Gooseberries

My goodness, it has been so long. Life has been eventful, to say the least, but in small and mundane ways. All our fruit seems to be ripening early; Baaaarbara made herself quite sick eating gooseberries off the bush. A sheep vomiting is not a pretty sight. She’s better now, but we had to stay up all night with her. She even ate the leaves, and I suspect some thorns as well. I am trying to get the rest of them picked, and stay ahead of the strawberries as well.

Minet/Joel was not pleased, as gooseberry crumble is one of her favourite recipes and she was planning to make one for George/ina (as they have taken to borrowing each others clothes and wigs, it is always hard to tell which of them I am talking to. I really begin to find it quite tiresome.) Jay made some joke about their having a child some day and my blood ran cold. I am not sure it was even a joke.

Still – it is none of my business, I suppose, even though Joel is my sibling. That is the best way I can describe Minet these days – you see, I cannot even call Joel by name as he might be Minet when I say it. I am not sure even my powers are easily coping with this. I must consult Hermaphrodite. Maybe they all need new names. The sort of name that can cover all eventualities. Hilary. Vivian. But those names are all so horrid.

I don’t know what has got into me today. I feel fractious and irritable about everything. I shall go for a long walk and talk to the grass. I must get back control of myself, or my powers may wane. It will soon be Fayre season – and we need to attend as many as we can, and raise the funds for the animals, at least.

Till later,

Aisselle

Hello everyone

Well, hasn’t it been a long time? I finally got my wish to spend time at the coast when the four of us decided to take ourselves off on honeymoon after a couple of lovely villagers offered to feed the animals for us.

It’s been wonderful! We found a lovely little cottage who were willing to let us take Leon (couldn’t have gone without him) and we did everything we wanted, all the touristy bits and laughed and laughed at Leon’s delight in racing into the sea. On our arrival, the owners did think our party a little odd, but nevertheless welcomed us with cheer. I guess our money is as good as everyone elses!

Minet and George seemed to have problems deciding which couple they wanted to be, which made me very glad the cottage owners didn’t live nearby but apart from that the holiday was such an enlightening tonic. We were able to leave our often problematical everyday life at home and even though we gave Henna a contact number and address, we were left to enjoy the time away that we deserved.

And now we’re back! It’s wonderful to be back in our fields again, and I’m sure all the animals are pleased to see us. The couple of good friends we’ve made who looked after the animals loved their small gifts of rock and especially picked shells. Their faces were pictures when I handed them over!

Anyway, dear friends, since this was a honeymoon holiday, I give you red roses of love that George, Minet, Jay and myself have shared so abundantly.

Until next time …

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 Rain and Roses

Oh my. So many things, so little time. I even went out to pick nettles yesterday – only to find they were all old and fibrous, as I had not done so in so long – and so I fed them to the grateful goats instead  (Milky in particular gets quite angry when we eat them all ourselves!) We must have dandelions in our salad tonight.

My followers seem very quiet too – I suppose it must be the Time of Year. Almost Midsummer already, and so much is still to be done. I’m still not sure if we need two of everything, for a double ceremony. I have the flower pots and the soil already, and some elderflower champagne. I realise we shall have to have four willow crowns rather than two – but what about the cushions? And – I have made mine – but should George or Minet make theirs? I have of course plenty of red ribbon, so they can use some of mine. And crystals a-plenty I am assuming Jay still has all his essentials stored away.

The priest and priestess are old friends of his from many years ago, and he is very much looking forward to seeing them again. But we have no guardians, as Minet and George cannot serve as such – or certainly not for their own rites. Who to ask?

The details are beginning to get to me. So I decided to go for a walk in the rain. It was beautiful; quiet and lonely – few people like to get really wet, and it was pouring. For a moment I though I heard a voice behind me telling me to “cool it” – but when I turned around I saw no-one. Perhaps it was the old lady. She seems to get everywhere. And I did feel calmer for hearing it. I wish I knew who she was.

And then I saw the roses, and the rain begin to lift. I love wild flowers, and I almost love clouds. Who was that person who sings about clouds from both sides and not knowing them? I know what she means but I love both sides of everything. And these clouds almost looked as though they had a silver lining.

I collected rose petals from the blossoms, as the wind was blowing them loose. They will be perfect for the ceremony – I feel better already.

Till then, Aisselle.

Training Leon (sort of)

Hello readers.

We’ve had a very amusing day trying to show little Leon the ropes. Right now his baby four months old mind tells him that if he bounds up to animals, and pounces when he gets there, they’ll do what he wants, right? Wrong, Leon! He knows the ‘sit’ command, and that seems to be where is education is staying for a while. He decided it was much more fun chasing his audience of birds into flight, rather than learning how to round up the sheep! Then he laid down and watched with his head cocked on one side whilst Jay and I did the rounding up. When all was safely done, he came to nosey and strutted round the sheep as if telling them he was in charge, which was fine until one turned on him and sent him running behind me! It was so funny!

He’s also mastering running down steps – perhaps we should put the sheep at the bottom of some!

Anyway, at least we tired him out. After failing dismally at showing him what’s bred into him, we did some single-word commands. Stand, fetch, drop, stay – they all put a cute little confused look on his face, then when we’d finished, he decided he’d done brilliantly and bounded in and out of our feet as we tried to stay on them whilst walking back to the cottage.

He hungrily ate his tea of puppy food and tripe and as soon as his hiccups had gone, he was spark out on his bed.

Enjoy your sleep, little Leon, you’ve a lot to learn!

So much for peace and quiet…

Well, dear reader, it seems I spoke too soon about enjoying a peaceful life. Just as I thought Henna had decided that my concerns weren’t worth bothering with I got quite an upsetting email from her. She tells me to be extremely careful because Mollie Promp was many things. Apparently, I spent quite a lot of my time talking to ghosts or spirits when I was small, and this was one of the main reasons Henna took me to see her. She was afraid that I may come up against ‘the wrong kind’ and wanted to be sure I could look after myself should the worst happen. Mollie dealt with both the light and dark side, depending on who was offering the highest payment, so Henna thought she’d be the best person to help me. I went under some sort of hypnosis with her for around 15 minutes, after which she assured Henna that all would be well. I have to say here and now I can’t remember any of this. I can’t remember talking with ghosts and I can’t remember seeing Mollie on that day. I can only assume that she did some sort of spell on me to make me forget everything. But why? If I have such wonderful powers at my fingertips, why wouldn’t I be able to look after myself?

The next part of the email was very disturbing. Mollie Promp was only one persona. I’d also met Sister Gardinia Helland, but I hadn’t said anything about meeting Tullulah Dervish. Henna said to let her know as soon as possible when I did. The TD initials!

And the scariest part of all, dear reader – Mollie Promp (as mere mortals knew her) died a few months after seeing me. Which means I can see and speak with spirit as easily as I can see and speak with my sitters. How do I tell the difference? Offer them tea?

Strangely, Henna sounds concerned but not panicky. That’s a small comfort.

What scared me most of all was the vision I saw when I looked up from the email.

It seems I have company.

Until tomorrow, dear readers.

It’s very quiet…

Hmmm…

Everything’s quiet. TOO quiet! Perhaps it’s down to me to make the moves. My first thought was to summon Hermaphroditey, but something tells me the answers I seek aren’t on her plane. Trouble is, after meeting the nun I’m quite convinced that they are not of the earth plane either. I mean, is my Guardian Angel a gypsy, nun or shapeshifter?

I really, really didn’t want to be in contact with Henna for some time after the drama she put us through but it seems I had no choice. I had to know so I sent her an email this morning, simply asking her all she could tell me about Mollie Promp. Silly of me to expect a reply straight back, wasn’t it? Jay laughed quite heartily when I commented that there was no reply yet after a couple of hours.

I asked Jay and Minet if they were happy. Jay said he would be in a couple of hours when the animals were sorted and Minet was too busy trying to dye hair curlers to match her dress to take much notice of me.

So, dear reader, nothing much to report. When I find something out from Henna, I’ll be sure to come back here, It’s a beautiful day so I’m going to meditate, surrounded by the love and warmth of both the sun and animals.

Aisselle

And now a nun!

Good morning, friends!

Life continues with its mysteries but is pretty uneventful at the moment, which I am very grateful for. Having said that, I’m seeing Minet in a new light. It’s as if Joel never existed, and that worries me a little, especially since Mollie said he would return. I’m wondering if his return would be voluntary or will the Law catch up with him? Minet is such a girly girl, I can’t help thinking we may have been wrong in our decisions. Parts of this are beginning to look unhealthy to me. I’ve not spoken to Jay about it and I’m certainly not going to approach Minet.

Talking about life’s mysteries – I did have a small strange experience in the village this morning. (I’m getting so used to these!) I’d gone to the store for provisions, and whilst being polite to the folk there, I was minding my own business when all of a sudden I heard humming. It was the tune that Mollie had sung to! I swung around expecting to see her, and all but bumped into a nun. I was stammering a ‘Sorry’, when she laid her warm hand on my arm, smiled and told me to be calm. I then just blurted out “Do you know Mollie Promp”? She smiled and winked, telling me she knew many people in her heart. Mollie had given me riddles and quite frankly I was getting fed up of them. “What’s that tune you’re humming”? I asked. “Just one of many I know, dear” she said.

I knew all was not as it seemed so I went to pay for my groceries, and before leaving the shop, turned to the nun and said. “Tell Mollie I’ll be coming to find her again soon, or she can visit me at home”. The nun smiled, inclined her head, then gave me a yellow toothy grin.

Reading about Mollie Promp

Well, as one of my favourite characters once said, Curiouser and curiouser!

As Mollie predicted, I couldn’t wait to get into the basement to do a reading, and what better deck to use than my Buckland Romani? I decided on a ‘story’ spread, where I put five cards in a straight line and concentrate on the centre card as being who I’m reading about/for. I was reading about Mollie, but for myself (if that makes sense).

I sat down and shuffled my deck well and cut it as I always do. I laid out my first card, an Ace. The second was an Ace too. When the third was also an Ace, I was taken aback, and actually looked around because I was sure I felt Mollie there! I was suspicious now, so looked at my fourth card as I slid it off the deck, and sure enough it was the final Ace. By this time I had her laughter in my head too. But what card was I going to get for number five with all the aces out? Part of me didn’t want to know, so I shut my eyes until the card was in place, and opening them, I saw a devilish little demon rolling about on the floor laughing because he’d knocked the dinner cauldron over. His laughter reminded me of Mollie, and how they both amused themselves. But Mollie was no devil, she said she was my Guardian Angel!

I gazed and gazed at the spread, and all I could come up with was new beginnings in every aspect in my life. Perhaps that’s right, with everything settled now. I doubt very much if life will ever be quiet for long, too much has happened for that, but I am certainly ready for fresh new developments of the safe and happy kind!

I just have one small problem. The Devil card. I must admit he looks more impish than downright evil, but I keep remembering something Mollie said to me. “Beware of a man with the initials TD”. Beware of The Devil? I’m not so naive that I think a demon from hell will come knocking at our door, but there are many bad people in the world who mess with things they shouldn’t.

Hmmm…I’ll just have to wait and see.

Aisselle

Oh, my!

Well, if ever a tarot reading was called for, it’s now! I felt strangely at ease after receiving Henna’s email – I don’t know – it just seemed very normal for her, or as normal as Henna can ever be. A calm has come to rest over our cottage, with Minet enjoying herself by doing doodles of fashion designs while Jay was amusing himself with building matchstick houses.

With this ambience, I decided on a small walk in my beloved wood. I’d not gone far when I heard a voice softly singing. I didn’t know the song but creeping quietly closer, I saw lots of woodland animals listening in awe and found myself drawn into an almost hypnotic state when I nearly stumbled over an old gypsy lady sitting by a tree who stopped her melody to put out an arm to catch me.

“Ah, Aisselle, at last we meet”, said the old lady and introduced herself as Mollie Promp.

I didn’t know what to say or do so I just stared at her. It was like she knew about every fibre of my being with just a glance at me. As it happened, I think she did. She told me that she last saw me as a small girl, when Henna had visited her wondering what life had in store for me. Apparently she knew just how special I was from that moment and decided to watch me from a distance. Oh my word, she knew everything about my life!

She adored all our animals and watched over Jay when he was lost and hurt in the wood – I wonder if Jay saw her but thought he was dreaming? She’s watching Minet with interest, she tells me.

I asked her why she was watching me and where she came from but she waved her hand and said that everyone needs a guardian angel as well as a Goddess and where she lives is of no matter to me. She was barefoot and dirty so wherever she’s from, it can’t be very nice. I thought to invite her home with me but something told me my offer would be declined.

She began to look tired so I got up to leave, asking if she’d be okay getting home on her own. She laughed, showing what few teeth she had left were a deep yellow, and told me she was home. That crept me out a bit so I made to hurry away when once again she shot out a hand to stop me, and said:

“Joel will return. You’ve done an excellent job safeguarding the artefacts, and Henna is well. You are extraordinary, and haven’t yet discovered the full extent of your powers. When you do, use them wisely. Beware of a man with the initials TD.”

I was still staring at her and only a crooked yellow toothy smile brought me back to earth. I couldn’t get my breath. “What…?” I whispered, in total confusion. “Go, child, no doubt you’ll go straight to the basement and do a reading about me. See what you get”! And with that she laughed quite hysterically to herself.

The next thing I knew I was running out of the wood, although I wasn’t frightened at all, so I stopped to check myself. I could hear the singing again! I listened hard but it sounded so distant now. Part of me thought about going back to her but I knew it would be like she had never been there.

I walked home to find Jay at the front door, a lovely smile crossing his face when he saw me safely home, as it was getting dark.

“Oh, Jay – wait while I tell you what just happened to me”!