Gods’ Strategy, detail of a novel, by J. W. Cassandra
The Magic Gate
The Time Travel
When Amber stepped in the mirror again, she was amazed to see that she had landed on a road after some spin-like flight. The asphalt on the road, with its fragmented, pothole wounds, inclined her to be cautious, so she stopped. As she looked around, her attention was immediately attracted by a group of trees: the tall pine stood guard along the way, perhaps a poplar next to it, or maybe some fruit tree — Amber couldn’t decide, but she didn’t even care: the undefinable tree rose, glowed in its blood-red leaf-cloak like she saw the magus’s entrance in her dreams: its tower-like figure, resembling an arched gate, immediately attracted attention, and though the pine had stared into the sky almost once more higher as a giant, she saw only this gate, and the ornament of the magic cloak-leaf climbed on the pine only later came into his eyes.
„What the hell is that?”, she bends her brows, musing. She turned around, looked at everything carefully, but only a tiny black kitten prowled about from under the arch of the „gate”. „Well, that’s not what the great book describes about the magus’ gate!”, and crouched down to caress the kitten. Then the kitten, whizz!, jumped into the gate. And, of course, it’s gone. From afar, with echoes of the depths, its inviting mew was heard.
The Magic Gate
„It’s going to be the magic gate after all.”, thought Amber, with that she fluttered the glowing, blood-red leaf-cloak, as she had done in her sleep before, and said in a loud voice:
„Let me in, Magic Gate, open!”
She wanted to say this three times, but at the end of the first one there was a whiff, the leaf-cloak was fluttering, and then it fell on her, the breeze swelled into a whirlwind, it took her up, and it carried her, and then she landed somewhere: in a sunny meadow, the kitten was rubbing against the bluebells. Black. And the bluebell rang blueish, and for the chimes, in front of Amber suddenly appeared a majestic, all-seeing and all-knowing Magus wrapped in a blood-red cloak…
„Did you expect to come to my palace?”, he asked the girl, who only stared at him with fascination and silence. „Well, speak up! Or did the kitten take your tongue?”
„Who are you?”
„The Magus of Occident, if you like: the MAGUS. All capital letters!” and red leaves, a red band of letters were whirling in the air, which formed the word MAGUS in front of Amber’s eyes.
„And do you know Nostradamus?”, she asked long before then.
„Do I know him? Certainly!”
„Do you used to compete with him?”
„No, oh, young girl! You’re too curious, in fact! First, let me see that you’re worthy of secrets, and then you’ll find out only that, because it’s even more arcane than the seventh-seal secret.”, and magic wands were rocking in the air, dancing: MORE ARCANE!
And the Magus fluttered his blood-red cloak, and Amber stood in front of the tree again, amazed.
At the Nostradamus’ House
But it didn’t last long: the blood-red leaf cloak began to rotate around the tree, the rotation sucked the girl into her, and this time she found herself in Nostradamus’s house.
„Whether what does Nostradamus have to do with the MAGUS?”, she wondered. „Maybe they’re competing here?”
But then she heard a quiet noise, and the oracle entered the secret room: Nostradamus himself carried the wax candle, carrying a scroll carefully and he locked the door behind him almost noiseless. Amber was watching with bated breath. And Nostradamus overshadowed the light of the candles, and pulled out a tripod through a previously imperceptible, barely visible gap hidden in the floor, to which a tiny chimney was attached. He set up the tripod, inserted the small chimney into the chimney of the room, so there was nothing to indicate to the outside world what was going on in the secret room. Then, under the tiny kettle, at least that’s how Amber called the forged structure, he started a fire, inserted the vessel into the round gap above it with the sulphurous water, and while it prepared to be boiled, he prepared in advance quill-pens, an ink-well, ink and parchment from various secret small drawers, which jumped out of the writing-table at the touch of a button, then disappeared again, or he rotated the illustration next to the shelves with a single slight pressure, and lifted it from the shelves cut behind it, with which he wished to work. In fact, the secret room itself was the secret of secrets, since the oracle’s methods could not ooze out.
The MAGUS Appears Again
Then Nostradamus pulled out a small scroll from somewhere, and as he removed its seal – for it could be broken several times, though the one who was good at it he knew exactly who had broken it, when, how many times, because, being a magical seal, on the one hand, it has always replaced to it, and on the other hand it kept the traces of the previous forcings – the wood with the blood-red cloak was drawn on the parchment, then came to life: the MAGUS emerged from the red leaves swirling like whirlwinds, in his full life size.
„Welcome, my friend!”, his ore-deep voice resounded, and Nostradamus bowed his head in response. „Our meeting today is not about your choice of topic, although, as you say, it is worth a mass, but I would like to warn you: the Sojourner has arrived!”
„I know, oh, Magus King, her shape was drawn in front of me in the streams,” the oracle replied.
„And did you even see, what she wanted to achieve?”
„Oh, yes! It was billowing around her shape in hazes, but it was visible by me outstanding… she thinks we’re competing with each other. Or that we’re rivalizing, and she wants to see which one of us wins…”
„Well, yes, because of their superstitions, people believe that maguses, oracles, wizards, witches can only compete with each other,” he giggled with a mountain-banging jolt, and continued:
„Even if she had her full knowledge and magical abilities, she would know that in Creation there are weaves, layers, time slices, ancient and new magical ways weave through each other, and there is order in everything: peaceful cooperation, as well as rivalry; peace as well as war; cooperation, as well as rebellion…”
“Well, yes, but she only notices appearances: the tripod, the quill-pen, the parchment, the wax candle, the secret chamber, even though they are merely tools…”
„You’re right, my dear oracle friend. As you call me the Magus King, although you know that I am not a ruler, as she thinks me some formidable wizard…”, and telling this, he fluttered his blood-red robe, and Amber, the Sojourner, was actually standing before them in her full body: in her green eyes, sparks of astonishment, fear, and immeasurable curiosity were sparkling, her red curls were swinging and falling under by the swinging of the Magus’ cloak, her feet were rooted in the ground, and her anyway sharp tongue was muted.
The Creation’s Secrets
„Well, come closer!”, the MAGUS waved. „We have already met at the magic gate! You caressed my pet!”
„That’s… Was that your cat?” Amber finally asked.
„Yes, like the bluebells are my bells!”
„But you didn’t even have a palace…”
„Wasn’t it? Where it was, where it wasn’t, it was hidden from you! If you go there again, you’ll see”, encouraged the girl, the Magus King. „Now let’s get to work!”
Thereupon Nostradamus unfolded the parchment scroll, and the layers flashed upon by the gaze of the MAGUS: the wonders of Creation, the ages, the immense knowledge, and its crumbs in the ages… The ripple of existence, which followed even the tiniest vibration of the blood-red leaf-cloak of the magic gate, turned into sea by its waves, swept through like a hurricane and brought about a change in times with its whirlwinds…
Amber was astonished, Nostradamus nodded appreciatively, and the MAGUS recited, sang, declaimed in an incomprehensible language: his spells arranged long lines of war and peace on the Creator’s neck into chains, the ages as bracelets, the magic of time into fetters…
The Magic Spells
And Amber suddenly understood the essence of alternating spells:
“The fugitive flood of time’s
The moon veil of magic is
What fascinates the Creator
to be shape,
What enchants the Creator
to be epoch,
What adorns the Creator
to be alive and dead,
What binds the Creator
to be time-bush…
Because it’s just the created
whom the magic power reaches,
Because the created will be
Because of him, ancient-Creator
will be from haze to Magus,
For he the pristine Creator
will be an oracle, and augurs,
And the adepts of the bond
are adepts of all languages,
What on the times of ages
all are falling down,
And they say all aloud
the ancient Secret:
No bonds, no bounds,
if there is no holding:
That creates, who is unbound,
who’s not looking for a secret.
Ribbon is unfolding in him
of the ancient Secret,
He’s the one who’s pristine shape of
The moon matures him to a magus,
till its light hazes on him,
Star-time leads him,
until he finds his path,
And in him flares up the creation’s
Only that who doesn’t look,
find it at last!”
That was the essence of spells or magic declamation. But Amber had no idea what to do with it.
The Wooden Board
„Well, yes, how can she even guess? Well, here’s this prediction. Take a look at it and tell me what you read!”, Nostradamus drew a wooden board in front of Amber.
Amber didn’t really understand it: she saw a multitude of bird’s foot-like lines and columns, and she knew it could be an important text, but she didn’t understand even a single word or letter.
„This is because you will understand it when the three rivers will be reunited again,” said the MAGUS, and by his wave Nostradamus began to read the signs fluently. Then he read in a different language, from the same bird’s foot-like signs. Amber paid attention with rounded eyes, she paid heed tensely, but still didn’t understand anything.
“You will know more later!”
„You will know more later!,” the MAGUS patted her shoulders, and from his touch Amber’s brain was lit up with light: this is one of the oracle tablets, each with multilayered oracles… The same writing can be interpreted in several languages, and all mean different things… But she still didn’t know what it was. And of course, these wooden tablets preserve the most secret magical texts: the languages themselves, the recitation, the melody on which it speaks on the Mage’s lips, are all protected by the MAGUS, for this is the most ancient magic of Creation that has ever been transformed into words… But even so, she still didn’t understand what she was hearing.
But, on the one hand, she hoped to get to know it, and on the other hand she was disappointed, because the competition of MAGUS and Nostradamus, which she colored in his imagination in a blink of an eye, she will not be able to tell her friends when she returns, as it does not happen. It hasn’t happened in the past, and it’s not going to happen in the future…
This disappointment created small brown vortexes on the magus’s blood-red cloak, and he swept them all down in one motion:
„Yes, young girl, friends do not compete, they do not come to grips, and when you return, you will not be able to tell your friends anything so wonderful! But there will be others that you will have partly to listen to, and you will be able partly to say them. Just listen carefully!”
The Maguses of the Wooden Boards
And he waved, and for it the room had been rearranged, the ten wooden tablets stood in the middle of the enlarged room, each with a magus standing next to it to reveal its secrets.
Written: 11. Oct. 2021, by J. W. Cassandra
Translated: 12. Oct. 2021., by J. W. Cassandra