October 26, 2023

 Baba Yaga and the Greek god, Pan. Both, I see, have been deeply misunderstood by humans. I’m realizing that we humans tend to distort the images we encounter in the Imaginal and bring back confusing messages as a result. I’m not saying that my interpretation of these images in the Imaginal is necessarily more straightforward but I don’t perceive the evil or trickery associated with these beings. Of course, these images are being spun out of my personal imagination and the real entities I meet probably are quite different in their own realms. We are just meeting in the in-between realm of the Imaginal and thus we appear quite different. For instance, I know that my own appearance in the Imaginal is very different from my physical form. There are similarities, though.


I’m realizing that these Imaginal journeys have very little to do with my personal inner work. They happen because I’m receptive and available to them. I suppose my inner development plays a role, too. I don’t know very many other people who have come upon the Imaginal in the way I have; i.e., by way of meditation. Usually, a hallucinogen or a psychotic break or a seizure is needed.


This morning I became aware of a man with a sheep’s head. I’ve met men like him before in these journeys but I don’t remember much about those encounters. You’ll have to go back and read them to find out more. In any case, this guy was different in some ways. He didn’t appear demonic and he wasn’t overtly sexual, although he was quite muscular and well-formed. There was no sexual affect in our interaction. He was also completely inert. He wasn’t dead because his body was warm to the touch but he was unresponsive. He merely stood before me, looking straight ahead.


We were in a dead wood very much like the forest around the Crossroads. There was a heavy mist and it was cold and quite dark. I could barely make out the hazy outlines of trees. Gradually, I became aware of a golden light behind the sheep-man. It was a hut whose walls and roof were made of bone. The bone felt alive to me, pulsing with life. There wasn’t anything sinister about the place. Quite the opposite! It felt warm and welcoming.


I immediately thought of Baba Yaga, even though the hut wasn’t on chicken legs. It had that sort of feel about it, though. I left the sheep-man behind and approached the hut, being welcomed in by the Woman in White. She was dressed in furs and her long, white hair was woven with strips of leather. She wasn’t old. Certainly not a hag. In fact, she appeared quite young.


Beckoning me into her hut, she bade me to sit by the blazing golden fire that illuminated the entire hut with an intense golden radiance. The chair she motioned to was covered in hides. When I sat on it, I realized it was warm and pulsing with life. As soon as I sat down, I felt into a black pit of darkness. It was deep and unending but not scary. Just like everything else about this vision, I felt at home. In fact, I felt even more at home here in the intimacy of this utter blackness than I do pretty much anywhere else. There was a pleasant dissolving sensation that accompanied the blackness and I let it dissolve me.


When I came back to myself, I was in the mouth of a cave overlooking a nighttime scene. The hill sloped down away from me into a vast valley that flickered here and there with the golden lights of homes. As I stared at the scene, though, I realized that it was alive. The hills and valleys undulated like the writhing body of a great serpent. I was reminded of the World Serpent from Norse mythology. There were no connotations of good or evil, though. The feeling was that this world was alive and moving, filled with mystery and possibility. “The land of ghosts,” a voice whispered in my head.


I walked out of the cave and down the hill. Soon, I was standing on a dirt road in the midst of a forest. I followed the road to a farmhouse whose windows glowed with soft light. Inside the house were the ghostly forms of a family. They were shadowed and not aware of me when I entered. At the kitchen table sat a small boy of perhaps eight or nine years old. I don’t know how I knew it but I could feel that this ghostly boy was connected to the sheep-man I’d encountered in the shadowy forest.


I knew what to do.


I was the bridge between this boy and the sheep-man with the yawning chasm of the Absolute between us. As a child of the Absolute, I could straddle both realms. I had a foot in each and the center of my body was in the black void.


Centering in the blackness while holding the boy and the sheep-man together, I became aware of another very powerful entity. He appeared to me in the blackness like a ghostly face that was half human and half goat. I got the feeling that the boy/sheep-man were under his protection or sway. I could feel his alien nature, so distant from my own. He was almost completely unknowable to me.


I bowed to him, letting him know that I was completely neutral here. I didn’t have a stake in any particular outcome. I honored him and saluted him and allowed him to make up his own mind about what was necessary. After a minute or two, he faded away and I found myself embracing the body of an adult man. He was fully human but his body was riven by black slashes, as if being in the Absolute had affected his physical integrity. It was sort of like he was covered partially in black stains but the stains did not wear off. I wondered if this is the fate of human souls who enter the Absolute before they have developed a Pearl Body? I don’t know but I do know that he was both free of the blackness and also ‘scarred’ by it. In other words, he didn’t have much time before he dissolved.


I lifted him in my arms and walked forward, exiting the blackness and entering the deep forest. The forest was very dark and very green, alive with magic and mystery. As soon as we set foot in the forest, the man’s body dissolved in mist of golden particles that swept away as if by a breeze, twining along through the trees and leading me ahead. I followed, eventually finding the golden mist has condensed into the rough outline of a human body. It was radiant but also diffuse, lacking the integrity of a body.


The Woman in White stood beside this glowing form. She smiled and bowed to me, thanking me for bringing the man to her. They walked off into the forest, the glow of the man’s spirit gradually dissipating as they grew more distant. I stood there, wondering, until the bell of my meditation timer went off a minute later.


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