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#5 Magick Before Mayhem: The Sword January 23, 2020

Posted by wimynspeak in Sourceress: The Book of Fear.
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We have arrived yet again at another beginning, in this place of once-upon-a-timeless-time. In this part of our story, in this near-by, far-away place, the girl’s mother, normally astute, does not notice the change in her husband’s demeanor, or you can be sure she would have had something to say about it. Instead, she makes arrangements for the old woman to train the girl in secret, not in defiance or because she is maliciously hiding anything from her husband, but because, in her blindness, she believes he will eventually come around to the truth, as she sees it, on his own. And when he does, she wants to surprise him. And so, rather than the start of training (which we will come to presently), it is this beginning on which our story pivots: Though they do not know it, this is the first time in all their years together that the couple is working at odds with each other, rather than finding a common ground in their actions, as has always been their habit. But they do not see this and we shall not dwell upon it, except to note that this is so and the story bears telling as it unfolds, for here we find not only wisdom and grace, but also much of our own experience, as well as the magickal seeds that hold the essence of all our stories, including this one. And so we begin, not with the sword, not just yet, but with the seeds …

When the old woman first met the young girl at the agreed-upon time and place, she did not bring the sword but rather a handful of seeds, which she had chosen carefully from her own herb garden and carried with her as she had searched for the girl. Now, she gave the seeds to her with instructions that seemed to make no sense, but which the girl promised to follow anyway.

“When the seeds are ready,” the old woman continued, though the girl’s expression revealed some doubt, “you must plant them by a window, outside the room where you sleep. If you follow my instructions, they will grow quickly. At night, leave the shutters open so you can breathe in their scent. This will help to enhance your strength and the power you will need to wield the sword.” She said nothing of the herbs’ habit of nighttime music and dance but would wait to see if the girl discovered these attributes on her own. (In case, as happens, this part of the story thread is dropped along the way, it gives nothing away to assure the reader: She will. And it will have a profound effect on the path of her life journey, though the details are not as important as one might suspect, which is why they may get lost in the telling.) Back to our story:

At the mention of the sword, the young girl’s face grew first troubled, then fierce. Though he hadn’t mentioned it again, she knew her father remained opposed to her sword training and she worried about this, as she had always been an obedient child. “My father does not want me to touch the sword,” she told the old woman.

“I know,” the wise one said, laying her hand gently on the girl’s shoulder. “He is afraid of the warrior in you. He does not understand our ways, but believes only what this world tells him is so.” She wanted to reassure the girl, despite her own concerns. “But belief is not truth, as you will see. Be patient, child. He will come around.”

“That’s what Mama says, too,” the girl replied. “But I am worried. And I don’t like deceiving him.”

The blind one only nodded and sent the girl on her way.

Despite her discomfort, the girl kept their secret, and that night, after everyone was asleep, under the light of the full moon, she planted the seeds, meticulously following the blind warrior’s instructions: holding the seeds in her mouth until they were plump with her own saliva, and only then placing them into the ground, blessing each seed with her gratitude as she did so. The old woman had explained that she must see each seed as a willing collaborator on her journey, an extension of herself. The girl had no way of knowing that this, too, would be the way of the sword: a collaboration.

It serves no purpose to get too far ahead of our story, and so we shall stop here, bathed in moonlight and in the midst of planting magick; before the inevitable mayhem, which we cannot, unfortunately, in either story or life, avoid. It would do well for us, too, to take heed and remembrance of the wise old woman’s words regarding belief and truth, for these are often used interchangeably, misconstrued, and interwoven, as if one fashions the other. Yet, if one looks closely, examining past and future while standing firmly in the present, one will see that one of these is merely sleight-of-hand, a clever trick, and the other pure magick. Time will tell which holds sway in the nearby-faraway …

 

Copyright 2020 Linda Maree/Linda M Gabriel

End of the Road November 6, 2016

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General.
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End of the Road

by Linda Maree

 

End of the Road I

You have come to the end of the road. Behind you: the path and steps you’ve taken, in front of you: nothing. This is not a crossroads filled with choices, with numerous paths to follow. If you move from here, it will mean stepping into the unknown. Perhaps you will step off a cliff and into the abyss. Perhaps you will fall forever. Perhaps you will grow wings and fly. Perhaps a path will be created by your footsteps, leaving behind your prints for others to follow, so that the end of the road turns out to be not a finite point, but movable and malleable, a knotted rope of beaded ‘ends’ strung together to make something of nothing.

 

End of the Road II

You have come to the end of the road. You expected something more, but what you see all around you is so ordinary: tables, chairs, food, people. Piped-in music blasting from speakers in the ceiling, right over your head to judge by the strength of the vibrations you feel jolting you to attention. Ordinary. The end of the road is ordinary. A sunny day in a bright and noisy café. Nothing to indicate the end of anything, except your sense of it.

 

End of the Road III

You have come to the end of the road and here, just as you’d heard it would be, you discover a new beginning … along with a bucket full of hope, handfuls of strength, and a firm, feathery belief that takes flight, disappearing into a clear blue sky, carrying you, wingless, with it.

The Lake Where the Black Swans Swim December 7, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in Bee Write!, General, The Hive.
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The names of the ancestors have been lost in the ethers of time, but the blood scent of these women still calls us to cross thresholds and gather in circles, holding hands, raising our voices in boisterous song, dancing to the music of the stars. Women who make lists, follow rules, and set daily goals to be ticked off as completed sometimes find our gatherings to be too loose, too ethereal  . . . at first. But when we finally cross the lake where the black swans swim, taking the Bridge of Light to the isle hidden by the fog of what is called by those who have no sense of its meaning: Truth, always, always, those who leave their shoes and their heavy limiting goals on the shore (where the black swans feast on the discards) step on to the island barefoot and, hand-in-hand, find themselves ready to dance in joy with the rest of us. Once the decision is made, I have never known the transformation to fail and have learned in this way that the only truth worth hanging on to is the belief in magic.

Dream: Fear Is Toying With Me November 18, 2014

Posted by wimynspeak in General, The Hive.
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The dream started off innocuously enough. I was making up a bed in a child’s room. There were toys in the room, mostly piled up in the corners and along the walls – not messy, just a lot of them. At some point I heard music, the kind that an electronic toy might make, and I looked around to see which toy it was and why it was making noise. At first I couldn’t tell, but then decided it was a toy in the far corner of the room, opposite where I was standing next to the bed. Many of the toys in that corner began making noises, and some of them even started talking, and though I couldn’t make out what they were saying, somehow it sounded sinister. They were scaring me, so I picked up something off of the floor and threw it at them and told them to be quiet. One of the toys caught what I threw and just laughed – an evil laugh that frightened me even more. That’s when I knew I had to get out of that room.

But the bed was between me and the door, and to get around it I would have to walk past the very scary toys. I was thinking maybe I could climb across the bed (it was small) but I sensed the toys would never let that happen. I was so frightened, all I wanted to do was escape. And then realized I was in a dream and willed myself to wake-up. Some part of me, though, would not let me waken because there was something important for me to learn here, a lesson. I tossed and turned and fretted about the sinister toys, neither fully awake nor fully asleep, until I finally had that aha! moment: I couldn’t escape my fears, I had to face them. So I walked right over to the scariest bunch of toys and said “You have no power over me, you are only toys!” Immediately they quieted and became inanimate, benign toys once again, and I fell back into a deep, restful sleep.

The lesson: Fear has no power over me when I confront it head-on. In my dream, I had to walk right up to the thing that frightened me, not run away from it. Escaping would have left the fear alive and powerful and I would have never been truly free of it, never again able to enter that room, or perhaps any other, without wondering what fearful thing might show up. I had to face the fear to banish it and release its power over me.

Calling the Teacher April 30, 2014

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When the wolf bones are arranged just so, we are told, on just the right night, at precisely the right time, it is said that the teacher will appear. No one living today has seen the teacher, and I am hoping to be one of the first. Legend says she is both kind and awful, beautiful and hideous, the giver of life and its merciless taker. The ritual for calling her has been passed down — the setting of the circle and the correct arrangement of the bones — but until now, no one could recall the other necessary details: the right night, the right time, the right words for her calling. In a world such as this, I think for one dissentient moment, that values wealth and individual gain at the expense of others, perhaps there is no right night, right time. Perhaps the words have been dissolved and we have been abandoned.

The ancient fathers knew better, we are told, knew to leave this holy communion to the women, the sisters and daughters of Gaia. But the men somehow forgot their own sacred role, and the women’s belief in magick began to fade. And so the world was altered and the secret was left behind to lie dormant in the shadowy vault of irrelevance, where it has remained a misty, ephemeral memory with no more substance than a dream.  Until now . . .

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