Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Looking into the cauldron

A huge triple footed cauldron stands over the dying embers of fire.  It is silhouetted against the night sky.  Strangely, it is alone, as though the owner will return momentarily.  From it steam rises gently and the scent beckons you to come to it.  There is no danger here, so, go ahead and approach the cauldron.

This cauldron is large enough that you could sit inside it, up to the tops of your shoulders.  Today, you will not climb inside.  Today, you are merely looking into it. It is full of shining dark liquid, and it reflects the stars above you.  This cauldron appears to be full of stars.  The scent wafting from this liquid is soft, pleasant and warm.  It welcomes you.

Look into the cauldron.  Take deep breath of that lovely scent. Feel the gentle warmth surround you. Focus your eyes on the slight movement you see, on the darkness between the stars.  Let it dominate your vision and show you what it wants you to see. The images that come to you may be individual, or they may play as a complete vision.

After a time, the images will stop coming and you will see only the night sky reflected.  This is your signal that it is time to move on.  Spend some time thinking about what you were shown.  Are theses symbols or memories.  What do they mean to you?  Do they remind you of a story you once heard or make you feel drawn to something?  If you don't have answers for these questions right now, don't fear, their meaning will become apparent at another time.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Island of Apples

One of my first journeys was sailing to the Island of Apples.  Here I met one of the most mysterious and interesting teachers I have met so far.  The experience, even years later, remains fresh in my mind.  It was beautiful and symbolic and uplifting.  This is one of the journeys that I am most keen to share, but it is also one that has been difficult to write about (it has literally taken months to complete this post). How do I put into word the beauty and power of this journey?

Sailing through the fog, a dark shape begins to take form.  As you draw closer, a steep island rises from the see. It is covered with trees and a steep winding pathway of stairs leads from a small dock to a temple on the summit.  As your boat lands, a figure in a bright red cloak steps forward.

This guide, the woman in red, is tall, slim and brilliant.  Her red hair and red cloak swirl around her.  Her skin glows with a subtle shifting light, making it difficult to see her properly.  She looks young and feel old at the same time.  She is a powerful being who has been part of this island for millenia.  She welcomes you and guides you up those, steep stair cut into the very rock of this island.  She may or may not have a message for you.  Respectfully ask your questions about his place, but do not be surprised if all she does is smile at them.

The apple trees on either side of this path are unlike any you have known.  They are bare, in bloom and bearing fruit all at once.  Some of the apples are the colors you are familiar with, red, greens, sot yellows, but other apples are crystalline or metallic.  It is a bizarre sight because it is not natural to us.  Time is not the same here.  That is likely the only answer you will have about why this island is able to show all of the stages of an apple tree's life at once.  Among the trees, women of all ages are tending them.  Old women bent over baskets are sorting apples.  Young girls on ladders are harvesting.  Mothers and daughters are all working here, together.  They complement and support each other.  The atmosphere is busy and joyous.  Their voices fill the air with laughter and song.

Who do you see here?  What are they doing?  Is their a task that draws your attention more than others?  Do any of these women speak to you or smile at you?  What type of apples draw you? If you'd like, you may ask your guide for an apple to take with you.

Continue up the stairway to the peak of the island.  There is a temple here.  You may enter and explore.  Like meeting the Goddess in the garden, you can talk to her here as well.  Or you may simply enjoy the peace of the temple.  Ask for guidance and blessing if you need them.  Leave an offering.  Whatever you feel is perfect.  When you are done here, wander back down the path way to your ship.  The Guide may be there to send you off or she may not be.  Thank the island for it's lessons and be on your way.