Oct 062018
 

The production of draughts and medicines is a duty I perform on many occasions, but someone was once foolish enough to ask me what I was ‘cooking’, as if I were a common slave. As it was such an inappropriate question I simply declined to answer, as is my habit whenever a foolish or inappropriate question is asked of me. Then there are the questions to which there are no easy answers.
Once I was asked when he – Dionysus – first came here. At first I could only smile, for what is time to the kingdom of eternity? There are only hours of the day, seasons of the sun and cycles that are marked by the passage of the moon. Most vehemently have I been warned by the Saints to never fall beneath the sway of time because that would bring death to all prophecy. The pendulum might swing, but such as I must master the art of remaining above it in a state of perfect balance, shielded from the terrors of Cronos who yet we must touch without our hearts failing or minds being lost.
Daily am I reminded that ordinary time is of no consequence and fate unfolds precisely as the gods command it. When this occurs is immaterial, the potential for all action being ever-present. We are chiefly concerned here with what is infinite, although men so often desire to make fixed points for the dead books of their history.
“For this reason”, Timocrates informed me – quite gravely, in fact – when I questioned him on the matter, “the League has taken it upon itself to regulate all calendars of the civilised world that we might subjugate for perpetuity the menace of time at the centre of the Earth.”
I privately doubted it would be possible to truly safeguard the world from Time but kept this thought to myself. We were duty bound to try.
For the sake of the inquiry, it was sufficient to say that Dionysus comes at first sighting of the Pleiades, accompanied always by Euterpe, whose hypnotic sounds will soar over Parnassus from flutes poised like spears of moonlight on the muse’s lips. What happens then, who can say? It is one of the mysteries we cannot share easily, for like dreams in the stillness of the night, memories of those days are as mist in the fire of morning.
Though my mind may roam free, my life here is wholly proscribed in many ways. Indeed, it is set in stone. I sometimes dwell on the fact that nothing ever changes and perhaps I wish it might, but I am more aware of my great good fortune and that I enjoy liberties and other privileges the majority of my sex dare only dream of.
All the same – and because of that liberty, I know all too well – that I have seen nothing of the world beyond this temple and its outlying areas, although I frequently hear rousing stories of other lands from the men who come here. Stories I have over-heard, for the most part, or which come to me via my teachers, for it is not permitted for ordinary men to speak freely with a woman who is married to the God.
I most often hear about the great foreign kingdoms of Egypt and Persia – seats of wisdom and warfare, respectively – and of the various colonies founded abroad by generals and merchants of Greece, often upon the advice of my divinatory office. These tales can cause a sense of longing that I find difficult to overcome and there are times when I wonder if it is to the sea that I shall one day return.

May 162018
 

Here is the story of the beginning,
when there was not one bird,
not one fish,
not one mountain.
Here is the sky, all alone.
Here is the sea, all alone.
There is nothing more
–no sound, no movement.
Only the sky and the sea.
Only Heart-of-Sky, alone.
And these are his names:
Maker and Modeler,
Kukulkan,
and Hurricane.

Mayan creation story

Nov 012016
 

kahlilAnd the God of Gods created the soul, fashioning it for beauty.
He gave unto it the gentleness of a breeze at dawn, the scent of flowers, the loveliness of moonlight.
He gave unto it also the cup of joy, and He said:
‘You shall not drink of this cup save that you have forgotten the past and renounced the future.’
He gave unto it also the cup of sorrow, saying:
‘Drink that you may understand the meaning of joy’.
Then God bestowed within the soul love that would depart with the first sigh of content,
And sweetness that would flee from the first word of arrogance.
He made a heavenly sign to guide it in the path of truth.
He placed in its depths an eye that would behold the unseen.
He created within it a fancy to flow like a river with phantoms and moving figures.
He clothed it in garments of longing woven by angels, from the rainbow.
Within it he placed also the darkness of bewilderment, which is the shadow of light.
And God took fire from the forge of anger,
Wind blowing from the desert of ignorance;
Sand he gathered from the seashore of selffulness
And dust from beneath the feet of the ages;
Thus he fashioned man.
And unto man He gave blind strength that leaps into a flame
In moments of mad passion, and lies down before desire.
God gave him life which is the shadow of death.
And the God of Gods smiled and wept, and He knew a love which hath no bound nor end;
Thus He united man and his soul.

Kahlil Gibran, The Soul

Jul 042016
 

harpI was in many a guise,
before I was disenchanted.
/ am a grey-cowled minstrel
I believe in illusion.
I was for a time in the sky
I was observing the stars.
I was a message in writing
I was a book to my priest.
I was the light of the altar-horns,
for a year and a half
I was a bridge, which is stationed
over three score water-meets.
I went traveling
I was an eagle
I was a coracle on the seas.
I was the attraction in good.
swordsI was a drop in a shower.
I was a sword in the hand-grip
I was a shield in battle.
I was a string in the harp of
enchantment for nine years.
In water I was the spume.
I was a sponge in the fire.
I was scrub in the covert.
I am not one who does not sing
I sang, though I was little,
at the battle of the Scrub-shoots,
against Britain’s Ruler
and the Irish ships, is
a rich-laden fleet.

Taliesin, The Battle of the Scrub

Mar 262015
 

b_w_pencil_drawing_original_art_sailboat_on_calm_sea_12_x_16_7115d3fdSunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning at the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seem asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which draws from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell.
When I embark;
For tho’ from our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

A. L Tennyson, Crossing the Bar

Feb 152015
 

I did not wake up one day
and choose to love you
or decide
that my life would now
be focused
in your direction.
images

 

 

 

 

 
this trembling heart
like a magnetized needle
of a compass,
a splayed, obsidian lotus
in a sea of fire
simply returns again
and mysteriously again
to where your soul resides ,
to the breathing star dust
and tender flesh
which temporarily hold
the flowering river
of who you are.

Rashani

Aug 272012
 

God speaks and says:

I am the stag of seven tines.

Over the flooded world

I am borne by the wind.

I descend in tears like dew, I lie glittering,

I fly aloft like a griffon to my nest on the cliff,

I bloom among the loveliest flowers,

I am both the oak and the lightning that blasts it.

I embolden the spearman,

I teach the councillors their wisdom,

I inspire the poets,

I rove the hills like a ravening boar,

I roar like the winter sea,

I return again like the receding wave.

Who but I can unfold the secrets of the unhewn dolmen?

Romance of Taliesin, Robert Graves

Aug 262012
 

I have been in many shapes,

Before I attained a congenial form.

I have been a narrow blade of a sword.

(I will believe it when it appears.)

I have been a drop in the air.

I have been a shining star.

I have been a word in a book.

I have been a book originally.

I have been a light in a lantern.

A year and a half.

I have been a bridge for passing over

Three-score rivers.

I have journeyed as an eagle.

I have been a boat on the sea.

I have been a director in battle.

I have been teh string of a child’s swaddling clout

I have been a sword in the hand.

I have been a shield in the fight.

I have been the string of a harp,

Enchanted for a year

In the foam of water.

I have been a poker in the fire.

I have been a tree in a covert.

Ther is nothing in which I have not been.

The Battle of the Trees, Cad Goddeu, 1 – 25

May 112012
 

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest betwen the cherubims, shine forth.

Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseth stir up thy strength, and come and save us. Turn us again, O God, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry against the prayer of they people?

Thou feedest them with the bread of tears; and givest them tears to drink in great measure.

Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours; and our enemies laugh among themselves.

Turn us again, o God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Thou  has brought a vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.

Thou preparedst room before it, and didst cauase it to take deep root, and it filled the land.

The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.

She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river.

Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her?

The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it.

Return, we beseeh thee, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine;

And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.

It is burned with fire, it is cut down; they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance.

Let they hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

So will not we go back from thee; quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.

Turn us again, o Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.

Dec 302011
 

Then Almitra spoke, saying, we would ask now of death. And he said:

You would  know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?

The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.

If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life. For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea  are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond; and like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your  heart dreams of spring.

Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity. Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.

Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king? yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun? And what is it to cease breathing but free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing. And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin the climb. And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.