Hidden 

DasWortgewand, Pixabay

I felt the need to further explore my character Amunet’s past and this is the result. There appeared to be an underlying message in this “communication”. It was connected to the land and a people that seemed to vanish into forgetfulness and legend. In this chapter she appears as a woman called Magali (the Occitan form of Magdalene). Magali, as she was named by the Cathars who took her in, was considered a living embodiment of a Sleeper. One who decides at death to step back from the cycle of life and death and instead remain asleep in the land, dreaming, foretelling, and communing with all life.

The Cathars (“Pure Ones”) were condemned as heretics by the Church in the 13th century, in an age when its doctrines had hardened into dogma and politicking. The fate of these people was terrible, ending in 1244, in a nine month siege of their mountain fortress of Montsègur (in the Ariège department, south-western France). It culminated in a massacre. Many legends have grown around these mysterious people, with their true essence being hidden beneath a covering of subterfuge and illusion.

Occitan is a Romance language spoken in southern France and other areas. Occitania is the nomenclature given to the area where the language was first spoken and covers the Occitan Valleys in the Italian Alps, the old Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Aran Valley in the Pyrenees and the Principality of Monaco. Here ends my very brief outline. I visited the region many years ago and can testify to its special atmosphere. There is more, but that journey is for another time when the inner silence reveals another piece of the puzzle and allows me a clearer vision of these people. My fascination with them has a purpose. What does Magali have to say?

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Where is here? A place where there are remnants of a people I once knew. I dreamed their fate, touched their fears and yearning, but they’re gone. Crumbled into dust, and scattered by the winds. I slept but was stirred back into life, heard their cries for help, saw what approached. Their eyes stared unseeing at visions rising from the horizon, an omen of things hidden within, cloaked from recognition. Their time was at an end, was foretold, of an age when hate and ignorance would rise in the place of greatest darkness.

My eyes saw their disintegration, as piece by piece their souls flew from shells burning on a multitude of pyres. Danger reigned supreme and the river of poison ran fast and deep, dragged their carcasses to places that should not be uttered aloud. The wind mourned them, brought whispered entreaties, and showered these ruins in melancholy. What an ignominious end to such a civilisation! Yet, hope clung on and Light retreated to a place of safety, waiting and watching.

Where people once enjoyed lives of serenity and contemplation is now shrouded in a loveliness born of sadness and tears. We search the past to find meaning in the present. Brush away earth and sand to reveal artefacts to catalogue, name and display as a manifestation of a knowledge that is ultimately empty. The land will not reveal its secrets to those who have no understanding of the meaning of this life and the mysteries of the Universe. I will not reveal knowledge and understanding that must be earned, in hardships many times. If you will not listen to me, then you are free to meet your fate on the road ahead, do not bemoan what befalls you.

These ruined buildings of stone and mud brick decay in this dry, wind and sun blasted place but life always find a way. It sends roots deep into the earth, is nourished by the heart of the planet. The spirits of this city sing to me, welcome me back but know it has come at a cost. More than they care to acknowledge. What glories this place has seen, drawing in luminaries from worlds seen and unseen. Bejewelled towers sprang forth to vanish into the clouds, testimony to a civilisation worthy of its name, now forgotten. I call to it, urge it to rise from its untimely grave. Hear me my beloved heart, take my hand and walk the roads of illumination and majesty that were once your right. Perfection of the spirit was your ultimate destination, it was the spring from which your people drank and bathed their sacred centres. I tended to the gardens of their soul, taught them the ways of mysteries, brought them to the place of death, and rebirth into a second life.

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

As for me, I stand with feet buried in sand and memories, see dreams cast shadows across eyes that stare unseeing across the ages. See me for who I really am and be welcome. I bring the deep comfort of a mother’s arms, nourish your soul and aspirations, and cut the cord joining us when the time comes. My blade has a sharp kiss, and draws blood that fall like rubies, embodying both beauty and terror. I hold your ancestral history and my blood is your blood, ruby red and filled with wonders. I was Hidden but reveal myself now. See me, hear me.

 

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

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Old Gods, Old Journeys – Thursday photo prompt – #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt:

Thy file past, hearts and minds filled with a multitude of wishes, sorrows, and joys. This pilgrimage has remained constant since the time of their ancestors and beyond. The land and its guardians have watched over this sacred site long before humans had even set foot on its hallowed earth. The gods changed faces and names over time, but their true essence was always present and unchanged.

The Old Ones watch from the other side of the Veil, see the sincerity, or not, of the passing crowds. Petitions and offerings are laid at the shrine, many imbued with feelings of desperation and hope. Humanity seeks cures for its ills, lays its battered spirits at the feet of its gods. Tears are shed, potent remembrances of lives fulfilled and potential unrealised. Their pilgrimages are often hard, last acts of faith when all else seems lost.

The Oracles and Gods of yore dispense their wisdom in dreams and visions, undertake new journeys in the furtherance of continuity. A fact not lost on the wise at heart and beleaguered of spirit. Suffering brings with it a harsh reality and clarity of purpose.

As for this shrine, the One with Three Names and Aspects stands guard, watches intently for the suffering of her people. They reciprocate, flowing like tributaries into the greater River of Life. One pilgrim falls to her knees, beseeches silently, grasps the hand of compassion and healing. Perched on the edge of a precipice she has no other recourse but to pray with her last breath.

It may be a modern world but the inherent nature of these people is written on stones in forgotten languages. It is an old, old tune. One sung and chanted under Sun and Moon, memorised intently and reverently. It is present in legends and histories that are hidden. Some say the Old Ones created their children of flesh and bone to sing their praises, and enact the divine plan on Earth.  Is this truth? Is this illusion?

Such things are of no concern to those who journey to these places of power. For they seek nourishment of the soul and healing of deep wounds. Who can blame them?

 

View Across The Water: Part 1 Of The Living Vessel

Image: Jan Malique

The month of the Crane was approaching, bringing with it mists from across the headland. His ancestors stood with him, gazing across the water to the sanctuary of the one known as the Hermit. The little white washed building stood on the remains of a temple dedicated to an unnamed deity. It was said this goddess had watched over his people from a time of cold and silence; when the world was frozen by the breath of ice giants. Or so legends said.

The Hermit had also acquired near mythological status, as people of his kind were often viewed with fear mingled with deep respect. His origins were unknown, but many kingdoms called him one of their own. Merlin was the name he answered to, although his true name was hidden.

The man on the shore had travelled for a year to reach this place. A year of hardship and danger, evading hostile forces, both human and supernatural. This was a time of warring factions, of cosmic and human battles. It was foretold by the Oracle that a time of balance was approaching, when choices would have to be made, and destinies shaped.

A sense of heaviness lay on the man’s shoulders, composed of a sense of duty and sacrifice. Sacrifice of things not physical but spiritual. He had undergone trials that would have broken someone with less resilience and humility. He had been forced to look deep within his soul and face its true reflection. Not an easy task. Self-insight never is.

During the most terrible moments of his sense of isolation the tears flowed like a raging river. As did his anger. Where were his gods when he needed them most? This state of abandonment had left him almost broken, shredded his humanity, left it bleeding profusely on the ground. Thus was he prepared for the task they had chosen him for.

He was marked as a protector of the ancient relic his people had been guarding for ten thousand sunrises. A ritual object their gods had dreamed into being, holding the power to transform, create and destroy. It had no physical form but resided within a living vessel. He was now the chosen vessel, bound by unbreakable oaths. So it was that this man was brought to the edge of an unknown land seeking his guide and teacher.

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Image: OpenClipart-Vectors, Pixabay

The Hermit felt the man’s presence and prepared himself. The instruments of his art were gathered and his fire replenished. The sky and water simmered, infused with the scent of storms and portents. He whispered his student’s name, let it snake its way across the water, and enfold the human in a protective cloak.

The man swayed as if in a trance, standing on the threshold of this reality and the ones beyond consciousness. The relic sensed the presence of the Hermit and throbbed in response. The man opened his eyes and saw the Hermit before him. He spoke but no words issued from his lips. He conveyed knowledge through signs and visions. Through song and silence. So was a connection sealed with the vessel and relic.

The man stood unseeing and unspeaking. Then the dream shattered, releasing illusion and falsehoods. He felt the weight of suffering vanish like mist in the rays of the sun. Merlin beckoned the student and both got into the coracle waiting on the shore. A mist rolled in swallowing the two men. The ancestors stood guard on the shore; for as long as their kin was under the tutelage of the Hermit they would be present.

Here begins the journey of the one known as the Living Vessel.

Thursday photo prompt – Distant #writephoto by Jan Malique

Image: Sue Vincent

Infinity rose in the East, place of greatest light, as the tribe stood in silent respect. The day of the Third Sun and hour of the Unfolding Future was upon them, initiating the rite of disintegration and reintegration. Such a ritual had been performed by the Elders and Way showers since this phase of their world began. A time measured in tens of thousands of years. The cycle of this age was now nearing completion, and the Tree of Life and Death waited in the Temple of the Sun for the delegation from the people of the Third Sun.

The tribe viewed this event as a necessity to keep the cycles of the Universe ebbing and flowing. It was their duty and carried out with devotion and steadfastness. The journey to the spiritual heart of their planet waited in the snow-covered mountain range. It called to those ones chosen to undertake this task.

The stone circle they waited outside was a portal into the gigantic outer court of the Temple of the Sun. For the whole planet was a sacred landscape, littered with smaller temples that acted as power “sub-stations.” The main temple was psychically linked with every inhabitant of the planet, with each tribe pledging fealty to one of three suns in this multiverse. Every moment of their lives, every act, every thought, was imbued with a sense of purpose and devotion. Resilience was their distinguishing characteristic, with souls tempered in the fires of their Sun.

The High Priest and Priestess of the main temple appeared at the portal to escort the delegation to the place of ritual. It took milliseconds, for time behaved differently inside these precincts. The inner sanctum beckoned, composed of pillars of gleaming crystal, in the middle of the hall stood a tree of grandeur and awesome power. It was a remnant from the beginning of creation, placed by hands unknown in the very belly of the planet. Life and Death played out within its branches, words of power were inscribed upon its leaves, forbidden to all except the initiated.

The leaves shivered in expectation of the rise of power. The people of the Third Sun stood in a circle around the altar that was the Tree. Sound issued from the pillars of crystal, vibrating molecule upon molecule. The circle contained immense energy, powerful enough to incinerate millions of stars and galaxies. The time of disintegration was upon them, dismantling the Universe as it waited for the moment of transition; for death was an inadequate word for what was coming. Helices spun and transmuted as the skies turned to fire, all this and more was reflected in the eyes of the ritual participants, nine in all. Then silence descended upon the Universe, it held its breath, as darkness gathered, embraced its kith and kin. All mourned and then rejoiced.

Light bubbled over from the centre of the Tree and gathered up the remnants of all that was lost. Atom by atom the matter of the Universe coalesced, integration had been achieved and the time of the First Sun had begun.

Twittering Tale #67 – 16 January 2018 – “The Tree”

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Photo by veeterzy at Pexels.com

Kat Myrman has presented us with a marvellous challenge this week in Twittering Tale #67, a thing of beauty to be praised in my opinion. To that end here is my offering to the World Tree:

Deep in the Forest lies the origin of All
Seen in dreams and visions within sacred pools
Guardian of the Ancestors, Bestower of Resurrection
Sacrificial temple
Tree of Life, bearer of the Worlds
Let us proclaim your beauty
Let us proclaim your sovereignty
Hail Proclaimer of Mysteries!

(279 characters)
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Searching and Knowing

Image: rodro, Pixabay

One of my interests (amongst many) is shamanism, both ancient and modern. I’ve speculated much on what exactly happened in the depths of caves, why ancient humanity was driven to paint such beautiful and puzzling images in the darkness of such places.  As well as the nature of any rituals that were enacted. This is my take on one such incident, of course mere speculation but intriguing all the same:

We seek the ancestors in places steeped in time, recollection and memories. The cave holds special fascination, sacred and ancient place of seeking and knowing. Spaces in which the Elders and Holy ones undergo transformation. They bridge the worlds, call to those who would offer up their flesh in the hunt, sacrifice themselves so that the tribe may live.

Go deep within the womb of the Earth Mother, enter into the space between worlds, descend into death, and ascend into rebirth. That is the cycle, which has endured for time immemorial. We carry the knowledge, we carry the rituals, we are steeped in gnosis. The circle echoes our lifespan, the circle and dot speak of the One who gives life and reason for being, reason for dying.

We are the chosen ones, walking the path of no return, the womb closes behind us, gathers us in its safety. Then, there is only darkness, only silence, it speaks to us, shows the path to the stars. The Elders watch us, see us as beings of Light, messengers from the spirit world. The drum beats, echoes our heartbeat, blood courses through our veins. Our mouths are parched, yearning, thirsting for life giving waters.

The drum beats, echoes our heartbeat, it is endless, it is filled with terrors, the ancestors rise, shadows against the walls, flickering shapes in fire, dancing, dancing, calling, calling to us. The Holy Ones gather us, show the way from this world to the next. We are the ones who cross the bridge from life to death, from death to spirit. We are the protectors of ancestral lore.

Our eyes have been opened, our sight restored to things unseen. We are the protectors of the Bear who would guard the ways on the paths of knowledge, of things forbidden. We are the Cave Bear, last of the ancient lore givers and truth sayers. Our Searching has now become Knowing. The Earth Mother expels us, restores us to life and rebirth. We finally stand in the light.

Image: angelvoice012

Lady of the Flame: Hail Mighty Sekhmet!

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Image: rocky9631, Pixabay

She is known by many epithets, in particular Eye of Ra, Lady of the Red Linen, and Lady of the Flame. Protector of the Pharaoh and scourge of humankind when we acted out like disobedient children. The Lion Goddess Sekhmet springs from ancient lineage and is imbued with the power of a million suns. Not one to be disrespected, and not one to be approached in arrogance and pride. The Goddess waits in the darkness of the Sanctuary, a place filled with eternal silence and terrible power.

How does the supplicant approach this place? Not with a backward glance. She can smell your fear as it seeps through your pores, and hear the frantic beat of your heart. Are you purified in body, soul and intent? Don’t deceive yourself, mercy will not be offered to you on a platter. Why should it? The journey through the burning desert hasn’t been easy, hunger and thirst have assailed you, brought you to your knees. She hasn’t spared you as you haven’t spared yourself.

The hot desert wind is Her breath upon your neck, a reminder that life can be all too brief, that you are prey. She can hear the blood rush through your veins, thirsts for it with a passion. The Lioness weaves Her way through the burning sands, eyes of gold survey the loneliness of the desert wastes, reveal in its bleak and awesome beauty. She calls to you, a song of allure and truth, asks what it is that you seek and want of Life. What healing is needed? She offers it, and more that remains shrouded until you reach the doors of the Sanctuary.

Fire is Her element, wielded with expertise and deadly accuracy. Her jaws open in a snarl, razor-sharp fangs gleam in the midday sun. This is the Eye of Ra in her magnificence, untamed and dangerous. She is the raw power of the Universe, a million Suns scorching and burning false personas. The Goddess waits in the darkness of the Sanctuary, a place filled with eternal silence and terrible power. She calls to you, a song of allure and truth, asks what it is that you seek and want of Life.

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Image: nir_design

The temple shimmers on the horizon, is it a dream or a nightmare? She can smell your fear as it seeps through your pores, and hear the frantic beat of your heart. Don’t look back, there is no path to safety, no road to mendacity. The Portal looms ahead, offering shade and relief from the burning rays. Although you must pass through the realm of the Keeper of the Flame, one who guards the way to the Sanctuary. Are they male or female? Are they human or, something else? Your questions have no meaning in this place, it’s a place not of this world, not concerned with its laws and rules. The Keeper stares at your humanity, parts the flames to other realms, go through, don’t linger, don’t waste time.

She can smell your fear as it seeps through your pores, and hear the frantic beat of your heart. She calls to you, a song of allure and truth, asks what it is that you seek and want of Life. The place approaches, the doorway shimmers like a desert mirage, go through, don’t linger, don’t waste time. The refrain unfolds, stretches into infinity. This is your time of Becoming, an oft-repeated phrase, but filled with deep truth. Her eyes gaze intently, her manner is implacable. What can you say? Is she present? You touch your face and feel her face, touch her chest and feel your chest. Twin hearts beat loudly in this inner chamber, echo throughout the Universe. The Eye of Ra is pleased. The Eye of Ra sings her song of truth, of longing for the First Time, laments forgetfulness. Hear it and do not weep. She is eternal, the unending ocean of Being, and the life-giving rays of the Sun. Her flames consume and bring forth rebirth. It is done supplicant, it is done.

Fountain of Youth – Twittering Tale #65 – 2 January 2018

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Photo by WildOne at Pixabay’s Creative Commons

The group looked suspiciously at the pool.
It wasn’t what they imagined the Fountain of Youth to be.
The Tour Guide beckoned creepily, everyone paused and then
ran back to the bus.
He laughed, took off his clothes, then his skin.
“The effects are astounding as you can see”.

(273 characters)

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Mage on the threshold – Thursday photo prompt – Mists – #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

An atmospheric photo from Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt, oh what wonders are waiting to be unleashed! With that in mind I present to you my explorations in the mists of time:

I see you Merlin, a shadowy outline waiting in the mists. Speak you unpredictable prophet of paradox and uncertainty, you appear to carry a message of great import. Both of us have played this game before. How that mischievous smile gives nothing away! This waiting is coming to an end I presume? The inner fires are slumbering, the flames show nothing as yet. The oracle is evasive and a reading cannot be given. I sense her behind my eyes, looking out over a world shrouded in apparent death, frozen in a sleep of becoming. The sun rises slowly, majestic in stature and movement. How many times have I been witness to such cycles, much like circles ever-expanding, like ripples in a pool? The wind brushes against my veil, eager to glimpse the dream enmeshed within reality. Come closer dear friend, come closer, our parting has been too long.

With each step the worlds move further up the spiral path, and the stars spill their light upon the Earth. All this I see with eyes sharp as your hunter’s knife. Heaven fertilises the Earth, and the seed lies buried deep within its womb. My song lulls her children in their sleep of ever becoming, my lips touch their brow, gentle, gentle are my fingers across their cheeks, loving are my thoughts. Yet again the dawn breeze brushes against my veil, eager to glimpse the dream enmeshed within reality. Come closer dear friend, come closer, our parting has been too long.

Hear my song dear friend, hear my song, it calls to you, speaks of shared quests long before the boy Arthur emerged from the mists. King Maker were you named, little did they know what power you held within your hands. A power not seen for generations upon generations. We knew your true face, and held its secrets to our bosom. The oracle stirs, and I see the truth as the flames reveal. They stir, rising from the land, both beast and human. The Ancestors peer at us, unravel our histories and cause wounds to gape like the abyss of no return. Blood is spilled, pouring like waterfalls, and the stench of battle fills our nostrils. What battles do I speak of? Those of our unsettled natures and ill nourished spirits.

Yet again the dawn breeze brushes against my veil, eager to glimpse the dream enmeshed within reality. Come closer dear friend, come closer, our parting has been too long. Lift my veil and let me see your face, one I have missed and mourned for too long. How gentle are your hands, shying away from the symbols of my power and sovereignty. I am the Land in all her glory, manifestation of time itself, a never-ending spiral, starlight supreme in a velvet darkness unravelling its mysteries. You are my Mage upon the Threshold, straddling the worlds, beast master, prophet, madman and dweller in the forest. I see the dragons of the elements split asunder from the One, five in number. They scatter to the directions, seeking the essence of their power. They call to you Mage, heed their desire and fulfil your destiny. I see you Merlin, no longer shadowed, no longer a dream. For you are my Mage upon the Threshold.

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