One night during a deep sleep, the kind and gentle comforter priestess of the Celts known as Bebhinn, was to be given a powerful message. This message had come from the Queen Caoimhe who ruled the land of the fairies. Caoimhe had weaved her needs and desires into Bebhinn’s dreams. The priestess was told that she had been chosen to become the human messenger of the fairies. She would serve for a season, those who resided in the land of the fairies or ancestors. The fairies needed a human voice to assist them, as many centuries had passed without finding a human worthy of the task. The Queen told the holy woman that contact was often not sought with the living as knowledge from the fairies often frightened those who walked in the kingdom of men. Many fairies had tried to bring messages to the sons of Adam. They found that through their attempts at contact they had become objects of ridicule or curiosity. However, now they believed they must share their happiness and secrets as the good people of the highlands were their neighbors and kin. They knew that to not share with others they themselves could lose their wisdom, which would be lethal to both worlds. Many fairies remembered the brave and kind Bebhinn from their time in human form. After hearing how the priestess had healed many who suffered from pain and despair, the Queen decided that they had found a messenger they could trust. The fairies would request she come to their grand kingdom to collect knowledge on how to heal and spread joy to those most like them, the people who lived in their old glen and highlands. Bebhinn was then told by Queen Caoimhee to take a journey to the land of the great northern loch. Once she reached he well-known rocky outcrop overlooking the water, she was to make a camp and rest. When in a deep sleep, she would be taken to the land of the fairies. Bebhinn was eager to do the will of the fairies. She set off the next day on her journey to the great loch and land of the fairies. When she arrived, she made her bed and began her rest. Suddenly, she felt peaceful and fell into a deep slumber. When she awakened, she found herself in the heavenly land of the ancestors. She enjoyed her time with the enchanted ones. She was told many secrets by the fairies and was given healing potions and stories to share with her upon her return to the highlands and the loch. Filled with their joy and hope, she returned to her people. Bebhinn became known both near and far as a wise and holy healer. Many sought to learn from her until the end of her life whereupon, she traveled once again to the land of the fairies and ancestors.
It has been a lovely day for our book! The ISBN number has been assigned and approval for its copyright is pending. Creating this book which is both beautiful in its content and tone has been truly self-actualizing! From the process of its creation, I have begun to understand why God made us...Our Lord and Father (whether or not we choose to accept, acknowledge, or love him, these are His loving names) is indeed the ultimate writer and reader. We are His stories. We begin within His creator imagination. To Him each of us is a living mystery novel or short story. Even though He knows the ending I believe he has decided to not look ahead to know our ending. He wants to be surprised and delighted in how much we have chosen to learn and love during our earthly sojourn. He hopes that that we will have a "happy ending." This happy ending would be to fly into His arms upon our homecoming while feeling His "unconditional love,understanding and healing" of our now transparent raw souls.
By the shores of Loch Ness, a majestic castle ruin stands, gracing a rocky outcrop. The castle, known as Urquhart, clamors to tell her tales. The past of this place with its legends of mystery and conflict has been concealed, as the bricks and centuries disappeared. For hundreds of years it has been the home of warring clans and unseen kingdoms but as we shall discover, the ruin is at last about to find peace with itself. On a sunny day, the clarity of the views looking from the castle in all directions is breathtaking, as striking mountains proudly frame the site. A path leads from the north to an arched gateway, which welcomes visitors in to explore the mysterious battlements. Looking to the west a solitary tower stands tall looking out over the furtive waters of the Ness.
All is not as it seems....
Lurking under the deep dark waters, full of peat and plankton, a shadowy creature patrols back and forth. It constantly keeps the ruin within its inner vision. Throughout the centuries, this creature has been heralded both as a monster and as a myth. From everywhere the curious flock to the shores of the Ness, in anticipation of catching a glimpse of this elusive inhabitant of the loch. They are mindful of the danger the creature may pose if challenged. Imagine being the one to explain what lies beneath the water. Various descriptions and photographs have appeared over many years in newspapers, from stories of normally sober citizens who are convinced they have seen the inhabitant of the deep. It has been seen to have one hump, two humps even three humps. It has also been described as having a long slender neck ending in a small head. However, until this tale unfolds no one knows what lies beneath the water.
In an earlier part of last century, some schoolchildren told tales of a most peculiar and horrifying animal they had see in a busy swamp in Urquhart Bay. They fled to their homes and refused to leave, unless accompanied by a strong and well-armed protector. Through the years, these tales have been handed down and embroiled, and thus the legend has grown, of the Monster who patrols the loch and frightens those who get too close. But too close to what? What lies behind the tales and why should such a creature be living in the waters by Castle Urquhart? The secret is hidden in deep dark caves right beneath the ruins. The importance of the secret is so precious that the Monster will stop at nothing to protect it.
It is now time for our story to begin to unfold...
Continued in Chapter One: The Christening!
This has been an amazing week. Finally, I was able to see through my human eyes rather than the "eyes of the imagination" the ancestral home of Aurora of Inverness-shire and her daughter, Alinda. The journey to Loch Ness has been one of the greatest gifts I have ever received from my husband, Paul. Finding out that Oonagh (co-author of our book) would be there at the same time visiting her Mum and her brother and sister-in-law, made this adventure even more enchanting. As Oonagh and I wrote the tale of Sleeping Beauty's daughter set in her home of Scotland, I knew it would look and feel exactly as it did. I was right.
The highlands of Scotland I have discovered this week are both mysterious and magical. After telling a guide a Urquhart castle the story of Alinda, he excitedly responded, "Oh, she must exist, only in a parallel universe." I both laughed and smiled at the truth within his comment. That universe does exist. It has existed in the minds of Oonagh and I...and it has been incredible accessing it.
Tale of the Saint and the King of Urquhart Castle
A robust holy man named Columba was often to be found journeying by boat between holy Ireland (the land of his birth) and enchanted Scotland (the land of his soul). Many a time St. Columba would be found to have traveled from nation to nation sharing the good news of his beloved God-man.
During one of his trips to sacred Scotland he was lead to a great and good King. This King had built a fine castle on a rocky outcop where many magic stories had been said to have occurred. The name of his stonghold would come to be known as Urquart Castle of Loch Ness. The king was Brude the Brave and True. This good and just King had been told through predictions, that his land would be visited by a holy man bearing good news. The people and King knew at once the prophecy was completed by their meetings with this strange and holy man, Columba.
King Brude and his people loved to listen to the stories told of the gentle God-man by Columba and his good brothers. The stories resonated with the people as enchantment and interaction with the unnseen was commonplace for those who lived in the land of miracles. They understood the beauty and unending power of a God force inside the body of a man. Again, it was easy for them to believe as they had the gift of unending faith.
King Brude would often entertain Saint Columba and his friends. They stopped and visited when on an adventure to share stories of their God. As the Loch and Valley had hosted many holy missionaries who traveled through it, the name of the area was often known as the "Valley of the Saints."
A story of Saint Columba regarding the power of the enchantment of His God of Light was often told by the Pictish King Brude and his people. It seems one night in Urquart castle, a grand cross appeared on a carved pagan monument. The cross shone so bright upon the symbols of the old faith that all who witnessed this enchantment became followers of the God of Columba, including King Brude. The people and their King chose to weave the new symbol and faith as it complemented all that was good and true within the beauty of their old beliefs. The King and kingdom from that day forward had peace, abundance and an enduring power that made magic and miracles as natural as the air of the highlands and unending strength of the hills.
During a trip down Loch Ness, Saint Columba was told of a great sea monster who was causing the fear of death or damage to those trying to carve a living from the land and loch. Saint Columba was told that a man had been bitten by the sea monster and had died from his wound. After attending his burial, Columba was told that another man was in the lake and was in danger of succumbing to the same fate. The Saint went to the loch and demanded that the creature change his evil ways and no longer seek humans for sport, as he was causing them to die. The monster hearing the voice of the saint and feeling remorse for his deeds, never again harmed another daughter of Eve or son of Adam.
The journey of this blog is to share the adventures of the new Scottish fairy tale written by two teachers about the story of Sleeping Beauty's daughter.
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