Story of Ages
*This is an original variation of an old story (author unknown). Please do not plagerize this version.
~Story of the Ages~
As told by a teacher to her student.
There once was a time
when the Lady dwelt solely on Earth.
She was the keeper of all living things
and knew much of the mysteries of life,
healing, birth, and growing.
But there was once mystery
that was beyond even the Lady,
and that was the mystery of fading and dying.
And so one day,
the Lady set out to the realm of Death
to ask this question of the Lord.
And she got into a boat in the sacred river
and floated for many day
across many lands
until she came upon the entrance to the Great Cavern,
which is where the Lord of Death resides.
And at the entrance,
the Lady was greeted by a guardian.
"Welcome, Lady. My Lord has been expecting you.
You will pass through seven gates,
and at each of the gates you must give something,
for no one can recieve
without giving in return."
And so at the first gate,
the Lady gave her jewels,
and thus, she gave up all earthly wealth.
At the second gate,
the Lady gave over her crown,
which was her authority among the people.
At the third gate,
she gave her sceptor,
and her abiltiy to change the things around her.
The fourth gate found the Lady giving her ring,
and all associations with her earthly family.
At the fifth gate, she gave her sandals,
and thenafter could not chose the direction her feet carried her.
At the sixth gate, the Lady gave her girdle.
In days of old, the girdle was given to girls at maidenhood,
untied for the first time at marriage,
and cast off after the birth of a child.
So when the Lady gave up her girdle, she became ageless.
The seventh gate was where the Lady gave her gown,
her earthly covering,
and thus naked of all things,
she entered into the realm of the Lord.
So great was the Lady's beauty
that upon seeing her,
the Lord knelt at her feet and said,
"Welcome, my Lady.
I've been expecting you.
stay and rule beside me as my queen."
But the Lady said,
"No, for I do not love you.
Why must you cause all things to fade and die?"
The Lord answered,
"It is not my place to determine the time of passing,
for all must pass through the Land of Death.
It is my role as Lord to comfort
those to enter my kingdom,
to provide a time for reflection and peace.
After saying all this,
the Lord again invited,
"Lady, please stay awhile
and rule beside me as my queen."
Again the Lady answered,
"No, for I do not love you."
The Lord looked sad and said,
"If you will not stay with me
of your own free will,
then you must come to me by Death's hand,
for all must pass through the land of Death."
The Lady knelt on her knees in front of the standing Lord
and tilted her head to one side.
The Lord pricked her neck with so gentle a scourge
that the Lady cried out,
"I know your pain!"
At that moment,
the Lady loved the Lord
and she ruled beside him in the realm of Death.
And she taught him all the mysteries of Life.
In return, the Lord showed the Lady
the mysteries of Death.
But the Lady was inclined towards life,
and so she decided after a time to leave
the land of Death.
When she told the Lord,
he drew a circle with his dagger
in the earth of the cave,
and they stood at its center
between the worlds.
From the Circle, he crafted a silver chain
and fashioned it into a necklace
so that it had no beginning and no end.
He put it around her neck so the Lady
would carry the mystery of the Sacred Circle
into the land of the Living.
Then the Lady poured her chalice upon the ground
and from the waters grew a river
that carried the Lady out into Life.
And as she passed out of the cave,
she was given something from each of the seven guardians
to carry with her through life.
And so the Lady was born on earth once again
and life returned.
Many times the Lady
journeyed back to see her Lord,
and was born again into many different lands.
In each of the lands,
she took on students,
women who would carry the Mysteries
whithin their hearts all their days.
These were called the Wise Women.
And each of the Wise
would tell their daughters and their students
the story of the Lord and Lady.
And the Wise Women would teach the magic of the Earth.
And their daughters and students would tell
still other daughters and students.
And so it was that a grandmother
told this story to her grandchild
in a distant land far away.
And that grandchild carried the story
to a new land,
and when she found students there,
she told the story to them.
And so I learned this story from my teacher,
and now I pass that wisdom into your heart,
so that you may tell your chidren
and your grandchildren
and your students.
And thus is the cycle
over and over and over
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