A journey of Memory and what it means to face Death..
We’re going on a journey, that you may find difficult. If at any time, you feel you do not wish to continue, please wait quietly, then turn to the south, and you will see a path leading back to the safety of your grove.
Make yourself comfortable, and breathe slowly from your stomach, and clear your mind of all disturbing thoughts.
Enter your sacred grove and stand in the EAST, for you are beginning a journey of memory. Allow yourself to absorb the peace and tranquillity of your space. You hear a beating of wings and feel the touch of cold air on your face. A Raven flies around you, leading you NORTH-WEST, where it alights on a gate and waits, its coal black eyes watching you. Walk towards the gate and stop. Do not fear the Raven, for it is another aspect of the Cailleach. She comes to you now, to guide you. Put your hand on the gate and open it. As you walk through, cast back in your memory to when you were a baby, a young child and remember something good about that time.
Walk through. There is nothing before you but a black, empty void. Do not be afraid. The Raven flies ahead of you, drawing you on.
As the gate closes behind you, remember when you were at school. As you remember, follow the Raven into the darkness until you come to another gate. Place your hand on this gate, and remember the good times of your school days, and when you were a teenager.
Open the gate, and walk through. There is nothing before you, but a black, empty void. Do not be afraid. Allow the Raven to be your guide.
As the gate closes behind you, remember your first job, your first love. Walk slowly forward into the darkness, remembering the feeling that you had when you left your home for the first time. The Raven circles you and leads you to another gate. Place your hand upon this gate and remember the agony of your first love, the apprehension you felt on your first day at work.
Open the gate and walk through. Before you is dark, a black empty void. Do not be afraid. Let the Raven guide you, for you are not alone.
As the gate closes behind you, remember the first little sparrow that you ever saw; the first notes of a blackbird’s song in the twilight; the first buttercup that you held beneath your chin; the first drop of rain on your face, and the first breath of wind in your hair. Remember the blue sky and the golden sun, the silvery moon and the cotton wool clouds skimming overhead. Walk slowly forward into the darkness, hearing the beat of the Raven’s wings, until you come to another gate.
Place your hand upon this gate and remember the seasons as they changed throughout your life; how each season affected your moods and your emotions; how the snows covered the earth, and the frost killed off the autumn flowers.
The Raven sits on the gate, looking at you. Now you will know and understand that Death is all around us. The death of a bird from the scattered feathers on a lawn, the dying breeze as the clouds move onwards. The Death of the sun as it sinks in the West and its re-birth each morning in the East. Seeds planted to bring new Life, yet they come from the death of the flower or nut. Death is in the seasons, as each gives way to the next. Death is part of Life, as the old gives way to the new.
Open the gate and walk through. Before you is dark, a black empty void. Do not be afraid, for the Raven flies beside you.
In the distance you see a door, of shimmering colours. STOP! Do not touch it. Do not open it. Do not approach it at this time, for this is the final gateway that each of us will pass through, when our time comes. It is not yet.
Now turn around slowly, and gaze back through the gates that you have opened and passed through. You will see a silvery line of footprints that mark your journey through life. And if you look past the very first gate, you will see other silvery lines, footprints that belong to your ancestors. Each gate was a death. An ending of a way of life for you, and each gate was the beginning. Think about Death, not in a morbid way, but as a positive beginning that we must all face. Each has a purpose in Life, and each will have a purpose in Death. Live your Life to its fullest because your Ancestors made it possible. And when your time comes, know that it is not the end, but the beginning of a new existence.
When you are able to accept this, then the Cailleach will be able to give you her wisdom and help you through Life. When you can face Death with a free will, then you will be able to live Life to its fullest, for you will be free of Death’s burden.
Look around for the Raven, it is flying SOUTH, where you see a sunlit path leading back to your grove. If you have stopped along the way at any point, do not worry, for you will now see a sunlit path leading SOUTH back to the safety of your Sacred Grove.
When you are comfortably back in your Grove, relax, become aware of your surroundings. As you return to the present time, think about your memories, and consider whether there is anything you should have done. Something that needs finished; perhaps a quarrel that needs to be mended; or saying thank you to someone who has done a kindness. Life is there to be lived, but remember, none of us knows how many gates we will be allowed to open, before we reach the Door beyond. Only the Cailleach knows these things.