The Wild Rising: A Seven-Sealed Humanifesto for the Apocalypse.
This crone Priestess was hardly worried, despite all appearances, for she knew full well her rescuers were coming at any moment.
The bloodless rebellion had been raging outside these stone walls long before she received her unjust sentence, and the sound of her prison cell door closing had been the oppressors’ death rattle.
She knew exactly how this was going to end, for she had foreseen the end of days, and her well-earned scars throbbed now in anticipation of a new peace, a permanent plateau of compassion long-deserved by human collective.
The wise one spoke to the bright-eyed journalist through the bars, keeping her gaze on the rising Blood Moon outside her window, “So, you want to know how the Humanifesto was written, do you? You think it was cooked up by a handful of bitter women in the middle of the woods? You think we could have done it all alone, we wild few?”
The unnerved young one dropped her pen, but had faith in technology; the red light on the black box at her feet assured her the Priestess’ words were still being recorded.
“Tell me, Maiden, why do you deserve my story?”
The journalist swallowed, then stammered: “I… I believe your story needs to be told.”
The old one rolled her eyes and waved her bony hand dismissively.
The Maiden tried again, taking a deep breath before speaking with a renewed boldness, “History has been written by those with ego-born motives. No one has the right to tell anyone else’s story, and no one’s story is true unless it is told by the lips of the one who lived it. So, Priestess, I only deserve your story if you think I am worthy of hearing it.”
The old one pursed her lips together and locked the young one in a narrow-eyed gaze of judgment, finally nodding with decided satisfaction. The crone closed her paper-skinned eyelids, speaking of her memories as if she were living them all over again, “We washed our bodies in sacred sage smoke, taking our seats around the quietly raging council fire, and we raised our red hoods to honor our sensuality and our sins.”
She traced her finger across the five-pointed star tattoo on her wrist and continued:
“We bore what our oppressors would call the biblical Mark of the Beast but it was really our inked testimony to feminine fortitude, the venerable elements of our great world, and our inborn divinity. There were so many of us now; we had no idea how large our numbers would grow or how far the word would spread.
We could not possibly have predicted the universality of the Holy Wild’s language, but now we knew that our call to rise had been heard across the cosmic expanse of time and space. Now we knew that direction was needed, that our voices needed to be re-threaded together in union. Now, by the silver light of the Blood Moon and orange glow of the council fire, we knew it was time.
We few did not want to falsely represent the many, for such is the way of the mad rulers, so we called forth as many wild ones as we could. We put out an open invitation to those who sought soulful liberation, and we howled from our bellies so loudly that the oppressors’ tired voices were drowned in our sultry songs.
The Autumn winds rustled the dying leaves in the forest around us, hearkening their arrival, and we bid hail and welcome to these red-hooded millions, these creatures who had so much inner beauty that the sky glowed a glittery pink when they came together. The forest could be seen from space, a beacon of soul-graced consciousness that had never been so concentrated in a single place.”
The journalist swallowed the lump in her throat, and moved so she could better see the old one’s face, but the Priestess stood from the bed and moved to the barred window, speaking into the night, “You see, the Humanifesto was nothing new. We did not write it by ourselves; it was born that night in the forest by voices too numerous to count, and we sealed it with Gaia’s mud, river water, and moon-blood.”
The old Priestess pulled a small scroll from her numbered uniform, sealed with seven dark and misshapen marks, “These were our vows to take back what is ours, to reclaim the feminine not just for women, but for all of humanity.”
She slid a long nail under one of the seals and kept speaking:
“It was a young mother who spoke first, the first of the four horsemen, a woman battered by the hands of those who refused to accept her value as a She-God in her own right. She rode toward the council on a white horse, and we bid her to speak her truth.
We asked her what she was taking back, and she answered, “We are taking back spiritual autonomy. We will not be spoon-fed any definition of divinity that invalidates our worth, our light, or our dark. We will not be shamed for what we know in our bones to be true, and what we know is that we are the very embodiment of sanctity.””
She scraped open the second seal, smiling now:
“Her little came forward then, a young, gender-less child whose eyes had seen too much too soon, and he shouted in his high-pitched voice from atop a small, red horse, “We are taking back our right to choose who we are. We will not be told we only have two options, that we can either be hard-working men or soft-spoken women. Our choices are limitless, and our potential is infinite. We are who we say we are. We choose our own names. Our language is insufficient to describe the so-holy, so-blessed, so untamed magick of the Wild Self.””
The Maiden had leaned against the bars, holding them to keep her shaking legs from falling off her high heels. The Priestess opened the third seal and continued:
“A painted Witch came forward next and fell off her black horse to her knees, writhing in whole-body sobs. We weren’t sure if we should help her to her feet, but we let her be. She cried for hours, and we watched as she took on all of our pain. She beat her chest and kicked the ground, and we fed her all the anguish we could.
When she finally spoke, the council fire was blazing so hot we had to move back; it was a bonfire-prayer to the righteous rage within all of us, and, in the flames, we could see the faces of women burned in front of their children. The painted Witch bellowed so loudly then that the wolves howled in the forest around us, not in fear but in solidarity.
She affirmed, “We are taking back our right to feel with our whole bodies. No more will we have our tears wiped away, our anger silenced, or heads patted in condescension. No more will we be told that our emotional integrity lowers our consciousness. No more will be told to ascend. We are here to descend into our dark as much as we are here to ascend into the light, and our emotionality is the crucible within which the most beauteous personal, relational, and global changes will take place. We are wild, and we are rising!”
“The crowd was roaring so loudly when the Witch finished speaking that the trees were bending back, and we sent seismic vibrations down so deeply into the ground that it made the dead stir in their graves.”
The journalist was on her knees now, her lips quivering and eyes wet. The Priestess slid her fingernail under the fourth seal and continued more softly, bewildered at her own words:
“Two twin girls with red hair came forward riding a pale horse, but they said nothing. We asked them to speak their truth, to tell us what they were taking back, but they stayed silent. The sky started to rumble then, the black clouds blocked out the moon, and we knew the awakening was upon us.
Finally, the small ones spoke in unison, “We are taking back the Earth. No longer will She be denigrated in the name of profit. No longer will the elite few hold the keys to Her shackles. We are taking back our primal, holy right to protect Her, and we are taking back every seed and every root that has been ripped from Her womb and returning it to where it belongs. We are taking back muddy feet and whole food for children. We are taking back dirt under our nails and grass-stained knees. We are taking back Earth-magick and ritual, and we are taking back justice for those who would do Her harm.””
The Priestess slid her finger under the fifth seal, turning from the window and looking the journalist square in the eye:
“You’ll want not to believe me when I tell you what happened next, and that is your choice. Consider, though, that your training has removed the possibility of the mystical from your imagination. The four horses were the only ones who seemed to know what was coming, and they reared back so fiercely that the crowd parted for them. The sky was so dark. There were no stars.
We wondered if we were doing the right thing, or if we had unleashed some great alchemy we were now powerless to wield.
The fire swelled so large that we all had to move to the treeline and shield our faces, but I saw it. I covered my eyes with my red hood, but I still saw it. Tens of thousands of women stepped out from the flames, but they did not look burned. The fire raged all around them, but they remained whole as they were in life amidst the flames, these great martyrs of the Holy Wild.
They spoke altogether with a voice so deafening that we all covered our ears, “We are taking back pan-human, pan-gender, pan-culture, pan-ability, pan-belief equality. We will not stand down when there are those who cannot stand up, and we all have a soul-mandated right to be here.”
A mother stepped forward carrying the bullet-riddled body of her murdered son, and the burning women blessed her. Still more mothers came forward carrying their dead loved ones killed for their skin color, and the burning women bowed down to them. So many killed by ignorance. So many dead at the hand of an immobile but outmoded system.”
The Priestess was weeping now, leaning against the wall, and the journalist could see a great, blinding light in the window behind her. The old one opened the sixth seal and continued on behind sobs:
“And the ground started shaking all around us. It could have been chaos if the trees had started falling, but they stayed steady. The burning women ascended to heaven in a mass, blazing exodus, and the fire contracted. Some people whispered that it was over, but I knew it had only just begun.
I don’t know who started the chant, but soon there were millions of voices crying out into the night, “We are taking back our children, and we are rising! We are rising! We are rising!” The clouds started parting, and when we saw the moon, we knew we were fulfilling a sort of planetary destiny. “We are rising! We are rising! We are rising!””
“We are rising,” whispered the journalist, tasting the salt of her tears, “We are rising.”
The Priestess broke the seventh seal then, and the light from the window grew so bright that the Maiden had to turn away, and the two were stone-still, holding hands through the bars. The Maiden no longer remembered her assignment or why she had come, and the Priestess laid her head on her knees.
The crone whispered, “We are taking back our collective future… When the lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven…” (Revelations 8:1, ISV).
There was no noise, only the purest pulse of ethereal peace as if the whole scene had gone deep underwater. No words exist for the divine eruption of human evolution that happened in that moment, and angelic spirits of ancestors and those from alien worlds descended from the sky to welcome everyone everywhere into the next great human age.
The beauty of the transformation was akin to the simultaneous birth of a billion stars, and there is no bliss-filled utopian dream that can do justice to the majestic truth that is the end-of-the-unholy-days, the apocalypse of the uninitiated ego, the global dawn of pan-human autonomy for body and spirit.
When the two managed to move again, the Priestess embraced the Maiden through the bars, passing her the opened scroll and kissing her forehead, “Let them say what they will, for it is our prophecies that are coming to pass. We have risen.”
“We have risen,” the Maiden affirmed, “We are taking back spiritual autonomy. We are taking back our right to choose who we are. We are taking back our right to feel with our whole bodies. We are taking back the Earth. We are taking back pan-human, pan-gender, pan-culture, pan-ability, pan-belief equality.We are taking back our children. We are taking back our collective future. We have risen.”