The Starlit Path Winter 2019

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You put water into the kettle and hang it on the ou put the last of your clothes into the hob. You have a strange feeling, like someone is drawer. The fire has finally taken the chill watching you. You shrug it off and prepare the pot off the cabin. You look around the space. for tea. The wind chimes near the door start to swing It’s yours now; at least for now. and tinkle. Your teacher’s stone cabin sits in the clearing. The You open the door and there’s a person standing door is old wood. Silvered, like an ancient barn door. there. They are bundled up against the snow and You remember that first day, when she opened the cold, so all you can see is their eyes. They are holding door and how your nerves seemed to get the best of a knapsack close to their chest, part talisman and you. You were so afraid you were worried you’ forget part shield. your own name. They pull their wool scarf away from their mouth. But she was so warm and friendly. Her grey hair “Hello. My friend told me that I could come and in long braid down her back. Her patchwork apron speak to you about magic and tarot and stuff. You hangs on the hook by the front door. The walls are see, I really want to learn but I can’t find anyone who made of field stone. Herbs dry from the ceiling. Jars knows this stuff. I’ve read books and looked up a lot of liquid sit in front of the window and the fading of information online, but I really need someone to sunlight filters through. set me straight on all this. Can you help me? Please?” Now she’s off on an adventure to learn from a You start to say that you’re just the house-sitter, Shaman in the desert. You’re taking care of her but you catch yourself. You welcome them into the garden and her house until she gets back. It’s a great cabin, just like your teacher did for you. “Would you opportunity to read, work on your own novel, and like some tea?” You ask with a smile. They begin to live rent free for a while. You look at all the books relax and take off their coat and boots. on the shelves. There are books on folklore, and The world sometimes goes full-circle when you anthropology. Herbalism, and magic. History, and Walk the Starlit Path. art. You sigh. Where to begin?

Photo by Loverna Journey on Unsplash

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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

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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: Photo by Luke Stackpoole 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."


Insidethis thisissue issue. . . . Inside Raising the Elementals  Embracing the Winter with 14 Brigid 16 TheSoul’s Spell Cord  34 with the Earth  27 Your Love Affair Meditation as a skill  The 2019 Kingston Tarot36 Lenormand Conference Diaries  32 40 Meditation—Purification by Flame

Final TakeThoughts a Walk  on 48 the Universal Laws  48 Law of Cause and Effect  52

Inside every issue . . . Letter from the Editor  6 Moudrytza’s Pearls  8 Three Card Choice  14 River Rain Ramblings: Elemental Tarot & Astrology  18 The Treasure Cave,: Fare Thee Well  22 For That Next Cup of Tea: Book Reviews  42 Walking with The Goddess: Rituals  45 Three Card Reveal  52 Before You Go  77

The Storytellers . . . The Karmic Path (poetry)  44 ‘Ttenayans Threat 54 An Alien Encounter – At the Counter 62 Answer the Call 63 Exile 67

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Letter from the Editor . . .

Dear Wanderer,

We have come to the final issue of The Starlit Path and it’s been a bitter-sweet experience. I’ve been reading submissions with a heavy heart. Telling people that I’ve been working with, that this is it. Everyone has been understanding and supportive. And I really appreciate their kind words. I’ll miss reading everyone’s articles and stories. There are so many talented people out there. I was honored they asked us to share their work with this community. The magazine might be closing but the Facebook group “Walking the Starlit Path” is still going to be around and so is the newsletter. And everything will be moving to the new website, The Dragon Star Collective. www.dragonstarcollective.com which launches in January. There you’ll find my blog, The Bohemian Storyteller, all past issues of the magazine, and Madam Tealeaf’s Magical Emporium where she takes booking for private readings. Robin’s been busy painting and participating in shows in and around Cornwall, Ontario. You can find her and catch up with her work on her Facebook page or her website https:// crayonboxcollective.com/ As Gandalph once said “Expect me when you see me.” Because although, we may have come to the end of the magazine, the Starlit Path is still open ahead of you. If you need something, I’m still here. I’ll keep you in my prayers and I hope to hear from you from time to time. Safe travels Judie

The Starlit Path Magazine   Winter 2019

Photo by Judie Troyansky

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The magazine may be closing, but the newsletter is continuing. You can subscribe https://mailchi.mp/f51f5f1713b9/newsubscriber

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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/

Endings and Beginnings The staff cafeteria of ZH@TT Studios is a-buzz. Everyone that ever appeared on Fabulous Creatures is either chirping, moaning, barking, or buzzing trying to be heard above everyone else. The sadness and incredulity is palpable. Mary is sitting in a corner, ears covered and tears streaming down her cheeks… Management: (sitting not far from Mary, is shaking their head in disbelief and muttering) No-no-no. This can’t be happening! We were so close! That “new and promising show” award was ours for the taking. Fabulous Creatures was such a concept. We invented all the technology and had it custom-made. And now no nest egg, no pension, no freedom 55 –NOTHING – NADA. Oy!!! Mary: So you think YOU have problems. 8

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What about all these creatures? Where do they go? There are no shelters for homeless fabulous creatures! They came freely to help us and some have lost their ability to return. Some came because their homes were destroyed. And all stayed because they could smell the belief in magic that sustains them. If belief in magic is gone…. Nonesuch: I heard that! And Mary you are right. If there is no more magic, how will I ever assume my rightful size and place in your world? Somesuch: On the other hand, cousin, if you do, how will I ever be able to talk to you. It has been great and I kind of like being small. Don’t you? Traveling with no spears and what not appearing out of nowhere…You have to admit there are advantages. Dog: But where is the story when


everything is “normal”, huh? Addison: (puffing on his pipe and trying to keep a “stiff upper lip” as his voice quavers) My point exactly. Idéfix: Et puis tous les arbres… (yipping in a higher than usual voice) Mary, Management, what is going on? Are we to be struck down like all the trees around us? Laelaps: (with gravitas)… Oh, here we go again… As a celestial being, I need to address this situation. (Loudly so his voice carries to all parts of the room) Humans, creatures, lend me your ears (thank you Brutus and Shakespeare) let us not bury ourselves in remorse. But, take a moment to centre and see how we can move forward. So everyone take a deep breath. Stop the chatter. Open your minds and your ears. I do believe it is now time. Moudrytza, the floor is yours. Mary please start your ritual… And looking attentively at Moudrytza, all the creatures and the attending human staff, found places to rest their bodies as she settled her flames and her feathers… Mary: (Intoning ) My ears are open. My mind is clear. My imagination is fired up and ready to provide the visuals: 5-4-3-2-1-GO!!! Moudrytza: In the time before time, Mother Gaia was investigating the capabilities of what you humans would now call fire for it was and still is a

Addison Mathew Pilachowski - Unsplash

living and breathing force. Witness how it constantly moves; constantly changes; how it eats and grows. And so SHE gave FIRE the power to create. And Fire found it loved forming and sustaining a multitude of shapes and structures. But as the world matured and other creatures arrived, Gaia’s great magic was changed for the newly arrived creatures became obsessed with their gifts and began to forget their roots and the power of the AWE factor embedded in the Universal stories that they heard and repeated. It was during the first of the “Diminishing Times” that most of these fire creatures left to seek more hospitable worlds and dimensions. On one side of this planet, the male principle in the form of dragons and one male Firebird remained. Since then, humans have had occasional encounters with those dragons. Their stories attest to that. They have also sighted our poor lonely cousin. But not knowing his true genesis, they believed he was the only one of his kind. And so, they have named him: Phoenix - for

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they have seen him recreate his body from his ashes. And they told each other tales of what they thought was his story. Over the centuries, having listened to them over and over again,

Dog Imposter, Pixabay

our poor lost and lonely Phoenix started to forget his past and became convinced that the humans were right. Even Simurgh from the Persian branch of the Firebird clan could not convince him otherwise. And now, in this 6th Diminishing Time, magic is so thin that this healer can no longer be seen or heard. Yet one must admit that this dimension is fascinating. It is built on opposites or duality. And so, on the other side of our planet, life was easier for us. Yes, even now, the old magic is stronger here. The dragons that lived in the East found purpose and became the advisors of the Emperor of the Middle 10

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Kingdom. Our Eastern Firebird cousins, became the consorts of these dragons. And with glad heart, they traveled the land and whispered in the Emperors’ consorts’ ears, wise counsel. Yes, those humans were well guided when they learned to listen to us. But, these stories got confused when the West met the East, and much was lost in the translation! The locals called their firebirds “fenghuang”. Lacking other terms the newcomers used the only one they had: Phoenix. But how was that the right term? For we do not “rise from our ashes”, nor are we of the male persuasion…. Now picture a space between the East and the West. Here is the land that can still remember and where the magic can still be felt in the wind. It is here that Mother Gaia’s firstborn Firebird appeared in that time before time. She is our mother, the founder and elder of our Treasury or tribe to use human words. She delights in being an “anthropologist”: studying humanity and how it deals with what it calls “reality”; keeping records of her observations; constantly adding to Gaia’s knowledge base. And because we are all unique, she calls herself TouTarot to reflect her specialized studies of Gaia’s Book of Life.


All those notes and observations begged an archivist, a librarian and so Mother Gaia and TouTarot created the Bard and named me Moudrytza. For I am the Wise One, having read them all. And having polished their wisdom as an oyster polishes grains of sand, I speak in pearls to remind us all that we need to treasure, savour and act on the wisdom every good story imparts. And then, (time did not exist yet) as

Sian Cooper, Unsplash

we were resting and exchanging stories, an enigma appeared – MejhdahMir. She is our younger sister, an elusive Shapeshifter and Spirit Walker. Ever since she realized that “walking between worlds” was her prime directive from Mother Gaia and TouTarot, we rarely see her. She eagerly accepted this quest and so, wanders between worlds, between Time and dimensions bringing us back the wisdom that is sought by those that

know how to call upon her services. But a most intriguing member of our treasury has a story like no other. Mystiqua is her Firebird name. And this will be our final story, for the day is drawing to a close and soon we will have to leave. Let’s see – where to begin? Ah, yes. I am sure that you are all aware of that young wizard, Harry Potter, and the school he attended. You might recall that Hogwarts had an optional course in Divination taught by Professor Sybill Patricia Trelawney. And you might even know that her great-great-grandmother was Cassandra Trelawny. And although there are many biographical references that give modern dates for these ladies, the truth is that both are Seers from ancient human history. In ancient Greece, a sibyl was the oracular voice of the Divine. And so she had no other name. It was an earned “job title” at the nine “Apollo approved” sites. On the other hand, Cassandra was a daughter of the King of Troy. And as Greek stories of that time go, Apollo was infatuated by this beautiful woman. To win her love, he gifted her with the power to see the future. When she refused his advances, he could not revoke that gift and so

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One, she could not deal with heights. And two, she was asthmatic. So she was never able to enter the desired trance state and had to leave in “disgrace”.

cursed her so that in spite of the fact she would always tell the truth, no one would believe her. Now isn’t that an interesting bit of background to those Trelawny women?

She wandered around and somehow managed to find our sanctuary. Bet it was MejhdahMir’s doing. I will have to ask her next time I see her. Anyhow, Pythia stayed with us, honed her talents and with our help slowly learned how to be a Firebird. TouTarot vouched for her and she was accepted into our Treasury with the name of Mystiqua. And now she can inhabit both worlds….

There is also an interesting bit that none of the official biographies of the Trelawnys, mention. No one mentions

oracle at delphi pythia

Pythia, the black sheep of the family and long-lost cousin in Cassandra’s family tree. You see, that was her real name and so she was tasked to travel back to ancient Greece and assume the role the Pythia, the high priestess at Apollo’s Temple in Delphi. When she got there, she found the working conditions impossible to deal with. Imagine, the warmest months of the year; having to fast before your “performance”; having to sit on a tripod above a fissure from which there rose putrid fumes that you had to inhale! Our Pythia had some real world issues. 12

(Sigh and another even heavier sigh) If only she can remember how! Living in a human body is heavy and intricate work compared to being FIRE. Oh, how I wish I knew the magic words that would invoke her memory. It is hard for me to watch…. Management: Moudrytza! What are you telling us? Is Pythia here now? Where? Moudrytza: Shush Management. It is not for you to speculate. But consider why all these Fabulous Creatures are here now? Ponder on the fact that I am always here. And keep your wise counsel in your heart.

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And now I need to address all those ears that have been listening. Since these are difficult circumstances for all,


I have been asked to invite you all to the TouTarot-verse. There you will find safe refuge and magic to sustain you. Management: And on that note, we have to bid you all safe travels and “’til we meet again!” Yes, I do hope that Mary restarts her Dispatches from the TouTarot-verse and that we will read many more stories about those Fabulous Creatures. And as the final credits for this series roll past, we would like to thank the wonderfully supportive editor of Starlit Path Magazine, Judie Troyansky and her very talented artistic collaborator Robin Patterson. Alphabetical list creatures that appeared in today’s episode: Addison – a character in the universe of Miss Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs Dog – from the universe of Jim Henson’s The Storyteller television series Idéfix – from the world of Astérix et Obélix by Goscinny and Uderzo. Laelaps – Orion’s canine hunting companion and constellation. Nonesuch – the Book Dragon by Donn Kushner

simurgh

Somesuch – original character in the “Dragons are coming” (Starlit PathSpring 2019) Simurgh – Persian mythological bird and considered a great healer. A story for another time. And for the even more curious: MejhdahMir from the Russian: mejhdah = between and mir = world. And this note from MarySince I could not find an official collective noun for the firebirds, this one seemed most appropriate. For more information, see: https://electricliterature.com/ supernatural-collective-nouns/ . 

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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.

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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 Winter? Choose a card. Madam Tealeaf Reveals All on page 52.

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The magazine may be closing, but the newsletter is continuing. You can subscribe https://mailchi.mp/f51f5f1713b9/newsubscriber

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Embracing the Winter with Brigid By Jennie Sharples

T

he trees are bare, the temperature is dropping, and most of the birds have flown south. While the northern hemisphere is preparing for the cold stillness of winter, the southern hemisphere gets to enjoy the warmth of the longer days. And that is not to say there isn’t anything to enjoy about this chilly season coming up; in fact, there is! With a little help from the Triple Goddess herself, you can enjoy the comforts and the coziness of wintertime. The Triple Goddess, otherwise known as Brigid, is named such for her fires of the hearth, the forge, and inspiration. Representing the maiden, mother, and crone aspects of the divine feminine, she appeals to the poets, the healers, the midwives, the seers, the warriors, and the poor. Helping those in need (especially if you’re a woman) is her specialty, but do not underestimate her fiery spirit. Typically, when called upon (in meditation or ritual) she will appear with hair red like fire, wearing a mantle of green, and, depending on the situation, a sword in hand. Her energy is strong, bold, and no-nonsense mixed with a thick layer of compassion and tenderness. And her staying power is solid, hence being revered by more than one religion. This goes to show that she has helped many and will continue do so. As the weather gets colder, the need for protection, warmth, and full stomachs rises. No matter where you are in the 16

northern hemisphere, times can get tough when the land is more barren. Faith and determination are helpful allies and Brigid can provide such inspiration. Below is a prayer to the Goddess. Whether it is a time of need or you simply want to connect with her, sit in a quiet space and speak these words:

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

“Dearest Brigid, Goddess of the flame, Goddess of the words and of the craft, and Goddess for those seeking assistance, such as myself, here me now. I ask for your help in [state your situation if you have one. You can be as detailed as you want]. Please bring clarity to my third eye, so that I may see what I am to do next. Please bring warmth to my heart, so that love and light will radiate between myself and another. Please lift my spirits and the burdens placed upon me, so that I may move forward with grace and humility. Your light and energy is powerful and I am most grateful to connect with you. Thank you for this day and for all of your blessings.”

aided me in baking a delicious apple pie! She loves to work with people. And if you’re wondering how you can enjoy this upcoming winter season, go ahead and talk to her! She will help you – just be sure to listen.

Now, Brigid can be called upon anytime. I do not want you to think you have to be in a dire situation in order to ask for her assistance. In fact, I have been working with her for quite some time now, and most recently she

A BOUT THE AUTHOR Jennie Sharples is a writer, healer, and a witch of sorts. Spirituality, love, nature, animals, sex, food, emotions, poetry, prose, herbs, stories, energy, spells, creativity, my familiar Gizmo, and all things healing are her inspiration. For readings and healings, she can be reached through any of these channels: jensharples11@gmail.com https://magicalthings11.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/jenniferksharples https://www.instagram.com/jensharples

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River Rain  Ramblings

by Clairvoyant Medium Catharine Allan

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 https://mixvibezradio.com/ She can be reached at river.rain.catharine@gmail.com

Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

Elemental Tarot & Astrology

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inter Solstice is upon us and we are struck by the darkening skies and desire to hibernate, despite the holidays festivities. The element of winter in the Tao is water – representing the kidneys, the ancestors, the height of Yin energy – dark, wet, cold and quiet. We all need this energy to regenerate ourselves. The cards that represent these elements and take us through winter would be those that represent Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. The Capricorn in the Major Arcana is The Devil, Aquarius is the Star, and Pisces is The Moon. The Devil – The lower self or shadow of us appears in the Devil. Our fears, addictions, control, power and all that implies. The ways 18

we go about getting what we want. The Star – This represents our ideals and hopes – what is possible? The Star sometimes shines recognition on us and sometimes we’re simply star struck with someone or something. It opens us up to other dimensions of ourselves and the Universe to expand our awareness outwardly, then we must test them against the temporal world for their sustainability. The Moon – She represents the unconscious. What things we hide, from ourselves firstly, then perhaps intentionally from others. It can be simply a state of unawareness of some deep system working inside us that impacts our lives – like an old belief that self -fulfills. Sometimes it can be outright subtle or hidden deception. In its exalted state can be true magic, ludic states of mind, and true oneness.

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Photos by Judie Troyansky , Deck attribution: Thoth Tarot By Alister Crowley Artwork by Lady Frieda Harris Published by US Games

The passage of growth when we go within can be a deep and murky place. We need to see beyond the surface to have healing and insight. Winter gives us the conditions to go within and confront them. Let’s look at the minor arcana cards for the season:

Capricorn Cards 2 of Pentacles – This card represents change itself in the Thoth deck. Jupiter in Capricorn, a snake biting its tail in the form of an infinity sign. We must accept that life has change – which is not always easy for Capricorn, but they have the wisdom to accept it. 3 of Pentacles – Mars in Capricorn. This is the card of full time work and paid employment. Mars is exalted in Capricorn because the fiery energy of Mars that can be destructive is channeled into the ambitious and grounded energy of this Saturnian sign. It uses the fire to be productive and is less reactive. 4 of Pentacles – Sun in Capricorn. This is the card of personal power. There is stability in the 4 and in the Capricorn. We adhere to selfdiscipline and routines to build a foundation of value.

Photos by Judie Troyansky , Deck attribution: Thoth Tarot By Alister Crowley Artwork by Lady Frieda Harris Published by US Games

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Photos by Judie Troyansky , Deck attribution: Thoth Tarot By Alister Crowley Artwork by Lady Frieda Harris Published by US Games

Aquarius Cards

Pisces Cards

5 of Swords – Defeat - Venus in Aquarius – Too many conflicting ideologies have led to conflict and collapse. Venus in this sign can be everyone’s friend (in a light easy way) or can be a total rebel who wants to destroy the old and will do things to provoke that. 6 of Swords – Science – Mercury in Aquarius. The mind is said to be perfectly detached from emotion when Mercury is in Aquarius. It implies a cool rationale and therefore the scientific mind is applied ot any situation. 7 of Sword – Futility – Debauchery. Moon in Aquarius. Here the moon is not happy. The moon needs to feel and express and have things be organic, mysterious and deep. The Aquarian moon is so detached it has a hard time knowing its’ own inner nature let alone understanding anyone else’s. There is a difficulty with emotional attachment.

8 of Cups – Indolence – Saturn in Pisces. This life lesson represents the path of truly knowing we are all one. If we reject this then we become fragmented and everything can seem pointless, disconnected and very lonely. It’s the card that says,” who cares, I give up, why bother”. This is a crisis of faith. 9 of Cups – Happiness – Jupiter in Pisces. All the cups are flowing and clean with abundance and joy. The balance of all elements of life is there and contentment is shared with all beings. 10 of Cups – Mars in Pisces – Satiety. This is the card of brain fog, mental and emotional overwhelm. We’re full and can’t absorb anything else. Mars in Pisces is weak because it’s not assertive or decisive. Letting everything pile up inside eventually causing confusion, depression and apathy.

For the deep introspection of winter’s lessons, we need to honor the Yin Feminine side of us and allow ourselves to see, feel and process. This takes time and rest, space and silence. I hope you will grant yourself this level of compassion. Happy Solstice! Catharine Allan

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THE EASY WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT 7 LESSONS TO GIVE YOUR SOUL THE ADVENTURE OF YOUR LIFE

LEIGH ANN KITTELL

Listen and Enjoy on Youtube

www.leighannkittell.com/book

Jennie Sharples

Healer, Psychic, Writer THE CRAYON

BOX

For readings, herbal creations, and more please visit: COLLECTIVE www.etsy.com/autumnenchantments

Robin Patterson 613 . 360 . 4037 www.instagram.com/jensharples

5622 County Rd. 20 www.magicalthings11.blogspot.com South Glengarry, ON K6K 0A7 jensharples11@gmail.com ART CLASSES & WORKSHOPS

robin@crayonboxcollective.com

• • • • • • • •

Jennie Sharples

Healer, Psychic, Writer For readings, herbal creations, and more please visit: www.etsy.com/autumnenchantments www.instagram.com/jensharples www.magicalthings11.blogspot.com jensharples11@gmail.com

Art classes Creative writing classes Private art lessons Creative coaching Memoir coaching Graphic Design Fine Art Illustration

https://crayonboxcollective.com/ https://robinpatterson.myportfolio.com/

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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.

Fare Thee Well

A

nd so, it is time to walk the bridge to the next chapter in our life. Whilst it is sad to move onto another course it is also exciting. We have so much to be grateful for. I have had the honor of interviewing incredible people from all different aspects of Witchery. I have learned so much in the process, its been tough at times working with deadlines etc. but I wouldn’t change the experiences I’ve had for the world. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those I interviewed including Heinz Frommann, our wonderful tree whisperer. Cameron Corbin, for her kitchen witchery. Lavina La Faye, for her outstanding jewelry craft. Kathy Crabbe the Oracle designer. Freya Sheildmaiden, for Nurturing the Goddess within all of us. And, of course, Philip Lynx, our very own Warlock. I particularly need to thank our beautiful editor, Judie Troyansky and creative director, Robin Patterson. Without these two beauties The Starlit 22

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Path would never have been. OOOOOh, by the way, I know you will be delighted to know that all is not lost. These ladies will carry on spreading the word with their websites. You will be able to find Judie at The Dragon Star Collective. www,dragonstarcollective.com And Robin will be at The Crayon Box Collective https:// crayonboxcollective.com/ I would like to leave you all with the wonder of my Goddess Hekate, through poetry, by Gensen Myers. I’ve known Gensen Myers for a good couple of years now. The study and worship of the Goddess Hekate brought us together and we have been good friends for a while. I naturally resonate with Gensen in a rather special and pure way. It is a beautiful thing when one can be so deeply connected with such profound understanding. I do hope you enjoy these poems as much as I do. I personally find each of them personal and touching, I hope you do too. Thank you Gensen! Happy Yule. May the Goddess bless you all.


Hekates’ Moon Gensen Myers

Always, always come to me, lets dance in veiled mystery. Magick saves us from our strife, all our pain, hurt and life, Deep within a warmth now grows, Amber’s mysteries, life’s untold....... Broken Hearts and memories gone, How much longer can she go on.... Ripping, tearing, tears and swearing, Healing, reeling, panic flaring, Trapped in time, frozen here, this life’s mystery, time revered She continues her dance, feeding that glow, for fire lies, trapped in that soul, smoldering, waiting, she waits for the taking, Crisp air, skirts and flare, a cold breeze fills the air, twirling, swirling,it gently caresses that glow and as each moon falls that fire grows Now the burn becomes the beast, free of will and blissful peace, her soul ignites magick furry strength thats needed to rise and free, her earthly soul from misery, her eyes now wide and clear, her spirit now she just might hear, a whispering and knowing from the fierce fires,.... glowing has burned away those binds that were holding, holding her soul and spirit down, but this shall be no more, for freedoms found, and as the moonlight dawns her cheeks, she realizes now as time has ceased,

The voices of ancestors clearly speak, and she knows that she must fulfill that deep yearning that fire keeps, for in this time her feet seem heavy, held down by earthly levy, but she will rise from the ashes to take the place of her souls great passion beyond the veils of time sits a space pure and divine, and once that fire consumes her soul, its here she’l sit in peace and beauty, all life’s mysteries revealed their duties, she is now complete and whole for God rest her earthly soul and angel wings now touch her face and soft laughter bursts forth from unimaginable glory now having been set free of all past life’s furry, now she stands pure and free but fire she shall always be cold fingers now do touch my face she lifts my chin of mortal grace “for my child you’ll always be” and there she stood in all her glory the darkest queen of fires burning Hekate now, she comes for me, perhaps it was all in my mind, as i danced in that space divine, I am the shadow of her darkness I realize now my fires light, is one of her torches burning bright and it has always lit the way, on the worst of mortal days.

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Photo by Thomas Bjornstad on Unsplash

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I let you in Gensen Myers

I feel the silence... and I listen to to the sensation of my breath as it flows across my clenched fist, the one tucked under my cheek as it holds so tightly to the fabric on which I lay... I lay in the darkness drawn to the light of the moon that I know shines brightly outside of my window... the one that shelters me from the storm. At least for the moment ~ for I know that no shelter is permanent... and the storm will always rage on inside of me... it has for all of eternity and I expect that it will continue with each new chance at life... My mind and my thoughts twist and turn... they rise and fall like the most wicked waves beneath the cascade of her light on a most dark night another night spent with my wrestless soul... There is death now... momentarily~ and in that death a strangle familiarity... unexplainable , unexpected... and surely a dream in which I have lost my senses... or have I regained them? Perhaps? Have they merely been aroused from their slumber... awoken by a spiritual force that simply cannot be explained... and although unexplainable it is welcome... Welcome into the darkest corners of my mind, the ones lit by knowledge that unlike myself is not wrestless ~ it is simply there waiting... existing... In a moment, one that seemed to stand endlessly still... I knew that it had been found... found by the one who now lays next to me in another place... in another time, another realm and yet it is this time, this place and this realm and this night... I am comforted... embraced by the absence of your wings... and I feel you, I sense you in your truest form... I did I let you in... I am surrounded by the warmth of your existence & knowledge, it is old... ancient and full of mystery to me it covers my bare flesh like a much needed blanket... This night I knew you and I knew you not... and I understood you like I understand myself Maybe it is no mystery at all for the sands of time have known it and carried it through the ages to exist on this night... two souls like obsidian mirrors, standing across from each other exposing what was hidden... or maybe just buried in those sands... waiting on the storm...

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I slumber in peace since then like never before and yet when I wake I sense you... Moments in triplicate... numerical heartbeats... time My movements somehow tied to your thoughts... or so it seems... Maybe I have gone mad... maybe I am lost in the storm and confused... delirious even I tend to think not she tells me so, and her words shine light on the truth as they have done since the dawn and darkness of time.

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Lunar Awakening Gensen Myers

As I am pulled from my deepest slumber from the land of dead and wonder, I feel the eternal string that binds us stirring restless and wanting I gasp for air I awake, I feel your calling... you are pulling at my hair and ripping at my heart. Your presence grips my soul... you are familiar, yet my mortal eyes only see your surface... but deep within the cauldron of my spirit I feel your untold mysteries, of our dark and mangled history. As I crawl towards you and as I rise before you it’s impossible to ignore you. A beacon in the night you emerge from the pits of darkness, you bestow upon us knowledge... forgotten and untaught. Shine upon me and bathe me in your ancient truths as I breathe you in I am changing coming closer to my birthrite, a child of universal light and darkness... magical and wickedly delightful. Fulfill my yearning... bestow upon me love and passion to comfort me along my journey. Until we are united in your glory, until then I shall not worry...

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Photo by Brooke Campbell on Unsplash

The Queens Dark Embrace Gensen Myers

As the veil grows thin and the time doth near My fierce dark Queen gathers near... for she had told me long ago that things would come of that unknown~ She and the others... those cloaked by wings of moonlight have been watching and waiting to force destinies taking... I knew when I ask that I played a dangerous game making requests of she who carries nights flame... She places her hand upon my weary head her torches burn deep flames of red... she aids in wielding the universal thread... u know the one so fragile, so weak... through human eyes so it would seem but this keeper of my soul she knows how my embers glow... and she has no issue to fan the flame with gasoline dreams and wilds untamed after all I knew deep within my soul that she would force fates hand tick toc tick toc... Time, like falling leaves makes me restless my fear and tears leave me breathless she shall not comfort me she drags me to the crossroads on bloody knees the ones embedded in my mind not forgotten, not this time she would break me into a thousand pieces this I know but she does it because she wishes me to know to transform, to push up from the depths below for long I have felt the cold damp dirt... smelled it’s earth and felt it’s hurt yet there I stayed cold and stiff in Autumns ground but I know not slumber,

not this time of year I hear her calling she shall not be ignored she will force you and guide you, her darkness beside you... My soul it grows restless this time of year Rise up child we give u no choice have u not seen our signs nor heard our voice? The universe always has had you wrapped in red to you my child it seemed stained of wounds, those threads yet all along u did not know for it was nothing more than loves crimson glow rather ironic that fire would not know, the flames of universal love my dear, she whispers close... soft, yet fierce~ I thought I had been forgotten to lay in that dirt sad and rotten but Hecate is always near, she waits for me at crossroads near and again before her I stand with teary eyes and trembling hands... Did u forget u called my name? For I have loosened those threads that held u so tight those delusional ones that have hidden your light and now the gentle breeze of destiny catches that fire the one that struggled so long for air for it shall now ignite and you will be returned to your birth rite a child of fire that u are Tic toc tick toc...

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Your Soul’s Love Affair with the Earth By Leigh Ann Kittell

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shimmer of gems, the waves of the waters, the explosion of lava, and the power of winds. It admires the earth’s creatures large and small. Your soul longs to be close to the planet, but on its own it cannot sense the soil, the water, the fire, and the air though it wishes it could. Your soul says: Look down at the beautiful planet earth. What if I could live close to her? What if I could stand on her ground, drink her water, sense the warmth of her fire, and the freshness of her air? What if I could create freely, like I do now, but also be near her? It may sound too simple to be true, but I believe that this love for earth motivates our soul to incarnate here. What if this seemingly complicated society you live in, with organizations, hierarchies, governments, schools, and multinational corporations, started as a simple but compelling love affair with Mother Earth? And what if our souls’ love for the earth is returned?

Winter 2019   The Starlit Path Magazine

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

our soul has a very special relationship with the earth. Wanting to come into closer connection with the earth is one of the reasons your soul chose to come here. There are ways you can communicate with, appreciate, and enjoy the earth as a human that you can’t as a soul alone. Another way to increase the wattage of your enlightenment and shine brighter is to recognize and adopt your soul’s perspective of the earth. Connecting to your soul, nature, and the earth in your day-to-day life is part of the easy way to enlightenment. I like to imagine what my soul would think and feel looking down at planet earth. What is so compelling about this place that it would make a nonphysical entity like a soul choose to come here? I believe our souls come here for one reason: love. Try it yourself. Imagine your soul is sitting on its perch on the clouds, gazing upon the beautiful planet earth. It sees the

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Loving the Earth Enlightens You appreciation of this planet. We would look up and around and we would find things to acknowledge and we would talk about them right out loud. Esther walks through her gardens and says to everything, you are my favorite, you are my favorite, you are my favorite; you are my favorite stone on the pathway, you are my favorite bird in the tree, you are my favorite flower in bloom, you are my favorite flower not in bloom, you are my favorite tree, you are my favorite bush, you are my favorite frog …

Mother Earth plays an important role in your enlightenment because your soul loves her so deeply. Allow your soul to get close to its big love through you. Your soul will jump out of its seat and rush towards her, lighting you up on the way. Think about how nourishing, comforting, reassuring, and energizing it is to spend time connecting with nature. That’s because these experiences of connections are one of the major reasons your soul wanted to come here in the first place!

A Simple Daily Practice to Love the Earth

You are the place of communion between your soul and the earth.

Loving the earth and finding your role in the ecosystem of nature and humanity is part of the path of enlightenment. You are the place of communion between your soul and the earth. You initiate this communion by finding creative ways to unite your soul with the earth. You will feel the presence of this communion as a state or sensation of love in you (one which you may recognize and can now name). Esther Hicks, channeling her group of guides called Abraham, gives a simple idea on how to connect with the earth. Abraham said that if they were in our physical shoes, they would do certain things on a daily basis, starting with meditating for fifteen minutes every day. Abraham then recommends going outside and appreciating nature: We would go outside no matter what the weather and we would move around in it in 28

Most young children have a natural inclination to observe and commune with nature in this way, noticing and appreciating every little thing. We are born loving nature, and it’s only as we grow older and become distracted that for most of us, this relationship starts to diminish. Rekindle your communion with nature by trying this daily practice: • Go outside no matter what the weather. • Take a walk. • Find things to acknowledge and appreciate. Your homework is to add this one basic practice into your daily life (remember, if you have an alternative favorite daily practice, feel free to use that instead). Create connection through your attention. Take small, conscious, incremental steps to tune in to your soul’s intuition and, as you do, begin to notice your body’s sensations and instincts. Over time, you will know your soul and the earth as an old friend and lover; you can rest in their presence

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and feel invigorated and inspired by your connection to them.

Time and Technique When you look at the earth through the eyes of your soul, you may begin to recognize what thoughts, circumstances, or beliefs stand between you and your soul’s love for the earth. You will also receive your own inner guidance about how to deepen your relationship. I walk to work in the morning. My path takes me through Frankfurt’s Rothschild Park, past some glorious old trees. On some days, I manage to express my appreciation to the trees, the birds, and squirrels. On other days, I find my mind tangled up in thoughts about the office. Sometimes, I have to stop myself in my tracks, pause, and shift gears. When I connect with nature on the way to work, I always feel better during the day. When I let my mind drift into worrisome thoughts about conflicts in the office, I always feel worse. It takes time and practice to develop routines that make you feel better. If you get stuck on any technique I present, don’t worry. Every technique or approach is ancillary to the urgency of your soul to taste, touch, smell, hear, see, and vibrate with the earth through you. If you are a Shamanic practitioner, for example, feel free to work with any other technique you trust. You may find connecting with the earth a new experience. For this reason, I suggest you approach your reunion with a basic technique. A simple daily practice supports your enlightenment while allowing you to keep up with your schedule

of work and family commitments. Initiate your reunification with Mother Earth meditatively—that means silently, softly, and with a sense of open awareness. When it comes time to start your daily practice, you might be confronted with resistance, which can take many forms. Most likely, you will say that you do not have the time. When I had my first job in fund management, I had to call a client and ask for an appointment. I said, “Do you have time for a lunch meeting?” This older man, who would be retiring in the next few years, said to me, “Frau Kittell, it isn’t a question of time, it’s a question of priorities.” I felt a bit embarrassed, but this gentleman taught me a wise truth. We make time for the things that are important to us. It may feel challenging at first to make time for this new practice, but before long, with repetition, it will become a habit, and prioritizing it will be second nature.

A Letter from Mother Earth to You The love between your soul and Mother Earth is already present in your life; it is simply waiting to be discovered. I call Mother Earth our “other mother” because the soul joined with her to create you, much like two humans joined to create the physical you. Imagine this: You are sitting at work and a group of official-looking people come in and bring you a stack of papers. On top of the stack is a letter to inform you that your parents are not who you thought they were, and that your real parents are two other beings. One being is your soul and the other is Mother Earth. Winter 2019   The Starlit Path Magazine

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You are the chooser who navigates mortal You excuse yourself from work and go life as an immortal soul. You have the choice home. Your house is quiet as your family to let your soul flow through you and to let members are still out for the day. You read your soul love me through you. I am asking more of the documents. you to choose to love me. I welcome you, my You also find a letter from your “other child, to my home, if you are willing to enter. mother,” who has been longing for you to Love, engage in a relationship with her. Mother Earth You read the following: How do you feel after this amazing My dear child, discovery? Can you embrace and embody I have an agreement with your soul that it may enter a human animal to become you. Mother Earth’s love for you? Go on a walk or simply sit outside and notice what I am holding your soul energy in your body you feel in your body as you absorb this through my own creative power. So you see, information. Notice how nature—the you are personally attached to me. earth—surrounds you with her love. Allow Your soul spins into an animal body to yourself to feel held. become you. The animal body is part of my Allowing the earth to love you as a realm, nature. Your human body is part of parent provides you with the deep support nature. Like all animals in nature, it dies and grounding that will enable you to live a and returns to my soil. The soul returns to truly enlightened life. the ethereal realms. My home is the realm of the drums, the Invest in Nature dance, the rituals in the moonlight. My realm is the realm of the seasons, the A few years back, I offered group elements, the minerals, and the plants. My channelings locally. The groups often realm is the realm of birth and death, of asked questions about the current energies motherhood, childhood, and aging. I am at play in the world and what is coming thunder and lightning. I appear silent, but I next for humanity. The participants shake the world through my storms, quakes, want to hear encouraging words from and tsunamis. the heavens about the global challenges It is my greatest wish for you to know we face, such as the threat of war and that you are part of the unstoppable terrorism. They also like the cosmic gossip, and indiscriminately inclusive creative “the scoop,” about the future. I received consciousness of nature. As long as you are questions like, “Will we someday be able alive, you create. By directing your attention to tele-transport?” or “When will aliens to your aliveness, you can create like I do. come to visit us?” After all, you are my child. I invite you At the channelings, I opened up to my to harness the creative energy that flows guides and sensed into which energies through you and create in my name. wanted to connect to us. The Spirits of the

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too fast, life finds a way to hit the brakes, such as stopping me at red lights when I’m rushing to work or dosing me with a cold when life gets too busy. Have a closer look at your experience. Does life ever make you stop and smell the roses? Disconnection from nature is a major “disease” of the modern era, which creates much dis-ease in our lives. Some think of the idea of cultivating a relationship with nature—of stopping to watch bees enjoy a field of lavender or listen to the music of a gently flowing stream—as boring. We tend to want action and flash. Yet your relationship with the earth is one of the most powerful and dynamic you will ever experience, if you let it be.

Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

Trees often asked to speak to the group. Many times, I chose to let the trees express themselves through me to us. The trees asked us to spend time with them and to sense them. All they wanted was for us to be present with them. Some participants expressed boredom after the channeling. They said, “I’m not so interested in that nature stuff.” I learned from this experience that we often see nature as ancillary or even bothersome. Like the stock trader who wants the quick buck on the markets, I had the impression that at times we want to do a few “quick trades” to step towards enlightenment. My personal experience has taught me that this approach is not sustainable. When I go

A BOUT THE AUTHOR Leigh Ann Kittell is a life coach, yoga teacher, and intuitive empath with an unquenchable curiosity about how to transcend the challenges of everyday life through self-development and modern spiritual practices. After a miraculous encounter with a Reiki master, Leigh Ann dedicated herself to learning as much as she could about esotericism and healing, with the goal of understanding the mechanisms through which she had healed, and how she could help others do the same. Leigh Ann teaches and works with individuals and groups internationally, sharing practices on connecting with higher forms of guidance, and helping people sense and develop a relationship with their soul. Born and raised in the United States, Leigh Ann has lived in Europe for the last twenty years, giving her a unique, global perspective on modern spirituality. She is a Martha Beck Certified Life Coach and brings more than two decades of research to her fresh approach to the topic of enlightenment. www.leighannkittell.com/book

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The 2019 Kingston Tarot Len The year is 2019 and the Empress plays with the Hanged Man!* By Mary Moroska In our part of the world The Empress morphed into Marilyn Shannon and with her moniker “Ms. Fearless” embodied the energy of the Hanged Man to enchant and bless our collective minds with her gift of the Kingston Tarot Lenormand Conference. Officially, this was the third edition and in my opinion, the most intense and transformational version. In anticipation of the main event, Marilyn hosted regular Zoom “mini conference” sessions with the presenters. These were generously offered to the members in the Facebook group started after the last conference in 2017. So we honed our skills and drooled waiting for the moment to arrive. And as we registered we were gifted with our “pre-conference mini reading”: a card from Carrie Paris’ Relative Tarot; one from Andrew McGregor’s Orisha Tarot; and one from Monica Bodirsky’s House of Shadows Lenormand. Finally! Friday November 8 arrived and at 11:00 so did my vivacious “chauffeur” Sandra Tickner-Broadhurst. Off we went to our next stop to pick up our erstwhile editor Judie Troyansky. And after a pinkie ritual (Reader, you do remember this, yes?) we were off to Kingston…. … Settling in at the hotel. Getting 32

the lay of the land. And we found our hostess in the Dining Lounge brimming with lovely cookies. The welcoming committee pointed us to our swag. Time to catch up with Facebook and real-time friends and make new connections. As the afternoon slipped into evening, a generous “light supper” arrived and then it was off to visit the “candy store”. Ahh! The delights that were brought: Kate Stockman Designs; Andrew McGregor from Hermit’s Lamp; Carrie Paris and her decks and charms; Shelley Carter with Elora Tarot & Tarotphernalia; Linda Scallion from the Purple Door Books and Gifts; Mary Alps with Moonflower Soaps and PrettyRox; Monica Bodirsky with her Lenormand Decks and Original Artwork; Lori Lytle from Inner Goddess Tarot with her talismans and Goddess Jewelry; Susan Brecht of Aloha Healing

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normand Conference Diaries with her Ha Breath infused jewelry; Judy Nathan with fancy tarot pouches and her Goddess inspired jewels; Victoria Sage from Victrix Oracle with her crystals. Good thing we had “paper” and plastic and that the hotel had an ATM machine. I am sure that l am not the only one whose wallet got lighter and bags got heavier. Candy store emptied for our under the stars Opening ceremonies. Shelley Carter and Gail Woods inspired us to unite with purpose and spread our “heart warmth” and sparkly lights in spite of the cold. And so it truly begins! Saturday dawned sunny and who knows what it was like outside. Inside we were mesmerized by Andrew McGregor’s and Carrie Paris’ session on “Charming the Dead”. This dynamic duo explained how and helped us become comfortable in this fascinating form of divination. Definitely an eye-popper and how accurate! After this intense work, Susan Lisa Brecht helped bring us back to “reality” with her Hawaiian Energy session. I am grateful and still feeling

the calming “surf ” energy. And then it was lunchtime. Oh, did I mention the “recess” goodies available during the day? Yes we were extremely well fed and taken care of by our hostess and her team! Not stepping on the scales for a while. Lunchtime also meant there were door prizes to give out. These were donated by our very generous community. Christmas came early for many happy recipients. Thank you, thank you, thank you all Gifters. They were truly appreciated and found wonderful homes! After such delights, we were brought back to order and now, we were learning about ourselves and our journey through time. Monica Bodirsky asked us to find discover a previous life time using our favourite deck. Then, to consolidate the wisdom we gained, she had us create a collage from the materials found, brought and supplied. What fun! The room was a-buzz. There was much laughter and great exchange as we overcame our artistic blocks

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and produced amazing art pieces. After so much brain activity, it was time to relax, to decide what we want for supper and if we want to stay or go. Sleep? What’s that? It was more fun to socialize, to roam, to talk, to laugh and to make new friends. Sunday arrived with the threat of a winter storm promising miserable driving conditions. But that was for early evening and we still had plenty of time to “play”. So apart from being wonderfully fed and being gifted with more door prizes, we had our last session. James Wells showed us how to communicate with “Ourselves”. And thanks to his wonderful presentation and very extensive notes and suggested reading list, we not only learned how to find our true purpose but also how to “make it real, now”. And the process can continue at our leisure. And again, Susan helped to calm us down so we can enjoy lunch. The afternoon was open-ended. All the presenters were now available to all 106 of us for questions and tutorials so that we all can leave with a firm grasp of what we had learned. But as the weather became more threatening some took the wise decision to drive safely home thus missing the indoor closing ceremonies so expertly crafted by Shelley and Gail. 34

I am in awe of the amount of concerted effort by a group of very dedicated women it took to make this such a warm, connected and intimate community. And I want to thank: Mary Alps, Yvonne Breau, Maria Cordeiro, Carol Gall, Lynn Godbout, Terrylynne Owen, Heidi Penning, Colleen Pritchard, Paula Sara, Debbie Thompson, Kelly Timmerman for all their time and energy. And to Vanessa Longul and her Goodie bag stuffers for coordinating all the surprises a deep bow and thank you. You see, as we came in, we each received a personalized bag with the cards Marilyn greeted us with when we registered. In it we found an individualized charm tin and cloth, a mug rug (or 3 card reading rug if you wish), gift bag from 13 Moons with some incense and a personal little note and rune message, and a teaser for the upcoming “Dragon Star collective”. To all involved and especially Ms. Fearless aka Marilyn Shannon I take off my hat, bow and thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your vision and your fearlessness with us all! And what is

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upcoming in 2 years for this community that was so lovingly nurtured by our Empress? Marilyn Shannon has announced that she and her planning committee are retiring. Seems like the Hanged Man needs to be honoured. BUT that can also mean that there could be another group of generous souls willing to continue the tradition. And the task might be less daunting if the Empress and her court with their accumulated knowledge and wisdom are not too far away. New challenges await Ms. Fearless. Bless you and enjoy them all, Marilyn. But the question for us is: Who will pick up the gauntlet she threw? -respectfully submitted by Mary Moroska 2019-11-18

A Rookie Reader at The Kingston Conference by Sandra Tickner-Broadhurst In November 2017, I had the pleasure of going to the Kingston Tarot Lenormand Conference with my friend Judie Troyansky. At that time, I had no idea what to expect and was very pleasantly surprised, loving the experience. It was there I met Mary Moroska. As we discovered we share the same birthdate

and similar interests, kindred spirits found each other. Our little group was born that weekend and we dubbed ourselves the Kingston Trio. On Friday, November 8th, 2019, we hooked our pinkies together and with a loud hoot, we set off on our 4-hour conference journey from Montreal to Kingston where, Upon arriving at the hotel, we quickly plunked our baggage in our room, chose sides of the bed, changed from our winter boots into our shoes, and headed out to the Lobby for the “Meet & Greet”. I was really looking forward to reconnecting with those from the 2017 conference. We walked through the door, and there she was, the Host of this marvelous conference, Marilyn Shannon and her team, waiting inside to greet us. No time was lost signing in and, like a child, I collected my goody bag. I LOVE goody bags and I was not disappointed; for inside each of our bags was a smaller one. It smelled so good from the sticks of incense inside, a rune from 13 Moons (mine read “Partnership”), a tiny card with the word Balance written on it. How perfectly matched this word was for in French the word for Libra is Balance, and that is my astrological sign. Then there was the 3 Tarot cards Marilyn had pulled and posted on the conference Facebook

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hearing there was going to be a 2019 conference. Suffice it to say I have no regrets with my purchases, or should I say Treasures. Around this same time in the Meet & Greet room, a light buffet meal was served page, a kit of charms and cloth, stickers where we filled our plates from a variety of and a postcard from The Dragon Star Collective, and chocolates. Nice little goody cold cuts, vegetable and fruit plates, dips, breads, including a special section for the bag, wouldn’t you say. Marilyn made sure vegans, the vegetarians, and gluten free everyone received 3 charms representing bread. Another special touch by Marilyn, each of their 3 cards. This is the type of personal touch that makes Marilyn and her assuring those with special needs are being accommodated. La peice de resistance which team so special. were trays of Sushi. Believe me, there was We were some the of first to arrive, so no shortage of food, au contraire, there was the room was fairly empty, but the bar top was covered with plates of tasty, beautifully food, en-masse. Truly a spread fit for a King, Queen, Page and Court. decorated cookies waiting for the gang to Soon it was 8 pm. The opening arrive. It didn’t take me long to prepare a ceremony, led by Shelley Carter and Gail little plate for our table, pull out my charm Wood, began. My, but it was cold enough kit and do a quick read as we anticipated to freeze a witch’s broom, but that did not connecting and chatting with fellow attendees. Before we could say abracadabra, stop us. Nope, we all joined in to create the room was filled with sounds of chatting, a beautiful opening hugs and kisses. Time flew by and I was off ceremony with song and dance that made the to the Sneak Peek Pre-shopping. night sky shimmer with Shortly after the doors opened, I was joy. I loved listening to there exploring. Ah, but I fell in love with the shared laughter, and so many things and silently wrote my wish my heart was singing list. Having learned from my mistake at as we formed the circle the previous conference (I hadn’t brought and passed the opening enough cash) I made sure I wouldn’t make greeting between each of the same mistake this time around, so I us. A song sprang forth began saving almost immediately upon 36

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from Kate Stockman and we joined her, singing and dancing through the spiral until we found our way, hand in hand circling the alter. Adding to the magic was the shimmering light of the sparklers, lit, one from the other as each soul moved all around the circle’s space in commune Mother Nature and the elements. Dancing under the night sky we prepared for the work on the morrow. At one moment I found myself standing still gazing at the moon as she shone down upon us all. The magic flowed through me Slowly our sparklers faded, and we individually began to flow back into the warmth of the hotel. Entering the lobby, some in silence, some laughing in shared joy, and others chatting quietly with each other. The circle was now open, and I felt lighter than I had for a very long time. Saturday morning began with a hot breakfast provided by the Marriott Residence Inn, Kingston Water’s Edge. Once finished, we began flowing into the conference hall. Some were already gathered at their tables and I was struck

with the preparedness of everything. The flow of it all. The tables were ready and stocked with the supplies we needed for Carrie Paris and Andrew Kyle McGregor’s “Charm the Dead” workshop. The charm kit and cloth from our goody bag was for this workshop and I was really eager to get started and learn how to contact my ancestors. Carrie and Andrew did a phenomenal job of teaching the room full of seekers. We learned how to cast and read our charms. It was a very insightful experience. Their presentation was well prepared, interesting, informative and educative. The depth of my message from this casting surprised me and throughout the weekend I felt this ancestor’s message was confirmed over and over again. From talking to others, I heard many say they experienced the same phenomenon. Overall, it was a truly awesome experience and now it is up to me continue to develop my skills to a much higher level of efficiency. Thank you, Carrie and Andrew you made it so easy to understand. The food at the break was as impressive as in previous years with the tables loaded with snacks galore that included multiple choices of juices, teas and coffee to wash them down with. Time between provided the opportunity to chat with the four

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speakers or get books and decks autograph. Thank you again Marilyn for making that possible. Oh, and let’s not forget the shopping, yes, the shopping…. (smiling sigh), and the drawing of door prizes. The door prize tables were stoked with a variety of choices and I had a wonderful time exploring and circling the table during the break. You know, just to get an idea what was there in case my name might be called. I fell in love with a light, pastel colored coat and she felt like she knew my name. Could it be??? The morning session ended with Susan Lisa Brecht giving a group Hawaiian Energy Session. What a glorious experience, my heart chakra filled with healing colors and exploded into the most beautiful butterfly. I drank it all in and filled my tank to the brim. I stayed in that beautiful space the rest of the weekend. I felt full. I was one of the Diamond gang which meant special dietary requirements, and the spread was plentiful and delicious. Salads, dips, sauces, chicken, rice, desserts. The choice was wonderful and for my taste, satisfying and flavorful. Kudos to the caterers. We were back in the conference room for 1:15 and more Door Prizes were given out! 38

My name wasn’t called by the jacket remained…could she be waiting? Back to work, Part 1 of Monica Bodirsky’s workshop, the “Past Life Regression” offered us the choice of which deck we preferred to use, Tarot or Lenormand. I initially thought I would use my new Akashic Record deck, but it didn’t feel right. Next, I tried my Fairy Tale Lenormand and put that back too. Out came well-used Ryder-Waite deck, and she was singing so we worked together. Monica’s process permitted me to experience a past life with someone who I was very surprised to meet. This was not my first experience doing a past life regression, and I have, at times, encountered some not so pleasant “me’s” from these regressions but this one, this male, left me feeling firmly connected and enlightened to my current (female) life experience. It also connected to my morning reading. The overarching of the readings was becoming clear to me. Simply “Wow” is all I have to say on the first part of the workshop. The second part we created our collages. I had never made a collage in any way prior to being at the conference. When we had been asked to bring things with us to create our collage,

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I had no idea what to bring. To my great surprise the combination of what we all had to share with each other turned out to be perfect and, as I came to know this past life, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised with what manifested in my collage. The things I found there spoke volumes to me. As a music therapist by profession, I expected music to manifest somehow. It did not show up anywhere. Instead, I had a powerful understanding manifest and I think I can say that it may have changed the way I perceive my place in the world from here on in. This is not a light statement. My collage resides now beside my bed continuing to work with me in my dreams and remind me I am exactly where I am supposed to be on my life path, right now. That was a message I really needed to hear. As the wordy person I am, I have none to express the impact Monica’s wonderful workshop provided me. Thank you, Monica, for providing this opportunity. With everything that had transpired during the day, the intense work we had done, having Saturday Night as ‘supper on our own’, fit the bill. Although Spirit kept us replenished to do our

work, the “time out” time allowed me to integrate my experiences. Our Kingston Trio opted to stay in and dine with other participants in the conference hall. Marilyn had ordered pizza for those who wished to partake (I did) while Mary & Judie ordered in Vietnamese. It was so

A BOUT THE PHOTOS Comments from the artist: Don Rooke Since retiring from my career as a chef, photography has become my source of creative expression. It allows me to feel young and healthy. Whether at home in Ontario or travelling, I search for the next sunrise and let my camera lead me to new adventure. I enjoy meeting new people and learning about different cultural experiences as I travel though the world and towards my new future. A friend once said “Life is like a culinary field where you find the freshest ingredients; add the them at just the right time. So, savor the taste and enjoy the delights. Bio Don Rooke is originally from Ottawa but moved to Kingston a few years ago. He can be contacted by email donrooke@yahoo.com To see photos of his current travels through Australia, please follow his page on Facebook; just search for donrooke21

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pleasant sitting and chatting quietly with Marilyn and a few others who strolled in to join us, each from their respective dinner plans. Soon a tired, and almost voiceless Marilyn had to lock up the room and we moved our new little gang to the comfy breakfast nook hosting a lovely glowing fireplace. We remained there into the midnight hour joined throughout the evening by others from the conference. What a hoot! In a spirit of camaraderie, we laughed, shared stories, discussed various topics, shared opinions, and created new friendships. It was awesome being surrounded with these creative, kind, funny, talented, loving souls. Gradually dispersing, we headed back to our room where Mary and I continued our discussion on existential issues until Judie finally suggested, rather sturdily “Go to Bed!!!” Sunday morning brought another welcoming breakfast and off to James Wells’ workshop. James ability to work with the level of higher vibrations I found impressive. I admire his respect and understanding of the power he has been gifted with. I felt the room vibrating as he began his work with us. He taught with knowledge, with humor, and compassionately made us aware 40

of the importance of staying focused when working with higher dimension vibrations. James guided us to delve into and understand the lives we are living now. Incorporating numerology and Tarot, we were provided with printed sheets that taught us how to use a 5- card spread for self-awareness. Working in groups of two we drew our cards to answer the specific questions which included; what we love, what the world needs, our work potential, and our qualities. Several steps are included in his method and we followed the steps replying to questions of mission, vocation, profession and passion, and then, after totaling the numbers on the cards together, the sum of the cards provided us with the final card, or answer, the ‘Ikigai’, our ‘reason for being”. Again, I was provided with an important message. Clear as a bell I understood my life path. Resonating inside and out. I understood the reason for this journey. More door prizes followed. Guess what, my name was called, and the jacket I had chosen the day before found itself in my arms. I walked back to my table, happy as a bug, and smiling from ear to ear. Unfortunately, no donor name was there so I sent them a thank you on the energy highway. If you are reading this right now,

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the Helm, perhaps under your tutorship. In our little neck of the world, the Kingston Conference has found a home and what you have provided is priceless. I, for one, send out the call to others, that we may find a way to ensure your work is continued. With that said, I end this review by saying Thank you to each and every one who worked, taught, donated, supported, and travelled. The Kingston Tarot Lenormand Conference 2019 was yet another huge success. Kudos! Blessings all.

I LOVE the jacket and it fits like a dream. For the Kingston Trio the time to leave was upon us as we could not stay for the closing ceremony. We said our goodbyes to old, and new friends and with farewells and hugs we left this magical energy to return to our daily lives and headed back to Montreal. The Kingston Taron Lenormand Conference 2019 had come to an end for us, but I truly hope there will be another one in the not too distant future. I give it an A+. Marilyn Shannon announced this will be her last time hosting the Kingston Tarot Lenormand Conference and I think It would be a shame if it did not continue. I wish to say Thank you, Marilyn for sharing your incredible energy and talents to have made these events happen. I do hope it will continue, if not with you at

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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, Self-Help/Spiritual: Personal Power Through Awareness: A Guidebook for Sensitive People by Sanaya Roman Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies Review: As someone who easily picks up on other people’s energies, I found this book to be amazingly helpful. If you aren’t already sensitive to the swirling forces others give off, this is a great place to start to begin opening yourself to them. Broken into two main sections, the first and larger one focuses on sensing energy (when I discuss the first section, I will be skipping the first introductory chapter). The second is entirely devoted to clearing energy. Perhaps one of my favorite things about the first section is most of the chapters have a “playsheet” at the end, which is basically a list of different exercises to help you put what you read in the previous chapter into practice. The first major trio of chapters in this section all focus on energy itself - what it is, how to sense and direct it. For those who are closed off to this particular perception or are unaware of what 42

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they’re sensing, this is the perfect place to start. The following four chapters are more introspective - who are you really? Roman helps you dive into the depths of your innermost self to take an unfiltered look at your soul. From this you branch out into how you interact with and affect others. The truth can be painful but it can also be beautiful, and only by being totally honest with yourself in a positive light can you hope to begin growing. This part is a great way to learn about being honest yet kind, and adjusting your view. Once you’ve become comfortable with energy and truth, you’re ready to grow. The rest of the first section’s chapters are devoted to growing, becoming familiar with your inner self in a new way, controlling the energy you broadcast, and becoming more open to higher forms of communication both with those around you and higher realms of existence than the one our mortal bodies inhabit. Although this may seem like a lot to take in, this book was in no way meant to be breezed through, but meant to be slowly worked through and absorbed as you grow and learn. The second section wraps up the book with three chapters devoted to clearing energy and suggestions. Opening yourself to energies can be enlightening,


freeing, and exhausting. This helps you free yourself of the lesser energies weighing you down. Personally, the final chapter was the most important. Clearing suggestions, which includes (but is by no means limited to): thoughts, memories, and your environment. In summary, this is a great book to grow your inner self. There’s no set time table to go through it, and shouldn’t feel pressured to rush through it. This is a journey for you to go on for yourself and for no other reason. You’ll know when you’re ready, and this book will be there waiting to help guide you. Buy it: https://amzn.to/2Xml3zW  Non-Fiction, Divination/Intuition: A Little Bit of Intuition: An Introduction to Extrasensory Perception by Catharine Allan Rating: 5 out of 5 fairies Review: A Little Bit of Intuition is perfect for focusing on sharpening what is colloquially referred to as your sixth sense. One of my favorite things about this book is how personal it is. Allan is unafraid to open up about her own experiences, and lays everything down for the reader as though she were speaking to an old friend over tea. The first three chapters are a general introduction to intuition, Allan and her journey, and the different forms of extrasensory perceptions (yes there are more than one)! The following chapter is entirely devoted to distinguishing intuition from other things that may disguise themselves, and often contribute to the common fear of trusting that inner voice or feeling. It’s not unusual for people in today’s increasingly digitally connected world to scoff at things that aren’t tangible, and Allan helps the reader navigate these doubts and negative feelings surrounding your ability to trust that higher sense. The next four chapters focus on developing

and using intuition. The beautiful thing about intuition is even the most analytical mind possesses intuition, even if it is deeply buried. Many people have trusted their intuition without realizing it, often with positive results. The exercises are easy for people of all skill levels to do and aren’t intimidating at all. To wrap up this subsection, Allan focuses on reading people. As a follow up to reading people, something that often isn’t addressed wraps up the educational part of the book - ethics and reading people. Intuition is a really powerful tool and using it with abandon could hurt others as much as it could help them. Like any form of power, it is important to be aware of others when exercising it. A wonderful, succinct yet personal guide to developing and using your intuition, even for those who think they have none. Perfect for a hot cup of tea on an evening or three in. Buy it: https://amzn.to/2KqDI8Q  

A farewell note from your reviewer: I’ve had a wonderful time working with everyone at The Starlit Path but I also know all too well that sometimes the universe has other plans for us and life rearranges our priorities. Writing these final reviews was a little bittersweet, but life is full of many transitions, and I know that changes are on the horizon for me as well. I’ll still be doing book reviews on my blog, and you can contact me directly at lily@thefaeriereview. com. I wish everyone all the best, and may the light never leave your path no matter how dark things may seem at times. I hope I’ve managed to bring a little of my own light to your lives with my brief ramblings. All my love, Liliyana Shadowlyn

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The Karmic Path by Kelin Carreiro

Same characters Different skins How many times Till you learn your lesson?

Thirst for desire Slave for pride Boxed pains Then the Soul cries

Waves, Rays Colors and Greys The polarized swing Where will you stay?

Painted gold in one light Faded grey in another Dual reflections A foe or a brother?

Same characters Different skins How many times Till you learn your lesson?

The loss is gain Just change direction Transcending time Is compassionate action

Surfaced cool Submerged rage Conflicting emotions The rattling cage

Ruptured by Light Captured by heart Darkness recedes Awakening starts

Same characters Different skins How many times Till you learn your lesson?

Photo by João Santos on Unsplash

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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/

Rituals We are coming towards the end of the Gregorian year and as such rituals are enacted all around us in various ways. These are created to commemorate religious events such as Solstice, Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza (just to name a few), to observe the passing of time such as the New Year or the changing seasons, to celebrate the completion of goals attained such as graduations or just to simply connect to loved ones during some of the aforementioned revelry. But in reality, we perform rituals regularly to connect to a part of our psyche who likes to commemorate significant times in our lives, whether they be internal or external manifestations. In my previous article, Walking with the Goddess (Issue 7, Fall 2019), I talked about how to protect yourself which is a great predecessor before you start working on rituals. Rituals are a form of magic and

as such can attract various energies so it’s prudent to be prepared. Creating rituals can be personal or public and can be as simple or elaborate as you want them to be. Let’s work through some of the basics in ritual and the things you need to cover to successfully complete a ritual.

What is Ritual? A ritual is a ceremony in which a number of actions are enacted in a set of ordered steps which may be religious or ceremonial in nature.

Why do Ritual? Rituals have benefits as they are extremely effective when you engage in an act which will bring you benefits (psychologically or physically) whether they be religious or secular in nature.

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Steps in Ritual A ritual can be broken down into the following: 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 (ie 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. After you clear the space its ready to be used for ritual purposes. • 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, center it and call in assistance and blessings. • Magic Create magic, however it might look – spells, heka1, chanting, singing, poetry, gifts,

blessings or simply share thanks and love with those gathered. • Offerings In order for the creation of magic to manifest we need offer something, given freely and without hurt to God/ Goddess/Spirits/Ancestors/ Participants) such as words or physical items. • Ending Close the sacred space. This can be done by winding up the circle (close), rejumping the hedge, closing the temple room and bidding farewell and banishing energies summoned. • Outcome Now the outcome will manifest either instantly or in due course, depending on the ritual. One of the simplest rituals I have personally created and completed is my self-initiation and dedication to a deity. Here is one I wrote many moons ago for Hekate which you might find useful and which you can use as a guideline when writing your own ritual:

1 Heka is the God of Magic in the Egyptian pantheon and, also meant the connection between the practitioner and divine intention.

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

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Hekate Self Initiation Performed on Sunset/Sunrise in a liminal place Items Needed: • 1 black candle • 2 white candles • 1 lighter • 2 coins • 2 keys • 1 glass of wine or grape juice • Moon cakes • 1 glass of water • Salt • Hekate incense or similar • Charcoal • Incense burner • Hekate oil or similar • Pad and Pen

Whatever ritual you create, ensure you do your prep and follow through and you’ll be set for a successful ritual. In Her name, Setjataset

Photo by đ&#x;‡¸đ&#x;‡Ž Janko FerliÄ? - @specialdaddy on Unsplash

Preparation: Clean the working space and neutralize energies. This can be done by completing the LBRP 2 , sweeping the space with a broom, clearing the temple with incense and khernips etc. Ensure alter is set up with items needed. Anoint the black candle with the Hekate oil. Anoint self with Hekate oil between the brow. Create Sacred Space In any manner you are accustomed to. Magickal Working As a sign of devotion offer Hekate a coin, a white candle and a key. (The coin can be given to a charity or left at a crossroads after the ritual, the white candle can be used when invoking Hekate and the key can be used when working with Hekate to unlock mysteries or connect to her).

Light the black candle and Invoke Hekate by reciting a prayer written in her name. Make an offering to Hekate consisting of wine and moon cakes. Speak to Hekate in your own words. Tell Hekate that you are dedicating yourself to her service and let her know what you can offer her as her devotee. Share with her where you are at in your life and what you feel is holding you back and what you want to achieve. Ask Hekate for her blessings, guidance and help. Remember to be clear and concise with your words. After you have done this visualize Hekate unlocking a door and opening it before you, she hands you a key as you pass through the door and there you find a crossroad before you. Hekate holds her arms up before her in witch-pose and lights the appropriate path before you with her blazing torches. Hekate hands you a torch and beckons you to walk along beside her as she guides you down the illuminated path. Follow the illuminated path until you find the answer you seek. After you have found the answer you seek thank Hekate for her assistance and farewell her. Record any insights or advice given. Close Sacred Space In any manner you are accustomed to similar to creating sacred space.

ď‚Ş

2 LBRP = lesser banishing ritual of the pentagram

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Final Thoughts on the Universal Laws by Rosemary McCarthy

E

verything and Everyone emanated from the Universal creative force. We came forth as loving expressions of this God-force, are still connected to it, and will eventually realign with its precepts. Everything within this creation is connected by a unifying factor, as there is a Oneness that pervades and connects all the parts of it. Universal Laws were set out at the creation of the Universe, and some apply to us. First there was only the Oneness, an energy characterized by blissful love. That love energy created abundantly and fearlessly and had no awareness of itself or its creations. These creations are our beginnings: we are the extensions of the Oneness, albeit further along the line. Created by the Oneness and fully meshed with it, at this point we had no fear, ideas of limitation, any concept of right or wrong, or of separation: of “other.” There was not even a perception of “other”. There was total unity. This Oneness, this all-encompassing creative force of the Universe, may be the “one unifying principle” physicists have been looking for. In our beginnings – before form, we embodied unconditional love, connectedness, and unity of purpose. We were co-creators with that God-energy/ Oneness we emanated from. We effortlessly brought forth glorious realities merging the powerful Father energy and the creative Mother energy in perfect balance, while still maintaining the concept of a unity of consciousness and purpose, all within the auspices of free will. However, somewhere along the way, an awareness of Self emerged, and then the thought that I-can-doit-on-my-own, apart from the original creative force 48

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arose. Free will allowed this to occur. In time, our sense of connectedness, unity of purpose, and all that was inherent to the Oneness were ignored, leading to duality and polarity. We still hold a memory of that Oneness. This is what has created longing within us. Deep within the recesses of our unconscious we remember the unconditional love and sense of unity. We know it is right. And possible. However, the connection to it is most often just beyond our reach. Throughout history there have always been people who could connect back to it, but they were few and far between, and could never create the momentum needed to influence all of us to totally shift our ways.

Universal Laws and Principles Govern Us Laws and principles were set out at the creation of our cosmos. And because we emanated from and are still linked to that original creative force, some of these laws and principles influence us and govern our relationship to it, and to its power. They can help us rekindle the unconditional love and sense of unity we lost. These laws and principles are simply explanations of how to uphold the required vibrations to align with the Universal forces, so that we can take advantage of what is not only available to us, but what is actually our inheritance. When we do not adhere to these laws and principles, then by default, our own internal thoughts and ideas – with their fears, worries, judgments, and limitations prevail. God, Creator, Source, Allah, Holy Spirit, and the term Universe are often used to denote the creative force. Whatever term we use when speaking about or to that higher power, the notion that there is an


Photo by Micah Hallahan on Unsplash

organizing, benevolent principle at play to guide us, support us, and help us is a great comfort. We just have to look up at the sky in the day and the stars and planets at night to understand that there must be a higher power holding it all together. We cannot deny that something with a magical quality is orchestrating it all. Then we look at the chaos in our world, and cannot make a connection between the two. Humans inherited this duality and polarity from a time before form, and as we played it out, we fell deeper and deeper into darkness. The holy people and Masters were sent to help us realign with the precepts of love and unity, but for the most part, we ignored, misperceived, or were so stuck in the darkness we didn’t understand their messages.

It is Our Cosmic Time to Override Our Past We are now at the pinnacle of our evolution, and it is our cosmic time to find our way out. It is our time to override the habitual behaviors that we inherited from the past, but that have become our norm: our operating system. Understanding and applying the Universal Laws is part of our guidance to do so. So is understanding our existence as a whole and our connection to the cosmos. (I explain these concepts more fully in chapter 8, “Science” in Your Journey to Peace,(www.spiritedfawnpublications.com). Eastern philosophies and “A Course in Miracles” suggest that only the Oneness exists, and that everything else is an illusion: we are an illusion, the Masters are illusions, the Universe is an illusion, and even Spirit or Holy Spirit (our connection to the Oneness) is an illusion. The separation we thought

we had brought about by doing-it-on-our-own never occurred: this is the first illusion we bought into. As our basic premise was illusionary and erroneous, we existed under a false operating system, which lead us to create illusion upon illusion – until conditional love and separate agendas became the only truths we knew. They actually became our survival tools. We have been so disconnected from that original unconditional love and sense of unity and so deeply entrenched in our survival tools and the me-vs-you and us-vs-them paradigms, that it has often been hard to imagine, or even believe, that living under the premises of love and unity is right, or even possible. This is why there is such a dichotomy of beliefs in the world today. Many feel the spark of this cosmic timing, some don’t understand or believe it, while others are in such denial of the concepts that they are digging deeper and deeper into duality and polarity – into the disconnect from love and unity of purpose. The concepts of yin and yang within some forms of the Eastern Taoist and Confucianism belief systems are considered explanations of this duality and polarity. There is love. There is hate. There is good. There is bad. There is up. There is down. In complete Oneness, there is no duality, or polarity. And one day, we will all return to embracing its concept. For now, these will still play out, but as we begin to bridge the gap between science, religion, and spirituality, we start to diminish polarity. Scientists have now proven that for every action there is a reaction. And inherent in that concept, action means energy. Everything is energy, and so for us the energy of our thoughts, emotions, words,

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The Universal Laws and Our Highest Potentials The Universal laws that apply to us guide us to embrace the attitudes, qualities, characteristics, and principles we need to abide by in order to align to our highest potentials and become our Best Self. They help us to align our beings so that we can be working at our highest potentials: happy, peaceful, empowered, and harmony with others and the Planet – embracing the qualities of the original love, unity, interconnectedness, and Oneness we emanated from – in form here on earth, as well as to assist our soul’s journey into its next phase. These laws and principles do not hold commands. They are suggestions. They are about vibrations. If our vibrations are in harmony with those of the Universal creative force and the Oneness it embodies, we align with it and can tap into the love, peace, and grace it holds. And we can tap into its creative power. All aspects of love and anything that upholds harmony and aims to unite, aligns with the Oneness paradigm. All attitudes akin to hate and/ or that provoke conflict and aim to separate, are disconnected from it. 50

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

intentions, and the energy our behaviors give off are under the Universal Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Attraction. We now know that we affect outcomes – and that we can consciously direct outcomes. We now know that whatever we put out into the world will have a reverberating effect. If we put out any of the qualities of love, love will be returned to us. If we put out any of the qualities of fear or hate, the reverberating effect will be that some of the same will be returned to us. The Law of Cause and Effect and the Law of Attraction are always at play. (The qualities of love and fear are explained in both Your Journey to Peace … and Why We Are the Way We Are).


Many Universal Laws. There are many other Universal Laws than the ones I give below, and from many traditions and belief systems – old and new. People may teach the Law of Transmutation, the Law of Gender, the Law of Sacred Purpose, the Law of Give and Receive, the Law of Divine Compensation, and the Law of Within and Without. All the Universal Laws of the past and present have value, hold truth, and offer us good guidelines. Some could be considered subsets of others. And many say the same or similar things, just in a different way. Here is a recap of the six Universal Laws I discussed in this eight-part series for The Starlit Path, and that were most appropriate to the concepts I was writing about in Your Journey to Peace…. First, the Law of Openness denotes that we have to be in a state of receptivity to be able to access the love, joy, sense of empowerment and other gifts available to us from the Universe. Second, the Law of Authenticity indicates that we need to come from an honest place within ourselves. We must understand our motivations. Third, the well-known Law of Attraction confirms that we are vibration and maintains the principles that “like attracts like” and “we are the creator of our own realities.” Fourth, the Law of Cause and Effect clarifies that we are the cause of our life experiences, we are not at the effect of the world around us. Fifth, the Law of Balance suggests that we should strive to live in a way that promotes a sense of equilibrium in our lives and harmony in our beings. To become balanced, we also have to make peace with all parts of ourselves as well as the world around us.

And finally, the Law of Expansion comes into play in our life once the other laws are well integrated into our beings, whereby the exponential function allows us to take a sharp upward turn and expand into all that we can be. Rosemary McCarthy© November 1st, 2019. www.spiritedfawnpublications.com

A BOUT THE AUTHOR This article is the final article in the series on Universal Laws for The Starlit Path, and is based on concepts in Rosemary’s 2016 first book, Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science, as well as from the newly released Why We Are the Way We Are, Book 1 of her ‘Our Journeys to Peace’ Series. (All available in print and e-book through Amazon). Book 2 of this new series, Becoming Our Best Self and Book 3, Relationships in an Evolving World will be available later in the year After over 20 years of interest in spirituality and self-growth, Rosemary says she continuously feels inspired to write about our personal and spiritual growth. Her articles also appear regularly in Awareness Magazine (a print and e-magazine), and she posts weekly on her 2 blogs, creates a themed monthly newsletter, and says that ideas for future books (even stories) are always rumbling around her head. Rosemary live in Montreal, has 3 grown sons and 2 grandchildren. For more info on Your Journey to Peace … see: here On her new Series see: here Rosemary’s contact is: rosemary@yourjourneytopeace.com To Stay Updated on What’s New contact Rosemary, or Sign Up here for her Newsletter, or Follow her on Facebook here -----------------------Your Journey to Peace …: https://yourjourneytopeace.com/ book-synopsis/ Our Journeys to Peace Series: https://www.spiritedfawnpublications. com/2018/10/01/why-we-are-the-way-we-are-book1-3/ Rosemary’s contact: rosemary@yourjourneytopeace.com Newsletter sign up: https://us17.campaign-archive.com/ home/?u=30134c54114b81c15aa610443&id=34fde14eb7 Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/YourJourneytoPeace. RosemaryMcCarthy/ Rosemary’s contact: rosemary@yourjourneytopeace.com

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Three  Card   Reveal

Photo by Robin Patterson

by Madam Tealeaf

1

2

3

The magazine may be closing, but I will still be doing the Three Card Choice in our newsletter. If you want to see these readings on a monthly basis, please subscribe to our newsletter. https:// mailchi.mp/f51f5f1713b9/newsubscriber Images from The Everyday Witch by Deborah Blake and Elisabeth Alba Published by Llewellyn Publications 2017

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What do our readers need to know for the Winter? Card  #1 : 7 of Cups:

So many options. So many interests. What to choose first? It doesn’t matter which thing you choose. Everything is good. But you must choose SOMETHING. Staring at everything is just another way to procrastinate. And don’t let all these choices lead “Shiny Object Syndrome” where you are running after a new idea, before the last one has been worked through and resolved. Find something and stay the course. If it isn’t the right thing, at least you will have learned a new skill or learned what doesn’t work for you.

Card  #2 : 10 of Cups

As people gather for the holidays, it is a time to appreciate all that you have. I’m not talking about the fancy computer or big screen TV. I’m talking about the people you have around you. They can be of the same blood or your chosen family. They can be two-legged or four-legged or have scales or have wings. These are the beings who bring comfort and joy into your life. And don’t discount those whom you have met online. Their love can radiate across the miles and through the pixels. These being are more precious than gold. You are blessed.

Card  #3 : Page of Swords:

Any change takes action. You can’t move forward if you play the game of “what if”. Your tools are beside you. Your wisdom is inside of you. The only one stopping you now, is you. Yes, things can go wrong. But no child learned to walk without their behind hitting the ground once or twice. But it didn’t stop you when you took your first steps. Don’t let it stop you now. The way is open. Take the chance.

Looking at these three cards together. You have a lot of things to choose from but listen to your intuition. It will guide you. You have your support system in place. They may try to dissuade you, but they might be saying these things from a place of love and from a place of their own fears. Their questions may be painful, but those are the ones you should answer, even if these answers remain in your journal, because they are the ones that will root out the things you might not be willing to look at or be the ones that you are too close to see. You are ready for this next chapter and this next challenge. Go with confidence and with the love and support of those around you.

I’ll see you in the monthly newsletter or on the Dragon Star Collective website. Wishing you wonderful things for the coming decade, my darlings. *Madam Tealeaf has opened her calendar to private online readings. See Madam Tealeaf ’s Magical Emporium for further details at the new website. https://dragonstarcollective.com

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by Pauline Duchesneau

T

yp jogged beneath the dancing canopy of the Ancients. Ozinth, the earliest sun, threw half-light to the forest floor dappling it in animated blonde, magenta, and olive, subdued shades of the pallet above. The fertile scent of Terra thickened the air. Hazy purple Shadow-Forms floated nearby. One redirected to hover by Typ’s shoulder. Impishly, Typ ducked around a massive Ancient. The Shadow-Form’s mist parted, caressed the well-aged trunk, reformed on the other side, and zipped to Typ’s ear. The sigh of its breath tickled as Typ listened. When finished, Typ gestured palms up, bowed head. The Shadow-Form bopped gleefully and glided toward its similars. Ozinth rode the sky to quarter arc as Qual dawned in the opposite vector. Temperatures heightened. Typ swept the air, skin-changing to lighter attire, shorter hair, and a darker skin tone. The jeweled wedge of his identifier circlet rested on his forehead. Typ glanced back, hesitating to leave the peaceful site, then he stepped from the shelter of the Ancients into the bustling Collective. Weaving around familiar minglers, Typ exchanged greetings of, “Bliss,” “Abundance,” or the like. He spotted Lyntazi standing beside the central fount. She aided Sagelings over the rough stone steps, in turn, to drink the fresh, sweet water. The brown curls of the last little boy glimmered and bounced in the light as he scampered away. Soesten, smallest of them all, waited patiently, her great big brown eyes observed everything. Lyntazi waved to Typ and pointed to him, leaning low by their young friend whose face lit up. Typ smiled and returned a wave to his dearest ones. He hastened to them, slipped an arm around Lyntazi, and kissed her. Her circlet’s gem glimmered in the light. Typ cupped Soesten’s cheek. She gazed adoringly up at him. “We missed you, Typ.” Lyntazi’s lush tone tingled Typ’s senses. “You awakened early. Was your adventure enjoyable?” 54

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Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

‘Ttenayans Threat


hand to bring order and rightful reign to all of “Better than I’d anticipated, but not without Wyttenay.” He raised his arms as if to convey concern. I met with a Shadow-Form who graced healing. “Look to me, one and all, for the guidance me with its foresight. A tempest will ensue quite soon, but of what nature they didn’t say. The message you lack. I shall ease your strife and show you the way to live in comfort and peace, making an end of should be relayed to The Grid.” your anxieties. Under your Munificent Guardian, in “The Collective will be grateful for the chance the happy presence of your friends, the Enforcers, to prepare.” you will know no worry, no painful grapple with Soesten stretched to reach Typ’s elbow. The indecision, nor suffer the invasion of The Grid.” sapphire on her forehead lit brightly. Typ felt Whispers of surprise swirled throughout the transference of his Shadow-Form memory the Collective. Sulya continued without to The Grid. “Thank you for your kind assistance, Soesten.” Typ acknowledgment, “Your thoughts shall be private. Independence, at last, will prevail. You shall enjoy offered to lift the Sageling, and Soesten hopped ownership of your own minds as you trust in the into his arms. With her nestled on his hip, the three one who will set things right. Follow me, ‘Ttenayans, stood as one. and know the multitude of true blessings by your # faith in Sulya, your Most Benevolent Protector.” Deep voices boomed above the pleasant chatter Sulya nodded as he scanned the throng without of the Collective. “Move aside for The Great Sulya. seeing. He descended the stairs to circulate among Humble yourselves in his presence. Make way.” them. Soesten peeked out from behind Typ and The Enforcers, imposing in their red-black leather Lyntazi. Sulya paused to address her. “What is breastplates, struck the ground with great staffs punctuating their commands. A hush spread over the your name, small one?” Those closest perceived the false interest. ‘Ttenayans, faces falling. Adults guided Sagelings to “I am Soesten,” she answered in a neutral voice. shelter behind them. “Are these your parents?” Sulya strode into their midst with his head and “As might any Sageling in The Collective, I have chest held high. He surveyed the Collective with chosen Typ and Lyntazi for this while.” a wince of a smile dispensing with customary “Yes, I have heard of the quaint tradition. You will greetings. He paced to the center fount and ascended accompany me now as my favored one. The honor to stand above them. The Enforcers flanked him on of my intellect will shine as an example to this . . the steps to either side. .” He hesitated, loathe to use their term, “. . . This Sulya bellowed more loudly than necessary. population. Come now.” “’Ttenayans,” he might have been addressing vermin. Soesten’s insatiable curiosity and fearlessness “Your attention is aptly placed, reflecting your just appeared as acquiescence. Lyntazi caught her deference. By my graciousness, you are granted this shoulder and her brow creased, an expression opportunity to glean knowledge, if you can.” Soesten hadn’t seen Lyntazi present. “Beloved, are “Disarray and frivolity have plagued your humble you sure your wish coincides?” existence for too long. Let it be known I have seen Soesten tilted her head. “I will see this new way your floundering, and my compassion is piqued. Now and decide.” is the time, ‘Ttenayans. I extend my compassionate

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Lyntazi dropped back. She silently implored Typ. His eyes spoke caution. They would honor the wisdom of the Sageling’s simplicity. # The Enforcers presence became commonplace. Routinely they brought the gift of delectable manna. At first, the Collective shied from the provision, but the taste enraptured so that after the first tentative bite craving ensued. A quiet suspicion spread among them, competition, and distance, for The Grid indeed dispelled. A reserved silence shrouded Eden. The jewels upon their circlets darkened. In embarrassment and disgust, they stuffed them anywhere out of sight. The ‘Tteneyans conceded to Sulya who instituted The Order, a series of regulations, defined by his superior understanding. Sulya instructed them to erect a grand court where he’d conduct public matters of his rule. The ‘Ttenayans thanked him for the liberal sustenance, as he knew they would. They forgot the Sagelings’ council. The Shadow-Forms seemed now as cold and creepy mists, shooed away if encountered in the forest. They saw no beauty and dismissed such memories as ignorance. The Ancients were now deemed common, Ozinth and Qual merely markers in the sky by which they’d judge the next ration. Regrets, excuses, or longings replaced their pleasant greetings. Faces hung toward Terra, now simple dirty ground beneath their feet. Typ resisted. At the first taste of manna, he recognized the storm forwarned by the ShadowForm. He fought the excruciating allure and discarded the unfinished quantity, suffering withdrawal from that minute sampling. He regretted his ruse, receiving each portion and pretending to relish it, but concealing the pieces in a pouch for later disposal. Typ watched in dismay as the Collective altered unrecognizably. Ugliness they hadn’t previously perceived supplanted the harmony and 56

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joyful accord. Sulya praised progress. His popularity fortified. Soesten’s absence persisted for ages. Early on, Typ tried sharing his observations with Lyntazi, but she couldn’t comprehend his concerns. She, like the others, insisted the boon most welcomed, Sulya’s reign a blessing. Typ recognized the danger of his rebellion and anticipated Sulya’s extreme reaction if discovered. For the first time in his existence, Typ was truly alone. He sorely missed Lyntazi’s supportive, like-minded enthusiasm, and Soesten’s wise and joyful presence. The formerly shy ShadowForms became altogether illusive, fearfully flinching and retreating if seen. He grieved for the lost utopia. Never had he imagined The Grid would fade. # Typ’s isolation and grief worsened by his struggle to know what he alone could do to facilitate the return of peace and unity on Wyttenay. Pacing among the Ancients in Qual’s half-light of evening, Typ stooped to pick up a maroon heart-shaped leaf. Not once in his existence had he encountered one loosened from the branches above. The edges curled, dry and blackened, and unhealthy black scales marred the surface. Typ squinted upward, seeking the spread of the parent Ancient. Ominous boils dotted the foliage on many a sprig. Some infected neighboring Ancients. Heavy tread and the creak of leather warned of the approach of a band of Enforcers. Five marched in formation around a central figure half a span shorter than her Protectors. At her signal, they turned Typ’s way. Without knowing why Typ dropped the leaf behind his back. “Good eventide, Typ, treasured provider of old.” The transformation to adolescent bewildered Typ. He strained to reconcile his memory of the tiny girl with the elegance and finery of the one before him. Her large brown eyes, still contemplative, but now


also wary, were assuredly those Typ fondly recalled. “Soesten? Has it been so long? How I’ve yearned for your insight. When you didn’t return I feared . . . I could not connect. The Grid, gone these many phases . . .” The Enforcers bristled at the forbidden mention, but Soesten restrained them with a signal. “Are you distressed? When did you last partake manna? If you have hunger, our Enforcers may provide.” “No thank you, my recent share sustains. The sight of one so dear must have spurred old habit. Please forgive my offense. Sulya be praised.” He bowed in abeyance. Soesten regarded him with a glint of intrigue. “I will walk with you.” Responding to a flick of her fingers, the Enforcers regrouped a few paces behind. “Are you happy, Typ? Do you delight in relief under Sulya’s wise direction?” “His rule is just. His generosity abounds. The populace is grateful.” Soesten noted the rote response. “It is as you say. I will relay your words to his ears.” The mottled light was fading. “And you, Dear One, are you pleased in every aspect of your realm?” Typ hazarded the question. Soesten answered cooly. Her brown eyes bore into Typ’s. “I could be nothing but pleased. I’m relieved hearing your observance of The Order. Heed it well and rest nurtured. May Sulya guide forever.” She touched his arm. “May Sulya guide forever,” Typ repeated. He bowed, and Soesten retreated, The Enforcers once again encircled her in synchronized step.

Typ pondered the exchange on his course toward Eden, knowing his sleep wouldn’t be easy. Another leaf drifted down in the stillness and landed at his feet. The isolation Typ bore redoubled. If the former Sageling hadn’t read his intent, any remnant of The Grid’s connectivity truly had left The Collective. This old and abandoned term used only in private prodded his grief. Had Sulya’s trickery so easily deluded all, even the wisest among them? He reached into the pouch hanging from his belt and fingered the pieces of manna he intended to discard. With a bite, he could end his resistance, dispell his torment and join the ranks of followers, even as Soestan had. A moan spread among the Ancients, the canopy fitfully swayed, and Typ regretted the thought. Never could he abandon hope. He mustn’t unlearn the wisdom of Wyttenay’s teaching. He placed a palm on the nearest trunk, and the sighing ceased. # At next height of Ozinth with Qual chasing, a sparse group of ‘Ttenayans chanced to gather at the central fount, replenishing their urns and buckets. Lyntazi floated through the motions disregarding her former fellows when a troop of Enforcers rode into Eden. “Dismount and water yourselves and the beasts. These commoners will serve us.” A burly unshaven Enforcer barked the order. He scrutinized Lyntazi. Her long tresses swung loosely as she moved. “You there, bring me a dipper.” He jerked his chin toward her. Typ, from the other side of the fount’s

The Enforcer drank, staring at her all the while. His rough palm covered her fingers to steady the bowl. He drained it, cast it aside, and laughed, lunging to clutch her to him.

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stonework, stiffened at the bemused sneer with which the Enforcer beheld her. Lyntazi brought the dripping ladle with downcast eyes. “As you wish, with gratitude, my Protector.” She held the water forth for his taking. “Bring it to my lips.” He demanded lustily. Lyntazi shrank further into herself but complied, stretching her arms to keep the inadequate distance. The Enforcer drank, staring at her all the while. His rough palm covered her fingers to steady the bowl. He drained it, cast it aside, and laughed, lunging to clutch her to him. Typ’s splayed hand thudded on the Enforcer’s leather-clad chest. Lyntazi withdrew. “Who dares impede Sulya’s legion?” He struck Typ’s arm aside and brandished his weapon to his throat. “I am mate to this one, who wishes no discord. Let us disburse. Sulya be praised.” “Your audacity offends Lord Sulya. You will answer for your crime. Restrain them both. I’ll tend to this one in time.” He brushed a dirty thumb along Lyntazi’s cheek. Typ tussled with the three who bound his wrists behind his back and shoved him toward Sulya’s court. Looking back Typ saw an Enforcer grab a handful of Lyntazi’s hair and pull her along. She stumbled and cried out. The guard disdainfully shook a lock from his fist, and grabbed her arm instead, jerking her roughly forward. Typ shouldered the Enforcer to his right, hard and fast, knocking him to the ground. He attempted the same to the one on his left, but three others leapt in to hold him fast. “You beg your doom, ignorant fool. You should have let him take her.” An Enforcer growled into his ear. He yanked Typ along. Other Enforcers obstructed his vision of Lyntazi. Her sobs broke

through the sounds of the scuffle. “How come you to resist, even defy my Enforcers?” Sulya’s face blazoned from his perch upon his high seat. “I command your answer.” Each phrase grew louder as Typ remained silent. “Feed our guest some manna.” Soesten stood mutely by his side. Typ was forced to his knees. Blood filled his mouth and smeared on his face as the Enforcers struck him mercilessly when Typ would not open. They pinched his nose shut, and when his lips parted to suck in a breath, a stick was jammed in, his jaws pried apart. They stuffed his mouth with manna and clamped his jaw closed. Even as he refused to swallow, the substance began to melt. Typ felt resistance subside. Colors faded. His thinking dulled. His periphery narrowed, and he flopped onto his heels. Typ knew no more when he slumped into the dust. # Waking from dreamless slumber, Typ fumbled for his pouch. He traced his belt, patted down the sleeping mat, and checked beneath its edges to no avail. He needed manna more than he ever needed anything. In the dim light of the unfamiliar surroundings, he scrabbled onto hands and knees peering about. Worn overlapping rugs covered the uneven ground and supported little beside himself. On a low platform he spied a small pitcher and a cracked cup, but nothing more. He scuttled to it beneath the slope of the enclosure. Desperately, he poured, tasted the water and growled. Typ squinted against the assault of midday sun when a flap opened, and an Enforcer stooped inside. “Need some of this?” He proffered a substantial amount of manna. Typ snatched it and ate ravenously

They pinched his nose shut, and when his lips parted to suck in a breath, a stick was jammed in, his jaws pried apart.

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to the Enforcer’s sinister chortle. Typ collapsed to sitting. Relief, then vacancy spread through him. Satisfied, the Enforcer declared. “Now you’re ready. Come with me.” Typ followed with no thought of any kind. He was led through Sulya’s court to a private, lavishly decorated adjoining room, yet no curiosity lifted his drooping head. Sparkles and vibrant hues woven into lush tapestries, cushions, and the fabric of Sulya’s couch appeared dull and flat, little better than the ugliness of Terra outside. “Welcome, Typ, most honored guest of the day. How are you feeling, hmmm? Better?” Sulya continued without caring for the response that Typ too slowly tried to formulate. Sulya gesticulated to the Enforcers who left them. “Please, seat yourself before me and let’s converse. I have questions awaiting your enlightenment. Describe to me how you defied The Order. And I want all the details. Hmmm? Start from the beginning and leave nothing out.” Typ spoke in dawdling monotony. He described his encounter with the Shadow-Form, so long ago, and his interpretation of its message. He disclosed his former measures and concerns as if they belonged to someone else. For his subterfuge, he suffered no regret nor remnant of conviction. The only flicker of animation in his eyes came at the mention of manna, prompting his glancing search for more. “Soon, my obedient one,” assured the gracious host, “Compliance is always rewarded. Answer me as fully as you surely must . . .Who else rode this path of treachery with you?” “I agonized in lonely defiance. No other knew nor shared my mission.” “No one at all, you are certain? In any measure whatsoever? “No one. All adore Your Magnificence. May you reign forever.” “At last, you speak well and just. By my infinite

grace, I grant your leave. Carry the example of blissful concurrence to the commoners. Reaffirm their harmonious reverence, and share in the gifts of my most altruistic protection. You may approach and display your gratitude.” Typ advanced to perform the gesture he’d witnessed in disgust countless times before by the former Collective. With complete and willing submission, he pressed his forehead to Sulya’s foot, waiting for the genial pat on the back of his head to signify his release. A wave of sorrowful moaning stirred through the Ancients and built to a level unheard, truly none remained able to hear. Shadow-Forms joined the dirge and darkened to virtually black. Their permeability hardened till they became stiff and fell to Terra unmoving. The Ancients horrible lament and tossing limbs sustained for an agonized phase. One by one, they stopped. A shower of decaying leaves cascaded. The massive boughs rigidly sagged. # More long ages passed and The Order prevailed. Sulya instituted regular mass adorations to stroke his vainglory. The populace assembled in neat rows kneeling on crude mats with bowed faces to chant, “Sul-ya, Sul-ya, Sul-ya—Master of All.” The conclusion varied as prompted by an orator situated at Sulya’s side who took his cues from Sulya. Always, Soesten stood near at hand. Typ was positioned in center foremost, for Sulya’s greatest pleasure came from his final conquest. Soesten’s loveliness burgeoned with her sagelingness long past. Entering adulthood, she longed for private moments. Sulya had kept her ever-attended. Most often, he displayed her as a decoration to his court, further signify his authority. With privacy forbidden, suffocation amounted within. She took to foregoing half a span of slumber to steal away and wander the old paths, anywhere away. Perhaps the additional wakefulness or mobility

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first elbowed the effect. Soesten began to notice forgotten things, then recognized them as not forgotten, but regrettably hushed. She mourned the many changes that revealed themselves in reverse increments, the lost intensity of color, the errant playfulness of Shadow-Forms, their messages of foresight. She couldn’t know what awakened her memories, but their validity cascaded through her quickening wits. Before long, she recalled the muchtreasured and neglected—The Ancients, full-foliaged, swaying and tinting the air with their various hues—treasured Terra, rich with fertility—Eden, the city of the joyful—and The Collective, connected by The Grid. The haze shrouding her perception dissipated and consciousness illuminated a cause. The demagogue Sulya subjugated every wondrous thing in Wyttenay. With his manna and his Enforcers, he stripped The Collective of their senses, their will, their reason, their freedom, and their purity, and made his ridiculous claims believable. Yet by her awakening, Soesten took heart. The ‘Ttenayans’ true nature had not changed. A hopeful glimmer of revival flushed her cheek. She accelerated her pace, brushed by a branch, and felt instead of a scratch the velvety sweep of a bud. # Soesten observed in carefully subdued manner, the ritual proceedings of court next Ozinth-rise. She hid her disgust of Sulya’s arrogance and followed the ritual of adoration. She feigned as Typ had, to relish the hateful nourishment, concealing it instead. That eventide, she crept to the great scullery where manna was prepared. She’d toured there as a favored one. She exchanged the particular ingredients, now known as toxins for undetectable panaceas. She waited, unable to guess the passage of time needed for rousing to be achieved. At gathering for Sulya’s adoration when Ozinth and Qual traversed two times hence, almost 60

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imperceptible glances began among the commoners, and Soesten knew the hour had come. She marshaled her own awareness and cast out a warning, feeling at first a quagmired resistance until The Grid opened free and her message webbed through. Show no sign of realization. Repeat the nonsense in dull tone. Await my signal, then move with me as one. The One we are now, renewed. Welcome back, Beloveds. Gleeful chatterings and exclamations of consensus responded in her psyche. The Collective mustered force. Intentions of amity blended into a stream of song that flowed through Soesten. And when that song became light itself, Soesten stepped forward. She called out in a clear, strong voice. “Sulya, Imposter of Benevolence, stand and receive your judgment.” With widened eyes and an unwholesome flush, the tyrant choked in disbelief. “What? What blight mars this devotion? Subdue her, Enforcers, bring the betrayer down.” With Soesten’s move, The Collective stripped every Enforcer of arms and broke them. The multitude restrained them, Sulya saw, yet he aimed to disbelieve. “Release your Protectors, submit, and eat manna. Know peace and honor me, The Giver of every good thing.” Sulya’s voice rose to a desperate pitch, and Soesten countered him unflinchingly. “False are your claims of goodness. Your poison will no longer control these minds nor shroud all existence. You masked true glories to exalt yourself, but your lies are exposed. The Grid yet lives. Never could it be decimated. Never could the connections in this Collective be severed, as hope could never be vanquished. Your tainted spirit is revealed, nefarious Sulya. And Wyttenay shall recover.” A cheer burst forth among the ‘Ttenayans. “Receive now your consequence and witness your threat overcome by the unconquerable.” Every hand within reach laid upon the Enforcers,


forming sheaves of bodies momentarily parting as a lifted Sageling placed a circlet on each Enforcers’ head. The Enforcers struggled ineffectually in their anguish, the gems spurted gloppy streams of ebony mirk. Sulya cried out helplessly. The discharge thinned and lightened until a pure gleam shone, and the gems glittered in diverse hues. The ‘Ttenyayans released them and welcomed their newest with greetings of old. The former Enforcers waved their arms, skin-changing from red-black armor to gentler dress. Attention turned toward Sulya and The Collective advanced. Sulya, hyperventilating in horror, backed away from the press. His high seat broke beneath

the righteously indignant throng. No room remained behind him now. Against the wall of his precious court, the ‘Ttenayans fell upon him. # Lyntazi dipped a pitcher into the central fount. Her circlet’s stone pulsed a pure glow. The warmth of Qual at last quarter softened. The neighboring patchworked canopy of The Ancients waltzed and bowed, and purple Shadow-Forms twittered just beneath their shade. Smiling as he walked toward her, Typ swept the air before himself, skin-changing to evening garb. Soesten danced on the stonework edge of the fount, silken wisps of hair fluttered as she spun.

A BOUT THE AUTH OR

Photo by Johnny McClung on Unsplash

Pauline Duchesneau’s stories and poems appear in Pilcrow & Dagger, Adelaide, Riggwelter, Rosette Maleficarum, and others, and is forthcoming in Amethyst Review Her novel of magical realism seeks its final draft. Pauline breaks with the popular author recommendation and finds inspiration outside the window at her desk, where wonder can always be found.

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An Alien Encounter – At the Counter   by David Berger

(This tale is dedicated to Isaac Asimov, whose parents owned a delicatessen in the Bronx that probably resembled the one mentioned below.)

O

ne fine morning, a space alien crash lands his spaceship in Prospect Park, in Brooklyn. Dazed and confused, he ends up in a bakery. “I’m from another planet,” the small, green alien says to the guy behind the counter. “My space ship crashed.” There are many strange-looking people in Brooklyn, so the guy behind the counter isn’t surprised to see a small dude only about a meter tall and resembling a bright, green bunch of kale. “So how can I help you?” the guy behind the counter asks. “I don’t know anything from space ships. Maybe my cousin Morty could help. He works on cars. I’ll call him.” “No,” says the alien. “All I need is a replacement part.” “There’s a Pep Boys on Fourth Avenue. They’re open by now. Maybe ... .” “Please,” said the alien. “It’s small and round and not soft or hard. And it has a hole in the middle.” The guy reaches behind him to the bin and pulls out a nice, fresh bagel. Still hot from the oven. “Like this?” he asks. The alien takes the bagel and looks it over. “This is perfect.” “That’s a dollar,” the guy behind the counter says. The alien gives the guy a large diamond and says, “I don’t have any Earth money. Is this okay?” “Fine,” says the guy. 62

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“Tell me something,” the alien says. “You Earth people don’t have space ships like ours. What do you use a class one augmented spiffle macro-bearing for?” “We eat ’em.” “You eat them?” “Sure. Try it. I’ll give you another class one augmented spiffle macro-bearing free. By the way; we call them bagels.” “That’s funny,” says the alien. “That’s our word for love.” “You guys have love?” “Do we ever!” “I guess love and a good bagel aren’t so different.” “Well, here goes,” says the alien, and he takes a bite out of the bagel. He chews it for a second and says, “Not bad.” “Glad you like it. If you buy a dozen, I’ll give you one free. You can have plain or assorted. We got garlic, onion, salt, cinnamon raison. I don’t recommend that last one. It’s an abomination. But people like them.” “Okay,” says the alien. “You can’t be too careful on long trips. Give me a dozen plain.” He gives the guy behind the counter twelve more diamonds, takes his bag of bagels and thanks him. As the alien is about to leave the store, still chewing on his class one augmented spiffle macrobearing, he turns and says, “Y’know. This would taste a lot better with lox and cream cheese.”


Answer the Call   by Judie Troyansky

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“You best come out.” The royal gardener yelled. “This is no time to play at silliness. We are a kingdom in mourning. We are a house in mourning. How dare you disrespect the dead with silly tricks! Come out!” Galen would be brave, like his father had taught him. He kissed his horse and put it into his shoulder bag then crawled out from beneath the worktable. The traces of his tears cut through the dirt on his cheeks. His dress suit was wet and torn at the pocket. He looked the gardener in the eye. Running wouldn’t do any good anyway. Aubrey’s mouth dropped open. He threw down his lantern and dropped to his knees. “Most High: Please forgive your wretched servant. I thought…I had no idea….” He touched his forehead to the ground. Galen heard the man’s voice shake. Everyone who ever came to talk to his father had that same shake in their voice. And Galen hated it. The Emperor sniffled and wiped his nose with the cuff of his

Photo by Thomas Verbruggen on Unsplash

alen’s breath was too loud. They could probably hear him all the way to the palace. He hid his face in the side of his toy horse hoping to muffle the sound. The summer rains had leaked under the walls of the greenhouse and water wicked through the seat of his pants. He didn’t like the dark room and he didn’t like the smell of mud and he didn’t like having a wet bottom. But he didn’t like what was happening at home even more. Big work boots appeared beside the table. A chill from the cold rain ran up his spine. A faint glow of light appeared in front of him, just a pale circle on the dark floor. Galen pulled his feet closer to his body. “Who’s in here?” Aubrey held the lantern above his head. He squinted into the darkness. The light moved back and forth. Galen crawled further under the worktable, backing into some tools, sending them clattering to the ground. The lantern stopped.

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sleeve. “Please don’t do that.” He pointed to the prostrate man. “Every time I turn around, someone is doing that. I really, really hate that.” A sob caught in his throat. “Can you just stand up and look at me, please.” Aubrey got to his feet. He looked at the new Emperor. “Most High — please: What should l do?’ “I don’t understand.” “Most High — how would my liege wish to be greeted?” Galen shrugged. “What do you think?” “It is as you wish, Most High. I must do as you command.” Galen had been born in the shadow of his grandfather’s fire and Zedick, though ill, had been a force to be feared and respected. This Emperor was seven-years old. Galen felt less the ‘Ruler of the Continent’ and more like a child who had just lost his father. Galen looked up at Aubrey. The man let him help dig holes in the vegetable gardens; the man who new the names of all the herbs and plants; the man who helped him find the best snakes and frogs and bugs. Tall, greying Aubrey--his most trusted friend. “Anything? Whatever I choose, you have to do?” “I would ask one indulgence please, Most High. I fear l am too old for cartwheels.” Galen smirked. “I don’t think that would be very dignified. How about this?” He bowed deep at the waist, his arms at his sides and knees stiff. “That is very elegant and dignified, Most High.” Aubrey bowed as he was shown. “May I have the honor of escorting you back to the palace?” Galen shook his head. “Can I go to your house?”

Aubrey could do nothing but agree. He held the door open so the Emperor could pass. # Galen sat on the sofa in Aubrey’s living room. Aubrey had helped him bathe and had brought his clothes to his wife, Myra, to clean. She had cut a hole in a large towel and wrapped one of Aubrey’s belts around his waist, so the Emperor would have something to wear. Myra peeked into the living room to make sure the child was all right. Galen nibbled on an oatmeal cookie and drank from a large ceramic mug. He heard whispering coming from the other room, but the discussion didn’t make much sense. “This cannot be real: The Emperor, in a toga, having juice and cookies, in our living room.” The tremor returned to Aubrey’s voice. Myra smiled and bowed when Galen caught her watching him. “Aubrey, it is happening. Take a good look around. This may be the last time we see this house!” Myra whispered. “You were insane to bring him here. They will be looking for him and when he is found here, the Dowager Empress will have us executed.” “Be calm. She will not execute us.” “You’re right! She won’t be that kind.” She peeked in again. “What are we going to do?” “I telephoned Ginny. She is serving with the other High Priestesses at the Palace for the mourning rites. Ginny promised to speak to the Empress and tell her where her son is.” He peeked over her head into the room. “Have a little faith in my sister.” Galen bent towards his knees and wiped his mouth with the corner of the home-made robe. Myra smirked. “He seems like just an

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Galen nibbled on an oatmeal cookie and drank from a large ceramic mug. He heard whispering coming from the other room, but the discussion didn’t make much sense.

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ordinary child.” “He is just an ordinary child.” Aubrey hugged his wife. “He is just a confused child with the weight of the continent on his shoulders.” # Amina, Aubrey’s nine-year-old daughter, walked into the family room and sat down beside the Emperor. “Oops, sorry.” She jumped off the sofa and bowed and then sat down again. “Do you want another cookie?” She asked passing him the plate from the table. “No thank you.” Galen swung his legs. Amina looked at the bag Galen leaned on “What’s in there?” “Just Tootoo. Want to see?” He pulled out a black and white stuffed horse wearing pajamas covered with the stars and crests of the Royal House. “Why is he wearing pajamas?” “My father was feeling well one day, so we had a picnic in his room. He saw I was wearing my favorite pajamas. They’re blue and covered with horses. And my father said that he didn’t think it was fair. And he gave me Tootoo. So now a member of our family can have pajamas covered with symbols of horses and a horse can have pajamas covered in symbols of our family.” Amina nodded. “Yes, that would be very fair.” “My father is dead.” “That’s sad.” Amina swung her legs too. “Do you want to talk to him?” “I can’t talk to him anymore. He’s dead.” Galen rolled his eyes. Girls were so silly. “Well, I know a way you can talk to him. Unless you don’t want to.” She flipped her blond braid over her shoulder. “Well?” When Galen nodded, she jumped from the sofa and ran from the room. Myra tried to catch her, but Aubrey stopped her. “Let Amina talk with him. She came to terms with the loss of your mother. She will be able to

explain things in ways he can understand.” “There is something I have to explain to you about that…” But before she could finish, Amina was standing beside the Emperor. “Well?” Amina proudly presented her toy phone. “This is how you will speak with your father.” Galen looked at the telephone she put reverently down on the coffee table. The toys he had were much finer. He had several toy phones in different sizes. This one was so old and shabby; it wasn’t even one the housekeeper would allow in the palace. Instead of the silver body and brass fittings of his favorite phone, this one was a painted wooden box with finishing nails. The receiver wasn’t gold with leather earpieces, like the ones at the palace. This one was a small piece of plumbing pipe with an old headset glued on. He looked at Amina, not sure how he was to react. “He’s going to speak to me through this toy phone?” “Well, no! Do you realize how expensive it would be for him to call you from the Netherworld? You don’t even know if he has any money there.” She stroked the top of the receiver. “You talk to him, and he listens. Sometimes the reception is a little off, so he might not be able to hear everything you say. But he’ll hear a lot of it.” “That’s silly. It’s only a toy.” “No, it’s not! It’s special! When my Emai died last year, my mother gave me this magic phone and I spoke to her all the time. To tell you the truth, I wasn’t sure if she could hear me. So, I asked her what kind of job she had now in the Netherworld. You know, she was a famous jeweler before she died. She even made the Empress’s combs for her wedding.” “I’ve seen them in my mother’s room. They are very beautiful.” Galen said as he weighed the receiver in his hand.

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Amina’s eyes went wide as if she had woken from a dream to find the dream had been real all along. She took a deep breath. “So, umm, Most High, when I asked my Emai what she was doing, I didn’t hear anything, so I thought maybe my mother was trying to pretend the phone worked so I wouldn’t be sad anymore. But when I went outside, two of moons were full but the third one was missing. Then, all of a sudden, there was the third moon.” She clapped her hands. “That’s when I realized what my Emai’s job was. She was a jeweler here and over there, it was her job to shine the moons and make sure they were hung properly in the sky.” “So, the third one wasn’t there because she was late hanging it up?” “No — she wasn’t late!” Amina put her fists on her hips. “It was a solstice, so the dark came early.” Galen nodded. Amina softly said, “Do you want to try?”

Galen looked at the toy phone. It was homemade, and not as nice as any of the toys he had in his playroom. The connect button and number pad weren’t even real buttons, just painted on squares. The Empress and his tutors had taught him to respect everyone’s beliefs, even if they seemed as silly as a horse in pajamas. He got back on to the sofa and put the phone in his lap. “What number should I dial?” “Just push the connect button. The phone will dial for you automatically. It’s magic.” Amina said. She grew quiet as the Emperor held the phone up to his ear. “There’s no dialing signal.” Galen whispered. “That’s the bad connection I was telling you about,” she whispered. “Just push the button, count to five and then start talking.” Galen pushed on a painted green circle then counted to five. “Hello?”

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Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

The End


Exile   by David Rogers The carriage held but just ourselves and immortality. --Emily Dickinson “Welcome to Timbuktu,” the voice said. It sounded bored, as if repeating this greeting for the hundredth time today. “Are you an atheist?” I tried to open my eyes and then realized they were already open. I could feel my eyelids move. So I was in complete darkness. “Where am I? And why is it so dark?” “The dark helps avoid sensory overload and facilitates adjustment. Also cuts down on the amount of vomit we have to clean up. Please answer the question.” “What question?” “Are you an atheist?” the bored voice repeated, a little impatient. Sometimes I get confused and tell the truth because I can’t think of anything clever. “No, I’m agnostic. Where am I?” “Oh, good. We don’t get many of those,” the voice said. “As I said, this is Timbuktu. For now. Last month it was Shangri-La. Next month, maybe Nirvana. In generic terms, the afterlife. It takes a little getting used to.” Someone turned the lights on. I climbed out of the boat. My feet were wet. As I stood up and felt water drip down my legs, I realized my back was wet, too. Had I been lying down in the Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

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boat? Memories were fading fast. “Would you like to tip the boatman?” the bored voice asked. I saw now it belonged to a short man, bald, with wire-rimmed glasses and an extremely large mustache. He held an old-fashioned clipboard in one hand and a pencil in the other. “Boatman?” I said, looking around in confusion and down at myself. Scuffed white tennis shoes, faded blue jeans, and my “No soup for you!” tee shirt. Well, if I had to be dead--not that I believed it for a moment--I might as well be comfortable. “Boatgirl, then. Boatperson, boatwoman. She doesn’t much care. But she’ll be grumpy and give the next patron a rough ride if you don’t tip her.” I spotted the boat driver, a young woman who looked about nineteen, leaning on the gunwale of a battered white rowboat, staring upstream as if none of this was her concern. The biggest black dog I had ever seen sat patiently beside her. I checked my pockets. “I have no money.” “No problem. You can leave a metaphorical tip. Those are always appreciated. Or we can charge it to your account, if you want to tip actual money.” “Fine, whatever,” I said. “Where am I?” This time I knew I had already asked, but I was hoping for an answer that made sense.


“Door on the far left,” Mustache said, ignoring my question. He pointed, made a mark on the clipboard, and turned to the boat driver. “Ready for the next one,” he said. The big black dog jumped in the boat behind her. # I faced four wooden doors made of age-silvered wooden planks. All closed, no lines, no one waiting outside any of them. The doors were surrounded by a short stone wall that ended a few feet above and beyond them. I looked around the end of the wall. The other side looked the same as this side. Sand and sparse grass, two small trees in the distance, and a horizon that faded into complete darkness. The light faded to darkness above, too. It was impossible to say where the ambient light came from. Behind me, Mustache and Boatgirl were repeating the routine with a new arrival. The door on the far right was labeled Conventional Religions in large letters. The one beside it said Capitalists, Materialists, and Anarchists. Second from the left was the door labeled Atheists. The one on the far left simply said Others. Well, it felt like this probably wasn’t the first time I had been an ‘Other’. I tried the knob. The door creaked open slowly, as if it didn’t get much use. The wall had seemed to stand alone, but the door opened on a cross between the Guggenheim and a parking garage, if it were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and M.C. Escher: tall marble columns supported endless curves, up and down, no steps in sight, and few level or rectangular surfaces except the small booth, like a toll-taker’s cubbyhole, just inside the door. Looking down--or up?--certain paths, I saw what looked like skeletons of prehistoric animals, displays of stone tools and inscribed clay tablets, rocket ships, and other items both natural and artificial. The odd curves and angles made for visual cacophony; the scale of things impossible to judge. I

could not tell if the displays were tiny or just very far away. The air smelled like orchids. “Daisy Donner, right?” the woman in the booth asked. She stared at me over half-glasses and a copy of The Brothers Karamazov. I nodded. I was still sure of my name, anyway. The front window of the booth had a little round hole for speaking through, and the usual rectangular slot at the bottom, for sliding money or tickets through. I hoped there was no admission charge, or that metaphors were an acceptable form of currency here, too. The woman must be the source of the orchid scent, I decided--it was much stronger as I stepped closer. “Do you have any questions?” She wore a name tag that said Flossie in large letters and below that, in smaller script, Docent. I watched her check a box beside my name in a list on her clipboard. Everyone who was anyone had a clipboard, it seemed. “A million. I won’t ask what this place is, unless you have something to say besides ‘the afterlife.’ So how did I get here?” “You don’t remember. Interesting. But a little amnesia is not unheard of. It will probably come back to you. I can’t tell you.” “You don’t know?” I said, a little incredulous. “I didn’t say I don’t know. I said I can’t tell you. But no, I don’t know. You don’t know, either, it seems, and it happened to you. Anyway, records on cause of death are not kept here. You have any idea the amount of paperwork that would entail? Storage space alone would expand to metaphysical proportions. And the army of clerks . . . I shudder.” And she did, in fact, shudder. “You people never heard of computers? It’s the twenty-first century, you know.” “We heard. Didn’t care much for the idea.” “Maybe you can tell me why I’m here, then.” She smiled, as if the chance to give an actual

They pinched his nose shut, and when his lips parted to suck in a breath, a stick was jammed in, his jaws pried apart.

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answer pleased her. “Why, yes, you are here because you are agnostic.” She looked at the clipboard to double check. “You are agnostic, right?” “Yes.” “And apparently you never did anything bad enough to be lumped in with the capitalists. So here you are.” “What happens to capitalists?” “I don’t know.” She shrugged. “But from what I hear, it’s not pleasant.” “Why do they have it especially bad?” “Well, not all capitalists. Just the ones who valued money and profits above all else. The afterlife is all about what you believe. You’re agnostic. Seeing is believing, for the moment, anyway. So here you are, in the museum, where there are things to be seen.” “So if I believed in reincarnation, I’d have been reincarnated?” “Probably.” “If I believed in a heaven where everyone is issued a harp and angel wings?” “Yep, that’s where you’d be. The wings don’t work, though. Not nearly enough lift. You have to respect physics here, same as everywhere.” I thought this over for a minute. “What if you get bored with the afterlife? Does that ever happen?” “Sometimes.” “So what happens--you’re just stuck in eternal boredom? Or worse?” “Yeah. It’s called hell. But you can apply for a transfer.” “Who decides if you get it?” She jerked a thumb skyward. “Upstairs.” “God?” “There is no god.” “Who makes the decisions, then? Who’s in charge?” “The Committee. Sort of a board of directors. Or Homeowners’ Association. Some of them think they’re gods, but nobody takes them seriously. Members rotate. Or so I hear. I’m just a lowly admissions clerk. Do my job, keep my head down. Otherwise, I might get promoted, and that sounds

like a hassle.” “Why a hassle?” “Less free time. Less opportunity to work on my fantasy novel.” I knew better than to ask what it was about. “There’s not a lot of rules, just pragmatic commonsense stuff--no stealing, don’t kill anybody, lie only if you must, and try not to litter. And don’t try to leave town. That one’s important.” I was never very good at following rules, but now didn’t seem a good time to mention that. “Town? What town?” “The agnostic section. You were assigned here for a reason.” “Well, yeah. I’m agnostic. Or I was. Now I guess I don’t know what I am.” “Once an agnostic, always an agnostic. If you wander into, say, the Southern Baptist section--well, let’s just say there’d be trouble. Big trouble. I’d have to file the report. And I hate paperwork.” “What would happen to me?” She shrugged. “Not my problem.” Another vague gesture upward. “Whatever they decided. Just stay where you belong, follow the rules, and everything’s easy.” “One more thing--where’s everybody else? I can’t be the only agnostic who ever died, but I don’t see anybody else. Except you.” “They’re around. It’s a big place. And actually, there really aren’t very many of you guys.” “You guys? You are not agnostic?” She laughed, a tinkly sound, like a wineglass tapped with a caviar fork. “Goodness, no, I worshipped Artemis.” I let that sink I for a minute. “Artemis? As in, Apollo’s twin sister?” She nodded. “But I thought you said there’s no god?” “That doesn’t stop people from worshipping one, does it? Anyway, the Olympians existed. They were supernatural beings, of a sort.” “Where are they now?” “Another of many things that are not my problem.”

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I was beginning to think Flossie left much to be desired as a docent. “How long have you been here?” I wasn’t sure what kind of answer I hoped for. “About twenty-two centuries, give or take.” She looked at her book, clearly growing tired of this conversation. I didn’t know what I thought about that. I wandered off toward the display of a skeleton, the bones of an animal I could not identify, perhaps a miniature T-Rex, or maybe just a big lizard. # This must be a dream, I decided. The thought excited me, because the only times I’ve ever known I was dreaming were right before I woke up. Ergo, I must be about to wake up. I did not wake up. Therefore, I was not asleep. Instead, then, this must be one of those mindcontrol experiments, like something in an old episode of The Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits. I took a seat on an oak bench near Moran’s “Childe Roland” painting--or what looked like it, though I assumed the original was in a museum somewhere. I stared at the lurid, turbulent painted sky, and waited for the scientist or military officer in charge to show up and explain. I waited a long time. The scientists or generals never showed up. But people smarter than me have said absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. My not seeing them did not mean they were not there somewhere, waiting to see how long before I figured out the game. There would be a glitch in the computer program that projected the hologram, an actor who forgot his or her lines, a corner on the movie set where wallpaper peeled up and revealed scaffolds and concrete beyond. Something would give it away. I would be patient and see what happened. # Hours had passed as I wandered the museum. I was not tired. My feet did not hurt. Past the working model of a steam engine in the Industrial Revolution diorama, the hall led to snack machines, a drinking fountain, and restrooms. I was neither 70

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hungry nor thirsty, and I hadn’t needed to go to the bathroom since I got here. If this really was the afterlife, would I get hungry? Or need to sleep, go to the bathroom, etc? Apparently someone did, or these amenities would be superfluous. Did the afterlife have civilian employees? The door in the shadow beside the drinking fountain said No Entrance, so I tried the knob. Unlocked. I entered. Was this the janitor’s closet where someone kept tools for fixing glitches? The door led to another hallway. Of course. It was dimly lit, but the doors were labeled clearly enough. Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. I kept walking, past various doors for sects and sub-sects. At least three different doors for alternate varieties of Judaism. Fourteen versions of Protestant Christianity. And so on. At the far end of the hall, a hundred yards from where I entered, another door with no label, but the same admonishment as before--No Entrance. I opened the door. # Brakes squealed. Horns honked. The air smelled of exhaust. People laughed, cursed, and ignored me. I was standing on the sidewalk, off Times Square, New York, USA, Planet Earth. I looked around and immediately recognized the place, somewhere on West 47th Street, in the No-Man’s-Nor-Woman’s Land between Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square. I looked around for the door I had just opened. It was gone. The nearest door was the plate-glass entrance to an espresso shop. I had been here many times before. I knew it. I had been dreaming, sleepwalking, or hallucinating. Here was reality again. A good cup of very strong coffee would help. # I went inside the shop and sat at a table near the window. The world still had that not-quite-real look about it that comes right after strange, vivid dreams. Like you could see right through solid objects if you looked hard enough. A man at the next table was eating a slice of


cherry pie. I stared at it. Suddenly, those red cherries, the sugary glaze filling, the flaky crust--they looked like the most beautiful things in the world. My eyes followed the silver fork up to the man’s mouth. “Looks delicious, doesn’t it?” A woman’s voice said. “Well go ahead, have a bite.” I turned and looked. A brunette with shoulderlength hair and straight bangs had seated herself across from me while I was staring at the pie. Normally, I would rebuff familiarities from a stranger, but everything had been so strange lately, I hardly noticed one more oddity. “Yeah. Looks like that’s the only way I get any pie, if I take a bite of his. The waiter seems to be ignoring me.” “He’s not ignoring you, Dearie. He can’t see you.” So I was Dearie, now. “What, he’s blind?” “No. He cannot see you. You’re invisible to him.” The brunette stared at me a second, then said, “Oh, my God, you don’t even know, do you? I’ll bet you just got here. Welcome to the show. I’m Radcliffe. Radcliffe Hall.” She held out her hand and said, “You can call me Cliffe.” “Here?” I asked. “Where is here?” She still held out her hand, so I took it. One shake, firm but not too firm. Her hand felt a little chilly. “The Point of No Return,” she said. “The In-Between. The Beyond. The Singularity. Nowhere. There are lots of names for it. But what’s important is not so much where you are as what you are. In simplest terms, you’re dead. Dead as your greatgreat-great grandparents.” “You mean I’m a ghost?” “We prefer non-corporeal entity. Or differentlyincorporated. Less baggage. But in the vernacular, yes, you’re a ghost. The dead are normally on the other side, but ones who don’t fit in there, for whatever reason, the ones who don’t belong there, well, they end up in the Singularity. Here, you’re just like everybody else.” “Like everybody else?”

“Well, like everybody else who’s not alive. Dead.” Apparently the dream, which was turning into a fever-dream, maybe a nightmare, was not over. “You’re not dreaming or hallucinating,” Cliffe said, as if she could read my mind. “But there’s no way to prove that now, anymore than when you were alive. All you can do is wait to wake up, if you think this is a dream, and meanwhile get on with your afterlife.” “And how do I do that, if I’m dead?” I figured I might as well play along. When in Rome. . .. “Start by having that pie you wanted.” Cliffe reached over and took a bite from the slice of pie at the next table. Or seemed to--I saw her fork dip into the crust and filling and lift it to her mouth, yet nothing changed on the plate. The pie remained as it was, and the man paid no attention. It was a bizarre sort of double vision, like looking into a funhouse mirror. “This is one of the advantages of being in the Singularity,” Cliffe said. “You can get away with a lot here. Eat pie. Eat all the ice cream you want, have sex with no fear of pregnancy, etc., sneak into the movies, except you don’t have to sneak, and travel anywhere you like. The living don’t see you, for the most part, and don’t believe in you if they do see you. The bureaucracy of the afterlife doesn’t care what you do. You fell through the cracks in their system, and besides, they’ve got the steady supply of new arrivals to deal with. We don’t matter to them anymore.” “We--so you’re a ghost, too.” “Why else do you think we’re talking? The living don’t see us. Not usually.” She paused, then asked, “How did you die?” “I don’t know.” “Oh, my. You are new here, aren’t you?” “There’s a gap in my memories. I’m still not even totally convinced I’m dead.” She nodded in sympathy. “A violent death, then. Causes amnesia. And denial. Usually temporary.

The living don’t see you, for the most part, and don’t believe in you if they do see you.

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Or so I hear. It will probably come back to you. But trust me. You’re a ghost. We wouldn’t be having this conversation if you weren’t.” “So how is this different from reincarnation?” I asked. “Simple,” she said, “You’re not carnal. No longer flesh and blood. You can eat, but you don’t get hungry. Sleep, though you don’t get tired. Being hot or cold--any kind of physical discomfort, they’re all just states of mind now. You’ll learn to control them.” “Ghosts seem to have it almost as good as superheroes,” I said. “Better. Nobody expects us to solve crimes or prevent terrorist attacks. But there are two things you can’t do now.” She paused, as if expecting me to ask what they were. Rules of conversation and all. I did not ask. I’m not a very good rule-follower. “One, you can’t go back,” she volunteered. I looked out the window. The door that said No Entrance on the other side should be there somewhere. It wasn’t. “The door is gone. You won’t find it again. At least I never heard of anyone finding it. You’re stuck here. You’re an exile.” “What’s the other thing I can’t do?” I was intrigued enough to ask now, dream or no dream. “You can’t change material things. You can’t make a difference here. This is their world, not ours. Kinda balances things out, I think--we can do whatever we want only because it doesn’t count. Not in this world.” She took another bite of the pie from the other table. “But you get used to it. See--if you’re dead, you really can have your pie--or someone else’s pie--and eat it, too.” “You make being dead sound too good to be true.” “In a lot of ways, it is. Are you going to have some

pie or sit there looking sad and lost?” I had pie. # I had always played it cautious. Never believed in much. Now the world didn’t believe in me. Maybe it was ironic, I thought, but then I realized that apparently being a ghost was in fact the farthest thing from irony. Exactly what you’d expect. Tit for tat. Poetic justice. As an agnostic, I still refused to rule out the possibility that this was all still some trick. Virtual reality. Hypnosis. Mind control. I’d heard incredible things could be done with lasers and artificial intelligence. If this were a simulation or dream, I still figured I’d spot the flaw, sooner or later. On the other hand, people suggested that the so-called reality I’d lived in my whole life was a simulation. And if so, maybe things that make no sense--the Schrodinger’s cat paradox, dark matter, all that mind-bending jazz-maybe those are the flaws. The holes in the story told to us by whoever is running the experiment. My mind ran in that loop until I remembered why I’m agnostic--the only honest answer to these questions is, I do not know what is really going on. And I trust no one who claims to know. # Over the next couple of weeks, I had several more conversations with Cliffe, in the coffee shop, in the park, in her apartment overlooking Central Park. Apparently, the world was pretty much still the same. I was the one who was different. Maybe this was why the rules of the afterlife said not to leave town--for your own good. I realized it could be depressing to see the world move on without you, to not even exist in what used to be your life. On the other hand, it was also very freeing.

I’d heard incredible things could be done with lasers and artificial intelligence. If this were a simulation or dream, I still figured I’d spot the flaw, sooner or later.

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If you’re nobody, you can do whatever you want. Freedom--real freedom, when you can do whatever you effing want--is vastly misunderstood and underrated by people who spend their whole lives doing as they are told. Cliffe shared the apartment with a living woman who didn’t know she had a roommate. The woman, Cathy, was a corporate attorney who was determined to be a CEO or Chair of the Board. “Real workaholic, hardly ever home, and then just to sleep. Alone. So she’s no bother. Another advantage of being a ghost--you don’t pay rent. Not that you really need an actual apartment, or domicile of any sort, as people don’t see you and you can ignore the weather. Still, if you can have in one of the best places in the City, why not?” I didn’t know if the apartment was the best place in the city, but I didn’t argue. I could never have afforded it when I was alive. We sat on the balcony and drank tea and admired the leaves turning scarlet. “So where are all the others?” I asked. “Other ghosts, I mean.” “There are very few of us. I assume you did something you weren’t supposed to in the afterlife-ate the forbidden fruit, read the forbidden book, opened the forbidden door--and got kicked out. Or just wandered down the wrong path and got lost. Happens rarely, and only to true misfits, as far as I can tell. Not everybody gets to be a ghost.” I nodded. “Still,” I said, “there should be a lot of ghosts. Considering all the people that have ever died, if even one percent of us wind up back here as ghosts, there should be millions of us.” “No. We fade away after a while. Or so I hear. I know a ghost who’s been here since the 1490s. One of Columbus’s sailors. Claims he was, anyway. Kind of a jerk, too. Must’ve been a real hell-raiser back in the day. That whole bunch was nothing but trouble, I guess. Anyway, he’s so insubstantial, you can’t see him unless he stands in broad daylight. You’d think shadow would make him easier to see, but there he just blends in. So that’s how it goes. We fade. Then

one day, poof. You’re just gone. That’s what I hear. Never saw it happen.” “Then what” “How should I know? Nothing, I guess, the big zero.” I nodded. Oblivion. As an agnostic, that’s what I always figured death was. “Don’t you ever miss it?” I asked. “Being alive, I mean?” “Of course. The thrill of danger, for instance. When I was alive, I was afraid of heights. Being up here would have made me uncomfortable. Now, well, that thrill is gone. But then, I’m not shut up in an office staring at a legal brief on a computer, either.” I nodded. She made a good point. “Speaking of missing things,” Cliffe asked, “any luck on remembering your old life? Or death?” “Just flashes. A big room, lots of people listening and watching me.” “Like a theater?” “No, more like a classroom. I was a teacher, I think. Math, maybe. And sometimes in the street, I see a face that reminds me of someone. And dreams.” “What happens in the dreams?” “Just vague images. Nothing I can make sense of.” “Don’t worry. You will.” “Actually, that is what worries me. I’m afraid of what I might remember.” I paused and decided I knew Cliffe well enough to ask, “What happened to you? How did you become a ghost?” “I was an accountant, once upon a time. Just an ordinary drone in the lower levels of mortal hell, otherwise known as an insurance company. I died in a car crash--a drunk ran a red light. In the afterlife, they tried to put me in the capitalist section, even though I explained accounting was just a job, not a philosophy, a way to put food on the table and pay rent. Nobody listened--capitalists are as capitalists do, I was told, and so I was partly responsible for every sick person who died because the company refused to honor their responsibility to pay for treatment. I was partly responsible for the demise of the planet, because the company took the premiums

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customers paid and invested in other companies that were destroying the rainforest. And so on. I couldn’t disagree, but I asked, ‘So what was I supposed to do--starve?’ Nobody answered. “Anyway, the bureaucracy of the afterlife put me with the other capitalists, in the accounting section. I had to spend 18 or 20 hours a day generating reports, the same half dozen reports, day after day. Talk about passive aggression. Complaining was useless. So I jumped. Right out the window of the 22nd floor. I didn’t know if a person could commit suicide in the afterlife or not, but I decided to find out. Next thing I knew, I was in Manhattan. Been a ghost ever since. I guess the afterlife doesn’t want me back. At least not badly enough to send anyone to get me.” # Over the next couple of weeks, I saw only one other ghost. Or at least, I assumed he must be a ghost. He strolled through Macy’s, casually taking what ever he wanted from the men’s department, trying clothes on in front of the big mirror at the end of the aisle, without bothering to use the fitting room. No one seemed to notice, except me. The clothes somehow remained on the racks, even after he’d taken them. That ghostly double-vision again. He had an extremely cute butt, but I didn’t talk to him. I was never the extra-sociable type who starts unnecessary conversations with strangers, alive or dead. I did decide that I, too, might as be a welldressed ghost, but I went to In God We Trust, a boutique in Brooklyn that had cool shoes I could never afford when I was alive. At least, my vague memories included no such luxuries. Differentlyincorporated or not, it felt like I should do something to pay for what I got, so I took a hundred-dollar ghost-bill from the purse of a rich, obviously way-too-entitled woman and tucked it into the pocket of the harassed clerk who made attempt after futile attempt to please her. The poor clerk wouldn’t be able to spend ghost-cash, but maybe it was good karma. If karma still worked in the In-Between. I figured it did. Still do, as a matter of fact. I slept on rooftops, a different one every night. 74

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Weather and the rocks in tar-and-gravel roofing were no bother for a non-corporeal entity. Hovering a millimeter or two above the surface was comfortable enough, yet it provided the reassuring illusion of lying on a horizontal plane. I enjoyed the view of the half-dozen or so stars and planets I could see clearly through the light pollution. I had dreams every night. Vivid, jumbled images that made little sense when I awoke. I didn’t know why ghosts had dreams. Or even slept. Some of the many things I didn’t know. I still half-suspected this was all a dream, so the dreams would be dreams inside a dream. Or a hallucination inside the dream. Or vice versa. The kinds of questions that lead to headaches, not answers. But one dream began to recur and grow clearer: someone is trying to kill me. I can’t see his face. He chases me down a dark hall at night, toward a bedroom. I run around a corner, through a doorway. I always wake up when I go in the room. # Days, I looked for a job. Not the kind of job that pays money, for which I had no use, but the kind of job that earns you a sense of place and purpose in life. Or in death. Or in the In-Between. It was hard, because material objects and the living were impervious to my advances. Except they weren’t. Not entirely, as I eventually discovered. I sat on a bus-stop bench, watching the lights change and people hurry across, and the cars slamming on brakes or accelerating instantly to ridiculous speeds the instant the lights changed, as if they all actually had someplace important to be. An old lady carrying two grocery bags nearly as large as she was started to cross. I knew the light was about to change before she would make it halfway. Please, no, I thought. All the drivers in front of the lines of traffic seemed more interested in their phones than in the other humans. The old lady was about to be squashed like a bug. I stared at the Walk light. I thought, Don’t change, don’t change, don’t change. The light stayed on. The old lady made it across


the street. I tried again, and found I could speed up the change when no pedestrians were crossing. I spent the whole aftermost tinkering with the crosswalk lights and traffic lights. I had a job. Crossing guard. # If I could cause changes in the material world, could I become visible to mortals, even for a few seconds? There should be a Handbook, to answer such questions for new ghosts, I thought--but we are not supposed to be here in the first place, apparently, so it would have to be an underground publication. And a limited edition, since there are so few of us. I resolved to talk to Cliffe about it. I chose the restroom at the mall as the place for my first experiment in materializing. My friend Julie--at least, she was my friend when I was alive--was shopping for new shoes, so I waited for her to make a pitstop. I know, public restroom, seems a little sleazy or stalker-ish, but materializing in front of someone else seems like a thing you need to try in private. Going to her house seemed even sketchier. I concentrated, held my breath, and became visible, in a transparent sort of way. Julie screamed and ran from the restroom, her unrinsed hands still soapy. I screamed and followed her, seeing the image fade in the mirrors as they flashed by.. The figure that half-materialized was not me. At least, not the me I remembered. A teenager with totally different eyes and hair. Maybe this was the universe’s way of telling me that the person I used to be was dead. Really dead. Even as a rebellious ghost, if I wanted to be seen, it had to be as somebody else. Still, I could produce some visible manifestation that the living would notice, if only for a few seconds.

# When I told Cliffe about my discoveries, I could tell she was more impressed than she let on. “It’s not unheard of, but I never saw anyone who could really change the material world,” she said. “Just be careful. Power is dangerous, no matter how much or little.” “More dangerous than powerlessness?” She shrugged. “What danger? We’re ghosts. Exiles from the afterlife. What’s anybody going to do to us? Also, meddling in mortal affairs is probably against the rules.” “Well, if we always followed the rules, we probably wouldn’t be here, would we?” Cliffe nodded and sipped her tea. # I’m having the dream again. The one with the face I can almost see. I run down the dark hall, through the doorway. This time, I don’t wake up when I enter the bedroom. The man behind me turns the corner. The light falls on his face. “You cheating scumbag,” I say, in a low, dangerous tone, and pick up a floor lamp and jab it at him. The shade tumbles off and rolls across the floor. He pauses for a moment. I turn to the startled redhead, who sits in shocked dismay on the bed. “You can have him. All yours.” I swing the lamp again and he falls backward, stumbling over the shade. I turn to go. “Daisy, wait,” he says, and then I know his name is Ryan. He jumps up, grabs my arm, and twists. I pull away and stumble, banging my head on the viciously sharp corner of the dresser. After that, blackness. And the wet bottom of a boat. # I woke up. I knew who had killed me. Or, at least, who was responsible for my death. “Everything will change, now,” I said to the stars. I found that the

I concentrated, held my breath, and became visible, in a transparent sort of way. Julie screamed and ran from the restroom, her unrinsed hands still soapy.

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emotion of my dream had translated into vertical motion. I was drifting five hundred feet above the Chrysler Building. # The next morning, I told Cliffe, “I’ve got some haunting to do. I think I’m going to be a very vengeful ghost.” She didn’t bother telling me to be careful this time. I couldn’t remember just yet where Ryan lived. Cliffe assured me memories would return gradually. But it didn’t matter--I remembered one thing about him--he liked to ride trains. I waited in a station that felt somehow familiar, felt right. I waited hours, every day for a week. I brought a book. I found being a ghost made me more patient. Ryan showed up on the eighth day. He stood at the front of the crowd. When I heard the rumble of approaching wheels, I marked my page, closed the book, walked across the platform, and pushed him in front of the train. Don’t judge me if you’ve never been killed, even accidentally, by your cheating boyfriend. Trust me--it really, really pisses you off. I mean, seriously. A few moments later, Ryan came crawling out from under the train. I stared, then immediately realized what had happened. “So you’re a freaking ghost, now, too?” I said.

Alive, he had looked tall, blond, and Nordic. Or so I used to think when I was alive. Now he just looked skinny, pale, and cadaverous. Probably a shift in my perspective as much as his appearance. He blinked stupidly. “Daisy? I’ve been looking for you. I wanted to apologize. I’m so sorry about what happened.” That was Ryan, all over. He’d learned well the lesson that it’s easier to apologize than to learn from your mistakes and avoid screwing up. Sometime, his apologies were even sincere. We talked for a minute. As it turned out, Melody, the girl with whom he was cheating on me, also thought she was the only one. She proceeded to stab him in the heart with a barbecue fork right after I died of the head injury. “That’s just like you. You deprive me of the opportunity for really satisfying revenge,” I said, and walked away. At least, I wasn’t going to listen to another one of his BS apologies. Is it still called haunting when a ghost does it to another ghost? No matter. I was a part-time crossing guard and full-time ghost now, with all the time in the world and nothing to lose. Ryan was in for a few very rough train rides. And, as the poet said, more or less, since then, ‘tis centuries, yet it feels shorter than the day I first surmised the train was headed toward eternity.

Photo by Julian Lozano on Unsplash

A BOUT THE AUTH OR

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David Rogers’ poems, stories, and articles have appeared in various print and electronic publications, including The Comstock Review, Atlanta Review, Sky and Telescope, and Astronomy magazine. His latest work is Roots of the Dark Tower: The Long Quest and Many Lives of Roland, available from Amazon. More of his work can be read at Davidrogersbooks.wordpress.com. David supports all people’s rights to be who they are and identify and live as they choose.


Before You Go Before You Go Robin and I want to thank you for reading The Starlit Path and coming on this strange journey with us. If you submitted an article, a story, a poem or your art, we are grateful for your participation. Without you, there would never have been a magazine. If you’re a subscriber, we are grateful for your support. You’ll be able to read all of the issues on the new website, The Dragon Star Collective www.dragonstarcollective.com, launching in January 2020. You can still subscribe to the monthly newsletter. Madam Tealeaf will be continuing her 3-card readings there monthly stating at the end of December. Even though the magazine is closing, we still want to hear from you. You can also find us on Facebook. Join our group, Walking The Starlit Path https://www.facebook.com/groups/341252810031785/ where we will still be hanging out and talking about magic and what-not. And so, my fellow wanderer, may the road come up to meet you and may your journey be filled with wonders Safe Travels Judie

https://robinpatterson.myportfolio.com/

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Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

http://judietroyansky.com/

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Until We Meet Again!