Ritual Journeys Issue #5 December 2006
(every wiseman's son doth know).
Every act from which we're gleaning,
Every sack that we must sow
Gives rise to tides that make us wise;
Gives humor chance for binding wounds.
Does good these ancient weary eyes
To dance abandoned round the moon.
The Music of Eld.
In olden days they lingered at the edge of evening,
lovers of beauty and players of strange pipes and harps:
although I remember, in my youth, being told
not to listen to the outre songs they sang
for, the visiting Friar insisted,
the Children of the Twilight had no mortal souls or hearts,
- being not of Adam's flesh
nor having tasted Eve's sweet milk,
though just who their primal mother or father might be
he would not say, Pan perhaps or Satan himself,
that fell to Earth on leaden wings
to teach to Man forbidden things...
But being young and holding all authority in scorn,
I heeded not the Friar's words
and often wandered in the hills
at the time of gloaming and dusk
where day's last ribbons linger still
to greet the light the first stars bring...
and oft I sat, my soul entranced,
to hear that weird music ring, mystical and wonderful,
over hillsides thick with shadow
and over my young mortal soul
traipsed such rare and wonderful things
- ancient joys and ancient sorrows
I could not put a name to,
though the Church might call them 'folly' or 'sin',
ters I find as inaccurate today
as I did even then...
Once, enamored of that alien music,
I crept with careful stealth and skill,
through dark glade and o'er dark hill
to where, within a ring of stones
I saw where elfin maidens danced
as goat-hooved minstrels played a jig
on weird pipes and fiddle-strings
and in my breast my heart grew wings
and, alas, my ankles too
for up I leapt to join the throng
but just to see the elf maids laugh
and turn as if to vaporous gas
- though the goat-hooved lads proved solid still
and beat me for my churlish pains
so when next morn a farmer found me
laying in a ditch of rain
I was sore bruised from head to toe
and though I never more did go
and seek to gaze upon that folk,
their music lingers in my brain
and laying in my bed at night
I still can hear its wild refrain
and restlessness comes to my toes
so that I have to grip my bed
with two strong hands and thoughts of lead
in case my wayward feet are led
to follow where the Twilight Folk
sing and dance beneath the stars
where even saints and the blessed dead
might hesitate to wander
if they had seen what I had seen
and glimpsed the face of that fair Queen,
so mischievous and mocking...
(c) Aaron Staengl
I fell in love with you ten thousand years ago
in the infancy of the world,
in the age of common miracle
when the oceans were young with laughter
and the ancient forests green and tender.
We walked on golden sand still warm
with the kiss of the very first dawn,
the birds that flew above our heads
driven to intoxicated song by the touch
of the Creator's hand warm against their flesh
as He molded their breasts and wings
and breathed flight into them.
We saw the dance of the ecstatic rainbow-sylphs
above the glass and diamond cities of the Spider-people
who governed the world when the Deluge receded,
as raindrops like jewels of liquid fire
sheathed the gossamer aerial fretwork
of their fantasies and dreams with halos and patinas
borrowed from the ether
- needle spires of turquoise, ruby, sapphire and topaz,
minarets of black opal and white diamond,
staircases of rose-coloured marble,
balconies of filligreed silver,
delicate windows that opened onto myriads and myriads
of fey and outre Otherworlds
peopled by giant telepathic butterflies,
super-intelligent porpoise or intricate crystals
of cosmically aware salts arranged in
ever-changing mandalas and pictograms of sentient structure.
Today those ancient Kingdoms are written into and constitute
commonplace parts of the genetic code of men and women
and numerous other species scattered throughout the Holoverse
- but in those days they were giant and tangible realities
peopled by the hidden Energies that later came to be known
as Angels, Demons and Djinn.
We played with Christ and Lucifer on the lawns of the Morning
as the stars of Twilight spun above their dreaming cots
and Danu suckled them at her two swollen breasts,
one milky white, the other black as ebony.
We sat in awe and gazed at the soft effulgence streaming
from the face of the Feminine Principle
softly shadowed by the living crown of her hair
wherein a thousand million planets and solar-systems
danced and twinkled merrily;
we listened and marvelled at the music that Her Handmaidens played
on heavenly lutes, flutes, harps, sitars and harmonicas.
We ran with Shiva and Krsna over emerald meadows
with grass as tall as mountains and dew-drops
as vast as life-teeming oceans.
I held your perfect hand in mine as we joyfully approached
the Throne of our Father to receive His Blessing
and be picked up to sit upon His lotus-blossomed lap.
The Gods and Goddesses of a thousand mythologies
were our playmates and companions:
Agni and Artemis, Indra and Hephaetos,
Apollo, Freya, Ishtar and Chrysanthemum.
On a morning that lasted for centuries of what counts as time for men,
we watched the rising and subsequent fall of Mu and Atlantis
and when, at noon of that same day, the bright civilisations
of China and India flowered and opened their delicate petals to the sun,
we clapped our hands and listened in delight
to the songs and prayers of their Rsi's and Immortals,
the haiku of courtly nobles, the tiny jewelled poems of Li Po and Tu Fu.
We admired the cave-painting of early man in his
underground cathedrals of rock and stone
and followed the progress of Michaelangelo as he painted the ceiling
of the Cistine chapel with his vision.
We witnessed the atrocities of Genghiz Khan, Hitler, Pol Pot
and the other little men who tried to fashion the world
in the shapes of their tiny desires and philosophies;
we cried in pity at the white flowers of cancer
burning in the hearts and souls of women and men
even as we admired their pure and ineffable beauty.
As I stood in Ankhor Wat surrounded by a thousand sleeping and dreaming Gods,
my eyes full of burning tears,
I turned to find some comfort in your familiar gaze
- but you were gone!
The monsoon rains fell upon me there as I stood for hours, months, years:
the warm wet tears of thousands upon thousands of deities and divinities,
thousands upon thousands of women, children and men
The endless monsoon rain fell upon me as I stood numb,
amazed, transfixed, astounded, terrified, lost...
Where had you fled to?
where had you vanished?
who had snatched you from my side in the golden afternoon
- was I awake or dreaming;
was all of this creation a micro-thin bubble that might burst at any moment,
a phantasmal film of soapy colour painted upon nothing?
I fell in love with you ten thousand years ago
in the infancy of the world,
in the age of common miracle
when the oceans were young with laughter
and the ancient forests green and tender.
As I sit now in this tiny dingy room
in the delapidated heart of Old Saigon
and listen to the endless traffic outside my window
and the whining of the dirty fan above my head
I wonder if this little dream will ever end
and I try to imagine your familiar voice
calling to me over the gleaming liquid emeralds
of the rice paddies.
I look to the sun between the wooden window slats
but it is shrouded by a dull brownish haze
and there is a ring of black fire burning at its rim.
I hear the sounds and voices of a thousand other worlds
come and go between the squealing of brakes,
the honking of horns, the ringing of bicycle bells,
the cries of food-vendors, the clamour and clangour
of yet another evening.
I lay down upon my narrow bed
but it is still far too early to sleep...
When evening's shadows brushed my soul with their velvet lips
I lay upon my bed of dreams,
scattered with twilight's cushions,
and watched the tiny stars that stole out from the earth
to stream across the horizon
and whisper their familiar tales within my ears.
Who can count the years or tears the many stars have witnessed,
the tragedies and passions with which they regale my senses
as the universe and Time wheel over me
as the active world sleeps
- or is does it also listen to the songs of the stars?
They tell me of the seven white swans who ascended
to Heaven to meet celestial mates;
and the seven bright stars who fell in love
with seven silvery rivers
and threw themselves to earth to woo them;
they tell me the ancient tale of the swarming fireflies
that flew out of the heart of God to become the original Suns
whose children are the stars,
and the dragons and salamanders they slowly incubate in their
white hot, molten wombs before depositing them
in the brains of prophets, poets and children.
They tell me of empires already in their dotage
when Mu first reared its battlements
out of the ancient Pacific slime;
of the Sun that so loved one of its planet's moons
that it bent down low to kiss her
- at which the maidenly moon demurely retreated
and fell into the planet's ocean,
shattering into a thousand fragments
and extinquishing all life upon that world .
They tell me of the race of Elves
who left the Earth in her infancy
to travel to her invisible sister planet
on the far side of the Moon,
forever hidden to the eyes of men
by the darkness of space
and the shadows on their hearts.
They tell me of lovers and poets,
artists and shaman-warriors;
architects, dreamers and gardeners;
sailors on uncharted seas,
doomed voyages and unlikely heroes
- and when the Morning comes
and Sleep finally enters my grey and mortal brain,
when the sordid Sun comes knocking at my door
with his realistic truths and overbright colours,
they quietly steal back into the earth
and the infinite spaces hidden within her breast,
whilst I must dress myself in the gaudy tatters of day
and stumble through this weary waking life,
a comet on some peculiar fitful orbit,
now flaring brightly,
now barely visible against the
bright darkness of noon...
But come the gentle evening again,
then purple shadows brush my soul with their velvet lips
and I lay upon my bed of dreams,
scattered with twilight's cushions
and the flower of my heart opens its petals
to the perfumed songs of Infinity
and the siren blossoms of the stars.
A Love Like That
The rain falls on thirsty ground,
And the clouds do not ask for their water back.
The shadow stretches across the sand,
And the grove does not ask for its shade back.
The tide climbs up the empty beach,
And the sea does not ask for its salt back.
The wind roves over the open dunes,
And the air does not ask for its breath back.
The stars shine in the endless sky,
And the night does not ask for its light back.
The sand pours through the glass,
And the day does not ask for its hours back.
Imagine a love like that, and you will begin
To understand how God thinks of you.
Copyright Elizabeth Barrette 2003
(c) 2006 All International Rights Reserved by Myztico
image and words by Sunomi
I am the Black Star Jaguar Warrior Fool
I am the Gatekeeper of the Unknowable
I am the Shapeshifter
moving without fear through the darkness.
As the sun at midday,
I am the Solar Eagles flying high in the sky.
I am also the hidden sun
who plunges below the horizon at dusk into the darkness.
As you face your challenges and are transformed
I shapeshift into the Black Star Jaguar Sun.
I am the force which resides in the mountains
that gives them their volcanic and transformative power
I am this underworld force of power.
I am the Black Star Jaguar
I am the Gatekeeper of the Void
who gives you the ability to renew yourself
as you surrender the unreal into the Fire of Illimination
in the Temple of your own Inner Sun.
I give you the power to be born anew
bringing heaven to earth, uniting the light of day
with the darkness of night.
I am the Eagle/Jaguar Shield
which I lovingly gift you each with.
Will you journey with me?
I am the Sacred Heyokah Warrior Fool
teaching through laughter and opposites
diminishing fear through humour.
My shield holds the power
to integrate the paradox of opposites.
As the Ancient Power of Creation
I am form and formlessness.
I am the Eternal Flame burning timelessly in all form.
"Face-off" (c) Robert Simon
Non-Interpretive Dreamwork for the Active Body
©1990 Antero Alli. All Rights Reserved.
From the Australian Aborigines' dreaming camps to the Senoi dream councils of Malaysia to Native American vision quests, traditional ceremonies have existed for ages as a way of entering and exiting the multidimensional "dreamtime". What do we mean by dreamtime? More "civilized" cultures certainly know what it's like to go to sleep and dream. In these dreams, we are sometimes aware of a "dream self" engaged in various activities in the "dreamland" it inhabits. Now, according to many native peoples, when we awake the next morning it is because this previous dream self went to sleep (in its dreamtime) in order to dream us into being. Ancient dream theory tells us we are all dreaming and/or being dreamed amidst the dreamtime.
A ritual is any external (kinetic) activity capable of catalyzing, at will, specific internal (psychic) states of consciousness. Dreaming rituals are designed by piecing actual dream remnants together for the purpose of energizing the "dreamstate" into consciousness while awake. Dreaming rituals have been done for any combination of the following four reasons:
1. Spiritual: to know unity between "dreamtime" and "daytime" realities.
2. Psychic: to enter the dream with the intention of stalking movements.
3. Emotional: to bypass psychological interpretation in lieu of catharsis.
4. Physical: to express the dream essence through the body in action.
Those wishing to test their inner sense, or intuition, with dreams may do so by considering the following step-by-step ritual instructions and suggestions. The ritual is kinetic; to do it, you have to move your body. The approach is non-interpretive; it does not require that you know (or try and figure out) what your dream "means". By relaxing the search for meaning, an inherent design may eventually emerge on its own. There is also nothing you need to believe in or disbelieve for this to work.
The Dream Task Itself
You will need enough dream memory to recall a movement. It can be any movement at all... like a windblown cloud... or a slithering snake... or the slightest turn of your head. It doesn't have to be executed by your dreamself; it just has to originate in your dream. The main thing to remember is to select a movement you can physically duplicate upon waking the next morning. This movement will be your Dream Task. By practicing it throughout the day (at least three times), the body can absorb it as memory for future recall to energize, or charge, the actual ritual later on.
The best time to do your Dream Task is anytime. If you're doing it with other dreamers, do it in front of each other. If you do it alone, you may want to engage privately (unless you don't mind expressing socially incongruous gestures in the midst of innocent people watching on) or, maybe you simply don't wish to explain yourself.
As you do your Dream Task, stay as close as you can to the way it actually happened in your dream. This will help contain the power of the dream that activates the dreaming ritual later on. As you perform your movement, it may trigger memories and/or emotions associated with the dream. If this happens, just take a deep breath and continue executing the task. (Breathing is a good way to register whatever state you're in, dreaming or awake.) Remember, we are not searching for meaning here but stalking dream movements and replicating them upon waking without embellishment.
When the day is over ask yourself to remember a new dream movement before going to sleep again. When you awake the next morning, execute this motion immediately before doing anything else. (If and when dream memory falters, lie still in bed a few minutes... listening and paying attention to whatever comes up.) Do this new movement throughout the day, just like you practiced the other one. When it's time to go to sleep again, stalk one more movement and practice it the next day. By this time, you will have three separate movements drawn from actual dreams. They can be from separate dreams or, if you remember more than one, from the same dream. All three movements are associated by the virtue of their common link with the dreamtime. By repeating these Dream Tasks every day, strands of your dreams begin their weave into the fabric of your daily life. You are now ready to combine all three movements and activate the dreaming ritual itself.
On Ritual Preparations
Three movements are used to reflect the mythic, or story, device of a beginning, middle and end. When you have practiced three separate dream movements, you are ready to enter the movement cycle that energizes the Dreamtime Ritual. You can do so as soon as you find or create a controlled setting... any indoor or outdoor place where you will not be interrupted for about an hour or so. Arrange the setting to ensure the greatest sense of privacy and safety for yourself. A ritual works when you can be vulnerable enough to be influenced by the force(s) you are summoning, in this case the force of the dreamtime. Do whatever you can to own the space of this setting and sanctify it for this purpose (sometimes candles, incense and personal icons can help do this). After you have prepared the space, practice each movement separately to refresh your kinetic memory... so your body knows each one by heart. (For details on a more thorough ritual preparation, see principles and techniques.)
On Building the Movement Cycle
We start by "stitching" the end of the first movement to the beginning of the second movement to form a longer movement combining the two. Practice this for about two minutes. Then, stitch the end of the second movement to the beginning of the third to create a new movement combining all three together. Practice this until your body has memorized it. Finally, make a total movement cycle by connecting the end of the third motion to the start of the first one. Practice this movement cycle until it becomes its own dance expressing its own rhythms. Let these rhythms emerge and influence the form and design of the dance. Keep dancing and following its innate waves and pulses... letting them move you towards its own kind of altered state. Allow any dream memory or feeling to come up as you move deeper into its ongoing motion.
No-Form: On Charging the Ritual
Visually and physically, mark a large egg-shaped oval on the floor before you; spacious enough to move freely in. Stand outside the oval while facing its center. Enter a meditative state wherein you empty your mind of all thoughts and allow yourself to BE NOTHING. From this "potential void state", what I will call No-Form, send everything you know and don't know about dreams into the space of the oval setting. Get a sense of the space being filled with "the stuff of dreams." Now, send your kinetic memory of the movement cycle you just finished inside to mix with the dream. Return to No-Form. Relax your desire to control any outcomes and allow the dreamstate its own life in the space before you.
After giving yourself over to No-Form (enough to experience a profound state of receptivity), enter the charged "dream" space and allow its force to enter you. Then, begin the first part of your movement cycle. (Note: Your movement cycle may not proceed at the exact same pace, form or rhythm due to the additional "dream charge".) Allow yourself to be moved through the cycle by the force of the dreaming itself. Do not direct this force but let it guide you. Create space for it to direct you through the movement cycle... over and over again.
The point here is to keep following through with the movement cycle while your consciousness is flooded with the dreaming. Allow any images and emotions to flow up and influence you. Stay with this until you personally feel finished, and then exit the circle to re-enter No-Form. Take some time emptying out... of not being anything... releasing the dream back to its source. When you feel more "neutral" again, i.e. not identified with the dream state. The ritual is over.
Closure: On Integrating the Ritual
If you can, write down your experiences and/or talk about them with others. This can help integrate the more intuitive "depth experience" with your interpretive, conceptual mind. It will also help create a transition from the dreamtime back into the daytime with all of its incumbent responsibilities. The No-Mind state expresses an essential transition between the dreamtime and daytime, without which you may just wander around under the influence of the dreamstate. This is not so bad in itself unless you wish to return to present time and live your real life. It is also not a good idea to drive an automobile and/or operate machinery under the influence of the omnipresent dreamtime.
There are many ritual variations each culture has within its own dreaming traditions and many more versions with each individual response to them. The significance of ritualizing our dreams is highly personal. I believe the actual meaning of the dreaming ritual (and dreams) comes from the dream itself, rather than what conceptual mind decides about it. Experience has shown me, time and time again, that the degree of commitment shown in the ritual preparations determines the quality and depth of the outcome. As we consciously participate in dreaming enactment, a living ritual is born.
(c) 2006 By Terra Wolfe
Pile offerings high on the long table.
Make the candles blaze.
Wine has bubbled over the sacrificial animal,
scented with herbs,
circled with roots.
in the aroma.
Wine spins red lights across the lace.
Observe the ceremony.
Become the ceremony.
with chant and music.
Angular shapes of knowledge,
smooth waves of enchantment
on hot columns of flame.
From the skin of the forearms
dance the sparks
and volume soars.
Knowledge hones its words
Magic hums the ancient earthsong.
Like dust in a rush of air.
cuts the smoky night.
Melody swirls light
Syllables of sarcasm
in quiet urgency.
Steel-tasting colors of fear
Whirl like broom dust.
drift into smoke,
disappear into shadows.
Scent of prince on the morning light
Clings to windows
in finger tracings.
"Figuring It Out" (c) Tantra Bensko
The sound of dishes
In a restaurant clattering
from table to table,
and the sound of my parents' voices
cold in the air outside
full of globed breaths.
It was winter.
A new peace settled in me,
as if I were looking forward to something.
30 years later,
I look backwards,
at the endings--
you walked with me.
I remember your voice
as we crossed the boardwalk,
In the here and now.
"I don’t understand
why I have these afflictions," you said.
single now, I walk
through red, sorrowful days,
my only connections
to books and trees.
half-magical invisible-handed death,
do you know each of us
as we are known?
No one has opened up
the doors of the next world early for me,
to see what it is like.
Will I see you there Mary?
Will seagulls call out
into the emptiness
of their of their new blue home?
So I speak to you,
watch over me,
Call me from the
long stretch of white
where I look forward to nothing,
of far cliffs and humpbacked mountains
where you wait for me still.
(c) Linda Benninghoff
(c) Ian Pyper
Soon I will need all the silence
of this morning to shield me:
snow falling through emptiness,
the last five leaves on a tree, abrupt in the sky,
like five flat hands, gathering whiteness.
I am growing very patient inside,
and I am going far
over some shaking emptiness,
till I can come back,
needing this silent morning.
(c) Linda Benninghoff
Today I come down
to this place with nerves
where last year the bluefish
jumped over the sea.
We threw lines to them,
my father, brother and I,
tightened our backs
and pulled them toward us.
They slid out of the sea,
On dry land ,
they looked up at us
with hardened eyes
sharp fin and tight mouths,
knowing they did not belong to us.
Today the sea is empty.
The crest shrivels
away from the wave,
like scraps of paper
left in a spiral notebook
My brother has moved away,
my father and I speak rarely,
and all summer
the fish have not jumped
even for an evening.
I think how
even after placing
the skin of bluefish
on the dull newspaper
looks like tossed away silver,
is wild still,
and never ours.
(c) Linda Benninghoff
"Third Eye" (c) Tantra Bensko
Let me know you are there-
just a twinkle of your eye.
Your mystery is so well hidden
by the turning of time.
Torment is sitting by the window
I hope for a fingertip of comfort.
You are my awe.
But weave not a melody.
But weave not a melody.
Your magic shatters my heart.
Embarked on a compulsive quest;
I look into space
trying to catch my spell-caster.
A tiny streak of light
hit me headlong and I stumbled.
You are my wonder.
But are you my answer?
You don't exist yet you shine.
I see the child in you; the death of eternity.
I wonder if you are, like Man,
who adores mindless admiration?
I want to tell you so much
that you, are my awe.
Shall Death be a veil for Immortality?
There are secrets flowing in me.
Every night my lamentation
soar and sing,
whimpering about what the dawn
You are my awe.
Fruition Lifting into Muse (c) Greg Edwards
An Angular spire
reaches into the horizon.
A stern finger.
A white-washed cross.
This one’s not so rugged.
A clinical crucifix,
unblemished by dirty grace,
sits with condescending brightness
above the chapel.
rise and fall
within the walls.
Mingle with incense and fragrant offerings.
The collared man
with cloth and symbols,
The echoes roll
through arched acoustics.
An endless repetition through the ages.
In the background,
a lone figure
(c) Anna-Kaye Forsyth 2006
When the summer left
I stood alone
longing for the yellow haired
sunlight entangling in leaves
heaving oxygen, filling
my chest with the love of a woman
whose arms like branches
reach for the blue
blue sky, the rosy cloud,
the great star party of midnight
Woman whose roots reach far
beneath the mushroom family
dining on moss dressed graves
past the corpses fermenting
sweet worm wine
through granite and smoky quartz
spreading open dirt like thighs
to the core of her erupting
Loving a woman whose breath
breathes me into being.
Whose arms reach for me, hold me
closer to lips that kiss me
until when the summer left
I stood alone and
(c) Michele Neve (Kala Snowflower)
Journey to Neptune cc Jude Cowell Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative 2.5
Coming to the Light
My mind playing tricks on my eyes
That golden glow bringing me into
worlds of pumpkin coaches,
Valkyrie in flight,
neverlands that never were,
yet so much more real than
what passes for day to day.
Sadness is beauty brought down by ugliness,
truth succumbing to convenient lies.
Joy is opening all the senses into the
spectrum of beauty.
no convenient structural captivity.
Let the stars be shining beacons
calling us home.
Let the wind be a magical cloak,
the rain an exultation.
Let the cold, dark night be
a treasured, inspiring friend.
Let the night take me forward
Into everfulfilling fantasies
The never empty cup,
the magic wand/magic word,
sprinkled with faery dust,
toasted with the fine bubbles
of celluloid champagne.
Let us, the night and I, sneak off into
Let us learn the secrets of the Moon and Stars,
ancient runes and alchemical wonders.
Let us play upon the backs of dragons,
learning to fly,
learning to breathe fire,
learning to explore the mountainpeaks
and caverns of
our cthonic fears
and spin them into gold.
The new day dawning
it will encounter clouds and hailstorms,
turbulence and destruction.
It will be a day of startling showers and
of unreasoned pain
and empty solace.
It will be a day to try our souls.
But it will be a day of infinite possibilities.
Let my good friend, the night,
join me in play
to help prepare me for the day.
Let the earth and fire and rain and wind
infuse my spirit
that we all be fellow friends
in the new ventures
coming with the light.
(c) 2005 Laurie Corzett/libramoon
"The Coming" (c) Tantra Bensko