Journal

Author: Mason Winfield Created: Friday, February 26, 2010
Journal

It's late November. We're at the crux of the darkening quarter. While climatic winter is yet ahead - you have that still to look forward to - in astronomical terms the year is only going to get darker. We're in the runaway train of lengthening nights, not only longer than the days, but also still stretching. Maybe there's that aspect of life even in natural senses; by the time it really feels like winter the change has already begun. I thought it only worked like that with relationships. Once you start to value what you've got, it's started drawing away...

For now, though, people have the social brightness of the holidays ahead. The SAD - seasonal affective disorder - isn't going to hit till January and February. All of this is a rueful joke, though. I love to ski, and I love to go inward. And I always think that there is tremendous inspiration in the sheer negativity of the natural environment around us. As nature slows and goes inward, so can we, and this is a great opportunity for thinkers and writers. 

Halloween and Christmas are a lot closer together than anyone thinks. Both are connected to astronomical points, Christmas being basically a solstice and Halloween a cross-quarter point (between equinox and solstice). Both have been highly supernaturalized.

Read More »

  There’s an enormous supernatural tradition built up around the ancient European earthworks, traditions that: Merlin’s spells built Stonehenge; Long Meg and her Daughters were a coven of witches turned into stones by Scottish wizard Michael Scot; the Cerne Abbas hill figure (a chalk carving) was a Danish giant who’d come to invade England; another hill effigy, the White Horse of Uffington, could be the dragon killed on the spot by St. George. It was no different in other Celtic countries, including dragon-legends of Mont. St. Michel in France and fairy-king tales from a barrow near Dublin, Ireland. The legendry of witches, Little People, giants and spirits is almost everywhere considered completely folkloric. On the last night of June 2007 I met a living witness whose rendition may unwittingly confirm it.

Read More »

 

Read More »

The work of serious paranormal scholars like Colin Wilson, Paul Devereux, and the late John Michell has been around for decades. All of them are polymaths with valuable insights into almost everything spiritual, sacred, psychic, or paranormal. The "earth mysteries" school their work in part represents has been the basis of a major theme in my own approach to supernatural reports and phenomena. Their observations have been virtually neglected by the American TV-style ghost-business, awash in its spiritualism and its technological attempts to validate its spiritualist-style presumptions.

I have many friends who are Spiritualists - the religion - and have no objection to their faith. On the other hand, presenting faith as if it's science should be a problem for most of us, and that's precisely my complaint with entertainment-style, "reality-TV" ghosthunting. There is another level, in fact, many of them.

When my Syracuse-area friend Madis Senner sent me this article (which may have been published recently in Light Bridges magazine), I immediately asked him if I could recycle it for my website. I have enclosed it without a speck of editing. I am glad to see other American ghost-people starting to "get it." But again, it shouldn't surprise us with Madis.

Madis' background and approach is spiritual, not spook-oriented; and it is informed by research and philosophy, and not gonzo-experiential. ("Didja see that?") This comprises Madis' first published observations about ghosts, which he comes to only incidentally. The line between the sacred and the spooky is, as I have been saying for some time, not so easy to draw. And the event of Halloween manages to blur that line completely. Take a look at Madis' article.

 

Read More »

The Halloween season is obviously coming, and as we draw into it, most years I hook onto a theme that gets us - me, at least - into the zone of this very powerful time of year. This season and its holiday are intuitive and spiritual, but they're also celebratory and spooky, and a lot of the energy for the former themes comes from the latter.

In honor of our native upstate New York landscape and of our Iroquois friends needing as much support as they can get, this might be the year that we revisit Native American supernatural legend and custom. Since many of us are going to don our own masks and guises pretty soon, the tale below - © 2010, Mason Winfield and Michael Bastine - is from our chapter on False Faces, those marvelous, mysterious medicine masks thought to have so much power. 

Read More »

 Surely something accounts for the strange but spare supernatural folklore from today's Delaware Park in Buffalo, particularly a pastoral space used as a golf course and containing a big stone with a plaque. It is a memorial to 300 soldiers buried there during a single disastrous winter during the War of 1812. This is a short section from my recent book Ghosts of 1812 (2009).

Read More »

It seemed all too fortuitous, co-author Michael Bastine giving a talk in Lincoln, VT, on the due date of our book together. The Peace Village Elders Conference happens to be right around the mountain from the publishers' home base in Rochester, VT. I decided to do the last research and editing that week on the road and drop in on Bear & Company/Inner Traditions International in person. On the first Monday of August I dropped off the disk of "Talking Animals and Medicine People." Lots of editing, cutting, art, and marketing lies ahead, but at least they know for sure they have a book coming. They have something in their hands that their editors could turn into something worth reading. This is a section from the False Faces chapter. 

Read More »

Author and healer Ted Williams (1930-2005) was raised on the Tuscarora Reservation. He was a close friend of Michael Bastine, and I was lucky enough to know him myself. Here are two miraculous tales that involve him from the upcoming book, TALKING ANIMALS & MEDICINE PEOPLE. By Mason Winfield and Michael Bastine, © 2010.

 

 

 

Read More »

TALKING ANIMALS and MEDICINE PEOPLE, my book-in-progress with co-author Michael Bastine, features a final chapter on ghosts and psychic experiences related to the New York Iroquois. Three of Michael's dreams seem to fit into that category so well. They are below.

Read More »

May 5, 2010, 2:47am

Read More »