Discussion Circle: Tarot for guidance and development


Our next discussion circle will be held on Monday 16th September at The Gap. The title will be Tarot for guidance and development, continuing a theme begun in the last discussion circle. The exercise we are working with involves using the attention to activate the energy of the trump, and to explore the card experientially in this way. For a full description, see here.

Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Date: Monday 16th September, 2013.

Place: email rob at rob@stagandflame.com for details of location.

Healing and The Fellowship

When I started out on my journey in healing, I was motivated largely by self interest. I was a musician, and began having trouble with my hands, a terribly confronting issue for a musician, threatening one’s sense of self, identity, and threatening the need to reassess one’s chosen path in life. Having gone down the path of modern medicine with out resolving the issues, I began my exploration of all things alternative in medicine. I studied Tai Chi, Yoga, Shiatsu, Chinese Medicine, Herbal Medicine, Spiritual Healing, Shamanic Healing, crystal healing, affirmations and goodness knows what else besides. I learnt how to live with my physical limitations, and still play music. But more importantly, I began to see that Healing has a much greater dimension to it, than simply meeting one’s individual needs or desires for health. Likewise, I began to see that the causes of ill health go very deep into the bedrock of our modern western society, and that to approach health and healing on a purely individual level is to fight at best a valiant rear guard action that can stave off the worst ravages of ill health for a time, but in the long run must succumb to the overwhelming assault on our planetary life support system presented by the modern industrial consumer lifestyle.

In order for all of us to enjoy abundant health, we need to stop poisoning our life support system – our natural environment, and to maintain the natural cycles that furnish us with good air to breathe, good water to drink, good food to eat, and natural non-poisonous products that we can use to create shelter. Upon this foundation, good health can be built for all of us, including the non-human life forms that we share the planet with.

Health is however not simply a physical consideration. Good health has an emotional dimension, a mental dimension, a social dimension and a spiritual dimension. It is only when all of these dimensions are in balance that we can truly say that we are in good health. But none of these dimensions exists in isolation. We have connections to other people, to the natural environment, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. We are affected by the electromagnetic vibrations created by technological devices and by other people, and by the energies that collect and flow through the earth. We are affected by the beliefs and expectations of our society, and our ability to contact, channel and have experience with spiritual energies and spiritual entities such as Deities, Spirit guides, Angels, Saints and so on. In today’s world there are great disturbances in all these areas which affect our collective health.

The healer’s journey in today’s world is a difficult one, as it seems on every side that good health is being undermined by titanic forces that seem beyond the power or influence of one person to do anything about. That is why we must club together, and work together, so that collectively we can take charge of our health, and our destiny. It seems over whelming, but we can take health and heart and support from one another. One can’t do everything, but one can do something. If we all do our Somethings, then we will be moving forward towards good health for all.

This working together to achieve good health collectively is not about creating an organisation, with articles of association, a board of directors, fund raising activities and so on, although such organisations to achieve specific purposes might be a part of it. How we may best work together is based on an esoteric understanding of life and spirituality. This understanding is that we are all part of one life, and one consciousness – the life and consciousness of planet Earth, and indeed the entire universe. This is no mere intellectual understanding, no mere concept upon which we can base our reasoning or logic. This is a lived reality, or I should say, it can become a lived reality, once our organs of connection and communication are re-animated and allowed to function as they ought.

Modern consumer industrial society and it’s scientistic education system and mechanistic world view usually result in these organs of connection and communication being shut down by the time people reach adult hood. These organs are intuition, inspiration and instinct, which all of us have to some degree, and all of which can be developed using basic self development exercises. These natural organs can be further supplemented by the development of the third eye centre, which may be thought of as a communication exchange with the non material worlds – allowing for the development of clairvoyance, clairaudience, and clairsentience, and indeed other methods of conscious contact with and exchange with the worlds of spirit.

However I do not ask you to believe any of the above, as that is a pointless exercise. All I ask is that you entertain the possibility that at least some of what I have said may be true, and take up some of the practices I suggest for developing your organs of connection and subtle communication. The old saying is that the proof is in the pudding. When you do the practices, and have the experiences that they bring for you, you will find that it is not a question of believing this or that, but simply a question of experiences that can be most simply explained in the way I have suggested.

We are concerned fundamentally with experience, and how to lay the ground work for them, rather than signing up to a set of beliefs.

The view that I subscribe to is explained at length in my book The Great Work. In essence, we are part of one life and consciousness, though we have forgotten it. Each of us is an organ of that life and consciousness, and we experience our greatest fulfilment when we perform the role within that greater life that is our own. However few of us reach this happy state because of our conditioning, and hyper individualism, and loss of connection to the greater life and consciousness of which we are a part. Most of us are like cancerous cells, trying to maximise our personal benefit oblivious to the effect on the greater life of which we are a part. Our society is out of control. When cells function as nature intended, they form a harmonious body, each doing it’s appointed task for the benefit of the whole. We are like cells in the body of the greater life that forms our planetary home, and if we each perform our appointed function, then health and harmony will prevail.

However it is not easy, in this society, to come to an appreciation of one’s true work. Most of us are living lives of distraction, and hence of dissatisfaction. The healer’s journey is first to come to an appreciation of his or her own true work, and then to do it, as much as they possibly can. In the case of the healer, it often involves helping others to find their own true work, and to encourage them to do it!

The Fellowship of the Stag and Flame has been established first and foremost with an emphasis on Healing because this is the fundamental issue of today’s society. It has been established in the spirit of the ancient Deities and pagan traditions of the Anglo/Celtic countries, because these are the ancestral Deities and repositories of wisdom for the people of the Anglo-Celtic diaspora. By working with the Deities and Spiritual traditions of one’s ancestors, one activates a spiritual continuity and participates in a wisdom stream that is transpersonal, and essential. By essential, I mean that there is a part of each person that resonates with and awakens to their ancestral wisdom. The Fellowship of the Stag and Flame has been established through inner plane contacts, and serves to introduce those in the fellowship to the contacts (Deities, spirit beings, ancestral spirits) of the Fellowship, which include Anglo/Celtic Deities and mytho-poetic figures. The Fellowship works primarily within an anglo/celtic framework, drawing on historical documents and folk lore. The Fellowship however does not claim any lineage to ancient Celtic teachings (other than through the Fellowship’s inner plane contacts), nor does it claim to offer initiations into any Bardic, Druidic or Wiccan traditions. While it is expected that people interested in joining the fellowship will make room in their lives for the practices and contacts of the Fellowship, there is no need to repudiate or resign from other teachings, practices or paths. The Fellowship recognises that all people have their own unique journey, and come to the fellowship with their own inner plane contacts, and space is always made for what each person brings to the fellowship, in the expectation that each person will likewise make space in their lives for what the Fellowship offers.

Robyn Wood

Discussion Circle: Tarot for guidance and development

Our next discussion circle will be held on Monday 14th October at The Gap. The title will be Tarot for guidance and development, continuing a theme begun in the last discussion circle. The exercise we are working with involves using the attention to activate the energy of the trump, and to explore the card experientially in this way. For a full description, see here.

Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Date: Monday 14th October, 2013.

Place: email rob at rob@stagandflame.com for details of location.

Discussion: Creation as the Dance of Goddess and God

The next event to be held by the Fellowship is a discussion evening on the topic “Creation as the Dance of Goddess and God“. The discussion will cover the importance of this as the essential worldview that informs the philosophy and magical and ritual practice of the fellowship. This overarching view of creation has implications for sexuality, self concept, and our view of and relationship with nature. To see the world in this way is to see everything as living, related, and the offspring of both a nurturing, generative power, and a seed, quickening power. This has profound implications for the way we undertake all our life activities, from the most mundane to the most esoteric. It represents not only a philosophical viewpoint, but a profound practical explanation of the creative process, that situates us within an unfolding in which we participate.

Time: 7:30pm

Date: Monday 22nd July

Place: The Gap, Brisbane. Email  Rob at rob@stagandflame.com for details of location

The evening will conclude with a short meditation and ritual honouring traditional Deities.


The Lady Brighid

One of the chief Deities of the Fellowship is Lady Brighid, a Celtic Goddess of great antiquity, whose practices and lore passed into Irish Catholicism, and who is a much loved Goddess of many modern pagans, epecially those with connections to things Celtic. She is of course the Lady of the blessed flame, and the holy well. The flame is regarded in the Fellowship to be expressed in triple form, as the flame in the belly, the flame in the heart, and the flame in the brow.

The flame in the belly is the flame of health and vitality. A strong flame in the belly gives one the power to digest food and absorb nutrients. In the olden days, the process of digestion was seen by some as “cooking” the food by the stomach. Today, in Chinese medicine and naturopathy, cooked food is regarded as easier to assimilate than raw food. You may have noticed when laughing a jolly belly laugh, that heat is generated in the lower abdomen around the naval area. This is also the flame in the belly, the energy of mirth and merriment, which is healing and restorative in so many ways. In Shiatsu, Japanes finger pressure massage, the hara, the region around the naval, is considered to be the key to healing transformation, and the energy is felt as heat moving in this region. In Tai Chi, and Chi Gung, the life energy is cultivated in the lower abdomen, at a point just below the naval, called the tien ten. In our own Australian English vernacular, people speak of the fire-in-the-belly possessed by certain go-getters who live with energy and passion, and who won’t countenance defeat or set-back. Behind these different expressions is an energetic secret of health and longevity, which I regard as the cultivation of the first of the three flames of Brighid.

This is the place to begin with cultivating the flame, as health and humour are the foundations upon which all else must build.

The flame in the heart is a symbol of western mysticism that goes back many years, perhaps most conspicuous as the symbol of the sacred heart of Jesus in the Catholic religion, which is depicted as a heart merged with a candle flame. While I don’t myself work specifically with the sacred heart of Jesus, as a pagan, the symbol is not out of place as Brighid is regarded in Ireland as the foster mother of Jesus. However the symbol of the flame in the heart transcends the Christian religion. In the Fellowship, it represents the flame of alchemical transformation. Just as the flame applied to the alchemical vessel results in transformation and change, hopefully in a positive direction towards the philosopher’s stone, so does the application of love to any situation result in positive transformation and change towards enlightenment.

But the flame in the heart is more than just a metaphor. It is an effective transformative symbol, a switch, which can be applied through visualisation, in order to bring love into a situation. The visualisation is the flame burning in the heart. The feeling is the opening of the heart chakra. The effect is the creation of loving energy which emerges into the energy field of the interaction, and which transforms negative energy in that same energy field. The effect is subtle, but powerful. It should be noted that the potential exists to misuse such loving energy in order to manipulate people. Needless to say, operating in this way is unethical, and will sooner or later re-bound upon the practitioner.

The fire in the brow represents the energy of creativity, and direct connection with divine creative energy. It is expressed through extemporisation in music and poetry, in which the greater consciousness has its opportunity to manifest its expression through the poet or musician, artist or writer. It is also associated with seeing through the inner window, or opening of the third eye. A basic technique in Yoga is to visualize a candle flame, while holding the attention lightly on the brow chakra. In Druidic lore, the Awen is the stream of divine inspiration which moves the poet.

The three flames of Brighid are both a symbol of the threefold way of wisdom – a healthy body, a healthy heart, and a healthy mind, and an energetic presence that one can work with esoterically. In these days, in which individualism is taken as a matter of course, it is easy to forget that we are part of something greater than ourselves. The flame of Brighid is both a symbolic reminder and an esoteric technique for linking with and experiencing ourselves as part of a greater existence.

All who work with the healing energy of Brighid are linked by the matrix of the Goddess as she transmits and transmutes the healing energy. To meditate upon the flame of the heart is to invite an opening into the oneness of love. To work with the fire of the brow, the flow of the Divine inspiration, is to transmit and mediate the creative conscious expression of the spirit realms. In each case, these practices and experiences transcend the everyday conscious mind, and one becomes a part of something greater and all-embracing.

The up-side of such experiences is plain. These transcendental experiences are generally a peak experience for people, in which feelings of happiness and upliftment replace the habitual modes of being, and in which the usual mind chatter focussed on the efforts of the rational conscious identity to confirm its own existence, is swept aside by an experience of being that is deeper, wider, and more mysterious.

The down-side of these experiences is often over-looked. To taste the nectar of the Gods makes other food taste like cardboard. Things that ordinarily one would enjoy and find satisfying may pale by comparison into empty and hollow experiences. Activities where the individual rational consciousness is running the show seem to be devoid of the luminous depth and intensity of transcendental contact. One pines for these experiences once one has had the taste of them, yet mysteriously, or frustratingly, life seems to require one to put them aside – in order to carry out one’s mundane duties.

Thus commences the dark night of the soul. The knowledge of the darkness of one’s life is manifest, where perhaps it wasn’t before. With an experience of light, comes a knowledge of darkness. Living in this darkness is almost unbearable, when one has yet to find a way to structure one’s life around regular transcendental experience. The problem with our current society, is that there are so few ways in which transcendental experience can be expressed or encouraged on a regular daily basis. When people are working 50 and 60 hours a week, commuting a couple of hours a day, and doing their best to raise a family in the time that’s left, there is precious little time available for the cultivation of the transcendental connection. Yet once tasted, this transcendental contact is a necessity of life.

Perhaps one answer is to find a way to have that transcendental connection within one’s normal activities. This is not easy, but is the way of Zen – chopping wood, carrying water, with mindfulness. The problem for many people is that many of us are having to spend our day concentrating, focussing, thinking, planning, decision-making, and other forms of intellectual and rational activity – activities that require us to be in the seat of rational self-identity. With this necessity, the transcendental experience recedes. But perhaps there is a way to incorporate the transcendental awareness into these kinds of activities. The flame of Brighid need not be extinguished, but may burn steadily throughout each day – it is just a matter of holding an awareness of the flame, lightly in the background. In this way an element of numinous awareness may be present in the most mundane of activities.

Robyn Wood

Healing Circle amd Cultivation of the Flame

The next Healing Circle for the Fellowship will be on Monday 8th of July. The Circle convenes at 7:30pm, and goes for approximately 2 hours.

The Healing Circle is held under the auspices of the Goddess Brighid, an ancestral Irish and Celtic Deity, and one of the chief Deities of the Fellowship. The Healing Circle commences with a general discussion about the Lady Brighid, as a Goddess of Healing, and a discussion on healing from an esoteric viewpoint. A short exercise is then conducted in the cultivation of the Flame, a set of exercises and visualisations which can be done on a daily basis to allign with the healing flame of the Goddess Brighid, and to bring the energy of Her healing flame within your body and being. A short ritual follows, in which we work with the Lady’s flame and presence in order to more deeply understand the issues in our lives which require healing, and to find our next step towards wholeness.

This week’s discussion topic will be “Healing Self, Healing the World”, in which we will explore from an esoteric viewpoint the nature of individual and collective being, and how inner and outer healing practices mutually reinforce.

Date: Monday 8th July

Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm

Location: The Gap, Brisbane. Phone or txt Rob on 0408 854 077, or email rob@stagandflame.com if you haven’t been before and need to know the address!


Discussion Evening: Basic Principals of Esotericism

The next event to be held by the Fellowship is a discussion evening on the “Basic Principals of Esotericism“. The discussion will cover the mystical and esoteric viewpoint, and how and why it differs from the dominant worldview of the Western Secular Society. We will discuss the worldview that informs the Fellowship in particular, and the neo-pagan worldview in general.

Time: 7:30pm

Date: Monday 17th June

Place: The Gap, Brisbane. Email  Rob at rob@stagandflame.com for details of location

Topics include:

Creation as the Dance of the Goddess and God

The Wheel of the Year

The Four Elements of Fire, Air, Water and Earth.

Everything is alive

The Web of Wyrd

The Power of Attention

The evening will conclude with a short meditation and ritual honouring traditional Deities.


Healing Circle

Our regular healing circle will be held on Monday 25th of May. This session will focus on the discussion topic of what is healing? We will be working with the Goddess Brghid, a traditional Celtic deity of healing.

We will explore the spiritual dimension of healing – the opportunity in every illness/injury – from a neo-pagan perspective. What is illness? Changes in perspective from individual-rational-centric to felt-collectivity of life. The place of giving and receiving.

As always their will be a short ritual and meditation involving traditional Deities.

There is no charge for attendance, but a small donation towards costs would be appreciated.

The circle is held at The Gap, in Brisbane’s inner west.