A stuttering wind unravels in my mind, whispering and moaning, fragmented by half formed words and the tail-ends of forgotten promises. The flippant words said in jest, the frivolity of lover’s lips, the poisoned barbs of jealousy and bitterness….the softness of a mothers kiss … all are there, haranguing and jeering, soothing and illuminating…
I awake with a jolt, to find myself in a strange place, on a windy hillside with dry scratchy grass piercing my clothes. There are twigs poking into my scalp, and I feel stiff, as if I have been lying here, carelessly asleep for some time. I look around me, and all I can see is white sky, and I think that perhaps I am somewhere near the clouds in the vicinity of heaven, but definitely I am at some altitude, and as I look behind me, I see that I am in the presence of an imposing altar-like edifice. It rises, like a Gothic crypt from the soft ground, threatening in its square solidity, defying movement, and repressing change. I wonder to what memory this thing devotes itself, or if it is in fact a crypt at all, for on closer inspection, there are no names immortalised on the smooth cold stone, and no stories of victories in foreign lands as one might expect on a memorial to soldiers who have given their lives in long forgotten wars. There are no clues on this faceless tomb, it just stands there, a stubborn hulk, and I look away from its inscrutable countenance.
Around the grey limestone base scamper a number of soft brown mice, busily searching for the remains of grains and other food offerings that people had been leaving at this place, because as I have now realised, after watching the nibbling scurries of the mice, this thing before me is an altar, but to what, I have as yet no clue.
As if to find some further information on the puzzle before me, I turn away from the altar to see that Malachi has arrived, and that he is standing calmly in his usual manner, a calm, half amused look on his face, as if he is about to tell me some philosophical joke. He often looks like this, but somehow I ver seem to be able to work out what amuses him… and he never tells me the joke!. Over his shoulder he carries a brown leather sling, a kind of large quiver, and it houses all the weapons from the 9 of Swords that he has been cleaning, over the past few weeks. They glitter brightly in their soft case, singing out for all the world to hear, swishing, ringing, cutting through the air, all traces of blood and rust have miraculously vanished under Malachi’s diligent and caring fingers.
For some reason, today, no words pass between us, and the air in front of me shimmers and breaks as different images start to manifest in front of us.
I watch a scene from the bible, an angel coming to Joseph in a dream to tell him to flee with Mary into Egypt, to escape from Herod, and I understand then the importance of dreams, the impulsive thoughts that can arise in ones mind, that can be harbingers of doom and destruction, but also of creativity and inventiveness. Thoughts are powerful and can both build and destroy, and when inspired can greatly magnify the might of the man that wields them.
An Olive branch presented itself next, hovering in the air before me, and I wondered if I was about to see the Ark drifting by, but it seemed just to signify the message, the information, the sign that the judgement of God was over, a message that land was still there, that the waters would withdraw, and life would begin again in a new way.
A White Hare came next, a symbol of ancient spring fertility goddesses, representing guile, paradox and contradiction, living by one’s own wits, receiving hidden teachings and intuitive messages, quick-thinking, humility, moving through fear and strengthening intuition. I saw the nimble feet of the Hare, her dancing gait, and she reminded me of the Princess, with her fierce bravery, her independence and fleetness of foot.
As the images faded to bleached grass in front of me, I finally turned to the Alter, and asked it what it represented, and it replied that I had built it with my thoughts and beliefs, and that it didn’t need to be quite so large and dominating, that the Princess would help me to smash any outworn beliefs that are no longer required, and enable me to move on through life unencumbered by what is unnecessary or outlived, to clear the way for new ideas and thoughts to emerge and take root.
I left the hillside feeling lighter and refreshed, and as I walked down the grassy incline, I looked back at the altar, and it was starting to crumble behind me, plumes of ashen dust billowing in the wind, scattering into the singing wind to be sent to the four corners of the compass.
Princess of the Rushing Winds
The Lotus of the Palace of Air
Princess and Empress of the Sylphs
Throne of The Ace of Swords