fter my bath, I travel on with renewed energy. The day is hot and I'm glad for the welcome shade of the forest. Shadow-Moon blends with the shadows of the trees, and I have peace. A woman steps out of the trees to meet me, dressed in royal purple with a golden crown and golden net covering her hair and face. The bloody spear she carries seems very out of place with her rich garments.
I seem to know her, but can't place from where.
"Hello," I say, "is your name Elizabeth?"
"Or Liz or Betty . . . it varies," she replies. "You seem troubled, perhaps a bit lost. Is there something I can help you with?"
"Perhaps. I've met my shadow face to face, and I'm still not sure how to deal with it. What I know I *shouldn't* do, she drives me to do; and what I know I *should* do, she prevents me from doing. How can I better communicate with her, and redirect her energy towards more positive, constructive things?"
"You must start by touching nature--by listening to her gentle voice. She is the Bride of God. Let your heart beat with her heart and she will guide you. And don't ignore when she speaks to you--whether it be through her actions, your dreams, your intuition, or whatever method she chooses. You may even discover that this shadow of yours is not as evil as you think! She holds the strength necessary for survival.
"Sit here, on nature's lap of green; rest in her arboreal arms and I'll tell you a tale."
nce upon a
time, there was a gentle and good queen. Everyone loved her because
she was beautiful and kind. One day, while her husband was away,
invaders came into her realm. At first, she thought they were merely
travelers, and she offered them her hospitality. Then in the night,
they arose and began to slay those sleeping in the castle. The good
queen heard the cries and groans of the dying, and was filled with
fear. She cowered in her chamber as she heard the attackers in the
outer hall. Then she heard her children crying out, as the attackers
broke into their room. The fear which had paralyzed her now impelled
her. Grabbing the nearest weapon at hand--a spear hanging idly on the
wall in time of peace--the beast within her took over and her shadow
energy filled her and drove her to action. She ran to the children's
chambers and savagely slew those who threatened her loved ones. Then,
her rage at a peak, she tore through the castle and killed the rest
As she stood over the body of one of her faithful friends who had been cut down by the invaders, panting and waiting for the realization of her murderous spree--as well as grief--to set in, blood from the spear dripped onto her friend's wounds. The friend stirred, as the wound closed and she was healed. The queen quickly went to each of the injured and slain of her court, and cured them all with the spear.
The people threw the bodies of the invaders onto a large bonfire, then let their ashes be scattered by the winds. The queen learned that the violent beast of animal instinct has its value, and her subjects loved and admired her all the more for it. And when her husband returned and heard what happened, he held her in even greater esteem and respect. The queen kept the spear with her always, as a reminder (both to herself and others), a protection, and a destroying as well as healing tool. And they lived happily ever after!"
fter the story, we sleep, and she wakes me at first light. Walking through the forest, she tells me, "Make peace with your shadow, Moonchild. You might need it some day. Peace and pacifism are not synonymous. Don't be afraid to fight."" We come to a stream and there is a fort or mound ahead, shrouded in fog. "From here, you must go on alone, and I must return.
I walk to the fort, filled with strength and courage, and mount the spiral path to the top. The rising sun calls for the raising of the flag on the pole on the summit. There is a small chest here and I find the flag inside. It's folded, and all I can see is orange cloth. I shake it out and attach it to the pole. As I raise it, the motif is revealed: a figure of gray, which appears somewhat like Siamese twins, with one torso, three legs, two arms and two heads. Both hands are raised to shoulder height, one palm inward and the other palm outward, as if both beckoning and repelling. The gray represents a blend of black and white; the orange is red (passion) and yellow (reasoning) mixed. Hmmm.
Satisfied that I am getting the message, and
feeling an urgency of the work ahead, I move on. The fog lifts and
becomes dark clouds in the sky. Feeling the approach of rain, I seek
for shelter in a ruined fortress. I sense a presence here so, just to
be on the safe side, I take the spear at the entrance as I enter.
I catch movements out of the corner of my eye, but each time I turn my head, I see nothing. As the day darkens, the lights of these hidden presences becomes easier to see, and I call on them to show themselves. They flit about me like A Midsummer Night's Dream, finally materializing as three small naked faeries. It seems wrong that these beautiful creatures inhabit this gloomy place!
"Why are you here?" I ask.
"We want to dance naked in the moonlight," one replies, "but the world won't let us! We want to enjoy all things of sense and rapture, but society says we are sinful because of it. They want to kill us because we are uncivilized, so they call us 'fantasy' and say we don't exist! So now we must hide to preserve our lives. It's sad, because now people will believe that we don't exist."
I gather the three in my hands and hold them to my breast. They morph back into lights and penetrate into my heart.
"Ah," I hear one sigh, "it's not so gloomy in here as in that fortress! Can we hide here with you, and be free within your heart?"
"Certainly," I answer, feeling joyful. "I'll keep you safe within me and be your champion in the world." And now I see something really strange. Their light in me shines forth, and I see my silhouette is now one of light rather than shadow . . .