My host in Freiburg, Germany, escorted me and her husband on a shamanic journey as we laid on the carpeted floor in their guest room and she guided us to the “lower world.” She drummed for a good 15 minutes, never letting up the beat as she walked around us covered by blankets with eyes closed and our hearts open.
It took a while for me to get into it. I felt relaxed but a little anxious, hoping to be able to see something, anything! Would an animal guide appear? What shape would it take? What would be in store in this land that I had visited only twice before in my life?
Darkness enveloped me and I became a little concerned. And then I visualized an opening in the side of a huge mountain. It was the entrance to a cave. It was pitch black inside. At that moment, however, a small animal manifested at my left. It could have been a cat or a small dog.
Its eyes were large and bright yellow, like what you might remember seeing on Felix the Cat, a cartoon shown to us kids growing up in the 1950s. The pupils shined like flashlights and helped direct me into the darkened belly of the mountain.
Soon I saw dark trees and bushes on both sides of me and the animal came into better focus as a fox. A dark fox.
It felt like night-time where we walked. We travelled a short distance and came to the other end of what must have been a tunnel. Looking down, I saw a lush-green valley with a body of water towards the center of the massive land.
Approaching it, I saw that it was a lake and that there was a a woman bathing on the side closest to me. She was voluptuous, with creamy white skin which you could only see from the chest area up to her shoulders and neck. The breasts and lower parts of her body somehow were hidden from my eyes.
The woman had her hair pulled back. She reminded me of maiden from the middle ages or more recently, a model painted by the French artist Renoir in “The Bathers,” the original of which appears in the Art Museum of Philadelphia.
Before entering this world, my Guide, a Reiki Master who took the name of “Krishna,” had asked me to focus on one issue that I had been concerned about. I chose the pain I have felt in my neck and both shoulders which I’ve noticed for more than five years now.
Well, the lady of the lake turned her back on me and showed me up close her lovely neck and shoulders. Somehow she spoke to me with no words. I understood that much of the pain I feel has developed because of stress. I have taken on too much responsibility. I carry too many burdens, she telepathically explained.
This deep revelation brought immediate understanding and relief to my mind. I felt as if this was the message I had sought while entering this world.
But there were more messages for me to take back to “our world,” the one of our material existence. The next instruction came from the fox, my spirit totem. A very wise animal as described in many of the animal spirit books I have read.He (don’t ask me why I believed it was a male!) advised me to keep much of my next journey to myself.
The fox was repeating something I had just read in a book entitled “Holotropic Breathwork” by the pioneer psychologist Stanislav Grof and his wife, Christina. They advised one about to receive this “training” to discuss it with few people. Most would not understand what develops in the process, they cautioned.
The woman of the lake spoke again in my mind. She suggested that I write about the experience after the training ends . . . write of your personal experience, she said.
“Put it into a book, Michael J, and you’ll be able to reach a selective audience who might benefit from your experience” she whispered to me.
Too soon, I left the valley. I returned to the material world, where the hylotropic consciousness exists. (Hylotropic means the world of matter, the body and the senses.) I was about to the start my Holotropic adventure in the Black Forest of Germany. (Holotropic is the consciousness that takes in non-ordinary events and understandings.)
I plan to silence my voice during the 10-day training session. And then, I will look forward to recording my adventure in the future. Perhaps sometime during the 3-year commitment I made to receive trainings again in Philadelphia this year and then in Greece and Philadelphia next year while returning to Germany in the third year of my odyssey.
Like Odysseus of ancient Greece, I know not what I’ll discover, but I will try to be brave and face the sirens and cyclops with a pure heart as my only shield.