J u n i p e r …
Juniper time to wake up…
JUNIPER Wake UP!
Juniper became aware, suddenly with a start. “Where am I?” she thought as she looked around her. She was sitting bolt upright in a bed, very like the one Jennifer sleeps in, in a room very much like Jennifer’s. Except it wasn’t. It was empty apart from the bed she currently sat on and a mirror in the corner, where the bath is in Jennifer’s room.
She got out of bed and moved to the full length mirror, but when she reached the mirror, there was no reflection. “Who am I?” she thought.
As if in answer, the mirror started to glow. The glow grew brighter and started taking on a shape within the mirror. The shape moved forward as if to meet her, the glow now subsiding to reveal the reflection. Juniper stared at herself for a good long while and the reflection stared back.
“So this is what I look like” she thought as she took in the sight of Jennifer, but not. Juniper looked like a younger sister. Same flaming red hair, same athletic build, but taller by several inches.
She always wanted to be taller, so now you get to have the experience.
Juniper jumped at the voice in her head. No, not a voice. Juniper felt the words more than heard them… it was decidedly weird.
“Who’s there?” Juniper whispered.
It is I, UA
“UA!” Juniper then recognised the feeling of UA, from her experiences with Jennifer.
I AM HERE Juniper felt.
“So she really did it then?” Juniper said.
She did. She has imagined you for a very specific purpose. But you already know what that purpose is…don’t you?
Juniper allowed herself the feeling of pure joy and of YES. The joy that can only be felt at the beginning of a brand new experience.
“Yes! I’m going to University!” Juniper shouted with glee before suddenly becoming subdued, staring at her reflection.
“UA, I’m going to need a better outfit for CCU. This toga-looking contraption you have me in is decided booooring!!” Juniper now turning left and right looking at herself dressed in a white robe.
Well then, why don’t you imagine yourself a new outfit? And be quick about it, we have to leave, it’s our first day and we don’t want to be late!
Juniper closed her green eyes. Another small difference from Jennifer she thought, who has brown eyes. She smiled, thinking it was nice of Jen to make her an individual and not just a copy of herself.
When she opened her eyes again, she smiled broadly. “That’s better” she said, taking in the black t-shirt emblazoned with sparkly skull and crossbones, over skinny black jeans an homage to the Pirates . On her feet, she had imagined knee-high Doc Martens lace up boots. Practical, and bright red!
In her left hand she was carrying a soft black leather jacket. That’ll do, she thought.
“Ok, now I’m ready!”
Good. Now close your eyes and take a deep breath. I’m going to navigate our BoC via the Bon to the CCU. It’s going to feel strange, but try to stay calm, ok?
Wait, you’re going to do what!? BoC? Bon? What are you talking about?
No time for that. You’ll get an opportunity to discover these answers for yourself. For now, close your eyes and take a deep breath.
Now a tad nervous, Juniper simply nodded her head, closed her eyes, and took a long, slow breath, savouring the feeling of it.
What happened next is hard to explain. A feeling of being pushed, then pulled, then squashed and then expanded and then… nothing.
Still with her eyes closed, she called for UA.
I AM HERE. Open your eyes.
Slowly, Juniper opened her eyes to her new world. The Campus of the Crimson Circle University. The sight was overwhelming. Jennifer had been world building in her sleep.
UA had grounded them on the edge of a park. A massive circular green lawn stretched out in front of her. Across the lawn from where she was standing, the main university building stood proudly on top of small hill; a huge staircase led to the vaulted entrance under the words: CRIMSON CIRCLE UNIVERSITY.
On either side of the main building grew two wings that stretched half way around the circular lawn, where it was met by a half-ring of ancient oaks. She looked up at the behemoth she was currently standing under. It radiated a sense of peace down to her. The thick mass of leaves cast dense shade whilst still allowing trails of light through. It was magical.
She turned around to look behind her. Following the ring of oak trees, evenly spaced stretching out in concentric half-circles were more rows of trees. Each row was a different variety. She started walking into the forest away from the University, curious about the trees. How many circles were there? What were the other kinds of trees? She was full of questions as she walked towards the second circle.
You’re going the wrong way! We don’t have time to explore right now, we’re late.
But, I need to know, UA! What are they?
We can come back to explore, but first we have to go to Registration.
Sighing at the unsolved riddle of the trees, she committed herself to come back and explore them.
Juniper turned and started walking across the circular lawn towards the central Administration building of the University.
Now standing at the entrance of the hallowed halls of the CCU, Juniper realized why UA had insisted they didn’t waste any time. The place was packed! Students of every description filled the registration hall. Through the throng, Juniper saw the row of desks manned by…by…what are they UA?
The administrators of the registration office are all gargoyles.
Yes gargoyles. They were recently decommissioned as protectors. With so many Masters present, the need for protection simply disappeared. So they were reprogrammed to be administrators.
Fascinating, Juniper thought, as she made her way to an administrator gargoyle who had just become available.
This particular gargoyle wasn’t as scary looking as some of the others. A friendly smile under a broad nose with deep set eyes. Small horns grew out of the top of his head and on his back small wings.
Smile suddenly gone, the administrator barked “NAME!”
The administrator looked up at Juniper, lifting the left brow high. “Is that it? Just Juniper? No last name?”
“Erm…”she stumbled, suddenly unsure. Tree, UA whispered.
“Tree” Juniper replied hesitantly to the administrator. Slowly a smile spread across the gargoyles face.
“That’s good! Juniper Tree. Funny” he said in a deadpan voice. Clearly not finding it funny at all. “All right then Ms Tree, which program are you registering for.”
“I’m here to complete my Master’s thesis.” Juniper replied.
No reply to this from the administrator as he turned to reach for a leather bound ledger. As he opened the heavy ledger, Juniper could see the text on the page didn’t look … solid.
“What’s that?” Juniper asked the administrator, curiously leaning in closer.
Finally smiling at her inquisitiveness, the administrator explained that the leather volume was a selection tool to determine who her mentor would be, as well as, which residence she would live in. Fascinated, Juniper leaned in even closer. The administrator turned the pages until he found an empty page. At the top he wrote Juniper Tree. As he moved his hand away from the page, Juniper saw new script appear below her name. It read:
Master’s Thesis subject: To be confirmed.
Thesis Mentor: Professor Kuthumi lal Singh A.M.
Residence: House of Keahak
Juniper straightened up as the writing stopped. Just then in post script the following appeared:
Thesis subject meeting with Mentor Kuthumi, in 10 minutes.
The administrator snapped the volume closed, grabbed a folder in which he proceeded to stuff a variety of papers, suddenly in a big hurry.
“You can’t make the Master wait. Shit, only 9 minutes left. Here,” he stuffed the folder into Juniper’s hand before handing her a single sheet. “This is a map of the University, it will lead you to your meeting. You’ll have to run, it’s at the far left wing of the building.” The gargoyle looked almost worried, as he started pushing Juniper in the right direction. Pointing down the hall he said, “Good luck Juniper Tree. And welcome to the CCU!”
“Thank you administrator!” Juniper called over her shoulder as she headed down the hall towards her meeting with her mentor.
As she ran through the halls of the university, the map showed her the way. She arrived for her meeting with an Ascended Master, sweaty and breathing heavily from the run. Not exactly the first impression she had wanted to make on her mentor.
Juniper breathed to calm herself before stretching her right hand to knock on the door. The call of “NAMASTE! Come in, Ms Tree.” came from behind the door. Juniper pulled herself straight and entered the room.
Prof Kuthumi A.M. was standing in the middle of a book lined room, circular (off course), beaming (literally).
“Come and sit down so we can have a chat about your thesis. Tea?” Prof Kuthumi gestured to the most exquisite tea set Juniper had ever laid eyes upon. It had intricate fractal twirls in a multitude of colors, edged in gold. Jaw hanging slightly slack, she couldn’t find the words, so simply nodded.
“Sit Juniper. We have much to discuss and you don’t have much time. I see Prof Adamus has you signed into the House of Keahak, so you’ll be expected at the opening shortly.”
Juniper chose one of the two chairs around the small round table, and sat. Now literally sitting across a table from an Ascended Master. She was slightly dumb struck. “UA HELP!”
I AM HERE.
“Ah, darling UA, you’ve joined us. How delightful! NAMASTE!!” Prof Kuthumi’s beaming increased as UA appeared behind Juniper’s chair. Juniper felt UA place her hands gently on her shoulders. Immediately she relaxed. Off course she thought, UA and Kuthumi are probably old friends.
“So UA. You’re taking little Juniper on a bit of an adventure then. Tell me, have you decided what the thesis will encompass.”
“44 Magic Archetypes to Awakening. Presented in 2 sets of pairs of 11.” UA replied. “Or at least that’s what the idea is currently presenting itself as. It seems to keep morphing.”
“Ideas tend to do that. Allow it to. I like the math of that presentation. 11:11 and 11:11” said Prof Kuthumi.
“Yes,” UA said now also beaming, “I knew you would”.
“So, UA and Juniper. That will do for today. Remember, I am here to help should you get stuck with your thesis. We will also have monthly meetings to catch up with your progress. Good luck.” Prof Kuthumi lal Singh A.M. beamed. “You are expected at your residence soon, so you had better get running.”
Great, Juniper thought, more running. Juniper contained her dignity long enough to walk out of the office and respectfully close the door to the good bye “NAMASTE”!
She quickly checked the map to find her residence. The map had changed, now no longer showing the hall ways of the University building, it was giving Juniper a bird’s eye view of the Campus. The House of Keahak was indicated on the map with a glowing blue wing. It seemed to be quite removed from the other residences found closer to the University building.
“It’s all the way on the other side of Campus!” Juniper exclaimed out loud to a few stares from other students milling about the hall.
Shhhh, not so loud.
UA can we take the Bon?
No Juniper. That was only to bring you here. You’ll have to run.
So Juniper ran. Through the University building and out the left wing into the forest of trees. Head down Juniper, no time for looking at trees.
Head down, Juniper ran. Counting the rings as she passed them, 5…6………8…..9!
She slowed at the 9th and last ring of trees. On the other side she saw another circle lawn. Smaller than the one in front of the University, but still fairly large. In its centre stood the House of Keahak.
Juniper approached her new residence at walking pace. She wasn’t late. She could see others congregating in front of the house. A welcoming banner hung across the enormous wrap around porch of the House.
UA, Juniper called.
I am here. Nice hey?
I’d say… it’s pretty fancy, but why does it keep changing shape?
Indeed, the House was in a constant state of flux, it morphed from one shape to another. One moment, it was a princess castle with spires, the next it presented itself as an old English Manor House.
The house will accommodate over 600 Masters this year. Ua explained. So as each Master arrives with their vision of the House it morphs to include it in the arc-schematic.
O….K…. Juniper thought. So which vision is ours?
I don’t know Juniper. What is your vision of The House?
Juniper stopped dead in her tracks. She was going to enter as a Master into the House. It hit her like a ton a bricks. She found herself stepping backwards, away from the House.
Juniper stopped and took a deep breath.
Close your eyes. We are here. Let’s make the best of the experience. Dive into it. Imagine your House of Keahak.
Juniper took another breath. My House. The wrap around porch, she thought. That was mine. Pillars lined the porch which wrapped all the way around the double storey house. Big windows facing the grounds, and an attic room, that will need exploring.
Juniper opened her eyes just in time to the House of Keahak present her imagination back to her. Just a flash, before it morphed again, log cabin and again, ultra-modern house and again and again…
Juniper turned her focus away from the morphing house to take in the collection of Masters assembling. They were as varied as the morphing House would suggest.
Suddenly the House stopped morphing. Settling on a castle-like building of stone, matching the architecture of the University.
A hush fell over the gathering. Juniper stretched onto her toes to take in the sight of Professor Adamus St Germaine A.M. stepping up to the podium. He beamed at the gathering, “Welcome Masters! Welcome to the House of Keahak. This is your house now. May the safety of its space allow you to work your magic!”
To be continued…