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?

Fragile and Luminous

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photo credit: EmsiProduction The Time Rabbit via photopin (license)

The White Hare watches me and then looks down at his watch. His face is solemn, voice silent. Finally he intones, “we are fragile and luminous. Intricately engineered things of beauty, ephemeral like snow crystals glinting in the rays of the Sun.  Such is life, such is beauty.”

His words give me pause for thought. Typical of the Lord of Magic and Wisdom to throw me such a morsel! Oh, did I forget to mention that the Hare is intimately connected with the ancient Egyptian deity Djehuty (Thoth) and his centre of worship at Khemnu? Wise is he in all things associated with knowledge and higher wisdom. Rather like Jedi Master Yoda. He tries to hide a smile at my comparison but I spot it. His eyes scrutinise intently, making me feel unsettled. The silences seem to stretch into infinity and hold a wealth of meaning. I have no words to offer him, only what lies behind the gates of my soul. Continue reading

Writer under Construction

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Image: Pixabay

Normal service will be resumed soon, well, normal as it can be in the Shed. My offerings have been sparing of late, due to health and other issues taking up much time. If I had to describe my present state of being it would be rather difficult. Let’s just say this delicate little flower (!) is lying on a chaise longue in the Shed, damp cloth laid on a fevered brow and being fed delicate little morsels by a solicitous White Rabbit. That’s the official or ‘fake news’ version. The reality? Come this way.

His Nibs (aka Anpu/Anubis), the White Rabbit and Storyteller are back from their travels, laden with mysterious packages. Gifts from the heart of regions remembered only in dreams and spoken of in hushed tones. They bring change and endings, although all isn’t as bleak as it sounds. Things, including the physical are unravelling, threads are being rewound and ready for weaving.

I’m thinking, creating and disposing of the crap,  ready to get on that train to new adventures. The builders are working hard to finish the job to schedule. It better be good, see you soon.

Whispers of Ancestral Voices

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Image: Pixabay

Fellow bloggers and old friends who attended the recent Silent Eye workshop, The Feathered Seer, have written far more eloquently than I of their experiences.  This is my attempt at making sense of the weekend’s events, my guide Anubis will walk beside me as I recall all and perhaps nothing. I ask my Muse and Guide, The Opener and Walker between the Worlds what he makes of this tapestry woven from our histories. He gives me an inscrutable look (haven’t seen that one before) and whispers:

We carry in our DNA the sum of all existence and memory, from before time existed and beyond the ending of worlds. Linking with others to form gigantic DNA chains in the body of something beyond comprehension. Purposefully flying towards evolution and completion. Harmonious and beauteous in all ways. All return to the point of origin, from whence they came. Then there is no-one and no-thing, we just ARE but our conscious minds are unable to understand this concept except only in dreams and moments of true insight. Continue reading

Forged in Fire

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Image: Pixabay

Here we are then, again, facing another year. (Puts on best imitation of Jedi Master, Yoda) challenging it was, unsure we were. I’m determined to review the old year in a frame of mind that’s open and honest. The spirit has been unburdened considerably but there is more to ‘surgery’ to undergo. For this purpose I must call upon an ancient Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet, to help me achieve transformation. Daughter of the Sun god Ra, consort of the god Ptah and protector of the Pharaoh, Sekhmet’s a formidable and powerful presence. A lion headed goddess embodying the fierce heat of the Sun and martial qualities. She’s also a healer. Therein lies the paradox. Much to chew over.

I’ve had reason to call upon her energies lately to combat inner and outer negativity. There’s also the need to defuse the challenging behaviour of a male colleague in my professional life. It’s being managed on a mundane level but still quite irksome having to deal with the issue in the first place. Resolution is necessary though. Fear and insecurity can generate inappropriate behaviour. Some people tend to underestimate me for a variety of reasons; perhaps it’s either my introverted manner or the reluctance to indulge in unpleasantness about other people. My behaviour hasn’t always been perfect. Not proud of those moments. Human nature doesn’t seem to have progressed much over the centuries.

Don’t hold back daughter of Sekhmet, a voice behind me comments.

I pause in mid rant. His Nibs is standing there with a solemn look on his face. The incandescent and wicked gleam in his eyes utterly demolishes the serious persona being projected.

I needed to get that off my chest. Disorder is restored.

He just smiles that mysterious smile and looks at me. Facing the inner demons is one of the hardest things we can do in life. The Mirror of Truth reveals things that are difficult to face, such as soul searing memories that arise from the depths and take flight. J C Cirlot comments that ‘every winged being is a symbolic of spiritualization…Birds are very frequently used to symbolize human souls, some of the earliest examples being found in the art of ancient Egypt.’ The ba has been freed, where’s it going?

The Old Dog, dear, dear Anubis has a way of reaching into the depths of your being, grab insights and bring them to light. He takes my hand and gives it a squeeze. There is reassurance and affection in that gesture. I can feel my spirit unfolding slowly, rather like wings unfurling in the warmth of sunlight. Indigo and tipped with violet, I choose these wings. Forged in fire were the beings of Light, standing guard against the onslaught of darkness and ignorance. The Fall into Matter necessitates additional vigilance due to our free will.

Forged in fire. It evokes powerful imagery. In my mind’s eye I see the blacksmith at work, diligently working on transmuting one material into another. Their art is most ancient, perhaps being one aspect of alchemy. Certainly magical. Forged in fire, deep within the heart of stars. We are after all made of star matter. Forged in fire, strengthened, shaped, to become resilient in the face of stress and adversity. Challenges show us our greatest strengths and areas of vulnerability. It takes courage and trust to show vulnerability.

His Nibs and I look up at the velvet darkness of the sky, now filled with multitude points of light. Nut’s arched body fills us with hope and anticipation. A new dawn waits, bringing new possibilities.

A lovely thought, he says.

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Image: Pixabay

 

 

Road to Somewhere: The Fool’s Journey

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Photo: Jan Malique

I’m once again in the process of reassessing the past. Recent events have prompted me to scrutinise a piece I wrote some time ago. It was a meditation I performed before travelling to a workshop in April of this year. The theme of the weekend was one aspect of the Arthurian cycle facilitated by the Silent Eye Mystery School. The Green Man was an important aspect of the sacred dramas to be enacted. This meditation was focussed on the Hero’s journey of individuation, seen from a Jungian perspective. I was completing a short course on Jungian symbols. What resulted didn’t surprise me as I felt “something” was waiting for me to enter into its world. A sign surely of mysteries to be unveiled? Continue reading

Facing the Inner Darkness: Unmasking Ourselves

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Image from Pixabay

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.”  C G Jung

Dr Jung certainly knew how to get to the heart of the matter succinctly.   Dealing with the contents of the shadowed recesses of our soul can be a terrifying experience. Much like facing Ammut in the Hall of Judgment, we pray desperately our hearts won’t condemn us to nothingness in the end. The Heart, seat of the Soul and home to the Light that is inextinguishable. Yet we often ignore the safety of its harbour and succumb to the storms of rational and irrational fears. There may be valid reasons why this is so. The words of a certain ancient Egyptian deity come to mind at this juncture of my story. I think back to our recent encounter in An Old Dog Can teach You New Tricks.   He was straight to the point and reminded me ‘don’t feed the fear, don’t fear what’s within’. Wise words. Many grapple with the beasts that lurk within themselves and are unable to face. This is an entity composed of aspects that are either unpalatable or unacceptable to us. They’re disowned and hated. We feed it with our fearful and unloving thoughts. This composite creature, much like Ammut, waits patiently for the right opportunity to devour our hearts and soul bit by bit. Dr Frankenstein’s creation (and not monster) elicits my sympathy more than the person who created him. Not that I’m espousing self-hatred!

Facing our creation is an initiation. The journey begins from a place of uncertainty; you’re filled with all manner of doubts and plain scared. Why scared you may ask. It’s the thought that a decision’s been made regarding x, y or z finally and the ensuing change that’ll come with it. Whether we’re ready to face a transformed version of ourselves is debatable. There’s always uncertainty regarding our responses to the process. Did such thoughts go through the minds of all those chosen as ‘sacrifices’ as they progressed through the labyrinth towards the Minotaur. Intriguing isn’t it? My numerous journeys towards the centre of the labyrinth have always left me changed and forced to take off yet another mask. There was no choice in the matter, it had to be done. Well, it seems my feet have lead me to the labyrinth rather than the Hall of Judgment. So be it. What of this very ancient location? Perhaps a cave system originally; leading to an inner chamber containing something that instigated terror. Or are we made to think that there’s something ominous at its centre? We will most certainly meet the Guardian of the Threshold. On this issue J E Cirlot remarks in A Dictionary of Symbols:

From the psychological point of view, guardians symbolize the forces gathered on the threshold of transition between different stages of evolution and spiritual progress or regression. The ‘guardian of the threshold’ must be overcome before Man can enter into the mastery of a higher realm”.

Such an endeavour isn’t always appropriate for everyone due to quite valid reasons. Under those circumstances appropriate professional help may need to be sought. Delving into the psyche, especially the Collective Unconscious, can be a difficult experience for the unprepared. Not that I’m a specialist by any means! I’m going a little off track now (winds back the safety rope). Where was I? Preparing to meet the darkness at the centre of the labyrinth. What instigated my decision to confront my darkness? Almost makes it sound like I’m meeting a friend. I am in a sense. It’s been knocking on the doors of my mind quite robustly with little success. Until now. You have to be warned it can be quite manipulative, full of guile and promise. Our friend, who appears to be working against us on those occasions, sets almost insurmountable tests. As I’ve stated many times, we cannot appreciate the Light without its counterpart, the Dark. For the Cosmos to be balanced both have to be present, the same for us. ‘As Above, So Below’.

The masks I’ve discarded along the way have been in place for many years and haven’t been easy to relinquish. There’s no sense of sadness associated with the decision. They’re aspects of ‘me’ that I’ve held on to with a vice-like grip. Even so they need to be accorded respect and given up to the Universe. We don’t need to discard all our masks, some are integral to our sense of Self. Once again I refer to J E Cirlot, who alludes to the mystical, luminous properties of the mask:

“…metamorphoses must be hidden from view—and hence the need for the mask. Secrecy tends towards transfiguration: it helps what-one-is to become what-one-would-like-to-be; and this is what constitutes its magic character”.

The mask and our darkness are intertwined. From childhood into adulthood both have been alchemically transforming the essence within. We’ve shaped the creature of clay and given it the breath of life. In one stroke we’ve bestowed it with hope and condemned it to a state of purgatory. How can our creation not resent us? What can we offer it but compassion, understanding and reintegration. Easy to say but can be difficult to achieve. It must be done if we’re to hold back from descending into the Abyss. The Void is our destination. As for my darkness, it looks hopeful as I do.

A last thought from Dr Jung:

“The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” 

 

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Image from Pixabay

 

 

 

 

 

The Premature Burial Of My Idealism: A Post Lost In The Ether

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Dear readers, I present to you a tale involving a frustrated writer, an alleged incidence of premature burial and IT issues. This post is a replacement for one that disappeared into the ether due to loss of internet connectivity. My original article detailed the loss of idealism in a world gone mad, buried prematurely never to be seen again. Or so it seemed. My annoyance is somewhat muted, what can I do now except attempt to retell my story. I was amending the original post with the addition of one photo, saved it several times as the process was a little slow. This wasn’t on my laptop but on a tablet, curse the damn thing!  Next thing my efforts had disappeared into the great digital badlands. Noooooo! This isn’t the first time it’s happened. The internet connection in our area is, how can I say this? Crap. There is no polite way of saying it. Continue reading