Approaching Thresholds

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ulleo, Pixabay

I haven’t posted in a while due to being ill with a horrible bout of flu. A week is a long time in politics and even longer in blogging. This lurgy deserves to have all manner of nasty things thrown at it. It’s rendered me unable to eat properly, coughing like I’ve been smoking for years (I’m a non-smoker) and very tired. Today is the first day I’ve felt able to function properly and it feels goodish.

I’m reserving judgement until the virus is dragged screaming from my system and thrown through whatever portal it came through. A tad dramatic admittedly, but when you’ve had a raging inferno inside you there is no other option but to use harsh language. It passes the time and occupies idle hands.

The day’s been mild and sunny, which has lifted my spirits. Although there was one minor blip on my horizon. Our kitchen door has a habit of sticking and it happened this afternoon. I’d left my phone in the living room and couldn’t climb out of the kitchen window (either I need to lose weight or the window needs checking for malfunction); a valiant and embarrassing effort was made though. I managed to free myself eventually.

I was seated at the kitchen table consulting the Oracle and wondered whether this was a test. You know, to see whether I was taking notice of the messages being conveyed. My divination skills are rather rusty and ripe for refining. Illness has a habit of focussing one’s thoughts and attention towards the inner. Living in a world filled with a cacophony of noise can render you almost deaf to important messages emanating from your subconscious. It can also blind you to things that need to be noticed, prevent you from seeing through illusions, of situations and people not being what they appear to be.

The Oracle from the Magician’s Tarot (Quareia), Jan Malique

It feels like there are many thresholds approaching. Thresholds are intriguing places, both in the waking and dream states. They’re places of transition and transformation, and in architecture are decorated appropriately to denote their significance. They signify the separation of the profane and sacred, and are assigned guardians to prevent the incursion of those not prepared for the experience to come. They are also places through which we pass from consciousness to subconsciousness, we thus descend into the Underworld if the Guardians permit us to.

Which brings to mind the descent of the goddess Ishtar into the Underworld. There is no way of avoiding this fate if we’re to gain one ounce of self-insight.

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5477687, Pixabay

The unravelling is necessary but its power must be restricted once the objective has been achieved, that is self-awareness and self-mastery. That doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll be permitted access to the doors waiting further on the horizon until further trials and lessons are completed.

The threat of destruction (either real or symbolic) is heavily infused with ambivalence, it implies sacrifice and is part and parcel of the journey. The process brings fear but should not be allowed to overwhelm us. I’m not seeing things clearly and perhaps allowing the fear of whatever destruction implies, it isn’t always something negative.

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Dustytoes, Pixabay

I’m a different person to who I was a year ago, and a year before that, and beyond that. The passage of time has involved the shedding of old personas, much like a snake sheds its skin. Transitions and Thresholds have come and gone. Like the Shaman I need to face the invader (either physical or symbolic) within my system and ask why it’s there and what it wants. What lessons are to be gained from the interaction?

Self-awareness and self-mastery? For that I need to commune with the beings populating the inner landscape and my own self. I look to my ancestral line for answers to present day dilemmas and the gifts they’ve bequeathed (for good and bad). My healing will benefit them, for that is the greatest gift we can bestow upon them. It involves reintegration at the deepest level. A positive endeavour don’t you think?

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Hidden 

DasWortgewand, Pixabay

I felt the need to further explore my character Amunet’s past and this is the result. There appeared to be an underlying message in this “communication”. It was connected to the land and a people that seemed to vanish into forgetfulness and legend. In this chapter she appears as a woman called Magali (the Occitan form of Magdalene). Magali, as she was named by the Cathars who took her in, was considered a living embodiment of a Sleeper. One who decides at death to step back from the cycle of life and death and instead remain asleep in the land, dreaming, foretelling, and communing with all life.

The Cathars (“Pure Ones”) were condemned as heretics by the Church in the 13th century, in an age when its doctrines had hardened into dogma and politicking. The fate of these people was terrible, ending in 1244, in a nine month siege of their mountain fortress of Montsègur (in the Ariège department, south-western France). It culminated in a massacre. Many legends have grown around these mysterious people, with their true essence being hidden beneath a covering of subterfuge and illusion.

Occitan is a Romance language spoken in southern France and other areas. Occitania is the nomenclature given to the area where the language was first spoken and covers the Occitan Valleys in the Italian Alps, the old Aquitaine, Languedoc-Roussillon, the Aran Valley in the Pyrenees and the Principality of Monaco. Here ends my very brief outline. I visited the region many years ago and can testify to its special atmosphere. There is more, but that journey is for another time when the inner silence reveals another piece of the puzzle and allows me a clearer vision of these people. My fascination with them has a purpose. What does Magali have to say?

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Where is here? A place where there are remnants of a people I once knew. I dreamed their fate, touched their fears and yearning, but they’re gone. Crumbled into dust, and scattered by the winds. I slept but was stirred back into life, heard their cries for help, saw what approached. Their eyes stared unseeing at visions rising from the horizon, an omen of things hidden within, cloaked from recognition. Their time was at an end, was foretold, of an age when hate and ignorance would rise in the place of greatest darkness.

My eyes saw their disintegration, as piece by piece their souls flew from shells burning on a multitude of pyres. Danger reigned supreme and the river of poison ran fast and deep, dragged their carcasses to places that should not be uttered aloud. The wind mourned them, brought whispered entreaties, and showered these ruins in melancholy. What an ignominious end to such a civilisation! Yet, hope clung on and Light retreated to a place of safety, waiting and watching.

Where people once enjoyed lives of serenity and contemplation is now shrouded in a loveliness born of sadness and tears. We search the past to find meaning in the present. Brush away earth and sand to reveal artefacts to catalogue, name and display as a manifestation of a knowledge that is ultimately empty. The land will not reveal its secrets to those who have no understanding of the meaning of this life and the mysteries of the Universe. I will not reveal knowledge and understanding that must be earned, in hardships many times. If you will not listen to me, then you are free to meet your fate on the road ahead, do not bemoan what befalls you.

These ruined buildings of stone and mud brick decay in this dry, wind and sun blasted place but life always find a way. It sends roots deep into the earth, is nourished by the heart of the planet. The spirits of this city sing to me, welcome me back but know it has come at a cost. More than they care to acknowledge. What glories this place has seen, drawing in luminaries from worlds seen and unseen. Bejewelled towers sprang forth to vanish into the clouds, testimony to a civilisation worthy of its name, now forgotten. I call to it, urge it to rise from its untimely grave. Hear me my beloved heart, take my hand and walk the roads of illumination and majesty that were once your right. Perfection of the spirit was your ultimate destination, it was the spring from which your people drank and bathed their sacred centres. I tended to the gardens of their soul, taught them the ways of mysteries, brought them to the place of death, and rebirth into a second life.

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

As for me, I stand with feet buried in sand and memories, see dreams cast shadows across eyes that stare unseeing across the ages. See me for who I really am and be welcome. I bring the deep comfort of a mother’s arms, nourish your soul and aspirations, and cut the cord joining us when the time comes. My blade has a sharp kiss, and draws blood that fall like rubies, embodying both beauty and terror. I hold your ancestral history and my blood is your blood, ruby red and filled with wonders. I was Hidden but reveal myself now. See me, hear me.

 

Mysticsartdesign, Pixabay

Amore – Twittering Tale #62 – 12 December 2017

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Image: Photo from the Commons at Pixabay

Kat Myrman’s photo for this week’s Twittering Tale challenge gave me pause for thought. How so? The lure of messages in bottles is quite seductive and rather poignant reminders of human need. We enclose our notes in carriages of glass, urging the ocean to seek out safe harbours. This bottle is carrying a longing of a different need, desire and love, tinged with saltiness and expectation, loss even.  Who is the unknown author of this love letter?

Dear love, feel my heartbeat
Brush your fingers across my lips
Whisper words of unbridled love
Come to me bare of all fear and insecurity
Feel my heartbeat
For I would walk across the oceans
To find you and only you
I speak your name, will you answer me?
I am your Soul, I am your Heart.

(279 characters)

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We Are in the Place Between

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What is this place between? A state of mind or a state of being? One stands yearning, the other spurning. The space between is heavy with meaning.

Matter looks on, eyes blazing, heart beating. Spirit responds, utters softly, remonstrating.

He breathes on skin, fingers trailing. Her eyes close, senses flaming. She reminds of unions past, of times of ecstacy and of pain. Hands cup face and lips seek lips. What is unfolding?

He is Sun and She is Moon. Reflecting and absorbing. Spirit infuses Matter, shapes and moulds, gives love freely.

Human and Divine co-mingling, Spirit and Matter re-uniting, seeking fulfilment and illumination.

They are in the place between. A space withdrawn, held in abeyance. Filled with possibilities, touched with oracular truth, touched with starlight. Touched with Love.

Immortality: The Alchemist’s Daughter Recollects

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Image: Pixabay

Achieving immortality has been an enduring goal for legion upon legion of humans over the centuries. Tomes have been written hinting at the existence of wondrous elixirs and arcane rituals giving/offering the chance of eternal life and youth. To what end we may speculate, perhaps to abate our fear of dying, perhaps to prolong our contemplation of matters philosophical and metaphysical. Ultimately the real reason may only be known to the individual engaged in such a pursuit. Immortality is a fable retold century after century, our passion for it undiminished, our longing unquenched. We are born, live and die, a simplistic viewpoint of our existence on this material plane. Yet, there is so much that lies before us. At what point do we lose our sense of wonder about the Universe and our place in it? Continue reading

Hail Thrice Great Tahuti!

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Image: Pixabay

An ambitious title I think to myself dear reader, but a note to the ‘Lord of Holy Words’ (as inventor of writing and the arts) is rather appropriate at this time. Being endowed with complete knowledge and wisdom he is kept rather busy with all manner of business. Here’s hoping he answers. Tahuti (ancient Egyptian) has gone under the guise of many names throughout the ages, the most familiar being Thoth and Hermes. Totally different pantheons and cultures admittedly. I have great affection for both entities whose energies have been present in my life for a long time. The pursuit of knowledge has been a driving force since childhood and much that’s been gathered over the years has been filed away in (mental) drawers. Now and again I get a nudge reminding me to check in said drawers. Such a time has approached and I’m feeling a little nervous, who knows what’s lurking in there! The mind feels much like a library that’s been neglected for years, its contents shrouded by dust and in need of renovation. A terrible state of affairs because I love books and libraries, my first job in fact was working in a large public library in London. Continue reading

Bridge of Sighs by Jan Malique #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My contribution to Sue’s photo prompt this week sees the return of an old, em, youngish old friend Little Troll. Like many trolls he lives under a bridge in a tardis like home but that’s where the similarity ends. He’s not a typical example of his kind, what troll has refined tastes in food, literature and the arts? Little Troll’s real name is rather unpronounceable by all but the most determined of linguists. That is, one who’s taken advantage of the local hostelry’s hospitality for several hours and now lies blubbering in the corner calling for his mum. A tad overstated you may think but trollish is quite a difficult dialect to master. Little Troll’s human name is Bob. In Bob’s last adventure he treated himself to a night out on the town with friends; huddling over exquisite hot chocolate and treating himself to a lot of books. An ordinary event you would think. These rare forays into the world of humans go without incident. Which was the case on this occasion. Except, his party was being followed.

The lone figure kept in the shadows, their bright red eyes glowing like molten lava. The figure also appeared to be limping badly. At one point when the party were perusing the Christmas market stalls; the mysterious figure took this opportunity to slip a small business card in Bob’s pocket. It lay in his coat pocket for a year until this moment.

Bob was spring-cleaning his wardrobe and came across the card. It was made of the finest vellum and etched in gold paint on the front were the words “A N Other, Plumber.” Surely this was a joke? He peered closely at the card because the words were shimmering and then disappeared. In their place appeared something he wasn’t expecting, “Flavius, Arch Mage, Necromancer and Bookseller. Please email for prices of Exorcisms. Sliding scale of fees for the severely distressed.”

Well, well, it was his old friend and occasional partner in crime, not that they indulged in anything considered illegal. Not by human standards. Just at that moment the doorbell rang, today it was playing the theme from Mission Impossible. His doorbell wasn’t an inanimate object. It was also his answerphone and PA, came highly recommended. The tune was usually an indication of the nature of his visitor’s business. He opened the door and there was Flavius looking like a truck had roughed him up and then went over him again. Now, being one of the undead has its advantages in that you can only be killed by special techniques. Being run over by a truck wasn’t one of them. Bob pulled Flavius in and sat him in an armchair near the fire. He thrust a coffee into his hands and sat down opposite him. The story that was unravelling was truly terrifying. Apparently one of his customers had decided to steal a rare edition of Agrippa’s Three Occult Books of Philosophy from the shop. The burglary hadn’t gone as planned, so his assailant then decided to dart him with poison and run him over with a truck several times. He laughed heartily whilst driving away. Unfortunately for him it as a homing book, one of only two in the human world. It thwacked its kidnapper hard, but only when he’d stopped by a lay-by. Safety was the order of the day here. Very soon the book was back with Flavius, who was looking like his usual self. His trusted customers and colleagues in the book trade had managed to tidy the shop and called in the Special Branch (The Dryad Division) to deal with the burglar.

This wasn’t an ordinary burglary; there were dark forces at work here thought Bob. Flavius looked up and muttered the following words:

There is neither good nor evil, only intent.”

Flavius looked rather enigmatic. Bob looked blankly at his friend. He sighed. There was going to be a lot of sighing over the next few days as they plotted their investigations. Flavius had a habit of being rather cryptic, an annoying habit it had to be said.

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Image: Sue Vincent

Folly’s Dream -broken – #writephoto

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Photo: Sue Vincent

My offering this week for Sue Vincent’sThursday photo prompt #writephoto .

A tale not as sad as it may appear of love’s trials and tribulations. ..

Not everything must endure for eternity. This much has been learned. For I am more than stone and mortar but Folly created giving rise to yet more folly. Illicit assignations and breathy declarations of love untrue, these I have seen. Fevered kisses and tears of shame, these I have seen. Consummated longings and crimes of passion, these I have seen. Their shades return again and again to my broken shell seeking answers, seeking redemption. These I cannot offer, for they must seek to lift the veil themselves. The weight I carry is heavier still. Forgiveness is sought for my part in their downfall, but will they give it? Such tortured histories do we create for ourselves, always seeking that which is unattainable. Such dreams we spin like the weaver of fate, helpless flies caught in Her web. Night falls and Sun rises but memories still seek to imprison me in their embrace. The dying embers of my heart entreat the Luminous One for one last time. Alas only silence deigns to answer. Yet, nature stirs. Something comes this way. Her face is as I had dreamed of, shining and beauteous. Such honour She has bestowed upon me, an escort into the Hollow Hills.

Says She, “ forgiveness is not what you need but healing?”

An Old Dog Can Teach You New Tricks

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He’s a very different character to the entity that had come through previously. The power and sense of presence are stronger. I’m not sure what to make of this new relationship. He was offered as a gift, one that I couldn’t possibly refuse. The sculptor who fashioned him was a friend, now ‘walking with the ancestors’. A new statuette of the Opener has entered my life and the old intuition is telling me a life change is on its way. Forgive me for rattling my bag of bones and muttering dark and terrible things. Or not. The soothsayer has consulted the bones and pronounced their findings in typical cryptic fashion. It’s a form of divination performed by the casting of bones and has been practiced by humans for a very long time. The origin of bone oracles has been attributed to many locations including Africa, China and Central Asia. At this point there is no sense in debating its origins, much like shamanistic practices this topic could end up filling several pages. I suspect this may not be to everyone’s liking. What of the Jackal God? Anpu is an entity with strong shamanistic overtones, a being bearing roles of Psychopomp, God of the Dead, Initiator and the Opener. Perhaps they’re titles that are significant only to me. The archetype of the jackal god and indeed guardian dogs has ancient beginnings. The canine’s relationship with humans is long-lived and I suspect will continue to be so. In its role of guardian it has watched over its human charges and portals leading to realms both sacred and infernal. Continue reading