Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Cave of Vision.

[Early Third Age. This is Seven's first encounter with Itzamna, the Pre-Classic deity believed by many scholars to be a mythic precursor of Seven Macaw.]

Seven Macaw walked into the dark cave, lighting his way with a single candle. He found the room he was looking for, where stalactites and stalagmites projected from the roof and floor of the cave like teeth, resembling a giant maw. Setting the candle on a natural pedestal of stone, Seven Macaw sat down cross-legged between the giant teeth of the stone monster.

After taking some time to settle and quiet himself, he took the bag he had brought with him, and pulled out a piece of nance fruit. He put the rest of the fruit in a bowl, and placed it on the stone pedestal as an offering to the spirit of the cave.

Taking the remaining piece of fruit in his hand, he closed his eyes, softly murmuring the verses he had composed. Then, he brought the fruit to his lips, and bit into it. The sweet juice burst into his mouth; he chewed and swallowed, affirming that he would accept whatever sights or knowledge came to him, whether it be beautiful or horrible. Sitting quietly in the stillness, amid the stone teeth, he waited for the visions to begin.

Soon, the young man's sight began to alter. He saw his own face reflected against the stalactites and stalagmites of the cave, reflected many times, and broken into splinters. As he watched, the scattered pieces of images coalesced, and shaped into another face, that of an ancient man, older than the mountain itself. The man's shape took form amid the dark cave shadows.

The old man's face was perfectly calm, neutral, without a trace of judgement, blame or disturbance, as if he could gaze unmoved upon all of creation. "Greetings, little bird-spirit," he said. "I am Itzamna, First Shaman of the First Age, as you are of the Third." He held up a single finger. "You may ask one question. What do you want to know?"

"I want to know how to become immortal," replied Seven Macaw.

Itzamna showed neither anger nor sorrow, but his imperturbable calm shifted slightly, with what might have been compassion. "You do not know what you ask, little one."

"I want it, nonetheless," said Seven Macaw boldly.

"The price of life is death. The price of immortality is something greater than death," said Itzamna. He spoke the words simply; neither a warning nor a threat, just a fact. "Do you still want it?"

"Yes," said Seven Macaw.

"Very well," said Itzamna."Look within these caves, within the earth, and you will find the tools to make your immortality."

And Seven Macaw's vision was opened, and he saw into the walls of the cave, into the heart of the mountain. He saw where the secret veins of precious metal were hidden, and the jewels and gems. And he glimpsed too the powers within these things, and how they might be forged and shaped into instruments of magical transcendence and transformation.

After Seven Macaw had seen all he needed, he came back into his body.The candle was nearly burned down. The bowl of fruit was also empty, even though he hadn't seen Itzamna take any of it. Seven Macaw smiled a bit. "I hope you like it, Itzamna," he whispered.

Then, he carefully took the candle, and headed back to the exit of the cave, where he slipped outside into the darkness of the day-night. The first light of dawn was just beginning to kindle on the eastern rim of the sky-earth. He knew he still had much to learn, and much work to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment