Category Archives: Soul Food Community

Rub a Dub Dub

Spending lazy days in the Abbey has been therapeutic. Quiet time in the Scriptorium and the Cloisters has refreshed and invigorated me. But nothing works quite like some time spent in Dame Washalot’s bath house.

Image by Vi Jones

The timing is perfect for this new venture of scrubbing and sloughing away what is no longer useful. With the new year beckoning, and all, it seems frivolous to dwell on the old crusty stuff. Well, they are old, aren’t they, my thoughts that seem to want attention and airtime. Some of my thoughts have been so old of late they have surprised me, popping up out of nowhere, waiting to see if I still want them. Well, wash and scrub away, what is useless to me, I say. Some things are worth letting go, and that which is left can remain to become new and full of promise. Often at this time of year I discard and sort, and the same thing can apply to old ways of thinking. So let the soap dissolve old muddy ways and petty annoyances, let the salt water clear the debris away, let the perfume clear the mind of clutter and take it to another place. I watched a film tonight that was so full of ancient ways and damaging “cause and effect” that it forced my decision further to let go of old things, wishing the world would too. Seen on film, they are vivid and appalling, and may be burned into the memory as being totally useless customs and old superstitions and behaviours. Free then, I am, to respond and think differently, not marred by useless convention.

by Monika Roleff

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The Glasses

Departing

When you take Enchanteur’s special glasses from the bag she gives travellers you, like those who have travelled the Serpentine Road before you, will discover a new way of seeing.

Well I guess this is it. This antique wooden door with stained glass windows. The portal. I swallow a lump in my throat as I reach for the handle. It’s a round, shiny brass one. I turn the handle, push open the door and whoosh! I’m almost sucked inside a black hole. I’m holding onto the door for dear life and of course my eyes are closed – tightly. Whatever was trying to suck me in relents after a minute and I open one eye and then the other.

The meadow scene before me looks quite harmless, colourful, beautiful, smells like flowers, but I hear a rustling over to the right and see someone disappear into some bushes with a colourful gown trailing behind them. I frown and move forward, almost stepping on a lumpy, drawstring bag. I look around furtively and then bend to pick it up and peek inside. I squint, perhaps expecting another whoosh! but I see only a few items which may be of some use in this other world I’ve stepped into. A couple of wings, some dreams seeds and the like. One thing glows at the bottom of the bag and begins to warm my hand through the material. I reach for it ( a smooth, round stone) and it glows more and feels even warmer, almost hot. I decide not to draw any conclusions at this point. If I am going to survive this adventure, then I should keep an open mind. Putting the stone back, I draw the top of the bag closed and take a very deep breath.

I gaze at the meadow before me and realise that there is something dark and broody marring the horizon, like a blemish on a clean white sheet. Clouds? Rain? A ripple of apprehension goes through me tinged with a little bit of excitement. Not too much, just a little. Enough to carry my feet forward.

by Soultide

Portal Points

The chameleon quality of the portal to Lemuria is a tantalizing part of the mystery and enchantment.

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the door

The journey is quicker than I thought.
I find my way onto a gravel path,
that leads to a giant tree.
I circle around
and find a funny shaped doorknob.
Pounding on this door is not the way.
I wait for something,
but nothing happens.
My journal calls to me.
I write and speak aloud my truth,
and with a tiny click, it opens.
Through a small doorway
down the hollow,
I enter a cave.
And there are thirteen doors waiting,
with one for me.

A golden door beckons to me,
I slip inside.
I find a simple room.
It vibrates with anticipation.
The things I need, I find with a thought
Yet, what I sought was not there a moment ago

Luna Eternally

Decisions Decisions

Knowing what to pack to come to Lemuria has not always been easy. Check out Portals and Setting Out in a Lemurian Advent Feature which preserves the journey’s of many early Lemurians.

“What exactly does one pack for a journey to an enchanted land?” Since I posed this question to the dog, I had little hope of finding any help. You can never find a cat when you need one.

Should I pack an actual luggage set, or just a duffel bag? Or maybe a backpack is more appropriate. And shoes. Just what kind of shoes will I need? And clothes….sporty, dressy, casual…what was everyone else going to wear? I was beginning to regret ever signing on for this. It is so against my nature to leap into the unknown. The knot in my stomach was tightening.

“Doing it for yourself, weren’t you?” Oh goody. The cat had arrived.

“Of course it’s for me” I snapped at the little black and white fur ball. I sunk onto the bed. Deflated. I didn’t know anyone going on this trip. I’ve never done anything like this. Was I going to be good enough to be there? Would the others have more experience than I? Did they all know what to do? I was making myself sick with worry. And to top it all off, I was going to be late

“What matter are things you take. Possessions only. That is not what you are”. Elephi was a vision of tiny, efficient smugness.
.
“Okay Yoda, you’re right. I am doing this for myself. To learn for myself, test myself, and hopefully enjoy myself. But I think I should at least bring some personal hygiene products, for the sake of my fellow travelers.

I throw some jeans, t-shirts and undies in my satchel. I add some pencils, markers, crayons and paper in to the mix. Hopefully these will come in handy. I zip up the bag, stash some of my carefully horded chocolate mini-eggs into the outer pouch, and head for the door. I grab my keys and take one last glance around. I hit the lights, and close the door.

A Soul Food Order

For a period of time there was a quite unique order inhabitating the Lemurian Abbey, as envisioned by Heather Blakey, creator of the Soul  Food Cafe. These were the early days of blogging, long before Facebook and other Social Networking Sites began to dominate the landscape. Barbara Banta was a founding member of this order. She has maintained a cell at the Abbey.

I’d expected to find perhaps only the foundation or an outline of a building, but to my amazement I saw a huge gray stone monastery reaching into the heavens and spreading out in all directions.

Heather greeted me in a flowing blue gown and made me welcome despite the fact that I was dressed in forest green sweats, trailed by a black and white cat and carrying a large bird cage. I nervously explained that Oreo had practically insisted on accompanying me, since he felt a vital part of my writing after our trip down the manhole and, I babbled on that, I had to bring Tookey since it was impossible to find anyone who could feed a neurotic, menopausal Amazon anything other than an extremely long stalk of celery. Heather has evidently had strange encounters with nervous novices before because she never lost her elegant composure, although I did notice she insisted on walking on the side opposite Tookey’s cage after the bird reached out and tried to grab her sleeve.

My first impression of the place is that it’s so complex and maze-like I’ll never be able to find my way back to my room if I leave it. Well, this is from someone who gets lost in a revolving door. It’s also one reason I’m already glad I brought Oreo. Once I feed him, he’ll remember where he belongs and lead me back if I get confused.

My room truly is a cell, very small, and minimally furnished. The length of the bed is the length of the room. An old fashioned pitcher and wash basin just fit the table that holds them. I have a writing desk and straight back chair and, high up in one rough stone wall, a small window lets in the light.

I wanted to ask Heather about the strange rumors I’d heard about lemurs and an alchemist’s tower. I wondered how many others had come and who and where they were, but she didn’t linger, just told me to have a good night and that we’d talk more tomorrow.

She turned as she was about to leave and asked, “You did bring the supplies you need for your projects, didn’t you?”

I held up my journal and pen and pointed to the canvas tote bag I’d placed on the bed. “I have some things in there for my altered book, but I’ve never made one before and I don’t know if I’ve brought the right stuff.”

“You’ll soon find in the Abbey that you have everything you need. Sweet dreams, ” she added.

When she was gone, I put my tote full of art supplies on the chair and laid my journal and pens on the desk. I had arrived at Lemurian Abbey in broad daylight and been shown to my cell. In the few minutes Heather and I had been speaking the day seemed to have ended. Light from a sickle moon was pouring milky white beams through my window and I was longing for sleep. Was I suffering from jet-lag? Was I on NJ time or Australian Time. I was so tired I couldn’t even recall if it was winter or summer.

I noticed a metal hook protruding from the corner of the wall near my writing desk and hung up Tookey’s cage. She was fast asleep. Turning down the blankets, I snuggled into bed with Oreo curled at my side. Tomorrow I would begin. “I have everything I need,” I murmured over and over until I fell into a contented sleep.

Barbara Banta
Order of Soul Food

The Lemurian Abbey

Beautiful Francis alone on a hill
He heard the call to build
He worked alone in the winter chill
A pledge that must be fulfilled
Barefoot in the snow
His fingers worked to the bone
The spirit dream must grow . . .
He bent to pile the stone
Sister Sun, My Sister Moon
You build with words not stone
Get me a cell and a line to the muse
You shall not build alone
Edwina Peterson Cross

ArrivingRiversleigh

Raven has taken me by the hand and led me to the place of one of the first structures founded in this ancient land.  There is an icy wind and dusk’s cloak surrounds us as we arrive  at the Lemurian Abbey.

The place has been quiet for a long time, yet you barely need to tap the stone walls to coax words left my travelers who passed this way, stopped to savor and who, in doing so, were inspired and in their turn, inspired others.

There are a growing number of souls wandering the Abbey. Finding their way….making their way.

Early in the morning I wake, if I have slept at all, and lurk the vast hallways. Scarcely seen as I slip silently past the moonlit windows of the great hall which lead the way into the abbey gardens. As I enter these gardens I hear behind me the quiet hum of the Abbey coming to life as it welcomes in another day.

It has become my habit to slip down the stairs almost unnoticed. To wander in the dawn of the gardens, letting them imprint their beauty on my soul and infuse my heart with inspiration. The lights and shadows, the early morning mists that rise up with the sun reveal the forms and textures of the gardens as no other time of day can. As I run my fingers across the wrinkled blankets that enfold the trees my arms ache to create. The nature of the mother, the greatest artist of all, humbles me.

Bobbi Fetterly


A Stone, A Bit of Bone.

The past lies beneath our feet,
A piece of stone,
A bit of bone,
An impression in the ground,
A mound.

All it takes is patience
And careful observation.
Digging often in the heat,
In dry and parching dust,
The past clings to itself,
Does not come easily
Into the light of day.
The earth protects its secrets.
They elude our
Picking,
Brushing,
Scratching,
Scraping,
And often, even then,
The secrets lie
Just beyond our reach,
Beyond our sight,
Beyond our ability to know
As if they were our own.
They’re not ours, you see,
These secrets of the past–
Although we’ve built upon them
And learned from scraps revealed.

It’s not our time.
They’re hidden from our sight,
Revealing only what they will,
Enough to tantalize,
To keep us digging,
Searching,
Hoping,
Wondering.

And so they lay, these secrets,
In the shadows,
Out of sight,
Beneath Earth’s protective cloak
Waiting until
A stone is turned,
A bone revealed,
A story finally told.

Vi Jones
©April 10, 2005

Sonnet to the Abbey

Be welcomed in these hallowed halls
Let all your burdens go
Feel peace within these hollowed walls
Beneath the lamp lights glow

Here time is quiet, time is slow
Soft time to think and be
This healing gift the walls bestow
Unhurried guarantee

And in this time creation flows
From fingers and from quill
Here art is born and words compose
Deep essence to fulfil

For a time now, cease to roam
The door is open: You’ve come home

©Edwina Peterson Cross
June 23, 2005

The Abbey

The Abbey is my comfort zone
My writing skills I’m here to hone
My heart is filled with love and reverence
For here, there is no need for recompence
The gifts I receive are far beyond measure
Wisdom, humor and mischievous pleasure
Do you know you are conduits of life’s blood and energy? Bind me to you and I’ll feed off the synergy
So write on wanton word warriors
take off (straight up) adaptable Harriers
I’ll bring along my feathers and stone
and holding on tightly-come into my own
Maya Featherstone

Thought and Memory

Huginn and Muninn (‘thought’ and ‘memory’) are characters from Norse mythology. Two ravens rested on the shoulders of the Norse god Odin: Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory. The ravens circled the sky, often during battle, and returned in the evening to Odin. It was considered apocalyptic if only one of the ravens should return, the consequences being a society governed by memory without thought, or thought without memory.

Having gathered my bearings it is evident that Raven is not with me in Lemuria in the capacity of Muse alone. She sits on my shoulder, by my side, to aid thought and Memory. As we bask in the autumnal surroundings, watching drifts of brightly colored leaves forming crunchy golden carpets, a host of memories of days roaming Lemurian roads waft back.

We smile and nod as the memories pass by.

There are so many moments that I could recall but it is Mnemosyne, whose name means memory who springs to mind. She was the mother of the muses. When I worked with Mnemosyne we sat by Mnemosyne’s stream and recanted so many memories.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day and I chose to share it with the Lemurian Hermit sharing memories of times when our mothers were alive. Some simple buttered biscuits, topped with fresh tomato, bought back memories of afternoon tea with my mother. My mother always had a cache of food that she could produce at a moments notice. A favorite standby of hers, ready for when the unexpected visitor appeared, was  to produce dry biscuits, butter them and then top them with cheese and tomato. She served them on bone china and poured copious amounts of tea from her bone china teapot into an eclectic collection of cups with matching saucers and plates.

Remembering Mum I buttered some biscuits, added some tomato and took them, along with some freshly made cake, to share with the Hermit.

A visit to the Hermitage is always restorative. Fond memories of my mother soothed me. It was my first Mother’s Day without  her.

Perhaps while we are here in Lemuria Raven and I will wander back in time and marvel at the richness of hours spent in this peaceful world, far removed from shattering world events.

Portal to Serpentine Road

DonkeyPortal

Raven and I are perched near a portal leading to the famed Serpentine Road. We have been watching the activity near the entrance, interested to see if anyone is really coming in, what adventurers like this ‘fool’ have to offer.

In all likelihood some familiar faces will emerge, smiling, through the portal, just happy to be in the place they have come to know as ‘home’. For coming to Lemuria, for many, is to come home to self.

Travellers who are self sufficient and self motivated can meet other travellers by joining the Ssserpentine Road Yahoo Group.

Nigredo

Sibyl the Shaman

Raven carried her ball of light into the sky,
so we no longer live in darkness.

The old self image must die
Death must precede the
Psychological revolution that is welling
the creative reorganization demanding to
Unblock the flow of psychic energy and
Give life new meaning

Into the cauldron Raven
Beautiful soul maiden gently places
Black seeds from my shadow
Black wormseed from my ego
to incubate, regenerate and
Facilitate rebirth

A beginning, the end
Dying to the senses, withdrawing
Voluntarily entering the dark inner world of the soul
at home in the darkness of suffering
Only in death is a greater thing born
Only within the darkness lie germs of recovery

Guiding Words

Raven7

The servant of the Muse, gifted and grac’d
With high preeminence of art and taste
Has an allotted duty to fulfil;
Bound to dispense the treasure of his skill,
Without a selfish or invidious view;
Bound to recite and to compose anew.
Not to reserve his talent for himself
In secret, like a miser with his pelf

Perched with my companion, on a log by a Lemurian roadway, we stop briefly to read some Hesiod. The words seem to be beating like a drum, reminding me of that original mission that guided me.  All the fog seems to have evaporated and I can see clearly. My companion guide simply caws with approval.