Monthly Archives: July 2010

A Mystical Journey

A dark night, moonless, the frail frame of the priest is huddled into his sackcloth robe, bare feet curled into the cloth.  Still as death, eyes closed and silent, his mind is far away searching the hidden heights of consciousness for God.   The house sleeps.

Just a feather light touch and he flies to where he dwells.  What a sweet night, what bliss in this cedar-scented hour.   His quiet hand bestowing tranquillity and peace, the extinction of desire in absolute blessedness until the morning air claims him back from the refreshment of the soul.

The Poem by St John of the Cross

On a dark night

When Love burned bright

Consuming all my care,

While my house slept,

Unseen, I crept

Along the secret stair

O blessed chance!

No human glance

My secret steps detected.

Whilst my house slept

I silent crept

In shadow well protected.

That blessed night

Concealed from sight,

Unseeing did I go,

No light to guide

But that inside

My eager heart aglow.

A guide as bright

As noonday light

Which brought me where he dwelt,

Where none but he

Could wait for me

And make his presence felt

Sweeter that night

Than morning light

For Love did loving meet,

I knew him well,

And we could dwell

In ecstasy complete.

St John of the Cross was Spanish and lived during the 1500s. He trained for the priesthood with the Jesuits and at the young age of 25 became Confessor to St Teresa of Avila’s Carmelite Order (she was 52).  Her order was ‘Discalced’ or barefoot nuns who kept a very strict regime of poverty and discipline requiring fasts and long periods of silence.

Both mystics, John and Teresa were inspired during periods of high exaltation following long fasts and deprivation.

During the struggle between the Calced and Discalced Carmelites John was captured in 1575 and imprisoned in Medina, he was freed by Papal Nuncio only to be recaptured and imprisoned again in Toledo far from Teresa.  He suffered terrible conditions and regular floggings but managed to escape and find his way to the local Carmelite Nuns who sheltered him until he was taken in by a canon of Toledo Cathedral.  But he was frail and sick, the ordeal having taken its toll on his tiny frame.

His poems are of course translated from Spanish and there are variations according to different translators.  This poem is from Kathleen Jones’ ‘The Poems of St John of the Cross’, the collection gives side by side Spanish and English text.

Moon Magic

One morning she woke to find a beautiful quartz crystal on her pillow.   How it had come there she knew not, but it felt comfortable to hold so she kept it on the coffee table by her favourite chair.

This time as she held it and stared deep into its light and shade her consciousness was thrust into a duplicate of herself and she entered another world.

Looking down on her frame asleep in the armchair she struggled to keep calm as the room morphed into a magnificent temple, its purple beauty intense in the dim light of the candles on the altar.  There was a silver chalice and nine quartz crystals refracted candlelight into spectrums reaching high into the huge domed roof.  A thurible dispersed the fragrant perfume of jasmine.

The power of the place was exhilarating,  it ran through her being giving an exquisite feeling of pleasure.  Just within hearing the sweet singing of Gabriel’s Keruvim lifted her spirit as light as feather.

The door of the temple came ajar puttering the candles.   A chink of moonlight crept through illuminating the figure of the temple guardian dressed in a long robe of purple velvet.  He lifted his wand in greeting and opened the door wide to reveal the brilliance of the full moon whose beams reached out to touch her.  The Moon, reflected on water, formed a white island in the centre of a lake.

At the edge of the lake a flat bottomed boat was tied up to a quay, its oarsman beckoned to her,  she took the place he offered and the boat slid away from the shore.   No words were exchanged, there was silence but for the swish of water as the oars brought the light closer.  The oarsman began to circumnavigate the island near to its shore and in its mesmerizing silverness she saw the smiling face of an extraordinarily beautiful young girl with hair as white as snow.  A face of complete innocence tugged at her heart, the blue eyes seemed to question the mysteries of the universe. The oarsman paused gazing into the distance before resuming his rhythm.

The boat continued and when it reached a third of the way around the island the child’s face gradually changed into that of a mature sensual woman.  The Lady of Light stood on a fertile plane filled with grains and erotic ripe fruits.  In the azure of her almond eyes there was knowledge, wisdom and insight.   The oarsman paused as a sweet song filled the air.

Moon Goddess, Lady of Light

shining in the dark of the night.

Whisper to me the secrets of spirit.

Share with me so I can prepare

my lonely soul for flight.

Water lapped the boat as it drew away.   On the island white light shimmered and shifted to obscure the vision of the Lady of Light.  The boat ploughed on through inky still water in eyrie silence until the light changed to reveal the third face of the lunar Goddess.   She stared in wonder at the features of the Crone who had a beauty of her own worn through time and experience into a spirit that shone through her weathered features.  The Crone smiled encouragement.

Understanding permeated her being as she gazed upon the Crone whose eyes reflected a peace and tranquillity born of acceptance without longing.  The pain of the material world would form her soul’s progress if she could find her own acceptance and let the waves of what had come to pass carry her beyond the stars to love and contentment.

The boat returned to the quay, she nodded thanks to the oarsman who bowed his head in acknowledgement.  At the temple door, the guardian took her hand and led her to the altar.  He placed one of the crystals in her hand and she allowed her gaze to penetrate within, in a kaleidoscope of colour she felt a shift of being.

Her consciousness returned, she shivered, her crystal still in her hand and within it was the smiling face of her late husband.  The room had grown cold and it was dark but she felt comforted and peaceful.   A full Moon lit the window.

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Verse Copyright Tigerbrite

Expansion on the theme of a meditation on the Tree of Life pathworking to Yesod the Sphere of the Moon

Temple of Luxor with orbs photograph copyright Tigerbrite