Water – swamps, canals and seas

Santa Maria Della Salute, Venice by Friedrich Nerly [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Water has become very important for me. The element, its world, its nature and my place in it. It was always important for Phil, and we always looked for water energy. The two homes we really made in England were either side of that serpentine loop of the Thames which forms the Isle of Dogs. The first was in Greenwich, with its waterfront and maritime history, the second in Poplar, with its canals and history of docks, sailors and sea trade. Over on the Island, a light winked from the illumined pyramid atop Canary Wharf.

It’s taken me this long to get Neptune in Pisces (it’s been there since 2012). It was glamour before: of romance and harmony (Libra), sex and mystery (Scorpio), travel and adventure (Sagittarius), wealth and status (Capricorn), technology (Aquarius). Maybe I expected it to follow the same pattern in Pisces, but actually Neptune in Pisces is something different. It’s like the lack of nighttime vision in the centre of your eye. The radio silence as the space capsule went round the other side of the Moon. The dead zone to all the other things Neptune meant in other signs. The silent, liquid click of the safe lock. The doors opening soundlessly, deep down on the sea bed. The reset, of the cycle that began in 1847.

Turn inward, or way out, and you could float, effortlessly, through the imaginative, filmy, sensitive tissues of the other world, that grows into and out of this one, like capillaries, tendrils, fungal threads, mushrooms of light, sheets of feeling, enzymes and hormones of invisible pattern. Older than all of Life, bleeding timelessness, messages as old and as encrypted as the ocean of space. Wet sails billow, wood creaks, and the prow swings, with no crew in sight.

When I became a Satanist I aimed to destroy (or at least deactivate) external moral authority, and pursue magick and life for myself and my loved ones. What Satanism came to mean most fundamentally for me was spirituality. In my pursuance of a path, I came to view Satan-Set-Saturn as essentially one being. I was delighted to see Michael Bertiaux present a somewhat similar view about Set and Saturn, but also referring to Shiva rather than Satan. Mr Bertiaux has been a periodic light to me for over 30 years. I would hear or read something from him, and something would fall into place, become clear, such as the centrality of communication with entities for magick. Funnily enough after all this time, “spirituality” essentially means congress with spirits, with the invisible for me.

Mr Bertiaux also gives a lovely, fascinating, gentle talk on some water related themes in the video below. I love the combination of the weirdness and kindness:

Late last year my sister introduced me to some ideas connected with evolutionary astrology, and to the Porphyry house system. The “houses” are the ways astrologers divide up the space in the chart, demarcated by the horizon, and the direction of the highest point of the zodiac’s rising in the sky, and lowest point projected under the earth below.


An example of an astrological chart. The circle of the zodiac represents the sky as seen from Earth (focusing on the ecliptic). The lines radiating out from the centre are the house divisions, dividing up our spatial observations into segments, defined from the horizon. [By Macalves (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons]

There are 12 houses, and according to which house system you use, they end up as differently sized for any one location and time. Like the signs of the zodiac, each house is assigned to one of the four elements. Using the Porphyry system I found that my Sun was in the 4th house, the water house associated with the sign of Cancer, rather than the fiery 5th house I had previously taken it to be in. This made so much sense to me. In fact my grand trine of Moon, Sun-Uranus and Saturn were all in water houses, even if in fire zodiac signs. The fieriness of my grand trine is actually somewhat paradoxical anyway. Sun in Leo is combined with the very un-solar Uranus. Sagittarius has a dampening Saturn in it, while Aries has the most watery body of the Moon in it. Fire is quite a complex deal for my grand trine, which is an important resource in my chart. The water houses, on the other hand, make a great, and previously hidden sense. The Moon is at home in water. Saturn’s nature also suits water better somehow. Water wears down resistance and structure with time. I knew about both these house placements previously. The new one was Sun conjunct Uranus in the 4th house. The Cancerian 4th house is the perfect balm to the fractured, traumatized nature of Sun conjunct Uranus. I always loved being based at home. Always loved the Moon, and the early hours. I didn’t forget childhood vision Family was important to me, even if difficult to achieve. I always loved baking. I always wanted a husband. I was lucky enough to really get one.

Speaking of which, my husband came through a number of mediums in Yorkshire at the weekend. Spiritualism was something we had become interested in, in the last few years. Spiritualism and Spiritism are again very watery. Both arose during Neptune’s last passage through Pisces.

Phil always had this thing about Atlantis. If you do our composite chart by one method, “we” were born in the Atlantic Ocean. But there’s a much bigger ocean that we’re all in.

Beautiful relief, that there is such a thing as mystery.

Lights out. Come to the open doors at the back.


I met a warlock in the high desert

though he belonged more, in many ways, to the Ocean, to a home of long ago, free and sea drifted, where pyramids glowed, and the heart’s knowledge ran like electricity or money does now – blue and green. I told him my favourite god as a child was Neptune, and so it was. He was a giant with the softest, warmest hands, this powerful warlock, and had grown up in Northern California, going undercover as the bullied kid at school, latterly disguised as a hard-working, kindly Peter Griffin. Here is a picture of him:


I cannot speak of all the things we shared and went through, but I want to give a sense of how powerful and important this father warlock was, how disguised, how magnanimous, how strong. His name was Philip Michael Batchelor, but he liked to be called Phil.

He was a twin, born in transit in Alameda at the dawn of the 1960s. His bother was taken from him shortly after birth, said by the Catholic Church to have died (though he was the stronger of the two), buried with an adult member of the family, body unseen. This warlock never believed that, and swears he saw his identical brother decades later. Phil was born with Jupiter in Sagittarius, and Saturn in Capricorn. Many people could see that Jupiter in his optimism, his vision,  his sociability, his generosity. Fewer saw the Saturn, the weight he bore, and the horns he wore, and the goat blessing he carried, both scaped and leaping free.

Phil also had Pluto rising, in Virgo, and I think this is what gave him both his mediumistic ability, and his power as a hypnotherapist. Deep within him there was a darkness that could look and speak and listen into darkness. He was aware of some of his past lives, and related them with amusement or dispassion.

For what he carried, he often paid dearly. To be a warlock is not an easy path, and Phil was an innocent, carrying a power of being that others would treat as guilty. Phil was quite simply treated appallingly, dishonestly and ruthlessly by some, right up till his last year, when he was eliminated from his son’s obituary. There are no words. Such are the ways of the “righteous”. Indeed, the Devil’s road is kinder by far.

Phil and me had this in common: we both looked to light and brightness and ideals and dreams, yet carried and valued something far darker within us. Sometimes it was me, sometimes it was him, who was the darker or the more luminous appearing. But we were twins in our soul, merging into one, living like two lovers washed up on the beach in the morning, entangled, at peace, sea weed in our hair, wet sand in our beards. I watched his darkness grow, as he watched mine, and through all, we lost fears and found the work of magick. He had instant, natural understanding, of Thelema, of spirituality’s south paw, of gods, and spirits, and our individual, crucially individual, lawless calling.

So yes, I met a warlock in the high desert. And I will follow him into the sea.

Into the sea. Into the sea.


To my readers

As you probably know by now, my husband Phil Batchelor died last month. I think I prefer “died” to terms like “passed away”, as he certainly did die physically, but he has not passed away. He and his presence, intelligence, heart and vitality is very much in my life, and I don’t doubt in the life of others too.

I have had a lot of practical things to sort out, and there is a great deal to still process and understand inwardly. Sometimes it feels like floating above an ocean of deep water. Most days I don’t lose my nerve though. Everything my husband taught me is fresh, as if it remembered itself. It has the quality of my own soul’s voice. Phil has just become greater, and even more unusual! My great husband.

I know Phil would have wanted me to continue with everything, my work, our work. We were getting ready to embark on the next stage of our journey before Phil left the body, like we always did when faced with a crisis; we just didn’t know it would be this big or extraordinary! Earlier in the Summer we did our first full Satanic ritual together and it was really good. I had been progressing with my occult researches. We were building, and our last birthdays together in August (a day apart) were very happy. We were thinking of renewing our vows.

Inevitably (and appropriately) I am not the same person as I was. But I am not less, for I feel closer and more at one with Phil than ever.

I will be writing, and doing other creative work, when the time is right.

Love is the Law, Love under Will.

The Hunt

When the time is right, the hunt will come for me

And take me back to the man who owns me

My mate

My bull of heaven

My love’s great arms

And the weight of his ardour upon me


And I will be again

His soil, his garden

His field, his aching boy

Awake at last and overjoyed


Then my monster will have lived enough

And a young man will walk free


Till then I follow the course of a star

Whether Algol or Regulus


Or with the sound of hooves

The glimpse of muscular, rearing bodies

A tail that swishes

A brow borne of wisdom

Or wildness

Blood, semen and wine

Herbs that heal, and dreams


I have eaten pomegranate seeds

And I have no regrets


Let that be known


That when the time is right

The hunt will come for me


With joy


The Man I Love

A week ago I read this out at Phil’s cremation and send off. It was titled “The Man I Love”.

I first met Phil 13 years ago, on Halloween of 2004. It was an online encounter on a Pagan message board, and I was immediately moved by the warmth and goodness of this strong and gentle man who loved his children, and had come through a divorce after coming out as gay years before. We were members of the gay “Bear” subculture, and he had the aura and innocence of an ACTUAL, incredibly loving bear.

We became friends and fell in love before we had actually met physically. When I did meet him face to face in Nevada, his warmth, tenderness and love was so great and so generous, and so was his faith in love and goodness. We stood outside his home in Carson City holding hands, looking up at a clear Summer night sky, and I was filled with joy. I think he was relieved, and we both were in the dream we had always longed for.

A few days later he took me to Virginia City, which is an Old West town in the high desert of Nevada, and we bought silver rings, and we took our vows to each other (12 years ago now), for this life and beyond. That was the happiest and freest day of my life, and those vows still stand.

Phil had been through many hardships in his life, but you would not think it. He carried an enormous amount with great dignity, grace and forbearance. When he was presented with an obstacle, he was immediately right there, facing it, finding a way through it or around it. He was like that till the moment his body gave out and slipped into a final repose, and my warrior brother was fine and beautiful till his last breath. He was loyal, faithful, untiring, and would never lose hope, but would always face things as they were. He had vision, and I know he still does. The past tense is only an organic formality here, nothing more.

Phil had a great capacity to help people, and though his own children were taken away from him, I think he acted as a surrogate father to many people. He was an exceptionally talented clinical hypnotherapist, and I know he changed lives and helped people to transform themselves. He was also psychic and a natural medium, and he never stopped helping, even when he was medically retired, he would counsel, mentor, do readings, give advice, whether it was to do with psychic matters or neighbours standing up for their rights with worldly authorities. It was just who he was.

Phil was also, like me, a Witch, and we followed our path together, latterly preferring the term “warlock” and giving the Devil his due, though Phil was also an open minded humanist who prized individuality, and never needed to join anything. Spirituality for Phil was a tool that we could all use, not a contract. He was a natural – unafraid, adventurous, spontaneous. He supported me in my growth and exploration, without hesitation, with his innate intuition and understanding, in his natural, matter of fact way. He was a natural magician and medium. He was courageous and strong in everything, whether in this world or the other.

Phil protected and cared for me through thick and thin, and everything we went through, we faced together, till the end, or at least the end of the chapter where we are both incarnate in physical bodies, this time (though neither of us especially wanted to come back again!). It really isn’t the end.

We shared everything with complete openness and honesty, and I do believe there is no finer husband in the world than Phil. I am so proud to be his, and so grateful we found each other. Our theme tune was “Desperados” by the Eagles, though neither of us ever hesitated to choose hearts over diamonds, and if we were to find ourselves “out riding fences” (and we did), it was together. It will always be together, because he is my Gentle Bull, my King and my mate.

Phil was a boy who was born on the San Francisco Bay, and always considered San Francisco his spiritual Atlantis and his home. He had brothel keepers and silent film actresses for ancestors, as well as a Canadian Indian grandmother who took off long before Phil was born, to do her own thing. I’m proud his lovely father was a janitor, and that Phil was the heart and soul of any trailer park he lived in. That’s my kind of royalty. That boy grew to become a wonderful man that lit the world around him. An individual who always sought to be true to himself, and live his life on his own terms, for the good.

I think if Phil wanted me to tell you one thing, it would probably be this:

Live the life you want to, as the person you really are. Do not fear, but believe in Love.

He taught me that everyday.

Thank you.


Phil on the right, our son Jake on the left. He and Jake were very close.

my love

Tonight is Halloween, and 13 years since I met my love, my soul mate and my husband.

It’s about two and a half weeks since he passed to “the other world”, on 13th October.

I love you Phil, and I am always yours.

Always, my love.



Red feather pigments by Dysmorodrepanis (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons - cropped and digitally altered

I saw him


Half reclining, naked

Honey skinned

With curly hair like flax

Raw wool

Barley rustling in the heat


A beard that looked soft

Young and mature all at once

Amber eyes

Golden, glinting

The light of a fresh washed sky behind him

Like dawn

Like a new morning

Wings tawny and russet red


A breeze

And a lambent cool fire.