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Day 16: A Shamanic Journey

I’m standing in my back yard, and Wolf appears near me. He lets out a soulful howl at the full moon, inviting me to do the same. I accept his invitation, and together we ha-wooooooooo at the larger-than-life full moon hovering over our heads.

I feel my sternum vibrate with each howl. It was an expression of soul that arose deep from within me. After several rounds of howling, the moon dropped stemmed roses down to the ground. Following Wolf’s lead, we gather them up and exchange them with one another. We honored ourselves and the Moon, and she gifted us the roses out of acknowledgment and gratitude.

Wolf then buried a stuffed teddy bear of his in the earth, again inviting me to do the same. The stuffed bear was something that he used to find comfort in when he was younger. His action was clearly an indication for me to do the same.

I could not think of something of mine that would meet that ask, so I called in myself as a child (maybe 6 or 7). As my childhood self stood next to me, I first thought that maybe he was what I was to bury, but no, it was something that he took comfort in, something that reminded him of simple love.

A large brown teddy bear that I had as a kid came to mind, and I felt reluctant to give that away. I didn’t feel ready to. Wolf shared with me that it is important to let go of these old comforts. Beyond the act of letting go, this is about releasing these things to Mother Earth and trusting that she will take better care of them than we can. The sadness of letting go of the teddy bear go smoothed right into trust and peace as it was swallowed up into the earth with love.

We howled at the Full Moon again.

Wolf then called my attention to another animal off in the distance. It first appeared as Fox, then Deer, then Cow… a shapeshifter. This being playfully ran towards what appeared to be a fallen tree and then found itself locked in a struggle for its life as it was fighting a predator. Wolf instructed me to sit and watch the fight and not to interfere. Wolf noted that this fight is simply life playing. It may feel like life-or-death to the animal’s consciousness, but truly, from the perspective of Spirit, it was just life playing with life, energy dancing with itself. And it was beautiful, interesting, and even fun.

After another howl at the moon, Wolf began to dig a hole in the earth, and I dug alongside him. We dug a tunnel that came out into what appeared to be a professional wrestling arena. A crowd of people packed the seats as an obscenely-muscular announcer stormed and stomped and performed in the center of the ring, rousing the spectators.

Again, this is all theater, Wolf reminded me. This is the same as the animals you just saw fighting. I challenged him on that, arguing that this we know is fake… even the wrestlers know it’s fake. The animals are fighting for their lives.

With a glint in his eye, Wolf cocked his head and smiled. That’s not real either, he reminded me.

Wondering what’s next in the journey, I find myself in the ring. The throng of people were cheering for the fight. They wanted to see a fight. They didn’t care who won or lost - they had no interest in the fight ending and a victor being declared. They just wanted to see battle done.

My opponent stood in the opposite corner of the ring. He was masked and costumed and caped from head to toe. The dark colors of his outfit - maroon, brown and black - left no skin uncovered and no identity clearly discernible.

He seemed to be the seasoned pro in the ring. He took up a dominating position in the space, challenging me, taunting me with his body movements. Knowing this was a shamanic journey, I wasn’t afraid, yet also didn’t think I was going to win the fight. I wondered, “What’s the lesson here? What’s the symbolism of this?”

When we got to actually sparring, we were evenly matched. Our punches met fist directly on fist and nullified the force of each. We continued like this for a few moments, neither of us gaining an advantage. I looked for Wolf - he was outside the ring quietly observing, his piercing eyes indicating there was much more to this situation than straight combat. Then I remembered what he had just said - this isn’t real. This is all just life playing with life.

A “random” phrase from a lousy action movie I saw long ago echoed in my head: “He lives in a world beyond your world.”

If this is all for play, and it’s not real, then this is not a fight. My opponent can only “win” or hurt me if I lower myself to his level, or allow myself to be hurt. When I truly realized that it was not possible for me to be hurt by him, then his attacks were rendered toothless, like a fly buzzing into a glass window. No harm was possible. I grew in size until I was about 20 feet tall.

Wolf joined me back in the ring and we howled deeply at the moon once again.

Returning back to where we started, sitting in my back yard, Wolf and I peacefully and lovingly shared some jerky.

Then the drumming signaled it was time for the journey to end, and I was back.

[Turns out that this full moon is called the Wolf Moon]

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