Thursday, October 17, 2019

The Tower

Few cards inspire the reaction that the Tower might. I have thought of journeying with this card for almost two years now, something in me resisting at first, drawn magnetically at second, and eventually, feeling a NEED to journey with it, to shake up the foundations I have built everything on, the trust I have in objects that don't deserve that sort of faith. So I sit this morning, in the energy of this card that has come forward often for me in this month. Is it a wish? Is it a knowing? Is something drawing me towards this precarious precipice?

I wake to find myself slowly walking a path that seems rather innocuous. There are dark meadows, grass yellowing in the autumn air, the sharp scent of change as leaves begin to decay. I look for the trees that have shed their leaves and find few with stark bare branches. There's a death energy here, something of moldering and rot. 

To my right is a house, but a very strange house, built of many rooms, many levels and nothing at all stable. It's as if when someone started building it, they kept tacking on ideas, adding on stories. The additions are almost arbitrary and seem ready to topple. I make note of this cartoon type house, knowing in my mundane life it would never stand. But here in my dreams, it somehow finds purchase in this desolate, still place. 

Ahead of me rests a door, barring my path. I will have to pass through this portal to continue my journey. I bid farewell to the haphazard house.in this strange place, lit in otherworldly tones 

With a backwards glance, I step firmly through the doorway and find myself in a place that seems murky and pathless. I startle to realize I have no idea which way to go. Then to my right, some sort of detached plane, like a balance beam seems to appear. But as I walk on it, my body tilts heavily to the left side. I find it extremely difficult to keep my balance and my muscles grow fatigued and tired trying to hold this sideways posture. I feel my tolerance for this leaning ending when suddenly the plane shifts again and I am walking, leaning heavily to the right. At first I am relieved as this feels better than my entire body listing to the left. But surely, the fatigue sets in with this as well and I find myself frustrated and exhausted.  I want to walk straight and upright but that seems lost to me.

I suddenly realize how dark things have grown and that I have come to the end of this strange projection path I have walked upon.  I am suspended above a great chasm and startle as lightening begins to crash around me, the sound deafening my ears, a charge filling my body with painful prickles. Suddenly, what little I had to stand on is yanked out from under me. I fall in a dreadful hurtle, fast and faster, my being rising up into my throat, bile filling my mouth. I am terrified as this freefall seems to leave plenty of space to imagine what will happen when my body crash lands. Lightening continues to snap and crackle powerfully around me, filing my body with electric tremors and pain.

Down and down I fall wondering what will be my end. The sound is deafening, the roar of so much thunder, that I can't separate any one sound. I succumb, surrendering to the free fall. 

And then I realize, it is over. I never felt the impact of landing, but here I am, in a dark and rain drenched space, unable to see much but this pervasive, dim grayness. I feel around and realize I sit in a sea of mud, thick and sticky. I feel the rain drenching every part of me, and find myself sobbing, adding to the wash of water. Something in these sobs tears at the deepest part of me, pulling, yanking, heaving. Every part of me, inside and out seems to be washed by this torrential rain. I gasp, feeling myself wanting to breath through my sobbing but the air is so heavy with moisture that I panic. I need air. I gasp and gasp again, and at last, I feel something ease a bit.

There is a deep ache in me. An emotional pain that wrenches the very depths of me. I feel so weak and tired.

Slowly, I stand. The rain has lessened. I still can't see much, but there is more of a silvery feeling in this place, the sky a bit brighter as the rainfall continues. I feel every joint of my body hurting, aching, every bone seemingly out of alignment.  But the ground is firmer now, less muddy and I move forward on careful steps.

There's some sort of color ahead, the silver grayness of falling rain easing and I step towards that promising light. My hands are outstretched and I startle to find I am naked now, my clothes all but guttered away in that dreadful fall and ensuing storm. Still, I reach. I must find more air to breath, more light to fill my senses. Stepping, so slowly, each footfall a sacrifice when a part of me would rather lay down and drown, give up, sink into the blackness.

Suddenly I am outside of that dark bubble and I look back on an orb of destruction and lightening flashes. I seem to be upon a cliff, on the other side now, watching vague shadows in this sphere of black rain punctuated by terrifying lightening. There is a defined black bubble that I have passed through. I step back involuntarily, terrified by the power I feel in that orb. I am safe now. I am in this golden place. I am beyond the terror of that dark night. I am forever changed by my experience of the Tower. I didn't realize before, but it is a passage, a portal, a dark chamber that strips all I ever knew before, away from what I am. 

(Card pictured - The Tower from the Dark Mansion Tarot)


Sunday, June 30, 2019

The Sun




I step into this twilight space, with nothing here but my own naked being and a smooth dark floor beneath my feet. I wonder if it is a floor, or if I am floating on the wings of my breath. I breath in so slowly, and hold it, and then out it whooshes and then breathing and holding again before beginning the cycle anew. I find myself almost at ease in this place, a curiosity filling me, wanting explore what will come. And slowly, out of the dim light, a door appears, growing as it were, with ivy and fresh glossy leaves, plump vines twining and folding over the door so completely as for me to question if it were a door at all, or rather a wall of summer green. Still, I feel drawn to place my hand where a knob might be, and at my gentle touch, the door slowly swings open.


I am at once bathed in the kindest warm light, so very bright and golden that I am blinded, but I don't mind. I feel held in the intense light, my being soaking in the warmth of it all, my eyes closed against the intensity. I am enfolded completely, even behind and under my being in this wondrous light. I wonder if this might be what I would feel to pass over, to be one with the light so completely. I feel myself enveloped and conscious of nothing else but the warmth and the light upon my bare skin, soaking into the core of me. Then I feel a subtle shift, the light becoming more of a stream of light, rather than a wash. I find my eyes slowly open to take in this change. I am still in the light, but now the light is defined and I stand just on the edge of it.


The light begins to move, as if creating a path in front of me. I step, I follow. I must stay within that orb of delicious warmth. But it seems the light moves faster than I can, and I find myself jogging and then running to stay within the orb and all around me this profound inky darkness. I finally stand defeated, the light just ahead of me, and me in the cold and dark without it. A shiver runs through my body, and my head drops in defeat as I realize I cannot stay within the light. I fold my arms across my chest, clutching myself in this palpable darkness.


Then, I feel a change come over me, as if I have become ephemeral and all that I was falls from me. I notice my ghostly shape by looking at my hand for a brief moment. I can see through it to the light. My entire being has become this outline as it were, and I am floating as a specter might. I look to my left and see a womxn, her unbound hair and dress almost one as she sways and moves away from me. Did she come from me? I glance to my right and see this darkened figure, almost that of a demon, his clawed hands and his angular face intent on something ahead. I feel that he too, has come from what was once me. Both of these figures walk away from me in a grand circle. They grow farther and farther apart. I feel something in me being torn asunder and a seizing in my heart although I thought only find this empty, ghostly space within me. I am an apparition, not quite present but still, so aware and feeling within this space.


Still these two figures walk, and I feel some relief as their paths seem to begin to curve back towards each other. They walk some magic circle, some course that seems mapped by the faded, once present light. I can barely make out their shapes, and still there is movement. They are walking towards each other now and I feel this anticipation within me, this need, no desperation, that they might find each other in the dark! The white skirts of the womxn glow faintly against the darkness, and the shape of the demon is barely discernable. Then the moment they come together and some sort of tiny light ignites in the air behind them.


I startle to realize there are many more figures now, hundreds of womxn clothed in creamy white, and hundreds of darkened grotesque demons and they all walk away from me, as if pouring from me, this great circle filled almost like an ant hole, full of commotion and activity in this dark. I strain to see, at once repulsed and yet this deep desire filling in me that they might all connect in passionate embrace. I feel the connection of demon to feminine in a visceral way, in a way that creates a yearning that each of these figures will find their shadow bright match. And slowly as they round the circle and sphere around me, the sky behind all of this begins to light, as if one pixel at a time, over and over and more pixels light up until the light begins to shine again, warmer, brighter, brighter and warmer.


I feel the warmth reach me again, slowly, a path created over this orb of which I seem to be an oversoul. I feel something in me aching, burning that each figure will find their match and create more light. I eagerly anticipate each passionate embrace. Something fills me, almost this sexual energy, this tingling through my entire lower being. And as they embrace, they seem to become fewer, not necessarily disappearing but perhaps growing larger, the energy of all these tiny figures becoming one couple, one woman with golden glowing hair and dress, and one demon, with rough swarthy skin, and talons for hands. They embrace passionately, the electricity of their connection in the air in front of me and I feel once again, the sun bathe me in her light, the warmth of it all growing and growing until I am again held in delicious warmth and place. I feel it pervade my every cell and my every vein and begin to flow within me, this blood of light and river of feeling. The intensity becomes so profound that I finally lose consciousness and give up to this heady light. I am one with the light. I am no longer divided but have fused with all that was and is.


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this meditation feels like all the disparate parts of myself and that I have come from a place of unity, but upon this earthly plane and reality, I am so many tiny pieces that have no place within me, places I hide, places I deem not enough or good enough, and they wander in the dark. I ache for the light, but it eludes me and still, as I connect tiny pieces back to myself, drawing one by one in this painful dance of first separation, and the uniting; then I find pieces of light, tiny bright spots in my heart and soul that become brighter and perhaps grow incrementally until there is a solid sun, a light of truth within me. This process feels to me to take many lifetimes perhaps, but the dance of integration, of slowly finding the pieces of me that are scattered in the dark is one in which I gradually gain the light.


I think of each discovery of what has been truly me over the past 13 years, and how each discovery has brought me more and more fulfillment or joy or something of understanding. There's so much more. But each tiny piece has been cause for joy. 

(Sun card from Ian Daniels, Tarot of the Vampyres)

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Hanged Man














I stand in a room, devoid of color, with light coming from somewhere almost above me, as if it were a grand black stage and I the only actor upon it. My thin skirts swirl around my pale legs and I realize there is a door in front of me, ornate and with seemingly nothing behind it or beside it. I know I must open that door.


I walk to the door, and open it to see beyond, a pale green twi-lit world filled with mists and the smell of death and rotting beyond it. Still I am enchanted and feel called to step through. I gingerly step over the threshold and find myself ensconced in this place. The door seems to disappear and fade into the ghostly mists beyond me and I feel a moment of panic as I realize the way back has been taken from me.


slowly, I pick my way down a hill, the mists growing thicker, this pervasive greenish and magical fog covering everything, vining plants and tall moss covering the trees. Everything is so still here and yet such a feeling of death and deep bogs that I might not spot until I am upon them. I notice a barely discernable path and my feet follow it willingly, something of predictability in this world where there is none. I find the longish moss brushing my head from the towering trees above, and I wonder at spiders and other creatures of night in this dim barely lit place.


I slip a bit and reach out my hand instinctively to break my fall and find a gravestone, the old stone crumbling a bit under my hand. I wipe the wet dust of it on my skirt and realize there are more stones, each standing slightly askew, tilted, so many broken and needing repair. I can't make out the words on them, faded and molded in this constant damp twilight. Still the path winds on, barely there, but an energy that encourages me to follow.


And now a cross, in better shape than most of the tomb stones here, appears to my right and I gaze at it, feeling it is pointing to something. And surely to my left, I notice a grotesque figure appearing out of the mists and faint light. A twisted tree but one that is uprooted and up-ended, its roots far above my head and a beam nailed in the center, across his trunk, and on it hangs this gruesome creature, his head hung upside down on this makeshift cross. Blood pours from his mouth and over his forehead into a basin below and I find myself caught, listening absently to the sound of the fountain created by that flow. He seems to have a crackling energy around him and I am drawn closer, almost without stepping that way. Vines grow around him as if he has been here for some time, or there is a magick here that has trapped him when he least expected it.


Now I stand before him and feel he is speaking although I cannot hear his words with the rush of blood from his mouth. Still something in me hears. There are words even if they are not spoken and then I realize I am hanging as he is, the blood rushing from my feet to my head, a light airy quality pervading my legs and the weight seeming to crush my skull. I feel the pins and needles behind my eyes and my own awareness shifts. I can see as if I were wearing some sort of special vision, the tiny creatures, the tiny things in this bog and forest.


I am missing the details, I am plodding along. My sacrifice is more of what is expected by others than what I intend. I am executing the bigger strokes to fulfill all these things, but missing the tiny things. What tiny moments or details am I missing? Sacrifice is so hard. I ask the hanging man what follows this moment and in a pragmatic way, with nothing added, he simply says, "Death". and I realize that as the blood flows away, as his life force drains, so does mine. Death must come after this. Change must follow. I cannot continue as it is. I tremble to realize it. The feeling of the death card is with me so sure in this brief moment.


And then I am standing once again, caught in his fading image. He sees what I cannot now. And slowly I retrace my steps along the path now grown over more with vines, and I find the way back is more difficult. And yet the door appears out of the green mists. I find no surprise in myself as I open it and step through. In the pale light of that dark stage, I look to see how much my dress has disintegrated from being in that place, a putrefaction of the fabric, threadbare and covered in black mold. I start to notice these black splotches on my skin - I too have begun to die as he has. Change is imminent. I feel left with the question of whether I will create this change? Or be consumed by it?

Sunday, February 24, 2019

9 of Swords

I wake from a troubled sleep, thoughts swirling like gremlins, shadows and shadowy beings dancing around my bed. I grab my head and realize sweat drenches me, hot and uncomfortable, sticky and slick. I am still caught in my nightmares, caught in this web of something that seems larger than my own being. I feel the fear deep in my gut reaching and I am powerless to stop it's spreading thru every limb and every fiber of my being. 

I feel up and out of this bedroom place, realizing the sky is gray and clouds are roiling across an angry sky above my head. I am sitting no longer and feel my feet under me, unstable, reading to fall. I stand very still and listen. Ravens fly above me.  I cannot see them yet, but I hear their raucous cries against a too dark sky. I slowly lower my hands, leaving my ears exposed to hear the cries even more loudly. And slowly, I open my eyes. Up and up I gaze, into a vortex of swirling crows. They are dark and moving against an even darker sky and yet in the center of their swirling, glows light. Around and round they fly and I follow their motions feeling my own self in their movement. I am no longer still but spinning in this place. Round and round and my throat catches and my stomach lurches within me. I cannot stop this motion.

A raspy whisper in my ear and faint sounds that seem to say, look up and look to your redemption. Thru the vortex, thru the swirling cycle of birds, thru the sounds that threaten to drown my own thoughts, I see a portal, a round warm and glowing portal of brightest golden light. I reach my arms towards that space. The birds have created it or found it. I am unsure which. I feel my feet once more begin to lose their tenuous hold on this earth and I glance down to realize I am high above all of the world, the world etched in faint lines and shapes, so far below as to appear as a map would. My heart clutches in fear as I realize I float above it all, my feet barely touching on the most sheer and pointed pinnacle. I will fall because there is no ground below my feet and this point seems to be rapidly dissipating. 

"FLY" rasps the crow in my ear. I feel I wish to argue, but then I realize I can only fly or fall. And so I propel myself with all of my strength and with every fiber of my being into that glowing portal of light. Follow the light. Follow the light. I fly into that glowing portal between the crows, their very wing beating lifting me forward and up. And the sound fills my ears like a deafening roar. All will change in these moments. Nothing will be as it was.


Saturday, January 12, 2019

STRENGTH

I stand at the edge of a meadow, the birds trilling in rounds, the valley before me, cool and green and dotted with bursts of colors and petals. I let my eyes close and breathe deeply of this place. Slowly, once more, I open my eyes to absorb the brilliance, the sun shining deeply and brightly, nourishing, warming, caressing. I am held now in this warmth.

I become aware of an angel to my left. She walks slowly, covered in opalescent robes that catch and shimmer in the brightness of this day. She seems unaware of me as her gaze is distant and soft. I feel caught in her movements, soft and tranquil and sure. She is glowing as if from within and she reaches out to catch a flower here and there, picking them to weave into an intricate braid of wildflowers for her head. I am enchanted. 

Suddenly to my right, I am gripped by the image, gradually taking over half of this vision. The contrast is stunning, the colors much more subtle, the pallet much more simple. There is power in that simplicity, gray and shadows of light and dark. And from that approaches a dynamic shade of gold taking the form of a lion.. He is sure of each step, confident but also darker, and the sky begins to split down the middle so that to my left is this golden green meadow, and to my right, a darkness and hardness, rocks that stretch and etch, skies that tumble and roil in the dark gray clouds. I cannot hear the padding of the lion across this hard stretch of blackened rock, but I feel each footfall in my heart, this trembling, as if he will crush me with the weight that he is. Truly he is magnificent and strong, his jaws flexing now as he confidently moves one paw and then another, his golden mane catching and cascading in the movements and the minimal light. He is so gold against that gray unyielding rock.

I look to the center now, these two images, one on either side seeming like a triangle, of which I am the apex. I know both of these beings will reach me. With one I feel peace and with the other, fear for my very life. I scrunch my eyes closed, willing this to be a dream but still, when I slowly open them again, the very earth is split in front of me and on either side there is a dream of completely opposite reflection. I am the apex they both are stepping towards. I am the trajectory of both of these creatures. I am struck that my left eye sees the meadow and shimmering angel, and my right eye takes in the gray boulder field, darkened skies and golden lion. 

And then they are beside me, and the lion begins to rumble deep from within, a growl with less sound than a profound quaking of the earth on which I stand.  Still a crystalline singing catches at my ears, high above this bass and resonant sound.  My feet tremble to hold myself on this dual ground. The angel has not moved, nor has her mouth formed any sort of words, but still, this singing pours from her, and she is glowing as if with a silken mist. I feel her become my left side and I feel the lion become my right. This duality is not outside of me, but rather within me, the voices of such different timbres stretching and pulling and yanking at my skin fibers and my cells until I feel threatened to become undone.

I surrender now. I am one with the singing of the angel and the reverberating thunder of the lion and in that moment, I transcend to become neither and both. I shake with all the forces within me until my being becomes completely still. And the world before me has shifted, a place in which my head is present with stars and dark velvet sky and yet my feet stand among fields of fiercest green and dancing flowers. I find myself inside a painting awash with colors and blending's of night and day and green and gray. Swirls of yellow and blue and ash and white, silver and gold and cold and night. I am caught in the warmth and still part of me is chilled. I am all and I am nothing. 

And out of my throat pours the voices of many in unison. I sing for the stars and I rumble for the earth. I am a choir and yet I am one voice. I am filled and completely empty in one moment. I have not found strength, but rather I have become it. I am the lion and the angel merged. 






Thursday, December 21, 2017

Yule Magic



Twilight deepens across this quiet landscape. Snow has fallen, blanketing everything in soft shapes and rounded poses. I turn, slowly, gently so as not to mar this perfect place. So silent, so still and I realize now that I am dressed in thin veils and snow colored garments. They glow and catch in this tender twilight, in shades of purple, pink and delicate orange. I have grown back into a child's form and find a holly wreath upon my head and tiny sparkling lights woven into my hair.


A unicorn comes towards me now, this most magical of creatures. And I reach for her as she bows her head slowly. She is of the creamiest white and a gold horn between her ears. She lowers her head towards me and I touch the tip of her horn and am transported, to find myself riding upon her smooth, warm back. She moves without a sound; she moves without affecting the snow. I watch the twilight deepen and first stars begin to twinkle in the deep purple sky.


The world takes on this magical hue, deep lavender snow, soft shapes and darkened trees. I feel as if I am floating, riding like this on a most magical creature. The suns rays have faded almost entirely, and in the Eastern sky, the moon rises, a crescent, fair of form and curve. Her faint silver light seems to enchant this vision further and I find myself filled with wonder and delight.


And now we come upon a splendid scene: a circle of trees, merrily decorated with twinkling tiny lights, and in the center of this grove, a long white table filled with colorful food and intricate dishes and festooned with evergreen garlands and bright red bows. Graceful and dancing candle flames are placed along the entire length. At the edges of the grove, two Yule logs burn brightly, their flames crackling and filling the circle with warmth and light.


I slide off of the unicorn as she reaches back to nuzzle my arm. Her breath is warm in this cold air. I realize that even though I am dressed in the lightest of garments, I don't feel cold. The air is crisp and full of the scent of pine and bayberry. I breath deeply and step with mystery into this enchanted place. Sparkling lights and glowing candles greet my gaze and I smile softly.


The food is delicate but rich. Tiny tarts and chocolate cakes, dishes made from fruits and sauces all adorn the spread. I wonder at the tiny size of all I see, but still the intricacy and charm. I feel beguiled with a place so magical and extraordinary in the middle of this snowy place.


My eyes catch at movement to my right and my eyes are drawn slightly below my own height. A gnome moves with surprising gait for someone more portly and dressed so heavily. He nods to me and continues round the table to find a place and there he sits. He has begun a procession of bewitching woodland creatures: fairies and nymphs, dryads and tiny forest creatures file in to find their place at this magical feast. Each regards me with a twinkle in their eye as if they have some great secret. And I watch, feeling shy and yet honored to be graced this vision.


The gnome gestures for me to sit at the table, and I take a place, albeit somewhat self consciously. But then each creature in turn rises to give me a small present. I am touched by their kindness and willingness to include me in this festive gathering. One gives me a blade of the greenest grass, alive still in this winter scape. Another still gives me a pinecone and still others, tiny morsels of the finest sweets. Then there are other gifts, that seem more mystical and magical by turn: a clock that I can bend and fold over on itself, a horn when placed to the ear produces the most magical tinkling melodies, melodies that make me giggle; I am given a sparkling glass that shows the future and a cut crystal meant to bring clever dreams. And the final present thrills me most of all, a tiny silver made bell, crafted and hammered to shine and glimmer and when rung, the most pure and enchanting of sounds peels forth, a sound that is more felt than heard. I feel transported, these lovely things placed around me and before me.


I murmur a soft whisper of gratitude and the feasting commences. Although the dishes are tiny, I find myself filled and satisfied. The sweets are like none I have ever tasted before, their texture and flavor filling me with heady senses and softened motions. I am caught, spellbound in this magical place.


And then it is time for me to leave this beautiful gathering. I nod to the small creatures, the squirrels with their tufted chins, and the fairies with their colorful garbs and the rabbits with wise eyes and birds with their timorous chirping. I take tiny hands and paws and claws in mine. My hand tingles to feel these intricate connections. Each one nods or blesses me by turn and slowly I find that vision fading into the night. The stars sparkle like a thousand jewels set in velvet above my head and there my unicorn finds me, warmed by the gentle kindness of these blessed creatures.


The longest night of the year is begun and I climb slowly upon her back, sleepy and satisfied, content to let my dreams carry me to first light.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Princess of Swords




There, cloaked in darkness, I find myself silent and still. Slowly, a light breaks and seems to shine from behind me, illuminating a large and ornate wooden door just in front of me. There is nothing else in this dim room. I study the door. Dark, heavy wood and intricate paneling seem to draw me towards it. I take one step and then another and reach for a large antique brass handle in the middle of this grand door. Slowly I push down to hear it click and struggle forward on old and rusted hinges. A misty cold air assails me and I am drawn through without stepping at all.


I find myself in a misty place, obscured by millions of tiny droplets of water. I reach my hands in front of me wondering how far I can see and my eyes water to feel the mists so close and me unable to see farther than my fingertips. I realize I am finely dressed in an ancient, green brocade gown that weighs me unnecessarily. I cannot shake the feeling of being almost unable to move or even breath. Multiple, heavy skirts pull at my body and I find myself wishing to sink to the ground below to relieve this weight. I feel trapped and something strikes at my heart, a deep and irrational fear and I glance about myself to realize I can see nothing beyond myself. If a predator is watching, I am unable to know.


I feel this deep seated fear pawing at my deepest core. I struggle against this fear of my surroundings and try to walk away from this dread I sense. The air is heavy, moist and dank. It is fetid and thick and I draw each breath with labored effort. A bird begins a call somewhere in front of me, steady and calling. The sound draws me towards this bird but I listen with fear building in me and wondering what she knows that I cannot. Then she quiets and I am again left in this unearthly, muffled stillness. Slowly I take a step forward and realize I am walking on thick mud that sponges a bit with each step. I reach down, pulling on the hem of the heavy gown to look at my feet. There, I notice thick mud oozing about my toes. For some reason this sensation makes me feel a bit better. I notice that I am connected in some way to the earth and I am a little less fearful.


Something shifts around me. It seems the mist has lifted a bit from my shoulders and eyes and I peer to my left to notice an elaborate stone altar. Gray rocks and intricate details strike me. It is artfully made and constructed. This pagan altar has been filled with all manners of strange and gruesome things. I find a bloody wing, a black and twisted ribbon, an old bone still with wilted skin, and another, a garish mask contorted in a last breath. I recoil to see these things. They repulse me. I look away.


And yet again, the misty droplets lighten. I notice that I am in a forest glade and all is deep wet greens and dark woods around me. The air has cleared a bit more and I can smell a bit of pine and juniper in my breaths. I breath a bit easier and deeper and feel strength in those familiar scents. Apprehensively, I glance back at the altar and realize the pile of things has grown and yet I cannot make out their exact form. I find myself angry at these things that ruin so beautiful a place and I reach my hand up to swing at the pile and knock it off the altar. In that second, I feel a sharp and terrible pain in my right foot! I fall to the side gasping at the strength of the pain that reaches through my every fiber and causes me to feel faint. There in the grass, a small dark snake is slithering away. It has red spots down it's back and it hisses an angry retort before slithering away. I shake and tremble in abject fear and terrible pain. I reach to lift the skirt of my heavy gown and see blood running down my foot; the pain intensifies. I gasp to feel it and at that moment realize the mists have retreated even farther from me. The day grows brighter now.


I look again at the bite mark and realize that is glowing from within me and that glow is spreading thru my foot and up my leg in a rapid ascent. There is almost a sparkler like quality as it crackles and begins to transform my skin and burn the dress away. Large pieces of dark green fabric fall way and shrivel into ash as they float to the ground; each piece, and I feel lighter. My legs are lit by this otherworldly golden glow and I watch the fire spread thru me and in the end I am dressed only in the lightest of garments, feathers of a sort. I reach my hands up and allow the searing power of this transforming venom to perform its magic on me. It reaches higher and higher and I find my being enraptured in a pain that is almost pleasure and heady awareness. And I feel myself begin to scream, and then the scream turns to this note of purest intensity and I am singing so fully at the top of my lungs. I feel my throat open and I turn and turn, slowly, allowing the scream to fill me and all of this sound to pierce the remaining mists before me. The sound fills me so entirely and I feel consumed by it and as if I will consume the world before me with it.


The mists lift with each tone emulating from my being until they have fallen away entirely to the deep blue sky above me. The now fiery and radiant gold of my skin joins the radiant burning yellow of the sun. I feel my self lit from within and without. I revel in the brightness but my eyes struggle to adjust. And now I notice, a sacred white Ibis stands at my right side and I reach for it, sure I am to mount it and take flight. But as I reach, I realize my arms have become wings and my body is light and covered in white feathers. I bend my legs and leap up and up and begin to soar. All of this is below me. The altar is fading now, these gray stones turned white and shimmering in the brightest of early morning suns. I feel the warmth of the sun on my back and the wind flows under and over and around me.


I am the beginning of wisdom and all knowing.