A HIGHLAND ADVENTURE
by Barry Van-Asten
THE GREAT GLEN
UNDER THE EYE OF THE BEN
Day 7 – Saturday 12th April. We woke at 10.30 a.m. and it was very cold but some sun did appear. We breakfasted and showered and I removed a tick from my right leg in the shower. At 1.30 p.m. it rained and we went to see the campsite owner to pay for our stay. The old lady told us that ‘somebody had been taken off the Ben with head injuries’, which was probably a daily occurrence in those parts. At 3 p.m. we walked along the Caledonian Canal and followed it to Corpach sea lock. There were two fishing boats going through the lock – the lock-keeper, a nice lady, gave us our canoeing licence and a British Waterways key which normally we would have to pay for but she trusted us to hand it back in, which we agreed to do. We then got the bus to Fort William High Street and had dinner in a fish and chip restaurant. At 9 p.m. we caught the bus back to camp and did the laundry and drying at 11.30 p.m. It was a very cold night again with Ben Nevis in the distance, masked by clouds. After the laundry we were back at the tent and in bed at 1.45 a.m.
Day 8 – Sunday 13th April. The alarm was set for 7.30 a.m. and we were up for 8 a.m. We struck camp and as we were doing so the canoe company who were supplying the canoe and all the gear turned up at 10 a.m. to take us to the canal. We were done by 10.30 a.m. We went to the top of ‘Neptune’s Staircase’ on the Caledonian Canal and the 17 foot canoe was lowered into the water. We had our helmets, barrels (for keeping things dry) and our life preserving vests and were ready for the off! We cast off at midday with Aimee steering in the back and after a little time adjusting to the boat we paddled along the canal to Banavie and then to Muirshearlich. We stopped at Loy for lunch on the bank side and then went on to Moy Swing Bridge. There was some rain along the way but generally the sun was shining and all was well!
At Gairlochy we decided to get out of the boat before going through the lock/swing bridge and as we were getting out of the boat we both ended up waste high in the water! We crawled out and tried to dry off a little. I had hurt my right leg and hip and also cut my right wrist, thankfully not deep enough to cause too much damage, and Aimee had also hurt her hip and leg. We tried to get into the boat but this time the boat (being heavy at the front) had taken on water and in we went a second time! But this time the boat overturned and the rucksacks were under water and the barrels floating. I untied the barrels and pulled out the rucksacks. Thoroughly miserable, we had to get the boat out of the water and empty it of water, which we did. We then decided that Aimee would paddle the boat through the loch while I walked round with the gear and waited at the waterside to haul the boat out at the other side using the British Waterway’s trolley. We did this with much effort and took the boat round the corner to a small bay or marina where we pitched tent. By 7 or 8 p.m. Aimee was suffering the effects of the cold and shivering quite severely and I was worried she may get hypothermia so I tried to keep her warm as best I could and huddled together. We used the laundry room to dry our boots and other items as best we could and Aimee was up till very late doing this, so we didn’t get to bed until 1.45 a.m. Today we had paddled about five miles and were doing very well until we came upon Gairlochy – something was indeed keeping us from reaching our destination!
The next day, the ninth day on Monday 14th April we woke at 7.45 a.m. and stayed in the tent till around 9 a.m. There was some sun but it was cold and we were both tired; we stayed in camp all day and tried to dry of still. The boots were still very wet. Aimee slept and I was very despondent (my two cigars were too wet to smoke even after attempting to dry them in what little sun there was). Outside the tent as Aimee slept I tried to dry the boots and some small items and my mind turned to spiritual matters – it is indeed a trial and a test and I must observe signs which may have a magical meaning! I had a bad headache for most of the day and I later cooked dinner and listened to a woodpecker – two ducks came around the tent and stayed around camp. But as the sun went down and the evening grew cold I became despondent again. My head torch failed to work and so did my small radio. In bed we listened to a comedy show on Aimee’s MP3 player that she downloaded as a podcast and we laughed a little. It was nice to forget for a while the cold and the wet! We slept rather well and it rained hard all night. My hands were very sore and bleeding; they were dry and cracked and so were Aimee’s to some extent. My right knee was painful and so was the calf to the right of the knee which had become very dry and red; not forgetting my cut wrist and bruised hip…
BY THE WILDS OF LOCH LOCHY
We woke at 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 15th April, day ten of our journey. A wet but sunny day and we breakfasted to the sound of furiously busy woodpeckers. I managed to fix my head torch (it was a battery problem) and we had a lot of time to now make up in the boat! We struck camp! And took the boat and all the gear to a landing bay or slipway to cast off which we did at either 2.30 or 3 p.m. From here we would be leaving the Caledonian Canal for a while and entering our first loch – Loch Lochy! We started well but it suddenly became very windy and we could not handle the boat. We were blown from one side of the loch to the other, from right to left looking from Gairlochy. The boat was blown sideways and we could not recover as we were almost tipped by the force of the oncoming waves and the combination of the wind! We managed to steer the boat to a landing pontoon which was rotten and we carefully hauled the boat out of the water and onto the sandy bay. There was a path at the side of the loch through a gate which said ‘no access’ but through it I went and we got the boat through too and from there on in we planned to walk the boat around the edge of the loch until the weather got better and we could get back in the boat. This was the plan, but it didn’t work out as simple. Along the edge of the loch there were lots of trees and obstacles which made it difficult to pull the boat around, but I believe we, certainly I was possessed of ‘superhuman’ strength that day and that what I was doing was meant to happen as a magical test to prevent me from reaching my desired end, but reach it I would even if I had to carry the boat, which I very nearly ended up doing! The goal was all that mattered and the condition of the boat was of no consequence to me. We pulled the boat out of the water onto the path, fully loaded with all our gear (I would guess about 15 stone in weight or more). We skirted woods which had ‘no entry’ signs because the trees were being felled but we carried on; there was no signs of life around us but we carried on; Aimee fell more than once and hurt her hip but we carried on… we eventually got out of the ‘danger area’ at 8.30 p.m. and thought about finding a place to camp for the night. I saw there was a ram ahead of us on the path watching me as I searched for an appropriate camp site. We were near to a track road and we pitched camp on heather and a mossy dell near a tree. We cleared the ground and got the tent up. We were both thoroughly tired when we cooked dinner at 10.30 p.m. but there were still problems with the gas. The night was quiet and we could hear the water lapping at the loch-side – Aimee tended to agree that there was something strange in the way we were being ‘played with’ and I fully believe that Magick is behind the problems we are having!
I have divined the word of the equinox, and it is 'Toil!'
The word of the equinox (as I see it) seems to explain the difficulty we are having and I have divined its nature thus:
TOIL= by ordinary means of addition (9+70+10+30) 119 which could be divined as 1+1+9=11, but by using the numbers on the Tarot we get: XI+XV+IX+VIII=XLIII (43).
43 is a Prime Number, it is the number of orgasm, especially in the masculine sense. From this number we can find:
4 plus 3=7
4 minus 3=1 (Kether)
4 times 3=12 (He, Kether)
4 divided by 3=1.3
Of these 1.3 or 13 is better because we arrive at AHBA (love) and AChD (unity). I, Aleph, who is the Fool, who is naught (unconscious of Himself until His Oneness expresses itself as a duality).
Again using the Tarot we get:
XI Strength – 156+666 (The Beast). Horus.Leo, serpent. The Lingam, the manifested phallus.
XV the Devil – the penis, erect and glad (Pan). Set. Capricorn. The Yoni (nothing, Nuit) the Devil. [also the eye and an aspect of the phallus]
IX the Hermit – the secret seed. Hoor Par Kraath. Virgo. The secret creative energy (solitude and silence of the hermitage).
VIII Justice – the sexually joined. Maat. Libra. Equilibrium, balance, also doom.
Day 11, Wednesday 16th April. We woke at 10.45 a.m., much later than we expected. We still had problems with the gas so we couldn’t have tea or breakfast! It was sunny but the condition of the Loch had not changed (we both looked out the tent to the Loch around 6 a.m. and it was perfectly calm – now there was large waves against us). We had decided enough was enough and so Aimee called the canoe company to terminate the canoe trip and get them to pick us up. There was a lot of difficulty in establishing our exact location but as we were not far from a track it made sense to wait alongside it to be picked up. I hauled the boat up the wooded glade to the roadside with much effort, then the barrels and the rucksacks. We were waiting at the roadside at 3.30 p.m. and not long later a car came to collect the boat and drop us off near Inverness. We got the boat on the roof of the car and the gear in the back and we drove through Fort Augustus, Invermoriston and Drumnadrochit, (the well of the seven heads) and to Beauly. We then caught the bus to Inverness and had a delightful walk along the Ness Walk to Bught camp site where we stayed last year. We got the tent up by 8.30 p.m. and then walked to Inverness past Tomnahurich Cemetery to Tesco to get some provisions (cakes and cigars). We then went to the Wetherspoon Pub ‘The King’s Highway’ for dinner and had plaice, chips and peas with tea. We stayed till closing time and walked back along the Ness walk to camp as I enjoyed a delightful cigar. It was not cold, it never seems to be cold on the Ness Walk, and it was a dream… Back at the tent we slept quite well but it was a frosty night!
The next day, day 12 on Thursday 17th April began as we woke to the alarm at 8 a.m. we went to the reception and I paid for two night’s stay (£24) and then we walked along the Ness Walk to Inverness. The daffodils were gold in the sunlight and it was a beautiful warm day with a gentle breeze. We breakfasted at ‘The King’s Highway’ (I had the Scottish while Aimee had the English breakfast with tea and toast) at 11.40 a.m. We had intended going to Foyers today but the bus leaves at 12.15 and it would be a rush to get it so we decided to do it tomorrow. We did some shopping (I looked at the Tobacconist in Victoria market) and we later went back to ‘The King’s Highway’ where Aimee had a pot of tea and I had a pint of beer. After going to Tesco’s we were back at camp for 6 p.m. we cooked a stir-fry dinner and had a steamed treacle pudding. In bed I wrote a post card to my brother which I will post tomorrow. It was a cold night!
I have hungered through the forests
And I have come,
With flesh to flesh, and spirit, shaped
By animated soul, shook foul and dumb
In the energised reflection that is blest
By beauty and fascination, and love and sun!
Friday 18th April, day 13 of the journey. I awoke to the alarm at 7.45 a.m. and it was a sunny day with a gentle breeze as I removed yet another tick from my left leg with Aimee’s assistance. We struck camp and were away around 2 p.m. I walked to the swing bridge on the Caledonian Canal and waited for the bridge to return to the closed position after a boat had passed through; I then knocked on the bridge-keeper’s hut door and handed him the British Waterways key and then returned back to camp. Aimee and I then walked beside the playing field and it got quite warm as we got to the bridge which crosses to Ness Island. The rucksacks were heavy and on the Island we saw Jeremy Irons the actor walking his dog. We crossed Island Bank Road – Haugh Road and waited at the bus stop for the D & E coach to Foyers which turned up at 3.30 p.m. Two single tickets cost £7.20 and the bus was full of school children returning home. Later as we drove along General Wade’s Military Road on the Lochside of Loch Ness, a part of the bus came loose and the driver had to pull over and remove the large metal panel and bring it onto the bus. One by one, the school children were released from the bus like turds from a camel’s backside until we arrived at Upper Foyers at 4.10 p.m. and we walked up the road in search of a place to camp. There was nowhere suitable, and we could hear the rushing water from the Falls of Foyers below us as we peered over the fence at the roadside. I then suddenly recalled that near Boleskine House there was a stream which would be appropriate to camp beside and so after a short stop at the general store to look at the fly fishing equipment and I posted my post card to my brother in the box outside, we walked the mile and more towards Boleskine House. The House loomed in the distance like a colossal monster, asleep, yet aware of our presence. The stream heads down the hill in the field next to the burial ground that sits beside the Loch and it seemed a good place to camp, so we entered the open swing gate and searched for a reasonably flat area of ground to pitch camp. We carried on down the hill towards the corner of the field where there was an old gate leading to a track way beyond which the locals used; we cleared the ground of fallen twigs and debris and pitched camp at 5.30 p.m. Opening my rucksack I noticed that one of the school children who sat behind us on the bus had written ‘I suck c..k’* and drawn a tidy little penis complete with testicals – the drawing reminded me a little of the sigil of the Great Beast Himself so it was not too inappropriate that it happened there but still I was not happy that my rucksack had been ‘molested’ in fact I was downright angry!
The sun was gently going down and the birds were singing. We made some tea and had oat cakes with tuna. Aimee mentioned that she felt she should come here today (rather than yesterday); things have pointed towards us being here today yet at the same time attempted to deter us from doing so! I felt alive and joyous to be here and that I had achieved my aim! After tea at 8.15 p.m. we walked back to Foyers and we climbed along the trail to visit the Falls of Foyers (which Aimee had promised herself she would see as we missed them last time). The Falls were very impressive and Aimee took some photos as the spray jetted up in the air and covered everything in a fine moist mist. I recalled Crowley’s poem from his ‘Confessions’
I sate upon the mossy promontory
Where the cascade cleft not his mother rock,
But swept in whirlwind lightning foam and glory,
Vast circling with unwearying luminous shock
To lure and lock
Marvellous eddies in its wild caress…
The Falls roared below us and seemed magical in the dusk twilight. It was like one long intake of air that did not end and a strange tension was alive in the atmosphere! We then trudged back to Boleskine House and I enjoyed a cigar. The burial ground was soon upon us and I noticed a beautiful moon behind Boleskine House, which was all in darkness [the full moon occurred on 20th April at 10.26 a.m.] In the field, there were movements not far from the tent and I could see glowing eyes staring towards me – I shone my head torch in that direction and the eyes stared back like fire! They were dear, possibly three in total and they sped off down the hill. We entered the gate and carefully went down the hill towards the tent. Owls were screeching and Boleskine House seemed luminous beneath the pale orb of the moon. We had returned at 9.45 p.m. and got down to cooking dinner – there was more trouble with the camping gas which worked intermittently! Also during cooking and after there was a lot of noise outside near the burial ground of people shouting and screaming. We felt quite safe and out of the way down the hill – nevertheless, we turned of the head torches and small tent lantern and remained silent a while. This was approximately at midnight. By 12.30 a.m. we were in our sleeping bags and the alarm was set for 6 a.m. to get the D & E bus back to Inverness!
It is exactly 371 days since I was last here on Friday 13th April 2007 e.v.
Magickally 371= 3+7+1=11 and 3X7+1=22
11 is the number of Magick and 22 is the number of letters in the Hebrew alphabet and the paths on the Tree of Life; also 22 are the number of Trumps in the Tarot.
22 is also 2X11 – The Dyad.
* Because I have chosen to interpret all manifestations as a personal correspondence between the Gods and my own Higher Genius, then I am compelled to investigate the above phrase. Rendering the words thus I get: I SVCh KOCh – this gives us: 10+60+6+8+20+70+8= 182. [1+8+2= 11] In the Tarot we find IX the Hermit, XIV Temperance, V the Hierophant, VII the Chariot, X the Wheel of Fortune, XV the Devil and VII the Chariot. [9+14+5+7+10+15+7= 57] From 57 we can find: 5 minus 7= minus 2; 5 divided by 7 =0.7142857 but the best equation is certainly 5 multiplied by 7 =35. 35= AGLA, a name of God, a notariqon of Ateh Gibor le-Olahm Adonai – ‘To Thee be the Power unto the Ages, O my Lord’. 35 is also ‘boundary’ or ‘limit’ and ‘He will go’. 5 is the Power and 7 is the Divinity.
Using the AIBTh system of the Qabalah we find: 10+9+6+8+11+8+8+ 60. [60= Samekh – Temperance. This could mean ‘restriction’]
In a simpler form we find: Pe & Yod [Pe= 80 and XVI the Blasted Tower; Yod= 10 and IX the Hermit] 80+10= 90. 90= Tzaddi – a fish hook – Tanha, the clinging of man to life (9), the trap in which man is caught as a fish by a hook. The most material aspect of animal life; its final doom decreed by its own lust. 90 is also MIM= water.
As a magical formula I have interpreted the act thus: I PAN I which is 10+80+50+10= 151. Taking Aleph as the Pentagram I choose to give it a double value, that of its usual ‘one’ and that of the pentagram which is ‘five’. Adding this ‘five’ to 151 we get 156 – The number of Babalon! The Tarot gives us IX, XVI, O, XIII, IX.
I PAN I is the God PAN defended on both side by hermits or Phallic Yods and crowned by the hidden Pentagram within its central Aleph. PAN = 131 [as does Samael, the Hebrew destroying angel] Pan is the bisexual energy and there is also the figure of Baphomet.
A Ritual could be written on this basis as an ‘act of consecration’. Babalon is the word of seven letters (Malkuth conceals Binah) 156 – 2X78. Babalon also conceals the Holy word which is the key to the abyss and that word is N.O.X. She conceals this word because she is the Lady of the City of the Pyramids beneath the Night of Pan. Aleph as the Fool of the Tarot is also an aspect of Pan. N in Hebrew is ‘fish’ which is also the phallus, the redeemer. Yod represents the father and wisdom; He is Mercury, the secret fire, the phallus, spermatozoan, the hand, the logos, the virgin…
Babalon is 2+1+2+1+30+70+50= (7+7) divided by 7 +77+77=156 (seven sevens). 156 is 26X6, 26 letters in the alphabet multiplied by the number of the sun – 6.
Pe= Mars – the Eye of Horus (eleventh degree of OTO – see The Paris Working and work concerning Hermes and KPATOS [kratos – Greek for strength and force] also, Yod is Thoth/Hermes, Mercury and Ma – Ma seduced the phallus from the yoni – the feminine side of Ma is Pan – ‘Pamphage, Pangenetor’ all-devourer, all-begetter)
Strangely, I had the timetable for the D & E Coaches from last year in my rucksack which Aimee noticed. I also had two ‘magick squares’ from ‘Abramelin the Mage’ in my spectacle case which got soaked in the canal. I dried them out with the intention of leaving them at Boleskine which I forgot to do on Saturday 19th April. I was unaware that they were in my possession until the canoe incident!
THE VISION OF NUIT
Stooping down, dipping my wings, I came
Unto the darkly-splendid abodes.
There in that formless abyss was
I made a partaker of the Mysteries
Lying there in the tent with the feeling of some ‘lurking presence’ beyond its small confines, I lay motionless and fell into my mantra:
‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law,
Love is the law, love under will’
when shortly, my mind’s eye turned towards a familiar image of Crowley with His shaven head and He was grinning at me in a very sinister way as if to say: ‘well, you got here then!’ Just then, another image took my mind and I was within the void of darkness but there was a spark which became the beautiful blue of the sky and there before the sky, was a beautiful figure of a woman and as she stood there like a priestess of Hecate, Her skin seemed to glisten like silvery-gold moonlight; she was slender and lithe and I got the image of a panther, sleek and graceful yet also deadly. She wore a pleated dress which fell to Her thighs and hung from a gold neck band; the dress was blue, a shade darker than the sky behind Her. She turned Her large almond shaped eyes on me and opened Her arms as if to embrace me, and as She did so, Her pleated dress opened like a peacock’s tail (it was also attached to Her wrists by golden bands) to reveal the wondrous Eye of Horus and the rays of the sun around it. The vision was of a very strong clarity and intensity and I was drawn to the Book of the Law:
‘I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunset;
I am the naked brilliance of the
It was the sign of acceptance and the Veil of Paroketh had been rent asunder!
A word on the meaning of my magickal name AUDRAREP from the Book of Preliminary Results in Magick: AUDRAREP is the Athlash Temurah of PERARDUA [Temurah is a Qabalistic permutation and Athlash is a form of Temurah where the word is reversed].
Using the ALBTh system of the Qabalah we see AUDRAREP as 1+6+4+4+1=4+5+7=32
32= 3+2=5 (the microcosm – the Pentagram)
32= 3X2=6 (the macrocosm – the Hexagram)
32= 3-2=1 (Aleph etc)
32= the number of Sephiroth and paths (10+22) on the Tree of Life. It is also the completion of perfection – finality.
We also find AHIH and IHVH. 32=2, divine will extended through motion. Mercurial number, external change…
Perfection from 1-10 and Aleph to Tau connects with 6, through AHIHVH.
AUD=11, the great magical number, uniting 5 and 6 etc. AUD the magic force itself – Light (see Liber A.L. I.60).
A= the Baccus Diphues; the Babe in the Egg.
V= the Man of Earth of Solar Nature.
D= the Principle of Love.
RA=20 [AR=Light (Chaldee]. Note 201= 3X67, Binah, as if it were said ‘Light is concealed as a child in the womb of its mother’. The occult retort of the Chaldean Magi to the Hebrew Sorcerers who affirmed AVR, light 207, a multiple of 9.
R=200=sun (illumination again!)
EP=85 or 8005 (HP) PH in reverse ‘mouth’. The letter Pe 85= 5X17 even the highest unity if it moves or energise, means war. EP, the reverse of Pe, mouth, gives us ‘silence’ from the Powers of the Sphynx’.
17= swastika (squares) shape = Aleph. Here 17 recalls 1, also IAV, IAO, the triune Father.
Another form of writing AUDRAREP is 5 – 111 – 6 which equals 122 (111 protected by the Pentagram and the Hexagram).
70= the Devil in the Tarot [XV] and the letter Ain, also the Sanhedrim – the body of seventy men. An ‘eye’ in Hebrew is Oin – 70.
52= AIMA – the fertilised Mother (Yod in AMA= AIMA). BN – the Son (52=13X4, 4 being Mercy and the influence of the Father… Osiris-Apis, the Redeemer.
AIMEE is written thus 25 – 11 – 25 which equals 61. [61=Ain ‘nothing’ in Hebrew, a ‘negative’; also Ani – ‘ego’.
61=25+36, the Pentagram and the Hexagram in Action. 25 is five squared= the Pentagram perfected (5X5) – the Pentagram in Action. The Star Ruby. 36 is six squared= the Hexagram perfected (6X6) – the Hexagram in Action. The Star Sapphire.
The next day we awoke to the alarm at 6 a.m. and rose at 6.45. We struck camp and were ready to leave by 8.50 a.m. It was a calm and beautiful morning and all the time I felt the immense pull towards Boleskine House. Walking up the hill towards the road I noticed the remains of a blackbird, its feathers scattered a short distance, and I wondered if perhaps it had been used in some dark ritual; some demonic ceremony to evoke some terrible entity upon the shores of Loch Ness! We left the field through the swing gate and we walked along the road in the direction of Dores. I could not take my eyes from the House and was held as if spellbound by it! I did not want to leave! We stopped and waited for the D&E coach which arrived about 9.20 a.m. Aimee sat at the front of the bus and talked to the driver and I sat at the back. My gaze was fixed upon the Loch and fantastic thoughts of the monster filled my mind; as I sat there I was stirred into verse and I heard the final stanza of a poem sang to me across the Loch:
By the Loch, the dead lie easy,
Masked by the veil of world’s clay;
Eternally thrown to strange spaces
In the mists of hearts gushing away;
Away into a stone enclosure
For all time to stand and declare –
In the madness of the moon that outshines me,
An ogre of enchantment lies there.
And the great pagan gods of old
Shall tremble at the dark storms force
That shakes through the woods and the hills,
To pulse with the waters course.
Yet, what menace of years still haunts?
What elements of ritual press near?
The pilgrim journeys far, and stays
For something evoked and eternal lies here.
And those eyes peer from the shore
To thunder through ruins, and roll
Onwards, into after-realms, and fall
Like a great beast at the brute of the soul.
And I will build you a garden
Out of ivory and stone,
By the meandering shores of Loch Ness,
For love and legend and time gone!
We arrived at Inverness and headed to the King’s Highway Public House for breakfast. At the bus station we caught the coach to Fochabers which left at 11.30 a.m. and arrived at 1.30 p.m. dropping us off at ‘Baxter’s’ where we looked around and I tried some malt whiskeys. We had lunch and then began The Speyside Walk at 2.55 p.m.