An Oracle's Prayer

 I sit before a pile of unopened letters, delivered by messenger, personally, or through the Lady Hev’Aber. Some are written by the hands of the petitioner and some scripted for the illiterate by fellow accolades of the Sanctuary. All are welcome before me, equal in my eyes from the highest lord to lowest greenhorn on a shrimp boat. All see tragedy, sorrow, and are capable of holding doubts. With so much sadness under the black sun; who will I blaze hope upon their lives. How does one weigh worthiness? Is it the grandness of the problem, the most humble of lives, or the size of the population of those affected? Even when I don my mask, I cannot answer that question for myself.

Instinct, I cannot guess; I must trust that force within my gullet that says this is the right path, follow this stream and the truth will be at its source. There are no mistakes, no accidents, but certainly there is no one answer or truth. After years as the oracle of Samhain, I know the best I can do for the petitioner is show them the answer. It is their lives, who am I to tell them what to do. I am not their god. They are not slaves before me; they are not property, but beings simply trying to survive under the black sun. And to them I offer the light of hope.

Perhaps hope is more powerful than religion. It certainly is more universal. Call it a prayer to an ethereal being, a request to a patron saint that once walked the earth, or a plea to someone that can simply do something. I sit here in the Sanctuary of the River, protected by the anonymity behind this mask, and my secret guarded by the Lady of this land. Like the oracles of old in Delphi, the petitioners come before me not knowing who I am, feeling safe knowing that what is said within a session stays with the oracle. Sometimes a petitioner is not looking for a balm to a wound, and a path to justice is paved with blood. Secrecy protects not only my office, but the petitioners and the paths they choose to walk, and I will not be the dam that diverts their way.

So the with the hopes of a nation in my hands, I choose three within each turning of the moon. Three to receive the blessing of the oracle, and many others better suited for more mundane assistance the Lady Hev’Aber can offer. With the support of the people this sanctuary has grown. And if an oracle is allowed to hope, mine is a prayer that I am enough to keep the sanctuary alive, to keep hope alive, and to help this domain grow so that no one must dance alone.