The Voice. Since the dawn of time humankind has heard that inner voice. Many tribes of old, the Ancients, Druids, Celts, The Ancient Texts testify to the Voice in the desert or wilderness places, or atop mountains.
There is a clearing in the woods behind my garden in Capel Curig in Wales, where, as a wee lad, my friends and I would play. It was almost as if there was something, or someone that was drawing us to that place. In that clearing there were two bowed, arched, silver birch trees.
My friends and I, then as children, loved sci-fi programs on our old black and white televisions, back then, and so, playfully, we called those two arched trees, Drws i fyd arall (pronounced ‘droo zi fid arrah’). It means ‘door to another world’. And we would run back and forth through the arch, laughing, and giggling and let our imaginations run riot as to where we might have been transported, as if we were in a sci-fi tv program.
With hindsight I think something or someone, the genii loci, the Presence, the Source had prompted us to call it that. The trees are still there, and it is still a special place.
I am back at that place again, and it’s cold, dark, late. And it’s wonderful. The Presence here. A benevolent one. This is, indeed, a ‘thin place’ – where Here and The Other meet.
As I stand here now, memories of yesteryear flood my mind. Wonderful thoughts, great memories, powerful recollections abound.
One night, about three years ago, I woke up from a shallow sleep and went for a walk to this place, and this is what I wrote:
A warm feeling enveloped me. Palpable. And not only an external feeling, but internal too, pervading my whole being. And then, as has happened albeit infrequently in this place in the past, I heard the Voice once again. Some will say that it’s only imagination, but I can only say, to me, it was and is, more, oh much more.
From an interrupted, shallow sleep I awoke early,
and walked into the night, as if called by a Voice deep within.
An elemental? An ancestor? My imagination? The Bat kohl?
The air was cold and damp,
the darkness seemed to envelope me,
the trees ‘closed in’, and all was quiet.
Nothing at all.
And with some trepidation,
into a forest clearing I slowly strode.
A fallen tree provided a seat,
and I sat, and waited.
The air felt ‘electric’ as though something would happen,
like a ‘silent storm’ approaching.
And I waited. And shivered.
Waited. And got damp.
And then from within, or without,
almost undetectable, a quiet, loving, voice was heard.
Slowly, unhurriedly, powerfully, the Voice said:
“As above, so below,
there are things you should know.”
“Human words are powerful, they are a door,
your actions are effective, they are pure metaphor.”
“And so I speak of humanity’s cosmic task,
To be revealed, evidenced, enjoyed, without any mask.”
“And so, don’t just sit, but take heed and do,
these are worded-actions-prayers for many, and for you.”
“And so, again I say, as above, so below,
remember these things; they are things you should know.”
“Through prayer, does that which is unseen, unmanifest,
reveal itself and take form in the blessed.”
“And so, I mention,
with your hands at your side, walk humbly,
take seven half-steps forward, its a journey of intention.”
“And now, raise your hands in simple ‘surrender’,
and point both to Heaven, that domain of awesome splendour.”
“Widen your arms, and so scoop, and harvest
pure energy, pure ‘gold’, and be prepared to be feel blessed.”
“Draw in that power, by folding your arms like an ‘x’ on your chest,
and feel its benefits, its warmth; you’re at peace, at one, ‘at home’, at rest.”
“Then stretch forth your arms, and mould with your hands
as if a ball, that ‘globe-like’ power-blessing from the ouranic meadowlands.”
“With one foot leading, and with knees part bent,
sway back and forth, in preparation for that ‘goodness’ to be sent.”
“In your mind, name the loved-one, the recipient, the friend,
and in your heart, see them, imagine them, to that end.”
“‘Push’ with your hands, that power-blessing from you to them,
and sigh the sound of the ages, the ‘so be it’, the ‘amen’.”
“And then, your hands drop to your side,
power has gone out; but there is no lack,
for the power-blessing that went forth, also comes back,
in another way and at another time, and so you, too, are blessed.”
Having done everything as directed,
I stood there in awe.
The air was cold and yet I felt warm,
the night so dark but in my mind’s eye it seemed to glow.
The Voice had gone.
The Voice? An angel? The Deity? The Awen?
I do believe The Voice speaks wisdom to us all. I don’t think we need to go to special places – though sometimes that seems to be something that we, as humans, need to do to prompt us, to jog our memories or put us in the right frame of mind of openness. But, I do believe The Voice speaks still, perhaps in the city. Can you hear it?