Possibilities

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Image: Pixabay

I was speaking with a friend of mine earlier this afternoon, we’d known each other from the age of 12 years. It’s been a long friendship, both of us are now (mutters incomprehensibly). Perhaps our ages aren’t so important eh? There have been several job changes, illnesses, bereavements and relocation of homes. Let’s just say it’s been a full and interesting journey for both of us. Our childhood ambitions were and still are creative endeavours; alas this was not to be and we ended up in different professions. Both of us are at another crossroads in our lives, considering a variety of options and assessing the possibilities. 

Possibilities. A word worth its weight in gold. Much like Hope, it can sustain us when all appears bleak on the horizon. Our youthful selves were fired with energy and great expectations. As adults our experiences have tempered those expectations, that’s only natural. Hindsight is a great teacher, realistic but not unkind.

My younger self believed she could make a difference and create a better world for all of us. I passionately believed in justice, fairness, tolerance and equality. Still do. I’m going to come out of the wardrobe, fall out of it more correctly and admit to being a Socialist. Still am at heart but its nuances have changed slightly but not its heart. I’ll go to my cremation as one. Protest marches were a staple for me – against apartheid, racism, erosion of employment rights, sexism, etc.  I’d grown up in a culturally diverse part of London, attended a primary school in Soho that had children from many different ethnicities. Secondary school was a little different but still great.

That’s not to say there weren’t tensions in society. London at the time was a place of political and social turmoil. Nothing has changed! The 1970s, 80’s and 90s saw profound upheavals, many necessary. Additionally the activities of Far Right groups like the National Front (and other more extreme groups) created an atmosphere filled with violence, fear and tension. It seems humanity’s atavistic tendencies are once again rising to the fore. The gates of the Underworld have been loosed and the inmates are on the rampage dear friends. One hopes they’ll be dragged back to their cells soon.

Culturally it was an exciting time from what I remember, well, it was neither boring nor safe in terms of output. I do get nostalgic at times for the spirit of those times, more due to the people who I’d known and met. Each one of us has a different perception of that era.

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Image: Pixabay

As for this entity called Possibilities. His Nibs (Anubis) advises that I should network and when am I going to book in a meeting with it. I reply ‘soon’ and look away furtively. He lays a hand on my shoulder and squeezes. Oh boy, the Opener of the Way knows me so well. ‘Check your calendars’ he says firmly. It seems I’ve been too long in the company of certain rogues and low life, namely Procrastination, Fear, Ill health, Being Unfit (call me Cuddles) and the two worst of all, Inertia and Lack of Confidence.

He looks at me for, oh, ages. There is only kindness and sympathy in his eyes. I smile at him in thanks. My spirit needs re-energising. Writing contributes to a sense of great well-being and this blog is a blessing as are spiritual studies/training. I serve both Anubis and Thoth in spirit and reality, the power that is Ptah is never far away. What I don’t serve are other people’s unrealistic expectations of me and the beast of ‘living to work’. Although the latter does have me in a headlock. A bummer as they say.

Back to scheduling this meeting. His Nibs has passed me a list of ‘To Do’s and admitted they were only reminders as I knew what needed to be done. I scrutinise it, fair enough. Clear and simple objectives, the fine detail will require work. Not a problem. To travel between the different planes of consciousness one has to be fit in more than body. Mine needs a little maintenance admittedly but the mind, even if I say so, is resilient. It can be a little wayward, stubborn and undisciplined at times but still manages to survive adversity.

To travel through the landscape of the Collective Unconsciousness requires foolhardiness, a level head, resilience, self-insight and trust in oneself. Many falter, deceived by manifestations of their own Shadow and human longing. We also have to acquaint ourselves with the lexicon of symbols needed to engage and converse with the inhabitants of this other Universe. A guidebook of phrases and possibilities you might say. Keep your wits about you at all times, for the soul and mind can be seduced by all manner of suitors and enemies.

Most important of all, a Guide is vital. So far I haven’t upset His Nibs (and hope I don’t).

“I’m not going anywhere, if I do there will always be another one of us with you. Even if your angelic friends want to come along” he mutters interrupting my thoughts. I’m vastly relieved and don’t think it’s wishful thinking. “Have Trust” he loudly responds. Of course. The vista opens up before us. We sit down and take our time looking at the strange sights appearing out of nothingness. Images from my life, one after the other. Regret, unhappiness, happiness, anger, loss, fear, manipulation, capitulation, success, failure, hate, love.

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I also see the ancestors amongst these many aspects of myself. We all need release it’s evident. My hands are clenched, holding on to much. He kneels before me and takes my hands in his. I can sense the power and gentleness within them, as does my heart. We wait, breath held in, silent. My fingers are uncurled one by one until both palms are facing upwards. We see the remains of things that were long gone and begging for freedom. Smoky wisps, rising and falling. He breathes upon them, chanting incantations. There is no other sound except for his voice. He gathers them up and deposits them in a barque that’s appeared to one side. Their journey now begins to the Duat (ancient Egyptian Otherworld).

I sense the release of the many from all my line, we are being unburdened one by one. My eyes close, seeing the world as it appears to the inner eyes. It ebbs and flows, inhaling and exhaling, communicating in ways that I didn’t think were possible. In silence can we hear the Universe as it unfolds its mysteries.

As Khepri rises in the sky so do we feel our own Coming into Being, that oft repeated phrase holds a wealth of meaning, highly symbolic. How we forget the beauty and magnificence of the stars, the Imperishable Stars, holders of memories from the birth of our existence. What of the light that’s journeyed for millions upon millions of years? Possibilities upon possibilities exist, why not take note and draw in that light into our own being? Bathe our cells in its essence. My thoughts scatter in all directions, seeking, questioning. How fare the ancestors? Of like mind it seems, all respect to them. Yet, I also understand that their burdens and history, good and bad have been passed down the line to end with my siblings and I. Do we accept their legacy?  Not if it perpetuates further negativity and damage to body, mind and spirit.

Anubis is still kneeling before me. I return to the present, time for the introspection to end. The evening light casts a golden glow on everything in the garden. It feels so peaceful and still. I sense the Opener is still here, watching. “I agree to do it” is all I say to him. Where’s my diary?

Coming into Being: Waiting at the Threshold

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Image: Pixabay

It’s been months seen we last faced each other. No, not quite true. Each morning I greet one aspect of him guarding our porch and again on return in the evening. The statuette sits on the window ledge, as did a previous form, a gentler persona this time. His Nibs (or Anubis) as I affectionately call him, has seen me through calm and turbulent times over the years. I’ve occasionally neglected our association and focussed on other matters. Perhaps I wasn’t ready at those times to see his true message. The gods choose us rather than we choose them. This much I now understand. Continue reading

The Storyteller Returns

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Image: Pixabay

The Storyteller and I parted ways some time ago; amicably it has to be said. Only a temporary situation you understand. We both relish our personal space and the time apart reinvigorates the spirit. We share the same corporeal form but encapsulate twin creative souls. Some writers adopt a pen name to create works in a different genre to their main output. It seems I’ve gained another Muse to perform that function. Her true name is yet to be revealed. This is deliberate, for a name is a thing of power and more so one’s true name. Only the Jackal God and the Storyteller are privy to such a secret. Her journey is my journey; we seek each other and meaning in the trials and tribulations of our chosen goal and path. We also seek them in the moments of stillness and joy. I invite her to partake of tea and conversation.  Continue reading

Whispers of Ancestral Voices

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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

Conversation with the Jackal Shaman: In the Hall of Ma’at and Weighing of the Heart Ritual

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White Rabbit looks into the distance, deep in thought. The Jackal Shaman and I watch him. Rather than break the silence we converse in signs and symbols. You may well ask how that’s achieved. Pens and pieces of card. Neither mystical nor magical. Or is it? Ancient sigils imbued with mystery and knowledge, they open gates that are closely guarded. Those giving access to our secret selves, our subconscious, our memories.

White Rabbit turns round and mutters, do you know one aspect of magical Taoism is to guide the soul of the dead to the underworld? This is based upon the belief that the soul can get lost if it isn’t accompanied to the right place. A situation that can be dangerous; as the region between the living and the underworld is inhabited by malevolent spirits, demons and ghouls. Their prey is the soul of the dead, who is allotted forty-nine days to reach the underworld. If this isn’t achieved, then all is lost and they join the ranks of these predators. The Sorcerer’s task is to ensure the soul is safely guided through this dangerous terrain. Much like Anpu and Hermes. Continue reading

Conversation with the Jackal Shaman: In The Hall of Ma’at and Introductions

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photo credit: israel gutier The way to the color via photopin (license)

The Jackal Shaman crosses the great expanse to bring word of further challenges. Must be something important for him to make this long journey. Our encounters of late have been brief but meaningful. Dear reader, this ancient Egyptian god is not to be underestimated. I know the phrase has passed my lips many times but the warning still stands. The Psychopomp isn’t just for death but for the rest of life. How appropriate I smirk. Rather like puppies aren’t just for Christmas but for life. Ha, ha. Okay, stand up comedy isn’t going to be an appropriate career choice. Doesn’t help laughing at your own jokes.

I’m glad you said that and not me, His Nibs gently comments, there are alternatives. Perhaps we can discuss it over tea?

We both consult our diaries. His Nibs look fabulous these days. Younger even. Must ask him what he uses on his skin. The ancient Egyptians loved their perfumes and precious oils. We have a lot in common. Both of us are aware that beneath the superficial musings a heavier issue lies waiting, waiting to be acknowledged. My heart and I debate the matter passionately, should we proceed with this adventure? His Nibs can see the battle raging within and smiles reassuringly.

The Heart plays an important part in the ritual we’ll witness later. It’s been an important symbol in human civilisation from early times. Our language is littered with references to this organ, “disheartened”, “follow your heart”, “heart of the matter”. The heart’s been a repository of all our sorrows and joys. Raising us to sublime heights in moments of utter beauty and clarity; then dashing all hope against the rocks to leave our lives in pieces. Apart from its biological functions it serves us in other ways, being a symbol of love, compassion and a centre of spiritual consciousness. It’s the life essence of our being. Take a moment to think about how you project yourself in the world, where does the sense of Self reside? How does your heart speak to you?

He offers a hand, time to begin the journey to the Hall of Ma’at. The hypnotic sound of drumbeats surrounds us; it bends time and space to create a portal. The bone oracle feels heavy within its pouch, singing a song of longing, of joy and pain. We enter a Khem that predates what’s known as Predynastic Egypt. Please forgive me for blurring the line between fact and fiction. It’s a necessary action in the Shaman’s journey to the land of ancestors and spirits. After all, the inner Universe is a vast and mysterious place waiting to be explored. It’s also a place with shifting boundaries, filled with traps for the unwary and foolhardy. The exploration of such landscapes requires a trustworthy guide and protector; a task His Nibs is most capable of performing.

What of the scene before us? A simple hut constructed of mud brick and reeds, situated on top of a large mound. Sound familiar? I glance at His Nibs, my raised eyebrow provoking a blank expression from him. Oh well, onwards. The doorway is small and necessitates a crouching posture in order to enter. The interior is dim and lit by simple lamps, small pottery saucers filled with fat and thick wicks. There appears to be another doorway opposite the main entrance. Steps lead downwards into a corridor. There are other presences in this hut but they offer no threat. Even so, breathing is difficult due to the intensity of the power emanating from these, entities. I’m not sure they’re human. My companion leads the way. It seems he doesn’t want us to linger in this place of transition.

We reach the bottom and find ourselves standing in a corridor that twists and turns, finally opening into a huge hall filled with numerous pillars. Twenty-one lining either side. The Hall of Ma’at. Light streams down from small apertures in the ceiling. It’s a place outside of time, I get a picture of a gigantic heart enclosing this space. There’s a deep silence in the temple. It’s not empty, there’s something in there. Many ‘somethings’ in fact. They’re aware of us. The scent of incense only increases the sense of power and numinosity in the space.

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photo credit: nielskliim Light art in a former water reservoir via photopin (license)

The 42 Assessors stand guard at all time, states the Jackal Shaman.

I understand why the deceased would feel fear in their presence, is my answer. There is nothing more to be said. There is nothing more I want to say.

He stares deeply into my soul and then places his hands on my shoulder, strength pours through to give me support and my heart responds strongly. His strong and sonorous voice then addresses me.

I shall introduce you to my companions, for they are curious to know the one that has come amongst them. Friend of course and not foe. They shall not be named, yet. That is to come later.

One by one the Assessors step forward from the shadows. Representatives of the 42 Nomes of ancient Khem. It feels as if I’m being examined by the very essence of this land. This scrutiny stretches into what seems like an eternity and then they step back into the shadows.

I look at Him. It’s time to go back. We exit the temple and make our way back through the corridor, up the steps, into the hut and back to reality. A little rushed but necessary. The magic of such places can saturate both mind and body. I need a cup of strong tea to ‘earth’ me properly. It also gives me time to absorb all that’s been seen and heard. Anpu bids goodbye and disappears into the great expanse. The next part of our journey will consist of revelation and truth. Am I ready for it? The faint sound of drumbeats can be heard in the distance, it ends soon to be replaced by the rattle of the bone bag. The bone oracle speaks, of what I can’t say

Forged in Fire

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Image: Pixabay

Here we are then, again, facing another year. (Puts on best imitation of Jedi Master, Yoda) challenging it was, unsure we were. I’m determined to review the old year in a frame of mind that’s open and honest. The spirit has been unburdened considerably but there is more to ‘surgery’ to undergo. For this purpose I must call upon an ancient Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet, to help me achieve transformation. Daughter of the Sun god Ra, consort of the god Ptah and protector of the Pharaoh, Sekhmet’s a formidable and powerful presence. A lion headed goddess embodying the fierce heat of the Sun and martial qualities. She’s also a healer. Therein lies the paradox. Much to chew over.

I’ve had reason to call upon her energies lately to combat inner and outer negativity. There’s also the need to defuse the challenging behaviour of a male colleague in my professional life. It’s being managed on a mundane level but still quite irksome having to deal with the issue in the first place. Resolution is necessary though. Fear and insecurity can generate inappropriate behaviour. Some people tend to underestimate me for a variety of reasons; perhaps it’s either my introverted manner or the reluctance to indulge in unpleasantness about other people. My behaviour hasn’t always been perfect. Not proud of those moments. Human nature doesn’t seem to have progressed much over the centuries.

Don’t hold back daughter of Sekhmet, a voice behind me comments.

I pause in mid rant. His Nibs is standing there with a solemn look on his face. The incandescent and wicked gleam in his eyes utterly demolishes the serious persona being projected.

I needed to get that off my chest. Disorder is restored.

He just smiles that mysterious smile and looks at me. Facing the inner demons is one of the hardest things we can do in life. The Mirror of Truth reveals things that are difficult to face, such as soul searing memories that arise from the depths and take flight. J C Cirlot comments that ‘every winged being is a symbolic of spiritualization…Birds are very frequently used to symbolize human souls, some of the earliest examples being found in the art of ancient Egypt.’ The ba has been freed, where’s it going?

The Old Dog, dear, dear Anubis has a way of reaching into the depths of your being, grab insights and bring them to light. He takes my hand and gives it a squeeze. There is reassurance and affection in that gesture. I can feel my spirit unfolding slowly, rather like wings unfurling in the warmth of sunlight. Indigo and tipped with violet, I choose these wings. Forged in fire were the beings of Light, standing guard against the onslaught of darkness and ignorance. The Fall into Matter necessitates additional vigilance due to our free will.

Forged in fire. It evokes powerful imagery. In my mind’s eye I see the blacksmith at work, diligently working on transmuting one material into another. Their art is most ancient, perhaps being one aspect of alchemy. Certainly magical. Forged in fire, deep within the heart of stars. We are after all made of star matter. Forged in fire, strengthened, shaped, to become resilient in the face of stress and adversity. Challenges show us our greatest strengths and areas of vulnerability. It takes courage and trust to show vulnerability.

His Nibs and I look up at the velvet darkness of the sky, now filled with multitude points of light. Nut’s arched body fills us with hope and anticipation. A new dawn waits, bringing new possibilities.

A lovely thought, he says.

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Image: Pixabay

 

 

Party in the Shed: Solstice Celebrations

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Not long to go before the Winter Solstice is upon us. I have to say visitors, long-term residents and the proprietor (moi) of The Shed are rather excited. It’s been a long, dark and emotionally tiring period for all concerned. Finally do we emerge from the darkness into the light. Hope and life return, bringing with them a promise of rebirth. The focal point of course being the birth of a child of Light. An event that has been central to spiritual traditions throughout the world for millenia.

This is also a time for reflection, going into the inner and, and. Sorry, I’m just a little distracted by the sight of Cerberus wearing a traffic cone on his head. Well, the third one to be precise. Hope he hasn’t been given any alcohol. Last time he and His Nibs went out on a drinking spree they ended up incarcerated in Tartarus. The bane of my life those, mutts. You may think me a little disrespectful but they deserve it at times. The Trickster dons many guises in order to dispel self delusional perceptions and behaviours.

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Back to my discourse, may the gods save me from further interruptions. It has been a year of challenges, physical impairments and dissolution of  outmoded mindsets. At times it has appeared as if my dark night of the soul would never end.

‘Do you have more canapes?’

‘What? Do you mind, I’m in the middle of talking to my readers. How very rude!’

The White Rabbit stomps off in a huff. Odin and Sekhmet edge towards me slowly. Both give a thumbs up and then pin me into a corner. They have comical grins on their faces that indicates worse to come. My self pity kicks into action and I am lost. Lost to a world that appears sane, yet the reality is untrue. It is the darkest point before the Sun rises above the Horizon.

Odin is snivelling into a hanky and Sekhmet is rubbing his back gently. This time of the year always makes him emotional. Everyone is expressing sympathy with the One-Eyed One. What can I say? This is turning into one strange celebration. An occasion when all your eccentric and very strange relatives grace you with their presence. You really wish that they hadn’t taken the trouble.

Where’s my sense of humour gone?

As far away from this place as possible. Oh well, I await the Child of Light with joy in my heart.

Then I spot the penguin in the doorway.

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Image: Pixabay