There are many of us over the past few years, within and without the Society of the Inner Light, who have felt the need to do something about what used to be called “the Last War” by those who fought in it, assuming it would be the last one in the history of western civilisation. Although they were soon disillusioned and when war broke out again some twenty years later, “Last” came to mean, not “Final”, but “the one before this one!”
The reasons for our esoteric engagement in Remembrance Day celebrations was the realisation that there was much still unresolved in inner plane terms with regard to many who had been killed, many unidentified, many completely blown to bits, psychologically maimed even after death, and still hanging around the battlefields. This came with the realisation of the existence of an inner plane group known as the Company of the Light of the Somme with whom we could work in order to bring release to those who were still in a state of shock.
It resulted in some of us making the trip over to the old Western Front to feel something of this at first hand, as Alan Richardson has done, although this is not completely necessary as rituals could be effectively worked at home. One such is that of ‘The Chapels of Remembrance’ a script of which has been published in the latest edition of The Abbey Papers, [Skylight Press] and with a more detailed description of its initial working in An Introduction to Ritual Magic [Thoth Publications] with both of which the SIL has been closely associated. And when such work was at its height, the performance of a play This Wretched Splendour [Skylight Press] largely inspired by one of the inner plane adepti who fought in the conflict.
Alan Richardson, a contributor to the Inner Light Journal and biographer of Dion Fortune, has now obviously received a call to do his bit with this latest book. To my mind it is probably his best and certainly his most moving. As ‘Sting’ remarks in a foreword “Under the deceptively simple prose and conversational tone, Richardson crafts another level of insight which shows how the Somme Offensive resonated within his own soul a century later. Tensions were passed down from his war hero grandfather, through his father, and into his own childhood, thus family conflicts became almost analogues of the Great War itself. ...The book is never less than informative, with unexpected insights. At times it is extremely funny.”
So with eyes to see and ears to hear, not only is this an entertaining, informative and thought provoking read, it is an important book for anyone with any esoteric sense who seeks some background to any inner work connected with war and the fall out from it, in this world or the next.
Published by Skylight Press, ISBN 978-1-908011-74-9 176pp. £11.99 $18.99