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EYE OF SATURN:

The Daughters of Saturn (Book One)


By

Idalita Wright Raso

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews.

Cover Art:
Idalita Wright Raso

Publisher’s Note:

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, places, and events are the work of the author’s imagination.

Any resemblance to real persons, places, or events is coincidental.



Solstice Publishing - www.solsticepublishing.com



Copyright 2016 Idalita Wright Raso










For my muse







ACKNOWLEDGMENTS



I would like to thank the staff at the Euclid Public Library for their help and allowing me to borrow and insane amount of books while doing research for this book series. I would also like to thank my editor, Debbie Rowe for making this book better than it started out. A big thanks to Judy Allen, Joyce Ashman, Jessica Bolanos, Amber Chapmen, Eugene “Pumpkin” Harcum, Samantha Kain, Julia Lemieux, “Panda,” Janet Pedro, Antoinette Ponzo, Bonita Ponzo, Cameron Powell, Elana Reichenbach, Diana Rogers, and Rico Thomas for your unwavering support and guidance.


Very special thanks to all my website members, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers.







AUTHOR’S NOTE


This novel’s setting for the Temple of Saturn is purely imaginary. I made up my own “Temple of Saturn,” to suit the purposes of this story. The Temple of Saturn does not, nor has it ever sat high atop Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The real Temple of Saturn, which is now a partially preserved pediment front portico, is in Rome.









“In the beginning, Kronos the Titan ruled the entire ether; his star the far-seeing gods called ‘the shining one’.”1


In ancient times, Saturn was revered by all mortals as the supreme god and ruler of all kings—the God of the Golden Age.







IN THE BEGINNING


THE BLACK VOID


After HIS long slumber, Saturn, the Great Father, awoke and opened HIS all-seeing Eye. Staring out into the black cosmic abyss, the god spoke in a thunderous voice.

Sapirla ne’kab vitoar zop’kab shael!” (Blood is the seat of the soul!) Saturn’s words had awakened the void and breathed life into the universe, thus marking the beginning of time.

Saturn waved HIS golden scythe, sending powerful lightning bolts streaking across the vast universe. Dust particles swooshed and swirled while elements joined together, until they formed an infinite number of luminous stars, nebulae, and planets. Saturn made HIS planet sixth—HIS sacred number, HIS seal.

Everything in the cosmos bore Saturn’s seal. It was the number—six hundred and sixty-six. This sacred number was the very fabric upon which the universe was built. For it was a powerful, magickal mathematical equation.

In some galaxies Saturn’s sacred number was symbolized by a six-pointed star. In other realms the sacred number was depicted as a hexagram or black cube. No matter how Saturn’s sacred number was perceived, it was the perfect construct for an invisible, inescapable matrix—a prison that placed all beings great and small, rich and poor, free and slave under HIS control.

To oversee the countless worlds in the universe, Saturn created a legion of gods in HIS image. They resided within the rings around HIS planet, forming the Council of Gods. Saturn selected forty-two principal gods to act as overlords, among them was Apollyon, whom the Great Father affectionately called, Pluto.

Saturn extended HIS hand and a glorious band of light flooded the cosmos. Out of the wondrous light, a winged figure emerged. The majestic white wings of this magnificent being opened up like a blossoming flower—it was a woman. Her skin was a translucent, icy, blue. She wore a loosely draped, sheer white sheath that barely covered her flawless, round breasts. A halo adorned her head as her long white hair cascaded over her shoulders. Round her neck she wore a gold six-pointed star necklace.

“You are my daughter. I shall name you, Isis.”

Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI!” (Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn!) Isis said in Solsatihel, the language of her Father, Saturn—the first language of the gods and of the universe.

Saturn stretched forth HIS hand and this time two winged, translucent, icy, blue figures emerged—Asira and Dusana. Asira, a raven-haired beauty and the taller of Isis’ two sisters, held on tightly to Dusana’s hand. The ethereal specters bowed before the Great Father and embraced their sister.

“Daughters, I empower you with the gift of immortality, the power to heal, create, destroy, and the ability to travel through time and space. As my daughters, you are my messengers—my angels.”

Saturn’s scythe began emitting beams of electrical energy. The rays bathed the sisters in a blue light.

“Transcribe my laws, sacred ceremonies, prayers, and spells into sixty Sacred Scrolls. You shall become the guardians of the scrolls. Go Forth and tell every being in the cosmos that I am their god.”

Saturn held out HIS hand to Isis. Sa’hal!” (Come!)

Isis placed her trembling hand in her father’s and then vanished, arriving on Rhea, the planet Saturn’s second largest moon.

“Isis, being my eldest daughter, I bestowed upon you all wisdom so that you may intercede on my behalf. I am entrusting you with all of my magickal knowledge,” the Great Father decreed.

Isis listened carefully to her father’s words, meticulously recording HIS every magickal secret. She fashioned them into the Six Forbidden Scrolls. Raising her arms upward, Isis summoned the magick of the universe. Sorcery bound the scrolls and funneled them inside six solid gold cylinders. Sparks flew as an invisible hand engraved the cylinders with Saturn’s insignia—a scythe inside a six-pointed star resting on a flat, black, onyx stone.

Isis knew the Six Forbidden Scrolls had to be protected. Anyone armed with the scrolls’ magick could open Saturn’s all-seeing Eye and create or destroy an entire universe, transform beings, unleash the Judgment Seat to punish anyone who opposed them—or far worse! They would have the power to send Saturn into an eternal sleep and, ultimately, control the universe.

Isis decided to hide the scrolls in the last place anyone would go looking for them—deep inside Pan, the oddly-shaped, innermost of the planet Saturn’s moons.

Although Saturn had created an infinite number of planets, there was one planet the Great Father favored more than the others—Earth. It was HIS grandest creation. Saturn generously filled the planet with animals of every kind. HE gave the lands life-sustaining water and lush vegetation, but something was still missing—a caretaker.

Crafted in the image of HIS daughters—beautiful and beguiling—Saturn created woman and made her Earth’s mother. HE gave woman HIS sacred number—six and vested her with a special gift, the power of creation. In time, woman gave birth to man. Man’s number was also six. Their off-spring was also given Saturn’s sacred number.

Thus, the human covenant with Saturn, like all beings of the universe, was six hundred and sixty-six. The number of man’s Third Eye, his spirituality—his direct connection to the creator. Now man was a part of Saturn’s matrix.

Isis, Asira, and Dusana obeyed their father’s commandment and taught man the importance of keeping Saturday, Saturn’s Sabbath Day Holy and learn Saturn’s sacred rituals, which often required human sacrifices and the drinking of blood.

Sapirla ne’kab vitoar zop’kab shael!” (Blood is the seat of the soul!)

Saturn was so pleased with Earth and man, HE spent the first millennium residing on the planet as a man-god, making HIS home at the summit of the world axis—the North Pole. The time Saturn spent on Earth was known as the Golden Age. During this period, there were no wars, famine or disease. Mankind lived peacefully in lush fertile lands of flowing milk and honey.


THE NAME’S APOLLYON


Apollyon sat alongside the other principle gods in the Great Chamber, anxiously waiting for his assigned planet. Finally, Apollyon heard his name called. This was the moment he had been waiting for. Then his heart sank. Apollyon thanked the Great Father and managed to plaster on a fake smile until Saturn left the chamber. Apollyon drew his face tight and clenched his jaw. He was furious.

“Cheer up, Pluto, old boy,” Jupiter said, jokingly slapping him on the back. “Remember, it’s not the size of the planet that makes the god, but what the god does with the planet that counts.”

“My name is Apollyon,” he snapped, brushing back Jupiter’s hand. “Easy for you to say. Saturn gave you the Red Giant, the largest and luckiest planet in the entire universe. My planet, if you can call it that, is nothing more than a tiny, cold, barren rock,” he scoffed.

“Sounds like someone has planet envy,” Mars teased.

The gods laughed.

“Well, Pluto, you are Saturn’s favorite. What did you expect?” Mercury said.

Apollyon stood up abruptly, his black wings unfurled. His right hand curled into a fist ready to strike Mercury square in the face.

“Apollyon,” Venus said.

“What is it, sweetheart?” The god turned his head, to look upon the goddess. She was the embodiment of femininity, grace, beauty, and love. Venus’ smooth, golden tones swathed Apollyon in a sea of calm. He relaxed his fist, bringing his arm to his side.

“Saturn gave you the gift of death and rebirth. Perhaps you could use your talents to breathe new life into your planet.”

“And why should I have to work so hard, while all of you rest on your laurels?”

“Rest on my laurels? You must think it easy being the god of war,” Mars said, pounding the table.

All the gods, except for Venus, burst into laughter.

Apollyon vanished in a whiff of smoke.


ELIJAH’S GREAT SACRIFICE


Earth during the time of the Golden Age in the fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, near Jerusalem.


Every tribe of man paid homage to the Great Father by erecting temples, appointing elders to oversee the shrines and help to guide the faithful. The chief elders were given a six-pointed, gold star—Saturn’s talisman—HIS star. A few loyal servants won Saturn’s favor and was rewarded with HIS most precious gift—immortality. One such servant was Elijah. Saturn knew just how much Elijah loved his first-born son, Yosef. So Saturn decided to test the Chief Elder’s loyalty.

“Brother Elijah,” Isis said, materializing before the Chief Elder. “Saturn feels you do not love HIM. Tell me Elijah, is there someone or something you love more than the Great Father?”

“I can assure you Isis, I love no one more than I love Saturn.”

“Then prove it. Sacrifice what you cherish most dearly, tonight at the harvest celebration. Do this and Saturn will reward you.” Isis vanished in a rolling cloud of smoke, leaving streaks of white and purple luminous radiation, evaporating in the air.

Elijah knew what had to be done. He took a deep breath and called for his six-year old son, Yosef.

“Yes, Papa?” The bright-eyed boy ran into his father’s arms.

Once Elijah gazed into his son’s eyes, he could not bring himself to tell him the boy the truth, so Elijah lied.

“My son, there’s a special celebration at the Temple of Saturn tonight to honor you.”

The boy’s face lit up. “To honor me, Papa?”

“Yes. You have won Saturn’s favor,” the Chief Elder said, casting his guilty eyes to the floor.

Elijah covered his son’s head with a black hood and bound the boy’s wrists with thick ropes. He told his son it was part of the special celebration. They walked for an hour until they came to the mysterious temple.

Rhythmic, tribal drums and the melodic tune of the lyre played. Worshipers, some completely naked, with arms outstretched to the heavens, exploded into a frenzy of elation as they paid homage to Saturn underneath the biggest and brightest harvest supermoon the world had ever seen. A mammoth golden statue of Saturn rested in the center of the courtyard. A gold breastplate and robe adorned the statue’s body. The figure held in its left hand a gold S-curved scythe, with a blade sharp enough to slice a man in half. Upon the head of the statue sat a jewel-encrusted, stepped crown. Lying majestically at the foot of the statue was a carved gold effigy of the bird of wisdom.

Thick, black, billowing plumes of ash and smoke spewed out from the corners of the statue’s smiling mouth. Elijah glanced at the statue. He knew what was hidden behind the figure’s devious sneer—it was a brazier deep inside the statue’s belly that was designed with a dark purpose in mind.

Elijah led his son up steep, uneven, stone steps to the statue’s smiling mouth. Still blinded by the hood, the boy stumbled a few times going up the uneven steps. Once they reach the mouth of the statue, Elijah positioned his son directly in front of the brazier and shoved him into the flames.

Elijah stared coldly into the fire. Flames rose higher, popping and hissing until the red-hot demonic inferno had swallowed the small boy’s body. The mouth of the statue seemed to smile with delight, accepting Elijah’s sacrifice.

Fifteen temple elders, dressed in hooded black robes chanted, “Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI!” (Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn!) Tribal drums beat faster and faster. The festivities came to a halt. Immediately, everyone turned and faced the statue and bowed. The elders led the processional into the shrine.

Isis’ white, six-foot wingspan spread majestically as she hovered above the congregation. Ritual flames danced in a hearth illuminating Isis’ icy blue translucent body, giving her an angel-like appearance.

“Greetings, faithful servants. Elijah, come forth,” Isis said.

Elijah humbly walked forward and knelt. He bowed his head in reverence.

“Your obedience has proven you worthy to receive Saturn’s greatest reward—immortality. You shall reside on Saturn’s planet and dine amongst the gods. Your descendants will be favored by the Great Father and receive special blessings. Arise, Brother and join the celebration.”

Elijah raised his head and pulled back his hood. His head was bald and decorated with a hexagon tattoo. In the center of the design was an eye with a scythe for its pupil. The left side of his face also donned a tattoo—a bull’s head enclosed in a six-pointed star, encircled by an inscription written in Solsatihel, followed by ancient symbols.

Dusana and Asira suddenly appeared. Worshipers and the elders fell to their knees, interlocking their arms, swaying from side to side chanting.

Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI!” (Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn!)

A haunting sound rumbled through the temple, growing louder until it vibrated the walls and floors. A mixture of fear and adoration could be seen on the faces of the worshipers. Shrieking sounds reverberated once more. This time with a near deafening pitch, followers began writhing in pain—blood oozed from all orifices—their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths and formed a single trail of blood that led outside to the foot of Saturn’s statue.

“Blood is the seat of the soul!” the Daughters of Saturn chanted.


APOLLYON’S REBELLION


The planet Nibiru, located just beyond Pluto in the Milky Way Galaxy.


Apollyon sat high on his throne overlooking thousands of angry, grumbling, rebel gods that had gathered in the great hall. “Quiet down. Quiet down. We have much to discuss,” he bellowed.

The gods ceased their discussions at hearing Apollyon’s order.

“I trust everyone knows why I have called this meeting?”

“To fight against our oppressor, Saturn.” the god, Stolas said.

“Right you are. For a millennium, Saturn has lived on HIS beloved Earth amongst HIS precious humans, leaving us to run the universe, while HE gets all the glory,” Apollyon said.

“Yeah, Saturn loves the humans more than HE loves us,” Malphas, the raven god said, as he unfurled his wings. “HE treats us like HIS slaves.”

“That’s right, Malphas. It’s about HIM. HIS will. HIS laws. Just who the fuck does Saturn think HE is?” Apollyon roared.

“A cold and heartless taskmaster, that’s who,” Shax chimed in.

“Well, all of that is about to change. We’ll show HIM! This is about respect,” Apollyon said, adding fuel to the fire.

The gods cheered.

“Saturn has even granted some humans immortality,” Apollyon said, turning up his nose. “That right should only be reserved for the gods. I say it’s time to test the loyalty of these humans. Let’s show them exactly how Saturn has deceived them.”

A massive god with three serpent heads stepped into the light. “Apollyon, how are you planning on doing that?” Thamuz, the snake god hissed. His black, forked tongue darted in and out of his mouth.

“By controlling the Six Forbidden Scrolls and opening Saturn’s all-seeing Eye. Once HIS Eye is opened, I can send HIM back into an eternal sleep, breaking the illusion.”

“Obtaining the scrolls won’t be easy, my Lord. They are guarded by Saturn’s daughters,” Belial said. “The sisters are more powerful than we are.”

“Yes, but there is something far more powerful than the sister’s magick.”

“And what is that?” Shax asked.

Love, Apollyon said, cocking his head to one side. “Once I gain control of the scroll’s magick, we will go down to Earth and enlighten these mortals. After they realize Saturn has enslaved them, they will turn their backs on HIM and worship the gods of their choosing.”

Zagan stepped forth. He cleared his throat before speaking. “Apollyon, this is blasphemous. Saturn is our creator. HE is our father.”

“Do not be blind, Zagan. We have a duty to spread the truth to every being in the cosmos and set them free.”

“But the Great Father can turn us into ash with a blink of HIS eye,” Zagan said.

Apollyon stood up and with his arms stretched outward, majestically addressed the crowd. “And I have the power to raise you out of the ashes. It is our duty to set the universe free from HIS illusion. Saturn must be destroyed! So, who’s with me?”

The gods mumbled as they deliberated, then they spoke their decision in unison, “I!”

Apollyon’s thin lips curled upward. “It is settled. But first things first, I need leaders. Step forth when your name is called and kneel. Stolas, you have been loyal to me from the beginning, so I bestow upon you the title of High Prince of the underworld. You will teach the humans astronomy, so they may know about the universe that Saturn has kept hidden from them. Zagan, you shall be King of my minions. Shax, you shall serve as my Duke. Belial, you will head up my army. Thamuz, you are in charge of weapons.”

“Yes, of course, my god, my king. It is my honor to serve you,” Thamuz, said bowing.

“Apollyon motioned with his hand. “Ronove, come forth! Since Saturn is so arrogant and has mandated that every being in the universe speak HIS language, Solsatihel. Ronove, you will teach the humans the many tongues that are spoken in secret. One by one Saturn’s planets will fall—starting with HIS precious Earth. Arise brothers and prepare to strike!”

The mob of rebel gods applauded and cheered, singing songs of war. Zagan and Shax hoisted Apollyon high up in the air.


THE SEDUCTION


Isis sat quietly, resting upon Iapetus, the third-largest of the planet Saturn’s sixty-two moons, when Apollyon suddenly appeared before her in a blinding white light. She let out a gasp.

“A thousand apologies, Isis, I didn’t mean to frighten you, but when I saw you sitting here alone—”

“Apollyon,” Isis said breathless.

“You know my name?”

“Of course, I know your name. You are my father’s favorite god.” Isis lifted her gaze, making eye contact with Apollyon. He was not as large as the other gods, but he was muscular and ruggedly handsome. His steely, gray eyes and wavy, ash blond hair captivated Isis. She was swept away by a flood of emotions she could not explain.

Isis suddenly felt nervous. Her heart raced with an excitement she had never known. Apollyon had stirred up passions of unbridled lust deep inside that caused Isis’ body to ache with sensual desires.

“Tell me why a beautiful creature, such as yourself, would desire to sit here all alone, when you should be out in the galaxy, dancing and having a good time.”

Isis eyes trailed Apollyon’s gaze, scanning her scantily clad body. She blushed.

“I know, let’s go dancing on Ramilsea.”

“Apollyon, Ramilsea is at the edge of the last universe, in the eleventh dimension.”

“And with good reason. It’s the liveliest planet in all the heavens. There’s a never-ending festival that’s been going on since the beginning of time. Now, those Ramlians really know how to throw a party.”

Isis hesitated.

“We could go to my planet, but I’m afraid it is not suitable for guests at this time.”

“Apollyon, what makes you think that I would desire to go anywhere with you?”

“Anything would be better than sitting here on this dreary, old moon.” He held out his hand.

Isis could not deny the fact that she was completely attracted to Apollyon. He had a quiet strength and confidence about him that aroused her curiosity.

“All right, but just this once.” Isis placed her hand in his and they vanished.

Isis and Apollyon danced close. Their attraction was explosive. Their lips met in wild passion. Night after night, Isis and Apollyon danced and journeyed throughout the universe, returning to Iapetus only to rest.

“Oh, Apollyon I have had so much fun. So much fun, in fact, my sisters have kindly reminded me that I have abandoned my responsibilities.

“Speaking of your sisters, have you told them about us?” Apollyon asked.

“No, not yet. Why do you ask?”

“Just curious. What about Saturn? Does HE know we’ve been spending time together?”

“I don’t believe the subject has never come up in conversation.”

“Why are you keeping secrets from the Great Father? I hope it’s not because you are not ashamed of me.”

Isis turned to Apollyon. “No, don’t be silly. It’s not that at all.”

“Then why haven’t you told HIM?”

“When it comes to matters of the heart, I doubt very much if Saturn would understand. HE’s too busy keeping law and order in the universe and assigning tasks to be bothered with the intimate details of romance.” She lifted her eyes softly to Apollyon. “You see, love and romance are not the Great Father’s strong suit. Those gifts belong to Venus.”


THE PLANET VENUS


Apollyon entered Venus’s palace. It was spacious, with large white marble columns trimmed in gold. He found the goddess lounging on a fringed, ornate carved chaise, sipping on nectar from a golden chalice, enjoying the melodic sounds of a harp that was playing all by itself.

Apollyon stared at the goddess for a moment. She was breathtaking.

“Venus, forgive the intrusion, but I really must speak with you.”

Venus sat upright. “Apollyon, do come in. May I offer you something to eat?” She waved her hand and a buffet table of ambrosia appeared.

“No, thank you. I come to you for advice regarding matters of the heart.”

“I see, well sit down and tell me all about it.”

Apollyon sat next to Venus. “I am thinking about taking a wife, but I need to know if she truly loves me.”

“That’s easy enough.” Venus handed Apollyon her chalice. “Look into the nectar and you will have your answer.”

Apollyon gazed into the chalice. His reflection began to fade and was replaced by Isis’ reflection. She was scribing his name over and over again on parchment. Then she started drawing an outline of his face.

Apollyon could almost hear Isis’ heart calling out to him, leaving him with no doubt he had gained her love and more importantly, her trust. Everything was going according to his plan. The nectar returned to its normal state and he handed the chalice back to Venus.

The goddess took a sip of the nectar and turned to Apollyon.

“So you are in love with Saturn’s eldest daughter, Isis. Aren’t you ambitious? Last we spoke, you were complaining about your assigned planet being too small. What’s changed?”

“Let’s just say I decided to take your advice and breathe life where there was once death.”


After a night of frolicking in the universe, Isis and Apollyon relaxed on Iapetus. Apollyon looked long and deep into Isis’ eyes. He swept her long, white hair back, gaining access to her neck and started placing tender kisses.

“I love you, Isis,” he whispered.

“Oh, Apollyon, I love you too.”

Apollyon wrapped Isis in his black wings and held her close. “Isis, I should like to take you as my wife, if you will have me.”

“Yes, Apollyon, I will take you as my husband.”

“Our union will make us as one and there shall be no secrets between us.”

“No secrets,” Isis gasped, between the ardent kisses.

Apollyon and Isis vanished.

The planet Pluto was as cold and barren as Iapetus. Apollyon’s palace was grand, but in desperate need of repair. Candles illuminated the bed chamber. The room was bare, except for a round bed lined with pillows and silk bedding.

“I know it isn’t much, but with your feminine touch, we can make this planet our home,” he said, putting his arms around Isis, kissing the nape of her neck. Apollyon swept Isis off her feet and into his arms. He carried her to the bed, where they made love.

Lying entwined in each other's arms, gazing starry-eyed at one another, Apollyon traced the outline of Isis’ face with his fingers. He kissed her sweetly on the lips.

“Now that I am a part of you and you are a part of me, there shall be no secrets between us.”

“No, my love, no secrets.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that because as husband and wife, we must trust one another completely. Tell me Isis, do you trust me?”

“Yes, of course I do.”

“Since we have become as one, we must also learn to share. Especially our most cherished secrets.”

“I agree.”

“Isis, will you share your most cherished secrets with me?”

“Yes of course, Apollyon.”

“Very good. Then you won’t mind taking me to the Six Forbidden Scrolls?”

“How do you know about the scrolls?”

“I felt a surge of power flowing throughout the universe when you inscribed the incantations onto the parchment. All I ask is to read them.”

“What you ask is impossible. Apollyon, the scrolls are pure magick—the first words ever spoken by Saturn. I am their sole guardian. No one, not even my sisters, are allowed to look upon them, without permission from the Great Father.”

“Am I not Saturn’s favorite god?”

“Yes, but…”

“Am I not your husband?”

“Yes, but…”

“You said there shall be no secrets between us. You said you trusted me. You agreed that we should share everything, including our most cherished secrets.” His voice was steady and calm.

“Yes, but…”

“Surely HE would make an exception for me…Just a quick peek. Remember, you are my wife and there shall be no secret between us.” Apollyon’s eyes were very persuasive.

“No secrets,” her voice dropped to a whisper. “Very well, I’ll take you to the Forbidden Scrolls, but you must promise not to speak any of the incantation or write anything down.”

“I promise, my love. I simply want to admire the first words ever spoken by our creator.” His voice was gentle and sincere.

Isis and Apollyon arrived on Pan. With a wave of her hand, six gold cylinders materialized, floating in mid-air. Apollyon’s eager hands reached for the first canister, then the next. He spent hours studying the six scrolls until every word was ingrained into his memory.

Apollyon glanced over his shoulder at Isis. Her back was turned to him. She was too busy watching fifteen large swarming stars in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy devour the smaller ones to notice what he was up to. Apollyon raked his sharp fingernails across the palm of his left hand, breaking the skin. Blood seeped onto the papyrus of the six scrolls. A flash of energy rushed through the cylinders.

“Blood is the seat of the soul,” Apollyon whispered. His steely eyes narrowed and darkened. He concentrated, but he could not wield the scroll’s magick.

Damn HIM! I need a chosen one—a high priest or priestess to open HIS all-Seeing Eye. No matter, my blood is a part of the scrolls now, allowing me to possess anyone who uses them. I must be patient.

Isis turned to Apollyon. “My love, are you finished? We really must be going.”

“Yes, I believe I have everything I need. Saturn has such power and wisdom. HE is indeed our sovereign lord.” Apollyon said standing and bowing.

Isis waved her hand and the six the gold cylinders vanished into shadow.


END OF THE GOLDEN AGE


Apollyon and his rebel gods fell to Earth in the form of powerful bolts of lightning. Hundreds of fiery meteors crashed into the four corners of the world, filling the horizon with bands of fire. Violent explosions erupted, setting entire villages ablaze, sending the tribes of man scattering and running for their lives.

Levi, a Chief Elder, lay prostrate on the floor of Saturn’s temple, praying when a frightened group of villagers poured into the temple, seeking shelter.

“Brother Levi, our fields and homes are being scorched by fire devils falling from the heavens! Help us!”

The elder began praying. “Great Father…” his prayer was cut short by a glorious white light. Suddenly, a giant bird with a scarlet and gold plumage appeared. Upon its head, the bird wore a white crown with the disk of the sun in the center.

“Tell me, priest, who is this Great Father to whom you pray?” the bird spoke.

“I pray to Saturn, the one and only true god of Earth,” Levi said.

“What if I told you that there are many gods?”

“That is impossible for there is only one god,” Levi replied.

“What if I told you that man is also a god? But Saturn has clipped your wings and made you impotent.”

“Blasphemer!” Levi yelled.

The giant bird gave a terrifying scream and burst into flames, turning into a pile of ash.

Levi stood up and walked over to ashes to examine it, when suddenly the ashes began to stir. Out of the ashes rose Apollyon. His black wings fluttered. Levi fell backwards in fright. The flames continued to burn bright and rise higher.

“Behold! I am Apollyon, the king of all gods! And I have come with a message. Saturn has deceived this world. HE is a false god and has pulled the veil over your eyes. HE keeps you in a sleepless slumber while you blindly follow HIM. Beware of HIS number, six hundred sixty-six. It is a prison. Bathe in the cleansing flames and wake up to the truth. Never again will you have to sacrifice your loved ones or drink the blood of the innocent. Follow me and live.”

Levi was the first to walk through the burning flames. He reemerged from the other side of the flames unharmed. He laughed and cheered.

“My eyes have seen. My mind has been set free. I am awake. I am free! Apollyon is telling the truth. Come, everyone. Walk through the cleansing fire.”

One by one the congregation marched through the ethereal flames.

“Now that you are awake, it’s time to free others from Saturn’s bondage and tear down HIS temples and rebuild new ones in the name of the gods of your choosing,” Apollyon proclaimed.


Isis rushed into the grand chamber of Saturn’s throne room.

Elra ShBThAI (Father Saturn), Apollyon has betrayed us. He has turned the hearts of man against you. Now, man thinks of himself as a god and has instituted his own laws and religions. Your temples are being destroyed as we speak. To make matters worse, Apollyon’s band of renegade gods have taken the women of this planet as their wives and mated with them—infecting the human race with their vile seed.”

Saturn sat silently on HIS throne, stroking HIS long white beard.

“Father, did you not hear me?”

“I knew Pluto would rebel,” Saturn said, breaking the silence.

“You knew? If you knew, why didn’t you stop him?”

“I wanted to test the hearts of mankind. It grieves me that man knows the truth, yet refuses to believe. The hearts of man has proven to be weak and easily corrupted.”

“Father, it’s not only the hearts of man Apollyon is after, he’s planning on turning every being in the universe against you. I am afraid this is entirely my doing,” she said falling at Saturn’s feet, weeping. “I allowed Apollyon to read the Six Forbidden Scrolls. I knew it was wrong, but he said he loved me. I took him as my husband and we became as one,” Isis looked up at Saturn with tearful eyes. “Father, you must stop Apollyon before it’s too late.”

“Talking about me, are you?” Apollyon said appearing.

Isis wiped her tears. She stood upright and stretched her majestic white wings full-length. Her eyes narrowed and burned on Apollyon. She circled around him.

“Traitor! Liar! Deceiver!” she snarled.

“Well, if it isn’t my lovely bride,” Apollyon said, blowing a kiss in her direction.

Isis gritted her teeth.

“Isis, leave us,” Saturn said.

“But Father, he lied to me. He used me...”

“I said leave!” Saturn commanded.

“There will come a day, Apollyon,” she snarled.

“I look forward to it, my lady.”

Isis vanished in a dramatic, ethereal cloud of rolling smoke.

“Pluto, it is good to see you,” Saturn said.

“The name is Apollyon, you pathetic excuse for a god!” he spat out. “You never loved me. Did you? That’s why you gave me that measly, cold, lifeless planet, isn’t it?”

“I gave you the power of creation. At any time, you could have created life. It was you, who chose not to,” Saturn shot back.

“Oh, thanks to the spells in the Six Forbidden Scrolls that Isis was so kind enough to allow me to read, I have created a world far below the Earth, deep within its core.” With a wave of his hand the floor of Saturn’s palace faded into a vast world of lakes of fire and jagged mountains. “May I present my underworld—Hades.”

“Impressive. But you lack imagination,” Saturn mocked.

“You’re just jealous.”

Saturn sat back on HIS throne and crossed HIS arms. “Pluto, why have you come here?”

“To inform you that the Golden Age is officially over. Another era has emerged. It is now the time of man.”

“Yes, man’s rebellion has cost them their covenant with me. The fools! Now, only those who keep my laws shall reign. They will rule over the transgressors—controlling what they eat, drink, and think. My faithful shall inherit the Earth and I owe it all to you. Well done!” Saturn stood and clapped HIS hands in a thunderous applause.

Apollyon’s face flushed. His eyes widened. “You used me!” he said, pointing his finger at Saturn.

“For your service I shall reward you with the souls of the ones who worship the false gods. They shall become your demons—your minions. Take their souls to the underworld and watch over them until I pass judgment on them for their insolence.”

“If you think I’m going to babysit your mortals—”

Saturn leaned into Apollyon. HIS eyes narrowed and turned black. “Yes, you will.”

Apollyon could not speak. He scratched at his throat, gagging. He could feel his insides begin to boil. His knees buckled and Apollyon soon found himself on the floor struggling to catch his breath.

Saturn towered over the powerless god. “Never forget, Apollyon, I am your creator!” Saturn growled.


THE GREAT DELUGE


Saturn sat on HIS throne at the North Pole, watching man topple HIS golden statues and demolish HIS temples and erecting new shrines to honor the false gods. Man had rejected the Great Father.

Saturn struck the handle of HIS scythe violently against the palace floor. Sparks flew like flashes of fireworks as the deity’s wrath sent shockwaves rippling throughout Earth. Enormous fissures formed, creating islands in the middle of the oceans, stopping at the foot of the majestic mountains of the Colorado Plateau. Sediment shot thousands of feet into the air. The massive mountains began to shake and split—rising and falling until they had created a vast canyon.

Isis’ eyes widened. “Father, what are you going to do to the humans?”

“They shall die for their impertinence!” Saturn’s voice thundered. “I shall destroy them by water.”

“What about the faithful ones? Surely they deserve to live,” Asira said, lying face down at her father’s feet.

Dusana stepped forward out of the shadows. Her cherub-like face was somber. “Father, do not forget about the animals.”

Saturn grabbled at HIS long white beard and pondered for a moment before speaking. “Go forth! Shelter my faithful and the animals from the coming storm.”

Saturn departed HIS beloved Earth, ending the Golden Age, but not before opening up the skies.

Ah’sezul!” (Begone!)

Saturn’s mighty voice shook the heavens and dark, ominous clouds began to form. The Great Father clapped HIS hands, causing a celestial deluge to fall upon the Earth. Monstrous lightning bolts shook the mountains. And for sixty days and sixty nights, the swollen skies inundated the earth with Saturn’s wrath. Earth’s rivers, lakes, and oceans began to swell and overflow.

Isis, Asira, and Dusana scoured the earth, gathering Saturn’s faithful and all the animals, teleporting them to the only Temple of Saturn left standing. It lay hidden by a magickal fog, high atop Mulhacén in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The frightened worshipers huddled together, while heavy rains and massive tidal waves washed away lush lands of milk and honey. Mankind was lost. It was the end of the world—the end of the Golden Age.

As punishment for mankind’s disobedience, Saturn hid all magickal knowledge from him deep inside a Mystical Forest at the cradle of the world. Mortals no longer had the cures for diseases, old age, and death. Only those favored by the god were allowed access to the forest and its magick. Although mankind had forgotten Saturn was his creator, Saturn did not forget man. HE created a hexagon-shaped portal on HIS planet at its north pole to serve as a gateway to HIS planet for HIS faithful.







FIFTIETH CENTURY SPAIN


THE DAUGHTERS OF SATURN


5 July, 1455, deep within the Mystical Forest at the edge of the world.


Drawing waters from an ancient fountain into a consecrated vessel, Nashiema Mohammed whispered forgotten prayers. She was careful not to spill a single drop of the precious liquid, as she secured the vessel inside her cloak. On the other side of the forest, Nashiema’s husband, Abraham Al-Salameh removed a jewel-handled athame made of lead from its sheath. Holding the athame tightly in his hands, Abraham gingerly peeled back a thin layer of bark from the tree. Sap the color of spun gold began to flow freely onto the athame’s blade, causing the blade to glow. Abraham kissed the tree and bowed.

Nashiema met her husband in a clearing at the heart of the forest, with a worried look on her face.

Abraham rested his hand on his wife’s shoulder. “Take comfort, Nashiema, we have been obedient to Saturn’s laws. The Chief Elder will come this afternoon and take us to the temple. Father Saturn’s magick will not allow Lilith and Sarah to die,” he said.

Nashiema gave her husband a forced smile. They joined hands, creating an electrical charge so powerful, it caused them to vanish.


Later that day. Granada, Spain-Palacio del Oro (Palace of Gold).

A knock at the palace door whipped Abraham into a fury of emotions. Heart racing, Abraham anxiously opened the door and greeted a man dressed in a black hooded robe. The man’s hood was oversized, enabling Abraham to catch only glimpses of his pale, tattooed face. Abraham noticed that the visitor wore a gold six-pointed amulet, similar to his own.

Abraham gave the hooded man a wide smile and bowed respectfully.

Lotah, akinelrashani,” (Greetings brother) he said.

The man gave Abraham a quick bow. “I am Obadiah, Father Saturn’s Chief Elder. “Sa’hal! Oeii nacasee.” (Come! It is time.)

Abraham called to his wife while he collected the magickal items from the Mystical Forest and placed them in a leather satchel. He strapped the bag securely around his waist and moved quickly up the stairs.

Abraham paused for a moment in the doorway, watching as Nashiema wrapped their frail daughters in blankets, preparing them for the long journey to the Temple of Saturn.

“Nashiema?” Abraham saw the tears in his wife’s eyes as she tended to their ailing girls.

“Abraham, are we making the right decision? We have never been to the temple. We do not have any idea what the Daughters of Saturn are going to do to Lilith and Sarah. What if they cannot be healed? I couldn’t bear it if...”

Abraham wrapped one arm around his distraught wife, lifting her face. With his free hand, he wiped her tears away with the back of his forefinger.

“Nashiema, there’s nothing to be afraid of, Lilith and Sarah will be fine. We have been obedient. Saturn will save them. Everything is going to be all right. You’ll see,” he said.

Sarah barely opened her eyes, when her parents knelt down and together kissed her on her sweat-drenched forehead. Abraham felt the same rush of protective love that he had since Sarah’s birth. She had been a sickly child, which now only served to heighted her mother’s fears. Abraham glanced at their older daughter. She too was weak, but Lilith was a fighter.

Abraham fell into a silent prayer, watching helplessly as Lilith’s body began to contort and twitch. Her eyes rolled back into her head and foam oozed from her mouth as she violently thrashed about the bed. Abraham pinned the dark-haired girl down on the bed, trying his best to calm her. She took one gasp for air and fell unconscious.

Next to her, his youngest daughter’s half-slit eyes glazed over, unaware of all the commotion. Sarah’s breaths were faint, difficult to hear over the rattling in her chest. Gingerly, Abraham lifted Lilith off the bed and placed her into his arms. A manservant rushed into the room and lifted Sarah off the bed, taking her downstairs to the awaiting carriage in the courtyard.

The Chief Elder sat patiently, mounted on his black stallion, as the distraught parents settled their daughters in the carriage. Obadiah had come from a long line of chief elders and was a direct descendant of Elijah. Seeing Abraham and Nashiema’s anguished faces weighed down with worry, made him think of his own son, Ely, his first-born. According to Saturn’s law, all chief elders must sacrifice their first-born sons once they reach the age of six—Elijah had done this same act thousands of years ago.

From the moment Ely was born, Obadiah and his wife, Carmen was certain there was something special about their son. He was born with a caul covering his eyes, which was a good omen. It meant he had the gift of prophesy and was destined for greatness. Obadiah knew he had to protect his son, so when the Daughters of Saturn inquired about the infant, Obadiah lied and told the sisters, his son was stillborn.

Obadiah knew Saturn, the god of karma and judgment, would one day punish him for his blatant disobedience. The next morning when he awoke, he found his wife lying next to him dead. In the middle of the night, Saturn had claimed her. Obadiah remained steadfast in keeping Ely safe. He managed to slip away, taking his infant son to live with distant relatives in Madrid.

Except for a small portrait that Ely had sent some years ago, Obadiah had not seen his son since the night he took him to Madrid. Ely had his mother’s jade green eyes and red hair… Lost in his own thoughts, the Chief Elder did not see Abraham signaling him. He acknowledged Abraham with a nod and trotted his black stallion out of the courtyard.

The couple followed the Chief Elder for half a day to a vast mountainous area. It was dusk before they reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the foot of Mulhacén. Abraham looked up at the sky. The sun that had brightly lit their path earlier that day had given way to a brilliant sunset.

Obadiah dismounted his stallion, tying the horse to a large olive tree. He unhooked a small lantern and a walking staff from his saddle. The staff was made of pure lead and its handle was shaped like the horns of a ram, with two green onyx, hexagon-shaped eyes on either side.

Obadiah motioned to Abraham, who had climbed down from the driver seat of the carriage and opened the door. Abraham lifted Sarah out of the carriage. Her eyes had rolled back into her head, her breathing even more labored than before. Obadiah couldn’t help but notice the worried look on the mother’s face as she strapped the girl to her and wrapped the ailing girl’s arms around her neck. Abraham gingerly lifted Lilith out of the carriage and carried her in his arms.

Obadiah lit the lantern and then headed up the narrow, overgrown trail. He looked sympathetically over his shoulder at the couple. Obadiah’s hand gripped the ram-shaped handle tightly and started up the path.

Abraham and Nashiema stared up at the icy, cloud-covered mountain. Bitterly cold winds whipped all around them as the couple followed the cloaked elder up the steep path. Nightfall soon gave way to a moonlit sky. The sea of blackness enveloped the distraught parents as they carried their daughters up the mountain. Nashiema and Abraham did their best to keep up with Obadiah, not once wanting to lose sight of his flickering lantern.

The journey was beginning to take its toll on Nashiema, with each step her legs began to wobble and she began to lag behind.

“Abraham—” Nashiema called out in a moment of desperation. But her husband was too far ahead to hear her cries. Exhausted, Nashiema’s foot slipped on a cluster of uneven rocks. As she tried to regain her balance, Nashiema’s eyes wandered off the trail down the side of the mountain. Nashiema’s head began to spin and she let out a scream.

Abraham’s heart quickened as his wife and daughter were slipping off the edge of the mountain. Even the extra weight of carrying Lilith could not slow Abraham down as he raced to Nashiema, catching the crook of her arm, just in time.

Nashiema’s panicked eyes fixed on the falling rocks beneath her feet as they crashed loudly down the side of the mountain.

“Don’t look down. Nashiema, look at me.”

Heart pounding in her chest, unable able to speak, Nashiema’s eyes shifted to Sarah. Although her daughter’s arms were still firmly coiled around her neck, Sarah’s body had swung itself out of the leather harness and was resting on her left hip. Nashiema repositioned her daughter to the center of her back and adjusted the leather straps of the harness.

“Nashiema, are you all right?” Abraham asked.

She took a deep breath and nodded her head.

Abraham breathed a sigh of relief. He looked vigilantly at Lilith and clutched her tightly against his chest.

* * *

Lilith glanced up at her father with half-slit eyes. Although weak, she managed to hold onto a heart-shaped gold locket. She raised her head slightly to gaze at the picture of her betrothed. She thought back to the day the necklace was given to her.

It was her sixth birthday. She could not wait to see what was inside, eagerly she pressed the latch. There was a portrait of a boy the same age as she. Lilith was immediately drawn to the boy’s large soulful brown eyes. Lilith burned with curiosity. She had to know the identity of the boy in the locket, so she turned to her father and asked.

The boy’s name is Felipe Esteban de Hayos Montoya. He’s the son of a powerful statesman who lives in Toledo. He is your betrothed.”

Abraham fastened the necklace around Lilith’s neck and from that moment, Lilith was in love.

Lilith studied every inch of Felipe’s face. She admired his black hair, which was almost as dark as her own. She loved the way his bangs swept gently over his right eye, slightly covering it. But it was Felipe’s eyes that captivated her the most. Although, the portrait in the heart-shaped, gold locket was old and faded—painted when Felipe was just a little boy—Lilith closed her eyes and could imagined what he must look like now. How tall and handsome he must be.

“I love you, Felipe,” she whispered.

* * *

The top of Mulhacén was immersed by a thick fog. Obadiah held up his walking staff to the heavens and spoke. “Lo karahciram!” (Show thyself!) A bright green light emitted from the pair of hexagon-shaped, onyx eyes of his walking staff. The mist dissipated and the Temple of Saturn came into full view.

Nashiema and Abraham found themselves standing among monolithic pillars leading to the entrance of the great shrine. The couple spun around, awestruck by the colossal, gold statue of Saturn. Its outstretched arms seemed to welcome them. The moonlight captured the brilliant golden hues of the statue, illuminating the entire area with the brightness of daylight.

The couple stared at the statue’s breastplate and curved scythe. They took in a deep breath as flames shot out of the statue’s gaping mouth. The temple looked more incredible than they ever could have imagined. She reached for Abraham’s hand. A familiar woman approached them, with a smile.

“Abraham and Nashiema, welcome. I knew Brother Obadiah would see you here safely,” Licia said, wrapping her arms around Nashiema.

For years, the couple had worshiped the god Saturn in secrecy, out of fear of persecution from the other Moors, who were mostly Muslim. The worship of Saturn was considered a false religion, and therefore, blasphemous to Allah. But it was through their secret fellowship with other Saturn worshipers, the couple met the twenty-year old Licia.

Nashiema was taken by the young woman’s zeal for Saturn. And it was Licia that Nashiema first turned to when Lilith and Sarah’s illness worsened. Learning of the couple’s desperate fight to save their daughters, Licia persuaded Obadiah to allow Abraham and Nashiema to enter into the mystical forest and gather the magickal ingredients necessary to aid in healing their daughters.

“Licia, it is very good to see you,” Nashiema said, with tears welling up in her eyes.

Sa’hal!” (Come!) Obadiah said, ushering them all into the shrine.

Once inside, the couple was greeted reverently by fifteen temple elders, a crowd of worshipers, and musicians. Obadiah motioned with his hand for the couple to place their daughters on the altar.

The couple anxiously walked up three, short, flat steps that encircled the hexagon-shaped, black onyx altar. They placed their daughters side by side. Abraham sat the magickal items he and his wife had collected beside the girls. A frigid mist engulfed the temple in a blue haze. Three hooded figures emerged, floating slowly in and about the shrine, leaving frosty streaks of blue-violet rays around them.

Nashiema and Abraham watched, with growing wonder, as Obadiah drew back his cloak. The quiet man had small, piercing, blue eyes. He was clean shaven and bald like all of the chief elders and donned with a hexagon tattoo. In the center of the design was an eye with a scythe for its pupil. The left side of Obadiah’s face also had a tattoo—a bull’s head enclosed in a six-pointed star and encircled by an inscription written in Solsatihel, followed by ancient symbols.

The Chief Elder leaned over Lilith, listening carefully to her heart. He looked up at the girl’s parents and smiled. He walked over to the other side of the altar and leaned over Sarah. He placed his ear to her heart. He heard the rattling sound of death. This time, Obadiah met the parents’ gaze, sorrow washed over him as their hopeful faces fell, and they hugged each other tight.

A golden heavenly light shone brightly on Lilith. Nashiema and Abraham felt the flutter of Isis’ large, white wings as she spun around in midair and looked at them.

“The dark one has found favor with Father Saturn. HE has chosen her. The fair-haired child, she must be sacrificed to honor Saturn,” Isis said.

“Surely she can be saved,” Nashiema said, tearfully. “We brought the sap from the Tree of Life and the sacred waters from the Fountain of Youth as you instructed. Sarah can be saved!”

“It is the will of Saturn, Nashiema,” Abraham said, reaching over to comfort her.

Nashiema shifted her body to the left, intentionally avoiding her husband’s touch.

The Daughters of Saturn flew out of the temple. Obadiah lifted Sarah’s limp body up from the altar and carried the child outside into the courtyard.

“Where are you taking my daughter? Sarah is still alive. Please, I beg you!” Nashiema yelled, running after Obadiah. She felt someone tugging on her arm, holding her back. She turned, it was her husband. “Let go of me! Can’t you see he’s going to kill Sarah? We must stop him.”

“Nashiema, it is Saturn’s will,” Abraham declared.

The temple elders, the congregation, and musicians all followed the Chief Elder into the courtyard. They locked hands to form a circle around the golden statue of Saturn.

The worshipers chanted. “Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI! Salzol ShBThAI!” (Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn! Hail Saturn!)

Nashiema watched as Obadiah carried Sarah up steep, uneven, stone stairs to the statue’s mouth and held her daughter’s unconscious girl’s body high, so all could see her. He began praying in Solsatihel. The brazier’s red-hot, devilish flames responded by growing higher and higher. Once Obadiah finished praying, he pitched Sarah into the fiery pit.

Musicians began to play.

“No,” Nashiema screamed. She fell to her knees. Her sobs drowned out by the loud music.

Licia ran over to her side, but Nashiema pushed her aside.

“Don’t you touch me! This is your doing. I should have never listened to you. Now, my Sarah is dead.”

“Nashiema, this is the will of Saturn. You must trust HIM,” Licia said.

Lyre and tribal ceremonial drums kept time as the Daughters of Saturn flew over the temple, casting remnants of shimmering, icy flashes of light. Obadiah and the congregation re-entered the temple. Licia ushered Nashiema and Abraham back into the shrine.

Distraught, Nashiema clutched her husband. Her tearful, frightened eyes stared at Lilith lying on the altar. They had come to the temple expecting her daughters to be healed, not sacrificed.

Lilith was chosen by Saturn? For what purpose? What was going to happen to her?


SATURN’S HIGH PRIESTESS


Isis opened the vessel containing the sacred waters from the Fountain of Youth and poured it over the athame’s blade. The water quickly reacted with the sap from the Tree of Life, causing the tip of the blade to glow yellow, followed by a bluish afterglow. Isis and her sisters formed a circle around Lilith. Moonlight from the skylight above spilled over Lilith’s body, giving it a ghostlike appearance.

The Daughters of Saturn joined hands and together prayed:

“We are the Daughters of Saturn, as old as the beginning. Great Father, hear our prayer unto thee. Lord Saturn Almighty, who has reigned before the beginning of time, we bow before your black onyx altar.”

“We are the Old Ones who speak your praise. God of Chaos, Father Saturn, come to your daughters. We turn our eyes toward you, waiting with open mouths and open hearts. We offer you thanks as you bestow upon Lilith the power of immortality. You have chosen her as your first and only High Priestess. Great is your power. O, Father of the Gods and of the Universe, come to your daughters.”

Dusana stretched forth her hand toward a gold cylinder that sat mounted high above the altar. The canister lifted out of its mounting and floated toward her. The canister opened and a scroll containing an ancient prayer majestically rolled out of the cylinder.

“Father Saturn, may you find the sacrifice pleasing. Take this water from the Fountain of Youth and the sap from the Tree of Life and charge it with your power,” Dusana recited the prayer.

Obadiah and worshipers gathered behind the Daughters of Saturn to form a second circle around the altar.

Isis gave the magickally-charged, glowing athame to Asira.

* * *

Frightened by the translucent, icy blue faces of Daughters of Saturn, Lilith let out a scream. Facing death, Lilith could only think of one person—Felipe. She gripped the heart-shaped, gold locket so tightly in her fist—blood began to trickle down her wrist from where her fingernails had dug deep into the palm of her hand.

Asira stripped Lilith of her gown. She took the athame and carved a six-pointed star into Lilith’s chest. The girl screamed in pain as the sharp blade delved deep within her flesh. Within the six-pointed star, Asira scribed four sacred words and six magickal symbols all forming an inner circle within the pentagram.

“Stop!” Nashiema shrieked. She ran toward the altar, but Obadiah and Abraham held her.

“Have faith, Nashiema,” Abraham said, putting his arms around his wife.

Asira rolled Lilith onto her stomach, where she etched the Seal of Saturn deep into her back, then the seven pentacles of Saturn. The magick elixir on the athame acted like a branding iron, permanently embedding the magickal symbols into Lilith’s skin. She writhed in pain. A single tear slipped from Lilith’s eye. She kissed the locket and bravely took what she believed to be her last and final breath.

A misty cloud came down from the heavens. The Daughters of Saturn crouched down in a circle around the altar. Obadiah and the temple elders formed an outer circle around the Daughters of Saturn. Rhythmic drums beat as worshipers chanted together.

“Hail Saturn! Hail to the Golden God! Hail Saturn! Great is thy power.”


Apollyon sat on his throne in the underworld, observing Lilith’s transformation through a whirling divination pool of fire. He gave a devious smile.

“So it begins. I have waited centuries for this moment. Now, all I have to do is persuade the priestess to use the Six Forbidden Scrolls and open Saturn’s all-Seeing Eye.”

* * *

Nashiema cast her eyes to the sky. Dark clouds began forming. Ferocious winds picked up, thunder rumbled as lightning streaked across the night’s sky. She collapsed at her husband’s feet.

A storm stirred on the planet Saturn, which opened up a swirling, hexagon vortex on the Northside of the planet. A dazzling, golden ray of light discharged from the vortex, spilling onto the altar. An intense, electrical energy poured through the swirling, hexagon vortex, creating a powerful gravitational pull that lifted Lilith’s body off the altar and causing her to vanish.


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