Friday, September 30, 2005

Buy or Barter

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I am distributing some of Heather's cards through Amazon Alchemy. This is a sample of a selection which you will eventually be able to choose from. Raven Comes to the Gypsy Camp was made after the Hermit requested that Heather create cards using her sketches. Gift packs of three, which will include Raven Comes to the Gypsy Camp, Amazon Queen Alchemy and the Amazon Queen's Glade (Limora's Glade) will be retailing for nine Australian Dollars.

Bartering and trading is welcome. I love to keep pretty things in my bower and so I will exchange cards for small pieces of art work. For the moment however, the only card available is Raven Comes to the Gypsy Camp.

Contact Heather for more details.

Pearls on my mind

I was looking for spider web photos ...

Diwali lights for Vi

I have just been down to the Gypsy Camp for a cup of tea, and they tell me that as November 1 is also Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights, they will be hanging up lights through the trees and the caravans in honor of the Goddess Lakshmi, who brings good fortune.

The Gypsy King has decreed that Vi will be a Goddess for her birthday and that it will be celebrated with lights - doesn't matter what kind, candles, stars, sun shine, sparkling gems, lanterns, campfires - Vi will be bathed in the light of our love and respect for her.
I will be taking my little statue of the Goddess that I have refurbished for this year's Diwali festivities:

Lakshmi is the Goddess of Good Fortune and is a lovely diety to welcome into your life.
If you want to know more about Diwali, try

It looks like October 31/November 1 is going to be a busy time with so many festivals and celebrations to attend, but I hope you can make it to the Gypsy Camp for Vi's Festival of Lights.

Next celebration: a birthday

Thank you all for helping to celebrate Pearl Day. The next celebration at the Gypsy Camp will be for Vi's birthday on November 1. As Vi spent her last birthday in hospital, the gypsies are going all out to make this one special. The Gypsy Chief has marked her dance card and is looking forward to stepping out with her.
be there or be square!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Pearls for Carol and Paul from Sylvia

Pearls for Carol and Paul

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

May the pearls of memory be blessed

For Carol and Paul on their wedding anniversary : May happiness be with you always, Fran

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Happy Anniversary

Anniversaries are a time to revel in love and romance, it's true. But they are also times to reflect back on all the hard work that makes a marriage. As we know, a pearl--beautiful and sublime--is formed when an irritant gets inside the shell of a mollusk. As the mollusk copes with the irritant, it slowly and gradually forms something quite spectacular. So, too, do the little irritations of marriage create something beautiful--tolerance for human frailties, understanding of differences, blessed patience, and the appreciation of simple presence.

Thirty years of love AND work create a beautiful, shimmering, pearl of a marriage.
Best Wishes to you!

Pearls by Carol

There are 30 pearls on the string, uniform in neither colour nor shape. They slip through my fingers like a rosary as I chant my litany of memories. The 2 green pearls represent the envy I felt when my sister gave birth to the two children I could never have. The black ones represent the loss of loved ones. The irregular freshwater or baroque pearls - depending on how you look at them - represent the times that things didn't go according to plan and went completely pear-shaped and the brightly coloured, almost iridescent ones represent the wonderful holidays we have been lucky to have abroad in exotic places. I note with sadness that the black ones are more frequent now. In between are the plainer pearls untinged by sadness or excitement but happy nonetheless. I count my blessings.


Pearl Gift


Many treasures are gifted in the name of love;
from ancient Lapis to new creations
forged in a man made sun…

but none are as alive as a pearl,
for if it is not worn and nurtured –
allowed to breath in the essence
and aura of the wearer,
it will slowly flake and die –
returning to the seed of its birth.

So it is with cherish …

Let the pearl match your heartbeat
to the pulsing of the rebirth sea.

Breath whispers of endearment around it,
that it may remember the Goddess kiss.

Bask in its inner light of divine embrace
that, layer by layer builds on faith.

Above all, plant a seed of wonder in another
that love will surround in gentle kindness
and provide a gift of life itself.


Enchanteur Arrives With Black Pearls

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You all know Sibyl! She is never one to be coy and shy and loves to make a grand entrance at a party. Personally I think she is wild as tonight. Not sure what she has been sipping in the tea rooms but I most certainly want some of what she is having.

Happy Anniversary Carol.

A Sea for the Pearls - Happy Anniversay Carol

Raven Brings Black Pearls

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Raven flew into the Gypsy Camp with his gift for Carol and Paul. Paul will have to be content to admire his wife of thirty years wearing this string of black beauties.

Happy Anniversary Carol and Paul. Let us pop the champagne corks and drink to you having many happy years together.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

30 Pearls

Thirty pearls:

One for the first sunrise you saw together,
One for the laughter,
One for the tears;
One for the shared private jokes,
One for the comforting arm;
One for the long searching talks,
One for the peaceful silences;
One for discovering together,
One for remembering together;
One for the little things you do for each other.

One for the journey you are taking together,
One for the stumbles on the path,
One for the companion at your side;
One for the word that calms your troubled soul,
One for the soul you share;
One for the gift you still treasure,
One for the joy of having something to give;
One for the dance you started together,
One for the steps matching yours,
One for the music only you and he can hear.

One for the moment it all came together,
One for the trust you place in each other,
One for the faith that keeps you together;
One for the star you follow together,
One for the light that guides you,
One for flame you lit in each other;
One for the warmth you share with each other,
One for the shelter you give to each other;
One for the things that endure,
And one for the things you learned to let go.

Happy 30th anniversary to you both.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A String of Pearls

Pearls strung
On simple string
Strung carefully, one by one
by creative travellers
Gather, forming a
Glorious, glittering necklace
Coveted by bower and magpie
So beautiful that
The powerful all seeing retina must focus to see
The hidden beauty of each single pearl
Gathered along the winding labyrinthine pathways of
The Soul Food Silk Way

A CHALLENGE -- pearls

OK -- Monday will host a party about pearls --
special certainly. I propose a gift of a string
of thirty pearls -- poems and stories about pearls,
the formation, soul and value.

I will start if off with a set of Fitzgeralds (55 words each).

I hope others may add to this "story" in the making,
with thoughts of this own. Monday, when I return home,
I will check and add a couple if necessary.
Please forward this challenge/gift to other blogs that
may wish to participate.

Namaste' faucon


Birth of a Pearl

PEARL SEED (Fitzgerald)

The crag is unimportant,
save it stood above the sea –
and provided perch for a falcon,
fresh from a bitter task
connected with man’s freedom from the gods.

As it leaped off to split in twain
and become two raven watchers –
a single, needless talon fell off,
to tumble to the waiting
depths of peace.


PEARL GIFT (Fitzgerald)

Tears fall readily to the Goddess Sea –
all do in finality,
and find there solace and nurtured care,
in the womb of song’s creation.

Some are cycled mist,
by way of rain and stream.
others are but dust of man’s frailty
blown by the winds of certainty;

but sometimes there is a gift –
a talon …


PEARL EMBRACE (Fitzgerald)

The sea can be selective,
and even show distain,
for flotsam lost in carelessness
or cast aside in laziness – or pervasive greed;

but all things natural to the cycle of rebirth
are welcomed to the bosom of She,
who sings of lost islands,
and churning currents
bringing children home
to silent peace and simple love.


PEARL PASSAGE (Fitzgerald)

In man’s restricted attention,
sand is distinct only in proportion
to gravel, pebble and boulder,

while the sea knows that all things
have a story to tell.

After a millennium or two,
this talon learned of humility
and became but one
with quartz and coral,
bone and fleck of gold –

and with this gained everything.


PEARL JOURNEY (Fitzgerald)

One day by chance,
if you believe in coincidence,
a grain of sand was caught up
in a bit of wood drifting by –
a heroic chunk Spanish Main,
and carried to a happier spot –
where it could hear the whales sing.

Oysters also were drawn to this festive place,
and they tried to sing along,
but …



It stood open in awe and wonder,
unafraid and innocent,
not aware that it was waiting.

One speck of special sand
drifted down in heady swirl
to engender a miracle –
a symbiosis of sorts,
if the grasp of birthing
is too far left
of passion and love
‘neath nacre dreams,
or yearning shard of memory.


PEARL HOME (Fitzgerald)

Love at first is unrecognizable, perhaps –
a mere flutter of annoyance –
persistent presence –
a part of self yet distant and alone.

Shake it off! Cast it out!
“I was not ready for this joining.”

Slowly, a blending occurs –
irritation begets affection,
and fear transcends
to comfort and acceptance.

“OK, then let’s together make a home.”

Raven Visits the Gypsy Camp

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Weaving Through The Gypsy Camp

Old friends are here once again,
billy tea and wise tales,
feeling the breeze of Duwamish,
weaving through the gypsy camp.
Gift for the Chief,
a bright red bloom,
brought from
Nature's isle.
copyright word and image Monika Roleff 2005.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

September 27 - Let's party!

Don’t forget there is a celebration on September 27 for Carol’s 30th wedding anniversary at the Gypsy Camp.The theme is pearls, obviously, and I am hoping everyone will send a greeting, a poem or a picture with a pearly theme. How about dressing up as pearly Kings and Queens? I am sure I spotted some costumes growing at Pandora’s wardrobe.If you want to know more about Pearly Kings and Queens, go to

Meditating at the Crossroads

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I have arrived near the glade and I am sitting at the crossroads meditating upon my future directions. I am wearing green to represent my connection to the earth. Note that all my important symbols are present.

Pegasus, winged horse of my beloved Muse, upon whose wings of imagination I fly,
The Raven to my right, bringing messages from around the world
A cup of Castalian Water from Delphi Greece, the waters of creative inspiration
A graceful black swan, a true Australian
The limb of a Cypress, my tree, is ever present
and last but not least,
Statement beads, helping to express my an artistic side.

Guide me wise Gusari! Help me choose a pathway that will nourish my creativity. Tell me what I need to release in order to move forward toward my destiny.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


This is story not included in my book about the Gusari,
"Songs of the Gusari." It is something that the author
Jamic could not have known about, but it does does give
clues of the Gusari not found elsewhere.

The theme line came from a 102 old man in Romania
who had never seen a computer before coming
to speak with me on the internet.




The Gusari sat still and silent on the grassy mound. No one was near; yet he was not alone. The weight of a thousand years of shaman tradition bore down on him -- but also lifted him up, buoyantly, to mediate against nagging solitude. Kiyan could be hailed by a thousand men. Mothers lulled children to sleep with his stories. Princes, Landgraffs, priests and chieftains trusted him. Yet he had few friends. Young Jamic was now off on his own quest. Brother Aldon had his monastary to look after. Others were dead. There were three others. He needed them now.

It had taken a day to prepare the ayil -- as far as he could by himself. The household camp would not be complete until the others arrived. Not only was their presence and spirits essential, but each carried items necessary to complete the khana. Its skeleton and cap was all that Kiyan's spare weapons and maikhan blanket would allow. A single man might seek protection from the Tengri's angry lightning and rain with only his felt maikhan thrown over a bush. A tent large enough for all four warriors required that each provide a horse-blanket, as well as personal tent and silk fusta shirt and izmene breeches. That morning he had trimmed a long sapling, fashioning a center-pole with sharp steel nozh point and head of a battle axe, serving as a tamga. The symbolic device would tell all approaching that this was an armed camp. Normally, a tripod formed of spear, staff and sword would provide a rest for stacking weapons. Only a leg-spike was allowed around the fire. Now…

With the heart pole secured by four wind-ropes, Kiyan fashioned the shoulder fingers. Using his own hip as measure, he had cut and trimmed four slender birch rods. These were attached to the pole at the juncture of axe handle and sapling by means of a medallion about the size of a man's spread hands. It seemed a decorative piece until slipped onto the shaft by the center hole. Four sets of small holes allowed the rods to be thronged securely. These crossed the wind-ropes to point to the great directions of the world. If this were a Mongol camp, each would be marked with the essential color designations. When these rods were secured to the ropes a wheel-spoke arrangement was completed just above head height. Kiyan's maikhan stretched perfectly from center hole above to the ends of the rods, forming a pyramid cap for the eventual khana. As the others arrived their maikhan would be hung from the rods to extend over the side ropes. Short spears would be inserted in the ground at the ends and secured to form supporting side poles. Silk garments would then be hung to complete the sides, protecting from insects and wandering eyes more than wind or storm. Horse blankets would form ground cover, and smoke from the brassier would happily escape around the edges. Thus it had been formed for three thousand years. Now again -- the blending -- the pulse.

The completed group tent would have fit in any grouped ayil camp, the yellow maikhan appearing gold in the distance. Only the strung bow, ready arrows and unsheathed sword would seem out of place. The Gusari had not been driven to defend or kill for many years. Despite his age he was prepared. A morning regimen of exercise and chant, based on ancient battle arts and dance, served to keep him fit. His small hand shield and whirling kama sword accompanied his shift of prancing form from stork to snake to tiger and on. Those who only knew him as a wandering merchant performer would never guess at his lethal portent. Those who came to his forest camp for stew and advice would wonder at his stories and never notice how loose his knife was in its hold. He never competed in the frequent matches at the lists or forest glade, though his Turkic recurve could strike at one hundred paces what they impaled at forty. He still practiced when well alone. Fourteen arrows only in his belt quiver. Thumb ring hardly noticed when transferred from its neck thong. Shield held in bow hand together with the end of his lupo cloak. Up close, no one recognized that at a distance the patterned weave would give a false image of his actual form. With practiced breath and whispered rhythmic chant the strella shafts would follow one-on-one in less than a minute space to form rings of three no larger than an apple in several distant trees.

Once, long ago, such archery skill had stopped a charge of a dozen riders and saved the life of a young stricken knight. That is why Wolfram would come.
Kiyan's stretched bow arm revealed a scar on his forearm; the place where he had deliberately taken a knife thrust to twist and disarm a vicious enemy nokud warrior. Later he had carried the wounded Mongol five leagues to safety and nursed him back to health. Those allies who had attacked the messenger protected under the striped banner he left behind for the carrion birds. Thus Thoregai would come.

The Gusari never liked to think of Ekrem. With his image came the memory of a destroyed village -- Kiyan's family clan only piles of bloody rags -- the old shaman beheaded. The young Turkic asker had remained behind in anger -- it was to be a raid of plunder only. He was wailing in lament when the Gusari had arrived, and was attempting to scratch out shallow graves along the stony ridge. With no common language shared the warrior rose and stuck his curved sword in the ground. He cast aside his strange scale armor and unwound his protecting silk shirt. He stood with bared chest before the trembling young shaman. Kiyan stared into his lost eyes and learned much of compassion, charity -- and then mercy. The Gusari knew that the Marmaluk stranger was now dead -- but his son would come.

The Gusari was acknowledged for many mysterious ways and customs; some Christian, some Pagan, some born of instinct and blood. Few would recognize what he now performed. On the small swatch of rabbit fur four stones were arranged, each with a unique history and purpose. In the center was a sliver of aurok horn, tipped with an eagle talon. Incense from the powdered seeds of the five bushes smoldered on the edge of his sword. Blood dripped from his pricked thumb onto the jeweled amulet. The cross on his Tryzub pendant was shrouded in purple thread. He sang out the names of his anda, his sworn brothers-at-arms. The ruddy sun changed to silver moon-beams while he sang. Enough! He collapsed in the ashes of the fire.

Strange dreams caressed three warriors in distant lands. As one they prepared. Days -- weeks -- a month away. As distant specks on the horizon they would appear. They were called. Though strangers, they would meet and bond without word. Arm to arm and back to back they would stand.

The Gusari has called.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Episode 7 The Gypsy Camp

The visit to White Owl Island with my guide Sophia had turned into a meditative time rather than one with any inherent sense of adventure. On return, Sophia dropped me in a shaded grassy patch at Dumwash within sight of the Gypsy Camp which was starting to stir.
"Time to catch up with the revellers" she said. " Look for Lois and Gail, they will make you welcome." And so she left me again.

At last I was ready both physically, and in spirit, I had indeed done the "hard yards", and turned towards the Gypsy Camp. Thus it was that I came to sit with Gail and Tinker alongside her waggon, as she boiled the billy for me..(and indeed there was a hint of gumleaves in the air again.) I listened to her many adventures on the road to Dumwash and the wisdom she had gained on the journey. We were joined by Lois and she too spoke of the courage tempered with understanding which had led her this far. She had survived the pitfalls and unknown terrors along the way. What struck me with both was their sense of joy and eagerness for the adventure and serependity of each tomorrow.

Soon we were chatting like soulmates, and I knew I had so often found through life....the beauty and the gift that is the friendship of fellow travellers. In their presence I had found the essence of friendship....finding someone less scared than you are to share the journey!

Friends walk part of the path with you,
Pitch your tent and see you through.
Laugh when your days are sunny and long,
Cry when all your dreams go wrong.
Hope for your future. Bring you flowers.
Sit by your side through the long dark hours.
Give you a hoist when the goings tough,
Boil the billy when you've had enough!


Several posts here have been about Tarot, Astrology, and other forms of psychic connection. In conjunction with my study of the Gusari, the Alan and Mongolian Shamanism, I have reconstructed some different forms of divination that predate all of those. These work quite well face-to-face, especially in helping people make decisions under complexity. I am willing to try these methods in a 'distant' format, though it will require several levels of communication. I have set up a chat room for that purpose.

For those interested, please join "Gusari Mystique" by messaging

You will hopefully then write about your experience with 'Kiyan the Gusari', though all details will be confidential.

Gusari stories and history can be found on Lemurian Mysteries, Strum of the Gusli and this blog.


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Scratch a Poet, find a ...

Work of the Trees

The children came to dance beneath the trees,
to laugh and tumble in the rusting leaves,
and learn of simple life by Nature's touch.

Then they grew tall, broad and long of hair,
and knowledge was seized like a stolen pear
while the wisdom of flowers was trampled.

As men and women they forgot to sing,
of such natural truths that wonders bring,
and their spirits withered in sad decay.

Yet some still heard the laughing leaves of dawn
and became shaman, wizard, seer and crone,
and rekindled the spark of innocence.

They live where what was, is what now will be,
nurturing powers drawn from memory,
for within yourself is rebirthing Light.

Living challenge will dictate 'what to do',
but 'how to do' must be found within you,
each by each to wonder where ever when.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Gypsy Poetry

I no longer have a mother
Or a black-haired father.
I have been left alone
Like a fallen tree.

But that tree
Is not quite alone:
The cold wind blows
And touches its branches.

~anonymous gypsy poem written some time ago

Tarot reading from the Rom woman

another reading of my tarot...lots for me to think about.

Four of Wands in the Past position.A card in the left position indicates what has happened to affect your question in the past.You have achieved a satisfying goal. Take time to celebrate this. Be proud of what you have done.

Knight of Swords in the Present position.A card in the middle position indicates what is affecting your question at this time.You are in the midst of something. You know exactly what you want to do and precisely how you are going to do it. You are very single-minded right now. Your goal is in sight.

Queen of Swords - Reversedin the Future position.A card in the right position indicates your questions future.Be aware of depending too much on order. Remember to be flexible when things don’t go your way. Allow others to behave as they believe right. Your ways are not everyone’s ways. Do not divorce yourself from your emotions in an effort to protect yourself.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Rom Woman

This beautiful Rom woman has such an air of mystery. I hope she can shed some light on my own mysteries--I plan to have my fortune told once again in the Gypsy Camp.

Mountain Talk

As I am not from the South,
attempting to speak in mountain
dialogue can be viewed as insulting
or 'poking fun'. So when I thought to
write a piece in this venacular,
I sought help from some "ol'timers".

This piece was the focus.

I make staffs and canes for people
as a hobby/calling, and was given a partially
completed one with a history. I sensed
a need for it by a young man in Washington State,
finished it and sent it too him.

While it was in transit I sent him this
poem in four sections, just in preparation.


By this Staff

I'd be a wantin' to tell ya 'bout this here staff.
Jes' now finishin' up with the oil 'n rubbin' down,
not tryin' to hurry or nuthin' -- but getting' on time.
My part wasn't much to tell on, no exaggeration --
fact is, what I dun whittled ain't the best part a’tall.
Don't have the soft patience ‘ner the eye neither --
not like them others what started it and loved it.

It's name is Maarishone, I be reckenen' by Shea --
kinda made up like, from the magical names of
these two ladies see -- and me bein' just me,
and them all gone and needed 'memerin' still.
What ya got here son, is legacy and dreamstuff;
and don't ferget the granddad done found it first,
back about -- well nere yer dad was born I rekkin.

I'll tell how it was told ta me, cleaned up a bit for tellin’.
Findin' this here stick was an accident, but special --
leastwise helped old Zeb offin the ridge that night,
broke leg and the wolf-wind gnawin' and rain mean.
Didn't help none he was a comin' back from the still,
or that’d been my guessin' from knowin' the fam'lies and all --
not matterin' much as they was mountain born and true.

'portant thing is, that he kept it 'round for years -- just raw.
You know, didn't let the natural call outin' the skin or nuthin’,
an' a wonder it didn't get busted up some for fire startin'.
Too big for whuppin' and too long fer stirrin' boilin' shirts.
'sides it was strangle wood and had a mind of its own --
winnin' out over that twistin' vine by claiming it and bondin’,
like maybe two blood brothers Cherokee style as one.

Well, his shack burnt up and him be in it -- don't know why,
but this stick was found sittin' on a tree bench by itself,
like he was fixin' to work on it some but was fergittin'.
His daughter spake of his askin' 'bout her broken broom
and thought fersure it woulda made a right nice handle,
and they give it to her cause a that, and cause he liked it.
Fer some folk simple things mean a lot -- and that's all right!

She started carvin' on it that winter -- snow pretty deep an' all,
and laughed 'bout lettin' the root-serpent out part way,
and whittled careful, to just remove the bark a fair bit
‘n after that, the twistin' spin kinda jumpt out ta yer eye,
what with the skin that purple gray and the inside cream
and the bark edge reddish like rust or soakin' blood
though theyen be kin to any blade and not likely slip.

Anyways, she started it and set it to be a walkin' staff,
but n'er got to use it fer dyin' of the croup that way,
and it only done enough for plan to trace and follow.
Set about for a spell, I guess -- leastwise nuthin' said,
'till her granddaughter started playin' it up again
and talking' fairie talk and likin' old stories and such,
and sayin' how the ole dead man told her what to do.

She worked it sure careful -- slow and tender like,
and hear tell she used real sand and rough deer hide
and a broken piece of file from the mill -- and her teeth!
Yup -- I ain't a sayin' it be true, but I then again might be,
fer I had to work down some strange marks 'round the top
and never could get no tool to fit in just right and quick,
so my finishin' ain't quite as good as her middle fixin'.

You might be wonderin' why it fell to me -- I always did.
Guess she knew somehow it’d never be finished by her,
and knew I had a way of just doin' things 'stead of talkin',
and 'cause she caught me 'neath the moon that Solstice past
with that other staff and the old ritual I did and chanted
real purdy she said and sumthin’ 'bout it followin' through
and that I should be the one who decided when and who.

My pa made me memerize it just right ….

"Come Goddess
to this ritual of paced enchantment.
Smile Mistress of the Night
as this new staff walks a league in silence.
Embrace Mother Earth
as power draws up from nature's pulse.
Absorb the Father,
last lingering warmth of yesteryear.
Behold the ever wand
of the squire of the approaching dawn.
Strength of arm, peace of spirit,
depth of soul;
by bond conduct the song of everbe."

He said it was keltish or somethin' -- from way back.
No matter -- people just bring me staffs and I do it.
I wouldn't 'cept for this tingle-burnin' I get inside,
and the special glow in people eyes when they pass by
with one of these ol' sticks in hand and heart 'n all,
and never have to say a word but fer to smile-sing.

You ought to know that a man n'er walks with a staff alone;
meanin' made by his own hand or bought or maybe stole,
'er else that invoke thing kinda works out back-ass-erds
and ya fall inta a well or earthquake crack or rabbit hole,
and if yer lucky the staff saves ya and you gift it quick away
afore even your cousins shout and run away for fearin' --
best just get one give to ya by reason never asked ‘ner begged.

So, it was n'er meant fer me, 'ceptin to carry on the line of hands
what cut and knicked and rubbed and let the spirit out.
You figger out what them tiny hands are for you see there,
but never tell a single folk but jest walk, aknowin' and straight.
'cause the real staff is a-goin't' be inside of you, my friend –
and this be just a way of shoutin' silent to those aware
that crones and wizards done brought this home to thee.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lovy Dovy Picture

This photo goes with the poem below.


A Song for the Gypsy Chief

I happened upon the Gypsy Camp as I travelled through Lemuria. The Chief asked me to join their party for the evening. We shared a meal and afterwards sat around the fire singing songs.
I shared a favourite of mine by Irish singer Christy Moore.

The Voyage

I am a sailor, you're my first mate
We signed on together, we coupled our fate
Hauled up our anchor, determined not to fail
For the hearts treasure, together we set sail

With no maps to guide us we steered our own course
Rode out the storms when the winds were gale force
Sat out the doldrums in patience and hope
Working together we learned how to cope

Chorus: Life is an ocean and love is a boat
In troubled water that keeps us afloat
When we started the voyage, there was just me and you
Now gathered round us, we have our own crew

Together we're in this relationship
We built it with care to last the whole trip
Our true destination's not marked on any charts
We're navigating to the shores of the heart

The gypsies are on the move...

The gypsies have heard the creaking of wagons and the sound of donkey's hooves on the road, so they are packing up and heading for Duwamish. They will find a camp ground there and open up their fortune telling tents. The Gypsy Chief wants all travellers to know they are welcome if they see the camp along the road to ride along with the tribe and share songs and stories about the journey.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Amble By

Since you seemed to like the Parson story
and weird style, I whupped up another --
bit more serious though ...


Parson Cider

Squire Hawkin's (his rightful name -- don't mean nuthin')
figured he'd been toein' the cider long enough,
and reeled in the crock'ry bottle (bubble tube tied off)
whated been a bobbin' in the stream a spell.
Now I don't hold that proper cider (never had no other)
has to be cold for appreciation,
but then mine never seems to spark (warmin' the soul sure)
the fine conversation comes from
sippin' the Squire's precious dew. (steals the apples at new moon)

"How ya be, this shade sittin' afternoon?" (we all jumps surprised)
says the Parson leanin' 'gainst a curvy pine. (favorin' his slippin' knee)
He just appears like that, frequent passin' --
kinda puts some folk off, but I just chuckles. (nuthin' to hide this day)

"Lordy, Parson," coughed out Will Barlow. (tryin' not to swallow)
"Ya might have whistled up the ridge fer warnin'"

"If I'd a done, you might have drunk this gone." (holdin' out his crooked finger)
"Picked me a mess o' thimble berries to share --
wouldn' taste right with a dusty throat." (tosses off a fair dig)
"The 'Good Book' doesn't say a lick 'bout cider anyhow"

"We'd just been talkin' 'bout some scripture,"
offers Tommy Lee. (we all eye the Parson)
"'bout how you don't quote chapters, 'n all,
like old Rev'rend did to distraction."

Parson didn't say nuthin' as was munchin'
on some slab bread and sausage we'd put out
to match his berries. (with water fresh in a tin cup)
When the chillin' jug circled his way
he just rubbed it on his neck and sighed. (shirt off like us)

"Yeh, how come, Parson --
seein' it be God's truth and all. People kinda
expect you ta refresh their mind a bit." (surprise -- Loddy hardly talks at all)

"Well, there's truth and there's believing --
not the same think a'tall." (nobody touches the jug)
"There is truth in the runnin' stream there,
and in many words writ down,
and in youngin's questions and old widow yarns."
(Even the jays were silent)
"Many good things can come from this truth,
or harm can come from each of these.
How you choose to act is a matter
of what you believe -- who you trust." (the waterfall had never been louder)

"The messages in the Bible are a
way to help you make choices,
and they are as true as your actions
will support and help others." (strange fer a preacher!)

"If I were to spout scripture to you,
I would be telling you what to do,
rather than assisting you in choosing."
(that's right friendly)

"That Jesus fellow -- he asked questions
and told stories. Recon that's good enough
for me. 'Course I read and pray every night.
(Tommy raised his hand -- strange polite)
"Guess if I trust you, Parson --
I mean spiritual like --
then I'll believe you no matter
what words you use --" (Lotty just jumped right in)

"and if you didn't act right --
I mean -- what I'd like to be,
then thar be no reason to believe ya."
(Parson -- he just smile)

Squire chased after their barefoot friend.
"Thought maybe you'd take the last of this cider.
(I perked up to listen)
"Give it to Willie down the hollow.
His rheumatis don't let him climb up here of late."

"Funny fella, that Parson --
what with a jug hanging from one shoulder
and his boots dangling free from t'other,
he done forgot his cane." (not sure who spoke up)

"Just means he'll be back by,"
I ventured.

"I trust he will."

Chocolate Offering for the Gypsy Chief

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Watch out for the Mulo on All Hallows Eve

The gypsies have many rituals and beliefs about death. The strongest one is that a gypsy must die in a good way, or he or she will come back for revenge as one of the Mulo, or living dead.
It is traditional for the dead Gypsy to be cremated with all his or her possessions, including the caravan (varda). There is no unseemly squabbling by relatives their inheritance, because there is none – relatives only get what the person chooses to give while he or she is still alive. Anything taken from a dead person is considered bad luck, bad luck. To buy or sell things belonging to a dead person is extremely bad luck, and will surely result in that person coming back as a ravenous wolf or evil spirit.
On June 30, 2003, the UK `Gypsy King” Joseph Smith, was given a traditional Romany Funeral at Brecon, in Wales. Joseph’s modern caravan was burnt with all his possessions, also he was buried in a coffin. (Modern sensibilities to gypsy rights doesn’t quite extend as far as burning the body).

The Gypsy Chief has told me he is particularly fearful that a Mulo, a gypsy vampire, has been seen in the hills above the camp. The Mulo is a terrifying creature, with no bones, and only three fingers on each hand. The Gypsies will all wear red on All Hallow’s Eve, to ward off evil spirits – the campfire with not be permitted to go out – and it is advisable to tie a small piece of iron to a string and wear it round your neck. Hawthorn branches should also be carried – Hawthorn is the only wood that will kill a Mulo .
There will be much singing and dancing and feasting to frighten the Mulo away – she is a life hater, a life taker, and most fears laughter and good spirits. No one will be permitted to wander from the camp fire in case the Mulo is lurking in the trees – and if you do insist on straying off, it will be at your own risk.
The Mulo is a pale thin woman – she may be wearing a red dress to fool you, or be accompanied by two children, begging for a piece of bread to feed them. The children are as ravenous as she, so beware!
If you meet the Mulo on All Hallow’s Eve you will need to be very cunning and quick to escape her.

There is an article on Romany death rituals at the Romany site, Patrin. It mainly concerns modern funeral rites.

Simple Traveler

Mountain Parson

A parson friend (as he is to all)
ambled peaceably by (as is his way)
and dropped a seed of thought. (scarcely preaching)

"Good to see you fix up the place." (I think he meant the house)

"a spot of paint -- some tended weeds" (now I am not sure)

"folks'll think they have new neighbors" (I am a bit recluse)

"It'll be grand when your drapes can be drawn back,
and I see flowers on the sill,
and laughing music from that piano,
I know is nestled there in the parlour." (wasn't in my plans)

"I was nearby that splashin' pond,
beyond the cedar grove, you know." (aye, such memories)

"I tossed in a stone I'd carried a bit,
thinking of Annie and all." (Yes, it has been a year since …)

"I watched the ripples swell out,
thinking of how many lives she touched." (Oh, my dearest love)

"That pond will never be the same now --
me 'neath, I recon. (I am not alone)

"well, I've must be movin' on --
hear tell the Darnell's are
having trouble with their son --
right serious." (I could use some help here)

I called after the limping figure,
bowed by endless walking of the mountain trails,

"Tell 'em to send young Jeb my way --
I'll give him work for pay and found."

A twirl of his walking stick
tells me he has heard --
and stretch of stride of agreement. (wonder why he came)

Someday we are all going to have
to build that guy a church. (not that I'd go)

Humm -- maybe if I moved those frilly curtains
that Annie loved --
up to the front widow here …

Palm Reading

This trip to the Gypsy Camp, I decided to entertain the Gypsy Chief with a Palm Reading, as I have been working on my divination skills. He indulged me, although I am sure he could teach me a thing or two about divination. Anyway, it never hurts to hold onto a Johnny Depp-looking bloke's hand for a bit!

You have the best kind of Life Line, long and clearly marked. I see good health, vitality and a very nice life expectancy. The wide swooping motion of your Life Line indicates strength, enthusiasm and an improved love life. The small lines you see extending upward from your Life Line are representative of your ability to recuperate. The break in your Life Line may be an indicator of an accident or serious illness. This break is an indication of a sudden change in your life situation.

Your Head Line is deep, long and straight, stretching across the palm. This indicates a logical and direct way of thinking. The straighter the line, the more realistic the thinking, and the deeper the line, the better the memory. YOur line is forked at the end, it shows a descent into second childhood, with its commensurate freedoms.The joining of your Head Line and Life Line at the beginning indicates that your strong sense of mind generally rules over your body. You also look at childhood with a cautious and fearful outlook.

A slight disregard to the true meaning of love and its responsibilities are indicated by a Heart Line like yours that starts between the middle and index finger. You tend to easily give your heart away. Your double Heart Line shows that you are protected by someone who loves you. The small lines you may see extending upward from your Heart Line are a good sign, as they illustrate happiness in love.

You posses a square hand.This is typically the mark of a working, balanced, earthy individual. Most men who've become successful, and have risen from working with their hands, have square palms. This type of hand is typically found on people, who are involved in a practical, materialistic occupation. These people usually have solid values and a lot of physical energy.

*Reading provided free at

A song for the Gypsy Chief

While rummaging in Pandora's costumes, I found this absolutely fabulous hat - it makes me feel like Stevie Nicks. So I sang this song for the Gypsy Chief - it's by English folksinger Ewan McColl, who wrote it sometime back in the 60s. I was amazed that a man who was not born a traveller could express our feelings so well - ah, the magic of the true poet. I first heard it performed by the Dubliners in a smoky Manchester folk club. You can listen to a snippet of it performed by the wonderful Luke Kelly at
I think the GC liked it, he came over all teary...

(Ewan McColl)

I'm a freeborn man of the travelling people
got no fixed address with nomads I am numbered
country lanes and by ways are always my ways
I never fancied being lumbered

Oh I've known the woods all the resting places
the small birds sang when winter time was over
then we'd pack our load and be on the road
they were good times for the rover

There was open ground where a man could linger
stay a week or two for time was not your master
then away you'd jog with your house and dog
nice and easy no need to go faster

Now and then you'd meet up with other travellers
hear the news or else swap family information
at the country fair we'd be meeting there
all the people of the travelling nation

Oh I've known life hard and I've known it easy
and I've cursed the life when winter days were dawning
but I've danced and sang through the whole night long
seen the summer sunrise in the morning

I've made willow creels and the heather besoms
lifted taties pu'd the berries and gaed hawkin'
and I've lain there spent happed up in the tent
and we listened to the old folks talking

All you freeborn men of the travelling people
every tinker rolling stone and gypsy rover
winds of change are blowing old ways are going
your travelling days will soon be over.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Challenge the Death Card

Death is numbered thirteen and is the most feared card in the deck. We see the Grim Reaper depicted as a dark and powerful figure, sometimes on horseback and at other times on foot. He usually carries a scythe and leaves bodies, limbs and so on in his wake. Whoever we are, Death will claim us eventually.

The Death card signifies endings, but not necessarily shocking and disruptive ones. In any case, endings always lead to new beginnings and Death itself symbolises a sweeping away of the past. If we rid ourselves of past garbage then we are free to set out on an entirely new path

When Death appears it almost always signifies a major change in one's life. Sometimes the change will appear disruptive and unexpected, sometimes it will be a breath of fresh air - clearing away obstacles and allowing you to surge forward. So do not assume that Death is a negative card - it is often just what we need in order to progress when fear is holding us up.

Change your life today by challenging taboo fears. Turn a skeleton into a stand on your dresser and 'hang' your beads and jewellry all over it. Death will see the funny side of this action and reward your humour.

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The High Priestess

Beware of this one…she comes disguised in many ways, especially in the Tarot, where she cuts a benign figure, piously exhorting you to tap into your feminine side. Ha! Do not be lulled. Once she has you in her snare she will hang you upside down by your heels and shake you until your brains are emptied of all your complacent preconceptions and smug assurances. She will cram you with creative energy until you are stuffed full as a Strasbourg goose. She will tease and torment you with glimpses of a reality far removed from your hum drum days until you are twitching and itching to get your hands on some paint, some paper, a crayon – anything to make your mark. Your own, imperishable, undiluted mark, torn from your heart and wrung from your soul, but yours, the sign that you are alive.
Ignore the reader who smiles sweetly and tells you the High Priestess means you should reflect, look inward and seek quiet self knowledge. Laugh at her if she tells you the High Priestess wants you to find a bare cell and pray or study. Shun her utterly if she tells you the High Priestess is the passive female principle of the divine harmony.
The High Priestess is not passive, she is not obedient. She is telling you to get up! Get a grip! Do something beautiful with your life, sing, dance, be!
Do you think she wants to be stuck on that throne, wearily waiting for someone to come along so she can dispense homely wisdom? Hell, no! Before her behind was nailed to that chair, before they stuck a silly crown on her head and mocked her, calling her the `Female Pope’ – La Papessa – before Tarot historians passed her off as the `female aspect of religion’ or `the figure that represents the body of the Church, as the Empress represents the Empire’, or one of a dozen demeaning and completely erroneous interpretations – long before that, the High Priestess garlanded her arms with live snakes, and lived as a lightning rod for the power of the Goddess.
So don’t be fooled by the stillness and serenity. Don’t imagine she will go easy on you. She is you.

It's going to be a real pearler...

The Gypsies are having a celebration on September 27, in honour of Carol's 30th wedding anniversary. As this is the Pearl Anniversary, the theme will be pearls - offer your pearls of wisdom, wear strings of pearly shells, dress up as pearly Kings and Queens. We'll have the barn doors down, Blind Murty is tuning up his fiddle, and the Gypsy Chief will be flashing his pearly whites.

Be there or be square!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

More Lovy Dovy

On chalet north there is a wall of stone,
fireplace set high and hearth full deep and broad.
There are steps set in, traversing left and up
that lead to sleeping loft and blessed rest.

Of treads there are but nine, and no surprise --
each of eclectic diff’ring height and reach;
being rough and cold they are a surprise
form cushioned comfort above and below.

I could ponder on an analogy,
of spiritual extension,
but can’t figure what religion applies
to something simple as a sense of awe.

You cannot climb those steps -- or descend,
without feeling a quickening of heart,
and lightening of soul and sense of peace
drawn from profound faith and deepest love.

Of course, my love waits there,
and ...