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[Loreroot] Phantom Orchid

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[font="Lucida Console"]The only memory I have of life before coming into this realm visited me in a dream. This dream came to my as I was curled up next to Amoran at the base of the Oak Fort...

We were suffering a winter without end, a season of blowing granular ice and frosty winds. The clouds floated, heavy, nestled between the ridges of looming mountains. The bears were emaciated, our supplies were exhausted, and the village folk were frightened. Naturally, they looked to the druids for help.
It was on one special evening, crowning the day which marked the beginning of my first moon cycle, that the druids decided that my initiation into the Order would commence. They would use the magical powers of my budding womanhood coming into fruition and harness this energy in an attempt in ritual to force the turning of the wheel of seasons.[/b]


My training had begun earlier in the year just before Beltaine, festival of the Fire of Creation, as an apprentice under the great druid Deirdre. My classrooms were the glades of the forests, where Deirdre taught me to observe the wisdom of the trees. Druid, as she explained to me, meant 'having the knowledge of the oak.' She said, "When humans were as vapor, trees were also as vapor. The forests are older than memory and time is stored in their roots and branches. It is the nature of trees to be generous, so open yourself and be still. Receive what the impart."
From Deirdre I learned that the Source of All Being is the single and singular force of creation, yet has many faces. Mountain and forest and river, bird and bear and boar, each reveals a different mood of the Creator, a different aspect. Each is therefor a symbol of the one Source, but we reverence these nature gods separately with individual rites, showing that we understand and respect the diversity of creation.
Every entity must be free to be itself.
I learned to listen to the trees.
Deirdre taught me about spirits, about the pattern they make. "I am not certain of the pattern myself," I admitted. "You speak of it so often. But just what is it?"
Deirdre pointed toward the interplay of light and shadow among the branches above us. "There is the pattern. From star to tree to insect to moon, each fragment of creation is part of one design, the pattern of being, that extends unbroken from the Other world to this world. The pattern is constantly in motion, connecting us in life and in death to the Source of All Being."
"Noise is sound and sound is structure and structure is pattern," Deirdre told me.
"The harmony that holds the stars on their courses and the flesh on our bones resonates throughout all creation. Every sound contains an echo. Before there were humans, or even forest, there was sound. Sound spread from the Source in great circles like those formed when a stone is dropped into a pool.
"We follow waves of sound from life to life. A dying man's ears still hear long after his eyes are blind. He hears the sound that leads him to his next life as the Source of all Being plucks the harp of creation.
"Energy is the life force and it flows through everything created by the Source, even through stone. The trees, always our teachers, sink their roots into the soil and draw out energy. Life. Take off your boots as we walk and feel the earth with your bare feet. Feel, as you have learned to hear."

Sometime after the moon disappeared behind the sacred grove, a wind arose. The trees became its instruments. It played them with undulating volume, with sweeping susurrations of sound, with a great plumy movement billowing through, sighing away. Each tree had a voice. Oaks creaked, beeches moaned, pines hummed, alders whispered, and poplars chattered.
I lay absolutely still, drowning in sound. I lay upon the alter, my senses dazzled by the the beauty of existence.
Then everything came together.
I was caught up in the rhythm of dance, ecstatic and sublime, that had been going on long before there was any such being as myself. I was dissolving into wind and moss and leaves, into a rabbit huddled in her burrow, into an owl swimming through the night on silent wings.
Water rolled down my cheeks. Perhaps rain. Perhaps tears summoned by beauty.
The night sang. The earth smelled of rotting wood and tender shoots in darkness, feeding on decomposition, death and birth together in the pattern, one springing from the other.
Both in me. Both of me. I of them. I was the earth and the night and the rain, suspended in the apex of being. There was no time, no sound, no sight, no need of them.
I was.

Edited by Shadowseeker
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