Oracles of Centraxis
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Part 1
Sirens wail a warning lament, yet all dire or mundane earthly noises are washed away by the horizon-spanning wave of a modernist thunderbird’s deafening roar. Soaring above the planar net, the great glistening metallic bird splits the sky with a whining shriek as it descends through a smog bank above the Centraxian stronghold, heading for the world-sea’s brightly lit shore.
“Where be our court magician? We cannot discuss matters further until the chamber is properly sealed.” The Lord Kha-Aan’s voice booms above the unearthly aerial sound and his silver goblet resounds like a gavel on the round wooden table. He absently strokes a fulsome beard with elongated bony fingers while his bark-brown eyes flicker from ceiling to doorway.
The tribal scribe refreshes his lord’s drink and returns to his recording implements; Vostra grins obsequiously while cleaning a goose-feather quill on a tattered fringe of tablecloth. Kha-Aan surveys the hall, eyes flickering darkly above his impressive hooked beak of a nose.
“He comes, milord.” Vostra’s brow crinkles beneath a coal black widow’s peak as he stretches his fingers, popping knuckles and cracking joints in expectation of a rapid spate of scribbling. “About time,” Kha-Aan observes. “’Tis a fine night for making plans and decisions, according to the Lady Halcyon’s horary analysis.”
The imposing na-baron nods in the direction of the court’s astrologer and the long-haired rider returns his lingering glance. He idly notes that the studious lady cavalier is currently locking horns with young Arne Stook, who waves airy gestures with a meaty arm while he outlines an inaudible proposition. Halcyon laughs, flicking long brown hair into Arne’s eyes, and her denim-clad legs form a cross in a candlelit nook of the longhall.
The lord drains his second goblet of the evening with a single gulp as the Lady Racheal enters the hall, followed by Prince Ram’yana. The platinum waves of the teenage Lady’s winter-whitened hair are restrained by a woven cloth of gold band, bearing an oval polished amethyst inset at her broad high brow. Racheal takes her prince’s arm as they present themselves to the Court of the Central Axis, presided over by their time-ruffled cavalier lord. The teenage witch holds lightly her young prince’s hand as she precedes him to the round table; he shifts the vacant high seat opposite Kha-Aan and holds it in place for his beloved.
The oracular Cassandra sweeps her satin blue and lace white skirt aside as she takes her chair, before raising red-nailed pale hands in a prayerful steeple on the paisley patterned tablecloth. “Awa Ken, my lord.” Aquamarine eyes pierce the baronet’s aplomb as her wise smirk belies the customarily solemn expression of greeting and fealty.
“Awa Ken, Mon Ken – we trust our new Priestess is well fulfilled.” Kha-Aan returns her smirk, a corner of his mouth quirking one of his artfully trimmed moustaches aside; red-streaked dark brown strands trail downward from the corners of his lips in cyclonic twists that terminate at his prominent collarbones. “Fully filled indeed,” Racheal agrees with a curt nod to their liege. His eyes dart aside as Ram’yana takes a seat beside his lady. “And we welcome our Hierophant likewise; Awa Ken, young mage – both mine transcendental eyes are present at last.”
The court’s principal seers are a surprisingly comely and youthful pair, their long flowing locks framing finely balanced and apparently intelligent features. Their slender frames are cloaked in outlandishly impressive robes and finery, as their roles within the tribe dictate. The well-matched kismet-joined couple has been inseparable since first they met, and each grows to more closely resemble the other in speech and demeanour with every passing day.
“Awa Ken, Mon Ken. Thou hast requested our presence, my lord?” Ram’yana is garbed in a wide-sleeved green velvet jerkin, flowing down past the crotch of his deep purple hose within the folded carapace of a voluminous black velvet robe. He places a paisley velvet bag upon the matching pattern of the tablecloth; a beautifully crafted sheath gifted him by his lady on the previous full moon, as an appropriate silk-lined vessel for Ram’s divinatory tools of trade-Craft.
Racheal is arrayed in a constricting magenta velvet bodice that provocatively thrusts the billowing cumulus clouds of her breasts outward and upward. Their faintly freckled milky orbs teeter above the cunningly exposed musculature of her taut young belly. Her loveliness draws the attention of the other men at the capacious table – the Cold Wanderer, Lord Mud, Count Marco, Vostra and Lord Moonwatcher Et-Aan, brother of Kha-Aan – to her slightly wanton charms.
Vostra affects a lofty disinterest that borders on disdain. He carefully cleans ink from a jet-dark crow’s quill while Kha-Aan’s eyes remain welded to the Lady Racheal’s cobalt gaze. Seated on piled cushions in a shadowy corner of the voluminous chamber, Li Po strums a chord on his burgundy mandolin while he throws a suggestion of a smile at Ram’yana.
The women of the clan react to the young priestess’s presence in various fashions; the Empress Fifi L’Amour’s glance follows the appreciative lead of the men while her sister Princess Stardew rolls grey eyes skyward. Halcyon examines Racheal’s upthrust bosom with frank interest while young Princess Moonshine’s inebriated grin splits her florid features from ear to ear. The poet T’Ruth’s thin smile tightens beneath lowered brows as she endeavours to concentrate on her knitting beneath the table.
Ram’yana has grown accustomed to the effects elicited by his beautiful bride-to-be’s charismatic enchantments, and waits patiently for the court to recover its wits - and for the Na-Baron Kha-Aan’s reply. “Indeed we didst summon thee, young prince and priestess,” announces their aquiline liege. “All present knew of this conclave and were here at the time prearranged by the stars.” He inclines his brow toward the Lady Racheal; “No doubt ye had to undertake necessary preparations that well warrant thy tardiness.” His gaze shifts to the emerald eyes of his mage. “Before we begin, mine erstwhile page, we are in need of thy services.” He points to the paisley bag lying before them on the table. “And after that, a reading.”
Ram’yana nods and produces a white cylinder of chalk. Racheal closes her eyes as her paramour begins to etch a Widdershins sealing circle on the dark wooden boards of the floor. “Wine, my lady?” Kha-Aan inquires. Racheal smiles in silent assent and Vostra circles the group Deosil as he fills another round of goblets.
“To the Lady Racheal.” The tribal lord rises for the toast followed by all others at the table, except the lady to whom they pay tribute; Racheal remains seated with her gloss-painted eyelids firmly sealed. “And to her impending Initiation;” the word is definitively capitalised by his commanding voice. Quaffing his drink in a measured draught, the na-baron watches the witch girl over the rim of his cup. Ram’yana finishes inscribing the chalk circle and murmurs a barely audible incantation as he belatedly rises to join the toast.
The usually perceptive young mage is slow to understand the power that desire can generate, trammelling over and above all matters of honour and loyalty; he’s gradually coming to realise that having a beautiful mate can be a mixed blessing. This jealousy that snags my heart is another form of lusty death wish, he decides while observing the confected fascia of his peers’ solemn faces; simple folly garbed in the guise of unsightly curse, self-cast by all knaves insecure in their love, or their loving….
He tries to quiet his ravelling mind, but it reels on regardless; My beloved Rache is cherished white witch to us all, the shining pearl of the court… and a beautiful bride’s a temptation to many. He performs a silent Kabalistic Cross and soon feels the warmth of an inner amber sun spreading throughout body and mind, dispelling mundane emotive concerns, replacing them with a blissful glow of evanescent serenity. A faint haze fills the wider circle, etched into subtle etheric layers of the candlelit longhall.
The shaman prince replaces his goblet on the table and walks the circle into being, completing three circuits before pausing to name and greet the four quarters while his peers silently wait or watch, drink or meditate in a vibrant living ring of barely suppressed emotive enthusiasms. When Ram’yana has finished invoking the sacred names of gods and archangels and has cleared the space for their impending convocation, he seats himself to Racheal’s right. She takes his hand and he nods to their liege.
Kha-Aan’s smile is a convivial mask. “Finally! Our thanks to thee, young magician - and so to the business at hand,” he announces. The shaman is inwardly dismayed – not by his liege lord’s brusque dismissal of courtly protocol, but by Ram’s own personal, private discomfort at their leader’s unusually condescending tone and offhand manner.
Lady L’Amoure coughs into her hand, subtly demanding the attention of the court. “Surely, Lord Kha-Aan, the tribe canst not begin a moot without first joining in a flow.” Her words ring around the hall as the assembled initiates of the Central Axis shift in their chairs, expressions growing more intent and postures more erect as they place goblets, smouldering pipes, quill and knotted knitting upon the table before them.
Kha-Aan meets Fifi’s admonition with aloof silence, acquiescing to the inevitable with a brisk nod of assent. He inclines his head and raises both hands above the tablecloth, cupping his right – bearing the tribal signet ring - beneath his brother’s inverted palm. He inverts his left above the receptively cupped hand of the blissfully smiling Princess Stardew, seated on his sinister side amidst a piled mound of discarded leather overclothes.
A circle of hands interlinks round the table, and from the simple morphological magic of consciously joining human physiques and psyches, a flow of energy begins to swirl through and around the circle of the court. The rhythm of their breaths unifies into a single intensified stream, channelling through bodies, minds and souls to blend the complex web of their disparate energies into an alchemically bonded ring of light.
For an ineffable space of sense-enhancing timelessness the whole of the tribe becomes greater than the sum of its parts; thoughts and feelings meld into a transdimensional consciousness, a benign combined awareness that spreads as an expanding circle of mutually sensitised will. A tenuous net of awareness grows and adapts, cast far from the anchorage of their physical circle, spreading beyond the encircling horizon and unto the extremities of the Realm - to return renewed, bringing with it a momentous and portentous taste of the global mind.
A heaving fever dream is unexpectedly dredged up from the endless sea of thought-forms, threshing like a landed in the midst of their magic circle - and omens begin to spout from the lips of the uninitiated tribal High Priestess as her body is riven by gravid and tremulous spasms. Lady Racheal’s hands flutter upward and her slender wrists cross between her breasts, thumbs meeting to form the semblance of a pale pink butterfly that hovers ’neath her gracile throat. Ring-girt wings flutter in time with the syllables which issue from her carmine lips as Vostra’s blackest quill begins furrowing a virgin field of parchment.
“The Court is called, has called, is calling.” Lady Racheal’s speech has deepened by an octave as the High Priestess gives voice to her Role – the Second Arcanum, the archetype embodied by Isis, Ishtar, Esther, Astarte and every oracle, seer, wise woman and divinatrix since the first fires were ignited in the Promethean dawn of human awareness. “Awaken our kind,” her transformed voice intones as sky-blue eyes roll upward and inward to gaze on an inner cosmos. The priestess rises in her seat, as if jerked erect by a force tugging her halfway out of her body. Her unseeing eyes are fixed on a point somewhere above the apex of their combined cone of power.
“Sibilance sings with a serpentine call that slithers and slides through society’s hall
“Just as in Sothis all here are in thrall to stark spearing density, stasis’s call
“Sophistry sullies sweet sisterhood’s fall, as fierce ancient foes rent a hole in the shawl
“Sunset’s Apophis will undo us all, when
Racheal arches backward in her seat, bending and vibrating - a whitewood bow flexing to its limits in the instant before release, coiled in the surcease of another will, another’s speech, as an other prepares to depart her prepossessing young body. Her breasts tremble like snowy blancmange, quivering like arctic leopards attempting to escape the confines of her bodice. The priestess’s hands spread from her throat and tear the pale butterfly asunder as beringed fingers flutter to her brow, forming a triangle around her third eye. Her head rocks back and forth on her supple neck and the oracle’s mundane eyes remain closed as she delivers the final couplet;
“Caution undoes the bright and the bold when the first of the new is the last of the old.”
Silence fills the tribal circle and the world around the Centraxian court pauses in an extending moment of unutterable stillness. Ram’s thoughts reel as he attempts to interpret the echoing images of his beloved’s oracular couplets. Attuned to the hidden keys within her Delphinine pronouncements, the mage can nonetheless barely follow the jigsaw trail of meaning which spirals through his mind in the wake of her words.
Racheal’s eyes flash open and dilated pupils conceal the ethereal azure of her irises with an impenetrable core of liquid, limpid darkness. The priestess subsides into her chair while the amethyst on her forehead sinks to the table between her outstretched hands. Her unworldly poetry has impacted upon her peers in varying fashion; with the ringing tones of her first resonant syllables, the Cold Wanderer had jerked perceptibly before freezing in position. The rest of her lines flowed through the circle leaving no discernible mark on his icy equanimity.
The baronet’s eyes crinkle beneath the runic quilting of his furrowed brow while his elongated fingers fiddle with Princess Stardew’s hand on the tablecloth. An artery in Marco’s left temple twitches spasmodically and Stardew’s nostrils flare with a sudden intake of breath that rips the envelope of the tribe’s stillness with a stark susurrus, setting time spinning afresh. T’Ruth’s mouth is as wide as her eyes and Vostra immerses himself in a tempestuous flurry of quillmanship. Halcyon and Et-Aan lean their heads together and whisper before the meditative curve of Li Po’s body, which is bent across his silent instrument; the poet has remained seated in the outer circle, along with Arne Stook, Lord Mud and Princess Moonshine.
“So mote it be,” intones the Lady Ringell, Empress Fifi L’Amour, and a ripple of relaxation runs round the incarnate ring of archetypes in the wake of her conclusive pronouncement. Hands shift from the broken circuit of flowing contact; most of the peers find ways occupy their selves in a range of displays that displace the tense wave of pressure swiftly draining from the hall.
Li Po announces the turn of the Tattvic tide with a chiming chord while Marco pours another round of wine; Stardew begins crumbling a squash-ball sized chunk of Tibetan hashish into a lacquered wooden bowl. Kha-Aan smoothes his moustaches, watching and echoing the motions of his mage as Ram’yana strokes the length of his Lady’s spine, until her head slowly rises from the table.
“So mote it be,” Moonwatcher concurs. “Indeed,” agrees his brother Kha-Aan. “But we still require our reading – after we first discuss matters at hand.”
“After we discuss the High Priestess’ revelation, surely?” Son-Aan’s voice is rarely heard in moot; the young lord strides from the far end of the longhall, flummoxed by his brother’s curtness. “These are matters of import, and not to be taken lightly!” Kha-Aan levels his brow at his younger brother, his voice dry and low as his eyes flicker with fey warning; “The scribe has it all down, eh Vostra? We can ruminate over the priestess’s curious utterances afterward, if thou wish. If it be a matter of such import, as thou insist, then the priestess’s words bear close and careful scrutiny. But as a point of order, other matters hold priority at this moot.”
The Discordian Lord of the Chaos Courts pronounces the word ‘order’ with a grimace of passing disdain. Son-Aan flops down on the cushions beside Li Po and begins to caress the body and neck of a lute-like instrument as the poet begins to play. “And so – if there are no further objections?” None are forthcoming and their liege continues. “We’ve received ill tidings from
“That was never a good idea,” the Cold Wanderer mutters contemptuously. He adjusts the lenses hanging on either side of his broad nose, which shelter his watery blue eyes from direct and unalloyed contact. Kha-Aan waves a dismissive hand. “’Tis neither here nor there,” he replies. “Kell has betrayed us all, taking the karse and its lands for himself and his fellow varlets and cronies - and we assure thee, Logician; we shan’t stand for it.” He surveys the ringing faces of his companions, his vulpine stare riveting their attention and daring any to disagree.
“All very well,” Et-Aan says with a hawk-like glare in answer to his brother’s unspoken challenge, “but what do we intend to do about it? ’Tis surely an unwise idea to assault the stronghold or to accost any stranger, man or maid, we may chance to discover there. Any errant soul we find with Captain Kell may in fact be entirely innocent…”
“Perhaps we could reason with him?” Vostra suggests. The other Centraxians ignore his naïve suggestion; they all know Kell’s acquisitive and duplicitous nature and are aware that possession is nine-tenths of the lore, in many more ways than one. “An assault is not out of the question,” Kha-Aan resumes, “though hardly desirable. That’s why a reading would be a particularly good idea at this moot moment. Prince Ram’yana – if thou wilt?”
The shaman already has the oversized deck in his hands, passed to him by his Wiccan lady – who has completely recovered from her fugue, and is eyeing the court with her usual air of self-possessed contemplation. As Racheal spreads a purple silk cloth (marked with gold symbols writ in the Script of the Magi), the young shaman prince offers the divinatory cards to his lord. While the imperious tribal Emperor shuffles the deck, Vostra refills all the goblets once more and Princess Moonshine appears from the kitchen to fussily set about placing plates of fruits, cheeses and breads on a chequered side table.
After thoroughly rearranging all seventy-eight cards, Kha-Aan pulls one at random from the neat rectangular pile and contemplates the occult imagery on its obverse face. He shows the card to the Hierophant, places it back in the deck and shuffles again before passing it over to the mage. Ram’yana begins casting the spread, expertly laying seventy-seven cards face down in eleven carefully arranged heaps. The resulting Tree of Life arrangement is fractally echoed by colourful Rosy Crosses emblazoned on the reverse side of each card of the Crowleyan Thoth deck.
Ram rummages through the heaps in descending order until he finds the Significator chosen by Kha-Aan; the card is ensconced in the sephiroth known as Da’ath, the Unmanifest Realm of Knowledge; not truly a sphere (or sephiroth) of the Tree of Life, but a resonant standing wave in the matrix underlying all things. The card’s placement informs the shaman that the relevant sphere of activity is located well above the Earthly plane, at the very gateway to the Beyond. He puts the Significator aside on one edge of the purple cloth and lays out the final pattern – another Tree formed from the fractal seeds of meaningful images heaped in the designated Sephiroth – and examines the interplay of symbols and colours with fully absorbed and distraction-dispelling intensity.
“The nub of the matter is clear,” he announces after a moment. “Direct confrontation is definitely not a wise idea - though to resile from dealing with this situation would create profound consequences for the entire tribe.” Kha-Aan scowls as his question unfurls beneath his moustache. “Then what dost thou see – canst thou suggest a course that will meet with success?”
“Mayhap,” the prince mutters. “We first have to realise that things are nowhere as simple as they seem…”
“They never are,” Count Marco laughs. “What’s new?”
“There is much interference in any direction we may make, both from within and without.” The prince’s voice is a surprisingly deep sonorous drone whilst his eyes remain fixed on the cards. “A journey is indicated, best viewed as adventure rather than battle - and a successful outcome is probable if force of character is employed, not force of arms...”
“A show of force, perforce,” Kha-Aan knifes into Ram’s spiel with his own interpretation of the reading. “And a journey of two hundred leagues starts with the first step…”
“Not so fast, my Lord.” Of all at the table, only Racheal or Kha-Aan’s brothers would speak to their liege so directly. “Wait for the rest of the cards to show their faces,” the priestess suggests in a tone of command.
“Mainly Trumps and Court cards,” observes Vostra, poring over the complex array of imagery unfolded before their sight. “The High Priestess, the Emperor, Princes of Disks and Swords…”
“Aye,” Racheal agrees, “but see here, the Eight of Swords…”
“Quiet, please,” their lord insists. “Allow my magician to complete his task.” They sip and sup as the moments drag by before the princely shaman continues.
“I see four travellers embarking and one turning back - and the four fleet winds of the Knight of Swords are summoned at the bidding of the Prince of Discs.” He looks up and drains his cup. “Success without damage, if the way is prepared by the winds; if the air is cleared and reason prevails before the travellers make their entry – and possibly reclaim the northerly throne,” he declares as he taps the Ace of Discs. “But first a libation is portended, and planting of seeds in fertile soil is heartily recommended…” The scribe tops up Ram’s goblet and resinous smoke begins to circulate around the chamber.
The Cold Wanderer leans forward to examine the images, moving Racheal and Ram’s goblets aside. “That’s unusually clear,” he remarks in his Canadian drawl. “Who are the four?”
“That’s less clear…”
“I, for one,” announces Arne Stook as he leans over Stardew’s shoulder. “Count me in.” His massive fist strikes a blow at the polished boards of the table. “I didn’t know you were a Count,” Wanderer laughs. “Another goddam noble…”
Kha-Aan glares at him reproachfully. “We tolerate anarchists such as thee, Cold Wanderer, just as we embrace the Tao,” he rumbles. “Remember thy place in the Court, unless thou art ready for a change of role - to Jester, perchance? We could well do with one of those.” Half the assembly laughs nervously as the blood brother of their liege returns his glare and leans forward to reply; “So we don’t encourage free speech in the Court?” he asks with upraised eyebrows. “I must have been mistaken…”
“Indeed thou art mistaken, if thou believest we appreciate such witless opprobrium. Free speech notwithstanding, discourtesy to the Court or Centrax cannot be tolerated; save thy tactless jests for the after party.” Kha-Aan draws himself up on his seat to his full lanky height, easily overtopping the others at the table in a feudal display of territorial dominance. The silence extends until Wanderer bows his head briefly. ”My mistake, then.”
It’s obvious the Logician’s fury is barely contained, but Kha-Aan is fain to let sleeping dogs lie. “For all thy worth as tribal tactician, thou hast little feel for strategy,” he declares as he turns to the young Hierophant. “When?” His imperious glare focuses down along the massive hook of his nose toward the colourful display on the table before them. “When does it indicate we make our move?”
The prince considers his reply in the dissonant vestiges of the fractious exchange, while fading disharmonics vibrate into distant nether regions alongside the chaotically plucked strings of Li Po’s mandolin. “Before the next full moon,” he declares after a lengthy pause. “But whatever we do, there is more than just a single usurpation to consider in this spread; while we’re engaged in the task of reclaiming Chaos Karse other feints and attacks will be made on the tribe, elsewhere and otherwise…”
“Where?” Kha-Aan demands. “And by whom?”
“That’s far less clear… but there are some new faces here - new destinies entwining with ours, and some are less savoury than others. Mayhap here, in the
“Then let’s make an end to this discussion,” the imperial baronet announces. “Some of us shall remain here, in the shadows of the topless towers, while four others depart for
Everyone drains their cups at once, relaxing in the sudden relief of release from intent concentration. Ram’yana returns the tarot cards to the deck, enfolding the images in their silken veil. The Lady Racheal whispers in his ear while the court begins to lay plans in earnest. “The Significator was the Fifteenth Arcanum – Saturn in Da’ath?” she breathes.
He nods as the tip of her tongue flickers against his earlobe. “And in Netzach within Da’ath… the Satanic chaining of man and woman - welded, not wedded, in the sphere of love, within the patterning restrictions of Saturn…” Racheal shakes her head to dispel the web of connotations arising from the fateful imagery and he hurriedly concludes in a more reassuring baritone; “But otherwise, victory.” She kisses her shaman prince full on the mouth and passes her full goblet into his hand. He lifts the chalice to her lips. “Not thirsty, my love?” he asks.
“I’ve already had four to thy one,” she drawls. “I want thee to catch up with me.” Needing no further encouragement, he drinks deeply of the viscous red fluid before accepting a strong-smelling smoke from T’Ruth. The intensity which had earlier suffused the court has dissipated into a tangled weave of conversation and commentary that blurs into a chaotic jumble through the pervasive smokescreen.
“And if I may venture, what of the Lady Racheal’s oracle?” Vostra casts a sheet of paper into the centre of the table, stilling the voices of the socialising tribe with his unassuming query. “Oracle?” Racheal asks with a quizzical glare. “Here,” says Vostra, “this is thine. Not bad work, considering…” The priestess snatches up the parchment, her eyes furiously scanning the florid writing as she her lower lip presses between even white teeth. “Is this… did I…”
“Thou didst, milady,” Fifi assures her with a sisterly caress. “Perhaps thou canst cast more light on its portent?”
“Give her time,” Kha-Aan interjects. “Let’s absorb this missive from beyond at our leisure, and return to the topic in the fullness of time.”
“Alacrity suits thee, Lord Emperor Na-Baron – when it befits.” Et-Aan the Moonwatcher’s voice is pitched low, issuing from behind his brother’s back; but not low enough to evade Ram’s acute hearing. He watches the baronet scowl within his archetypal role as tribal Emperor and proclaim, “We declare this moot to be concluded – for now. Magician, if thou wilt?”
Ram’yana rises to begin undoing the seal of their circle as Vostra lays condiments upon the table. Racheal holds her head in both hands and stares at the table while the court prepares to partake of the first appetisers in their impending feast. Her platinum tresses pour down around the parchment lying between platter and goblet.
When the protective circle has been banished in the longhall the court repairs to various chambers to prepare for their revelling. Like all similar gatherings in the Centraxian stronghold, the party is doubtless likely to continue well into the wee hours.
Courtly musicians and an influx of guests soon fill both the conjoined buildings of the urban Centraxian base with a resounding jam, striving to rise above the strident pealing of wild celebration. Women and men, lassies and lads, ladies and lords all dance and frolic between the rambling interlinked structures and carouse about the demolished wasteland that surrounds the stronghold - a bright celebrant circle of sensuous joy in the ligatured concrete heart of the Emerald City.
Racheal and Ram are disinclined to dance or cavort, subsisting in the half-drained afterglow of their respective oracles. The barefoot lovers sit holding hands by a fence-paling fire which blazes away in the longhall’s hearth. The prince distracts his priestess from the concentrated contemplation of her prophesising with a flurry of kisses and soothing caresses. He’s convinced his beloved has no memory of the divinatory event that possessed her during the moot, and is certain she hadn’t composed the spontaneously rhyming series of couplets beforehand. Her surprise had been genuine when she began careful perusal of Vostra’s scribings; the parchment slips across her thigh as Ram’s hand slides up from her kneecap to steal beneath her lacy skirt’s hem.
T’Ruth grabs the falling sheet and turns the scribbled writing toward Fifi L’Amour, the Lady Ringell. “Let us puzzle it out,” she says, “while these two lovebirds relax…”
“…and recreate,” her sister Stardew agrees. “Come on, Fifi,” Li Po calls from the scrum of musos, “Give us a song!” Without further ado the Lady Ringell turns toward the fireplace and spreads her arms wide as she fills the bellows of her lungs with smoky overheated air. “Never know how much I love you…” Her cabaret-trained voice fills the longhall and the instruments of the musicians tilt and sway in the gale of her contralto blast; “Never know how much I care…”
Racheal downs her goblet in one gulp and stands, swaying lightly on her bare feet beside Fifi as they both stare into the flickering flames. “When you put your arms around me, I get a fever that’s so hard to bear…” The Lady Ringell’s hip bumps into Racheal’s, propelling the smaller woman against her lover while the musicians begin their accompaniment. Ram’yana takes his betrothed by the hand and their fingers entwine.
“You give me fever when you kiss me, fever when you hold me tight…”
The shaman leads his beloved toward the rear exit of the Centraxian compound. He pulls her into the stairwell before they exit the ribald smoky atmosphere, and leads her upward to the tiny, unlit, balustrade-girt mezzanine of the first upstairs landing. Racheal grips his hand and pauses, mid-tread, while Fifi’s voice soars up the stairway; “Fever! In the morning, fever all through the night…”
“Wouldst prefer to warm thyself by the fire?” Ram asks as he wraps his hands around her naked waist. “Or be heated by my blood?” He draws her close in the momentary interlude of darkness-shrouded privacy and their lips meet in a gentle impact. Their mouths swiftly transform into a writhing, self-willed organism, a flowering limpet comprised of sucking and succulent saliva-slicked membranes.
“Sun lights up the daytime and moon lights up the night, I light up when you call my name and you know I’m gonna treat you right…”
Racheal’s talented tongue slips all the way into Ram’s mouth. The sinuous undulations of her breast-cushioned body against his chest, belly and groin are all the answer he requires. His fingers comb through her hair as she sinks to her knees, and he grips the cloth-of-gold headband when her lithe hands release his burgeoning manhood from tight cotton leggings and unroll them down his thighs.
“Everybody’s got the fever, that is something you all know. Fever isn’t such a new thing, fever started long ago…”
The lovers are only a dozen paces from their bedchamber but the possibility of discovery is washed from Ram’s mind as he surrenders to the hot wet bliss of Racheal’s ardent oracular mouth. He leans against the wall between full-length framed posters of Jimmy Hendrix and David Bowie while the witch girl unlaces her bodice and feasts upon her captive prince.
“Romeo loved Juliet, Juliet felt the same. When he put his arms around her he said, ‘Julie, Baby, you’re my flame…
The roar of Fifi’s song barely pierces their mutual absorption as Racheal licks and sucks at the object of her desire. The salty taste and velvet texture of her young man’s lingam dispel her exhaustion and salve tremors of pain that twinge in her jaw. After her challenging experiences during the previous night, the High Priestess knows she’s capable of far deeper oral caresses than she’d hitherto believed. She squeezes Ram’s proudly rigid organ more deeply into her mouth than e’er before, surprising him with her newfound skill.
“Thou giveth fever when we kisseth, fever with my flaming youth. Fever! I’m afire, fever, yeah I burn, forsooth…”
After another minute Racheal can wait no longer, and, hitching her satin and lace into the waistband of her belt, she draws Ram’s length out of her mouth and throat with an excruciatingly slow slippery slide, lips stretching and squeezing to grip his flesh so tightly he can barely withstand her need to feed on his manly milk. A cooling draught washes across Ram’s wetted shaft before his lady takes him in a heated hand and guides his thoroughly lubricated erection into the fiery home of her fur-lined hearth.
“…He gives me fever with his kisses, fever when he holds me tight. Fever! I’m his missus, so daddy won’t you treat him right?”
An elastic sheath stretches around Ram’s hypersensitive girth and he moans as he pulls his lady’s intoxicating body closer, deeper, wider. His hands cup her derriere and lift her from the floor and Racheal’s long slender legs entwine around his torso, ankles locking together behind his back. Priest and priestess gasp and purr, writhe and thrust, each embedding their need into the willing vessel of their Beloved.
“Now you’ve listened to my story, here’s the point that I have made: chicks were born to give you fever, be it Fahrenheit or Centigrade…”
Firm fleshy mounds press into Ram’s chest as the brazen girl squeezes her smooth white legs around his slender waist. She holds onto his torso with the vice of her loins and her muscular thighs as she pulls his hands further beneath her. She presses his palms right round the smooth feminine globes of her spreading cheeks as her prince holds her halfway impaled. “All thine...” she says, “…all that’s mine is thine…”
“They give you fever when you kiss them, fever if you live and learn. Fever! ‘’Til you sizzle, what a lovely way to burn…”
Racheal’s wine-flavoured breath is sweetly delectable, drawing his mouth down to close on her suckling pink lips. Her arms snake up around his neck and she squeezes him inside and out as he glides all the way up inside and…
The turgid torrent of a flushing toilet sounds from across the hallway and Racheal pulls her lover even closer inside, locking her heels behind his back and filling herself so completely that her upper half swoons backward when her pelvis thrusts forward to surround him. He takes advantage of his uninhibited paramour’s momentary drifting abandon to carry her along the hall to their bedchamber, almost tripping over his leggings as he climbs the last stairs.
The bathroom door opens and footfalls sound on the stairs behind them, but the lovers are far to preoccupied to pay much attention. Racheal’s back collides with the unlockable door of their bedroom and it bursts open as an inarticulate cry erupts from her lips, a harmonious counterpoint to the applause ringing through the stronghold when Fifi’s torch song smoulders towards silence.
“…what a lovely way to burn…” *
They’re locked even more tightly together when the shaman balances his witch-girl on an old copy of Young Lust Comics, perched on the cold hard edge of his ornately carved marble-topped writing desk. He begins inscribing an epic labour of love into the matrix of her receptive flesh; the sense-shattering paean races through his primally screaming mate’s pounding blood to ignite her soaring soul. He rides her in time to the loud rock and roll which starts streaming up through their bodies from the festivities below.
Free Love is more than an ideal; it’s a nightly reality for the Children of the Revolution who dance through the tumultuous latter decades of the late great Twentieth Century - an irresistible juggernaut of hormones, aphrodisiacs, hallucinogens and truly impassioned lusty love, rocking and rolling over the staid military-industrial quagmire of ‘modern civilization’ - transforming every squared-off being or place where the flower children flourish into something wildly, inexplicably, unpredictably amazing.
The more recalcitrant and unreconstructed of the domesticated primate species were ever ready to take advantage of the situation, always waiting to surprise the innocent with a demonstration of Humankind’s less edifying aspects. Predators and scavengers nested and bedded down alongside the honourable, world-changing young men and women who were slowly but surely learning ‘never to trust anyone over thirty’ - as the popular saying went in the disillusioning wake of the Swinging Sixties. You could still trust almost anyone with long hair, any brave unsold soul who let their freak flag fly free - but the times they were swiftly a’changing.
The era was a fertile time for artists and dreamers, lovers and romantics. The newest member of the Court of Centraxis, Lady Racheal was a talented painter and consummate seer. She grew bolder, freer and wiser to the outer world’s corrupt versatility with every dawning day.
When she’d decided to abruptly escape into an alternative world, releasing herself from the grey stained suburban purgatory she’d inhabited until her eighteenth birthday, Racheal had begun her search for the surprisingly rare genuine hippies she knew must be out there, rejoicing and partying someplace in the great contentious southern continent of the Land of Oz. The tribe of Centraxis had instantly adopted her into its welcoming enclave, and her fully reciprocated love-at-first-sight for the shaman prince had proven a wondrous fairy tale come true for the teenage oracle.
Despite claims to the contrary, most people in those heady days of hallucinogen-infused consciousness expansion were staid citizen-cogs in a crumbling Cold War rat race. Few ever made time to look up from their daily drudgery to see – let alone embrace - the psychic and psychedelic changes parading past the workaday treadmills of their lives. In other words, little has changed between then and now.
Many aging conformists look back on their youth with rose-coloured spectacles, imagining themselves to have been among the brave and tiny minority who actually stood up to The Man and lived outside the purblind mortgaged hive, sharing communal lives which were whole, home and free. Denial, hidden regrets and misrepresentations of their unadventurous pasts will clog the consciences of most ‘baby boomers’ to their dying days.
Yet out on the fringes, within gifted individuals and intentional communities, change was brewing on a rising wind. Less than one in a thousand young people actually lived in the New Age, or grokked the alternative realities and freewheeling tribes of the youth revolution. The rest were jingoistic bands of thoroughly domesticated primates, living out a poor-taste feudal medieval fantasy of blinker-wearing wage-serfs.
They all huddled beneath the upraised fists of bombastic warriors and brooding poseurs brandishing nuclear-tipped spears, and were lorded over by remote gilded dynasties of mucky competitive inbreeds - who considered all other humans a lesser species entirely. For most people, life was a busy insectile round of business as usual in a retrogressive and nepotistic gerontocracy of buzzing old busybodies and half-dead droning businessmen.
Outside the island cities which dot the enormous primordial landscapes of the Dreaming Continent of Oz, new settlers experimented with life and love in communes and ashrams, shared houses, alternative assemblies, intentional communities, raging round-robin festivals, radical political enclaves and back-to-earth nations of tepees, yurts, tents, campervans and a mushrooming profusion of domes. Artistic and musical cliques of nomads knitted all these disparate cloths together into a multihued rainbow tapestry, working in parallel and sometimes at cross-purposes, but always in a spirit of implicately ordered disorganised mayhem.
Even within the concrete chasms of the inner cities, enclaves of change agents could be found amid the miasma of conventional sucking consumerism - if you were willing to seek them out. If you were eager enough to search for something else.
Unlike most of her fearful school-bound contemporaries, the teenage Lady Racheal wasn’t satisfied to wallow in the same old gilt-padded trough alongside a horde of sightless larvae awaiting nuclear slaughter in a stasis of living death. She was ready, willing and eager enough to spread her wings and fly to the heart of the Sun.
So she did…
A True Story
Images – author’s
* Fever lyrics copyright Peggy Lee
Further true tales of the Prince of Centraxis -
And for further enlightenment see
The Her(m)etic Hermit - http://hermetic.blog.com
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The Prince of Centraxis – http://centraxis.blogspot.com