Archive for June, 2020

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.

The Spaniard came in sight, with his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather bow.
– The Revenge: a Ballad of the Fleet by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The crew’s quarters were in the bow while the officers and passengers lived in cramped cabins in the waist or centre section of the galleon. But Thana, our Captain, who would normally live in the Great Cabin, earmarked by large windows, greater space, and more comfort than the rest of the crew has decided to join the officers and other passengers. She has graciously offered me the opportunity to enjoy the Great Cabin.

I had barely had time to survey my cabin, let alone unpack my trunk when out of the shadows emerged two creatures who I thought lived in the Tarot deck that Fergie had gifted me.

“We understand the lesson of choosing wisely and listening to our hearts” was what I heard them saying to one another – or were they talking to me?

Certainly this is a time when I need to review all my options and consider the choice I am making to embark on this voyage.

“Examine where your passions are!” muttered the two creatures before disappearing back into the deck.

Celestial Navigation is the art and science of finding your way by the sun, moon, stars, and planets, and, in one form or another, is one of the oldest practices in human history. Sailors looked at stars and other celestial bodies with the telescope of a sextant. The angular distance of a star above the horizon was read off the sextant’s scale. This way, sailors could calculate their positions.

As we board the Ghostly Galleon we discover that it is Thana who is at the helm. She whispers softly, bewitching us with her gentle blessings, encouraging us to live in perfect harmony in the present moment. Well practiced in the art of celestial navigation, mariners like her rely on the Sun and stars to tell time and determine their place on the featureless ocean. By her side sits the multi skilled Cora who, like the raven of Noah’s time, when sent will keep flying back and forth with essential information.

Emerging in the mid-16th century, the Spanish galleon quickly became hugely important both to naval warfare and to securing civilian trade from the Americas. It remains one of the most influential warships in history.

The first galleon can arguably be dated to as early as 1517, but it was in the 1530s that the design and its name became common. With a mix of sails, high aftcastle, low forecastle, and ports in its sides from which cannons could fire, it could handle trans-Atlantic voyages as well as fierce sea battles. It, therefore, filled a vital role for the Spanish, protecting their growing treasure fleets as silver and gold flowed back from their colonies in the Americas.

The Ghostly Galleon lay in the harbour ready to take Silas and I towards new horizons. Having focused on the past on the Isle of Ancestors it had been the Lord of Knives who bought me back to Shadwell.

Despite the best efforts of Fergie I remained unsettled, nursing old wounds that had been reopened and were festering. The blood seeping from these wounds had become venomous and was drying up. There was little doubt! I had to move on or drown in a sea of loss and grief.

It was Silas who insisted that he must join me on this venture. I had little doubt that he was drawn to experience the world of a Spanish style galleon, to ride the stallion of the sea. While I had some reservations about being on a long sea voyage I do have the blood of mariners and sea captains coursing through my veins and I was ready to do what they had done and depart for a new land.

As we approached the harbour an enchanting sound, akin to a spell, rose from beyond a the stone harbour wall.

It was Lilith, a female vampire serpent sounding very like Elizabeth Fraser.

The Five of Grails helps us to let go of past hurts by incorporating them into our experience as the dark and beautiful poetry of the soul. On an inner level this card can characterise a period of emotional evolution or the need to put aside old behaviour. p.202 Phantasmagoria.

When this card appears in a reading it signifies that we are now connected with. the cosmic flow. It is time to make plans, to prepare for a journey and to sail into the unknown. This represents the beginning of a new cycle.

I am the Voice of the Raven Upon Wind.
My harsh cries echo long upon the Earth and Air:
Nothing is Forever, Not Life,
not Love,
not Death,
nor Loss.
Only change is eternal,
and only destruction
can the seed of creation form.
author unknown

Cora is a bird of alchemy! She was not gone long! As night fell she returned to my chamber. Here she dances a ritual – adding and combining, stirring and distilling. The potion she is creating in her dark cauldron contains all the elements in a very precise recipe.