June 27, 2023

 A rich, beautiful, sacred and sad (for me, mostly) entry today. I first became aware of towering, rocky spires of deep purple-blue rock. Clinging to the side of one of these spires was a bush with flowers that glowed golden in the dusky light. In the branches of the bush was a pair of wrens. They were tending a nest with jeweled eggs. The sacredness of the place was palpable; I felt blessed to have found myself here.

I noticed the bush was perched above a narrow ledge and the golden flower drifted down upon it, along with detritus from the birds’ nest, landing on the skeleton in tattered robes. The skeleton’s flesh had mostly desiccated but there were traces of the corpse’s long hair. 

The detritus continued to accumulate, time seeming to pass by quickly, months in the space of moments. Soon, the corpse was completely covered by a blanket of debris. And then I was beneath the debris with the corpse in the pitch blackness. Ah, yes, the Black. I knew it would appear at some point.

I was in a darkened cave standing on a crystalline floor of radiant purple-black. There was a slight glow emanating from within me, mostly it was black was also tinged with purple. On the smooth floor lay the corpse. It was under a white cloak such that I couldn’t see who it was. Their body, however, was no longer skeletal but fully-formed, although the being was still apparently dead. 

As I stood there, looking down on the body, white light suddenly flooded into the chamber. I looked over and saw a familiar white world. It was sort of like the land of the Crossroads, although less dead. It was winter forest, the branches and ground covered in snow. Before us stood a female elk. She was looking at us with eyes of ruby red. She bowed her head and I bowed to her.

I carried the corpse over to her, placing it on her back. I expected the corpse to finally come alive when I did so but it remained inert. I realized the only way to get it to stay on the elk’s back was to climb on and cradle it in my arms. I did so, taking the silver-white reins attached to the elk’s head in my hands. We moved off into the winter forest.

The forest was teeming with animal life. There was an owl, a bear, a wolf, deer, pheasants. All white with ruby red eyes. “You bless this place with you presence,” the elk told me in my mind. I was so deeply touched that I cried. As I did so, the winter world changed. The forest and everything in it were drenched with the golden light of a morning sun. It was now summer and the canopy overhead was green and alive with birds. The animals were no longer white but their natural colors. The elk was brown. The birds colorful. The wolf was gray.

I knew this place. It’s a forest primeval, a place where I believe I was born - not physically born but perhaps spiritually born. It was the place I lived before I became human, before I met Griffin, before I knew suffering. An Eden, I suppose.

The corpse was now alive and I realized they were mostly male. (They seemed like they could be any gender, really.) He had long, brown hair and brown eyes. He was smiling at me. He greeted me as a brother. He knew me and I knew him.

“You bless me, brother,” he said, smiling as he observed me. “I can see how far you’ve come since I last knew you. You have changed.” He reached out and touched my heart which, I realized was a black pearl. “This,” he said, indicating my heart, “has changed. You are no longer who you once were.”

I cried then, telling him of the suffering I’ve endured, the long, long, long and difficult, difficult, difficult journey to arrive here, back in the place I once called home but where I was now a stranger.

“It is the same for all of us,” he said, still smiling, still caressing my heart. “You can never go back to who you were. But you have not lost your home. It is right here.” He pointed to my heart which was deep and dark and vast and mysterious as the Absolute. “This is your home now.”

It felt like my heart was breaking. I realized then that some of the tears I cry when I enter the Imaginal are from my own sadness at having lost it, having been exiled. I have found my way back but it will never again be the home it once was. Losing innocence, enduring suffering and loss, they have changed me. It’s true that this has helped me to grow and I have learned much. Still, it hurts to lose so much and know I can only visit here.

“She is here.”

I looked up and found that we had arrived at the Crossroads and the Woman in White was waiting to take my brother away from me. He didn’t seem sad to go, though. “I’m on my own journey,” he said. “Thank you for helping me. I couldn’t have made it here without your help.”

I dismounted the elk and allowed the Woman to lead her and its rider down the road away from me. I realized that my body now was huge, monstrous. I had horns and leathery wings and huge muscles. I looked like a purple-black demon. I looked down at myself wondering why I wore this form.

The Woman in White looked back at me and smiled. “You need that form,” she said. “You’ve earned the right to wear it. It allows you to journey into the most difficult and perilous places, the places where Light has disappeared and only pain and difficulty remain. It allows you to be strong but also compassionate. No one will challenge you when you go into the darkness wearing that form.”

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