This short meditation is useful for gaining insight and guidance for various aspects of Pagan religion. It is a modern "Inner Temple" meditation rather than a purely ancient historical rite, but of course it focuses on ancient themes.
To begin, set up a sacred space with an altar and a comfortable chair. Light a candle and place it on the altar, and burn an incense such as frankincense if you wish. When you are ready, purify the area in whatever manner you are used to and sit comfortably in the chair. The candle should be the major source of light, if not the only one in the room.
Once you are sitting, take a few moments to let the tensions of the day flow away from you. Begin to take relaxed, deep breaths. As you breathe in, visualize yourself breathing in a healing golden energy. When you breathe out, visualize yourself expelling all negativity, stress and distractions.
After a few minutes you should be relaxed and ready to meditate:
With your eyes closed, see yourself standing in a shadowed place, standing before a doorway. Before you there are double doors of old, dark wood, banded with iron. The doorway has a stone lintel, and to either side of it there are marble pillars. You make a sign of opening, and the doors swing outward. You step through the portal and into the Inner Realms.
You find yourself standing at the edge of a sunlit valley. You are standing on a cobble stoned Roman road which runs through the center of the valley. At the valley base there is a small stone rectangular temple of Classical style. There is a noonday sun overhead, with only a few white clouds in the sky. All around you the valley is filled with green and growing things, as if it was once a carefully tended garden that has gone wild over time.
You find that you are wearing a white tunic with a belt and small leather pouch at the waist, and sandals threaded with gold. Around your neck there is a gold medallion with a Sun symbol. The day is pleasant; warm but not hot, with a gentle breeze blowing occasionally that sets the greenery around you into slight motion with the wind.
You begin to walk along the road, down in to the valley. You can hear your sandals striking the stones of the road as you walk, and you feel the sun on your face as you look around you. The road slopes downward gently - the walk is easy and you enjoy the scents of the plants growing all around as you descend into the valley center.
The Temple is to the right side of the valley, and the Roman road goes straight past its front. There is a stone pathway leading from the temple steps to the road. When you reach the bottom of the valley, you walk onward toward the pathway, and head toward the Temple.
As you near the Temple, you see that while it is beautiful white marble, the temple is old and in some disrepair. There is an inscription in Latin on the lintel of the roof, but it is weathered and can no longer be read. You also notice that the grounds around the temple have not been kept in some time - there are grasses and plants that grow almost to the temples edge.
You walk to the front of the Temple, which has steps seven leading to a pillared colonnade in the Classical fashion. You walk up the steps, and as you take your first step up you can see that the doors of the temple are open. At the top of the steps you pass between the front pillars and under the colonnade itself, and come to the doorway of the temple. You can see that there is light coming from within.
You enter the temple. It is clean inside, but even here you can see that there has been no upkeep in some time - a few stray leaves have blown in and are on the floor just inside the open door. Yet as you look toward the far end of the Temple, you see there is a statue at the far end on a raised dais - with a flame burning in a waist-high bronze tripod standing before it. The ceiling is about fifteen feet high, and the temple itself is perhaps forty feet long overall. There are grated windows high up along the wall in intervals, perhaps two or three feet from the ceiling, letting in some indirect light.
The walls of the Temple are stuccoed in off white, and you can see frescoes painted on the walls. There are scenes of the Gods - the twelve Olympians and of minor deities as well. Goddesses and Gods from both Greece and Rome, with their symbols and attributes. As you near the center of the temple, you see that the statue on the raised platform at the other end is a life size statue of the Emperor Julian.
You realize you are in a temple that was hastily converted from an abandoned temple to the Gods, into a celebration of Julian's brief years of Pagan revival. It seems abandoned - yet there is life and power here still.
You walk forward and stand before the brazier, which is casting light up onto the life size statue of the Emperor. The statue is up on a two foot platform, and Julian's visage looks both imposing and reflective in the gently flickering light. You stand for a while, feeling the energies of this place and reflecting upon the potentials here that were never fully realized.
Then you remember the pouch at the belt of your tunic. You reach to your side and pull the draw string, and when you reach in you find that it contains a dried but still colorful flower, a small cake, and a marble sized piece of resin incense. You bow your head before the statue, and then step up to the brazier.
You offer the flower into the flames of the brazier and say:
I offer this flower in honor of the spirits of this place.
You offer the cake into the flames, and say:
I offer this grain to the Eternal Goddesses and Gods.
You offer the incense into the flames and say:
I offer this incense to the memory of the Emperor Julian.
As you stare into the flames of the brazier, you see that they begin to burn brighter. The glow it casts begins to fill the room, almost like a golden haze that makes it difficult to look without shielding your eyes. You seem to see movement coming from by the statue, and then suddenly you are not alone.
The Emperor Julian steps forward from the light, and stands between you and the brazier. You are face to face with the last Pagan emperor of the Roman world.
Julian seems to take your presence without surprise, but
instead looks around him thoughtfully.
They did not build this
place for me, he says.
But still it is good to spend
time in a place sacred to the Gods. Then he turns to you...
At this point, you are free to converse with Julian as you will. Ask questions, speak about your life, your concerns, etc. This is your opportunity to connect with and learn from the past, and be inspired for the future. You may wish to speak to Julian at length, or perhaps this will merely be a brief meeting of two who serve the Gods. Once you are done with this part of the meditation, let this contact (if it has come at all) break off, and begin the outward journey:
Your conversation finished, Julian turns from you, and walks back around the brazier. The light begins to grow again, filling the room, becoming too bright to look at directly. Then it is gone - and you see only the stone statue with the brazier burning before it.
It is time for you to leave. You make a final gesture of respect toward the statue, turn, and walk from the temple. You walk past the images of the Goddesses and Gods decorating the walls, through the open door, through the portico, and down the seven Temple steps. You return to the road, and begin to walk back in the direction you entered. The road upward is not steep, and as you walk you delight in the fine day, the growing things, and the beauty of the valley. Could it be that as you walk the gardens around you are not so wild? That the plants and pathways suddenly seem more tended, as if there was interest here again?
But then you reach the rim of the valley, and the portal through which you came. You pass through the doors, and they close behind you. You have returned to the world, and the meditation is ended.
(Final note - while the above 'astral temple' meditation has been done before and is in many ways 'set' in detail, it is possible to change some minor details without detriment. For instance, the meditation could be done by two people, describing what they see in turns. One might change some of the details within the temple - adding a chair or two near the altar, so one can be in the same position both in the "inner" and "outer" realms. Other small details can be added as well, including adding small portable items that one might wish to focus on in meditation.)