Part Five: Shadow Ghost
A strange shadow suddenly passed across the south side of the bedroom. The shadow was very dark and moved through the room rather than across the wall. It was there for only a few moments and a realization rippled through me that somehow, ridiculously, this had to do with the Ghost Flower ritual.
This was the flower's ghost!
But how could that be when I had not yet even burned the flower, let alone placed its ashes under the moon?
Never mind the questions! Tremors of fear pulsed through me. The flower-shadow seemed very powerful and slightly menacing. The flower-shadow spoke its name in my mind and I held that name, knowing that in doing so, I held the spirit of the flower.
The flower then imparted something to me that can only be described as anti-pornographic. It seemed to imply that I should raise my erotic awareness to a much higher level. I was troubled and offended at this.
The flower-shadow then intimated that plucking a flower to use in the ritual was exactly the same as using a human being as a sacrifice. This was a strange thought in that it seemed to imply that some flowers and some people were willing (or fated) to be sacrificed. It also seemed to imply that people and flowers, as well as weeds, insects, and any other life you care to mention were of absolutely equal value. This meant either way: one was as cheap or as sacred as another.
There could be no compromise or hierarchy. In sacrificing the flower, I had to understand that this was the same as killing a person. I found this very hard to accept, but I knew that it was actually the point of the shadow's apparition and probably the reason that this violet had come my way in the first place.
If this flower had anything to say to humanity it was: raise up out of pornography and start seeing the consciousness of all living things.
This was not an entirely new thought to me, but its power of realization at that moment made it seem extremely new and my mind raced to keep up with the consequences of such a truth. It wasn't possible to go through life without killing anything. I'd been a vegetarian from the age of fifteen but now I knew for certain that a blade of grass, let alone an apple or pear, possessed a soul and a consciousness just as any human being.
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Daniel E. Blackston
My experiences with William Butler Yeats's Ghost Flower ritual.