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                                     Descent Of The Goddess
                                Copyright 1993 Durwydd Mac Tara

                     (With special thanks to G. B. Gardner, Freydis Vasa,
                      Julia Phillips, and Pyrocanthus Basileus)

                  In ancient times, our Lord,the Horned One, was (as hestill is)
          Controller, the Comforter.  But men know him as the dread Lord of
          Shadows, lonely, stern, and just.

              But our Lady the Goddess oft grieved deeply for the fate of her
          creations as they  aged and died. She would solve  all mysteries, even
          mystery of death, and so journeyed to the underworld.

                  The Guardian of  the Portals  challenged her:  'Strip off  thy
          lay aside thy jewels; for naught may you bring with you into this
          our land, for it is written that your True Self is the only fitting
          adornment for those in the realms of Death.'

                  So she laid down her garments and her jewels, andwas bound, as
          living must be who seek to enter the realms of Death, the Mighty One.

                  Such was herbeauty that Death himself knelt,and laid his sword
          crown at her feet, and kissed her feet, saying: 'Blessed be thy feet
          that have brought thee in these ways.  Abide with me; but let me place
          my cold hand on thy heart.'

              And she replied: 'Why do you cause all things that I love, and
          take delight in, to fade and die?'

              'Lady,' replied Death, 'it is age and fate, against which I am
          helpless.  Age causes  all things to wither;  but when men die  at the
          of time, I give them rest and peace and strength, so that they may
          return.  But you, you are lovely.  Return not, abide with me.'

                    And she replied, 'Nay, I love theenot and I am needed in the
          of the living.'

               Again Death knelt, and kissed her knees, saying: 'Blessed be thy
          knees that  kneel before the  Altar.  Abide with  me; let me  place my
          hand on thy heart.'

                    And she replied, 'Nay, I love thee not and I am needed inthe
          of the living.'

               Death (still kneeling), kissed her on the womb, saying:
          'Blessed be thy organs of generation,  without which none of us  would
          Abide with me; let me place my cold hand on thy heart.'

               And she replied, 'Nay though I feel the beginnings of love for


          thee, I must return to those I fully love in the world of creation.'

                    Deaththen stood, and kissedher on thebreast, saying: Blessed
          thy  breast, formed  in strength and  beauty.   Abide with  me; let me
          my cold hand on thy heart.'

               And she replied, 'Nay though I feel love for thee, I must not
          abandon those I am responsible for, in the world of creation. I cannot
          do this thing, better you would return with me.'

               'Lady,' replied Death, It cannot be so.  If I were to leave my
          realm, and abandon those who seek their comfort and rest with me, then
          the Wheel would no longer turn.  Age and weakness would overtake those
          whom you  love, and they would  have nowhere to find  rest, and peace,
          reunion with those who have gone before.  As age and debility overtook
          your creations, there would quickly be no room for the new, only the
          withered,  the  tired, and  the stagnant.'  He  then kissed  her lips,
          'Blessed be  thy lips, which shall  utter the Holy Names.   Abide with
          let me place my cold hand on thy heart.'

                    And shereplied, Let us BOTHlay our hands, eachunto the heart
          the other, thereby claiming and uniting each unto the other.  In this
          way may I rule my kingdom of birth, creation, and life; yet share with
          you your kingdom of death, rejuvenation, and rest. United in Perfect
          Love and Perfect Trust, that the Universe may be whole and the Wheel
          turn smoothly.

               Death replied, 'This is indeed WISDOM, So Mote it Be!' They
          embraced, thus pledging their eternal love. 

                  And he taught her all his mysteries, and gave her the necklace
          is the  circle of  rebirth.   And she  taught him  her mystery of  the
          cup which is the cauldron of rebirth.

                  They loved, and were one; for there be three greatmysteries in
          life of  mankind, and magic  controls them all.   To fulfil  love, you
          return again at the same time and at the same place as the loved ones;
          and you must meet, and know, and remember, and love them again.

              But to be reborn, you must die, and be made ready for a new body.
          And to die, you must be born; and without love, you may not be born.

                  And our Goddess is ever inclined to love,and mirth, and happi-
          and guards and cherishes her hidden children in life, and in death
          she teaches the way to her communion; and even in this world she
          teaches them the mystery of the Magic Circle, which is placed between
          the worlds of men and of the Gods.

          And thus we are taught of the beginnings of the wheel of the year


          wherein the Lord and the Lady share their rulership of the year, each
          offering and sharing  a balance to  the other, and  the basis of  that


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