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Banner Image by:  Andy McKay
~ Dream Walk ~
(Winter Solstice)
On this night, the longest of the year, Ralanda's thoughts are on past celebrations in her village with her family, now passed from this realm. As she tidies up the dining hall, she throws a piece of Ash into the stoked fire of the hearth in honor of the memory of her family, to warm the Inn and bring light into the Solstice Night, relinquishing the dark to the light.
Taking a sprig of holly from the ledge by a window, she retires to her room, where she warms the essences of pine, cedar, bayberry and cinnamon. Stripping her body of her clothes in preparations for sleep, and releasing her long golden curls from their pins, she dons a silvery gown. Pausing to inhale of the fragrance of the incense, Ralanda notices a pulsating light eminating from the corner of her room. Approaching with caution, she discovers the emerald stone which she had pocketed earlier in the day. Cupping it in her hand, she feels the fire within it warming her from the inside out.
In her bed, she holds the sprig of holly, a sign of good fortune, together with the emerald... in her hand, beneath her pillow. Falling into a deep sleep, Ralanda dreams of times past...
Fleeting images, of celebrations and gifts of clove-spiked apples and oranges representing the sun, combine with scenes from the Inn to confuse, yet console Ralanda. The images dance in her mind's eye, as her heart feels the tug of old and new. The spirit of the Great Mother calls to her on the night's breeze, as the trees of the forest seem to sway to a wassailing.
Following the call, she finds herself in a clearing, where not one but three great monoliths arise from the earth. Shimmering, they seem to float above it. Their colors reflecting from the light of gold, white, silver and yellow...from the darkness of red, green, and orange. Clear colors bathed in all shades and hues in between. Her heart feels great joy for this sign of her future.
Approaching these rock forms of ancient times, Ralanda is drawn to the giant among them. Carvings of an ancient tongue across its base draw her hands to touch, to feel, to see, to know. Looking at the strange markings, the language of her heritage, her mind deciphers a long-forgotten message....
Finder of the Emerald stone
Led to ancient rock is shown
Giver of the light and dark
On this night do thus embark
Journey harvests of new home.
Still grasping the holly and the emerald stone, once again pulsating in her palm, she stretches her hands far above her head, body flattened against the rock. The essence of the magic held within, permeates her body, her soul, and her very being. Melding with the rock, she relinquishes herself to the deity of light and darkness...past and future. The emerald's light builds to blinding brightness, as a cacophony of sounds fills Ralanda's ears. A flash of light splits the rock wide open, to take her in to another realm, heralding the rebirth of the sun.
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