The Queen is dead

A very old and close friend of mine died a week ago. She'd been ill for a long time, but this still came out of nowhere. This is one of the biggest shocks I've had to deal with.

The PriestessThose of you reading this who have been fortunate enough to have had long term spiritual companions and magickal partners will know that the kinds of things that happen in a ritual, in the open and accepting space you create, deepen and enrich a relationship – create a type of connection, and bond, which is something different from the bonds of romance, of friendship, of family… But with Kate it went way beyond those things as well.

To give an idea of the impact she had on my life, it was a single conversation with her twenty years ago that pushed me from hardcore arrogant materialist, to someone who had a lot more questions about the nature of reality and what was possible, which in turn opened a door through which a whole and fundamental part of who I am emerged.

It was Kate who bought be my first Tarot deck – the same one I still use today. After worrying back and forth about what deck I should use, about what deck 'suited' me, only the deck of Thoth seemed 'enough' for me. I announced this to Kate, and the next day she bought it for me. I remember it cost £15 – which back in the day when we were broke-arse students who a supreme sum to spend on a gift, and no small sacrifice. It's probably suitable then, that of all the people I've read for over the years, I've done more readings for her than for anyone else.

In the early days it was Kate I was reading for when I touched one of my cards in the spread and I 'felt' something. I described it at the time as 'like an emotion coming into my hand'. I sat fascinated touching one card, then another, and realising that they 'felt' of different emotions – I connected to the emotion when I touched the card. It was a fascinating discovery… with time I discovered I could 'feel' the cards by just looking at them, but at the time (when my scepticism still waxed and waned) the distinct physical sensation really helped me connect to the cards and trust them.

Kate was driving the car the time I idly wondered aloud if the beautiful, naked, red-head I'd seen in dreams and visions of late was a goddess, and saw a single bolt of lighting strike the ground on the horizon directly ahead of us.

When people ask "So what can you actually do with magick?" I often tell a particular story, and of course Kate was there at the time.

Our disparate group of spiritual explorers (by which I mean we had no bloody idea where we were or where we were going) had decided to take a trip to Uffington White Horse. We thought it might be interesting to do a group meditation there and see what happened (an approach we applied, with varying results, to a number of fields with old stuff in around the country). We were slightly irritated to discover upon arriving that there were people there. Lots of people. Using the place to run around, have fun, and do other things which were of a distinctly less weirdshit nature. So as we walked up the hill towards them it was suggested we do some magick to get the place to ourselves. We used the secret gesture and the secret sound (that can only be shown, never expressed in writing) and laughed it off. As we got close to the top of the hill we noticed that some people were starting to leave. We were seeing the beginnings of success, but couldn't quite understand why (magick working? It seemed unlikely). We turned around, looking back down the way we came, and saw a huge storm sweeping in across the valley. It hit us ten minutes later. We were whipped by wind and pelted with hail. The field cleared – everyone broke for their cars.

Well, of course, not quite everyone.

We got the hill to ourselves, we got to do our meditation (after the hail had stopped a little), but I do have a vivid memory of Kate, standing at the top of the hill, still wearing round purple tinted sunglasses, practising Tai-chi moves whilst being pelted with hail.

All those memories are fifteen or more years old… and there are so many more since then. Kate and I would circle apart, then circle back together again. Whenever I had a magickal success it was Kate I wanted to tell about it. Whenever I was lost in a Dark Night, unable to figure out why I was doing all of this, it was Kate I wanted to ask for insight. Whenever I had a breakthrough in understanding it was Kate I wanted to test it against. Sometimes we'd agree instantly, sometimes we'd argue for hours, we came at everything from a different angle, but we'd always end up in the same spot.

And of course the only reason I can type this here is that Kate designed this site, Kate built it, and Kate helped me keep it running.

When I read for Kate it was no surprise that the Queens would keep coming around for her. She had a razor sharp mind that could distance her from others on occasion. She had a powerful sense of her own worth, which might occasionally be mistaken for arrogance. She felt her emotions very deeply, sometimes so deeply she would get lost in them. She would stand back from the world a little, a sense of rulership over it, nurture and enrich those around her.

But when she was at her best, it was always the Priestess for Kate. She just knew some Stuff. Just got it. Could just intuitively connect to something beyond what most of us could reach. When it came time to run an initiation for a friend, I took the role of the dark night, the challenger, the one that tries to make you quit. There was no discussion that it was Kate who would be the Universe, the Light, the one who would speak with love, acceptance and limitless encouragement.

Kate got sick – an anxiety disorder turned into chronic fatigue, which worsened month on month, and then she died. I'm terribly sad, and sad in a way I've not felt before. I'm not sad for Kate – she'll be okay, she's on her path, she always talked slightly wistfully about death as 'coming home'. But I'm sad for me, and sad for those who knew her. Sad for what we no longer have. Some people enter our lives and leave, and are a little interchangeable – if a conversation doesn't happen with A then it can happen with B, if you don't do something with X then you can probably do it with Y. But I've had a series of conversations, experiences and moments in time with Kate that could never have been with another soul alive. And now I'll never have any more of those particular moments. And that makes me immeasurably sad.

The last text I sent to Kate – a month ago, when she was already too sick to have conversations with people, said "Not talking to you is driving me crazy – I really need you. I think I'm coming close to the key to it all, but I need someone smarter than me to help me understand. Looks like Plato may have been right. The Western Englightenment tradition is there in plain sight… just hidden behind mistranslation and misunderstanding. The whole thing may be explained. I'm working on it…"

I'm still working on it. But I miss having her help.

Kate was on her path, she did a huge amount of work, but I suspect she's still got more to do. So I guess she'll be back. It makes me sad to think I'll probably not meet her next time. If you happen to be lucky enough to do so – she's easily recognised by the fact she needs to be fed every hour but will make utterly unreasonable demands about what she wants (and will always find someone happy to indulge her), tell her I love her.

3 Responses to "The Queen is dead"

  1. Dick says:

    Rest assured she already knows you love her.

    You already know where she will be, I will let you know when we put her there.

    Come when you are ready and we will will visit together.

  2. merseymale says:

    Very sad but very sweet…

    my Condolences to you and for all of us who eventually experience this

  3. k. krabs says:

    Sorry for your loss my friend. It is devestating to loose a soulmate. I was noticing this was your last post over ayear ago. You have alot to share and Im sure Kate did not take that with her. In fact I'd bet she would want you to keep up the good work 🙂

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