Heavenly Spheres

By Stephen Cheney

The Gypsy is at her table in the dark-clothed tent.
Here for a day, here forever.  What is the difference?
Waiting within, dreaming of all the might-have-beens.

A customer arrives, nervous and full of expectations, and soon parts the curtain.
The candles, set a-flutter, soon resume their quiet prayer.

Here the light is dim, a twilight intimate to the passing of secrets.
Here the still enclosed air forms a boundary
where the outer world cannot enter, cannot belong.
Here, at a price, may be revealed the doorway to another world,
another chance.
But all change needs courage.

With two chairs there is a table.  The table is small and round.
Round, representing the circling world
that lies closed out beyond the tent.
A circle of life paying respects to an enclosed ground.

“Please sit down”, said the Gypsy, half rising,
an invitation with the grace of her hand.
They now sit, the table a bridge between them, facing each other.
One in veils and one unveiled.
A meeting of two bodies, two minds, two souls, eyes.

The cloth that covers the table is dark.
It has been sown with many symbols, mixed voices from a lost time.

And on it, exposed, there smoothly shines a ball of crystal.
In its aloneness it represents the oneness of the soul.
Its eye flickers with inner flames.  It reads the soul of all around it.
It invites each candle on the walls to a dance.

The ball is a mystical sphere of the curve of the earth.
It looks and weighs the depths of each soul.
It sits and waits, but though the Earth turns, the ball does not move.
Prometheus bound, an offering by slaves to the gods.
The pearl of the Dragon.

The walls and candles standing overhead look down.
The table offers up its crystal to the heavens
as two people of different worlds sit around it
immersed in the presence of each other;
but while the visitor is locked in inner thoughts and turmoils,
the other is freely projecting and appraising.

“Welcome to my tent”, said the Gypsy softly, as she was the master of Hosts.
She took, for a moment, the visitor’s hand in hers.
“You come to seek my help”, she politely said, as she was the master of Ghosts.
Ghosts of the night, of moon, mountain, plain and forest,
And of the ghosts that lurk within each troubled soul.

Sensing that her visitor deserved the truth, she gave it.
“Do you know … where the crystal ball is?” the Gypsy slowly and kindly inquired.
“Why … it is there — on your table”,
responded the visitor logically as if partaking in a game.
“What you CAN see and what you CAN know are rarely the same”,
advised the Gypsy in a hardening whisper.

Her eyes flashed.
“No … I AM THE CRYSTAL BALL!” revealed the Gypsy
in a Voice that Loomed Out as from a Well.
She had lifted the veil between matter and mind, splitting realms.

The surrounding Hosts of Dark, of Light, of Time,
were called and surged into the room, a tide from a dark unseen sea.
Answers awaiting questions.  Shells on the shore, awaiting their selection.

It was time to begin.

(Image: Metraton's Cube by John Brooks)


  1. Stephen, I will be back to comment after the Shabbat. Cheers

  2. My kind of story! But what does it mean to be a crystal ball? Sorry my comprehension is a bit slow, I'm mad about the Paris attacks. But good job, Stephen.

  3. "Here for a day, here forever. What is the difference?" none because it doesn't change the result. As an African I know well what's like to consult with witch doctors and witches and they're always mysterious and frightening. I don't like much to rely too much on these seers cause I think we should make our own decisions and stumble when we have to, but that's just me.

  4. It was time indeed. So the guy went to a gypsy to learn a truth that he probably wasn't expecting; the question is: what will he do with that information now that he received it?
    Impeccable Heavenly Spheres, Stephen.

  5. @ Carla.
    The function of a Crystal Ball or of any enchanting accessory device such as a magic sword, wand, amulet, potion, cards etc. is to provide a power that one does not normally have. A magician waves his magic wand and wonders appear. However it is not the wand that is magical, but the talents of the magician. The wand is the distraction for the gullible who know nothing of wonders. A champion sportsman wears a lucky charm and believes that it gives him an extra edge over his opposition. However it is the sportsman’s own talent that wins. Because of the champion’s belief in the charm he/she has more confidence of winning, and that indeed is the added magic. In contests some unscrupulous participants will deliberately hide the lucky charm of another and dissolve their confidence thus increasing winning chances. Arnold Schwarzenegger the famous body builder used to do this. Confidence and belief are the extra enhancements that make a winner from amongst other talented participants. The Gypsy is not saying that she is a crystal ball, a thing. She is saying that she has the functions that a novice might assign to a crystal ball or magical object, and that such abilities are in her own personal talents. Thus she is the magic in the crystal ball and not the other way round. Insight is personal and it is not some occult object of devotion or mysterious rite.

    1. Thanks for the explanation, Stephen. It's true, the power is inside us and not on the amulets and symbols, but at the same time those objects and symbols help us to understand or maybe accept better our powers? The image that came with this post is so beautiful, you have good taste.

    2. @ Carla.
      As I am pressed for time, the associating images are chosen by Max. I trust Max’s judgement.
      In all things, the best thinking is to evolve your own images and ideas first and only after that to check out what others have offered.

  6. Hi Cheney,

    First of all: amazing work. I read it three times in a row, love it.

    "It sits and waits, but though the Earth turns, the ball does not move."

    Beyond its meaning, the beauty behind the composition of this sentence is wonderful: the globe turns, yet the crystal globe doesn't. I love antithesis as they remind us that there are two sides to all matters.

    “What you CAN see and what you CAN know are rarely the same”

    So true. What about what you can't see and what you can't know? They exist, they are there yet not for you...

    Will this have a sequel, Cheney? Now you got me curious about the client's reaction.

    Exciting piece :D.


  7. Hi Max.
    This drama was not meant to have a follow-on. It already contains a high density of meanings. The sequel after all is a universal, that is, what happens next is different depending on the reaction of each separate viewer. The piece’s impact shatters the moment and scatters continuances like an impact-web across glass. From one event multiplies many. We all radiate into the universe and thus expand its creation. The sequence already exists in your own mind. And it is You. We need to know and be shown that we are more than just what we think we are. That is a continuous lesson from religion, the occult, science, art and the martial arts. The Gypsy's spell has already bloomed. I give, but it is you the receiver who generates art and meaning from that.

    Your "What you can't see and thus cannot know", is where you are going so long as you live and explore.

    Fond regards

  8. Ahhh Stephen, you already ruined it for me: no sequence? Oh NOOOOO! Anyway, I really enjoyed your story: it took me to different places. I'm not sure I'd ever visit a gypsy or any fortune teller cause I'm too coward to know what the future holds for me, so I take one step at the time. Thanks for the present cause in the middle of the crazy times we're living in your words are a breath of fresh air!


Post a Comment

Dissecting Society welcomes all sorts of comments, as we are strong advocates of freedom of speech; however, we reserve the right to delete Troll Activity; libellous and offensive comments (e.g. racist and anti-Semitic) plus those with excessive foul language. This blog does not view vulgarity as being protected by the right to free speech. Cheers