In the dark pine forest, I walk alone. This is a familiar place. I’ve walked this path many times. I’m not afraid, because I know the way. My hands reach out and brush the soft pine boughs that line the path. With each step I pause just long enough for my feet to sink into the rich damp earth—a wet kiss and greeting my toes have come to appreciate. The nighttime air is gentle and warm around me, flooding my senses with the tingle of pine and cedar. There is no moon tonight. It is the dark phase, but I can see well.
Soon I am at the gateway—the stand of trees that marks the entrance to the inner temple of Her Holy Well. Here, old friend crow stands guard. On a branch high above me, I greet this gate guardian as I always do. Silently, I approach and telepathically acknowledge Her presence and my humble desire to pass through her portal. Her beady marble eyes quickly make contact with mine, and I know I cannot go further in my human form. A dream body is necessary for the rest of the journey.
Expecting to shapeshift into an angel or star dragon (as I usually do), I become a tiny orb of white light. A lens flare. Surprised but content in this form, I wait for Crow’s transmission of higher guidance, perhaps a question or word or image that will inform my journey ahead. Nothing. I realize part of me hopes to receive recognition for making it this far. Still nothing from Crow. Feeling quite pleased with my light form and eager to receive her permission so I can continue on, I decide to get closer. I float up to her, high in the tree. I see my reflection in the void of her eyes. Suddenly, there is a flash of madness in Crow’s eyes. Her head makes a few jerky, erratic moves and then, in an instant, she eats me! Completely caught off guard, I find myself in the dark belly of the mad crow. I’m stuck here. I can’t get out. I can’t even shamanically imagine myself out.
It is now that the journey takes on a life of its own. I can no longer control where this dream is taking me. I sense danger and feel a veil of lower energy pulse through the dreamspace, quickening the pace of my inner vision so that I cannot consciously keep up. Whereas before I was guiding the dream, the dream now has me.
Crow squawks and screeches and flies to a willow tree, deeper in the forest. There is a silver key at the base of the tree. I know this because I’ve seen it before. I think for a moment that perhaps that key will help me escape. My human conscious self tries to be still and receive a message from the key, but before I can even begin, crow eats the key, too! She’s crazy! I silently say to myself. Oh my God, she ate the key too.
So, here I am in the belly of crazy crow with the silver key that was supposed to be my mystical ticket out. I am in the belly and also witnessing the dream play out. I watch it like a movie. I’m not directing it; I have no idea what’s going to happen next. This movie I’ve never seen.
Crow flies on, following the stream that I know leads to the holiest of Holy places. The sacred Well of the Goddess. I’m nervous, because I feel out of control and I don’t trust Crow. As we approach the sacred Well, I see the serpent guardian and the water priestess, peacefully tending to the Waters and preparing to greet us, as they typically do.
To my great astonishment, Crow dives toward the holy water and grasps the serpent guardian in its talons and throws it carelessly off into the distance. The wild bird then attacks the water priestess, cawing and aggressively flying about her head in a torrent of black wings and beak and claws. The water priestess, fearful and shocked, does what she can to protect herself from the battering of the black crow. Horrified and disturbed, I can do nothing but witness Crow’s attack and utter disregard for the sacredness and innocence of the beings here. I want to help. I want to do something. My consciousness cannot come up with a solution.
Then the Great Water Serpent, the same one that had been so ruthlessly thrown out of the waters only moments before, magnificently rises up from the center of Her Holy Well, wraps her body around the feet of Crow and pulls the bird down into the pool. The serpent holds Crow under the water, until it stops fighting and drowns. Once the life is drained from Crow, Serpent lets go of the bird, allowing it to float to the surface. Dead. Grotesque. I, the little orb of light and the silver key, are still in the belly of the dead bird, floating….floating…I fear the bird will just rot here and pollute the pure waters.
In the moments following the death of Crow, peace is slowly restored to the Well but there is a lingering aura of trauma; things here will never be the same. The waters will remember dead Crow. I intuitively know that. When I gaze into the Well in years to come, I fear I will always see dead Crow reflected back to me.
I cannot escape from the black belly of the dead Crow. I’m too exhausted to even try. I pray for help. For rescue. Because there is nothing “I” can do. I beg my Higher Self to dream up an answer because I realize I cannot do this alone. It’s then that I see them coming. Thank God, here’s my rescue, I think.
From the right side of my awareness, I see a woman approaching the Well. Simultaneously, from the left, a male figure walks toward the waters. They are walking at the same speed, coming from the same distance—as if choreographed a million times before. They get to the waters at the same time and reach out their hands toward one another. They are golden light beings, clearly one masculine and one feminine, energetically meeting at the Well where this seemingly horrible massacre has just occurred.
Do they know I’m here? I wonder, as I float in the belly of dead crow, watching them above me.
The woman reaches down and pulls my light body from the belly of crow, tenderly holding my light in her hands. The man reaches down and pulls the silver key from the belly of crow, lovingly holding it in his hands. Momentarily, I feel relieved to have been rescued by this man and woman, but then I realize that I actually have not been rescued. The key and I are still in the belly of the dead crow. I was seeing a future vision—I was being given a clue to break the spell that would help me awaken from this nightmarish vision. As much as I wanted to dream that glorious union into reality and save myself from the wet dark dead Void of Crow’s belly, my mystic self realizes She must stay here for now.
Perhaps I will get to know my roommate, Silver Key.