XII · THE GODDESS GIFTS HER CHILDREN

The radiant Five watched from high Celeste, looking down upon the people after years ten and one hundred years; and were saddened. Ilmatar, though she commanded the turns and twists of the air and reigned the freest domain of them all, looked down and felt in herself, envy. She had been watching a young maid who had grown beautiful and been then courted, finding love with a dark-headed boy, with whom she spent blissful nights and days in sweet union. Ilmatar had not one to love, not one to share her domain, as did neither her sisters nor her lone brother. Said she to them one day as Sonn took her place and turned the world bright:

“It cannot be just I who craves companion. We five are divine and cared for by the most loving, the Great Mother who gave us life and power and domains to make prosperous, but She gave us not companionship. I commandeth the skies and am so at peace within them, yet ye, sister Demetra, govern below and have power of another force. We are torn from the same flesh, the same blood, the same purpose, yet we knoweth not what lingers in the other’s soul. Yet I look down below to Her lesser children and there they consummate all the unions that I so desire. They calleth me Goddess, and worship me for having and knowing more, yet this they have that I do not.”

Said Demetra the same, and then Amadahy and brother Luthorn, all wishing to share power with another like themselves. Mellicit alone did not speak the same, declaring her joy at being at Her side and finding love and fulfilment from the care of departed souls into Celeste. But it was decided by the Five that they would then go before She in Elysium to ask for blessing and solution. There She sat, suspended on marmoreal chair, Ceryŭa, newly reborn and sitting across Her delicate foot, and Her radiant Five bowed there before Her and beseeched Her. When Ilmatar had said what she desired, the Goddess rose and said with a darling smile:

“Children that I love above all, have I been as blind as to neglect thee? For shame upon Me, I knew no such desires, but now I see your wants are true and many. Your request I shall so grant, but harken close for the task I shall perform be not simple. Ye all know of the pains I suffered to bring each of ye to life, ye all poisoned and made dead by My brother. Tis true I could have brought ye into existence a better way, but I chose to carry ye all within My womb as does the mortal mother on this earth. In this way, I gaveth grace to dear Amadahy and granted ye each gifts I could not have in other ways. Ye shalt do the same, and in doing so, your powers shalt be halved upon the birth of each of your companions, and they shalt share the same powers as ye, and walk your domain and be one with ye in what ways ye so desire.”

She spoke not again, and withdrew from Herself a vial of blood from the darkness of Her womb, giving one each to all children but Mellicit, who refused and spoke of her own pleasure at the side of She. To her, She said:

“Daughter, first child of Mine, first companion to walk this world with Me, I am gladdened that ye are appeased, for I say that ye can have not what I gift to your kin. For ye are mistress of the dead, and shalt remain at My side as ye so wish. Your task, to pass souls onwards to Celeste, to offer them choice to there remain or be reborn upon the land, and so to save them from the solitude as Wanderers, those spirits tied to life below, afraid to release their hold, it is a sacred one. Ye need not another, the bond I forge shalt be made unbreakable between us, ye shalt not mother nor be mate, ye shalt remain at My side, we being sisters of a higher life.”

Mellicit rose and kissed the Great Mother upon the brow and heart, their bond there sealed, beside Her as the radiant four departed down to the domains, there to conceive companions.

The End

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