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Taking the Road Less Travelled – As Dumbledore said; a Choice Between What is Right and What is Easy.

  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.

forest

  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.

treasure

  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.

cave

  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.

dragon2

  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

Imeldra Moonpaw

 

World of the Fire Cat Colouring Book

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Far Pavilions, home of the fire cat and the magical and most ancient Clowder of Grimalhame. The illustrations within this book have been specially adapted for you to colour, images and designs taken from Dance of the Fire Cat – a tale of how the fire cat, Grimalkins and the Clowder of Grimalhame came to be, and The Ocean Lord – the story of how the fire cat saved the clowder from a mysterious sickness and made a few memorable friends along the way.

The Far Pavilions is a magical place, full of dragons, unicorns and Grimalkins who love to dance, sing and tell stories of how they came to be the custodians of the Great Arcadian Forest, their home. Alongside the images are quotes from both books, introductions to the clowder, the Far Pavilions and its inhabitants. I hope you find colouring these specially-adapted illustrations as enjoyable and fulfilling.

World of the Fire Cat Colouring Book

Faeybright Longwhisker           Starhawk Woodharrow

 

 

The Dark Portal – Book Three of the Fire Cat Stories

Suddenly, Starhawk stopped dead in her tracks. The fire cat, lost in thought, walked straight into her. She was tense and had an odd, glazed expression on her face, as though seeing something that the fire cat could not. He watched her for a few moments, and then she came out of her reverie. Her eyes, now wide and fearful, focused fully on the fire cat.
“Run. Now,” she urged as she set off at a sprint into the mist.
Something evil has found its way into the magical world of the Far Pavilions – something so powerful and deadly that it has the potential to tear a hole in the very fabric of reality. The fire cat must leave the relative safety of the Clowder of Grimalhame and embark on a terrifying journey that will take him beyond the arch of time and ultimately face-to-face with the unearthly force that threatens to destroy his world.
With the Far Pavilions on the brink of war and his people teetering on the edge of destruction, the fire cat must call upon all his courage and self-belief to find a way of defeating this terrible enemy. Can he save his people and his own soul in the process?
And deep below the earth, a creature is stirring …

The Dark Portal

dark porta2l

The Ocean Lord – Book Two of the Fire Cat Stories

The Ocean Lord

The fire cat looked towards the entrance of the cave on the other side of the lagoon and waited and, for a moment, he saw nothing. Then, slowly, a large bow wave appeared on the horizon. It travelled towards him and the fire cat held his breath in anticipation, his heart pounding. The bow wave grew bigger, rippling as it came nearer. It stopped short of the rock and the water went still.
Too still.
Seconds ticked by and the fire cat peered into the clear, turquoise water. It was deathly silent.
Suddenly, the water boiled and frothed as a huge something emerged slowly from the depths sending waves crashing over the rock. The fire cat was taken totally by surprise and rolled over onto his side, seawater splashing over him.
A dark shadow crept over the fire cat’s prone form as the massive creature rose from the depths of the lagoon. The fire cat’s strength left him as he lay in the shadow of the creature that fixed him with an unearthly gaze that rooted him helplessly to the spot.

©Angela Russell 2013

  The Ocean Lord is the second of the fire cat stories and follows the fire cat from his home in the Great Divide to the ancient and magical Clowder of Grimalhame. After meeting Winnowyn and Rowanberry Longwhisker, the Clowder Elders, the fire cat sets out on a mission to find a cure for the mysterious illness that is afflicting the clowder and the creatures of the Great Arcadia Forest. His journey takes him beyond the shores of Arcadia to Kaldivari, the kingdom of the Tiger Lords, and to Tharsis – the Land of the Fire Mountains. With the clowder in grave danger, the fire cat must face his greatest fear and go beyond the boundary of death itself in order to save his kin.

Can he find the Ocean Lord, the Source of All Wisdom, before it is too late?

 

Ocean Lord Front

Dance of the Fire Cat

Dancing Fire Cat

From the heart of a star he came, born from the chaos of Creation. He came with the spark of Divine Light in his fiery paws and  danced across the surface of the sun at the beginning of the world.

He danced far and wide across the plains of Tharsis and the Great Harara Desert, planting the seeds of life in the barren ground in his wake. He sang his joyful song beneath the stars of the Great Divide:

“Awake, my friends, for I am the First!
Arise and join me in the Dance of Life. Be not
sorrowful for there is no longer death and darkness.”

And so, the first cats appeared from the womb of the sleeping earth to rejoice and sing in the First Days of the New Dawn.

©Angela Russell 2011

  Dance of the Fire Cat is a creation myth of how cats came into being according to cats. It is the first of the Fire Cat stories and will take you on a magical tour of the Fire Cat’s world, ‘told’ by the Grimalhame Clowder Historian, Imeldra Moonpaw. She tells the story of the Fire Cat’s journey across the kingdoms where he meets a wise creature who tells him about the nature of the Cosmos and the importance of his task, and the creation of the magical Clowder of Grimalhame – the city of cats, a place of myth, mystery and ancient Grimalkin magic.