The Golden Star
Demons and Devas
“There is no difference between the fallen and the upright, except in their functions; for all are derived from the same Divine Source. The Christians have failed to reconcile the Jewish Jehovah—whom they took as he was portrayed—with the Gospel of Light and Love. A Deity of darkness and submission cannot be the Father of that Son who brought Liberty to mankind by showing them the Way of Freedom and Illumination. That freedom can be won by subduing the Satan within and calling forth the Angel, or, in other words, by overcoming and taming the material animal who obstructs the way to Light; or dispelling the clouds of ignorance, so that our thoughts take wings towards the Sun of Truth, majestic and sublime.
“Only then will the black-winged demons fold up their pennons and disperse their evil forms, as if dissolved in sighs of Zephyr’s Music; drifting on the dreamy air of summer night.”
As the Messenger finished his wise discourse, a great silence fell upon the hills and mountains, rocks and crags and stony valleys. No longer did the boiling springs below the crust rise up; and the volcano too had ceased to labour. A light spread o’er the firmament and each stark detail of the barriers and gorges, ridges and clefts, stood out in full relief.
The ground on which the Messenger and our two friends had stood to witness the strange scenes in the sky had not been lifted up in the turmoil of raging fury, but was bestrewed with splintered, uneven stones, shot off from rocky ledges when heaving in their torment. A purple haze hung in the distant dales and valleys, and above the summits and plateaus and shelving rocks there drifted multicoloured clouds, heavy with the ashes the volcano had flung aloft.
There lay this strange landscape; autochtonal, primitive in its pristine audacity of overpowering, brutal splendour. And centuries seemed now to glide away, soft-footed and unheard; and a gradual transformation took place.
The lofty mountain-tops were gradually bedecked with snow that drifted silently, until a line of demarcation stopped its spread. And great crevasses filled with glistening ice, that threw blue radiance afar; whilst little rills went trickling down the wrinkled mountain-sides and seams and reached the valleys’ beds, to rush away in broadening curves to lower levels leading to the sea.
Changing lights and tints of blue horizon, orange and russet, grey lights on dark dim outlines; hovering shadows, the cloak of twilight, or the sparkling sun; or nights that faded to obscurity, mingled in a phantasmagoria of illusive images and optical illusions. And all the time the streams, the rivers, rivulets and rills, the winds, the sun, the rain, the air, were grinding down the unhewn rocks, until long swelling slopes shone in the sun-swept haze above, beswathed with virgin soil, arrayed in shining green. And trees with variegated foliage sprang up, and flowers hung from crazy ledges.
The seasons turned their ceaseless wheels of birth and sleep, of spring and winter; and tempest-twisted chestnut trees, and forests full of royal oaks, gnarled by time and howling storm, spread wide their searching branches, dense-foliaged, a canopy of leaves, with lowering shades of monarchs of the forests.
Impenetrable woods rose darkly in the distance. A lonely, fringed blue gentian waves gently in the southern breeze, and gold-eyed celandines peep from between their heart-shaped leaves, whilst locust-blossoms, creamy white against the soft green moss, shine out among the thickets and along the hazel-bordered trails.
The monstrous shapes of tortured rocks that lay about as if a troop of Titans, slain in ghastly battle, jaws stretched out in a last scream of agony, with broken fangs and twisted limbs raised up to Satan, as if they howled and prayed for mercy, are now invested with festoons of brilliant flowers; with giant ferns that wave their tips of sculptured, rare perfection.
The stately ash-trees, mystic pines and broad-leaved poplars, oaks with kingly mien, they stand on guard around. The slender-bladed grasses, grey and amber mosses, dainty plumes of goldenrod, now form a cloak of beauty that o’er-spreads with sweeps of glory that hoary place of conflict on which the giants sleep.
The scenes of deepest peace are sometimes found around an ancient battleground, as if at that last dread encounter, when mind escapes from smitten body, and knees, unloosened, bend in final genuflexion, those enemies each knew the holy spark that dwelt within the other, and, with a sob of loving recognition fell; and lie in brotherly embrace at rest at last, all hate forgotten.
And honeysuckle, lilac, blue delphiniums, sweet-scented violets, bloom everywhere; and from their gentle, coloured shapes rise up in swift delight winged forms that flutter, dart and hover in the golden rays of Sun.
Whilst underneath the fragile ferns and over lichen-covered stones, anatomies of unknown things creep on mysterious errands.
Strange beetles, gold and bronze and red, hide under fallen logs and boles, or climb green trailing vines, as if they too would find the light; though creatures of the shadows. The scarabaeus rolls his mystic ball that’s filled with life; a symbol of the shining orb above.
On blackthorn bushes shine white stars enshrining tiny sparks of amber; and glowing spider-webs, in dazzling rainbow tints, suspend their tenuous nets from branch and twig, to catch the careless gnat or fly and bring provender to the spinners, who, with their tiny eyes aglow with death, sit waiting in the dark.
In sunny meadows, open glades and glens and on the graceful breasts of sloping hills that undulating in the distance lie, the modest daisy raises up its sweet pale face so like a star in white, with golden heart; the loveliest flower in all the world; a magic symbol few can understand.
From where the grey splintered cliffs sheered down to deep dark groves and purple shadowy depressions, dropped babbling brooks to black ravines; and gushing springs flew down to moonlit lakes and glancing rivers; all rippling in the southern winds. And limpid, misty, eddying pools, surrounded by steep banks of green, lay shining under azure skies and faintly stirred, as if they dreamed in cool delight of soft caressing Zephyr’s wings that gently touched their silver surface.
In thronging charm, cool swarms of purple crocuses, bluebells and primroses bestrew the bright green spots upon the hilly slopes, that seem like islands on the darker ocean of the forest trees in vastnesses of heavy timbered hollows. And in the birches gleaming white, curly-barked and graceful like sweet ladies, or in the rustling poplars, and the leaves and twigs of trembling aspen, the birds attend their nesting-places, or sing their songs of love.
See how the lark soars up like a winged thought of melody, and sails all o’er the pearl-begemméd plains and fields, before returning to his nest on earth to gather up fresh strength, to rise with airy curve aloft and pour out song seraphic at the rising sun.
So all the birds the Gods have made do sing their trilling quavers, to wake the dawning of the day. Their forms symmetric, motions full of grace, in plumage delicate, enchanting, in aery caravans float in the sky. They warble music in the trees, or on the sprays of flowering shrubs, that scent the morning with soft odours.
The royal eagle on her eyrie tends her young; the storks on cliff and cedar-top stretch out their wings and raise sharp beaks in greeting; the prudent crane, borne on the winds, sets forth on hunting expedition, and snow-white swans drift on the lake or river like angels of a dream.
The linnets and finches carol and flit, and softly-warbling redbreast answers shrilling ousel.
And then at eve the nightingale’s sweet notes roll through the dark blue depths, lit up between the scattered leaves and mazy lacery of twisting boughs grotesque, with glittering argentry of summer moon. With drooping, sleepy wings the feathered tribes have gone to roost; the noisy hum of insects rings no more, and only philomel drops notes of liquid splendour in the drowsy solitudes of forests shrouded in the night.
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High on the mountain crests, above umbrageous dales and dells, the cold chaste Queen of Heaven casts her silver radiance upon a mighty spirit-form, that sits upon a rocky throne betipp’d with silvery icy flame; a most majestic Deva King, who watches in the silent night o’er his domain. And on the distant snowy summits and the hills and floating over woods and fields, and dark cool streams and pools, like forms appear, as if transparent films of mist and splendid iridescent glory of arduous incandescent fervour have condensed their lustre into shapes superlative in beauty; immaterial and sacred.