"Nict For Ure Selfe." (Not For Ourselves)
Alyssa struck the match. Instantly, the end burst into flame. She held it to the wick of the white candle until it ignited. Pinching off the match head, she placed on the table. Taking a deep breath, she flipped her long chestnut color braid back over her shoulder; it bounced and swung around her waist. Focusing on her intent, she started the ritual. "Goddesses--Maiden, Mother, Crone I call to thee and ask that you appear to me."
Picking up the candle, she held it above the surface of the water. Its glow illuminated just beyond the rim of the black bowl and reflected off the clear surface. "On this darkest of night, grant me the portal to make things right. Let me see clearly the moments of the past, so that I may understand what is happening at last."
Tapping the edge with the candlestick, the glass on glass echoed throughout the dark
room. The vibration rippled through the water. "As I created a wave in the glass, so I ask you help me with my task."
She set the candlestick next to the bowl and placed her hands on either side palms down. "Let me see where his hatred of me had begun, so that his vengeance can be undone. Why he stalks me I know not why, yet I know the answer lies in times gone by. Take me back to the time and place, so that I may end the conflict with haste and grace."
Picking up the four raven feathers, she held them above the candle. "Goddesses of the raven and night, who left these feathers as a symbol of your might. I call you now to come me, to create a justice that even the blind may see. I call your forth to this land to guide the karmic hand. For those who have done harm to me, let their reckoning begin now--so mote it be."
Placing the feathers equal distance around the bowl, Alyssa paused for a moment to let their energy settle around her. Stretching her neck side to side, she took a deep breath and allowed her Priestess training to relax her body into a meditative state. The outer world fell away as she sank deeper within herself and started climbing the stairs to her own soul. Into the darkness, the staircase spiraled upward, until she reached the iridescent platform where her Akashic record was held.
Suspended in the darkness of endless time, Alyssa looked for a guide to help her. But she was alone. In the past, there had always been someone there to act as a guide to help her face the challenge. Uncertain, she stepped up to the pedestal. If she was to atone for a past error, she would be give direction. However, if she was merely a player as another strutted and fretted through a karmic lesson, then she could do little more than watch.
The book lay open before her. On it, fate continued to write. "Book of all my lives, show me karmic tie that echoes into this life." The pages flipped, stopping twice before it came to rest on the life named Shannon Marie Cullen.
The image of an auburn haired young woman lifted up off the page and hovered above. Her heart shaped face still had the softness of youth. Yet the hazel eyes sparkled with old wisdom. She wore her hair pulled back into a long, single braid. Although she seemed familiar, Alyssa felt no emotional connection to her. There was no bond or sense of being between them. Only a faint familiarity like a tune whose melody echoes in the back of your mind, yet you cannot remember the words or the context in which you heard it.
She reached out to touch the image; it reached back. Yet before their fingertips touched, Shannon Marie vanished only to be replaced by a three dimensional screening of wooded forest. Rich and lush it sported multiple shades of green, tans and browns as the forest became fields and forest once again.
As her perspective changed, Alyssa felt herself zooming to focus on the scene that was most important. Yet it was more than just pictures and sounds. The smell of the fields and rushing of the river below sparked memories and long sleeping emotions.
No matter where her life led her, she could never find the safe sense of home. Fear always kept her from letting her roots grow too deep. She had never understood. Her childhood was no better or worse than anyone else's. Yet as her spirit drew closer, the familiarity once again made her crave the comfort of home.
Through breaks in the leaves, she saw two girls running quickly. She knew who they were, yet she didn't feel connected. Instead, like a moderated film, she watched them from above. Instead recalling her own memories, the information flowed to her in unspoken words and images as if someone was narrating their story to catch her up with the story.
Shannon Marie ran breathlessly up the glen, quickly followed by her younger sister, Rachael. Although a year and two months younger, Rachael looked more like Shannon Marie's twin.
Both girls favored their Scottish heritage with their flaming hair and outspoken temperaments. Their two older sisters, Elizabeth Marie and Katherine Anne favored their mother's French heritage both physically and in temperament. Fair-haired beauties they openly used their feminine assets to manipulate others to get what they wanted.
The plain spoken mannerism of the patriarch of the family along with his two youngest daughters frequently came into conflict with the matriarch and the eldest sisters' elitism as they boasted of their unclaimable link to the French throne. They refused to see that no matter which man laid down with the mother, the child could lay no claim to parentage unless they were acknowledged by both the father and family. Jacqueline Marie Katherine de Medici may have lay with the King of France, but the daughter they created was conceived above the sheets--not beneath them. Jacqueline refused to be silenced at court about the parentage of her growing child within her. It was the reason Marie marked her for death. But instead of a curse on mother and unborn child, the midnight escaped to Scotland became a blessing as the people’s revolution sought out the privileged nobles.
In the highlands, Abigail Marie Katherine de Medici was born without a father; the fortune and power of the de Medici family hid the stain, but was never washed away. Having valuable connections in the English and Italian courts, Jacqueline was received as her family station required. Eventually she attained a small estate and fitted herself into the region.