Kindred Spirits

Image: Pixabay

It’s been a while since I last wrote about Amunet, formerly known as the Alchemist’s daughter. She’s an Alchemist in her own right now. Her departure was made at the end of Inconsolable: Flight of the Father having participated in the transfiguration of her father. Her guide and friend Roshanak also bore witness to this very important ritual. Some may view it as death, but what’s death but a transition from one state of being to another? Many spiritual traditions tell of individuals who can control the manner and process of their own deaths. Such was the case with the Alchemist and will be with his daughter. I watch developments in this area with interest as Amunet holds a special place in my affections. She asks pertinent questions about what it means to be human. Ones that I can’t either ask or answer.

The characters we write about aren’t just creations of our imaginations; we invest aspects of ourselves in their shaping and eventual life on the page (physical and digital). Stating the obvious I know. You could say we’re engaging in a magical act, the end result of our efforts being an outflowing of creativity. Amunet has helped me explore many questions about the inner and outer Universes. Many of them manifesting in posts on this blog, admittedly they may come across as being a little incomprehensible! Apologies for that, I tend to forget that there’s an audience out “there”. At times it feels like my characters and I are engaged in intimate conversation over tea or coffee.

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Image: Pixabay

What’s Amunet been doing since our last encounter? Travelling for a while, collecting memories, keepsakes and knowledge, and I’m eager to learn more. We catch up with her in a remote monastery somewhere in India, near the Tibetan border. She’s sitting with a fellow pilgrim, both having undertaken a journey of several weeks to get there. Their conversation is muted and filled with silences.

The Outer Dialogue

Amunet:

That’s the last I saw of Roshanak. Her path lay elsewhere, which is a shame as we grew quite fond of each other. Gatekeepers don’t always remain with you once their task is over, I was lucky she stayed so long.

Pilgrim:

Gatekeepers? I’d heard of them but thought they were a myth.

Amunet:

They are now, but when we remember what we were once, they appear.

Pilgrim:

Talking in riddles again! (Laughs).

Amunet:

(Stares intently) Not sure you’re ready to hear more. Let me think about this. Ask me tomorrow, I might tell you then.

Pilgrim:

Of course, I’ll see you in the morning. Goodnight Amunet.

Amunet watches the man leave, he looks deflated. Only natural, as their conversations are stimulating and highly enjoyable. Although impatience is a problem. Was he ready to hear more? How arrogant that sounds!

Me:

You don’t give much away do you?

Amunet:

Discernment and discretion are a necessary fact of my life. He’s trustworthy but not yet prepared for the knowledge I carry. Human nature can be profoundly perplexing and infuriating, that much I will acknowledge. How do you cope with the tumult carried within your psyche? It feels alien and unsettling.

Me:

We don’t always succeed but it can be managed. How can I put this? Being human can at times be a like a ringmaster in a very peculiar circus, with ourselves being audience and circus troupe.

Amunet:

Interesting imagery! What I want and need to know is the reality experienced by you.

Me:

You don’t make things easy do you? Not sure how to answer that. You ask a difficult thing Amunet, for me to bare my soul when I’m not ready to. What can I tell you? I search for meaning in an unknowable and vast Universe, at times not knowing where I’ve come from and where I’ll end up. My mortality is a source of occasional annoyance because there is so much to do and see. I’m wary of showing my vulnerability, perhaps fearing being hurt. These are the artefacts of my human self, buried in deep soil, waiting to see the light of day. I struggle with the frailty of the human body and projections of the personality, both mine and of others. Human nature makes me despair with its ugliness but feel elated when it reveals a deeply compassionate and divine face.

Without this body I would have no understanding and experience of the world around me. It gives me the opportunity to love and be loved, to hold, to feel and sense. I’ve been gifted with free will but don’t always exercise it. I’m in control of my destiny and world to a great extent, but my dysfunctional ego makes it a hell of a job to do the job properly. Fear is the tyrant we should all be on our guard against. You’re crying. Huh, never thought I’d see that.

Amunet:

They taste, salty, like seawater. Consisting of Elemental Water and Earth. Intriguing. I was created within the heart of the Sun, born of Fire, symbolising transformation and regeneration. My existence has been eternal and unceasing. I KNOW what it is to be immortal, it can’t be expressed in language you would understand. This Universe is but a partial reflection of the true glory of existence. You and I have need of the experience of the other to form the whole reflection. Time is meaningless.

Me:

“Time is meaningless”. I wish it was!

Amunet:

Trust me, it will unfold as it’s meant to. We are kindred spirits.

The setting Sun pours its fire through the windows of the little room and bathes the lone figure now sitting in deep meditation.

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Image: Pixabay

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Inconsolable: Flight of the Father

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Image: Pixabay

The Alchemist stands in silence, his time has come to pass beyond the Veil. The moment of transfiguration waits. This is the hardest thing yet to face in a life stretching centuries, to leave all that he loves and values in life, his daughter. The child has now become parent to the father. She holds the wisdom bequeathed to their line in a time when only the unknown powers of the world walked as gods. Like the ancient Egyptian god Amun her true self is hidden, as is her name, until now. Amunet, thus is she named after one of the Eight progenitors from Khemenu (named Hermopolis by the Greeks). A place associated with one none other than Djehuty (Thoth). In his mind’s eye he sees Amun in splendid glory, a serpent coiled round the divine sceptre. Strange how all comes back to the beginning, the serpent biting its own tail.

He can feel the change spreading through the cells, one by one they fill with light and purity of being. They speak to each other, communicating the sacred words that will initiate his ‘Coming into Being or Existence.’ They wait on her presence, knowing that she is the catalyst for this transformation. The Alchemist surveys his entire life, from beyond existence in a Universe bereft of all light and sound to the fullness of a life to this moment. The human part of his being is inconsolable at the parting from life and loved ones. It fears the separation, of relinquishing memories that are dear and irreplaceable. Our remembrance of a greater existence is only beneath the surface he thinks, we need only push aside the barriers of our making to drink from this pool. This much he has instilled in Amunet, a worthy student and teacher.

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Image: Pixabay

He senses the Sun lying beneath the horizon, not yet risen, gathering strength. The Light within also waits, gathering strength. Drops of liquid fall into the waters of life, creating ripples that disappear into eternity. Drop by drop the humanity within is absorbed into something, not yet understood and omniscient. Amunet appears, called to perform this sacred ritual only this once until her time comes to undergo this transfiguration. She faces her father in silence and then utters words of power bestowed by the unknown powers residing within. Human and gods integrate and call forth ancient magic rarely revealed. Her breath to his breath. The Light within rises as does the Sun beneath the horizon. The god Khepri makes his ascent into the sky and also in the Alchemist’s heart. They are ‘Coming into Existence.’ Drop by drop the waters of life absorb his essence, expanding and rippling outwards beyond the horizon. She senses his every move, the moment is upon them. Both smile at each other, having knowledge of what lies beyond material manifestation there is no sadness. Such emotion vanishes like mist in the rays of the approaching sunrise. He is risen and light incarnate, it is done.

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Image: Pixabay

A great silence descends upon this place. A memory from the birth of the Universe. Roshanak approaches Amunet and places a hand on her shoulder. Both women gaze at the beauty of the sunrise. This ending is only a new beginning. The serpent biting its own tail. Roshanak hands Amunet a small leather bound notebook, within are the notes of her journey so far and adventures to come. So it continues. Amunet puts on the coat handed to her and then makes her farewell.

Smokescreen

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photo credit: BellaGaia BARE HONESTY via photopin (license)

Roshanak is her name, meaning in Persian one who is a luminous beauty, a shining star or light. Fitting in all ways, do not be deceived by her outer garb, that would be foolish and ultimately defeating. Serene and bearing knowledge of things found only off the beaten path. She assesses and keeps her counsel, for we are not privy to such secrets. Master of the hidden aspects of this life, Master of the keys to fulfilment and oblivion. The choice is yours. Harsh as that may sound it is all that is open to us, or so she likes to tell. Silence is her domain but only if you desire it so. She waits for you to ask, seek, and search. She is a smokescreen the unseen throws in your path. Fear her not, she is not what she appears to be.

 The space around the enigma is, seemingly empty, yet pregnant with meaning. We seek such guides and teachers, hoping for clarity, yearning for self – knowledge. Roshanak emerges at the moment of transformation, offering choices not easy to accept. Continue reading

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.