Which Way Now?

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geralt, Pixabay

It’s been a hard ride trying to keep afloat on the surfboard of life. Inspiration’s been slow, as has bravery and the will to initiate change. Sometimes the Universe gets fed up and pushes you in the path of oncoming “traffic”, I’m currently peeling myself off the tarmac. This situation is eerily like the last time I wandered across a road and (metaphorically) ended up as road kill, food for crows. I also get a sense, no, it’s more concrete, of a lot of my readers losing interest in recent posts. Fair enough, the odd paths they were going down were making them a little indigestible. It happens. You could say it echoed a clearing out of psychic, emotional and physical debris. Put it plainly, the crap needed clearing. I can empathise with Herakles when he had to clean out the Augean stables (it was his Fifth labour), what a lot of manure to clear! So, you can see the dilemma I found myself facing.

I’m still feeling tired due to vestiges of the flu hanging on; and trying to be patient and less judgemental in my attitude towards people who bear me no good. Not an easy business trying to sift through negative projections (from both sides). It’s a work thing everyone, I don’t like games and certainly don’t care if I don’t fit people’s perceptions of who I should be.  It’s frustrating, nevertheless things have to be put into perspective. Far worse may be happening elsewhere.

Anyway, like the Roman god Janus I’m facing both past and future, but seemingly forgetting the present. It’s so easy to forget to live in the present, wishing desperately for the future to manifest now. Always running to get to that horizon, only to find that the moment has passed and the future is past.  What a revelation! A bummer eh?

Which way now? I’m planning to self publish a few of my flash fiction efforts, that’s a short term goal. It will require liaising with a couple of fellow bloggers who are happy to help me with this new venture. Something to look forward to. I’m starting to feel better already.

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RobinHiggins, Pixabay

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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?

Pause for Breath

StockSnap, Pixabay

My last post may have sounded doom filled and steeped in angst. It wasn’t meant to be. The posts that are most personal and intimate (emotionally) emerge when the inner world responds like a boat’s sail to winds bringing change and guidance. They herald moments of introspection and the need for silence.

My Muse, Anubis, tends to choose such moments to offer words of wisdom. You have to understand the interaction isn’t purely a creative device; it’s a glimpse into worlds a Seeker after Wisdom and Self-Insight finds themselves travelling. Legions of such Seekers, from all spiritual traditions and none, have undertaken journeys that have profoundly changed them and their perception of this world.

For some people the journey never ends as they search for elusive truths and answers. They place one foot after the other and walk through doorway after doorway. The Universe offers them a glimpse of a world that has suddenly become unfamiliar. It has always been the same but our perception of it has changed.

StockSnap, Pixabay

We become perplexed and doubt the validity of reality, doubt our ability to function without the illusion of a stable Universe. The truth is it’s never been stable, it’s in constant flux, shaped by our thoughts, actions and speech.  During moments of quiet we can hear the inner voice speaking its truth and engaging in dialogue, dialogue that is usually drowned out by the noise of our lives.

It appears many people can’t bear silence, makes you wonder what they’re fearful of hearing when the noise stops.

Pause for breath and listen to what the inner voice has to say.

The link is to a lovely piece of music evoking the beauty and grandeur of nature. It may help in your moments of pausing.

http://player.lemonadebox.com/kkbtwz
“Tundra” by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo (lyrics by Charles Anthony Silverstein)

The High Priestess — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

I find myself in another creative rut, one filled with questions and vision obscured by mist. The oracles have been sporadically  active through the written word, but there has been something missing. Until today. When the High Priestess speaks it is time to listen.

Daily Angel Oracle Card: The High Priestess, from the Shadowscapes Oracle Card deck, by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law, artwork by Barbara Moore The High Priestess: “The The High Priestess opens herself to the sky. She basks in the radiance the stars cast upon her upturned cheeks. She soaks in that tremulous, incandescent light, feeling it glow […]

via The High Priestess — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

A Pox on All Spammers

Image: James_Jester, Pixabay

It appears one of my posts has been favoured by a select group of spammers. They’ ve been lavishing fragrant words of flattery and guile on it for months. Elusive is the post in question, and Elusive it’s going to be as I’ve deleted it now.

I’m sure His Nibs will be amused at the turn of events. One lot of spammers appear to indulge in nonsensical prose and the others, they’re linked to various porn sites. Quelle horreur! My delicate nature was terribly shocked, I had to resort to tea and cake to calm down. Perhaps I’m being naive, an innocent journeying through unsafe waters filled with all manner of sea monsters. To be honest I’ve been quite lucky with responses to my posts. So what am I complaining for?

This issue is irritating, like a banal pop tune stuck in your mind. Or a runny nose and unproductive cough. His Nibs is shaking his head in despair, it appears I’m enjoying complaining.  How rude! What is the world coming to when you can’t even moan in your own Shed. He gives me a look that speaks volumes in several known and unknown languages. Wrong move on my part…

I’ve not had much time to concentrate on developing the blog due to longstanding commitments. My recent wanderings have given me sore feet and precipitated a certain ennui deep within the spirit. Perhaps it’s due to the separation from familiar friends, Anubis, and the troublesome Hare (yes, I’m talking about you, you tea drinking fiend). Perhaps it’s due to being caught in a rut, of going over familiar ground over and over again. So much so that I’m stuck in mud up to my ankles.

The inner creative landscape has shifted profoundly, ebbing and flowing. At times emerging scorched from the rays of an ever-growing sun. One evolving into a giant, ready to go supernova. Then the greening of this landscape began at the close of last year. I finally managed to clean the dust off many projects, vowing to get back on my spiritual quests. Too many distractions caused me to lose focus. Have they taught me anything? Much. The Hero engaged upon the greatest quest of their life often suffers doubt, lack of faith and despair. Their inner resolve is prey to dangers lurking on the path, which can seem terribly lonely and lacking light in many ways.

What does this have to do with my spammers? Not much, except to release the words that have been dammed for so long. My musings had become a mystery to even to me.

His Nibs smiles beguilingly, we have an important appointment approaching. So you’ll have to excuse me. The Shed is due for redecoration and I have to contemplate my navel and ponder on the meaning of Lif. Or fight dragons, but as I like dragons this isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Emulating Banksy: My Life On A Wall

Bull rhyton, bought from a favourite shop in London, , ©Jan Malique 2018

I haven’t taken up graffiting but look to Banksy for inspiration on this occasion. The anonymous graffiti artist, political activist and film director has attracted controversy, criticism and praise in the pursuit of his art form. Some may view his activities as vandalism, others as an important commentary on the socio-political life of this world. I leave that up to you. What of my efforts?

I photographed a number of personal objects and applied a photographic effect, funnily enough called Banksy from the Superphoto app. Loved the results. It was a surreal experience seeing much-loved associations take on new nuances.

Imagine walking down familiar streets day in day out, absorbed in your thoughts, focussed on getting to your destination, bored, happy, sad, angry. Then one day you emerge from your cocoon to find startling images on the walls in your neighbourhood. They look familiar, in fact they’re aspects of your life. Snapshots placed in a huge scrapbook that’s the world of sense and imagination.

You stop and stare, wonder who created these intriguing images and for what purpose. They look back at you and say “you’re the canvas we’re painted on”.

You may notice a lack of people in these images, that’s because I want to preserve their privacy. Although there is one image showing myself, a cousin and siblings on a visit to London Zoo. It captures a happy moment in our lives and is therefore treasured. Books feature for many reasons…

Anubis stauette, what can I say that hasn’t been said?, ©Jan Malique 2018

Buddha statuette, a present from a former colleague who bought it in Thailand and had it blessed by a monk, ©Jan Malique 2018

Ptah pendant, one of my most valued possessions, as he is my main ‘man’,©Jan Malique 2018

Cookery books, encapsulating life, hospitality and warmth, ©Jan Malique 2018

A childhood memory, visiting London Zoo, ©Jan Malique 2018

A favourite book, uplifting and profound, ©Jan Malique 2018

Passion for Gardening, and source of healing,©Jan Malique 2018

Alchemy and Mysticism, a journey of twin paths, ©Jan Malique 2018

Another favourite book by Jeremy Naydler, and a focus of my studies,©Jan Malique 2018

Carl Kerenyi’s classic of things hidden and transcendent, ©Jan Malique 2018

A treasured find, and a mystery still unravelling,©Jan Malique 2018

Entrance to Bryn Celli Ddu, neolithic burial chamber on Anglesey, a portal between worlds,©Jan Malique

Shiva Nataraja (Lord of the Dance), heartbeat of the Universe,©Jan Malique

A great passion: Tango, ©Jan Malique

A great passion: Flamenco, ©Jan Malique

 

The Book of Things Unfolding

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Image: photo credit: Deseronto Archives Nealon cover via photopin (license)

My character Seraph has appeared in other posts with Amunet the Alchemist and this is another glimpse into his mysterious life. He serves, much like Amunet, to voice questions about the nature of humanity. Seraph is an angelic being who has willingly taken on human form in order to understand the material world. He and the Alchemist have descended into matter to further their investigations, you could say they’re echoes of the original fall from spirit into manifestation. The notion of separation from a Universal Consciousness has been explored by many throughout the ages. I’m attempting to carry on this noble past-time. This story wasn’t meant to be about Seraph initially but as I typed the last word his name tumbled into my mind. Almost like a notebook falling off a shelf into our hands, urging us to turn its pages.

The notebook contains scraps of his life, blurred images, and moments caught in time. Its covers match the weather-beaten essence of his spirit, resilient and enduring. The leather feels rough beneath his fingers, it speaks of histories lived in turbulence and times serene. Dare he open this storehouse of images? They murmur softly, urging him on, eager to glimpse his face once more. They and he are entwined in intimate embrace, dancing to a hidden tune, living as Clotho spins, as Laches dispenses and Atropos severs. The Three Fates ordain and he enacts. His nature is eternal and his flesh ephemeral.

What is he? Who is he? These are the questions legions ask. He answers but they serve only to perplex.

“I am you, in all your perceived failings, sorrows and triumphs. My tears fall like raindrops thundering from the heavens, serving as both watery grave and fount of purification. Constantly searching for meaning in a Universe whose answers only lead to more questions.”

So he speaks and then fall into silence. Always silence, for it gives consolation and houses the temple within which the One waits. He enters this vast landscape and peers at the immensity of existence. The One surveys the Two, unfolds yet another piece of the puzzle. The Light illuminates the Two’s darkness and cobweb shrouded essence. Riddles, always riddles. The notebook invites further exploration. His fingers hold one page delicately as if it is a tiny bird, the breath issues like the song of angels. Like his song, sung so long ago when life barely existed. The page is turned and images of shade and light gaze up at him. Memories of things mundane, of people known and not known. Of myths that were once realities, their meaning now forgotten save by the few.

Once again he speaks:

“They are memories of raw pain, loss and regret. Of persecution and salvation. Of trusting in vain and of having trust fulfilled. Of hope and joy. Of illumination and wisdom. Of poverty and loneliness. They flare like dying stars and then withdraw into the darkness of the Primal Womb. I refused to let go of them, held on like a child to its parent, my actions serving no one. Is this what it means to be human? How contrary and poignant are such lives. My dual nature is at odds, one divine and immortal, the other moulded from flesh, blood, and bone, its life all too brief.”

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Image: photo credit: Marco Ascrizzi P1040437 via photopin (license)

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Image: photo credit: Giuseppe Milo (www.pixael.com) The pianist – Isernia, Italy – Black and white photography via photopin (license)

He closes his eyes for a moment. A light breeze caresses his face, loving and gentle in its touch. A multitude of voices fall from the pages of the book, his Book of Life. They cajole and encourage, the journey is to continue. His blazing eyes gaze out over the multitude of stars, finally alighting on the immensity of the Sun. It ebbs and flows, the breath creating as well as destroying. They gaze at each other across the expanse, understanding without language. The hidden hand writes and the revealed mind surrenders.

He speaks again:

“This is my life as Seraph, my autobiography if you must. One day I shall surrender it to your flames, waiting on transformation, of disrobing my humanity and bathing the Universe in Light eternal. I shall return to my beginnings, you know what I speak of.”

The regent of the Cosmos understands all too well the implications of this ending and the emergence of a new beginning. For now Seraph must journey further to meet the Oracle of Blood, Bone and Spirit.

 

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Image: Priestess of Delphi, John Collier, 1891, Wikiart

 Anubis Commands

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Image: TobiasBisander, Pixabay

On Saturday 18 November 2017 I was ordained as a Minister with the Sacred Rites Foundation. Sounds strange saying it but it’s been a long time coming. I have neither changed my spiritual preferences nor path in case you were wondering. It will involve inter-faith work, which is the way it should be. The decision to go down this route has given me a good “kick up the bum” as I’ve been in procrastination mode for quite a while. His Nibs had a hand in this issue, one way of telling me to get on with it! He can be a hard taskmaster when the occasion calls for it, a bit of a softy really when you get to know him. Don’t tell anyone else will you? There’s a lot to think about and many projects to complete. I’m at a crossroads again but know what road to take. The question is whether I’ll be disciplined enough this time and follow through on the path that lies before me. Why so mysterious?

His Nibs appeared in my mind’s eye a couple of weeks ago, I was wiping his face and hands to reveal gold beneath the black. His colours are black and gold, of corruption of the flesh, and disintegration of matter and spirit. This isn’t the end though, for the gold heralds transformation and transmutation. A profound alchemy occurs on deep levels of the psyche. This image surprised and puzzled me for ages.

I’d been waiting for a sign, anything to give me an indication that the constant barrage of crap coming my way was ceasing. It seems my prayers are being answered. Things have been falling into place, loose ends are being tidied and clarity of mind slowly re-surfacing. The physical ills are being dealt with but I need answers soon. There’s important work to be done in 2018 as obstacles are being cleared from my path. He tells me “no excuse now to procrastinate.”  Again I return to the black and gold, trying to understand that which is filled with paradox and truth. The process isn’t easy to understand, you can see my dilemma.

He gazes at me silently, expecting an answer. All I say is “how may I serve?”

“The right answer” is his reply.

I told you he could be a hard taskmaster. Don’t mess with the Opener. Unfortunately he spoils the, er, hard man persona by winking cheekily at me. I wink back but it looks like I have a nervous tic. Ah well.

Black and gold are his colours, revealing and obscuring the true nature of Being and Consciousness, revealing and obscuring the true nature of godhead and humanity, revealing and obscuring the true nature of death and resurrection. This paradox will be revisited in my next post as I need to dig deep beneath the vision of the emerging golden Anubis. This aspect of the god is one I’m not familiar with. Understandable as I’ve lingered in the place of disintegration for too long, held on to things that haven’t served me well.

Image: Jan Malique