Creation: Footprints #writephoto


Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt #writephoto returns to the watery abyss, Abzu,  of ancient Sumeria. I have taken liberties with the mythology of these beings, so apologies are due:

They slumber, dreaming, planning, and weaving.

There is only eternal silence,  audible to none save those who exist only in the space between. 

Enki sees all, yet holds back speech, yearns to mould creation yet to be fulfilled.

Tiamat and Abzu have mated, cause the Primeval Waters to stir. Thus did their children emerge, thus did battles ensue, and thus did treachery unfold.

Enki sees all, waits for resolution. Peers through bloodstained waters, mourns over sacrificial body, and offers prayers to one now gone. “Be at rest Tiamat” he whispers. 

The ones who are Hidden emerge, peer at life nascent, taste rich waters, pour forth fire spiralling. Creation falls from thoughts shrouded.

So does the magic begin, spells are woven, flesh, blood and sinew knitted. The chants goes out, so emerge new beings. 

Abzu fulfills, Enki proposes. Thus did their creation rise from watery abyss, place unsteady feet on land freshly risen.

Thus were footprints engraved on virgin territory. Thus did rise humanity, creation of those who slumber, dreaming, planning, and weaving.

Thus did the eternal silence end. Thus did creation unfold.



Flashback – Thursday photo prompt: Shelter #writephoto


Image: Sue Vincent

I wasn’t sure how to respond to Sue’s challenge for the Thursday Photo Prompt. Then, a familiar image kept flashing through my mind (hence Flashback eh?). Only one thing to do, go with my gut instinct:

The two figures stood in the field staring at the cave entrance. Both were convinced they saw a figure gesturing to them from its entrance. The report had stated there were several anomalies to the witness’s version of events, disturbing ones at that. The Unit had assigned the case to two operatives who were familiar with nuances of the issue, you could say it was a specialism they excelled in. Dusk was approaching slowly from the west, it seemed to be heavy with melancholy. Totally in keeping with the mood surrounding this strange incident.

The man and woman made their way quickly down the valley and set up their climbing equipment. They managed to make it to the top in time to see the Sun disappear in a spectacular fashion beneath the horizon. Both hesitated for a while in front of the cave entrance. The darkness inside invited reticence and the adoption of a state of contemplation. Ephemeral images bled through their minds and the sense of poignancy and sadness increased with each intake of breath.

“Something” was waiting for them. Being Empaths they were hypersensitive to energies and moods in the environment but were able to filter them out. Not this time. They felt a strong presence brush against the boundary of their minds. It was almost, respectful, rather hesitant. It whispered their names in a yearning tone. So, so familiar. “Mara, Adam. Be welcome.” Again and again the voice called out to them. They couldn’t wait any longer and steeped over the threshold.

The sense of a luminous presence was incredibly strong in the main chamber of the cave system. Their eyes adjusted to the dimness once the torches were lit. Then, the shadows unfolded, flickered like candlelight. A face emerged from the smoky light, achingly beautiful and powerful in its lines. The being’s eyes blazed like a million suns and his voice carried the sum of the Universe’s wisdom and mystery.

He reached out to them, initiating a series of intense flashbacks. They saw the Universe sleep the sleep of eternal darkness, of the Divine Essence surveying its handiwork, and of the plan to further humanity’s evolution. They saw their death and rebirth. These images poured through their eyes and gathered deep within the chalice of the Soul.

The Presence waited in silence and attended to their emotional needs. They stared at him in shock, the enormity of the knowledge offered rendering them speechless. No wonder the witness was in such a state when they found him.

The Presence commented voicelessly “he wasn’t ready.”

If he wasn’t ready, were they?

Ancient Song – Thursday photo prompt: Valley #writephoto


Image: Sue Vincent

My offering this week for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

A sense of something greater than the reality of this world washed over the priestly figure gazing out to sea. For as long as memory had existed his brethren had stood at the head of the valley to pay homage to the Solar Logos. They gave thanks for another day of life, of light and warmth. Daily they praised the mystery hidden deep within the heart of the golden orb suspended in a sea of aquamarine.

Rhythmic chants echoed into infinity, flowed and then swelled, encapsulating the beauty of a moment captured briefly. The Order lived for the recounting of a song conveyed by the Eternal Parent, one to teach their children the ways of Love and Beauty, but not of the material plane. They had transcended such things in the pursuit of a higher philosophy. Their flesh and blood carried the history of the people, for this is how the stories of the tribes were saved for future generations. For this is how the ancient song was taught and preserved.

The sacred rite performed at sunrise was steeped in mystic lore, one that enjoyed an honourable and long-lived lineage. It was said that the harmonics of such a song were capable of creation and destruction; being the key to unlocking doors long-held forbidden to all except those who had passed severe tests. One such individual now stood on the emerald-green grass.

He stood looking at the fingers of gold, peach and yellow unfurl and spread across the skies in a deeply intimate embrace. This moment of unending peace gave solace to his soul, for a brief time he found himself before the Veil shielding the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctum in which resided the Eternal Parent. The One was neither male nor female but an amalgam of something more.

The vision was momentary, but sufficient to precipitate a transformation that could not be undone. As the Sun awakened, so did the song within the temple of his heart. It unfurled like the petals of a rare flower glimpsed for the first time, a sight worthy of celebration. The man swayed with the intensity of emotion flooding through him. These are the experiences of the mystic journey, the culmination of which is, transcendence of the earthly plane. It is a lonely journey, for the seeker on these paths is a solitary figure, becoming untouched by worldly matters as time progresses.

His voice trembled in the throat, deepening in richness and melody. The chant began, one performed in every temple since civilisation emerged and humanity laid its soul at the feet of supernatural forces. Arms were raised in adoration and eyes closed in ecstasy. A melody fell from his lips, each note moving sinuously towards the Veil before the Sanctum. Then, silence reigned, deafening in its loudness. The light pulsed and swelled in time with the song. It was the heartbeat of the Universe, raw and true in substance. This was the pinnacle of life as his people knew it. The Light within responded in joy to the Light without. Atom by atom he dissolved in the song, revelled in its embrace and words of comfort. “I am Ready” were his last words. The Ancient Song had been performed and existence for his world guaranteed until the next cycle.

Mímir’s Well – Thursday photo prompt – Carved #writephoto


Image: Sue Vincent

Once again Sue has provided a powerful image for the Thursday Photo Prompt, and once again Odin’s Seer has appeared to peer into the waters of truth. I hope my words reflect her visions as she saw them:

This place is known as Mímisbrunner (Mímir’s Well), one of three wells found beneath the roots of the World Tree, Yggdrasil. Within it are contained great wisdom and knowledge, lusted after by many who know not the depth of its waters and sacrifice demanded for even one sip. Even gods are not exempt from paying a price for the secrets it offers. Odin knew this well, and felt the agony of giving up what was most precious. I too have sacrificed much, stepping beyond the realms of all that is safe and known, for knowledge forbidden to the living and dead alike.

Our kind are called to this path, never being freed from its duties and burdens, that is if we care to accept the calling. If not, then the sight is dimmed, and we are blinded to the other worlds. Yet, they still call to me in dreams and visions, as the magic is potent and eternal in my blood and soul. I am here on this windblown and rain blasted place because they sought me out, urged travel from the western lands. Something is afoot, it stirs in the depths of the well. The One-Eyed One came to me as silent and swift as a shadow, brought portents of things incredible and filled with awe. This is a time of rising, of secrets being unveiled, of choices offered and fates spun. I prophesy for him and send dreams to the chosen.

The stone feels alive against my palms. It resonates with the power of gold and fire, falling like a waterfall into the great darkness and silence of Creation. I see that place of beginnings and eventual endings, have seen it reflected in my eyes since the time before birth into this world. Fire and Ice fall towards each other, both sentient and holders of secret knowledge. The first parents, sole inhabitants of what is sometimes known as the Great Silence. The veils shroud my eyes now and so it begins, I peer into the well as the time of recounting approaches.

I am blinded, consciousness retreating to the back of my skull and then, beyond into other places. I ask whether to go either backwards or forwards, left or right. My inner vision sees ephemeral shapes linger behind, hiding within sight. They hold questions that need to be asked and answers to be given. I feel the breath of anticipation brush against my cheek, it brings whispers of new beginnings waiting in the wings. They are silhouetted against the doorway, a portal carved with precision and beauty.

The waters clear, a head rises to the top. Mímir speaks in riddles, “the time of release and self-awareness await” he utters softly. The soul unravels, falling away to float away in the winds of change. All must face the time of reckoning, falsehoods and darkness confronted. The beasts wait on the periphery, thirst for your blood and flesh. What is your path of escape? What choices do you make, the same mistakes or new ones, step outside perceived reality? He pauses and then opens his eyes. I sink into them, falling, falling with no end in sight.

I utter many things, words that remain hidden from my conscious mind, they are meant only for you to understand. Ancient seas stir with the breath of winds, and waves break upon shores unknown. The skies shimmer with an obsidian light, illuminated by a pearlescent moon. A figure stands on the shore and stares out into the distance. Their heartbeat echoes loudly, it calls a name repeatedly, “Faith.” Only they know its significance. What does it mean to you Seeker? That is all I can tell you, the rest you have to seek out, offer a worthy sacrifice for what is to be conveyed. Give it to the waters, as Odin gave his eye. Go now.

As for me, our kind are called to this path, never being freed from its duties and burdens, that is if we care to accept the calling. If not, then the sight is dimmed, and we are blinded to the other worlds. Yet, they still call to me in dreams and visions, as the magic is potent and eternal in my blood and soul.

Lightbearer – Thursday photo prompt – Ahead #writephoto


Sue Vincent

My entry for Sue’s Thursday Photo prompt Ahead #writephoto:

The Knight made his way slowly to the cave where he’d first met the Lightbearer. Now older and marked by worldly cares he approached the doorway, above which was inscribed the Delphic maxim “know thyself – gnóthi seautón. The inner sanctum of this hidden temple was raised high above the entrance; reached by worn stone steps that had seen the passage of multitudes for nearing half a million years.

The Lightbearer had descended to this place to regenerate and engage with the Soul of the World. Multitudes of pilgrims throughout the ages had made their way to this remote outcrop, to immerse themselves in the hidden knowledge imparted by this being. He was one of the many, and not the last, marked by the holy presence.

The Lightbear’s eyes reflected the light of the stars, place of origin and gateway to the Void. They saw all but held the secrets veiled and out of reach. Ten years had passed since their last meeting, a time of turmoil in the material world. Human history was but a blink in the passage of time He had existed, revulsion and fear were the offerings laid upon His head, propaganda and falsehoods shrouding the enigma that he had become.

As for the the Knight, his quest had begun in curiosity, as had all his journeys in seeking the truth behind the masks. His vows of poverty, chastity and obedience had been sorely tested from the moment he’d left the sanctuary to escape the bloody hand of the Inquisition. Since that time the world had changed beyond recognition, only paradoxical human nature had remained constant.

He stood in the eye of the storm that had been raging around humanity and its work since civilisation had risen from the desert sands. Where and when would it end? This question was one he would pose to the Lightbearer.

The Knight entered the darkness of the cave and slowly made his way to the inner sanctum. He entered into a state of separation from consciousness, sliding into a realm between the worlds. Each breath and step brought fresh visions and entrance into the Great Silence. He felt poised perfectly on the Tree, in a place at its heart, between Malkuth and Kether. The revelations slowly unravelled and flowed like silk, shimmering jewel-like before his eyes. Then, his feet entered through the portal to a place wholly hidden from ordinary sight, the way ahead shrouded.

The Knight woke from his dream to find, a vision clad in a white robe, eyes gazing with an intensity that was unbearable, it was incandescent. As for the symbols of his presence, a tau cross with a serpent wound round it hung from his muscular neck. Wings of smoke edged with gold filled the space holding both figures.

The Lightbearer held out his hands of light to reveal sigils that were quite alien to the Knight, also known as the Seeker. They were from an angelic language all but lost, preserved in ancient texts hidden in sanctuaries across the globe, his people being one of many custodians. Their eyes met for an eternity and he understood what needed to be done.

Consoled – Arch #writephoto


Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue’s Thursday Photo Prompt Arch #writephoto.

Images of knights and robed monastic figures presented themselves quite vividly. Too clearly it has to be said! My Cathars have turned up again and may I be forgiven, aspects of their history and life used as a basis for this offering. I only do this with respect:

The Bon Homme looked at the figure sitting before him, the knight’s face was utterly calm and filled with health at last. His silhouetted figure was framed by the arch, beyond which lay the outer world. One which the now revived knight would return to this day.

He was given the rite of Consolamentum in the expectation that life would end soon, but the hand of death was held back for some reason. This was three years ago and now? His inner world had changed profoundly, having stared death in the face he feared nothing now. The tunic of flesh was but a garment that could be discarded when the cycle of existence eventually ended.

His thoughts strayed from the material world and were enveloped within the Great Silence, a place of utter stillness and clarity. He felt the presence of others within this place, the brethren of his Order had gathered to commune, to give strength and proffer guidance.

These were dangerous times, perhaps the end of their kind by forces governed by darkness not seen for centuries. Hell was this material plane, of man’s inhumanity to man. Yet the darkness could not touch the divine spark within these garments of flesh. All thought then ceased and the silence reigned supreme.

The Bon Homme’s thoughts returned to the issue that had preoccupied this community for more than a decade. This place of sanctuary would be overrun soon, perhaps in weeks or even days, rumours had reached them that Montségur had fallen.

They had felt the gathering of dark clouds and were thus engaged in making preparations for as many of the community to escape. Thankfully the Vessel had been taken to safety days before the attack. As for this isolated place, there was to be no escape like the other centres. They would endure, even beyond persecution, even beyond death. His attention was brought back to the present and the man before him.

The knight emerged from his meditation. He stood up and paid his respects. The only thing said to him was “you remember your vows?”

He nodded.

Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.

The doorway beckoned.

Summoning – Thursday photo prompt – Dark #writephoto – Jan Malique


Image: Sue Vincent

My offering for Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt:

The Sun sinks beneath the horizon, I watch its journey in silence, waiting, waiting for a signal that the One Eyed One will make an appearance. Mournful birdsong echoes across the lake and shafts of light cascade down from the clouds. Dusk brings with it a thinning of the veils between the worlds. It also fine tunes the senses, mine have lain slumbering for many seasons and yearn for release.

The presence of the Raven is strong, Huginn and Muninn watch from the forest, see more than any of us think. The tides flow around us, heavy with the potency of thought and emotion. He comes, I can sense him moving through the trees. So much Time has flowed between us, creating a wide ocean filled with strange beasts. So begins our story, one chapter ended long ago and another begins this day.

The Dark fills many with its terrors, they have reason to fear but darkness in itself bears no evil. Only the thoughts of those who wish to upset the Balance muddy its essence. I touch the earth, feel its heartbeat. The visions rise from behind my eyes, faces of those who bring news of events unfolding. They bring neither subterfuge, nor deception. Only clarity, of thought and action. The Warrior moves forward, shows their face and intent.

“Restraint, hold the power at bay, distil it with discernment, and wield it with understanding. See with the eyes that remain bound and covered” he says.

He holds the sword aloft and then thrusts it into the ground. Many runes are spread on the ground, I see them blaze like star fire. The One Eyed One approaches and lays a hand on my head. Ah, the fire spreads throughout my body. It fills my veins with an urgency, the journey of many of his Seers. We prophesise from a place where the worlds meet, a rift in time and space if you wish. The Raven’s wings enfold me, bring me my birth right. The spirits move, rise and fall. Great Odin, you stand and watch me, how may I serve?

The fire shifts, ebbs and flows. It burns all who stand in its way, not the flesh but the spirit. It burns the rot and poison this world has generated. It calls to the secret that lies deep within us, murmurs its spells of unbinding. I look within the Dark pool, wait for it to reveal its prophecies. Blood spills, runs like scarlet rivers, such terror pours from creatures masquerading as human. Two legged beasts with neither conscience nor honour. They cross from the pit, armies of demons, prey upon spirit, pour their bile into our souls. We are the fodder on offer, rife with our anger, fear, greed and inadequacies. This much I can see. Such tragedy and foolishness!

The fire spreads further, burns them beyond existence. The times of battle are eternal, unfolding in cycles, devastation and rebirth stand at opposite poles. All is not bleak, despair no longer holds court. Hope must drive us forward, courage must go before us, and self-insight must advise us. Then the visions vanish like the last rays of the Sun. Great Odin blesses us with such knowledge but neglects to offer any solutions. How arrogant we are to demand such things. Why not think for ourselves? He laughs beneath his breath, it seems we are getting somewhere. He stands looking at me, I return his gaze. So stands the Shaman god and Rune Lord with his Seer, ushering in another cloak of Dark shielding this place of summoning.

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


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?


View Across The Water: Part 1 Of The Living Vessel

Image: Jan Malique

The month of the Crane was approaching, bringing with it mists from across the headland. His ancestors stood with him, gazing across the water to the sanctuary of the one known as the Hermit. The little white washed building stood on the remains of a temple dedicated to an unnamed deity. It was said this goddess had watched over his people from a time of cold and silence; when the world was frozen by the breath of ice giants. Or so legends said.

The Hermit had also acquired near mythological status, as people of his kind were often viewed with fear mingled with deep respect. His origins were unknown, but many kingdoms called him one of their own. Merlin was the name he answered to, although his true name was hidden.

The man on the shore had travelled for a year to reach this place. A year of hardship and danger, evading hostile forces, both human and supernatural. This was a time of warring factions, of cosmic and human battles. It was foretold by the Oracle that a time of balance was approaching, when choices would have to be made, and destinies shaped.

A sense of heaviness lay on the man’s shoulders, composed of a sense of duty and sacrifice. Sacrifice of things not physical but spiritual. He had undergone trials that would have broken someone with less resilience and humility. He had been forced to look deep within his soul and face its true reflection. Not an easy task. Self-insight never is.

During the most terrible moments of his sense of isolation the tears flowed like a raging river. As did his anger. Where were his gods when he needed them most? This state of abandonment had left him almost broken, shredded his humanity, left it bleeding profusely on the ground. Thus was he prepared for the task they had chosen him for.

He was marked as a protector of the ancient relic his people had been guarding for ten thousand sunrises. A ritual object their gods had dreamed into being, holding the power to transform, create and destroy. It had no physical form but resided within a living vessel. He was now the chosen vessel, bound by unbreakable oaths. So it was that this man was brought to the edge of an unknown land seeking his guide and teacher.


Image: OpenClipart-Vectors, Pixabay

The Hermit felt the man’s presence and prepared himself. The instruments of his art were gathered and his fire replenished. The sky and water simmered, infused with the scent of storms and portents. He whispered his student’s name, let it snake its way across the water, and enfold the human in a protective cloak.

The man swayed as if in a trance, standing on the threshold of this reality and the ones beyond consciousness. The relic sensed the presence of the Hermit and throbbed in response. The man opened his eyes and saw the Hermit before him. He spoke but no words issued from his lips. He conveyed knowledge through signs and visions. Through song and silence. So was a connection sealed with the vessel and relic.

The man stood unseeing and unspeaking. Then the dream shattered, releasing illusion and falsehoods. He felt the weight of suffering vanish like mist in the rays of the sun. Merlin beckoned the student and both got into the coracle waiting on the shore. A mist rolled in swallowing the two men. The ancestors stood guard on the shore; for as long as their kin was under the tutelage of the Hermit they would be present.

Here begins the journey of the one known as the Living Vessel.

Thursday photo prompt – Distant #writephoto by Jan Malique

Image: Sue Vincent

Infinity rose in the East, place of greatest light, as the tribe stood in silent respect. The day of the Third Sun and hour of the Unfolding Future was upon them, initiating the rite of disintegration and reintegration. Such a ritual had been performed by the Elders and Way showers since this phase of their world began. A time measured in tens of thousands of years. The cycle of this age was now nearing completion, and the Tree of Life and Death waited in the Temple of the Sun for the delegation from the people of the Third Sun.

The tribe viewed this event as a necessity to keep the cycles of the Universe ebbing and flowing. It was their duty and carried out with devotion and steadfastness. The journey to the spiritual heart of their planet waited in the snow-covered mountain range. It called to those ones chosen to undertake this task.

The stone circle they waited outside was a portal into the gigantic outer court of the Temple of the Sun. For the whole planet was a sacred landscape, littered with smaller temples that acted as power “sub-stations.” The main temple was psychically linked with every inhabitant of the planet, with each tribe pledging fealty to one of three suns in this multiverse. Every moment of their lives, every act, every thought, was imbued with a sense of purpose and devotion. Resilience was their distinguishing characteristic, with souls tempered in the fires of their Sun.

The High Priest and Priestess of the main temple appeared at the portal to escort the delegation to the place of ritual. It took milliseconds, for time behaved differently inside these precincts. The inner sanctum beckoned, composed of pillars of gleaming crystal, in the middle of the hall stood a tree of grandeur and awesome power. It was a remnant from the beginning of creation, placed by hands unknown in the very belly of the planet. Life and Death played out within its branches, words of power were inscribed upon its leaves, forbidden to all except the initiated.

The leaves shivered in expectation of the rise of power. The people of the Third Sun stood in a circle around the altar that was the Tree. Sound issued from the pillars of crystal, vibrating molecule upon molecule. The circle contained immense energy, powerful enough to incinerate millions of stars and galaxies. The time of disintegration was upon them, dismantling the Universe as it waited for the moment of transition; for death was an inadequate word for what was coming. Helices spun and transmuted as the skies turned to fire, all this and more was reflected in the eyes of the ritual participants, nine in all. Then silence descended upon the Universe, it held its breath, as darkness gathered, embraced its kith and kin. All mourned and then rejoiced.

Light bubbled over from the centre of the Tree and gathered up the remnants of all that was lost. Atom by atom the matter of the Universe coalesced, integration had been achieved and the time of the First Sun had begun.