Centered and grounded, I journeyed inward. When I opened my eyes, I found myself in the Place of Light, which has no opposite. Grandfather Tree was there – a huge Sequoia redwood reaching far past the heights I could see, much larger around than I could walk in a day. He spoke:
“Can you see me?”
“Aye, I can.” I answered.
“Do I have a shadow here?”
“No. You do not.”
I looked around myself, walking myself in a circle as if to find a shadow hiding.
“But you see us as unique Beings, me and you.”
“Aye, that I do.”
“And so it is. Now, once I step out into your world and become manifest, I will have a shadow, for it is a world of dualities, yes?”
“This I can see, yes.”
“Then can you grasp that what I project into your world is tree, but what I hold in my shadow is not-tree, and that I must ever balance the two to remain in harmony with the true Light?”
“So that we hold Oneness within ourselves?”
“That is a very deep concept. You are saying that what I project into this Inworld is me, and my shadow that falls from the light, is not-me. And I must balance both.”
“True, as far as you went… but farther and deeper. What you project Outworld also is you, and your shadow is all that is not-you, and you must embrace and balance both.”
“Much easier Inworld.”
“Less fear, more confidence.”
“Training grounds are meant to be that. But you are Human and must be prepared to Stand well in that dimension, also, when the Change comes.”
“Aye, I know that to be true.”
“The other part of this lesson is to learn that whatever weapons you hold to protect you, in whatever realm or dimension you choose, can be used against you in the Human domain. Learn to walk weaponless in the confidence of your inner Light.
Now, I see Old Berydon, the Boar, rooting around, trying to act non-chalant, waiting for you. So, off you go. Good journeying to you.”
I turned around and saw the biggest bristliest scariest boar I had ever seen… well, actually, it was the only boar I have ever seen. Pigs, I’ve seen up close… and they were pretty scary, but this was on beyond that. Still, I felt little fear as I walked up to him. There was a gentleness in his grumpiness that lightened my heart. He laid down upon the earth so that I could climb upon him, and so I did, grabbing hold of some bristles to brace myself.
“Gently, Wolfchild, don’t pull too hard. I won’t let you fall off.”
And, then, he began running through the woods, crossing the Veil into the Faery Realms that I am accustomed to. We sometimes raced and sometimes meandered through forests and meadows increasingly green and vibrant. Soon we arrived at a small grove filled with the green energy come alive. It radiated from all things, wove itself in tiny strands interconnecting the entire area like a matrix of luminous deep forest green light, humming a melody bespeaking sacredness. I dismounted from Old Berydon, and thanked him very much. He wandered off into the brush, leaving me alone with my thoughts.
“Little one.” I heard a voice behind me speak, and turned.
“Ah, not a little one. A woman, indeed. You hide that well. Wolf will help you with that, I’m thinking.”
“And you are…?”
“Some call me the Green Man of the Forests.”
“Aye, that would be the look of you, then.”
“Ancient magic has been calling you, and I have been asked to, well, speak with you concerning that.”
“It can be very powerful; it can speak deeply… beyond what you consider deep, my Lady. It can draw from you the final pockets of resistance, anger, fear, and love. It suffers no dilettantes or fools or ignorant seekers. I am sent to apprentice you for this, for yourself and for those with whom you interact, Inworld and Outworld.”
“Then I accept.”
“This is not to be taken lightly, my Lady.”
“You think I jump unknowing into this? Without deliberation? I know, already, the cost and the need. I know, already, what Calls me, what Draws me. I will hesitate no longer.”
“Then, I have here Mask and Cloak, for you to choose for your apprenticeship.”
“I have no longer a need for Mask. Too long I have used various masks, but the Times are here, and I must Stand as I am. However, the Cloak is good, to hold the teas my friend sends with me, and other items of comfort. It is also good from the cold, when I step beyond my Knowing and Circle… it will keep me warm until I find my Way back to them. If you will have me, Sir, I will apprentice to you.”
“Then so it shall be. On the Full Moons then, Lady. Here, in this Grove.”
“Aye, I shall meet you here. You honor me, and I can only hope to do the same.”
Old Berydon nudged me from behind, indicating the Time to leave. So I mounted him, and waved farewell to the Green Man, heading back through the Veil to Grandfather Tree, who spoke:
“So, it seems the Universe has answered your own request.”
“Aye, it seems that way. I had not realized my own question. Sometimes I am not sure of my own self, as if I were running ahead of myself, in some way.”
“Your heart has been freed to play, and enjoy, and reveal its Light, this weekend. It does not wish to hide or be fearful any longer. Run with it; dance with it; fly with it – it is your heart – your connection to your inner Fire – your connection to the One Fire of All Creation. Go, and unfold yourself. This is a great Time for you. Enjoy it!”