Hello beautiful souls and welcome to a new blog series – this series is called story time and these blogs will be short stories that are inspired from working with a particular oracle card for inspiration and channelled messages. These stories are meant for enjoyment and perhaps within them there will be some hidden messages for your soul as well. To kick off this new series, we have the oracle card The Ancient from the Faery Forest oracle deck by Lucy Cavendish. Lets dive in!
Tales have been told of a witch who holds the secrets to life. This witch is known as the Ancient One as her age is older than any who walk this earth, her knowledge of potions and magic keeps her living long past the normal lifespan. No one knows who she is or where she lives, only that her domain is the ancient forest of Krondor that exists on the outskirts of the humble village of Kent.
Many tales have been told at night of the wicked Ancient One who bespells young men and lures them to their death or beckons young maidens to follow her winding paths deep within the forest and return with a sense of wild abandonment that sends them mad. The owls of the Forest are her eyes to see all and the cats are her shadow, lurking to bring you omens of your future. It is believed she sees the future through spinning her webs of silk like that of a spider and holds in her keeping the book of life and death. Should you encounter the Ancient One she will ask you to answer a series of questions as a test and if you fail, she will take you to the depths of hell and leave you there.
Many young lords and ladies tested their courage through stepping into the dark forest of Krondor but none ever wondered further than the tree edge and down the bone path – so called for the trail of bones found along the edges that were believed to be the trail of the discarded souls that dared to venture into the Ancient Ones lair. Even the most hardened hunter and Knights dared not follow that path. Until one day when a young maiden, blinded by a broken heart and tears ran into the forest for solace and found herself lost within the trees.
Mira was on the cusp of womanhood, her innocent views of the world had become shattered when the boy she loved had told her he no longer loved her and instead wanted her closest friend, that her friend was far prettier and well off and suited for a nobleman and Mira was just a common farm girl. Her heart had shattered into a thousand pieces at those words and she ran, kept running until she could no longer hear the sounds of Kent. When she finally stopped she realised that she was deep in the forest of Krondor, a place she both found fascinating and fearful.
When she realised that she had become lost in the trees, she began to panic, her fear getting the better of her as she stumbled over what looked like a bone. She gasped at the realisation that she was standing on the bone path, her heart thundering in her chest as she looked around for a landmark that would lead her away. She knew the stories of the Ancient One that the people of Kent spoke of but her mother had also told her stories, stories of ancient wisdom that had been lost to fear and the wisdom of the land that the ancient ones held and to never let the fear of others cloud your own heart.
The sound of wings startled her as she saw an owl land in a tree, it stared right at her, as though it was looking into her soul and she felt the hair on the back of her neck rise in warning of something that was not natural. A grey cat appeared on the path ahead, sitting with its tail gently waving like a snake. It licked its paw and cleaned its face for a moment before staring at her. The owl, the cat and the girl stared at each other for a long time in silence and Mira moved to back away and run in the other direction when the cat stood, meowed at her and turned to walk deeper into the forest, pausing to look back at her as if to say “follow me.”
She stood still, considered the situation and watched as the owl flew from one tree to the next, always looking at her as if it too wanted her to follow. She swallowed slowly, closed her eyes and stilled her mind, her mothers reminder echoed in her thoughts. Never let the fear of others cloud your heart. She realised that her heart had slowed, calm and her body felt a sense of anticpation and excitement. Opening her eyes she stared at the cat and smiled. There was something more that she needed to see so she followed the cat and the owl down the bone path, deeper into the forest.
The path ended at a cave, the darkness of the cave made her uneasy and she hesitated before she watched the cat walk into the darkness. The owl hooted once before flying into the cave and Mira gathered her courage and entered the cave. She couldn’t see anything, the further she walked the darker it got until it felt like the darkness of the cave would consume her, pressing down on her and she felt her panic begin to rise when she suddenly saw the glow of light in the distance. She walked towards the glow, realising it was coming from what seemed to be a room within the cave. The light was a fire within the centre of the room with a large cauldron bubbling over the top.
She stepped into the light filled room and gasped at the walls around her. They were lined with books so old that they seemed they would fall apart at the slightest touch. Candles flickered, dancing light and shadow over the cave floor. She noticed a small desk in the centre of the room near the cauldron had a single book on top. It seemed to beckon her and as she walked closer she noticed there was a name on the front cover, her name. Reaching out to touch the book she jumped as an old woman stepped out of the shadows. She had a large pointed hat and spiderwebs covered her gown, making her shimmer in the candlelight. Her face was old and weathered but it did not seem harsh, it was in fact kind and otherworldly in a way she couldn’t describe.
“Hello Mira. I have been waiting for you.” The woman said and Mira let out a breath she didn’t realise she had been holding. “Are you the anicent one?” she asked quietly and the woman smiled then pointed to the book. “Would you like to read your story Mira? Do you want to know how it ends?” Something in the question had Mira pause and study the book. Was this a trick? Did this book hold the secrets of her future? Did she want to know it all? She could not deny that a big part of her wanted to devour the pages in the book but something else told her that this was a test and reading the book would mean she failed.
“I don’t understand.” Mira said, confusion and frustration overtaking her. The woman laughed and pulled out a vial from her gown as she walked over to the book, picked it up and started reading – the book was a recount of Miras life until now, down to the last detail. When the woman reached the part in of her running to the forest and standing in front of the Anicent One she looked up and into Miras eyes, those eyes held a depth that frightened Mira and she had to glance away.
“This book is your book of life, this one and the ones that come before and after. It is the secrets of your own life and what is to come. This is the knowledge that all who come to me seek, to find the secrets to life and death. I offer you the gift of reading yours. Do you wish to take it?” She held the book close to her chest as she stared at Mira and waited. The owl landed on the brim of the Ancient Ones hat and the Cat stood at her feet. Mira studied the book and then the vial the Anicent One held. She wanted to read that book, she wanted to know. She licked her lips. “What will it cost me to read the book?” She said quietly and the Anicent One laughed.
“Not many are smart enough to ask such a question. It will cost you nothing. And it will cost you everything.” Mira frowned as the owl ruffled its feathers. The Ancient One held out the book to Mira. “To know the future is to know the past. To know the past is to know the future and it is only in the present that we can create them both. To read your own book of life will take away your life as you know it and thrust you into a world of responsiblity and awareness that not all are ready for. To read your book is an act of death and rebirth. To shed the past self and be reborn as the new. Should you wish to take on this burden and gift, you must be willing to live entirely in the present moment, knowing that you hold both the past and the future in your hands.”
Mira took the book but before she could read, the Anicent One handed her the vial. “Drink the gift of life and death and you will see clearly.” Mira hesitated, then took the vial, sniffed the liquid then drank. It tasted like water. Pure, icy cold water that she had never experienced before. As the liquid travelled down her throat she felt a sense of invigoration and energy flood her system a stirring deep within like something had come alive. “Water, from the springs of the earth holds the memories of the past and the nourishment for the future. It lives in everything just as knowledge does. It can nourish, nurture and heal or it can overwhelm and destroy.” The Ancient One pointed to the book. “Read now.”
Mira opened the book and flicked through to where the ancient one left off, seeing the dialouge they had just had in the last page. As she turned the page it was blank. Mira frowned and continued to turn the pages and they were all blank. She looked at the Ancient One in confusion. ” I don’t understand. Did I do something wrong? Did i fail the test?” The Ancient One laughed and touched the blank page. “The future is not yet written and the past is being created as we speak. Only you can decide what will be written on the future pages and what is told about your past. It is your responsibility, your burden and your gift to live your story the way you see fit. That is the gift of life Mira. That is the gift that so many are seeking yet overlook. There is only the present moment, so go and live life.” The Anicent One smiled once more as Mira looked down at the pages and couldn’t help but laugh.
So many stories had been told about this place and yet the answers were already in the hands of the people. She looked up to speak to the Ancient One and realised she was alone, the woman had vanished. Looking around Mira called out for her and no one came. She studied the book for a moment, deciding if she should take it with her and decided to leave it on the desk where she found it. As she left the cave, she felt a sense of calm take her and knew that she would be able to find her way home. She was a little disappointed that she hadn’t found magic or potions that could give the gift of eternal life like the stories said. She turned to study the cave now that she was in the light of day again. Perhaps it was all just a dream.
Shrugging, she followed the bone path back to the village of Kent and as she stepped out of the tree line, almost convinced now that it was all just a dream she heard a whisper on the wind “Live your life Mira. Never forget the magic you have to change the past and create the future, the magic that lies within your choices in the now.” Mira straightened her shoulders and felt the change settle within her, her life was full of magic and she would live her life embracing it with every part of her soul.