Friday, June 30, 2006

Abbey Meditation

When the world becomes too much, and the darkness of my spirit rises up to engulf me, rob me of sleep and peace I must run home. Here in Lemuria, with my Brothers and Sisters of Spirit, it is here that I find find empathy, encouragement and laughter. There is a deep well of joy and hope that all can take heady draughts from. Inspiration truly grows on the trees, and we never feel alone here.

With this firmly in mind, I have come running Home, to the support and love of my Soul-Kin. After a week of growing darkness, and the resurgence of old sorrows, I am weary of the battle, and know this is where I can be, no need for explanation, or wearing a cheery mask.

Here I come running, as if pursued by the ubiquitous Killer Bees; to find my quiet, dim room. The bed awaits me, comforter soft from washing, and redolent of the clothesline. There is an oil diffuser simmering slowly on the dresser, the scent of lavender and chamomile a soft whisper on the air. I curl up on the bed, with worried cats trilling, chirtling and trying to comfort me with silken head-butts, and demands that I lie down with them.

"I'll be ready to lie down in just a minute babies. Let me finish my tea and turn off the oil diffuser." Although the Abbey is built of stone blocks it is never cold, for they catch the day's heat and reflect it back to the residents through the night hours. When winter's storms howl through the eaves, and rattle the branches of decidous trees, the fireplaces scattered throughout the Abbey bring light, warmth, and cheer.

On a storybook perfect summer day like this one, mullioned windows are open to cooling breezes, birdsong, and the temptating perfume of ripening fruit. Into this feast of the senses I have come, weary to the spirit, and sad clear through. Here I know I will be respected, and given the space I need to rest for healing.

When I am ready to rejoin the world, within this Abbey I will be welcomed, loved, and accepted. It is from this Well of Understanding that I drink and find refreshment for body and soul.

While crickets sing their love-songs, and owls awaken slowly to trade chomosa with the ravens; I crawl gratefully into my bed, tummy soothed by chamomile tea with raw honey. I pull the covers up to my shoulder and slowly un-knot myself, the murmur of Abbey residents as comforting as the purring of my cats.

I know that soon I will awaken, rested and ready to again throw myself into life, and my arts. God and Goddess Bless Soul Food and the Abbey. I am sure that more lives than mine have changed for the better for having found a Cyber Home within these walls of dreams.

A is for Athanor

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The Soul Food Cafe, and the Lemurian Abbey in particular, is an athanor, an oven or furnace where psychic work takes place. Members of the Soul Food community will testify to the incubation that takes place within the safety of this vessel. Learn more about athanor's in the A to Z of Alchemy at Soul Food.


Inspired by Monika's and Heather's dialogues with things in the natural realm...


"Hey! Hey! Watch it with that disinfectant!"

I paused my cleaning and squinted at the tabletop.

"Yeah, you. I'm talking to you. That stuff burns."

"Excuse me? Who's talking to me?"

"Me, Earl."

"Earl, I don't see you."

"Of course not. I'm invisible to the naked eye."

"Um, okay. What are you Earl?"

"Bacterium--bacillus cereus to be exact."

"A talking germ?"

"Well, not really. It's all in your mind."

"I see."

"Yeah. I'm supposed to teach your something about writing."

"Oh really. What exactly am I supposed to learn about writing from a germ?"

"Watch that tone, sweetie, or I'll smack you with a case of gastroenteritis!"

"Alright, alright, don't get you shorts in a wad. What did you need to teach me?"

"Perspective. It's all about perspective---the view we present to the reader when when we write."


"For instance, have you ever envisioned what it might be like for, let's say, Picornaviridae Rhinovirus, to enter a nostril?"

"Can't say that I have, but I would imagine it would be rather like being in a dark forest."

"Exactly, a dark forest of nose hairs....."

"So I should put myself in the character's shoes when I write fiction."

"You got it."


"Uh, you're not still going to squirt me with disinfectant, are you?"

"Well.....sorry....." I aimed my squirt bottle. "Guess you gotta see it from my point-of-view."

L. Gloyd (c) June 30, 2006.

Rock Talk

"We flew through the air,
catapulted by a volcanic impulse
of the earth. We have been
here for eons, reclining like
gathered sisters at tea.
Never a chance of moving,
but for the earth's motion,
no bird can lift us, the wind
can only erode us, man
can only contemplate us, or
write messages on our backs.
We are the rocks of leaning,
of learning, of resting on the
earth, our travels done,
yet not over, washed by the rains,
warmed by the sun."
P.S. Inspired by Heather's library of ABC Alchemy,
I asked these rocks to talk, so they told their story (grin:-))

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Young BristleCone

There have been several posts in on various Soul Food Blogs about the Bristlecone Pine. AS the worlds oldes living things they are very protected. However, it is now possible to get a nurtured seedling -- if you live in the right place.

This eight year old tree is in my brother's back yard in Ely, Nevada, USA. They are quite expensive, and most upset owners watch them die -- mostly because they won't follow the detailed instructions, which inlcude:

* the seeding must not be transplanted to an eleveation lower than 6200 ft.

* the prepared soil must come from the natural habitate of the Bristlecone by licence of the Forest Service or purchased from local Indian Tribes ($50/cubic foot).

*no other tree or bush can be planted withing 20 feet

*water no more than one cup every three days.

This tree is about 4' high, and could grow to 40' in about 2000 years. His well in the background is 350' deep and more pure that any bottled water.


Alchemic Silence

I have been asked by several people 'off-blog' why I have not participated in the offerings on Alchemy. Certainly, any reading of my postings would indicate an intense interest in the transfer of knowledge -- especially from 'less controlled sources' (new-comers might scan the archives of this blog using 'Lantern') --

The problem is that I have too much to say about the metaphysical applications of alchemy -- inluding a beleif that most of the great thinks since the Dark Ages have been alchemists, but dare not use the word. Here are a couple of extracts from my book "Phinominal Propengicks" that will probably discourage any further interst in my interest ...

The meaning of this word is both Situated and Relational, and therefore intensely personal. One purpose of this book is to support each seeker to establish their own working definition of Magick. In a general sense within these pages, the term applies to Information or Knowledge in the Proximal Zones that is mysteriously manifest in the Practical Zone as Phenomenology. Traditionally, the attempt to transfer Magick to the Practical Zone is Alchemy, wherein it becomes science. The process of increasing the likelihood of this happening (propensity) is called Propengicks, as limited by Phinominal Expansion.

KNOWING in any magickal sense, is one of understanding what "is not magick", at least for yourself. This is what alchemy was all about (beyond the science tricks stuff). If information can be drawn from the Conceptual and Innate Zones of Knowledge (Proximal) and become 'known' in the Practical arena (made science), then what is left over must be either pure Magick or Epiphenomena. This doesn't work because of 'phinominal expansion', but the idea of separating "what might be magick" from "what is known" is of immense value –


Thursday, June 29, 2006

It's Time

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B is for Block

B is for Block

All of us have been creatively blocked. That is an understatement for many of us. I write this today because I am blocked. Ideas are eluding me even with the wealth of prompts being presented to me on the blogs. Words won’t come. Images won’t coalesce in my mind. I cannot focus to read. My mind drifts.

So what do you do? My suggestion is the standard cure of writing about the block. But sometimes that is even hard to do—like right now! If you should also find yourself in this situation, even if it is just going through the motions, even if what you write or draw is absolutely awful—do it anyway! If you get out of the habit of creating, you will have a hard time getting back into it. Do not lose momentum in your creativity because some jackass in your life has kicked you in the teeth. Do not lose what you have gained because life has thrown you a curve ball. Pick up the blasted ball and throw it back! (Metaphorically speaking!)

Step away from the problem or person who is stifling you. Go on a vacation if you can afford it. If you can’t, walk to a park. Breathe. Meditate. Pray. If you are a spiritual person and have a particular faith tradition, draw on it. If you have a higher power, call on it. Use the block as a means of transmutation of your creative self. Make it an alchemical process of the soul.

But whatever you do, do not put down that pen, that brush, that whatever. Do what you need to do to keep your creative spirit alive. It's a matter of survival.

L.Gloyd © June 29, 2006

Prompt: Communing with Nature, Lemons, lois...and inspired by Steph

Lemon Knees

In search of ruins


Dear Travellers,

I was up very late last night with permission from the abbey's ancient librarian to search the archives of ruins. I found these images of the House of the Vestal Virgins, they look a lot like the ones from the Roman Forum. But I think they may be hidden somewhere outside the high abbey walls. So I have packed a light lunch in search of ruins. I'll be back shortly...



A memory fron the Chocolate Box

When I dipped into the chocolate box, it led me to Trendle Ellwood's enchanting Lemurian Garden, where I became lost in this special creation - it awakened a memory of a wonderful summer spent in the Channel Isles when I was 12.

Our first stop was Guernsey, the most beautiful and perfect little island in 1958. It was so small that I could ride round it on my bicycle, and I spent most of my time there exploring, with my dog running at my heels. The very small population then meant it was still quite unspoiled - St Peter Port was the biggest town, a very busy place, with winding streets and a fascinating mix of French and English shops, selling delicious pastries and the knitted `guernseys' that fishermen wore.
The older people spoke an incomprehensible patois, but it had a musical lilt to it, and outside the town there were tiny fishing hamlets, ancient farmhouses and little secret coves filled with shells.
Being a pony mad little girl, I was delighted to see ponies and horses everywhere, in the fields, and being ridden down winding lanes. The people were friendly and always stopped to say hello to a little girl idling along with her dog and bike.
And the wildflowers! Violets, primroses, banks of wild daffodils, swathes of bluebells - the beauty of it filled my eyes at every turn. I felt as if I were in fairyland - or perhaps it was just my first glimpse of Lemuria, of what could be.
I rode out to the fairy ring, an extraordinary circle of stones from neolithic times, where legend says the fairies come out and dance within the circle of stones. I spent a lot of time climbing all over Cornet Castle and wandering through the labyrinth of the German underground hospital - there was so muchto see and do that the days flew past.
But one day I discovered something so enchanted, so magical, that all I could do was stand and stare at it. Guernsey was so full of magic that I was becoming used to it, but even so, I couldn't believe what I was seeing was real.
It was a church, a tiny church, covered in the shells and bits of seawashed glass and china that I loved to pick up along the shore. Each piece had been laid in an intricate mosaic that covered the walls of the church.
Later I found out about the Little Church, as it is called - it was built as a labour of love by a Brother Deodat in 1914 - when he was forced to return to France because of ill health, the work was completed by Brother Cephas, who continued working on it until 1965. Today it is taken care of by the girls and staff of Blancheland College.
But back then, in 1958, Brother Cephas was still working on making the interior as beautiful as the exterior, although I didn't know it at the time. To me it was something enchanted, something the fairies had made, something that existed simply to make God smile - and maybe I wasn't so wrong, at that.

Moorish Tracery - Iron Alchemy

At the Abbey forge a blacksmith works, -
"Shield yer eyes!" he calls to the small
girl, curiously watching the bright flames.
Instantly, she withers into the shadows,
to know them.
She watches the trees make traces in
shadows on the walls, at home in the
invisible guise of a child.
She knows the smith is Moorish, working
against the clock, beating the iron into shapes
of beauty and wonder. No wonder she was
not allowed to look, as creation was taking
place in the bright coals, the flames, the
muscles and sinew.
The trees are not Moorish, but watch, like
she does, at the procession of life, the
manual breaking and moulding and
mending of her ancestry. They are
not worried by age or creed, and know
but one.
The small girl laced her fingers behind her
back, and started to whistle like the
smith as he huffed and puffed in the effort
of progress. She whistled, like a young lad,
lovingly tracing the Moorish lacy iron patterns
on the wall, that the smith would use
for inspiration at the forge.

copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Babbles that Led Somewhere

The other night I was babbling with a friend of mine from N.H., and we got on the subject of Sangria. From there, our babble went to a poem that the image of a punchbowl full of Sangria inspired.

25 June, 2006

Sangria Dance

Thank you James,
you helped this one be born.

The Earth Mother she is ,
generous of form and self,
dancing with her courtier.
She looks up without fear
into depthless green eyes.
Smoothing blonde hair back
from his face before tasting
sangria from the fragile glass,
warming taste upon his lips.

They laugh and feed one another
tid-bits of fruit from the bowl
with their fingers, and suckle
them when they are sweet and sticky.
Candle-light gilds their faces and hair,
the scent of sandalwood swirling
around them in its own sensual haze,
adding another layer of sensation.

Where their hands lightly meet,
and contact one another's biorhythm
they feel hot and also
exquisitely excitable to
their conversation of touch.
They can feel the breath
caught in the other's throat,
the thunder of their pulse
known through fingertips.

They begin to glow a little,
as if their personal suns
were on the Equinoctal rise.
His finger follows the sheen on
her cheekbone, down to the lips,
chin, and past, to the throat,
offered up in its vulnerability.

Her sound of aquiescence is
so silent and yet pealing
like a polished Temple gong.
She is within the Circle of
his tender heart and arms.
And she feels the taste of Home.

He revelsin the fullness of his arms,
and the voiceless siren-song of
her racing pulse in his temples.
His armour clatters to the ground,
bereft of logic, and reason.

They meet, two open hearts,
their spirits have already met.
Alpha and Omega become one,
curling to effortless Yin-and-Yang,
and swirl into the galaxy to become
brilliant nebulae bound in place by
silvery strands of Eternal Balance.

Here is their all,
and all that truly matters.
This moment of total exchange,
when the glorious Sum is
truly greater than the Whole.
In that brief timelessness
they become another entity

We dance, laughing and
drinking to one another,
the candles dying one at a time.
In the light of a lone, white candle,
bouncing from the mirror back,
to become small flecks of gold
in the embrace of darkness.

Our own living galaxy,
formed when two lone spirits connect
and then hold, keeping the connexion
while nurturing it with passion,
laughter, gentleness and innocence.
Innocent of meanness,
motive, or possessiveness,
while replete with loyalty,
understanding and acceptance.

The connexion will ever exist
because we will it to be thus.
Our breaths have become an
Ohm of joyous sound,
sung in harmony with the
sweet Music of the Spheres.
God and Goddess we become,
sanctified, and ennobled by our touch.

The touches that trail burning starfire,
and leave glaciers of chills in their wake.
The sensations that slowly build,
each another resounding note in
our private symphony of desire.

Our heat is a become Solstice Bonfire,
symbol of a turning, a rebirth.
the taste of our desire is mixed
with the heady, sparkling sangria
flowing in around and through us.

In this heady stratosphere we fly,
as dragons do court their mates.
Powerful, stately, and glorious.
There is no need to seek affirmation,
we already know what is true,
and act upon that knowing.
We dance ever more closely,
with hands moving across backs
and cupping a waist here,
a clenching bicep there.

Had these sensations form
they would leave tracers
beyond the known heavens,
an Aurora of Kirlian light,
touching the deep spaces.
In this trance of senses,
and light of utter clarity,
we join, as lovers.

Our dance has become
one that is more private,
more primal.
The song of our creation,
the source of growing union
and bright-lit hope

Stars on the ceiling!


Looking up in the Abbey I was inspired to snap a picture while nobody was looking...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Work in Progress: Matriarchs

This is a work in progress. I have been working on this for a week or so, but I was inspired to post this before completion by the sun and moon in Heather's last drawing. This will be a "mural" and will print at 43 inches wide (I'm trying to figure out how to do this on my home printer). The two women in the center are my great grandmothers, maternal and paternal. I am still searching for appropriate photos of my grandmothers, mom, etc. Anyway, I will post the finished product later when I have added the other matriarchs.

Photomontage: L.Gloyd (c) June 28, 2006

Family Ties

I reached into the Chocolate Box and found...

Orcella Moss sat at his kitchen table with a small box of bones in front of him. Every once and awhile he’d reach out and jiggle the box around and then he’d look down into the top of it and sometimes he’d start to reach into it and then he’d stop.

Then he moved the box back to the center of the table and he wondered.

He wondered where his 13-year-old daughter could have found a human jawbone and other broken little pieces of bone and how it all ended up in an old fashion hatbox mixed up with the bits and pieces of her day-to-day life.

Orcella could hear her up in her room; a little while ago he had heard her TV go on, then he heard a beep and whine and then a hum as her computer came to life and he wondered how that little monster could do anything as normal as hit on and off switches when she’d been living in the same room with a busted human jaw bone, a mummified finger and little bits of bone in a hatbox she had left on her desk top.

Earlier that morning Orcella had gone up to Kirsten’s room to liberate the batteries from the remote control for the TV in the living room that somehow always found their way upstairs to Kirsten’s room and into her remote control.

That’s when he saw the old box with the faded candy pink stripes sitting on her desk and almost as an after thought looked down into it.

The box was right next to her California Cutie doll and her makeup (cotton candy flavored lipstick and some blush-on) and her hairbrush and a little bottle of perfume she’d mixed herself at Scent By You at the Mall.

And in the middle of all of that junk was the hatbox with the jawbone that was on the table in front of him now. He looked into the box one more time and that’s when he noticed the nail on the finger was manicured and polished and had a tiny rainbow decal near it’s tip.

“ Kirsten,” he called up to her “ come on down here for a second, would you?”

He heard the sound go down on the TV and she called back, “ What?”

“ I want to talk to you.”

“ Busy.” She called back in her best little girl in the world voice.

Then not only did the TV go back on it went up.

“ Kirsten get down here.”

“ This better be important Dad,” she snapped back from over the racket “ cause I’m…”

“ Missing something from off your desk. So get down here NOW.”

The TV clicked off and the computer hummed and shut down. He could hear Kirsten walking across her bedroom floor. He heard the door open and then close and then the sound of her footsteps at the top of the stairs.

“ This is very serious Dad.” He heard her walking down the steps “ You need to respect me and my privacy.”

She was standing in the kitchen now. Her mouth was a hard straight line and her chin was tilted up and she looked down her nose at him, “ That box is mine and what’s in it is mine and I want it back.”

“ I want to know where you found this Kirsten, for heaven’s sake Kid, this is a human jaw bone and what are these? “ he held the box up and shook it at her.

“ Finger bones, “ she held her hand up ‘ fingertip bones, I don’t know exactly but they’re mine Daddy and I want them back.”

“ Just answer me, where did you find this stuff?’ she was looking at him with a dull flat expression and he knew very well by the look on her face she hadn’t ‘found’ anything. Not in this condition anyway.

He tried another tact.

“ Kirsten these are human remains and you had them mixed in with your makeup, some CD’s and a half eaten candy bar and a stale bagel. Do you know how abnormal that is?”

It was very clear by the way she was still looking down her nose that she did know and that she also didn’t care.

“ Give me back my things Daddy.” She said in her best schoolmarm voice. “ Or else.”

“ Or what Kirsten? Am I going to end up in a box on your desk with candy bar wrappers and a half eaten bagel?”

“ No, but you know that thing you have hidden in the basement? If you want it back Daddy you’ll hand that box over right now.”

“ You didn’t…”

“ I mean it Daddy, hand the box over right now.”

He practically threw it at her and as she bent over to pick up some of the little bones that had fallen out she said, “ you’re gross Daddy “ she said with disgust “ I can’t believe you brought that into our house and hid it in a trunk with the Christmas ornaments. That’s twisted.”

She was looking into the box and then she looked around on the floor and came back up with the finger with the nail still attached and she dropped it into the box. “ You’re sick Daddy, you need help.”

Orcella watched Kirsten stomp up the stairs, he heard the door slam shut and the music go on full blast. It was loud; loud enough to shake the pictures on the wall, loud enough to attract attention, loud enough to maybe force the neighbors to call the police and complain.

Orcella didn’t go up the stairs, he went back into his kitchen and down the steps to the basement…and then he started to clear the Christmas ornaments out of the trunk.

The setting sun has not reached this corner of the Abbey yet, but the long shadows creep up the walls and it won't be long before the colours of the rose vanish in the grey of twilight.

Last Rays.

The sun sets, it's fiery rays reflected in the windows of the Abbey. I'm here !

Is this the way to the Abbey?

Meditatio and Imaginatio

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When the alchemists speak of meditari they mean an inner dialogue and hence a living relationship to the answering voice of the 'other' in ourselves. We can achieve this by talking about the meaning of life with a blade of grass or a mushroom.

Study, sweat, work, cook... so will a healthful flood be opened to you.

Dark Heart Alchemy

Dark heart
soft like soot,
palm shadows,
shutterbox light,
dark spears,
crying walls
wringing hands,
talking shadows.
Abbey walls,
the secrets
like fine dark veiling,
shock the light,
but fall softly
in the shadows.
Admittance of a
dark heart,
like taking it in your
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Being and Becoming

I chose a chocolate at random and was delighted - once again - by Winnie's article: Becoming An Artist. If you haven't read it, do yourself a favour and go enjoy the story of her daughter's fourteenth birthday party. What an undeniable memory that night must have been for those girls! I would have been in heaven. The twenty-four hour long party consisted of a group of girls being guided by Winnie through each exercise in SARK's book, "How To Be An Artist". I highly recommend following suit! I don't know that you will "become" or "be" an artist as a result, but I am absolutely certain you will be better for having celebrated Life in such a rejuvenating, heartening way.

There is a tremendous difference between "becoming" and "being" an artist. The energy is different. The challenges are different. The goals are different. Most of us have already heard and accepted that the fears and excitement of writing a first successful book are nothing like the fears and excitement of trying to write a second book of equal value, thus proving the first one wasn't a fluke. It's not different for visual artists. The differences in challenges is the shift from pleasing only oneself to pleasing oneself and others. Argue with me all you like, but I declare that validation becomes an indispensible part of being an arist. I don't mean to say we live for it, that it becomes are raison d'etre, but only that we'll not continue to strive too long without it.

Becoming an arist is the building of the relationship between ourselves and art. Having become artists, the art becomes the way we relate to others; art becomes our relationship with the world around us. Since every relationship of every sort is unique (to a degree), I can't presume to tell you how to 'make the magic' of a healthy, long-lasting relationship. I don't believe artists or their becomings are magic. Creativity is inherent in all human beings. Creativity reveals itself in so many way - too many ways to be aware of them all - I can't presume to tell you "an artist is..."

I can tell you that, although the label artist still hangs awkwardly on my shoulders, my becoming consisted entirely of digging up the willingness to discover how things work, how I 'work', in order to find new ways to make them work differently, for the better, for the beauty, and for the hell of it. I was many years in the becoming, and any too-long stretch of time spent outside my studio requires me to return, temporarily, to the stage of becoming. Don't kid yourself into thinking that success or skill or self-assurance are static achievements. We learn to learn and then we learn and then we learn again. All professionals periodically return to the basics of their training when they lose heart, lose touch, or lose direction; if they don't, they no longer are, they forever were.

And the being? To be an artist, to remain an artist, I constantly have to find ways to fuel my interest, curiosity, and willingness. Those states of being are vastly more plentiful without encouragement in the becoming more so than in the being. The temporary fading of enthusiasm or creative ideas is not proof of a lack of authenticity. Don't fear it. were not "fooling yourself" into thinking you are an artist. What that is is simply proof of your humanness. Artists are, above all other things, profoundly human...especially those of us who are not humanly profound. That is why the becoming is largely about finding out how you 'work', how you are made, what makes you human.

Don't fear your flaws. Hang them on the walls. Begin the relationship.

Stephanie K. Hansen 2006

Finding " A" new Place

I have always advocated that we need
A place of our own to write
to be surrounded by loved and precious memories
Hanging on the walls ,our favourite creations
Bookshelves packed with favourite reading matter,
folders containing our work
Photo frames with loved people
and beautifully written poems and words sent by friends
at Soul Food
A room with a view was my ideal
One where I could see the world go by my window
where the daily bustle of my street could be observed

NOW all that has changed,
not by desire but by need.
The winter months have attacked my body,
especially my legs,I ached on a continual basis
The cold of the room could not be remedied
Try as I might with extra heating and more clothes
The chill was surrounding me
I did not enjoy my surroundings

So on Sunday 25th June 2006 (My Mother Jessie's Birthday)
I always put a bunch of flowers on my kitchen table for her,
never liking artificial flowers ,she picked all sorts of blossoms,branches from our garden to put in a vase
I thought how she would have said to me as she often did
"I would rather be hungry than cold" Lo.
She loved her wood fire stove and then her gas fire
So I said to myself .."Why Not".

I have moved as they say
Bringing my computer into the kitchen
dragging chairs,printer,files etc etc etc
Having to move the auto trolley out , was a pity
as it hold lots of lovely china cups,teapots,dishes etc ec
But common sense must prevail
my body is telling me so..

It is now Wednesday 28th, and I am snug as a bug.
Mind you the printer is not working
I am not sure what I have done to muck it up
BUT help is on the way from a young friend
about to descend to pick up her puppy Bella.
I have been minding her since she was spayed 10days ago
Shae is a whiz at all will be well soon.

People come in the front door regularly at my house
So I am often distracted in my work ,my writing
and I often loose my train of thought
But I feel good and I'm sure this helps me to write,
as will my warm body .

I hear the tap dripping
I smell the evening meal cooking
I have the dogs under my feet.
My wood fire is blazing and I feel warm.
But best of all I can see from my desk
my beloved "Lemon Tree" which at the momment
has 100's and 100's of ripe fruit hanging in pendulums
from its branches.
Lemon Butter is waiting to be made
I am slow this year getting it done
I have given away hundreds of lemons already
it is the most it has ever had
I am still trying to spread them around the neighbourhood

So having to forgo a long held belief
that I must have a quiet space to write
Seems to be working well so far
But,just writing this makes me think
As it is winter the visitors are fewer
How will I be in the summer ...?
Will I still feel the same ?
Can I keep the ebb and flow of answering all
your ,or as many as I can, writings ?
I can't bear to lose the wonderment of opening
up each and every day for my "Creatitivity to be enhanced"

Lois (Muse of the Sea) 28.6.06

Visitor from Faraway


The science of alchemy is the science of the conversion of things into other species”
Dominicus Gundissalinus, scholastic philosopher.
(flourished ca. 1150)

Riversleigh Manor has been left in darkness and behind the Black House in the Gardner’s Shed Mr. Undercroft, The Undertaker from the town of Faraway is packing a bag.

His pale blue face is smiling and his hair is combed back and his suit has been cleaned and ironed and on his work table among the dusty jars and rusted pruning shears and dirt encrusted garden trowels are shiny sharp tools with curved hooks, thin razor sharp edges, jagged edges and bone handles. As he packs he takes inventory of the clean tools with his long skeletal fingers, not his eyes and when he’s done he carefully folds the tools up in a white linen cloth decorated in blue ink.

Then he places the bundle into his black leather case and snaps it shut.

“Leaving us Undercroft” a voice says from the window, “leaving us?”

Undercroft doesn’t look up because he knows there is nothing to see. Instead he looks down and says to the rotted floorboards “not for long, don’t worry I’ll be back.”

“What a shame. We do hate you Undercroft.”

“Likewise” Erasmus Undercroft snaps as he pulls the bag off of the table “likewise to be sure.”

As he leaves the little shed behind the Black House the darkness follows him.

It always does.

Erasmus watches Riversleigh disappear; she’s hidden herself behind an orchard that has been pretending to be green and alive.

No more pretending now.

He can see the windows crack, the marble fountain in the Courtyard crumble and the curtains turn to dust on their rods. Doors are slamming shut and rusted tumblers are falling into place and locking themselves.

Erasmus can hear the floorboards settle and spilt, he can hear support beams crackle and snap and struggle to hold themselves together. He can feel the Riversleigh’s foundation buckle and crumble and turn to dust under the house.

After its done Mr. Undercroft places his hat on his head, and smiles at the dead house and waves a little before he turns and walks into the hills.

It could have been days, or weeks or years or minutes before Mr. Undercroft arrived at the Abbey. On that first night the Black Monks of Fallen passed him on the road up to the gates and he nodded a greeting and they laughed back and one called out, “Good luck to you Undercroft “

Erasmus startled at the sound of his own name. He wasn’t use to being seen…felt but not seen and he frowned a little and started to think…

Mr. Undercroft found his place in the Abbey, he’s in the Catacombs.

In the miles and miles of tunnels, among the bones and crypts and walls that whisper he was whistling and humming and unpacking his bag and when the door behind him swung open “Kamahra!” a voice calls into the darkness, “before we loose you down there why don’t you take the time now to come upstairs and say hello and have something to eat. You must be after famished your long trip.”

Mr. Undercroft doesn’t answer, there’s only the darkness and the sound of his unpacking, then he remembers to say in the dead woman’s voice “ Starving” Mr. Undercroft says as we puts on the dead woman’s face “I’m Starving”.

The Rains Came

The Rains Came

Rain, when at last it comes to this arid land—
such sweet smelling moisture of delight
touches the earth with gentle urging,
to fill the many thirsty streambeds
in my beloved mountains.

The brown and parched
soon to be green and red,
blue and yellow—
the colors that await me
when I walk those paths again.
Seeds, now dormant in the rocky soil
heed the message that moisture brings
so that my eyes can feast once more
on colors now hidden from my sight.
Wild flowers
awaiting my return
to familiar places.
Gentle rain
touching with reverence
upon the cliffs
where ancients drew pictures of the hunt
and where Shamanic wisdom
reveals the origin of your life and mine.
Who are we to disbelieve
when the rain falls gently from the clouds,
when seeds germinate in silence and the dark
preparing as always for the show.

Soon, I will return
to those peaceful pockets of self identity
found nowhere else
but in a raindrop.

Vi Jones
©June 27, 2006

Ocean Mother--A Prayer

This is in response to Lorijayne’s excellent Lemurian Remnant. Thank you Lorijayne.

Ocean Mother—A Prayer

Ocean Mother,
Bless me, thy daughter,
as I kneel beside you
upon your altar of sand and rock.
Help me look back through the ages
to view my birth,
to see all that has been before.

Ocean Mother,
Remind me, thy daughter,
of a time so long ago
when I left the water of your womb
to crawl upon the land,
to walk upright,
and gaze upon the heavens.

Ocean Mother,
give me, thy daughter,
strength to step forth
into the realm
of stars and planets,
into the promise of the universe
that awaits my coming.

Ocean Mother,
I bow to thee
as I, thy daughter,
prepare to leave this earth
as I left you so long ago.
My destiny lies now beyond the Milky Way,
in the deep dark vastness of space.

Vi Jones
©June 27, 2006

Dreaming of Midsummer Night's Eve

Ah, the moonlight of midsummer night's eve wanes. I wake in the rose garden with magical images still filling my senses.

The moons rays penetrated the forest that night and illumed the faerie creatures flitting on wings, the beasts standing upright. All cavorted with men and women in gauzy, flowing robes. The musicians strummed stringed instruments luring men, women, beasts to the leafy forest floor to move in dips and flourishes, holding hands, moving in circles.

I joined the circle, imbued by the lyrical tones to graceful movement, caught in the glance of love. When the music pauses the mead cup passes from hand to hand, lip to lip. The liquid honey soothes the throat, warms the body. Hands clasp, arms encircle, lips touch. Beast entices woman, man tempts beast, woman seduces man; all tantalize and attract touched by the faerie dust of the enchanted hours. Alas, my prince left me as the moon faded and the mead cups emptied.

The images fade in the sunlight. I notice the bees have left the garden. Where have they gone, having given their all to the festivities? Perhaps they retreat to the safety of the hive exhausted by the preparation and the celebration.

I will follow their example and return to the abbey seeking its sheltering walls to replenish my spirit and find new adventures.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Dad Story

One I just learned of this week ... RADAR (WWII)

He did not belong in the Navy, but then no one did, if war is viewed as a worthless flexing of political vanity. This high desert boy was comfortable on drifting sands and purpled outcroppings – never on trackless waves and flotsam of deaths laughter. He could not even swim well, as his striding land legs were too muscular to easily float at command. But there is no military post for those who dance with cloudless skies and life in defiance of meager rain – so wisdom placed him in the Navy, and they were better for it, as you will see.

His math skills placed him at a radar consol, though his marksmanship placed him on the forward deck – a conflict for which officers have no answer, nor knowing they may be the same. Un-measurable, and therefore unknown, were his skills with range and medes and bounds – natural perhaps, but focused by the survey of the land that spawned him. A radar scope is nothing but a transit with a different eye – one tuned to hidden waves rather than those of the burning sun. The fact that his target ranging was beyond accurate became a joke, for ‘tis easier to laugh than challenge the standards of training, which often call for minimum rather than maximum acuity.

Side bar: I have seen my Father fire a 30-06 standing in rapid fire at 800 yards and beat competitors with scopes. I have followed my Father across the Nevada ridges – pacing through copes and rills and washes and pinnacles for a quarter mile, to land within six feet of an etched monument unseen. I have seen a man who could run a hundred yards through Sage Brush and not leave a foot print. I have known a man …

Nothing special – this boy simple took multiple reads and triangulated by reverse- azimuth and other arcane arts, rather than seeking a quiet task or “won’t happen on my shift” attitude. Boredom rather than call to excellence drove this call, though perhaps they are more kin than we would admit. And then the Admiral came on board … and heard of this man’s unusual skill.

Close ship maneuvers in a safe harbor allowed all radar men to test their skills, with actual distances checked by other means; but the Admiral asked, “what is the distance to that castle shape upon the hill?” Three men spun dials to the task, with answers slow and fast that could spell failure upon the future seas. “Seaman,” he said. “You call out range with such confidence – but how would we know if your estimate is true?

Said my father, “You could always pace off the distance to be sure.”

This might have been considered disrespectful,
had not the Admiral laughed,
also a son of the desert perhaps,
or afraid of the swirling sea.

Lemurian Remnant

Lately, I've been drawn to the sea. As much as I try to photograph other locations, I am drawn back to the ocean. My poetry and artwork have touched on the sea as well-- shells, pearls, pelicans--these sea-motifs have all emerged. Rising ocean waters have even permeated my dreams. A few nights ago, I dreamed that my home was filling up with water. Finally, the image of a sunken Lemuria has so kept pressing on my mind that I needed to recreate it for you above.

The myths of Atlantis and Lemuria and many other stories all speak of a cataclysmic flood in the past, but I believe there is a more personal application for me. I believe that part of my own personal mythology, my own collection of unconscious symbols and metaphors are expressing the transmutation of my creative self. Something is happening to me, something profound, some psychic cataclysm. If that is the case, I spread open my arms and embrace the sea.

Photomontage and text: L. Gloyd © June 26, 2006

Prompt: Abbey Meditation

I stared at the lower frame, left panel and finally this is what I saw:

Life in a Jar

Turning a blind eye is an easy way to avoid just about's perfect for minimizing interruptions, staying clear of interfering relatives, and untangled from other peoples' problems, avoiding nosey neighbors, and demanding spouses. My lifestyle of choice. So the civil rights upheaval of the 60's was left for others to sort out, same for Viet Nam. Hey, do I look like Henry Kissinger? By the 80's I had worked it into a science. In fact, science was my game and denial was my name. The feminist movement passed way beyond my peripheral vision, which was limited by the walls of my lab. Mount St. Helens blew her top? ::shrugs:: If it wasn't happening under my 'scope then it wasn't happening at all.

Then, a good decade later, incompetence, indifference and a sorry half-assed police investigation whacked me up aside'a my head and my world did a 180. It took may be a year to ace the criminal justice degree, and a few more months before the license and business permits were signed, stamped and delivered. Don't expect a Charlie's Angels script. I am talking a personal mission, and a stale, stinkin' trail that started and stopped at a rotten log on a creek bank in City Park.

Lab Assistants come and go, mostly they are med students trying to make a few extra bucks in the Federal Work-Study Program to supplement their ramon noodle diets or make the monthly rent payment. It works well. They are busy with their studies and have little time to waste. They punch in, grab the log of experiments, do what has to be done and leave. Once-in-a-while one comes along with that exceptional mind, the one that won't be satisfied doing the expected, the one that needs to know all the details, the goals, the applications for the work; the one that sucks your time.

She didn't look the part, which helps explain why my usual defenses weren't up and running. Asian, quiet, efficient, and courteous, Very easy to ignore. She came in her First Year and stayed for almost four; almost being the operative word. By that time she was more of a colleague than employee. It started unobtrusively enough with a note taped to my office door. Something about one of the cultures in the incubator turning a strange color. We were studying infected body piercing's at the time and right away I suspected contamination. It had happened before, an occupational hazard with students working in the lab. I left a note for her to do a few routine identification tests then autoclave the plate, and get rid of it.

I quickly forgot the whole incident, especially as weeks went by with no further mention from her. Late one afternoon towards the end of the month, I was working at my desk, struggling through the hated time logs I had pushed off until the last minute. A quiet knock on the door jam, and I looked up to see her with arms full of computer printouts. I motioned for her to put them on the table by the window then asked what the hell they were from. Turns out she had spent all that time trying to put a name to the bug. Test after test after test with nothing definitive to show for it. Were it anyone else I would have been a lot more dismissive, but her approach using a very logical algorithm made sense. Long story short, it turned out to be an as yet unknown pathogen and a deadly one at that. We published jointly that summer and went on to collaborate on several other projects during the next couple of years.

She was a creature of habit, especially when it came to her daily routine of classes or clinic, work, study and exercise. However, Senior Year required that the students spend long hours in the hospital leaving little personal time. Usually, a group of her friends would meet to go jogging early in the morning before starting the day's schedule. But her hospital rotation, and the demands of 'on call' patient care prevented her from joining them, so she fell into the practice of running along the park trail close to her apartment alone in the early evenings.

They found her raped, beaten, and strangled body face down over a log, clad only in a sports bra, running shoes and socks. An autopsy confirmed that she died of manual strangulation. Within hours police announced they had made a positive DNA link between her rape and another, three months earlier in the same area. The earlier rape had been withheld from the media at the request of the victim's influential family. The joggers had no warning of the presence of a rapist in the park; the police department issued an apology for not informing the public.

Three years have passed...ample time for the attacker and any witnesses to disappear. I'll letcha know how I make out.

Abbey Meditation

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This Triptych is one of the Abess's favourite pieces to meditate upon before she begins her daily round.

Rose Alchemy Fire

Found this fiery rose in my chamber here,
and the Abbess tells me there is a
proliferation of them all over the Abbey.
Very interesting indeed, once I read in
the library they mean transformation...
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Swirling Down

My parents are safe, by agreement acclimating to their new lives with NO contact from any children for two weeks. I can return home 3000 miles away -- and the Abbey. One sister said, "You tell stories and the problems drift away -- I looked through the exchanges and you never told us what to do, yet everything, I think, is exactly as you would have chosen. -- send me a poem." So I shared these Fitzgeralds with them ... and you The Fitzgerald Carousel

There are three ponies we may ride
when we choose the carousel --
or so we are taught to believe,
and thereby trust,
and cannot perceive
else but these as limits
of the universe --

but I'll play the game a bit
and explore the carousel
before the music
or the conductor asks
for a ticket.


Our three steeds are androgynous
in sculpted form and cultural demand;
but we know differently --
that one is a stallion,
one a mare,
and the other not
of creation.

Their names were cast by ancients,
which we accept as
Spirit, Soul and Mind …
and may choose which steed is which --
which journey we may fly.


If one were to look from without,
or perhaps from deep within;
the frozen legs in cycled prance
form a galloping race in thrine.
Yet all are locked in place
else steed and thee
would spin off to parts unknown
leaving, perhaps,
a ripple of discordance
in your wake.

Hang on tight!
Enjoy the ride.


It may be wisdom or folly,
but I have a different view,
born of falling off a time or two …
the companions of the ride are
Spirit, Heart and Mind,
while Soul is the silver shaft
that hold us safe in balance --

but which is which …
a mystery to unravel,
or reality to then define??


We may choose to ride the outer course
and yearn for the ring of dreams,
or dwell on the slower path
of contemplation and reflection --
closer to the pulsing engine.
a calliope unseen but known.

Yet the yearning Heart
must surely be in the center,
such that any impatient shift
must dwell there a while.

back home

I am home again, in the sanctuary of my beloved Lemurian abbey. Oh, how I need the peace of these hallowed walls. Time to think and gather myself together.
I have brought with me an icon I have made. I will hang this on the wall in the hall for other travellers to ponder upon.

In the coming weeks I hope to find some much needed time for myself and for creating. It's so hard to do in the outside world, but here, it's timeless ....

In a few days I will emerge to see who else has found their way here. In the meantime, something in the kitchen smells wonderful .....

Abbess Alchemy

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Enchanteur and the Abbess have been meddling in the old alchemist's lair and have conjured up the Rainbow Serpent. They were supposed to be working on the elixar of immortality but clearly became distracted.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Unfolding the Unknown

This place feels strange and unsettling. The guides that descended to the shore had little to say. A gesture to follow and a nod in the direction of our path was all. My nameless beast in contrast seems almost familiar with the surroundings and climbs surefooted close behind. No one so much as turns to see me struggling far back, and I watch as they disappear across the courtyard pausing only to gather the beast's lead and turn him toward the stable gate beyond which many of his kind are grazing. I stand uncertain, not knowing were or how to proceed.To my left laughter and music are carried by the gentle breeze, to my right the sounds and smells of cooking drift through an open door. Conflicted by these two competing needs, I hesitate then make my way toward the possibility of a meal.

Inside the Shell

Inside the Shell

It’s dark in here. What am I doing walking around inside a giant sea shell? Well, for one thing, shells are spirals and I like spirals. For me, spirals are circular, so you can come back around and enjoy pleasant past experiences, or, if they’re not so pleasant, to resolve them. Spirals are also lines and lines move forward, so there is progress too. So spirals lead you forward to deal with issues of the past. I like this contradiction. Maybe I’ll use it in a story.

Eeewwwwww….. what is thaaaaaat? There’s something slimy und
er my feet. Then I remember I wasn’t in an ordinary sea shell—I was in a sea snail shell. Oh well, I heard recently that snail mucous is used in cosmetics to eliminate wrinkles. I guess I'll have smooth feet now from all this snail snot.

I am moving from chamber to chamber. My eyes adjust to the dim light and I start to see clearly.

Actually, it’s kind of pre
tty in here. Through the diffused light, I see that the walls are a pearly-grey and cream color. There are rises and indentations in the wall, scalloping and spiraling beautiful patterns along my pathway.

I can hear the sound of the sea even though I was not ne
ar the sea. The rushing sound ebbs and flows. I am caught up with it and forget my discomfort of a moment ago.

I lose track of time as I amble along. Finally, I come to
the end of the pathway to what I surmise is the center of the shell.

“Hello.” A soft voice echoes in the chamber.

“Hello? Who’s there?”

“Who do you think?”

“I don’t think you’re the snail that lives here.”

A sweet laughter ripples through the room.

“No, I am not a snail. You use humor, don’t you, to keep from answering deep questions.”

“Well, well, deep questions…… get it? Deep, well….. Oh, nevermind.”

“Who do you think I am?”

“Okay… you can’t be my Inner Critic because we booted her out a long time ago. So that leaves……that leaves my Muse?”

“Yes, you are correct.” A figure moves from the darkness at the end of the chamber. There is a flash and I see her, enveloped in a gold light, emerging from the patterns of the shell. For the first time since my journey b
egan, I meet my Muse.

And she is more beautiful than words can describe.

Image and text:
Lori Gloyd © June 24, 2006

Getting Started

In accordance with the Abbey Rules, I am going to attempt some focused work. My attempt will be to transmute (using alchemical terminology) objects of the natural realm into objects that suggest a spiritual realm. So, to get started, I picked up the beautiful turban shell I found on the table in my atelier. I'm going to ponder this shell for a while and see what I can create from it. Perhpas you too can find some inspiration from this shell or some other natural object.....

Image: L.Gloyd (c) June 2006

Arriving at the Abbey

This wooden structure is at the entrance to the Abbey property. It lets me know that I don't have too much farther to walk and carry my backpack ,which is getting heavier by the moment.

Vi Posted by Picasa

Here I am....

Well, here I am after having been chased out of Riversleigh Manor by our leader. Didn't even have time to pack properly, I didn't. Where the heck is the ironing board? One thing is for sure, there's never a dull moment around here.

Abbey Alchemy

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Something mighty potent is brewing in the Alchemist's Lair at the Abbey.
One sip of the golden elixar and your shadow selves will become numinous.

Friday, June 23, 2006

It's good to be back...

I arrived back at the Abbey soaking wet and exhausted after floating on the plank the pirates had made me walk on my last night on the Calabar. Well, how was I supposed to know that you never tweak the Captain's beard, even in fun?

Luckily I managed to grab the plank as I went down and took it with me, so I had something to get me back to shore. But even with the wind and the tides in my favor I was drifting God know's where when I saw a familiar Tam O'Shanter and heard a loud ``Hallooooo!" I was so relieved to see Hamish I hugged him, and he spluttered seawater at me.

``Gerroff!" he yelled. ``I mean, get on - get on my back, woman."

Hamish was a strong swimmer and soon had us both on the beach again. Then we made our way back to the Abbey, where, after depositing me on the doorstep, he went to the stables to dry off and get some thistles.

I soon found myself enveloped in the warmth of the Abbey. I had a hot bath, gratefully put on some dry clothes and had a welcome supper of cocoa and kippers in the Abbey kitchen.

It was quite late when I made my way down to my dear little caravan, still parked near the stream in a lovely grove of trees. My pony Tinker whinnied and hurried up to greet me. My little caravan was neat as a new pin - some kind Abbey person had kept it clean and aired for me, the kettle was full, the cupboards stocked, and I was able to make a cup of tea.

I should have gone to bed but I sat up looking through my little boxes of art supplies, and found some paint sample cards. I had been meaning to use them for something, so I set to work trimming and embellishing and made lots of tags.

It just felt so good to be back at the Abbey again. When I finally did tumble into my bunk, I slept like a baby.

I must go down to the Gypsy Camp soon, and see what Lavengro and the gang have been up to in my long absence.


This is just a little story to keep in mind as you journey towards the Abbey…

Have you ever been on a road trip, and ended up driving down those dirt roads that lead into the dead empty towns with boarded up fast food places with names like “ Chicken Basket “ or “ Hank’s Hamburger Haven “ and have you noticed there’s always a gas station with those funny tin signs advertising a brand of cigarettes or beer that no one’s seen on a shelf in over 50 years?

No doubt on these trips you’ve seen the houses too, the odd gray houses sitting up off the road.

You’ve probably even seen curtains hanging in the windows and your not sure but you think you may have seen someone looking back out at you as you drove by. Maybe you’ve even seen one of those old time drug stores with the Soda Fountain in the back but you know, you wouldn’t stop there on a bet to check it out because you’ll tell yourself you don’t have the time…you’ve got somewhere to get to.

There, you’ll reassure yourself that sounds good.

But that little voice, it’s it the real reason you don’t stop because it’s screaming at you, “ don’t you dare stop! Hey are you listening to me? I don’t care if you run out of gas! You will not stop in this town because if you do you’re going to have to get out and push. Don’t you even think about stopping here, is that clear?”

Then when you hit the other end of “ Main Street” (which will only take about three minutes) and you’re back on that long empty dirt road that some joker of a map maker called “ interstate 101 or Highway 19” you’ll have forgotten you were afraid.

After a few more minutes that empty little town that scared you half to death will be long behind you and it’ll be like you were never there at all.

That’s what the town of Bocksbohne is like; once you leave it you’ll never be sure you were really there.

One summer Audley Frame was driving to Seattle and somewhere along Amorita Pass high in the Olympic Mountains she passed through a town called Turnsole (clearly marked on her map) and after a few miles she was on a dirt highway that lead straight into Bocksbohne.

That’s what the white sign with the peeling black letters read.

Welcome to Bocksbohne

It wasn’t suppose to be there according to the map, it had no reason to be there out in the middle of nowhere but it was there all the same and before she knew it Audley Frame was speeding passed a drive in theatre with a rusted swing set and a fallen over carousel under a weather-beaten movie screen. Across the street from the drive in was Chieko’s Drugstore and further up from that was little brick building with a sign in its window.

She slammed on her brakes and was snapped back in her seat by her seatbelt and she hardly noticed the pain because all she saw was the sign.

It was a simple sign, the background was flat black and the letters were neon orange and the sign simply said:

Help Wanted.

The window was caked with dust and grime and right there in the center of the window screaming in brand new orange neon letters was the word:


Not help wanted.

Now it just said


Audley’ s foot came off the brake and she let her car roll forward and she turned to watch the window as her car tried to pull itself away from building.

Now the sign read “ HELP WANTED INQUIRE WITHIN “. The letters were blood red and the ink was so fresh it had smudged a little on the filthy glass window.

“ Red Ink” she heard herself say, “ it’s red ink.”

Then her foot found the gas pedal and Audley’ s car roared passed buildings and houses with broken windows and doors that were falling off of their hinges. She ignored the rusty children’s toys abandoned on the sidewalks and she hit a few curbs and before she knew it she was out the other end of Bocksbohne and when she looked into her rearview mirror she saw her dark brown hair had turned white.

She put her hand to the mirror and turned it down, she had no intentions of using it until Bocksbohne was behind her.

Far behind her.

Neptune's Gift

I'm grateful for time, at last, to process all that's happened the last two weeks: A voyage on the pirate ship Calabar Felonway, meeting the Bog Queen, my wild ride into Neptune's world beneath the Lemurian Sea, and all the fair memories that seeing him stirred within me. It's hard to believe it all happened, but if I want proof all I need to do is look at the coin the king gave me.

Neptune urged me to ponder the symbols on it in relation to Believer, the name I chose for myself, not my given name, Barbara, that my mother always claimed was a mistake, a slip of the tongue when she was asked by the nurse what to call me. Mom had adored her father and he'd had a step sister in Poland who, in typical fairy tale fashion, had treated him cruelly. Her name had been Barbara. Neither of my parents had ever used it.

What meaning can a trident and a nautilus shell have for one known as Believer? I begin to meditate, lulled by the sound of the calming surf exactly one hundred steps below the Abbey. Fully alert, but quieted, my mind ceases its constant flitting from thought to thought. In dreams we choose our own metaphors and symbols, so there is no reason I can't do that in my waking state. Neptune's prime symbol the trident looks just like the pitchfork the devil uses, so it may not be a fitting symbol for a Christian to carry unless, for me, it symbolizes the Trinity and the wisdom to remember times past without sorrow.

With the mandelas I admire, one walks or follows a path from the outside to the center. Centering leads to the inner self. But the nautilus grows from the center and spirals outward adding a larger chamber each time and moving into it as it grows. My wish has always been to grow, in compassion, in faith, in knowledge. What could be a more perfect combination of my life's goals than to continue to reach out and grow like the nautilus in union with my faith in the Trinity?

Drenched and Wrenched

We were cast ashore. I awoke to find myself sheltered against his warm nameless form. Battered and bruised upon the sands of a strange land. In the distance loomed the ancient walls and towers, relics of a bygone era.
Hooded and cloaked forms are slowly making their way in our direction down the rocky cliffs. Is it possible that we have at last arrived?

A Midsummer Night's Eve

Ah, I waken in the rose arbor, but keep my eyes closed listening to the hum of bees. I remember that tonight is Midsummer Night's Eve. It's also called St. John's Eve in honor of St.John, the patron saint of beekeepers. The hives are full of honey at this time of year and the full moon that occurs this month is called Mead Moon. I'm wondering if the abbey will serve mead made from fermented honey to celebrate this day. The word honeymoon comes from this combination full hives and full moon.

The humming lulls me and I stay quiet not ready to move, to leave this peaceful place. In this dreamworld state I sense a presence and feel a pressure on my lips. Has my prince come? Is it the spirits cavorting on midsummer night's eve? I open my eyes and sit up. I'm alone in the rose garden. I search for my special glasses ready to enter the frolic.

Through The Abbey Door

Through the Door...
Welcoming light, fellow travellers,
good food, good conversation and many
an adventure tale. Others are still to
arrive. Belenus takes to his straw bed,
and I think of colours in a room of
harlequin days.
copyright Monika Roleff 2006.

Four Abbey Rules

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Four Abbey Rules

1. Follow Nature

2. First know, then act. Real knowledge exists in the triangle composed of seeing, feeling and understanding.

3. Use only one vessel, one fire, one instrument. The person who takes the chosen path may succeed, while the person who attempts to walk on many paths will be delayed.

4. Keep the fires burning constantly

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Atelier

The Atelier

I cautiously pushed the door of the Atelier open. I stood on the threshhold for a moment and took in the room.

It was a large space. Faint music-- Sir Paul singing "Let It Be"-- filtered from some unseen source. One wall, from floor to ceiling, was comprised of paned windows overlooking the Abbey's rose garden, letting light flood the room.

In the middle of the space was a long wooden table, big enough to seat 12 diners if necessary, but now filled with all manner of natural artifacts-- sea shells, fossils, bird feathers, amber, gemstones in the rough. There was also a microscope with a box of slides-- bug parts, dried flowers and other unidentifiable specimens. There were stacks of blank paper, writing implements, paints, brushes, and--oh, yes-- a 64-color box of Crayolas.

Next to the windows was a telescope, aimed at the sky over the garden. There was a stack of star charts next to it.

On another wall were bookshelves. Something seemed familiar. I stepped towards them and started looking closely at the book spines. My books! My entire personal library was here in the Abbey!

I was beginning to understand how far my journey had taken me-- right back to where I started.

Then, something caught my eye. I turned around and saw a soft blue glow coming from the corner. Could it be? It was!

"Edna! I've missed you!" In the corner was my trusty PC. I ran over to Edna, picked up a stylus and tapped the plastic drawing pad next to her. Her Desktop popped up and I scanned the icons. Is it here? Yes! Photoshop!

I sighed with contentment. All I needed now was a Venti cup of steaming Sumatra and I'd be ready to Rock.

L.Gloyd (c) June 21, 2006

I've arrived!

I clutched my bag and slipped over the side of the ship Calabar Felonway landing in a small boat. A storm broke over the sea driving the boat away from the Abbey. The tossing and buffeting made me sick. I spent hours wretching over the side or flat in the bottom soaked by sea spray. Finally the seas calmed and a rainbow appeared beckoning us into the shore.

At last I stood on firm ground waiting long moments before steadying myself to walk to the abbey. Thankfully, I accepted a glass of wine and a baguette; my stomach settled. Though tired, I had to explore a bit. Attracted by a gravel path that wound around the corner of the abbey, I discovered a rose garden. Ah, the sweet aroma! Oh, the colors: yellow, pale pink, rose, peach, and deep red. Farther into the garden, an arbor sheltered a bench. I sat down to rest and enjoy the roses climbing and twining over my head.

Using my bag for a pillow, I slept with the scent of roses filling my dreams!

My Cell

After wandering for several hours through the maze of the Abbey, I rounded a corner and found a door with this sign. Slowly, I turned the knob.......

Wandering the Corridors

I seem to be lost in the Abbey corridors, but I'll find my way.


The Abbey

I'm exploring the halls of the Abbey. What wonders will I find there?

Image: L.Gloyd (c) 2006 Kerckhoff Hall, UCLA

Abbey Alchemy

Image Hosting by

Step inside
the virtual world of the Abbey
whose shape
draws inspiration from
nautilus shells, wasps nests and dragonfly wings

Step through the main doorway
and transmute
base metals into gold
using the Philosopher's Stone

Step into the corridors of the pysche
To discover the Elixir Vitae,
the drinking of which
will confer
ever lasting creativity.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My room at the Abby

when I arrived this evening Tired from the long journy I went to my room ready to settle in for the night.
I had planned on having a hot cup of tea and heading to bed but something was setting on my desk something that just called to be created
this is what I saw

I tried to ignore them but they kept calling to me so finally I walked over to the desk only to discover loads of craft items hidden away in the drawers waiting to be discovered . giving up on the cozy couch and hot tea I set down at the desk

below is with I created using the shiping tape roll and carboard from a cereal box along with some misc, paper, material, and embellishments.

inside of the trinket boxes