And Once Again, Protection

I placed the pen on my desk, pushing back and then stretching. Afterwards, I slumped into a relaxed position in the chair and sighed in satisfaction.

I had been writing for several hours. I sat back up, folded the letter and slid it into an envelope. I chuckled as I wrote the name and address on the letter. I had no idea that it was going to be so enjoyable to write!

I stood up and headed towards my armoire. I opened the doors and began to pull out my newer gowns, tossing them on to the bed. What I needed to find was something I had not worn in a long time. Years, actually.

Approximately 20 minutes later I braided my hair into its final state and looked at myself in the full length mirror. I was dressed all in white. Smoothing down the skirt, I pulled the lacy hood over my head.

Well then Ms Gabrielle Riel, I said to myself. It's been several years since you've gone full-on Witch. And it's been several years since you have performed the protection spell.

I thought about those previous times that I had called out to the universe for protection. I reached my my spiritual hand back into the past to take Gabrielle-Past's hand. She needed the support. I'll send her some from now, from her future.

The first time I had performed the protection spell had been in Caledon Carntaigh in the garden of my manor Coughton Court. April of 1908 (

My goodness, I realized. It's been seven years.

That time I had performed the spell for three specific people, each of whom I loved deeply, and I had performed it for myself. There had been a lot of negative energy swirling around at the time and I needed to clear it out. I had faith in the spell, but I was unprepared for how successful it ended up being. All four situations resolved with positive conclusions for everyone involved within three weeks of me performing the spell.

I had always know the power was in me. That time in 1908 proved to me that what I had always felt was real.

I broke into a wicked smile as I looked at myself in the mirror, remembering what happened on that altar the week after I performed the spell and with whom it happened. That relationship had ended in pain, but oh my word, when it was hot, it had been *hot*! I began to laugh. It was another time, another place and another me, so I can chuckle about it now.

The second time I performed the spell it was in La Maison Riel in New Toulouse Bourbon in December 1911 ( I had performed it for New Toulouse, its residents and me.

That time it had been out of stress and grief. The person who had been my longest friend in this virtual world had packed up all of her things and slunk out of New Toulouse in the middle of the night without word or explanation. I was in the middle of finals week for school. The combination of those two things had me reeling under the stress of it all.

I know that she did not know then, and most certainly does not know now, that she broke my heart. We were never romantic, but it still was one of the deepest wounds to my heart that I ever experienced in nine years in this virtual world. I never, ever let it show.

What hurt the most was that she sneaked away without a word. She could have told me that she needed to leave. I would have understood completely. It made me sad both then and now to know that after so many years of friendship that she obviously did not know me well enough to know that I would have bid her goodbye with good wishes and understanding.

Oh well.

I headed out, leaving The Nightingale. I looked up. The moon was full and luminous, reflecting the light of the sun so brightly that it shone down cutting through the dark. I had brought my lantern, but it looked like I was not going to need it.The moonlight lit up all of St John.

I pulled the letter out of the bag I had on my shoulder and dropped it into the postbox. Then I took Desire up to the stop at Le Cigare. From that point I was on foot, briefly on the cobbled streets of St John Parish but then I crossed the bridge into Lake St John and followed the plank path that squelched under each step I took.

I headed West into Bayou St John, the land that had appeared after the flood waters of Hurricane Diane had receded (

 I needed my lantern in Bayou. The heavy tree cover blocked a great deal of the moonlight. In spite of the darkness, my step was sure and my demeanor calm and confident. This time was so different. This time I knew exactly what I had to do.

I pushed through the bushes that would not be there much longer as I arrived at my destination. I looked around. Yes, this is where I should be.

I pulled a violet crystal from my bag, then I knelt on the ground and placed the crystal in front of me. It began to pulse and sing. I took a deep breath.

I will begin with thanks.

Thank you Spirit of New Orleans for calling me back to you. I left you, but you weren't having any of that, were you?

Thank you for Mr. Eclectric Breitman whose love for the Crescent City shows in everything he ever built for New Toulouse during his time as architect there. We still use those builds today in St John Parish.

Thank you for CC and Emma, my St John estate managers, both friends for so long now that I have forgotten how many years we have known each other. Their loyalty to me is a gift and I trust them completely.

Thank you for the music. I know it's the main reason I connect to New Orleans.

Thank you for the residents who stayed with me after I sold New Toulouse. I did not expect that to happen. It made me so happy to know that they were happy with me.

Thank you for the residents who returned to me over the last two years. I did not expect that to happen either. It showed me that I had a far bigger effect in New Toulouse than I ever knew.

Thank you for my four years in New Toulouse. I arrived there in January 2009 as a brand new estate owner. I wasn't even a resident. I was a refugee Duchess from Caledon. Caledon's Prom Queen who was in the middle of "divorcing" that estate. I made the conscious choice to set aside the life of The Duchess of Carntaigh in order to become Miz Gabi. Thank you for those wonderful years in NT. St John would not be what it is without them.

Thank you to all of the current residents of St John. I want you all to be happy. I want to contribute to the enjoyment and peace of your virtual lives. I hope that you can feel all of the love that is here.

Thank you for everything.

 I continued, kneeling and head bowed.

Residents of St John, you are under my protection; however I do not want you to forget that no one in Second Life has any power over you, unless you allow them to have it. You are the person who controls your choices and your destiny.

I raised my head and took calm, deep breaths as the Carntaigh crystal shivered in front of me.

There is much magic in St John because there is much magic in New Orleans. There are many spirits on whom people can call.

I was born and raised in Caledon Carntaigh. While I can feel and bend all magic, the source for my magic is from there.

I speak the language of magic through music and Carntaigh.

I stood up, straight and strong, head up as I began to speak in a clear voice...

Hear me Knights of Carntaigh past, Knights of the ancient law.
Hear me dead Knights of an English tongue.

Hear me Knights lost in battle, whose blade did good.
Hear me Knights of old, hear me Knights of lost souls.

This night I invoke thee.
I summon thee to my arms aid.

Hear me Knights, a new cause be given.
Your body gone now spirit be.

Hear me dead Knights I invoke thee.
By your spirit blade I invoke you.

By your might I invoke you.
By your spirit I invoke you.

Come now, follow a new cause, I summon thee.
Each of thee I enlist. I invoke you dead Knights lost.

Hear me and come to my aid. Hear me and fight at my side.
Protect me and those I love from spirits' harm.

Fight our battles I say to thee.
Hear me spirits of Knights of Carntaigh, come to my aid, come to my side.

Protect me and those I love from spirits' harm.
Protect me and those I love from spirits dark.

I invoke you. I invoke you.

Let my army be done.

Let it be.

Let it be.

Hail fair moon, Ruler of the night;
Guard me and mine, Until the light

~ The Nightingale