Messages For The Dead

The dwelling was beautiful; the living space opulent with a multitude of bright cushions and lush vegetation everywhere.  There was no roof as outside and inside formed a symbiotic space for my home; areas were designated by low stone walls overhung with flowering vines. I was surrounded by a group of young women who came together with me and my mother to celebrate the new life I was carrying.  I did not recognize any of these women, yet I knew them all with their smiling faces, striking jeweled toned clothing and headdresses.  Women whose hair, eyes and skin were as differentiated and as exotic as the décor and vegetation.  It all formed a perfect symphony of life. Amid all the laughter and exclamations of joy I felt connected.  I felt at home – yet down in my heart I knew this was temporary and alone out of this happy group of women I was touched with sadness.

After the celebration of new life gathering, my mother escorted me into the tiny village.  A hodgepodge of ancient stone structures lining narrow cobblestones streets.  The vegetation grew wild alongside the lanes and each edifice be it business or domicile was merrily decorated in deep colored tapestries and banners that hung or flew from every available doorway, balcony or spire.  As in my own house, the land and buildings wove together a connectedness. There was no demarcation of where one ended and another began; trees grew inside sleeping places, streams sang through cooking spaces and flowers grew rampant.

Along one narrow byway a thin strip of sidewalk wound past several shops, every few feet an intimate booth or table with chairs was placed.  It was an outdoor restaurant.  My mother motioned me to a booth at one end while she went to chat with friends.  As I sat myself down, I noticed the light was fading and a myriad of lampposts bloomed into life.  Their warm glow cheerily reminiscent of another street I struggled to remember.  I ordered a beverage – and idly wondered if in this place what an alcoholic drink would do to the life I carried. Again, I was touched with a sorrow I could not put into words yet somehow, I understood the temporariness of my life here. This kind of sadness was unknown in this place with these people. This life I carried was somehow doomed.

Unexpectedly my father sat down next to me and I knew it was me that out of place here.  But I was grateful for the few moments I would be given with him. We spoke of the pandemic in my reality.  I spoke of the cases, deaths and new norms across the world.  My father spoke of how it was affecting his world and how ‘the living’ aren’t getting where they need to be. I suddenly saw a map of a place/world I did not recognize yet somehow, I knew. My father went on to say that the new influx of ‘living’ are not gaining entrance; they are being bottlenecked ‘outside’.  Before I could ask him what he meant, my mother sat opposite us and I awoke in terrible sadness.

Messages from the dead?  Such a curious word – dead: meaning no longer alive.  I too shall start calling them the living for I believe it is we who are dead here in this mad world. 

I dreamed I spoke with my father last night and he had a message for the dead.

The Forest

I sat in mediation after the magic was done. I had made the appropriate offerings, I sang the correct words of power, I remembered the names and now I waited.  The altar fires flickered and went out as the horned moon rose higher in the midnight-blue sky.  At length I lay down on the hard floor, too tired to move. The treacherous tendrils of despair whispered at the edge of my heart as sleep claimed me.

I found myself in an open forest, trees as far as the eye could see. Staggering was the height of these rich brown boles; their leaves brushing the stars. Their like not seen in my world.   Rough and knotted was their bark; as any good forests bark should be.  The roots were twice the height of a tall man in many places. Far above me the gleaming green leaves moved with life; as if an unheard lullaby caressed their silvery veins. 

I wandered among the roots marveling at the trees in this eternal twilight.  I appeared alone, no creature could I see or hear. Yet life was here and power; the forest thrummed with power, with life, with awareness.  I felt welcome, not quiet at home but safe.  A forest devoid of chirping birds, buzzing insects and rooting animals would be a sign of danger in other forests but here in this place, those sounds would be harsh, discordant and alien.

In the distance I spied movement and realized a man was walking towards me.  He was below average height for a human male, with hair and skin bronzed deeply by a relentless sun.  He was dressed in shaggy furred skins that were a darker bronze than his skin.  While he did not appear unclean, he was traveled stained.  He was clean shaven with hair cut in a straight swathe across his brow and along the nape of his neck.  A long stone knife hung at his left side. 

As he drew closer his eyes of deep topaz brown grabbed mine.  I began to move toward him. As we drew closer, he motioned me to a tree root about hip high with a flat surface.  On either side of this root was a small root about knee high.  He sat down on the shorter root across from me and motioned me to do the same.  The root in between felt like an impenetrable barrier.

He gazed at me long and hard; those eyes so full of fire and quickness. His eyes never left mine as his left hand reached into his skin coverings and withdrew a very modern scrap of white notebook paper.  He gestured again toward the root in-between us and I noticed from my left to right a large white onion, a large mollusk shell full of salt and a large pomegranate.  In one smooth motion he pulled his stone knife from his skin belt, cleaving the onion then the pomegranate and returning the knife to his belt. His eyes on mine questioning now.  His eyes dropped to the paper and he uttered a phrase I did not recognize for it did not belong in my world.  Then he uttered a word of power in that same strange tongue and the air between us quivered. Quickly he darted his bronzed hand toward the open face of the large white onion where its white tears welled up as if from a spring. After dabbing his fingertips in its juices, he moved to the shell dipping onion-soaked fingers in the salt. Lastly, he chose one of the large pomegranate seeds.  The pomegranate was deep red with seeds larger than a grape, the juice from the pomegranate was as blood.  His hand paused in mid-air and again our eyes sought each other. With his eyes and hand, he motioned me to do the same. I quickly followed suit and once I had chosen my seed, we ate them together.  His eyes went back to the paper and again he spoke another word of power and again he touched the onion, the salt and chose a seed – as did I.  A total of five times he spoke words of power and five times we ate an onion salted pomegranate seed.  The air was alive between us, it shimmered with purpose, gleaming with consciousness.

This forest fed this awakened air giving veracity to the words spoken.  I sat in wonder, left hand bathed in onion and pomegranate juices.  This bronzed man returned the paper scrap to his fur hides, gave me one last look full of inquiry and hope.  He then rose and walked back into the forest and did not look back. Deep inside a crevice of my true self – a seed was planted- five seeds to be exact.

VOWS

2019 last sun set-3

Pursuing illumination
From truth to ruin
Evading ravaging darkness
Recanting departed’s sins

As my world dims
I call to Her
Screaming for succor
Her Silence my final denial

Shadow dominated
My flame withers
I plummet into nothing
Unmade in my becoming

Oblivion my old lover
Bearing my bridal trousseau
As the Void enfolds me
We are Home…
~~Feral Goddess, A Green-Muilenburg

HOME

sunset march 2019The street is familiar – I have been visiting here since a child.  It is always bathed in the jeweled peacock tones of eternal twilight. Trees of unimaginable height and beauty throng the neighborhood like sentient centurions they march across the landscape.

The houses are both ancient and modern. A mixture of prehistoric stone work fashioned into mostly modern ranch style homes with the occasional micro Tudor or Victorian studding this family avenue.

For as long as I can remember my street has felt warm and full of life. Foremost is the procession of cheery lampposts defining each household with its amber distinctiveness and the inviting golden radiance springing from innumerable windows; complimenting the eternal dusk of this place.  If you stop and listen you can hear the murmur of countless voices behind jaunty doors and the occasional burst of muffled music or laughter.  Until last night.

Only a few of the streetlamps were lit and the undying dusk felt more subdued.  Most of the homes were darkened yet my feet knew the way.  Our lamppost was cheerily calling me home and the largest of the street’s trees, hanging over my home, sent waves of welcome.

The moment my foot hit the porch an ancient grandmother opened the door, exuberant to see me, hugging me like I was the long-lost child that I am. The house inside is much larger than it appears, countless halls, salons and rooms flow into each other like the root system of an ancient tree. The entire place is filled with dark lustrous furniture shaped from wood that never lived in the material world. Every surface is covered in a patchwork of food and drink with a myriad of candles and torches vying for scraps of space – precariously perched on corners and walls.

Soul haunting music fills the air, the kind that burns in your veins reminding you of your divine origins, the sound stars make when they are born.  Mingled throughout is the tinkle of children’s laughter full of such joy at being home with a hint of sorrow.

I spy my father in a farther room and my heart sobs. He is orchestrating a game for the younglings; attention riveted by the children and their merrymaking. As he looks up, our eyes connect. I see him, and my heart lives; he is young and hearty like he was before I was born. Tall and thin with strawberry blond hair. His pale halo from our Irish ancestors flaming like a beacon for my weary heart. He smiles yet his eyes are sad for he knows my visit is just that a visit.

A tiny tot of 3 or 4 years of age tugs his pant leg for attention. She is small and sturdy with black-haired ponytails framing cornflower blue eyes. As he lifts her up she shoots me a grin of triumph. I am a bit envious but greatly overjoyed at her victory in being lifted above the other clamoring children.  She looks not unlike my younger sister, down to the nose freckles.  Is she a miscarried soul of mine, my sisters, my mother’s?  Perhaps an ancient cousin or aunt unborn ages ago?  I make my way toward my father as the toddler waves for me to hurry and join the game.

I am stopped midway by my direct grandmother. Her blue-black hair and hazel eyes arresting in their beauty. I can see why my grandfather was captivated. There he is by her side; tall and black-eyed with his indigenous good looks. My grandmother is unabashedly selfish and proclaims her unending glee that I have come to visit and that she is ready for me to stay. To which my grandfather reprovingly whispers, “Helen you know better”.  She shrugs away his mild rebuke smiling at me like I warm the very sun. I stroke her face – I see the youthful 18-year-old girl newly come to womanhood and the grace of a woman who sits enthroned in her elderly beauty like a cosmic queen all at once and I know am loved.

My grandfather’s eyes twinkle unabashedly with his dark humor. Of everyone there I am sure it is his humor and shape of mind I share in the most (or perhaps his grandmother’s). He and I look at each other and he knows I would stay forever, here in the halls of my ancestors, if I could and the dark thoughts that cross my mind I know have crossed his before.  We smile the smile of knowing to each other and my black eyes which are the mirror of his twinkle back.

I wend my way to my father who I had intentionally set out to see when I slipped into slumber. He has no time for me as the little ones claim his attention. I see I will have no time with him. I hear my name whispered and spy the grandmother whose face I bear down a hallway.  I go to her, she is young and sprightly dressed in clothing from centuries ago. She smiles unceasingly almost ecstatic that she has found me, holding my hands in hers. It is like looking at my 19-year-old self in a mirror.

I am interrupted by a Junoesque redhead bubbling over with enthusiasm.  She is dressed as a flapper wearing a floral print dress and long beads.  Her short flaming red hair setting off to perfection the largest pair of emerald green eyes I have ever seen.  She shows me to a room that is new to the house and asks how to get the lights on it.  Immediately I am fearful in this house of my ancestors.  In this place – fire illuminates the twilight shrouded halls of my ancestors; no electricity lives in this world.  This room is grey; a shadow of its material self.  As I enter I know my time is up and this new room has not yet manifested in this place; it is still a doorway back – – back to the material world.  Painfully I awaken, I try to recapture the dreamtime – for I know the way back so well.  It is blocked to me now.  With great longing I arise, unready for my day…alone.

 

WAITING

In this half-light I drift
Caught between worlds
Comforted in the silence of nothing
Where I can feel the Void

Here the old-world rests
Dreaming of yesterday
Lingering for the pain
And pleasure of death

The next world swells
apprehensive for today
Forestalling the blood and
chaos of rebirth

Like a stay of execution we tarry
Fearing what must slip away
Obsessing over irrelevance
Waiting is a perilous thing

Yet here in the half-light I bloom
Content to wait
~~Feral Goddess, A Green-Muilenburg

PROPHET of MA’AT

And Lo I have become a prophet of Ma’at
Seeing the weak and fearful pursue heresy
With treachery they disrupt the sacred
Defying the Void with baneful acts
Unbalancing all of creation

Make straight your stride, firm your foundation
Let rightness restore the order of the cosmos
Fill your secret chamber with RA’s illumination
May veracity be your guide
Attaining vindication at the foot of Osiris

Else Wickedness gains its foothold for true
Securing your Place of Annihilation
In the belly of Eater of Hearts
~~Feral Goddess, A Green-Muilenburg

Let Us Remember

For She Who has Never Abandoned Me, The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names.  She who has gifted me with words of love, praise and devotions; that I may sing of the greatness of the Gods.

My book of hymns and praises in honor of the Egyptian Gods. A culmination of several years work– an offering to the Great Goddess Isis.

LET US REMEMBER…: A Devotional to Honor the Netjeru

book cover

 

Ebbing

This husk wanes with each progression
My gaze turning inward and distant
Seeking shores now unreachable
Wishing for release time wearies on
These bones beg freedom
Yet my soul still aches for life
Yearning for sacred illumination
That lies just beyond each death
With each dying my embers are fed
For my spark is kith and kin
To Her hallowed flame
Where I will live for true
~~Feral Goddess, A. R. Green-Muilenburg

sunset

Half Life

Whispered prayers suture my lips

in this muttered language of the departed

The sound of moths shivering in ash

Are my hemorrhaged pleas to the dead

Bartering for direction in a trackless waste

With those who have trekked ahead

Seeking either lamppost, looking glass,

Or hell wrought ring to alter this terrain

I have paused here at half-life searching

Listening for an echo of genuineness

In this now unfamiliar province

Unwelcomed I have become; outcast among the insane

The living have become too angry – too blind

Their hearts withered in pain

Engorged with poisoned information

Adrift with purposelessness on the sea of neglect

Here at half-life the next world is our salvation

~~Feral Goddess, A. Green-Muilenburg