I wandered down the path, not really having a destination, not really wanting one. The thought of destinations only brought forth a deep conviction that, once reached, disillusionment would swiftly replace triumph. Destinations, once reached demand new visions. Destinations, once reached, require commitment to a higher goal. A more demanding journey. I preferred to wander aimlessly.
The path down which I walked was banked on either side with trees which hid the sky. The Sun reached me in scattered patches which offered illumination, but little warmth, much like my life. The path itself was relatively clear, and those few obstacles which barred my way, I kicked aside with little thought.
As I rounded a slight curve, the murmur of a voice caught my attention. It came from the woods to my left, and seemed to be speaking rhythmically though not in words which were loud enough to hear. I was frankly astounded to find anyone else had stumbled onto this path. It had seemed, thus far, that no one but me had chosen to walk this path, and I hurried toward the voice, filled with curiosity.
Stumbling through the brush was difficult but I finally stood at the edge of a clearing and could see the person whose voice had called me from my quest towards nothing.
He seemed young though his eyes had a look which made me feel that to challenge him on the basis of his youth would prove to be a waste of time. He was dressed quite oddly, and I was reminded of the 60's for his robe and his headband seemed of that era. I glanced at his neck wondering if I would see 'Love Beads' there and as I did so, I saw him smile and beckon to me.
"Hello", he said. "Please. Come in and join me." His voice was gentle and somewhat deep. I walked toward him, noticing as I did that the area in which he stood was overflowing with flowers. I found that strange for nowhere on my path had I seen flowers in such abundance. As I approached him, I began to inquire about the flowers, and it was then that I noticed his belt! I must have seemed shocked, because he laughed out loud. His belt was a snake!
He touched the reptile, who seemed to move gently beneath his hand. The snake fastened itself to his waist by biting its own tail!
"Pet of yours?" I inquired, hoping he would not be offended.
Again he laughed. "Yes! He is, as a matter of fact. Do you like snakes? I find mine to be a lovely companion."
"No," I said nervously, backing away from them. "I've never been overly fond of them."
"My name is Magician", he said, holding out his hand to shake mine. I told him my name, but I'm not sure if I said it in anything approaching an understandable manner for when I touched his hand, a current of feelings, much like electricity, passed through me.
I suddenly felt as I did when hearing great music. Music which is so powerful in its majesty that it cracks open the walls you have built around your ability to be filled with wonder and tempts you to cry. I thought also of standing on a high mountain, awestruck by the vision below me of an Earth which had been washed clean and new and which seemed to call to me to come and walk upon it so that I could experience my life the same way.
I pulled my hand from the Magician's and saw him smile. "I'm glad that you have found me," he said. "Tell me. Are you content with your life? Are you achieving all that you had hoped that you would?"
As he spoke, he gently took my old satchel from my hand and gestured toward a table standing amid the flowers and indicated that I could be seated there. As I sat down, I heard his question ringing, almost tauntingly, in my ears. He seated himself across from me, looking at me expectantly, as if awaiting an answer, and I had none to give him.
Suddenly I saw myself as I had been when I was younger. I heard my thoughts and words echoing within my mind and remembered the vista of my life-to-be as I had seen it then. The plans I had believed in, the ideas that filled me to overflowing with dreams that would not only enrich MY life but which would also renew and heal the world in which I lived. I saw myself, once more, as the hero I had longed to be, filled with Light and hope...alive with anticipation. I saw my eyes, bright with courage and excitement, impatient to begin, eager to undertake the challenge, with no thought of obstacles or discouragement.
Then I saw what had actually happened in my life thus far. My eyes slowly filled with tears, and I lowered my head in pain. A terrible sense of loss filled me. "My dreams.." I thought, remembering their splendid promise. "My dreams.." I said again, torn from within with aching regret.
Somehow at the final moment of commitment, my courage had always seemed to fail me. I had failed to live out my dreams. I had failed, if the truth were known, to even try.
I raised my eyes to the Magician, who was gazing at me with awareness and understanding. "I know," he said kindly. "But believe me all is not lost. Nothing that you longed to be is lost. No part of your vision has moved beyond your ability. You regret for no reason for it lives. The dreams still live."
I stared at him feeling, for the first time in so very long, the beginnings of a desire to believe, To be ABLE to believe. I didn't know how he knew of my life, and I didn't care. "More.." I asked him. "Please tell me more."
"Friend, you fail to realize the source of your pain," he said reassuringly. "Think! Why would you HAVE such a sense of regret if all that was within you then was not STILL flaming inside you like a torch?" He leaned back in his chair and tapped the table in front of him, his eyes suddenly distant and a bit sad.
He sighed. "Believe me," he said softly. "those who truly abandon their dreams, abandon them entirely. Purge them from their minds. Dissolve them from their hearts. Leave no trace within which can raise up and tempt them to glory."
Suddenly he pounded the table, and I jumped in surprise. "These!" he said angrily. "These are the lost ones!" He sighed again. "They weigh on my heart," he said in an apologetic tone. "But you .." he said reaching to touch my hand "..you are far from lost!"
"What should I do?" I asked him. Whatever answer he gave, I was determined to try it. I felt something inside me had begun to breathe again, To live again, and I couldn't bear to think of losing it.
"I have a gift for you," Magician said reaching beneath the table. "Several, in fact."
He placed a Crystal Wand upon the table and sat back in his chair, staring at me. My eyes widened in wonder. It was a gemstone of flaming Red/Orange, which glowed from a Light deep within it that resembled the Fire of a Sun. It seemed to vibrate with power, with an energy, that was nearly uncontrollable. Darting shafts of Light flew in every direction from its core.
"This is for ME?" I asked him. "I've never seen anything so beautiful, so powerful!" My hand moved to touch the Wand and retreated. I felt afraid to touch it. Undeserving to touch it.
"This," the Magician said, "is the Fire Crystal. From it comes all beginnings. From it comes inspiration, courage and vision. It contains the Fire from the Center of the Universe. It is the Wand of Creation."
He reached beneath the table and next to the Fire Crystal he placed a Silver Chalice that was studded with Gemstones of every color. The Light from the Fire Crystal danced upon the pure and brilliant Silver of the Chalice, illuminating the Gemstones, creating a Firestorm upon the Chalice's glistening surface. The Gemstones seemed to flash with their own lightning, each a different color, a different hue. The Magician and I were drowned in Light. We looked at each other and began to laugh out loud.
"You," he said, pointing his finger at me. "look like an Aurora Borealis!"
"YOU," I said pointing right back "look like a fireworks display on the 4th of July!"
He touched the Silver Chalice gently and pushed it a little toward me. "This," he said quietly, "is the Holy Grail."
I felt myself pull away from it, feeling somehow that it was wrong to be this close to such a sacred object. The Magician chuckled a bit and pushed the Grail even closer to my retreating body. Leaning toward me, he winked. "You can run," he said slyly, "but you can't hide."
"Why do you pull away," he asked, suddenly serious. "This Chalice was made for all men and though many men have sought it, most men have sought it in the wrong place. From this Chalice is poured the elixir of Divine Love. It holds the promise of unending devotion, complete acceptance, and total fulfillment of your heart's deepest desires. This Chalice is never empty, no matter how often or how deeply you drink from it. Its Source is Divine Heart which will eternally refill and renew itself. If you give from this Chalice to those who thirst after Love and Healing, that Love and Healing will be given to them. It will cleanse your spirit and wash away your pain."
I stared, open mouthed, at the treasures upon the table. I was unable to believe that he actually meant to GIVE them to me. I doubted that I could bring myself to touch them, let alone take them.
He seemed to read my thoughts and grinning, he reached down and placed upon the table a large and flawless Crystal Ball. "Look within," the Magician said, pushing the Crystal Ball beneath my nose.
I had never had much faith in Crystal Balls or in my ability to see anything in them but I stared down into its glittering depths hoping that this time I would be wrong. For a moment I saw nothing, then all at once, an image began to form. As I stared, I saw the Earth spinning on its axis. Swirling clouds covered its surface, and the oceans seemed to sparkle as if awash in diamonds. The Moon glinted Silver Light as she revolved around the Earth, and, in the background, I could see the Stars each casting its Light onto the planet as if in a blessing.
I glanced up at the Magician who was bending over the Crystal Ball with me, staring with as much wonder as I at the loveliness of the vision before us. He straightened and pointed at the Crystal Ball. "This," he said, "is the world which awaits you. This is Earth. This is your home, the Mother Planet who bore you. From her comes manifested reality, patience to evolve your highest hopes and commitment to the ideals which will bring them to harvest. The Earth gives all things that sustain us, nourish us, and protect us. She awaits your healing Light for many of her children are in need. She is the Element of Bounty, the element of Reality, the element of Endurance in the face of all obstacles."
"And finally.." he said. "..the last of your gifts." With both hands he lifted from beneath the table a Sword that cast from its surface such a blinding Light that I winced. The Magician laid the iridescent blade upon the table and caressed it lovingly. "I have to admit," he said smiling. "..that this is my 'chosen one'. This is the element which is the most like my own nature."
The Sword seemed to change colors as I watched it. At first its incandescence gleamed a Silvery green, then luminous golden, then shining orange, then a radiant blue. I caught my breath as I watched it. its beauty and power were majestic.
"This," the Magician said lovingly, "is Excalibur, Sword of Power. It contains the ideas which will fill the mind of human kind and alter the face of the planet. It gives clarity and insight. It bestows knowledge and fair mindedness. It gives discernment and ideals. To THINK!" he said excitedly. "To use the power of your mind! THIS is the blessing of Excalibur. To COMMUNICATE! To share what you have learned with a world hungry for your understanding and perception. To use this Sword of Power to breathe the Prana, the Breath of Life, into thoughts. To hold in your hand the Logos, the Word which, once spoken, creates its own reality. These are the gifts of Excalibur."
"Now!" the Magician said, giving the table a sharp rap with his knuckles. "Here are the tools which you are given to use to manifest the dreams which you thought had abandoned you. Can you look upon these tools and doubt your ability to achieve your every goal? Who could possibly fail with these tools in his hand?"
He sat back in his chair and silently watched me as I stared down at the table, awestruck at the treasures which lay before me.
"Magician," I said finally feeling a deep and bitter sadness. "I don't know if I am worthy of your gifts. I feel that I would betray your trust to take them. Surely someone more deserving will pass this way. Surely someone with more ability than me could make better use of them.." My voice trailed off. I was afraid to look at the Magician, afraid that I would see disappointment in his eyes but when I worked up the courage to peek at him, he was grinning at me in delight.
"You think these gifts came from Me?" he questioned laughingly. "No, my friend, they do not. Would you like to see where I have been taking these treasures from? Would you like to see the container which held them until I sat them on the table for you to see?"
He reached once more under the table and, in a fluid motion, lifted up and placed on the table next to the shining treasures.. MY OLD Satchel!!
"These gifts were given to you long ago, my friend, by a power that I serve as a mere messenger. They have never left your possession. Never, at any moment in your life have they been further from you then they are right this moment."
He began to place the treasures within my battered satchel. "Now that you have seen what is truly within you, you WILL manifest your every dream. You know now of what you are truly made for these gifts which you see are only reflections of those same gifts which live within your true Spirit."
He turned to me, smiling. "Come.." he said, "..the world awaits you. But before you go, you will have one gift which is truly from me, from the Magician.. As a remembrance."
As I stood, feeling as though my whole life had been transformed in but an hour, I saw him remove his bright red robe. Smiling, he walked to me and placed it about my shoulders.
"This is the robe of the directed Will," he said putting his arm around me. "With this robe you choose to take deliberate action which will bring your dreams into the world of reality. With this robe you will CHOOSE to activate the gifts which you have been shown this day."
I could barely speak my thanks but he seemed to understand. We walked together, silently, to the path upon which I had been walking.
"Farewell, my friend," he said. "I know your life will, from this day on, be a mirror of the gifts which lie deep within you."
"Good bye, Magician," I said nearly in tears. "Thank you so much!"
He waved, and I watched him walk back into the forest and finally disappear from view.
I lifted the satchel and felt a thrill vibrate through me at its added weight and the sense of confidence which the knowledge of what it contained gave me. I knew I would not let him down. I know I will not let myself down. I had a destination now. I was moving toward my dreams.