Celebration of Auhawyk
The month of Auhawyk marks the longest holiday celebration of the Order. Beginning on the 15th (CGT Day 15), preparation begins for the Week of Lost Souls. This event lasts right through till the 30th (CGT Day 30)
To say my body was cold is something of a misnomer, not the cold, my body is the misnomer. The only way to describe it was that my existence was cold; I was cold. I knew I had died, and yet I did not remember dying. Why or when, or for how long I had been in this current existence I could not tell.
Occasionally my eyes would open enough for me to make out the other existence around me, and I could see the trees, the forest of trees. Voices whispered around me. Indescribable names, whispered by the countless trees of the world.
I could approach the trees, but knew no more. I knew I should climb, but which one? There were so many, I dared not chose incorrectly.
Time stretched on, for how long I do not know.
Drums. Voice. I could hear them in the distance, but I could not make out their tenor. Something inside me stirred. I was drawn to the din; each step closer also filled my spirit with more energy. With each step my pace increased.
Suddenly life seemed to burst into existence once again, and the world came into sharp, clear focus. Tears fell? or would have if it were possible.
Beings were gathered around a massive fire in a village square. Elders beat drums, while matriarchs sung, youth blew pipes or horns or plucked stringed instruments! The music was solemn, but powerful its notes resonated within me. It was a hymn to Kampar. Everything appeared to be a funeral, but no corpses were to be found.
The ceremony slowed during the midnight hours. A single being stayed to beat a drum and sing his solemn song. I sat and listened, enthralled by him. I eventually fell asleep (or whatever spirits do). I swore I dreamt - there were sounds I had not heard in years. Vividly sharp and familiar voices, laughter. I swore I had heard my name.
The ceremony continued at daybreak with renewed vigor. I saw many others join, others like me, who could only watch but be drawn to the celebration.
On the 7th day a wizened member of the village stood and read from a great book, and told of the journey of the dead to the Great Tree. I yearned to find it.
He spoke, "All who travel need a guide. The Great Ewok's creations know the way." Another group brought forth the carcass of a freshly hunted Ewok, and began meticulously to prepare it. "This Ewok was hunted by our Prophets and will serve as a guide to those that have failed to passed on, the Lost Souls."
Was he speaking of me? I knew I was one of whom he spoke of. The celebration reached a new tempo: it changed from one of mourning to one of celebration! I watched as those in attendance consumed their portion of the roasted Ewok. The bones and viscera were left, carefully arranged in the center of the Ewok's skin.
As the feast drew to a close, the celebrants once more turned their attention to the aged being. He pulled a bone needle with a long piece of sinew attached, from his belt, then sang as he began stitching the skin of the Ewok around the remaining parts.
The song was soft and prayerful, "Oh Holy one, maker of us all. This, thy sacrifice, honors you. We beseech thee to bind the spirits of all those that are lost, but found their way here, to the spirit of this Ewok. His journey will be their journey, and their journey will be to You."
His suturing complete, the other gather the newly crafted satchel and placed it amongst the roots of the village's great tree.
What I saw before me was astounding. The Ewok skin satchel burned brightly, as if it were a star in the sky. My eyes were transfixed. A figure emerged from the light! It was the Ewok, and yet he was different - he shone with the Glory of Kampar. He gestured to all those that were Lost and we gathered around him.
"I am your guide." He spoke, and we all understood him perfectly. "I will lead you to the Great Tree, who's name I will share on the journey."
We followed, watching the world from the transparent hulk of the tree as we ascended, all together. As the fire died down, and the ashes were gathered and spread before a great tree in the village, and the celebrants dispersed - or faded from my view as I was drawn from the world.
The Ewok spoke many things on our journey, speaking of Kampar and all that He is. We could now see miles of earth below us. Oceans, rivers, grasslands - we saw the complete beauty we had experienced during our first lives. As branches began to come into focus above us, the Ewok spoke again.
"From this point, I can no longer guide you. My task is done, and now yours begins. Pass the trials of his 12, and greet Kampar." With that, the Ewok faded into the crowd of spirits that surrounded me. He was just like me - beginning his second life.
As I reached the first branch, my fear dissolved.