The initiatory dream that birthed the Emerald Temple
Diana’s Initiatory Dream: Calling the Priestess Home
It was midnight when I folded the book I was reading across my chest and turned my face to the window. The moon was a gigantic orb of radiant light streaming into my body, casting her rays into my bedroom. I felt her vibrancy and heard the words,
“Come unto me.”
I have no memory of turning out the light and beginning the dream.
There was a time of dreaming, a time of floating in and out of unconscious scenes that blurred one from the other. Then something changed, and somehow I was aware of that change.
I dreamed vividly of colors and shapes and sounds that began to take sharp form before me. Suddenly, I became certain of the very fact that I was dreaming. I literally woke up inside of a dream.
Looking about me with a stunned, and excited understanding that my consciousness was fully aware, I spoke my name out loud.
To my amazement, I heard the sound of my own voice.
A deep resonance rose up around me then. It was a beautiful chant, a word of power being repeated over and over again by a long line of people that filed slowly down a thin canyon, the walls deeply etched with symbols of fertility and strength. They moved rhythmically, as one body, and they wore beautiful white tunics trimmed with cobalt blue. The sound they made was familiar, primitive, but warm and inviting.
I looked at my hands, felt my face, my flesh, and bone. Everything was solid, as if my body had been transported to this alternate time and place.
A woman brushed up beside me and placed her hand on my shoulder.
“Come, Diana,” she said, her voice deep and resonate. “We go to the Emerald Temple. We’ve been waiting for you.”
She moved ahead of me and I followed walking through a large hole in what seemed a giant barrier of stone. We moved through a dimly lit passage, torches burning in ornate, gilded holders pressed into the stonewalls. The light played before my eyes, casting shadows, like spirits dancing before me. For a moment, I began to hesitate, the realness of the experience beginning to overwhelm me, but then the woman was at my side again, smiling.
“We’re almost there,” she said comforting me. “The High Priestess waits for you. Our souls gather.”
I continued to follow her, my body beginning to vibrate to the sound of the chanting as we stepped through the end of the tunnel, I gasped. There, in the center of a great, green valley stood a pyramid, several hundred feet high, shimmering in gold. There were hundreds of steps leading to the top and in the center was a pillared stage. A fire leapt from the center and even from this distance I could see the High Priestess standing beside it. I felt as though I recognized this site, this place, these people. We had all gathered here before. Whether in the dream state, or another time and place, didn’t matter. Now, fully conscious within this dream, I knew I’d passed into mystic experience, and must surrender completely.
“I understand,” I said to the woman at my side. “I’m ready.”
We moved with the long crowd towards the smooth, slab steps and began to climb them. With each step, we kneeled down and prayed in unison with the others.
“I bow to the divinity within me,” we chanted. “We are one.”
My body keeled without hesitation as if it was a ritual I had always practiced. My mind became still with the rhythmic experience: step, kneel, pray; step, kneel, pray.
My hands began to move into gestures of power called mudras. I’d seen pictures of Christ, Moses, Gods and Goddesses, and the Buddha’s of India and Tibet making just such signs with their hands, but hadn’t realized the true power of the act until now. They seemed familiar gestures and sensations, as did the words that continued to pass from my lips.
“I will honor and obey all that I AM. I will serve in the name of love.”
I chanted with the others and climbed the pyramid stairs until finally I stood on the great, flat landing at the top. I swayed in the current of power. I was loosing touch with the world I called “real”. This was real. This place and these people and this moment were now as ‘real’ as anything else I’d ever experienced.
All about me were my sisters, priestesses in concentric circles around the fire. The light was dim in the sky and now the moon, round and gold hung above the woman at the center of things. Night, the time of feminine power, rose about us. Blackness, sacred and full of magic, stretched its wings across the sky.
As the priestesses continued to chant the High Priestess, draped in her crimson robes, the color of blood and women’s mysteries, stepped up to the fire. She held up her arms to the globe that took up the sky above us and she let out a long, high note that seemed to enfold us in a ray of moonlight that began to encompass the fire, the pyramid, the valley and the earth below. As it grew, the High Priestess’ hands began to tremble, and I recognized the force that was moving through her.
“I call down the moon!” she cried out. “We honor the feminine face of the divine in all her forms!”
Then she began calling out names starting with the oldest face of the Goddess.
“Inanna,” she bellowed as if invoking a soul, “Sophia, Isis, Hathor, Astarte, Tara, Pele, Oya, Quan Yin, Hecate, Demeter, Bridget, Mary, White Buffalo Woman…”
When she was done we stood in silence. I was vaguely aware of the crackling of the flames and the High Priestess’ outstretched hand before me.
“Come, daughter,” she said, her voice welcoming. I moved to her falling at her feet, tears welling up in my chest as I looked into her face. Her eyes were deep set and well known to me. Leaning down I kissed the hem of her robe, tears spilling down my cheeks.
“Reverence,” I whispered, trembling.
I felt her hands reach out and take my own, guiding me to my feet.
“No,” she said with a smile, looking deep into my eyes as she could see beyond me. “We are one, Diana, and we bow to each other.”
She lowered her head before me and then leaned close and kissed me on the forehead. I began to swoon. A pulse broke loose on my forehead and began to throb, as if my skin were opening and I was about to see from another eye. Then came the strong scents of jasmine and neroli, sandalwood and blue lotus pulling me back inside myself. I blinked hard to focus. Two priestesses came to my sides holding alabaster jars. They poured the oils into the High Priestess’ cupped hands and bowed as she raised them to the moon once again. My head pounded and my eyes seemed to blur, but the scent filled me. I heard her say the words, but it was difficult to see.
“May the priestess remember!” She cried. “And may she call her daughters home!”
My body shook with a spasm. The scents were being poured down onto me, my head bursting open to the sound and the light. I heard her voice again, but this time from far away.
“May the priestess remember, and may she call her daughter’s home.”