Cream of Rice Pudding with Apricot Compote — hanadykitchen.com

Rice pudding has been elevated to greater heights in this recipe. Sounds rather divine!

Food and hospitality underpin civilisation. They symbolise cultural identity and spirit of a people and nation. We invest our memories and desires in them, above all we take comfort in the way they nourish our hunger (on so many levels).

This cream of rice pudding is infused with orange blossom, rose, and nostalgia-inducing mastic. A decadent topping of apricot, saffron, and honey compote is the grand finale in this show of flavors. I love making this in the summer months as it provides for a delicate and cooling dessert on a hot evening. This dessert […]

via Cream of Rice Pudding with Apricot Compote —

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An ear to the ground — The Art of Enchantment blog

This is such a beautiful post, really gets to the heart of our relationship with the land. It will resonate with many people…

‘We think that we imagine the land, but perhaps the land imagines us, and in its imaginings it shapes us. The exterior landscape interacts with our interior landscape, and in the resulting entanglements, we become something more than we otherwise could ever hope to be.’ from The Enchanted Life, by Sharon Blackie

via An ear to the ground — The Art of Enchantment

Con Amore (With Love)

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My posts of late have been infused with introspection and pathos, so a little “light relief” is in order. I jokingly call myself a ”non-poet’ (a label my Muse considers strange and wishes I would just ‘get on with it’). So, I’m getting on with it.

Con amore. With love do I brush the curve of your cheek and wicked smile.

Feel the crispness of your hair,

Beneath my fingers.

Con amore. With love do I savour the Feel of your neck on my shoulder, Breathe your scent in deeply,

And whisper words of unbecoming.

Con amore. With love do we enfold the other, each being elemental power,

Fire and Ice of worlds ancient.

Con amor. With love are we wedded,

To mysteries unveiling,

Of silent but potent yearnings.

Fire and Ice of worlds ancient.

Solar Fire: The Regeneration of Amunet

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One of my favourite characters, Amunet, has reappeared for this post. We last saw her in  Betrayed: The Priestess Retreats. I’ve been thinking about her, wondering where her adventures are going next. Funny how you can become attached to your creations, although she’s more than that. She’s my alter ego, but doesn’t wear superheroine knickers over tights, and has neither cape nor mask. Admittedly my life isn’t as exciting as hers, but we share common ground. Amunet or Amaunet was originally one of eight primeval deities in the ancient Egyptian Hermopolitan creation myth.

The Eight signified creative and elemental principles, and existed in the primordial waters of Nun before creation of this world. Being was created out of non-Being from the sum of all their powers. So who were the Eight?

They were four frog headed male principles and four serpent headed female principles:

Amun and Amunet – personification of invisibility, that which is hidden.

Heh and Hehet – personification of infinite space.

Kek and Keket – personification of darkness.

Nun and Nunet – personification of the Primeval waters.

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Free-Photos, Pixabay

I leave it up to you dear readers to come to what conclusions you may. You may see a pattern here…

As for my heroine, she’s taken many forms over time but can we say that we really know her true essence? Amunet has worn many masks, shedding each at the moment of our illumination. She took material form in order to understand human experience, a task that’s been challenging and filled with sublime beauty and sacrificial blood, her own. The Alchemist was born in elemental Fire, regenerates in it and shall return to the heart of its greatest personification when her task is completed, being the Sun. She was a Priestess of the Sun God Ra at one time, so perhaps appropriate. There are no endings for her, only great Cosmic cycles of creation and transformation. This is the canvas on which her journey is painted. I hope you’re still with me.

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Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

The regeneration in this post alludes to that of spirit and heart, essential elements comprising the “I” that exists at this moment in time. She’s known love and friendship deeply, as well as loss and danger. A person of her quality and abilities has been subject to envy and malice from others, has held power and position only to walk away from them. She’s a Mystic, whose path is a solitary one mainly. It’s a time of gathering knowledge and looking within. Hence coming to a place in the heavens, to a vantage point from which she and Anubis can survey Solar Fire.

Amunet:

The fire in my blood ignites, yearns to embrace the greater Fire that waits before us. It calls to me mighty Anpu, He calls my name in dreams and waking states, Ra can see the sum of all that I have been and am.

Anubis:

What of Amun my Amunet? Will the Hidden Ones reunite?

Amunet:

The entity that is Amunet the Priestess of Ra shall return to his heart and the Amunet that is the Hidden One shall return to the First Time (Zep Tepi). Opposites shall reconcile and all return to an original state. Then my task is complete.

Anubis:

 (Touches her forehead). The womb of creation and disintegration.

Amunet:

(Smiles at him). You know me so well my beloved companion and protector.

Anubis:

(Touches her cheek gently). Can you hear that my Amunet? The Fire stirs, He waits for your answer. The Universe holds its breath, anticipates a new era.

Amunet:

I thought I knew myself but it seems not. Aspects of myself fall like pomegranate seeds, ruby tears that leave an indelible mark on the fabric of the Universe. I can taste their sweet and tart flavour, such is the experience of regeneration.

Anubis:

So many have come before me my Amunet, crumbled into dust, their names so fervently carved on the tombs only to be worn away by wind and sand. What is left for them then? Are their names spoken, given honour? Such things are ephemeral, except for the love and truth of their hearts. (Sighs). It is time.

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RafaelMousob, Pixabay

Amunet walks towards the immense, glowing ball of fire that is the Sun, Ra in his outer form, the true essence hidden deep within its heart. The flames flow out to embrace and gather her into the interior. She feels the fire in her blood respond to the greater fire. Brilliant light sears the spirit within and every cell in her body. The Phoenix approaches the time of her regeneration as her feathers reduce to ash. Her cry echoes throughout the Universes. Anubis stands by impassively, witness to a scene that has played out since before Time had been compartmentalised by humanity. He will wait for eternity until her transformation has been completed.

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WikiImages, Pixabay

Anubis:

(Closes his eyes and uses his staff to beat out a rhythm, creating a vortex). The music of the Universe begins its song of lamentation, sheds its tears of mourning, and then shouts its joy. The time of rebirth approaches, come Hathor, come Bes, guard this place of childbirth.

Two figure emerge from the darkness between the stars, the goddess Hathor and god Bes. Another cry echoes throughout the created Universe. The triad form a triangle of power, keep the energy contained as “childbirth” commences. A winged figure then emerges from the flames, her feathers shimmer with a beautiful iridescence. Glowing eyes of light survey the star filled heavens and then stare at the figure of Anubis. He holds out his hands. She clasps them and then looks at us. It is done and the journey goes on. The saga continues.

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Comfreak, Pixabay

 

The First Mound: Beginnings #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

For Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt I return to ancient Egypt for my offering. The tale then moves to our present time, and new beginnings.

If you’re acquainted with the myth of the First Mound rising from the waters of Nun, you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Beginnings and endings interest me. This creation myth originated in the ancient city of Hermopolis and involves a set of eight deities, the Ogdoad, existing in the chaotic and endless waters of Nun. The location is one before existence of the world and first land come into being.

These frog and serpent headed deities swim in dark waters, in a Universe bereft of light and sound. It exists in a place outside of time and space, nascent, waiting, gestating. The action of the waters is endless, eerie even to eyes ancient and modern. Thoth stands witness to the scene, drawing our attention to Nun and the potentiality he contains. For Nun is an ancient god, ever-present in a world that hasn’t come into being yet. We the audience wait, witness to a sacred drama played out over millions and millions of years.

Silence stretches into infinity, intense and weighted with the memories of the Eight. Water also has memories, instilled with the essence of a Time before Time. Dare we take a sip of something so potent? Thoth looks at us knowingly, he knows what our thoughts are and the deep currents running through our Souls. We are inextricably linked to these ancient waters, place of all beginnings and also our own ancestral birthplace. The waters meanwhile continue to ebb and flow strongly. They carry the thoughts of the Eight, tell of their plans for this Universe. We hear their faint whispers in our heads, old, so old and so unfamiliar.

We ask ourselves ‘where and when did I begin?’ and Thoth answers ‘in the First Time.’

This makes us pause and leaves us grasping for clarity and answers. He points out they lie within.  The Eight echo his words but we are unable to understand them, or refuse to in our fear and puzzlement. The waters of Nun crash against each other, stir the endless depths, mix the soup and matrix of life. The tension builds, there is a pregnant pause (!), how appropriate. The silence deepens, hurts our senses. The Eight sing a song so mesmerizing we almost yearn to jump into the waters but are held back by the God of Wisdom, Magic and Mysteries. Our time of Becoming is not now but waits in the shadows.

Then, everything freezes, Time freezes, as if it ever existed! The waters churn and boil for an eternity. They part as the First Mound rises from the depths, a pyramidal shape being the first land and the First Temple. It rises in magnificence, the tip radiating out an intense Light that pierces the Eternal Darkness and Silence. ‘Let There Be Light!’ a shout goes out. Fiat Lux!

One Beginning unfolds, and a myriad of others yet to unfold as the Eight take to the depths, waiting, listening and watching. As for us, we turn our eyes towards the distant future that is our present. Our eyes reflect the mysteries witnessed, the visions flow out and create new beginnings for us. Ones that hold a germ of the Eternal Mysteries, of memories buried deep within our brains, waiting to be unlocked and perused.

 

Offering To The Land: June 14 Flash Fiction Challenge

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June 14, 2018, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a bouquet. You can explore the meaning of the word or gather a bunch of flowers. Go where the prompt leads.

Respond by June 19, 2018.

Rules are here.

It’s been a while since I participated in the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction challenge, and this week Charli has provided a lovely prompt. What else could I do but jump in there!

She stood looking at the expanse of wild meadow with wonder. It was a rolling carpet of vibrant colour and scent, touched with the kiss of golden sunlight. Truly heaven!

The elders of the tribe had chosen her to carry the offering of garden flowers. A gift to the land as thanks for retreat of the great ice sheets, and continual good harvests.

She waited for a sign from the land that the gift had been accepted. Silence fell, then a sweet wind moved over the meadow. The Guardian came slowly forward and kissed her gently on the forehead.

 

Hunger

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947051, Pixabay

Preamble

I wasn’t sure how to proceed with this post. The word ”hunger’ kept ricocheting in my head, and as writers know the Muses in such cases are directing our attention to something of great importance. Or not.

My little tale started out as a love story (of sorts), then widened to gather in hunger of a different type. Hunger for power, which may be the most destructive of all. On the other hand, revenge, hate, envy, malice, and other self-destructive traits spring to mind.

Therein lie the makings of a dark little tale methinks, featuring a vampire and ‘fallen’ angel. I tend to use such devices in my posts to explore issues that may otherwise end up being dry and indigestible (for my new readers – you’ll get used to this). Instead they end up being impenetrable and indigestible, makes a change.

You may find the turn of phrase a little, old fashioned, and the names puzzling. They are very, very old Souls, bringing with them remnants of their culture. One that has to exist in the modern world and its ways.

At the heart of this tale lie the issues of love, sacred oaths, integrity, and right motivation. For those engaged in any form of esoteric and spiritual work these should be central to their work and existence. My opinion only dear readers.

Better get started then.

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darksouls1, Pixabay

Encounter of Powers

The story takes place in a café located down a side street in a city that shall remain nameless, and in a country that shall remain nameless. Dusk is approaching, being a time which is neither day nor night, but in-between. A time when the senses undergo an awakening, when the sensitive and empathic pick up ‘signals’ on their antennae. They feel the approach of inexplicable and awe-filled emotions and presences.

In the distance we see a huge Sun radiating rays of gold in varying hues. The setting Sun bathes the streets in a film of iridescence. It shimmers gloriously. A figure is silhouetted against this eye catching canvas.

The dazzling light recedes to reveal a woman with hair the colour of old gold and golden eyes. The lips are full and stained red, and manner calm and commanding. Her look is piercing, knowing, she can see through your masks and shields. There is no lie she can’t penetrate, no subterfuge that can’t be ripped apart.

The man standing outside the cafe watches her intently. He scrutinises every aspect of her figure with hooded eyes. His breath synchronizes with her steps. She glides towards him, offering a hand, which he kisses respectfully. He then holds the door open for her.  A gentleman as always.

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donterase, Pixabay

The interior is an eclectic mix of styles, eccentric even, and the reason why it’s located in the ‘bohemian’ quarter of the city. It has a relaxed atmosphere but allows for privacy if the clientele so require. They find a table at the back of the café and sit in silence. From time to time each glances at the other until the waiter approaches.

The drinks are ordered and then silence settles over the two figures like a welcome Summer downpour. It stretches into minutes as both contemplate the significance of this meeting.

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fietzfotos, Pixabay

They begin to converse in the original tongue, a habit both are often inclined to do:

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

Magic of an accursed kind, filled with envy and spite has been loosed. Its attentions have been directed towards individuals under my care. Initiates are involved, highlighting the seriousness of the act. I am, displeased.

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

With good reason my lady. Oath breaking and mischief are serious in themselves, but, the hunger for power brings with it serious implications for the perpetrators. Many Mystery Schools, esoteric and mystical orders have been prey to betrayals enacted by those they’ve trained and taken under their wings. I have seen much of this over the millennia. I know you have strong views on this.

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

Strong views? Your words surely do injustice to the depths of my feelings. Cracks present in the souls of those particular individuals can widen like fissures; where worldly ambitions and desires can take root. Perhaps the most heinous crime is that of seeking to elevate the Self above all others and gather together acolytes to enact their dark deeds. Knowledge of the human condition is put to detrimental and unethical use. Thus are Powers of a Higher Plane disrespected and the sanctity of the Higher Self torn to shreds. They are doomed by their own actions.

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

Doomed? A certainty. Such deeds have seen the light of day throughout history my lady. The material world is rife with individuals who are instruments of the forces of chaos and evil. I am not without blemish of character, and have perpetrated much upon legions of humanity before reigning in my baser instincts. Your attentions have been my salvation, as has your, love. I dare mention it as my soulless body yearns to see the light, your light again. You remain silent my lady. Have I offended you?

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

Not at all Shadow Walker. It was leading to this point, I could see the fire gather in your eyes. Please give me your hand. Such an elegant and strong instrument, clothed in silk and as deadly as a dagger. As is your mouth. What havoc you have caused with both Shadow Walker, taken us to the depths and then raised to the heavens. We have known love and desolation, and I could have destroyed you with fire and turned your bones to ashes. Yet my hand was stilled by what was glimpsed in your eyes and heart. You have never taken advantage of our relationship, why?

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

Do you need me to answer that my lady? My trust, faith and love are pledged to you and only you. We may walk different paths but there is honour between us. It was so in the beginning of all things when life issued forth from Nothingness, before I, transformed into what I am now…You chose to fall my lady, the enormity of your sacrifice overwhelms me at times.

She Who Is Silence Before The Storm:

It is an act never regretted, for I have been the hand that has guided and protected the lost, vulnerable and Seekers through the darkness. I have been the destroyer of armies of darkness swarming out of the gates of the Abyss, and I have served justice upon the breakers of sacred oaths. I guard the Temple gates. I gift you the fire and my love Shadow Walker, do what needs to be done and I shall do my part. The fire of the Sun behind the Sun shall purge the insidious growth of betrayal.

He Who Is Clothed In Shadow And Strength:

I serve as you wish.

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SplitShire, Pixabay

Withdrawal Behind The Veils

The two figures remain seated, with hands clasped together and deep in thought. They savour this moment, one of many to come. They are the epitome of the Sun and Moon, invested with their respective powers. They are the balance of forces flowing through the Universes, the arbiters of justice and guardians of the Path. The minutes tick by, eternity passes and then the Powers withdraw behind the Veils to do what is necessary.

Here ends my tale, an exploration of an issue that has been troubling me for a while. On the nature of initiates (or otherwise) who choose to seek the path of power for reasons of status and gain. Surely negating the very reason they chose to seek evolution and growth, in the end such actions only bringing down hubris upon their heads. FIN.

 

Alchemy — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

Appropriate for the Gemini New Moon, I shall be making efforts to engage in alchemical transformations it will be initiating. May it bring positive changes for you all!

Daily Angel Oracle Card: Alchemy, from the Heal Yourself Reading Cards, by Inna Segal, artwork by Cris Ortega and Drazenka Kimpel, published by Rockpool Alchemy: “The path you are on is about to go through a very powerful transformation. Nothing is how it seems.” “You have an opportunity to take a big leap in your […]

via Alchemy — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

What Have We Lost?

This resonated strongly with me. I’m ever hopeful about humanity’s journey towards evolution, but, looking at the world today you would think otherwise.

Answers on a postcard please, funnier the better.