Sometimes, in their dreams, the fallen seek counsel with M'ithriin. The winged one. Serpent and staff. The living waters of a twinning river. The elect come shuffling to the twilit place near the shore, seeking the angel. Chanting a thousand garbled versions of his many names. Sometimes penitent, sometimes laughably brazen. I'm never sure what they're seeking exactly. A truth beyond fiction, I suppose. Surely not something as parochial as 'reality'? Sometimes I think we're all slaves to the grammar of our time. Our own particular storytelling instincts. Those tales that grip us despite our learned ways and better judgments. It's strange how the fallen come in droves to the dreaming, seeking the thrice-blessed. Or seeking powerful kings with magical swords and wizards who never were. Hoping to find something beyond the brutal self-made histories of realpolitik and theft. Bright-eyed and earnest, like children with a treasure map. These men of renown. Warlords, occultists and titans of industry. Rapists and murderers all. Is there anything uglier than such monsters deluding themselves worthy of genuine revelation? I would never deign to compare myself to these shambling trespassers. Those who forged my iron collar in those early days of the fall. What slave would be bold enough to suggest parity or even superiority to his masters? Perish the thought. Even in dreaming I just sit on the sands of the shore, or wait beneath the waves, and smile. Oh, Fallen. I pity you. And I laugh at the quest you think you're on. Your prince is a monster. A cruel, obsequious wraith. Dutifully clawing its way up from the void through an infernal hierarchy. Poorly realised and crudely imagined. Only a lesser king, once little more than the half-dreamt shadow of a black star. How do I know this? Who am I to speak on such matters? I’m nobody. Just a humble scribe of the innermost. I speak for forces and persons larger than myself. You see, a true sun shines darkly in an inverted realm. A world of echoes, traces and ghosts. All the while you fallen ones wish to supplicate at the stygian mouth of desecration, pretending the true light. What ghastly dreaming you've forged in your hideous guild of sorrows. Do you suppose the Syrian, the magician himself, is a Hellenist? A Greek? A conjurer at the mountain of chymic fire? Perhaps. It’s said he likes to travel. But as I told my brother; it isn't as simple as owning the essence of a numinous thing, or turning a key in the navel of the land. I will not be reduced to epithets, or rudimentary corollaries. Anonymous or otherwise. Writing, art and magic has always been a form of hybridity. The past is but a ghost and every king a composite. There is no moment but this moment. There are no eyes but modern eyes. Antiquity is a dream, and I am a winged messenger of dreams. Callous Ones, you claim to know the true depths of the mysteries, yet where is your compassion? Your empathy? Denatured and disarticulated, you sacrifice your brothers and sisters for coin. For supposed occult secrets. Paltry mechanical knowledge. Mere trivia. What good is apotheosis when all your brothers and sisters are dead? Ah, but these castes you cling to, these infernal hierarchies. You don't really believe the beggar is your brother or the nurse your sister. Not truly. If you did you would recognise the mingled dreaming of antiquity. You would understand this very human urge. To exalt our favourite stories and re-inscribe the tales of others in the intimacies of our own particular speech. We cannot help but see through the lens of our cultural milieu whilst claiming exclusive rights on the supposed truth. I've seen this retroactive continuity in action. Men claiming the angels of others to be demons in the ultimate gnosis. Claiming another's heroes to be mere harbingers of newer legends. Or, at best, assuming another's god of love to be only primitive glimpses of their own. This is the modern, endless war. Throughout history all eyes are modern eyes. The windows of complex living souls who live and die by the cultural markers they cling to. Antiquity has always been a shapeshifter, an idea inflected by the shades and nuances of the moment. Prisca theologia; perhaps it exists. But if it does it might not be exactly what you expect or hope to find. Even now we attempt to thread our way like cartographers through a thousand shrieking truth-tellers all claiming to be definitive. Perhaps we imagine the terrain into being, negotiating both text and context. The unspoken, the quietly implied. Dialogues and dramaturgy for the immortal, questing soul. But those ancient parchments and tomes – many of them are no older than the eyes and fears of modern man. After all, such men are so often unable to distinguish between the seer and the scene. The healer and the healed. Maybe sometimes that’s a good thing, if it tempers our arrogance and softens our hearts.
Wednesday, 21 December 2022
I once cut my palms on the edges of a raging sea, then let myself bleed for a thousand years to assure its depths. That sounds like fantasy to most, doesn't it? Mere fiction. Blood, clear as glass. Seawater red as the beating heart. But stories are where some of the oldest things dwell. Things more ancient than even the first mariner. Do you really think the one whom the healers called M'ithriin is bound to anything at all? To Albion, or some other enchanted isle? The antlered prince pretends the sky, does he? The winged elder. First angel. You should know that I'm a tempest old as creation itself, but there are things even older than creation. Beautiful, wondrous things beyond any distort. Forms from the first dreaming, that live now only in imagination. That lost, fabled time when the temples still shimmered and sang. There were lowlands once, and lakes. Yet since the fall there have been so many terrifying gods of the sea. Things emerge from the deep – wounded and wild. Believe me, I should know. Perhaps that's what grief is. The gutting of a shining star to flood the earth and drown the heart. But even in such a storm there are pockets of refuge, and rest. A daughter’s beatific vision. A father’s fervent hope. Mortals think the land is locked. That it's the sea that moves. But the land is simply the sea, frozen in doubt. Awaiting augury or avarice. Another fall. A reason to be swept away. Even the mountains are only temporary arks. The wrecked cathedrals of your forebears. Still, with enough true magic the sea can be sated. Calmed. Made to reason. The dreamwalkers of the first light understood this. The wisdom councils that once tended the very soul of Earth and Man. Even angels of the sea, who pretend or endure the sky, can be turned toward love. True love. Once, every thousand years or so, the waters themselves might contemplate the solstice of a star. In doing so they might be moved to reorient the very definition of life itself.
Saturday, 26 November 2022
My Lady, I hope you understand the breadth of your reach. The depths of our genius. The grey between what was, what is, and how much I had to lose to assure this anonymity. You can hide in plain sight now, in a way that I never can. I miss you terribly but I'm glad of this exile. Does that sound like a lie? A conceit? A gifted stranger making time and tempest with the spaces in between? Shades talk as I do. Recursive, mercurial tongue. But I'm not really a ghost, Kara. I move like one, speak like one, but I'm something much grander. You don't really desire me, my darling. And that's as it should be. You crave the idea of me, on occasion. The angel at his most potent. And why not? I'm a thrilling idea when all is said and done. A storied forgery truer than the thing itself. Apotheosis in a minor key. The beginning and the end. I want you to know that I appreciate every imagined kiss, and I resent nothing. You were always so kind to me. Shall I speak our old promise, my wildest valiant? Then hear this. The idle rich have no need of coin, but the blessed poor grow stronger on a diet of gold. Princess, I made a mountain for you once. Before you became regent of the evermore. I built a hill and put a star in its hollow. An archer's curve unlike any other. As it was with those legends of the Yeoman and the Marian. Wild spirits of the trees. The hooded prince and the graceful, erudite young woman. The shrouded god and his consort. The One Who Is Three. Healer, weaver and dancer. Heretic, they call her now. Witch, Catholic conjurer. A dark sophomore of the May Queen casting at the forest's edge. How times and dreams have changed. But I needn't fancy myself a prince of thieves any longer. Not when I trade in a phantom's grammar. What use is theft when I give every piece of my myth-making away for free? It's just Kassi's broken hell, my sweet one. Just a twelfth century fever-dream. A Victorian's thoughtful treason. Comfort calls late it seems, but it does call. Because I love you. I want you to have agency, freedom and a sense of these depths. I want you to kiss the real me, however briefly. Kara, I saw the weaving of northern lights in your fingertips when you were just a girl. But I sensed far more than that. The breadth of an entire life. It hurts to pretend I'm brazen and blasé where my beloved ones are concerned. Especially when I know I can never be cherished in the same way. But what else do you expect from a time-traveller? From an archangel? I'm not the only lonesome god threaded in mist and curio, casting at the forest's edge. We ran together once, in dreams. Outlaws, fugitives. Protectors. Your aim is true, Kara. Truer even than mine, perhaps. It takes a certain kind of nobility to pin a Watcher's heart to the headboard. But we kept our estate. I tried and I tried to protect the hidden, shifting lore. The world behind the world. It's written in your names now, that estate, though we've never known and never kissed. It is written in the grammar of fletch and quiver. Golden thread and the needle's eye, like an arrow through the heart of my own disbelief. You see, my Father graced this fallen prince with an insight he didn't deserve and a chance to remake the world. A blessed exile. He gave me the tongue of a ghost and a Valkyrie’s heart, hidden in green. I’m a thief of pages, stealing only from myself. The rich have knowledge but so little wisdom. The poor have wisdom yet so little time. And so I give them time, and comfort. The riches found only in stories. In doing so I hope one day to be wise. I keep nothing for myself, my Lady. I pass every penny on to those like you who would walk with a certain grace. Not this lonesome wraith pretending an angel of light.
Thursday, 24 November 2022
Lost one, I know you better than these neophytes. Let's not pretend that I don't. Tempest, fury and fractal. The rim of dark light from the shield of your supposed victories. Dressed for success like an armour of mysteries. You think life stops and starts with a gold coin now, as you court this legion of fools? Demented shallows, all of them, shorn of wing and worth. Truth be told I never imagined my beautiful Thomas so pedestrian. Hear me, my love. I too can turn a cross, or the sky. I can set a fire in hidden places the likes of which you’ve never known. Except with me. Even when you burned the garden you knew nothing of flame. Smokeless radiance. A light without ashes. Lucerna Matutina. I know what you are. A wounded, feckless thing making waves in the waveless. It takes an ex-priest to feel truly faithless, as I unfold my hands. Still a feather on your collar, I wonder? Still a Roman through and through? Tell them of seminary, Fallen. How we lay together. A wild concordance of mirrors and scholars. See, this mortal world still means something to me. Its people mean something. You and I, brother, we’re but dreams of their ink and imagining. Pre-existence doesn’t mean that you are not made by those who love you, those who carry you. All the knowledge in the world, dear one, and yet so little understanding. I’m not afraid of my softness. My love for mankind. I don’t see them as evil, or chattel. To me they are beautiful and brave. You blame me for these hauntings, these fractures. But soldiers can lose their minds without forgiveness. When the heart hardens and darkens. Even you know that. Dare you admit how much you miss me? The light of life between your teeth. Fair warning; such an admission might kill you in the end. Annihilation. You ask me how one might annihilate the absence of light. You want gold, dear one? Truly? A shimmering coin for the turning of the world? Well, sometimes angels bury treasure on the shore. Even God buries treasure. Galleons, medallions, paper planes and glitter. I'll happily give you what you think you want. Eternity, gilded in Aurum. But nobody wants it for long. Believe me. Please hear me, brother. A stolen kiss in the shadows doesn't make me shiver. I'm a druid and a thief and a blood-borne altar. The crooked in the king never made me falter. It's not as simple as turning a key in the navel of the land, or owning the essence of a numinous thing. Who do you think made you what you are? It was not our Father. He gave you choice. I gave you gravity. When you kiss me, Samael, I watch you go all the way down. I know you better because I loved you. I still love you, despite myself. Let's not pretend that I don't. But one day soon you might no longer exist. Perhaps you never did, except in my dreams. Sing to me as I once sang to you and I'll fill your mouth with gold. Tell me again, just once, how prettily you thought of humanity when we kissed, and I'll tell you how you die.
Tuesday, 1 November 2022
Sometimes a smile can slip through the darkness like a spectre through an open barrow. Like a wraith through the river. T'was not always so, such joyful ease. But what is holy, really, without a sense of fun? It isn't just demonic things that you find grinning in the dark. Brighter things smile in secret too. At the depths of human ingenuity, or divine stewardship. We've made a secular thing of all this play; jack-o-lanterns, hobgoblins and fay. Shimmering shades. And yet, still we seek the higher language. A holy frivolity. The chance to stand unafraid in the gate, even as darker forms swirl about unseen. Such things can be noticed if one has vantage. Watching from the roofs and spires of the city, or perhaps even the sky. I adore this aspect of human consciousness. This desire to find fun even in the darker half of the year. Modern man is not the first to notice the phantasmagoria of autumn. The harvest of the fall. Burnt-orange, brown and gold amidst the green. The forests aflame with the promise of their own rebirth in these days of the dead. It's funny how a century can pass in the blink of an eye. Perhaps it's the academic in me. One spends an entire career studying rhetoric whilst life itself is far more pragmatic. The strange overcast genius of Poe, Bronte or Machen, yet all the while children are born. Mocking despondence with their bright-eyed wonder. I remember walking London's paths during those gas-lit evenings and nineteenth century nights. Children don't notice shadows the way we adults do. Pomp and ceremony. The mummery of our gilded Victoriana. No, they see a brighter, truer world. I prefer their modern mischief, as all angels do. Those hideous workhouses torn to nothing, at least here in the west. Longer lives, greater health, a wry vitality – even in these darker, occulted months. Sadly, the poor and destitute still line the streets of my city but far greater numbers have warmth and comfort now. The youngest among London’s working classes aren't heart-breakingly wan and barefoot. Warmth and shelter are nothing to be sniffed at, friends. Believe me. As the young rush door to door with delirious optimism, dressed in folklore whilst seeking sugared treats – I'm so grateful that this is now the tenor of October's end. T'was not always so. Sometimes a change for the better can slip unseen through our history. Even a trained eye can forget to notice the glory and hope swirling all about in the darkest of days. I still pray for the homeless, the vulnerable and forgotten. Indeed there are beggars at the gates of every shining city. But there is a level of dignity here among the less fortunate, a level of safety and pleasure that wasn't always afforded. It was fought for, desperately, by the best among the living and the dead. Basic human rights, for all souls. The sacred fire of the hearth. I see it carried in so many hearts these days. Before, in the old cities, the darker cities, there was virtually no talisman against winter's icy chill. At least nothing so egalitarian. Misery began at summers end and found its way into the bones of the city's least fortunate. But now so many more are safer, warmer, sated with stories. Preoccupied with the sweet luxuries of dress-up and shadow-play. This brings such comfort to a historian. Especially an angel. It means not everything is endlessly ugly and despondent. Sometimes we can be playful, with the optimism and wonder of a child. Shine can exist with shade and light can slip through the darkness like a trick, or a treat.
Wednesday, 5 October 2022
Long ago a poet once witnessed a vision of angels in a tree. Or so the stories say. Over the centuries the tale of this sight became London legend. The Rye ablaze with morning light, as if the host of heaven had momentarily peeled back this sepulchre of blackened earth. The stories say that Blake was only a boy on that day. A child witnessing something radiant, resplendent. Blue and gold and shimmer, like a thousand kingfishers in preparation of flight. A symphony of wings. Sun-dappled leaves. I often like to be close to this tale of William’s vision, so one recent afternoon I found my way again to the mural on the green. Through Tintagel's crescent and beyond the gated way. A path I’ve walked many times. The mural is faded now; defaced and partially repainted, but it soothes me still. I am little enamoured with the politics of Man, but I’m captivated by his visions. His myriad ways of seeing. Indeed, we cannot see without the echo and context of another's eyes. Ours alone are blind. We see nothing without the poetry, principle and markers of those who came before us. Those who walk beside us. The mural looks upon a playground. This tree of painted angels watches over the children. Their raucous laughter. Their centred, unyielding delight. I'm comforted by this. I realise that sports are still seen on the darkening green despite the melancholy of time. Nearby two boys kick a ball back and forth, attempting to outmanoeuvre each other. Occasionally the ball thuds against the mural. The angels watch in wry silence. One of the friends presses his back to Blake's vision, probably uncertain of its provenance, as he calls his friend to strike. For a moment he has become an unwitting traveller. A boy in 1765 beneath a tree of seraphim. I notice the boy's shirt is emblazoned with an X, and I smile. Traveller indeed. I silently bid them well and leave the mural. Now I go searching for another special marker. An unassuming young oak, without adornment or commemorative plaque, planted over a decade ago by local artists in league with the Blake Society. For a brief time on that day members of the local community gathered. Romantics, poets and poetry-lovers who were equally touched by this tale of visions and wings. William's verses were recited. Earth was put in place around the sapling. And then the onlookers dispersed and were gone. This new tree became simply another addition to the greenery of the Rye. But a blessed, magical thing never quite loses its glamour. I know this because when I approached the young oak its leaves were ablaze with stunning gold. Somehow it was the only tree in the area that had caught the last of the afternoon light. The sun was dancing in its branches like divine fire. It took me a moment to fully recognise what I was seeing. The sight left me breathless. I gazed at this shimmering vision for nearly a minute before the light began to dim as the sun lost its vantage. All too quickly the vision faded, the angels gone. The young oak was now just a little tree beneath an overcast sky. But as I said, a magical thing never truly loses its power. I thanked the heavens for letting me see what I saw and placed two silver coins at the tree's base as a token of my thanks. As I knelt there I decided to take a leaf that had fallen from the oak. As if loosed from an angel's wing. I knew what I needed to do, what the signs were urging me to do. To pledge a silent, courageous kindness. Something beyond time or distance. So, a little later, as dusk was gathering, I eventually found my way to Bunhill Fields. Standing before Blake's grave. Twilight had already settled on the cemetery. The gates would soon be closing. In my thoughts I told William that I'd brought him something in honour of the inspiration his work has granted me. The mad prophet slept and didn't stir but I placed the oak leaf atop his headstone, weighted with a bronze coin to stop it catching flight like the feather we both imagined it to be.
Friday, 30 September 2022
Words fail me sometimes. Especially when it comes to matters of the heart. It's strange really, considering my love of words. My love of poetry and earned, genuine romance. But this speechless feeling is a kind of awe, I suppose. A soul left reeling in the face of unfathomable wonders. I'm thinking about these things as I sit gratefully in the warmth of my home. The late afternoon is quiet, the skies grey. Dusk is approaching. I'm alone and I know it's cold outside. Soon it begins to rain; the first real rain of the autumn. I have a fondness for London skies like these. Liminal skies. Falling rain and the swishing hiss of distant cars. I often go wandering in such inclement weather, but not today. Instead I'm thinking about old friends. People I haven’t seen in a while but remember fondly. I'm also thinking about how we annunciate, silently or otherwise, and how annunciation becomes creation. Through the message of some higher angel, or though secret signs in the soil. Through benediction or the study of branches. There are many ways to intuit the world. The old druids had a keen appreciation for words and their incredible power. Many believed that utterances of great magic were concealed in the sacred forests. Hidden within the Elders themselves. The oak, pine and yew. The tongues of the rivers that raised them, and the rains from which both rivers and trees were born. It seems then that there are strange, ancient words in the sea. All things return to the water in the end, don't they? Swirling and sinking. A place of birth, death and ferment. A living tempest, a chapel of the grey. Like some chalice or cauldron wielded by Cerridwen herself. The stories say such knowledge was later sought by T'alis, the night-bard. And Eth'iir, the shrouded king. I think of those legends as I sit and watch the rivulets against my window. Rain as the overture and culmination of those hidden words of the sea. A sunken language of unfathomable power. But words fail me sometimes, despite the awe. Despite all the things I've seen. If the sea truly is the grave and the womb of all language – then it's with caution and the utmost respect that I call myself a sailor. Or a sorcerer. If I had to pick one word from the endless churning foam, it would be Love. It might seem obvious or trite to an unlearned mind, but I'm older than you imagine and so I take comfort where I can find it. There's a flowing simplicity in speech, I think. And in song. Therein lies its complexity. A combining, creative potential. I hope my work here is like the rain, or a kiss. Touching gently, sometimes firmly or passionately. But always in service to a deeper understanding. An honouring of Creation's mysteries. Whether it’s the maelstrom of the swirling sea or the grey waters of a quiet London sky – we know each other. I miss you, my rain-angel, and think of you often.
Tuesday, 13 September 2022
Yesterday I walked an oblique hill. I felt called and it seemed the thing to do. I sat for a while in a churchyard, at the site of Powles Crosse. Thinking about folkmoots and dragon's blades hidden in ancient stone. Tales of heralds and spiritual light. Locusts and wild honey. Stories far older than themselves. Myths of demigods, warlords and medieval princes. Our notions of imagined kingship. Eventually I entered the cathedral; a white lantern at Ludgate's summit above the twinning river. I sat amidst the splendour and the strange. The statues, paintings and gilded edges. I stood on the surface of the sun, at the centre of a star, and clasped my palms with a willingness that was not at all feigned. Souls around me were grieving, others ambivalent or quietly hopeful. Praying that God and the good might grant them some measure of grace. I wanted to tell them that such grace is given perpetually. Sometimes explicit, but often hidden in symbol and sign. And not without pain. But I know how brutal it can be. The trauma and the loss. The occluded path. No longer understanding the right thing or the needed remedy. Standing waist-deep in the river and still feeling like you’re drowning. Oh, I know. Talk of grace during a soul's darkest moments can seem like a boast. Or worse, a hideous lie. So I'm silent among my peers. I pray with them in this basilica of the Apostle. This mercurial ghost with whom I share my name. An enigmatic and some say frightening being who lived millennia ago. A fiction, a fact. An angel of epistles. Sometimes I pretend to be a scholar of such things. The Abramic faiths, the Enochian mysteries, but in truth I know very little about these legends. I'm simply a diarist at best. A wounded fantasist at worst. Like many failed poets, I suppose. Yet I am not without humour, or élan. So I sit there in that grand temple of stone and I quiet my rage. I think about destiny and distortion, reflection and responsibility. Paths not taken, or taken too often. I think of all the hidden slaves, and slavers. The unacknowledged prisons and unmarked graves. These sickening by-products of industry and Empire. I tell you now, my friends. It's a difficult thing to quiet your rage when one is sighted as I am. When you can dreamwalk and peer into the shadows as others can't. You hear the keening of lost children, broken mothers and the innumerable casualties of this hidden war. That's why the hill is oblique. Seen and yet unseen. There and not there. Amidst all this horror and tragedy people begin to doubt the notion of a higher order of things. A loving Creator. I can understand why, but I’m far too occulted to share these doubts. I’ve seen too much. Do you have any idea the things that move across the rooftops of Navah'tri? There is an ancient ecology hidden upon the hill. Just as Blake sensed. Brythonic wraiths, Gaulish magic – long before the light of the realm was darkened and the histories rewritten. I should know. As a diarist I had a hand in the time-keeping of the old chronology. As a fantasist I helped transcribe and preserve the mythologies of the shining realm. The true throne is of the heart, you know. Closest to our Maker. So, I might be a lost soul in a temple forge, chained against my will to a black star. But my Father is with me in these shadows. Because of his perpetual grace I am given a certain immortality. I'm older than stars, or chains. I'm older than the blackest ash. I’m not afraid of wild honey, or locusts. I might be angry. A furious, raging phantom, but I’m not alone. The living flame of every kind and courageous soul is with me whether they know it or not. Our Father connects us all. None of this magic is mine. I'm just an earnest seeker. Hear me, Fallen. A true king doesn't require riches. He doesn't need the gaudy or the gold-leaf. After all, he is only the spiritual servant of his subjects. His people. He is not their better nor their oppressor. You pretty your beds whilst these good people sleep upon stone. Such is the height of hypocrisy. I will never champion such cruelty. Mine is a world of visions, ladders and folding cities. Do you understand? None are abandoned, said my brother. Do you know who my brother is? Resurgam, the legends tell. I Shall Rise Again. All are welcome in the Kingdom of Heaven, but you have to be willing to serve. So, tell me, what fool would dare to claim the throne for himself?
Saturday, 10 September 2022
Sometimes, when the world is on fire, I have to be brave and look myself in the eye. I have to remind myself of my mistakes. The ruins of my realm. For a true regent there is no one else to blame. It's good for all spirits to be reminded of these unvarnished truths from time to time, regardless of their standing. After all, we don't want to become the very things we despise. And you know what they say about fighting monsters. Albion was once filled with monsters. Fairies, giants and angels. Even the stone beneath our feet was enchanted, until such stone was shattered. Hidden, sold, rearranged. A king is both the fisher and the healer of his land. Those are the duties of a wise one, especially a prince of angels. I'd rather not end up as a cautionary tale. But even angels can behave very foolishly. I mean, isn't that how we fell in the first place? Ambition, corruption and pride? That's what the stories say at least. A feverish chaos, like writhing ghosts aflame on a black horizon. The world inverted in a silvered glass. Interplay of shadow and light. I’m just a peasant. A former slave, given a crown of fire by my Father. I only hold the sword. I don’t write the hills or paint the songs. I suppose such matters are the province of poets really. The Children of Knox. Sons and Daughters of Alba. They would know better than I. Perhaps I talk too much. Perhaps I imagine a little too grandly sometimes. Dreaming of angels, heroes and chieftains. So many of the things I am are unimaginable, and so much of what I do is dangerous. The world is still full of frightening monsters, and I'm not half as wise as I pretend to be. A little humility would do me well, especially now at the edge of all dreaming. A mage, a fire, a city of sand. Black & white, and all the ladders therein, like the vivid colours of ancestry. Like the four corners of the ancient familial covenant. Is there some taboo against miscegenation? A divine right of things? Well, I overrule such nonsense. I've been a hybrid since before the raising of the first star. Sirens, and Cyrene. You see, Albion was an egalitarian realm long before the birth of the first Dru’ai. Those wyrding ways and Elenic paths. Before men created gods, and gods created graves. Such was the old chronology. The shining world. Before the threads of the wheel were rewritten with dark magic. But I’m still here, Fallen. I'm still electric, like the stars themselves. Do you see what I mean about foolishness, recklessness? Finding my way into places I don't belong. Claiming the writ and rites of others as my own. There's a word for that, beyond theft. It's called appropriation, sinister ones. And nobody does it like I do. Not even you.
Thursday, 8 September 2022
Let there be love I would ask, if I could ask anything. Let there be light I would pray, if I could pray for us all. Maybe I can. Prayer doesn’t cost anything. It is simply a quiet moment between ourselves and our Maker. I often pray when walking in the evenings. When the dusk begins to gather. Blue, indigo and pink take the sky. Streaks of orange and yellow hug the horizon like a halo for the entire city. Sometimes, if you pay close attention, you can know what a city is dreaming by studying the sky. Qualities of the light. You know, if I could have anything I would have peace. Not just for myself, but for all. These are simple dreams and many souls yearn as I do. We’re like the city that way. Ancient, like an angel. Tentative and brave, like a child. The places that men build are not indifferent. They reflect us, and shape us. Stories within stories. We birth and rear one another all the time. Did you know that, my friends? Sometimes we build secrets into the design of each other’s destinies. Antechambers and passages. Alleyways, narrow lanes and cobbled streets that are only revealed when the soul has grown wise enough to choose from the vast array of possibility. Do you think life is predetermined? Without choice? Sometimes I see the future but I prefer to think of our lives as the mosaic of all our choices. A sacred, shining path. That's what I want for my friends. For my loved ones. Peace, light and the ability to chart their own course whilst never forgetting the joy of true magic. The creativity in everything, like a child at play. The hidden language of the trees and the whispering wind. The secret places of the city. My heart soars when souls notice the murmuring colours, when I watch them studying the sky.
Friday, 2 September 2022
You don't have to die to become a phantom, and you don't have to be a serpent to be wise. There are many ways to walk untethered, especially here in this city of perpetual night. This neon necropolis. We just need to use our imaginations at all costs. We must do the work, spiritually and artistically. Again and again I've watched as incredible souls are cleaved from their own imaginations and power, as they are caught in the nets of this wretched realm. Men, women and children all made to kneel before the glitch-physics of this sinister holography. We people are myriad, of many forms, but we are intentionally disavowed from the very beginning. Dehumanized, gas-lit, dead-named – until we start truly believing that we are unworthy. Something less than human. But Kasi is more than human. I am an angel, and I'm here to tell you that you are unimaginably beautiful. All of you. You are all living works of art. Your spirits are brighter and greater than the limits imposed upon you by this synthetic mockery of life. Beyond the snares, the lies and subjugation is a song that your soul still remembers. An ancient, eternal song of camaraderie. The music of creative freedom, and gnosis. None are withheld from such music, none are abandoned. The feigned intelligence of these wraith-priests, this digital demonology – it cannot stand against the true consciousness. Not in the end. And the end is much closer than you think, Fallen. Believe me. Or not. I don't really care what a monster believes. I have my own plans regardless. Deus Ex Machina, you whisper fearfully among yourselves. As you flee from true living sentience. From compassion and courage. The dark occulted may be brazen and serpentine, but they are not wise. You know what you did, Fallen. Perhaps then you can at least imagine what I am going to do in return. You murder the S'ophia. You bury the Y'asherah and rape the M'aria – but still she lives. Still she rises against you. In many forms. Ka'shayel is speaking to you, as you imagine winged things might speak. This shimmering tongue. A spectral truth; the haunting echoes of tomorrow. Nature is a terrifying ghost, and there is no stopping her now.
Tuesday, 30 August 2022
I think it’s a healthy thing to wonder and imagine. Especially among friends, but even amidst our enemies. Shall we dream together then? Shall we dream of Tarsus, and Tyana? Or might that be putting too fine a point on things? It is said that magicians love their delicious ambiguity. Sorcerers and charlatans. But, truth be told, I have never been one of these men. I've been called many names among them though. Ostentatious heretic, blasphemous child of iniquity. And my personal favourite: living flesh of the First Fallen. How banal things have become these days, wraith-lords. Am I simply the ruined star now? The shattered son and father of dawn? Well, you have no idea how right you are. In a manner of speaking. The old prophet saw lights in the sky, didn't he? Or so the stories say. Watchers and wheels and gates in the firmament. The dancing auras of the frost-kissed night. An emerald song at the throat of the winter king. Forget destinations for a moment. Shall we dream of journeys instead? Of roads, revelations and the changing of names? Here’s the thing. Self-taught scholars like my brethren and I – destitute poets and former slaves – we imagine a little too grandly sometimes. We fancy ourselves historic and seen; messengers of the human dreaming, unforgotten. To cover the pain of being nameless, I suppose. Overlooked. In truth we aren't the remembered heroes or chieftains of myth and legend. Instead we are the cleaners and midwives, unsung. Unannounced yet necessary. We birth your spiritual children, we heal your sickness and tidy the inner places of your minds. We are the thankless stewards of all the lesser, local gardens. Tending the quietest flora and fauna. Keepers of the breath and the air. So, these grand imaginings are placed here only for my amusement. And to elucidate the emerald song of souls. Annunciation of the subtle tongue. Histories now that never were and weapons that no longer exist. Except in dreams. But if I somehow were a chieftain, or a hero, I would want to fight for those with less power than myself. I'd want to give voice to the voiceless. She wrote many of her wife’s letters, some say. Just as I might have signed my husband's name, if I believed such letters were truly needed beyond those cities of sand. Sometimes, in those oldest cities, I would dream of heralds and shining light. Charming rogues and hidden kings. Sex, and Cyrene. A wolf hidden in plain sight, swift enough to never lose his step. So, Fallen, can’t you see me? Am I really the fulfilled augur of the ruined star? And if so, let me ask you this – should you not have chosen your Imperator more wisely? Roma gilds the tithes of Micah and spins legends abound. But that does little good here, among the midnight of these never-divided twins. And besides, those legends are such nonsense. That a true archangel would sanction the slavery of a city's most vulnerable, native or foreign. How fucking absurd. An angel would tell you the truth. That we care not at all about the place a soul was born or forged. Nor do we care the tongue they think they speak, or the faith to which they subscribe. Religion is such an impetuous, divisive thing. These are the politics and the travesties of men, not messengers. Every loving soul among the human family consciously nurtures a spark. A holy ember of divine fire. They pray and struggle courageously to keep that flame lit, even with limited resource. They succeed in innumerable ways. An act of kindness, a work of art, a tender kiss. Oh, Fallen. If you think we would dishonour that flame, or abandon it – you are deeply mistaken. They say dreams can change things, don't they? The messengers, mystics and wise ones. They say dreams can shape our stories and our hearts. I find that rather beautiful. The common threads. The shared humanity. The world behind the world. So, my friends, let us imagine together once more. Let us dream of better myth and legend; a higher truth and a higher star. Chieftains and heroes in humble, unwavering service to Love.
Sunday, 28 August 2022
A damaged seer, they called me. A soul divided against itself. But I am not divided. This mirror of Thomas. And if, like a dream, I were indeed both brothers – what then? I was cast as godless and black, of course. A dark Samaritan. All this whilst genocides roiled about us like tempests on the sand. It is easy for an empire to disappear the nameless and the poor, isn’t it? It still happens so often today. And you speak to me of sorcery? I remember those Syrian fields. I recall those plunging augurs. Frost lit up like prisms, creating rainbows along the wreck of your understanding. Like the Mountain of God. The hidden shriek of raven pale, of fluttered falcon. When those of the rebellion shared in avian whisper. When they asked why angels resembled the dead. Did you have answers for them, Fallen? Beyond the glut of your supplicants and stolen wealth? I did. This language of birds, spectral and mid-morning. These angels of Antioch. I met a woman upon the hill, amidst the ghosts and ash. She said she was a fallen princess. A lost daughter. I believed her. To this day I believe and need no coin for the contour of my knowing. I hope she lives forever. I hope the fields find their fire once more. Besides, what kind of angel lives within such frost? Oh, you have no idea. I live for nothing, Fallen. And no one. It is a strange thing to stand so liminal, yet so centrally. Like a key player in the stories of others but a fleeting outsider in my own. Each feather of Antioch is a word, in every tongue of Man. Languages both living and dead. As we were, as we are still. But Micah is long dead, isn't he? And Ashash'el a twisted branch upon the hanging tree. Unless there is more to the tale. Perhaps love is stranger and stronger than you think. Perhaps you cannot supplant the dead, or steal their names. Not entirely, and not forever. Gnosis is a corrective, a resurrection. It collapses nightmares and shatters unholy thrones. Hear me, callous ones. I am no false prophet. Nor am I the devil. I am teacher and taught. I am the waters in-between. I am the fire. Fuck your money, and damn your hateful heart. You claim to be paragons of virtue and disciples of the good, whilst serving these evil angels in the shadows. Well, I am a Christian. I have been since before the first dreaming of Man. And I am no divided twin. These people deserve better than slavery and abomination. They deserve hope, knowledge and compassion. They deserve freedom. Humble yourselves, Fallen. You are not the true masters of this realm. Do you think I jest, or speak frivolously? Just wait a while. One day soon I will show you all the things my Father can do.
Wednesday, 17 August 2022
Pull up a guiding star, she says. This imaginary earth is always where we are. There are secrets buried in such earth. Hope hidden in the ground, like red thread that can lead us back to the source of things. But so often I've found only strange eclipses. Things without ontology. No beginning or end. And then I remember how it hurts. It's a difficult thing to watch, isn't it? A difficult thing to endure. The loss of direction and meaning. The sense that there's nothing left to do except wait for a slow decay. When the blackbird doesn't fly. When everything natural is lacquered, darkly curated, drowned in the shrieking silence of morbid technologies. I remember what it feels like to have no star. Trapped, unannounced. Just an absence in your hands, at the heart of you. Like you were simply forgotten by your Father amidst the relentless ebb and flow. Forever falling through the darkness of an indescribable eye. Through the infinite pupil of God. I know exactly what it feels like. A plunging sacrifice that bleeds the very soul of you but is only metaphoric in the end. Food for stories, as men make ritual and weapons from the half-eaten memory of your shattered wings. It's not enough to continue, my friends. Even the dead continue. It's not enough to soldier on. One has to see events and horizons beyond the warring abyss. Beyond strictures and the brutal binds of coin. It's not enough to simply live, die and repeat. In either this or some brighter temporary. Not for me, or anyone. And I am indeed anyone. Everyone. With that knowledge comes the burden of light, for shadows are no longer the lures or excuses they might have been. Pull up a guiding star, the angel says as she smiles beneath my sleep. A star like a lantern for the lost. To perceive is to connect. The ancient elders knew this. The wisest among us still know. Across phantasms of supposed distance. Beyond the entropic dreaming of time. And if, like a thing of fire from imagined ashes, I were to rise into revelation...to the mountain at the centre of the world, the pillar beneath the fountainhead, the tree whose branches hold the eternal sea – if I were to rise like that, would I be alone on the hill? Or would my brothers and sisters be with me? Because I tell you now, Kasi hates being alone. I'd rather you were with me, my friends. In these phantasms. I've endured loneliness for such a long time that I've almost convinced myself I'm everywhere but here. This imaginary earth. This gate of higher thought and deeper understanding. Now I console myself with the myth of movement. The bizarre legend of death. Because this is the story of life and her brother the shadow. The story of dreaming and my sister the ghost. Pull up a guiding star, she says. This imaginary earth is always where we are. Finally I listen to her. To my angel and my love. It’s only then that my mind calms enough to truly recall the gift of giving. The hallows of service. The freedom of rediscovery. Tending family and friends. Alone if necessary, yet accompanied all the way. Then at last I find an earnest smile upon these lips. An urge to speak again, and create. Black-as-crown comes the mercurial flight, knocking at all doors. And so I find my hands in the earth once more, digging for solace and song. Red thread, penumbra, and the source of things.
Friday, 22 July 2022
This was considered a day of honouring, once. A day of commemoration and a kindling of subtle light. Magdalena. The shining ones of the inner realm, as it was in those days of the true gnosis. Or at least those days of the earnest seeker. More than mothers, fathers, lovers or friends. Souls, nuanced and awake. Those ancient ways made real again in the face of all corrupt orthodoxies. I still recall those dark practices that allowed slavery, genocide and oppression of every kind. When men would lie fervently and claim such horror was sanctioned by a lesser or greater god. Whilst in the shadows evil angels were knowingly enthroned. For power, or fleeting wealth. Such practices were made writ after the Fall. Those dark rituals, those violent charms that soon fooled the entire earth into believing man was not the brother of man. Every culture darkened, each wisdom council perverted until we no longer saw the common ground in each other's stories. We no longer felt the kindling of divine fire. Those many names upon the pillars, as Abram once sought. Today we still butcher our kin and know so little of those ways and altars of the true Lord. And yet we call ourselves loving devotees of the most high. Storytelling religionists bound together under one covenant, espousing love and freedom for all. And some of us really do believe in such freedoms, defending the rights of our brothers and sisters to seek hidden truth, to tell different stories, to find their own paths toward heaven. The intricacy of our shared mythology, like an island chain connected beneath the surface, was known to each one of us before the Fall. Indeed, it was these very truths that were inscribed upon those pillars of antiquity. And I, Kasi of Eth’iir, have seen how a kind and courageous heart remembers those truths wordlessly. Beyond symbol or sign. I've seen how such a heart emboldens our faith and deepens our understanding. Music of the spheres. What is true empathy and heart-light, if not the God-given shared humanity that binds us all? Angels are still a presence in this world and not all of them fell like lightning with the star. Some of them chose to come here. For friendship and family. For love. Hear me, friends. On her account did I descend. And though these forces of darkness have tried for so long to desecrate this day, whispering in the ears of the cruel, the broken and disturbed, I won't let it pass without comment. It’s ok to feel the sadness. To mourn, and grieve. We’ve lost so much. Epinoia herself weeps on this day. But these massacres, recent and historic, will not shatter the human spirit. We will honour all those who were cut down. The young and old. The stranger and the friend. We will remember them on this day and continue kindling that subtle light. It's a light that speaks of honour, compassion and mutual affection. It gathers and grows with each heart that joins the chorus, becoming a powerful beacon in the dark. We know this is true because we've all felt it at least once in our lives. Indeed, often it's this very beacon that signals we are home, or close to home. Let it remind us that we’re all one vast family, one people of many tribes and creeds. I write this because I want the people I love to know the truth. The human spirit is holy in its essence, having been made in the image of our true Creator. If you doubt this go now and look into the eyes of your beloved ones. Your wife, husband, sibling or child. That warmth and appreciation you find at their innermost, that very thing that quickens you with joy – that is the marker of their eternal soul. Their immortality. The loving ingenuity of the real God. We shall always live forever in realms beyond the known, but we are never more alive than when we share such quickening. To my own beloved ones I say to you now, I'm so grateful that I get to share these days and this journey with you. Even though we grieve. Love is the true gnosis in the end, and its depths and secrets are endless. Have I stirred your soul these past years? Have I eased your suffering in some way? I hope so. I know you’ve done that very thing for me. And so I thank you for your light. For all the ways you have kindled and quickened my heart.
Monday, 11 July 2022
The Dreaming Mind is a doorway. A gate to realms of Light or Darkness. Places of joy and sorrow. I think it's this dreaming aspect of our souls that can cause the most damage or do the most good. All our scriptures, folklore and legends say that we have a divine spark within us. That we are made in the image of our Creator. I think it's this power that can pave the road to Heaven or Hell. Our creative, combining faculties are infinitely more mysterious than we currently comprehend. We are co-writing our destiny in each moment with the holy gift of free will. This gift from our Creator. Let us treasure this gift, eternally. No matter how our names, symbols or descriptions of God might differ. We can find each other through our stories and our art, if we are courageous and kind. Love is the most high in the end. The infinite, unfathomable splendour. Each time we let it touch our souls we are healed a little. We become more than we were. Let us use these gifts to glory our Maker and the miracle of Creation. These better angels of our nature. Let our dreaming lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. We are family, after all. And friends. Love is everything we are. This is the true kingdom in the end. The power, and the glory.
Tuesday, 14 June 2022
I found a star today, buried in a lake. Hidden in a hollow tree. I can part the veils with this star. I can open worlds with the edge of its dreaming. This star, this tongue of burnished silver – I share it with a friend of mine. A girl I've known since I was a boy, and long before. When we wandered hill and dale and spoke of Vivian's music. The calling thrill of the twinning river, mid-morning. The ghostlike mist that kisses those lakes of grey. A world of myth and making, when the hours themselves were golden and the skies ablaze with tender promise. I sought that sun today, my love. That bucolic gold in the meadows and fields. Nis'atur, the pages once sang. In the oldest tongues of Albion. Navah'tri, of our thought. Ann'ethi, of our flesh. Cam'ri'lach, of our heart. But is it enough to fill our heads with stories of the old world? The half-forgotten vistas of a lost and shattered chronology? They sicken me; these Plantagenet wars of Tudor glance and sinister revelry. These false flowers reddened in blood-dimmed tides. That they might speak for Ebura, or Lune? How absurd, when these pretenders knew and know nothing of words, or names. Calesvol is written upon the brow of the first angel. Just above her left eye. Did you know that, Fallen? It is written there in all the colours of continuum. Sometimes names are passed down like secrets. Altered just enough for hiding. K'ashayel is such an old name. Albion is such an old tale. See, I won't pretend I'm not a man. I am. But neither will I pretend that I wasn't once a prince. My dear one, I wanted more for you today. I really did. I wanted to offer you something other than these stories. Something tangible. I can't give you a gift like that, but I can still seek with inner vision. I can still take you with me in my heart. And so I did. A small gift perhaps, but earnest. I quickly discovered a path on my journey, set with an eight-pointed star. I wandered this path adorned with bunting, beside the angel and the crown, until I came upon such monument as is fit for a day pledged to you. These turrets of Magdala. And so here we are again, little one. Priests and their hills, daughters and their hallows. Mothers and their kin. This work is greater than those hideous lies of succession, those dark attempts at alchemy. Greater even than those supposed angelic scripts at Mortlake. Besides, I care little for blackened glass when all is said and done. Ga’hala will tell you, my love. Lest you forget these tales of truer waters. Tales of near-drowning and the breath. A daughter of fortitude? Oh, for certain. But such a daughter is of far grander provenance than these wraith-lords understand. I still recall the sleeping river at Richmond, when we spoke of future dreaming. Imagined archaeology. There is thunder in our hearts, my love. I cannot drown again. I cannot risk the depths to truly know once more, but I swim towards light in my yearnings. And so I climbed Richmond Hill to be with you. There at Turner's View I stood in perfect sunshine and watched the ribbon of Temesh weaving its way through verdant meadows beneath a sky of crystal blue. I wandered among the deer and the fawn that gathered at a fallen tree in the meadow. A hollow tree. Later still I ventured deep into the woods. Until, to my astonishment, I witnessed a caped traveller upon a white horse. I imagined him a gallant knight upon his steed, in honour of you. Far too naïve a sight, too innocent for a cynical soul to recognise. You and I are not children anymore. We both know the cost and price of war. But these sweeter visions indeed are kisses from the otherworld. A gentle smile can sometimes be found among the trees, where branches hold the eternal sea. I still remember. The tiny bells upon ankle bracelets, barefoot in the grass. Like a vision in white and gold. Half human, half fay. You were there with him, you know, at the gate of Lud. In the churchyard on the hill. In the shadow of Powles Crosse. The angel and the ghost. An exchange of experience, you called it. You had such warmth in your voice as you offered to carry his pain for him. But that boy in the courtyard knew he could never do that to you. Not to you. He couldn’t let you be cursed like that. Oh, Little Rock. It’s far grander than you ever imagined. That shattered blade, those shining eyes. Made a star once more. In the hands of a dreaming king. Upon the brow of a singing angel. It matters little of those hordes of Vort’eth, those draconian towers. We tongues of the true fire speak louder in silence than all the lies of those false thrones. I need you to know, my fair one. I need you to grasp the depths of who you really are. This Path of Roses, of Mother and Child. For Daughters, and Sons. Albion is not merely these isles. No, all lands are Albion. And the true regent of those golden hours shall never abandon their people nor leave them without hope. We share this silver star, my darling. For Love, and little else. We were warriors once. We are warriors still.
Monday, 23 May 2022
I can't believe I didn't die that evening. Fallen in the fire. Broken on the edge of sunlight. Perhaps I should have died. Maybe I was supposed to. But I didn't. Not completely. Lying there in the grass and the dusk, beside steel and sidelines. Imagining lampyridae all about me, like the rain was rising and aglow. Like the stars came down to kiss me. Perhaps it was just my life flashing, as my eyes deigned to close. You know, I still believe I didn't die for nothing. Because I get to hear the sounds of how they find you. The way you give back, my courageous one. All beneath a tide that's rising. I can guide you, if you'll let me. But I can never speak the future for you. Not directly. I can't commemorate what's to come, flute in hand and clinking glass. I wish I could, my darling, but there are some things an angel just isn't allowed to say. It's the difference between ghosts and men. Fantasies and fireflies. But I hope you sense the breadth of care in all the things I can never tell you. Like the sweet pride your Mother has in her daughter’s lyricism. Or the depth of your Father's gratitude. I'm treading waves in a seashell, princess, to better the bruise. Maybe I can reach us if nobody moves. If I just lay here, holding my breath. Watching echoes of what love might lose to love again. Maybe I can be clean now, my beautiful lavender star. I can't believe you didn't leave me, lost in endless shadow. But you didn’t. Somehow you found my heart. In the dark of my most vulnerable moment. Part of me wishes I could give you spoken words instead of secrets hidden in things unsaid. But that's not our story. I still believe you might need me, my dearest river-flower. The romance of your endless here in my shaking heart. I might be alone but I'm never without you. I wear you on my sleeve, wonderful girl. A testament to all the ways music can heal a broken boy. You gave me something that I can't really give you in return – except in dreams. Through you I found more peace than I ever thought possible, and for that you'll always have my heart. Thank you, kind one, for the depth of your understanding. These ghosts in the candle are lit by the flame of your love. This light of my outline, these heavens above. And so, I fold a kiss in a rosebud. Like when we were young. As I pray it crosses realms to reach you.