Dark Foretelling – Sight #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My entry for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt. A bloody tale of gloom and dark prophecies…

The visions shimmer, immerse themselves in mystery. I cannot unveil that which hides in solitude. Your eyes reflect displeasure. Do my words enrage? Bring despair? How hate and anger gnaw at your entrails, poison your spirit. Darkness follows in your bloodstained footsteps, bringing destruction in its wake. The gods finally speak, their words fall like tears upon my heart and the gall rises in my throat. I peer through the portal, at worlds hidden, at worlds of terror and destruction.

What say the gods? From the place of greatest darkness rise the Unnamed and Unholy. They answer your call, brought forth by blood sacrifice and pain. Warrior only in name, for your soul is empty, devoid of sanctity. Whence did the path diverge from reason to chaos? How you’ve strayed from true purpose, faltered from destiny. You offer material gain, bribe and cajole, to what end stranger? Such arrogance, to what end stranger, to what end? A new age dawns, one perched on the edge of revelation. We must meet the threats with iron hard courage, with hearts of truth and spirits of integrity. You have a choice, what path do you choose?

The gods withdraw, the visions fade, and the portal is once again veiled. They have spoken stranger, now leave this place of sanctity and make your choice.

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The Poker’s Not Hot Enough

Image: DailyLolPics

It had to happen one day…Would it help if I said sorry, pretty please with sugar lumps? Sigh. No one else can fathom the anguished soul of an artiste such as me like wot you can. See how upset I am, the spelling and grammyrrh have gone to put, I meen pot.

Not easy being an apprentice angel, the distractions are many and hours long. Having a twisted sense of humour doesn’t help. I didn’t mean to kick that minor demon into the Abyss, he was asking for it. Kept saying I looked like a duckling with my fuzzy wings. They’ve lowered their standards by letting in riff raff like him.

Do you know what they’re having me do now? Cleaning out Pegasus’s stable, with a toothbrush and child’s spade! As for the smell, oh Divine Consciousness. Would it be inappropriate to say I was being exploited? Yes. Okaaaaaaay. I get where you’re coming from. The Union had a different viewpoint on this issue though.

This isn’t going well is it? Any more wine left?

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

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

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.

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

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

Ignis – Flame#writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

Sue’s writing challenge this week gave me a good kick up the bottom, in the nicest sense I have to say! The creative fires needed stoking, they craved an injection of oxygen. My enthusiasm for writing had been waning for a while, it happens now and again and nothing to worry about. As for the subject matter for this challenge, Ignis, it’s Latin for Fire. Elemental Fire was considered by Alchemists to be an element that was active in nature. It’s masculine, energetic, spontaneous and uniting in quality. It was considered to have a place at the centre of things and be a force of transmutation. Fire was seen to be the seed force of the Universe and had two purposes:

  1. Being an expression of spiritual energy
  2. Being a symbol of regeneration and transformation due to its ability to purify, destroy and burn. Due to such actions does the new emerge from the ashes of the old.

To pass through fire is to transcend the human condition. I speak of things symbolic of course. That most mysterious of animals, the Phoenix, must be mentioned at this stage. It’s a bird of rebirth and symbol of alchemical resurrection and has a part to play in my story and possibly my life.

The action takes place in an Alchemist’s laboratory. There are three participants in this drama, an Alchemist, his daughter and a Phoenix:

The Alchemist stoked the fire slowly and carefully. His face was pensive and tinged with a little sadness. This was the culmination of centuries of work, often filled with disappointment and danger. The charlatans had transformed these ancient mysteries and made them an object of derision and suspicion in these troubled times. Now only greed prevailed. He had the skill to transform base metal into gold but chose to use it sparingly. His real goal was the transmutation of gross matter into spiritual gold, a pursuit he and his ancestors had made the centre of their existence. A woman watched from the other side of the fire, it was his daughter. She was the heir and recipient of every drop of love his soul and heart were capable of producing.

They both stared deeply into the flames as if searching for a sign. Their blood quickened through the veins, its scarlet radiance shimmering with tiny sparks of golden light. Soon, soon would the moment be right. There it was. Both figures stood erect. The significance of this moment would be engraved upon their hearts forever. A tear slid down the Alchemist’s cheek. For all his life experience and wisdom he was still subject to emotions assailing the human condition. His daughter hugged him tightly; overcome by emotion she was unable to utter a word.

The Alchemist’s laboratory faded into nothingness and silence enclosed the two figures instead of walls. An extensive plain opened up before them, with mountains forming a crescent around the plains. Behind them rose a great fire and high above it shone a glorious Sun.

In silence did they make this parting and then the Alchemist’s daughter walked towards the fire. Her robe reflected the light of the Sun, each feather glinting with gold dust. Flames engulfed the human figure, an unearthly light blazing forth during this transformation, in her place stood a Phoenix. The bird’s cries rang across the Universe. The Alchemist’s eyes blazed with wonder and happiness. The Great Work would continue. Few had witnessed this transformation.

The ferocity of the flames died down leaving a mound of ashes in their place. He approached, keen eyes spotting the glint of an eggshell. Many days and nights did he spend guarding that egg. Then, on the ninth sunrise the egg began to move and the infant within increasing its efforts to break through the shell. He willed the infant to persevere. Soon a hatchling emerged, a baby Phoenix. She stared up at the human and flapped her tiny wings excitedly. The Alchemist bent down and gently lifted the hatchling to his breast. She listened to his heartbeat and after a while entered the realm of dreams.

“How Art Thy Fallen From Heaven” – Lantern #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

After much deliberation I present my offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt Lantern #writephoto.

It may appear a little incomprehensible but therein lies fun and mayhem. The idea was bubbling away in the depths of a mind fogged by flu remedies, emerging triumphantly on wings of smoke and gold. My meditation upon the trinity of Fool, Hermit and Lightbearer has produced a strange creation; you could say it adds much to the alchemical transformation of the Soul. The subject matter may be considered a little controversial by some, all I can say is just dig beneath the surface to see what lies there: Continue reading

Conversation with the Jackal Shaman: In the Hall of Ma’at and Weighing of the Heart Ritual

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Image: Pixabay

White Rabbit looks into the distance, deep in thought. The Jackal Shaman and I watch him. Rather than break the silence we converse in signs and symbols. You may well ask how that’s achieved. Pens and pieces of card. Neither mystical nor magical. Or is it? Ancient sigils imbued with mystery and knowledge, they open gates that are closely guarded. Those giving access to our secret selves, our subconscious, our memories.

White Rabbit turns round and mutters, do you know one aspect of magical Taoism is to guide the soul of the dead to the underworld? This is based upon the belief that the soul can get lost if it isn’t accompanied to the right place. A situation that can be dangerous; as the region between the living and the underworld is inhabited by malevolent spirits, demons and ghouls. Their prey is the soul of the dead, who is allotted forty-nine days to reach the underworld. If this isn’t achieved, then all is lost and they join the ranks of these predators. The Sorcerer’s task is to ensure the soul is safely guided through this dangerous terrain. Much like Anpu and Hermes. Continue reading