As always, the fire is burning and crackling cheerfully, warming the home hearth of the humble little cabin by the lake. Gramp’s nightly ritual is soothing and comforting in its familiarity. We know it off by heart yet it never fails to fascinate. The meerschaum pipe. The slow and methodical cleaning ritual. The smell of fresh pipe tobacco. The air filled with hushed expectancy. And of course the loud purring of One Eye , his cat, sleeping on his lap.
It has been a long time between stories, says Gramps, smiling at the children sitting on the floor in a circle around his rocking chair.
Tonight, I will tell you a tale that is very different. It is not from long ago when I was but a young man travelling the world in search of myself. It has only just happened this very year.
It’s a mystery with some history. It’s a tale about a treasure. A treasure that was gifted by the gods to the Chieftain of the Clan of the Sun Stone aeons ago.
Long, long ago shrouded in the mists of the beginning of time, so the story goes, some wizards were busy wizarding. They had been tasked by the chieftain of the tribe With No Name to create a powerful talisman. One so beautiful that to look at it would blind anyone who had murder or evil in their heart. It was to glow like the purest of gold. It was to harness the fire and power of the Sun.
Accidentally – or was it on purpose (no-one knows) – they mixed a mix of magickal things in the cauldron that was bubbling and brewing on the fire. A little bit of this and a little bit of that had already gone into the pot. The secret of their magicke has never been revealed. And never will it be repeated for such was its birthing that even the wizards themselves had no idea how it came about.
The cauldron glowed white hot. It sizzled and it steamed. It frothed and it foamed. Lightning flashed. Thunder roared. The very ground shook in the making of it.
The wizards were afraid for they feared a monster was in the making. All night long they stood in a circle guarding the seething cauldron. Watching and waiting. Until their eyes grew dreary and heavy. Sleep took them into the Land of Dreams. Never was such a sleep had. They dreamed of magicke. They dreamed of the sun. They dreamed of many splendid things. And not a one of them had a nightmare filled with monsters.
The sun was already high in the sky when the wizards awoke. As one they turned to look at the cauldron. It looked as it always did. Black. With trembling feet they approached it and carefully peeked inside. What a sight met their eyes! It was filled with stones that glittered and sparkled like the very sun itself.
That, my little ones, is the legend of how the sunstone came to be for that is the name the wizards gave it. And that, forever afterwards, became the name of the clan whose chieftain had set them the task.
The sunstone is a beautiful thing to see. When the sun shines on it just so, it flashes gold, it sparkles and it glitters.
Now, before we go any further with this tale, I must spend a little while talking to you about this thing called language.
Did you know that language – the words we use to talk to each other in many different ways – is a living thing? It is, I promise you. Language changes with the times. It has to. As new things come into the world words have to be found or invented so we can talk about them, describe them, use them. Just think about it for a minute.
When I was as fresh and dew-eyed as you, my little ones, there were no such things as television, ipads, mobile phones, social media and the internet. Had one turned up when I was young, we would have been so scared and thought it some kind of strange magicke. And we would not have known what it was called let alone what it was used for.
Science has brought these wonders into our lives. And with them arrived a whole new language. As a result our everyday language has changed too. It had to.
There are normal words we use to talk to each other. And there are different words that you kids use to ‘talk’ to each other on the mobile phones. Half of them I don’t even understand! It is like a foreign language to me. Then of course there are the words used in schools of learning. Technical and sci-ency words that go with different jobs. Words that doctors use. Beautiful lyrical words for songs and poetry.
I am going to use some very different words in this tale I have for you tonight. They bring a flavour and a feel to the story that is as special as the words themselves. So you can understand them when you hear them, I am going to tell you a little bit about what they mean. You might even like them so much you will want to use them yourself and learn how to spell them. That would really astonish your teachers, I promise you!
The first of these new words is DISCOMBOBULATE. Now isn’t that a fantastic word. I wonder what it sounds like to your ears. When I first heard it, I was confused. And you know what? That is exactly what the word means! I think it sounds way more interesting than just saying confused, don’t you?
Have any of you heard the word TRANSMOGRIFY? If you read Calvin and Hobbes comic books you will have come across it. Naughty little Calvin puts himself into a cardboard box and hey presto! alakazam! he is transmogrified into a super hero in the blink of an eye. Magicke.
How does the word SUSURRUS make you feel? To me it’s about sounds, like maybe a whispering. And that is what it means – whispering, or maybe a rustling of leaves in a tree when a breeze is blowing. It’s a wonderful word!
ALCHEMY is kind of like transmogrify. Most of you will probably have heard about Harry Potter, wizards, spells and magicke. Some of the magicke the kids are taught in the class of Spells and Wizardry at Hogwarts could be said to be a kind of alchemy. It is a magical changing of one or two substances into another entirely different thing. Way back in ancient times it was said magicians could change ordinary metal into gold. Just like the sunstone wizards. Imagine that.
The next word is an interesting one. COSMOGONY. It’s a word about how the world was made. Science has a lot of different explanations and theories about how the world came into being. And if you read stories from different countries around the world, each of them have their own myths and legends about how the world and everything in it came to be. In Australia it is the Dreamtime stories of the Rainbow Serpent. In Finland, a land where I have some very dear and close friends, they have an epic saga called the Kalevala. In Ireland, the land of the leprechauns it is the Ogham. In the Nordic countries it is the EDDA.
(I’m going to tell you a secret. Shhhh……… it is a leprechaun that delivers the treasure chest in this story….)
Out of all of these words my two most favourite ones are discombobulate and susurrus. There may be other strange words in this tale that are new to you too. If there are just ask someone what they mean. It’s a fun way of learning new things.
But I have kept you waiting long enough. Now, it’s time to get to the telling of this story. It’s a tale about a treasure chest.
The treasure chest was a special gift for an important person in the Sun Stone clan. A surprise gift. It is not important to know anything more about the whys and wherefores of how that came about. This is a tale of what is inside the treasure chest.
The story starts with of all things a rainbow farting leprechaun! I know, I know, it’s kind of weird. But then the world is full of weird and wondrous things.
Are you ready? This is the explanation that was given with the treasure chest to explain its contents:
“Alas, alack! The one who bears this gift, the invisible rainbow farting leprechaun has cleverly disguised himself. Not only has he changed gender. Being a master of disguise and deception he has taken on the form of a cute little four legged furry princess bearing the revered name of Tess. Reaper of the Harvest she vacuums the floors in search of tasty crumbs.
To further discombobulate those searching for his true identity lest they steal the treasure, the leprechaun sometimes masquerades as a rainbow farting bumble bee. ‘Tis within his very DNA, this farting trait. Unfortunately the farts, although silent and invisible, have the most awful smell. But they do serve to keep thieves and scoundrels far away. Those with ancient wisdom will also discern the pink booties. They play a most important role. No self-respecting leprechaun will ever be caught without shoes. Transmogrifying them into pink booties is a brilliant touch.
But beware! The layers of deception do not end here. Were all to be peeled back to the very core, the origin, the true identity, you would meet – a PIRATE. Yes – a swashbuckling Nordic pirate. His skill at evading capture is legendary. The treasures he protects are the very best of good pirate magicke.
The veracity of this truth unfolds, nay, is revealed as to a wizard or a fortune teller, when in your hands you hold the wooden implement. It may look like a humble butter knife. But know that it has been handcrafted in the depths of the Viking Man Cave by a master craftsman.
Only the pure of heart will hear the blade sing the sacred song of the Edda. Their chant , soft and susurrus at first, rises in volume, strength and splendour verberating to the very Soul, filling every chamber with its glorious symphony.
Know that in the world of leprechauns and pirates there exists more than fifty shades of good and of evil. Be wary, intrepid traveller and Seeker of Truth to whom these gifts are bestowed. Know which path to travel lest ye fall prey to deception beyond deception. To the darkest shades not of grey, but the blackest of black. As deep as the darkest Night of No Return.
When beholding or holding the blade, know that the magicke talisman of knotted weave brings with it an invisible cloak of protection. To choose its use is to take the Path of Truth, of goodness, of light and of love.
Hand crafted by Ra-i-li. partner of the Viking, her energies are strong. She embeds it as she weaves and crafts the cloth drawing into the yarn magicke from the Four Corners of the Earth Mother and the twinkling starlight from Father Sky. It is a strong alchemy, a merging and a balancing of soft strength. The ancient cosmogony, its elemental vibrations, its celestial songs create a harmony like no other.”
Here we must end this tale. The treasure chest lies safely in the hands of the one for whom it is meant. What happens after that is not for us to know.
© Raili Tanska
Steps for Peace
Be open to see the magicke that surrounds us