4 The ceremony

"Blessed be," my grandmother called out and waited for the covens response.

"Blessed be!"

Turning to the altar my grandmother picked up the athame and first pointed it to five elders who held candles welcoming the elements to form a protective circle. "Earth, bless our children to be grounded as they take possession of their full strength. Air, bless our children with the intelligence to harness their full potential. Fire, bless our children with the strength to control their fully released energies. Water, bless our children with positive emotions as they transition to their full power." Each candle lit as she pointed to it and called to the element "Spirit, bring forth our children's gifts which you have guarded these twenty-one lunar years."

A rush of wind blew forming a barely visible circle, first around the entire coven then narrowed in around myself and the five others.

I felt a shock rush thru me. My body spasmed and my eyesight blurred and I felt a wave of silence overcome me. It felt as if I was floating in a void. The coven disappeared and I heard a low chuckle in my head.

I finally left the ground beneath my feet and a sudden clap of thunder roared above me. My sight became clear and as it focused I was looking into the sky as a storm began to form.

'Just like that night,' I thought. 'just like my dream.'

As I thought of my dream I looked back towards my grandmother at the center of the circle, but my gaze was drawn further to the tree line behind her. In the trees I saw a murder of at least twenty crows and they all had emerald eyes fixed on me.

'Who are you, little witch.' I heard in my head before I collapsed into darkness.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Madeline quickly closed the circle and rushed to Rachel's side when she saw her collapse. It wasn't unusual for someone to faint from their powers being released. She herself remembers becoming nauseous and dizzy on her twenty-first birthday ceremony. However, she knew Rachel was far more powerful than any other member in the coven. She worried that her granddaughter may not have been ready for such a force to be released upon her.

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"Mom! Is she okay." Her son rushed over with Jana and his wife to check on Rachel.

Madeline let out a sigh of relief when she felt a strong pulse on her wrist. "Yes, she just needs rest. Did anyone remember to bring cloth and cool water?" She called out to the coven members.

Rashad, an elder member, stepped forward holding a bucket of moon water and a package of clean flour sack towels. "Here Madie," he said as he handed her a damp cloth.

Madeline thanked him as she took the cloth and proceeded to blot Rachel's brow as she cradled the girls head in her lap.

"Everyone, please eat. I believe Ms Jenifer and Ms Chloe prepared a lamb, and moon cakes for dessert. And my daughter in law made her chili and cornbread with cinnamon rolls for dessert as well! Enjoy the buffet!" She announced, breaking the silence. Everyone had been looking at Rachel and Madeline knew that her granddaughter would only be embarrassed if she woke to so many eyes on her.

Everyone quickly dispersed, with the exception of Johnathan and Jana.

"Will she be okay G-ma?" Jana asked, her voice little more than a squeak. Madeline could see that her other granddaughter had been close to fainting herself. It was indeed a blessing for two so young to clearly be so powerful.

Rachel let out a moan as she opened her eyes.

"Yes Jana, she is going to be just fine." Madeline said with a smile as she gave Rachel a kiss on her forehead.