Lament for Ishtar – Luna #writephoto

Image: Sue Vincent

Sue’s challenge for the Thursday Photoprompt Luna – #writephoto

presented us with a haunting image of a crescent Moon. My thoughts immediately turned to Ishtar, the Evening Star and daughter of the Moon God Sin. She was a goddess of Love and War.

The world she knew has long gone, now only a memory in artefacts and academic papers. Or so we think. She still lives in the DNA and spirits of those who once worshipped Her. Her temples are  in ruins, vanished into dust, and the prayers and adoration of her priesthood linger in windswept plains. You may think such thoughts are fancies, wistful imaginings. Yet, the past urges us to remember our beginnings, of standing under ancient skies, and even older moons.

We are urged to recall the voices of adoration and lamentation. Her priests and priestesses gaze at us across the divide of time. Their lips move but we cannot hear. Where is the key to unlock the door? Mighty Ishtar gazes in silence, hand held out, fingers curled over a secret. Our eyes hold the tears of a thousand longings, of regrets and hopes. Of whispered petitions for success in love and victory in battle.

How have we forgotten one so radiant and clothed in silvered light? How have we forgotten the old magic, primeval and potent? Its power still surges beneath our skin and flows like fire through our veins. Luna, Luna, beloved Evening Star! Hear our lament, our songs and prayers for what was lost and can be regained once more.

There is only silence now, but it is steeped in expectation. She hears us and ascends once more, clothed in stars and silvered light.

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Dionysos Pursues: Spirit of the Vine

Image: werner22brigitte, Pixabay

Once again we enter through the portals of the bar hidden deep within the heart of the city. A place only found by those who truly seek answers to questions of the Soul. Three hold court in its hallowed premises, the Spirit of Dance, Love and Memory. Which one shall the visitor gravitate towards? He stands silhouetted in the doorway, passion and gnosis encapsulated in breath taking beauty and disintegration. This is no ordinary seeker. Humans, non-humans and gods have passed through this place, leaving profoundly changed in some way. He enters holding the symbol of his divinity, the thyrsus surmounted by a pine cone. A panther, horse and bull soon follow. All eyes gaze knowingly at the tableaux. Something is afoot they sense. The man’s eyes search the dimly lit room, they’re intense and piercing. Many yearn to touch his sensual lips, not knowing why such an urge should overshadow reason and decorum. He brings a wildness of spirit and madness in his wake, with little change of escape for the unprepared.

The Triad watch silently, knowing well who he’s come seeking. The Spirit of Love gestures to a figure waiting in the shadows. A beautiful woman emerges into the light. Nut brown hair is held back form a fine boned face, which is flawless except for a tiny scar next to the right eye. This only serves to highlight her beauty. Her green eyes shine brightly, vulnerability clouding them briefly. They close for a moment, the man then seizes his chance and kisses her lips lightly. Such restraint the woman thinks. Many were the nights when the sleepy eyed god would rain kisses upon her, offering his Body, Heart and Soul. The fruit of the vine flowed like his blood, a sacrifice that was readily accepted by his worshippers, especially the Maenads.  Mighty Dionysos!

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Image: werner22brigitte, Pixabay

The woman curls her arms around his neck and they begin a slow dance in the centre of the room. The orchestra plays a wistful and hypnotic melody that fires the blood and reaches deep into your memories. It sings of the passion of worship and illumination, of unconscious urges rising from the depths and fragmenting in the light of day. Those present feel its primeval beat and unbridled emotions. They perch on the edge of surrender, surrender to forces beyond human comprehension, as do the two figures on the dance floor. Dionysos whirls away from the woman and performs a dance in ecstatic frenzy. He gives up himself and his very being in this ritual of unbinding and vulnerability.

“Come, maenad, tear me asunder and set me free” he begs his partner.

The woman walks round him, slowly and seductively. She stands in strength and power, confident in every way. Her grace and serenity beguile and warm the heart.

“Unbind your beauteous hair my love and let it flow like a waterfall over my arms” he beseeches to no avail.

“I loosen my hair for no one Great One, those times are gone. I no longer rend my clothes and spirit for you” she whispers in his ear. He moans in protest and then laughs.

They circle each like warriors on the battlefield. Memories swirl around them like ribbons of light, shimmering in intensity when the emotions overflow the cup. His ecstatic trance flows like a river in full rage, unstoppable and dangerous. The Triad held the power at bay if only to protect the bystanders. The driving beat of the melody urges the dancers onwards to a higher state of consciousness. The God of the Vine gazes intently at the woman facing him, her lips whisper prayers uttered in his honour in ancient times. His eyes close in humility and thanks.

The woman approaches and kisses him deeply. It tells of millennia of searching for her true self, of walking on roads unknown and fearful. Yet, she always sensed his presence wherever she went. The kiss told of her fragmentation and subsequent rebirth. It told of nights when the god approached and enfolded her in warmth and safety. It told of a love drawn from a bottomless well.

The two figures part and stand smiling at each other. She stands back and holds out her arms, two serpents emerge from behind and wind themselves round each arm. Her hair comes loose and flows down her back. The God of the Vine drinks bows his head in respect and gestures to a table in the corner. On it wait fruit of the vine and two wine glasses. The red of sacrifice has been replaced by the white of rebirth.

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Image: werner22brigitte, Pixabay

She Walks In Light: Amunet’s Development and Journey

Image: Pixabay

I’ve thought at length about the possible origins of my character.  She emerged as a result of a writing challenge entered a while ago (Sue Vincent’s #writephoto); and was called the Alchemist’s daughter until an appropriate name was found. Amunet was chosen as my heroine emitted a sense of “otherness” that necessitated further investigation. For that I needed to revisit  ancient Egyptian creation myths. There wasn’t any conscious effort to mould her into a representation of wisdom and mystery. Like many other characters, she developed from gut feelings and nebulous images in the mind. These creations become significant over time, being echoes of lost histories. If we’re receptive to their voices they can be encouraged to tell us their stories. This seemed the most sensible approach to take.

To be honest this character’s an enigma to me. I stare at her from my position in the present and wonder at the nature of adventure we’re participating in. Amunet appears to be forming the basis of a bigger project, something I’m getting excited about.

I suppose we should now journey to the beginning of all things in my character’s universe. A time before time existed in a formless space:

The Ogdoad in The Hermopolitan Creation Myth

Amunet belongs to one of the Ogdoad (group of Eight), who are four pairs of ancient Egyptian deities thought to be the oldest of all gods. A statement made by other creations myths of that land about their gods! Regardless, these beings represent primeval elemental powers existing before creation of the world. The four male gods are frog headed, and their female counterparts snake headed:

  • Amun (Male) and Amunet (Female) represent invisibility.
  • Kek (M) and Keket (F) are darkness.
  • Heh (M) and Hehet (F) are infinite space.
  • Nun (M) and Nunet (F) are the primeval waters.

The world they inhabited was shrouded in silence and darkness, if you can imagine a place consisting of nothingness you’ve done well. I don’t always manage to.

When the waters of chaos retreated they revealed the first land. It was the sacred Mound upon which the Cosmic egg was laid by either an Ibis (sacred to Djehuty) or a goose, called the Great Cackler. In another variation of the myth the darkness was pierced by the light of the child Ra who rose from the depths of Nun in a lotus. This creation myth focusses on the mystery of creation out of non-being to being. Something that has fascinated and perplexed me since childhood.

These powers are part of a group of deities indigenous to the ancient centre of Khemenu (“The Town of the Eight”), named Hermopolis Magna by the Greeks. The other deities are a hare and baboon. This place was the cult centre of Djehuty (Thoth) from early dynastic times, and with his arrival at Khemenu these deities were absorbed into his mythos. Two in particular retained their status though, the Hare goddess Wenet and the baboon god Hedj-wer. Wenet was the totem animal of the 15th or Hare Nome (administrative division) of Upper Egypt, so it may have been difficult to obliterate her presence. As for the baboon god, he was worshipped here from pre-dynastic times and became closely associated with Djehuty as one of his manifestations. From here we briefly face the divinity that is Djehuty.

Djehuty and the Symbolism of Eight

It’s appropriate that the spirit of Djehuty pervades my heroine’s life. He is after all the Master Alchemist, God of Wisdom and Magic, oversees the arts, and sciences. In fact ruling all intellectual pursuits. Djehuty is also said to have invented hieroglyphs. The number eight embodies his essence perfectly as it symbolises harmony, balance, and cosmic order. It’s also the number of perfection, infinity, abundance, and power.

So far, so good. Amunet therefore contains within herself perfect knowledge and Being. She’s the Priestess sitting in front of the Veil obscuring the Greater Mysteries of Life and Beyond; and also Divine Fire clothed in material matter, hidden, waiting. She contains potential within herself, of greater things. That’s what so fascinating about her, as she represents the hidden potential within all of us. The ability to bring to light the invisible aspects of our natures and the Cosmos. That’s why She Walks in Light.

 

 

Duty Bound: Odin’s Gift

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photo credit: spratmackrel Auld One Eye via photopin (license)

There’s been much talk lately of Muses going AWOL and I’m duty bound to put in my penny’s worth, why not? Where the Shed is concerned should I be worried? Not really. Their absence gives me a little breathing space. I’ve been looking at my activities and decided that a change is due. This state of affairs may be the result of the number of Seers and Soothsayers congregating under my roof. They’ve been here a while, just peering intensely at the comings, goings and me. Rather disquieting, especially the ones from the far north, the land of fire and ice. They peer into your soul, divining fate and fortune from the bones of former lives. The realm of the One-Eyed One is a place not seen since the veils parted all those years ago, it occurred during a meditation if you have to know. Any more I can’t reveal, otherwise I’d have to hurt you a little. Your feelings that is.

We have a strange relationship, what a surprise…It’s the usual story of woman meets mysterious god, there’s an instant attraction and interests in common, god offers woman a proposal she can’t refuse, involving fringe benefits and travel. She accepts and may live to regret doing so. He offered me the runes, how could I refuse? It felt like a betrayal of my Khemetic roots, what would Anubis say? A ménage a trois wasn’t what I had in mind. Yet, the door he opened revealed aspects of myself not acknowledged.

This post had been languishing in draft form for several days, with little possibility of escape, until now. The One-Eyed one wasn’t going to let me work on anything else until it was completed. Damn you Trickster!

Who and what is he really? Will I ever know? Will I ever want to know? It’s difficult peering into my own soul much less one of something like him.

Who is Odin?

If you’re unfamiliar with Odin, he’s a Norse God who sacrificed himself on the World Tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days and nine nights in order to gain knowledge, the gifts of divination and prophecy. The ordeal on the Tree included extreme pain and suffering (as he speared himself on the side) in the pursuit of his goal. This whole experience has strong shamanic overtones… There’s usually a price to pay for seeking knowledge hidden from the living; his was the sacrifice of an eye in order to gain access to the well of wisdom beneath Yggdrasil. Such experiences serve to break down notions of Self and perceptions of reality. They shift the boundaries between different states of consciousness (sometimes referred to as non-ordinary and ordinary reality); so enabling the individual to interact with transpersonal beings in the pursuit of a particular goal (i.e. healing, gaining a guardian spirit animal).

The god is known by many names that reflect different aspects of his personality, one that encapsulates the might and power of nature:

  • The name is said to have its roots in the Old Norse word “od”, meaning wind or spirit (Óðinn).
  • In Old English he’s referred to as “Grim”, meaning “hooded or masked”.
  • Another name is Hrafnáss (“raven-god”), rather apt as he’s attended by two raven familiars called Hugin and Munin (“thought” and “memory”).
  • In Old High German his name was Wōtan.
  • He’s also known Allvíss (“all-wise”).

Odin’s reputation can be a little sinister, varying from duplicity to cruelty. He’s said to be able to change shape, practice necromancy, divination and prophecy. Battle, death and the gallows are other associations. Two wolves named Geri and Freki accompany the god on his travels and may hint at a wolf cult associated with him. As for his appearance, usual depictions are of a tall, thin, one-eyed man with shoulder length grey hair, usually wearing a long cloak and a wide-brimmed hat. The staff he carries is made of blackthorn. His steed is an eight legged horse called Sleipnir.

As you can see he’s excellent at multi-tasking. Okay, I’m trying to avoid the real issue here, having to fulfil my end of the bargain. Those often favoured by the gods are also subject to their (cruel) whims.

“You’ve seen sense now apprentice”, a voice mutters from the side-lines.

It’s all in the, er, eye, it stares at me with unsettling intensity.

“Unsettling intensity?” he stutters in shock.

“Please don’t pretend shock, you know what you’re doing”, I manage to get out, sighing loudly.

“Jan, Jan, how long have we known each other? Where’s the trust gone to?”, he responds in a pleading tone.

No wonder he was feared and approached with trepidation. Words were his weapon of choice, weaving hypnotic spells. You were tied up tightly without even being aware of his actions. He wasn’t one to be either spurned or ignored. Devious and manipulative so and so…

I eventually mutter, “how may I serve you High One?”

He answers, “accept what has been offered to you. Anubis and I have been waiting twenty years for your answer. Time for you to get moving sweetie,”

This is news to me, the fact that he and Anubis have been plotting together. Pantheons don’t always mingle but in this case they appear more than willing.

“Okay! Yes, yes. The finger will be pulled out and I’ll take it seriously”, my voice breaks in exasperation. He isn’t going to let go. I sob into my hands, well, pretend to.

“I can still see you Padawan, no point in trying to disappear. Can YOU see me though?” he whispers.

I peer at him through a gap in my fingers, one eye looks at the One-Eyed One. My attention flows towards the point of interaction, it swirls around him. The disguise falls away to reveal a strong and battle hardened face, an empty socket where an eye once was. He hasn’t been diminished by its loss at all. Such things he’s seen in the quest for knowledge of truths neither the living nor the dead can ever hope to learn. Odin has peered into the depths of the Void beyond existence, much like Anubis, and returned a different being. Perhaps this is what’s feared by our egos, change and letting go of old patterns. Also the deception of unworthiness, not being able to be up to the task and challenge. There’s safety in the familiar and known, that’s what we tell ourselves.

 

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/

Dragon Charmer

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Image: Pixabay

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

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

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

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

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

That’ll do nicely.

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

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

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

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

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Image: Pixabay

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.

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

Master of Ceremonies

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Image: Pixabay

I came across this suave gentleman whilst looking for an image for another blog. He intrigued me and I wanted to know more of his story. Who, what and where, raced through my mind. At one point I thought he looked a little like the late Argentinian jazz saxophonist Gato Barbieri. Hm, maybe not. Perhaps I want this man to have a history filled with all manner of adventure, loss, love and creativity. Magic even.

Writers have spun concoctions from the meerest scrap of an idea, why shouldn’t I from an image found out of thousands? People interest me, I love observing them, at rest, work and play. Human nature repels me (and many others) when it manifests in ugly hatred,  malice and selfishness. On the other hand, It enriches my spirit when the true beauty and poetry of the soul shine through. I digress. What of my mysterious stranger? I named him the Master of Ceremonies for a good reason, which will be explained later. His demeanour and roguish good looks hint at, a life infused with spiciness and whiskey flavoured jazz melodies. A little overstated? I can’t help myself.

Continue reading

Come Hither He Says – Knock #writephoto by Jan Malique

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Image: Sue Vincent

An intriguing photo from Sue for this week’s photo prompt Knock #writephoto. What a magnificent creature I think, redolent of deep and ancient magic. Great Pan, is that you? Guardian of the portal into Nature’s mysteries.

In the mind’s eye I see your temples of green, mighty forests stretching far beyond the horizon. Pure and sweet streams wind through glade of green. My feet take me through flower filled meadow and deep river valley. Sweet thyme and oregano crush underfoot and honey bees sway drunkenly in nectar and heat filled flight. What a marvel of imagination! Come forth Great God of Nature, long have I waited to glimpse your face. The question must be asked, will fear shatter the dream, Pan-ic drive me from your realm? We have defiled your memory much, shaping sacred into demon birthed forth from intolerance and religious zeal. Your world has not banished but stepped back into the shadows, it waits in our dreams, our hope and our yearning.

Come, come, Great Pan! Open the door to mysteries beyond. I wait, draw circles in earth and call forth Sylph, Salamander, Undine and Gnome. Air, Fire, Water and Earth. Should I come before you innocent as a child, free from guilt and hardened perception? Soft, soft are your footsteps through gold tinged forest, such sweet music sweeps before you. Reed pipes, how hypnotic their sound is. The memories come fleeting, tinged with sweet and sharp, bring on deep thirsts. I glimpse your face briefly, you persist in playing this game but not in cruelty it seems. I feel you close now. Arcadia is close now. Ancient hymns echo in my ears. They praise you primeval god, petition for fertility and joy. They sing of times lost, when only mist existed after chaos withdrew from night.

He comes closer still, pipes lulling fear and Pan-ic. I feel your gaze mighty Pan, dare I turn my head and look? Closer and closer you edge. I reach out and knock on the door, a pause and then it swings open. Bright eyes gleam in the gloom, they move closer, is that you Great Pan? Beyond lie green temples, flower filled meadow and deep river valleys. ‘Come hither he says’ and I can only accept, knowing great mysteries lie ahead.