Pagan Pride

THE GAME (Part 4)


And so I moved on, I had been gripped with an urge to travel and I found a need for anonymity and open space without the difficulty of a cultural chasm. For this reason America fitted the bill - I would be able to travel and still devote my time to study without encumbering myself with daily living. This was not how it turned out to be - I found that the daily tasks of finding somewhere to sleep and something to eat BECAME the magical journey. But in my mind I was a wanderer in the wastes, sometimes of humanity, sometimes nature and perpetually of my own empty spirit. The book I want to write, "On A Line Of Light" will chronicle my travels in great detail so my aim here is only to sketch out my magickal achievements during my journey across the expanse of America and into the home of my heart I found in Banff, Alberta, high in the Rocky Mountains.

Most of the cities did little to inspire me but out on the plains of South Dakota was where my spiritual life returned in abundance. I had very many dreams and visions during my four months of travel but by the time I hit South Dakota I was indeed ready to take stock. The demons were confirmed to have left me now, I suffered a few old dreams and often lived in the shadow of those dark years but it was clear that in the here and now they were gone. It was clear also that I was deeply lacking something vital, I was of the vague feeling that I was dying in the world and it came to me in a sequence of dreams I had during my brief settling in Minneapolis that my spirit was not with me. This was very unsettling to me and as a brief encounter bloomed into a love affair it became clear that I could not consummate the relationship beyond the physical and emotional. A long day of meditation and night of ritual work with what limited resources I had resulted in my conviction that I would have to set out on a journey of some sort to discover what my affliction was and how to cure it. What seemed like ill fortune but what was really the natural process of necessity overtook me and I found myself without a penny and absolutely homeless. I took to the plains to camp where I could and I pitched my tent in a bare and open area which, I later discovered, was over 30 miles from civilisation and 15 from the nearest road. I supported myself by eating nuts, berries and grasses which I boiled. I lasted 3 days before I became ill and a further four during which I underwent a series of deep transformations and long hallucinatory journeys in the delirium of my illness. I recorded much in my diary but a great deal is all but incomprehensible though I reproduce some here:

"It is so cold I cannot remain in this physical world. The spirit land comes to claim me - will this be the last time? Will I remain forever? I see a great cloud, it is in the East, there is light. Then the faces are there, fathers in the sky. Two eagles. A feather. I am in water and I am drowning, I try to swim upwards but direction has no meaning. I follow a fish, a long pike. We go deeper, under weeds and into a cave. Water in my lungs. Eagles are here too."

There are some 40 or 50 notebook pages along these lines for each day in the four but on the last night a vision comes and I say that to this day I cannot tell if it was real (as in physical) or purely visionary and spiritual but in my article "The Great Vision" I have assimilated most of the notes though I am yet to write a full interpretation of them. The thrust of it all was that I discovered that I had become disconnected from my spirit during my depression at university. I have the idea that I did this myself in order to protect my true being while I anihilated my personality and after I had banished my demons at last I had been unable to reconnect to my spirit thus I wandered lost through the world. Don't get me wrong, I had a wonderful time travelling and had some fabulous experiences but it was here, on the empty plains, that I was told I had been dying inside through lack of spirit. It must be said also that the interpretation I now lay upon this vision has been built up with much thought since it happened and it did not make complete sense to me at the time it was happening. Nevertheless i was back in spirit and while the effects weren't instant they were long term and far reaching. I became well again which is in itself bordering on the miraculous considering how ill I had been with hunger, frostbite and some sort of dysentry. I packed up my things, broke camp and hiked to the road and back (in my words from the time) "into the world of men" . . . . .

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