Sophia shakes her granddaughter’s shoulder. “Wake up,” she says, gruffly.
The elder woman and the child walk silently through the dark rooms of the house, emerging into the dim light of morning. The little girl starts heading down the path, toward the beach, but Sophia calls her back. “Today,” she says, “we go up, to the Temple.” She heads uphill.
As they near the temple region, they pass carpenters hard at work raising the roof on a new grainary and removing the charred remains of the grainary the people had torched the day before.
“Kalimera,” the workmen greet Sophia.
Sophia stops in front of a smoldering pile of charred wood. “Let the god of the ksi feed the ksi,” Sophia says to Eirene, loudly enough for the workmen to hear. She begins walking toward the temple. “Our grain belongs to Mother Deo,” she says more loudly.
They approach the colossal statue of a seated Demeter in front of the temple and bow.
Sophia takes the child’s hand and mounts the steps. The guards of the temple nod to them. They walk toward an engraving on an inner wall that faces the rising sun.
“These are the letters of our alphabet,” Sophia smooths her hand over the engravings. “27-letters. 3 groups of 9, you see?”
(The letters are engraved as follows:
Α Β Γ Δ Ε F Ζ Η Θ
Ι Κ Λ Μ Ν Ξ Ο Π Q
Ρ Σ Τ Υ Φ Χ Ψ Ω ϡ
“The first nine letters are single digits, 1 through 9.
“The next nine letters are double digits, 10 through 90.
“The final nine letters are triple digits, 100 through 900.
“So, ΦΙΔ, spells ‘feed.’ The number for feed is 514. You see? 500 (Sophia points to the letter Φ) plus 10 (she points to Ι) plus 4 (she points to Δ).
“The Romans, they steal our alphabet and destroy the letters that they fear. They make up a new alphabet, a Roman alphabet for their Roman god.
“Today, you will learn the letters that the Romans fear.”
A small group starts to gather, and Sophia projects her voice so they can all hear.
“They keep A and B, but they destroy Gamma, the letter for Ge, the generative Earth, our Mother. Because they hate our Mother.
“They destroy delta, our letter of direction, the letter for Demeter, our Directing Mother, the Director of growth and justice, because they covet our prosperity and despise our laws.
“They keep E and F and they keep Z, the letter for Zeus, but move it to the end of their alphabet. I don’t know why. Why move it to the end? Who knows?
“They keep H, but they destroy theta, our divine letter, the letter that means Goddesses and Gods because they hate our Goddesses and Gods. Theta, the sacred number nine, they destroy. Because they hate our sacred ways.
“Now: the double digits. They keep I and K and they destroy lambda, our letter for release, our symbol for freedom, because they hate our freedom. They keep M and N and destroy ksi, our symbol for the foreigner, the symbol for detachment, because we use this symbol against them.
“They keep O and destroy pi, our symbol for unity, for the PanHellenes, all the Hellenes. Remember this: the word for “all” begins with pi, you see? Under the same roof. They call us pagans, ‘all the rest.’ All the rest. Everyone but them. Because they hate us and fear our unity they destroy our letter pi, our symbol for unity.
“They keep Q, the number for 90.
“But they give an extra leg to rho, our letter for flow. They say that there is no flow. That everything is fixed, that everything is written down in one book. One book. One god. One government. Their book. Their god. Their government. Fixed. No flow.
“They destroy our letter sigma, our letter for synchronizing. See? It looks like the starting gates at a race track. Everyone starts at once. Sigma means the crescent moon. That is how we synchronize our calendars, on the kalends, the new moon. They don’t want us to be synchronized, so they destroy our letter sigma.
“They keep T and move Y to the second to last letter. I don’t know why they move it.
“Now, the letter phi. It is the letter for Phusis, for Physics, for Nature. It is a sacred letter. It combines I, the letter for divine power, with omicron, the letter for a whole entity, you see? ‘Divinely-powered,’ Sophia traces the vertical line of phi, ‘entity,’ she traces the circle in the letter phi. They hate Phusis and Physics and science.
“They keep X , the letter for ‘foundation,’ and assign it to their Jesus, they call him Chreestos, ‘oracle.’
“They destroy the letter psi, our letter for Psyche, the Goddess of the soul. They don’t believe we have souls! They claim all souls for their god. They hate our symbol for soul.
“They destroy the letter omega, the letter that means egg, that means “bring-forth” in travail, they lie and say it means 'the end' because it leads to the last letter of our alphabet, and they hate this last letter more than all the rest combined.
“Parakuisma, the letter for 900. Parakuisma. Having to do with pregnancy.
“Do they hate pregnancy, Maia?” asks Eirene.
“Yes. They hate pregnancy. This life is no good, they say. Happiness is in Heaven, they say. Do away with earthly things, they say. They hate Earth. They hate our Mother. They hate us. We must drive them from our lands. No more ksi.”
“No more ksi,” says Eirene.
“No more ksi,” says Sophia.
“No more ksi,” murmur some of the people who have gathered.
“We chased out their politicians, but they will return,” says Sophia. “We must prepare. We must gather our weapons. We must be ready to fight. My brothers sit now in the Senate Counsel preparing a plan. In the meantime, we will continue our harvest of Deo’s grains. We will dedicate our first fruits to Our Mother. And, on the full moon, we will welcome initiates to the Mysteries of the Divine Mother and Kore, Her Daughter, the way we have for a thousand years. Long live Eleusis.”
“Long live Eleusis,” the crowd repeats.
“Come, Eirene, we have much to do,” says Sophia.