I sensed sadness in the Hairy Woman. I invited her into the cabin. For whatever reason, I have always been especially aware of, and vulnerable to, sadness in other creatures. Empathy has been the bane of my existence, and my salvation.
I invited my visitor to sit on the comfortable shabby sofa that the prior tenant had left in the cabin. She didn't really sit, as she did not possess a corporeal body to enable her to sit. We conversed, although she did not possess a corporeal voice box to communicate with. Her words, or thoughts, or articulations, resonated in my mind. Like when you see a blue house on a hill. You don't need to tell yourself 'I see a blue house on that hill.'
I learned a little of the Hairy Woman's life history, and she learned a little of mine. I learned that her tribe had inhabited the forested interior for generations, even venturing onto the treeless tundra of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The native residents of Bethel and surrounding villages were well acquainted with the Hairy People, neither fearing nor revering them, but simply acknowledging their existence. But of late, belief in the Hairy People had begun to wane. Ironically, a visit to Fairbanks by a TV crew from the lower 48 'searching for Bigfoot' had weakened belief. The invading television crew were obvious scam artists, and did not understand the North. 'As belief in us waned, so did our physical presence,' she told me. 'I do not possess corporeal eyes to shed tears for the loss of my identity.'
For my part, I shared with my visitor my efforts to reconcile the spirit world with the physical world through my ritual practices. I told her of the sad remnants I had photographed on the autopsy table, and my efforts to exorcise the suffering of the victims. The Hairy Woman's form shimmered with understanding- or was it just the play of the February sun through the cabin windows?
I did not offer her a part of the 'Cakes and Ale' which are consumed at the close of a Wiccan ceremony, (spiced wine and bread pudding for Imbolc). After all, she had no mouth. I watched her make her way across the still deep snow. Where I finally lost sight of her, I saw two graceful birch standing side by side.
Meanwhile Missy yowled disapprovingly from within the circle I had cast around the altar. I had cast the circle from within, walking deosil around the circumference, North to East to South to West. Missy refused to leave the circle until the cast circle was opened. I entered the circle and opened it by walking widdershins to release the elementals that had been harnessed for the ritual- Earth to the North, Air to the East, Fire to the South, and Water to the West. Missy happily joined me on the sofa for her version of Cakes and Ale, which consisted of a saucer of spring water and three feline Lean Treats, ('made with real skinless chicken'). Missy is plump. She is not supposed to have treats. As I tucked into my wine and pudding, and Missy crunched her treats, I considered that many rules had been broken today.
© 2017 Moe Dey - 3/15/17