I am a member of White Eagle’s larger family that spans the world. Those of us who belong to the White Eagle Lodge or who are friends that feel a deep affinity for his teachings, he is our Teacher and Spirit Guide along our self-chosen Path. His Lodge could easily be called a present-day Mystery School and an outer Portal to enter into dedicated participation and disciplined training toward self-mastery and greater spiritual unfoldment. When I found my first White Eagle book in 1986 and then the Lodge, I felt almost immediately that I had been re-united with my Spiritual Home and thus extensive spiritual family.
A Lodge is a gatehouse to the mansion which lies beyond,
Ylana Hayward was the daughter of Grace and Ivan Cooke, the founders of the Lodge in England in 1936, during those onerous years prior to the outbreak of World War II. This past August, Ylana celebrated her 95th birthday in her beloved, sunlit garden amongst close friends and devoted family. Thereafter, she was hospitalized for more than two weeks when on September 7th, at her exact soul-appointed moment, she passed into the Light. Those present with her felt as if she had walked straightaway into the Radiant Sunshine, already knowing it so intimately and embracing it jubilantly.2
She went seamlessly from one world into the next, having built the spiritual bridge from a life of dedicated service. Many awaited her in the inner world with the same joyfulness and glad welcome! With God’s Love shimmering and everywhere apparent in all the surrounding life, this great group, hand in hand, walked into the golden Sunlight.
On November 13th, Ylana’s Thanksgiving Service was held at the Mother Temple in New Lands, England, where more than 250 people came to celebrate her long, fruitful life. Many more of us around the globe attended in our “bodies of light” to pay homage to our Spiritual Grandmother, one so deeply cherished by her worldwide White Eagle family. One of her greatest loves is music and hymns, so the Temple was filled with music that day. Dear Mother Earth and the natural world are another of her deepest loves.
Many decades earlier, White Eagle gave Ylana the spiritual name of “Brother Christian,” which was a direct link to the character named in John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress.” From my perspective, she lived a humble, Christly life. But she also had her own, very real human struggles and tests, each requiring an enduring strength and steadiness, which she seemed to have in abundance.
At her service, her two sons (Colum and Jeremy) described their mother in an entirely human, “real way,” not in any sort of elevated or holy way. Her “called” life had been rigorous (and not always easy) in its many experiences and trials, but amidst all the continual work and demands of a growing, international organization, she continually built the inner golden treasure quietly within the temple of her heart—the radiant consciousness she was/is when she moved into the Heavenly World of infinite beauty.
As written in the latest issue of the Stella Polaris3, “Please know that above all, whoever you are, she sends you her love” from the inner level, where now she continues to work with an even greater depth and breadth in her spirit body of light. She is as close as a thought or a call from our heart!
I had the privilege to meet Ylana in person once. It was in October 1993 in Montgomery, Texas, at the first anniversary celebration after the opening and dedication of the Temple of the Golden Rose. During the opening when a large group of us from around the globe came together, I also had the pleasure of meeting Joan Hodgson, Ylana’s beloved older sister who passed into the Light in 1995.
In her natal birth chart, Ylana had a fiery, optimistic Sun, in the royal leadership sign of Leo, as did Joan. A more inspired, creative, joy-filled pair would be hard to find! But Ylana always “felt” to me, energy-wise, to be entirely practical, grounded, earthy, loving the Earth—her spirit so keenly in simpatico with the natural world, which seemed to be such a sustaining, mothering influence for her. In looking at her letters now, I see she shared with me that her Moon was in the Fixed sign of Taurus, accounting for her simplicity, level-headed sensibilities, steadfastness, soothing/healing aura of dependable grace, gentleness, and unruffled peace. Her comforting, nurturing, feet-firmly-on-the-earth Lunar side was enhanced by her indomitably bright, cheery, positive Solar self.
Hers was/is a voice of humility, one of caring kindness, tender understanding, and practical wisdom personified. I share the following personal remarks from Ylana because her wise, gently encouraging manner may speak to your heart and experiences as well as inspire you as she always did me, with such compassion, to live day-to-day less from the demands and unhappiness of my outer self and to more fully embrace my higher, Light-filled self.
In one letter, she encouraged me to attune in my heart with the enfolding, beautiful love of Divine Mother, to feel its pervasiveness and really know the security of it. She described it as, “a love almost beyond anything we know on earth that enfolds us” when we make that link in our own heart center. She went on to say that whenever I felt in any sort of need, I could turn to this beautiful heart link and that enfolding love of Divine Mother.
What a happy thought, she wrote at a later time, that when we are so much thinking of another in our mind and heart “perhaps we were just having a little talk together at the inner level.” She also supported me in a firm but sympathetic way to take the leap of trust it requires to do more publicly visible work and how she had to take that same leap long ago—“just to trust.” She remarked further, “I think it is really a question of not thinking too much about oneself but just constantly opening your heart, offering your heart, surrendering and just saying ‘Here am I, Lord, use me according to Your will.’”
Ylana gave me another great gift at a time when I was feeling useless and unaccomplished in the “outer world” without a tangible career by helping me to realize there are no wasted experiences, wasted time, or wasted years. Far from the seeming lack of achievement, all has been a preparation, “training, if you like” were her words, wherein I was being taught and strengthened in my inner self (even if unconsciously) for the path of service I was about to dedicate myself to, that of the White Eagle Brotherhood way of service.
Dear Family, Dear Friends
Ylana served jointly with Joan for fifteen years as the Lodge Mothers and then for ten years herself as the Lodge Mother of our wide-reaching family, when in the summer of 2005, she retired to the position of Spiritual Grandmother. At that point, her contribution to the bi-monthly Stella Polaris (the Lodge Journal) came in the form of a short letter-like column titled Dear Family, Dear Friends, these being little messages she felt guided to give, much like pearls from her heart. “I love writing to you personally,” explained Ylana, “because the very process of doing so brings me such a strong feeling of us all being part of White Eagle’s family.”
The following five paragraphs are separately recorded quotes (taken from her column) of a few of her remarkable experiences and thoughts over these last years:
Companioned by one or other of my sons I have had some beautiful frosty walk [at New Lands] in the last few days and yesterday evening we stood watching the setting sun on the hilltop behind the Temple. As we breathed in the cold air, I thought so much of White Eagle’s prayer ‘Great White Spirit of the Open Spaces. . . .4
While attending a family christening [naming ceremony], Ylana wrote:
. . . the strongest feeling for me, as perhaps you would expect when a soul is being welcomed into the physical life, was that of love—but particularly the love of those unseen who seemed to have such care, not only for the little human being for whom the ceremony was held, but beyond this for the greater soul coming into the physical life. This love seemed almost like a garment swaddling the dear human form. What I was so clearly given to understand, however, was how this love was actually permanent—‘real and permanent’—were the words which came to me—something which would surround this family member all their life, right through into old age and beyond. . . . My other strong feeling was that of ‘family.’ . . . I actually felt everyone present was part of the same group as the little one whom we were welcoming. It was very comforting and gave me a feeling of the continuity of human life and how little separation there really is.5
To me, October is a rather special month because October 4th is the day of our beloved St. Francis of Assisi. The main feeling at this time is that of real love, which St. Francis so clearly expresses. I remember a lovely moment . . . when we were visiting the Hermitage near Assisi, which was so closely connected with St. Francis. We were looking down from the hill into the lovely valley below. I could feel Francis standing by my side, the true love of God and all Nature emanating gently from him. To me, St. Francis, in his whole being, speaks of real love. He is very much part of the work of bringing us all to a true awareness of Nature, of Mother Earth and of all that lives and grows on Her. We very much need this awareness at this time, now, in our everyday lives. St. Francis can inspire us to the God in all life.6
I always used to love taking the White Eagle Contact Healing Service in the Temple. During this winter [earlier in 2011], the Tuesday service was held in New Lands chapel. One evening, instead of the usual words before the second healing session, Jeremy [her son] spoke about us all being close to the healing temple in the inner world and of how each patient could find and draw into themselves the healing colours that they needed. For whatever reason that evening, I felt my dear father (Brother Faithful, Ivan Cooke) with us, and he helped me to see colours that were so truly there at the inner level—a wonderful spring green with a patient who was having problems with medication, and a vibrant orange for her vitality too. There just felt to be a superabundance of energy and colour, and that we were lifted to the level where spiritual healing really takes place.7
In the words of our beautiful contact healing service, there comes a moment when we are all lifted in spirit into the healing temple in the world of light, and are guided to realize that we are gathered before a beautiful altar of light and in the presence of the Great Healer [the Master Jesus], all love—a love which touches and enfolds each one of us individually. Just sitting and being absorbed into this wonderful aura of light is in itself a special experience of healing at a deep inner level. The healing angels are present too, responding to the individual need of each patient. What I am also deeply aware of when we are taken into this beautiful Temple is the lovely flowers that surround it. It is as though the Temple is at the center of a beautiful garden, and that every flower in the garden has its own special gift and blessing to give to those in need . . . and there is nothing that cannot be healed by a blessing from one or other of the beautiful flowers in this garden.8
Ylana’s book, “A Way to Happiness”
A large part of the legacy Ylana has given the world during her long years of active service is through her editorial and inspirational gifts. These were central to the creation of the many books on the teachings of White Eagle that are available globally for all to read.
In 1995, Ylana’s own book was published, “A Way to Happiness: With White Eagle as Guide in Meditation.” Her son, Colum, wrote in the introduction:
A Way to Happiness is a book both for beginners, and for people who have been meditating long enough to have their own crop of questions to ask. It was born out of my mother’s long experience as a teacher of meditation, itself a training passed on to her by her mother, White Eagle’s medium Grace Cooke. It is also deeply influenced, as the title implies, by her very profound acquaintance with White Eagle as teacher [who Colum describes as a “spirit guide”]; there is no-one better fitted than she to write about the whole way of life based on meditation which has been lived in the Lodge for nearly sixty years. And it is this way of life, which is so much more than the isolated practice of a morning meditation, that is special about the White Eagle way.9
Grace Cooke’s forerunning “Meditation” and “The Jewel in the Lotus” are excellent beginning and advanced handbooks as well. Simply put (but more extensively described in her book), Ylana’s guidance for preparation for meditation is to sit in an attitude of surrender, visualizing the Sun above you. Then, as you breathe quietly, to feel the light coming down into you and filling every part of your being but always in this gentle inward movement from the outer to the inner world to focus in the heart center throughout this time.
With that as brief introduction, the following little meditation—The Lotus Pool—is a “seed thought,” as she called it, to serve as a stepping off point for our own deeper, perhaps extended meditation. You can read these words slowly to have a few of your own still moments of refreshment and renewal:
As you sit, quietly withdrawing your consciousness from the outer world to the still place within, the place which is all light, you see (or are shown by your guide or teacher) the symbol of a beautiful archway of light. You cannot see what lies beyond the archway, except that it is bathed in golden sunlight, and you long to go through to find what lies beyond.
Now you find that you are being gently led forward, towards and through the arch into the world beyond. At first you cannot see form; all you are aware of is the light. But then, little by little, you become aware that you are in a beautiful garden, what White Eagle calls ‘the infinite and eternal garden.’ There is a wonderful sense of new life springing up everywhere; even the grass and the earth beneath your feet feel vibrant and alive, and give you a feeling of strength and new life. Yet all is gentle: there is a deep underlying peace and calm . . . the peace of eternity. When you are ready, feel that you are being gently led through the garden to a still pool, whereon floats a pure white lotus or water lily, its petals opening to the Sun; you sense and feel the life—God—in every shining petal and in its golden heart. There is a clear jewel, like a wondrous diamond, cradled there. Be very still before this beauty. . . .
It may be that as you sit beside the pool in quiet contemplation, breathing into your heart the gentle purity and perfume of the lovely flower, you will find yourself in the presence of one who loves you, your guide and teacher. He or she speaks words of wisdom to your heart.
When you are ready, gradually bring yourself back to consciousness of the world about you.10
Ylana’s Living Message
If Ylana had a message for each one of our hearts personally, I feel certain it would be about love—that delicate rose flame in the heart—something she taught us in the Lodge through her own motherly, caring example. In one of her precious letters, she wrote, “it comes back basically to loving all, or just to loving. It’s all about trusting and learning to love really.” Love is the essence of all that is. She reassures us with the full joy of her heart: “May all that you give so freely from your hearts flow back to you in blessing and healing.”
I once sent her a perfect white feather, which she said filled her heart with bliss. “I shall fly on wings of Light into the Sun. . . .” And so she now has, but evermore available to converse with each one of us in her glimmering body of light! Her beautiful, shining presence is simply a thought away as she flies into our heart on her white wings of Light.
1. The Story of the White Eagle Lodge. 1986. The White Eagle Publishing Trust.
2. Stella Polaris. Volume Sixty, Number 6. October-November 2011, page 243. The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge.
4. Stella Polaris. Volume Fifty-Nine, Number 2. February-March 2010, page 71. The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge.
5. Stella Polaris. Volume Fifty-Nine, Number 6. October-November 2010, page 246. The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge.
6. Stella Polaris. Volume Fifty-Eight, Number 6. October-November 2009, page 246. The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge.
7. Stella Polaris. Volume Sixty, Number 3. April-May 2011, page 102. The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge.
8. Stella Polaris. Volume Fifty-Five, Number 6. October-November 2006, page 230. The Journal of the White Eagle Lodge.
9. Ylana Hayward. 1995. A Way to Happiness: With White Eagle as Guide in Mediation. The White Eagle Publishing Trust.
Text © by Zane Maser, 2011. Photo of Ylana Hayward is © by The White Eagle Publishing Trust. Photos of the Stars © by Zane Maser, 2011, and all but one Star was made by Zane. All rights reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.
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