Imbolc has come and gone. It appears that Punxsutawney Phil, the American version of animal weather prophets on that cross-quarter day, was correct. Winter cold continues. I’ll admit that I am getting pretty tired of the cold but it does help me to keep focused on the paintings for my winter fairytale – Elena and the Reindeer Goddess.
Though my work on this project will certainly continue into the spring and summer, this will be the last excerpt I post here at FAR. I know you will all be more interested in postings related to the growing times of spring and summer once the days are longer and warmer. This third excerpt picks up where my post from last month stopped. If you missed excerpts one and two you can check them out here and here.
“The sky was turning a tender rose pink—it was almost sunrise. Would they get there in time? Together they hurried to the tree-ringed clearing in the forest that Grandmother had seen in her dream.
Just as the sun peeped over the horizon, a magnificent woman stepped quietly into the circle of trees, the rising sun illuminating her beauty with a soft golden light.
Pulling her cloak tightly around her, she glanced around until her eyes lit on Elena and Grandmother under the trees.
“Grandmother” she called out. “Thank you for heeding my summons. Elena, thank you for believing Grandmother’s dream. Come quickly as there is no time to lose.”
Elena and Grandmother walked into the clearing, bowing their heads with great reverence.
“Here in this sacred spot,” said Reinna, “you will witness the beginning of my magical Winter Solstice journey and the power of transformation flowing from this place. But many people’s hearts are closed to the message. They choose to stay inside their warm homes rather than celebrating the dark solstice sky. And others, motivated by greed and hatred, fear the unifying power of love. But you two – with pure hearts, the innocence of youth, and an elder’s understanding of the ancient ways – will be the channel which opens the eyes of the people, calling them outside to witness my journey and to feel the truth of my gift.
“Here is my sacred charge to you: from the moment I leave, at least one of you must be in motion at all times, dancing and walking around this clearing. Your energy will call the people out to view my flight.”
A thin crease marked Reinna’s forehead as a disturbing thought entered her mind. “Also you must not allow anyone with hatred or greed in their heart to enter this sacred space.”
“But Mother Reinna, I’m just a girl. How can I stop someone like that.”
Reinna reached out and lightly touched Elena’s check, saying, “Take this piece of bone I saved from my last year’s antlers, hold it in your hand and look in your heart for the answer. You are a strong girl and I have faith in you to find a way.”
With a gentle smile, Reinna handed Grandmother a basket of nuts and a jug of water for nourishment throughout the day and long night. Walking gracefully to the center of the clearing, she stood still for a moment facing east.”
The story will unfold with transformation, acts of courage, difficulties, animal help, illuminations and inspirations. Fingers crossed that I really get it finished in time for next winter’s storytelling time.
Judith Shaw, a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, has been interested in myth, culture and mystical studies all her life. Not long after graduating from SFAI, while living in Greece, Judith began exploring the Goddess in her art. She continues to be inspired by the Goddess in all of her manifestations, which of course includes the flora and fauna of our beautiful Earth. Originally from New Orleans, Judith makes her home in New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment.
After almost 5 years of work Judith’s new oracle deck, Animal Wisdom Oracle, is now available. You can order it here. Experience the wisdom our animal kin have to offer.
The Celtic Goddess Oracle Deck is still available. Order your deck here.
5 thoughts on “The Reindeer Goddess Seeks Help by Judith Shaw”
I can’t wait to read the whole story! Both the text and the illustrations are beautiful! “But you two – with pure hearts, the innocence of youth, and an elder’s understanding of the ancient ways – will be the channel which opens the eyes of the people…” I love this sentence especially. Elders are so often invisible and undervalued — emphasizing that both youth and later life are essential to solving our world’s problems is so important and your story is a wonderful way to illustrate that.
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I am so glad you are enjoying. FAR is such a wonderful community who allows me to work out my ideas, get helpful feedback and keeps me on track to meet my deadlines.
I agree with you that now more than ever youth need to be valued and made aware of their own power to create a just world and the wisdom of our elder years needs to be recognized and valued.
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I too have a special connection with Elena, who I met as ‘Elen of the Ways’… I made a painting years ago, in which she too wears a bright red dress and antlers! Thanks for your ongoing inspiration!
I first learned of Elen of the Ways when I was working on the Celtic Goddess Oracle. She spoke to me deeply and continues to do so. Her connection to the Reindeer Goddess is strong. It’s funny, but I don’t think I consciously made the connection between the name I chose for the girl – Elena – and Elen of the Ways. But the unknowing part of myself knows best – right!
I decided to give the Reindeer Goddess in the story a different name – Reinna – as I am drawing on all the various Reindeer Goddesses I have encountered – Saule, Beiwe, Rozhanitzak and of course Elen of the Ways, who in her most ancient form was the Guardian of the Leys, the ancient track ways. As the Horned Goddess, she led the way on the migratory tracks of the reindeer. Also I like the connection that name has with the word for queen in some languages – la reine (French), la reina (Spanish).
It’s so wonderful to find kindred spirits here on FAR who love exploring the ancient Celtic world view as much as I do.
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Hey Judith! Thanks for your long and lovely reply! Yes how the ‘tracks’ merge in our unconscious, and then find their way back into awareness. I LOVED Reinna as a name in your story, exactly for the reasons you wrote! Can’t wait for the story to continue… love!
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