Chapter 1

I watch from my concealed position as the man who, until just moments ago, had possession of the key, is bundled into the unmarked car by undercover police.  The card he used to gain entrance to the safe-box is now held tightly in my own hand.  I’m so excited that I’ve finally managed to achieve this.  I’ve discovered who had the key, I’ve found the guy, I’ve extracted it from him, and now I’ve neutralised him.  He won’t be coming looking for his lost key any time soon.

The car pulls quietly away, and my heart soars.  Now I just need to get to the rather unusual place where the key needs to be inserted.

I have help.  Two companions come with me.  One drives, the other sits behind me in the rear passenger seat.  The slot is in a willow tree by the side of a slip road onto a major A-road.  The driver pulls over.  I slide out of my seat and insert the key, and run back and jump in the car, which pulls away.

That’s the first part.  Now we have to get to the house without being seen or caught by any of the others who want to gain access.

Having left the car behind, we’re now in an abandoned warehouse.  We know we have to be careful, so we split up.  Hopefully at least one of us will make it.  I feel the need to change my clothes, to make my identity less obvious.  I open a pack of pyjamas and take out the fleecy top.  I take off my own top and I’m about to put on the new one when two men enter.  I clutch the top hastily over my chest, but don’t manage to put it on before they spot me.  Luckily, they try the softly, softly approach.  Closing in from either side so that I’m caught between them, they express concern about me being here on my own.  They offer to help.  I go along with them, as I know I couldn’t get away from them just now if I tried.  We enter the darkened car park, all different floors and slopes and places of concealment.

We creep down a slope.  At the bottom, a car.  The two men lead me towards the car, and I see someone dump a body out of the back seat.  I think he’s just unconscious, but I feel they’re likely to do something similar to me if I let them.  So while their backs are turned, looking towards the man, I slip into one of the many shadowy corners to hide.  I turn my back towards the entrance and lie down, hoping not to be seen.  At least I’ve managed to pull my top on while creeping along behind them.

There’s someone else here, too.  I can sense his presence.  As the men are looking around for me, he whispers, ‘It’s easy to get lost in here.’  I feel him trying to seem neutral, but I don’t think he is.  Damn!  Now I’ve got two groups to try and get away from!

The two men by the car are now searching for me, but they seem to think I went down the slope, so they’re investigating that floor first.  I have some time.  But even if they give up and go away, I know there are others to contend with, and they know where I am.  I’m concerned.  How am I going to pull this off?

At this point, I become aware that I’m dreaming.  Partly awake now, I’m in that state between sleep and full wakefulness.  I know this dream is important.  I’m trying to work out why, and what it’s saying to me.

Holding the question in my mind, I wait for an answer.  It comes to me after a minute or so.  The treasure house I’ve found the key to is full of skills, knowledge, abilities, talents, that I acquired in many of my past lives.  I’ve done a lot of work to get to the point where I’m close to getting access to this treasure.  But there are parts of me that would use it for impure purposes, and I need to eliminate them before I walk through that door.

Suddenly, I remember I’m not alone.  With that thought, I become aware of a huge figure of a man standing behind me.  He’s massive, thickly muscled and much taller and broader than me.  Thank heaven he’s my friend!  As a wave of relief surges through me, he scoops me up in his arms.  I lie dormant, careful not to spoil any moves he might make by a sudden, distracting movement.

Someone moves in the shadows behind him.  He simply swings his arm around and knocks the guy flying.  He hits a pillar behind him with a crack and a wet thud and slides down it.  I think the crack was his skull splitting against the concrete column, and there’s another as his neck breaks from the angle of impact.  That’s one dealt with, then.  Perhaps I now have one less barrier to break through to reach my treasure?

The guy in front of us, the one who spoke to me earlier, rises up to face my ally.  He takes a swing at him, but my friend is surprisingly fast for his size.  He shoots his fist out straight in front of him and connects at high speed with the guy’s forehead.  That’s another down.

The third member of the gang is still lying unconscious where the guys in the car left him.  My friend makes his way down the slope, picks him up in one great meaty paw and props him against a pillar.  Then he raises his fist and brings it down on the top of the guy’s head.  That’s the third threat neutralised.

Again holding a question in my mind, it comes to me that the reason why these guys were killed in the ways they were is that they were shadow aspects of three of my chakras.  This is a new concept to me, but I’ll run with it and see where it takes me.  The first guy who was killed was damaged in the throat chakra – his neck broken.  The second was killed by neutralising his third eye chakra, and the third by closing his crown chakra.  I ask whether my other chakras have shadow aspects, and I’m told, no.  This may mean simply that they don’t, or possibly that I don’t need to concern myself with them just now.  After all, I know there are others who want to get where I’m going.  I may still have to deal with the other four main chakra shadows later.

The other question I need to ask is, have these threats actually been eliminated, or have we just dealt with them only in potential?  And the answer, of course, is yes to the second option.  I still have to locate the actual characters and work to eliminate them, but at least I now know about them, and I’ve cut off their blood supply, so to speak.

I feel I need to know the identity of the huge man who rescued me and killed the chakra shadows.  I ask.  The answer is out there, but just beyond my grasp for a moment.  I stay with it.  When it comes to me, I feel a sense of wonder and awe and a big beaming smile sweeps across my face.  The man is an angel!  He’s been delegated by Archangel Michael, the Archangel of Protection, to look after me and see that I reach my objective.  I’m not only not alone; I’m being looked after by the most powerful protection squad in the Universe!

I also know that the two companions who split up from me to make their own attempts at entry to the treasure house will be important.  They are also being looked after, and we will meet again.  They have their own mission.  They are parts of me who operate in different dimensions.  We have our own parts to play in the drama, and we’ll come together at the front door of the mansion when the dangers of entering the house and claiming the pearls of wisdom within have been removed.

Wow!  What a fascinating dream!  I had a feeling the other day that things were beginning to open out for me.  I thought it was due to my excitement about being handfasted to Chris, and that all the trauma I’d released in the last few weeks that had made room for something great to come into my life had culminated in my wonderful new relationship.  But this really gives me a sense of excitement about my future I haven’t had in ages – with the major exception of being with Chris, of course.  He’s intrigued when I tell him about the dream.  We both want to know where it’s taking me.

Even so, I’m taken by surprise when the next phase of this flowering occurs on the bus on the way home from work, a few days after I get back from my ‘honeymoon’.  We didn’t actually go anywhere, just took a couple of days off to be together and finish sorting out where my stuff will live in our newly-shared flat.

I’m sitting quietly, as usual, playing a word game on my phone as I often do.  One of my little games with myself when I’m playing this one is that whenever I see a name, I spell it out, even though it’s usually not accepted as a word by the program, partly because just sometimes it turns out to be a word, and partly because I figure there’s a reason that name has leapt out at me, and maybe someone, somewhere, who’s called by that name, needs a quick boost of energy, and will receive it because I acknowledged their name.

So when I see the name Faldur (yes, I know it’s not a name you’ve ever come across – neither had I, but it leapt out at me anyway!), I spell it out.  I have some of Amethystium’s beautifully evocative music on the iPod as well, and somehow the combination of the name and the music seems to give me a feeling of sadness and loss.

Once upon a time, I would have dismissed this feeling as being just some random strangeness.  Now, though, I know there’s probably a reason for it.  So I switch the screen off and sit back, holding the name Faldur in my mind.  First, I ask whether this was the name of a former lover in a previous life.  The answer I get, my head moving involuntarily to back up what comes into my mind, is no.  Then I ask if he was a brother or father.  Again, no.  But he was someone I loved?  Yes.

OK.  I feel for the answer.  So, was he perhaps a teacher?  An emphatic yes!  OK, so he was a teacher I loved and lost, and I never got over losing him?  Yes.

When did I know him?  It’s clearly not a European name.  In fact, it doesn’t equate to any culture I could name.  So perhaps it goes back further than that?  Yes.

My eyes widen.  Oh my God!  The feeling I have is that it goes all the way back to the earliest past life I know about – in Atlantis!  I know something of that life from a previous past-life dream, when I healed an ages-old trauma and released the resulting karmic debt.  But in that life, I was a priestess in the local temple from the age of eight, and we were all female there.  Faldur must have been a teacher I knew way back before I went to the Temple.  I know that a bereavement at such a young age can make a very deep impression.  My feeling is that it wasn’t that I left the school he ran that upset me, but that he actually died.  I sit with the feeling, letting it seep out of my aura and into my consciousness, so that I can let it go.

Then I become aware that the music on the iPod has changed.  I’m now listening to Merlin Am I, by Damh (pronounced ‘Dave’) the Bard.  A shiver runs through me and the hairs on my arms lift.  I’m vaguely aware that Merlin is a character who is not fixed in time, and is said by some to be more of a title than a single personality.  I have also wondered whether it was the name of a person who has been reincarnated many times as a wise man, always with the same title – a bit like the Dalai Lama or something.

But it had never occurred to me that there might have been a Merlin way back as far as Atlantis.  However, the tingle now running all over my upper body is a definite indicator that this may be the case.  It would seem from this that the teacher I loved and lost in the ancient days leading up to the fall of Atlantis was none other than an early incarnation of the mythical wizard, Merlin!

I can feel my mouth hanging open in shock and disbelief.  I was taught by the Merlin?  And I still made the almost fatal mistake of conceiving an unwanted baby and aborting it with dangerous herbs?  What kind of idiot can I have been?  But I know that kind of thinking is unhelpful and unproductive.  I was who I was, and I did what I did.  What I need to do now is work out why I’ve received this information and what I’m expected to do with it.  But sitting on the bus is not the place to do that!  I sit quietly until we reach my stop, and get off, still mulling it over in my head.

As I’m walking to the front door, I remember a possible connection, which may explain how I came by this information.  A friend of mine, Lynn, who I met through the pagan group that Chris and I belong to, is on an intensive journey into shamanism at the moment, and she did what she calls a ‘walking journey’ for me at the weekend.  She was disappointed to find that the only answer she could give to my question, ‘show me something that can help Cathy move forward?’ was mud, or earth.  She thought she’d failed in her mission, even though she spent quite a bit of time on it.

I wasn’t convinced it was a failure, and spent some time the other night asking about it and waiting for an answer.  What came to me after a few minutes was mind-blowing.

I had wondered whether the message was that I needed to be more grounded, or perhaps to work with Earth elementals or the Earth element or animal spirits or something.  But the being who walked out of the fog of my uncertainty was none other than Gaia herself, the Spirit of Planet Earth!  She felt so warm and loving and welcoming that, awed though I was, I felt no awkwardness in her presence.  She opened her arms to me and I walked into them, and the feeling of being totally loved and accepted was almost overwhelming.

The connection with Merlin isn’t entirely obvious until I remember, from somewhere at the back of my brain, a conversation I overheard between two members of the pagan group about the myth of Merlin, at the last ritual. One of them said he was the child of an Earth elemental and a mortal woman.  I guess that makes him an Earth elemental, too, at least in part.  So there is a connection between him and Gaia, and maybe I’m now able to connect with that memory because I’ve connected with Gaia?  I tell Chris all about my latest revelation and have the satisfaction of seeing that his reaction is exactly the same as mine.

‘My Goddess, Cathy!  You’re really hustling along the Path, aren’t you?’ he says, clearly as amazed as I am about all this.

I give him a sheepish grin.  ‘Seems like it,’ I reply.

That night I return to the question to see what else I can find out about this fascinating revelation.  Almost as soon as I ask the question in my mind, I feel a warm and loving presence enfold me. It is the Earth Goddess herself – Gaia, the loving mother of us all.  Again, I feel so loved and protected, I could let go of all my cares and just float in the warm sea of her vast and all-encompassing love.  And I do, for a few moments.  The next thing I know, I’m waking up to the sound of the dawn chorus.

So, how am I to remove the last few obstacles to receiving the wisdom, skills, and abilities I had in former lives?  This is my next question to myself, and the answer surprises me.  I have to do some more work on forgiveness from my past lives.  I thought I’d finished that job?  But apparently not.  The first thing I realise I need to go back to is the Atlantean life.  I need to forgive the man who made me pregnant and then abandoned me.

So, here we go again.  I surround myself with the golden white light that I habitually use these days, and go back to that life.  I locate the man, asking, while I’m there, whether he’s anyone I know in this life.  The anwer I receive surprises me only for a moment.  He’s my ex-brother-in-law, who I thought looked like the classical hero Adonis, but wasn’t attracted to in any other than the aesthetic sense.  Oh well, I guess that explains that, then.  I get a nod at that thought.  It’s so helpful to get a perspective on things.  Then I get another insight.  He was also the man who did exactly the same thing to me in Oregon, millennia later!  Wow, sometimes we take a very long time to learn, don’t we?

So I tell him I forgive him.  I feel a release in the area of my base chakra, but just as I figure that’s one job completed, I get a feeling that there’s something else I need to do.  I enquire.  A wizened face with beady black eyes appears in front of my inner eyes.

‘Hello Grandmother.’

‘Hello girl.  You need some help with this one?’

‘I think so.  I’ve released the karma by forgiving him, but I feel there’s something else I need to do.  Can you tell me what it is, please?’

‘Oh, yes, I can.’

‘OK, so would you tell me, please?’  Sometimes you have to be really specific in your questions!

‘OK girl, I will.  What else you need to do is two things.  One is to apologise for creating the karma between you, and ask him to forgive you for that.  The other is to expand the forgiveness and release of the karma you’re letting go of, by stating that you forgive him across all dimensions of all universes and for the whole of time.’

‘Oh, right.  I haven’t done that for any of the other people I’ve worked with.’

‘No, you haven’t.  And you may need to go back and do that for some of them, some time.  Right now, though, let’s concentrate on this one.’

‘OK.  I forgive you across all dimensions of all universes and for the whole of time and space.’   Immediately, I feel a powerful release starting at my base chakra and working its way up through all the others, finally rising through the top of my head and out through my crown chakra.

‘Wow!  That was amazing!’

‘Aha.  That’s really made a difference, all right.’

‘Why have I not done this before?’

‘Hey, you gotta learn to walk before you can run, child!  You had to get used to the feeling before you could work on the heavy stuff.’

‘You mean, like working out with small weights before you can lift the heavier ones?’

‘That’s right.  So now you can turn up the volume some, and do some really serious work.’

‘So I’ve passed my probation, as it were?’

‘You could put it that way, girl, yes.’


‘So, now for the other part.’

‘I apologise for creating the karma there’s been between us, and ask for your forgiveness.’  I wait a moment, and then feel the rush of release as the forgiveness is granted.  A wonderful light feeling envelops me, and I feel the warm approval of Gaia as I heal both myself and another of her children.

‘Well done, girl.  You got it.’  And she’s gone.

Again, I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I know, my alarm is waking me up.  I feel light-headed and slightly dizzy and I’m reluctant to get out of bed.  Chris sympathises.  He’s had a somewhat restless night, too, dreaming of forests and lakes and a white-haired old man who keeps trying to tell him something, but he kept waking up every time the conversation was about to start.

In fact, I don’t really come to fully all day, so I make sure I don’t do anything complicated at work, and get through the day as best I can.  Amanda gives me a quick hug in the kitchen when we happen to meet there and I tell her how I’m feeling.

‘You’ll be OK.  Just accept it and it’ll pass quicker.’

Now I’m receiving advice from someone who treated me like a dangerous madwoman when I first mentioned anything spiritual to her?  It makes me smile to think that she’s now at least as spiritually savvy as I am.

‘Yes, Mum,’ I reply, giving her a tired grin.

But I get my reward for having cleared this major obstacle to my growth.  I sleep well that night, and as I say goodnight to Chris the following night and turn over to go to sleep, another new and amazing sight greets me when I close my eyes.

Many years ago, I got interested in Ancient Egypt, and read up a lot about the Middle Kingdom in particular.  I was fascinated by the story of Akenaten, the Heretic King, and his attempt to change the extremely polytheistic religion of the country and make everyone worship a single god – the Aten – which he depicted as the disk of the sun with rays coming out of it that had caring, loving hands at the ends.  Now it seems that just before Akenaten’s accession to the throne, his father, Amenhotep III, had an extraordinary number of statues made, all of a lion-headed goddess called Sekhmet.  She was largely known for her fearsome revenge when mankind rejected her father, Ra, when she went on the rampage and had to be stopped from destroying us completely, but she settled down a bit after that and became a much nicer person, so they said.

And here she is, carved in basalt with gold earrings and a gold nose and eyebrows.  This is not an image I remember from my books, where they were all made of a reddish stone, but I’ve probably seen it somewhere, because it does look familiar.  But what I certainly haven’t seen before is a living vision of this statue.  Her eyes are open and she is looking at me.  I sense a feeling of waiting from her, that she is waiting to see how I will react, or what I will say, or something.

At first, I can’t think what to say, so I bow my head in respect for this awesome goddess.  She bows to me in return.  ‘Lady,’ I begin, unsure how to continue.

She smiles.

‘You have information for me, don’t you?’ I add, hoping to prompt her to speak.

‘I do indeed.’  The words are less spoken than simply felt.  I feel for the information she has for me, as this is clearly how it will arrive, rather than as speech.

I blink in the darkness as the first surprise hits me.  ‘Oh, wow!  You were a priestess – a High Priestess – in Atlantis!  You were one of the High Priestesses in the central Temple of Poseidon!’

She smiles again.  I receive the impression that she is pleased that I have picked this up, and is waiting for me to continue.

‘Did I know you?’  I get a nod, yes.  ‘In the life I already know about, when I was a priestess in a temple?’  A shake of the head, no.

OK.  So when?  I feel for the answer and it comes to me.  Before that.  I wasn’t a priestess, but I had some connection with the Poseidon Temple.  Again, I hold the question in my mind.  What was that connection?  The word ‘acolyte’ comes to me.  I’ve come across it, of course, but I don’t really know what one does as an acolyte.  An image of a choirboy comes to me.  OK, so it’s a bit like being a choirboy today?  Yes.  An acolyte does things like lighting candles, cleaning the altar, filling the censers with incense.  It’s a full-time occupation, but they don’t live in the temple, they just come in every day, as you would to an office job.  If they’re really dedicated and lucky, they may eventually get to be trained as a priest or priestess, and then get sent to work in one of the lesser temples in the land, but it’s very rare for an acolyte to become a High Priest or Priestess.

OK, so I was an acolyte in the Temple of Poseidon way back in the earlier days of Atlantis, and Sekhmet was a High Priestess.  Did I work closely with her?  Again, the nod.  Yes, I did.  Wow!  I actually knew this imposing woman?  I have an impression of a tall, elegant lady with long, dark, straight hair, wearing a dark blue flowing robe.  The same colour I wore in my later role as a priestess myself.  I feel this is significant somehow.

I figure this meeting is about finding some skill, knowledge, or talent I had back then, so I ask what it’s all about.  I sense a connection with crystals.  I remember there was a huge dark blue crystal in our temple when I was priestess there.  Sekhmet wears dark blue.  There’s clearly a further connection here.  I try to allow the knowledge to come to me, but the next thing I know, I’m waking up again.

OK, I fell asleep?  In the middle of a conversation with one of the most fearsome goddesses in the Egyptian pantheon?  And I’m still here to tell the tale!  Then I get the impression that I was meant to sleep, that the knowledge I was to receive has been inserted into my subconscious while I slept.  OK.  I guess it’ll come into my conscious awareness when I need it.

Then another impression comes in.  A phrase, whispered in my ear.  ‘Priestess of Avalon’.

Hold on!  Was I a priestess in Avalon as well?  The nod says ‘yes’.  Don’t tell me – I wore dark blue, did I?  Yes.  OK, what’s this all about then?  There’s clearly something about this colour that I need to know.

I ask some questions.  I’m told that there were five ‘orders’ of priestesses in Avalon, who all worked with different aspects of the Great Goddess.  These five aspects had different names, but were known to be all archetypes of the One Goddess.  Hence the five points of the pentacle – one for each aspect of the Goddess.  We all had different coloured robes to distinguish us from each other.  I ask which goddess I worked with, and I’m given a name I’m familiar with – Brigid.  It’s a Gaelic name, and not, apparently, the one I knew her by back then, but I know she’s a goddess of healing, and the Lady of the Flame.  I remember Andy telling me, during a conversation at the pub moot, that she had a shrine in Ireland which was tended only by women, where the flame was never allowed to go out, and that she is one of very few pagan goddesses who made it through to Christian times, as she’s associated with the St Bridget or St Bride of the Catholic Church.

So, I worked with a goddess of healing, and one of the tools I used for healing was crystals.  And I’ve done this before in previous lifetimes, or at least been associated with crystal healing.  Including as a priestess in Atlantis, and before that as an acolyte of Sekhmet in the Temple of Poseidon.

Cool!  So one of the pearls I’m going to retrieve is about working with crystals for healing purposes?  A big nod, yes.

I see a quartz crystal skull in my mind’s eye.  I reach out and pick it up, placing it carefully in the very centre of my left hand, over the hand chakra in the centre of one palm.  It’s a chakra that I know can be used to connect with healing energies, though how I know this, I‘m not certain.  I feel it vibrating very slightly, feel the energy exchange between us.  Then, to my surprise, I ‘see’ a very small figure sitting in the middle of the crystal.  I feel the connection very closely.  We don’t seem to need to speak, I just hold the crystal and hold the connection, and it feels wonderfully natural.  Again, I fall asleep as I’m working on it.  And when I wake up again, I know that something’s changed, but as yet, I have no idea what.