Yearly Archives: 2021

A Field of Flowers

The lotus grows quietly in the garden pool. The ibis curls one foot beneath him and blinks. It is too nice a day to spoil with words.

In the wind I hear what I see ~ a low hum of vitality, the bell of flowers ringing. I pass in and out of time, eons press against my skin. I rest in a place within a place, a meadow of myself that is the world pressing close. The river flows on. Tall, thin reeds rock against the current, and the wind like a woman envelops me.

Life is liquid, cleansing, nourishing. I lie in the white mind of universe; knowing what I know, it knows me.

The fruits of the land are abundant. With the quick, bright blade of spirit I turned new ground, planted seed. I struggled with the donkey. Beneath my hand things happened ~ grapes and wheat. In time I drank wine and ate bread.

The field ploughed feeds a man, the spirit cultivated nourishes. I keep one eye on heaven and one on earth, following the seasons, walking the rhythm.

I lie on sweet hay. The sparrow’s song cuts the silence. I hear it now as I heard it ages ago. The birds are Gods. I carry their song in my belly. I am carried in the egg of silence. Even now in the long pause of possibility, quiet beneath its shell, there rises a wild honking, long flights against an autumn moon, smooth eggs waiting to be laid. An old may lying in a field feels embryonic.

Learning peace itself is a struggle. More often I know the air as it whips my face. When the wind is still, I forget the wind. Walking through town, I turn longingly to the mountain. On the mountain I gaze back on the town. When there’s much talk I withdraw into silence. When it is quiet I strain to hear some song. Having no trouble, I create some to keep the day interesting. We misunderstand the quiet. In the heat of the day I seek shadows. At night I praise the light of stars.

The moon grows legs and wanders through an old man’s heart seeking some dark corner to inspire. At midday the Gods walk through town invisible as cats. Only children and wise old men know the difference.

Even night and day struggle, make peace between themselves. We call that beautiful sunset and dawn. In the spirits of men we call it a state of grace. Unless the earth enveloped the seed and the seed struggled against the darkness, there would be no corn.

The moment we are born we begin to die. In each death we are born again. We take in the air and the air escapes us. Call it the breath of life. I no longer call loss disaster. It is the empty heart waiting to be filled. From the act of love, two bodies straining against each other, there rises the star of children. After opposition comes unity. Knowing that removes the sting of failure.

What God wants God shall have, and so I say, make it easy on yourself. The Divine Will asks only that things happen, that what it asks to exist comes to pass. My desire, my little will gives it form. If I struggle it comes anyway, malformed, a lesser power than it should be. If I give myself to it, it passes through me and I nourish it as it nourishes me.

The difference is in the knowing of it. If there is confusion, I have not allowed life, the will of God, to change me. If I know it, I am changed by it. I have ferried myself across the churning waters of emotion. I go with the current; I rock to and fro in the tide. I come to a place I never knew I was bound for. There is a reason for accidents.

When I open my mouth I let the Gods speak and it is like sparrows singing. When I open my heart I find the way, a gap through the wall of mountains. Through me I allow the world to unfold. I have the magick of earth, wind and flame.

Though the future lies shrouded in veils, if I give my will to what I know not, I shall see it all come to pass. No sorrow. No sweat. Knowing the world is as the world should be, I enter the fields of peace.

~From: Awakening Osiris

A Yurei Taxi Ghost Story

The cabdriver knew that the ghosts of Japan were not confined to ancient graveyards and shadow-haunted shrines. Any modern resident of the nation’s capital could tell you that the taxis of Tokyo are more haunted than hearses, and his own route took him regularly through open gates to the spirit world.

There was Sendagaya tunnel, which winds beneath the cemetery of Senjuiin Temple, or Shirogane tunnel, where legend has it that screaming faces are silhouetted against the tunnel’s pillars and through which the Shinigami – the spirit of Death itself – is said to pass. All of his fellow cabbies could wax a yarn of passengers who got on then disappeared, or of catching a glimpse of a woman or child’s face in the rear view mirror. He too had a story to tell.

It was a stormy autumn night, near Aoyama Cemetery, where he picked up a poor young girl drenched by the rain. It was dark, so he didn’t get a good look at her face, but she seemed sad and he figured she had been visiting a recently deceased relative or friend. The address she gave was some distance away, and they drove in silence. A good cabbie doesn’t make small talk when picking someone up from a cemetery.

When they arrived at the address, the girl didn’t get out, but whispered for him to wait a bit, while she stared out the window at a 2nd floor apartment. Ten minutes or so passed as she watched, never speaking, never crying; simply observing a solitary figure move about the apartment. Suddenly, the girl asked to be taken to a new address, this one back near the cemetery where he had first picked her up. The rain was heavy, and the driver focused on the road, leaving the girl to her thoughts.

When he arrived at the new address, a modern house in a good neighborhood, the cabbie opened the door and turned around to collect his fare. To his surprise, he found himself staring at an empty back seat, with a deep puddle where the girl had been sitting moments before. Mouth open, he just sat there staring at the vacant seat, until a knocking on the window shook him from his reverie.

The father of the house, seeing the taxi outside, had calmly walked out bringing with him the exact charge for the fare. He explained that the young girl had been his daughter, who died in a traffic accident some years ago and was buried in Aoyama Cemetery. From time to time, he said, she hailed a cab and, after visiting her old boyfriend’s apartment, asked to be driven home. The father thanked the driver for his troubles, and sent him on his way.

~From: Tales of Ghostly Japan, True Tales of Tokyo Terror Taxis

Ra Takes The Form Of A Cat

There was a day when darkness gathered itself into a hungry snake and crawled upon the earth. On her belly she crept toward the city of light, swallowing whatever lay in her path: Men and women, beasts, vegetables and Gods. And no thing that touched her lips escaped her, for all matter was lost in the darkness.

That was the day, or rather the night, that Ra left the sky and took his shape in the cat. To fool the snake, he slept under the leathery leaves of the laurel, holding in his strength, stirring only once for a single languid lick of his paws to brush against his whiskers.

Seeing the cat ~ that tasty bit of flesh, the snake slithered over and opened its mouth. On the other side of her teeth swelled the void, the abyss, the great nothing, and from it issued the cries of all the lost things of creation. Their voices were a wailing wind that beckoned from the darkness.

Then the soul of Ra in the form of a tiny cat leapt up beneath the shade of the laurel and, with teeth of iron and gold, he snapped off the head of the snake and sliced its body into a thousand pieces and swallowed them up.

Blood from the snake’s mouth spilled onto the ground. In that manner Ra’s creations returned to earth. The blood seeped into the ground and was taken up by the thirsty laurel, which burst into bloom with the souls of the dead in the shape of yellow flowers.

Now leaning down from the east edge of heaven, the God of words had witnessed the battle. He had felt each puncture of the snake’s teeth upon his own throat and praised the cat which had given its shape to Ra.

“How like the God that made him is the radiant cat. How he slew the darkness with his mouth!” And Mau became the cat’s name and the God gave him words of power.

I have stood on the eastern bank beneath that flowering laurel ~ it is old now; its roots gnarled but still bursting with life ~ and I have gazed at the sky seeing daily the same battle. The sun rises. Light overcomes darkness and the high pink clouds of morning are tinged with the blood of the snake.

I am like that cat, overcoming my own darknesses. The soul duels fear and doubt and inertia, for these are the children of the snake, the worms hidden in the clay of being that would gnaw a man to death even while he lived.

I am that cat. I stand up and fight. I struggle with the evils of my own petty insistence. The battle of old Gods wages in my. I am a creature of history ~ human and divine. I am the scroll of numerous myths, one teller of a single story.

Now the sun rises as the gold egg of God, whole light of the world, saffron cake of being. Ra shines from his disk in heaven. He rises up ~ a golden wonder, a bead on the throat of sky. Gusts of wind issue forth as warm breath of his mouth and drive the boats along the water, sails the sun over a river of sky and enlivens the nostrils of his people.

He rises, making plain the two worlds of heaven and earth. I see myself by the light of my becoming.

~ From Awakening Osiris

Sometimes a Wild God

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine.

When the wild god arrives at the door,
You will probably fear him.
He reminds you of something dark
That you might have dreamt,
Or the secret you do not wish to be shared.

He will not ring the doorbell;
Instead he scrapes with his fingers
Leaving blood on the paintwork,
Though primroses grow
In circles round his feet.

You do not want to let him in.
You are very busy.
It is late, or early, and besides…
You cannot look at him straight
Because he makes you want to cry.

The dog barks.
The wild god smiles,
Holds out his hand.
The dog licks his wounds
And leads him inside.

The wild god stands in your kitchen.
Ivy is taking over your sideboard;
Mistletoe has moved into the lampshades
And wrens have begun to sing
An old song in the mouth of your kettle.

‘I haven’t much,’ you say
And give him the worst of your food.
He sits at the table, bleeding.
He coughs up foxes.
There are otters in his eyes.

When your wife calls down,
You close the door and
Tell her it’s fine.
You will not let her see
The strange guest at your table.

The wild god asks for whiskey
And you pour a glass for him,
Then a glass for yourself.
Three snakes are beginning to nest
In your voicebox. You cough.

Oh, limitless space.
Oh, eternal mystery.
Oh, endless cycles of death and birth.
Oh, miracle of life.
Oh, the wondrous dance of it all.

You cough again,
Expectorate the snakes and
Water down the whiskey,
Wondering how you got so old
And where your passion went.

The wild god reaches into a bag
Made of moles and nightingale-skin.
He pulls out a two-reeded pipe,
Raises an eyebrow
And all the birds begin to sing.

The fox leaps into your eyes.
Otters rush from the darkness.
The snakes pour through your body.
Your dog howls and upstairs
Your wife both exults and weeps at once.

The wild god dances with your dog.
You dance with the sparrows.
A white stag pulls up a stool
And bellows hymns to enchantments.
A pelican leaps from chair to chair.

In the distance, warriors pour from their tombs.
Ancient gold grows like grass in the fields.
Everyone dreams the words to long-forgotten songs.
The hills echo and the grey stones ring
With laughter and madness and pain.

In the middle of the dance,
The house takes off from the ground.
Clouds climb through the windows;
Lightning pounds its fists on the table.
The moon leans in through the window.

The wild god points to your side.
You are bleeding heavily.
You have been bleeding for a long time,
Possibly since you were born.
There is a bear in the wound.

‘Why did you leave me to die?’
Asks the wild god and you say:
‘I was busy surviving.
The shops were all closed;
I didn’t know how. I’m sorry.’

Listen to them:

The fox in your neck and
The snakes in your arms and
The wren and the sparrow and the deer…
The great un-nameable beasts
In your liver and your kidneys and your heart…

There is a symphony of howling.
A cacophony of dissent.
The wild god nods his head and
You wake on the floor holding a knife,
A bottle and a handful of black fur.

Your dog is asleep on the table.
Your wife is stirring, far above.
Your cheeks are wet with tears;
Your mouth aches from laughter or shouting.
A black bear is sitting by the fire.

Sometimes a wild god comes to the table.
He is awkward and does not know the ways
Of porcelain, of fork and mustard and silver.
His voice makes vinegar from wine
And brings the dead to life.

~by Tom Hirons – Poet and Storyteller
Art: Stephanie Carr Gromm

The Old Man

Where there is a road an old man walks thinking, bent under the weight of his soul clinging like a child to his back. Ra spits his words into the dirt where they cover themselves and wait like seeds. The wheat will rise up singing.

The old man walks in circles beneath the circling sun. He makes a journey for himself from mewling infant to old man, old man to renewed God.

The snakes comes to take his heart, finding there the sun.

~From Awakening Osiris

Becoming The Phoenix

I flew straight out of heaven, a mad bird full of secrets. I came into being as I came into being. I grew as I grew. I changed as I change. My mind is fire, my soul fire. The cobra wakes and spits fire in my eyes.

I rise through ochre smoke into black air enclosed in a shower of stars. I am what I have made. I am the seed of every God, beautiful as evening, hard as light. I am the last four days of yesterday, four screams from the edges of the earth ~ beauty, terror, truth, madness ~ the phoenix on his pyre.

In a willow I made my nest of flowers and snakes, sandalwood and myrrh. I am waiting for eternity. I’m waiting for four hundred years to pass before I dance on flame, turn this desert to ash, before I rise, waking from gold and purple dreams into the season of God.

I will live forever in the fire spun from my own wings. I will suffer burns that burn to heal. I destroy and create myself like the sun that rises burning from the east and dies burning in the west.

To know the fire, I become the fire. I am power. I am light. I am forever. On earth and in heaven I am. This is my body, my work. This is my deliverance.

The heat of transformation is unbearable, yet change is necessary. it burns up the useless, the diseased. Time is a cool liquid, it flows away like a river. We shall see no end of it.

Generation after generation, I create myself. It is never easy. Long nights I waited, lost in myself considering the stars. I wage a battle against darkness, against my own ignorance, my resistance to change, my sentimental love for my own folly. Perfection is a difficult task.

I lose and find my way over again. One task done gives rise to others. There is no end to the work left to do. That is harsh eternity. There is no end to becoming. I live forever striving for perfection.

I praise the moment I die in fire for the veils of illusion burn with me. I see how hard we strive for truth, and once attained, how easily we forget it. I hold that fire as long as I can. My nose fills with the smell of seared flesh, the acrid smoke of death, so that years from now I might look on that scar and remember how it was to hold the light, how it was to die and come again radiant as light walking on sand.

I change and change again, generation after generation. I find anguish then peace.

I am satisfied with my birth and the fate to which it led me. I do not regret the discomforts and terrors of my mortality any more than I regret the company of angels. I have entered fire. I become invisible, yet I breathe in the flow of sun, in the eyes of children, in the light that animates the white cliffs at dawn.

I am the God in the world in everything, even in darkness. If you have not seen me there, you have not looked. I am the fire that burns you, that burns in you. To live is to die a thousand deaths, but there is only one fire, one eternity.

~From Awakening Osiris

God Is Alive

God is alive; Magic is afoot
God is alive; Magic is afoot
God is afoot; Magic is alive
Alive is afoot…..
Magic never died.

God never sickened;
many poor men lied
many sick men lied
Magic never weakened
Magic never hid
Magic always ruled
God is afoot
God never died.

God was ruler
though his funeral lengthened
Though his mourners thickened
Magic never fled
Though his shrouds were hoisted
the naked God did live
Though his words were twisted
the naked Magic thrived
Though his death was published
round and round the world
the heart did not believe

Many hurt men wondered
many struck men bled
Magic never faltered
Magic always led.
Many stones were rolled
but God would not lie down
Many wild men lied
many fat men listened
Though they offered stones
Magic still was fed
Though they locked their coffers
God was always served.

2..

Magic is afoot. God rules.
Alive is afoot. Alive is in command.
Many weak men hungered
Many strong men thrived
Though they boasted solitude
God was at their side
Nor the dreamer in his cell
nor the captain on the hill
Magic is alive
Though his death was pardoned
round and round the world
the heart did not believe.

Though laws were carved in marble
they could not shelter men
Though altars built in parliaments
they could not order men
Police arrested Magic
and Magic went with them,
for Magic loves the hungry.

But Magic would not tarry
it moves from arm to arm
it would not stay with them
Magic is afoot
it cannot come to harm
it rests in an empty palm
it spawns in an empty mind
but Magic is no instrument
Magic is the end.

Many men drove Magic
but Magic stayed behind
Many strong men lied
they only passed through Magic
and out the other side
Many weak men lied
they came to God in secret
and though they left him nourished
they would not say who healed
Though mountains danced before them
they said that God was dead
Though his shrouds were hoisted
the naked God did live

3…

This I mean to whisper to my mind
This I mean to laugh with in my mind
This I mean my mind to serve
’til service is but Magic
moving through the world
and mind itself is Magic
coursing through the flesh
and flesh itself is Magic
dancing on a clock
and time itself the magic length of God.

Lyrics: Leonard Cohen
Sung by: Buffy St. Marie

Aegir’s Feast


Ægir was the ruler of the ocean, and his home was deep down below the tossing waves, where the water is calm and still. There was his beautiful palace, in the wonderful coral caves; its walls all hung with bright-colored seaweeds, and the floor of white, sparkling coral sand. Such wonderful sea-plants grew all about, and still more wonderful creatures, some, which you could not tell from flowers, waving their pretty fringes in the water; some sitting fastened to the rocks and catching their food without moving, like the sponges; others darting about and chasing each other.

“Deep in the wave is a coral grove,
Where the purple mullet and goldfish rove;
Where the sea-flower spreads its leaves of blue,
That never are wet with falling dew,
But in bright and changeful beauty shine
Far down in the green and glassy brine.
The floor is of sand, like the mountain drift,
And the pearl-shells spangle the flinty snow;
From coral rocks the sea-plants lift
Their boughs where the tides and billows flow.
The water is calm and still below,
For the winds and waves are absent there,
And the sands are bright as the stars that glow
In the motionless fields of upper air.”

—Percival.

In that ocean home lived the lovely mermaids, who sometimes came up above the waves to sit on the rocks and comb their long golden hair in the sunshine. They had heads and bodies like beautiful maidens, with fish-tails instead of feet.

One day the gods in Asgard gave a feast, and Ægir was invited. He could not often leave home to visit Asgard, for he was always very busy with the ocean winds and tides and storms; but calling his daughters, the waves, he bade them keep the ocean quiet while he was away, and look after the ships at sea.

Then Ægir went over Bifröst, the rainbow bridge, to Asgard, where they had such a gay party and such feasting that he was sorry when the time came to go home; but at last he said good-by to Father Odin and the rest of the Æsir.

He thanked them all for the pleasure they had given him, saying, “If only I had a kettle that held enough mead for us all to drink, I would invite you to visit me.”

Thor, who was always glad to hear about eating and drinking, said, “I know of a kettle a mile wide and a mile deep; I will fetch it for you!”

Then Ægir was pleased, and set a day for them all to come to his great feast.

So Thor took with him his brother, the brave Tyr, who knew best how to find the kettle; and together they started off in Thor’s thunder chariot, drawn by goats, on their way to Utgard, the home of the giants.

When they reached that land of ice and snow, they soon found the house of Hymir, the giant who owned “Mile-deep,” as the big kettle was called. The gods were glad to find that the giant was not at home, and his wife, who was more gentle than most of her people, asked them to come in and rest, advising them to be ready to run when they should hear the giant coming, and to hide behind a row of kettles which hung from a beam at the back end of the hall.

“For,” said she, “my husband may be very angry when he finds strangers here, and often the glance of his eye is so fierce that it kills!”

At first the mighty Thor and brave Tyr were not willing to hide like cowards; but at last they agreed to the plan, upon the good wife promising to call them out as soon as she had told her husband about them.

It was not long before they heard the heavy steps of Hymir, as he came striding into his icy home; and very lucky it was for Thor and Tyr that the giantess had told them to hide, for when the giant heard that two of the Æsir from Asgard were in his home, so fierce a flash shot from his eyes that it broke the beam from which the kettles hung, and they all fell broken on the floor except Mile-deep.

After a while the giant grew quiet, and at last even began to be polite to his guests. He had been unlucky at his fishing that day, so he had to kill three of his oxen for supper. Thor being hungry, as usual, made Hymir quite angry by eating two whole oxen, so that, when they rose from the table the giant said, “If you keep on eating as much at every meal, as you have to-night, Thor, you will have to find your own food.”

“Very well,” said Thor; “I will go fishing with you in the morning!”

Next morning Thor set forth with the giant, and as they walked over the fields toward the sea, Thor cut off the head of one of the finest oxen, for bait. Of course you may know that Hymir was not pleased at this, but Thor said he should need the very best kind of bait, for he was hoping to catch the Midgard serpent, that dangerous monster who lived at the bottom of the ocean, coiled around the world, with his tail in his mouth.

When they came to the shore where the boat was ready, each one took an oar, and they rowed out to deep water. Hymir was tired first, and called to Thor to stop. “We are far enough out!” he cried “This is my usual fishing-place, where I find the best whales. If we go farther the sea will be rougher, and we may run into the Midgard serpent.”

As this was just what Thor wanted, he rowed all the harder, and did not stop until they were far out on the ocean; then he baited his hook with the ox’s head, and threw it overboard. Soon there came a fierce jerk on the line; it grew heavier and heavier, but Thor pulled with all his might. He tugged so hard that he broke through the bottom of the boat, and had to stand on the slippery rocks beneath.

All this time the giant was looking on, wondering what was the matter, but when he saw the horrid head of the Midgard serpent rising above the waves, he was so frightened that he cut the line; and Thor, after trying so hard to rid the world of that dangerous monster, saw him fall back again under the water; even Miölnir, the magic hammer, which Thor hurled at the creature, was too late to hit him. And so the two fishermen had to turn back, and wade to the shore, carrying the broken boat and oars with them.

The giant was proud to think he had been too quick for Thor, and after they reached the house he said to the thunder-god, “Since you think you are so strong, let us see you break this goblet; if you succeed, I will give you the big kettle.”

This was just what Thor wanted; so he tightened his belt of strength, and threw the goblet with all his might against the wall; but instead of breaking the goblet he broke the wall.

A second time he tried, but did no better. Then the giant’s wife whispered to Thor, “Throw it at his head!” And she sang in a low voice, as she turned her spinning-wheel,—

“Hard the pillar, hard the stone,
Harder yet the giant’s bone!
Stones shall break and pillars fall,
Hymir’s forehead breaks them all!”

Yet again Thor threw the goblet, this time against the giant’s head, and it fell, broken in pieces.

Then Tyr tried to lift the Mile-deep kettle, for he was in a hurry to leave this land of ice and snow; but he could not stir it from its place, and Thor had to help him, before they could get it out of the giant’s house.

When Hymir saw the gods, whom he hated, carrying off his kettle, he called all his giant friends, and they started out in chase of the Æsir; but when Thor heard them coming he turned and saw their fierce, grinning faces glaring down at him from every rocky peak and iceberg.

Then the mighty Thunderer raised Miölnir, the hammer, above his head, and hurled it among the giants, who became stiff and cold, all turned into giant rocks, that still stand by the shore.

Ægir was very glad to get Mile-deep; so he set to work to make the mead in it, to get ready for the great feast, at the time of the flax harvest, when all the Æsir were coming from Asgard to visit him.

Before the day came, all light and joy had gone from the sacred city, because the bright Baldur had been slain, and the homes of the gods were dark and lonely without him. So they were all glad to visit Ægir, to find cheer for their sadness.

There was Father Odin, with his golden helmet, and Queen Frigga, wearing her crown of stars, golden-haired Sif, Freyja, with Brisingamen, the wonderful necklace, and all the noble company of the Æsir, all except mighty Thor, who had gone far away to the giant-land.

As they all sat in Ægir’s beautiful ocean hall, drinking the sweet mead, and talking together, Loki came in and stood before them; but, finding he was not welcome, and no seat saved for him, he began saying ugly things to make them all angry, and at last he grew angry himself, and slew Ægir’s servant because they praised him.

The Æsir drove him out from the hall, but once more he came in, and said such dreadful things that at last Frigga said, “Oh, if my son Baldur were only here, he would silence thy wicked tongue!”

Then Loki turned to Frigga, and told her that he himself was the very one who had slain Baldur. He had no sooner spoken than a heavy peal of thunder shook the hall, and angry Thor strode in, waving his magic hammer. Seeing this, the coward Loki turned and fled, and Asgard was rid of him forever.

Source: Fairytalez

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