Happy Friday, Happy summer
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Chapter #10: Alban Heruin
Red Feather Lakes, Colorado
June 20, 2020-CE
Angela was used to camping in Red Feather Lakes but it was the first Summer Solstice since her mother died. Her grandmother had a small camper trailer. Angela and her mother used to sleep in a tent to give the camping experience during their holy time a more rugged feel. While her grandmother packed the tent in the closet in the trailer but Angela did not feel like setting it up.
Angela crossed over to the back of the trailer to the generator. Her grandmother was meditating in the sun. She had brought a small marble slab and set up her altar on it. In the center of the altar was a knife. On the west end of the altar was a bowl of sand. On the east end was a candle which had been lit. On the north end was an incense burner with several sandalwood cones lit. On the south end was a bowl of salt water. Each station of the compass belonged to an element. Each element brought together the energies that her grandmother needed.
Angela could not meditate at the altar. Normally she could, but this was the first major holiday without her mother and her memories were distracting her from it. As soon as she placed her hand on the red generator at the back of the trailer she heard her grandmother call out, “Do not start that generator!”
“Grandma, I’m bored! What am I supposed to do?” Angela griped in response.
“You can get some firewood for tonight,” Her grandmother suggested, “you can read a book.”
“I finished the book I brought yesterday!” Angela sighed, “I don’t want to roam around with a saw and get firewood again! I got enough for a bon fire the day before, we haven’t used most of it yet!”
“You can write a book then, you can take a nap,” Her grandmother suggested in response.
“I’m not a baby,” Angela stated in response.
“No but you are a child.” Her grandmother commented.
“Maybe we should have taken other people with us. Someone who had other kids maybe? There isn’t anyone out here. I can’t hear anyone else around and the only other voice I can hear inside my head is you. You could have invited Sylvia and her family,” Angela stated as she leaned up against the side of the trailer.
“You think I didn’t want anyone else to come with us? I’m and old woman. I would have wanted you to have someone else to play with,” the elderly woman replied, “I did invite Sylvia, her husband, and her son to come with us but Sylvia and her husband had to work. Do you think you would have gotten along with a seven-year-old anyway?”
Angela shrugged, “It would have been better than doing nothing all day.”
“Give me an hour or two of meditation then we can go fishing,” Her grandmother suggested, “if we catch anything then we can use the guts as a sacrifice tonight.”
“Isn’t that kind of like cheating?”
“Do you want to go fishing or not?” Her grandmother asked in response.
“It’s better than nothing,” Angela nodded.
“Then don’t look a gift horse in the mouth!” her grandmother patronized then turned her attention back to the altar and closed her eyes.
“Not far from here is a clearing, perfect for a new trick,” Came a voice over the subtle warm breeze. Angela recognized the voice right away. It was Mentor. She glanced around but did not see the spirit there. She glanced to her grandmother and saw that her grandmother didn’t seem to hear the words of the spirit that was somewhere in the area.
She thought about replying to the spirit directly but thought against it. She was just old enough to know that speaking to the wind would generally be seen as a bad thing. She thought about something better which would also keep her grandmother from panicking, “Grandma, I am going to go to the clearing on the other side of the trailer. Come get me when you are ready.”
“That’s fine dear, don’t wander too far,” Her grandmother replied.
Angela strode off into the woods. The woods seemed to go on pretty deep for a moment then opened up into a sudden clearing. Angela glanced around in amazement. She didn’t know the place was so close to the camp ground they had been going to for so many years. Quietly, so her voice wouldn’t carry, she asked, “Where are you Mentor? I can’t see you.”
“I am around,” Mentor replied, “You don’t need to see me for this ritual.”
“What will I learn today?” Angela questioned.
“Assume the stance and close your eyes. Face south,” Mentor instructed.
Angela did as the spirit instructor requested. She faced the south and closed her eyes. She stood with her feet at shoulder distance apart and her hands at her side. Knowing that Mentor would instruct her to slow her breathing and start meditating she did her best to comply. It seemed easier, now that mentor was there instructing her. Her mind cleared itself as if wind had come to blow the cloud of thoughts away and her breathing slowed and steadied.
“A month ago, I taught you how to cleanse your Nwyfre through a Nwyfre cleansing ritual that you can do any time of year. I will teach you a Solar Nwyfre cleansing ritual. During Alban Heruin you can do this while the sun is out but most times of year you will have to face east and do this in the morning, before ten in the morning if possible.” Mentor explained, “on your next breath in, raise your hands into the air and on your next breath out push down with your hands and imagine that you are pushing the Nwyfre in your body out and to the ground, replacing it with energy from the sun.”
Angela did as she instructed. She took a slow and deep breath and raised her hands from her side to above her head. When her lungs were filled, she pushed down with her hands as she exhaled. She expected to feel something similar to what she felt when she made the breakthrough with Telluric Nwyfre cleansing; a clearing of thought and increased focus. All she got was nothing.
She repeated the process a few more times. At first, she made sure she did not rush the process as that would have gotten her nothing for her efforts. As the time progressed, she started to breathe faster and her movements lost sync with her breathing. She opened her eyes and sighed, “It’s not working! I don’t feel anything! It doesn’t feel at all like it did when I cleansed with Telluric Nwyfre!”
“It’s not supposed to,” Mentor replied, “Solar Nwyfre is nothing like Telluric Nwyfre. When you get it right, the effects will be strikingly different. Now, clear your mind and start again. This time, clear your thoughts of any expectations of what you are going to get out of this exercise.”
Angela nodded and closed her eyes and tried again. She let go of all expectations, all frustrations, everything around her. It was just the exercise. She repeated the process over and over. She didn’t feel any different for the first dozen cycles. Slowly, as she repeated the process, she felt like she was taking in a revitalizing energy, as if she had drunk a pot of coffee and it was just starting to slowly kick in. She felt charged and energized. Her body started to tingle with energy, as if she were standing on a live wire. It didn’t hurt. In fact, all of her scrapes and bruises she got from cutting lumber from the previous day felt like they were melting and falling away.
She stopped and opened her eyes. She had expected the world around her to be brighter because her eyes were closed but there was definitely something different now. There seemed to be extra colors now. The air carried the scents of all of the plants around her. She could hear the animals and insects scurrying around in the underbrush at the edge of the clearing.
In the air a short distance, she could see a shimmering distortion, something that she didn’t see before. She glanced over and focused on it. It looked almost human, “Mentor? Is that you?”
“You can almost see without me forcing the projection,” The shimmering distortion nodded, “This is the power of the sun. Solar Nwyfre heals and revitalizes. Your cuts and bruises are diminished and your senses are sharper.”
“I can see new colors!” Angela nodded, “Everything has been turned up a notch.”
“If you do nothing else then the effect will be temporary and will wear off with time. The cleansing worked a little faster on you than I expected. It seems to have given you a fourth cone already. You can now scrutinize a forth primary color,” Mentor explained, “This is just the beginning, however. If you perform a Telluric cleansing ritual at night, it will sharpen the abilities and give them more focus.”
“What can I do to make them permanent?” Angela questioned.
“For the rest of your time here, for the rest of Alban Heruin,” Mentor replied, “perform a Solar cleansing ritual during the day, for as long as you can, and at night perform the Telluric cleansing ritual. Then, every day if possible, perform a solar cleansing in the morning and a telluric at night. Eventually, they will become permanent and the real training can begin.”
“I better tell grandma to continue to meditate and cancel the fishing trip,” Angela noted and started to head for the clearing.
“Go fishing, enjoy the finer things with the new senses,” the spirit commented, “You won’t lose them from taking some time out to fish. You still have to eat.”
* * *
One of the things that Angela loved to do at night up in the mountains was to stargaze at night. As instructed, she performed her Telluric Nwyfre cleansing ritual after dinner and after the sun had gone down and waited until night to stroll back into the clearing. She expected to feel cold as it still dropped to near freezing up in Red Feather even in the middle of the summer, after the sun went down. The cold didn’t seem to affect her as much as before. She could also see in the dark a lot better than before. It made her wonder how the stars would be.
She laid down on the grass and gazed up at the stars with her new gray eyes. The expanse before her looked even more amazing than before. This was a view she could never get from Greeley. The galaxy stretching out before her. Clouds of dust looking like a natural cloud covering pin pricks of light in the sky. With her new eyes, they shined brighter and with new light. There seemed to be more stars than before.
She drank in the new colors as if she were a child again, looking at the clear night sky for the first time again. There were wonders to be discovered both on Earth and out there. Everything seemed to call at her. She wanted to take it all in. It felt like she could almost reach it.
“Should I get your sleeping bag or will you make your way back to the trailer soon?” her grandmother asked.
She didn’t hear her grandmother approach. With her new hearing, she should have heard her approach but she was too engrossed in the view before her to notice. She reluctantly broke her glance with the night sky and focused on her grandmother, “I’m sorry, I must have lost track of the time.” She turned back to the stars, “Have you ever seen the night sky with new eyes? Seen it with new colors?”
“Did you eat some mushrooms you found in the woods?” Her grandmother sounded worried.
“No, I meditated and took in the energy from the sun. Since then I have been seeing new colors. Everything seems better than before. Better hearing, stronger smells. The fish tasted like stronger fish,” Angela replied, “I can’t explain it any better than that.”
“Who taught you how to take in the energy from the sun like that?” Her grandmother asked, “I know what you are talking about. I didn’t teach you that. Your mother didn’t teach you that. She never went on camping trips for the religion. She went on the trips because she liked camping. She liked seeing the stars at night. She liked telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows and hotdogs over the fire. She was never a shaman, never a druid. Who taught you?”
Angela was unsure how to answer. She stretched the truth once with her. It was a dream when she learned about the spirit stones. She learned how to use them for astral projection and her room has been mostly clear of ghosts since. Now, she has learned how to cleanse her Nwyfre, she was starting to gain from the training Mentor was giving her.
“I’m waiting for an answer, young lady,” Her grandmother stated.
“Dreams,” Angela answered, “I can’t explain it any better than that. Just like the stones, I learn this stuff in my sleep and I try them out the next day.”
Her grandmother was silent. Even in the dark, she could still see the old woman’s face. She didn’t know if her grandmother was trying to decide if she was lying or if she was deciding what to do next. She shrugged, “Your mother never had your talents. I can gaze into the future as well but as I have gotten older, the abilities seem to have faded. I don’t think I was able to glean this much from my dreams. Maybe you are the next step, maybe your children will have talents too. If you ever want me to teach you, let me know. Otherwise, I will leave you to your solo studies as long as you don’t dabble in anything dangerous. Once that happens, I will stop you.”