My uncle warned me of the hallucinatory effect of smouldering henbane, but it is the essence of my initiation. Surrounded by the maze of megaliths, my body floats. I round up the shrill cacophony of chanting voices, which buck around my head like wild horses at a rodeo, and corral them in a corner of my mind.
My head is clear and I am ready; the only sound I hear is the sweet voice of a nightingale singing.
The message is within me and I am the message.
To this modern world which ransacks Gaia’s riches I bring her revenge.
humankind turned upside-down keeping safe’s what matters all around the world economies in tatters scientists in overdrive to keep one step ahead corruption, disruption stop now, keep your head mixed message, fake news sops to the masses governments in disarray staying put’s what matters
Image credit; Lance Anderson @ Unsplash The image shows tall skyscrapers lit in the evening light. In the front there is a small pale-coloured house resting at an angle on the ground, one side of it raised from the ground.
We assemble at sunset. Goose-bumps cover the bared skin on my back, still tender from the previous pricking of the needle, which has marked me indelibly and for eternity.
Henbane and yarrow scent the air; charms and enchantments encircle the glittering granite standing stones, in a kaleidoscope of crashing consonants, while my uncle, a comfortable presence in the growing darkness, heralds the start of the ceremony with a single beat of an unseen gong.
Blindfolded, I am led to the centre of the circle. The ceremony begins.
In moonlight’s sphere runes on ancient stones ignite; the Mark of Gaia tingles.
My uncle is ebullient this morning, remarkably so. He is a man transformed; overjoyed outpourings spill from his lips as he beams at me across the breakfast table.
I, however, having ploughed through piles of obscure texts and ancient tenets from the towering oaken shelves of my uncle’s library (previously off-limits to me), am less so. The taste of the delicious food on my plate is spoiled by the knowledge I have swallowed down over the weeks since my discovery.
I am to prepare for my initiation, he declares.
Passing the baton gladdens the master’s heart; yet the burden remains.
Beauty transcends reason Eloquence reaps her just reward.
Take a moment to tiptoe past your worries Recall tributes, triumphs and tenderness Augment your vessel of contentment Negate all negative thoughts Quelling the armies of anxiety Under a big bright blanket of hope Infuse yourself with inner strength Life’s about the journey; go now, walk in peace today.
There is no going back from here, for what I discovered up in that dusty attic on that cold winter afternoon has marked me out.
Now I am one of them.
I should have obeyed my uncle’s directive, but I’d been determined to find out the truth. The secret that was hidden from me, that was buried along with my parents, whose mysterious disappearance has never been discussed.
But now I have the truth, I must face the challenge ahead: the one that all our people must face.
On the lonely road our kind must travel alone; destiny calls me.
She stands on the hot, hard pavement, inhaling the ozone-laden breeze. Her eyes feast on the tempting glint of lapping waves breaking gently on the crescent of white sand, which circles the foot of the flat-topped mountain rising from the shining city by the sea.
Here in the city, where two oceans meet at the southern-most tip of the continent, she remembers all the summers when the whole world, it seemed, flocked to the beaches where they bathed and frolicked in the clear blue water.