A small lone pincushion cactus sat quietly watching us pass by. It whispered in my mind to draw me near. I paused, and told my friends I would catch up with them in a few minutes, and walked over to the cactus. I sat before it, honored to be in its audience. It indicated that, more than a cactus, it was a Portal, and invited me within, with a gentle murmuring of my Name. And so I went.
Suddenly, I was inside what seemed to be a tiny earthen chamber, apparently below the cactus itself. “Listen,” it whispered. And then all was silent. I saw myself in the center of the chamber, listening. I noticed that the earth was more dry than moist, but not like sand. There seemed to be enough air, and – curiously – air movement, so that I could breathe without anxiety.
I heard movement in the earthen wall in front of me, a bit to the left, and halfway up the wall. Abruptly, a circular patch of earth jumped from the wall and fell onto the floor. A fleshy pale pink animal of some sort was apparently pushing itself out of the hole, scaring me beyond hope, as there were no exits here. Then, it stopped.
“Wow! What’s wrong with you?” it asked, speaking in genuine concern for the panicked pallor of my face.
I couldn’t even answer.
It proceeded to reach farther out the hole until it realized that I was panicking exponentially with the uncovering of its body.
“Oh. Excuse me,” it said apologetically, and drew some of itself back into the hole. “Is that better?”
Still, I could not respond.
“Very well. I shall just rest here, until you are feeling better.” And with that, he pulled himself far enough back into the hole to reveal only a slight indentation of his body.
I made myself draw deep, slow breaths. And then I backed up to the wall behind me, and drew my knees in close up to my chin.
“Who are you?” I asked, quite timidly and soft, thinking to myself, ‘Fine Elcyrr you are. Scared to death, and speechless where no harm seems intended.’ I closed my eyes for a few seconds, taking a few more deep breaths, and then re-opened them.
He was still there.
“I am Igthe, a Faery Earth Wyrm. I know who you are. Do not be ashamed of your fear. That only gives it power. Rather, name it and claim it. Take its power away.”
“Sure,” I said, in what unfortunately seemed a bit sarcastic, but tasted more like fear.
“No. It’s true,” he replied in a lilting tone of friendship.
I needed to get a hold of myself before I lost this experience being offered here. I calmed myself once more, tucked my fear in a back pocket, and apologized. “Sorry. You startled me a bit.”
“A bit? Wow! That’s an understatement. But, hey, no problem. So… now what?”
“Now what? What’d you like to do?”
“I say, quite an echo chamber in here, yes?”
I was quiet for a few moments, re-integrating pieces of Peace into my Mosaic-self.
Finally, I said, “Would you show me around your World, here?”
“Sure! Love to! But this is how it’ll work, ok? You kind of follow me, because the tunnels don’t always last long, like a biodegradable jacket. So stay close, and I’ll show you this really cool Place. Can you get up here to where I am?”
I looked up to where he was, in his close-fitting tunnel. It was halfway up the chamber, with no visible handholds, or anything but dirt.
“I don’t think so,” I said.
“Hmmm… well, we have a problem then, my fearful friend. I can help you, but only if you allow me first to come into the chamber, and then if you will hold on to me until we are up in the tunnel.”
“Let me work on that for a few minutes, please?”
“Sure. I’m here for you. Take your time. Try to remember what I AM, and – more especially – what I am NOT.”
I sat down with my head on my arms resting on my knees. So deep in my thoughts, I felt like I had been sitting there for hours, but who knows? It didn’t matter. But it did feel like hours in my mind. I stood up and cautiously walked over to where he was perched in the tunnel. I looked up.
“Is that your back or front?” I asked, realizing how lame it sounded.
“Either. Both. Your perception, your construct of design doesn’t quite apply to me. I move my consciousness to whichever part of me is interacting with another, but technically, I am wholly conscious in all my parts, so there is no front or back – just me.”
Another minute of silence. He was very patient, for sure.
“Look,” he quietly said, “I know you would like to come. I can feel it on the other side of your fear. So, this is what I will do. I will edge out slowly and stop, giving you time to calm down, breathe, and gather your courage once again. I will do this on your choosing, and on your requests. You say. Ok?”
Another minute of silence.
I spoke very softly. “Okay. Go ahead. I’ll say when to stop.”
And so he moved, almost imperceptibly, farther out the hole. He whispered, “See me as I am, and not as a memory of what I am not.” He had stopped as he whispered, knowing me better than I knew myself.
“Go ahead, again.” I stepped back to a sense of safety, feeling the earthen wall against my back. This time he moved himself quite far out and over the edge, almost touching the floor. His movement was fascinating – like watching quiet surf at sunset, shushurring back and forth while gaining the beach in the tidal drawing of high moon. He lay still for so long, I forgot my fear.
“That’s the idea,” he gently whispered. “Now, tell me, Elcyrr, could you heal me?”
“Can you touch me?”
Ah, but that was the question, wasn’t it…
“I am a Wyrm and no Man.”
“What an interesting turn of phrase!” I said, astonished.
“Appropriate is all. And I know you appreciate such word play. Still, it is true, and important for you to know and experience.”
“Yes, I know,” I replied very quietly. Finally, curiosity overrode the fear, and I began to edge ever closer. “So, for real, you’re an Earthworm?”
“Depends on which side of the Veil you’re on. Actually, here, I’m a Faery Earth Wyrm. But, yes, I’m known as an Earthwyrm in your Human dimension.”
Now I was standing close enough to touch, if I dared. He was being so still that I could feel no movement to set off my panic alarms, not even aurically or psychically. I remembered having picked up earthworms before, and brought that image into the forefront of my mind. And touched him.
He never moved. Not in any sense. He just remained still and radiated Peace and Acceptance. In my head, I listened to my own inner conversation with him.
‘You’re so big!’ in fearful child-tones.
‘You’re just small in this Journey. I’m only an earthworm.’
‘But, you’re so big!’ – more fearful child-tones.
‘I am not what you saw, what you felt, what you experienced. I am just an earthworm. And I will not harm you.’
‘I’m so scared.’
‘You have every right to be. But I am not what you fear. Peek through the black veil of your fear, and see my Truth. Listen to my Truth.’
‘Can I let go?’
‘Any time you want.’
‘No. I cannot. Right here, right now, I need to find Truth. If I let go, it will be lost to me.’
“I will not move.”
And I began speaking with him with my voice.
Another few minutes of silence.
“I will go with you now. But I cannot promise that I won’t freak or panic, at times.”
“No problem. When you communicate that to me, however you communicate that to me, I will be Still. And wait.”
Ever so slow and cautious, I wrapped my arms around and just above the lowest ribbing of his body. And held my breath.
I don’t know how long I held it, but suddenly I heard him say, “Breathe, Elcyrr, before you turn blue and fall off.” There was a tiny touch of humor behind his words, and I breathed, releasing a bit of fear-exhaust as I did.
Then, as slow as the sun crossing a summer sky, he moved up into the tunnel.
“Open your eyes now.”
I hadn’t realized they were closed, nor that we had attained the tunnel’s rim. In reality, it wasn’t a tunnel but more a Path molded about his lengthy self.
“Stay close,” he whispered, and began to move into the Earth, herself.
For the longest time, the tunnel – or imprint – behind us stayed intact, providing a little light for me. It was obvious that he didn’t need it – and, I guess, neither did I, except to keep fear at bay. We moved through the Earth for what seemed a very long time. It had dimmed enough now to make everything, including myself, indiscernible. In fact, I had tentatively touched, and kept contact with Igthe, when the darkness had felt more fearful than his touch. It was a good sign, I think…
“We’re almost there,” he spoke softly. And, slowly, I could see light peeking around his body like an aura or corona. As he moved forward, the light became more present and more brilliant. I was squinting, trying to adjust to such light, when he dropped from the tunnel through a hole, and I was bathed completely in glorious sparkling brightness. Finally, I was able to see what lay before me, as my eyes adjusted somewhat. It was a huge cavern room, with glittering stalactites and stalagmites. The whole room seemed to just shine, but there appeared to be no source – like self-luminosity, or something.
“Something, indeed,” I heard him say. “This is a Room of the Earthmother, herself… a Womb of the Earthmother, so to speak. It is Her Spirit that lights this Place.”
I was awestruck, and carefully made my way down to the floor. I was enwrapped in warmth and love, from the inside out and back again. I fell to my knees and tears rolled down my face. There was no way to explain the love and warmth and peace, except to experience it first-hand. I laid down upon the floor, breathing in sobs and gasps of relief and release. I lay there for a long time. Perhaps I slept. Then, I heard a Voice, but it was not Igthe, the Earth Wyrm. No – I had heard this Voice before, almost 20 years ago. It was the Earthmother, herself.
She paused, and then continued.
“Welcome Home. It is good to see you. It is good to see how far you’ve come on your Journey. Trust. You have done well. Let me gift you something before you go on your way.”
And She reached over and placed her hands on me upon my heart. The energy was incredibly powerful, in a gentle non-intrusive manner. Then her hands sifted through my skin, and held my heart, for real.
“This is what I meant by holding someone’s heart. Not to destroy in order for re-birth, but to hold – as a midwife – and allow for the heart to be born again to the Spirit. It doesn’t have to be taken from the body. You can do it, as I have shown you here. You trusted me, again, past the fear you experienced in another lifetime, and now your heart’s firesong is rekindled and reborn. Respect fear, but do not be controlled by it. Understand what it is trying to communicate. Then answer it in Love. I love you, Child – Elcyrr of my Land. You are my own Daughter. Journey well and peace be with you until we meet again. Remember, I’m always nearby. You need only Call. Rest here for a while. It will re-energize you and calm you. Do you see that pool over there? That is the Way out. You will return to the sacred place where you gave the purple flower water. This is its way of thanking you.”
And then She vanished. The room was still brightly aglow, though. I wandered slowly over to where She had indicated the pool was. Sure enough, there it lay, waiting quietly for me. I sat at its edge for a long time, pondering all I had just experienced.
After a while, I chose to risk, once again, the pool-transport, and dove in. By some manner, which I don’t recall (or wasn’t meant to), I misted up through the wet earth around the flower, and solidified as myself upon the flat rock just south of it. My friends were returning from exploring the ancient land around this sacred place when they saw me and greeted me, giving me a hand to stand up as we headed back to the Inn.