21 March 1997, Night of the vernal equinox. Maiden Castle (Mai Dun). Max Lesser and Lola Bessington.

Evening becomes night and they lie listening to the speaking of the earth and the wind in the grasses of Mai Dun. [...] The almost full moon rises and looks down the banks and ditches of the hill-fort, the labial configurations at either end meant to baffle invaders or possibly honour the white goddess. Despite the paling of the sky the stars are clearly visible, brighter than in London. Burning and flickering, they send their light from before the age of dinosaurs, the Babylonian exile, the fall of Rome, the sack of Jerusalem.
'See the Great Bear?' says Lola. 'Ursa major?'

'The Big Dipper,' says Max, 'and the North Star.'
'Polaris,' says Lola. Gripping Max's hand, she murmurs rapidly, 'Alkaid, Mizar, Alioth, Megrez, Phecda, Merak, Dubhe.'
'What was that?' says Max.
'The names of the seven stars of Ursa Major. Say them after me...'


From
Her Name was Lola by Russell Hoban. Original picture of people lying in the grass by David Hawkins-Weeks (personally licenced under Creative Commons). Visit his excellent site www.extrajection.com!

Click and listen to the seven stars, to Max and Lola, to Hale-Bopp and see the raven fly out and looping the loop once. But don't forget, this is a serious ritual...

Olaf Schneider (Nexter Tailer)

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