As in the real world matter has its opposite or antagonist of dark matter, so the astral world has opposites within it. The natural balance is now in jeopardy though and all of creation is threatened.
It has been an eventful month. 28 days ago we were tasked by the Guardians of the Watchtowers to take the forms of the elementals themselves. Paralda, Queen of Air gave us this task with the promise of great power should we achieve the forms and perform a further task for her and the other Guardians. Now we are about to greet the Guardians once more and find out what task they have in store for us. I have no doubt it will be something quite difficult, power does not come without its price. Mastering the forms has been relatively easy, mastering their abilities has proved challenging, especially with only one night to master each of four forms. The circle is cast and we invite the Guardians to watch over it once more. Queen Paralda instructs us to form a cone of power just with our thoughts and will and then directs us to release the power to the four quarters. The circle begins to glow brightly and then fades to a whisper as the Guardians draw on our power. They all enter the circle together from their realms beyond the veil and bow before us. I begin to understand now how Paralda had been able to cross into the realm of the circle on the last full moon ritual where we transformed Aunt Lettie back to human form. There had been an excess of power which drew her across the veil. Now whilst the circle allows us to see past the veil it does not allow travel between, in normal circumstances at least and at least in these modern times when the practitioners of the ancient arts are few and far between. I catch a glimpse of the past and remember how my ancestor, who began the Book of Shadows that started this journey, Lettie’s sister, had detailed how they had communed directly with the elementals and the Guardians, joining with them in the Spiral Dance. Queen Paralda steps forward to speak.
In the beginning we were all one. One consciousness floating in the void. We lacked purpose and we lacked knowledge of ourself. We grew in awareness over the uncounted and uncharted aeons until we realised we should grow. That growth began with a split, first into light and dark, then into masculine and feminine and this splitting continued. Even in the midst of this division, though, we thought as one. And then our consciousness divided also and now we were two, one dark and one light. From each then grew masculine and feminine and from there the division continued. We learned from this and thought of new ways to change and grow. Eventually we took the step from consciousness without form to form with consciousness, the elements were created, both light and dark. What you see before you now is the result of that division, we are the elements of the light. We became masculine and feminine as you see us before you now. Our dark counterparts are present in your reality, another result of the continuing division of ourself. Now this division is not a bad thing, indeed it is the opposite. We learn from our experiences and that was the goal of the decision to grow. Growth of the spirit, of the consciousness, is from learning and experience. We strive constantly to learn and to learn about ourself, to explore this creation of ours and so see what it is that we are. Everything went well until recently.
Gone are the days of old where each creature knew its place in the whole, remembered its roots. Humans, the pinnacle of evolution in the mortal realm, are beginning to prove our downfall. Humanity has lost its way. There are those who have forgotten the truth that we are all one, they follow a false truth and bring division where there should be equilibrium. They turned on those who had the truth and who followed its teachings and revered their root in the Divine, understood their place within the Divine. And it happens again with a different tribe now. Fighting with ourself will only lead to our own destruction. Peace must be restored, the Natural Balance must be restored. We are not saying the new paths are wrong, but they have little of what they once were, practitioners who worked with nature to maintain the balance between each division. We fight with ourself because we know something is not right, that the balance is out of line. Our goal has become lost in the race to gather material wealth, to be better than the last, to be better than the rest. Our task for you, for I, is not an easy one and it has been many years in the making, waiting for the time to be right, for the players in the game to be right, to have enough power to let us through once more to the mortal realm where we can do our work to maintain balance. Our opposite, the Dark Element, has grown in strength and in numbers. Man’s greed has fed the Dark Element, has created a god of darkness, twisted the archetypes of old into evil effigies. Man has created Satan in his own image.
I see you all understand this. I also perceive you are unsure of what it is we may need to do. We cannot destroy, we can only create or transform. The Dark Elements far outweigh the Light Elements. We must join forces together, elementals and powerful mortals, to create an army. An army which can transform some of the Dark into Light to restore the Balance. The trials and tasks you have faced have taught you what you need to know in order to lead the battle, a battle to life rather than death, to creation rather than destruction. Once we succeed, as succeed we must or else all is lost, you will have at your fingertips the power of the elements; the power to create and transform. You will just have to imagine it, think it, visualise it, and it will be.
We understand all too well the dangers of imbalance. Individually these can be physical illness or mental distress, globally it leads to the loss of ecosystems, the loss of habitat for native animals, birds, insects, fish. We have already lost countless species across the globe as a result of hunting, trophy gathering, deforestation to grow crops for humans, deforestation to provide grazing land for livestock. Green warriors fight the large corporations to save what we have left to us. But this imbalance of which Queen Paralda speaks.. the consequences are unimaginable. It would be like a black hole opening up in the centre of the Universe and swallowing everything and crushing it into oblivion. This would echo back into the spirit realms and the great consciousness of which we are all part could be swallowed whole, leaving just this second new consciousness to consume itself. It might bring a new birth but a birth of what? As I said, the consequences are unimaginable. But what are we to do?
What we need you to do is to become a tesseract, a cube within a cube, creatures of four dimensions. Your physical selves are 4 individuals with 3 layers of power. You have the power innate within yourselves from the alignment of the Universe at the time of your births, the power from your names given to you by parents descended directly from the bloodlines of archetypes, the power you have found within yourselves which stems from the Divine. 4 to the power of 3. Now you have stepped into the spiritual realms by taking on the shapes of the elements and each shape comes with its own triplicate power. When you take the forms of the elements as a group you become a cube within a cube, a cube in the physical and a cube in the spiritual. Together your powers are infinitely greater than ours as elementals, residents of the spirit realm. You will need guidance to perform your task, we need you to remove the veil between our worlds so we may step out of the Circle and enter the mortal world to join battle with you.
We asked you to take the forms of all the elementals and not just your own because you need to work together in harmony and to do that you each have to know what you can do in the forms taken. You also need to be able to direct our forces to where they can be most effective, knowing the skills and power of each will let you direct us efficiently. Our opposites are four, a match for ourselves, but their minions reside in your world, and they are numerous. We must enter your world to confront their minions and take them for our own, convert them from negatives to positives, redress this imbalance before it spreads to the Universe herself. Once we begin, our opposites will manifest to confront us all, it will be down to you four, our tesseract of power, to subdue them. They have become power hungry and blind to the end game, the goal of us all, to learn of ourself. So, let us join, one and all, in the Spiral Dance, loose our bonds which hold us outside of the mortal realm.
We join together around the outermost edge of the circle and begin our deosil dancing, power rising within us all, the threads of power spreading out to join at the centre of the circle’s dome, like ribbons on a maypole. The threads created, we being to weave in and out around each other, the mortals dancing deosil and the Guardians dancing widdershins. The threads of power grow into broad ribbons of energy that crackle and spark as they touch each other, forming new threads between themselves so the result looks almost like warp and weft threads in loom. We dance still and we come together, closer and closer until a vast energy core is made and as we touch one last time the energy burst outwards, shattering the veil of the circle and revealing the mortal realm beyond.
We all look around, in wonder at first as we see the Guardians solid and real standing with us. This elation is quickly soured by the realisation that we are surrounded by similarly solid and real entities that can only be the dark opposites of our Guardian’s minions. Some might look on them as monsters for their tasks are to wreak havoc amongst the mortal realm where the elementals task is to create harmony. They surround us in ranks, no mixing between them. They are all familiar to me, familiar from myths and legends, creatures dismissed as fantastical creations of fevered imaginations. They stand between the cardinal points, ranks of goblins and vampires, lycans and grey ones. The goblins are short and spindly, green skinned bearing spears dripping with poison. The vampires are tall and ivory skinned, fangs bared in grim smiles. The grey ones are almost featureless except for huge, dark, oval eyes, their arms in front of them, their long fingers weaving the air. The lycans, eyes burning bright, hackles raised, stand bent almost double, ready to drop to all fours and leap upon their prey, their muzzles curled into a gruesome snarl. In the brief moment it has taken us to take stock of what surrounds us the Guardians have pulled through their own minions.
Without thinking we mortals have shielded ourselves with our elemental forms, invisible to the mortal eye but very real around our physical forms. We have become the tesseract, physical entities with a spiritual form as well as a physical, power beyond comprehension flowing through us. We raise our power together to form a protective shield around us and our allies. One of the lycans charges at us and hits the shield, bouncing back and snarling at us, foam frothing around its lips and dripping to the ground. A spear flies through the air at us and pierces the shield, as it penetrates I focus on it and change it, changing it from a weapon of assault to a shield of defense. Ghobb leaps in the air and grabs this new shield as it falls then passes it to his closest minion. More spears are thrown and as they penetrate we change them. Soon we have a line of gnomes about us holding two shields each. A grey one approaches next, fingers weaving before it, it reaches out and pushes its hand slowly through our protective barrier. Paralda’s sylphs swarm around it as it enters fully. We, the tesseract, focus on it and force a charge of energy upon it until it itself is charged with positive energy and transforms into the form of a sylph. Our first true success in this battle. More of the grey ones come forward and try the assault as a group. It takes no effort at all to charge them and change them. Paralda suggests that we no longer need her guidance in the matter, that we have in fact taken charge and shown the course of action to take. The minions of our Guardians rally around each of us, grouping with us according to our elemental superform. The attacks come from all sides now, some insinuating themselves through the shield slowly, others striking and tearing at it with spear or tooth and claw. Each one through becomes turned and in turn fights for our side, turning their own brethren to the light. A few succeed in using our tactics against us and some of our number are transformed into creatures of the dark, but the power of the tesseract is unbreakable and soon the numbers are equal on both sides and then we begin to outnumber them.
An unspoken ceasefire ensues, neither side seeing any benefit in continuing. The air crackles around us and we sense the approach of more powerful creatures, the difference between minions and leaders. A huge wolf-like creature appears in the midst of the lycans. Its fur is black with flashes of silver around the mouth, eyes and ears, white stripes around wrists and ankles. Its belly hangs low and flashes of pink reveal it to be female. She moves to the front of her pack and sits on her haunches, raises her head and howls before fixing her gaze upon Djinn and Joe. From the midst of the goblins strides a female figure, skin emerald green, shining in the light of the full moon. A short skirt of leather hangs around her gaunt hips, her hand gripping a spear. Her chest and stomach are bare and reveal a series of nipples with small mounds of breast tissue running underneath them in a series of peaks. Her hair is long and matted like dreadlocks on a Rastafarian. She comes forward to meet the gaze of Ghobb and Agnes. Next comes the leader of the grey ones. It is almost a foot taller than its minions making it about 9 feet tall. It wears a suit of black with its buttons on the gentleman’s side, the only thing that gives its gender away as male. It fixes its gaze upon Paralda and Lettie. Finally, the lord of the vampires comes forth. Tall and young, a firm jaw and glittering blue eyes, black, glossy hair neatly coiffed into a soft look, a downy beard on his jaw line and lip. He stands with feet apart, shoulders down and chest forward. He is dressed in an almost military style suit of black with red trim, a dagger at his belt and a cloak draped haphazard across one shoulder. His gaze fixes upon Nixsa and upon me. I cannot help but feel a spark of attraction to this creature.
The lords of the dark elementals move closer together and, likewise, so do we. We end up facing each other like two great armies on the battlefield. The young vampire lord steps to the front, “It seems we are at an impasse. Perhaps it is time for parley Who speaks for you?” I look around at Queen Paralda who steps forward, “I speak for the elementals, the mortals should speak for themselves.” I look around at our group and without words I am nominated as the leader which seems a little unfair to me, I am the youngest of them all, I feel an older and wiser head should be elected, but despite my silent protest they all stand firm. “I am nominated as the voice for the tesseract” I say, reluctance in my voice to which the vampire lord smiles. “Then let us lay enmity aside and parley I am certain we may come to an agreeable settlement.“
We sit on the floor, the light elementals to the right and the dark elementals to the left with us, the tesseract, between them both. “Introductions would be a good place to start I feel. You, mortals, know the names of our opposites, they know your names, we are a mystery to you both as you, mortals, are unknown to us. Allow me to begin. I am Lord Tetclist, lord of vampires, Queen Klaab, lady of the goblins, Queen Soo’resh, bitch of the lycans and Thraxa’xab’ojnx, general of the greys.” He looks directly to me, his eyes seeing through to my very soul, or so it seemed. “This is Joseph, son of Pan, Agnes, daughter of the stars, Lettie, daughter of Diana. I am Arin, grand-daughter of Diana.” “How wise of you to emphasise your lineage. Your companions chose you well as their voice. I hope you will prove challenging to me.“
He holds my gaze a few moments longer before encompassing the rest of us in his gaze. “I know that you all want the balance restored. This would be an easy thing to agree upon. However, I am tired of my existence as it is. I have outgrown my role. I would bargain with you. I will step aside from my role as leader of the vampires, a new lord shall take my place and agree to keep the balance. I want to grow however, I need a new role to challenge me. I want other things also, I want companionship, love, perhaps even a family of my own. But I do not want a mere mortal existence. I do not want just any companion. I want Arin. And I want to be an archetype. I am ready to transcend this existence and so is Arin though she does not yet know it. Arin and I, we are both ready to lead the mortals of this realm, those who still know or follow the truth. I lied when I said we did not know you, mortals, I have known Arin for a very long time.” He stands then and offers his hand to me. “Are you amenable to my proposition?“
I flounder and look around at my companions and allies. I do not know how to react. Yet Queen Paralda seems sure of herself and stands and takes my hand in hers. “I am amenable as are my allies. This alliance between you both is fore-ordained. All of this has been in preparation for this moment.” And with that, Paralda offers my hand to Lord Tetclist. “Do you both agree to this joining?” My mind struggles with the concept but my heart and soul know this to be the way forward, I know this creature even though we have just met, I …. love… this creature. I cannot explain it but from the moment his eyes met mine I felt a pull on my soul. I look deep into his eyes and my inner eye sees him for what he is, the negative to my positive, the maleness to my femininity, the key to my lock. My mind explodes with knowledge, I remember my past lives, remember who I was before creation, remember him always being there, the other half of me. I nod for that is all I can do. He smiles and nods also. “You will each take your true name in this coupling of twin souls. Lord Tetclist, you will revert to your true name, Ephah, bringer of darkness. Arin, daughter of Diana, you will revert to your true name Aine, goddess of light. Together you will mend the breach between us all. Your apotheosis will be complete when you seal your coupling and the Universe will rejoice!” As Paralda speaks our names everything becomes clear to me. I see the beginning and the division. This mortal human brain is not big enough to comprehend the knowledge it is holding, I lose consciousness.. and awaken to Ephah’s lips on mine, my body caught in his embrace. I kiss him back and, as we kiss, our bodies transform into something more. Mine fills with light, his fills with a core of darkness, my skin becomes silver and his takes a golden hue and lastly, from our shoulders mighty wings form, mine the colour of a dawn sky, his the colour of a twilight sky. The elementals, both dark and light, and my mortal companions, bow down before us, our apotheosis is complete and balance is restored. The world has two new deities to lead them into a bright new age of learning and aspirations.