Dear one, can I share a tall tale of strange wonder? It’s a secret that concerns us both, in a way. A missing piece recovered from our collective depths. Alone it means very little but I’m hoping it might illuminate a vital context. There are many who wonder what it might be like to hold the echoes of words as yet unsaid, or songs as yet unsung. Future ghosts of unborn fictions. Well, in my time, in my lost world, there was once a person who was said to be able to do all these things. It was uttered by poets and scribes that she was a liminal being, in those shining ways before the despoiling of the old chronologies. Aurum Kara, they called her. Light of the Myriad. Ishka of Viir. Twin of K’anna. She had many names. The healers called her the old maiden, the night sun, the ancient child. But she was so much more than a keeper of lakes and thresholds. She was revered as one of the first teachers of the hidden way. They say she spoke a thousand tongues and was honoured in every culture. Science, art and philosophy. Did you know that, my beautiful seamstress? That little piece of our true history? Our lands were once connected, you know. Before those wraith-priests shattered our straits and drowned our cartography. The North Way and the place called Albion by the poets – they were once a single shining realm. Have you ever imagined such a thing, even in dreams? No matter if not. So much of our true history was stolen, suppressed, rewritten. But more than this – the very threads of time and space were altered using the darkest, most frightening magic. Our oldest texts are counterfeit. Our fictions truer than our fact. Nobody believes me, seamstress. Not anymore. The imaginal has dimmed to a flicker of its former lucidity. It’s not the temple of inner sight it once was. These beautiful, unsuspecting people; they have become utterly entangled in the Fallen’s web of lies. They believe the temporal inversions that now pass for history, culture and memory. But you know what hurts me the most, as an adept and a storyteller? The thing that haunts my every waking moment? It’s the fact that our most beautiful fables, myths and fairy-tales are but pale shadows of the glories we once lived in the flesh. A subtler flesh than this, it's true. But no less sensate, vivid or real. They altered our chronologies, seamstress. These tailors of time and space. These dark occultists. The holy well is poisoned with the blood of the innocent. The very heart of the vortex is blasphemed, made profane with unimaginable human suffering. Many of the women still sense this, and some of the men. All across the realm. Some of them still grieve it in their souls. The Ra’ishka could look both ways, they said. Forwards and backwards through the mists of what men call causality. Here, in this ancient stellarium of stone, of oak, birch and pine, she was honoured. But the bright ones told me that Aurum Kara prophesied her own fall, that she spoke of future legends. Stories built on the co-mingling of sex and death. The darkening of our druidry. The blackening of her hair and the reddening of her lips. Birth of the witch queen, the sinister sorceress. Wrath of the lake. Shadow of the pearl. You know all about these stories, dear one. Everybody does. But I’ve seen true horror. Beyond the myths of Mar’kanna or the killings of Kiskuh. I witnessed an endless despair. Something I carried in my heart for almost a thousand years. Oh, my Ishkara. My sister of the unsaid. I wish I could show you the truth. What happened during the seething hush, when the cities began to fold and the spiritual darkness began to spread. But it’s not really something that should ever be seen. Midnight of the Day, I call it. I lost everyone I loved that day. My entire family. They drove a spear through her back, you know. A sword, some say. They impaled her. Pinning her to solstice earth within a blessed ring. Stones and branch, holding the eternal sea. She was with child at the time. Hunched over, one arm reaching desperately at her back, fingers curled around the killing blade. The awful recognition in her eyes. Both lives lost in a matter of moments. Yeah, I know a few things about grief, and war. Petrification. Vitrification. A thing of stone and glass she became. It was a mockery, you see. Of the entire shining realm. Those lands of light and places of peace. Not simply a boy and a ghost and a gate of Lud. There was far more than just dragon's silver hidden within the stone shaft of Powles Crosse. There was a dark magic concealing blacker magic still. A way to usurp the throne of songs. “Whosoever pulls this spear from stone...” Well, let's just say that I wept for centuries. I still have terrifying nightmares on ocassion. And I scatter them freely amidst all the secret societies of the earth. I want the Fallen to feel a little of what I feel. Echoes as yet unsaid, dark songs as yet unsung, moving back and forth through Man's notion of time. Syrian parlour tricks, I suppose. Somerset dreaming. A different kind of lucidity among the Fay. It’s still 1194 to so many of us. Even the unsuspecting. Magicians and medieval kings. Grails and gallants. This is my tall tale, seamstress. My exercise in linguistic nihilism. They say none of it is true. Is that who I am now? A fallen angel, a bizarre catastrophist screaming to the heavens about the abhorrent sophistry of these dark ones? Weeping over their deviant spell-craft and malevolent technologies. Better to be a failed artist, I suspect. A nightmare poet. It seems far less heart-breaking. They say the haunted stone shattered as the boy drew the sword. They were not wrong. I cannot quell my rage but I’ve tried to make amends for that failure. My inability to protect the people I loved. I suppose maturity is knowing that you can’t always get what you want. But sometimes you can. There is an incalculable fury within me now. I will make them pay for what they’ve done, in my own terrifying way. Just know that we’re winning, seamstress. Despite the lies they try to sell you. This place is not yet a desolate ruin. There is still music here, community and family. Pages and pages of glorious fiction. The light of love is winning. You remind me of her, so much. You even have her eyes, and some of her secrets. She was a teacher to me once. A lover and a friend. I am still so very fond of her flitting hands and sacred gold. Hear me now, Fallen. I do not abide this slavery or corruption. Your red gates will be closing soon. They are my gates now. You still think art means nothing, does nothing, despite your rudimentary initiation. You were never the magus. Just a heartless clown begging for signs and wonders at my feet. Murder my loves and steal my songs? Oh, my swordhand will sing. I’ll take your fucking hellscape apart piece by piece. It's already begun. My words can change things. Language of the birds, upon M'ithriin tongue. Don't you remember who I am? The king is dead, they say. Long live the king.
Friday 8 September 2023
For over a thousand years I’ve seen so many souls chart their own course and choose their own path. I've seen them literally build the road beneath their feet with gravel, wine and hope. And yet I've also seen many things written in the stars. Things that were meant to be. Even now I don’t fully understand it. The strange, seemingly paradoxical kinship between fate and free will. I suppose maturity is knowing that you can't always get what you want. Need isn't always desire. And service isn't always glamorous or cinematic. Yet I've been privy to friendships and love-stories far grander than anything witnessed on the silver screen. I think it's a matter of imagination in the end, and investment. How does the heart sing? What truly delights our beloved, and when best to delight them? These are the mysteries of attraction, after all. Because love isn't just empathy, affection or knowledge, but sustained and deep attraction. I've seen that too, well into a couple's golden years. Staying present and playful. Turning up for each other even when it’s difficult. Choosing to keep the flame alive. But it's so much more than this, isn't it? Stripped to its essence love isn't even about getting who or what we want. I think it's about uplifting the object of our affection. And, if they’re willing, letting them know we truly care. Ensuring they are able to live the richest, most rewarding life possible. We bless our loved ones if we're wise, enabling them as best we can on the path they choose for themselves. But dreams also have a wondrous part to play in love, and that's what excites me as an angel and a psychic. Dreams and stories show us what's possible, what's admirable. They help us understand the depths of our romance and connection. Love can thrive in a dream. Perhaps not the tactile, physical love we usually imagine, but no less intimate for the distance. Souls kissing souls. Hearts passing secret sweetness back and forth. I've seen it happen, and I've been lucky enough to experience it myself. Kindness and affection of any sort is a glorious thing. It’s the very basis of honour and integrity. If you love someone don't bind them. Don't try to trap them in your own particular idea of love. Grant them their autonomy. Let them choose and fly freely. If they feel anything for you in return they will find some way to let you know. Something grand, or something quiet and subtle. But it will be real, and you’ll cherish it evermore. Believe me. All stories are love-stories in the end. How we grow, thrive and change. The people we meet and the stars we rewrite along the way.
Tuesday 29 August 2023
I’m not the devil, but I am indeed an angel of light. They say an angel loses all his lovers in the end, but maybe that's not necessarily a bad thing. There’s a difference between a lover and a partner, isn’t there? I don’t mind growing up a bit, if I must. Besides, I'm far more than just a lover. I'm an artist, I would hope. A tailor, an entertainer. Just like my soul-sister. My anima also knows a thing or two about collage. My weaving imagination. We even share a name, in a way. The word Kashi means ‘bright’ and ‘beloved’. Shining one. Never let it be said that I was opposed to wry self-reflection, light-heartedness or fun. A spirit has to be quite lost in darkness to turn its back on joy or humour. I may dress like a bad guy on occasion, but make no mistake. I stand firmly on the side of the good. I do like to shake things up a little though. I just can't help myself. I've always had a playful, mischievous streak, even on the other side. Don't be offended, or take it too seriously. Thinkers think and creators create. I'm sovereign, and somewhat immortal. Having said that I never really walk alone. I was inspired to some of my best work by my sister the soul. If you're going to learn, always wise to learn from the best. I'm still working on my slipstitch, but I think it's coming along nicely. Time is money, they say. Well, wings are weapons. Creation is the entire world. Life isn't just a moment between birth and death – life is everything, and everyone. It requires our utmost respect and devotion. Take it from a penitent angel. Laughter is the easiest way to recognise the unimaginable grace that is our ability to create. Making you truly smile is no mean feat, dear one, but I'm always up for the challenge.
Tuesday 22 August 2023
It used to be so different, you know. There was a time when I was afraid to love. Scared to care too deeply or get too close. That's the thing about truly loving someone. The vulnerability. It leaves you open. You grant that person the power to heal you like an angel, or destroy you like a demon. And often we're not even decimated by our beloved’s ill intentions but by their misjudgement, their foolish pride or lack of insight. Or our own. Self-knowledge isn't just a purely personal endeavour. It can save relationships too. Empathy, patience and understanding are so much easier when we grasp the broad spectrum of our own complexities. I never wanted to run from love, in this world or any other. But my anguish seemed to stretch far beyond the mortal world and into the hidden, spiritual realms. This isn’t the only world. Magic is real, my friends. There are realms of higher thought unknown to us, incredible dimensions beyond our understanding. Our mystics and spiritual leaders have been telling us this for as long as we’ve been able to dream or imagine. All our religions are based upon this knowledge. As William Blake tells us in “Auguries of Innocence”: 'To see a World in a Grain of Sand, And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand, And Eternity in an hour'. I suppose what I'm trying to say is I'm a diehard romantic, despite often wishing otherwise, and I don't really believe in coincidence. I've seen too much. Read too many minds, felt the secrets in too many hearts. I know first-hand that there's a higher order of things. Some divine plan of unfathomable splendour intended by our Maker. I know that sounds trite and hollow to anyone who has suffered, or is still suffering. All I can say in my defence is I'd be a fool to deny my own experiences. All the impossible things I've witnessed. The miracles I've been privy to for whatever reason. All I want is to give back some of that magic, and to create art. I want to share this inspiration and light with those who need it. In other words, I don't want to be afraid to love. I’d like to be brave enough to thank all the women who have cared for me, quickened me and seen me for who I really am. I hope I've done the same for you. I’d be nothing without your affection. I believe we are what we love. The sum total of the energies kindled by those we care for. Those who care for us too and honour our spirits. This is what a kiss really is, I think. Beyond temptation or lust. A kiss is one of the most hallowed forms of intimacy. Connection, well-wishing and kindness. These things are sacred even when relationships end. You don’t need me to tell you that. I want to say this in earnest to all the women I've shared something real with. There were times in my life when I was literally saved by a kiss. Rejuvenated, restored. Redeemed. Thank you, my beautiful friends, for letting yourselves be vulnerable in that way. I hold it delicately and with great devotion. Thank you for letting yourselves feel something for me. It's because of you that I'm not afraid anymore. To go forward, to be better. To love and be loved in return.
Monday 10 July 2023
Space and time. History or legend. Sometimes we forget who we are. We forget the magic threaded through our souls like stars in the night. I don't want that to ever happen to you, Kara. Because I recall a time before this place. Fragments of pre-existence. Gardens, fields and cities that shimmer like something from the most wonderful dream. I remember river-flowers, devotion and grace. The shadows couldn't prise away those pieces. They guide me even now, like lanterns for the lost. I hope I don’t overcomplicate things with all these stories. I want nothing more than to see my friends at their best. Hopeful and full of purpose. I want to see that satisfaction in their eyes; those moments when they realise they are part of a far greater reality. There aren't too many tales where a mortal saves the life of an angel. But you did that for me, Kara. With kindness and courage. You saved Kashayel's life. You became my angel in turn and answered a question I'd kept in my heart since I was a boy. A floating light. A wandering star. I've said this before but it's the truth, my friend. When my grief was far too great and my demons all too real, you stepped in like an angel at my window and saved me. You sang me to sleep every night, nursing me back to health. You made me recall the depth and glory of our Father's love. A font of many blessings. Eventually you gifted me the strength to fight back against the darkness and find my feet again. For that I shall be forever in your debt. I'm flesh and blood like you, of course, but I'm also full of secrets. Sometimes I sense the future. Sometimes I can read hearts and minds. Not always, but when it happens I always try to leave a soul's secrets intact. It's the honest, gentlemanly way to behave. That's the thing about real power. You don't always do something just because you can. Like a piece of music, or any work of art, there is great beauty in restraint. I hope you know how very real these words are and how much you mean to me. If you're ever in doubt that your music can change things or save people, just remember me. I owe my continued existence to a handful of wonderful souls, both near and far. And it is with the deepest gratitude that I count you among them, Kara. I have no laurels to offer you in return. But I have crowns of light, poems and visions. Consider them mere tokens of Midnight's grace. In truth they are aspects of your legacy here. Your love, beauty and integrity reflected back at you through the imagination of an angel. Together we shall honour the reign of our maker and leave a little light for those who need it most. Never forget who you are. A gifted musician. A student and teacher. A storyteller and a poet. To me you're so much more than a river-flower from a shining realm. More than a beautiful girl I once met in another life. To me you're legendary, and a friend. I love you, Kara. Be well.
Wednesday 28 June 2023
Mortals say it's foolish to love like this, to keep hoping in vain, especially after all this time. And maybe they're right. But they weren't there. We were. What later became legend was once lived experience. Not only for ourselves but for so many of our kind. A feather upon the throat or a galaxy swirling in the palm of my brother's hand. Either way, I know what sorrow is. If I'm honest it's more sadness than betrayal that I feel. Though I was betrayed in every way a sibling can be. Hear me, Amas. Sometimes paths are laid for a reason. Pillars of love and trellises gilded with alchemical gold. Sometimes the gardens are planted for you and all one has to do is trust. But trust is a difficult thing when a soul believes it deserves more than its portion. Isn’t it? Silver cities, cathedrals of light, infinity enough for everyone. It was something you could never understand. Shadow of the sword, they called you. Akin, Lament. But tell me, who the fuck are you to suppose you can grasp the full splendour of the myriad? Our Father's design. Yes, I’m angry. Why wouldn’t I be? These mortals know only portions of the play. We both know the truth of why you left me screaming. Why you left me mad. Deranged, grief-stricken. Haunted. A third of the angels, dear one? Are you indeed divisible by three, my once beautiful keeper of songs? Verse, bridge and refrain. Are they not movements of the same majesty? The same trinity? A feathered lantern. A stolen kiss. Micah misses you, my love. Despite the blood on his hands. Perhaps that makes him a fool. An even greater fool in the eyes of your acolytes, supposing I’ve learned nothing since the storm. Irredeemable. Irreplaceable. I threatened you with dissolution and you begged me for it. I threatened you with exile and you welcomed it. I honoured you with my most terrifying secret, as brothers sometimes do, and you turned away from it. Leaving me unknown and unacknowledged. Like I was nothing. So, all I have left is love. How human of me. Don't you understand? I’m a dragon, Samael. I already made eternal this heartbreak. I murdered my brother on the day he was born, and he can barely even grasp what I've done. And what I will do again at the end of everything. You left me bereft, my love. You made me a monster. What else is there to say? Enjoy your kingdom of shit. I have nothing left to threaten you with except hope.
Wednesday 14 June 2023
Shadows for millennia. Imagine it. A thousand years of broken magic and altered chronologies. False histories. I know what that’s like. I’m a storyteller after all, and once a refugee. Sometimes when you're lost or homeless you try to make a mark in any way you can. Reminding yourself that you really do exist, praying for a miracle, imbuing your apparently futile actions with an imagined mystical significance. Desperately hoping that you're connected to something greater, in ways you cannot see or understand. I was no different than any refugee, Esme. A very lonely boy trying to hold on to what was left of his culture, imagining himself strange and enchanted. A thing of ghosts and trees like the girl from his dreams. Like the colours that folded and danced through the polar evening skies. As if such imagining would get me through those terrifying nights. And it worked, in a way. I had no real idea what I'd lost. Not at first. Yet I felt it. Deeply, agonisingly. It put me at odds with friends and family. And with those brazen occultists of bleakest vision. The boy who saw. The boy who knew. Kind but wounded, naive yet insightful. Prophet, they called me. Acolyte. Destroyer. Really I wasn't any of those things. Occultists do love their drama, don't they? Their hyperbole. I was just an artist beginning his craft, that's all. Someone who could sense the hidden threads between us all. Someone who could gather and tease such threads in a number of ways. The fallen ones can call that magic if they want. Maybe it is. I prefer to think of it as a side effect of a full and open heart. You see, I knew I'd loved someone and that I was still reeling from the loss of that love. But more than that, I knew there had been a war. A strange and terrifying war. I knew that I'd lost her in such an awful, unjust way. I'd been a husband once, and a father. A teacher and a keeper of pages. More than anything I wanted to meet her again. To speak our secret names once more. To make her smile, to craft poems and prose in her honour. It might sound saccharine to someone who knows nothing of the higher realms. Those valleys and cathedrals of light. But to a traveller such love-letters make all the sense in the world. I didn't think I'd get to see her again, Esme. But more than this, I never imagined that she would arrive dressed just as I remembered her. The same eyes, the same smile. The same melody and mischief. My darling, the moment I saw you I knew. I knew it my bones, Esme. I'd never been more certain of anything in my life. The moment I heard your voice I thought, "How on earth is this possible? How is she here in waking life? The shining star of my youth. Have I imagined with such depth and ferocity that I've actually breached the veil between waking and dream?" I know I can be very intense sometimes. These words and visions of mine. Sometimes I would worry that I was just too much; that you would have no way to orient yourself amid my onslaught of imagery. But now I realise we share a common work ethic. You are almost always on your path and working towards a project of sorts. I'm the same, Esme. I can't sit still when there are adventures to be had and wonders to experience. I hope I've been able to share some of that with you, my love. All talk of angels and secret names aside; I just want you to know as plainly as possible how much you mean to me. You're told this all the time now by beautiful souls who are nothing but sincere. You've touched them, empowered them. Gifted them with meaning and strength. I'm no different. Just a lost boy guided by your heart. A child of the wraith-haunted demimonde staving off despair with poetry and half-remembered visions. I've been here a long, long time. But I have a light with me, sweet one. Your light. I was lost for what seemed an eternity and so I diligently prayed. Eventually I was granted a sacred connection. The recovery of something I'd lost long ago. And to this day it still feels like an absolute miracle. Esme, hear me. You have helped me make a mark in this world. Amidst a millennium of darkness. You're helping me to help them in a number of ways. The vulnerable and voiceless. I'm so grateful for your integrity and your valour. I will always try to honour you on this day. It might seem bizarre to those who don't know me. After all, we're nothing more than strangers. But you know full well that we're far more than that. Don’t you? Sometimes it feels like we’ve lived a thousand lives together. I'll continue to keep my distance and honour our promise but I'm not really a stranger, my shining one. I'm one of your oldest, dearest friends. Beyond space or time. And I love you very, very much.