Why are you here at the edge of this dark midnight?
And for whom do you search?
Another way we could ask: What is the treasure that you seek in this black reservoir?
But truthfully, both of these questions would send you down the wrong path for this particular moment in time. You have already diligently searched for the fallen soldiers of your soul and the banshees in the hinterlands. They are already with you.
What you really need now is to take interested notice of the two jackals flanking you. They are keeping a distance, howling every now and then from the deep shadow space of this cavernous ground.
They are tracking something. But it isn't buried treasure laid out in mounds of gold and silver, a longed-for and trusted friend, or even another enemy with whom to sharpen your skills and further refine yourself. It is nothing as mundane as all of that.
Consider that this canine pair is also holding the devouring spirits at bay, for now. Their presence is artfully spinning a ring of protection around you as they go on sniffing. Their snouts are busy with the hunt, dedicated to finding the scent of buried fire.
Oh, and by the way, this is no ordinary fire. Jackals do not deploy in search of campfires and s'mores.
This fire is known as...
It is sacred, and in its sacredness, it literally calls forth respect. Those who stand before it with a pure heart cannot help but pay homage to its ancient origins, to the many worlds it has created, to the heart from which if first sprang.
This is also no ordinary midnight, no simple moonless night. If you stop and listen to the rhythm beating out its time all around you, I think you will find a clue about exactly where this bonfire of luminosity is hidden. There is an earthen chamber buried in the deep recesses of your deeply aggrieved heart. In it you laid to rest this ancient torchlight. The motivating factor? Disappointment.
It takes magic to see this fire. It takes a certain kind of solid soul to stand before its brilliant light. Not everyone can be in the presence of even the coolest, slumbering embers of Venerable, and so they simply don't take any notice at all. In response to their inability to see, you spun dirt into fibrous, fire-retardant, cottony bindings. You wove an earthen hiding place for your light. You deprived it of oxygen and held it in reserve until you almost forgot all about it.
But heaven's decree was also behind this covering!
There were things you didn't know. Not all those who can see Venerable are friendly. Not all those who have developed the power to approach it mean well. Some seek the power of its glow without any honor towards its intended purpose, its glorious potential. They respect it for its potency, but not for its essence.
Honestly, you were among those who could not truly see Venerable or understand its sacred power, and so you were at risk of misappropriating its wonder, of sharing it too liberally with too many fools impersonating seekers.
The jackals have stopped now before the altar of the devourers. These are the spirits who consume the useless dross. In a universal language, clear, instinctual, unmistakable, you receive the WORD from your pooch patrol.
Lay everything you created from a sense of your worthlessness upon this altar.
Make a feast for the hungry, for the ones who eat waste, and spit up new possibilities.
See that in the place of your devaluated offering a communion plate is taking form. First the wine of delight, Her iron-rich blood in a goblet. Next the bread of power, the body of realization.
Notice that you are not imbibing discernment. It has been woven into your soul by loss and disappointment. Though you lost nothing of real consequence, it hurt like the devil, didn't it? And that was enough.
The digging has begun, the paws of power are striking the ground. With each collision between claw and dirt, a spark flies loose until finally, like a geyser, the fire returns, ablaze with the light of love, alive with the richness of creative vision, vibrant with new life.
And with it comes one last edict:
Wield this fire with principle.
Devote it to purpose.
Share it with reason.
Protect it with grace.
Be satisfied that some will only ever see its effects, never understanding from whence they came. This is what makes you a keeper of the mystery, an opener of the way. You know who is ready to enter. You won't try to dress up fool's gold and pass it off as 24 karat delight. You won't do this ever again.
Oh, and only those with a true love of enigma and an established penchant for insoluble riddles can really keep productive company with Venerable.
You'll know them by their devotion, by the delicacies they leave on the altar of the seemingly invisible. They see with heart eyes. The follow soul maps.
They will come from far and wide without prompting or preening. After a little while, when their desire is at a fever pitch and their faith is on fire, you will let them in.
Meanwhile, there is a dawn ready to break and you are the sun.
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