We all rose early and as the sun was overhead we could tell we were perhaps just an hour or less away from the mountain. We rode as it became larger and larger before us. Pythia stopped the convoy and said she wished to walk the rest of the way. We all dismounted and our feet landed in patches of snow and flowers but was not deep enough to require our snowshoes. We walked for a while until we arrived at the shore of a small lake which sits at the base of the mountain Pingora that was fed by a large creek that became a waterfall before dumping into it. Its drop is about twenty feet. Between the lake and the foot of the mountain is a small forest that gets larger as it continued further down the little valley. Between the treeline and the lake is a wide meadow with scattered rock rubble that over time had fallen from the mountain.
Pythia said to us “Here.” and everyone began to make a camp there. It was a beautiful campsite. We all could sense that we may be there a while and we all were fine with that prospect.
Everyone enjoyed the setup and spent the day wandering the area. Pythia had gone off early with Ira and they circled the lake a number of times. At a certain point Pythia sat on a large flat smooth rock at its edge. The rock is about seven feet in diameter. There she went into trance. Ira did not wish to disturb her so he went off to find Grigori.
Pythia sat there like that for many hours and when it was time for the evening meal everyone began to feel unusually concerned and we gathered near where she was sitting. She sensed this and opened her eyes. We could tell that she was in that space where she was straddling the Worlds. I am not sure why I recall this word for word but following is what she said. Pythia explained words to us later on and what they meant.
“I-NON-I tell you. Pythia of Genesis will build here. Together with Frater Avem She will have two children while Anningan chases Maina across the sky. Let Ra bang his drum! Ishtar smiles. The snake has touched her soul and teachers her to shed Her skin. She stands with feet in all three Worlds and Her eyes see joy and pain. The Fool and the Sage will seek Her words and guidance, a new birthing of Parampara! Rock, animal and flora will share their dreams with Her. She will be the vessel of compassion. The lost will cry at Her feet and She will relieve their fear, aye, even the Daeva. As She speaks she is seeking the Mystery Beyond Words. Hear now, the birds are spreading the news. These gifts are yet to materialize and your task is to be patient and wise and assist in this transformation. She is Awakening and knows who She is becoming and now She must die in order to embrace Eternity! Be not alarmed, it is not She whom you see and know in this world I-Non-I is speaking of. This death is more of a deconstruction to be replaced with the Krystic Understanding. The Goddess Ataensic has opened a hole in the belly of Her Soul and planted a seed which will grow into a might tree. And when the time comes and Pythia has returned into the dust, do not cry but be joyful. I-NON-I have told you. For I See what was, what is and what will be, and so shall She. Beati spiritus est!”
With that Pythia bowed her head and slid off the stone, falling to the ground. She convulsed for a minute and then slowly sat up. Ira and Grigori were at her side a moment after. This stone Pythia calls Spirit Stone and her temple is built around it between the lake and the treeline. The moving of this stone was of the first things done after we arrived at Pingora. The first trees harvested were to facilitate its move and also the other stones that are the foundation of her temple. She named this swath of harvested trees the Path to the Moon.
It was determined that the convoy was running low on food and something must be done. After much discussion plans were made. Pythia, Ira, Grigori and Magu would remain at Pingora while Tiponi my sisters and I would return to Neaippeh Ogoe and ask for help. We left the next day. Magu kissed us sisters giving us her blessing, “Mar sin sé a bheith!” as we left.
This was the beginning of the formation of trade routes that Tiponi's people named Napittuh-Po'i (trade trails). The Napittuh-Po'i spans outward from Pingora like spokes of a wheel. A well established road is now connecting Pingora and our temple west of Yellowstone. They also serve as routes for all who wish to visit Pingora and Pythia.
We left that day and once we reached Neaippeh Ogoe we gathered Shoshone people and many supplies to take back to Pingora. When we arrived summer was coming on well and we found that Pythia had not been idle. They had found the cornerstone for the temple and the others that would begin its foundation. Grigori had laid out where the temple would be. The also had discovered a wonderful cave full quartz crystals. Pythia calls this cave Alquimia et Lux which means alchemy of light. Many of these crystals are part of or installed around her temple. One of the crystals mined is a standing stone eight feet high and three feet across which stands near the front of the the temple. Students touch it on the way into the temple. When Pythia touches it it glows with glittering sparkling luminescence casting further reaching rainbows than then sun does normally.
The day we return the Shoshone following with travoys loaded with supplies. We brought food, animal skins for building tepees and other uses, tools, water carrying skins and pottery items. This is just a partial list of the many things we carried. Some of the Shoshone started right away to erect tepees to live in while others began the work of cutting trees, burning stumps and moving the larger temple stones. We shared the tepees for a time until other living dwellings were constructed.
That first night of our return at supper Pythia spoke directly to the Shoshone in trance reaching into their minds. Her voice spoke in The Solid saying, “Dogwaa-Hivii Duma Appah dembi uttuse denangabizhiande pe-nun-ko tsi.”
A rough translation which they understood is, “I have spoken with your Father. The rocks have shown me your long past and your Father says I will listen and learn from you and in time I can tell the future of your people and your lands.”
A few days later the Guild first arrived bringing many supplies. One thing that made everyone happy was salt licks for the horses. Also they brought skis that we learned to travel on and my sisters and I spent many hours in the snow up on the mountain doing what is called cross country skiing.
Pythia had found area caves to store supplies in. She had a discussion with the local animals and they did not bother our food stores. She also told them that the Shoshone may be hunting them in the traditional way of their people and thanked them for continuing with this age old relationship. Also Ira found caves along the trail that leads to Pingora and people started to use them for shelter.
We learned that the reason the Guild had come was that Grigori had bent space and traveled to Genesis in the days right after we left Pingora. He also went to our temple and to visit the Redeemers. The Guild had come in Griffin's vehicles and even though they left later than we did they arrived so quickly because of the vehicles. Thy had stopped them where the road ended and the trail to Pingora began. Tiponi's people helped them go back and forth with the horses and bring their supplies in.
Also while we were gone Pythia had found the cornerstone for her temple as well as a cave she calls Alquimia et Lux meaning alchemy of light. It is a deep cave that is covered floor to ceiling with quartz crystals, from the small to some ten feet tall. One of the crystals later mined is a standing stone eight feet high and three feet across which stands near the front of the the temple. Students touch it on the way into the temple. When Pythia touches it it glows with glittering sparkling luminescence casting further reaching rainbows than then sun does normally. Other crystals are incorporated in the temple itself or used for trade, art and tools.
On the cornerstone itself Pythia with her own hands carved the rune Fehu which means beginnings. It faces outward so people may see it when they approach the temple. There are five of these stones making the temple shape of an one acre pentagon. All during the process Pythia gave thankful respect to the trees, the stones, the soil and the mountain. These blessings are performed by everyone who uses such materials. Pythia taught a simple one to be used by most with pure intention, which is from Tiponi's tongue. “Asie!” meaning thank you.
There were many other things that occurred that summer. The Guild brought stone workers and now what was once a hobby for Guild members has become a special society within the Guild much like the new horse people Tiponi brought on.
More Shoshone arrive from time to time but most who came were from Genesis. The summer was upon us and work was well on its way building the temple, housing, work areas and compost piles for soil buildup for their future agriculture. The agriculture took many years because the soil was not naturally suited to such use and so most food came from the Shoshone and the Guild. Storehouses were filling to sustain through the winter months.
Ira had been working on the yurt that he and Pythia were to live in. Pythia came to him to see how it was progressing. They sat on a bolder near there to talk. Out of nowhere a rattlesnake appeared and stuck out at Ira driving its fangs into his leg just as o0ne had done to Pythia. Without thought Pythia struck at the snake with her walking staff. In a flash of light it burned as if it had been struck by lightening. With the same movement she touched Ira who was screaming in pain with the opposite end of the staff. Just as swiftly as the snake had died Ira's pain was released and in the aftermath they watched as all sign of the bite disappeared. This was when Pythia discovered that the staff Grigori had made for her had the power to harm and to heal. She found over time she could not bring back life but she could heal most injury.
It was also in this first summer that Dede' Kwe' (little scorpion) met a stone carver from Genesis known as Reese. They fell in love and in the next May the first child was born in Pingora. It was a girl and her name is Kwitakkwana from Dede' Kwe''s language and means lupine, the spring flower. People call her Kwita.
One day Pythia was sitting by the lake with Ira and they were skipping rocks. Pythia picked up a flat round palm sized stone that felt perfect for throwing. It had a hole in it that followed the shape of the stone. She talked to Ira about reading of such stones and that in myth they called this a hag or witches stone. She looked into the hole and she could see what she believed to be pixies playing on the shoreline. When she showed this stone to Tiponi later it was determined that these were not the Nim-air-ee-gar little people Tiponi was charged to protect her from but perhaps the stone may see them and give warning.. Pythia attached it to her belt she wears right next to her knife Avalon.
And so it was that in just that first summer Pythia's Temple was for the most part built and is now formally called Pythia's Temple at Pingora. The city continues to grow, people come to hear Pythia speak or even stay as students. As of yet the children that she and Ira were said to give birth to have not as yet been born.
Grigori folded space late in the summer and returned Magu and Salome to the temple of the Desert Daughters. Josie and I remain in Pingora. When autumn came Grigori said he must spend the time continuing his own quest. And so he left Pingora, promising to return in the spring and teach Pythia the space folding.
The story of Pingora continues but as for my part in its telling I feel complete for now. The historian of Genesis, Antu Anu, has written much fuller accounts of this and continues to write. Magu has written a book which chronicles the history of the Desert Daughters from the beginnings of the survival of Wyrd women to the days of Pingora. I understand that Grigori has even read one such chronicle written by someone from the Order of Redeemers.
In closing I say that if you have not done so, come to Pingora and Pythia's Temple.
Mar sin sé a bheith!
Beati spiritus est!