At Hephestos' Door
I entered the volcano at 3:20 PM, looking to see if the god, Hephestos, was home. The air was cool and the room was dark, illuminated only by the sunlight that filtered from above.
I let my eyes adjust and, for a moment, searched the shadows. Thought I knew I wouldn't, I suspect I hoped to see a forge, or possibly a large man with a limp. What I saw, though, was more impressive to me.
I stood in a natural fault, where the rock leaned upon itself in an inverted "V." Before me, the broken rocks fell away into the back of this room, the entryway to where Hephestos was said to reside.
Down into the crater I climbed, ferrelux and zylch now behind me. As I climbed over the last boulder and expected to see a deep well, I found that the floor had collapsed in and left no access to the crater.
It did, however, leave access to the central fault line of the volcano.
Here I made offerings to Hephestos, smith god and craftsman. I spent a moment in quiet contemplation, listening to the silence of the chamber and feeling the cool air against my skin.
Then, at zylch's suggestion, I took a moment to do a quick Two Powers meditation here near the fault line.
The experience is difficult to describe, and comparisons to a Two Powers meditation in the States are difficult at best. Perhaps the best word for it is that the entire meditation felt. . . "Alive."
The meditation began with the drawing up of the Earth Power. Finding those "cool, magnetic waters" was, however, virtually impossible. What I found below me was not water, but it was liquid. Well, perhaps the word "plastic" is better; that is the word that most stands out to me from my geology classes, and it refers to the movement of magma.
I drew up this warm plasticity, filling my body with it and letting it flow in me. When the flow reached my head and my upturned hands, though, I felt pressure build, and then explode out with startling force.
My body now experienced a slow (and occasionally violent, as pressure would grow and then release at various points) flow, and I stood in awe of the Power of the Earth, of this experience I had never before known.
Now, I sought the Sky Power. From the safts of light that penetrated the chamber, I found that connection, and began the work of pulling down that energy.
While the waters always begin to shine when the light hits them, this new Earth Power was already illuminated from within. Now, when the Earth Power was struck by the Sky Power, rather than being illuminated from without, I was illuminated from within, with the light bringing out the subtle luminescence in the Earth Power from below.
And when both Powers were co-mingled, I felt, rising from the earth below me, spreading through my veins and body, a rhythmic "Thump-Thump" followed by a rest. Thump-Thump rest, Thump-Thump rest, Thump-Thump rest. . .
My blood beat in time with it, my body pulsing with it. I felt intense heat, and felt struck with every thump, a reverberating, resounding strike. The rest carried with it a slight tremor, a vibration from the strike not hitting me, but hitting near.
I held this for a moment that seemed forever, and then let the Powers go, back to Sky, back to Earth.
As the Earth Power faded, so too did the rhythm.
Hephestos' door may have been shut, but deep within his volcano, he still forges.
The view from Hephestos' doorstep