--- Raizel ---
I remember vividly writing about Irina's first encounter with Raizel, the old wise-woman of the South. As in many fairytales, the crone is there at the beginning, when Irina is a baby... but I really felt Raizel's power when Irina meets her in the forest. Running through my mind was the word 'interest' -- Raizel has a deep and profound interest in Irina. The wolf-girl is being looked on by wise and ancient eyes, and she is both warmed by it, and in awe of it. To hold the interest of someone older, who poseses a profound intelligence, can be quite an experience:
"There, behind the hare, was an old crone. Her skin was as withered as a
fallen apple...and she wore a floor length wrap made of furs, and held a basket of stones over one arm. Her eyes were partly obscured by the folds of her eyelids, and they gleamed darkly, like wet stones in a river.
The crone was studying Irina with such concentration that it seemed to pour from her in waves, wrapping Irina warmly and firmly. Irina had never seen the woman before, and yet she felt she had always known her.
Instinctively, barely conscious of what she was doing, Irina knelt."
p118, Irina The Wolf Queen.
Have you ever had this kind of experience, this feeling of interest from an older person, a teacher, a mentor, or grandparent perhaps, someone who helped you grow into who you are?
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