Wednesday, January 18, 2006
An Early Quest
One of Shaman Maggie's requirements was for me to go on a quest in search of Shamanistic tools. These tools would be used in preparation for and in conjunction with future journeys. I was to find which senses were most powerful in me, to look for a forest path, a desert path, an ocean path and a mountain path, and the feelings generated by each.
I am still in the very beginning stages of shamanic journeying... the visualizations I do are in preparation for true healing journeys. I am building experience and knowledge to face the beings I will encounter. I was only intending to come back with tools in this visualization; but, as is the way at times, I came back with a lot more.
After the usual preparations, I visualized a cave, with a small campfire in the centre. There is a cup filled with liquid on an old oak table. There are various artifacts and tools arranged on shelves around the cave. There are sleeping pallets, some filled with sumptuous, silken pillows, others covered with furs. The cave is lit with candle light and the glow from the bonfire. It feels warm, safe. The air feels soft; sound is as muffled as it was when, as a child, I would hide under a dark, woolen blanket.
I hear drums, although I cannot see the source. But it is there, filling the cave with a rhythmic, muted beat. I feel myself expand. And then for awhile I watch myself, as I roam around the cave, before I feel safe enough to experience the cave without that added awareness. I notice the cave opening, just the outline of it apparent to me. When I look at the entrance I feel apprehensive...I am to go through the door in due course, and I am not sure what is in store for me there.
I warm myself by the fire and notice a bundle of dried sage, some braided, sitting in a basket next to a well-worn wooden bench. I pick up a small amount and throw it on the flames. The smell of sage, sharp and familiar, envelops me, and billows around the room. I become aware the small amount thrown onto the flames is not enough to create the clouds of smoke that I see. But before I can do more than wonder, the smoke clears and the air becomes pure and clean...the aftermath of burning sage.
Suddenly, Michael is there, beside the table. His figure is large, larger than any human figure. I have asked for his protection, during this visualization. I have also called Grandfather Bear, but I don't yet see him. Michael points to the cup on the table, and I realize he wants me to drink.
The cup is filled with a glowing, blue liquid, with silver swirling throughout the fluid. I drink, and warmth floods my body…I watch it flow throughout my system. It tastes like silken cream. I notice the warmth stays centred in my throat, and I place my hands over it. I know I am sending Reiki to my throat chakra, when the familiar joy and comfort flows through me.
Michael leads me to the shelf on which various stones are arranged. The stones are all glowing, and it takes a moment to pick which one is brightest. It is hard to tell, but I believe the blue stone has a particular luminosity surrounding it. The smell of sage becomes stronger as I pick up the blue/silver stone. I remember to place it against my third eye, and the scent of sage becomes overwhelming, making me feel a little dizzy. I feel a warm touch on my shoulder, centering me.
I hold the stone, feeling it nestle in the palm of my hand, giving comfort. I feel protected by this new stone. He is a being I am unfamiliar with as yet, and I will spend time learning his ways. But he is with me now, and I intend to look out the cave’s entrance, with Michael and the blue stone as guides.
The leaves almost obscuring the door is my old friend Maple tree. Grandfather Maple and I go back a long way, directly to my childhood. The leaves would turn in the fall, making my heart hurt with their beauty, and there is nothing else that quite sums up the turning of the wheel to me as much as Maple Tree.
It is 2 PM; there is that particular airlessness and stillness in the air which whispers of wishful visions and dreams that appear on a drowsy early fall day. I step out of the cave, blinking against the sudden bright light. For a moment, everything is gray, and again my equilibrium is steadied by the hand on my shoulder and my stone, wedging itself perfectly into my palm. But gradually, I see objects regain their luster and more…every plant, mountain, sea, down to the smallest insect… glows with its own life force.
I see the paths, and know immediately the forest path is the one I walk most often, the one where I have done most of my soul’s work. I could skip down that path right now, without any qualms whatsoever. The mountain path calls, too. But it is the ocean path that seems dark and forbidding. I am surprised!
It is to the ocean that I go when life throws me a curve, when the dark times seem to take over. The movements of the waves have soothed the beast inside me too many times to count. Give me wind and ocean, and I am complete. Why, suddenly, does the path seem so dark?
It is because I take the pain and sorrow that engulfs me, and throw it to the waves and the wind. And I think I have healed those hurts by doing this act. But I have just closed the door on these events; I have not dissected and healed from them first. The ocean and the wind hold my thoughts thrown to the tides tightly, and by doing so, protect me until I am ready to walk the ocean path with intent.
And if I walk this path, with Maggie as my teacher, I must be prepared to face the wonders of my life, good and bad. Because I threw some of the good in the water, too…as a thank you, at times. The joy in a life can be a painful thing to face again, too. I hold the blue stone tightly and feel Michael behind me, and know, if I want to heal, I must revisit the ocean path. But I find myself back inside the cave.
I am happy to return to the smell of sage, happy that Grandfather Maple has closed the door behind me. I must take time to assimilate the ocean path, and what it means to me. The ocean has my memories, and it will return them to me when I ask for them. There is time. I have so much to learn, and I want to enjoy feeling free of the old baggage the ocean and wind keep returning to me on the tides every so often.
I stand in front of the fire, warming my hands for a moment before I retreat to the green sleeping bag, the one with the sumptuous pillows. I am tired, and as I snuggle in, I feel a tremendous urge to redecorate this cave…to make it mine. Drifting off, I know ownership of this safe place is not far off...
It was a very satisfying visualization. I discovered the sage smoke takes me to other realms too quickly, and I need to learn how to control the speed.
I have discovered I require the colour blue and its properties, that blue energy attracts me. My throat and sacral chakra need work; no surprise to me…I have targeted those two areas intensely recently. I thought feeling would be the most prevalent of my senses, and this exercise told me my sense of smell was very strong, also.
Maple Tree gives me such loving comfort. He carries my earliest memories. I am middle-aged, and I visualized the middle of the day. I have learned many of life’s lessons. I find here that there are more hours to go…
The forest path…ahh, yes. As familiar as the back of my hand, the forest path is where I struggled with alcoholism, where I learned acceptance and letting go, and where I mourned…
The ocean path is where I rushed, in the middle of my darkest travails, for strength and power to see me through. I left an enormous amount of negative energy just floating around…beyond the blue. I have to find those pockets of energy and heal them…give them back to Mother Ocean cleansed and refreshed. And in this way, face my demons once and for all, not just deny them.
This quest corroborated my intuition, which has already told me of the problems in my body systems I have to work on. Every time my intuition is validated, I am carried a little further on my chosen path, with trust as my ally. It made me aware there are negative bodies still attached( some of which have since been identified).
It showed me that just going through the motions...as I did when I thought I gave the ocean parts of me that still needed cleansing...and then to try and forget (or deny) was not dealing with the problem. It was shelving them, only to have the negativity surrounding them reappear over and over again.
And it gave me my blue stone.