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

Possibilities

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Image: Pixabay

I was speaking with a friend of mine earlier this afternoon, we’d known each other from the age of 12 years. It’s been a long friendship, both of us are now (mutters incomprehensibly). Perhaps our ages aren’t so important eh? There have been several job changes, illnesses, bereavements and relocation of homes. Let’s just say it’s been a full and interesting journey for both of us. Our childhood ambitions were and still are creative endeavours; alas this was not to be and we ended up in different professions. Both of us are at another crossroads in our lives, considering a variety of options and assessing the possibilities. 

Possibilities. A word worth its weight in gold. Much like Hope, it can sustain us when all appears bleak on the horizon. Our youthful selves were fired with energy and great expectations. As adults our experiences have tempered those expectations, that’s only natural. Hindsight is a great teacher, realistic but not unkind.

My younger self believed she could make a difference and create a better world for all of us. I passionately believed in justice, fairness, tolerance and equality. Still do. I’m going to come out of the wardrobe, fall out of it more correctly and admit to being a Socialist. Still am at heart but its nuances have changed slightly but not its heart. I’ll go to my cremation as one. Protest marches were a staple for me – against apartheid, racism, erosion of employment rights, sexism, etc.  I’d grown up in a culturally diverse part of London, attended a primary school in Soho that had children from many different ethnicities. Secondary school was a little different but still great.

That’s not to say there weren’t tensions in society. London at the time was a place of political and social turmoil. Nothing has changed! The 1970s, 80’s and 90s saw profound upheavals, many necessary. Additionally the activities of Far Right groups like the National Front (and other more extreme groups) created an atmosphere filled with violence, fear and tension. It seems humanity’s atavistic tendencies are once again rising to the fore. The gates of the Underworld have been loosed and the inmates are on the rampage dear friends. One hopes they’ll be dragged back to their cells soon.

Culturally it was an exciting time from what I remember, well, it was neither boring nor safe in terms of output. I do get nostalgic at times for the spirit of those times, more due to the people who I’d known and met. Each one of us has a different perception of that era.

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Image: Pixabay

As for this entity called Possibilities. His Nibs (Anubis) advises that I should network and when am I going to book in a meeting with it. I reply ‘soon’ and look away furtively. He lays a hand on my shoulder and squeezes. Oh boy, the Opener of the Way knows me so well. ‘Check your calendars’ he says firmly. It seems I’ve been too long in the company of certain rogues and low life, namely Procrastination, Fear, Ill health, Being Unfit (call me Cuddles) and the two worst of all, Inertia and Lack of Confidence.

He looks at me for, oh, ages. There is only kindness and sympathy in his eyes. I smile at him in thanks. My spirit needs re-energising. Writing contributes to a sense of great well-being and this blog is a blessing as are spiritual studies/training. I serve both Anubis and Thoth in spirit and reality, the power that is Ptah is never far away. What I don’t serve are other people’s unrealistic expectations of me and the beast of ‘living to work’. Although the latter does have me in a headlock. A bummer as they say.

Back to scheduling this meeting. His Nibs has passed me a list of ‘To Do’s and admitted they were only reminders as I knew what needed to be done. I scrutinise it, fair enough. Clear and simple objectives, the fine detail will require work. Not a problem. To travel between the different planes of consciousness one has to be fit in more than body. Mine needs a little maintenance admittedly but the mind, even if I say so, is resilient. It can be a little wayward, stubborn and undisciplined at times but still manages to survive adversity.

To travel through the landscape of the Collective Unconsciousness requires foolhardiness, a level head, resilience, self-insight and trust in oneself. Many falter, deceived by manifestations of their own Shadow and human longing. We also have to acquaint ourselves with the lexicon of symbols needed to engage and converse with the inhabitants of this other Universe. A guidebook of phrases and possibilities you might say. Keep your wits about you at all times, for the soul and mind can be seduced by all manner of suitors and enemies.

Most important of all, a Guide is vital. So far I haven’t upset His Nibs (and hope I don’t).

“I’m not going anywhere, if I do there will always be another one of us with you. Even if your angelic friends want to come along” he mutters interrupting my thoughts. I’m vastly relieved and don’t think it’s wishful thinking. “Have Trust” he loudly responds. Of course. The vista opens up before us. We sit down and take our time looking at the strange sights appearing out of nothingness. Images from my life, one after the other. Regret, unhappiness, happiness, anger, loss, fear, manipulation, capitulation, success, failure, hate, love.

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Image: SURREALISMART.ORG

I also see the ancestors amongst these many aspects of myself. We all need release it’s evident. My hands are clenched, holding on to much. He kneels before me and takes my hands in his. I can sense the power and gentleness within them, as does my heart. We wait, breath held in, silent. My fingers are uncurled one by one until both palms are facing upwards. We see the remains of things that were long gone and begging for freedom. Smoky wisps, rising and falling. He breathes upon them, chanting incantations. There is no other sound except for his voice. He gathers them up and deposits them in a barque that’s appeared to one side. Their journey now begins to the Duat (ancient Egyptian Otherworld).

I sense the release of the many from all my line, we are being unburdened one by one. My eyes close, seeing the world as it appears to the inner eyes. It ebbs and flows, inhaling and exhaling, communicating in ways that I didn’t think were possible. In silence can we hear the Universe as it unfolds its mysteries.

As Khepri rises in the sky so do we feel our own Coming into Being, that oft repeated phrase holds a wealth of meaning, highly symbolic. How we forget the beauty and magnificence of the stars, the Imperishable Stars, holders of memories from the birth of our existence. What of the light that’s journeyed for millions upon millions of years? Possibilities upon possibilities exist, why not take note and draw in that light into our own being? Bathe our cells in its essence. My thoughts scatter in all directions, seeking, questioning. How fare the ancestors? Of like mind it seems, all respect to them. Yet, I also understand that their burdens and history, good and bad have been passed down the line to end with my siblings and I. Do we accept their legacy?  Not if it perpetuates further negativity and damage to body, mind and spirit.

Anubis is still kneeling before me. I return to the present, time for the introspection to end. The evening light casts a golden glow on everything in the garden. It feels so peaceful and still. I sense the Opener is still here, watching. “I agree to do it” is all I say to him. Where’s my diary?

Resonance

Image: Pixabay

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

Lyn Baylis: Life and Work of a Priestess, Minister and Psychopomp

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Image: Lyn Baylis, Chris Brock Photography

I’m rather excited about hosting my very first guest post. Lyn Baylis is a dear friend who has kindly accepted my request to write a piece about her work. You might say both of us have walked the mysterious path of the Psychopomp and serve the myriad faces of the god of Death, Anubis being one. Although Lyn’s work and service to the community involves much more. Lyn can be contacted at the email given at the end of the post if you have any questions.

Part 1

Introduction

My name is Lyn Baylis and I have been a Priestess for 40 years. My other roles under that umbrella involve being a LifeRites Minister (spanning over 20 years) and a Pagan Hospital and Hospice Chaplain.

I follow a broadly nature based spirituality, within which diversity is celebrated in all its colours as well as the ethic of equality. My belief in a single divine creative source also encompasses a belief in Gaia the Earth Mother, the Old Ones and spirits of nature. We are all bound together by the essence which we call spirit, the divine spark is within all beings. The life force is present within all. It is an energy which pulsates around us but cannot be seen, yet we know it to be real. It is omnipresent.

The energies of nature are consummately obvious when looked at in the context of the phases of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, and the cyclic nature of the seasons.  They are in the air, in the wind, in fire, in water, in trees, in the rocks and beneath the earth, in crashing roaring things, and in what the Irish call a soft day.  They are in all things and everywhere.

Each day I meditate as a means to focus before tuning into the energies that flow throughout the Universe.  It is very simple but takes time and effort.  I do not consider myself special, just a part of a worldwide community who are committed to guardianship of the earth and our fellow travellers.  My work is undertaken in the knowledge that whatever is done to others, will (if in a different fashion) be returned to me. Accordingly, these powers will not be used for evil. Those that operate in such a manner will flourish for a while but will over time be diminished as individuals.

Regarding my work, the aim is to serve the needs of the wider community while respecting the individual’s spiritual beliefs, culture and lifestyle choices without judgment. LifeRites allows me to work with many differing religious beliefs; often writing and officiating at Naming, Handfasting and Funeral ceremonies which embrace and include more than one faith. My work involves facilitating workshops to enable people to plan funerals in their own way.

I also believe that in our culture Funeral Poverty is not only a financial problem but encompasses culture, social, emotional and spiritual aspects of our lives. Funeral ceremonies can be so much more than what we have been used to. They can be written in a way that will meet the requirements and needs of the clients, not the ego of the priest, minister or celebrant.   Since becoming a member of the Brighton Death Forum I find myself facilitating more and more workshops in an effort to dispel the myths and taboos around death. The hope is that people will no longer view this subject with fear and therefore talk openly with their family, friends and even complete strangers without feeling embarrassed.

Part 2

Home Funerals: A Grandmother’s View

Did you know that family led funerals with limited input from funeral directors or even entirely without funeral directors are totally safe and legal?

 In working families, even as late as the 1900s, home funerals were what happened when someone died. They weren’t something special. It was just what was done in every family.

My Grandmother cared for her family and extended family when they were alive, when they were dying and when they were dead.  She was the village midwife, so not only did she bring new life into the world, she made sure that those leaving it were shown due respect and treated with honour and love.  Laying out the dead and performing the last offices for them, was to her, not only a sacred rite, but a labour of love.

The move to hide death away started with the moneyed gentry towards the end of the 17C. Until then, even for the wealthy, death was just a part of life, with most families losing at least one of their children to illness.  However, if you view tombstones from the 18C onwards, the stark statements are transferred into gentle metaphors. Sentiments such as “Here lies Fred, he is dead” cease to be visible and instead, tombstones talk of someone “sleeping with the angels” or being “gathered into God’s arms.”

With the death of Queen Victoria’s beloved Albert, rituals around death became more and more formalised.  The care of the deceased followed prescribed patterns; even the behaviour for those in mourning was formalised.  The ensuing funeral arrangements were totally removed from the family and summarily placed behind closed doors, where the dead were painted, rouged and plumped up before being wheeled out for photos (with or without the family) or death’s head masks.  Then they were locked away again and packed firmly in their coffin, jaws bound and limbs tied tightly together in case they should make a noise that would distress the relatives on their final journey or when they were lowered into the ground.

These social taboos around death slowly seeped into the mind-set of the general population.  Death, which had once been accepted as just another part of life, eventually become hidden behind the closed doors of the funeral parlour, only spoken of in reverential tones or whispers. Even today, people are a little bit in awe of the funeral director and this, together with the numbness grief often brings, can cause them to accept  any arrangements suggested to them, pick expensive coffins , or settle for funeral arrangements that will cause them social, cultural or financial distress, accepting any date they are given for burial or the cremation. They forget that the funeral director is there to help them, to provide a service, and that it is they who are ultimately in charge of what happens.

We the baby boomers of the 40s fought for the right to give birth at home, a right enjoyed by many mothers around the world now.  We have reached an age when our parents and others that we love are dying, and we do not want to just hand them over to some faceless funeral director however professional, nice or kind they may be.

We wish to make sure that our loved ones, and ultimately ourselves (when our time comes), will be looked after in death and afterwards by people who know us, love us and will care for us at the end the way we would like to be cared for.  We wish to hold vigils where we can say goodbye to our own with the rest of the family and friends in our own homes, not some faceless funeral parlour. To honour them with our rituals and talk to them while we organise the funeral, sourcing, making, or painting the coffin, and decorating it in a way our loved ones would approve.   We want to hold a wake as in the old days, raise a glass, share the old stories and spend time with those we love before we eventually lay them to rest in a celebration of their lives, not with an impersonal, remote ritual which often seems to be staged to be the ultimate separation from our loved ones.

I and others who feel the same will continue with this battle because it is ultimately for ourselves. It is, however, wonderful to see that more and more people are becoming aware that they do have options when it comes to caring for their dead.  They can use a funeral director to organise the funeral, or get involved and direct the funeral service making considered decisions, or have a home funeral if they so wish.

My aims are to let people know about their options, to assure them that family led or home funerals are legal and achievable (with or without help) if that is what they wish, and to remind people that they have choices. My hope is that, in some small way, I can empower families to do whatever it is they wish to do for their loved ones at the end of life.

For some, when they think of home funerals, the main drive is to offset the ever-increasing costs, but for many more, they wish to take control of a ceremony they find removed from them, depressing, morbid and not in any way uplifting. They wish to reflect the spirituality of their loved ones, treating them with honour, respect and love, making all actions sacred as the loved one dies and to continue this heart led care whether it is in person until they reach their final resting place, or in spirit walking with them towards the other realm.

Organising part or all of a funeral does make you aware of the reality of death, yes. You see the person you loved dead, but with a good death comes a serenity and peacefulness that is wonderful to witness, and this revelation can assist the grieving process and be a very healing experience. Therefore, if anyone wishes to participate in any way, or lead their own end of-life rites and rituals then I will help with advice and assistance if I can or alternatively put them in touch with someone else who can.

For those of you who believe you would find it difficult to have a body at home, and do not wish to even think of doing this, I do understand. When we talk about the dead, it is often the images we see on the TV or in films which are paramount in our thoughts, complete with dreadful smells and a decomposing corpse, but in actuality, that is generally not the case.

When we look at other cultures around the world, there are many whose death rituals are based around keeping a loved one at home for three days or three nights. It is only our distance from death these days and the fears that are triggered by these images that highlight the problems. In addition, with the help of air conditioning or ice packs, we can keep a body at home for a week if necessary, so three days generally will cause no problem.

However, if your loved one died in hospital or in a hospice, as long as you haven’t appointed a Funeral Director they will generally keep hold of them until you can collect them from there to take them to the crematorium or to the burial ground.  These same facilities can sometimes be used if the deceased has to be kept for some time, e.g. a son/daughter has to travel from abroad to say their goodbyes.  if your loved one dies at home, some modern funeral directors will work with you, while some green burial grounds have facilities to keep the body, or you can call upon an *End of Life Transition/Threshold Guide to help you.

If you belong to a spirituality which sees death as a rite of passage, then this usually begins with laying out your loved one after death.  Washing them, combing their hair, anointing them and placing them in the clothes they wished for their final journey.  Whether you are family, a friend or someone who has been called in to help. I can assure you (being a Grandmother myself now) laying out someone is a service of love and one which I always feel privileged to perform.

If you are leading a private celebration of the deceased’s life as part of a rite of passage, then first identify what it was the deceased achieved in life.  It could be a major thing or something they might not themselves have classed as an achievement, e.g. bringing up a family. Honour their achievements, whatever they were, and understand their passions, their hopes and dreams.  Open sacred space. (If you are helping a family that is not your own always ask them how the deceased would have done this.)  Work with other members of the family to get them involved choosing, prayers, poems, and songs that express the deceased’s journey through life, get them to tell the stories that they love and want passed down to the family, share photos, etc.

The decoration of the coffin can have its own place in these celebrations, whether it is weaving flowers into a willow coffin, painting or pasting photos onto a cardboard coffin or choosing a more conventional coffin and the items to be placed in or on it. You are only restricted by your imagination – and the practical requirements of the burial ground or crematorium.

If it is to be a spiritual ceremony, then call upon the deities/spirits that were significant to the deceased and mark a sacred space where you can hold the ritual and invite those with whom the deceased wished to share this special time. Many spiritualities believe that the spirits do not begin their journey for a while after they seem to have gone, e.g. some open the window to let the soul fly out. Whatever their ways, find out beforehand; if it’s family then, of course, you will already know.

When taking your loved one to their final resting place, you can use an estate or a van, as long as the body is covered it really is not disrespectful.  Getting friends and family to gently lift and carry the coffin into the crematorium or to the graveside feels somehow more natural, personal and meaningful to me. If you do not feel that you will be able to speak, then you can always hire a celebrant who will understand and honour the spirituality of your loved one and the family.

If you decide to have a home funeral and venture down this road, I promise you will find it a rewarding, moving and deeply transforming experience.

* this is the name agreed by the National Home Funeral Alliance in the USA to cover End of life Midwives, Soul Midwives, Death Doulas, Home Funeral Guides and any group or person who works with the dying before, during and after death.

For further information on Family led Funerals or how to train to be a Transition /Threshold Guide contact: lyndelune@sky.com

Where are You Going?

Where are you going Reaper Man?

I watch you ride by, silent and absorbed.

What are you watching with your eyes of gold and endless obsidian?

Arid vistas, fabled cities, towers of dunes,

They flash by, places caught in time, crumbling into the past,

A memory of when we were young.

 

Where have you been Reaper Man?

How we feared your coming, a shadow fleet and grasping in the night.

How wrong we were, eyes dimmed by fear and blinding light.

I yearn to hear of your adventures, songs of love and whispered regrets.

Sing to me lone traveller, garbed in leather and wreathed in smiles.

He speaks and entrances, holds spellbound:

I rode on the wings of dawn, endless roads and too brief sunrises.

My kisses fall on parchment skin and babe in arms,

They embrace me warmly, ride pillion without a backward glance,

Seeking the wonder of life that is to come.

There are no final endings, no final tears, only new beginnings.

Only new roads to ride on, caffeine fuelled encounters in nomad camps,

Magic infused silences before oceans of blue.

 

What can I say Reaper Man?

How your songs of strangeness and wonder hold in thrall,

Echoes of our own longing cascading,

Falling like waterfalls through the canyons of eternal dreams.

What can I say mighty Azrael, so named Angel of Death?

How we feared your coming, a shadow fleet and grasping in the night.

How wrong we were, eyes dimmed by fear and blinding light.

With eyes of gold and endless obsidian you peer into what we were and will become.

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photo credit: Neil. Moralee See the light. via photopin (license)

Where are you going Reaper Man?

Lone traveller garbed in leather and wreathed in smiles.

Straddling oceans of time, shaping destinies.

Bringer of infinite grace, bestower of visions unsurpassed.

I watch you ride by, silent and absorbed.

Fellow travellers on endless roads, through cities of steel and glass,

Through wildflower meadows and oceans of blue.

Exchanging smiles and imperceptible nods.

 

Where are you going Reaper Man?

What are you watching with your eyes of gold and endless obsidian?

Arid vistas, fabled cities, towers of dunes,

They flash by, places caught in time, crumbling into the past,

A memory of when we were young.

A homage of sorts to the great Angel of Death, Azrael. Not your usual subject for a, what can I call this offering? A road trip with a leather garbed angel. I’m neither a poet nor a writer of songs, so this is a Pong. Sorry! My melding of a poem and song…Does it work I ask you dear Reader?

Courage

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Image: Force and Reason, John Duncan, WikiArt

How many times have you found yourself in this situation? Breath held in throat, heart snared in trap.

Courage waits outside the gates, blinded by deception,  mesmerised by illusion.

The sentry waits, fazes with eyes of cunning. What say our lips? What say our spirit? Run. Stand your ground. It speaks from our hidden places. Be humble and without guile, free your courage. Speak words to calm, to balance.

Above all, be Free. Your shackles are visions of dust and trickery. Let go, let go. Be Free.

Bijoux: Exploits of the Guild of Dishevelled Assassins – Part 1

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Image: Pixabay

This story was revealed to me by an associate who chooses to remain anonymous, mostly due to embarrassment. She’s part of an exclusive community of characters residing in the Shed, a Tardis like building I’m fortunate to own. Our facilities are simple but homely. The house rules are a little strict due to an incident a while ago, involving two drunken dogs and several traffic cones. I can’t reveal who the perpetrators were (Cerberus and Anubis if you wanted to make a note). The POV is confusing, details are patchy and I started to get a nervous twitch halfway through. This tale is long and convoluted and for now has to be mercifully short:

“The Apothecary’s art is subtle and filled with mystery. See their phials of jewelled tinctures, resplendent on handcrafted drawers and cedar perfumed shelves.  Beautiful in nature, yet edged with terrible power, nascent, silent. Nature provides but advises caution, She yields her secrets only to those with the eyes to see, the ears to hear and the heart to feel. For things not of just one world but many. Hers is the skill of artificer and alchemist”.

‘Ms A’ stopped typing and sat back. It’ll do, the local ‘newspaper’, as the rag liked to call itself wanted a short bio from her. She didn’t trust any of their muckrakers not to twist the facts, no insult meant, they did indeed clean the Squire’s stables.

This odd little community was unaware of her previous profession. The imbecile of a town council would choke on their sherries if it was ever revealed. Most of them had appeared on her ‘list’ and were still considered candidates. She opened the desk drawer and took out a document. The wax seal had been broken long ago, it was fingered nostalgically. What heady days they were, socialising with the cream of the profession. Their AGMs were riotous affairs (behind closed doors) and held in the most intriguing locations the organisers could find. The Guild of Dishevelled Assassins had a lineage going back to the early 8th century BCE. Their history was documented meticulously, it had to be as the auditors were quite particular. Fortunately or unfortunately they uncovered discrepancies in several documents, the issue appeared to start in the Dark Ages. One of their number had been falsifying ‘hits’ and transferring Guild funds into an unnumbered account in Mongolia. Not exactly one’s idea of a tax haven. Regardless, it was a dirty business, tainting the good name of the Guild and its Members. Luckily the tabloids hadn’t got wind of this affair.

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Image: Pixabay

The memories were rushing back like a bout of food poisoning. Poison, a subject close to her heart. Nature provided a huge assortment of raw materials with which to produce her elixirs. The mother tinctures were seven in number and guarded carefully, they had to be being extremely toxic substances. One even managed to eat through carbon fibre. What a result! Anyway, an undercover assignment ensued. It lasted about 600 years and the resulting admin paperwork was horrendous. For others perhaps, for her it was a dream. Everything was categorised and filed in alphabetical folders, which were backed up of course on an external hard drive and memory sticks. The files were cross-referenced as well. Sounds a little anally retentive? Not at all. The information was stored off-site in several locations. Security was of the utmost importance.

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Image: Pixabay

The trail lead to a cemetery in North London. One of their operatives, a necromancer, had their office/home in a perfectly presented mausoleum within the cemetery. They’d been tracking the rogue assassin for several years, finally locating them to an exclusive area of this part of London. Highgate was too obvious a place for this individual to escape to. Something was amiss, one of their number wouldn’t behave in such a slapdash manner. Their greed was resulting in mistakes and dulling their senses.  (at this stage I was screaming inwardly wanting her to move on). He was followed to a local coffee shop, where he proceeded to drink coffee, a lot of coffee. It was evident that he was addicted to caffeine. The shots of espresso only aggravated his latent psychosis. If he carried on it would put everyone in danger. They managed to sedate him and get him into a sorry looking Robin Reliant which was parked round the corner. A hearse passed them slowly, the driver looked rather familiar. It was the necromancer’s associate who worked part-time in the funeral profession.

Everything was going as planned. They reached Highgate Woods and parked the cars in an underground carpark, one no one was aware of apparently. It had been excavated by their Roman colleagues as a garage for their chariots and to stable the horses. My friend and her companions soon got to ‘work’ on their quarry. The session didn’t last long, a hefty dose of atrocious 80’s music and bad poetry had him sobbing and pleading for them to stop the torture. It unravelled bit by bit. He was only small fry, the real culprits were higher up the echelon. This was unwelcome news, the Guild had suspected something like this but hoped it wasn’t true. The rogue operative pleaded for clemency in return for further information. He was put in the witness relocation programme and ended up managing a seedy nightclub in a less salubrious district of Tartarus. Apt punishment one would say.

(The White Rabbit fell asleep at this stage, at least I think he did. It looked as if he’d lost consciousness. Whatever, he looked unwell. I think my sanity was just about hanging on).

Inconsolable: Flight of the Father

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Image: Pixabay

The Alchemist stands in silence, his time has come to pass beyond the Veil. The moment of transfiguration waits. This is the hardest thing yet to face in a life stretching centuries, to leave all that he loves and values in life, his daughter. The child has now become parent to the father. She holds the wisdom bequeathed to their line in a time when only the unknown powers of the world walked as gods. Like the ancient Egyptian god Amun her true self is hidden, as is her name, until now. Amunet, thus is she named after one of the Eight progenitors from Khemenu (named Hermopolis by the Greeks). A place associated with one none other than Djehuty (Thoth). In his mind’s eye he sees Amun in splendid glory, a serpent coiled round the divine sceptre. Strange how all comes back to the beginning, the serpent biting its own tail.

He can feel the change spreading through the cells, one by one they fill with light and purity of being. They speak to each other, communicating the sacred words that will initiate his ‘Coming into Being or Existence.’ They wait on her presence, knowing that she is the catalyst for this transformation. The Alchemist surveys his entire life, from beyond existence in a Universe bereft of all light and sound to the fullness of a life to this moment. The human part of his being is inconsolable at the parting from life and loved ones. It fears the separation, of relinquishing memories that are dear and irreplaceable. Our remembrance of a greater existence is only beneath the surface he thinks, we need only push aside the barriers of our making to drink from this pool. This much he has instilled in Amunet, a worthy student and teacher.

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Image: Pixabay

He senses the Sun lying beneath the horizon, not yet risen, gathering strength. The Light within also waits, gathering strength. Drops of liquid fall into the waters of life, creating ripples that disappear into eternity. Drop by drop the humanity within is absorbed into something, not yet understood and omniscient. Amunet appears, called to perform this sacred ritual only this once until her time comes to undergo this transfiguration. She faces her father in silence and then utters words of power bestowed by the unknown powers residing within. Human and gods integrate and call forth ancient magic rarely revealed. Her breath to his breath. The Light within rises as does the Sun beneath the horizon. The god Khepri makes his ascent into the sky and also in the Alchemist’s heart. They are ‘Coming into Existence.’ Drop by drop the waters of life absorb his essence, expanding and rippling outwards beyond the horizon. She senses his every move, the moment is upon them. Both smile at each other, having knowledge of what lies beyond material manifestation there is no sadness. Such emotion vanishes like mist in the rays of the approaching sunrise. He is risen and light incarnate, it is done.

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A great silence descends upon this place. A memory from the birth of the Universe. Roshanak approaches Amunet and places a hand on her shoulder. Both women gaze at the beauty of the sunrise. This ending is only a new beginning. The serpent biting its own tail. Roshanak hands Amunet a small leather bound notebook, within are the notes of her journey so far and adventures to come. So it continues. Amunet puts on the coat handed to her and then makes her farewell.

A Fleeting Glance

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Image: Pixabay

The spectre of a creature inhabiting the dark places of our subconscious emerges into consciousness once more. It’s been a while since I visited this landscape, the last time was in Ancient Bloodline – Moonlit # writephoto. Love, although a dysfunctional and destructive one, was the basis of that story. How could it be otherwise when it involves the Lady of the Bright Red Linen (one epithet of the goddess Sekhmet) and demons such as vampires. The ending was not a happy one. Why should it be?

The memory of that tale and an old project prompts me to weave another story involving yearning and love. My interest lies in exploring the depths of this creature’s psyche and also ours. Whether I succeed remains to be seen. Alas my protagonist doesn’t fare well much like the one in “Ancient Bloodline”. Crimson kisses and exquisitely painful emotions lead only to oblivion. My general of armies of darkness and blood has followed his ancient Egyptian priestess through centuries of search. Often glimpsing her but not quite able to touch, until now. Such an obsession is his undoing. Continue reading

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