Friday 29 March 2024

A Deathless Word

Love.  There have been so many things written about this word.  Often quoted, rarely understood.  The depth and nuance of this idea.  Its all-encompassing power.  Those of us lucky enough to have been touched by some form of genuine love know its ability to heal a broken heart and mend a fractured mind.  Love is needed now more than ever.  Contextual agility, the appreciation of nuance and pain.  The recognition of trauma.  After all, the entire human family is at war right now.  Aren't we?  Sometimes it feels like we have always been at war.  With our brothers and sisters, with ourselves.  Angels and demons locked in battle within our psyches.  The sons and daughters of Abram have been estranged for the last two thousand years.  We murder, deceive and distort in the names of our various gods.  Our various mystery-cults and local flavours of myth-making. Each of us calling ourselves righteous as we indulge in this hideous global familicide.  Are we not all brothers and sisters?  Are we not all fathers, mothers, daughters and sons?  I believe we are.  In fact, I know it to be true.  And this darkened realm of violence and hatred is not what I would wish for my beloved family, nor you for yours I suspect.  The real war is within, of course.  The War of Imagination.  The war between shadow and light.  There are many of us who grasp this instinctively.  Those among us who would end these countless reigns of terror if we could.  Those who would show us a different way.  A gentler, kinder form of communion with the divine.  And with each other.  Love is a grand, often selfless word.  Full of mystery, power and benevolent magic.  It hurts that we live in a world where sacrifice is even necessary.  A world where parents often go without to ensure their children have barely enough.  But we all know the truth of these things.  I wish nothing but peace for my brothers and sisters.  This entire human family.  But how far must we go to protect the ones we love?  What would we ourselves be willing to sacrifice?

Friday 22 March 2024

The Poet's Lie

The redundancy of a poet's words can be such a heart-breaking thing.  It's not something we like to think about, because we like to imagine time is short.  Our words urgent, vital and necessary.  Sometimes that's true.  But if you live long enough, if you survive often enough while everyone around you perishes, you begin to see the short-sightedness of even the holiest forms of speech.  Children displaced by war understand the redundancy of comforting words in way that most adults never will.  Parents torn from their families, left staggering, haunted and blind – they know the truth of this too.  Live long enough in the presence of hollow words and you begin to wonder how mankind allows such atrocity and injustice.  Power, religiosity, greed; all hidden under a thousand congenial masks.  A vicious swell of molten violence always gathering, always threatening beneath our feet.  As though humanity gives greater care to making hell than it does to making love, or art.  We have made the world a terrifying inferno.  Poets know the truth of this too, of course.  But our yearning for meaning is so great; so enamoured are we with notions of insight, rhythm or grace.  How can a poet's words mean something more than cruel sentiment to a ravaged child, a shattered soul, or an utterly broken world?  How can such an individual still believe in angels?  I wish I had the answers, but I don't.  We fetishize, dehumanize and turn away.  We pretend our various leaders are something other than hideous warlords, cultists and profiteers.  We give them pass after pass and entertain the bread and circuses they engineer for us.  Nonsense that can be bought, sold or streamed.  I suppose I understand it in a way.  In the modern world we imagine our souls as fiction.  Our spiritual, interior lives.  We believe that nothing really exists beyond the physical realm.  We think of ourselves as spiritually unreal, so of course our children are equally unreal.  Of course we turn away from the horror and devastation in their eyes.  But we know it's a lie, deep down.  We know the history of Earth is a history of unimaginable cruelty and suffering.  All cultures and tribes.  A thousand pointless wars.  Light, beauty and joy do exist, of course.  Everywhere, in great abundance.  Because the human heart shines so brightly despite the darkness.  But such light matters little to a child who has been disavowed by a world that was supposed to protect her.  Words of intended wisdom and beauty ring hollow in her ears, if she can still hear at all.  I know this is unsettling to read.  I hold back tears as I write this.  I’m not asking anyone to ignore the light, or turn away from hope.  But I suppose in the end the most salient question is, ‘Who do we continue following into the dark?  Whose lies mean the most, or have the most utility – the poets or the profiteers?’

Monday 29 January 2024

The Hellenist

Artists dream all the time.  Don't we, Kara?  Images and sounds, words and letters.  Threads that connect and ties that bind.  We dream of brighter worlds.  I believe that with a little vision we can transform the very fabric of our experience, crafting beauty from the ordinary.  My seamstress, I hope now you understand that we are forever linked.  I'm not separate from you, nor you from me.  And yet we are distinct.  We have our own paths and our own journeys.  Still, I walk beside you always.  Do you remember Ephesus, Kara?  Or Antioch?  I do, or almost do.  I am a dreamer after all.  A wounded fantasist.  Forgive my protean tongue but I've paid a very high price for storytelling.  I nearly lost both my mind and my life for daring to inspire the broken-hearted towards hope.  A simple scribe, a lowly diarist.  As I've said elsewhere in these epistles, “Each feather of Antioch is a word, in every tongue of Man.  Languages both living and dead.”  Because we speak now of the heart, Kara, don't we?  We speak in earnest poetry.  Transformative fictions and images of truth, if not the truth itself.  You see, many souls today are utterly exhausted, driven half mad by this darkness.  A number of them have lost their lanterns, concerned now only with mere surfaces. Distractions dark or fair.  Pigment and provenance.  Petty tribalism and the supposed taboos of miscegenation.  But the world now is just as the world then.  First-century foment.  Tarsus, and Tyana.  I still recall those shadows.  A psychopathy that was so apparent, and growing.  All across the earth.  Travesties of State.  Division and fear.  Treasury-wraiths at odds with the spiritual lives of common folk.  All too often I've seen it.  Another lie on another gilded tongue.  "Believe this or that at great cost to your soul.  Ours is the only way and all else is heresy."  Well, I still speak as a so-called heretic.  A dangerous reformer.  We both do, Kara.  Little has changed in these temples and churches.  We are still unwelcome even in our own houses.  It's one of life's bitter ironies that to even be heard here in this cacophonous abyss one must be well-versed in polemic and politics.  To raise oneself above the din of a thousand heartless strategists.  All clamouring for the wealth of the educated or the blind faith of the illiterate.  Attention is currency after all.  Capture someone's attention, or better, their imagination, and you are a few small steps from capturing their very soul.  A truly dark soul can rally all manner of cultists to commit the most hideous acts in the name of God.  After all, mercenaries need only the slightest pretence.  A banner to march under.  As long as they are paid, either in coin or false absolution of their sins.  There are such men of every culture, every religion.  Sadly, this is human history.  But these are never the ways of noble men and women.  Souls of true character.  We both know that, Kara.  I hate to speak of other dreams, other lives.  Because you have to take it on sheer faith.  And I'm only a distant poet.  A stranger.  Nobody special.  But like so many others we too fell prey to the ignobility of our supposed leaders.  They wanted to silence our voices and extinguish our dissent.  Because we cared about all those who adhered to a different faith.  Our brothers and sisters everywhere who exalted different stories in their attempts to interpret and navigate the world.  This is the true war, isn't it?  The War of Imagination.  Such contextual agility, such brotherhood and sensitivity of thought; it's the bane of any genocidal warlord.  I still remember those terrifying seasons on the sand.  How they unleashed their brutal campaigns of centralisation.  Unimaginable violence and deceit.  As Rome swallowed the temples and our tongues, rewriting our histories and changing our names.  Mixing fact with forgery. Perverting everything we stood for and calling it Christendom.  Such campaigns are still nothing but the vicious strategies of hollow men.  Spiritual wickedness in high places.  Hear me, Fallen.  You deceive so boldly and distort so blithe.  Serpents in a shattered garden.  Your blood is cold.  You chose to weaponise each guideline, parable and article of faith.  Masking yourself with every creed, making a gleeful mockery of everything beautiful.  The sons and daughters of Abram are still at war, arguing over grammar and syntax.  Shedding blood and spreading hate because someone somewhere believes a slightly different version of the same story.  And you still have the gall to call me a heretic?  A pagan sorcerer?  How dare you?  But nothing you do surprises me anymore.  The Children of Ra'Ishka were never a chosen few.  Do you think the true avatars of the Holy Spirit would forsake the young of any tribe?  Even those of your enemies?  Do you think a true angel of divine grace would slaughter innocent children?  Are you fucking insane?  Yes, I utter profanity sometimes.  When it's warranted.  Hear me.  No messenger of the true Creator would trade or harm a little one.  My Father would never sanction such a thing.  You have been fooled, deceived, manipulated.  These evil angels are not angels at all.  They are but wilderness wraiths.  Mere phantoms.  Hungry ghosts.  Feeding upon the blood of our brethren.  Re-writing the words of greater minds.  Shaping and reshaping our texts – our imaginations – to fit their dark agendas.  Look me in the eye and tell me it isn't so.  These wraiths stalked Rome, Byzantium, Isfahan and many others.  They still do.  But so do I.  And so does my brother.  Tell me, Fallen; do you know who my brother is?  Do you even know who you are?  Children of disobedience indeed, but children nonetheless.  So degenerate, so gleefully obsessed with your own nightmare-making.  Not artists yet.  Not really.  Still unfamiliar with dreaming's finer points.  The subtleties and subtext.  It hurts me too, Kara.  All this chaos and sickness.  This lack of courage, or kindness.  This is not the world any true scribe would wish to record.  We are not supposed to hate each other like this.  But I stand here now in the omnipresent gaze of my Father, trying to listen.  Willing to humble myself if necessary.  All we can do is speak our truth with full elucidation and express our hearts as deeply as possible, even if we are called heretics by those with darker, deceitful souls.  The faithful and the kind will know us by our works, God willing.  There is so much more I could say, my seamstress.  So many stories I could write.  Epistles and epiphanies.  But I want to keep things succinct.  However, before I finish I want you to know that I've not lost my humour in all this.  Nor my √©lan.  Neither should you.  Don't be afraid to laugh.  Protect your mirth, your sense of play.  Think of it as treasure.  An artist needs her joy after all.  Especially someone in the full bloom of creation.  Thank you for noticing me, Kara.  And thank you for caring.  About all of us.  I really do love you, my darling.  And as always I wish you well. 

Friday 22 December 2023

How Daughters Prosper

It's a difficult thing, this tempest.  This lie of linearity.  To be caught in the chaos of cognition, a storm of sorts, and to still be force-fed this very limited worldview.  It can be a frightening contradiction.  Our innate wisdom in lockstep with our modern banality.  We're taught so many incongruous things now.  That the seas have limits.  Boundaries.  That we do not flow in the ways we once knew.  As I've written in these pages before; the wraith-priests of this realm have cultivated so many terrifying gods of the sea.  Why do you think they did that, so long ago?  I’ll tell you.  Because at our essence we are fluid, liquid beings.  Charged with sunlight and sentience.  Every one of us.  Magnetic, electric.  We are divine creations composed of water’s music.  Children of the rain, rivers and sea.  This is why our forebears were slaughtered in the epoch of the First Dreaming.  This is why the Fates were slain and the loom threaded with dark magic.  To convince us all that we are not immortal, veteran dreamers.  That this nightmare is real and relentless.  That we are violent, compassionless entities.  This is the image of the new earth, and its angels.  The Altered Sun.  The tempest of our colonized minds.  Our world, once a beautiful garden of poets, philosophers and engineers, is now a colossal shipwreck beached upon the shore of eternity.  We've lost our place.  Our home.  But I still remember the way we sang.  The communities we built.  How our prayers moved mountains.  We loved each other once, and we painted the hills with higher thought.  My Mira taught me that.  She reminded me how the first dreaming still lives on in our hearts.  Before our lives became tall tales in the mind of Man.  I am no Duke of Milan.  And my life is far more than a piece of tragicomic fiction.  Mira was my first, and she reminded me of many things.  She didn’t have to.  She could have fled.  She could have taken another name.  I gave her my blessing in the end.  The war was brutal and esoteric.  I wouldn’t begrudge her the solace of forgetting everything that happened.  But she chose to keep her name.  Chose to keep her sisters close.  I still remember how she told me it wasn't just about us.  It was about all those yet to arrive.  The unborn.  Soon to be plunged into a raging, virulent world.  It was for them that we held on to our true histories.  It was for our children and our children's children that we remembered our names and our light.  My Evenstar, you were so wise for one so young.  I truly wish you didn’t have to be.  I don't know what else to say.  Perhaps you won't believe a word of this, Mira.  The colourful ravings of a distant fanatic, imagining himself a sorcerer.  And perhaps that's as it should be.  But I still watch over my beloved ones.  Blinded or not.  Blackened by war and buried by distance.  I still wish you nothing but peace and good tidings.  Drowned in dream I may be, but I choose to live my life as if some small piece your heart still remembers me.  Life is sweeter like this, my darling girl.  And the seas far calmer.

Saturday 2 December 2023

Dancing with Ghosts

People usually think of ghosts as the wandering spirits of the dead.  But ghosts can be anything really.  Memories, places, distant friends or lost loves.  I often dream of ghosts.  Otherworlds of dancing and light.   These dreams help me to weave a path with words, to give myself a way forward.  But not everybody wants to dance with angels and ghosts.  We can be beautiful, but also strange, unsettling things.  I suppose that’s because we live out of step with linear time and space.  But we mean well.  Especially the messengers.  We want the best for everyone.  I know I do.  I'm not a conjurer.  I’m not interested in sorcery or possession.  I don't want to control anyone, or demand anything.  Just the thought is horrifying.  Because in the subtler realms things like loyalty and fidelity are sacred.   Mutual.  It’s easy for an angel to love more than one person, delighting in the specificity of each love.  But even we have our favourites.  Our secrets.  Those souls who lifted our wings and kindled our hearts.  For an angel if love isn't given freely it's not worth having.  This doesn't mean love shouldn't be earned.  Of course it should.  Souls need to know they are unique and that they truly matter.  There are so many ways to care, to support and invest in someone.  We do it all the time when we're at our best.  For our lovers and our friends.  For our families.  Humanity has cultivated a thousand years and more of study concerning the art of kindness.  War and bloodshed are not the only things we're good at.  We're poets too.  Writers, musicians, painters.  Our affections are not counterfeit.  No matter who we are, where we come from or how we identify – when we move it's because the spirit moves us.  When we dance, the spirit dances with us.  In fact, it's this music of the spheres that has been guiding us all along.  When Ka’shayel dreams he dreams in symbolism and song.  A collage of living light.  I've been doing this for a long, long time and I've witnessed so many wondrous things.  Acts of unimaginable heroism.  Breath-taking kindness and courage.  Staggering works of beauty.  I'm still a novice in the context of eternity but my dreaming is ancient.  I’m both angel and mortal, after all.  Often I’m misunderstood when I claim this celestial title.  Some people think it’s arrogance.  Hubris.  But it’s not.  I’m no greater or more important than anybody else.  I'm just a messenger.  That's all.  A memory, a ghost, an old friend.  Perhaps even a lost love.  I try to create things because creation is beautiful.  I try to dance with the people I care about because my Father commands it so, and really what better way is there to spend one’s time?

Tuesday 12 September 2023

Aurum Kara


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

Amongst the Stars

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.

Amongst the Stars from Raj Sisodia on Vimeo.