The night before He came, I had a dream about a plane crash. I was in the garden, staring up at a sigil made of stars with a crowd of people at my feet, clambering for my attention. I saw the sigil turn before anyone else. It morphed into a glider plane and began to head rapidly towards us. The impact was huge when it hit the ground, but miraculously no one was hurt: not even the pilot, who turned out to be me.
I was walking barefoot in the forest the next day: that may seem strange to you, but it was something I did regularly in those days. It was a way of connecting with nature through direct experience; a way of shutting out the world society tells us is normal and reconnecting with the soul of things. I was on the edges, considering heading home across the meadow when I noticed Him. I was startled at first of course, and not just by His antlers, but by His striking beauty and familiarity. I had seen His gaunt face and strong upper body many times during guided meditations, and I knew He had a peculiar gait, I just hadn’t acknowledged that it was due to having hooves instead of feet. He pulled me close.
‘I have found you at last, and just in time’ He told me boldly. ‘It is imperative that you stay with me now, don’t lose track! I must protect you from what comes’.
I was overwhelmed by His aura. I sensed that He had cruelty in Him and the ability to cause pain and chaos. And yet, this creature was sincere and full of love for just me. He held a dagger in one hand, decorated with a ram-headed snake. It oozed an ultraviolet gas that felt utterly magickal. I am convinced that had anyone been passing through the forest at this particular time, they would have seen nothing but a madwoman with wild hair and bleeding feet talking to herself in some kind of rapture. But He wasn’t there for anyone else, He was there for me.
The next few days brought the disorder and personal disaster I should have foreseen from the dream. I need not go into the details here, but suffice to say I became quickly stressed and panicked about the pressure upon me to carry out certain difficult tasks. I felt my breathing change first, from deep and calm to shallow and laboured. Then my posture changed so that I was hunched over, demonstrating in my body language that I wanted to be left alone. With every interaction my mind became more pained. My eyes were glassy and strange, it was said, and I got my sentences all mixed up when I tried to talk. I felt exposed, as though everything that was ordinarily safe and orderly inside my head was on show and betraying me. I was in a mental state of emergency.
But instead of breaking down completely, as I am ashamed to say I have done in the past under similar circumstances, I called upon Him. He came mostly at night, to top me up with His wonderful ultraviolet magick that made me fizz and quicken.
‘Remember, this troublesome torrent isn’t totality but an abstraction. Emotions are high but only temporarily so.’
‘But why are you here, my light bearing shadow?’
‘To ask why is to invite reason. Reason would belittle your will, and you need every drop of that just now.’
It was like the purest magick, that turned immediately into energy and the ability to re-focus. I felt whole again when He came to me, and I can say quite honestly that my stag friend saved my sanity. For when the commotion in my life came to an end, I was able to step right out of that glider walking and unharmed much to the amazement of my peers.
He disappeared again shortly afterwards; I suppose the time for which He needed to protect me was at an end. But ever since, there has been a torc by my bedside that I did not put there and I cannot lift. It is an otherworldly sort of artefact, that anyone who visits marvels at. I sometimes wonder whether they can see the ultraviolet hue it gives off, but I daren’t ask in case that magick is just for me.
Fragments of Light is a hand-bound, illustrated zine compiling short bursts of creative writing about Magick, illumination and madness.