Well, a lot has happened in the past couple of days.
Yesterday was Samhain, the Last Harvest, and the End of Autumn. Samhain is “The Witches’ New Year,” the Neo-Pagan/Wiccan Sabbat/celebration of the Dead and of honoring one’s ancestors. The veil between worlds (the Spirit World and our normal everyday world, to be exact) is thinnest, and it is an ideal time for meditation and divination. Anyway, if you’ve been reading my blog for a long time (though some of the older posts have been deleted – I wish I hadn’t done that, but I did, during a hard time of irrationality that I went through), you’ll know that I started my official “Year and a Day” ritual/journey on Samhain of 2010, so, exactly one year and a day ago today. So these past two days have been very important for me, spiritually. Based on two meditations I did recently, and some general thoughts about the past year, I have come to some conclusions about “The Meaning of My Spirituality” (or whatever would be most appropriate to call these feelings).
(I) So, to begin, I meditated shortly after the Spiritwalking experience (see my previous blog post), to ask for answers from Mal (my spirit guide, a male lion) to see if I could find out the meaning behind his words (“threefold,” etc.), as well as gain insight into why I may have been “drawn into” a Spiritwalking experience in the first place. The meditation went as follows (I meditated outside, in the chilly wintery air, with soft music):
I was standing in an ocean, or at least, a large body of water. I could sense the waves washing up against my legs, but it did not feel cold, or even hot. It was this sort of neutral feeling.
Then the image shifted, and I was in a desert, standing among many sand dunes. Mal was there, I could see him ahead, standing on top of one of the dunes. He seemed to be beckoning to me.
I started to climb the sand dune, but he kept feeling farther and farther away, no matter how hard or fast I climbed. Then, finally, I crested the hill and there was a fire in front of me – kind of like the Burning Bush, from Judaic mythology. Mal was there and he told me to look into the fire.
I looked. I saw many things all at once – but then, more clearly, a woman with a baby, putting a baby into a river on a basket of reeds. “Moses?” I asked aloud, but before anyone (Mal?) could answer, another image: two women, standing in front of one another, palms facing out, pressing together. One woman was very tan, and had this golden robe on and a golden headdress, she seemed Middle Eastern to me somehow – Arabian, or Egyptian. The other woman was lighter skinned, with long curly black hair – European looking – sharp features, long limbs. A long, thin nose. They were touching palms, and for a second, they suddenly seemed like one woman. Then, a feather, falling, falling, falling – landing. It landed in my hands. Then it was gone. It was a black feather, and it was the heaviest feather I had ever held.
Then, carvings on walls – people, babies, animals. A golden dome – Jerusalem? – and a crown. I looked up from the fire and in front of me there was a large scroll. Mal was standing next to me, and I looked away from the scroll and reached up to touch him. I could feel his soft mane between my fingers. I pressed my face to his head and before I could ask any questions he said to me, “I have shown you the way.”
Well, this meditation didn’t quite answer my question about the Spiritwalking experience, but it did create a slew of new questions for me! (Meditations always seem to do that…!) I did some research and discovered the following:
`A black feather symbolizes crows and ravens, but also the concept of “spiritual awakening, discovery, and completeness.” A good sign for someone about to complete a “Year and a Day” ritual!
`The European/white woman with the curly black hair and pale skin was a representation of myself. I didn’t necessarily have to do research to figure this out…it just felt like the truth. The other woman – perhaps a long-ago ancestor of mine? A different representation of me? Still not entirely sure. It seems that I am both the me people see every day on the outside, and a “spiritual me” that only I can know or sense – or rather, that only Mal and I can know and sense.
`It feels right that I have returned to my “Jewish roots” and have begun studying things like Kabbalah and the history of the “Pagan Jews” (The Canaanites, etc.). I think that is why I envisioned Judaic mythology/images. Possibly.
(II) The second meditation I did was yesterday, on Samhain, at night, in the bath. I often have success meditating in the bathtub, in the warm, scented water (I use bath salts and flower petals/herbs in my baths). I put on a Pandora radio mix of meditation/calming music, and experienced the following:
An image of an elephant came to me, sitting cross-legged on an ornate (and definitely magical) flying carpet, grinning widely. My most immediate thought, said aloud, was “Are you Ganesha?” The elephant said nothing at first, just continued to grin, and then a voice said, “The way is open.”
Then, the scene changed and I was standing at a crossroads. A crow was perched on a signpost, and I had this FEELING that it was Khat, Ange’s Animal Spirit Guide, but he didn’t say anything to me so I couldn’t be sure. No sign of Mal. The sign post had three signs and three roads leading away from it. The road straight ahead led to a modern looking city, with sky-scrapers, New York-like. My first thought was “America.” The road to the right led off to an acient looking city with a golden dome, my first thought being “Jerusalem.” To the left, the final road, was a path that led to a pyramid and a golden, flaming sun – “Egypt.”
I stood there for a moment or two, totally confused and unsure of which road to take. I had the feeling that whichever direction I went in would be a huge decision, and it was very hard to make. I looked at the crow, and asked for help, but he did not answer. He simply nodded, and flew off down the left road, towards what looked to me like a photograph of Egypt. As I watched him a voice, not Mal and not anybody else’s that I know of (not even the elephant from before), said “You should have known.”
This was a very intense meditation – I opened my eyes shivering in a bath tub with water that was easily 80 degrees+. At the moment when I opened my eyes, I realized that the music playing on Pandora was ancient Egyptian ritual music: weirdly, I recognized it. I sat, blinking, trying to figure out why the music was so familiar and then it came to me: exactly one year ago, right around Samhain of last year, I partook in a highly spiritual experience with my two close friends, Ange and Dan, during our study abroad trip to Japan (you may remember my post about this, though it might be deleted now…), where Ange showed Dan and I how she does ritual for Anpu, her Patron, a Kemetic (Egyptian) God. You can read her post about the experience HERE. Read that post! That’s exactly what happened, and it was mindblowing. It was the first time I truly felt the presence of a God, and it was the first time I really knew that Paganism was right for me. I was just starting to learn about Paganism and world religions during that time, and was just getting to know Ange even better, and I had never heard of Kemeticism before…but oh my goodness, the experience was so unbelievable. It pretty much jump-started my “Year and a Day” journey.
So, to have this final meditation happen ON Samhain of THIS year, exactly a year later, right before the end of my “Year and a Day”…well, it was a powerful feeling. I did some research again on the images within the meditation, and combined with my memories of that day in Japan when Ange did her ritual, I came to the following conclusions:
`The Elephant was, I am sure of it, Ganesha, the Hindu God of the Crossroads, and of creating/removing obstacles. I have never studied Him before, nor have I ever tried to communicate with Him, but I have had (and still do have, actually) Hindu friends – and am familiar with basic Hindu mythology. Anyway, He just sort of…appeared to me, and I think it was a general symbol for the crossroads that I then found myself at. I feel, though, as if Ganesha was lifting an obstacle away from my path, rather than putting one there – the words “the way is open” seem to confirm this. Therefore, I believe that whatever I was meant to “realize” in that meditation was a clear path toward my “true spirituality.” Also, remember the black feather from the first meditation? A symbol of spiritual completeness! And of crows!
`Speaking of crows, there was a crow. If it was Khat, Ange’s Spirit Guide, then that would actually make some sense, since Mal, my spirit guide, recently visited Ange in a meditation. I wondered what this might all mean, and I think it means that Ange and I are spirituality connected somehow. We’re good friends, of course, but she’s been involved with my Pagan/Spiritual journey since it started last year, and that seems to be an important thing. I think she’s supposed to be my mentor or teacher, in some way. Which brings me to…
`Egypt. I think I’m supposed to study Egypt. The meditation (well, both, really) seemed to prove this – with the crow flying towards “Egypt” and the words “you should have known” (though who, or Who, said that I still do not know). I think those words were in reference to that day a year ago when I had that unbelievably moving experience with Ange’s ritual and Kemeticism. I spent a year researching and trying and practicing literally everything else, but maybe the point was to get “the rest” out of the way…partly to learn from those experiences, but also partly because I’m silly like that, and probably missed what I should really have been studying! Anyway, Ange is my friend for a reason (because she’s AWESOME – but I wouldn’t have gotten to know her so well if not for that Japan trip, and it was during that Japan trip that I became spiritual again for the first time in years…well, maybe it’s all a coincidence! But maybe not?), and she agreed to teach me about Kemeticism and sent me some recommended readings. Not to mention we are both involved with studying Shamanism now – we’re reading The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner and we’re going to attend a Shamanism Workshop together in April. I somehow feel the Shamanism stuff relates to studying Kemeticism, and to studying Kabbalah, actually.
(III) So where does this bring me? This brings me to my conclusion, to where I think I stand at the end of my “Year and a Day” journey/experience:
1. I’ve returned to my Jewish roots/ancestry, and have found magic in Kabbalah and Hebrew, and in the practices of my ancestors and their Pagan predecessors. I will continue to study Judeo-Paganism, as I now call it. I do not think Wicca is a right tradition to combine with Judaism, though, not for me. No, it is meant to be something else. (See #3 on this list!)
2. I am going to study Shamanism, learn as much as I can, go on Shamanic Journeys, and connect even more deeply with Mal.
3. I am going to study Egypt, and Kemeticism. I have “come full circle” from my first real Pagan experience, which involved Egypt/Kemeticism, and now I believe that many things are trying to tell me to learn from that. I really feel I am meant to learn from Ange, read as much as I can, and, quite possibly, worship the Egyptian Gods (and possibly the Canaanite Gods too? I think there is worth in studying that history as well – all the Gods of the ancient Jews, including what became YHWH, would be worth finding out more about I think!). This connects to Judeo-Paganism anyway, since many of my ancient ancestors did live in Egypt at one time. The Jews and the Egyptians, no matter what mythology you choose to believe, did live among one another and probably learned a lot from one another. Regardless of ancestry, though, I feel that this is important for me to pursue in the here and now. Ange told me – “just do what feels right!” It won’t all be awe and wonder, it will be boring sometimes, and difficult, and you might even be unsure of yourself…but just power through, and do what you think means something. And that’s excellent advice.
So, as always, my path is changing. But, after a “Year and a Day” I feel so much more…me. I feel like I have gotten to the crossroads, and chosen my direction. And I think it is the right direction.
Here’s to a new year, a new beginning, and a new chapter in my spiritual story!