Into the Grove

Sit in a comfortable position that you will be able to sustain for a while. Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Hold your breath for a second and then exhale slowly and completely. Continue breathing in a relaxed, easy manner. Form a mental picture of your immediate surroundings. Allow your imagination to enable them to disintegrate. Gone are the tables and chairs, curtains and walls. Gone are the telephones, the television, and all the trappings of the waking world. Let your mind create new surroundings, reflections of the natural world. The door to the room you are in is then replaced by the pathway to a new reality.

You are standing at the edge of the woods. The sun has set long ago and the night is cool and clear. You see a path before you and you feel compelled to follow it.

The sounds of the night are all around you like a natural orchestra. Crickets provide the string section, a chorus of cicadas dominates the treble notes, and an elusive owl contributes the occasional solo. You are comforted by this symphony, knowing that you are not alone but in the peaceful company of nature’s creatures.

The moon is rising high in the sky, casting shadows all around you. You are drawn in by instinct, not knowing where you are headed, but knowing that some intriguing mystery awaits you. You are on unfamiliar ground, but you are not afraid.

The cool night air surrounds you and comforts you. You feel strangely at home, as though you were walking through a pleasant childhood memory — some special place that only you and maybe a trusted friend knew about.

You feel as though you are traveling through time with every step you take. Each step on the path takes you deeper into the woods and farther from home, and yet you have rarely felt so at peace. You feel as though you are being led through these woods, that some unknown destiny is calling you toward itself.

You have lost track of time. It seems that you have been walking for hours, yet you feel no effects of exhaustion or weariness.

The path widens and you come to a small clearing. There is a pond before you, surrounded by thirteen trees. You recognize many of them: oak, willow, ash, hawthorn, and birch. You realize that you are in a sacred grove and that the trees are here to protect and guard you.

The pond beckons you to gaze into the still waters and you happily oblige. You walk to the water’s edge and expect to see your own reflection. Instead, you see only the mirror of the night sky above the radiant white moon reflected back at you. You are mesmerized by the sight of moonlight on the water.

The pond is so still and the air around you is so vibrant and alive. It seems as if the moon’s reflection is close enough to touch. You reach out and run your fingertips across the surface of the pool, sending ripples that spread outward. The moonlight responds by dancing for you, shimmering through the circles your fingertips have created, and then gradually becoming still again.

You look upward toward the sky, amazed at the clearness of the night and the brightness of the moon. She seems so very far away and unattainable like a delicious dream from which you do not wish to awaken.

The sounds around you remind you that you are very much awake and experiencing this peacefulness with full clarity and lucidity.

The moon looms, shining and large, and seems closer to you than it did a moment ago. You feel the cool night breeze across your skin.

You look around and even the trees seem closer. You can see the branches vividly as though you are moving upward, yet you feel as though you have not moved at all.

The moon draws you closer. You are now eye level with the very tops of the trees.

The sky opens before you; vast, perfect darkness, strewn with stars. It is as if you are looking the great Goddess directly in the eye. The expanse of black sky is nothing more than the pupil of her eye and the brilliant moon is but a glimmer of knowledge and recognition.

You ascend higher and higher. The earth is now very far away and you are surrounded in perfect silence by the cosmos.

The glorious moon is right in front of you like a gigantic mirror. You can see your own reflection in the light she reflects from the sun. You can see yourself through all aspects of your life: as a young child, as an adolescent, as a young adult, as a mature adult, as an elder. The images flow smoothly, one into another in a seamless fade so that you can hardly tell when one has begun and another has ended. You realize that the moon is turning, and you are seeing yourself reflected in all the phases: new, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, and new again. As the moon moves through her phases, enacting all aspects of the Triple Goddess, so too are you changing, seeing yourself for the first time against the expanse of time. You realize that you are who you are now, as well as all of the ages you have been and are yet to be.

You are drawn even closer to the moon until you feel that you are being absorbed into her. Any sense of yourself begins to dissolve as you become integrated with the pure and perfect white light. You feel it permeating every pore of your being. You are pure consciousness living in a brilliant glow of light. The moonlight moves through you. It is you; you are a part of it.

Take a moment to pause and experience being pure consciousness. Listen to the will of the universe and see your place within the divine matrix.

Slowly, you begin to pull yourself together back into your familiar form. You feel perfectly at peace. The moon is before you once again; so huge you can see nothing else.

Slowly, the moon begins to drift back and you are once again able to see it against the backdrop of the night sky. Even the stars seem closer and more familiar.

You look down and you can see the earth rising up to meet you. You turn back to the moon and it is a little father away. You feel the familiar atmosphere surround you once again.

When you look down, you can see the checkered patterns of civilization on the earth, even the pattern of city lights scattered across the land.

Down, down you descend until you are once again among the familiar tops of the trees. The sounds of crickets and frogs fill your ears with a welcoming melody. You can smell the organic scents of the forest.

Slowly, slowly you touch the earth again and find yourself gazing again into the pool, contemplating the reflection of the moon and the reflection of all the lives you have lived on this earth, all of the different people you have become, and all that is still left for you to discover.

You understand that the nature of change is inherent in life. You can see it with every turn of the tides, with every silver crescent that you know in your heart to be a full circle, even when it is hidden.

You stand up and gaze into the pool one last time before turning to the path that brought you here. Dried leaves crunch under your feet. The creatures of the night that welcomed you with their song now bid you a fond farewell until you meet again. Even the trees in the grove seem to wave farewell in the night breeze.

You leave the forest with the bright moonlight casting shadows as you pass. You smile with the knowledge that this sacred grove will always be here for you when you are in need of peaceful contemplation and self-awareness.

You look up at the moon, now high overhead, seemingly as unattainable as ever. You think about the journey you have taken tonight. You have bathed in the moonlight and it has touched every part of you. You are a child of the goddess and this light now lives within you to illuminate your path wherever you choose to wander.

Congratulations. You have just taken a trip to the moon. Pause for a moment to focus your thoughts and reacquaint yourself with your “real-life” surroundings.

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