Meeting at the Crossroads

JanBaby, Pixabay

A crossroad beckons on the horizon once more, and my feet are approaching it at a leisurely pace. So unlike me it has to be said. Evidently I’m mellowing in middle age.

Change is a coming and I’m not sure how to face it. Much like my reaction to prevailing weather conditions. It’s been cold, windy and rainy for weeks, and I haven’t even ventured into the garden to say hello to its inhabitants. My usual seat at the kitchen table has remained empty, which is a shame as it’s an important part of my writing and dreaming. It’s window facing and provides a lovely view of life unfolding through the seasons. It also gives me space to go inwards and sense the emotion of my inner landscape. One might say being a spectator has its uses, but disengaging from participating in life’s dramas makes Jan a dullard indeed.

The spectres of inertia and frustration are ever-present in our lives, beasts that are unwilling to loosen their grip. They gnaw at our innards and inject soporific poisons into our veins. We need all our courage and survival instincts to break free and run. That is until we get to a place of safety and gather our resources, summon our magician’s powers and bind the damned creatures. I’m talking more Gandalf than Harry Potter.

“More Gandalf than Harry Potter?” a voice queries from behind me.

That voice, with deep threads of mystery and dark wickedness running through it. His Nibs. I’ve neglected him for a while, just as well. No disrespect mighty one, the work we will be undertaking will require all of my strength and resilience, as well as hope. The path I’ve chosen to walk isn’t easy, more fool me! When you ask to enter into the service of Anubis, you need to carefully consider the implications of your decision. He’ll test your substance and spirit to almost breaking point.

He mutters with indignation, “that sounds a little harsh, you’ll scare them off.”

“Sorry, but it’s the truth. No point in sugar-coating what’s essentially a season ticket to the Underworld and Duat, ferrying the dead, lost, guiding initiates, breaking through fear, glimpsing awe-filled mysteries. I could go on.”

“Fine, things have been a little difficult for you lately, that’ll die away. Sorry, occupational hazard.” His voice trails off at the withering look on my face.

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View from kitchen window, Jan Malique

Human existence appears to be experienced in cycles and tantalising episodes in a rite of passage drama. Rites of passage seem to be barely celebrated in modern societies; almost becoming relics from a past that’s viewed with curiosity and nostalgia. That’s my opinion. Commercialism and materialism have taken over, retailers dictate when and what we should be celebrating. We’re urged to empty our wallets and spend rashly on the old plastic in order to show our affection and commiseration on specified dates. Why? Can’t we be trusted with showing care at any point in the calendar year?

“I like seeing you like this, a good rant releases useful chemicals in the brain. Go for it my little friend.” Says an ancient Egyptian God wearing a hoodie.

He then flashes the Ace of Spades in my face. I look at it and wonder why he’s showing me the card.

The Jackal God watches closely, absorbing every detail of my expression.

“The Ace of Spades is traditionally considered the Death card, but not always with physical death. It’s associated with personal transformation, changes, endings and beginnings. Such things are sometimes viewed with fear and troubled minds. Yet, there’s no rebirth without the ending of our old selves. New growth can’t flourish without removal of all that’s dead. This card symbolises ancient mysteries and hidden truths. See it and drink in its message.”

I understand and tell him “Death has appeared many times when I’ve consulted the oracle.”

“Who’s the oracle? Anyone we know?” he asks quietly.

I answer equally quietly “The Magician’s Tarot by Quareia.”

Pexels, Pixabay

I can see the readings vividly in my mind, beautiful but disquieting images. Portents of seemingly dire events and possible futures, of messages from powers beyond this plane, of restriction, illness and healing. The Abyss and Underworld showed their faces. There was more but I’m not jumping to any conclusions. He knows all this but isn’t saying anything. Our meeting at the Crossroads heralds a time of reassessment, doesn’t it always!

“How may I serve?” I ask again, for it’s a question that needs to be articulated, with confidence and without fear. I’ve searched for him for so long, entered into the womb of the Underworld and returned changed, not always prepared for what’s unfolded. In hindsight it’s helped in the process of shattering a restrictive carapace and unhealthy conditioning.

I look at the hoodie wearing God of the Dead and Transformations and call his name, ask for guidance and clarification. I ask to learn the songs of grief and unchaining as my journey progresses, I ask for the wisdom to recognise and acknowledge the lessons being bestowed, for myself and others. He takes me to the Saqqara, the necropolis of ancient Memphis in Egypt, a place he’s walked again and again in long distant times. The sun bleached sand and stone of its landscape still holds a sleeping power, resonating with echoes of the dead and curiosity of throngs of the living.

We watch the two worlds intermingle, their inhabitants pass by each other, sometimes catching glimpses of things that puzzle and induce longing. The centuries roll by before us, he’s seen it all. Time falls like a huge waterfall, drenching us in its spray. There’s only silence flowing around us, gleaming like water illuminated by the Sun. It stretches beyond the horizon. It’s the Silence of Knowing. A tool to break our shackles.

NeuPaddy, Pixabay

 

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Gothic Imaginings: Who is the Real You?

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Image: Pinterest

Not much to ask is it? Black and red go so well together. As do velvet darkness and moonlit nights heavy with the scent of night blooming jasmine. Black roses unfurl their beauty, beckoning drama and unfolding passion. Where does the siren lead? To paths plunging deep into the inner world of forgotten gods, unicorns and Faerie folk. Ancient songs haunt the winds of change,  telling and retelling tales of tragedy and heroic acts. A little dramatic would you say?

Does it unsettle to look beneath the mask, search out truths and untruths hidden deep? Does it pain the soul to admit failings and regrets? Who and what do we desire to be are questions asked but with no answers forthcoming. Look beyond the illusions and seek the person slumbering within whispers the voice in our mind.

 

 

Tread Softly Dear Love

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Image: Pixabay

This was a strange one to write. I love the sea and feel its pull strongly, it calls bringing voices of the past and something yet to come. On this occasion it brought with it a tale of something and someone lost. A mariner who lost his life due to treachery and seeking revenge on the perpetrators. Revenge is a toxin that can remain even beyond death if we choose to accept  its embrace. This lost soul yearns for his former love, haunting her steps in the waking world and within her dreams. He also haunts the living, filled with a raging hatred.

Such is the strength of the mariner’s ire that the gods are compelled to deal with him. One such divine being is enlisted to calm the storm within this soul and release him from this purgatory. This isn’t a poem. I listened to my feelings and tried to translate them into a narrative that had elements of a song. I like the sound of words and the images they create:

Tread softly dear love,
Lest you crush the rose so avidly sought.
How so you question, this way I answer, dampen your ardour.
How your eyes of Autumn fire seek fulfilment, entreat passion,

This is not to be, she walks the lonely shore,

Carrying memories of times past, love that is past.

Leave her be, heal she must.

The rose blooms still upon her cheek, the heart still beats within her breast.

Tread softly dear love,

Lest you crush the rose so avidly sought.

 

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Image: Pixabay

Deep, deep I take us,
Through Earth and rivers of Fire,
Into depthless Oceans, forgotten Realms.

Soft are your words, hard is my Response.
Human man, how you drown in bitter waters, endless tears.
Speak to me of visions loving,
Of echoes of distant trysts,
Not of bloodied revenge, such things are gone and should not be called.

Retribution shall come but not by your hand.

It is not your task, for that is for the gods.

 

Ancient Mariner, why seek revenge on the living?

Your heart blazes with unnatural fire, quench it you must.
Our people call to us, many are their prayers,
Seeking release from the darkness that you bring.
Desist! Return to your watery grave in Poseidon’s realm.
Why become the very thing that seeks you out?

Lift yourself from these sands,
No presence of your former self shall you leave.
Gone is he, into depthless Oceans, forgotten Realms.

No graveyard dust shall you have but pearls of shining.

 

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Image: Pixabay

Tread softly dear love, your time is passing,

Dry your tears lest the depthless Oceans embrace the land.

Hear the song of the birds and the crashing waves upon the shore.

Give thanks for what you had, give thanks for what you shall have.

The Fates have decreed and so it must be, why seek hubris even beyond death?

Embrace the wine dark sea, taste its lips for evermore.

 

Tread softly dear love, your time is passing.

Come, join me into depthless Oceans, forgotten Realms,
In shining halls and forests of green.
Embrace the wine dark sea, taste its lips for evermore.
Tread softly dear love, come into my arms, your time is only beginning.

Disquiet

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Image: Pixabay

He wakens, sends forth visions of disquiet. No words are offered, only cobweb shrouded dreams.

Ancient battles rage, move through forests of memories.  They sear like a brand, Subdue with righteous anger. Punished are we children of the twilight, creatures forged in hunger and envy. 

Enchanter is he. Dragon, forged in fire, weaver of life. Seer and bringer of a Death unremitting. Guardian of treasures none but the illumined can see. That is, only through the gates of Void and Silence.

What is He? The words written on this scroll only serve to deepen the disquiet I’m feeling. I know very well what He is but hoped it would not be so. Creatures like him glide silently through the corridors of our dreams; bringing confused thoughts and unawakened desires. He tests us, touches the veils of awareness. Legends unfurl like the petals of night blooming Hellebore. I see his history and it is not a happy one. Continue reading