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.