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I had the most amazing journey this morning. I have been working my way through a rather fabulous book titled The Spirit of Place by Loren Cruden, one of my favorite herbalist shamans. In it, there are weekly exercises that are to be repeated each day. Today was a journey up some stairs, into a hallway of doors, and into a room where you will find an object that you may or may not take with you when you leave.

I went up the stairs, and as I stepped onto each one, they previous one fell away. Carefully and quickly I entered into the hallway through a hole in the floor, much like a trap door. I was sure to secure the latch on the door to be safe. Then I proceeded to look at the doors on either end of the hallway. There were seven in all. I don’t recall what each one looked like, but they were all very lovely and interesting, however it was the wooden one with the snake on it that called to me.

Reaching out to turn the doorknob, the snake began moving toward my hand, and bit me as I turned the knob. The sensation was a bit unsettling, but the door was opened, so I stepped over the threshold.

Upon entering the room, I was completely surprised. It was like an opium den. The predominant color in the room was red. There were luxurious lounging areas, and people all around smoking from hookahs, dancing, and generally making mellow merry. The most interesting and frighteningly beautiful element was the eight armed Hindu goddess dancing off to the right. It was Durga.


durga mother warrior deity

I was offered refreshment, and accepted it, though a bit hesitantly…. It was pleasant and I could have easily gotten swept up into the festivities, but I remembered that I needed to find an object of special meaning to me. My eyes were immediately drawn a special metal teapot on a shelf to the left of the door. I went over and picked it up.

As I handled it, I contemplated whether or not to bring it with me. It seem the right thing to do, so I started to walk toward the door. As I did, Durga came up to me and touched me lightly on the arm. I turned to look at her beautiful face, and ended up staring into her third eye. As I did, I was blinded by a flash from her Ajna chakra. I could not see, but she sent me on my way anyway.

As I stumbled down the hallway, blind, I was only able to travel through by memory. I felt the trap door in the floor, and unlatched. Knowing that the stairs had fallen away on my way up, I decided to jump….. I floated down, down, down like Alice through the rabbit hole, holding the teapot in my hands. Then I returned…..