Friday, March 2, 2012

Meditation: Visiting the Golden Queen, Hulda

Our tradition uses guided meditation to help impress certain symbols on our member's consciousness. Below is our Spring Equinox meditation. It takes place in the Castle of Revelry, which is the northeast area of our compass.  It is the home of the Golden Queen, who we honor as Hulda, Holt, or Holle. To use this meditation let yourself relax comfortably and picture yourself drifting downward and inward to the third realm, the lower realm. The third realm is a place of darkness and mystery.  Let yourself sink down into the third realm and rest there peacefully.

Meditation: Visiting the Golden Queen, Hulda

You awake to find yourself in a forest of birch trees just before dawn.  It is early spring and the air is damp and cold.  Paperwhite narcissus nod their heads beneath the stands of slender white birch.  You face the east, and notice a rosy glow in the sky there. 

Suddenly from a thicket a rabbit darts forth.  It stops in your path and sits upright on its haunches observing you.  Its dark sparking eyes regard you coolly.  It twitches its nose at you, as if to say, “follow me!” It turns slowly to the east and dashes through the forest.  You hurry eastward after the rabbit.  As you follow it you begin to realize that it is leading you along a clear and straight path through the forest, although you had not noticed the path before. 

The rosy glow of the eastern sky deepens and shifts to soft coral pink and brilliant orange.  A flock of geese fly overhead.  They honk urgently as they sail through the flaming sky. You can feel yourself beginning to warm as you move swiftly down the path towards the growing light.  You can see that the rabbit has stopped ahead in a bright clearing. 

As you enter the clearing you are amazed to see a lake of fire flowing by it.  Bright tongues of flame lick the bank like waves, and molten lava mixes with pure fire along the shores of this mysterious lake.  The rabbit dashes along the riverbank and stops to look back at you, drawing your attention to a small boat tethered to the shore.

You approach the boat and notice a robed and hooded boatman within.  His face is hidden in the shadows of his hood, but he stretches forth a pale bony hand towards you.  You reach into your crane bag and pull forth a gold coin.  On the face of the coin is the profile of a beautiful and merry lady with ornately braided hair.  On its reverse is a lantern and two crossed brooms.

You place the coin into the boatman's skeletal hand and climb into the boat.  The boatman pushes off and begins to row you eastward through the lake of fire.  The heat of the lake is immense, but also comforting.  You realize that this heat is the warmth of spring.  It is the heat that melts snows and encourages tender plants to grow.  The light of the lake is intense, but also beautiful.  You understand that this light is the light of the sun at dawn.  It paints the sky in brilliant shades of orange, rose, and crimson. 

Through the waves of heat ahead of the boat you notice an island.  On the island is a gleaming golden castle.  The castle shines in the light of the fiery lake.  It is constructed of solid gold set with yellow topaz and its many turrets are festooned with banners and flags of every color.  As you near the shore you can hear joyful music and laughter pouring forth from the castle.

The boat is now ashore on this merry island.  You climb out of the boat and as you set your feet upon the island you notice that they feel very light, as if imbued with natural grace.  You feel warmth and joy flowing upwards from the land to your heart and all of your being is infused with comfort and contentment.  The scent of a warm savory feast greets your nose, and lingers there with the smells of frankincense and amber.  You smile widely and warmly.  

The immense golden doors of the castle open to you, revealing a shining hall filled with laughter and song.  The golden hall is draped with banners of many colors, and in it is an impossibly long table of birch.  Seated at this table are heroes of myth and legend.  Cuchulain feasts on roasted meat and golden mead while Odysseus and Finn MacCool laughingly trade boasts and riddles.  Hercules drinks deeply of the toast that Boudica proclaims in honor of a song Orpheus has just sung.  From beside him Taliesin smiles at you and waves you over.  “We've been expecting you,” he says merrily.  You ask him where you are and he replies, “There are many names for this place.  Some call it Valhalla.  Others call it Hell.  I call it the Castle of Revelry.  It is the home of Queen Hulda and her golden lantern.” 

Taliesin points to a set of double doors near you.  The doors are solid gold and covered in countless finely sculpted symbols.  Among these you notice a goose and a broom.  You move to touch the doors and they swing open at your gesture. 

The room inside is bathed in brilliant white light.  It blinds your vision for a moment, and when your eyes adjust you see a pale and beautiful woman with elaborately braided red hair.  She is seated on throne of solid topaz and she wears a dress of gold.  Her eyes are the color of amber flecked with gold and she is smiling warmly at you.  To her right is a table with an object upon it that shines so brightly you cannot bear to look directly upon it.  To her left is a broom with an intricately carved handle and a brush of birch twigs. 

“I am called Hulda” she says.  Her voice is a mixture of sultry, dusky alto and the tinkling of tiny brass bells.  You can taste warm honey in your mouth when she speaks.  The scent of frankincense and cinnamon fills your nostrils.  Your entire being is infused with radiant heat and you feel slightly dizzy. 

She smiles more deeply and gestures to the shining object to her right.  “This is the treasure of Castle of Revelry.”  At her words your eyes adjust to its radiance and you can see that it is a golden lantern.   Its light shines the semblance of pictures, stories, and riddles on the golden walls of the room.  Your head fills with music and poetry as you look at its light. 

Hulda laughs.  Her laugh is intoxicating and you can feel your head swimming in confusion and wonder.  Hulda leans forward on her throne and captures your gaze. “I have a message for you,” she says.  She takes your hand and whispers her secret message in your ear.

Hulda bids you farewell and kisses your cheek.  Your flesh stings at the hot touch of her lips.  The lantern beside her brightens like the white hot sun and you begin to sweat.  You take your leave of the room hastily, disoriented by the heat and light.

Back in the great hall heroes continue to feast boisterously.  Two yellow haired Valkyries gently take you by the arms and lead you through the hall.  Taliesin winks at you as you pass by.  The Valkyries escort you out the door of the Castle and into the boat you arrived in. They pay the boatman a gold token and you drift swiftly back across the lake of fire to the gray-skied birch forest.  Geese honk in the distance. At the shore of the gray spring land is the start of a footpath, the same straight path that the rabbit first lead you down.  You follow the path back through the birch forest, past the thicket and the paperwhite narcissus, back to the place where you awoke.  You lay down in the cool, damp springtime forest and rest. 


  1. I'm confused about what aspects of Frau Holle you have drawn on to create this guided meditation. I can understand her identification as the Golden Queen, but the Castle of Revelry seems far outside of her realm.

    Hasn't Grimm synthesized Holle with Frigg, who is a goddess of order and quiet? And given the folklore surrounding her, such as the fairytale which was recorded by the Grimms and other legends associated with Christmas-time and the punishment of lazy children, I would identify Holle as far more austere and as queen of a far more austere underworld than this.

    Given Holle's reputation as one of the leaders of the Wild Hunt and as a sort of psychopomp who takes the souls of dead children, it would make much more sense to identify her as a form of the Black Goddess, especially considering her association with spinning and thereby fate.

  2. Natalie is planning on posting more about Hulda very soon, as we usually have an article on the Deity, their associations, and our understandings of them as we work with them.

    Both our Golden Queen and Silver Queen could be seen as reflections, in some part, of the Black Goddess. But certainly, they both are reflections of the White Goddess, as well. One of the Mysteries of the Witch Goddess is that she is both Black and White -- and that whatever face we are currently seeing holds the light or shadow of her sister-self.

    Hulda was the Goddess who presented herself as the keeper of the Castle of Revelry when Natalie and I were building the foundations of this Trad. We had our castles, totems and treasures in place already. Hulda stepped forward and said, "The Goose is mine. The Birch (March), Willow (Feb), and Ash (April) are the broom-woods -- and the Broom is mine. The Lantern is mine." And we said, "Alrighty, then." Who were we to argue?

    All that being said, we fully acknowledge that this system -- or any other -- is only workable if it's workable to the practitioner. If a Goddess presents herself more fittingly as the keeper of the Castle of Revelry, the guardian of the light (Lantern) of the Dawn and Spring, work with her in place of Hulda.

  3. Thanks for the clarification. :)


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