You are still lying in the beautiful whirlpool, deep in the middle of the enchanted forest. The lion with the 7 heads is on the bank and you are both waiting for the forest fairies to bring your backpack for your journey through the labyrinth.
The backpack is to be full of courage, grit and might, you believe they said. As you move your hands through the water with grace and feel the peace of the gentle breeze you hear a flutter, and three fairies appear.
“Hello Sister, we have brought you your starter pack for your journey. Within contains some clothes for the forest, and your courage, grit and might. You need no more than that as the forest will provide.”
The largest of the three fairies, hands you the tiny pack and you take it. She can’t be more than 50cm big you think.
“Now anything else that you may need is within the forest. You just must ask if you may take it beforehand. Ask the plants, the fruits, the river if you may take them and use them. If they say no or refuse, you must not take them, for that is stealing and will anger the gods of the forest.”
“To appease the gods, they encourage you to create for them. They love all forms of creation. Dance, art, poetry, story, whatever you can dream up. If you wish you to create something it does not work like the lower world. There is a different way here”.
“Please say a little prayer and ask us fairies of the forest to bring you gifts of creation and then please ask in detail for what you need and it will appear.”
“As if by magic? “you whisper
“Well for us it’s not magic, it’s just how things work around here, but for you from the lower world, then yes it probably feels like magic”.
“Please ask for what you need, as often as you like. The more you create, the happier the gods are.”
“And what happens to the creations?” You ask
“You will see, once you start creating, it is really rather fun to watch”, the smallest fairy says brightly. She hadn’t spoken until now you just realised.
“Do you have any more questions, before we leave you? Why not put on your clothes and backpack now so you are ready for your journey” , she suggests more chatty now.
You open the bag and pull out a green long slip, which is made from a material you have never seen before. You slip it over your head, and it feels like you are wearing a warm hug. You feel instantly loved. It’s really quite a peculiar feeling.
You slip the backpack on too, and you feel a rush of what must be courage, and strength. Gosh you think, this really does work.
Wow, you feel like a completely different person and all that in one moment to the next.
“It seems you are ready sister”, says the little fairy timidly
“Just one more thing”, you say with unexplained authority. “I want the lion to accompany me on my trip”.
“Well says the fairy, you have to ask the lion himself. Try and climb on his back. If he bites you or maybe eats you whole, then he has said no and so you know that is not okay. It’s really quite simple.”
You look at the lion. Until now he and his 7 heads have been very nice to you. They have been helpful, honest and true, as far as you can tell. You think about how it may play out with the different laws in this forest. You wonder if the forest lies or manipulates or if things are not what they seem.
In your world, you would never get on a lion with 7 heads, but the laws of this world seem to be very very different. Within you, you feel a powerful heat rising, of what feels like courage and strength.
Out of your mouth flies without warning. “I will ride the lion through the forest and he and his 7 heads will accompany me and support me through my journey”.
And with that, you fling yourself up and onto his big back. You close your eyes tightly and you feel your body tense, waiting to be bitten or eaten. But nothing happens.
You open them to see all the 7 heads looking at you and they each twitter welcome sister. We are happy to help you on your journey.
Wow you think, the laws of the forest really are different. And it feels so comfortable up here on the Lion.
“And now we are leaving you”, the fairies say in unison. “We wish you luck for your journey”.
And with that they fly off, with not even a backward glance.
The lion turns and looks and you and says, “where now sister?”.
“Let’s go this way you say. Pointing along the river bank downstream. I am really pretty hungry, and we need to find some food”.
It’s so beautiful moving through the forest. The water glistens in the beautiful river, the trees move with the breeze, twitching and twittering amongst each other and there are so many beautiful creatures.
Just then a flock of about 50 red parrots fly past. You shout to them, “hello beautifuls”
They shout back to you, “welcome sister.”
Tears roll down your face. You are in an enchanted forest, with creatures that have welcomed you here, and there is beauty everywhere.
You feel your old world slipping away fast. All the pain, the agony, the need, the desires and the chasing and grasping for stuff is leaving you.
You arrived here naked, with nothing. Not a stitch of clothing on your back and the forest fairies, beasts and creatures took care of you. You realise how everything that was before, was so empty. That really it all meant nothing. Even though you had attached so much meaning to it all.
The job meant nothing, it was a status on a business card, the flat meant nothing it was just a place to live. The clothes again meant nothing. Everything that you thought was important, only was because you had attached meanings to it, and those meanings no matter how much you had craved them, had barely bought you any joy.
And now in the forest with all the beauty that is here, you realise that this is so much more. With that more tears of joy roll down your face.
As you as thinking about your past life, a house rolls into view. It looks like a gingerbread house. A roof of candy, walls of cake. It’s very enticing and looks exactly like the fairy tales you used to read as a kid.
“Stop” you say to the lion. You look at it, thousands of thoughts running through your mind and being increasingly clouded by the grumble in your stomach.
What if those fairy tales were warnings you wonder? Warnings in case we enter this kingdom? It seems like too much of a coincidence that I would see a house such as this in an enchanted forest. It must be some sort of a test.
Let’s go you say to the lion, I fear this is a test of my willpower. It’s too good to be true.
The lion and all its heads look back and you and nod in unison, saying nothing. You are not really sure what that nodding means, but they seemed sincere.
You feel like you made the right decision in your heart anyway. It feels good to you, even if your stomach is still grumbling away.
Your journey continues for what must have been another hour. You are really struggling to concentrate while looking out for food. Your eyes are not trained for this. It’s a new thing foraging in forests.
As you begin to give up hope you see a collection of logs set out in a circle and in the middle there’s lots of large mushrooms growing gracefully.
“Stop” you shout to the lion again.
You jump off and run over to the mushrooms. Just as you are about to pick one, the fairy voice comes in your head “remember to ask the forest”
You ask out loud if you can take some of them to eat as you are ever so hungry. With that it looks like 4 of the mushrooms lie down in front of you. You are not sure what this means. Are they praying or sacrificing themselves? It was a gesture you did not expect.
You decide to pull one of them gently to see what happens. As you barley touch it, it comes off in your hands. Thank goodness you think.
As you bring it to your mouth, you notice that it smells just like it’s been cooked in garlic and butter. Oh, my goodness you think, this is just like heaven. It tastes exactly as it smells.
You eat all four of them with such joy.
Then you remember the lion. “what will you eat” you ask them?
Don’t worry about us they say. Just look after yourself. We can take care of our own food here.
Life is so simple here you think, so incredibly wonderful.
You are lying on one of the logs looking up into the forest canopy and the lion comes and sits next to you.
“Sister, do you feel like creating something now? The gods of the forest really do love all creations.”
Mmm, you think. What could I create? The only problem you say to the lion is that you are not an artist, your paintings are not of great talent and you really don’t want to disappoint the gods.
“No problem says the lion. That again is the difference, between the lower world and the world of the enchanted forest. Within here we do not have the meanings and laws that you created down there, about what is good and what is bad. It does not work like that here. “
“The gods wish the creations to be made through the heart, through love and as long as you do that, it does not matter what it is at all. They are happy.”
Wow, how refreshing you think. Create whatever I feel like and no one will judge me. That means I can be really free then.
You think about what to paint, and of course it’s quite obvious, you will paint a tree.
You ask the flower fairies for what you need and within seconds of saying it, it all appears in front of you, as if by magic.
Paint, easel, colours, paintbrushes, paper. All you need to start painting. And so you paint and paint and time goes by and you really have no idea if it was seconds, minutes, hours or days, but you finish your tree.
An abstract tree, hidden within in secrets of this world here you think. It’s such a fond memory of your journey so far. A moment in time.
And now you are finished says the lion, it’s time to let it go. Suddenly you feel quite sad. Your creation, that you made, has to leave you. Reluctantly you say okay.
“And now look what happens. Watch and see” , says the lion “It really is quick, but it’s quite something. Tell the gods that you let go of your artwork”
You repeat what he said and with that a shaft of light comes down from the sky, encapsulating the artwork and covering the whole area nearby in a cloud of dancing bright white lights.
And then in an instant the light gets drawn by up to the sky and everything disappears. The painting, the materials, everything.
You are quite stunned, but really impressed. That really is magic you think.
“Where does it go?” you ask the Lion
“Well we don’t really know the answer to that, but there have been rumours that the art gets transmuted back into ideas or concepts which land in the minds of artists who live in the lower world.”
“We think that it may be some kind of messenger service or game, that the gods use between the worlds to inspire artists and creators, but we are not really sure. That’s just the chitter chatter in the forest. You know how the trees love to talk amongst themselves. “ he mutters
“And now, no more thinking, we must be off, your journey awaits sister, jump on, there’s so much more to explore……….. “
Read Part 1 – The Passion Hunter
Read Part 3 – The Beasts Heads Introduce Themselves