“I leave my body, each time knowing that there is a chance I might not make it back.”
— Sarah Anne Lawless, For Fear of Flying
“How much of this was ‘real’? I had enough anglo blood in my veins to worry about this a moment on my way down the hill. But I quickly decided, what difference would it make if the vision were ‘real’? Would its power be diminished if it were not? And by what means could I quantify its reality?”
— Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D., Coyote Medicine
Yes, exactly (I feel like I’ve been using that phrase a lot here lately).
I have been reading a lot on journey work, the fear that holds one back, and the small death of soul flight. The choice and the being taken. Yes, those who walk this path don’t always get the choice. So, why? That is the question I pondered post readings, and I am not so sure there is a simple answer. Yes, some do so for knowledge, of course.. but there is also service, calling, and/or an exchange of sorts. For me, personally, I would have to say that it is just so much a part of who I am spiritually. It is who I was before I knew it was.. and when I figured it, it was like a door unlocked. It was like coming home. I used to think anyone could work journey, now sometimes I wonder if that is so. Maybe it is like any other, some are inclined and some or not. Of course, one wouldn’t know that until they tried. Sometimes I can feel people who are more so. It’s like the spirits whisper around them.. and often they find their way to me somehow or other. Which brings me to the fear and often I am asked about it.. the fear that holds one back.. and it always comes back to that why. Why still, if given the choice, do you choose to do it.. knowing there are dangers? My answer has to be simply this.. why would I want to practice what for me would be an empty spiritual?
Of course, there are protections..protections to put on the body and those to carry with you. I would be the first to admit that I am not the best at active protections. I have a good relationship with those that I work with and mostly I am secure in that. I do have, however, a hedge bag that I have used for as long as I have actively journeyed and something protective on hand bedside for as long as I realized that I was being pulled in my sleep. My hedge bag is tethered to my hedge jar as mentioned in previous, and it has been altered very little over the past few years. Recently, that had all changed.. my altar had a major shift, much was moving about in relation to those I worked with, and my jar had quite an overhaul. The bag, of course, needed to follow.
It took me a bit longer to get to it than I would have liked with life spending much of it’s time on interrupt, but I finally felt time was ready. I laid out all those things previous.. the herbs, feather, and bone.. bits of this and pieces of that. I spread them all out and saged, occasionally getting up to bring things to the table. I spent much time feeling about the items and finally was able to put the bag back together, much simplified. A pinch of crossing herbs, the bear root, and the piece of spider made their way back in. I added a bit of mandrake root gifted to me by Heron some time ago.. she must’ve known. I have always been attracted to roots of all kinds.. even those some would consider more mundane but mandrake has been very important in my journeys of late and so it was perfect. The cactus spine and a beachcombed holey shell went next. I switched my rabbit fur bag for a much smaller deerskin bag.. it just felt needed. I added a rabbit bone, crow and jay feather to the fringe and called it done.