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Posts Tagged ‘murder’

Orestes

the Curse of the Furies

Listen. If you stand in the heart of the idea of Israel and listen to the silence within its history and its future, disturbing thoughts come rising out of the Void.

If you are a Zionist, I am sorry for you, because the Mother Goddess of this Earth is very clear in her intent. You will never find an easy place to rest on this planet because you have been cursed. Genocide, She whispers. There is a genocide that must be atoned for.

The Witches of the of the matriarchal city states, those cities who died horrible deaths at the hands of the Israelite armies in the Moses and Exodus stories of the Judeo-Christian mythologies, they did not die quietly. They did not pass beyond the Veil with acceptance and grace. No. They cursed the armies of Israel who murdered them, and with their dying breath, the Witches of Canaan reached into the future and whispered, “As you have done, may it come back to you three fold, as the magic ordains.”

Oh, this is a terrible curse, one sealed in blood and guarded by ghosts, and one that cannot be undone. The magic must work its way out to the end.

This is a tricky subject to discuss in the current atmosphere of hysteria and histrionics as the ancestors of this ancient tribe are adept at controlling the media and the message.  It does not help that the writings attributed to Moses lie at the heart of all their teachings. Moses was a con man and a charlatan and a tremendous liar. One could not find a worse person to be your moral compass. He was a murderer who happened to be a Prince of Egypt. He stole a thing of power from the tombs of the pharaohs, gathered a band of outlaws such as himself, and fled from the wrath of his stepbrother.  (Yeah. That whole thing about leading his people out of slaver. Never happened. There is no record of it and the Egyptians were meticulous record keepers.)

Out in the desert only the most brutal survive. Moses’s gang of thugs thrived. (Did I mention Moses stole an object of power? Was it a thing or something sentient? Who can say for sure.)

Was it regret or sanity that induced him to lead them around in circles for 40 years knowing they had become a human plague not fit to be let loose on the more civilized places of the Mediterranean? Who knows. Somewhere in there he managed to find pen, ink, and time to write so he supposedly wrote pretty much all of the Old Testament. (Moses, spoiled little prince that he was, had the finest education to by had by anyone at the time. What he wrote was not divinely inspire so much as stolen, mined from a childhood spent learning from the scribes and priest of the Pharaoh. Egypt had spent 10,000 years collecting the knowledge of the planet. There was a lot to choose from when one planned on writing your own origin myth.)

Joshua perhaps grew tired of waiting. He induced Moses to teach him how to use the power object. Then Moses died. How? Only Joshua knows and he is not telling. Joshua, I imagine, was a thug extraordinaire among thugs. Thus began the march through Canaan and the genocide of  a peaceful culture.

But wait, you might say. The story of Joshua and the Canaanites has no basis in history. How can we be cursed?

Well, there is the problem of timelines. Moses was a liar. Everything he wrote was a compression of 10,000 years of history. There is some conjecture that Moses was merely a lowly priest in the hierarchy of the Egyptian temples and that what he wrote was science fiction at its finest. Some say the priest who wrote those books was not named Moses but took the name to honor a mythological hero.

Trust me. Somewhere in time, the children of the goddess were wiped from the face of the planet by the ancestors of the children of Israel. It is an event seared on the planetary memory. There is no hard evidence to support this. If there is, it was buried deep or destroyed because, unfortunately, the Moses story has tainted the science of archaeology and anthropology.  Every scientist learned the lessons of Galileo and none wanted to be called before the Holy See.

Perhaps it is not Israel that is cursed but those who cling the tightest to the Moses myth. The Mother Goddess wants her planet back. She will take it, if need be. It is not an accident that she has turned the planet into a desert under the feet of the men who revile her the most.

The curse on the Israelites can be broken. It is a simple thing really. Your women must be brought into the temple and be allowed to stand as equals in the places of power and have a voice in your governance.  Simple. Really.

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The Wanderer walked through the gate and looked around in wonder.

Wonder was what he always felt upon leaving the gates; wonder that he was still alive, wonder at the feeling of being born new and clean into an unknown place, wonder at where he had been and where he was going. The crushing weight of infinite time inside the portals stripped him clean of his past and took away his most recent thoughts, making them a vague and distant memory. He wondered, not for the first time, if he had ever had a name. They said there were a thousand lifetimes between one step and the next as you crossed the threshold of a time portal. Perhaps they were right. Or perhaps the energy of the portals merely scrambled your brains and what he felt as the passing of infinite time was merely the symptoms of irreparable brain damage. Either way, it did not matter.

He stood upon the lintel of the gate, the energy of his passage fading behind him and looked around curiously. He was alone in a dimly lit chamber remarkable in its immense size and by its absolute silence. He was surprised by this. Vague though his memories might be, he was fairly certain that the portals were usually outside, built upon isolated hills just high enough and far enough away from human habitation to keep the energy flares, always a remote possibility, from frying the local population. These peoples had chosen, instead, to seal their portal behind thick stone walls.

The Wanderer cocked his head to listen to the world beyond this strange room. Open sky and sunlight was far away, up above his head. The portal seemed to have been buried in stone. For some reason, he found this profoundly disturbing yet he could not remember why that should be. He worried over that thought for a moment and then shook his head to clear it. What he needed to remember would come to him eventually. All truths did, in the end.

The room was not the only surprising part of his current predicament. He was alone. Up until now his experiences led him to expect that the portals would always be guarded by priests either of the religious bent or as members of the scientific cults. No one stood here to tell him where he was or to give him directions to the nearest monastic institute or traveler’s hostel. Confusion kept him rooted to the spot for a double handful of moments while his brain sorted through the drifts of knowledge laying about in his brain, trying to come up with a logical matrix of cause and effect that best suited this current conundrum.

A number of possible scenarios presented themselves for his consideration. That the planet lay dead under a thinning sky topped that list. He waited, hoping he was in error. His eyes grew accustomed to the perpertual gloom of the room, enough to see that the dim glow came from pinpoints of light set in the high ceiling in a pattern meant to mimic the stars set in the heavens. The stone sense above him put a lie to that electrical illusion. Heartened a bit by this small semblance of technology, he waited, hoping against hope that the presence of electricity might also promise the presence of sensors and security cameras or perhaps a robotic mind left to do the task humans found too tedious.

No one came. He sighed forlornly. He had a memory of cities, centuries dead, still powered by their atomic furnaces. Perhaps this was such a place.

When it became apparent that no one was coming to investigate the gate’s activation, the Wanderer stepped off the altar dais and began walking towards the far wall. Time did not exist in this room except for that measured by the even tread of his feet upon the dusty stone floor. He tried counting his steps but the silence fogged his mind. He lost track after five hundred.

Eventually he spotted a set of doors in the pale light. They opened effortlessly at his touch. Beyond were more rooms. He explored for a bit, until, quite to his surprise, he turned a corner and came face to face with an old woman busy sweeping the dust into random piles on the ancient stone floors. She stared at him, puzzled by his presence in her usually deserted domain and, upon being asked, pointed silently towards the doors that would lead him outside. He thanked her but she remained mute, perhaps not understanding his words. He could not tell for certain.  He had spoken in Universal Pandimensional Basic but playing the lost tourist asking direction was universally understood no matter what the language.

The doors led to a hallway, the hallway to an elevator. He pressed the only button and after a moment the doors hissed open. Entering, he studied the control panel. After a bit of ciphering, he pushed the button that most probably represented zero. The elevator took him down a dozen stories before the doors opened to reveal a great atrium through which scores of people scurried, each intent on their own private purpose, it seemed. He watched the frenetic motion of scores of bodies for a moment. The chaos of their motion sorted itself out in his mind. What appeared disconnected and solitary, when viewed as a whole, took on a pattern and a synchronicity that turned their movements into an intricate dance. The dance hinted at the formation of a hive mind.

The Wanderer had encountered the human hive mind on other planes, on other planets. Its development was always a signal of a species in the midst of an evolutionary leap. This transition was never comfortable. It was akin to a worm destroying itself from the inside out inside its chrysalis so that it might reform its baser nature into something far more wondrous. He wondered vaguely where they stood on the painful and inevitable slide into chaos and whether he might be better served turning around and letting the portal take him somewhere else.

He chewed on his lower lip, a worried frown on his brow. The portals were self directing, bringing him where he was needed most. These people needed him but even now, after all this time, he distrusted the mindless, primordial power that made this true.

The elevator beeped impatiently, interrupting his reverie, reminding him that it had places to go that did not involve ferrying bemused Wanderers about as they looked for a purpose to life. The Wanderer stepped out and the elevator gave him one last annoyed beep before it whisked itself away.

The Wanderer abandoned all thoughts of striking up a conversation with the people around him. He had no desire to talk to the hive mind and humans caught up in its matrixes tended towards the irrational. He decided, instead, to continue playing the lost tourist.

It had been such a long time since he had visited someplace just for the sheer joy of being somewhere different that it took him a few moments to remember what that might feel like. Was there a purpose behind the motions of sightseeing? He rummaged through his head until he settled upon what might be the universal theme of tourism. Curiosity. The Wanderer looked around for some small thing that might peak his curiosity.

He was too old and too jaded to care about the architecture or the art work on the walls. But the quality of the light intrigued him. The atrium had the deep green gloom of a forest floor. This confused his senses as he knew for a fact a densely packed and densely populated city grew towards the skies around him. Curiosity led him to follow a stream of people through a series of doors set in a glass wall. Waves of densely packed air played over his body as he stepped through each doorway. The Wanderer smiled, delighted. The doors were a cleverly disguised air lock. The Wanderer counted himself a connoisseur of cleverness. Perhaps this place was not completely hopeless.

Outside, the air was a living thing that engulfed him and settled wetly into his lungs. He coughed softly, the smell and the weight of it robbing him temporarily of his breath. The people around him crossed the building’s stone apron quickly, hands over their noses, as if finding the noisome damp air unpleasant. Long cars, their windows shuttered against the green light, stopped to catch them up, the doors hissing open with a brisk efficiency, the machines’ chilled breath lingering long after the doors closed and the people had gone. Other cars sped by in a blur of steel and industrious intent. Tourist, the Wanderer decided, would not be so hasty. He chose not to enter the cars but instead wandered down the tree-lined walkway.

This city must have truly loved its trees at one time, though the people around him barely looked up to notice their presence and the windows above his head were shuttered and dark, shielded from the inopportune intrusions of the beauty of golden light, blue sky or green tree. The trees grew all the same, albeit unnoticed, planted at regular intervals in small squares of soil cut into the verge of the walkway and along the median that divided the opposite flows of traffic. These were not the stunted and sickly trees of other cities. No. These trees stood tall and lush, towering over him dozens of stories high, their canopies reaching towards the narrow patches of sky, competing for space with the stone and glass high-rises that formed canyon walls around them.

An odd thought bubbled up in his mind. How was it that a rainforest had grown up here, only to have ninety percent of its arboreal giants become stone, he wondered. The Wanderer let this fancy take him further, imagining some troll with an evil eye stomping through the ancient groves, freezing the living, turning wood into stone and leaf into glass with its terrible troll glare.

He laughed out loud as he strode down the avenue filled from cliff face to cliff face with trees. Truth was sometimes more magical than fancy. There was a great river somewhere close by. He could smell it on the wind and feel its water swelling the great sponge of land under this city’s feet. The city was not clean. No city this size ever was. The river and the streets were saturated with the effluvia of the millions of city dwellers and their animal familiars. The ancient pipes meant to carry the waste to some distant treatment plant lay crazed with cracked under the pavement. The trees, opportunistic feeders as were all things that wished to survive and continue existence in the face of unbeatable odds used the city canyons as shelter against the great storms that blew in from the not so distant ocean just as a grove of trees might take shelter from the winds inside the embrace of their kin in a primordial forest. Thus protected, these city born trees sank their toes into the porous gravel under the city’s foundations and drew up the rich nutrients they found there in great thirsty gulps.

The Wanderer, true to his name, wandered as the sun arced slowly across the sky. He could have used a cold drink or a sweet bun but the clerks behind the counters in the shops shooed him away when it became apparent he had none of the local coin. He finally found a cart-man selling stimulating iced teas and another selling bits of spicy sausage encased in crusty buns to queues of street sweepers, delivery men, window washers, and dog walkers. He got what he needed with just a smile and a touch and a look into the deep soul places inside those who would be generous. It was a fair exchange. For the price of a bit of food, he lifted their burden and drove back the shadows in their hearts for a brief moment, giving in a universal currency recognized by all those who lived and worked closest to the earth.

He ate and drank, shaded by the ever present canopy of trees, eating in communion with the day laborers, until his small hungers were satisfied. Then he wandered on. His full belly and the heat of the late afternoon sun made him drowsy. The laborers grew sleepy as well. He could feel them settling all across the city, to doze in out of the way patches of deep shade. It was contagious, this hazy tiredness. Even the workers in the windowless, air conditioned skyscrapers felt it and dozed in front of their flickering screens. He found a sad little patch of grass under a tree with lacy foliage and slept until the sun was low in the sky and the air began to cool.

Sleep led to dreaming, a fools mistake that. Wresting himself from a disturbing dream, he sat up, his heart pounding in his chest. An immense sentience had stalked him in his sleep. He had fled before it but found himself cornered in the tree filled canyons of the city with nowhere to run. It had eaten him whole, that sentience, smothering him with her succulent body, her corpulent breasts pressing against his mouth, cutting off the screams in his throat.

He scrubbed his face roughly with the palms of his hands, trying to erase the feel and the taste of Her from his mind. She rolled restlessly under him even now, whispering lovers endearments into his mind’s ear, entreating him to defend her honor and avenge her defilement. She would have gone on to enumerated her many grievances but he closed his mind to it, having heard them a million times before on a million other planets. She was Maiden, Wife and Mother, this thing, and everything living owed their life to Her and every dead thing embraced Her like a long lost lover as they were absorbed back into Her flesh. He wondered what had offended her sensibilities so much that She had woken from Her dreams of creation to pace the land and harass the living with Her rage.

It was not hard to guess but he let his mind delve into the memories of the city around him anyway, letting his ghoulish curiosity lead him onward. The city held so many secrets, secrets ripe for the picking to any who knew how to find them. Humans might force forgetfulness, to keep their sanity, but the stones remembered.  Night stalkers and rapists the stones wept. Murder, they whispered. Genocide, they moaned.

The Wanderer sighed a tired sigh. Was it part and parcel of a species on the brink of change, that the angst of transition turned humans murderous? Or did self destruction trigger the transformation, like the ill timed contractions of a premature birth? Had the old order, holding tight to their power inside the ossifying body of the old Mother, purge the souls who had been so foolish as to hear the Maiden’s new song that would change them all?

Whatever the source, human genocide wreaked havoc upon the fabric of any world, the killing so pervasive that it left no one behind to say the rites that loosed the hold the dead had upon things and places, no one to say the words that would untie them from their entanglements on this side of the Veil. The dead did not rest easy if they died murdered and unavenged and this place was rife with angry ghosts. He whispered a prayer of singularity and wished them peace, hoping to change the tone of their song and the direction of their focus.

The incantation did not work as well as he hoped. The ghosts sighed, their pain easing. The trees would have none of it. Apparently ghosts were easier to appease than the trees. The Wanderer cocked his head, trying to hear around the moans of the ghosts. The trees would not let him ignore the Maiden’s song. They took it up and added their own harmonies. Theirs was not a song of loss and grief but something far fiercer, having drunk down the rivers of blood this city had fed them over the generations. The Wanderer shuddered and looked up into the canopy above his head, a shiver of fear running down his spine. He had been foolishly mistaken. These were not tame, city bred trees. Oh, no. These were the trees of the primordial forest, having learned the way of the fecundity of life and agony of brutal death, embraced as they were by the towers of man and all his ruthless workings. He tried to close his mind to their rage.

He rose and walked on as the light grew dim, uneasy under the Maiden’s attentions and uncomfortable under the scrutiny of the fierce trees. He longed to climb to the roof of one of the highrises that he might put his nose into the clean wind and listen for the coming storms.

Soon, the office workers descended from their towers to take their mid-workday meal in the shops that lined the streets. He took a sandwich of thin, pink meat and delicate cheese from the offering hands of a woman seated at a sidewalk cafe. He ate as he walked and when he had swallowed the last bite, a stranger handed him a tall glass of beer so cold the humid air made the sides slippery with condensation. He smiled, touching their hands in blessing and walked on.

Yet still people slumbered, behind their closed shades, ignorant of the passing of the light.

The nature of the people populating the street gradually changed as the sun set and the air cooled. The day laborers cast fearful eyes on the dimming sky and scurried to catch the street cars that would take them out of the city. They would not be spending the night in the shadow of the tall buildings and the hungry trees and they would all be gone as the sun touched the horizon, believing in ghosts and the karma of blood debt as they did. He could not blame them, thinking to follow their example himself. The Wanderer turned and retraced his steps back towards the portal.

The portal was always a presence in his mind; a beacon in the darkest of nights. Even in this ghost-ridden city, the sense of its presence was unerring. Night descended like a soft veil upon the city and caught him before he could make good his escape. He could sense the rats stirring cautiously in their warrens. Creatures of the night and travelers in the shadows as they were, they were not the penultimate predator on the nighttime streets. Something far darker woke inside the hollow shells of the stone towers above his head.

Was it fancy or fact, this sudden conviction that for every living soul waking from their day of slumber, dozens of the restless dead woke as well. Was it illusion or real, the sudden belief that not all the apartments above his head had living inhabitants, negating his initial assessment that the city teemed with people. It teemed, but not all of what woke was part of the land of the living.

This was not a healthy line of thinking. The depth and breadth of the illness of this city struck him, all of a sudden, blurring his vision and turning the sidewalk to quicksand under his feet. He staggered, putting out a hand to steady himself. His fingers found old, soot-stained stone and he pressed his face into the bricks of a building whose top ended somewhere in the wispy clouds far above his head. All the while the city whispered awful things, terrible things into his mind.

They did not sleep at night, the people who lived here, in this primordial forest of steel and stone. They worked and played, ate and drank, danced and entertained until the first rays of dawn broke across the sky. Only then did they fall into their beds, to sleep the dreamless sleep of the exhausted. The ghosts were to blame. They owned the darkness, owned the night. One dare not sleep, for sleeping meant dreaming and a hundred murdered souls hung think and heavy in every shadow above every bed, filling the night with their unshriven longings and inserting their pale fingers into the minds of the weak and the unprotected until a sane person could not tell where one’s own thoughts ended and the thoughts of the dead began. It was a city of the possessed.

The Wanderer pressed his teeth together to keep them from chattering. How did one perform an exorcism on an entire city? Could he? Was it even possible? He had called the dead home before but he could not remember if he had ever done so on such a massive scale. He pressed his internal wards against the darkness of the city and stood upright, pushing himself away from the wall to continue on his way. The portal was twenty minutes away. He would give himself that much time to come up with a solution.

The moon rose from behind the walls of the city. Its face was the face of the Maiden. The Wanderer stared at her, thinking this a sign but not sure what it meant. He lost her face behind a lacework of tree branches as he walked. The primordial trees whispered their fierce hunger into the night air; hungry, bloodlust thoughts. He dare not listen to them, but he could not help but hear their song. Did not jaguar hunt from the branches of the forest, the trees whispered?

The Wanderer paused mid stride. Why were the city trees remembering jaguar thoughts? What did the Jaguar god know what he did not? Did Jaguar say the words of unmaking over every animal it ate? It would make being Jaguar very tedious indeed, if that were so.

But surely every living thing recognized their own death when the Jaguar’s teeth closed around their throat? There was no need for ceremony and grave words, for all wild things understood this dance. All things except city bred humans who never saw death, except as a tasty meal on a plate with white linen and silver utensils, having never watched the life pass from a twitching body as the blood drain from slit throats.

When he reached the building that contained the portal he had a vague idea of what needed to be done. He paused near the air lock doors, placed his palm flat against its stone wall and began building the framework of the magic in his mind.

“You are earth,” he whispered to the stone. “Stones are bones of the Mother-Maiden. Steel is Her molten blood, congealed into new forms, yet still unchanged. Wood and plaster is the forest remade and reshaped, but still wild. Remember who you are. You are no different than the trees around you. Remember the Mother. Remember the pattern that pulled you out of the Chaos at the beginning of Time.” He stayed there, holding the image of a great tree in his head, pressing his magic into the stone until he felt it shift under his hand.

The Wanderer opened his eyes and looked up. The wall still looked like a wall, the brick still brick. It was not complete, this magic. All he had done was create a longing in the building, a yearning to become what it once was. It was remembering that it was a wild thing standing tall on the world. He blinked the magic out of his eyes. The moon was looking down on him. He pulled her light down and wove it into his magic.

“The moon is your Wife,” he whispered through his fingers into the stone, “caught up in the branches of your hair.” He imagined the stars in the sky beyond the glare of the city lights. “The Jaguar is one of many gods who grace your crown like a diadem full of stars. This is your power, endless and infinite. Remember this and tell it to the shadows that cavort about your trunk that they might join with you in dancing the balance of the pattern back into the world.”

The Wanderer patted the warm stone. It was a small thing, this magic. Not a world changing bit of necromancy, no. Just a wee bit of a change, like a virus setting up shop in a single cell inside a human nose. It would sit and brew and eventually break out to infect the other buildings around it. Slow magic was so much kinder and gentler than unmaking the whole city all at once. The humans would not notice, at first. Eventually, they would reclaim the night for their own, perhaps not this generation but maybe in the next. But the night was now Jaguar’s. The ghosts and the shadows would be consumed and the human dreams would become their own at long last.

The Wanderer passed through the glass doors and found the elevator that would take him up to the twelfth floor. After a bit of confusion, he found his way back through the maze of corridors and empty rooms to a pair of great doors with a red warning sign painted crudely by hand across the height and breadth of the carved wooden panels. The Wanderer laughed, amused that he had not seen this on his way out. He reached out to touch the red paint. It glowed briefly, white hot, then turned to ash, drifting away on an invisible wind.

He pulled the doors open and peered into the gloom. The portal glowed softly, beckoning to him across the immense room. Turned on and open, ready for his next jump. Clever gate, it always knew his needs long before he did. It took less than five hundred paces to reach it.

He paused on the lintel, the power of the event horizon crackling softly over his skin, and closed his eyes. With his mind he reached out and took hold of the magic tree he had built out of city stone and moonlight and fed its roots into the same power source that fueled the gates.

“You are infinite,” the Wanderer whispered. “ and endless is your magic.”

The portal whisked him away to the next place while his mind wandered, random thoughts leading one to the next. The sound of his last words echoed around in his head, nagging at him like the angry harridan Maiden. He was not sure if he had been speaking to the magic or the portal or to himself.

He shrugged between one infinite moment and the next. Did it really matter? It was all one and the same thing, wasn’t it.

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The story of Heracles (Hercules) is a wonderfully twisted tale of gods, demi-gods, madness, murder, infanticide, sin and penance. In the middle is this story, Hercules, an indentured servant serving his sentence under the Mycenaean king, Eurystheus, is ordered to clean out the Augian Stables. According to the tale, Eurystheus had 1000 immortal cattle locked up in this building, doing nothing but eating and pooping for 30 years without anyone thinking to grab pitchfork and a cart to haul off the dung to the compost pile. I am thinking this is a bit of poetic license or else the poets of the day were city boys who had never seen the back end of a cow in their entire life.

More than likely, the Augean Stables did not exist but was an allegory for something else; perhaps the hearts of men, the politics of the royal court, or the chaos of human existence.

Whatever. Hercules had to clean out the stables and he only had one day to do it. His boss, who hated him, meant to teach him humility. Hercules was a lot of things but no one ever accused him of being humble. Instead of grabbing the mighty pitchfork of the gods, he cheats. He diverts two rivers from their course to run them through the stables. OK, already the poetic license is tripping me up. All that work, digging the canals, engineering the sluice gates, and so on, could have been put to work with a pitchfork, to my way of thinking. Only a guy with the soul of an engineer would design a Rube Goldberg contraption to run two rivers through a stable just so he wouldn’t have to smell poop all day.

Nowhere in this tale is there the mention of the minor logistics: Moving the herd to temporary lodging. Sorting out the tools and feed from the piles of dung. Dealing with the downstream pollution. Hercules was something of an ass. It can be assumed he didn’t bother with those details. The bet was to clean the stables in a day. Technically, that’s exactly what he did. He ignored the small details, knowing someone else would sort them out.

There is a name for the guy who thinks up ways not to work hard. We call him an efficiency expert. It was just such an engineering mind that thought up the idea of a remote control because he was too lazy to get up off the couch to change the channel. The Roomba didn’t get invented until 2002 when a man wanted to sweep his floors without actually having to, ya know, sweep. One can only presume he was one of those ‘forever alone’ guys who could never even get a girlfriend to make him a sandwich so therefore had no one to do his laundry or clean his house.

If Heracles had been female, the story would have been different. (For that matter, if King Eurystheus had been female, there would not have been a story at all. No queen in her right mind would have let things get so messy.)

It is the female mind that keeps the universe together, making sure things run like a well oiled machine, because, of course, it is they who are working endlessly behind the machines doing the oiling. It was a woman who first said ‘A stitch in time saves nine’, knowing full well that her plate was already too full, what with cooking and cleaning and doing the laundry and changing baby diapers and wiping snotty noses and teaching the kids reading, writing and arithmetic, all the while keeping herself fit and trim so she could play the seductress to her man every time he came home from the proverbial wars, therefore she had no desire to repair a destroyed seam if a few well placed knots could forestall it.

The female Hercules, being a demi-god, would have been a hearth witch by nature. She would have taken a broom and made a small clean spot in one corner of the stables. Hearth magic would have done the rest.  This is the magic of the female mind. It is the logic of the right brain and can be applied to any mess, no matter how intimidating. It works like this:

The broom is the broom of intention, the intention being not so much to clean the spot but to drive back the chaos and reestablish that spot’s anchor to the Patterning of the Universe. This she does with her will and her love and the purest of intentions. It is also these qualities that allow her to wade through the fetid mess without getting any of the stink on her. The stink does not bother her. The source of her power rises from the fermentation of life in the dark places of the Universal Soul. The stink just tells her that her brew is working.

Back to cleaning up the mess. The one clean spot, now put into order and anchored, causes the adjoining spots to spin around it, igniting change as a catalyst ignites change in a soup of reagents. What follows is a cascade of reactions that alters the whole until the whole is uniform once more. In other words, the change happens until the change can find no other thing to change and then it stops. Time, as is the way with all things in the Universe, is relative. This transformation can be instantaneous, like a flash fire or as slow as stalactites growing on the roof of a cave.

Hercules saw the Augian Stables as one single problem and solved it with catastrophic results. Hercules’s alter ego, in a distaff universe, ignored the big picture and broke the problem down into one manageable bit at a time, knowing full well that before she was through, she would do less work than Hercules and end up with a well ordered stable in which the useful remained and the detritus had been swept away on the tides of the Universe.

One clean spot can make all the difference.

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In September of 2007, officials at Nepal’s state-run airline sacrificed two goats to appease Akash Bhairab, the Hindu sky god, following technical problems with one of its Boeing 757 aircraft. The long standing and apparently unsolvable electrical problem was subsequently fixed and the airline was back in business.

I do not doubt for a second that the demon tangled up in the wiring of the airplane was suitably appeased and went on its merry way. Nepal is that sort of place.

Superstition, as defined by modern thinking, says that it is the belief that events can be influenced by certain acts that have no discernible connection to each other.  A very arrogant and denigrating way of saying that there is an unseen world out beyond the edge of human senses that cannot be measured by any modern technology and that, being thus denied by science then it surely cannot exist and that therefore any human act surely cannot bear any sort of weight to influence it.

Really?

Superstition is merely the belief in the supernatural and that one can, indeed, interact with said supernatural energies and that exchange can be a two way street.

Superstition has its place. It can run the extreme gamut from horrifically brutal,–they still murder inconvenient women in horrific ways in Africa and the Middle East under the guise of witch burning but I don’t think anyone has seriously considered throwing a bunch of virgins into the volcanoes in Indonesia to appease the fire gods–to merely lip service and symbolic sacrifices–there is an entire industry in Asia that sells paper money and cars and other representations of real world objects that are meant to be sacrificially burned to appease the ancestors and bribe the demons to prevent their negative incursions into the process. Goat sacrifice lies somewhere in between and must be taken in context. In an agrarian society, animal ownership is a measure of wealth. These are not pets. They are animals raised to be food. There is no emotional attachment to the animal except of that as another living being on the planet.  They are killed humanely just as if they were being slaughtered for food. To put it in modern terms, a village sacrificing a goat to appease a deity is the same as a city taking a portion  of the money out of its coffers and handing it out to the widows and orphans in the name of what ever deity they wish to hear their prayers. What is charity but a bribe to the gods to grease our way into heaven, after all?

As in all things supernatural, it is not the act but the intent that bears weight. In the world of the higher gods, it is what you risk in your sacrifice that attracts their attention. The Oneverse is not barbaric. She would rather you did not cut out the heart of your first born son or throw your virgin daughters into a volcanic caldera. She does not require animal sacrifice. You honor her with a thought. If it helps that that thought be connected to the real world, then give a little change to the beggar in the parking lot of your local grocery store.

But if you are really dedicated, then kneel on the brink of the caldera at the beginning of time, humbly anoint your head with the dust of your own existence and dedicate yourself and your being to the will of the Oneverse. All other sacrifices pale in comparison. The true wealth of the human species lies not in the things we acquire nor the money we hold in our bank accounts, but in the weight of the passion of our hearts and minds. You can avoid this ultimate sacrifice all you want, ignore the worlds beyond the edges of your senses, scoff at superstition, live as if nothing you do matters, but She gets us all in the end. Death is the great equalizer.

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There is a lot of opinion and analysis written about why George Lucas wrote Star Wars Episodes I, II, & III, thereby eviscerating the story of the first three movies and ripping their iconic magic to shreds before our collective eyes. The critiques could literally fill volumes. Here is a recently published rant about the sheer wrongheadedness behind the invention of the concept of midichlorians. link

To sum up the argument, the Force went from a universally understood concept laid out in Episode IV with a few succinct lines of dialogue, (“It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” ) to stupid and unexplainable wharrgarbl (microscopic life-forms inside the cells of all living things. Little go-betweens used by those who wish to manipulate the Force.)

Some say he wrote in the concept of midichlorians after he cast the part of young Anakin Skywalker (or miscast, if you will; I cannot help but think this choice was made in a room full of marketing executives intent on maximizing the profit of the toy sales. The actor was a jarringly too young kid of six or seven, forced to say dialogue obviously written for an adolescent or at least a pre-teen) and then had to justify the kid’s rejection by the Jedi council as being too old through the use of the midichlorian argument.

Is it possible that George was trying to rip off Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, hoping he could write Anikin as an Ender clone, brilliant, calculating, pragmatically ruthless, who believes the ends justify the means, bent on surviving at all costs? An unfortunate choice, if this was his source, as the reader of Ender’s Game can overlook Ender as a killer and still love him because Card puts you inside his mind so that you understand his unassailable innocence and know intimately how torn and conflicted Ender becomes, a thing almost impossible to communicate using the media of cinema  and using young actors unable to portray the subtleties of that particular kind of angst effectively

It is hard to understand the source of the whole excruciatingly ill-conceived script of Episode I. The midichlorian concept stands out amidst all the other dreck as a sign post pointing down the track to the impending train wreck to come. Personally, I think it came about because George was faced with a truly daunting task. He had invented the ultimate bad guy in Darth Vader, bad to the bone, embracer of the Darkside, dealer of death without remorse, quintessentially evil in the beginning but watered down later to become repentant in the end, redeemed and restored to the Lightside by the love of his son. With Episodes I thru III,  he needed to give Darth a backstory in which the audience could connect with the character of the young Anikin and care enough to sit through three movies knowing at the end he would be seduced by the Darkside and lose his soul.

Perhaps he couldn’t do it. I can imagine the writer’s block. George, sitting there in front of a blank screen, trying to imagine what kind of accident of luck or what series of bad choices would lead a child, firmly entrenched in the innocence of childhood, safe and secure in the Lightside, to go to a place so Dark that the Force could become a tool of death. Oh, mind you, it is not hard to imagine, because we see it every day on the nightly news, but remember, he had to keep the content innocuous enough for a PG rating.

On the other hand, perhaps the words flowed like water out of his fingertips but what ended up on paper was too close to home. Perhaps he wrote about the seduction of power and wealth and the almost sexual pleasure one got from holding people hostage with that power. It is a heady thing, having the power of life and death over those in need of one’s beneficence. George need only write about his own ascent into the halls of the powered elite of Hollywood, place a thin veil of scifi over its bones and he would have had a viable script. I am sure everything he wrote became painfully autobiographical.

Oh, it is not like the Darkside got George all at once. I am sure he could not point to any one decision and say, yeah, that was a mistake, that is when the Darkside won. In the beginning, after the original Star Wars movie, he fought to maintain his autonomy tooth and nail. He succeeded for a while. His only mistake might have been that he thought he could play with the big dogs of the Darkside and not walk away with their dung stuck to the bottom of his shoes.

Poor George. His alter ego, Luke Skywalker, never resolved the paradox, never understanding that the Lightside and the Darkside are two sides of the same coin and that one cannot exist without the other, that death is just as seductive as life, and that to truly own great power one must embrace both without reservation.  Perhaps that is why Luke comes back from Jedi training with an almost sinister arrogance that George must excise with the loss of a hand. Even George could not imagine someone with all that power not being corrupted by it.

Perhaps, as he wrote Episode I, he looked in the mirror and did not like what he saw. He needed to come up with an idea that would justify what he perceived as his own failures.  He needed something that would buffer him from the responsibility of his own actions. He needed a fall guy, something he could point at and say, hey, it wasn’t my fault, it was all those pesky things that I could not control. He invented a middle man. He invented the midichlorians.

With a single brush stroke, George Lucas transformed the Star Wars world from a magical place where anyone could embrace his own godhood to a universe where only the special few might control all the power, those few being the ones who were genetically endowed with the ‘right stuff’ in the shape of these unseen midichlorians.  A universe full the haves and the have-nots in which the haves had justification for any abuse that might follow. Hitler would have been proud.

There is a place in Hell for those kinds of beings who justify their actions with the argument: ‘If the universe didn’t want me to do it, it would not have given me the power to do so’. Ask any man with power, why he abuses it and the universal response will be “Because I can”.

Do you not think that the purveyors of death, destruction, famine, and poverty, on some subconscious level, blame the people who are their victims? If only they had not opened the door and invited the apocalyptic horseman in, thereby becoming co-conspirators in their own demise, then I would not have needed to destroy them, they think. Is it not the common cop-out of any conman as they declaim their innocence, that one cannot con an honest man? Do you not think that Hitler, if he had lived to come to trial, would have tried to turn the tables on his victims, blaming the Jews for allowing themselves to be herded into the gas chambers?

The only time George Lucas is comfortable with portraying power is in the writing of the elder Obi Wan Kenobi in Episode IV. There he was, living out in the wastelands of Tatooine, as far from temptation as possible, using the power of the Force to open an occasional pickle jar but not much more. Powerful yet having no compunction to use that power, innately aware of the subtleties of shifting the whole universe with a thought, yet content to do nothing.

See. It is easy to think of a thing being good when its exists in a vacuum.  Why do you think monks who take vows of celibacy and/or silence shut themselves up behind the cold austere walls of monasteries, far from temptation? Because the minute your will meets the will of another, conflict arises. People are like stars. We come into existence by consuming the stuff that birthed us, and then immediately set up housekeeping by clearing our personal space and organizing all the crap around us into planets and orbits and belts of debris. The violent act of will that births us sets up a series of consequences that  ripple out through the Oneverse like waves in an infinite sea, rewriting the history of everything. Being alive is an act of ruthless will. There is nothing kind and gentle about it. Neither is it wrong or evil.

Perhaps it is time we as a species stopped apologizing for our inherent nature, stopped hiding behind the midichlorian veil of false innocence, and owned up to the fact that we are powerful beings whose very existence causes collateral damage. The only difference between the Lightside and the Darkside is that the Lightside owns up to the responsibilities that go with being powerful beings in a powerful universe and the Darkside invents midichlorians so they might pretend at innocence and blamelessness.

Maybe that is why we think of it as the Darkside. Where as the Lightside lives their lives in open, honest introspection, the Light of the Oneverse passing through them unhindered, those of the  Darkside must operate in shadows and subterfuge, lest they look into the depths of their own souls and are destroyed by what they find there.

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if we truly wanted to change the status quo, if we recognized that the system we lived in was irreparably flawed, if we wanted to shift this crazy world into the next level of understanding, we would seek to live in a matriarchal society in which women as well as men could self actualize, embracing the power of their true selves. If we lived in a truly matriarchal society, there would be separate laws governing men and women. In fact, right now, if we wanted to shift the consciousness of our civilization, there are a few easy steps we could take.

Rule of Law

First: Recognize that all laws are laws made by men to govern the behavior of men and that none of these laws actually pertain to the female consciousness. Separate out the women offenders from the male offenders. create a court system separate and unconnected to the male law system. (akin to Juvenile Court)

Second: Recognize that women who deviate from the social order do so for very profound reasons and therefore must be judged, not by an arbitrary set of rules, but by female peers who understand how her heart has been broken and her soul has been shattered, a wounding that has backed her into a physical, emotional and psychic corner from which her only course of action is violence against society in the form of violence against herself or another individual.

Women’s Court would not have judges and lawyers. Women offenders would have advocates. Instead of judges, there would be a panel of wise women. Elder women in service to their community would volunteer to sit on these tribunals and decide the best course of action that would facilitate the healing of the broken and injured women who come before them.

Prostitution would be legal, going back to the honored profession it once was. Prostitutes would be set free with a cautionary warning to get regular medical check ups and to report abusive male behavior to the proper authorities and encouraged to take a small business course. (I see a Prostitution Guild with a universal database of costumers. ID cards for johns would enable blacklisting the offending males. they would have to appear before the Women’s Tribunal to get reinstated. But that is another article….)

Thieves would be either allowed to make restitution and appointed a mentor or placed in educational classes that would teach job skills, business skills, and be asked to join a neighborhood cooperative of women who were facilitating female run businesses, daycare and elder care, education, etc.

Assaults and Murderers would have to be weighed on a case by case basis. Some people deserve killing. Some people deserve to be killed by the people who they have tortured the most. Such volcanic episodes in women are singular events, therefore there is no reason to lock such a person up for the rest of her life. the person who has done her wrong is now dead. So too with euthanasia and mercy killings. Women, after all, must be the final arbiter of their own population control. It would even be conceivable that the Women’s Tribunal would sanction such killings. (yes, women, left to their own devices can be ruthlessly pragmatic, which is why men are frightened to death by these ideas and which is also why the last matriarchy was wiped off the planet thousands of years ago. the idea of culling for the common good appalls them.)

There would, of course, be no prisons for women. (prisons are a crime against the OneMother, after all.) There would be no walls, no soul destroying jobs, no male guards to remind her of the system of male dominance that is responsible for the tortured state of her soul. For the truly shattered women, there would be self supporting communal farms maintained by a core group of Elder Women volunteers. The fences would be to keep the men out, not to keep the women in.

No men would be allowed in without a two member escort. Inside these compounds, a broken woman would be given space and time to breath free. She would get a room of her own in which to meditate, a place to bring her children when she was ready, a daily routine of exercise, meals and food preparation, laundry, child care, gardening, farming, animal husbandry. She would be given one thing to nurture, whether it be plant or animal and be tasked with keeping it alive and helping it thrive. She would be outside in the sun, under the sky, watching things grow, every single day. she would get touch therapy to bring her back into her body. she would be taught to enjoy her body and thereby learn to enjoy the planet that birthed it. she would be encouraged to find one beautiful thing every day to love.

Through communal interaction, she would be encouraged to find the strength to delve into her past history, learn from her past choices and encouraged to make healthy choices in the future. She would be encouraged to find an identity that was not defined by others. (ie. you are not someone’s girlfriend, mother, wife, employee. You are not your body or your sexuality or your politics. you are not defined by the things that you own that own you. you are a sentient being with point and purpose who deserves to be happy.)

She would be given a piece of cloth or a piece of yarn or a hunk of clay or a piece of paper and encouraged to create something beautiful.

She would receive a proportional part of any profit of the farm accrued during her stay. She could choose to stay forever and help. She could choose to stay until her heart was healed and she had acquired the skills to survive outside, away from the safety of a women’s company.

for the women who, after all this nurturing love, could not find her true self again, well….did I not say the Women’s Tribunals would have to be ruthlessly pragmatic? They, more than any other force on the planet, would be responsible for the common good.

and who knows, perhaps men could learn by example and create a Men’s Country in which all men were encouraged to self actualized. One can only imagine the delights of mind and flesh that could be created, there at the border between countries.

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