Fellow travelers, I was so nervous during my troubadour number that my palms were sweating. As I turned to leave the stage, I saw the Gorgon rise from her throne. She was heavily veiled–a necessity–or we would be but statues before her. She gazed at me steadily, and I began to swoon in fear, but then fascination took over and I resolved to stand with pride before her.
She nodded, once, and lifted the corner of her veil. I gasped and quaked with fear, but could not turn away, waiting for my limbs to turn to stone. Instead, a gift. Beneath her veil, I saw moons, stars, planets; oceans giving birth to islands, volcanic explosions, constellations being formed and dying, an endless expanse of infinite power–the power of creation and destruction. The veil fell, and once again she nodded. Weak and trembling, but thrilling with this vision, I returned to my seat at the banquet table. At my place was a covered dish of fine silver. I lifted the lid and was greeted with this sight:


The brilliant purple serpent slowly slithered toward me, gliding across my chest and neck, twining itself in my hair, along with the jade green snake that was curled there. They moved as one, lowering their tiny heads and glittering eyes, one hovering by each ear, and whispered to me. Their sibilant voices became deep–the voice of the Universe; the voice of the Gorgon:

“The mysteries of the body are as sunlight upon the water.
The mysteries of the mind shine deeply,
a single shaft penetrating the depths.
Dive deep, daughter.”