|It is a quiet summer eve and
the secluded glade is alive with bird song, insect chirps and the whuffling
of assorted animals. You are reclining on the soft mossy forest floor,
listening to the animals talking and wondering what they are saying.
They are unafraid of you and you are at peace with yourself, your thoughts
are calm, reflecting the tranquillity surrounding you.
You look around in the dusk light and mentally name the animals that you know: bear, coyote, cougar, rabbit, fox, porcupine, wolf, badger, deer, snake, bat, owl and many others whom you cannot quite make out in the deepening twilight/gloom.
The trees form a protective circle around yourself and the animals and you can hear the rustling of leaves and snapping of twigs as the animals settle themselves for what seems to be an all night vigil. You know that something special is in the air because it is not every day that all the animals gather together, the hunters and the hunted, in peace and tranquillity.
As you recline on the forest floor you inhale deeply and savour the various scents in the air, crushed pine needles, various floral scents, the musky scent of the animals. The air is warm, gentle on your skin and the moss cushioning you is springy yet soft.
You look up to where you can see patches of sky through the leafy trees and see that the first stars are out, twinkling brightly in the vast distance that separates you from them. You also see that the moon is full and shining benignly on all below her. Silently, in your heart, you give homage to the Moon Goddess and wonder anew at her blazing glory.
The moon dapples the trees leaves and now and then, she casts a beam on one or other of the animals waiting patiently in the quiet glade. She silvers the great horned owl and turns him into a living creature of light, his great eyes blink slowly in the reflected radiance. Lightly she kisses each and every animal in the clearing, yourself included in a beam of light. The moonlight looks cold on your body yet you can feel the energy within it, searing heat touches your skin for a moment before departing.
As you drop your gaze from the patch of moonlight that kissed your skin briefly you become aware that something else is in the clearing with you, something that is human yet not. As your eyes become less dazzled you see a human form, the figure of a woman with two creatures at her side. That the figure is female is very apparent to you as her body is curved and lithesome.
You realise that it is the form of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt and the two creatures at her side are huge hounds, brindle with huge white fangs. The animals in the clearing are not afraid of this apparition and you find that you are not either. Silently the animals, and yourself, bow their heads in silent homage and She smiles in benediction.
As you look at her with wondering eyes you see that her eyes are as deep as the deepest black sky and 100ís of stars shine back at you from Her eyes. Her face is beauty itself and her smile encompasses a million universes. She has on a black cloak that shimmers in the moonlight and what you can see of her feet are shod in the deepest of brown boots.
She stands imposingly in the centre and then beckons for all to follow her. She strides into the wood, every creature and yourself obeying her unspoken command. The wood comes alive as all the creatures scurry, lumber and prance in her wake. You find yourself walking along between a big brown bear and a gentle eyed doe. You wonder if you could touch the bear and at that moment he turns his great head and looks at you, seeming to give you consent. Tentatively you reach out your hand to touch his fur with your fingers. It is vibrant under your touch and you murmur a thank you to which he dips his great head in acknowledgement.
The gentle eyed doe on your other side, nuzzles your arm so that you instinctively reach out your hand to caress her neck. She steps closer to you, encouraging you to keep your hand on her neck and you do so. You match her graceful paces and glance around at the other animals that are moving swiftly forward, following the Great Huntress and Her Hounds.
The only sounds you hear are those of the animals as they move in a flowing dance after the Huntress. You wonder what it is that She hunts tonight and soon you receive an answer for there, in another secluded clearing stands a great horned stag. He stands proud and unafraid. For a moment the Huntress scrutinizes the Stag and then nods Her head. At that, the great stag bounds away into the depths of the forest and the Hunt begins!
The great brindled hounds flow from their Mistress's side as she begins to run. Amazingly you find that you and all the creatures can follow. The pace if fast and furious yet you do not tire. The scenery around you changes, becoming less forested and more mountainous. The great stag bounds on ahead, never tiring with Her Hounds in sure-footed pursuit. The Stag leaps onto a huge boulder in one effortless bound and stands there, awaiting his doom.
The Huntress and Her Hounds stand at the base of the boulder and you can see her begin to smile, a joyous sparkling smile and She bows Her head in acknowledgement of the fleetness of the Stag and She gives him his life. The form of the Stag starts to shimmer and it changes.. into the figure of a Great Horned Man and you know that it is the Lord of the Forest that you hunted tonight. He leaps down from the boulder and stands before the Huntress, drops to his knee in front of Her and bows His noble head. Softly, she reaches out her hand and lays it on his antlers in a gentle benediction.
The gentle eyed doe next to you paces forward, nudging you to follow her. You find yourself standing next to the Great Huntress. The doe bows her head gracefully and moves to stand next to her Lord. He stands and looks proudly at the Huntress and together they disappear into the forest together. The animals fade silently into the forest, leaving you and the gentle eyed doe together. She looks at you from gentle brown eyes and nuzzles you in parting before moving gracefully into the forest.
You look up into the sky and see that the
dawn is breaking. The wind is cool on your face and birds are greeting
the dawn with joyous bird song. You inhale deeply of the pine scented
breeze and slowly awaken to the place you were in before you started this
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