Forever Never/The Dawn of Illusion
by Cheryl Pennington
copyright photo and words 2014
We left our band of friends about the make ceremony, calling to the Eternal Realm for blessing on their desire to create new life on their world. Shadowed by the act of deceit which took place in the Sacred Garden, the Light Ones are encouraged by the words of the Sorceress and are eager to be in the presence of the Creators again.
Eolas and Eagna, although usually seated apart, were now side by side on the same flat stone, hands clasped with their free arms outstretched. In unison their gentle chants carried on the fragrant night breeze while they worked to cast off the heavy cloak of physical existence that they wore by day.
Amhain had learned quickly how to mimic his parents’ movements while in meditation. As he grew in consciousness, he began to exceed them in his ability to quiet his mind and focus on the light at the center of his Essence. Many times as a young boy, stumbling about the clearing, he would look up and gleefully point to empty air, beckoning his mother to see. When she asked her young son what it was he saw, he would just giggle and hug himself. M’na understood that being so newly created he was still close to those in the Realm; and with his mind not yet fogged by the density of his physical form, he could still easily see Spirit in Essence. She was thankful for this; but it waned as he grew taller and spent more time learning the ways of the living world. What was gained in the way of the physical mind was lost to the realm of the spiritual in the unconscious. It seemed to be the way on Domhan. She remained thankful for their times in meditation and for the gift of seeing Spirit that manifest in physical form-if that could be trusted any longer.
The Light within the circle grew brighter as the vapors drew together, taking form. Naofa dropped a thick, tarry substance into the bowl over the fire, and the heaviness in the air grew thicker. The sensation each one felt was as that of being in a dream, unable to control things but not wanting to either. They could hear rustling leaves as the scent of the night blooming flowers filled their circle. This they had come to know as the signal of the Feminine Essence among them.
M’na shifted uneasily on her crossed legs and looked guiltily up at the form of her beloved Mother. The vision of Bandia as the stalking, wide eyed night bird that now stood before her took her breath away momentarily. She wanted to speak but her voice was frozen in her throat. Before she could recover it, her the great Owl spoke directly to her.
“Dearest Daughter, Mother of Domhan. Please forgive me for not knowing of the plan to deceive you. I vowed to always protect you with my Love and it was with true regret and empathy that I shared your pain when you discovered the truth.”
M’na had been prepared to plead for her Mother’s forgiveness for her own self, for not being able to see through the guise of Ar’tine, and for not having, in her haste, been able to see the lie that was unfolding before her. Instead, to her disbelief and awe, here was her eternal Mother, asking her human child for forgiveness. It was almost too much love to bear. A single tear escaped her dark brown eyes, making a glistening trail across her soft cheek.
It was in that pure moment of salvation that M’na revealed her deepest guilty secret, one she had not fully realized she kept until the words left her lips-and her heart. “Mother, I humbly accept your apology, although I have not thought to blame any but myself for my error. It weighs heavy on my soul to ask for your forgiveness of my blind trust, for not recognizing the false nature of the vision I followed. If I had been acting completely in a state of Love, I would not have selfishly gone on such an impulse. I would have realized things were not as they seemed. She lowered her eyes and stared at a speck of ash that now danced across the soft earth near her foot. “I now understand that this deceit was accomplished because I was not considering my sister’s needs as well as my own.”
M’na cast her eyes up and nodded towards Eagna who was gazing gently at her friend. How she longed to hold the Mother of her world and comfort this beautiful female. Eagna swallowed the lump that arose in her throat and turned to look at the great winged bird who now looked expectantly to the Wise One.
“It is with appreciation and acceptance that I witness your unconditional love for one another. Yet it is with sorrow and regret that I also feel the pain you are inflicting upon yourselves in the name of guilt and blame. This comes from your place of separation and must be corrected. Many things have already been done in the name of love which were in error. With conscious thought comes the mind’s own perception and that thought may include a perception of love. And an error in this perception will only end in pain. Only when you accept Unconditional Love for your own self will you be able to fully send it back out into the All that Is. Do you understand these things?” The females nodded in assent.
Fireann and Eolas had been silent so far but their logical brains were struggling to be able to fully comprehend the meaning of her words. It was Fireann who spoke, “But, Mother Bandia, how will we know if the time to act in the name of Love is upon us? How can we choose the path that completes our own journey and yet does not impede others on theirs? How does one recognize a deception when deception does not know a home within one’s own mind?” Bandia looked down at Fireann with compassion and empathy and tried to answer him the best that she could.
“Dear Father of Humankind, Existence is still in its infancy. We are all learning Consciousness together. One cannot know of a perception that is not their own. Because of your recent experience, you understand the act of deception; but you still do not understand that it was not done to harm you or your family. The one who deceived you does not see his own error. Due to his perception of Love for his own creation, he is impatient for her return to the physical. What he has not realized is that all action, all thought, and all desire in Existence can-and will- affect the All That Is. He will learn this, however, or not be allowed to continue to interact freely within Existence. This world of creation is young, much like Amhain. We must work together to ensure its growth into perfection .
With her last words, Mother Bandia turned and stepped aside, making room for the new apparition that was already filling the void where she had just stood.
A playful breeze stirred the dust within the circle, creating a tiny gray whirlwind. It was small at first, but gained breadth as it whirled upward; and the swirling form began to glimmer with every color and particle that existed, even some those within the circle had never seen before. It was as though all they knew of their world was forming within this vortex of energy; and it was happening in an instant even as it seemed to stretch endless. Everyone was entranced and peace enveloped them as they watched the spinning whirlwind.
Climbing ever higher, it began to take form, top to bottom, slowly and beautifully. The gray mists and hazy dust fell away as the swirling energy transformed into the purest white that any of them had seen since Inion’s appearance as the great white spider.
‘Is she returning in this form to show me how gravely I was mistaken in my discernment?’, wondered the humbled female. M’na fought the feelings of shame and inadequacy that arose within her core.
They bowed their heads and allowed the Love of the Feminine to fill them. Naofa heard a fluttering and looked up to see a row of the very same winged creatures, in various shades of whites and grays, encircling the clearing. She knew she would never look upon such a creature again without peace filling her soul.
When Inion spoke, the vibration of Eternity was felt by all on Domhan. Nothing stirred while in her counsel.
The Dove continued, “None in Eternity can know the effect of the darkness within, or upon, any of you yet. We are young in Existence and many things will come to be known and experienced. Such is the way of Existence, such is the purpose of Creation-to experience the Unknown. We acknowledge here with you now, and are well pleased with, the sense of unity that exists within Domhan’s firstborn son. There is no measure of passing in Eternity. The Light of Creation shines as an eternal sun. In that realm all things happen as though with a single thought. We understand the passing of cycles here on this world and that the stirrings of your own creative desires is strong. Our hope for perfection through physical creation was to mend the empty space that is left at the point of separation from its Source. We now understand that this is impossible. Only by the All returning to its Source will this be accomplished. If at any time you wish to relinquish your place in Creation, you need only ask and Great Spirit will return you to Its bosom.”
“No more will there be a need to ask for the gift of creation among you. You will understand your natural creative power before this night ends,” whispered Bandia. She lowered her wing slightly to reveal the table that had been spread for feasting. Upon it were all of nature’s gifts that the little band of friends gathered as well as the meats that were hunted and blessed. They all recognized the bounty; but now, there was something else. In the center of the table, with one for each soul in the circle, was the fruit of the tree of Creation.
M’na recognized it at once and gasped slightly. It was the actual fruit from the tree in the Sacred Garden. There was none other like it in the Forest or on all of Domhan. Her eyes fell on its glistening skin, recalling what the nectar of the tree tasted like. She wondered that the fruit might be so sweet as to destroy one, since her Mother had strictly forbidden her to ever eat of it. Could this be a new ruse, a new deception of the dark son of Mac? Could it be that they were all cast under some dark spell, even now? Her eyes flew to Naofa, who simply touched her finger to her lips and smiled softly. No sooner had these thoughts entered her mind than Inion at once quelled her fears.
“What you see before you now is true and originates from the Light of Eternity. Whenever you call upon the Realm for help, you will be answered. If ever you are uncertain, which in the face of that deception which molested your safety is understood, then you must gather with your friends and come to Spirit together. Listen to the sound of your innermost knowing.” Bandia looked at M’na.
M’na admittedly felt uncertainty and more than a little fear when she followed the voice, that she questioned in her mind the stealthy way in which her Mother’s vision had come to her. It had not arrived in the counsel of friends and family, but alone and under cover of deep darkness. Now, in this moment, wrapped in her Mothers’ love and support, she felt no guilt or shame. She knew only an awareness that her ability to discern between things of the Light and Darkness had not been worthy, along with a heavy sorrow that now she would have to fear deception in her once perfect world.
“Mother, you once told me it was forbidden to eat the fruit of the tree in the Inner Garden and that by doing so I would surely see the end of my days on Domhan. What did that mean? I thought surely my life would end if its flesh passed over my lips.”
Bandia looked down into M’na’s questioning, genuine face and smiled within. How innocent and trusting new Creation is, she thought. How innocent she herself had been, how shaken in her foundation of Light when Ar’tine appeared. She also knew that emotion was experience and that experience, thus far, seemed to enrich the quality of Existence for Great Spirit and all It encompassed.
Eolas touched Eagna’s hand from time to time, causing her to glance up at his face in anticipation of all that was to be for them. She thought she hadn’t noticed how truly handsome he was before now.
Fireann and M’na contemplated the events of the night, each in their own way. Only Amhain seemed oblivious to the magnitude of the moment or of the coming events. He ate voraciously and smiled often at his family and friends. It was these smiles that lifted their hearts and comforted the sense of disease that hung in the air. All things were gifts to his young heart, a heart that beat as one with those of his parents, for his soul knew nothing of dark corners. It would be a sudden and striking blow that cracked open his empty space. M’na touched his soft cheek with her fingers. He blushed. The food tasted better than any he had ever tasted this night. It would be a memory he held onto, even when all seemed lost.