His Bleak Outpost – #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent’s photo challenge Bleak – #writephoto  turns out to be another cracking photo prompt, and here is my offering this week. A tale of a presence on the headland surveying a new world in loneliness, he being a remnant of the proto-Universe:

Old parchment and molten grey meet in an uneasy embrace, sky and sea face each other like estranged lovers. “Are they bitter?” he wonders aloud. This place appears to be at the end of the known world, for there is only silence and regret washing over the rocks. The bleak outpost is his sanctuary and solace, a place witness to His fall from the heavens. 

She surveys Him from her vantage point across the channel. How his light has dimmed, barely perceivable. He fell and they followed, to see this new world of form and emotions. She is his twin Soul, ripped asunder, placed at the opposite pole. They gaze intensely, speak in signs and sigils, each offering consolation, each offering love. Suffering clothes the one and then the other. Singed are their broken wings. Vulnerable are their immortal souls, immersed in unspeakable longing.

The Lightbearer is bereft of the Light he embodies, She is ripped asunder, wrenched from his presence, placed at the opposite pole. His eyes close, shoulders flex, and arms rise. The Light answers, shadows his dance. She ignites his passion, brings back life. He becomes a million suns, She echoes his dance. They join from opposite poles, two become One. The Lightbearer shines his Light, incandescent in presence. Who calls this place His bleak outpost? Bleakness hides the Light within, nurtures and gestates.

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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.

Infinity – Eye #writephoto

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Image: Sue Vincent

My contribution for Sue Vincent’s lovely photo challenge Eye – #writephoto this week.  It certainly stirred the creative waters:

It is said by the ancient tribes who live in the land of shadows and fire that the All Seeing Eye contains mysteries, ones that would inflame the spirit and shatter false perceptions.  They believe it lies between the barren desert wastes and the verdant lands beyond. To gaze into its iris is to see all timelines converge and vanish into infinity. So the stories say. I am inclined to believe they are ancient truths garbed in fantasy and fiction, the inner message no longer understood by the children of this new world.

The Eye hides in plain sight, a bridge between the waking world and the mysterious inner realms. It is a dream that haunts our Soul and refuses to relinquish its hold. It speaks to us of existence, of the reality of flesh and bone, of emotions that brush gently across the mind and at other times cut deep like a knife. To gaze into the Eye is to see your true self reflected in an infinite number of mirrors. Truly a marvel but the enormity of its power has shattered many, sending them fleeing into the barren desert. They thirst for the waters of life, tormented by mirages, not knowing that they have the power to release themselves from the shackles of a false reality. This much I convey to the nomads who travel through the land of shadows and fire. They carry my tales across the vastness of this land, much like the wind carries moisture from the Great Sea at the end of the world.

So I wait, watching for signs and omens carried by winged messengers and spirits of the forest. Clouds break one upon the other like waves breaking on the shore. The Great Sea calls, sends forth its emissaries into the world of human and primordial gods. So it begins, The All Seeing Eye turns its gaze upon this new world. What does it see?

Old Adversary – Spur #writephoto

pationImage: Sue Vincent

 

It’s been a while since I last participated in one of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenges. Various attempts had been made to no avail, until a postcard arrived from a couple of old friends. I love getting postcards and this one was a little intriguing, it was from Bob the Bibliophile troll (otherwise known as Little Troll) and Flavius, arch-mage, bookseller and exorcist. It’s been a while since we three met. The last time was under unhappy circumstances when an attempt was made on the Archmage’s life. We still don’t know whether it was a disgruntled client or something more sinister. I recall the assailant was trying to steal a rare edition of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy. Flavius has recovered well, considering he was run over several times by a large truck.  It’s a complicated story and rather painful to recollect. Not for me but poor Flavius.

Bob and Flavius are holidaying in Ibiza, not the most ideal of places for a troll and one of the undead. Regardless, it sounds like they’re having a great time exploring the less known parts of the island. The club scene has lost its excitement and all they want is to rest now. The friendship between the two is enduring and unusual. The postcard was accompanied by a little parcel. I opened it to find a lovely leather bound notebook. It was a journal and appeared to contain entries written by a certain Comte de Saint Germain! Well, what a surprise. The note inside stated it was for the attention of the Shed owner and contained a history of the adventures of Little Troll and Flavius. I lost myself within its page as the writer spun their tale. It was a little disjointed and the tone inconsistent. Was it really the hand of the Comte in this journal?

This is a record of my observations, being Comte de Saint Germain. In this year of our Lord 1999. I am in a new world but instilled with old world thoughts and memories. Time travel can be disrupting and a little dangerous in the wrong hands. It tears at the fabric of time and perception if performed without care. I am fortunate in excelling in this art and meeting with remarkable minds and souls. Two in particular being very dear companions throughout the ages, Robert and Flavius.

Robert and Flavius had met several centuries ago in Prague. Robert  was attending an alchemy conference and Flavius was at an exorcism masterclass. Prague’s population had quadrupled during this period, causing extra policemen to be drafted in to cope with increased criminal activity. Of the unnatural variety. The Prague constabulary were liaising with the Renaissance equivalent of Interpol, in fact a little known department of that organisation. They dealt solely with matters of magical and esoteric phenomena. Flavius was occasionally used as a consultant by the department due to his specialist knowledge. He was also one of their former field agents but had to retire due to health reasons, such as being “afflicted” with a little death.

The city was buzzing with strange energies and an epidemic of horrible dreams. It seems the barriers between the worlds were getting thinner, allowing undesirables to slip through. As an Empath Flavius was finding it difficult to cope with the increasingly negative atmosphere. Being recently deceased and then re-animated was a challenging situation, but not an obstacle that was insurmountable. He was a positive person when alive and death, or “undeath”, hadn’t changed that. Something was coming and he was a little nervous at the prospect. Saying that, exorcism was a calling that reinvigorated his spirit, and the foremost practitioner of the art was holding a masterclass in the city. Hence the reason for his presence in Prague at this time.

Meanwhile Robert was exercising his intellectual prowess with great minds of the Alchemy fraternity. They consisted of those seeking materialistic and spiritual goals, gathering from different timelines, countries and disciplines. I had arranged to meet Robert in Prague for the conference and to introduce him to a bookseller friend, Flavius. He knew of Flavius by reputation. Flavius was able to obtain rare texts almost out of thin air, and for this reason he was feted by many, especially those of ill-repute. The traffic in looted artefacts, including rare books was rife even then. Therefore Flavius was in a perfect position to monitor the situation.

We met in a seldom visited tavern sited down a narrow road between a churchyard and apothecar’s house. I informed them of my encounter with a mysterious visitor received two days ago. This man had worn a wide brimmed hat, which concealed most of his face. As for his footwear, the boots were made of the finest quality leather, with the added surprise of delicate gold spurs attached to the back. He dressed like a Regency dandy crossed with a cowboy. The visitor had requested a meeting with Flavius in relation to making a purchase of an early edition of the “Three Books of Occult Philosophy”. I knew Flavius had a copy but declined to mention this fact. There was something not right about the manner of this individual. The stranger made his excuses after a few minutes and left for another engagement. The scent of opium and bitter almonds infused the air in the drawing room for hours afterwards. I gazed at the visitor’s introduction card, it was made of dark vellum inscribed with a blood red dragon on the front. The back was blank. This did not bode well.

I finished my tale and became silent. The look of unease on the faces of my companions confirmed certain facts about the identity of his visitor. The silence was broken by the opening of the tavern door. We could smell the aroma of opium and bitter almonds, then heard the sound of spurs. We held our breath. The tavern owner gestured towards a back room and we raced towards it. It held a secret door into the apothecar’s house. We could hear raised voices in the tavern, then a door slamming. It was evident our lives were in danger, who was after us? We could hear the sound of horses going down the cobbled street. I peered through the window, my eyes meeting the red glow of the visitor’s gaze. He had three other companions, all seated on horses.

I put the journal down. Several pages had been torn out and the next entry was three years later. This didn’t sound right. My gut was telling me the Comte had no hand in this journal, suspicions being confirmed when I turned the page. There was a red dragon stamped on the page. The mystery deepens.

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.

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