Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Hierophant

I find my feet on solid gray stone; gray stone that stretches away from me, forming a long corridor. To my right, many columns appear in a row, supporting a very old edifice. I gaze up and up at spires that reach into morning blue sky forming an ancient cathedral. All is ornate and chiseled and stunning. In front of me, each column lets in the rising sun and I feel it warm on my face. I walk forward and the sun is temporarily obscured by each pillar I pass. I walk like this for a while, feeling the warmth and feeling the cool in turn. I notice then, that a choir has begun the slowest, most beautiful chant. Long tones in perfect harmony blend behind me as I gaze into the sun's rays and for a moment I close my eyes feeling and hearing the vibrations of the voices in my soul

The strains of choral music have filled the spaces behind me. And I turn, feeling drawn by music more heavenly than I have heard before. I step towards the opening of this grand cathedral that has arisen in the spaces behind the columns. Grand spires are reaching towards the sky with bells tolling. Chiseled stone work and expert masonry rise in stunning beauty. I watch gargoyles ready to take flight and feel each motif and decoration of this intricate edifice within my being. Each spire and each ornament seems to touch something inside of me and I turn towards the heady beauty. There is a heaviness that seems to root my feet in place. I am so small compared.

I inch forward on silent feet. turning into the grand portico and entering this grand place. I look up to see faint light streaming in thru colored glass. Beams and rays of sun seem distinctly placed without becoming a wash of light. I find myself in a dim circle as if I am truly alone even though the voices of the choir fill my very core making thought almost impossible.

I stand behind a grand congregation attired as one with their backs to me and robes in differing shades of gray and black. Their heads are bent contemplatively in reverent worship. High above all this, an intricate ceiling painted in the brightest mural catches my gaze. Here shepherds lead their flocks across rolling green hills and maidens fetch water in stone urns. I notice swirling cloaks of deep color and watch faces that are indistinct. Angels grace fluffy golden clouds and tiny cupids flit amongst the common folk with eyes raised so in awe. Even in these faces I feel reverence and worship.

My gaze shifts now to the front of this grand place and I watch a serious priest slowly proceed down the aisle. He wears a triple golden crown balanced perfectly on his head. His eyes are closed in furrowed concentration as he swings an ewer back and forth from which pours a fragrant smoke. I am engulfed in a misty hazy and I feel my head grow light and distant in the catch of this sacred place and the potent incense. He continues to walk and then as he reaches the last row, he turns and slowly proceeds forward again. His flowing robes, deep velvet red, fall to trail on the smooth stones below his feet. He is unaware of any but his deep devotion. I watch his crowned head bob and gesticulate. I feel as if I am there but growing farther away, lost in the scent of so much grandeur.

To my right, I realize so many tiny candle flames burning. They are warm and shimmering. I seem to float along the side of the church to where they reside. As I reach my hand to feel their warmth, I startle to realize I have no form. I am of this place but invisible. I reach thru myself but I am as though I were not there. I barely feel my feet, lighter now, caught in the deep reverence and quiet and the knowledge of my invisible passage here. I look around to see that those I thought were gripped in reverential awe are faceless ones, captured in their dark robes and standing so tall and still. They are frozen there and I cautiously leave the candled prayers and memories to continue towards the front.

There stands the choir, mirroring those of the congregation. They are clad in robes of brilliant white and gold and hoods that hide any face to be seen. I wonder at these dark and light ones facing each other in deep worship. It seems a mirror of sorts and my gaze passes back and forth between it all.

I have reached the front and face this priest, seated now in regal pose. In this place, he is the only one with a visible face. His velvet robes cascade about him and land in perfect waves at his feet. He faces forward barely seeing me and I wonder at the heavy crown of gold he must wear upon his head. It seems so heavy and of the most pure of golds encrusted with few gems. His hand, he holds high as if to bless me and those behind me and I feel as though it radiates some sort of power that I fear. Then he looks in my direction and I feel the watery but observant eyes of him boring into my soul. I find my misgivings seen there and I glance down in humble concern. He has seen my invisible form when no others could. I raise my eyes again as I sense him offering me his triple scepter to take and touch. Stretching my hand, I lightly rest my fingertips against it and feel this heavy power. Startled I withdraw my hand, mumbling a hurried benediction as I turn from him.

I reach for a sacrament and watch it turn to dust in my invisible hand. It lifts into so many sparkling filaments and a million tiny floating dusty motes and I realize a ray of sun has caught them from a window too high above my head to see. Leaving them floating there, I proceed down the center aisle.

I walk slowly, one foot and then another. It is so still here and I am the only motion I sense even though I am unseen.

With my vision downcast I realize the aisle between this congregation has begun to turn to green mossy grass. I place my feet, feeling the cool gentle touch of this earth beneath them. Slowly I raise my head to realize the entire front of the church is now a grassy field, resplendent in wild flowers and verdant green. The congregation has faded to my sides. My feet relax into the gentle soil and fragrant grass and I breath deeply of nature. A tiny bird calls. I hesitantly glance behind me to realize the church has faded to a gray shimmering image. It appears as a mirage in the golden light and I watch it grow fainter and fainter until I am barely sure of the lines that created so sure an image. I turn forward again to realize I walk along a row of trees. They are evenly spaced one after the other and I walk beside them, the sun warming me and the trunks shadow cooling me by turn. I am reminded of the gray columns earlier in this vision but this cathedral is made of deep blue and high reaching sky, and deep brown earth below. Each trunk is a rough barked column and I slow my walk to reach out my arms to this living corridor. Solid trunk and living tree. I pause to feel the sun upon my face and realize a tiny blue bird has perched before me calling the most glorious whirl of music and song. I am enchanted before all lifts away to bring me back to this place.