Brother Lessing entered the inner sanctum as invited and did not like what he saw. A space had been cleared of furniture in the centre of the room, and unfamiliar geometric shapes chalked onto the floor. Along the lines of these shapes Brother Pott had placed about a hundred candles, all lit, casting strange shadows on the walls. In the centre of this fiery ensemble, a needle pointed to the sky, affixed to a block of cork.
“Brother Pott,” said Brother Lessing, “your invitation to these proceedings made no mention of bizarre occult rituals that may endanger my soul.”
“Ha! They are neither bizarre nor occult. Obscure I grant you, for they are very old and discussed only in the unfashionable texts. Yet they represent the boldest move in theology for a generation – a practical experiment to answer Mr. Aquinas. For you, Lessing, the drum if you please.” He pointed to a drum in the corner.
Lessing took up his position. Pott opened the old book in front of him, checked that all the candles remained lit, and commenced his incantations.
They worked. Immediately the air above the needle seemed to blaze, a crack appeared through which shone blinding light, and from there a being emerged from it. Shaped like a man, about the size of a palm, dressed in white, with glowing butterfly wings sprouting from behind his shoulders. The being gazed around in confusion. Then Lessing began to beat the drum.
To be continued…