WHAT IS PSYCHIC QUESTING?
If found in the Oxford English Dictionary, 'psychic questing' would be listed as 'using intuitively inspired thoughts and information for creative purposes, be it the exploration of history, the search for hidden artefacts or simply the quest for enlightenment'. It can begin with a strange dream, a visionary experience or an overwhelming compulsion which prompts the person to embark on a sequence of discovery. This often involves uncovering confirmatory facts, visiting sites and places revealed only by intuition and communicating with perceived external forces and influences through either meditational practices or magical processes. Often this takes the form of contact with a so-called genius loci, 'spirit of the place', or site guardian, which provides information in order that the quest might continue on to the next level. However, psychic questing does not have to involve outside exploration. It can simply revolve around archive research or just further magical or psychic experiments which all help the quester to gain a better idea of what they need to know.
In Tibetan Buddhism psychic questing is known as the Terma ('hidden treasure) tradition, and whole books have been written on the processes involved and past great achievements in this field. Those monks who become involved in Terma hunting are known as Tertons ('treasure finders'). However, similar methods of discovery have been used for thousands of years by enlightened individuals all over the world. There are many recorded instances of holy men or women being inspired to find hidden relics (e.g. Joan of Arc), occultists using necromancy to find buried treasure (e.g. John Dee and Edward Kelly) and psychics being brought in to uncover archaeological remains (e.g. Frederick Bligh-Bond).
Meonia fore Marye
The modern revival in psychic questing began in October 1979 with the discovery by Andrew Collins and Graham Phillips of a short steel sword of unusual design, bearing the copper-plate inscription 'Meonia fore Marye' on its blade. It was found behind the dry-stone foundations of a footbridge at a place called Knight's Pool in the English county of Worcestershire As the weapon also bore a monogram at the base of the hand-guard which resembled the personal insignia of Mary Queen of Scots, it was felt that the sword had been cast originally in the late eighteenth century by supporters of the exiled Stuart dynasty of British kings. However, the example in question was, it seemed, a copy cast in Victorian times, very possibly for use in pseudo-masonic ceremonies.
The discovery of the 'Meonia Sword', as it became known, was followed just days later by the retrieval of a seventeenth-century brass casket in which was found a small cabochon stone in green agate. This was located by Graham alone at a spot on the River Avon, not far from Knights Pool, known as the Swan's Neck, so named because it resembles a gigantic swan reclining into the landscape (as seen from nearby Bredon Hill). Since Graham, Andrew and their colleagues believed that the swan was a secret code-name for Mary Queen of Scots, they became convinced that the 'Green Stone', or 'Meonia Stone', had once been in a finger ring worn by Mary Queen of Scots. After her death, they felt it had passed into the possession of Robert Catesby, the leader of the so-called Gunpowder Plotters, who with his co-conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, was caught attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament on 4 November 1605, hence the British tradition of Guy Fawkes' Night. Thereafter the stone was concealed in the Worcestershire landscape by Humphrey Packington of Harvington Hall, a Catholic sympathiser, where Andrew later found that a legend concerning the existence of the stone had lingered through to the last century.
Gradually, over the years, an intriguing story emerged to explain the origins of the Meonia Sword and its accompanying stone. Through psychic work and historical research Graham and Andrew developed a mystical lineage, known as 'the Heritage', which began with the fall of the pharaoh Akhenaten and ended with the revival of ancient Egypt in occult circles during the late nineteenth, early twentieth centuries.
Over the years many more artefacts would appear under mysterious circumstances, including six more swords, all identical to the first. The seven swords were brought together for the first time by Andrew and his friends in August 1992. It is a story told in part within Andrew's book THE SEVENTH SWORD (1991), and in Graham's work THE GREEN STONE (1984). Andrew has since gone on to work with a number of what he terms 'direct information' psychics, and is now considered to be the pioneer in this field.
Prior to 2003 QuestCon was billed as the Questing Conference, and until 1998 it was called the Psychic Questing Conference since it featured presentations in which the speakers spoke of how their historical work had been inspired originally by intuition, dreams and psychic work. However, as the alternative history field became more popular it was necessary for authors such as Andrew Collins and Graham Phillips to strengthen their cases for an alternative history of the world by excluding any references to psychic work. Thus the whole air of the lectures changed, and Andrew agreed that it might be better to drop the 'psychic' element from the conference's name. It is now been shortened to QuestCon to fit better with online attitudes prevalent these days.
BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS
Andrew Collins is accredited with having coined the term psychic questing in the 1980s, and has written various books on the subject including THE SWORD AND THE STONE (1982), THE BLACK ALCHEMIST (1988), THE SEVENTH SWORD (1992) and THE SECOND COMING (1993). Other key books on the subject include Graham Phillips' classics THE GREEN STONE (1984) and THE EYE OF FIRE (1988), BEGA AND THE SACRED RING by Alex Langstone (1992) and THE SUN AND THE MOON: THE HILL AND THE WELL by Michael Smith (1997). All of these books are non-fiction, but read like supernatural thrillers.