By the Hermit's Light: a tale of Nic and Marc
I'd been rebuilding from the bottom, which for me wasn't too bad a place, really, despite the stakes of my sanity.
The mind of the one I'd trusted gravitated to fear and denial, taking the incredible plane in which we'd stood and plunging it to Hell. From there, we'd glimpsed the dome of the stars, the opening passages into higher dimensions, and felt the touch of the Creating energy, rushing from the light beyond to suffuse the universe with life and love. How strange to have that protected space betrayed.
While sailing the oceans south from the Norse lands, Abril, disguised as the Marc Kane, and I, Nicola (also, in my way, disguised) encountered the first island to present the new coming spring. We knew the island from before; there lay the temple of the hero, Inguz, a place where people prayed for fertility in the pagan times now passing. We presented a beautiful girl there a flower, as she had greeted us eagerly and knew quick words to win our trust, though she gave us no name more meaningful than the one she adopted from us, Loose Flower. Even wise Marc Kane seemed to recognize in her, Aife, Abril's sister. She was lost before she was hardly known. The Marc Kane will seek always the spirits of those who have traveled beside us.
We'd followed the temple priestess of Inguz (or so we'd assumed; anyone can pose before the entrance of a place considered sacred to its believers) into the observatory built there, unlike any glimpsed in our dark age, and from its pools that reflected the stars, together we unexpectedly found ourselves in the splendorous outer reaches of the human perception of the cosmos. Apparently we activated her dormant powers, and the great snake of Being rose within her, and together we then found ourselves astrally projected into the rim of Creating.
But there proved a fatal flaw.
As we returned to earth, touched by the air and sea, seeming to flow through them with expanded awareness, we found our companion began to spread her power with abandon. While we radiated, maintaining a circuit, she took of our circuit and began using its force.
At first, we meditated to recover, to ground ourselves after the amazement in which we'd played part. We had made friends there, before, and so had a place to rest. But in the following days, Loose Flower revealed, bit by bit, her unlocked potential. She used her bewitchment to make hapless men fall in love with her at every turn, but this enchantment seemed subtle, and not beyond her natural allure, despite the discord that arose in the jealousy of her wake. Ray---The Marc Kane's brother, and the captain of our expedition--personally broke up a fight twice in one day, once with his sheer intimidating presence, and another, by humbling both men with the force of their own attacks. They were fortunate Ray of Awen had no desire to harm them, though his temper was sorely pressed. Only after talking could he clarify the "she" of whom they spoke...that beguiling one, who had presented herself as the priestess. We'd made note of evolving customs as we made our way south; we presumed some new cult arose in place of the traditional loyalty to Inguz, perhaps the Christ spoken of in Danish lands we'd crossed two years before.
But was her magic weaved so well as to quake the earth itself? We consulted among ourselves. We had encountered this before, what ancient scholars might term "a phenomenon." Ray had theorized -to borrow his Greek word for supposing---the forces beneath the Earth experienced pressure from its mixed layers, perhaps broken below in some way permitting movement. This fearsome rumbling seemed only incidental to her emergence as a sorceress. After all, many shamans, priests, had been told to claim power in such omens. Ray was as ever, the skeptic---he had found many phenomenon carried some explanation unbeknownst to ignorant men. The Marc Kane, herself, in disguise, had availed herself of such knowledge to broker truces and save lives as she exploited the superstitions we encountered as the Dragon's Line.
Yet the consequence, when we could ignore it no longer the next night, was that our energetic life threads, connecting us ever and pulling us forward through human existence, were being ripped from our bellies. Her misguided use of the power cosmic brought us to our knees. We retreated, unused to being so humbled, our hearts heavy---yet with great fear and rage did she pursue us through the forest, with little respite. Indeed, by our unwillingness to battle with her, peril grew for all.
Screaming, she took all three of us again onto that plane, with our conscious minds connected to the visionary heights, while our bodies tumbled into the shattering earth, and we three knew by the anxiety that possessed her mind, we were soon for some faceless nether realm.
When I began to understand the betrayal of that one's self-- the habits of a lifetime, filling the air with claustrophobic forms created from the half-shadows and half-truths of a past that was not my own-- I turned to the advice of the Scarlett Dragon No. 9, calling for her intuitive powers. I had encoded my call to her as "advice at the end of a project." Knowing our wayward hearts as she did, she saw the truth, unvarnished---just as she had ascertained years before that I was the crown prince of the house Dragonvayne, who some spoke of, in rumors and allusions, as "the wandering royal" who had discarded the palace to walk among the people of all lands.
"What have you rushed into?" she asked. With her psychic senses discern the actual danger the Marc Kane and I faced. Our great danger lay in the heights our senses had achieved; yet if we did not find a lantern to reveal our place, our bodies would be lost, and our minds, in between forevers.
Scarlett Dragon number 9's foreboding came by the light of the Hermit, who then took us aside, to gaze upon her glow. The warning was sincere, dire: "abandon all hope, ye who enter her." She advised us a spell, for in our state, we could not think clearly on how to effect our escape and stop this destruction.
That spell, to leave a flower behind in nature and so, to leave behind regret worked furiously in the space of seven days, seven nights. It might have worked better if it had been a rose, but this was the flower that had been meant to symbolize affections, taken in a picture, shown from afar...
It might have worked even better had it been buried, yet that seemed out of place; looking back, it may have been the time spent digging that would allow the love past its time of reflection, without reaching out to the recalcitrant mind that held captive that nobler heart...not bad for a fool in love...two...sometimes three...but we had to acknowledge death, of which we'd long since learned not to fear, though the reach of its specters, the finite nature of her remaining life, tormented the Loose Flower so.
Sure enough, a week after we cast it, I was realizing the powerful Nature imagery, the Sophia or Sakti energy if you will, the powerful vision I'd seen after our mystic experience together across the distance: the woman, goddess or angel or more, who spoke words beyond words, walking towards us all in vision, in the violet light (opening chakra again?) when I focused...
the same power that had surged in me that next morning, the same force that had made me sigh with contentment as I felt myself flowing far away over the ocean, approaching again the coast that is my home...
The elements speak to me again in the night...I feel beautiful, a beautiful man again, I am...when I stopped making it about the Loose Flower and fell in love with the magic, that reassurance and energy that will bring us all we need, reveal all we are...bliss, again. And all I need to do is right about it and I know it was never really gone...just got linked personally to someone in a lot of doubt and fear and anxiety...and when you believe as we do, you know you don't have to be there...even if you have to leave someone there to find their own way out...yes, had to read one last sign, of her fear of us, of her desire for separation, to deal with this power, or have it, on her own. I recall Marc Kane's reply, without sugar coating the hurt and calling her selfishness for its true nature. As she stood stunned before the grid of light that carried our message, we recited the spell to put things at an end.
Three times, we chanted:
We sever our ties to you
Though never would we want to do
So, but we must let you go
It's with pain, constraint, and necessity you know
For our own good
Sorry to be misunderstood
The energy level all wrong
to let things keep moving along
In such an unhealthy way
you'll drain us dry, what we offer, if we stay
So we give the energy to our arts
and in doing so, take back our stolen hearts.
Later this morning, I asked to make amends with her spirit, leaving her mind out of this...and suddenly my imagination and connection to my stories came back on, and I realized, "psychic vampire..."
All I missed about me, and all I gained from opening the senses that first night with her, all merged without need of her participation...and I'm whole again, another change, bursting with light and love once more, and gratified by first your advice, Scarlett (stubborn, forgiving man: sometimes you can not ask a mind to forgive what it cannot understand) and then by the wonderful, telepathic presence, which really truly seemed to be as much your son's idea as your own...and Marc saw the sun in the trees, and I, the Dragon and her child, the hero Inguz..and we felt your love.
I'm better than I was before these things...and now, with peace towards all, it's a world of awareness, after Loose Flower...humbling...exciting...full of gratitude with everyone's mind that touches me, powered by the Hermit's light, at last again upon the path, as we pass outside Time through Mysti Hazel's Garden.
The End... (or the completion of the beginning!)
story Lue Lyron
art, Eric Joy / Dawn Bird
Thanks to Angela for drawing the inspiration for me...and never failing me as my friend...and helping me envision and share this strange story, of magic and the confused mortals that encounter its power, shaped by their intentions.