I take three deep breaths, and the mountain is before me. I watch as the sun moves and the shadows drift from side to side. I feel my own light and shadow flow, feel the balance. I drop deeper into my own balance, into my core, molten and alone. I let go, becoming the sea of magma, the flames that flicker. I drop deeper.
I stand on the edge of the precipice. Below me, there is nothing but the Void – a dark, spinning vortex of breaking, unmaking, creating.
“Why are you here?”
“I want to know.”
“What do you want to know?”
“Anything. Everything. I don’t know.”
“Who are you?”
“I do not know, anymore… I guess that’s what I seek. I want to know.”
“Come, then, Seeker. Come and be destroyed.”
“Will I be remade? Will I find what I seek?”
“That is up to you.”
I take a step, and suddenly, arms swing around my waist. It’s a man, wearing, of all things, a white ten-gallon hat. “Hold on there, now, partner.. let’s not be hasty.” His accent is thick, Hollywood Texan. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“I can see that, but… Why? It’s not safe!”
“No, it’s not. But look at it… It’s beautiful. It’s home. I want to go home.” I can see the oil slick swirls, a black Galaxy of stars and rainbows below me… And inside me, the same vortex of color, reaching and forever separated. I reach for the edge again, because we are beautiful, and I know it so well.
So I jump. I fling myself into nowhere, dive into nothing. I watch as I come apart, molecules and atoms swirling in the madness. I am the tornado rioting at the center of all things. I am Void.
But nothing lasts forever, and slowly what is torn apart reforms. We drop from the center into darkness, our body sludge-like, thick, black, tarry, we ooze into a familiar form. Molten cracks smoke, ash falls, flames lick. Earth solidifies, takes on flesh and bone. I stand in the cavern, the only source of light, and begin to walk.
Slowly a shape appears, far in the distance – a shining white oval, a gate suspended, blinding, in the nothingness. I walk towards it, but it will not let me through. It is closed to me, solid. A voice in the dark speaks. “Give me your truth, and you may pass.” The creature, burnt and thick-skinned, all teeth, is familiar – the Guardian at the Gate. “Give me your heart.”
“My heart? My truth?” I look within myself, at my heart, and see nothing. It will cost me nothing to give it up. He may have it. “My truth is I am afraid to care.”
He raises his claws, and carves out my heart. “You have given me nothing. Give me your power.”
“I will not. It is all I have. I will not give it to another.”
“Then you may not pass.”
“Give me yours in place.”
“You cannot hold my power. You cannot hold my place!” He laughs.
I cannot give my power up. I take it out, and look at it. A globe of gold, empty inside, dripping blood and blackness… It isn’t much anymore, but it’s mine and I will not give it up.
“What if I give you a seed to take its place?” He holds it out, sprouted, in soft, rich, dark loam… And I want it.
“Can I take that with me?”
“No.. you would have to leave it with me. I will keep it safe.”
I cannot trust. “Will I come back this way, will I see you again?”
“You might.” He smiles. It’s not enough. I shake my head. “What do you feel?”
“Where’s the trick?”
It’s my turn to laugh. “There’s ALWAYS a trick.”
“And that is your truth. Show it to me.”
I take it out, and we look. It is an infant, no, a child, no a girl, no, a woman, no, a babe. We see the treads of a shoe. We see the kick. We see the cost – we see the trick. We cannot trust… Nothing is free, not even love. There is always a trick – there is always a price.
I hold her close to me, sheltering her… But it’s not to be. I hold her out to him. “So tiny, so young. It goes back further than this, don’t you think?”
We watch as aeons teach us. Pain teaches us.
“Give me this, and you may pass.” I sigh. I accept. I surrender. His teeth sink in, my wrist, my neck… I raise my lips to him and kiss them… And then the world goes white.
*Edit – Raven’s Notes*
I don’t think that I was actually in the Gamaliel sphere – I think I was at the doorway to it, in Nahemoth. Gamaliel is where you deal with sexuality, and this clearly had nothing to do with that. The realm of Reschaim, however, seems far more likely given the comment “Come, Seeker and meet your destruction.”
Nahemoth is the first sphere and it corresponds to the Black Earth—the astral realm wherein fairies reside. Nahemoth overlaps with our planet, and any given gap between trees, moments between musical notes, or causal location can be or become a gateway to its mysteries. The name Nahemoth [the Whisperers] is also rendered Nehemoth and Nahemo and the Qlipha has the alternate names of Lilith [Night Spectre] and Reschaim [Elements]. It is ruled by Nahema/Na’amah, and to it are attributed new beginnings, curses or hexes, natural disasters, self-transformation, destruction and death, rebirth or redemption, revolution, psychic vampyrism, personal magnetism, witchcraft in general, sexual power, enchantment, rebellion, opulence, carnality, atavism, worldly power, death, ruthlessness or cruelty, and illusion or deception. Herein the magickian begins to acquire self-knowledge and learns to emulate & use the characteristics of the demonic masculine & demonic feminine alike.
*Salient points in bold*
This issue I have with trust, though, is clearly going to be a huge focus for me because it keeps coming up. It’s not inaccurate, I’m not wrong in saying that nothing is free, that everything has a price attached to it… but my issue isn’t with the cost, so much as the injustice of the prices. It’s always seemed to me that some people simply pay less, or don’t even notice the cost – but even things basic to our survival, such as love and touch, come with prices attached… and that price is a “gotcha.” You can’t do without what’s being offered, but is it worth what you pay?
Increasingly over the past five years, my answer has become, “No,” which has caused me to shut down in ways that I recognize are seriously unhealthy, but I can’t seem to stop saying it.
Since the Qlippoth is all about dealing with your shadow, through the shadows of the Tree, and “There is always a trick, there is always a price,” is definitely mine, I think this is going to come up again and again.
Which is totally freaking me out. lol