-tomb was linked with the Cross of Light sign, which was envisioned without my body, a short distance from my head, although it was really within. The sign represented all of the qualities associated with all of the inhabitants of the astral temple and generated light beyond light, which connected to the equal armed cross, which was envisioned deep within, as if enclosed towards the back of my head, which extended for a very great distance. The Cross of Light Temple sign and the equal armed cross of light represented the same thing in different aspects, or on different planes, or in different locations, and the whole exercise generated a powerful circuit of light, which I collected in the region of what is known as the third eye but which was more accurately located behind my forehead, between my eyes.

In time, these adventures acquired this form: the light was contained in the altar-tomb. It was sent out to the Cross of Light Temple sign, which transformed it into light beyond light and sent it to the equal armed cross. The Cross of Light Temple sign was seen at the front of the visionary space, the altar tomb was in the centre and the equal armed cross was at the back.

I arrived at the following figurative or symbolic representation of the astral temple, which I pictured with great clarity whenever I chose or was moved to do so:

Upon entering, I encountered a stone coloured rectangle, which represented the altar-tomb. To the left, a white circle, which represented the Secretary, a green circle, which represented the Gardener, a red circle, which represented the Guide, a white circle surrounded by a green circle, which represented Olanziel, and a dark blue circle adorned with gold stars, which represented Seraphiel. To the right: two white circles surrounded by gold, which represented two of the White Robed Ancients, a gold circle surrounded by white, which represented the leader of the White Robed Ancients, and two white circles surrounded by gold, which represented the remaining White Robed Ancients. In the centre of the field of vision there was a royal blue triangle surrounded by gold, and beyond this stood the Cross of Light Temple sign.

Once, I saw a group of white robed figures tending a flame in a brazen vessel. These figures were neither grand nor majestic, and yet they were related to the White Robed Ancients. They occupied a corner of the temple and the vessel they tended was shaped like a ship in the form of the crescent moon. The flame was an eternal sun. Although I had not seen them before, they had been occupied in this task forever.

I frequently surveyed the astral temple. Most of its inhabitants were constant in appearance, but the four White Robed Ancients, with the exception of their leader, sometimes appeared old and sometimes appeared young. I did not find this surprising, as age contains youth and youth predicts age.

The Cross of Light Temple sign represented the force and foundation of the astral temple.

Frequent performance of the six-part rite over a period of many years yielded a store of recurring symbols, which came to be viewed as familiar but not necessarily definitive. This symbol store was grounded in the perceived reality of the sun and moon, become the Sun and Moon of charged imagination, authors of light and light beyond light, mother and father, Sol and Luna of fundamental principles, number, colour, and symbol.

I sailed on the ship of the crescent moon towards the triangle, circle and crescent through immersion in the flashing images thus: silver disc waxing white and gold become a cross with a circle at centre; pewter and bronze, silver and gold concentric circles; a blue pillar of light; a disc become a cross with circle at centre flashing silver, white and gold; a red cross; a silver, white and gold figure of the Hanged Man, representing the descent of Adonai.

Are you with me? I am suggesting that frequent recourse to unprompted reflection on the upward pointing lapis lazuli equilateral triangle must be prompted by something. The colour of the triangle was the colour of the sky just before sunset. I was reminded that ‘The colour of his coat is a deep sky blue’, meaning the god of the sky wears a coat of that colour. I knew that the Triangle of Deep Sky Blue was a symbol born from my imagination.

The Cross of Light Temple signs and symbols removed from their stations on the body of light stood in configuration outside space and time: the blue triangle, the cross of light on a disc of light, the silver crescent. The triangle stood uppermost, it was aspirational and represented the Trinity. The cross of light on the disc of light occupied the centre; it was a Christian emblem and a reminder that Cross of Light Temple was a gnostic Christian temple. The silver crescent was placed at the bottom of the arrangement, not only a sign of the Islam of the Sufi mystic, but also indicative of the pre-Christian religions of the British mainland. The triangle also stood for the triple goddess, another form of the three in one; the cross of light on the disc of light was a form of solar cross, and therefore honoured the sun; and the silver crescent also signified the moon. The Cross of Light Temple signs and symbols were returned to the body of light, the blue triangle being placed in what is called the third eye, the disc of light being placed in what is called the heart chakra, and the silver crescent placed beneath the navel. Vertical and horizontal pillars of light (of limitless extension) passed through the heart chakra to form the cross of light in the disc of light, which was thereby revealed to be the most significant of these signs. I meditated on the signs. I meditated on their colours. I recollected their associations and reinforced their potency as agents of the body of light.

Somebody told me that the Cross of Light sign was a Mithraic symbol and that the Tau cross (also known as Thor’s Hammer or St. Anthony’s Cross), which resembles a straightened version of the Cross of Light sign was received by Mithraicists on their foreheads at the time of their initiation.

Somebody told me (and I quote): “The representation of the sun commences with a simple ring or outline circle, which is speedily advanced toward the impression of onward revolving motion by the insertion of a cross or four wheel-like spokes within the circumference of the normal ring.”

Somebody told me that the state of liberation is represented by a crescent, which has the form of the rising moon and is always growing larger.

And somebody told me that the lines of the Greek or equal armed cross represent spirit and matter.

The six-part rite was used as a form of prayer and memorial to the dead. It was first used in this way in relation to the death of my mother in June 2004. It subsequently memorialised Jhonn Balance in November of that year (a rite which involved placing a scrap of paper beneath the central cairn of the Temple of Ing in Ecclesall Woods, upon which was written, “There you are, Jhonn Balance”) and it was performed at my father’s grave in April 2010, when the rite was unwittingly subjected to interference from my father’s stepdaughter and her youngest son.

I have performed the six-part rite in memory of my sister Anne-Marie on the anniversary of her death on 29 August every year since the rite took its final form. This act of remembrance has continued beyond the time period covered by the official Cross of Light Temple Record.

Everything is provisional, nothing is certain and there are no reliable authorities. There is no secret wisdom and the living know nothing about death. Cross of Light Temple and the six-part rite can be seen as forms of creative religious experience, with an underlying theme of unity.

Cross of Light Temple has been described as a gnostic Christian temple, grounded in the doctrine that the body of Christ is the church, the church not built with hands, and the blood of Christ is the spirit that enlivens the church.

Through focus, direct communication and engagement, the Lord’s Prayer became a waking prayer, the Hail Mary reinforced one’s sense of sin as a prelude to elevation and the inward count of 12 transcended the empty or barren space.

Surrounding the centre of the Cross of Light, surrounding the point where the vertical and the horizontal meet, there was a circle, and the image of Mary as a young woman garlanded with wildflowers was placed there. One of Mary’s honorific titles is ‘the gateway of heaven’ and the primary colour of her robe was blue, so the blue triangle surrounded by gold encountered during the course of the six-part rite could be seen as a symbol of Mary and the opening of a gateway to heaven.

The record reveals that I took three breaks from regular performance of the six-part rite. I refrained from practice in June 2008 after finding that my mind automatically ran to familiar symbols at the very thought of the exercise. In June 2010, I deliberately disengaged for a while to create opportunities for the development of other forms of experimental metaphysics. In May 2016, three months before the Cross of Light Temple Record ends, I recognised that the emotional resonance of the six-part rite had faded and that its time had passed. I thought about creating a new form of Cross of Light Temple ritual practice, grounded in recognition of the signs that had arisen through my practice but placing greater emphasis on the meditative phase that constituted the fourth stage of the six-part rite.

Landun

Altogether nah:

Maybe it’s because I’m a Landunuh

That I love Landun so

Maybe it’s because I’m a Landunuh

That I think of her wherever I go

I get a funny feeling inside of me

Just walking up and dahn

Maybe it’s because I’m a Landunuh

That I love Landun tahn…

Western Road, 14 November 2019

I’ve recently crossed a dividing road. I’ve trudged my way slowly from the chemist with a bag of medication. I can’t remember when it started to rain. I don’t think it was wet when I got off the bus. I think the rain has grown increasingly heavy as my mission has progressed.

It’s not a steep incline from one end of the road to the other but it is a long one. I’m as weary as the woman in this picture looks. I’ve resigned myself to the downpour. At least I’m wearing a good long coat and every step I take is bringing me closer to home.

I’m temporarily blinded by the overzealous streetlights. I hear the swish of traffic navigating roads become rivers. I hear the sound of leaf sludge activated by fellow pedestrians and my own feet. People are only out and about because the workday has recently ended. I feel the wetness of the rain but the effort of walking has staved off the cold.

I remember previous associations of heavy rain with rites of cleansing, purification and baptism, which spontaneously developed within me to arrive fully formed in my consciousness around the age of 15. I enjoy the feeling of freshness and the sense that I’ve done something good as I approach my journey’s end.

Rockingham Lane, 9 July 2019

I might be on the fourth floor… I might be on the third. It’s hard to work out from what I can see. This is one of a series of pictures taken through the window by the stairwell on each floor. This was selected because of the distance it travels.

It’s an unremarkable building with pretensions to significance. It houses the offices of organisations that claim to support the citizens of Sheffield but the veracity of these claims is open to debate. It’s a commercial venture, hiring out conference facilities, training rooms and meeting rooms as well as offices.

But this is a picture from the building, not of the building, and it shows a long road that follows a straight path, which surely existed long before the buildings that overshadow it. The path rises slightly before crossing a road and descending to terminate in the region of the lost horizon, where the eye becomes lost in the vagueness of what follows.

Neepsend Lane, 5 May 2019

…walking along Neepsend Lane from the Farfield Inn towards Kelham Island… to experience the state of low level dread that I enter whenever I walk through this landscape. The place seems haunted. There’s seldom anyone around.

One side of the road contains unglamorous business premises… a scrapyard… a few large scale warehouses… but they fade out as I proceed and the presence of the river becomes more noticeable. It’s a fairly straight route, curving a bit to the left, then the right, as it makes its way towards town.

The odd car passes and fades into nothingness. I can’t recall hearing bird song as I walk its mile long stretch, which is surprising given the greenery that rises by the riverside and the trees that mock the brickwork and barbed wire curlicues protecting the interests of the merchants of filth. The road is a dead zone between commercial concerns and a polluted waterway.

It’s an easy path by virtue of its flatness… confounded by the pollution of centuries. I wonder if I’ll see anyone before I reach what passes for civilisation. I hope not. The presence of living citizens would distract me from my liminal awareness of the victims of the Sheffield Flood of 1864… which explains why nobody lives here.

Fertility God Min (Detail), Ashmolean Museum, 15 April 2019

I’m in one of the least popular rooms of the museum. Crowds throng the spaces behind me, revelling in the delights of the marble statuary, transporting themselves to the selection of modern masterpieces two or three floors above… hitting the café and gift shop.

I’m training my camera on a vast expanse of stone, which doesn’t seem to contain much in the way of detail until the light shines upon it in a particular way. This object is one of a pair. Its companion piece is similar, but the protuberance that emerges from the central void is absent from the massive work that stands alongside it.

I see a stylised closed hand. I can only speculate about what it encircles…

This is one of the oldest objects in the Ashmolean’s collection… the age of the object is rendered insignificant when it’s photographed and placed in the collection of photographs that were taken on this day, or in this place.

I’m struck by the silence around me. I’m aware of my body as my head shifts back to allow me to take in the enormity that fills my vision. My actions form part of a ritual, although the significance of the ritual is not apparent.

I think, “What is this? What’s going on?” I feel okay about not being able to answer these questions.