Monday, November 20, 2006

The stag at St Paul’s

Tourists crawled all over the Cathedral, shuffling about and rubber-necking the congregation in a slightly self-conscious way because religion was going on rather tunefully in their presence! Camera crews surrounded half the building and outdoor tourists bobbed like pigeons haphazardly in front of us as we made our way to the cathedral garden.

Not content with the humble bench suggested by my companion as a suitable place to sit, I demanded a tree. We found a clump of four yew trees, interwoven and intimate, into which we climbed, not caring what the tourists thought as we lit incense and candle and cast our circle.

As soon as I touched the yew tree, I knew it was the place to be. The branches forked and crossed each other, feathery with leaves and mossy to touch. I lent into the tree and wondered if this was how antlers might feel.

All around us, people scurried by, traffic roared in the distance and the wind rustled the leaves. If people stopped to stare, looked sideways at each other, pointed, muttered darkly or even laughed out loud, I didn’t know or care because I was somewhere else.

I was hiding amongst branches, in a tree rather like these ones, but older and thicker and much, much bushier. I heard hooves thundering in the distance, growing nearer. They stopped by my tree. Full of curiosity, I slipped out into his presence.

There in front of me stood a huge, proud and noble stag, his antlers filling the sky like bare branches on a winter’s day. Awe-struck and silenced though I was, I felt a strong urge to go with him.

Somehow, I climbed upon his back, and clutching fast his antlers, we pounded off, his hooves seeming to shake the very ground. Through fields and woods we tore, passing settlements whose inhabitants hearing the hooves came out to stand in reverence at this magnificent creature. Others gave chase, even tried to shoot at us with arrows, but we always got away.

I was as high as a kite. The wind rushed into my face, the power of the stag inspired me with a huge feeling of being gloriously and abundantly alive. Life was fabulous.

A sonorous yet exhuberant peal of bells brought me back to the present. Leaning gratefully into the embracing branches of the tree, I breathed the crisp November air, and felt the rough bark beneath my hands as I stroked it gently. Beneath my feet, the soft earth held me tenderly as though I stood on the palm of Her hand. Life was indeed good and I was glad to be who and where I was right now.


Blogger The Low Priestess said...



4:11 AM  

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