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It’s hard to fathom now. Had there been photographs, they would seem odd. Had there been video, it would surely have proven bizarre. I will try to explain in as linear a fashion as I can how I came to be kneeling, naked as the day I was born, on a low stone altar which was covered, presumably for my comfort, with a thick red carpet, a plate of black ceramic between my knees. That was what I was doing. It must also be noted that my cock was erect and that I had been masturbating, shamelessly and feverishly, for several minutes. An attractive woman in a thin robe of raw silk, open at the front, stood before me not quite a yard away. Words were spoken:
“Do you desire me?”
“Yes, I desire you,” I moaned.
“Do you desire me?”
“Yes, I desire you,” I repeated.
“Will you prove your desire?”
“Yes, I will prove my desire,” I replied.
“Say my name.”
“Say my name.”
The woman took a step forward, lifted the black plate from the altar at a calculated angle before my penis. Her abdomen was inches from my face and I could smell the warm, humanness of her flesh.
“Prove your desire.”
As if on command, my cock erupted with the proof of my desire. Thick, pearly-white semen splashed the black porcelain plate. I groaned, once, twice, three times. My emission trickled slowly down the vessel and then made little contrasting puddles as Aine levelled the plate. This effectively concluded my role in the ceremonies.
Perhaps some background is in order. I met Aine at the Grower’s Association Memorial Day Picnic, three or four weeks prior to my initiation into thaumaturgy. It was held in a nicely appointed and heavily wooded County park overlooking the valley floor. The event was widely publicized and open to the entire community – not just growers.
I encountered Aine standing alone in the shade with a refreshment in her hand. I admit that I immediately found her attractive. I would deny that I set out to flirt with her, but I was certainly not repulsed. She had shoulder length, chestnut hair, sparkling green eyes, an ample bosom, a trim waist and curvy hips.
We briefly introduced ourselves and Aine opened the conversation.
“You’re new here. I don’t think I’ve met you before,” she told me.
“I am new here,” I agreed.
“What do you do?” Aine queried.
“I’m a writer, I guess.”
“You guess? What do you write?” she pressed.
“Well,” I launched into my story, “I had a pretty good run as a technical writer. The company I worked for was recently acquired by a much larger organization. I was deemed redundant, but between my retirement account and what I gained out of the acquisition through the employee stock ownership plan, I guess I don’t have to be a technical writer anymore, or anything else, if I don’t want to be. I moved to the valley for the wine and maybe to do some creative writing. But, I suppose I could write ad copy, or whatever.”
I handed Aine a business card that a local stationer had printed for me.
“And, you? What do you do?”
“I have some acreage. I’m a grower.”
“What do you do for fun?” I asked.
“Oh, I watch the sky,” she dissembled.
“Like, clouds and sun? Like, Moon and stars?” I asked.
“Um, yes, all of the above; like planets and comets and solstices and equinoxes; like rain and meteors and everything above us,” she continued.
“Huh, really, whatever for?” I questioned.
“Sure you want to know?” she responded.
My interest had been piqued, “Sure.”
“I’m a thaumaturge.”
“I say thaumaturge; it means miracle worker. Some people might say priestess, some druid, some maybe white witch. Under favorable circumstances, at auspicious times, I invoke the first cause, hitch the vehicle of benevolent intention to the twin horses of sexual tension and sexual release and try to drag the microcosm a tiny bit more into conformity with the macrocosm. For me, the microcosm usually means the valley. The macrocosm is the well-ordered greater universe which we only begin to understand. See?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Say, what is your sign?” she asked.
Was she flirting? Or, changing the subject? Or, …?
“Libra, I guess. I was born on September 23rd. People tell me I’m on the cusp and that I’m more like a Virgo should be. I don’t much believe in it.”
“Oh, that’s so interesting. We’re polar opposites. Aries on the cusp of Pisces. You don’t have to believe, it works the same either way. Cheryl! Cheryl! Excuse me, an old friend. I hope we’ll talk again. Cheryl!”
She touched my forearm lightly with her fingertips as she took her leave. Her touch gave me a shiver up the spine.
I watched as Aine tucked my card into a pocket and strode purposefully away following someone called Cheryl. Aine’s bottom looked very good in blue jeans.
A Phone Call
On the 20th of June my phone rang. I was seated at my desk and I picked up. It was Aine. In the intervening şişli escort weeks, I hadn’t particularly looked for her or thought about her. Nor, however, had I forgotten her.
The solstice, she reminded me, would occur the next day. It was, she said, a day of astronomical significance. Would I care to come watch the sky with her tomorrow? No pressure was intended. There would be no complex social situation. If I could not come she would probably watch the sky alone. We could talk more about thaumaturgy, if I wanted.
“If I find it interesting, might I write about it?” I inquired.
I could write about anything I wanted, she told me, as long as I didn’t make her identity public to her neighbors. “They burn witches some places, you know? Then you’ll come?”
In my mind’s eye, I saw her bottom in blue jeans hastily walking away from me. I readily agreed to come.
The Sacred Site
The street address she gave was along the two lane highway that ran the length of the west side of the valley. The number was featured on a large but not elaborate gate on the west side of the highway. When I arrived, the gate was closed, but unlocked. I opened it, drove in, shut the gate behind my pick-up, and proceeded down a long driveway.
Aine’s sprawling ranch-style house was in a clearing on the shoulder of a slight rise in the middle of a gently rolling terrain perhaps 800 feet from the highway. Rows of fruiting grapevines surrounded the house in every direction from the highway in the east to the foothills in the west. I parked next to another truck a short distance from the house and exited.
When I looked up, toward the house, I noticed a figure waving at me. Honestly, I was taken aback. The Aine that I’d met courtesy of the Grower’s Association picnic was attractive but quite conventional looking for our agricultural community. Her chestnut hair hung to her shoulders. She wore little make-up, maybe some eyeliner and some lip gloss. Her work blouse was plaid and long sleeved for protection from the sun. It was insufficient to entirely conceal the curve of her ample bosom, but it also did nothing to intentionally reveal it. Her jeans were blue and her bottom filled them very nicely. Her boots were light and modern, but designed for work.
The figure at the entryway to the house wore sandals of sort completely unsuitable for field work. Her shapely legs were bare. At first glance, she appeared to be wearing a sleeveless shift of tan-grey unbleached muslin. This ultimately proved to be a sleeveless robe of fine ivory-colored raw silk. Her hair was pulled behind her head. The biggest shock, of course, was her make-up. Instead of the barely noticeable cosmetics of late May. Her face now appeared painted on. Her cheeks were heavily blushed. Her eyelids were thick with shadow. Her lips were dramatically reddened. The closer I approached the more artifice became apparent – two colors of eyeliner, a highlight on the chin. She looked something like a catwalk model made-up to shock.
“Good afternoon,” I said, “I nearly didn’t recognize you.”
Aine chuckled. “When I’m doing grower business, I dress to grow grapes. I told you when we met that I was a thaumaturge. When I’m doing thaumaturgy, I dress for thaumaturgy.”
What extreme dramatic make-up and wildly impractical clothing have to do with working miracles, I was not certain, but I held my disbelief in suspension.
“What I want you to see is around back. Come with me,” said Aine, smilingly. We took a little hard packed path around one side of the house and up a gentle rise. This stroll gave me a further opportunity to consider Aine’s wardrobe. It was during this walk that I concluded that the fabric was silk. And, similarly, that her garment was wrapped around her, cut through the hem and tied at the waist with a ceinture – a light robe. Catching a flash of the side of a breast through the armscye of her robe, I developed the suspicion Aine was wearing nothing under her robe. The thought titillated me.
In the yard behind the house, were several outbuildings. The open rolling door of one revealed a small tractor and a variety of agricultural implements – a toolshed. The uses of some of the other buildings were less obvious, but their appearances, with one exception, were completely consistent with typical vineyard architecture in the valley.
The one exception was the Mesocosm. This was the name Aine used to refer to her ritual space. The Mesocosm proved to be what she wanted to show me. She took on the role of tour guide, inviting me in. I will not recite everything she explained to me.
The Mesocosm was a study by itself. Upon inspection, it seemed to be in roughly equal parts observatory, chapel, theater and gallery. It clearly had been built from three twenty-four foot maritime shipping containers. An eight foot wide entry way on the north side led into a shallow vestibule with cupboards and counters. Beyond the vestibule, was an interior space of perhaps five hundred mecidiyeköy escort square feet. Narrow windows of deeply colored glass had been installed at intervals along the east, south and west walls and the illumination they provided gave the room the air of a chapel. Four backless benches, not quite pews, in two rows on either side of a central aisle contributed to the chapel feeling and provided seating for perhaps a dozen or sixteen people. A low stone-topped table or altar stood at the top of the aisle and higher table stood beyond it against the south wall.
Despite the use of shipping containers as structural components, the interior of the Mesocosm had an elegant finished feel. The floor had the look and feel of wood. Area rugs and runners had been lain judiciously. The walls had been finished and gave no indication of being corrugated steel – which was apparent only from the exterior. Heavy fabric, hung on the walls between windows, hushed the room and quieted any tendency toward echoing. In addition to a number of candelabras, the space was outfitted with electrical lighting capable of changing hues to suit a range of moods.
On the west side of the hall, roughly abreast the low altar, was an area containing several musical instruments. They included, at least, hand drums, shakers, chimes and a gong, a guitar, and a versatile looking clavier. There may have been one or two other pieces. And, there were a few stools apparently for the use of musicians who made no appearance that particular day.
In the southeast corner of the hall stood a stone as tall as a man and about twice as wide. On the surface of the stone had been carved a shining sun, a crescent moon, a twisting spiral and an open palm. It was, Aine said, a petroglyph which had stood in the vineyard since time immemorial.
On either side of the high table on the south end of the hall, hung two large convex mirrors. They appeared to have been fashioned from polished steel – not glass. And they were echoed by two concave mirrors of similar construction at the opposite end of the hall hung on the wall that separated the hall and the vestibule. There were other art objects here and there about the hall, but this should be enough to give the reader a rough floor-plan.
Taking me once again outside, on the west side of the Mesocosm, Aine steered me to a spiral staircase of steel. She ascended. I followed, admiring her shapely thighs and attempting discreetly, but without success, to glimpse anything above them. Aine led me onto a deck built above the roof of the structure. A little patio was laid out with a table, chairs and folding sun shade. A reflecting telescope in a stand sat atop the table. Also on the table a strange instrument – a replica mariner’s octant for measuring the angles between celestial objects – I learned At the north end of the deck a piece of metal tubing had been installed vertically, near its top, affixed by a bracket, an arrow pointed at the sky.
“It points at Polaris.” Aine explained.
From the deck atop the ritual space, the extent of the vineyard could be viewed from fence line to fence line, from the road to the western foothills. The deck was marked in one spot by a circle in reflective paint. Aine stood me upon it and directed my attention to six painted poles, like totems, three on the east fence line three on the west fence line.
“They mark,” Aine told me, “the points of sunrise and sunset on each of the solstices, and the equinoxes. If you look where the sun is now, you can visualize where it will set behind the hills in an hour or so.”
Yes, I agreed that I could.
As Above, So Below
For the next forty minutes we sat on the Mesocosm’s rooftop deck. Aine explained the tenets of her magical belief system to me. I studied her face, stole glances at as much of her figure as I could guess at through her silk garment, and I listened. As nearly as I could gather: The power that gives being and order to the natural universe is akin to the power in sexuality that gives being and shape to life in the sublunary sphere. Believe or disbelieve it, it is so. When coupled with prayerful intention, the power of sexuality can be channeled to influence the greater power to alter and to order events here below. Believe or disbelieve it, it is so. Did I believe?
“What does it matter,” I asked, “if it is so?”
The response seemed to please. A smile stole over the face that had tended toward a calm impassivity through thick catwalk makeup for much of the early evening. And, so we proceeded to instruction in ritual. All questions from the thaumaturge should be answered fully and affirmatively. All instructions from the thaumaturge should be followed promptly and to the best of the ritual object’s ability. As for ritual tension and release, she had no doubt that I had a well-established rite that I practiced from pubescence that could be made to serve her intention. I would be acting individually. Yes, of course, ritual tension and release can be practiced istanbul escort in a variety of ways, by two or more persons, but such a rite demands more organization. Ours would be a simple ceremony – a rite for one. I acknowledged that I understood.
About ritual sexuality, I knew only what Aine explained to me. I had, however, gained some hard-won experience demonstrating masculine self-pleasure in the presence of a woman. I had declined the request the first times a lover had asked that I show her. Too embarrassing – that’s what guys do who don’t have a lover. The issue came up with one girlfriend after another, and when one night I finally performed the requested exhibition, I overcame my anxiety. The young woman was grateful, I was satisfied and I realized that I had enjoyed making a performance of it. If that was what Aine wanted, too, well, why not?
The first sunset of summer was hastening toward the northernmost totem on Aine’s western fence line when she suggested we return to the interior of the Mesocosm. I followed her down the staircase and back into the vestibule. She ushered me to one end of the vestibule and showed me a number of little cubbies.
“Disrobe,” she instructed, “You can put your things in here. I will go light some candles, turn on some atmospheric sound and make sure our space is ready.”
I began to comply as Aine glided off. I now noticed that at each end of the vestibule there was another large polished steel mirror. Each was similar in dimension to the mirrors in the larger room of the Mesocosm, but planar – flat so as not to distort objects reflected. As I stowed my clothing in the cubby, I caught a glimpse of myself nude in the mirror. Since I lost my position at the tech company, I had been going to a gym three times each week, not so much to train for anything, but to lend structure to my unemployment. I realized for the first time that being a gym rat had begun to pay dividends. My biceps and triceps were noticeably bulkier than when I had been employed. My pectorals were squarer and better defined, I had abdominal muscles where I had once tended to pudge.
I do not think that working out had done anything in particular for my cock. Still, an hour of talking obliquely with Aine about sexual ritual, while hoping for any chance revelation made by a slip of her robe had left me, not erect, but half-aroused. As I disrobed, I had noted the small wet spot in my briefs left by my weeping member. My regular efforts at manscaping exaggerated the appearance of my arousal. I was, frankly, admiring myself as a sex object when I noticed Aine, in the mirror, approaching over my shoulder. She had added to her wardrobe a thin circlet of bright metal above her brow.
“Yes,” she said, as if reading my mind, “quite suitable. You will precede me. We will make a little procession, It is only six steps. Step to the rhythm. Kneel on the altar. Follow my instructions.”
We stood in the entryway between the vestibule and the Mesocosm. Aine pulled back a heavy curtain that separated the spaces. Six candles were alight upon the high table. The stained glass glowed faintly with summer twilight. Mood lighting from the ceiling suffused the larger room with a red glow. I was conscious of a quiet drone and a low pulse like a muffled drum beating slowly. Aine standing behind me placed her right hand on my left shoulder. Her touch was warm, but still I shivered. On a downbeat she, directed softly:
“Step.” Downbeat. “Step.” Downbeat. “Step.” …
Reaching the altar, her hand still upon my shoulder, she directed, “Kneel.”
Then in a loud voice directed at no visible person or thing, Aine intoned, “This we bring in offering!”
Her hand left my shoulder and she strode around the altar, to stand in the narrow space between it and the high table, her back toward me. The droning sound had ceased to be purely monotonous, and it now contained slight hints at melody. Aine raised her hands above her head, gazed toward the flaming candles on the high table. She made the hints at melody her own and began to chant liquid syllables in a minor key. If they were real words, they were foreign to me. After a short time, she ceased her song, lowered her arms and turned to face me.
Her hands went to her waist. With a tug at the ceinture, she loosened the knot that held her silken robe closed. Deft motions with both hands wrapped the robe and tied it behind her something like a narrow cape. In that moment, her voluptuous femininity was nearly fully exposed to me.
Her face, ordinarily pretty and placid, appeared mysterious and exotic with its dramatic make-up in the half-light, framed by the backlight of the candelabras on the high table. Aine’s skin appeared flawless from head to toe. Her breasts were as I had been envisioning them all evening – full, firm, well-matched half-globes with areolas like half-dollars and fleshy nipples of an indeterminate shade in the deep red mood-lighting. Her waist was slender. Her abdomen was neither muscular nor untoned, but gently curved, with a perfect navel. Above her pubis, was a trimmed patch of light brown hair; below, her plump vulva showed the attention of an aesthetician either skilled with wax or careful with a razor. Even in the half-light, I could see the pearl between her slightly parted labia. Her thighs and calves were, like her abdomen, shapely and full, yet neither sinewy nor flabby. She was, to my eye, perfection.
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