Kindred Spirits

Image: Pixabay

It’s been a while since I last wrote about Amunet, formerly known as the Alchemist’s daughter. She’s an Alchemist in her own right now. Her departure was made at the end of Inconsolable: Flight of the Father having participated in the transfiguration of her father. Her guide and friend Roshanak also bore witness to this very important ritual. Some may view it as death, but what’s death but a transition from one state of being to another? Many spiritual traditions tell of individuals who can control the manner and process of their own deaths. Such was the case with the Alchemist and will be with his daughter. I watch developments in this area with interest as Amunet holds a special place in my affections. She asks pertinent questions about what it means to be human. Ones that I can’t either ask or answer.

The characters we write about aren’t just creations of our imaginations; we invest aspects of ourselves in their shaping and eventual life on the page (physical and digital). Stating the obvious I know. You could say we’re engaging in a magical act, the end result of our efforts being an outflowing of creativity. Amunet has helped me explore many questions about the inner and outer Universes. Many of them manifesting in posts on this blog, admittedly they may come across as being a little incomprehensible! Apologies for that, I tend to forget that there’s an audience out “there”. At times it feels like my characters and I are engaged in intimate conversation over tea or coffee.

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Image: Pixabay

What’s Amunet been doing since our last encounter? Travelling for a while, collecting memories, keepsakes and knowledge, and I’m eager to learn more. We catch up with her in a remote monastery somewhere in India, near the Tibetan border. She’s sitting with a fellow pilgrim, both having undertaken a journey of several weeks to get there. Their conversation is muted and filled with silences.

The Outer Dialogue

Amunet:

That’s the last I saw of Roshanak. Her path lay elsewhere, which is a shame as we grew quite fond of each other. Gatekeepers don’t always remain with you once their task is over, I was lucky she stayed so long.

Pilgrim:

Gatekeepers? I’d heard of them but thought they were a myth.

Amunet:

They are now, but when we remember what we were once, they appear.

Pilgrim:

Talking in riddles again! (Laughs).

Amunet:

(Stares intently) Not sure you’re ready to hear more. Let me think about this. Ask me tomorrow, I might tell you then.

Pilgrim:

Of course, I’ll see you in the morning. Goodnight Amunet.

Amunet watches the man leave, he looks deflated. Only natural, as their conversations are stimulating and highly enjoyable. Although impatience is a problem. Was he ready to hear more? How arrogant that sounds!

Me:

You don’t give much away do you?

Amunet:

Discernment and discretion are a necessary fact of my life. He’s trustworthy but not yet prepared for the knowledge I carry. Human nature can be profoundly perplexing and infuriating, that much I will acknowledge. How do you cope with the tumult carried within your psyche? It feels alien and unsettling.

Me:

We don’t always succeed but it can be managed. How can I put this? Being human can at times be a like a ringmaster in a very peculiar circus, with ourselves being audience and circus troupe.

Amunet:

Interesting imagery! What I want and need to know is the reality experienced by you.

Me:

You don’t make things easy do you? Not sure how to answer that. You ask a difficult thing Amunet, for me to bare my soul when I’m not ready to. What can I tell you? I search for meaning in an unknowable and vast Universe, at times not knowing where I’ve come from and where I’ll end up. My mortality is a source of occasional annoyance because there is so much to do and see. I’m wary of showing my vulnerability, perhaps fearing being hurt. These are the artefacts of my human self, buried in deep soil, waiting to see the light of day. I struggle with the frailty of the human body and projections of the personality, both mine and of others. Human nature makes me despair with its ugliness but feel elated when it reveals a deeply compassionate and divine face.

Without this body I would have no understanding and experience of the world around me. It gives me the opportunity to love and be loved, to hold, to feel and sense. I’ve been gifted with free will but don’t always exercise it. I’m in control of my destiny and world to a great extent, but my dysfunctional ego makes it a hell of a job to do the job properly. Fear is the tyrant we should all be on our guard against. You’re crying. Huh, never thought I’d see that.

Amunet:

They taste, salty, like seawater. Consisting of Elemental Water and Earth. Intriguing. I was created within the heart of the Sun, born of Fire, symbolising transformation and regeneration. My existence has been eternal and unceasing. I KNOW what it is to be immortal, it can’t be expressed in language you would understand. This Universe is but a partial reflection of the true glory of existence. You and I have need of the experience of the other to form the whole reflection. Time is meaningless.

Me:

“Time is meaningless”. I wish it was!

Amunet:

Trust me, it will unfold as it’s meant to. We are kindred spirits.

The setting Sun pours its fire through the windows of the little room and bathes the lone figure now sitting in deep meditation.

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Image: Pixabay

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Anubis in “American Gods”

I’ve read Neil Gaiman’s book and loved it, a reminder that the gods are always with us in one shape and form, although not always in familiar guises! It raised many questions. Do the gods fade into nothingness when our worship and faith cease to be? Do they become phantoms lurking in the recesses of the World Mind waiting for an acknowledgement, some sign that we still love them, fear them? This isn’t either a review of the book or series, but a whisper of something lying hidden within me. Perhaps the gods are asking where I’ve been and where I’m going…

I was brought up in a different spiritual path to the one being practised now and this scene resonated strongly with me. Although the ancient Egyptian gods were always  a source of fascination even when I was a little child. If we give them a place in our thoughts and memories they will not forget even beyond death. Hopefully His Nibs, as I like to call him, will meet me at the portal when my time approaches. The actor playing Anubis was well chosen.


As for the next scene, what emptiness and hopelessness she has within her! One wonders whether the character truly believes that there is either no hope or possibility of something better beyond life. When the Scales don’t balance the possibility looks bleak…

Archangel Oracle blog: The Norns

The Norns, from the Viking Oracle, by Stacey Demarco, Artwork by Jimmy Manton

I regularly check the Archangel Oracle blog to see who and what has appeared for that day. It’s habit I’ve got into and the synchronicity can be a little surprising at times. This time round it was the Norns who appeared to cast their words of wisdom. It’s made me pause for a moment of reflection.

My collection of divination aids in the form of card decks is wide ranging; consisting of herbal tarot decks to the Anubis Oracle. They’ve been accumulated over a twenty year period. As yet I haven’t acquired this deck, but will be seeking it out.

I use the cards as meditation tools and catalysts for writing projects. They’re a powerful visual aid, one reason why Sue Vincent’s photo prompts work so well for me. I consult the Oracles only for myself, but once the persona of a Seer or Soothsayer is taken on in a story, that is a very different matter.

I’m sharing the post because the Norns may be imparting a message that’s useful to you. Go in peace dear Seeker…

https://archangeloracle.com/2017/09/04/the-norns/

Thought for the Day

Image: SayingImages.com

Ah, if only life was so black and white. I am referring to the cutting remark and thoughtless quip indulged in by many, including ourselves. 

Beware, Beware, the cutting edge of the blade that wounds but does not kill. Its poison goes deep, lacerating the spirit. The spear and sword are symbols associated with Elemental Air, as is the Pen. Rather telling wouldn’t you say?

Should we resist the urge to “stick ’em with the pointy end“? 

Most certainly. Yet, the need to engage in a duel of words with those who appear as foe and detractor can become a siren call at times. 

What about just nicking them a bit. One little bit?

Tea With The Mad Hatter

Image: Pixabay

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

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

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

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Image: Pixabay

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

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

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

Yes, that made sense somehow.

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

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

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

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

Illuminare

Image: Pixabay

The Oxford English Dictionary gives several definitions of Illuminate:

“Light up something”

“Help to clarify or explain something”

“Decorate a page or initial letter in a manuscript with gold, silver, or coloured designs”

The origin of the word is from the Latin Illuminare (Illuminate), from Lumen (Light).

I think all of the above are relevant for the purposes of this post, after all this blog consists of “musings of a wandering mystic” as I like to call myself, in addition to being a “non-poet” of course!

I’m aware that some of my posts may appear a little incomprehensible in their subject matter. Apologies for that. They take their place on the (virtual) page when my inner world deems that a little enlightenment is due. More for my benefit than anyone else’s. Perhaps I’m hoping to “light up” the shadowed places my feet take me on this life journey. There are many challenges being faced in the inner and outer worlds, some harder than others to overcome. It isn’t as bleak as it sounds. These things occur in cycles, differing in energies, much like those of the natural world and the greater Cosmos.

Our burdens can at times feel like those of the Titan Prometheus, although perhaps not to such an extreme extent. Prometheus sacrificed himself essentially to bring divine fire to humanity to help them survive and lighten the darkness of their existence (in more ways than one). Zeus punished the Titan by having him chained to a rock and an eagle eat his liver, which regenerated daily. The gods were rather imaginative and cruel in their choice of punishment dear readers.

Darkness gives us a time to recollect, rest and regenerate ourselves. On the negative side we have a tendency to view it as a home for all the terrible things of our nightmares. What did early humans do in the absence of fire? What did they fear lurking in the darkness of their environment? It’s not a mystery why the coming of light, sunrise, was celebrated so joyfully by all cultures. Although the idea of perpetual darkness and light is not a comforting one. Balance in all things is what we should aspire to, if only for sanity’s sake.

What of this mysterious thing “Iluminare”? Have I been successful in lighting up the hidden places in life and within myself? Have there been moments when I’ve shouted eureka and the scales have fallen from my (inner) sight? Yes and yes. Also No and no. My feet have walked from the shadowed places at the sight of light emerging in the distance and it has been a wonderful sight! At other times the torch lighting my way through the darkness has gone out and a sense of heaviness has descended. It can be described as a sense of desolation. The infamous “Dark Night of the Soul” then envelops us, revisiting our lives many, many times. That’s not to say we’re on our own at such times, we’re never alone. I recall one occasion years ago when I’d reached a very low point in life, my spirit felt utterly crushed. I asked, no one in particular why this was happening to me. No audible answer was forthcoming, except for a gentle and compassionate touch on my shoulder. There wasn’t anyone there, not visible to my sight anyway. I was quite upset at the time and brushed it away.  A strange incident but whoever you were, thank you from the depths of my heart.

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Image: Pixabay

Moments like this are when we add further embellishments in a page in the Book of Life, our life. They act as gifts from our Higher Selves or Guardian Angels, bringing beauty and light for us to use. We use them to illuminate our lives to best reflect the wonder and splendour of both sorrow and joy. The contents of our Book of Life can be read on so many levels, nothing is what it first appears to be. Words become unnecessary at the moment light strikes at the very heart of our being.

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?

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.