I can see the whole universe from down here. Looks pretty big. A million points of light stretching into infinity. Where does it end? In the rabbit hole methinks. If you don’t like that image, think of it as a wormhole Alice. I’ve never seen the edge of the Universe, only glimpsed it in my dreams. One day it will end and be consumed by the rabbit hole, sorry, wormhole. Sounds a little freaky but then you are used to the strangeness of reality. You have to understand I’m only the custodian of this sacred space. Sigh. It feels like a life sentence. You look shocked. Don’t be, it doesn’t make me any less dedicated. Immortality isn’t as glamorous as it sounds, just tiresome after the first few thousand years.
You are aware that the glowing, pearlescent orb and I are intimately connected? We’ve been féted in song, poetry and hymns by the greatest minds of the ancient world. Sacred totem, moon animal and attendant to lunar gods and goddesses. What a lineage you might remark. Didn’t know that did you Alice? I know it sounds like I’m boasting. No? What a love you are. Such wonderful times, never to be experienced again. You can’t keep living in the past I suppose. My agent keeps telling me that, she’s had a job dragging me into the, what century are we in now? Twenty-first. Like I said, you lose track after a while. Well, my Moon Priestess, I have a little surprise for you. Our autobiography. Found it in the bottom of the trunk. Makes for strange reading. Just remember to read between the lines, if you know what I mean…
Come warm yourself by this fire, what I have is yours. The land was young when I began my vigil and now that you have emerged from the mists we can journey together to the West. I see many questions in your eyes and they will be answered. The Soul must rest after such a journey, for we are to embark upon another long and perilous undertaking. You will be armed with the tools of my knowledge and those of our ancestors, for I am obliged to help you by what means the Goddess allows. I shall recount my life as it has passed up until this moment. Listen well. I entered the world on a still moonlit night, the hare being midwife to this little scrap of life. Mewling I burrowed into her fur seeking nourishment and warmth, she gave until the Goddess commanded “no more”. Then my instruction began. I flew on the wings of the wind over vast mountain fortresses, silently passed through forest and marshland, and swam deep within the waters of Her womb. This is what it means to enter into the life of the Universe. The ears, eyes and heart must be keen to capture every breath, every movement. Life after life the Moon drew me down and I emerged from the East, full of promise of the harvest. Life sprang from the dark, damp earth reaching ever upwards towards the light, touched by the Child of Light it ripened ready for the sacrifice. The sharp yet merciful knife of fate cleanly cut the thread and I lay on the ground bloodied and breathless. My death gave life to others, as yours must.
I journeyed through the worlds, the words of my ancestors sustaining in their wisdom and beauty. Cycle after cycle riding the wheel of life, all that was seen and heard giving me cause for much sorrow and joy. I searched endlessly for the One, his misty form haunting my dreams, just within grasp at one moment and gone at the next. Once under a burning sun I approached a figure on a cross, we looked at each other but he was not the one my heart craved for. Despairing I sought shelter within a nearby cave. Sleep overtook me and my dreams transported me to strange and fearful places. I could see a child growing inside me, cocooned in my waters she slept soundlessly. I sang many songs to nourish my baby, tales of bravery, of wisdom, of magic. Her answers were clothed in words of honey and music of such unearthly beauty it took your breath away. She also told of a time when her life would be cut short to make way for a new age, I knew this well but would suffer great pain in letting go of her each time.
At the time of her birth they gathered in silent rank around me, the High Priest anointed my forehead and the birth pangs ceased. My daughter was held aloft, bathed in blood and tears, then taken a way. My eyes had to watch her being carried away, a red rose forming from our blood. A strong green shoot then sprang from the bloody soil and grew up towards the sky. The shoot grew thicker and was looking more like a vine now, luxuriant leaves hiding full grapes. I looked on in wonder and approached the vine, took one grape and ate it. The fruit transformed into new life, my child was returned to me once more, her heart beating out a rhythm which echoed mine. It is hard letting go of possessions, emotions and people, but you must realise that new life springs out of sacrifice and death – we all have to go through that gateway in order to be reborn. It is an eternal cycle, even I am not immune to it. Does that give you hope?
Look, the dawn approaches, we must rest now. Take this bearskin and place it in that hollow, it is out of the wind. There is no need to be fearful, I am ready to welcome you back into my arms child, nothing will be allowed to harm you.
I wrapped myself in the bearskin and lay down on the grass. Before my eyes closed I gazed upon Her luminous face to imprint it within my heart, such power seemed to flow from her, her very presence full of love and compassion. What did I have to fear with my Mother by my side? The blood in our veins danced to an ancient drum beat, this was Her gift to me. Gentle hands brushed the hair off my face, their touch warm and comforting. The song of a blackbird carried me over the threshold between this world and the next and the mists closed in. In my dreams I entered the cave of my ancestors, to seek their counsel and join my essence to theirs, this was our tradition from the dawn of time and will continue until time ceases to be. To enter the cave is to enter the Void, within its darkness we are able to gain strength, regenerate, thoughts are born, answers are given. Mother bear your cub has returned to the heart of the labyrinth.
Still makes me weep Alice, but they are memories we will always carry with us into the stars. The imperishable stars as our ancient Egyptian brethren would say.
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/76109285@N02/25382688193″>Que Lua é Essa?</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8269775@N05/7492618214″>North American / Pelican nebulae region</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/”>(license)</a>
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/68134711@N00/12885730015″>Triskele</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>