Category Archives: Magic

FIRE SPIRIT

[a short story   by Sha’Tara]

A restless wind whispers softly in the spruce on the edge of a small lake. Brightly shining stars and distant, paling northern lights cast eerie shadows in the late summer night. A great horned owl calls, answered by the howl of a timber wolf echoed over the waters. A startled killdeer gives its plaintive cry, repeated several times, then silence again. Glowing softly, a small campfire throws its own little stars into the night, their flickering, sinewy path changing to the mood of the breeze. A young woman sits near the fire, staring, unmoving, her dark eyes reflecting its dancing light. The minutes pass slowly as the stars trace their endless circle around the tail of little bear.

At a  chosen moment the woman stands and throws some broken branches upon the fire, watching intently as the flames leap up, crackling, hungry. She begins a slow dance around the edge of the fire, her bare feet moving through the drying grass, her footsteps blending with the lapping of wavelets on the shore and the sighing of the wind in the branches. She hums in a low monotone, unintelligible words passing her lips. Gradually, the song becomes more forceful. Proudly throwing back her head, her black hair cascading down her back, she lifts her hands up and starts chanting. The song rises and falls, hauntingly moving, echoes of ancient voices seeking words to an as yet unformed hope.

Her dance takes on a rhythmic pattern, her knee-length dress swaying as she approaches the fire then steps back lightly into the darkness of the trees, to reappear from another direction. Her voice rises above the trees, flowing through the rolling hills…

From the midst of the flame, a form takes shape, graying head bowed, hands held in blessing. The form addresses the dancer: “Daughter, what are you doing? Why dance with danger tonight? Why seek death? You are the hope of the people. Would you tempt the white man again and be accused of witchcraft? Would you die in his fire too? You summoned me… now answer me!”

Swaying gently, without looking at the flame, the song dying on her lips, she answers the vision: “I am your daughter. I cannot be otherwise and I have your heart also. You died to save me, mother, though I never asked it of you. Now, you are Fire Spirit. You live in the heart of the volcano at the centre of creation and possess the gifts of life and healing in full measure: would you deny me my own birthright and refuse me my homecoming?

There is nothing left here, mother. The people are ashes, spirits without homes. Those who remain are slaves eating crumbs from the hand of their conqueror. Should I fear a moment of pain and I too become a slave?

No, mother! Do not try to dissuade me. Tonight, I dance with the spirits under the stars. Tomorrow, I will dance in the fire. Then I’ll come to you and together we will prepare the medicine for the wandering spirits. We will rise with the breath of the sun in our mouths, awakening the land, shaking the ashes of the people in the winds until all becomes one and life pulses freely in the land again. I’ll see you tomorrow, mother…”

The flames died down and the vision vanished. She took up her chant and her dance, delighting in a myriad of physical sensations heightened by the knowledge that this was her last night on earth. In the morning, her relentless pursuers would find her. The angry new god would have his victim and enjoy a short-lived victory over the past. From his fire she would rise to become Fire Spirit and wrest the future from his bloody hands.

The Incompatible, Impossible Couple

A short story, by Sha’Tara

Introduction:  I was watching “Last Love” that amazing movie with Michael Caine and Clémence Poésy for the third time tonight.  I had my netbook on my lap to record passages in the movie when the following story simply jumped at me.  I don’t see that is has much to do with the movie, except perhaps the ages of the couple, and the fact that “Mr. Morgan” was a college professor, but anyway, here goes. 

“Hello, Matthew, I’m glad you decided to meet after all.”

“Hi, Giselle, what made you think I wasn’t going to show up?”

“Oh, maybe your way of showing a complete lack of interest in my doings?”

“I’m sorry,  my face is a complete traitor, plus I’m essentially an asocial person, I thought you knew, understood and accepted that about me?”

“I forgot, Matthew.  Should we order?”  I tried to make my voice hard and cold but I was trembling with fear inside, to the point of feeling sick.

“Yes, certainly.  Garçon?”  I moved to sit next to him; the meal was beyond excellent.  He talked then, and I listened.  Had there been company I would have had to do all the talking.  

That’s how it was with us.  Matthew and his French girl, the incompatible, impossible couple, they called us.  His friends from the college where he teaches English and Philosophy all speak English.  When they see my name written down, they call me Giselle with a hard “g” as in guide.  They make it sound like gazelle.  It’s their little joke, they know how to say my name.  I like the feeling the name gazelle gives me, it suits me somehow.  

We make a strange pair, there’s no denying that.  He’s a twice-divorced college professor who’s also over twice my age.  I’m a tall, somewhat skinny brunette who’s a landscape artist and arborist.  I spend most of my time outdoors, he spends his days teaching and interacting with people and he’s the one who’s asocial.  I love people as much as I love plants. 

We met on the bus a couple of months ago when I was having my truck serviced and forced to take the day off.  I was on my way to my Yoga class and he dropped a couple of books at my feet.  Before he could retrieve them I’d picked them up and as I handed them back to him our eyes met.  He has piercing blue eyes and very expressive hands. Call me a slut, but suddenly I wanted those hands on my skin.  And I wanted his lips on mine.  Just like that.  I was taken. 

“How would you like to come to Yoga class with me?”  I asked him.  Why?  Some things just have no explanation.  I wanted, no, needed, him near me.

“You don’t even know my name, I don’t know yours… did you say Yoga class?  I’ve never done Yoga; don’t know much about it except what I’ve read.  I don’t see the point of it, actually.”  He had a pleasant bass voice that filled my heart with instant and deep longing.  I wanted to swim in it, naked. 

“I’m Giselle.  You?”

“Matthew,  Matthew Hislop.   What’s your last name?”

“Oh, it’s Laliberté.  That’s my maiden name, never married.”  Then it struck me, why did I volunteer that information?  I know, I wanted him, and my woman’s intuition told me to make myself vulnerable, the best way to attract him in case my physical attributes weren’t enough.  Did I ask myself if he was married?  No.  It’s as if I knew he was free, available and could be mine. 

It worked.  I came to my stop, got off and he followed me. 

“Yoga class, Matthew?”

“Yes.  Why not?  I’m intrigued now.” 

We did Yoga together.  Two days and I was in his apartment making love with him. I was a twenty two year old virgin.  It was as wonderful as it was frightening.  I felt so terribly alone and vulnerable and sure of only one thing: I was lost in his maleness.  My lust turned to love and in his own way, he began to love me.  How could any woman leave such a man?

I learned how.  He did not engage.  It was as if he was always in two worlds, one that included me, an exciting convenience, a fun thing, a trophy girl, and another that no one would ever be allowed in.  I would have left him after that first week but my body would not let me.  I could not imagine ever encountering him when he wasn’t mine.  I was addicted to him, to his body, to his hands, to his voice and breath.  He exuded a kind of brutal magic I was powerless to break. 

Which brings me back to our dinner date at Michael’s where I had intended to confront his coldness.  It wasn’t going to happen, I already knew before I got there.  I was still taken, and I would remain taken unless his coldness became misogynistic.  I would never tolerate that, not ever.  Somehow, again that intuition, I knew he would never turn on me.

I would live my life with him and take care of him as he got older. 

I can imagine cutting his graying hair, trimming his eyebrows and ear hairs.  I can imagine even more personal caring.  Though he is a much better cook than I, I can also imagine the time when I’ll have to do it for him.  By then of course I will have learned to make his favourite dishes.  I can imagine my love for him growing in his cold soil.  I am that kind of seed that does best in a winter soil.  And I have a heart that needs to give.  He would fulfill that need for me.  With him I can imagine the unimaginable and thrill at the thoughts.  

I got lucky, there is no denying that, but perhaps he got even luckier. 

 

Is Technology just a Local Phenomenon in the Realm of Magic?

 

          [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Despite the proliferation of fantasy writing and in movies, magic it would appear is long gone from the realm of mainstream teaching and belief.  People still go through some of the motions of ancient rituals based on magic (or call it mythology) but those rituals have been rendered quite mindless, being but tools in the hands of money grabbers to fool and despoil the public.  We (well, some) celebrate “special” days like Christmas, Valentine’s Day,  St Patrick’s Day, Easter, just to name a very few, the names changing from language to language but all based on myths whose sources go back into an unremembered prehistory.  These modern celebrations aren’t about magic; they’re about feel good and pleasure.  They’re about getting stuff, eating stuff, partying, families getting together to fight, get drunk or get stoned, and generally have a rip-roaring good time. 

These celebrations’ sources and power has been excised; that having been done deliberately and “with malice aforethought.”

Which brings me to the theme point: technology in the realm of magic.  Earthians may have been stripped of their sense of the magical; it may have been crushed under the jack-booted “Crusaders” of male-dominated Religions; it may have been denigrated by the new official religion called Science, but it wasn’t destroyed.  “Magic is the lifeblood of the universe” as quoted from the movie “Willow” and it doesn’t go away just because a group of pathetic priests and madmen in white robes armed with crosses, scimitars, test tubes and hypodermic needles decide to do away with it so they can wield all the power and render billions of people powerless within their blood-soaked hands.  Magic morphs into any number of forms, either to survive on a world, or to exercise some control without being unmasked and its purveyors being seen as “witches” of the past and in today’s parlance, “conspiracy theorists” or worse, traitors or “terrorists.” 

Magic is alive and well on planet earth, only it has become black magic, and its magicians and mages are students and workers of the blackest of arts.  Magic has morphed and ensconced itself in man’s Powers of Religion, the totalitarian State, Money and their frightfully obedient servant, technology. 

Like magic, technology isn’t evil (or necessarily a black art) in itself.  That is entirely dependent upon the wielders of the magic cum technology.  Greedy, sociopathic, narcissist, hate-filled people designing and using technology will spread mayhem and destruction in its wake.  Of that there can be no doubt. 

Here’s a question: can well-meaning magicians wield this magic to do good?  I suppose it depends on individual power and motive.  Medical science has gone to the dark side: can a doctor do good when working within that reality or established  order (or should I say disorder)?  Can he prescribe poisonous or addictive drugs, or give profit-motivated advice to  grind more “patients” through his clinic in one day, and still claim to be a healer?  Some will say yes, some no.  And that’s the problem: where’s the needed assurance?  

So, if technology is a form of morphed magic, what can we deduce from that knowledge?

We know, or certainly we should know, that magic requires balance.  When magic is thrown out of balance, as we’ve seen time and again through history, we’ve reaped plagues, wars, famines, revolutions, bloody religious intolerance, pogroms, genocides and even natural catastrophes.  Put simply, magic has consequences.   

Therefore, since our technology is completely out of sync with the natural order of things, and man (the species) itself gone off the rails in choosing to live an artificial lifestyle totally dependent upon this out-of-balance technology, what else can we expect but consequences to follow?  Life magic will go as far as nature or the environment allows and it will suddenly and inexorably sweep back its arm and nothing that man does (or doesn’t do) will matter an iota.

I think we are now seeing the beginning of that sweep-back through climate change.  It’s interesting how two forces have synced to create this condition.  At first it was called global warming and it was unilaterally blamed on man’s use of fossil fuels.  As it was analyzed by scientists and observers globally, the consensus swung and it was believed then that the phenomenon had two causes: natural, as in a cyclical planetary climate change combined with anthropocentric pollution.  No longer just global warming but global climate upset.  Whatever it’s called, what is experienced world-wide is an upset in climate patterns we had become used to.  We have entered the crucible of a pull-back state of change: black magic on its way to changing back into white magic. 

Man’s use of black magic though technology (and in that let’s be sure we include all the black arts of war from the days of the sword, spear, bow and arrow to nuclear and chemical weapons of mass destruction, as we must include the black arts of soil control technology, from ox-drawn plows to pesticides, herbicides and GMO crops) has had countless effects on the environment.  Some of that black magic, beyond extraction and burning of fuels includes radiation from nuclear power plants, nuclear powered ships, submarines and dirty nukes in war, and from their ubiquitous wastes.  Some take the form of destruction of forests as they are stripped for lumber to expose thin soils that can only grow crops with liberal doses of chemicals: fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.  Coal mining.  Crude and tar sands oil; fracking.  Deadly side effects of these are poisonous run offs into open and underground water systems which eventually poison all the waters of the planet, not just some: all of them.  No one is immune from this systematic poisoning of the world’s waters.  One disaster alone, Fukushima, may result in the death of the Pacific ocean, and check this out:  http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/35191/are-trees-the-only-source-of-large-amounts-of-oxygen

Then there’s the hardly-ever mentioned toll of pollution from endless warring. That’s a level of pollution that carries such a high level of moral and spiritual destruction the obdurate homo sapiens species may well terminate itself upon its altar.  

Black magic, all of that.  Black magic brings entropy and chaos.  As the pressure of chaos from change is increasingly felt, will the black magicians stop and allow nature to balance itself?  Not a chance.  Black mages never “come back” once they’re trapped by their own evil powers.  They can only push that much harder to maintain their own version of balance of terror, which is no balance at all. 

We think we understand “balance of terror.”   We’ve felt it during the so-called Cold War between the two empires: the USA versus the USSR or if you prefer, Fascist Capitalism versus Communist Capitalism.  When the USSR magicians lowered their shields it wasn’t to end the terror but to confuse; to blind the black mages of America into believing they were the last remaining ones on the planet; that they had all the magic; that they could roam the planet, oppress, extort, kill at will with no one left to oppose them.  But that USSR black magic only morphed from a mighty single empire or head into many lesser bodies, many lesser heads like the legendary Hydra.  By now USA black mages know they were outfoxed because of their blind greed but they can no longer back out of their relentlessly expanding wars. They’ve gone to the mattresses in a last-ditch effort to hold on to a power they can no longer either control or pay for.   

Thanks to modern thinking: the denial of magic and denigration of mythology as having any “real” significance in history, there is no Hercules to slay the Hydra.  That modern day Hydra will defeat the last black magic empire, and only after the necessary destruction has taken place will a hero arise to finally crush the Hydra’s power and cleanse the world with her passing.  Only then, after billions have died in horrible conditions; after all this modern black arts technology is destroyed, will Magic re-awaken on earth and balance the scales, as it is meant to be. 

Then… “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6 – the Hebrew scriptures)

You might be tempted to ask: who will be that hero?  And to that there can only be one answer: you, of course.

 

Is Technology just a Local Phenomenon in the Realm of Magic?

Is Technology just a Local Phenomenon in the Realm of Magic?
                 [thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Despite the proliferation of fantasy writing and in movies, magic it would appear is long gone from the realm of mainstream teaching and belief.  People still go through some of the motions of ancient rituals based on magic (or call it mythology) but those rituals have been rendered quite mindless, being but tools in the hands of money grabbers to fool and despoil the public.  We (well, some) celebrate “special” days like Christmas, Valentine’s Day,  St Patrick’s Day, Easter, just to name a very few, the names changing from language to language but all based on myths whose sources go back into prehistory.  These modern celebrations aren’t about magic; they’re about feel good and pleasure.  They’re about getting stuff, eating stuff, partying, families getting together to fight, get drunk or stoned and generally have a rip-roaring good time.  Their ancient power has been excised; that having been done deliberately and “with malice aforethought.”

Which brings me to the theme point: technology in the realm of magic.  Earthians may have been stripped of their sense of the magical; it may have been crushed under the jack-booted “Crusaders” of male-dominated Religions; it may have been denigrated by the new official religion called Science, but it wasn’t destroyed.  “Magic is the lifeblood of the universe” as quoted from the movie “Willow” and it doesn’t go away just because a group of pathetic priests and madmen decide to do away with it so they can wield all the power and render billions of people powerless within their blood-soaked hands.  Magic morphs into any number of forms, either to survive on a world, or to exercise some control without being unmasked and its purveyors such “witches” of the past and in today’s parlance, “conspiracy theorists” or worse, traitors or “terrorists.” 

Magic is alive and well on planet earth, only it has become black magic, and its magicians and mages are students and workers of the blackest of arts.  Magic has morphed and ensconced itself in man’s technology. 

Like magic, technology isn’t evil (or necessarily a black art) in itself.  That is entirely dependent upon the wielders of the magic cum technology.  Greedy, sociopathic, narcissist, hate-filled people designing and using technology will spread mayhem and destruction in its wake.  Of that there can be no doubt. 

Here’s a question: can well-meaning magicians wield this magic to do good?  I suppose it depends on individual power and motive.  Medical science has gone to the dark side: can a doctor working within that reality or established  order (or should I say disorder), prescribe poisonous or addictive drugs, or give profit-motivated advice to  grind more “patients” through his clinic in one day, do good?  Some will say yes, some no.  And that’s the problem: where’s the needed assurance?  

So, if technology is a form of morphed magic, what can we deduce from that knowledge?

We know, or certainly we should know, that magic requires balance.  When magic is thrown out of balance, as we’ve seen time and again through history, we’ve reaped plagues, wars, famines, revolutions, bloody religious intolerance, pogroms, genocides and even natural catastrophes.  Put simply, magic has consequences.   

Therefore, since our technology is completely out of sync with the natural order of things, and man (the species) itself gone off the rails in choosing to live an artificial lifestyle totally dependent upon this out-of-balance technology, what else can we expect but but consequences to follow?  Life magic will go as far as nature or the environment allows and it will suddenly and inexorably sweep back its arm and nothing that man does (or doesn’t do) will matter an iota.

I think we are now seeing the beginning of that sweeping back through climate change.  It’s interesting how two forces have synced to create this condition.  At first it was called global warming and it was unilaterally blamed on man’s use of fossil fuels.  As it was analyzed by scientists and observers globally, the consensus swung and it was believed then that the phenomenon had two causes: natural, as in a cyclical planetary climate change combined with anthropocentric pollution.  No longer just global warming but global climate upset.  Whatever it’s called, what is experienced world-wide is an upset in climate patterns we had become used to.  We have entered the crucible of a pull-back state of change: black magic changing back into white magic. 

Man’s use of black magic though technology, has had countless effects on the environment.  Some of that black magic, beyond extraction and burning of fuels includes radiation from nuclear powered plants, ships, submarines and dirty nukes in war, and from their ubiquitous wastes.  Some takes the form of forests stripped to expose thin soils that can only grow crops with liberal doses of chemicals: fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.  These then run off into open and underground water systems and poison all the waters of the planet, not just some: all of them.  No one is immune from this systematic poisoning of the world’s waters.  Of course there’s also the destruction of the forests themselves, which are the lungs of the planet as a living organism.  Then there’s the hardly-ever mentioned toll of pollution from endless warring.

Black magic, all of that.  Black magic brings entropy and chaos.  As the pressure of chaos from change is increasingly felt, will the black magicians stop and allow nature to balance itself?  Not a chance.  Black mages never “come back” once they’re trapped by their own evil powers.  They can only push that much harder to maintain their own version of balance of terror, which is no balance at all. 

We think we understand “balance of terror.”   We’ve felt it during the so-called Cold War between the two empires: the USA versus the USSR or if you prefer, Fascist Capitalism versus Communist Capitalism.  When the USSR magicians lowered their shields it wasn’t to end the terror but to confuse; to blind the black mages of America into believing they were the last remaining ones on the planet; that they had all the magic; that they could roam the planet, oppress, extort, kill at will with no one left to oppose them.  But that USSR black magic only morphed from a mighty single empire or head into many lesser bodies, many lesser heads like the legendary Hydra.  By now USA black mages know they were outfoxed because of their blind greed but they can no longer back out of their relentlessly expanding wars. They’ve gone to the mattresses in a last-ditch effort to hold on to a power they can no longer control.   

Thanks to modern thinking: the denial of magic and denigration of mythology as having any “real” significance in history, there is no Hercules to slay the Hydra.  That modern day Hydra will defeat the last black magic empire, and only after the necessary destruction has taken place will a hero arise to finally crush the Hydra’s power and cleanse the world with her passing.  Only then, after billions have died in horrible conditions; after all this modern black arts technology is destroyed, will Magic re-awaken on earth and balance the scales, as it is meant to be. 

Then… “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.”