June 2, 2023

 I wonder what’s up with the fruit bat people? I realize that the way things and beings appear in the Imaginal is symbolic and therefore not meant to be taken at face value; however, generally humans appear as humans. Additionally, based on my experience on May 29, 2023, I wonder how much of the symbolism is meant for me and how much is not for me at all but for the beings that I’m called to assist? In other words, perhaps the things I encounter aren’t meant to make sense to me at all. It’s not about me but about them, the beings in need and their loved ones.


Bat people.


That’s how today’s experience started. First, I was aware of looking down into a sphere. The tops of giant trees were visible in the sphere. I had a treetop view of an ancient tropical forest. As soon as I saw the sphere, I was within it and gliding over the forest. Around me were ‘flocks’ of bat people. They looked like a cross between a human and a flying fox. Their faces were sort of a combination of fruit bat, lemur and mouse. Needless to say, they were kind of cute. I mean, who wouldn’t find a giant flying fox cute?


Part of me wondered if these were the same people as the batboy and friend I encountered a few weeks ago. They looked somewhat different, though. Maybe related but not the same people.


The scene was quite vivid. Imagine an evening sky filled with swirling, winged figures. Thousands of the bat people were aloft, swooping and twirling around me. The feeling was one of relief and celebration. They were clearly overjoyed that I had appeared.


Gradually, I was drawn to the top of a tree that towered over the forest. Its thick branches were covered with scaffolding and the hanging houses of the bat people. This was their home and they were inviting me into it. I landed on a platform, surrounded by a host of the bat people. At this point, I looked down and saw that my body was not my own. I was still sort of human in appearance but my skin was mottled green. I couldn’t see my head, of course, but knew my ‘hair’ was not human hair but greenery. The bat people bowed to me and I bowed to them. As I did so, I knew that I had taken the appearance of one of their spirits or gods, a spirit of the trees. (It makes sense, right? Their lives revolved around trees. Of course, they’d revere them.)


They led me forward toward the center of the platform where I saw a huge ruby suspended in the air. This ruby was no jewel, however. I don’t know how I knew this but I got the sense of the creature it had once belonged to: An immense predator, a monster of sorts. This monster used the glowing ruby to see in the dark as it hunted its prey, the bat people. Somehow, the bat people had managed to capture and kill the monster and had removed its ruby, bringing it back with them to use as part of this ceremony.


I should pause here and not two things: First, I realize how improbable this story sounds and, second, you have to understand that we were in the spirit world here, not a physical reality. In this spirit world, totems have power and this ruby was clearly a totem. The bat people had a specific purpose in mind for this ritual as I was soon to find out.


Almost as soon as I gazed upon the ruby, I was transported to a realm of complete darkness with the exception of the feral red glow of the ruby. The ruby was attached to a fleshy protrusion growing from the head of an immense monster. The monster was basically a huge body with a giant mouth. The teeth in the creature’s mouth were pointed backwards to keep the prey from climbing back out of that gaping mouth.


“I see I’m meant to be swallowed by this beast,” I thought to myself, not relishing the prospect. But what choice did I have? I jumped inside the tunnel of the maw, sliding downward into its stomach. This isn’t the first time I’ve been swallowed up during one of these Imaginal journeys but I still don’t find it a very enjoyable experience.


In the beast’s stomach, I could see by the light of the soft, golden glow in my chest. I looked about, knowing that whoever I’d been sent to find was here somewhere. Even before I saw her, tears came to my eyes. I was hit by a wave of immense sadness and grief and then I happened to glance down at the ‘floor’ (really a slimy mess of the creature’s muscular stomach.) There was a black ‘door’ in the stomach. It wasn’t really a door, of course, but it appeared like one. It was a gateway into blackness.


And pressing her face desperately against the door was a little bat girl. She was clawing at the doorway, trying to push out but it was like the doorway was covered with glass and she couldn’t break free. Crying, I knelt and reached down, tumbling through the doorway into the inky darkness. The little girl threw herself into my arms and pressed her face against my chest, crying, “I knew you’d come! I knew you’d find me!”


I was overcome by sadness because I knew this child was dead. Part of me couldn’t understand why she was so happy to see me. Did she not realize she was dead? She didn’t appear to know or maybe she didn’t care; she was just so happy to be with me. I hugged her tightly and, when I looked up, we were no longer in darkness but in a world of gold. It was a beautiful place, similar to the world I encountered on May 28, 2023 when I entered the cave to find the knight. This world, however, wasn’t inside a cavern but was manifestly wild and expansive and free. It looked similar to the bat girl’s home realm but also different.


We stood there in awe, watching the golden sun descend toward the horizon. There was a roadway before us and at first I thought we were meant to follow it. It was somewhat amusing trying to explain to the bat girl what a road was. She could fly so why would she ever need a road?


As the golden sun sank toward the horizon, it changed color. Soon, it was a deep, ruby red. As the orb slowly disappeared, the darkness grew and the gold world began to dim. I held the little girl’s hand and squeezed reassuringly, knowing that our journey wasn’t over yet.


In a moment, we were back in blackness and there was a glowing ruby overhead. Instead of being attached to the head of the monster, though, this time the ruby was held aloft in the hand of another being. He was dressed in a black cloak and his hands were skeletal. This was clearly Death. (He didn’t seem nearly as menacing as you might expect because it’s clear that, despite his grim reputation, he is a being of immense compassion.) He reached out and took the little girl’s other hand and together we began walking through the darkness. The girl didn’t seem to be afraid, though. If anything, she seemed content and at peace.


We hadn’t walked very far when a white light appeared before us and a familiar realm opened up. This was the Crossroads and, sure enough, there was the Woman in White. She beckoned to the little girl who eagerly started off toward her. Before she could leave the black realm behind, though, Death knelt down and tied the glowing ruby around her neck. I saw then that her body was now a radiant white and the ruby was a precious jewel on her throat. She smiled and bowed to Death and to me before leaving us behind.


She accepted the Woman’s outstretched hand and turned to look back at us, waving. I bowed to the Woman and to Death and the girl one last time before leaving. This was no longer my journey.


***


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