esson 51: Stone King, Stone Eight and Stone Nine


he sky begins to lighten, so I set out on a new day of the quest. After about an hour's journey, I come to a circle of standing stones with lintels on top, as the sun begins to break over the horizon. Directly in front of the 'doorway' which frames the rising sun, the Stone King is seated. We recently met around a fire in the midst of a ring of stones (see Lesson 49b). I tell him of the glade where I spent last night, and of my vision of the Washer at the Ford. He is impressed by the holy stone.

He suggest that I seek an augury of the stone doorway behind him, since doorways are liminal as the dawn. I remove my boots and stand in the doorway facing the rising sun. Placing my hands on the stones to either side, I feel the coolness which has not yet been touched by the sun's rays. I close my eyes and say the invocation.

A large dark shape forms directly in front of the sun, its outline changing as if something were struggling to get out of a large black bag. It can't break out and assume its form. Discouraged, I stop. Then I regather my concentration and repeat the invocation more forcefully. I hear a hawk's cry1, then see him, soaring, calling. A blackbird comes and chases him away.

I tell the Stone King what I have seen. "Yes, the blackbird is very territorial," he says. "She doesn't like to have the hawk in her space. So she picks at him and drives him away. The hawk doesn't need the trouble of getting picked at, when he has the whole sky to move about in. So he moves on."

The king leads me to an enclosure. Inside a fenced area, there is a hut an in the yard there are stone cutter's tools. The beginnings of a crescent moon can be seen in a rough outline on a stone. This looks like a job for Moonchild! As I pick up hammer and chisel, I briefly wish that I still had the gloves I gave to the Stone Knight. I work the moon slowly out of the stone, revealing/forming a pleasant and smiling face on it. The lips are the most difficult part, but I take care and take my time, because this symbol is special to me. When I'm finished, it almost looks as if it would speak!

Behind the stone cutter's hut is a grove, and I take the stone there. It reminds me of my friends at Blue Moon, and how I knew I would feel at home there when I saw the big, wood-carved moon at the entrance to their property in the woods of central Florida. I sit on the ground admiring my handiwork, when slowly animals emerge from the woods. First comes an armadillo scruffling through the underbrush. A deer comes, nodding her head up and down. A woodpecker, snake, raccoon and finally a beautiful and rare Florida panther come into the clearing. I am especially awed and honored by the presence of this last. As a nearly extinct species, she has reason to stay away from man!

They gift me with their beauty, presence and brotherhood.

ifts of the otem Reading

Lesser Power: I chose two cards to represent my problem. Stone Seven jumped out at me as appropriate because "good fences make good neighbors," but in this card, the boundary wall is broken. But I passed it over in favor of Sword Two. There is a path, but there is a snake in the grass. Should I try to get past and put it behind me, or should I grab a sword and kill it?

Gift of joy: XIX The Sun--the card of joy!
The horse shows me to look for the gift of joy in freedom and wide open spaces. Riding the path is joy. The snake is just a temporary obstacle.
Gift of endurance: I Merlin
The two dragons represent currents that push and pull, ebb and flow. It is this friction that powers the cycles of the perpetual motion of the cosmos--eternity.
Dragons are known for sitting and guarding their treasure hoards for hundreds of years, stirring themselves to breathe fire on or eat interlopers. (see Beowulf)
Gift of faithfulness: XXI The Flowering of Logres
The bee and butterfly remind me to have faith that the spring will come soon, and then I can recapture my joy, and buzz and flit around.
Gift of resourcefulness: XI Sovereignty
An ermine is cute, but is still a rodent, related to the weasel. His coat changes color depending on the season. He's very soft, but has sharp teeth and claws. He's quick and agile and, while he usually stays low to the ground, he can stand on his hind legs to get a view of the surrounding terrain.

Taken as a whole, this reading also seems to advise prancing past or flying around the snake, but if it tries to attack or bite, I'm equipped to catch and eat it.

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1) I was having trouble with this until I actually heard a hawk crying over my house.