Approaching Thresholds

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ulleo, Pixabay

I haven’t posted in a while due to being ill with a horrible bout of flu. A week is a long time in politics and even longer in blogging. This lurgy deserves to have all manner of nasty things thrown at it. It’s rendered me unable to eat properly, coughing like I’ve been smoking for years (I’m a non-smoker) and very tired. Today is the first day I’ve felt able to function properly and it feels goodish.

I’m reserving judgement until the virus is dragged screaming from my system and thrown through whatever portal it came through. A tad dramatic admittedly, but when you’ve had a raging inferno inside you there is no other option but to use harsh language. It passes the time and occupies idle hands.

The day’s been mild and sunny, which has lifted my spirits. Although there was one minor blip on my horizon. Our kitchen door has a habit of sticking and it happened this afternoon. I’d left my phone in the living room and couldn’t climb out of the kitchen window (either I need to lose weight or the window needs checking for malfunction); a valiant and embarrassing effort was made though. I managed to free myself eventually.

I was seated at the kitchen table consulting the Oracle and wondered whether this was a test. You know, to see whether I was taking notice of the messages being conveyed. My divination skills are rather rusty and ripe for refining. Illness has a habit of focussing one’s thoughts and attention towards the inner. Living in a world filled with a cacophony of noise can render you almost deaf to important messages emanating from your subconscious. It can also blind you to things that need to be noticed, prevent you from seeing through illusions, of situations and people not being what they appear to be.

The Oracle from the Magician’s Tarot (Quareia), Jan Malique

It feels like there are many thresholds approaching. Thresholds are intriguing places, both in the waking and dream states. They’re places of transition and transformation, and in architecture are decorated appropriately to denote their significance. They signify the separation of the profane and sacred, and are assigned guardians to prevent the incursion of those not prepared for the experience to come. They are also places through which we pass from consciousness to subconsciousness, we thus descend into the Underworld if the Guardians permit us to.

Which brings to mind the descent of the goddess Ishtar into the Underworld. There is no way of avoiding this fate if we’re to gain one ounce of self-insight.

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5477687, Pixabay

The unravelling is necessary but its power must be restricted once the objective has been achieved, that is self-awareness and self-mastery. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be permitted access to the doors waiting further on the horizon until further trials and lessons are completed.

The threat of destruction (either real or symbolic) is heavily infused with ambivalence, it implies sacrifice and is part and parcel of the journey. The process brings fear but should not be allowed to overwhelm us. I’m not seeing things clearly and perhaps allowing the fear of whatever destruction implies, it isn’t always something negative.

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Dustytoes, Pixabay

I’m a different person to who I was a year ago, and a year before that, and beyond that. The passage of time has involved the shedding of old personas, much like a snake sheds its skin. Transitions and Thresholds have come and gone. Like the Shaman I need to face the invader (either physical or symbolic) within my system and ask why it’s there and what it wants. What lessons are to be gained from the interaction?

Self-awareness and self-mastery? For that I need to commune with the beings populating the inner landscape and my own self. I look to my ancestral line for answers to present day dilemmas and the gifts they’ve bequeathed (for good and bad). My healing will benefit them, for that is the greatest gift we can bestow upon them. It involves reintegration at the deepest level. A positive endeavour don’t you think?

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

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

If You Want To Start A Revolution, Start A Garden — Heathen Embers

This post may resonate with many people, its message is positive and empowering.

Forget protesting in the streets. The most revolutionary thing you can do is to plant a garden. Ideally a garden that nourishes all aspects of your being, not just your belly but your overall physical, mental and spiritual health. A garden is a place of many activities and benefits, but primarily it is a place […]

via If You Want To Start A Revolution, Start A Garden — Heathen Embers

“Trust” They Say: When Nature Speaks

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Image: Oak Tree, River Llugwy, Betws y Coed, Jan Malique

This post has been languishing on my computer for a while. There are have been numerous attempts at starting it, only to be discarded minutes later. I haven’t been in the mood to write much these past few weeks, due to a variety of reasons, illness being one. Health issues have been ongoing for months, draining my energy and enthusiasm. My doctor’s prescribed a whole variety of medicines to deal with gastro-intestinal problems, eliminating one cause after another. I’ve taken more medication in several months than in the past few years, and it isn’t really making me feel any better. Some symptoms have been alleviated, but long-term medication isn’t the way to go if there are other ways of resolving the issue. I don’t plan on increasing the profits of pharmaceutical companies if at all possible. An appointment has been arranged to see a specialist in several weeks time, let’s see what they say. That’s where I am at the moment. I’m not usually quite so open about personal issues in my posts but a time comes when it becomes necessary.

Change is Knocking on the Door

I know there are many other people experiencing stress and difficulties in their lives. There appears to be a mass of chaotic energy sweeping through the planet at this time, making people feel destabilised and fearful. It’s contagious and quite hard at times to shield yourself against. My challenge is to remain calm and not give in to provocation, and there’s plenty of it going on around me in both personal and professional spheres. Challenges serve to reveal the true nature of your spirit. Mine’s currently sitting in a chair with a warm blanket covering her knees, and thinking wtf is going on with the dysfunctional inmates around her. Apologies for my language but it needed to be said. My nature needs to be less judgmental admittedly, but rude behaviour is unnecessary and being such a “sensitive little soul” it pains me to the core.

It feels good to get that off my chest. All is not bad in the Shed though as there is light filtering through the rainy gloom and lighting up the shadows. I got up one morning a couple of weeks ago and aimed to have a good day. A weight lifted off my shoulders and Hope emerged to give a thumbs up. This was looking positive. The day went well. I finally admitted that a change of work environment was necessary, and steps needed to be taken to find positive people, experiences and opportunities. Change can be difficult but I implore you not to put up with crap if it’s taking a toll on health and wellbeing. Be true to yourself and your heart, self-sacrifice yields little in the way of either spiritual or material gain.

Who Answers?

So, the scene has been set for this strange little journey of mine. What comes next? The drama started in mid-September, we were en route to work and my partner was giving me a lift to the railway station. It was my first week back at work after our holiday and I wasn’t in the most enthusiastic of moods, just tired. My thoughts cried out to the greater Universe for clarity and guidance. An answer was needed, anything that would help me see through the fog of uncertainty. There was a distinct lack of trust in my ability to navigate the waters of life. Then the words “Trust” and “Duir” fell like pebbles into a pool. Duir is the Irish/Gaelic word for Oak (meaning door), a tree that has been revered for centuries by many cultures. Duir and Druid have their roots in the Sanskrit dru, meaning wood, tree and vid, meaning to know.

 The Oak Comes Forth

Those two words kept repeating in my head for a reason. Synchronicity dear readers, a word that appears when things are afoot, when guidance is being offered by otherworldly (or other) sources. We’d visited Betws y Coed in the Snowdonia National Park several weeks ago. Our walk took us along the banks of the River Llugwy. The majority of trees there were deciduous, with a large number of oak trees being present. Great numbers of acorns littered the footpath and river bank. The rocks and trees were also adorned in moss. The atmosphere was filled with a sense of ‘otherness’ and felt old.

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Image: Old Green Beard, Betws y Coed, David K Almond

I love trees and have always regarded them as wise and powerful sentient beings. Trees hold memories and knowledge of times past in their bodies, they’ve been revered as beings worthy of respect and considered great teachers. Numerous cultures speak of the World Tree existing at the centre of the cosmos, whose roots go deep into the underworld and canopy stretches into the heavens. So they are rather important entities, whose existence we depend on to oxygenate our atmosphere, create habitats for a huge number of species and also enrich our Souls and Spirit. Trees rock! For a former city kid my spirit is surprisingly receptive to the land and its spirit. Does that sound arrogant? Perhaps this is one of the meanings of Life, not to forget our deep and eternal relationship with Nature.

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Image: Tree of Life by William Morris, Jan Malique

As for the Oak tree, I can see why it came forward. Situations appear clearer with hindsight!

Oak appears in many places in our home, on the frame of a mirror, on furniture and our garden gate. There are oak trees across the road from us as well. The answer was all around me and I’d been too preoccupied to notice. What of some of the symbolism associated with this king of the forest?

Associations with Deities:

Arianrhod, Balder, Blodeuwedd, Brigid, Cerunnos, Cerridwen, Cybele, Dagda, Dryads, Herne, Indra, Janus, Jupiter, Jehovah, Llyr, Odin, Pan, Rhea, Taran, Thor, Vishnu, Zeus.

 Correspondences:

Planetary Ruler – Jupiter
Element of Fire
Male
Totem Bird – Wren, Eagle, Swallow, Woodpecker
Totem animal – Bull

Folk Lore

Associated with sky and thunder gods and deities of fertility and fire. The Oak is said to confer courage, health, inner strength and protection. The ancient Romans considered the tree to be the ancestor of humankind and the Arcadian Greeks thought of themselves as being Eggenoi Dryos (Sons of the Oak). Oak was associated with prophecy, a means by which gods communicated with their worshippers. Meetings were held under it and oak groves were places of ritual and worship.

Due to its deep roots the Oak can help with the good health of our feet in aiding stability, connecting to the solidity of the earth/Earth. It is thought to be one World Tree, connecting the three realms and a doorway into the Otherworld. Oak also represents the Lord of the Forest, in the glory of his strength, protection and virility. Oaks that had mistletoe growing on them were especially revered, as the berries were considered semen of the Sun God. In ancient times the plant was known as druad-lus (druid’s plant). It represented rebirth and peace,  with the ancient Celts refraining from battle when the mistletoes was being cut at the Solstice. The Druid’s god Esus was thought to reside in the tree.

As a physical doorway it is incredibly strong and resilient, and as a spiritual doorway it can give us access to primeval worlds. Places in which we can gather courage and strength to overcome adversity. The tree’s bark, leaves and acorns can be used to produce healing remedies to revitalise the physical and spiritual levels. As a Bach Flower remedy, Oak helps with despair, despondency and limitations of illness. It supports the person by helping them persevere and has a calming influence. It therefore has much to teach us.

There is much more connected with the Oak but that is something for me to explore in greater depth. This is only a brief overview of a vast subject concerning tree lore. The best way of experiencing the majesty and wisdom of trees is obviously in nature. I’m not a Druid, just someone who feels great affection for these mighty beings. I asked a question and it was answered in the most appropriate way regarding my circumstances. The next step is to buy the Oak Bach Flower remedy and start making a list of “to dos”.

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Image: Moss shrouded glade, Jan Malique

 

Journey from Death to Life by Elaine Mansfield

A powerful post on bereavement and healing by Elaine Mansfield, who lost her husband through cancer. This details her journey through loss and encounter with the mysterious  Green Man in dreams. A remarkable journey. I reblogged this in the hope that her words will be of help to others experiencing grief. It resonates strongly with me.

https://otvmagazine.com/2017/09/18/journey-from-death-to-life/

Dragon Charmer

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Image: Pixabay

My recent posts have been a brief respite from tackling the BIG issue in my life. Consorting with the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter has its downsides but they appear when needed. The job gets done and they watch from a safe distance at the resulting, mayhem. Mayhem and chaos are words I would also associate with the Greek god Dionysus, who is associated with the lifting of repression, inhibition, and release of desire. You need to approach him with care dear readers, his presence brings with it uncontrollable energies and impulses. Such energies serve to break down the façade of so called civilised behaviour and perception. Not always a bad thing if we are experiencing stagnation but keep Hermes nearby for damage limitation!

Now, what of this elusive BIG issue? If you look at some old maps there may be areas marked ‘here be dragonnes’. I’m currently in a place ‘where be dragonnes’, not always a comfortable place to be. They’ve been with me for a while it seems. We’ve fought on many occasions, with both parties drawing little blood. That is fortunate, no sense in these conflicts escalating into wars. I sense this will never be the case, the dragons agree. They come from a time when the world was an idea in the mind of creative forces. Being primordial and primeval in nature, bringing with them knowledge and memories of things power filled and mysterious. I don’t view them as being either evil or negative. They’re transformative symbols and the time is ripe to undergo change.

Instead of picking up either spear or sword, I decided to face them with a different mind-set. Why not charm them? One definitions of the word caught my attention:

“The power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others”.

(https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/charm)     

That’ll do nicely.

The sound of wings is already whispering in my ears. The outer armour is dropped but not my shield of Light; it would inappropriate to appear vulnerable so early in the proceedings. How does one proceed in the act of re-acquaintance/knowing with old friends, possible adversaries? Fear not dear readers I won’t descend into a florid, long-winded discourse, thought I’d take the route of a stream of consciousness. What needs to be said regarding these inhabitants of the psyche should be honest, plain and simple. If this resonates with you, please take a seat and try to enjoy the show.

The beat of their wings echoes the beat of my heart, one, two, three, four. The rhythm repeats, then pauses. Quite hypnotic. They’re approaching, cutting through the different levels, from sleep to knowing, then being. I pick up a helmet fashioned out of gold, with a dragon’s head carved on the top. Animal instinct transformed into Higher Knowledge. The ability to control that which is uncontrollable and carries immense power is therefore gifted to the wearer of such a helmet. It must be worn with honour and utmost integrity, if not, it burns with divine fire, obliterating all. My heartbeats get louder, as does the sound of their wings. One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four.

They approach from the West, accompanied by the great Angel of that place, Gabriel. Four in all, three moving into their respective places in the North (Uriel emerges), in the East (Raphael emerges) and in the South (Mikael emerges). Such shimmering colours reflect off their scales, irridescent and alive. I close my eyes and sense their presences, seeing with the inner sight that which can’t be seen with the outer sight. Truth isn’t always apparent to our everyday perception. The Universe has a heartbeat and it becomes louder. One, two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five.

From the North emerges Sandalphon and transforms into a dragon whose scales reflect colours of the earthly realm and more. Such power and beauty, yet, I am reminded not to fall prey to illusionary beliefs. Of course. Are words necessary? He circles me, a circle within a circle. There is a hint of something more contained within this winged being. The Ouroboros comes to mind, dragon biting its tail. A union of the chthonian and celestial principles, of light and dark, beginning and end, cyclical in nature. He approaches and inspects, scrutinises, evaluates. I raise my hand in greeting and stare him directly in the face. The fire of creation is in their eyes, as are the waters of the primordial ocean. “I am ready” I say. We dance as rivers of light. I’m not afraid to be who I really am, perceived shortcomings and all. Like who you are. The charmer achieves her aim as do the charmed. It works both ways. It is done and they withdraw. The work now begins, to be courageous and face the fear.

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Image: Pixabay

How Fares The King of the Wasteland?

Image: Pixabay

Lonely and embittered is the King of the Wasteland. Ruler over phantoms and of regrets, he sees little of worth including himself. How blind, how tragic.

I watch him tread the path well trodden. Deep are the furrows, in body, mind, and spirit. He perches on the precipice, unwilling to retreat. The breeze whispers, torments endlessly, carries the voices of those abandoned, those unloved.

We circle one another, my shield and sword at the ready. Strong is my resolve, harsh is my gaze. I shall not be cowed, shall stand my ground, shall challenge forthwith. Where is my compassion? Held in abeyance, held in Hope.

Be still and at peace I say to ruler of all and ruler of none. How his gaze falters, how his gaze darkens. The tears flow, they glint like diamonds. I say yield unto Love, yield unto Forgiveness. Will he listen? Will he speak?

Heal he must, rejoin the living. Discard hurt he must and notions of revenge, notions of anger. Free yourself, free the others. This I urge but will he listen? Battle he must the fears of his heart. Shadows past and shadows present stand in his path. They are but empty shells, dust filled memories.

He advances but I do not retreat, cannot retreat. How the wounded beast circles, aches to bite, aches to tear. His heart bleeds, his tears fall. Dare I wipe them away? Dare I soothe his heart? Both he and I must divest all that hinders, all that pains. Naked must we face the other, tread the path of freedom. How vulnerable we are, like newborn babies. Hush, hush the Mother whispers. She hears our cries and soothes our hurt.

At last the Sun rises, bringing Light into our Darkness. Yet the path goes on, beyond the horizon. Yet more we should divest, do so in the fullness of time. Gain illumination say our hearts, gain flight and freedom. Be at Peace one says to the other. Journey further, learn much. Part in humility, part in Love.

Image: Pixabay

Orpheus Ascended: Spirit of Memory

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Image: Pixabay

Deep in thought is the green eyed god, brow furrowed and eyes distant. Tormented by past, present and future. Orpheus knows not what path to follow, what choices to make. A decision must be made, his duty, not mine. He called us but denial stares back at us. How we delude ourselves when fate does not comply with our deepest most treasured desire. The same pattern, again and again. His heart still bleeds, still hurts, but wallowing in the swamp of misery and grief serves none. Eurydice is beyond our reach, descended into regions distant and unknowable. She has gained gnosis of a kind that the living cannot, should not be privy to until ready. My sisters and I are Physical Being, Soul and Spirit. The Trinity are we of your Soul oh humanity. The hidden Essence of your very existence. Continue reading

Sing to Me of Yearning and Loss: Spirit of Love

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Image: Pixabay

 “Sing to me of yearning and loss. Bring my heart to life. Let me feel the passion of her kiss and agony of her death” he commands. Yet, does he want to be reminded of his loss?

The musicians stare at the archaic god, one whose voice and musicianship have bowed even the heads of the infernal deities in Hades. Once his eyes bore the light of stars but now are touched with deep shadows that tell of ordeal and tribulation. Despite the kiss of deep sorrow he still bears an unearthly beauty. Mighty king of Thrace, blessed with gifts beyond measure to calm even the mightiest storm. How can they refuse such an honour? They are no strangers to the Orphic Mysteries and it is no accident great Orpheus has come upon this place. Continue reading