Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Little Archer and the Half-Troll: A Calontir Story

By Helena Panier
Based on a true story

Deep in the heart of the New World, there is a kingdom called Calontir, which means “Heartland” in Anglo-Saxon. Inside this kingdom, there was also a heart. If that heart had a name it would be Beowyrtun, which in Anglo-Saxon means “place of lilies.” This kingdom center has no castles or forts. It has no manor houses or farms. What it does have is strong people who are free to live as they chose. Once a year, the people of Calontir gather together at Beowyrtun to celebrate the summer.

It was one such gathering, not too long ago, that a poor family journeyed to Beowyrtun. They had a son, named Wesley. He liked to spend time on the archery field.
Wesley had a bow and a few arrows. So, he often joined the shoots. But, as every archer knows, sometimes arrows are lost. It wasn't very long that Wesley had lost all his arrows while shooting on the field.

That afternoon, after losing his final arrow, he went to his mother. “Mother,” he said. “I have lost all my arrows on the practice field. Could I have money to buy more? There's a Fletcher in the market place this year.”

I would give you money, Wesley,” she said. “If I had it.”

Well, how can I get arrows for the practice field?” He asked.

The icehouse is always looking for people to deliver ice. Take the little wagon and go do that,” said his mother.

Wesley took the little wagon. He walked the long, hot mile to the Beowyrtun gatehouse where the icehouse sat. Wesley took the ice, packed it in the little wagon, and walked all around Beowyrtun delivering ice. It was a long and hot walk that had to be done very fast. Otherwise, the ice would melt in the July sun. Wesley was a strong, young man who was fast. It only took him a few hours to deliver all ice. He went back to icehouse and they paid him what was owed. When Wesley counted his money, he realized it was not enough.

He went back to his mother. “Mother, I have worked at the icehouse but it is not enough money to buy arrows for the practice field. There is no more ice to deliver. What should I do?”

The men will be done on the battlefield soon. They will be tired and hungry. Go to the practice field and offer to carry their armor for a fee. They will be happy not to have to carry all that armor in the hot sun, and you will be happy with making money for your arrows.”

Wesley went to the battlefield. There were many men gathered there to practice the shield-wall. When they were done, Wesley could see that his mother was correct. He went about the battlefield asking the men to carry their armor. Some of the men's camps were far away past the bathhouse, some were camped past “Hellingone.” The men paid Wesley to pack his little wagon and pull it to their camps. When they arrived at their camps, they gave Wesley money. Wesley walked back and forth from the battlefield to the far places and back again. Each time, earning a little bit of money. It didn't take long for all the men to disappear from the battlefield back to their camps. Eventually, Wesley had no more to carry. He pulled out his money and counted. Sadly, Wesley discovered that he still didn't have enough money to buy arrows.

As he was walking back to his camp, he became tired. All that walking in the hot sun was finally beginning to tire him out. He decided to go take a shortcut through the woods to get back to camp faster. He turned towards the woods, pulling his little wagon behind him. When he got into the middle, a group of bandit children jumped out from behind the bushes. “Give us all your gold!” They demanded. “Or we will beat you up!”

Wesley drew out his little knife. “No!” He yelled. “You can't have it. I am saving my money for arrows.”

You can't take us all on. You will have to give it to us.” replied a red-haired kid. “I will order my boys to gang up on you and beat you up and take your money anyway. So, you can give it to us with or without bruises.”

If I have to chose, then I chose with bruises. Because for each one I get, I will make sure you walk away with one of your own!”

But as Wesley and the Red-haired bandit captain exchanged challenges, a smaller child snuck up behind Wesley. The child pushed him down and took the money out of his pocket. As Wesley stood back up, he heard the kid-bandits laugh as they disappeared into the woods.

Wesley went back to his mother, heartbroken. “Mother, I didn't earn enough money to get my arrows. And the money I did earn was taken by bandits!” He started to cry. All the work, he felt he did for nothing.

I am sorry that happened, Wesley,” said his mother. She gave him a hug. “Don't worry. I have good news. I made some money today at the market. It isn't everything, but it is half. Tomorrow, go back to icehouse and battlefield. Then, you should have the other half.”

The next day, Wesley did it all again. He walked and walked all over Beowyrtun, trying to earn enough money for arrows. This time, he did not go through the wooded shortcut and made it back to camp. Wesley and his mother put all the money together. “Oh!” said Wesley. “Today wasn't as good as yesterday. I still don't have enough.”

Go the the market place,” said his mother. “Today is the big shopping day in
Beowyrtun. There might be people who need your little wagon. They can pay to cart their purchases back to camps.”

Wesley went to the marketplace. There were people all around buying things. He asked and asked. But nobody wanted to hire Wesley and his wagon. So, Wesley began to ask people if they would like to ride in his little wagon. People paid him to give little children rides in the wagon. He pulled the wagon back and forth along the market road, for awhile. But then, people stopped. When Wesley counted his money, he discovered that he only needed one more dollar. He asked and asked but nobody would hire his wagon.

Just as he was ready to give up, he heard a voice from behind him. “I will hire you to pull me.” Wesley turned around. There stood Vilhjalmr Half-troll. He was named Half-troll because he was six and a half feet tall. Vilhjalmr was very strong with arms the size of small trees.

Wesley was an average twelve year old. He still had to tilt his head all the way back to look at Half-troll. “You will give me a dollar to pull you?” He asked.

Yes,” replied Vilhjalmr Half-troll. “Will you pull me down the market road?” He pulled out his dollar and showed it to Wesley.

Wesley looked at really, big Half-troll up and down. Then, he looked at his very, little wagon. Next, Wesley looked at the dollar. Finally, he looked back at Half-troll, “Yes, I will pull you down market road.”

The very large half-troll, climbed into the very small wagon. He tucked his legs up and said, “I'm ready.”

Wesley picked up the handle of his little wagon and began to pull. But the wagon would not move. Wesley huffed. Then, he began to rock the wagon back and forth, back and forth. Wesley pushed and pulled with all the strength his arms could give. Soon enough, the very little wagon with the very large man began to roll.

Wesley pulled the wagon slowly down the market road. It didn't take long for the people at the market to take notice. It was a comical sight to see a big half-troll in a little wagon, being pulled by a boy down the market road. People began to stare in amazement that Wesley should be strong enough to do such a thing. But for Wesley, it was a matter of getting enough money for arrows.

Wesley continued to pull the wagon with a big half-troll in it. The people were so amazed that they began to cheer him on. “Come on, Wesley! You can do it!” They clapped and yelled. Wesley pulled and pulled. He pulled Half-Troll all the way down the market road.

When he got to the end, he dropped the handle and turned. Vilhjalmr Half-Troll gave Wesley thanks and the money due. The crowd that had gathered there cheered loudly, praising Wesley for his hard work and determination.

The next day, Wesley was on the archery field with his new arrows.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why a duck's quack has no echo

Why Duck's Quack has no Echo

The Gods of Olympus had decided to entrap Narcissus with fascination of his own reflection. It was Hera who decided to put an enchanted pool of water in Echo's Grove. Hera knew that Echo was still in love with Narcissus. Hera didn't do this out of spite for Echo, instead out of spite for Narcissus. But that didn't help Echo's plight. Each day she had to watch and listen to Narcisuss adore himself from the edge of the pond. Narcissus would share his innermost thoughts with his reflected lover. It was during these times that Echo was a witness to a complicated yet extraordinary being.

He recited love poetry and long monologues to his reflection. He sang songs and recited prayers to muses. Narcissus talked about how he was isolated as child, learning early to keep his own company. He spoke of his lonely, over controlling mother, his pleasure obsessed father, and the villa in the country he grew up in. And when Narcissus spoke of the people of his youth, the servants, the slaves, his upper class Athenian family, he spoke of them as objects. “I was surrounded by all the art and beauty money had to offer. They all adored me above everything else, making me the most wonderful living thing on earth.” said Narcissus to his reflection. “I felt so lonely and never thought I would meet another soul as lovely in face and countenance as myself, until you my love.”

As Echo watched the exchange she was filled with conflicting emotions for Narcissus. On one hand, he had been born and bred to believe that he was the most elaborate person in all of creation. It seemed as though real living never reached him and he didn't have a chance of survival. On the other hand, the level of conceit and arrogance from one living thing was amazing and quite sickening. He lacked the wisdom to see himself for what he truly was, an over educated, unbelievably shallow, lack-luster artist.
Echo was exposed to a side of Narcissus that no one had ever seen. The fact of the matter was that Narcissus believed those things because he had too. Otherwise, his lack of survival skills would have done him in long ago. Echo discovered that his father had squandered the family fortune. Debt collectors showed up at the villa. In Greece, that meant that a small army showed up at the door. They took everything except the land and the house, including his own mother, and sold to pay the debt. Narcissus had managed an escape and returned to his father. His father had already remarried, had additional children, and had moved them into the house and land Narcissus had grown up on. Narcissus was abandoned, rejected, and cut off from any support from his father. Narcissus took up a life of scheming. He hopped from one noble family to another, slowly wearing out his welcome in Athens upper society. His life continued a downward spiral that his character just didn't have the ability to conceive. As his life turned worse, his arrogance increased; leaving him as he was that day, crooning at his reflection in a pool of water.

Echo understood more of Narcissus. She was filled with love and pity for him. If only he had a chance to see himself and had a chance to change, maybe he could be different. She wanted to help him but she couldn't think of anything she could do about it, except answer back occasionally as she imagined a person would do. Of course, Narcissus believed it was the voice of his lover in the pool. He would continue to amuse his lover, no matter what the situation in the environment.

Narcissus proved just how far he would go one day. The weather had turned terrible. The wind blew hard, bringing in storm clouds. The sky gave way to a horrible storm. The rain rippled the pond and Narcissus grew highly agitated. He yelled at his lover in the pond, telling him not to go. The wind pushing the youth away from the edge of the pond. Echo couldn't handle the yelling and agitation of Narcissus, nor could she deal with the wind and the rain. Echo caused the trees of her grove to grow their branches together. It created a shelter from the storm. Narcissus calmed down. He lay at the pond's edge and fell asleep. After such terrifying activity, Echo settled in sleep as well.

The next morning, Echo woke to the soft murmurings of Narcissus. He was crooning morning kisses at his reflection. This wasn't unusual behavior from him. The unusual moment came from a loud over powering quack from a bush on the other side of pond.

Assuming her misty form, she strode over to the bush to inspect it. Under one of the more sturdy branches, sat a water drenched duck with a lame wing. It stood up and waddled out from the underbrush. “Quack!” it said, flailing its wings.

Echo giggled. “Quack!” She responded. Then, she pointed to the grapes on the vines that filled the grove; a divine gift left behind as proof of the conception of Dionysus.

The duck waddled quickly to the grapes and devoured them. Just as quickly as it ate, the vines replaced them. It was very soon that the duck was full. It settled itself down on a mossy spot for a nap.

Echo spent the rest of the morning listening to Narcissus drone on about one thing or another. Discovering another fact of his character that she didn't mind for the moment, but she knew would get very bored of quickly. Narcissus would not be quiet. He simply wasn't happy unless he filled the grove with one sided conversations about sculpture or philosophy. The meanings of cloud formations or moon phases as they relate to Orion. She secretly wondered if Narcissus had any commentary on any subject that didn't include himself as the primary authority. “And I told him that Greek toes were far more beautiful than Egyptian. I also told him I was available for modeling...”

Quack!” said the duck. It had quietly waddled within an arm's length of Echo and Narcissus, as they sat at the pond's edge.

Narcissus grabbed his ears. “Ugh! What a horrible sound!” Of course, his reflection did too. “Oh, Lover! Did you not like the sound either?” He said, while shaking his head negatively. Echo groaned as Narcissus perceived that his lover nodded negatively to the sound as well. “Well, true love I shall sing to you. It will drown out the dreadful sound.”

Narcissus began to sing a hymn of love. Echo groaned. To say that he was killing the melody was an understatement, he was off pitch and rewording to it his own liking. That didn't sit well with the duck either. It waddled around Narcissus just out of arm's reach quacking as loud as it could. As the duck got louder, Narcissus would get louder. It soon became a yelling contest. Echo groaned and shifted away from the scene to watch across the pond from under a bush.

As the contest continued, Narcissus and the duck became more and more agitated. He tried to ignore the duck, his priority was to soothe his lover in the pond. But Narcissus only reflected his own discomfort which escalated the entire situation. In response, the quacking duck continued its obnoxious objections. To make matters worse, as it padded about on the dry land, it left behind a trail of foul fodder. When they were finally done, they were both out of breath and Narcissus was surrounded by duck poop.

The duck thought nothing more of it. It wandered over to eat more grapes and go to sleep. Narcissus tired from the ordeal, noticed that his lover was also tired. “My sweet lover, you are tired. Perhaps we should sleep.” Narcissus yawned and so did the reflection, so they both laid down for the night.

Echo was relieved that finally it was quiet. She curdled up, in her misty form. She watched the stars until sleep overtook her as well.

Echo awoke the next morning to screaming. Narcissus was yelling into the pond. “Lover, what is that in your beautiful hair!” Echo flew over to him quickly to find that Narcissus had wallowed in duck poop during the night. The duck woke to Narcissus screaming. It fluttered about the pond quacking in panic. As it panicked, it found its way into the pond...right on top of the reflection of Narcissus.

The only thing Narcissus could perceive that his lover was being attacked by a duck. “I'll save you, Lover!” He screamed. He jumped into the pond, which frightened the duck. It flew out of the pond to the other side. Narcissus crawled out of the pond, the poop had been washed away. He placed himself back on the edge of the pond, calling out his his lover whom he thought had run away. As the pond water calmed itself, Narcissus did too. He perceived that his lover had returned to him. Narcissus began to sooth his distraught lover with poetry.

Echo sighed. The situation was ridiculous. She didn't think it was going to get better either. The duck had clearly recovered from its battle with the storm. But its reluctance to leave was made clear as it began to build a nest near the largest part of the grapevine that held the juiciest grapes. Echo was going to have to do something to make it leave. Echo sat in her misty form, thinking of how she could make it leave. When in the distance, she heard a flock of quacking ducks.

The duck also heard the flock. It paused its nest building and craned its neck. The flock grew closer, the quacking grew louder. The duck drew in a great breath and quacked back as loud as it could. The sound carried. The flock answered back, and Echo could hear the flock coming straight for her grove. Echo groaned as the duck began to quack for the flock.

Oh, no,” thought Echo. “It is calling a whole flock to settle here?” Echo reacted without thought. She reached out with her power and subdued the duck's quack by taking away the echo. The quack became significantly quieter.

The duck still tried to call the flock but to no avail. The flock could easily be heard flying over the grove, completely missing it. The noise of the flock began to die away. The duck at the pond became upset. It waddled back and forth, trying to quack as loud as possible. But as the flock got further away, the duck made a choice. It took flight toward the direction of the flock.

The instant the duck was out of sight, Echo sealed her grove. She certainly didn't want the return of the duck to the pond, much less an entire flock. She kept it sealed for several days before she opened it back up to the sun. The ducks had long gone and did not return.

That is why a duck's quack has no echo.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A story of Blood and why it came to be

There was a time, long ago, that Persephone, the Greek Goddess of Flowers, was forcibly taken by Hades, God of the Underworld, into the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter Goddess of Agriculture, searched for her daughter upon the Earth and on Olympus, but could not find her. As time passed, Demeter became enraged. She stopped all growth of crops upon the Earth. Somehow, she caused the world to grow cold. The more time that passed, the colder it became. Mortals called out to Olympus for help. Zeus called a gathering of the Gods on Olympus to pressure Demeter in lifting her curse.

All the Gods gathered before the Throne of Zeus. Demeter came forward and said, “Great Zeus, my daughter Persephone is missing. I have searched all of the Earth and Heaven. I can find no trace of her. You will not help me, so I must force your hand. I will not lift the curse until I have my daughter.”

What can I do, Demeter?” asked Zeus. “Perhaps you should think of a new daughter.”

That is unacceptable!” exclaimed Hera. “Would you have the same response if Athena were to disappear? Or Aphrodite?” She narrowed her gaze at her husband and lowered her voice. “Would you have the same response if it were your wife or sister? Hestia stood up from the hearth and joined her sister to stare down the King of the Gods.

No! Of course not, my sweet. But what would you have me do?” said Zeus.

I will tell you what I will do if I do not have her back,” said Demeter. She pulled a gossamer veil from the sleeve of her chiton. “I will unleash a cold upon the earth in which no mortal or God has ever seen. I will release the ice of the north to envelop the land. It will consume all of the earth and all that you have wrought since. No living thing shall breathe while I am without my daughter!” yelled Demeter. “For my suffering is no less than that. There is no power in all of creation that is stronger than the love of a mother for her child! And if I should suffer, then so shall you.”

Zeus saw the veil in the hands of Demeter.”Where did you get that?” She said nothing and only smirked. He became silent and pale.

 The Gods and Goddesses broke into a fury of loud arguments and objections. “Quiet!” yelled Hera. She walked over to Zeus to join him. Hera stood beside her husband and looked into the crowd. When they quieted down, she spoke. “I believe we can shed some light on our problem, good sister. There is a one who can repeat the last words of Persephone before she went missing.” Hera leaned over to her still silent husband and whispered.

Zeus came out of his trance and nodded. “Hermes, Summon Echo.” Hermes disappeared and reappeared in the blink of a mortal's eye. With him, stood a woman in the form of mist. “Echo, I gave you the power to repeat the last words and deeds of any living being. I want you to recreate the last known moments of Persephone,” commanded Zeus.

Echo's misty form rearranged into a foggy image of Persephone. At its feet, was a strange flower that transfixed the gaze of Persephone as if in a trance. “I recognize that flower,” said Demeter. “That is Narcissus!” As her words faded, the mist on the floor opened up and Hades in his chariot bolted up out of the crack. Hades grabbed Persephone and quickly disappeared back into the foggy depths of Echo's mist. The mist reformed itself back into the form of a woman.

Demeter turned to Zeus. “This is your fault! You forced yourself on mortal women and never faced consequences! And now, my little girl is being held by one of our very own!” she screamed at him. “I swear on the River Styx, Zeus, if you do not find a way to fix this, I will make sure that you will pay in mortal lives!” She waved the gossamer veil at him.

Hades!” Zeus yelled, making all of heaven quake.

Hades appeared before Zeus. “You called?”

Where is Persephone?” demanded Zeus.

I don't know where Persephone is,” said Hades.

Zeus stood up. “Liar!” he screamed.

No, really!” objected Hades. “I did take Perspephone but she is no longer Perspephone. She turned herself into a little girl and calls herself Kora. She is with me and with me she must stay,” responded Hades coolly. “She ate the food of the dead. She cannot return.”

Liar!” screamed Demeter. “You are holding her prisoner and taking advantage of her.” Demeter tried to make a dive at Hades, only to be held back by the Goddesses. “She knows the rules! She never would have eaten the fruit willingly!”

Persephone! I want Persephone here!” commanded Zeus. Hermes disappeared and reappeared with Persephone. Zeus looked at her. “Did you eat the fruit of the dead as Hades claimed you have done?”

I...I...don't know.” Persephone started to cry. “I don't know what's happening.”

Demeter broke free of the Goddesses grip and went to her daughter. “Persephone, you are on Olympus.” She hugged her daughter tight.

Mother?” She exclaimed softly. “You're real?” Demeter nodded. “I'm really on Olympus?” Persephone broke from her mother's grasp and turned back to Zeus. Zeus nodded at her. Persephone related her story. “After he...he...forced me. I couldn't handle it anymore. I went away. I made myself into Kora. If you want to know more then you will have to talk to her.”

The Gods were silent. The unprecedented personlaity switch was an amazing survial instinct that the Gods didn't know how to repsond too. Zeus' repsonse was complete rage. He looked over at Hades. “You took my daughter and you truamatized her back into childform!”

She is notyour daughter! She is mydaughter!” yelled Demeter.

She never would have been born if I had not forced your maidenhood out of you, Be grateful Demeter and shut up!” yelled Zeus back. “Where is this child called Kora. I want her here now!”

Persephone's form shifted. It shrank into a little girl and her body became see through. The crowd gasped. “I am Kora,” said a disembodied voice. The silence of Olympus reached a new intensity. Some of the gods sat down, some began to weep.

Zeus colasped into his throne. “Well, that explains Yggdrasil shaking.” He turned back to Hades. “You have no clue what you have done, do you?”

I got what I wanted. Kora will eventually turn back into Persephone. All I have to do is wait,” said Hades smiling.

NO!” roared Zeus at Hades. A bolt of lightening struck beside the King of the Underworld. “What you have done is allowed innocence on Terra to die! It has consequenses and is the beginning of the end for us, you puny minded little freak! Even the Gods can be held responisble for any misdeeds from now on.” Zeus turned back to Kora. “How did this even happen?”

Echo stepped forward. She shifted her form to relate the story. Hades waited until Echo was gone. He placed a picnic down to have dinner with Kora. The food mostly came from from the grove of Echo but in the bowl of pomagranate seeds, he placed six seeds that were food of the dead. In kora's trusting innocnece, she put them into her mouth and swallowed them.

There!” said Hades. “Persephone ate the fruit. It doesn't matter how much.”

Treachery!” shouted Demeter. “My daughter did not willfully eat the fruit.” She turned to Zeus. “How can you let this pass? How can you let such vile deception in your house?” She crumpled the veil in her fist and shook it. “By the River Styx, Zeus! If you don't make consequences I surely will!”

The fear was plain to see on the face of Zeus and confusion rippled through the crowd of Gods. Hera, taking advantage of the moment of silence, raised her hands. “Compromise. We must find compromise.” She turned to her husband. “Zeus, it was only six seeds not a whole fruit. You must make a ruling on that.”

Zeus glared at Hades. “No,” he said flatly, “Kora ate the food of the dead.”

But Kora isPersephone!” yelled Hades.

No, she isn't. Kora is Kora and Persephone is Persephone. What is one, is now two. Kora will be in the underworld, but only for six months of the year. The rest of the year she spends with her mother, as Persephone.” Hades tried to object but Zeus roared at him. “I will not have this happen again! The coercion or force of a man on a woman is outlawed! Mortal or God, no longer matters! And so help me Hades, if you force yourself upon that little girl, the River Styx will have nothing to do with you and I will, personally, chop your ass up and throw you into Tartarus myself!.” Zeus turned to Persephone and pointed at her. “Kora and Hades are declared married. Kora shall be the Queen of the underworld, with all the powers befitting that rank.” Then, he turned to Hades and pointed. “But in no certain terms does she have to follow your command as a wife! Her duties in that nature are her choice. She does not have to bend to your will.” Zeus gritted his teeth and sneered. “You wanted Persephone, now suffer the consequences of a Queen who will not have you and you cannot have!” He turned to Demeter. “Does that suit your demands?”

Demeter smirked at Hades. “Why I can't think of a better punishment, Your Lordship.” She shoved the veil back into her sleeve. “But while she is with him, I shall still bring the cold. Just so you don't forget the bargain.”

Fine,” snapped Hades. “That means Kora still has another two months with me!”

I think not!” yelled Demeter back.

She can't, you simple woman!” said Hades. “It's too cold for her on Terrra. Persephone cannot be there now. You have to warm the Earth first!”

The Gods could say nothing in the face of such planned treachery. Zeus used the silence to his advantage. “Then it has been decided. Kora shall return to the Underworld for two more months. Demeter shall begin to warm the earth to prepare for her daughter's return. At the end of Persephone's stay with her mother, the spirits and flowers that depend on the warmth shall be sheltered in Echo's grove while the earth turns cold during Kora's stay with Hades. These times will be known as 'Seasons'.” He looked over at Hades. “Get out of my court!” Hades, Kora, and Echo disappeared. Zeus ended court and retired to his chambers. The Goddesses, on the other hand, gathered together in the courtyard.

Hera and Hestia guided out Demeter, who had started to cry. They sat her down on a bench. “Don't cry, Sister,” said Hestia gently. “You know where she is and you know she won't be gone long.”

Two months is not even a blink for us,” said Hera.

I did tell you,” spoke Nemesis, as she joined the growing group of women. “I told you that if you didn't do something about..”

Yes.” interrupted Hera, flatly at Nemesis. “Yes, you did. Now, please just stop.”

How can I trust him to leave my girl alone?” she asked the group of women. “He has already proved that he can't be trusted. How do I know he isn't forcing himself on her right now?”

That is just a drop in the bucket, Demeter,” said Athena. “Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon has already set the precedence. It's okay to take any female you want and do what ever you want with her. It's okay because that will mean you're married now!”

Oh, I don't even think so,” responded Aphrodite. “No man will ever dictate me, my body, or how I use it. If a male should try to do so, I will bleed so that he cannot. And if he should do so anyway, my blood will cause a hormonal rage that will defy logic!”

That's a good idea, Aphrodite,” said Artemis. “I'll do that too.”

The entire group of women responded sequentially, “Me too!”

You know something even better than that?” asked Nemesis. The group turned to her. “Give it to the mortal women. No man shall find relief.” The group laughed and made it so.

That is why women in families have sequential cycles.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

How Dragonfly got his colors

How Dragonfly got his colors
An original story

In the beginning, Persephone had a meadow garden. It was in this garden that she made flowers, butterflies, bees, and bunnies. Each creature was unique and colorful, except for Dragonfly. Dragonfly was unique in shape and, like the others, loved to eat the floral bounty of the garden. But what made Dragonfly different from the others was that he had no colors. He was grey all over.

One day, while nibbling on a particularly juicy rose, he paused and looked out into the garden. The bees buzzed about from flower to flower dressed in their black and gold. The butterflies flitted in the warm air dressed in red, green, and white. The bunnies hopped in and out of the thickets in all shades of the meadow. Even the flowers that danced in the breeze, where dressed in the best and brightest that color had to offer. Dragonfly stopped munching and inspected himself. “I do not have colors like the others. I am grey all over,” he said, sadly. “I want to be pretty, like the others. I want colors too.”

Dragonfly flew over to Persephone. She held out her hand and Dragonfly sat on it. “Persephone,” said Dragonfly. “I want to be pretty, like the others in the garden. I want to have color.”

But Dragonfly,” she said. “You are pretty and special. I love you just as I love everything in my garden. You are as I made you, unique and wonderful.”

I love you too, Persephone, but I still want colors,” said Dragonfly. “I don't feel very pretty at all next to the flowers, the bees, the butterflies, and the bunnies.”

I'm sorry, Dragonfly. I can't give you what you ask for,” she said. “But if you really want colors that badly, you will have to fly into the great wide world to find them on your own. It's dangerous out there.” Persephone sighed. “You may have to leave us for a long time. Are you sure you want to go?” Dragonfly nodded yes. “Well, then,” said Persephone. “I will scatter the flowers of my garden all over the world. That way, you will have something to eat while you are away. Good luck and remember that we love you.” Dragonfly lifted off her hand and flew away into the big wide world.

Dragonfly traveled to many places and had many adventures. Everyday, he stopped to eat the flowers that Persephone had scattered for him. It reminded him of home and the friends he loved so much. It also reminded him of why he left and that he wanted to return.

One day, he was caught in a terrible storm. The wind blew him this way and that. The raindrops were like boulders from the sky. Dragonfly managed to find a sturdy tree with big, broad leaves to hide from the storm. After many days of rain, the sun finally came out. Dragonfly peeked out from behind the leaves and saw something amazing. Hanging in the sky was a two great bows of color. Dragonfly had never seen a rainbow before and certainly never two at the same time! He was filled with hope and an idea. “If I fly into that then maybe some of the color will fall on my wings,” he exclaimed. Quickly, he lifted off the tree branch and flew to the rainbow.

He flew in and out of the rainbow, trying to get the colors to fall on his wings. Dragonfly did not know that Iris, the Goddess of the rainbow was watching. She laughed watching him fly in and out of the colors of light. Dragonfly heard the laughing. “Who is there?” he asked. “Why are you laughing at me?”

Oh, Dragonfly,” said Iris as she appeared to him. “I am laughing at you. Why are you flying in and out of my rainbow?”

I want the colors to fall on my wings so that I can be colorful like my friends in Persephone's garden,” he said. “I do not want to be grey anymore.”

It doesn't work that way,” replied Iris. “The colors won't fall on your wings.” She saw Dragonfly become very sad. “I can see how much you want colors,” she said. “I can help you with that. But you can't get something for nothing. You must make a trade.”

I'm just a Dragonfly. What could I trade to get color?” he asked.

Well, it can't be just anything,” she said. “It has to a sacrifice.”

What's sacrifice?” Dragonfly asked.

Sacrifice means giving up something that is very important. It must be so important that you can't think of living without it,” she explained.

Could I trade my wings? My wings are important,” said Dragonfly.

Yes, that would be a sacrifice,” said Iris. “But your wings are what you want color for. So, that will not work. You will have to find something else.” Dragonfly got quiet. “Dragonfly, Why don't' you think about it. When you find something, you can find me again.” Dragonfly agreed and the goddess disappeared.

Dragonfly flew back out into the wide world again. This time, he was determined to find something to sacrifice for color. When he was tired, he would find some flowers to eat and rest. Then, he would fly away to search. It wasn't long that the weather made a change. It began to rain again. The wind blew him this way and that. The big raindrops fell hard again. Just as before, Dragonfly found shelter in a sturdy tree with broad leaves. When the rain stopped, he peeked out. He was sad not to see a rainbow this time. Instead, he saw a great wet mist hanging in a large field. In the middle of that field stood a very sad donkey.

Dragonfly flew over to donkey. “Why are you sad, Donkey?” he asked.

Hush” said Donkey. “You will scare them away.”

What?” said Dragonfly. “What will I scare away?”

The mosquitoes,” said Donkey. “The rain brings them and I get covered by them. They are so terrible. But no matter how bad they are I must stand very still and quiet until they go away.”

If they are terrible, why don't you wave your tail and make them go?” He asked.

Because the ones on my back are full of my blood. They are lazy and sleepy.” explained Donkey. “When they sleep, they do not leave. If you were to scare them away, more would come. Very soon, I would die because they would drink all my blood. But if these ones, who are full, stay on my back, hungry ones will stay away. I will lose only a little of my blood, but I will stay alive.”

That is terrible,” said Dragonfly. “I wish I could help you.”

Oh, it isn't just me,” said Donkey. “They are a terrible pest to Dog, Cat, and even Man! Look behind you.”

Dragonfly turned around. The mosquitoes were everywhere. They surrounded a little house. Man came out to look around, and he waved his arms about. Dog sat very still at the door, covered in mosquitoes. Cat sat not to far away, also covered in mosquitoes. As Dragonfly looked around he saw many other animals covered in mosquitoes. There was Monkey in a tree, Tiger in the grass, Rat in the grain, Bird in her nest, all covered in a cloud of mosquitoes. Dragonfly turned back to Donkey. “That's horrible, Donkey.”

Yes, it is. And we can do nothing except wait for them to leave,” sighed Donkey.

The sun began to peek out from behind the clouds. It pushed away the mist and scared away the mosquitoes. Dragonfly flew away from Donkey to a flower for lunch. While he sat and ate his flower, Dragonfly thought. “I have been to many places and seen many things. When one creature becomes to many, there is another creature who eats it. Tigers and wolves eat deer. Foxes eat the Bunnies. Butterflies eat Flowers. Why is it that there is nothing to eat mosquitoes?” Dragonfly looked down at his lovely, succulent flower that he had been nibbling on. It was his favorite, a Buttercup. “I bet Mosquitoes taste horrible. For a creature to choose to eat them, would be a great sacrifice indeed.”

Dragonfly stopped chewing. He had found his answer. Quickly, he flew into the sky. “Iris!” He called. “Iris, I have something to sacrifice for color!”

The Goddess appeared to Dragonfly. “Yes, Dragonfly?” she said. “Did you find find something?”

Yes, Yes!” he said, excitedly. “I will sacrifice eating flowers. I will eat mosquitoes instead. They will taste horrible but it would be helpful to many other creatures on earth. I will sacrifice to be helpful.”

Iris smiled. “Dragonfly, that is a noble sacrifice. To give up something you love on behalf of others, is much better than sacrificing for selfish reasons. Because you have asked for that, I will give you all the colors of my rainbow all over your body.” She waved her hand and Dragonfly sparkled with color. “No Dragonfly will be born the same because you have my blessing.”

That is why Dragonflies are beautiful and come in all colors of the rainbow.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The HangING Man NOT the HangED Man


The Hanging-Man
A person depicted hanging by his/her feet”

In ancient times, many cultures' manhood rites included a young boy passing into manhood by proving himself. He would climb a tree, tie one end of a rope around one or both feet, tie the other end to a solid branch, and jump. This rite represents a “leap of faith,” bravery, courage, and a warriors willingness to “enter battle without fear.” (This symbol is often confused with “The Hanged Man” The meaning of these two symbols are completely different.)

Modernly, this rite has been adapted into bungee jumping and adopted as a type of sport. This activity has appeared in wedding ceremonies representing the “leap of faith” into union.

Another meaning of this card is "To Suspend Belief and Doubt to Gain Insight" The Divine may use this card to ask the questioner to suspend all current ego & intuition to receive more. The questioner may be asked to sacrifice something in exchange for something greater. This message is reflected in the story of Odin. In order to receive the secret knowledge of runes, Odin sacrificed his left eye and hung himself upside down over a Divine Well. The Divine recognized his sacrifice and devotion, thus awarding him with the wisdom of runes.

Is there something you are reluctant to sacrifice, even though you know there's something better out there waiting for you? This card resonates with this intuitive and divine message.

This symbol is also commonly seen in Tarot Decks. It is a symbol from the Major Arcana representing a journey into wisdom. Whether that journey is Masculine or Feminine is not determined in the deck.

When this symbol is depicted in dreams or visions, a person can determine which path this important wisdom or lesson will spring from. The gender of the person that is depicted hanging will tell you. My son, Wesley, has experienced dream and omen. One story is here, the other story is located in Call Me, Call Me Anytime: Age of Discernment.

Wesley dreamt he was in a car, driving down a road. Along the road, tall trees shaded his journey. As he looked up, he saw a man hanging by his feet from above. The car passed quickly under the hanging-man. Shocked, Wesley turned his head to look back from the driver's seat. The
man had turned into a woman, gravity not disturbing her white dress, but her hair hanging as it normally should when upside down. Wesley was disturbed by the dream. He told me about it the next day. I laughed and told him not to worry, that it was a very good dream.

His car meant that he will have what he needs and that it will seem like a quick journey. He will also be physically protected. The trees that shaded the road was a symbol of spiritual protection. The hanging-man means he will learn what he needs to learn during his physical trip. The hanging-woman symbolized that he will be blessed by wisdom on the Feminine Path.

I reassured him that not all creepy things are bad. Even though the hanging-man and woman were scary, the signs for Wesley are very good. Whatever the lesson the universe has in store for him, I am sure he will learn them and will benefit from them before his time on the Masculine Path is finished.

For more on The Hanging Woman click this

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Bell

The Bell

Bells, chimes, or anything metal that can ring, tinkle, chime, and so on. Although, it doesn't have to be metal, but a metal sound from an electronic device can also work.

At the house in Leavenworth, Jessiana, Wesley, Lorien, and I have heard the doorbell ring. That house does not have a doorbell. The house is old, by American mid-west standards, being built in the late 1800's. All the doors, clearly, at some point in the past, did have doorbells. But between 2011 and 2013, none of the doors have doorbells of any sort. What is on the doors are the remains of the plastic frames of the electronic buttons that no longer exist. Hearing the doorbell has become a regular occurrence and is normal for us. Anyone who hears the the door bell answers with, “You are not allowed in unless we know who you are.” That has minimized spiritual exposure in the house.

If you hear a bell, where there is none be aware. The ringing of a bell is the announcement of something important. The underworld may be asking for entry, announcing a presence, or maybe giving an angel their wings (Which is something I doubt). 

A bell that is used to “stir-up” or “call out” spirits, ghost, demons, shadows, or any variation of that “should” be made of metal. There is a reason why. Metal, minerals, gemstones are all considered to be in the “domain of the underworld” (please do not confuse this with Christian Hell). Whatever name you use to invoke the “god of the underworld” or “king of the underworld” doesn't matter. What does matter is that this personification is in charge of the spiritual concerns of “what lies beneath the soil” and that includes metal. To “make ring the bell” means that you are invoking that personification.

To “ring the bell” at a funeral, is to announce to the underworld that proper burial rites are finished, and that person is officially dead.

In a marriage or union (which should include adoption ceremonies), to make “ring the bell” announces to the underworld the proper completion of those rites, making the union official in heaven, on earth, and below.