In this excerpt from the novel, Patrick is at the start of his Hero’s Journey. He is being prepared to make the Vision Quest that will enable him to become a man of the Tribe. Arianrhod, the Tribe’s Priestess is preparing him for the journey into manhood:
‘Beating her drum, Arianrhod led Patrick’s spirit to travel out from the depths of the Rebirth Cave where they stood together, to find and hold the four sacred weapons. First she sent him down the Alder Tree path, called Fearn, to hold the Stone of Fal, his first weapon of power. Patrick found his spirit heading from the cave and walking the Alder path by the banks of a river that ran in several streams. He felt the place of watery misty prophecy signifying closeness to the Otherworld: the tree that grows on the boundary between the worlds, where water meets the earth. The Alder path, that he knew so well from his previous workings with Arianrhod, was the path of the Spiritual Warrior. ‘A quality of the Alder wood is it hardens when wet so it gives protection and steadfastness when you walk in connection to the tree’s spirit and energies,’ Arianrhod had instructed him on previous journeys. ‘Its wood also changes colour to red when wet which the ancients signified as connected to fairy and vision. It is a path of self-discovery, challenging that which does not ring true.’ And next Patrick saw the great Being of the alder path: the head of Bran on the Alder path and he knew that Bran is God of prophecy and he knew that Alder would bring him prophecy either from within ourselves or from without.
Next, at Arianrhod’s command, Patrick turned North off the Alder path for a while, to see and hold the Stone of Fal. According to the Memories of the Tribe, the Stone of Fal, the Lia Fáil, was the coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland. When the rightful High King of Ireland put his feet on it, the Goddess of the Land within the Stone would to shriek in joy. This was the stone bequeathed by the Goddess Eriu, Goddess of all Erin. ‘The Stone gives the gift of grounded power,’ this beautiful being told him gently. As he stood before the stone, Patrick heard the words, ‘the king and the Earth are one,’ and he saw that the Stone is the Navel of the World. The bedrock of existence. The foundation of Being. Patrick stood before the stone as boldly as he could, opening himself fully to it, and he sensed it solidity, its weight, and he touched it and he remembered its quality, committed it to his mind. And he knew what it meant when the Memories said that when the rightful High King of Ireland put his feet on it, the stone would to shriek in joy. He knew at that moment the inner cry of recognition when you harmonise with your true purpose, your calling. He knew somehow Celts understood stones were “plugged in” to the belly of mother earth and were conduits for her high energy, and their very solidity stood for trueness.
Then, Patrick wrapped himself round the stone and felt the link right from the womb of the earth where all things go back for renewal. He remembered the connection forever: the need to get grounded: the solidity and authority for the rock. He saw that the Celts knew this, and so Lia Fail weighed heavily in his memories as deepest or inmost purpose of his existence, as commitment to his own special unique fate path. He hugged the stone for a long time and tried to focus on the finite reality of his life and what really was his essence and purpose. And then Patrick journeyed back to the Alder path, saw how it continued one way to the tower that stood at its end on the shores of the surrounding endless ocean, but he turned the other way instead and headed back to the Rebirth Cave with the true meaning for him of the Stone now firmly in his consciousness.’
Michael Conneely is also a teacher of Ogham Distance Learning Courses and he offers initiation into Munay Ki shamanism.
See Michael’s websites:
http://www.earthstarweb.com and http://www.munaykiempowerment.com.