May 28, 2023

 I have been intentionally not going into the Imaginal for the past week in order to simply meditate. This strategy works but it also takes effort because it requires me to consciously ignore my heart center. If I let my heart center do its thing, it opens and invariably I am transported to the Imaginal. It’s kind of a conundrum because both things take effort: Not going to the Imaginal and going to the Imaginal. (Being in the Imaginal requires effort because it takes a lot of ‘processing power’ to discriminate what is showing up and also to figure out what I am being asked to do. I know I can sit back and let it happen but still find myself efforting when I’m there.)


This morning, I first became aware of standing on the surface of a turbulent sea. It was cold. A violent wind tossed the waves and storm clouds scudded overhead. Everything was blue, gray and green. Before me, the sinuous forms of sea serpents twined together on the surface of the water; they were obviously mating. Beside me was a woman–who was clearly not human–with silver-green skin and long, greenish hair. She felt ancient and also familiar; I know I’ve met her here before, although she probably appeared to me in a different form. I greeted her, bowing.


We only watched the mating sea serpents for a little while before we were off, skimming over the frothy waves toward land. An emerald isle rose from the gray-green sea, its craggy peaks both stark and beautiful. We sailed on the wind over the rocky beach and onto the shore, passing over the moss-covered ruins of ancient fortresses, temples and barrows. 


Soon, we reached a sheltered enclave in a valley between two mountains. There was a stone fence with an ornate gateway that led into a sacred grove. The grove was filled with other beings similar to the woman beside me. They bowed before her and I realized that she held a position of stature in this place. The trees in the grove were dripping with dew and threads of mist wove over the grassy ground at our feet when we finally landed. Before us, there was a throne carved from stone and covered with moss. The woman took a seat upon this throne.


I stood before her, uncertain at first what to do. Then I spotted the yawning, black mouth of a cave behind her and knew that I was expected to enter. Ah, yes, the Black! It’s almost always that Black that calls to me on these journeys and frequently it shows up as the blackness of a cave. I don’t know why but tears came to my eyes as I stared into the blackness of the cave. Was it sadness? Fear? Something else? I still don’t know but I entered willingly, stepping into the midnight.


I became aware of a soft, golden glow emanating from within my chest as soon as I set foot in the cave. Groping in the darkness I soon entered a vast cavern. When I stepped inside, the crystals in the walls and ceiling of the cavern caught and amplified the golden glow from my chest and suddenly everything blazed brilliantly yellow. Overhead, the light concentrated into a shining orb reminiscent of the sun.


The cavern was a place of wonder. I realized as I looked around that I was in the midst of a golden glade whose trees and plants and, well, everything were made of luminous, honey-like crystal. The crystal was living, though, and definitely not static. It flowed and moved with the very stuff of life itself. 


A peculiar creature awaited me in the center of this golden glade. He was gold crystal like everything else and seemed to be an odd combination of man and stag. His face was vaguely human but also alien. He was beautiful and eerie and also quite plainly wise. He inclined his antlered head toward me and I bowed, allowing him to lead me to the fallen body of a knight. The knight was glad in rich armor and lay with his hands over his chest; his sword was lying across his body just like you see on carved Medieval sepulchers. 


The stag gazed down upon the knight and I understood that he couldn’t touch the knight. Something came into my mind about faeries and their avoidance of iron because, while the knight’s armor was golden, it was also clearly made of steel.


I knelt beside the fallen knight and placed my hand on his chest. As I did so, the armor dissolved into a honey-like substance, revealing the rather scrawny body of an adolescent boy. The kid was homely. Acne covered his face and his hair was strawlike. He looked very ordinary, such that if you met him on the street, you wouldn’t look twice at him. I thought it was kind of funny how ordinary he appeared now that he was without his rich armor.


As the armor dissolved, the boy’s eyes fluttered open but, before he could speak, he began sinking into a mire of the same golden liquid that had once been his armor. Soon, a golden pool had formed beneath him and he was drifting downward. His eyes went round with fear and I realized that, as his face sank beneath the golden liquid, he could no longer breathe. I had no choice but to dive in and rescue him. (For reasons I don’t understand, I had no trouble breathing in the liquid.)


He descended into the golden ‘water’ with me swimming swiftly toward him. His body had only just alighted on the sandy bottom when I reached him and, taking him by the arms, I swam with him back to the surface. When I looked up, however, there was a bright, white glow–not the golden glow of the glade that I expected. I recognized this glow instantly: It was the white light of the Crossroads. (The Crossroads is a place I frequently encounter at the end of these Imaginal journeys. This morning it appeared as a winterscape, its gnarled, dead trees covered in light snow and an icy mist shrouding everything in a deathless gray.)


Sure enough, I had only just pulled the boy out of the golden water and helped him up the rocky slope and out of the cave when we met the one I refer to as The Woman in White. She has many different faces and probably many different names as well–Hecate being one of them–but she always appears clothed in white. She reached out to the boy and he staggered forward, allowing her to guide him down the road. Their forms soon disappeared in the mist, leaving me alone until the end of my meditation.


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