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26 February 2006 @ 07:28 pm
Convocation, Part V: The God Meditation  
Once again Chris led us into the trance by beating on his drum and talking us down into the depths. I found myself clad as a warriour, carrying a spear and great bodyshield, a pair of greaves on my shins, and a helmet on my head, all made of a shiny black metal. I saw the great World Tree standing before me, branches reaching to the Overworld above, gnarled roots digging to the Underworld below. I entered the tree through an opening within its dark, twisting roots. But I did not go down to the depths as I usually do, rather I went across, yet deeply into the tree.

I found myself in a deep forest, and began to run along a game trail there. I was aware of animals running through the underbrush to either side of me, yet I could not discern exactly what they were. They were just a blur of motion at the edge of my vision, a crack of leaf and fallen branch in my ears. All was in motion, myself, and them.

I came to a clearing, and on the other side a great stag grazed among the leafy plants that bloomed there under the direct light of the sun above. I raised my spear to my shoulder and cast it, impaling the stag in the heart and bringing him down in a brown and red heap upon the emerald grass. I strode to his body and thrust my hands into his hot blood. Raising my hand to my face, I smeared it upon my flesh. It was warm and it sank into me, becoming my own blood. I followed by taking up his antlers and placing them upon my head, and they became my antlers. Next came the rest of his head, his hide, his hooves, until finally I stood there not as woman, but as the very stag I had killed.

I set off into a run again, until finally I came to another clearing. This one was filled with wolves, who stood quietly, waiting for me. Dominating the glade was a great, antlered figure. I could not glimpse much of his form, because he was made of shadow. I knew this was The Horned God. The Shadow King.

I walked up to the Great King of Night without fear, while the wolves parted to let me past. That is when I realized that the shadow was my own. I was the Horned One. The Shadow. I turned to face the wolves, and with a wordless shout we all burst forth into a run. We sped across the countryside, the pack and me, moving with breathless speed through the trees. Ever in motion, ever vital, blood pounding like the drum in my ears.

I became a dark shadow that spread across the landscape, and I knew that I was death. The light died with me, and the life with me. Then something even stranger happened. I became the light which I had blighted. I was back in my own body, clad in my warriour garb, only now the golden light of the sun blazed down upon me. I carried the dead stag in my arms, and I knew that it was not simply an animal's corpse I carried, but rather life itself. Life that I had claimed and was bringing to my people so that they would survive and grow strong. It was I who brought the sunlight with me, I knew, along with the vitality I bore. The blood of death that was life itself.

I was me. I was the Stag.

Then I was back in the woods, and it was dark once more. I stood in the clearing with the Horned Shadow Lord before me. I glanced to one side, and I saw Hekate standing there at the edge of the clearing. She leaned on her staff, and watched me with a smile, looking very pleased with what I was doing. I turned from her to face the Shadow King, and I took his hand. We embraced, and were together as one.

Then I was running, running back through the woods in my warriour's garb. I was followed by the wolves, flanking me to either side, an honour guard of wild death. I came back to the World Tree, and once more emerged from it and back to the regular world.

It was only then, when I had come out of the trance, that I realized that the Shadow King had not been Cernunnos, as I had originally surmised. Rather it was Mercury, my beautiful cat who had died last autumn.

When Mercury had come to me last year it was just after I had made my big breakthrough in trancework in accepting and loving the God. I knew he was sent by the God so that I could know him better. So that I could have a physical symbol of him in my life. Mercury was a feral, wild cat. I was never able to truly tame him, or even keep him in my home for more than a few hours, no matter how desperately I tried. Because I knew he was in danger, which was confirmed when I found he had FIV. I did the only thing I could, and helped him to die. Quietly, in peace, with my love and the love of Hekate to guide him.

He was only in my life for a month or so, but I loved him with all my heart. I tried to reach him afterward, but I never could. He was too far in the Underworld. Too deeply within his own transformation there. Or maybe I was just not ready for it. Hekate had showed me his death, and it did bring me comfort, enough to sustain me and help me heal. This is the first time I have been able to see him again since then.

On further reflection, I know it was not just Mercury, but the Shadow Lord Cernunnos as well, in his role as not only Stag King, but guardian of the Underworld. Honestly though, to me that is like the difference between tomato and tomatoe. To me Mercury and the God were always one in the same. I think it was this journey into the heart of the God's Mysteries that allowed me to touch him again.
 
 
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