Beginning the journey

The Forest

The beginning of an archetypal journey can be quite muddled. You are scraping through the sediment of the conscious mind, digging deeper into the dark. Sometimes you have to make a mess in order to clean up and this is one of those times. Sometimes you will look back and wonder why you even started down this path in the first place. It would be easier to live a life filled with television or set on the pursuit of a singular goal, or preoccupied by the comings and goings of those around you. Why did I chose transformation? What is the point? Why do I even bother? Such is the nature of despair, among the emotions which will be dredged up in this process. You will look forward and feel that no progress has been made, you will get stuck, you will stumble, that is part of the work. Other times you will reach a calm space, sit down on a washed up drift-wood tree trunk, sip tea from a thermos and look back at how far you’ve come. The further you trudge the lighter and clearer things become, that is, until the path narrows again and you’re back a the trench just like the last one, only this time you have grown more perspective. The following is a mythological interpretation of such a beginning. Take from it what you will. Look into her eyes. Pale moonlight skin. Dark hair and cloak. She reaches out, Come with me, holds out the dark blood apple. We reach for her hands. La Loba. The wild woman. Her face transforms into an old hag. She cackles. Hold on tight as she leads us through the forest, through the desert, through the ice. Drifting through a thousand lands and she still leads us, over a moonlit beach. A fern brushes my face. We are still in the forest. She turns, serpent face. A sly tongue darts out. She hisses. We follow still. The world comes up and washes over us. Transformation swirls inside. My head comes open, spilling out into the night sky and still she leads us – on and on – into the wild. Our wilderness. Wild lands. We open our eyes to pure white. We open again, lids peeling back like curtains to pitch blackness. We continue down the path. She sheds a million faces, reveals a million selves and the woods open up. Giant wings break free of her shoulder blades; tattered black feathers breathe. She takes flight and then turns on us. I am open. Her claws find our backs and we swoop into the sky. We fly forever. We know we will fall soon. She will let us go into our own metamorphosis. We reach the moon before she releases us to the drop. We fall. Fall. Wings break free from where her claws once touched. We cough and jolt simultaneously from our beds. A twig snaps beneath your foot. She is still leading us, on and on, through the forest. We are still starring into the mirror at the wild woman in our own eyes.

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