The end. From THEREBEMONSTERSHERE.COM

Another intriguing blog that caught my attention. This post raised a smile. You may think me strange, human nature can be at times.

Death sighed sadly to herself, she exited her battered old VW beetle. Secateurs in hand, she strolled through Maggie’s ward unseen by all. Mr. D’arcy trotted at her heel, a large doggy smile on his face. Maggies ethereal form stood beside the corpse of Maggie Trout. Wild and terrified was her expression; her […]

via The end. — therebemonstershere.com

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Meeting at the Crossroads

JanBaby, Pixabay

A crossroad beckons on the horizon once more, and my feet are approaching it at a leisurely pace. So unlike me it has to be said. Evidently I’m mellowing in middle age.

Change is a coming and I’m not sure how to face it. Much like my reaction to prevailing weather conditions. It’s been cold, windy and rainy for weeks, and I haven’t even ventured into the garden to say hello to its inhabitants. My usual seat at the kitchen table has remained empty, which is a shame as it’s an important part of my writing and dreaming. It’s window facing and provides a lovely view of life unfolding through the seasons. It also gives me space to go inwards and sense the emotion of my inner landscape. One might say being a spectator has its uses, but disengaging from participating in life’s dramas makes Jan a dullard indeed.

The spectres of inertia and frustration are ever-present in our lives, beasts that are unwilling to loosen their grip. They gnaw at our innards and inject soporific poisons into our veins. We need all our courage and survival instincts to break free and run. That is until we get to a place of safety and gather our resources, summon our magician’s powers and bind the damned creatures. I’m talking more Gandalf than Harry Potter.

“More Gandalf than Harry Potter?” a voice queries from behind me.

That voice, with deep threads of mystery and dark wickedness running through it. His Nibs. I’ve neglected him for a while, just as well. No disrespect mighty one, the work we will be undertaking will require all of my strength and resilience, as well as hope. The path I’ve chosen to walk isn’t easy, more fool me! When you ask to enter into the service of Anubis, you need to carefully consider the implications of your decision. He’ll test your substance and spirit to almost breaking point.

He mutters with indignation, “that sounds a little harsh, you’ll scare them off.”

“Sorry, but it’s the truth. No point in sugar-coating what’s essentially a season ticket to the Underworld and Duat, ferrying the dead, lost, guiding initiates, breaking through fear, glimpsing awe-filled mysteries. I could go on.”

“Fine, things have been a little difficult for you lately, that’ll die away. Sorry, occupational hazard.” His voice trails off at the withering look on my face.

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View from kitchen window, Jan Malique

Human existence appears to be experienced in cycles and tantalising episodes in a rite of passage drama. Rites of passage seem to be barely celebrated in modern societies; almost becoming relics from a past that’s viewed with curiosity and nostalgia. That’s my opinion. Commercialism and materialism have taken over, retailers dictate when and what we should be celebrating. We’re urged to empty our wallets and spend rashly on the old plastic in order to show our affection and commiseration on specified dates. Why? Can’t we be trusted with showing care at any point in the calendar year?

“I like seeing you like this, a good rant releases useful chemicals in the brain. Go for it my little friend.” Says an ancient Egyptian God wearing a hoodie.

He then flashes the Ace of Spades in my face. I look at it and wonder why he’s showing me the card.

The Jackal God watches closely, absorbing every detail of my expression.

“The Ace of Spades is traditionally considered the Death card, but not always with physical death. It’s associated with personal transformation, changes, endings and beginnings. Such things are sometimes viewed with fear and troubled minds. Yet, there’s no rebirth without the ending of our old selves. New growth can’t flourish without removal of all that’s dead. This card symbolises ancient mysteries and hidden truths. See it and drink in its message.”

I understand and tell him “Death has appeared many times when I’ve consulted the oracle.”

“Who’s the oracle? Anyone we know?” he asks quietly.

I answer equally quietly “The Magician’s Tarot by Quareia.”

Pexels, Pixabay

I can see the readings vividly in my mind, beautiful but disquieting images. Portents of seemingly dire events and possible futures, of messages from powers beyond this plane, of restriction, illness and healing. The Abyss and Underworld showed their faces. There was more but I’m not jumping to any conclusions. He knows all this but isn’t saying anything. Our meeting at the Crossroads heralds a time of reassessment, doesn’t it always!

“How may I serve?” I ask again, for it’s a question that needs to be articulated, with confidence and without fear. I’ve searched for him for so long, entered into the womb of the Underworld and returned changed, not always prepared for what’s unfolded. In hindsight it’s helped in the process of shattering a restrictive carapace and unhealthy conditioning.

I look at the hoodie wearing God of the Dead and Transformations and call his name, ask for guidance and clarification. I ask to learn the songs of grief and unchaining as my journey progresses, I ask for the wisdom to recognise and acknowledge the lessons being bestowed, for myself and others. He takes me to the Saqqara, the necropolis of ancient Memphis in Egypt, a place he’s walked again and again in long distant times. The sun bleached sand and stone of its landscape still holds a sleeping power, resonating with echoes of the dead and curiosity of throngs of the living.

We watch the two worlds intermingle, their inhabitants pass by each other, sometimes catching glimpses of things that puzzle and induce longing. The centuries roll by before us, he’s seen it all. Time falls like a huge waterfall, drenching us in its spray. There’s only silence flowing around us, gleaming like water illuminated by the Sun. It stretches beyond the horizon. It’s the Silence of Knowing. A tool to break our shackles.

NeuPaddy, Pixabay

 

Honour My Name He Says: Lament for a Warrior

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Nietjuh , Pixabay

The fallen warrior gasps his last breath, entreats comrades to “honour my name, place rosemary upon my pyre in remembrance”

All stand in silence, remembering what had passed, what had unfolded, so did their tears fall like rain from the skies

On this day did the gods of their land bid one more sweet farewell, sing did they, tales of beginnings, and tales of heroic acts

Carry him do they to the funeral pyre, with torches of divine fire, set the heavens alight, open the gates to the narrow and silent path

So does the Guide open her arms, welcomes the departed from places of light and laughter, beyond these lands all is shadowed

All is devoid of sound, precious words buried deep in gloom

His honour guard line the way, carry forth his spirit, for they too are the beloved dead, enacting sacred rites, and offering beauteous prayers

The battle is ended and the war not far behind, how weary the warriors appear, eyes blazing with star fire, thoughts burdened with mourning, and hearts gripped by sadness

The deities of war scour the battlefield, gather souls caught between this world and the next, pour libations upon bloodsoaked earth, and offer up prayers

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MichaelGaida, Pixabay

The Guide appears, begins the lament for the fallen, honours their names, embraces her children, ushers them beyond the gates of the places of light and laughter, into places of silence, devoid of sound

Greater mysteries lie in these places of silence, devoid of sound, precious words buried deep in gloom

 

 

 

Whispers of the Heart: Is This Love?

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an_photos, Pixabay

Seraph’s fall into manifestation continues as does my journey with him. He, Amunet and Anubis form an important triad of universal forces. I place my feet in their footsteps, see through their eyes and feel the heartbeat within their chests. Amunet and Seraph were birthed into existence as a result of flash fiction challenges and have remained with me through various adventures. Anubis has always been with me. Their journeys are part of a greater project, this much I can see. This blog was started initially to record my musings about life and the Universe, as well as to generate ideas for bigger projects. I had no idea where it would either go or whether it would fizzle out after a while.

It’s becoming apparent to me that the main blog is coalescing into a few threads that form the matrix of a bigger web; one stretching into infinity. That’s how it feels. The search for meaning in an endless Universe can appear overwhelming, sometimes we touch sparks of star light that have a story to tell. All we can do is listen and record their tales.

On this occasion one such spark, named Seraph for convenience, has descended into human form for reasons that will become clearer further down the path. An angelic being, consisting of pure energy finds themselves inhabiting flesh and bone. What a dilemma! It’s not an easy state of being, force has been poured into a form and experiencing all its attendant problems. Imagine eons of feeling unfamiliar emotions and physical sensations. They’ve changed gender throughout many lifetimes. In this incarnation Seraph is female and this short excerpt shows her trying to cope with the realities of love and loss, bittersweet twin poles of human existence. Seraph turns to Amunet for solace. I’m not sure whether I’ve captured the true essence of this experience, but here goes:

Engin_Akyurt, Pixabay

Seraph:

Their life force pulses, ebbs and flows, finds your innermost places, whispers sweetly of worldly things, promises heaven. He touched my face with the gentlest of fingers, traced my lips in adoration, and looked at me with eyes brimming with light. I touched his heart, watched it take breath after breath, heard its whispers of longing, it called my name and I answered. Is this love Amunet? Arms held me within a such a grip, as if I was a treasure beyond compare. What could I do but respond and bury my face in his neck, draw in his scent, kiss his jaw. Skin to skin we lay on the grass, the stars being witness to entwining, heart to heart, soul to soul. I was lost, truly lost in these moments of love, of shared joy at being alive. My tears flowed, tasted of the Great Ocean of Life. Is this love Amunet?

Amunet:

My dear, dear Seraph, I can feel such pain in your words. Yes, it is love and much more. This is an integral part of their existence, of being human. It can bring with it utterly sublime experiences, filled with both tears and laughter. Let your sorrow bring healing, let it go my friend. You’ve been witness to eons upon eons of life cycles, seen the natural order of things, take the essence of such an experience and treasure it.

Seraph:

Yes, such has been my experience, never being drawn into the minutiae of life. Taking such sights and offering them to the Greater Consciousness. As for now, it was my choice to see their world. Their lives are played out on a stage filled with regrets, yearnings, greed, hatred, joy and love. Many wander the long road in search of meaning, in search of themselves. He came to me naked of pretence, filled my life with laughter, and enriched my knowledge of this unfamiliar world. I find it difficult to seek the words to describe how I truly feel at his loss. He became diminished, life essence bleeding away over time. Then one day, his heart no longer spoke to me, it whispered a song of departure. I listened, urged it to live. He went, left me. This is the sword hanging over all that are made of mortality. I know that, but it’s hard to accept.

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pixel2013, Pixabay

Amunet:

(Gently cradles Seraph in her arms and rocks her).

That’s it, let the tears flow. Capture these moments as memories frozen in time and space and place them in the Vaults of Remembrance my dear, dear Seraph. They will give you solace when the time comes to return to the stars, love is worth its weight in gold, forever incorruptible, remember that.

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rawpixel, Pixabay

 

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.

Encountering one’s own Tomb… From the Archaeodeath Blog

In Christianity, the empty tomb of Jesus is a powerful material witness to the Saviour’s resurrection: the absent body is a sign. Yet in fiction, how can you encounter one’s own tomb without miraculous resurrection? Eerie question. Uncanny… The stuff of horror movies, nightmares and visions? Maybe, it is about Frankenstein’s monster, about vampires, about zombies. Yet […]

via Encountering one’s own Tomb… — Archaeodeath

The Scent of Jasmine – #white flowers -flash fiction challenge

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Image: janeb13, Pixabay

The scent of jasmine pulled strongly on her memories, like a fishing net it scooped up the darting pieces of her past.

She peered intently at each and every bejewelled creature, for her memories were sentient and potent presences.

Piece by piece they rearranged themselves into mandalas of mystery, symbolic of lives lived with passion, lives lived in tear filled intensity.

She looked out over the landscape, now covered in a sea of white flowers. A blessing from the Old Ones for one of their own who had gone beyond the veil. She was now infinite wisdom and power.

December 21, 2017, Carrot Ranch Literary Community prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) include white flowers in your story. This is a repeat prompt, but one that has an ability to be emotive. Humor, drama, irony — go wherever the white flowers lead.

Respond by December 26, 2017 (Happy Boxing Day!) to be included in the compilation (published December 27). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

 

 

 

We Mourn Thee Mighty Thracian: Spirit of Remembrance

Many years have passed since the beautiful Thracian king and god ascendant graced the unknown bar hidden within the unnamed city. Orpheus ascended but did we have time to mourn him, to remember all that he was? We three, Spirits of Memory, Love and Dance performed our rituals but to what end? Someone important was missing, and She has come at last. The Spirit of Remembrance is the fourth element present in abundance within the Universe, there is one other, the Spirit of Divine Consciousness. Her time will come soon.

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Image: The Priestess John William Godward · 1895, Wikiart

Hail beloved sister! How your presence infuses our lives with serenity and meaning. You bring Rosemary for remembrance and purification for the mourning rites. How remiss of us to forget. Forgive us mighty Thracian. Dear sister Priestess we wait on your lead.

The Spirit of Remembrance begins the chant and we follow:

We rend our clothes and tear our hair, cry tears of salt and water bereft of blood. Hear our cries of pain and grief you beings of halls of silence and dread. Accept these offerings of Myrra, Mêkôn, Libanos, Helleboros and Daphnê in memory of Orpheus, our beloved King of Thrace. Green eyed god, vessel for divinity, and grief-stricken lover, who shall we minister to? Speak, break your silence and allow us to adore and pour salve upon flesh and spirit.

We four pour libations upon the ground and sprinkle incense upon ever-burning flames. Dread Persephone and Hades are petitioned, given sacrifice and prayers aplenty. We stand in a place not of time and of time, four faces gaze inwards, four faces gaze outwards. The space within lies empty, waiting another. So the chant begins anew:

We rend our clothes and tear our hair, cry tears of salt and water bereft of blood. Hear our cries of pain and grief you beings of halls of silence and dread. Accept these offerings of Myrra, Mêkôn, Libanos, Helleboros and Daphnê in memory of Orpheus, our beloved King of Thrace. Green eyed god, vessel for divinity, and grief-stricken lover, who shall we minister to? Speak, break your silence and allow us to adore and pour salve upon flesh and spirit.

A terrible silence descends, the emptiness hints at mysteries beyond all understanding. Then, it unfolds. His voice utters blessings, gives us solace. His form shimmers in the smoke, ah, green-eyed god how your beauty illuminates the darkness of the star filled heavens!

The power recedes and we are at peace once more. It is done, the mourning rites have been performed. Go in peace mighty Thracian.

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Image: photo credit: chiaralily Morgana via photopin (license)

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?

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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.

Ardent Suitor -Twittering Tales #60​ – 28 November 2017

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A Creative Commons Photo, Pixabay

My offering this week for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tales. Who are the pursued and the pursuer? Nothing is what it first appears to be…

Armand relished the hunt, it filled his dead heart with fire. She was a worthy prize in this dark netherworld. The carriage stopped as their tryst commenced. Black eyes gleamed with hunger and crimson lips parted to kiss his throat. Ivory fangs sank deep, accepting his sacrifice.

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