A New Life

Aisselle & Pie by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Aisselle & Pie, a photo  on Flickr.

Merry Meet, Dear Readers and Devoted Followers. It has been so long since I last posted here and I’ve missed you all. But now I must tell you what has come to pass.

The feelings I described in the previous post, all those months ago, stayed with me and built to a horrid dark nimbus which laid me so low that my beloved Hermaphroditey left and could not be found. My powers waned even as the moon goddess slims to a sliver every month before growing fat and full again. I became so thin and translucent that Jay feared for my life, and fed me nettle cakes, elderflower wine, milk and cheese from the goats, and wild honey, but nothing helped. I was disappearing, and had not the strength to see my clients or attend to the needs of my followers here.

Then, one dark day, when the sun seemed to have deserted us too, Jay carried me outside to see my beloved goats, possibly to say goodbye to them and the other animals for the last time. As he placed me tenderly on a goat’s wool blanket in the orchard and covered me, Baphomet left the little herd and skipped across the cold grass to stand beside us. I kissed his gracious nose and reached up to scratch the small spot at the end of his back, just above his tail. This is a bit risky as it’s essential not to do it for too long or he becomes crazy with lust. But before I could so much as tickle him, Baphomet leaned down, put his whiskers to my ear and spoke, and his words made perfect sense.

‘Listen kid’, he said, and his voice was deep and wise. ‘Ya gotta get outta this place and hit the road. Hermy’s gone cause the pair in there…’ and here he jerked his noble head in the direction of the cottage, ‘…is sprogging. I dessay Pan reckons which one – or maybe both, but none of us goats has a clue – we just knows there’s a kid on the way and Hermy doesn’t like it.’

As Baphomet spoke it came to me like a warm golden shower falling all over and around me that he was right, before I realized that it was just one of the other goats who had tiptoed up behind us. I thanked the lovely creature (Baphomet) for this enlightenment, and with new strength instructed Jay to take me indoors and put me to bed, where I lay and pondered long before falling asleep.

I woke the following morning with a happier heart, and spent the day reading cards in the basement – the first time I’d been able to do so for some time. And before the sun reached its zither the answer came and parked itself in the lane by the gate across the orchard.

Jay had been with me down there (in the basement), but had just gone up to make some dandelion tea when he saw it. He tells me that he ran out of the kitchen door, across the garden and the orchard and came back an hour later with a smile lighting his whole face. He brought me upstairs and we drank the tea together, then, taking my hand, he led me outside.

Through the orchard we made our way, the wet grass squeaking our shoes, and my heart sank. Under the oldest and tallest apple tree stood a chunky piebald horse. Not more animals to care for – Oh Jay, what have you done?

But I need not have feared. In the lane stood our salvation – a gypsy caravan! That just shows you the power of the Buckland Romani Tarot, for it was that I had been using all morning. Jay told me that the horse was a Vanner, and strong enough to pull us and a few precious belongings away from our troubles and out into the country lanes. He’d bought it and the horse from an old gypsy who’d named his price (way too high, said Jay), quick as a one card reading and dropped it in the time it takes to do a Celtic Cross (properly). Jay said that we could go anywhere our hearts desired, reading tarot along the way, following the Fayres and living on nettles and wild herbs. We could even take one of the nanny goats for milk. George and Minet could stay in the cottage and look after the animals, and we could come back sometimes to visit them (the animals).

So here I am, Dear Readers and Devoted Followers, well and happy, tapping away in the Café Net, as my old computer would not have worked in the van. I have been out of touch for so long, and would be still, had I not fancied a cup of coffee (naughty, I know) and popped in. Sadly there was no coffee to be found (or any net), just lots of screens and keyboards, so it seemed as if Hermaphroditey had led me here on purpose and must be heeded. For she had returned, appearing as a fluffy pinky-purple ball almost as soon as we’d left the lane, and now resides in the van, just below the ceiling, where she bobs merrily as we go along.

The last few Fayres of summer went well for us, and although autumn was wet and windy, and winter so far the same, but cold too, Jay and I are cosy in our little van, warmed by the wood stove. Pie, our lovely Vanner, loves to have his back scratched just like Baphomet, and it seems to have the same effect on him, so I have to be careful as he’s a powerful creature.

George and Minet told us before we left that their kindling would arrive in June. We wished them well, and left with gasps of relief. We have each other, Aisselle and Jay. We have our collie  –  dear precious Leon and the Goddess Hermaphroditey, with Pie to pull the van and Nu (who rides inside like a queen when we’re on the move) for milk. We are all we need.

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to post again, but do please leave your questions and requests and I’ll send the readings across the aether when I can find a connection.

In the meantime, look out for us on the road – our tarot readings are not too expensive but they are supernaturally accurate. Our stock of elderberry wine is only half immolated, and Jay bakes wondrous nettle cakes – his secret ingredient makes them truly magickal. We can raise a glass together.

Blessed Be Till When,

Aisselle

Two for joy

Handfasting by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Handfasting, a photo by me on Flickr.

I woke yesterday morning to find Jay’s place beside me cold and empty once again and rose with a sigh to draw the curtains. The day I had dreamed of and looked forward to for so long – my Summer Solstice handfasting – had arrived, yet my beloved had disappeared and was still missing. I turned to go and wake Minet, determined that she should have a wonderful day, even if I should not, but a small commotion in the garden took me back to the window in time to see two magpies jumping up and down on the fence squawking raucously. Two for joy! My heart lifted immediately, Spiritual Insight returned and I knew that all would be well and all would be well and all manner of things would be well.

But Minet’s room was empty. I stood for a moment wondering where she could be. It was only as I was preparing a celebratory breakfast of homemade museli and goat’s milk that I heard singing becoming gradually louder, and went to the kitchen door to watch her cross the wet grass. She had been to pick redcurrants and wild raspberries in the orchard, and had some wondrous news – Jay had returned! He had asked Minet to tell me that he would greet me at the ceremony, as it would be unlucky to see me any earlier. I asked her where he’d been, but she said it was a surprise and I would have to wait to find out.

Minet had been busy while I’d spent those days walking in the rain, and everything was ready. Jay’s old friends who were to officiate as priest and priestess were parked in the lane in their ancient kombi – Minet had invited them to stay, but apparently Crow was allergic to cats, and Azriel, his lady and their seven little ones would be sure to bring on an attack. Minet said it was just as well though, as otherwise there’d have been no room for Henna and her young Vic. ‘What!’ I shrieked. ‘Henna’s here, now, this very minute?’ ‘Of course,’ replied Minet. ‘We couldn’t not invite our own mother!’ I had to admit there was some logic in this statement, and felt relieved that the Grand Ovum was not accompanying her, as I knew he would detect the presence of his book as soon as he set foot in the house.

Breakfast over, all that remained was to prepare ourselves for the ceremony. We met Henna and the young Vic (whose name by an odd coincidence just happened to be Victor), coming out of the spare room. It was strange seeing her again after all the drama about the Druid’s book, but she had returned to her multicoloured gear and looked more like her old self than when she’d left the last time. She greeted me as usual with a simple Hiya Aisse – today’s the day then girlie! the diagonally broken tooth adding to her slightly comic look. I think she must have been bouncing on the bed again as we’d heard her while eating breakfast, and she did look very flushed. Mind you, so did the young Vic. He looks about nineteen and has the face of an angel.

It was time to get ready. Minet had made me a combination tinfoil hat and willow crown to set off my new blue gingham dress, white blouse and red sequined shoes. She looked beautiful in a long gown of green satin with a hooded patchwork cloak of many colours and patterns and the contents of Henna’s jewellery box.

And so, after a fortifying glass of elderflower champagne, Minet and yours truly, Aisselle AT Gabegie, made their way across the wet grass of the orchard followed by Boötes and Baaaarbara and all the goats and alpacas, with dear little Leon dashing here and there among them, doing his best to be a proper sheepdog but failing happily. Henna and the young Vic had left earlier. And there in the orchard, under a bower of baby apples, just as the Lovers Tarot had predicted, splendiferous in his robes and antlers, stood dearest Jay with the priest and priestess. As we approached two figures stepped out from behind the trees. I recognized the aged crone from the battered caravan immediately – she was still wearing the long red velvet dressing gown and the huge pink carpet slippers. They must have been rather damp, for although the sky was cloudy and  there had been no rain so far that day, the long grass was still wet from the night rain. The crone didn’t seem at all bothered, and waited silently (as was her wont), wrinkled hands buried in the deep pockets of the gown. I wondered if she were to be a guardian or witness, and how she would manage without speech, but she must have read my mind because she removed one hand from a pocket and flashed the flash cards she’d used the last time I’d seen her. Dear Copwatcher, dressed in her long purplish pink robe, the trusty binocks at rest on her bosom, completed the picture. All our friends were here!

George stepped out from the opposite side. I have to confess that he gave me a slight turn as he was dressed in his policeman’s uniform, but a sideways glance at a radiant Minet told me that this was exactly what she wanted.

Miraculously, the sun appeared from behind the scudding clouds to bless us, and the lovely ceremony began. Ancient traditions were revived and leapt into life, pledges were made and poems spoken. And then, telling us to wait, George and Minet disappeared into the depths of the wild orchard only to reappear moments later as… Joel and Georgina! Joel was wearing his red shirt with the frills around the cuffs, but strangely, Baphomet took no exception to it this time. And Georgina looked exactly like the Queen of Swords in the Golden Tarot of Klimt, except that she’d added a satin blouse to the ensemble and had replaced the high heels with pink spotted wellies just in case it rained again. Minet (or rather Joel as s/he now appeared) said that s/he’d made Georgina’s outfit her/himself after I’d posted my reading for them on the blog! They intend to spend half the year as Joel and Georgina, and half as Minet and George. So Mollie Promp was right, and Joel did return – even if only temporarily.

Gateway by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Gateway, a photo by Aisselle  on Flickr.

The whole ceremony was performed again for Joel and Georgina before we all wandered in procession to the magic wood to pass ritually through the hollow tree from one part of our lives to the next. The sun had not left us – it seemed we were touched by some magic. And so onwards through the trees to receive the blessing of The Woodman before completing the circle by returning to the orchard for the handfasting feast, where Jay’s disappearance was explained by his gift to me. He had journeyed far to collect a special carving, which I could see standing beneath our handfasting bower as we approached. Carved from a trunk of pine stood the Green Man in all his natural glory. He will remain there to remind us of this day, and though he may weather and darken, and cracks will appear in his body, he will endure, just as we will.

Green Man by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Green Man, a photo by me on Flickr.

As the sun went down and the longest day drew to a close, we lit the solstice fire and gathered round with a good supply of elderflower champagne, nourishing goat’s milk quiche, nettle and carrot cake and fresh raspberries and redcurrants. Be glad for me, dear friends. I have never been so happy.

Till when, Aisselle

Of magic sheep and other animals

fleece by Aisselle A T Gabegie
fleece, a photo  on Flickr.

June is the time for shearing the sheep and alpacas, and so Jay called on two strong men to perform the task. I was worried that the animals would catch colds without their woolly coats, but although the wind is still cool, the sun has been shining for a day or so, the orchard is sheltered, and of course they have the shed now too, so we decided to go ahead. We thought we’d round them up before the shearers arrived, but Boötes and Baaaarbara sensed that something was afoot and dashed around the orchard playing ‘catch me if you can’ and hiding behind the trees. I’m afraid that little Leon, our border collie puppy, was no help at all, and seemed to think that his job was to scatter the animals as far and wide as possible, but perhaps I was wrong in assuming that herding is an instinct with this breed, and some training is necessary. I will have to learn to whistle. At last the sheep and alpacas were safely ensconced in the shed, Boötes and Baaaarbara looking rather the worse for the game of catch.

When the men arrived they looked puzzled and asked where we’d got the sheep and why we’d brought them in. I told them that they were a present from my mother, and was surprised when the taller of the two laughed and said, ‘She’s not a witch, is she?’ I replied that Henna was many things, and that was most certainly one of them, only to see him look somewhat taken aback. He explained that Boötes and Baaaarbara appeared to be self-shearing sheep, although he’d never seen any of their particular thick-coated breed before, being familiar only with the more sparsely coated self-shearing Exlana and the Wiltshire Horn and its relations.

I explained that the state of Boötes and Baaaarbara was due to the fact that they’d been dashing around the orchard all morning, but he shook his head, and demonstrated how easily the wool came away. So it seems that they will shed their woolly coats all by themselves as the weather becomes warmer, and unless we follow them around and collect the wool, the birds will use it to line their nests.

Boötes and Baaaarbara were only too happy to gain their freedom, and dashed off into the orchard, leaving the shearers to deal with the alpacas, whose wool we’ll spin to make warm cloaks for the winter.

After a delicious lunch of goat’s cheese, fresh basil and Jay’s home-grown tomatoes with Minet’s sesame seed bread and my elderflower and honey cake, I gave our shearers a tarot reading. I thought it best to take them back to the shed for some privacy rather than remain in the orchard or go down to the basement. The memory of the last client to visit is still too fresh in my mind – if I close my eyes down there I can still hear her screams.

Speaking of Otherworldly Things, I have decided to put Mollie Promp and her doings from my mind for the moment. Whether TD stands for The Devil, Tallulah Dervish, or someone quite different will no doubt become clear when the time is right.

Till when, Aisselle

The snail trail

Snails by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Snails, a photo by Aisselle on Flickr.

All the sightings, warnings and visions had left me feeling decidedly scattered, so I spent some time in meditation and consultation with Hermaphroditey. But yesterday I left the Guardian of the Basement on his own (he is not the best of company), to walk in the magic wood. I half expected to see Mollie Promp in one of her manifestations, but instead happened across a trail of snail shells. They were all intact and undamaged, as if some dextrous bird had removed and eaten the contents without needing to break the shells. I followed the trail, collecting the lovely brown spirals along the way, wondering if they would lead to some sort of revelation or message from the goddess, but when I emerged from the wood I found myself at the crone’s caravan.

It struck me then that perhaps she was Mollie Promp in another of that creature’s guises, and I determined to ask her and get some sort of an answer, even if it were just a nod of her aged white head.

A hollow tinny sound echoed from the rap of my knuckles on the battered door, and I had the feeling that many such knuckles had rapped at this door exactly as I was rapping – perhaps for millennia. No one answered, although my special powers told me that the crone was inside. I sat down on the step and counted the snail shells. There were twenty two – the number of the major arcana. I was just thinking that perhaps I should create a snail tarot by painting on the shells when the caravan door opened and the old woman was looking down on me. It’s a funny angle from which to view someone. Her skinny ankles seemed like bones fleshed only by the wrinkled stockings as they balanced in the huge pink slippers, her hands emerged like two claws from the sleeves of the red velvet dressing gown, and all I could see of her head was the jagged peak of her nose above the wrinkled skin below her chin, surrounded by a halo of white hair.

I didn’t mean to be so direct – after all, she had never uttered a single word to me, and I wasn’t even sure she could hear anything I said – but ‘Are you Mollie Promp?’ I gasped.

I think she may have sighed silently – I’m not sure – but anyway her shoulders seemed to droop. She turned back inside and I thought I’d offended her, but in less than a minute came out with a pack of cards, which she fanned out and studied, her head on one side like some sort of bird – a stork or crane perhaps. Selecting one, she turned it to show me the face of the card, on which was written a single word in a childish hand.

no

I must say that I felt relieved. I thanked her and went straight home without waiting to be taken in for tea, although she didn’t make any attempt to draw me inside as she usually does, but turned around and disappeared, shutting the door behind her.

In celebration, and to give thanks to Hermaphroditey I made a necklace with seven of the snail shells. I shall wear it for our handfasting at the Summer Solstice – Jay will be thrilled.

It was only later that I realized that I’d forgotten to ask the crone if her initials were TD, or her name Tullulah Dervish.

Till when, Aisselle

Preparation

Ritual items  by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Ritual items , a photo by Aisselle  on Flickr.

We spent Friday reorganizing the basement. The rabbits have been relocated – Jay made them a cosy hutch and a large run in the garden and they settled in immediately, running about and kicking up their hind legs. Arthur Edward and Pixie excelled themselves with high leaps in the air before snuggling up together by the food bowl.

We performed a ritual cleansing – after an actual cleansing of course – with lots of sprinkling and the tinkling of many bells. The round table where I read for clients remains in its usual place, but Minet erected a special altar using the green chest that contained the Druid’s book, covered it with black felt and set the ritual items ready.

These are the things Hermaphroditey asked me to collect from the wood: a birdstone for flight and the feathered ones; a fishstone for swimming and the scaled ones; two feathers from a bird of prey for passionless efficiency; the skull of a badger to represent mammals, and so that neither the Grand Ovum or Myrrdin badgers us for the sacred objects; a Hermaphroditey stone (it’s that one top left of the photo – please work it out for yourselves); a piece of magickal wood to represent tree spirits; and a crystalline stone for precious minerals and sharpness of intellect.

Jay has taken a picture of these for my many devoted followers, but the snails and the insects wouldn’t stay still long enough to be in it, so I’m keeping them safe in an old fish tank that Minet converted to a snail/insectarium with earth and greenery. Please do not email me about these creatures – they will be well-looked after and released into the wild after the ritual.

The elements themselves are also to be present, but these will be put in place at the foot of the Guardian. This is obviously a metaphorical foot, as all we have of him is his head, but Minet found a lovely tree stump, so saving Jay the task of making a plinth, busy as he was making the hutch and run for the rabbits at the time.

Saturday was spent resting, fasting and in conversation with Hermaphroditey to hone the ritual to perfection. This morning we have been making cakes and preparing refreshments in readiness for the post-ritual celebration. Elderflower splash, nettle, honey and oat cakes, and an infusion of mugwort – if indeed mugwort was what the crone gave me that had such an interesting effect. One can never be sure, and it’s no good asking her as she seems incapable of either speech or hearing.

At the magickal hour of three o’clock today, Jay, Minet and yours truly, Aisselle Gabegie, will repair to the basement to perform the necessary – more than that I cannot say, as it would be to break the magickal code. SMIB.

Till when, Aisselle

Of doors, crones and guardians

Bohemian Gothic Five of Pentacles by Aisselle A T Gabegie
 Five of Pentacles,  on Flickr.

Jay has spent the morning making a new door for the basement. When he’d finished he realized that he couldn’t lift it, but luckily Minet was able to help and they soon had it secured at the top of the basement steps. When I returned with the man from the Recycling Point I was amazed to find it already in place. It is almost the twin – perhaps the half-brother or sister? – of the door on the Five of Pentacles card of the Bohemian Gothic Tarot, except that the metalwork hinges are not quite so decorative. It lends a lovely aura of Gothic Mystery to the kitchen.

But I had not been idle either. While Jay and Minet were setting in place arrangements for the security of the basement, I had been collecting ritual items for the ceremony to install the two sacred and precious objects – the Book of the Druid Grand Ovum and the Skull of Balaam’s Ass (well most of it, anyway). I had taken my extra large carpet bag and visited the magic wood, where I found all manner of wondrous things (of which I will write more another time).

I had turned towards home when I remembered the crone, and made a detour to the corner of the field that adjoins the wood, where her battered caravan stands, tilted at a slight angle. She appeared as I approached, dressed as before in the red velvet dressing gown, oversized pink carpet slippers and thick wrinkled stockings. She took me by the hand and drew me up the steps and into the van as she usually does, and I sat down at the table while she set the tea things.

I’m not quite sure what sort of tea it was – mugwort perhaps – it had been nettle the last time I visited – but the aromatic oils swirled deliciously up my nose with rather an odd effect, and I felt quite dreamy and lightheaded for some time after I left her, clutching a Cadbury’s chocolate finger and a scrap of paper on which she’d drawn some lines and arrows. I sat down in the field and ate her finger while I examined this scrap, knowing it was an important document. After all, the crone had guided my steps each time I’d visited her door. And thinking of doors, I wondered if perhaps the information she’d given me was relevant to Jay’s work securing the basement.

I puzzled over that scrap of paper for quite some time, until something about the scribbled signs and arrows reminded me of a map, and I stood (somewhat shakily) and tried to get my bearings. I wondered if they pointed further down what seemed on the map (if indeed it was one), to represent the lane that runs along the end of our orchard to a road with many cars. If so, it appeared that across this road was a square marked with a large X and beside it the words: Recycling Point. It was a message.

With a whispered prayer to Hermaphroditey I left the field and set off down the lane.

I don’t know how I managed to cross the road unscathed – it could only be that Hermaphroditey had heard my prayer and was guiding my steps. But I did, in spite of much bellowing of klaxons and shouts from car windows, and there, on the other side, in the corner of a space surrounded by trees I saw it. No, not the square depicted on the map, or the cross or even the Recycling Point, whatever that may be – although it must have something to do with bicycles – but The Guardian of the Basement.

I recognized him immediately. He looked down from on high, one glance from his eyes sufficient to send even those initiated ones less strong than myself running for the protection of their extra powerful tinfoil hats. I knew he was destined to reside in the basement, but he was so elevated that even I, with all my powers, was helpless to reach him.

It was while I was wondering what to do that a man approached and asked if he could help. I told him that I needed The Powerful Guardian, but was unable to reach that high, and he winked and asked me what it was worth. Puzzled for a few moments, I decided to offer him a tarot reading in my basement if he would climb up and bring The Guardian down to me, and he readily agreed, and went to find a ladder.

The task accomplished, he offered to drive me home, The Guardian being awkward and quite heavy (and I already had the carpet bag to carry). He seemed very keen to have the tarot reading as soon as possible.

And so I found myself with all the items needed for the installation ceremony. Jay and Minet had gone to count the animals, having finished the door. The tarot reading passed pleasantly enough although there was something strange and dreamy about the experience, but the man seemed very happy as he took his leave.

When Jay comes back I will ask him to make a suitable plinth ready for our Guardian of the Basement, but now I must go and lie down as I am having some very odd flashbacks about that reading.

Till when, Aisselle

Four of Tinfoil Hats

I have rested, and am renewed. This morning I created a new card for my Grand Ellessia Tarot – the Four of Tinfoil Hats.

You see me on my couch in the basement in a deep recuperative state, charging my metaphysical batteries, four of my most powerful tinfoil hats above me on the shelf. They are also recharging in readiness for the next reading. I have depicted this part of my recuperation rather than the earlier part in bed with Jay. Open as I am on this, my very own blog, read by my many devoted followers, there are some things that must remain both occult and sacred.

Now I must attend to creating the vault in the basement. Jay is at this moment at a place called Bee and Queue, whatever and wherever that may be. I can only guess that bees go there to queue for something, which seems very odd, as bees are mostly far too busy to queue for anything and gather nectar without the need to waste time on such things. He did speak of strengthening the basement door before he left though, so perhaps he will collect the necessary materials on his way back.

I will need another powerful Guardian when the work is complete, and of course there are the ritual items to gather together. I must make a list and venture into the magic wood this very afternoon. And perhaps call on the old lady who lives in the caravan – she may have some Spiritual Insights to pass on to me.

Till when, Aisselle

Of missions and parcels

Enchanted Chariot by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Enchanted Chariot, on Flickr.

I woke this morning with the Enchanted Chariot hanging over me. A dream had revealed the meaning of the card – Jay and I must go on a mission to rescue Henna from the Warlock/Ovum sandwich. She was now in limbo, as it seemed that the warlock had sent her to obtain some sort of special book from the Ovum, but she had stolen or taken with her the donkey’s skull, either for some purpose of her own or the Grand Ovum’s. To complicate matters further, she had sent the skull to me because she had accidentally left behind the lower jawbone and the skull was now useless, if not dangerous, and the Ovum wouldn’t let her into the house with it.

Jay and I discussed the matter over a breakfast of goat’s milk yogurt and muesli and some lovely elderflower splash with lemon and honey. Jay said that if anyone should go at all, he must go alone, as the world outside our domain is not a welcoming place for such as myself, but I replied that the cards had spoken, and that we must travel together, but that I would dress more appropriately than the card indicated, although Jay must wear his antlers. Then of course the question of Minet arose (she was still in bed). Clearly we couldn’t leave her alone just yet, even though there had been no enquiries about Joel from the police, and George had told us that they had only made their enquiries because of the wandering alpaca.

We were still discussing how, when and if we should travel, when there was a loud crash and Azriel dashed across the kitchen floor. That cat seems to have special powers and no need of a cat flap, as when I went to shut the kitchen door I found it not only shut, but locked from last night. This is the second time this has happened, the first being when George turned up holding the parcel from Henna.

Puzzled, I unlocked and opened the door. On the step outside stood another parcel. It was wrapped in brown paper, and looked large and heavy. I called Jay, and he pulled it inside. It took us some moments to decide to open it, but at last, with a prayer to Hermaphroditey, we removed the paper and packing to find a green wooden chest, painted with odd patterns. We raised the lid only to find more brown paper, and had almost decided that the box was all there was when I noticed a scrap of paper sticking out. It was a page torn from an old school exercise book, with a few words in Henna’s spidery scrawl. Stay where you are. Here it is. Keep it safe and things will be OK.

Druid's book by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Druid’s book, a photo by Aisselle  on Flickr.

It took some time to remove all the packing, but at last, in the bottom of the box, we found it. The spine curved slightly, and the pages seemed in danger of falling off. But the bones were clean and dry, and very old and the pages were scattered with strange signs and sigils. It could only be the Book of the Druid Grand Ovum.

Till when, Aisselle

Copwatcher and George come to tea

It was while I was making the apple and nettle cake that I realized what I’d done. I’d invited both a cop and a cop watcher to tea. Would George be uncomfortable with Copwatcher peering at him through her binocks over the teapot and goat’s milk? Would Copwatcher get a crick in her neck and prickly feelings of discomfort from the close proximity of one of the clan from which she’d always kept her distance? And why indeed was she engaged in this activity? I would just have to wait and find out.

She was the first to arrive, the goats standing at a respectful distance, watching quietly, as she strode across the orchard in her long pinkish robe with the famed binocks bumping on her chest.
When I mentioned that they were larger than I remembered she told me that she has a collection of the things, which she keeps in an old wheeled shepherd’s hut on the hill. We decided to visit the Guardians before George arrived, and Jay and Minet promised to keep him happy till we returned.

As the sun flickered through the leafy canopy in the magic wood, creating shifting patterns at out feet, I asked Copwatcher why she was engaged in what seemed to me a Herculean labour.

She told me that long ago her beloved had been a policeman so beautiful that she couldn’t take her eyes off him. Unfortunately he had the same effect on other women too, and had taken advantage of this on a number of occasions, but she’d solved the problem by watching him constantly, usually from a distance and in any one of a number of interesting disguises. Knowing this had had an inhibiting effect on his behavior, and he had finally become unable to interact with women at all and had left her for a Detective Inspector. Unfortunately, by this time cop watching had become an incurable habit and she now looked upon it as her life’s work, following up cases that looked interesting or unusual.

After introducing her to the Guardians we made our way homewards to find the kitchen table laid for tea and the kettle already on. George, Jay and Minet had already started on the cake, but there were two slices left for us as well as goat’s cheese quiche with garlic mustard salad, goat’s cheese dip with violet leaves, goat’s cheese and linden sandwiches, and goat’s yogurt with some early wild strawberries Minet had found in the orchard. I was relieved that the binocks remained untouched on Copwatcher’s bosom, although being rather cumbersome they tended to swing about when she moved, and actually knocked her tea over at one point. But our teapots are large, and the cup was soon refilled.

George is by nature shy and somewhat retiring, but he and Minet seemed to take to one another immediately, and after tea went for a long walk in the magic wood. By the time they returned the light was failing and Copwatcher had returned to her shepherd’s hut. It was too late for the basement reading he’d requested, so we will leave that for another day.

And Jay and I still have the problem of Henna, the warlock and the Grand Ovum to deal with.

Till when, Aisselle

Enchanted

Enchanted Reading by Aisselle A T Gabegie
Enchanted Reading, a photo  on Flickr.

This morning was spent in answering comments and reading with the Enchanted Tarot – well the Zerner Farber actually, but they’re about the same.

Hopefully Copwatcher and the young and confused policeman whose name may or may not be George will come to tea. I’ve promised to take Copwatcher on a Guided Tour to introduce her to the Guardians of the Watchtowers. She is having trouble with her binocks and thinks the Guardians may be blocking the light waves, but once they see she is on our side all will be well, and all manner of things etc.

These are the cards I drew: The Hierophant, the Five of Swords and the Magician.

The Hierophant represents Henna’s Grand Ovum dressed in his Druid robes and regalia. In his right hand he holds some sort of book, his left hand is raised in a forbidding gesture towards the figure in the card on his left, which is our right. He is saying clearly – Go! You’re not coming in here with that thing! Below him are two figures – the man is on his knees asking the woman something important – we shall see what this means later.

The next card is the Five of Swords – Henna herself in spell-casting mode. She is calling on sharp objects to do her bidding. These are not actual objects but spiritual ones. She has the power. In the blue firmament surrounding her we can just make out the donkey’s skull, another tool at her disposal, but she has stolen it from the warlock and the Grand Ovum won’t allow it in the house knowing that it is enchanted and will only cause trouble as Henna forgot to carry away the complete thing, and left the lower jawbone behind.

To her right we have The Magician, and here we can see the warlock himself. A magickal construction shines like a jewelled palace behind him, but this is an illusion created by his dark arts. His gesture indicates that he has sent Henna on a mission to collect something from the Grand Ovum – it must be the book he is holding. She is like a sandwich filling between the white bread and the black, unable for the moment to go either backwards or forwards, working with the tools at her disposal – the yellow spears of baby sweetcorn – her magick.

But this was not enough by any means. I needed more, so with a silent prayer to Hermaphroditey I drew one more card to see what must be done.

The Chariot. A red-haired woman is riding a magickal stag. I recognize myself and Jay immediately. We are to be the means of freeing Henna from the Ovum Warlock sandwich – how I know not – this is what Jay is asking me in the first card. I will meditate fully on this question after tea (and cake).

Till when, Aisselle