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.

Advertisements

The Impossible is Possible He Says: A Return to the Beginning of Things

FB_IMG_1516121857096

Me in 2015

I don’t like being photographed, due to shyness mainly. For purposes of this post a decision was made to use a photo, a selfie (I dislike those things usually) taken in 2015. She stares at me with a look I remember well, filled with secrets and questions. The core of this person remains unchanged, as much as a whirling vortex can.

A whirling vortex?” he repeats slowly, the look on his face is thoughtful. His Nibs appears out of thin air, typical of these deities to indulge in dramatic behaviour.

His absence has been longer than usual, which has given me time to tie up a few loose ends. I look at his face for indication, any indication of his thought processes. He draws sigils and hieroglyphs into the air, sacred symbols etched in fire. I see a raging ocean struck many times by lightning. The First Time. Anubis is in his golden form orchestrating the play of elements. There is silence in this place of the first creation, a silence that is infused with many layers of meaning. The Mound is yet to appear. Strange that I should be witness to this again.

Image: Golden Anubis, Jan Malique

Being born is an initiation, a period of trial, tribulation and learning. We infuse our lives with beauty, pepper it with tears and sadness, and write its story in our personal Book of Life. The time has come to continue my story in the Book of Life. He hands it to me gently and smiles. I stare at it with the same look my other self had in the photo. She was yearning for change and wondering whether her circumstances would shift, evolve. Sometimes the perceived impossibility of the task at hand can throw you off kilter. Introspection can bring with it fears and uncertainties. They are unavoidable but necessary.

“I’ve stood on the edge of towering sand dunes peered down at you, watching your every move and thought. Your eyes have reflected the incandescent light of stars burning at the edge of galaxies, throwing illumination into the heart of darkness. You seek, question and demand, as you should. What answers have you obtained? You smile and give me that look. Filled with secrets and questions. Are you ready to serve, to pierce the illusions of this world and act? Take care to speak honestly and without prevarication. Serve higher ideals. The Impossible is Possible”

Anubis intends these words for those who are ready for the Journey.

His eyes burn with ancient fire and his hand gestures towards the unfolding of creation within the First Time. This journey is one towards the beginning of all things, a return to Source. We sit on the Sacred Mound beneath the waters of Chaos, the Eight peer at us intently, alien frog and snake headed creatures from a time before time. A return to the original womb of being can involve dangers, realisations of truths we may not be ready to face. I sense movement of the Eight and also of something more…The waters of Chaos bubble and shift constantly. His Nibs watches, silent as the depths of the Void, and as inscrutable.

The storm continues around us, but we‘re sitting in a space set apart deep within the eye of the storm. A place of deep significance and sacredness, the First Temple from which all others were birthed. Again I sense movement of the Eight and also of something more. From out of the gloom emerge his priests, jackal headed men bearing his mark. They stretch into infinity, forming a processional way into the depths. This is the path into the depths of the subconscious, hence the guardians of the portals safeguarding the way. There are places where no light has ever pierced, where no voice has uttered sound. We dare to pass through these halls of silence, and dare to emerge intact.

universe-2736507_1920

Image: Trandoshan, Pixabay

He employs sleight of hand, confuses our senses, makes us believe the real is unreal and takes us to the very edge of reality. We stand on the precipice and peer over the edge. We peer deep within our selves, for that is the purpose of this journey, of any journey, to find our truth and speak it.

The Eight churn the waters of Chaos, creating life where there was possibility and promise. The Sacred Mound waits our return, it is time for emergence, manifestation of all possibilities and promises. The Benu bird utters the first sound that breaks the eternal silence and the child Ra emerges from the waters in his womb of Blue Lotus. His light pierces the eternal darkness and so it begins. The Sacred Mound waits on our return and embraces us as we emerge. From silence and darkness does life emerge, looking out into a vast Universe filled with mysteries.

Anubis is known by many names, one being the Walker between the Worlds, another being Psychopomp, and another The Opener. He’s a shaman par excellence, guardian of the portals between the different states of consciousness. We meet him at significant points in life, so as to be eased into states of death and resurrection, symbolic and real. What’s prompted this bout of soul searching? I’d ordered a book written about Anubis and had to wait nearly three months for it, due to delays that seemed to go and on. This issue tested my patience severely, at one point I thought he was “pulling on my chain” just to see what I would do. It unveiled aspects of myself that needed looking at, and here I am looking at some of them.

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

pexels-photo-veeterzy.jpg

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)
1510584710974

 

Dance of Consolation: Beginnings and Endings

This image of the Hindu god Shiva in the guise of Nataraja (Sanskrit – Lord of the Dance) is familiar to many people. Shiva Nataraja first appeared in 5-6 CE and the freestanding figure about 10 CE. It’s a persona that’s supremely evocative and inspires awe, if not a shiver down the back. I have a little statuette of the Lord of the Dance somewhere in storage, he needs to see the light of day now. My collection of statuettes all have a history behind them. Ganesh, Shiva and Vishnu have found their way to me over the years. I’m waiting on Brahma to grace me with his presence now. They were all bought in a little shop off Baker Street, central London. It was one of many little gems scattered across a busy city centre. The shop had a gorgeous statuette of Shiva carved out of sandalwood, how I wish I’d bought it at the time. It was too large to carry on public transport and getting a taxi home would have been expensive. My regret has lessened over the years. Honest, it has. Now, what of Shiva Nataraja?

As Destroyer, Shiva is one aspect of a divine triad consisting of Brahma, who is Creator and Vishnu, who is Preserver. The dance Shiva performs is called Tandava, and is said to bring about the destruction of the physical world and illusionary concepts of the Self. What is left thereafter but for creation and enlightenment to rise out of this ending?

The ecstatic Cosmic dancer has a smile on his face, perhaps knowing what he’s about to initiate? Symbols and motifs have a habit of perplexing the conscious mind, which act as a portal into the greater expanse of the subconscious. Music and dance are powerful keys to doorways hidden deep within the Soul. The many elements comprising this vision of beauty and luminosity sometimes leave me feeling overwhelmed and mystified. He’s like a book filled with mystical knowledge, unfolding his secrets when the mystic attains further insight. What is he conveying in his ecstasy? What is he conveying is in his pose?

33532178124_0f1c5b7f31

photo credit: aaRJay fotography Shiva Temple via photopin (license)

The god dances within a circle of flames representing the world of Maya (Illusion) and consciousness, the inner ring symbolises water and the outer is fire. His gestures convey five attributes:

Creation

The upper right hand holds a drum (damaru) representing the sound, a heartbeat, to which Shiva dances in his creation of the world.

Protection

The lowert right hand is held in the abhaya-mudra (what is called the “fear not” gesture, palm facing outward with the fingers pointing up.)  It is a blessing.

 Destruction

This is represented by fire held in the upper left hand (either in a vessel or his hand), symbolising the disintegration of matter. Agni (fire) cleanses and removes the result of destruction at the end of each epoch or Yuga. The lower left hand is in the gahahasta (elephant trunk) pose and points towards the raised left foot, conveying Shiva’s grace.

Embodiment

The right foot is placed upon the demon of ignorance, Apasmara, vanquishing him so that knowledge may flourish.

 Release

The left foot is raised, bestowing eternal bliss, grace and release.

Shiva’s unkempt hair signifies him as an ascetic and houses a crescent moon (the seasons are created through its waxing and waning), a skull, Datura blossom and Ganga, the goddess of the river Ganges. When her presence was needed on Earth Shiva’s hair broke her descent.

There are snakes coiled round Shiva’s upper arms and neck, signifying his power over these creatures. They are also symbolic of reincarnation and regeneration due to the ability to shed their skin.

This is only a brief glimpse into the symbolism of this mighty Lord of the Dance, one would have to meditate upon his nature to gain personal insights. I can’t profess to be a devotee but hold him in great esteem, perhaps my ancestors worshipped him at one time, I hope so. One day I’ll visit Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu, India to visit the great temple complex of Nataraja. Legends tell of Shiva having performed his dance of beginnings and endings in a grove of Tillai trees there. Sacred landscapes are instilled with the essences of divinity, hence one of many reasons pilgrims undertake their journeys to partake of these energies. This is my virtual pilgrimage to pay homage to Shiva in his Nataraja form.

The Beat – Twittering Tales #59 – 21 November 2017

hands-1840487_1280

Pexels at Pixabay.com

Another inspirational challenge from Kat Myrman at Twittering Tales.  This is my take on the feelings engendered by the image:

The beat flows through fingers, embraces black and white. Kisses keys, demands submission, whispers the heat of love.

The beat drums it’s rhythm, keeping pace with Cosmic breath. It’s the song of life, the song of begetting. Feel it’s kiss, surrender, feel it’s bite, surrender.

(277 characters)

1510584710974

She Walks In Light: Amunet’s Development and Journey

Image: Pixabay

I’ve thought at length about the possible origins of my character.  She emerged as a result of a writing challenge entered a while ago (Sue Vincent’s #writephoto); and was called the Alchemist’s daughter until an appropriate name was found. Amunet was chosen as my heroine emitted a sense of “otherness” that necessitated further investigation. For that I needed to revisit  ancient Egyptian creation myths. There wasn’t any conscious effort to mould her into a representation of wisdom and mystery. Like many other characters, she developed from gut feelings and nebulous images in the mind. These creations become significant over time, being echoes of lost histories. If we’re receptive to their voices they can be encouraged to tell us their stories. This seemed the most sensible approach to take.

To be honest this character’s an enigma to me. I stare at her from my position in the present and wonder at the nature of adventure we’re participating in. Amunet appears to be forming the basis of a bigger project, something I’m getting excited about.

I suppose we should now journey to the beginning of all things in my character’s universe. A time before time existed in a formless space:

The Ogdoad in The Hermopolitan Creation Myth

Amunet belongs to one of the Ogdoad (group of Eight), who are four pairs of ancient Egyptian deities thought to be the oldest of all gods. A statement made by other creations myths of that land about their gods! Regardless, these beings represent primeval elemental powers existing before creation of the world. The four male gods are frog headed, and their female counterparts snake headed:

  • Amun (Male) and Amunet (Female) represent invisibility.
  • Kek (M) and Keket (F) are darkness.
  • Heh (M) and Hehet (F) are infinite space.
  • Nun (M) and Nunet (F) are the primeval waters.

The world they inhabited was shrouded in silence and darkness, if you can imagine a place consisting of nothingness you’ve done well. I don’t always manage to.

When the waters of chaos retreated they revealed the first land. It was the sacred Mound upon which the Cosmic egg was laid by either an Ibis (sacred to Djehuty) or a goose, called the Great Cackler. In another variation of the myth the darkness was pierced by the light of the child Ra who rose from the depths of Nun in a lotus. This creation myth focusses on the mystery of creation out of non-being to being. Something that has fascinated and perplexed me since childhood.

These powers are part of a group of deities indigenous to the ancient centre of Khemenu (“The Town of the Eight”), named Hermopolis Magna by the Greeks. The other deities are a hare and baboon. This place was the cult centre of Djehuty (Thoth) from early dynastic times, and with his arrival at Khemenu these deities were absorbed into his mythos. Two in particular retained their status though, the Hare goddess Wenet and the baboon god Hedj-wer. Wenet was the totem animal of the 15th or Hare Nome (administrative division) of Upper Egypt, so it may have been difficult to obliterate her presence. As for the baboon god, he was worshipped here from pre-dynastic times and became closely associated with Djehuty as one of his manifestations. From here we briefly face the divinity that is Djehuty.

Djehuty and the Symbolism of Eight

It’s appropriate that the spirit of Djehuty pervades my heroine’s life. He is after all the Master Alchemist, God of Wisdom and Magic, oversees the arts, and sciences. In fact ruling all intellectual pursuits. Djehuty is also said to have invented hieroglyphs. The number eight embodies his essence perfectly as it symbolises harmony, balance, and cosmic order. It’s also the number of perfection, infinity, abundance, and power.

So far, so good. Amunet therefore contains within herself perfect knowledge and Being. She’s the Priestess sitting in front of the Veil obscuring the Greater Mysteries of Life and Beyond; and also Divine Fire clothed in material matter, hidden, waiting. She contains potential within herself, of greater things. That’s what so fascinating about her, as she represents the hidden potential within all of us. The ability to bring to light the invisible aspects of our natures and the Cosmos. That’s why She Walks in Light.

 

 

Transcendent 

the-beginning-of-life.jpg!PinterestLarge

Image: Frantisek Kupka, Wikiart

All proceeds from the divine Lotus,

Light issued from the First Womb.

Enfolded within is Child transcendent,

divine blueprint, whisper of dreams

unfolding. Risen Sun.

Night falls, Sun is setting. Light

descends into Darkness, Wisdom

withdraws into Silence.

Resonance

Image: Pixabay

She followed the Seven, Guardians of the Lore into the innermost depths of the sanctum. Torches glowed with a preternatural brilliance. Here was housed their most sacred lore, memories emanating from an era when neither Light nor Darkness existed in that Universe. A time when the Omniscience held a germ of all that was to be in their thoughts. So did life and death unfold. They showed her the way, then the Holy of Holies emerged from thoughts and soundless voices. Thus was she shown the beginnings of her people, of her kin. The images played out before her, of a time and place not of their world: Continue reading

Immortality: The Alchemist’s Daughter Recollects

pillars-of-creation-1769446_1920

Image: Pixabay

Achieving immortality has been an enduring goal for legion upon legion of humans over the centuries. Tomes have been written hinting at the existence of wondrous elixirs and arcane rituals giving/offering the chance of eternal life and youth. To what end we may speculate, perhaps to abate our fear of dying, perhaps to prolong our contemplation of matters philosophical and metaphysical. Ultimately the real reason may only be known to the individual engaged in such a pursuit. Immortality is a fable retold century after century, our passion for it undiminished, our longing unquenched. We are born, live and die, a simplistic viewpoint of our existence on this material plane. Yet, there is so much that lies before us. At what point do we lose our sense of wonder about the Universe and our place in it? Continue reading

Passion and Pathos: Spirit of the Dance

sport-1818691_1920 (1)

Image: Pixabay

The dancers moved intuitively to the sound of their hearts as the music swelled and sobbed. It finally paused, waiting for the lovers to catch their breath. This was more than an interlude in a cafe that had seen glory and laughter in a bygone age. Few tourists ventured into the old quarter of the city, much less enter through the portal of this place. The ones that did manage to find this near mythical establishment were fated to come. Their souls were infused with the elixir of passion and pathos. Forever rising on the swell of the rhythm and then slumbering in the arms of the silence that followed.

dance-238263_1920.jpg

Image: Pixabay

A woman sitting at a table in the corner of the room stared intently at the dancers. They presented a magnificent picture; gentleness, poetic beauty in the lines of their faces and a certain melancholy in the embrace. Her dark eyes glittered, mirroring the luminosity of the stars and moon. They mirrored hope in a world that appeared to have embraced shadow and pain. The spirit and soul of humanity were being sorely tested, falling prey to the excesses of materialism and naked cynicism. Was she being naive now? A laugh escaped her blood red lips. She was present in this space set apart from time, present during day and night.

The dance rose from rather less salubrious origins, in the bars and brothels of the old quarter. It was a magnet for travellers from across the globe and some had hinted, from across hidden worlds. This is not to tarnish its reputation but to explain the soil its soul had taken root in. Its root went deep, deep into the fabric of stone and brick. Deep, deep into hearts and minds of the people moving through the city. The woman closed her eyes and travelled down streets clothed in shade and dappled sunlight. Her ears took in the chatter of thousands of voices, each reflecting sorrow and bittersweet regret, each reflecting joy and exuberance, each reflecting darkness and light, each reflecting boredom and inertia. All found solace in the heartfelt tune that rang out of doorways and windows, a memory of something thought lost but only lying hidden within mystery. This was the spirit of the dance, she was the spirit of the dance.

intimate-1523821_1920

Image: Pixabay

A voice interrupted this reverie. She opened her eyes and spied a green-eyed god staring down solemnly. He respectfully held out a strong, elegant hand. She grasped it and was gathered gently in his arms. They moved as if one being. Sinuous limbs gave expression to their hearts’ yearning, entered into each nuance and tone of the music washing over the couples gathered in the room. His silence spoke to her of things lain hidden for generations, of perceived shame, of deep regret. She listened and did not judge. She never judged. For that she earned his eternal gratitude. Even gods are inclined to give in to vulnerability now and again. The music soon ended and the radiant god kissed her hand and disappeared into the shadows of the bar. He did not leave empty handed but carried a pearl of the dreams she freely gave to all who were in need. The spirit of the dance returned to her table and carried on gazing at the magical ritual she had created, something filled with awe, passion and pathos.