Corena and Cortney worked together. The two cleared the altar of the Midsummer ornaments. After they laid a clean, crisp, bright yellow cloth over the altar they adorned the flat surface with the basic elemental tools. A gold pentacle disk was placed to the North to symbolize earth - the body; a censer holding smoldering frankincense was assigned to the East to represent air - the mind, also to protect and bless their space. A willow wand was placed to the South to represent their fire - spirit, and a shiny gold chalice was put in the West to symbolize water - their emotions. Below the wand, a gold offering plate was laid. Corena had dusted the humanitarian vanilla candle which had been used previously and placed it center of the basic elemental tools.
The girls fluffed out the dried husks on the corn for an extra flare to the Corn-Man Wheel. Hanna mirrored their movement but she had used eight ears of corn to make a Solar Wheel.
Lilith sat near the bookshelf in a huge comfy chair. Marley rested at her feet and, with strong thread, she strung a prayer cord using the kernels from the rich, colored Indian corn. Lilith retold Marley a Celtic myth she had just read from a book which remained open on her lap.
No one stirred as they listened to Lilith say, “Cu Chulain slept in the open wilderness after a long battle. He abruptly awoke when he heard a high-pitched banshee cry. Before him, he found a captivating woman dressed in a rich, red cape and hood. Her fiery red hair blew wild in the wind. The woman he saw was in a chariot drawn by a red horse and she held a long wooden spear in her hand. Cu Chulain appeared cold and uncaring when the sturdy woman introduced herself as Morrighan, a Wise Warrior and offered him her friendship. Cu Chulain chose unkind words to refuse her request. In an insulting and overbearing tone, he told Morrighan he would rather nap than be bothered with the likes of her. Unknown to the Cu Chulain, the woman he had chosen to treat with disrespect was a Great Warrior who possessed many magical skills.
Headstrong, independent and sensitive, Morrighan tried to tell him how to win his next battle. Cu Chulain refused to give consideration to her heartfelt advice. Cu Chulain was ruthless and Morrighan became motivated by her anger to his intolerant attitude. The friendship she had once offered was no more. Morrighan, who had the ability to change her form, swiftly shape-shifted into a crow, cawed, then flew off.
A short time passed when Morrighan, still shaped as the crow, viewed Cu Chulain mortally wounded and bound to a standing stone.
Angelica commanded a presence when she entered the room. She lit the half-used, humanitarian candle on the altar and continued to talk while the aroma of vanilla wafted throughout the room. “Morrighan," she said, "did not wallow in self-pity or seek revenge, she developed a strong character from the duality she experienced."
“The Holly offers power and energy for us to advance. The Holly is a symbol of promise for the renewal of life when faced with ups and downs. The knowledge given by the Holly would be for a wise woman to know when the time for action was needed to build for the future or understanding when to withdraw from action and keep faith.
In the battle of the trees, the “Cad Gaddeu,” the Holly was ranked as a shrub whose personality was both determination and insensitivity.
THE HOLLY, DARK GREEN
MADE A RESOLUTE STAND,
HE IS ARMED WITH MANY SPEAR POINTS
WOUNDING THE HAND.
In God form, the Holly is known as the Cu Chulain. He could be invoked for the protection of self or a loved one. The number seven is sacred to his being. The Cu Chulain understood and respected most of his opponents. The Celtic hero fought in many battles. His healthy ego gave him a matter-of-fact aura and great stability in his actions.
Stretched out on the floor, Avril closed her eyes and viewed the Chariot from the Tarot deck in her mind while Angelica described the card and gave it meaning. A brilliant yellow emerged on the screen in her mind’s eye to indicate the mind’s energy - intellect, knowledge and communication. On the background tall, gray, stone buildings with red roof tops materialized to create a city - the thought center. At the edge of the city were sturdy oak trees in full growth - a symbol of personal strength and integrity. The current of a blue river flowed to reveal personal emotions needed to be continually processed in order to change. The ground was covered in green grass - a sign of fertility and growth. In the far-off distance a Chariot advanced. It moved forward, away from the city, across an invisible bridge, over the river current, then rested on the bright green grass. The charioteer had a canopy over his head. It was a Royal garment with six pointed stars to denote movement and protects the driver by celestial influences. Spirit-light guides the charioteer’s actions. Avril faintly heard Angelica say “The chariot is a physical vehicle which must be controlled. It is the earliest type of carriage, an ancient form of transportation with two wheels. The chariot consists of a floor and a waist-high semi-circular guard in front to create a solid foundation to stand on and is a great form of protection. The chariot, is a symbol of movement, to go after what one wants and the wheels are a reminder that cycles continually turn bringing in new changes.”
While Angelica continued to talk, Avril saw in her mind’s picture a charioteer dressed in protective armor. The human held the wand of will in hand to control and command the self, to take action or to defend opposition. On the head was an eight-pointed star crown to symbolize radiant energy of the mind. The lush leaves represent growth. Avril understood the conscious mind must use control when experiencing life to reach potential. Avril saw two new moons, one on each shoulder. A symbol of new beginnings and to follow intuition. There were two sphinxes that rested in front. Avril heard Angelica say, “The two sphinxes, one black, one white, represent the duality of energies. A combination of animal and human attributes. The black sphinx represents severity and the white sphinx was a symbol of purity and denotes mercy. The charioteer did not control the sphinx’s action with the use of reins. The chariot’s movement, not physically controlled, implied that direct travel was motivated by the heart, mind and the other senses. Visions are given to go forward. Spirit motivates the lower self, the body, and by listening and observing, one would rise above opposition and move forward in life.”
Shanna’s voice broke Avril’s train-of-thought. The vision of the Chariot in her mind’s eye vanished. Avril heard Shanna ask Angelica if the Chariot card in the Tarot deck represented Newton’s Law of Movement; for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?
Angelica’s voice was filled with glee when she answered. “Yes. A body remains in a state of rest or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless compelled by some external force acting upon it, to change that state. The change in momentum is proportional to the force causing the change and takes place in the direction in which the form is acting or the increase or decrease in velocity is proportional to the force. The Chariot’s energy enforces a person to step out of reflection to see what’s around and is propelled through the process by Spirit to reach the highest summit. It is a journey based on faith to harness all elemental forces toward personal purpose."
"The Chariot represents the fourth sign of the zodiac, Cancer, a water sign. A wise woman’s emotions are the driving force for actions. Our personal actions are a manifestation of environment and cosmic influences. Rulership and control over self gives courage in life to move forward with patience and perseverance. Others’ opinions would not be allowed to form our being when one is open to Spirit and have a trust that the trials of life would be overcome."
Angelica stood. Before she excused her students to go for lunch, she said, “The new moon in July is a time to acknowledge the blessings which have been bestowed.” She asked that each create a ritual to show some type of appreciation. They were to think of the people who support on a daily basis and thank them for the positive influence in our lives. As her class left the room, two by two, Avril heard Angelica say, “Take the time to honor ancestors who have passed on into the other world who champion the cause to grow and mature to be the best one can be.”