Journey to the Summerlands

by Donata Ahern

Set up Ancestor Altar; optional, to drink Spirit Water;

I. Find your self in a place of nature..... walking thru a meadow, and over a small wooden bridge across a stream. ... As you step off the bridge on the other side, you see a path that leads into a woods..... follow the path.....

As you walk you begin to climb a hill or barrow, and you realize that this is a sacred sidhe - a place of entrance to the underworld.... as you spiral around the sidhe, you see a figure coming toward you .... a welcoming figure ... this is Herne, the Horned One, the Lord of the Animals, the Lord of all wild places, and of the Underworld. Herne is your Guide who has come to help you on your journey .... to lead you to the four Guardians of the rivers that bound the Summerlands, the Land of the Dead, and to help you to meet their challenges .... take a few moments to speak with Herne...... sense the love coming from Him.... you feel that you have known one another before ........ feel the love and acceptance coming from Herne ...... Thank Herne for coming to you, and start your journey to the Land of the Dead .......

II. You step into a circle of standing stones, which have spirals carved upon their lintels...... Four rivers are before you ..... spiralling inward ..... they mark the boundaries of the Summerlands..... but before you may cross them, you must meet the challenges of the Guardians of these rivers.... you must pass the Guardians who protect the entrance to Summerlands, the Land of the Dead, the Isle of the Blest, the Apple Isle, Avalon. Your beloved dead and all your ancestors await you there.

1. Follow Herne to the first river, in the East, and meet the guardian of the East River, the guardian of Air ..... A figure stands in the red dawn of sunrise and challenges you with a puzzle:

"WHAT IS YOUR TRUE NATURE? ..... ...
"WHAT IS THE TRUE NATURE OF YOUR BEING?"


Think of your answer ..... speak it to know if you have passed the challenge of the East: Be aware: the Guardian of the East pulls away your mind...

The answer,

"I AM OF FOUR NATURES, PHYSICAL, ASTRAL, MENTAL, AND SPIRITUAL ..."

The Guardian further questions you:

"WHAT IS THE PHYSICAL NATURE IN YOUR REALM OF EXISTENCE?"
the answer: EARTH

"WHAT IS THE ASTRAL NATURE IN YOUR REALM OF EXISTENCE?"
the answer: WATER

"WHAT IS THE MENTAL NATURE IN YOUR REALM OF EXISTENCE?"
the answer: AIR

"WHAT IS THE SPIRITUAL NATURE IN YOUR REALM OF EXISTENCE?"
the answer: FIRE

.....stop now.....
there is a further question....

"WHAT IS YOUR TRUE NATURE?.... IS IT FOUR NATURES?....... WHAT IS THE ANSWER?"

Speak it aloud: .....

"MY TRUE NATURE IS ONE .... THE FOUR NATURES ARE ONE; BODY, MIND, SPIRIT, AND ASTRAL, ARE ONE NATURE."

The Guardian now asks a final question of you:

"HOW IS THE ONE REPRESENTED IN YOUR REALM OFEXISTENCE?"

the answer: THE ONE IS SPIRIT, THE SOUL OF BEING ITSELF, THE SOUL OF NATURE AND THE NATURE OF BEING ITSELF, WHICH IS THE EARTH AND ALL ON IT; THE PLANTS, THE ANIMAL, THE TREE, ALL OUR RELATIONS.

You realize that the Guardian has stripped away your rational, thinking mind .... you are left with the starlight mind of intuition and visions ..... you pass on.

2. Herne takes you spiralling inward to the Guardian of the North River .... the Guardian of Earth .... the Guardian of the North stands firmly facing you and challenges:

"WHO ARE YOU?"

Look inward ......... give your answer now, to learn if you have answered the challenge of the Guardian of the North... This is the challenge of the physical Self .... the Guardian of Earth strips away your physical body, your physical world ...... you become whitened bleached stone ..... you become part of the Earth ..... but you must leave even this stone body of the Earth ...... You give your stone body to the Guardian and pass on....... you have left your physical reality behind

3. Herne leads you ever spiralling inward to the West River, and the Guardian of Water..... A dark shadowed figure stands at the entrance to a cave which is curtained by a waterfall ..... the Guardian of the West challenges you:

"WHAT DO YOU DESIRE?..... TO WHOM ..... TO WHAT.... ARE YOUR EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENTS?"

As you name these, the Guardian strips them away from you ..... all your desires, ambitions, pride of accomplishment .... hopes.... loves ..... ego.... all are stripped away..........you feel the waterfall flowing from above your head .... flowing through you .... flushing through you ..... and out from your feet .... and your emotional nature, your feeling nature, flushes away with the water ......

4. Now you and Herne approach the South River, where the last Guardian awaits you.....the Guardian of the South, of Fire, ...... you feel uncertainty and dread ..... The Guardian mockingly confronts you and demands:

"WHO IS YOUR GOD? ......... WHO IS YOUR GOD?"

............ answer ...... the question reverberates through you.... continue to give your answer, until ......... you shout it aloud

I AM!........

You are on fire....... burning up .... all aflame ...... but not dying ...... only a GOD can do this!!! ..... you have no body, so you can't be on fire!..... you are aflame .... you have no feelings...not emotions... so you feel no pain! The fire releases your Spiritual nature..... The I AM is a surrender ....

You surrender to your Higher Self, your Holy Guardian Angel, your Divine SELF..... the God or Goddess within ..... the ONE ... Who is now in control .... you and your Higher Self are ONE and are a single flame .......

The Guardian speaks: "You have passed the tests, and may enter the presence of your First Ancestor, the Father of all, the Dark Lord of Death and Resurrection."

III. The Dark Lord, (God name), the Comforter and Consoler, HERNE the Hunter CERNUNNOS the Horned One; now greets you, and welcomes you.... you are in the apple garden of Summerlands, the Land of the Dead..... you are in the garden of (God name)..... It is beautiful and lush, with many varieties of growing green plants and trees and fragrant, blooming flowers ..... animals play peacefully ..... four large stones mark the far corners of the garden ....

As you look around, you realize that you stand in the center of a large ancestor altar ... you stand in the center of the ancestor altar of the Dark Lord, (God name),the Horned One ....

You stand in the center of EARTH Herself .... the womb of the Great Mother .... the womb of (Gdss name), of Cerridwen, of the Great Weaver Goddess called Aradia, Ariadne, Arionrhod .... you realize that Earth Herself is the ancestor altar of the Dark God.

A fountain of pure, sparkling water bubbles from a cleft in the side of a hill and falls into a pool .... the pool overflows into four branches.... the fountain is the source of the Four Rivers of Summerlands ... the Rivers are the life-giving waters of the living womb of the Great Mother .....

You stand in the center of the ancestor altar..... but Earth Herself IS the altar ....where YOU stand is the center of the Earth .... wherever YOU are is the center of the Earth ...... YOU ARE THE CENTER.............

(God name) touches you gently on the center of your forehead ...... the Third Eye .... and whispers a prayer over you .... You feel a click in the center of your head as the third eye opens .... you become ONE with the great ancestor altar of the Dark Lord..... you become ONE with the Earth.... your are One with the Great Mother......

The bases of the stones of the circle above you reach deep into the womb of Earth... they are singing crystals.... vibrating... resonating within you..... you are purified .... energized .... attuned with the Earth..... with all your relations..... the womb of the Earth Mother, the Ancestor Altar of the Dark Lord, is a great crystal cave.... vibrating......resonating within you.

Herne is still with you, and will lead you to your beloved dead and your ancestors ..... take time to meet with them now ................... ask for whatever help and guidance you need ..... share whatever you wish with these who have formed you .........

It is time to say farewell ..... thank your ancestors as they leave .... you can return whenever you wish now that you know the way .........

You are in the garden of Summerlands .... at the center of the ancestor altar of the Horned One .... on the altar you see the object or objects you brought from home .... the Dark Lord offers these to you and bids you farewell for now .....

IV. The words of the Dark Lord, (God name) , are flame ...... you return on the fire of His words ....... spiralling out..... past the Guardians of the Four Rivers.... only your name is left to you ...... only your name can reach you now ..............

As you pass the South River, the Guardian whispers your name, and the purified positive aspects of your spiritual nature are restored to you. The negative remains, to become mulch in the garden of (God name).

As you pass the West River, the Guardian whispers your name, and the purified positive aspects of your emotional feeling nature are restored to your. The negative remains, to become mulch in the garden of (God name).

As you pass the North River, the Guardian whispers your name, and the purified positive aspects of your physical nature are restored to you. The negative remains, to become mulch in the garden of (God name).

As you pass the East River, the Guardian whispers your name, and the purified positive aspects of your thinking nature are restored to you. The negative remains, to become mulch in the garden of (God name).

You are returning on the fire of (God name)' words.... you realize that you are coming out on top of a mountain .... that you are in a volcano filled with the roaring fire of (God name)' words...... Suddenly the mouth of the volcano is blocked .... it is blocked by an angry form, made up of all of the negative aspects you left with the Guardians ...... this figure angrily threatens you and demands,

WHO ARE YOU THAT DARES TO PURIFY YOUR SPIRITUAL BEING?
WHO ARE YOU THAT DARES TO PURIFY YOUR EMOTIONAL BEING?
WHO ARE YOU THAT DARES TO PURIFY YOUR PHYSICAL BEING?
WHO ARE YOU THAT DARES TO PURIFY YOUR RATIONAL BEING?
THE DARKNESS OF THESE ARE OF MY REALM AND ARE MY POWER OVER YOU!


Herne speaks: "You must be able to answer with all your being who you are .... remember .... you have the spirit and fire of the ancestors behind you.... Shout your NAME ......NOW!!!" With all the power of your Will!

Your name comes out as a powerful blue flame that destroys the angry form, and reduces it to ash.... a cloud of ash that settles to the ground and becomes mulch in the garden of (God name).

You stand free on top of the mountain ... reborn and transformed.... you are holding your gift from (God name) in your hand.... thank Herne and say goodbye for now....

Now that you know the way to the Land of the Dead you may return whenever you wish, and Herne will always be waiting to help you...... our personal ancestors altars are the link between us and our beloved ancestors who watch over us and wait for our visits.... let us remember to honor the ancestors.... When you ready, return along the path to this place........

Open your eyes and hold your gift from (God name) over the physical object you brought from home.... they merge and become one..... greet your friends who have also returned safely from the Land of the Dead....

Relax for a time.... be sure to ground!


Source:
http://www.druidry.org/obod/ancestors/summerlands.html