To Elen of the Ways

For Ellen.

I call to you, secretive Goddess of the woods,
the grassy steppes, the marshland rich in flowers
and the unheimlich realm of dream and vision;
you who run through the night with the herds,
you who teach the sorcerer to hunt and to travel between worlds,
you who hold the luck of the tribe and the sovereignty of the land
within your majestic and moonwhite hands,
you who respond only to skill, cleverness
and those whose hearts are unsullied,
you who laugh at man’s attempts to constrain and define you
for you are a mighty and shapeshifting Goddess.
O Elen, ancient and inexorable one,
beautiful as a maiden in a linen dress and ivy crown
who, entranced, crosses the clearing to stroke the soft throat
of a placid fawn munching leaves of your sacred tree,
enticing as the mysteries you hide behind your inhuman eyes,
exciting as the flames that dance and leap when sacrifices are given to you
and men and women once more
lift their voices to you in joyous song;
this I pray, O antlered One with face of bone,
cloak of deerskin, and spirals of red ochre
upon your lovely arms and chest,
lead those who have honored you rightly
truly and safely through the winding
and beguiling ways of that place
until they have seen what they need to,
and may return to their people
and be received again by the starry ancestors.


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