November 8, 2023

 This morning I first became aware of a foggy forest. I was standing before a rugged ravine. The twisted trunks of trees lay strewn about as if they had been ripped from the ground with great force. It took me a while to realize that I was also looking at a big troll. She was hunched over and her grayish skin blended in very well with the rocky ravine behind her. Her head was enormous and so was her nose. Though she could not be described as a lovely creature, she had her own innate charm. Her big, brown eyes were kind and there was a gentleness about her bearing that offset her somewhat formidable appearance. 


When I was a kid and my sister was an exchange student in Sweden, sometimes she would send me postcards with artwork by Scandinavian artist, Rolf Lidberg, who specialized in illustrations of trolls. I loved these postcards so much that I collected them. This troll was reminiscent of these pictures, although also different. She was naked and her grayish brown body was covered in hair. She seemed like something that had just emerged from the earth, an earth spirit of sorts.


She motioned for me to follow her and then she set off up the ravine, humping along with an awkward gait. Soon, we had reached the top of the ravine and beheld an immense oak tree. This tree was obviously holy and reminded me of the World Tree in Norse mythology. Even though it was a tree, it pulsed with mysterious lifeforce.


I was taken aback by the tree and by the grisly things hanging from its lower branches. The bodies of four women swung in the breeze. Their skin was gray and they had obviously been hanging for a few days. They were all long and lean, almost willowy. I don’t know how I knew it but I could tell these were witches. It seemed like they simultaneously belonged to two worlds: The physical world (from the past) and this particular spirit world in which I found myself. This duality was a constant theme throughout this experience.


I climbed the tree and cut the bodies down from the limbs, with the help of the troll, of course. Once they had been lowered, I laid them out so that their feet pointed toward the east. At that moment, the morning sun broke over the horizon and flooded the hill with golden light. I half expected the women to come back alive with the touch of the sun but they didn’t. Instead, I was struck by the thought of who had done this to them. Looking up in the tree, I spotted a winged gargoyle that I hadn’t seen before. It was hunched over a limb, its skin grayish brown like the bark of the tree. At first I thought maybe the gargoyle was responsible for the hanging but could tell that it was benign as soon as I saw it.


The gargoyle pointed behind me and I turned around to find an army of knights standing silently. There was something curious about these knights, though; they seemed dead somehow. I approached and examined them, realizing that inside their armor was only blackness. As soon as I saw the blackness, I was pulled into it and found myself in a familiar dark place, most likely an underworld. The black all around was so dense that it swallowed all light, save for the soft white light emanating from my body. Filling the darkness were a host of dark creatures, spirits more than corporeal beings.


A voice echoed through my mind, ‘You don’t need to do anything. Just be here. Just be.” As I listened, I began to perceive the form of a figure in white. It was lying on the floor nearby. I approached and realized it was a young angelic boy. He was merely a child and wore a simple white shift. His body and face were so pure it caused tears to come to my eyes. I squatted next to him and reached out to lay my hand on the head. His eyes opened as I did so and I realized he’d been stuck here for quite some time. Again, I don’t know how I knew it but I could tell that he was connected to the four women who had been hanged in the tree.


He was obviously Christian and not pagan but even so care what happened to the women and had sought to save them. He seemed like an intermediary between the heavenly realm and theirs but didn’t appear to be very experienced. It was clear to me that he lacked the ability to see in the darkness, probably because he hadn’t integrated it. (This is one problem I believe a lot of Christian entities experience, a lack of experience with darkness. I think they associate it with evil and therefore avoid it. When they encounter it, they can get stuck…like this boy.)


There was nothing to do but sit with him. He stared at me, realizing that I was there to help him and to receive some wordless instruction. The black spirits moving around us belonged to the men (and they were all men) who had murdered the women. Their souls were black and diffuse, lacking any real agency. As such, they were essentially stuck in this underworld realm until they could be freed.


What to do? What to do?


Nothing, obviously.


As I sat there, the darkness began to fade away and dim light filtered through. I realized we were sitting inside a simple cottage with a wood floor. It was very basic without much besides a kitchen area, a table, a bed and a couple of chairs. The young boy was lying at my feet, gazing up at me. The shadowy spirits gradually faded away with the darkness and I realized they were now free.


When the cottage was completely illuminated, I reached out my hand to the boy and helped him up. There was a wordless teaching between us during which I instructed him on the necessity of getting his ‘hands dirty’; i.e., delving into blackness. Otherwise, I warned, he could get stuck again. His motives were pure in trying to help the women but he lacked the experience to deal with the darkness. I think he understood and it was, um, illuminating for him to realize that darkness and evil weren’t the same thing. (I find thinking in terms of good and evil to be quite limiting anyways.)


We opened the door of the cottage to find the golden sun rising over the horizon before us, its light powerful and beautiful. It looked more like a portal into what I’ve been calling the Golden Realm. Silhouetted in the sunlight were four, tall figures. These were the four women who had been hanged. They raised their hands to us in greeting and I nodded to the boy. With a quick thank-you, he was off, running to meet up with them and enter this new realm.


It seems like some entities can show up more strongly in some realms than others. The realms obviously overlap with our souls being the medium. Depending on how our soul has developed, we may or may not have access to all realms. Or we may only show up as a shadow. I don’t know for sure but it seems like most human’s souls don’t develop very much. When they die, their souls are diffuse, usually only glowing weakly or, like the men who had killed the four women, dark shadows. It’s rare to encounter a soul that can manifest with definite form in more than one realm…although I suspect it’s a potential that we all possess.


I have nothing to back this up but my experience indicates that the human soul exists in several different realms simultaneously. I know some spiritual teachers would disagree with me but it sure seems like you don’t have to be aware of your presence in another realm to be influenced by it and vice versa. Because of the current materialistic bent in Western culture, we think only the physical realm exists and this is to our detriment. Further, because we focus exclusively on the physical realm, we are ignorant of the influence we have on other realms and the influence they have on us.


I’ve talked about my perception that ‘parasites’ from other realms feed off of the human psyche, keeping people trapped in certain mindsets and drained of inner resources. Perhaps if we were more aware, we could help these parasites to develop along with us and become something more beneficial? Just as the human ego is not the final stage of development, a non-corporeal parasite is probably also not an end stage. A good metaphor is a caterpillar: It’s a parasite in its larval stage but develops into a butterfly which is generally beneficial to the same plants that it might have harmed when it was a larva. Could humans and our invisible parasites be akin to plants and caterpillars? (I realize this doesn’t explain everything; the cosmos is an extremely varied and complex system.)


In any case, my sense is that the ‘witches’ existed simultaneously in at least two realms and provided a sort of balance between them. Their accusers (and eventual murderers) were predominantly present in the physical world and only nominally so in the non-physical realm. This meant that they appeared as little more than dark spirits in the non-physical realm. By killing the women, they severed the connection between realms and, I believe, caused imbalance. This situation needed to be addressed.


I feel like there are very few of us in the physical world who are conscious of our souls’ presence in multiple realms. Because there are so few of us and things are so out of balance, the need is great. I have to believe that every little bit helps, even if it’s addressing an old wrong (the murder of the four women) that probably happened long ago in clock time. The situation is such that one could spend many, many lifetimes working to correct imbalances. But there’s no particular hurry, I guess. Or is there?


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