Embodying the Phoenix – Part One: Discovery
The Phoenix is a mythical bird known by many in today’s world thanks in a large part to the writings of J.K. Rowling and her Harry Potter franchise. However, the myth of the phoenix dates back as far as Ancient Egypt. It is a beautiful bird that lives its life and then it cycles from one life to another by bursting into flames and being reborn from the ashes. Parallels to this could also be drawn to George R.R. Martin’s character of Daenerys Targaryen when she sits upon the funeral pyre of her love, Khal Drogo, rises from the ashes stronger and more determined than ever before, the Mother of Dragons. In my life I have a more intimate connection to the phoenix.
When I was beginning my healing journey I was called to Shamanic Journeying. Feeling without explanation or any true connection to my ancestral line, that there was ancient Shamanic blood flowing through my veins. Confirmation of which only given through Tarot readings, and a connection to the Spirit Realm. I had only my intuition to guide me, and let me tell you right here and now, for a very logical and analytical person, learning to trust the other side of me, the psychic side, the intuitive side, has been a feat of monumental proportions. I am still learning to do this every single day, but I know that as the saying goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Call it bravado if you must, but I truly believe that everyone’s lives, in their entirety, constitute their own personal Rome. We are built by what we are taught, the love we are shown, the lessons we are learning, and when we are grown, we set out to teach ourselves, discover ourselves, and continue to work away at the beauty that is our lives. Perhaps I see the world in rose-colored glasses to you but let me tell you a little something about how I came to see myself and the world around me like this.
It began in the winter of 2020, with a YouTube guided shamanic journey to discover my spirit animal. Now here again I am going to place a caveat to this story. I believe that we have more than one spirit animal in our lives. I believe that throughout life we are pulled to fascination or a love of an animal because there are qualities and spiritual significances to these animals that are serving a higher purpose for our soul’s growth. That being said, at the time, and still today, my favorite animal is an owl. I cannot tell you why I began loving the owl so deeply, but I can tell you that it started, this love affair, very firmly in the winter of 2015, prior to that I would have likely said the Siberian Tiger or a Peacock. Something that you aren’t supposed to do when you go into a Shamanic Journey of discovery is attaching expectation of the outcome. Try as I might, I truly expected my spirit animal to be discovered to be an owl. It was the only logical explanation. That was not what happened.
Clairvoyant visions for me tend to be the ones that I am able to remember with crystal clarity. Some are mysteries to me, some are future visions, and some are pieces of my inner self, pieces of my soul, manifesting in a movie-like scenario played in my head, seen by my third eye, and burned in my memory as though I have actually lived that moment. My journey was one in which I have replayed, I have revisited the cave, I have heard the drums, felt the heat of the fire, the cool of the water, and the wildness within my own heart and soul time and time again. As the drums began their beat, the guidance was minimal, simply asking to imagine yourself in nature. Where I found myself was on a cliff top in the Yellowstone Mountains, up in Montana’s Glacier National Park. I was staring down off the edge of the cliff into the deepest turquoise and aqua waters, clear and cool and natural. It was a place entirely untouched by modern man, and the wild was tangible in the air, as was the magic.
Without thinking I threw my arms out, took a beautiful swan dive into the lake below, a good 500-foot drop, with no fear in my veins. Diving deep and resurfacing, I found myself climbing onto the stone edge, and sunning myself dry. Looking down I was wearing a shimmering blue and white dress, almost as though it was made of droplets of water itself. That was when I looked around and saw the mouth of a cave hidden behind a waterfall. The drumming was coming out of the cave, beckoning to me. Magickal music notes swirling all around me in the air, pulling me forward into the mouth of the cave. There in the antechamber was a shaman, sitting by a roaring fire, beating the drums, faster. My body began to move and flow with the music as I began dancing my way forward.
Out of the left corner of my eye there was another woman, beautifully radiant, dancing her way down an offshoot of the antechamber. I began mirroring her motions, lunging forward, twirling, and moving through the tunnel. It was lit and on each side were men, ancient shamanic elder statues, giantlike in appearance, comforting in presence, all playing their drums for me and for her. When we reached the end of the tunnel it opened into a glistening chamber and she turned to me. Her flowing red hair fell in waves around her face, down her shoulders and to her lower back. Her dress was as mine was, but she had beautiful iridescent wings behind her.
She looked me in the eye, exuding more love than I had known possible, and said, “I am your compassion. It is time we are joined together.”
At that, she spread her arms out to me, embraced me, and melted into my being, joining us together. I felt no sadness at her disappearance, only a deep sense of comfort for it was as though a part of my soul had returned to me once again. I returned to the dance of the drums and returned to the antechamber once more. When I was once again in front of the shaman, and out of the corner of my right eye I saw another tunnel. There was a glowing ball of violet light, pulsing at the end of the tunnel. Knowing it was my mission to walk forward, knowing that ball was there for me, I walked with purpose down the blackened, blinding tunnel.
Leaning down to pick up the orb, I heard a gentle whisper of, “I am your love,” and the orb beat to the rhythm of my heart. I did not look at it, for it was not meant to be glimpsed in the darkness of the cave. Returning to the antechamber suddenly there were versions of myself dancing around the roaring fire and the shaman, still beating his drum.
The rhythm of their feat beat words into my head, and I knew that to go out I must first go through. I stepped into the fire. There was no pain, but there was a deep cleansing. The purple orb fell from my hands as my arms lifted high to the ceiling, tears spilling down my cheek for the profound nature of the experience.
Upon hearing this, I stepped forth, out of the cave. The waterfall parted around me like an iridescent curtain. The sun beat down on me with love and pride, as I looked and there on my shoulder was the most beautiful phoenix. Purple and golden plumage, spreading it’s wings to soar into the sky, and at that moment I felt my heart soaring with it.
The drums called me back, brought me from my journey, out of my vision, and back into my body. Immediately I began feverishly writing down my experience. Feeling the purity of it, the beauty of it. I never expected the phoenix to be one of my spirit animals, though I feel now that I should not have been shocked by it. For I, like the phoenix, have shed much of myself, my old ways of being and feeling, my old self-limiting beliefs and traumas, and have each time been birthed anew into who I am becoming.
Rome was not built in a day. My being, my authentic self, my truth, my passions, who I am as a soul, it was not built in a day. It has been built over many lifetimes, for I believe in reincarnation. It has been built over many losses, trials, temptations, hardships, wrong doings of my own, and many traumatic experiences in this and many other lives. I was not built in a day, nor was Rome, but both are beautiful works of magick and art.
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