The Dance of the Mystai by Tinnekke Bebout Guest Post
Since the book tour showcases my non-fiction, I thought I would offer the readers a taste of a new fiction project I am working on. It's the prologue to the novel I am working on Greater Than His Father. It’s the story of Akhilles told from the pov of his mother, Thetis.
Hear the words of weeping Thetis:
Most forlorn of all immortals am I; captured, bound, bargained away, who once had suitors bold and renowned. Until the Moirae, The Sisters Three, spoke my Fate: She will have a son greater than his father.
At these words mighty Gods shook, unmanned with fear. Zeus Thunderer, whose favor was shown me above all others, fled like a child from a barking dog. Poseidon Earthshaker, too, left me. I, the most-fair daughter of ancient Nereus, Sea Lord, Wave Rider, was alone – forsaken – as all about me men and Gods trembled.
Then into this fray wandered the son of righteous Aiakos, Lord of Hekate’s Isle: Peleus the Argonaut, mighty hunter of the Kalydonian boar. Peleus the Exile, fled from home and hearth for an accidental death too close to the heart. Worthy, yet tainted, he too was forsaken. He founded Phthaia in Thessaly where the heart-sick and the outcast could find a place of safety. Its mountain fastness became a shelter from a painful past. Here was one who prayed that his son would be greater than his father.
Zeus offered me to him as wife to be rid of my eternal temptation, on condition that he could acquire me by himself with nothing but his wits and the advice to hold me and never let go until I capitulated. Thus was I bound – first by Zeus’ word and then by the arms of Peleus – in bonds miserable to my spirit. Wife to one lesser than I, without my consent, to safely bear the child no immortal wanted and dared not let me have. Alas for my ill-fated son, Akhilles, my own dearest – truly greater than his father.
Akhilles, flame-haired, godlike boy, wise in healing, terrible in battle, tender and loving, wild, my only one, whom Fate gave the dread choice: to die young with fame that lasts forever, or to die old and beloved with his family by his side but forever lost to time, obscure and unknown. Hear my weeping, ye merciless Fates! Gaia feels my tears upon her bosom. Ever and forever shall I cry. Nyx of eternal night and Hekate Propylaios, I call upon you as witness, hear my story of the life bitterly lost of great Akhilles!
The Dance of the Mystai is an experiential and magickal journey for those wishing to discover the Lunar Mysteries and the ways of Hekate. The book is an organic outgrowth of the work of the author and her Sisters as they have grown and rediscovered the ancient goddess and her rites. Within these pages are a collection of essays, poetry, goddess lore, and practical ideas for growing and living a personal Path based on the Lunar Mysteries.
Human life starts with a simple cry, a cry that is universal: the cry for Mother. It means warmth and love and security. It calls for food. It brings a scent indelible in our memories and primeval in our response. It brings the scent of Mother. It’s inexplicable, we just know the smell when we’re around it and barring childhood trauma that disconnected us at an early age, it’s a smell that relaxes us and makes us happy. So the journey begins before we have words for it.
Just as the child longs for Mother before there are words, so we women on our Goddess paths long for Her before we have words for what we seek. There is a sense of not belonging in the world of Father-identified Godhood, a vague unease with the male-only terms for creation, an inner tug that tells us that something more is out there. Someone more is out there. That someone loves us and waits for us. We sing a chant that flows from our lips before we realize it’s a heart-felt cry, “Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!” We call for our Mother in baby words, soul words. We are answered as we were as infants, with a feeling of warmth and love as Mother hears us and holds us and reminds us that She was always there waiting for us. And just that quickly, we know—we know why our longing filled us and caused us to journey in a spiritual wilderness away from the known world of FatherGod, through dark places where we questioned our journeys and doubted our inner needs—because out there waiting in the still soft warmth was Goddess just longing for Her daughters to hear the call and call to Her in return. We are suddenly home.
I cannot say with any truthfulness that the journey is always easy. For most women I know, myself included, it was hard. It was a journey fraught with a million temptations and obstacles all designed by the paradigm of the FatherGod to bring us back, either by luring us with treats if we are “Good Girls” or by threatening us with punishment as “Bad Girls”. Many times, these obstacles and lures are all within us; we drank in their existence with our first milk and they were taught to us as simple truths by our parents before we were old enough to think and question. They can make even the most dedicated doubt the journey, even after Goddess has been found.
I remember hearing with great surprise a woman who was an early voice of Goddess Spirituality and deeply respected in the community express the fear and doubt she had when one of her children died suddenly that the FatherGod was punishing her for following the Goddess Path and spreading the word of it to other women. It was a surprise but also a relief. I have had those feelings myself at times for other reasons. The feeling that the FatherGod can always reach out with His long arm and strike us down or the feeling during times of struggle that maybe life would be better and easier if we just returned to the FatherGod is one that hits many women during our journey and even after we have found Goddess.
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About the Author:
Born and raised in the midwest, Tinnekke Bebout grew up slowly finding her voice as a writer. Her first non-academic assays into the art involved poetry she created while still in high school as well as her first attempt at a novel. Since leaving academia as a young woman, she has found her creative outlets mostly through the genres of poetry and essays. Recently Tinnekke has begun stretching herself into the realm of short fiction as a contributor to the recent anthologies Taboo, Love Down Under, and For Love of the Gods. She is planning a novel-length piece at this time based on the story of Thetis, mother of Akhilles.
Tinnekke is the author of The Dance of the Mystai (Pagan Writers Press 2013). She also contributed toHekate Her Sacred Fires and the soon-to-be-released second part of Memento Mori from Avalonia Press as well as Pagan Writers Presents Samhain. She is also working on The Hekate Tarot , a devotional project in honor of Hekate, with Hope Ezerins, a sister Priestess in the Mystai of the Moon tradition. She has also been published in such periodicals as Goddess, Circle, PanGaia, The Loom, Askei Kataskei, andThe Goat and Candle. She also is editor and publisher of The Torch Bearer.
Tinnekke is one of the founders of the Mystai of the Moon Tradition, and carries the title of Priestess of the Flames within their Rites. She also founded the Lyceum Magissai, which is the school of the Mystai tradition, and creatrix of its Priestessing Path. As a Mentor Sister of the Mystai, she teaches women a Mystery Tradition that has at its heart recreating the ancient mysteries of Hekate and revisioning them for the modern era.
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