The Temple of Darkness and Light

The Winter Solstice coupled with the Christmas full moon, have me thinking of this dream which came a few years ago. moonlight

The Temple of Darkness and Light

In my dream, I see a beautiful luminous light, shinning like the moon, yet aware it is a portal into an other worldly place. It has a mysterious feel and beckons, like the pull of the moon on the ocean tides. I follow this pull and find myself tracking a woman, wearing a black hooded cloak who is moving toward the light. Her back is to me and her head is covered. I sense the woman ahead of me on the path of light, is also me, though I cannot see her face.

She takes me through an underground tunnel with stone pillars, and I realize I am in some kind of ancient temple. The temple is built so that the Moonlight shines through the underground tunnel, reaching an inner chamber at certain times of the year. The mysterious woman continues to follow the light through the tunnel with me tracking behind her. She moves so swiftly, I am losing ground and almost lose sight of her. The closer she approaches to the light, the farther behind I become. I want to follow her, and the mystery which is pulling me deeper into the darkness of this underground chamber. At the same time, even though surrounded by darkness, I too am following the light. This paradox of mystery has me tracking the path of light through an underground tunnel where the brighter it becomes the further behind I get. Like the moment of the Winter Solstice when the Sun is in stasis, I can no longer move to further track the light and I find myself at a standstill. The mysterious cloaked woman has moved out of sight. 

I set my intention to re-enter my dream, determined to continue my journey of tracking the moonlight and the mysterious cloaked woman. I was able to reconnect with her in my dream. I saw her face and the source of the mysterious light as it surrounded her. I drew the light into my energy field and it shown like a luminous egg.  

The mysterious woman began to follow a trail of moonlight once again, moving along a forested path, until reaching a shore where a small row boat awaited her. She climbed inside and began to paddle across a calm body of water. She navigated her way along the path of moonlight reflected on the water. I wanted to follow her as in the dream before, but again I found I could not move. I then remembered I could change into a bird, and shape shifted into an owl. I flew to her shoulder and crossed the water  as her familiar animal companion. I then suddenly flew off to investigate the coming shore before we arrived there by boat.  Once arrived on shore, the woman now appears younger, wearing a brown cloak made from a course garment. She is also very pregnant. She picks up a piece of tree bark and tucks it into a carved out space inside in the tree. She is keeping a record of the moon, preparing to give birth. 

© Valley Reed 2015

Goddess of the Underworld

Image
Persephone, queen of the underworld, 480-460 BC, found in Taranto, Italy.

The Fruit of the Pomegranate Tree

Oh Persephone!

You came in my dream

and showed me,

The pomegranate seed.

You said,

“If you never open the pomegranate,

you can never plant the seed,

And the tree will never grow.”

Well, you opened that fruit,

and planted that seed.

The tree grew tall and strong,

fully grown, before my eyes,

like magic.

You opened me,

as you did the fruit.

You planted that seed inside.

I have grown worthy

of becoming a tree.

I have much to offer,

from the land of the dead.

The seed of the goddess

is planted in the deep, dark earth.

I reach up toward the light,

as my branches stretch,

strong, tall and beautiful.

I can hold the weight,

of the abundant,

juicy, fruit of the ages.

Ready to be picked,

and broken open to feed the soul.

I can lead others

into the dark,

into the mystery of becoming,

where the richest fruit,

and most magical trees grow.

by Valley Reed

The Fruit of the Pomegranate Tree

Pomegranate Tree

 

I wrote a previous blog post, about Persephone and her journey into the underworld. It was inspired both by the Winter Solstice, and a dream I had of a visit from Persephone herself. I wrote the following poem in honor of the dream. Happy Winter Solstice!

 

 

The Fruit of the Pomegranate Tree

Oh Persephone!

You came in my dream

and showed me,

The pomegranate seed.

You said,

“If you never open the pomegranate,

you can never plant the seed,

And the tree will never grow.”

Well, you opened that fruit,

and planted that seed.

The tree grew tall and strong,

fully grown, before my eyes,

like magic.

You opened me,

as you did the fruit.

You planted that seed inside.

I have grown worthy

of becoming a tree.

I have much to offer,

from the land of the dead.

The seed of the goddess

is planted in the deep, dark earth.

I reach up toward the light,

as my branches stretch,

strong, tall and beautiful.

I can hold the weight,

of the abundant,

juicy, fruit of the ages.

Ready to be picked,

and broken open to feed the soul.

I can lead others

into the dark,

into the mystery of becoming,

where the richest fruit,

and most magical trees grow.

Valley Reed – © 2011

Persephone and Opening the Pomegranate

  In a dream from just the other night, I encountered the Goddess Persephone. She offered me a Pomegranate which she held in her hands and told me.  “If you never open the Pomegranate you can not plant the seed and the tree will never grow.” She then took a single seed from the open Pomegranate and planted it from which a beautiful tree grew tall, full and strong like magic. EOD

This dream is rich with meaning and nourishment as is the Pomegranate. In this time of the year as we edge toward the winter solstice and the turning of the wheel from the harvest of Autumn to the cold dark days of Winter, it is the season when Persephone makes her journey into the darkness of the underworld. She will make her ascent and return during the season of spring when all things come to life and begin to grow once again.

During the season of Winter and the descent into the darkness of the underworld, there are opportunities for growth to come from within.  This call from Persephone to break open the hard shell which surrounds the deep juicy fruits inside is a kind of death of the protective hard shell and an opening of the heart and soul.    The seeds planted will grow to provide more fruits and opportunities for growth, as well as a path to travel in dreams toward the upper realms.

The Return of Persephone by Frederic Leighton

In the Myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hade’s into the underworld her Mother Demeter, Goddess of the  Harvest, is devastated by the loss of her maiden daughter. She searches the earth for her daughter and becomes forlorn by her loss and refuses to bring the sun to grow anything upon the earth. Finally, her father Zeus is persuaded to bring his daughter back from the depths of the underworld where she sits as queen alongside Hades over the souls of the dead.

Zeus sends Hermes to go and bring her back but before he is able to do so Persephone eats the seeds of the pomegranate and is destined by the fates to stay in the underworld.  Hermes manages to negotiate a time settlement where she is able to serve part of her time on earth but must return for a portion of the time to reign as queen of the underworld alongside Hades. It is agreed, and Hermes returns her to her awaiting mother goddess Demeter, bringing the return of spring and the end of winter.

“Eclipsed Moon” photo credit Martin Pugh

The Winter Solstice honors the descent into the longest  night of the year and celebrates the hope of renewal and the return of the Sun as is portrayed in the myth of Persephone.  This year the Winter Solstice will shine under the light of the full moon and also be brought in with a lunar eclipse that will at its apex appear like a giant pomegranate in the sky.  In the spirit of Persephone, I honor this time of year with remembering loved ones who have passed into the realm of  the underworld where Persephone sits as Queen.  I will celebrate the hope of the return of the light, just as Hermes served as guide to Persephone to help her return to bring about the season of planting seeds.  Before the return though, the winter season of breaking open is upon us , an opening to bring about change and transformation and growth.  May your Winter Solstice be juicy and heartfelt!