The following is the first of four dreams from my book, Journey of the Soul. This is the excerpt that is shown on Amazon.com. Journey of the Soul recounts the past life dreams and events of my Wiccan teacher and mentor. The book also presents philosophical opinions on Wicca and religion. Journey of the Soul is now available as an ebook on Itunes, Amazon Kindle, Nook, and Lulu.com.
The Road Less Travelled
The narrow, dusty path meandered treacherously through the canyon of barren rock. Cracked and weathered by time and the elements, the canyon path dropped, twisted, and turned, disappearing into a distant light brown haze. A wasteland void of beauty and spirit, Dante may have known this place in his worst nightmares.
Above, the hot dust defused the light of the glaring sun into a sickly pallor, obscuring the sky with a dirty yellow miasma. The stillness and solitude of this forbidding place was matched only by its stark cruelty. Nothing moved here. The area seemed abandoned by nature itself. There was no blade of grass nor tree to offer refuge from the heat. Just rock upon rock, sharp and jagged. Nothing lived here for very long. Not even the invincible ant or a simple emotion, like fear.
“What am I doing here?” I thought to myself. As I adjusted to this harsh environment, I began to notice that there was a certain timelessness about this place. I beheld it with fascination. In its fierceness, I was awed by the wonder of the exotic and seldom seen.
“Had I come this way before? If so, how many times? How many lives?” It was as these thoughts ran through my mind that I knew I wasn’t alone, and never had been!
“The longest journey begins with a single step,” an aged and quivering voice told me. The voice echoed across the calm as I turned to see who spoke. The frail, browned-skinned sage in a white loincloth and shawl needed no introduction. He stood hunched over, holding on to his staff. He looked for all the world like he might fall at any moment, but the obvious strength within him was inspiring. Hidden behind spectacles, his horned-rimmed eyes seemed withdrawn into a private world.
“Do not wonder where you go. You will be where you need to be. It is the way of things,” Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi said.
“I’m not sure if this is right for me. The road is so long and dangerous.”
“It always is!” a new voice said.
I turned to face the sudden presence quickly, almost defensively. Like Gandhi, this personage appeared out of nowhere. He stood across my path and extended a friendly hand. Brilliant white robes gently fell to his feet. The silver-whiskered handsome face, set beneath a turban, spoke with great courage and authority. He was a man of conviction. The sword at his side and the sadness in his eyes showed a reluctant warrior. I did know this man, Mohammed. His goodness radiated like a golden aura, a sacred refuge and sanctuary for my soul.
“Let us walk together for a while,” Mohammed beckoned.
“Where to?” I asked and took one step toward him, unable to control myself.
“To the beginning.” he answered.
“What beginning? Yours or mine?”
“To the place from where all things come. To the divine circle in the Tree of Life, which we call Kether, the Center of Emanations,” Mohammed explained.
Turning to the holy sage, Gandhi, I asked, “Will you go with us?”
“I am already there!” Gandhi nodded, tugging at his shawl. He smiled a toothless grin and vanished. His voice echoed from nowhere, “This is your journey.”
Thus, we walked together, the Prophet and I. Along the way we met a humble prince in beggar’s clothes. He was old, wise, and silent. In his silence was a well of harmony and peace. I was not surprised to see him here in this forbidding place. Had not Siddhartha Guatma face greater obstacles than these? If so, of what consequence is it for Buddha to walk beyond time and space? And was it any wonder that in such sacred company, the land did not seem so foreign?
We journeyed for the longest time. Night and day became one long, gray, unfathomable corridor. It seemed a wilderness between fate and free will, Limbo. And in that wilderness, I tripped and fell.
As I lay there spitting dust and wondering how I got myself into this situation beyond known reality, strong hands brought me to my feet. I peered into a pair of loving brown eyes, and my knees weakened at the sight of them. His strength was great and he held me close. I was a fragile little bird in the palm of his hand. Tenderly, he touched my brow and refreshed my spirit. From his cup he gave me water, and through him, Life!
“Lord,” I asked the Nazarene, Yeshua Bar Yosef, “Quo Vadis – Why are you here?”
“I am with you, even unto the end of time.” He spoke softly, not to my ears, but to my soul. Every moment of my life replayed itself, free of any pain or regret for these he took upon himself and freed me from them. My heart stirred at the sound of his resounding voice. It was a voice from the mighty throne of heaven itself. His voice was not commanding, but overflowing with love and warmth.
He wore a simple white tunic with a leather cord at the waist. His countenance, brown beard, and shoulder length hair glowed with an inner light.
“We all journey to the same place,” he gestured at Mohammed and Buddha. My heart reached out to him. Loving him. Wanting to hold onto him and never let go. Be this dream or vision, message or illusion, I was truly awake. And if this be sleep, then forever let me sleep.
“May I walk with you, Lord?” I pleaded.
“You always have,” he replied. He then took my hand in his, and I was an innocent child again, free of all concerns.
Now, I’m not exactly sure when we met Moses. I vaguely recall seeing him upon a rock, watching us. Then, without any word he walked ahead of us, leading the way with his staff. He did not greet us, nor did he speak.
“He is not too good with words,” Jesus said, reading my thoughts. “His actions speak for him and his sense of purpose is his strength. Even now he leads all who would follow.” So he does. Like these great ones, the shadow of Moses is long and his staff is upon the world. For who does not know of the Egyptian prince born of a Hebrew slave and raised by the Almighty to greatness?
I know not from whence came the incandescence that pierced the desert haze. A blazing mother-of-pearl light engulfed us, blasting away the panorama of barren rock like dust in a fierce, roaring wind. When it subsided we stood in a moonlit garden of flowing springs, flowers, and lush greenery. Ahead, at the heart of the brilliance, stood a woman in white with a sky blue cloak. I knew Her as surely as I knew my own soul.
She came to me when I was a child in Catholic school. In my darkest hours when answers escaped me, She was there. I longed for Her, my Great Mother. She spread Her hands to us in greeting. She was an ageless power manifested. Her expression was that of a mother pleased to see Her children. A tender smile linked a nodding approval with eyes of joy. Could it ever be otherwise? She stood before a pomegranate tree in full bloom, surrounded by glistening pearls. A serpent slept among white and yellow rose petals at Her bare feet. I knew Her as Mary, but that was only one of her names. Call Her by any other and She is still the Blessed Mother. She who holds the universe in Her bosom. The Nazarene knelt, taking Her silky hands in his and kissing them. The rest of us knelt with him as his words reached our hearts, “Blessed art Thou. And blessed are Thy fruit.”
“All things have their beginning,” Mohammed said to me, “and She is ours.” I understood then that there is but one great and holy power with many faces and many names. Without exception, each of us, every living person and every living thing spread across the cosmos belong to the Divine. All the masters and all the sages are One with the Most High.
“Truly, I say to you, that before any child is born, first there is the Mother,” Jesus said to no one in particular, but I sensed he was directing it at me.
“Even the Father must be born of the Mother,” Gandhi said as he appeared beside me, once again. True to his word, he had waited for us. I watched in awe as Jesus gave Her his cup, and Mohammed gave Her his sword. Moses laid his staff at Her feet. Then She turned and smiled at me.
“Do you understand, my daughter?” Her voice sang with the splendor of angels. The grail, the sword, and the staff were the purity of the spirit and the strength of matter. These objects represent the yin and the yang, which balances the universe.
“I think I do,” was my sheepish response.
Her words went deeper than the vision. She was already telling me which course to choose, the path that leads us to Her. For the longest time I had searched for the path that would enrich my life the most. The path of the Witch. I wanted to write, and share with others the truths I knew so deep in my heart. Truths born of roads seldom used, for I have always chosen the one less traveled. And yes, traveling that road has made all the difference!
I wanted to write for all those who felt as I do and had found no comfort with others, no understanding shoulder to rest where one may speak of hidden mysteries. But the task in front of me had no beginning. How do you write about glory? And then, in that quiet garden between creation and the edge of eternity, I found my answer. The vision had been all too clear, all too real to be ignored. Indeed, who is to say what is not real?
So here I sit, as a modern scribe. I write for those who are my brothers and sisters in the unity of the One Great Spirit and speak of ancient truths. We speak of ancient ideas that time misplaced. Of a life ruled by the Rising Star, the Sacred Earth, the Staff, the Sword, the Grail, the Bell, and the Book. The candle’s meager flame has kept alive the hope of a thousand years. Hope that was washed with the blood of martyrs, the blood of Witches. Thus I begin with the vision and the prayer that fell from my lips as I beheld the Lady: The Affirmation of Faith. This prayer makes me what I am: Wiccan, Pagan to the bone!
The Affirmation of Faith
Thou art a lamp unto my feet.
Though the road be narrow and rocks bar the way,
my footing is sure,
for Thou art with me in all that I do.
So mote it be!