Hedsel Mark - The zelator

Author : Hedsel Mark
Title : The zelator A modern initiate explores the ancient mysteries
Year : 1998

Link download : Hedsel_Mark_-_The_zelator.zip

Prologue. . . . man is not Man as yet. Nor shall I deem his object served, his end Attained, his genuine strength put fairly forth, While only here and there a star dispels The darkness, here and there a towering mind O'erlooks its prostrate fellows . . . Such men are even now upon the earth, Serene amid the half-formed creatures round Who should be saved by them and joined with them. (Robert Browning, Paracelsus, from the 1867 ed. of The Poetical Works of Robert Browning, vol. I, pp. 190 and 192) I first saw Mark Hedsel in October 1955, at the Archer Gallery, in Westbourne Grove, London. He was talking to Dr Morris, the almostdestitute owner of the gallery, and to that most remarkable artist, Austin Osman Spare, who had a selection of paintings, pastels and drawings on exhibition at the gallery. Dr Morris had to some extent taken Spare under her wing, and had arranged this exhibition in order to help him earn enough money to keep body and soul together. I later discovered that Spare knew that this would be his last exhibition: he had said to a friend that he would be dead within the year. I recognized Spare from photographs I had seen. I had been impressed by his poetry, and by the stories I had heard about his strange abilities. It was an interest in this which had brought me to the gallery, and to the dawning realization that Spare was one of the unrecognized geniuses of our century. He was no longer as famous as he had been: part of this was due to the loss of his Studio and pictures in the early years of the Second World War, as a result of Nazi bombing. Some of those familiar with magical curse law had suggested that this loss was a direct result of Spare's own uncompromising attitude to Hitler. It seems that, in 1936, Spare had been asked to paint the dictator's portrait at Berchtesgaden, and had rejected the Fuhrer in no uncertain way. It was testament to the strength of the artist that he was prepared to stand alone in the face of almost universal appeasement. The minute I saw Spare's face, I realized just how appropriate was his name: he was indeed spare. Whether I sensed this wildness of spirit from his shock of greying hair, from the intensity of his eyes, or from the ragged appearance of his ill-fitting clothes is hard to say. From his poetry I had expected him to be intense, yet self-assured - serene in his spiritual insight; yet his face seemed to be restless, even tortured. Electric forces seemed to ray from the hair upon his face. His sparse moustache seemed to press down into his jaw, drawing his mouth into a thin and compact line, as though life-experiences had pushed him into a severity at variance with his spiritual knowledge. Even his intense intellectual quality, so clearly expressed in the high forehead, seemed to be pulling him asunder: his mind was lifted upwards by the shock of wild hair, yet drawn earthwards by the weight of his heavy dark eyebrows. Calm and intense, amidst this warfare of hair, were the most powerful eyes imaginable. I was pleased that he didn't glance towards me, for I imagined that the full stare of those eyes might well strip one soul-naked. It was no surprise for me to learn some years later that Spare had admitted during an interview on BBC radio that, were he so inclined, he could kill a man with a curse. Although my attention was taken at first by Spare, I could not help also looking at his companion. Even among that group of distinguished artists and poets who had come to pay Spare tribute this man stood out as someone of special calibre. I felt compelled to study him. I did not know who Mark Hedsel was, but I could see from his quiet, sophisticated posture and the assuredness of his gestures that he was a person of extraordinary being. At the same time, I had that uncanny yet undeniable feeling that I had met him before. Do we always have a momentary presentiment when we glimpse a fragment of our destiny, I wonder? It was difficult to determine his age, but I judged him to be in his late 20s. Although the weather was not particularly cold that October day, he had a dark blue scarf wrapped around his neck, and he wore a beret, in the French manner. Under his arm he carried a small leather satchel. The contrast with Spare was striking. The artist also had a scarf around his neck: it was a checked scurf, and, being lucked into his inner coat, suggested the dress of a rough Cockney. In contrast, Hedsel was a dandy - he wore his scarf flowing loosely around his neck, allowing it to fall elegantly over the top of his coat. It was, I imagined, such a touch of cultivated refinement that one would have experienced in the appearance of that urbane occultist, the mysterious Comte de Saint-Germain. Indeed, when I first looked at Mark Hedsel, quite unaware of how our lives would intertwine in later years, my mind called up an imagination of that fastidious and totally misunderstood initiate who wandered with such ease through the pre-Revolutionary courts of 18th-century France. In later years, I discovered that this final exhibition of Austin Spare's paintings had left its traces in the lives of several people. Two very remarkable women - each in their own different ways deeply interested in reincarnation - had been to the Archer Gallery, within a few days of my own visit. Both are still alive: one is in her 80s, and the other well into her 90s. Even so, I am pleased to report that they are still my friends, and that both recall this exhibition as significant for British art. Both were wise enough to purchase works from those on display. I was a poor student in 1955, and it never entered my mind that one day I would own the extraordinary pastel by Spare with which I fell in love at the exhibition (plate 1). Over 30 years later, one of these women - knowing of my interest in him - selected the picture from her own extensive collection of arcane art, and gave it to me. Austin Spare had been very poor, which may explain why the pastel was so cheaply framed. I was delighted to find, when I lifted the wooden panel from the inappropriate framing, that, in the corner, Spare had signed the picture with his characteristic AOS monogram. As I held the pastel up to the light to peer at the signature, I had no need to hunt out the old gallery catalogue in search of the title: it had remained engraved upon my soul for all those 30-odd years. Spare had called the pastel Blood on the Moon. Of course, when I first saw the picture at the Archer Gallery, I had wondered what the title meant. I was far too young to have the courage to approach Spare himself in search of an explanation. Later, when I talked to my friends, and even to the lady who bought it, I discovered that no one knew why Spare had given the picture that strange title. I had read enough of Spare's writings to know that there would be a deep meaning hidden away somewhere, for he had been immersed in the magic of hieroglyphic lore, but by the time I began to look attentively for it, Spare had passed away, taking with him, as I imagined, any possible answer to my question. ...

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