If we could see all of the dead around us we might be surprised – in some places the dead outnumber the living. They may walk into your room at night when you don’t know if you are awake or sleeping and tell you there are mysteries hidden in your house and secrets hidden in your community.
They will mind their own business walking upside down on the subway ceiling. They will float down the river behind your house at night on a ghost ship filled with your ancestors and filled with spirits with faces of lions.
The dead will sometimes come to you as ancestor spirits, look at you with surprise and tell you have the power to create miracles but you still have work to do upon this earth. The dead will be visible in the ragged outline of elder and blackthorn trees on the hill.
The unblessed war dead fill the cities and wilderness of Europe.
The dead have a message for England.
This is their message:
‘you won the war against the external enemy, but you didn’t win the other war, the secret war. You didn’t win the war against the shadow in yourself. This is why you suffer from such soul loss.
Only when you learn to listen to listen to the land itself, and only when you learn to bless and heal all of the dead hidden in the earth, when you call the lost war ghosts down from the hill and out of the corn field to be honoured as great ancestors, will the wasteland in your culture and in your soul come to an end and be replaced by an abundant garden.’
In some timeless now, there are thousands of souls flying like aircraft made of light and fire up over autumnal sweet chestnut trees into the sky over South London. In Sword Beach in Normandy the sky is lit by spirit beacons of the dead that ascend towards some unknown blessing.