Being aware that the country I was about to visit was a Muslim majority country and rather than letting it travel with me, I had decided the pentagram around my neck could stay at home. On my first morning in Marrakech, I added to the noise of the city by becoming chatty with two people sat next to me. Husband and husband, they have been visiting Morocco together for years but even so, they were conscious of how careful they had to be; their twenty-year love punishable by imprisonment. Stuck in my western mindset, I too was careful and had decided that whilst I indeed know the ancient symbol of the pentagram around my neck can be interpreted in many different ways by whosoever looks upon it, I felt any symbols that announce 'some thing' would fare better in my bedroom drawer, even though one of those interpretations might be as the Star of Islam.
Just as physical love shared between same-sex couples can be met with harsh treatment, witches too do not receive hospitable welcomes. I am a not-too-widely-travelled-woman-from-the-wild-moors-of-Yorkshire and my five senses in Morocco were happily being slapped silly, forcing my sixth sense to well and truly came out and play. Any conversational starter that might have one chuntering about chatting with folks in other realms could end up in a whole heap of trouble. Sunni Islam, the predominant sect of Islam practiced by 99.9% of Muslims in Morocco, forbids intermediaries between God and people. I'm not at all sure on how they might react to the Company of Avalon blithely joining them in the souks.
Now, I'm usually one of those types who like to do a goodly bit of research on the places I am visiting. I dislike returning to base camp having missed experiencing something with added historical and sociological awareness. However, I made the rookie error of failing to look up the national flag of my upcoming hosts.
On arrival in Marrakech, I soon discovered that it is impossible to go anywhere without being greeted by a pentagram. On almost every street corner, lamp post, roundabout, hotel, On t-shirts, menus, taxis and buses. The disguised-as-palm-trees-wifi-masts were conversely, and refreshingly, barren of flags; instead being topped by huge nests. The storks of Marrakech are considered holy birds. I liken them to my Avalonian swans, their energies tattooed onto my feet. In past times, the Celts with their swans, and the Berbers with their storks, believed these beautiful creatures to be transformed humans. To this day in Morocco, it is forbidden to disturb a stork and who does so, risks three months in jail.
But, back to the pentagrams...
The Moroccan flag was once a simple plain red field, its colour announcing descent from the royal Alaouite Dynasty. The green five-pointed star was added to the flag in 1915 when Mulay Yusuf ruled Morocco and stands for Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom, and Justice.
Even in a world where East and West share so much conflict, and where opposites are polarising with alarming speed, it is how easy it is to see that our beliefs have so many beautiful and common parallels. I should have worn my pentagram. Or, perhaps I shouldn't...I wouldn't have had this experience if I had.
The sound of divine laughter filters through to my hearing.
My experiences are as yours - filled with challenges, pain, joy, laughter and love.
The settings of our scenes might be different but along our journey together, we will discover similarities and shared experiences.
Adventure with me for a while, for it is in the Journey, we become One.
High Sierra Winter Solstice
Postcards from America (1)
God's Own Country
An Avalonian Anniversary
..'And did those feet?'
Glastonbury/Avalon of the Heart
Finding Colour in the Grey
Lessons from Morocco
Under African Skies
The Earth Mother
The Glastonbury Unity Candle goes to Knight's Enham