"Morgan & Gloriana"
That night Morgan fell asleep with a big smile on her
face, the thought of her new oboe warming her heart.
Upon touching her pillow,Morgan found herself floating in space.
When she looked down she saw a silver floor beneath her feet. When she looked up, she saw a silver sail, a full moon and starry
skies overhead. At last Morgan realized that she was gliding through the air in a grand silver ship, its mast made of diamonds,
its sails embroidered in threads of gold.
She gazed down upon the ground below. In the distance, she saw a milky sea
that stretched to the horizon. On the edge of the sea lay a green meadow. In the middle of the meadow stood a glorious tree
which glittered in the moonlight.
Morgan's ship landed at the foot of the tree. Morgan looked
from the tree to the ocean. On the edge of the ocean the sea began to swell. Slowly, a shining creature emerged from the waves
and foam. Arising from the sea was a beautiful woman, who had gleaming silver hair and ivory skin. She wore a crystal gown
which sparkled under the dove-white moon. As the woman approached Morgan and the tree, her gown left streams of tiny stars
in its wake. A hundred sea birds flew in rings above the woman's head. When the woman reached the tree, Morgan knelt down
before her. Thinking she must be some powerful goddess, Morgan was too overwhelmed to move.
At last the woman spoke.
In a voice as sweet as sugar she said, "arise my child. You, dear
Morgan, have no reason to fear me."
"You know who I am?" asked Morgan in surprise.
"Of course. I have kept a close eye on you all your life, as I do with all descendents of
Finn Fingall. My husband, Lord Oberon, has spoken of you many times."
As soon as she heard
this, Morgan knew who this wondrous woman must be.
"Forgive me, Queen Gloriana," she
said as she curtsied. "I did not recognize you at first."
"It is understandable,
my child. We have never met face to face. Moreover, I look a little different every night. Everyone who gazes upon me sees
"There is something that confuses me, your Highness," said Morgan.
"As Queen of Faeries I thought you lived in the forest, not in the sea."
is true that I usually live in the forest,” Gloriana nodded. “But I was born in the sea, many ages ago. I often
return there at night to sleep. Or I travel to the ocean of stars above to dream my dreams.”
“Oh, that seems like a most pleasant place to sleep and dream.”
is. And from there I can see anyone or anything I want to see.”
“If you please,
your Highness, could you tell me if this tree is a sacred Faery tree?”
“Yes it is,
child. We call her Old Grand Mother U.”
“So is she related to Grand Father A Tree?”
“In a manner of speaking, she is. This sacred tree is the mother of all Yew trees.”
“She must be very old then,” Morgan said.
she is most ancient.”
“And does she sing too, like Father Apple Tree?”
“Of course. That is, if you have the ears to hear. In fact, I will leave you now so you may
sit with Mother Yew Tree and listen to her song. I am glad to see you brought your oboe with you this time.”
Though Morgan could not remember bringing her oboe, sure enough, she looked down and saw it in her hand. When she looked up
she found Gloriana floating in the air.
With a wave of her hand, the Queen said, “farewell
Morgan. I am glad we finally met face to face. Just listen to my special friends, the Owl, the Yew and the snowy Dove, and
you will learn all that you need to know. Just open your heart, then listen and learn.”
With that, Gloriana floated away in a stream of sea green light.
Left alone, Morgan looked to
Grand Mother U Tree. She sat at the foot of the silver tree in a chair of soft moss and grass. As she sat, an Owl and Dove
flew into the tree and perched on a branch above her head. The birds sang a song together, their two liquid melodies melting
into one. As the two sang, Old Mother Yew hummed her own song, as soft and soothing as a gentle summer rain. But before Morgan
could learn the Song of the Yew Tree, she fell asleep.
And as she fell asleep in her dream,
she awoke from her Faery dream, to find herself in her very own bed. An unknown melody floated through her head. It was as
soft and soothing as the ocean tide. But in the next instant it was gone, like a silver wave as it melts into the golden shore.
From the Book of Poetry
ELEGIES OF THE MASK
(this city, this rubble, these mirroring windows, these redoubtable
these listless men, this dimsionless vista, these shorelines imposed)
Why have the Angels left us to seek our absolution
in the dense arms of rank and aquisition
This chair, this car, this border, this yard of shag or lawn or
rayon or nation
wrapped like clinging bedsheets in stranglehold about our necks & chests
as if some material sex-gain-thing, a pure thingness
our ultimate gain & worth
Where do these curving stairs lead?
To what regulations, what
strivings, what starvings ...
To the ring of the regulus?
of the uterus? of slag heap or ironworks?
endless innovations of microcircuit? conjurations &
manipulations of the tube?
And where does this other gate lead?
on the other side of the curve
into what garden? into what vast memory?
under what understanding stars?
There the bell of the angelus
the fresh face
of the choirboy we once were
joyous in the mystery of candle's ritual
We feel the faces glancing, glaring in the mirror
We fear our hands before the flame
We fight our
impulse to jump through the mirror
to shatter that false image which wears the human mask
and stands before us tauntingly
twisted in hidden desires, a vague discontent
The wavering secrets
The deeply buried prism
Its oscillating gains
(as cyclic repetition generates precision & mass)
Celebrated by small multitudes in uninhibited joy
Wallowing in some recondite Mass
known but to gnomes & Gnostics & Hermetic warriors
Its indistinct utterances
song to the orthodox
Yet the vesper herald of artists devoted to silent psalms
songs of the unearthed
All unclaimed wonder
The all enduring magnitude sublimely
in the frost of stained glass
trefoil & leadened mullions
Reconstituted in purple mountains' vast surmise ....
we kiss her or worship her?
as if an Angel's glance made into joyous flesh
Should we devote ourselves to the angelus
Reconstitute Gregorian chant
in the grunts and heaves of penitent love?
Or compose in the myriad of mad act & drugged ecstasy
some senseless celebration
to the Mask of the Wise?
(this ecstasy, this obscurity, this answer, this Sangreal, this shaft,
or rocket thrust to Eternity,
to the glittering glimmering of gold, to a nameless God)
Excerpt from the Fantasy Novel
MASTER OF THE GUILD
It was two days’ ride from Mother Hypatia’s cottage to
the Maw of Delphus. The Paterini had spoken little since the encounter with the Cacus, their usually gay spirits dampened
by their uncertainty and loss. Wary of this latest threat, the Paterini were unusually alert as they approached the Maw of
The Maw was considered one of the world’s sacred points of power. According to legend,
it was the center of the world and the birthplace of the Five Realms. It had been the home of many ancient religions, most
prominently the followers of the goddess Kalidar and, later, the Artemar. It was here that they held their sacred rites, where
their initiates learned the secrets of death and rebirth, where magic was practiced, where their Prophetess spoke the oracular
language of the gods. Over the centuries, the ecstatic rites of the Goddess were supplanted by the more formal rituals of
priests and kings, and the patriarchal religion of Apollan and Phoebar.
It was only natural that
when the first Monarchos, Demiurgus, came to power, he made Delphus the center of his empire. Here, he could solidify his
theocratic rule, claiming divine kingship, using the power of the priesthood and the ancient liturgy to support his authority.
After the death of Demiurgus, the Maw began its gradual decline. The sons and grandsons of the Monarchos
fought over control of the central realm. In the process, Demiurgus’ palace was destroyed. His once great city was burned
and desecrated. All that remained were charred pillars, rocky ruins and the scattered cobblestones of ancient streets. The
once grand gardens had long since turned to seed. The Temple of Delphus, one of the wonders of the ancient world, lay in ruin.
Yet the holiest site of Delphus remained. Before the existence of cities or temples, before kings or
priests rose to power, when civilization was but a dream in the mind of Apollan, there stood the cave of Delphus. It was in
this cave that the priestesses of Kalidar proclaimed their oracles. The devotees of the ancient religion still made pilgrimages
to the Maw and to the sacred cave.
When the Paterini arrived at the Maw, Berenice went straight to the cave. With Hypatia’s
ashes in hand, she entered the sacred site. The men waited outside under a grove of cedar trees. Ramar took out his copy of
the book, THE FIRST POWER, and began to read.
After some deep searching, Ramar came across a verse that he had
never seen before. It told of the Simurg bird and its mystic feather. It read:
“As the Serpent draws the lightning
through its fiery skin,
And the dolphin breathes in
the nectar of the Sea,
So the Simurg and its
drink the light of the Sun,
Giving all that touch them
the endless eyes to see.
Light, the heart & the feather
bring all things together,
Making the sky & earth as one,
and Spirit into the Eye of the Deathless One.”
Ramar did not know what to make of this cryptic verse. He sensed
that there were valuable secrets hidden in the text, secrets that might help him understand his past experience and his deeper
powers. But he could not find the key to unlock the mystery.
After an hour of intense study, Ramar saw Berenice emerge
from the cave. She seemed worn with fatigue. Her eyes were red, either from the strain of darkness or from the toll of tears.
First she nodded at the other Paterini. Then she walked up to Ramar.
With a marbled expression and a stern voice she
said, “Ramar, it is now your turn.”
“My turn?” he muttered. “Whatever do you mean?”
“I mean it is your time to enter the cave.”
“Why would I want to enter the cave?” he asked
warily. “Anyway, I thought it was a place reserved for women.”
“It is true that these days it is mostly
women who enter. But the inner sanctum is open to anyone who may profit from its wisdom. During ancient times all sorts of
men and women consulted the Oracle. Now there is more fear and less willingness to enter the cave. But there is no real reason
to fear it, particularly if you go in with a pure heart. Though the oracular Priestess is long gone, her holy word may still
be found within, at least by those who have the ears to hear. “
Still doubtful, Ramar asked, “but how do
you know that I should enter?”
Firmly, she answered, “because I was told so by the voice within.”
Unwilling to simply accept this explanation, Ramar asked, “the voice within? What do you mean? Why would I go inside?”
Berenice raised her fingers to his lips and said, “shush.”
She then took a leather pouch from the folds
of her dress and said, “take this with you. It should help you to hear. But you must not open it up, no matter what
“What should I do when I get inside?”
“You will know when you get there. Just
trust in what you feel.”
Despite his lingering doubts, Ramar moved toward the cave. He took Berenice’s torch
with him to light the way. At the mouth of the cave were inscribed numerous symbols, a flaming serpent, a spiral maze, an
array of circles, triangles and stars.
Ramar followed the winding tunnel down into the earth until it opened up into
a cavern. Stalactites hung from the high ceiling, the roof embedded with tiny star-bright crystals that glimmered in the torch’s
flame. A jagged fissure cut across the floor, like a black wound slashed through the skin of the earth. At the center of the
cave, spanning the fissure, a bronze chair had been erected. For centuries it stood as the throne of the oracle, the High
Priestess of Kalidar. Now it was a ruined relic, the seat destroyed, its three long legs rusted and bent yet deeply embedded
in the ground.
White fumes seeped out from the fissure in the earth. At first the fumes smelled foul and sulfurous, bringing
tears to Ramar’s eyes. With time the smell softened, taking on the briny scent of the sea. Overcome by the fumes, Ramar
lowered himself to the ground. Once seated, his body began to tingle and tremble. In order to quell his uneasiness, Ramar
used a technique he had learned from The First Power. Drawing all his senses inward, he focused his mind on a single symbol.
He fixed all his consciousness on a point between his eyes. He spread the fire of his breath rhythmically through his body.
Becoming one with the sign of the fivefold sun, Ramar experienced a pulsing over his hands and heart.
After a moment
of confusion, he recognized the source of the vibration. It came from Hypatia’s pouch and from his Simurg feather. With
eyes closed, he felt light emanating from the objects, like luminous ripples in a pool. Subtle colors and currents surrounded
him, as if layers of luminous flesh newly covering his skin. He felt a quaking of the earth, then a sense of displacement,
a separation from ordinary time and space.
These sensations were similar to what he experienced with the Simurg, but
this time he never fell out of consciousness. Light shimmered before his closed eyes. His body trembled in synchrony with
the quaking ground.
Energy surged through him, in alternating currents of silver and gold.
A lightning bolt flashed
through his flesh, shattering his body into a thousand infinitesimal pieces.
His life force lifted upward. His being
became a luminous fountain surging, spiraling from the earth.
His awareness ascended to worlds beyond, past fiery lakes
and diamond forests, through cyclones of light, beyond spiraling rainbows and clouds of gold. Stars sprang to life and burst
around him, filling the magnitude with countless white fires.
Above him loomed an ocean of light, pulsing in time to
his heartbeat, sharing in his every breath and thought.
A vast presence floated in the sea above. It filled him with
luminous sentience. It sang a hymn of restoration and belonging, uttered in a language of radiance and love. Slowly words
became recognizable, erupting like stars from the milky sea. Words as revelation rained down upon his limitless eyes.
the light rained down to say,
“At last, in returning to me, we may return in part to you, in you and through you,
one light, one Selfsame longing, a joining of purest intention, infinite, beyond, yet suffusing all matter from the great
forest of life and feelings to the sky and sea of light above. I embrace your wish and your wonder, Ramar of the Golden Kin.
I receive it as I receive you, with all the love and mystery and fullness of the sea, in that hidden place of majesty and
cosmic completion, born in your darkness yet residing in the luminousness of me. Rest assured that we will always be with
you, in life as in death, as we are wed to the same pure power and desire. The mask of your mind and flesh has led you to
forget this timeless place, this your greater source and knowing. But such things are never lost. They live in your dreams
and speak through your songs. Though you have much to remember about yourself and about the lost all, your end and completion
is near, nearer than you could possibly know.”
Ramar felt his being rock with joy with these words. Though he did
not wholly understand the heavenly song, as it shifted between light and symbol and unspoken word, he felt its ineffable truth,
its endless power.
The presence embraced Ramar with its wisdom, filled him with light, its ecstatic flame subsuming
all the love he had ever in his lifetime known, offering in return all completeness and peace.
In his mind Ramar asked
the presence, “where am I going? Who am I? What will I become?”
For countless moments Ramar floated in the
luminance, yet heard no answer to his questions. Within the white sea Ramar saw flashes of his mother’s face and form.
He felt her fullness touch his distant flesh. He heard the echo of her voice singing mythic songs. Their sound swelled beneath
him, supporting him, drawing his awareness from the heights.
He sifted down, shifting from stellar magnitudes to flashes
of dreamscape, to the limits of body and flesh. The once bright sea became a tiny, pulsing spot amidst the greater architecture
of stars. As his awareness drifted down, he became engulfed in a stream of grey tendrils. The tendrils became swirls of smoke
which wrapped around him and burned his eyes.
He lifted his heavy eyelids.
He saw a torch’s flame glittering
off a golden tripod. He thought he saw a shimmering woman’s form in the fumes, before the shape dissipated in a swirl
Finally he awoke to the darkness of the cave.
In a daze of confusion and a mist of pulsing lights, Ramar
stumbled out of the cave. The world quivered with golden life. Near the cave was Berenice, sitting on a silver stone that
sparkled in the sun.
When Ramar was joined by Berenice, he did not know what to say. He still felt streams of energy
filling him, rushing through his veins. He felt his feelings overwhelm him, ecstasy, wonder, doubt and awe rising and falling,
each fighting for supremacy. He wanted to laugh at the impossibility, then cry at the magnitude and beauty of it all. Everything
around him seemed transformed. The trees and plants were more colorful and alive, tied to each other and the ground and sky
in an invisible web of energy and knowing.
Ramar muttered to Berenice, “I don’t understand what just happened
to me. I experienced something, something unbelievable in the cave. It is more than I can comprehend or explain.”
Berenice put her hand on his shoulder and said, “I understand. That is often the way it is in the Cave of the Oracle.
But try to tell me what happened, that is if you wish to share it with me.”
“I would like for you to know,
Berenice. Maybe then you can help me understand. Some of what happened was similar to what I experienced with the Simurg.
But this time I was more awake, more alive than before, more alive than I have ever been. When I entered the cavern I was
overwhelmed by a surge of incredible energy. I went to a place more vast than the sky or ocean. I felt a presence and a power
I have never felt before. My mind exploded, expanding far beyond the bounds of my body.
Some things were communicated
to me by the great presence, but I am not sure now what that presence was. An unspoken voice hinted of my destiny, hinted
at what I truly am. But everything was spoken in a language of light and sound and color that I couldn’t fully understand.
Yet I could feel it. I felt such a sense of love, of belonging and completion, the like of which I have not known since I
was a child, since I was in the arms of my mother. All of this and more stemmed from the presence beyond the stars.”
Berenice sighed, smiled, and said, “such things you speak of are not unknown to women, but are more rarely experienced
by men. This is because you were welcomed home by your mother. This is the presence you felt. You were touched by your first
and truest mother, our great Goddess who lives in the stars beyond, just as she lives in the trees and streams and ground
The Artemar call this divine presence Mother Nuitalla. The ancient Kalidar named her Binahokma, she who is the
first and greatest wisdom, and second to none in power. The Holy Virgin Mother has chosen to lift her veil and reveal a part
of herself to you. She has seen fit to bless you with a drop of her infinite love. What you have experienced is one of the
greatest gifts imaginable. It is a gift held sacred by the Artemar. It is a sublime boon that few men are blessed to receive,
for to see the Goddess, a man must touch the divine feminine force within himself.”
Ramar sighed, and said, “I
do feel blessed by this, as I did by the visitation of the Simurg. I just wish that I understood it better. I wish the Oracle
or the Goddess could have answered some of my questions. I am beginning to wonder if I will ever discover the truth about
“Of course you will,” Berenice reassured him. “But I don’t think anyone can answer
these questions for you. I think you must answer them for yourself. That is because you are still learning, you are still
in the process of creating yourself. As Mother Hypatia once told me, we are always in the process of creating and reinventing
ourselves, as well as our destinies. You are just beginning your process of initiation. After some time at Monsolvat, many
of these things will become clear to you.”
Under his breath, Ramar whispered, “I just hope to Goddess you