Despite a lifetime of atheism, in the summer of 2020, I was called by The Morrigan, a prehistoric Irish goddess of war, death, prophecy, and magic. This is my story of being called by Her (and eventually our work together).
You can go back to the last part here.
Or you can go all the way back to where the journey begins in the link here.
Today I understand more than I did in the summer of 2020.
I don't understand everything—I don't understand MOST things, really—and I've given up attempting to understand those things that seem to exist in the liminal space of what can be quite easily explained with transpersonal psychology, and what in the 21st century we're calling supernatural. These days I can look back on some of what was happening that summer, and at least understand the fundamentals.
At the time, of course, I had no idea.
Learning to close and open ("shields up") was a fundamental shift for me in whatever the hell was going on. I didn't know what I had met in my dreams or if its explanation of what was happening was accurate, but it worked. Whether it was a mindset or actually magic, it worked. I was again able to do simple things like go grocery shopping without being overwhelmed by people's energy. I could sit in a drive-through without sensing everyone's impatience. I could talk to someone I sensed malevolent intentions from without my skin crawling in revulsion. I could go about my life.
But I also had to learn new ways of doing almost everything. I was undergoing a transformation, and my old habits no longer served me. I couldn't eat in the same way I had before. Junk food was abhorrent to me—I could handle some salty, but greasy and fatty would make me sick, and didn't taste good anymore. I didn't dislike sweets, but I'd lost all cravings for it. I could barely stand how bright and vivid colors were and how intense music sounded. Light seemed too bright. Simple tactile sensations felt like almost as much as I could stand. I came home from work every night, ate bland food and raw vegetables, and tried to figure out how magic worked.
I had trouble sleeping—shaken awake night after night by dreams of a woman (or women) in black. After she taught me how to close myself, so I could (mostly) function from day to day, she went back to saying cryptic shit about how I needed to open my eyes and know her.
After a month it had begun to pass the point of an oddity and a novelty. I was starting to get desperate. I was hearing voices. My entire taste palette had been scrambled—my favorite foods made me sick. I couldn't sleep through the night. I felt drenched in how unhappy most people were. And the volume on sensation had been turned up too high.
I was still Chris The Little Skeptic™ at this point. For me, magic was a concentration of will that steered the unconscious. Spells were rituals of focus. Accoutrements were affectations. This all had a perfectly reasonable explanation. And I wasn't quite ready to imagine that something outside of me was trying to get my attention. I thought I was working something desperately urgent out in the deep corners of my psychology at night, and this woman represented something that I needed to grapple with.
But my confidence that I had all the answers was wavering. Magic was working for me in ways that were technically not impossible, but at least seemed implausible in their statistical improbability. I was experiencing more and more events that were not so easy to dismiss as an overactive imagination. Maybe…just maybe there was something beyond what I could easily and rationally explain as purely natural. One way or another though, I had to figure it out. My life was upside down, and I was sure I was going crazy.
I desperately reached out to all the magic practitioners I knew to help me figure out what was going on, and their advice was unanimous.
"Something is trying to contact you."
I felt a curl of terror corkscrew up my spine.
All the people I talked to had differing advice about how careful to be and what I should do about something trying to contact me (from warding my bedroom to invoking protective spirits), but they all agreed about what was happening.
"How do I figure out what she is?" I asked one of them.
"Have you you tried asking her?" she said.
I hadn't. It hadn't even occurred to me. I knew how to lucid dream at least to the point where I could control myself. Why hadn't I simply asked?
That night I fell asleep with a mantra going through my head. "Who are you? Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?"
In the dream I stood on an ancient battlefield after the carnage had completed. Bodies and arrows and swords and spears and shields littered the ground all around me, and in the distance a fire burned and curls of black smoke smudged the sky. Crows (or ravens, I thought, but now I know it was crows) stood cawing amidst the bodies, bloodcurdling caws that sounded like screams. In particular five of them began to hop towards me, and they transformed into five women wearing black. The one in the front—the one that most often did the talking to me—wore something between a duster and a dress (with open legs) over leather armor.
"You must prepare for battle," she said. "You must know me."
I could feel the dream fading away, but I suddenly realized I was dreaming. I remembered what I had to ask.
"Who are you?" I asked. "Who are you? Who are you?"
Her eyes looked at mine. "I am She. I am Queen. I am many. I am all. Among us you can call me…"
I woke up twisted into my sheets, my hands clenched into fists around my blanket, with jagged breaths hitching out of me.
But I had heard it…in those last seconds between dream and wake, I'd heard a name. A name that I had never heard before.
[More to come soon…]