The following is a vision I had in meditation, when I met my first psychopompic friend, in 2007. I share it as a reminder of how the Otherworld can make connections, all we need to do is reach out for it.
As I walked toward the hill, a warm breeze sent shivers all over my body; a white gown was clinging as the wind pushed it against my skin. There were leaves, brown and dancing through the air. To my left, I heard an eagle cry, the sound vibrating off the distant mountains. I could smell the grass, very tender and sweet; like a strange candy.
As I approached the top of the green hill I saw several large does and a huge buck, with an equally impressive set of antlers. They beckoned me to follow, as they leaped over the tall grass towards the far-off woods. Not caring how to keep up, I followed running as fast as I could. As I ran I could feel my limbs turning into graceful legs, and I galloped with a freedom I’ve never experienced. I leapt to and fro, finding my new body much more graceful and agile. My nose was wet and I licked it with my new long tongue. As we flocked along the edge of the tree line, I saw other animals running in the same direction as my herd. There were rabbits, birds, foxes and other small, four legged creatures. At first I was frightened, thinking there could be danger, something chasing us. Then, I see predators running alongside the other animals.
Looking back over my torso I try to see what is driving us all when I realize the figure on the hill is directing us. Using my new eyes, I focused and saw a woman’s profile…her red hair whispering in the breezes. She was wearing buckskins, the fringe almost as burnished as her hair. She was directing all the animals towards a thicket in the middle of the vast meadow. A small running brook was the path for the animals to take… there was no human admittance.When I followed the other animals to the center of the wood, a smaller hill rose from the middle. Several standing stones encircled a man-ish creature. I was afraid to approach but was encouraged by my herd to attend. As I walked I returned to my human form again, wearing the white dress.
As I approached, I realized the ‘man’ was of green hue with soft hair covering His entire body. His face and figure reminded me much of my husband: goat-like beard, broad shouldered with a thick neck and barrel chest covered in hair. I found him very attractive, from his cloven hooves which were crossed in a full lotus posture, to the crown of antlers springing out from the top of His forehead on either side. His green glow emanated throughout the circle and He motioned for me to enter that sacred space.
As I stepped in, ripples of energy expanded out in all directions; much as when entering a pool. The waves bounced off the standing stones and returned to His heart at the center of the circle. Without moving his lips, he explained he was the Green Man, Father of all animals and wildlife, keeper of the sacred mysteries from the natural world. He would never harm me and wanted to welcome me, anytime. He explained that I was ‘with the deer people’ and they had always watched over me. I could call on their presence at any time and they will answer. He touched the feather I had braided into my hair; I could feel the warmth of His hand, radiating like a gentle sunbeam warming morning dew. He told me if I ever wished to return, to touch this feather with my left hand and find the hill again. The deer people will be waiting to guide me back to His forest’s heart again.
Since this time I have re-visited the Oaken halls of my Lord Cernunnos, with only recently feeling disconnected. Since I am no longer living in the woods and residing in the urban jungles of the San Francisco Bay Area, it has been difficult to feel His presence. As a wild and hunting God, Cernunnos embodies the same spirit as Odin, Woden, Ogma, Hermes, Mercury, the same sort of unpredictability found in liminal creatures from All Worlds. Why not be a Patron in the city as well? The Romans of Gaul equated him with Mercury; bestowing blessings of wealth, commerce, and a general financial growth with stability; as centers of posterity, cities were a common ground for many Gods with temples everywhere. And so I look to Cernunnos as Dis Pater in the throngs of metropolitan forests; along ghostly roads with shadowy corners, and the streams of commuters as veins in a living collective of spirits. In searching for Him the landscape is where I expected to find Him, when here He is in the humanity of progress.