In 2012 I penned my first novel. It came from a place of pain. Seven years on I have grown both as a Writer and a person. I decided to revisit my book “Wychwood” and give it a re-write, detaching myself from the drama and writing as an observer. Although I received praise for the book I wanted to infuse it with more Grace, more Magic and occult layers. The Main Character has a new name Phaedra (Fay’dra) and I have introduced some new and more sinister characters.
This is Chapter One…
1 AN ANGEL CALLS
It is said that for every soul who walks upon the Earth a Guardian Angel is assigned ~ there are times the Angel may walk beside a soul, there are times the Angel may carry that soul and then there are times the Angel can only stand and watch and weep…
Midwinter. Dusk came stealthily creeping in, intent on stealing away the remains of the day. Fog descended over the grey London skyline, wrapping the Victorian villas in a numinous mist. White stucco coated walls that had shone in the harsh glint of winter sunlight now took on a ghostly air. Comforting coals burning in the hearths within cast a warm glow through opaque windowpanes, orange eyes keeping watch on a cold, dark night. ‘Fire light, fire bright, all is well tonight.’ Smoke snaking from tall chimney pots into the chill air warned any gathering preternatural creatures of darkness to stay away. As dusk succumbed to night’s embrace, the fog began to lift, revealing a star-studded sky. Lights were extinguished and weary folk made their way gratefully to bed, giving thanks to the Lord for the day that was done and the morrow yet to come. One house stood apart from the camaraderie of its neighbours, no warmth or light was to be found within its walls. The interior of number four was just as bleak as its cold, nocturnal façade. Winter’s icy fingers reached into the very heart of the despondent house, into a cavernous bedroom dressed in heavy furniture from a bygone century back when the house was proud and new. A huge mahogany bedstead, barely discernible in the gloom, rose as a dark island in a sea of darkness. Centre stage was given to a huge black Victorian cast iron fireplace, inset with tiles glazed with an elegant William Morris floral design. It was too dim to appreciate the contrast of the beautiful pure white flowers, against the blackness of the cold and empty hearth. Lilies for the departed soul now restored to innocence after death. The room was out of step with the modern world unfolding beyond its ornate walls patterned in rich shades of gold and teal. Heavy jade brocade curtains dressed the window, although slightly closed they admitted a pale sliver of light to slyly come creeping in and illuminate the scene within the room.
From the remoteness of the huge bed, a young child sat up, big hazel eyes wide open, scanning the room for a phantasmagorical Presence she could sense hiding somewhere in the shadows. She drew an eiderdown tightly around her tiny body, tucking the edges under her trembling chin. The big bulky frame of her Father lay beside the little girl. He was sleeping, lost in Morpheus’ arms with heavy breathing reverberating around the room, chasing away the creeping silence. Shadows danced along the walls, thrown up by arbitrary moonbeams. A gilded mirror hung above the fireplace and the child was mesmerised by the forms within its silvery depths.
At bedtime Phaedra loved to curl up with a book of fairy tales enchanting her. She imagined the ethereal creatures from the pages, elves and goblins, fairies, centaurs, unicorns, talking owls, nightingales and brave Knights and beautiful Princesses were all living in the mirror, inhabitants of a world within worlds. As another ray of capricious moonlight fell across the Oak floor, it illuminated a pale, languid, crumpled body. Comatose, the flaccid form lay curled in a foetal position, an almost empty brandy bottle clutched in a lifeless hand. A malevolent shape crouched beside the figure. Both were reflected in the mirror. Seeing the Presence, she had sensed, the child let a strangled sob escape into the gloom, alerting the man. Startled, he scanned the room and assuring himself and his tiny daughter that nothing was amiss, he urged her to snuggle down and sleep. His wife was where he had left her, on the floor. Having witnessed the same drug and alcohol induced scene for far too long and powerless to change things, he had ceased to care a long time ago. Defiantly, the child shook her head, soft auburn ringlets swaying around her little heart shaped face, eyes luminous and anxious.
‘Daddy, the thing is here again! It is sitting next to Mummy!’
‘There is no thing, it is just the shadows.’
‘I can see it in the mirror, flashing dark eyes with red sparks burning like hot coals, Oh Daddy!’
‘Phae, it is just the reflection of the embers in the fireplace.’
‘Daddy the fire is out. Mummy is cold, laying there on the floor, does she need a blanket?’ She enquired tentatively. ‘Why is Mummy on the floor again, and not snuggling up with us like she used to. Why is that scary thing next to her?’
‘Oh, that thing? That’s just Mummy’s shadow friend.’ With tired indifference, he humoured her, eager to go back to sleep. His once beautiful wife’s modelling career had paid handsomely but come at a terrible toll with easy access to drink and drugs and the descent into oblivion and addiction.
‘Shall we cover Mummy to keep her warm? She may be afraid of the dark and are you sure the thing is a friend?’ She persisted.
So many questions, so few answers. Thinly veiling his feelings of revulsion and contempt, voice laden with disgust, the weary man offered comfort ‘The floor is where Mummy and her shadow friend belong, go back to dreamland, Phaedra.’ Then kissing her on the tip of her nose, he rolled over and went back to sleep.
The little girl burrowed under the covers and lay down with her tiny face snuggling into her Daddy’s warm back. Mummy was fine, Daddy knew best. Her worries alleviated she slept the rest of the night comforted by the deep sleep of the innocent. In her dreams, the child called for an Angel, an Angel of Love and Light to come and take the thing away and keep Mummy warm. And the Angel hearing her call, came.
In the hours that lay on the cusp of night and day, a luminous golden radiance bathed the room and an Angel, with benevolent arms outstretched, stepped out into the gloom. He held a gossamer blanket, woven from the light of the stars from the heavens above. With a gentle touch He wrapped the child’s Mother in love and light and tenderness. For the Angel knew, just as the child knew, that the woman although bound by addictions was still deserving of love and compassion.
‘She is mine!’ Hissed a misshapen demonic form.
‘No! She is His.’ Serene cobalt blue eyes looked heavenwards. The Angel knew whilst barricaded into her own pain, it would take a lifetime to free the woman from her tormentor and captor. How long that life would be was written in the stars, yet the Angel was prepared to fight the demon for her eternal Soul.
The demon’s dark eyes flashed red sparks of pure malice and it pushed the brandy bottle across the floorboards. The woman stirred and through a haze she reached for the bottle and taking it from him she drained the last dregs. In his clawed hand the demon held a fresh bottle. The woman lunged at him, eager to feed her addiction.
‘It is yours, but not whilst you clutch at that useless thing!’ it spat in loathing, pointing his gnarled claw at the blanket of Light.
The blanket of Light felt good and through the haze of drugs and alcohol the woman knew she should keep a tight hold.
‘Go away!’ She cried, wrapping the blanket tightly around her body. Grace washed over her and soothed her unquiet soul into a deep and peaceful sleep where the demon could not reach her.
The demon spewed fire and brimstone. ‘If I do not take the mother, I shall return for the child!’ it hissed at the Angel, before its malignant form dissipated into the darkness, along with the stench of stale alcohol and bitter pungency of opiates pervading the air.
The Angel prayed silently and bestowed a quiet benediction over the child and her lost Mother and the man who had long forgotten the truth, as he slept in his warm bed whilst the woman he once loved and had lost her way, lay on the cold floor.
A fragrant blend of frankincense and attar of roses filled the room. The man did not smell the perfume purifying the space around him, his child and his wife. Nor did he see the celestial blanket of stars woven with the Light of Heaven wrapped around her. He did not see the pure white lily the Angel had placed in the woman’s hand when she took away the empty bottle.
He did not see the Angel of Light standing at the foot of the bed, waiting. The demon would return. The woman would try to fight. Without the help of the man her redemption would only come the other side of the veil. The man could not see these things, for he too was enslaved by his own addictions and unable to feel the Presence of God when an Angel calls.
And so, the Angel stood and wept.
Thank you for reading.
The Original version will remain in print as I work on my new version.
She cried out into the night for an Angel of Light to heal her pain. The Angel, hearing her call, came . And stood and wept. For he knew the burden was hers alone to carry. For how else would she know just how strong she was … How else would she too get her wings to fly?
Phaedra lay half enveloped in the cold snow. Her body was becoming numb, her mind still. A deep peace came over her. The fear and panic of free falling through the air, the sheer horror of realising he had thrown her bodily from the bedroom subsided. Help was coming, was it not?
She had heard the wail of the ambulance; she would be safe in hospital. Disjointed sounds and fragmented voices swam in and out of her awareness, a vague sensation of being lifted, moving at speed, flashing lights, sirens whining. Then the people crowded over her, machines bleeping, monitors, pipes, tubes fixed to her body, aware of it all but not engaged in any of it. The circle of masked faces staring down at her, the bright light glaring, something over her mouth, a voice counting down,‘3, 2, 1 and, yes, she’s under.’
A rapid pulling and a sensation of release as she felt her consciousness detached from the broken body on the operating table. Detached from the drama unfolding in the sterile and white Theatre, she was aware of floating and looking down on the scene unfolding, watching events as through a curtain of gauze, the intensity and urgency of the doctors gathered around the body, her body, barely clinging to life, as the machines whirred into action. She wanted to shout out and tell them it was all right, she was free. The voice of authority cutting through the intensity of the scene,‘She’s going into arrest, stand clear!’
An intense pulsing flash as the volts from the defibrillator surged through her body, and as her body convulsed she saw a tunnel of pure white light, so clear and bright, pure like the driven snow and the light began crystallising and refracting a myriad of rainbow colours. Her awareness left the emergency room and focussed on the intensity of the light, which began to envelope her. In the midst of the light, the outline of a man began to materialise, his hand outstretched in welcome, calling her name, beckoning…
Phaedra became aware of her hand, stretching out to meet his, and her eyes connected with his deep cobalt blue stare and a feeling of joy as recognition of the man began sweeping over her. As their fingers touched, there was a charge of electricity, little blue sparks of light and then a tremendous noise like a sort of sonic rush and they were gone out of the white light and travelling at huge velocity along a tunnel of oscillating multi coloured stars.
Then they were there, but ‘there’ was nowhere whilst paradoxically being everywhere, and there they were but they were not. A realization of being without a solid human body, the man and she were numinous light bodies, floating, merging, at one with each other. A myriad of multi-faceted, vaporous colours, swirling all around. An incredible lightness of being and an understanding of being one’s true self at one’s highest octave, pure spirit. She felt a sense of being part of all that is, all that ever was, and all that would ever be, as her consciousness expanded into infinite space. The man was moving gracefully. Swirling her ecstatically, around and around in a beautiful waltz.
Dancing in the Light of Love.
Two eternal souls, in spirit form, dancing in the light, living in the moment and that moment was eternal. She was part of him just as he was of her, and they were no longer separate entities, but one being becoming the light. The feelings were so sublime, almost unbearably beautiful. In the Light, they became one in bliss. He looked deeply into her very soul, his thoughts resonated within her, and she knew everything else was an illusion and this was the Truth. And the Truth was beautiful.
Then everything began closing in and she was aware of becoming pulled once more, the light began fading and as she fought to stay in this blissful place, the force pulling her grew stronger. Her heart ached, torn away from the man. She was aware of a searing burning pain and she was back in the Emergency room, and the strong voice echoed around the sterile room, ‘Well done team, she’s back.’
A little parable on knowing it is OK to ask for help if you are not OK…
Two strangers met in a forest.
“I can’t find my way home,” he said.
“I’m lost too, maybe we can find a our way home through the forest together,” she replied.
He looked uncertain, and shaking his head began to walk away.
“Come back!” she cried, “What if you are going the wrong way?”
“NO!” He shouted, “What if you lead me further into the deep dark woods?”
“What if I don’t? What if I lead you home?” Frustration burning in her dark eyes.
He shook his reluctant head. “You go your way, I will go mine. I don’t need you or anyone to help me, I will find my own way home, ALONE.” Without a backward glance he took off through the dense undergrowth.
Alone and afraid she cried out “Help me!” She thought she heard a whispering in the trees behind her and turning around she saw a feint ray of light shone ahead, just enough to see through the canopy. She moved closer and closer to its source. Realising it was coming from soft sunlight heralding the dawn of a fresh new day she began to run. She knew she would now be able to find a way out of the darkness, following the cookie crumbs the dancing motes of light threw upon the forest floor.
Turning, she called excitedly to him, for now they both could be free and no longer lost. But he was long gone, deeper and deeper into the undergrowth, ensnared and trapped by tangled roots and gnarled old trees in the forest of the night. Even if he had been willing, he was too far away to hear.
Knowing she had lost him, she ran forwards drawn by the intensity of the growing Light. The kiss of the morning Sun caught tears glistening on her face, tears of gratitude for her salvation and of sorrow for the lost stranger who could have become a friend.
They say that eyes are the window to the soul. This is a true story about a pair of blue eyes I once saw and never, ever forgot.
An ordinary day, an ordinary shopping mall. I was weighed down, not by shopping, but those concerns life throws at us time to time, heavy burdens we have to carry because there is no one else can take them from us. And if they did? Would we loose valuable life lessons? Only the passage of time, experience and the growth self awareness will tell.
So there I was, walking along alone, lost in thoughts. From a long way off I was aware of Him. Call it charisma, personal magnetism, kismet…I was brought back into the here and now with a powerful pull. He was beautiful, those eyes, those mesmerising eyes. They were a shade of cobalt blue I absolutely adore. I was all at once transfixed and shy, desperately wanting to go and say ‘Hi, how are you?’ But I couldn’t. Rooted to the spot, I watched him glide by, and something passed in his eyes. He looked at me and I at him and I just had an overwhelming sense of ‘knowing’ and a feeling of total and unconditional love, something that had been in short supply for a very long time. His body may have been broken. His Soul Light was mesmerising in it’s intensity!
He was maybe seventy years old, white hair and beard covering a tanned, weather beaten face. I no longer remember what he wore, just that his legs had been removed below the knee and he guided his wheelchair skilfully through the throng of people. I so wished I had chased after him, spoken, asked questions…But…
Many times I hoped I would see him again, in a small town you do tend to see the same ‘faces’ but I never did. I never forgot those cobalt eyes. He became the inspiration for Peter Cabot, Doctor and Spirit Guide, in my book ‘Wychwood’.
That day I believe I was touched by an Angel…And my personal burdens were somehow so much lighter.
An Angel with blue eyes, incredible cobalt blue eyes…
Phaedra woke with a start. Her heart shape face was wet with tears, the dream still hanging vivid and lucid in the room. Tears falling for the hurt child within this woman, tears falling for the passage of so many years, filled with too many hurts. Tears falling for all those other souls in pain, whose hearts also ached from so much sorrow.
Phaedra woke with a start. Her heart shape face was wet with tears, the dream still hanging vivid and lucid in the room. Tears falling for the hurt child within this woman, tears falling for the passage of so many years, filled with too many hurts. Tears falling for all those other souls in pain, whose hearts also ached from so much sorrow.
Closing her eyes, she became aware of a soothing sensation, as if gentle soft hands were caressing her face, wiping away the tears, stroking her hair, as one would a child. She felt strong hands remove her evil husband’s grasp from her body. In her mind’s eye, within that special screen where clairvoyant scenes had played since as long as she could remember, an image began to form;-
On a black velvet pillow, a red organic mass, which she knew to be her heart, lay pumping and pulsating erratically, weak feeble beats alternating with rapid panic-stricken throbs. The tubes and arteries extended out across the darkness, connected to nothing, going nowhere. Blackened and wizened at the extremities. The heart was whole, but slowly cracks and fissures appeared rending it apart, huge chasms ripping the breaking heart asunder from the ventricles which fed it leaked weak rivulets of blood. The erratic beats started to slow, the pulsations now just involuntary spasms, the heart was dying and darkness was closing in. Then a voice, clear, strong, and powerful reverberated in the dark theatre of her mind,
‘This is your pain born of this lifetime, these are your wounds.’
A pair of hands appeared over the stricken heart. Hovering over the heart drawing and pulling dark, shadowy shapes and forms from the crippled organ. As each dark mass was pulled forth, a fissure closed, the chasms began to shrink. The hands were now pulsating, beaming a high frequency of energy emitting particles of vibrant white light. Piece by sorry piece the torn and rent heart began to meld together. The hands of light picked up the heart from the blood soaked black velvet pillow and gently encased it within a warm and healing embrace.
Phaedra now clearly saw her strong, healthy heart. It was whole, complete, and no longer beating in the blackness, but held in radiant golden light. Suddenly filled with an electric jolt she felt the heart placed into her own body. The hands of light were now golden and held together in the prayer position. They slowly unfolded to reveal a holographic slideshow, of many people, times and places. The scenes played out and once again, the voice resonated over the moving picture show with the words:-
‘I have taken and healed your pain
Torn the hurst of many lifetimes
from the recesses of your heart’
As words and images faded away in a violet haze, Phaedra felt the soft brush of an Angel’s wing…Opening her eyes she saw a small white feather fluttering to the floor.
Phaedra was aware the sun was hanging low in the sky and would be setting shortly. She would need to make haste if she were to avoid the impending gloom once it disappeared into the horizon. Her mind had been full of thoughts of the talking Owl she had met in the Night Garden at dusk yesterday. She had been eager to share with Hepzibah, who smiling, had observed, ‘That garden is full of witch’s weeds, you need to realise that some of those herbs can be hallucinogenic, My Lovely.’
Once again, Phaedra was left confused by the paradoxes she was encountering in Wychwood. Either the veil between worlds really was very thin or else she was suffering serious delusions. As the overgrown dirt track meandered downhill, her eyes were firmly fixed upon her next step in an attempt to avoid stumbling on the loose pebbles. Nimbly side stepping one of the many offerings left by an equine traveller who had preceded her on the ramble, Phaedra looked up as a glint of light caught the corner of her eye. Stopping in her tracks, she became aware of a perfect circle of chestnut trees as she watched the sunlight dappling golden light on the rich green leaves. The branches slowly swayed to the music of a gentle breeze, leaves quivering and dancing to the soft low hum of the wind. Golden light twinkling and sparkling on the rich verdant leaves and the deep brown nuts that littered the floor, cracked open from their protective spiky casings.
Gently stepping over the fallen harvest, Phaedra answered their invitation and stepped within the circle of trees, noting by the girth of their trunks and the strength of the long outstretched branches, that these were indeed Grande Dames of the woodland. Their age and wisdom were apparent from their gnarled and knotted yet strong proud and beautiful trunks. Their outstretched limbs intertwining and interconnecting with each other, embracing each other in an intricate lattice work of wood which seemed to grow tighter and more close knit as Phaedra moved to the centre,
‘Ah, the circle is cast!’ she thought.
Within their protective conclave she became aware of a quiet communication, first between the whispers of the wind, and then between each sister tree. With a jolt, she realised that the trees were speaking not only to each other, but also to her, to Phaedra! They were imbuing her with a sense of themselves, of what it felt like to have roots that sank deep down into the verdant rich dark soil, their root systems mirroring the branches above, all interconnected and intertwined. Phaedra felt tingles in the soles of her feet and with a start realised that she had sunk ankle deep into the earth, but she did not feel any fear, just an awareness that her toes; the bones and nervous system and veins seemed to be growing and extending beyond the confines of her flesh.
She was growing roots!
Roots that meandered through the earth, touching, connecting, wrapping around those of the trees that surrounded her, and it felt good. Phaedra raised her arms up high in sheer joy, and once again the tingle, and her fingers seemed to elongate, the flesh, veins, bones, nervous systems stretching, stretching up to the tall branches, connecting, weaving, latticing into those of her sisters around her, for now Phaedra felt at one in the circle of the Horse Chestnut sisters.
Above her upturned face, the sun in a final swan song, burst through the density of the leaves, bathing Phaedra in a golden light. It felt so good to pull the light of the sun into her body. She felt it travel through her limbs and trunk, and then as the sun sank on the horizon she became aware that all was suddenly dark. From the blackness of this void a light appeared, whirling before her eyes, as its motion slowed to a standstill, there hanging in the nothingness was a perfect golden hexagon. And within the six points of the star, a silver tree was transposed, its branches perfectly fitting the three upper points of the star, and its root system stretched out in symmetry over the lower three points of the star. Then a blinding flash of light in the centre of her brain and the symbol seemed to be absorbed through her crown chakra with the words,
‘As Above, So Below.’
In that moment in time, Phaedra knew the cosmic synergy of heaven and Earth and the importance of the trees as fully sentient beings upon the Earth, working in Divine Service of Source.
Then nothingness, the void.
The loud chattering of the birds stirred her to her senses. Phaedra was surprised to see the Sun was rising, no doubt awoken from her slumber by the sweet call of the birdsong.
She was lying curled up on a carpet of springy moss and sweet smelling chamomile, under the protection of one of the huge Chestnut trees. Stirring to remember how she had come to be here, a whirl of thoughts flooded her mind and senses…feelings of being one with the trees, of having roots that stretched deep down into Gaia’s warmth and received sustenance and grounding; of having strong branches that stretched heavenwards. She felt the warmth of the sun bringing life giving energy down through her body, she recalled the feelings of pleasure of having beautiful leaves, and bearing flowers and fruit that in turn delighted and nourished. She was pleased by the shelter she gave to the birds of the air, the insects, and creatures of the forest. Of the pleasure of the wood nymphs coming to dance and play, and the heavenly delight of being of service to the Light of Source and beloved Mother Gaia by providing oxygen on the Planet.
As Phaedra stood and stretched, she noticed a young sapling delicately rising from the rich earth just by the strongest and oldest tree. From one of its tender young branches a glint caught Phaedra’s eye. Stretching out her hand, she felt a familiar tingle, and there in her palm was a perfect silver six-pointed star pendant, on which a tree was wrought in gold.
The young tree seemed to whisper on the wind…
‘My gift to you, Mother…’
Phaedra knew her child, laying still within her womb, would be born with the wisdom and strength of the trees.
A short story on the magic of nature and “All is One”
There once was a young peasant girl, known by the name Gaia, she lived in an ancient land, a land that was fertile and abundant in all good things. There were olive groves and fruit trees. There were honey bees and goats and cows that provided delicious milk and cheese. The skies above were azure blue and the seas around were warm and abundant with rainbow fish. The air was sweet with the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle. The birds filled the air with sweet birdsong. Life was good in this land of milk and honey, for everything one needed was there. Gaia lived with a large community of people and laughter and song and dance was the way of life. For they knew life was good and they knew that they were beloved and taken care off, although they knew not by who or what. This security engendered much peace and happiness, and they lived in gratitude. Their Land was an abundant Mother and the skies above their protecting Father. And as Night followed day, and season followed season, the people of this land gave praise for the bounty that was their gift from the Earth.
They honored their Mother Earth for all she nourished them with, her fertile soil in which many crops and flowers and herbs and trees thrived. Her flowing rivers and the sea around, providing an abundance of fresh fish and water to drink. And the jewels of the earth, beautiful crystals fashioned in colors of the rainbow. Their father provided his children with the radiant warmth of the sun, to bring life to that which was upon the earth. He gave them the cool evening breeze and the light of the moon, from which the people marked the passage of time, through the cycles of the moon. As night fell, the skies above were clothed in a brilliant show of stars and planets, and constellations around which they wove stories to inflame their minds and provide excitement. Every now and then, a magical light dance would happen in the sky, a multi colored display of fantastic and beautiful majesty. Shooting stars and asteroids tore across the heavenly canvas bringing wonder and awe. Life was indeed good. This island, although small, was clothed and blessed in the majesty of nature, and profuse in all that was good in creation. The peoples were tolerant of travelers who chanced their way. They provided hospitality and warm welcomes. They enjoyed hearing about faraway places, of different lands, cultures and religions. They did not feel threatened if the visitors did not have the same belief systems, knowing in their hearts that all was one and that there were many roads and paths to reach Divinity. It was an intangible thing that each and every heart had to feel for their selves. In this place there was no bigotry or intolerance.
One day, Gaia was out gathering herbs, for these were the medicine cabinet of the people, as Mother Earth (after whom she took her name) supported all life, she healed her children when called upon. The herbs rejoiced the child had chosen them, for they knew their path was to grow to heal, and they understood that all was one and that the child also knew that all was one. A beautiful butterfly caught the girl’s eye and with delight she followed after the delicate creature, marvelling at Gossamer wings as blue as the sky above. The girl felt good to be alive and part of all the wonders of nature around her, for although yet a child; she understood the interconnectedness of all things, that simply all was one. Gaia focused on the butterfly’s game of chase, and the creature delighted in this lovely child joining the game. The butterfly knew the child understood that all was one. In time this child would undertake the journey of initiation, such as she the butterfly had done, into the cocoon and transmuting into a thing of great beauty.
Gaia was unaware of the storm clouds gathering, very unusual in this land. Then suddenly there was a downpour of rain. Looking around for shelter she saw ahead the entrance to a cave formed in a rocky hillside. Gratefully she ran into the cave, blessing her good fortune to find shelter from the ensuing storm. The cave was dark and smelt dank. A rough path was hewn from the bedrock, and from deep inside she heard a strange resonance, a toning of sorts. Intrigued she followed the source of the noise, as she moved deeper into the cave the darkness enfolded her. Trustingly, she followed the direction of the strange toning and chanting of unknown arcane words. The darkness shifted to an eerie gloom, and Gaia saw the passage had widened into a cavern with a sandy floor. She heard the faint sound of running water. Above the cavern there was a light source, a hole in the roof of the cavern. From behind a large boulder a voice crackled ‘Who are you, what do you seek?’ The voice belonged to a tiny, misshapen form. A woman clothed in dirty ragged garments. They had the vestiges of a once beautiful blue material, patterned with stars about them. Even in the gloom the girl marvelled at the fragments of beautiful cloth. The woman’s hair was grey and bound tight to her head in thin plaits, and her eyes were small and black as shrivelled raisins. With sly interest she regarded the girl before her, dressed in a simple tunic of beautiful linen, her hair long and golden and flowing, her eyes a deep cornflower blue, alive and dancing with curiosity.
‘I have lost my way, and have taken shelter from the rain outside’ said Gaia. ‘They call me Gaia in honor of the Great Mother, the Earth,’ the child smiled happily.
‘Pah.’ Came back the rude, curt response from the wizened old crone..
‘What should I call you?’ enquired Gaia politely.
‘I am Alizza the Watcher, but you may not address me so. You have not the knowledge or status to speak the name of one as elevated and spiritually advanced as I!’
‘May I sit with you a while, and listening to your teaching, Mother? The child asked unperturbed by Alizza’s hubris.
‘You would know of my wisdom? I am happy to tell you child the ways of the world. Come sit by my side at the fire and pay heed.’ She rasped with a degree of satisfaction.
There was a fire pit set within a circle of small rocks, and from it the flames danced and swayed as a slight breeze played around them. Gaia stared intently at the fire, enjoying the pictures in the flames, and the sight of the Salamanders, those elementals charged with guarding the element of fire, and they in return regarded the child and knew she was one who understood them, and all things and that all was one.
The ugly Crone was impatient to begin her teaching and coughed harshly. In a voice that was deeply meaningful in tone, she began.
‘These, child, are words of wisdom given to me by Masters, and only those who are as spiritually advanced as I am can access the Wisdom of the Masters. For I am a Watcher, and follow the Path of the Star. Heed ye well!’ She jabbed a bony finger with a cracked and dirty nail at the girl, for emphasis.
The child smiled, continuing to watch the magical show the salamanders were putting on for her delight.
‘The purpose of creation, child, is to leave this place and ascend upwards to the Star. I, who have followed my spiritual path so diligently, by toning my tones and chanting my chants, will soon be able to leave.’ she said piously.
‘Do you not marvel at how advanced am I to be able to do such a thing? Do you not aspire to be as pure in spirit as me?’ she questioned.
‘Hmm’ mused the child ‘Are you alone here?’
‘Alone? What, with my incredible spirituality? I do not need mere mortals in my holy Presence. I need to remain unblemished and untouched from their germs. That is why I wait in the cave till I can leave heavenwards. I know I will not return here for I am just so advanced. The Star needs me with its celestial magnificence to watch over the minions below.’
‘Do you never see other people?’ enquired Gaia.
‘Ah, No’, said the wizened old Crone. ‘Once there were some who came to seek my teaching. I saw they were lesser creatures and just did not and could not understand. So I realized to keep myself pure in spirit I had to retreat deeper and deeper into this cave, where they could not taint me with their base natures.’
‘I would love to hear your wisdom,’ said the child.
She was a child who loved to experience all things and learn the different ways of people, understanding there were many different types of person and they each could choose different paths to travel up the mountain to touch Father Sky. And again the child understood that in all this diversity, ultimately all was one, for each in their own way would eventually touch Father Sky, whatever path they had chosen to walk.
Edward Arthur Hughes ~Day
Edward Arthur Hughes~Night
The ugly Crone continued…
‘The path of the Star showed me that by prayer and devotion I can leave this place and be one with the Light.’
‘Where does the Star reside?’
‘Why up there’ the Crone pointed to the hole in the roof of the cave.
‘What does the Star look like?’
‘Like this’ and she pointed to a fragment of starry material.
‘Can anyone see the Star?’
‘Oh, No, Only one who is willing to follow the path of religious observance. A Practitioner such as I, versed in knowledge of The path of the Star.’
By now, the storm outside had passed, and night had fallen. Everything was quiet and still. The ugly Crone bid the curious, chattering child be silent.
‘It is time for devotion; my star is calling to me. You may observe, but be quiet as I, an illumined one, will commune with the Holiest Highest Star.’
The child looked on, wondering what marvels the Crone would commune with. Alizza went and sat on a boulder under the hole in the roof, a thin taper in her knotty hand. She looked up and began the low chanting and toning noise again. Slowly a picture of rapture appeared over her ancient face, as her gaze went towards the hole in the cave roof. Intrigued, Gaia too looked up, and was perplexed to see a tiny star, which she recognized as Antares, a bright star that guides one to see the constellation Scorpio. Gaia knew the night sky well, for oft times she had slept under that heavenly canopy, watching the majesty of the waxing and waning moon, and the beauty of the constellations and the stories they told. She knew the magic of seeing shooting stars and comets blazing their trails across the universe.
Yes, there were so many wonders in creation, and once again Gaia smiled understanding that One was All and All was One; and that the magic of the sky was a magic that was in her and everything else as well. So it was with interest she regarded the Crone, lost in her rapture at the sight of Antares above the cathedral like structure of the cave’s roof.
Eventually sleep fell upon Gaia and she curled close to the fire and slept deeply. The child was content, dreaming of the many layers of creation and existence, dreaming of universes held within atoms and universes so large her mind could not hold the thoughts.
A raindrop on her nose startled her to wakefulness. The Crone was bustling around making a brew from hot water and some lichen she had scraped from the walls of the cave.
The insipid brew bubbled in an earthenware pot, placed precariously on some burning twigs. She invited the child near.
‘You looked so happy watching Antares’ offered Gaia to the busy old woman.
The Crone looked puzzled by the question. She clearly had no idea what, where or who ‘Antares’ was.
‘Child, I was in Rapture communing directly with the Star of the sky. I have sat in my cave for decades meditating on the nature of divinity, and I am truly blessed to have seen this wondrous sight. I know that because of my advanced spiritual understanding one day soon I will ascend and join Star! Pay heed to my teaching child; ask what questions you need to further your own limited understanding. Who knows, maybe one day you too will understand the advanced teaching of the Star!’
This time it was Gaia’s turn to look puzzled…
Tentatively she asked,
‘Mother Crone, why do you work so hard to reach Star, for is not the Star in you and you in the Star, for Mother Crone is not one all?’ she continued with enthusiasm and passion:
‘Does it not feel oh so good to travel on the wind as it blows through life? To feel the whisper of the gentle breeze that cools the skin? Or a raging, howling hurricane that sweeps away that which no longer serves? Knowing the wind is the Divine’.
Smiling happily Gaia chattered on excited to be sharing, ‘And the joys of letting your spirit become one with the Condor. Soaring heavenwards and riding upon the wind, majestic and powerful, magnificent wings outstretched and all at one with the wind, on our journey across the vastness of he sky.’ The excited child continued to share the excitement of her experiences.
‘To fall as a drop of rain, blown by the wind into the fast flowing river and feel what it is like to flow over the smooth rocks; and be tickled by the bulrushes, to move as one towards the vast ocean and just know that every raindrop is part of the vastness of the mighty ocean….’Smiling happily, the child continued ‘….and Mother Crone, that which brings me the most joy is when I become one with the beautiful trees and feel myself strong and solid upon the Earth. I love the feeling of my roots burrowing deep into the rich warm soil. I love the feeling of the goodness within the Earth sustaining me, feeding me. My branches reach towards the heavens, and I sustain life, for the birds and insects to come to find shelter above me and below me; as they eat the food I give from my berries. And my leaves glisten in the warmth of the sun, and cool to the stars above. Oh, to be a tree is truly magical Mother for then one is completely one with Mother Earth and Father Sky!’
Gaia’s eyes shone with happiness as she relived her shamanic journeys, she did not see the disgust and distaste on the old woman’s wizened face…
The acrid smell of the Crones infusion filled the cave. Helpfully, Gaia reached into the pocket of her robe and pulled out the little bunch of sweet smelling herbs she had gathered. Gently she added hem to the pot and said a little blessing. The bitter smell was soon replaced by the pure and healing scents the herbs released. Oh, that is so good Mother Crone; will you drink from our brew?’ Gaia tenderly asked.
She saw the Cones eyes were weepy, and her body was stiff and rigid from rheumatism. Gaia knew the herbs would help and heal. Nature’s apothecary had a cure for every ailment. One just needed to go to the trees, the flowers, herbs and crystals for their assistance.
With a howl, the Crone arose and with her temper boiling over, she kicked the earthenware pot hard. The hot contents spilled over and splashed onto the skinny legs of the incandescent Crone. Her ugly face contorted in rage as she screamed at Gaia:-
‘What witchery! What wicked sorcery! What foul blasphemy! You dark thing, you dare come into my world and speak such nonsense! Be gone bad thing! thou have NO knowledge!…..How could I ,an illumined, one teach you, whose head is so full of nonsense….all is not one foolish child, the star is all there is….now go!’
In absolute shock, and with tears streaming down her face, the child turned and ran through the darkness of the cave. She barely knew how she reached the outside. She sat with her arms wrapped protectively around herself, sobbing at the Crones cruelty. Could she have got it so wrong, after all she knew she was a child with so much to learn. But those people, who were her own, understood; wracked with longing for home she began to weep again.
Slowly, she became aware of a presence, and a warm feeling enfolded her. Raising her tear stained face. Gaia realized the Sun was shining brightly and the rain had bathed the world with cleansing water and everything looked so fresh and new.
A multi-colored rainbow arched across the azure sky.
The birds were singing their sweet songs and the insects were busy humming and the honey bees buzzing and so much life
was all about. A little white feather fell from the clear blue sky into Gaia’s hand, and above she saw a white dove in flight. Smiling, Gaia rose and turned for home for the child just KNEW all was one….
Later that night, deep in the cave, as the Crone settled down for her devotion to the Star, she was amazed to see a bright light streak past the narrow opening in the cave roof and as the comet passed by she heard the child’s wise words as they echoed in her empty heart and cave…
…there was so much more than they could see, so much more that they could be…
In the deep heart of winter a caveman had been hunting in the depths of the frozen forest. He had trapped a huge wild boar. He felt enormous pride at the big beast slung effortlessly across his powerful shoulders as he made his way back to his tribe.
The women had been at work too, gathering. As he approached he saw they had little to show for their efforts, a meagre ration of bitter berries and pungent leaves. He did not care for such fare.
He wanted the Boar all for himself. The hide would clothe him in fine style and the meat would fill his belly. With a huge roar, he frightened them away from their cave, determined not to share with them.
Outside the cave the women took refuge huddled in the hollow of a huge tree. They were hungry. They were cold. And they were frightened. The women wept.
Worried they would take his huge hoard of meat whilst he slept, he started piling huge chunks of limestone at the cave entrance.
The pile of stones grew higher.
The women came. The women pleaded.
He roared. He added more stones.
But in the cave he had no water and he had no wood to make fire.
The meat started to rot.
Still the women came.
Still he would not share.
The snow melted and spring dressed the Earth in a gown of green.The women working together gathered many fruits, berries, nuts and herbs and pure water from the stream. They ate and they drank and they were well. Pleased with their progress, they called to the caveman to come share in their bounty.
He mistrusted them, fearing a trap to get his meat. He added even more stones to the cave entrance.
He was now almost in complete darkness.
Time to time the women would go to the cave to see if the caveman would come out, to join the tribe once more. Their entreaties would be met with yet another ferocious roar.
In the gloom he could not see his meat was infected by maggots. He continued to eat the infected meat, until only the bones were left. He gnawed on the bones not wanting to share any of his bounty. When he was done gorging he fell ill. Very ill. The maggots were now inside him, eating away.
He weakly cried for help, but none came. The women could not hear him. He had built the stones too high.
Outside the cave, the tribe thrived for after the harsh winter Earth was bountiful and provided for all their needs. The women were gatherers and not hunters and so the animals became their friends and showed them where they could forage and find even more fruits of the forest. They wove clothes from leaves and reeds. And life was good. As they received from nature, so they gave back, walking gently upon the Earth, the Great Mother.
They wanted the caveman to share for they knew his meat would not last forever. And so the women went back to the cave but the caveman roared no more. The stones were too high and packed so tight that the women could not get through the impenetrable wall the caveman built. Reluctantly, and with heavy hearts, they left the forest.
The tribe continued to work together, to share and care and co-create. This way knowledge became power. They used their new found power wisely and in doing so each one became a Creatrix. The women knew there was so much more than they could see, so much more that they could be. Building a raft and following the path of the river they set out to cross the sunlit sea. Not knowing where they were going, but confident that they were better together and all their needs would be met.
They had set off for a brave new world and would take the caveman with them ~ for his seed was growing within the bellies of some, although not all, of the women.
A team of archaeologists found the cave. The bones of the caveman lay with the bones of the boar, so entwined it was hard to distinguish them as separate creatures. They puzzled to gain understanding of the significance of the bones and the cave…
…The place where Greed had been born in the world…
It is said every soul who walks upon the Earth is assigned a Guardian Angel ~ there are times the Angel may walk beside a soul, there are times the Angel may carry a soul and then there are times the Angel can only stand and weep…
Midwinter. A fog began to descend over the grey London skyline. Dusk had stealthily crept in and stolen the remains of the day away. White stucco walls cloaked in numinous mist and the elegant terrace of Victorian villas took on a ghostly air, Window panes glowing warm orange, reassurance that all was well within. Fire light, fire bright, all is well tonight. Smoke snaking from tall chimney pots into the chill air warned preternatural creatures of the night to stay away. One house stood apart from the camaraderie of its neighbours, no warmth or light was to be found within its walls. As dusk gave way to night the fog began to lift. Lights were extinguished and weary folk made their way gratefully to bed, giving thanks to the Lord for the day that had just been done and the morrow yet to come. The interior of number four was just as bleak as the façade. Winter’s icy fingers reached into the very heart of the despondent house, into a cavernous bedroom dressed with heavy furniture of a bygone century when the house was proud and new. A huge mahogany bedstead, barely discernible in the gloom, rose as a dark island in a sea darkness. An oak armoire and a Chiffonier threw dark, dancing shadows. A huge black Victorian cast iron fireplace, inset with tiles glazed with an elegant William Morris floral design took centre stage. It was too dark to appreciate the contrast of the beautiful pure white flowers, against the blackness of the cold and empty hearth. Lilies for the departed soul now restored to innocence after death. The room was out of step with the modern world unfolding beyond its ornate walls patterned in rich shades of gold and teal. Heavy brocade curtains dressed window. Although slightly closed they admitted a pale sliver of moonlight to come creeping in and illuminate the scene within the room.
From the remote island of the big bed, a young child sat up, big hazel eyes wide open, scanning the room for an unknown yet threatening Presence. She drew an eiderdown tightly around her tiny body, tucking the edges under her tiny chin. The warmth was reassuring, providing a degree of safety and comfort. The big bulky frame of her Father lay beside the little girl. He was sleeping, heavy breathing reverberating around the room, chasing away the creeping silence. Shadows danced on the walls, intermittently thrown up by arbitrary moonlight. A gilded mirror hung above the fireplace and the child was mesmerised by the forms within its silvery depths. Were there phantasmagorical creatures living in the mirror, inhabitants of a world within worlds? A ray of capricious moonlight fell across the hardwood floor, illuminating a languid, white, and crumpled body. Comatose, the flaccid form lay curled in a foetal position, an empty brandy bottle clutched in a lifeless hand. A strangled sob escaped into the gloom alerting the man, and on seeing his tiny daughter was wide-awake, urged her to snuggle down and sleep. Having witnessed the scene for far too long and powerless to change things, he had ceased to care a long time ago. Defiantly, the child shook her head, soft auburn ringlets swaying around her little heart shaped face, big hazel eyes luminous and anxious. She enquired tentatively whether Mummy was cold, laying there on the floor? Why was Mummy on the floor yet again, and not snuggling up with them like she used to? Should Mummy get into bed too? Should they cover Mummy to keep her warm? Thinly veiling his feelings of revulsion and contempt, voice laden with disgust, the tired man reassured his tiny child that Mummy was fine. So many questions, so few answers. The floor was where Mummy wanted to be, so they should leave her there and go back to dreamland. Then he rolled over and went back to sleep. The little girl burrowed under the covers, and lay down with her tiny nose snuggling into her Daddy’s warm back. Mummy was fine, Daddy knew best. Her worries alleviated, she slept the rest of the night comforted by the deep sleep of the innocent. In her dreams, the child called for an Angel, an Angel of Love and Light, and the Angel hearing her call, came.
Suddenly, a luminous golden glow bathed the room and the Angel stepped out of the Light with her arms outstretched. She held a gossamer blanket, woven from the light of the stars from the heavens above, and gently she wrapped the child’s Mother in love and light and tenderness. For the Angel knew, just as the child knew, that the woman although bound by addictions and barricaded into her own pain was still a beloved child of the Godhead, of Source and deserving of love and forgiveness and understanding. The Angel prayed a quiet benediction over the child and her Mother and the man who had long forgotten the truth, as he slept in his warm bed whilst his wife lay on the cold, hard floor. A fragrant blend of frankincense and lilies filled the room. The sour smell of stale alcohol pervading the air now dissipated. The man did not smell the fragrant perfume purifying the woman nor did he see the blanket of stars that wrapped her. He did not see the Angel of Light tending to his wife as the Celestial Being tried to remove the vicious demons of addiction from her. He did not see the tender white lily the Angel placed in the woman’s hand as she took away the empty bottle. He did not see these things, for he too was enslaved by his own addictions.
And the Angel stood and wept silent tears for the man and the woman who could not see, as their child could, the Presence of Angels.
I am very excited to welcome a special guest author to “Gossamer Threads” and I hope you enjoy the first instalment of a Sci-Fi Series by my beautiful boy, Ryan Nash, aged 13 🙂
There is us, the human race, the only place we could live is on Earth or so we thought. Lately scientists are developing a space shuttle capable of travelling way beyond our solar system. Giving the human race the chance to dramatically evolve to their full potential. The launch of this craft is due to take off next Sunday on 1st January 2035. Since the economy crash of 2020 technology has evolved to become more advanced than scientists previously predicted in 2005 as we begin to evolve.
By the time Sunday came, everyone was ecstatic and filled with joy to see the first shuttle launch since 2010. The shuttle was very big and holographic; it has huge thrusters and looked ascetically pleasing. Shortly after admiring the beast of a shuttle it was the decisive moment the time to make history. The count-down began 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 and off it went, accelerating faster and faster, through the sky before becoming no more than a faint red dot in the sky and disappearing into the beyond.
Meanwhile on the space shuttle the crew were preparing to go into hyper drive propelling them light years away from the milky way within minuets. Their mission was exploration and investigation. Their mission would take the crew about 1 year, hopefully returning home by New Year’s Eve 2036. Quickly the engines on the shuttle power up to hyper drive and within a blink of an eye the shuttle was hurtling into the unknown.
As the engines came out of hyper drive to the slow hum of the engines whirling down, the crew were amazed to see bright and vibrant colours and some colours that they never even knew of their existence. The Beyond was truly an amazing place populated by different planets; a strangely coloured smallish purple planet, a large green planet and an extra large blue planet with 12 moons!
“This is amazing,” one of the crew members said as another took a photo of the new planets with their phone. Space in this new solar system was not like the black dullness back in our home solar system, instead it was alive with vibrant and pinkie blue tones. It made the solar system look more friendly and cute.
“Okay, enough lolly gagging and admiring the planets, now lets go and explore and investigate these new planets.”
The large shuttle slowly approached the small green planet. Once the shuttle had landed the crew members disembarked the shuttle to explore and collect samples form the planet’s surface. The crew called the planet Dormarous. As the doors on the shuttle open, the crew take their first steps on Dormarous. The planet seemed like earth, but as if they were in a rain forest.
“Interesting,” one of the crew members observed. “What?” another said, “The Eco system is exactly like Earth, we can breath this air, in-fact the oxygen here is purer that the oxygen on earth!”
Surprised the crew slowly remove their large metal helmets and took their first breathes. The place the crew discovered is not like any other known solar system, for the crew had found a self aware solar system, populated by self aware planets, suns, moons and stars.
As the crew of the shuttle were taking samples, one crew member dug a soil sample from the ground when there was a tremor beneath their feet. The crew member had just hurt Dormarous! At first the crew just thought it was a short anomaly nothing more than a mini quake. But it soon became apparent that it wasn’t a coincidence, but a known fact that every time a crew member stuck a metal object into the ground there would be a mini quake.
“That’s weird,” one crew member remarked.
“What is?” another enquired.
“It seems that every time I poke the ground it causes a mini quake!”
The crew member was right! In fact it was unsettling creepy that the planet could feel pain and the crew wondered if they could do more things to the planet, make it feel emotions. But how would the crew be able to accomplish something like this? The crew could never have imagined that they would encounter something so bizarre or something as strange as this.
The crew returned to the shuttle to collect some equipment and electronics to further test the question ‘Does the planet feel like any other sentient being?’ As strange as it is, the crew were very creative in how they tested this theory. The first test had already been completed and results had strongly indicated that the planet may indeed feel pain. One of the crew members documented the events that had taken place on their time on the strange planet they named Dormarous, while the rest of the crew were trying to test the theory ‘Could the planet feel anger and depression?’ Their first attempt went as a fail. The crew tried shouting at the planet, but nothing happened. Then the crew started arguing with each other about what they were going to do to be able to make the planet feel other emotions. Just as they were arguing, the planet started to violently shake and the equipment started to go off the charts with 7.9 magnitude quakes. Right at that moment the quakes ended, a deep loud voice shouted ‘SILENCE!’ Shocking the whole crew.
The crew became increasingly concerned about their safety.
‘DON’T YOU PEOPLE HAVE ANY SANITY!’ The planet Dormarous asked incredulously.
One crew member shouted out ‘Who are you what do you want from us?’
In reply the planet Dormarous continued to speak ‘WHY ARE YOU BEINGS SO DECEPTIVE AND CONNIVING?’
‘Us conniving and deceptive?’ One crew member responded indignantly.
Dormarous started to become angry and more agitated and annoyed. ‘THAT’S IT! I’VE HAD ENOUGH!’
Suddenly a hole opened up and devoured the shuttle craft.
‘TO GET THE SHUTTLE BACK YOU WILL HAVE TO PASS A SERIES OF TESTS TO PROVE TO ME THAT YOU ARE WORHTY TO BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE! PROVE TO ME YOU ARE ALL WORTHY AND YOU WILL GET YOUR SHUTTLE BACK AND ALL BE ALLOWED TO LEAVE IN PEACE. KNOW THIS, FAILURE FOR ONE IS FAILURE FOR ALL AND THERE WILL BE DIRE CONSEQUENCES FOR FAILURE, TO SPEND THE REST OF YOUR LIFE ON THIS PLANET AND DIE HERE OR TO DIE IMMEDIATELY, YOUR FATE IS NOW IN YOUR HANDS. CHOOSE WISELY AND BE CAREFUL.’
Do you wait patiently for me
To come along and set you free
I’ve heard plenty an aged tale told
Of the magic a Dandelion holds.
Is that so little wishing flower?
Do you have such magic power?
I bid of thee, fly free, Blessed Be.
Bring my heart’s desire back to me!
Scatter through the fields and trees
Soft starburst on the gentle breeze
Treasured seed falls to Mother Earth
Within each one the promise of rebirth