A strange encounter

An unusual quiet stole over the afternoon air after the bells of the morning, as if the world were sleeping. I walked to the end of the lane and saw no one – the few gardens I passed were deserted, although the north wind had dropped and a warmer wind from the west had blown some of the clouds away. I turned for home before reaching the end of the lane even though the road ahead seemed quieter than usual.

When the house came into view a bent figure appeared at the gate of a field, her silver hair a halo around her wizened face. I’d never seen her before, but she must have been about ninety, if not older, and looked as though she had always been there, like the earth. She gestured to a caravan, partly camouflaged behind the hedge, and took my hand in her bony one, drawing me towards it and pushing me up the steps before climbing in behind me and shutting the door.

All this time she’d spoken not a word, yet I recognized in her some sort of kindred spirit. Perhaps she was a woodland sprite or one of the Fey or Sidhe residing temporarily in her battered caravan in order to perform some task.

Once inside she pointed to a seat by a small table and put a tin kettle on the stove. In a few moments a gingham cloth, a brown teapot, a jug and two cups appeared, and suddenly I felt at home. Pouring the tea, she reached out and turned on a small television, and the most extraordinary pageant met my eyes.

There was the tall and beautiful building I’d seen in my dream, and the living trees forming an avenue either side of a red carpet. We watched together as the pictures unfolded soundlessly like the pages of a story book.

There were magic hats galore and wizards with strange golden crowns and long embroidered robes, their lips moving in some silent spellcasting. There were small boys singing like angels. And there was a soldier, and a princess in a beautiful dress, and horses and carriages and many people and all manner of wondrous things. I remembered the Princess and the pea and Cinderella and her unkind sisters, just two among the many strange stories Grannie used to tell me when I was young.

When the film had finished the old woman reached across and turned the television off. Then she got up, and taking a long stem of Solomon’s Seal from a milk bottle, waved it over my head in a circular movement and spoke some silent words before handing it to me.

I wandered home wondering about the old woman and the silent film. I feel sure there is a message for me in today’s events – perhaps I will throw some cards later to see what Spiritual Insights Hermaphroditey has to impart.

Till when, Aisselle

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Strangenesses

I had a curious dream. I saw a beautiful tall building, filled with living trees, and there were crowds singing, rather horribly. It was – not pleasing. The trees seemed in danger of suffocation, and I think I could hear them weeping  piteously.

I awoke to thick fog; I could barely see the garden from my window, though now there is sunlight again. And as I went down to say good morning to poor Boötes and Baaaarbara, who seem confused to have the field to themselves, a tractor – one of those nasty noisy smelly ones – passed by – and it was adorned with several Union flags. This is something I had never seen before and hope never to see again. Their jarring colours were an insult to the morning, and I repaired to the forest to contemplate the more gentle primroses there.

When I returned to the house, the church bells were audible in the distance. It is not Sunday. This was baffling to me.But they are still pealing away, and while the sound is soothing enough, I do wonder at their meaning. Jay says there must be an event underway, but there is nothing on my calendar.

Still – there is work to be done. I combed the alpacas after breakfast, and washed the wool. When it dries, I must comb and spin. We both need new cloaks.

Till when,

Aisselle

A farewell

I know Henna meant well, with the first birthday gift she ever gave me. But all the livestock is becoming wearing  – not to mention expensive.

This morning, our cheese buyer came to collect the month’s supply for his shop. He had not visited since the sheep arrived, and as I helped him carry the cheeses to his van, we passed the field where the sheep were grazing. His eyes lit up. He asked if we planned to start making sheep cheese. I gather it is very popular these days – I had no idea. He assured me I would get a good price for it. But no, I said. I haven’t the time, what with combing the alpacas for their wool and collecting eggs.

Then – were the  sheep for sale, he asked, hopefully.

I wasn’t sure. But I thought again about the day my heart sank to see a little lamb among their number. Perhaps I could part with some of them…

At once Boötes and Baaaarbara rushed to my side. How had they known their future was in the balance? But they were right. Of all Henna’s gifts, they were the two I could not bear to allow to leave. So I assured the two of them that they could stay and they gambolled happily off to the nettle patch. The others though – it would be a relief not to have to look after them, and with a slightly heavy heart, I agreed a price with Mr Mellis. We rounded up the rest of the sheep and fenced them off while he left to collect his trailer, and I walked thoughtfully back to the house.Mr Mellis will be back later and promised not to make me watch the animals’ departure. For all that they have been a burden, I shall miss them.

To my surprise, when I told Jay of my decision, he became quite animated, muttering about Baa Bee Queues, but said that of course they were my sheep and it was my decision to make,  just to remember that the alpacas were a gift from him; then he walked off very quickly.

I have visited Mr Mellis’ delicatessen more than once, and have never seen honey for sale there, nor very many customers at any one time – but perhaps Jay has. In any event, I think when he calms down he will be glad of one less task to do in the mornings.

I will make a special cake for Jay to have with his tea later.

Till then,

Aisselle

Just a quick word on innocence

Just a quick word, no photos, nothing fancy. I was in the corner shop this morning picking up a wheel of brie to offer to Hermaphroditey as a bloodless sacrifice (of course, she can only eat its spirit, so I eat the rest of it afterwards). As I left the lady behind the counter started gossiping with another customer about me.

She referred to me as an innocent. Funny, I thought I was terribly worldly. I’ve done training courses. I’ve left school. I’ve had sex. I’ve even moved house. How could I still be innocent?

But she seemed to think I was. She said to this lady – my shoe was uncomfortable, so I couldn’t help overhearing as I lingered by the shop door adjusting it – she said that she had read my blog and I kept dropping huge clangers everywhere but she didn’t think I meant it, I was so innocent.

It gives me a warm feeling to know that the lady I buy my sacrificial cheeses from reads my blog. Perhaps one day she will put aside her pride and learn from me. I can only hope.

Oh, and I thought all the cowbells were accounted for, but I may have absent-mindedly lost some, as she seems to think. So if you find any clangers lying around that smell of goat and Tarot readings, please message me and I’ll come and pick them up.

An omen

white peacock by Aiselle A T Gabegie
white peacock, a photo by Aisselle               on Flickr.

As I was leaving the kitchen early this morning to go and check on the animals, a strange sight met my eyes. In the garden, perfectly still, stood a white peacock. I wondered where he had come from – none of our neighbours keeps peacocks as far as I know, for we would have heard their raucous calls. Peacocks are said to give warning of snakes and tigers, and to scream before the rain comes. This behaviour probably developed from their origins in Southern Asia, where the seasons are more extreme than ours here in England, and where rain is a special event to be greeted with cries of joy after months of heat and dust.

We looked at one another, the bird and I, and memories of ages past played across my mind’s eye. I saw the victorious legions as they entered Rome with caged peacocks among the many treasures on their wagons, for we held the bird sacred to Juno.

When I was Io and turned into a heifer by Hera because I was desired by Zeus, Hermes lulled Argus – the beast with a hundred eyes set to guard me – to sleep with music, before putting him to death. Hera wished for a memorial to her faithful servant and took some of his eyes for the peacock’s tail.

The peacock spoke silently of gold, silver, ivory, apes and his ancestors being brought on ships to Solomon’s court, and of tribute paid in peacock’s feathers in ancient China, for these were essential for official ceremonies.

The bird told me that he was a symbol of truth, purity, love and eternity, and that he would remain standing perfectly still so that I could take his photograph and keep it always near me in remembrance of the day after I had truly accepted the lost half of myself and become complete.

I did as he bid, and replaced the camera in its case, but when I looked up the bird had disappeared as quietly as melting snow. How blessed I am, and how beautiful the world of Spiritual Insight.

Blessings, Aisselle

Of Joel and nettles

nettles by Aiselle A T Gabegie
Nettles, a photo by Aisselle on Flickr.

I watched over Joel while he slept, his face in repose more peaceful than I’d ever seen. There is something very beautiful about him, something spiritual and otherworldly. Jay came to sit with me, and we spoke of what had passed. Jay said that Joel and I are twin souls, and that what we have together is something precious that must be protected – a gift of both blood and spirit – and that our own union can be harmed by neither man nor beast. We sat in silence then, and after a while he disappeared. He is always most comfortable when not enclosed within walls.

At last Joel woke, his face reflecting subtle emotions as he recalled what had passed between us. There was no need for words. He is calm now, and all will be well. After a mug of cocoa made from fresh goat’s milk we crossed the orchard together to his red Ford Prefect, and bid each other till soon. I watched as the little car bumped away down the lane. I am twice blessed – I have Jay and I have found Joel.

I spent this afternoon collecting nettles, which are excellent nourishment – rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals; wonderful for your kidneys, adrenals, skin, hair, lungs, intestines and arteries.

Gather the tops now, before they flower, and use some fresh as a green vegetable before drying enough for later, either in a herb dryer or on a tray in the airing cupboard.

The dried leaves make lovely nettle tea to drink hot or cold and use as a rinse for skin or hair, or add a handful of dried nettles to soups, casseroles and risottos. And be sure to steep some fresh nettle tops in cider vinegar to use as you will after six weeks.

Till when, Aisselle

A visitor

I had eaten only two chocolate eggs yesterday when events took an unexpected turn. A strange figure staggered through the kitchen door, which was wide open to catch the slight cooling breeze so welcome in the unseasonal heat. He was dressed in an odd assortment of things – a pair of striped pyjama bottoms under a gingham skirt, a tee shirt and tie, a pair of Doc Martens (no socks) and what looked like an old chintz tablecloth in different shades of pink and purple with touches of green here and there. A crown of ivy twined around his head and trailed down below his ears. The whole ensemble was finished off with touches of greenery and crumbs of earth. It was Joel.

He explained that the ivy had attached itself when he fell off the window ledge on waking this morning, and that he’d had to come straight away as he couldn’t wait until Monday. I offered him an egg, and a welcome silence engulfed us as we nibbled away together. We were like two chocolate-eating goats. But there’s only so much chocolate one can eat before its allure begins to pale, and we reached that moment together.

We sat in silence for a time. Joel seemed close to tears, and I reached for some pink tissue that had been wrapped around one of the eggs, hoping to evaluate his new skrying method for myself. But the tears never came – instead he crawled across the yard or so between us to sit at my feet, lay his head on my knees and beg me to tell him the meaning of the three Star cards.

So I related the result of my woodland reading, played him the tape of last Monday’s regression, and watched as his face began to glow like sunrise over the horizon. I didn’t complicate matters by mentioning Henna’s goings on with the Grand Ovum or the warlock, but urged him to reveal everything to me so we can begin again with no secrets.

Well, Dear Readers, Joel overflowed. He really did pour out his heart. Afterwards, spent, he lay prone like the knight on the Four of Swords (except that Joel was on the floor, as I haven’t a suitable tomb in the house).

So it seems that all is clear – we have the answers to the cards in the bath. The three Fools are Henna, Joel and myself.

The three Star cards are Grannie, Henna and myself all those years ago performing our ceremony in the wood when the tobacco magnate arrived with an impressionable boy on the cusp of manhood.

Four of Swords by Aiselle A T Gabegie
Four of Swords, on Flickr.

The Six of Cups implied by the three Twos of Cups are those hidden memories, both mine and Joel’s, now recovered. The three Twos of Cups are Henna and either the Grand Ovum or the warlock, Jay and myself, and… Joel and yours truly. For Joel was smitten that day and has carried the buried memory of my seventeen year old self with him ever since.

I’m not sure what this means. He is my half-brother – can he also be my soul mate? And what of Jay – will he be happy with me having a closer half-brotherly sisterly bond with Joel than at present?

For I believe it may be possible, as we are more like twins than siblings, and now that there are no secrets between us the way is open. I will let him sleep now, and be here when he wakes.

Till when, Aisselle

Treading carefully

Easter Eggs by Aiselle A T Gabegie
Easter Eggs, a photo by Aisselle  on Flickr.

Easter Sunday. I rose at dawn this morning, stepping carefully over the dozens of eggs, both hard-boiled hen’s eggs (together with a jar of mayonnaise) and chocolate ones. Jay had left them on the floor by the bed, as he does every year.

I had to invoke Hermaphroditey. I have never been so in need of her help. Too much is happening all at once – new lambs appearing in the orchard, mutual memories surfacing, the Ovum enraged (and believe me, you don’t want to enrage an Ovum, especially a Grand one), unknown warlocks causing mischief – not to mention Henna sending me warning messages via voles – well, it was only one message and one vole, but nevertheless…

And as if all this were not enough, I had an email from Joel this morning. Here it is in its entirety, leaving nothing out.

Dear Aisselle,

I thought I’d message you because I can’t wait until Monday’s session.

I just need an outlet I suppose, my readings are creating more questions than answers, I am none the clearer than weeks ago.

I’ve been trying varying methods of reading without the cards, as I still am in need of your help regarding that past reading.

I tried a method of reading my tears. I cry onto coloured tissue paper and try and scry them, whilst listening to Crying Over You

but the Spanish version.

I first saw a leaping ram which reminded me of the one on the Page of Wands on the New Mythic deck, what could this mean?

Then I wept an image that resembled two seagulls over a turbulent sea.

These latest signs have left me no nearer to finding consolation in my current turbulent situation.

I have still many things I have held back from you and sometimes just wish I could pour it all out to you.

At the same time though I don’t want to be a burden, sorry to be so down, I feel blessed but at the same time I feel like the

Devil himself is hot at my heels and I know that a great future lies ahead but I feel at a loss as to how to get there.

As I was falling asleep last night on my window ledge where I often sleep, a large cloud loomed over which looked like Ma, it

seemed like she was trying to tell me something, do you think she is OK?

Are you good?

I look forward to seeing you again soon.

Joel

The grass was cool and wet on my naked feet as I entered the orchard and called the goats. Together we made our way to a small cairn of stones in the northern corner, and the goats made a circle around Baphomet, who had gained its summit in one leap, while the sheep and alpacas watched with disinterest before resuming their nibbling of the tender herbs and grasses.

Meanwhile, I climbed an adjacent apple tree to get closer to the Goddess. After a few moments of silent invocation I sensed her presence. There was no need to form a question, as Hermaphroditey and myself have a close relationship. I sometimes imagine she is the sister I never had.

She spoke (as she always does) in a language unknown to me, but that I understand on some deep level. Her words of wisdom will stay with me.

Apparently I must allow Joel to submit to his need to relieve himself of his burden and pour everything out to me, as he expressed in his email. Only after this will we be able to relive the memory of the ceremony in the wood.

I will email Joel later and tell him that all will be well tomorrow. But now my eggs are waiting. There’s nothing quite like chocolate.

Soon, Aisselle

A message from a vole

I went into the garden today to look at some of the flowers that are coming out – forget-me-nots and primroses, and the wild garlic is spreading. This is excellent news. As well as being tasty in cooking, it has so many uses in healing, and I shall harvest it with enthusiasm in a few weeks. It is powerful in itself, lowering blood pressures and cholesterol, as well, as being an effective anti-viral  – and it can be used on those nasty boils some of my clients seem to sport on their nether regions. Also I feel it is as effective as the more commonly used garlic in fending off vampires. You never know when that may come in handy.

Looking over the wall, I saw that one of the sheep has given birth. More animals to look after. I wonder how we shall cope if this goes on. I suspect Boötes was responsible for this. But they were so sweet – and Easter is a time for lambs. There seemed to be thunder on the way, and I started back towards the house – only to hear someone calling my name. I looked all around – but to no avail, till I almost tripped on some moss. To my amazement, a tiny vole was calling to me from a hole in the ground.

He had a special message for me, he said, from Henna. This seemed improbable – but Henna has always seemed improbable so I listened carefully. He told me that Henna has parted company with the Ovum yet again. It seems that he was not best pleased to hear that Joel and I were in touch – for some reason he felt that this was a threat to his personal security. Henna had flounced out in a rage and moved in with a warlock – so called, said the vole with a sniff – up the road. Apparently it was he who had stimulated the strange vision of the woodland ceremony I sensed the other day.

She wants me to be careful, said the vole. She has no idea why the warlock had dragged this memory into her mind, but she feels he is trying to control her past, and she plans to return to the Ovum as soon as he calms down. From past experience, I know this may take a while. The Ovum is not to be trifled with when he flies into a rage.

I thanked the vole for his help, and returned thoughtfully to the house. Is this something that will put my new-found relationship with Joel at risk ? Do I take note of the Ovum’s rage, or of the warlock’s strange behaviour in calling up Henna’s memories? I know nothing of him, but what I know of the Ovum is less than inspiring.

I must consult Hermaphroditey – and soon. Monday is advancing upon us, and what Joel might remember may well complicate matters further.

Till when,

Aisselle

A woodland reading

A woodland reading by Aiselle A T Gabegie
A woodland reading, a photo by                  Aiselle A T Gabegie on Flickr.

Summer is upon us – at least until the Goddess decrees otherwise. I took refuge from the midday heat among the tree spirits in the magic wood, haunted by the memories Joel and I seem to share within this sacred place, although Joel’s memories are as yet incomplete and mine have yet to surface.

I carried with me the Celtic Tarot, guided by an intuition that seemed to whisper audibly in my ear before I left the house. I thought perhaps a reading in a special spot would shed a shaft of light on our mutual past, whatever that may be.

At last I found a tangle of ivy that had climbed an ancient yew in search of the light, knelt on a mossy cushion, and after a moment of silence and bird-song in which I asked Hermaphroditey for her help, began to shuffle the cards.

I drew three cards, Dear Readers – you can see them if you look carefully at the photograph above.

The Moon, The High Priestess and yet again, The Star. Three majors for one important question: Who are the three naked ladies on Joel’s Star cards?

Time passed as I gazed upon these three cards. I no longer heard the birds singing in the branches above. I knew the figures on the cards as if they were my own family. For, Dear Readers, that is exactly who they were.

There are two circles on The Moon card, and there, in the lower circle is Grannie in her blue robe, between two candles. Her skin is white, her eyelids blue, indicating that she is no longer of this world. The blue robe hides this secret, and another too, for Grannie never wore a stitch under her ceremonial garment. In the upper circle we see her (much) younger self, liberated by Death, and below the lower circle flow the deep and symbolic waters of life.

The High Priestess is Henna with the largest of her crystal balls. The resemblance to her younger self is remarkable – I recognised her straight away. Her gesture – an upraised finger (very Henna) – indicates secrets that may or may not be revealed. Yet more secrets. As you can see, her robe is blue, but whereas Grannie’s robe was a greenish blue, Henna’s tends more towards a purplish blue. She is rather buttoned up, this High Priestess, but it’s definitely Henna, and believe me, she is quite naked underneath.

And now we can see where this shifting of hue is leading, for the figure on the third card, The Star, is wearing a fine purple robe, which has flown open to reveal her nakedness. This Dear Readers, is yours truly. It was before I had my hair cut and embraced plaits, but it’s definitely me.

I had replaced the cards in the pack before I realized my mistake. I should have drawn another card to indicate when this event in the wood took place. I began to shuffle, but as I did so a card flew out to land on the dry yew-strewn earth beside me. Yet again, the Star. Number seventeen. I must have been seventeen years old.

And now I need to think, for I have no clear memory of a ceremony in the wood – at least not one at which Joel (who would have been fifteen then), was present.

Monday is but a few days away and I can only hope that we can work through this mystery together.

Blessings, Aisselle