A Knight’s Destiny Pathworking

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The music follows the CD pathworking text below. Together they form an amazing experience.

Dusk settles over Britain, for now is a time of hardship and famine. Saxons are invading from two fronts, the south and the east, and have already grouped in several settlements throughout the land. Once used as mercenaries by the treacherous king Vortigern to repel the Picts from the north, the Saxons had swept him aside at will and begun a trail of pillage and murder. Nobody but Arthur has the will to repel them; other war leaders seem powerless to act.

 

  1. Fanfare of the Knights

 

Arthur proclaims: “Knights, Britons, Warriors and all men of Good Will. Fourteen days hence we will meet at the summit of Badon Hill and drive the Saxon dragon from our shores once and for all.”

 

  1. A Wounded Traveller

 

As the hazy heat of the relentless afternoon sun fades, a lone knight on horseback pulls his cloak around his shoulders to protect his armour from the rain which is now drizzling steadily. Experience has taught Lancelot that no matter how well greased, traces of rust are unavoidable if water is allowed to penetrate during travel. Weakened from an earlier skirmish with three robber knights attacking a peddler, Lancelot makes slow progress through the forest as dusk begins to fall. A trail of blood trickles from several wounds and mixes with the water bouncing from the leaves and the compacted mud on the ground. His horse stumbles. The pain, although present, is ignored, his eyes narrowing with concentration as the gradual descending darkness envelops the woodland, partially obscuring the path he is following.

 

Thoughts of Arthur’s love of Britain inspire Lancelot as he continues his journey towards Badon. He feels light headed and although not cold, he shivers. An owl hoots from high in a tree some twenty yards in front, and Lancelot peers ahead. “Is that you Merlin? Wait, I am nearly with you. I knew you would be here to guide me. It is so good to see you!” The owl swoops low over the head of the traveller indicating the way ahead. Instinctively, Lancelot’s horse canters in the direction of the owl until a clearing is reached, lit by the ethereal glow of the moon. Lancelot dismounts, wonders why he suddenly falls, stands up and walks forward. The owl hoots again.

 

  1. MERLIN

 

Merlin stands tall and proud at the base of a tree situated at the far edge of the clearing, and beckons Lancelot towards him. The wizard wears a smock of fine cloth dyed in purple and decorated with jewels which sparkle in the moonlight. His polished steel skull-cap gleams as he bends to sit, and welcomes Lancelot to rest alongside. As he converses with the sage, Lancelot feels warm, dry and content. They talk of Britain, of Camelot, and of peace and security in the land when the battle ahead is won. A distant church bell paces out the ever decreasing time before the confrontation. The sounds of the forest seem friendly and comforting. Lancelot falls asleep.

 

  1. The Dragon Within

 

He awakes cold and wet in the early morning drizzle. Feverishly, Lancelot turns his head from side to side. Merlin is nowhere to be seen. He rests his hand on the ground and stares disbelievingly at the bloodstained clothes soaking around him. He feels the gentle touch of a soft hand entwine his fingers and gazes in total submission at the person alongside. “… Guinevere…” Lancelot breathes out the word as if to cloud an imaginary mirror inches from his lips. Passion deep from erupting within, the Queen’s champion knows that he must visibly subdue his emotion for he is now back at Camelot, and Arthur’s knights, his truest friends are approaching. “Gawain! Bors! Gaheris! How goes it? What news! Why do you stare so?” Lancelot turns around to find Guinevere lying expectantly on a bed soft of furs and down, her eyes burning with lust.
Kneeling at her side, Lancelot reaches out to pull Guinevere towards him. Horrifyingly, it is the face and lips of Arthur he is about to kiss. “Arthur..forgive..would that I rather die..” Lancelot inwardly sobs with shame as he listens to his King praise the finest and bravest knight that ever lived. The trumpeting fanfare at Arthur’s court ringing in Lancelot’s ears gives way once more to the more gentle tolling of church bells, marking out the inevitable time when he must leave guilt and doubt behind, and accept his destiny. Now delirious with fever, he looks up from the pool of blood in which he lies. “Merlin! You are still here! Stay with me!”

 

  1. The Unborn Child: GALAHAD

 

As Lancelot remounts his horse he senses the protective love of a spiritual presence that is beyond human understanding enveloping and guiding him through the journey that is yet to come. Suddenly he is aware of a fair haired young knight sitting astride a white charger. The blond youth radiates a warmth and innocence that pull the champion back through the years to memories of childhood and his mother. The sunlight flashes against the knight’s shining breastplate and momentarily Lancelot sees in the reflection the form of a new born baby. “Merlin,” he whispers, “This is to be my son.” The two knights travel contentedly together, communicating without speaking, until Galahad draws gradually into the lead. Lancelot makes no attempt to catch up, and watches with intense pleasure as the vision of his future child, still yet to be born, melts sublimely forward into the mists of his mind.

 

  1. Sir Pellinore’s Quest

 

The journey is ever long and hard, and Lancelot is grateful for the distraction offered by the appearance of a powerful, but obviously elderly, bearded knight on horseback approaching from a road to the left. Weighed down by numerous bags of provisions, the horse stoops and trots with a limp, but encouraged by its owner, makes steady progress. As soon as they are within earshot, Lancelot shouts “Pellinore – you are a right welcome sight, for I am weary of travelling alone. Travel you to Mount Badon, to aid Arthur’s forces?” Pellinore shouts back at Lancelot, although there is no need to do so, for by this time the two knights are quite close. He explains that he cannot spare time to join Arthur, for he is questing the beast, the dragon that lurks nearby.

 

The two roads converge and both seekers ride together. Lancelot smiles wryly to himself for he knows that King Pellinore has dedicated himself to this quest almost to the point of obsession. Indeed, many people thought his dragon imaginary! They start to climb the last hill of both their journeys, to join the many hundreds of Arthur’s companions at the peak. A fearful dragon, the Saxon army lies snorting and spitting beyond. Pellinore reluctantly continues to meet his own fate; as an experienced campaigner he has already tasted the horrors of battle.

 

  1. The Dragon

 

Lancelot gallops at full speed, in the thick of the first flank, towards the dragon. As he charges, he screams, although over the sound of hooves, his cry is barely audible.

 

“MY QUEEN!”

(Dedicated to Cathy)

 

© Peter Balanck for SPIRAL MUSIC 2002

 

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