With intention, I returned to my cave bed in the village of the Australian Aborigine tribe, which had originally taken me in, two and a half weeks ago. Once there, I arose and walked over to the fire, where the Shaman Chief and his wife were sitting, waiting for me. In my mind, I spoke of having not completed the intended Journey, because of the gift choice.
But that was not all that was in my mind. I knew it was full of chatter, of chaos, of questions, flotsam, jetsam, and debris… kind of like a blended maelstrom of the modern world and my inner world, issues and uncertainties, the seemingly lost link of purpose between my shamanism and living in this modern technology. I was having trouble centering, and being THERE.
The Chief’s wife drew pictures in my mind of the fullness of Time, of the fullness of the Moon, of the fullness of the Earthmother now. She indicated that fullness always holds all the calls of the Universe: the cries, the cheers, discourse, debate, keening and blessings, from all Realms, all sentient Creation. She indicated that this fullness echoes within me, as within all, but that the harmonic upon which the First Echo is based is the Stillness that breathes out from the Creative Source.
Then, I felt the Shaman Chief put his hands on either side of my head, and the storm surge abated. Within my mind, all became still, dark, hushed, and I could breathe again.
I found myself on a beach, in complete darkness, hearing the shushurring of tidal surf nearby. I stood on the dark sand, looking out upon a dark ocean, and knew myself within the Womb of the Earthmother. This was the Original Amniotic Sea; this was the original Embryonic Wash of Sentient Life. How incredible this all seemed!
I manifested a soft sculpted stone upon which to sit and rest in this gentle Peace, listening to the quiet lullaby filling the air.
After a while, I noticed a white glowing to my right, up the shoreline (so to speak). And then, the glow solidified somewhat into the mystic White Horse of the previous Journey. He called.
I walked over near him, and jogged with him along the wet boundary between Sea and Sand, in what might have been a northward direction. In this Place of Peace, there was no sense of direction, time, need, or loss.
Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the landscape had changed, and we were on a western seacoast of Wales, watched by gray boulders peering out from an evening mist. Just ahead, I perceived the rocks melding into a castle, with gray-green fringes of seagrass bordering each of the blocks of ancient construction.
As I neared the castle, I realized there was an entrance tunneled below the main foundation, most likely an escape route in some other time. The Horse indicated that I needed to go in, and so I did.
It was very dark in the tunnel, and I had not taken many steps before I felt myself falling downward, as if in an angled chute, for a very long time.
I ended up in the subterranean chamber beneath Stone Henge, with Merlin, splashing unceremoniously into the heated spring. Small surprise, I guess. He looked up at me, with a bit of a smile, and said, “Why is it you always take the hard way?”
I just shrugged. “I guess it’s my Way. I guess it fulfills some inner need that I have yet to understand.”
“The Dwarves named you right, Roundabout.”
“So. You’ve come to make a choice, is it?”
“Yes. Between shears and a mirror.”
“Have you thought about these things?”
“I don’t like mirrors.”
“Because of the Truth they show?”
“No… because of the reality they show… because it means I’m real… because I’ve worked hard not being too real, so as not to deal with, breathe in, the dark and deadly issues of my childhood… and other lives as well, perhaps. Not being real protects me from the very real impact of severe trauma and abuse.”
“But you have dealt with those issues, intensely, almost recklessly, for seven years now. You have been real Inworld. You have been real, more often, Outworld. Your Healer has helped you weave your Identity to truthfully exist in both Worlds. All with whom you interact in either World have accepted you, respect your integrity. It is just you who do not.”
“Perhaps so. Let’s discuss shears for a while.”
“As you wish.”
“Shears have an interesting mystical gift, it seems to me. I think of my Welsh sheep, being sheared. I see the shedding of an old coat that allows for the acquisition of a new one. I see the old coat used in many beneficial ways. I perceive the metaphor of a new coat, new Shield, new auric Weave, as a significant Change and the Sign of that Change. I see it similar to the Snake shedding old skin to transform, transmute, to something more, something higher, something different, at the innermost level. I realize that I need to shed my old coat before I can truly keep piling on outer clothes. I realize that I have become attached to such old comfortable Ways, and just adding cloaks merely makes me burdened with more clothes, until I become irritable, exhausted, and infested with all the fleas of my original coat, even though it kept me warm and protected.”
“Tell me, then. If I were to give you shears, or even offer to shear you myself, would you do what you know is the healthy alternative for you?”
“Probably not. But having spoken of it with you, I know the Path I need to take, and what I must do, in order to access my next higher level. That I will do.”
“There are other things that shears can do, you know.”
“They can cut the fibrous connections you have with unhealthy, fearful people, places, and things.”
“That could be good.” And I paused, pondering this a bit. “But, no.”
“I have learned that all things, all life, is interconnected. Even if I chose to disconnect those fibrous attachments from me, I would still be part of them. They would still be part of me. I am not to disconnect, but transform, such negative energy to healing energy. This I have recently learned. So, no.”
“Then, the mirror is left.”
“I suppose so.”
“Even though you do not see it as a gift.”
“Explain to me how it could be.”
“No. You think. You tell me.”
And there was a great pause. Almost a Creator-PAUSE. In Time, Place, Being.
“I know that I can see aspects of myself in the manifestations and peoples around me. I know that I can know aspects of myself if I keep my perceptions honest.”
“But, I guess I can’t ever see the Whole of me in another, because they aren’t me. I am me.”
“So, even though All is One, and I am All and One, I am still uniquely me. Even if I don’t want to really always be ‘me’.”
“True. And why is that so?”
“Because, like a mirror, I can be shattered if I become that real.”
“Ah… now comes the Truth.”
“Yes, it does. It did.”
“So, how do you transform, transmute the mirror, so it cannot be shattered? How do you transform, transmute, yourself so as not to shatter?”
“I don’t know.”
“But you have been long on that Path these last seven years, is that not so?”
“Yes, perhaps so.”
“Then the gift of this mirror is to remind you of your quest, and as you Change, so shall the mirror. You will see your true progress and your true self as you grow. I have made it small and protected enough to fit in your pocket. I gift it to you.”
“I accept the gift. Thanks so much, Merlin. Thanks for being Here for me.”
“Always. Go in peace, now.”
And I found myself outside on the Welsh shore, deep within the night. Mythos, the White Horse, was waiting. This time he allowed me to ride, and we raced the surf back through the Veil, back to the dark sands and waters of the Earthmother’s womb, back to my rock. After I dismounted and waved good-by to Mythos, I snuggled within the rock’s warmth, and went to sleep, listening to the quiet lullaby of Creation.