For Love of Eagna
Eagna and Eolas did not sleep well the night before they were to make ceremony, not that the place where they lay was uncomfortable; but with all that lay heavy on their minds and in their hearts, peaceful sleep eluded both as their whispers carried late into the moonlit night, when they eventually drifted off. Yet in that sleep, their peace was threatened even as the Mother in the Garden had been.
Eagna found herself in a dream where curling black smoke flowed into the clearing and enveloped the dwellings there. Along the smoke’s misty edges, tendrils-like long, crooked fingers-floated in through the windows, and swirled above them as they slept. Slowly the wispy gray fingers began to wind their way around each one that slept and bound them-helpless-to their beds. None seemed to stir from their deep sleep, even though they were now tethered to the dark mist. All but one, that is.
In her dream, Eagna watched as M’na slipped from her bed of safety next to Fireann and scurried across the clearing, heading into the forest quickly and far beyond Eagna’s vision. In her dream state, the wise female felt terrified for her friend, accompanied by a fierce instinct to follow and see where her journey would lead; but she couldn’t move a muscle for the tendrils that bound her where she lay, even though she struggled to free herself. She wanted to scream, to call out to the Mother of Domhan to stop and wait for her; but the words were as bound within her throat as her limbs were by her side. Soon the dream faded as she must have found quiet sleep once more; but Eolas complained that she thrashed about so much in her sleep that surely she must have bruised them both. If only she had been able to thrash, thought Eagna.
She questioned the Hunter as to whether he had seen or heard anything unusual during the night; but he said that other than her fitful tossing, he had slept more soundly than usual. It troubled Eagna until she found M’na and saw to her safety. Relief flooded her being when she heard the news of Mother Bandia’s visit, yet..still…why had the Goddess Mother come under the cover of night? And why had she not included the entire group in the blessing?
The gift seemed bittersweet; but Eagna chose to recognize the feeling as simply wistful envy of M’na’s gift, a gift coming before her own-and she chastised herself accordingly, casting aside the sense of warning that gnawed at her instincts.
(“Learn to trust your intuition, child,” came the thought of Mor, so very distant and so very unrecognized by Eagna’s clouded consciousness.)
M’na and Fireann were both invigorated and exhausted when they awoke. They had faith in the Goddess and the Eternal Mother who had so quickly granted their heart’s desires. Neither suspected the deceit which had occurred, for it was not within their being to either expect or inflict such a thing upon another.
Fireann nurtured a seed of doubt somewhere in his gut, his practical male consciousness hovering near recognition. Logic told him that all things from the Eternal Realm were shared, not passed off in secret under the cover of the dark forest. If there were indeed something amiss, he felt certain it would be revealed to them and so cast aside his doubts for the sake of those he cared for. For now he must focus on his friends’ desire for fulfillment.
When Amhain appeared through the underbrush, shouting that his Mother wanted them back at the clearing, both males complied, gathering their tools and spoils of the day. In preparation for the ceremony they were in fasting; but soon after they would be celebrating and everyone would be ravenous. Together, the three of them had killed several rabbits and some small birds for roasting over the pit. Eagna and M’na picked the fruits, herbs and green delicacies that were customary for the Garden Family. Special wood had been gathered for the fire, a sweet variety that bore the essence of Domhan’s forests.
When they reached the clearing, Eagna and M’na were bundling herbs, stoking the fire, and excitedly talking about the latter female’s night of miracles, recounting yet again M’na’s visit to the Sacred Inner Garden and reinforcing Eagna’s hope to be joining her friend in the gift of creation.
M’na, now far removed from the pain of birthing Amhain and feeling more certain of her role in Motherhood, was giving Eagna some advice regarding the pain and rewards of both experiences. Eagna smiled patiently as her friend animatedly relived her experience, and wouldn’t remind her how well she remembered it herself; for she had been right there beside M’na when she was crying out in agony and desperation.
M’na seemed to have forgotten the horror that was written upon her face in those last moments before Amhain passed into Eagna’s arms, slippery and new, and took his first breath within the world of the physical. Instead of reminding her, Eagna kindly nodded in appreciation for all that M’na shared in her wisdom as the first Mother on their world. As wise as Eagna was in the way of herbs and healing, it was M’na who had walked the longest upon Domhan; and as such, she deserved the respect of one who was sent to be her companion and adviser. It was this special female who uniquely understood the living Essence of their world. Perhaps her seeming naivety was purely her strong sense of trust in all that she had known since her own birth. Eagna felt she could do worse than try to emulate this strong, yet tender being. Her own senses were on edge, knowing how great a thing they were asking for and how this event could change the face of Domhan forever.
“M’na, do you truly imagine that Mother Bandia already knows what we are asking of Spirit this evening? And if so, why did she not mention it to you when she visited you in the Sacred Garden?”
M’na was thoughtful for a moment before she spoke. “Well, you did say that even though we planned this ceremony before the events of last night, that you and Eolas had decided to wait, to allow this to be our own plea for creation, allowing Fireann and myself to increase our own family, did you not?” Eagna nodded and admitted to herself this to be true. M’na continued her reasoning. ” Well, it makes sense that if she knew of your decision, as she already knew of my desire, that she would also wait for you to call to Spirit when you were ready.” Eagna loved the way her friend’s head tilted to one side when she became thoughtful, like a deer as it contemplates the winds through the grasses-or the sound of soft footsteps approaching before it quickly sprints off.
Just as quickly her friend’s thoughts turned to sheer excitement. “But now there is no reason to wait! We must have her return and give this gift to you also, so that we might share the glorious experience! Oh, that our children would grow together and become friends just as we all are. What greater gift could we ask for?” Her face beamed with perfect happiness, a joy Eagna hated to overshadow; but it was her reason for being on their world. She must remind M’na of the one possible crack in the perfection of her dream.
“Except that they be born without the empty space,” Eagna added solemnly. Looking earnestly into M’na’s eyes she asked the only real question that needed answering for her own peace of mind just now. “Sister, do you truly believe that wholeness is manifest within Amhain’s soul? Does this mean that Essence will now be returned to a state of Unconditional Love? Can we truly believe that all life which follows him will be free of the threat of darkness upon their souls?” The air was silent as the Keeper of Domhan pondered Eagna’s question. M’na opened her mouth to answer but it was not her voice that split the silence to respond, demanding everyone’s attention.
“Not if that dark son of Mac has anything to do with it!”
A Dark Truth
Both females were startled by the voice and the tone it carried as they turned to see Naofa hurrying into the clearing, casting her bundles aside as she approached the others. Her rage melted into relief when she saw the unharmed faces of everyone that she loved; but waves of distress rolled across it as her brow was knitted with lines of worry. Eolas and Fireann put aside their skinning as they joined the females. Fireann was immediately stricken with alarm and he anxiously questioned the obviously agitated Sorceress. They were not accustomed to seeing her this way. Her long hair was flying, curling around her chin and she brushed it aside with irritation. Her tunic was crumpled and smudged with soot. She cared not for how she looked in that moment, only seeing to the safety of her charges in the Garden.
“Naofa, what has brought you here in such a state? Of course you are always welcome, but we know you did not make such a journey here to the Garden for a mere visit. Has something happened to you?” He reached out to place his hand on her arm, stroking it slightly as he gestured her to sit and rest. Fireann could feel her quickened pulse slow a bit under his touch and he motioned for the others to sit as well.
Naofa took a deep breath to calm herself, yet still the words tumbled from her lips, like cold water rushing over the rocks of a waterfall. “Something has happened here!” she said adamantly. She looked from Fireann to M’na and back, trying to pull them into her mind so that they might understand even as she struggled for the words to describe such a betrayal. “Right here-in this place, in your home, and within the sanctity of the Inner Garden.”
M’na gasped and grabbed for Fireann; and once Naofa saw the look of terror that crawled across her friend’s face, she was at once sorry for her unceremonious revelation. The Sorceress immediately remembered herself, found her center and took M’na’s hands into her own where she held them fast. Those experienced, yet innocent dark eyes were staring at her intently, waiting for the burden of truth; and Noafa returned M’na’s gaze with steely gray seriousness.
“Mother of Domhan, you have been deceived. The...thing that visited you last night, that called you from your bed of peace and love with Fireann…that was not your Mother Inion.” M’na tried to wrench her hands free but Naofa refused to release her.
Her molested mind was racing now. How could this be? Why would this be? Didn’t she know her own beloved Mother of Spirit? Wasn’t she under the constant care of the Eternal Realm? If it was not Inion that visited her in the dark of night, then who was it? What was it?.. Naofa’s next words fixed themselves in her searching mind. “It was the dark Son of Mac…”
Ar’tine!! M’na’s mind cried. He had tricked her, called her from her bed, convinced her that she was in the presence of the Divine Mother, had granted her deepest desire, and had truly deceived her. What had she done? What did this mean for the child most surely coming alive within her even now? What would her true Mothers say? She wrenched her hands from Naofa’s grip and threw herself upon the blanket where she sat-the one she spread so lovingly for their ceremony only moments before. In the blink of an eye her total joy had transformed into deepest anguish and regret.
“Why would this happen? What will happen to my child..,” she began to moan, her arms thrust around her abdomen. Fireann went to her and knelt next to his beloved, trying to enfold her in his arms; but she pushed him away. She felt so alone, so betrayed, so unlovable at that very moment. So many new sensations were coming at her; her eyes darted wildly from face to face, and each one seemed as strange to her as the next. She stared blankly into the eyes of her friends as though she didn’t recognize them.
Noafa, having fully regained her composure, hurried to where M’na lay crumpled on the ground. Gently she prodded Fireann up and away from his mate. The Sorceress knelt beside her where she lay and, firmly grasping M’na by the shoulders, pulled her to a sitting position. As she gazed into those eyes full of pain and fear, she spoke in earnest. This time her words were devoid of fear or anger. When she spoke, M’na could sense the Love of Great Spirit in the sound of her voice.
“Daughter of Domhan. Remember my words. There is no fear in Perfect Love. What is not done with conscious thought is no error of your own. This is the greatest deceit of all, that there is judgment for you, that there is separation from Eternity, that there is something you must do or not do to receive the gifts of Spirit. This is the reason for the experiment in the first place. Through Amhain’s soul is the hope that the rift might be so insignificant it can be ignored and, in time, forgotten completely. Never doubt the love of your Mothers, and know that all done in the name of Unconditional Love is a gift.”
Noafa lifted the edge of her own tunic, wiping the tears from M’na’s face, and added in her soothing, controlled Naofa way. “Come now, we have reason to celebrate. Mother Bandia knows of these things which have passed and is even now seeing to the resolution of Ar’tine’s invasion upon your safe haven here. She also knows of the ceremony which is taking place here tonight, the one which will, I believe, will result in the blessing of your own creation, my friends.” She turned to look up into the faces of Eagna and Eolas and saw their relieved smiles as they embraced.
“And now, if we can see to finishing the preparations for our ceremony, we can talk while we work.” Naofa and Fireann helped M’na to her legs once more and they returned to the task at hand. She held fast to Fireann who kept a smile for his beloved and did not speak of the heavy weight of guilt he bore within his chest, for he knew that in the eyes of Eternity there was no place for guilt. There was no judgment. Still, the dark seed lay there, waiting for the chance to sprout thorns of pain to torture its gardener. Why hadn’t he stopped her when he felt something amiss?
All of this did Amhain watch from within the doorway of his dwelling and all did he store away within his heart. None of it made much sense to him as no one had spoken to him of the coming of a new life, but everything Naofa had just shared with his mother seemed to resonate within the core of his Essence. It was a truth that would become his mantra time and again.
Herbs were crushed, oils were poured, blankets spread and food preparations were carried out. Naofa tended the fire and the various bowls of incense they would use for meditation. It had become necessary to use all of these tools in the face of the physical world. M’na could recall when all she need do was think of her Mother and she would be with her in an instant.
They did not realize that the Eternal Mothers were already with them, that it was merely the heavy veil of creation that separated them. The incense and plant essences which they drank and inhaled helped them to move beyond the bonds of the physical so that their physical eyes could see what the inner eye knew to be real.
Patiently Inion and Bandia waited and lovingly watched as their Leanai made ready to welcome them. They had much to counsel them about, and they needed to be quick about it. Mac was on Domhan Eile, having a counsel of his own with his dark son. More importantly, he was keeping Ar’tine’s attention away from his dark lake of visions…..
to be continued……
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Love and Light.