Gila

Welcome, Gila:
Warrior of the West,
Swift upon the sands,
Teacher, by request:
Upon this woven Shield,
Your song becomes my own;
I learn your quiet Power
Of Myst within the Stone,
Of Fire within the Heart,
Of Strength within the Wind
I follow where you walk,
And find the Path within.

Journey
I followed Badger to her home in the hole of the tree. Then we went into her tunnel. It had soft, moist sand all around with roots hanging down everywhere. I followed her around curves and corners, gradually sloping downwards. I set my requested intent, and asked her to lead me to the tunnel that would answer that intent. And so she led me through this one, and stepped aside for me to step out. As I looked out the end of it, I saw a desert landscape. Something flashed by quickly. I realized it was a lizard of some sort - banded: like dark and light or something. I heard him chuckle and say, "Gila monster is what you humans call me...indeed... I am your Guide in this area. Hop on, and let's get to journeying." It was then that I noticed, startled, that he was the size of a small horse, that I could ride. And he was offering me that option. So, yeah, I got on. We went to a flat rock, that had only looked like a small pebble when I had left the tunnel. But it grew incredibly as we approached, and was somewhat off the ground on this side...like a cavern existed beneath it. "Go on in," my Gila Guide suggested. As I walked in I saw a circle of Shamans, and at first I was unsure if they were men or women. But it was women, and they were sitting around a fire, passing a pipe. Without turning, one of them addressed me: "Your fear draws illusions around you, so you don't know who you are, but you still are what you are." Although Gila had not followed me in, he read the confusion in my mind and thought to me: 'Have I two feet, 3 or 4? What I believe, feel, or think is of no matter. Truth is. And that's all.'
The women then asked me to come into their circle, and one pointed at the fire, saying: "Go into the fire, and journey." It wasn't the kind of voice that allowed for much discussion. I knew that. So I went to the fire, and found a Gateway - a hole in the ground - with a ladder leading downwards. I went and climbed down the ladder and stopped where it ended...at the end of the hole/tunnel. There was only sky below...and then land far, far, far below. Dizzying... And a bit scary. I climbed back up.
The women said that I had just seen the last world, from where we had all come. This fire area was a sipapu that had led from there to here. I asked why I had been allowed to see this so sacred place. And the one woman looked at me and said, "Because of the Way you are, you need to see and experience things in order to be able to do them. You need to go and prepare a circle with a fire area, for welcoming those who will be coming up from the world you are leaving to get to the next one...where you will have journeyed and prepared a place for them."
I left with Gila, who took me quietly back to the Door to Badger's Home.