The traveler finds herself on a misty, tree-lined path in unfamiliar country. A cloak drapes her shoulders, clearly indicating her royalty, but she knows she is in exile. Glancing behind her at all she is leaving, all the familiar territory, the companions, the life she has made for herself, she does not yet see the figure of new possibility sitting under a tree alongside the dappled path.
When she turns, she will find Hecate rooted here at this crossroads, holding an acorn that may be intended for her. Hecate says, “This is the seed of who you are and must become. It will not grow unless you plant it – and yourself – in place, in your place. You must be in that place and rise up rooted, as the poem says.” She must keep walking.
The path leads her to an ancient tower. Perhaps, like Rilke, she will circle it and wonder if she is a storm, a falcon or a great song. Perhaps it will crumble, like the Tarot Tower – a crashing down and crumbling of old forms. All she can do in her unknowing is close her eyes and put her hand on her heart. In her inner eye, she sees a spirit of birds and fire, of vines and ferns, in the same posture. She knows that this spirit is to come into her, or she to it. She has no idea what this means. She would prefer water if it were hers to choose an element. But fire is given to her. Maybe it was foretold in the time before her birth. She was, after all, born in the fire sign of Aries, a spring baby. Her mother was always distressed by her fiery nature and did all she could do to damp it down. Truly, as a child she strove for obedience, but rebellion struggled with acquiescence within her. Perhaps the smoldering, barely lit but persistent coals were just waiting to flare up, whenever she learned how to handle them.
What she does know is that the hardships of life are greater than just hers. They are also the earth’s pains and suffering. Her grief is personal and more than personal. Fire can destroy; it can burn it all down, it can parch and crack the earth. Her tears might be the only water to nourish what needs nourishing, and even they are hot.
Of course, fire can also bless - the warmth of the hearth, the cheer of flickering candlelight, the beauty of blazing sunsets.
What, if anything, does it all mean, specifically, for her, for healing?