The Gates of Yesterday and Tomorrow
We sing as we enter the Temple. 300 Witches and Magicians, Priests and Priestesses, Visionaries and Mystics, come here to work magick, gathered together to enchant the world and to usher in the beginning of a new age.
Those at the entrance purify us with holy water and the smoke of incense. It takes a long time for 300 people to enter into the Temple and form the two concentric circles required. By the time all have entered and the door has been sealed I am already weeping, the chant has altered my consciousness and I am in an ancient Temple of stone in a strange and foreign land in a time I have only known in my dreams or visions.
The 3 giant Gates in the center of the Temple dominate the space and hold my attention. There is so much more to them than what my eyes can see or my mind can comprehend.
The Great Wheel is cast; the Twelve Powers of the Wheel of Stars are called.
The Priest speaks about weaving the future, his voice is power and magick and reaches into my mind through the spell I am already under and guides my thoughts to the purpose of this work.
A Lion of gold begins to sing in a voice that holds the warmth and light of the Sun. He sings about the endless and eternal cycles of death and rebirth. He opens the gate to the Ancestors and they are called and they come and join us in the Temple.
The Priestess speaks of awakening our Gods within us and we begin to chant, every human voice calling to Deity to awaken and bless us and to join us in this work.
The Warriors are circling, guarding and protecting. I am grateful for their constant vigil. My defenses are gone and I am lost in this spell and their presence keeps me safe as I weep.
The Magician begins to cast the spell that will open the Gates in the center of the Temple. Their power becomes palpable as they open, though I cannot see the magick with my sight; I feel it change the pressure of the air within the Temple. I feel it change the temperature and my body becomes very warm.
I do not know when the drums begin, or when the Witch begins to dance her spell in the center of the Temple. I do not know when the Bell begins to toll. I only know that I am overwhelmed with the power of the magick.
The people are moving in a strange dance that takes them through the Gates. I am terrified as I suddenly realize the import of the act. I must choose. I must decide if I will leave behind that which will no longer serve. The immensity of it, the undeniable power of it is here now, and I must step forward or choose to remain in my comfortable prison. Am I willing to awaken? Am I willing to step into a new future or do I wish to return blind, deaf and mute to a half-life of denial devoid of joy, love and power?
I choose life and death and change and the grief of letting go. I weep as I step through the Gate of Yesterday and Tomorrow. My Gods go with me and my Ancestors and my Allies and my Beloveds. But the parts of me that must be left behind, I grieve for. The life I will not live because I have chosen something else is peeled away from me as I step through the Gate and it is painful to release that dead skin. Like a snake I shed the safety and comfort of that armor I have hidden in. My flesh is exposed, raw and tender and I can feel intensely all of the possibilities that my choice lays before me.
I weep as I watch the Warriors banish that which has been left behind with the strength of runes and their swords. I continue to weep as three beautiful Men, human and full of love and compassion and with mercy, sing a spell to banish fear. Their voices are a tonic for my aching heart and burning soul.
The Wise-woman with white hair blesses baskets held before her. Her voice is full of mystery and humor, as if she understands some great cosmic irony that I have not yet lived long enough to comprehend. I hope that I will.The Mystic speaks of hope, of stepping into the future to create a new enchantment. She begins a song and all of those present begin to take it up. They sing with joy and courage and they begin to dance and the baskets are carried past and red feathers find their way into hands of all those in the Temple. And as the song builds the feathers are flames of hope rising from the crowns of each spirit present. It is joyous and wondrous and I weep.