There was a full moon as we walked back from the inn on the Friday night and the moon greeted us the following morning, sailing across a pastel sky. It has become something of a tradition to greet the dawn on our weekend workshops. The sortie is not obligatory, but every year a goodly party of us will wake and walk up onto the hillside. In the past there have been strange sights as the pre-dawn light has fallen upon robed figures and gilded Egyptian gods… This time there was only a group of friends sharing a moment of peace and wonder…and sharing the telling of an ancient story as we waited for the sun to lift a new day over the horizon.
There is a special kind of magic at work when you watch the dawn. The day takes on a new ‘feel’… it becomes a truly personal experience with a vivid awareness of the rhythm of life. You hear the first bird lift its voice in song, watch the first stirrings of the lambs in the field and feel yourself a part of the one song of the universe.
We climbed over the stile, taking up a position where we knew we had a clear view of the eastern horizon and waited for the newly risen sun to show itself above the hills. While we waited, each of the Companions present read a part of the Tale of the Wondrous Head. This was a central part of the weekend, reaching back through the centuries to a time when both psychology and spirituality was expressed in stories… and where the inexpressible meaning of symbolism was readily understood. As the light flared, voices were raised in a paean to the Light that has been known by many names and symbols.
We walked back to the centre uplifted, exhilarated. There was laughter…long before breakfast… and just time for a coffee before the morning meditation. The Companions had already been contemplating the nature of the images drawn from the Green Knight’s head the evening before and the meditation was designed to begin to forge a personal connection with the animal spirit it represented. What we didn’t know was how well that would tie in with the talk given by Running Elk… or where that contact would lead us.