at the City of 10,000 Buddhas in Northern California
Once upon a time the Element of Earth was sad. She had been looking all over and no matter where she looked the other elements and things around her danced. She wanted to dance. She knew if she danced people and animals would get hurt.
The other Elements noticed that Earth was silent. So they came to ask her what was wrong. Fire was the bravest so they let her ask the question. “Earth, what’s wrong? Is there something we can do?”
The Earth thought and then said,” I don’t know if you can. I see all of you dancing alone and with each other but I can’t join in and I really, really want to.”
Fire was quiet and then said, “Wait here a moment.” She went to the other Elements and they met in a huddle. “Is there some way we can each let her dance with us? She can’t dance alone but I bet there is some way she can dance with each of us.”
Air spoke up, “Well, I can take some of her and dance. I can’t be all over her but I can dance with her edges.”
Air went to Earth. “May I go to the dry parts of you and would you dance with me?”
“Oh, yes!” said the Earth.
And the Air went to the desert and started to spin slowly across the Earth’s surface. A dust devil rose in the Air and the Air gently spun the Earth across the desert surface.
“Oh that was lovely”, cried the Earth. “I can dance with my edges! If I dance with my edges people will usually have time to get out of the way. Do you think Water and Fire will dance with my edges?”
Air replied, “Of course, let’s go see.”
Water stepped forward. “Would you like dance in me or me to dance over you?”
Earth was so excited, “Let’s try both!” And Water took some Earth and danced her through the waves taking her back and forth all over the world. “Would you like me to dance over you now?”
The Earth smiled happily and Water slid and danced down mountains and over hills laughing all the way and the Earth laughed too. If you listen you can still hear them laughing if you go to a brook or stream. “I think Fire would like to dance with you now, too.”
“Do you mind if we heat you up?” asked Fire.
“Oh no! However you need me to be I’ll be.” Replied the Earth.
And Fire heated up the Earth around her. “I can only do this if you let me through some cracks, is that alright?”
The Earth sighed happily. Fire took her up through a crack and spun in the air, they came back down, they flowed over the Earth rising and falling. Air and Water joined in all three danced. Now there are islands that people call Iceland and Hawaii.
The Earth was happy. She could dance, maybe not all of her but parts of her and she could be happy with that.
Lady Mother, I give thanks:
I give thanks that our highest court stood on the side of love and our families.
I give thanks that one long fight is over at least legally.
I ask that people’s closed hearts be opened and that they see it was just about loving and not about sex.
May they see us and not the prejudice they’ve been taught in an old book.
Help us remember why we did this and all those who are gone that we did this for.
Let us remember there is more to do and that no one deserves to lose their livelihood or the place they live because of who they love.
Be with all those who still suffer due to other people’s hate. Let this become a world more open to love.
Let us love ourselves even when the world may not love us and may every child be loved by their parents because of their heart not who their child’s heart loves.
Help us to all love more.
So mote it be.
Once upon a time the moon was shining brightly out on the sandy, flat top of the mesa and a small rabbit came out to dance in the moonlight. BunniHotep was tired because people were not getting along and that made Her sad so She decided to do Her favourite thing in the whole world, Dance! BunniHoTep started to move slowly. She bowed in the direction of the Nile and She bowed to the desert and She danced. She danced slowly at first. Dipping and Spinning with Her paws out from Her sides and She danced because She felt the Earth move and the winds flow gently past Her.
She danced her joy at being alive in this body and in this beautiful place and as She danced something strange started to happen. Her joy moved through the world and the first one to feel it was Bast. Bast came running from Her Temple and She brought Her drum. Bast watched BunniHoTep and began to drum. Then the energy and love they brought to their dance moved farther out into the world and Hathor began to feel her foot tap.
Hathor said to Herself, “I need to Dance!” It had been so long since She danced and She was one of the goddesses whose dance helped make the world so She ran out to join the dance. As She ran to join the dance She grabbed Isis who had come out to see what was happening.
They joined the dance and the joy moved farther across the Earth. Next Ma’at and Nepthys and Nuit felt it and came running to join. They spun and dipped and whirled and stretched their arms out to the world and a strange thing began to happen.
The people began to smile. People who had not smiled in years smiled. They smiled at their neighbors. They smiled at strangers and still BunniHotep danced for joy.
Then other things began to happen as Bast drummed, women who had struggled at their labours gave birth easily and the children that were born were blessed with peace and joy all their lives. People who were sick and waiting to die, let go and went with peace and love surrounding them. The crops in the fields grew sturdy and would produce much food at harvest time. People who were fighting stopped and wondered why they had ever done it.
The beautiful night sky bloomed with stars overhead and people wished on the shooting stars and if their dreams weren’t selfish their wishes came true.
And still the Goddesses danced. A gentle rain came and caressed them and left to water the fields. Because Ma’at danced people who had not been fair to one another settled their differences.
And as the joy flooded the world the people understood about this great flood of love and peace and joy. History records a great flood and as man interprets these things in later years it was recorded as a bad thing because some people can not understand good and love in the world. The ones who wrote it down only knew that a Great Flood had come one night and changed the world. They never knew it was just the Goddesses dancing because they loved the World.
Once upon a time BunniHotep walked into the desert. She decided to see what was out in the sand. So in the early evening she packed her little knapsack and hopped into the desert. She hopped and hopped into the sandy wastes and discovered there really was life out here in the early evening.
She watched a scarab push the worlds up and down the dunes. She watched a scorpion and her babies travel the sands. The babies were clutching on for dear life. She thought that was probably not a way she would want to travel. She saw the wildflowers that tucked themselves in dunes and oasises. She sampled the dates as she passed through some lovely oasises far from the Nile.
Far along on her walk she started to hear a low moan. She was afraid it was the beginning of a dust storm but she listened closely. She heard the moan again and started to hurry in that direction. The moan got louder and she could tell someone was in deep pain. She hurried faster.
Suddenly she saw a large black hill. It was shiny in the dark and glittered with a hard light. Being a curious rabbit she was intrigued by this hill. The moan was coming from the hill and as she got closer the hill started to move. A head slowly lifted and came down in front of her. Lovely lavender faceted eyes blinked slowly at her. The eyes were full of pain. “Are you hurt?” BunniHoTep asked. It didn’t occur to her to be frightened, she had never seen a dragon before but she knew when someone was in pain and it hurt her heart.
The immense face moaned again. “ Oh, yes! I have such a toothache and I don’t know how to fix it.”
“Maybe I can help if you hold very still. What’s your name? I don’t like to get near people so large without knowing their name.” BunniHoTep said.
The dragon gave a weak laugh, for a dragon she was, “ My name is Tiamat” I promise to not move and not to hurt you if you can just make me feel better.”
BunniHoTep bravely approached the dragon. It being almost dark helped take some of the fear away because she couldn’t really see how big Tiamat was. Tiamat opened her mouth wide and it was full of very large teeth. BunniHotep was getting scared but Tiamat had promised and BunniHoTep had a feeling this was a very special being so she put her best brave face on and entered the dragon’s mouth. There to the right was a very large tooth with a crack in it that was beginning to darken. All the other teeth were very white and beautiful.
BunniHoTep said, “ I see the problem but you will have to help me fix it. I’m going to fasten this rope from my sack around the tooth and then if you will move the tip of your tail around here I will tie the other end to your tail. On the count of three I want you to thump your tail and I think that will be enough to pull it out. Does that sound okay?”
Tiamat moaned, “ Oh, please, anything to make it stop hurting.” She moved her tail around so BunniHoTep was completely surrounded by the very large dragon but she went in Tiamat’s mouth and tied her rope to the tooth and backed out and tied the end to Tiamat’s tail.
“Okay, on the count of three, please thump your tail very, very hard. ONE…TWO…THREE!!!”
The tail whipped down and thumped with a huge crash and the tooth went flying out over BunniHoTep’s head. She flattened herself against Tiamat’s head.
“Oh, that is sooo much better.” Tiamat cried with a very different and joyful moan! Who are you? I was much in pain my manners escaped me.”
“My name is BunniHoTep and I’m the Finder of Objects and the keeper of small joys for the people in the lands to the south of here by the Nile.”
“Well, I’m going to give you an object to keep safe for me for you have found the source of a great pain and given me a large joy to be free of it. You may have this tooth and if you ever need me, hold the tooth and think on me for my people across the sand think I created our part of the world and I can do many great things. I will always hold you as a very special small goddess and if you wish you may take on another job. When a child loses a tooth please collect it and leave a blessing in its place.”
BunniHoTep thought this was a lovely idea and the Tooth Fairy came into being, for you see, the Tooth Fairy was really a small loving rabbit and has always been around for small beings everywhere because at night no one sees a rabbit.
From the archives of Lapin University and my silly brain that is possesed by a rabbit goddess.
Ammit was having a really bad day. Her job was to eat the hearts that were rejected by Ma’at. These were very bad people who had not lived well. People whose hearts weighed more than a feather on Ma’at’s scales. These were people that had no good in them or very little at all. People who willingly chose to do bad things.
Most days Ammit stood by the scales and did not have to eat a single heart for most people in the world are good and choose not to hurt other beings. And Ammit was glad. She would much rather eat something that did not taste as bad as a bad person’s heart. It takes a very good and kind person to do Ammit’s job. Nobody else could eat all those hearts full of negativity, apathy and just plain evil and still be a good loving being.
Today she had had to eat three people’s hearts. That almost never happened. All of them had said mean things about how ugly she was and that someday she would be just like them. That night after she had finished her day with Ma’at, Ammit slunk back to her small mud temple and didn’t even stop for tea with BunniHoTep like she usually did. She was feeling very ugly and hurt. She had let herself listen to what the people has said to her and the things that they had said her were mean. She lay in her mud wallow and cried. Sometimes she wished there was someone else who could do her job but she knew there was no one else to do it. She had been created to do it.
Ammit the Devourer, the people called her and she had been made to look as scary as possible. She was part crocodile and part hippo and part lion. She had looked in the Nile one morning when it was calm and still and seen herself and vowed never to do it again. She scared herself and if she scared herself what would other people do when they saw her? She had no idea why BunniHoTep would want to be her friend but she was and that made a little pool of comfort in her stomach most of the time but not tonight.
Ammit dug deeper in her mud wallow and saw only darkness around her. She was so sad. She wished she had a nice job to do for the gods and goddesses. She lay there in the quiet mud and wallowed in it.
BunniHoTep sat in her Temple with the tea all made and she’d found some of the nice papyrus roots for Ammit to eat. Ammit said they tasted sweet and washed the bad out of her mouth. BunniHoTep waited and waited and Ammit didn’t come and then BunniHoTep went looking for her in Ammit’s Temple and it was dark and not even the porch light was on and BunniHoTep knew that Ammit had had a really bad day.
BunniHoTep decided to hop up to Temple Row to see how bad it had been. She got halfway down Temple Row before she found anybody to ask. Hathor was standing outside her Temple decorating it for the next festival in a few days with fresh flowers.
“Hi BunniHoTep, how are you this fine evening?” Hathor asked.
“Wondering how Ammit’s day went. She didn’t come to tea and her porch light isn’t lit and her Temple is very dark. That never means anything good.” BunniHoTep answered.
“Oh! You didn’t hear? Ammit had to eat three people’s hearts today. It was awful but then the people were too. Poor Ammit! They said awful things to her.” Hathor said thoughtfully.
“Did anyone say something nice to her after she had to eat the hearts?”
Hathor thought carefully. “No, I hadn’t heard anyone had. I wasn’t there so I really don’t know.
“Uh oh, I bet she is hiding. She feels every bad thing they say to her, you know. Then she goes into her Temple and hides because she thinks everyone feels that way.”
The two goddesses thought for a moment and then BunniHoTep had an idea. “Hathor, is your mirror near by?”
“Always.” Hathor pulled it off the belt she wore around her robe. “Why? Do you think we can help?”
“It shows how you really are on one side and what others think of you on the other, right?”
“Yes, do you think we should show it to Ammit?” asked Hathor.
“I think we should.” replied BunniHoTep.
And the two goddesses hurried down TempleRow to Ammit’s small mud Temple.
“Ammit, are you in there?” They called.
“Yes, go away.” came a small low voice.
“No, Ammit you need to come out of there. You missed your tea and I missed my friend.” BunniHoTep said.
“No, you didn’t. No one misses me.” said Ammit sadly.
“Yes, I do and come out here right now!” BunniHoTep said firmly.
There was a long pause while they could tell Ammit was thinking. “You really want to see me?” She asked.
“Yes, we do and we have something to show you.” said Hathor.
“Hathor? You’re there too?”
“Yes and you need to come out here right now.” she said even more firmly than BunniHoTep had.
There was a sucking sound and Ammit’s crocodile head came out and then the rest of her followed.
“What did you want to show me.” Ammit asked suspiciously.
Hathor took her mirror out from behind her back. “What do you see Ammit?”
Ammit looked cautiously and cowered away. “That’s awful! It’s horrible! Why did you want to show me that when I know how I look?” Ammit collapsed to the ground and started to cry.
“Oh, Ammit! We’re sorry but that is the side that shows how other people think of you like the people whose hearts you ate today. That isn’t really you.” Hathor quickly flipped her mirror around.
“Now look.” She commanded.
Ammit took a cautious peek and then another and then she stared.
“That’s the real me?” She said in wonder. “Honest?” Ammit couldn’t stop starring. “I’m beautiful.”
BunniHoTep patted her friend. “Yes, Ammit, you are. This is the side we see not the side the evil ones see. People who love you usually see you better than you do yourself and Ammit your outside can be scary but your heart isn’t.
Ammit just stared at the mirror. “That’s how you see me?” and her tears began to fall.
Hathor answered this time. “That’s we see you.” and she leaned down to hug Ammit.
“Don’t believe what all those evil people say about you. They’re being evil, that’s why you have to eat their hearts so that they can’t do more evil. Now could we all go have tea and get cleaned up? I have some of your favourite things today.”
Hathor nodded and reached down to help Ammit out of the mud. “Just remember it’s what you look like in the eyes of people who love you and what you know about yourself that counts.”
She brushed the mud off her robe and the three walked over to BunniHoTep’s Temple and sat quietly watching the sun set at the end of Temple Row. Ammit smiled for the first time that awful day. It was good to be loved.
Once upon a time there was a small rabbit goddess, she was the Goddess of Lost Objects and Simple Joys but today she was simply the goddess with a big headache. BunniHoTep never had headaches. Isis had headaches. Hathor had headaches. Osiris had headaches. BunniHotep never had headaches. She was usually the one that solved the small problems that gave people headaches.
She had woken up with this one. It started up the back of her neck and climbed around the side of her skull and if it didn’t go away soon she was going tear one of her long ears off. She’d tried the dark of the temple and the coolness of the stone floor. She’d tried the a nasty tasting potion that one of her priestesses had made from the bark of tree that grew near the Nile. The Priestesses had played her soothing music and read softly to her but she still had a headache. What was causing this stupid pain? She hoped it wasn’t anything like the headache poor Zeus had had when he gave birth to Athena. That was a colossal headache and she wasn’t big enough to give birth to a goddess from her skull. Although at the moment it felt like she could. She wondered vaguely what would come out, a hedgehog?
The sun was finally setting on this long day and she decided to take a walk in the gardens along the Temple Row. The colours of the garden were always pleasant and soothing. The lavender of the lilies in the pond and the soft pinks and yellows of the lotus were easy on her eyes and seemed to lessen the pain a little as she walked. She sat down on the stone rim of the largest pool in the shade of a large papyrus plant. She sat quietly dangling a limp paw at the edge of the pool and gently sniffed the twilight air. She sat day dreaming for a bit when she saw a flash of colour out of the corner of her eye. There was something emerging like a thought from her head. She saw a broad line of colours start from the direction of the Nile and arc overhead in the evening mist. It had been raining earlier and had started to clear up when she went out into the sunset.
“What was that? She’d never seen this before. It had bright colours and covered a wide band of the whole sky. It seemed to start at the Nile and arch over the whole temple row and at the moment she seemed to be the only one around who was watching it. And as she watched she felt her headache slip away and she gave a great sigh. The colours were slowly fading with the withdrawal of the sun and as they faded something new appeared. A small winged being was coming toward her. The being landed lightly on the edge of the pool and slowly opened and closed its wings.
It was striped in black over a coat of beautiful butter yellow. “Who are you?” BunniHoTep asked. “Or better yet, what are you?”
The being slowly fanned its wings open and spoke, “I’m what comes when you’re in pain?” It laughed lightly.
“No, really, what are you?” BunniHoTep asked again.
“I’m what comes sometimes when the world or a goddess needs healing. I’m the spirit of that arch. It’s called a rainbow. It will come now after rain when the sun calls it. Ra was sad that you had a headache and he thought I might help.”
“You did help. The headache is gone but you’re separate from the rainbow. What are you?”
“I’m a butterfly. I was born from the rainbow. When you see me, remember that sometimes healing comes in unexpected ways and unexpected places you just have to be open to it. Healing the pain is what I do and then I’m gone.”
“What do you mean you’re gone?”
“I only live a day. I have my purpose and then I go.”
“How is death healing?”
“Death is only the next step and sometimes the ultimate healing. There is no pain in death.”
The Butterfly lifted her wings and glided into the air and disappeared around the clump of papyrus.
BunniHoTep got up and slowly walked back to her Temple thinking about the Butterfly and what she had said.