Rikon > Stories of Rikon > the Circle Tale > Part 1: Coyote and Blackbird

the Circle Tale

   The Circle Tale is an animistic expression of The Choir, normally told in the form of a children's fairytale.

   There are twelve stories, each focusing on a magically endowed animal whose strengths and weaknesses express the attributes of a pre- or post- manifest sphere of The Choir relative to Rikon. In turn each animal encounters the next and is undone or rendered inert by the encounter. In the end, the twelveth animal encounters the first and is itself undone, in an endless cycle.

   While each animal expresses spheres of The Choir, the encounters between the animals are analogous to the spiritual journeys attributed to the paths between the spheres, leading many to argue that the Circle Tale is a shamanistic expression of The Choir as a spiritual path of enlightenment and empowerment, translated into a story form that coincidentally was capable of surviving to the present nearly intact, albeit in the form of a children's fairytale.

   Others point to the specificity of the effects of the animals on each other as evidence that this might actually be a poetic form of alchemical evocation, and may within its prose hide nefarious and powerful mysteries waiting to be unlocked.

   For myself, I find the number of animals to be questionable given the history of this tale, and I find it especially troubling that we know so little of its true source.

   Although significant portions of the tale have been found on the walls of the Erelinth caves north of the O'olaen monuments in Mermea, suggesting an origin well back into the First Darkness (or, astonishingly, even before,) the Circle Tale is most often attributed to the temples of The Created, whose walls were indelibly carved during the chaos of the Third Darkness following Mintaka's disruption of the mechanism of divine parthenogenesis. At that time there was no awareness of the relationship of the post-manifest spheres of The Choir, and nine should be the number of animals, not twelve.

   If the Circle Tale does indeed come to us from the depths of the Third Darkness, then we can truly only wonder as to its source, for that source would be quite remarkable, and should reasonably have left other marks upon a history that is otherwise quite well known.

To read the Circle Tale, one should always start with the story of Coyote and Blackbird



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