Monthly Archives: August 2014

The Star God Came From

We have looked into the myth of the peacock angel here, and in that post there was a picture we took at the Cathedral du Puy-en-Velay, of a peacock feather mandala. At the heart of that mandala there is an ancient secret, a cipher that could possibly lead us to where God himself came from.

peacock map above the black madonna

Peacock cipher

This Peacock feather map is straight above the black Madonna at the heart of the cathedral which is full of magical emblems, and has a long tradition of mystery. It is also the beginning point  of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route or at least one of them. The  madonna is a copy of an earlier black madonna that was burnt in the french Revolution – it is said that a secret compartment popped open due to the fire and an scroll fell out, which…….. the french tossed on the fire (that was clever was it not?)


Black Madonna and the stars

If you take a good look at the Madonna you notice there is very strong star imagery all around her, is it possible  that those stars are hinting at something the church knew about but decided not to share with us all? or rather,  as we will see, it is a key or motif that has been part of all of our legends all the way through – it is of the starry origins where God himself came from. If you remember the peacock angel was believed to be the king of all angel. He is believed by some to have taught Adam and Eve how to worship the sun, the sun of another univers.  we think it may have been the sun that is seen as the force behind the procession of the equinoxes, as in the Mithras worship. Going back to Wayne Herschel’s discoveries,  we can see very clearly that all  ancient cultures around the world had depicted the same myth, that of a sun god riding a bull. Fertility Bull & Sun God petroglyph, Tamghali, Kazakhstan I suggest you have a good look at his website because he has done amazing work showing that story. I will  not repeat too much of it here, so giving him his due for his discoveries, in the core of all of which is an ancient key:  thethe  double cross – an ancient way to depict the constellation of Orion the hunter.

The Double cross key

The Double cross key

Note how similar the Orion glyph in the picture above to the centre of the Peacock map above the black madonna, and then note the stars in the other picture all around the mystery sun and how similar that is to the Black madonna with the baby Jesus at the  centre as a placement for that mystery sun star. The ancients all seem to have been pointing at the same thing: a map of the heavens that starts with Orion the hunter, drawing a straight line through the celestial bull (usually with his bow and arrow) Taurus,  to a point on its neck where the pleiades are. (Note the 7 stars around the mystery sun or the 7 sisters – which are the 7 stars in that constellation).

Star Petroglyphs

Star Petroglyphs and magical beings

Here are some Pictoglyphs depicting the story of the ancient origins of the Gods. If you are not convinced take a little stroll through pictoglyphic imagery, and you will note again and again the same image of the hunter and the bull. Yes, I guess some can argue that there were bulls in a caveman’s world and these cave people hunted them.

I think this is a cave man sort of view. The truth

 is that the arrow of Orion is always pointing at the neck of the bull. (Note the line in the picture above going straight towards the neck of the bull pointing at the 7 stars of the pleiades).

If you did go to Wayne’s website you would have found out that the ancients, and especially the Egyptians, decided that the constellation of those 7 stars looks like the leg of a bull, because it is actually located in Taurus. That has brought up quite a few weird images of the bull leg being cut off, or the bull looking at its own leg etc etc. But there has been another image associated with those 7 stars I believe,  that of the Crane and the bull, mostly from Cretan art work.  Note how again there is reference to the neck of the bull, note the 7 stars on the bull’s behind, I believe the Cretans, unlike the Egyptians, saw that 7 star constellation as a heavenly bird,  one that led to a secret – the location of the sun where God came from.

I think this could be why in Eastern traditions he is seen as the peacock angel.

The Crane and the bull

The Crane and the bull


peacock angel as the god sun

That Heavenly bird has been infused into motifs all through ancient time, probably because the 7 star constellation seemed to resemble that bird to the eyes of some of our ancestors, and here it is again with that sun star, as an early image of that peacock angel. Similar motifs are so abundant that it’s hard to keep track, like the Simurgh and the heavenly bird that is sought after in the conference of the birds. So this answers the question of who that peacock was, and in fact who Christ seemed to represent: a traveler from another Sun, believed by some to be a Star God, or rather a starry traveler that came to us at some point, and on which we built the image of our God, where the story of angels coming from the sky may have originated, and how they mated with the women of earth. Because this theme is universal and the same character of the starry traveler/saviour is present in Asia all the way though the Middle East and even down to South America (as Quetzalcoatl, another heavenly bird traveler God), it seems safe to assume that this is where it has all been leading us all along, to the ancient star and the liberator of the people of this earth. This is also why the Chi Rho (another Orion pictogram) symbol has been painted  with peacocks in so many Christian sites. It is Orion  pointing to Taurus and the Peacock that in turn point the way to our traveler God himself and the star of his homeland. The origin of all our myths so it seems. The Morning Star of another universe.


The peacock de-ciphered

The Peacock Angel and the Long Journey to the Invincible Sun.

Like we promised a few days ago, we are going to to go back into the Middle East problem and view it from a deeper perspective through the eyes of the living myth. this time we are going to leave Israel and travel back with Abraham, it was Abraham who is to blame (if we can blame anyone) for the Israeli problem in the Holy land (called so because it was promised to him by god), it was him who was commanded to leave his land and travel to “a place that I will show you” (gods words not mine).

We have looked into the region’s problems from the group mind point of view, from the emergence of belief systems and religion. it was the middle east that gave rise to tribalism, and possibly nationalism later on, like a melting pot for the Human psyche. we outlined a framework, how we as people became tribal, and how we lost tribalism and turned into nations, and how we lost nationality to globalism through religion.

I would like to travel back in time, to the first god, to the living Myth itself, to the point of conjunction.

So we are now rewinding back in time: Abraham stopped with his father en route to the Holy Land in Haran which is in southern turkey of our day, instead of following him back down to southern Mesopotamia. we are going to stay there with him.

To help us look at the Human psyche of that period we need a new contender, another religion and another god, (actually son of god). we are going to travel through myth and time, to an older religion, the one of the Yazidis, the people who have just been sieged on mount sinjar, by ISIS and are threatened to be wiped off altogether. it seems almost as if we MUST have a look at their beliefs before their neighbours manage to wipe them from the face of the mythological map.

The Yazidis are so interesting to me because they have elements in their faith that go back even earlier than judaism, and of course christianity and Islam. they are peaceful people living in northern Iraq and in pockets of turkey and Iran. this is funny because they are now re-locating en mass, so high time we all take a look at this Ancient Link to the Living Myth. hopefully using their faith, we can glimpse an earlier myth, the original myth.

The Yazidis have been hunted down, especially by neighbouring muslims because of something peculiar: they are believed to be Devil worshippers. now this is not entirely a misconception because they actually do worship Shaitan (satan) the fallen angel the king of all other angels, except they no longer call him that, or in fact they don’t even use any word that has “sh” in it at all, maybe that jus because of the amount of hassle they got for it.

Instead they call him Melek Taus – The peacock angel, he is believed to be the original teacher by others, maybe even the original  Christ as is described by Mark Amaru Pinkham in the truth behind the christ myth, by others as a teacher who taught Adam and Eve how to worship the Sun (remember that sun worship bit as we will come back to it!). he could be traced back through Human psyche as a myth, through Christ, to Mithra, to Murugan and Finally to the Peacock Angel of the yazidis, an indo-aryan god that has been part of so many religions in one way or another, either as himself or as an incarnation (like christ).

Peacock Angel

Peacock angel

We have been quite involved with our own Peacock Myth for some years now, since a visit to a cathedral in southern France some years ago, in a town called le-puy en valley. above the black madonna in the cathedral, there is an amazing mandala with peacock motifs, in fact the whole room is painted with peacock feathers.

We have found that mandala exciting because we believe it represents the group body, with a peacock feather for each member of the group and their position, its like a map of sorts of the 17 positions in the group body.  I guess since then we have been tuned to some peacockness, and the Peacock Myth, so now we are going to Follow it to its root and find where it came from.

Peacock mandala

Peacock Map

The Intersection between the Habitat of the Yazidis, their Melek Taus, and Abraham’s Haran, is interesting. I think there may be more to it than that, very close to Haran is an archeological site called Gobekli Tepe (the hill of the navel), this is going to be the true gem of our Entry, it is believed to be 12,000 years old, and the oldest temple complex ever found, the size of its megaliths is breaking all previous notions of the capabilities of stone age people, I recommend you watch this movie of Dr. Rose’ Visit to it, without it this post is not going to be exactly the same.

The Notions that are ground breaking , it is the turning point in Human civilisation, The builders of that temple complex seem to have been hunter gatherers, and not Sedentary, Dr Klaus who is excavating the site, has put an interesting Idea forth, that actually the people did not develop agriculture slowly and then their Religion grow with it, it may have been the other way around, they built a massive temple and needed to start farming and become sedentary to be able to stay and worship in it, that may change some of our ideas about The birth of agriculture, and History itself (it was born in Mesopotamia after all).

The site has been buried later on though and not by nature but by the hand of man.

Let us go back to the Yazidis, in their belief Adam and Eve have been chased out of the garden of eden because they ate wheat (not apple) which is striking because Wild wheat comes from 20 km away from the site in Southern Turkey, it sounds to me very similar to the story of early farming, cultivating wheat, the garden of eden, could it be it, the place where Nomads stopped for the first time, and started farming, and what did happen to them and why did they bury the site?, is there a link? do the yazidis know something which is why they would not eat wheat?.

Another ground breaking theory (follow link for the movie) that has come up about the site is by Wayne herschel, a man that has dedicated years to chart Ancient sites all over the world, to find out they all are actually detailed star charts, and more amazing still he claims they all point at a mysterious sun , not the sun of our universe but one that belongs to another,  the place the gods came from, he says our ancestors did worship the sun, but it was not our sun they worshipped.

This has some echoes in science, and it is believed by some that the reason for the precession of the equinoxes could be that another solar system is acting on ours, and its gravity is causing the tilt responsible, maybe this is a bit technical for some, the idea is that our sun has a twin, that pulls on it, we will come back to this at the end.

His theory was that the site was made in the shape of the constellation taurus, a geoglyph a map pointing at a secret star location the ancients knew about.

What we have here is the intersection of the nomad and the sedentary for the first time, the nomad becomes sedentary only to worship in his magical temple complex, it was not a group of hunter gatherers that planted wheat by mistake, it was a magical community of nomads that build a temple to communicate with another world, another sun, and went on to cultivate nature, in a new way maybe for the first time.

The power of man over nature began a new era, or a new worship convinced man that he is larger than nature, he left Nature as his religion and started worshipping a larger than life god, his gods stand up from the environment and he is king of all around, you get the drift.

We are now going to traverse the ages following the Peacock angel through to his last known manifestation at the other side of the Middle Eastern drama, the last time before he seems to have disappeared, just to show case the that the theme has been preserved in this character somehow.

Mithra Relief vert

The Secret of another sun

He was Murugan in india, he was mitra in Persia he was the maker of the christ myth, brought forth by st. paul …… and finally he is Mithras the slayer of the bull in Rome, maybe his last worshipped form, the teacher that has come to free the people.

the scene of Tauroctony is very similar and seems to be depicting the same constellation again – Taurus the point where the knife enters the Bull is where the pleiades are in the Taurus constlation, and here we have Mithras as the hyper cosmic sun.

David Ulansey argues that this is why this later god of the romans was born, because of the need for an explanation for the newly (was it really) discovered precession of the equinoxes by Hipparchus, I think the imagery has been there all along.


Geo-glyph maps

Here we have the same secret sun star, that the ancients seem to know about again depicted in a similar manner to Wayne Heschel’s geoglyph maps.

Is Mithras seen as the invincible sun a twin sun that pulls on our world? whilst depicted with the solar sun.

The lost religion of rome and Italy, of a god that is from another universe, seems to me very related to that Initial Peacock Angel that taught Adam and Eve to worship the sun (the other sun of course!) in the Garden of Eden when they were still Nomads turning Farmers.

The secret story of our origins, and the nomad versus the sedentary (like we said before) may be a lost link to another age: before religion, before man took nature on, and made it his own, before we claimed the land, and the animals, before we rose as greater than nature. Maybe it was so because of some Visitors from another world, that came by and taught us marvels.

I have other views, but I love the myth of the other sun, and that it was worshipped in Italy, that some believed that there was an opening in our world to another world, and that their god was not a god of this earth, not even from this universe: he was the Sun of another world, our parallel universe, our twin sun.

Maybe one day we will find the opening in our world to that other one. who knows maybe it is still waiting hidden somewhere in Italy, where time has forgotten about it.


Tales of Yurt Power: Thunder Yurt

Remember the two storey yurt , and its’  frame,  which was made from the Kyrgyz frames that we acquired from a French yurt maker? Well there was one complete yurt frame left over, which we covered for a woman who backed out in the end, but somehow it had this strange power that whenever we put it up, the Thunder and Lightning Beings came out, and a big storm was all around. So it became   ‘The Thunder Yurt’ and if you look at the picture below, you will see the lightning captured,  as a big Thunder Bird.

Thunder yurt

The Thunder Yurt

The Group Mind takes on the Middle-East Problems

This Blog Entry is going to be quite taxing and somewhat hard on those of religious nature. For those of you that cannot read more than a few pages at a time, and don’t like to dive into the great sea of human awareness, Stop here!! I have tried to keep the readers entertained so if you get tired, there are a few funny diversions along the way, so click on the links if you can’t hold the thread for so long.

I felt like it would be good to look at the current trouble in the Middle-East from a different perspective, to try and understand it not as a war of sides or religion, but as the pot where (Western) Human consciousness always has been mixed, making potions for us all to try, saying we will be healed. I try to view it from historical point of view, with emphasis on the psyche shifts in human consciousness.

Once upon a time, we were all tribal people.

Due to a magical feature that is inherit in us all, the power of mass, the force of the tribe created a meta identity – a being of sorts. To me this is one of the most interesting subjects under the sun (and moon): that the tribe coming together could create a sort of field that has a life of its own. We call this the group mind, or rather body, and if you look in between the other blog posts you can read about it some more.

In tribal society, I guess we best refer to it as the Tribal God phenomena. The god of the desert and of Moses was a tribal god (he later became a non tribal god when the people settled, and more complicated when they no longer lived in one country). I think if you search any tribal society in their purest form, (before they took religion on), you will find that phenomena manifest: the gods of dreamtime, the Tibetan gods and goddesses, the beings that come of tribal trance, the sexual orgies of African villages, the tribal dances that lead into shared awareness and on and on – the deities that were born from the collective field of a people sharing altered states of awareness. Some of these are actually natural powers, e.g.  beyuls, and are a manifestation of earlier religions.

Tribal dance

Tribal dance

You get what I mean.

Maybe, before we go on we need to mention that actually this was not the first psyche step in our connection with larger forces. Before tribalism we must have all been naturalists, and have celebrated the connection to the power of nature, the power of the world, and power spots on it particularly. This can still be seen in some places and I guess is the purest form of abstinence. If we truly wanted to be peaceful beings, we would stay away from group merging altogether, and from what  happens when any of us come together, but we can’t. We come together, and the force turns us tribal, the tribe gets a shared mind and that mind leads us into trouble with other tribes.

Onwards we go. For years on end,  tribalism was the prevalent force, especially in the Middle East.
For the force of coming together and the act for its (semi) stabilisation – let us use Moses as a symbol for this process.

Here is a man that took (maybe also created) a tribal god and turned, (or tried to) it into something else. He turned it into religion. I think we can view religion as the attempt to govern a people into holding shared awareness, that in the desert, in the Israelites case, it can be viewed as a case of trying to shift into a new era of consciousness.

Some argue that going out of Egypt was the symbol for changing from the age of Taurus to Aries, and the man Moses is believed to be the representative of that. He was meant  to have been born in Aries, the seer. If you are given into shifts of human consciousness and its evolutions through history like I am, a good book to read is the Great Cosmic Mother.

If you delve into group consciousness work, it will become apparent that this formation (group mind) can no longer really be held on a national level, as it is hard for the people to hold the field if they are not actually together. The field must be broken somehow, either because of physical distances or because some of the people do not share the depth, and break the the force. Altered states of awareness have this particularity – we go back to normal if others around us do not shift with us. Try and imagine what it must have been like for our man Moses, to keep tens of thousands of people held in altered awareness, to shift into a newer way of being. No wonder he had problems.

Moses Giving Law

Moses and tribal godhead

It is almost an impossibility to take a whole of uninitiated mass into the unknown….
not to say that it is impossible to take a whole of initiated mass into the Unknown, that must have happened too somewhere. Maybe the reason we do not have any record of some peoples that seem to have vanished, (another one of my wows!). There is a pictogram in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico that I love, which looks like a group of people holding hands and walking together to the horizon under a massive bird, that to me looks like an imaginative explanation of where they disappeared to.

So the story of the travel in the desert is exactly that: Moses trying to take the whole people into another state of awareness, and the rules that are made in order to usher them through, become a religion, a memory of the tribal trance, when the tribal god was in us.
That god of the desert, is still held by Israelis today, they hold the flag with its star.
I wonder, on the level of Human awareness, when was the real point that we lost that tribal god?

As far as the Middle East goes, the Israelis were foreigners that came from somewhere else, probably Europe, even before Moses, maybe even before living in Iraq or Southern Turkey (which was Mesopotamia back then). I find this fascinating, but the only records history holds stop at that point of history. In fact, it’s called the point where history began. It’s not clear where the Semitic people came from, but it seems they were visitors from somewhere else. I love stories of migrations, and people on the move, so this intrigues me.

What happened in the Middle East is that, one after the other, whole societies tried to hold that form of shared group mind, through a set of rules. This is where the first set of written rules came from, and maybe law as we know it. The problem starts with tribalism, and trying to govern a group to hold shared awareness, or at least to hold some consensus: these days we only have laws, but no altered states of shared awareness. That some people still follow that old desert god, and that they believe he led them to a land 4000 years ago is the proof.

But, time and time again, the people who made those rules were conquered by another, younger, more tribal society. This notion was covered by one of the greatest Arabic scholars, Ibn khaldun, explaining that the nomads always win over the sedentary due to their stronger assabyia (tribalism, or tribal force). They in turn become sedentary, and get conquered by another tribal(er) group: he had the greatest of all nomadic empire to witness after all, the Mongols, when they took over Syria. I for one take his word.

So here we are, no fault lies with any people, but with the fact that any people coming together create a field of shared consensus that can not be refused, one that exerts such force over them it seems to command them, one that leads us like the pillar of fire and of smoke; which is my personal favourite: the fact that the desert nomads would stop moving, when a cloud that moved with them stopped above their most esteemed tent….. wow, that must have been something.

pillar of fire and smoke

The pillars of fire and smoke

I guess as gypsies, once we left the desert we were already goners. It is obvious in the bible, that in the Holy Land, it was even harder for the people to hold that shared field of awareness, or follow the commands Moses created in order to usher the people into the Group Mind. The people were not interested, being too removed from the phenomena. No one made miracles for them as a whole: no snake banners, and water out of rock, the Gypsy died, and the people settled down to lose their God of travel, and their shared awareness, and to be conquered by a neighbouring people. Watch this short movie that explains it all if you still have not got what is going on in the Middle East.

To be honest I don’t believe Moses did ever hold all the people, although I can’t even imagine what it would feel like holding over a 1000 people in a shared field of altered states, having done group process work for over 20 years now.

I guess this trying to take tribalism into a new level, to turn it into a nation only to be taken over by newer tribalism group thing kept on happening, until (and after) a new stage in our Human consciousness took shape, with a new star (in Bethlehem), again born out of that old Semitic wandering stock. Some say this was the birth of a new age: the age of Pisces.

Jesus and Aquarius

Jesus and Pisces

Jesus took tribalism-turned-nationalism into something new. He turned it into non generic form, using the art of shifting levels or taking people into altered states through magical feats of awareness, to preach the people around him into a new belief system (again group body and mind), but instead of creating a body of rules for a tribal society. He opened that body to everybody to practice, with his disciples as the mediums, creating a new order: the grouping of people through belief not through bloodline.

That was the real killer as far as tribalism went, so not only we lost the ability to hold the group body as small tribal units, we now lost our tribalism all together. I don’t mean it was Jesus that messed us up, he can be seen as the first symptom for the death of tribalism, and the beginning of globalisation.

I personally think now that this is where we lost our chance of going through (into the other awareness) as people. Jesus took that away, not only that the nations can’t hold the same field of awareness together but globally we don’t stand a chance, never mind all the dogma and weird stuff that follows when others try to interpret his work. The Biggest mistake on that level is that when Jesus’ work is viewed from an energy work point of view, he did not make a body of faith that is practicable by everybody. His new faith journeys into altered states are only accessible to those that can go direct, those who see and shift into the otherness by themselves, which is why Christianity is really lacking as a teaching. People can not just shift into other possibilities usually, so except some saints here and there that got the message and went true on it, nothing much happened not to all of us ignorant. But we now had the chance to by unified as a people under one banner, one that did not care if we were of the same blood line.

To conclude the list of great Middle Eastern thought manifest in man, we must now turn to Muhammad, the man that outlawed tribalism altogether (I’m not joking he actually kind of made it unlawful).

Jahiliyyah (ignorance of god) is the Muslim name of the pre-Islamic period in the Arabic world. I am very taken with that periods poetry: one of its most constant forms being the pre-Islamic Qasida, which could be seen as tribal poems. The poet speaks of his love, who is usually a female member of the tribe, and explores through and through the glory of his own tribe. I love the notion that back in those tribal days, the Arabic tribes had a way to resolve their battles by wedging poetry war, the tribal poets would compete against each other, and the the victor would decide the war. Here is another of my wows.

Maybe the poets of Gaza and Israel should have a go, although there has been attempts as you can see , and I think actually this one should actually have won the present war (in my view anyway), being such a catchy hit (pun intended) in Israel.

I am not clear enough to understand if the man Muhammad actually took the people into another state of awareness at all, but the greatest achievement in my eyes is what came after him. Islam has unified the land, the Levant, turning it into the biggest mass of land to be peaceful speaking the same language, where a traveler could travel using Arabic from Morocco to India. As seen in the travels of Ibn Battuta (sounds like Mr potato head but a great traveler non the less), this is called dar al islam which was created by the peace over the land  (dar al salam).

The next stage in middle eastern History was that of great prosperity of thought, and culture, maybe one of the greatest ever.
The 13th century Arabic prosperity showed too in the Jewish perception of god, no longer a tribal god but a global Omnipresence, that could be (or even meant to) healed by our own prayers. This god was made of different layers of female and male super-consciousness as seen in the Tree of Life model (to be honest this was always to farfetched for me to grasp).
That time was also the birth to the Kabbalah thought forms and writings like the Zohar, which show God in very complicated multi-part form, surfaced.  This is something that too was probably created during the Golden Age of thinking which prevailed by Arabic scholarship. It is hard for us to believe that the most mysterious Jewish writings are actually Arabic, or at least influenced by Arabs. Because of the amount of “terror” that is invoked by Islamist groups it is hard for us to imagine that world of peace, but such it was. It is harder to imagine that actually that is the goal of some of those Islamist groups like ISIS (not the goddess but the militant group), to unify the land under the peace of Islam.

But then came the Mongols. Again a stronger tribal force took over the world order, which is probably where the Middle East evolution has stopped altogether actually, and degraded all the way to where it has been since, and maybe where it was all along (hope you watched that movie earlier): the fighting ground of human consciousness.
The symbol of that Mongol conquest over the Middle East phase was not a great man (not saying there where not great mongols because there were), but the Black Death (believed to originate with the Mongols). That is what human consciousness had manifested: the whole of the Levant and Europe was laid waste, and great thought or great people have never come again to rule us (or try to) into freedom. Wars had to be stopped because the armies on both sides lost all their fighters.
So now the fractions of history are all fighting each other, with no clear direction. The Jews can never be a freed chosen people and their tribal god is long forgotten. Their new complicated god was created through Arabic scholarship, funny that we might call him an Arabic god, I mean why not you should expect a people to learn something from their neighbours after thousands of years.

The Arabs still try to re-create the Dar al Islam, by killing everybody else, and the Christians are lost like they always were, without any understanding of how to access the otherness directly, hoping for miracles no one seem to be be able to deliver.

The truth is that nomads can never own the land, and the Jews were always nomads, so instead of going 2000 years back in time and saying we lived here, we can say 2100 years ago Jews did not live in Israel, they came and conquered that land. What is very interesting (to me at least) is where they came from and why.

But this entry has now been made long enough, and the next dive into Human consciousness evolution must wait for another day. I believe we will continue this thread, and pick up another current battleground to portray it: the war front in Iraq and especially the siege on mount Sinjar, and the Yazidis.

Tales of Yurt Power: Two Storey Yurt


This chapter of the Tales of Yurt Power, is about the Two storey yurt which we built a few years back on the Canvas Chic campsite.

Two storey Yurt France


We had been dreaming for awhile about the magnificence of the tent palaces of the Mughal Emperors  and were designing our own…like a two-storey yurt…

…a good place to begin this story is when I went to Canvas Chic in the Ardeche region of France to open the doors on all their yurt covers.

Canvas Chic was one of the original yurt campsites, in fact they probably coined the word ‘glamping’, and was situated in a beautiful green (Mediteranean) oak forest on the edge of the Ardeche gorge, with its magical prehistoric caves, rushing river and free roaming wild boar. (I say ‘was’ because not long after we were there, the owners sold the site and took the name ‘Canvas Chic’ with them, leaving their name ‘Milles Etoiles’ (a thousand stars) for the new owners).

Canvas chic yurts

Canvas Chic site

The ‘opening the doors’ task was so called because they had bought new wooden doors for all their 14 yurts, which were bigger than the old ones, so the canvas needed opening up at the doors.

Some time later, when we were on the road in our nomadic workshop, we were called to Canvas Chic to make a cover for their terrace, which evolved into to a Turkish Pole Tunnel Tent using bent chestnut rafters, going into an oak ridge pole.

Turkish Tunnel tent

Turkish tunnel tent

The next project somehow became the Two Storey Yurt (remember here that the truck was built with this in mind…)

But how to do it…? When we were wondering how to make the frame, we heard about a French yurt maker who had bought a few Kyrgyz yurt frames with the idea to make a yurt-related structure, but had decided to take his family on the road in a horse-drawn wagon, so was selling the components. We worked out that by cutting some of the roof rafters down, magically it was exactly what we needed for the two-storey yurt frame, and one other yurt (but that’s second story). The Kyrgyz make their frames from willow by hand, shaping the components with a toothed draw knife, which are then coloured with an orange-red dye.

Trucks and Kyrgyz Yurt

Nomadic workshop and Kyrgyz Yurt frame

We weren’t so into a central pillar or an internal staircase as they would block the space, so the fixed deck for the top 20’ yurt sits on 8 pillars, with a side supports held by lots of metal. The rim of this deck then acts as a big wheel for the lower 30’ yurt. The staircase became an outside spirally one.

Two storey yurt upper deck

Deck in process

There was a willing group of volunteers who helped with the building process, which involved being transformed through the up cycling of an industrial stove for the metal of the deck (and conscious cooking).

Two Storey yurt bottom deck

Bottom yurt frame in place

two storey yurt looking down

Looking up from bottom yurt

We thought it was going to be quite a job to put the top yurt cover and frame up, but it ended up being relatively simple, by doing it inside-out instead of outside-in. (Those who have ever erected a yurt will know what I mean).

The two-storey yurt was finished in time for the first Yurt Makers Conference Gathering, where yurt makers and experts came from all over the world to play, vision and eat a lot.

Two storey yurt

Two Storey yurt complete

Our aim is to encourage more campsites to incorporate a tent palace at the centre to bring the people closer to a tribal feeling: the the true magic underlying the campsite experience, where a group of people come out of their separate lives, live in nomadic shelters and get a feel of the group mnd.

Of water and the spirit (making overland camper water tanks)

The making of an overland camper water tank: we have been doing a little series of blog entries about nomadic fire and water, the titles of which we borrowed from the name of that great book.

This one is going to be about how to make a hot water system to run from the engine of the truck, to heat up the drinking water. The main problem with having water tanks on living trucks is that if you have them outside they freeze in the winter, and as we tend to be journeying through some cold fronts for some reason, and as we always end up having serious snow in winter, we decided that this time around we will have a heated water tank. It means we can de-ice the tank very quickly so we can use it in deep cold, but also that if we run the system whilst driving we can have a very hot shower the other side.

Again like in the stove design we have shared this is my personal design, but it is an adaptation from a pattern taught to me by a fellow nomad that has spent considerable time building live-in trucks.


4x4 camper water tank

Stainless steel water tank

The first step is to find or make a suitable tank, stainless steel of course is best. Next you need to make a hole at the bottom and drive a stainless steel pipe or coil (preferred) this must be welded shut so it is not open and the water running through it does not interact with the drinking water.

Overland camper water tank

Hole for heat element

Overland camper water tank

Heat element pipe through tank

overland camper water system

Heat Element welded with stainless steel wire

At the end of the pipe there are connectors for the water pipes, so if you are still unclear, the water running through this new pipe is the radiator water so it is not drinking water and should never mix with the tank water, next step is to make brackets on your truck.

overland camper brackets

Water tank brackets made

Put the tank in, and connect the pipes.

Mercedes overland camper water tank

Water tank in place

Mercedes 814 4x4 hot water system

pipes and valves

Next and last thing is to split the radiator pipes in two places (you can use the heater pipes) and run them to the the tanks. Make sure to put valves in the pipes so you can shut them off, because you don’t always want to be boiling your drinking water, nor even heat it in those hot summery days.