Sep 092018
 

The moment I step from the building and out into the dry, dazzling world, I behold a sea of olives undulating before me. It is a breath-taking panorama which stretches far as the eye can see. I could never grow weary of such a vista and I remain still for a few moments, breathing in the warm, sweet aura of tranquillity, giving thanks for the grace of the gods which brought me here to live my days.
Anyone who has been here understands that Holy Mount Parnassus is the closest place to Elysium on Earth. From it springs the fountain of all arts and poets, artists and musicians – devoted lovers of the Muses – all pay testament to the prophetic mouth of God that wields power and influence here.
The Sphinx which guards both the entrance to our temple and mysteries of the world is made of a warm-coloured stone. It blazes in the sun like fire and I incline my head as I walk past it down the gleaming marble steps, still surrounded by the monumental dedications of various cities.
It is not long before I have entered the walled kitchen yard, where I immediately see one of the Tetrarch’s slaves giving water to a package mule that is tethered to a small fig tree, already unburdened of the offerings he bore. My heart leaps for joy, breaking at once my serenity of mind and implacable demeanour. I am happy to see this faithful beast, for not only do I have quite some affection for the animal, but his owner is of the greatest interest to me as well.
His image appears at the front of my mind. Like rays of sun flooding into the Temple’s cool interior, it casts deep shadows into hidden places. The Tetrarch is the eldest son of the ageing Tagos of Thessaly, a great aristocrat of Greece. His tribe, the Aleudae of Larissa, was founder of the Amphictyonic League, one of the most powerful military forces in the world.
Now that Thessaly is the chief protector of Delphi, its surest and strongest ally, the Tetrarch – as leader of the cavalry – commands more respect than almost any other man who comes here. No other living man commands as much of my own respect as he does, except perhaps Cleisthenes of Sicyon.
The Tetrarch conducts much of his official business at the sanctuary, as do the governments of other city states, for all men come here to learn the secrets of Gods. There are also those who wish to meet with their muse, or listen to the poets, musicians, philosophers and other great men of this world share their inspiration.
I take a few moments to pet the placid animal, which is dozing peacefully in the dappled shade. His velvety-soft muzzle tickles my palm and he bows his head for me to scratch his dusty forelock at its peak. The warmth of the sun penetrates to my bones and for a moment I feel relaxed and carefree, as any other 19 year old girl on a halcyon summer’s day.
I do not intend to linger long, however, as my reason for being here is to prepare a special elixir for Timocrates, which will be used to facilitate his nightly travels through Psyche’s realm. Timocrates is a Saint of Delphi – one of the Thracids – and he has been my teacher and guardian for as long as I can remember. He is a highly learned man who is devoted to my education and well-being. I count myself fortunate it was him and not another the Gods decreed must raise me, for he has permitted me a degree of freedom that stricter Saints would not tolerate. I understand the value of this privilege and ensure the fruits of my mind are known to him alone amongst men, together with my lovely and graceful sisters, who are my dearest friends.
As the slave returns to wash the mule’s dust-caked flanks I make my way into the kitchen and examine a bundle of ingredients that were gathered on the seventh day of the moon. They are laid on top of a solid Myrtle-tree table, a gift to the sanctuary from Corinthian priests of Aphrodite. It is from these ingredients that I shall concoct the special elixir for my Earthly guardian.
Working steadily and also rather quickly, for it is a task I know well, I clean the plants and divide them into proportions, then place them together in a copper cauldron. I am vigilant about obtaining precise measurements for the preparation of such mixtures is a very exacting science.

Jul 052015
 

cosmic_triangle_by_fraser0206-d4b9qmnShe opened her door and her window, and the heart and the soul came through, To her right hand came the red one, To her left hand came the blue*

 

As soon as dusk fell the witness peered into an antiquated telescope positioned by Mysteries’ upper-back window and focused it on the perfect half-moon above the star-crossed landscape.

Ahhhhh!

The portents were all there; love really was in the air.

For starters, Mars had just moved into a visually stunning conjunction with Aphrodite’s blue-white ball of ferocious energy, as the shyly radiant moon made up the third part of a most compelling, cosmic love-triangle.

Mercury hovered expectantly, waiting for the precise moment to convey his timeless message to the lovers and their watchers.

The Day of Transformation was truly dawning and the witness could only wonder if the consciousness of the human race was strong enough to survive the impact. Would the collective mind be blown – short-circuited by the influx of cosmic energy – or would humanity rise to the occasion by using it to accelerate a collective metamorphosis into a higher dimension?

 

*William Butler Yeats, The Cap and Bells

Apr 232011
 

“Have a drink on me,” says Chiron
“Trouble not your self with worry.
Stand I guard; the heart of darkness
Sits behind me, far beyond thee.

“Child of Earth and Starry Heaven –
Lake of Memory; shun the cypress!”
From the stream that’s clear as crystal
Drinks Orion, knows he’s timeless.

‘“If I’m made to stand here waiting –
Forced by ties which bind, eternal -”
Hale Orion roars in fury,
“My revenge shall wax infernal!

‘”Long for I the Winter solstice,
When the Sea Goat meets the Sun King.
On that day the horn of plenty
Brims. How long will this event be?

‘“Might of oceans, old Poseidon,
Let the fishes  swim beside me?
Lest you grant this one diversion,
I shall die of boredom, nightly.

“Tell me this, as well, oh wise one,
When does Hades mete out mercy,
When young Eros drinks the ocean,
Aphrodite reaches thirty?

‘”Hestia’s hearth is icy cold,
Or Hermes sighs and says, ‘I’m old;’
Hera gives her heart to Echo,
Atlas cries and lets the Earth go?”

Apr 232011
 

From her garden filled with flowers
Aphrodite screams in terror.
Then, the Goddess, caught off balance,
Falls into the field of Ares!

‘Thus, the God of War is fuming.
Anger grows inside him. booming,
So much so that grave Athena
Has to watch him blow up Thera!

‘As the scenes of devastation
Reach the eye of Lord Osiris
Thinks he: ‘I shall end a nation,
Then uphold another’s rising.

‘‘Cultured isle, the great Minoa –
Massive once but soon a shadow –
Shall become as mist to Egypt,
Nothing more than dust by morrow.’

‘All Olympus stands in silence,
Knowing that the day is over,
Watching as the face of darkness
Brings a wave from Cretan waters.

Apr 232011
 

‘Then there is a moment’s mourning –
Plus a second more for staring –
Tears are shed but others, yawning,
Tell the world they’re done with caring.

‘Lord Apollo grasps Athena
Whispering: “He’s a fool this fellow;
Since he’s freed the Greeks of Cretans
So shall rise beloved Athens!

‘“Praise the day we let the ‘Gyptian
Take free reign of this, the Cosmos.”
Then the Sun-God, Fair Apollo,
Overheard the thoughts which followed:

‘‘I could devastate Olympus,
Cause beneath a mighty tremor,
Make the things of Earth grow frantic,
Stir up all the great Atlantic.

‘‘Thus, the lovely Aphrodite,
I should banish her to Venus.
Then, for Ares – he who’s caused this –
Mars is just the place to bind him.’

‘‘Hera fits the great, bright walkway,
Hades, we’ll consign to Pluto.
Yet the father, Old Poseidon,
Let him run his steeds on Neptune.

Jan 052011
 

Shimmering-throned immortal Aphrodite,
Daughter of Zeus, Enchantress, I implore thee,
Spare me, O queen, this agony and anguish,
Crush not my spirit

Whenever before thou has hearkened to me–
To my voice calling to thee in the distance,
And heeding, thou hast come, leaving thy father’s
Golden dominions,

With chariot yoked to thy fleet-winged coursers,
Fluttering swift pinions over earth’s darkness,
And bringing thee through the infinite, gliding
Downwards from heaven,

Then, soon they arrived and thou, blessed goddess,
With divine contenance smiling, didst ask me
What new woe had befallen me now and why,
Thus I had called the.

What in my mad heart was my greatest desire,
Who was it now that must feel my allurements,
Who was the fair one that must be persuaded,
Who wronged thee Sappho?

For if now she flees, quickly she shall follow
And if she spurns gifts, soon shall she offer them
Yea, if she knows not love, soon shall she feel it
Even reluctant.

Come then, I pray, grant me surcease from sorrow,
Drive away care, I beseech thee, O goddess
Fulfil for me what I yearn to accomplish,
Be thou my ally.

Sappho

Jun 092010
 

Love the unconquered warrior, love who falls on the flocks, love who keeps vigil in the soft cheeks of a girl,

you roam over seas and in the halls of savages; no immortal nor any of the men whose life is a day can escape you.

He who is touched by you goes mad. You twist the minds of just men to the ruin of injustice.

Victorious is the bright desire from the eyes of the fair bride; it sits enthroned beside the eternal laws,

for the goddess Aphrodite works her invincible will.

Sophocles, Antigone

Mar 152010
 
deep secret

Deep Secret

She saw him as he kissed her on the cheek.

Warmth was like a firefly, dancing in his eyes, melting into liquid all the diamonds of her mind.

He put both his hands into her hair.

The radio crackled and grew fainter, framing the endless silence like a braid of wheat, magnetising all background interference so the air grew taut as a lens, magnifying live reactions as if they were in a scene from a lyric master’s play.

A tear escaped from the corner of one eye, smelted by the heat of his star-like gaze. Silver like mercury, burning as bright as magnesium on fire.

Her secret name was spoken as a seal and she felt as if light, not blood, was flowing through her veins.

Why it was and always would be such a deep secret, who could say?

Victorious is the bright desire from the eyes of the fair bride; it sits enthroned beside the eternal laws, for the goddess Aphrodite works her invincible will. (Sophocles, Antigone)

Mar 152010
 

Sodwana

Sodwana Bay, South Africa

The twice-born child threw back his head and laughed, his eyes just dancing as he took another draught. He turned to his deadly mistress and handed her the urn, at once feeling nothing but deepest desire.

“Wet your lovely lips and hark at this.”

She raised the earthen urn to her sweet, pink mouth and a murmur of surrender left her lover. “Oh fair-breasted Queen of my most erotic dreams. He may become a poet, my proud brother, but sure as day is night he is no lover.“

She took a second sip as he kissed her milk-white throat. Her voice was mocking, as ever. “Poor Dionysus, has your wine gone bitter! Who better than Apollo, voice of all reason, to relay the will of God to man?”

“Oh – daughter of the white-flecked foam – would you really prefer that braggart’s endless rationing to immortal death from too much loving?” His mouth fell down upon her breast, warm and soft as velvet beneath the silky, see-through dress.

Her eyes glazed over with lust. “You play to your strengths, I’ll grant you that; but what if death holds no temptation, even if the manner of dying might so much?”

“Pearl of Poseidon’s sea, how cruel that you pretend not to see. Do not all fair females of the universe have an inner understanding of my mystery?”

“You are a sly, uncontrollable creature and half of my self is now enthralled as I await your meaning! Come now, whisper your sweet nothings in my shell-like ear!”

“Nothing that is definable in words except – perhaps – immortal or invincible. Now show me that your body has a heart.”

“And why would I have a heart, foolish being, when such a thing was made to just be broken! Beware, now. My age-old son – the wholly unconquered warrior – stands poised right above you with his deadly, love-tipped arrow. One more stolen kiss and you, Dionysus, shall be blighted for your eternal life by the lust of Aphrodite, abandoned to the web of Ariadne by this fatal charm.

He took from her the urn and drained it to a drop. “If there is a thorn on this rose, then smite me with it now, your highness, so I can bleed and watch you leave.”