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(Written in conjunction with Camp NaNoWriMo. For an explanation of what this strange story is about, you can read Obsessed by a Journey.)

The Seeker was amazed and delighted at the beauty she saw in the world as she was borne along behind Judgment. The music of Creation drifted up through the trees. She especially loved the hymns of water that flowed over small falls into pools below. She closed her eyes and was content to be just who she was without feeling the need of “doing” that had so often plagued her young mind. Then all too soon she found herself standing before one of the most beautiful women she had ever seen.

“Welcome, Seeker. We have looked forward to your coming with great anticipation.”

When the woman smiled her eyes brightened as did the orb on the scepter she held in her right hand. The Seeker knew somehow that great power resided within the orb. It was almost too much for her to take in all at once. The woman was dressed in an exquisite gown of green silk beneath a velvet cape the color of ripe apples. Her long, wheat-colored hair flowed from under a golden crown tipped with diamonds that sparkled in the noon-day sun. A strange amulet hung about her neck. In her left hand she held a globe of greens and blues and hues of earth. And at her feet sat a glass-like shield emblazoned with an Eagle. The woman was seated on a green throne surrounded by flowers and grasses and trees, and beside her ran a bubbling brook from which praises of all Creation poured forth.

Awed, the Seeker dropped into a deep curtsy before the woman then rose and ask, “Who are you, great lady?”

“I am the Empress, Guardian of this land and all the Earth. I am One with Creation. Some call me Mother Earth,” she said, touching the amulet at her neck. “This is the symbol of my calling, and this globe represents the Earth over which the Creator has given me charge.”

“And the shield?” asked the Seeker, looking upon it with admiration. “It is so beautiful. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

“Beautiful, yes, and unyielding, for it is a testament to the truth that no matter what harm man may do to the earth, he cannot control the elements of nature. Only I who wield the Scepter of the Four Corners of the Earth which was forged by the Creator have the power to do so at the Holy One’s behest.”

The Empress looked lovingly at the globe she now cradled in her arms and the Seeker could see it was a perfect likeness of the Earth. Holding it like that, like a mother cuddling her child, the Seeker could understand why she was called Mother.

“Sit with me, Seeker,” the Empress said indicating a patch of velvety grass at her feet. “I have much to tell you.”

And so Seeker and Empress spent the waning afternoon speaking of how the Earth had been given into man’s care for cultivating and safe keeping, yet he had neglected and disregarded his duty. “Look out over the meadow,” said the Empress. And before them rose up a vision of a great tower engulfed in flames. “This fortress represents those who refuse to hear the music nor see the beauty of Creation. They seek to raise themselves above the Holy One, to become masters of the Earth. The crown of the tower will surely be damaged and topple causing destruction on both a physical and spiritual plane if there is not deep-rooted change within their hearts. The great bolts of lightning have been sent to remind them of the truth that breaks down ignorance and inspires.”

The Empress could see the Seeker was alarmed by what she was witnessing and sought to bring her some comfort. “If you look closely during the flashes of light,” she said, laying a hand on the Seeker’s shoulder, “you will see glimpses of hope yet growing amid the destruction. Never stop praying that men will hear the voice of reason and become the stewards they were meant to be.”

Then suddenly from the Empress’s crown sprang a bright star that settled in the darkening sky above them over a vision of the Earth. Before it appeared a beautiful dark-haired woman dressed in a gown like flowing blue water. In each hand she held a chalice, one gold, one silver. Lifting her eyes to the star above, she tipped the cups and from them poured forth the stuff dreams are made of. As the Seeker watched the dreams mingled with the Water of Life above which she stood and the World around her began to glow with a Sacred Light.

The Seeker gasped. The Empress smiled. “She is mixing the moonbeams of dreams and desires for us to receive as we may. The star is the guiding light of our inner compass. As long as we follow the Light within there will always be possibilities and hope.”

“But where does the light come from?” asked the Seeker.

“From the Holy One and all Creation.”

The voice startled the Seeker and she turned quickly to see a woman in a gauzy blue and white shift step from between the pillars of a small building.

“Still your mind, Seeker, and allow the world around you and within you to speak its wisdom.”

In one hand the woman held a rolled-up scroll, in the other two pomegranates. Her head was adorned with an odd crown which held a silver globe of the Earth. She was in every way the opposite of Mother Earth. Where the Guardian was full of sunshine, growth, and life, this woman was clothed in the stuff of evening, and bathed in the shadows of discernment.

The pillars between which she appeared were opposites as well. One was of dark marble and was etched with the letter B. The other was a much lighter shade, and bore the letter J. Behind them was hung a filmy veil that shielded the eyes from what was beyond.

“I am the Sentinel of the Inner World,” she said to the Seeker, “called by the Creator to protect and guide the heart’s instincts. In my left hand, closest to the flow of my heart, I hold the knowledge of the Sacred Scrolls. In my right I hold a fruit that is the symbol of generosity and sharing.”

The Sentinel sensing, the Seeker’s struggle to understand, explained, “You worry too much that you must understand perfectly all that has been taught you. The truth is far simpler than that.” She smiled and held up the scrolls. “The words of the Sacred Scrolls are written on your heart. Never doubt that, Seeker. And with the help of the Light of the Creator within you will be able to generously share what you’ve learned with others.” She held the two Pomegranates forth next to the scrolls. “Trust your knowledge, trust your heart, and above all trust the Light of the Creator.”

Curious, the Seeker asked, “But what do the pillars and the letters mean?”

“These are the great pillars that once stood at the doorway of the Temple of Solomon, the wisest King on Earth. They represent the foundations upon which the Earth rests. Boaz represents the Creator’s Strength, Joachim betokens the Creator’s Mercy. When you pass through the veil into the Sanctuary, Seeker, your feet will be set on the pathway of these great pillars — Strength and Mercy. Never forget they are your heritage.”

The Empress stood offering her hand, and pulled the Seeker to her feet. “The time has come for you to receive the symbol of YOUR calling, young Seeker. You will pass through the Sanctuary where you will await the arrival of a ship. It will signify the end of your pilgrimage, but herald in the beginning of your life’s journey.”

The Seeker was stunned. “But I haven’t learned everything I need to know,” she protested. “I am still imperfect and unfit to represent the Creator to those around me.”

The Empress chuckled. “I can see you are going to be a challenge for the Creator, young Seeker. Have you not yet realized that the Creator uses only broken reeds with which to weave the baskets that hold all sacred knowledge, and only broken pottery from which to pour the Holy One’s wisdom and love?”

The Seeker opened her mouth to speak and closed it again. For this was the truth with which she struggled the most.

The Empress gathered the girl into her arms and placed a kiss upon her forehead. “Be brave and of kind spirit, my friend.”

The Seeker felt warm tears escape her eyes at the thought of leaving this beautiful place where she could be at one with herself. She felt a great loss at never hearing again the music of the Earth over the clamor of Life.

“Fret not,” said the Sentinel, sensing her grief, “for the music of the Earth will remain ever with you. You need only to draw aside and retreat within to hear it again. Follow me now, Seeker. Your new life awaits.”

And with that the Seeker bid farewell to the Empress and followed the Sentinel up the Sanctuary steps and through the veiled doorway.


© Cheryl D. Carter

Part 42 — The Court
Part 44 — Biding



Picture Credit — personal (see also www.aeclectic.net)