I made up my mind that this is the year I’m diving back into the calling of my heart to write, and so I challenged myself to finish a short story this month. It’s not just any story though, but an original myth based in Celtic lore that’s a backstory for the novel that I’m writing.
See, I was bound and determined to finish my novel last summer, but I got stuck in chapter 12 and just walked away from it. As I’ve been sitting on the story, I realized I needed more depth to my world and in order to move forward, I had to have a back story for the particular scene I’m stuck in.
My revelation resulted in the creation of an original myth for my story world.
Tonight, I want to share it with you. It’s been through a few drafts, but it’s still pretty raw. However, it got me writing, and now I’m ready to move forward with the goal of completing two more chapters in February.
Feel free to stick around and join me on my writing journey. Who knows? Maybe someday you’ll be able to say you were some of my first readers!
The Tree of Dreams Mythos
Long ago when the world was dark, a tree meant to usher in light and hope, was born. It grew higher than the highest peaks, and glowed radiantly, veins of color ebbing and flowing through the bark, a sight born of love, meant to carry the world into a place of unity.
But before the tree was born and man walked upon the land, there was a race of beings that oversaw this world, known as the Tuatha de Daan. Believed to be the first gods, the ancient magical race were seven in number, and their mystical power oversaw all creation and life in the world. But in time, they grew lonely, and drew man from the dust, a race meant to walk beside the ancient ones. They dreamed of unity in their world where they would work with man, blessing them, and receive reverent worship in return.
Yet when man stepped into this world, they feared the Tuatha de Daan, pushing them aside, ignoring the ancient ways, and setting off on their own path. The old gods watched their world slowly divide, and as man took over, fall into despair.
No longer could the ancient ones bear witness to the destruction man had upon their sacred world. So the old gods created a place where they alone could dwell: a realm beyond the world. A realm where their magic would flourish, and they could live out their immortality without man’s hate.
Thus, the realm of Tir Na Nog was born, and for seven days and seven nights, the ancient ones brought their magic together to birth the Tree of Dreams, a symbol for all they had hoped for in their world. A symbol meant to bring hope and bear entrance to what man would call Beyond.
As the first race of man began to die off, their souls grieved—left in the in-between, unable to exist in the world and unable to enter Beyond as they were unworthy. And so, two of the ancient guardians, the god of life and the goddess of death, took pit on man ad came together to stand over the souls. They offered to open the doors of Tir Na Nog for those who deserved it, and for each soul that desired to enter the afterlife, the deities would create a luminescent orb to hang on the Tree of Dreams, offering a transitional space. There the soul would lie in wait for seven years while the guardians stood watch over them and judged their lives accordingly.
The two deities sacrificed their own life in Tir Na Nog to care for the souls, only allowed to live just beyond the entrance, Every seven years, they would release the orbs from Moons Graveyard, freeing them to pass on and find peace in Tir Na Nog, known as the realm of life. For those deemed unworthy, they were condemned live a half-life in the realm of death.
But in time, the god and goddess fell in love.
Years passed, and the goddess gave birth to a child: a half-deity of both life and death. Though she could reside there in the in-between with her parents, she would be mortal and destined to die.
It was her mortality that began to weave a thread of despair between the two ancient guardians.
Rowan, god of life, who knew what lay beyond, felt strongly about their sacrifice and their responsibility to the lost souls. But Moira, goddess of death, refuted his arguments, believing their time as the ancient ones was up. She desired to give up her duties as guardian of the dead and follow her daughter into the afterlife.
Their dispute raged on as their daughter slowly aged before their very eyes, growing older with each passing year. And her lifetime, so long and wonderful, was but a blink of an eye to the ancient ones. Soon, she was aged and found herself being called into eternity.
The two guardians fought more than ever as their daughter lay upon her death bed: Rowan so strongly and sacrificially ready to say goodbye but Moira could not bear to lose her child, even though she had grown old in her years and was no longer a child.
And so, it is written that as the child drew her last breath, the Tree of Dream split on it’s own accord, tearing the two ancient ones apart.
Rowan, god of life, stands guard over half the tree while half of the souls that enter into Beyond remain in their orbs, waiting to be passed onto peace. The other half of the tree grows in the land of the eternally dead, with Moira goddess of death, watching over the souls.
But their child—Fallon—lies between the two, waiting in the Moons Graveyard.
Until she passes on, the Tree of Dreams will always be split and shattered, every soul stuck in the in-between, and the deities forced to reign apart forever.