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divination

Riddles Within Riddles

Sapha

For three days Aké had seen nothing but a sea of dunes, featureless and seemingly endless under the searing sun. He was becoming weary and very low on water, but, on this morning something had caught his attention. He was standing atop a high crest and through eyes half closed against the light and distance was watching an area of turbulence on the horizon, far off to the north and east. He was seeing something moving, rippling in and out of vision. Around it the desert was a blur, the boundary between sky and land become smudged and flattened into a single darkening tone. But, as curious as it appeared to him,  Aké felt this mystery to be the least of his troubles. Having no choice but to find the oasis that he and his mentor Pemba had set out for, his initiation had thrown him into a struggle for survival.

He had taken to walking between first and last light for only as long as he dared, stopping to rest and sheltering as best he could at the height of the day.  He knew to use the sun and stars to navigate, and he knew how to move silently and quickly at night, Pemba had instructed him in these things, but, to Aké it was impossible to tell if he was nearer his goal or not. He might as well have been going round in circles. In fact Aké had come face to face with the true nature of his challenge – only through fully opening up and using the connection between his personal medicine and the beings of the otherworlds would he survive. This is how it was with initiation, and with good reason.

Just how close Aké was to his goal only the hawk hovering far above him could see. But, the desert can be full of deceptions and, at any moment, even an experienced traveller can be led astray by the forces at large in that vast wilderness……


……Pemba heared soft footsteps approaching. Pulling his mind’s eye from the burning sky he looked up in time to see Tuq stepping into the shade of the ancient palms. He squatted beside Pemba, an expectant look on his travel worn face.

“Well….?”

“He’s coming….”

“Ahhh, I knew you would not disappoint Pemba….you never do…”, said Tuq turning to survey the oasis with a satisfied smile.

It was not enough to fool Pemba – he could sense the tension in the tall northerner. “You make me sound like a horse trader Tuq”, he said, needling his old friend.

Tuq made a sour face and gestured over his shoulder. “Did he see you?”

Pemba considered a moment.

“My shadow crossed his path, briefly, but….”

“……ahahhh! So, you are losing your touch old man!”, said Tuq slapping the sand with a laugh.

“Then again, he might be exceptional…”, Pemba continued. The laughter fell from from Tuq’s face and he gave Pemba a sharp look. His piercing blue eyes cut like a laser, but, Pemba smiled and placed his hand on Tuq’s shoulder.

“I promise, he is….”, he added.

Tuq unconsciously stroked the long straggley hair of his sunbleached beard.

“Then we had better make ready for the young master…..he’ll have to be exceptional if he’s going to fulfill your promise”, he said, fixing Pemba with his stare again, “we are all relying on it”. He was right to be nervous. Much would be determined with Aké’s arrival and the moment he and Tuq finally confronted each other. But, the north-man smiled ruefully and with a shrug rose to his feet, seemingly putting his concerns to one side.

“Come on, old man, you’ll ferment under this sun if you sit here much longer”, and, offering him his hand, he pulled Pemba to his feet.

For all his abrupt manners and hidden thinking Pemba liked Tuq. It was true, he could be as hard to read as the sea of mysterious symbols that covered his body.  As they walked back towards the circle of tents Pemba remembered how they had met. It had been further north, up by the Plateau of the Painted Rocks, the people’s old meeting place. Arune the Far-Seer, Pemba’s own teacher, had brought him there to learn of their deep past……on their arrival they had found Tuq, tending mint tea over a fire, as if he had been waiting for them. Arune saw it as a sign that the spirits were intervening, but, to what ends neither the old seer nor his ward were able to foretell. However, in the course of time Tuq’s appearance had taken on a deeper significance.

Having come into our midst out of nowhere, so many seasons ago, the mystery surrounding old Tuq was more than skin deep. He was both familiar and alien, recognised now as one of the far-seers, but, one whose skills and gifts were rooted in a very different soil. And, in the course of time, it was this crucial fact that helped us understand how lucky we were to have such a shrewd ally amongst us, for Tuq brought one factor into our midst that mattered above all others now – he knew the ways of the People of the Dead.

Now, the future and the past were pulling together on all our paths and this place, the hidden oasis, was the crossroads at which they would finally converge. It would be Aké’s task to remember not only his own path to the oasis, but, that of Tuq as well, for their fates had long been tied unto each other.


Aké felt the soft sand beneath him shift as he came to the crest of yet another dune. Beads of sweat dripped from his brow and stung his eyes. The horizon shimmered with seductive visions rippling at the edge of sight. He strained to see through the illusion, unsure of what was real. The eastern horizon looked for all the world as if it were moving towards him. And, were those trees, or some whim of the light and heat, a trick of the Djinn?

He had heard the elders talk of those powerful spirit beings who inhabited the wild places. In their knowledge the Djinn were older than the Earth and had come to this place with the Ancients, the life-bringers and first colonisers of this planet. But, the Djinn were also known as demanding teachers, impartial to the ways of humans, giving favour according to laws known only to themselves. The elders had sung of such things.

As he gazed into the distance a memory arose in Aké’s mind of a song he had once heard his mother singing, an origins song. It was through the gift of the Djinn, the song related, that the people learned to travel beyond the known. Since the beginning it had been the challenge of initiates to follow the ghost paths laid by the Djinn through the mirages that haunted this endlessly shifting and trackless land. As the words of the song came back to him they also reminded Aké of their darker side, of how the Djinn spoke in riddles and that, in this place, the sun’s fingers would try to find their way into the traveller’s mind and ply it away from the body and its senses. He began to understand why this song was associated with initiation – it was itself a riddle, filled with riddles.

However, as Aké remembered the voice of his mother he began to feel as though the memory held an important message, a vital piece of information, a key. He wondered if it was something that would help him find his way to the oasis.

In that moment Aké was rocked by a sharp jolt beneath his feet, followed by another and another, and a sound, so deep it was more felt than heard. It felt like a movement in the belly of the great earth spirit. A violent kick took Aké’s feet from beneath him and he fell, tumbling down the face of the dune.

He slid slowly to a halt and lay clutching at the fragile stillness, waiting…..and then he tasted it, a faint vibration at back of his throat. It was an unmistakable earthy taste that seemed to register in his very bones as its subtle musky scent played with his senses. Water.


Pemba stopped midstep, a look of puzzlement on his face.

“What is it old man, spirits got your back again….” Tuq teased his friend, giving Pemba a knowing smile.

But, Tuq quickly put his joking aside when he saw that Pemba’s face was a study of concentration.

“Did you feel it” Pemba said meeting Tuq’s eyes. He turned again to survey the sky beyond the palms. “I could have sworn…..”

Tuq’s eyes narrowed as he followed Pemba’s gaze. At that moment Demuz, the chief seer of the Blue Desert Tribe came out of the low entrance to her tent and called Pemba’s name. She strode purposefully towards them, her long indigo robe swirling behind her. She was quickly followed by a much younger woman, Demuz’ protégé Sapha. She joined her mentor just in time to hear the old woman begin speaking to the two men.

“Well, it appears your apprentice has company Pemba”, the old woman said, raising an eyebrow. Pemba looked from Demuz to Tuq and turned once again to look beyond the palm trees.

“Earth spirit….by the feel of it” he said under his breath.

“Mmmm…perhaps”, said Demuz, giving her apprentice a conspiratorial smile, “and then again….”

Pemba dropped his gaze. “Strange, the sky shows no signs and the trees remain still” he said, voicing his thoughts.

“Sapha, show our brothers what you saw in your dreaming just now”, the old woman said, giving her protégé a nod of encouragement.

Tuq and Pemba turned to look at the young woman. Sapha returned their gaze and then, squatting to smooth out an area of sand, drew a series of signs with her finger, finishing it off by enclosing the design within a circle. She looked up briefly and then began adding a second set of heiroglyphs, this time enclosing the pattern in a tent shape. Dividing the two designs she drew a deep line. She paused and, satisfied with her work, raised her eyes to look at Tuq…..by his expression he obviously knew what some of the signs meant.

Slowly squatting down to examine the patterns more closely, Tuq glanced at Sapha then pulled back his sleeve to reveal his right arm. One of the signs in the circle was identical to marks tattooed just below his elbow. Sapha nodded and pointed with her chin to the marks on his arm and then to the desert beyond the palm trees.

The young mute seer suddenly swept her hand across the design enclosed by the circle, scooped up a handful of the sand and threw it skywards with a look of alarm. Tuq’s face became grave with concern.

“We must send him warning”, he said, “he’s walking into a trap”.

“But, we cannot interfere Tuq”, Pemba said as he dropped to one knee, looking intently at the remaining design. “The spirits will either help Aké, or…..”

“…or our fate will be decided for us,” broke in the old woman, her face inscrutible and stern, “along with his!”

She had spoken the truth, and the two men knew it. Pemba, however, touched one of the designs in the tent shape and looked to Sapha.

“This is the sign of the water spirit, is it not, according to the language of the Blue tribes, and this….” he pointed at the design next to it, “….what is this?”

“It is the sign of the unkown Pemba…that which can neither be seen nor be foreseen. Your ward has company….but, we cannot tell if it is benevolent or not. It seems to be leading him both to the safety of the oasis and directly into the heart of danger. An unexpected challenge has been set for him…..” Demuz said, driving home the point.

Pemba stood and took a few steps towards the palms. His eyes half closed he scanned the sky and reached out with his mind. Far off beyond the trees the plaintive cry of a hawk was barely audible, but, it was enough for Pemba to relax his shoulders slightly and let out a sigh. Silently he returned the call to his spirit ally and waited.


Aké was sure that he was being watched. He looked around, quickly surveying the valley and the crests of the dunes above. There was no-one in sight, but, the feeling would not go away. He rose from his haunches and, dusting himself off from the fall, suddenly felt the bulge of the water gourd beneath Pembas blanket. A strange thought entered his mind and he quickly took out the gourd. It did not make any sense, as he would be literally pouring away the precious liquid, but, he had the strongest urge to make an offering of water to the spirit in this place. He took the stopper from the gourd and hesitated, searching for words to accompany the offering.

He poured a little water from the gourd into his cupped hand and, with eyes closed, spoke his thoughts into the clear cool liquid. Then, after offering the water his breath, he let it trickle between his fingers. A nebula of small craters appeared at Aké’s feet as the water seeped quickly into the soft sand. Gazing at the pattern as he returned the stopper to the gourd he began to realise – there was something in that pattern.

He reached behind his back for the divining bag and unwound the thong that bound its neck. Reaching in, Aké’s fingers touched upon something hard and spherical. He carefully eased it out of the bag. It was a seed pod, of the kind used by the dancers in his village as a rattle. With a swift flick of his wrist it released a crisp sigh. The sound brought an indistinct image briefly into Aké’s mind. He gave the pod another shake, and another, and as he listened each shake of the rattle began to merge into one flowing sound. In his mind he saw a dancing ribbon of dark energy, sparkling like water as it moved, but, through it he could see the pattern made by the water he had offered. The sound of the rattle swirled about him and the image began to shimmer, just like the mirages at the desert’s far edge. Aké increased the rhythm and within the vision a turquoise pool emerged, surrounded by swaying trees. He could see low dark tents and something indistinct that was moving towards him very quickly. Before he knew it a strange looking face thrust itself before him in the vision. He fell backwards, dropping the rattle and divining bag, and lay on his back gasping.

The face had not just startled him, there was something about it that was unusual, alien, but more than that…..he felt he knew it. No, that was not it – it knew him. A knot of fear pulled at his stomach and, with it, the feeling of being watched returned. He knew that he was not alone.


A shout rang out from the far edge of the oasis quickly followed by a gust of warm wind that set the palms swaying. Another gust sent them dancing, their long leaves hissing, as if shaken by an invisible hand.

“Habūb!” came the cry again.

“By the spirits”, said Tuq under his breath. He glanced at Pemba, but, the old diviner was still and silent, looking to the west in the direction of Aké.

“Your ward will have his mettle tested”, said Demuz, coming to his side.

But, Pemba said nothing, his gaze focused on something far above the horizon.

After a moment he turned to Demuz, a resigned look cast upon his face. He breathed in, his lips pursed, and gave a slow nod. He knew full well what this would mean for Aké.

“We shall see”, was all he said, “we shall see…”


The shadows began to soften and melt into the sand as Aké picked himself up and quickly gathered the diviner’s bag and rattle. The air began to shift, a fine veil of dust washing over the water marks at his feet. But, Aké’s attention was now fixed on the eastern horizon. Beyond the dunes the air was becoming dull and heavy, an opaque blanket obscuring the skies. He had never seen its like, but, it told him enough – he must find shelter. A strong gust of wind stung his face as the desert around him began to shift and scurry.

Then he saw it. A great wall of billowing sand was rushing towards him, rising up into the sky beyond the dunes. He turned to run, searching for a place to hide. Just as he came to a bend in the dunes he heard the roar of the wind at his back. Aké’s instincts took over and he sprinted as he had never done before. Then something snagged his foot and he went flying, tumbling over a hard and unforgiving shape buried in the sand. He had dropped the diviner’s bag and, turning to look over his shoulder, a sharp pain shot through his ribs. The wall of sand was nearly upon him, but, it was then that he saw what had tripped him up. A thin sinuous tendril covered in barbs snaked up out of the sand, like one of the forest vines on which the seed pod rattles grew, and beneath it was an unatural shadow. The divining bag sat at its edge. He scrambled back towards it and, just as his hands reached the bag, he felt the sand beneath him give way. The sky disappeared and a chaotic maelstrom of howling wind and dust swallowed the desert and Aké whole.


Tuq

Demuz’ tent had become a dark cave, its eastern walls bulging inwards with the force of the wind. The sound was deafening and no-one spoke. Pemba sat with his eyes closed close to the entrance as Demuz and Sapha checked the tent’s inner supports. Tuq had gone to check on the animals and other tents. Pemba was waiting to secure the entrance flap when he returned.

Time stretched out in a seemingly endless moment and in the chaos beyond the walls of the tent everything lost its form. Within, the diviners waited for Tuq, but, he did not come.

Pemba looked to the two women and had to shout to make himself heard. “I am going to look for him”.

“Tuq will be safe, in another tent….” Demuz reassured Pemba, ” he is no stranger to the desert”.

But, Pemba was uncertain. A gut feeling told him that all was not well. Tuq should have returned long before now. He knew that what Sapha had shown them had revealed more to Tuq than he had had time to say. He closed his eyes again and reached out with his mind to his spirit ally.

The desert below the hawk had become a churning mass of clouds, engulfing the oasis and the dunes beyond. Pemba bid the hawk look to the west but his vision revealed no break in the turmoil. Amidst the desert storm there was nothing to be done but to sit it out. But, there was something strange at work here. Within the roar of the wind Pemba thought he could hear voices. The old diviner listened intently, trying to make out what was being said. After a moment he opened his eyes and moved from the entrance to sit with the two women. He leaned in close to Demuz to make his voice heard.

“This is no ordinary storm”, he said, “there is something in its midst, I can hear it”.

Demuz closed her eyes and concentrated her mind on the sounds that surrounded the tent.

“It is how it is sometimes Pemba”, she said, her eyes still closed, “you are right though, I feel it too.” She opened her eyes and looked to her apprentice. “Sapha, was this what you saw in your dreaming?”

Sapha put her hand to her ear and nodded in confirmation. She leant over to retrieve her divining bag and drew a small tablet of stone from it. Reaching into her robe she produced small pouch and pulling a finger of charcoal from it drew two symbols on the stone. They were identical to the symbols that Tuq had recognised, one of which he had tattooed on his arm. This one was shaped like a thin triangular pinnacle with a wavey line emerging vertically from its point, a second horizontal one snaking across the middle of the symbol. She looked intently at the two old diviners.

Both Demuz and Pemba knew what this symbol signified, but, the other was unknown to Pemba. He pointed at it with his chin, an enquiring look on his face.

“That is a symbol that belongs to the People of the Dead, Pemba”, Demuz said with a grave look. “It is old, but not of the age of our own language which we have carried from the beginning. We know that its origins are tied up with the desert, but, its meaning is elusive….save the fact that it has destruction at its heart. There are few that can say more”. The symbol took the form of a central disc with three wide rays radiating from it.


Aké had pulled Pemba’s blanket around him and lay curled up beneath it in a shallow hollow, the storm raging over him. The wind swirled violently around him tugging at the blanket. He was breathing hard, the air above him thick with dust and noise, and the pain in his ribs was beginning to gnaw at his mind. For a brief moment he thought that he could hear someone calling through the storm, but, he reassured himself that it must be another of the desert’s illusions.

For a young boy on his way to becoming a man, being brought up in the savannah and forests, there were no memories to draw upon that would tell him what to do in this situation. It was entirely alien to him. He tried to think but the chaos that surrounded him made it impossible – he could only wait it out and hope. But, as he lay there holding on to the blanket with all his might, another sense within him began to emerge. His mind began to still and a curious calmness enfolded him. Aké listened more deeply and this time he was certain of it – from the heart of the wind a voice was calling him.

He heard his name, as if coming from a great distance, and then it was swallowed up in a multitude of voices that spoke in a tongue he did not recognise. The voices rose and fell, coming in waves, increasing with each pulse until a continuous chant seemed to almost drown out the wind itself. The strange face he had seen in his vision of the oasis appeared briefly in his mind again and immediately the chanting ceased. He could not tell if it was his mind playing a trick but a powerful deep voice suddenly said a single word. “Moqsula!”

And then, as if the word had cast a spell upon the storm the wind began to calm. Within a few minutes all was deathly still and silent.

Aké lay there, motionless, not knowing  if he had fallen into a vision or not. He felt Pemba’s blanket resting on his body and slowly released his grip on it. Lifting a corner her peered tentatively from beneath it, his eyes widening at what he saw. Where there had been nothing but soft sand he now saw red earthy ground dappled with patches of gravel and rock streaked with dust. He listened carefully before throwing off the blanket and looking around. The valley was unrecognisable. The dunes around him had now closed off the valley forming an ampitheatre in the shape of a teardrop but at its centre was a flat area of open ground. Then he looked again at what had tripped him up.

A long post was bent over towards him, almost touching the ground. It terminated in a curious flat triangular form, looking for all the world like a totem with a tent shaped head. He could not tell what the post and its head piece were made of, but, it was smooth and shiny at its edges. He noticed that the corners of the head were twisted reminding Aké of a tent flap caught by the wind, as if frozen in time. Around the pole a length of the barbed vine snaked in a loose spiral and reached up over the triangle ending in the snag that had caught his foot. The post was embedded in a hard edged lump of smooth rock, only it was unlike any rock Aké had ever seen before. Whatever it was it had given him crucial protection and where he had huddled the sand still lay. It formed a nest in the shape of his body stretched into a long thin rippling dune by the wind.

He gingerly rose to his feet and found that his ribs had stopped aching, not even a twinge. If that was not curious enough, when Aké saw the other side of the triangle he caught his breath. A very peculiar symbol covered its surface and the sight of it made him feel suddenly anxious…..a central disc in black, three wide rays fanning out from it amidst a bright yellow field, with a black border following the edge of the triangle.


Pemba and Demuz were staring at each other, unsure of what they were hearing. The storm had subsided, but, with a suddenness that defied their senses. Sapha was already rising to open the tent flap before either of the elders spoke. It had become unnaturally quiet.

“Take care now Sapha”, said Demuz slowly rising to her feet, “whatever that was it was not like any habūb I have ever known….”

“I must find Tuq” said Pemba as he came to the tent flap. Sapha lifted it for him and he stepped slowly out. He was greeted by a brilliant light under clear deep blue skies, and the oasis was surprisingly unchanged to his eyes. People were emerging from their tents, the animals were shaking off the dust, and going from tent to tent Pemba asked if Tuq had been with them during the storm. No-one had seen him. Pemba strode to the western edge of the oasis and surveyed the desert, but, there was no sign of Tuq.


Aké ran his hand over the surface of the pole and found it smooth, hard and surpisingly cool under his fingers – and, it shone in the sunlight. He gently touched one of the barbs on the vine, but, this was like no living plant, or, he felt, ever had been living. It was as hard as the pole and wickedly sharp.

At that moment a noise behind him made Aké jump and he spun on his heal to see a tall man dressed in the dark robe of a desert dweller standing at the crest of the dune. The stranger raised his hand and called out.

“Aké?”

Aké felt a wave of relief course through him at the sound of his name, but, when the stranger began descending the face of the dune he quickly gathered up his belongings and turned to put the post between himself and the stranger. When he turned back the man was no longer in sight.

Aké blinked and shook his head, but, the valley was deserted.

“I must be dreaming”, he muttered to himself and waited a moment, half expecting the stranger to suddenly rematerialise. But, he was alone again, and, checking to see that he had all his belongings, he began to climb the dune towards the place he had seen the stranger. When he reached the crest his confusion deepened as he could find no tracks in the sand. He glanced around and then looked briefly back at the curious totem. There was no-one to be seen, but, it was then that he saw something that made his heart leap. A green line rippled just beyond the dunes in the middle distance. “Those are treetops….” he exclaimed with sudden surprise. He rubbed his eyes, but, it was no illusion. “The oasis!”

The young initiate now had no doubt about his direction and broke into an urgent stride in the direction of the green streak amidst the dunes. As he walked he began to notice how everything seemed unusually clear, as if radiating with its own light. He stopped momentarily to look down at his feet and saw the sand sliding away, looking for all the world like gold dust. He knelt down and ran his fingers over its surface. It felt like sand, but, he could see every particle with astonishing clarity and for a moment became mesmerised by its beauty.

Something had happened to him and he realised that he was not only seeing things differently but was hearing and feeling all around him in an unusually sensitive way. He could hear the golden grains of sand as he shifted his feet, whispering softly as it fell away. Everything had become so immediate, as if it were all a part of him, intimately connected with him through his feelings. But, when he connected with his feelings they too began to shift, like the golden sand, reforming themselves into a sense of fullness and solidity he had never experienced before. He felt bigger, much bigger than before, as though he had grown beyond his skin and was being touched by all that surrounded him. He almost had a sense of seeing through someone elses eyes….or something elses.

As he moved the world moved with him and flooded his senses with an ecstatic feeling of belonging. Whatever it was that had happened to Aké he found a great joy accompanying each new sensation. Then it occured to him – this joy was not his alone. He felt held, supported by a great energy field that surged through his body and, at the heart of that energy an even stronger sense was beginning to emerge. The sense of belonging was deepening into a sense of knowing. It was almost as if he understood the sand, the clear radiant sky, the rippling shapes within the desert – the world was speaking to him.

Aké picked up his pace and felt a rush of elation as he crested the next dune and saw once again the green ripple of treetops, much closer now. He felt weightless as he rushed down the dune and effortlessly crested the next, and the next. He was sure he must be very close now, that this must be the last ridge of sand before the oasis revealed itself, but, as he was nearing the top he heard a voice, coming from far above….the cry of a hawk.

Aké looked up in time to see a small speck high above the desert moving swiftly away beyond the crest. He scrambled up the steep slope, but, was stopped in his tracks when someone called out. Standing on the crest a short way off to his left was the stranger.


‘Riddles Within Riddles’ forms Chapter 4 of the story ‘Chenge and the Spider’ – the preceeding three chapters in the story of Aké’s initiation can be found here, Chapters 1 & 2 and here, Chapter 3

‘Chenge and the Spider’ & ‘Riddles Within Riddles’ © Rob Purday 2013-16

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Running Deer

orbmage1

She gathered the night about her as the Sun set. The lodge was wreathed in brilliant light as the solar disc descended, but, within, Her work was just beginning. Stillness wrapped a cloak of darkness around the wise woman as she knelt to speak with the ancestral spirits at the hearth stone. She felt for the warm heart of embers at the core of their shrine, the sacred fire. She listened for the song they were singing……and, slowly kindling the flame, the song began to work its magic and issue from her mouth. The spirits came, luminous orbs of blue and quick-fire red, and Her heart glowed with their presence. As the last rays of daylight died away and cloaked the land in mystery, she let the song fade back into silence and smiled. It was time……


…..many moons ago I had awoken beneath a bower of wysteria to find Magpie Woman, the old mother Aluna, tending this very same fire. It was the beginning of my journey with her, but, how I had come to be there was a mystery ~ all I knew was that, the night before, the spirits of the fire had called me into the heart of their realm as grandmother had opened the ancestral dream path. Our village had been blessed by her coming, but, as we soon found out, she had also given the people fair warning. She had come to us in the midst of a long journey, searching for those who would follow and learn her ways, but, it was fire of a different kind that had set her off on the search. She was carrying a precious treasure to safety and, as the moons passed, she began to tell me the story.

“……we were a peaceful people, carrying a long memory of who we were and where we had come from, my daughter. The first glimmer of news that this was to change had come from the star-dreamers, the spirits of the ancestral sky fires had given them the signs. The Puridai, our tribal great grandmother, who oversaw the affairs of all the clans, called to council all the surrounding settlements and it was decided that together, as a people, we must leave early for our winter strongholds. Each would make their way to the hills above the plains – from there we would be able to keep watch in safety.

“….we knew the world we inhabited was changing, we had seen the stars moving by different paths. It was a subtle thing at first, speaking only to the eyes of the far-seers and star dreamers, but, the omens began to build. It was the time of the Spider Moon and the trees were turning red and gold at the beginning of their own journey to dream with the heart of the Earth Mother. She had been generous to us that year and provided us with food and skins enough to last well beyond our time at the strongholds, but, it was this very generosity that alerted the Alunas. The Mother always provides for what is coming….the Alunas agreed, this would be a long hard winter.”

Magpie Woman’s ways, like all the Alunas, always held the people at their heart, so, I was puzzled and had asked, “why did you leave, grandmother, did something send you out of the village….?” Her eyes looked into the far distance as She recounted Her journey.

“We had seen great flocks of migrating birds travelling south, so many in numbers that the sound of their wings and cries travelled before them. But, we first heard news of other travellers when the far-seers told of people coming over the high passes, many people, they had said, carrying their villages with them…..and, once they began arriving, the seeing of the Aluna’s was confirmed. The northerners told us of dangerous spirits abroad in the land, of a creeping fog, freezing everything in its path, that was spreading across the plains to the north. They had heard strange sounds carried on the wind, groaning and deep drumming, as though the Mother too was pulling Herself up by the roots. Their hunters had met with the people of the far north, people who always came south following the migrating herds as the Moons became brighter than the day, but, they to were travelling much further south than was known within the living memory of the people. And, as their news came to our council fires the dreaming itself began to change, and within this we were gifted with a warning…..the Earth Mother was drawing a mantle about herself, as if preparing to enter the long sleep of the winter dreamers.”

I knew of the winter dreamers, from stories told by our elders that had been passed down from long ago…..but, in our lands the people had seen few signs of such great change; I wanted to know if such change was coming to us all…..Magpie Woman reassured me that such change was not the threat, it had always been known within the traditions carried by the rememberers, but, protecting the dreaming was Her concern. She had made Her journey, following the songs of the land, as her spirits instructed Her….

bear walking“A man of the plains north of the mountains, one of the spirit seers named Bear Walking, entered our campment at that time and shared his medicines with us….I will never forget the news he brought to us. The land beyond the mountains had fallen out of balance and people were dying, especially the young and old, and some had disappeared altogether, leaving no trace…..he told us that, while his seeing remained strong, his medicines had begun to lose their power and after the advice of his totem, the Great Bear, had decided to follow the birds and leave his lands. He had struck out with only the company of his trusted spirits……in the dreaming, he had discovered, many of the totems had advised the same and he wondered if this might account for some of the missing people…..he suggested I do the same……”

Magpie Woman must have caught my thoughts all too easily for she quickly reached over and took up my hands,

“….do not be affeared my daughter, those people did the very thing they knew would protect the people first, and trusted the spirits to look after themselves….whether their bodies perished or not, they took to the spirit road alive and in full possession of their minds and hearts, and travel there still….such things are in our kenning…..”

She had let her words sink in and waited for my response. I had no inkling of the meaning of these words at that time and soon the questions came. I sensed that this was somehow connected with the treasure she was guarding and pressed her, “but, is that how you came to our  village, grandmother?” My question brought a smile to the wisened face of my mentor….

“…..yes, that is why you are here my daughter, you know how to ask the right questions and, at the right time, you too will find your own answers…..”

I felt a pang of disappointment, wanting the answers now, but, it soon passed when she picked up the thread of her story again.

“…..I had taken Bear Walking’s advice and received an answer in kind ~ my path lay south, and, like him, I was to carry the heart of the village to safety.  His totem holds council with the Mother through the winter dreaming and She had spoken through the Great Bear. We follow the path of spirit and accepting their guidance is at the core of our ways, my daughter….it is our way.” She let out a deep sigh. “You will learn, it is the very reason I am here, to make sure that you understand…..”


In the months that followed Magpie Woman taught me the ancient ways of healing that the Great Mother had provided for us, the use of plants, preparations and the protocols surrounding them, how the plants and animals each had their own song, and when to use them, and when not….She had instructed me in the art of tracking, both through the reading of worldly signs and through senses that the plants themselves opened up through their use. We walked the land gathering all we needed to feed ourselves, both in kenning and in body, and slowly I began to understand that She was leading me into deeper and more intimate relationships with the world into which I had been born. She had been preparing me, without my knowing it, for our journey. And, She was wily….She had been observing everything, so that, when the time came, She would know which allies could help me on my own path and, through this, when I would be ready…..but, for what? I was about to find out ~ the time had come!

After nine moons the world in which I walked had become very different to the one I had grown up in, amongst the familiar smells, sights and sounds of my village. I had been free to visit with the poeple and bring gifts, healing salves and soft skins, and even talked of the pathway of learning itself. But, one morning I had seen an augery, a host of black Cranes flying south had passed just above the pines that lined the shore where I had been gathering shellfish, and, amidst their cries and the sweeping sound of their wings I had heard the call of grandmother’s own bird, the Magpie, laughing and cackling in the tree-tops, just as I had heard them on the night that Magpie Woman had first come to our village ~ sensing the turn in the road, a more urgent feeling emerged in my heart, that I should visit with my clan once more….on telling of the Cranes and Magpies and hearing my concerns I was surprised to see Magpie Woman smile with delight.

“Well, you are right my daughter, and I am pleased….you are learning fast! You are seeing clearly with your heart, beyond this time and, yes, the moment is upon us….we must leave this land very soon. Go, to your people and give them your leave daughter; neither you nor I can say when you will return and this you must also tell them….ask for their blessings. On dark moon we open a new road…..”

It had been so easy until now, and I had become wrapped in a sense of security as I learned the medicine ways, but, the reality of this journey had suddenly come home….and, I knew this was the end of the beginning. I was now either to follow this path into the unkown or leave it for good. Grandmother’s story had itself been preparation for this moment. She had told me much, but, what had happened after she had left her village, she had never fully disclosed to me.

“Come to the lodge after darkness has fallen, daughter ~ the waning moon is folding her dark robes about her and we must work with her to open a crack in the worlds. Now, go and make peace with those you love.”

It was not until I had entered the village under the midday sun that I knew where my choice would take me ~ and, it came as a surprise to myself to hear the words coming from my lips, but, as I told my family of my intent to follow the path and continue my journey with Magpie Woman, where-ever it may lead, I knew with an uncanny certainty, for all the tears and sadness that our farewells brought, that it was the right choice. As the Sun dipped towards the horizon and I began to leave the village I heard footsteps on the path behind ~ under the bows of the forest at the edge of the village I turned to find the women’s chief elder running to catch up, a bundle in her arms.

light“Wait young one….wait….before you make an old woman lose her breath….”

She came to my side and, taking a moment to compose herself, smiled as she held the bundle before me. “It is a part of the path you are upon…..we have been careful to hold it in your stead since Magpie Woman took you under her wing…..we knew this day would come. Now a part of this village must travel with you into the world, an ancient talisman, that came to us as it is now coming to you…..”

I was suddenly filled with questions, but, She bid me not to unwrap the bundle until I had returned to Magpie Woman. As I held the skin-wrapped bundle, darkened with oil and quite damp to the touch, it began to radiate with warmth and for all the world felt as if it were a living being.

I looked from the bundle to the old woman and she nodded, saying….”yes, it is a mystery, but, one the grandmother will know and understand ~ She may well be surprised, however, when she finds out what we have given to you.” And, smiling, she reached into the folds of her wrap and pulled out a small pouch of white fur.

“This, I have been making for you these nine Moons……just as the elder mother of our village made one for me when I was your age…..She will protect you on your journey. Here let me put the pouch safe in your robe….”

The beautiful soft fur pouch tucked safely away, the old woman, leaning in close to kiss my cheeks, raised her eyebrows and said, “….well, go on my girl….you have a date with your destiny……” and, as she turned and walked slowly back down the forest path, called out…..”fair you well, young one…..blessed be, blessed be…..”

As I came to the lodge, the Sun spreading a ruby and emerald blanket across the sky, I found Magpie Woman emerging from the low doorway, singing one of her medicine songs…..She looked me up and down, taking in the bundle with a raised eyebrow, and bid me follow as the night wrapped its dark robe about the land…..


The smell of juniper and sweet resin mingled with the smokey air within the lodge and a feint glow nestled in the hearth at its centre, barely illuminating the smooth river stones that surrounded it. I sat at the hearth side, as grandmother bid me, and watched as She gathered up her own medicine bundle from the back of the lodge.

“I first met with the Puridai of your village when we were both fresh from our initiation path, daughter ~ she is a carrier of women’s medicines that are sacred to all the peoples and is a wise woman in the ways of the Moon. It is good that she gave you her blessing…..”

I had not known that the two old women were kin in spirit, let alone that they knew each other, but, I also wondered how Magpie Woman had known that it was the women’s chief elder who had made her gifting to me, but, coming to the fire and placing her bundle at its side, She continued….

“….yes, I too was surpised when I saw her face in the circle on the night I arrived…..it was a good sign, one I had not foreseen, but, such is the way of things…..”

She had pulled down the flap on the lodge entrance and brought a small clay lamp of tallow and woven nettle wick to the fire side. With a strand of straw She kindled a flame from the fire’s embers and soon the little lamp cast a luminous glow in our midst.

“This gift is precious that you now carry, of that you can be assured….but, before you open it…..”, taking her divination bag from her bundle,“….lets just see who else is with us this night. Once again the spirits will be our guides…..”

She unwound the leather strap and let the fine tanned skin fall away, smoothing it out upon the floor between us. In the midst of the skin was a small mound of strange objects – I gazed in wonder at them as they slowly revealed their shapes. There was an assortment of bones, some bleached and white as the sickle Moon, others blackened by fire and burnished with age, and, amongst these I began to pick out more ambiguous shapes, stones perhaps, shells or polished pieces of wood…..Magpie woman smudged them with juniper smoke and said…..

“Take up the bones, my daughter, and let me remove those you do not gather…..then cast them onto the skin”

She began to hum a simple melody as I placed my hands on the bones and, scooping up a handful, held them above the skin. She swept the remainder up and put them in the folds of her lap. Her song washed over me and small blue iridescent sparks of light flew swiftly around my hands. I let the bones fall…..the old woman leaned in, singing to the bones as she began to search amongst them for signs.

gaiaboulet“Ahhh, white deer running…..jumps the waters……keeps her feet dry……finds her clan…..under the sign of the Sky Bear, under cloak of night…..”

Her words enfolded in the melody, the bones shimmered and I felt something move deep within, a memory in the shape of a feeling, as She continued….

“….the fire of the ancestors is guiding you dear, a red bone with a star stone…..a far journey led by starlight……there’s an offering in this, see there….”

Her boney finger pointed at a small bead of polished red wood. The bundle that I had been given flashed into my mind.

“Willow mother…..holds you fair…..ocean brother, brings you there…..a gathering of crows and and ravens, a council fire in the Mother’s haven…..”, and, with this She stopped and gently pushed a stout finger bone aside, and looking up, said….” see this, shoulder blade of the Mole – she sets a seed within your kenning, fireseed, from the Mother’s body – sister Mole is the Bear’s teacher my dear, and she is resting beneath him here…….you are carrying a great responsibility!….perhaps we should see what the Puridai has given you my daughter. I have a feeling there is more to this seed than meets my old eyes!”

I reached for the oiled skin bundle and brought it to my lap. After a moment I felt a warmth radiating from its interior…..the moment felt familiar, like an old, long forgotten memory emerging.

“The augeries are clear”, the grandmother said, “this journey will take you to a very special place, there will be a moot there, under earth and dark sky, many people, keepers of the laws and ways, medicines and spirits….we will journey from the Bay of Willows, following the ocean path……this is a journey that will take us far beyond my own lands, a journey to a land I have known of, but, never undertaken…..something is being returned to the land, held in safety and kept for those who come after us……and, you are blessed by the running deer……”

She held me with a powerful gaze of deep love and I watched as she seemed to settle into her body, as if a thousand Moons of fatigue were being lifted from her shoulders, “….I have heard something of this land, the land of the running deer…..it has roots as old as ours, but, the winds and signs speak another tongue in that place……it is good, it is good…….yes, the land of the White Deer…..now, I am wondering if this gift you have been entrusted with is what I hope it is”

Magpie woman nodded at the bundle in my lap. It had become quite warm and, as I gently unwrapped its leathers, a dry heat began to emerge from its heart…..a layer of compacted wild strawberry leaves concealed an inner wrapping of skin that had been coated with a dark sticky unguent that looked like tar mixed with sand, losely closed about the mystery at its heart. The rich aroma of pitch and charcoal suddenly rose from the bundle as a bright red nugget became visible in its midst.

“Ahhh, yes! This is no small matter my daughter…..and, we must be careful to keep it alive, for you are holding the heart of your village…..”

I gasped at these words, and felt the weight of them settle upon my own heart.

“….by the fires of the ancestors, the spirits have spoken and you are truly blessed ~ do you know what this is child?”

I knew it was hot, that, were I to touch it, it would almost certainly burn my skin, but…..just what in its nature it was, I had no clue.

“Take a good look daughter and then wrap this precious bundle carefully a moment. It must not be allowed to cool too much…”

The glowing light and warmth of the fiery kernel in my hands seemed to whisper, ancient soothing words, and I watched entranced as small bursts of orange light pulsed from beneath its surface. I felt soft waves of sound, words I did not recognise, breathing into me and in that moment saw a circle of people in a great lodge, moving slowly around a mighty Oak that grew at its center. Branches grew around me and tawny feathers covered my hands as I looked down from the crown of the great tree…..then, with the sound of Magpie Woman’s voice, the image receded and we were once again sitting by the hearth of our little lodge….

seer“Good, it is speaking to you……this my dear is a talisman of the ancient fire, the first fire, and I wouldn’t wonder if your Puridai, waiting for a day such as this, has kept a small part of her in her own keeping, its sister…..she meant you to have it from the first night, I now know……wise old bird!” She nodded gently for me to close up the wrappings again and said, “I will teach you of its nature, for it is unknown to all but those who carry and tend such a talisman, and….”, She reached over to the fire and stirred its embers, “…there, can you see….this is the heart of my own village….she lives on yet, her own sister still kept by our Puridai ~ this is one of the treasures I have been carrying. I too have been entrusted with its well-being…..”

Within the heart of the embers I could see a ball of fierce carnelian light, embedded within the glowing coals. I wondered how this had come to be ~ that we were both carrying these precious things was surely not by any foreseeable design. But, my question was answered almost as I thought it….

“We are guided by the spirits my dear, even though we may not know it…..every turn in the path is known to them, far into time and across the lands….but, this is the medicine of the Great Mother herself at work. She is calling us to bring her inner light to safety.”

I placed the heart of the village at the hearth side and, as I leant over, did not notice as the small white fur pouch tumbled from my wraps. I had forgotten all about it, but, when I looked up Magpie Woman was looking directly at me,

“Well, I think you may have another secret to unfold daughter……”, she said, her eyebrows raised as she dropped her gaze to the ground in front of me. My eyes widened and I caught my tongue as I realised what had happened.

“Oh…yes, this…..the Puridai gave this to me as well….”, I involuntarily picked up the white fur pouch and held it to my chest. “I had almost forgotten…..”

Magpie Woman had a knowing look on her face as she said, “…and….”

I smiled a little sheepishly as I nodded and quickly began to unfasten the bone clasp. A gasp escaped my lips as a gleam of white appeared inside…

“…..grandmother…..its”, but I could not finish as a wave of deep longing suddenly engulfed me and, as I slowly pulled the precious object from its pouch, a tear rolled down my cheek…..in my hand was a perfect carving of the Mother, her rounded belly and swollen breasts beautifully carved in creamy white ivory, her legs coming to a single point beneath her.

Magpie Woman nodded slowly and drew a deep breath……

“Your task, my daughter, is greater than I thought…..come, bring the Heart of your Village to the fire and let it join with my own…..and, the Mother….keep Her next your skin….one day She will find her Earth, and you will….”, but, Magpie Woman hesitated as a bright blue luminous orb of light hung momentarily in the air between us. Puckering her chin as She considered the spirit’s intervention, she said, “….well, that too, it seems, will be revealed when the time is right!”


…….find out what happens as the journey takes Magpie Woman and her young ward to the Land of the Running Deer, in the third and final part of the story, as the light of the inner Sun, the Heart of the Mother, returns to the world…..

Image of Gaia : Mother Earth Dreaming, Susan Seddon Boulet

The first part of this story, ‘Dancing in the Dark’, can be found here……


The Spirit of Revolt

Just as Mars comes into direct opposition with Uranus in the tropical zodiac the Thunderbolts Project fittingly release the second part of their documentary on the red planet. You will find Episode 2 Symbols Of An Alien Sky : The Lightning Scarred Planet embedded below, but, what is the significance of this timely release for us now?

….astrologically the timing could not be more appropriate, highlighted through Mars in Libra and Uranus in Aries; a release-seeking tension manifest through opposition of ‘powers’ in interconnected relationship.

Uranus, along with Jupiter, is associated with lightning, natural  life-force, and Mars with the ability to make energy manifest forcefully. High input and direction create significantly enhanced levels of action, and all three planets, as well as the Moon, are strongly figured at this time. In fact, great energy is the common denominator here.  We can use that energy now to powerful effect, in fact we must, to break the dictatorship of old patterning that has plagued our planet for millenia. The relationship between the power of Nature and human determinism have written the history books, but, now is the time in which the anachronistic power of breakthrough to be used with full consciousness and intent to make that break.

The effects of dictatorship and patterning are everywhere, hidden in plain sight, but, perhaps nowhere with more pernicious effect than in Science, at lleast that science taught and upheld within the mainstream. For example, in the orthodox views of astrophysics the electrical factor is somewhat disassociated from the physical evidence. The emphasis is firmly planted in the gravitational and the nuclear, and this is how it has been for a little over a century. Now, though, a radical change is taking place, largely through the evidence coming from  Electric Universe theory, observation and practice – natural philosophy is returning to science the grounding that its overspecialisation and theoretical fantasising has undermined. I shall provide evidence of this shift in subsequent posts when we peel back the surface illusion of the orthodoxy and explore in more detail what has been hidden in plain sight for so long. The regrounding process will have deep repercussions within both astronomy, astrophysics and astrology, as well as our everyday world, and, naturally, this will generate a resistant reaction. But, change is inevitable – our business is to manage our part in it wisely. Our planet is engaged in an energy revolution and the onus is on us all to facilitate it. The question is can we do so without destroying ourselves in the process……..this is as much about control by force in opposition to inspired radical action as anything else, but, there comes a point where the forces unleashed also step beyond the known and control becomes exponential cascading of consequences. We are already seeing this threshold being crossed in the world of transhumanism and genetics. The correlate of this is the emergent force that counters the exponential effect – the balance between the two at this time could be seen as an accurate description of the Mars Uranus opposition, especially with both squaring Pluto in Capricorn.

Inspired radical action here can be seen as anarchistic, but, strip the political ramifications from the term and natural energy reveals itself in a raw state. This is the energy of both Change, the signature of the Uranus Pluto square we are still in the midst of, and of ‘re-vitalisation’, the Mars opposition to Uranus. Pluto square Uranus will remain within orb for two more years, but, what happens within this time will directly affect our world for many years to come. ‘Politics’ here equates with control, very much the focus of Pluto in Capricorn in the mundane. As  much as anarchy stands diametrically opposed to the power of State, and appears to be the simple answer, experience, however, also tells us it is an error to believe that change can only come if it is engaged with through direct action on the part of the People; it can be forced upon us too.

The feedback loop between the dipoles is complex. The struggle to maintain ‘Peace’ is testimony to that fact, if we have ever really had any peace. This is more a question of sovereignty as a manifestation of power and contract of mutual benefit between those dipoles. While Uranus with Mars in opposition signals the critical release of energy that denies control and reinstates self determination, in fact, the opposition of these ‘powers’ asks us to find a third way, the bottom up radical transformation of both planets square with Pluto. This is a path that, if not embodying an unforseen synthesis, or new ‘politic’, will arise naturally out of necessity. Venus in Taurus quincunx the north node tells us this a natural necessity, one upon which our global future, or at least its nature, depends. If nothing else and without any doubt, at all scales this means a new and radically different working relationship with Power itself………as  the Russian philosopher and anarchist Peter Kropotkin said in ‘The Spirit of Revolt’ in 1880,

“There are periods in the life of human society when revolution becomes an imperative necessity, when it proclaims itself as inevitable. New ideas germinate everywhere, seeking to force their way into the light, to find an application in life; everywhere they are opposed by the inertia of those whose interest it is to maintain the old order; they suffocate in the stifling atmosphere of prejudice and traditions. The accepted ideas of the constitution of the State, of the laws of social equilibrium, of the political and economic interrelations of citizens, can hold out no longer against the implacable criticism which is daily undermining them whenever occasion arises…….”

…….this declaration too came out of a time in which Pluto and Uranus were square to each other, in Taurus and Leo respectively and in the same phase as they are now, as well as the same elemental relationship according to sign – unless we pay heed to the ‘awakening events’ surrounding us now history is sure to repeat itself.

Think back over the last 135 years, the approximate average length of a Pluto Uranus cycle, and consider the world changing events that have taken place.

Within the intervening time, a complete Uranus Pluto cycle later, much of the history of our solar system has systematically become obscured from our contemporary collective consciousness. Through a heavily biased orthodox interpretation of Newtonian and Einsteinian physics we have arrived at a science that is largely built upon rules and laws derived from mathematical abstraction and theoretical invention rather than natural observation. That same science has become, in this time, the servant of a plutocracy, a ruling minority invested in material power for whom the primary instruments are war, technology, personal financial and corporate power, and secrecy. Since the late 19th century the ‘military industrial complex’ has replaced the State in governance and brought all of these instruments in tow. Nature has become its ultimate victim, but, so has personal sovereignty.

The revolution is, however, underway that will rewrite the backstory, both of our Universe across all scales, and of human history. The Electric Universe is very much at the centre of this, and, although the scientific establishment and their investors are putting up strong and openly propagandist opposition to the emergent view, the evidence is becoming impossible to ignore – we have been deeply, heavily and persistently lied to. Nature is the battle ground of the revolution! Monsanto know this……so do the eugenicists and transhumanists who claim to offer the way out. The truth, however, cannot be ignored.

Nature will prevail, but, if the surface of Mars also gives stark reminder of the possible reality in this, it is our relationship with the forces that have shaped it that is crucial.

The Thunderbolts film reveals a story that is literally etched into the Martian surface. It tells of a significant part of our solar system’s most recent radically formative events. The surface of Mars is testimony to the radical effects of interacting physical and electrical forces, but, it takes an eye that can see to recognise the truth embodied in its rills, valleys and craters. The northern hemisphere of Mars has lost millions of cubic miles of its surface rock. Conventional science resorts to meteoric and cometary impact, water erosion and vulcanism to explain such facts. In fact, ‘theory’ is very much giving way to ‘the evidence of on the ground reality’ in this respect, as the documentary shows with startling clarity. The electric forces at work are everywhere and in everything……consider then, even Einstein admitted to leaving the electrical force out of his equations…….

The evidence on the ground on Earth is undeniable.

Since the Pluto Uranus square first came into close orb back in 2010, marked by the Gulf of Mexico BP oil spill, we have seen environmental disasters build. With Uranus entry into Aries in March 2011, and the Fukushima Daichi nuclear disaster, the scale and intensity of these have increased, putting steady and inexorable pressure upon our natural world. Our individual and planetary health are inextricably interwoven – realising the extent of this truth and embedding that realisation within concensus reality, could save us, but, recognition of our culpability within this relationship is essential. “The truth hurts, but, the lies are killing us”. At least five thousand years of human history culminate around this point…….

…….the events that led to Mars surface scars may well have been contemporanious within that time frame. The indigenous myths and traditions hold this as true. Certainly a feature of this period is the prolonged use of martial force, the epitomised Martian signature, although, as a symbol of energy embodied, Mars is not confined to warriors and armies. In our times however this comes up time and again as the predominant interpretation, as much a reflection of our own reality as that of the red planets energetic symbolism. Globally, militant provocation is blatantly self evident, as are humanitarian crimes in general that carry a violent signature – but, as counter to their destructive elements, they also penetrate our awareness and call us to action, to be creative and pro-active, just as Uranus and Mars also do symbolically. This can also be a powerfully protective energy.

Jupiter, who shares an association as ‘thunderer’ with Pluto, is no less affecting our relationship with the past and our trajectory towards the future as the giant planet is square to the Moon’s nodes at this time. From Cancer Jupiter brings an enhanced sense of purpose to the whole issue of our collective trajectory. We must deliberate, be vocal, share amongst those we know and find our kindred spirits. This aspect will be in effect simultaneously with the Mars Uranus opposition until Jupiter enters Leo in mid-July. It is perhaps also fitting that the Thunderbirds Project have released this film at the moment when the Moon is joining Uranus in Aries, making its radical insights and energy available to the people. They have done so, as they say, ‘after much deliberation’. We are all traversing thought provoking times, and we have surely had enough time for deliberation…….

As much as these are tough times, asking, if not demanding of us to raise our energies to a new level with awareness and determination to meet them, they also hold great promise. The insights that a sharpened and focused consciousness brings shape the view we have of both our present, where we have come from and the path ahead. At the time of writing, with the Sun at the turning point in its annual path, now is the time for a turning point in our worldly affairs to be made manifest as well. In daily life we are all now dealing directly with the potential for dramatic change through which our future will become manifest; it exists in the smallest detail as much as the global event…..perhaps, however, it is within the ongoing revolution in awareness through which that potential can be most clearly seen. The transfiguration of humanity beyond planetary conflict and destruction almost certainly arises from it and can  be invoked with epoch turning effect through the Spirit of Revolt, if it is embodied wisely. Conversely, the increasing prevelance of change itself can render us immune, anaesthetised to its imperative energy – we cannot afford to go blindly forward, in shock, or under the misguided apprehension that peace equals pacivity. Every reminder and stimulous that maintains an awakened state and builds upon its effective presence matters immensely. In this film that potential is embodied with an exciting and grounded sense of reality that suggests we are indeed alive in a time of extra-ordinary revolution……


Welcoming 2014 – Year of the Yang Wood Horse

 

fhm1

Hey Dear friends and readers @ Owlmirror, thank you for your patience and for keeping the embers glowing here – its good to be back after taking a longer than anticipated sabbatical from the www and to pick up the beat by welcoming the new date on the calendar, 2014. This is a year that promises much energy and empowerment to all freedom loving spirits! With this being the year of the Yang Wood Horse we can look forward to a time of powerful initiatives, of those freedom loving souls who are here to defend nature and make a real difference coming to the fore and making a bigger impact upon the world stage. And, with strong spirits in mind, this will also be a year of opportunity to bring four square solid devotion to the Earth loving wild nature that pulses through all life and into the central hearth of all our lives – the image of the wild horse is a powerful talisman for our journey ahead! S0, thank you to all friends of Owlmirror for visiting, for following here, and for all your comments and ‘likes’ – its your presence and involvement that really makes it, and, we have much to look forward to………

Owlmirror is happy to announce that we now have a facebook page too – the link will be going in the side bar and header but you can go directly to the page here (you will need to sign in to fb first off course) – the fb page gives greater freedom to post more regular links and articles, including one-off items, special opportunities and offers, especially for artwork, readings and medicine work. You will find links there to every new article posted here and at our sister site Living Astrology, all of which have the particular Owlmirror focus and flavour, and, its a community page, so, if you would like to join the conversation and get more of Owlmirror please drop in, ‘follow’ and ‘like’ us – it’ll be great to see you there and help the community grow!

The Living Astrology site has been renamed and revamped with a new format – previously the site ran under the title ‘Root Medicine of the Stars’, but, continuing the theme of Earth based spirituality within astrological practice the new name reflects more clearly the practical heart that this divination path infuses into life. Posts at Living Astrology include astro-divinations of the current and significant upcoming celestial alignments and events, as well as bringing key videos and news of developments within the astrology world to regular readers and followers…….the recent article ‘Stargate to a Revolution’ broke all previous viewing records and more people are now following Living Astrology since its re-launch. The latest article ‘A Most Mysterious Time’ looks into the first lunation of 2014 – so, thanks to everyone who has visited,  ‘liked’ and commented on articles there and is following the new site!

Keeping up Owlmirror’s tradition of a more left field and in-depth exploration of path-making themes in our times the next article up here will be focusing on the current Venus retrograde period, its significance in the flow of current events as well as the unique opportunity it brings to connect with a deeper indigenous perspective. There is a pulse at work through this retrograde period that belongs to Venus’ 251 year cycle. This is a truly rare moment that embodies complete synchronicity with the solar seasonal cycle and with it opens a gateway for engaging with the bigger picture, an event that will not happen again for many generations. Venus stationed and went retrograde at the December solstice, and soon, her station and following direct motion in the heavens at Imbolc will signify a turning point we should not and, in reality, cannot afford to miss! The veils are falling from the Goddess as She journeys to the deepest levels of the underworld. Just as the ancients knew Venus’ significance to the earthbound inauguration of and most auspicious synchrony between ceremonies, the celestial realms and sacred sites, we too can gain the benefit of the message She delivers through the exquisite timing, symbolism and grace of Venus’ celestial dance. We look forward to a time of powerful harmony, all the more auspicious as Her dance augers a brilliant start to the Chinese New Year – Venus goes direct exactly as the year of the Yang Wood Horse opens!

So…….Much Gratitude, the Peace of a strong loving heart and the creative unrest and beauty of the wild natural spirit be with you through this year!

Blessed BeCastlerigg_stone_circle[1]


Chenge and the Spider

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Root Medicine of the Stars

I am pleased to announce that Owlmirror now has a sister site ‘Root Medicine of the Stars – astrology on earth’. You may have already noticed the image link below in the side bar, but, please checkout the site as there is much there that will augment the ethos, practice and regular articles at Owlmirror, something I have wanted to do for a long time now.

Root Medicine is dedicated entirely to astrology and is intended to compliment Owlmirror’s broader sweep with regular updates on changes as they occur in the matrix. Focusing on shorter articles and videos, the new site highlights developments within the field and explores these primarily through archetypal and holistic astrology, and, as the  core of Owlmirror’s approach has a strong slant for spirit medicine and works with astrology as a medicine path, the focus both at Root Medicine and here at Owlmirror has a particular eye for how these translate into healing and creative practices – this will be of particular interest to anyone working within alternative healing, creative work with symbols and archetypes, and those of us seeking to explore and expand into new areas of astrology. There are already videos featuring Rick Levine on Quantum Astrology, Tom Lescher on Neptune and Uranus, and Richard Tarnas giving his keynote address to the NCGR conference. Articles up already include explorations of planetary symbolism and relationships by aspect, as they become highlighted in the evolving cosmological field and relate to our changing world in this exciting time of planetary transformation and paradigm shifts.

Owlmirror will continue with longer articles that explore our favourite themes of Creative Pathfinding and the Indigenous Cosmos and these will appear bi-monthly as usual in line with the trends and qualities of our momentous times…..

I hope you like the new site – sign up for regular updates, its already attracted a healthy and rapidly growing following and is a real pleasure to produce and write for…..

….looking forward to seeing you there,

in peace, Rob


First, Chill – New Moon in Libra

The Libra New Moon on 15th October 2012 brings an opportunity to review significant relationships and connections in our lives. There are no planetary aspects to the solar + lunar conjunction so this is also an opportunity for working on any area of our lives that is calling for our attention and needs relating to in a new way – from here we can creatively rebuild these connections and relationships in ways that honour and bring out the finest qualities within them.

The Sun and Moon are aligned with the fixed star Spica.  This star emphasises ‘the creative’ with a more evolved and pragmatic energy that ensures that thoughts and actions set in motion now will ‘seed the future’ in resourceful and well grounded ways. When we pay attention to reviewing what feeds us, ‘what grows corn’ and what ‘sits well in our belly’ we will know what to discard and which relationships and connections to vitalise – the how of this will become clearer as the lunation progresses.

The Moon’s south node is on the fixed star Algol so look out for ‘ghosts from the past’ and personal ‘skeletons in the closet’ as you do so; they will be carrying the dead weight that has been holding us back, that we may have been unable to face before now – but, with an exact trine between Mars in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries, the cosmos will support us, help us find the courage to bust those ghosts and to clear our minds and imagination.

Mars and Uranus create a ‘need fire’ that will burn off the illegitimate residues accumulated from having followed others, from false trails and agendas that were never ours in the first place – all part and parcel of the huge changes that are kicking in now. This will enable us all the better to prepare ‘the earth of our life’ to be sown with strengthened and renewed alliences that resonate with our personal truths and the visions that are released from beneath the detritus now, as Mars and Uranus work their magic.

A significant underlying part of that change is the ongoing Uranus Pluto square and, at this moon, this has developed another layer, of which the Mars Uranus trine is a part. Chiron has been in a slowly evolving sextile with Pluto for some time now and this is heightening the capacity we have to heal our most fundamental wounds, especially around issues of authority and personal power. Inevitably, a part of this process is also churning up some of the most fundamental and deeply embedded wounds we have all suffered; cultural, political, economic, religious, humanitarian – Pluto ensures that no stone is left unturn. Here, however, Chiron is also square Mars, so, Pluto, Uranus, Mars and Chiron are bound into creating a sparking cross-fire of regenerative and innovative insights into these wounds – we are likely to feel pretty angry at what is revealed, especially through the first half of this lunation – the Promethian ‘need fire’ will build to a blaze whenever one of these issues surface, so ‘anger managment’ will be an issue – collectively this could be a time of renewed public confrontations with authority. As painful as it may be, and although we do ‘need’ to go through this healing process to clear the way for a better future…..the time to realise the more creative manifestation of that pent up energy will come soon enough.

….on the positive side, in seeming contrast, there is actually a chilled out opportunity on the personal level to relax and get our feet on the ground in more enjoyable ways with this moon too, even if it is best done by special invitation and behind closed doors – Saturn’s trine with Neptune is select, clandestinely escapist and indulgently cinematic, but, with both these planets trining Ceres the way to get the most out of this Moon socially will be to chillax with a few carefully chosen friends, to share the fruits of the harvest, dream together and speculate on a future we could all resonate with.

Venus and Mercury in sextile energise the conversation making heart to hearts possible. Nevertheless, the underlying theme of the Moon is to treat all this time as preparation for better times. Now it were better to converse, observe and make private choices, but, not to make hard and fast commitments based on these, not yet anyway – all in good time. This is emphasised with Eris opposite the Sun and Moon at NM, which brings a cautionary reminder and emphasises the point of not buying into other people’s dramas, or taking hurtfull off-the-cuff remarks to heart – as said, if socialising, be selective and chillax.

With this in mind, in esoteric work undertaken now do make sure to pay attention to grounding and clear boundaries. The energies thrown up from the astral realms will be testing us to remain centered and balanced through the first half of the lunation in particular. Making our connections with the spirits and the otherworlds clearer and stronger is the ideal focus for our esoteric work and, this will not only help us through the coming year when we need it most, but, for the coming Samhain this work is absolutely essential…..this time of year is significant for clearing in preparation for the Samhain period, but, this lunation is especially primed for Ancestral work. It goes without saying that this work is of huge importance……

There are many undercurrents and pervasive elements influencing events from behind the facade of everyday life at the moment, so, trust in the guidance we recieve from the otherworlds depends upon the clarification, strength and truthfulness of our connections with them now. Don’t take my word for it, check it with your guides and inner knowing – our truth is our own, so, be especially vigilant for those who would seem to have an agenda to ‘peruade’ you, those who make offers that might seem to benefit you but which do not truly resonate within your innermost being, or those who would have you believe otherwise, that theirs is the right way – we’re leaving all that behind. As the lunation unfolds and approaches Samhain any turbulence this all throws up nearer that time can be safely fielded if we have payed special attention to this preparatory work, and the time and means for action and commitment will become all the clearer as a result. Its a tricky world we live in…….

We’ll look at the Full Moon in more detail before we arrive there; its chart is going to carry two yods and a potent opposition! The latter, involving Mars and Jupiter, will be priming the planet for the solstice in a very significant way, which we will explore in a special upcoming post on Saturn and Pluto. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the fire festivals over the next couple of years all carry hard aspects and ‘earth changes’ are being flagged up big-time. There are also some very powerful and positive aspects unfolding now as well though, and this Saturn sextile with Pluto aspect is one of them, one that will help us put all the dramatic qualities of our time into a real and inspiringly usable context. At this time Earth herself is gathering and building potential energy and, strange as this may sound, if divination and gut-feelings are to be trusted, we have not really seen this fully manifest at the surface yet. We Humans are showing the signs, however!

We tend to forget that we are animals, that we too can sense the subtle ripples of energy and time that precede events in the manifest world and, one day, we will look back upon this time as one in which we woke up to this rememberance within ourselves. When we come alive to this reality and discover its immensity and magic we also begin to understand and make sense of what has happened in the millenia since we began to forget. We all know, Earth’s children must grow up – the idea of the Mayan Calendar as a marker of finality has served a purpose, one that may not be everything its architects intended, but……if 2012-12-21 is the end of anything, it will be the end of forgetting….we are on the edge of discovery…..