One of my favourite childhood writers was Enid Blyton. As a ‘sixties’ child, growing up in a small town in Southern Ireland, reading her books kept me sane. They were the only books that felt real to me and which allowed me to block out the emotional undercurrents of my everyday life.
When I moved to Torremolinos, in Southern Spain, with my mother and two of my sisters in 1974, Enid was there again, in a Buy, Sell, Exchange bookstore, in Calle San Miguel. They had a children’s section and I would buy (and sometimes steal) Enid’s books, and return them the following week. I read whatever she wrote, the alternative being the adult American books my mother read. Fairies and elves were a better option, as far as I was concerned, even if I was nearly fourteen years old. Enid’s books acted as a ‘transitional object’, a connection between the safety of my old Irish life and the new, rather traumatic, Spanish one.
As a child, I had a wonderful connection to nature and to history. My hometown of Graiguenamanagh was saturated with both. There were castles, ruined churches, and the ruins of a Cistercian monastery known as The Duiske Abbey, where I spent many days living in the past, trying to imagine how it must have been for the monks who lived there.
We had the beautiful Barrow River and lots of old woodland, dis-used sand pits and many abandoned houses. Plus, the wonderful Tea-house in my uncle’s landscaped gardens of Brandondale House, in Graiguenamanagh. It was a little granite house, built at the end of a laurel walk which we knew as The Dark Walk, beside the river Barrow, where before he owned it, writers of the past would come and sit, have tea beside a fire inside, gaze out at the river and gardens, and be inspired. One famous Irish writer, Sean O’Faolain, wrote a story about a fish there. The story was called The Trout. He’d been a regular visitor to Graig and loved it, too. He would have used that little house, and might even have written the first idea for the story there. Who knows? But that place was always magical to me.
My favourite Blyton book was The Castle of Adventure (I still have a copy!). I cannot remember how many times I read that book. I first started reading it when I was around eight or nine years old, and it was only when I was an adult, living in Hampshire, England, that I realised the reason for my attachment to it.
I visited Corfe Castle while studying archaeology at The University of Winchester and had many psychic experiences there. But it was during a later visit, as I waited to buy my ticket to the castle, that I commented to my friend that the castle suddenly reminded me of The Castle of Adventure. The energy of the book felt like the energy of the castle. The feeling filled me, but I didn’t understand until we turned a corner a few minutes later and I noticed the tiny niche, set into a wall. Inside were models of Philip, Jack, Lucy-Ann and Dinah climbing up into the castle, and underneath it was a piece of writing saying that Corfe was the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s book.
I was stunned. This was in the mid 1990s, before they realised that marketing Enid Blyton in Corfe village would be a tourist magnet! But it made me realise why I had been so obsessed with the book. I had already spent many years visiting and doing earth energy-work in Corfe, tapping into the amazing life of Mary Bankes, which on my first visit there had given me my first emotionally painful psychic experience. I relived the day she lost her castle. I knew nothing about the place that first time, but by the time I left, I knew a lot more. And it wasn’t until I knew about Enid’s connection that it all fell into place.
Reading The Castle of Adventure in rural Ireland, in the 60s, was a soul trigger for me, reminding me of a future I had already planned before my birth; work I would have to do with Corfe Castle. As a child, I had not seen it like that. I just loved to immerse myself in the book and the feelings it gave me, but now, as an adult, I understood why.
Many books, poems, and films act as Soul-triggers; little reminders from our ‘unconscious’ that keep us on track so that we do what we came to do. This is especially true if we have a definite spiritual purpose we need to be reminded of, like internal/external emotional or energetic signposts. If you look into the books, or films that you loved, you can usually recognise past-life connections or Soul triggers, themes that laid a path for you without you even realising it.
Enid Blyton, was that for me:an unconscious reminder of my soul purpose, and of work I would do many years later in another country. But there was another reason why her books were my signposts. She too was an intuitive writer, as I discovered when I read her biography written by Barbara Stoney.
Enid confessed to being unable to sleep each time she embarked upon a new story. While her characters were being established, they would ‘walk about’ in her head, take over her dreams and give her little rest until she had got back to her typewriter the following day.
I shut my eyes for a few minutes, with my portable typewriter on my knee; I make my mind a blank and wait – and then, as clearly as I would see real children, my characters, stand before me in my mind’s eye … The story is enacted almost as if I had a private cinema screen there.
Some quotes from the book by Barbara Stoney:
“She would know the names of the characters that appeared almost at once, and though she might see them beside an old house or at the seaside, she was never certain at this stage how the story would progress. Once the first sentence had been put to paper, however, the rest unfolded ‘like cotton from a reel’. But occasionally, if she had been interrupted, the thread would break and she would have to go back and begin the sequence again. Enid’s staff also knew that noise of any kind distracted her and that if her strict working routine were to be disturbed her quick temper would flare and everyone in the household would suffer.”
“When she and Hanly eventually returned to their beds that night, she tried to put the thought from her and to take comfort from the little stories that she had for some time been able to conjure up out of what she called her ‘mind’s eye’. These semi-conscious ‘thoughts’ would come to her most evenings just before she fell asleep. They were made up of many things, gleaned from stories she had read or heard and often concerned people she had met or places she had seen, but always they sorted themselves into definite patterns which had beginnings, middles and ends.”
I believe there are many writers who bring in stories from their high consciousness, although not all are aware of it. You can usually tell, though, because they continue being an influence on the collective psyche, and yet others are for your eyes only. But that’s enough. One person reading that book can change the world.
Are there books you have felt strong connections to that became significant to you later in life? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear about them.
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