The Velvet Chamber
An Anthology of Revisioned Myth and Fairy Tale

Explore the dark side of the female psyche --A CALL FOR WRITERS supports The Velvet Chamber

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Angelique, the archetypal bride

On my wedding day, I stood in a waist high field of flowers adjusting my veil, it was ivory lace, hand sewn with seed pearls so that it glistened like a constellation in the sunlight. It was early morning and already it a hot day--- I and my maids hung back underneath the shade of an ancient tree. They were dressed in long gowns of raw silk and fine linen. One of the younger girls pulled miniature strawberries off the vine, and another had taken off her slippers and dipped her feet into the nearby pond.

The tall grasses hummed with cicadas, the very air around me seemed to vibrate--- like the music of the spheres. My maid servant, Emily served mulled wine in silver cups emblazoned with my family crest and one small perfect sapphire. But I did not touch a drop. I was already light headed and ready to faint with joy. Soon the procession would begin, soon my groom and his men would meet us and we would walk together, process up the road to be married.

I knew beyond the valley of pomegranates, there were hundreds of people waiting in a clearing, a natural amphitheater, where red silk canopies and bowers filled with violets and ivy and daisies, were hung from the trees, and many casks of wine, for it was to be the finest wedding in the land. I vowed to remember the perfection of this moment for all time. Off in the distance, we heard the echo of bells ringing, then saw a cloud of dust rising up on the horizon, the men were arriving. I watched as Emily gathered together the silver cups on the tray while my maids straightened their gowns and placed sprigs of wild flowers in their hair.

They came into view, processing down the road, carrying standards, royal blue and scarlet emblazoned with the family crest, a mandala, and the inscription, Aurora Consurgens. A few feet behind them, my groom, my love, walked slowly and joyously carrying cut branches of dogwood and crocuses, the petals gently dropping down, littering the dirt road with bright spots of color. And behind him, a young child, a girl with golden blond hair, ringing two sterling bells. I stood tall while my handmaids draped me in long gold strands of gold and malachite, then a bouquet of violets wrapped in lavender ribbon.

As they men approached, the maids joined them in turn. I waited patiently for my lover to appear, and when he did, we locked eyes and I rushed out to join him. The procession and the music stopped while we linked arms. The child began ringing the bells again, quietly--- and we all began to process, men and women, but in a slower more stately rhythm, until we rounded a gentle curve in the road and entered into the valley of pomegranates, and then beyond a field of wild flowers where the tall grasses and stalks of milk weed brushed up against my gown, and then down into the amphitheater where the entire village waited for the ceremony to begin.

to be continued...

Note:  This story is inspired by CG Jung's memoir.  He writes about a dream he had in a near-death state: 

I was Rabbi Simon ben Jochai, whose wedding in the afterlife was being celebrated.  It was the mystic marriage as it appears in Cabbalistic tradition...I do not know exactly what part I played in it.  At bottom it was I myself.  I was the marriage...I walked up a wide valley to the end, where a gentle chain of hills began.  The valley ended  in a classical amphitheater.  It was magnificently situated in the green landscape...All-father Zeus and Hera consummated the mystic marriage, as it is described in the Iliad.

Image:  Marc Chagall

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