Fifty

I saw locks of hair attached to a line, blowing in the wind, like clothes to dry. There was also hair lying around on the floor in my mother’s kitchen, and outside, all over the yard, half-covered by sand.

Suddenly, they became butterflies and flew towards the cemetery where my father is buried. I wished they had brought him to me alive, instead of visiting his grave.

Then there was a little girl whirling two bowls of fire attached to two strings. She turned around and around herself. Now she transformed into a very small man with a burnt face and now she was a little girl again.

Next, we were surrounded by a herd of paper birds. I was worried that they would get on fire. They did, but with such fragile beauty… they were burning in all colours until the wind carried them away.

The night was approaching fast and the burning paper birds became iridescent, weaving their light into the darkness like northern lights.

Then I saw little girls jump off a cliff, one after the other, spinning in their fall. They floated in the air for a moment before they plunged, as if dancing. The Siberian man stood right under the rock and caught them each, one by one.

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Forty-Nine

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At the seaside, I saw a horse turning around and around. Another one joined in and started to rotate the opposite way around the first one. Then came another and another, each girdled the previous one, always contrariwise. They all turned golden, then more and more translucent until only their outlines remained. In the end, there were only golden threads left, each coiling around the other.

And in the centre, there was the ever-changing woman. She was watching me. I went to her and we held hands. We were one.

Then I noticed a boy and a girl. They were running in a field of wheat, playing tag in the sunset, laughing.

There came a group of riders. They lifted the kids onto their horses and off they galloped enjoying the speed. All turned golden: wheat and men… In the distance, I saw women dancing, holding white sheets. Suddenly, I was one of them. We started to build a yurt, we would stay here for the night.

The field was on a plateau. Down below was a beautiful lake, in all the colours of the setting sun. Right next to our tent was a huge tree, and the men started to climb higher and higher. I joined them.

In our ascent, we were surrounded by an ever-changing play of colour. And then, we were not climbing anymore but flying in a pulsating tunnel of air. When we stopped, there was nothing but beautiful, iridescent fog… drops of sunset gathered by wet cobwebs.

Slowly, I could make out the shape of a man. He was standing by water – sea or lake, I couldn’t tell. I recognised the Siberian man. He was waiting for me.

Forty-Six

I dreamt that a boy and a girl – maybe twelve or so – fell into a parallel universe very much like my mother’s garden in the summer: fruit trees, vegetables and flowers everywhere. And in their fall, they crushed a bird. Here, birds were a conscious species who could take the form of bird-men: they were as big as humans, had human eyes, feathers and beaks.

The Birds were infuriated by the accident and wanted to hunt the kids down and kill them. But there was a human child in that world who was interested in hearing their story and decided to help and hide them.

As they were talking, they noticed a big bird up in the air, so the one from this world told the other two to go and take shelter in the wooden shed on the other side of the fence. It was the leader of the bird-men who landed in the garden, and the boy tried to explain what had happened. After a short conversation, he signalled the other two kids to come out.

When they did, they found themselves surrounded by bird-men. The girl started to talk, and in that moment, I became her. I recounted everything as it had happened, how we had dropped from another world and how we killed the bird by accident. The bird-men listened intently, in silence, and I became an observer again. They finally decided not to harm the children.

*

The next morning, I went to visit the leader of the bird-men.

“Why were you so angry with the children? They didn’t kill the bird on purpose”.

“They fell into this world – they entered unconsciously. That’s why they caused death. They were supposed to become bird-men. But their unconsciousness killed an aspect of themselves. You are one of us, you are a bird-woman. We cannot fall like that. We fly, we flow, we glide on currents of air. We let go of our control, not our consciousness. Or else we cause death.”

Thirty-Two

We were in a cave, the walls were lit by an unknown source, or maybe they were glowing by themselves. The Siberian man was behind me, and we were following a row of figures, enrobed in white, semi-transparent cloth. I asked him who they were, but he didn’t reply. “Is this some kind of procession? of whom?”

No reply.

Then I looked up at the ceiling of the cave, and to my surprise, I saw the stars.

“How can this be? How can we be down in the belly of the earth, in a cave, and see the stars at the same time?”

The Siberian man didn’t reply. The starry sky above was so vast, so beautiful, so alive, it took my breath away. We started to float, both the translucent beings and I. The Siberian man got hold of me by the ankles, and while we were flying higher and higher, he climbed up on my legs, until he was hugging my waist. I could feel his breath on my nape. We were floating among the stars, feathery, iridescent, luminous. Merging with the infinite.

“This is amazing. I want to stay here.” – I told the Siberian man.

“Like hell you will. We’re going down… gently, gently.”

“Do we have to? Why?”

“Because we are going down.”

And he was becoming heavier and heavier, weighing us down, until we arrived, feet on the ground, down in the cave. It was empty, and I felt sad.

“Did we really have to come back here?”

“Yes, we did”

Then the old woman dressed in white descended from one of the paths of the cave.

“Oh, look at you” she smiled at me “oh, the flight of the soul, beautiful, isn’t it?”

I didn’t reply. I felt sad. They exchanged looks with the Siberian man. The old woman nodded:

“Let’s sit down a bit, shall we?”

We did.

“Who were they? The beings? Did they just die, or something like that?”

“Well, they were never actually alive, you know, not the way you mean it.”

“You mean not in a body?”

“Oh” she sighed, with a little shake of the head, smiling. I understood she meant it was complicated.

Suddenly, I was in a winter forest. It was night. Snow everywhere. And wind. I saw a fox, chewing the bark of a tree. Then I saw a pack of wolves, and they started to run together, all like one, swift and quiet.

They were running through the forest, among the trees, from a hill or mountain, down into the valley. I saw an owl on a tree branch, turning its head around and around. Then I was with the wolves, running, and the Siberian man was with me. Suddenly all stopped. No animal moved, no wind stirred. The world stood still.

And then I knew why. Now I could hear it, too. A baby, crying. As if we all rushed there for this child.

The wolves gathered in a circle, and in the middle, there was a basket. The Siberian man went there and lifted it up, checking if the baby was alright. He smiled at me.

Twenty-Five

At first, it was dark. Then I could see as if through a tunnel. And at the other end, there was snow. There was a man running around with a child on his shoulders. Or rather, it looked like the child’s body was where the man’s head should have been, upside down, with his or her legs dangling up in the air. They were running around a bit like that, then they fell on the snow. They reminded me of a headless chicken, how they used to twitch and jerk when my mother and grandmother cut their necks, blood sprinkling all over the sand of the yard…

I was not sure whether I should go closer and have a look at the man-child. Then I saw the kid get up, and there was the man’s body where their head should have been, and the child was pulling him with them, like a colorful whirlwind, like a tornado. And the child was running and running, head lost in the tornado (which was the body of the man). And then I couldn’t see the kid anymore, only the tornado, whirling, their body was whirling (the head still invisible), chairs and pieces of furniture whirling, and lots of sand…

And then I noticed my fairies whirl. Even though I did have a doll or two, my favourite toys were the fairies I made from my mother’s handkerchiefs and camisoles: I tied a knot on them, the knot was the head, the shorter part the hair, the longer one the body. My mother hated it because I put knots on everything, tablecloths, curtains… the house was a forest of knots… I surrounded myself with the fairies. They were my friends.

All at once I was in my childhood home, playing with my fairies in the room. My parents were in the kitchen, I could hear them arguing, but only faintly, because I did not want to. I looked out through the window and noticed that the tornado was huge now. Only it wasn’t a tornado anymore, it was water, very muddy water, carrying bits of broken furniture.

Then I saw something – or someone: he knocked on the window. For a moment I thought it was my father, but I wasn’t sure. I hesitated whether I should or should not open it, worried that the water would flood the house.

But I didn’t care anymore, I opened the window, trying to swim in the direction where I saw my father go. But all I could see was mud and broken furniture. I swam to the surface, raised my head above the water and shouted “Dad, are you here? where are you?”. But there was no answer. I was desperate.

Suddenly, someone grabbed my leg and pulled me back into the water. It was the Siberian man. He held my hand and pulled me with him, we went deeper and deeper. It was almost dark now, but the mud dispersed, the water was almost clear.

Then I could see a pulsating light, like a lighthouse. We swam closer. The light seemed to have antennae or tentacles, rising and sinking in a gentle rhythm. Like an octopus. As we went closer, I was suddenly sitting on a horse in a carousel. I was not sure I wanted to be there, I started to get dizzy, nauseous, afraid. “I want to get off, please, I want it to stop”.

I heard my mother’s voice “you wanted to get on the bloody carousel, you wanted to try, now you will stay there until it stops. you wanted it, you got it, now you hold on tight until it’s over”. My tears started to fall. I could perceive something moving with me, to the side, something big, but I didn’t dare to turn my head, I was afraid I would fall off. The shadow was moving together with the carousel. Then I was grabbed under the armpit and lifted up. It was my father. He ran by the carousel so that he could take me off the horse. He hugged me tight. “You are spoiling her, always spoiling her. She was nagging for the carousel, she deserved to stay on it. Where are you going? what…” I couldn’t hear my mother anymore, my father was running, holding me tight. I could feel his heart beating, stronger, stronger, we were throbbing together, we were one huge pulse.*

* This is not an actual memory. I have never been on a carousel.  I was a very fearful child. My father did convince me once to try the roller coaster with him. I got so scared that I turned blue and rigid, like a corpse. When the ride was over, he took me in his arms and did a runner towards the entrance to call an ambulance. But by the time we got there (and my mother caught up with us), I didn’t need help anymore, I was alright.

Twenty-One

I could see some thick, knitted material, dark blue, with some dark purple embellishment on it. It reflected light in a beautiful way. First, I could only see this piece of textile, and felt the wind, it was quite fresh and salty. Then I could hear the waves.

And then, I could see the sea. We were on top of a plateau or a rock, it was green around us, wildflowers, moss… the sky was covered, stormy, but there was no rain yet. A young woman was sitting on a rock, she had long, dark hair and Asian eyes. It felt very peaceful being around her. She was covered by a thick, dark blue-purple blanket.

I could hear footsteps, and as I turned around, I saw the Siberian man approaching.

“Meet my daughter” – he said.

The woman looked at me, smiled with her eyes and nodded slightly, then turned back towards the sea. I was to her right, observing her profile. She looked around twenty. I turned back to the Siberian man to estimate his age, and he seemed somewhere between fifty and sixty, or around sixty. Difficult to say.

I turned back to the woman, but she looked older now, around my age. I must have made a mistake a minute before. She looked at me for a second, then turned back to the sea. I watched the water, too, and the sky, and the flowers rocking in the wind.

When I turned back to her again, she seemed to be in her fifties. I realized she was ageing in front of my eyes.I peeked at the Siberian man, wondering what was going on. He was not getting older, he stayed the same age. He smiled. When I took another glimpse at the woman, she was quite old, her hair was all white.

“Will she die in front of me?” – I wondered.

The Siberian man stepped closer, he was standing right behind me and put his hands on my shoulders. I glimpsed at the woman again, she just disappeared, the blanket fell onto the rock, her hair transformed into mist and the wind blew it away.

“She’s gone” – I thought to myself.

The Siberian man stroked my back gently.

Then I noticed something below, a small dot coming out of the sea. It was getting closer to the rocky slope, and I realized it was a toddler, in a long, white shirt. Suddenly, I heard a cheerful cry:

“Father!”

The Siberian man waved back, smiling. The little girl was climbing towards us, growing. She was around 11 or 12 when she reached the top, and greeted us with a big smile and sparkling eyes, giggling.

She sat down next to me, where the old woman had been just before. The Siberian man took the blanket and put it around her. She bowed her head, and blushed slightly when she looked at me. She was probably around 18 now…

Twenty

I was in a cavern by the sea, I could not see the water but I could hear its roar: there was a storm. Then the waves came into the cave, and a long figure lifted me up and threw me into the water. I couldn’t swim. He caught me, lifted me up, threw me in again. “learn to swim” he said, and did it again and again. I still couldn’t swim. It didn’t work. It was pointless.

Then the waves left the space and the man disappeared. I heard the sounds of footsteps, but couldn’t see anyone. The footsteps sometimes came from one direction, then from the other. It was quite dark, I could hardly see a thing.  I was anxious, and I could feel my anxiety burning in my belly.

Then I remembered the eye in my navel, and I decided to try and open it and look around. It felt strange, but it worked, I could see a dim figure, I wondered if it was an animal, it felt so alien. It was changing shape, taking form… at one moment, it looked like the head of a snail, then it resembled Yoda from Star Wars… whatever it was, it was something very different and strange.

“Who are you?” – I asked.

There was no reply. I tried to guess, but its energy felt so alien that I had no idea what this being could be. Was it one of the outer planets? Uranus? Pluto? Neptune? None of them aspect the Moon in my natal chart… Saturn? He wouldn’t be so fluid… why didn’t it say something? Whatever it was, it must have come in answer to my question about my mother – just before meditation, I wondered why our relationship was so complicated.

Then, it occurred to me that maybe it couldn’t talk. I showed him a natal chart, with the houses, but without planets in it. It was like a map drawn on a piece of cloth. “Show me where you are in my birth chart”. It put its finger onto the 8th house. I have no planets in the 8th house. I tried to visualize my natal chart to see what could be there.

In the meantime, the creature found something like a ladder against the wall of the cave, and started crawling upwards. He looked more like a lizard right now… or… I suddenly remembered what was in my 8th house. “You are the tail of the dragon, the South Node” I said, and he indeed looked like a dragon now.

He reached some kind of plateau, where he transformed into a lion, and kept walking forward. When he reached the end of the plateau, it looked down into the depth, it was vast and there was a dark lake at the bottom.

Suddenly, the huge head of a dragon rose out of the lake, it was threatening, the lion was scared. He transformed into a wolf, but the wolf was scared, too. Then it transformed into a little girl, resembling Alice in “Alice in Wonderland”, the Disney cartoon.

The dragon swallowed her. She traveled through the body of the dragon, down the abyss, into the lake, up the ladder, and popped out at the tail. Then the dragon swallowed her again. This was repeated quite a few times.

Then I heard a voice close to me: “Don’t follow the white rabbit.”. It was probably the Siberian man. I wondered whether he was amused…

Seventeen

I wanted to meet Jupiter, but I could not see him anywhere. I was on the rocky side of a mountain, very high up. There was hardly enough room for my feet. I looked up and saw a figure standing on the top, with the head of a bull.

“What the hell”, I thought to myself, and I remembered that I had Taurus intercepted in the tenth house. I started to wonder what it actually meant to be intercepted. I was hoping the Siberian man would turn up soon, but I couldn’t see him anywhere. I could smell snow, and I was visited by a memory from my childhood: my mother and I were walking in the town centre, it was already dark, and soon it would be Christmas. I needed a pair of boots, and my mother was dragging me by the hand, pulling me to go faster, faster. I was staring at the shopwindows as we hurried by, I knew my mother wanted me to hurry so that I wouldn’t see them, all the Christmas decoration, the toys, the lights… our Christmases were always disastrous, lots of tension, rows, and cold… it started to snow, and it looked so beautiful, snowflakes glittering in the lamplight… my mother was talking to me but I couldn’t get myself to listen, I just wanted to let go of her hand and stay there, staring at the sparkling snowflakes dancing between my fingers…

Suddenly, I was back on the rocks, again, very high up, and I remembered that I had always thought that’s how I would end up one day: jump from a very high place. On my way home from school, I had to cross a railway bridge, and each time I stopped in the middle, stared down and imagined what it would be like to jump. I wouldn’t have to go home, never again. And then took a deep breath and walked away, walked home.

Then I noticed the Siberian man, he arrived at last. I asked him: “What is Taurus doing there? he’s not even my actual midheaven, he’s intercepted. I wonder what interception is about anyway…”

The Siberian man started to laugh “why don’t you ask the Sun? He knows all about it”. I shrugged. “I don’t know, all that Scorpio stuff, I don’t feel like meeting the Sun, it would be like being a child again, I hated being a child. Do we have to see him?”. The Siberian man stepped closer, embraced my face with his hands and looked deeply into my eyes. Suddenly I could see myself through his eyes, as if we swapped bodies.

And behind me, I saw the Sun climbing the rocks. He was young, probably under 18, wearing a long, white shirt, like a dress. His hair was blond, and he had golden flames around his head, like a crown. “Oh, shit” I thought, and I was myself again, “what is he doing up here?”. But the Siberian man shrugged, smiling.

Then I felt movement above us, too, and I saw that Taurus was descending, he was coming to meet us. The Sun arrived, smiled at me, but I was not at ease. He offered his hand, and I took it. By that time, Taurus arrived, too, and he took my other hand. We were staring down into the depths, and I understood what we were going to do. I got frightened, looked back at the Siberian man behind us.

“Won’t you come with us? please come with us.” – (“Don’t leave me alone with them,” I thought, but didn’t dare to say it out loud, I didn’t want to hurt the feelings of the Sun and Taurus).  The Siberian man nodded and hugged me from behind.

And we jumped.

We were falling, falling, falling into darkness. Sometimes I saw roots of plants, sometimes I smelled soil. When we landed, we were in a night forest.

“is it always dark here? do you live in darkness?” – I asked the Sun.

He smiled, holding a candle in his hand “I am kind of a midnight Sun, after all. But no, how could I live in darkness, I am the Sun, I take light with me wherever I go”.

Of course, I thought to myself, I was stupid.

I still had no clue what Taurus was doing there, but he was coming with us anyway.

At one point, I saw something like an owl on a tree branch, but it changed into something else, with strange eyes, and it was shifting fast, couldn’t even grasp how many things it was at the same time.

“What is that?” – I asked the Sun.

“Oh, it’s one of Venus‘ creatures”

“Is she some kind of a witch? did she bewitch that poor animal into some kind of a hybrid?”

The Sun started to laugh, and so did Taurus.

“No, Venus is not a witch. She doesn’t make these creatures, she gathers them”

“Gathers them what for?”

I suddenly saw something like a cross between an old woman and some kind of an animal, but again, changing shapes so fast I could not even register what was going on.

“Is she one of them?” I asked. “Is Venus some kind of a hybrid? or a monster?”

“Don’t say that, she’s hurt enough. She’s not a monster” the Sun replied.

Then I saw a young woman, who came to meet us. Her hair didn’t look like hair, more like feathers, and I noticed she had feathers on her arms, too. I couldn’t resist touching her, and I felt embarrassed, hoping I did not offend her.

Nine

I was in my childhood home, the house seemed to breathe in the half-light. It was empty. I went to the window, and looked at the curtain. I used to spend a lot of time like that when I was a kid, staring at the light playing between the patterns… Then I was outside. We lived almost at the very end of the town, just a few houses and it was open fields… I started for the fields in the sunset. I saw some children ride their bicycles on the power lines above, rolling gleefully in the violet dusk, with great speed. I watched them and wished I was up there, too, on the cables, speeding away into the sunset… but I didn’t know how to go up, and didn’t have a bike, either.

I could feel a warm presence behind me. He put his hands under my arms and lifted me up, high, high, higher… and there I was, on the lines. I didn’t have a bike but I didn’t care, I started to run on the cables, above the road, above the fields, above the houses… the sky was a soft, purple embrace. I felt the wind on my face, my chest, in my hair… I opened my arms wide, and ran, ran, ran. Then I slowed down, and wanted that bike, after all. And a translucent man with long arms and soft hands brought me one and put it right in front of me. But I was worried that I would fall, I realized I didn’t know how to ride a bike. So he hugged me gently from behind to hold me straight, and off we went…

Suddenly I was in the parking lot of the factory nearby our house, it was Sunday evening, and my father was teaching me to ride a bike. “You’re doing great, you almost got it”, he said, and I could feel his warmth and his arms around me, smelling of tobacco. Then he lifted me up and let the bike fall, and we laughed, and lied down onto the grass, staring at the plum clouds, the power lines buzzing above our heads…

Next, I was sitting on the asphalt, and my father was running towards me. My knee was bleeding, and he came, stroked my face. He didn’t have a hankie on him, so he found me a big leaf to blow my nose. It was a clumsy business and we laughed. Then he held my knee and gently blew air on it, it would make it better. He took me in his arms, I sat on his left hip, and he grabbed the bike with his right hand, we were going home. We stopped in front of the neighbour’s house, he put me down so that my mother wouldn’t see us like this and get angry – he shouldn’t be carrying me, I was too big, I just started school. We took a big breath, getting ready for a scene about my knee and our dirty clothes. My father straightened his back, held his head up high and opened the gate…

Then I was back in the field, the sun had just set, the world was throbbing in all the shades of violet… I looked up at the sky, and saw bicycle wheels whirling, dancing above me… I knelt down, staring at the dark blue grass shivering in the wind… I missed my father, I missed him so much. I noticed there was a man beside me. He, too, was on his knees. His hair fell on his shoulders, dishevelled by the wind… turning grey… his eyes were small, almond shaped, very dark and very gentle… and I knew he understood it all. We didn’t say a word, just lied back onto the grass, holding hands, watching the sky turn dark, waiting for the stars.

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