Sunday, 23 August 2009
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll 19
“Feels like storms a’brewing.” Kha-Aan’s voice surprises the witch girl; she hadn’t noticed her prepossessing liege’s approach. He’d crossed the longhall with uncanny stealth to offer her the tribal brew. Multiplying layers of import shimmer around his words, ensnaring Racheal’s mind with elaborate potentialities that transcend his apparently innocuous statement.
“At this rate we’ll soon have a full hand of trumps,” he declares with a smile, holding the silver chalice to the priestess’s mouth. His long-nailed fingertips tremble against her lips as the rich warm potion of honeyed mead flows down her slender throat, admixed with an indefinable range of spirits and essences.
T’Ruth chimes up from the floor; “And not enough Indians?” the poetess asks with an innocent pout. The moustachioed baronet appears to ignore the jibe, but his eyes flare darkly. A spidery nut-brown hand drops to his hip to resocket a ceremonial brass dagger in its costume-jewelled scabbard, producing a singularly unsubtle thump. The warrior stirs, a voice proclaims from somewhere within the Lady Racheal’s strung out and hung over mind. Unseen beneath the wide rim of the chalice, the elongated nail of Kha-Aan’s calloused index finger outlines her lower lip, gently sawing sidewise. “Drink up,” he says, “and make room for more!” A handful of singers straggle through dimly remembered lines;
‘…The lunatic is in my head
You raise the blade, you make the change
You rearrange me ’til I’m sane
You lock the door
And throw away the key
There’s someone in my head and it’s not me.’
“The Moet is gone, milord.” Vostra inverts the emptied bottle and a flurry of droplets falls onto a tattered Victorian rug. “Barely enough for a belated libation.” Kha-Aan slaps his narrow belly and a wave of mead spills down Racheal’s chin, splashing mahogany beads onto the hummocks of her breasts and polka-dotting the azure lapels of her revealing jacket. “But we have not yet swelled into the fully bloated satisfaction that heralds the onset of utter liberation!” he decries.
A mighty roar erupts from the corner, where Nathan the Marcon has finally wrested the keg open beneath the twinkling two-dimensional regard of Meher Baba. A foaming spume erupts from the spout while the moustachioed Sufi master smiles within the window frame of a black and white poster, shining face beaming above his famous catchcry; ‘Don’t worry, be happy.’
At the very moment her lover’s silhouette occludes her view of the longhall the Lady Racheal feels an unfamiliar wave of pressure pour through her body, cascading from her electrified crown to her tingling toes. Ram’yana lowers his slender frame, kneeling before the High Priestess’ throne as he peers into the oceanic pools of her glazing eyes. She stares directly through him, vision fixed on a parallel plane at the expanding horizon of altered perceptions. ’Tis only to be expected, the puzzled prince reminds himself. Tonight’s her first trip…
Unless… He recalls his beloved’s partial description of the vicious trial she’d undergone the previous night, and swallows a knot of anger that threatens to disturb the tightrope trek of his psychedelic sojourn. His thoughts leap from one partial conclusion to the next; And after what she’s been through…
A tremor passes through the tribal Hierophant’s body and a stab of painful pressure suddenly assails him, centred in the pit of his left shoulder, clawing into meat and muscle, nerve and tendon, burning like claws of frozen steel. Curving talons bite down, pressing into the flesh around Ram’s collarbone and tearing through his armpit as a black presence inexorably settles upon the kneeling teenage mage. An unforgiving load of gravitas fills his lungs with leaden heaviness and dims the swarming field of his sight, threatening to remove his awareness from the earthly plane.
His benumbed left hand automatically rises to pour an infusion of healing light into the source of his syncopated heartbeat. Raphael… The shaman whispers a silent invocation to the Divine Physician and concentrates on the radiant pulse beating betwixt heart and palm, attempting to settle the runaway pace of his stricken metabolism with a deep cycle of carefully hoarded breaths. He inhales a lungful of air and prana, then another, and Racheal’s eyes slowly swim back into focus.
Look at him… into him… Racheal’s new inner guide directs her eyes to shift between worlds as a tremulous breathtaking wave passes through her handsome young prince. The priestess feels the dark cloud that constricts his being, pouring down upon him like a drenching thunderstorm whilst another, brighter presence adds fuel to the pyre of Ram’s spirited soul. Her muscles contract in sympathetic synchrony when a grimace distorts his ready smile; she watches her hand caressing his whipcord-tense shoulder with a will all its own.
Ram’yana regards his beloved from behind the rictus simile of a reassuring smile. His lady-love’s fingers blur and assuage the pain of unseen talons tearing into his etheric flesh, loosening the clutching brace of scimitars that squeeze down a little less tightly with every heartbeat. Her pronounced forehead pulsates and throbs, cycling through sapphire, puce and lavender hues as turquoise waves of cool relief flow through his stricken psyche and shuddering bioplasm, beating in time with the pulse in his palms. One hand spreads across the fine golden down of her smooth cool thigh and the other hovers above his pounding heart as he kneels before the High Priestess’s throne. His lips are bared in a feral grin that mimics a psychotic leer and his vision burns and blurs with the effort required to keep trembling eyelids wide open.
As Racheal’s sight slips into and out of focus the shaman watches pulsations arise from the central axis of his beloved’s body. Light flares within the transparing tissues of her brow to form an all-seeing oracular eye - the unmistakeable Mark borne by all Centraxian Initiates. The lovers stare into each other’s interlinked central core and flow together while time slows to shimmering treacle about them. Racheal’s face pulses with fields of stars and geometrically arranged platonic solids, flaring with every throb of Ram’s pounding heart. He turns from her gaze before his helpless thrall to the desperately chaotic internal arrhythmia can be transmitted into his lover’s supersensitised psyche.
‘And if the cloud bursts, thunder in your ear
You shout and no-one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tines
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon…’ #
The High Priestess’ hand breaks contact with the Hierophant’s shoulder. Her palm hovers a few inches above his head while an inaudible syllable pours from her painted lips in a slowly drawn out surrender of all withheld breath. The shaman prince notices a tidal flow passing through all the bodies thronging in the communal longhall and the material world throbs into momentary translucence with every strike of his stricken heart. He watches rolling waves course through them all, shifting various bodies this way and that with each expanding current of every passing breath, each and every person present producing some individualistic artefact of unconscious displacement behaviour when the wave passes through them on its rolling route toward eternal infinity.
Is it happening again? the prince wonders with an ironic sense of helpless self-parody. How untimely. He witnesses the rising swell of somatic alarm as his bodily systems respond to the threat of extinction with a compounding swarm of efforts, a battalion of instinctive reactions which seem to make his heart pound even more quickly. He breathes into the base of his diaphragm, keeping his ribcage inert as possible to relieve the pressure that wells in the pit of his arm and swells to constrict each slow inhalation.
Am I going to keel over before the entire tribe? Or am I reliving a memory… His heartbeat is magnified with each pulse that vibrates throughout the swelling penumbra of his aura; …of a memory… and he can sense all the bodies and minds in the longhall as a vast interconnected series of cells, sensory extensions of the same global mind extruding like eyestalks from the conscious living being of planet Earth.
Ram’s thoughts keep spinning along well-trod arcane tracks while his
‘subconscious mind’ - the anima of his physical body - struggles for repose, barely coupled to the hurtling carriages of his unending mentation. ’Tis the Oikumene… he decides while the Angel of Death hovers close nearby; …the living flesh that clothes the stony bones of Adam Kadmon.
He senses the delineaments of a shared awareness comprising all the tribes of humankind, pouring through the tripping clan of Centraxians in a microcosmic extension of an infinitely extensive, all-pervasive cosmic consciousness – one so much greater than the sum of its disparate organic parts that Ram balks at immersion into the vast multidimensional mind that glimmers with an omnipresent array of omniscient perspectives.
His mind flies apart as a thousand fractal shards and he drifts toward oblivion; then, at the instant of dissolution, ferrous little icons of fragmented psychic DNA swim into each other, drawn back through an infinite sea of possibility to reassemble around the unique magnetic locus of his earthly body. Isolated particles gradually reform and meld into the pain-tinted crystal of his particulate personality while the world spins about its central axis and the party continues around him.
Ram’yana feels his self revolve and resolve into focus as he stares into his Lady Racheal’s empathic blue eyes. The Centraxian shaman still feels a dark mass pressing down on his shoulder; claws squeeze and jab his flesh with every breath, distracting him from the transcendent vision of overarching unity just as it begins to become lucidly clear to his reforming mind. Am I truly already dead, and the time for this wonderful fantasy world of friends and lovers is about to draw to a final close?
Regardless of all worldly and unworldly confirmations of the undeniably ubiquitous life force that infuses every grain and jot of the wondrous wide world, Ram’s doggedly logical mind can’t drop the bone of contention he’s been gnawing for two completely life-altering years. He’s still daunted by the realisation that there can be no such thing as proof of his own existence. Neither rapturous bliss nor agonizing pain can confirm or deny the likelihood that the Prince of Centraxis is living an imagined existence inside a convincing fantasy world, somewhere in the Bardo realms beyond the gate of death.
‘I can’t think of anything to say except…
I think it’s extremely marvellous! HaHaHa!’ *
And the music mirrors everything… It’s all too pat and convincing, like a well constructed dream… His ears pop with a pressure drop and the psychedelic rock flows all the way through him in a sudden rush of increased volume as he re-enters the locale of his patiently kneeling body. Ram’s eyes slither sidewise to survey the expanse of the longhall before his lady’s irresistible presence draws his dislocating attention back to the wondrous here and now, to the extraordinarily beautiful painted mask of her pinkly glowing face.
He becomes aware of the fact that Racheal’s ribcage is inflating and deflating in time with his as an infusion of cool cleansing light slowly fills his aura. Yet how can I doubt the reality of Her? While he stares into a brightly blazing blue star at the centre of his beloved’s bright being, Ram’s constricted frame gradually relaxes and his constrained demeanour is transformed by a freely flowing current of glad delight. Laughter fills the hall as a fresh group of partygoers appears from the kitchen bearing potables, comestibles and combustibles to add to the generous cornucopia already being consumed throughout the tribal stronghold.
“Art thou ready for the cocktail hour?” Kha-Aan’s voice raucously booms into the hallowed hollow space of Ram’s contemplation, filling the wake of the flotilla of gleeful laughter. Their liege twirls his brass dagger inside the ceremonial silver goblet as priestess and priest turn to meet his dark gaze. He withdraws the sodden point of the dagger and drags each flat surface over his long tongue before proffering the cup to Racheal. “’Tis for the circle to share,” he remarks, and as her hands leave the vicinity of Ram’s shoulders he passes her the chalice.
The shaman closes his eyes and rekindles the fire of his inner sun. He feels an amber glow swell in the centreline of his chest, growing from a point just behind the ‘v’ of his ribcage, and the vestiges of his tremulous discomfort fade before a refulgent wave of midnight sunlight. “What is it?” Stardew enquires, watery eyes glancing from the chalice to her sister, the equally enhanced and semi-entranced Lady T’Ruth. “Some of us have already had quite enough acid, thank you very much indeed!”
Their liege’s voice booms down in resonant reply while Ram’s sight remains fixed upon the delightful landscape of his ladylove’s rapturous features; “No more hallucinogens, most assuredly.” He flicks a wrist toward Tony, who juggles balls before his mirrored reflection in a nearby corner. “We nobles art fain to juggle promises in the sacred core of the court,” he declares, shifting his penetrative gaze from the Lady Racheal’s unreadable expression to frown down at Stardew’s dubious regard. “Merely a spirited mix.” Racheal sniffs the potion. “Smells like sugar and hazelnuts,” she says as her nose and eyes crinkle.
T’Ruth rises to her knees beside Ram’yana and savours the scent of the brew, displaying a gourmet’s rapture of intense concentration. “Aye,” she agrees after a seemly pause. “That’s Strega, that is – and a dollop of rum, if I be not mistaken!” Arne Stook appears at her side, looming above the kneeling duo as he smiles down at the enthroned High Priestess. Two handfuls of pale ale slosh round alarmingly, foaming to the brims of a mismatched pair of half-pint glasses. “I guess you won’ be needin’ these then,” he says, and turns away before any can reply.
“’Tis a great drop when tripping,” Stardew suggests. “Go on,” she encourages the new High Priestess, “have some – after all, ’twas the most favoured tipple of the
“There’s some mead in there, too - among other things,” the Na-Baron informs the group. His long dark hair surrounds the Lady Racheal’s shoulder, a thundercloud occluding the triple suns of her glowing eyes as she passes the chalice to her transfixed lover. “Oh, ye of little faith.” Kha-Aan leans away and chuckles down at the priestess while Ram’yana savours the eclectically scented cocktail, watching his lady’s wry grin over the brimming rim as their gazes relock. “On my honour, all our oaths must of needs be fulfilled,” their liege declares.
Ram’yana watches a shudder pass through his lady love as her eyes squeeze shut and he witnesses a strange expression suffuse Kha-Aan’s moustachioed face as the older man observes her reaction. Does she shirk from the drink - or his words? Ram’yana puzzles over the conundrum while the tipple’s sweet blazing odours and stark mingling flavours assail his hyposensitised senses. Both, he decides as the insipid drink burns its way past his tongue.
“Drink up!” Kha-Aan commands. “There’s plenty more in this batch – enough for all the tribe, and more!” He turns to the rest of the court and spreads his arms in an expansive gesture. “Enough for all our esteemed guests, of course! And enough of these admittedly artful recordings!” he announces, pointing at the speakers with a flourish of lace-cuffed leathern wrists. “Bring on the minstrels! Music must be live to be enlivening – and to be magical as well, forsooth! This magical night has only just begun!”
“The Ladies have decided,” the Empress announces as she performs a courtly curtsey before her new High Priestess. With an artful flourish she produces a miniature container from nowhere in particular – displaying her prowess at legerdemain – and passes the tiny chest to the Lady Racheal, whose lips curl into a semblance of a smile when her eyelids drift open. The priestess turns the box over and around, examining the intricate silver cloth filigree craftily set into an ebon-wooded casing. “It’s beautiful,” she announces as a genuinely awed expression disarranges her carefully subdued features.
Princess Stardew flops to the floor and the poetess T’Ruth reclines at the priestess’s feet, leaning against the fur-covered leg of her wooden throne. The poetess sniffs a chalice of pink rosé while Stardew giggles into a champagne glass as a tentative jam begins nearby. Fifi L’Amour the Empress Ringell twirls a strand of dark hair between thoroughly beringed fingers encrusted with a colourful array of impressive gemstones. “Our High Priestess deserves – nay, requireth – her own personal chamber within the stronghold,” Fifi declares as her eyes drift toward the tribal shaman. “Though she may not have need of private quarters for sleeping,” she adds with a wink to Ram’yana. “Most everyone needeth their space from time to time – and a priestess most ’specially so.”
The Empress’s wink goes some way toward settling the wave of anxiety that ripples through Ram’s soma as her words trill through the rising storm of mind-melting music. The prince leans back and his eyes traverse the alluringly revealed display of his lover’s slender white legs. He begins tootling on his silver fife, accompanying Li Po’s mandolin in a rousing round of riffs. His besotted gaze drifts upward past Racheal’s tightly constrained swelling cleavage to fix upon her mesmerising eyes, ignoring the intricate tableau of the partying court as he plays for her alone.
The syncopated ramblings of Arne’s new djembe are easily outmanoeuvred by Jean-Claude’s tabla, and as a trio of guitarists joins the fray Fifi falls to her knees before the enthroned priestess. Her voice carries well enough to penetrate the interweaving beats and melodies of their unrepeatable jam. “A space for private dreams, forsooth!” she insists, inclining her floral-crowned head to stare up into Racheal’s eyes.
The Centraxian Empress and initiate of the Dawn of Ra has nurtured a stellar career as a cabaret artiste for an unchallengeable number of years, achieving renown for unique and challenging performances in the Emerald City and far, far beyond; a diva Dame freely lauded in freewheeling damp Amsterdam and the perpetually decadent swinging halls of ancient Londinium. “Go on, priestess,” she implores with a tap on the lid of the tiny box, held like a fragile bouquet by Racheal’s soft hands. “Keep us not in a lather of suspense, I prithee – open it!”
“Aye,” agrees T’Ruth, “do thy stuff, Pandora!”
The Lady Racheal frowns at the irreverent poetess and as she turns a tiny golden key set into the chest’s ornate frontispiece the lid instantly springs open. A much larger and obviously more antiquated brass key sits on a tiny pale pink silk cushion that almost fills the treasure box. “I’ll not be requiring the vacant room, after all’s said and done,” Fifi informs her, “and ’tis thine, if ye choose.” Count Marco passes the Empress a fragrant Nepalese hash joint and she hands it directly onward to her slightly stunned priestess.
The Lady Racheal stares at her beau through a cloud of smoke and Ram’yana nods in affirmation without missing a note, winking and smiling to ensure she’s aware he approves of her new private space. Racheal has made subtle mention of the need for a studio workspace ever since she moved into the communal squat, and her prayers seem finally to have been answered.
“Thou art truly the door to the mysteries…” the priestess says to the Lady Ringell through a widening smile. The Empress’s cheeks dimple in recognition of the arcane attribute, ascribed to her chosen archetypal Trump and Role within the tribe – annotated by various magical authorities including the Golden Dawn, and the ‘Great Beast’ Aleister Crowley himself. Racheal takes the key from its silken bed and espies a small silver pentagram half concealed beneath. “Ye might be requiring that for the nonce,” Fifi says with another wink. “Until ye…”
The rest of her sentence is drowned out by a flurry of duelling guitars as a pair of visiting partygoers joins the xpanding jam in the Centraxian longhall. The post-midnight morn has progressed at an imponderable pace whilst the decorous courtly figures have slowly transformed into a progressively more decadent bunch of blithering trippers, stoned raving ragers, rowdy inebriates and divinely inspired mystics.
Racheal examines the face of her prince. Does he want me to leave him? She turns aside as she realises she’s venting a fear that’s likely nothing more than childish insecurity, but the idea burns at the back of her tripped-out eyes and echoes repetitively inside her skull - accompanied by a repellent yet vivid vision of her lover rejecting her, an ill-concealed expression of repugnance on his fine young features. Is he easing me away, pushing me out of his heart? She glances back at her beau, hoping for a glimpse of confirmatory love through the smoky mirror maze of her post-initiation LSD party, but can’t catch Ram’s attention through the rowdy crowd.
His eyes are closed and she watches his breath shorten to gasps as he blows into the silvern mouth of the cold metal flute. As he gulps overheated air between a flurry of notes and Li Po’s solo ignites the night, Ram’yana is seized by an overwhelming sense of oppression and a dank premonition slinks into the margins of his hallucinatory awareness. As the Lord’s High Deathwatch – one of numerous accrued titles encompassed by his shamanic Role within the court – he’s grown used to such forebodings.
A so-called Deathwatch beetle – or an unlikely series of such beetles – had haunted all the houses of Ram’s childhood, tapping out the varying dooms of various family members over the years. He’s become well attuned to the rhythms of life and death, particularly after experiencing the Dark Angel’s icy grip far more intimately - and so relatively recently. Yet he feels a welling rush of panic when his breath flows ragged through his throat and a pounding pulse sends intricate fluorescing three dimensional geometries surging across the hallucinatory field of his inward vision.
The shaman prince feels his frame of reference slipping from the borders of the collective agreement known as life when a darkly heavy presence extrudes into his awareness, lowering its not inconsiderable weight upon his left shoulder for the second time in as many hours. The metal fife is an icicle in his grasp. His breath burns in his throat. His heart is a leaden weight. When a wave of nausea sweeps through his entire body he finally abandons the riff that had so artfully sustained his aplomb.
He places his right hand over his heart and regathers his breath as a cool beam of light pours into the crowding darkness that wells between the bright rainbow beacons of his chakras. The evanescent fluid replenishes his central Sun and fills the empty spaces in his soul with an onrushing glow of prana, chi, mana, ki – the ever-flowering life force.
“Art cool, Ram’yana?” Arne leans across to hiss the question into his shaman’s ear while his fingers slap and pummel the African drum’s taut goatskin. “Or a little too hot? Thy face is a little pale…” He notices Ram’s posture and the placement of his hand, and swivels around to face his friend more directly. Li Po sees the concerned expression on the young monk’s face and leans closer, tightening their small circle amidst the group of visiting musos. “Again?” he asks. The shaman nods and Arne’s face swells in his sight as his eyes smear open.
“There’s a breathing pattern I know,” the chip-toothed young martial artist tells him as quietly as he can and still be heard over the noise. “My sensei showed me…” He instructs Ram’yana in a healing method, splitting his inhalation into three parts – sipping the air through his nostrils as if through a straw until his diaphragm is filled – and exhaling through his mouth in a similar, slow, tripartite staccato pattern. “A little like playing a flute,” suggests Arne. Li Po listens and continues stroking the mandolin while Arne Stook’s large frame blocks the Lady Racheal’s view of her lover. She leans forward when the Empress Ringell moves to affix the silver pentacle of protection about her pale neck, and a gilded cloud of wavy hair drops over Racheal’s dazzled eyes.
The teenage mage gradually regains his composure as the rictus-inducing constriction rapidly fades to a mere memory of discomfort. By the time he’s breathing comfortably again the conjoined houses have filled with rambunctious guests and unknown visitors from all across the city.
“That’s not just physical,” Arne assures his prince. “That’s something else – like a psychic attack…” He trails off as Fifi beckons him onto the dance floor amid a pleasant scene of riotous near-mayhem which fills the tightly bound cloying night air. The psychedelic sights, sounds and scents of the late-blooming flower children’s unquenchable thirst for enjoyment – fun, alcohol, dancing, laughter, sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll – pursue each other through the timeless tripping night in overlapping cycles of utter transfiguration, blithely libertine bliss and spontaneous distraction.
Of course! Ram’yana berates his unseemly stupidity while the world spins around him. The longhall revolves in time with the seemingly timeless music which throbs anew from the reignited speakers, effectively erasing the artful mass jam – and yet the tableau simultaneously contrives to stay fixed in place in time and space, an eidolon graven deep into eternity.
‘…I get by with a little help from my friends
I get high with a little help from my friends…’ *
The young shaman scribes a silver circle around himself. He closes his eyes in swift examination of his aura, to ensure that no elemental or wayward spirit has entered without his awareness. He moves sightlessly through the fortuitously parting crowd and flops down to sit cross-legged on a cushion in the corner of the hall beside the throne of the High Priestess, his eyes still firmly shuttered. The bright flame of our Working could easily have attracted some moth or other…
‘Do you need anybody?
I just want someone to love…’
Racheal’s fingers slide through Ram’s chestnut mane and glide along his throat. His eyes prise open to the raucous sight of a steel keg being hoisted into the air and drained by a trio of Kiwis. The capacious keg has served the tribal party well and Joe’s inestimable Clearlight, Kha-Aan’s private blends of liberating libations and the ubiquitous herbal mind food have all added an indefinably unique atmosphere to the boisterous revelries.
Ram’yana turns toward his beloved and his eyelids slip open as Racheal’s lips brush against her prince’s opening mouth. Their kiss dissolves all cares as wondrously reciprocal passions meld the tripping magicians into an undifferentiated cloud of body, mind, soul and spirit.
‘Could it be anybody?
I just need someone to love…’
“Not true,” Racheal whispers in his ear. “I need thee…” Her tongue outlines Ram’s earlobe and glides across his cheek toward his parted lips. He rises onto one knee between the gossiping sisters who recline beside the throne, and the lovers’ kiss becomes a heated aperitif leading on to ever more intimate petting and stroking. His hand slides up along the priestess’s slim belly and slips beneath her revealing bolero jacket; she gasps when his fingertips reach her aureole.
“I’ll have what she’s having,” a familiar feminine voice declares.
A True Story
# Brain Damage lyrics Copyright by Roger Waters (& The Pink Floyd)
* With a Little Help From My Friends lyrics, copyright John Lennon & (Sir) Paul McCartney
Images – author’s
Further true tales of the Prince of Centraxis -
And for further enlightenment see
The New Illuminati - http://newilluminati.blog-city.com/
The Her(m)etic Hermit http://hermetic.blog.com/
The author’s images and art - Imagine Nation
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The Prince of Centraxis – http://centraxis.blogspot.com