April 2016

(c) Jon Randall

Gone, but not Forgotten Jon

Jon Randall channelling Papa Legba – Hecate Rising (c) Carrie Kirkpatrick

 

 

Following the sad passing of Jon Randall less than two weeks ago, I thought it may be some sort of belated tribute to his memory to re-publish this short article which I wrote for his online magazine Pentacle in 2005.   I had been in open discussion with some of the members on the magazine for some months over such things as psychic investigations, Wiccan beliefs and its spiritual origins and the nature of Divine Consciousness, or ‘God’.  It was a long and varied discussion and went on for some months after I had started a thread on the Group named Beyond the Mental Realm.  Perhaps not surprisingly, the topic attracted many varying opinions and viewpoints from members; indeed, even a little hostility from a few who took a hardline approach to anyone who seemingly opposed traditional interpretation of things esoteric.

As the owner, Jon was writing under the pen name of “ARCHRAVEN” on some of its different threads, and it was a particular observation about that he put to myself about the relation between the subconscious mind and the conscious one, that particularly held my attention. This is my answer as it was published in Pentacle in 2005. . .

 As a psychic investigator I have often been asked to define ‘vampires’, but invariably declined by saying that such things simply do not exist..

I have stated that this does not simply negate the existence of much paranormal activity but gone on to clarify this by pointing that before trying to understand the Unknowable (‘vampires’ obviously excluded), it is first of paramount importance to understand that ‘human state of consciousness’ that is trying to understand such things.

I have always empathised  in my Talks and Writings over the years the essential importance of understanding consciousness before tying to understand aspects of the paranormal and the principles underlying spiritualism and higher realms of Being, the latter obviously including states of Being that lie beyond the confines of both these two i.e. Divine Consciousness or ‘God’.

Accordingly, I have often been asked to clarify or explain further my many statements about the true nature of consciousness; whether such questions were forthcoming from the hardened skeptics of James Randi  (where I spent many ‘volatile’ months!) to more liberal groups or sects perhaps trying to find some answer to the often tragic problem of existence.

I have always tried to answer such questions truthfully realizing that to understand the vast complexities of human life (so often tragic and full of sorrow) and its potential relationship to a Higher Existence (or ‘God’), it is first essential to understand the nature of consciousness.  Many people often do not even take such a factor into account; rather take it for granted that consciousness is confined only to their own particular mode of existence and are happy to fall back on the writings of psychologists to explain it – if they think it needs explaining at all.

But personally I think that this essential question goes far deeper than that.  Indeed, without a greater understanding of consciousness,  the human mind will remain entrapped in its usual concepts of life, death and an after-life which may bear no relation to Real Existence.

The following is a question put to me by someone on Pentacle magazine just a few years ago.  My answer I have left unedited, and just hope and pray the format translates accurately (physically that is!) from an old computer. . .

FOR ARCHRAVEN,

Thank you for making the important point about the relation between the subconscious mind and the conscious one.  I say ‘important’ because to me personally, it is an essential point and one that needs to be seen as such before any questions about the paranormal (i.e. things that are seen to exist or occur beyond the conscious mind) can even begin to be investigated seriously.  When we started this thread and called it “Beyond the Mental Realm”, it was really intended to apply to the whole field of paranormal phenomena (or the ‘supernatural’), but the point you make is essentially valid because without a conscious mind to realise that such a thing as paranormal activity might really exist, the whole thing would really be a ‘non-starter’ in the first place!  Having said that, I realise that I might be very much on my own here in that I am not attempting to speak on behalf of anybody or attempting to ‘cloud’ normal reality with issues normally regarded as ‘intangible’.

Your question of  “How do I define the Unconscious”, is really unanswerable, as such. I cannot define it, simply because it is not possible to define levels of conscious that might lie beyond the normal ‘everyday thinking’ mind with the conscious mind.  It would be rather like trying to interpret some compelling dream that has since disappeared into realms unseen leaving only some vague consciousness recollection of it.  Of course, you could get dozens of conscious interpretations (meanings) about it,  but all would basically amount to conjectures on the part of the conscious mind itself.

I sought to find some answer to this problem many years ago now (and am still trying to do so!); basically, how to interpret, or at least, begin to understand deeper levels of consciousness that lie beyond ‘normal’ or superficial consciousness. It is, of course, a vast question, and one to which no forthcoming answers can be expressed in simple form.

I can only really express a little of what I began to understand at the beginning about the whole question:

To begin with, why is it that so many people automatically accept standard definitions about consciousness.  For example, we are taught basically that there exist three basic levels of consciousness; the conscious, the subconscious and the unconscious, which can be defined by conscious theories or other interpretations (which, in turn, are subject to ‘consciousness learning processes’ or other very human theories). This is the commonly accepted view  (put very simply);  but is it necessarily true?

By this I mean, that could there not exist dozens upon dozens of levels of conscious, all maybe ‘interactive’ in a way that certainly lies beyond normal (or normal conscious) interpretation?  Further than this, could there not exist much deeper levels in human consciousness that are beyond normal ‘thought processes’ and which cannot possibly be ‘reached’ by utilizing them (active thought processes?).

Of course, this is where the esoteric (magic) comes in with all its usual deeper symbolisms, sigils, dream interpretations  and so forth (and I’m not ’knocking’ magical practices having been involved in them);  but can even this provide any real answer?

You can go much deeper, of course, but at the end of it, you are only left paddling in the shallows of an infinite ocean.

So to me, that leaves (and left) an inevitable question; how is it then possible to glimpse (let alone see clearly) deeper levels of consciousness with relying upon normal (’everyday’) consciousness to bring this about? Or even, is this possible at all whilst in our normal human state?  It is difficult to put into words. It is rather like saying; if you can somehow go beyond ‘normal consciousness’, you might be able to ‘reach’ THAT which might lie beyond it, but in doing so, you would first have to disguard the very rational mind that would be capable of recognising IT.

I can not attempt to expound this view on paper.  It is hard enough to do so in person, so normally I avoid this subject.  I touched upon this once in a talk I gave (which was originally supposed to be about the paranormal and “ghosts”) and the latter point somehow came up.  Somebody pointed out that it was all really a waste of time and there could be no answer because all you were left with was a ‘chicken and egg’ situation – one that could never really satisfactorily answered.

I could only reply that maybe that question could indeed be answered: Maybe ‘what came first’ was the consciousness or ‘life force’ that first created and then formed both of them.

Maybe we would be best devoting our energies to that, then some of the rest of it would fall into place automatically.

Anyway, I am meeting Gareth tonight so no doubt he will want to reply to the ley line query.  I would certainly be happy to talk to you if you at ‘Moot’ next time I go.  I would imagine that this would be after February now as I do not like the cold weather!

DAVID FARRANT

(Pentacle Magazine 2005)

 

 

 

Jon Randall

Jon Randall – A Good Friend Lost and a Request for Help

(c) Jon Randall
(c) Jon Randall

My good friend Jon Randall passed away at 7.06am yesterday morning (10/04/16) from an unexpected heart attack. I first met Jon at the beginning of this century through another mutual friend Gareth J Medway. Jon attended several Moot talks I gave in London on the subjects of the unexplained and the occult, and was himself a paranormal researcher and a Member of the Magic Circle. I also wrote several articles for his on-line magazine Pentacle in 2006/7 on Wicca and other unexplained mysteries. Aside from this we often met socially at gatherings and at parties. Jon was a good person, who called out bull dust when he saw it and was deeply committed to the Old Religion, largely considering arguements about origins a waste of his time – at least, that was how he expressed his feelings to me personally.  He was one of the most spiritual people I have ever met; he respected what elders within the Pagan and Wiccan communities had to bring to the table and what they had contributed to the survivial of the Craft over the centuries. Indeed, Jon himself was selfless in his magickal work, sharing along with Maria their insight and support as those under their direction grew and developed their paths.  He took his role as a High Priest very seriously indeed – not just learning the rituals and the methods but acting in a pastoral role for those he felt spiritually responsible for.

The photograph below was taken approaching Hallowe’en in 2012 and shows Jon and his wife Maria when they came for an impromptu dinner at our Highgate flat. What a fun night after a long, hard day!

(c) Della Farrant
(c) Della Farrant


From left right: Maria, my son Jamie Farrant, and myself sitting next to Jon.

Both Della and myself will miss Jon greatly, and our thoughts go out to Maria during this unhappy time. A time which has left the Pagan community and the magic community (Jon was an accomplished stage magician as well as an esoteric practitioner) shell-shocked.

The fantastic Doug Segal took it upon himself to start a crowd funding campaign yesterday, to help cover the costs of Jon’s funeral and to support Maria financially through the months ahead. 

Many of my readers here will know and love Jon and Maria, and some of you may have heard of Jon but never met him. If any of you can afford even a few pounds or Euros, your support towards his funeral fund would mean so much.

Please donate whatever you can here:

https://www.gofundme.com/86ycp9tg

We at the BPOS will all miss you Jon, more than we feel the need to spell out in public here.  Perhaps when the shock has passed a more personal memory will be posted here.

But for now, we’ll see you on the otherside. Sheep only though in the Summerlands please, as Della is terrified of goats 😉

David and Della (Farrant)

Capture Robin Hood 3

COMING SOON . . .

 

 COMING SOON . . .

I am delighted to announce that my old friend Patsy Sorenti nee Langley, Secretary of the FBritish Psychic and Occult Society, is planning the release of two new books: one is to be a new edition of her current book The Highgate Vampire Casebook due for release later this year and the other (presently in its planning stages), is a volume on Robin Hood’s alleged grave at Kirklees in West Yorkshire and its associations with a . . . vampire.  (Yes, don’t laugh . . . a vampire!!)  Patsy is determined to uncover the truth behind these vampire stories surrounding the grave, which have startled  the local populace and served to attract sensation- seekers from all across the country.  At least, such declarations of a ‘vampire’ have and certainly intrigued the provincial Press – and in the past Uri Geller – although I wouldn’t go as far as to say that Patsy believes the genuine psychic entity, or ‘ghost’,  reported at the grave-site over the years has anything to do with a vampire!

Patsy’s ‘Vampire Casebook’ hit the shelves in 2005 and caused considerable dissention then  in certain quarters from a few people declaring that the ghost reported at London’s Highgate  Cemetery was a bona fide vampire, complete with fangs and glaring eyes which had gone on a spree of the local area seducing young maidens in their beds and turning them into ‘vampires’ as well.  At least, so such claims were circulated at the time, although they caused more amusement than any desire to give them serious credibility.

This vampire story really began in the late 1960s/early 1970s following a spate of Hammer and Amicus movies which had been filmed on location in Highgate Cemetery.  The cemetery with its crumbling vaults and mausoleums provided an excellent background to obtain the required atmospheric effects.

These films (which included Taste the Blood of Dracula, Tales from the Crypt and Dracula has Risen from the Grave) would – in fact did – give visitors to the cemetery (not to mention the public at large) an easy impression that a tall ghostly figure that had been reported at Highgate Cemetery for many decades was really a ‘vampire’!

This almost certainly encouraged one particular individual who released  a vanity press publication in 1985 supporting this view.  But this person went much further . . . he claimed in this book to have actually located the ‘vampire’ in the Wace family vault in Highgate Cemetery.  Forcing open the door, there the creature lay sleeping in its coffin . . . its eyes horribly glazed and its mouth and fangs caked with congealed blood (presumably from its previous night’s feast!).         He then claims to have performed an exorcism in the tomb using garlic bulbs, crucifixes and holy water before finally sealing up the door using ‘garlic impregnated cement’.  But the vampire somehow later escaped (taking its coffin with it), and made its home in the cellars of a deserted manor house in Crouch End, a mile or so away from Highgate Cemetery.  But this person tracked it down to its new lair then, with unnamed ‘assistants’, they dragged the coffin out into the overgrown back garden and staked the vampire through its heart, before incinerating the whole caboodle with a can of petrol – or so he writes!

In her current edition of the Casebook, Patsy explains how she first located the Wace family vault to check out its history but as its incumbents apparently had no living relatives  (as they were interred at the end of the Victorian era, perhaps this is not so surprising), this was no easy task.  But undeterred, she has managed to trace modern descendants of the Wace family and entered into correspondence with them.  I have not yet seen this correspondence but I presume they would have assured her that there were never any ‘vampires’ in the family line  and  that nobody was ever authorised to enter the family vault other than the legitimate authorities and neither was permission ever sought by anyone else wishing to do so.

All these revelations – and more about Highgate Cemetery and its ‘vampire’ – are to be included in the next edition of Patsy’s book; but we will have to see exactly what these entail when the book comes out later this year.

Next on Patsy’s agenda will be the ‘vampire saga’ at Robin Hood’s Grave.  She has already accumulated a vast amount of research material for that which explodes the vampire mythos but leaves in its wake the possibility that something very sinister lurks in the secluded woodland.  Personally I can’t wait for this one.

group
Gareth J. Medway and David Farrant with two members of the YRHS during the Blessing Ritual of Robin Hood’s Grave. (c) David Farrant

David Farrant, President, BPOS.

NB  For anyone interested in more background on Robin Hoods haunted grave, you might be interested in watching a film made by the BPOS in 2013  For the record, in 2003 I was elected Patron of the Yorkshire Robin Hood Society (which is discussed  briefly in the film) who investigated this case at the time.

The link is . . . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E3IQbA9hUoc

Have fun everyone . . .

David

 

 

 

 

Jamie Theakston

I MUST BELIEVE IN VAMPIRES!!!

 (c) Gareth Davies Mind Set Central
(c) Gareth Davies, Mind Set Central

 

Well Easter has come and gone, but seems to have left us with some nice weather.  Nothing much to report really, except I’ve had a lot of feed back after the showing of the Highgate vampire film on “Forbidden History” on their “Yesterday Channel”.  This was shown on March 11th and repeated on March 17th; although it can still be viewed online  (approx. 45 mins) in case anybody missed it.

I got the usual point put to me (from the same old person actually) asking why – if I clamed not to believe in ‘vampire’ – I appeared on the television (and newspapers and magazines) holding a cross and a stake in Highgate Cemetery in 1970 as if ‘hunting a vampire’?  The person invited me to publish his remark so I am doing this here in case any curious people may have missed my explanation on this point which has been published widely in the media, on numerous occasions.

The main point is that I DO NOT, nor ever have, accepted the existence of ‘blood-sucking vampires’.  These only exist in Hammer Horror films, or in the imaginations of some gullible people who may be influenced by such films..

What happened was, the police arrived while a group of us were in the process of preparing to conduct a ‘magical communication ceremony’ one night in Highgate Cemetery in August 1970: its purpose to try and discover the nature of the unexplained phenomenon (or ‘ghost’) that had been witnessed there.  For this purpose we had with us a psychic medium and several ceremonial implements, including charcoal and incense and small celtic crosses There was also a pointed piece of wood, engraved with Kabbalistic symbols and attached to a length of white cord. The intention  of this was to cast a protective Circle on the ground and then summon the entity to visible appearance.

But the police arrived before all this could take place, and once realising they were approaching by seeing intermittent flash lights  and the sound of loud voices echoing through the quiet night, members quickly headed for Swains Lane just outside the cemetery where two cars were parked.  I headed for the back wall as I knew a short cut through a private back garden which backed onto the cemetery.   Unfortunately,  I was arrested before I could reach this and taken to Kentish Town Police Station where I was interrogated about ‘vampires’ ended up with being charged with . . . ‘Being in an enclosed area for an unlawful purpose’.   The essence of this charge was really the part about ‘unlawful purpose’.   For the police were later to claim in Court that my real intention was to search through coffins – opening them if necessary – until I found the ‘vampire’ when I would have ‘staked it through the heart’ and then ‘run away’.  As ‘evidence’ to support this, the police officer conducting the case Det.-Sgt. Neville Brown had written out a statement on my behalf (in his own handwriting) giving his interpretation of what had been said at the interview and produced the stake and the white cord that had been intended to cast the protective Circle and said I really intended to ‘stake the vampire’!

In fact, Neville Brown had almost certainly got this impression from a television programme I had appeared in some five months previously talking about the Highgate ghost, but confused myself with another individual who had also appeared on the programme  and stated that the reported ghost was really a vampire. To this end, he  produced a large crucifix and a wooden stake for the cameras and proceeded to explain the best remedy to destroy a vampire.  He said, once found, the vampire should be staked through the heart with a wooden stake (like the one he was holding), decapitated with a grave-diggers shovel and its remains then incinerated.  Hence the interpretation that the reported ghost was really a ‘vampire’ had been firmly implanted in the minds of the police.  The other section in the charge relating to  being in an enclosed area was hardly given serious mention in the Court case – the Stipendiary Magistrate himself later admitting the cemetery may not be an enclosed area ‘in the strict legal sense’.

Perhaps not surprisingly when Neville Brown’s statement was read out on oath, some newspapers had a ‘hey day’ with all this ‘vampire sensationalism’.

The Daily Express the next day reporting . . .

 

VAMPIRE HUNTER – I won’t rest until HE does

Students of Count Dracula would recognise the scene immediately …

A man climbing over the wall of Highgate Cemetery, London.  And in his hands a crucifix and a sharpened wooden stake.

NOT GUILTY

Yesterday Farrant, founder of the British Occult Society, denied entering enclosed premises for an unlawful purpose – to cause damage to coffins. Afterwards Mr. Farrant said “I won’t rest until I catch the vampire of Highgate Cemetery. I know he is there.” After his arrest Farrant told the police about the vampire, and went on “I think he sleeps during the day in a coffin in the catacombs. Being that there is a full moon, I was certain to see him tonight when he emerges from one of the catacombs.

He has to be destroyed.  He is evil. I was going to follow when he returned.

MY STAKE!

Having established the exact catacombs the vampire would have entered, I would have got into the catacomb, and searched through the coffins until I recognised the vampire asleep in one.  And then I would have driven my wooden stake through his heart, and then run away”

[Daily Express, August 28th 1970]

Following the publication in the Express – and other National newspapers – I was contacted by BBC television who wanted to interview myself and film a reconstruction of my ‘vampire hunt’ at Highgate Cemetery.  I agreed to this; not because I was actually ‘vampire hunting’, but because I knew the police had attempted to ‘set me up’ and get me found guilty of the more serious charge of intending to break open coffins.  Yet I had been found not guilty of the charge and was assured that the BBC had obtained permission for the filming and so I didn’t have to worry about further legal consequences.

So the filming went ahead and was transmitted at peak time on the “24 Hours” news programme on October 16th 1970.

It is an ironical point, perhaps, that this programme is sometimes taken as absolute ‘proof’ by a small handful of people that I MUST believe in ‘vampires’,  when nothing could be further from the truth!!!

David Farrant.

 

Swains Lane at night

Eerie Swains Lane that runs alongside Highgate Cemetery