Sophie and I were deeply shocked and saddened to learn this week that our friend and fellow blogger Blau Stern Schwarz Schlonge left this world a week ago after a tragic fire in his country house. He was a very special person and we already miss him very much.
I can’t remember exactly how or when we got to know of each other. At first we used to leave comments and messages on each other’s blogs. Later we began to correspond by email. After a fairly short time we were speaking and sharing secrets as if we had always known each other. We never met in person but I think we came to know each other as intimately as it is possible over the medium of the internet.
He was a rare thing; the real deal, as I have heard others describe him this week. He was a man who lived his Pagan beliefs fully and seemed more connected to the landscape he inhabited than anyone else I have known. From the beginning I found his blog to be a place of enchantment and his words and photographs continue to cast their spell.
And he was a man of magic; an accomplished witch and occultist, a leading light in the Coven of the Catta and well regarded in wider pagan circles. In terms of witchcraft he was way ahead of me and some of his ideas and methods left me scratching my head and gasping for breath! But he was generous with his knowledge and not too proud to allow me to offer a magical helping hand from time to time. Magic was certainly a major aspect of his persona; not separate from him or a tool to be used, but part of the way he lived and breathed.
He was a deeply spiritual man although I don’t think it would be possible to pigeon hole his beliefs. He was an eclectic pagan with strong Wiccan roots but he was also well versed and schooled in Buddhism and Taoism. He respected our Satanic beliefs and shared some of them and yet he also respected Jesus and aspects of Christianity. He was fascinated with the two Marys of Christian tradition who I think he saw as manifestations of the Goddess. Like the best teachers he was always learning and always happy to be investigating something new.
He had a great sense of humour which could sometimes be a bit risqué. That suited us and some of our email conversations were indeed very earthy and adult. We will miss those candid and occasionally naughty exchanges… There is great comfort and relaxation in being able to be open with somebody far away…
Like us he was fond of ink and had a lot of tattoos. Most of his had magical significance as well as symbolic meaning which has inspired us use ink in a similar way in future. Sophie and I are thinking that our next ink work will probably be a memorial and tribute to him.
He did not often or perhaps ever speak about it in his blogs, but in recent years he had to endure great pain and frustrating debility due to illness. He never moaned or complained and still managed to do a lot of hard physical work around his home and countryside.
And it was in his home in the country that he seemed to be most fully himself; the total pagan, part of the nature and environment he lived and worked in. He looked after the animals that strayed his way and managed the trees, the stream and the land around him like the proverbial Wiccan, the wise man of the woods. I think this more than anything is the infectious charm that first drew us to him. And it is an enchantment that can still be found on his blogs which I hope will stay up for a long while to come.
I do not want this post to be an obituary but rather a tribute to and celebration of the life of our friend. His enchanting blogs are a legacy that still exist for us and for anybody who is curious to learn or eager to glimpse the life of somebody who was intimately connected to the landscape he lived in. We urge people to go to his blogs and bookmark them; there is a wealth of magic of all kinds there waiting to be discovered.
Sophie and I are still very shocked and incredibly sad about his departure from this world but when the time is right we will celebrate his life in ways we believe he would approve and enjoy. There will be wine and cigars, bawdy stories and laughter. And of course there will be magic.
Our thoughts and our love go with him on his continuing journey.
All images in this post are taken directly from Blau Stern’s blog and are copyright to him.