A Shaman's Journey, The Realm Below

I suppose I've always been what people know as a spiritual person. However, my journey started with Wicca back in middle school, and branching out into a sisterhood in early High school. It wasn't until after I went my separate way from these life changing friends, that I started to be drawn more into the world of Shamans.

Upon moving to MA, I came to learn about these Shaman journeys that happened once a month. It starts with a guided chakra meditation, followed by a group drumming, and settles down into a drum guided journey.  I went once before tonight, and while that journey was really, very wonderful, I feel like I need to share this one in particular. 

The meditation started in my sacred space, which is a clearing in the woods with a pool at it's center in a perfect circle. Now when you travel a little ways down hill, (following a river from that pool,) you come to the top of a waterfall, and forest as far as the eye can see bellow you. (My castle is in the distance too, but that's not important for this meditation.)

My guide for this journey, was a huntress, and a hawk who either perched on my shoulder, or flew overhead. She took my hand, and we wondered off onto this path on the side of the cliff. It was steep, rocky, and wound down and around to the bottom of the waterfall. Beside it was a cave. We ventured into the cave. (We weren't allowed to speak inside for some reason.)  Down deeper and darker we went, until a light started to shine on the other end.

At first when we came out, I thought it was some kind of bad joke. It looked like the same place at the bottom of the waterfall. But when we climbed to the top, it was this vast, open space filled with wild flowers and some mountains far in the distance. She, my guide, helped me up to the top. After I got a good look at this beautiful place, she pushed me. I fell down, down the waterfall, loosing my cloths in the process, and pencil dove right into the lake at the bottom.

Whenever I swim, my favorite part is the first time you jump in, and you sink to the bottom. I like to sit there, feeling the water around, hearing it, being weightless. It's always been an immense feeling of comfort for me. (Psychologically speaking you can probably relate it to the time before birth.)

So, I swam, skimming the bottom. I didn't worry about breathing, because I knew I didn't need to worry about it. At the bottom there was this strange blue and white castle. As I got closer, I realized it wasn't large at all, but inside this snow globe like container. Sitting at the bottom of this lake, I peeled off the top layer of this globe, and the castle began to float up, growing at it did. I grabbed onto the bottom.

There was a door, almost like the door to a submerien. I opened it up and swam inside. I climbed the spiral stairs to the top of the castle. It was almost like an observitory. The walls and ceiling were windows that I can change simply by waving my hand in front of them. I looked out, only to notice the castle was floating in the air over the water fall instead of floating on the surface of the lake as I thought. I opened the window, and took the stairs down to the top of the cliff.

This time, when I stepped onto that land, it wasn't a new place. I felt very native, primal. Like staking my territory. (Like I was the huntress) My guide took my hand, and we walked back into the forest. Stalked is more like it, with bows and arrows. (Still stark naked mind you.) When we came out of the forest, it was into this Native American tribe. A group of them were sitting in a circle around a small fire. An old man looked up. (He had a lot around his neck, or maybe it was some kind of breastplate.) The smile he gave me, and the feeling I got, was very warm and welcoming. Almost as if I was expected, or had arrived home after a long journey. There was even a spot in the circle left open for me.

I sat with them, and the old man blew smoke at me. He told me to look into the fire. I kept getting flashes of a tiger and thought, maybe I'm getting my name. "crouching tiger." or "tiger something." I could feel him smiling, and very distinctly heard them call me, "Little One."

The tiger kept fading out, and the harder I tried to look, the less I saw. The old man said, "Don't try to see, just look."

I looked, and had a flash of someone shoving me in the fire. So I stood up, and stepped in.

I became the fire. I could feel it's warmth and beating heart. Almost like being wrapped in a heated blanket, but more complete and alive. When I spread my arms, it spread out like wings. I danced in the fire, slowly, and they danced around me.

Finally, I stepped out. My guide, the hunrtess, stood waiting. The Natives were still dancing, drumming, singing behind me. She said, "Wait right there." And took off.

In Shaman journeys, you often get something to take back with you. This is what I expected to happen. What I didn't expect was for my guide to come back with something I already owned. A staff I leave in my room that I decorated with feathers and beads a long time ago.

I took it, an had this sudden intuition. I reached into the fire, (my fire) and pressed the flames into the staff. I took the water out of my hair from the waterfall, and put it into the staff. I took the air, from the hawks wings flying around me and put it in, then I got the dirt from between my feet, and rubbed it into the staff. I said, "I'm all of it. I'm of the earth." The old man came up behind me and squeezed my shoulder. He wore a knowing smile, and swept his hand at the night sky over head, and said, "Your of the stars too."

On the way back through the mediation, I shape-shifted from tiger, to hawk, and finally to myself where I stepped back through the cave, and into my sacred space.

I wanted to share this guided meditation with my readers because, while it was very important for me to do, I feel like it's a message we all know on some level, but don't often hear.

We are all of the earth, and the stars. We come from one place, and we carry the same essence of creation, power, and light inside us.

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