Written by: Araeshkigal
To explain the benefits and drawbacks of my particular energy state as a Counselor, I must first explain what it is to be a Counselor. I will begin by saying that I prefer the older term of Concubine. While it flies in the face of those who are dependent through their insecurities on the protection of political correctness, it better describes the true nature of our position in the house. The word does not refer to the banality of physical love, nor even to the higher ideals of romantic love. It refers to our position as helpmates and companions, as organizers and facilitators, as mediators and peace makers. It does refer to love, but on a level far beyond that which is currently recognized by modern Western society.
There are those, like St. Francis, who spend their lives wishing they could feel the unconditional and complete love of Christ. There are some, like myself, who have learned through experience that such a gift is really a great and terrible burden. Some feel that being a Concubine is all about pleasure, sensation, and social interaction. We are supposed to be little more than pleasant diversions for the Priests, and for the Warriors, we are the possession to protect, and the prize to capture. The true nature of a Concubine is far deeper and much more noble. We are the Love of the House. We are Compassion and Forgiveness made flesh. Our sphere is Hesed and our power is Mercy. At our best, we can balance all debts, heal all wounds, and bring warmth and shelter from even the fiercest of storms. This solace is the gift we offer to our Houses. We bring it by freely giving of that part of ourselves most integral to our nature: Our energy, our essence, and our souls.
It is easy for those who do not understand to assume that Concubines are coddled simpering creatures destined only for subordinate roles. Little could be further from the truth. Ask any battle weary Warrior what gives him the courage to go into the field and what moves him to survive to come home from the field, and most likely the name of a Concubine will fall from his lips. Deny a starving Priest access to the Concubines for more than a short span of time, and see what he has to say about their value. None of the Castes can stand alone, but the absence of Concubines is most quickly felt. We are always needed, such is our duty. When we are also wanted, such is our reward.
But there is an edge to our nature. Those who mistake our love for weakness learn quickly how deeply such passion can cut. We are not without human drives, emotions and failings. There is a tendency within our Caste towards instability of the mind, especially if we believe we have been ill used. Love turned into personal obsession can shatter a family; Nor is it impossible to turn compassion into contempt. We are incarnations of Mercy, but as such we are sharply filtered through the darker natures of our Kheprian forms. We are still predators. It is a very hard thing to balance our deep need to give with the deeper need to hunt. How does one who is born of the love of the Universe justify taking that very essence from another? How does one excuse twisting and binding that essence for the use of her brothers and sisters in the House? We balance these moral dilemmas by giving back to those from whom we take. We give friendship, companionship, guidance, advice, and healing. We are social and loving and loyal and trusting, even of those often shunned by the more traditional branches of society. We offer forgiveness and acceptance, openly and honestly, with an unconditional belief that love unites all things, and heals all wounds. For us, personal interaction is not a simple diversion to occupy time. It is a sacred pursuit, a holy quest, and a powerfully divine exchange. We spread ourselves into everyone we touch, and we know we spread ourselves a little thinner each time we do so. But we are gifted with the opportunity to live a little in the hearts of everyone we encounter, which is a fitting payment for what we offer in sacrifice.
As a Concubine, one must first understand that her energy is not entirely her own. She awakens to the realization that everyone (and sometimes several things) she encounters will seep a little of themselves into her. Even the most casual of contact can be enough for the exchange to occur. A conversation on a bus may result in a full transfer of energy. A brief summer thunderstorm can charge a Concubine with external energy in only a few minutes. This energy continues to build over time, slowly charging, slowly changing frequencies, vibrating at a faster and faster rate until one is oscillating so quickly as to appear perfectly still.
This external energy can be pleasant at first, but it does eventually build to the point of discomfort. I have noticed in myself a tendency to migraines, mood swings, weight gain, and even a constant tingling in my hands and feet. The last symptom can be felt by those who put their hands close to mine. The energy becomes too great a burden and the instinct to release it arises from dormancy. The Concubine will seek anyone who can reverse the exchange. If she is Awake and knows others, she will seek them out, that they may feast on that which has become poison to her. In this way, she needs to give as badly as those who would seek her for her energy need to take. Understand that if nothing else is made clear. Concubines are not simply used by those who feed from them. They also need and use those people to free them from the captivity of energy that is not their own. Concubines face death by drowning every day, not in the physical threat of water, but in the equally lethal threat of the spiritual pools of energy and emotion to which they are so susceptible. Those who are willing to take the external energy collected by a Concubine are the ones who save her from that drowning. They are the ones who keep her from fragmenting and losing herself completely in the emotions and energy of others.
This ability to acquire external energy can be very useful in daily life. Many times I have tasted the energy of one in need so that I could "read" them and offer them guidance and advice best suited to their unspoken condition. I have also used this ability to synchronize the emotions of those in conflict, that they might better understand each other and achieve peace. I have, on occasion, healed physical injuries and eased troubled minds. This ability, because it can never really be halted completely, can also be a terrible burden. It is easy to be too forgiving, allowing one's self to become victim of abuse. It is also easy to simply shut down, losing the ability to feel any emotions, including one's own. A Concubine, whether or not she is Awake, will always attract those who wish to dump their energies and problems into her as if she were a garbage scow. She will also catch the undesired attention of those who will try to strip her energy from her with a violence tantamount to rape. We require the company of those known as Priests to help us maintain our sense of self and our ambition to progress and excel, and we require the company of those known as Warriors to protect us from those who would do us harm because of what we are. When we have the protection and support of our housemates, Concubines can become great movers of energy. I have used the energy I collect to ward houses, complete exorcisms, fuel the rituals of others, and communicate with the dead. We are sometimes allowed, for a brief moment, to do those things that legends describe. It is a wonderful gift, and it is a great responsibility. If I had it all to do over again, I would not suddenly trade my nature or my unique energy signature for that of any other creature I can describe. This is simply who I am, and who I most want to be.