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The

Starlit Path


Photo by Fineas Anton on Unsplash


Photo by Tomo Nogi on Unsplash

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erbs dry from the ceiling of the cottage the warnings you have heard about her and her woods race through your head. All the foreboding in the woods. You have come here to thoughts you had when you prepared to meet her learn the old ways from a woman with launch into a chorus of “I told you so” and “Now grey hair. She wears it a long braid your done.” Your heart races. down her back. Usually, for your meetings, she You jump when she lays a hand on your shoulder. wears old jeans and a man’s work shirt. But today she “If you’re going to run away, head that way.” She greets you at the door in a floor-length skirt, boots and a woolen cape thrown over her man’s dress shirt. points to a path on the far side of the enclosing wall. “That path will take you back to the highway.” She “We are going out today,” she says as she closes continues walking through the grounds. It’s perfect. the door behind her. You secure your tarot cards, You can escape. You can flee and never see her again. notebook and pens in your knapsack and race Go back to your safe, normal life. after her. But you don’t want safe, because you were never The woods near her house can seem endless. You anyone’s idea of normal. Except with her. You shake look up into the trees. The leaves have started to off all your misgivings and follow her deeper into change color. Russet red and gold. But you don’t the cemetery. The space isn’t really that big but the need those visual cues to tell you the seasons are graves here are very old. changing. She has taught you to catch the sounds She stops and shows you a seed that’s attached and the scent of the seasons in the air. You know it to a wing. You’ve seen this before. Your friends and will rain when the leaves show you their backs, and family call them ‘helicopters’, because of the way they that the day will be hot when the bees hum. Today fall to the ground. The thin wing carries them to the you feel the change of the wind on your skin. The summer heat is caressing you with its fond farewells. ground, flying and spinning. These are the seeds that fall from the maple trees each spring and fall. You look around, trying to take note of where you “This is where we all begin,” she says. “Our souls, are. She has never taken you to this part of the forest before. You pass a short stone wall. The trees haven’t our bodies, our ideas, our plans—all begin as tiny seeds. Then we grow and mature and prepare for our encroached into this clearing. There is something next great adventure.” sacred about this space. That’s when you notice an “But all of the people here are dead,” you say. old stone slab laying sideways in the grass. Another “They have passed beyond the limits of time and waits beside it, but it stands straight. There is writing space.” She smiles. “Can you think of a greater on the slab. adventure.” You rise quickly. She has brought you to a Things are always changing when you walk The cemetery. All the stories you have heard about who Starlit Path.      she is and what she does rush into your mind. All 

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Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash

      Welcome to About The Starlit Path

The Starlit Path magazine is a subsidiary of: Star Dragon Press 1105 Mill Hill Laval, QC Canada H7W 1P7

Star Dragon Press, Publisher Judie Troyansky, Editor Robin Patterson, Creative Director

The

Starlit Path

The Starlit Path is published 4 times per year: Spring issue: March 20th Summer issue: June 20th Fall issue: September 20th Winter issue: December 20th See our website for contributor and advertising guidelines: www.starlitpathmagazine.com The Starlit Path is not responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. Opinions expressed by authors do not necessarily reflect those of Star Dragon Press or The Starlit Path. Please do not try any herbs or exercises that might interfere with current medical treatments or without advice from a doctor. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the written permission of the publisher. Cover Photo: Val Vesa on Unsplash

Judie Troyansky, is also known as The Bohemian Storyteller; a strong believer in all types of magic and things beyond the world of the visible. She learned at a young age that stories are a type of magic; to take something invisible from one person’s imagination and transmit it to another. And so, she became an author. She bought her first tarot deck over 35 years ago at a magician’s supply house that had a guillotine in the window, and started reading professionally in the 1990s. An Eclectic Pagan since the 1980s, Judie has since studied with Spiritualist Mediums, and Shamans, and minored in Anthropology in university. As a voracious and critical reader, she hopes to share her curiosity and knowledge with those looking to learn.

 Robin Patterson loves all things craft. Creative by nature, her artistic skills were nurtured at a young age. She was encouraged to try her hand at many activities, to freely express herself by drawing, painting, crafts, music, writing, gardening, the lists goes on . . . So she did just that. She wears all the hats, sometimes piled one upon another. "It's hard to separate the hats. My idea of art bleeds into my writing and seeps into my every expression, my design, and my craft. I was never very good at following the pattern, or the instructions, as my vision could always see so much more in the final result."

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She accepted the invitation to take this journey, as creative director for The Starlit Path, "to learn more about yet another craft."


Inside this issue . . . Are the Dead Among Us?  18 Meditation for Meeting Your Spirit Guides  22 On the Wings of a Hawk  34 So Be It  36 The Universal Law of Authenticity  42

Inside every issue . . . Letter from the Editor  6 Letter from the Creative Director  7 Everyday Pagan / Enquiring Minds  8 Moudrytza’s Pearls  10 Three Card Choice  13 River Rain Ramblings: Reading Your Own Tarot  14 For That Next Cup of Tea: Book Reviews  28 The Treasure Cave,: Interview with Lavina La Faye  30 Walking with The Goddess:    How to Create a Shrine to Your Patron  38 Three Card Reveal  46 Before You Go  67

The Storytellers . . . She sees in 3 directions  17 Feature Artist: Jenny Ambrose  24 Devil Hand 6  47 The Story of the Maggie Grace  50 Conversation Outside the Light  62 

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Letter from the Editor . . .

Dear Wanderer,

It’s true that the New Year starts on January 1st, but I always felt New Year should start in the Fall. Maybe it’s because it’s the time of the Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year). I’m Jewish on my parents’ side and there are still things that connect me to the culture. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) were the holidays my parents insisted we go to synagogue. We would wear new clothes and try to look and behave like grown-ups. Maybe it was because it was the time to go back to school. Not my favorite thing to do, but it did give me a chance to see my friends who lived farther than walking distance from my house. We got to read new books and learn new things, and those are both still things I love. Fall also brings with it, Samhain, the Celtic New Year. Or as most people know it, Halloween. A time when the veil becomes thin and we can contact our ancestors and guides…and eat candy until our teeth ache. October in Quebec was usually when it started getting colder, and sometimes it would even snow. But still, there was something wonderful about dressing up, to be someone or something different, and going trick-or-treating. Even if your princess dress had to fit over your ski jacket and you ended up looking like a cross between Cinderella and the Incredible Hulk. As you’ve probably guessed, the Fall also makes me nostalgic. The vegetables that people planted in the late Spring are ready to be picked. The days are getting shorter and the nights darker. This becomes a time of reflection to see where you’re going and where you’ve come from. The seasons, like everything else, continue to change. The leaves on the trees are no longer green. They’ve become red and gold and eventually crunch underfoot. Canadian Geese honk as they pass with a joyous sound of a new adventure. Sandals are put away and boots come out. It’s the time for thick sweaters and fuzzy socks and snuggling under covers with a good magazine, like this issue of The Starlit Path. Safe Travels, Judie Troyansky

The Starlit Path Magazine   Fall 2018

Photo by Judie Troyansky

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Photo by Robin Patterson

Letter from the Creative Director . . . Greetings,

It’s been a really hot summer, and there have been so many projects on my plate that sometimes I feel like I need four hands . . . or two heads . . . or at the very least a few more hours in the day! I’m so much more visual than verbal. I should be drawing my letter to you, our reader, instead of using my words. So here you go! This is a series of paintings I did a little bit ago: Life Full Circle. Not only youth to crone, but crow to egg. Which comes first? 

Until next time, Robin



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Everyday   Pagan

Enquiring Minds

   by Autumn Blackwood Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Photo by Eduardo Olszewski on Unsplash

Autumn Blackwood wasn’t available for this issue and this issue’s Enquiring Minds asks about Paganism, so we thought we would combine the two columns for the Fall.

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or this issue we asked members of several Facebook groups a question about books. We want to thank the administrators and members of The Kingston Tarot Lenormand Conference; Solitary Wiccans; The Cauldron ~ A Mixing place for Witches, Druids and Pagans; Nottingham Pagan Network; Tarotholics Anonymous; TABI—Tarot Association of the British Isles; World Soul Witchery - Natural Magick, Pagan, Spiritual, Alchemy & Sorcery; Pagans of the Path 2.0; Sacred Psychology for Women; Ottawa Pagans; Practitioners of the Craft, and Witchy School of Wisdom for their participation and assistance. The question asked was: What was the first book you read that made you want to choose a Pagan path? And if a newbie came to ask your advice on what book or books to read to help them learn about Paganism or Wicca, what book would you recommend? (I unfortunately forgot to mention Witchcraft, but those in the groups added the reply for me. And for this I am grateful.) Some of the people who answered are from Witch families, so their books and their connections came through their mothers, grandmothers and aunts. Some 8 

The Starlit Path Magazine   Fall 2018

read the Bible and knew it wasn’t where they were supposed to be. Many people recommended reading myths from all cultures, folklore, history and anthropology books. Angel from Pagans of the Path 2.0 said it best. “In general, I tell someone new to read anything they can get their hands on and learn the history, learn the rituals, and take it all in. When a certain path calls to you, then follow more in that direction by seeking out the path and likeminded people.” People mentioned that their resonance began by reading fiction, like Dion Fortune’s The Sea Priestess; an occult work disguised as a novel or modern fantasy novels like The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien. The novel most often mentioned was The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. For many, the path didn’t move in a straight line. We found tarot or astrology, herbalism or books on energy work. Not that people who practice these things are necessarily Pagans or Witches. But for some, like me, it allowed us to peek behind the curtain of what we were taught and of what was possible. There was some controversy as to whether Silver Ravenwolf was a good author to recommend. But there were more


who spoke in her favor than against her. The books most often mentioned were To Ride a Silver Broomstick and Teen Witch. Her writing style is light and easy to understand. Three authors stood out from those recommended. These three authors were mentioned most often through all the threads and their works cited as the books people first found when they were looking into their path, and those they would recommend to those starting out now.The first was Complete Book of Witchcraft by Raymond Buckland, also known by some as The Big Blue Book. The second author was Starhawk. The Spiral Dance was most recommended, as was her fiction and other non-fiction work. Scott Cunningham’s work received the greatest number of recommendations for his approachable writing style and down to earth approach. Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner and the follow-up Living Wicca: A Further Guide to the Solitary Practitioner were the books most discussed. The Abrahamic religions may refer to

themselves as the people of the book, but Pagans and Witches are the people of the library. Most of the replies recommend reading various texts and reading widely. Look at the older books, like The Fairy Faith in Celtic Countries by W.Y EvansWentz or Aradia Gospel of the Witches by Charles G. Leland or Sybil Leek’s Diary of a Witch. Read new authors like Christopher Penczak, and Gede Parma as well as articles on the internet. As Kimberly from Pagan 2.0 said in her post, “The road to knowledge never ends on this path and it is so important to remain continually educated.” At the end of the day, it will never a be book or a whole library that makes people choose their path. It was knowing that they’re beliefs were different from their family’s beliefs and their religious upbringing. It was their connection to nature and to animals. And it was looking up at the moon, sensing a connection to the Universe and the Divine others couldn’t feel.

Photo by Loverna Journey on Unsplash



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Moudrytza’s   Pearls    by Mary Moroska

Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay

Because firebirds must thrive in a world that does not accept the fantastical, Moudrytza learned to live as a human. And like the Superheroes you have heard about, has a human alter-ego that she shares with several sisters. Luckily, Mary is able to share our unique energies as she writes, confabulates, teaches, mentors, and counsels with you. She is certified as a professional tarot counsellor, Soul Realignment practitioner, teacher and librarian. And since finding and sharing answers to “life’s persistent questions” is her driving force, she will gladly answer questions and comments: moudrytza@videotron.ca. We would love to welcome you at: https://toutarot.ca; and your like: https://www.facebook.com/TouTarot/

Preamble – Memo from Management: Due to the extreme weather conditions this version of EARTH is currently experiencing, we have had to shut down ZH@TT Studios. We sent everyone on vacation as our equipment was over heating and our “switches” were in danger of melting. But Mary discovered some that have no such issue and sends us the following report. We do apologize for this inconvenience and hope that you will enjoy the following . . . Modern spell casting for everyone!

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o . . . you think you have to be some kind of Witch, Wicca or Magus to make things happen with some “interesting” incantation? Really? Let’s just look at what you did today. Count the ways you have used the power of words to make things happen around you. Did you order something at the restaurant or 10 

The Starlit Path Magazine   Fall 2018

coffee shop? Did you get what you wanted? Did you buy something because you heard a commercial, saw an ad, or a friend’s recommendation? I am sure that you can come up with a much more extensive list . . . For fun, go ahead, make that list . . . . . . Proving that words have power in spite of being told: “Stick and stones may break my bones but, words will never hurt me.” Really? Ask anyone who has been bullied, shamed or praised and acclaimed. And if that were true, what do we make of the converse: “The pen is mightier than the sword.” So which is it? But if words are that important then, why don’t affirmations, prayers, mantras and all those “positive words and vibes” we chant every day, produce the results we want? If “ask and ye shall receive” is the law of manifestation, then where is the block,


the glitch, the “bug” in that program? Isn’t the Universe bound by its own laws? Does anyone have the manual or the circuit diagram? What gate or switch is stuck in the OFF position? Does it need oil, silicone, WD-40 or an Ali able to help out here. We have not yet Baba’s “Open Sesame” routine? been able to map out the gazillion neurons In the religious and what we now call spirituality arenas, the talk is about “belief.” that are firing every moment of our lives. So let’s look at the other or soft sciences The basic principle here is that you need and the discipline of psychology which to “visualize”­—strongly feel the result you want. To help this process, you can ask your has tried to map out the “mind” since the early 1900s.Sigmund Freud and Carl favorite “spirit / angel /guide.” And then Jung spoke of symbolic “language” and you have to trust or believe that it will BE. how we use it in our dreams. This is a But the word “believe” or trust has a lot familiar concept to anyone working with of baggage and seems to have lost its edge a system of divination—as they tap into a through over use. We think we understand dream-like state and, like international UN what it is and how we become or how we interpreters, translate the message “received” do “believe.” And herein lies the problem: we SAY we believe / trust. YET we start to into everyday “rational” language. So consider the following: listen to that “rational” mind chatter; start Can you recall how many times, you to doubt and not trust ourselves. So we seek have used some ritualized verbal formula help from perceived experts who give us conflicting advice. We try this. We try that. (name them according to your personal belief system) to nudge, beg, strike a “Information overload!” And still we didn’t bargain or cajole the “universe” into manifest that intention. So if the word “believe” is a bit too porous, let’s see if there “granting your wish?” Yet, somehow, the results are hit or miss. Can you guess IS another approach. what made the difference? No, it wasn’t Hard or physical science will not be 

Photo by Geralt on Pixabay

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Photo by Geralt on Pixabay

coincidence or “beginner’s luck.” And yes, there is some underlying principle at work. Maybe there were some trigger words . . . or maybe some “switch words . . . Hmmm . . . Switch words . . . What if there is a way to switch the rational mind off its “reasoning track” and let the symbolic mind use that freed track? How would that work? So very quickly, we are conscious, rational beings but we do not need to take care of all the details of living. We leave that to the subconscious: that storehouse of ALL the routine things we have learned. It does not do “rational or logic” and does not chatter. So the trick then, is to enter the subconscious and somehow bypass or distract the chattering conscious. Think Ali Baba here . . . Now, James T. Mangan, (1896-1970) wondered as well and wrote: “The Secret of Perfect Living” in 1963 in which he develops the idea of switch words and how to use them. And, this my friends exactly what you need. And of course there are now others that have “digested” this information. 12 

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Google can help you find lists of these magical words. Liz Dean has written a real recipe book on the subject: “Switch words – how to use one word to get what you want”. (2015 – HarperCollins). And if you are a tarot aficionado, you might be interested in her upcoming book (October 2018) that combines this concept with each of the Tarot cards. Note from Management: We hope this has peaked your curiosity and given you some “new games” to play while we all try to distract ourselves from these extreme conditions. Do share your thoughts and experiences with us on our Facebook Page . . . Thank you for reading.     

Photo by Thefairypath on Pixabay


Three  Card   Choice by Madam Tealeaf Photo by Robin Patterson

Madam Tealeaf escaped to England in 1917, at the start of the Russian Revolution. She perfected her English and began reading cards for some of the crowned heads of Europe. Through the 1920’s, she worked with some of the most famous occultists, including A.E. Waite, and Dion Fortune. On October 13th, 1922, Madam Tealeaf was creating a spell using the Wheel of Fortune card and a beverage made from a recipe sent to her by a follower of the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, Marie Laveau. There was a flash of lightening, and Madam Tealeaf found herself in the 21st Century. She is currently under exclusive contract to The Starlit Path and can be reached at madamtealeaf@starlitpathmagazine.com .

What do our readers need to know for the Fall? Choose a card. Madam Tealeaf Reveals All on page 46.

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River Rain  Ramblings

  by Clairvoyant Medium Catharine Allan

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

Catharine Allan, also known as River Rain, is a Clairvoyant Medium, Spiritual Life Coach, and Artist. A gifted Medium, Astrologer, and Tarot Reader, she currently runs support groups for women. She has also run healing retreats, Catharine studied and practices Vipassana meditation, sound healing, chakra cleansing, guided meditation, reiki, Bach Flower remedies, and gem stone work. She currently lives in Montreal. Her radio show can be heard on Monday nights at 8 pm EST on Facebook or www.mixvibexradio.com She can be reached at river.rain.catharine@gmail.com

Reading Your Own Tarot

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t’s a rite of passage for any true tarot reader that you have tried every possible way to read your OWN cards for your own life. You have obsessively asked the cards the same question in fifty different ways to try to make sense of a relationship or just get a simple “yes” or “no” style reading. You’ve also probably realized that it is VERY tough to read your own life in the cards. Why? Because you aren’t objective about your own life. Your emotions are attached the outcomes. So you start to bargain with them. “Maybe the Tower card means he is feeling liberated from his last girlfriend” (when you’ve asked if he will call you) Well . . . not so much. I like to use analogies to illustrate things so here goes. Reading your own cards can be like eating too much ice cream. You take a bite and it feels and tastes great. You want more and more and eat past the point where 14 

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you are satiated. You don’t even know if you are full or on the verge of being ill. You went past your sense of satisfaction and into addiction. You’re a bit lost and spaced out now from eating so much. It’s like asking the tarot, “how does he or she feel about me” 100 times, with 100 different card combinations, asking twice a day because you’re in emotional hell pain. You have no more gage of your intuition at that point because you’ve asked too many times with contradictory spreads. You are in a tarot coma! So how do we ACTUALLY read our own cards? Is it even possible? The answer is yes, but it will take selfcontrol and patience. Here is what you do: 1. You clearly and calmly ask the question ONCE.


Photo by Robin Patterson

2. You accept the first spread and meditate on the meanings and combinations more deeply and objectively. 3. You keep your mind open that the first way you interpreted them may not be the only way and stay open to how your situation evolves. 4. Watch the cards as the situation evolves and see where you make connections to the meanings—from that SAME first reading. This is how you go deeper and center yourself as well. If you want to read yourself in general vs one question, I have a way that has worked for me. The best way to read yourself generally is to mix your cards while asking the Universe to simply show me what is next for me. Or another general and open way to phrase it that you feel good with. You let yourself be as open as possible. Then I spread the cards every few days. I don’t get too attached to each spread. I watch how the patterns of the cards come up. For example, I may keep getting a certain card over a period of a few readings—so this card is a true message because it repeats. It’s in your energy field. Next I watch the pattern of how my cards move. For example, I keep getting the High Priestess in the future position, then I

observe how life is unfolding and notice she is now in the present position, then as life progresses once again, she moves to the past position. This way takes more patience and self-reflection, but you can truly learn your cards connection to people and events this way. When you see a card move position like this you will know what is going on and what that card was there to show you. Every so often I do get messages about what is coming next for me by feeling the overall pattern of the readings, and then I let it go and observe. Once I spot that I am IN that thing I saw, I go back to what I first sensed in the cards, timing or context, BEFORE I got attached to the situation or person. My intuition was pure before my attachment. It is almost impossible for people to detach from their own life story and emotions attached to the answers the cards give. Observing patterns and repetitions is the most reliable way to get outside yourself for a brief moment and allow your intuition to operate on yourself. It isn’t easy. However, if you are courageous enough to be honest and see things you didn’t want to see, you will then also see the great things when they are true. 



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If you haven't already done so, please subscribe! We send two short newsletters each month that include updates, side articles, and extra information. Each subscriber also gets a Mandala every month to print out and color or paint. Subscriptions are FREE! Join us! https://www.subscribepage.com/ free.mandala

NATALIE SEGALL, M.A., LCC Member OF ANN and ADEC

LOSS & GRIEF THERAPIST, CONSULTANT AND EDUCATOR Helping individuals, groups, families & health care professionals. TRAINED PROFESSIONAL CELEBRANT Providing personal and distinctive funeral and memorial services. President of Good Grief Central

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She sees in 3 directions by Victoria Sage



A BOUT

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THOR U A

Victoria Sage, also known as Victrix Oracle, is an established psychic medium in Montreal Canada. She is a certified Reiki Master offering Divination and Crystal Healing. She currently works with MTL Gems to help provide a wide range of crystals to the public, offer education about these Sacred Crystal Beings, as well as suggestions for crystals for people to work with and wear themselves.

Fall 2018   The Starlit Path Magazine 

Photo by kazuend on Unsplash

Evolved beyond body, slithering through time and space She belongs everywhere, yet has no final resting place Hekate, hound, horse, with serpent’s heel and hook Gazing upon present day, shocked and shunned she shook    But it is just a phase, Persephone will come again  Apocalyptic cleansing will wash away their pain Which scars Gaia’s pock marked and hollow shell The Queen of the Underworld knows THIS is hell   Shine in darkness with your torch and endless grace Guide us through crossroads and help us to save face We have murdered our maiden mother crone Where once we were cradled, we sit all alone   And thus we are lost, without keys to other realms We drift onward endlessly, with no man at the helm Poseidon is poisoned, a sign of the beginning of the end And soon against Hades’ ghastly ghouls we must fend   But pity us now, and note those who try to mend unintended inattention We white witches, weak and wary, weep, whoop and welcome intervention Speak to us in spirit, Oh Goddess of Magick, lead us to no longer be asleep We beseech you, bring us to where we all can relate on a level more deep

TH

this star’s past she would not let me sleep sweet barren maiden of the deathly deep birth-life-death, maiden-mother-crone  stars came to be, so you’d be not alone    and your will and cosmic energy brought forth the gods they chose to bring about man, doomed against the odds though many lost their way, I honour you with written word I cherish you in art, while most haste away from the herd    Photo by kazuend on Unsplash Hekate bring us home, we wander lost, bring us to light we’ve waxed and waned in the dark, suffered endless night  You’ve awakened me, there must be a reason I will not accept just be treachery in season   She sees in three directions, and toys with what is to come  She knows all but shares nothing, misunderstood by everyone Newly born-dead, with a full life lead, there is no afterlife to dread She knows it’s all now and it’s all then. She lives on as she lays dead

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Are the Dead Among Us? By Natalie Segall

. . . I hesitate, no, dread, going home, because since Ryan died, I feel so very lonesome in my home. What was once my refuge of comfort, is now a hostile environment, offering only loneliness and silence. Everywhere I look is a reminder that he has died, and I am now alone. I haven’t slept in our bed since he died. I have been sleeping in the guest room. The bed is smaller, so it doesn’t feel as empty and it’s where I slept when Ryan was sick, and I didn’t want to disturb him. Two nights ago, when I arrived home, the air felt different. The space felt warm and familiar and I felt calm and at peace. It was my home again. I soon realized that the air had been permeated with Ryan’s scent. I ate well for the first time in months and that night I slept in my bedroom secured by the feeling that Ryan was beside me. At one point during the night, I even felt his side of the bed move a little, as if Ryan were shifting in his sleep. Am I crazy? Do you believe that it could have been Ryan?”

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Photo by Quinn Buffing on Unsplash

“... Last night I dreamt about Amber. It’s been three years since she was murdered, and I have been looking for signs, trying to connect with her, my young daughter. In my dream I knew that she was dead. She smiled, her crooked, distinct smile and told me she was all right and that I should not worry about her


anymore. She said she knew how much her dad and I love her and that she loves us both very much. As she spoke to me, a warm, golden light shone from her face. When I woke up, I felt calm and so happy for the first time since that horrible day, when the police came to our door with the news of her murder. But it wasn’t like any dream I had ever had before. I really believe that Amber came to me last night. Do you think I am crazy?” In my capacity as a grief therapist I am often asked by my clients if it is true that the dead watch over us. Do they see everything or only what we need them to see? Do they hear us when we cry for them or call out to them? Can they really come to us in dreams? Are the dreams really visits and not dreams at all? Do they send us signs? Do they send us messages? What should we look for? Where are they and how can living energy just disappear in a moment? Okay, so here we go . . . Do our dead loved ones watch over us and if they do, are they there when we go to the bathroom? When I imagine my mom watching over me, it is not with a stalker or voyeuristic intent. If time and space boundaries do not apply to my dead mom, then I believe that she is there when I need her to be. What she does on her own time is her business.

I do not believe that my mom spies on me, nor does she judge me when I sneak an extra chocolate before bed-time. My concept of what it means to have my mom watch over me is a feeling of pure safety and comfort. I do not know if she hears me cry for her, but every time I make her signature apple-spice cake, I do get the feeling that she is smiling. I do not try and analyze the feeling too much. I instead choose to bask in the image of her smile and in the feeling of her presence. Can they really come to us in dreams? Are the dreams really visits and not dreams at all? When I dream about my mom, it feels different than any of my other dreams. Part of that difference is because I am dreaming of someone I love very much, and not about work, or my teeth falling out or even flying or falling. When I dream of my mom, I am happy to see her, and she is happy to see me, as if visiting with an old friend I have not seen in a while. I do not look too hard at what it might mean, I am merely grateful for the time we spend together in my dream. Do they send us signs? Do they send us messages? What should we look for? Signs from my mom are everywhere; when the lilacs bloom in spring, when I look at a Chagall painting, when I smell

Can they really come to us in dreams? Are the dreams really visits and not dreams at all?



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to believe. I ask them how they feel when they experience those times. Do the dreamvisits, signs, and messages ring true to who their loved one was in physical form? If the answer is yes, then why question the visit, message or sign? The answer is undoubtedly, a resounding . . . That’s just this life-long griever’s opinion.

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strong coffee brewing or when a passerby is wearing Chanel No.5, and most of all, when I look in the mirror and see her creation. The messages she sends me are the ones she has instilled in me long ago and all I need do is acknowledge them. Where are they and how can living energy just disappear in a moment? Living energy does not just disappear. However, the form that energy takes is in constant flux. Therefore, I believe that my current connecting bond or relationship with my mom is one based on mind, emotion, and spirit. After all, in the past when I would travel for long periods of time I would not, could not, physically see or touch my mom. I think of my mom at least once every day since she died 24 years ago. Where is my mom? . . . All around me every day. Therefore, when my clients ask me if their dead loved ones watch over them, visit them or send them signs and messages, what they are really asking for is validation and consent

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NATALIE SEGALL, M.A., LCC, ANN, CERT. THANATOLOGY. Based in Montreal, Natalie Segall is a certified loss and grief therapist, and counsellor, consultant, facilitator, and educator. Having been trained and mentored over many years by leading grief expert, Dawn Cruchet, she also received intensive training in psychotherapy at the Argyle Institute. Working with both individuals or in group settings, she provides counselling, support, information, and education for individuals, patients and family members, caregivers, clergy, counselors, nurses, nursing home administrators, social workers, psychologists, physicians, funeral directors, marriage and family therapists, and all those working with chronic or terminal illness, death, dying, grief or bereavement.

Photo by JR Korpa on Unsplash

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Meditation for Meeting Your Spirit Guides by Judie Troyansky

Spirit guides are intermediaries between humans and the Divine. Some people think of them as their ancestors, some as their guardian angels. I was taught that each person has four who stay with them for life and walk on each side of them. One in front of them, one behind. One on their left and one on their right. There’s also a Joy Guide to help bring a person a sense of well-being and optimism. And there are other guides who come for special projects, like looking for a new job or during a crisis of health or faith. Many people have asked about meeting their guides. The easiest way to do that is through meditation. The following meditation is one that I learned a long time ago. The thing to remember here is not to be discouraged if you don’t see your guide sitting in front of you ready to share their wealth of knowledge—especially if you’re new to meditation. Hearing your guides clearly takes practice and the ability to not negate or second guess where a ‘hunch’ is coming from. I’ve had guides who sent messages through songs on the radio, randomly overheard snippets of conversation, and symbols we had agreed upon in meditations. So, let’s begin. You can stand, sit or lay down. Relax. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose to the count of four, hold for the count of four and then exhale through your mouth for the count of four. Relax your shoulders. Relax them a 22 

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bit more. Let all the tension pass from your body. Now imagine the number ten floating in the air in front of you, level with your forehead. Picture the font and the color of the number, if it glows or flashes like a neon sign. When you see it clearly, move on to the number nine. Imagine its color and font and its behavior. When it’s clear in your mind, move on to the number eight. Continue in this manner until you get to the number one. At this point you should be in a meditative state. You can continue with other meditations from here. If thoughts come forward. Push them aside for the moment. If outside noise disturbs you, just come back to counting your breath as we did earlier. Imagine yourself walking through a park. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a neighborhood park with benches and trees; maybe a children’s playground or a baseball diamond. The sun is shining, but it’s not too warm. You have with you an invitation from the guide you are going to meet today. The invitation is made of metal and it’s an unusual shape. As you stroll along the path, you pass through a circle of trees and, at its center is a large monument on a very high base. The statue on the top is an angel with its arms outstretched. You walk around to the back, where most people don’t go. This is where your guide has instructed you to go. You notice


Photo by Skeezix1000 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

a door in the base of the statue. There’s a place for a key. That’s when you notice the invitation your guide sent. It’s the exact same shape as the hole in the door. You slide it in and the door opens wide. Enter the base of the statue. You see that it’s an elevator. Press the number at the top and the elevator starts to rise. Watch the numbers as they pass. First floor, second, third. The ride is smooth. The air is fresh, and there’s lovely music playing. It’s a song you know. One that makes you feel great after a bad day. The door opens and you’re in a penthouse. This space is where you will meet your guide. You might see someone, or you might not. If you don’t, there are other ways to learn things about your guide. This space is decorated for you by your guide with all of their favorite things. There will be food prepared for you in the kitchen. What food awaits you? Are you in a huge, modern kitchen or is it a simple room like one found in an old farmhouse? There’s a tray of prepared with something to drink. Is it coffee? Iced Tea? Wine? The tray moves into the living room. What period is the furniture from? Do you recognize it from your grandparents’ house or does it look like something from a magazine or a history book? These are things to take note of. Your guide might not appear. Walk around the room. Look at the artwork and the things on the table. These are 

the clues your guide is leaving for you so that you’ll know more about them. Is there something there with the guide’s name on it—like a book or a letter? Don’t be shy. You have been invited here to look at everything without reservation. The phone may ring. Answer it. This might be how your subconscious feels safe speaking to your guide. Turn on the television or open a book. This might show you a picture of your guide or might be a clue as to when or where they or from or how you knew them in a past life. Let your imagination go. Try not to edit the images as they appear. You are perfectly safe here. Your guide wants you to know who they are and how you can communicate with them. Take in as much information as you can. Before you’re ready to leave, ask your guide how you know they’re around. Listen for a word, a sound or a song. Look for an image. Or perhaps you’ll smell something like vanilla or flowers. If you agree, these will appear at random in your waking life when your guide is trying to get your attention. Return to the elevator and the base of the statue. Walk back through the park to the place that you left the numbers. See the number one, then the number two all the way back to the number ten. It’s waking up time, wiggle your fingers and wiggle your toes and return to the room that you left.

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Fox, by Jenny Ambrose

Frog, by Jenny Ambrose

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Deer, by Jenny Ambrose

All of the animals she was listing (and more I hadn’t even been able to pay attention to) had come forth to show up for me. Turns out as much as I love animals in this world here, animals love me across worlds over there. I had about 20 different animals whose energy showed up, and of course went home to research what it meant to be their different energies be a part of who you are.

I’ve felt a deep connection with animals for as long as I can remember.

What I read was like looking into ancestral lineages. It was so incredible to read what the various animals and their medicines had resonated with the variety of my life’ experiences. The craziest part to me was that it felt like RECOGNITION with who they were and in what context they formed in my life.

My first word? My cats name. My dream of owning an animal sanctuary- perpetual. I actually got kicked out of a movie theater (during my first sleep over, no less), over the injustice of Disney’s The Fox and The HoundI was 4. I’m 35 and it’s still too torturous to watch.

When it became really clear that these beautiful aspects of me and my experience were so present, I knew I wanted to express it in art in some way.

As I got older and life included allowance, I saved up every thing I could to sponsor endangered species. I had a humpback whale, a tiger, a mustang, and a wolf. It still brings me joy to this day that I used my hard earned money towards helping animals.

Having always been creative, it feels like a natural next step to translate the emotions and the experience into a visual or experiential way. Illustrating some of my animal / spirit totems in their habitat felt like the perfect way to encapsulate how much they’ve brought to my life.

A few years ago, my husband got me an incredible gift of a spiritual reading with a shaman that takes you on a guided meditation on a crystal throne of selenium. It was an incredible experience! As I drifted in and out of listening to her, the thing I could hear the most were her listing out all of these animals. At the time I’d figured “Oh these must be her guides that she calls upon to help her in the journey” and dipped back and forth in listening and zoning out into oblivion.

I call them animal /spirit totems because it’s more of an archetypal representation than a literal one. They feel like emotional pillars I visit to recharge in a particular way with their specific medicine.

I immediately responded “YES! Are those all of your guides?”

I’ll be creating more and more, and even some that aren’t mine specifically but are for others’. I love celebrating the spirit of the animal in a way that brings joy and delight to the viewer (regardless of their spiritual interests). Any reason to love and coo over adorable animals is good enough for me.

“NO! Those are all of YOUR guides!”

 ~ Jenny Ambrose

When we were finished- she was overwhelmed and sweaty as she was grasping to tell me her experience. “Did you hear how many ANIMALS I SAW?”



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Bluejay, by Jenny Ambrose

Horse, by Jenny Ambrose

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Jenny Ambrose is an award winning designer running an award winning design science & strategy studio, Purée Fantastico. Having worked with large Fortune 500 brands like Old Navy, HSN, POPSUGAR, ELLE, American Greetings, Alaskan Airlines, 3M, Walgreens, Reuters, and more across the last 12 years, Jenny understands the vast needs across the widest number of moving parts. Part scientist, part artist, all powerhouse, Jenny knows how to sync with her client’s deepest voice and concerns and communicate the solutions as if they’d always been present (because they are!). She is currently working to launch a 10 year strong personal project: an interactive experience using the films of Stanley Kubrick as a model to show how semiotics create design messaging- and how our society notices (or doesn’t notice). It’s a blend of anthropology, design, philosophy, geometry, and film making. Whether it’s creative direction, design, illustration, copywriting, strategic problem solving or thorough research and analysis, it can be trusted that Jenny can handle it with grace, tireless expertise, and unstoppable enthusiasm.



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For That Next Cup of Tea Book Reviews with Lilyana Shadowlyn Photo by Andres Iga on Unsplash

Liliyana Shadowlyn discovered her love of reading at a young age and pursued it by minoring in literature when she went to college. She has learned to embrace what she loves, including reading, renaissance festivals, costumes, and spending time with her husband, friends, and family. You can usually find her curled up with a book and a cup of tea. You can find more of her reviews at www.thefaeriereview.com.

Non-Fiction: Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham Rating: 4 out of 5 fairies Review: Full disclosure: I am not a wiccan, however when I was first exploring Paganism, I was interested in Wicca. I am in various groups on Facebook, and without fail, this book is the most recommended for those just starting out in Wicca, which is why I chose it. This book is best used like you would use a regular reference book - reading only the sections that you are interested in and skipping the rest. I would have given this five fairies, however I’m unsure how reliable the ‘resources’ are, as the book was originally published in 1988. I wish 28 

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the publishers had updated the resource list, so that it would actually be helpful to readers. Other than that, I have no serious complaint about this book. There are three main sections, the first two are broken down into a total of thirteen chapters, followed by the book of shadows that comprises the entirety of section three. I found section one (theory) could be further broken down into strictly beginners (chapters 1-3), ritual practices (chapters 5-7), and spiritually important information (chapters 8-10). Chapters 1-3 cover what wicca is, what it draws from, the deities involved in Wicca, what magic is, and the various ways in which it can be practiced. 5-7 focus on tools for rituals, the rituals themselves and how to prepare for them, and the circle and altar used when casting magic. Chapters 8-10 which close out section one cover things such as the days of power (moon phases, sabbats, and esabbats), what happens after death, and whether or


not one needs to be initiated by a coven to be a practicing Wiccan. Section two (practice) is shorter but holds information that would be more interesting to someone a little more experienced when it comes to Wicca but wishes to learn more. There are recommended exercises to familiarize yourself with your magic, including meditation, guided breathing, and visualization in chapter eleven. I found chapter twelve to be the most interesting (personally), as it regarded the act of dedicating oneself to your chosen deities. Closing out the section, chapter thirteen is a brief guide on designing your own rituals. The final section, the book of shadows, I found interesting for various reasons. There is brief information on the seasonal celebrations, various rituals, herbs, crystal magic, and a few spells. The parts I personally found most useful were the recipes (great for celebrating the change in seasons), and the signs and symbols. I’ve found that out of the things that are most misunderstood, the signs and symbols Wiccans use are often misconstrued, and it’s important information for anyone to have. Overall, this is a decent reference book, and is excellent for a beginner, despite not having a list of up-to-date resources. Buy it: https://amzn.to/2OerRKt  

Fiction: Storm Front: Book 1 of the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies Review: I’ll start with a plea. If you have seen the TV series, please don’t judge this book by that. It may sound cliché, but the book really is better than the adaptation. Magic in the modern world? Demons, fairies, wizards, magical creatures running around Chicago? What would happen? Would we even know? Well as far as Harry Dresden is concerned, hiding the fact that he’s a wizard is the least of his worries. In fact, he prefers to be out in the open, as a magical private investigator to the non-magical. An excellent story of magic and the fantastic, Butcher makes his tale come alive within the pages of this book. Harry may have magical talents, but that doesn’t make him immune to everyday problems, like paying the rent. It’s the jobs he takes to pay the rent that thrust him into trouble. This book is a great introduction to an amazing series, and while each book can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend starting with this book. There are laughs, and moments when you’ll hold your breath. Buy it: https://amzn.to/2KqqhCW  



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The  Treasure   Cave    by Georgina Wolf

Photo by Robin Patterson

Georgina Wolf has been a practicing Witch for as long as she can remember. She recognized at an early age that she had an ability to heal and work with ‘unseen’ energies. She is a qualified Homeopath, Bach Flower Practitioner, and Spiritual Adviser. She describes herself as an eclectic practitioner specializing in empowering the individual. Georgina has a passion and talent for guiding others as they discover their paths, which is her inspiration behind the FB page she founded. She not only manages her page but is highly active and supportive in her community . . . if you can’t find her Witching in her study, she will be interviewing for The Starlit Path Magazine, or in her sacred space dedicating her work. Come join the discussion on FB at World Soul Witchery - Natural Magick, Pagan, Spiritual, Alchemy & Sorcery.

Interview with Lavina La Faye

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oodness me, I feel so fortunate. I had the golden opportunity to meet a beautiful lady, whom I can only describe as ‘The Magical Jewelry Maker.’ I know many makers of jewelry but none quite so profound as Lavina La Faye. She literally crafts everything from hand. All her crystals are not only sourced from credible places but Magickally put together. Lavina rushes nothing. She channels energy from Mother Nature and other deities. Her work speaks for itself. As if that wasn’t enough, Lavina makes incredible smudge sticks and bespoke oils too. I was so blown away by her craft. I literally wanted all her items.

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I hope you enjoy my interview with this incredible, and very modest lady . . . Georgina: Hello Lavina, lovely to meet you. Would you tell us a little about yourself? Lavina: Hi nice to meet you as well. I was born in Tucson Az , I’m a 38 year old Witch. My real name is Vivian although everyone knows me by my Witch name Lavina La Faye. I’m the owner and sole metalsmith of Crimson Rainbow Jewelry. I’ve been married 4 years, I have 3 kids, a Grandson, and 5 brothers and sisters. My oldest sister, Gracie

Lavina Le Faye


Lavina’s Sage sticks

is a practicing Witch also. Together we started a coven called Gaia’s Daughters. We have 7 Eclectic Witches in our coven to date. I have been a practicing Eclectic Witch for 11 years now. I began working with crystal healing for around 4 years. I’m also a reiki Master and a Certified Crystal Healer. I wanted to combine my love of Crystals and healing with my Witchery skills and so decided to teach myself how to silversmith. This worked so well I decided to get a jewelry license and open an on-line store. Crimson Rainbow Jewelry started as a hobby, and soon grew into a full-time job that I love! My mission is to educate and reconnect the world to the ancient wisdom and healing properties of stones and crystals. Crimson Rainbow is a conscious lifestyle brand providing tools of empowerment, inspiration and hope. Each piece Lavina’s Sage sticks

combines with love and light. Georgina: Wow, that’s amazing. I’ve got to admit I’ve had a look at some of your Jewelery, it’s absolutely incredible. I’m totally in love with the Sea Goddess Ring, an early birthday present I think. Lavina: My jewelry is inspired by Witchcraft and Magick. Each item is hand made from Fine Silver (999), Sterling Silver (925) or a coupling of them both. I have been known to use copper on occasions too. I use high quality natural stones and crystals. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, and each aspect is made by my own hands. No production lines found here! I hand pick, and sometimes cut, each stone myself, using only those Crystals and Stones which are authentic and of the highest quality. My Jewelry is an expression of the self. Each piece is handmade here in Tucson, Arizona. I make bespoke items to order so that 

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Lavina’s “Ring

each Piece is one-of-a-kind. All my designs are inspired by Witchcraft, Nature, Earth and our Universe. The jewelry is usually a statement and not for those who want to blend in, but rather for those who want to stand out and are not afraid of big and bold jewelry. My goal is to make unique jewelry that is affordable yet maintains a high level of quality. Georgina: I’m buying the Sea Goddess Ring! I’ve made my mind up. I do have large old knuckles. Might you be able to change the ring size if it’s too small? Lavina: Yes of course, just send me your details, I can make every item to suits and fit you. Just give me your measurements. Georgina: Wow, I’m so excited, thank you! You clearly have such amazing talents is there anything else you craft? Lavina: Thank you. Yes, I do make oils and sage sticks along with my jewelry and, of course, I sell crystals.

craft. It doesn’t feel like a job, and I’m very excited for the future. Each year I grow more and more, my knowledge develops and my craftsmanship of jewelry making gets better and better. Georgina: How long have you been working practicing your artisan skills? Lavina: I’ve been crafting my jewelry, sage sticks, and oils for at least four years now. Georgina: What kind of Oils do you make? Are they Magickal? Lavina: Yes, very magical. I make most of them only on the witching hour and the full moon. Some on other moon phases all depending on astrology. I make so many different kinds of oils. Anything from Goddess Oils, Oils used for Spell Work, Chakra Oils, Spell casting, Invoking the Gods and Goddess’, Energy Aligning and so much more. I make the oils that I feel I need to make which can often transpire from a dream or meditation. Georgina: Goodness, you literally make Oils for every occasion. I love that.

I make most of them only on the witching hour and the full moon. Some on other moon phases all depending on astrology.

I have always been interested in doing anything witchy and spiritual. I particularly enjoy energy work with the healing and cleansing aspects. I love my 32 

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Could you tell us a little about your Sage Craft? Lavina: Yes, of course. My beautiful Native American friend grows it for me in San Diego, California. The use of Sage is for healing and cleansing. The smoke is used to bless, cleanse and heal the person or object being smudged. Sage is used to ‘wash off’ the outside world when one enters ceremony or other sacred space. Objects are likewise washed off with Sage medicine smoke to rid them of unwanted influences. There are many plants that are called Sage, Sage can come from very different families for example Garden Sage, Pineapple Sage, Russian Sage, Purple Sage, Golden sage and Berggarten sage. I use White Sage in my Smudge Sticks. Some have lavender or rosemary, and some have rose, and others maybe sunflower, or other flowers. No two sticks are alike. Each Smudge Stick measures approximately 8” tall and comes with a prayer for smudging. Georgina: They sound absolutely beautiful. I know you said the Sage Sticks are used for healing and cleansing. Could you explain what I might do with one? Lavina: Yes, there are so many uses. So, you can burn a Sage Stick when you want to cleanse the energy in your space, when you move into a new living space, when you begin a new job, start your own business, or you are starting

on a new project, before and after a guest enters your home, before and after a yoga or healing session, when the seasons change, during a New or Full Moon, before a meditation, and of course, you can cleanse yourself and others. ‘Limpias’—Limpias is a Spanish word for Cleaning. You can contact Lavina La Faye on instagram (Lavina.la.faye) On Facebook: Crimson Rainbow Jewelry, on her website: Crimsonrainbowjewelry.com or email her at Crimsonrainbowjewelry@yahoo.com

Lavina’s Sage sticks



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On the Wings of a Hawk by Heather Holmes

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conduct, so we all tagged along for a nice day out. Our favorite bookstore, restaurant and park were all on the agenda along with his meetings. When it was time to head back home to Cambridge, Jim found that he was just too tired to drive, so I drove. I don’t normally drive, I like being a passenger too much, so Jim does the bulk of the driving for our family. I felt fine, so I happily stepped in when he needed me too. About halfway home, with a good 45-minute drive still to go, I started to feel tired myself. I asked the Universe to help me “I’m starting to get tired. My family needs to get home safely. I need help. Can you help me to get my family home safely.” I honestly wasn’t 100% sure if anything was going to come from it, but I asked anyway. I am a firm believer in the ‘you never know unless you ask’ theory of life. Not too long after I asked the Universe for help, I saw a large hawk swoop down out of the sky to the south of us and fly over the top of our minivan. I noticed it just before it got to the van and pointed it out to Jim and the kids. The kids were amazed at how close to us the hawk had gotten. I was amazed at how seeing it made me feel. As the hawk passed over the vehicle and back up into the sky, I suddenly had a surge in energy and felt as if I were sitting on a

Photo by James Padolsey on Unsplash

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here are many different forms of divination, or attempting to gain insight into a situation or answer a question. Many people connect to the occult, the spirit world or engage in a ritual of some kind. One form of divination that people tend to not even think about as divination is that of merely asking for help. In a lot of religions it is referred to as praying and in others as asking the divine for guidance It is something that I find a lot of people do, even those who may not be overly spiritual, yet they may not always recognize it for what it is. In my experience, most of the time when you ask for help or guidance, the answer is given to you but not alway recognized for what it is . . . the answer from the Divine, from God or from their own Spirit Guides. The one thing to remember is that the first answer you get . . . the first thought that comes to you after you ask for help or guidance . . . is the answer you need. The second thought is your rational mind stepping in and trying to make sense of it all. The trick is to train yourself to focus on the first thought and not allow your rational mind to take over. One night, a few years ago, the family and I were out in Durham Region on a day trip, about 90 minutes from home. My husband, Jim, had some business to


every time I see one, and I can pick them out even when they are trying to hide. They are powerful spirit messengers, can be quite elusive to find, and are beautiful to watch. So the next time you see a hawk, keep their message in mind Hawk (guiding vision) Spirit vision and guardianship surround you. Be patient and observe. You will see the opportunities. Signs are clear. You never know just when you are going to need extra help or guidance, nor where exactly it will come from. Keep an open mind, an open heart, and know that there is always someone waiting to help you along your way. You never know unless you ask and the worst thing that can happen is they’ll say no. I asked and got the best help I could have hoped for . . . safe passage home for my family.

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cloud of air. It was as if there were an air cushion beneath me, between me and the driver’s seat. I couldn’t even feel the leather seat beneath me. My fatigue lifted. I was more attentive to my driving and felt as if I had just had a three hour nap. I wasn’t sure what had happened just then, but I didn’t question it. I sent up a silent “Thank you” to the Universe and took us all home. Jim was floored at the difference between the driver I had been before the hawk flew over and the one I was afterwards. To be honest, so was I. I was happy, chatty, alert with not an inkling of fatigue. That feeling of wellrested euphoria lasted all the way home. I pulled into our driveway, put the minivan into park and turned off the ignition. I remember thinking “Phew. Thank goodness we made it home safely.” That was when the euphoria lifted and I was suddenly so tired I felt as if I could sleep for a week. The fatigue that I had felt starting to hit me on the highway returned with a vengeance. I knew what had happened. Spirit stepped in and helped me get my family home safely. I firmly believe that. It was an unbelievable experience for me and one that I am not sure will ever be repeated, but the lessons learned that day will be with me forever. The most notable part of this was that it was a hawk that swooped down—literally— to save the day. Hawk is my totem animal. It’s nice to know that they are always watching out for me. It warms my heart



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Heather is a Medium who has been working with Spirit for over 25 years. Utilizing Oracle and Tarot cards, tea leaf reading, a crystal ball, runes and many other forms of divination she helps her clients find the closure, answers and clarity they seek. Spirit has led Heather to a leadership and teaching role. She conducts a weekly Spiritual Development Circle in Oshawa, ON, helping others to find their spiritual path. She enjoys writing about her experiences and talking Spirit…it feeds her soul!

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So Be It by Mackenzie Clench

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y dear reader, if the following collection of hieroglyphics seem to you to be the senseless wanderings of a tragically disordered mind, then I must beg your indulgence and forgiveness. This missive represents my first (and one hopes not my only) contribution to this august publication, and the distinct combination of excitement and creative tension that accompanies all my forays into the composition of “belles lettres” threaten to unseat my reason. “Steady on Mackenzie, 750 gleaming words of discursive prose is entirely within your capabilities, as long as you don’t waste time at the beginning talking to yourself.” Quite. Let us return to the gravamen of my text shall we? Would you be so groovy as to indulge me in a small experiment? I promise it will take but a moment, and I think it will provide some rather interesting insights. Ready? I’d like to you to try to breathe. Yes, I’m serious. I’d like you to make a conscious attempt to breathe. You’re thinking I’ve gone mad now. (On that diagnosis, you are . . . a touch late it must be said.) “I don’t have to TRY and breathe,” you say incredulously, and perhaps a little pityingly. “I just . . . do it naturally.” You’re correct of course, perspicacious human-flavored bright sparks that you are. You don’t have to consciously breathe. It’s a natural, autonomic process that simply . . . happens. 36 

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When you try to do so, it accomplishes little, except to throw off your body’s natural rhythm. We can speed up and slow down our breathing as required, but again, this usually only serves to throw off our natural rhythms. The human body itself contains a wisdom far beyond our own, and it’s much better at managing the countless processes and functions that keep us moving than we could ever be. If we exert ourselves, the body increases the depth of our breathing and the speed of our hearts to ensure that sufficient oxygen and blood get to the areas that need them most. When we relax, the opposite happens. It all happens, for the most part, outside our conscious control. Imagine if we were in charge of all those functions. Could you imagine how we’d manage if we had to remember to breathe, or to make our hearts pump blood? Most of us can’t remember our email passwords, much less the need to breathe and pump blood every few seconds. A species built along those lines would be something of an evolutionary cul-de-sac methinks. This experiment shows quite vividly how we inherently trust the rhythm of our bodies, whether we realize it or not. When we question that trust, when we attempt to force a different rhythm, the result is usually less than ideal. With all that in mind, let me now ask you a question: What if you just relaxed and trusted the rhythm, not just of your body, but of the Universe itself? What if, instead of TRYING to be more


Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

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I sometimes wonder if Master Yoda, for contented, more attractive or more whatever all his Force-inspired wisdom, had it only it is you want . . . what if you just allowed partly right when he opined, “Do, or do not. yourself to “be” those things? There is no try.” Maybe it should be, “Be, or Now I don’t mean you should stop be not. There is no try.” Alternatively, perhaps working toward your dreams and goals. Shakespeare wasn’t referring to the ending Those are noble pursuits and deserve your of one’s life when he had Hamlet ponder, attention and your continued efforts. “To be, or not to be. That is the question . . .” I’m talking about the intangibles, the We may never know. feelings we all want so badly and work our In any event, through the process of butts off to achieve. (I’ll never understand meditation, we allow ourselves to trust in that expression.) the rhythm (not to mention the wisdom) of If we’re constantly TRYING to feel our own bodies, and more importantly, of happier, more confident, more whole, we may actually be blocking those feelings from the Universe itself. For a few precious moments, we manifesting themselves. stop trying. It sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it? In those few moments, we can Logic suggests that the more you try to simply . . . be. accomplish something, the greater the chances that at least one of those attempts  will succeed. However, it may be that the E AUTHOR H T constant striving toward certain goals may T U have the opposite effect—like trying O to breathe. Mackenzie is a freelance copywriter, creative mentor, author, empath and Think of it this way: It’s ten-cent philosopher with an obsession the equivalent of asking for books and words that borders on the endless questions, but never pathological. He’s also a classic movie stopping long enough to hear fan and foodie who can spend more time in a Bed, Bath and Beyond than is the answers. entirely healthy for a human of his age After much thought on this and fighting weight. For more information, subject, I’ve come to believe check out Mackenzie’s website that meditation is, in its purest (mackenzieclench.com) where his essays form, a method of relinquishing and other literary detritus may be found. Like any good writer, he can always be this need to try. It’s a method found among the words. Mackenzie is not for trusting in the rhythm of Batman, but wishes he was. Be gentle. the Universe. We simply allow, even if only for a brief time. We just . . . be. 

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Walking With the    Goddess   by Setjataset

Photo by Terry Richmond on Unsplash

Setjataset is a regular writer on Kemetic, Hellenic, Wiccan and occult subjects and has been featured in several books and magazines internationally. She edited her first book, Sekhmet Daughter of the Sun: A Devotional Anthology in Honor of Sekhmet in 2015. Arch Priestess Hierophant in the Fellowship Of Isis (Lyceum of Heka), Hereditary Folk/Hermetic Witch, Initiated Wiccan Priestess, Reiki/Seichim/Sekhem Master, Tarot Councillor (ATA) who has worked professionally as a reader, healer, purveyor of magickal items and teacher of workshops in various metaphysical and occult subjects. For more information go to her blog: https://setjataset.wordpress.com/

How to Create a Shrine to Your Patron

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n my previous article, Walking with the Goddess (Issue 2, Summer 2018), I discussed how Hekate became my patron and in this issue I would like to discuss how to set up a shrine to your own patron. What is a shrine and why create one? A shrine is a sacred space which is dedicated in honor of a specific God or Goddess where you can venerate them with respectful worship. How do you create a shrine? The starting point of creating a shrine is figuring out where you want to have your shrine. Will it be in a secluded area or in public view? Will it be outside or inside your home? Will it be on the ground or in a specifically housed structure? The next thing to take into consideration is the shape the shrine will take. Will the shrine be on a table, on a shelf, or in a cupboard?

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Once the above points have been sorted, the focal point will be the image placed on the shrine to represent your patron. This can be in the form of a statue, picture or purely symbolic, which can take the shape of an object which to you, symbolizes your patron. Lastly are the items placed on your shrine. These items are what you will use in conjunction with honoring your patron. As a basic starter, using things which represent the basic elements used in magick are a great starting point. They are: Earth, Air, Fire and Water (Spirit is symbolized by the image of your patron). How do you set up a shrine? An easy way to set up a shrine is through a basic ritual. A ritual is a ceremony in which a number of actions are enacted in a set of ordered steps. The steps are broken down into the following:


something up to your patron or something you sacrifice (something tangible and of effort) to that patron. Ending: Close the sacred space. This can be done by winding up the circle (close), re-jumping the hedge, closing the temple room, and farewelling and banishing energies summoned. Here I have created a simple ritual of setting up a shrine you can use and adapt for your own patron:

Creating a Shrine for Your Patron Items Needed: • 1 black candle • 1 red candle • 1 white candle • 1 lighter/1 box of matches • 1 glass of water (preferably purified) • Salt • Incense (stick or charcoal blocks with loose resin) • Olive oil or similar* • Offering of choice (if its not tangible write it down on a piece of paper) • Prayer/Hymn/Poem



Fall 2018   The Starlit Path Magazine 

Photo by Artem Bali on Unsplash

Intent: You have to know and have a clear vision of what your ritual is going to be about and therefore what your intent is (i.e. what you want the outcome to be). Place: You need to hold your ritual somewhere e.g. temple room, backyard, park etc. as you need a place to work. Banish: Banish all previous energies to make the area neutral. You also need to banish all the negative energies within yourself to properly prepare you for ritual. If this isn’t done the energies can affect you in a negative way. This can be done through clearing and cleansing the sacred space and yourself. Sacred Space: Make the space sacred. This can be done by jumping the hedge, circle casting, or opening the temple room in a ritualistic fashion. Summon the energies which are appropriate, focus it, and call in assistance and blessings. Magick: Create magick, however it might look—spells, heka, chanting as it’s asking for something from your Patron. Offerings: In order for the creation of magick to manifest we need to either offer (given freely and without reservation)

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Photo by Tamara Menzi on Unsplash

Preparation: Clean the working space and neutralize energies. This can be done by sweeping the space with a broom, clearing the space with thrown barley, the smoke of bay leaves or sage, or with holy water like Florida water or khernips. Ensure alter is set up with items needed. Anoint the candles with the olive oil or *essential oil dedicated to that patron. Create Sacred Space In any manner you are accustomed to. This can be done by casting circle, opening the shrine or setting your magickal intent by sending it out to the universe in spoken word. Magickal Working Light the white candle and as a sign of devotion, give your patron an offering. Light the red candle and evoke your patron by reciting a prayer, hymn or poem written for them. This can be written by you or another. Light the black candle and set the intention of creating the shrine in honor of your patron. This can be done by saying the following: “I (your name) son/daughter of (your mother’s name) hereby create this dedicated shrine in the name of (your patron), In Her/His name – may it be blessed and work in the highest ideals of all, including me, so mote it be”. 40 

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Light the incense and mix the salt with the glass of water. Take the image of your patron and pass it through the smoke of the incense. Next take the salty water and sprinkle it on the image of your patron. Lastly take the image of your patron and pass it over the flame of the red candle, ensuring it doesn’t pass through the flame and catch fire. Speak to your patron in your own words. Tell them that you are dedicating a shrine to their service and let them know what you can offer as their devotee. Remember to be clear and concise with your words. Close Sacred Space In any manner you are accustomed to, similar to creating sacred space. This can be done by closing the circle, closing the shrine, or setting your magickal intent by sending it out to the universe in spoken word. Ritual complete. Now you have a shrine you can use to commune with your patron, leave offerings and perform rituals and other magickal acts in their name, whenever you desire. In her name, Setjataset


If you haven't already done so, please subscribe! We send two short newsletters each month that include updates, side articles, and extra information. Each subscriber also gets a Mandala every month to print out and color or paint. Subscriptions are FREE! Join us! https://www.subscribepage.com/ free.mandala



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The Universal Law of Authenticity by Rosemary McCarthy

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his second Universal Law, The Law of Authenticity, follows the Law of Openness because our heart has to first be open to universal flow for us to feel joy, inner-peace, connect to what will truly make us happy, and become our Best Self. To embrace the Law of Authenticity we must come from an honest place within our self—from our heart-space—in touch with our soul—our True Self. To be truly authentic our heart must be fully open: we must be in touch with that honest place within our self. Our hearts are often somewhat open and we may feel moments of joy, sometimes connect to what makes us happy, and have inklings of what our Best Self looks like. At the same time, we may have a vague sense that we are not in touch with the part of our self that inspires us to become all that we can be. We are not fully in touch with our True Self—the core of who we are—our essence—our authentic self. We may have unknowingly erected barriers that weaken our confidence, influence our thought-processes, block inspiration, and stifle our creativity. Harsh reactions cut off the connection. Buried emotions blur it. When truly in touch with our essence— our authentic self—and connected to our True Self we feel assured and are confident in our value and strengths. We feel inspired. We act on our inspirations. We use our strengths to bring them to fruition. 42 

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We go after what we want. We view others and the world from a clear, unbiased framework without the need to blame or judge. From this clarity we can bring forth all that we were meant to be. We do not need to puff ourselves up, yield to popular attitudes or beliefs, or succumb to pressure from others. Our True Self is continuously expressing to us in ways that guide us to become our Best Self. But we must hear it. We cannot hear what it is attempting to convey if unconscious influences run our lives. If we live in fear, are in denial of truths about our self, or hold strong to outdated beliefs or ideals. Our unconscious influences are ruled by our created Self. Negative reactionary attitudes and/or behaviors may have emerged as a result of unhealed emotional wounds. We may have adopted defense mechanisms to protect who we feel we need to be. Unmet emotions may have created neediness in us. We believe that these ways of dealing with life are true expressions of who we are—that we are being authentic when we feel and express in these ways. But we are not being truly authentic. We are not connected to our pure essence. Yes, at this moment in time this is how we feel. But our feelings and the urges to react in negative and disharmonious ways are coming from a tainted perception, not from who we are at our core. Negatively charged reactions and defense mechanisms are automatic. Erratic.


Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Highly emotional. They come from unaddressed hurts or issues. They may show themselves as anger, control, impatience, or defensiveness, etc. They are often loud and forceful. Or, they may show up as passiveaggressiveness, which appears subtler but holds an internal emotional component that will eventually rear its ugly head and cause disharmony. These emotionally charged ways of reacting block the connection to our True Self. Neediness causes us to emotionally attach our desires, expectations, and happiness onto others, bypassing the connection to our strength—our essence— our True Self. Our True Self is subtle. Unemotional. Quiet. It conveys harmony. It speaks through our heart. To truly come from an authentic place within our self we have to be able to connect to our heart-space— where these subtler parts of us abide. To honestly be in touch with and acknowledge our feelings (hurts and fears), desires, and motivations—calmly. And to be authentic with others we have to express from an open and clear heart. Void of any created barriers or neediness. Being authentic means that we are able to: • Be in tune with what we want out of life—but also why. (Not necessarily the details but the general idea and how this would make us feel); • See ourselves clearly—who we are being, what we are doing, and why;

• Able to recognize, look at, and address when we fall into negativity—be it succumbing to anger, aggressiveness, neediness, deep set fears, revenge, passive aggressiveness, or any other negative pattern that causes us or those around us angst. Forgive our self; • Acknowledge and accept the fact that it may have been our past attitudes, behaviors, or actions that caused us stress or grief—not the behaviors of others. Forgive our self; • Be honest with our self about any past attitudes or behaviors that hurt others. Forgive our self; • Acknowledge our errors or bad choices, while at the same time forgive our self. We are all only ever doing our best within our current awareness. Forgiving our self also helps us to forgive others; • Express our hurts and our needs honestly—even if the words are not eloquently formed; • Know when to let go of old habits or outdated beliefs or ideals that are no longer serving our highest good, or that of those around us; • Spend a day, a week, or even longer alone because we are comfortable with our self and accepting of who we are; • Not be overly discouraged by failure as we know something else will come about. Becoming authentic and getting 

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Rosemary McCarthy© August 3, 2018.

TH O U EA

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H TRosemary McCarthy became interested in spirituality and self-

help over 20 years ago, and recently felt inspired to write about her findings. Her book Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science is the result of much study and reflection, and of partaking in many spiritual practices. Rosemary says that new ideas and stories are always rumbling around her head. She is in the process of putting together a new series of 8 small books, with different themes, but all based on and expansions of the concepts in Journey …, with the first 3 becoming available this fall. Another non-fiction in the works is also an expansion of Journey … entitled, “Your Journey to Peace Is Connected to My Journey to Peace, which Is Connected to the World’s Journey to Peace”© and will be out mid-next year. Rosemary is also working on a novel: an uplifting work of fiction called “Kelowna”© (set in the beautiful Kelowna area of British Columbia, Canada. Rosemary live in Montreal, has 3 grown sons and 2 grandchildren. Website: https://yourjourneytopeace.com/ Book Synopsis (e-book just reduced 40%): https:// yourjourneytopeace.com/book-synopsis/ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YourJourneytoPeace. RosemaryMcCarthy/ Free Monthly Publication: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/ home/?u=30134c54114b81c15aa610443&id=34fde14eb7

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Photo by Darius Bashar on Unsplash

acquainted with our essence—our True Self brings us joy, peace within our self, harmony with others, and gives us a clearer vision of our future. Being authentic is to live and speak from the heart. Without inner fears, unconscious influences, or any neediness, our heartspace is open and we are able to feel confident and express honestly to others. As we start to peel away the layers between our created Self and our True Self our authentic self starts to shine through. We are embracing the Laws of Openness and Authenticity. Next issue I will discuss the very wellknown, sometimes controversial, and often misunderstood Law of Attraction.


v⁠i⁠c⁠t⁠r⁠i⁠x⁠ ⁠o⁠r⁠a⁠c⁠l⁠e

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”

Aside from psychic readings and mediumship sessions channeling guides, spirits and loved ones, I also offer: ~ 3rd eye balancing/activations ~ Chakra readings, clearings and aligning ~ Aura readings and clearing ~ Cord Cutting (I can show you the ways) ~ The secrets of MANIFESTATION ~ Navigating Planetary Retrogrades (especially Mercury) ~ Intuitive Reiki Messages

George Eliot

victrixoracle.com facebook.com/ victrix.mtl



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Three  Card   Reveal

by Madam Tealeaf

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Photo by Robin Patterson

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3

What do our readers need to know for the Summer? Images from The Witches Tarot by Ellen Dugan. Illustrations by Mark Evans © 2012 by Ellen Dugan and Mark Evans. Used by permission from Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd., www.Llewellyn.com.

Card  #1 :

The 5 of Swords:

If you chose this card, it’s a matter of getting things back into balance and getting all of your ducks in a row before making any final decisions. Try to sore up those decisions and try not to become distracted by the new and the shiny. Stop jumping from flower to flower like the butterfly in the picture.

Card  #2 :

The Ace of Swords:

If you chose this card, this is your time for clarity of thought, clarity of mind. Decisions are going to be easier if you let your logical side have more sway than your emotional side. Plans, pros and cons lists, goals should be committed to paper, even if they are for your eyes only. It will help make everything more concrete.

Card  #3 :

The King of Cups:

This card is an emotional card, but this is someone who has mastered his emotions. Don’t let your emotions rule you. Use your emotions as fuel to drive you forward. Remember that Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther King Junior, and Mahatma Gandhi were all very angry people, but they used their anger as a way to drive change.

Looking at these three cards together, I would say that this season is about finalizing plans, making decisions and looking at your heart’s desire and turning those dreams into something practical.

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Devil Hand 6   by Joachim Heijndermans

expecting it to be filled with old batteries or knickWhat’s in the case?” asked officer Lester, his patience with the two stowaways sitting before him knacks. All the greater his surprise when he finally running thin, since neither had said more than two looked inside. “What is it?” he asked the two, holding up the red words between them. “I’d suggest one of you speak gauntlet in his hands, inspecting it from all sides. It up. They don’t take kindly to smugglers out here. So was heavy, and the tips of the fingers were shaped I’ll ask again: what’s in the case?” into claws, while on the dorsal of the hand had the “Nuthin’,” muttered the woman. The young boy symbols “V” and “I” engraved on it. Around the beside her rocked back and forth, holding his legs knuckles were even more elaborate symbols, but and averting his eyes from Lester’s inquisitive gaze. Lester didn’t recognize them. Lester looked at the case, the only item the The two bums didn’t talk, giving each other two had on them. The materials used for it, black nervous glances instead. They seemed frightened varnished wood and the elaborate silver handle, of the metal glove in his hands. And to be honest, looked like it cost a fortune to make. These two Lester felt the same, although he had no idea why. In vagabonds, on the other hand, barely had a buck ten years on the job, he’d never seen anything like it. between them and probably hadn’t eaten in days. The metal glove was spooky. He couldn’t explain why How they even got onboard the vessel he felt so uneasy with it. was a mystery on itself. While they weren’t the “I’ll send someone to deal with you two, but I’ll first bums to try and make their way to the Trappist be confiscating this,” he said. When he walked off, colony by sneaking onboard a Helix-8 ship, they the two seemed relieved to no longer be in the same were the first to carry their luggage in style. room as the glove. Lester turned to the boy. “What about you, kid? 3 You wanna tell me what’s in the case?” It was a long walk to the contraband depot. The “Don’t you say nuthin’,” the woman hissed. whole way down, Lester couldn’t shake the feeling “C’mon kid. Tell me what it is, and I might be that something was wrong. Like he was being able to put in a good word for you with customs. If watched by someone. Someone other than the not, you’re looking at twenty years in the Supermax thousand cameras on the ship. He still couldn’t shake facility, if the Captain doesn’t jettison you two into that uncomfortable feeling, even as he increased his space first. Your choice.” pace. Once there, standing before the re-enforced The kid didn’t respond. He just sat there, biting titanium door, Lester fiddled with the key card for his nails and looking at the water cooler, like it was the evidence locker. It was then, just before he could the most interesting thing in the world. He would’t swipe the card, when he heard the voice. even glance at the case. He wasn’t going to talk “Lester.” anytime soon. “What?” he grunted. “All right. Suit yourselves,” Lester sighed, pulling “Where is it, Lester?” out his crowbar. “Last chance,” he said, though He looked around, but there was no-one there. he didn’t expect much from them. And, just as he “Who said that?” figured, no response from either, so he went ahead “You know who, Lester,” the voice whispered. and popped the case with relative ease. He was half 

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Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

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Captain, then fly this vessel into the Haxion tower on the third planet of this system, killing all inside.” Lester laughed. “And how are you gonna do that? You’re just a metal glove.” “You are going to place me over your left hand, then I will take control of you and complete my contract.” “Like hell I will. I’m not putting you on my hand.” “Oh, Lester,” sighed the gauntlet. “You already have.” Lester looked down, expecting to see his hand. Instead, he saw a red clawed gauntlet, clenching his fingers into a fist.

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“Where is the control room?” “What control room?” he asked. “The control room of this vessel.” “Why do you want to know?” Lester asked, despite how weird it felt to be speaking to no-one. “You will take me there, Lester. Take me to the control room.” “Like hell I will,” Lester chuckled. “Who the hell are you? Where are you?” “You will take me to the control room,” the voice hissed. “Who’s talking? Who are you?” “You know who I am, Lester,” said the voice. “You read the words on me. You know my name and number.” Lester looked down at the gauntlet in his hands. It was motionless, yet Lester knew at that moment who was talking to him. “Nah, no frikkin’ way,” he muttered. “Oh, in many frikkin’ ways, Lester. I have looked in your mindscape. You have seen the siege of the arkenrun and the fall of New Illium. Am I really so strange to you?” “What are you?” “I am a weapon, Lester. I am the weapon! I got on board this vessel with the help of Grace and little Takxer, but they could only take me so far. My contract stipulates that I am to dispatch the

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Joachim Heijndermans writes, draws, and paints nearly every waking hour. Originally from the Netherlands, he’s been all over the world, boring people by spouting random trivia about toys, comics and film. A graduate of the Kubert School in New Jersey, he works as a graphic designer and cartoonist. His work has been featured in a number of publications, such as Mad Scientist Journal, Asymmetry Fiction, Metaphorosis, Econoclash Review, the Gallery of Curiosities and Gathering Storm Magazine, and he’s currently in the midst of completing his first children’s book. You can find his work at www.joachimheijndermans.com, or follow him on Twitter: @jheijndermans.


Lea Storry writer.editor.publisher

memoir, ghostwriting and editing sevices ourfamilylines.ca 

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The Story of the Maggie Grace   by Lea Storry

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Photo by Rishi Maniktala on Unsplash

and our mother tied down with seven other ometimes they come on a small puff of sea air, a zephyr, and collect children, Matty went to work to put food on the table so our bellies didn’t scold our on the schooner’s masts. That was parents or growl at each other. when ships were large, and the I cried when Matty left us. I was five only way to get from the old land to the and the baby and Matty had been my third new. Fishermen, and some fisherwomen, watched these thin, almost silk-like, strands parent: picking me up when I fell; teaching me how to tie my laces and showing me woven into a spiral, strike the tall wooden the shortcut to town through the woods. spars and stick fast. The path took us past the fields where These strands are wisps of memories, d’Entremont’s bull grazed on green grass leftover stories from those who have gone and ignored the yellow dandelions in the down with their ships into choppy blue summer sun. Once, on a dare from a friend, waves or simply jumped to their deaths. I hiked up my skirt and climbed the fence The sailor, the owner of the strand, won’t and went into the pasture with the bull. It rest until his story is written down. To went mad with hatred and ran towards me. do this, to set the tale free, you unravel it Head down. Snorting. like a piece of knitting. Like a sock or a I couldn’t move. The blur of the running mitten your grandmother is purling. You tug on the thread until the story is revealed. bull was mesmerizing. Brown and gray were spun together and then hammered It’s a sailor’s yarn. A line whispered on into a fuzzy black line by pounding hooves. each strand. Once it’s released, the story “Stella!” disappears into the air. Its mariner can My dream broke, and I turned and ran finally rest, knowing that his, or her, tale for the fence. has been told. “Give me your hands,” cried Matty, I’ve never worked on the ocean. I heard leaning over the railings for me. about the story strands from Matty, whose I stretched out my arms until they were job was collecting the tales on the Maggie almost out of their sockets. Matty grabbed Grace, a fishing vessel, in 1921. Matty was me and swung me high in the air, twisting the youngest of the seafarers at 17 but the my wrists and grating my knees on the only literate crew member, besides the captain, on the ship out of Yarmouth, Nova rough fence boards as I sailed to safety. The bull hit the wooden planks of the railing, Scotia. Matty wasn’t sent to sea by my parents but by our circumstances. Although tangling his horns in the slats, which held him tight until Farmer d’Entremont set the youngest on the ship, Matty was the him lose. eldest in our family. With our father sick


It wasn’t farming that most men did in our town. It was fishing. Ships always needed crew and my eldest sibling went to get work. Matty didn’t have the broad shoulders and thick neck and arms of a fisherman but was small boned with delicate features. The captain laughed when Matty came looking for a job, Matty’s brown eyes darkening behind spectacles with every chuckle. The captain’s chortling only made Matty more determined to help our family. Poverty was nothing to sneer at, especially when it could mean a death sentence. Matty told the captain that if he didn’t think Matty worked hard enough, that would be the end. The captain relented when he saw Matty was agile and quick: climbing the riggings quicker than any other sailor. Matty could also read and write, a valuable skill. The captain tasked the youngster to pick up the story strands and record the unwritten histories of those who died, to tell the untold stories that drifted on the wind until they hit the vessel and clung to it. Crews have been collecting story strands for years and years and years. They passed down the knowledge and the directions on how to capture the wisps from generation to generation. The stories were kept in a ledger, in the captain’s cabin. Some of the stories are told, over and over again, and became sailor lore. Like the one about the man who heard a mermaid singing. Her sweet, trilling voice inviting him to her home. He jumped into the green, warm Caribbean water to join her. Another tale that lives on is about the fisherman who was swept off his boat in a hurricane that built mountains and steep and deep valleys out of waves. He landed in the Atlantic and was peacefully rocked by her until he went to sleep. Matty said every kind of tale was caught on the timbers of the Maggie Grace. Happy and sad and terrifying stories. No two story strands are the same. Good stories look like spider webs or snowflakes. Dainty, lacy strands. Flashing and glinting under any

sky. Silver in color. Sad stories droop with the tears of regret and left loved ones. They’re blue. Angry and terrible stories are purple, pulsing with violence and so swollen they start blistering. You use a fisherman’s gaff, a pole with a sharp hook, to pierce the center of the soul-sucking story strand, causing it to howl, then shrivel up into itself until there is nothing left. If you touch too many with your bare flesh, they’ll drag you down into the dark depths of insanity and depravation. Other stories lay on the bottom of the sea until a storm raises them to the surface. The stories are not always whole. Some have bits missing from fish bites or a lobster claw cutting through them. Some have been thrown into the wind with only a thread of a tale. But the darker the story, the more it sticks together. Perhaps because all the angry energy helps bind the lines together. These stories the youngest seafarer makes sure not to touch. Matty punctures the maw and lets it wither. That tale will not be written down. No one wants to remember a screaming account of mayhem and lonely pain. One night, near Sable Island, about 300 kilometers off the coast of Halifax, the ocean boiled over and the winds screamed and kicked at the Maggie Grace. The rain turned to sleet and built up a sheet of ice on the schooner’s deck. It was so slick the captain almost slid into the Atlantic chill. The sea bucked and swung the ship side to side, trying to get the Maggie Grace off its back. It was annoyed at the ship’s keel digging into its spine. No matter how hard the water spat at the schooner, it stayed upright, continuing its journey to the Grand Banks to make a living for its sailors and their families. After coming out of the storm, the Maggie Grace’s mast was coated and shimmering with story strands. They had been disturbed by the angry weather and set free to rise through the waters, sending the fish scurrying, until the story shapes reached the air. The wind picked them off the waves and sent them flying, colliding with the masts. The afternoon was calm after this swirling and 

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cold gale. Matty climbed up the slippery rigging, toes gripping the wet ropes tightly, to get the story strands. A purple strand throbbed in the midst of the shimmering gossamer. A bruise on skin. The mariner hit the story strand in its middle with the gaff, watching the bruise disintegrate and slide down the pole until it was a speck of dust. Then tenderly picking up the other story strands with long fingers, Matty climbed down the shaking lines and back to solid footing and went to the cabin where the captain was looking at his charts. “Ah, Matty,” said the captain, rolling up his maps. “Let me make room on the desk for the strands.” When the captain opened a cabinet to stow away the charts, Matty saw a flash of red nestled inside the closet. The captain caught Matty staring and pulled out a frock made out of heavy material. “It’s for my wife,” said the captain. “A surprise for her birthday.” “It’s beautiful, sir,” said Matty. The sailor had never seen something so lovely as the gown. The stitching on the silk was invisible. The neckline, trimmed in fine lace, plunged in the front to a bodice with delicate green flowers embroidered on it. It was fit for a queen. “It cost me a pretty penny, so my wife better like it,” laughed the captain in the same way he had laughed at Matty many months ago. “I picked it up in Halifax on our way out. I just hope it doesn’t smell like cod by the time we return to shore.” Matty nodded. “Get these stories done quickly,” said the captain while waving his hand over the strands, his golden wedding ring catching the light from the luminous threads. “We have nets to fill.” The captain left the cabin and Matty laid the story strands down on the desk, without seeing a second purple blemish underneath all the silver ones. This bruise was a nasty one. When Matty uncovered it, the purple was almost black, and it stank like rotten fish. The smell attacked Matty’s nostrils and as the sailor threw up a hand to ward off the odor, the foul 52 

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strand was knocked to the floor. It spiraled into a tangled mess of dark threads and Matty went to pick it up. The heat coming off it was too intense for touch. Then the story strand began to mould into a shape. It coiled into a ball first, rolled around and then rolled around some more. It wasn’t from the sway of the boat. The ship would lurch one way and the ball would counter and go the other way. The ball spun around on the hardwood a few times and then kneaded itself into a new shape. One with four legs like a dog or a cat. It didn’t stay an animal for long. It churned and shook and grew and lengthened and became something else: the figure of a man with the broad shoulders of a sailor. Matty watched all this happening. Spellbound. Steam rose off the newly formed body. The face was disfigured by rippling waves of heat. Condensation fogged Matty’s glasses and my sibling took them off to wipe them. When Matty put the spectacles back on, there was a man standing in the cabin. A man who was fully clothed in a blue and white naval uniform, topped by a handsome head, hazel eyes, long brown shiny hair, and a scary smile that made Matty step back, hitting the hard cabin wall with a thud. “Hello,” said the stranger. “What ship am I aboard?” The stranger had an air of authority and Matty answered him as if he was a ship’s captain. “The Maggie Grace, sir,” Matty replied. “We’re headed to the Grand Banks for cod.” “Aye,” said the stranger. “How many souls on board?” “Twenty-two men, sir. Sailed from Nova Scotia a week and a half ago.” “Twenty-one men and you,” said the stranger. “Twenty-two men.” “Whatever you say. Thank you for releasing me,” said the stranger while rubbing his wrists. “Who are you?” asked Matty. The stranger lost his strange smile and dismissed Matty with a wave of a hand.


“I’m in no mood for your drivel, swabby,” said the stranger. “I have things to prepare.” The stranger opened the door and walked out. Leaving Matty behind—confused, befuddled. Matty stood in the cabin and wondered what to do. Tell the captain about what happened. That’s it. Matty went to step out in the hallway when the screams of a man took over any rational thoughts. The screams held Matty in an embrace of horror. The screams were screams of panic and pain. Screams that brought nightmares alive. Matty recognized the voice. It was Leblanc, the cook from Meteghan, up the coast from Yarmouth. A nice enough man with a wife and two children. What could he be screaming about? It takes a lot of violence to make a sailor scream like that. Leblanc’s terrible cries stopped, only to be followed by another man’s shouts of terror. It was Aucoin this time. The second man’s screams kicked Matty in the gut. The young sailor had to find out what was happening. Sweat slid from Matty’s forehead, dripping into brown eyes, stinging and blinding them. Matty felt along the walls of the hallway and eventually, to the door of Aucoin’s room, where the man could be heard begging for mercy. Matty found the doorknob and turned it. But the door was locked. My sibling pummeled the door with small fists, splinters sliding into his palms. “Open this door now!” Matty ordered—or tried to, as the voice that came out was a high squeak. Silence from the other side. Not a whimper. Not a whine. No noise at all. Until the door creaked open. Through blurred vision, all Matty could see was the stranger standing over Aucoin, who was lying on the cold floorboards. Matty blinked and they both disappeared. The man and Aucoin. Just then, the schooner turned hard a-starboard, sending Matty flying across the room. The sailor landed in a warm sticky mess. Red and tacky. Smelling of iron. Blood.

It was Matty’s turn to scream. The mariner screamed until losing consciousness. Sitting up with a start, Matty tried to stand, but the sailor slipped in the bloody mess and fell. Matty finally got his footing and ran out into the passageway. No one was there. Matty ran to the top deck. No one was there. Matty ran fore and aft. No one was there. There was no one else on the ship. Not even the stranger. Surely Matty wasn’t the only soul left. Surely there was someone else. One other person. One other fisherman. Then the sole mariner looked port side, where there was another ship sailing about half a nautical mile from the Maggie Grace, far enough away its name couldn’t be read. The other vessel was huge, far larger than the Maggie Grace. The strange ship was old: a galleon with four masts. Those ships don’t sail anymore. Matty had only seen them in illustrations about ocean warfare two hundred years ago. Yet here was a galleon, as plain as day. There was something odd about the vessel. There was no one in the rigging. No one moving about on deck. This vessel was sailing itself. A ghost ship. Like the Maggie Grace was now. The late afternoon light cast long shadows on the deck of the Maggie Grace. Matty shivered in the shade and pulled the collar of a woolen coat closer with stained fingers crusted in dark red. The horror of what was happening sucked all the moisture out of the sailor’s mouth and made Matty’s heart beat like the sails flapping in a morning storm. Matty had no captain for a guide. No one to help get the Maggie Grace to shore. The closest point was Sable Island and it was treacherous to sail there even with a full crew. The remote island was known as a ship’s graveyard and many a vessel went down near the spit of sand.

Silence from the other side. Not a whimper. Not a whine. No noise at all. Until the door creaked open.



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Matty would sink with the ship and die if the Maggie Grace was piloted to the island. Matty was going to die anyway. Either at the hands of the stranger or by a storm shaking the schooner. The sailor sunk to the deck, wailing, “Help!” There was no one around to hear the plea. If Matty had been close to shore, people would have mistaken the sailor’s voice for the high-pitched squawking of a seagull. But the Maggie Grace was far out in the Atlantic with the bright blue sky on the horizon turning dark navy. A signal that night was coming. The darkness would show no mercy. Matty started lighting the lamps. Every one. As the mariner went along, Matty counted each slick puddle of blood. They added up to 21. Matty winced at the red spray on the walls and ceilings and realized the amount of violence that must have been inflicted on the fishermen. One large spill of red held a glimmer of gold. Lying on top of the clotted gore was the wedding ring of the Maggie Grace’s captain. Matty picked it up and wiped the blood off the jewelry. It belonged to the dead man’s children now. Matty entered the galley to warm some water to wash away the blood. There was the stranger, sitting at the table. Arms folded. Like he was waiting for Matty. “Hungry?” he asked the sailor. “There’s stew on the stove.” Matty was nowhere near hungry. Nowhere near wanting to put a morsel of food down the hatch after everything he had seen and heard that afternoon. “Come, sit,” said the stranger, pointing to a chair. “I crave conversation now. It’s been a long time since I’ve had companionship.” Matty slowly walked to the chair and perched on the edge, ready for flight from the stranger. A lantern’s light shone directly on the stranger’s face, and there was not a trace of blood on it. Nothing stained his smooth hands either. Nothing to show what he had done to the ship’s crew. 54 

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“Let me get you some supper,” said the man. He went to the stove and dished some strew into a bowl and placed it in front of Matty. The hot chunks of meat steamed in the cool air. When the heat from the stew hit the mariner’s cheek, Matty winced and turned away, choking back bitter, stinging bile. The stranger sat down and crossed his legs. Bright white breeches. Bright white woolen socks tucked into shiny black shoes. There was something confounding about the shoes. They were more like boots, high boots. With a split in the middle. Almost like a bull’s hoof. The stranger was a Sea Devil. Matty sat upright in the chair ready to bolt. “Oh, you’ve only just noticed,” said the Sea Devil with that charming, yet scary smile, as he reached down and touched his cloven foot. “Now that that’s out of the way, tell me what’s going on in the world these days. It’s been over three hundred years since I’ve had a conversation with a mortal.” Matty said nothing, only pushed the glasses that had slid down, back up. They had slipped down with the sweat that started ever since meeting the Sea Devil in the galley. Matty’s eyes darted to the door. “Don’t bother,” the Sea Devil sighed. “I will sniff you out anywhere aboard this ship and have you for supper, rather than your crew mates.” A new sort of horror overtook Matty, numbing the sailor’s feet but not his mind: Matty’s brain convulsed with understanding, causing the mariner’s body to jerk like a fish trying to get off the hook. Matty pushed the stew off the table and the tin bowl clattered on the floor. The remains of the sailors spilled onto the hardwood. “A waste of a fine meal,” said the Sea Devil, standing up. “I’ve called my ship to me. I’ve been mouldering at the bottom of the Atlantic in the kelp since 1588 and I haven’t been able to keep my galleon in ship shape. It needs a few repairs and we’ve lost our figurehead some time ago. It’s hard to find a pretty woman at sea as a replacement.” The Sea Devil leaned over Matty. So close, Matty


Photo by Nick Jio on Unsplash

call me Captain Lex. I was a privateer, a licensed could see each lash rimming the Sea Devil’s eyes. pirate, for Queen Elizabeth. We were many and she Flat eyes, devoid of emotion or feeling. Dark like called us her Sea Dogs, roving soldiers of the ocean. the eyes of a lobster that’s been scavenging on the We British had long triumphed over seizing Spanish bottom for food. ships and their cargoes. The Spanish called us ‘pirata’ The Sea Devil grabbed Matty’s wrist, scalding a and said we pilfered and plundered and maimed ring around it before letting go. “You’ll do,” laughed the Sea Devil at Matty’s cries. and killed. It was war. We did to them what they would do to us. “You’re plain but you’ll do.” “During my many tours, I missed my family—but The Sea Devil knew Matty’s secret. Something every time I looked into the horizon, I saw my no one else but our family knew. The secret was our wife. I had had her image carved as my galleon, The lifeline. Matty kept us afloat with a life drowning August’s, figurehead. She sat proudly on the prow and in fish guts. Matty did it all for us, all because of that way I always had her with me: my wooden angel, love. The money from fishing went to put boots on my good-luck charm, my protector. our feet for our walk to school in snowy winter. It “The queen tasked me with bringing The August went to pay for the medicine to treat our coughs. It filled with supplies to Roanoke, the colony in the went into the pot as a chicken for food to build our bones and make us strong. If Matty was struck down New World. My wife, Augustina, was on the voyage with me. I had brought her and my three children, on the Maggie Grace, we would be too, hundreds Mary, Doris, and Francis, along because I had been of leagues away. The thought pierced Matty’s heart away from them for far too long. and curled the unfortunate sailor’s hands into fists. Matty was not going to let the Sea Devil damn us. “What did any of us on this ship do to you?” asked Matty. “We’re simply sailors.” “Simple sailors killed my family and crew,” said the Sea Devil. “Let me tell you the story. You don’t even have to write it down. “My full name is Captain Alexander Linesbury. You can



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“One night, when the moon shone like one thousand lanterns and the wind breathed heavily on the four sails of The August, seven boats pulled alongside us. It was a Spanish fishing fleet, on its way home from the New Found Land. The fishermen shouted at me, asking for agua, water. My wife pitied them, with their rough voices and clothing that smelled like fish-guts. She told me to give them what they needed. So, I complied. Told them to send a man from each boat to The August. “Seven men climbed aboard and once on deck, attacked us with swords and knives. My crew was overpowered by the surprise and ferocity of the Spaniards. Blood sprayed everywhere, and the screams of my dying men was a chorus of misery. More Spanish fishermen jumped aboard the ship and cut down everyone they found—but not me, nor Augustina and my children. They were finely dressed and had smooth hands and the Spaniards knew those four belonged to me. “The fishermen tied me to the mast and forced my family to kneel in front of me. ‘Tell Queen Elizabeth that this is only a fraction of repayment,’ said one sailor. Then he slit the throat of my boy, the youngest, Francis. The blood from his wound flowed from his neck, spilling onto the hem of my wife’s dress. “Please, take me,” I pleaded. “Let my family go. Please, take me.” “It was to no avail. My crew was slaughtered and then I had to watch as one by one, my family was murdered in front of me. I expected to go last, and I actually welcomed it. The shock, the grief, the immense sadness I was experiencing pierced my heart. Death would be a bargain compared to living. “I did die. But not by the knife. I was still lashed to the great wooden mast of The August when I

heard the splintering of wood. I’m used to hearing the creaks and caws of the galleon as she goes up and down on the water. But this was a new sound. Then I saw the smoke and I knew: she was on fire. “My family and crew had been taken from me and now my beloved galleon too. The anger in my body grew and grew and grew and gave me the strength to break my bonds. I fell to the floor and cursed God for taking everything from me. ‘I will have revenge,’ I said, pounding my fists on the deck. ‘I will kill any fishermen who dare to sail the Atlantic. Then I will feed their souls to Hell.’ I called on the Devil to help me keep my dark promise. To build me a boat and give me a crew. For his part in the vendetta, he could have the souls I take. Then I lay on the deck and waited. “The flames took a while to build. The heat got to my feet first, melting them and shaping them out of the char into what you see now: hooves. Then my body burned and every second I lived was one more second I had to remember what those fishermen did to me. “The August died long after I did. Augustina’s wooden form was licked and bitten and deformed by the fire. She was unrecognizable, and her carcass was dragged into the green depths along with my body. “I don’t suppose you know how story strands are formed? No? Well, your thoughts and dreams and memories steam out from your mind in one continuous thin rope, like spider silk. They wrap around each other, take shape, and solidify. The more terrible and tragic your tale, the hotter the steam and the tighter it bonds while shaping. In fact, most terrific stories don’t have shape at all, like mine, just a purple blob. I waited and waited for someone to let me out of my crypt of memories. When

. . . your thoughts and dreams and memories steam out from your mind in one continuous thin rope, like spider silk. They wrap around each other, take shape, and solidify.

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The Sea Devil’s galleon had a coating of diffuse you freed me, the Devil kept his part of our pact light, almost like a lantern in the mist. The ship and provided me with a ship and men. I kept my promise to him and will continue to hunt fishermen, glowed and Matty saw that the vessel’s planks were crafted out of bones. White bone after white bone: thanks to you.” perfectly dovetailed into a hull. The masts were built Matty was spellbound by the fantastic story from the same material. The sails were a patchwork but roused when the Sea Devil made the young of different colors, unlike anything Matty had sailor culpable for deaths of his shipmates on the seen before. Maggie Grace. Human skin. “No one on the Maggie Grace is from Spain,” said There was nothing on the prow. No figurehead. Matty, spit flying. The mariner’s face turned red, red No carved wooden maiden guiding the ship over like the blood of the men the Sea Devil had left to the ocean, perched on the bow, welcoming the spray stain the wooden schooner decking. “You killed 21 good men. Men who worked these waters with their with open arms. Nothing at all. A galleon without a consort. lives dangling in the Atlantic like bait on fishhooks. Matty pulled the cork out of the rum and had a Up for grabs at any time. Men who had families like swig. And another one. And another one. Sober or you once did. You’re a monster!” The Sea Devil laughed and slapped his lean thigh. drunk, it wouldn’t make any difference to death. The Maggie Grace had no crew and no hope of making it “I appreciate the humor,” he said. “Oh humans. back to shore. Matty was adrift on the Atlantic. The The ghosts on my ship don’t talk much, let alone tell only human left alive among ghosts and the company jokes. I want to wreak havoc on all fishermen. My of a Sea Devil. anger has taken me far beyond one country now. A blur of motion caught Matty’s attention. Well, my crew only works at night and I, as their Matty saw spectral sailors going about their duties: captain, need to be there to supervise. Don’t worry. You won’t be left out. We’re preparing a special place checking rigging, swabbing the deck, and cleaning the brass. The ghosts were smothered in the same for you, my dear.” foggy glow of the vessel and Matty knew these were The Sea Devil got up, walked out the galley door all dead men. One walked to the front of the ship, and disappeared into the gloom. Matty sank into nimbly climbed down over the side, and started the chair, then slid onto the floor and lay there, face chipping away at the bone prow. down, for several moments. The sailor was beyond “What is to go in that particular spot?” Matty scared, beyond frightened, beyond terrified. So much thought, leaning slim arms on the ship railing. so Matty was numb. The lone mariner was going “What does it matter anymore?” to end up like the other sailors and in turn, the Sea Three sheets to the wind now, Matty crawled off Devil was also going to kill us, Matty’s family. the deck and fell down the stairs and into the cabin Matty rolled over and using the edge of the table, with the untold tales. The last thing Matty glimpsed got up from the floor. A bottle of rum glinted in before passing out, were the story strands sitting on the corner of the galley and Matty grabbed it before climbing the stairs to the deck. The cool wind hit the the captain’s desk, forgotten after the birth of the Sea Devil. Phantoms in their own way. Memories sailor in the face, slapping some of the stupor away. by spirits. Though night had come, dawn was a hint of pink Matty was awoken in the morning by a spark of in the sky behind the ships. Another point of light emitted eerily from the Sea Devil’s ghost ship, which sunshine in the eye. At first the mariner took some time to rub the sleep away. But then the memory of was now alongside the Maggie Grace. 

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the Sea Devil caught up with Matty. Oh yes. It was a terrible, terrible morning. The sailor got off the floor of the cabin slowly; clothing and shoes still on from last night and went on deck. The Sea Devil’s phantom ship was there, sailing in the daylight. Sailing. Sailing. Sailing. Gruesome sails full of wind. The Maggie Grace was under the spell of the haunted galleon and keeping pace behind it. Up ahead was a third vessel, just off the port side. “No!” Matty screamed. “No!” The new ship was a clipper, full of fish and full of men. The Maggie Grace was a decoy, luring the sailors to her side. Once they climbed aboard to inspect the abandoned ship, the clipper crew would die too. Gray waves, small ocean mountains, were split in half by the bow of the Maggie Grace. The ghostly galleon didn’t break the water. It merely glided on top. Like sleigh runners on ice. The ship was a specter. Not real. There must be a way to defeat an apparition. Some way to drive away this terrible thing. Some way to disperse the supernatural fog. Some way to contain the evil and pen it so it doesn’t get out and hurt anyone again. The bull. The bull and the fence. Matty remembered when the bull ran at me and the animal got stuck in the fence. Except, there was no such thing as a fence on the ocean. Only nets . . . What if the story strands could be used against the Sea Devil and his mates? Matty looked up at the masts of the Maggie Grace and saw a few story strands on the beams. Collecting them as silently as possible, the sailor took them to the cabin where the other strands lay. Matty had to work quickly and with each crash of a wave, glanced towards the cabin door. Praying the Sea Devil wouldn’t walk in. Instead of unravelling the stories, Matty took a fisherman’s needle, usually used to repair nets, and started weaving the tales together. Until they became a large piece of mesh. 58 

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It had taken Matty a while to piece together the trap. But it was ready. Leaving the net in the room, the mariner climbed the creaky stairs to the deck. The Sea Devil was waiting at the ship’s wheel. He looked Matty up and down and down and up and a weird grimace came over his face. His curved lips exposed teeth as white as a cod fillet and as sharp and plentiful as a shark’s. The Sea Devil’s long hair was unbound and streaming behind him, a dark mass of serpents roiling around his head, trying to get free. Matty’s hands were trembling so much that the sailor clasped them together and squeezed them as hard as possible. My sibling compelled each leg to move towards the monster. “There’s a clipper only a few knots ahead,” said the Sea Devil. “We’ll catch up to it soon and I’ll get more men for my ship and more souls for Hell. But you still look like a boy. Here.” The Sea Devil threw something at Matty. The captain’s wife’s red frock. My sister caught the dress, the smooth silk catching on her chapped and callused fingers. “Put it on,” said the Sea Devil. “It’s for your perch above the ocean. When you become Neptune’s wooden angel, the work on my galleon will be complete and I’ll roam the waters from here to China.” My sister looked over at the ghost ship. At the place where she was supposed to be suspended for eternity. An everlastingness of salt water in her lungs and waves and wind beating her body. Forever leading a death ship while her family cried for her and then went into the ground one by one. Her breath caught in her throat as fear took over her body. “I’ll go to my cabin and put the dress on,” said my sister. The Sea Devil stomped his hoofs, startling Matty. “Put it on here,” he ordered. “Please,” said my sister. “I’m cold and I’m afraid I’ll rip the dress in my haste to avoid the chilly air.”


overwhelming loss. It made my will for retribution “Fine. But I’m coming after you if you’re not stronger than ever. No one gets a reprieve. No one!” back quickly.” A sharp whistle hit my sister’s ears. The signal the It was time. She knew what she had to do, but Maggie Grace was alongside the mortal clipper. her legs felt heavy as she turned around and headed The Sea Devil growled at my sister as she stepped below deck. It was all she could do to lift her limbs over him and went upstairs to greet the schooner. and not collapse in fear. She finally got downstairs The men from the other vessel, the Glory of Boston, and put her plan into motion. shouted and frantically waved at Matty. She picked up her net and strung it across the “Where are your sailors?” they yelled to her. bottom of the stairs. It shimmered a little in the dim “There’s a ghost ship sailing beside you. Launch your light and the Sea Devil would be sure to see it. She dory and row to The Glory. You’re in danger.” then placed a book on the darkened stairs leading “We’re all in danger,” Matty called back, “unless I down into the hold. He wouldn’t see that. get your help.” Matty went into the cabin and waited. Waited Seven of The Glory’s sailors quickly rowed over to for the Sea Devil to claim his prize. Her scalp prickled with terror and her heart raced. She stopped Maggie Grace. They drew their pistols before climbing on deck and asking Matty many questions. breathing when she heard his hoofs hit the top step. “I’ll explain it all later,” Matty said. Then take the next one and then the “I’ve captured a Sea Devil and he must next one and then . . . be cast back into the Atlantic, to sink The Sea Devil shrieked. Not to the bottom and be silenced by the unlike his victims had done. My depths of the water and time. Now.” sister ran out to see the Sea Devil “Aye,” said The Glory’s captain. captured in the net. Tangling “Let’s get him.” himself. The net tightening every He motioned to his six men to go time he tried to free himself by below deck with him to see what they pushing against the silver and could find. Five of them returned sticky threads. almost immediately with their eyes “You foul woman!” he screamed. bulging and their skin covered in “Let me go!” pink blisters. She watched him twist and “He got McKay,” one of the sailors cried. “Melted turn. In the twilight of the ship’s belly, he was a fish the first mate’s skin right off, right in front of us, caught in a net. with a touch of a finger. We won’t go back down.” “No,” she said, as calmly as her constricted “If this young sailor can catch the Sea Devil all throat would allow. “You aren’t going to kill me or alone,” said the captain, “we can get rid of him.” anyone else.” The five men took a big gulp of the salt air and “I lost my family, my crew, my life!” shouted the went below again, this time with the captain and Sea Devil. “I will seek revenge on any fisherman on Matty in tow. The seven sailors surrounded the Sea the water.” Devil, who had managed to unwind some threads “That was over three hundred years ago,” said my of the story strands and thrust his hand through the sister. “These sailors have nothing to do with what hole. He reached out as far as he could, trying to happened to you.” touch anyone or anything. “You brought me back into this world,” the Sea “You fools,” he sputtered. “Once I’m free, you’ll Devil cried in anger. “You forced me to relive my

You are tied to me,” said the Sea Devil to Matty. “I’ll be calling for you as each storm loosens my bonds.



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all be dead—and you, my dear,” he said staring at Matty, “will be forever doomed to ride the waves with me. I’ve marked you as my bride.” The captain looked at Matty with a furrowed brow. “You are tied to me,” said the Sea Devil to Matty. “I’ll be calling for you as each storm loosens my bonds. As each wave tightens the cord I burned around your wrist. You’ll come to me. You’ll see.” Matty shook her head and stepped in front of the odious creature. “I will never listen to you,” she said with her head held high. “Your lungs will be filled with heavy sand and your mouth with broken shells. The ebb and flow of the currents are strong and will carry your story strand far into the ocean. Never to be discovered again.” With that, The Glory’s captain motioned for his men to pick up the trapped Sea Devil. The sailors grunted while lifting up the occultic pen that held the evil force and Matty heard him putting curses on each of them. One mariner got too close to the Sea Devil, who reached out and touched the man’s neck. The sailor started hollering in excruciating pain. Smoke puffed out from his ears and nose. Then blood gushed from his mouth. The smell of roasting flesh overtook the cabin smell of wet wool clothing. The man’s frame began to shrink as his skin began to cure. He was being cooked from the inside out. There was no helping the poor man as he screamed. Everyone stopped and watched the man disintegrate into clods of bloody leather on the floor. The captain gurgled once, then twice and then puked up his breakfast on the Sea Devil. “Don’t you have any decorum?” asked the Sea Devil. “Your skin and bones aren’t even worth being part of my ship. You’re going straight to Hell.” The captain wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. “On the count of three,” he said to his crew. “One, two, three!” 60 

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The Sea Devil, snarling like a mean dog, was pulled up the stairs and out to the railing. Matty took a few steps backwards once outside. Not because she was scared, but so she had a better line of sight when the men threw the Sea Devil overboard, with another one, two, three, heave, into the churning water. She smiled as the Sea Devil sank beneath the stony-gray Atlantic, taking only seconds to vanish into obscurity. His ghostly galleon and supernatural crew evaporated a few minutes later. My sister went down below the Maggie Grace and picked up the book that had brought justice to the Sea Devil, The Merchant of Venice. She then packed her belongings, including the red dress, and transferred to The Glory to sail to Boston. The Maggie Grace slipped out of sight late in the afternoon. Matty wore the red silk gown to her wedding a few months later when she married The Glory’s captain, a rich man from Marblehead. My entire family, including me, attended the event. It was a happy occasion and there was no talk of Captain Alexander Linesbury. Not until many years later, when it was my turn to take care of Matilda. After her husband died and her children had their own children, Matilda came to live with me in Yarmouth. It was 1994 and she was about 90 and her hands were more speckled than a Maran egg and the wrinkles around her eyes were as numerous as waves in a hurricane. But her memory was fine, and she liked me to put her rocking chair in the sun on the deck of my house so she could see the port and the boats unloading their catch. On stormy days, she winced as she rubbed the scar around her wrist and looked out to the sea pounding the shore into submission. She would ask for all the lights to be on, the shutters to be closed and a glass filled with rum. With each drink, she revealed the story of Captain Lex and his ghostly crew. With each gale, the scar on her wrist burned hotter and hotter—until one morning, when the sea was ripping itself into shreds, the mark turned a brilliant red, as


A BOUT THE A

red as the dress she kept in the back of her closet. “The strands have broken,” Matilda said. “He has surfaced.” She hobbled to the door, opening it wide to the storm. Cold air invaded my house as Matilda walked out into the gale. I called her to come back inside but she continued walking into the pouring rain, wind grabbing at her hair and clothes. She walked to the edge of the water, where the whitecaps were throwing their froth, and knelt down. Then she was gone. Now I’m 90. It’s 2006 and fishing boats are smaller than the schooners that once worked the seas. There aren’t many modern vessels with multiple masts. Story strands still arrive on zephyrs and in gales, but they go unnoticed and uncollected. Even if they’re picked up by mistake, sailors have lost the art of identifying them. The men and women don’t know the good yarn from the sad and the bad. Meanwhile, there have been glimpses of a ghostly galleon along the Atlantic coastline. Some say a phantom crew sail a ship of bone with a figurehead of a woman. If you’re quiet, you can hear her cry. I’m the only one who knows why.

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Lea Storry (yes, that’s her real last name) is a writer who owns a memoir writing business. She can also fly a plane and throw a Frisbee but not at the same time. Lea lives with her husband in Alberta, Canada. leastorry@ourfamilylines. ca / ourfamilylines.ca / @familylines

Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash



Fall 2018   The Starlit Path Magazine 

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Conversation Outside the Light   by Peter McCann

Prologue: Brightness and sunlight. Recurring themes of Amanda’s work. “I’ll take this one.” Graceless. Shapeless. Mannerless. RICH. “How would you like to pay?” Timid. As always. “With this!” Shrill. Shouted. The pain was intense. Bone breaking. Skin punctured. Blood. Darkness.

Aftermath: Birth and death are pretty much the opposites of one another; birth plunges us from darkness into the light and death leaves behind the light of life for the darkness of eternity. Amanda has left her crumpled body where it lay on the cold hard floor of her workplace, but she has not yet progressed into one of the lights. The staircase rising into the brightness is gated and the stairwell to the blue luminosity is blocked by dark and shadowed figures; so she waits, as so often in her life, for someone to tell her what to do. There are figures on the gated staircase, all of whom seem to know exactly where they must go; but those in the stairwell seem distracted and unable to go forward. Death is watching, deciding, thinking.

Conversation:

T 62 

The Starlit Path Magazine   Fall 2018

Photo by Joseph Akbrud on Unsplash

he room was large and well appointed. Amanda felt relaxed. Slightly. “Hello Amanda.” Welcoming. Deep. Booming. “Where am I.” Nervous. Frailty showing. “Where do you think?” “I don’t know.” Worried. “Well.” The silence was unbroken. The darkness unending.


Sitting. Watching. Waiting. Amanda bereft. The room lightened again. How long? Alone with her thoughts. Alone with her Amanda knew that time did not matter. history. The voice. Disembodied. Had been Wondered why they bothered. For her? better. Comforting? She knew the answer. “Remember.” Deep, still. Quieter. “I was led to believe in something “Remember? What?” Annoyance. different.” Strong. Resilient. “Oh. You know.” Distant. Receding. Nothing. “Remember what?” Loud. Insistent. She waited. Confident. This is not how Silence. it should be. It would be made better. He Movement. would come. Catches her eye and she started. “No.” Soft. Caressing. Caring? Involuntary. Spasmic. “Then why am I here?” Nothing. A shadow. “Because.” Over by the wall a chair appeared. “But why?” Loud. Insistent. Angry. Amanda walked to it and sat down. Not quite. Gingerly. “Might as well be comfortable.” “Because.” Definite. Comfort. An alien concept? Thoughts came. Unwanted. Swirling. “Why.” Wonderment. Myriad. Beings in their own right. Intense. “It helps.” Unthinking. Truth. Demanding. Of course, Amanda understood that Amanda closed her mind. Slowly. comfort and other emotions were irrelevant Never failed. in this place. But it was hard to let go. Old “Remember.” Thrusting. habits. A creature of habit. Of softness. Powerful. Hypnotic. And warmth. “No!” Screamed. Raw. Emotional. “Helps?” Scenes. Half formed. Changing. “Yes.” Hardness? The room made a slow dissolve and Light fading to a single pinprick. Amanda found herself in a teaming “This is not how I imagined.” passageway. People? Noise. Aloud? Or not? “This is not how it should be.” “I know.” “But how it is.” Cryptic. “But, I accept it.” Resignation. “Take me back.” Exhaustion? “No.” “I know.” Intense, preternatural darkness “No choice, you see.” Wistful. Dreamlike. penetrated to her very bones. “Always choices.” Stern? Crowds jostled. Bumped. Snatched. She “not for me.” could feel them. Why? “Even for you.” Sadness. “Do you?” Questioning. Paternal. The silence grew once more. “I thought I did.” Instinctive. Unfilled, Unbroken. “Better.” Satisfaction? “Remember.” The single word “Is this an alternative?” powerful. Emotive. “Is it?” Not helping. Waiting. “I don’t want to.” Into the “OK. What is it that you want me to emptiness. Unheard? 

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remember?” “Nothing.” “Nothing?” “You must decide.” Fading. Echoing. Anger. Taking over. Forcing her way. Parting the crowds. To the light. No resistance. Progress good. It seemed. Standing. An age. People passing into the light. Hundreds? Thousands? Blinding. Watching. Decision made Amanda pushed towards the light. Last few feet. Nearly there. Stopped. Held. Turned. Surrounded by figures. Running. Leaping. Sliding. Into the light. But not her. Couldn’t. “Oh, fiddlesticks.” Her swear word. Lying down across the passage. Barring. Filling. Yet not. It made no difference. Hordes passing over. Still. Amanda sat up. Watched. Waiting. How many souls? Passing as she watched. Countless. Teeming. Hordes. Left now, into darkness. Right, into light. Screams. Laughs. Horror. Ecstasy. “Which one for me?” Expecting no response. Getting none. Darkness parting. Chair revealed. Again. Rising. Sitting. The figure was old. Decaying. Watching him approach. Stench of death. Surrounding. “I didn’t think it would be like this.” Searching. “I know.” Young. Vibrant. Vibrating. “Then why.” Daring? “It is necessary.” “Why?” Soft. Yielding. Defeated? The ancient sat. Beside her; but not. Odor assaulting. Aura black and pulsing. Unmoving. Sensible? Trusting. Aware. “You should remember.” Cajoling. 64 

The Starlit Path Magazine   Fall 2018

Persuasive. Comforting? “I don’t know how.” Heart-breaking. “Try.” He was much stronger than her. Until the end. The party was in full swing as she arrived. Restaurant bustling. Vibrant. Alive. “Well, hello. What have we here?” Sinuous. Invasive. Dangerous. “Sorry?” Wondering. Questioning. Worried? “Don’t be.” He took her arm. Led her to the very center of the floor. Began to move. Music. Rhythm. Primitive. Passionate. A rumba. She allowed the touch. Allowed his lead. Her favorite. Wild. Circles formed. Faces. Hands. Smiles? He stopped with the music. She carried on. Alone. Sensual. Notes filling her head. Watching. Eyes never leaving her face. He watched. More to see? At last. He brought her to the bar. Drinks ordered. “Martini. Very dry. Two. Dirty.” Knowing. Discerning. Demanding. Ice cold in her mouth. Fire in her veins. Heat in her eyes. And in her face. With pain. Drink spilled. Voice raised. Face contorted. “Slut!!!” Crazed. Violent. Amanda looked through swollen eyes. Panic rising. “Who are you?” Tears. Bitterness. Submission. “I am your destiny.” Arrogant. Understanding. Leaving together. She crying. Him for the last time. It is later. Shop busy. Her work popular. Prices outrageous. Unique.


Scurrying forms flow into the center of He’s gone. Eternally. the space. Filling the void. She is not responsible. Heart. “Never before.” Musing. Quiet. Nobody knows. Withdrawn. “Is that it?” Appealing. “Don’t you go!” Sensing a power shift. “Is it?” “I must.” “Well?” “NO!” Echoingly loud. Demanding. “Very.” Old joke for older man. Unfunny. He appears. Solid, Ancient, Decayed. No laughter. “You are the first.” Admiration? “Is that the memory you want?” Coy “Ridiculous.” Embarrassed. Pleased? “I hated him. No, I didn’t. I needed him.” “In all this time. Yes.” Ineffable sadness. Different. Casual. “Why?” “I know.” Not helping. “I don’t know.” Lying. “I didn’t do anything. It happened so He reached for her hand. Gentle. quickly. So soon.” Persuasive. Smooth. “I know.” Repetition. Grating. She held back. Not Amanda leaves the afraid. Powerful. chair. Looking. Searching. Hand returns. Accepting. Alone again. Dark. Walking away. Foreboding. Scary. Amanda follows. Passage alive with Trusting. But not. movement. Shuffling. Room ends. Balcony. Slithering. Eternal. Overlooking garden. Laughter and screams. Perfume. Ripples. Fresh. Right or Left. For her? Stairs lead down. He is on Unknowing. it already. Retreating from the She follows. Intrigued. light. Fighting. Impulsive. A bench. A fountain. A “No.” Desperation. handsome woman. Ignoring the voice. “I have waited.” Infinite Amanda continues patience. Words. Measured. to move. Slow. “For me?” Measured. Sure. “Perhaps.” Joy. Softness. “No.” Pleading. She pats the seat beside her and Amanda Ignored. sits. The ancient man is gone. Beautiful room. Empty. Reached. Sad. “I have waited too.” “I was weak in life. Never again.” “I know.” Strength? Purpose? Many lives. Visions? Lived? All of them? “No.” Softest. Time after time. “Tell me your purpose.” Demanding. “You remember.” Statement not question. “I have none.” “Yes.” Calm. Relaxed. Accepting. “LIAR!” The word forms letters of blue Music fills the air. Trumpets. fire. Spinning across the space and bursting Bugles. Triumph. like fireworks against an unseen wall.

“LIAR!” The word forms letters of blue fire. Spinning across the space and bursting like fireworks against an unseen wall.



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Music, past its crescendo. Stills. Silence. Comforting. Light. Golden. Warm. Inviting. Time passes. Unfelt. How long. Another stairway. Downwards. Narrow. Lighter. Amanda walking. Knowing. Accepting. Another light. Blue. Beckoning. Voice in her head. Memory. “Amanda. Do well. It is time.”

Purpose: Passing the portal. Knowing what to do. Searching. Lives lived. Remembered. Purpose. Knowing. Power of good. Power for good. She must help. The others. Earthbound. Not her. Show them the light. Show them the way. It is her time.

HOR

OU

Peter McCann Peter is a professional tarot reader and a member of the Tarot Association of the British Isles (TABI) where he is one of the endorsed readers who offer free readings in answer to questions asked through the TABI website. Peter is currently writing a series of short stories that deal with the aftermath of death on an esoteric level and which take the form of conversations with Death himself and which try to show that not everyone has the same experience of the post life journey. He is also working on a tarot dating website which will combine tarot, numerology and astrology to match potential partners with each other.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

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Figures. Pure. Clear. Cold. Heart pounding. Not yet. Of course! Swelling. Tunes within tunes. Melodies soaring. “It is time.” Simple. Unguarded. The stairs. Wider. Longer. Crowned in light. Blinding. Yet not. Walking. Alone. Yet not. Treads wide. Rake light. Easy. Effortless. Feelings growing. Joy. Gladness. Sorrow. Empty. Expectant. Ending at last. A plateau. A stool. Splendid. Three figures. Two plus one. The ancient. Not decayed. A youth. More beautiful than life. The woman. A spirit. Gliding. “I have been waiting.” Golden. Musical. Deep. “I too.” Darker. Welcome. Light. “And I.” Unspoken. Unformed. Recognized. Amanda waited. Coiled. Brittle. Intense. A touch. Light. Love. Care. “Your time is ended. Your time is at hand.” Cryptic. Understanding.

Peter lives in North East England with his partner of 27 years; and their two dogs. You can find out more about Peter, his take on tarot and the services he offers by visiting www.tarotmoon.blog or you can email him direct at khonsu@tarotmoon.uk

The Starlit Path Magazine   Fall 2018


Photo by Fineas Anton on Unsplash

Before You Go

Robin and I want to thank you for reading The Starlit Path. If you’re a subscriber, we are grateful for your support. Please remember to share this issue with your friends. If you’re not a subscriber, we are grateful you’re giving our magazine a chance. You can become a subscriber to this free magazine by registering at our website www.starlitpathmagazine.com. Not only will you receive the magazine, but we also send out two newsletters a month. This includes an original coloring mandala designed and created by Robin Patterson. You can also find us on Facebook. Join our group, The Starlit Path Magazine https://www.facebook.com/Starlitpathmagazine/ We’ll post things of interest from other sources, and the occasional article. And we want to hear from you. Is there something that you want to know more about, or a topic we’ve covered that you’d like us to expand on? Please let us know. Either by email info@starlitpathmagazine.com or on the Facebook page. Wait to you see what we have coming up. Aside from more from our columnists, Autumn Blackwood, Catharine Allan, and Liliyana Shadowlyn. Rosemary McCarthy continues her series on The Universal Laws. Madam Tealeaf will draw three new cards for the coming months and we will continue asking questions of enquiring minds. Plus, some new things to try and things to get your creative mind into gear. We look forward to seeing you in the next issue of The Starlit Path. Safe Travels, Judie

http://judietroyansky.com/

https://robinpatterson.myportfolio.com/



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See you in December!

The Starlit Path Magazine - Fall 2018  

The Starlit Path Magazine is a free online New Age journal containing articles on all things woo, plus fantasy fiction, poetry and art.

The Starlit Path Magazine - Fall 2018  

The Starlit Path Magazine is a free online New Age journal containing articles on all things woo, plus fantasy fiction, poetry and art.

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