You are wandering through a forest alone. Suddenly you are presented with two paths – the path to the right is sunlit, with neat grassy verges. Flowers grow. There are bees and butterflies. A blackbird trills in the undergrowth. It is pleasant. You have a vague sense of the destination to which this path will take you. You sense the approval of your friends, family and peers should you take this path. It is inviting. Secure. Familiar.
To the left is another. It is somewhat darker, full of gnarled old pines, yews and hawthorns. Their branches seem to want to reach out and grab you and pull at your clothes. You can smell the damp and the decay. You can hear the hooting of an owl and the rustling of the leaves of an unknown creature passing by. Here are wolves and bears and battleswine. It is a dangerous path. Here, you sense your friends, family and peers telling you not to go. You see the anger, disapproval and disappointment on their faces in your mind’s eye.
And yet, you know there is something just beyond the tangle of thorns and grasping branches. Here the nights are dark and moonless. Here are deep caves and steep ravines. Here be hags and spirits and ghosts of the past you thought had long gone.
You notice two marker stones – the marker stone pointing to the right is in the shape of a unicorn. The one to the left is in the shape of a dragon. You look to the right and you can hear merry music and smell delicious food. It is enticing. But you know this is an illusion as, when you look to the right, to where the dragon is pointing, you know that is where the truth lies. You see, the unicorn represents magic; to be precise – glamour, illusion. The dragon has always represented old magic and treasure and, in particular, the treasure of the soul. You cannot simply happen upon this treasure. No – you must earn it.
It would be all to easy to take the path to the right, follow the unicorn and satisfy everyone around you, to be safe and secure in all that you know and love. But to what cost? At some stage there will come a time when you will experience that yearning deep inside your soul as to why you are here, what your purpose is, what is the truth to your situation if any. Facing the dragon is always terrifying but taking up the sword and trying to slay it is not, and has never been, the answer. The dragon lies in the deepest parts of your inner world, but to get there you must take the path to the left, and leave all of your previous assumptions, ideas, fears and follies aside. Yes, to take the path you must even go against those closest to you if they do not approve for they, in many cases, have kept you blinded by glamour and illusion for whatever reason. Sometimes, for their own selfish reasons. Blinded by the false glamour-light of the right hand path, they have kept you blind to the truth of who you are.
You move forward and, as you pass the dragon marker, the trees close behind you for there is no going back once you have awoken. Once your eyes have opened to the truth of the false light, there is no going back. You must go ahead into the darkness and face all that has haunted you throughout your life. Only then will you see the truth, bring it to bear and then be free as a result of it, whether it brings you joy or sadness. For this path, too, has an end, but it is an end of your choosing.
Ultimately you will face the dragon at the end of your journey but instead of taking up arms against it, will you converse with it? Confront it? Befriend it? What will you do to convince it to relinquish the treasure it holds for you? Well, that all depends on your journey through the dark forest and what demons, ghosts or creatures you fight. Will it be the ghosts of childhood trauma, or the monster of your own ego or fear that you will face?
It is important to remember that this journey is a soul journey, one that leads to enlightenment and a happier, more fulfilling life if that is what you choose. But old wounds that have long been neglected all lie along the left hand path and all need addressing. The first foes you will meet on the road are fear and ego. Overcome these and the rest is merely a journey of discovery. Embrace the darkness for it has much to teach us – The gnarled old yew holds the Ogham oracle, the wolf will act as your guide along the road, the hag will impart wisdom, the ghosts will give you messages from those who have passed on, the battleswine will forge a path through the brambles so you can find another route you wouldn’t necessarily have taken. With each fear comes a new opportunity to learn and grow as a person and as a Universal Being. These trials will help you connect with the Source.
If you do not already do so, learn to meditate. Or, at least, set time aside each day and be still, even if it is only for five or ten minutes. There is much wisdom and guidance to be had in those moments of silence and inactivity. Take each day as it comes. Taking the left hand path is not easy, but it is right for there lies the truth at the end, whatever that truth means to you. But it means walking through darkness first for in doing so, can we really appreciate the true light, not the false light presented to us by the way of quick fixes, social media, meaningless cliches and self-styled lifestyle gurus who claim to have all the answers. YOU have all the answers you will ever need if you look within. But you can and will face opposition from those who want to keep you blind, keep you tethered, bridled. You cannot bridle a dragon. Follow it no matter what those around you say. Do what you feel is right, not what is easy and, more importantly, easiest for other people.
Live this life in truth as much as you can. Fear not the dragon or the darkness. Do not take up arms against the dragon. Befriend it and earn the treasure of your soul.
Yours in Love and Light