Jun 062012

Those who have troubled to measure in time and space such things as emotions insist that we can assess another person in a millisecond. Was this instant character-assessment the reason why we felt uneasy, in spite of all the other emotions which welled up from within? It was early in the second week in September, 1980, and we were sitting outside a cafe in the cathedral square in Chartres, talking to a girl we had just met.

In the cathedral, we had seen her walking down the south aisle towards the great floor-maze. The bright hues from the stained-glass windows had flooded upon her, like coloured celestial music. She had walked directly across the spiralling arcs of the maize-like dancing ground. When she reached the centre, she stood quite still. She did not appear to notice us.

We were in the shadows, leaning against a column, contemplating the maze. She looked down at her feet, as though to ensure that they were correctly placed, and raising her arms above her head, strained upwards on tiptoes. When she saw us, beyond the edge of the circle, she showed no embarrassment, but merely smiled. Perhaps she did not realise that when she had lifted her arms, we had seen the full sweep of her breast through the armholes of her loose blouse.

We had been contemplating the medieval dancing ground, and remained a short distance from the floor pattern while we studied its orientations to the details of the interior architecture. Strangely, although the cathedral had been crowded only minutes before, we two were now the only ones near the floor maze.

‘I am at the centre’, she said, with the soft accent of a Bostonian. She had lowered her arms and heels, but was still smiling towards us. Her voice was almost lost in the vastness of the cathedral space.

We laughed, but it was not in mockery. ‘There is no centre to a maze’. We had said this only to continue the conversation.

‘This is not a maze’. She sounded slightly upset as she corrected us. The tone of her voice insinuated that we had failed to understand. She was right, and we felt foolish. Of course it was not a maze: we had assumed that she had no knowledge of such things.

‘It is a six-petalled centre’, we offered, to prove that we were not really foolish.

‘Six petals. Yes, and a stalk because it is a flower.’ Then, as though to show she forgave us, she once again stretched her arms above her head, and balanced on her toes. ‘You see – I am Virgo standing on the Flower of the Virgin’.

We wondered if she could see the sexual implications in her words. We could not guess her personal horoscope, but she was right about the centre of the dancing ground being the flos Virginis. We were already fascinated by this girl who was, whether she knew it or not, dancing the secret Way.

She crossed the maze towards us, offering her hand.

Mark Hedsel, The Zelator

Nov 092011

I saw no more through that window and moved through the door into my room. It was then that I saw the writing on the walls. I had never before been given cause to think about the writing on the walls until this time.

The room was its usual shape with all the regular features firmly in place, including my own empty body on the bed, wearing a light blue sweatshirt.  I saw my body just out of the corner of my eye and did not study it too closely lest I became frightened by the sight of myself. In any case, the bedroom walls presented me with something far more fascinating than my sleeping self ever could.

I might have been anywhere at any time as I watched the multi-coloured words began to form and multiply, so rapidly that in an instant it seemed that every surface was covered. I discerned again the rainbow, literally because of the myriad colours displayed in the writing. The subject was again one of love and love’s longing for paradise. The only word, in fact, was Love, repeated over and again on every plane.


All of history contains tragedy in proportion to joy. I was overwhelmed and found myself lying on the bed in the position I had left my body in. I turned my head to look at the mirror hanging over the radiator, which had somehow transformed itself into a window, through which I could see into another window in another house.

I was fully aware that this change in my usual surroundings had taken place and, whilst unafraid, I was perplexed. I saw two middle-aged women who appeared to be washing clothes, both wearing dark dresses and with dark hair tied up into top-knots, like widows. They were looking in through my window at the place where I lay, talking about somebody who seemed to be me but was actually this man.

They spoke of this man who lay (or had lain) on the bed in the room, and discussed his sadness to themselves as if he were dead. I realised that my astral projection, vision, dream, whatever it might have been, was losing coherence, and I regained ordinary consciousness a second later.