The Rising – part 8 (This was written as a final assignment for a course in Greece, Set in 1450 BCE, it explores mythology and history, combining actual artifacts and fictional characters and settings.)
”Good, you are already here,” she said to Eeta and Gata who waited in the shadows. “Doera, assist me with the entrance and we will pass through.”
Together, they spoke the words:
“Grant us entry, by the old Gods and the new,
Gaia, mother of Eterkians, giver of life, we implore you, grant us entry.
Rhea, mother of Gods, we implore you, grant us entry.
Cybele, mother of the mountains, we implore you, grant us entry.”
With a deep grinding, the large stone behind the altar slid back to reveal an opening. Eeta took a step back and the fur on Gata’s back rose as her ears flattened. Without hesitation, Potnia moved toward the entrance.
It was dry in the passageway but musty; the air was stale. Wide steps carved into the rock led down. Doera knew the way so she entered first, carrying the Rhyton. It cast a blue glow on the surrounding rock walls. Potnia followed closely; she carried the sceptre and using her senses, she felt her way over the stones. Eeta tied a piece of thin line to the altar and entered, with Gata close behind, alert to any danger.
The journey to the sanctuary was long and the trail was crisscrossed with other passages. They became disoriented as they descended, the weight of the rocks above pressed on them, the air smelled of old rags and tasted of copper. At each new passageway, Doera paused in thought and then chose a fork, constantly muttering to herself. Eeta doubted that the old servant knew where they were going. She reached the end of her line and let it drop, wishing she had brought a longer one. Gata sensed the change first, her pace quickened and then they all could smell it; a waft of fresh air floated toward them. They had arrived at the opening to a large cavern. There was a soft glow in the deep and she realized this was the sanctuary.
“Stay here,”said Potnia, “only a Priestess and her servant are needed here. We will call if your assistance is required.”
Potnia and Doera slowly proceeded to the altar in the center of the cavern and placed the Rhyton in a stand that was chiseled in the smooth polished surface. Doera arranged several containers and a shallow vase on a low flat stone. The hole in the bottom of the Rhyton was directly over a deep, narrow opening. The Priestess looked up and saw the source of the light; an opening revealed stars in the bright sky. The edge of the full moon was visible.
“It’s almost here, quickly, the essence.” Doera handed her a vial, which Potnia hastily swallowed. Her eyes turned blue, like the lotus. She opened the pyxis and touched the ointment with the first two fingers on her right hand. She brushed her temples, feeling the tingle as her senses responded. A stream of sharp lights swirled around her head. She applied more ointment and held her hands over the Rhyton, filling it with light.
The sacred vessel vibrated with a faint hum. She reached out and felt others beside her; the Long Dead were here. The Priestesses were coming together as well. She welcomed them individually, each a familiar soul, sisters of another life. Potnia felt the Rhyton hold the mind-link; the stone gathered the energy, focusing it toward the bottom hole.
As the moon reached its zenith over the opening in the ceiling above them, a beam of silver moonlight shot down into the Rhyton. A drift of light swirled around it as the stone vessel glowed. Potnia held out her hands and added all of her strength. A thin line of light began to seep out of the bottom.
“It’s not enough,” said the Priestess; despair echoing in her voice.
Doera stepped forward, a dagger in her hand. “Eeta, help me,” she said, “the Rising wants the blood of a priestess. I will suffice. It is my destiny.”
Eeta rushed to her side as Doera leaned over a shallow vase and slit her wrists. “Oh Goddess, here is my blood and breath, I surrender life and follow you to join the spirits of the Long Dead.” Dark fluid poured from the deep incisions as Eeta held her upright. The blood mingled with the swirling light as Doera’s spirit joined the dead. Eeta lay her down gently near the table. She lifted the vase and poured the blood into the Rhyton.
A blast of light and a percussion of sound boomed in the chamber. The swirling air sucked into a vortex and rushed through the Rhyton into the earth, dissipating in a shock wave under their feet. A low deep rumble began and small stones fell from the ceiling.
Eeta picked up the sceptre and handed it to the Priestess. “We have to get out of here,” she shouted, as she lifted her, wrapping her arm around her shoulders. Together they stumbled toward the exit.