My encounter with Morrigan was one of the most stunning and disturbing experiences I ever had. And I finally managed to translate this huge piece !
At the Fall Equinox (Mabon) 2009 I went far away from y home in France to meet pagan friends and practice together. It was my first group ritual by the way. The story is VERY long. In the night we performed to guided meditation which tends to be chamanic travels (but I don’t know yet what we did exactly). The second was on a theme to fit the part of the year, the “dark” one, and we were supposed to go down in a cave and meet a Goddess and our other (dark) self.
The circumstances : Night in a public garden (park? square?). Huge cloth on the ground with all sorts of stones, candles, incense… Each one have an obsidienne stone to guide us. Two people are guiding with a tibetan bowl and a drum. I prefer to travel on y back, I keep the stone in my hands (on my belly as I remember).
What happened : A round door appears on the soil before us and Louve (the drummer feminine guide) opens the way, beginning the descent through the hole. In turn I step into it, and I see a spiral staircaise, with a very raw/rough earthy wall. I put my hand on it to go down more easily, and it beats like a pulse, like a heart other from mine – that of the Earth itself ? The descent is long and uneasy, but I see the person who came before me. Once downstairs, we come upon a great cave (cavern), with a mirror like lake in the middle. It’s very impressive because of the complete quietness, the emptyness and the silence that dwell. We come closer, we get into line and sit down. “Louve” asks us to close our eyes and to empty our minds, then to look into the water once it’s done. It happens very suddenly. The other have disappeared, I am alone on the edge, and I look at my reflection on the smooth surface, barely disturbed by my breath. All of a sudden it changes form : my reflection turns into brown-haired man ! I can’t recognised him, I think I don’t even know him. It’s weird because I can’t “freeze” the moving features, it’s too elusive, too quick. but “Louve” reassures us, tell us that is it all about seeing one’s Other Self. And so is my reflection, which from man turned into my own again. I look much closer, to try to go again, but then I transforms again, becoming a black shape, then figure : I identify as “Darth Vador”, with the little humor I’ve got left in this awe-inspiring situation. Once again, the features are very blurred…. I concentrate a lot, and I can only see a completely black figure with a black cloak which hides every possible body part and especially the face – like the traditional Reaper. I think She talks to me, but I can hear nothing but silence, I cannot distinguish her words, or I cannot understand. Am I afraid ? Deep in my soul I’m disturbed… At first that Man and now this black Figure. Everything happens very fast, everything is blurred, and I can’t hear ! I try to relax, to calm down, to tell myself that even if I can’t see my fellows there are here as well. So I look at the figure, the reflection, and I ask for her help. But once again, I can’t hear anything : no face then no lips moving, no sounds or vibrations, only silence and eerie quietness. Maybe it’s normal, maybe I’m not ready to listen, maybe I have to wait. Then I hear “Louve” telling us that time has come : we must stand up and cross the lake. I’m able to see the girls again, but only for a short while as I come closer to the edge again. I conjure up a small wooden boat (bark) with paddles : I embark carefully and I begin the crossing. It’s seems easy, I move forward with ease. The water it’s totally impressive, being from the most deep black I’ve ever seen, completely opaque, but really flowing/fluent, like any other water I’ve seen. We are supposed to see things during the crossing, maybe visions, beings, everything is possible. But I, I can’t see anything, on the contrary, the void is hard to bear. I feel terribly alone, the other are still invisible. And yet I have the feeling that there is something alive all around… – or maybe it’s the Cave itself which is alive ? or the lake ? Suddenly something happens : I can see waves on the surface. No ripples, but something that is above the surface, which “flies”… I can hear them, I hear sounds, voices, murmurings… I believe there is something below the surface, so I don’t paddle any longer, I simply observe. I’m around the middle of the lake, but there is nothing. Nothing more happens. I see nothing above as below, and I’m unable to distinguish precisely the voices or the words they say. I want to move again, to finish the crossing, but I now can’t manage to : the paddling don’t make the boat progress, I even have the impression that the other side’s edge is getting far : I’m stuck. I hear “Louve” saying that now we must be at the end of the journey, on the shore, and that we are going to meet a Goddess (depending on each one), that we should already be seen her, and also a cauldron… I can’t ! I can’t ! I’m freaking out : I’m on the water and so far away from the shore ! I cannot move forwards or even backwards. I try to go on sides, to do “bord à bord” (navigation technique when you’re against the wind), but it’s useless as well, my boat seems to move but I’m always at the same distance. I tell myself then that maybe I should swim, so I go off the boat without knocking it over and I try to swin forwards. But the water is icy cold, penetrating, and it is “inhibiting” (moving uneasy), I’m not at ease – and I also have the weird feeling that the lake has no bottom and can swallow me. I still hear the voices which, now that I’m in the water, are very close to me, all around, and I get the feeling there’s something under me. I think I’m scrared… my arms’ movements are totally vain, I don’t move any closer to the shore. So I come back to the boat and I get inside with much effort, and I try to paddle intensely… My eyes staring at the shore, I then see a cauldron waiting for me. This is the right step, I have to go there. Then I suddenly notice, just behind the cauldron, the black shape which looks like a reaper looking with insistance in my direction (even if she has no face). I know this is very important, and I think there is a deep meaning in all this, but I cannot understand. I’m crying. Am I talking to her ? Am I asking for help ? Maybe in my head… Staring is not helping, and there is still this profound silence, my total incomprehension, the inaccessible shore. I cannot do it, I know it, I feel it. I’m crying. So I turn back, making the boat turn round to cross towards the entrance. It is so frightening since this backward-crossing is all so hard ! I have the impression that the water is more dense : I have to paddle twice more to progress at a normal speed. And the shore sometimes seems to be very far, sometimes it even draws back. I can feel that some of the fellow girls are already upstairs, “Louve” is waiting for us all to come up again. All of a sudden, the boat disappears and I see myself on the other (beginning) shore, on the edge. So I come the stairs and go. Something has changed : the stairs are harder to climb and less reassuring than for the descent (with the warmth and pulse), and it seems so high ! I have the sensation that I will not be able to come out… And I have this burden on my shoulders, or behind me. The end of the tunnel is rendered surreal/unreal by the efforts it has cost to reach it. It’s very hard for me to close the round door, it’s so heavy and uneasy to handle. It’s even darker than when we depart. I feel like the cave deep under me feet is full of… things. All those things that I didn’t understand, and many that I didn’t see. Maybe the door is no sufficient to put them at distance. I go back to my place in the circle, to my body, but I need A LOT of time to calm down… I’m totally disturbed and I think tears pours on my cheeks.
As I wake up I shiver with cold, and I’m on the verge of tears because of the traumatising experience. I think I’m the last one to come back (except for another). We talk about what we saw, but shyly, my mouth is tight closed as the vision inhabits me (and I am in a deep transe). It’s to damp to stay and we made offerings and come back home.
It’s only months after that I understand what happened. First, my Other Self is really disturbed and I cannot access it. That’s why it has so many forms. Both the man, my normal reflection and the dark shape. Second, in fact Morrigan is an absolut shifter, without a proper face, always wearing masks. She got me there because She took the form of my Dark Side, and then revealed Herself but I couldn’t make the difference.