Apr 112013
 

hermesWhen his love he doth espy, let her shine as gloriously as the Venus of the sky ~ William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

It wasn’t the flickering light in the upper storey window that drew the Watcher’s attention, for many lights vied for his attention that evening. It was a melody drifting upwards through the gradually darkening sky.

A rose-gold sun set the western horizon alight and resplendent Venus shone like a beacon above the rooftops, flanked by blood-red Mars and the glowing yellow circle of Jupiter. The lone figure, invisible to the naked eye, made slow, wide circles in the radiant atmosphere.

Drawn by her irresistible presence below, the Watcher descended to hover before the house where she dwelt. The flame of a candle within licked gently at the surrounding air and a heady scent was carried to him with the rising music. He inspired silently, considering the one inside. She was stretched like a cat upon the bed, with an open book face-down beside her on the pillow. Intently he watched her, his eye now fixed.

One golden glance of what should be.

A powerful gust of wind blew the window open and she jumped out of her skin, shaken from her hazy reverie by the sudden noise and rush of cool air. Moving like quicksilver, he silently slipped inside.

Staring at the breached window she searched the indigo space he left behind him. A magnificent aura permeated the room, sparkling with countless flecks of shimmering golden atoms that alighted on her skin like a veil of the Holy Shekinah.

Arising thoughtfully, she took a cautious step towards the opening. He watched again while she turned her head north and then south, seeking what or whomsoever had disturbed the rose-scented ether.

Finding nothing but the dying throes of day she fastened shut the window and lay down again, book in hand, not quite unaware of the almost unexpected arrival of the thrice-descended master. The Led display of her mobile phone revealed that it was 22.22.

With avid concentration she listened to the voice that came into her room via the radio. A drama was set to unfold, of that she could be sure. Doubtless there was a kind of magic taking place right there and then, with her at the centre of its endlessly opening and closing circle. She also knew she was no longer alone, for a profound change had occurred in the electrified atmosphere.

Luscious chords swelled like a rising ocean, sweeping over her body and soul with a sensuous rhythm. The lost history of time unfolded in his fathomless mind.

She was wearing gold-coloured sandals – shoes that were a gift from her father – and a midnight blue dress. Around her wrist was a bracelet full of charms and with his bright, ancient eyes, he saw that the necklace at her throat was made from the stuff of magic, a gift from her mystery-loving mother.

He had once again challenged the doors of time to reach her and the wait had seemed an eternity. 2,628 years had passed since she had last been this close to him. On that occasion the moon had been perfectly halved by the shadow of the Earth. Jupiter, then, was at the same point in its orbit as it would be in precisely three and a half minutes that self-same night.

He looked over his shoulder at the gigantic sphere, which slowly turned through the fragile cosmos with an intricately complex, haunting melody. A ray of its light fell upon her in that moment and the fearless diamond of her soul began to dissolve in mercury.

One shaft of light that showed the way

cupid and psycheA sense of fervent devotion rose up inside her like the flames of a secret fire as he stretched out his hands to touch her outspread hair.

This flame that burns inside of me is here in secret harmonies

She had had dreams; he could see every colour of every scene.

One dream, one soul, one prize, one goal

With a silent whisper he reminded her of the truth:

No mortal man can win this day.

He drew a flickering image of paradise into the infinite space between them and exhaled into her parted lips.

There can be only one….

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

Still you will always be with me, your name constantly on my lips, never forgotten.*

*Hymn of Orpheus

With thanks to Freddie Mercury

Oct 102012
 

As for Orpheus’ head: after being attacked by a jealous Lemnian serpent (which Apollo at once changed into a stone) it was laid to rest in a cave at Antissa, sacred to Dionysus.

There it prophesised day and night until Apollo, finding that his oracles at Delphi, Gryneium and Clarus where deserted, came and stood over the head crying: ‘Cease from interference in my business; I have borne long enough with you and your singing!’ Thereupon the head fell silent.

Orpheus’ lyre had likewise drifted to Lesbos and been laid up in a temple of Apollo, at whose intercession, and that of the Muses, the Lyre was placed in Heaven as a constellation.

Some gave a wholly different account of how Orpheus died: they say that Zeus killed him with a thunderbolt for divulging divine secrets. He had, indeed, instituted the Mysteries of Apollo in Thrace; those of Hecate in Aegina; and those of Subterrene Demeter at Sparta.

Orpheus’ singing head recalls that of the decapitated Alder-god Bran which, according to the Mabinogion, sang sweetly on the rock at Harlech in North Wales; a fable, perhaps, of the funerary pipes made from alder-bark. Thus the name Orpheus, if it stands for ophruoeis, ‘on the river bank’, may be a title of Bran’s Greek counterpart, Phoroneus, or Cronus, and refer to the alders ‘growing on the banks of’ the Peneius and other rivers.

The name of Orpheus’ father, Oeagrus (‘of the wold sorb’ apple’), points to the same cult, since the sorb-apple (French = alisier) and the alder (Spanish = aliso) both bear the name of the pre-Hellenic River-goddess Halys, or Alys, or Elis, Queen of the Elysian Islands, where Phoroneus, Cronus and Orpheus went after death. Aornum is Avernus, an Italic variant of the Celtic Avalon (‘apple-tree island’)

Orpheus is said by Diodorus of Siculus to have used the old thirteen-consonant alphabet; and the legend is that he made the trees move and charmed wild beasts apparently refers to its sequence of seasonal trees and symbolic animals. As sacred king he was struck by a thunderbolt – that is, killed with a double-axe – in an oak grove at the summer solstice, and then dismembered by the Maenads of the bull cult, like Zagreus’ or of the stag cult, like Actaeon; the Maenads, in fact, represented the Muses.

In Classical Greece the practice of tattooing was confined to Thracians, and in a vase-painting of Orpheus’ murder a Maenad has a small stag tattooed on her forearm. This Orpheus did not come in conflict with the cult of Dionysus; he was Dionysus, and he played the rude alderpipe, not the civilised lyre. Thus Proclus writes: ‘Orpheus,  because he was the principal in the Dionysian rites, is said to have suffered the same fate as the god’ and Apollodorus credits him with having invented the Mysteries of Dionysus.

The Greek Myths, Robert Graves

 

Nov 172011
 

I tarried not to tie my sandal shoe, but haste, post haste, through air my winged chariot flew

The Led display of the mobile phone revealed that it was almost one. She listened intently to the voice that came into her room via the radio. A drama was set to unfold, of that she could be sure; it seemed as if a kind of magic was taking place.

A gust of wind blew the window open with a bang and she jumped violently, shaken from her reverie by the sudden noise and rush of cool air. As he silently slipped inside she searched in vain the indigo space he left behind him. A magnificent aura had filled the room, sparkling like a billion shimmering flecks of silvery gold dust.

He watched while she turned her head north and south, seeking what – or whomsoever – had disturbed the rose-scented ether.

One golden glance of what should be.

She knew she was no longer alone, for a profound change had occurred in the atmosphere. Lush, electronic sounds swelled like waves and swept through her body and soul, as a deep history of time unfolded in his fathomless mind.

She was wearing gold-coloured sandals – shoes that were a gift from her father – and a midnight blue dress. Around her wrist was a bracelet full of charms and with his bright, ancient eyes, he saw that the necklace at her throat was made from the stuff of magic; a gift from her mystery-loving mother.

He had challenged the doors of time to reach her and the wait had seemed an eternity. 2,611 years had passed since she had been this close to him. On that occasion the moon had been perfectly halved by the shadow of the Earth. Jupiter, then, was at the same point in its orbit as it would be in precisely three and a half hours, that self-same night.

Apr 232011
 

‘Now a voice so fair, ascending,
Fills the air with love unending,
Rises on the silver moonbeams
Woven from Apollo’s sun streams.

‘”Bold Orion, Starman leaping,
How my heart for you is beating.
I have set you there so thy fame
Lights the path of this, the sky-train!”

‘Next she calls with gentle words
The creatures of her wooded world,
Speaks to them with tender charm
To keep the slightest safe from harm.

‘“Sweet you are as honey, bee.
Bear and Stag, come follow me.
Jump with me across the river.”
Seeks she souls with bow and quiver.

‘Then the Goddess steps up on it –
Disc of night, the lamp of dreamers –
As the steeds with hooves of onyx
Take to flight with sweet Selene.

Apr 232011
 

‘Hermes lifts a shield that’s priceless –
Bids it cast a charmed reflection –
Thus does spy the Lord, Osiris,
Youth itself, complete perfection.

‘He that rescued Dionysus
From the flames which killed Semele,
He the Gods, as one, depend on,
Spoke he, thus, to shape the darkness:

‘“King and priest of Egypt, ruler
Of the world, who’s robed in dulia,
Might I beg thee now to listen;
Lord, let time reveal its vision?

‘“See yourself – the face that’s handsome –
Lit by all the stars of heaven?
Take thee now, the horn of plenty,
That which you requested lately.

Hypnotising as the waters
From the clear and crystal palace
Of the Fairy queen and mermaids,
Is the looking glass. The Star gazed.

‘“Drink, my Lord, relive a journey
Govern dreams, see truth in Karma.
Know thee well that life eternal
Is the law and that is Dharma.”

Apr 232011
 

‘Hermes watches, like a hermit
Shrouded by the cap of Hades,
Lest should be revoked his permit.
‘Time to heal’, he vows; she heard this.

‘‘Lord and Brother, how I love thee!’
Smiles Queen Isis, burning brightly,
‘You have framed the night with pagans,
Set them in our skies, quite nicely.

‘You have made such fitting fates for
These, the ones who stole our thunder,
Yet I heard the one forgotten
Part, the silver-quickening wonder.”

‘Lord of charm, the cunning Hermes
‘Touched your pride and so discreetly:
Whilst the sun of life is fettered
All his children grow up freely!

‘‘Thus, Apollo’s light shall profit
Those who measure seasons, cycles.
I, alone, shall not reposit
Secret signs for souls’ revival’.

Nov 192010
 

In hours of ebbing tide, oh trust not to the Sea!
It will come back to shore with redness of the morrow;
O don’t believe in me when in the trance of sorrow
I swear I am no longer true to thee!

The waves will roll again in dazzling ecstasy,
From far away, with joy, to the beloved shore;
And I with breast aflame, beneath thy charm once more,
Shall haste to bring my liberty to thee!

Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy, In Hours of Ebbing Tide

Aug 172010
 

I loved thee, though I told thee not,

Right early and long,

Thou wert my joy in every spot,

My theme in every song.

And when I saw a stranger face

Where beauty held the claim,

I gave it like a secret grace

The being of my name.

And all the charms of face or voice

Which I in others see

Are but a recollected choice

Of what I felt for thee.

John Clare, The Secret

Jul 232010
 

How I have dreamed of you, my secret love, in days of never-ending summer and nights of infinite stars.

You were unfolded in perfection before my eyes, lovely and unbending by the golden lotus,

Like  the flower that reveals in its splendour a vision of the coming magus, who walks alone in the garden of my desire.

Long is the road that would lead me to my secret love, marked only by the scent of the ever-opening bloom.

A charm the magus weaves is cast before my longing face; a veil of beauty that intoxicates my sense beyond the realm of understanding.

In solitude I comprehend this mystery, which leads me ar along this, the only path I know.

I see the destination of my soul. In the rising sun it shall be be found with you.