A very strange sequence of events has happened to me over the last three days. Yes, I know that we look for meaningful patterns in the myriad random events that occur, forgetting the meaningless ones and seizing on the meaningful ones. But this is very strange…
On Friday I went to drop off some graphic samples to a company that is making us exhibition cabinets. They are based in High Wycombe and the AA website told me to come off the M40 at Junction 3. I did this but it brought me all the way through the eastern suburbs of Wycombe and out the other side so I decided to not go back through the town and try and hit Junction 4 of the M40 by continuing westward. In the event I never did find Junction 4 but ended up rejoining the motorway at Junction 5. However, my new route took me through “Old Wycombe” and I noticed intriguing signs to the “Hellfire Caves”. I clocked this away and decided to look it up on the internet when I got home.
On Saturday I went to Midhurst to talk to a man about a carpet. On the way back to the car Lisa dropped into a butcher’s shop. I stayed outside with the children. As I loitered in the butcher’s carpark a man came from the nearby wine shop and loaded a case of wine into the boot of his car. I was shocked to see that the name of the wine was “Thelema Mountain” as I associated “Thelema” with Aleister Crowley and I wouldn’t have thought that to your average quaffer this was a great draw. Anyway, when I got home I searched for this on the internet and found the vineyard in question as well as the whole background to their name. Interesting that Crowley wasn’t the person who invented Thelema nor the famous dictum “Do what thou wilt…” but had lifted it from a sixteenth century Catholic priest called Francois Rabelais.
Yesterday (Monday) I was doing a major tidy of the study at home. I came across an old “magazine on CD” that I had purchased a couple of years ago called Duat Magazine. This was such a success that the first edition ws the only edition (although another is threatened “soon”). I wondered if there was any material on there that I could use on my website and scanned through the contents. Whilst looking through the magazine I found an article that I had never seen before (you’ll have to trust me on this) by a lady called Robin Crookshank Hilton. A quick search on the colourful Robin showed that she was now the UK Editor-in-chief of Phenomenon Magazine (which briefly owned The Daily Grail, but that’s a whole other trail…). Her most recent article, entitled “From Hellfire to Hieros Gamos” is all about the Hellfire Caves and associated “gentleman’s club” created by Sir Francis Dashwood who took inspiration from Francios Rabelais and who in turn inspired Aleister Crowley.
How spooky, you have to ask, is that?