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LUCCIA IN DREAMSTIME is a trilogy of the story of an orphaned girl called Luccia. She stays with and is brought up by her grandfather, who is a wise man and a mystic. Most of the time the child is left to her own devices, which she spends with her friends, the animals of the woods, the sky and the water, the trees and plants around her in nature and the books her grandfather allows her to read. From them all she learns of the greatness of God in creation. In PART1: THE HIDDEN PATHWAY, the three year old Luccia is taken upon a secret pathway to the Other Side of Midnight, to finally meet with the Great One himself. This journey has different stages based on the seven energy centers of the human body. On each stage she meets fictional people, animals and beings. From each she learns of God and how that even these beings praise God for his love, mercy and grace. In Part 2: SECRETS OF THE IN-BETWEEN, the five year old Luccia proceeds on a self-educational tour through the forest to learn more of the In-Between, of which she had heard from her grandfather. She encounters various characters, natural and otherwise, who take her into the different time spheres through which she enters the elements of Fire, Water, Earth and Air. Within each sphere and element she learns more about the actual In-Between but most important, she learns more about Creation the battle between good and evil; and of entering impossible situations with determination and an unskakeable faith. She is shown the stronghold of evil and the preparation in the heavens for the final battle between heaven and hell. Finally she is taken back to where her tour started and is rewarded with a glimpse into a true in-between world populated by characters of the imagination. In Part 3: MYSTERIES OF THE FOREST, the eight year old Luccia learns of the world of plants where she experiences their way of life and meet those of the faerie folk whose work it is to tend them. She meets the matrix of the Earth and from there is taken to the very beginning of time and living things where she learns of grass and herbs species and of different fruit trees. Whereas in part 2 she had only a glimpse of the kingdom of the Fae, she is now taken into the palace of the Fae king and queen. Wanting to know more of the dark side of things, she is finally instructed by her grandfather himself, who is regarded by all the characters she had met throughout her journey as the most knowlegeable on such matters.
LUCCIA IN DREAMSTIME
Text and Illustrations © Copyright : Caeli Francisco : Caeli Francisco
Scripture References Created
: Downloadable from Internet
: King James Version of the Holy Bible : 2012
DESCRIPTION Title Page PART 1 Chapter 1 THE HIDDEN PATHWAY Luccia Page Page Page Page 2 3 6 7
Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8 Chapter 9
The Red Stone
Spirit of the Moonstone The Tiger of the Eye The Tree of Life Valley of Jade Bridge to the Other Side Kingdom of the Stars The Other Side of Midnight
Page Page Page Page Page Page Page
20 28 32 38 50 56 75
PART 2 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3
SECRETS OF THE INBETWEEN Secrets Element of Fire Element of Water
Page Page Page Page
88 89 108 128
Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 References
Element of Earth Element of Air Back with the Forest Queen Otherworld
Page Page Page Page Page
137 149 161 171 178
PART 3 Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 References
MYSTERIES OF THE FOREST The Magick Book To Green Pastures Enchanted Grove Inside Haven On Grandpére’s Say-so Ignorance is Bliss
Page Page Page Page Page Page Page Page
179 180 190 199 216 227 245 254
Luccia was still a tiny tot when she began to roam the fields and mountains of her homeland. The farm where she lived with her grandfather, lay between the deep folds of the Erongo Mountains. The green fields glistened like a pearl and the blue waters of the lake sparkled like sapphire. There were birds and butterflies, insects and spiders. Animals too, and she knew them all. Fritzie Frog who, with his family, had his home among the water lilies of the pond. Mitzie Field Mouse who lived among the reeds. He loved to surround himself with butterflies and ladybirds. Gerd Grey Falcon and old Ollie the wise Owl, who, when not hungry, played hide and seek with the tiny folk. Then there was Blue, the dainty Buck who came softly mornings and evenings to drink at the water’s edge. And there was Simonei the Swan, who allowed herself only to be seen through the veils of mist as she glided on the waters of the lake. Oh yes, and then there was Claus the Fish Eagle who lived high upon the rocks of the mountain. Of them all Luccia liked Ollie and Claus the best. It was Claus who agreed one day to take her to the mountain, a place forbidden to her because of the many hidden valleys and secret caves where a child could easily get lost. Ollie was actually the one who thought the time had come for Luccia to be taken onyo the hidden pathway through the Crystal Cave.
“Mitzie Field Mouse will go with her, of course,” he had said when the animals of the field had their monthly meeting. All the animals agreed and voted unanimously for Ollie’s motion. Each of the animals received his or her task to ensure that she would come back safely. None of them wanted her to be lost or hurt. All of them loved her very much. Were they not the only friends she had?
Hold on tight, little children!” warned Claus and allowed the little girl and her guide, Mitzie Field Mouse, to climb onto his back. Sitting astride, Luccia grabbed the strong neck feathers of the great Fish Eagle while Mitzie perched on Luccia’s shoulder. Their eyes sparkled as the circle of animals opened to let them through. Claus flapped his wings and amid a loud applause, he took off. As Claus flew over the blue lake, Luccia squeeled with delight when Simonei arched her long white neck in greeting. They flew above the stream meandering into the mountains and where the river disappeared, Claus descended. He had scarcely touched down when the child scrambled from off his back. Although eager to explore, she had to wait patiently for Claus to give Mitzie his instructions. However, when Claus turned to go she asked in a small voice, “Aren’t you coming with us?” She had felt rather safe with this big, strong bird to protect her and Mitzie. Who knows what dangers could there be in this dark cave? “No little one. I cannot come with you. But have no fear. Mitzie will stay with you and guide you over the Rainbow to the Other Side of Midnight. Go now and have fun!” “Come!” said Mitzie. The field mouse and the child approached the solid rock in front of them.
Luccia was still wondering where the cave could be when she felt Mitzie’s tug on her shoulder. “We have to turn left here, Luccia,” he squeaked in her ear. As they rounded the rock, there it was - the Crystal Cave! Luccia stopped and stared. In front of them were the most beautiful colours shining forth - all the shades of the colour spectrum met her gaze. They were changing constantly from red to orange, from orange to yellow, from yellow to green to blue to purple and from purple to the deepest violet imaginable. Surrounding the spark ling, shimmering colours was a light so pure that it looked like snow. A white light. “Where do all these colours come from?” she asked. Mit zie explained, “The bright colours come from cave crystals or stones. Only when they are in the darkness of the cave do they glow like this. As you will presently see, one colour is linked to the next and thus do they form a pathway upon which we’ll be taken to reach the Other Side of Midnight”. “What is this Other Side of Midnight?” Luccia wanted to know. “It is a place where the sun never sets. A place of the purest joy and love and light. A place where the creatures sing and dance all day long; where there are much music and laughter. A place where there are no tears, no unhappiness.” Luccia listened wide-eyed to Mitzie’s description and then whispered, “Let us go then.”
Luccia, with Mitzie Field Mouse on her shoulder, stood in the entrance of the Crystal Cave. In front of them lay a heart-shaped stone. It was an ordinary, brown stone with a tiny bright red rozette on its top. They would have passed it by but as they tried to step around it, a single red ribbon of light shot out from the stone and stopped them. By this time Mitzie had jumped down from Luccia’s shoulder. He had to because he had grown quite large since they had seen the brown stone. In fact, he was as big as she was. Not realizing that this stone was the one they were looking for, they tried to bypass it to the other side. They were stopped again. Taking Luccia’s hand, Mitzie whispered, “Let us go right up to the stone and confront it!”
She was dressed entirely in red and had a red scarf tied around her head. Her shoes were red and big, red rings adorned her ears. The rest of her resembled the outside of the stone, dull and grey. She looked sick but it was when she smiled that she became transformed. Beaming, she looked at the little girl and the mouse. Her eyes lit up and sparkled. Her red lips were drawn into a friendly smile and on her cheeks appeared two large red spots of pleasure. “Come in. Come in,” she invited them. “Would you like a story, I will tell you. Would you like to eat, I will give you she said while waving the staff in her hand. They went inside and sat with her in her red parlour. Instead of her usual shyness the child experienced something very different - a kind of joy and love towards this To their surprise a voice called out, “Come! Come near- strange and funny old woman. Luccia had always been er. Let me look at you!” When they still hesitated, the shy and fearful around women in particular for she had voice continued, “Come to the stone!” grown up in a house with only old Mietah for female Looking at one another, Luccia and Mitzie stepped forcompany. ward tentatively. The nearer they came to the stone, the “This old woman could have been my grandmother! bigger it got and as their toes touched it, it reached to Whoever she is, I love her,” she thought by herself under their shoulders. What caught their attention the most the knowledgeable gaze of the older person. Regarding was the stone’s centre, where a red rosette had begun the child with a small smile, she rung a little red bell to glow and pulse. that stood by her elbow. Only then did she start talking. Upon Lucia’s “Ooh!” the stone shot upward and towered over her and Mitzie. A door had opened and before “My name is Mother Earth and this stone is my heart. they could knock and an old woman emerged from the All who have been chosen to follow the pathway of the heart of the stone. stars to enter the Other Side of Midnight, come to me first”.
“There were others, shy and fearful like you are now, Luccia. They were unable to follow this path to its end. To persevere is not easy and the shy and fearful are the first to give up. You will meet creatures, which will try to distract you from your course. There are places you will come to where you will want to stay… Always remember it takes perseverance and courage to eventually enter the Other Side of Midnight. “The reason why you’ve been brought to my house first, is to turn your sorrows into joy. It is only with the purest joy in your heart that you will be able to continue. After you have tasted of what I will offer you presently, you’ll be allowed to continue. That is, if you would still want to go.” Reading Luccia’s thoughts again, Mother Earth smiled and said, “Rejoice child! Mitzie will of course go with you right up to the end of your journey and back!” Mother Earth clapped her hands together and the sound that echoed through her blood-red domain was neither musical nor harmonious. It went, “Lah, lah, lah.” For whatever purpose it was intended, it had the desired effect. Red-clad fairies appeared from all sides to do the old woman’s bidding and she spoke to them in a strange language.
The fairies were followed by red earth ants bearing or pushing large food trays stacked with delicacies. The first tray offered them square- shaped pies of meat. As they bit into the soft meat, an echo in-toned, “Goodness and Courage!” Luccia and Mitzie swallowed, their eyes round with delight. Then came the second tray with star-shaped potato fries upon it. Tasting the slightly salted buttery substance, the echo called out, “be humble and persevere!” A third tray came their way, stacked with tiny triangles of sweet, sugar- coated dates. The echo announced, “Joy and Peace...” Fluffy balls of chocolate brought around on a fourth tray, melted in their mouths when the echo called, “Have faith…” After this feast Luccia and Mitzie looked at one another, at Mother Earth and at the servants with eyes sparkling with joy. Filled with a courage unknown to her, Luccia got up from her pillow and danced a little jig with Mitzie, pirouetting upon her toes. She had so much energy and warmth inside of her that she could not sit still. Under a loud applause from the spectators, they sat down again.
Mother Earth scraped her throat to get their attention. “Before I offer you the contents of the last tray, we will have so-mething to drink. All this output of energy must have made you thirsty.” She rang the bell again and in came a red-clad dwarf carrying a large pupa. With him came a large black beetle and a smaller green one, followed by a few ladybirds. While they looked on, the dwarf laid the pupa down and after a while a struggle ensued at the top end of the pupa. Out came a beautiful butterfly.
The dwarf clapped his hands and all of them danced a little jig around the butterfly. Luccia and Mitzie were delighted. Mother Earth bid the dwarf, “You may pour for us now.” The butterfly came towards Luccia, dipped one wing and a drop of golden liquid fell into her cup. After she had thus served each of them, Mother Earth explained, “No matter how much of this elixir is poured out, your cup will always have only a drop in it. This drop is dew mixed with wild honey. It brings to life the vital principle of your soul…” ”What does vital principle mean?” Luccia wanted to know. “What do you think, little one?” asked the motherly woman in return. “Could it be love?” The round red woman nodded a yes and continued her narration. “Love it is that strengthens your soul and allows it to be stretched as far as you dare to go on this path of the rainbow. “Drink it up now!” They all swallowed and exclaimed, “Olah!” while throwing their empty cups over their left shoulders. “And now,” Mother Earth continued, “We will have the final desert. Before you swallow, Luccia and Mitzie, allow the substance to slowly melt in your mouths. Allow your hearts to absorb the essence of it directly from your mouths. ”You will feel the upper part of your bodies, in the vicinity of your heart, become warm.
Do not be alarmed. It is the awakening of love – something you will need the most from now on until you reach the other side of the rainbow.” They were each given a heart-shaped, rose-coloured meringue sprinkled with red sugar crystals. As they brought the little cakes to their mouths, the crystals began to melt forming blood-red tear drops, in danger of dripping right off the tiny delicacies. “Those are drops of my love for you,” said Mother Earth. “My love is really the love that Jesus Christ has for you in that he gave his life for you. They are meant to protect you from evil.” After all the excitement, Luccia felt very tired. Her eyelids drooped and it was not long before both she and Mitzie were fast asleep. Mother Earth smiled down at the lonely child and bent down to tenderly cover her with a red lace blanket….
“Luccia! Luccia, wake up!” The little girl opened her eyes when she felt something tickling her face. It was Mitzie’s whiskers. “What?” she asked sleepily, dreamily. “Luccia, get up now please. We have to continue our journey.” Mitzie said and pulled her to her feet. It was when he took her hand that Luccia realized there was something cold and hard in her fist. She opened her fingers and there in the palm of her hand lay a heart-shaped stone, grey and chalky on the outside. However, the longer they looked at it, it started glowing until it was blood-red and warming the palm of her hand. Luccia knew then that whenever she felt tired, discouraged or shy, she only had to look at the stone and all the virtues she was given while in the heart of Mother Earth, would be renewed.
The little girl and the mouse walked hand in hand deeper into the Crystal Cave. Having taken but a few steps, their toes touched another stone.
Wonderingly they walked forward but were stopped by the same booming voice, “Once you’ve stepped over the threshold of the Gate, there is no turning back. The only exit from this domain is on the dark side of the “This must be the second one,” whispered Mitzie. “We moon. Think well before you proceed!” won’t try to go around it again this time, will we?” he asked and Luccia agreed. Without looking at one another for confirmation, Luccia and Mitzie boldly stepped over the threshold. They stopped at the stone which had blossomed like a “We can’t go back now. We’ve only just begun,” both peeled orange. From its depths a reddish-yellow light were thinking. glowed….. The voice confirmed their thoughts, “You chose wisely. A booming voice challenged them, “Who comes Only on this path can you find the way to the Other knocking at the Moonstone’s Gate?” Side of Midnight. Follow me and you will learn more. This is the place of powerful wisdom where you will Uncertain as to what she must answer, Luccia clutched find balance and equality.” the chip from Mother Earth’s heart tighter in her fist and took a quick peek. Immediately the red pulsated They followed the sound of the voice and stepped and she was strengthened. Boldly she said, “We are down the somewhat sloping channel of light. Looking Luccia and Mitzie, seeking entrance.” back, Mitzie saw that the gate had disappeared. Behind them was now only inky black darkness. He did not tell There was a moment’s silence and then an opening Luccia about it. Well, he couldn’t because she was not appeared before them. It was so transparent that, only there! when it moved, did they recognize it as a gate. It resembled the many corners and turns of a maze, glistening in the light of the full moon.
“Luccia!” Alarmed Mitzie called her name. “I’m here, Mitzie,” she answered calmly. Her voice sounded almost dreamlike. “I’m not gone, Mitzie. Our bodies have dissolved into light.”
Looking downhill they saw a structure that resembled a pyramid. At its eastern corner facing them, stood a very beautiful woman. From her long golden hair sparks of reddish copper arced about her head and shoulders. She was dressed in a long red-gold robe, her feet shod with feathered sandals. She took a step forward and as she extended her hand in greeting, a moonbeam shot out from her long, slim fingers.
Mitzie looked at his own body and realized that she was right. Where their bodies had been was now only a luminousness.
The disembodied voice informed them, “You have been generated into a new life form by becoming channels of pure energy. Do not fear. At the end of your journey through the domain of the Moonstone, your bodies will return to their original form. Make haste now. The spirit of the Moon is awaiting you.”
The approaching children were scooped up onto its smooth surface and as she closed her fingers, the beam rolled up into the palm of her hand. When the visitors were safely withing the hollow of her hand, she put them gently onto the bronze sand in front of her. Immediately they were enveloped by the aura of her spirit. Then she spoke, “Welcome, my children. You have chosen to enter within my aura of your own free will. The moment you stepped through the gate up yonder, the golden colour of my domain purified your bloodstreams. My spiritual energy began to flow through you, awakening your own life energies. All poisonous substances within you have been extracted.
They entered through a tiny crack between huge stone blocks and found themselves inside a large underground cavern. “Of course! We are attached to the spirit’s aura by an unbreakable cord. Where she goes, we have to follow!” Mitzie suddenly remembered his last lesson of metaphysics.
Inside the cavern they stood in front of a sarcophagus, whereupon lay the body of a king dressed in royal finery. His burial splendour. The woman, Tacpanee, stood by the head of the stone dais, her arms stretched out wide.
Suddenly a bright tangerine colour appeared on the breast of the body. As the colour intensified, the child and her companion felt their bodies begin to vibrate. Glancing down they saw the floor and the air around their bodies were trembling as well. It was as if a mighty wind was blowing around them. When the trembling turned to a definite shaking they had to put out their hands to hold onto the sarcophagus.
“When you leave here you will be strengthened to continue your journey towards the Other Side of Midnight.
“In exchange for what you have received from me, there is another choice you have to make…. Follow me, my children!” Having thus spoken, she vanished. Where did she go?” asked the little girl, perplexed. Before Mitzie could answer both of them were pulled forward towards the pyramidal structure.
The woman spoke, “The soul of this king is about to depart from here. Because he was a good person, it has been decided that he may proceed to the Other Side of Midnight. “However, the forces of darkness demand that he pay a certain debt, which he is neither willing nor able to do. Since he came to me for help, I have decided to set a trap for Darkness within the heart cavity of this body. “Since this soul cannot travel alone, I am asking you to take him with you on your journey. Should you agree, the three of you will exit through that opening far above us.” We agree,” answered the child and the mouse. “But what will you do?” They asked the woman. “How will you escape from here?” Touched by their genuine concern for her safety, she replied, “Do not fear, little children. I have the power of the omnipotent God to my disposal and will wait for Darkness to come and claim the heart of my friend here, which had turned to stone.” she said and stretched her arms above her head... “Whoosh!”
“Thud!” “Where are you, Mitzie?” Luccia asked as she looked around. “Here. Golly but my head hurts. Please let’s wait a while before we continue,” he answered. “Good idea. I’m famished anyway. And you?”
“Allow me, my children…” Smiling, a prince of ancient Egypt in the form of a slave offered them food and wine fit for a king’s table. It tasted like ginger bread and raspberry juice. After they’ve eaten, the man who had introduced himself as Amenothep, vanished.
“Where did he go Mitzie?” “He lives in the chip of moonstone you have in your pocket,” answered Mitzie. “Like a real genie!”
“Whereto Amenothep?” asked Luccia. “We have to ascend a few steps and then turn right, I think.” he answered her with a twinkle in his eyes. The three of them did so and there, in front of them, was the strangest thing they’ve ever seen. A huge, deep-yellow disk flecked with golden brown spots. “What is that?” gasped both Mitzie and Luccia.
“Bu “But…” said the little girl, “The Keeper is supposed to be a Cherubim with a flaming sword!” “Ah yes, you are right of course and you will find him shortly. That is, after you have passed through here. The angel stands watch over the Tree of Life. My eye represents the light of the sun by day and that of the moon by night. If you will kindly look me straight in the eye, you will experience a great calm. “Your thoughts “I perceive,” said Amenothep, “that we must concentra- will become clear and in my light you’ll receive the coute our thoughts simultaneously upon the object of our rage to put your thoughts into action and to conceive sight and see what happens.” new ideas. Having said that, the Egyptian slave-king manifested be- “After you have passed through my eye, you’ll experitween the little girl and the mouse. They took hands, ence a soft vibration coursing through your veins. This closed their eyes and concentrated fiercely. And… it energy will further sustain you to your journey’s end.” happened! After about thirty seconds the three of them had shrunk to the size of peas. Their concentration was Extending one paw a fraction forward he bid them to so strong that the energy exuding from their combined climb onto his foot. “Amenothep,” he growled, “Do not effort sent a heat wave towards the huge object in front return to your moonstone. Your aura is needed here to of them. light the way. Hold on tight, everyone!” The disk closed fully and opened again, wider this time, The little girl, the mouse and the moonstone genie clutas if surprised. Looking up they realized that what they ched the soft fur on the tiger’s paw. They felt themselvhad mistaken for a disk was really the eye of a huge ti- es being lifted up high into the air. By merely brushing ger. The tiger looked down at them and smiled, licking his paw against his right eye, the tiger off-loaded them his chops. “Hello there,” he said. “Do not be afraid of onto its lid. me . I will not eat you. You’ve come to the place where “Now please hold onto one another and turn around inlions and tigers lie down with sheep. I am placed here ward,” he said softly. They did so and faced a narrow as the Keeper of the First Gate to the Garden of Parablack slit in the yellow disk of the eye. dise.”
The tiger continued his instructions, “I’m going to take a deep breath, hold it and close the lid of my eye. As soon as it becomes dark around you, the black slit in front of you will widen and allow you to pass through. “You have to hurry so as not to be caught in the narrowing of the walls again. You have the time of the twinkling of my eye. Are you ready?” he rumbled. “Yes and thank you,” they chorused. When the tiger had opened his eye again, he gave a load roar and said, “It was a pleasure. It always is.” The three friends popped out of the black hole like marbles. Amenothep’s aura truly did provide enough light for them to hurry through. “I wonder what would have happened if we were caught in there?” mused Mitzie. “The only thing that would have happened is that the eye would begin to water. Instead of us being expelled through the back, we would have been washed out to the front again.” Luccia laughed, “That’s right, Amenothep. And then the whole process would start all over again.” Looking around she could not but gasp with pleasure. The panorama that met their eyes was a replica of the valley where she lived with her grandfather.
Feeling a tug on his own tail, Mitzie realized they were still attached to the tiger’s tail. The purr of the huge animal came to him from behind, “Before you can enter the Garden of Paradise, you have to speak to the Keeper of the Tree of Life. His name is Michah. The Tree of Life is the second gate through which you have to enter the Garden of Paradise. It is called the Eye of the Tiger!”
Their surprised intake of breath made him laugh. He flicked his tail and they were free. “What about our size then? We are as small as peas!” Mitzie called out. “Michah will restore you,” came the reply.
While the three of them set off towards the second gate, the Eye of the Tiger, they heard a faint humming pursuing them. The sound increased in volume until it was a definite drone. Before they could really become uncomfortable with the sound, it passed by them. A whole string of bees! Looking over his shoulder, Mitzie saw that the bees were boiling out from the same hole through which they had come. As the sound increased, another file of bees came from the opposite direction.
“Strange,” thought Mitzie. “Those flying away from the tiger, have a silver sheen upon their wings. I wonder…” Looking first at his own pelt and then at Luccia’s skin, he saw that both of them had that same silver sheen. “So that’s it…”
Amenothep finished his thought for him. “We have a thin layer of honey upon us. When we moved through the pupil of the tiger’s eye, we passed through a pot of honey. It was meant to facilitate our smooth exit The bees were beautiful, their bodies were the colour but also to identify us to the Keeper of the Second of fresh wild honey and they had purple wings. Gate.”
And then they were at the foot of the Tree of Life. It was huge, this tree. As thick as a house. Its branches, with their canopy of bright green leaves, were spread out high and wide. All kinds of fruit could be seen among the foliage and there were blossoms, around which the purple-winged bees were buzzing.
After having had to scramble over the exposed roots with difficulty, they came to a stop at the base of the tree. They were still so small! In front of them in the tree’s trunk, was a huge solid wooden door. But that was not all. In front of the door stood an awesome being, strong and mighty. It had the face and body of a man shrouded in golden garments. In his hand he was holding a flaming sword that was moving continuously from left to right and from right to left. A wide arc of light, energy and heat was thrown outwards by the movement of the sword. Beware anyone or anything that came within its reach unbidden! The being was the Keeper of the Gate.
A sudden fear overcame the three friends and they fell upon their faces in front of the Keeper of the Gate.
“Arise, my children!” he commanded. With those words spoken, the moving sword stopped. When the tip of the sword was brought downwards to touch the head of each of them, they regained their original sizes. Awed they asked, “Who are you?” and he answered, “I am called Michah, the Keeper of the Tree of Life. Be not afraid for your names are written down in the heart of this tree. As such you have permission to pass through the Eye of the Tiger, which is this door behind me. “Before I unlock the Gate, I have to make some changes: Amenothep I will change into a silver-white dove; to Luccia I will give a golden blossom from this tree to wear in her hair; and Mitzie will receive another dash of the golden honey on his whiskers”.
“These gifts are to ensure your safe passage through the Garden and to prevent you from straying beyond its boundaries. On the outside of the Garden are ravenous wolves that stand ready to devour you. “Billy shall accompany you. And now, proceed. May you be blessed upon your journey!” With those words the Gate swung open and the three friends passed through the Eye of the Tiger.
When Luccia dipped her nose into the blossom and inhaled its sweet fragrance, a purple winged bee winked at her from its depths. She smiled and when she looked at Mitzie, she could not help but laughing out loud. Not only had the tips of his whiskers a deep golden sheen but the tip of his tail as well! Upon his shoulder the white dove sat, cooing with mirth.
Five stone steps had to be ascended by the four friends before they could enter the garden that awaited them. Once at the top they stood awed, struck dumb by the sight that met their eyes. The broad valley of which they had had only a peek, now spread its monumental splendour proudly before them. Its wide rim consisted of ironstone rock and to one side they saw what could be the outer walls of an old castle. Within the surrounding rocky edge stretched emerald green fields of the softest lawn not found anywhere in the real world. Early morning dew glistened like blue-white diamond drops upon the stalks of grass. Everything was new and fresh in this Valley of Jade for here, every hour is the hour of morning. Among the grass were patches of flowers in full bloom, brandishing their wide array of colours and each exuding its own aroma: There were purple Violets, Margaritas in yellow and white, Sweet Williams in pink and blue, small red Roses and tiny trumpet-like flowers in different hues of orange. “Z-z-z-z!” Billy’s wings began to vibrate at an alarming rate, the sound of it carrying far and wide upon the scented air. All the flowers and grass stalks turned their tiny faces in the direction of the sound and then with one voice called out, “Welcome, welcome!” Zip-p-p! Drawn by the powerful scent of the nectar, Billy could not help but make haste to gather what he could.
“Not soon will I have this privilege again,” he told himself as he flitted from flower to flower in the short-short time allotted to him. “I dare not lose sight of the others otherwise I, the guide, will be the one caught!” he admonished himself. Laughing at Billy’s antics, the other three sank down onto the velvet-soft grass in the shade of an old oak tree. Nearby a tiny stream gurgled its sweet song. “Coo? Coo?” Mitzie looked up to the branch, whereupon sat a pure white dove. “She’s calling you, Amenothep In your dove-form you can easily go and sit with her for a while, I’m sure.” Amenothep blushed and ruffled his feathers. Then the strong silver-white dove flew up and alighted upon the branch next to the caller with her musical voice. The little girl closed her eyes and it wasn’t long before she slipped into dreamland. Here she met the mother she had lost at birth who, after crooning her baby a lullaby, left the child within the embrace of the soft greenery and departed again silently. Mitzie fondly looked at his playmate and then scuttled off. His honey-tipped whiskers soon detected signs of life and his enhanced sense of smell picked up the musky vibrations of his own kind. “Halloo?” he called softly but there was no answer. “Maybe its because I’m as large as a human child,” he mused as he continued his exploration of the reeds round about the little stream.
“Luccia, Mitzie, Amenothep! All of you, come!” It was Billy calling them as he zipped from the one to the other. Within seconds the four friends were sitting together telling each other about their experiences.
The main feature of this stone however, is that it unlocks the door to the virtue of unconditional love, which can only be achieved by way of profound peace and harmony with God, ourselves and those around us. It is the only true love, for it is the unconditional “I remember Luccia,” said Mitzie sympathetically, “the love of Jesus for us creatures of the earth. day your mother died. It happened a few hours after you were born. But do not be sad, sweet one. Like she “We all are creatures of the One who made us, God said, soon us and all who’ve passed away will be the Creator. These past moments you have absorbed together again….” the colour green of nature and of growth. It is the colour of hope, regeneration into a new life and of a Luccia asked in a tearful voice. “How do you know new vitality. Mitzie?” And wisely he answered, “It is not long before the great King of the Universe will come to “I want you to concentrate your collective sight upon gather His own together. On that day will heaven and that deep green triangle yonder.” He said, pointing earth become one and we all will have free access to with his tail to a spot where the valley became the heavenly places. They of the heavens will freely narrower. walk with and among us.” “The deeper you look into the green, the easier you “Buzz-z-z!” said Billy and wiggled his tail a few times. will see the existing unconditional love. Once you’ve “Buzz-z-z! Friends” he began when he had their seen it, keep your focus upon it and when all of us undivided attention. have reached the point of that focus, we will move towards it. Wait for my signal before stepping out.” “We find ourselves now in the Valley of Jade. Jade is a green stone from the Far East, which symbolizes for us virtues such as courage, honesty, humility, grace and wisdom.
All four of them did as Billy had said and almost immediately his tail started swelling. Taking off, he called over his shoulder, “Follow me!” Luccia, Mitzie and Amenothep followed Billy as fast as they could, laughing and chattering as only carefree children could. They were brought to an abrupt halt when in front of them a thick stone wall materialized. “Billy, where are you?” cried Luccia. “Here! Here I am,” he answered. His voice came from somewhere above them.
“Someone has to speak a certain rhyme, upon which the bush will let us pass by his thorns,” said Billy at last. “I think Luccia has to do it.” The little girl sat herself down on a nearby stone, closed her eyes and thought deeply. Then she said, “I’ve got it! “Rosebush, Rosebush, I love you, will you open for us to pass through?” Before their surprised eyes the rose bush folded her branches against her trunk. A pathway had opened, which led straight to the secret door.
“Now say another one to let the door open, Luccia!” They looked up and saw his bright wings fluttering high said Billy. against the wall. “Behind this tall rose bush is a secret door through which we have to enter,” He said. “But, Without hesitation Luccia continued, “One, two, three, the bush is full of thorns and we cannot just pass four. Please let us enter, o Secret Door.” through.” The door swung open and they passed through, “What shall we do then?” Mitzie wanted to know. ascending six stone steps. Upon reaching the top they were speechless again. Before them stood the most Billy did not answer. He was listening to something and beautiful fairy castle they’ve ever imagined. Amenothep put one wing over his beak to show the other two to be quiet.
Ten more steps brought them to another door, thick and dark with a golden knocker attached to it. While standing by this door, the air around them began to change. A faint, rose coloured light surrounded them and gradually they were enveloped in a pink hazy cloud. “We are at the heart of the Valley of Jade. Everything here is pink because pink is the colour of unconditional love. The deeper we go into the castle and its grounds, you will see how this rosy hue deepens in colour.” explained Billy. “The outer walls are light pink and very crumbly. They are made of sugar, which naturally is not a solid substance. You’ll have to move very slowly there and speak only in the softest of whispers. Any sudden sound will make the walls to crumble and crack. The innermost part of the castle is different again because there the sugar had crystallized to become solid as a rock.”
If you are prepared to change shape from something into nothing, I will help you to relocate the beauty of life. Within the walls of this castle you will be taught the art of giving and receiving, to love and to be loved. For children like you, this is a very good place to be. Are you ready?” she asked when no one said a word. They nodded and she described a circle around them with her wand, which had a sparkling star on its tip. A magic rhyme was spoken, “Wind, wind, come and blow my friends into a pinkish glow.” “Oh!” Luccia felt a slight breeze upon her body and when she looked for Mitzie, he was gone! “Did the wind blow him away?” she wondered. Her eyes sought for the others but they too were gone. “Mitzie, Billy…” she called trying to keep her voice as light and soft as that of the fairy. “Its all right, Luccia. We are here,” came Billy’s voice. “Look at yourself and you will understand.” “But if we cannot speak, neither be able to move, how Luccia looked down at her own body and saw… nothing! will we fare in there?” asked Mitzie, who was mostly “But what has happened?” worried about his long tail. He had nowhere to tuck it Amenothep explained, “We have all become wisps of into. “You’ll see,” said Billy and forthwith let fall the so- smoke - the same that I’ve been when I left my body belid golden ring onto the knocker of the door. When the hind in the aura of the Moonstone. This is another life door opened a fairy, dancing in the air above the thresh- form. It will ensure that we do not break anything while old, met them. we are in here. Each of us has received a different scent “Welcome,” she whispered so faintly that Luccia could by which the fairy can identify us and while we are insibarely hear what she said. “Welcome to the Candy de, we’ll be called by the names of those smells.” Castle!
“What are they?” Luccia the little female immediately wanted to know. What woman does not love scents and perfumes? The fairy said, “Luccia your fragrance is called Illumina. “It is a fresh, airy smell. Amenothep is Vibrance, a spicy one. Mitzie’s is a musky smell called Essential and Billy’s has the smell of violets called Excellence. Are you all satisfied?” she asked and after each of them had inhaled the scent of the others, she added, “My name is Jasmin and you will identify me by the sweet smell of the Jasmine flower. Now, follow me!” She curled away from them. The four friends, guided by Jasmine, roamed through the castle. From one parlour they went to the next. The walls consisted of pink striped candy; the window frames of clear crystallized sugar and the roof had a foamy substance. The floors looked like glass, they were so clear. The deeper they went into the castle, the rosier it became around them. Nowhere was any sound heard or heavy movement seen. The greatest surprise still awaited them. When they entered the main hall, a most beautiful woman sat upon a pink throne. With her hands upon the armrests, she appeared to be at perfect peace with herself. The nearer they came, however, the more the friends realized that she sat there totally immovable. Picking up the strong smell of Jasmine, e ach of them released their own different fragrances.
They perceived being bidden to take the first step to the throne. As they complied, each of them changed back into their original, natural forms. The fairy admonished them not to go any nearer but to sit down. “Is it safe to talk?” whispered Luccia. “Yes,” answered the fairy. “In this part of the castle the sugar had crystallized into a solid mass.”
“This is the very centre, the heart, of the castle where the concept of unconditional love should reach its fulfilment,” said the fairy. “How so?” asked Amenothep as he gazed up at the beautiful, quiet woman on the throne. Somehow she looked familiar to him and he felt his heart swelling within him, the longer he looked at her. “Many, many years ago, this woman visited the Valley of Jade and was allowed to enter the Pink Castle,” The fairy began. “Upon reaching this centre, she had burst into tears, which turned to pink drops. She cried and cried so much that the tears flowing from her eyes formed a puddle around her. She seemed unable to stop crying because the concept of unconditional love stirred her so much. “The tears formed a pool around her and the level of the water rose higher and higher until they reached her neck. By this time she was so weakened from the loss of all the water from her own body, she had to sit down. The tears crystallized to form the pink throne. A mist rose up from the surface of the water, forming a thin layer of icy frost, which enclosed her.” “Why did she cry so much?” Luccia asked.
“Word was received that she ran away from her betrothed because he could not love her unconditionally. She had begged the magician at her father’s court to allow her to make this journey through the Crystal Cave. “When she arrived here, she realized that without the unconditional love of God, no man is able to love another so profoundly - not even one’s own wife to be.” “Will she sit there now for all eternity?” It was Billy’s turn to ask.
“No, that is not necessary. If someone is willing to offer his life for hers, she may be set free.”
“Hmm!” Everybody turned to Amenothep as he uttered this strange sound. He had taken a step forward. “I will do it!” he said. “Are you sure?” the fairy asked, not knowing that he is dead already and she is speaking to his soul. Without hesitation he answered, “I’m sure!” The others watched in silence as Amenothep flew upwards and landed awkwardly upon the cheek of the lady in pink. He craned his neck forward and pecked her softly on her lips. Her eyes flew open and she smiled. “Amenothep!” she exclaimed. “I thought you would never come. How wonderful!” When she had said his name, the dove-form disappeared and in its place stood the young Egyptian prince, whose body they had left behind within the aura of the Moonstone. He took her hand and led her down from the throne towards his friends. “This is Jade,” Amenothep said simply.
“A happy ending,” murmured Mitzie. “Yes indeed,” agreed the fairy “But it would be happier still after you all have been given refreshments. Are you hungry?”
Mitzi answered for them all. “Now that you mention it, yes!”
“Then follow me. There is a path from here to the back of the castle where I’ve prepared something for you. Step carefully in my footsteps and all will be well.”
After they had partaken of a healthy repast, the fairy warned, “This food will sustain your bodies for the rest of the journey. From now on until the end of the road you’ll only be fed spiritually.”
After explaining to them how to reach the next crystal, which was blue, she gave Luccia a tiny stone. It was green both outside and inside, with a pink innermost heart.
After having descended six steps again, they were back blue and finally travel from there to the violet. in the Crystal Cave. The two blue stones forms the bridge from the natural to the higher heavenly and spiritual realms.” Luccia, Mitzie, Billy and Jade were perfectly at ease under Amenothep’s leadership, who seemed to know “How?” the way. “Mitzie, if I tell you now, it will not be an adventure, “We have to descend six more steps and then tarry a will it?” Amenothep said placidly. Upon seeing his while,” he said. They did so and saw not one, but three friend’s crestfallen face, he added, “I’ll give you a clue stones held together in one lump. The part nearest to then: think of a rainbow, of water and of light.” them had two halves. The half on the right, had the colour of the sea and the one on the left, the colour of To the others he said, “So, are you all ready? The the sky. The second of the three-fold stone, had the pathway is narrow and we have to approach the first colour of the midnight sky and the last one had a deep stop one by one. Luccia, you go first and wait for us at violet colour. the water’s edge.” Where do we begin?” one of them asked and Amenothep explained, “We have to gaze first into the violet stone, then into the dark blue one and lastly into the two-headed blue stone. Reflections from the first will direct our beings to the second and allow us to be transported into the third one.” “Why do we have to do it in this three-fold way?” Mitzie the man of reason wanted to know. “The journey is one. From the blue we’ll go to the dark
The little girl knelt down and gazed first into the violet stone then into the purple one and lastly into the double blue one. There was a smacking sound as she was drawn in and vanished. …...
Before she could be afraid Luccia saw the others com-ing towards her. Mitzie reached her first, took her hand and asked, “Are you all right, little one?” “Buzz-z-z!” Billy landed upon her arm, then came Jade followed by Amenothep, flying down towards them. It was only when they were all together again that Luccia could appreciate the scene around her. Being a child of the open spaces, she could never tire of the beauty of nature. The lake that lay placid and peaceful was truly the colour of the ocean. The blue of the sky and the white of the clouds could be seen reflec ted in its mirrored surface. As Luccia stretched out her toes towards the water, Amenothep warned, “Do not go into the water Luccia. There are too many unknown dangers under its surface! Someone will come to take us onto the lake.” “What dangers? Might it also be hungry wolves?” she asked innocently but obeyed his command nevertheless. Amenothep smiled, “Something like that, yes.” But Luccia did not even hear him. Her attention was suddenly drawn to the surface of the water. She had seen a white cloud that resembled a swan. It came nearer and nearer. She was mesmerized and closing her eyes thought of Simoné back home…. “Hello, Luccia!” Luccia’s eyes flew open and widened in recognition. “Simoné!” she shrieked with surprise and pleasure. “How did you come to be here?” The white swan had come to a stop right by the water’s edge.
“Thát, is my secret,” Simoné answered and winked at Amenothep. “Each of us dip a finger or toe into the water,” cried Amenothep. “Except you, Billy!” They did so and once again became as small as peas. “All aboard!” Simoné said. When all of them, Billy included, were safely upon her broad back, she pushed away from shore. The friends could now really enjoy the beauty and wonders of the blue waters they were gliding upon. The gurgling of the water, the occasional splash of a diving frog, a fish poking out its snout and birds chirping in the reeds, all helped to instil a profound peacefulness upon the company of friends. Then Simonei spoke, “There is a very good reason for all this peacefulness. The soft blue of the water spreads positive energy. Nowhere on its surface or above it, should there be any aggression because blue is the colour that protects us all against the dangers of negative and harmful emotions. “Blue is also the colour of the saving grace bestowed upon us by the redemptive act of Jesus, who gave his life for us all. “Should there come negative and evil feelings, they are swallowed up by the lake and buried deep down on the muddy bottom. The lake is also the place where free and easy speech are born. This means that for those who are dumb, those who stammer or those just plain shy, their tongues will be loosened.
“The ability to listen with an inner ear and to express what has been heard in normal language is spawned here as well.” “What about seeing with my inner eyes?” asked the child who had heard her grandfather, the Sage of the Mountains, talk about it. “Of course, that most of all,” smiled Simonei. “The gift of mystical seeing is given here - you would need it to understand the rest of your journey. You will find it working for you the moment you are transported to the other half of blue.” Upon rounding a bend on the lake, there was a fountain spewing water high up into the air. Simonei swam around the fountain a few times as if she was waiting for something…. Yes, she was! A nightingale arrived and beckoned Billy to come to him. Billy complied with a buzz of his purple wings. When he was safely with the famous singing bird, Simonei said, “I’m going to dive and will surface again within the circle of the spray. Hold on tight and take a deep breath. Here we go!” she warned again. Before anyone could be frightened, she dived swiftly and emerged within the fountain’s circle of spray. “When you hear the song of the Nightingale, close your eyes and allow yourselves to go with his song. Will yourselves to be taken away upon the wings of the music,” Simoné said. “What about Billy?” someone asked. “Billy shall not go with you.”
This very strange journey had taught them not to ask too many questions and so they obediently chorused, “Good bye Billy. Goodbye Simonei. We love you!” Luccia bent forwards and rubbed her cheek fondly against the side of Simonei’s head in a gesture of farewell. Upon the first trilling notes of the Nightingale’s song, all of them let go of their holds on Simonei’s back. They felt themselves being drawn away from her. Up they went into the sky, having become one with the myriad drops of water being spewed upwards by the force of the fountain. Higher and higher they went, becoming mere elements of condensation, united with the infinite blueness of the sky.
KINGDOM OF THE STARS
The remaining four friends were brought up sharply at a huge stone arch. The stone was the colour of the dark blue midnight sky. All along its rim the starlight glittered a welcome.
It allows anyone who are sent here, to enter into the realm of spiritual knowing. Those born with the gift, like Luccia and Jade, will understand what I’m talking about. As we go along, you other two will acquire this cherished and widely coveted spiritual gift.
They were met by a creature none of them had ever seen before. It was a snow white horse with wings, that came “Receive it with humility and use it wisely. Always remeflying through the arch. mber it has been given to serve God with. To see in this way, is called spiritual seeing.” “Hello,” he said. “My name is Son of Pegasus. You must be the four water drops I was expecting. Let me get your The big horse surged forward. All around them stars wenames again, please. This little golden drop of sunshine re twinkling merrily, calling out their welcome. They sailmust be Luccia. Mitzie the silver sprite and you two love ed on through the dark blue sky, faster than the wind. birds are the souls sent from the spirit of the Moonstone. Am I right?” “Where are we going, Pegasus?” asked Luccia for the benefit of them all. Upon their titter of agreement he danced upon his hind “Our first stop is at the star right in front of us. It is called legs in jest and then said, “I am the guide that will take Palace of the Winds.” you to meet the stars. Without me you’ll get lost, so hop on. You’ll find it quite easy, if I may say so.” With these words the white horse landed lightly on the ground. The friends had to hold on tightly because a fier“Why have we become so bouncy?” Mitzie the scientist ce wind was blowing and around them it was so misty wanted to know as, taking hold of one another’s hands, they could barely see a thing. they hopped onto Pegasus’s very broad back. “It is because you are outside the earth’s force of gravity.” He flapped his wings and set off. Once in the air he continued his conversation, “This stone is called the Eye of Night.
“Who-o-o goes there?" A howling voice called out, “This snail is so slow we can barely get all our work done challenging the visitors. It was the guard at the gate of the during the hours of Workztime.” palace. “What kind of work do you do then?” the old man asked “It is Pegasus!” the horse whinnied. suspiciously.
“Please wait…” the voice howled back. Soon however, they were bidden to enter and taken before a very old man. He had a long, thin nose, long silvery hair and the longest beard they’ve ever seen. He was talking to two elves having come to seek his advice. “We are transporters of honey. We have to reach the hives the moment it is light before the collectors of nectar start harvesting and…” Putting his hand around his long, jutting chin the old man thought for a while and then said, “For a barrel of honey sweet, I put the wind into snail’s tiny feet!” As he waved his hands, his cheeks started to bulge while his lips formed an “O”.
Without looking up, he beckoned them to come nearer. The friends went up to the old man and stood to one side, listening and looking - that is what they’ve come for, to Suddenly the snail lifted his head and upon the old man’s observe and to learn. command of “Go-o-o!” he sped across the floor of the enormous chamber. The two-wheeled cart behind him bareThe old man asked, “You want wind?” ly touched ground and the two elves had to make a dash for the run-away cart. “Who-o-sh!” Away they went, like “Well,” One of the elves answered, “Not us really the wind. but we would surely like to put some wind, some speed, into this snail…” Throwing his arms wide the old man bellowed, “But why? A snail is made to go slow. That is his nature!” “Oh but please, please understand” the elf pleaded.
When they were gone, Old Man Wind turned to his visitors with a smile. Before he could utter a word, Luccia exclaimed, “You are so nice and you look just like my grandfather!” Her sweetness could not but mellow the old man’s stern countenance. He bent forward and gathered the four of them up into his arms. Could he see them? Of course he could! He too had the Eye of Night.
Now he told them, “You have been brought here to become wise and wisdom you will have. Always remember when you deal with the things of nature, that you never try to change the nature of things. Only God can change what He had made. Will you remember that?” Having given them each a gentle hug— a harder one would have winded them— he turned his attention back to matters of his kingdom.
Our next stop is with the Queen of Dreams,” announced all colours and sizes. The yarns were then given names Pegasus as they whisked through the skies. and rolled onto huge spools, which were stacked in rows upon rows as far as the eye could see. Behind the “We’ve heard about it. It is the place where dreams are workers and weavers, dream scenes were being played made,” said Mitzie who had learned of the dream facout. tory in school. There were black and white spiders whose yarns were Upon arriving at the Palace of Dreams, they were met dotted black and white. Big yellow spiders with yarns by a five-man team, Jester, Fatso, Tinkerbell, with tiny that shone like sunshine. Water spiders whose yarns bells on his shoes, a much taller Velly and Marcie who glistened like morning dew and … oh my, spiders each played a flute. All five of them were jesters and coloured as the rainbow whose yarns. The visitors knew jugglers. instantly these yarns gave them those beautiful, vivid dreams that stay with one long after waking up. Their music bade Luccia and her friends welcome to the Realm of Dreams and warned that they may stay While Luccia and the others stood watching all the no longer than seven minutes. activity Pegasus said, “Okay! Unless you want to stay here forever, we have to go now!” The five elves regrouped, forming an arch through which the visitors had to enter to the Other Side of With a promise from the orchestral team to send each Everywhere. When they had done so, Pegasus said, “The of them a dream once they were back home, they left in Dream Queen is the oldest fairy in the universe. We a hurry. haven’t much time so we will proceed directly to the dream factory.” They entered a fairly large hall but had to stop on the threshold. Great was their surprise when they realised it was actually spiders doing the work.
While Pegasus streaked through the dark blue skies, the “Just look at all the circles upon Cocky’s tail feathers,” excited friends wanted to know about their next port of added Amenothep. “Follow the path in the middle… call. which one is the middle?” asked Jade. “Well,” said Pegasus, “We are about to enter the Land of Magick.” “But isn’t this entire place a land of magic?” Mitzie asked. “Of course, but now you are taken to understand the magick of the rainbow in particular.” When the big white horse touched down again, they were met by a very old gnome. He did not look surprised at all to see them. Without much ado he told them, “Behind me is a bird for a riddle; follow the path in the middle.” “Luccia!” called Mitzie and was surprised to see the little girl standing on her toes, clapping her hands. “She knows already. How did you work it out?” he asked her.
“I used my magick powers, Mitzie,” said Luccia. “I looked into the place in-between the approximate middle of Cocky’s tail!”
“How did you know about that?” Both Amenothep and Jade was surprised. “My grandfather taught me,” laughed Luccia.
Amenothep reached out with his hand and touched the one feather Luccia had shown them. The peacock disappeared and in its place stood another gnome. He They walked around him and there, behind him, was a smiled and said, “On the river swift but kind, a four-man peacock. When Cocky the Peacock saw them he emitted boat is there to find.” a long drawn-out screech and strutted in front of the visitors, spreading his tail feathers as he turned about proudly. “A bird for a riddle… of course!” said Mitzie.
Taking off his pointed hat, he bowed to them. The peacock feather that was stuck into his hat, fell out, the quill pointing in the direction they had to follow. They found a swift-flowing, gurgling mountain stream but nowhere was there a boat to be seen. With their swift advance an eddy had sprung up and the feather taken with it, landing by the river’s edge. “Use your powers of suggestion, Amenothep,” whispered Jade who saw their means of transport in the feather.
When they were all in the feather-light boat, Pegasus gave them a shove and off they went. The boat followed the flow of the river for a while but then slowed down until it stopped completely. “We have to have oars,” said Jade wistfully as she trailed her long, slim fingers in the water. “Isn’t there anything with which we can row?” “We’ll have to use our magick powers again. Let me think,” said Mitzie.
“Peacock’s feather in green and blue, you will become While the others kept as quiet as mice, Mitzie thought a boat upon my cue!” He stopped and looked uncerdeeply. He thought how great it would be if his tainly at Pegasus. The horse, hanging above them upon thoughts were powerful enough to move the boat. his wings smiled, nodded and said, “Go on.” “It can’t be that difficult”, he thought, “because the Amenothep snapped his fingers and the feather curled boat is as light as a feather”. its sides inwards extending its quill, which changed into a rudder. The boat wiggled itself as if calling them He saw his thoughts flying out of his head and pushing and they wasted no time. the boat… Slowly at first the boat began to move but quickly picked up speed and soon they were underway Luccia, the last to climb into the boat, asked Pegaagain. sus, “Aren’t you coming?” Flying above them, Pegasus smiled with satisfaction. “No Luccia but until you reach your next stop downriver, I will not be far away. Hop in now. You don’t want to stay behind!”
With Mitzie sitting in the back thinking his thoughts of “Give her all the love that the four of you have inside power and speed, they soon entered a huge white sur- your hearts… But, before you do so I have to say face, into which the river was flowing. They had arrived goodbye.” at a frozen lake. “Are you leaving us?” They were all very disappointed. When the boat stopped, Mitzie stirred and opened his eyes. This time they were met by a very old woman. If “Well, I have to but actually I will just disintegrate. You it wasn’t for the knobbly stick she held in her gnarled see, I really have been only a figment of your and veined hand, she would have fallen over. imaginations.” “Oh!” gasped Luccia fearfully. “A witch!” She was so filled with revulsion for the ugly old woman, who had a huge wart on her chin that she nearly screamed when Pegasus landed among them. “Don’t be afraid, Luccia. This very old woman is not a witch. She is merely a person who had been cursed by evil and by hatred. Should she aspire to any powers, all of you have much more magick than she has.” “How can we break this curse?” asked Jade who herself had been the victim of such an awful thing.
“We have to release a seven-fold love upon this old auntie. But how? There are only four of us,” mused Mitzie. The others were quiet, already thinking. By now the old woman was standing hard by them and what she said gave them the solution to their problem. “You only have to release a five-fold force of love upon me. I am not allowed to tell how to do it and you have to work it out. But, I know you can do it…” Sadly her eyes looked at them and her long nose wiggled as she sniffed. “Hum, one more thing,” she said after having regarded them for a while. “I may give you a clue.” “A clue?” “Yes! Think of the colours of the rainbow, starting with the first stone in the Crystal Cave….” Then she left them, vanishing into the iced lake.
“This entire journey had been one of love - to teach us how to first give love and then reap the benefits of our giving,” He added. “The colours of the rainbow are all love-colours.” It was Jade this time who knew the most about love lost and love found. “First red, then orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and…” she continued. “The last one is violet!” quipped Luccia, the ever quiet observer of the things of nature. “Then the answer lies within the Crystal Cave,” said Mitzie again. “Luccia and myself began at the red stone. We two have to release that most passionate colour of love, which we received in the red house of the red woman.” Taking hands, they did so. Immediately a bright red ball whooshed in a wide arc and landed onto the lake of ice.
“Bam!” The ice broke and a gap appeared in the cloud “Okay, let’s work this one out,” said Mitzie. “There are cover above. A bright ray of sunlight streaked down four of us and we have passed through five of the seven onto the lake. When it touched the surface, a red beam stones in the Crystal Cave already. Five must be the cor- sprung from it and arced across the sky. rect number then. She did say a five-fold force. “Wow, did you see that?” It was Amenothep who broke the awed silence
He continued, “When I was with the Goddess of the Moonstone inside the pyramid, you two were prepared to take my soul with you on your journey. “That was sacrificial love, not so?” The others nodded and he continued, “So in return I will release this love, which has the colour of fire.” Worriedly Jade asked “Why fire, Amenothep?” “ “Because,” he answered gently, “it needs a burning flame to make a sacrifice!”
We three have to release the yellow colour of workinglove.” Their fierce concentration sent a fizz of yellow light towards the lake. Another gap opened in the cloud, which in turn caused the third colour ribbon of the rainbow to arc across the sky. Yellow. “The Valley of Jade took us to the Pink Castle where Jade was a captive. Green is the colour of growth, of plenty and of hope, whereas pink is the colour of unconditional love,” Mitzie said.
He closed his eyes and as deep furrows appeared in his forehead, a flame burst from his stomach. It formed a fiery spark that landed next to the red spot on the lake, burning through the ice. While the ice melted, a second ray of sunlight caused an orange-coloured ribbon to arc from the lake.
Having caught onto the sequence they were following, Luccia remembered the nectar they were covered with, within the Eye of the Tiger. “Amenothep, Mitzie and me received a coating of love from the stone tiger….” Remembering, Amenothep finished the sentence for her, “…that was meant to make love work for us….
Turning to Jade, he continued, “Its your turn now to release the power of your great love. This great love has grown from the hope that one day someone would love you enough to set you free.”
Closing her beautiful almond-shaped eyes, Jade did as Mitzi had bidden her. Sure enough another colour ribbon, this time a pink one edged with green, arced into the sky above the lake. Laughing shakily she blew a kiss from her hand after it.
“Since we are still inside the purple stone, the only other one that’s left is the blue one,” said Amenothep the knight of love. “Blue is the colour that protects us from negative and harmful vibrations. It also gives us the inner peace of knowing we are loved universally by all creatures great and small and we were saved by the unconditional love of Christ. Right?” When the others nodded, he continued, “Come on, then. Let us all take hands and release this last one.” Their combined effort sent a blue wave of saving love onto the lake, releasing a blue ribbon into the sky. Waving and cheering with joy, they all ran forward to the frozen lake with its five holes from which five coloured ribbons were arcing towards the sky. Arriving at the edge of the water, they were astonished to find the old woman lying on the surface. Where her head and shoulders should be, was only a huge ice cube while the five colours of the rainbow emerged from her body.
“Who is this king?” Jade asked. “He is the One who made all things. He has many sons and daughters but not all are yet free to return to their Father.” “How so?” asked Amenothep. “Well, you see, some of His children have been bound by hatred, jealousy and greed, among other things….” “Oh, like the old woman here?” Luccia could not keep quiet. “That’s right!” the little frog agreed. “But what can we do then?” asked Mitzie. “You will have to give the love our heavenly Father, the King, has for you to our Queen here.” A concerned Luccia asked, “But, but… will He then still love us? Thefrog amiled and said, “Of course He will. Please, take a short rest and really think about this last request, will you?”
All of them sat down, thinking deeply and then as if prearranged, they looked at one another, smiled and nodded their assent. Rising they stood together in a semi-circle, lif“Gosh, what do we do now?” exclaimed Mitzi. A tiny green ted their hands and sang, “We release to you, oh Queen frog peeked out from under a frozen water lily. “Come nea- royal, our Father’s love, for we are loyal children of the unirer and I will tell you,” he said. “There are two more kinds verse so wide. Receive it now upon this tide!” of love you have to release in order for our Queen to be awakened. That is, if you still want to because this time the While they had sung, the block of ice melted and the four choice is yours….” friends had another surprise! When the song was finished “Oh, but we do want to,” said Amenothep the spokesper- there sat, not the bent old woman, but a most fascinatingson of the group. How do we go about it?” The frog anly, beautiful Queen. swered, “Purple is the colour of royalty given to the sons and daughters of kings; you are in the domain of the greatest king, the King of kings, whose children you are”.
Upon her long blonde tresses of hair, many tiny sparkles of light twinkled and glowed. From her forehead and the crown of her head arced two more colours. The deep bluish purple and violet completed the rainbow’s path across the dark midnight sky. “Come, little loved ones,” she called. From all over the lake drops of water were sprouting wings, sparkling gaily in all the colours of the rainbow. They landed upon their queen, some in the crook of her arms, some on her shoulders and hands and some on her hair. Following in their wake came the frogs and crickets, the fish and birds, all converging upon their Queen royal. Calling out to the visitors she said, “Come, children of my Father!” When the four friends were standing by her, she thanked them for the love they had applied unconditionally in order to set her and her children free.
“And now,” she said, “You may continue upon your journey towards the Other Side of Midnight. Hop onto this rainbow and some of my children shall accompany you there”. “Au Revoir!” she called as they turned to go and blew them each a kiss as, one by one, they stepped onto the rainbow.
Some of the children of the Rainbow Queen were quite The King was very, very angry with them and had them familiar to Luccia. The longer she looked at them as banned to a realm of eternal darkness. Since they could they swarmed gaily around the four friends, the more no longer see, they lost their ability to fly….” she remembered them. “But what is that reddish line around their star?” Mitzie There were, Peach the Fruit Fairy; Noon the Time Fairy; asked. Emeralda the Grass Fairy; Rapid the Water Fairy; “If you look carefully you will see how that line is Roczette the Stone Fairy; Bianca the Snow Fairy and pulsating, almost as if its changing colour. Sometimes it Tiki the Tooth Fairy. is fiery red, sometimes a coppery red and then again it In a spirit of joy and festivity they set off, gliding upon glows a yellowish colour. Do you see?” the broad pathway of the rainbow. When they were at “Yes!” gasped Mitzie when he had caught on what she its highest point, Mitzie called out, “Look at that large meant. black sphere!” He pointed but Luccia said, “Where? I don’t see anything.” He turned to her and said, “Directly opposite us is a black circle with a thin reddish line around it. Do you see it?” “Well,” she continued, “that colour line is in actual fact a snake.” “A snake? But…” “It is a huge serpent burning with a glowing fire. When it burns that red colour, like now, its strong muscles are contracting. This is constricting the star and forcing all possibility of light and life from it. The time will come when the star will explode and all upon and inside it will disintegrate, the serpent included.”
Luccia searched and searched with her eyes. “Ah! Now I see it. It must be something like a fallen star or….”
“Or maybe a black hole?” Jade finished for her. Noon the Time Fairy came to their aid. “Permit me to explain, my friends. Long ago there was a group of angels who rebelled against the Great King.
”But...” “Wait Mitzie, I’ll tell you. It has to be this way because it is the penalty these rebellious ones have to pay for their disobedience to the Great King. They can never return to their erstwhile home.”
Shortly before they entered the last leg of their downward glide upon the rainbow, the Water Fairy, Rapid, called a halt.
“Before we proceed, I need to give you instructions. When you reach the end of the Rainbow you’ll find a ladder. Begin to climb it immediately for at its feet lurk great dangers. Understood?” When all four had nodded, she beckoned and on they went. The downward slide was quick and before they knew it, there was the ladder. It glimmered silvery white in front of them. Looking to its bottom they saw nothing but the inky blackness around it. Looking for its top, all they could see were the rungs stretching into a bright, violet infinity. The huge angel at the foot of the ladder grabbed each one as they jumped from the rainbow onto the ladder and swung them upward, into the next pair of willing hands. And so they ascended rung by rung, pulled up by angels who climbed up and down. At the top they were met by an old man dressed entirely in white. In his one hand he held a scroll and in the other a shepherd’s staff. Having seen them coming, he stretched out his staff towards them.
“Come here, children,” he rumbled. When they were standing by him, he blew upon them, “Pf-f-f!”
To their surprise each of them resumed his original form and size. No longer were they mere drops of water. Mitzie became a mouse again, Luccia a little girl, Amenothep and Jade an Egyptian prince and princess. “The old man spoke again, “I am the Keeper of the Gates of Heaven. I bade you enter the Other Side of Midnight. You are now in the personal domain of the Great King, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. “Welcome!”
All of them stood quietly, awed into silence.
Finally they arrived in the throne room. What they saw there could never be told to mere mortals. Suffice it to “You will now be taken directly to the King of all kings. say that the Great King was so kind, so loving, so filled You need not be afraid of Him, but remember, He is the with warm compassion that they could not but love Lord of all lords. All the kings of the universe bow the Him as well. He was, after all, their Father. knee before Him,” the man continued. Upon a sign from him, Mitzie and Luccia were shown to Luccia was so excited, she could not wait. So filled with one side of Him and the other two, to his other side. the all-pervading infinite love of the universe, she could neither stand still. Her eyes sparkled and the Turning to Amenothep and Jade first, He said, “Welrainbow aura around her glimmered. come to the Kingdom of God, oh great Pharaoh! You and your friend have been found worthy of eternal life. The old man looked at her and smiled, “You know all about Him then, Luccia. Yes?” “Only remember that you did not earn it. It was bestowed upon you by My grace alone. From now on you “Yes I do!” she clapped her hands and laughed joyful- two will stay in the Domain of Light. ly. Amenothep and Jade fell on their faces in worship He summoned two angels who were to accompany before Him. Tenderly he smiled and raised them up them. “Aku, Karo, take them straight through to the again. Throne Room.” Along the way there were many things to see and hear. The friends did not want to miss any of it but their guides merely shook their heads. “Not now,” they said. There is no time. Come, let us make haste.”
As they were taken to the place prepared for them, they said goodbye to their companions, Luccia and Mitzie. There were no tears of farewell, only joy, love and a peace that transcended all understanding. Turning to Luccia and Mitzie, the King thanked Mitzie the Field Mouse for having been a faithful emissary and link between the natural and spiritual realms. “As a token of my pleasure, I give you this pair of circles. They are rings meant to wear around your eyes to enhance your vision.” Looking at the little girl He said, “Luccia. You have desired, you have asked and you have received. “There are many more adventures prepared for you but now is not the time for them. As a token of My trust in you I give you this white stone. On the stone is written the new name I’ve chosen for you. Wear the stone upon your heart always. “And now it is time for you both to go home. Luccia, your grandfather is concerned and we do not want him to become worried, do we?” Another angel with four wings this time, was sum-moned. Forthwith he tucked the mouse and the child under his wings and took off through the heavens.
Finally there was a grassy string around her neck. When Mietah wanted to take it off, her little charge The little girl woke up with a start. Sitting upright, she firmly said, “No!” rubbed her eyes. When asked what it was, a crafty look stole into her eyes but she only shook her head, determined not to “Where am I?” she wondered, looking around there was only Mitzie sitting with her in the shade of a bush. say anything about it. “Luccia! Where are you?” It was old Mietah, Luccia’s nanny calling her charge to come home for supper. “Goodbye Luccia,” whispered Mitzie. “Bye, Mitzie. I have to run!” That night when Mietah was bathing Luccia, she merely smiled dreamily when asked about the things that spilled from the pockets of her dress: She and she alone knew about the white stone that nestled in its secret pouch among the ordinary, plaited grass threads.
A chalky grey stone, a moon-white pebble and a nondescript greenish stone. Then there was a white feather, a bundle of dusty cobwebs, another feather, that of a peacock and a yellow wilted flower in her hair.
In a state between waking and sleeping, Luccia listen- “Although we live, breathe, work and play in the real ed with her inner ear to the sound of the night outside world, we are by our nature able to move out of the the window. world of nature – the real world – and into the world of spirit. She also heard Grandpére’s deep voice saying, “We are the People of the In- Between…” “We have the second sight, that gift of vision, which includes not only the power to see distant or future The little girl curled her fingers through the long events, but also to see viewless forms of air.” white strands of Grandpére’s beard, rubbing their silkiness between her fingers. Drowsily she asked, He stopped talking upon hearing her deep breathing, “What is the In- Between?” which told him she was asleep. But the tiny fingers pulled his beard and she whispered, “Tell it easier, Surprised, the old man looked down to the child on Grandfather!” his lap and asked, “Do you really want to know?” and wondered if he should impart this knowledge to her “Uhm!” he said. now. But as she opened her eyes, dark blue and glittering with that tell-tale inner fire he knew so well, Upon seeing her tiny smile, he knew that, although he realised that she was ready to receive the knowshe seemed to be sleeping, her spirit machine was ledge. active and recording every word she was hearing. “The In- Between is a place between two worlds. It exists between the world of true spirit and the world of true reality. “We, as the People of the In- Between, exist in this place spiritually because our nature has made us able to so exist. “The In-Between is a secret place,” he began again. “On the beach you’ll find it in-between the wet sand and the waves breaking on the shore. Or in the woods you’ll find it between the drops of dew and the surface of the leaves. In the sky it lies between the light of day and the light of the eye.”
Questing with his spirit he stopped talking and looked down at her again. The moving fingers in his beard told him to continue. “With our spirit we are able to move around freely in this world and from this world into the true spirit world or back into our own world of nature. “The creatures with which we share our own world the creatures, not the humans - all have our abilities in a greater or lesser degree, depending on their kind. “That is why we, the People of the In-Between, can communicate with the beasts of the field, the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, the trees of the forest, rocks of the mountains, stones, ll the plants and with the creatures we cannot see with our natural eyes. “That’s not all. We can also communicate with the winds, the waters, the rain, the light and the darkness, the lightning and the thunder, the stillness of the deserts and its endless stretches of nothing. And we can communicate with time and times…” Again Grandpére stopped talking, yawned and this time said firmly, “Now its really time for bed.
You and me will have to rest now until another day!”
The next morning Luccia was not her usual self at all. “What’s your name?” At breakfast time she was nowhere to be found in spite of the choclate muffins Mieta had promised to ma- “My name is Speedy,” the snail answered and had to ke for her. smile when the child suddenly started giggling. Her laughter sounded like the tinkling of silver bells. Grandpére had to calm the old Nanny, for he knew with what the child was busy. All he said was, “Leave “Hello Speed… hie-hie… Speedy!” she finally greeted her be, Mieta. She will come home to us when she is him. I’m sorry for laughing but you know, for a slow ready.” snail, you sure have a funny name!”
At that moment Luccia was walking through the gar- “I know,” he answered, “but its an apt name if you den, which looked ethereal in its early morning beau- consider what kind of work I’m doing.” ty. Talking to herself, she said, “…..Communicate with time…? With times…? I wonder how? What did “And what could that be?” she wondered. Grandpére mean? Oh… I wish I was old enough to understand all this!” “I’m a Time-Conveyor,” he answered proudly. “Luccia, you are old enough!” a voice said suddenly. Looking around, the little girl saw no one.
“Here, Luccia! I’m at your feet.” The voice said again. Looking down this time, she saw a snail peeping out of his shell and waggling his feelers to attract her attention. “Oh, you cute little thing!” Luccia crooned as she squatted down at the spot where the snail was.
“A Time-Conveyor! What is that?”
“Let me explain,” he said. “But you have to listen very carefully. Okay?” When she merely nodded, he began, “Because I’m so slow and slimy, its easy for me to glide between two time zones. And because I have this shell on my back, it protects my body from the explosion that happens when someone or something moves from one time zone to another…”
“An explosion like as in BANG?” Luccia asked “Yes. No matter how small the creature or the being that moves in or out, an explosion has to happen due to the friction of movement when one time moves upon another time. The bang occurs when the energy caused by the friction, is so powerful that it heats up and explodes. “We call it the Fire of time travel. Now I, as a Time Conveyor, has actually two jobs. With the one I carry a passenger on my back from one time zone to another. With the other job I carry fragments of time from one zone to another.” “I can understand the carrying but what are fragments of time?” asked Luccia. “They are like memories. In the same way that you have memories stored up in your subconscious, I store up memories of the time zones I have left behind. I absorb them into my body, which consists mainly of slimy water.” “And what do you do with these ‘memories’?” “I have to take you from one time zone to another in order for you to understand all this, Luccia. Yes?”
“Oh! Yes, of course.” She said and clapped her hands with joy. “Can we do so now?” “Oh no, not immediately. I first have to get permission to take you.” “Permission from whom? My grandfather?” “No, silly. Permission from the Forest Queen.” .
“Come, Luccia…” Luccia stood stock still, saying to herself, “I know this voice. Its…. its…. its Mitzi!”  She squeeled with delight as she felt the gold-tipped whiskers of Mitzi the Field Mouse tickling her toes. “Oh, Mitzi! I’m so happy to see you again.” “So am I, Luccia. But come. Time is short and we have to go and meet the Forest Queen. Let me hop onto your shoulder, so I can direct you.” “Why do everyone always say, ‘Time is short’?” asked Luccia.
“You mean Mister Speedy? Oh he left us to travel through time so that he can meet us at the Forest Queen when we arrive there.” “Why did he have to do that?” “Because he is so very slow in this now-time.” The little girl and the mouse proceeded through the forest, which was in reality the denser part of the huge garden where she, her grandfather and Mieta her nanny, were staying. “I wonder what we will see at the Forest Queen,” said Luccia after a short silence. “Do you know, Mitzi?”
“Well, its true, you know. Time as a human knows it, “Not really, Luccia because each creature, be they huis always short. That is where we are at this moment – man, animal or spirit, experience her in different in the present of time….” ways.” “The now?” “Correct!” the mouse said, as he pointed forward. “Let’s go then” she said but kept standing. Looking around on the ground as if searching for something, she asked, “But where is the snail?”
“Have you been with her before?” asked Luccia surprised. “Yes, I’ve been there many times and have since become a kind of messenger to her.” “Oh, I’m sure its because you’ve been dipped in gold by the Great One that time when we were on the Other Side of Midnight.” But Mitzi only smiled. With this little chatterbox, he knew, it is not always necessary to answer. “Mitzi, do you remember Billy? I wonder what happened to him. Maybe he was also ‘only a figment of our imagination” as the Son of Pegasus said of himself.” As the two friends arrived at the lake, which was still partly hidden behind the early Mists of Dawn, there was a slight movement by the water’s edge. Their attention immediately switched to the reeds at the water’s edge. A small rustle announced the gentle approach of yet another old friend. “Bonjour, Luccia!”
“ Simoné !”  Luccia could not believe her eyes, when the mysterious Simoné stepped out of the water and padded right up to her and Mitzi. Squinting, she looked intently at the great white swan who was surrounded by the Mists of Dawn clinging to her like children clutching their mother’s skirts. “Is it really Simoné?” she wondered. “It must be,” she told herself firmly. ”Simoné is always so mysterious and now even more so among the misty children….” Simoné, who could read Luccia’s thoughts, laughed throatily and said, “Yes, Luccia. It really is me. Come, you and Mitzi are in for another ride on my back.” After the two friends have boarded their transport, Simone said, “Don’t worry that you’ll fall off. The Mists of Dawn, my children, will hold you.” Wide-eyed Luccia and Mitzi looked at one another and gripped hands as the veils of cold, white mist wound themselves around the passengers, binding then fast to Simoné’s back.
With a kick of her two flat feet, Simone shot away from the water’s edge. But then she slowed down and glided dreamily upon the deep, dark, mistshrouded waters.
“I am,” said the child, “but… but the Mists… they are so cold!” “They only feel cold because you are afraid, Luccia. Let go of your fear and relax, child. The Mists are your friends,”
She moved forward gently on shadowy patches and on sun-splashed patches of water, lulling her passengers into a kind of waking dream. “I’ll try,” she said bravely. Luccia, who didn’t sleep much the night before, became drowsy. Sleepily she asked, “Why are we moving so slowly?” “Because we are in the zone where time doesn’t matter,” answered Simoné. “In human language, it’s a zone where ‘time stands still’.”
After a while, Simone asked, “Better now?” The tiny sound of “Mm,” assured her of the child’s acquiescence. Then she continued her lesson on TIME. “We are in a zone where the forces of time allow us the speed, it alone can dictate. I want you to enjoy your ride and learn from the experience. We will meet the Queen at the appointed hour.”
“But shouldn’t we hurry up because the Forest Queen is waiting for us?”
“We are going as fast as we can,” answered the swan again.
“Okay,” answered Luccia as her head fell against Mitzi, who was already fast asleep and snoring. (He had grown to become as big as Luccia or could it be that “But surely, Simoné, you can swim faster than this?” she became smaller?) “Yes Luccia, I can… but are you not enjoying the ride?” “Just like a man,” she thought but nonetheless snuggled closer against his warm furry body.
“Avé Luccia! Welcome to the domain of the Forest Queen!” Rubbing her eyes, Luccia sat upright. With delight she uttered a little squeek as a court page bowed before her. She had to bend down in order to receive something from him because he was rather small: a black and white-striped frog. The frog extended the scroll in his hand towards the little girl and when her fingers touched it, she shrank to become as small as the frog himself. “Oh!” was all Luccia said. She took the scroll, unrolled it and read out loud, “Luccia, Daughter of the Wise One, Child of the InBetween. Welcome in the Kingdom of Time…” The scroll was signed with a scrawl that resembled a cross topped with a star. When the page saw that she had finished reading, he said, “Please, will you follow me?” Luccia nodded, looked back once towards the lake where Simoné was paddling quietly.
Nodding again, she whispered, “Mitzi?” The page said, “The mouse will not accompany you this time.” “But, but… I do not know any of you!” stuttered the child. “Yes, you do Luccia. Bzzz!” “Ah, Billy!” cried Luccia and immediately felt better and very glad to meet yet another old friend.  “Its okay, Luccia. I’ll come with you. Don’t be afraid. These frogs are the foot soldiers of the Forest Queen and they have been sent to protect you.”
“Okay,” said Luccia. “But Billy, do I have to hop like a frog as well?” “No, Luccia,” laughed Billy. “Its not necessary. I think they can hop faster than you can walk. Shall we go?”
She had no hair but her head was covered by something like moss while two rather long antennae extended above her head. Her crown was colored with the brown of the soil, dark blue of the midnight sky, the red of fire, yellow of the wind and blue of the waters.
And through the forest they went, further and further away from the lake lying dreamily amidst patch- The Queen lifted her hand and beckoned her page to es of shadow and patches of light. approach. The black-and-white frog hopped right up to the throne, onto the Queens’s feet and then into After some short seconds, which felt like hours, the her lap. His throat muscles pumped like bellows as contingency of hopping soldiers surrounding the little he croaked, “Child of the In-Between to see you, your girl with the honey bee on her shoulder, came to a Majesty!” standstill at a large circular clearing in the woods. By gently brushing the tiny frog from her lap, the In the middle of the clearing was a kind of chair that Queen dismissed her page. Looking up then, she could be a throne, but the child was not certain. The greeted Luccia, “By the vastness of the Sky, the depth chair was only partly visible, being surrounded by of the Waters, the splendor of Fire and the stability clinging vines and enshrouded by more mists, which of the Earth, come to me!” were called Wraiths of the Forest. On the throne sat a beautiful woman, whom Luccia presumed to be the Forest Queen. She was clothed in raiment that looked like the feathers of birds, fern leaves, lily petals, silky butterfly wings and her feet were shod with something like tree bark.
Immediately Luccia found herself drawn into another world. She actually experienced the vastness of the sky, the depth of the waters, the heat of flames and the firmness of the soil. This new, other mini world was held apart from the real one by a very strong substance that could have been a mirror or sheet of pure white light. “Wow!” exclaimed the child. “I’ve always seen these walls of light around me but now I’m within them!” “Yes, Luccia. You are now in the Kingdom of Time. Welcome!”
“The Kingdom of Time? But I thought…..”
Let us proceed to the banqueting hall first. A small child like you must be hungry by now. After you’ve eaten, I’ll explain it all to you.” Feeling rather hungry, Luccia was very glad to be offered a repast by the Forest Queen.
The dishes put before Luccia could only be described as food fit for angels. “Luccia, I would advise that you eat the food in the sequence that the dishes are offered you. Don’t eat too much of each dish, so that you will not become too strong, too fast. Agreed?” said the Queen and laughed as she saw the wide-eyed wonder on Luccia’s face. The various dishes were covered and arrived on a round flat disk in front of Luccia. The first dish contained fluffy stuff that looked like cotton balls ranging in pastel hues of blues, pinks, purples and white. It tasted like rainwater and Luccia was rather disappointed.
“Let me show you,” said the Queen as she calmly put her hand palm up into the bowl. The flames hopped into her cupped palm and had to stay there because the fingers were closed over them. ”Don’t they burn?” asked Luccia. “No,” said the Queen and smiled. “They cannot burn me because I’ve shown them who is their master…”
“Its because you are a queen!”
“No, its because I’ve shown them that I’m not afraid of them. Now, do exactly as I did and do it quick.”
Luccia followed the queen’s example and was quite surprised to realize the truth of what she has been The Queen only smiled and when she knew that Luccia told. The flames could not burn her because she mashad had enough, she lightly touched the wheel that tered them. contained the bowls. It turned anti-clockwise to bring the next dish in front of the guest. As she opened her fingers again, upon the queen’s cue, there lay an egg in the hollow of her hand. The egg was This dish consisted of “baby” flames going this way and colored red, yellow and orange and was as large as the that in the bowl. The child who had her fingers stretch- eggs of a dove and as speckled. ed out, quickly pulled them back with a sharp intake of breath. “Ooh !”
She looked at the queen, who nodded and both popped their eggs into their mouths. “Mmm!” Luccia smacked her lips and, human child that she was, stretched out her hand for another fireegg. But the queen warned, “One is enough!”
With the third glass in her hand she said, “From the River’s muddy water, into the sea at first quarter.” “Very, very good!” said the queen again. Not even hearing her, Luccia took up the fourth glass and said, “Green and blue of waters wide ever-changing on the ocean’s tide.”
When the next dish appeared, Luccia had already forgotten about the fire-egg. In front of her stood four Having finally slaked her thirst from all four glasses, glasses. The liquid in the first glass was as clear as wa- Luccia looked at the queen and said sleepily, “Do I hater, the second one was almost blue-white, the third ve to eat more?” one muddy and the last one, sea-green. “So you do remember there’s another dish waiting for “You have to drink from all of them in the sequence you, eh?” by which they have come to you. In other words, start with the first one on your left.” “Yes I do, but… I really have had enough.”
In answer, Luccia said, “As clear as the rain falling from the sky, to me be gain.”
“Very good. I’m pleased for already you are following the spiritual pathways indicated by the Air-puffs and the Fire-eggs. Please continue.”
“I know. But you have to finish off the meal with this last dish. I promise you its delicious.”
Touching the wheel, it turned anti-clockwise again. The dish that was uncovered was brownish of color and flecked with different shades of green. Luccia sat forward, sniffed and said, “Mmm, it smells like chocoLuccia sipped demurely and when she had swallowed, late ice cream and…” took the second glass in her hand. She looked at its contents and said, “Blue-blue waters from the keep of the fountains in the deep…”
“Only one spoonful, which I will top up with somthing of my own,” warned the queen again. Luccia took a small spoonful of the substance onto her plate. The queen smiled, add some more and then from a tiny alabaster box, poured out an oily liquid over the helping on Luccia’s plate. Swallowing a mouthful,
Luccia closed her eyes, inhaled deeply and said, “Words I’ve found for now to say a blessing over the feast of today: To every living creature with every kind of feature; to all that’s greenly grown and into the earth was sown….”
Delighted the queen clapped her hands. A page appeared and, pointing at the child, the queen arose from her settee. The sleeping Luccia was covered with a gossamer-sheer shawl. Looking at her, the queen whispered, “Rest for now, little one. Soon your transport will be here to take you to the time zones over which the Elements reign supreme.”
When Luccia woke up, she was already in motion. Ly“Correct.” He answered. ing on her stomach, she tried to turn around but found herself unable to do so. “Where are we going, then?” “What’s happening? I can’t move!” “We are going to another time zone. In fact, we are just about to pass out of this time zone, the Present.
“Its okay, Luccia. Don’t be afraid,” said a voice beneath her. “Please, Luccia, press your body as tight as possible into mine as I retract into my shell. Otherwise we will not Fully alert now, Luccia wondered at the voice. “The bed both fit into the shell….” I’m lying on is talking!” she told herself. Luccia did as he said and upon his “now!” she experienThe voice spoke again, “Luccia, have you forgotten me ced a sudden darkness around her. Immediately there so soon? I’m Speedy the Snail.” was a loud BANG!. Because she now knew what it meant, there was no fear. “No-o Speedy, I haven’t forgotten you. But why are you speaking from underneath me?” After a short while Speedy said, “Okay, we can emerge again.” “I’m not under you. You are absorbed within me…” They did so together and when fully outside the shell, Before she could say anything, he continued quickly, Luccia was mesmerized. “It has to be for your own protection, Luccia. So don’t you dare say, ‘YUK!” Luccia giggled. “I remember when we first met, you spoke about a BANG. I suppose its from that, that I am to be protected?”
The world around her was ethereal and dream-like. There was no real substance of anything beneath, around and above them. Even Speedy seemed to be moving faster. While she was wondering about it, Speedy said, “We are now in the Zone of the In-Between.” “Oh! That is what Grandpére told me about last night.” “Yes, and that is why you’ve come today to the realm of the Forest Queen.” “Are you saying it was pre-ordained?”
The In-Between lies between the zones and around, beneath and above them. In fact it stretches right into the Infinite itself!” Luccia was awed and asked, “Are we going into the Infinite as well?”
“Goodness, no!” answered Speedy. “Neither you nor I have been prepared for that yet. No, Luccia we are staying within this semi-present zone of the In-Between
“I’m taking you to the Old Man of the Mountain. His name is Old Man Emu…” “I know about him,” said Luccia. “Really? How?” asked the snail.
“Of course it was. You, as a Child of the In-Between has been summoned to experience the secrets of the In-Between.”
“But what does the In-Between have to do with time?” “The In-Between is the causeway between Time and Times, between Times and Half-a-time and again between Half-a-time and the Infinite. Everytime you travel out of one time zone, you land in the In-Between before entering the next time zone.
“I’ve read about him in Grandpére’s books and….”
“Can you read the language of the In-Between? You are still a little girl and you can read that?” “Tj! No silly, I read with my spirit!” Speedy did not answer immediately. After a few moments her said, “Sorry, Luccia. I’ve forgotten. Your grandfather is a Wise One.” “So?” “So you see, I was wondering about the books you have read. But the fact that he is a Wise One, explains it to me. Those books of his must be the Books of Wisdom.” “They are. But there are others as well. The Book of Magick, the Book of Healing, the Book of Runes.” “Have you read them all?” “No. Some of them are rather boring and in some I’ve only looked at the pictures…” “Ouch!” she yelled suddenly. “What’s happening now!?”
“Sorry Luccia. I should have warned you. Because the air around us is drier than in the forest, you have been loosened from me. But since you are as small as me we can still travel together.”
The two friends set off again towards the mountain. Suddenly there was a loud rumble. Looking upwards, they saw a plume of smoke shooting into the air from the top of the mountain. “Speedy, what could that be? Asked Luccia. “Oh, oh! Old Man Emu is impatient today. We’ll have to find a way to reach him quicker, Luccia.” “How will we reach the mountain if we travel at your pace?”
Luccia obeyed and closed her eyes. She pictured a Fish Eagle in her mind’s eye and concentrated on that eagle. She saw him flying towards them and come to rest right in front of them both. Having picked up the vibrating energy of her thoughts, Speedy concentrated on the same eagle. After a few moments he said, “There we are!”
By way of answer, Speedy said, “I have a plan. Close your eyes and concentrate on a strong and swift bird…”
She didn’t do as he said immediately but stared at the snail as if he was demented. “Quickly now, do as I have said!”
Opening her eyes, Luccia wasn’t in the least surprised to see Klaus the Fish Eagle landing in front of them. “Gegrüsst Luccia, Speedy!” said Klaus. “Come! Quickly onto my back. Old Man Emu is waiting!”
“Hop on then,” said the bird. “I can only go after I’ve seen Luccia safe to Old Man Emu,” answered Speedy. “The yet is now and you’ve done your part,” said a deep rumbling voice above them. All three visitors looked up. Above them towered an old man. He was so tall and so thin that Luccia thought he could easily break in two. She looked at her two companions to gauge their reaction but they, being used to the old man, only greeted him respectfully, each in his own way.
Agile like a monkey, Luccia scrambled onto the broad back of the eagle but poor Speedy had a problem.
“Help me Klaus,” he panted after his second try.
Bending his strong neck, Klaus picked the snail up with his beak. Swiftly he took off and soon they were high up in the air. With his strong wings propelling himself and his two passengers forward and upwards, it did not take long before they reached the top of the mountain. “Good day, Old Man Emu,” they said. Upon coming to a halt, Klaus gently put the snail down “Good day to you, onto a flat rock, while the child glided down from his my friends.” shoulders. “There. You are safe and sound. Ja?” Klaus said with satisfaction. “Thank you so very, very much Klaus!” cried Luccia. “I’ll be off then,” said the huge bird but stopped when Speedy spoke quickly, “Wait please, Klaus. Don’t go without me. I too have to go back!”
“Thankyou for bringing the In-Between’s Child to me. Have no fear Speedy, I’ll take good care of her, protect her and teach her well….”
“Come!” the old man commanded.
But Luccia stood as still as a mouse. Who was this tall and thin old man with his fiery flowing beard and his When they still did not leave, he said, “You may go with red-rimmed eyes? Klaus, Speedy. In due time I myself will see Luccia back to the gateway where you came through.” When he had perceived that the child was not following him, the old man stopped walking and looked back to Upon these words, Klaus picked Speedy up again with her. He saw the fear and distrust written on her face. his beak and flew off. He clicked his fingers and softly said, “To me!” Being within the Aura of the Mountain, Luccia had grown again to her normal size.
Within seconds a whole swarm of red bishop finches was flying around the old man and the little girl. Two parted from the swarm and landed each on one of Luccia’s shoulders. Feeling the slight touch of the birds, Luccia tensed her body. But then Honey, one of the birds chirped, “Don’t be afraid, dearest Luccia. My name is Honey and my partner on your other shoulder is called Birdie. We live on this mountain and are the messengers and companions of Old Man Emu…”
“Of course not and I wasn’t afraid at all!” she answered and laughed with them. Just then a puff of cold wind came over the trio and Honey, who saw Luccia shivering, said, “Let us go, Birdie. Its becoming rather cool here in the open. I’m sure Luccia would feel more comfortable in Inside.” “Yes, lets do,” he answered and to Luccia he said, “There’s a surprise waiting for you… You like surprises, don’t you?”
“Yes, Luccia,” interjected Birdie. “And you must please “Oh yes!” cried the little girl and clapped her hands. not be afraid of him.” Stuttering a little, Luccia could only say, “O – okay…” for she was by this time more than a little overcome by the turn of events. “But, but what has happened to him. Since you have come he has totally vanished!” Fluttering their wings with merriment, they chirped, “No, he has not vanished. He saw your fear of him, called us to calm you and went on ahead of us. You’re not afraid any more, are you?”
When Honey and Birdie finally brought the child into Inside, Old Man Emu was waiting for them. And he was totally changed. No longer did Luccia see a tall thin red-bearded giant but a gentle, soft-spoken old man with a silky, long red beard speckled with white. His eyes were no longer red-rimmed but their dark blue irises sparkled the message of a friendly welcome. His hair was neatly combed and glimmered redgold in the light of the fire burning in a corner of the huge hall.
“Child of the In-Between! You are now within the Golden Aura of the Sun. This aura is a realm of which I am the king. My name is Su… If you bend a little forward, you will see me talking to you from a portal of my palace.” Luccia did as she was told and saw him waving at her. She took a step forward and then! She started falling until... “Splash!”
“Allô, Luccia! Welcome on my Mountain and welcome into Inside”, he said. His voice, although still deep Luccia landed on her backside within a puddle of goland booming, no longer sounded so sharp and den light, right in front of king Su. brassy.
Demurely Luccia made a little “knicks” in answer to his welcome. She took a step nearer to this imposing person but then had to stop in surprise!
The old man has vanished. Again! And the Finches! “Now they are really all gone,” she said to herself. But before she could become afraid, she was enveloped in light. A clean, pure, golden sphere of light, from which yet another voice spoke.
By this time Luccia was so confused with all the sud“How can the sun be inside the Mountain? What hapden vanishing and appearing of people, birds and ani- pened to Old Man Emu of the fire mountain? ….. and mals, that she could not even utter the indignant the birds….and Klaus and Speedy………? “Ouch!” that was on the tip of her tongue. “Woa!” laughed king Su. “You are just like my young King Su bent down and picked the little girl up in his son, who used to ask all his questions in one breath. strong arms. “You poor little thing,” he murmured. “I’ll explain… “You look so lost and ….thirsty. Yes, that is it. Thirsty! Yes?” he asked her. “From the domain of the Forest Queen, you were taken through a time-zone barrier into a corridor causeShe nodded and smiled. way, as the snail called it. This corridor between the time zones are called the In-Between. Within the “Thirst of the body we can remedy immediately,” he sphere of the In-Between you were taken to the Moun said and snapped his fingers. While they waited for tain (the fire mountain), where Old Man Emu lives. He the page to return with something to drink for them is the Guardian of the Element of Fire.” both, Su continued, “But thirst of the spirit we will remedy shortly. “King Su, what has the Element of Fire to do with a Time Zone?” “You came to the Mountain and into Inside for knowledge and knowledge you will have.” The king was surprised with her question. He did not reckon with her sharp little mind and it took him a few When they had both slaked their thirst, king Su went seconds before he could answer. to sit by the open portal with the child on his lap. “Do you remember Speedy telling you about time, ti“Any questions, Luccia?” the king asked, because he mes, half-a-time and the Infinite?” had seen the I-need-to-ask-a-question look in her eyes.
When she had nodded, he continued “TIME is the zone of the present, as you Earthlings know it. TIMES is the zone of the elements and it breaks up in Timesgone-by, Times-that-is and Times-to-come. HALF-ATIME is the zone that we call the Crossover from Time to the Infinite…. Its like a bridge, a very short bridge…” “If the In-Between is a corridor between the zones, it can eventually lead me to the Infinite. Right? So why do I have to learn about the elements in order to reach the Infinite?” “You have to understand the powers of the Elements and how they can either strengthen or weaken you…” “But I’ve been there!” Luccia exclaimed. “Its called the Other Side of Midnight!”  Upon hearing that name again, king Su smiled. He remembered the time when his sister, Queen Mu of the kingdom of the Moon, laid out a travel-plan for some of humankind who had been chosen to follow the hidden pathway to the The Other Side of Midnight. His smile broadened as he also remembered when this little girl and her mouse friend was taken before the Great One in the Throne Room with all the angels, saints, wise men and spirits. 
To the child he merely said, “You need much more strength, wisdom, understanding and purity for you to really enter the Infinite and to stay there for ever.” “Really? She said. “Is that why Speedy had said that neither one of us have been prepared for it yet?” “Yes, that’s it, “ the king answered. King Su, the Heart of Fire, needed a few moments alone to plan on how to convey the knowledge of the Element of Fire, to Luccia. He looked down at her and asked, “Would you like to rest a bit?” When she nodded, he called another page to him and said, “Take our little guest to Lukka the Star-Shiner!”
After a while, Luccia was summoned again before King Su, who bade her to sit comfortably for he had a story to tell her. “Luccia, before I begin, I want to know if you have any questions?”
“Lucifer was very handsome and had the most beautiful voice. But because of his beauty, Lucifer was also very proud and not satisfied with his place in the music room He set out to create for himself a following in the heavens. When certain that those whom he recruited would “Yes,” said Luccia. “King Su, what does Element mean?” accord him enough honour and ovation to support his rebellion, he began to brag among those who stayed “God created the elements to serve life on earth and in loyal to the King. the universe. An element is matter but it also is the source of that which it represents. Just so would the Ele- “His bragging reached the King’s ears and there was ment of Fire represent all that which you and me would great wrath in the heavens. The King had no mercy for expect from fire – light, heat and energy or movement. him to whom he had accorded so much glory and honOkay?” our. The little girl nodded that she understood and he continued, “Now, in order for you to understand the Element of Fire better, I have to tell you a story first. Will you sit quietly and listen? This is the story of the beginning of everything, the beginning of life.  “There was a great and almighty King whose name was Love. His realm consisted of the entire universe. He had two sons called Truth and Life, who helped him with his work of creation. Apart from his own sons, there were others who served him as messengers, soldiers, singers, guards, and music makers. The King loved music and whenever he had time, he would sit quietly in the throne room and listen to the music makers. One of these was called Lucifer, meaning Morning Star.
“Lucifer was judged immediately and relieved from his post forthwith. Together with his consorts, he was banned from the heavens altogether. There was only one place for them to go and that was Earth. “Because of Lucifer’s doing, the wrath of King Love came down upon the earth in the from of fire.
And so was the Element of Fire changed from something good to serve life, to something evil to serve death and destruction…” He stopped talking when he saw Luccia’s fear. Gently he said, “There is nothing to be afraid of - especially for you as a Child of the In-between. Let me finish the story and you will see why you need not be afraid….
“Lucifer became black and ugly, a creature of Darkness. Flying up and down, he found out that Force of Gravity was appointed to prevent his re-entering the heavenly realms. Enraged he established his headquarters in Sheol, Place of Eternal Darkness and for himself he took the title King of Babel”. “Why did he plan it all so meticulously?” asked Luccia.
“From now on he had to move about on his belly like the snake he wanted to be, eating dust. Satan succeeded in bringing a curse upon the earth which lasted for five thousand years. It had its effect upon man, upon beast and upon all living things. “When all of Creation and especially Earth’s children were groaning under the heavy burden of this curse, King Love truly and finally felt sorry for them. He made another de“Because he wanted to destroy all which the King of the cree and said, ‘I will send my Son Truth to Earth to save my Universe had made beautiful, good and pleasing to himself. Earth Children who were made in our likeness. He wanted to avenge himself upon God Almighty and his Sons, for banning the mighty Angel of Light from their col- “Prince Truth came forth upon earth having been born like lective presence! any other human child and was called Yeshuwa. When “The King decided to extend his kingdom. On one planet thirty years old, Prince Truth was murdered by the people out of the zillions of planets and stars, called Earth, he first he had come to save from the curse. Of course the one created light, then water and from these two, together really responsible for this was Satan, who directed not only with the dust of Earth, he made Life. Then he made human his death but also the manner by which it was done. beings, male and female and desired that they should bear Yeshûwa was nailed hands and feet to a wooden cross and his own image. left to hang there until he was dead. “The King of Babel silently observed all this from afar and then set out to have a closer look. He did not show himself “After a lot of his blood had dripped onto the earth, Yeto the humans for he was too ugly. When he realized how shûwa died and Satan thought that he had won. But he innocent the man and his wife were, he knew what to do. was mistaken because all that happened was planned by He changed himself into a snake and had his way with the King Love to save Earth from the curse. Yeshuwa took the two humans. curse upon himself and became the scapegoat. In this act “Once again King Love’s wrath exploded. His verdict upon of obedience to the will of his Father, he had saved his the transgressors was twofold: the man and his wife were earthly brothers and sisters. banned from the beautiful garden where they lived. The King of Babel received the name Satan and King Love removed from him any ability he still had to fly.
“Satan and his cohorts did not know this and so when Yeshûwa died, his entire kingdom down there in Sheoul made merry. A great feast was held in honour of Satan, king of Babel. What they did not realize was that, when Yeshûwa died, a mighty quake occurred in the depths of Earth. This opened the way for Prince Truth to descend upon his path of victory to the underground home of Satan. “For three days and three nights he single-handedly fought the forces of evil. When he was done with them, the rocks down there shifted again and the tunnel leading to Sheoul, was closed. While Prince Truth had bound the dragon down under, the heavenly warriors had fought the battle in the skies. As the Son of God Prince Truth, now called Christ, emerged and appeared in the heavenly realms, the angels rejoiced and heavenly warriors saluted him. They shouted and cheered as their arch-enemy was brought forth and made an open spectacle of. “All the ugliness of the disobedience of mankind, its sins and transgressions, which Yeshûwa had taken upon himself were now firmly embedded upon the evil one. It clung to him like thick black scales while an awful stench emanated from his entire being. A dragon was he now truly! “Thus did Yeshûwa become Christ the Saviour to all his brothers and sisters dwelling upon Earth. He conquered sin, death and hell. He also conquered the Element of Fire and through this fire had the Dragon been exposed by Prince Truth, the Son of King Love, Ruler of the Universe.
“Prince Truth the Conqueror ascended into the realm of his Father there to sit in all his regal splendour and glory at the right hand of King Love. As Christ, Prince Truth was adamant to recover all who were apparently lost and overcome by the wiles of Satan. In order to do so he was not prepared to sit down and wait for them. No, he had made a plan. He sent his brother, Prince Life, to Earth. “Prince Life was very powerful and he had the Seven-fold Heavenly Legion at his beck and call. He used them wisely and distributed them evenly among the children of his Father. In this he was aided by the Enlightened Ones, the People of the In-Between, among the Children of Earth.”
“Any questions, Luccia?” asked King Su when he saw her Safely upon Klaus’s broad back, she only had time to washining eyes. “Oh yes, King Su. Are you also going to tell ve her two little friends goodbye before Klaus warned, me the how of that last part?” “Hold on tight; here we go!” “The what? Oh, you mean the aid given by the Enlightened Ones?” She nodded her head vigorously but king Su only shook his head in the negative. “Luccia, that is a story for later when you are a bit older and a more able Person of the Inbetween. But, you will be told, have no fear, only not yet. .. Okay?” Before Luccia could answer by pleading with him to reconsider, she found herself back at the fire burning in the huge hall belonging to Old Man Emu. “Allô, Luccia!” He boomed. “Welcome back in the Land of Waking-Up. Did you enjoy your beauty sleep?” He asked and winked at her. “Yes, thank you.” she said, opened her mouth to ask about king Su but decided to let it pass. Everything that’s been happening to her this day so far had been very strange, to say the least. “Good!” Old Man Emu answered. “Now that you have rested, it is time for you to be taken to your next appoinment. “Birdie, Honey!” he called and when the two little finches appeared, he told them to take Luccia to Outside where her transport would be waiting for her.
Klaus landed on a beach where he and Luccia were met by a very tall and strong black man, who was wearing a tattered leather hose. “Bon jour, Luccia!” he said. “My name is Bozo and I am the Keeper of the Element of Water. Welcome at my domain. And thank you, Klaus, for bringing Luccia to me. Do not fear for she will be perfectly safe with me.”
Taking the child’s hand, Bozo made her sit down with him on a huge boulder. “Luccia,“ he said, “Here at my domain, the Great One, Creator of the Universe, is today challenging us as Children of the In-Between, to expand our horizons; to see him as God. “We are but humble creatures and form only a small part of the Mystery of Creation. As you and I step into the Element of Water, we will be lead to a deeper acceptance of things we barely can understand. All of it is and will always be a mystery to us. The message to us, but especially to you, is to change your way of seeing all that God had made. “By saying Creation is good, you’ll come to understand that the Great One has a real purpose in creating things even the things of the In-Between. All things are created first and foremost to give praise to Him and then only, to enrich our lives….” Luccia gazed with awe and wonder at this big black friendly giant of a man talking to her. He had strange markings on his forehead and wrists, which intrigued her mightily.
But before she could ask him about it, he continued his narration, “The natural world leads us to find the spiritual. So, let us proceed from the natural world to the spiritual, to learn of the inbetween places. We are a people equipped to be taken into the middle distances of time and movement. We are the people of tomorrow, the People of the In-Between.” It was when he said the word equipped, that Bozo showed her his forehead and wrists. “Come nearer to me so that you can feel the marks on my forehead and wrists. These marks are words of promise, which our Creator have given us.” Soft as a feather the touch of her tiny fingers, Luccia traced the outline of the rune containing the promise written on Bozo’s skin. With her inner mind she read, “Listen, I give you authority to walk on snakes and scorpions and overcome all the power of the enemy. Nothing will hurt you”.  “Luccia,” Bozo admonished, “Our journey will have two parts. With the first part, we will enter the ocean, which I’m sure you will enjoy very much… but it is really with the second part that you will come to understand the meaning of the runes written on my forehead and wrists….”
With one accord, the big man and the small child enter- Our lives are but a song and the reason for our singing is ed the depths of the realms of the Inbetween. Quietly to praise him. Come all and join in the Dance of Creathey floated down to the space between high tide and tion.“ low tide in the solitude of the Bay of Pelicans. Dissolving into amorphous shapes, the outlines of the A great white bird saluted them, saying, “It is time. We vision slowly receded into liquid gold and then was goare awaiting the Great One.” Rosy-hued flamingoes ne. When Luccia came to herself again, they were at the wiggling their thin stalklike legs called, “Come! Come, edge of a broad river. for it is time….” Dancing a symphony in the air, the terns and gulls invited them joyfully, “Come, for it is time…” Whispering their love, two dolphins appeared to take them for a ride upon their gleaming flanks. Joyfully Luccia laughed with Bozo and then asked, “Where are we going?” Whistling a tune of the ocean’s melodies, the dolphins answered, “To the Crystal Garden on the ocean floor.” Sucking in their breaths, the humans dived with the dolphins. In the cold depths of salty greenness, an effervescing bubble warbled in Luccia’s ear, “Proceed to the space around the foaming spray... It is time.” Alighting softly, both Luccia and Bozo treaded gently upon the outer perimeter of the vision. There they discerned the resonances of a mighty song, which told them, “Alleluia! Let us be glad and rejoice and give honor to the Great One.
“Are you ready, little one?” asked Bozo and when she nodded, he scooped her up in one smooth motion and tugged her under his arm so that she was facing downwards. Crocodiles that were basking in the heat of the sun on the vast flat rocks entered the water and huge hippopotamus were seeking the coolness of the watery depths. Upon seeing them, Luccia went limp with fear. The big man, standing at the very edge of the mile-wide, fast flowing river, lifted up his hand and was answered in the rumbling thunder of an approaching storm. A voice in the thunder said, “Behold, I am the wind, which brea-thes upon the waters. I am the wave of the ocean and the murmur of the billows. Behold I make all things new. It is done, for I am the Alpha and the Omega. I will give unto him that thirst of the Fountain of the Water of Life, freely.” The thunder rolled and she heard, “Can you catch Leviathan? Can you put a rope through his snout or a hook through his jaws? His back is made of shields fastened together, hard as unyielding iron. There is no weak spot in his skin.”  With her spirit Luccia heard again, “Look at the monster Behemoth; he eats grass like a cow but what strength there is in his body. His bones are as strong as bronze and his legs are like iron bars. He is not afraid of a rushing river; he is calm when the water dashes in his face.” 
I placed you over all creation, sheep and cattle and wild animls, the birds, the fish and the creatures of the seas…” In the receding thunder Bozo’s strong voice boomed out over the river, “The actions of the Lord are just, they are always fair, as they must. More desirable than gold, so have I been told - sweeter than the purest honey, you cannot buy them with money. Knowledge is the reward: for obedience, my soul has soared. May my words and what I think be to you, o Lord, a link for you to receive me, who do believe”. All fear forgotten now, Luccia’s pure, sweet voice took over the song while from the throat of the big man a humming chant swelled in the background, “The laws of the Lord are good, it gives new strength, as it should and those who do obey are happy on the way. God’s commands you can trust for true are they and just; given are they for understanding to the mind and in faith, demanding!” As this song of their impending deliverance slowly died away, both the child and the man were filled with a deep inner peace and an unshakeable faith.
Immediately she knew that the monster Behemoth were the hippos and Leviathan, the crocodiles. The thunder clapped… “I appointed you rulers over everything I made.
At the river’s edge the waters had begun to churn and boil. Luccia opened her eyes and glanced at the water. Underneath the brownish surface her eyes picked out the straight causeway leading down into the deep. It was formed by… rocks? No not rocks. The path was formed by the broad backs of crocodiles. They were standing firmly, two by two in the deep mud lining the steep sides of the river bank underwater. Where the downward slope became too steep, the hippos had taken over, providing a firm surface made of their mus-cular bodies. As they passed the first pair of hippos, whose ears had flicked a greeting, she heard Bozo mutter under his breath, “Thanks.” Upon reaching the other side safely Bozo asked, “Did you understand all that has been happening, Luccia?” “M-m, I think so… First we deep-dived into the sea and heard the promise of a free drink from the Water of Life? Bozo, I would like that – to drink from that fountain Can we….?” “What else did you experience?” the big man asked.
“Our journey began when we entered the ocean and it was a kind of baptism for us. This was so to wash us and set us free from our humanness. It readied us for the next part, which came when we stepped onto the waters of the river. “Aided by the Creatures of the Ocean we went down and rose again in Glory with the Great One. It is the same glory we shared when we witnessed the prayer and praise of the Creatures of the Inbetween and the Heavenly Beings. And, although helped by the Creatures of the River, we actually walked on the water… “You see, in order to move within the realms of the Inbetween, we need to be otherwise – human but more than human; more spiritual than purely natural beings. So, passing through the waters we were washed clean by the One to whom we entrusted ourselves at the beginning of our journey. The One to whom we sang, “May my words and my thoughts be acceptable unto you, O Lord my Strength and my Redeemer!”  “But, Bozo, why did we had to be baptised twice?” Luccia wanted to know. “We were baptized only once in the “Oh. Then we walked on the river, trusting the Great sea so that we would be pure enough to witness the One that we would not sink beneath the water... “Can Play of Glory and to be anointed to become Stewards of we go to the Fountain?” the Inbetween.” “Who-a, Luccia. First things first. You need to have a Bozo waited a while and when Luccia had no more quesgood understanding of the meaning of our vision befo-re tions he asked her, “Are you sure that you understand all I can take you to the Fountain. So, let us sit ourselves that I’ve been telling you, Luccia?” down for a while so I can explain to you. Okay?” “Okay,” she answered and sat down obediently.
“Of course!” she said. “I am a Child of the In-Between am I not? But….” “But what, little one?” the big man asked. “When are we going to the Fountain of Life?” “Oho! Well, you will be taken there, but not yet. Now, I’m taking you to the Element of Earth.”
As Bozo and Luccia started walking away from the river, they were met by another old man. He looked just like the pictures of a druid, in one of her grandpére’s books.
The worm craned his neck and rolled his eyes in order to get a better look at the child.
“You see, this little worm has been hurt. I picked him up The man was holding something cupped in his hands. from a grass stalk at that spot where we’ve met. So, the Bending down his head, they heard him speak, “I arose words I have been speaking were actually a prayer said today through the strength of heaven, the light of sun, to the Great One, who reveals himself in and through the radiance of moon, the splendour of fire, the speed of the world of nature, asking him to heal his little creatulightning, the swiftness of wind, the depth of the sea, re so that he can continue fulfilling his function in Crea the stability of earth, and the firmness of rock.” tion. As Luccia opened her mouth to ask Bozo about him, the man looked up, winked at them and said, “Ah, there you are! Hello Luccia. My name is Patrick. Yes, I see Bozo has brought you safely through the waters, for which I thank him.” “As we are standing together now, I feel the strength from heaven that is giving us grace to recognise through nature, the Lord and Creator of this majestic world in all its beauty and splendour. “Do you also feel it, Child of the Inbetween?” He stretched out his one hand to the little girl and simply told her, without waiting for her greeting, to come “Oh yes!” she answered. “I always feel it....” with him. “Ah!” he sighed. “The raptures of youth!... So then, Luc“We are entering the Element of Earth now and I know cia, it follows that you must also know that the natural you are wondering why I spoke into my hands. Yes?” world leads us to find the spiritual and that the spiritual world – the world of the Inbetween – fills and transWhen she nodded, he turned to her and held out his forms all of creation. Eh?” other hand. Standing on tiptoe, the child looked at what Patrick was holding. In the cup of his hand was a caterpillar.
The little girl merely looked at him with wide, and to him, knowing eyes. “Let us arise then and go from the natural to the spiritual; from nature to grace; from Creation to the Creator.” Looking down to the caterpillar in his hand, old Patrick smiled and then exclaimed, “Look! The Creator has extended his grace to this creature, who is now healed, recreated, transformed from natural to spiritual!”
I am a word of science - who announces the ages of the moon? I am the point of the lance of battle, I am the God who created the fire; who is it that throws light to the head of the meeting on the mountain?”  “And now its Luccia’s turn,” the worm said. Without even thinking, she began, “A broken world is this, made whole for each of us, the goal. To be with nature reconciled - an easy thing for Inbetween’s Child. This is a world where all in love is fair: the leopard with the kid The caterpillar wormed his way upwards out of Patrick’s shall lie and none again shall die. The calf and the palm to the tips of his fingers, where he stood halfyoung lion, together shall they dine; the wolf with the length pointed to the sky. He looked down at Luccia , lamb shall dwell and Inbetween’s Child shall tell.” winked and up at Patrick with a gentle smile. Then he opened his mouth and sang, “Come with me into the sa- Both Patrick and Russel the Caterpillar – for that is his cred place where the veil is made of lace; where earth name – cheered and clapped their hands. “Good!” said and heaven are both a piece of seven. Come with me in- the worm. “Follow me, People of the Inbetween!” to the thin place where is to see the truth of all grace.” Patrick bent down and extended his fingers to the nearest blade of grass. The caterpillar transfered himself onto it and looked at the two humans expectantly. “What?” asked Patrick. “Your turn now to answer me in song.” Patrick did not wait for a second invitation but sang out with a strong voice, “I am the wind which breathes upon the sea, I am the wave of the ocean and the murmer of the billows; I am the ox of the seven combats a wild boar in valour, I am the vulture upon the rocks. I am a beam of the sun and the fairest of plants, I am a salmon in the water, a lake in the plain.
When Luccia looked down to where the worm was perched on the grass, something strange happened. Where the Russel was, there was now only a kind of a mist like a small puff of cloud. “Russel, where are you?” she called. “One moment… nnnj! There!” said the worm. Again Luccia looked down but still saw nothing. “Here, Luccia. I’m on Patrick’s shoulder!” Looking to Patrick’s shoulder, she saw a beautiful, multi-coloured butterfly waving to her with his long antennae.
Pointing with her finger, she asked, “Is it you, Russel? How did you change? What happened?” “Ah!” He said. “This is one of the mysteries of the Inbetween that we creatures can metamorphose far quicker than in the real, natural world. Here in the Inbetween we are not bound to the laws of nature.” Taking Patrick’s hand, all she said was, “Oh. Okay.”
The further the man, the child and the butterfly progressed into the depths of the Element of Earth, the more desolate it became until the desolation was all they could see – it was all around them. To Luccia the soil on which they tread resembled ash, white ash, as if there had been a terrible fire here. Just when Luccia wanted to ask Patrick what the meaning of all this could be, she saw a menhir that was planted into the powdery soil. The nearer they came, the more the menhir took on the shape of a human body, a female shape and it was white all over. “Luccia,” said Russel, “We have come to the City of Salt, which is guarded by this Pillar of Salt. This pillar was once many thousands of years ago, a beautiful woman. She, together with her husband and children, were fleeing through these parts to escape from the wrath of the Great One’s judgement upon the city where they dwelt. The angel that had been leading them away, told them not to look back, for it was dangerous to do so.  “But the woman would not listen and dared to look over her shoulder. Immediately she was turned to stone.”
“Abide with me a while, will you? After we have passed the Pillar of Salt and has entered the City of Salt, we will have a small repast and then.... Ah, but I‘m not supposed to tell you all now. Come then. Follow me.” Russel said.
“Stone?” asked Luccia. “But isn’t this salt?” “Yes, that’s right. This is salt that has solidified. Through the ages, the salt had crystallised and turned to solid stone.” After having absorbed his words a while, she asked, “Why did you bring me to this empty place? What is there for me to learn in this place without water?” “Oh, Luccia, there are lots to learn here.
Luccia grabbed for Patrick’s hand again but there was nothing. Surprised she looked around and saw the old man standing a little way off, on the path upon which they had come. “Patrick...?” She asked. “Goodbye sweet child. I will not come with you, for I am the Keeper of the Element of Earth, remember? But do not fear to go with Russel. He will give you what you need and teach you all that you have to know.”
Nudging her gently with his one wing, which was Russel’s way to comfort her, he said, “Follow me. We will have something to eat and drink yonder on those blossoms in front of us.” They flew away and alighted upon fragrant flowers with broad petals that grew within the crumbling walls of the City of Salt. The petals of the flowers were glistening with dewy nec tar and the two butterflies drank their fill of the clear, “Ready Luccia? Then please follow me,” said Russel as sweet liquid. “Had enough?” Russel asked after a while. he hovered above her head. When they had passed the Upon her nod he then said, “Right, let us make ourselvPillar by, Russel commanded sharply, “Stop!” She stop- es comfortable upon that ledge over there, shall we?” ped in her tracks and looked to where he pointed. DirThey took place and he said, “Soon you will meet someectly behind the Pillar was a circle consisting of white one else who is coming to talk to us. For now, look to salt crystals into which she had to step. While standing the valley far below us and tell me what you see down there, she felt a soft and gentle showering of something there.” powdery all over her body from her head to her toes. “There,” said Russel. “Now you have been tempered by salt and transformed into a stronger and more worthy Creature of the Inbetween.” Luccia tried to look at herself but of course that would be difficult without a mirror. So she glanced down to her feet... but, there were no feet. “Rus- Rus-Russel? What has happened? I can’t see me!” “Oh, sorry Luccia. I should have warned you. You have now been transformed into a butterfly like myself.” “That’s okay,” she said.
Luccia looked out over the desolation and saw a redgold rampart towering up out of a shimmering mirage upon the dry, dead desert sands. Before she could tell Russel what she had perceived, another voice said, “It is time.” Looking up, Luccia saw a very old man sitting next to her on the ledge. He was wrinkled and thin as a skeleton. His skin and eyes were so dark that they appeared almost black against the snowy white of his clothes. What she had thought to be the feathers of an owl on his robes and cloak, shenow in the clearer light saw as just some design embroidered upon the material. Not wishing to offend this strange apparition, she edged away from him but he stayed her movement by quickly scooping her up in his hand, gently holding her captive between his bony fingers. Cackling, he said, “Do not be afraid of me, Child of the Inbetween. I will not harm you. My name is Kizito, father of Bozo whom, I believe, you have already met.” Having immediately lost her fear of him she answered that she had indeed met Bozo. “Good!“ he said. “Now, when I lived in the natural world, I was a great shaman.” What is a shaman?” Luccia wanted to know. “Well, a shaman is the same as a Wise One; the same as your grandfather. But we of the African cultures do not have all the books of learning that your grandfather has. No, we get our knowledge from the world around us.”
“Now tell me, what do you see down there.” “Uhm, I see desert, death, stillness....” she answered pensively. Drawing his cloak tight around his bony shoulders, he muttered, “Death is the right word for down there lies !Aob. “There had Shaxan, the Dragon-lord of the deserts, made his last stand. The time has come for the story to be told of Shaxan and Rasta, demon lords of the underworld.
“Do you remember the story that King Su, the Keeper of the Element of Fire told you? Of how Lucifer brought down the wrath of King Love, in the form of fire to the earth? That the Element of Fire changed from something good to serve life, to something evil to serve death and destruction?” “It is time, then” said the old shaman, “for the towers of the dragon can now be seen in the red sands… in the world of the In-Between. We are the ones wise to the cultures of the Inbetween but this world has also its dark side. Only upon the ones who can invoke the Spirit of the Earth, the Sky and the Water to serve them, will fall the mantle of wisdom but they must be careful not to invoke within this realm, the Spirit of Death that brings the Fire and the Blood. “We, the Wise Ones, have to use our gifts wisely in order to rule the In-between spheres of the Realm of the Great One. Because I did not use these my gifts wisely enough but joined forces with the powers of darkness, I was eternally banned to this place - right here between the Element of Earth and the Element of Fire. “Here I am posted to control those powers, by telling pilgrims like you about them and to foretell their future – thus am I here to overcome them. “Did you understand it all, little child?” he asked. “Yes, I did,” she answered. “Then let us go!” Luccia felt herself being lifted up with old Kizito and taken high above the desert sands.
At one point were they put down and he said, “We must wait here. There is no time to spare.” An eerie stillness greeted them. There was no wind and it was hot, burning hot. The desert had become a sea of molten glass mingled with flames of fire. Turning in a tight circle, Luccia beheld the horizon. Red… blood-red! It was deathly quiet. “The earth and the sky are being cleared for a great battle....” the old shaman explained. A tiny grain of sand started rolling. “Whir-r-r-r,” A rustling of wings passed by their heads. Slight, sharp clicking on the sand – animals small and large were hurrying to safety, back into their burrows deep inside the crevices of rock beneath the sand. “Puff!” A short, quick blast of hot air grazed Luccia’s cheek and a few more grains of sand begin to roll. “Whoosh!” Another blast of hot air swirled around her head while powdery sand eddied around their feet. “Cra-a-ack!” Lightning whiplashed through the sky bringing on darkness, sudden and abrubt. In the stillness she heard Kizito murmuring “The sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon as blood.”  Again were they taken up and made to hover above the stronghold of the demon prince. Perceiving movement down there at !Aob, she gasped fearfully upon seeing a winged monstrosity. “Its Rasta, holding Shaxan by the scruff of his neck! Hê- hê” muttered the old man.
The voices of the two demons reached the ears of the butterfly and the old shaman, “You, Shaxan, thought to call yourself the dragon-lord? Who are you to assume the identity of the dragon? Listen well, you vain thing. I am the Dragon. I, Rasta, son of Satan!” Rasta threw the imposter from him and he fell into the abyss, which had opened its mouth to receive its victim.
Kizito did not answer at first but kept on muttering to himself, “We laugh with the desert wolves when they howl and we mourn when they laugh but we must not destroy them. We can ride on the wind, travelling far and wide. We can invoke stormy gales and flashing thunders; we can quieten the fearful sights of destructive forces... if we are prepared to do so.” Plucking at his sleeve, Luccia asked again, “When will Then all pandemonium broke loose and utter chaos en- all this happen?!” sued down there in the domain of !Aob. Attendants and “Eh? Forgive me my child. The great battle of Armagedservants of the Dragon scampered about, snickering in don will happen in the Half-a-Time. But you will see sotheir panicked confusion. They tried their best to esca- me of it after you have been transported to the domain pe from the fiery bellows of their liege lord. Giggling of the Element of Air.” hysterically, some of them crawled to the front, there to be burnt to cinders by the scorching flames that belched from the Dragon. Still others came wriggling forward in an effort to protect themselves from wave upon wave of thick, black smoke. The more daring of the lot managed to arm themselves with the puny weapons of the underworld, which a drooling, leprous orc, the quartermaster, was giving out Dark clouds without water; rattling chains; raging waves of the sea; foaming sulphur; great swelling words of blasphemy; rotten, gaseous odours… On the edge of the desert, a wolf howled.... “When will the great battle happen?” the child asked.
CHAPTER 5 : ELEMENT OF AIR
Kizito took Luccia’s hand and immediately they alighted softly at the gateway to the heavens, where they were met by a silvery white owl. The bird turned its beady eyes upon the child and winked at her. Luccia smiled but before she could react verbally, the owl said, “Thank you, Medicine Man for bringing this Child of the In-Between safely to me. I will be responsible for her from now on.” To Luccia the owl said, “My name is White Owl and I am the Keeper of the Bridge…” “The Bridge?” Luccia exclaimed. “I thought I’m going to the Element of Air?” “Oh you are, you are, but the Bridge is the true gateway between here and there….” When Luccia still looked uncomprehending, the owl said, “Never mind. You’ll understand when we get there. Please, little girl, climb onto my back and hold on tight for we are going to fly far and fast.”
Once there, we will stop and wait for a while for there are things you have to be told first. “So, keep your eyes open and your heart alert.” After only a short while Luccia cried, “There! I see it.” And it was so. A brilliant, glittering, ethereal-white cross was hanging in the sky. Its long foot was as if planted in the soil of the desert sands, its two arms stretched horizontally and its head pointed to the heights above. Suddenly a loud clap of thunder split the silence in two. A white sheet of lightning formed a bridge between heaven and earth. White Owl, unperturbed by the sound of thunder said, “ This Cross is the bridge I told you about. In it, the only thing to be transmitted is light because it holds all opposites together and transforms them. “When you bless yourself by making the sign of a cross, all of Creation is blessed. Because Someone died on a cross and gave his life, the world is redeemed... “May I ask something?” said Luccia. “But of course!” “Do you know of whom I’m talking, Luccia?“ answered White Owl. “Where are we going?” “Oh yes!” she said. “Grandpére told me.... his name is “We are going to where the horizon ends.” Jesus. And....uhm...” “The horizon cannot end,” said Luccia. “In the Inbe“And what, Luccia?” tween it can, you’ll see!” laughed White Owl. “Isn’t this Jesus the same one as Prince Truth in the stoAnd away they went. On and on across the vast floor of ry that King Su told me when I was in the Element of Fithe desert. “I’ll give you a clue, though,” said White Owl re?” White Owl laughed and said, “Yes! You are right. after a while. “When you see a play of light, that resem- Now, in this Cross of Jesus, all things are reconciled.” bles a cross, between the desert and the sky, you’ll know we have arrived.
When you fully enter the Element of Air, you will experience the strength from heaven that will give you grace to one day in the future, recognise this very Jesus, whom we call Lord of the Created World in all its beauty and power.” “That’s right, White Owl!” said another voice. Both the owl and the child looked upwards to where the sound had come from. At about the level of their heads, a white wisp of a cloud was hovering. On the cloud sat a winged being, which could only be described as majestic. His wings shone gold-like in the light emanating from the cross hanging between sky and earth.
“Hello there, Luccia and hello to you, White Owl. Yes, we believe that the redemptive act of Jesus extends to all of creation. Until this time, Creation has been groaning in labour pains.... that is also part of the story that king Su told you. Not so, Luccia?” “Yes I remember,” she answered. “However, Creation itself will be set free from corruption and be brought into a glorious freedom. Jesus’ waking from death and his final victory over Satan in Sheoul, has begun a process of transfiguration for everything that exists.” 
“Did you understand all of what me and White Owl has been talking about, Luccia? I must say, these are big words for a tiny mite like you.” “Oh but I did understand! You see, when I was with the Forest Queen I attended a banquet, which made me strong and clever enough to be able to follow the spiritual pathways of the Elements”, exclaimed Luccia. “Right you are. But as far as I can remember, you did not finish the last song with the Forest Queen. If you can do so now, I will rest your case and accept that you are wise enough to continue your journey with me.” Promptly, Luccia continued the verse of the song, “To every human being with spiritual eyes a-seeing: The Elements of Earth and Air, Water and Fire, for him who dare. May all of Creation be redeemed from time and be blessed by my untimely rhyme!”
“What you are about to learn here in the Element of Air is something you’ll not easily forget.” “Yes, I’ve presumed so after what old man Kizito told me when I was still in the Element of Earth!” “And pray, what was that?”
“Excellent!” cried the angel as he and White Owl clapped their hands. “All set to carry on, Luccia?” he asked and when she nodded, he added, “Then let us proceed. Oh, by the way, my name is Raphael.”
“Bye, White Owl!” called the little girl. “Bye for now, Luccia. Until we meet again...!” Taking Luccia’s hand, Raphael said, “Come, let us go on.
“That I will see the geat Battle of Armageddon while I’m in the Element of Air, although it will only happen in a vision.” “Well, yes.... but Kizito was not wholly right,” Raphael answered. “You see, the skies are being prepared for this final, mighty event. But the battle itself will not take place just yet. “It all has to do with the concept of time. As you know, the Inbetween is the sphere of TIMES and during these times are the four elements prepared for the battle – in other words it is preparation time. The battle itself, the Armageddon, will happen in the sphere of HALF-ATIME...” Glancing at her to see whether she has understood him, he saw her pouting and hastily added, “However Luccia, it is a great opportunity to experience the preparation and I want you to become part of it with your mind and heart, okay?” Just then they were at the gateway to the higher heavens. “There!” Luccia’s inner hearing has picked up a resonance as a command was piercing the layers of cloud and air, “Attend the parade!” The scene unfolding before her, almost took her breath away. Angelic warriors, trained for excellence and victory, constituted a solid mass of force, honed to perfection. Alert are they, eager and ready to go. An involuntary shiver runs down Luccia’s spine, so awed was she by the power embodied in the tableau before her:
The young officer was standing in front of the throne of the Great One, who said, “Receive the token of my trust, Michael!” A sword was placed in his hands sharp, pointed and two-edged was it, glittering in the light of the seven lamps burning in front of the Throne. “With this thou shalt slay the dragon. This sword is quick and powerful, it has life in itself and will pierce the dividing asunder between joints and marrow. It will bridge the distance between space and time for it is a weapon of the In-Between. It will stop up the gap between now and eternity and will enable you to parry the dragon‘s retreat into the future.  Go for the heart my son Michael and thou shalt have success.” Then they were coming, atop white stallions, descending in perfectly primed units. The first company to bulge into her vision was the Warriors of Fire and Cloud. Upon their heels, the Troops of Blood and Water. Fanning out, they spread into the ancient battle formation of Africa, the Horns of the Bull. Triumphantly, the appearance of the heavenly warriors proclaimed the Token of the Flaming Sword. Forming the arrow point of the avant-garde, the golden plumes of their champion towered above them all. In his right hand he held the mighty sword, flashing flames of spectral fire. Its name is called, Keeper of the Way of Life. Dissolving into amorphous shapes, the outlines of the vision slowly receded into liquid gold and then was gone.
Looking about, Luccia finds herself in the desert again. “I wonder what has happened to Raphael?” she asked herself. A soft voice next to her ear gives the child a start, “In your sphere of the natural world, which we call TIME, you will read what the prophet has written. You, who have read it, will run to tell of it. It is in the time after the Half-a-Time that the outcome of The Great Battle between Light and Darkness will be known by all of Creation.” Glancing sideways, Luccia saw a green mantis sitting on her shoulder in its habitual posture of worship. “Thank you,” she said. “But tell me, who are you and what has happened to Raphael?” “Forgive me, little one,” the mantis said. “I am called Manty. Raphael is a creature of the Infinite and has dissolved with the vision you had of the heavenly warriors. You are now back in a corridor between the Inbetween and the natural world....” “Oh. What is that?” asked the child and pointed with her finger to some movement in the sand. “That is a sand adder. He has come to tell us something.” The snake came towards them, slip-sliding awkwardly on his belly. Instead of stopping he passed by them and they heard him hiss, “S-s-see the shapes-s-s!” Before Luccia could ask what the snake meant, a white and almost hairless spider came scuttling towards them on her eight legs. Bowing towards the spider in greeting Manty called, “Good morning, White Lady!”
In answer, the spider breathed, “Feel the shaking…” “Manty, what did they mean, the two messengers?” Luccia could finally ask. “Since we are nearing the gateway where you will pass through to your own sphere, they are warning us to watch out for the….” “Oh, I remember now.” She exclaimed. “The BANG!” “The what?” asked Manty. “Speedy the Snail told me about an explosion that happens when one passes through gateways that lead from one sphere to another!” “That’s right. And here we are now. Old Man Emu has been waiting for us so that he can accompany you through the gateway to the other side.”
Gently she felt herself being pushed through the entrance that has opened onto a lighted pathway in front of her. And there stood Old Man Emu, holding out his hand. Without a word Luccia took his hand, looked up at him and smiled. “Where are you taking me this time?” she asked. Without answering, Old man Emu bent down and scooped her up in his arms. Then he said, “Remember the BANG!?”
Peeking out from among his beard, to her astonishment there appeared first a very angry tiger, then an eagle, a huge fish and a ... Before she could fully comprehend what she had seen, the apparitions vanished again. “There we are!” Luccia heard the old man saying with satisfaction. She looked around, saw nothing and then looked to the ground. And who was there? “Speedy!” she squeeled with pleasure. After Old Man Emu had put her down, Speedy thanked him for bringing Luccia safely back. Farewells were said and as the old man turned to go, he vanished into thin air.
“Yes, I do remember,” she answered.
“Well then, you have to hide yourself among the tresses of my beard so that you’ll be cushioned from it.” Luccia wriggled her body in among the strands of the old man’s red beard while he stepped forward through the gateway. This time, she heard, saw or felt nothing and surmised that it was because she was carried by an adult person, being a giant at that. After a short while she heard Old Man Emu saying, “Give!”
When Luccia opened her eyes, she saw the Forest Queen bending over her. “Ah, Luccia! You are awake. Good!” she said as she stretched out her long, tapered fingers towards the child from the natural world, whom she has to tutor further. Luccia sat up and rubbed her eyes. “Did you sleep well, little child?” the Forest Queen asked. “Oh yes, thank you!” answered Luccia. “But, but...” She stammered. “Yes? But what?” “All that I’ve seen and all the places I’ve been, was it all a dream?” “Not really,” answered the Queen and smiled. “All the places you’ve been, really do exist, but these places and the creatures you have met, are inside the Inbetween…”
One day when you are an adult, the Mantle of a Sage will fall upon you – same as your Grandpére. Now, this mantle will only fall upon the one who can invoke the spirits of earth, sky, water and fire to serve him or her in telling the story of the Dragon, who abused the elements.” With an insight far beyond her eight years of age, Luccia realises that the world of a Wise One is not a fantasy of the mind, for that would mean an existence of a lunatic running in never-ending circles. The Forest Queen now explains this kind of world, “The world of a Sage is the paranormal world of existence in the in-between spaces and times within the natural world. A Sage can enter into the space and time between dusk and dark, between dawn and light. They can ride on the wind, travelling far and wide. Listen....” The Queen snaps her fingers and the child hears a screech, a howl and then an ominous silence.
“This In-Between world consists of sound as well as silence; of seeing and not seeing; of speaking, not with sound, “Aren’t you in the Inbetween as well?” Luccia asked surpri- but with the spirit. sed. It is a spirituality of wonder and beauty that reflects how “My domain is right on the boundary between the natural everything in nature fits together and how these parts difworld and the In-Between…” Giving a little sigh, the Forest fer from one another- this kind of spirituality should be Queen said, “Let me explain. You have looked but now you central to the vocation of a Sage. have to listen.
“Everything comes from the Great One, who created all and are, therefore, sacred. Humans and especially the sages, stand central in the divine plan for all of Creation, which is a great responsibility for the worlds they have inherited. It is this responsibilty that is passed on to every following generation. “The message to all of us, but especially to you, is to change your way of seeing all that the Great One had made. By saying Creation is good, you’ll come to understand that the Great One has a real purpose in creating things, even the things of the In-Between. “All things are created first and foremost to give glory, honor and praise to Him and then only, to enrich the lives of his creatures. That is why you are here with us today - to acquire a deeper understanding and acceptance of things that are a mystery to you... Any questions, Luccia?“ “Not really. But.... what you said just now, is exactly what Bozo told me when I was with him in the Element of Water! Why is that?” “It is because, knowledge and understanding is very, very important. A Sage can only be a sage with the gifts he or she has received from the Great One. Without those gifts and without the Great One himself, a sage is nothing. In fact, none of us other creatures of the In-Between can be anything but what we are because we are only what He made of us; each of us has a certain function to fulfill, nothing more and nothing less.” “What about the Dragon then?” Luccia asked after she has pondered this for a while.
“I’m sure you do remember the story that king Su told you, not so?” asked the Forest Queen. “Mm!” Luccia affirmed. “Then you will remember that the Dragon is in actual fact Satan, the deceiver of mankind? The Great One had given Satan a certain time to live upon this earth with all its worlds-within-worlds. In the Book of Creation, the Great One cursed the snake, which is Satan or the Dragon and said to him, ‘And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.’  So, the time alotted to Satan will last for as long as there are womenkind in the world - that means all women, not only humans. What you have seen when you were with Kizito in the Element of Earth and with Raphael in the Element of Air, is what will happen to the Dragon in the era of the Half-aTime....” “Manty the Mantis had said, ‘The one who reads what the prophet has written will run to tell of it...’ Who is the prophet and who is the one who will run to tell of it?”  “What the prophet has written is already in a book that we call the Book of Prophecy. Only those humans who are initiated into the vocation and mission of a Sage may read this book for it is a Book of the Inbetween. They have the responsibility to tell of it. By the time that you are an adult, it may very well be that the battle described in the book, this battle between Light and Darkness, will be over - then, sages like you, will tell of the outcome.”
“Isn’t it certain that Light will triumph over Darkness?”
“Because they have received the gift to move unencumbered in and out of the spiritual realms. They can hear “Correct, but many people do not really believe that and see what normal people cannot, for they had receiand so have given their allegiance to the Dragon. The ved the most prized gifts of wisdom, faith and knowledpeople of the Light are far less than the people of Dark- ge. They are seers and prophets whom the great King ness and it is their heels that the serpent will bite. This uses to close and lock the gates of hell. It is upon their bite in the heel is a thing of stealth, in order to cripple witness that the gates of hell cannot prevail against  the victim so that he or she cannot run away from the “Through the ages, the Enlightened Ones have succeedserpent and thereby enabling him to get them in his ed in driving the Dragon out of three of the Elements power.” “How is it that the Dragon caused so much de- Fire, Air and Water but he has made his stand in the last struction of the Elements and why is he now the r,uler Element, that of Earth.” of the Element of Earth?” Luccia asked. “In the story, which king Su told you, the erstwhile Lucifer said to himself after he was ousted from the heavens ‘I shall destroy all which the King of the Universe had made for his own pleasure. Thus will Lucifer avenge himself upon the Great One and his precious Firstborn Sons!’ “Satan planned everything he did with great detail to bring a curse upon the earth - a curse which would affect man and beast and all living things, in order to destroy what the Great One had made beautiful. He knew his time was short but was given to understand that he could keep those in his clutches who did not want to be transferred to the Kingdom of Light. “However, his greatest prize would be to conquer those humans endowed with psychic powers, the Enlightened Ones, the People of the In-Between. Why?
The Forest Queen clapped her hands to summon one of her pages and said to Luccia, “Now, little one, you are to be taken on another short journey. I will not be go-ing with you but you will not miss me, rest assured.”
“However, let me warn you not to be afraid of him – he is very, very strange… You will see, okay?” As they were flitting through the low-hanging branches of the forest trees, Coquette said, “See that circle in front?” The queen turned to the page and said, “Tell Coquette to “Oh yes, I see and right in the center of it is a tree. Oh, come here, please!” Before Luccia could take anoth-er but is huge!... Now I know,” she exclaimed. “That circle is breath, a beautiful butterfly alighted upon the queen’s called a Fairy Ring!... You are taking me to Fairyland!” outstretched hand. The butterfly had huge white and “You have it right, little human girl,” answered Coquette. silvery-blue wings and her antennae were so long that Soon as I fly over the Circle, both of us will not be visible they tickled Luccia’s forehead, where she was standing to any human eye. No creature of the natural world may next to the Queen. enter into Fairyland. But since you have been invited to “Hello, Luccia. My name is Coquette and I am to take you the Portal, all will be fine.” to The Old Oak Tree. Will you please be so kind as to hop onto my back?” Luccia wanted to say that she cannot do that because she is too big, but to her astonishment she has shrinked. To top it all, she was standing with the butterfly on the Queen’s hand. Without further ado, the human child mounted the butterfly and off they went through the forest. “Where are we going, Coquette?” asked Luccia. “I’m taking you to the portal that leads to Otherworld. The portal is a kind of thoroughfare formed by the thick roots of the Old Oak Tree.” “What is this Otherworld?” “Otherworld is the World-within-a-World. Oh, Luccia, I’m not permitted to tell you more but you will shortly be informed by the Keeper of the Portal.
Presently, they entered the circumferance of the Ring and landed near the foot of the old oak tree. From the tree’s thick, thick branches hung long trellisses of Nightshade, which the fairy doctors use for medicine. Among the roots of the tree that are visible above the soil, grew thousands of Shamrock which, if a wanderer can find a plant with four leaves, will bring protection, many blessings and graces to that person! It was rather gloomy in the shadows of the woods and Luccia couldn’t see as clearly as she wanted to.
“No! he’s merely a footman and is here to accompany you to the Keeper. You need not fear him, though. He is harmless and as you see him standing there, he is quite in awe of you.” To the tortoise she said, “Good day, Mr Tortoise. I have brought the Child of the Inbetween. Will you be so kind as to accompany her to the Keeper of the Portal?” And with that she turned to Luccia and said, “Bye for now; see you later!” and flew off. “Ah yes! Childd of the Inbettweenn. Come tthen, lett us proceedd,” said the tortoise after tearing his rheumy old eyes away from the swiftly departing Coquette. “Shall I climb on your back, Mr Tortoise?” asked Luccia sweetly. “Heavenn forbidd! I am too oldd for such anticcs,” the tortoise answered. “Justt follow me!” And so they went slowly, oh so slowly towards the huge tree, which is called Yggdrasil. Some of its roots go down into the world below and beneath those roots, bubbles a spring called Source of Hidden Wisdom.
Coquette and the child were met by a tortoise, who said, “Goodd dday to you, goodd dday! Wwelcome to the Portal. Itt is goodd, Coquett tto havve you with me againn!”
Luccia wanted to laugh and as she felt the giggles bubbling up in her throat, she felt Coquette’s entire body vibrating. She whispered, “Don’t you dare laugh, Luccia. This old thing has had an eye on me for longer than you can imagine. I shudder with the thought of him so much as touching me!” “Is he the Keeper of the Portal?” Luccia asked.
When they came to the first roots above the soil, the tortoise warned, “Be carreful thatt you ddo nott fall.” Up and over the roots they went until finally they came to a kind of fold between two very long and thick roots. The roots met high above Luccia’s head, forming a Gothic arch. It was then that she saw the door. It had no knob on the outside but there was a huge golden knocker instead. “Will you ttouch that knockerr, please Childd? I am ttoo oldd tto strettch so farr.” Luccia, knowing that he was just lazy, stepped up to the door to do as he had asked. She lifted the knocker and let it fall on its anvil. “Bongg!” it went. “Again!” comman ded the tortoise impatiently. She complied and “Bong!” sounded the knocker again. “Ag-….! Oh, goodd dday,” the tortoise changed swiftly what he wanted to say, when the door was suddenly opened from the inside. “Who seeks entry?” a whistling voice asked. “Childd of tthe In-Bettween it is”, answered the tortoise. The door opened wider and the voice bade Luccia to enter. Without a word she complied and as she stepped over the threshhold, she was pulled forward and the door slammed shut behind her. “Silly old fool!” the voice whistled. “He always tries to enter with a visitor and he knows very well that he is not allowed.” “Why is that?” Luccia couldn’t help to ask. “That is a story for another time.
“Now let me look at you and you may look at me!” the voice said. “You are Luccia?” “Yes, that’s my name,”she answered boldly. “Good,” he said. “Welcome to Otherworld!”
Wondering where this disembodied voice was coming from, she looked upwards to see its owner. A horseman! “You are not afraid of me, are you? Do you know what kind of creature I am?” he asked her. “Of course I know”she said. “You are a Centaur!” She remembered what she had read in one of Grandpére’s books, that Centaurs are half horse, half human with hair covering their bodies. Centaurs don’t possess any magic but are possibly the wisest and smartest of all the fairy folk. They speak almost any language but are not very social. Luccia presumed that is why he has been made the Keeper of the Portal.
Luccia sat herself down on a spot indicated by Centy and only when she was comfortable did he take place beside her. Made mysterious by streaks of mist among the forest trees and dappled sunlight, the lanscape that spread itself out before them, was unearthly in its beauty. Right in front of them was a broad river and further into the distance were mountains, more forest and furthest away, she could just get a glimpse of a fairy castle. “I perceive you already have a question… ask then child, to your heart’s content.” “Centy, how does Fairyland fit into the pattern of the InBetween and the Elements of Earth?” Luccia wanted to know.
“Good for you. You are very clever and I am impressed!” the Centaur whistled. “And you may call me Centy! “All the Fairies and creatures of Fairyland, like me and others, have retreated to a world within your world “Now, Luccia, you have been invited to get only a glimp- the natural world, where humans stay - to escape the se of Otherworld and therefore am I not allowed to take destructiveness of the human race. The humans call our you further. You and me will take our leisure right here world the Otherworld. underneath these trees, where I am allowed to tell you all that you want to know and maybe things that you do “We are known as the People and live according to cernot know.” tain laws set out in the Book of the People, which rules not only us but the world around us as well.
“For instance that large Oak Tree behind us is sacred because she grows out of Earth Mother and is thus a symbol of the divine presence of the Great One and is an indication of the steadfastness of the Redeemer. “The People are more caring for the world of nature and the only place where we could be totally safe, was within ourselves and so went to a place within the outer world.“ “I do not quite understand this concept of within themselves. Can you please explain it a bit better?” asked Luccia.
“But then the Great One made man in his perfect image and the People began to serve man with these elements and taught them how to appreciate and care for it. All went well and according to the plans of the Great One until that fateful day when Satan took on the form of a snake, tempted man to rebel against the Great One and subsequently caused the Great One to curse the world. From then on man became an animal of destruction, following after the delutions of the Dragon, as we call him in the InBetween. However, The People still serve the elements to “The Otherworld may lie deep within an impenetrable fo- those chosen by the Great One to be worthy to receive our rest or the other side of a fiery river; it may lie beyond or service.” below the sea or any large body of water or it may be “Can I then conclude that the Fairy People are Heaven’s found beyond or below the earth. To gain access to Other- servants, same as the Angels?” asked Luccia. “Your concluworld it may be necessary to scale a precipitous mountain, ion is correct. And the People will manifest in the world to cross many waters or dive very deep, to crawl into a ca- again in the time following upon Half-a-Time, when the ve or a tunnel or through a hole in a tree or descend into a Dragon will have been slain.” hole in the ground.” he answered. “For people like you and your grandfather, who are People of the In-Between, it will When he heard nothing from his tiny companion, Centy be much easier to enter into Otherworld” glanced sideways and saw that the little girl was fast asl“How does Otherworld relate to the different elements” eep. “Makes it easier,” he told himself. He took the child from off his back and, holding her in his arms, trotted back “If I remember correctly, when you were with king Su in to the Old Oak Tree. At the tree, he passed Luccia through the Element of Fire, you were told that the Great One the opening into the waiting hands of Grandpére. created the elements to serve life on earth and in the universe. Before the time when there were any humans in the world, the elements already existed. Someone had to serve these elements of air, water, fire and earth to the world That ‘someone’ had been the Fairy People.
“Anything more?” Grandpére asked of Centy. “Only these words to be given her when she wakes up,” whistled Centy. “Adieu, then” said Grandpére as he turned back to the house with the sleeping child in his arms.
When Luccia woke up, the first thing she saw was the broad petal of a pink rose, which she immediately knew, grew within Otherworld. On it were written words in a “Okay” she called as Mitzi hopped through the window strange handwriting, which she could not decipher no and was gone. matter how hard she tried. “Luccia! Luccia!” someone called. Luccia turned to the window and saw Mitzi sitting there. “Mitzi! Is it really you again?” “Of course its me, silly” he answered. “I’ve been sent to read you the fairy rune…” “What fairy rune?” wondered Luccia. “Its written on the petal in your hand!”answered Mitzi. “Please!” answered Luccia and gave Mitzi the flower petal.
“I have to go now, Luccia. Remember, whenever you want to know anything about the secrets of the InBetween, you need only to whisper these words”
   The Hidden Pathway The Adventures of Luki The Prophet
          
Job Chapter 41 Job Chapter 40 Psalms 19:14 St.Patrick of Ireland Ibid Genesis 9:15-17,26 Revelations 6:12 Romans 8:21 Genesis 3:15 Habakkuk 2:2-3 Matthew 16:18
Horse and hattock, come to me with Holly’s mattock. Take me to the Fairy Queen, to the place where I have been among and within The worlds of the In-between!
The rays of the late afternoon sun were slanting across the floor of the common room in the small cottage where Luccia’s grandfather did most of his work, research and calculations. The eight year old girl was lying on her stomach on the soft carpet, made from the wool of an angora sheep, that Grandpére had acquired on one of his trips to Turkey. Open in front of her was one of Grandpére’s books, which he had said she is now old enough to read and learn from. This book has to do with the ways of different plants and what man can learn from them. The name of the book is Guardians of Plant Wisdom. Luccia’s nimble fingers riffled through the brittle manuscript pages that told of the many different plant species with their difficult scientific names and what benifits they have for mankind. Suddenly a deep desire came up within her to enter the world of plants where she could experience their way of life and meet those of the faerie folk whose work it is to tend the plants. It was then that she remembered the faerie rune given to her after she had been taken for a glimpse of Otherworld. At that time she had been informed by Mitzie, her mouse friend, that should she at any time wish to visit Otherworld, she only had to say the words of the rune. Having learned the words by heart Luccia could recall them now and said, “Horse and hattock, come to me with Holly’s mattock. Take me to the Fairy Queen, to the place where I have been among and within the worlds of the Inbetween!” “Luccia, Luccia!” someone called. Luccia looked up and down, around and behind her, but saw nobody. “Strange”, she told herself, “I could have sworn I’ve heard Mitzie’s voice”. “Luccia, here!”said the voice again. “Look in the book in front of you, Luccia”, said another voice. Luccia did as she was told and looked at the book in front of her but still there was nothing. “I….” she began but stopped when she heard someone giggling. “Look into the book; into the page in front of you!” Finally, having grasped what was meant, Luccia remembered what Grandpére had taught her about this concept of looking into something.
She brought her face slowly nearer and nearer to the page in front of her until her eyes kind of crossed over and her vision became an inside thing. “There!” she gasped. Instead of the many squiggles on the written page, she now saw steps leading to a door. Where the steps began at the bottom of the page in front of her, stood two green-clad pixies. They waved to her and called, “Come, Luccia. Come to us”. Luccia willed herself forward and was immediately drawn into the page until she stood with the pixies at the foot of the steps leading to the door. “Hello Luccia,” said the one nearest to her. “My name is Mixie because I am a mix between a pixie and an elf.” “Oh! Hello Mixie,” said Luccia. “And my name is Dixie,”said the other one, “Because I am known as a whistling dixie for my unrealistic rosy fantasizing.” “Goodness”, said Luccia rather taken aback with this bold statement. “Why would your fantasizing be unrealistic? Isn’t your entire world unrealistic?” “Maybe for you because you are a human, but its not unrealistic for us, as you will shortly see for yourself when we take you into our world of plant wisdom,” answered Dixie. My but you are cheeky thought Luccia and then remembered that pixies are mischievous. Their greatest joy is to tease someone and they love to joke or play pranks on people. “Surely…” she began but then looked first at the one who called himself Mixie and then quickly at the other one who was Dixie. Both pixies burst out laughing upon seeing the consternation on her face. They laughed and laughed until the one was rolling on the ground in mirth and the other one had to hold his side for all the laughing had brought a stitch of pain. Feeling rather embarassed and not understanding the joke at all, Luccia just smiled while she waited for them to stop laughing.
“Gotcha!” said Dixie, who had taken his seat on the bottom step of the pathway again, while wiping his eyes. “Yeah, hie-hie” laughed Mixie. Finally, Dixie stood up again and took a step towards Luccia. In front of her, after he had made a little bow, he took her hand in his and said, “Allow me to introduce myself to you, Luccia. My name is Chamelion but you may call me Chamie” he said as he lightly kissed her fingers. Then Mixie walked around Luccia until he stood in front of her, made a definite female knicks and said, “I am Greenleaf and you may call me Greenie”. Then Chamie spoke again and said, “Greenie is my wife, in case you have wondered. You see, with us pixies the males have animal or insect names while the females normnally all have flower or plant names. We are of the House of Maidenhair and our work is to care for and nurture the ferns of the forest.”
“Well, being interactive means that there is an action as well as a consequence of that action in the form of an influence of the one upon the other. In other words, Luccia, the intimate relationship between humans and the plant world has evolved over generations of experience an practices. Ethnic races, including the Fearie folk, throughout the worlds have developed their own culture, customs, rites, legends and myths where the plant world is concerned – this denotes the total relationship between man and vegetation. However, since modern man has become interested in and began to use plants for reasons of healing, as they were taught by the faerie folk, these plants were mostly collected from within the natural habitat of particular plants. This has resulted in a considerable loss of the diversity of plant life in the worlds as a whole and has endangered the chances of survival for several of these very valuable plant species.” “Well, aren’t you going to say anything?” asked Greenie as she look- “What you are implying then, Cahmie, is that conservation of these ed Luccia up and down. “Gosh”, said Luccia, “you two have taken the plant species has become the most direct and immediate imperatiwind completely out of my sails. I don’t know what to say except, ve?” well, hello you two. Since you know my name I have no need to in“Correct, Luccia and the only way to really stay with such a motive for troduce myself. So lets get on with the reason why I spoke the faerie you as a human, is to understand your second question: how to becorune.” me interconnected with the plant world”. “Why did you?” Greenie wanted to know. “Grandpere had said it is time that I learn the language of plants so that I can come to know and understand their wisdom…” Luccia began, but Chamie finished her sentence “and so that you could experience the interactive qualities that exist between the plantworld and your world”. “Yes,”added Greenie, “and so that you may become interconnected between your world and our worlds because you are a child of the Inbetween.” Holding up her hand Luccia said, “I have two questions, if I may?” “Go ahead”, said Chamie while Greenie only nodded her pretty head. “What is meant by interactive qualities and becoming interconnected?”
“It is has finally dawned upon humankind that the action of growing and maintaining plants is a positive and lifegiving undertaking for man as well as for the world of plant ecology at large. Man’s relationship to any aspect of the living world depends upon his subjective identification with it. Plants help man to recognize the myriad patterns of interconnectedness, instructing him in the ancient code of mutual action and reaction, which is a way of teaching one another the rhythmic cellular wisdom embodied in the profundity of silence, patience and persistence. This wisdom can be accessed in any forest since the roots of one plant intertwine with the roots of every other, exchanging hormonal and electrical signals. “Plants communicate not only with one another but with the animal and the world of humans as well. Thus, do flowers instruct insects to spread their pollen with a display of inviting colors and smells; fruit trees enlist their help with an expressive language of colour and enticing flavor. In the same way do plants allow man to read them each individually in nature. Have you ever heard someone say, ‘the plant told me’ Luccia? Well, this is what we call the reading of a plant’s signature, which refers to the observation of its color, leaf configuration, surface texture and the specific environment in which it grows. “Any recognition of the sensitive life force flowing between plants, animals, man and other life forms such as the folk of Otherworld and the heavens where are angelic and spirit beings, must surely lead to a more generous and compassionate way of touching, effecting and impacting each other and that is what we call interconnectedness.” “What?” asked Chamie as he looked up to his wife who stood with her hands on her hips, looking furious. “You really dared to do what I warned you not to do, did you Mr clever Fern-boy?” “C’mon, Greenie” said Chamie. “What did I do wrong now? Tell me!” Turning to a dazed Luccia, who were still trying to absorb and digest all the things told her about interconnectedness and interaction, Greenie said, “Can you believe this man, Luccia? You thought he was so clever and wise and that all he had told you came from his brain!”
“Yes, I did think and still do that Chamie is very clever and wise but I suppose it is because you are plant people?” “No, my dear. He is not that clever and let me tell you a secret. All the high words he had sprouted to you came from this!” she shouted triumphantly and lifted up a big broad leaf that she had plucked out from behind her husband’s back. “Aw, c’mon wife. I only read the leaf’s signature in order to explain to the little girl all she needed to know for now.” All three ofthem started laughing then because, as he himself had just explained, this is not at all what a plant’s signature is about What Chamie had done was to silently acquire the necessary information from an old fig tree growing by the entrance to the fern forest, who had quickly scribbled it down on one of his leaves and gave it to a fig beetle to take to Chamie
“Let us go now Chamie”, said Greenie. “The Fern Lady had said she will meet us at the portal when we bring Luccia” “Ah yes, you are right of course, Greenie, as always” the other pixie answered and jumped up. Taking Luccia’s hand he advanced towards the green forest in front of them. As they passed the enormous fig tree growing at the entrance, Chamie secretly said thank you to the tree by touching his chin with his open hand, moving the hand first forward then down and ending with a fist from which the thumb extended upward. Suddenly Luccia stood still. The two pixies turned to her questioningly. “How will we ever get through this overgrown thick and dense ferns? They are growing so tightly together there is nowhere to put one’s feet without hurting them?” “Wait and see Luccia”, said Greenie as Chamie put his hand into his armpit, drawing out a tiny box. He bent down to the ground in front of a very large rain forest fern and opened the box. Out crawled a black beetle that immediately started to knock the ground with its backside. ”What is he doing?” an astonished Luccia asked. “He is knocking to attract a female because he wants to mate”, said Chamie. “We call him old Hummeldum, which means ‘being stupid’  because there are no others of his kind in this part of the world.” “Oh but you are cruel!” said Luccia. “Not really, for you see this old guy we found almost totally crushed by the foot of a human one day in the veld. We took him home with us, healed him and out of gratitude he stayed with us, forsaking his own habitat. We trained him then to become our knocker every time we have to enter the Fern Forest.” While they waited for someone to come, Luccia asked, “Why do you have to knock for entrance into the Forest?” This time Greenie took up the story and said, “It wasn’t always so but since the time of the Great Curse, trolls, goblins and dark angels came into our forest and destroyed what the Great One had made beautiful, out of pure malice. Then the Fern Lady, our Forest guardian, had decided that we have to create a secret rune which would only react upon a certain, very particular sound, by which the entrance could be opened…”
Greenie, who was just warming up to her story about the evil penetrating their forest home, was interrupted by a melodious voice that had a green sound – sort of a soft, whooshing as when a slight breeze blows through green fern fronds ending in a quiet croak of the green tree-frog.  “Welcome, Luccia. Welcome to our forest home. I am the Guardian of the Fern Forest and all my children call me Fern Lady”. Luccia looked up at the sound of this friendly welcome of the lady who had appeared on some steps leading somewhere and was surprised to see the owner of the voice. Beautiful and tall, her hair resembled the dark green fronds of the Christmas fern, her eyes the color of the Sensitive fern, her wings were as the fronds of the Filmy fern so translucent as if they weren’t really there and her dress was colored light green as the leaves of a Staghorn fern. The Lady, who had dismissed the two pixies with a nod of her head, extended her long tapered fingers to the child, who accepted the invitation to ascend a few steps towards her host.
While strolling with the Lady through the Dale of Ferns, Luccia could see how that butterflies were flitting from one fern to the other, ants were scurrying upon, underneath and around the plants, here a planthopper was moving at a snail’s pace along the stem of a fern frond and there a caterpillar was up-and-downing its body along, upon a leaf. She saw the eggs of a Nightjar underneath one large fern and the nest of a Skylark a few steps further on among the fronds of a particularly thick fern bush. In one sunny patch in the forest of ferns, the sleeping head of a green adder peeked out from an equally green plant, camouflaging it almost completely. Among all this buzz of activity of insects, birds and bees Luccia could also distinguish the busy bodies of pixies and elves going about their duties among the plants. “Tell me Luccia,”the Lady said as she turned to the girl at her side, “Have you ever heard of Green Space?” “Oh yes”, answered Luccia. “I know it is very healthful for the spirit”. “Correct. There is something about Green Space that changes the way humans and faerie folk perceive their lives. It has been observed that the closer someone has his or her being to a green space, the less impact will stressful events have on them. We of the Otherworld have a practise we call forest bathing, by which anyone whom we per ceive to be stressfull, be they human or of the Fey, is sent to walk quietly and slowly through a forest. We have found that such an activity leave the person feeling better because it lowers blood pressure, calms the heart and stills certain brain activities.” “What could it be in a forest or in Green Space that is the cause of this?” Luccia wondered out loud. “Could it be the odor of the wood, the sounds of the forest or of running water, the scenery or the total forest experience that triggers it?” “Well, Luccia it could be any one or a combination of factors such as a daily contact with nature that has immeasurable physical and psychological benefits. Greenspace is especially beneficial to children allowing them to test their boundaries, explore and learn about nature.
The reason for this is that the brain identifies and categorizes natural settings almost instantly, from which we can deduct that natural settings are programmed into our brains in some way or another. The bottom line seems to be to surround oneself with as much natural scenery as possible and by exposing oneself frequently to natural environments. Suffice it to say that all who have had this forest experience feel better at the end of it”. “Greenie”, the Fern lady said as she turned to the two pixies, whom she had summoned again without Luccia realizing it. “Take Luccia to the Cradle of Life where she can learn of the ever abiding connection that exists between every living creature be it plant, animal or man and Mother earth, who provides whatever we need. Show her how to learn from plants by being with them and watching them so that she may experience how that they will respond upon any invitation beneficial to both the host and the guest”.
Luccia was very surprised to say the least when Greenie and Chamie came to a stop in the middle of nowhere. “Well, not really nowhere”, she had thought. “But what is this but a natural bowl formed by the surrounding mountains from which a stream of water is flowing out?” Before she could say anything, however, a deep rumble could be heard. Sucking in her breath, Luccia tensed but the reassuring pressure on both her hands from the two pixies calmed her again. Before her astonished eyes the floor of the earth had opened and out came something that resembled an egg that had broken in two. “What is that?” she whispered. “It is the Cradle of Life appearing from out of the earth.” whispered Greenie. Chamie quieted them with an almost angry ”Shht!” and before Luccia could ask why he wanted them to be quiet, a voice could be heard. “Welcome my children of the Fey and welcome child of man …” Luccia perceived that some kind of response was expected and so she asked, “Who are you?” “I am the matrix, the womb called Earth. I was created before all things were brought forth, out of me”. “What is a womb?” asked Luccia. “Womb is the place of beginning of life, where it lies embedded within the enclosure of my walls. Womb is where life, that was conceived in the Mind of God, develops until it is ready in some or other form of blood and bone, of sap and leaf, of rock and gem, to be born into the openness of time. “When I, the Earth was young and new, the firstlings of my children walked the land and as they went they sang, ‘the matrix mother womb we share, made us live to one day die. Matrix of our blood, of mystery, we are one of a kind and yet can we not see into the mind of Him who doth make mountain, dale and lake. We are Matrix’s consciousness that leaps from mind to mind and heart to heart as we grow and bloom, sow and reap, spin and weave. With each breath do we sigh and sing as every choice, is a step along this gossamer thread of life”. “I don’t understand,” said Luccia. “Isn’t it so that God said what he wanted to create and it was so? There were things He made before he made the earth!”
You do not know your books human child. Go and read in the Book of Creation where it is written: ‘And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’. God first made light, then He divided the waters and made the sky and then He made the dry land, which you wrongly perceive to be earth.” “The first part of the story of creation begins with a battle between the divine Sovereign, whom we call the Great One and the dragon of chaos. So, we have a picture of the earth originally existing in chaos, a state in which it was lifeless with no vegetation, animals or people and therefore in strict opposition to the orderliness of creation. Chaos is therefore the formless and void condition that preceded the creation of the universe. Ere the Great One could create order, he had to slay the monster of chaos, which was a dragon. The outcome of this battle was uncontestable for the Great One always wins.
“Now, after the dragon was slain and gotten rid of, the Great One be- “The day or hour you wish to return, daughter of the Sage, you have gan creation by first bringing light upon the original darkness and to say: Ada, Ada, avira voya uste; avoya-avoya and someone will cothen he separated the waters by making the sky or the region of the me to fetch you. So, adieu avisale”  air with the result that the once dark waters were now divided so that the sky and the earth each had their own waters. You can read all this in the Book of Creation”.  “What happened to the dragon?” Luccia wanted to know. “The hot blast of the Great One’s wrath and the heat of His judgement pushed the dragon out from the abode of the Great One, a place called heaven by earthlings. This heat propelled the dragon into space, called the Void. Eventually the fire that was consuming him caused an explosion that blasted away most of what he had been created to be and what was left of him togetherwith the ashes of the explosion, drifted down towards the still unformed earth, where it settled in the dark waters. “The energy his body had absorbed during his flight through space was so violent at the moment he impacted with Earth, that it blasted out a deep crater, which later came to be known as the bottomless pit”. “Is that where he is now, in the bottomless pit?” “Correct, little girl and he cannot come out from there until the last days when the Battle of Armageddon will be fought, again between the Great One and the dragon’s forces.” “Now, Luccia, I suggest that my two Fey-friends take you back home. You, as a human child had for this few hours absorbed much too much energy and your psyche needs to release that energy ere you can be allowed to return. But rest assured, return you will, for such was the request of your Grandpére, the well-known sage of this and other worlds.
When Luccia finally came to herself, she was itching all over her body and her limbs made strange twitching motions. Before she could call out to Grandpére, he came into the room where she was still lying on the floor. He gave her one look and said, “O-ho, its that way hm? Out with you, young lady” . “Aw, c’mon Grandpére,”she said. “I’m too tired, I just wanna sleep.” “Outside with you this minute. Go and saddle up old Blackie and go for a gallop.” “Blackie for a gallop! Don’t make me laugh, Grandpére. She’s much too old for that; besides she has been limping lately and I don’t think….” “She only limped because she lost a shoe. I have repaired it and she is fine and happy now.” “But why can’t I just go and lie down a bit, sleep a teenie weenie wink or two?” “Because Luccia,” said Grandpére with a sterner voice, not used to be talked back by any female, “You have absorbed too much energy during your visit into the Magic Book and your body need to get rid of that; if it doesn’t then you can get seizures due to an overload of electricity in your brain! After you have gone for a fast gallop, you may go and sleep a bit.” When a sighing Luccia got up from the floor and walked to the closet in the foyer to get her riding boots, Grandpére heard her grumbling contemptuously, “A fast gallop on old Blackie, hmf!” The old man only smiled as he called after her, “Once your backside hits that saddle a lot of your electricity will enter old Blackie and then we’ll see a thing or two, won’t we?” It was two days later when Luccia finally decided to take up the Matrix’s challenge and start reading the Book of Creation. She read the narrative of the events of creation for light on the first day, division of waters on the second day and then on the third day, the seas and dry land (also called earth) together with grass, herbs that yield seed and trees yielding fruit after their kind with their seed within themselves upon the dry land. 
Where she lay reading on her stomach under the big old oak tree in the garden, Luccia turned on her back to look up at the branches and canopy of leaves above her. “I would really want to learn more about the grass, herbs and fruit trees at the time when they were created,” she sighed. “I wonder if the matrix will take me to that time?” “Why don’t you ask her?” said a voice behind her. Luccia sat up and looked intently at the trunk of the tree, where she saw a face. “Did you speak…?” she asked. “Yes it was me, Luccia. As I said, you have only to ask our Mother Earth. You do have the rune there with you in the Book of Creation, don’t you?” “A talking tree!” Luccia giggled. “C’mon, girl child. Read the rune or are you afraid?” “Of course not!” she answered indignantly. “Are you challenging me?” “That I am”, answered the tree and winked at her. “Well, then I’ll show you that I’m not afraid”, she said as she pulled the Book towards her and turned to the page where the rune was written down by the faeries: “Ada, ada, avira voya uste. Avoya-avoya!”  she said and sat back to wait for an answer. Nothing happened for quite a while and just as Luccia wanted to say the rune again, she heard a “plop!”” right at her feet. Looking down there lay a magazine with its pages fluttering in the light breeze that had sprung up. Luccia grabbed the magazine, wondering, “Where did this come from?” She glanced at the tree but his face was gone or asleep or something. She then looked at the cover and read, MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Turning page after page of the magazine, Luccia was mesmerized with the beautifully illustrated articles and suddenly a great desire came into her heart that filled her entire being, “I want to learn all I can of the plant world so that I can help others with my knowledge and give back to Mother Earth what she has given us!”
Upon hearing a soft, almost impercepticle swishing sound, Luccia looked up and saw an earth-colored fairy alighting upon her hand. The fairy was accompanied by a swarm of butterflies of all colors and sizes. “Hello Luccia,” she said. “My name is Esmerelda and I have come to take you to the beginning of time when the Great One said, ‘Let the earth bring forth ...’. There you will learn all that you need to know of the different green plants and grasses that are human friendly and have certain definite benefits for mankind”.
The moment Luccia and Esmerelda had landed in a void space where grew nothing and all that could be seen was powdery sand, they heard a deep booming voice saying, “Let the earth bring forth!” Then a chorus of sweet singing voices answered, “...and she brought forth, GRASS!” “Oh, wonderful!”exclaimed Luccia. “But how will we get there?” Before their astonished eyes blades of grass sprang up out of the “Give me your hand”, said Esmerelda, “and stand right at the bottom earth and before they could really comprehend it, the barren land of the Book of Creation.” Luccia did as she was bidden and as soon as had changed into a vast field containing all kinds of grass. Just then a the points of her toes touched the bottom of the book, “whoosh!” It voice said, “Thank you, Esmerelda for bringing Luccia to me. I will tafelt as if she was twirling head over heels in a tunnel of light. ke over from you now, for this young lady has a lot to learn.” Luccia wanted to laugh. The creature standing before her looked like a scarecrow made from... grass! She stifled her giggles however when the creature smiled at her and said, “Hello Luccia, I am called the Grass Witch but only because I know all about grass and their benefits for man and beast”. “Oh, hello!” answered Luccia. “Pleased to meet you.” “Luccia, did you know that plants are gateways to the spiritual world? Since time immemorial have plants played a key role in human spirituality. Their sublime beauty, entrancing scents and sometimes intoxicating fruits have always suggested a connection with the non–material world, which we call the Otherworld. It is said that beauty lies in the eye of the beholder and it is often plants that convey the message of divine beauty and harmony. “Some plants have the power to transport the spirit directly to another dimension. These plants are gate-keepers standing at the gate between this world and the spiritual world. Initiates such as you, who partake of them, are allowed a glimpse of that Otherworld as they venture into this dimension.”
“Because the spiritual world can be a terrifying place, such adventures are not for the faint of heart and this is also why the spiritual world is traditionally the domain of spiritual guides from a particular community, called tha sages or wise ones. Obviously there is a true human need for transcendental wisdom. The problem for this unfulfilled need is that human society has destroyed many of the tried and tested paths by which one could access such realities and derive meaningful 'otherworld' experiences .
In a last bid to live in harmony with nature, man must learn to embrace the dimension of the sacred as an integral aspect of all manifest reality and encourage the explo-ration of consciousness that seeks to harmonise the aspects of spirit and matter within themselves. Let me teach you first about grass and their kinds and before you go, I will allow you to ask some questions. Okay with you?” When Luccia nodded, she continued, “we are going to discuss today only three kinds of grass which are, in my opinion the three most important. First, there is Lemongrass
“Lemongrass is a fast growing aromatic grass that reaches a height of up to five feet. The West Indian and East Indian lemongrass are the two most common species used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally Lemongrass was used in Indian medicine for the treatment of fevers and infectious diseases. It has powerful antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties. Lemongrass is safe for use in moderation, but should be avoided for young children, pregnant women and people with kidney or liver disease. It has medicinal uses for stomach soothing, reduction in cholesterol levels, relieve of congestion, coughing, bladder disorders, headaches, fever, stomach aches, digestive problems, diarrhea, gas, bowel spasms, vomiting, flu symptoms. It is a mild sedative and promotes perspiration. “Lemongrass is said to repel dragons and serpents and planted around the home, the smell repels serpent energy. Lemongrass is burned, bathed in or carried on the person for lust, fidelity, honesty, growth, strength, psychic powers and purification. Drinking tea made from it aids in psychic abilities and divination and will attract the object of your desire.
“Make a tea and drink 1- 4 cups per day to lower cholesterol levels in the blood but don’t discard the leaves and stalks after you’ve made the tea for it can be used externally for athlete's foot, cuts, scrapes, lower back pain, sciatica, sprains, tendonitis, neuralgia, circulatory problems, rheumatism and can help to clear up acne on the face and clean skin pores.” .
As the old scarecrow, as Luccia was calling her secretly, bent down to show Luccia all the plant properties of Lemongrass, a tiny green dragon tried to scuttle away from her groping fingers. “Hey! What are you doing here, Pendragon?” She asked as she picked the little dragon up by his tail and started swinging him around her head in order to throw him away. She had to do something for has she not just taught the child that Lemongrass dispels dragons? “Don’t do that!” shrieked Luccia and reached up to the old crone’s head to take the little dragon away from her.
Pendragon saw his chance and tail held fast or not, he jumped a mighty jump, landing on Luccia’s shoulder while his tail, after having stung the crone, curled up again into the side of his body. “You poor little thing,” crooned Luccia while she looked daggers at the old woman. “Well, she said, “Shall we go on?” “Yes, of course,” sniffed the old crone, feeling rather snubbed by this sprite of a girl. “The next grass is called Wild Garlic...”
“In sucking blood, mosquitoes spread disease and so do vampires; some symptoms of malaria, i.e. exhaustion, fever, anemia are reminiscent of the reputed effects of being bitten by a vampire without being totally drained or turned. Conclusion? Since garlic is a known insect repellent working well against mosquitoes, people saw the similarity with vampires, especially when in their bat form.” Just then a large bat flew over Luccia’s head and she shivered visibly. The old crone said nothing but smiled slyly...
“Wild Garlic is a hardy plant and can reach a height of 0.6 m. The plant fertiles itself and grows on meadows where the soil is normally loamy. The flowers are pollinated by itself and by insects. Edible parts of the plant are flowers and leaves, which can be used raw or cooked as a substitute for real garlic. The roots or bulbs are used for a stronger garlic flavouring. “Any garlic has antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antioxidant, anti- inflammatory and immuno stimulant properties. Epidemiological studies have shown that garlic significantly decreases the incidence of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. It is good for reducing cholesterol in the blood, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and helping to prevent yeast infections, colds and flu. “Garlic has the reputation for being a vampire repellent”. “Why should this be?” Luccia asked. “Well, vampirism is seen as symbolic of a mosquito’s bite and since garlic is known as a natural mosquito repellent, there is your clue.
“And now we come to the last grass for the day, Luccia. This is a whole family of grasses called Cereal Grass consisting of wheat, rice, corn, oats, barley and rye that provide grain that is the staple food of most of mankind and a major feed type for animals. These grasses also include most of the hay and pasture plants, e.g. sorghum, timothy, bent grass, bluegrass, orchard grass and fescue which, as a food, are as important for wildlife as for domesticated animals. Other grasses include sugarcane and sorghum, while clover and alfalfa are reckoned as grass.
“There exist a fungal parasite called Ergot, which preys on grasses and cereals, particularly Rye which, if cooked and ingested as bread, can cause wild symptoms including a sensation of burning of the limbs, gangrene necrosis of the flesh, intense hallucinations, miscarriage in pregnant women and in the extreme, a horrific painful death This malaise is called Ergotism, sometimes known as Holy Fire or St Anthony’s Fire, named after the hermit St Anthony of Egypt. “Convulsive Ergotism, due to its profound symptoms and hallucinatory influence, has also been suggested as the possible cause of several outbreaks of werewolf and witch hysteria in Europe. An old Germanic saying states, ‘The werewolf sits amid the grain.’ In those same years harsh weather conditions, during which the poor may have had no choice but to eat tainted bread, were the same conditions that forced starving wolves to enter the towns and villages and prey upon the sick peole who could not defend themselves.” When the old hag had finally stopped talking Luccia was almost in dreamland. The monotenous tone of her voice had put thechild nearly to sleep. However, being a child of the Inbetween, none of the information was lost for her spirit had absorbed and stored all in their proper pockets in her brain. “Looking at the bored face of the girl, the old witch thought by herself, “Ah well, I tried my best. The information was given and received and that’s that.” Just then a fresh melodious voice spoke., “Hello Mama Biddy. I will take over from here and thank you so much for standing in for me.” Old Biddy said nothing, only clicked her fingers and turned to go. The little dragon who had all the time sat sleeping on Luccia’s shoulder, jumped down and followed her for it was time to be fed and he was hungry.
“Hello Luccia”, said the beautiful lady with the golden voice. “I am the Herb Queen and you are now with me in my Herb Garden where I will be taeching you all about herbs and their benefits for mankind as well as for people such as us, who were here before humans for we are the poeple of Otherworld.” Before Luccia could draw in her breath to say something the Herb Queen continued, “If you will please follow me...?” Luccia did as shewas bidden, thinking by herself, “My but these plant people are strange. So commanding and almost manipulative. Oh well, I suppose its because they know so much and, well, I did come to learn.”
“Specific for many fevers, basil induce copious perspiration. So in the case of acute fever, a decoction of the leaves boiled with powdered cardamom seeds in half a liter of water and mixed with sugar and milk brings down the temperature. Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken for a sore throat to gargle; a few chewed leaves are also effective for mouth infections. Beneficial in cardiac disease and weakness resulting from it; reduce the level of blood cholesterol.
“The juice has a strengthening effect on the kidneys and in case of renal stones, the juice of basil leaves and honey, if taken regularly for 6 months, will expel them via the urinary tract. “Common pediatric problems like coughs, colds, fever, diarrhea and vomiting respond favorably to the juice of basil leaves. “A teaspoonful of the juice of the leaves taken every few hours will cure insect stings or bites; applied locally, basil juice is beneficial in the treatment of ringworm and other skin diseases; it is an effective remedy for sore eyes and night-blindness, generally caused by a vitamin A-deficiency : two drops of basil juice are put into the eyes at bedtime. “To make basil tea: 2 tablespoons of basil leaves (and “The first one we will discuss is the Basil. Now remember its scien- seeds if available), 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 2 -10 tific name is Ocimum basilicum. The leaves, juice and seeds of Basil minutes – after which time it would have reached its peak potency - in a covered container, which will help to have many medicinal properties. As a nerve tonic the chewing of keep the beneficial oils inside. Drink and enjoy.” 12 of its leaves twice a day afford significant protection against stress; purifies the blood and sharpens memory; promotes removal of phlegm from the bronchial tubes and strengthens the stomach.”
“Why 12?” asked Luccia. “Excuse me, did you speak?” “I’ve asked, why 12 leaves?” Not used to be asked questions that smell of criticism, the queen answered the child in a clipped tone of voice, “Because 12 is the number that speaks of rule or government and so if you chew 12 leaves it means that whatever is wrong with you, will go away with the chewing of the 12 leaves, nothing more and nothing less!”
The queen looked sharply at Luccia and then said in a somewhat more gentle tone, “I can see you are getting bored, Luccia. One more and we will rest for the day. “Out next herb then shall be... now let me see. Fennel, I think. Its scientific name is Funiculum vulgare.
“Camomile is our second herb and its scientific name is Anthemis nobilis. Camomile is a common name for several daisy-like plants of the Aster family. Short and lacy, with miniature daisy-like flowers, this halfhardy perennial has many uses both in the garden and out. Camomile has been used to rescue other plants that are in a downward spiral. If you have a favorite specimen whose prognosis looks bleak, plant camomile nearby and you may be surprised to see your sickly plant rallying. Leaves and petals of the camomile should be harvested when the plant is mature; always select flowers that are fully opened. Leaves and flowers dry quickly so don't overestimate drying times. Camomile is an effective therapy for anxiety, stress and headaches. Tea made from Camomile is used for stomach troubles, colds and muscle aches as well as the usual anxiety and insomnia. Its also useful as an antidiuretic, help the skin, both as a whitener and spot remover and help heal bites, cuts, sunburn, windburn, chafing and inflammation. “To make a tea, take a handfull of the dried leaves and/or flowers and let it steep in a pot of boiling water for around 10-15 minutes. Strain with a sieve, add honey, a slice of lemon or other lemony herbs. “Camomile is supposed to have magical abilities. Worshiped by the Egyptians, it was considered one of nine sacred herbs. For the Celts, who picked the wild camomile, it was a sacred herb given by the gods...”
“The seeds, flowering tops, leaves, roots and stems are all parts of the plant that can be used. Taken internally as a tea or infusion it will relieve menstrual disorders with cramps and spasms; irregular menstrual flow; PMS and water retention; bloating; upset stomach; dyspepsia; colic; flatulence; coughs; increasing milk for nursing mother; promoting function of the liver, kidneys and spleen; and clearing the lungs. “A hot infusion or tea is made from either the seeds or the leaves or both. “Put 20mg seeds/leaves in 60-120ml boiling water. Let steep for 10 minutes and drink. The powder made from ground seeds can be strewn over cooked food to prevent flatulence. “Fennel is an excellent example of an aromatic herb that works to open channels that allow vital energy to flow. Fennel can be used for retarding the appearance of wrinkles and as a cleaning tonic for oily skin. “In the Middle Ages Fennel became an important supernatural remedy against witchcraft, hung over doors on Midsummer’s Eve to ward off evil spirits .”
The Herb queen put two of her long tapered fingers to her lips and gave a sharp whistle. Immediately the air around her and Luccia was filled with butterflies and Luccia knew who had come. “Esmerelda!” she exclaimed. “Hello Luccia. Are you ready and did you enjoy your lessons?” Upon seeing Luccia’s sour face, the fairy laughed and said, “Then come. Let us return to your tree through the time-tunnel.” Back underneath the tree Esmerelda said, “Before I forget, Luccia. I was told to give you this little booklet. Its called Back to Genesis and in it you will find descriptions of other herbs,flowers and seeds, which you apparently haven’t had time for today. Please be very careful how you handle the pages for they are made from dried butterfly wings while the script is done in green plant sap. Every page is dedicated to a certain plant or specie and when you read it, you will be transported to its habitat where the fairies who tend each plant will show you around their little gardens. Its a gift from the Herb Queen and I can tell you, its something to be cherished. She does not easily give such precious things to others.” “Oh, thank you!” said a surprised Luccia. “I had the impression that queen did not like me.” “She always gives that impression with everyone she meets. She is very haughty but has a good heart and is very, very wise. She is also a witch who can transform herself either into an old crone that looks as if she’s made from straw or...” Seeing the wide-eyed surprise and realization on Luccia’s face, the fairy laughed and flew off calling over her shoulder, “Bye Luccia!”
Luccia was so excited with the new gift she had receive d from the Herb Queen, that she couldn’t wait to peruse the inside of it. After Esmerelda had left she took the book and gingerly opened it. The Tree with the Face however admonsihed her, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Luccia.” She looked up to his stern face and asked, “But why not? It was given me to study was it not?” “That is true,” said the Tree “But I would that you rather take it inside and when its quiet tonight, read it in your room. Thing is you still have the glow of Otherworld around you, which can harm the pages and ink of the book. Also the delicate material from which those pages are made, can easily come apart here outside where a breeze has sprung up. I or any of my brothers may not be able to prevent some leaves or nuts falling from our branches and anything can break those pages or obliterate the ink.” Luccia sighed for she knew the Tree was right. “I think you are right. So, if you will excuse me I’ll leave you all in peace and go do my chores for Grandpére.” As she turned to go, Luccia heard the Tree sigh, “Clever girl,” and the other trees round about agreeing with him saying, “Yes, clever girl; good girl, our Luccia!”
Having said good night to Grandpere, after nine o’ clock, Luccia quickly took her bath and when she was finally in bed, again took up the little book. She turned the pages slowly skipping by the herbs until she had found the chapter dealing with trees and fruit trees at that. The page she came onto was titled, the Enchanted Grove. Closing her eyes tightly she tried to imagine what an enchanted grove would be like and the next moment Luccia was actually standing at the entrance to the Enchanted Grove. Mesmerized, she heard musical voices calling, “Welcome to the Enchanted Grove, human child!” Just then there was a rootling by her feet and looking down, she saw a very small old man whom she immediately recognized as a gnome. In his hand he held a lantern, which he now put down onto the “Why do the faerie folk work at night both in your groves and in our ground and made a courtly bow before her. “Oh, hello Mr Gnome” orchards?” said Luccia. “Hello to you too and you may call me Wheezy”, he announced.
“Actually, my full name is Sneezy Wheezy and you will just now find out why. Please bend yourself down my level, will you” he said and as she complied he gave a mighty sneeze. Poof! Luccia shrinked to the size of a dwarf. “That’s better” he said. “Can’t have you trampling around in my grove as large as a giant can we?” Luccia did not reply for she was speechless with surprise and the suddenness of the transformation. The last time such a shrinking had happened to her was when she had visited the realms of the Inbetween.  “Hello? Are you still with me, little girl?” asked the gnome called Wheezy. “Huh? Oh yes, of course”, answered Luccia. “Then let us proceed. There are much for you to see and learn in this night. You may ask me questions as we go along, allright?” said Wheezy and smiled for the first time since he had introduced himself. “Thank you, Wheezy. There are so much I already want to ask but I’m afraid I’ll wear you out with all my questions.” The gnome nodded his head and said, “Fire away, Luccia. That’s what I’m here for as your guide – to answer your questions”. “Why is this garden called a grove. Isn’t it an orchard?” “A grove is, to you humans, a place of enchantment because the people of the faerie folk work and live here. If this garden was in the human world, it would have been called an orchard. Here in this particular grove, the faeries plant, let grow and tend the various fruit trees. When the trees are ready to be transplanted we make contact with the human world and sell our trees to them. Once a tree has been moved from us to them, we send faeries out into their orchards to further tend to out babies until they are ready to bear fruit. When the fruit are ripe and ready to be harvested we make the humans aware of it. They normally, as is the standard agreement between us and them, allow us to have the first pick of thefruit, which of course suits us because the firstfruits are always the best and the juiciest.”
“In comparison with humans, the faerie folk are more caring for the world of nature and its growing things. The onslaught of the destruc tiveness of humans made it necessary for us to do our work at night, very early in the morning or late in the day. On the other hand, here in Otherworld exists no real difference between day or night as you will see anon. Our world is like the seventh heaven where there also is no distinction between day and night.” “But don’t you need the sunlight to ripen your fruit as we do?” “Sunlight is necessary to ripen fruit, yes. But as I’ve already told you, our fruit ripens in the world of humans. Here we only plant and care for our trees until they are ready and near to the fruit-bearing stage.” “So the interconnectedness between all of creation also extends into Otherworld so that there will always be a connection between us and you” said Luccia pensively. “Correct, Luccia. We are all children of Earth Mother, although we, who are more advanced in psychic development call the human race, people of Mud.” “Why would this be?” wondered Luccia. “The name of the faerie folk is Taitha Dé, the original children of the Earth Mother. We, as then so now, are regarded as a divine race. Much smaller than humans, most of us are very beautiful and possess the art of magick. However, the more and more ordinary humans began to inhabit the earth, the Taitha Dé had to retreat in order to prevent themselves being wholly absorbed by the human race, who began the practise of taking for themselves wives and husbands among our people. The only place where we as a race could be totally safe, was within ourselves and so we went within the outer world, your world, to Otherworld.” “How many of you are there, or rather here, in Otherworld... families, I mean” asked Luccia. “We are seven families, called Elves, Dwarves, Pixies, Gnomes, Centaurs & Unicorns, Goblins and Sprites. Very soon now you will meet members of each family for they are all here, each family tending his own patch of trees”.
“Here we are then, Luccia. This brown house is a huge apple tree and within its base are staying our dwarf family. Hoy! Dwarves, are you there?” called Wheezy in a loud voice and behind his hand whispered to Luccia, “Lazy lot, these dwarves. One must always talk loud for them to hear for they are either eating or resting.” Soon however, all three dwarves came into view. “May I introduce our visitor from Outerworld to you?” asked Wheezy. “Please do,” said the one nearest to them as he adjusted his glasses. “Now, Luccia,” Wheezy began, “This is Nifty...” “You must say why” Nifty interrupted him. “I was just coming to that!” Wheezy snapped. “He is called Nifty because he is allegedly a quick picker of apples.” “Not true, not true!” laughed Nifty. “Then what?” “I’m called Nifty because I’m over fifty!” he chortled and slapped his leg with mirth.
The other two dwarves were also laughing and pointing their fingers at Wheezy who, when Luccia stole a glance at him, were red in his face with indignation for having yet again made fun of by the dwarves. Before he could carry on with his introductions, the one to their left said, “I’m Dopey because I’m always hoping.” “Hoping for what asked the girl. “Hoping that its time to go to bed.” “What did I tell you!”muttered Wheezy under his breath. “And my name is Burpy”, said the one standing in the door. “Because I’m always....” He put his hand over his mouth and gave a loud ‘Burp!’ “Sorry”, he said, “couldn’t keep that one in!” “Because you eat too much,” Wheezy muttered again. “So, what can we do for you, human girl?” asked Nifty. “Well”, said Luccia, “I’m here to learn all that you can teach me about apple trees and their benefits for man and beast.” “That we can and that we may, before Wheezy can say nay!” answered Nifty. “ We will call you, my dear friend when we have done teaching Luccia”, he added and shooed Wheezy away with his cap. “The apple tree,” began Burpy, who was the eldest and wisest of the family, “is one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees, which originated in Western Asia where its wild ancestor is still found today. Our trees can reach a height of 3 to 12 metres and has, when mature, a broad, often dense, twiggy crown. Mature trees bear 40–200 kilograms of apples each year while dwarf trees will bear about 10–80 kilograms. Apples are most often eaten raw. Skinned apples will turn brown due to the conversion of natural substances upon exposure to oxygen.” Burpy turned towards Dopey and said, “Your turn, little brother.” “Yeah. Luccia, research has suggested that apples may reduce the risk of colon, prostate and lung cancer. Compared to many other fruits and vegetables, apples contain relatively low amounts of vitamin C, but are a rich source of other antioxidant compounds, which prevents damage to cells and tissue of the human body. The fiber content, while less than most other fruits, helps regulate bowel movements and may thus reduce the risk of colon cancer.
They may also help with heart disease, weight loss and controlling cholesterol.” “This is why we are staying in an apple tree! Have you noticed?” asked Nifty. “I thought as much”, said Luccia. “But where are your young trees?” Burpy stepped forward and said, “Please follow me. I will show you where our babies are made.” And with that he vanished around the huge tree. Luccia followed him and great was her surprise to see a huge piece of earth at the back of the tree, where were many more dwarves busy planting and watering baby trees.
There, in front of a large Apricot tree they were met by a young queen all dressed up in apricot-colored flimsy garments. “Hello Luccia,” said she. “I am the Queen of the Grove and say thank you for visiting all of us here tonight. I believe you have already met the first clan of the Apple at the Dwarf Patch?” When Luccia nodded, she dismissed Wheezy and said, “Now Luccia, allow me to introduce to you the the Apricot family of the Sprite Site”. Pointing upwards she smiled and said, ”This handsome guy is called Nyx, the leader of this clan. The thin boy over to my left is called Ordalf and he is the gobetween from here to Outerworld. “These little green-bearded muppets are called Muppet One, Muppet Two, Muppet Three up there among the branches and Muppet Four a bit higher up. They are the workers and tenders of this Site. Since the young trees are ready to be transported to Outerworld, our Sprite family is very busy tonight, so I will teach you what you need to know about apricots and their benefits. “The apricot tree grows to a height of about 30 feet with a dense, spreading canopy of leaves; the flowers have white to pinkish petals, are produced singly or in pairs in early spring before the leaves appear. The color of the fruit vary from yellow to orange, often tinged red on the side most exposed to the sun. The surface of the fruit can be velvety with very short hairs while the flesh is usually firm and not very juicy; a single seed is enclosed in a hard stony shell called a stone with a grainy, smooth texture. “Research has shown that apricots possess the highest levels of carotenoids, an antioxidant that help prevent heart disease, reduce high cholesterol levels and protect against cancer. In traditional medicine, apricots are considered helpful in regenerating body fluids, detoxifying the system and quenching thirst.”
The next family of the Fae that Wheezy accompanied Luccia to, was the people of Apricot.
“Apricots have the following Vitamin content: Vitamin A - 0,06 mg; Vitamin B1 - 0,05 mg; Vitamin B2 - 0,06 mg; Vitamin B6 – 5000 mg; Vitamin C - 0,2mg; and Folate (folic acid) - 0,004mg. The high iron content of apricots is good in the fight against anemia. Apricots contain pectin and cellulose, which acts as a mild laxative and helps in the treatment of constipation. The fruit can help in reducing fever by a preparation of the juice and water with a little honey.
The stone of the apricot contains a nut that is rich in protein and fat with a high content of Vitamin B17, which is reportedly very effective in preventing cancer. However, the kernel can be toxic if misused since they contain cyanide as well. The juice contained in the leaves of the tree, when pulped, can help relieve sunburn, eczema and scabies.”
“Here we are, Luccia, at Wheezy’s place, the Avocado lot!” said the Queen of the Grove with a smile in her voice. Do you recognize him among all these gnomes?” “Oh yes!” answered Luccia. There he is with his little lamp. Does he always carry the lamp with him?” “He has to,” said the Queen. “The lamp is part of his hand. He was born this way to be a Bearer of the Light. Wheezy!” she called, “Please introduce Luccia to your fellow gnomes, show her aroound and teach her all that she need to know about your cultivation of avocado’s, will you? I have to go somewhere else but will be back to accompany her to the Elves.” Wheezy, who had been waiting, made a bow to his queen and said, “It’s my pleasure and I’m sure about it.” “Luccia this young fellow with the board on his head, is called Freezy. He is always offering everyone that come to visit the grove some avocado’s” “But why is he sitting so quietly as if he is frozen” asked Luccia. “Hah! That’s exactly what he is. Frozen! After he has done this the first time we scolded him for just wanting to sit down. He got such a fright from our anger, that he froze in the position he was in and just kept on sitting there. Nothing any of us have tried to get him out of this state has worked so far.” Luccia looked at the little gnome with great sympathy but he didn’t even turn his eyes to look back at her, so lost was he in his frozen sate. “Poor Freezy” she whispered.
“And this brother in the middle of us three is called Breezy, because he is as lazy as can be; always waits for a breeze strong enough to help him when its picking time. When the breeze comes he will stand underneath the waving branches heavy with fruit, with his bucket at the ready to catch the falling fruit.” “Shame on you, Wheezy to gossip so about your brothers!” scolded Luccia. Wheezy laughed and said, “Oh, he can’t hear us. He is as deaf as a doormouse!” “Eh! What did you say, Wheezy?” asked Breezy. “I was only telling our guest about your bucket, bro!” “Yeah my bucket. Handy thing this bucket, you know girld-child. Tell me, why must I do hard work if nature can do it for me. Istn’t that what you learn in the Inbetween, that one must make use of the forces of nature?” “Indeed,Breezy, indeed.” answered Luccia. “Now, please tell me someone, what are all those things growing out of rocks that you have there in the bottles?” Looking down to his feet, Wheezy said, “These are the baby trees. Every avocado fruit comes with a large pip the size of a round stone. We impale them with sharpened sticks and let them hang over bottles filled with water. After some days, they start to germinate and before long roots, a stem and leaves will begin to sprout. When these babies are strong enough, we transplant them in specially prepared soil, where we have a team of gnomes working for us with the task to tend to and nurture our children until they are ready to be transplanted in Outerworld. “Now, since one of our brothers is frozen and the other one deaf allow me, Luccia, to tell you some more about the Avocado. Avocado trees can grow tall to a height of 9 to 18 metres or they can be short and spreading with branches beginning close to the ground. Almost ever-green the leaves, shed briefly in dry seasons at blooming time, are dark-green and glossy on the upper surface. The flowers are small and coloured pale to yellow-green. The fruit, pear-shaped, oval or nearly round, reaches a length of 7.5-33 cm and is up to 15 cm wide; its skin varies from yellowish-green, dark-green, reddish-purple, or so black-dark a purple.
“The flesh of the fruit lies immediately beneath the skin and is colored bright-green to a rich-yellow with a buttery or nutty flavor. The single seed can be 5-6.4 cm long, is hard and heavy, ivory in color but enclosed in two thin brown papery coats. “Next to the olive, the avocado is the fruit with the highest mono-unsaturated fatty acid content being 20%. This, coupled with the incredible nutrition of the Avacado, boosts one’s metabolism and can therefore reduce appetite. Mineral content of the fruit is potassium, iron and copper, which are beneficial for the blood, as well as phosphorus and magnesium. Avocado is packed with vitamin A, several of the Bcomplex vitamins, especially B3 (folic acid) and powerful anti-oxidants like vitamins C and E. “The low sodium and sugar content and the absence of starch makes it an ideal fruit for diabetics and hypoglycemics. The high potassium and foliate content in avocado helps to regulate blood pressure, protecting the body against circulatory diseases, heart problems and strokes. It improves both cholesterol levels HDL and LDL; helps balance electrolytes, aids muscle activity, improves nerve function and boosts energy; prevents and heals both stomach and duodenal ulcers through its abundant nutrition and enzymes; helps to reduce calcium excretion from the urine, thereby lowering the risk of stones forming in the kidneys. “The potent anti-oxidant content in avocado helps neutralize free radicals that are important for improving eyesight and preventing eye problems like astigmatism, cataracts and glaucoma. Regular consumption of avocados strengthens the immune system; Vitamin B6 in Avocado helps relieve nausea and queasiness associated with pregnancy and certain unique phyto-nutrient substances help prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells
“That Wheezy is a guy for detail, istn’t he?” remarked Luccia to the Queen as they wandered further into the Grove. “Rather” answered the Queen. “Here we are!” said the Queen after a while. “Luccia we are now on Goblin Turf. I realize you may have heard that goblins are no-good, but we of the Fae do have a way of ... shall we say ‘taming’ at least some of them. This Goblin clan is directly under my supervision and since they cannot speak English, I will have to be the spokesperson here.” As the queen stepped forward, Luccia hung back. She had indeed heard of goblins and ghouls and remembering the warnings of people in the know, she was now a little careful with being near them, although the queen was there with her. They look a motley lot, she thought with distate as she watched them come nearer to the queen. The one who looked to be the eldest had a bat in his one hand while a strange creature was following him around; the middle one had a broad slash for a mouth with a round tummy while the youngest one leapfrogged incessantly over and over a huge mushroom growing to the side of a banana. tree. However, the Queen, who had waved a wide arc with her hand around the group of goblins, snapped her fingers silently at Luccia. Thechild realized she had woven a calming spell over them and all was now fine. The Queen said brightly, “Howdy folks!” The goblins answered in a chorus of sound that sounded like a cross between a croak and a squeek. “How many bats have you caught tonight Troble?” asked the queen as she pointed to the goblin holding a bat between his fingers , but she was looking at Luccia. Luccia realized that this was her way of introduction by speaking directly to them on their given names. Of course Trobble did not answer, upon which the queen then faced the middle one and said, “Oh I see, Gobble, you are saying that Trobble had caught a bat for the little one?” Under her breath she explained to Luccia, “They all look like this scrawny thing when they are little but can become quite cute as they grow older as you will see soon.”
“See what I mean?” she said and pointed to the one who had been leapfrogging but was now sitting quiet as a little mouse on top of the mushroom. “His name is Wobbel because he apparently has a problem with keeping still”. “I do see what you mean”, said Luccia. “He almost doesn’t resemble a goblin at all and looks more like an elf. Why is that?” “Well, I suppose as with any race, with us Fae there are also throwbacks. There are some of the Elves again who look more human than fae.” “Do they really eat bats?” asked Luccia. “They will eat anything they can lay their hands on because they are more beast than fae. We allowed them here onto the Grove because they are adept at catching bats and bats, as you should know, destroys our young fruit trees...” “How?” asked Lucciza. “I would have thought they are beneficial to fruit trees.” “Yes and no, Luccia. You see there are different bats eating different stuff. Some eat insects that live in the leaves of our trees; others feed on nectar and pollen of the flowering trees and then there are the bats called vampires. They live from the blood of mammals. It is, incidentally, these bats that our goblins catch for they too relish in the eating of blood. Instead of feeding their babies on mothers’ milk they suckle them on the blood of the live bats.” Luccia shuddered and said, “Yuk!” “Indeed,” answered the Queen. “Shall we go?” she asked the child who had become quite pale. “Yes please,” said Luccia but stood standing for she wanted to know about the Banana Tree. “The goblins do not cultivate anything. This banana tree is very old and for that reason has been given them to live in because many bats come here for pollen. This is also the reason why this particular tree stands right at the farthest end of the Grove.” the Queen explained. “However, Luccia, I will tell you of the banana and its benefits. The flower stalk of the banana tree grows through the center of the pseudostem, which starts underground, containing flowers that develop in clusters and spiral around the main axis.
Fruit mature in about 60 - 90 days after the flowers have appeared. Each bunch of fruit consists of variable numbers of hands along a central stem and each hand consists of two rows called fingers. During the ripening process, a chemical change occurs whereby protopectin is converted into soluble pectin, while starch is converted into sugars of which 20% is glucose, 14% is fructose and the remaining 66% is sucrose. Bananas contain a high dose of potassium - an essential ingredient to keep your heart and nervous system in good shape. Potassium is essential for proper muscle contraction and hence plays an important role in muscle-influenced activities including the normal rhythmic pumping of the heart, digestion, muscular movements, etc. Benefits to the kidneys and bones are also due to the high potassium content of bananas. A normal intake of potassium suppresses calcium excretion in the urine and minimizes the risk of kidney stones and for the same reason it minimizes the loss of calcium from the body and thereby reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Bananas contain Tryptophan and Vitamin B6 that helps the body to produce serotonin, which has a calming effect on the brain, acts as a mild sedative and helps the body to make hemoglobin - a crucial ingredient of your blood. Despite being erroneously called fattening and too high in sugar, a small banana only contains about 100 calories, which is not much more than a medium apple and therefore should not raise the blood glucose level too high. Bananas also contain Vitamins A and B, dietary fiber, magnesium, iron and calcium; they are rich in niacin and riboflavin.
The next space they came to was called Elvin Dell where grew different kinds of berries, the most important being cherries. Since there was no one about to greet them, the queen spoke softly to Luccia, “As you will see anon, Elves are similar in appearance to humans and although but one metre tall the only difference is the form of their pointy ears. Natually like most of the fae do they also have wings and elves in particular just love to fly. Elves have the gift of tongues, which allows them to speak any language and so will most easily be able to converse with you in your own tongue. There will therefore here with them be no need to converse in the tongue of the Inbetween as we’ve done so far on our trek through the Grove Elves have several types of magic and can heal themselves and others by just a look or a slight touch. Then can they shield themselves from detec tion - which I suppose those who are working here tonight are doing”. “Are they hiding within the foliage of the cherry tree then?” asked Luccia “No. They appear to be invisible in that their bodies are vibrating at high speeds so that other eyes cannot see them.” “But why would they want to hide from us?” The queen answered, “They do it to create positive magical vibes, which is of course another of their magics. ...” Before she could finish her sentence, Luccia heard a loud ‘whirrr!’ and there stood a red and green clad elf before her. “Hello Luccia!”he said and good evening your majesty. I am Berry...” Another ‘whirrr’ and there sat a voluptuous female elf on the root of the cherry tree. She waved to Luccia and chirped, “Hi. My name is Cherry”. Another ‘whirrr’ and to their right appeared another red and green clad elf who said, “And my name is Kerry!” Berry had in his hands a looking glass, which he put before his eyes again after he had spoken to Luccia. She asked, “What are you doing, Berry?” “I’m looking into the future to see when the cherry trees will be ready for transplanting.” Then Kerry lifted up the apparatus in his hand and said, “And I am taking a picture of it so that the workers can go and gather the trees that are ready.”
“My goodness!” exclaimed Luccia. “But you are clever.” It was only now that Cherry spoke, “It has nothing to do with being clever, Luccia. Its part of our elvin magick.” The queen looked at the three elves, her favourite fae people and said, “Will either one of you please explain to our guest here all about cherry trees and their benefits to humankind?” “Certainly” said Cherry as she got up from her root. “I will! A cherry tree is a flowering fruit-bearing tree, ranging in size from 6 to 30 ft, depending on the cultivar; there are also some shrub cherry trees. A cherry tree has distinct reddish brown bark with patches of horizontal markings. The flowers are arranged on the end of a long stalk that develop into fruit. The round fruit has a distinct depression at the apex, measuring about 2cm in diameter, while the flesh surrounds a central stone-hard seed; its smooth bright skin is very thin and normally red when ripe. Cherries are one of the very low calorie fruits that are a rich source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Research has shown that a daily bowl of cherries could ease headaches and aches from arthritis, gout or rhumatism, without the stomach upset so often triggered by painkillers. Cherries contain a compound concentrated in the skin, called Anthocyanins, which is an anti-inflammatory substance that is 10 times stronger than Ibuprofen. Cherries help the body to fight against cancers, aging, neurological diseases and pre-diabetes. Cherries are rich in another stable anti-oxidant, called melatonin that calms the nervous system’s irritability, which helps to relieve neurosis, insomnia and headache conditions. They are also a good source of minerals such as potassium, a heart-healing mineral and an important component of cell and body fluids that regulate heart rate and blood pressure; iron, zinc, copper and manganese. Other flavonoid poly phenolic anti-oxidants are lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene. The West Indian cherry has exceptionally high levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin A.” “Oh, thank you very much Cherry.” said Luccia . “May I ask where do you all stay? I mean you have to rest sometime.”
Cherry smiled and said, “Come sit here on my root Luccia and look up into the branches of this tree.”Luccia did as she was bidden, feeling for the first time this night utterly relaxed. As she lazily looked upwards she saw about four to six elvin faces peering at her from among the foliage. They all waved at her and smiled. “They are my children”, said Cherry proudly. “They are so cute!” answered Luccia. “From small, we elves just love humans who love and respect nature, particularly trees. We know immediately when meeting a human whether such a person is honest and true and that you are, Luccia. We knew this as did my kids up there because the moment you arrived here at our Dell, we saw your energy. As a parting gift, I can give you this tiny bit of wisdom: always speak your truth and the elves will be your trusted friends always”.
“Here we are now at our final family Luccia” , said the Queen. The fae here tend to three kinds of fruit trees of the citrus family”. Seeing them all busy at work the queen decided to do the introductions herself but fairies have the tendency to, as soon as they pick up the vibrations of the sound of their names, appear and that is what happened. “That pretty one sitting on the earth is called Limony, the flying one is D’Orange, the petit one is Lamandarine – a big name for a small being, don’t you think – and the one with the hat is called Mama Pamplemousse while the fae with green wings sitting on a branch is called Sis Pamplemousse”. “I am Luccia and happy to make your acquaintance,” said Luccia. “But please tell me what is the difference between you and say the Pixies, Elves and Sprites?” Mama Pamplemousse, being the eldest and the fattest, took up the telling, “We are Fairies , the enchantresses of Otherworld with special supernatural powers. We are invisible to the ordinary eye but of course for you, as a child of the Inbetween, there is no such problem. We will continue to be invisible to the human naked eye unless other of your species attune themself to us and our existence”. “That must be why you are called the silent people”. “That’s right. Its because we move about noiselessly in that we are seen to glide or float whereas in reality we are flying but our wings vibrate so fast that to the human eye they are undetectable”. “Is it true then, as is also said, that you possess the power to cure?” “Oh yes, Luccia. We do have such powers and there will always be some of us in the forest clinic where all hurt animals, birds and small creatures come to be cured and healed”. “That must be why you are called the sacred guardians of nature and all the natural elements”. “True but we fairies can only dwell and live in the elements into which we are born. We here are earth fairies and have therefore the task to tend and grow trees and fruits of the forest and specifically of the Grove”.
“Some of us earth fairies are not growers but messengers such as Esmerelda who took you to the Herb Queen”. “But you guys of the grove seem to get on well with the humans who need and plant fruit trees in Outerworld,” remarked Luccia. “ “We do, Luccia. We do, since we fae folk are honest enough to keep our side of the bargain to help plants and trees grow but we abhor to be offended. Some humans in particular are fond of committing offensive acts or speak offensive things about us as if we do not know or can’t hear and see them. Although we are not normally vindictive as humans are also fond of saying about us, when they offend us they surely will suffer the consequences”. “Consequences such as?” asked Luccia intrigued. “Since we have magic and can cast spells, we can also create certain illusions and special effects that is reminiscent of poltergeist activity such as doors banging, pans falling off the shelves, tangling the hair of the sleepers, stealing small items or leading a traveler astray”. “Tell me then how do you work in particular with fruit trees?” “We fruit tree fairies can hear the voice of fruit trees who tell us when the time is near for transplanting and call us over from our world to Outerworld when their fruit is ripe and ready for harvesting. Fruit trees do not like it when human hands harvest their fruit for they tend to be rough with the plucking. You must remember that every fruit is a baby of the fruit tree. When a fairy eat the fruit of a fruit tree, it sometimes happen that the fruit tree feel honored and will bear one more fruit for every fruit the fairies have eaten. This is another of our enchantments that we use to devise illusions in order to protect ourselves”. “Im sorry to”interrupt your little tete-a-tete, Luccia but we still have a lot to see tonight and the fairy queen is waiting to receive you for a repast...” “Rigtht then”, said Mama Pamplemousse. “Limony, if you please?”
“The true lemon tree reaches a height of 3-6 m and usually has sharp thorns on the twigs,” began Limony, whose voice was thin as a reed. “It sounds lemony”, thought Luccia. “The flowers of the Lemon tree are mildly fragrant, may be solitary or consists of 2 or more clusters; the open flowers are white on the inside surface and purplish on the outside. The fruit is oval with a nipple-like protuberance on the apex. The peel is 6-10 mm thick, usually light-yellow in color, aromatic and dotted with oil glands; the pulp pale-yellow with 8 to 10 segments, juicy and acid. Some fruits are seedless although most have a few seeds . “Lemons are packed with numerous health benefiting nutrients and are low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is rich in dietary fiber. Its sour taste is due to 8% citric acid present in the juice that is a natural preservative and aids digestion. Studies have found that citric acid helps dissolving kidney stones. Lemons are an excellent source of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), a powerful water soluble natural anti-oxidant. They contain a variety of phytochemicals that have a bio-active effect on human health; small levels of Vitamin A required for maintaining healthy skin, mucus membranes and is essential for vision; the B-complex vitamins essential for the body; healthy amounts of the minerals iron, copper, potassium and calcium. Phyto-chemical antioxidants, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber in lemons are helpful in reducing the risk of cancer, chronic diseases like arthritis, obesity and coronary heart diseases. All citrus class of fruits have these atrributes and health benefits” “Did you hear, Mama”, said Sis Pamplemousse from out of the tree, “You must eat lots of lemons!” “Away with you!”laughed Mama. “How dare you shaming me in front of our visitor!” When Limony sat back with a sigh, Mama Pampelmousse clapped her hands and the tiny Lamandarine stepped forward. “Luccia,” she piped, “Mandarin is a group name for a class of oranges with a thin, loose peel. In the Philippines, these fruit is called Naranjita while Spanish-speaking people in South America call them Mandarina”.
“The Mandarin tree is smaller than that of the sweet orange although with great age, some may reach a height of 7.5 m. The tree is usually thorny with slender branches and deep green leaves, the flowers are borne singly or a few together in the leaf axils. The fruit is oblate in form, its peel bright-orange and when ripe is loose and separates easily from an extensive fibrous pith and juicy segmented flesh; the seeds are small and pointed. “Mandarin is very low in calories and a valuable source of flavonoid anti-oxidants like narigenin, hesperetin, vitamin A, carotenes, xanthins and luteins - higher than that of oranges; very rich in Vitamin C, contains natural soluble and insoluble fiber like hemi-cellulose, pectin etc, which prevents cholesterol absorption in the gut. Adequate fiber in the food aids in smooth bowel movements by acting as a laxative”. Scarsely was she finished when the flying fairy, D’Orange, was already hovering in front of Luccia. Since the Grove Queen was in a hurry they all had to hurry with their teachings and so she too started talking rapidly. “The Orange tree is an evergreen tree that can reach a height of about 5 to 8m. The leaves are aromatic and ever-green while the white flowers, borne singly or in clusters of 2 to 6, are sweetly fragrant. The fruit can sometimes weigh up to 150gm, are dotted with minute glands containing an essential oil; its outer rind is orange or yellow when ripe while the inner rind is white, spongy and non-aromatic. The pulp is yellow, orange or sometimes red, consisting of tightly packed membranous juice sacs enclosed in 10 to 14 wedge shaped compartments. In each segment there may be 2 to 4 irregular white seeds, though some types are seedless. “The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol and is rich in the dietary fiber pectin, which is effective against obesity; by its action as a bulk laxative it helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon and reduces blood cholesterol levels.” From out of the tree Sis Pampelmousse took up her part as soon as D’Orange had finished. “In many languages the pomelo is called by the equivalent of its French name Pamplemousse.
“These languages have assigned the name pomelo to grapefruit. The pomelo tree can reach a height of 15 m although some forms are dwarfed. The leaves are dull-green but glossy on top and minutely hairy underneath; the flowers are fragrant and yellowish-white in colour. The fruit can weigh over 3 kg when fully ripe; the peel, either clinging or easily removed, can be green, greenish-yellow or pale yellow and 1.25-2 cm thick; the pulp, varying from greenish or pale yellow to pink or red, is divided into 11 to 18 segments, very juicy to fairly dry while the flavour varies from mildly sweet and bland to sub -acid or truly acid. Some pomelo types have a dark green peel and yet the flesh is red and sweet. “Pomelo is low in calories and rich in dietary insoluble fiber pectin, which, by acting as a bulk laxative, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane. The red varieties are especially rich in the flavonoid antioxidant, lycopene that protects skin from damage by UV rays and offers protection against prostate cancer.”
The queen hurried Luccia away from the waving citrus faerie clan and came to an abrubt halt at a group of really strange-looking creatures. “This little bunch are called Mix of the Pix. They are Pixies and their main job is painting. Every plant and flower of which the colours have faded, they repaint as well as other things, such as road signs and fences in both our worlds.
“To paint is their main occupation and a thing that makes them very happy. You will always hear pixies singing and laughing where and when they are working. Just now, after I have introduced you, you will see them come out one by one each carrying little buckets filled with paint. Pixies possess many magical abilities including the gift of tongues like the Elves and are extremely intelligent. “Just as a quiet warning Luccia”, added the queen. “Don’t look either one in the eye for if you do we will never get away from here.” “But why then so?” asked Luccia. “Because Pixies have, apart from the other magical abilities, also the gift of mesmer, which means that they can hold your attention for a long time with their eyes. This will mean that you become, sometimes against your will, rooted to the spot and can not get away”. “Hello everyone!” called the Queen. The Pixies looked up from where they were busy mixing their paints and she continued, “We have a visitor from Outerworld tonight. She is a daughter of the Inbetween called Luccia.” Turning to Luccia she said, “These two smiling Pixies in front of us are called Tawny and Fawny while the one up there in the tree is called Bluey and his women is the one that came just flying in, called Suey.” Before either of the busy little people could really get an answer together, the queen waved them back to their work, took Luccia by the elbow and steerd her away.
While the queen hurried Luccia along to the exit from the Grove, they passed an area where a lot of hustling and bustling was going on and Luccia couldn’t help but notice the many sleighs inspanned with winged ponies. She remarked of it to the queen who answered with a wave of her hand, “Oh that! Those are our transport sleighs that are loaded every night to carry young fruit trees ready for transplanting, to Outerworld.” Why are the ponies all white?” Luccia wanted to know. “Some of the thorough-bred ponies are always born white because they have pure hearts. They are the flyers and we use them to pull the sleighs through the air, which of course makes the transport much quicker. Other ponies that are not born white, as you can see from the frolicking young ones, are actually sturdier and we use them to pull normal wagons for most of them never sprout wings. However, mutations do occur in our world just as in your world and so some ponies are born that are neither white nor have wings. “Sometimes when the loads are heavy we also make use of the services of Centaurs, natutal flying horses such as the breed of Pegasus and occasionally of Unicorns”.
“Why are these warriors so heavily weaponed? asked Luccia. “Are there enemies lurking around here or are you at war?” “No” answered the queen. “We are not at war or rather let me say we are always at war because there are always a need for us to defend our territory from enemies. “What kind of enemies?” She looked askance at Luccia and then said, “Our most hated enemies are Orcs. They are an ugly and filthy lot, dull and miserable, out to break down and destroy what and wherever they can lay their hands upon. They have sour black blood that, when spilled, smells like dead and rotten things. When out on raids, the groups are all male, who come to our grove and other places in Otherworld to steal our fae people to enslave them. Our females are used for mating and reproduction while our males are used for work and also to be transformed into Orcs by their demon masters, by means of torture and mutilation. This is the reason why, at regular intervals along our boundaries we have posted not only Centaur but also Elven warriors, the latter of whom are all female and very, very fierce especially those whose husbands have been stolen by Orcs”.
Luccia was just escorted to outisde of the Grove, when she and the guard, whose name was Arrow, was met by another Fae creature come flying towards them in the air. Luccia turned back to wave at the other guardsmen, among them Hammer, Arrow’s wife. All of them together with the Queen of the Grove waved and called, “Good bye Luccia. Thank you for visiting us and please come again!”
“I was three that time Pegasus, when you took Mitzie, myself and the others to the Other Side of Midnight.”  “Now, Luccia, if you will be so kind as to hop onto my back again, I will fly you out to Haven”. “What is Haven?” She asked. “Haven is the domain or rather the city where the King and Queen of the all the Fae lives. You have been invited to the castle to have tea with them. We have to hurry up becauWhen the flying fae landed at Luccia’s feet,”great was her surprise to se the night is nearly done and I have promised your Grandpére to recognize him. “Pegasus!” she said and clapped her hands with joy. have you home before the day breaks.” “Oh, I am so happy to see you again!” Luccia did as she was bidden and when she had grabbed hold of his “Hello Luccia, my dearest girl. My, but you have grown. The last time mane to keep herself from falling, Pegasus flapped his strong wings I’ve seen you, you were just a tiny tot...of how many years?” once and alighted into the air, flying off at a rapid pace.
“Luccia, do you see this landscape before us? Well, this is Fairy Land and welcome to it, I say! We will not tarry long on the way but, as we go, I will gladly answer any questions you may have” said Pegasus. “But I thought you are taking me to the Haven?” “I am, but Haven is the capital city of Otherworld or as you humans call it, Fairy Land and Haven is again a world-within-a-world”. “Is Otherworld situated beyond the Inbetween?“ “Otherworld is part of the Inbetween and lies within the boundaries of the Inbetween; one can say it is the heart of the Inbetween and it is ruled by the King and Queen of the Fae. “Shouldn’t there be only one queen of a realm? Who are then all the ‘queens’ I’ve met so far?” “Such as?” asked Pegasus. “Well, there was the herb queen when I visited the herb and grass garden, the queen of the grove we just left and there was the forest queen that time when I visited the Inbetween”.  “They are not queens of the realm, Luccia. Because of their higher ranking in being overseers of their particular domains alotted to them, they are called queens by their subjects but are not of the royal family of the Fae. “And what is the Taitha Dé?“ she asked again for she has read about that race in one of the many books at home. “Taitha Dé is the name of the original people or children of the Earth Mother, who was called the Danu. They were a divine race but the more ordinary humans began to inhabit the earth, the Taitha Dé had to retreat in order to prevent themselves from eventually being wholly absorbed by the human race. The Taitha Dé were, although much smaller than humans whom they called the mud people, more beautiful and possessed the art of magick. So the humans began the practise of taking for themselves wives and husbands among the Taitha Dé. In comparison with humans, the Taitha Dé is a people that are more caring for the world of nature and in the end, as I’ve said, they had to retreat before the onslaught of the destructiveness of humans. The only place where they could be totally safe, was within themselves and so went within the outer world...“
“Mm” said Luccia to herself. “This is what I also heard tonight from someone at the Grove”. When Luccia did not answer him Pegasus looked around and saw the child appeared to be asleep. “Poor little thing,” he said to himself. “She must be tired, hungry and thirsty”. “Lluccia?” he said softly. “Mmm?” “We are at the City of Haven!” Luccia opened her eyes and sat up straight. The sight that met her eyes almost made her forget her tiredness and hunger. “Wow!” was all she said. The City of Haven was spread out before them, shimmering silvery-blue as if a hundred thousand lamps were burning there. After a while of awesome wonder she asked, “but isn’t that only the king’s palace?” “Yes and no” answered Pegasus. “The city itself where all the fairy folk dwell lies within and behind those walls and towers. it’s for protection against invasions, that it was organised thus.” “Invasion by whom?” asked the child. “Well, even in Fairy Land we do have enemies. Remember what the grove queen told you, but there are much more than just orcs. Here in Haven we also have to contend against demons and the dragon, their master. “Does he dare to come here into your world?” “He does and has done so in the past but every time his attacks have been repelled by the soldiers of our King.” Luccia changed the topic back to the city for she did not want to think of the dragon just now. “But the city looks so small….?” “The part that you are looking at is only the entrance. Behind that white façade lies an entire city with streets, houses and shops and beyond that, an entire countryside.” All this talking has finally brought them to the city’s entrance. There was no gate as far as luccia could see and as she wondered about that, Pegasus said, “The entrance is sealed by a rune to keep unwanted visitors out. That is why you do not see anyone actually guarding the entrance.”
“So, in order to enter, do we have to reverse the rune?” “Correct!” Pegasus landed on the earth in front of the gate with an imposing display of wings and hoofs, mane and tail flapping, then turned to the side and walked off a little way. “Right,” he said. “I will speak the rune here away from the entrance and you must speak out the reverse of it while we face the entrance again. Okay?” “Okay!” answered Luccia excitedly.
Forthwith she spoke out, “By the Name of the One Most High are we forever safe, for His precious Sigh has restored our faith. By the Spirit of the Holy One, opening of the gate is done while you will stay in hell, you dragon, you he-bell!“
“Bravo Luccia!“ Pegasus whistled, thrilled. “Now look closely.“ Immediately a huge spider’s web became visible and was peeled away from the entrance. Pegasus waited until the web was fully away “By the Name of the One Most High have you been slain and His pre- before he pranced through. cious Eye took from us our pain. When Luccia looked back she was again much amazed to see that By the Spirit of the Holy One has this gate been sealed and from there was no longer a gate and remarked as much to Pegasus. He round about its field have you been banned to hell where you will said, “Oh! That’s because once in for anyone and of course especially stay, he-bell.” for those who managed to enter without having been invited such as Turning back to stand before the entrance, Pegasus whispered, „Your enemies, there appears to be no gate. They cannot leave and are theturn, Luccia!“ refore cornered.”
“As we progress through Haven Luccia, we will meet many of the fairy folk busy with their daily tasks and you can again see them in their more natural surroundings”. The first group of little people they came to were Pixies, Luccia knew for she had already met some of their kind in the Grove. Here they were busy in the field leading to the palace painting plants and flowers of which the colours have faded. A breath of air further on, Luccia and Pegasus entered a wide, shady glen where there were many small animals with fairy folk among them. There were rabbits, owls, ducks, mice, a frog, squirrels and a sparrow. Among the animals was a male fairy with a stethoscope around his neck together with two females dressed in white and a few male attendants. “This glen is the woodland hospital” said Pegasus. “The folk working here are Elven doctors and nurses, having come to attend to the sick and hurting animals of the woods. One of the magical abilities of elves is that they can heal themselves and others. “As you must have realized, elves are similar in appearance to pixies and have pointy ears. Their wings are a bit stronger than those of the pixies because they, in particular, love to fly around. Since elves are the most in number than any of the other kinds of the Fae, they are the rulers of our land. In other words, the king and queeen are Elves.“ Leaving the woodland hospital behind, Pegasus and Luccia arrived at a large lake. Over the water Luccia could see numerous dragon flies hovering, birds of many kinds were swooping down to the surface and rapidly ascending again. On the surface were ducks and geese, while at the edges among the reeds she could see all sorts of wading birds. A big, fat frog was sitting upon the broad leaf of a water lily and among and over all this movement upon, above, in and around the lake were fairy folk to be seen. Pegasus explained, “The little people busy here at the water are called Sprites, who are akin to elves and pixies in appearance except that they have green skins. Sprites also have healing abilities, which they make use of to heal and soothe the animals and living things in and at the water.
Sprites have the fastest reflexes of any type of fairy.“ “What is that?!“ exclaimed Luccia as she pointed to the air over the lake. “Oh, that is a Watersprite. Water sprites differ from the others in that their wings resemble more the wings of water creatures such as dragon flies or water fowl.“ “And what do the wings of the others resemble?“ asked Luccia. “Look closely and you will see that the wings of the others are more as butterfly wings. There are even some of our folk who have wings that we call angel wings.” Leaving the lake behind, they entered a deep dip in the landscape, where it was much darker. The road was winding between huge rock walls into which cave openings were hewn. These openings had doors and windows! Perceiving Luccia’s interest Pegasus said, “Those are the houses of Gnomes and Dwarves. These two groups of fairy folk resemble humans the most, although their backsides are quite massive and out of proportion with the rest of their bodies. They mostly look like old men because of their long beards, although many of them living here in Haven are still fairly young. They have been described as slightly stupid, which they are not really and very argumentative, which they are really.” What kind of work do they do, these gnomes and dwarves?” asked Luccia.
“Because both dwarves and gnomes are extremely sensitive to sunlight and can burn after three minutes in bright daylight, they work during the hours from dusk to dawn. Gnomes love to make things shine and so you will always find them doing just that.“ “Such as?“ asked Luccia. “Watch!“ said Pegasus as he pointed upward with his wing. On a high rock stood a gnome who was talking to the Man-in-theMoon. They heard him say, ‘Come on downwards! It is time for us to give you a new shine’. And forsooth, there came the moon downwards rocking as if he was a boat on the water. When he was within reaching distance of the gnome on the rock, the gnome, whose name was Moonshiner, grabbed him and swung himself into the moon’s hollow, for he had the form of a sickle. Down they came, Man-in-theMoon and Moonshiner, until they were hanging just above a spot on the ground where two other gnomes were waiting in a tree and still two others standing on the ground. One by one the gnomes passed shining equipment up to Moonshiner, who began to rub the moon vigorously. After a time the entire moon was shining as if he was brand new. When all the gnomes were satisfied with a job well done, Manin-the-Moon dippped forward to allow Moonshiner to jump out. All five of the gnomes stood back, waved and cheered as the moon sailed upward again into the sky. “Where is the moon going now?” asked Luccia. “Oh, he will go to the moon station where the stars are being polished. The gnome in charge of that work is called Starshiner”, answered Pegasus. “Let us proceed onto this pathway, so I can tell you about the Dwarves.” Not far from where they have seen moonshiner at work, the visitors came to a tall mountain. Many of the little people were swarming in and out of the base of the mountain. Before Luccia could say anything, Pegasus said, “Those fairy folk coming and going are all dwarves. Look well and you will see that some of them have pick axes with them, others have lanterns and still others are pushing wheelbarrows heaped high with gold. They are the miners and work deep within this and other mountains, to retrieve heaps of gold and other precious metals and stones.“
“What are those flickering lights in the tunnel entrances?” “Those lights are made by Goblins, who have the ability to create fireballs in their hands, or shoot them through their nostrils. As a general rule, dwarves and goblins despise one another and so those fireballs are made only to anger the dwarves, who have to pass by the goblins in order to enter or exit the mines.” “What do these goblins look like?“ Luccia wondered. “Goblins are hairless, reptilian fairies. They are the least intelligent of all our species because of their tiny brains. I will take you to the mouth of the tunnel nearest to us, so you can see for yourself.” At the entrance to the tunnel, Pegasus made a very strange sound, which actually gave Luccia a fright for it sounded like a cross between the whinny of a horse and the growl of a tiger. However, it had the desired effect because out from the tunnel popped a strange creature that looked just as Pegasus had described it with the addition of two large flat bat-like ears. Pegasus snorted and ambled sideways. Having given the creature a good staredown, Luccia yelled, “Let’s go, Pegasus!”
“And now for the big meet with the king and queen,” said Pegasus as he again landed on his four feet in front of the audience hall of the palace. “Luccia, they are called King Elor and Queen Elorana Mistmantle – just so that you know when addressing them. Please don’t forget to make a bow in front of each as the court page introduces you, for they are standing very much on correct protocol. “I’ll say goodbye then for the time being. When you have finished your tea I will be waiting around here to take you back to your home in Outerworld”. While Pegasus was still talking, both he and the human girl-child were gradually enveloped in veils of moving mist. Luccia was so surprised with the mist all around her, that she was unable to see anything and least of all, to see Pegasus. So she answered him with an au revoir in the general direction of his voice. Pegasus waited a while until he was certain Luccia had been taken care of by the court page, who had come out to meet Luccia and take her to where the king and queen were sitting on their thrones in all their regal elvin splendor.
“Luccia, I too must go away – not on a pleasure trip as my husband but on matters of diplomacy. You see, on our northern border we have a region where dwells the Giants of Edrei. They have refused our armies and merchants to cross their land, which is situated among the Edri Mountains. “When I have succeeded in concluding a treaty with the Edrei, I then have to go due east to the mountains on the world’s edge where lies the old dwarf stronghold of Karak. A Goblin warrior has laid siege to the dwarfs dwelling and working there as well as of the sea fortress of Aquavair. His method of enslaving my people is to terrorize them by scalping some of the dwarfs and there is no sign of his power waning.”  “May I ask something?” said Luccia. “But of course, dear girl.” “Why is it that among the Fae, the women are the warriors and the men the ... ah... the workers?” The queen laughed merrily and then said, “It has always been thus. We of the Fae see our women as the protectors of our homes and families and if it is sometimes necessary to go further afield to defend After she had made the necessary knicks and bows before the king, our territories, then we do so. We need also to protect our menfolk, murmering king Elor Mistmantle and then another knicks and bow who are the seed-givers – without them there can be no procreation. before the queen, Elorana Mistmantle, they smiled at one another And, as is the case among humans as well, we female Fae are built for and answered her by saying, “Welcome to the Elvin Throne, Human enduring much more hardship than they are. On the other hand the child of Outerworld and daughter of the great Sage of the Inbetwmen of the Fae are more clever than we are and have within themseleen!” Luccia came upright from bowing and saw the lords and ladies ves much more magick than we have. So, in the end it works out eqin waiting standing to both sides of the king and queen. Although the ually, don’t you agree? ladies were dressed in court finery she was surprised to see that the “And now you must please excuse me, Luccia and also forgive me as lords were dressed in hunting clothes. King Elor perceived Luccia’s well that I, although we have invited you for tea with both myself questioning look and explained, “These two gentlemen at my side and King Elor, must leave you now in the hands of my court ladies for have come to fetch me for our hunting trip... so, if you will please that promised repast”. excuse my dear, I will be off then”. And with that he jumped up from his throne and almost ran from the room. “Men!” said the Queen.” They are just like children, oui?” When Luccia had nodded her agreement with this statement, as was expected of her to agree with everything the queen said, Elorana continued.
“After Luccia had had her tea and cake with the ladies-in-waiting of Queen Elorana’s court, she was escourted back to where Pegasus was waiting for her. Once outside she looked and looked but could not see him anywhere. Then she heard a whinny, looked up and pulled in her breath. Opposite where she was standing was a beautiful glen with a waterfall in the background. On a kind of island stood a Unicorn with her foal, both silvery white. Bending over them was Pegasus almost as if he was whispering something into the ears of the Unicorn Mama. She winnied at him, shook her head and when he looked up, saw Luccia waiting for him. He came away then towards his charge so fast that his body was one solid blur of sound and colour. After Pegasus had knelt for Luccia to get onto his back, he took off through the sky and said, “Ask at your heart’s content, Luccia.” She giggled and then did ask, “Who is that beautiful Mama horse with her foal Pegasus?” “Those two Luccia, are my wife Electra and my son Virgil”. “But, Pegasus, they are Unicorns and you a flying horse. What is the difference then?” “Both the Unicorn and Winged Horse are of the same family, the Pegasi of Urania. We originally hailed from Mount Olympus but we moved from there after a certain enemy of our Lord, Perseus, abducted our first ancestor, Pegasus, because of his ability to strike lightning out of rocks and stones with his hoofs. However, Pegasus’ magick only worked on or near Olympus and when Perseus realized this, he was so disgusted that he banned Pegasus to the Place of Forever Wandering. In this desolate waste Pegasus met others of his kind such as the one-horned white horses, who were mostly female. He fell in love with one of them and sired children with her. These children had of course the genes of both the Winged Horse and the Unicorn with the result that a second clan came into being who could both fly and had one horn on their forheads”. “I haven’t seen any wings on Electra or on your son and neither do I see a horn on your forhead, Pegasus. How come?”
“The reason for this is, Luccia, that once a member of our clan had decided which characteristic of his psyche he is going to use the most, such as either his wings or his horn, the part that he will not use, becomes indistinct. As an example have I decided that I will be a flyer and so has the horn grown obsolete and fell out. My wife on the other hand, has decided to rather stay earthbound and so has her wings not grown properly, although they are still there and she can use them when necessary for short distances that are not too high above the surface of the earth. On still another hand has our son not come to the stage of decision yet and so has he still both his horn that is very small and tender and his wings that are folded up against his body” “I can understand the purpose of the wings but what is the purpose of the horn, Pegasus?” “The Unicorn was originally a lunar, feminine creature that emphasized the virtues of chastity, purity, virginity and perfect good, while its virtue and strength of mind and body is incorruptible. Having two horns joined in one symbolizes the union of opposites and undivided sovereign and supreme power. It concentrates into a single horn the vigor and virility associated with the two horns of other animals. The phallic and spear symbolism of the horn, combined with a mythology of purification, made the unicorn an elegant symbol of spiritual penetration – specifically the mystery of Christ’s entry into the virginal womb. “There exists a legend that at one time the forest animals gathered to drink at a pool but found the water was poisoned with the venom of a great serpent. The unicorn appeared, made the sign of the cross over the poisoned supply and the water was cleansed. The Unicorn’s most vital function is a symbol of power and virility as it combines both the male horn and the female body. This may be its most important role, symbolizing the soul as the spark of divine light in the darkness of matter and evil”.
“What about Centaurs. They are also horse beings, are they not?”
“And what about demons and ghouls, Pegasus”, Luccia wanted to know. “Centaurs are cousins of Unicorns and the race of Pegasus. They are “Now thát is a story for another time and to be told by another perforest-dwelling as most of our breed and in each country where coson...” lonies exist has land been set aside by the rulers of that land, exclu- “Such as?” sively for use by Centaurs. Each family of our breed has their own “I’m sure Luccia, now that I have delivered you safely back in your methods of concealment but especially do centaurs have the better room, your grandpére will be satisfied with the conduct of us Faerie method for they feel more the need to avoid contact with wizards people and will tell you the rest of what you want and need to know and witches. about Otherworld.” “Because Centaurs have the torso and arms of a human they are Luccia, though disappointed, agreed with Pegasus for throughout her masters in the art of archery. They also have other abilities of magick tour with the Fae in their world, has she perceived that not one of such as healing, divination and astronomy. For the latter, they burn them is very keen on talking about demons and ghouls. So she obedicertain herbs such as sage, to refine their stargazing abilities. They ently slid off Pegasus’ back and onto the window sill of her room still are a proud people, detesting it when anyone would dare to call bathed in the soft , beautiful moonlight. Everything was as she had them half-breeds and they are adamant in saying that they are not in left it, as if she had never been away. any way making themselves available to be employed by human“I understand Pegasus”, she said as she gave him a hug, upon which kind”. [9.1] he made a slight bow with his neck before flying away.
“Good morning,Grandpére”, said Luccia the next day when the old man had joined her at the table for breakfast. “Bonjour, mon coeur,” he answered. “And how was your nightly excursion into Otherworld? Did you learn enough?” “Oh yes! Thank you for allowing me to go there, but...” “But what?” he asked with a twinkle in his eye for he already knew what she wanted to say. When Pegasus had off-loaded Luccia in her room, he had encountered her grandfather in the garden on the other side of the house and there reported all that had happened to her and what she had learned. In parting, he had mentioned that the child had asked about the demons and ghouls of Otherworld. After the flying horse had left, the old man had thought much about how to answer her and what to tell her if and when she asked this question. Ask she will, he knew for she had an insatiable appetite for knowledge. Old man Shamus had thought long and hard the night before and he had remembered many things from the time when he himself had been still a sorcerer. He had remembered how that he had sold his soul to Satan, the prince of this world and he had, most of all, remembered how utterly fearful had been the experience when he had finally turned away from that road towards salvation. It was a long, hard road but the Lord Jesus Christ, who had promised him His peace, did not desert him. No, He took Shamus’ hand and pulled him through it all; he had learned to pray the most important prayer of all Christian prayers, a one-word prayer, ‘Jesus!’ Whenever Satan had tried to take back what he presumed belonged to him, Shamus could with all the faith in his fearful heart and with all the trust in Him who had conquered all, sometimes shout, sometimes just whisper, “Jesus!” and immediatrely, legions of heavenly angels had come to his assistance to help him fight and overcome the evil and darkness that tried to grab him by his heels and pull him back into the hell out of which he had crawled. Shamus knew only too well that all that had happened to him while in the power of Satan, was because he too had an insatiable appetite for knowledge.
Knowledge of things dark and evil when the things of light and goodness no longer could slake his thirst and still his hunger. That is why he had decided not to allow Luccia to know it all about demons and ghouls, about ghosts and spirits, about evil and darkness. With the help of God his Father will he steer her away from seeking after this knowledge. “Grandpére! You are not listening!” said Luccia exasperated. “Forgive me my child. I am an old man and sometimes my mind do wander. What did you say?” “Will you tell me about the demons and dragons, ghouls and ghosts of Otherworld? Pegasus had said, only you could teach me about all that.” “ Seeing that I know you are not going to give me any rest unless I’ve satisfied your hunger, I bade you listen to me, Luccia and listen carefully,” said Grandpére sternly. “The devil of whom you have learned at school, is called Satan or Lucifer and demons are fallen angels who, together with Satan, have freely chosen to rebel against the authority of God and have refused to serve Him. Their choice against God is conclusive and they strive to bring mankind into a partnership with them in their revolt against God. “Some people have acquiesced to serve Satan and his demonic hordes by willingly allowing demons to possess them. However, apart from demon-possession, where an evil spirit enters into the soul of someone, there are other forms of working with them against God, such as demonic oppression, which happens when a person makes a pact with Satan to achieve certain things in life; or oppression can also happen when a person gives too much attention to or try to acquire too much information about the dark knowledges of the worlds. “Any interest in demons, Satan, etcetera is unhealthy and dangerous. The body of knowledge that concerns these things of darkness is what we call the occult, meaning secret things.
“Such interests open us up to evil spirits and their influences that are “There are some things I need to show you, which are best explained very real – much more real than the folk of Otherworld. The real rea- in images than in mere words. son why people are attracted to making use of witchcraft and other occult practices is that they are seeking some sort of power and control, or some kind of hidden knowledge of the other worlds or of the future - in other words to have some of the power that generally belongs to God. This is a temptation – the same thing with which the serpent in the Garden of Eden tempted Eve by assuring her, “…you will be like gods…” ; however, when doing what the devil said, she didn’t become like God and lost all God’s blessings. The reality of the matter is that we are creatures made by God who did give us some power though limited and we are dependent on God for all we are and have”. “I understand Grandpére, but there do exsist good angels as well, not so?” “Good angels truly exist and they are in number and ability surpassing far more the number and abilities of the bad or dark angels, with whom they are constantly in a battle for us in the service of God Almighty. Each one of us have a guardian angel appointed by God just for you and me and for all other people, helping to protect us from spiritual and natural dangers”.  “May I ask something else?” “Go ahead” said Grandpére, satisfied to see that his words of warning have found their mark inside Luccia’s psyche. “What you said just now about the battle between the good and bad angels for our souls , is what we have learned in the Church’s catechism...” “Mhm”, he answered and thought by himself, “...as it should be, naturally”. “But, Grandpére, if the Church warns us in the catechism about these dangers, why is it then that they celebrate the same occultic feasts Entering Grandpére’s study, Luccia eyes were caught immediately by that the witches celebrate?” the brightly colored circle-diagram on the wall with an inscription “Aha!” said Grandpére, “I’m pleased to see that you are thinking ag- beneath it, for which she stepped forward to read. ain in the right direction, Luccia. Come, let us go to my study.
“Imbolc, an ancient 2 February Lunar fire- sabbat is the first of the occult festivals of the year. Imbolc means ‘around the belly’ and describes the womb of mother earth, referring to the land or soil; a festival of waxing light and purification heralding the potential of spring. The goddess being honored here is called Brigid (embraced mostly by the Celtic Irish) and is one of the few ancient deities that has survived well into modern times as St. Brigid. Brigid was seen as a maiden goddess who was rescued from the Cailleach (witch) of winter by her lover, Angus. This legend is symbolic of the first hints of spring and the new quickening of nature's energies after the winter's sleep. Even though Imbolc occurs at the coldest time of the year it marks the time at which days become noticeably longer. Imbolc traditions center around light and purification. “In some of the other pagan cultures, the Romans on 2 February perambulated their city with torches and candles burning in honour of their goddess Februa while the Greeks at this same period held their feast of lights in honour of Ceres. “According to Pope Innocent the Roman Catholic Church’s feast of Candlemass, originated from the heathens’ dedication of this month to their infernal gods. As a maiden’s mother sought for her in the night with lighted torches, the idolaters walked about the city with lighted candles. Some of the holy fathers could not succeed in extirpating such a custom and therefore compromised by ordaining that Christians should carry about candles in honour of the Virgin Mary. Candles are, therefore, lit at midnight as a symbol of purification (hence the common name for this day, Candlemas) that celebrates the presentation of the infant Jesus at the temple and the purification of the Mary His mother after childbirth.  “In witches lore the light is particularly mentioned as being carried by the Devil, usually on his head; the witches often lit their torches and candles at this flame, though sometimes it seems that the Devil lit the torch and then presented it to the witch. To call the chief of the cult Lucifer was therefore appropriate. Of that time, a witch describes one such night: ‘at Candlemas the last time in Grangehill, we got meat and drink enough.
The Devil sat at the head of the table and all the Coven about. That night he desired Alexander Elder in Earlseat to say the grace before meat, which he did and said, ‘We eat this meat in the Devil's name’. After we had ended eating, we looked steadfastly to the Devil and bowing ourselves to him said, We thank thee, our Lord, for this’. “The Satanists also celebrate this feast during which there occurs as many initiations of new members into the cult as they could fit in, while either an animal or human sacrifice is made to Satan. “One Catholic describes her view of Imbolc-cum-Candlemas as follows: 1 February is the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare. The Celtic goddess Brigid is associated with the sabbat of Imbolc on 2 February, which is also the day celebrated by Catholics as Candlemas. The character of Brigid is a conflation of both the goddess and the saint. Essentially, the goddess was co-opted by the church, her iconography remaining basically the same but with a new Christian biography, which made it a fact of Catholic tradition that during the middle ages there had been a nun in Ireland with the name Brigid. However, its difficult to differentiate between fact and legend. Combining my Catholicism with the celebration of Spring with the goddess/saint tied to poetry and fire, I made a brigid’s cross from the pages of a book, set up white, red and green candles – colors that are associated with Brigid, poured water in a dish and added bright flowers on display. There I had my Imbolc altar!”  ‘
“The feast of Ostara falls on the day of the Spring/vernal equinox, i.e. 21-23 March, which is a time for fertility and sowing seeds and so nature's fertility goes a little crazy. It is called after a lunar goddess known as Ostara, who mated with a fertility god around this time of the year and then gave birth nine months later – at Yule. According to the Venerable Bede, Eostre was the Saxon version of the Germanic goddess Ostara. Her feast day was held on the full moon following the vernal equinox -- almost the identical calculation as for the Christian Easter in the West. “One popular legend is that Eostre found a wounded bird one day in late winter. To save its life, she transformed it into a hare. However, the transformation was not a complete one and so the bird took the appearance of a hare but retained the ability to lay eggs – eggs that the hare would decorate and leave as gifts to Eostre. In medieval societies in Europe, the March hare was viewed as a major fertility symbol -- this hare is a species of rabbit that is nocturnal most of the year, but in March when mating season begins, there are bunnies everywhere all day long. The female is superfecund and can conceive a second litter while still pregnant with a first. As if that wasn't enough, the males tend to get frustrated when rebuffed by their mates and will bounce around erratically when discouraged. “In ancient Rome, the followers of Cybele believed that their goddess had a consort who was born by way of a virgin birth. His name was Attis. He died and was resurrected each year during the time of the vernal equinox on the Julian Calendar (between 22 and 25 March). It was around this same time that the Germanic tribes honored their lunar goddess called Ostara. Then there is also the story of the Roman god Mithras, somewhat similar to the tale of Jesus Christ and his resurrection. Born at the winter solstice and resurrected in the spring, Mithras helped his followers ascend to the realm of light after death. In one legend, Mithras, who was popular amongst members of the Roman military, was ordered by the Sun to sacrifice a white bull. He reluctantly obeyed, but at the moment when his knife entered the creature's body, a miracle took place.
“The bull turned into the moon and Mithras' cloak became the night sky. Where the bull's blood fell, flowers grew and stalks of grain sprouted from its tail. “The indigenous Mayan people in Central America have celebrated a spring equinox festival for ten centuries. As the sun sets on the day of the equinox on the great ceremonial pyramid, El Castillo in Mexico, its ‘western face is bathed in the late afternoon sunlight. The lengthening shadows appear to run from the top of the pyramid's northern staircase to the bottom, giving the illusion of a diamondbacked snake in descent’. This has been called The Return of the Sun Serpent since ancient times.  “Many modern Wiccans and Pagans celebrate Ostara as a time of renewal and rebirth. For Satanists this day involves sexual orgies combined with animal or human sacrifices. On the 24 th of March, the Feast of the Beast takes place during which a sixteen year old girl becomes the bride of Satan in a marriage ceremony. During the Christian Easter week-end a black mass/black sabbath is held. To mock the death of Jesus Christ, a man is sacrificed on Good Friday. On Easter Sunday, known to Satanists as unholy sunday, a woman or man is sacrificed followed by three days of fasting and chanting.
“The Sabbat of Beltane celebrates the midway point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice and is named in honor of the fire of the Celtic god of light, Bel, Belinus or Beli. Like as Halloween, Beltaine or Walpurgisnacht is of pagan origin. The bonfires seen in today's celebration reflect those pagan origins and the human desire to drive away the winter cold and welcome spring. The feast of Beltaine is full of the pulsing energy of the natural world yearning towards its fulfillment in summer and full of the vigor of the wild hunt. It is primarily a fire and fertility festival: The lighting of the Beltaine fires, usually atop hills, served the purpose of purifying and fructifying cattle, crops and communities. This is a major cross-quarter day that lasts from sunset on April 30th to sunset on May 2nd. “Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire and so in the traditionally Celtic lands he was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character such as the great horseman called Mauvières, because horses were closely linked to the sun and thus seen as a healing and sun god. “Celebrated mainly in Sweden, Finnland, Estonia, Latvia and Germany, Walpurgisnacht, on the other hand, gets its name from St Walpurga, a woman born in what is now England in 710. She traveled to Germany and became a nun at the convent of Heidenheim in Württemberg. Following her death in 778 , she was made a saint by the Catholic Church with May 1 as her feast day. In Bavaria Walpurgisnacht is known as Freinacht and resembles Halloween. In parts of Germanic Europe, Walpurgisnacht is celebrated each year around April 30. Today, some pagans in central and northern Europe still celebrate Walpurgisnacht as a precursor to Beltaine. Although it is named for a martyred saint, many Germanic pagans try to honor the celebrations of their ancestors by observing this traditional holiday each year. It is typically observed much like May Day celebrations with lots of dancing, singing, and ritual around the bonfire.
“Together with Samhain, Beltaine is a day full of mischief-making influences, both elemental and through those just beyond our vision behind the Veil, which constitutes the boundary between the spirit world and the real world. In times as these, the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest allowing beings from both sides of the veil, to cross over and communicate and celebrate with each other. The creatures that cross over into the real world, has to do with supernatural spirits. It is a time then, that we can communicate with the spirit world and the fae. Bonfires are traditionally lit to keep away malevolent spirits or those who might do us mischief. “Pagans believe that Beltaine, also called the feast of Flame and Faerie, is a day on which the Beltaine fires merrily burn, bringing blessings and wishes to all who leap through them. It is a day of letting go, of dancing and singing and frolicing about, not caring who is watching. The festival is an important Faerie Feast, the day that the Seelie Court - the court of Summer and Light - rules again. “In Germany, the Brocken forming the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, is considered the focal point of Walpurgisnacht. Also known as the Blocksberg, the 1142-meter peak is often shrouded in mist and clouds, lending it a mysterious atmosphere that has contributed to its legendary status as the home of witches and devils. In its Christian version of Walpurgis nacht, the pagan festival became a time to drive out evil spirits—usually with loud noises.  “In the cycle of the god and goddess, Beltaine is the festival where they become one. They dance and lay together and wherever they walk, flowers and grain will sprout up from the ground. It is the day of fertility and growth. The animals go out into the fields again together with their little ones. The Goddess is now pregnant with the Sun Child and has turned from the Maiden into the Mother. 
“In the 7th Century, Saint Eligius warned the recently converted inhabitants of Flanders against the age-old pagan solstice celebrations. He said, ‘No Christian on the feast of Saint John or the solemnity of any other saint performs solestitia [summer solstice rites] or dancing or leaping or diabolical chants’. As Christianity entered pagan areas, midsummer celebrations came to be often borrowed and transferred into new Christian holidays, often resulting in celebrations that mixed Christian traditions with traditions derived from pagan Midsummer festivities. Traditionally St John's Eve was seen as a time when the veil between this world and the next was thin, when powerful forces were abroad and therefore vigils were often held during the night.
“It was said that if you spent a night at a sacred site during Midsummer Eve, you would gain the powers of a bard or be spirited away by the fairies. Indeed St Johns Eve was a time when fairies were perceived to be abroad and at their most powerful. The festival is still important to pagans today, including the modern day druids who celebrate the solstice at Stonehenge in Wiltshire. For them the light of the sun on Midsummer's Day signifies the sacred Awen. For witches the summer solstice forms one of the lesser sabbats, their main festivals being Beltane (1st May) and Samhain (31 October)”. 
“Lughnasadh is a traditional Gaelic festival celebrated on 1 August. It originated as a harvest festival, corresponding to the English Lammas. In Irish mythology, the Lughnasadh festival is said to have been begun by the god Lugh as a funeral feast and sporting competition in commemoration of his foster-mother, Tailtiu, who died of exhaustion after clearing the plains of Ireland for agriculture. The feast involved the following: a solemn cutting of the first of the corn, of which an offering would be made to the deity by bringing it up to a high place and burying it; a meal of the new food and of bilberries of which everyone must partake; a sacrifice of a sacred bull - a feast of its flesh with some ceremony involving its hide and its replacement by a young bull; a ritual dance-play perhaps telling of a struggle for a goddess and a ritual fight; an installation of a head on top of the hill and a triumphing over it by an actor impersonating Lugh; a three-day celebration presided over by the brilliant young god or his human representative; and finally, a ceremony indicating that the interregnum was over and the chief god in his right place again. “Lughnasadh celebrations were commonly held on hilltops that involved the lighting of bonfires and visiting of holy wells. The ashes from Lughnasadh bonfires would be used to bless fields, cattle and people while visitors to holy wells would pray for health while walking sunwise around the well; they would then leave offerings. “Lughnasadh is seen as a time to give thanks to the spirits and deities for the beginning of the harvest season and to propitiate them with offerings and prayers not to harm the still-ripening crops. The god Lugh is honored by many at this time, as he is a deity of storms and light-ning, especially the storms of late summer. Gentle rain on the day of the festival is seen as his presence and his bestowing of blessings. So also is the goddess Tailtiu honored on this day in a bid to keep the Cailleachan (Storm Hags) from damaging the crops.  Lughnasadh, a Sabbat on the Wiccan Wheel of the Year, is primarily a grain harvest, one in which corn, wheat, barley and grain products such as bread are prominently featured. Fruits and vegetables ,which ripen in late summer are also a part of the traditional feast.
“For Wiccans, as autumn begins to assert itself and the summer to wane, the Sun god enters his old age, but is not yet dead. The god symbolically loses some of his strength as the Sun rises farther in the South each day and the nights grow longer. During Lughnasadh the goddess is honored as the Queen of Abundance and the god, the Father of Prosperity or god of the Corn. It is a time when the goddess is a new Mother. A feast of the fruits of the harvest is held in the deity's honor.  “With the arrival of Christianity, the old pagan festival was modified and adapted to suit the teachings of the church. The name was changed to Lammas which means ‘loaf mass’ and this was reflected in the custom of placing loaves of bread baked from the first harvest grains on the church altar. In the middle ages there are frequent historical references to Lammastide when craft fairs and pageants would be held. It is also thought to have been around this time when the feast of St. Catherine was celebrated, which gave rise to the term 'Catherine Wheel.' This originated in pagan worship when a wagon wheel would be tarred, taken to the top of a hill, set on fire and then rolled down, symbolizing the decline of the Sun God at the Autumn Equinox. It is well known that the Catholic Church was never comfortable with St. Catherine. Tied so closely as she was with myths, mystics and the old beliefs, they changed her day of celebration many times and at one point, even tried to de–saint her. However, the Catholic Church in Ireland did established the ritual of blessing fields on this day. 
“The feast of Mabon is the Autumn Equinox, which divides the day and night equally. All who attend this ceremony pay their respects to the impending dark and give thanks to the waning sunlight, as the harvest of this year's crops are stored. The Druids call this celebration Mea'n Fo'mhair and honor the The Green Man, the god of the Forest, by offering libations to trees. Wiccans celebrate the aging goddess as she passes from Mother to Crone and her consort the god as he prepares for death and rebirth. At this festival it is a time to finish old business as we ready for a period of rest, relaxation and reflection. Mabon is considered a time of the Mysteries, a time to honor aging deities and the spirit world. “To the Celts, Avalon is the mysterious place for the land of the dead and literally means the ‘land of apples’. Thus, this is a holiday for celebrating the desire for the living to be reunited with their deceased loved ones. Mabon’s most popular role is the King of the Underworld and the god of Darkness. He is seen as the god of war and death and the patron god of fallen warriors. This then is a representation or connection to the Land of Avalon where warriors reside in the after life. Mabon represents the time of honoring the dead; visiting burial sites and placing an apple on the burial sites of your loved ones represents the promise of the great spirits for renewed life and a new incarnation; giving thanks for the end of the harvest season and the bounty it has provided. “Although many view the harvest season as a celebration of life, it is also a celebration of death. The bounty you gather from your garden provides nourishment for you, family and friends. But it is also the death of those plants and vegetables which have been harvested from that garden. Thus Mabon is a celebration of the cycle of life. “There are some ritual celebrations for those who have crossed over to the Underworld. These underworlds share the persona of the Christian Hell. They are the lands of those who took advantage of their communities, were considered evil or committed crimes against their communities. Typically the ritual involves some sort of bonfire as a beacon of light for the coming months of darkness.
“Since most European peasants were unable to calculate the exact day of the equinox, they celebrated the event on a fixed calendar date, September 25th - a holy day that the medieval church christianized under the name of ‘Michaelmas’, the feast of the Archangel Michael. “The Autumnal Equinox is an instant frozen in time. Mabon marks the halfway point between the zenith of the sun at Litha and it’s nadir the night before Yule when our earth is at a complete equal facing with the sun. This is the second time of year that day and night are equal, the first time being at Ostara. However, unlike at Ostara when the days will grow longer than the nights, after this day the darkness is beginning to gain over the day. Mabon marks the beginning of Autumn and the death of the land that is to come, but it is also a celebration of life, as it is the second and largest harvest of the year. “Mythically, Mabon is the day of the year when the god of Light is defeated by his twin and alter-ego, the god of Darkness. We see the Autumnal Equinox is the only day of the whole year when Llew (light) is vulnerable and it is possible to defeat him. The full moon closest to the Autumn Equinox is known as the ‘Harvest Moon,’ since farmers would also harvest their crops during the night with the light of the full moon to aid them. The month of September also marks the ‘Wine Moon’, the lunar cycle when grapes are harvested from the arbors, pressed and put away to become wine. Wine and grapevines were considered sacred by early pagans.” 
“The festival of Samhain originated in Ireland's pagan Celtic past. It was an important fire festival, celebrated over the evening of 31 October and throughout the following day. To our pagan ancestors it marked the end of the pastoral cycle – a time when all the crops would have been gathered and placed in storage for the long winter ahead and when livestock would be brought in from the fields and selected for slaughter or breeding. But it was also, as the last day of the year, the time when. “For the Celts, Samhain was a spiritual time, because being in transition, the usually fairly stable boundaries between the Otherworld and the human world became less secure so that the souls of the departed would return to their former homes and when potentially malevolent spirits were released from the Otherworld and became visible to mankind. This is where the dark side of Halloween originated. The little people were originally the pagan gods of Ireland who lost their significance and, metaphorically, their stature when Christianity arrived. Despite their reduced state and retirement to Otherworld as fairies, a memory of their magical powers held fast in the imagination of the people. “Since humans could see these spirits on this night, they might try to appease them, but could easily fall foul of them by committing an unexplained discourtesy. The spirits were famously sensitive to any slight! To ward off the evil let loose at Samhain, huge bonfires were lit and people wore ugly masks and disguises to confuse the spirits and stop the dead from identifying individuals who they may have disliked during their own lifetime.They also deliberately made a lot of noise to unsettle the spirits and drive them away from their communities. The timid, however, would leave out food for the fairies in their homes, or at the nearest hawthorn or whitethorn bush (where fairies were known to live) hoping that their generosity would be sufficient to appease the spirits. For some, the tradition of leaving food (and a spoon to eat it!) in the home was more about offering hospitality to their own ancestors.
“Just as spells and incantations of witches were especially powerful at Samhain, so the night was believed to be full of portents of the future. In order to prevent unwelcome spirits entering their homes, the Celts created menacing faces out of turnips and left them on their doorsteps. Adding a lit candle to the hollowed out face gave added protection. In modern times, pumpkins are used simply because they're considerably easier to carve and much bigger than turnips. “In Roman Europe a similar harvest feast was dedicated to Pomona, which continued to be celebrated long after the arrival of Christianity, as did Samhain in Ireland. It was, therefore, inevitable that an alternative would be found by the Church to push pagan culture into a more acceptable Christian event. Sure enough, the 7th century Pope Boniface, attempting to lead his flock away from pagan celebrations and rituals, declared 1st November to be All Saints Day, also known as All Hallows Day. The evening before became known as Hallows' Eve.  “A worshipper of Satan puts it this way: ‘Samhain is the end of our year and the festival of fire and of reaping the harvest. It is also a time of thanksgiving to Father (Satan) for all of the blessings he has bestowed upon us throughout the year. “During Samhain, the veil between the worlds is very thin and this is a night of special significance for masses and rituals. Because demons are walking the earth as well as the spirits of the dead, this is an excellent time for interaction and communication. It is also a night to settle scores. Rituals of vengence have special significance in laying to rest hostlities so one may end the year on a peaceful note, as this is a time of endings where hatred, grudges and any other feelings that come from being wronged are vented so that enemies can be brought to justice through magickal means. “Following any rite, that ideally should begin at midnight Oct 31stNov 1st, intense celebration should follow. This is a time for feasting and indulgence, the lighting of bonfires, dancing, sex, gluttony and general letting go.’” 
“Yule marks mid-winter and the turning of the year – the change from death to life, from darkness to light. It was traditionally a time of sacrifice, when idols of heathen deities were sprinkled with blood, duels were fought and life was celebrated in the bleak midwinter. In some traditions of Wicca and paganism, the Yule celebration comes from the Celtic legend of the battle between the young Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King, representing the light of the new year, tries each year to usurp the old Holly King, who is the symbol of darkness. “Winter festivals were also common in Greece and Rome, as well as in the British Isles. When a new religion called Christianity popped up, the new hierarchy had trouble converting the pagans, and as such, folks didn't want to give up their old holidays. Christian churches were built on old pagan worship sites and pagan symbols were incorporated into the symbolism of Christianity. Within a few centuries, the Christians had everyone worshipping a new holiday celebrated on December 25. Other than the date and a few other superficial similarities, the pagan religious festival of Yule has little in common with Christmas.  “A connection has also been made between the celebration of Yule to the ancient folk myth of the Wild Hunt, in which a spectral group of huntsmen were said to be seen in mad pursuit across the skies. The origin of the Wild Hunt varies from land to land. In some cultures the huntsmen are said to be gods, in others ghosts and in some faerie creatures. Often the leader of the Wild Hunt corresponds to a mythical or historical figure, commonly the Norse god Odin, the Old English folk hero Herne the Hunter or Gwyn ap Nudd, ruler of the Welsh underworld. “One aspect of the Wild Hunt legend that is universal, is the belief that seeing them brings nothing but misfortune to the beholder – they are viewed as the harbingers of death, plague and destruction. For this reason, folk lock their doors on nights when the Wild Hunt rides or risk being carried off to the land of the dead or worse, being forced to become part of the spectral cavalcade for all time themselves.
“So wherever you are around the world just remember, while you’re roasting chestnuts over the fire and opening your presents, to stay indoors on Christmas night and make sure that you don’t attract the attention of the Wild Hunt, for if you see them, doom is sure to follow.  “According to witches’ lore, the Leader of the Wild Hunt is also called the Dark Lord or Lord of Shadows who has death and resurrection aspects. For witches, Yuletide is an opportunity to connect with the Shadowlands or the Underworld and to face the Dark Lord of Death. ‘The face one sees may initially be grotesque and horrible, but once the beholder accepts that this is also the face of the giver of life's energy, that face changes and is beautiful to behold. Once a person is no longer fearful of Death or the Underworld, Yuletide becomes a good time to honour ancestors, visit with the spirits of the departed and honour the Dark Powers...’ Since Yuletide is a time of darkness, the combined powers of the full and new moon comes into play, invoking the birth of the Unconquered Sun and the full power of the god.
When Shamus poked his head around the door of his study he saw Luccia deep in thought in front of the diagram on the wall, given to him by his friend of many years. This was no ordinary diagram, no mere picture made up of circles and brightly colored wedges. Oh no. Each wedge had a secret to it and only if you are very clever, will you be able to unlock that secret. Once unlocked, the wedge reveals its contents consisting of a description of each pagan feast and ritual relative to that feast. “Fini, mon cher?” he asked behind her, wondering how she had found the key to the secret. She turned around and said smugly, “Oui Grandpére” her violet blue eyes dancing with mirth. “Poor Grandpére,” Luccia said to herself, “is dying to know how I did it”. Aloud she said, “Thank you for leaving me to figure this one out for myself”. “So, how did you do it?” “I looked intently into each wedge, concentrating all the powers of perception on the spot in-between the wedge and the point where it meets with the other wedges in the centre of the circle”. “How did you know about that?” asked Grandpére surprised. “You taught me this when I was still very small. I used this knowledge for the first time when I went with Mitzie to the Other Side of Midnight”, she answered.  “Amazing, the powers of the mind, not so?” was all he could say on that for, to tell the truth, that was not the real key. Upon the hub of the 8-pointed star, is a circle of 8 very sensitive activators which, when lightly touched, allows the colored cover of each wege to fold back, revealing what is written within. Looking fondly at his granddaughter, Shamus smiled and said, “I can see there are many question already but I can also see there is a headache coming on due to all this output of intense concentration these past few hours. So I will suggest that we take a break, walk about on the hard-packed wet sand of the beach to get the system rejuvenated again; go for a swim in the ocean and play with the dolphins, who had just come in with the tide, waiting for you. What do you say?”
“Oh yes!” she squeeled and before he could say anything more she was already running down towards the ocean, undressing as she went. Picking up pieces of clothing with a sigh, the old man followed her at a more sedate pace. Luccia had enjoyed herself so much swimming and playing with the dolphins, that she had completely forgotten about stuff like Imbolc, Halloween, witches and demons. For that at least Shamus was thankful. He knew, however, that he will have to answer the many questions brewing in her spirit the following day, for he had also seen the assignment she was working on with the subject: New Evangelism for pre-teens. She had to hand the completed assignment in on the first day of the new term, which was in exactly a week’s time, at the Catholic School where she was attending classes. “This gives me at least one full night to prepare for the barrage of questions that will surely come as early as tomorrow morning when she opens her eyes,” he had mused when he had kissed her good night.
“Many churches, certainly the older ones”, Grandpére said the next morning after he and Luccia had had their breakfast and were comfortably together in his workroom where he had open before him some ancient scrolls, charts and lists, “were built on the sites of heathen temples. Why? would one ask and was it necessary? “Prior to invasions from tribes out of Europe, all holy or feast days were of pagan origin that had been usurped by the Church who had christianized them. Most of these feast days originated in Western Europe and specifically in Britain that was at that time inhabited by various Celtic tribes united by common speech, customs and religion. Each tribe, headed by a king, was divided into classes such as druids (priests), warrior nobles and commoners. However, the lack of political unity made them vulnerable to conquering tribes from other regions. “During the 1st Century AD, Britain was conquered and subjugated by the Roman Empire with the positive result that during the next three hundred years, Roman legions afforded the politically discordant Britons the protection necessary to secure the country from attack. However, Rome withdrew from Britain in the beginning of the 4th Century and so during the following centuries Germanic invaders from Europe started to carve out kingdoms, fighting both the native Britons and each other for land. First called Saxons, the Germanic invaders were later referred to as Angles, of whom king Æthelbert of Kent is an example, since he was called Rex Anglorum by the pope from the year 601 AD. “Before Augustine went to England in 595 AD and set about converting the various English kings to a foreign creed, the English had their own believes, their own gods, communal history and their own laws and values by which they lived and prospered. After the conversion to Catholicism their beliefs and customs were supplanted by a foreign creed, which cast their gods as devils and those who worshipped them as devil worshippers. The only reason why the kings were converted was because the Church was able to make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
“In essence the deal was this, convert to Christianity and we will provide you with recognition by the Church of your right to rule; membership of a powerful alliance; a centralised administration that will enable you to have greater control over those you rule. It appeared to be a good deal but what did the Church want in return? The cost was a transfer to the Church of power and wealth: provision of land, money and taxes – some in the form of labour, food and fuel and the right to eliminate all beliefs and practises that competed with Christianity. “Augustine set in process a chain of events, which led to the conversion of powerful families but he had little to offer the ordinary English folk. Contrary to the story told by the Church, mass baptism where the result of kings instructing people to attend them because the people did not flock to baptisms and because they saw the light of truth. The Church never managed to obtain a full and voluntary conversion - it was a matter of slowly and deliberately changing heathen customs that was made unlawful and for which the punishment could be severe; and the re-writing of history. “The Church employed various techniques of persuading the pagans to convert to Christianity. It was suggested by the pope himself that the people be encouraged to accept change little by little, adapting the old customs from one generation to the next. According to the Church, it is easier to convert people to a new religion by allowing them the traditions of the past. This made for strange bedfellows when heathen traditions gained a Christian veneer, in that new customs were gradually introduced. The heathen festivals were given Christian connotations but some festivals were so firmly linked with the seasons, the agricultural year and the Old Ways that their heathen names lingered on. Thanksgiving services were held but thanks were offered to the Christian God instead of the Earth Mother. The need to balance the Sky Father with the Earth Mother eventually led to the cult of the Virgin Mary.
“The policy of adapting and modifying what already existed was clearly set out in a letter from Pope Gregory to Abbot Mellitus in 601. In it he asked Mellitus to inform Augustine that, after giving careful thought to the affairs of the English, it had been decided that on no account were the temples of the idols to be destroyed: the idols are to be destroyed but the temples themselves are to be sprinkled with holy water and altars set up in them and relics placed there. If the temples are well-built, they must be purified from devil wor ship and dedicated to the service of the true God. In this way it is to be hoped that the people, seeing that their temples have not been destroyed, will abandon their idolatry; will continue to go to worship in those places; and come to know and revere the true God. And since it is their custom to sacrifice many oxen to the demons, let some other rite be substituted in its place such as a day of Dedications or the festivals of the holy martyrs whose relics are enshrined there. They are no longer to sacrifice animals to the Devil, but they may kill them for food to the glory of God and give thanks to the Giver for the plenty they enjoy. . . . They are to offer the same animals as before but instead of offering them to idols they are to offer them to God, so that they should no longer be offering the same sacrifice.” “Grandpére, isn’t it the correct way to convert people to the Christian faith? I mean, the Church did not enforce the new religion immediately. As you said just now, the pope instructed that it be done gradually from one generationto the next, thereby phasing it out over time?” “Luccia, I presume you know your bible?” She nodded and he continued, “Then you must have noticed how that the apostle Paul did his proclaiming of the Gospel? Here!” he said and handed her a bible. “Look up for us Acts 17 from verse 22”. When she had found the place, he said, ”Now read what it says there how Paul did it. “Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.
Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things… “  “But Grandpére, the Church did not allow the idols. The pope said they had to be destroyed...” she stopped as if suddenly realizing something. “Go on”, said Grandpére. “Tell me yourself, please. I’m becoming a bit confused here”, she begged him. “You see, Luccia, the crux of the matter is that, although the Church commanded the idols to be destroyed, they continued to allow the sacrifices and allowed the pagans to worship the Christian God still in their pagan temples. They did not first cleanse those temples but only commanded that they be sprinkled with holy water and dedicated to the service of the true God. What do you think are the so-called gods the pagans worshipped?
MOST HEATHEN TEMPLES HAD WITHIN THEIR ENCLOSURE A FEW YEW TREES (OR A WOODEN PILLAR )AND A SPRING OR WELL OR POOL OF WATER.
They are demons, my little one. Demons! And a demon laughs when one tries to drive it away with holy water; he laughs all the more when he is confronted with a crucifix for he knows, far better than the poor deluded Catholics that Christ is no longer on that cross; that Christ has resurrected in glory and is ruling from heaven; he knows Catholics are made slaves of the cross at Golgotha; a demon also laughs when he is confronted with the notion of Mary as the queen of heaven who crushes the head of the snake, for he knows the head of the snake has already been crushed by Christ the seed of the woman...” “If the head of the snake has already been crushed as you say, Grandpére, why is the devil then still so active in this world?” asked Luccia rather upset for this is not at all what she had been taught in the convent. “Luccia, take that bible and turn to Genesis chapter 3 verse 15”. She did so and read, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”.  “There you have it, black on white, the infallible Word of God. The ‘it’ is the seed of the woman that would one day come to save the world from the curse of God spoken over all three the perpetrators that fateful day in Eden. He that would come did come and He was Jesus Christ, the seed of the woman called Mary. He did conquer satan, the snake in his lair down under and He did crush his head, but he did not crush his body”. “So, the body of the snake is still active? How can that be when his head has been crushed, Grandpére?” “If I am not mistaken, you were there the other day when old Job had killed that big snake and cut off his head, not so?” She nodded as understanding began to dawn. Grandpére continued, “You have seen and remarked on it, I remember, how that the body and tail of that ‘dead’ snake continued to coil and uncoil for hours after it was killed, not so?” She nodded again and he said, “You as a child of the Inbetween should know then that just as things work in the natural world, so it works in the spiritual.
“Although Satan’s head had been crushed by Christ, his body and tail is still active and very much so. Now, the enmity spoken of in that verse in Genesis, refers to all women of the future, Eve included, who would have husbands and children to defend and protect. After Mary this goes on and so it is even now at the present time that there are enmity between wives, mothers and Satan. The seed of the woman refers not only to male seed or male offspring but to all genders of the human race; all who belong to Christ, are counted for the seed of the woman and from them all does God expect to crush – not the head – but the body and tail of the snake. “To get back to the apostle Paul, the verse you read said, he stood in the midst of Mars’ hill. Mars’ hill was a rocky hill named after the Roman god of war, called Mars (equivalent to the Greek god called Ares). This spot is memorable as the place of meeting of the Council of Areopagus – a body that existed as a criminal tribunal. Meetings of the council were held on the southeastern summit of the rock. Although Mars hill was not a pagan temple but a very prominent spot in that the men of Athens came there to listen to the council meetings held opposite the hill in the Aeropagus. “What is admirable about Paul, is that he boldly stood on that bare rock, called Mars Hill and spoke about the Unknown God of the Greeks. What is more admirable is that he did not preach in their temples or tried to convince them that their idols and gods were wrong. He only spoke the Word becausethe Word is life and God allowed to happen what is written in one of the prophets, ‘My word shall not return unto me void but it shall accomplish that for which I have sent it’”. “That’s right, Grandpére, for Jesus also said, ‘All power is given unto me in heaven and on earth’; and ‘I am with you even unto the end of the world!’ And Jesus is the Word made flesh. But, I need to know something more. How are the Church to cleanse a heathen or pagan temple from its demons?” “That, Luccia is a story for another time”.
Upon seeing her crestfallen face, Shamus conceded, “All right, I’ll tell you a little bit – mind, just enough for you to put that last finishing touch upon your project for school. “There are three feasts that the Catholic church is very much into and which they celebrate with gusto together with all neo-pagans of today. These feasts are Yule (Christmas), Easter and Halloween. Concerning Yule, you have already studied the depth of it but let me just add the following rather interesting correlating facts between the Christian version of Yule as the birth of Christ and the pagan version of the birth of their god. When I’ve done, you can look up the entire story in my book of the gods.  “At the time of the birth of Christ, there were several active mystery religions, which celebrated the resurrection of the gods. Chief among these is the rebirth of Dionysus. Dionysus was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. He is a god of epiphany - the god that comes. He was the youngest of the gods of Olympus and the only one to have a mortal mother. Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods. He was also known as Bacchus by the Romans, the Liberator whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who partake of his mysteries are possessed and empowered by the god himself. His cult is also a cult of the souls; his female followers are traditionally associated with divine possession who feed the dead through blood-offerings while he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the dead. The heathen way to celebrate Yule is by eating and drinking with family and friends and having a good time but the Church has taken this heathen festival and tried to make it Christian. “In many languages, the words for Easter and Passover are homonymous .
“Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but attending sunrise services, exclaiming the Paschal greeting and decorating Easter eggs as a symbol of the empty tomb, are common motifs. Additional customs include egg hunting, the Easter Bunny and Easter parades, which are observed by both Christians and pagans. The ecclesiastical historian Socrates Scholasticus, born in 380AD, attributes the observance of Easter by the church to the perpetuation of its pagan origens. He said that neither Jesus nor his apostles enjoined the keeping of this or any other festival. The First Council of Nicaea (325) established the date of Easter as the first Sunday after the full moon (the Paschal Full Moon) following the northern hemisphere's vernal equinox. The Church links Easter to the Jewish Passover by much of its symbolism, as well as by its position in the calendar.
TEMPERANCE: EAT AND CAROUSE WITH BACCHUS OR MUNCH DRY BREAD WITH JESUS, BUT DON’T SIT DOWN WITHOUT ONE OF THE GODS.
“Halloween, the third of the three feasts, is much more than a holiday filled with fun and tricks or treats. It is a time for the gathering of evil that masquerades behind the fictitious characters of Dracula, werewolves, mummies and witches on brooms. The root word of Halloween is hallow, which means ‘holy, consecrated and set apart for service’. If this holiday is hallowed or dedicated, whose service is it set apart for? The answer to that question is very easy—Lucifer's! Halloween is dedicated to darkness and is an accursed season. Everything God has, the devil has a counterfeit. Halloween is a counterfeit holy day that is dedicated to celebrating the demonic trinity consisting of the Luciferian Spirit (the false father); the Antichrist Spirit (the false holy spirit); and the Spirit of Belial (the false son). Witches celebrate the changing of the seasons from summer to fall giving praise to the gods for the demonic harvest. They pray to the gods of the elements of air, fire, water and earth. During Halloween, time-released curses, which are periods that has been set aside to release demonic activity and to ensnare souls in great measure, are always loosed.
“During these periods demons are assigned to act against those who participate in the rituals and festivities and they are automatically drawn to the fetishes that open doors for them to come into the lives of human beings. While the lukewarm and ignorant think of these customs as just harmless fun, the vortexes of hell are releasing new assignments against souls. Decorating buildings with Halloween scenes, dressing up for parties, going door-to-door for candy, standing around bonfires and highlighting pumpkin patches are all acts rooted in entertaining familiar spirits. All these activities are demonic and have occult roots.  “You can read all about that in the books about the occult, so I’m not going to elaborate more on it. Suffice it to say, that our God does not want such feasts for His children and that is why apostle Paul says, ‘Be ye not yoked together with unbelievers: for what communion hath light with darkness? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you’. 
THE WEATHER IN PARIS GETTING INTO THE HALLOWEEN SPIRIT
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http://wikianswers.com/Q/What_does_green_sound_like Genesis 1:2-10 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchanta Genesis 1:1-11 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enchanta Secrets of the Inbetween The Hidden Pathway abduzeedo.com http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Centaur Secrets of the Inbetween http://www.theearth.com/lords54/Newsfax,%20Turn%20013.html Genesis 3:5 http://rcspiritualdirection.com/bolg/2011/09/22/halloween-witches-demons-and-the-occult http://avalonvisions.com/imbolc.html http://lifeasareader.blogspot.com/2012/02/imbolc-brigid-poetry-and-spring.html http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/ostaraspringequinox/p/Ostara_History.htm http://pinterest/com/lillitushahar/beltaine/ http://faeriedoor.blogspot.com/2012/04/feast-of-beltaine.html
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http://www.irishcultureandcustoms.com/ACalend/LammasFair.html http://springwolf.net/2012/09/21/mabon-the-feast-of-avalon/ http://wicca.com/celtic/akasha/mabon.htm http://www.irish-geneology-toolkit.com/origin-of-Helloween.html http://www.freewebs.com/dilvero/satanicholidays.htm http://paganwiccan.about.com/od/yulethelongestnight/p/Yule_History.htm http://anibalan.com/2011/12/02/yuletide-chills-the-wild-hunt/ The Hidden Pathway Acts 17:22-25 Genesis 3:15 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dionysus Kimberley Daniels 2 Corinthians 6:14.16-17
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