From an ancient place somewhere far off to space deep within, I have always felt the pull of the Dark Mirror tugging me through into unknown mythical realms. The pull was at time as tangible as a magnetic force drawing me ever closer to where I wanted to be. Certain thoughts and perceptions known since childhood or even beyond, have always lingered within the dormant corners of my mind. Way before the current spate of vampire tellings becoming fashionable and long before the influences of the current modern-day media obsession, my heart always warmed, always beat fast to those deeply exquisite tales and the feelings they evoked within me. Over the years new experiences opened up to me and I enjoyed the exploration of my ‘inner dark side’. Whether it was reality or not, made it none the less enjoyable, none the less real to me.

I thus began to discover in my subsequent explorations of myself, the essence of who I truly was. Always learning, always exploring, always searching; not for me as a child, the usual childhood reading. Right from the very start my choice of reading material was always of the dark kind and my head was usually to be found deep inside the darkest and most horrible of tales I could lay my little expectant hands upon. In my teen years my love and fascination of the shadow and indeed the magical side of life grew into the forbidden and very compelling sexuality that surrounds the many vampire tales, especially from the movies. I wanted to be drawn into a world other than that which I knew; I craved the hidden knowledge of the shadow realms where often only a fine line hangs like a veil between life and death and I was truly always on the side of the vampire. It always made me very angry when at the end of all the tales and movies, the only option ever for the vampire was death and within my own being I could never consolidate or accept this, for to me it was always the vampire who was in the right, who always held the truths and never ever the other way round. I always left the cinema terribly short-changed and very sad. But was I in actual fact trying to access the deeper side to myself? Even way back then in the case of the movies, death for the one who treads the path not of the norm was the only way out and therefore with death, the truths also died. A big metaphor then for not allowing access to the truths of the universe and beyond, so even then I was pulling apart the veil of illusion.

So I always found myself  in a place of learning, of understanding and of knowledge seeking; a place I chose to be and one which I embraced. To want it and to be it was always such a deep yearning within me and of course I wondered just where it all came from or where it would end, if ever? Oh how I would have loved to be able to exist in such a reality and to be truly free, to find the real me and of course as it is so often said are not the Vampire tales a kind of ‘coming of age’ rite anyway and perfectly placed within the mind of many a dreamy teenage girl? If that was the case then so be it and a certain teenage girl would find herself embracing this time and time again.

Everything about the vampire tellings, within my own mind, was and is total perfection and I was captivated and bound by the powerful images portrayed of immortality, dark sexuality and of course of being very different. But more importantly it bought to life for me what was inside of my own soul anyway; always feeling a deep sense of love and compassion towards the vampire; the one who was different. Even from the point of view of the writers and movie directors of the times of those teenage years, even loving the act of “siring” they portrayed in the movies, to raise another of the kindred, embodied whether they intended it too or not, many exquisite dark taboos, often romanticising the compelling relationship of sexuality, death and rebirth –  an age-old basis of so many religions.

Of course in later years my writings and poetry had to reflect this as it was all a big facet of me and I have within my own writings and poems used phrases such as ‘the kiss of the blood rose’ or the ‘dark embrace’. The vampire’s kiss has been perceived as a sensual ritualistic act, a deliberate act shown in films, novels and poetry as something powerfully mesmerizing – one creature with a deep ancient desire and one creature, either willing or unwilling becoming the provider of life and sustenance. Yet as I progressed in researching the subject further and learning more, a new world of understandings opened up before me and within me and to this very day continues to take me on a very fascinating voyage of discovery and knowledge as the veil falls and age-old truths are revealed; like the parting of musty, old scarlet velvet drapes.

Walking back and forth through the realms of the mythical night kin holds untold fears for many and yet further still, untold pleasures for a few. What will one find there in that shadowy world where one’s senses are honed to perfection and further still once one discovers that which one finds there, is one’s actual reality forever changed or is it the perceptions of reality that are altered?  Once the taste of the ‘blood rose’ is figuratively upon ones lips can one ever let go of it, ever go back or has destiny changed for all time? How possible is it to walk a fine line between the known and the hidden, for when the hidden becomes the known every thing else will of course evolve too and thus become a way of life, become the norm. It is at this very point of realisation, of the unknowing becoming the norm and the norm becoming some distant past that used to be, that one realises one has accessed the hidden and that one is no longer the ‘someone’ that one used to be. It is an opening up, a letting go of everyday awareness, a true test of faith, a standing on the edge of the world and falling into the multiverse, into that which has always been.

Life, sex, death are all very natural and are all a part of the unending cycle of nature itself; the story being played out across time and tide many times over. Often some of the unusual experiences of life as seen from the context of the wider human world, are from a perspective of folks involved being a little mad or  brave; people who push the boundaries. Yet do we not all wish to push the boundaries or is it only just the few? However one views it, maybe being different is a better description of these individual boundary pushers; different from the rest of human society and of a desire of wanting ‘something else’. To journey through to the deeper realms one actually needs to be very sane indeed and in total control of ones life, ones mind and ones actions and to know exactly what one is doing and why. Good teachers and guides have always been here, always amongst us and always to be found, if one has the passion to follow one’s own desires. Part of a good and essential magical training usually taking many years of hard practice to perfect, yet will teach one how to allow oneself to open up to the universe, to let go of the ego. To also have control of the many aspects of the self and to have a heightened and knowledged sense of awareness and confidence when venturing in realms not of the mundane.

Rebirth, transformation and new life can come in many different guises and many spiritual paths perform rites of rebirth, often as initiatory ceremonies and then also on various stages of a path. These rites can be very deep and profound often involving a sacrifice or the death of ones self, the death of the ego; for the ego has no place in magical realms.

The telling of Innana’s descent into the underworld captures this portrayal of the death and rebirth process beautifully. It tells of the goddesses’ willing descent into the underworld and of her giving up all her worldly goods, of her being stripped bare, down to her very bones and almost left for dead, putrid, dying and alone. In the process of almost dying, of going through great and utter pain and of a giving up of all that was dear to her Inanna against all the odds survived the ordeal, experiencing her own death and rebirth and She, the goddess rebuilt herself. Rebirth, especially when on a magical path can be a long and challenging process and many ‘mini deaths’ occur as the ego is let go of in order to achieve transformation. Yet isn’t this exactly what the vampire stories are telling us, always of a giving up, often involving sacrifice leading to a complete letting go and then ultimate transformation and transcendence? Surely this captures the mythology of the vampire beautifully?

We all appreciate that the practices of the ancient peoples of these earthly lands from the many cultural and religious backgrounds, were involved in very different moral and ethical codes from those practised today. Blood letting, sacrifice, sex and magic were often, it has been said, practiced in sacred rites overseen by the ancient priests in order to draw upon the deep forces of the universe on behalf of and for the gods; often for good, yet often not so good. The reasoning and morality were far removed from these present day times and thus who are we to judge, for judge we cannot. The various ritual uses of blood has been employed over many ages and by many cultures and was not deemed wrong; indeed was it was often essential for magic to work. It has been suggested that priests and priestesses, kings and queens too of ancient civilizations were often carefully trained or chosen for very specific roles which were outside of the morality and understandings of modern-day culture and religion. However it was all for a sacred, magical or religious purpose and so was not in any way wrong to the ancient peoples. Often deities were offered the precious gifts of a life force or sexual performance as part of a divine ritual with intent and purpose acceptable for the times. Of course it is more than acceptable these days, and always has been, to offer a few drops of one’s own sacred blood to the deities as part of personal sacred practices within prayer or ritual.

To me it has always seemed that these ancient peoples had a heightened sense of awareness, an increased ability to know of their place in the grand scheme of things and of the meaning of life and death and thus embraced what it truly meant to be alive. They never took anything for granted and accepted certain practices as a part of life; practices that many folks today would find distressing. Many accounts go way back in time and many truths are hidden within the tellings and tales of the Old Ways. The old rites have become distorted over so many years of retellings, yet maybe if one listens hard enough and long enough to the whispering of the winds and to the beating of one’s own heart the truths will surely begin to reveal themselves.

At the end of the day there is no black or white,  no dark and light, no right or wrong, no  good or bad because it is all about balance –  getting the actual balance right. Morals, ethics and perceptions change and evolve with each generation and within individuals too. Maybe my inner feelings do hark back to a much older time, maybe I feel the pull of ancient threads within me hence why today I walk my path within the company the Old Ones. The threads maybe do bind to kin yet do not imprison…..

So who knows, maybe from somewhere afar in a mythical distant land, or even in another universe, yet also on an urban street corner just up the road, in the bright shiny middle of the day, one of the Old Ones is watching, waiting  just as they always did and just as they always will.  Waiting for the sound of a passing beating heart, then to turn  swiftly on a sixpence at the sound of that beating heart, silent, undetected, unknown…..

I would so love to think so….

Autumn 2012 – but many life times in creation……

‘The Keeper of Scrolls’