Through the Gate of the Sun

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Make sure you are sitting comfortably, with your eyes closed, and relax your body. Start
with your left leg, tighten the muscles and then relax them. Then the right leg — tighten the
muscles there, relax them, and let them go completely. Then your abdomen and stomach
tighten the muscles up and then release them, let them go completely.
Now your chest and breathing muscles tighten them up and then relax them. Your back,
shoulder, and neck muscles, tighten them up as tight as they’ll go and as you release them
feel the tension of the day just draining away. It’s a wonderful feeling. Now your head and
face muscles tighten them up as tight as they’ll go. Tighten them up as tight as they’ll go
and then relax them. Lastly, do the muscles of your arms. Tighten them up as tight as
they’ll go and then relax them, from the shoulders down to the finger tips.
Now become aware of the black nothingness around you. Feel yourself floating, and then
moving forward, lifting, drifting away. As you feel yourself floating away, the blackness
fades to grey, becoming like a foggy mist as you begin to descend.
Your feet make contact with a surface, and you find yourself sitting in a small round boat
— a coracle — which is floating through the mist on a river. It gently moves towards a
bank, and comes to a halt, and you climb out and onto the riverbank.
The riverbank is forested, but where you climbed out of the coracle there is a pathway
leading into the forest, and you follow it. The path is narrow, and twists and turns through
the trees as it takes you deep into the heart of the forest.
You notice the sound of metal on metal, in a rhythmic hammering, and follow the sound as
the path brings you to a clearing in the forest. In the clearing you see the back of a simple
hut, set up as a blacksmith’s workshop. The sound of hammering is coming from the other
side of the hut, so you walk round, to see a woman of average build, dark-haired, wielding a
hammer as she shapes the hot metal upon the anvil. Beside her, the glowing coals of the
forge radiate heat. This is Fraidd, the Forge Maiden. Moving round, you approach her and
she pauses in her work, regarding you with an appraising eye…

You realize that the minutes have passed quickly, and it is time to move on. Making your
farewells to Fraidd, you move to the far side of the clearing.
You set off on the path that leads on from the clearing, a wider, straighter path that keeps
the sky visible above. Before you know it, you find yourself approaching a stone building
nestled among the trees. It is a hunting lodge, and its doors are open, so you enter, noting
the array of animal trophies and weapons decorating the wall. A short hall leads you to a
doorway, and inside is a room that has a black floor and a fireplace at the far end. Standing
before the fire-place, with his back to you, is a tall slim male wearing a red tunic and black
pants, who has flowing brown hair, almost like a lion’s mane. As you walk towards him,
you realize that there appears to be stars reflected in the floor, even though the room has a
simple white ceiling. The man turns to greet you, his extended hands are the work-worn
hands of a craftsman, despite his noble bearing. This is Llew, Master Crafter and warrior…
(Pause for conversation with Llew)
Once again, it is time to move on, and you thank Llew before leaving the building to
continue your journey.
This time the path leading away from the clearing curves sinuously this way and that, in
great lazy loops, until before you know it, you find yourself at the riverbank again.
Although this is much further downstream, the coracle has floated down this far and is
waiting for you. Carefully, you climb into it once more, and no sooner are you seated than it
begins to move away from the bank, taking you into the mist, which gets thicker and
thicker, until all you can see is the coracle. Soon the mist closes in completely, leaving you
in a featureless grey expanse as you feel yourself floating up and back.
The grey mist fades to black, and you feel yourself returning to the place you started from,
sitting with your eyes closed. Sit up and open your eyes. The journey is over

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