Albion, Alchemy, ancient sites, Books, Don and Wen, spirituality, Stuart France and Sue Vincent, symbolism

France and Vincent… Finding Don and Wen

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Photograph by Helen Jones

It served me right for kidnapping a genius with one foot in several other worlds and eyes fixed firmly beyond any horizon I had ever seen. And I only kidnapped him a little bit. And he didn’t seem to mind too much….

We knew each other anyway, through the Work, but had never really had much time to talk so the meeting was just asking for trouble, really. We spent almost the entire night, wine in hand, talking about almost everything under the sun and then moved the conversation outside to watch the stars.

When the meeting had concluded next day, I offered to run him to the station… we never got there, but did have a wonderful day exploring the Yorkshire Dales, cold as it was. It had snowed a little and in spite of the sunshine, small patches remained on the low ground while the hills were capped with white in places. It was, as always, beautiful. It is, for me, the landscape of home.

We still hadn’t stopped talking, about weird and wonderful ideas, symbols, meanings, philosophies and rituals. We even appropriated an entire stretch of the waterfalls at Aysgarth for our future ritual use. It was a lovely day and after the kidnapping was over I dropped him at a different station, in a town some distance away from his original destination.

But that madcap adventure paved the way for more to come as the friendship grew. Over the past few years his tangential vision has melded beautifully with my own skewed way of looking at things and we have had a huge amount of fun playing out in the landscape. We have explored ancient churches and sacred sites, dissected myths and legends from across the world and through the course of history.

We’ve laughed a lot too as we discovered most of the village inns in the area…and chased red kites across the countryside allowing ourselves to be guided by the birds and intuition.

It became apparent, probably at some wine-fuelled moment of further lunacy, that we should write about it. I’m not even sure how that came up…. But it did. So, following the convoluted trail we had been guided down, “The Initiate” came into being.

It is, we have decided, the ‘second best book ever written’… the best being whichever we are currently working on. We may be just a touch biased… but the writing partnership of Stuart France and Sue Vincent is too much fun to stop now….

The mixture of factual adventure and fictional telling is a little unusual. The visionary experiences that snake through the text like serpents, weaving time and place together across the tapestry of history, may be a departure from the norm… but we like it. And the books leave even me laughing in delight or pondering their revelations open mouthed… and I know their story!

There is, though, a serious purpose behind the lunacy… or so we like to tell ourselves reassuringly. We wanted to create something that explores the universal language of symbolism, that shows how fragile the barriers are between the myths and legends of many cultures, how similar are the Paths Man has walked through the centuries and the oneness of life when it is lived in awareness. We wanted to share something of the joy of living and how very deep our roots go in this beautiful planet we call home.

Above all, perhaps, it is the story of a friendship built on laughter and, as our dear and beloved leader wrote, “because you’re both at a slight angle to the Universe, anyway”, which may just be a gentle way of saying we are a pair of lunatics.