The plants and herbs she had chosen from the garden were laid out on the table in front of her, as was the silver bowl. She said the words, more for her own confidence than any actual benefits of the verse. They were from an old monk she had met near Tibet, many years ago. It was the closest thing to a protection spell that she knew. And she prayed that it would work.
She placed the lavender and mint in the bowl, followed by the basil and rue. Then the bit of tansy, the native plants that were written in the book, as well as the sachet of secret spices handed down by her great-grandmother. When all were carefully laid in the bowl, she took the wooden match and lit the candle. The vanilla fragrance filled the room and as she said the last line of the verse, the candle flared. Probably a draft, but she smiled at the drama of the moment. She would take it as a good sign.
She poured a bit of the wax on the herbs and then added the rum. She had forgotten the vodka, but the rum would have more meaning. She’d seen that, in her mind’s eye and had decided to write it down in the book. They might enjoy that, when they discovered their heritage. At the last moment, she decided to take the bowl and candle out onto the balcony. The trespassers might appreciate the light show. She could use all the help she could get.
She waited until the herbs had wilted in the rum and then she took a breath, as she readied herself. With a final look out over the forest and bay, she began.
“This is for all who have come before, and all who will come after,” she said, knowing these first words by heart. “For them and for myself, I ask that everything we love and everything we guard, be protected by the ancient spirits of this island and the ancestors from our Scottish homeland.”
She looked up at the night sky and continued, “I offer all that I am and all that I will ever be, to ensure that the children of my children find their way and be protected from the evils that walk the earth and dwell in the hearts of weaker beings.”
She took the candle and quickly lit the herbs, now soaked with rum. The flames jumped up and she took a step back, still watching the woods. “The evil that knows no limit, no fullness, only hunger. I ask that all that is good, light and helpful in this world watch over my children’s children and help them on their journey. Give them the time they need to learn, to grow and to become all they must, to protect everything we know and love.”
As she spoke, she raised her arms out to her sides and then up to the sky. She could feel all her power, all her might, draining from her. But she kept going, until the words were finished.
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