The girl is a grim priestess, a thaumaturge, devotee of Kali. The incessant croaks of courting marsh frogs fill the bedroom. Before an audience of ghostly, Little Apple Dolls and Edward Gorey figurines she has prepared the naked hand for its initiation, inscribed it with occult symbols, mapped its mountains and its valleys, its flood plains and moorlands, marked it out as a sacred parchment with which to bear her hermetic message. So finely has she applied the mehndi, the intricate lines of henna stain the skin with Sol, Luna, Venus, Mercury, Heart, Star, Flower, Raindrop, Vine, Snake, Fish, Feather, Flame and the Eye that repels the evil eye and looks behind the veil. Now, with incense burning even the frogs are chanting Om Kring Kalikaye Namah, and Crone Night with her cradle of petty cruelties and honeyed comforts dissolves into pure consciousness like an ice-cube in a warm bath, like a man in a city, as a man indeed becomes a city.



Bob Beagrie








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