In Serein

3/3: Xiao Hong

3/3: Xiao Hong


Of Music & Portals


When I was still Arada, I really didn’t think that I should ever know a state more blessed than this.

I drifted in comfort and absolute protection; I dreamed and learned; there was no harshness, and there was no fear.

It was not until I was there and all the fear had finally left me that I understood just how my previous existence had been blighted in that way.

I was always so afraid.

I wasn’t afraid of anything in particular – perhaps that is not true, I was terrified of my father, of my grandfather, of my mother, of my grandmother, of my teachers, especially so.

But even if they weren’t there, the few short moments when I would escape into the solitude of forest or of rain, I was still terrified only I didn’t realise it.

I was inside a whole world of fear and thus I never recognised it for what it was.

The only thing that would sometimes lift me up and out of this endless suffering was music.

I would listen to music, and I would listen hard, tried to find the essence behind the notes, and the silences that lay between them, for I thought I could perceive a doorway there, a portal through which I might step and leave myself behind, rise fresh and new and become something other than what I was – a terrified nothing, a nothing that fails to please, and thereby, is worse than nothing.

When I first was taught to play the flute, I thought that this might be a magical thing, a device that would open up those doorways for those who would play the right notes, in the right order; but then, they made me play these tunes that weren’t that, and somehow, the better I became at mimicking exactly what they wanted to hear, the further away my freedom and my joy of music seemed to become.

Still, I worked hard for fear of causing disappointment, for fear of punishment and I was amongst those who were chosen to play some pieces at an afternoon soiree in a museum.

That is where I saw him for the first time, that’s where I found my salvation.

There was a young man standing quietly in the shadow of one of the large pillars in the museum’s entrance hall.

I played only for him.

I played to him.

I made my own melody on that day, told him all about me, and the teacher who was conducting us was horrified, and all the others in the group were too, but they kept on playing their notes, and I sang for help with everything I had, I turned that flute into a dozen war horns, calling re-enforcements, mayday, mayday, save my soul.

When the piece ceased, there was a moment of timeless silence and then the applause of the bystanders engulfed us like artillery fire and I couldn’t hear what the teacher was saying to me, screaming at me, his mouth was wide open and his face torn into ribbons of hatred as he dragged me by the arm of the podium and shoved me away.

The audience was still applauding as the man stepped forward, entirely oblivious of my teacher and with eyes only for me, and then everything fell away, the noise, the surroundings, everything, and he held out his hand to me.

I took it and he led me away.

I must have dropped the flute somewhere along the line, I don’t remember, and from that moment forth, there was only he and his world, he and his word, now and forever.

Mark Edwards.

I went back to my family and yet I did not.

I received beatings but I never felt them; they shouted at me, my mother cried, and none of it was real, and all there was for me were my meetings with him, when we would sit in the park by the lake, rain or shine, and he would tell me about his kind, and about his world, and prepare me for the transition.

By the time the night of nights came, my parents weren’t beating me any longer; as I got dressed for the occasion, my father told me that if I left, I could never come back and would no longer be their daughter. My mother and grandmother cried and pleaded; then they screamed as well yet I was tranquil in every way, unseeing of them, my eyes and mind tuned to far horizons, and shivering with excitement.

I walked to the theatre.

As I came close, I noted that there were others like me, walking like I did, and we were heading in the same direction.

When I turned the corner into the street where the theatre lay, I saw even more, and we were all streaming towards the entrance where two men calmly stood and smiled at each of us and all of us as I raised my skirt to step up and into the entrance hall.

There were many of us, and although no-one spoke, I felt a great kinship and friendliness with everyone. We were all beautiful, and in love.

Filing into the auditorium, not taking a seat but going straight down the middle towards the stage, I am not a spectator tonight, I am the event, we all are. My heart beats higher as I step up to the stage, and then we walk across the stage and into the back, backstage, yes, that is where reality is happening, and here is the entrance to the real world, the real reason why we came.

“The curtains at the back of the stage will be open,” Mark told me and even though I was entirely lost in his eyes, in his voice, in presence I still listened, and I remembered everything he said. “You will simply walk through a hallway that lies behind the stage, and then you come to a great golden arch, and that is the entrance to the stairwell that will take you to the underground theatre.” I saw it then and when I saw it with my own eyes, it isn’t a surprise; but everything is greater, richer and there are no words that can describe the truth of being there.

I had searched for a portal – here it was, and it was real.

With every gentle, slow long step on that enormous stairway down and into the real theatre, my life and all my fears, all my hopes and dreams and every petty memorance of all that faded, it faded more and more, and by the time I emerged into that fantastic realm so far below, crimson and gold, precious and vibrant with sensations I had bloomed into something I had never known that I might dare hold up for all to see.

I had unfolded.

Radiantly and gladly, I let the music stream to me, let it enchant me, let it invite me to reveal myself, further and further, all and everything, I am precious, I am young, and I am here … And then, I saw and felt the masters, these others, they came and they danced with us, danced with me, and each one was a delight, each one was different; none of them made me afraid, not one amongst them, not even the eldest, or the darkest.

Many came until there was a one who touched me and to whom I resonated in a whole new way; I shook and trembled, and it was as though leaves fell from me, revealing my inner core and it was ready, it was willing and it wanted to receive this one in preference to all the others.

My lord had come.

My one true lord and master, my re-creator and my lover – my lord Meruvian had chosen me.



Breath On A Cold Morning


How can I describe the bliss of the first union? 

I cannot.

I have not words for this, nor tunes to bring the resonance of this into a world where others might then share it; there are no colours and no lines upon a canvas or a sheet of pale rice paper who could capture all that wonder.

The more he took from me, the more I needed him to take; I wanted him to take it all, I wanted him to have it all, to have my soul and all that I would have to give.

He took but slowly and the pleasure was excruciating; it was an agony the like I’ve never known and neither have I known an agony so sweet and yes I wished that it should never end.

But end it did as end it must; when there was next to nothing left to give, it was then that he took me even closer still and nourished me from his own essence and now, I must not speak for even an attempt to frame, approximate that first transfusion of my own lord’s splendour, of his being can be nothing but an insult to the holiness of what it was.

I was drinking love, and it was love that changed me, made me go to sleep and there, to start my transformation.

“You will sleep for a long time,” Mark had told me on a frosty cold morning, and his breath had not created a plume of steam as mine did still, and I held my breath because I didn’t want to be like this, but liked to play pretend like a small child, pretend that I was just like him.

“You will sleep, and you will dream. We will come to you and we will feed from you, but every one will give you of themselves in return, so you will slowly change until you are like us. And then, you will awaken.”

“And I will be like you …” I said and there was the plume of white that confused my words, or carried them.

Mark looked at the white and at the words and smiled.

“Yes,” he said tenderly, “You will be just like me, a Cestra, and you too will speak with those like you are now, and tell them of our world.”

He wasn’t to know that what he promised wouldn’t come to pass.






Being Arada is an exquisite experience.

It is a state of complete acceptance; it is a kind of unconsciousness that has awareness but it doesn’t ask, or question, or demand.

There is a sense of warmth, protection and beauty; and then, they come.

When they come, I don’t awaken but the dream shifts, becomes different; richer, more sensuous.

When they come, they are hungry and I know that they are.

One will come to me and make themselves known, and I can feel their hunger; it causes an echo in myself, a fullness, a desire to discharge, a need to find release. Their hunger and my need circle each other, dance with one another, weave into each other, tempting, tantalising, drawing it out and making it ever more sensuous, excruciatingly exquisite until we give into it and touch, reach deeply into one another and hunger and need turn into a single flow, a charge of fiery delight, delicious, incredibly delicious and entirely intoxicating.

I can feel them controlling themselves; controlling me; sometimes, there is a sense of another or more than one far away and always, I beg for more, deeper, faster – take me! But they hold me in their merciless, excruciating ecstasy and drain me slowly and never quite completely; and they leave me just enough of themselves so that I can re-build myself around what they have left, and I need to use their residue to make that happen.

I sleep again, I rest again, and I dream, new dreams, new information, with every exchange and every taking, my dreams expand and they become more real, more lucid.

Mark told me, “Being Arada is a kind of apprenticeship. You learn everything about us then, because in a union, it is not just life force that is exchanged, but also knowing.”

I sat on a park bench in the rain and nodded seriously.

Oh, how I had no idea what the reality of this would be like, what it would entail! It is as well that I did not, for if I had, I think I would have thrown myself at Mark Edwards and forced him into a full union, there and then – rape on a park bench! And talking about rape, and reminiscences, so the time has come to think about what happened when the other came to me.

I was more than ready for another union at the time.

My dreams were vibrant, full of powerful ocean waves, deep and green; I was vibrant and ready for union.

I felt someone coming, and I felt a strange sensation – I did not know this one, did not recognise them and further, they did not seem to share the same familiar resonance that did exist in me and all the others here.

He was a stranger, and he was not just hungry, but veritably starving.

He was ferocious and he did not dance with me.

He was simply there and he took me, without hindrance, without restraint and I felt as though finally, my prayers had been answered and I could follow my true nature at last.

As much as he tore straight into me, I threw myself at this stranger with a desperation and a force that left me astonished; and the union was insane, uncontrollable, fantastic – and unstoppable.




Inside The White


When I awoke in the white, I thought I might have died. Then I wondered who that I was that I thought might have died, and then, who the I was who was wondering about such things.

I was confused.

It was very difficult to know anything inside this white, and it was beautiful and endlessly interesting with tiny stars being born here and there from the denseness of this light, flashing up and out and then disappearing; new ones arising in new positions; over and over.

But it was the white that made the first connection – I remembered the plumes of steam from my mouth, and then I remembered another who did not breathe out in white, and when I did, I became aware that this other was present here.

I remembered the other, and because of that, I remembered myself.

One thing connected to another, and yet another, weaving upwards, sideways; knowings, memories and other forms of awareness, all of that began to combine to something and finally, it all fitted together and I was …

I am Xiao Hong. When I was little, I wanted my hair to be golden like the palest winter sun, thick and flowing like the rippling waves of wind on fields of gold; my eyes to be round like a cow’s, pale porcelain blue diamonds, and my name should be Samantha. I would have a lovely voice that makes everyone silent and the birds sing a harmony when I speak.

I would be a princess and no-one would dare deny my every wish.

I am in green land, bright green grass all around, forward, backward, left and right, to all the horizons, and the sky above is blue, without a cloud, without a sun.

I look around and I see that I am not alone.

There are two others here, two beings, and I know them both.

The first is Mark, or what I thought of as Mark when I knew him in that way.

The other is the hungry stranger.

There seems to be a great distance between us and as I regret this should be so, the distance decreases with a fast rushing and we are close together, standing in a triangle, close enough so we could hold hands if we extended our arms.

“I am Xiao Hong,” I say as though it was necessary.

Mark nods and clears his throat before saying, “I am Mark Edwards.” 

The hungry stranger, a skinny white man with thin fair hair and piercing blue eyes says, “And I am Steve Burrows.” 

For a moment, the green grass dream drops away as I realise that I know exactly what that means, who he is, who he has been, and every single moment of his time, as though it was my own.

I rush through all of that in fast spiralling turns, down, sideways, through and out; a multi-dimensional gallery of images, feelings, sensations, sounds and voices, thoughts, nightmares and confusions, symbols – and then I’m out the other side and back where I was, standing with the other two in a place of dreams.

I turn to Steve Burrows in preference and I address him. “You and I completed a union. I know you now, entirely.”

He nods. “I know you, and I hold you,” he responds.

For a moment, I am confused but then, I understand. I have no longer a body. It burned in the union, and I am now entirely transformed – but not in the way Mark had told me about, or how it was supposed to be.

Mark speaks. “I too completed the union with Steve,” he says. “At this time, he holds us both.”

I look down at myself and spread my arms, extend my fingertips.

I am aware that this is not a body in the sense of what I was used to, but it looks like the body I used to have, and it responds in a very similar fashion.

“Am I dead?” I ask, uncertain all of a sudden.

Mark and Steve shake their heads in unison, and in unison they reply, “You are transformed.”

“Am I – a ghost?” 

Mark responds to this alone. “Yes, you could say that. But you have the ability to manifest in physicality. Normally, you would have learned this step by step in the last stages of Arada, Arada Ta Cestra. It would have been easier because your new body would have inhabited the same physical location as your old one did, and of course, there would have been many to aid you in your first emergence.” 

Steve Burrows says, “There is no need for that. Just show her.” I look from him to Mark and immediately understand what he means by that.

And I am immediately excited.

I have been wanting a union with this one ever since first we met; not one of those cautious Arada-Cestra unions under strict supervision, but that rushing, intense insanity of a full union without any safeguards, without any holding back.

Mark is similarly excited by the idea, but he has much old entrainment; and he is afraid.

I understand that. I am an expert in afraid – I have my spent my mortal life in just that state of indecision, as any decision might lead to doing wrong, and thus straight into doom and suffering.

I understand his fear, but I also understand that his fear is unfounded, and that is based on teachings of the old – he had teachers too, just as I used to have, and even though they did not rap his knuckles with a bamboo cane, but spoke most softly and insistently, the end result is just the same.

I turn to Steve Burrows. He looks straight at me, and I know that he won’t act as a master, or a teacher; it is as though he’s telling me, “I took you because I wanted you, and that is what I did. What you do, that is up to you.” So I re-focus on Mark.

I’ve always wanted him, wanted to taste him, wanted to touch him, wanted to take him and make him my own, or give myself to him entirely; who knows, it might be just the same. He is beautiful. Even his fear smells and tastes delicious, tiny red strands escaping from his chest, from his throat. I call to one of these and make it come to me; I open my mouth and it lands on the tip of my tongue, tingles through and through me, awakens my hunger – I am fully aware, I am fully here and I am fully manifest; my clarity increases tenfold and now I see all the colours, the weaving connections and the powerful, deep inner pulses, the waves at the core of his being – I want that.

I want you.

Come to me.

His fear crests but so does his need for release and for union; both crash against each other, cancel each other out, and helplessly, he lies before me.

I flow forward and simply envelop him, hold him close and begin to feed from him, begin to drink deeply, hungrily, and finally he lets himself go and falls to me, releases himself to me and we fall into a wild and rushing starburst of ecstasy, instantaneous discharges caught and fed into a furnace fire that glows brighter and more brightly still until – We emerge on the side of each other, free and clear, and we turn around and we are astonished.

We completed a full union, and we emerged unscathed, no, better, better, so much better, by so far! I am me and him, and he is him and me – I know his days and he knows mine; and we are both relieved of our pressures and of our hungers all the same; we are clear, we are delighted, we are empowered and it is then, we laugh and dance in sheer delight.

Burrows grins.

“Told you so,” he says.



I Fly


It is fantastic.

I am so wide awake, so ultra aware.

I can feel – everything! I can sense, I can see until eternity and I can choose! I laugh aloud and shift and ripple, I become Samantha of my dreams, the alter ego and it is both nothing, as well as everything; it stills and fills a need and when that need has gone, I feel a rising and a growing, and I am a dragon, fluid, swift and fire bright inspired – I must rise, and I must roar and laugh! I paint delightful spirals straight into the sky, I paint my name and my existence and my joy is such that it infects the others and they too turn into dragons and they join me in my dance.

We weave and rush around each other, chase each other, circle here and there and finally we find a new delight in matching our paths and our purposes; it is natural and obvious that  we should draw together, closer and more closely still until we cease to be three, and instead, we are one and the same, the greatest of all dragons in the sky.

I am the greatest of all dragons in the sky.

And so I fly and celebrate my own existence, so at home and not just here but everywhere, a welcome aspect of a greater picture that was never quite complete until I made my entrance here.

I fly.

I fly and learn, absorb what lies about me like so much plankton, take that nourishment that truly is in everything into my own deep structure and find it powering me, renewing me, and changing me … It is wonderful and I can be like this forever, I can be forever.

Then, from far, far away, so far away that it might be beyond the end of all, and long before there was beginning, I perceive a call.

It is specific; it is alien; it is meant for me.

For me?

An aspect of an aspect resonates and draws towards the call, pulls strongly, and we follow with that movement, with what could be a desire or attraction, but it changes our path.

We spiral down and further down, far out and down, and further still until we reach a level where we are no longer one alone. Instead, we are a group of three and it is one of us that hears and heeds this calling; I am simply on this journey as a visitor or perhaps more; as we go down and further down and old things come to me from days and times when there were days, and names, and singular existences I then begin to recognise that Mark and I are with Steve Burrows as he dives and sweeps, prepares to land and manifest in physicality.






Have you ever hovered in the back of someone else’s mind and observed as they act, and move? 

It is a very strange state of affairs.

It took me a while to recognise the house, my own view of it was different and my memories very displaced; I had been here in various states of high confusion and the rest of the time, the last 30 years I have been asleep in the underworld.

Steve is speaking and acting, and Mark and I are observing. I feel that we are a tall crystal pyramid that could rotate at any time and show a different facet instead of the one that is being presented; I actually feel a desire for rotation and as though this state of only showing the facet that is Steve requires determination and a counter movement to be employed to keep him there and both of us away and back.

I am aware of everything that happens, and below me is a reservoir of tremendous knowing of so many things that I did not experience myself, yet it is at my disposal and it helps me make sense of the occurrence, the individuals and the reasons for their combinational appearances at this time, in this place.

At some point, Steve and Mark commune and arrive at the conclusion that we should manifest separately, not least to show those who are here that we are still around, that we haven’t died, that we are very well indeed.

This is exciting.

I wonder fleetingly if I will know what to do, remember how to do this from these places where the other’s knowledges are in our shared sub structure; but before I have even finished wondering, Steve has set a process in motion that takes me, sweeps me up and out and deposits me in the room in a tingling state of awareness and surprising cohesion.

Ah but this is too intriguing, too delicious! I can feel muscles in my face tense and tighten as I start to smile; I have no muscles in my face and these must be resonance memories, feedback devices left from the old days and that makes me smile even more. I flutter my lids for the sheer sensation and the effect of making that level of impressions in the room appear and disappear, like an old film played at the wrong speed; my hands seek and find my side, my hips.

I giggle out aloud and the others in the room turn to me.

Mark and Steve are both grinning broadly; they are resonant and feel what I feel just the same. I recognise Alexandra, who had come to me many times when I was still Arada and we have a strong bond; I resonate to her and she picks up and transmits from me to the old one; so a web is woven between all five of us through which information and state are being transmitted smoothly and with perfect clarity.

I am fascinated by the old one and make myself known to him in preference. There are levels and layers to him that remind me of my first lord, my first love, Lord Meruvian. It is his age, I’m sure; he has a depth that none of us here have achieved as yet, and it makes his tastes and textures curiously rich and deeply satisfying. I flow to him, I cannot stop myself – I want a union, I want to know if I can match or regain what once there was with my Lord Meruvian, and for which in truth, I hunger deeply still.

The old one, on his part, is very curious and quite delighted by my aspects and the newness of my being; he comes forward to meet me and we are just about to touch when there is a groundswell raising, a wave that not exactly comes between us but it asks respectfully that we should not engage right now, but to delay; it draws my attention to the other two presences in the room, and these are human, vulnerable, and confused.

The knowing stands in our resonant web that there will be time for each of us to know each other and experience each other; draw together and become a single force, that it is ordained and we are here exactly for that reason; for now, and on another plane, there is some work which still remains to be accomplished.

There is no regret as I agree with this assessment and exchange a playful touch with the old one, Gaius, “I look forward to tasting you when the time is right …”

And so it is that all five of us turn our attention to below and to the two who are the latest members of our house, they just don’t know it yet.