My contribution to Kat Myrman’s marvellous Twittering Tale challenge this week:
My contribution to Kat Myrman’s marvellous Twittering Tale challenge this week:
We meet at the edge of two worlds, gazing across a divide filled with wonder and questions.
Little Fox, little Fox, where are you going? I watch you peer into things new and old, a reminder of all that we have lost. What are they you may ask.
Forests concealing ivy clad gods, and wild, wild meadows. A spirit unfettered and filled with yearning. A knowledge of secrets concealed in deep pools and moss clad glades.
Little Fox, little Fox, where you going? You are a reminder of what we were once and can be again.
You are the wild heart and spirit of Nature. A harbinger of things sacred and most beautiful. Shall I follow, Shadow your steps? Lead on, for I shall always follow. Always remember.
My entry for Kat Myrman’s Twittering Tale this week.
Things are not what they seem in the woods tonight. Little Red is on the prowl:
Wolf where have you gone? Left or right?
I’ve haunted your dreams, whispered dread in your ears.
It’s time to meet, time to spar.
Time to EAT.
I’ve thought at length about the possible origins of my character. She emerged as a result of a writing challenge entered a while ago (Sue Vincent’s #writephoto); and was called the Alchemist’s daughter until an appropriate name was found. Amunet was chosen as my heroine emitted a sense of “otherness” that necessitated further investigation. For that I needed to revisit ancient Egyptian creation myths. There wasn’t any conscious effort to mould her into a representation of wisdom and mystery. Like many other characters, she developed from gut feelings and nebulous images in the mind. These creations become significant over time, being echoes of lost histories. If we’re receptive to their voices they can be encouraged to tell us their stories. This seemed the most sensible approach to take.
To be honest this character’s an enigma to me. I stare at her from my position in the present and wonder at the nature of adventure we’re participating in. Amunet appears to be forming the basis of a bigger project, something I’m getting excited about.
I suppose we should now journey to the beginning of all things in my character’s universe. A time before time existed in a formless space:
The Ogdoad in The Hermopolitan Creation Myth
Amunet belongs to one of the Ogdoad (group of Eight), who are four pairs of ancient Egyptian deities thought to be the oldest of all gods. A statement made by other creations myths of that land about their gods! Regardless, these beings represent primeval elemental powers existing before creation of the world. The four male gods are frog headed, and their female counterparts snake headed:
The world they inhabited was shrouded in silence and darkness, if you can imagine a place consisting of nothingness you’ve done well. I don’t always manage to.
When the waters of chaos retreated they revealed the first land. It was the sacred Mound upon which the Cosmic egg was laid by either an Ibis (sacred to Djehuty) or a goose, called the Great Cackler. In another variation of the myth the darkness was pierced by the light of the child Ra who rose from the depths of Nun in a lotus. This creation myth focusses on the mystery of creation out of non-being to being. Something that has fascinated and perplexed me since childhood.
These powers are part of a group of deities indigenous to the ancient centre of Khemenu (“The Town of the Eight”), named Hermopolis Magna by the Greeks. The other deities are a hare and baboon. This place was the cult centre of Djehuty (Thoth) from early dynastic times, and with his arrival at Khemenu these deities were absorbed into his mythos. Two in particular retained their status though, the Hare goddess Wenet and the baboon god Hedj-wer. Wenet was the totem animal of the 15th or Hare Nome (administrative division) of Upper Egypt, so it may have been difficult to obliterate her presence. As for the baboon god, he was worshipped here from pre-dynastic times and became closely associated with Djehuty as one of his manifestations. From here we briefly face the divinity that is Djehuty.
Djehuty and the Symbolism of Eight
It’s appropriate that the spirit of Djehuty pervades my heroine’s life. He is after all the Master Alchemist, God of Wisdom and Magic, oversees the arts, and sciences. In fact ruling all intellectual pursuits. Djehuty is also said to have invented hieroglyphs. The number eight embodies his essence perfectly as it symbolises harmony, balance, and cosmic order. It’s also the number of perfection, infinity, abundance, and power.
So far, so good. Amunet therefore contains within herself perfect knowledge and Being. She’s the Priestess sitting in front of the Veil obscuring the Greater Mysteries of Life and Beyond; and also Divine Fire clothed in material matter, hidden, waiting. She contains potential within herself, of greater things. That’s what so fascinating about her, as she represents the hidden potential within all of us. The ability to bring to light the invisible aspects of our natures and the Cosmos. That’s why She Walks in Light.
The causeway is now hidden beneath shimmering water and there’s no one available to take him across to the island. Faith, such a loaded word these days. He carries an ocean of it within his being; hearing it whisper against the rocky shore of the emotions. Its music echoes in dreams and waking moments. This pilgrimage has been undertaken for several thousand generations. The land remembers presence of beings who had spoken life into manifestation. A sense of sacredness had always existed here according to his ancestors. They’d worshipped their gods, held their memories safe in mind and heart through turbulent times. The Old Ones had eventually retreated into the misty shadowlands, not forgotten but waiting to see which way the tide would turn. The currents appeared to turn against them, but the true faithful remained steadfast in their worship. Although it was practised in secret.
The man sits on the shore for a while, he’s cold and hungry. This only highlights the sense of loneliness. Faith, in himself and the Higher Powers had fluctuated wildly over the years, causing him to abandon his path and calling. A temporary situation as his natural talents refuse to be ignored. He comes from a line of priests that stretch into infinity, the link isn’t going to be broken now. That much he vows to their spirits. “I’ll return” he promises.
Other presences slowly gather, forming a protective circle around one of their own. He hears them and rejoices, the beloved ancestors. They give him love and also their chiding, for not using his skills to build a fire, for not eating the food lying in his bag. The apathy fades in the light of companionship. Putting on a head torch the search is on for wood, there are scraps sufficient for a small fire. He makes sure the fire and his emotions are safely contained before settling down to eat. The salamanders are quite active tonight.
Fed and watered he settles down to listen to the sound of the waves. Its hypnotic sound soon pushes him into a deep sleep. Huge wings enfold his figure, giving warmth and safety. The Raven, totem of his family has watched over him since birth. She was a constant in his life, even if he wasn’t always aware of her presence. Raven now whispers “have a little faith”. He smiles.
The darkness of sleep fades to see in a glorious sun rise. Raven’s wings open and she flies into the sky, reminding him that it is time to cross the expanse between this and the next world. He stands for a moment to look across to the island. The land waits for the relic he carries, it will return home soon. Each step taken on the battered and almost unrecognisable causeway brings back memories of all those who have gone before. Thousands upon thousands of pilgrims had made their way to this spot long before it became separated from the mainland. It hides remnants of ancient temples, obscured from human eyes but strong in presence nonetheless. There are just ruins now but on another plane the buildings remain tangible. This location exudes peace and a sense of being loved by all who had worshipped here. Some of them even being his family.
“Have a little faith”. Those words wash over him, urging the need to remain steadfast and focussed. The relic starts to hum in response to Raven’s chant, an old song sung in the temple of its origin. Not far to go now. The sky has brightened considerably, the quicksilver colour of yesterday replaced by cobalt blue. The sea is warm and calm. His heart blossoms in the beauty of the day. Raven’s chant reverberates within him, “not far to go” it sings. Waking consciousness transforms into trance. The feet know where to go even if his mind doesn’t. They stop at the threshold of the temple that once was. He comes out of the trance to see Raven in human form standing in the centre of the ruins. She beckons and he obeys.
The relic urges to see the light, its call is insistent. He uncovers the small pendent and lays it gently in her palm. The Raven Priestess murmurs words of blessing over it and then offers it to the man, saying:
“We welcome our priest back into our heart and temple”.
He bows in humility. Tears fall down his cheeks. A welcome release after so many years of wandering. He’s finally reached the centre of the labyrinth.
We took a welcome break today and made for Snowdonia National Park. After a short discussion our destination was decided, Betws y Coed in Conwy. This was on the spur of the moment and to take advantage of a day without ANY RAIN. You have to be quick these days if planning any excursions, the downpours have been constant. Although the weather conditions haven’t been as terrible as those experienced by people in other parts of the world. Nature can render all helpless as babes when the elements confront us in their full power.
Betws y Coed lies in the Snowdonia National Park, in a valley near the point where the River Conwy is joined by the River Llugwy and the River Lledr, and was founded around a monastery in the late sixth century. The OS reference is SH795565.
This post requires no other words, hopefully the images will communicate with you better than I can at this moment. They were taken on our camera phones. I love trees (both living and dead), and running water. This walk was filled with both attired in beauty and mystery.
Another Seeker after Knowledge and Truth discovered on my virtual travels.
From time to time humanity is confronted with unaswerable questions about the meaning of existence and the validity of a Universe that appears to be uncaring. What happens under those circumstances? Do we allow ourselves to recede into nothingness? No! We boldly go where no one has gone before…Wait, isn’t that a line from “Star Trek?.” Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to confront your existentialist angst and give it a, er, hug. Or air kiss if that’s acceptable.
These are for days when you spill tea or coffee on yourself before an important meeting. For when you put both legs through one trouser leg and then fall over in an effort to disentangle yourself. For when you drop guacamole on a pristine white shirt and don’t notice it for several hours. I’ve done them all and survived! Be strong.
I’ll end on a positive note, something to take away and savour:
An erudite and thoroughly intriguing post from Steve Tanham.
Hush, hush echoes the owl’s cry as it watches the seasons pass, from the time of fullness to the must of decay.
The sacrificial King disrobes from cloth of splendour and relinquishes crown of gold. The Executioner comes, garbed in stealth and resolve.
The ancestors gather, bringing news from Otherworldy realms and blessings aplenty. The Dark Mother rises on wings of shadow and dream, awaits the battle of Holly and Oak.
The battle commences, blade against blade, life against death. How the sparks fly, setting the gloom alight. The Light wanes, ushers in the must of decay and life veiling.
The mighty blade cuts, the Oak King is felled, blood spills scarlet. The Dark Mother is satisfied, the sacrifice accepted.
The victor stands triumphant, the Holly King rises, holds blade aloft. Thus is the ritual complete, thus is the Sun mourned.
The Holly King gathers robe of splendour, bends knee to the Mother, awaits the crown of gold.
Thus is he crowned, holds court in the time of Winter. All Hail the Holly King! So is my dream complete.
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