Joseph Campbell suggested that the “Call” to the mythological inner journey is usually an invitation by an animal ally. Mine came in 1993, after studying shamanism with Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval, at a retreat in Montana and again at Brighten Bush hot springs in Oregon.
I was an unusual skeptic at first. Sandra was encouraging, “just stay open. Your animal ally WILL come.” I returned to Oakland, California excited about being on the journey of awakening. Within a couple months, I had the following experiences.
In the spring of 1993, I was washing dishes on a Saturday afternoon in Oakland, California. I worked as a Social Worker, IV, for Children’s Protective Services. My husband was out hiking. I had the house to myself and thus, the luxury to take in the following experience without interruption or interpretation.
I began to feel the ground shake beneath my feet and the thundering hooves of a herd of wild horses were galloping towards me, and they were not on the earth, either. They appeared as a vision in the blue sky. These horses were “Spirit Horses” that could travel magically in the air. I didn’t particularly see wings and yet, I felt the power of a group of horse, full of wildness, endurance and strength, galloping at quite a clip, together, in unison. Delight filled my upper torso, heart, navel, WOW. Sandra said they would come!
The lead horse, a big black majestic horse gazed in my direction and without any words communicated, “it is time to journey.” In one fell swoop he had captured my attention – my focus and we were off galloping at full speed. I had one foot on the earth and one foot in the non-ordinary world. The wind filled my nostrils and lungs with fast wind, ‘prana’ the sacred breath of life. Clutching his corse mane with white knuckles I was on the journey of a life time. We rode fast and with such ease, bareback.
The Big black majestic horse and I galloped straight through the sky before turning and diving, single pointedly, directly and fervently into the living body of the Earth, our Mother Earth, our Mother Earth Goddess into the abyss.
I was aware of an exhilaration I had never experienced before, seems as if I waited my whole life for this propitious moment. We dove into the living breathing body the earth, and a spiritual consciousness embraced the horse and I, the rider, we became one.
Upon my return my entire matrix felt as if I had just conducted a soul retrieval, three to be exact. A young 3 year old, 5 year old and 15 year old, each with emotional needs that required I pay attention, to attune to how to take care of these, seemingly separate but intimate little beings, wounded in the heart. It took my breath away and I knew that I had just come home to myself. This marked the beginning of many years of living in two worlds: the world of the shaman, and the world of ordinary human life. I am she who walks in two worlds. In my lineage, when you are called, you will be taken. Resistance is futile. The spirit horses are away of life for me, for they bring my life.