More Late Nights with Ezzie Dryar (10. Ghosts)

QUEEN of CUPS. A person who reflects the true nature of the observer. Poetic, dreamy and imaginative.

Jem arrived on my doorstep late this morning. In case you didn’t read my last series, she’s my best friend from the Whorehouse. She takes care of me when I’m being stupid … and of course I’m being very stupid right now. She flew in from Cheyenne to set me right … and she is the Queen of Cups … my “true nature” – that is: a witch.

I’m at my best naked in the wilderness under a full moon, in a magic circle at one with the Goddess.

Why would a good Catholic girl consort with witches? Firstly, who said I was a “good” Catholic girl? Secondly, it is because I am one of them. I knew it even during my teenage religious crisis, when I went religion mad. I wanted to be a nun, but that was because it was the closest thing to being a priestess. Now, that leaves me as one torn between my heritage and my true nature – and in the limbo that separates them.

I am one of them, yet I’m not sensitive like some. I can read the Tarot, and I can heal ghosts – but only if someone can tell me they are there. That is my “special power” according to Jem, but it’s a blind power.

Jem, a sensitive one, says my house is filled with ghosts – not benign ones like my London house. These push me into doing things that aren’t good for me. Jem saw them last time she visited, but only now did she realize their malign nature. She believes that a house that once stood on this site in the early 1800’s might have been owned by a polygamist, perhaps even a Mormon on mission from the church. Joseph Smith’s trek took him through this area. In fact, my Mormon ancestors lived in southern Illinois, but that is where an acrimonious family split took place – in either Decatur or Springfield. I’m not sure.

Jem also says that they see one of their own in me that they want to reclaim. In fact, she thinks that one of the wives might have been a blood relative. She suspected that was what drew me to buy this house in the first place – one that was far too big for my needs with a pool that rarely gets used, and on the Illinois side of the river, in East St Louis, further away from work than I would like.

Concerned for me, Jem sat through my rehearsal this afternoon, before taking me out to dinner. The moon was still full tonight, so she wanted to cast a spell to protect me from these malevolent spirits. First, however, she needed to discover their intent. That meant observing me in front of Max and his wives. She was certain that it would become clear, as this night was going to be different.

And different it was. Tonight, the tables were turned. Max and Lore demonstrated how they had “loving” sex – and I mean they went all the way in front of the camera for my benefit. It was their pitch, their lure, and then Puddle-duck took over. She did the hard sell. I could have all of that and more with the three of them together in Pittsburgh. She was playing me with sexual innuendo, telling where and how to touch myself, and then Jem stopped it.

Initially, I begged her to let me continue, but Jem said that I had been hypnotized by Puddle-duck, or might have had a spell cast on me by her or Max when he originally marked me. She even suggested that I called her Puddle-duck because using her real name, also Jemima, reminded me of Jem, possibly weakening the spell.

Then it was back out to the garden under the full moon, this time protected by a circle. Jem suggested that this time the ghosts would be more difficult to banish. The family had been massacred, burnt in their home for their unusual beliefs. The spell allowed them temporary possession of me, and Jem was afraid where it might take me – to Pittsburgh, to Utah, or more likely, Hell. That’s not Hell in the Catholic sense, but an inferno where these ghosts lived in perpetual agony.

Jem said there were at least eight of them, so I drew eight cards to represent them: The Priestess, Ruin (10 of Swords), Princess of Wands, Strife (5 of Wands), Ace of Wands, Power (4 of Disks), Disappointment (5 of Cups), and Sorrow (3 of Swords). Even if Jem hadn’t been there, I would have known right away their malady: fire and disagreement. The Priestess was their spiritual leader, their witch, perhaps one who wielded power like Puddle-duck. The rest told me of their downfall. The Princess of Wands was the alpha female and had made a decision that the others disagreed with (possibly including the Priestess). The husband (signified by Power, since the males dominated their religion) sided with the Princess and the decision led to their ruin and ultimately their deaths.

At the time, I sensed something (or someone) missing. Since I wasn’t sensitive like Jem, I took her at her word. These ghosts needed harmony and completion. For a family who died in fire, a candle spell wouldn’t work, nor would knots, as they were bound to their fate. Water: that was the only thing I could think of. Jem opened the circle to include my pool, which I’d already prepared for winter, but there was still a few feet of water below the cover. I rolled back the cover and stepped into the freezing pool, then submerged with the cards held against my chest.

They wanted me, so I gave myself to them in such a way they would lose the fire that motivated them. Hopefully that would free them.

The only thing I hadn’t allowed for was the temperature of the water. I could barely climb out of the pool afterwards. We thanked the Goddess, and Jem dragged me to bed (with her next to me to raise my body temperature).

I’m still shivering as she types this for me. (That’s why there were no slips or stutters tonight.)


Overtly political

I don’t normally go all political on you, but sometimes I’ve just got to let it out. Sorry, but you are free to not read it. But maybe you should.

I shouldn’t listen to the news.


Every morning I am awoken my local NPR affiliate for their excellent Morning Edition program. (It isn’t as good as the BBC’s Today Programme, but as I’m no longer in the UK, and don’t wish to get up at 1 am to listen, this is a reasonable alternative.

But I really shouldn’t listen to the news.

Every day they interview some idiot. I didn’t realize there were so many out there. Today, they interviewed two.

Their story was about the Mississippi primary. Both idiots proclaimed anti-Obama “facts.”

1) Obama is not legally eligible to be President. “The Constitution says that his father must be born in the US.” Sorry, that just plain isn’t true. Firstly, he was born in Hawaii, and can produce a legal birth certificate to prove it. His mother was American (born in Kansas), and his father was Kenyan. Now that legal document is just as legal as any birth certificate you or I could produce for ourselves. The fact that his parents divorced not long after he was born, and his mother married an Indonesian is irrelevant. Secondly, The Constitution does NOT say that his father has to be born in the US or even an American citizen. It says only that the President must be born in the US, which he was. (That ruled out Henry Kissinger and Arnold Schwarzenegger.)

2) Obama is not a Christian. To begin with, there is nothing in the Constitution saying that the President must be Christian. Although founded on Christian principles, our forefathers separated the state from religion of all types. (First Amendment) Also, many of those same founding fathers weren’t Christian themselves. Some were atheists, theosophists, agnostics, and though many were tied in some way to a Christian church, they did not practice, other than perhaps by being cajoled by their wives to attend church on Sunday. (I can’t remember who that was – perhaps Washington or Jefferson – I don’t have time to look it up.) Therefore, it shouldn’t matter. America prides itself on being inclusive … well, at least it used to … except if you were black. Thanks to Malcolm X and others, Islam is considered a “black” religion, and our racist history means that’s bad. We’ve tarred Islam with a radical, fanatical brush. Ignore the fact that there are plenty of religious Christian fanatics out there who are just as bad. Hitler was a Catholic. Need I say more? What about the Crusades? The Inquisition?

Republicans have entered the age of the new inquisition, where you are judged by how much you bash the bible … and many of their candidates are hypocrites. Gingrich is Catholic, but on his third wife. (Shouldn’t he be excommunicated?) Santorum is staunchly Pro-Life, yet his own wife had an abortion. (All of them seem to be Pro-Death at the same time.) Romney, well, he is Mormon. There’s nothing wrong with that (maybe that’s where Newt should be!), but that’s one reason why his own (heavily Christian) party doesn’t trust him to lead them to the election. He’s rich, like every other President – nothing new. And while Governor of a very liberal state, he passed Romneycare, which is the archetype for Obamacare: Socialist! Evil!

Oh, by the way, Jesus was socialist/communist. Well, it hadn’t been invented yet. However, he stipulated that his disciples give up all their worldly goods and live on the charity of the communities where they preached. They pooled together their resources for the benefit of their circle, taking no more than they needed, giving the rest back to those who listened to the Word. If that isn’t pure Communism, I don’t know what is.

But I digress …

President Obama’s father was a non-practicing Muslim/Atheist and his mother was a non-practicing Christian. His stepfather was probably also Muslim, being Indonesian, but his family didn’t practice religion at all. So his middle name is Hussein. What does that mean? He didn’t choose it himself. He has chosen to be baptized into the Christian church (which would be heretical for a Muslim), goes to church on Sundays, and does everything in a Christian way, perhaps in a more Christian spirit than his opponents in Congress.

As I said above, however, I doesn’t matter what religion he is. That freedom is enshrined in the Constitution.

What irked me out of my slumber this morning was that the interviewer didn’t challenge the idiots, although he was quick to dispute the veracity of their statements in his report. Dammit, go after them. Don’t be a limp, err, noodle!

I would classify myself as a Constitutionalist, yet those who preach that “faith” often don’t have a clue what is in it, just like many Christians don’t have a clue what is in the Bible. Of course, they believe that being liberal (like Jesus) is a sin and that the world is only about 6000 years old, and that we are all descendants of Adam and Eve who bore three sons. Ewwww! They must have had sex with their Mother to procreate. Who else was there? Apes? Sheep? We know Cain found a woman elsewhere. Where did she come from? Was she their … gulp … long lost sister. Ewwwww!

I’ve done it again. I’ve digressed, and this time I’ve put my silly hat on. Time to stop.

I’m going to go find a wall to bang my head on.