Sneak Peak Into the Wheel of the Witch...
County Meath, Ireland - 1845
The moon overhead was a full ball of silver light without a cloud in the sky. A perfect night for the
sisters to celebrate Samhain with their granny and their mam. Ranging in age from ten to
twenty-five, the sisters entered the circle where Aoife and Niamh waited. The women sat side by
side on the log, their hands joined and the scrying mirror on the ground at their feet.
One by one, the sisters kissed the cheeks of their elders before taking their spot in the circle. A
circle like a wheel with one sister at each point marking the sabbats they represented by the
order of their birth. A fire crackled within the stones in the middle of the circle, heating the air
which was starting to become cold as the winter solstice approached on the heels of this
important night of Samhain. Soon, they would limit their gatherings within the protective walls of
Aoife’s barn among the animals who resided there.
There was something different about the elders tonight. They smiled but the light didn’t quite
reach their eyes. It almost felt as though instead of celebrating, they should be mourning. Eight
pairs of green eyes looked quizzically at each other over the glow of the fire. Finally, Aoife
reached down to retrieve the scrying mirror and stood, Niamh standing next to her.
“‘Tis a night of celebration yet also it is to be a night of change just as the seasons change
throughout the year.” Aoife tucked a stray lock of white hair into the woven plait hanging across
one shoulder. “The scrying mirror called to me last night with a message I needed to see. It
showed me what is to come and how we are to prepare for it.”
Niamh spoke then. “As much as it pains me to say this, I have also seen what your grandmother
viewed in the mirror. There are difficulties coming to our beloved Ireland, and in the midst of
those problems will come those who want to help. But those who want to help turn their noses
up at who we are and will cause our friends to turn on us.”
An owl called out from a branch on a tree at the edge of the forest and the sorrowful howl of a
wolf followed. The sisters raptly stared at their elders and watched as the light from their fire
cast a dancing orange glow on their calm faces. They delivered a message of difficult times to
come, yet they never once showed a wrinkle of worry on their foreheads.
Aoife ran her finger along the edge of the mirror and nodded before focusing her gaze on each
of the younger ones in front of her. “Famine is coming to us. Three days, three weeks, three
months, three years. I do not know for sure. What I do know is that if we are to continue our
bloodline, you must each flee before that time comes. In turn for helping our people, the
Quakers will ask them to turn on us. Sister against sister, brother against brother, father to son
and mother to daughter. They see us as a threat to their religion which is, as you all know, made
by man to control the masses. Our religion is that of the earth from which we have all come and
to which we shall all go.”
Niamh reached into the pocket of her dress and took out eight small pouches, “In these pouches
are coin enough to get you where you need to go. To places far away where you will thrive and
marry and carry on our coven for hundreds of years to come. And those children will be needed
one day many years from now to bring peace and love back to our beloved earth. To help those
who have lost their way. Because you are needed, you must go.”
The eldest sister, Siobhan, tossed her dark locks and stood. “And just where is it we are to go?
And who will watch over the two of you when you grow old? I’ll not be leaving you on your own if
trouble is coming for us. I’ll stand by your side and fight for what is right and for what is ours.”
Aoife walked over and put a hand on Siobhan’s shoulder. “Spoken like a true warrior. There is a
time to fight, but this is not the time. We will be fine, young Erin will stay with us and we will keep
to ourselves when the famine is upon us. We have enough food stored in the cellar and enough
seed in the cupboard to get us through this tragic time. There will be no starving at our safe
haven, as long as there are not ten of us to feed.”
“Who will protect you?” The sword Siobhan never left their home without took on a glow as she
extended it. “I’ll not allow some heretic bunch of men hurt my nan and my mam”
Usually the more quiet and gentle speaking elder, Niamh’s tone took on an urgent demand. “You
will go. It is the only way our magick and our bloodline will survive. You are not the first to be faced with leaving
home and you will not be the last. There will be no more defiance or argument. You will leave.
One by one. Starting with the dark moon.”
“Tonight, we dance and celebrate Samhain as a family. It will be our last celebration and I have
brought a jug of mead for us to enjoy with our pastries. We will honor our ancestors tonight and
with the Goddess willing, many years from now, we will be honored as ancestors and be
remembered for making the decision which needed to be made to preserve our bloodline and the magick entrusted to us by the faeries for many centuries to come.”
Although the sisters tried to grumble and be sad, it was not to be. The elders led them in song
and celebration in the clearing until the first glow of morning sun painted a line of golden light
through the trees. They extinguished their fire and left their offerings on the log and made their
way back toward the cottage. Anyone looking on from a distance would have seen the white
robed figures through the mist rising from the ground and think it was the ghosts of Samhain’s
past come to celebrate with the living.
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