Fire and I dedicated ourselves to our Lady in February of 1999, although by that point we had been serving her since the previous October. It was when we swore to Her that our magical and spiritual instruction began in earnest, and Clan Tashlin was formed.
Since then we have studied magic, taught magic, become spirit workers, gained friends, lost friends, healed, destroyed, and seen our lives become something far different than we could have imagined when we first set out on this path. We have grown and changed, taken new names, and reclaimed old ones.
Now we stand on the edge of a precipice. In a few days will be working a piece of incredibly complex magic, which represents the attainment of so much that we have worked towards. We've known this kind of magic exists ever since we swore to our Lady. From day one, as She and our teachers instructed us in the workings of magic, this was always in the back of our minds. It was understood that if we studied diligently, and were good boys and girls we might grow up to someday be ready for what we now find ourselves preparing to do.
It is an unbelievably intimidating thought.
It is not that I lack of confidence in our ability to do the work. Rather it is that there are many spiritual and magical rules and rights that are conveyed upon us and upon our Clan once this is done. For one thing Clan Tashlin, or more accurately Tashrisketlin, becomes an official and living entity in Her eyes, rather than the proto-clan it's been for the past 10 years. What this means to me as the Clan shaman remains to be seen.
Sadly, though not surprisingly, Summer has decided that he does not want any part in this process. Unless he negotiates with Her to leave Tashrisketlin, he will remain part of our little Clan (as there are only eight of us at the moment it would be especially sad to see him go), but at a challenging and triumphant time like this, his absence is especially noted.
As long as I've been Wintersong I have been working towards this moment, but now that it nears I find myself wondering what the future will have in store for us. When one has strived towards a goal for so long, its completion can only be bittersweet. None of this is how I expected it to be, but then I know that I am very much not the person I expected I would be when I looked towards the future 10 years ago.
In some senses the future beyond the completion of this working it is dark. However, it is not the darkness of despair, but rather the sense of anticipation you feel in a darkened room, as your finger rests on a flashlight's on switch and you wait to see what shapes the light will reveal.