Hangster’s Gate

Mousa of Swords: The Sinister Tarot by Richard Moult

O9A

Hangster’s Gate

Winter came early to the Shropshire town: a cold wind with brief hail that changed suddenly to rain to leave a damp covering of mist.

An old man in an old cart drawn by a sagging pony crossed himself as he saw Yapp shuffle by him along the cobbled lane toward the entrance to the Raven Inn. It was warm, inside the ancient Inn, but dark from fire and pipe smoke, and Yapp took his customary horn of free ale to sit alone on his corner bench by the log fire. The silence that had followed his entrance soon filled, and only one man still stared at him.

The man was Abigail’s husband, and he pushed his cap back from his forehead before moving toward Yapp. His companions, dressed like him in their work clothes, tried to restrain him, but he pushed them aside. He reached Yapp’s table and kicked it aside with his boot.

Slowly Yapp stood up. He was a wiry man and seemed insubstantial beside the bulk of Abigail’s husband.

“Wha you been doin? To her!” Abigail’s husband clenched his fists and moved closer.

Yapp stared at him, his unshaven face twitching slightly, and then he smiled.

“I canna move! I canna move!” shouted Abigail’s husband.

Yapp smiled again, drank the rest of his ale and walked slowly toward the door.

“I be beshrewed!” the big man cried among the silence.

Yapp turned to him, made a gesture with his hand and left the Inn as Abigail’s husband found himself able to move.

No one followed Yapp outside.

A carriage and pair raced past him as he walked down the lane. The young lady inside, heading for the warmth and comfort of Priory Hall was alarmed at seeing him and turned away. This pleased him, as the prospect of the walk to his cottage, miles distant, pleased him – for it was the night of Autumnal Equinox.

The journey was not tiresome, and he enjoyed the walk, the mist and darkening sky that came with the twilight hour. The moon would be late to rise, and he walked briskly. Soon, he was above the town and at the place where the three lanes met. His own way took him down, past the small collection of cottages, almhouses and a church, toward the wooded precints of Yarchester Hall. He stopped, once, but could not see the distant summit of Brown Clee Hill where he had possessed Abigail.

It had been a long ride back in the wind and the rain, but the horses had been strong, almost wild, and he smiled in remembrance, for that night Abigail has warmed his bed.

Tomorrow, perhaps, they might go to Raven’s Seat. It would be all over by then, for another seventeen years. No one would stop or trouble them.

His way lead into the trees, along a narrow path, down the Devil’s Dingle to Hangster’s Gate and the clearing. There was nothing in the clearing – except the mist-swathed gibbet with its recent victim swinging gently in the breeze. He would need the hand, and with practiced care, he unsheathed his knife to stretch and cut the dead man’s left hand away.

Less than a day old, the body had already lost its eyes to ravens.

It was not far from the clearing to his cottage, and he walked slowly, every few moments stopping to stand and listen. There was nothing, no sound – except a faint sighing as the breeze stirred the trees around. A lighted candle shone from the one small window of his cottage. It was a sign, and he stopped to creep down and glimpse inside. There were voices inside and as he looked he saw Abigail standing near a young man. He saw her draw the youth toward her and place his hand on her breast. Heard her laughing; saw her kiss the youth and press her body into his. Then she was dancing around him, laughing and singing as she stripped her clothes away to lay naked and inviting on the sphagnum moss that formed the mattress of Yapp’s bed. Then the youth was upon her, struggling to wrest himself from his own clothes.

Yapp heard people approaching along the track and he stood up to hear Abigail’s cries of ecstasy. He waited, until they reached him and they all heard Abigail climax with a scream. The he was inside the cottage, with the others around him. The youth was surprised and tried to stand and Yapp stood aside to let them pin him down on the hard earth floor of the cottage.

An old woman in a dirty bonnet gave a toothless laugh – Abigail laughed, even Yapp laughed as the tall blacksmith tore out the youth’s heart. The was a pail for some of the blood.

Abigail was soon dressed, the body taken away and she led Yapp and the old woman through the trees to another clearing. The moon was rising, the blood was fresh and she took the severed hand from Yapp to dip it in the blood and sprinkle their sacred ground to propitiate their Dark Goddess Baphomet.

Order of Nine Angles
1981 e.v.

 


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A Summer Gathering

Richard Moult - Banais (Lady of the Wedding)

 

A Summer Gathering

 

To the uninitiated, the gathering in a seminar room in one of the smaller Oxford colleges during the long vacation seemed to be a small group of academics meeting to discuss abstruse matters relating to their professional fields of interest, or – perhaps – a meeting of business people gathered to discuss some corporate strategy or other. Or, perhaps more realistically, a combination of both the foregoing, as possibly befitted the recent move in academia toward finding suitable necessary funds; certainly, the majority of the thirteen participants seemed to have dressed accordingly.

The four men in greyish well-fitting suits with ties announcing some alma-mater or some other form of inclusion: the black and red of an Old Malburian, the rather garish wide brown-yellow-blue stripes of another school, and the more subdued small green and white stripes (on a blue background) of a certain military unit. The older, bearded, professorial-looking man wearing well-worn tweed whose straight-grain briar pipe peeped out from his jacket pocket. The seven women who, while rather disparate in terms of age, all sported the corporate look: figure-fitting woollen skirted suits or shift dresses, all in neutral colours, together with sheer-tights. And, for some reason, all seven wore almost matching necklaces of small, fine, white, freshwater pearls.

Obviously, or so the uninitiated would have guessed, the two other women were post-graduates, or perhaps recently appointed to senior management positions. Not that it was their comparative youth or their most elegant colourful manner of dress that gave them away. Instead, it was a somewhat initial awkward self-consciousness, as if this was their first time attending such a triennial gathering. For they only vaguely knew one person there, having only met him once so very many years ago when he, after that concert of Renaissance music, had sought them out to present them with a leather-bound book and then silently take his leave.

As for this gathering, those two young women had received their unheralded invitation only weeks before, in early Summer following their successful Autumnal culling. An invitation anonymously hand-delivered to the town house they shared; intriguingly consisting as that invitation did of an encrypted message on high quality paper embossed with a certain sigil. The next day, a key to the cipher was left; an image of the three-dimensional esoteric ‘simple star game’; and while it did not take them long to understand its significance as the required ‘straddling board’ for a Vic cipher, it took them three nights of sleepless toil to break the code, for the English alphabet and the numerals zero to nine were mapped to certain squares of the seven boards of that game, ascertained by the star name of a board and by how the pieces in the image – each piece marked by symbols – were placed on them.

To the pleasurable surprise of the newcomers, the Oxonia gathering on that warm summer morning formally began not with words – not with declamations or invokations or even some speechifying speech – but rather with four of the women, who, having extracted their instruments from their cases and tuned them, very professionally played the Andante of Schubert’s Der Tod und das Mädchen. Which music set the cultured – the non-mundane – tone of the gathering, as it had at all the others.

No formal introductions, only the professorial-looking man – softly-spoken with a well-educated accent – giving a short informal talk, as if reminiscing to family and close friends. Then, a brief discussion concerning certain strategic things, ended by that gathering’s always cultured end: bottles of Krug Clos du Mesnil opened, their contents shared. And there were invitations, of course, to dinner parties for those elegantly attired young ladies, who now most certainly belonged.

°°°

“The third phase is also where we can expand slowly, nefariously, in the traditional manner by the clandestine personal recruitment of suitable people, which in practice means those useful to us individually in our own lives, and potentially or actually useful to our Aeonic aims, and who also possess culture: that is, the four distinguishing marks which are (1) the instinct for disliking rottenness (an instinct toward personal honour), (2) reason, (3) a certain empathy, and (4) a familiarity with the accumulated pathei-mathos of the past few thousand years manifest as this pathei-mathos is in literature, Art, music, memoirs, myths/legends, and a certain knowledge of science and history…

We aid those associated with us or inspired by us to carry out particular esoteric and exoteric tasks and functions such as their individual discovery of Lapis Philosophicus. For we seek to not only preserve, and add to, the knowledge and the understanding that both esoteric and exoteric individual pathei-mathos have bequeathed to us, but to manifest a new type of culture and imbue it with such acausal energies that its archetypes/mythoi will enable, over an Aeonic timescale, a significant evolutionary change in our species, regardless of what occurs in the ‘mundane world’ in respect of such causal things as wars, revolutions, changes of government, and the decline and fall of nations and States. Which is why we are, in everything but name, a secret society within modern mundane societies; and a society slowly but surely, over decades, growing individual by recruited/assimilated individual.”

R.P.
2014


Image credit: Banais (Lady of The Wedding). A painting by Richard Moult.