I found myself in Twilight Land. How I ever got there I cannot
tell, but there I was in Twilight Land.

When word reaches us that Rory, the Queen of Sceptres has decided to join us we make haste, drawn by her charisma and power to infuse us with fresh life. She is a seductive, powerful muse and we are overjoyed by her impending arrival. Given that the Twilight theatre troop, upon seeing signs of a new dawn rising, are making their way towards the dawn, it is clearly time to bid our farewells. There are many obstacles for them to encounter as they head towards the dawn but having done it before they are philosophic. It is their destiny to strive to meet the new dawn.

The word gratitude is derived from the Latin word gratia, which means grace, graciousness, or gratefulness (depending on the context). In some ways gratitude encompasses all of these meanings. Gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives. In the process, people usually recognize that the source of that goodness lies at least partially outside themselves. As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals — whether to other people, nature, or a higher power.

Our cups are brimming over. We have basked in the light hearted camaraderie on stage. Our time at the fair  in the Land of Sweet Twilight has been a sheer joy. We drink to the friendships forged, the wonder of nostalgic memories, to remembering playing theatre with our childhood friends. The Hierophant watches us and he presents a final performance. As he introduces a small child to a cat and points to fish that fly he reminds us all of just how fascinating, how diverse our world is. It feels like I am a child again and I drink in the moment – a reprieve from the real world.

Death is one of the most feared cards in a Tarot Deck, and it is very misunderstood. Many people avoid mentioning this card because it has that much power. Most times, people take the name of the card literally. However, the real meaning within the Death card is one of the most positive in the whole deck.

The Death card signals that one major phase in your life is ending, and a new one is going to start. You just need to close one door, so the new one will open. The past needs to be placed behind you, so you can focus your energy on what is ahead of you.
labyrinthos

We linger with the troupe of performers in the Land of Sweet Twilight, acting out something akin to charades. I perform a Death ritual that speaks of descending into the underworld to regenerate and transform while one of the actors, surrounded by knives, depicts what we loudly applaud. Given the troubles that surround everyone on planet earth at the moment she demonstrates the best course of action – she has found a peaceful spot to lie and wait out the storm.

As she danced her arms floated lightly on the air, her hands and fingers undulating expressively, her feet gliding surely and nimbly.

After Violet gave so generously a dancer appeared for our encore. We watched in awe as this dance quite literally took on a life of its own. The dancers body turned in a parabolic, swirling, almost stately, rhythmic motion. She has become something entirely free – it is poetic. She is creating with everything she has.

Small band of performers like the troupe we just watched performed have historically travelled from place to place to entertain audiences from all walks of life. These nomadic groups toured countries and regions to tell stories and jests, play music or perform acrobatic acts. Festivals emerged wherever they went. A team gift from Violet brings energy to the group and it is the perfect way to give thanks for their hard work.

Violet is a sensual woman who was never going to be left behind on the Galleon when she could disembark and join us on the Land of Sweet Twilight. Violet has always believed that we need to embrace those things that make us happy. She has no problem ignoring the naysayers and embracing joy. Indeed, she has never concerned herself with the opinion of others and is often heard to say she only takes notice of those whose opinions she values. I envy her self assurance and self-sufficiency. As she joins us she discreetly passes one of her jewels to the actress who, along with the troupe is suitably impressed with this gift.

For centuries the carnival of the Sweet Twilight has attracted travellers who marvel at the sumptuous costumes and masks worn by the local population. As we approached the carnival, faint music could be heard from beyond the tall gates with the occasional happy scream suddenly piercing the air. Closer to the entrance stood the imposing big top marquee.

In the land of the Sweet Twilight the carnival consists of several weeks of festivity and fun. Local inhabitants indulge in music, dances and parties from twilight to dawn. Wearing masks and costumes makes it possible for these people to hide any differences of class or status, and allows them to make fun of the aristocracy.

Public shows and exhibitions are organised everywhere in this land of twilight, with musicians, dancers, acrobats and jugglers all performing.

We approach a masked play where, actors, dressed as beggars, believing the lead woman to be one of the aristocracy, are beseeching, begging for a few coins to ease their burden.

As we approach our eyes meet and I understand that all is not as it seems. They are all expecting a gift from us in return for this impromptu performance. I ponder upon what would be a suitable thing to give. Vampires we well may be but I sense that we would be in danger if they were to be left empty handed.

Who am I, that the lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the bright and morning star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?

Not because of who I am
But because of what you’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who you are
Casting Crowns

Just as Arya Stark was able to take on the faces and appearance of others so can I. I enter the Land of the Sweet Twilight as Silus, only to be confronted by the huge bear who demands to know who I am.

Take the time to meet the Bear and identify yourself.

Guerino the Wretch, became a byword for Italian cunning and fearlessness: he is all orphan hunting for his parents in the company of an innkeeper’s son; in the course of their wanderings, the two youths reach a mountain pass near Norcia in Umbria, where they meet the Devil. The Devil wants Guerino’s soul – what else? – and tempts him with news of a great fata, a fairy, an enchantress, called Sibilla, who lives near by, in a subterranean kingdom where every delight will be his.
From: The Beast and the Blonde Marion Warner Chapter 1

Elisabeta, the snake haired siren offers us a thimble full of her potent fluid. She is the ultimate siren who sings a sweet song of seduction. She understands how to play on unfulfilled cravings and deep longings.

The lure of being able to be free of any responsibility is intoxicating and she leads us to believe that it is a good idea to moor in the Land of the Sweet Twilight.

Elisabeta has appeared at a time when we are seeking to live out a fantasy. Her timing is impeccable. The longing, the promise of boundless bliss is enough to drive us to enter the world of the Sweet Twilight.

As long ago as 3,000 years ago the Egyptians had already developed advanced methods for building boxes and wooden chests with dovetail joints, including their ceremonial and burial sarcophagi with incredible carving, metalwork, inlaid jewels, and gilding. Even the poorest Egyptians would have used reed wooden chests to store things. Image 1 King Tutankhamun’s Painted Chest (ruled 1332–1323 BC). Egyptian Museum, Cairo, Egypt

In ancient Greek and Roman times people stored their belongings in wooden chests and coffers, whilst the wealthy owned more ornate beautifully made trunks and treasure chests.

The History of Wooden Chests and Storage Boxes is fascinating.Over time the simple storage chest has evolved into different styles and been modified for different uses: wooden boxes, storage chests, tool chests, treasure chests, blanket boxes and steamer trunks. Wooden chests and trunks have became the most useful, and most versatile piece in furniture’s history.

We will possibly be gone for years so it was important that I packed some precious belongings and made sure that I had a selection of chests to store any treasure that I gathered.

When I was packing I did make sure to bring the Shadowland Tarot that Fergie had gifted me. It appears that many of the characters who live in that deck have a habit of walking in and out of it. Three rather cute, friendly little sea creatures appeared and gifted me a small medallion that they said came back on another voyage.

We had a joyous time sharing stories, a good laugh and a cocktail or two; or was it three. As I finally staggered off and laid my bones down they quietly disappeared back into the trunk. I am expecting to have quite a few of these creatures visit during the voyage.

The earliest chariots appeared in Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C. They were very different from the familiar horse-drawn vehicles seen in ancient Greece and Rome. Early prototypes often had four solid wheels, and their main purpose was for use in parades and funerary rites. These vehicles were not pulled by horses, but by oxen and other draft animals, or equids such as donkeys or mules. The Standard of Ur, a casket from the Sumerian city of Ur dating to around 2600 B.C., features a chariot that looks like a solid-wheeled wagon pulled by either mules or donkeys.
Source: National Geographic

With Thana at the helm of the Ghostly Galleon, a formidable chariot, we are ready to embark. Thana is well prepared and has a sacred devotion to the cause. With focused determination she sets her sights on a goal. We are preparing to travel, discover new horizons and find lost treasure.

A ghost ship, also known as a phantom ship, is a vessel with no living crew aboard; it may be a ghostly vessel in folklore or fiction, such as the Flying Dutchman

For hundreds of years, there were rumors of a shipwrecked treasure on the Lemuria coastline. But no one found anything. The ship was a Manila galleon, a “castle of the sea,” dispatched across the vast Pacific Ocean and carrying the finest goods known to man: ivory statues, delicate china, exotic spices, golden silk.

Tonight we set sail in search of treasure and places lost in the mists of time. The ship has been loaded and all the crew are on board. It is time to accept the challenge and depart.