“Find the path…and stay on it.”

It all began at Uffington, on a visit to Wayland’s Smithy… or maybe it had really begun somewhere in the Yorkshire Dales, with the giants we could both see in the hills. It is not every day that you meet someone with a world-view as tangential as your own.

Or perhaps it had begun in the shadows of long ago, as a current moving unseen through our lives that carried us to where we needed to be. Parallel lives in a curved infinity, meeting at a point of inevitability.

Wherever it began, the journey continues…


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Paul Andruss, author of Thomas the Rhymer and Finn Mac Cool, reviews “The Initiate”. Paul blogs at Odds and Sods: A Cabinet of Curiosties.

I have only read spiritual writing as a tourist, never a seeker. Yet I am often captivated by the images the words conjure in my imagination. Sometimes it feels like a thousand lights are turned on inside, while I peer greedily through a chink in the curtains. Standing open-mouthed, gawking in wonder at glimpsed fragments, without ever knowing the whole.

Is this not our world? The infinite casually swapped for the instant; meaning for sensation. We insatiably wade through today in search of tomorrow, relegating each experience to yet another tick on the bucket list. Tick… tick… tick… tick… tick… like the second hand of a clock, punctuating infinity. Cherry picking a soundbite here, a photograph there; souvenirs to prove we dared brave unknown realms.

It is not possible to review Sue Vincent and Stuart France’s ‘The Initiate’ as a novel, for it is not plot or character driven, instead it is a revelation – in the true sense of the word. It is to be experienced not dissected.

‘The Initiate’ belongs to that ancient and revered tradition where a physical journey is synonymous with the soul’s progress to enlightenment. The same device was used in ‘The Epic of Gligamesh’: the first story ever written down. It is found in sacred texts from India, Persia and China, in ‘The Golden Ass’ and ‘The Clementine Recognitions’, and even John Bunyan’s ‘Pilgrim’s Progres’s. It was used as a teaching tool by Gurdjieff, Blavatsky, the magicians of the Golden Dawn, Don Juan Matus and Lobsang Rampa.

But that does not mean it is earnest or dull. It is actually a light and enjoyable read. You find yourself saying…oh just one page more then I really must get on! And then saying the same thing twenty minutes later!

Those familiar with the Sue and Stuart’s writings know what to expect and will relish the breathless adventure they are about to be plunged into. As for the novice, rather than the initiate, I advise you to hold onto your hat for it will be a bumpy ride. Often you will not know where you are going, or appreciate what you see. But when emerging on the far side you will know yourself changed. You will not be able to say how, for you will not know, but you will know something happened; inside: where it counts.

Sue and Stuart’s writing about the ancient, mystical British landscape is no simple travelogue. It is not like visiting a tourist trap where all you find is a frozen moment caught out of context. Unless knowledgeable in history and folklore you have no idea of purpose or reason for the ancient landscape that surrounds you. Even if you know the what, you cannot appreciate the why. Why sacred places endure over the aeons. Why they continue to fascinate even in today’s bubble-world of instant gratification and electrickery.

In the guise of Wen and Don, Sue and Stuart provide an eclectic and erudite commentary on the sacred ancient landscape that is rich in myth and meaning. Although we may dimly be aware of some things they say, most lie beyond our day to day. So in that case, why do their words resonate so deeply in our collective unconscious?

Their prose, well poetry really, anchors the reader in a swirl of time and place where past, present and future collide; a world that stood for aeons before we came and will endure even longer after we cease to be. It is a shock to see it suddenly naked and unveiled. Like the blind man, cured at the holy well, we gape as a hawk spooks a raven on a misty morn. For an instant we see what our ancestors saw; the sun renewing the world, by forcing night to flee.

When young I read the Morning of the Magicians – a miscellany of the esoteric and occult. One passage stayed with me all my life. ‘This is not meant to be read cover to cover’, it said, ‘this is a tool to be used and re-used to meet your needs, whatever they may be at any moment in time.

The foreword went on to claim the book was a weapon against complacency; a psychic bomb to blow your mind. It was. And I was never again the same.

Now I offer another tool, just as potent. It will take you on a journey you cannot yet imagine. Until suddenly, cresting the hill, you see the world before you, so clearly that, in truth, you realise you were never anywhere else.

Paul Andruss on “The Initiate”

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G. Michael Vasey, author of  The Last Observer and many other books reviews “The Initiate”. He blogs at Asteroth’s Domain and The Magical World of G. Michael Vasey.

Firstly, this is a deeply unique book and very few analogies for it spring to mind. I like analogies, because, deep down inside, I like to classify and label things up neatly. Those analogies that I can think of would be books like `The Zelator’ and perhaps even `The Da Vinci Code’, but it is a stretch. `The Initiate’ defies being boxed, labeled or classified and probably rightly so, as it is a work of brilliance.

The book follows two partners in crime – Wen and Don – as they visit some ancient sites in a rural part of England. Engaged in the formation of a new school of consciousness at the time, their minds and souls are open to the spiritual and the miraculous. As they conjecture about the function and usage of various ancient stone circles, white horses or dragons, and mounds, they begin to notice birds of prey – namely Kites. The behavior of these birds leads them to a small church and then another and another. In each of these chapels, they discover symbols, artifacts, and windows with shared themes, which they spend some time attempting to unravel. However, it is the discovery of the `light’ in these chapels along with the Kites that frequent the locations of these ancient sites that begs for answers on both a spiritual and energetic level. Don and Wen attempt to answer.

Intertwined with their journey of discovery is a variety of almost `path workings’. These are deeply poetic narratives that are interspersed with the main text to shed more light on the antics of Don and Wen and their discoveries that work very effectively. One begins to gain hints of concepts and ways of thought that have been largely lost to humanity via these narratives. Indeed, in a sense, they pull it all together and present to the consciousness a picture of times when the land’s energies were sanctified, defended and protected as precious channels of power to other worlds and to other states of consciousness.

As Don and Wen work their way through these sites of wonder, their insights and discussions are shared with the reader and there is a level of inner knowledge of the Mysteries that does remind me of The Zelator. The quest itself from place to place, always guided by the Kites, with the discovery of various symbols and potential meanings along the way is a little reminiscent of The Da Vinci Code. However, this is a work of Art and it is very definitely unique. I will need to read this book several more times, as I suspect that there is much more to unlock and ponder about between the words and bound in the poetry and riddles placed throughout it too. The book is illustrated beautifully with color photographs in which one can really see the tints of colored light that speaks to the presence of a precious energy that still lights the heart of Albion like a network of energy motorways.

G. Michael Vasey on “The Initiate”