It was All Hallows Eve, the Feast of the Dead, and Lady Ara took Pandora deep into Anar, and sat beneath a fine young Ash and mediated as she had for some years. Pandora knew this was special and sacred time for her mother and did her best to be as a flower, and sit quietly herself. Still she was a little girl, and after sitting quietly for some time she got up and began to play in the forest. Her mother did not scold her, but kept on part of her mind on Pandora, even as another part of her mind remained focused on her chanting.
As evening neared she rose from her seat and shared sometime walking in the forest with her daughter.
"Mother, why do we visit father here this day each year." You see of course Pandora knew the Ash marked her fathers grave.
"Do you know why we call today, All Hallows, Pandora."
"No mother, not really."
"The wise believe that tonight, the world of the living will come closest to the world of the dead. To the Sacred World of Thebes where the Gods live after the great battle that ended the last age of the world. So it is a Hallowed day, and all things are touched by the blessings of the Gods. It is also the day Momma-Ki returns to Kur, to rest till spring in Tsulsala's dreams."
But is not Tsulsala evil mother.
Oh the Wolf Goddess can be wicked and selfish, but she has a role to play in the great round, as do all the Gods.
Tell me about the Great Round Mother.
Let us begin today, the Third harvest is completed and yesterday we completed gathering apples from the forest and squash our gardens. Tomorrow beings the Season of the Wolf and the Wolf Goddess will hold sway from Tomorrow till the Mid Winter rites. Her wolves will feel her great power put forth in the world now that Momma-Ki has returned to Kur and will stalk the lands of Mura. It is a dangerous time for Murian and Man, Buck and Doe.
It was in just such a fall season when I was heavy with you child that a great company of wolves and Gnolls burst out of Kur. Your father died my champion then, battling them and though he died the company he led turned them back and protected Anar.
The Wolf Goddess is a very lusty woman, and on the last day of her season, her lust may touch any women and thus we celebrate the mid-winters rites. On Midwinter's Eve the women of Anar don masks, and may kiss any man under the mistletoe and the man will then take her home and love her that night. It is a thing some Chattii clans embrace and others despise, but it allows us one day a year to express our love to men who are dear to us but that we did not marry, and it is sacred to us.
After Mid Winter begins the Season of Alur, or True Winter. The Wrath of the Ice God rolls out of his fortress kingdom to the far north and covers all the lands of Mura with snow and Ice. It is a terrible time. Sometimes the God of the North will challenge the power of the Wolf Goddess and the Ice will come early, those winters are harsh indeed and famine often follows. So it is wise to keep 7 winters food in the store house.
Slowly though the great wheel turns and Ostra Comes and Momma-Ki reborn. Rested and strong from her time in Tsulsala's dreams; then life bursts forth in the world and her great power chases the Ice God back to his northern lair.
Do they Battle Momma?
Not with Mace or Sword, no? That is not Momma-Ki's way, but she puts forth her great power, the power of Life Itself and the Ice God cannot deny her, try though he may.
9 Days after she is reborn, Momma-Ki has grown back to her full stature and glory. That is the First Day of May, and on that day all Murian are Handfasted, and on the Anniversary of their hand fasting Married. Many Chattii also follow our custom.
Momma-Ki and Horus work hard in the Garden until Harvest time, but about half way from Ostra to Harvest comes the Season of Ra. As the harvest ripens the servants of Chaos grow bold seeking to ruin what the Goddess has given to others if they cannot steal it for themselves. This time is a sore test to Ra and driver Uttu, but they are doubly vigilant in their watch and we feel it in the heat of their gaze as it scorches the earth looking for the servants of the shadow.
Finally with the 3rd Harvest Momma-Ki is ready to rest from her long labor through the year blessing our crops and homes. Blessing our lives with Children and the milk and bread to raise them. She returns to Kur to be devoured by her sister the Wolf Goddess, and rest again dancing in her dreams, so is the Great Round completed.