Prelude VII

(My six previous adventures into other Realms of Awareness  can be read in sequence on their own page, ‘Prelude’ just up there on the header, or you can catch up on individual stories over to the right in the ‘Topics’ section, under ‘Prelude’)


I didn’t plan this but it turns out that a major character in today’s episode/part/chapter (I’m going to have to pick one and stick with it) is connected to Spring Equinox, which is today!

I love serendipity.

Spring has been shy about revealing herself here on Widder Island so no flowers in our garden, but this image from the ‘clip art’ archives is a perfectly acceptable substitute

Spring has been shy about revealing herself here on Widder Island so no flowers in our garden, but this image from the ‘clip art’ archives is a perfectly acceptable substitute


When last we saw our intrepid hero, our Shaman-in-training, she was standing on the edge of … well, nothingness. (which I wasn’t happy about, at all)

Christmas was a big deal when I was a child, not because of the ‘Christmas Spirit’ (which I didn’t really ‘get’) but because I would receive, ordered all the way from England, a ‘Girls Own’ bumper album of stories, (which probably accounts for why Hermione Granger is one of my heroes – I was born in England and my family emigrated to Australia when I was two, and I think this was one of the ways my parents kept that connection alive for me) and a similar ‘bumper annual’ book of Rupert the Bear’s adventures.

All these stories had a satisfying beginning, middle, and end, and later as I sought out my own reading material (science fiction and fantasy mostly, although I did have a brief flirtation with regency romances in the 70’s) I required those three elements to be present.

Where were you when ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, premiered? I’d traveled all the way to Sydney (a two-hour train trip) and queued up for hours to be one of the first to see it.

Remember how it ended?

Han Solo, encased in carbonite, carried off to Jabba the Hutt to a fate worse than death. Luke Skywalker, with his new hand, in shock because of that ‘I am your father’ moment. Leia, discovering she’s connected to the Force, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian leaving in the Millennium Falcon to search for Han.

As far as I was concerned, when the end-titles started rolling up the screen, we were still in the middle of the picture. (which was in fact the truth, but I had to wait several years to see the other half)

The end of my previous week’s Journey felt similarly unfinished. I’d obviously got a handle on the ‘basics’ (obvious to me, at least) and I was ready to go deeper.

It was time to meet the neighbours.


A breeze skimmed around the room even before I’d begun my Journey. It pulled me Between the Worlds, through the nothingness of the week before, and deposited me in the middle of a sun-drenched cobblestone boulevard, wide and inviting. The buildings on either side looked vaguely Romanesque, but with strange angles that created optical illusions where light and shadow met.

There were many women walking along the street, all heading in the same direction, so I joined the throng.

Some politely nodded, I was not known but felt welcomed none-the-less, and some, so set on their destination, walked a straight line that never deviated, looking neither right nor left.

Being a student of the female form divine, I noticed that some of my companions moved in ways that didn’t seem quite … human, let alone female-form-divine-ish.

What hubris, I chided myself, to think that humans were the only ones to do this Work. The more I looked the more I realised that beings, Spirit Walkers from all walks of life and species, strolled alongside me.

I beamed from ear to ear. This was so cool!

We arrived at our destination, a great Hall, essentially the boulevard roofed over, with corridors to museums, storehouses, and smaller meeting rooms, branching off from the main atrium.

Some of my companions headed down those halls but the majority of us milled around, ‘meeting and greeting’, then gradually settled into the wickedly comfortable seats facing a wide stage, most of which was hidden behind two huge burgundy coloured velvet curtains. I introduced myself to those seated around me and we chatted for a few moments until the room slowly darkened.

The curtains wafted back and forth as though someone had walked behind them and ruffled the air.

A voice spoke quietly but such was its power that everyone heard. “Are you ready?”

I glanced around at my companions, who were all doing the same thing.

Well, someone had to start things off. “Yes,” I said, not as confidently as perhaps I could have. A wave of assents followed, then quiet descended again.

We were asked the same question again and this time we responded immediately and with a touch more confidence.

“Very well,” the voice continued. “You who spoke first, come forth.”

It figured. I stood up.

A shaft of light, like a spotlight, surrounded me and suddenly hardened into a crystal shell which just as abruptly melted away, and I was somewhere else.

I stood in another hallway of the enormous Hall with a colonnade along one side that opened out onto a broad sun-dappled pergola, festooned with purple and white wisteria blooms. The delicious flowery aroma distracted me and it was a while before I noticed two women standing next to me.

They motioned me to join them as they walked, until we passed a shallow flight of steps with the swirling nothingness at the bottom.

The women informed me that to Walk Between the Worlds I must learn the process of true transformation into each of the Four Elements I’d already learned to manipulate. (with differing degrees of difficulty and success I might add)

“Rock, for example,” one of them said as we approached a giant boulder in the middle of the walkway. “You need to un-define the boundary between your body and the rock, to become rock, to know its essence, to be able to do this as easily and as smoothly as the breeze that caresses your skin.”

The other woman took my hand and pressed it against the rock. “Do it,’ she commanded. The touch of her hand ripped through me like a white hot fire, but not painful.

‘Painful’, was the furthest thing from what I felt at that moment.

She took her hand off mine and repeated her command with less intensity. I probably imagined the tiniest upward curve of her mouth as my hand sank into the rock and the rest of me followed.

I was surrounded by a fiery redness, churning and boiling, compressed by the weight of an entire planet until it could find a crack in the mantle through which to break out.

I ‘undefined’ my Self until there was no difference between me and the magma. I became mindless except for that singular purpose, to escape.

I forced myself through that crack, and shouldered aside the puny tectonic plates who dared to thwart my will.

Up, through the surface of the earth until suddenly, like uncoiling a tightly wound spring, I exploded out of the volcanic vent and high and wide into the sky. I screamed in agony as the cold air began to quench my passion.

Time passed, ages, eons.

Continents shifted. Seas rose around me and drained away with soporific regularity.

At last I became a solitary sentinel. My substance scoured by wind and water and sun until all that remained was obdurate stone.

Once in a millennium a tiny grain of sand blew loose from a crack in my substance and began its long fall. This tiny intimate part of myself was hustled by the wind until it reached the ground and was part of me no longer.

I became aware of my sense of my Self separating from my sense of ‘rockness’. Tears welled in my heart, weighted with the loss of that tiny grain of sand.

I slowly made my way through the stone to the top of the butte. The breeze from the beginning of my Journey had followed me here and whipped around as though inviting me to leap off this narrow pinnacle and trust my fate to its capricious nature.

Nope. Not gonna do that! Being in such a precarious location had brought me completely back to my senses.

I wiped the tears from my eyes and was about to retrace my path down through the butte when the way back snapped closed. That narrowed my choices, but there was one problem with that flying with the wind thing, I didn’t know how to fly.

Someone tapped my shoulder and I bloody near fell off my perch!

There she was, the woman who told me to ‘do it’, way back in another time and place, floating just off the precipice edge. She was wearing snug-fitting, dark coloured clothes.

“Do it,” she said as though expecting me to immediately comply.

I was tempted, but it’d already been a bit of an eventful trip. I was emotionally wrung out and in no fit state to step out onto nothing but a bit of wind, even if it was in the company of a rather attractive (even if I do say so myself) Guide.

I shook my head and waited to return from whence I came, for the Journey to end. (I was kind of looking forward to a bracing cuppa tea and a biscuit/cookie)

And waited …

… and didn’t return.

This was new.

I took a moment to catch my breath and do a bit of a Grounding, before whatever was going to happen next started happening.

The ‘dark woman’ hovered nearby, not quite smiling, but I could sense a gleam in her eye. A tiny shimmer in the air next to her caught my attention as it grew and grew until it manifested as a woman who was both old and young.

Her name was Oestra, Goddess of cycles; menstrual and lunar, relationships, Journeys, birth-life-age-death-rebirth, and from whom many of the most fun Easter (and Spring Equinox) traditions have descended.

“What do you want?” She asked in a voice filled with ferocious Power.

I glanced at the Dark Woman.

“Not what she wants,” Oestra said. I could’ve sworn she restrained the urge to roll her eyes. “What you want.”

What the hell. In for a penny, in for a pound, I say. I took a deep breath. “To fly.”

Because of course I wanted to fly. Who wouldn’t, given the chance? How often have we watched a bird in flight, from the soaring wingspan of a eagle to the tiniest hovering hummingbird, and felt awe, tinged with just a wee bit of envy?

The Dark Woman made to bump shoulders with Oestra, but probably thought better of it as Oestra glided toward me.

“You must give up all that anchors you to the ground.”

“All? Again? I just did that with …” Oestra quirked an eyebrow at me. “Right. All. Again.”

She immediately whipped out this honking great sword and sliced off a piece of me, from head to foot!

At least that’s what I thought she did until I looked closer. There was a silhouette of me laying on the rock, but it was in a primary colour rather than black. The part of me where she’d sliced was actually still attached and unharmed, but clear, like glass. I could see right through me.

Suddenly the pain of being cut open, albeit psychically, with a sword, hit me. I almost keeled over in agony.

She sliced again, the other side this time, and I screamed. Another silhouette in another primary colour lay on the rock.

Another slice. And another and another. It went on forever.

My mind turned to ice and was electrified by the pain at the same time. I shed more and more colour and became clearer and clearer until only small globes of colour, aligned with my Power Centers, were left deep within my body.

Fuck flying lessons. I was being tortured. The pain took me beyond my limits, beyond trust, beyond comprehension, beyond fear, beyond death.

My Guide, the Dark Woman, came toward me, and in that moment, that blessed moment, my suffering lifted. She reached into my body, and pulled out the coloured globes one by one, stacking them in a pyramid at my feet, until only one remained.

This one, tiny, red, battered, pulsing, heart, I had to take out myself.

I reached into my see-through chest with my colourless hands and removed it, and handed it to Oestra as my last sacrificial benison.

My feet left the ground.

I shot straight up into the stratosphere. This was what being a jet or a rocket must’ve felt like. I rushed up beyond the pull of the atmosphere. I hovered there for a moment and then came plunging back down as fast as I went up.

I screamed again, but this time in an exhilaration that was almost as painful in its extremity as the torture had been.

I leveled out and began to slipstream from side to side, soaring above fields and water, continents and alien landscapes, following the sun around whatever world this was, until I met up with Oestra and the Dark Woman, my Guide, again.

The flight was over. I was no longer colourless.

As I landed on the butte I staggered and almost fell off. The Dark Woman hauled me back and turned me toward Oestra who hugged my tight. I leaned into her endless compassion until I felt strong enough to return.


My relationship was in its last desperate death throes and I felt very alone in the world. I had friends but they couldn’t touch the hurt abandoned place in my heart, which ached for that deep touching that only a lover could bring.

Oestra understood, and by enfolding me in her arms, not only did she share my exhilaration about my flying, but she also eased that loneliness in my heart for a while.

I found love, acceptance, attending, when I Journeyed. Sometimes it came from the most unexpected places, and in the most unusual ways.


The 428th Quidditch World Cup

This year, 2018, will see yet another Quidditch World Cup played, (the tournament is held every four yearsbut where and when is being withheld from the Muggle world.

However, through means both devious and diverse, and with great danger to life and limb, I have managed to obtain via a well-placed informant within the Ministry of Magic, one J.K. Rowling, an account of the 2014 World Cup tournament’s thrilling final.

Click this link – The 427th Quidditch World Cup Final

Included is an in-depth look at the History of the Quidditch World Cup and qualifying matches of the 2014 season.

It is unknown whether the ‘release’ of these documents constitutes a breach of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy of 1692, or a relaxation of this draconian division between the Wizarding world and Muggledom.

The 'Quidditch Witch'

The ‘Quidditch Witch’

This the only known heilographic image of a Quidditch player, Circa 1828, by renowned Muggle inventor Joseph Nicéphore Niépce.

Breaking news:

As I was preparing this report, another Muggle agent provocateur forwarded me this fragment of video. Evidence perhaps, that this years Quidditch Cup may be held sometime around the middle of November.

Bon Voyage Stephen Hawking

Thank you for sharing your mind with us, for a lot longer than any of us expected. You will be missed.

The Season Of Snuffles Is Upon Us

That moment when you want to rip your face off and wring it out

That moment when you want to rip your face off and wring it out

Up until we moved here to Widder Island six years ago I never suffered from seasonal or pollen allergies.

Although we’re protected from the worst of the ‘eau de cow-poo’ fertilizer smells this time of the year, the same cannot be said of the airborne things that cause one to go ‘AaaaaaCHooooo’ in the middle of the night, morning, afternoon, evening, that is the by-product of swathes of farmland in the Fraser Valley.

This is another reason we’re planning on moving to the Interior as soon as we find our forever home.

Pseudoephedrine is a snuffler’s best friend at these times … unfortunately it’s also a toxic friend when it has overstayed its welcome.

And then, one day quite by accident I uncovered, not a cure, but a tasty remedy for the symptoms.


The good stuff, not the flavoured sugar kind … and therein lies the issue with eating even little nubs of the stuff all day – sugar, which is an ingredient, no matter what the quality. (as far as I know)

Never fear, Widders is here. (Lost In Space reference – the trailer for the re-boot looks … not terrible) I found a magnificent alternative in the spices isle of our local bulk health and organic food store – star anise!

I suppose it comes in a powdered form but in it’s un-smooshed state it looks like this …

Star anise – Naked and un-smooshed, baby!

Star anise – Naked and un-smooshed, baby!

First thing I did was make a big pot of star anise tea and added a bit to everything I drank.

Mrs Widds found the giant mouse tea-cosy in her favourite thrift store

Mrs Widds found the giant mouse tea-cosy in her favourite thrift store

It worked, but after a while everything tasted star anise-y.

Enter, my handy-dandy essential oil tea light diffuser.

Much better

Much better

I wouldn’t normally have used so many ‘stars’ but these were left over from the last pot I made and they still had some smell to them so I chucked them in the top added some water … three days later they’re still going strong.

The aroma isn’t too overwhelming, Mrs Widds hasn’t fainted dead away, and I …

I … Can … Breathe!

Of course, it’s not for everyone, but if you’re doing the sneezy two-step like I am, give it a try, see what happens.

Prelude VI


(The five previous stories can be read in sequence on their own page, ‘Prelude’ just up there on the header, or you can catch up on individual stories over to the right in the ‘Topics’ section, under ‘Prelude’)


Every time I Journeyed another layer of my fears, my preconceived notions, my externally imposed (and thereafter internalized) limitations and deceptions, peeled away. I could see clearer and clearer each week.

I wondered, a bit nervously, what this week might throw at me.


I’ve only ever ridden a horse once in my life, which lasted all of five seconds. I went up one side, over the top, and down the other. The horse looked down at me, flat on my back, with that gleeful superior expression horses get when a human has done something ridiculous. (his name was Rain Lover, a retired racehorse who’d won the Melbourne Cup twice, the biggest race in Australia, so in my defense, he was a whole lot taller than your average bear … erm, horse)

Now, I found myself atop a beautiful grey mare whose job it was to see that I stayed on her back until we reached our destination, far off into the desert. Unlike the above mentioned nag, she did so, and at the end of our journey I slid off her soft warm back, stood on wobbly knees, and thanked her profusely.

I’d arrived at a box canyon carved out of the surrounding sandstone by some long gone river, and was greeted by a gathering of women. They seemed to glow a little around the edges as they ushered me toward a dark opening in the back of the canyon wall.

We stepped from the scorching heat of the desert sun into the shadowy coolness of the cave, and as we walked they asked me to recall the things I had already learned in my Journeys and be aware of the enormity of the things I didn’t know.

Yep, I thought to myself, this was going as expected.

I hastily complied as we progressed along curved tunnel. One by one the women faded away as though they were melting into the rock. By the time I got to where it opened out into a good-sized cavern, they’d disappeared completely.

In the center of the cavern a small fire burned brightly. I hoped it wasn’t of the exploding variety like my previous Journey. The shadows of the women sitting around it danced along the walls. They were the same women who’d just faded away on me, only less solid, Spirit versions of their Selves. None-the-less I stood to one side waiting for an invitation to rejoin them. It seemed the polite thing to do.

A women rose and glided toward me. She carried a beautifully fashioned stone knife in her hand and began to cut the same herringbone pattern of marks I’d seen carved into the walls of the Bast temple on my first Journey, into the skin of my forearms.

A little part of me that carried the trauma of my motorbike accident in its nucleus squeaked in fright. Ok, it was a big part.

A Much Shorter Retrospective Digression Than The Last One …

I’m the only woman I know who doesn’t have a piercing upon her person, of one sort of another, anywhere.

Long before I received all those wonderful scars on my right knee from the motorbike crash, I had accumulated two other important scars that contributed to my non-pierced self.

The first occurred when I was a child. (separate from the usual bruises, scrapes, bumps and general bloodletting-spawned scars of childhood)

My father, who was as confused about my burgeoning baby butch identity emerging from the wilds of my early childhood as I was, tried to force me to wear a dress for a family outing. He won, but only because he was bigger than me. I later fell and cut my leg. (funnily enough, in the exact place on my knee that would be sliced off when I had the motorbike accident twenty years later) I got blood all over the dress, ended up wearing my old clothes, with a giant bandage over my wound. I wore that ‘huge’ scar (I was just a little kid so size was a matter of perspective) like a badge of honour.

My second scar of renown was a self-inflicted one on my left forearm. A scream for help from my teen years that no-one heard, so I resumed my self-imposed protective silence. You wouldn’t believe it these days, but back then I had a spoken vocabulary of only a few hundred words. I never spoke more, or less, than what I required to survive.

In the heady days of my ‘steep learning curve’ when I moved to Sydney a year after the motorbike accident, all the women around me had pierced ears and/or were contemplating getting some in places with significantly more nerve endings. (this was a time, long past, when body piercings were only starting to enjoy their hedonistic popularity)

I honestly contemplated it for a few … moments, but the idea of voluntarily choosing to have my body skewered by inanimate pointy objects, even if they only made a tiny little hole to stick dangly ornaments through, made me feel queasy and heading in the opposite direction at a great rate of knots.

Back to our story …

“This is a Blood Ritual.” The Spirit Woman said gently, trying to soothe my fears as she staunched the flow of blood from my arms with some silvery dust. “In this moment, you have a choice. You can stay here in this Place of Power and the shedding of your blood will not have meaning, or you can go further into the Mystery and find the strength and means to continue this Path.”

My heart then did what I was coming to expect it to do when Truths were revealed to me on these Journeys, it seized up for a few moments then thudded against my ribcage until it got back up to speed.

The Spirit Woman indicated a dark tunnel branching off from the cavern. “Choose.”

The second tunnel curved and sloped downward. My eyes adjusted to the darkness as I walked the spiral, and ended up directly underneath the first cave. The tunnel ended in a shimmering wall that looked like quicksilver or the surface of water as a fish might see it.

A friend of mine once said, on a completely unrelated topic, that all we really need to do is stand in our life and breathe.

I breathed.

Once I stopped thinking about what to do next and simply let my sense of my Self lead the way, I knew what to do.

My hand passed through the quicksilver surface of the wall and, meeting no resistance, I stepped through the Portal into a dark space.

I was in another cave, bigger than the others, but again directly underneath the other two. I had descended into the heart of the Earth in a Sacred Spiral.

The quicksilver Portal retreated to one side of the cavern taking the small amount of light it generated with it.

There was that the familiar thudding in my chest again. I was buried who-knew-how-far underground, in the dark, utter dark, with no way out, and I was supposed to do, what?

Because of my previous adventures I had learned enough to know that I could create whatever I willed, (with varying degrees of difficulty) if only I could figure out what that might be.

My heart settled down. I breathed some more.

First, I needed to create light from lightlessness.

I focused my attention on the pattern tattooed on my forearms, and moved the energy pulsing there down to my hands.

Tiny bright tendrils of energy began to radiate from my fingers. The streams of light swayed and danced from finger to finger, grew brighter, swallowed up my palms, spread across the backs of my hands, and even shone through my fingernails. My hands were wreathed in pure light.

I gazed at these beautiful glowing hands, my hands, in amazement. I lifted them over my head. The light spilled out through my fingertips and filled the whole of the cavern with the most brilliant of whitest lights.

My eyes, used to the dark and overloaded by the intensity of the light immediately filled with tears. When I could see again I beheld a cave made entirely out of crystal. The light reflected and refracted around the space until it shattered again and again into a million rainbows and returned to pure white light once more.

I did a little dance of joy like a gleeful child who had just discovered the most wondrous magical thing ever. I laughed and I cried and l laughed again, dizzy with euphoria.

I calmed down eventually but I still had a big grin plastered on my face while I looked for a way out. I hadn’t noticed until that moment that the floor of this wondrous crystal cave was crystal too. Of course it would be. Nice long pointy shards of crystal, angled in every direction.

I faced the next part of my challenge. To get back across the cave to the Portal, the edges of which glowed with the same bright light still shimmering all around me.

I focused my will and saw the crystals as all soft and smooth. They ignored me and remained pointy. What if I flew above them? The crystals flexed and slowly turned their pointy ends toward me. Several of them started to grow.

Got it. No flying.

I must walk, (and it was made clear to me there was no other way to do this) with bare feet, across the razor sharp edges of the crystals, without shedding a single drop of blood.

Remember that part of me that had a thing about not willingly putting myself in situations where I would have my person perforated? She was a gibbering mess now.

I shifted my weight onto my right foot and slowly, very slowly raised my left and lowered it onto the crystals, the very pointy crystals. I could feel them pushing against the sole of my foot. I held my breath and shifted my weight onto it.

I knew I couldn’t entertain even the merest thought of injury or my fear would bring the entire structure down on me and there would be slicing and dicing and blood everywhere. I focused my will as sharp as the sharpest of the needle-like crystals underneath my foot and took another step.

And another.

And another, until I stood in front of the Portal, where I finally remembered to breathe. My solar plexus ached and I shook from head to toe, but I’d done it!

The bright silvery light of the Portal slowly shifted. Swirling patterns rose to its surface and resolved into a map that showed the three caverns I’d already been in and others both above and below those three. An endless labyrinth stretching beyond my capacity to understand.

This was the way out though, I knew that. I stepped through the map and found myself back at the entrance to the very first tunnel in the desert canyon, only the canyon wasn’t there anymore. Nothing was there.

-oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo- -oOo-

Perfect, In Every Way: My One And Only ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ Trailer

Today was a perfect Spring day. The air was crisp and clear, the sun shone bright, ignoring the occasional scudding cloud. Everything felt like it was gently smiling. What a perfect accompaniment to this trailer.

It connects to the original movie, hooks the attention, shows the lead actors, (Emily Blunt – le sigh) and doesn’t give a thing away … perfect.



Now, I wonder if I had a word with the House of Mouse* I might be able to convince them to STOP RELEASING TRAILERS THAT GIVE AWAY THE WHOLE STORY!!! … but I doubt it. Their promotional people are of the mind that one is good, two is gooder, three is best, and seventeen trailers before the actual premier of the movie, is the bestest idea evah!

* the House of Mouse is a one-size-fits-all way of referring to anything Disney-ish, alluding to its ‘umble beginnings.

The Definition of Irrelevance

Recently, I featured a ‘comment’ from the catacombs of my WordPress spam folder.

The catacomb has revealed another gem with yet more sinister overtones.

Let us now gird our loins and be confronted with, in all its gruesome entirety, the sheer terror of …

 “Leave me alone!”

… in my spam folder …


… okay then.

... the sound of one cricket chirping ...

… the sound of one cricket chirping …