Clothed in Light and Beauty

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G4889166, Pixabay

The Summer Solstice is a time of rejoicing for many people, regardless of their spiritual path. The return of Light after what has seemed like a sojourn in the Underworld brings hope and renewed energy. This present world is sorely in need of such things.

I hadn’t planned any celebrations this year, but decided on the spur of the moment to book dinner for my partner and I today.  A mini-celebration and way of giving thanks for all the good things in my life. Both of us are in need of Light at the moment…

Apart from that what can I say in this little post? Perhaps spin a tale of one who stands on the shore of an ancient coast and waits on the sunrise. Again it’s a member of a long forgotten priesthood, enacting a primordial ritual. Or so it seems. Such things seem dreamlike and distant when viewed through the lens of modern eyes.

Should I give this priestess honey coated words to offer to the god of Light who waits just below the horizon? A place separating the Seen and Unseen, and offering revelations when the veils between the worlds are lifted.

Veils, it always seems to be about veils. In our mind’s eye we glimpse a face beneath the layers of sheer material. The divine visage is not to be faced but only hinted and marvelled at. Mysteries aren’t always meant to be revealed. So, here stands our veiled priestess who stands on the shore of an ancient coast and waits on the sunrise. Who waits on the god of Light, to clothe her in Light.

The silence stretches beyond the horizon, holding its breath in anticipation. Our priestess murmurs prayers coated in honey and spice, exhorts the god of Light to show his face. She pulls through the power and cascades it like water poured upon the Earth; nourishes spirit as well as body.

The energy hums as she slowly lifts her hands in supplication. Then, over the horizon peeks the first gold and flame tipped rays. He comes! Her heart swells in joy, and her words are devoured joyfully by the god of Light. He rises majestically in the sky, at that moment our priestess lifts her veils and shows him her glorious beauty.

She whose name is whispered reverently is clothed in Light and Beauty. Together they usher in life renewed.

May you all be clothed in Light and Beauty like our priestess. Have a good day.

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Orkney Celebrates the Summer Solstice — The Orkney News

I haven’t been able to prepare anything in time for the Solstice (will do by tonight though). Here’s a post relating to celebrations in the Orkney Islands. A wonderful place to visit.

The summer solstice this year was celebrated in Orkney at the Comet Stone, the Ring of Brodgar.

via Orkney Celebrates the Summer Solstice — The Orkney News

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.

 

Thresholds

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Bryn Celli Ddu, Anglesey, Jan Malique

Thresholds are special. They’re abundant in our lives, and act as gateways allowing passage from one space to another. Not only on the mundane level, but also psychologically, spiritually and magically. They can be either unguarded or guarded, depending on the purpose of the space within. They’re portals through which we enter into the sacred from the profane.

They’re also places between, from that which is knowable to the unknowable. I’m sure many of you have felt the change in atmosphere when entering through such symbolic portals. Our ancestors must have recognised them as being important places of transition, of having a numinous quality about them.

This post came about when I was looking at a photo taken of a small neolithic  burial chamber called Bryn Celli Ddu (The Mound in the Dark Grove) on Anglesey. Funny how we return to certain locations again and again. There’s always a reason why this is so. I’ve tweaked the photo to get different effects, each viewing will hopefully provoke a different response, perception isn’t always what it appears to be.

The burial chamber has been has been aligned to the Summer Solstice sun, when at sunrise the light travels through the passageway and illuminates the back of the chamber. Much like the light of understanding and awakening does to the sleeping consciousness experienced during everyday life. Resurrection and passage of the ancestors into the Otherworld was initiated by the symbolic (and actual) rising of the Sun. It’s a powerful image and must have appeared magnificent and awe-filled when first constructed, the impact hasn’t lessened over thousands of years.

Moving on, I’m looking at a new threshold and thinking “what’s stopping me from going through?” Such places are deeply infused with a sense of ‘terror’ at what lies within. What are we afraid of on the other side that holds us in temporary thrall to dark imaginings? Mine are making me question sense of self and worthiness. Growth can go hand in hand with doubts and a continual reassessment of the “I” living in the present moment. Psychological and Spiritual unfoldments can be either likened to the layers of an onion (tears may be a part of the unpeeling process!), or a Lotus of many petals opening to reveal a wondrous things at its centre. The question is, what’s stopping us from peeling that dratted onion and stopping to look at the beauty of the opening Lotus?

Over to you my friends.

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Forest Vigil: Part 3 Of The Living Vessel

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jplenio, Pixabay

A further story in the series of The Living Vessel, a human chalice for divine and powerful forces:

The Living Vessel is put to the test yet again by his teacher, the Hermit. As part of his apprenticeship on the path of transformation his senses are to be refined and attuned to the Soul of the Universe. Such is the training of an aspirant on their spiritual path.

He contains energies and knowledge of supreme power and mystery. Not by  choice but decreed by the gods of his people. Such an honour is a double edged sword, which cuts and bloodies the bearer to their Soul.

The Hermit leaves his apprentice in the forest to the north of the island they call home. The Living Vessel, for he has discarded his birth name awaits the experience; and will be bestowed with a new one once the training has ended.

The task for the vigil is to sense the world around him, enter into dialogue with it in order to understand the mysteries of Nature, and ultimately himself. So it begins. The Hermit withdraws and leaves his apprentice for an unspecified time. Time has no hold over the place of Becoming and Learning.

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Comfreak, Pixabay

He sits, waiting for dusk to fall and Night to show its face. Dusk opens the doors between the realities, silence falls and washes over the lone figure sitting on the forest floor. It falls like a stone into water and cascades outwards. Soon the sounds of Night emerge from the darkness.

His hearing sharpens, almost hurting with the intensity of sounds around him. Then, silent wings cut through the still air. He can hear the owl’s thoughts and flow of breath. Such stealth is formidable! He asks permission to see what she can see, this is permitted.

The life signs of a mouse can be seen clearly scurrying through the long meadow grass. Its heartbeats and movements are fast, but not fast enough. The owl swoops down in one graceful movement and grasps the mouse in her talons. It is done. Life and death are displayed plainly and without sentimentality.

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jeonsango,

Nature and Night move on. The dawn brings further revelations. His attention is drawn to ivy covering this part of the forest floor. It invites him to enter into their domain, speak with the intelligence, the Group Mind, to understand their lives and they his. They are a multitude of voices and souls, all intertwined and eternal.

Forever moving onwards, giving sanctuary to all who ask for it. Protect life beneath the curtain of their bodies, but also taking life as they rise upwards through the canopy seeking light. A grim duality indeed!

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ju-dit, Pixabay

Then a small voice calls out from behind him. Its splendid scarlet head shines brightly in the gloom of early dawn. Such power lies within its small but deadly body. Food of gods and those who cross between the worlds. It feels his fear and reticence. He feels its spirit, it is old, so old, with memories of times when the world was bursting with the life of youth.

It holds secrets and mysterious incantations. It speaks of veils dissolving to reveal things that lie slumbering in the depths of the mind. It watches with wise eyes and cunning mind. It signals the presence of the Faerie folk, and warns him ‘beware!’

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werner22brigitte, Pixabay

The season passes and the breath of Winter lies crystallised over the forest. The great ice barriers of the ancestral past flashed by, bringing visions of migrations and great hunting parties.

Through ancestral eyes does he glimpse things of value, as well as hunger, deceit, loss, love, plenty, tears and laughter. He learns of the fragility of existence and the darkness pooled in the hearts of those with ambition of leadership.

He also learns that free will does not give immunity from judgements meted out by the Conscience. There is always a price to be paid for thoughtlessness.

His thoughts are interrupted by the sound of footsteps to his right. The Hermit approaches. He looks at his apprentice deep in the eyes and nods.

“Work to be done, the goats have to be milked.”

 

Song of Passing – Fallen #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

A short offering from me for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

It has to be short because the words are running round in my head and need to exit in the right way for maximum impact. Ah, the joys of creative writing!

I sing for you a song of passing, one that speaks eloquently and without reason. For they are opposite poles of existence, of a life lived to the fullest capacity.

We mourn one that has passed from this world, fallen shattered, dashed on earth and stone. They were both divine and yet to become human, one changing to the other. For what is perception but a change of perspective?

The world turns on its axis, shouts in exhilaration, but all is silent now, all is darkened. For the stars have been dimmed, their voices hushed in respect for the passing of one of their kind.

O beautiful and incandescent Light, we grieve deeply, mourn your essence and wisdom! Yet, all is not lost. We gather your stardust flung across the heavens, and sprinkled upon the Earth. Thus is your sacrifice sanctified.

I sing for you a song of passing, one that speaks eloquently and without reason. For they are opposite poles of existence, of a life lived to the fullest capacity.

Offering : Splash #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt makes a return to wind lashed northern shores, home of Odin’s seer. What is it with the One Eyed god and his summons? He appeared long ago, a shimmering dream offering the fruits of his suffering and knowledge. The woman who stood before him didn’t fully realise the significance of this act, but knew it had to be accepted.

Such offerings are deeply infused with sacredness and offer a glimpse into realities beyond normal perception. They occur in liminal places, for no other location will do. Such boundaries and thresholds facilitate the opening of the consciousness to divine forces and revelation. On this occasion the Seer stands at a place of offering, she carries the mead of inspiration for the one who stands in the light of fire from the skies:

You call upon me once more One Eyed One,

Wrenching me from a place of solitude and silence.

I peer into the darkness of first beginnings,

Grasp at visions of times yet to come and times long gone,

When all that we hold dear vanish into the fires of undoing.

A new world calls, yet my heart fills with tears at what is inevitable.

For those who walk the path of foretelling feel the weight of their calling,

We obey and proffer a hand of help when all feels lost,

Yet who carries us when we can no longer walk?

Who offers shelter when fire rains down upon our heads?

Who comforts us in times of tribulation?

One Eyed One, for it is you who answers our call,

Peers into places that even we cannot see,

Offers the waters of healing.

My obligation to you is ever eternal,

And my blood bond most potent.

As such, accept this mead as my offering.

What more will you have me do, my well of inspiration?

How may I serve at the turning of the ages?

So we observe the Seer at this most important of acts, offering to the gods, see its power splash into the water. Perhaps one could view this as a propitiatory gift to a deity of tremendous and dangerous power. They must be appeased and loved at the same time. The rain and wind are relentless as she pours the mead into the waters of Mimir’s Well. For without Mimir Odin would not have gained mastery over the runes.

Flashback – Thursday photo prompt: Shelter #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

I wasn’t sure how to respond to Sue’s challenge for the Thursday Photo Prompt. Then, a familiar image kept flashing through my mind (hence Flashback eh?). Only one thing to do, go with my gut instinct:

The two figures stood in the field staring at the cave entrance. Both were convinced they saw a figure gesturing to them from its entrance. The report had stated there were several anomalies to the witness’s version of events, disturbing ones at that. The Unit had assigned the case to two operatives who were familiar with nuances of the issue, you could say it was a specialism they excelled in. Dusk was approaching slowly from the west, it seemed to be heavy with melancholy. Totally in keeping with the mood surrounding this strange incident.

The man and woman made their way quickly down the valley and set up their climbing equipment. They managed to make it to the top in time to see the Sun disappear in a spectacular fashion beneath the horizon. Both hesitated for a while in front of the cave entrance. The darkness inside invited reticence and the adoption of a state of contemplation. Ephemeral images bled through their minds and the sense of poignancy and sadness increased with each intake of breath.

“Something” was waiting for them. Being Empaths they were hypersensitive to energies and moods in the environment but were able to filter them out. Not this time. They felt a strong presence brush against the boundary of their minds. It was almost, respectful, rather hesitant. It whispered their names in a yearning tone. So, so familiar. “Mara, Adam. Be welcome.” Again and again the voice called out to them. They couldn’t wait any longer and steeped over the threshold.

The sense of a luminous presence was incredibly strong in the main chamber of the cave system. Their eyes adjusted to the dimness once the torches were lit. Then, the shadows unfolded, flickered like candlelight. A face emerged from the smoky light, achingly beautiful and powerful in its lines. The being’s eyes blazed like a million suns and his voice carried the sum of the Universe’s wisdom and mystery.

He reached out to them, initiating a series of intense flashbacks. They saw the Universe sleep the sleep of eternal darkness, of the Divine Essence surveying its handiwork, and of the plan to further humanity’s evolution. They saw their death and rebirth. These images poured through their eyes and gathered deep within the chalice of the Soul.

The Presence waited in silence and attended to their emotional needs. They stared at him in shock, the enormity of the knowledge offered rendering them speechless. No wonder the witness was in such a state when they found him.

The Presence commented voicelessly “he wasn’t ready.”

If he wasn’t ready, were they?

Journey Across The Sea: Part 2 Of The Living Vessel

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ARTsbyXD, Pixabay

I think sufficient time has passed now for me to return to the tale of the Living Vessel, who was last seen in January of this year in View Across The Water: Part 1 Of The Living Vessel.

It’s been an interesting creative journey these past couple of years, filled with periods of drought and then thunderstorms that have “greened” the inner landscape. Certain posts have paralleled my own growth over time, and inner guidance has manifested in significant characters on the page. The man in this tale is one such being. He follows in the footsteps of numerous students of the Greater Mysteries, a journey that can take a lifetime to complete and results in profound transformations within the psyche.

We last saw him being taken across the sea to an island for instruction by a hermit, Merlin as he was known in that incarnation. Why is this student so special? He is a living vessel for divine and terrible forces, chosen by the gods of his land for this important task. An unprepared person could be torn apart by the magnitude of what they were carrying, not so in this case, but he still needs guidance and instruction. The saga continues:

The journey across to the little island is free of conversation as both men are deep in thought. The plaintive cry of birds slices through the silence, as does the sound of water against the paddle. This venture is about more than crossing water, it is also a crossing from the conscious mind through deeper waters of the subconscious. With each stroke of the paddle the man who is known as the Living Vessel slides deeper into a trance. He finally understands the nature of silence and the necessity of hearing with more than the ears. Images flash through his mind, of things seen and yet to be seen. What a burden his task is becoming he thinks.

“You think too much. There is far worse to come and as yet you are unable to distinguish with clarity. Let go of preconceptions, they will only blind you to the truth. That is, nothing is real until you believe it to be.”  The Hermit speaks in measured tones, yet, there is an underlying tinge of humour in that gravelly voice.

The younger man blinks in surprise and then stares ahead. The island doesn’t appear to be that far but this crossing is taking longer than expected. The Hermit smiles at the turmoil going on within his student. Arrogance is thankfully missing in this one, at least two of the previous recipients fell from grace in a terrible fashion. Their end was an unhappy and bloody one, mainly due to the misguided belief of being greater than their fellow human beings. The gods were not pleased, berating themselves for choosing so unwisely. Their mistakes were burned on funeral pyres far from the temple precincts as sacred lore dictated.

As for this recipient of the Vessel, the prophecy was going to be proved true, he felt it in his heart. He had watched over the infant through to his entry into adulthood, the signs were present and irrefutable. A lesser person would have been unable to contain the full power of the forces handed down by the gods. Indeed, many did not live beyond youth. That was the past, as for the present, the story is yet be written of this Living Vessel’s adventures.

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ARTsbyXD, Pixabay

The island suddenly appears out of the sea mist and the two men make their way to the stone building at the other end of the island. It is eerily still and silent. It is as if the land is reserving judgement, observing this visitor to get their full measure. The Living Vessel has a name but their true name is hidden, for names have power and such power can be taken and manipulated. The younger man feels comfortable in this strange place, there appears to be neither threat nor fear present on the island. A good omen. The land undulates gently and hides many little gifts. He notices piles of pebbles gently balancing on a piece of driftwood, it captures the gaze and instils a sense of peace. The landscape unfolds in wonderful symmetry, grace and beauty. This is his first lesson.

The Hermit’s home is a plain building with lime-washed walls and large windows on four sides. The land surrounding is arranged into areas containing a herb garden, vegetables and flowers. The number of livestock is small, consisting of a few chickens, goats and pigs. It looks so normal on the surface. The Hermit stops to look at the younger man, his gaze is thorough. What he sees satisfies him. He opens the large wooden door giving access to his home. Shafts of light flood through the doorway and windows. The house consists of one large room, a living area which also serves as the kitchen. A mezzanine floor contains the sleeping quarters. The interior is simple and airy but potent with an abundance of light and sacredness.

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kellepics, Pixabay

Their evening meal consists of bread, cheese and salad vegetables. To drink there is homemade blackberry mead, a special offering to the student on his safe arrival. The conversation continues into the night, revealing hidden aspects of their characters as trust builds. The time for sleep approaches and they retire to their simple cot beds. The Living Vessel enters a strange dream world, filled with silence heavy with expectation. The air is thick with incense. Quiet chanting echoes from all around him. He sees something hazy in the distance, it becomes clearer.

He recoils in shock as the Veiled One manifests before him. Her eyes are closed and remain so as she foretells of things yet to come. Her presence comes with a great sense of terror, for him at least. She is one of many primeval Creator Gods, one who issues from the depths of the Void when called upon to prophesy. He kneels in humility, if not in abject fear. This is his second lesson.

 

Ancient Song – Thursday photo prompt: Valley #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering this week for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

A sense of something greater than the reality of this world washed over the priestly figure gazing out to sea. For as long as memory had existed his brethren had stood at the head of the valley to pay homage to the Solar Logos. They gave thanks for another day of life, of light and warmth. Daily they praised the mystery hidden deep within the heart of the golden orb suspended in a sea of aquamarine.

Rhythmic chants echoed into infinity, flowed and then swelled, encapsulating the beauty of a moment captured briefly. The Order lived for the recounting of a song conveyed by the Eternal Parent, one to teach their children the ways of Love and Beauty, but not of the material plane. They had transcended such things in the pursuit of a higher philosophy. Their flesh and blood carried the history of the people, for this is how the stories of the tribes were saved for future generations. For this is how the ancient song was taught and preserved.

The sacred rite performed at sunrise was steeped in mystic lore, one that enjoyed an honourable and long-lived lineage. It was said that the harmonics of such a song were capable of creation and destruction; being the key to unlocking doors long-held forbidden to all except those who had passed severe tests. One such individual now stood on the emerald-green grass.

He stood looking at the fingers of gold, peach and yellow unfurl and spread across the skies in a deeply intimate embrace. This moment of unending peace gave solace to his soul, for a brief time he found himself before the Veil shielding the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctum in which resided the Eternal Parent. The One was neither male nor female but an amalgam of something more.

The vision was momentary, but sufficient to precipitate a transformation that could not be undone. As the Sun awakened, so did the song within the temple of his heart. It unfurled like the petals of a rare flower glimpsed for the first time, a sight worthy of celebration. The man swayed with the intensity of emotion flooding through him. These are the experiences of the mystic journey, the culmination of which is, transcendence of the earthly plane. It is a lonely journey, for the seeker on these paths is a solitary figure, becoming untouched by worldly matters as time progresses.

His voice trembled in the throat, deepening in richness and melody. The chant began, one performed in every temple since civilisation emerged and humanity laid its soul at the feet of supernatural forces. Arms were raised in adoration and eyes closed in ecstasy. A melody fell from his lips, each note moving sinuously towards the Veil before the Sanctum. Then, silence reigned, deafening in its loudness. The light pulsed and swelled in time with the song. It was the heartbeat of the Universe, raw and true in substance. This was the pinnacle of life as his people knew it. The Light within responded in joy to the Light without. Atom by atom he dissolved in the song, revelled in its embrace and words of comfort. “I am Ready” were his last words. The Ancient Song had been performed and existence for his world guaranteed until the next cycle.