Monday, April 13, 2009
The Snow Queen’s Procession
You see before you a field at twilight covered in virgin snow, in the field is a mound, or hollow hill as it is known, and beyond that are snow-covered woodlands. It is the night of the full moon and the stars shine sharply in the darkest blue sky. The snow glitters in the moonlight as the sky slowly creeps to black. You stand all alone in the tranquil surroundings.
When it is completely dark, you begin to walk through the snow towards the hollow hill, leaving deep footprints as you go. You are dressed warmly, all in white.
As you approach the hollow hill, you see something sparkling and glistening next to it. It seems to be transparent and quite beautiful, and if you are not mistaken it is a sleigh. It seems to be a solid object and is one of the most beautiful and engaging sights you have ever beheld. Sparkling around it are coloured lights that appear and disappear in the darkness. You recognize them as faerie lights and you feel in a very magickal and special place.
The faerie lights gravitate to the ground before your eyes. As you watch them, they begin to transform into faerie beings, lantern-bearing snow spirits.
You have hardly had time to take in this astonishing sight when you hear the sound of excited dogs playing and barking in the woods next to the field. You can also see the bobbing and swaying of a large lantern being carried through the dense woodland. The snow sprites around the sleigh start to chatter excitedly and gather upon the glistening sleigh, lighting it up with their tiny lanterns.
The dogs seem to be drawing nearer, together with the luminescent lantern. At last you can just about see through the darkness of the trees who the lantern-bearer is. You recognize the Snow Queen herself, Holda, grasping a long spiralling stick with her magick lantern suspended on it. The lantern seems to emanate a silvery white light, quite unlike a candle flame. The queen is tall and slender and has bountiful dark hair which reaches in cascades of curls to her knees. She wears a striking white dress with a fur-edged train at the back which glides across the snow, creating a swift swishing sound. She also wears a heavy white velvet cloak with a fur-trimmed hood. Her face is animated and vivacious. She is a beautiful creature with a twinkle in her bright blue eyes and a smile on her red rosebud lips. She comes with a kindly energy and being in her presence feels magickal.
When the Snow Queen reaches the sleigh, her pack of husky dogs gather quickly into their respective places at the front of the sleigh. They do this without fuss, as if they know exactly what is coming next. The snow sprites buckle the dogs into white leather harnesses. The Snow Queen gestures with her hand for you to get into the sleigh. You sit down on the sheepskin-covered seat and she seats herself next to you.
You have a feeling of excitement and suspense as everything feels so enchanting. All at once it begins to snow in moonlit flurries and you are transfixed by the falling flakes. As though that were the cue to begin, the Snow Queen rings a little bell on the sleigh. At this sign the dogs begin to pull the sleigh swiftly and smoothly across the snow meadow. They are enthusiastic in their endeavours and seem to be enjoying every minute. For you too the sleigh ride is a joyful experience; the breeze flies through your hair and the sleigh is lit up by the many tiny lanterns which the snow sprites hold. It is an exhilarating experience. You sit back and revel in the fun of it all.
Then the Snow Queen rings the little bell once again and without warning the sleigh glides up into the air, the dogs pulling it upward into the starry sky. The Snow Queen whoops with delight and, like you, seems to be enjoying the whole journey immensely.
You ascent becomes steeper as the huskies climb higher into the clear night sky. The flurries of snow still whirl all around the sleigh, even though there appear to be no clouds. It is as if this were the Snow Queen’s own personal snowfall that follows her wherever she goes. Although you are high in the winter sky, you do not feel the slightest bit cold, but surprisingly warm.
The snow flurries seem to be getting more intense, and for a few moments you cannot see where you are going. Then the snow whirls suddenly disperse and everything has altered. You seem to have entered another place. You are travelling over another landscape entirely. The woodlands are no longer English, but Scandinavian forests of tall spruce trees, topped with caps of snow. The landscape is dramatic and the countryside expansive.
The Snow Queen rings the little bell once more and the huskies begin to descend into a clearing in the forest. You cannot see exactly where you are going to land, but you do see hundreds of coloured faerie lights twinkling below. After a few moments it becomes clear that you are heading for a glorious lantern-lit frozen lake in the middle of the dense forest.
The sleigh glides gracefully and smoothly down to land on the ice. As you look around you, you realize the place is utterly enchanting. There are hundreds of snow sprites bearing lanterns around the perimeter of the frozen lake. In the center of the ice is a gorgeous faerie altar, decorated with swathes of white velvet, tiny white flowers and lanterns, emanating the same silvery white light as the Snow Queen’s lantern. At the center of the altar are two icicle crowns. One is large and ornate and rests on a circlet of white velvet. Eight snow sprites glide over and, taking hold of the crown, place it on the Snow Queen’s head. She kisses them all and they seem to find this very amusing and giggle a lot! They then glide to the smaller, more intricate icicle crown. This time they place it on your head. With this gesture you have been honoured by the faeries and granted entry into their realm. The Snow Queen kisses you on both cheeks. Her kiss is not cold, as you would expect, but extremely warm, so warm that you feel filled with love.
She climbs back into the beautiful sleigh with you by her side and rings the tiny bell once more. Suddenly a flurry of whirling snowflakes encompasses you both, the huskies and the sleigh. It is not an unpleasant experience and you can see the pattern of each individual snowflake as they swirl before your eyes. For a few moments, there is nothing except glittering snowflakes. Then you hear the little bell once again and the flurry subsides. Although you had no sensation of traveling anywhere, you are now sitting in the sleigh in the field next to the woodland where you set off. The Snow Queen is standing next to the sleigh with her lunar lantern, surrounded by her excited huskies. She smiles and blows you a kiss and then begins to walk into the woodland, disappearing a few moments later. The snow sprites take your hands and guide you out of the sleigh. You step out and take one last look at the enchanting faerie sleigh.
Your journey to the faerie realm is complete. Bid the sprites farewell and when you feel ready you may open your eyes.