This weekend, I took a shamanic journeying class. The first day was only so-so, but today was great. I'll write about lots of techniques I learned later, but first I want to tell you about the last thing we did (because sometimes I'm just backwards like that)
Here's the basic technique:
You go down to the underworld, and you conjure three fears/blocks/things-that-holds-you-back to manifest appearance as combatant monsters. Then, you fight them. You fight and fight, as hard as you can, and then, just when you're going to win, you surrender, knowing that they only have power over you because you let them. Then they kill you, and you're dead. Then you ascend, and you look down at your body, and you're dead, and you get dismembered, and that sucks. Then you go up, up, up, and then you're in the Above, and all the spirits, all the powers, all the gods and all the angels, and the totems and the ancestors and the past lives and the future selves and all the everyone is there, and they make you a new body, and then that's good. Then you have to grab a hold of the shiny new spirit archetype of your new self and breathe it in, and then you some back to the world.
Here's how mine went. I went down, down, down. I sank and sank. I was the center of the earth. Baphemut was there. (I'll explain why I spell it that way in a future post...there's a reason) I asked him to help me conjure my opponents, and he asked me what I was ready to give up. I said three things, which I'm not going to tell you, but you'll probably be able to tell from their monster-forms.
I shifted into a snarling wolf-monster; it was just like the Gmork from Never Ending Story, which used to terrify me when I was little. It might have been Fenrir, or else it was just Fenrir-like. (I did not make the Fenrir association at the time). I don't want to tell you about the second monster right now. The third monster was a disgusting oozing worm-thing named Nig-Sluggoth. (not Yog-Sothoth)
I battled them. I was like Simon Zealot, the warrior-magician, all spinning kicks and lunges. I battled them like River from Firefly, ballet swords flashing. I battled them like St George fighting the dragon (which is weird, because I NEVER do Saint work). Finally, I remembered that I was supposed to not win. I sat down, and became a tree, a tall tree, growing up. And then I was dead. Baphemut came, and picked up my body and strapped it to a big X shaped harness (I saw one at the BDSM club once, but I don't know what it's called). Baphemut whipped me (which sucked a whole lot...I'm very very not into that) I screamed and cried and it was very horrible. I'm think I moaned and writhed a lot IRL.
Then I was dead, and Baphemut took me down and held me in his arms (he was very large). Then he kissed me, and then he swallowed me, and then I was him (her?), and I was pregnant with myself, and then I had to give birth to myself, which was very hard. And then I was done, and very, very sore and tired and thirsty. I hurt everywhere now.
Afterward, on the way home, I had a vision about my lost mojo. When I was little, I had a giant yellow teddybear. His name was Bear (I was not a very creative child). I carried him around for a long time. When I moved out of Broadway Ave in Pittsburgh, I carefully put him in a box I called my pirate trunk. It was a leather covered trunk which looked like it had been underwater. When I moved, the trunk got very wet, and Bear was covered in mold and partially rotted away. I threw him out, and didn't think anything of it. I think that's when I lost my mojo. I'm going to try to make restitution to Bear and see if he'll take me back.