Gospel for the Fallen Ones pt2: Kalakon
By A. Devia
"When I was a kid, my grandfather was a preacher....He said, 'God only helps those, who learn to help themselves.'" - Preacher by One Republic
When I was a kid, my great-grandfather was a preacher, the Reverend John Wesley Prince. He died when I was just seven years old. Upon his death, I inherited a musty old book. No matter how cold it might be outside, the leather bound book was always just a little too warm, like I left it sitting by the heater, even though I didn't. It had strange markings embossed on the outside and possessed the title Kalakon. Inside, the pages were blank, sometimes.
A Prince of God
When my grandmother gave it to me, she told me the name meant whisper. She then went on to tell the tale of the book's history as it has been handed down through my family.
"Under cover of night, my grandmother said, "after the baying of the hounds faded away, but the grief was still fresh, a man, bloodied and bruised, by the name of William De Wychurst, reached into a gnarled old oak tree and retrieved a book full of strange writings and symbols. He hid it away in the folds of his clothing and limped home as tears streaked his face. Thereafter, charged with a new and strange destiny by the dear friends who had met a foretold but tragic end; he was henceforth known as William Atte Wode, meaning William of the Wood."
"Why did he have to change this name?" my seven year old self asked.
"Because he had been given his quest by the Lady of the Wood, Lilatheen. It is said that she was a fairy goddess."
"She was his fairy godmother?" I asked, incredulous. "Do I have a fairy godmother too?"
"Not a fairy godmother. You're not Cinderella and she certainly doesn't bibitty bobbity," my grandmother said, giving me a tickle. "This is much more serious. Our family has been the guardians of the magic and secrets of the book, known as Kalakon, for 25 generations, well over 700 years. The history of this book is also the history of your family.
Take for instance John Attewood who was born in 1450 in Sanderstead, Surrey, England to Isabella and John Atte Wode. He died on July 30, 1525, in Sanderstead, Surrey, having lived a long life of 75 years. Upon his death he left Record No. 903 (Wall Tablet with effigies, brass, south wall of chancel) 'Off yor. charite pray for the soulle of JOHN ATWODDE/and DYONES his wyfe which JOHN decessid the XXX/ day of July Adni MVXXV on who soul thu haue m’ci.' Within John's will, he left his estate to his six sons all named John. Luckily, when his Wife Dyones died, in 1530, she detailed the estate and the different names of the sons, John Henry Attewode, John Hewson Attewode, John Richard Attewode, John Edward Attewode, John Attewode, as well as a daughter, Agnes Attewode."
"Wow! I’m glad he didn't name his daughter John!"
"I'm sure she felt that way too," my grandmother agreed. She continued reciting our history, "The Atte Wode and later Attwood family worked with and for the English Crown on and off for generations. Living in and around Surrey, England, various generations could lay claim to titles such as Sergeant at Arms, Forest Wardens, King's Commissioners, Keeper of the King's Falcons, and even Knight of the Shire…"
"Knight of the Shire?" I asked with a dreamy look on my face.
"I'm pretty sure we don't have a Bilbo hanging around in our lineage."
"Oh, I thought maybe that's why you and I are so short," I said pouting.
"What's important for you to understand is that all these ancestors were keeping this monstrous secret that at times could have had them hanged for heresy."
"What's that?" I asked.
"A belief that is different from the church, in this case, the Church of England. In fact, that brings me to the point in time where the danger got too great. Alice Atwood, sensed danger on the English mainland. She had married a man named William Mullins, and with their children, they boarded a boat call the Mayflower and crossed the Atlantic seeking religious freedom. They brought the book with them."
I once went to visit the grave of Alice's daughter Priscilla in Duxbury, Massachusetts. I had with me an EMF detector. EMF stands for Electro Magnetic Field. It is believed that this detector can identify changes in the electromagnetic field when influenced by ghosts and spirits. I walked the entire graveyard including over Priscilla's grave. It didn't beep once, until I bent down to place a small stone on Priscilla's headstone. The beep startled me and I jumped back, stone still in my hand. As I bent to place it a second time, the EMF detector beeped again. I'm pretty sure she was sending me a message. She knew I was destined to be more than just a keeper of the Kalakon.
Anyway, my grandmother continued her story about our family, a story she told me every year until I was able to tell it back to her. "Priscilla's son, Captain John Alden was a sea captain and merchant in Boston. Salem, at the time, was a large and bustling seaport. Stopping in Salem on his way back from Quebec, he was accused of witchcraft in 1692. In his own account of his trial, John stated, "'Then all were ordered to go down into the street, where a ring was made; and the same accuser cried out, ‘there stands Aldin, a bold fellow with his hat on before the judges, he sells powder and shot to the Indians and French, and lies with the Indian squaes, and has Indian papooses.'" John Alden had close ties with Quakers, Indians, the British Crown and the French. Upon his escape from jail, John Alden arrived on his brother, Joseph's, doorstep, our ancestor, seeking help to hide himself and the book.
"Eight generations later, Constance Kimball married John Prince. John's ancestor, Sarah Warren, was also accused of witchcraft in Salem, MA. You need to understand, the great secret to the tragedy that was the Salem Witch Hunt, the Kalakon lies at the center. It's knowledge must be hidden away until the Elder Gods, the Fae Gods return and decree its release. Otherwise, the consequences are dire."
"So, I can't tell anyone about my book?" I asked. Remember, I was only seven at the time. Why on earth they thought it was a good idea to entrust something like that to a seven year old, defies logic, but then again, here I am. Entrusted by the Fae Gods, I must deliver this knowledge to you now, so I suppose there was a divine plan.
"You can never tell anyone about this book," my grandmother explained solemnly. "From the heart of the earth and the sublime ether, there have always been Wanderers. The poets, bards, storytellers, and artists. Those who collect the events, writings, symbols and wisdom of the peoples they meet and share them far and wide, bridging time and space in a way others cannot. They gain entrance to the darkest shadows, loftiest heights, secret places, windblown plateaus and perhaps most importantly of all our hearts and minds. These Wanderers follow the ways of the ancient gods. This book, bound with the skin of a living creature, warm to the touch, and worn smooth with time is the Kalakon. Woven with enchantments, it captures the whispered tales as they are carried between times and places. Within these pages, the hidden secrets of the universe are spread open. Now you are the keeper of those secrets."
In addition to the family history from my grandmother, the book, Kalakon, came with the following prophesy and instructions to the keepers of the Wood:
And so it must be, for so it is writtenThe Word, the Breath, the Life, the Fates, for Hope
To the keepers of the Wood, I entreat you guard this knowledge with your blood and your soul. For the sake of love, justice and freedom, preserve this book and hide it away from ignorant eyes. If the Wood dies, we all die.
Freedom for meek, Atlantis seekFlowers in May, beyond this day
I burned the stake, escape he'll make
A Prince of God, a grave of sod
Near journey's end, reunited again
Found in the lies, Truth never diesWords from the page, unlock the cage
Breath to the flame, power we claim
Tables do turn, in desserts that burnA balance is struck, rise from the muck
Trumpets do sound, time of truth is found
They're reborn again, at world end
Partial fantasy, a blasphemy
a mystery, Living history,
In lands gone astray, learn more each day
Web full of lies, Steal stars from skiesWords from the page, unlock the cage
Breath to the flame, power we claim
Hobbits and Witches in the Broom Closet
So, my journey began at the age of seven with a mysterious book I was sworn to secrecy about. For years, I'd open it and find nothing but blank pages, maybe a sentence or two, nothing more. Then, I started finding stories about ancient gods and goddesses, faraway lands and ancient battles. I read every single one. I was hungry for it. From time to time I also found incantations, recipes and spells. I still wanted to understand and learn more, so one day, I went in search of these ancient deities and my life was never the same again.
"What do the hobbits and witches in your broom closet have to do with anything?" Ophelia whined.
"Isn't the saying Skeletons in my closet?" I asked.
"Ewww…you have dead bodies in your closet?" Ophelia exclaimed, aghast at the idea.
"No. I..ah..well, actually, I do have a skeleton in my closet," I swung a nearby door open. "It's a Halloween decoration. Anyway, my ancestry matters, because without them, I wouldn't be here. And if I don't remember their mistakes, I may repeat them. They are part of me. My ancestors are part of who I am and what I believe. The history of the Kalakon matters because people need to understand, these stories, some are new, some are old, and some are more ancient than mankind. This is a tale of epic proportions that has shaped history, changed lives and is still changing and evolving as we speak. This is not just some ancient fiction. The ancient mythologies aren't just over and done. The gods aren't dead and their philosophies still shape our universe and can change our world and have been since the beginning."
"Woah…that's deep. So when do we get to start baptizing the sun worshipers in blue jello?"
"Why do we need to baptize people in blue jello?" I asked, confused.
"To wash away the coconutty stink of their past bad deeds, of course! That's what religions do right? Baptize people?"
"Well, some of them do but it's typically a symbolic gesture done with water to wash away sin. I think it takes more than a dunk in water to wash away past bad deeds, but I suppose it's a start."
"Of course it takes more than water! That's why you need the blue jello! Isn't that why your hair has blue streaks? Lilatheen washed away your past and remade you as Devia!"
"That is a story for another day. Let's go make some jello. I'm hungry."