Abruptly the High Priestess called a halt and turned Tobal back to face the bonfire.
"If you seek the light, you shall find it!", she shouted snatching the blind fold from his eyes.
He was momentarily blinded and couldn't see.
"This bonfire is the symbol of the triumph of truth and wisdom. The light it gives is symbolic of the greater spiritual light you now seek." Placing her hand on his head, she intoned, "In the name of the Lord and Lady, I transmit this blessing of love and light to stir your higher self and bring you into the light."
A tingling and pouring of light and energy flowed through Tobal. It was so powerful he felt dizzy and happy at the same time.
The High Priest came up next placing his hand on Tobal's head. "In the name of the Lord and Lady, I transmit this blessing of love and light to stir your higher self and bring you into the light."
Again Tobal felt the tingling as a wave of energy swept through him. It was a different type of energy but just as powerful as the first. They felt different but somehow they also felt like they belonged together.
He felt himself being torn from his body and pulled into a vortex of energy that swirled him upward to be embraced in the arms of a man and woman of radiant light. This must be the Lord and Lady, he remembered thinking before he collapsed.
Later, the High Priestess helped him to his feet and showed him a small bowl of oil and clay goblet of wine sitting on the altar. Moistening a finger in the oil she traced a symbol in the middle of his forehead where his third eye was located.
"I mark you with the triple sign."
"I consecrate you with oil."
Dipping her finger in the wine, she again drew a symbol on his forehead.
"I consecrate you with wine."
"I consecrate you with my lips", she said lastly and softly kissed him on the lips.
Then she handed Tobal a piece of paper. He recognized the Oath of the Apprentice written upon it.
"Now you must sign the oath you have just taken."
Tobal signed the paper as everyone cheered and applause erupted all around the circle. Looking around the circle for the first time, Tobal saw fifty or sixty people cheering and waving cups at him in celebration and congratulation. After the applause died down the High Priestess handed him a pair of gray woolen trousers.
"The color gray symbolizes the imperfections that are within each of us. As we strive toward the spiritual life these imperfections become harmless and as we accept them they in turn nourish our souls like the seed is nourished by the dark rich soil of the earth. Our imperfections help us to grow stronger if we use them wisely and learn from our mistakes."
She handed a sheathed knife and belt to him. "This is your true weapon. It symbolizes the mastery of thought and intent over the material world. As you learn the art of survival in the wilderness you will come to appreciate how important this simple tool can be. It will one day save your life. You will also use this tool in your dreams as your spirit grows stronger and is tested by your personal fears and demons."
As he buckled the belt and knife around his waist the High Priestess gave him a decorated wine skin filled with mead.
"This is the vessel of the Lady, the Holy Grail of immortality. From this we drink in friendship and in honor of them both. It is the emotional joys and pleasures of human companionship that make life deep and rewarding. It is in sharing our lives with others we find purpose and reward. Life is an eternal celebration and it must be celebrated with others lest we find ourselves alone and unloved."
"These are the tools of the Apprentice. In the second degree you will learn other mysteries."
Then taking her own knife in hand she said, "Brother Oak, to learn you must suffer and be purified. Are you willing to suffer in order to learn?"
"Yes", Tobal answered.