Old Gods, Old Journeys – Thursday photo prompt – #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt:

Thy file past, hearts and minds filled with a multitude of wishes, sorrows, and joys. This pilgrimage has remained constant since the time of their ancestors and beyond. The land and its guardians have watched over this sacred site long before humans had even set foot on its hallowed earth. The gods changed faces and names over time, but their true essence was always present and unchanged.

The Old Ones watch from the other side of the Veil, see the sincerity, or not, of the passing crowds. Petitions and offerings are laid at the shrine, many imbued with feelings of desperation and hope. Humanity seeks cures for its ills, lays its battered spirits at the feet of its gods. Tears are shed, potent remembrances of lives fulfilled and potential unrealised. Their pilgrimages are often hard, last acts of faith when all else seems lost.

The Oracles and Gods of yore dispense their wisdom in dreams and visions, undertake new journeys in the furtherance of continuity. A fact not lost on the wise at heart and beleaguered of spirit. Suffering brings with it a harsh reality and clarity of purpose.

As for this shrine, the One with Three Names and Aspects stands guard, watches intently for the suffering of her people. They reciprocate, flowing like tributaries into the greater River of Life. One pilgrim falls to her knees, beseeches silently, grasps the hand of compassion and healing. Perched on the edge of a precipice she has no other recourse but to pray with her last breath.

It may be a modern world but the inherent nature of these people is written on stones in forgotten languages. It is an old, old tune. One sung and chanted under Sun and Moon, memorised intently and reverently. It is present in legends and histories that are hidden. Some say the Old Ones created their children of flesh and bone to sing their praises, and enact the divine plan on Earth.  Is this truth? Is this illusion?

Such things are of no concern to those who journey to these places of power. For they seek nourishment of the soul and healing of deep wounds. Who can blame them?

 

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Kingdom of the Sorceress: Fate Divined

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Image: RondellMelling, Pixabay

This old year is nearing its end and the time has come for the Sorceress, White Rabbit and I to convene in a place where all worlds meet and time doesn’t exist. I’ve missed my otherworldly friend, his quirky ways and unsettling habit of turning my world inside out. Is this what he was doing to Alice whilst she wandered through his surreal habitat? A world that was old, so old, when humanity was an idea, a seed in the womb of the Great Mother. The Sorceress knew the Mother’s secrets, tended to Her, guarded the gates to dimensions beyond understanding. She divined fates, foretold past and future. The present is ours to build and dream, breathe life into. Anubis and Amunet are making their way to another place to meet with Seraph and the Oracle. We will join them soon. Though not on this occasion.

The gates of this hidden kingdom open slowly at our approach. She emerges from the gloom and reveals her splendour. Spells are woven, incantations uttered, dreams shaped and birthed. She asks us, asks you, what is it that we need, not want, but need? A great fire has been lit in the centre of the kingdom, a funeral pyre. Into which shall be thrown our dead selves, old patterns, behaviours and burdens. Such things need to find their peace and place in the Universe when the times comes. Even the immortal must relinquish old memories, faded pages crumbling in the Book of Transitions. These are things to consider she says, to mull over and then, decide on our course of action. “Choose wisely” she mutters, then smiles a smile of utter sweetness and danger. A reminder that the road to revelation and freedom can be littered with fearful things. Of our own making and the intrigue of others…

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Image: darksouls1, Pixabay

The way forward is veiled, its opalescent light hinting at things yet to be revealed. She lifts a hand and the veil parts at her command. The Tree of Life awaits on the plain before the Great Ocean, we now stand in the place of the Lesser Mysteries. Beings of Fire bar the way to the Greater Mysteries, their names unutterable, their natures fearful. Such an awesome sight did we behold! Is this a dream? Is this a vision of things to some? White Rabbit lies down on the ground and whistles a familiar tune, its haunting melody sinks deep into our skin, flesh and blood.

The Trickster leads us down the rabbit hole once again, we fall slowly through the vortex, spinning, spinning and spinning into infinity. Where would this journey end? Not in a place that’s familiar, not in a place we thought we would ever see again. There is darkness and fire, unfolding like gigantic waves breaking upon the shore. Is this the beginning of creation or its death? A multitude of voices fall like shooting stars, then all we hear is, the Great Silence. Thus is the song of angels. The Tree shimmers, inhales and exhales, calls to all that are ready and willing to live as divined, as decreed. The vision ends as it had begun, within the melody.

He looks, the Trickster looks and remains silent. Thus is the song of angels.

Image: Pixabay

Trickster, Shaman, Hierophant. What shall we call you? He shrugs, wearing a maddening smile. The Sorceress answers “He’s one pillar”.  The Trickster answers “She’s the other”. They gesture towards the Tree. So has she divined a fate, whose fate we should ask…We leave her kingdom of illusion and hidden truths. The Sorceress sings the gates into being, and ushers us out. How mundane that sounds but look where you now stand. What has changed?

 

Dee ~ Archangel Oracle – Exploration

Another card from the Archangel Oracle Blog, one that is quite pertinent for many of us.

Daily Angel Oracle Card: Exploration, from the Sacred Power Reading Cards, by Anna Stark, artwork by Louis Dyer Exploration: “Explore new territory. Create your own path, with purpose.” “Be brave! Exploring new ground and territory is essential to moving forward. Once we overcome our fear of the unknown, we often find the journey towards our […]

via Exploration — Archangel Oracle ~ Divine Guidance

Mage on the threshold – Thursday photo prompt – Mists – #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

An atmospheric photo from Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt, oh what wonders are waiting to be unleashed! With that in mind I present to you my explorations in the mists of time:

I see you Merlin, a shadowy outline waiting in the mists. Speak you unpredictable prophet of paradox and uncertainty, you appear to carry a message of great import. Both of us have played this game before. How that mischievous smile gives nothing away! This waiting is coming to an end I presume? The inner fires are slumbering, the flames show nothing as yet. The oracle is evasive and a reading cannot be given. I sense her behind my eyes, looking out over a world shrouded in apparent death, frozen in a sleep of becoming. The sun rises slowly, majestic in stature and movement. How many times have I been witness to such cycles, much like circles ever-expanding, like ripples in a pool? The wind brushes against my veil, eager to glimpse the dream enmeshed within reality. Come closer dear friend, come closer, our parting has been too long.

With each step the worlds move further up the spiral path, and the stars spill their light upon the Earth. All this I see with eyes sharp as your hunter’s knife. Heaven fertilises the Earth, and the seed lies buried deep within its womb. My song lulls her children in their sleep of ever becoming, my lips touch their brow, gentle, gentle are my fingers across their cheeks, loving are my thoughts. Yet again the dawn breeze brushes against my veil, eager to glimpse the dream enmeshed within reality. Come closer dear friend, come closer, our parting has been too long.

Hear my song dear friend, hear my song, it calls to you, speaks of shared quests long before the boy Arthur emerged from the mists. King Maker were you named, little did they know what power you held within your hands. A power not seen for generations upon generations. We knew your true face, and held its secrets to our bosom. The oracle stirs, and I see the truth as the flames reveal. They stir, rising from the land, both beast and human. The Ancestors peer at us, unravel our histories and cause wounds to gape like the abyss of no return. Blood is spilled, pouring like waterfalls, and the stench of battle fills our nostrils. What battles do I speak of? Those of our unsettled natures and ill nourished spirits.

Yet again the dawn breeze brushes against my veil, eager to glimpse the dream enmeshed within reality. Come closer dear friend, come closer, our parting has been too long. Lift my veil and let me see your face, one I have missed and mourned for too long. How gentle are your hands, shying away from the symbols of my power and sovereignty. I am the Land in all her glory, manifestation of time itself, a never-ending spiral, starlight supreme in a velvet darkness unravelling its mysteries. You are my Mage upon the Threshold, straddling the worlds, beast master, prophet, madman and dweller in the forest. I see the dragons of the elements split asunder from the One, five in number. They scatter to the directions, seeking the essence of their power. They call to you Mage, heed their desire and fulfil your destiny. I see you Merlin, no longer shadowed, no longer a dream. For you are my Mage upon the Threshold.

We Mourn Thee Mighty Thracian: Spirit of Remembrance

Many years have passed since the beautiful Thracian king and god ascendant graced the unknown bar hidden within the unnamed city. Orpheus ascended but did we have time to mourn him, to remember all that he was? We three, Spirits of Memory, Love and Dance performed our rituals but to what end? Someone important was missing, and She has come at last. The Spirit of Remembrance is the fourth element present in abundance within the Universe, there is one other, the Spirit of Divine Consciousness. Her time will come soon.

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Image: The Priestess John William Godward · 1895, Wikiart

Hail beloved sister! How your presence infuses our lives with serenity and meaning. You bring Rosemary for remembrance and purification for the mourning rites. How remiss of us to forget. Forgive us mighty Thracian. Dear sister Priestess we wait on your lead.

The Spirit of Remembrance begins the chant and we follow:

We rend our clothes and tear our hair, cry tears of salt and water bereft of blood. Hear our cries of pain and grief you beings of halls of silence and dread. Accept these offerings of Myrra, Mêkôn, Libanos, Helleboros and Daphnê in memory of Orpheus, our beloved King of Thrace. Green eyed god, vessel for divinity, and grief-stricken lover, who shall we minister to? Speak, break your silence and allow us to adore and pour salve upon flesh and spirit.

We four pour libations upon the ground and sprinkle incense upon ever-burning flames. Dread Persephone and Hades are petitioned, given sacrifice and prayers aplenty. We stand in a place not of time and of time, four faces gaze inwards, four faces gaze outwards. The space within lies empty, waiting another. So the chant begins anew:

We rend our clothes and tear our hair, cry tears of salt and water bereft of blood. Hear our cries of pain and grief you beings of halls of silence and dread. Accept these offerings of Myrra, Mêkôn, Libanos, Helleboros and Daphnê in memory of Orpheus, our beloved King of Thrace. Green eyed god, vessel for divinity, and grief-stricken lover, who shall we minister to? Speak, break your silence and allow us to adore and pour salve upon flesh and spirit.

A terrible silence descends, the emptiness hints at mysteries beyond all understanding. Then, it unfolds. His voice utters blessings, gives us solace. His form shimmers in the smoke, ah, green-eyed god how your beauty illuminates the darkness of the star filled heavens!

The power recedes and we are at peace once more. It is done, the mourning rites have been performed. Go in peace mighty Thracian.

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Image: photo credit: chiaralily Morgana via photopin (license)

“Trust” They Say: When Nature Speaks

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Image: Oak Tree, River Llugwy, Betws y Coed, Jan Malique

This post has been languishing on my computer for a while. There are have been numerous attempts at starting it, only to be discarded minutes later. I haven’t been in the mood to write much these past few weeks, due to a variety of reasons, illness being one. Health issues have been ongoing for months, draining my energy and enthusiasm. My doctor’s prescribed a whole variety of medicines to deal with gastro-intestinal problems, eliminating one cause after another. I’ve taken more medication in several months than in the past few years, and it isn’t really making me feel any better. Some symptoms have been alleviated, but long-term medication isn’t the way to go if there are other ways of resolving the issue. I don’t plan on increasing the profits of pharmaceutical companies if at all possible. An appointment has been arranged to see a specialist in several weeks time, let’s see what they say. That’s where I am at the moment. I’m not usually quite so open about personal issues in my posts but a time comes when it becomes necessary.

Change is Knocking on the Door

I know there are many other people experiencing stress and difficulties in their lives. There appears to be a mass of chaotic energy sweeping through the planet at this time, making people feel destabilised and fearful. It’s contagious and quite hard at times to shield yourself against. My challenge is to remain calm and not give in to provocation, and there’s plenty of it going on around me in both personal and professional spheres. Challenges serve to reveal the true nature of your spirit. Mine’s currently sitting in a chair with a warm blanket covering her knees, and thinking wtf is going on with the dysfunctional inmates around her. Apologies for my language but it needed to be said. My nature needs to be less judgmental admittedly, but rude behaviour is unnecessary and being such a “sensitive little soul” it pains me to the core.

It feels good to get that off my chest. All is not bad in the Shed though as there is light filtering through the rainy gloom and lighting up the shadows. I got up one morning a couple of weeks ago and aimed to have a good day. A weight lifted off my shoulders and Hope emerged to give a thumbs up. This was looking positive. The day went well. I finally admitted that a change of work environment was necessary, and steps needed to be taken to find positive people, experiences and opportunities. Change can be difficult but I implore you not to put up with crap if it’s taking a toll on health and wellbeing. Be true to yourself and your heart, self-sacrifice yields little in the way of either spiritual or material gain.

Who Answers?

So, the scene has been set for this strange little journey of mine. What comes next? The drama started in mid-September, we were en route to work and my partner was giving me a lift to the railway station. It was my first week back at work after our holiday and I wasn’t in the most enthusiastic of moods, just tired. My thoughts cried out to the greater Universe for clarity and guidance. An answer was needed, anything that would help me see through the fog of uncertainty. There was a distinct lack of trust in my ability to navigate the waters of life. Then the words “Trust” and “Duir” fell like pebbles into a pool. Duir is the Irish/Gaelic word for Oak (meaning door), a tree that has been revered for centuries by many cultures. Duir and Druid have their roots in the Sanskrit dru, meaning wood, tree and vid, meaning to know.

 The Oak Comes Forth

Those two words kept repeating in my head for a reason. Synchronicity dear readers, a word that appears when things are afoot, when guidance is being offered by otherworldly (or other) sources. We’d visited Betws y Coed in the Snowdonia National Park several weeks ago. Our walk took us along the banks of the River Llugwy. The majority of trees there were deciduous, with a large number of oak trees being present. Great numbers of acorns littered the footpath and river bank. The rocks and trees were also adorned in moss. The atmosphere was filled with a sense of ‘otherness’ and felt old.

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Image: Old Green Beard, Betws y Coed, David K Almond

I love trees and have always regarded them as wise and powerful sentient beings. Trees hold memories and knowledge of times past in their bodies, they’ve been revered as beings worthy of respect and considered great teachers. Numerous cultures speak of the World Tree existing at the centre of the cosmos, whose roots go deep into the underworld and canopy stretches into the heavens. So they are rather important entities, whose existence we depend on to oxygenate our atmosphere, create habitats for a huge number of species and also enrich our Souls and Spirit. Trees rock! For a former city kid my spirit is surprisingly receptive to the land and its spirit. Does that sound arrogant? Perhaps this is one of the meanings of Life, not to forget our deep and eternal relationship with Nature.

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Image: Tree of Life by William Morris, Jan Malique

As for the Oak tree, I can see why it came forward. Situations appear clearer with hindsight!

Oak appears in many places in our home, on the frame of a mirror, on furniture and our garden gate. There are oak trees across the road from us as well. The answer was all around me and I’d been too preoccupied to notice. What of some of the symbolism associated with this king of the forest?

Associations with Deities:

Arianrhod, Balder, Blodeuwedd, Brigid, Cerunnos, Cerridwen, Cybele, Dagda, Dryads, Herne, Indra, Janus, Jupiter, Jehovah, Llyr, Odin, Pan, Rhea, Taran, Thor, Vishnu, Zeus.

 Correspondences:

Planetary Ruler – Jupiter
Element of Fire
Male
Totem Bird – Wren, Eagle, Swallow, Woodpecker
Totem animal – Bull

Folk Lore

Associated with sky and thunder gods and deities of fertility and fire. The Oak is said to confer courage, health, inner strength and protection. The ancient Romans considered the tree to be the ancestor of humankind and the Arcadian Greeks thought of themselves as being Eggenoi Dryos (Sons of the Oak). Oak was associated with prophecy, a means by which gods communicated with their worshippers. Meetings were held under it and oak groves were places of ritual and worship.

Due to its deep roots the Oak can help with the good health of our feet in aiding stability, connecting to the solidity of the earth/Earth. It is thought to be one World Tree, connecting the three realms and a doorway into the Otherworld. Oak also represents the Lord of the Forest, in the glory of his strength, protection and virility. Oaks that had mistletoe growing on them were especially revered, as the berries were considered semen of the Sun God. In ancient times the plant was known as druad-lus (druid’s plant). It represented rebirth and peace,  with the ancient Celts refraining from battle when the mistletoes was being cut at the Solstice. The Druid’s god Esus was thought to reside in the tree.

As a physical doorway it is incredibly strong and resilient, and as a spiritual doorway it can give us access to primeval worlds. Places in which we can gather courage and strength to overcome adversity. The tree’s bark, leaves and acorns can be used to produce healing remedies to revitalise the physical and spiritual levels. As a Bach Flower remedy, Oak helps with despair, despondency and limitations of illness. It supports the person by helping them persevere and has a calming influence. It therefore has much to teach us.

There is much more connected with the Oak but that is something for me to explore in greater depth. This is only a brief overview of a vast subject concerning tree lore. The best way of experiencing the majesty and wisdom of trees is obviously in nature. I’m not a Druid, just someone who feels great affection for these mighty beings. I asked a question and it was answered in the most appropriate way regarding my circumstances. The next step is to buy the Oak Bach Flower remedy and start making a list of “to dos”.

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Image: Moss shrouded glade, Jan Malique

 

Dreams and Prophecies

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Image: Sibylla Delphica, Edward Burne-Jones, WikiArt

I love the works of Edward Burne-Jones and this portrayal of the oracle at Delphi evokes strong emotions in this blogger’s heart. It’s a place I yearn to visit, in fact have visited in dreams. The hope is that some of my cremated remains will eventually find a resting place in that hallowed place. The other places are the Ganges and the site of Ptah’s temple in Egypt. One might say that the influence of these three great civilisations have run through my life like veins of gold in rock, precious and incorruptible. The Soul answers to many calls and why not? Our travels through this Universe can be likened to pilgrimages, with the pilgrim carrying much in the form of hopes, dreams and longings. What they take away may be renewed faith and vision of something greater in the here and now and beyond.

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Pythia – Deep #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt Deep #writephoto is a return journey to the Oracle at Delphi. A place mysterious, awe-some and a little terrifying. The answers being sought are always couched in unclear and misleading language. To give the true answer would change destinies and the mouth piece of the Goddess cannot interfere in human matters. Or so we are given to believe… Continue reading

Secrets revealed, Secrets concealed

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I’m sitting at my kitchen table again looking out at the sun bathed garden. The best seat in the house folks. It’s been nearly a week since I took to my sick-bed with a particularly stubborn cold. The kind that leaves you feeling like a zombie crossed with Stig of the Dump. Not a pretty sight. Not totally recovered but at least I feel ready to face the world again due in part to the desire to write, write and write. The words were waiting to be released and they were, in a torrent. The torrent also washed a way a lot that was redundant. I feel a longish ramble coming on and can’t possibly deny the urge to let it take its course. The White Rabbit made his appearance on a couple of occasions as did the spirit of His Nibs. The result being the birth of two new blogs. Hurrah!  It means I’ll need to ensure my notes are legible and meet all standards of decency. Also avoid getting the posts mixed up. Illness focusses the mind keenly towards the inner. If you’re immobile and in a weakened state there is nowhere else to go but where the spirit leads. In my case I’m not sure where I’m being lead, not yet anyway. It appears there are secrets yet to be revealed. Continue reading

Hidden Pathways

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(This version was published in Axis Mundi online magazine Issue 58 in 2014, the original version “Merlin” was published in 2006)

This story emerged from meditations undertaken many, many years ago. It was a strange time, the energies surrounding my life were a little challenging it has to be said! Such are the cycles of life and the Universe. He, I refer to Merlin of course, was a shadowy figure peering out from the depths of my subconscious. I was seeking answers. From the Old Ones, from the land, from ancient totems. I needed healing and the solution was to enter the magical landscape of Snowdonia, seeking the mage in his natural element. I also had in my possession the wonderful “The Druid Animal Oracle” and  “The Complete Merlin Tarot.”  Potent gateways into the Otherworld.

I was able to weave a fantastical tale from my meditations. The words flowed like a fast flowing stream, carrying me onwards into unknown territory. This story had been waiting a long time to emerge. Ancient Egyptian priestesses, dragons and the great Merlin himself. What more could I ask for? These are symbolic landscapes for those who like to view them as such. For others, well, we know different…

Shall we proceed through the doorway and into the waiting landscape?

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