Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Author: Michael Erwin
As darkness sets in over the desert, a warm and inviting bath awaits. A thick oil slick hidden beneath the frothy soap with aromatic herbs teasing the senses as the flying potion is gently urged into my physical body upon entry. Each exhale is met with the crackle of warm tobacco scented candles that coax the shadows to frolic in the darkened space. Eerie music pulls my thoughts deeper within myself as the Wormwood, Mugwort and various baneful concoctions start to awaken my spiritual body to a different place- one of cool, dense rock and rarely visited. The silhouette of the great awakened beast causes hairs to stand on end but I know it is a part of me- the darker aspects of my subconscious mind and all the things that were quickly pushed away to deal with later.
Upon me without fair warning the crude form slings me upon its back, shape changing to the leathery wings of a massive bat-like creature, whisking me away into the thunderstorm as its coarse hairs agitate my legs. Through the brilliant flashes and dark clouds we ride high into wind and rain. A moment of peace as we break through the storm, looking down upon the world in quiet contemplation. Down we fly urgently to our destination, a place out of time, a small village somewhere in the old world. Wings spread and the creature swoops to the ground near some primitive buildings, turning with grace, the winged guide slides me down gently upon the moist earth. Before me a dimly lot path leads deeply into the Black Forest, where a small fire is flickering beneath a massive oak.
Making my way forward a figure begins to take shape, an old woman with familiar features hunches near the fire. Closer yet I can see she is tossing some dried herbs and salt into the flames while whispering some ancient incantation in an unknown but oddly familiar language. As she stands she looks warmly over her shoulder and her gentle eyes peer kindly into my soul. Somehow I recognize this woman in her tattered clothes, though her name or connection escapes me. Arms raised she beckons me closer to the warmth of the sacred fire. Bones are scattered about the forest floor and the aromatic herbs begin to smoke and arouse a profound sense of simple knowing. Peering through the trees the blood red moon is eclipsed by the earth as Mars sits calmly to her right- an alignment of transformation and awakening. Within her outstretched hand a sigil becomes visible, buried within my eyes soon are drawn to the symbol of sulfur surrounded by beautiful scrollwork. Loneliness and despair fade quickly into Mother Earth from my body and the welcoming arms of a long lost ancestor offer an inviting embrace. The old world has called me back, to embrace dormant gifts and practices forgotten for far too long. Home is where I find myself, truly at home- free of unwanted judgement and self-created fetters.