Welcome to the online studio of Francisco Mattos, built w/ printed pieces, experiments, souvenirs, personal projects.
❝ Suppose the past and present are time cycles coexisting, coiling about us concurrently. Cause a slight tilt ... the present would slide into past ... past will tumble into present. ❞
– Forms of Things Unknown (1963)
In the aftermath of the trojan war, olympians carried on the fight w/ each other. This theomachia roused Gaia, finally, into open revolt. Egypt disappeared in a ‘screaming wind’. Mother Earth then vomited out the contents of her vaults – mostly prisoners of Jupiter. These freed monsters (fourth class) then attacked Olympus and set in motion the second gigantomachia.
•❚-❚-❚• Meanwhile, up north, another aesir-vanir conflict was brewing when Ragnarok 2.0 ignited, triggered by contiguous havocs, sending nine worlds and twelve hells toppling into a gravity maw.
•❚-❚-❚• Gaia then picked up Mt Olympus and threw it at Uranus, giving father sky his black-eye. Solar god Hyperion left of his own volition; the first-gen titan ceded the gravity throne in 1948. First to that ‘container of multitudes’, the complex god Apollo; complex enough to pass it through to Sol as the 20th-c. faded.
•❚-❚-❚• By then Gaia had curled up and was catatonic – atomic bomb testing did her no good.
•❚-❚-❚• What didn’t climb out mother Earth was shaken off, clearing out her caverns and emptying all the hells she knew about. The last to depart Tartarus w/ the keys were Pluto and Hekate, making sure all gates were left open.
•❚-❚-❚• Nereus had felt nothing when Gaia performed her cosmic cough, and so the ‘Mediterranean’ sea remained placid. His aboriginal root matter being H-two-oh, ‘the old one’ soon began splashing some over the exposed parts of mother Earth, initiating a tidal rite to soothe his beloved, his grandmother, his only home.
•❚-❚-❚• Marooned on a chunk when Pangea broke apart and drifted south, indigenes clung on and ended up on another shore and another sun. Looking at summer skies w/ wintry eyes, these originals saw the physical, spiritual and mortal planes clearer and earlier than most. Now they are Gaia’s best friends and help prepare her bedding every evening.
•❚-❚-❚• Before going separate ways, Hyperion held a meeting w/ dog-headed death goddess Hekate. The senior sun knew that she was the real ruler of Tartarus, and sought advice from the goddess of necromancy on the next aeon. Together they drew up a hypothetical heaven. Assigning as ‘wanderers’ those who are spherical and ‘a drifter’ for the rest. Then the ‘dweller on high’ and the ‘crone of the underworld’ took their leave.
❝ To ensure no favored location in space, the cosmologist postulates spatial isotropy and spatial homogeneity, which is Edwin Hubble’s way of saying the universe must be pretty much alike everywhere and in all directions. ❞
– Ronald W Clark (1971)
❡ As the latest geomachia began to subside, tumbling thrones had to be steadied. Some needed a hand, some required mending, wrecks got tossed. Soon enough, a multi-mytho map of Heaven began to make clearer sense. Whereas the ancient order had adhered to the ‘invariable plane’ while paying homage to the gravity throne on the Sun, newcomers need no longer do so. Primary houses were delighted, or not, to find lost kin, meet oddballs, and greet faded goddesses and gods.
•❚-❚-❚• In the beginning was love, so this house tour begins w/ Venus. Stung by the treatment mother Earth meted out to her brood, the love goddess had no recourse but to leave, becoming the last olympian to do so. •❚-❚-❚• The ‘one who postpones old age’ moved her foam throne closer to Sol and, in 2002, gathered mothers to graces Eurydome and Euanthe to her court. Now they share advice and guidance w/ the sex goddess and sit on the ancient and mirror thrones. •❚-❚-❚• Their neice Pasithee had awoken to a planetery party still in full swing. She called her aunts seeking some peace and quiet. Married to Hypnos, the grace of relaxation always has sachets of daydreams. Knowing this, Euanthe and Eurydome said yes, come over. •❚-❚-❚• Kale became unhinged by the expulsion from Gaia, so the tender throne was offered to the grace to beauty until she can find closure. •❚-❚-❚• In 1999, Lempo returned to the nektar throne. Of undetermined sex, this finnish love deity was seen to pass near Venus, murmur “once bitten twice shy” in her general direction. •❚-❚-❚• Taking baby steps is Eros-898, the first form to step out of oblivion and greet Khaos. The love god’s name is spelled differently by different scribes. His latest iteration is a jigsaw puzzle of four asteroids. Shattered like he’s shattered hearts, the ‘first born’ mutters sweet-nothing rites while resting his golden wings sitting on the soul throne, in hopes of achieving a home once more in mortal breasts. •❚-❚-❚• The ‘handsome one’ had set up a love embassy. Adonis insisted, even though scientists say he’s a potentially hazardous asteroid and his exes claim that he is an extinct comet and a source of meteor showers, but that was before Helene came in 1980, a dione trojan gone awol.
•❚-❚-❚• Under an injured sky mortals had clung on to Mother earth and prayed for mercy. She must have relented because the human survived, too insignificant to be shaken off. •❚-❚-❚• Resolutely reimagining temples and restoring altars, elder goddess Dione was the first to come back. The oceanide and second-gen titan established the original house of Terra in 1684, and sits on the oracle throne. •❚-❚-❚• Faded jötunn Bestla was reasoned w/ to also come back and sit on the mountain throne, while the anxious one await snews on missing son Odin. •❚-❚-❚• Nereus, who invented hydro therapy, is now plain tuckered. The ‘;first man’ has been tending to the rehabilitation of Gaia and can often be seen splayed on the aborigine throne. •❚-❚-❚• All the while, pantheon pharaoh chief Amun gleams and twits unobtrusively on the dust throne. •❚-❚-❚• Sedna had hesitated to sit on the winter throne only ’cause the inuit sea goddess had to come closer to the Sun. Already her skin of tightly-grouped nitrogen icicles and reflective methane scales, fixed w/ dark tholin thread, has turned beet red. •❚-❚-❚• Prosperity goddess Orthosie is sometimes busy, sometimes not, shedding tawny seeds from the autumn throne. •❚-❚-❚• Bacchus knows there’s hope for Gaia. The mad god sits on the serpent throne, the “price of a bend sinister many generations back”. •❚-❚-❚• Weywot stepped out of the Kuiper belt in 2007. Now this native-american sky god gets to taken in an exponential view from the summer throne. •❚-❚-❚• Persephone would rather be w/ her mom than here at the four seasons court. But the vegetation goddess would rather be here on the spring throne than w/ her husband in hell and be known as ‘queen of the damned’. •❚-❚-❚• In 1980, ‘first woman’ came back home and set up the terra embassy. Twelve years later, ‘first man’ of the north joined her. Theirs is a mobile office, so Pandora and Ymir can go questing to verify a site map they were given by Hekate and Hyperion. •❚-❚-❚• Mother Earth spends her days outdoors and nights on the chthon throne. She seems okay, and occupies herself building a genealogy for Aither and wrting a bio on atmosphere.
•❚-❚-❚• By 1932, Sol had attracted sufficient material to accrete and return as an apollo asteroid, the first of his kind. The ‘pure god of truth’ continued to evolve and has now ascended to the gravity throne as the ‘eldest flame’. •❚-❚-❚• Second-gen titan Leto has the sun throne, she is mother to sun and a moon, and shows fealty to ‘the supreme light’; and since 1861 the second-gen titan has enacted a solar rite every fifteen hours. •❚-❚-❚• Galaxy being Varuna spends 282 years on an orbit rite while on the blind throne, pivoted outwards to greet vedic cosmic creed. •❚-❚-❚• When this mythic bird flew down to perch on the arrow throne in 1999, Bennu was still an apollo asteroid; now he’s the nexus btw. egyptian rebirth, creation and the gravity throne. •❚-❚-❚• Complex easter island deity Makemake arrived in 2005 to occupy the singular gold throne, and was seen toting a charcoal-dark satellite from his spacecraft. •❚-❚-❚• In 1998, aten asteroid Akhenaten opened the sun embassy. Competency in dusty dynasties shows – he continually posts welcomes to unexpected deities showing up to greet the gravity throne. •❚-❚-❚• The post-pharaoh can pronounce the Sun’s name in gallic and celtic, inuit, sanskrit, finnish, mandarin and egyptian-arabic, his native tongue. Soon a course in japanese and spanish, a brush up on latin. He’s onto rumors of a pan-oceanic family coalescing around the 2016 discovery of Kamo‘oalewa ‘oscillating fragment’. Still figuring Venezuela out. •❚-❚-❚• Akhenaten is lucky to have found Arche in 2004. The origins muse knows where the skeletons lie – and where they lived). •❚-❚-❚• Norse wolf Hati-004 accompanies her, making sure all skeletons behave. •❚-❚-❚• Second-gen titan Helios left on assignment in 1918, then the son to Hyperion vanished.
•❚-❚-❚• Wounded in a minimachia btw. Jupiter and Saturn, Uranus hoarded sanity and had sense remaining to locate complex Hathor and bring the destined one to her sky throne. •❚-❚-❚• The egyptian sky goddess has smart dial, and that is how mother to Atlas Klymene came to the dome throne, while venezuelan rain god Huya hovers on the cloud throne. •❚-❚-❚• Uranus has been under physician care since 1781. His house has no embassy. This doctor commissioned magician Prospero to devise a therapeutic play for his primordial patient. •❚-❚-❚• Which led to father to Loki Farbauti being impressario of the production, hiring Ixion as lighting director, even though the ex-king was caked in tholins and ice. •❚-❚-❚• Puck and Ariel designed the special effects, while Sycorax and her spawn Caliban handled all subterranean spells. This for a play that takes 84 years to perform. •❚-❚-❚• An ending conjuration required a dual-voice. Director Didymos will perform the role, guiding post-polyphonics gently back to roots in tragic theater. •❚-❚-❚• Before fully succumbing to his malaise, Uranus managed also to locate Arrokoth for the empyrean throne, knowing the powhatan personification of the sky can summon clouds, the least of his aether abilities.
•❚-❚-❚• Paying heed to the zodiac and the reel of Time, the moon crown currently rests on the brow of Luna, granting mortals a glimpse and gargling “how the air unlit before glows”. •❚-❚-❚• The patron moon goddess to Rome has to fill three rotating thrones: a full, an old, and new. She ‘who so bright doth sheen’ cuts the lunar deck and picks faded moon goddess Phoebe. Luna cuts again and came up w/ cretan harvest goddess Carme. She shuffles and cuts a third time to pick Diana. There was a small problem. The visible moon goddess is currently locked in Time and cannot be detected – barest of a new moon. •❚-❚-❚• So Diana’s sister Eos is standing for the pick. She is now preventing an unannounced disturbance to the latest balacing act that is life in the house of a triple-mooon goddess. Eos is the winged dawn goddess who pulls back the curtain of Night. •❚-❚-❚• A viscuous veil has draped the purity throne when in 1845 innocence goddess Astraea sat down. •❚-❚-❚• The ideal arrived in 2002, ascending to the triple throne on four legs. Tarvos is (sole) male carbon to the triple-mooon goddess. He is also a divine bull, among other eyebrow raisers. •❚-❚-❚• The werewolf throne went to moon god Tarqeq; he’s good to animals, sweet-natured, and knows a lot about inuit fertility. •❚-❚-❚• Pan spent the waning days of the 20th-c. checking out the house of Selene and now the rustic god is very much at home. Delirious w/ desire, surrounded by dwarf moons, moonlets, moonmoons; sported w/ by packs of ring shepherds holding hands w/ shepherd moons. “Where the bee sips there sip I. In a cow slip’s lips I die.”. •❚-❚-❚• In 1610, Ganymede came out as the largest satellite in Neopolis, and therefore a shoo-in to run the moon embassy. In his down time, the deified son of Tros will take a walk w/ Skoll-006, to re-acquaint the norse wolf to night. •❚-❚-❚• Sitting on the bow throne since 2000 is Mundilfari, father to the norse moon god. •❚-❚-❚• In solidarity w/ the hexed and mighty vexed Diana, embassy invites always go out to her niece Pasiphäe, cousin Hekate, and BFF Hera. •❚-❚-❚• Each evening Luna dons a monotone-&-mottled bodysuit shimmering w/ crater rays. Before stepping on the mon chariot, she puts on a sheer cape w/ an upside-down waterfall perpetually shedding dust.
•❚-❚-❚• The cyclopes were not flung into space, having instinct enough to cling on, and flourished by evolving the craft of lens-polishing. At the birth of the 21st-c. they downloaded their DNA into artificial intelligence vats. Now this race of one-eyed sons to Gaia and Uranus exists mainly as rows of lensii arrayed in patterns and spending time inside telescopes. Terretrial ones sit on an equatorial mount. Then a clock-drive moves the telescope at the same rate as planetary rotation. •❚-❚-❚• The house of Polyphemus has been run by its blinded host since 2013 (long story). •❚-❚-❚• The egyptian sun disk came in 1976, after repair work from the forge. Now Aten is fully rehabilitated from a stony sub-mile space rock to a source of intelligent light. •❚-❚-❚• Muse of astronomy Eukalade arrived in 2003 to maintain quality control and to develop the web presence. •❚-❚-❚• Then, a vaster view of the “mysterious universe” was obtained. In 1924, using the 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson Observatory, astronomers Edwin Powell Hubble and George Ellery Hale observed individual stars some 800,000 light-years away; then billions of light-years away.
•❚-❚-❚• This house has the role of judiciary, and Saturn is its chief justice. Consort Cybele, now a binary-being, sits next to him on the mountain throne. In 1966, they welcomed two-faced roman god Janus to the duty throne. •❚-❚-❚• Holding degrees in truth and zoroastrian light, galaxy god Mithra was brought to the seasons throne in 1987. First-gen titan and law goddess Themis has been on the seed throne since 1853. •❚-❚-❚• Young aten asteroid Ra-Shalom, spiffy in a smooth carbonaceous outfit, interns as law clerk. •❚-❚-❚• Kronos hosts 62 satellites and it makes him a grump on the flint throne. King of the titans wears a ginormous stole of frozen helium and iced hydrogens, hiding lashings by wet methane winds and seasonal hurricanes of methane mists. •❚-❚-❚• The time embassy dispenses legal counsel, and staff constantly juggle worn volumes for titles and parsing multi-culti edits, looking up one-offs, and ‘misc’. •❚-❚-❚• Elder memory muse Mneme came out of retirement to run the law library, assisted by Hermione, mortal daughter to Helen of Troy and Menelaus.
•❚-❚-❚• The geomachia had casualties, but Vesta was not injured. The primal fire goddess had gingerly cupped ‘first flame’, slipped into sensible shoes, and stepped off the face of the Earth. •❚-❚-❚• In the Asteroid belt she found her sister Ceres, who was seeding the second Garden of Apollon, and Hygiea, performing triage w/ no help. •❚-❚-❚• Vesta thereupon set her charge down and soon enough kindled a fire. Together the three goddesses set up a clinic; by 1807 it had grown to become an infirmary. Then, in 1992, while live coverage of the first 'space rock' found in the Kuiper belt was broadcast, Vesta took a closer look and recognized Albion. The domestic goddess then went and fetched ‘mythological britain’ back and that was how she found a foundation to a house, w/ herself its administrator, medicine goddess Hygiea its nurse, and agriculture goddess Ceres its groundskeeper. •❚-❚-❚• Newly dislodged norse fire god Loge was admitted in 2006 for hypothermia. Therapy w/ ‘first flame’, his root matter, ensured recovery and the norse fire god has stayed on as a therapist. •❚-❚-❚• Asklepios was admitted as a wounded apollo asteroid in 1989; now the medicine god is partly repaired and can assume head physician, allowing daughter Hygiea to fuse w/ her roman-half Valetudo as well as resume research into evolutionary vaccines. •❚-❚-❚• Celtic childbirth goddess Bebhionn showed up in 2000 and now there is a maternity ward. •❚-❚-❚• Founder of modern nursing Florence Nightingale came back in 2017 to set up the Nurses Station. Eager to learn modern methods are ancient nurses to baby gods Cyllene, Kallichore, Helike, and Kalyke. •❚-❚-❚• Eight of Neptune’s satellites are in intensive care. Faded sea goddess Thalassa wobbles and paces her bed every eight hours, knowing her form will end up as a rubble ring. •❚-❚-❚• Priestess Despina is missing parts, and has set aside mysteries of arkadian cults for now. •❚-❚-❚• Galatea and her water-nymph siblings are all of unreliable form; they’ve re-accreted once too often, and now Sao, Neso, Laomedeia, Helimede, Psamathe might end up as rubble rings. •❚-❚-❚• Hawai‘ian birth goddess Haumea and her daughter-moons were admitted in 2004. This ‘collisional family’ has reached the danger point of offing each other. •❚-❚-❚• The first patient was admitted in 1983. Phäethon had fallen off his father’s sun chariot. •❚-❚-❚• The grounds has pasture enough for goat nurse to a baby god Amalthea to retire in tranquility since arriving in 1892. Her minder is mountain nymph Daphnis. •❚-❚-❚• Come autumn they will help seasonal goddess Carpo and native-american corn goddess Atira assess the bounty from Nature 2.1. •❚-❚-❚• And when the granaries are full autumn grace Hegemone will moan the closing rites. •❚-❚-❚• Harvest was possible because Flora had first tended to every petal and abundance goddess Euporie to every stalk. •❚-❚-❚• Creator god Quaoar was helping out in 2005 when he caught a flu. Now the father to the native-american sky shivers and tosses every seventeen hours, wrapped in red rocks ribbed in carbon monoxide sewn w/ methane threads, buttoned w/ nitrogen and studded w/ stalagtites of iced ethane. •❚-❚-❚• Aitolian princess Leda oversees the garden. Otherwise she has been helping Ceres run tests, since 1801, to gague, exactly how many seasons now exist. •❚-❚-❚• A fused nation of freshwater nymphs, Naiad, maintains the water features on the grounds, while demi sea goddesses Isonoe and Sinope swim in its boundary. •❚-❚-❚• Resident chaplain duties falls on the shifting shoulders of fiction-into-fact inuit shaman Paaliaq-000. •❚-❚-❚• Frost giant Suttungr will wait until he”s brewed enough mead of poetry to fill a thousand space ships before coming by to replenish the well. •❚-❚-❚• Poetry muse Erato used to wander the corridors strumming; now she has an office and better hours. •❚-❚-❚• An unrecognizable queen of Egypt came to ICU in 1880, and after Kleopatra was put back together she remained and, w/ her children Cleoselene and Alexhelios, set up a pharmacy. •❚-❚-❚• Pharaoh Khufu came in 1984 and claims he’s watched enough priests grind gold and think up immortality tinctures to consider himself a pharmacist too, and stayed. •❚-❚-❚• Pan drops by and sings w/ Aretha Franklin, who appeared in 2018 w/ a piano. The queen of soul also duets w/ spirit of lamentation Linus in finding closure notes. •❚-❚-❚• In 1980, a morgue was founded by Prometheus. The titan of forethought was at the time delving into mystikal egi-graeco proto-chem while practising old-school alchemy; he tinkers now w/ two corpses. •❚-❚-❚• Primeval sky goddess Theia has been dead a long time and missing parts. The first-gen titan still has bits of Gaia imbedded in her body. •❚-❚-❚• Jötunn Greip came in 2006 and is good only for parts. •❚-❚-❚• Assisting is young frost giant Bergelmir, descended from aboriginals. The grandson to the first norse man knows about creating new life. •❚-❚-❚• Home to Proteus since 1989, the marine god donates his root matter for parts, even though the shapeshifter has parchment skin containing transparencies and pockmarked w/ polyhedron-shaped ices and pinkish-red boils.
•❚-❚-❚• Like Uranus, Pluto lies on his back; unlike his great-grandfather, the king of the underworld is in command of his senses; he reigns in Tartarus 2.0. •❚-❚-❚• Showing off a young mantle, as befits his status as the first trans-Neptune object, the ‘great renewer’ goes about in a liquid-cape of frozen nitrogen stained w/ landscapes of ruddy pinks and moldy yellows. •❚-❚-❚• Fenrir crouches at the foot of his black throne, munching on thanatos leaves. •❚-❚-❚• Complex deity Osiris, silent, still on the shadow throne. •❚-❚-❚• On the dead throne sits fury Tisiphone, she of the scorpion whip. Often awol, the primitive vengeance goddess visits BFF Hekate. •❚-❚-❚• Pluto had spared two brothers from their fate in the gigantes’ revolt. Now Enceladus encased in complex organic molecules, and Mimas – fitted out in dreams, have repaid the king of the dead by running the death embassy, constructed from the substructure of space and having capacity for many-sided folds. •❚-❚-❚• Juggling w/ dark matter since 2000 is inuit shapeshifter Ijiraq. He is elusive in a sulphurous smoke jacket, bounding from comet to asteroid while flinging out mirages left and right. •❚-❚-❚• An aeon in Tartarus had caused siblings, as they shot into space, to meld and, in 1655, become a colossal composite. Home again, Titan has grown star-fat and nova-lazy. This slovenness vanishes when his secret name is uttered. Then the fused thing sits upright on the tartarus throne; and resumes his role as monster third-class.
•❚-❚-❚• Neptune chose the date of his resurfacing into history by sending a dream, in 1846, to a sleeping mathematician. The woke mortal entered a new set of coordinates into the New Berlin Observatory and found the liquid liege sitting on his trident throne. •❚-❚-❚• It was first-gen titan Tethys, though, who first arrived, in 1684. In her role as female ‘sovereign of the sea’ Tethys established the sea court. The ancient marine goddess sits on the sea throne and is semi-retired, running a cell of neptune trojans beholden only to her. •❚-❚-❚• Nereid glimmered under the surface of Night, in 1949, a drop only 210 miles, clad in neutral-ices and silicates. Troubling then to know that this amalgam of 50 sibling sea goddesses is also a potentially hazardous object headed for impact w/ the sea embassy. •❚-❚-❚• Primeval marine goddess Siarnaq, mother to all inuit sea life, now rests on the whale throne. •❚-❚-❚• Aegir swam by to take “only a peek”. He was then persuaded to stay by Tethys, by Siarnaq, by the entire embassy staff. The germanic god now holds a set of hurricane keys and is on the storm throne. •❚-❚-❚• Triton runs the sea embassy. The mer-god first surfaced in 1846, encrusted in barnacles, showcasing cryovolcanism and cantaloupe-colored boils, spewing nitrogen five miles into space from frigid fingertips of methane. •❚-❚-❚• The ‘messenger of the sea’ is sick w/ an unknown malady. But Salacia does. Since 2004, the ‘queen of the sea’ has been testing and correcting local salinity levels, bringing much needed knowhow to demi seagoddess Lysithea, who’s been trying to get it just so since 1938. •❚-❚-❚• Otherwise, day-to-day is handled by by demi seagoddess Hermippe, oceanide Telesto, and river spirits Io and Callirrhoe.
•❚-❚-❚• In 1884, nymph to a baby god Ida was admitted to the infirmary, injured and living a half-life. When Jupiter found out his nurse was alive he went to fetch the mountain maid, now mended, seated her on the oak throne. •❚-❚-❚• Before returning to his eagle throne, the thunder god came across second wife Juno and persuaded the sky goddess to come sit on the marriage throne again as ‘queen of the gods’. •❚-❚-❚• Jupiter further caught sight of Europa, aimless in outer space. Promising not to transform in front of her again was what it took to persuade the princess of Tyre to go w/ him and claim the azure throne. •❚-❚-❚• Mother to Bacchus Thyone was found in 2002 and has the rain throne. •❚-❚-❚• The sky court was originally opened in 1672 by mountain goddess Cybele. Now that her greek-half is back the mother to Jupiter has fused and returned to her husband and the house of Saturn. •❚-❚-❚• Metis was distraught to see Cybele depart, the oceanid was Saturn’ first wife. Now the goddess of wisdom sits on the blessed throne, has fallen into a trance. •❚-❚-❚• Callisto established the sky embassy in 1610. Elder muses Aoede and Thelxinoë showed up, 400 years later, to clear up backlogs and stuffed inboxes. Seasons spirit Sponde joined in 2003, imposed lunch breaks.
•❚-❚-❚• First her roman-half came in 1867; then a greek-fragment followed in 1917. At that point Pallas went ahead w the accretion rite and, w/ Minerva and Athene, wholly the ‘gray-eyed’ goddess of wisdom. The goddess of crafts calls her house the Olympia Academy, graduating space cadets since 1953 in disciplines of mind, body and soul, w/ emphasis on tech-chthonics, the emergent metaverse, and why obscure dimensions lurk. •❚-❚-❚• Skill requiring dexterity is taught by Dactyl, a fused presence able to separate back into ten siblings – brotherss and sisters adept in metallurgy and magick.
•❚-❚-❚• The house of Mars defends the celestial court and hosts Fortress Minerva, sited on the circumference. At the “crown” is a co-command of gallic and roman military gods. Albiorix will make a 783-day patrol guarding the Sun, clad in ghost-red armor. Mars turns and patrols interstellar space. The fortress is divided into four quadrants, looking both inward and out. •❚-❚-❚• Each quadrant is commanded by a “trunk”. Hoary frost giant Fornjot. The sire to norse immortals, scans the unknown diligently every seven to nine hours for missing kin. •❚-❚-❚• Eris has a lonely patrol lasting 558 years. The sister to Mars is large enough to fit all on the Asteroid belt in her mantle; is easy to spot in her white-white frigid methane armor caped w/ trailing gasses. •❚-❚-❚• Humongous jötunn Thrymr, king of the norse giants, has a great sense of humor and likes sharing jokes w/ Cruithne, tiniest of space rocks but whose stature in pict legends is also humongous. •❚-❚-❚• Day-to-day coordination is handled by four “barks”. Hyrrokkin is capable of launching a thousand probes before breakfast, if the norse giantess so wishes. •❚-❚-❚• Freya, BFF w/ the valkyries, rides into war on a chariot drawn by cats. On the battlefield the love goddess claims half the fallen and is a favorite among the troops. •❚-❚-❚• Primeval gaul Erriapus patrols a quiet quadrant in a pale-red battlesuit; while god of the norse north wind Kari howls into his portion of the void. •❚-❚-❚• Handling logistics are four “branches”, incl. two sons to Mars. They began service in 1877 higher up in command, but chafing at peacetime ennui have been demoted. These bad-boy bros wear their combat wounds proudly. •❚-❚-❚• Deimos looks spiffy clad in smooth rock but it’s to protect his porous frame; he knows one day he’ll go awol. Pbobos is slowly dying; wearing nothing but rubble held together by the thinnest of mantles. •❚-❚-❚• Their cousin anarchy goddess Dysnomia wears a dark-red battlesuit blending well w/ her background. While winter goddess Skathi gets to patrol the most frigid corner. •❚-❚-❚• “Twigs” are young guns tapping in the metaverse and doing cross-genealogy. There is Kiviuq, confronting creatures since before 2000; knowledgeable in id-ing unknowns. Twins Romulus and Remus have brought along notes in order to finish a user’s guide to roman ways. •❚-❚-❚• The founder-bros of Rome are a tad weary of Polydeuces, greek carbon to Remus, whose voice echo in space is too close to home. •❚-❚-❚• Each “leaf” carries the colors and lead corpus earthlings 2.0 – two centaurs and two trojans. •❚-❚-❚• Cantering into view in 1977, married centaurs Chiron and Chariklo led a comet corps of some 44,000 centaurs: each on a scattershot orbit, all trying to achieve escape velocity using nearby gravity as slingshots. Sporting irradiated armor under high-collared ices crinkling and shedding dew; each centaur has a lifespan lasting a few million years. •❚-❚-❚• Clad in wine-red uinforms strung along two elongated curves, trojan asteroids marched into view in 1906 behind Achilles and Hektor. •❚-❚-❚• Fortress Minerva has a “seed bank” in the Olympia Academy, and its “root system” in the house of Pluto. •❚-❚-❚• Harmonia is daughter to Mars and runs his house, happy to be near cousin Dysnomia, bros Deimos and Phobos, and aunt Eris.
•❚-❚-❚• As cyclope lensii scan the skies w/ rainbow eyes (and sees machines of every shape and size), the house of Mercury hosts a missing-divine bureau, staffed w/ refusniks from IAU’s minor planet center, and sprouting degrees in dark matter 3.0, artificial atoms, time leakage, littoral linguistics, the roots of rap. Prowess shown by these latter-day saints allow ‘messenger of the gods’ to roam and see everyone, meet everything; the ‘patron to the home’ is seldom at home. •❚-❚-❚• Jennyblue has run the bureau since 1982. She is the gazetteer of planetary nomenclature for the International Astronomical Union, and the publisher of Who’s World. •❚-❚-❚• Icarus surfs outer space w/ glued-on wings finding ‘drifter’ not yet catalogued, and looking for star shepherd Hesperus, who vanished while on assignment. •❚-❚-❚• Second-gen titan Atlas lifts up worlds to look beneath. Bro Epimetheus likes to rehash stuff to sift out clues, and Sisphyus retraces steps to glean origin stories. •❚-❚-❚• Since 1999, none can assign a proper myth to an amnesiac. Until then, Setebos is their sole ‘wayfinder of wanderers’. •❚-❚-❚• Known to ancient sky watchers, during a time when the hard-to-spot ‘guide’ was easier to locate, his elusive nature suits Mercury’ well as the nearest house to the Sun. The ‘trickster god’ is awash in sulfer w/ a temperature hot enough to melt lead, finishing an orbit every 88 days while pirouetting every sixteen, long enough to cause seasons.
•❚-❚-❚• As mother Earth shook and coughed, Aἴtnē survived, as befits one of nine aboriginal mountain nymphs. She’s been host to an aboriginal fire god for a long long time. Hephaistos had suffered some diminishment otherwise is unharmed. •❚-❚-❚• In 2006, Surtur of the fire sword, showed up. Following notebooks and using legacy tools, the jötunn worked w/ Hephaistos and got the forge going again. Now the norse behemoth tends to business from his spot on the foundry throne. •❚-❚-❚• Pasiphäe is daughter to the sea and the sun, and is only one of the reasons the mistress of herbal magick can keep so busy on the cauldron throne.
•❚-❚-❚• After the meeting w/ Hyperion, Hekate took her leave, dragging ‘darkness’ behind. The magick goddess supreme only stopped when the gravity throne was barely glimpsed. She flung Erebus beneath her, unfolded the crone throne and set it down on the dark primitive god. •❚-❚-❚• Hekate is darker than Tartarus, where she had lived, is invisible at night, can see in pitch black. •❚-❚-❚• Ananke came first, in 1951, swathed in ‘constraint’, ‘force’ and ‘necessity’. ‘One before time’ uncoils her luxuriant serpent tail and gets to wind down on the potency throne. •❚-❚-❚• A son to Loki perches on the ghost throne. Narvi is father to norse night Nótt and has returned as dark matter of indeterminate size. •❚-❚-❚• Tottering on the spindle throne is night goddess Nyx, whose star-spangled mantle cannot hide a bandage-wrapped form w/ obvious ancient red stains. Something is wrong, now unfamiliar gravity floods the daughter to Khaos and causes her to twirl backwards every 45 minutes. •❚-❚-❚• In 2004, etruscan infernal god Orcus showed up to claim the victory throne, oblique in faint tholins, sewn w/ iced crystal water and featuring a high collar shooting dew drops of amonia up. •❚-❚-❚• When the three-headed hell hound saw Erebus, his dearest doghouse, being dragged off, Kereberos trotted behind; now he patrols his new home every 32 days, flips every five, in vain efforts to shake off filament fleas.
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RETURN TO REASON
A Haunted House
-by Virginia Woolf-
Whatever hour you woke there was a door shutting. From room to room they went, hand in hand, lifting here, opening there, making sure — a ghostly couple.
“Here we left it,” she said. And he added, “Oh, but here too!” “It’s upstairs,” she murmured. “And in the garden,” he whispered. “Quietly,” they said, “or we shall wake them.”
But it wasn’t that you woke us. Oh, no. “They’re looking for it; they’re drawing the curtain,” one might say, and so read on a page or two. “Now they’ve found it,” one would be certain, stopping the pencil on the margin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise and see for oneself, the hosue all empty, the doors standing open, only the wood pigeons bubbling with content and the hum of the threshing machine sounding from the farm. “What did I come in here for? What did I want to find?” My hands were empty. “Perhaps it’s upstairs then?” The apples were in the loft. And so down again, the garden still as ever, only the book had slipped into the grass.
But they had found it in the drawing-room. Not that one could ever see them. The window panes reflected apples, reflected roses; all the leaves were green in the glass. If they moved in the drawing-room, the apple only turned its yellow side. Yet, the moment after, if the door was opened, spread about the floor, hung upon the walls, pendant from the ceiling — what? My hands were empty. The shadow of a thrush crossed the carpet; from the deepest wells of silence the wood pigeon drew its bubble of sound. “Safe, safe, safe,” the pulse of the house beat softly. “The treasure buried; the room …” the pulse stopped short. Oh, was that the buried treasure?
A moment later the light had faded. Out in the garden then? But the trees spun darkness for a wandering beam of sun. So fine, so rare, cooly sunk beneath the surface the beam I sought always burnt behind the glass. Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs. “Safe, safe, safe,” the pulse of the house beat gladly. “The treasure yours.”
The wind roars up the avenue. Trees stoop and bend this way and that. Moonbeams splash and spill wildly in the rain. But the beam of the lamp falls straight from the window. The candle burns stiff and still. Wandering though the house, opening the windows, whispering not to wake us, the ghostly couple seek their joy.
“Here we slept,” she says. And he adds, “Kisses without number.” “Waking in the morning—” “Silver between the trees—” “Upstairs—” “In the garden—” “When summer came—” “In the winter snowtime—” The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart.
Nearer they come; cease at the doorway. The wind falls, the rain slides silver down the glass. Our eyes darken; we hear no steps beside us; we see no lady spread her ghostly cloak. His hands shield the lantern. “Look,” he breathes. “Sound asleep. Love upon their lips.”
Stooping, holding their silver lamp above us, long they look and deeply. Long they pause. The wind drives straightly; the flame stoops slightly. Wild beams of moonlight cross both floor and wall, and, meeting, stain the faces bent; the faces pondering; the faces that search the sleepers and seek their hidden joy.
“Safe, safe, safe,” the heart of the house beats proudly. “Long years—” he sighs. “Again you found me.” “Here,” she murmurs, “sleeping; in the garden reading; laughing, rolling apples in the loft. Here we left our treasure—” Stooping, their light lifts the lids upon my eyes. “Safe! safe! safe!” the pulse of the house beats widly. Waking, I cry “Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.”