My journey into spiritualism started as a young child with the smell of Nag Champa. I grew up in many different upper middle class suburbs with super right-winged conservative, extremely Catholic parents and this smell was not something that we kept around any of our abodes. We moved about every 2-4 years of my life from the time I was born until now, I turned 30 on the 11th of October.
When I was young, we would go on family vacations and on shopping trips, there would always be a store that had stones or tapestries, and I would smell this enchanting smell which I now know as Nag Champa and beg to go inside. Of course, I was never permitted to enter. By the time I entered adolescence, I found myself collecting seashells and statues of Buddha, frogs and turtles, hippos and crystals or stones I thought were pretty. And by some sort of inner instinct, I put them on my window sill at night to bath in the moon. I have no idea why, I just thought ‘they’ would like that. I also found myself predisposed to V names, like Veda and Vivian. Around the same time, I fell in love with books. I mean, I had always read, I started reading novels in kindergarten, but I had fallen in love with the process of making books and began spending most days after school at the local bookstore. This is the same bookstore in which I began to learn about the New Age Culture and Spirituality.
Throughout the years between then and now, I have grown into a woman, been married and had three children. More than that, I have spent much time training as a Yoga Instructor and learning meditation. However, the mediation I have learned is how to turn the ‘mind-stuff’ off. Meaning, complete nothingness inside your head. In fact, until recently, I thought this was the only kind of meditation, and I found it extremely difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.
Many years ago someone very special came into my life by chance. I was walking through our local flea market and I saw a sign for a psychic and I thought, what the heck. During this visit, I asked her about something I had read, something about spirit guides. She said, “What do you want to know?”
And I said, “Is mine named Vivian?” I don’t know why I asked that question, I don’t even know where it came from. In fact, when it comes to most things in my spiritual path, they just come from nowhere.
She said, “She said, ‘You can call me that’” and then she and I both got chills up and down our arms. It was the first time I had ever felt like I was being given a sign of confirmation or validation from Spirit of something that I had asked for. Every single thing she told me that day met fruition, and that shook me to the deepest part of my spiritual core, so I went to see her again 2 ½ years later. And the same thing happened again. Except I feel like I know my guide better now, and I know her as Viyana or rather Vi, a Lakota Princess who I believe at one point or another was my mother.
As I said before, I am obsessed with books, I have thousands. I collect them and love them. I don’t always have a chance to read them all. I collect them faster than I can read; sometimes twenty at a time. In another practice spiritual reading, Vi said she would talk to me if I would just meditate. This frustrated me, because in my training, to meditate is to have complete silence, nothingness; to find enlightenment. I simply did not know what to do. I said that out loud, in my head, and in my sleep. I felt lost and like I needed a guide.
The very next day I was cleaning off one of my bookshelves, a Zen act I do constantly, and a book fell at my feet. As I reached down to pick it up I noticed it was open to a page on guided meditation. (For reference, the book is called “Wicca: The complete Craft” by D.J. Conway).
I was a little spooked at first, but then I felt extremely loved by my dear Vi. In fact, every time I think of her I am so overwhelmed by love, sometimes it is hard to talk about. I felt like she heard me, listened to my concerns and gave me the first step that I needed to move forward. I wanted to rush and read that part but, being the obsessive book lover that I am, I had to start from the beginning. I was pleased with what I read though the most important aspect I took from this book was how to astral project or rather, do a guided meditation. And I feel like this is the exact part my spirit guide intended for me to learn.
Following is my first experience with Astral Projection and Guided Meditation:
The meditation exercise was to first surround yourself with the light of love. Cosmic white light full of only love and good intention.
In your minds eye, go to a place in nature that you can visually see, there will be a well. First go to the well and drop in your negative emotions.
Go through the forest, and inside the forest you will find a stream with a waterfall. Go there and hang out and see what you see.
The first thing to note here is that I can see clear as a bell. In fact, it is almost hard for me to read a guided mediation because I can go there while I am reading. I can see, hear, smell, taste. CLEARLY. It is almost scary.
I closed my eyes and immediately found myself on this dirt path surrounded by a field on either side with this old well sitting there. I went over to it and felt like I willed all of my negativity into a ball that looked like a bubble. I actually shot it into the well like a basket ball, but then was filled with a little bit of self doubt because I was acting immature in a very spiritual place, but I let it go and moved on. I was dressed in a cotton bohemian type dress and my hair was down and free flowing.
I moved forward and went into the woods. I could see my feet walking on the path and that I had a basket in my hands, actually my basket that I have in my ordinary reality. I saw this beautiful flower and I picked it and put it in my basket and stood up. Suddenly, I felt so bad for picking the flower because it was so pretty. I knelt down and asked that the flower re-grow and it did. That made me very happy. I went along the path and stopped at this old tree, for some reason or another, I felt like leaving the path and walked into the brush about 10 feet, I heard a gentle male voice say, “Come back to the path”, so I did. I stopped at that large tree again, and I just felt like giving it a hug. When I did that, two large branches came down, and the tree hugged me back. It was wonderful. I was also met by my sweet Meadow, my cat whom was hit by a car last spring.
I reached the end of the clearing and found the stream and the water fall. There sat Vi, beautiful as can be. She looked just like she had in my dreams. Native American, in a green canvas dress with a beaded necklace on. We embraced. Just then, a man came from across the stream and leaped over. He was also Native and had on only what I will call Native Garb. Somehow I know his name as Jolon, and I feel that he protects me. I have also seen him in my dreams. We all held hands and laid there for a while. I then sat up and clearly said to Vi, “What do you think about me reading that book on Wicca?” She smiled at me and said, “Here comes Miriam.”
I said, “Who is Miriam?” Next thing you know, out from behind the waterfall comes a stomping woman dressed in turn of the century garb and she got up in my face and was shaking her finger at me. I didn’t understand it at all. So, I reached in my basket and gave her the flower I had picked, and gave one to Vi as well, Miriam loved it and smelled them and sat on the rock. I felt bad for not having anything for Jolon, so somehow out of my mouth I spit out a pearl and gave it to him. He then took my by the arm and escorted my back to the well………
That experience was my first ‘journey’ although I didn’t know it then as a journey. And I thought about it for days and days. I knew that I wanted more experience with this, so I began to search for new books. The next one I read that moved me forward on my spiritual journey is titled, The Shamanic Witch by Gail Wood.
The next experience was absolutely awesome. I cleansed my space and wrote down my intentions in my journal. My intentions were to go to my place in nature with Vi. I chose to go to the pace I had gone to before, with the waterfall where I had met with Vi and Jolon. I was going to look for a coin worth a million dollars, to eat an orange and also to see if I could meet the Woodland Goddess and receive her symbol for my spiritual journey. At the time I didn’t feel like that was a lot to do, perhaps it’s part of my impatient nature.
The first part of my journey was strange, I felt like I was chasing something, but I could see clearly, I was in the woods and there were waterfalls and there was a purple dress darting in and out of the trees. I kept saying “Too fast! I’m going too fast! I’m going to throw up!” So I took a deep breath and found myself by the stream. I stuck my hand in the water and felt it, and then found myself really centered there. I reached in my basket and pulled out a blanket and laid it out and decided to set out to look for this coin. I didn’t take long, I saw it over in the creek bank within the black muddy rocks, and it was bright gold. I picked it up and it had the tree of life on it. I knew it was worth a million dollars. Suddenly, the feeling of ecstasy ran through my body, then panic. I was afraid I was going to loose it. I then started scrambling looking for a pocket only to find none and my basket was no place for a million dollars. So I opened up my skin on my hip and stuck it in there. No losing it now!
I walked back over to my blanket and sat down, and there was my lovely Vi waiting for me. We embraced. I reached into my basket and pulled out an orange. I could see all of the details in the orange and asked if she wanted one, she said yes. But, when I saw her eat it, it was an apple. When I was reaching in to get hers, she had leaned over the basket so I could see her necklace that I had seen so many times before. I had always been interested in it and wanted to know about. Finally! I thought. I guess she can hear me. The necklace was beads; amber, amber, jet, jet; all the way around. I have no clue how I know that, I’ve never seen a real jet stone.
I began peeling the orange and thought, “What should I do with the peel?” I looked next to me and there was a huge deer with many antlers sitting down right next to me. As large as this animal was, it didn’t shock me at all to see him there, like I knew him already, so I fed the peel to him. But, I could hear him chewing. And Vi started hysterically laughing at me, because she knows that one of my biggest pet peeves is mouth noises. I looked at him again and saw that more antlers had grown. Then the thought, ‘Horns’ came in my mind. Then the thought ‘Male’ came in my mind. And Vi was still laughing. And then all the light bulbs came on in my head. Excellent, I absolutely just made fun of the horned God for making mouth noises, who was here with the Goddess to give me my symbol. Excellent, this is a GREAT start for me. Good times, way to go. At the time this was very funny to me and also embarrassing but, I know now that this animal was with me because my soul runs with the spirit of the Stag.
Vi had me pull it together then, and told me to focus because the Goddess was coming. All I could think about was that I was supposed to have sticky orange goo on my hands and I couldn’t touch the Goddess with sticky orange goo on my hands. I looked up and I saw a purple face, but it kept being covered up, nothing was clear, but I could see a hand was out stretched to me. In awe, I reached out and picked up a single peacock feather and then everything went black for a second. The next thing I know, Vi and I were alone at the bank of the creek and I could hear my dogs in the ordinary reality barking. I could also still see the Stag running around in the background. I had the feather in my hand and Vi said, “What did you think about that?” And I said, “There are no words”.
My next Journey was the one to meet my Inner Shaman and receive a talisman. I don’t know if it was male or female, but definitely older with wild hair and no shirt. They gave me a bone tool. I had to look it up on Google, I didn’t know what it was, or that I could use it on my journeys.
The next amazing experience was when I went to find my power animal. The first time, I tried to get there from that same place in nature. First thing to mention is that I always stick my hands the water there to ground myself. When I did that this time, a salamander came out of the water up my arm a few times and when it went back into the water, it left a pink beaded bracelet on my wrist. I was afraid to lose it, so I put it in my basket. I noticed again the Stag running in the woods, I waved to him. I asked Vi to come with me, and I decided to try to get there from behind the waterfall because there is usually a cave behind a waterfall and our journey was unsuccessful. There were only more waterfalls behind there. So, I read further in your book and decided to use an actual place in actual nature that I know of, so I used this old tree that is in front of my house. I went out there and dug. Now that I know I can use my tools, I probably should have used my talisman given to me, but I started to used my hands, instead the tree reached down and lifted her skirts, I didn’t have to dig hard.
When I got down there and through the brush, the first thing I saw was this lovely Tiger. For some reason or another, I tried to run up and hug her, and well, she tried to eat me. I screamed “Vi!!!” and Vi showed up. I felt like the tree gave birth to me as I rolled in a ball and was spewed out on my front lawn. Vi stood in front of me and gave me this look like I am not ready. I begged to try again. I did it anyway without her blessing.
I went back through the threshold and above me I could see the roots of the tree. I saw something rustling around in the roots moving too quickly for the eyes to see, and then it popped out in front of me, hanging upside down. He was all green with two arms, two legs and a head and had leaves for clothing. He said, “What are you doing here?” I was shocked. I said, “Well, I am looking for my power animal”.
He said, “Oh, well, your power animal is a snake.” The next thing you know Vi showed up again and said, “That is a Tree Imp and he…” Then the tree imp grabbed her up and swung her from tree to tree, I chased after them until finally she freed herself. It was really, really annoying. I was looking around, checking out the scenery and I heard growling behind me, I saw a large animal that looked dragon-esk. I heard Vi say, “Be gone!” and I didn’t get a good look at it. I could feel myself getting frustrated.
I turned around and hollered, “Will no one be my power animal?” Vi stopped and looked at me and said, “Why did you do that?” I have never been so filled with shame in my life. I don’t know why I did that. I really don’t. Not only that, Vi has never questioned me before, ever. Well, I have also never had a conscious discussion with her, either.
The next moment, I heard a deep male voice say, “I will be your power animal.” I turned and saw the majestic Stag in all his glory with many antlers standing there, looking at me, Proud and Kind all at the same time. I said “You Will?!” I looked at Vi who was all smiles and then back at him and he said, “You need to learn Patience.” And then I kissed him on the nose. And then he said, “And don’t ever do that again.” It is probably a good thing to mention that after all this is when I learned that power animals are not your pets and they don’t want to be petted or hugged, which is probably why the tiger tried to eat me. She was, after all, a tiger. He then said, “And you must take Pride in all you do……” he said more things, but my mind went elsewhere thinking about what he said about being patient. I then heard him say to Vi, she’s not listening to me, and I said, “Yes I am, yes I am” and he said, “Then focus and lets go.” And we all went back through the tunnel together. I feel like I can see him walking around my house sometimes. I know am aware, though, that a power or spirit animal is not just one. It is the spirit of the entire species of that animal that runs within you.
Since these experiences, my life has changed dramatically. I have been on countless travels. Each and every time I learn, I try to blog about it. Know that if you have questions or just want to talk about what you saw, this is the perfect place to do it. As I continue to write, I invite you to write about your experiences as well. May we all grow together and swiftly but patiently move through our Spiritual Unfoldment.
The Light within me, Honors the Light within you. Namaste`