One of the writing exercises Deena assigned was to draw 3 of our cards and, in the order we pulled them, tell their story. These are the cards I drew at random (sorry for the quality - they're photos from my phone):
Here is the story that came to me:
Once there was an old woman. Her face was lined, her eyes deep and wise. The woman was much beloved by her people and wore a necklace of turquoise and coral, given to her by the community as a token and sign of her position and regard. Even so, she lived a simple life, spending her days caring for the grandbabies and honoring the gods and ancestors with offerings of cinnamon, cornmeal and flowers. An outsider would only see her status by observing the numbers of people who visited her, seeking her advice and guidance. She fed all who came to her home, but as time passed the younger generation began assuming much of the work that she had always done herself. They cleaned her house, supplied her larder, washed her clothing and kept her supplied with the plant medicines and other items she needed. At first, she resisted allowing them to perform these services, but soon enough she recognized that she benefited from more rest. And, besides, it was an honor for the children to serve, and she needed to give them that opportunity. But the grandchildren she continued to care for with her strong and tender hands.
One night, the old woman had a dream. She found herself in an underground cavern full of large crystals. Quartz grew in all directions, and it was beautiful. On the floor of this cave an earth goddess reposed; she appeared to be sleeping. The old woman wore a strange red garment and was reaching out to assist someone trying to climb up from below her. A great blue butterfly appeared, and the old woman knew that it was a projection of her own soul. She knew she should follow it, but she wanted to harvest some crustal to take with her. And she had to help her fellow traveler. The butterfly was ascending, and she had to decide: follow, or stay for the crystal, or help the other.
When she woke up, the old woman called her community together. she told them that she had dreamed a big dream. Even before the dream came, she had been receiving messages about the future. There were decisions to be made, and soon. A dark time was at hand.
The old woman foretold of a time when the people would rush and hurry, moving so quickly and frantically through their lives that they appeared to her like dogs racing through the woods or forced to jump through hoops of fire. There would be men who would build objects and structures both beautiful in a strange way and also deadly to the body and the soul. The ancestors would loom as large as always, but the people would ignore them and they would seem frozen in place, unimportant.
“This time will come,” said the old woman, after recounting her dream. “What shall we do?”
Some said they should attempt to rouse the sleeping earth goddess. Some said they must bury crystals back in the earth as offerings. Some said they must see if they must ensure that the ancestors not be forgotten. Others refused to believe that they could fall so far from their practices and way of life.
The old woman said, “I myself must pay attention and follow the blue butterfly of my soul. If I do not, if I lose sight of it, then for me, all is truly lost.” Then, she counseled those who felt so moved to make offerings, sing and dance to the earth goddess, to wake her up. Others should bury crystals or be sure to offer helping hands to their companions. Everyone should remember the ancestors. But the must all act deliberately, and not with an urgency that welled up out of fear.
“Time is a mystery,” she said. “But if we cannot let it control us. Honor it. Respect it. But do not allow it to dominate our lives. We must live with and in all the worlds – dark, light, underworld, spirit world, middle earth – all of them.”
“And what of this pollution of our way of life that is coming? Must it come?” they asked.
“I only see what the dream shows,” she replied. “Whatever comes, we must keep together, remember the ancestors and spirits, and care for the children.”