Guest Post: Lyn Baylis on “Ritual, Death, and Magic”, Part 2

ChrisBrockPhotography-0749

Chris Brock Photography

Post death

The ancient Egyptians ensured that the body was carefully prepared. Magic and lengthy rituals were essential to prepare each person for their eternal existence. The journey was fraught with perils, and to reach the destination the dead person needed ample provisions, the help of rituals and magic spells. In the end, if everything was done properly, the deceased had an opportunity to become a transfigured spirit, blessed with magical powers and ready to live forever among the gods.

The Egyptian concept of the soul, which may have developed quite early, dictated that there needed to be a preserved body on the earth in order for the soul to have hope of an eternal life. The soul was thought to consist of nine separate parts:

The Khat was the physical body.

The Ka one’s double-form.

The Ba, a human-headed bird aspect which could speed between earth and the heavens.

The Shuyet was the shadow self.

The Akh, the immortal, transformed self.

The Sahu and Sechemaspects of the Akh.

The Ab was the heart, the source of good and evil.

The Ren was one’s secret name.

The Khat needed to exist in order for the Ka and Ba to recognize itself and so the body had to be preserved as intact as possible.

The belief that the spirit of the person never dies but will in time return again to learn the lessons missed until they reach perfection.

(documented by Raymond Moody).

life-846066_1920

Image: Foundry, Pixabay

I follow a broadly nature based spirituality and believe that death is not the end of our existence.

That all creatures possess a spirit or soul and that spirit or soul is eternal therefore when the body dies it is only a physical death and our spiritual journey continues.

If we look at nature we can see in all things a cyclic pattern.  It is so, I believe, with our lives.  Many honour this circle of birth, infancy, childhood, youth, maturity and old age. I believe they should also find honour in death, knowing that although the body undergoes physical Transformation, the Spirit remains unchanged.

I understand that those who have no belief in the continuation of the spirit may find death frightening, as the self they know will disappear forever. However, I’m convinced that when the spirit leaves the body it doesn’t necessarily mean that all ties to those left behind are disconnected. I know that Spirits have the power to manifest themselves to us and in some instances they also communicate with us. From my experience, specific Spirits are called upon to provide us with assistance relating to a particular need. They may be from our own family and can come to us during dreams or in visions.

When the individual is dead a light is lit which will represent the deceased person, and be a focus to remind friends and family that the spirit is still there. This soul/spirit requires help to undergo transition, a task usually done by the Elder, Shaman or senior member of the family while preparing, washing and anointing of the body. Incense is used to cleanse and to bring peace and harmony to the place where the body is laid out.

Cleansing and purifying the deceased

On the altar place two earthenware bowls, two flannels, and two towels.

Place to one side a clean winding-sheet or shroud (and coffin).

Have ready a candle, incense, oil – frankincense, (for birth) myrrh (for death), water in a jug, rosemary leaves (antiseptic) or similar sweet-smelling flowers and a piece of Yew.

Explanation of ritual

In this ritual we honour the one who has transcended the mundane and stepped through the threshold of life into the realm of death.  In many spiritual traditions the soul/spirit does not leave the body for three days, in others it stays close to ensure that those left behind can cope.

As guardians of the gateway we seek to ensure that our charge is ready to face the world beyond. Therefore, with full ceremony we wash and dress them as they would wish to be. They may then stand cleansed and pure before their Divine Ones and Ancestors.

The sacred flame has been burning since they died, or if not will be lit at the beginning of the ceremony.   Three drops of the three oils are added to the water in the jug, which is then blessed and poured into the two bowls and the incense is lit.

The clean robe/ sheet is placed next to the body and the following words recited:

“We acknowledge the sacred journey of your life, and wash you so that you may step through the gateway into the next world and face your ancestors and your Gods cleansed and with dignity.”

Take one flannel and start to wash the deceased. Start with the face, and neck, hands and arms and them torso to the waist.  Take the other flannel and start at the feet and wash and dry up the torso, the genital area last.

* If the deceased has been at home and is not suffering from a contagious disease there is no need to take special precautions.  However if the deceased has recently been in hospital it would be appropriate to wear gloves and cover all exposed skin as MRSA lasts up to 8 weeks and is easily transferable and CD lasts even longer.

Then place the right leg over the left leg, turn the deceased gently on the left side and continue as before, top to middle, then feet to middle.  Once you finish washing then place the sheet down the side ready to slide into place.

Take the myrrh (to mark and to honour the completion of life’s journey and the beginnings of a new life). Anoint the chakra points on the body plus the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, and the lips.  Recite appropriate words, e.g. may these feet that have walked the sacred paths be blessed.

Position the left leg over the right, gently roll to the right and pull out the sheet. When the body has been anointed, fold the blanket right side first. Over the heart place a sprig of rosemary (for remembrance) or similar, then fold in the other side and place a spring of rosemary there. Continue to fold the sheet until it covers the body leaving the face free. Cover it with muslin (if the body is to be there for a few days it may be best to cover with a light blue muslin) until the time comes for the final journey.  Place the body in the coffin or bed, preferably on a hard surface, or board which will be used to carry the body to the final resting place.

Place flowers inside the coffin, or on and around the body – a sprig of yew is also often placed on the body to denote that death is not the end but a beginning and to confirm that like the yew each year the deceased will return anew.

Prayers can then be said to the deity, ancestors, spirits of place or those who watched over the deceased in life to thank them for being with them throughout life and asking that they watch over them as the await transcendence,  renewal or rebirth.  Many will hold a 3 day vigil- singing, talking to the deceased and sharing with family and friends stories of their journey of life, covering the shroud with reminders, or the coffin, with reminders or writing and drawings. (In this way even the children can have a part in making the coffin ready).

At the end of this period the body is taken to its final resting place, and the deity and spirits thanked for their help. Those whose job it was to help the deceased through life will also be thanks and given leave to depart.  If there is to be no vigil this will be done at the end of the washing ceremony.

The body is now ready for the Vigil or the Wake or if none are being held – ready to be placed in their casket for either burial or cremation.

Some Native American tribes still put grave goods and gifts with their deceased as do some Pagans, and other nature based spiritualities. Buddhist monks will chant when preparing the body for the funeral fire. They don’t call it magic but that’s what I would see it as.  The reason for doing this is to help the dead person to be released from their fading personality.

smoke-2258408_1920

Image: Pixabay

A third magic is sometimes used to ensure that the spirits of the dead do not come back and haunt us or seek vengeance on those they think are responsible for their death.

Sometimes this third layer of magic is used in conjunction with the other magic. The main reason for using this is to keep the spirits focused on their last journey. This ensures that they pass over without turning back, and that they have nothing which continually calls them back.

Many spiritual traditions believe that if the rituals are not done correctly, the spirit can return to cause mischief. This belief has led some cultures to burn the deceased’s house and all of their possessions. The family would move to a new house in a new location to escape the ghost of the deceased. The Roma also had similar practices with the burning of the caravan. The ancient Egyptians laid curses on the tombs so that the deceased would not be disturbed, and come back to haunt the living.

Our own Anglo-Saxon Ancestors funeral rituals placed grave goods with the departed spirits and these were also protected by curses. A runic inscription found reads:

Ragnhildr placed this stone in memory of Alli the Pale, priest of the sanctuary, honourable þegn of the retinue. Alli’s sons made this monument in memory of their father, and his wife in memory of her husband. And Sóti carved these runes in memory of his lord. Þórr hallow these runes. A warlock be he who damages(?) this stone or drags it (to stand) in memory of another”.

This last sentence puts a curse upon anyone who damages the stone or places it as a monument to another person.

Across the world there is a strong tradition of not speaking the name of a dead person at least until they have departed, as it will keep them bound to us. Photographs or depictions of a person who died may also be seen as a disturbance to their spirit. Often some families will put the photos away or will cover them.  Echoes of this are in the Jewish religion where the mirrors are covered and in our own traditions, made popular in Victorian times, closing the curtains and covering the mirrors. Some African cultures carry the coffin over water so that it cannot return; other take it to a cross-road and turn in around three times so that the spirit won’t be able to find the way home. Our fear of the dead is just as strong in the west but we hide it under a show of sophistication.

We don’t embrace death in our culture and we have so many ways to avoid talking about it.  However, it has been proven in very real terms that a good funeral eases the grief and can bring peace to the family of the departed.

A beautiful ritual as well as bringing peace to the congregation reminds those left behind of the life that was, and it brings hope and even joy to those who remain.  Perhaps this is yet another kind of magic.

 

Advertisements

Guest Post: Lyn Baylis on “Ritual, Death, and Magic”, Part 1

ChrisBrockPhotography-0749.jpg

Chris Brock Photography

My friend Lyn Baylis has kindly consented to writing two further articles shedding light on her work. This subject isn’t always an easy one for people to face but she has written sensitively and compassionately about care of the dying and dead. Without further ado here are her words:

As well as being a Chaplain and Minister, my other duties entail being an End of Life Midwife and Transition guide. This is doing the work of a psychopomp. The primary function of the psychopomp is to help the spirit or soul of an individual cross over to a safe place at the time of death. For many this role is part of who they are and they come to it naturally, others can learn the skill, but it is not as easy as many people will tell you.

Every culture, country, religion, and community has certain behaviours and rituals that govern their actions when a loved one dies. These traditions and death rituals are based upon:

  • Religious and spiritual beliefs
  • whether they believe there is life after death
  • What type of life that is
  • What happens to the body and soul after death
  • The social status of the person who has died
  • The connections between those living and those that have died
  • Beliefs about the human connection with nature
  • Superstitious beliefs about death

Many people believe that the soul/spirit doesn’t leave the body immediately at death and must either be looked after until it is ready to leave, or sent on its way. Many including some Native American tribes believe that the death ritual is part of the magic that helps the deceased to reach the afterlife, and works to protect them once they are there.

We’ve seen that our ancestors placed food, weapons, jewellery, tools, or pots within the burial site for the use of the deceased in his afterlife, so they clearly believed that the comfort of our dead was important.

So where does magic fit in and how much is it necessary for the rituals around death?

 There are three types of magic that occur around the dying and the dead:

  1. Necromancy – cursing to bring to death.
  2. Magic to enable the deceased to leave the body.
  3. Magic to ensure the soul/spirit doesn’t return to haunt us.

Necromancy

Often working with graveyard dust and other symbols of the dead they’re said to create  undeads or phantasmas  (apparitions).  It’s also supposed to attach entities which some people call vampiric magic.

All rituals to cause death, regardless of what people think of them are black magic. There’s one heavy and universal law, you have to pay for your right to use a curse of death, or to work to force the dead to do your will you may pay dearly.

Magic to enable the deceased to leave the body

The second use of Magic is to help the deceased leave their body and start their journey to the next life, the Summerlands, purgatory or to immortality – depending on their beliefs.

Magic to ensure the soul/spirit doesn’t return to haunt us

When we talk about the soul/spirit ordinary language is mostly inadequate. Various ancient spiritual traditions have stories of individuals who have had near-death experiences We can enter this realm through ritual and ceremony by shifting the mindset of the individual. The spirit rises transcending individuality and seeking oneness with the divine or the infinite being.

Once In this state the person no longer dies in fear but reaches a place of peace and love,  where should they wish, they can stay conscious for the journey ahead. The first thing to do is to create a peaceful soothing atmosphere that will trigger all the senses and thus help the dying person and all present to get a sense of and to feel close to the Divine.

sorrow-1228329_1920

Image: Pixabay

For maximum effect it’s important to work with all the senses:

Sight

Set up an altar/sacred space and arrange spiritually meaningful articles or pictures on it.

Cover unsightly furniture with beautiful cloth.

Arrange for soft lighting or candle light to bring feelings of peace security and safety.

The sight of beauty all around brings solace even to the most troubled mind – working in this area you can see the person start to relax as you transform their space from a hospital/functional space to one that calls to them.

Smell

Use scented candles, incense and oils.

Place fragrant flowers in the room.

All these heighten the senses and bring a higher understanding of the divine within, so as the smoke rises the scent calls to the dying person to rise with it to seek the other world. (Make sure they like the odours selected, and if possible that they have meaning to them).

sunset-711988_1920

Image: Didgeman, Pixabay

Sound

Prayers in keeping with the dying person’s tradition are there to remind them of the love that surrounds them and the infinite love that awaits.

Reading of much loved books or poetry.

Recitation of psalms and reading of scriptures. In Islam the Qur’an is read.

A guided meditation to take the person to the place they wish to be.

Gentle chanting, and soft and evocative vocals.

Other music or sounds that will sooth and inspire.

All these are chosen by the family and the Elder/Shaman whose words call on the old magic; using good memories and words of love to encourage the spirit to transcend the mundane.

Guided by holy words or the love of those who care deeply, they call on the dying person to surrender, so that their pain will end. This enables each person to experience the ecstasy that comes with release from the temporal body and the joy of the peaceful state. (Hearing is the last sense to go and loud, high frequencies may make the person uncomfortable and distressed. So, best avoided).

In this liminal place silence is often more important than sound, so it’s good to remember the value and necessity of simply sitting in silence with the dying person. After having assured them that it’s fine for them to go (an important statement often forgotten), you then allow them to make the journey at their own speed.

Touch 

Water, as in “holy water” or “spirit water” is often sprinkled on the dying person to prepare them for death, in some traditions even a baptism is performed. Oil also is sometimes used to anoint the person and to make them ready for the transition. Some people will at this point close the chakra points along the length of the body, leaving the head chakra open to allow the spirit or soul to escape.  Personally I wait until I am anointing the body after death.

The Sprits of our Ancestors are often called by the Elder or Shaman at the point of death to guide the spirit onward into the continuing journey.

The most important thing to remember is that this time is for the person dying. 

If rituals are created with that in mind, and rooted in love and compassion, then there is no right way or wrong way to do things. Be aware that rituals can bring things to the surface. They may help us see things more clearly as they bring to the fore feelings that’ve have been buried in our unconscious. Be mindful that these may trigger emotional outbursts in friends and relatives.

Part 2 deals with rituals undertaken post death. These will be elaborated upon in the next post. 

 

 

Have A Little Faith

raven-930854_1920.jpg

Image: Pixabay

The causeway is now hidden beneath shimmering water and there’s no one available to take him across to the island. Faith, such a loaded word these days. He carries an ocean of it within his being; hearing it whisper against the rocky shore of the emotions. Its music echoes in dreams and waking moments. This pilgrimage has been undertaken for several thousand generations. The land remembers presence of beings who had spoken life into manifestation. A sense of sacredness had always existed here according to his ancestors. They’d worshipped their gods, held their memories safe in mind and heart through turbulent times. The Old Ones had eventually retreated into the misty shadowlands, not forgotten but waiting to see which way the tide would turn. The currents appeared to turn against them, but the true faithful remained steadfast in their worship. Although it was practised in secret.

The man sits on the shore for a while, he’s cold and hungry. This only highlights the sense of loneliness. Faith, in himself and the Higher Powers had fluctuated wildly over the years, causing him to abandon his path and calling. A temporary situation as his natural talents refuse to be ignored. He comes from a line of priests that stretch into infinity, the link isn’t going to be broken now. That much he vows to their spirits. “I’ll return” he promises.

Other presences slowly gather, forming a protective circle around one of their own. He hears them and rejoices, the beloved ancestors. They give him love and also their chiding, for not using his skills to build a fire, for not eating the food lying in his bag. The apathy fades in the light of companionship. Putting on a head torch the search is on for wood, there are scraps sufficient for a small fire. He makes sure the fire and his emotions are safely contained before settling down to eat. The salamanders are quite active tonight.

Fed and watered he settles down to listen to the sound of the waves. Its hypnotic sound soon pushes him into a deep sleep. Huge wings enfold his figure, giving warmth and safety. The Raven, totem of his family has watched over him since birth. She was a constant in his life, even if he wasn’t always aware of her presence. Raven now whispers “have a little faith”. He smiles.

The darkness of sleep fades to see in a glorious sun rise. Raven’s wings open and she flies into the sky, reminding him that it is time to cross the expanse between this and the next world. He stands for a moment to look across to the island. The land waits for the relic he carries, it will return home soon. Each step taken on the battered and almost unrecognisable causeway brings back memories of all those who have gone before. Thousands upon thousands of pilgrims had made their way to this spot long before it became separated from the mainland. It hides remnants of ancient temples, obscured from human eyes but strong in presence nonetheless. There are just ruins now but on another plane the buildings remain tangible. This location exudes peace and a sense of being loved by all who had worshipped here. Some of them even being his family.

sea-1528682_1920.jpg

Image: Pixabay

“Have a little faith”. Those words wash over him, urging the need to remain steadfast and focussed. The relic starts to hum in response to Raven’s chant, an old song sung in the temple of its origin. Not far to go now. The sky has brightened considerably, the quicksilver colour of yesterday replaced by cobalt blue. The sea is warm and calm. His heart blossoms in the beauty of the day. Raven’s chant reverberates within him, “not far to go” it sings. Waking consciousness transforms into trance. The feet know where to go even if his mind doesn’t. They stop at the threshold of the temple that once was. He comes out of the trance to see Raven in human form standing in the centre of the ruins. She beckons and he obeys.

feather-2541570_1920

Image: Pixabay

The relic urges to see the light, its call is insistent. He uncovers the small pendent and lays it gently in her palm. The Raven Priestess murmurs words of blessing over it and then offers it to the man, saying:

“We welcome our priest back into our heart and temple”.

He bows in humility. Tears fall down his cheeks. A welcome release after so many years of wandering. He’s finally reached the centre of the labyrinth.

jewellery-1723638_1920

Image: Pixabay

Inconsolable: Flight of the Father

alone-2297211_1920[209] - Copy (2)

Image: Pixabay

The Alchemist stands in silence, his time has come to pass beyond the Veil. The moment of transfiguration waits. This is the hardest thing yet to face in a life stretching centuries, to leave all that he loves and values in life, his daughter. The child has now become parent to the father. She holds the wisdom bequeathed to their line in a time when only the unknown powers of the world walked as gods. Like the ancient Egyptian god Amun her true self is hidden, as is her name, until now. Amunet, thus is she named after one of the Eight progenitors from Khemenu (named Hermopolis by the Greeks). A place associated with one none other than Djehuty (Thoth). In his mind’s eye he sees Amun in splendid glory, a serpent coiled round the divine sceptre. Strange how all comes back to the beginning, the serpent biting its own tail.

He can feel the change spreading through the cells, one by one they fill with light and purity of being. They speak to each other, communicating the sacred words that will initiate his ‘Coming into Being or Existence.’ They wait on her presence, knowing that she is the catalyst for this transformation. The Alchemist surveys his entire life, from beyond existence in a Universe bereft of all light and sound to the fullness of a life to this moment. The human part of his being is inconsolable at the parting from life and loved ones. It fears the separation, of relinquishing memories that are dear and irreplaceable. Our remembrance of a greater existence is only beneath the surface he thinks, we need only push aside the barriers of our making to drink from this pool. This much he has instilled in Amunet, a worthy student and teacher.

drops-of-water-578897_1920

Image: Pixabay

He senses the Sun lying beneath the horizon, not yet risen, gathering strength. The Light within also waits, gathering strength. Drops of liquid fall into the waters of life, creating ripples that disappear into eternity. Drop by drop the humanity within is absorbed into something, not yet understood and omniscient. Amunet appears, called to perform this sacred ritual only this once until her time comes to undergo this transfiguration. She faces her father in silence and then utters words of power bestowed by the unknown powers residing within. Human and gods integrate and call forth ancient magic rarely revealed. Her breath to his breath. The Light within rises as does the Sun beneath the horizon. The god Khepri makes his ascent into the sky and also in the Alchemist’s heart. They are ‘Coming into Existence.’ Drop by drop the waters of life absorb his essence, expanding and rippling outwards beyond the horizon. She senses his every move, the moment is upon them. Both smile at each other, having knowledge of what lies beyond material manifestation there is no sadness. Such emotion vanishes like mist in the rays of the approaching sunrise. He is risen and light incarnate, it is done.

scarab-160646_1280

Image: Pixabay

A great silence descends upon this place. A memory from the birth of the Universe. Roshanak approaches Amunet and places a hand on her shoulder. Both women gaze at the beauty of the sunrise. This ending is only a new beginning. The serpent biting its own tail. Roshanak hands Amunet a small leather bound notebook, within are the notes of her journey so far and adventures to come. So it continues. Amunet puts on the coat handed to her and then makes her farewell.

Whispers of Ancestral Voices

secrets-2022087_1920

Image: Pixabay

Fellow bloggers and old friends who attended the recent Silent Eye workshop, The Feathered Seer, have written far more eloquently than I of their experiences.  This is my attempt at making sense of the weekend’s events, my guide Anubis will walk beside me as I recall all and perhaps nothing. I ask my Muse and Guide, The Opener and Walker between the Worlds what he makes of this tapestry woven from our histories. He gives me an inscrutable look (haven’t seen that one before) and whispers:

We carry in our DNA the sum of all existence and memory, from before time existed and beyond the ending of worlds. Linking with others to form gigantic DNA chains in the body of something beyond comprehension. Purposefully flying towards evolution and completion. Harmonious and beauteous in all ways. All return to the point of origin, from whence they came. Then there is no-one and no-thing, we just ARE but our conscious minds are unable to understand this concept except only in dreams and moments of true insight. Continue reading

Realm of the Forest Spirit: Emergence of the Bear Shaman

bear-1093517_1280

Image: Pixabay

This post is a continuation of my contribution entitled “Bear” to LindaGHill’s Stream of Consciousness writing prompt a while ago. It involved a beleaguered stranger consulting the Bear Shaman in a time of great upheaval in the Universe. Within the short story lay seeds of a tale that was waiting to be told. If not to anyone else, just to me perhaps. I know my posts can at times veer towards the cryptic and loaded with symbolism; for that I beg your indulgence. When my spirit speaks to me it is imperative that I listen and take note. Hence my writing appearing a little ‘otherworldly’ at times. I like the ‘sound’ words make, their rhythm can be hypnotic and lyrical. Such is the impact of the shaman’s drum in achieving an altered state of consciousness, altering brain waves and perception. The shaman’s drum carries them across the worlds and levels of consciousness. I digress. What was I going to say to you? Oh yes. Traditions of indigenous cultures across the globe have been a great source of fascination since childhood, especially shamanism. Hence my posts on the Jackal Shaman, Anubis. Hence my posts regarding the White Rabbit. It’s a complicated situation, I’m sure you’ll get used to it! Continue reading

Phantoms of the past…

I’ll be attending this workshop in April and once again the participants will be gathering from all parts of the UK and abroad. Last year’s workshop unleashed powerful life changes and literary offerings. Methinks the energies of this will indeed sink into bone, flesh and blood.

The Silent Eye

When I met her, I thought her no more than a dream of the landscape, born of the mists and the magic. Imagination. Fantasy. Perhaps she is. Perhaps I delude myself with my listening. Perhaps my tears have fallen for a will-o-the-wisp. Who can say?

Do I believe in ghosts? The dead have better things to do with their lives than linger here in longing, clinging to a world they cannot touch and wishes they cannot hold. Do we call them back with our desire? Are we children tugging at their apron strings as they move forwards through the layers of existence, passing through otherworlds we try to glimpse in our fear and curiosity, in our inability to let them lie?

The Old Ones honoured their dead, giving them a place of peace by the hearthfire or laying them in the womb of earth to be reborn to a new…

View original post 636 more words

Revisiting Old Paths: Seeking Merlin

wp_20150908_15_17_49_pro

Photo: Jan Malique, Snowdonia 2015

I remember sitting by the river Ogwen in Snowdonia nearly twenty years ago. It was at the waning of Summer, the light was still infused with golden hues and the temperature quite comfortable. This particular Summer had been good, believe it or not. The weather in North Wales can be fantastic when the Sun blesses us with its presence. It wasn’t a good time for me though; back problems had been plaguing me for several years. This particular time was quite bad and I was mired in misery as a result. I sat on the riverbank trying to make notes for a story. Very little was forthcoming as my spirits were quite low. I prayed for healing, Merlin and the Goddess being the object of my entreaties. It sounds dramatic but not inappropriate under the circumstances. One cannot remain unaffected by being in such a magnificent environment. What did I have to lose? As for the Ogwen, the river flows out of Llyn Ogwen lake. Ancient legends abound regarding Llyn Ogwen and its association with King Arthur. It’s said that Excalibur was eventually laid to rest in its waters. Snowdonia is the natural habitat of the mage, prophet and wild man of the forest. Many places lay claim to Merlin but I believe his spirit resides in the mountains and valleys of North Wales. This may upset many and for that I offer my apologies. Continue reading

Time to Remember

FB_20160331_17_39_32_Saved_Picture

“How long is forever?” I’ve asked that question over and over again. Only to get a different answer each time. Where are you leading me White Rabbit? The twists and turns you take through the forest and field make me dizzy. You weave your words of confusion and magic, leading me further into the rabbit hole. Leading me further into the Labyrinth. Ancient roots, ancient memories. Those I can see, those I can feel. I am ancestral blood. I am ancestral memory. Earth and Sky united.

“How long is forever?” Not long enough. Who will keep my memories once I’m am gone. You pull these questions out of me and I’m more than willing to let you. I remember a time White Rabbit when the world was young and our roots were strong. Now we are unravelling, bit by bit. What will be left when we have no more stories to weave? Existence disappears down the rabbit hole. We cease to be.

“How long is forever?” Trickster, you open the doors of perception so that we can live our truth. Yet we fear to tread over the threshold. Time, we fear Time. We live enmeshed within its web, willing prisoners. If we have time to fear, why not have time to remember?

“How long is forever?” As long as you want it to be. My words fall like shattered glass on the page, forming random patterns only you can understand. Do you see?