Prince of Thieves- At The Maze

2016 has, so far, seen many a demise of our favourite performers.  One of these being Alan Rickman: Professor Snape to some, Marvin the Android to few, Hans Gruber and Metatron to others and The Sheriff of Nottingham (George) to many.

To commemorate his death, The Maze here in Nottingham decided to host a public viewing of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and serve mead.

It was free entry and because of popularity you had to ‘book’ in advance in order to get a seat.  Costumes were optional and some had turned up in head gear, re-enactors tunics, cloaks and head dresses.  There was even one fella with a wooden spoon giving out impressions of Rickman’s Sheriff.

I hadn’t seen the film in years and it was Greyeyes’ idea to go…. Plus she had NEVER seen it before.  She was put off by the Bryan Adams song that was played almost constantly back in 1991. It was like No.1 for 16 weeks or something like that. I don’t think either of us were prepared for the interaction that followed.

The audience loved it! They jeered as the film came on, laughed in all the right places, called out Rickman’s lines (as well as adding many others to various parts of the film) “…and cancel Christmas!” Brian Blessed impressions from the Black Adder TV series were bounded out as well. 

Yes, we know Nottingham isn’t anywhere near the white cliffs of Dover, neither is it 5 miles away from Hadrian’s wall.  The Nottingham accent is neither American or West Country, but that didn’t matter.  It all added to the joy of seeing this version, my generation’s version of the Robin Hood story.  Costner’s Robin was brave, cheeky and seemed have a permanent smirk on his face as though toying with his enemies.
We laughed as The Sheriff repeatedly punched, walked away and punched his guard some more. We shusshed as it came to Robin and Marian’s romantic scene then laughed when someone shouted out “Slip her the tongue!” We cheered when Robin Errol Flynned his way into the chapel; we booed as the Bishop made his appearance and howled as the witch said the infamous line “Something vexes thee?” Then we cheered when she was killed by ‘The Painted Man’.

Not even the film jarring twice stopped our enjoyment, they were taken as ‘More Mead!’ breaks and added to the camaraderie felt in the club.  The mead did run out however as the bar had underestimated how popular it would have been.  Not their fault, especially when mead isn’t a drink they usually serve.

What really made the night for me was the audience, it was like something out of The Rocky Horror Show, I got the feeling that this was what it must have been like going to the theatre back in Shakespearean times.  Waiting for your favourite bit, cheering on your favourite character (mine, incidentally, was Morgan Freeman’s Hasim; a really wise, deep and brave man…. Especially when he was praying to Allah as Robin was in trouble, genius!) and laughing at the comedy.  It wasn’t just watching a movie, it was enjoying it and going with all the Hollywood mistakes of this English legend, it was theatre.  Bawdy, raucous theatre for the 21st Century.

And almost everyone stayed and sang the song at the end.  Bloody good show!

Wisdom or Cliché?

Image of Temple of Apollo from

I recently read a blog writing about two phrases that are often parroted in modern Pagan writings.  I first came across these in my early and mid twenties and was interested by one and confused by the other. You will have come across these many times, they might mean something to you or they won’t.  But if you’ve read any blogs or books, magazines about Paganism, Occultism, New Age Philosophy, you will have encountered them:

Know Thy Self”


” As Above, So Below

I looked at them and thought to myself ‘Wow, are we still using those?” I’ll admit to being a bit jaded when I see those quotes.  It’s not so much that I don’t like them, but feel that they are often over used in forums and articles alike.  Y’know? Like a really good song with too much air time.

What I do like about them is that for those who first come across them, they are inspirational! I mean ‘Know Thy Self’ Man! That’s deep! The phrase from the Temple of Apollo in Delphi (Used as a sign in the kitchen of the Oracle in The Matrix- Oracle of Delphi- gettit?) That challenges YOU to KNOW who YOU are.  Yet how many of us do?
How many of us look at that phrase and actually, really examine ourselves? We are complicated meat-bags walking around with emotions and thoughts, feelings and beliefs.  But how many of ourselves actually know ourselves?

To know yourself is to know where you come from: your background, your childhood, your parents or guardians, the environment you came from, the education you received (and what it did or didn’t do for you), the beliefs you found or were indoctrinated with.

If you believe in anything, to know yourself is to challenge what those beliefs are to you, constantly.  How did you come to those beliefs, how did they shape you? Did you come by them yourself or were you taught? What do they mean to you now? Are they applicable to who you are anymore?

To know yourself is to see all your strong points and accept them.  It is to also know what your weak points are and accept them too.  And if you don’t like them, what do you need to do to change them?  What are your limits? Why do you dislike something? What inspires you? What do you dream?

To know your self is to be completely honest with yourself.  It’s no good if all you are doing is painting an image of the person you want to be or the person you are not.

Deep huh?

One of the things I love about studying the Bardic course in the OBOD Gwers is that you learn to know yourself before you can proceed to the Ovate and Druid grades.  Because how can you explore the deeper mysteries if you don’t understand the deepest of mysteries…. You.

And then we go onto: “As Above, So Below” When I first saw that I eloquently came out with: ‘What the fuck does that even mean?’
This only made sense to me if you look at it in terms of the weather: rain makes things wet or floods.  Snow clouds making the ground whiter and whiter, a sunny day makes for dry land and thriving plants, etc….
This phrase apparently comes from the writings of Hermes Trismegistus and even then is supposedly part of what he wrote:

That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing“*

Yes, I’m quoting Wikipedia but only because it provides the source of that translation.
I’d love to know more about that and also about to what Trismegistus meant by the ‘One Thing’. Creation? Life on Earth? Ponder, ponder ponder……
It’s an absolute wonder that our planet generates its own electromagnetic field to protect its multitude of life forms from the solar radiation of our Sun.  From the collection of dust and rock of the ‘Above’ has the ‘Below’ been created.

I’m sure there are very deep insights you can gain from either quote and when used for inspiration they do exactly that.

Writing this post, I am very aware that I have indeed just created another article featuring both phrases.  Well at least I didn’t mention ‘Microcosm’/’Macrocosm’…… Doh!