Swans glided effortlessly across tranquil waters,
their limpid reflections belying powerful majesty. Elaine relaxed her
upon them, as she bent her slender swan-like neck to drink from the spring at
her feet. Hair the color of sunlight cascaded about her face. She brushed the
locks back to reveal a mouth of soft roundness set firm with resolve.
Youth blessed her with its often fickle touch, yet no trial of years could ever
find despair in her blue eyes. They were the color of the Motherís holy robe.
Elaine bore the radiance of one whose beauty would survive long after the lilies
of the valley had dried and blown away. Such a destiny had come to her from her
generation, through the blood of the faerie.
As one of the priestess oracles of lona, Elaine
was positioned in time between the pages of an ancient and sacred book Divine.
It was her oath of life to become a bridge between the fasted melodies of the
Goddess, and the holy verses of the Father God and his Eternal Son.
ln the early morning of her hours this day,
Elaine had been brought by the High Priestess of lona before a woman bending as
a branch with heavy fruit, leaning against the arm of a sunburned man of middle
years, a fisherman by trade. The woman, her arms about her swollen body, glowed
with the familiar light of one entwined with Spirit. Her name was Mari, a sacred
name to Elaine, as it signified the veil of those chosen to serve the Star of
the Sea, the Mother of innermost graces. It was explained to Elaine by the High
Priestess that Mari carried the child of the Son of the Father God. Mari was the
chosen vessel for His seed in the Earth. The Holy Sonís mother, also a Mari,
had blessed this child in the womb, conceived by Mari of Magdalene through an
act of spirit after the death of the Holy One.
Elaine was given the knowledge of the role she
would play in the new life that stirred in Mari that day. She, Elaine, her name
meaning ílight upon the watersí, was to become the guardian of this
child, when it entered the world his father had come to redeem. After the
birthing, Mari would leave her son John Martinus, with the Priestesses of lona.
Upon his eighth year, Elaine would escort him across the waters to the Crystal
lsle of Glastonbury, where he would receive his spiritual instruction.
But all this was still ahead of her wondering
mind that morning, as she left the presence of the High Priestess, Mari and the
fisherman, running barefoot to her special place of swans.
Whatever her future may be, she felt a gentle
hand upon her shoulder, and sighed in the knowledge that this guiding presence
would lead her upon her path as guardian to the Sun Godís child.
The Conclave of Priestesses on Iona acted as a go-between for
early Christian orders and communities and the more ancient pagan institutions,
such as the Druids. Many of the Priestesses on Iona were actually Druids who had
left the main Druidic stream to do their spiritual work within the Conclave. It
was idyllic is some ways, as the Priestesses there had created a true sanctuary
away from the outer world. However, Iona is a harsh climate and very isolated.
Sustaining themselves there in that time period was quite difficult. The
Conclave enjoyed a prestige in most quarters of the realm that kept them
relatively safe from the tribal and religious warring of the time, as they were
known to represent all sides fairly. Yet in their inter-relations
activity, Priestesses were often traveling outside of Iona and this caused them
to be a risk from all sorts of situations: storms at sea, bandits, and warriors
who would act impulsively to strangers without knowing or caring who they were.
The Priestesses in the Ionian Conclave were extremely dedicated to uniting
Christian and Pagan within the essence of spirituality which they shared. To
this end, many of them gave their lives.
Call upon the Priestesses within the Conclave of Iona.
Ask to be invited into their sanctuary and experience passage with them.
Stand before the altar in their chapel and gaze upon their symbol of the Living
God. This was not a crucified image, but a wooden carving of the Man-God
standing with arms outstretched against a background of the celestial zodiac,
stylized in an ancient pattern resembling the earthen zodiac of Glastonbury Tor.
Feel the essence of the Old and New forms of the Universal Christos coming
together in the embodiment of the Living God.
Upon this altar rests a spiraled seashell. These shells were
used for calling to prayer the priestesses in the various hermitages about the
island, and to offer one's soul as a vehicle for the pure sounding of the Divine
into the birthing cosmos. Press this shell to your lips and issue your sounding,
with the breath of the Holy Spirit.
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