February 1-3 and February 11, 2022

 February 1-3, 2022

Over a series of three meditations, I had the experience of being visited by a human/demon hybrid. That is, a human soul melded with a demon. At first, I thought they were a single being but the human soul split apart from the demon pretty quickly after they appeared.


I’m pretty sure the human was male and I’m not sure if he was still embodied or not. At first, he wore the guise of a demonic sheep. Although grotesque, it was clear that he was suffering greatly. He seemed like someone who believed in his own evil so completely that he thought he was beyond redemption. 


I didn’t do anything, didn’t attempt to engage him, just let him be there. During the first meditation, he seemed to vacillate between open hostility toward me and neediness. I also got the impression that he was weary. Weary of being an outcast, weary of being monstrous and just plain weary. I also sensed that he was hungry for contact with another human and that might explain why he was there with me.


The meditation ended without much change. He still appeared like a demonic sheep and still fought against his impulse to be with me. I was aware of his presence inside me for the rest of the day.


The next day when I meditated, I was surprised that the man no longer appeared like a demonic sheep. Instead, he took the form of a lamb, and a very sweet one at that. The lamb was very young, newly born. Interestingly, as soon as I gathered the lamb into my ‘arms,’ the demon reappeared. It was very angry, mostly at me for having stolen away his human. He started to attack but was stopped by two of my protectors. (There are several entities in the Imaginal who show up when I find myself in situations that require more than I alone can handle.) One of the protectors faced off with the demon while the other opened a portal to another realm and pushed me and the lamb through it.


I stepped into the new realm, recognizing it as the traditional abode of the protector who had sent us there. It was wintertime and we were standing in a forest of icy trees. Around us was a ring of snarling wolves, the minions of the protector. These wolves weren’t exactly friendly–they are wild animals after all–but they weren’t evil, either. I knew what was needed: A blood offering. I opened a ‘wound’ on my ‘wrist’ and let the ‘blood’ pour out on the snow. It was my little gift to the wolves, a payment for asking them to look after the lamb. Thus, I left the lamb in the middle of a ring of slavering wolves. Oddly, though, I knew they would take care of it. I headed back to the realm where the demon had attacked me.


The demon was waiting for me when I returned and the two protectors were gone. It was just me and the demon, a particularly dark and sinister being that had no love for me. I didn’t really care, though. I was there for only one purpose: To meditate. I meditated while the demon seethed. When the atmosphere grew dark and menacing, I meditated on the Beloved and the Absolute, welcoming the blackness with open arms.


Gradually, the demon began to change and I realized that it had not always been a demon. Once it had been an angel. Further, I understood that it was the human who had corrupted the angel. From this, I deduced that angels might at times be susceptible to being contaminated by humans, probably because they don’t naturally have access to the full range of experience that humans do. I wondered if the angel had been paired with the lamb/human as a guardian and thus its own fall had mirrored the human’s.


When I looked back at the demon, I was startled to see that its demonic form had disappeared and it now appeared as a holy angel. Furthermore, we were no longer surrounded by blackness but were standing in a city of light. It was a glorious place, all white and gold, and the angel was quite beautiful. I knew this was a city of angels and saints and many more. I also knew it was not my city and I left it, my mediation being at an end.


The next day, I thought my experience was over because the lamb was safe and the angel had been restored. I was wrong, though. When I meditated, I found myself back with the wolves. They still ringed the lamb but the lamb had transformed and was now a human infant lying upon a soft, white fleece. I thanked the wolves (who were predictably dour and unfriendly) and gathered up the babe in my arms. At that moment, the angel appeared in the air above us, a lovely, shining, winged being. It thanked me and took the baby from me, cradling it tenderly.


Ok, this time we really are finished, I thought, only to be surprised when an immense dragon came rushing forth from within my heart. It was truly awesome and powerful and curiously neutrally colored. By neutral, I mean it was neither black nor white. Its scales were of transparent obsidian and its great wings were likewise crystalline obsidian.


Neither the angel nor the baby seemed to be afraid of the dragon and they didn’t cower when it flew up and blasted them with its white/black fire. The fire swirled around them, a three dimensional representation of the symbol of balance, of yin and yang. As it swirled and enveloped them, it transformed them. No longer were they pure white but they were both light and dark in perfect symmetry. The fire felt both purifying and like a blessing bestowed upon them.


As all three departed, I understood the importance and power of neutrality. As humans, perhaps our highest calling is to remain balanced such that we are open to everything. If we tilt too much toward good, we miss out on a huge swath of life and the same is true if we tilt toward evil. True life, true being lives in the richness of all-encompassing neutrality.


***


Feb 11, 2022


This morning, after only a few minutes of sitting, I found myself standing at the edge of a vast and ancient forest. Beside me were two minders. I would say that they were guides and, maybe that was part of their function, but it also felt like they wanted to make sure I only went where I was invited. I wasn’t offended by this antipathy, just curious. Whoever they were, they weren’t human. I couldn’t tell what they looked like exactly because they were cloaked from head to toe.


I bowed to the forest and to the two guides and we stepped into the trees. It was a primeval kind of place, ancient beyond years and filled with enormous, moss-covered trees that were so tall that I could not see the canopy. The light inside was green, tinged here and there with shafts of golden sunlight. It was beautiful but not exactly welcoming and it did not feel tranquil. I felt like an interloper and also like there was something wrong with the place.


The guides led me a short way into the forest where we were met by the guardian spirit of the place. Even though I bowed to him, this spirit was openly hostile to me and seemed to bear a grudge of some sort. I didn’t take it personally, though, because I suspected that the grudge was against humans in general, not me specifically.


This being looked like a plant-animal hybrid. Its skin was a writhing mass of vines covering a beating heart filled with blood. It appeared monstrous, if you haven’t gotten that impression from reading this. And, like I mentioned, it did not want me there.


It attacked me almost immediately, one of its vines lashing out and slicing open my ‘cheek’. I felt ‘blood’ flowing from the wound as well as physical pain (not a lot but still some pain.) The vine that had lashed out at me quickly grew up through my cheek and soon my whole ‘body’ was being ravaged by these creeping, thorny vines. As awful as it sounds, the pain was minimal and I was unharmed. I simply allowed the vines to take over. Soon, the vines had merged around me, forming the trunk of a tall tree, my ‘body’ being locked inside the heartwood. The blood from my body was pulsing through the tree from its crown to its roots.


Only then did I understand why the forest seemed off and why the spirit hated me. The roots of my tree and all of the trees around me grew atop a pile of moldering bones, human bones. The flesh from the bones had long ago rotted away but, rather than breaking down into organic matter like happens in the physical world, these corpses did not break down into nutrients. Instead, they oozed like black sludge. The water and soil beneath the forest was filled with this sludge. It bathed the bones and tree roots, making the ground feel slippery and precarious. The tree roots did not grow into the sludge and instead sort of enveloped it. It was, in essence, a pile of bones so massive and unstable that it felt like the trees in the forest might topple at any moment.


Desecration.


That is the word that the forest spirit kept screaming at me.


Desecration.


The humans had desecrated the forest.


I’m not exactly sure how, whether it was through our ignorance or our open pillaging of natural resources. It sort of doesn’t matter because the desecration happened and continues to happen and we put little effort into redressing the savagery of our desecration. In short, we humans have never atoned for our ‘sins’ against the forest, against nature, and we all pay the price for this.


Using my connection with the tree roots, I felt into the desecrated soil and soon another being appeared. Her purpose was clear: She was there to dig into the black muck and retrieve the bones of the dead. She approached her work with breathtaking determination and compassion, being completely devoted to the human souls. She threw herself into the pit and wallowed around in the black muck, pulling the bones and skulls to her in a loving embrace. She appeared as a being of pure, radiant, silvery light and was in no way averse to getting down and dirty in the muck. I noticed, however, that the black muck didn’t stick to her.


The forest spirit and I watched her with a sense of astonishment and awe. I was still firmly encased in the heartwood of the tree and could do nothing but stare. Likewise, the spirit was dumbstruck by what he was witnessing. Clearly, it had never occurred to him to approach the bones of the dead with compassion and tenderness. He didn’t try to stop her, though; merely watched her with perplexity.


I knew there was nothing for me to do. Really, there’s never anything for me to do in the Imaginal beyond bowing to the entities I meet and allowing the scene to unfold and show me what needs to be seen. My role is to bear witness with an open heart. I’m not actually neutral because my heart does respond, often forcefully…but–always–there is nothing to be done.


Gradually, the female spirit’s efforts succeeded and she managed to root out the bones stuck in the black muck. In gathering the lost souls to her, she freed them and soon they had departed, leaving the forest entirely. As they left, I could feel the black muck finally begin to decay, leaving behind rich, fertile humus. 


I was alone again with my two minders and the forest spirit who underwent a transformation as soon as the ‘woman’ left with the souls. Now, rather than a spirit encased in climbing tendrils and thorny vines, he appeared as a tender, little faun. Lively and youthful and full of happiness, he danced around the glade. His happiness was contagious and the reason for it was clear: He had his forest back and it was no longer polluted and defiled; it was whole and pure and primeval once again.


In looking at him, I realized he could simultaneously appear as a being of any age, sometimes youthful, sometimes mature, sometimes ancient.


Soon, it was time for my minders to remove me from the forest, a task they performed with relish. I got the sense that their attitude toward me had not softened as a result of anything that transpired. And I still have no idea who they were because they remained cloaked the entire time.


***


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