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A young woman escaping from a miserable existence finds her whole world transformed when a Navajo artisan befriends her in the Arizona desert…


A reclusive writer enters a new reality after a character he thought existed only in a classic novel arrives on his doorstep…


A woman visiting the ruin of her family home on the west coast of Ireland finds the spell of midsummer unlocks a secret of her childhood…


A travelling musician following his muse across the country is inspired by a chance meeting with the archetypal hobo in a California railyard… 


These are the themes of some of the short stories in A Raft of Dreams.


And this photo (right) holds a
subtle clue to the content of
the story entitled The Letter...





                 unfettered in the night

                     charged in the eternal gusher of creation

                          the true aspirant, the one and only,

                              from the matrix of oblivion

                  to the overflowing void

                          is cast into the labyrinth


                                                   (from Labyrinth, Arena 2)


As Haller tells the narrator in my story  Return of the Steppenwolf, a poem, a book - or a symphony for that matter - is not just another experience, but a mystery, 'a wind blowing from the future'.

    Haller says: 'We must let that fresh breeze invigorate our consciousness. Dr Donne said: “Be more than a man, or thou’rt less than an ant…” Men and women are not yet fully human. You must be more than a man to become fully human. A secret lies within your innermost self, your deepest soul, but it is a long and dangerous journey to find it out.

    'The role of the poets is not to point out ways, but to arouse a longing'.

Jimmy took the guitar from the stand, and sat back down with it. As he drew it close to his body in the playing position, he was suddenly rocked by another avalanche of distorted sound inside his head, just as he’d experienced in the town hall basement. The previously still room was now ravaged by a tumult of menacing vibrations, like the swirling of a great wind. The sound became a high-pitched scream against a crashing of chords and a pounding of drums which echoed away into the distance. A sequence of bright, flashing lights passed in front of his eyes. Rows of phantom faces swam again into his view but he couldn’t bring them into focus, and there was the peculiar feeling once more that he wasn’t alone in the room, that there was someone right at his elbow. He felt as if he was on a cavernous stage gazing out into a vast audience. There was now another presence, and it seemed to be attaching itself to the guitar, tugging at it. 

         From The Country Gent

Spirals: The Pattern of Existence is available from Amazon, the publishers Green Magic, and from bookshops.

The autographs of the gods

In my book, Spirals: the Pattern of Existence,  I have tried, hopefully with success,  to re-create philosophy in the ancient sense of the term, that way of stepping back from the 'close-up' everyday position, and seeing the bigger picture, the numinous pattern behind the structures of our universe.

    I have leaned towards the occult, Hermetic and Gnostic traditions in attempting to uncover hidden connections and correspondences within a living universe which have been revealed throughout human history in sacred geometry, art and writings.

    An important part of my aim was to attempt to unite conventional scientific thinking and these alternative traditions to suggest the possibility of a much wider and more radical science emerging from the two areas. Indeed, to suggest that we might have had such a science, working to a completely different set of principles, available to us for thousands of years, which we have allowed to fall into neglect, but which we may now revive for the world by means of what I have described as transcendental pragmatism.

    Mine is an esoteric world view but one which is based on the idea of consciousness as a gestalt, a uniting human experience rather than one subjective only to the individual. Such an approach can surely only be positive, for then we can see that humankind and life itself exists because it must, and not by accident or default.

     For me, the ubiquitous spiral represents the trajectory of consciousness, the shape of time and the pattern of spiritual growth. It's how the universe shapes up. Spiral energy fields are all around us and within us, patterning our very existence, from microcosm to macrocosm, determining structures from the tiny vortices of sub-atomic particles to the awesome "island universes" of galaxies where stars are born and the conditions for life created. 

    The protean spiral is nature's most favoured pattern of growth and most efficacious deployer of its energy - life-inducing, life-protecting and life-supporting: from the DNA molecule to the human heart where crucial fibres in the ventricles run in spiral lines. 

    I see it as an archetypal symbol corresponding to the underlying reality of nature. And as a symbol it's free of dogma - religious, political - but also a living experience. I believe that today we are starved of such symbols that can speak to us and deliver meaning into our lives. Many of the symbols we do know have lost their psycho-spiritual significance for us. Often with confused messages, they no longer resonate meaningfully within us.

    Yet the spiral is the age-old intuitive symbol of spiritual development and our identity with the universe. It is found in cultures the world over and reflected in shamanism, serpent cults, dragon lore, geomancy, mysticism and ritual art and dance throughout history. 

    As 're-volution' or 're-evolution', the spiral progression is symbolic of the transpersonal route to that higher level of consciousness which is sought by all esoteric and occult systems. Paralleling these inner movements of the psyche, which indicate the transformative and the integrative, are movements in physical space: the vortex, or involution, representing an opening or re-awakening; the circumambulatory, as utilised in mazes and labyrinths; and oscillation, the movement back and forth between dualities. The circumambulatory and oscillative suggest the mandala, a symbol of wholeness, while the spiral and the vortex point to dynamic growth and metamorphosis. 

    Now, we may think that, as the spiral is simply everywhere in nature, it points to a certain intelligence underlying the existence and development of the universe, and our consciousness of it. It is spiritual experience that seems to put us in touch with this intelligence through our consciousness, or sometimes altered states of consciousness.

    I'd like to think my book reveals the full significance and prevalence of the spiral form in nature and human culture, embracing as it does anthropology, molecular biology, zoology, astronomy, quantum physics, Jungian psychology, earth mysteries, religion, philosophy and the wisdom of the ancients. See spirals and you see the autographs of the gods. GEOFF WARD

I was delighted to write the introduction to the new edition of the late Colin Wilson's 1966 novel, The Glass Cage, a metaphysical murder mystery, which was published in 2014 by Valancourt Books.

     William Blake scholar Damon Reade is drawn into the investigation of a series of savage killings in London after the police consult him on quotations left at the murder scenes from Blake’s prophetic books – Wilson took the American Blake scholar Samuel Foster Damon as an inspiration – and returning the reader to the familiar Wilsonian device that fuses novelistic discourse with intellectual adventure. Reade travels to London not merely because the Blake aspect of the crimes intrigues him – how, existentially, could someone who knows Blake be a ruthless killer? – but because he feels he needs to find out how far he himself is separated from society.

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