I was walking steadily along a grassy pathway, towards a huge temple that stood proud and strong before me. Flanked by my elders, there was nowhere else to go but forward. I walked upright, with my head held high and my body proud. This was my journey. I was about to become a woman, truly and spiritually. I was carrying a silver chalice filled with fragrant white flowers. It took both hands to carry, and it was a sacred gift. I carried it with reverence and honour.
My feet were bare; my dress was a simple tunic of lightweight white fabric. My long, black hair hung straight down my back, fine and glossy with good health. It had been carefully washed and combed in preparation for my awakening. Walking steadily forward, not looking anywhere but at the temple before me, I was aware of our tribe elders standing silently either side, watching my progress. Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. The air was thick with anticipation, and my mind was carefully blank of all expectation of what was to come.
I reached the temple and climbed the high stone steps without difficulty, still holding my sacred chalice of flowers. The stone was a pale colour, not quite yellow and not quite orange, but somewhere in between. It felt dusty underfoot, but that was the texture of the rock, and the hot sun above warmed it. I was handed a flaming torch by a silent watcher at the door to the temple, and I held it in one hand, struggling to hold the chalice in my right hand, careful not to spill the precious flowers. In the dim passageway that stretched ahead, I could see pale golden sand on the floor, and I felt the weight of solid, powerful rock all around me. My time had come to enter the inner chamber of the pyramid.
I walked slowly along the dark passageway, totally alone. I carried my torch and my chalice of flowers. I felt no fear. It was my time to be initiated into the ways of our people. I was ready. I was strong. I walked into a large, cavernous room in the very heart of the pyramid. This was the temple of the Goddess. On this night She would push me to the limits of endurance, and if I survived, I would be awakened. There was no other option. I will no longer return to Spirit and repeat my lessons.
In the centre of the room was an ornate golden throne. I set down my chalice of flowers on the floor beside it. They were an offering to the Goddess. I placed my torch in a holder beside the throne, and I sat down. The torchlight only illuminated a small circle. Beyond that was total darkness.
Almost immediately the room filled with shadows. I fought my fear and panic as the Dark Energies surrounded me. They wanted me. They would control me. I would not allow that. Breathing through my fear, I broke them down. Concentrating on my own inner strength, I fought the Dark Energies, willing them to be gone from my life and my awareness forever. One by one they disappeared, and suddenly the room filled with golden light.
I had conquered my demons. I had reclaimed my power. The Goddess was proud. She came and danced with me in that Golden Chamber. We laughed, we sang, we moved in joy and love and happiness. I had taken another step forward on my journey to living a life awake and aware.