Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Return of the black stag: palaver with my shadow-self

                A number of things have appeared to me over the last few days that indicated to me that it was time to once again do a spirit-journey and face my shadow self.  I haven’t worked with my shadow self in a number of years, not since about 2009.  My internal struggles dealing with what has occurred in regards to my failing to pass 4th semester of nursing school has come to a head in the form of an intense discussion with my wife.  It has become apparent that I am not dealing with the emotional fall out of my failing as well as I would like.  The hurt, anger, and disappointment is slowly poisoning my attitude through this my relationships.  I have to admit the usual “joy” of life I feel has been notably absent the past few months.  While watching a TV show the other day where a main character took a inner journey in which he faced his own personal demons, it clicked that it was time for me to do the same.  So it was that today I made that happen. 
                I started my journey out in the usual manner.  I called out to any ancestors who would lend aid to join me and gave offering.  I called out to my guide and ally the stag, and to my patron and matron.  The journey turned out to be quite long as these things go, but then there was a lot to discuss and learn.  I entered the spirit world through the gate that I opened.  I found myself quickly falling down a tube of purplish clouds at a frightening speed.  I called out for help and stag appeared and caught me upon his back and slowed my decent at the last seconds then he gracefully leapt out the opening onto the hillside path I have come to know so well.  He took me down to the dale and the ring of stones.  It was night and very dark.  Happily the ever present fire blazed away in the center of the stone circle as usual.  The old teach however, was not there this time.  I ask where he was and stag told me he would be back in a little while, and that we should wait.  In short order I suddenly felt an ominous presence and out of the darkness into the far edge of the light of the fire. He looked as he had all those years ago;  A huge black stag with four eyes glowing red.  His antlers sharp and ragged edged.  He walked around the light and approached me.  Then he did something I have never seen him do before, he stood on hind legs and approached the last few yards in a bipedal walk.  I found it disconcerting.  His greeting was one of mockery, much as awkward bipedal walk.  And so the palaver began.  We talked of what I was feeling, about the hurt and anger.  I found myself having to show my shadow self that I had made the mistakes that lead to me failing, that it was not unjust.  This process has forced me to really accept with my heart what has happened.  That it is time to let go of the anger, hurt and disappointment.  That these feelings are keeping me from letting out the love and light I normally feel for the world.  In the course of the palaver I also was reminded that anger will not destroy anger.  Only love and acceptance will end my anger, hurt, and disappointment.  It is love and acceptance from myself to myself that is the key to releasing the anger and hurt.  Before I felt the talking was done however, the shadow-stag went down to all fours and walked away without a word or a look over his should as what was to be my last sentence with him fell from my mouth.  After watching him go, my guide, the brown stag indicated to follow him into the forest.  It was very dark, and I followed closely.  We came to a game trail and it lead to small stream.  I could barely see it, but heard it just fine.  The trail followed the stream downhill  and we came to a small pond.  It was very calm and gleamed with a sheen of silver from reflected moonlight of the full moon.  Suddenly my guide did something I had never seen him do before.  He also stood, but transformed into the torso and legs of a muscular man but retained the head of the stag.  He then walked slowly into the pond.  He beckoned me to follow.  I stripped off my clothes and waded in after him.  He told me to let myself float in the water.   I did as instructed and found that he placed his hands under me to help support me.  Here I simply found myself floating and letting go.  Letting go of…well of everything.  Stag told me to just relax, know that I am supported, to just go with the flow of the water without attachment or desire; to just be.  I did as instructed, but then wanted to know about how to reach goals.  If I just do nothing, I may never reach where I want to go.  I was told that even those who swim have to work with the currents or risk tiring themselves and drowning.  I continued to just float.  It felt so good to really let go completely and just trust that I would be all right.  The kind of trust that in the universe that I haven’t felt since before I met my ex-wife, the kind of trust a well taken care of child feels in the world.  After a period of time, I am not sure how long, it was time to go back.  At the edge of the pool, stag returned to his more natural form, and he guided me back toward the circle of stones.  However upon the way my shadow-self returned to block the path.  We spoke a bit more.  He was still rude and mocking, however instead of responding with anger and defensiveness back at him, I responded with acceptance and love.  This essentially shut him down and he quickly left back into the darkness of the woods.  However, I do know that we are far from done.  After this we walked by the stone circle toward the gateway.  Looking toward the fire, I saw the outline of the old teacher, who only waved as we walked by.  We reached the gate on the side of the hill and after a fond good bye, I stepped through and back to this side of the veil, and back into my body. 

                I will see what the next week brings to me, but have the intention to once again spirit-walk and again confront my shadow-self.