It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

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Image: Pixabay

10 Months ago

Shadowed Dreams

Apologies for not having anything in this post if you’ve either stumbled across my blog or were looking for this post. I somehow managed to lose the contents today of all days (Halloween…). It was my response to Bernadette’s (of Haddon Musings)  writing challenge, It was a dark and Stormy Night. The post was death related…

Today

My original story was never meant to see the light of day, I understand that now for a variety of reasons. It was a stark story of a woman searching her home town for familiar faces on a dark and stormy night, one that ended badly for her. The spirits were in no mood to be trifled with on that chilling night, even the incursion of this writer into their realm was unacceptable. Hence the disappearance of my offering into the aether. Okay, it sounds melodramatic but I’m just setting the mood. All I wanted to do was make a few amendments directly on the site, forgot to keep a copy of it elsewhere. Then it vanished. How green and inexperienced I was during the early days of blogging. Sigh.

Perhaps it’s time to revisit the storm lashed location for a final ending. The story has been tweaked a lot and shortened. Perhaps due to my mood at this time:

I want to go home but this damned weather is making it harder and harder. Only been gone one day but everything looks so different, like years have passed. This isn’t possible. I’m tired and hungry, it’s disorientation, that’s the only explanation. Don’t feel well, why the hell is my stomach churning so much, I’d only eaten yesterday? Concentrate. There’s the road and looks like a car approaching. Hello! Please stop, stop! He didn’t even see me, what the hell is wrong with people?

At least the road is clear into town. Should be able to get a lift, more people travelling in. So cold, not surprised as I’m soaked through. Need to keep my mind occupied, otherwise I’ll not make it like Vida didn’t that night. They sent search parties out for several days but no luck. I miss her so much. This isn’t helping. Thank god, I can see lights now. Got here quicker than I thought, not complaining though.

There’s someone at a window. Hey! Please open up, I need to get home. Hello, hello. Why isn’t she opening the door? What’s happened to the townspeople? It used to be such a friendly place. The place feels, different. I can feel their thoughts, so frightened and angry. Their heartbeats are loud and fast, throbbing endlessly. They cling on to life selfishly and waste it so easily. Vida thought this was the case, she saw beneath the surface of this town, saw its rotten core.

Wasting my time here. Not far to go now, I can see the old district. Home, I’m coming home. That’s it, just keep remembering that but it’s hard. There’s this deep, deep emptiness inside. It’s a dark place with the shadows hiding things that shouldn’t see the light of day. Ah maman, what am I going to say to you? That I’m only home for this last time, then the world awaits. Freedom, of a sort! The wolves are stirring in the mountains, how chilling their cries sound but I love it. Always have oddly enough. They’re moving quickly through the forest, hunting, one mind, one purpose. We’ve almost destroyed them in our fear and revulsion of what they represent. The heart and spirit of true wilderness, Nature in all her glory and mystery.

Agh! I’m so thirsty and my stomach’s griping badly. What’s happening to me? There’s Mathilde. I’m so tired, a few more steps. She’ll know what to do. Eh, what’s Bastien doing here, with her? So thirsty. Bastard, he always fancied her. Surprised? I wondered when I’d catch you two. You look shocked, why? Because you got caught.

“We buried you ten years ago. You’re dead Vida”

That’s it, run away you coward and leave her here. Stop screaming woman! So thirsty but then you’re going to make that go away Mathilde, aren’t you? Lovely, lovely veins. Such soft skin and ruby, ruby wine in those veins. Don’t struggle, that’s a dear.

Perhaps my original story was never meant to see the light of day.

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Tea With The Mad Hatter

Image: Pixabay

It’s been a while since the White Rabbit and I met up with his former cell mate the Mad Hatter. Sorry, I meant to say colleague, yes, that’s what I meant…My companion gives me a calm but deadly stare. There’s a faintly manic look in his eyes that makes me edge away slowly. You don’t mess with Fluffykins (my private name for the arch Trickster). I know that he knows that I know that he knows this most private of affectionate names. We choose to take the road of ignorance where this is concerned for very good reasons.

In this surreal group of ours, namely The Shedies, a little light humour is essential. Especially considering the past history of some of the members, and I include myself in this select number. You may not be aware of this but I love tea, most varieties except for Earl Grey. Never Earl Grey. Apologies for the outburst, it’s a subject I’m passionate about, as well as food history, food, cooking food, reading about it. Sigh. Where was I? Ah yes, tea with a certain tragic figure. Tragic? The Mad Hatter has a sad history. He was the toast of European society for centuries for one very good reason. The man’s skill in millinery was legendary. He lived hats, dreamt hats, and made hats. As for the sobriquet “Mad Hatter”, it pains me to go over that terrible incident.

Many cultures revere tea highly and rightly so. Its serving is couched in mystical ritual and ceremony, often elevating the senses to a state of oneness with the outer world. It can be used as a tool in meditation but that’s another story. Apologies for the digression but it does have a purpose in this tale of woe. The Mad Hatter invited us to a tea dance in a grand hotel in central London many years. White Rabbit, His Nibs (Anubis), Thoth, and I went ahead to the hotel, filled with excitement we were. My heart lifted as we neared the hallowed portals of the building, the smiling doorman ushered us in. We followed the soft refrain of a familiar tune, our feet eventually leading to the main ballroom. Sunlight showered through a glass dome that was the ceiling. The orchestra looked terribly elegant as did our fellow diners. Oh my, we spotted the Mad Hatter sitting at a large table to one side of the dance floor. What a rakish figure! The man was truly blessed with good looks, manners and grace. Admittedly his choice of garb was a little, florid and ostentatious. My heart still raced with admiration.

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Image: Pixabay

This scene was a nostalgic reminder of gentler times (obviously viewed through rose tinted lenses). Yet, I sensed a strange undercurrent running through this room. The more I looked, the more the scene appeared to fragment revealing hidden things. Things perhaps not meant to see the light of day. Such is the energy that accompanies our merry band of misfits and magicians. We perceive the world in ways not usual with many, on highways rarely travelled. Shadowed shapes moved soundlessly amongst those present, were they either living or dead? It was hard to tell. Occasionally a figure would stop and pour something into a tea pot. It looked like light and gold dust. Such was the effect of this act that our surroundings shimmered and briefly vanished. It was apparent that there was another world behind our current reality.

I peered further into this strange new world and could see earth walls and ceiling, with roots weaving through tunnels and a large chamber. Suddenly the words of the Cheshire Cat echoed through my mind:

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there”.

Yes, that made sense somehow.

The White Rabbit and His Nibs looked at me silently, whilst Thoth smiled that infuriatingly mysterious smile of his. I could smell the aroma of trickery and illusion in the air. The tension was broken as waiters served us with cakes and sandwiches. The Mad Hatter lifted the tea cup and breathed in the delicate scent of Oolong. He paused for a moment, a terrible look on his face. Was he grimacing? Suddenly a roar cascaded from his mouth, The tea was STEWED, quelle horreur! This was the last straw for the master milliner. He jumped and launched himself at the poor waiters serving at our table. A hand emerged from beneath the table and pulled me under. The White Rabbit rolled his eyes in despair. My other companions seemed to be enjoying themselves and just grinned at me.

I peered at the mayhem going on around us. There was a quality of madness about it. My intuition sensed powerful forces at work. “It’s Faerie magic” a voice whispered in my ear. His Nibs then laid a gentle hand on one of my ankles.  “Just in case” he muttered. Faerie magic. I felt an overwhelming urge to throw myself into the midst of the melee. Food fights seemed exciting and I always wanted to indulge in a spot of this particular mischief. His Nibs tightened his grip on my ankle at that moment. We could hear the Mad Hatter screaming at another diner. This doesn’t sound good. His voice was edged with hysteria. This was more than annoyance, what exactly did the Faerie folk put in his tea? Next thing hordes of police were pouring through the doors. We remained under the table, except for the White Rabbit. He, with the Mad Hatter were being dragged into one of numerous police vans. They didn’t worried, which was a little strange. I swear the Mad Hatter even winked at us.

Everyone “laid low” for several days. The White Rabbit and Mad Hatter were released after a couple of days, bail being put up by a mysterious benefactor, only known as “Queenie”. Hm. The Mad Hatter saw me briefly before going on an extended road trip. He kissed my cheek and then slipped a package in my hand. It was a box of tea, Assam in fact. All he said was, “treat it with respect”.

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Our band went separate ways for several years, only to meet up two/three years ago. My chance meeting with the White Rabbit in Llandudno recently was an omen of further shenanigans.

Fall from Grace: Diary of a Previously Unemployed Knife Thrower

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Image: Eve, John Collier, Wikiart

Saturday 5 August 2017

The look on Eve’s face is telling, or is that the artist projecting his own notions of shame against the Mother of all? Let’s face it, She was set up. There was a power struggle going on, the male priesthood and establishment need a scapegoat and she fitted the bill. Compared to the divine ancestor my situation is a mere gnat bite on the body of humanity. Okay, a slip of the hand and my assistant, the little anaemic sop… Let me correct that, he was anaemic by the time they took him into the ambulance. Accidents happen at work, why on earth they had to involve the Health & Safety people I don’t know. It’s an occupational hazard for anyone involved in the business. To be fair his threat of a lawsuit forced their hand.

Talking of accidents, that no-good, con artist of an agent got her comeuppance today. The zombies she was representing finally had enough of being ripped off and demanded a pound of flesh. In fact they got several pounds of the stuff, the police had a problem identifying her. Justice has been served with a bottle of Rioja!

Sunday 6 August 2017

Still can’t get that image of Eve out of my head. When I knew her She was like a star of the brightest light. Why did it go wrong? Humanity wasn’t meant to be mired in darkness and ignorance. As for the lie about using one of Adam’s ribs to create a companion, well, it leaves you a little speechless. Does that mean that if she was injured or happened to become existentially challenged. Wait, what do I mean? Anyway, if she died, would he die as well? To be honest the heart of humanity suffered great a grievous wound when they wrote the various Books. Bad PR folks, look what they did to Lilith and Mary Magdalene. Shame, shame and shame. I’m ashamed to be a man. To be honest the women are just as bad, maybe even worse. Makes you wonder what kind of deity/Higher Being/Cosmic Conscious they believe in. I’m Freud would have plenty to say about that, he wouldn’t have minced his words. He was a straight talking guy when I knew him.

I’ve been six months in this temp job now, the people are just as dysfunctional as I am. Fit right in. Hard though being cheerful, not in my nature to be a ray of sunshine. It’s been a challenge keeping my tongue quiet, been sorely tempted at times to tell some of those people what I really think of them. Humans can be so, needy and malicious. At least your average chthonian or solar deity would display such negative traits with a bit more style and aplomb. Persephone warned me about cutting back on the bitchiness. Do I listen to her? Not always alas. I miss Eve and Lilith.

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Image: Lilith with a Snake, John Collier, Wikiart

Monday 7 August 2017

These thoughts about our lost Paradise are making me maudlin. Well, Paradise hasn’t been lost exactly. It’s just that humanity is on an attachment this material plane of manifestation for a while and will return to HQ when it’s been completed. Although I don’t think humanity quite understands the work that’s involved in working from the Divine Blueprint. That doesn’t apply to all the work experience people though, many actually get the concept of Free Will. I’m making it sound like a huge corporate nightmare, perish the thought! It’s more like a centre of learning/temple without walls or boundaries. That’s the best I can do. That reality is hard to describe, even though I’ve visited many times. The supervisors are numerous and often hard task masters, or that’s how it appears to human perception. I think humans know them as angels, archangels, etc. Just realised, I keep referring to ‘humans’. I’m, no, I used to be human. Not sure what I am now, not undead, not either living or even dead. It’s a strange existence, I straddle several worlds. Makes your thighs ache like mad! Heh, heh. I thought it was funny.

Tuesday 8 August 2017

Angels. Now that’s a subject I could go on about for hours but won’t in deference to them. They’ve been viewed variously as benevolent and sinister. Depends on which side of the divide you stand, the Abyss can be a nasty place to fall into. I’ve peered in and it isn’t somewhere you take the family for a night out. The ones known as the Fallen have been viewed with fear and more. There’s been so much misinformation bandied about them, some of it deliberate. The great ‘War in Heaven’…What was that about? Did we ever stop to think what was really going on there? Nothing, nothing, ever happens just by chance. Humanity has a destiny to fulfil but has managed to get side-tracked many times, not easy I suppose maintaining a balance between their twin natures. Hard having the both in one body can be problematic. Sandalphon ensures I get to hear all the latest news. We have a chat when it’s quiet and when I can bother to get out of ‘grumpy immortal git’ mode. I should open up to them a bit more but it’s centuries of conditioning I need to discard before reaching the inner, sensitive man.

Wednesday 9 August 2017

I’ve been getting to the urge to slap one of the team across the face with rotting fish. Swear I saw his eyes turn black momentarily and an aroma of sulphur follow him out of the room. He’s a wiry individual with a spiteful streak. He reminds me of one of the demons I came across when wandering the wasteland many years ago. Now that was the perfect place for some of the not so friendly Fallen. Gross material matter has a tendency to change things in unexpected ways. No laughing matter, I’ve seen the effects on so many that came through the planes of manifestation we know of, also the innumerable ones we don’t. Humans need to keep their boundaries more secure, by that I mean not allow any ‘walk ins’ to get a foothold. They allow fear to cause breaches in their protective shells, letting in things that are quite nasty.

Thursday 10 August 2017

This diary’s beginning to go places I don’t want to. Probably because of the hovel I’m currently inhabiting. The landlady advertised it as a ‘jewel of an apartment in a desirable central location’. It’s next to a recycling plant and built over a doorway into the infernal regions. Sounds funny written down but I’m not laughing. Even the cockroaches and silverfish had thrown in the towel and left en masse. They begged me to leave with them but I couldn’t afford anything better. Anyway, they left me a phone number of a good estate agent (think I just saw a pig fly past my window) just in case I changed my mind.

The landlady gives me the creeps and I spent several decades as assistant to a Necromancer in Tartarus. They were the worst years of employment imaginable. Something about her makes my skin crawl, although the plastic surgery has rectified that issue. I don’t look a day older than 670. My skin looks luminous (that might be the accidental exposure to radiation) and you can bounce a rubber ball off my toned posterior. Where was I? Yessssssssssss, my landlady. I’m not sure what else she does apart from instil a terrible feeling of dread in the soul. She’s never around during the day and as soon as twilight approaches her door creaks open to reveal…I can’t even write what she looks like because I can’t remember. Strange that. I have a theory about what she could be but uttering it aloud and even writing it down could cause a terrible tear in the fabric of the Universe. Sandalphon and even Mikael dropped hints about her true nature but I was rather preoccupied with other matters.

Friday 11 August 2017

I managed to corner Sandalphon and Mikael this morning. They were a little reticent about the matter. I think they were trying to be polite, kind even about my lack of awareness. They don’t view reality as humans do, and human emotions are quite alien to their kind but many have chosen to work with humanity. In order to help them achieve wholeness and evolve; to become divine beings once again and bring back knowledge of the material world to the Source and angelic hierarchy. Anyway, I digress. I was quite shocked at their revelation. Bad luck seems to follow me round like a hungry dog.

The house is built over part of the Abyss and the landlady is a ruler over one of its levels. I’m cursed, that’s the only explanation. Mikael gently commented that I was quite right about the curse. Coming from this archangel it is doubly wounding. Well, at least he’s on my side. I’ve upset many in my long and illustrious career, so it could be anyone. Mikael waited patiently for me to run through the suspects. Four hours and 42 cups of coffee later I remembered who it was, who cursed me that is. The ancient Egyptian serpent Apep. I recall trapping his tail in one of the gates in the Underworld. I wasn’t meant to be there at the time but wandered in through the wrong doorway. Set was about to spear Apep when I interrupted them. Well, you can imagine their annoyance. My brief sojourn in the Underworld didn’t go well. That Apep has one foul mouth on him! I need to get a hobby. Roll on the weekend…

We Are in the Place Between

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What is this place between? A state of mind or a state of being? One stands yearning, the other spurning. The space between is heavy with meaning.

Matter looks on, eyes blazing, heart beating. Spirit responds, utters softly, remonstrating.

He breathes on skin, fingers trailing. Her eyes close, senses flaming. She reminds of unions past, of times of ecstacy and of pain. Hands cup face and lips seek lips. What is unfolding?

He is Sun and She is Moon. Reflecting and absorbing. Spirit infuses Matter, shapes and moulds, gives love freely.

Human and Divine co-mingling, Spirit and Matter re-uniting, seeking fulfilment and illumination.

They are in the place between. A space withdrawn, held in abeyance. Filled with possibilities, touched with oracular truth, touched with starlight. Touched with Love.

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

Smokescreen

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photo credit: BellaGaia BARE HONESTY via photopin (license)

Roshanak is her name, meaning in Persian one who is a luminous beauty, a shining star or light. Fitting in all ways, do not be deceived by her outer garb, that would be foolish and ultimately defeating. Serene and bearing knowledge of things found only off the beaten path. She assesses and keeps her counsel, for we are not privy to such secrets. Master of the hidden aspects of this life, Master of the keys to fulfilment and oblivion. The choice is yours. Harsh as that may sound it is all that is open to us, or so she likes to tell. Silence is her domain but only if you desire it so. She waits for you to ask, seek, and search. She is a smokescreen the unseen throws in your path. Fear her not, she is not what she appears to be.

 The space around the enigma is, seemingly empty, yet pregnant with meaning. We seek such guides and teachers, hoping for clarity, yearning for self – knowledge. Roshanak emerges at the moment of transformation, offering choices not easy to accept. Continue reading

Realm of Shadow and Sighs: Chapter 9 – a tale from my other blog

Dispatches from the Hinterland

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‘Deep breasted Ge, how exalted are thee above all.’ The words still echo in my mind. We stood in the holy of holies offering our service and fidelity to this most ancient of beings, Creatrix, Destroyer and one of the protogenoi (primordial ones). I was someone else then, not gone but slumbering. Waiting to be called once more. What sights I have seen and experienced as to render me almost speechless. My life story may appear rather bizarre at times. From priestess, healer, Sumerian alchemist and now storyteller. There are more but those lives are not yet ready to be revealed. It is the same for the path to the mysterious ancient Egyptian god Anpu. The Opener teases me mercilessly it seems. My senses are unsettled after witnessing the death of that star. I’ve watched many pass through the gates of death but still my heart feels their…

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Cosmic Fire

May your eyes go to the sun, your life’s breath to the wind. Go to the sky or to earth, as is your nature; or go to the waters, if that is your fate. Take root in the plants with your limbs.
Death, v 3, The Rig Veda

I stare at Unut, She who was once Snake is now Hare. It seems my totem animal is still with me after all these years; remaining not visible yet very much present. Returning to the point of origin has its drawbacks. It raises unsettling questions within the mind as thoughts of life and death walk past. Djehuty intended us to meet and I now understand why. This story is important for me and must be savoured at leisure. As so many have reiterated, life and death are cyclical in nature. Accepting our mortality and that of loved ones can be a truly difficult fact to accept. The notion of impermanence has been debated at great length throughout the ages. This is not set to change soon. Existence is in continual flux, ebbing and flowing like waves upon the seashore. Humanity and perhaps even the ancient ones must find the path back to equilibrium and acceptance. Is it heresy to make mention of this? I sense we have lost our way a little.

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Image: Pinterest

The Hare Goddess remains silent, an unreadable expression on her face. She asks whether this is what is really bothering me. I shake my head and mutter ‘stasis.’ Contrary to appearances I am not one who is unable to face the greater issues of existence. Certain changes have occurred recently, ones initiating much inner turmoil. Witnessing the creation of Life and the Universe takes its toll. Being in such close proximity to the Eight has changed me. The Self is currently in its death throes, holding on to concepts rather than people. The time has come for the old to die and rebirth to occur. My grip is tight, unable to let go. She touches my hands gently; warmth and reassurance flow from her. One by one she unfurls my fingers until what remains are open hands. Shadows flow from them; it is the remnants of who I once was.

Unut leads me beyond the boundaries of Khmunu and into a different reality. Words are unnecessary at this point. We are standing before a gigantic star. It is dying and has been in death throes for millions of years. I am mesmerised, my mind feels the depth of its sadness and pain. Being an Empath can be a burden. The star’s heart breathes in and out, its life force flowing outwards towards oblivion. We are here to stand vigil over the dying, to ease its passing. There are others who join us, encircling the giant. Rhiannon stands beside me, as does Inanna on the other side. The star is kin to us all as we are made of stardust. We grieve for them as appropriate and perform ancient ancestral rites for their transition. Cosmic Fire fills my sight once more; it pierces the veils between the worlds. The heart of the giant beats slowly and sonorously; now and again it becomes irregular in rhythm. Hardened has it become and intense in heat now. We offer them love and our silence. Time and space shift and shift again. The star’s flesh falls away and its heart is exposed, appearing vulnerable and fragile. Its life force begins to glow brighter, becoming incandescent.

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Image: Pixabay

A song of sorrow echoes throughout space, spiralling around us. We mourn, we mourn for a soul that is passing beyond the gates of existence. The star recounts its journey from birth to now; its voice faint but filled with unexpected hope. Existence for them can be counted in billions of years. We are but a tiny speck in the great sea of time! I ask them for a name, they whisper it and wait for my answer. I offer them a blessing from the depths of my heart. Their light fades gradually, finally extinguished but not destroyed. Its atoms have dispersed awaiting rebirth. I can sense the essence of the star, it feels vital and incandescent in the darkness of the Void. Unut raises her hands in blessing and draws a veil across the waiting life potential.

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Image: Pixabay

We stare across the expanse of the heavens. The song of many echoes throughout the vastness. Their tales are ones I shall value much. It will be an honour to keep them safe for all eternity. The Imperishable Stars have much to teach us, but it is not my place to reveal such stories now. Not due to vows of secrecy but because I do not truly understand. The Hare Goddess tells me that they shall speak to me in my dreams. ‘Take heed’ she says. Indeed I shall.

(For the rest of the Storyteller’s journey please see my other blog Dispatches from the Hinterland).