Wednesday, 1 April 2020

The Hierophant

   "The juniper's berries, hot in the third degree, dry in the first, are key in countering poisoning, and are a powerful ingredient in the resistance of pestilence. The ashes of the--"
   "I am a centaur."
   Apollo looked up from the variety of herbs laid out across the sun-lit table and blinked at the scowling young man. "...Yes, Chiron, you are."
   "So what good are the properties of juniper berries among my people? Or music, for that matter? Or archery? Centaur are strong just as we are! We don't need weapons! Nor oracles!" He rose to his hooves and tossed the bowl of juniper leaves across the table, gritting his teeth while offence seared in his deep, dark eyes. He watched the condescending patience ooze from the god's rich bearing, standing as he was, his arms folded across his proud chest while he stared back with an infuriatingly gentle expression on his face.
   "Learning this won't help me to fit in! What value is this to them? To me?! How will the other centaur accept me among them when I don't know their ways, only yours?!"
   "And what are their ways?" He asked calmly. "Lust? Anger? Violence?"
   "Passion!"
   "Unruliness?"
   "No," he glowered, "wildness. As wild as untamed horses! And they are your sons, yet you speak so ill of them!"
   Apollo shook his laurel-wreathed head. "No. I merely speak the truth of them. As indeed do you. You do know their ways. So why do you not adopt them?"
   "Because you, dear foster father, will not allow me."
   "I've held you back?"
   "Yes!" Chiron boomed, storming around the table towards him in a thunder of hooves. "With all your teachings! Filling my head with useless things that will never help me find my place! You are a god, and the centaur are your sons! I am also a centaur - not of your blood, perhaps, but I am one all the same! But I've never been given the chance to prove it! Why would you wish to isolate me like this? Wish to make me so...different? Wish to make me suffer? Handicap me, blind and deafen me to my true culture? My true nature?!"
   "How," Apollo cocked his head, his voice still as soft and deliberate as ever, "can you know your own true nature if it isn't allowed to bloom? You remain here by choice, though you may not wish to admit it. Your door is not locked. You need not come to me every sunrise - but you do."
   "I'm not welcome among my kin! I have nowhere else to go!"
   "You do, once you acknowledge that you can turn around."
   "Enough of your philosophy!"
   "It's simply a truth."
   "Truth, truth, truth," his tail flicked, but he kept his itching back leg from lashing out and kicking the table away, "only the truths you wish me to know! You would turn me into what you want me to be!"
   "I would turn you into what you truly are."
   "And what, exactly, am I?!"
   A gentle smile curled the god's lips, a smile that abruptly froze the centaur's ire. "You, Chiron, are you. I'm simply teaching you how to find it."


 
Words copyright © Kim Wedlock
No part is to be reproduced without my permission.
Written based on the Hierophant tarot card for a scrapped project.