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From the BOOK OF THE ANGEL AGNIEL


The Traveler’s Prologue

It was five years ago that the great Light came to me, as I stood high upon a mountain, on a distant island, on the edge of the sea.
It had taken many days to scale those heights, just as it had taken years to locate that special place where such miracles could occur.
As in most of my life’s journeys, I had made my way alone, relying more on my own intuition than on the experiences or counsel of others. Finally, after many stumbles and errant turns, I found my way up the mountain.
Upon arriving breathless at the summit, I dropped the burden I carried on my back, and collapsed upon a mound of moist grass. Though exhausted, I felt euphoric, buoyed by the beauty of my surroundings and the rarified air above. On the distant edge of the mountaintop, I saw an ancient oak, its leafless branches gnarled with age. Slowly I shuffled toward the tree, hoping that its silver trunk would support my weary body. I lowered my full weight into the tree, as it willingly accepted my burden.
Once seated, I gazed out into the morning sky, as the sun blazed golden on the horizon.
Looking down, the isle below me appeared rather small, while the ocean stretched out its endlessness to the sky.
I opened my heart to the rising sun and felt a warm wind, bursting like the breath of first creation, wash over my face. I turned my thoughts inward, and sought to merge with the burgeoning light. I uttered the sacred sounds of flame & stream & star. I collected all my breath and circulated it fluidly through my heart & throat & eye. I lifted my consciousness up into the welcoming wind.
In the distance I heard a rumbling, as though some invisible storm were rushing in, seeking to shatter the cloudless sky.

Then the ANGEL approached.

It approached slowly as I lifted my closed eyes to the sun.
At first the light burned red through my eyelids. then it blazed silver and emerald, before exploding in sparkles of azure hue.
Finally it burst out the top of my head, at the same time burrowing through my every cell, spiraling in white and golden rings.
In one vast, lightning shudder my body was shattered, my consciousness flung to the furthest reaches of space.
The space embraced and nourished me as I soared. It filled me with light as I expanded beyond the boundless vista of starry night. Growing. Glowing.
Become at once both Night and Light, wed to one transcendent kiss, borne upon the Eternal wind.
Until ...
All became still, pregnant with the promise of unseen worlds.

Then, through the silent Infinitude, the ANGEL came.

And the vast Presence spoke to me.
It spoke not in words, but in quanta of light,
in shifting crystal lattices of sound and color,
singing its song in chords of harmonic number,
in bright notes which blazed
like a thousand suns.
Infinitude in Singularity ...
All strength in Silence ...
All fullness in Emptiness & Peace ...

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THE ANGEL"S FIRST TALE:
The Poet, the Prophet


And the ANGEL sang:

“I come from a world of unending Light.
I come in the name of the gleaming stars
and the ceaseless Sun.
I was born in timelessness.
I was born without specific form.
I was born with the knowledge of a hundred galaxies wedded
to my heart of flame.
I come bearing the truth of Eternal Worlds.
I come from the realm of the Unmanifest, from the shining Spheres of the Unseen.
Few know this place. Few can so fully or fearlessly see.
Its Light is shattering, its power, scale and beauty unimaginable to the limits of the human brain.
Yet, in silence, in the Mind’s vast eye, my world may be glimpsed. A similitude of its truth may be seen.
A few blessed women and men have seen my world.
Some have envisioned my realm as a Crystalline City, whose translucent walls gleam with the sparkle of diamond, of emerald, of ruby and chrysolite.
Others have seen my house as a luminous circle, whose inner ring brings everything to birth, whose outer ring circumscribes the Universe, whose center is everywhere
to be found.
I live in a realm of perfect harmony, endless imagination and beauty.
It is a world of ethereal subtlety.
Valhalla, Heaven, Olympus, New Jerusalem have been some of
its many names.
It is a world without words, yet is the source of all language and form.
The Angelic language is spoken here.
It is a language of light, of archetype and symbol.
Here is spoken the Word of Eternity
Here is spoken that perfect Word which was sounded
on the first day of creation.
This perfect Word is the model for all things
seen and unseen.
This Word speaks of absolute reason and perfect proportion.
This Word is inscribed in the heart of every atom.
This Word lies at the root of every thought and desire.
This Word breathes life and shape into every object and form.
This Word is the seed of Eternity and the ultimate solace
of every woman and man.
This Word has fully blossomed in the flesh of but a few.
Such women and men have been the shining lights of your smaller world.
The Word was first embodied in Threefold Hermes, as later emblazoned in the heart of Zoroaster, Moses, Lao Tzu, Pythagoras, Plato, Plotinus, Proclus, Mohammed, Hildegard, Hypatia, Boehme, Blake, Christ and the Buddha, ad infinitum.
Such illumined souls speak the same changeless Word.
They speak the Angels’ language.
They utter singular Truth in metaphor and parable.
They have framed Infinitude in their simple words.
They have carried the bright fire down from the heavens, bearing their sacred treasure through the spiraling maze of space and time.
They have planted the Seeds of Truth in the flesh of the earth, and watched the wonders as well as the sorrows grow.
From these primal Seeds have sprung nations, religions, bright gardens of the mind, the art of all genius, the music of celestial wonder, the dance of timeless worlds.
Like their angelic forebears, these divine women and chosen men have articulated the language of the Sun.
They have embraced the whole world with the breadth of their minds and the largess of their hearts.
They have brought respite and illumination to suffering souls.
They have captured Infinitude in three words: Mindfulness, Light and Love.
They have called all of you to sing this same song: Harmony, Beauty, Love, Understanding and Truth.
They have urged you to drink in your own interiors, to see what and where the deepest shadows hide. They have called each man and each woman to be accountable for their every thought, for their every deed done.
They have offered you aphorisms of Light, and sayings of the sun.
They have urged each and all to inhale perfect mindfulness, to purge the heart of hate and sorrow, to breathe out unity and love.
Few humans have succeeded in this calling. Few are able to complete the task, though one’s every step brings one closer to the fullness of this truth, which is the wisdom of the Divine.
Its hope and promise never depart from the world.
It is locked in the silent adytum of everyone’s heart.
For the undying hope of every heart is but this: completion and love.
Be it through one’s nation, one’s family, one’s home, one’s beloved, all seek the same thing: inner power, fullness, a sense of belonging, and completion.
One’s countenance, one’s belief’s may change for a time; for each day offers a different mask to wear.
But the same wish remains, forever and a day.
This wish is the desire for illumination, for all-belonging and completion.
All acts flow from the desire for inner power or completion, no matter how dark or misplaced such acts may appear.
For at its source, all desire is light.
An unseen fountain of light flows through your every pore, in your every breath, through every cell of your flesh.
One need not touch it to see it and greet it... just as the rainbow weds water to color, bridging earth to sky.”


With the fluttering of light filled wings,
the ANGEL brightly sings,

“Know this and more.
All things may be known.
Every future may be seen.
Every possibility may be experienced.
For the Genius of all creation resides within you.
The power of the gods lies within.
The Sun lives inside you.
The Moon fills your heart with love.
The sound of all life roars within.
You are the anointed, the life-giver of God.
Your light can fill worlds.
Your heart can touch countless souls.
Your mind can create worlds within, self-sustaining and everlasting.
It is but for you to remember your birthright, your hidden potential
as a living Sun.
Every song ever sung, every sight ever seen, every wonder envisioned,
every life lived may someday be known.
There lies within you a seeing that transcends all understanding.
There lies within you a Wisdom that knows no words, yet speaks all languages.
There lies within you a universal knowing that may be experienced, but never fully described.
There lies within you a Truth that never ages, that knows nothing of time or form.

And the ANGEL enflaming, sang:

“Mark well my words; for they are of your eternal salvation!

Know the one Truth that can be felt, yet never adequately spoken.
Know the Truth that transcends all forms and human institutions.
Know the one Word that gives life to all.
Know the power of number that gives life form.
Know the power of Spirit that flows incessantly from silent springs, borne by the inner coil of life.
Know the touchless Fire that feeds all light & gives all life sustenance.
Know that love lies everywhere, as upon first creation Light was wed to Love.
Know that silence and solitude may bring ultimate communion and the light of Genius.
Know that inwardness and contemplation show the way to the boundlessness of Soul.
Know the deep suffering that desire may bring.
Know the way of complete surrender.
Know the wonders of creativity, and the eternity of love.
Watch with care the pains of flesh, for service to larger community and the world at large bridges each to the greater all.
For the call of the selfless heart joins mind and soul to light-filled flesh.
And the wine of creative spirit nourishes infinite worlds.
As love of art leads the soul to a kinship with Eternity.
So the golden Sun imbues life with light.
And Eternal Death brings Light to lifeless flesh."

Mark well my words; for they are of your eternal salvation!


***************************************



And the ageless Angel told me this story, of a man who burned with Heaven’s fire.

“Two centuries past, during the burgeoning Age of Reason, I looked out from the heights of Eternity.
As I gazed upon the earth, I was drawn to the light of a little boy. I sensed his great creativity and his willfulness, and saw within him a radiant flame.
I knew that with this fire he would blaze a bright path through the world. Yet few would understand the power of his light. And he would always stand apart from the masses of men.
Even as a child, while adored by his parents, the boy felt alarmingly displaced. He had a sense of being in the world but not completely of it. Sometimes his sense of separation caused him to weep, yet he could not tell his parents exactly why he cried.
During his darkest days, between salty tears, he looked up to find me, hoping to catch a glimmer of my light. Though his small eyes could not penetrate my luminous sphere, he somehow sensed the promise of my radiance.
And in the innocence of dreams he named me.
He identified me as the First Angel of Fire. He named me Agniel, bright father of the Sun.
As correctly naming a thing is half the battle of wisdom won, the boy was well along the path to grasping a higher truth.
Once the child had named me, and embraced me as his first father and luminous shadow, he returned to his world of primitive forms. In brightest colors he tried to draw me. He sketched a gleaming man on a white winged horse. My face was made of shining planes, glimmering like crystal, with flames pouring out my eyes. My skin shone golden beneath the burnished sun.
In his longing to depict me, to capture a fragment of my face or form, the boy drew me far enough down that I could brush him in his dreams with my aethereal wing.
When the boy awoke in the morning, he felt the breath of God upon his face, and he laughed uncontrollably, somehow knowing that something miraculous had touched and transformed his flesh.

******************************************

My vision reached out to the hills around London. From the height of stars I saw the bright rocks and rivers of Marylebone, as well as the shadowy London streets. In a flash my intelligence was drawn to a point in the city, in the region of Golden Square. There, in a modest brick building, appeared a small, smoldering flame.
At once I knew the source of the fire. It was the burning blue light of a little boy. The boy’s spirit, as well as his fire, were easily recognizable.
Extending my awareness more pointedly to earth, I entered the boy, and sensed him bite his lip defiantly, as he said to his father, “but I did see them. I did! It was out on Peckham Rye. I saw four of them sitting in a tree. They were all silvery and shining like stars.”
“Hrumph,” his father muttered, not knowing what to think or say, his anger rising.
At that moment, the boy’s mother entered the house. First she saw her husband shaking his head. Then she saw her son, twisting in his fingers strands of his wavy red hair.
Realizing that her son William was in another standoff with his father, she approached the two and gently said, “and what is it my two bright boys are discussing today?”
Her light manner calmed her husband, who declared, “the child said he saw some angels today, out in the meadows.”
“Did he indeed?” the mother said in her typical singsong voice.
“Is this true William?” she asked. “Is this what you saw?”
“Yes, Mother,” he proclaimed. “I know because I have seen their like before.”
Kneeling down on her knee, the mother looked her boy in the eye, stroked his hair and said, “yes, I know. You see many strange and wonderful things, don’t you?. But do you recall what we said when we last spoke of this? Remember when you told me about seeing the prophet Ezekiel out under a tree in the fields?”
The boy looked down and said, “yes mam. You said I should not let my imagination run away with me.”
“Exactly. That is just what I said. Now understand, we are very glad that you are such a bright and creative boy. Both your father and I are proud of you and your many gifts, and they may be useful to you when you are older. But we must live in the world as well as spin our special dreams. Our dreams must be rooted in the earth. What if your father spent all day dreaming, instead of fashioning all the fine hosiery that keeps a roof over our head?”
“What indeed,” sighed the father in wistful agreement.
“Now let us hear no more of angels, and get yourself ready for bed,” his mother instructed the boy. “I think that bedtime is the best time for all your invisible friends.”
“Yes mam,” William obediently replied.
Yet as he walked to his room, under his breath, the boy declared, “but I did see the angels. And many more wonderful things besides.”
In this the boy spoke the truth, at least as far as he could understand it.
For it was not I, nor any of my fellow angels that the boy saw in the field. What the boy probably discerned were spirits of the aer or earth, those beings known as sylphs and dryads in ancient days.
Such a mistake is commonly made by women and men. The human mind has often confused lesser spirits with gods, or angelic and spirit entities with projections of their own subconscious; just as men often misidentify the unfathomable God of All, confusing the ONE with one of Its many emanations.
The truth is, angels are not apt to be sitting on the branches of a tree, no matter how pretty a day or how nice a tree it might be.
For angels never enter the world in such an overtly physical fashion. It is not our way. A portion of our intelligence, grace, and beauty may enter the human world, serving to inspire and lead the souls of men.
But the angels have no “form” as is generally understood by the minds of man. Each woman or man is responsible for the image of our physical form.
Many have said we have halos. Is this so? One must answer, yes and no.
When a person “sees” an angel’s halo, it is a way of describing those vast fields of force which surround our being. It is a reflection of the energy sphere that surrounds the crown of our luminous being.
And when a person “sees” angelic wings, he or she is describing an aspect of our power in a form that may be understood by man. Most men can not well conceive beyond anthropomorphic or zoomorphic categories. The image of wings provides a metaphor, or an animal semblance which may serve to describe our essential power. The wing imagery refers to that capacity of instantaneous flight and infinite projection of mind all angels possess. It refers to those powers of the soul which transcend the forces of gravity, time and space. It refers to the soul’s power to soar past all limits of human conception.
The Master Plato referred to this idea when he said: “the soul traverses the entire heaven. When perfect and fully winged, the soul soars on high and is responsible for all order in the universe. But if it loses its wings, it is carried down, taking on and earthly body which seems to be self moving because of the power of the soul within.”
An angel may be understood as the receptacle of perfected soul. We are pure, creative consciousness without bound. As such, there exist potent rays of energy which continually emanate from our being like rivers of sentient light. It is this energy which continually feeds the smaller souls of women and men. Such projections are usually two or four or six-fold. This is what humans sense when they see our wings. It is these energy projections that are at the root of all the two-winged or four-winged depiction of angels in art and literature.
In short, what a human sees on earth is but a projection, a mere shadow of the Angelic appearance, which can never be fully apprehended by the mind of man. No matter how refulgent or beautiful that projection may appear, it can be but a pale semblance of our magnificence, which flows from the fullness of the Divine. The bounds of earth may contain neither our ubiquity nor our light.
As human eyes can not bear the naked fullness of Truth and divine Infinitude, our true glory may only be viewed beyond the bounds of death.
For we reside in a deathless sphere, where illumination is our sustenance and limitless genius is our life-giving sun.

*****************************************

It was a bright spring day in London, in the waning days of the Age of Reason, when I looked out upon the world.
There I found my poet walking aimlessly through the city, consumed by the day’s events. As he walked, he cursed the vast greed and stupidity of men; men who knew but their margins of profit, their squalid factories, their dark engines of war and slavery, their devotion to lifeless art.
It was a time of war with France, and the young firebrand wore his revolutionary zeal on his sleeve. The poet had just argued with some men on two of his favorite subjects: politics and art. His sentiments as always lay with the forces of freedom and equality, and upon hearing the imperialist war cries issuing from these men’s mouths, his blood just boiled. He had also had a futile conversation with a drawing teacher at the Royal Academy. In art, as in his politics, the poet extolled the freedom of imagination, decrying imitation and slavish copying from nature. As ever, he denounced artists’ slavery to realism and to the organs of mortal sight.
While contemplating the ways of art and society, the poet passed blindly through the London streets. After a time, he came upon the bridge of Lambeth, and sat upon its rocky wall. The poet looked up to the burning sun. Then he cast his eyes into the river Thames, searching for answers no man could speak.
Since childhood, he had known that he was different from other people. Since adolescence he was aware that he had been given special creative gifts. But, he wondered, would these be enough to sustain him in the world? His life seemed headed toward a crossroads. Though he never doubted his own abilities, he seriously doubted other men’s ability to appreciate his gifts.
On the other hand, his art and vision offered him the ultimate solace and power, and a form of wealth beyond material measure. Yet he wondered, would this be enough to sustain him, to allow him to do what he was destined to do?
The mystic turned his eyes inward, rolling, coiling toward his inner sun. The river reflected the sunlight in silver slivers through the rim of his eyes. His mind sparkled with illumination, bursting to the heights above, where time stood still, and vision knew no bounds.
The poet’s spirit flashed like a comet into my radiant sphere.
For the first time I spoke to him directly, and said to him in words of flame,
“Yes, my young aspirant, you have arrived at the heavenly place you seek; just as you know that you have been chosen for your task by the First Powers of Light. You feel it in your heart and bones. Your path was set long before you were born. In your heart you know this. Just as you know the names and recognize the voices of your brothers who have preceded you: Elijah, Daniel, Plotinus, Dante, Shakespeare, Swedenborg, Boehme, Milton.
But other men will not recognize this. None in your time will understand you. Thus you must create for future generations. You must speak for a time that none can see.
We have breathed into you the prophetic voice. We have revealed unto you the holy Word. As a result, you have seen things that no man has ever seen. You have been given a language that few can speak. Symbol and myth will be your idiom. Timelessness will be your medium. You will write in letters of cloud and fire.
Divine majesty will sustain you. Worlds will unfold within you. Words will pour as a refulgent torrent through a damn. Nothing can stop this flood of life. It will flow beyond your will to resist. Your flesh will become a vessel for light-filled Eternity.
You will stand alone among men. Few will try to comprehend. No one will fully understand. You will at times doubt. You will, like Job before you, suffer the burdens of time and flesh. Yet the Christos, the divine Imagination of humanity, will feed your soul. It will provide you with a sustenance that none may know, and no earthly thing may equal.
This spark will be your solace. Such vision will be your love and beauty. This prophetic life will be your cross. Your imagination will be your elevation. Your voice will become a scourge among men. Your genius will be a beacon to humanity, your light received when men can better see.
Mark well my words, my friend; for they are of your eternal salvation!”
After drinking in my loquacious flame, the Prophet bowed his head in humility, and said, “I have sensed your presence for many a year, dear Angel. But until now I have not clearly seen your light. Now that you have flashed a semblance of your glory unto me, and made clear my destiny, I will try to make my mind worthy to serve you and our heavenly Father, that I may show others the way to your light.”

*************************************

“Oh, Will,” called out Catherine while wiping the sleep from her eyes. “I had the strangest dream last night. In it you were speaking to an angel, or at least I think it was an angel. Its body was made of golden fire, stretched as high as the clouds. Though this creature had no face that I could see, its head sparkled like white quartz. What I first thought were its wings changed into snowy mountains, then they became four watery pillars, before changing back into fiery wings. Though I should have been frightened by such a sight, I wasn’t. For I knew that this angel was your friend.”
The poet broadly smiled and said, “indeed, Kate, you are right. I have known the angel since I was a child. He is my beloved Angel of Fire. It is interesting that you should have dreamt such a thing. Just yesterday, I was thinking back to a few years ago, when the Angel visited me on Lambeth bridge. Then last night I referred to my old friend in a new poem. I have written it for my book, Songs of Innocence. I call the poem “A Dream.” The first lines go:
Once a dream did weave a shade
O’er my Angel-guarded bed.
That an Emmit lost its way
Where on grass methought I lay...”
With eyes opened wide, and a hint of fear Mrs. Blake said, “goodness Will, it is downright supernatural that I should dream such a thing. I am not sure I like it at all. Such things don’t usually happen to me.”
‘You should not be concerned, dear. It all comes from your being so close to me. With each passing day we are becoming more as one. It is only natural that you should become as one with my thoughts. You are feeding off my mystic temperament. It may take some getting used to, but believe me, this is a blessed thing. We are at last, in the flesh, experiencing the true wedding of contraries, and creating between us a more transcendent union.”
“I am not sure I know what you mean by all that, Mr. Blake. You know that I am just a simple woman, not a poet or philosopher like yourself. It is not for me to have such grand thoughts or visions.”
“Ah, but you are wrong, my Kate. You are special, and capable of special things. Didn’t you once tell me that at the moment you first saw me, you knew that you would marry me. That speaks of a special awareness. And just think how much you have learned in the past few years, now writing and drawing, even helping me with my printing. I have known your potential since I first met you. Why do you think I was so persistent in coming after you? I knew from the first instant that we shared a unique bond. And I knew that you possessed a special gift within you. Like many others, particularly women and children, you have been discouraged from developing your inner powers. All those around you have ignored your potential. Why, in your whole childhood no one even bothered to teach you to read. If one does not properly exercise the mind, one can never develop its fullest potential. For it is the mind, and the human imagination that is closest to divine spirit. What you experienced in your dream was simply a product of spiritual sight, which you already possessed en potentia.”
Turning to his writing table, Mr. Blake pulled out a sheet of paper.
“Here, read this,” he said. “I also wrote this poem yesterday. It will serve as the introduction to my next book, Songs of Experience.”
Mrs. Blake read,
“Hear the voice of the Bard,
Who Present, Past, & Future sees
Whose ears have heard,
The Holy Word
That Walk’d among the ancient trees.”
Looking up, Mrs. Blake asked, “is this true, Will? Can you really see the past and future? I do remember that time you warned Mr. Adams about his coming sickness, and the time you told Mrs. Primrose where to find her lost cat. Do such things happen to you often?”
“More times than I can count, my dear. But I don’t like to make a show of it. Sometimes its makes people uncomfortable.”
“How do you know these things? Is it because of this “Holy Word” you mention in the poem? Is it this word that speaks to you?”
“In a sense it does. If you recall your Bible, the apostle John called Jesus the Word made flesh. The ancient Greeks called this holy Word Logos. They considered it the ordering reason, the underlying principle of all creation. It is this Word that forms the world. For this Word is in truth the first and innermost thought of God.
From this first thought of God everything is born. From this Word came the body of Christ. From the Word came the Holy Trinity. From the Word came the four elements. From the Word came the first seven days. If one knows the first divine Word, then one has power over all creation.
It is because of the Word that Jesus was able to heal, and foretell, and perform miracles. For he was at one with the heart of all creation. He was eternal imagination and creation wrapped up in one divine man. In the same way, as I am one with this Word, I have seen the mysteries of creation unfold before me. Because of the Word, I can visit the invisible worlds. Because of my knowledge of the Word, the Eternal powers speak to me. Do you remember me telling you about the four Zoas?”
“Oh, yes. I remember, though I can’t say I understood all that you said. The Zoas are your eternal friends, aren’t they?”
“Yes, they are Eternal Powers, though I would not exactly call them friends. Being Eternal Powers, they are beyond the full understanding of man. Sometimes they serve as my guides, sometimes they appear as the children of my own Imagination. They may be best described as the fourfold form of the Word.”
Seeing the perplexed expression on his wife’s face, Mr. Blake said, “fear not, Kate. This is not something you need fully understand. It is enough that I can share my thoughts with you, and that your mind is always open to me. You know, you provide me with something that even the Eternal Powers can not provide. You have given me the greatest earthly gift . For you have given to me heartfelt understanding and unconditional love.”


*********************************


THE ANGEL"S SECOND TALE:
The Songstress, the Seer

And the ageless Angel told me this story, of a woman who gave birth to eternal worlds.

"In the Rhine valley, at the junction of the rivers Nahe and Glan, sits the Benedictine monastery of Disibodenberg. Though its brown stones are now worn and crumbled with age, for centuries the monastery thrived, providing spiritual solace and healing for souls in need.
It came to pass that, in the eleventh century of the Lord Jesus Christ, the fullest radiance of the angels entered this sanctuary, showering blessings upon the monastery through the heart of a little girl.
At the age of eight a child was placed in the monastery by her noble parents, offered up to God in the service of spirit and holy love.
The child became an anchorite, donning the habit of innocence and humility. Though weak in body, the girl grew up strong in spirit, filled with compassion and piety. With joy she fulfilled her duties, singing glory to God through all hours of the day.
One April morning in her seventeenth year, the young anchoress was assigned a special task. She was asked to collect some curative plants which might heal a sickly sister.
As the girl walked from the nunnery to the edge of the woods, the mist of dawn clung to the trees, and the scent of wisteria hung in the air. As she glided through the grass, dew soaked through the woolen hem of her cloak and beaded like pearls upon her leather shoes.
Following the directions of Mother Jutta, the girl stopped near a stand of cypress trees. Mother Jutta was the girl’s mentor, a woman wise in the ways of healing plants and herbs. She had told the girl to find the lavender flowers of the foxglove, and to harvest its salving stem. With tenderness, the girl touched the tall plants. Their soft, trumpet-like flowers called to her. In the silence of dawn, she heard a subtle harmony float through the air, as if the powers of Heaven were singing to the earth, expressed through the blooming flowers and wind blown trees.
In the distance, the girl heard Jutta chant a psalm, as she dug through the rich soil of the monastery garden.
Mother Jutta was the girl’s closest confidant. Even so, there were things that the girl was reluctant to share with the older woman, things born of mystery and eternity, things that were too overwhelming for words.
As soon as the child drew her first breath, the light of the angels touched her. At first I tried to shield her from our brightness, at least until she grew old enough to speak. But her soul’s thirst was too great. Without wishing, or knowing how, she drank in the angelic light. Needfully, longingly she imbibed.
As she walked toward the woods, many memories filled the child’s mind. Before her flashed the inexplicable lights, the presentiments, the holy dreams. Finding such thoughts overwhelming, the girl turned her attention to Jutta’s song.
After a time, Jutta stopped her chanting. Not wishing to walk in silence, the girl started to sing.
She recalled the words to her favorite psalm, “the Lord is my light...”
She fashioned an original melody from her heart, wove it to the psalm, and offered it to the moist morning air.
Drawn from the depths of her genius, the melody ignited the surrounding space, and fed upon my sacred fire. It passed through the trees, reached across the field, and touched Jutta. A euphonious roar, at once ecstatic and alarming, washed over Jutta’s face.
Jutta looked over to the source of the sound. She saw her protégé standing at the foot of an ancient oak. The air around the girl shimmered with silvery light. Despite the holy glow, Jutta grew fearful and uneasy. She lifted herself from the ground and walked to the forest’s edge.
Upon approach, the girl ceased her song and trembled. Upon reaching her, Jutta put her hand on the girl’s shoulder, and turned her about.
“My dear Hildegard,” murmured Jutta, “what is that you sing? It moves my soul deeply. It is beautiful music. Yet it seems to be tinged with a hint of sadness or discontent. Is it one of your songs? Your songs usually speak the language of your heart. Is something troubling you?”
“Yes, Mother,” the girl replied, lowering her eyes. “I must confess, I am burdened. I am not certain what I should do. Once again, the lights have returned, and insist on working the Lord’s will. Lately the lights have been overwhelming. They whisper to me. They urge me. The haunt me. They humble me. They offer me insight and revelation, without giving me the words or wisdom which are needed to speak their truth. You know it has been some time since I have mentioned these things. I realize that when I speak of such matters it discomforts you. But since you have asked me, I must tell you the truth.”
Attempting to hide her concern, Jutta replied. “Don't be silly, Hildegard. It is not a burden to me. It is my pleasure, as well as my duty, to instruct you and help you to find the path to our Lord.”



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