The War on Christmas from the Wine and Cheese (Doodles) Blog

A hilarious, clever and sharp post by Dina Honour.

#Breaking: As part of Operation Kringle, President Trump today ordered the deployment of the newly renamed 1st North Pole Battalion to an undisclosed mid-west location to monitor and protect the Koch Tree Farm, the nation’s largest supplier of Spruce and Fir trees. President Trump today, speaking from a dais festooned with holly and ivy, declared […]

via The War on Christmas — Wine and Cheese (Doodles)

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The Book of Things Unfolding

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Image: photo credit: Deseronto Archives Nealon cover via photopin (license)

My character Seraph has appeared in other posts with Amunet the Alchemist and this is another glimpse into his mysterious life. He serves, much like Amunet, to voice questions about the nature of humanity. Seraph is an angelic being who has willingly taken on human form in order to understand the material world. He and the Alchemist have descended into matter to further their investigations, you could say they’re echoes of the original fall from spirit into manifestation. The notion of separation from a Universal Consciousness has been explored by many throughout the ages. I’m attempting to carry on this noble past-time. This story wasn’t meant to be about Seraph initially but as I typed the last word his name tumbled into my mind. Almost like a notebook falling off a shelf into our hands, urging us to turn its pages.

The notebook contains scraps of his life, blurred images, and moments caught in time. Its covers match the weather-beaten essence of his spirit, resilient and enduring. The leather feels rough beneath his fingers, it speaks of histories lived in turbulence and times serene. Dare he open this storehouse of images? They murmur softly, urging him on, eager to glimpse his face once more. They and he are entwined in intimate embrace, dancing to a hidden tune, living as Clotho spins, as Laches dispenses and Atropos severs. The Three Fates ordain and he enacts. His nature is eternal and his flesh ephemeral.

What is he? Who is he? These are the questions legions ask. He answers but they serve only to perplex.

“I am you, in all your perceived failings, sorrows and triumphs. My tears fall like raindrops thundering from the heavens, serving as both watery grave and fount of purification. Constantly searching for meaning in a Universe whose answers only lead to more questions.”

So he speaks and then fall into silence. Always silence, for it gives consolation and houses the temple within which the One waits. He enters this vast landscape and peers at the immensity of existence. The One surveys the Two, unfolds yet another piece of the puzzle. The Light illuminates the Two’s darkness and cobweb shrouded essence. Riddles, always riddles. The notebook invites further exploration. His fingers hold one page delicately as if it is a tiny bird, the breath issues like the song of angels. Like his song, sung so long ago when life barely existed. The page is turned and images of shade and light gaze up at him. Memories of things mundane, of people known and not known. Of myths that were once realities, their meaning now forgotten save by the few.

Once again he speaks:

“They are memories of raw pain, loss and regret. Of persecution and salvation. Of trusting in vain and of having trust fulfilled. Of hope and joy. Of illumination and wisdom. Of poverty and loneliness. They flare like dying stars and then withdraw into the darkness of the Primal Womb. I refused to let go of them, held on like a child to its parent, my actions serving no one. Is this what it means to be human? How contrary and poignant are such lives. My dual nature is at odds, one divine and immortal, the other moulded from flesh, blood, and bone, its life all too brief.”

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Image: photo credit: Marco Ascrizzi P1040437 via photopin (license)

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Image: photo credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) The pianist – Isernia, Italy – Black and white photography via photopin (license)

He closes his eyes for a moment. A light breeze caresses his face, loving and gentle in its touch. A multitude of voices fall from the pages of the book, his Book of Life. They cajole and encourage, the journey is to continue. His blazing eyes gaze out over the multitude of stars, finally alighting on the immensity of the Sun. It ebbs and flows, the breath creating as well as destroying. They gaze at each other across the expanse, understanding without language. The hidden hand writes and the revealed mind surrenders.

He speaks again:

“This is my life as Seraph, my autobiography if you must. One day I shall surrender it to your flames, waiting on transformation, of disrobing my humanity and bathing the Universe in Light eternal. I shall return to my beginnings, you know what I speak of.”

The regent of the Cosmos understands all too well the implications of this ending and the emergence of a new beginning. For now Seraph must journey further to meet the Oracle of Blood, Bone and Spirit.

 

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Image: Priestess of Delphi, John Collier, 1891, Wikiart

Riddles of the Night – Templar Shadows (3) By Sun in Gemini

A beautiful post, filled with great poignancy.

A bastard’s bastard, he would never know that he carried the blood of the Templars in his veins. That was only speculated after his death, being proved, later, by the researcher who followed his short life. He did it because he was a runner… Hardship was the key; hardship and the words his cruel companions […]

via Riddles of the Night – Templar Shadows (3) — Sun in Gemini

Dragon Consumes Sun – Mundane Monday Challenge #138 : Learn Photography

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Image: Jan Malique

My second outing for the Mundane Monday Challenge.

You may wonder why the post is called Dragon Consumes Sun, or not.  Ancient legends speak of creatures such as dragons swallowing the Sun, thus causing solar eclipses. This shot is an attempt at recreating such an event. I hope it works.

My subject is a lovely little lacquered bowl:

 

 

Sanctum – Twittering Tales #61 – 5 December 2017

Photo by MorningbirdPhoto at Pixabay.com

My contribution for this  week’s Twittering Tales.

Kat Myrman has offered a selection of books to base our tale on. A dangerous temptation for any bibliophile. I choose “The Maze” and “For the Temple”. Both books are strangers to me, not a problem though.  I shall begin dear reader, whether it succeeds is another matter:

They call me Illuminated One, a title I eschew.
I exist For The Temple and Greater Mystery within.
My sanctum lies deep within The Maze, a place shrouded in heart’s longing and infinitesimal light.
Seek me Pilgrim, be not afraid.
My wings shall enfold you, regenerate and resurrect.

(279 characters)

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Sacred Phoenix Heart — From The Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance Blog

A message of Hope for many facing challenges and dark times. Don’t give up!

Daily Angel Oracle Card: Sacred Phoenix Heart, from the RUMI Oracle Card deck, by Alana Fairchild, artwork by Rassouli Sacred Phoenix Heart: “Under the cover of blood, love veils many rose gardens. In total faith, love tenderly guides every lover to the garden of the heart. Reason says, the world is limited in six direction, […]

via Sacred Phoenix Heart — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

Hidden Blessings – By Cynthia Morgan

I wanted to share this post to spread more of Cynthia’s generosity, she was kind enough to let me guest on her blog. It helped a newbie blogger to gain an insight into the mysterious art of blogging, and get my ‘niche’ writing out there.

I recently hosted an event where other writers had the opportunity to ask me questions about the journey from hobbyist writing to becoming an Indie Author; Published by a well-respected company, and/or landing Freelance writing opportunities; learning to navigate Social Media, networking with fellow writers, and creating a social presence or brand and more. […]

via Hidden Blessings – — Booknvolume

Writers of the Lost Art – Guest Post by, Annette Rochelle Aben … — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

When was the last time you received a letter in the mail? No, I don’t mean the ones like I receive, informing me of the great opportunity to settle my final arrangements before my family is burdened with the responsibility. Life can begin at any age but it gets fun once you turn 60. But […]

via Writers of the Lost Art – Guest Post by, Annette Rochelle Aben … — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

We Mourn Thee Mighty Thracian: Spirit of Remembrance

Many years have passed since the beautiful Thracian king and god ascendant graced the unknown bar hidden within the unnamed city. Orpheus ascended but did we have time to mourn him, to remember all that he was? We three, Spirits of Memory, Love and Dance performed our rituals but to what end? Someone important was missing, and She has come at last. The Spirit of Remembrance is the fourth element present in abundance within the Universe, there is one other, the Spirit of Divine Consciousness. Her time will come soon.

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Image: The Priestess John William Godward · 1895, Wikiart

Hail beloved sister! How your presence infuses our lives with serenity and meaning. You bring Rosemary for remembrance and purification for the mourning rites. How remiss of us to forget. Forgive us mighty Thracian. Dear sister Priestess we wait on your lead.

The Spirit of Remembrance begins the chant and we follow:

We rend our clothes and tear our hair, cry tears of salt and water bereft of blood. Hear our cries of pain and grief you beings of halls of silence and dread. Accept these offerings of Myrra, Mêkôn, Libanos, Helleboros and Daphnê in memory of Orpheus, our beloved King of Thrace. Green eyed god, vessel for divinity, and grief-stricken lover, who shall we minister to? Speak, break your silence and allow us to adore and pour salve upon flesh and spirit.

We four pour libations upon the ground and sprinkle incense upon ever-burning flames. Dread Persephone and Hades are petitioned, given sacrifice and prayers aplenty. We stand in a place not of time and of time, four faces gaze inwards, four faces gaze outwards. The space within lies empty, waiting another. So the chant begins anew:

We rend our clothes and tear our hair, cry tears of salt and water bereft of blood. Hear our cries of pain and grief you beings of halls of silence and dread. Accept these offerings of Myrra, Mêkôn, Libanos, Helleboros and Daphnê in memory of Orpheus, our beloved King of Thrace. Green eyed god, vessel for divinity, and grief-stricken lover, who shall we minister to? Speak, break your silence and allow us to adore and pour salve upon flesh and spirit.

A terrible silence descends, the emptiness hints at mysteries beyond all understanding. Then, it unfolds. His voice utters blessings, gives us solace. His form shimmers in the smoke, ah, green-eyed god how your beauty illuminates the darkness of the star filled heavens!

The power recedes and we are at peace once more. It is done, the mourning rites have been performed. Go in peace mighty Thracian.

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Image: photo credit: chiaralily Morgana via photopin (license)

Dance of Consolation: Beginnings and Endings

This image of the Hindu god Shiva in the guise of Nataraja (Sanskrit – Lord of the Dance) is familiar to many people. Shiva Nataraja first appeared in 5-6 CE and the freestanding figure about 10 CE. It’s a persona that’s supremely evocative and inspires awe, if not a shiver down the back. I have a little statuette of the Lord of the Dance somewhere in storage, he needs to see the light of day now. My collection of statuettes all have a history behind them. Ganesh, Shiva and Vishnu have found their way to me over the years. I’m waiting on Brahma to grace me with his presence now. They were all bought in a little shop off Baker Street, central London. It was one of many little gems scattered across a busy city centre. The shop had a gorgeous statuette of Shiva carved out of sandalwood, how I wish I’d bought it at the time. It was too large to carry on public transport and getting a taxi home would have been expensive. My regret has lessened over the years. Honest, it has. Now, what of Shiva Nataraja?

As Destroyer, Shiva is one aspect of a divine triad consisting of Brahma, who is Creator and Vishnu, who is Preserver. The dance Shiva performs is called Tandava, and is said to bring about the destruction of the physical world and illusionary concepts of the Self. What is left thereafter but for creation and enlightenment to rise out of this ending?

The ecstatic Cosmic dancer has a smile on his face, perhaps knowing what he’s about to initiate? Symbols and motifs have a habit of perplexing the conscious mind, which act as a portal into the greater expanse of the subconscious. Music and dance are powerful keys to doorways hidden deep within the Soul. The many elements comprising this vision of beauty and luminosity sometimes leave me feeling overwhelmed and mystified. He’s like a book filled with mystical knowledge, unfolding his secrets when the mystic attains further insight. What is he conveying in his ecstasy? What is he conveying is in his pose?

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photo credit: aaRJay fotography Shiva Temple via photopin (license)

The god dances within a circle of flames representing the world of Maya (Illusion) and consciousness, the inner ring symbolises water and the outer is fire. His gestures convey five attributes:

Creation

The upper right hand holds a drum (damaru) representing the sound, a heartbeat, to which Shiva dances in his creation of the world.

Protection

The lowert right hand is held in the abhaya-mudra (what is called the “fear not” gesture, palm facing outward with the fingers pointing up.)  It is a blessing.

 Destruction

This is represented by fire held in the upper left hand (either in a vessel or his hand), symbolising the disintegration of matter. Agni (fire) cleanses and removes the result of destruction at the end of each epoch or Yuga. The lower left hand is in the gahahasta (elephant trunk) pose and points towards the raised left foot, conveying Shiva’s grace.

Embodiment

The right foot is placed upon the demon of ignorance, Apasmara, vanquishing him so that knowledge may flourish.

 Release

The left foot is raised, bestowing eternal bliss, grace and release.

Shiva’s unkempt hair signifies him as an ascetic and houses a crescent moon (the seasons are created through its waxing and waning), a skull, Datura blossom and Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges. When her presence was needed on Earth Shiva’s hair broke her descent.

There are snakes coiled round Shiva’s upper arms and neck, signifying his power over these creatures. They are also symbolic of reincarnation and regeneration due to the ability to shed their skin.

This is only a brief glimpse into the symbolism of this mighty Lord of the Dance, one would have to meditate upon his nature to gain personal insights. I can’t profess to be a devotee but hold him in great esteem, perhaps my ancestors worshipped him at one time, I hope so. One day I’ll visit Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, India to visit the great temple complex of Nataraja. Legends tell of Shiva having performed his dance of beginnings and endings in a grove of Tillai trees there. Sacred landscapes are instilled with the essences of divinity, hence one of many reasons pilgrims undertake their journeys to partake of these energies. This is my virtual pilgrimage to pay homage to Shiva in his Nataraja form.