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The Circle of Three Series

Circle of Three #5: In the Dreaming
by Isobel Bird

p.2 "Midsummer is the longest day of the year, which also means it's the shortest night. Pagans also call it Litha..."

p.3 Ostara, the Sabbat commemorating the beginning of spring

p.3 Beltane -- May Day Sabbat

p.8-9 "Welcome to Midsummer!" she cried in a clear voice as the clearing erupted in applause and shouting. "Who is she?" Kate whispered to Annie and Cooper. But they didn't know who the woman was any more than she did, and all they could do was wait to hear what she had to say. "As you know, this is the longest day of the year," the woman continued. "It is also one of the most magical. But it is not the ordered magic of ritual. It is the wild magic of the woods. The wild magic of Faerie."

p.88 "I am Winter," he said pompously, bringing more boos from the audience. "I am Winter," he said again, more loudly than the first time. "And this is my poem." He cleared his throat and recited.

As the year begins to wither,
and the sun burns down his days,
I, the Holly King, grow stronger,
and await my time to reign.
On Midsummer eve I come to best my brother in fair fight,
soon the wood will wear my mantle,
cold as ice and snowy white.
Will you join me on the field?
We all know how it will end--
that to my mighty sword you'll yield.

p.88-89 Then someone else ran into the clearing. It was a man dressed all in bright yellow and orange. Long triangles of different warm colors spiked out from his back, and he resembled a huge shining sun. When the man in green saw him he jumped back as if frightened. The yellow man stopped in front of him and pointed a finger at him as he began to recite his own poem.

Fight I will, oh frozen creature!
Ice and snow I do not fear.
While your time may be coming,
I still have some hours here.
On this field we will do battle,
and you may emerge the king.
But in six months I'll return to end your frigid reign with spring.
So do your best, my wintry brother.
Swing your sword and take your aim.
Your time, too, will soon be over,
and my light will shine again.

Summer fades like dreams unwinding,
days grow shorter, nights grow long.
Now the Oak King passes over,
goes to sleep to be made strong.
When the sun is born again
we'll greet him on the darkest night.
Then he comes with blazing glory,
bringing back the warmth and light.

p.195-197 "It was Christmastime...I was six and Meg was just a baby. We had this beautiful tree all covered in lights. I liked to sit and look at it. I liked the way they twinkled on and off like stars... Every night when we went to bed my father made sure the tree was unplugged," she said, "But one night I wanted to see the lights, and I downstairs in the middle of the night and plugged the tree in. I sat on the sofa and looked at them blinking on and off, and I fell asleep. When I woke up the room was filled with smoke...I shouted for my parents," Annie said. "I couldn't see anything, and I couldn't breathe. I tried to run out of the room, but it was too hot and there was too much smoke. So I hid behind the sofa and screamed. The tree was on fire, and the fire was spreading to the rest of the room...My father came into the room calling my name," she said. "I cried for help, and he found me. I remember picking me up and running outside. I remember finally being able to breathe...My mother and Meg were still inside...My mother had gone upstairs to get Meg out of her crib. But I guess the smoke was too much for her, and she couldn't find her way out. My father ran back in, grabbed Meg, and brought her out to me. He told me to hold her and to take care of her until he and my mother came back...My father died trying to save my mother,...And it was all my fault."

NAMES: Maeve, Evan, Markson, Herne