by James Lloyd George
Queen of Witch-fire, Mother of the Lost Threshold, She who holds the key to unlock the Gate of Blood and Fire, I take refuge in your thunderclouds and the darkness rumbling over the sacred burial mounds. My feathers outstretch like fingers drenched in the rich soil of Old Khemet. They are enchanted wings, for they have brought me swiftly to you.
Your eyes warm the frozen rain; your voice releases the tension in my thoughts as trees of light fall to earth, penetrating the slumbering tombs of the dead. Spectral skeletons of witches stir with triumphant roars – The Witch-fire Awakening is at hand!
My chest is a’quivering, caught up in the passion of your sweeping veil of tears. I sense you are neither joyful nor vexed; neither am I in your shelter. Nay! A longed for moment has appeared on the Earth’s troubled crust – it was born long ago, deep in the magma of the Shadow Lands, in the world as it once was.
The Hidden Fortress of Hekate, with its nine high gates and fathomless foundations, is rising through Belial’s yawning maw of flint. The Key-holder strides upon Earth and Sea like the Primal Ones in days of war. Every continent receives the touch of her wolven heel and claw until she comes into her Royal Chamber and sits as Saffron-clad Queen upon her throne.
The solar kings squint their bright eyes of morning; the stellar queens clothe themselves in black veils of the Moirai; and Dark Mother Moon bathes naked in the comfort her raven-winged presence offers. Nymphs, satyrs, valkyries, and the howling Minotaur ensnared in the labyrinths of Daedalus, break their bonds, leaving their tales to be told by classical lovers. From afar their true forms take flight across the war-torn plains of Persian kings and the battlefields of the Morrighan.
I am one with them, having also discarded the shackles of a jealous archon. I am a dweller of caves, of haunted groves and barren hills, of storms that would freeze mortal blood. More bat-like than bird, I fly undetected with furious stealth amidst The Great Hunt of my Queen. I leave the comfort of Arachne’s skilfully woven all-seeing web to grace the Witches’ Sabbat with my aerial dance and tales of all I have seen.
Jackals, wolves and snorting steeds, wild bulls, bears and boar; their ruckus shakes the forest of dark roses beneath me, causing the crushed aphrodisiacs of the Divine Temptress to allure all that would love her Mysteries. Hosts of screech-owls, giant moths, and ensorcelling merlins cloak the serpent in the moon; weaving a spell of their own to endure the clock-bite of Kronos.
Hekate lifts her blades, Chaos and Katastrophis, at the Witching Hour; draws it from the Rosetta Stone of a myriad sigils, and slices through every chain that held her fast. They were fools to think her timeless foundations could be uprooted from what was ‘Sed-and-ment’ in the Void. We are all freed in her tumultuous roar! Awakened to secrets of the Etruscan sage; emboldened by the scintillating blood on Babylon’s sensuous lips; moved to bliss as golden corn from Elysian Field drops like amber jewels into her dark abyss. Strega and Stregone frolic in the meadows a’ploughed; wade, groin-deep in the coolness of Lake Nemi; dance on hills crowned with dragon-fire beneath the gargantuan silhouettes of Nyx and Erebus.
She who dwarfs the titans, reclines on her bed of mulch; the fertile decay of all her slain sleepers. Her scaly thighs are a’trembling; touched by the last unicorn’s dark pulsating horn, glazed with pearly luciferian elixir. All her sons and daughters witness a sight, peerlessly sublime and adorned with secret pigment from Lilith’s palette – the menstrual iron of ten-thousand bleeding moons.
Harken now to mesmerising murmurs within her swollen abdomen – the growling of beasts yet to come. For dragons will scorch the crippling creeds of silver-tongued men once more! They shall ride the Great Sky-horses of Boreas, Notus, Zephyrus and Eurus, and graze with them on the shores of the encircling River Okeanos. As ambassadors of knowledge, they shall delight in their valiant quest as familiars of torch-bearing Hekate. Monstrous fangs, tempered with compassion, shall guard her caverns against the fool and the foe: the brutal egos of pernicious priests and sacrilegious scribes.
Mortals stand alongside throngs of disincarnate worshippers – devotion alone has brought them face to face with The Lost Threshold. A rain of crows-wing soothes her sweaty furrowed brow as she puffs and pants on Chaldean shores amidst her comely daemon servitors. Her womb is bursting beneath languishing breasts – her time has come! Writhing and hissing, her serpentine girdle tastes the breaking of her watery fires. The Aegean leagues are all astir as haunting songs of sperm-whales follow Leviathan’s mighty quake, for he has heard her birth-pangs echo within Poseidon’s temple walls.
Medea, Circe, Salome, Herodias and Hypatia, stand with Ovid, Homer, Plutarch, Proclus and the Nazarene, to marvel at her delectable divinity giving birth to a new Aeon of Sorcery. Suddenly, all the lights go out on earth as she casts her glamouring shroud aside. Her crowning child comes forth – part-human, part-dragon, but all of her! It squeals with such rambunctious vigour that both Belial and Leviathan shudder to the core.
The Primordial Hermaphrodite, who reclines between Earth and Sky, approaches in silence to look in wonder upon the babe, for she is the perfect semblance of Hekate’s beauty in every glistening facet and every shadowed flame. The Goddess of Witch-fire gives birth to herself as the celestial serpent renews her skin many times. In this, her Mysteries endure throughout the Ages, unassailed by the gods, old and new.
And those with eyes to see – both phantoms and incarnate alike – realise that she is born into their very selves; coiling down in acidic threads of infinite knowledge; enlivening the bloods of subterranean soul-walkers; piercing the Veil between the worlds; cradling her own divine image within our inner child at play with faeries in the garden.
Great trees rise up from her Palace Garden, each one seeded from her Qliphothic ecstasy – once the root, now the ever-ascending night-branches. And travellers from far and wide come to taste its fruity poison, for within its seed dwells the initiatory flame of the greatest Mystery of all: ‘Thou art That in all its splendour!’
Come, therefore, through the Gate of Blood and Fire – the Lost Threshold of She who is our Dark Rosy Splendour – and let the destroyer weaken all that ails thee. In her bosom lies the sanguine talisman, telling the fortunes of all who suckle there. Its glassy eye, once looked upon, shall remain in your imagination forever; and great shall be the throng that gather before her nine high gates, for the Threshold of Blood and Fire was merely the entrance passage to an even deeper alchemy!