The Old One stirs and sends her cold breath to test her children, to see who will stand and who will flee, who will live and who will die. She tests us and probes with her bony fingers, reaches into our chests and feels the beat of our hearts. Does the beat stay steady or does it race and burst its bounds, flee from her touch? She waits, she tests, she sees and she hears.
The Old One walks upon the land and over the icy wastes rides the Wild Hunt, dragging all with them into the dark of night and endless winds. He teases the Old One, makes her blush and cackle and recall the days supple limbs held lovers tight and black ropes of hair wound about their necks. She rattles her bones at him and laughs and knows he has seen through her guise for she is the Goddess guising. He sees the Eternal Mother beneath the guise of the Crone and is not afeared of her. He knows the Grandmother and she knows him. Together they ride the winter skies.