Sunday, August 28, 2005


I entered the Great Hall of the House of Serpents with Jake riding high on my walking stick. I sensed no fear, though I had to walk carefully as to not step on any of the snakes. Once they were aware of my presence, they started moving to either side to form a literal pathway that led straight to the Great Hall.

After passing through the arched doorway, I noticed that the snakes' pathway directed me straight to the throne of the Gorgon. I must say a wave of fear passed through me at this site. Her stern look was enough to spark fear, but those snakes writhing from her head! It caused chills down my spine to think of snakes crawling on my own head. I took a deep breath and looked to Jake -- cute, little Jake smiling from atop my walking stick. I smiled again and continued to make my way to the Gorgon. As a way of keeping my fear at bay and to show respect, I made a deep bow when I reached the Gorgon. I thanked her for hosting me in this amazing house and allowing me to attend this celebration. I humbly offered her my gift -- a collage I made about a lesson learned.

She graciously accepted my gift and directed me to the table where the others were feasting. I made eye-contact with her once to thank her again, then swiftly turned and took my seat at the table, pleased that I had made it this far in this stop.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

The Wand in the Wall

I'm not much of a dancer and certainly not a singer so I decided that for my performance, I would tell a story.

The rocks I saw that day in a faraway, wild, and lonely land were ancient, molded by heat and pressure in the bowels of a primitive planet, then shot to the surface in cataclysmic eruption.

The old stone wall was strong, sturdy enough to have withstood the onslaught of centuries. Each stone had been set in place by skilled, if not loving hands. The wall had been built to last, but for what; defense, protection against marauding tribes, or perhaps to set a boundary -- a line across which a neighbor could not or should not step, without invitation?

What of the builder? There was no sign of habitation, no crops, no home or hearth--not even a trace of foundation, no ruin for archaeologists to ponder. The wall in its aloneness kept its secrets and would continue to do so, or so it seemed.

Few of us are here long enough to notice centuries passing into history. Most, except artists and poets, barely notice the passing of seasons, the ice and snows of winter, except when they inconvenience us, the rains of summer, except when they flood our fields,
and the destruction wrought by each drop, each crystal, each flake, each breath of wind.
The widening of cracks and erosion of surface happens silently and gradually. Ancient stones, once snuggly fitted together, loosen and start to crumble slowly into ruin. What is ruin anyway, but an art form in itself?

I saw, that day, during spring thaw, changes ever more apparent. I lovingly caressed the old stones and wondered what they would tell me if only we had a common language.
I stopped though … took time to listen for voices in the wall. The surface crumbling beneath my touch spoke of time, of ages past, of wisdom found, and wisdom lost.

The wall had been breached. An unknown someone had installed a primitive, wooden gate. The when and the why of it was shrouded in the passage of time. When I touched the weathered wood, a piece fell off, crumbling to dust in my hand. The moss that had held it together clung to my fingers like slime on brackish water. Afraid of becoming too aware of the strange and unknown, I wiped my hands on my jeans and left.

No matter what I did after that or what other studies I pursued, the wall would not release its hold of me.

I returned again and again, my mind fraught with curiosity. Someone in ages past had taken great pains to build this sturdy barrier. But why, what for, and to protect whom remained a mystery? There were no ruins of hearth or homestead so why the breach, why the gate, which was much younger than the wall?


One spring morning, I set out light of step and followed a shaft of sunlight, a God beam in the morning mist.

As I approached the wall that day I felt uneasy and fought the urge to turn around,
return to the safety of my home. But, foolishly perhaps, I continued on. The wall was not the same as it had been yesterday or the day before, or last week or last month. That day, it radiated, displayed an aura.

And there, at a place I’d stood so many times before, I saw a speck of something in a crack. With a finger, I brushed away the dirt and grit. The stone crumbled away and in its place lay a treasure too bright to be believed. I carefully retrieved the artifact and, in my hand, lay a golden wand--exquisitely engraved with spirals, dragons breathing fire, water falls, moons, Goddess figures, and symbols the like of which I had never seen before, or since.

I lay the wand upon the wall and, from my knapsack, I retrieved a worn and somewhat ragged sweater. The wand glowed ever brighter as I wrapped it in the faded, woolen garment and carefully stowed it in my pack. Later, as I walked home, I felt its glowing warmth upon my back.

Once home and warmed with tea and a fire burning brightly in the grate, I unwrapped my precious bundle. Inside the sweater lay a length of gray and weathered stone. The golden wand with all its glorious symbols had disappeared. But there, clinging to my ragged sweater, was a speck of gold so tiny I could easily have missed it, and almost did.

I cannot explain what happened that day at the wall, or the meaning behind it. Was I allowed to glimpse a gift that I was not yet ready to receive?

Many times, I returned to search that ancient, crumbling wall, and for all those years, the wand remained illusive. Perhaps it was too much caffeine or an overly active imagination triggered by a shaft of sunlight, that revealed a treasure on that otherwise gray and overcast day.

The length of stone that I brought home that day resides upon my bookcase, and tucked into a crack, a speck of gold, just to remind me that all things aren’t always what they seem.

Will I ever know, or is it mystery that sustains me? I know there are worlds within worlds, that we are not alone in the Universe. I know the birds and beasts and finned ones are our brothers and sisters, and that little people; elves and fairies, really do exist. And though we rarely see them, when we do, it’s just a fleeting glimpse that leaves us unsure that that what we're seeing is real. As humans, we presume to know all things and tend to disbelieve what we cannot prove, and yet -- I know I saw a magical wand that day, and for a moment held it in my hand.

But wait, that is not the end of my story.


Later, so very much later and half a world away from the wall and the magic it weaved around me, I studied the speck of gold under the cold harsh light of science. A powerful, electron microscope would reveal its secrets once and for all, or so I thought. Only, instead of revealing its secrets, it presented me with even more questions. There, engraved upon its surface and so clearly defined, was a labyrinth. Now, if I can find a way into the labyrinth and follow it to its source--

There are worlds within worlds within worlds, and so it goes.

©August 23, 2005

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Snake Woman

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Hall

I walk into the room where I assumed I would later perform for the Gorgon. It's a large space, more hall than room. The walls are covered with tapestries of unknown age. They give off a faint, musty smell.

The dark oak tables where we would later feast with the serpents are long, old, and well polished. The matching benches are worn and, in places, slightly rounded out, evidence of the countless, covered bums that have sat there. I smile to myself as I think about those ancestral posteriors.

White candles are arranged at equal distances along the table. They are not the new fangled, non-drip types, but rather older ones that build their spilled wax as castles around the ancient, green tinted bottles that served as holders.

I walk out of there feeling awed by the magnificence and character of the room. If this is the place, and I'm not sure that it is, where we are to feast with the serpents, and perform, then I have to quiet the nervous butterflies that are disturbing my gut.

August 22, 2005

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Interview with the Gorgons by Heather Blakey

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H.B. I must confess I felt nervous when I learned that you were prepared to be interviewed by me. I have heard all the stories about your snake like hair, your petrifying powers, your capacity to turn people into stone and I believe that the expression 'A Goddess scorned has fury indeed' comes from people who have suffered from your wrath. (The Gorgons smile like naughty young girls as I openly talk about their reputation.) So! I have bought a small box of photographs to share with you as a token of trust.

Gorgons: You have nothing to fear Heather. After that audacious dance we are delighted to have you do an interview with us. Clearly we need a better marketing machine after all these years of bad press but you know what they say, 'all press is good press'. At least our names are still on people's lips.
These stone figures you see surrounding us were not turned into stone by us but by the values of a patriarchal society which has placed so much emphasis on power and acquisition. The moment that you honoured ecstacy and joy and came with the Enchantress and those engaging travellers, you broke the spell and freed not only yourself but us. We can talk now after all these years of silence, after having been immobilized by the Hellenic Perseus who was no hero but a Gorgon slayer of the most unpleasant kind.

H.B. Here is a photograph of me as a beautiful young child.

Here is me as a young maiden

It seems so long ago. I'd hardly turn an eye now.
All these budlges along with the wrinkles of time have worked to make me invisible.

Gorgons: Did you know that our childhood name was Gorgo? It was an affectionate name that our parents, Phorkys and Keto used. We were lithe, brown eyed and beautiful just like you. We knew the capricious thrill of joy as we danced, clicking our heels, and our father loved us. We fed on honey, gamboled freely over mountainsides, basked in the glories of nature, learned the sensual pleasures of the earth. The silenic, spirit of the springs and river taught us wisdom and we grew lithe and voluptuous.

H.B. My childhood was filled with joyous play. I remember lying under the gigantic pussy willow trees behind our house, remember playing safely at the abandoned Sugar Beet Factory. My innocence was broken when a relative offered to 'teach me' about sexuality. I ran and hid within the safety of the Cypress Trees but the sense of terror immobilized me for a very long time.

This is too familiar a tale Heather. We were sea goddesses, known to all as the Gorgides and Gorgades. The name Gorgo never meant anything terrible, did not signify something ugly. Our parents never could have anticipated that we would be turned into terrifying creatures.

Some say that our mortal sister loved Poseidon, the dark haired God of the sea and laid with him in the soft grass. Others say that they desecrated the temple of Athene by making love there. In truth many men fear women's sexuality and seek power over them. Poseidon ravaged Medousa, removed her goat skin charity tunic without her consent. Medusa, who was Athene in another shape, made the Gorgon head wrapped in serpents and wore it on her aegis to warn would be invaders of their fate should they seek to emulate Poseidon. The gigantic shape of fear has been passed down, carried by women as a warning. On that day when you fled, Athene knew and gifted you with her aegis that has ever since protected you from such uninvited invaders. It is only man, with evil in his heart who need fear the Medusa aegis.

H.B. But what about Perseus? Didn't he slay the Medusa?

Gorgons. Obviously the Medusa's head was highly sought after, a grail for men who feared being turned into stone, who feared its power, lusted for its power. Perseus was not supported by Athene as legend would have you believe. He was no hero. He was a Hellenic invader, a destroyer, who came to take the Moon-Goddess powers and to steal the prophylactic Gorgon head. Perseus fought the Libyan Queen (Medusa) and decapitated her. It was this battle that ultimately led to the suppression of the matriarchal system and the violation of Neith's mysteries. (see The Greek Myths Graves 8.1)

Since that time women's powers have been usurped and immobilized. But now, as you come with the wily enchantress, into long closed places, you and other initiates will return with renewed creative powers. For you and your companions the Medusa curse is broken.

Performing for the Gorgon -- Simone

As the Enchantress knows, Medusa, the Gorgon is my own personal Goddess whom as her unsung priestess, I have often extolled her virtues.

As one demonised female understands another, I have a natural bond of sympathy for the Gorgon. Medusa is one of the most slandered females of Hellenic propaganda. As my gift to the Gorgon, I speak the words of Marianne Williamson as clarion call to the feminine spirit and its spiritual gifts of magic.

"As women, we are born with a mystical purpose. We knew it years ago when we were little, but we have forgotten it.

There are women who are enchanted, living here now, as there have always been and always will be. They are bearers of the Goddess's torch, however dim its light may shine. On the inner plane, they are priestesses and queens. They are absolutely powerful; they have made it past the gates.

At every moment, a woman makes a choice: between the state of a queen and the state of a slave girl. In our natural state, we are glorious beings. In the world of illusion, we are lost and imprisoned.

Most women I know are priestesses and healers. We are all sisters of a mysterious order.

Several years ago, I found myself waking up at 4.15 every morning, my eyes popping open as if on cue. Later, I learned that in days of old, 4.15 am was considered the Witching Hour. How perfect, that seemed to me. We would all awaken at the same time and join with one another and worship and know.

It's a woman's prerogative to know of magic and to practise magic and to use her knowledge to help the world.

We are used to thinking of Friday the 13th as bad luck. In fact, Friday the 13th was teh day the witches gathered. When the patriarchal system, headed by the early church began to squelch the power of women, witches were deemed as evil. Their meeting time, then, was seen as bad luck rather than what it truly was: a time for women to gather and share energy and pray together and heal.

The collective force of the reborn feminine is rising up on the earth today. This is a time of a monumental shift from the male dominance of human consciousness back to a balanced relationhsip between masculine and feminine. The Goddess archetype doesn't replace God; She expresses the feminine face of the Divine - the Mother.

The path of recovery and personal growth is a detoxification process in which negative beliefs from the past, poison the present. We then learn to invoke the flame within us, which did not go out during our dark and difficult years. There is an ever renewable natural strength within us that still exists and is accessible now. I call that innocent place within every woman, the lost girl.

The lost girl is still within us - the girl who wasn't allowed to blossom, the girl whose natural childhood instincts were unnaturally capped at puberty, the girl who was squelched in fear of the woman she would become.

Women are not powerless. We just pretend we are. We do this in large part because we are afraid of the punishment inflicted on us when we dare to be who we really are. Women have allowed themselves to be partially de clawed. But an animal in the wild is not de clawed and an animal in the wild is a beautiful thing."
- Marianne Williamson

"Be not ashamed, woman...
You are the gate of the body,
And you are the gates of the soul."
- Walt Whitman

Stone Hearts -- Anita

We sat side by side at the abandoned railway station looking out onto the dead tracks.

"I don't sing, I don't dance and I don't do poetry " I told my companion " but I do know stories. Lots of them. "

The woman next to me settled back against the rotting wooden bench and stretched her arms in front of herself and I could see her fingernails were long and polished and curled slightly at the tips.
" I like stories, so go ahead. Tell me one. "

It was a challenge.

Fine, I like challenges.

" There once was a woman, who lived on the Bluffs above Deadwood Hall, her name was Cecelia Marrow. "

I heard my companion draw a long deep breath and I could feel her staring at the side of my head and I knew she wasn't smiling. " Marrow, as in..." she began.

" Marrow of your bones " I said " which is how she affected people. To the Marrow of their bones. She wasn't a pleasant woman. She was the Pharmacists wife and everyone thought she married him just so she could be near all those...potions. "

" They flirted with her, those pretty things in the jars " I heard my companion say.

" Yes they did, " I said " It was an infatuation at first. She'd hold those little bottles up to the sunlight and admire them the same way other women would admire jewelry or fine fabrics or even flowers. She'd hold them up and nothing else was more real to her then what was inside of those bottles."

" She looked very pretty, soft, and sweet when she was behind the counter standing among those jars and bottles with their hand written labels. Then someone would walk into the shop and her face would harden into a mask, a grimace and she would stand between you and those medicines and dare you to reach out and touch them. She was jealous, even then. "

" She was obsessed " was whispered right into my ear and I had to clench my hands together so that I wouldn't reach out and slap my companion away.

" Oh she was, she would walk into the shop in the morning after dreaming of her lovers all night and she would stand there with flushed cheeks and a racing heart. Then those powders and liquids and roots and herbs would whisper to her, whisper things that they could do for her, gladly, blindly and with pleasure...for her just for her. "

" What did they give her? "

" Lives, they gave her lives the same way a young man gives flowers or chocolates to his sweetheart. They would escape the shop at night and find their way into the food stored in kitchens and the water in the wells. They found their way onto fruits and vegetables still growing on vines and in the trees and fields, they would hide themselves in clothing, blankets toothpaste and perfumes. There was wasn't a place her love wouldn't go to find tokens of it's affection "

" When it was done, most of Marrow Falls was dead. All that was left was Cecelia, her husband Ben and a handful of families. But they were not well people, Cecelia's Lovers hadn't been able to kill them but they ruined them all the same. Sickened them for the rest of their short tortured lives. "

" She was caught, " my companion said.

" Do you know the people of Marrow Falls were once simply called the River People and they knew this; the River was alive. Its full of ghosts. They buried their dead there you see. That River” I said pointing beyond the fence where we could hear rushing water “ is a cemetery.”

I continued, “ she tried to escape on a Barge down the River to Duwamish and it was more then the Sprits could bear, her walking on those graves like that, so they reached up out of the water and pulled her over the side and held her down and then they took her face. "

" Didn’t they? " I asked my companion.

" She wears a mask now " my companion told me but no matter what she puts on her ruined face it turns to stone and each stone face is a cursed face"

" You're from the River, you’re from the Falls, aren't you? " my Companion asked.

" Yes. "

" Will you let me go? Will you ask the River People to let me leave? "

I looked straight into that stone face, the face that froze hearts in terror...not for it's ugliness but because the true curse of the River People was this; my Companions face would always mirror the Sins of the person looking into it. That was the terror, to look into this creatures face and see your own monster carved in marble staring back at you.

She would never know love of any kind ever again.

I put my face close to hers and said, " Never. "

Then I got up and walked up over the little hill and into the waters and all the time I could hear my Companion...weeping.

Or maybe she was laughing.

It all sounds the same from down here.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Dance For The Gorgons -- Heather

On her website,Loreena McKennit.has a door and when you enter she says that "Every journey brings its own surprises: a challenge, a sudden detour, a new set of friends along the way, perhaps even a destination different from the one you intended.

These days, as I make my way along the path to researching, writing and recording a new album, I find myself thinking with amazement of all of the individual journeys that have brought all of you to this website. I am honoured to count you among our community of friends, and I remember how many people I have met in my travels through music that have made my life so much richer."

To appreciate my dance for the Gorgons you need to listen to Loreena McKennitt's Book of Secrets, listen, in particular to The Mummeries Dance and Marco Polo.

My Performance for the Gorgon -- Gail

A Ghost Story
Like a flame, the woman blazed from room to room,
Her small white hands move hither, thither, in the gloom;
Fair wraith, what do you seek like a flickering flame?
Outside the wind sighs in the trees and calls your name.

``Natalie, Natalie, so fair in youth,
Natalie, have you come to find the truth?
Like a flame you blazed among us for a time,
And then were quenched, a candle snuffed while in its prime.’’

``I seek the one who ruined my life while I was young,
I seek my betrayor to still his lying tongue,
I seek my vengeance from beyond the grave,
To taste his blood and eat his heart is what I crave.”

``Natalie, Natalie, so cold in death,
Natalie, I feel the ice upon your breath.
Now an avenging hellion you appear,
Trailing clouds of sulphur, risen from your bier.”

Like a flame, the woman blazed into the night –
Of her erstwhile lover, they say he died of fright,
Before his heart was torn out and thrown upon the ground,
Near the river in which a ruined woman drowned.

A Late Presentation for the Gorgon -- Alex

As my physical body travelled back to Singapore, my spiritual body got lost and I found myself trapped in a universe parallel the House of the Serpents. I tried to present myself to the Gorgon but she could not see me without my electronic connection to the virtual world...

Now that my physical, spiritual andn virtual bodies are one again, I am asking for another chance to make my presence felt... the Gorgon granted my request with grace.

Grace... Ah... I decided to share my encounter with Grace on my 2nd last day in Melbourne. That was the finale of my recent pilgrimage...

After writing my response to Christy's "An Act Without A Name... ...,” I was out in the zone and just allowing divine grace to carry me along in the flow... ... and the most extraordinary synchronicity took place... ... I have been embraced by so much synchronicity since I embarked on this journey... ... but this one was by far the most magnificent.

Worry was starting to creep into my being again… … I am going back to Singapore tomorrow… … I recalled the downpour that greeted me on my second night in Melbourne. I was lost in the rain that night… … drenched but feeling refresh… … I did not really mind the rain as it sort of washed away my pain.

This rain reminded me of the feeling of being lost… … I guess I was feeling a little lost again… … and this rain was a reflection of my mood… but I finally found my way back anyway… … and maybe that was my spirit’s way of reassuring me.

And then I recalled the verse that I wrote in response to Christy's… … And I marvelled at the opportunity to play in the rain… … I took a deep breath of inspiring air and was soon on my way to Fitzroy Gardens.

I was suppose to be going to Telstra Dome and Victoria Harbour to take photographs so I really did not know what came over me… … I mean Telstra Dome was at least indoors… … what made me think I could take any decent photos out in the rain at the gardens? The rain was getting heavier at this time… … but I followed my heart anyway, and I rationalised that I might get a good photo for the “playing in the rain” part of my verse.

Seconds after I stepped onto the wet grass of Fitzroy Gardens, the rain stopped and I was miraculously greeted with a rainbow. It was over this Conservatory and it was beautiful… … I pulled out my camera and the photographer in me took over… …

[Please click on the Photo Blog link at the top right hand side of this page for more photos of this rainbow.]

After a couple of shots, I notice that it was more beautiful than I had realised… … It was a full rainbow… … it was huge and it was so near… … I sort of chased after it and noticed a twin appearing on the right end… … and then I noticed the colours intensify… … It was like a flower blooming right before my eyes! A peacock strutting in its full glory! A phoenix at her peak!

This was the first time I have ever seen a full rainbow in my life. It was breathtaking. Then it started to dissipate and disslove into nothingness… … I hung on to the euphoria… … capturing this divine image in my memory for eternity.

It was then that I saw this little Japanese girl… … she was near to tears because by the time she saw the rainbow… … by the time her parents took aim with their camera… … the rainbow was gone… … she had wanted to have her picture taken with this divine light… …

It was also there and then that I realised how few of the people in the gardens noticed this rainbow… … At this point, I realised how lucky I was. It was yet another instance of being at the right place, at the right time, having all that I need, and doing the right thing.

I was still basking in the euphoria as I lingered a little while longer in the gardens… … there was nothing else there really… … it was like I was lead there just to experience this wonderful sight… …

As I was walking away, feeling grateful and full of joy, I suddenly remembered that I had silently wished for an opportunity to take my own photo of a rainbow just a couple of days ago! I am at a lost for words… … totally dumbfounded!

What can I say but thank you!!!

And now the piece of work by Louis Armstrong that popped into my mind when I first read Christy’s verse makes sense… … The connection is very clear to me now… …

When You Wish Upon A Star
Louis Armstrong

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
the sweet fullfillment of their secret longings
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through

Moma when you wished upon a star
Your dreams come true

(instrumental break)

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fullfillment of their secret longings
Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through

Baby when you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true
When you wished upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Your dreams come true

Friday, August 19, 2005

I Come Before You Gorgon -- Leonie

There once was a woman who was hard working, loyal, honest and modest. She cared for others, loved her family and was very hard on herself. However, a battle raged within her. She wanted to fly. She fluttered her wings, rattled the cage and then her fear and guilt won over. She would settle back down to her life which actually was a quite a happy one.

Time passed, many years later she discovered there were reasons she had stayed locked up. The need to fly became more urgent, she knew she could not fly while she was locked in the cage. So rattle the cage she did, until the lock was broken. There was freedom to fly, to soar high up into the sky.

She could not believe the freedom she experienced. Everything looked so different from up above. She spent many hours gliding around, allowing her dreams to come true.

This poem was written by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Fold your wings my soul,
Those wings you had spread wide
To soar to the terrestrial peaks
Where the light is most ardent:
It is simply for you to wait
The descent of the Fire – supposing it be willing
to take possession of you.

For the Gorgon -- Karen

When I was just a bonny lass
No more than sixteen year
I’d walk the woods for hours alone
I’d not yet learned to fear

One day I chanced to meet a boy
Along the sunny path
He stopped to speak, but on I went
I feared my mother’s wrath

The next day he was there again
And so our love began
He’d follow my steps through the wood
And hold my trembling hand

One day he asked me for a gift
T’was one I would not give
What happened next I’ll not forget
For all the days I live

He pushed me down, he tore my dress
I’m sure you know my fate
The love I thought I held for him
Hardened quick to hate

When nine months passed
The babe was born
But cold and blue and still
I buried him all by myself
Atop a lonely hill

I grieved the child and sorrow was
A stone upon my chest
I’d never feel his rosy lips
Against my swollen breast

The years moved on, I lived alone
A spectre in the wood
I gathered herbs and moss and stones
To make my livelihood

One day I hap’d upon a lass
Who’d lost her lonely way
I brought her home as darkness fell
And bade her, “Mistress, stay.”

Her husband was the same young man
Who’d left me in such need
Her bulging belly told me that he’d
Planted one more seed

I fixed her pennyroyal tea
And waited for the night
I knew the herb would start her pains
Before the morning light

She cried in pain and rent the sheets
And pushed with all her might
A lovely girl came squalling forth
With early morning’s light

I wrapped the babe, ignored the lass
Prepared myself to leave
At the door I paused and said
“It’s now your turn to grieve.”

I took the babe and crossed the sea
And raised her as my kin
My grief is gone, my heart is light
Despite this evil sin

The boy had stolen from me twice
My honor and my son
my double sorrow still outweighs
the theft of just this one

So all you girls
Be careful when you wander in the wood
And all you boys remember
What you give, you’ll get as good.

Performance for the Gorgon -- Lois

I feel this is a part of my journey I will not want to re-visit. Sharing a meal with snakes no matter how well respected they are.The idea of watching any size snake slither up the leg of a table full of food ....Sleeping under canvas when camping I never met them
and if possible I'll leave it this way.

I conveyed this to the older woman who was sitting next to me at the large banquet table.We exchanged names and a little of our lives. I asked her if she had heard of Robert Frost the writer and told her of my favourite poem written by him....
"No" she said.
"Would you tell me of this man for whom you have such praise"
I recited to her The Road Not Taken and it was the last three lines
that she responded to
" Two roads diverged in a wood and I-
I took the one less travelled by
And that has made all the difference"

How strange I thought she loved the same 3 lines as I have always loved. We found we had much in common....our age ,our experiences,our professions etc. Charlotte was a healer ,a maker of magic potions for all ailments a grower of good food,a lover of,dance,and a carer of animals large and small. We were as one in our friendship,which helped me overcome my dislike and fear of all these snakes crawling up the table legs and also the legs of the chair I was sitting on. Charlotte helped my shaking limbs ,by popping tasty morsels of food into my mouth every time I gasped in fear.....By the time the snakes stopped slithering all over the bannquet table I was full of the delicious food so wonderfully prepared by our hosts. Charlotte was quick to tell me of the magic spell the snakes would leave me with... The GIFT OF CREATIVITY,now I felt this made the experience worthwhile as I was always in search of more and more creativity..something I could never get enough of in all its forms.

"Time for the performance" laughed Charlotte taking me by the hand ,along the passage-way to the props room at the back of the banquet hall.."This is it" she said as we opened a door marked Pandora's Dress Ups..."Who is going to watch this performance?" I asked Charlotte..."You don't know " she replied." It is the Gorgon''

" I will tell you the tale of the Gorgon" said Charlotte. There were once three sisters in Greek mythology (I believe they really did exist) who had live snakes instead of hair on their head and they were so horrific that anyone who looked at them was turned immediately to stone"..."But why" I said to Charlotte.. "Well I think it was that those who looked upon them had been the judgemental types, you know unless you are slim and young and beautiful you don't rate highly in this world so turning them to stone was their punishment.What great women Gorgons I thought.

" Now no more chatter,off you go and don't forget your mask for the performance".... I was on my own....fear gripped me. I was not a natural performer, but having eaten at the table of the snakes and been endowed with more creativity than I could handle I thought that I would dance the Tango....
I had seen the writer Clive James dance it on T.V and he had been learning for donkey's years and wasn't much good.... I thought I could do better...... so I dressed the part... swirling 3/4 skirts and a lace upon lace blouse ,black high heel strap patent leather shoes,I knew I was going to pay the price with my feet that night,but hang it this was my one and only stage debut in dance.

I found my way through the back of the hall to the stage area and there I saw in the shadows..... A large throne made from coral I believe came from the Umbrian Sea ,bright amber in colour,it glistend in the half light.

I could not see her face but knew it was one of the three sisters and that if I danced well she would reward me well and not turn me to stone....

I took a deep breath and floated onto the stage,and if by magic music started to the beat of the Tango.. My arms raised and I clicked my fingers ,threw my head this way and that and tapped my feet to the music,on the soles of my shoes were metal taps that resounded through the great banquet hall and made it sound quite,latinish (Good word that) .... At the end of 10 minutes I was
feeling exhausted ,I then heard the clap of hands to stop and I breathed a sigh of relief.

She beckoned me up to the throne and placed on my head , a hand that was warm to the touch, and whispered into my ear a message of which I will carry with me always.....a message of wisdom.
Perhaps I will compare it with something my Father once told me."Never forget your roots from where you came".It is a message for me from her The Gorgon that is one I will always hold dear.

What a day of wonderment...

Will the Gorgon Like this Outfit? Heather

Or This? -- Heather

Crawling on My Belly -- Believer

Good evening, Madam Gorgon, Enchantress, Heather, Fellow Travelers, Residents and Reptiles. I greet you all and wish you a very happy and prosperous New Year. I am required by the House of Reptiles and the small print in our tour contract to give a presentation tonight. I stand before you at a loss with nothing to present but a confession. I hope you will forgive me if what I am about to say scarcely fits the festive mood of this splendid banquet.

You see before you a liar and a thief.

I don't make my living this way, although if the opportunity presented itself I certainly would. On the contrary, I engage in these activities simply for my own enjoyment. I am not yet a murderer, but I have no doubt the time will come when it will suit my purpose to take a life and I shall do so with only minimal regret. Considering how long I've been luring people into precarious situations just to watch them struggle and claw their way out, killing's not a big step.

I have been labeled two-faced and duplicitous, called a chameleon, a snake in the grass (forgive me) and a vulture and I cannot in good conscience deny any of these. Conscience is the only reason for this confession, this unburdening of what little soul I have left, but don't be deluded into thinking it means that I repent or resolve to change.

No, I will continue to present myself as a kind-hearted, trustworthy person in order to steal the words overheard in libraries and churches, spy on lovers as they quarrel and innocent children as they play. I will still encourage sweet old ladies in supermarkets to tell me their life stories and then roam the back alleys and pick over the bones of those who live in the shadows to discover their miseries and vices along with that one spark of hope that keeps them alive.

Like a jewel thief who re-cuts and resets each sparkling gem to remain free, I'll twist and rearrange every incident and encounter until it is unrecognizable, denying my victims even the small pleasure of recognizing themselves and their lives.

Ah, I see a gleam of self knowledge in the eyes of some of my older listeners, as well as a trace of pity in the young. Do not be deceived, we are all treading the same path! What I do today or have done--you will do tomorrow. There is no turning back, there is no escape. We are writers.

Presentation to the Gorgon -- Traveller

This is what the song should have looked like.

Oh dear, is it really my turn. You’re sure you don’t want to go instead of me? My voice, an elephant’s trumpet in the shower, is reduced to a mouse’s squeak when I’m put in front of a live audience. Oh well, for better or worse here I go:

in the
shadows of
the sallows a
sibilant hiss
of susurration
sings sweet
songs of silken
into my
The sages'
voices salute
the saffron
in a symphony
of sound
while scrawny
satyrs swirl
and sprinkle
silica shards
into the stream.
Seers listen to
the scratching of
sepia scarabs
in the sand-
filled skulls
and instruct
the scribes.
I swoon in
salivation of
slaves serving
serous sherbet
in scallop shells
and before
my eyes
the shrouded
in the shadows.
I will sleep

Presentation for the Gorgon -- Megan


Oh priestess
hiding behind
the mask
of the
mortal woman
Athena transformed
into a
golden winged
with lizard scales
and hair
of vipers
blood spilt
sends forth
to every
corner of
the earth
one look
upon your
face turns
a man
to stone.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Welcome to the House of the Serpents

Greetings Travellers

Well it is good to see that you have all mananged to find your way to the House of Serpents. The Mistress of this house has many faces and she will reveal those in due course. We will be here for at least a week so please make yourself comfortable and be sure to avail yourself of the postcard stand and send word back to Soul Food that you have arrived safely.

You will note that I have been dragged into the twenty first century and have become computer literate. Heather helped me set up my own email account and I have even signed up for blogger. What an achievement for me.

Fate is smiling upon you all. It so happens that we have arrived here at the House of the Serpent in time for special New Year festivities, beginning with the Day of the Serpents.

The Day of the Serpents is the day when serpents come from the forest to the house. On this day the people who live here shake the apple trees in the orchard so that they will be bear more fruit and wake the bees from their winter sleep.

The awakening of the snakes corresponds with the awakening of nature, the beginning of life, the awakening of creativity and general creative regeneration.

Honored as deities the snakes are invited to eat with us. Crawling out from their slumber they lie on the banquet table and make themselves comfortable. After tasting a little from every dish they return to their holes.

This year you are invited to participate. You watch fascinated as the snakes emerge to join us at the filled banquet table, sample the food and then slither back to their holes. Once the snakes leave you sit down and enjoy the banquet, chatting with everyone, meeting the local resident seated beside you.

The resident tells you how it is now predestined that everyone who eats from the table will enjoy creative fertility and you marvel at the concept. Custom demands that in return for this gift, in return for being blessed by the snakes, you must perform for the veiled Gorgon who sits on a throne made of red coral. The residents points to the Pandora's dressing room which is full to overflowing with wigs, hats, costumes, masks and props and tells you that performers whose voice is authentic not only witness the Gorgon remove one of her masks but are given a piece of wisdom. Be wary Alex! No man has ever lifted the veil that covers her 'real' self


1. Prepare a presentation for the Gorgon

2. Write a news report that can be included in the Duwamish Courier

good luck

Sibyl Enchanteur