Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Tale of Kara

Pray to the Great Mother, Kara, Goddess of Soil, for today is Her holy day! Let Kara help you, correct you, and mold you, and She will make you and your crops fertile.

19 - Toppenish Fields Ch

Kara is the earth; She is the rock; She is the soil. She supports us; She sustains us. We are all the Children of Kara, for She is the Great Mother. Without Her, we would surely perish.

Long ago, Kara gave birth to Her first child, the sky. The sky was Sorosotuzho, God of the Atmosphere and soon the Ruler of the Universe. He floated above all and She supported all from below. The universe was good and peaceful.

Together, Sorosotuzho and Kara had many children: gods, demigods, one-eyed giants, unicorns, and other wondrous creatures. Kara cared for them all, providing for them and loving them dearly. Sorosotuzho, on the other hand, became distraught at the sight of His offspring. He shook His bull head, afraid of what change these new gods and giants might bring His universe. He began catching His children with His horns and eating them so they could not disturb His world.

At the sight of Sorosotuzho eating Their children, Kara sprang into action. With all eight of Her dexterous legs, She collected Her child gods, demigods, and other creatures, hiding them deep within Her soil. Soon all Their children were gone from the face of the earth, either killed by Sorosotuzho or hidden by Kara. The air god relaxed and returned to floating above the world.

Kara, however, knew She had to do something about all Her children still within Her. She also knew that Sorosotuzho was no longer fit to be Ruler of the Universe, after what He had done. She thus offered a sickle to all the gods, demigods, and giants within Her and asked one of them to take it and turn the bull Sorosotuzho into a steer.

Her youngest son Korutuzho, God of Agriculture, stood up and accepted the sickle and the challenge. Quickly He dispatched His father and became King of the Gods. With congratulations to Her son, Kara released the remainder of Her children back into the world, for it was once again safe for them.

Since the universe was once again good and peaceful, Kara decided to populate it further. She gave birth to cattle, who roamed Her fields and meadows, eating the grass She provided. She gave birth to sheep, who fed from Her as well. She gave birth to bees, who became frightened by the larger animals and began to fly around in panic. One of the bees stung a cow, who started a stampede, which scared the bees even further. Soon they were stinging anything in sight, including Kara’s soil.

Kara swelled up from each bee sting -- massive uplifts of the rock and soil all across Her surface -- until giant ranges of mountains formed. Until then, the earth had been smooth and gentle, but ever since the bees stung Kara, we’ve had mountains and peaks galore.

After the animals settled down, Kara gave birth to Her most favored beings, the Children of Kara, who we call human beings. We are all the Children of Kara; She protects us and guides us; we must obey and honor Her.

It is the responsibility of us Children of Kara to resist the evil spirits who are the Children of Hérazha, Goddess of Wind. These air demons waft into our homes, stir up endless trouble in the alleyways, and blow nasty thoughts into our hearts. Do not too breathe deeply of the wind or the Children of Hérazha will fill you with their evil.

Long ago, a queen who ruled much land had a problem: her country was wracked with drought and no longer fertile. Her land was becoming poor and her people were starting to starve. The queen went to the Temple of Kara in Tékavasí and prayed for advice. Through Her priestess, Kara replied that the queen should relocate her people to the land of Kívíso, where they would thrive. The queen thanked the priestess and Kara and returned to her land, but she did not relocate her people. The queen did not know the location of Kívíso and was too ashamed to admit it.

Thus her people remained and they continued to starve. The Children of Hérazha wafted into their land on the hot, dry wind. The air demons sowed evil wherever they flew. Jealousy, greed, and wrath spread throughout the land on the breeze. Brothers killed their brothers, mothers killed their children, and neighbors destroyed their villages. The Children of Kara had been overwhelmed by the Children of Hérazha.

This upset Kara deeply. The Great Mother had given sage and simple advice, but the queen refused to follow it. The more Kara thought about the situation, the more angry She became. She retreated deep into the earth, throwing boulders around caves and stirring lava under volcanoes. Aboveground, without Kara’s love, sheep and cattle throughout the world -- and not just in the queen’s drought-ridden land -- lay listless in the fields, with no compulsion to graze. Bees huddled in their hives, unwilling to pollinate the flowers. Babies everywhere cried out in hunger for their mothers were sulking and didn’t think to feed their children.

But then nighttime fell. The darkness cooled Kara’s passions. The calm soothed the land. Mothers remembered to feed their babes. Cattle and sheep shook off their funk and resumed grazing. In the queen’s land, however, the Children of Hérazha remained. Death, disease, and mayhem were the order of the day.

Seeing the results of having not followed Kara’s advice, the queen returned to the temple in Tékavasí. She admitted to Kara that she hadn’t relocated because of her embarrassment of lack of knowledge. She apologized for having ignored Kara’s advice. The queen conceded that she was selfish, but she wanted to be generous and help her people. She begged Kara to forgive her and to make her a better queen and a better woman.

The Great Mother listened to Her daughter, the queen. She rose from the earth through the temple floor and greeted the queen in person. With forgiveness, the caring goddess lay Her eight hands upon the queen and mended her. Kara gave the queen the selflessness that she so desired; She made her a better woman and a better queen.

The priestess of the Tékavasí temple then gave the queen precise instructions on how to travel to Kívíso, which the queen graciously followed. Meanwhile the Great Mother reached through the earth and snagged the air demons, pulling them deep underground where they could no longer harm anyone with their malevolent influence. In Kívíso, made fertile by Kara, the queen’s people thrived. Their sheep prospered and their crops grew plentiful. The Children of Hérazha who had escaped Kara’s grasp could do nothing but watch from above and swirl in impotent anger.

Kara continued to aid Her children, answer their questions, and mend their souls. Her son Korutuzho, however, was having trouble ruling the universe. The younger gods occasionally ignored His wisdom and so He got mad. When Korutuzho would storm off in a rage, the crops would wither. Naturally this upset Kara deeply. As this happened more and more frequently, the agricultural production trended toward a worldwide famine. The younger gods did whatever They felt like while the Children of Kara starved.

To stop the world from dissolving into chaos when Korutuzho disappeared in a rage once too often, Kara sent a bee to hunt down the missing King of the Gods and return Him to the land. The bee zipped around the universe, eventually finding the wayward god in a distant land, pulverizing rocks with His fists. Using a little encouragement from its stinger, the bee herded Korutuzho back to Kara. The Ruler of the Universe hung His head upon seeing the scolding expression on His mother’s face.

With Korutuzho’s presence, the crops immediately resumed thriving, but Kara could sense a deeper problem. The younger gods’ impudence was not ruinous enough to trigger Korutuzho’s level of anger. It was then that the Great Mother spotted that His shoes were on backwards. Kara promptly lifted up Korutuzho and turned His footwear the proper way round. Suddenly the god was much happier. Korutuzho thanked His mother and resumed ruling the universe with a steady mind and an even hand.

Like Korutuzho, we must all trust the Great Mother. Look to Kara for guidance, for She will show you the proper path in life. Let Her protect your body and spirit and She will make you and your land amazingly fertile. Let Her mend your soul and you and your herds will thrive. Do as Kara says, for She more than anyone knows what is best for all of us Children of Kara.

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