Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Short Story: "The Secret of the High Priestess"


 


AUTHOR'S NOTE

This started out as a meditation on a Tarot card -- The High Priestess, from the Aquarian Tarot, designed by David Palladini.  This is a very beautiful Tarot deck -- the style is Art Deco.  Gazing upon its cards for a while can give one a feeling of serenity.   I find certain (not all) Tarot decks very conducive to giving free rein to the imagination.  I am not at all interested in using these cards for fortune-telling purposes. 

So, one afternoon, I sat down to gaze upon this card.  I felt the need to go to my laptop, and my meditation somehow became a little story... I posted it on Goodreads back in June, 2010.  As you will see, I am an incurable romantic!



I am the High Priestess. I am pondering how to proceed as I face the possibility of being removed from my position. I have served as a vestal virgin of the Mysteries for such a long time…. I have dedicated myself to the determined pursuit of inner truths. Setting aside normal female longings for love and a family of my own, I have resolutely continued my solitary inner journey.

I do have a secret lodged in my heart. I am deeply in love with The Magician. He, too, is completely dedicated to the pursuit of higher knowledge, the music of the spheres, the eternal, immutable truths of our mysterious universe. He does not know how very much I love him.

As I sit here, quietly, sadly, I hold a flower in my hands. I am focusing all of my attention upon it. It seems to be wilting, and I can do nothing to stop it from dying. I am not a giver of Life, as the Empress, my cousin, is. I am, instead, a way shower for those who wish to know the deepest secrets. As I wistfully contemplate this flower, I am immersed in thoughts of what might have been. The Magician and I…. It would be such a natural alliance! He is my male counterpart. He is in search of the Ideal, the Imponderable, the Formless, as I am. Would our union not prove fruitful, a natural bond between two kindred spirits?

So I sit, next to this richly-printed curtain. Its print is so ironic – a repeated design of pomegranates, a symbol of fertility. This would be more suitable for the Empress. My fertility is that of the heart, the inner knowing of intuition. My insights are many, and in that sense, I suppose, I am indeed fertile. I am connected to the stirrings of my soul, as well as those of the Universal Soul. That is my mystical marriage. I live, breathe, move and have my being in the Eternal One, the Ineffable.

There is a palace in the mountains far off in the distance. That is where the elders are now in council, deciding my fate. Why are they considering my banishment, my removal from my sacred office? Perhaps they know of my secret love for him, The Magician. Such a thing must not be allowed. The High Priestess must remain dedicated to her high calling. She must forsake the ties that bind most women. I do not agree with this. I think that, were The Magician aware of my love for him, he might deign to return it. Thus we could be united in one purpose, one will.

I am sitting here very quietly, waiting for my soul to stir, to guide me in this matter. Must I choose between Love and Knowledge? Will succumbing to Love make me unfit to perform my duties? The scrolls of Wisdom stand at my side, waiting for my hands to open them so that I may peruse their life-imparting words, their timeless truths. Yet, here I sit, looking at my wilting flower, and wondering about what could have been…

The headdress of my office sits heavily upon my head. It bears a triple cross upon it. My hair is bound and hidden beneath it. I have controlled my normal female passions, and steeled myself to use my mental and spiritual powers. Did not Merlin fall when he became enamored of Nimue? Would a similar fate await me, were I to allow myself to enter into a romantic relationship with him whom my heart longs for?

Now I look beyond the flower, into the secrets of Nature herself. The image of The Magician recedes in my mind’s eye, and I marvel as the beauty of the flower, even as it wilts, assaults my senses, and speaks to my mind and soul. I see once more with my inner vision. I see deep into the heart of the flower, into the dance of Life, the living partnership of dancing atoms and molecules. The flower speaks to me, and I listen. I listen as Nature imparts to me the concepts of endless, uncreated energy, and how humans can tap into this energy. I see how we are all part of this endless dance, how we can know that we are all children of a Mighty Creator Spirit, here for our individual purposes.

Soon it will be time for me to go forth, toward the castle. Soon it will be time for me to enter the Council Chamber, there to learn my fate. I will either be removed from my high office, or confirmed in it by the ancient rite of Affirmation.

Sighing, I gingerly put down the flower. Then I see him, slowly approaching me, his dark hair softly ruffled by a gentle breeze, his gentle, smiling face bathed in the glow of the sign of infinity above his head. His robes softly rustle, his flowering wand, which he holds in his left hand, is firmly planted in the ground with each step he takes. In his right hand he holds his cup, which he now extends toward me. He is girt with a living serpent, which holds a naked sword at his waist. He has slung his pentacle shield on his back. He continues to smile as he walks toward me, and I can scarcely believe it…


It is he. It is The Magician. Breathless, I ask myself if he knows….

He reaches my side, still holding the cup out to me. I look up at him, and feel myself smile slowly, unbelieving.

Then he does an incredible thing. He kneels down in front of me, and puts the empty cup in my hands. Then his eyes meet mine. I am seized by a love so great it overflows in spontaneous tears. One falls on my flower, and the result is another miracle, for it blooms anew.

He covers my trembling hands, still holding the cup, with his own.

“I have always known.” He whispers as he gazes into my eyes. “And I have always felt the same way. You will not walk alone into the Council Chamber. I shall be with you, and together we will tell them of our love, of our continuing commitment to the Highest Truth. And we will convince them that you should continue in your office as High Priestess, as I shall continue in mine as The Magician. Are you ready, my love?”

I nod my head in assent. I am unable to speak.....

Then he gently pulls me up, and taking one of my hands in his, purposefully strides with me toward the castle, as I bear the cup reverentially before me.


6 comments:

  1. I absolutely LOVED this Maria! You have such talent! Congrats. Keep em coming!

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  2. Beautiful, Maria. It's amazing how the tarot has inspired so many people, and will continue to inspire many more. I love this story, and hope you keep writing more! :)

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  3. Thank you, LJ!! Your words of praise mean so much!! I will definitely be writing more Tarot stories, as well as other kinds of stories.

    I also appreciate your stopping by!! =D

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  4. Oh, Kat, thank you so much!! I will definitely keep writing! And yes, the Tarot is a fountain of inspiration. I have to do more stories using the cards as a starting point. In fact, there's a book on the subject of using the Tarot for story-writing, which I've been meaning to buy. I can't think of the title now, but it's on my Amazon wish list.

    Thanks again for your lovely comments! : )

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  5. ooh....lovely lovely lovely!! Read it, loved it! I liked it a lot...keep writing more!

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  6. Thanks for your positive comments, Ani!! I'm so glad you liked the story! And yes, I will keep writing!! : )

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