(Between the jars – Sidebar to fable)
How to bottle the weather:
The lady of the jars has many of nature’s wonders stacked and stored in her secret room, away from prying eyes (though she keeps the door unlocked). This magical art was not taught to her by anyone in particular. Which perhaps is a shame, as she does like company. Instead, she learnt how to do this from the Guāng-shu, her own little magic bible that was passed down through her family. Pages have been ripped out, new pages added. A suspicious crystalline stain permeates one of the sections towards the back which refuses to be cleaned. Though passed down through her family, the book was never intended to end up in her hands. This may have been to save her from her fate, or because of the doubt in her abilities. But through a series of events that still surprise her to this day, the book was hers when she was old enough to read. And read she did.
Jars fill her little cottage there by the stream. She is forever getting new vials, and jugs and glass jars delivered. Not so much through her proficiency of usage; but lately, more to her failing eyesight which refuses to be remedy by the wearing of glasses. Which leaves the broken jars tipped away in the rubbish, and many a swear word emanating from her little house.
To bottle the weather….
1. Pick a day that the weather you wish for is at its most potent. The intensity leads to longer shelf life.
2. Set your jar in a pool of water (this conducts the elements required for storage).
3. Place a ‘Tan-ya’ stone in the bottom of the jar (imitation stones will not work).
4. Recite the incantation located in the Guāng-shu.
5. Channel the power down into the bottle, sealing it quickly. This may take some time depending on the nature of it. NOTE: Hurricanes are decidedly tricky.
6. Once bottled, swirl the jar until the Tan-ya stone breaks like an egg. This seals the condition inside and prevents escape or leakage.
7. Store in a cool place where sunlight cannot enter.
As impressive as bottling the weather is, her favourite bit of magic has to be the ‘Dragon’s tongue’. A single little red flame that ignites and burns within one of her little jars with the ability to burn the strength of the smouldering centre of the earth. This she keeps tucked under the blanket in her bed.
Her own little wizardry water bottle.
Covered in ice, Europa is one of the four of Galilean moons of Jupiter. It is slightly smaller than the Earth’s moon, and it is the sixth largest one in the solar system. Named after Europa, the mother of King Minos and lover of Zeus, the moon is the cold diamond satellite on the neck of space.
I say covered in ice, when really its crust is an ice-water combination, rupturing and freezing in parts, scarring the planet in darker slashes that glow red and rust brown from a distance. The temperature of its surface is about -160°C; bone shatteringly cold and uninhabitable.
But it’s underneath where life begins.
Under the ice crust, but not solely to reside, lie the vast ice cities. Forged out of the frozen nitrogen and comet dust, these vast and palatial cityscapes warren through the planets mantel, each one a testament to design and solar freezing, which bathes the subterranean spaces in a light form that breathes like that of a plant. The air heaves and flows like a tide, washing the buildings and inhabitants in a cosmic breath.
It was here that the girl came from. Deep beneath the ice sheets that, on radiation days she would crack the surface to explore, the girl broke out of the fallen star that signalled her birth. She grew fast, and showed a curiosity that was not usually found in the others around her. Her family were close however, other shards of the same galaxy that collapsed and contracted, reduced down to the tiny crystal balls that grew like eggs, hatching new life. She held an especially strong bond with her particle-father, who nurtured her imagination and curious ways and loved her very much
Though their lives seem strange and distant, their family dynamics are not far removed from those human ones on earth. One example of this is ‘Creation extol’.
Much in the same way as celebrating a birthday, those on Europa celebrate the day of which you were created. It sounds more clinical than it actually is, for the day itself is full of laughter, dance and gift giving. The best part of Creation Extol, and all would agree on this, is the song and dance that is sung called ‘OOcite’. The rules of the dance are as so:
Rules of ‘OOcite’
- Break off into groups of threes.
- Each one has a small pillar of ice in each hand (the size of regular pillar candle).
- You can only have three colours to your pillar: Rust red, Blue or Green and these can’t be mixed. (The one who’s creation day it is, will have a Black one. The meaning behind each colour is significant.)
- As the music begins, the song is sung [lyrics below] and everyone begins to move around holding their ice pillars out in front of them in their palms.
- As the song has a magical property, and only when sung in unison, the ice will begin to emit a glow based on the colour you’ve chosen. They will project an image in front of you between the two pillars (making something that looks like a tv screen).
- Here you can view moments past, present and future.
As the colours signify which, here they are:
Rust red – Past events
Blue – Present happenings*
Green – Future moments**
Black – projects paths and choices to be made to benefit the viewer in the year ahead (a cosmic guide, so to speak)
*This can be from anywhere in the galaxy and beyond.
**As the future is harder to see, the green pillars of ice burn away faster than the others.
- The participants move and rotate like spinning dervishes, graceful and humble.
- The song is repeated until all the pillars have melted away.
- Once the pillars are gone, the colour glows from the ice will fly off and merge, exploding on the one celebrating their creation (think the Hindu Holi festival).
- A large meal follows the dance usually.
Lyrics for ‘OOcite’:
Your days reach forth like fingers of Gods.
Into the palm we dance.
We fall and fold like happenstance.
Frozen like tears in trance.
Each hand in time and eyes of Nara.
View what we wish to see.
Like lunar shells from illumi-trees.
That spark the light within our seas.
So now we peel back the skin of life.
To extol (insert name).
Into hearts, and into heads.
Our love we weave and thread.
Our love we weave and thread.
It isn’t unknown for someone to usually add another verse once the initial song is complete and all the ice pillars have melted. These usually take on a ‘roasting’ nature, playfully poking fun but without any mean spiritedness.
Fact – One such OOcite song/dance went on for 8 hours straight. But as one day on Europa is equal to 85 hrs on earth, this doesn’t seem too long really. They usually only last 30 ‘earth’ minutes.
In space we dream
‘P’erl’ came the voice. Softly, like a snowflake landing on her ear. Her eyes were closed still, she felt the webbing around her body, keeping her in place. She was hesitant to open them, such dreams she’d had, and they were in danger of slipping away if she opened her eyes. It was so rare for her to sleep, and when she did, the night flashes came, robbing her of any peace. She was unusual for her kind. The rest of Europa never had dreams, never suffered the nightmares of other worlds parade across her mind like she did. Calling out in despair and anger. She’d learned not to sleep. She had learned a lot just to live.
It came again ‘P’erl’, a little stronger; this time the other side of her head. Her eyes flickered apart and scanned, she found no-one there. Her room lay beneath her empty and quiet. She hung up in the rafters, encased in the white webbing that held sleep, and dreamless sleeps for everyone but her. She knew the voice now, she had known it before. Her inner self telling her, it was time to go.