Here’s what we have learned thus far:
Avatars of Babalon will mark men; that’s just how that works. Sex: a binding ritual, a shared condition or the attachment to the Goddess. Love: a contractual agreement, forever that elusive fantasy or a broken heart. Chaos and Transformation: the turning of worlds, battle wounds or a change of assets. If one is not marked by any of these, then he shall be with Fire.
She is not one to be forgotten or cast off. The Scarlet Woman’s sensory hooks are tenacious.
My average days are becoming thick with the Wyrd.
While cooking, he showed me his hand. A line of paler, still tender flesh ran vertically across the palm, not so unlike the Fate Line in palmistry. This is the mark he received several nights prior after wrapping his hand around a handle of a hot cast-iron skillet. One that I had unintentionally heated while preparing for baking. I heard him talk about the pans, and I saw him approach the counter. My mind shouted “Don’t touch!” while my mouth lagged behind the message. He burned himself due to my lack of intervention. He forgives graciously, but forgetting is not an option.
“That mark will probably be permanent,” he says.
I furrow my brow in disappointment in myself and in beseechment of forgiveness from him once again.
He shrugged and smiled. “Now I get to say that this mark is from the Witch I live with that scarred me for life.”
Silent laughter erupted as we both nodded and exchanged knowing looks. “It’s true,” we both agreed.
And then I said: “Witches tend to do that, y’know…”
We ascended the majestic staircase side-by-side; it was important for our ascendance to be just that way. Neither could attempt to lead or follow. When one rushed forward or fell back, the staircase flattened and stretched, becoming a conveyor belt that sent us backward.
So we walked together, talking and enjoying each other’s company. The air grew thin and the visuals danced like stop-motion oil paintings. Agape we pressed onward: Up, Up and Away.
Delivered to one of my more natural psychological states (buoyantly floating under the indigo expanse), I found myself again in the graces of the Goddesses. My vision of the world around me rolled with the gentle waves that cradled the nondescript vessel that held my body. Countless sparkling guides wove myths into my hair as I witnessed their life paths as stardust strewn across Nuit’s naked canvas. I was far from alone in my reflective solitude.
My diamond-rope hair jingled as I sat erect. Salty floral notes stuck to my face from Nuit’s warm sighs. The bubble in which I traveled was clear though still enchanted. The distant shore, on the other hand, was dressed in a tenacious haze. I heard the music faintly on the breeze, more of a distortion to my ears than pleasant vibes. Two circular objects overlapped in the Western sky: a ghostly Ferris Wheel and the “Nightly Sun.” Free-swinging carts moved mechanically, stopping and starting independently of the riders’ Wills. The bottom half of the Wheel seemed to disappear into the haze around it. In front of this apparition hung “the Sun” of the Night. Rarely seen, it is a circular image, an optical illusion, comprised of two disjointed, curved lines of precise, searing blue that cut through the sky like unapologetic lasers. There is no center or substance between these lines; it is an image created solely from the outline. These two images, of the Ferris Wheel spectre and the blue-beamed illusory Night Sun, co-localized within the haze of which I was no part, close to the shore to which I was not venturing. I watched the machine Wheel move slowly through the Sun’s absent core for several moments before turning back to my preferred view of the sky: a beautiful wash of indigo and violet dusted with shimmering Dakinis.