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          The Spiral Dance
            1979; Starhawk
            p 159

                             The Goddess In The Kingdom Of Death

            In this world, the Goddess is seen in the moon, the light that shines in darkness,
            the rain bringer, mover of the tides, Mistress of mysteries.  And as the moon waxes
            and wanes, and walks three nights of its cycle in darkness, so, it is said, the
            Goddess once spent three nights in the Kingdom of Death.

            For in love She ever seeks Her other Self, and once, in the winter of the year, when
            He had disappeared from the green earth, She followed Him and came at last to the
            gates beyond which the living do not go.

            The Guardian of the Gate challenged Her, and She stripped Herself of Her clothing
            and jewels, for nothing may be brought into that land.  For love, She was bound as
            all who enter there must be and brought before Death Himself.

            He loved Her, and knelt at Her feet, laying before Her His sword and crown, and gave
            Her the fivefold kiss, and said,

            "Do not return to the living world, but stay here with Me, and have peace and rest
            and comfort."

            But She answered, "Why do you cause all things I love and delight in to die and
            wither away?"

            "Lady," He said, "It is the fate of all that lives to die.  Everything passes; all
            fades away.  I bring comfort and consolation to those who pass the gates, that they
            may grow young again.  But You are My heart's desire -- return not, but stay here
            with Me."

            And She remained with Him three days and three nights, and at the end of the third
            night She took up His crown, and it became a circlet that She placed around Her
            neck, saying:

            "Here is the circle of rebirth.  Through You all passes out of life, but through Me
            all may be born again.  Everything passess; everything changes.  Even death is not
            eternal. Mine is the mystery of the womb, that is the cauldron of rebirth.  Enter
            into Me and know Me, and You will be free of all fear.  For as life is but a journey
            into death, so death is but a passage back to life, and in Me the circle is ever

            In love, He entered into Her, and so was reborn into life.  Yet is He known as Lord
            of Shadows, the comforter and consoler, opener of the gates, King of the Land of
            Youth, the giver of peace and rest.  But She is the gracious mother of all life;
            from Her all things proceed and to Her they return again.  In Her are the mysteries
            of death and birth; in Her is the fulfillment of all love.

            *Traditional Craft Myth


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