May your eyes go to the sun, your life’s breath to the wind. Go to the sky or to earth, as is your nature; or go to the waters, if that is your fate. Take root in the plants with your limbs.
Death, v 3, The Rig Veda
I stare at Unut, She who was once Snake is now Hare. It seems my totem animal is still with me after all these years; remaining not visible yet very much present. Returning to the point of origin has its drawbacks. It raises unsettling questions within the mind as thoughts of life and death walk past. Djehuty intended us to meet and I now understand why. This story is important for me and must be savoured at leisure. As so many have reiterated, life and death are cyclical in nature. Accepting our mortality and that of loved ones can be a truly difficult fact to accept. The notion of impermanence has been debated at great length throughout the ages. This is not set to change soon. Existence is in continual flux, ebbing and flowing like waves upon the seashore. Humanity and perhaps even the ancient ones must find the path back to equilibrium and acceptance. Is it heresy to make mention of this? I sense we have lost our way a little.
The Hare Goddess remains silent, an unreadable expression on her face. She asks whether this is what is really bothering me. I shake my head and mutter ‘stasis.’ Contrary to appearances I am not one who is unable to face the greater issues of existence. Certain changes have occurred recently, ones initiating much inner turmoil. Witnessing the creation of Life and the Universe takes its toll. Being in such close proximity to the Eight has changed me. The Self is currently in its death throes, holding on to concepts rather than people. The time has come for the old to die and rebirth to occur. My grip is tight, unable to let go. She touches my hands gently; warmth and reassurance flow from her. One by one she unfurls my fingers until what remains are open hands. Shadows flow from them; it is the remnants of who I once was.
Unut leads me beyond the boundaries of Khmunu and into a different reality. Words are unnecessary at this point. We are standing before a gigantic star. It is dying and has been in death throes for millions of years. I am mesmerised, my mind feels the depth of its sadness and pain. Being an Empath can be a burden. The star’s heart breathes in and out, its life force flowing outwards towards oblivion. We are here to stand vigil over the dying, to ease its passing. There are others who join us, encircling the giant. Rhiannon stands beside me, as does Inanna on the other side. The star is kin to us all as we are made of stardust. We grieve for them as appropriate and perform ancient ancestral rites for their transition. Cosmic Fire fills my sight once more; it pierces the veils between the worlds. The heart of the giant beats slowly and sonorously; now and again it becomes irregular in rhythm. Hardened has it become and intense in heat now. We offer them love and our silence. Time and space shift and shift again. The star’s flesh falls away and its heart is exposed, appearing vulnerable and fragile. Its life force begins to glow brighter, becoming incandescent.
A song of sorrow echoes throughout space, spiralling around us. We mourn, we mourn for a soul that is passing beyond the gates of existence. The star recounts its journey from birth to now; its voice faint but filled with unexpected hope. Existence for them can be counted in billions of years. We are but a tiny speck in the great sea of time! I ask them for a name, they whisper it and wait for my answer. I offer them a blessing from the depths of my heart. Their light fades gradually, finally extinguished but not destroyed. Its atoms have dispersed awaiting rebirth. I can sense the essence of the star, it feels vital and incandescent in the darkness of the Void. Unut raises her hands in blessing and draws a veil across the waiting life potential.
We stare across the expanse of the heavens. The song of many echoes throughout the vastness. Their tales are ones I shall value much. It will be an honour to keep them safe for all eternity. The Imperishable Stars have much to teach us, but it is not my place to reveal such stories now. Not due to vows of secrecy but because I do not truly understand. The Hare Goddess tells me that they shall speak to me in my dreams. ‘Take heed’ she says. Indeed I shall.
(For the rest of the Storyteller’s journey please see my other blog Dispatches from the Hinterland).