Monday, June 1, 2015

The last White Hind; a new faery tale

A month ago i returned from a two week pilgrimage to the UK with our latest clan of graduating Druids.  This story arose from my enchantment upon seeing the magical white hind and her young at the home of our friends Bob and Georgia who are the stewards of Diamond homestead.  It is my first original story; a weaving of folklore, fact and fantasy.  Enjoy! 

The last White Hind

My kind have been hunted down.  I may be the last. They want me and my family only for the trophy of our hide and antlers. Somewhere along the way, men became disconnected and greedy.  They forgot who they are and who they serve.  The Cailleach comes to them in dreams but they do not remember. 

I live now at the Diamond sanctuary.  It is safe here.  By day i graze in the pasture as a beautiful white hind.  By night i turn into a faery woman and dance in the stones under the moon with my friend, a gypsy pony named Star.  He understands and loves me.  i braid his mane and together we prance and play. 

I found this place 13 years ago when i was on the run, looking for safety.  The stones called me here and the Cailleach (old woman of the forest, wise grandmother) guided and protected my journey. She told me these stones were erected by a modern king who still honors the old ways.  I held this as a sign of hope in a dark time. 

My kind used to be protected, revered and honored as sacred by the people.  A sighting of the white hind or hart was seen as an omen from the otherworld, calling people to journey deep into the land… especially the king who needed to accrue wisdom and marry the land in order to rule well.  

If he was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the white hart, the king would go on the wild hunt, chasing the stag over hill and dale and thru the hedge to the otherworld.  There he was brought to the Cailleach who tested and challenged his merit and worth and if he passed would give him sacred teachings about life, land and loyalty.

When the word got out that the king had been called to the wild hunt, the people rejoiced.  They knew that such a king would rule with wisdom and grace.  The stories of the hunt would spread far and wide and be told over fresh brewed ale in pubs and around fires.  The White Hart pubs are a tribute to this tradition.  Any village that had a pub by that name meant that this was a kingdom that honored the land and all beings. 

The Cailleach prophesied that the white hart would return when the people are ready to remember again.  First a king will come to build a circle of stones.  He will honor the land and teach others to do the same.  The followers of this king and queen will marry the earth and come to this sanctuary as empowered Druids.  Many more will learn the old ways and become guardians of the sacred earth. This time it will not be just the king who wears the sovereign crown but all those who commit themselves to loving and healing the earth. There is much that needs healing and many need to take up the charge. 

And so the hart came.  He was strong and beautiful and not quite of this world. We courted and mated and then he disappeared. Some time later i gave birth to a male fawn.  I feared for his life.  He is brilliant white and stands out but i know he must fulfill the destiny of the wild hunt.  Will he be hunted down for greed and killed like our ancestors or will he lead the people to the teachings of the Cailleach so that they can live again in wisdom and grace? 

We stay close in the pasture and i introduced him to Cailleach.  As he grows bigger, she teaches him to know who he is and what he must do, but he is scared. 

It is almost time for him to leave my side.  i nudge him to leap the fence and find his freedom; to be brave and know that things are changing. The people are remembering and the Cailleach will always protect him.  He hesitates. 

But then the Druids come, led by the stone king.  They feel different than other humans. They enter the stone circle and they dance!  We have never seen humans do this.  They remember!  They are the ones the Cailleach prophesized.  The signs have come.  Together in exultation we run the fence line and my son jumps over. 

Without a backward glance he bounds into the forest.