There remained one child of the Goddess, and this was the first of men. Though She had made Him in the same form of Chaos, She had done so gladly. In Her dreams, the Soul of Living Earth had appeared to Her, speaking of Her children, watching them when She could not. She spoke of the might of Mellicit in her command of the angels and her care of the spirits of the world’s creatures, then of Ilmatar’s heart, as wide and free as the soft Eastern air. At the Living Earth’s side, there was Demetra, whose beauty and honour was as her Mother’s was, so it was said, and Amadahy, whilst new to the world, was most tempered and wise as the ancient spirits asleep in the dust of the earth. Yet Living Earth sensed the Goddess’ sorrow in the dark of night and asked of it:

“Oh Mother who made Me from Her saddest desires, I see Ye weep and panic. I ask why this, why dost Thou feel pain when Thou art the greatest of all creatures, who hast conceived the most beautiful of worlds where all life sings praise and worship endlessly upon Ye?”

“Spirit of all-Earth, beloved Gaea,” said She, handing Living Earth the newest of Her names. “I am in pains, for I suffer still. Upon this earth, I reign unharmed and unchallenged, My most glorious children caring for the world around Me as I should wish. Yet below there lives another, He who summons in Me the vilest of thoughts, these thoughts of revenge and suffering upon Him. He who defiled Me and sought to steal all honour of mine and take it for His own. His very form I despise, and yet I know He is of a form and I of another. These must exist and join together, be it in sweet union of love or in accursed violation, so that My creatures can beget anew. Yet I fear the very form that is man for the treachery it has done to Me. How can I entrust My world to be honoured under their firm feet, when already the form that is woman mothers the world into fruition with such delicacy?”

Gaea, the Soul of Living Earth, heard these words and shed tears for the Mother, but determined to relieve Her when She woke. Taking moist earth from Her own form, She moulded a form that was of man, and with Mellicit’s aid, filled the form with departed souls of creatures of the earth, creatures of only kindness and love and devotion to the Mother. Gaea fed and warmed these souls so that they came to life once more, and the form was alive, and it was man. This man Gaea presented to the Goddess:

“Oh Mother, Ye who so fears the form of man, the same that is of Chaos, Your foul Brother of the depths, I present to Ye another. For He is of the earth, who hast suckled from Mine own wide bosom and been given life. Name him, I say, allow him to live at Your side and love Ye into eternity as is deserved to Ye. He knows nothing of the Darkness, nor of the Void, he is enemy to Chaos and all that He breeds in the black waters, never to dishonour nor betray Ye. Through him, I ask that Thou knowest that man has no sin other than that which he claims and bears by his own hand. Had Ye not made Me in Your holy likeness, I should have liked to be of man, and walk with firm foot upon the domain Thou hast blessed unto Me.”

The form of man came to Her in marbled Elysium, his lips touching the wound of Her ankle where Chaos had first polluted Her, and there it was healed by the magick of the Living Earth. The Goddess looked upon him, and in Her, the terror that had contained Her heart was vanquished, giving way for instant and unbounded love. The Goddess blessed Gaea and sent Her to return to Her work in the world below, then turning the swaddled final child to man, before taking the dark-headed man to lie with Her beneath the Dawn-light, in throes of love raising him to the strength of a god, naming him Ceryŭa, for he was man of Living Earth, and divine unto Her.

The End

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