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The Slumbering Winter Tree: A Dark Journey

February 15th, 2015 at 6:33 am

  King Solomon bound spirits of the Lemegeton into brass vessels, blocking their entry to the world.  Over time, the spirits were released by other magi.  It is contemplated that the spirits of the Goetia are departments of the unconscious human mind, were cast away and bound into silence, then released back to the surface to manifest great evils. 

  The tragedies I’ve suffered have all been displaced into the dark corners of my mind, silenced and bound in brass vessels where they can no longer cause me painful memories.  I walk the path of gratitude and live in peace and grace, delivered from the battlefield and lifted into a sanctuary of amnesia, a frozen wasteland of sorrow-free emptiness.

They say the passion, dreams, the life within us dies inside, but it’s not true.  The dream, the desire sleeps the sleep of the winter tree until a spark of warmth reawakens it.  The winter tree slumbers in great peace, its roots firmly planted in the graves of our loved ones keeping us intensely connected, flowing unspoken conversations feed the tree all through the depth of black, solid cold, and when re-awakened, the spring brings the renewal much brighter than before, many more fruits and flowers does the soul then bear. 

In my youth I suffered a hot winter of my soul; an oddity as I shared my existence with the souls of the ranchlands in fear of them for not knowing who they were.  Although I didn’t recognize them, they were familiar, comforting and they were aware of my being a part of their interwoven landscape in a parallel existence.  I ached for the shabby, disheveled homes in the countryside for they held every happy memory I never experienced or was acquainted with in my life.  I walked the landscape of both this world and the next in sacrifice for the spirit and his yearnings to see everything again. 

Coming to know that spirits may request to experience those things which brought them pleasure on earth while they reside in the spirit world, a then angry, insulted, restless spirit man opted to incarnate what was to be viewed as an analogous experience behind the veil as a living experience with my help.  Terrified and maddened by all of those things I couldn’t grasp, I slipped into a compatible agreement that the feelings were valuable, meaningful and enlightening.  I learned to sleep on a dirt floor and freeze in the winter with the palm trees blowing overhead.  I learned to smell the sweet steam of tamales and bow-tie macaroni pasta the sister I never had made for Christmas, and recall the time we danced to big band music in the high school hall when her date failed. 

The sting and exhilaration of life is so keen to that which is dead! In great contradiction I had become dead to the familiarity and virtues of life when I was eighteen.  An unclean spirit which was the curse had drained my life as a vampire always drains its prey to last few drops, but was exorcised and placed into the brass vessel of my mind where it could no longer torment me, yet took fragments of my soul with it.  Often, the unclean walk before the dead to snatch their hosts away, prevent them from telling their tales and completing life lessons and experiences they could ne’er otherwise partaken in.  The mold-reeking bastard devil was cast out by my own light, and the spring of my soul then blossomed with red roses for as far as my eyes could see.  The souls of the countryside walked with me, in me, and we shared life together. 

The sun was bright, but the road was blackened by shadows, and thus began my dark journey.

The delights of the afterlife lived through my flesh brought to me an uncanny ability to know medicines, folk magic and math where I had no knowledge of these things.  The memories were clouded and difficult, so I studied these things along the way to better understand what I was undergoing.  Tools and a book of blueprints from the local stores downtown found their way under my bed giving way to puzzled looks, and I conjured a lie: These things were for my art class, and I was doing renderings of buildings which only sparked more questions as to what I was doing. For some time, I obtained commissions for renderings without any formal training.  I built small things when I owned a house, once, and had no recollection of how I knew such handy skills. 

When the spirit had, alas, tired of these activities, he sometimes liked to be my companion at the type writer and I supported his ideas for poems and folk stories. 

  At eighteen years old, before the real trouble started, the presence first made itself known and was seductive, alluring and made me fall into a trance-like dream in which we melded our personalities and I created poems from his words. 

Life of a Farmer

The Muerte came

and took me away

This took place on a cold

bitter Thursday. 

Muerte seized me from my wife

The white lady took my spirit

She took my life. 

My children called but I couldn’t answer

Death pulled me away, faster

and faster.

I saw the ground

Far below; the frozen farmland

Appeared like snow

The cattle roamed out in the pasture

Grazing, not knowing

This human disaster.

The grinning white skull

Enshrouded by robe, held me

Close and away she rode. 

Glory be, a sight to behold

The sky gives way and the heavens


Others awaited with laughter like


I knew my life had been good;

All forgiven, if wrong.

Muerte released me

At one with the sky

Never fear Muerte

But hold life close

‘til you die.

In this moment I beheld the spirit’s death experience ‘though it had been my very own.  The women who stood over him--the in-law he said looked like a broom-handle with teeth--was worried over him, the pain, sweat and suffering, the horror, then the peace. 

3:00 am brought me to the emergency room at Valley Community Hospital that night, March 1985, oxygen tent, fever of 105, packed in ice.  No one knew what was wrong but I couldn’t breathe. Thin and pale, fighting for my life, fools couldn’t see the spirits, but they could see me. 

The connection was so powerful I wanted to be with him, but the angel of death stated we had not fulfilled what was set out before us, and the task would be a long, cold voyage with tears, angel Cassiel would help see us through, and from that day forth I was the girl who loves the spirit man, the white girl who sees the spirits and had come to know the great unknown, crowned with a silver light which connects me to them, as the roots of the winter tree live and promise new life when the cold passes.  The grass widow was born with book and staff and a trail of sorrow at her feet, but an air of eternal laughter and light upon the crown.