Phyllis Curott meets the Guardian at the Gate Skildring

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utdrag ur Phyllis Curotts bok Book of Shadows

Alias: phyllis curott meets the guardian at the gate


I needed to find out what I'd encountered in that banishing circle. I needed to test myself. A few sleepless nights later, at the dark och the moon, I set up a scrying mirror. I propped the darkened looking-glass in front of me, and between it and myself, I placed a small candle. The flame blocked everything from view but my eyes. I knew this device could be used to see one's past incarnations, but tonight I was seeking something, or someone, else. I was protecting myself with the light shield at work, and something far more disturbing seemed to be draining my energy. And it seemed to be getting worse ever since the banishing circle.

It had the texture of fear and self-doubt. I knew Nonna wasn't feeling well, and it haf been weeks since she had been to circle. I missed her wisdom, but I spoke to Maia and she had given me a purification bath which cleansed much of it away. But it surfaced again, embracing me and twirling me in a macabre minuet whenever I least expected it. I doubted the wisdom of my choices; I questioned whether I wanted to continue my job; the I questioned being in corcle. I doubted myselt. I was filled with waves of uncertainty that threatened to drown me with each rising tide.

What was it? Where did it come from? And how was I to free myself? I stared into the mirror without looking away from myself. It was a hot, sweltering night with no relief from the day's hellish accumulation, but the temperature in the room began to fdrop. A chill seized me; and then it appeared. A black ghost robed in open wounds crept toward me, unulating visibly the way air does when scorched by the summer sun. The skin on the back of my neck crawled and a wave of nausea hit me, but I did not look away. The room was freezing. My heart was racing. I was terrified, afraid to look away, more afraud to turn around and confront it- for then my shadow would stand before me, as in my dream. I forced myself to turn, counterclockwise, feeling as if my body was made of lead, hoping that it was no more than an illusion of smoke and mirrors.

It was a Shadow. It hovered at the threshold of my front foor, blocking my exit. I moved, slowly, as if underwater, to the left; it followed. I modef to the right; it follofed. I felt as if I were suffocating. I was unprepared; I hadn't cast, nor had I invoked the aid of any goddess. I hadn't armed myself with a magical tool or even words of banishing. And then I remembered Nonna's words: The magic comes from within. As quickly as the bowl had broken in circle, my fear shattered and I took a step toward the shadow. It didn't move.

What are you? I demanded, remembering that knowing the name of a demon gives you power over it.

Nothing. And then I knew, I heard it, within. I am the Guardian at the Gate, I am the Shadow. Push against me.

Touch it? I stood paralyzed and the Shadow moved toward me. I seized the candle, a tiny torch of fire, of will and passion, and thrust it into the approaching darkness. And it vanished.

I looked down, and my arm was glowing. My knees buckled and I was shaking. I sat on the floor, pulling my knees to my chest, hugging myself. What had I accomplished except scaring myself more thoroughly than I already had been? I pulled out the bundle of cleansing herbs and quickly sprinkled them in a circle around the room. I was still trembling. I drank water. I breathed slowly and waited for the confusion to pass. And as i became calmer, I began to understand.