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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Lee Maracle ~ Violence Against Women & The Earth

Lee Maracle is a member of the Stó:lo Nation of British Columbia; a celebrated author, poet, storyteller, speaker and educator she here talks of the direct connection between violence against the earth and violence against women: a grandaughter of Chief Dan George and descendant of Mary Agnes Joe Capilano, known as the Princess of Peace of Capilano Reserve, Lee Maracle carries an ancestral torch of grounded and centred wisdom, humour and understanding.

Malidoma Somé: The Ancestors’ Gift of Healing

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Crystal Clark on “Guy Next Door Speaks” with Ivan from Phoenix

This fascinating and incisive discussion brings to light many of the underlying narratives, agendas and methods that influence how we see, experience and interpret the world we live in. These are revealed to be strategem designed specifically to propagate what Crystal terms Reality Revisionism, a manipulative attempt to determine the personal and collective use of power, perception and resources. The ongoing effect of this process is unpacked within this interview through presenting anecdotal evidence and identifiable facts, sharply discerning analysis and a solid grounding in research, observation and personal experience that Crystal brings to these subjects. The talk exposes the necessity of clear thinking and discernment in navigating contemporary life as well as a commitment for undertaking further exploration, both of what has and is contributing to this experience that is not in our interests, is using us and has an harmful and detrimental effect in life, and as a diagnosistic practice that will enhance our capacity for (re-)empowerment in our personal and collective lives.

 

Source:
http://freeyourmindaz.com
http://drowninginabsurdity.org

Sources & Realated News Stories:

Article: The Roles of Perception Management & Social Engineering in Reality Revisionism
http://drowninginabsurdity.org/2014/1…

Article: Unsustainable Reality Revisions & The Order-Out-Of-Chaos Birth
http://drowninginabsurdity.org/2014/1…

Article: The Winners Write Reality
http://drowninginabsurdity.org/history/

Article: Microbes & Machiavellian Mindsets
http://drowninginabsurdity.org/2013/0…

Article: Nagalese molecule injected into humans via vaccines
http://www.naturalnews.com/050582_nag…

Video: Nagalese and the real reason Holistic Doctors are being killed and vanishing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AaAG…

Article: HuffPo Academic Invites Civil War with American Gun Owners
http://www.ammoland.com/2015/12/huffp…

Article: Craft Intl Mercenaries Carried Out San Bernadino Shooting
http://presstv.com/Detail/2015/12/08/…

Article: David Cameron branded a lot of people ‘terrorist sympathisers’ and they’re not happy about it
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/…

Article: We’re All Terrorists Now
https://www.rt.com/op-edge/325735-ter…

Article: Homeland Security Classifies Returning US Veterans as Potential Terrorist Threat
http://americaswatchtower.com/2009/04…

Article: US Senate Passes Bill Approving Mandatory Vaccinations For Veterans
http://www.activistpost.com/2015/11/u…

Article: 60 Lab Studies Now Confirm Cancer Link to a Vaccine You Probably Had as a Child
http://edgytruth.com/2015/12/07/60-la…

Article: Proposal to temporarily sterilise all NZ teenage females should raise serious red flags
http://theleadingedgeblog.com/sterili…

Website: Numerous links to information on vaccines causing infertility
http://www.whale.to/m/sterile.html

Article: Bill Gates’ Temporary Sterilization Microchip In Beta Female Testing By End Of Year
http://www.naturalblaze.com/2015/07/b…

Article: Councillors agree to close 16 Fife libraries
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-e…

Article: Google’s Plan for out-of-print books is challenged
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/04/tec…

Article: Murdoch’s Fox buys National Geographic media unit
http://news.yahoo.com/murdochs-fox-bu…

Documentary: National Geographic: The Psychopath Next Door
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-SiSI…

Video: Astroturf—The phony grass-roots movement
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bYAQ…

Video: Naomi Wolf: HR 5736 Legalizes Propagandizing American Public
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuB6w…

Documentary on Planned Obsolescence: The Light Bulb Conspiracy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfbbF…

Graham Hancock and Magicians Of The Gods

The renowned author and researcher Graham Hancock discusses the findings that led him to following up on his groundbreaking work, Fingerprints Of The Gods, 20 years after its publication, with his new book Magicians Of The Gods. He explains the reasons for renewing his exploration into the field of unwritten histories of the human story, drawing on the growing field of evidence of advanced civilizations that preceeded the current era and shares an overview of how current archeological finds and ancient sites like the 12k+ year old Gobekli Tepe are challenging the orthodox view of human history. In this enthralling interview Graham also talks of the devastating events that lie at the heart of his new book’s hypothesis….

The Last of the Granny Witches

Anna Wess speaks with a timeless voice telling us…..”The blood in our veins is laced with old magic and the secrets of the noble savants before us.

We are the last of the granny witches…..”

Appalachian Ink ~ Home of Anna Wess (and Granny)

We are a peculiar breed. Our roots grow deeper than the cedars, and yet we don’t know precisely where or who it is that we grew from. We are a mystery as old as these hills themselves, and it doesn’t take much figuring to know that we are enigmas of intentional design and destiny.

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God knows our names.

We are not Northerners — damn Yankees, the men folks’ Confederate influence called them — and this we know without a doubt. I myself was always preened into believing I was a Southern child, born out of notions of gallantry and romance, but the fact is, I ain’t a low country belle and I’ve never picked a shred of cotton or been to a debutante ball.

We are not peaches.

And these mountain women before us were not delicate flowers or distressed coquettes. In these old heirloom hills, the women are…

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Fragments Blown Through Death’s Door

…….stepping into the light Matais sniffed the air. He squinted as the late autumn sun sent arrows of light glancing from behind the darkening trees. The ‘copter carrying the chief to the hospital in the Bay had long disappeared behind the treeline, leaving a natural quiet to settle on the land. Matais felt his body relax. The valley around him was filling with shadows, the dark time would soon be with them. He  closed his eyes and listened. Distant crows were calling, deepening his sense of familiarity with this place. An image rose up in his mind of the valley around him at Frozen River. It was as if he was seeing with his eyes open, only, in his vision this was the Frozen River that had belonged to his ancestors, long before the Europeans came – where the small cluster of buildings now stood he saw a wide sweeping valley with the river meandering through its center, dense conifer forests covering the gentley sloping hills to either side. Everything shone with an untarnished beauty.

Matais felt re-assured by the vision and the crow’s calls. Their ragged edged commentaries cut through to the heart of the moment, reminding him of how it had once been. His ancestor’s memories were interwoven with the natural law of this place. He knew that the land was still strong, that its wild spirit would once again rise and reclaim Frozen River. At least, with a little help from certain quarters, that might yet become a reality. But, there was something else, something at odds with this deeper sense and, as he looked more deeply, Matais also began to feel a subtle change in the air. Signs were that a shift had already begun and Matais knew he was not the only one who had noticed the change in the wind.

The old man had been right…….

…….standing outside his cabin deep in the foothills to the north Shadow Crow let the light of the setting sun filter through his half closed eyelids and stilled his mind. In his left hand a small twist of Juniper sent a thin wisp of smoke skywards, slowly dissolving into the air as it spiralled above the old man’s head.

Although to his mind the change in atmosphere was becoming tangible, he was waiting for a sign. At that moment a pair of forest Ravens sent a rasping wooden cry out as they sailed over the cabin and disappeared into the tree canopy. Shadow Crow felt a ripple run down his spine and turned to look down the track. He would be expecting visitors, and very soon……

Matais went straight to the old man, but, when he got there he found someone else waiting for him……an unexpected ‘face from the past’.


It was always an understanding that death could be just as much of an ally as an enemy to the living, but, in the indigenous way, a person would use the path of the latter to gain an understanding of the former. The understanding that arose from this was that, when death finally came to tap you on the shoulder, not only would you be prepared for the encounter, but, would have the sum total of one’s life force bound up like a coiled spring waiting for this moment to release itself in a magnificent manner appropriate to the full power and mystery that is the human spirit. It was the moment of ones Last Dance in this life, the dance in which that spring, which contained all the life experiences, and the energies gained from them that had strengthened ones life, would unwind with austere and dignified power and beauty. Death would have no choice but to wait and watch, this would be the agreement, and it contained an unspoken but mutual respect.

Crow had seen many go into the stillness, but, not all had been able to let the energy of their accumulated time here spin their spirit in the spiral of life’s Last Dance. Some, far too  many in recent times, had been cruelly snatched from life, hooked by the barbed intent of fate, and by the violence of others. But, now, something else was stalking the living, unseen and predatory, its calling card a kind of madness, a cancer of the mind and spirit. Maybe it had been there all along, for those who had eyes and ears for it, but, the forest was dying and, unseen, a subtle presence  was stalking life throughout the land. It had already begun.

Crow knew that the bodies that had recently been found out in the freezing snow were testimony to the increasing presence of this new threat in their midst. But, this was not simply a matter of death. Even though both Matias and Shadow Crow knew the bodies had belonged to Qoys, they were outsiders to the community. But, it takes a Qoy to know a Qoy and it was the fact that they were all Qoys that proved the point. Qoys almost always came back alive, that was their medicine. No, there was another power besides death at work here, one with an unexpected sense of purpose, and timing.

It was Crow’s way to see that the dead were honoured and he had unerringly made prayers for those of his friends who had met with violent ends. But, the Qoys made this a complex matter. The mystery surrounding these new mortalities required  much deeper vigilance. He knew they would need all the help they could get in their journey beyond.

For many years Crow had followed the old understanding in relation to those who suffered violent and unexpected ends – for those whose life was taken unexpectedly or suddenly the last dance would take place beyond the boundaries between this world and the next, within the borderlands of the ancestral realms, and, unless the dancer was endowed with a rare and special quality, the question of how to approach death would include no options beyond that moment. There was no return once that place had been reached.

Yet, there was one thing that humans could garner in life that would make the difference. While the impetus of the journey in such cases would be against the dancer and only a magnificent dance might produce a temporary reversal of time’s flow, an opportunistic un-weaving of the thread with which all things were bound to each other could in fact release the dancer into that most sacred of capacities, choice. Few now knew how such opportunism was fostered ~ nevertheless, such had not been lost on Crow.

Choice.

Old Shadow Crow knew how much had been lost of just what that simple looking word truly signified. In keeping with the balances and protocols that surrounded so many natural powers, choice hid its own true nature. As a power that was waiting to be claimed it was less a matter of reason, intelligence and decision, than of spirit, whether or not it was claimed. That special quality of spirit was naturally endowed in some, and became the life’s pursuit of others. In the ‘naturals’ it could also develop, evolve and grow and, if it was allowed or encouraged to do so, could eventually take the form of ‘complete independance of spirit’. Those in whom it was naturally endowed in this way were known as Qoyanisqat, ‘backward walkers’, or ‘Qoys’ for short. They were always life’s artists and natural dancers, but, when their power of choice was fully developed, it gave them the upper hand against death itself……while, by virtue of their dual nature all humans enjoyed excercising something akin to ‘choice’ the Qoys could survive the journey beyond the boundaries of their lives, return intact, and at the very pinnacle of their powers, take their body with them. Their inner split became their gift, the ultimate choice.

Shadow Crow was one of those few who had been, since very early in life, in the almost constant presence of Qoys within his community, mostly by virtue of the fact that he was born into a family of them. He himself was anomalous amongst them – although he was a natural Qoy he had aquired the powers of another line, the Skin Walkers, as they were known. It was a term that had given rise to much superstition and misunderstanding.

The Qoys and the Skin Walkers. There was a connection between these two medicines, a common ground of spiritual mutability. The differences however gave an unusual edge to the relationship between the two paths. While the Qoys had seemingly been given the power to slip in and out of life, to even cheat death, the Skin Walkers were in no way tied to the body they were born with. Qoys were the indigenous quantum magicians of the human world, known for their ability to appear in two places at the same time, bi-location, or to not be seen at all. By contrast, the Skin Walkers could shift shape and appear as something, or someone, other. This was an expression of their relationship with the powers and beings of the natural world that, while it gave them great freedom, was an ability which brought with it much misunderstanding and mistrust. Nevertheless, in both lines there was a mutual bond that was based upon a simple truth – they both had something the other could make great use of, or desired, depending on one’s prediliction for power.

If born into either of these paths that individual’s life could be spent in pursuit of the knowledge and abilities of the other ~ it was a path that could bring complete freedom, but, it also carried great risks. This was a recognised choice for the naturally endowed of both medicine paths, one that might well benefit the support of a mentor who had themselves made that choice and followed that path, and Shadow Crow had mentored many, with good reason.

For many amongst those who made such a choice, either way and no matter what their natural bent, this meant a life in pursuit of the Qoy’s ‘independence of spirit’. For this reason Qoy’s were both predated upon and, when the medicine was turned around, could take on the appearance, at least to the innocent living, of the predator. But, appearances can be deceptive – there was much more to it than that……

For naturally endowed Skin Walkers the choice was felt, curiously, to be less urgent and many natural Skin Walkers simply lived life as any other person might, especially in these times. And yet, while appearing curiously confident in themselves to the outside, they would also feel strangely detached from themselves inwardly. It was this sense of detachment that the Qoys most sought to develop within themselves, but, for them the difference was that they would do so with full consciousness. One who dedicated their life in such a manner lived a kind of paradox – they were both fully awake to their abilities and yet also completely independent of them. They had choice, and this was the kind of choice that made all the difference, both when death came a-knocking and in the time they were alotted while alive. Great things could be done with such a choice and, given such empowerment, a person not only became endowed with power that set them apart from the rest, they could put those powers to work within and for the community – such people became known as ‘warriors of spirit’, medicine people of high repute.

This had been Shadow Crow’s crowning achievement and, with it, while outwardly keeping himself quietly to himself within the larger community, inwardly he had dedicated his life to the well-being of the entire community at Frozen River and beyond. He was the finest exemplar of the heights capable in one who combined the medicines of both the Skin Walker and the Qoyanisqat in one lifetime’s journey.

There was only one path that gave as great a power, that of the natural Skin Walker who aquired the powers of the Qoy. In this path there were no guarantees, and the path could just as easily lead a person in the opposite direction, towards all-out self interest and, in some cases a dangerous hunger for power. Such was the path chosen by Shadow Crow’s visitor.

His name – Roy Silver Tree.

What marked Silver Tree’s attitude to the path he had chosen was the strength of his sense of detachment from the medicine itself. Not only was he not in the least interested in other’s views about him or how he used his powers, but, he appeared to act with complete impunity. What made him dangerous however, at least to outward appearances in the eyes of many, was an apparent indifference to those powers themselves. To the untrained and unfamiliar eye there was something all too throw-away about it all that had made him appear arrogant and lacking in moral or ethical awareness – he just didn’t seem to care, but, this could not  have been farther from the truth.

Truth was, Roy had become the victim of other peoples ignorance and fears, which had stigmatised his existance since the death of Charlotte Rivers. For nearly half a century her mysterious death had been treated as murder and, even though the case had remained unsolved, Roy was the prime suspect, at least in the eyes of the feds. Charlotte Rivers had been a warrior of spirit, but Roy knew all too well how his innocence in relation to her death was now buried beneath layers of prejudice and bias that had come with the outright suspicion that both he and his sister Mojique were the guilty parties. They had been forced into hiding, being the perfect suspects, mainly because they knew that they had no way of proving their innocence, but, also because they knew that standing ground and proclaiming innocence afforded them no protection, especially in the face of federal law.

Shadow Crow knew this too and had discussed it with Matais only recently, shortly before the chief’s visit infact, which made Matais trust Shadow Crow’s intuition in handling the cop deepen. But, then, Shadow Crow apparently also knew who the killer was, and this crucial fact he was keeping to himself.

After so many years out on a limb, Roy knew that with this new round of Qoy bodies turning up and this new cop on the block, ‘the chief’, subsequently beginning to poke his nose into the unsettled business of the past, he had to set the records straight. He had to see Shadow Crow, if nothing else to try and find out who had infact killed Charlotte Rivers and where old Crow stood on all this, for, even after all this time, both Roy and Mojique were just as much in the dark as virtually everyone else and that, perhaps more than any other thing, made them all the more vulnerable. Only through a meeting with him would Roy Silver Tree be able to get Shadow Crow’s help and, hopefully, clear up this matter once and for all. More than that, he had to take precautions as he was anticipating the chief being dangerous, beyond the scope of his ‘official’ investigations, and Roy and his sister already had it hard enough. So, it came as something of a surprise to him to find out that the chief had been flown out to the hospital in the bay only the day before, after a suspected heart attack – “yeah, right” he’d thought to himself when he’d heard the news. As if an unseen hand were at work, miraculously and perhaps for Roy very luckily, their paths had swapped locations simultaneously. Strange how these things happened…..

When Matais found Silver Tree sitting in the exact same seat that the chief had occupied just 48 hours earlier, seemingly perfectly at home with Shadow Crow, it was as though a ghost had materialised…..and, for all the years that Roy and his sister had kept themselves off radar, it might just as well have been true.

Silver Tree was not what Matais had expected either. To look at him you would never have guessed his years – he was tall, lithe and surprisingly muscular. Also, unlike Shadow Crow, who had a full head of fine long grey hair pulled back into a tight braid, Roy’s hair was thick, cropped and peppery, neatly framing a deeply creased but remarkably smooth skinned and tanned hawk-like face in which two jet black eyes sparkled with obsidian intensity. He looked strangely alien. And, you instantly knew that nothing would escape that gaze. Roys voice however was a complete surprise – his quiet spoken delivery was softened even further by a slight rasp, giving him a rangy drawling quality that helped obscure a dangerously savvy intellect. Matais was instantly intrigued.

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Shadow Crow made the introductions and, as was his custom in Crow’s house, Matais offered to make fresh coffee while the two old timers continued their conversation. Matais liked to look out for the old Crow, but, these two obviously had found a common understanding and seemed to be comfortable with each others company, which made Matais suspect that important matters had already been covered, and he had an idea of what they might be. More than anything else in that initial moment Matais simply needed to cover his genuine surprise at Silver Tree’s sudden appearance. When he returned with the coffee he was curious to know just what had motivated Silver Tree to come out of hiding. He knew better than to ask him straight out, but, he didn’t need to; Shadow Crow came straight to the point.

“Roy has decided to break cover, at least amongst those he feels he can trust.”

Shadow Crow let the words sink in; whether it was true or not, the implication was that he had always been a party to Silver Tree’s hiding, made it sound like an acknowledged tactic, a complicity, and this was compounded with ‘those he feels he can trust’, meaning……

Silver Tree cut across Matais thoughts:

“…..and I’ve known you both, at least from a distance, for many years, so, I’m counting you in Matais….providing you want in?”

Matais looked from one man to the other – it sounded like a challenge. Both Shadow Crow and Silver Tree held his gaze implaccably. Matais took this as a confirmation of an agreement already reached between the two. There was no reason to say ‘no’. After a couple of seconds, pausing to take in the faces of the two old timers, he gave a nod – both Shadow Crow and Silver Tree breathed out with a smile.

“Huh! Your a cool customer eh Matais?” Silver Tree exclaimed sitting up and looking Matais over as if he had just been out played by him. He slapped his thighs with both hands and stood up in one swift movement – Matais leaned away involuntarily; this man was agile, confident and not to be messed with, and, as his comment hinted, he knew very well how to get the upper hand…but, Silver Tree looked with kindness at Matais and nodded….

“….yip, you sure are…..”

…….and this time Matais felt that Silver Tree meant it, in fact, he was paying him a compliment.

“Crow’s been telling me about your dealings with the cops, and the Qoys…..” Roy said, moving over to the hearth. He had emphasised the last three words.

Shadow Crow was watching them both, his head slightly cocked to one side, only his eyes moving as he followed the exchange that Roy was building with Matais. Even without looking at his old friend Matais could tell that Shadow Crow respected this man.

“Well, if the Qoys I’ve known were anything to go by your never going get the jump on them by trying to figure ’em out –  ya’gotta follow your own medicine and trust, ain’t that right Matais?”

It could have sounded patronising, as well as another veiled challenge, and the irony of Roy’s question was not lost on Matais. The thought crossed his mind that Silver Tree was trying to demonstrate that he had the initiative and was fishing for just how much Matais knew – Matais knew these kind of tactics well and also knew when someone was using them in trying to conceal a disadvantage of their own. Had it not been for the pressure Matais felt coming from the beady eye of the old Crow he might not have answered….

“What else is there?”

“Heh, heh – true, true…..” Silver Tree said as he fed a split log to the fire,

“…..unless you don’t know what your own medicine is…..”

Now Matais knew what Silver Tree was driving at. The cop.

“Hmm…..” Matais gave a brief smile and picked up the coffee pot asking both men with the gesture if they wanted some – they both nodded and as Matais poured he picked up on where he felt Roy was leading him.

“The guy’s gonna have to watch his ticker if he wants to follow his medicine any further”, he said with a deadpan delivery, and with a wry twist to the corner of his mouth he offered the coffee to Silver Tree. The tall man’s face slowly transformed into a beaming wide smile and he suddenly let out a loud barking laugh that cascaded into a gurgling wheeze. Shadow Crow’s face was cracked with a broad grin and, quietly laughing on his breath, he shook his head and let out a sigh…..if there was one thing the three of them had in common it was that same dry, wry sense of humour.

“What’s an overweight Fed nearing retirement doing getting transfered to the River anyhow……” said Silver Tree, wandering over to the cabin window. “….’specially if he don’t know he’s a Qoy. There’s something else, I know it.”

Shadow Crow pursed his lips and, catching Matais eye, raised his eyebrows – they all knew that was the sixty four thousand dollar question.

“Someone doesn’t want the Qoy medicine getting involved”, the old man stated matter of factly. “Its the only reason they’re bein’ killed off…..”

“Thats as may be Crow….” said Silver Tree as he gazed out, “….but, it ain’t as if it ever went away. Why here…..and why now”.

Matais felt he knew, but, it was a long shot…..

“Lot of folk getting hot under the collar over whats goin down since the big trucks started rolling in….’specially south of the Bay.”

Silver Tree turned to listen. He too had noticed the activities of the op around Hooded Mountain stepping up a gear – Matais was right, it wasn’t just the cop. But, could they be connected, the deaths and the mountain?

“You think the mining company has something to do with this……?” he said, fixing his hawk like gaze on Matais.

Matais shrugged, “Why else would a city cop be drafted in…..recruited, even”….

“…..heh! You think he’s been hired to clean up?…….Man!” said Silver Tree turning to look out of the cabin again. “They could’a chosen someone with…..” – but, he stopped suddenly.

message4 001“Holy shit!”

Matais and Shadow Crow exchanged a glance as Roy reached for his rifle and lifted the latch on the cabin door.

“That’s Floyd Rivers…and he’s been shot….”

His hands gripping his stomach, a trail of dark crimson beads fell from his knuckles and led back down the snow covered track behind Floyd as he staggered towards Shadow Crow’s cabin. Last thing he was aware of was the clear sensation through his blurred vision that a man was running towards him……there was a voice, but, he could barely hear him…..and then a face very close to his, a face he recognised…..Silver Tree. But, it couldn’t be – he hadn’t been seen for twenty five years or more…….

……and then, as far as Floyd was concerned, the only thing that mattered was the vacuum of silence he felt himself falling into, and the overwhelming urge to summon all his might into one last dance……..


After all these years it seemed as though Roy Silver Tree could not shake off the shadow of the past that was following him. Death was stalking him, following his tracks as if waiting for the means and opportune moment to bring him down, at least that was how the Feds would see it if they knew he had been present at Floyd’s death. But, death carried no thoughts of vengeance, that was a human quality and the bullet that had pierced Floyd’s back had vengeance written all over it. Floyd too was a natural Qoy, one who had learned well how to use his gifts for the good of all, but, more than that he was a knowledge keeper of the medicines at Hooded Mountain, as had been his grandmother Charlotte Rivers. It was their responsibility to look after those matters of spirit that belonged this sacred place. To Shadow Crow and Matais this and Floyd’s death was the confirmation of the link and, true to form, they too now found themselves under suspicion of the Feds.

The shock of Floyd’s murder, and there was no doubt this time about the nature of the crime, produced a gaping wound in the indigenous community. Not only the people, the land and the medicines were now under threat, but, the immediate threat was now as tangible as the trail of blood that led to Shadow Crow’s cabin. When news reached the Bay the ripple it sent out across the community brought another kind of vengeance out of hiding, one that had been building ever since the mining company had begun their operations at Hooded Mountain. The peace of that sacred place was being violated, the rights of the people along with it, and the past could not be kept buried any more. Their voices would now be heard. But, there was one other curious matter that compounded everything ~ the cop, the ‘chief’, had gone missing…..


‘Fragments Blown Through Death’s Door’ is adapted from the novel ‘The Message’. I started writing ‘The Message’ and its sister works in response to the escalating violation of indigenous rights and violence being wrought in the pristine wildernesses of our world at the hands of corporate greed. The medicines of the people are at the centre of this struggle for freedom and justice and this story, the second of three exploring the roots of the medicines and the motivations of their enemies, is now nearing completion. This is an extract from the first draft. The first story, ‘Chenge and the Spider’, is currently being edited but extracts of ‘Chenge’ have already been published at Owlmirror. The third story is currently in its first draft – updates and further extracts from all of these stories will be published here in the coming year (2018).

‘Fragments Blown Through Death’s Door’, ‘The Message’ & ‘Chenge and the Spider’ © Rob Purday 2013-17