“Venus Fastening Girdle for Juno,” Andrea Appiani, circa 1811, Wikimedia.

Part 4: Wilderness Revelation (Last)

Weeks in forest wilderness, we climbed
And crawled, few paths found amongst
rocks and roots, laurel ensnarled dark
Stretches. Course of self-realization or
Destruction, I knew not which as Althea
Exiled herself from charity of village folk
And from foresighted gods – or so she
Thought. Alas, with sips from mountain
Springs, starvation took toll, willing I was
To die again, released from burdens of
Althea, reborn again as mortal woman,
Mistress, mother. Lo! I cared not which.

Gown torn, legs thistle cut, into sunlit glade
We stumbled, upon stone altar collapsed,
Uncertain wings, two souls upward spiraling
to high tree-tops,  in unison, without regard
For one another, we prayed aloud, “Release
Me from this burden.” Earth and water,
Dawning revelation, prayers to rid ourselves
Of the other. Call it not love nor affections
Deep, more fated acceptance, to each other
We were bound, two souls entwined as bone
And sinew. Unable to change the world,
Althea could make benefit for few lives.

O! Althea, on divine feet return to village of
Your birth, earth parents await, as do those
Needing healing hands, kind words and deeds.
Gift-blessed goddess, go as intended, alight
On temple steps.  Of this we dance and sing
Prayerful hymns, your life-script reckoned,
We acknowledge immortal voice, from upper
Air, above land and sea, deific light shines.
In your honour, animals of sacrifice were
Loosed, life-preserving acts of temple priests.
By Aeriel-melded thoughts, they will listen,
Learn, and follow guidance divine.

As legend tells, Althea and I returned to
Marble temple, welcoming all assembled,
Taking each in turn, offerings of fruit and
Flowers, providing healing laves, potions,
Skills taught, slowly, deliberately, word
Spread across Attic lands, young woman,
Duality of sight, visited farm hamlets,
Shepherds in high mounts. Charity we
Accepted, paths we followed in love and
Light, for those we aided in darkest hours,
Knew we, too, were once soul-weary.

“Chapelle Rose,” Henri Martin, WikiArt.

Thus was my life amongst an immortal,
Goddess ever-young appearing, she shew
Away old age, weakness of body, preserving
When others could not. Alas! Wanderers we
Became, strange lands under foot, languages
Foreign to our ears, we continued for hundred
Years, until higher voices beckoned us to
Heaven’s door. Mother’s pain, Althea from
My soul separated ascending beyond my
Reach, mortal woman returned, once goddess
Released, my life with her was no more.

Though they were sisters of soul, one held dominance over the other, 
Goddess over mortal, Althea rising, Aeriel falling from godly heights.
Thus ends this poem in four parts. Thanks for reading.

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