Ti walked silently through the forest. The Great Light shown his face upon the forest floor, dappling Ti’s surroundings with brilliant light. Everywhere Ti looked, he saw the Spirits of the Real World. He knew the world he touched, hunted and moved in was merely a Shadow World. The Spirit World, that was the Reality. He greeted the Great Rock Spirit as he moved past the diving cliff. He looked down upon the River Spirit, which was one of his best friends: River provided him and his village with the blessings of fish and water. He knew that his village would be hurting right now without the gifts of the River Spirit. The Winter Spirit was upon the Shadow World, and food was scarce. Although it was eternal spring in the Real World, the evil Winter Spirit came and waged war against the forest. Only the Spring Spirit could defeat Winter. He longed for Spring to come again and bring life back to the Shadow World.
He thought about Chana, and his love for her. He wanted her again, although he knew that The Gift was still inside her. He hoped that she would conceive this time. Although only 13 summers had touched her dark skin, he knew that she would bear him many sons. Since the day that he had first touched her, his love for her had grown. It was a powerful thing: This love. It touched him deeply, and he knew that it was a gift of The Goddess.
His entire life was flooded and pregnant with spiritual power: Everything he touched, saw, smelled, tasted and heard spoke to him of one absolute reality. He was as sure of this as anything else in his life. He knew that the Real World was a more powerful reality than the Shadow World. He knew that his True Self lived within the Real World, and that he could feel the presence of his True Self, even if he could not always see him. He could sometimes actually speak to his True Self when he went on his vision quests.
His Spirit Guide could help him to contact his True Self. His Spirit Guide was a wolf named Allepo. Sometimes when he drank the juice that Lopo provided him, he would enter into Allepo, and for a time he could run and hunt with the wolf’s swift, fleet legs. How good it felt to run with the Air Spirit through the forest! Lopo was old and bleary with his eyes dark from the years. Yet he was a powerful shaman, and his potions were strong. Ti knew that Lopo was crazy: Who wouldn’t be? After all, Lopo was always dwelling with the Real World. As his eyes dimmed to this World of Shadow, the Real World became stronger to him. Now he was always talking and muttering to the spirits. He could be frightening! Yet Ti longed to run again as the wolf.
As Ti approached the village he heard the sounds of laughter. His entire life was bound up in this village: He had never seen another person other than those who dwelt in the village. Everyone he knew, everyone he had ever known, was a member of his own family. He did not think of himself as One. No. Rather, he thought of himself as The Village. It was the gift from The Goddess to his family.
His friend and brother Rox approached him, and told him excitedly: “You need to come now. We are going on a hunt!”
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