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~ The Valley Of Oaks ~

In a cradle of Pine

The scent of Cedar and Sage

Has my senses taken

And in her arms, I am heavy still.


Gwion’s beard shone in the shimmering birth of the full moon, and the dresses worn by the Women showed their intricately woven pendants and embroidery, each to their own power and charms; their hair done in braids, flashing stones, catching the starlight – emeralds, crystals, amethyst and sapphire – all woven with a thin web of miraculous design, covering their faces, so that He could not truly see their eyes – the entire effect was like the web of a spider, but much more compelling.

He was approached by the taller of the two women, and she gently lifted the veil covering her face and exposed her true form to him, her open and pleasing blue eyes piercing his very essence, and she intoned, as she laid her right hand upon his chest:

Soul of Man, how thou resemblest water!

Destiny of Man, how thou resemblest wind![1]

Behind Him, he felt the presence of the other woman, and she placed her body fully against him, back to back, and her equal standing put them in the perfect union of body and soul (the twilight was upon him, such as He felt with Her – a trembling in his hands and feet began). He remained focused on the woman in front of him, and locked his eyes on her, penetrating her spirit and essence, as if to embrace her powerful introduction; he asked her name, and she responded, “I am Matilda of the Isle of the Palydovas[2], for I serve the Goddess in all I do, and have taken the vows of ritual and punishment, and have passed over the great sea; I have planted the sacred groves of the All-Father and his bride. Behind you is, Averis, as she is sometimes called, the keeper of the flame of Albina, the White Goddess, and she is here to serve your need, if you would allow?”

He turned, and his gaze went from Matilda, to the woman behind him, feeling drawn to the presence, which had held him, and as he did, the woman turned with him, to look upon Him, face, to face, placing her hands upon his shoulders, and leaned into him, placing her forehead upon his, lasting only a few seconds, but he felt his skin begin to burn, and his hair began to lift from his head; the woman pulled away, but did not retreat and slowly she, also, removed her veil, and His astonishment was unrivaled in all his life, for it was She, his Muse and Grace, yet not, and He sensed spirits and magick afoot, but it was She, nevertheless, and upon her chest was a bright and circular pendant – two concentric circles, joining each other in the middle, forming an Almond shaped form running horizontally, and intersecting this, passing through the center, was a Spear, rising vertically, and at the base, two pine cones rested. The silver of the material shifted colours in the light of the rising moon, and He was drawn to both Her radiant sun kissed skin, as well as the power of her charm.

They looked into each other’s eyes, each sensing and complementing each others power. To Him, Her emerald eyes radiated compassion, love, strength, wisdom and purpose; to Her, she saw depth, power, intensity, compassion, intelligence, wisdom and warmth – each reveled in each other for a moment. Matilda separated them, and turned to Gwion, and said, “Bring this Son of Man, to the sacred Well; we will join you.” Matilda turned, arm in arm with Her, and they made their way into the darkness, into the light of the Moon.

Left standing in the glen, the central fire casting elongated shadows, the shapes of dragons, birds, serpents and mystical spirits, danced and moved to their own devices, bringing a subtle change to the atmosphere, as He looked toward Gwion who, as it was, stared into the sky, performing some type of invocation to, surprisingly, the White Goddess, and He became sober, deep in thought, thinking about the purpose of the exchange he had just participated in: “Why here, why tonight?,” he said out loud to himself. He surveyed the other two men, and realized, of a sudden, that Gwion was a representative of the Father, and Matilda, the Mother; the role of the other Dyrwdd was not certain. He was sure, however, that all would be revealed in due course.

Gwion motioned for Him to come to his side, having said his prayers, and Gwion and his associate, another Dyrwdd, to be sure, faced Him as he approached, and He felt the chill of the evening cutting through him. He was taken, hand in hand, by each of the Dyrwdd’s, and there they directed him down the same path as the women had traveled.

He had traveled in this general area before, but soon felt that he had lost his way, uncertain of his hunter’s eye for detail, as if the very place was shifting before him. The passing Oaks seemed to call out his name, but also they seemed to give obedience to the Goddess, as she peeked through the leaves, each leaf shining as if the sun were out instead of the Moon. The wind began to whistle, the mighty Oaks bending, as if bowing to a greater power, although in line with it – “the natural order,” He mused, as they proceeded further into the wild.

It was a full half hour, before the procession of men had gained higher ground, a small hill actually, and as they crested the hill, He espied a large stone edifice, tower-like, with a grove of Oaks encircling it; at the base of the tower was an arched doorway, in the new style of  the Age, and massive the structure and opening were. As the three descended the hill, and came closer to the structure (or was it a beacon?), He heard music, then a voice, siren-like, as the great Odysseys had spoken of in ages past, and he felt he knew the song and the voice, but that passed from him as the hill leveled out, showing the sheer majesty of the Oaks, which surrounded the structure – massive they were, thousands of generations old, gnarled and beautiful, some limbs a good two men across, and the height, He had no real conception of their height, but it was as if the gods had nurtured them, themselves, and the three moved steadily toward a natural break in the limbs, these limbs curving slightly upward, meeting at the upper end, not touching as much as crossing each other, yet allowed for a natural doorway some thirty feet in height.

The doorway, or arch, whatever it was, remained ahead of them, more than two stone-throws away, and as they came closer, the intricate inscriptions began to become visible, and the type of script was such that He had never seen, and He had read, written and been introduced to many varieties of languages and scripts, this, however, had not been seen in his lifetime, and he cast a sidelong glance at Gwion, then to his companion (He had not heard his name since they had been introduced), and both men kept their faces directed at the doorway; they had not released His hands since they had left the camp, several long miles before, and the sweat had almost been enough to allow their hands to become unbound from his, but both had remained firm.

The closer the three got to the entrance (for a doorway it was) it seemed to bid the viewer, in an open and embracing way, to enter, and enter they did. The Archway was massive, five men, standing with hands outstretched, just might make the span, the three were dwarfed by the passing. There were no steps, natural grass and gravel there was, as the transference was easy, and as they passed the threshold, He felt his hands and feet go numb, as the presence of something, He was not sure exactly what it was (this is often how magickal things happen), and was passing through him, and He felt Gwion and his companion tighten their hands upon him, and He sensed a certain fear in them both.

Gwion continued to walk besides Him, but his steps were getting smaller by degree, and his breathing was shallow, his companion, as well, seemed stooped with age and uncertainty, yet He felt normal, albeit heated from the walk, with this new presence filling him, he felt fine. He could see walls of stone following their foot beats, as they headed down an expansive corridor, nothing fancy, but windows large, and candles hanging from the massive ceiling; there was artwork, of a disparate sort, as there were statues of gods and goddesses, each to their own subtle calling – there were hunters, fishermen, warriors and poets; there were the female forms, Grace, Humility, Mother, Archer and Shield-Maidens – all in all, the pantheon of gods covered the essential elements of Nature, as well as the nature of man and woman. They passed men and women reclining, in coitus, and in every stage of sensual repose. The deeper they traveled, the more it became obvious, that sexual magick was taking an active part in this experience.

He knew the arts of the flesh, and had experienced the most profound attachment with Her on that Bridge of Sighs, and every encounter had brought more into relief for the both of them, now, as he considered it, She was deeper into the magick of the Goddess than she had let on, and He desired Her then, as never before, and he began to fill, just as he did when they exchanged their own powers together, testing the waters, each to their own experience and desire. This place, however, had real energy, and He wondered what the point in being here actually was.

Continuing deeper into the abyss, for was becoming extremely dark, He thought, if only for a moment, that he noticed a flickering light, just ahead in the distance, and as they continued  to walk, so also the weakening candlelight receding into the background added to the deepening darkness, and began to be replaced by the emerging yellow light ahead.

The light seemed to waver and fold into itself, and even He began to feel uncomfortable. Another thirty paces or so, a smallish door, smaller than either of the three men, each being of average height, made the opening rather small, the shape of a square it was, and all three men had to jostle with each other, simply to pass through, but through they passed, and immediately the world changed. Inside the doorway, there were artifacts of every conceivable design, swords, spears, armor and crowns; interspersed were helmets of great antiquity, chariots and metal sculptures of Horses and Bears, cattle and sheep. Along the walls there were tapestries, looms, and sewing devices He had never seen, as well as tables hewn from mighty trees, smooth and polished, the chairs at the tables were high-backed, covered in leather, and goblets of gold and silver adorned the tables – there was meat and vegetables, grapes and flowers amidst bread and whole eggs, but without the shells, and garnish was everywhere.

The light of the room was ambient, a sense of twilight filled the air, and He heard water running from a place close by, but was unable to point himself to the source. A large dais was directly at the south end of the massive room, and He turned, as if by need, and dragged Gwion and the companion along with him, and lo!, behind them, set above the small opening, was a tremendous platform, its depth about twenty feet from the wall, making a canopy of sorts as they had entered, and His eye caught another symbolic artifact, and that was the gently sloping arch façade above the small doorway, with two concentric circles, overlapping, and the arch making the ancient vesicus piscis, but lacking the traditional male form, or Spear, intersecting the opening  then, as if struck by lightning, He knew, for the male form did, in fact, enter, as He, being in the direct center, had been that spear, lacking its traditional form was, nevertheless, the same essence. He had been inducted into several fraternities, and He was aware of rituals and trappings, and knew well, that he was in a Holy place, despite the ornate level of its enclosure.



[1] Goethe (emph. added) FLS

[2] Escort of the Moon – Latvian derivation. FLS