Meditation: Visiting the Holly King

Our tradition uses guided meditation to help impress certain symbols on our members’ subconsciousness. Below is our Yuletide meditation. It takes place in the Glass Castle, which is the northwest area of our compass.  It is the home of the Holly King, who we honor as Odin, Janicot, the  Grey Wanderer, Merlin, and by other names.  To use this meditation let yourself relax comfortably and picture yourself drifting downward and inward to the third realm, the lower realm. The third realm is a place of darkness and mystery.  Let yourself sink down into the third realm and rest there peacefully.

Meditation: Visiting the Holly King

It  is dark when you awake in a silent grove of snow-covered Holly trees.  Snowflakes so fat  you can  see their perfect, crystalline designs drift silently down in the  moonlight to land on the  prickly green leaves, blood-colored  berries, and glittering, cold-hardened ground.

You have  the  sense of others  being  present  with  you,  and you look  around the  grove for confirmation. From  between an archway made  by  two tall  Holly trees, you see shining  eyes watching you.  A  black  goat steps into the center  of  grove, followed  by two companions — goats of white and grey  pulling  a  small  sleigh. The  black goat indicates  that he  has something  important  to  show  you, and  you  climb  into the sheepskin-draped sleigh.

All three goats  begin to walk through the forest, slowly picking their  way  through the prickly Holly trees. You  hear tinkling, jingling silver bells as the  rig  moves — and see that the tack has been adorned with them. As the  stand  clears  to a  meadow, they pick up  their  pace. Now trotting.  Now in a  full run across  rolling, snowy hills.  Icy  wind whistles  in  your ears,  and  the  frigid night air  stings  your face, making your eyes water. You  are grateful  for the soft, warm lap robe.

With wonderment, you realize the crest of the next hill  has given way  to a cliff,  and your team  of  shaggy steeds is running  with sure-footed swiftness upon insubstantial  air. You feel  the lightness of  flying in your body  as  you look at the white and grey patchwork  of  the earth  below  you, accompanied by a flock of small brown birds.  They are wrens, you realize.

Through a distant  mist you can see a sparkling castle of glass. Moonlight shines like starfire from its  faceted walls.  Palest blue, white,  and silver banners hang from its towers.  Music drifts to your ears  —  a  choir, strings, horns.  The brightness and warmth of the music stand  in  contrast  to the chill beauty  around  you.

The goats land  in a  snowy  courtyard  beyond the large, mirrored castle doors.  The  black  goat says that he will wait for you outside.  You ask him what place this is and he answers, “There are many names for this place.  Some call it Merlin’s Tomb.  Others, the Fata Morgana.  I call it the Castle of Glass.  It is the home of the  Holly King and his glass orb.  He awaits you.”

The doors of the castle open and you find a glass  staircase,  which  you begin to  climb.  You glimpse of  a  feasting  hall  where a cheerful  gathering has  assembled — the smell of  roasted  meats  and spiced cider, a peek of  evergreen garlands, and  the joy-filled  sounds of laughter, music, and story-telling reaching  your  as  you make your ascent.  Perhaps  you will make merry with these  revelers later, but for now, you  know you  must  continue  upward.

The  staircase  is very  long, but you are not physically fatigued by the  climb. You are  almost floating. Still, as you  ascend, you feel  light-headed. When you reach the  upper landing, you  take a moment to catch your breath  and steady yourself. You find a carved  branch leaning against  the  wall and decide  whether or not you  wish to use it  as  a walking Staff.

In front of you are two large, intricately carved glass doors covered in symbols beyond count. Among these you notice a wren, a goat, and a holly leaf. You move to touch the doors and they swing open.

The room inside glitters  with a cold, pale light. Upon a  carved glass throne  sits a cloven-hoofed man with a long “salt and  pepper” beard. He  wears a wreathed crown of  Holly boughs and goat horns on  his head, and his  robes are grey, white, and silver  furs. To his  right leans  a  staff of Holly, encircled  with  its  own living  leaves and  berries.  Above  his  left hand hovers a large glass orb. His stormy grey eyes regard  you with detached  mirth. “I am Winter’s King, the  Holly King.  Called by many names.” His soft voice  holds  the rumble of  distant thunder, and  you shiver as he speaks. The scents of pine needles, orange  zest, and cinnamon fill the  room, and you feel alert and sharp in the  coolness of his presence.

He  gestures to the orb. “This is the treasure of the Glass Castle.” You gaze into the glass orb and can see both  misty and  crystalline images swirling within it. Shapes and  symbols  emerge  — some from your past, some from your present, and some from your future.

The symbols swirl faster, and you become overwhelmed with information, emotion, and  possibility. The Winter King  catches your eye with his piercing gaze  and stops  your crystalline vision with  his  chilling  voice. “I have a message for you,” he says.  He leans forward and whispers his secret message in your ear. [long pause]

He bids you farewell. You hurry down the glass staircase,  past the festooned hall, and through the mirrored doors.  The goats wait for you in the snowy courtyard. You climb into the sleigh and they soar into the air, accompanied again by the wrens, as you fly  back across the misty moat.  The goats take you beneath the snow clouds and over the tops of the holly trees, landing gently  in the same  grove  where you began. You  thank  them all, and especially  your  black goat  guide, before settling beneath a large holly tree to rest.

Published by laureleiblack

The Star and star-forged blade. Seeker along the crooked path. Author of Aphrodite's Priestess and Cult of Aphrodite.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: