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Posts Tagged ‘magic’

DAYS NOW

Days now the whispers come and go

worm words generated from earth,

words of smoke, words of plants.

.

Turn sideways, become thin,

slip between one day and another,

at the year’s ending so little noise.

.

These stars – they are not now,

they have burned bright and died

a million, million years ago.

.

Therefore, I bow down and breath deep

the dead light of our ancestors,

gone and here and gone again.

.

Time is the fat of stars;

seeping in the long years,

other glorious mornings long gone,

distant golden mornings,

other silent rooms, other footsteps.

.

Nothing goes to waste

but slowly changes from what it was

woven threefold into other days.

.

The Magister holds starlight in his crystal spheres

to rot them down to raven’s wings

where seconds copulate birthing strange homunculi.

.

They know the answers only the dead know

in butterfly whispers etching notions,

as acid reveals the jagged web of meteorites.

.

He is old now,

his bones creak like galleons do.

His mind, though, a bright moon in a stormy sky

for he is, he says, acquainted with all the demons

that dwell beyond law and science,

who converse in riddles

and move as if dancing upon other gravities.

.

Their heads are broken open,

their orifices sprouting green tendrils,

their skin, inhabited scrolls

where letters form and reform in curious calligraphies.

.

Lascivious is their language,

exotic and full of lilting innuendo.

Their madnesses are roads untrod before.

.

He reads the books that have never been opened,

by walking backwards through mirrors.

His only sustenance, the tiny measurements of primordial dust

wherein he seeks his own eternal name.

.

He practices the mudras of teaching and of dissolution.

His words fall sparsely in vast space

like birds that fly across a still sunset sky.

.

Their skin peeled back, returned to light

they tend their dripping hives,

honey vowels, the sigh of release.

They climb upon one another,

puncturing their certainty,

melting into each other’s futures.

.

The sawhorse shall be put together.

A new constellation shall appear in the southern sky

as Betelguese, or its ghost, or its future,

Weighs the likelihood of eternity.

.

The world is fire and light

and time is the fat of stars.

The apple winces in its dawn frost,

The sequoias sing to planet’s spin.

.

Clear facts stumble unheeded through forest fires

whilst ungainly notions dress the moments.

.

The alembic bubbles and quivers,

uncertain whether it can hold

the sentience of its own soot.

.

Still the Great Work must continue.

In holiness we are rubbed out completely

imagining new wings, writing new musics.

.

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If you look at the white pattern above, the peltas can be seen at six, ten and two o-clock, they resemble cross-sections of mushrooms.

1
TORC TALK (PELTA MOTIF)

Well, it was a long time ago that I covered Celtic Art in Art History, and I was never particularly happy with the name labels often given to Celtic motifs, so I suppose confusing a pelta with a trumpet spiral is to be a little expected (particularly when one can be made up of elements of the other). Nonetheless ,that error was mine. As I was playing with the comma-like form of the magatama it morphed into the cresent-like, arced, spiral-ended, mushroom cross-section known as a ‘pelta’.

This name, ‘pelta’ comes from a type of light shield used by the Greeks and Romans, deriving from an original used in Thrace. This itself tells us more about the natural territory and training of Classicalocentric art historians than about the direct connections between a Classical object and a Celtic motif. Look at the prevalent lines in any Early Celtic design and there is a predominance of curvilinear and vegetal forms. Add to that a predeliction for mirroring, reflection and interaction between foreground and background patterns and it is easy to see ‘pelta-like’ forms sprouting up in abundance. The logic of associating the ‘pelta’ motif with a meaning of ‘shield’ is stretched when it can so so much more easily be read as ‘tree’, ‘leaf’, ‘simplified palmette’, ‘reflected crescent moons’ or ‘horns’. In some Classically rendered and stylised imagery, this shape may indeed refer to a martial attribute. But to carry that meaning over onto a similar looking, purely Celtic motif may be far too simplistic, or just simply, inaccurate.

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What drew me in the first place to look again at the pelta motif was the realisation that it, or its negative shape, closely echoes the shape of the neck collar or ‘torc’, a connection that I am not sure has been noticed before. Looking at a lot of Celtic art, and especially redrawing the imagery, one comes to understand the importance of what is not there – negative space, void, background….

2
TORC TALK- (FIRST THEN)

First then
There is no object,
No thing that does not trawl
A train of intent and opinion,
That does not feel,
Draw with it more of itself
From the invisible.
Nothing that does not speak.
(if you hear nothing but silence, go within it, find its shape and you shall here the words come in and out, for nothing, no thing is voiceless)

Nothing
That has not been born
From a before.
Everything
Has been born
From something else.
Nothing not jealous of its edges. Nothing that will not melt and merge one day into becoming somewhere else. Nothing, in essence, that does not hunger to remain, that does not hunger and feed.

Where to start? It makes no matter where you start. Simply begin. The road is twist and dip but leads to the same shining place…

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3
FOR THE GODS ALONE

Beauty is for the gods alone.
This gold – no use for plough or warrior,
No use, no use on Earth.
Beauty belongs to the gods,
And to those who talk to them,
To those who speak to them,
To those who belong to them.

A torc, an open ring of twisted wire, often gold, with terminals, cast and decorated finials. Worn as a neck ring. Wires, strings, ropes, woven light, woven and woven, golden rope to tie the soul, to show adherence, obedience, obeisance,obligation to the spirits….

A circle not a circle, an arc, a passage of time, a record of space.
A perforation, the head pushed through
To the airs of heaven,
Upper world,
A division of head from body,
No longer just human:
Owned, illuminated,
Ardour, radiant.
The weight of it:
Not easy to ignore,
It is meaning, a glow..

If the pelta symbol is the negative space of the torc- its contained space – then the pelta occupies the same space as the head. Pelta is head. Head is home of spirit. Pelta is spirit. In some coins of the tribes of Brittany the horse rider’s heads have transmuted into pelta shapes.

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4
HORIZON’S EDGE

I am the passage of the sun
From dawn to dusk
A woven line of light
To the top of heaven,
To the horizon’s edge.

I am the river of night,
Golden river underground
From dusk to dawn,
A gold thread
Through ancestors’ bones.

Torc is map, halo, sun glow.
A mirror moon, empty,
Crescent, full, crescent,
Empty. Woven around
Each other, silver, gold,
Day, night, copulated,
Seeded…

5
ENSOULED

Seed of the sun
Spilt at sunset
Mated with earth,
Gathered up, gathered up,
Cold made hot once more,
Melted, breathed upon,
Revived, ensouled,
Sung to, given song,
Given name, given sinew,
Given nerve, wound about.
Gold, giver of glory,
Animated, it whispers,
All the time, it whispers.

Should you know its spells
You will prosper,
Should you know its songs
You will be victorious,
Should you know its name,
You shall be returned home
Golden and ever-young.
For it has no end
And its wearer shall remain.
Its giver shall be blessed,
And blessed the receiver.

20130627-093947.jpg

So how should one receive a torc? Many images show the torc being held in the hand. It is held at the centre, midway between the terminals. Displayed, it is held with open ends upwards toward heaven, like a cup to receive the blessings from above. It is shown offered in the same way, with open end towards the recipient. Is it taken possession of by the two hands grasping the finials? Does the giver carefully hold the ring so that the receiver can echo the hold on the opposite side, both joined in obligation for a moment,and then forever, by that golden link, like the passing of a goblet? Is the name whispered? The promise named? The duty proclaimed? In that moment one and one become roped, twisted, bound together, charged with divine power…

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And as to the making: that wire beaten, stretched, thin and thinner. Taken with others, woven, wound, round, wrapped, mated, united. What spells added, what songs, what promises, what life, what given birth to. ( There are images of swords with dragon spirit beings attached -their sharp souls, snake fast, embedded, the metal a home for other life, given honour, given flesh food). Do the finials give face and eyes to the embedded spirit? Are they of one kind? Are they many? Are they moulded each to each, to be hunted out like fast hounds scent their masters, bound by similarity of spirit?

Here shall be a list,
A reckoning,
A call of names,
A summoning of spirits:

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talking tree silver2

GAYATRI

They are there again-
Whispering voices
Measuring word against feeling,
Shaping edges, building coastlines,
Collecting drift for rafts,
A vehicle for mind,
A conveyance to elsewhere.

In the grey flow,
The river before dawn,
(Accompanying the purposeful padding
Of cats seeking a perfect
Place to curl or watch),
There they stand midstream,
Upright, silent upon silent,
Chant snaking over the water’s lap.

I shall go to that ocean’s edge:
Hiss of sand grains stinging
The dry marram grasses.
Listen to the wide waves roll in,
Their deep rumble of the miles
Through the soles of my feet.
Watch the cloud build and fade,
The cry of gulls, tasting salt.

In cold dawn
For whom does the blackbird find
Its mellifluous river?
For whom does the raven call
Across the wild moors?
And for whom,
On his columned tower of air,
Nearly beyond sight,
Does the eagle send out
His long, descending cry?

To reveal the truth:
Nothing but the interior,
Masked by, revealed by.
A prison of the recognised,
Of memory, of habit
And well-trod pathways
Reinforcing a clutch of clues.
To reveal the truth:
Nothing but an exterior,
A view devoid of viewer,
A shaped, echoing chamber
Of what is not elsewhere.

Emissaries of the void,
Mediators of re-orientation,
Skilled in gematria,
Consulting tables of correspondences,
The magical hours of day and night,
Sigils of the planetary spirits,
The magic squares, tablets
Of the Thrice Great.
Translators and interpreters,
Riding the words spluttered
By the depths, by the flocks
Of wild thought scattered
By an eye upon a lituus.
Measurers of geomantic force –
The will of the interior dragons
Of elemental necessity.
This they are.

(Or so the child, over-tired, set to sleep on chairs,
Believes, mishearing the backroom boys at their
Smoky, affable, night-long poker game:
A wash of rising, falling stories, subdued bluff
And laughter, silence and staccato curse.)

Through that long, slow flow,
The grey river, never ceasing.
The memory of ice-fields, ancestral shrines,
Ghosts of prayer flags, squalls of chant.
Bone thin fingers, urgent, prising apart
To get one more view, to reveal
A fall of trigrams, a cipher, or
A terma, space-hidden.

My own dear companions:
Weather-wizards,
Shepherds of storm and lightning,
Weavers of reeds and grasses,
Compounders of root and petal.
If it is you, then blessings and apologies.
Out of step, out of time,
The world waits no more
For eloquence or art
That weaves mind and matter
By the fireside.

We are blackbirds
In the cold dawn;
Ravens crying out fierce joy
And ineffable sorrow to empty hills;
Eagles beyond sight,
Forgotten by the grass-eaters,
Turning upon an exhalation of air,
A gesture of word,
An alchemy of heart and breath.

A pinch of insignificance,
A deja vu,
A rusted key
To a forgotten door
Within a buried ivy cave
In a twilit,
Twilit world.

For no-one but ourselves,
Ourselves to ourselves,
We raise cupped hands,
Let the clear water fall sparkling
In sunlight,
Let the hymns rise and fall
To the sun, the world,
The watcher within,
Purified, cleaned, emptied,
Made silent once more.
Silent in mid-stream.
The lapping waters.

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