September 3, 2022

 Not for the first time do I feel like I’ve totally gone off the rails with these experiences. I am glad this is a private journal because I would be really embarrassed if people who knew me knew what I was writing. Ugh. Every time something like this happens, I think I’m confabulating or suffering from an overactive imagination. The problem is that these experiences line up and make a certain sense, even if they defies rationality and logic. The other issue is that they seemingly come out of nowhere and usually bear no resemblance to anything I’ve been thinking about. Still, I suppose I could be guilty of ‘scrying’ - meaning that I think I see something and then my brain gets busy constructing a story around it. Still, I often think I see something or try to push myself to see something, only to have my preferences scuttled. Whatever wants to be seen has a tendency to get its point across, regardless of whether I like what I see or not.


A few days ago, I encountered an African shaman wearing a lion skin. He appeared like a lion, able to shapeshift. Likewise, I could feel my form shift to that of a lion. He led me to two young lions, both males. I think they were brothers but don’t know. They had died at the hands of a man. I think the man shot one and then the other lion attacked him. The man fought back with a knife, mortally wounding the lion. He was wounded as well and died shortly thereafter.


The three were stuck in limbo as a result of the nature of their demise and I was send to retrieve them. Limbo in this case was dominated by blackness. It appeared like night on the savannah and there was an eldritch orange and purple glow around things. I found both lions and the man, leading them through the darkness until we encountered a spirit or a god, I’m not sure. The spirit was a man wearing a leopard skin loincloth. His body was painted with white lines. He was not human and not animal, either, which meant he served both man and lions. They followed him on their way to the afterlife.


After they left, I was back with the shaman. He appeared as a man now, a man in his middle years. He was gruff and friendly enough but not effusive. (He was probably wondering why some random white dude had shown up. I was wondering the same thing.) He explained that humans and lions are inextricably linked, that they were sacred. All life was sacred. Everything was sacred. This was why the man and the lions were equal, why they both deserved to be saved. And that was basically it.


You can see why I would feel so weird about this experience. It feels corny, embarrassingly so. This is why I think I invented it.


***


After the lion experience, I spent a day avoiding the Imaginal. It’s easy to do, even when the ‘eye’ opens and is quite insistent. I just meditated and it was refreshing. This morning, I just meditated again but, after the meditation was through, I allowed the eye to open and once again found myself in the Imaginal. And, unfortunately, today’s experience didn’t do anything to counter my belief that I’m making all this shit up.


First, I found myself in a dark cave that also served as a temple. There were three figures carved in black stone and adorned with jewels. They were huge statues, both terrifying and comical in their appearance. I stared at them, trying to decide what they were. Were they stone Buddhas? They looked like devils, contorted in strange positions with fangs and long tongues. I’m still not sure what to make of them.


A figure approached, a dog-headed god. I know you’re thinking of Anubis and it would make sense given the place that felt like an entrance to the underworld. If this was Anubis, though, he didn’t appear the way I expected. His head was more doglike than jackal. And his fur was gray, not black. He did, however, have a headdress like we think of Egyptian deities wearing. Again, if I were confabulating, wouldn’t Anubis have looked more like Anubis? And what about the dancing statues? Nothing makes sense.


Anubis (if that’s who he was) was carrying the skin of a dog. It was like the skeleton and everything else inside the skin had disintegrated, leaving only an empty skin. What to make of that? I have no idea; I just write what I see.


Anubis knelt and presented the dog skin to me and I laid it out on the floor. I leaned over it and placed my hands on the skin. It was warm to the touch. And also heartbreaking. I don’t know how the dog died but I know her death was excruciating. It was also a betrayal. 


Enter the blackness. That’s what I do. I was with the dog ‘on the other side’ and she was whole and living again. Her coat was white and light brown and her hair was long. Maybe a spaniel of some sort? I still have no idea how she died but it felt good to lead her back out of limbo.


We exited limbo into a familiar place: The crossroads in the wood. I’ve been here a lot and it’s always the same. The same skeletal trees and the same fog. This time it was a pure white. The trees were white, the ground was white, the light was white. And there was a wolf waiting for us where the roads meet. She had blue eyes and white fur. It was the same entity that usually appears as an old woman with white hair, dressed in white. Interesting how these guides can shapeshift into a form that is familiar to the soul they are guiding.


Anubis–if that’s who he was–didn’t seem threatening or sinister. The feeling I got from him was one of concern for all living (and dead) things. He didn’t see a distinction between humans and other animals. Maybe it’s true the human soul has more potential than other animals? I don’t know. But it does seem clear that all souls are made of the same ‘substance’ and therefore are all sacred and deserve the same care and attention.


I know how dorky this vision sounds but the message contained in it isn’t: Respect all life with the same high level of regard, don’t look down on anything.


***

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