I am standing in the canoe. On my right is Bear; on my left is Grandmother. Bear has a strip of fur shaved off his back, and the exposed skin is studded with gemstones. Grandmother is wearing a white buckskin gown decorated with gems as well. My guide, Peacock arrives looking weary, his feathers tattered. The three crystals in the stern are covered with a gauzy shawl.
The boat ascends. We are traveling over the edge of the canyon. I see an intriguing black spot on the top of the canyon, and we travel over to see that it is a fissure with jagged edges and is very dark.
We descend into the crack. The air is warm. We continue to descend, deep into the earth.
The canoe finally comes to a stop, and we all get out and stand in a circle. The crystals magically come alight and we can see. The walls are a beautiful copper color, reminding me of my kitchen and comforting me. The space we are in is small so we stand close together. We circle the boat and feel a sense a rhythm, which again comforts us. I have a general sense of moving energy, pulsing and warm. This warm energy dispels my usual fears.
One of the walls moves and a passageway opens. I am compelled to go inside. The others follow, until Peacock passes over my shoulder and leads the way. I can hear his wings ahead, but the light gets dimmer as we leave the crystals further behind. The passage narrows as we continue. The walls brush against our arms. Bear and Grandmother are now beside me, one at each shoulder. The energy has shifted slightly; I feel some fear and I am glad for their company.
We continue this way for a long distance. It gets colder, and the walls widen. We come to a great hall where all is alive with lights and people. Bustle and mirth fill the air. No one seems to notice us, as if we are invisible.
My anxiety and the smell of the feast they are preparing are making me hungry. We approach the food-laden tables, at first timidly but then more boldly. I notice that the people are dressed in medieval garb, and I want to approach someone and talk with them, but I am uncertain, a little afraid. But filling my belly seems to decrease my fear. I help myself to a goblet of some unknown liquid and slug it back quickly. I feel myself getting into the party spirit that fills the room.
I notice that the chairs at one end of the room are larger, and I move toward them. The environment changes as I go down the hall. The plates are larger, the furniture more delicate and refined, and the goblets polished until they sparkle. The women are ornately dressed, with elaborate hairdos.
At the end of the hall there is a being whom I have never seen before: a stag with the hind end of a man. His horns are adorned with flowers and bells, and he wears a necklace of gold with a huge dangling medallion. I look down at my clothing and see that I am dressed in a lavish white gown. My hair is no longer hanging loose around my shoulders but is swept up on top of my head.
The stag rises and we greet each other in an unusual way. We nuzzle one another. He rubs his scent on me and I rub my cheek along the side of his face. We are old friends. I am there to witness his coronation and to be his consort. He bows before me, and I climb onto his back. The room quiets as we walk the length of the hall.
We go out onto a balcony, and cheering erupts from the crowd below. I get off his back and he stands on his hind legs, his head swinging from side to side. The bells on his antlers jingle. He is delighted with the reception, and the people are almost delirious with joy. I think, “This is very profound!”
I see the entire crowd kneel, in obeisance. The Stag turns and we all bow to a statue of the horned goddess. I know I have been brought there to be a physical symbol of this goddess. Fear arises as I wonder if they will sacrifice me, but once again I remind myself to just watch.
The Stag again offers me his back, and I climb upon it. We go back into the hall where now the tone is somber. I seem to be the focus now, and once again I feel fear. We come to a big altar, and I ascend to its top. The drink I had is beginning to have an effect on me. I feel giddy and excited, although in the back of my mind I think I should be afraid. The altar stone is cold but I don’t mind. Something inside of me is wanting out, and I feel a stirring inside me.
The Stag once again nuzzles me and I am fond with him. Someone comes to the table, and although I feel nothing my abdomen is opened and a small creature is lifted out of me. There is much cheering, and I smile. This little being is halfstag and halfhuman. I have been carrying her for some time unknowing.
I get up and the Stag again offers his back. The wet nurses have taken the tiny being and I am no longer needed. The Stag delivers me back to my guides. We leave the hall and I find myself in the canoe at the edge of my stream where we began the journey.
Interpreting the Journey
As the Enlightened Spiritual Warrior, I show up when I become hungry upon smelling the feast, and I take action to decrease my fear. I remained focused on my desires, and kept on task. I also took steps to become the consort and I gave birth to a new generation in spite of my fear. This exemplifies the female warrior. I act in spite of fear, and I do not get caught up in the accolades, which are not for me.
I am taught that when I “pull back and just watch,” my fear dissipates. I learn that fear is anticipation of pain, not pain itself. I learn that I can eat, drink, and be merry and also stay focused and on task. I learn how to accept honor without succumbing to egotism. I am taught when it is appropriate and necessary to dress regally. After the birth, the small being is taken away and I am no longer needed. The lesson here is about letting go. This is a lesson all parents must learn when their children grow up.
I receive a healing in this journey around food. As a child, my parents were ashamed of me because I was a chubby little girl. When we had company, I was not allowed to eat the “party food.” But here in this journey I eat and drink all I want without shame. The copper walls remind me of my own kitchen now, which is warm and comforting.
It was healing for me to allow myself to be carried by the Stag, in spite of my propensity to be independent and “do it all myself.” I was able to lean on his strength, again without shame or negative judgment of myself. It was healing to give birth, be lightened in the process and be treated with such reverence. When I was no longer needed for this function I was given back to my guides and ancestors with honor. When we are honored for something worthy we have done, many wounds of neglect and abuse close for good.
This journey is full of celebration and revelry. From the Magician, one action I could take would be to throw myself a party, dress up in fancy clothes, and serve luxurious food and drink. I could get a statue or picture of a stag and put it in a place of honor, such as on an altar. I could hang flowers and bells in the statue’s antlers, or place a vase of flowers underneath the picture.