Bredha and the Star-born
When I return from Grandmother Cypress, with a staff she has graciously given me, Mahng meets me at Bredha’s pier.
“Come?” she asks.
If one could see an eyebrow on her, it would be raised.
Gathering my courage, I say: “Choose not.”
She turns, and steps into the boat, which quietly and obediently follows her pointed finger back to her home.
I sit on the porch awhile, communing with my staff, as the sun rises gently in a turquoise sky. The stillness of the black water mirrors the stillness of this land. I slow my breathing to become one with it, and instantly feel the tingling of the Life-force within, and interconnected with, all that Is. I re-define my understanding of magic. It is not some arcane, encrypted source at all. It is the pulse of the Original Creative Source. Some may like to imagine magic as some mystical power granted only to a chosen few, but it is not. It is everywhere, and everywhen. It is within each and every sentience. It asks nothing but Truth, Honor, and Compassion, although it can be tapped by those who have none of these. (Unfortunately, such tapping leads to the destruction of the user, in time – as measured by the Wyrd Sisters or the Fates – and this type of magic is never more powerful than the Light itself.)
A song rises from my heart, and I begin singing softly to the turkey vulture, drying his wings in the morning sun.
“Ting you to stay, den, for a while?” Bredha whispers to me. Silent as a ghost, she has come to stand beside me.
“I wish you to read for me.”
“Ah. And for me?”
“Ting me good bargain. Come inside, Chile.”
She clears a space on the floor, marking a circle with a charred stick.
“Sit you dere,” she says, pointing to what seems ‘south’, outside the drawn circle.
She sits opposite me.
She puts her hand inside an old woven pouch, then brings out and tosses stuff into the circle. It is a curious assortment of stones, wood, feathers, and other unrecognizable trinkets.
She stares at the pattern of these thrown things as they land in the circle, and then stares at me.
“Know you dese tings?” she asks me.
“I know my stones, my patterns. I do not know yours.”
“Look wit me, as I show you.”
I can see five stones, a piece of coral, a feather, and an acorn cap… I think.
She says, pointing to the coral, “In you circle, to east, a messenger.” Pointing to the acorn cup, she says, “In you circle, to north, wisdom in a cup of tea.” Moving, pointing, she says, “In you circle, to west, jay feather, laughing teacher of deep blue.” She pauses, looks at me, and continues.
“Dese two stones: one lives; one dies.”
(One looks like snow quartz; one like volcanic pumice stone.)
She stops, and doesn’t elaborate on what she has just said.
So I ponder the meaning of the words: ‘one lives; one dies’.
My mind is racing off to possible answers, when she raps me with the charred stick.
“Stay here. Do not go dat place. Ting you know? You do not know. Place can keep you. ‘One lives; one dies.’ Bot’ are you.”
Startled, I repeat, “Both are me? How is that?”
“Canna be two pat’s, one walk. Choice be powerful. One lives; one dies. No more. No more on dis.”
And so, I let it go.
I look back into the circle to see what’s left… three stones in a row.
I point closely to the three stones, and ask, “What do these mean?”
Again, she raps me, on the hand that is inside the circle.
“Look at energy. No interfere.”
I pull my hand back out, and repeat my question.
Pausing much longer than before, she finally says, “I canna say.”
“What do you mean you can’t tell me?”
“Not canna tell; canna say.”
“Dey hold energy of stars. What ting you dese are? What ting you know?”
I find myself amazed that she asks my input, but let that feeling float like clouds across the sky, so as not to be attached to it. I re-focus on the ‘star-stones’.
After a while, I say, “I think these represent Orion’s belt.”
“Dog star home?” she asks, looking quizzically at me.
Then, suddenly, like struck by a flash of insight, she says, “Ah, dis is where strange song comes from.”
“What strange song?”
“Da one you is singing dis morning. Da one you sings for me. Star song. You go now.”
“You go now.”
“Dog star. See. In you circle. In you middle. Is you heart dere. Go back to tree. Is way. Is for now. Star calls. I go visit Mahng.”
Sweeping up her circle of objects, she turns and dissolves into dark green sparklies, disappearing from sight.
All I have to do now is find a way back to Grandmother Cypress.
In the starlight, a singing
In the moonlight, a song
In the river, an answer:
“You are where you belong.”
and this song, too:
With the new moon, comes the greeting
With the new moon, comes the meeting
When the faery door is open
When the mystic word is spoken
When the ancient spell is broken
I am free.
With the new moon, comes the dancing
With the new moon, comes the chanting
When there's magic in the fire
When the song is one step higher
When I hold what I desire
I am free.
Alana, Spirit Alligator