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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Seraph: Warrior of Light

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Image: Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Amunet faces another sunrise at the remote monastery, the sixtieth at the last count. Due to its location visitors are rare. Those that appear at its gates are there for very specific reasons and she falls into that category. The young man who accompanied her two months ago was meeting his guru at the monastery. Their journey will continue into the far north, deep into the Tibetan plateau. This is the last anyone will see of them. Many of her encounters end in such ways. As for the reason for being here, it has taken months of searching to find a lead, any lead, of the woman known as Seraph. She certainly had a sense of humour taking on that name. It was a little obvious! The monks have found the scroll she was looking for and today is the day its contents will see the light again after seven thousand years.

The library is immense, with shelves packed full with manuscripts and books. Most of which are written in Tibetan and Sanskrit, but in the inner sanctum are items of rare provenance. Treasures hidden from the grasp of greedy tyrants and seekers after power. It’s even whispered that the angels themselves have gifted this place with relics of terrible and prophetic power. These are well hidden, no one, no one has access except for three people, Amunet being one. You may ask why this is so, that may or may not be revealed later in her journey.

Two monks carry the scroll carefully to a desk in one corner of the room and beckon her over. It exudes an energy that isn’t quite comfortable, hence the monks having to wear special gloves. She lays her hands on the document, asking permission to enter into its world. It senses her essence and unlocks the gates to a hidden world:

The Last Battle

These are the last words of the being known as Seraph. My time is nearing its end in this place of darkness, the hordes are numerous and I could destroy them all. Yet, this is not my task alone but for the ones to come. I shall wait as long as I can and no longer, this body is damaged and must return to its elemental home. The spaces between the worlds are widening, like wounds they bleed but it is time and not blood that flows. My kin wait for my signal, ‘not yet’ I tell them.

Bloodshed and hatred spread like wildfire over these lands, the hordes have hearts that are filled with a darkness no light can penetrate. The overlords of such evil stand like sentinels urging their minions onwards. I hear the dripping of poisonous words in receptive ears, what glamour and twisted magic is being wielded to bind and enslave? Have reason and humanity deserted their souls, the ones that are tempted? They would jump willingly into the Pit if ordered to do so. Threads of disquiet spread throughout bodies that appear defenceless. I hear their cries for salvation, trapped they are in realms we cannot go. That task is for our brethren, the ones so called Fallen. In whose eyes may I ask?

This is a battle that has played out for eons. Consisting of games infused with treachery and pettiness. What use is free will if it is twisted to suit the oppressor? Heed my words but I fear they will fall on stony ground. It approaches, like a tide of blood and anger. I hear its whispered threats but fear them not. ‘Come closer’ I urge it, it obeys. It holds aloft the sphere triumphantly, captured through treachery of one no longer alive. We offered the bait and they emerged from the shadows, grasping hungrily. All the knowledge of the Universe is distilled in that sphere, yet none can access its treasures.

It stands over me gloating and baring its teeth. A little closer, yes, believe I have only moments to live. Its breath sears my skin but this body is beyond pain. How arrogant the beast is, even placing the sphere in my hand. My fingers close round it and then it begins. My kin rise like a curtain of incandescent light on the horizon, and sweep across the land vaporising all in their wake. The beast turns in shock. I strike at that moment. It too vanishes, leaving ash drifting in the wind. Now I can depart this body. She lies breathless on the ground, blood and dirt besmirching her features. We gather her remnants and return them to the eternal flame, another warrior passes beyond the Veil. It is done and the relic is returned once more to our possession. This battle has ended but there are more to come. We must be ever vigilant.

Amunet looks up from the scroll to see a figure shrouded in light. They move into view and gaze down at her.  Those eyes, they look so familiar. The man smiles and speaks.

Man:

That fragment doesn’t give the full story Amunet, but it’s a start. We’ve been waiting for your visit. Are you intrigued?

Amunet:

Intrigued? I think you know the answer. Is it safe?

Man:

So far. Yet, I sense the same powers are on the prowl again. The lure of divine knowledge still holds them in thrall.

Amunet:

I think you mean the power it contains is what they’re lusting after. (Smiles).

Man:

(Smiles back). That and more. Their natures are unchanging, eternally chained to ravenous beasts demanding more of their souls. It twist and thwarts what grace is left in those fragile bodies. The overlords of the Pit beguile them with beautiful words and false promises. Promises of wealth and status. They feed on ambition, fear and anger.

Amunet:

Once tasted, always hungered after…They seek the light, but can never twist and subvert it. The ancient darkness will lose and realises this truth. That’s why it’s redoubling efforts to push this world into nothingness. How many times have I seen this being played out? It has to end soon, otherwise we will intervene and then there will be nothing left for either side.

Man:

 I, understand.  (Bows and turns to leave).

Amunet:

Seraph, my words may sound harsh but this has dragged on for longer than necessary.

The man pauses and turns. He nods in understanding and then leaves. Amunet rolls up the scroll carefully and waits for the monks. She walks over to the window and looks at the retreating figure of the one who was Seraph. He disappears into the mist that’s descended on the mountains.

 The saga continues.

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Image: LYJ19920520, Pixabay

 

 

Fall from Grace: Diary of a Previously Unemployed Knife Thrower

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Image: Eve, John Collier, Wikiart

Saturday 5 August 2017

The look on Eve’s face is telling, or is that the artist projecting his own notions of shame against the Mother of all? Let’s face it, She was set up. There was a power struggle going on, the male priesthood and establishment need a scapegoat and she fitted the bill. Compared to the divine ancestor my situation is a mere gnat bite on the body of humanity. Okay, a slip of the hand and my assistant, the little anaemic sop… Let me correct that, he was anaemic by the time they took him into the ambulance. Accidents happen at work, why on earth they had to involve the Health & Safety people I don’t know. It’s an occupational hazard for anyone involved in the business. To be fair his threat of a lawsuit forced their hand.

Talking of accidents, that no-good, con artist of an agent got her comeuppance today. The zombies she was representing finally had enough of being ripped off and demanded a pound of flesh. In fact they got several pounds of the stuff, the police had a problem identifying her. Justice has been served with a bottle of Rioja!

Sunday 6 August 2017

Still can’t get that image of Eve out of my head. When I knew her She was like a star of the brightest light. Why did it go wrong? Humanity wasn’t meant to be mired in darkness and ignorance. As for the lie about using one of Adam’s ribs to create a companion, well, it leaves you a little speechless. Does that mean that if she was injured or happened to become existentially challenged. Wait, what do I mean? Anyway, if she died, would he die as well? To be honest the heart of humanity suffered great a grievous wound when they wrote the various Books. Bad PR folks, look what they did to Lilith and Mary Magdalene. Shame, shame and shame. I’m ashamed to be a man. To be honest the women are just as bad, maybe even worse. Makes you wonder what kind of deity/Higher Being/Cosmic Conscious they believe in. I’m Freud would have plenty to say about that, he wouldn’t have minced his words. He was a straight talking guy when I knew him.

I’ve been six months in this temp job now, the people are just as dysfunctional as I am. Fit right in. Hard though being cheerful, not in my nature to be a ray of sunshine. It’s been a challenge keeping my tongue quiet, been sorely tempted at times to tell some of those people what I really think of them. Humans can be so, needy and malicious. At least your average chthonian or solar deity would display such negative traits with a bit more style and aplomb. Persephone warned me about cutting back on the bitchiness. Do I listen to her? Not always alas. I miss Eve and Lilith.

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Image: Lilith with a Snake, John Collier, Wikiart

Monday 7 August 2017

These thoughts about our lost Paradise are making me maudlin. Well, Paradise hasn’t been lost exactly. It’s just that humanity is on an attachment this material plane of manifestation for a while and will return to HQ when it’s been completed. Although I don’t think humanity quite understands the work that’s involved in working from the Divine Blueprint. That doesn’t apply to all the work experience people though, many actually get the concept of Free Will. I’m making it sound like a huge corporate nightmare, perish the thought! It’s more like a centre of learning/temple without walls or boundaries. That’s the best I can do. That reality is hard to describe, even though I’ve visited many times. The supervisors are numerous and often hard task masters, or that’s how it appears to human perception. I think humans know them as angels, archangels, etc. Just realised, I keep referring to ‘humans’. I’m, no, I used to be human. Not sure what I am now, not undead, not either living or even dead. It’s a strange existence, I straddle several worlds. Makes your thighs ache like mad! Heh, heh. I thought it was funny.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Angels. Now that’s a subject I could go on about for hours but won’t in deference to them. They’ve been viewed variously as benevolent and sinister. Depends on which side of the divide you stand, the Abyss can be a nasty place to fall into. I’ve peered in and it isn’t somewhere you take the family for a night out. The ones known as the Fallen have been viewed with fear and more. There’s been so much misinformation bandied about them, some of it deliberate. The great ‘War in Heaven’…What was that about? Did we ever stop to think what was really going on there? Nothing, nothing, ever happens just by chance. Humanity has a destiny to fulfil but has managed to get side-tracked many times, not easy I suppose maintaining a balance between their twin natures. Hard having the both in one body can be problematic. Sandalphon ensures I get to hear all the latest news. We have a chat when it’s quiet and when I can bother to get out of ‘grumpy immortal git’ mode. I should open up to them a bit more but it’s centuries of conditioning I need to discard before reaching the inner, sensitive man.

Wednesday 9 August 2017

I’ve been getting to the urge to slap one of the team across the face with rotting fish. Swear I saw his eyes turn black momentarily and an aroma of sulphur follow him out of the room. He’s a wiry individual with a spiteful streak. He reminds me of one of the demons I came across when wandering the wasteland many years ago. Now that was the perfect place for some of the not so friendly Fallen. Gross material matter has a tendency to change things in unexpected ways. No laughing matter, I’ve seen the effects on so many that came through the planes of manifestation we know of, also the innumerable ones we don’t. Humans need to keep their boundaries more secure, by that I mean not allow any ‘walk ins’ to get a foothold. They allow fear to cause breaches in their protective shells, letting in things that are quite nasty.

Thursday 10 August 2017

This diary’s beginning to go places I don’t want to. Probably because of the hovel I’m currently inhabiting. The landlady advertised it as a ‘jewel of an apartment in a desirable central location’. It’s next to a recycling plant and built over a doorway into the infernal regions. Sounds funny written down but I’m not laughing. Even the cockroaches and silverfish had thrown in the towel and left en masse. They begged me to leave with them but I couldn’t afford anything better. Anyway, they left me a phone number of a good estate agent (think I just saw a pig fly past my window) just in case I changed my mind.

The landlady gives me the creeps and I spent several decades as assistant to a Necromancer in Tartarus. They were the worst years of employment imaginable. Something about her makes my skin crawl, although the plastic surgery has rectified that issue. I don’t look a day older than 670. My skin looks luminous (that might be the accidental exposure to radiation) and you can bounce a rubber ball off my toned posterior. Where was I? Yessssssssssss, my landlady. I’m not sure what else she does apart from instil a terrible feeling of dread in the soul. She’s never around during the day and as soon as twilight approaches her door creaks open to reveal…I can’t even write what she looks like because I can’t remember. Strange that. I have a theory about what she could be but uttering it aloud and even writing it down could cause a terrible tear in the fabric of the Universe. Sandalphon and even Mikael dropped hints about her true nature but I was rather preoccupied with other matters.

Friday 11 August 2017

I managed to corner Sandalphon and Mikael this morning. They were a little reticent about the matter. I think they were trying to be polite, kind even about my lack of awareness. They don’t view reality as humans do, and human emotions are quite alien to their kind but many have chosen to work with humanity. In order to help them achieve wholeness and evolve; to become divine beings once again and bring back knowledge of the material world to the Source and angelic hierarchy. Anyway, I digress. I was quite shocked at their revelation. Bad luck seems to follow me round like a hungry dog.

The house is built over part of the Abyss and the landlady is a ruler over one of its levels. I’m cursed, that’s the only explanation. Mikael gently commented that I was quite right about the curse. Coming from this archangel it is doubly wounding. Well, at least he’s on my side. I’ve upset many in my long and illustrious career, so it could be anyone. Mikael waited patiently for me to run through the suspects. Four hours and 42 cups of coffee later I remembered who it was, who cursed me that is. The ancient Egyptian serpent Apep. I recall trapping his tail in one of the gates in the Underworld. I wasn’t meant to be there at the time but wandered in through the wrong doorway. Set was about to spear Apep when I interrupted them. Well, you can imagine their annoyance. My brief sojourn in the Underworld didn’t go well. That Apep has one foul mouth on him! I need to get a hobby. Roll on the weekend…

How Fares The King of the Wasteland?

Image: Pixabay

Lonely and embittered is the King of the Wasteland. Ruler over phantoms and of regrets, he sees little of worth including himself. How blind, how tragic.

I watch him tread the path well trodden. Deep are the furrows, in body, mind, and spirit. He perches on the precipice, unwilling to retreat. The breeze whispers, torments endlessly, carries the voices of those abandoned, those unloved.

We circle one another, my shield and sword at the ready. Strong is my resolve, harsh is my gaze. I shall not be cowed, shall stand my ground, shall challenge forthwith. Where is my compassion? Held in abeyance, held in Hope.

Be still and at peace I say to ruler of all and ruler of none. How his gaze falters, how his gaze darkens. The tears flow, they glint like diamonds. I say yield unto Love, yield unto Forgiveness. Will he listen? Will he speak?

Heal he must, rejoin the living. Discard hurt he must and notions of revenge, notions of anger. Free yourself, free the others. This I urge but will he listen? Battle he must the fears of his heart. Shadows past and shadows present stand in his path. They are but empty shells, dust filled memories.

He advances but I do not retreat, cannot retreat. How the wounded beast circles, aches to bite, aches to tear. His heart bleeds, his tears fall. Dare I wipe them away? Dare I soothe his heart? Both he and I must divest all that hinders, all that pains. Naked must we face the other, tread the path of freedom. How vulnerable we are, like newborn babies. Hush, hush the Mother whispers. She hears our cries and soothes our hurt.

At last the Sun rises, bringing Light into our Darkness. Yet the path goes on, beyond the horizon. Yet more we should divest, do so in the fullness of time. Gain illumination say our hearts, gain flight and freedom. Be at Peace one says to the other. Journey further, learn much. Part in humility, part in Love.

Image: Pixabay

Forgotten

Image: Pixabay

Immense and silent stand these cathedrals of old. Forgotten and wiped from the Book of Time. Its gods have retreated, never to return.  Are they mourned? Are they remembered?

The She warrior contemplates and pauses. Her vigil is yet to begin, but here of all places? The Old Ones demand much, stretching the bow, push it to breaking point. Does it hold, spring back with agility? She is chosen, foremost of many. Foremost of sacrifices.

The one who walks in Light must also face Darkness. The one who walks in Darkness must also face Light. They are ever entwined, locked in passionate dance. Each mirrors the other, a reminder of origins and of becoming.

Face to face they must stand, engage in battle, sword and spear at the ready. The She warrior approaches, sword in hand and ever watchful. So begins the vigil in a place forlorn and forgotten. Yet, a glimmer of what was once remains, a last shred of hope and salvation. The shadows of those who served gather, encircling one of their own, protecting and nurturing.

Thus emboldened does she begin, enter into the Great Silence. Matter transmutes, is shaped and emerges. It bathes in the Waters of dissolution, is transfigured in Fire, enters the silent Earth, carried on Divine breath. The cycle is not what it seems but so much more. Elemental powers advance and recede, like waves upon the shore. Time rushes by, as if a river in fullness, powerful, danger filled and nullifying. The hidden rhythm plays, unfolds and drives to distraction. One-two-three-four. So it begins but when and where will it end?

One-two-three-four, these are her heartbeats, these are their heartbeats. Deeper she slips, riding high on waves of Nothingness. Matter transmutes, is shaped and emerges. It bathes in the Waters of dissolution, is transfigured in Fire, enters the silent Earth, carried on Divine breath. Deeper and deeper does she flow, through gate after gate, facing Guardian after Guardian. Then the rhythm ceases. How the silence weighs heavy, a place neither one nor the other. With sword in hand does she stand, poetical movement display, serpent’s wisdom unveil.

Darkness approaches, Light advances. One is in need of the other, one repulses the other. Circling, they are locked in passionate dance, ever entwined and watchful. Treachery and deceit hide in honeyed words, offer warmth and affection unbridled. ‘Beware’ cries her heart. ‘Beware the foe in friend’s guise, turn from path of no return. Guard the life that you bring.’ The Shadow circles, unceasing, taking on guise after guise, ever watchful, ever plotting. It seduces, places temptation, remonstrates, pleads helplessly. Resolute she must be against things of illusion, against things of sorcery.

One-two-three-four, the rhythm unfolds, emerges from Void and Nothingness. These are her heartbeats, these are their heartbeats. Silence shatters, screams echo, swords meet, battle commences. What is at stake? Cosmic Balance and Eternal Soul. One cannot exist without the Other. Deep the She warrior looks, deep within the heart of Darkness, within its very sanctum. Light resides within Darkness and Darkness within Light. This truth remains and cannot be unwritten. Does she accept? Does she abandon? What lies at the end of this path but only illumination? Face to face they struggle. One-two-three-four beats their heart, in harmony, in perfection.

How does the battle end? Life and Death conjoined, one cannot Be without the Other. Screams echo, silence shatters. Fire flashes from blade to blade. The Old Ones watch and ruminate. The river that is Time flows on ceaseless journey, worlds end and are reborn. One-two-three-four, the rhythm unfolds, emerges from Void and Nothingness. These are her heartbeats, these are their heartbeats. She can hear nothing else, only follow warrior’s sacred path, and choose balance. Fire flashes from Soul to Soul, ceases from blade to blade. The greater battle is yet to come. One-two-three-four, One-two-three-four, One-two-three-four. The Three unfolds, re-joins its kin and reaches the Nine. Then annihilation. Of ego, falsehood and fear. It is done.

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Image: Pixabay

The She warrior emerges, triumphant, foremost of many, foremost of sacrifices. They have their champion, they have their salvation. The gods have returned, her task is completed.

Fairy tales: Faces Glimpsed in the Forest

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Image: Ramdlon, Pixabay

Many of us have grown up with the older versions of fairy tales, visceral stories that were handed down from generation to generation. I certainly recall the earlier folk tales, devouring each tale with zeal, especially those of the Brothers Grimm. The Brothers collected and revised an enormous number of oral and written narratives covering a breadth of folklore traditions. Many of these have been cannibalised by Disney and the film industry, transformed into either sickly sweet concoctions or vehicles dripping in blood and nothing else. Being a lover of things gothic, this writer revels in the exploration of mysteries hiding in the great forests of the imagination. Where’s the harm in breaking through the hardened layers of bland camouflage to reveal the reality of nature ‘red in tooth and claw’. It’s plain where I stand but not a viewpoint many would agree with.

With tongue firmly in cheek I now march forward in this short and irreverent take on a few favourites. These fairy tales have a subtext that’s worth exploring. Nothing is as it seems, which makes them worth reading. They’re not sanitised but exist in forms that aren’t easy to face. We must ask ourselves why this is so.

Rapunzel

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Image: Prawny, Pixabay

Rapunzel is the result of a magical pregnancy due to her mother eating rapunzel lettuce from a sorceress’s garden. The child is demanded as payment by the sorceress and whisked away to a lonely tower in a remote forest at the age of 12. Her only company is the old woman until the fateful day years later a handsome prince comes by and ends up knowing her in the biblical sense. Their trysts do not remain a secret and results in Rapunzel losing her glorious hair and the prince trying to commit suicide, becoming blind and the pregnant woman being banished into the ends of the earth. The prince finds her eventually, a mother of twins, miraculously recovering his sight. They live happily ever after. What do we have here? Child trafficking and teenage pregnancy.

Cinderella

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Image: Prawny, Pixabay

The familiar tale of bereavement and difficult relations with new stepfamily. Cinderella’s mother dies and her father remarries but life turns out to be very difficult for her. Relegated to the position of a servant she leads a terrible life, everything taken away from her including her father by her stepmother and stepsisters. The local prince announces his matrimonial intentions and precipitates frenzy amongst the singletons in the kingdom. Of course Cinderella will not have any part in this affair and her stepmother sees to that but it seems nature has other ideas. Instead of the pumpkin and a fairy godmother we have her dead mother’s spirit and doves helping out. The glass slipper becomes an instrument of torture as the stepsisters mutilate their feet to get into the shoes and eventually have their eyes pecked out by doves. It seems justice is brutally served. Malice abounds in the tale, as does a lingering sense of loss, apathy and brutality. The family are obvious candidates for therapy.

Hansel and Gretel

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Image: Clker-Free-Vector-Images / 29612 images, Pixabay

The story of a poor woodcutter and his wife who abandon their daughter and son in the forest due to their dire straits. Social services would have a field day. The father is emotionally blackmailed into abandoning their children and the dirty deed is carried out but the children manage to find their way back home each time. Eventually this becomes impossible and they find their way to a house made of bread, hunger soon forces them to gorge on the house. The building is really a lure to attract children to the house of a cannibal, an old woman who is a witch. They are soon trapped and preparations are made to cook Hansel but Gretel manages to trick the witch into climbing into the oven and is killed. The children escape with treasures found in the cottage and return home to find their father has been widowed. Child abandonment, a serial killer, psychological trauma. Not a pleasant story is it?

Little Red Cap (Little Red Riding Hood)

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Image: lightstargod, Pixabay

Supernatural goings on in the forest, which do not end well for a wolf. The familiar Little Red Riding Hood is in fact Little Red Cap, beloved of all who meet her and her family. Her grandmother as a special gift gives the jolly young woman a red, velvet cap. A day comes when she is asked to visit her sick grandmother, whose house lies in the forest. She is told not to stray from the path under any circumstance. The journey through the forest brings Little Red Cap into contact with a wolf, an amicable enough encounter. Strange that the girl does not question the fact that this creature is not what he appears to be. She falls into temptation and strays from the path, encouraged seductively by the beast. Away she goes with the fairies as the beast makes his way to the grandmother’s house. She becomes the main course, as does the girl. Not very bright that child. A passing huntsman rescues them and the wolf is killed and skinned. Questionable practice to send a child out on their own into a strange place don’t you think? Who is the real victim here the wild beast or the humans? The story appears to have rather Freudian overtones, steeped in symbolism (look up the red cap mushroom the Fly Agaric, its associations might interest you).

Snow White

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Image: Prawny, Pixabay

A perfect child is asked for and the Universe delivers. Skin as white as snow, lips as red as blood and hair as black as ebony. The story has a tragic ending as the child’s mother dies in childbirth. As again the widower remarries within a year but the stepmother appears to be a psychotic character who suffers from pathological jealously. She orders Snow White to be killed and her heart and lungs brought to her as proof. This is not done but animal organs substituted by the huntsman. Cannibalism rears its head again. The young woman ends up in the home of seven dwarves, who promise all to her if she stays with them. Interesting…More murder attempts follow, asphyxiation and poisonings. Until the very last one, a poisoned apple sends her into a deep coma. Our beauty lies in resplendence in a glass coffin until passing prince spies her and begs to buy her from the dwarves. Eventually she awakens and they marry. Jealous stepmother is invited to the wedding and is unmasked, forced to wear red-hot shoes and dance until she dies. An inventive but horrific method of torture.

I sense this post is really about the dangers of losing our connection with the greater world, its realities and us. Our modern, technologically advanced societies contain many marvels but it comes at a price. The great forests of steel, glass and concrete grow ever higher and push back the boundaries between wilderness and ‘civilisation.’ Humanity stands on the boundary staring back at the wolves, bears and fantastical inhabitants of ‘out there’. In reality are we staring at older, wilder versions of ourselves? There’s no sense in trying to tame that which refuses to roll over and admit defeat. I was struggling with taming the ‘wild things’ over the last few years and now appear to be standing on the cusp of a breakthrough. I stare back at the inhabitants of ‘out there’, foot poised over the boundary. Funny how insights can appear in the most unlikely of places.