IMPERATOR OF CROWS
Imperator of Crows
I awakened to the sounds of battle. Chaos erupts in the skies above. The World quakes to the sound of Conflict. Suddenly I knew what was happening and it all made perfect sense.
Sometimes I mix some magic into my meditation.
Every day at sunset I retire to the ragged circle of grass beneath the silky oak tree at the bottom of my back yard, and there I once again devote the twilight hour to the practice of the Ancient Art of Tai Chi – not only a subtle form of self-defence but also a form of moving meditation that tones the body and centres the mind. A graceful, gliding sequence of dance-like movements that energises the practitioner and reconnects them into Sync with the World’s swirling energies, the Great Cycles and Tides of Life.
Tai Chi teaches us that the Energy of Life, the CHI,
(or Prana as it is called by the practitioners of Yoga), is in constant movement circulating within the body and being exchanged back and forth with the outer world.
Indeed with every breath we draw in CHI (along with oxygen and other gases) and the body’s batteries are recharged.
To block the flow of CHI can cause Illness, Madness and Death.
And so each day at Sunset, I dance beneath the Silky Oak tree..
But as I said, sometimes I mix a little magic into my meditations. It’s never Something Nasty – a mere empowerment ritual before a Performance say, to raise the Psychic Energies and focus the Mind, or Weaving a Protective Web of Light around my Loved Ones or Myself when feeling Malevolent Forces about – these Causes I feel are Lawful and even if such rituals are dismissed as no more than a powerful psychological placebo to placate the anxious mind, still, the results they produce can often be quite startling and quite inexplicable.
At any rate, the other night I felt the need to invoke a little aid against the Dark Forces looming, and
with minor adjustments, traces of Ritual Purpose are weaved into the precise and grace-filled sequence of ancient movements/a channeling of Energies alters the Flow/
an Algorithm of Intent skews indifferent Space/Time slightly/ a butterfly changes course lands on the shoulder of a boulder been sitting quietly on the top of a slope for the last two million years and for no reason at all the World rolls down
an entirely different track..
Invoking a little aid. Yes, well, call me Paranoid but I’d been starting to feel under attack by malign forces of late. Sniping was coming at me from various quarters. The shopkeepers were sullen behind their counters, crudely attempting to short change me. Road rage breaking out everywhere around me on the road, strangers waving fists and screaming/An air of brooding hung over the neighbourhood./The neighbour seemed to be spying on me. Was he sending in reports? And to Who? Close Personal friends went mad and attacked me, they were dragged away in straight-jackets red-eyed and frothing at the lips.
Yes, I thought, whatever Dark Force was directing it’s hostility towards me, it was time to pull up the drawbridge, rally the troops, and call in the Traditional Allies.
My Magic does not invoke gods or demons or any of those wankers.
My small shamanic Magic calls on the Forces that are real to me, the Powers and Allies that I know and Love
and that Love me back.
So I call upon my Ancestors.
I call upon the Spirits of the Hearth and of this Place.
I call upon the Nature Spirits of Tree and Earth, Water, Wind and Fire that are around me always.
I call upon the Animal Spirits, and knowing me as their Ally they come, like the tiny bats that flit and blink half-glimpsed from the corner of the eyes, as they silently careen through the soft ambiguity of Twilight.
I ask for their aid to drive away the Hostile Forces.
Protect me and my Family and Loved Ones from the Malign and Mindless Hatred that besieges and surrounds. Elemental Towers and Walls of Protection arise around me. I dance my Magic and draw in the abundance of CHI surrounding me, recharging my Psychic batteries. The Moon peeps over the horizon. A chorus of frogs replaces the chorus of cicadas. Flying Foxes crash clumsily in the trees. It’s time to go upstairs and make dinner.
Next morning I awaken to the sounds of battling Birds.
The Crows are fighting in the trees and skies.
Nearly two dozen of them are brawling chaotically in the air above. Feathered Chaos is unbound and the whole World quakes.
The noise is deafening, like a squadron of fighter jets or helicopters attacking some Third World village.
It goes on and on. This is no passing brawl.
Upon investigation I quickly assess the Situation.
It appears a Murder of a dozen or so Crows from Somewhere Else had encroached upon the local Crows territory and now a furious war was being fought as all the locals banded together to repel the Invaders.
My neighbourhood is perched in what is basically a little valley and this is inhabited by a number of crow families who have settled in various strategically located tall trees in the area.
One Crow Tree is in fact located right outside my bedroom window – a big tall gum tree that has been inhabited exclusively by corvids for the last ten years. Come the Spring there’s usually two or three crow families noisily nesting in it, raising their adorably ugly children and shitting on my car.
Now it was like a castle under siege. The branches and foliage swayed alarmingly as the battle raged. Sticks and leaves and feathers littered the ground beneath.
What sounded like half a dozen “dog-fights” were taking place simultaneously, in and out of the canopy.
Wanting to have their five-cents-worth, the local Yellow-beaked Minor birds had joined in the fray, like fighter jets attending lumbering bombers. I think they were helping the local crows but it was impossible to tell for sure. Possibly they just attacked any crow that got separated and looked vulnerable.
The battle raged all day, up and down the enclosed valley of my neighbourhood.
Come sunset the Invaders had been fought to the far end of the valley, where a big culminating engagement seemed to be taking place.
That night the trees were full of bedraggled but hyped-up crows. Their sentries were on high alert, calling the hours of the watch with a monotonous regularity.
The Next day the War seemed to be largely over. There was still a little skirmishing going on for the next couple of days, but it appeared to be mainly “mopping up” operations. The local Crows had been Victorious! The Enemy had been driven over the ridge.
What was it all about? A fight over resources? A gang of young Crows seeking to carve out territory for themselves? A physical manifestation of the Forces I’d raised at Sunset? I would never know.
The triumphant local Legion of Crows gathers in the trees outside my back door and call for me to come out and address the victorious troops.
I appear on the back landing and the excited Crows immediately start chanting in chorus, hailing me as Imperator.
I salute them and distribute rewards
to boost the troops’ Morale – mostly offcuts from cold roast lamb. Raven-ously they devour the proffered treats.
“WAAAHHHN!” they croon in satisfaction.
I salute the Cohort of Corvids again and retire to write my report to the Senate.
Victory parade over, they scatter, some to patrol the perimeter, some to rebuild nests or forage.
Only a single Crow remains to watch over the house and stand guard over the Imperator of Crows.
Check out this photo review of a recent Reverend appearance.
The Reverend Hellfire is a practised performance Poet,
President of the Kurilpa Institute of Creativity,
and an ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanism
AND the Church of the Universe.
A loan wolf in a borrowed sheepskin.