Maiden Castle – Dorchester
… “Whither goest thou, Priest of the Sun?”
“I go hence to the High Place for the soul is in need.”
“What is that need?”
“The need is Light.”
“And what will you give for the passage?”
“I will give my Self.”
He is naked save only for a white cloth around his lions…he has left all else behind as he embarks on this journey.
She looks deeply into his eyes, reading his soul’s truth there.
This is the final test.
If he fails, he will not survive.
Many years she has watched as they have come and gone, many she has seen and taught, many have failed, some have succeeded… only those with hearts that see true.
The labyrinth is woven, energies crackling and shifting between the ramparts, almost visible in the moon-dark night.
Line and spiral, blade and vortex…all wait.
She leads him between the two fires that mark both the entrance and exit to the labyrinth…though which one is which only few will ever know.
She marks his brow with a kiss and raises her hands…
At her signal the fires are extinguished with a hiss of steam and a billowing smoke.
The plateau is dark… there will be no flame to guide him. It is silent.
There will be no sound to draw him back.
He is naked and bereft as a soul new born… in a limbo now…awaiting a birth… or a death… The gates close behind him, and she ascends to her place on the edge, facing the morning that is so far away… her place… where she will watch…
Her eyes adjust to the heavy darkness and the change comes, shifting her vision to that other sight. Below he too waits, that his eyes may adjust to the night and his feet walk true.
He begins, walking carefully, treading the labyrinth with purpose and intent.
He walks the first straight, beneath her… he feels her there and looks up, futile though it be in the dark with the blackness of her robe pulled around her like a cloud. She smiles… he knows… she has hopes for this one… West he turns, her eyes cannot see him, but she walks each step with him…another straight, another bend… and a sword at his throat…The Guardian towers over him and he freezes… had he been walking faster the sword would have pierced his throat. The Guardian speaks a ritual question… but he has not been given an answer… he has to Know…
The voice whispers into the night and the sword is lifted…he walks on…Through the rough grass and stones, barefoot… another Guardian… a spear at his chest…no words this time… only a gesture… he responds, and the spear is withdrawn. Again a corner, a straight…the meandering path like the fleeting thoughts of the mind turns every which way…A blade at his belly…choices to make in silence…only the Knowing to guide him…And another… and another…She walks with him, feeling every step from her perch…Only the last now…he is pushed to his knees, a sword across the back of his neck…a cauldron before him…a whispered response… and a flame is given…Below her the light of a single torch illuminates a small, flickering patch of the hilltop.
On the horizon the first blush of dawn… It has been a long night…A knock on the gates, firm and confident…they open…she stands between…The sun gilds the morning…she embraces him….
“Whither goest thou, Priest of the Sun?”