An Initiation Story, Part 2

513px-Benin_kingdom_-_Warrior_and_attendants_

It was the twilight hour.

My consciousness was rousing from sleep…but not quite all the way.

I was enveloped in darkness.  I couldn’t see anything.

I felt myself surrounded by beings.  They had their hands on me, touching me.

Nudging me.

Then pushing me.

The pushing grew more and more violent.  I wasn’t quite conscious of everything that was going on; I felt drowsy.  But the shoving started to wake me up.

Then I felt a hand slash my back.  It hurt.

An image flashed through my mind – the image of a whip striking my back.  This image often flashes into my mind during the waking hours, when I’m deep in prayer, wrestling with inner demons.  I always try to breathe through the violence of the image and call upon the power of God.

So that’s what I did.  I sang a song of power – a song gifted to me by the spirits.  I used the song against my attackers, to try to drive them back.

They reacted immediately.  Grabbing my throat.  Shoving their hands into my mouth, trying to stop me from singing.  The sound of my song became distorted.

I was surprised by the extreme aggressiveness of their reaction.  Why did they want to hurt me?  Why were they trying to stop me from freeing myself?  Maybe I’d done something wrong.  Maybe I should stop singing.  Maybe I deserved their strikes and blows.

No….

NO!

I kept singing.  Forcing my song through their attacks, channeling love into my mind and heart.

My third eye started to open and the darkness began to recede.  That’s when I really got scared.

I didn’t want to see them.  I was more frightened by what I thought they looked like than the actual attacks.  I thought I’d see demons or grey aliens looking down on me, and I didn’t think my mind could handle it.  I’d rather shut my eye.

But I couldn’t do that.

I needed to be a warrior.

No matter how weak and pathetic and flawed I believed I was, right then, at that moment, I needed to be a warrior.

Or I was never going to be free.  Ever.

My eye opened all the way.

I was in my room – the astral version of it, anyway – which is was overcast in a dark-grey hue.

But I didn’t see any horrific face staring down at me.  In fact, I didn’t see anyone.

I was alone.

Then my actual eyes opened and I came awake.

***********

I sat up in bed, breathing deeply.

 I couldn’t see them, but I could still feel their presence.  

I got out of bed and just stood, staring at the ground, running my mind over what happened.

Finally, I initiated communication.

I spoke to the spirits.  They spoke back, and I listened.

What passed between us…well, suffice it to say, what happened to me was a lesson in courage and vigilance.

It was a lesson about standing up to bullies.

************

I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I threw on my backpack and went for a hike up to Sunrise Mountain.

photo (14) photo (15)

For the first time in a long time, I could feel the spirit of the mountain looking at me, watching me approach.  When I arrived at the foot of the mountain, I could feel pain and sadness in the mountain.  Maybe anger.  There was litter everywhere.  It made me angry too.
I thought about a lot about my encounter that morning – how there was a part of me that was so quick to capitulate when the level of violence intensified , and that I entertained the notion that I had done something wrong and deserved to be physically punished.
This is part of my past conditioning – associating physical and emotional violence with personal guilt, regardless of the circumstances.  Surrendering and submitting in order to neutralize the threat, no matter the spiritual costs.  Slave mentality.
I turned my back to the mountain and could see the whole city.  Industrial civilization.  The rape and ruin of the earth.
I felt the mountain push me from behind, saying, “Go do something about it.”
On my way back to the house, a neighborhood dog – some kind of Great Dane mix –  that has been terrorizing me for months jumped up from behind a wall and started barking at me.  It scared me so bad, I got mad.   I roared back at it, not carrying if anyone heard me or if I scared the neighbors.  The dog’s ears flattened and it looked at me silently.  It barked again.  I hissed at it, looking it dead in the eye.
It barked, but it seemed much less aggressive now.
I felt like my point had been made, and I left.
*******
Back when I ended my summer pilgrimage walk, I told myself it was so that I could learn to balance these intense energies I’ve been feeling.
There was a small part of me that was saying, “Bullshit.  You caved.  You caved AGAIN!”
I know that’s not true.  I didn’t cave.
I came back to get my djembe drum.
I came back to recover my stones.
I came back to make my prayer stick.
I came back to make my rattle
I came back to re-learn my songs.
I came back to learn that you can’t run from or submit to bullies.  That just encourages them.
I came back to remind myself that there are things in this world that I love, and that are worth fighting for.
And now I put my hand over my heart and I pray, “Stay or go?”
And the inner voice says, Go.
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