December 4, 2022

 I had another Imaginal journey this morning during meditation. This time, I was feeling into my impressions of Griffin while I meditated. I know I’m not supposed to do anything during meditation but he kept resurfacing in my mind no matter what I did. The impressions of him are so clear and so vivid and elicit such a potent longing in me that I find them hard to ignore. He really is the other half of my soul and, while I am complete without him, I feel his absence at the same time. It’s hard to describe because I am not constantly pining away for him (although sometimes I do), mostly I just feel his presence inside me and that’s more than enough. At times, though, the memories of him emerge with potency.


Eventually, I managed to let the impressions go and simply meditated; however, at some point, I realized that I was present in the same cave where I have met up with him in the past. It is pretty distinctive. The walls are carved out by water and there is a stream running through it. The rock is banded sedimentary stone of alternating whitish and bluish hues. I followed the stream up to an open chamber where there was a ledge and an opening in the ceiling where daylight streamed down. 


I stayed beside the stream. It is a pleasant place, sort of dark and dank but also sort of comfortable. Plus, it reminds me of Griffin so I was in no hurry to go anywhere. I simply sat there, meditating.


After a while, I became aware of another, hostile presence at the far end of the cave. At first, it appeared demonic, a huge, smoking black entity with fire-red eyes. Smokey horns rose up from its head. Despite its appearance, I was unafraid even though I knew that it was not friendly and wanted to do me harm. I was unworried because I knew it was incapable of hurting me.


I approached the entity and saw as I neared that it was no demon but a man. He was simultaneously in two places at once - inside the cave and in hell. He appeared like a big warrior, almost like a viking. Very strong and fierce and bearded. But he was wrapped in the fires of hell and full of suffering and torment. I realized that I have probably called him to me inadvertently because he looked very much like Griffin (if Griffin had been blond and heterosexual.)


When I was standing in front of the smoky, black entity, I stepped inside of it, moving through the veil of blackness and entering his hellish prison. In his prison, he was lying down on the floor, wreathed in fire and in excruciating pain. I don’t know why he was in hell or what he had done but I could see that it must have been pretty awful…or at least he thought he was awful enough to deserve this torture.


I am never about blaming the souls I encounter during these journeys. I know that they would not find me if they weren’t ready to confront the source of their torment and anguish; they have to be ripe, ready. And so it was with his man, whom I do not know and probably never will. Perhaps because I don’t know him, it is easy for me to forgive.


Even though I knew he had come to me for a reason, I could see that it was beyond my ability to free him from his prison and I knew I needed to call upon an ally. As he lay writhing in pain at my feet, I called the only being I knew who could help: The one I call Lucifer, the light-bearer and the guardian of hell.


He came, of course; he always does. And he was magnificent in his silvery armor and brandishing his golden sword of Truth. Such a beautiful angel and so elegant! He didn’t seem surprised to see me and didn’t waste much time, immediately approaching the man and kneeling down. I wondered if he would use his sword on him but he sheathed it and instead sat with the man’s head cradled in his lap. He pulled out a flask and filled a small chalice with silvery water, holding it to the man’s lips so that he might drink. I understood the water was sort of like the water from the River Lethe, the water of forgetting, but it was slightly different. This water did not cause one to forget one’s past, rather it helped one to see it from a different perspective. A broader, more objective view. Almost like it was further away, although distance wasn’t a dimension here.


Swallowing the water revived the man and freed him from his fiery prison. He sat up and then stood, coming to stand beside me. I led him out of that place, traversing the black boundary back to the cave. We stood beside the stream in the cavern for a while, saying nothing. The man was clearly groggy from waking up and somewhat in shock at finding himself here. It was an abrupt transition from hell and I gave him time to sit with the experience.


While he adjusted, I marveled at how much he looked like Griffin and yet was so very different. The fact that he looked like Griffin predisposed me to feel kindly toward him. Even though we were both naked, there was no sexual tension or arousal. It was clear that we were not here to have sex; there was something much more essential that needed to happen.


After a while, we decided to climb up out of the cave. First, we scaled the low ledge above the stream and then climbed up the boulders leading up to the gap in the ceiling. The cave was in the midst of a white wood, we discovered when we emerged. I knew this place, too; it was the white wood of the crossroads - a place I’ve visited many times and where invariably souls go to continue their journey.


Of course, I knew who would be waiting for us at the crossroads: The Woman in White. She wears many guises but is always instantly recognizable because she can’t really conceal her true form. (I sometimes know her as the Goddess of Doorways and Crossroads or Hecate.) She is a being of compassion, a guide and a powerful entity. This time, her compassionate side was less obvious and she wore a pretty disturbing form. Clothed in rags of white, she was barely human, looking more monstrous than anything else. Her head was like a skeletal vulture and she wore a hideous headdress. I didn’t look too closely but I’m sure that severed heads dangled from it.


I wasn’t afraid but I worried that the man might be. Therefore, I was surprised when he wasn’t afraid at all. If anything, he seemed grateful. Perhaps her appearance was familiar to him and expected. Even though I didn’t get the sense that she was there to punish him, I could tell that she wasn’t exactly welcoming of him. Still, like me, she had a job to do and she did it, leading him off down the road into the mists. I suspect I will neer see him again but who knows? The Woman in White, though, I know I will see again.


I stood in the white wood for a while, sensing the animals and the living, breathing trees around me. The road disappeared and I was alone in the forest. It was quiet and peaceful and beautiful I had nowhere to go so I just meditated.


After a while, I opened my eyes and discovered that I was back in the cave, right back where I’d been when I first arrived. Lucifer was there, too, and I greeted him, thanking him for helping the man on his way. He inclined his regal head –such a handsome angel!--and told me, “Anytime. I will always answer you when you call me.” He smiled and I was touched. Once again, I was impressed by the unfairness of his reputation, not that he seemed to mind. He laughed when I mentioned it, telling me seriously that he didn’t care, that he would do anything for humans because he loves us so dearly. The last thing he said was that he was proud of me and then he left. 


I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t bothered a little by this. You see, part of me can’t help but hold onto the belief that I’m being somehow led astray by Lucifer and that he is really evil. I know this is ridiculous, especially after what I have witnessed and I tell myself to go by what I see and not what people say. After all, how do they know? At least I can say that I’ve seen him at work and his work is always merciful and loving. Still, old impressions take a long time to dissipate. After all, how many months did I spend doubting myself and these experiences in the Imaginal?


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