When I think of the day I left for the guild, I am filled with music…
and memories of great beauty…
I spent the day absorbing energy from the little settlement that I had grown so accustomed to. I don’t remember how long I had been there. But not a day went by that I didn’t count my blessings. Everything was so beautiful, everyone so kind; I had soaked up so many details, learned so many lessons, lived so many lives… all in such a brief while.
Some mornings I would get up early, a little before the sun, and go into the fields of wildflowers. I could sit there and listen for hours. There was always such beautiful music coming from them. And then the sun rise – a spectacular light show slowly coming up over the mountain further energized me. I could hear the sounds of life rejoicing to the new day; this always made me so happy; deep down, it made my soul smile.
These people had taken me in and taught me about the complex web of life, about energy and plants and about trees. They had treated me like family. I mean of course, somewhere along the way, we are all family, but it is still a lovely surprise to actually experience. And now another adventure was calling. The idea crept up on me that I was about to exchange familiarity with the unknown. Indeed, where would it take me?
I said my good-byes to the trees that had been so patient with me, been so loving and open. Great Hawk had spent many hours supervising my conversations with the trees.
“Hovovetaso,” he said, “someday people will come to you from all ends of the Earth to learn what I am teaching you today.”
I felt so honored to be the receiver of such wisdom and knowledge.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Great Hawk, thank you, thank you, thank you,” I said.
I went around and hugged all the trees as I bid them good-bye, burying a little gift at the base of their roots, a bit of tobacco as a sign of affection.
When I returned to camp, they had built a magnificent fire as the sun was going down. There, all my kinsfolk gathered to send me off. Great Hawk was there with the sage woman I had met earlier. They were holding items they wanted to give me, and signaled to me to come and get them. Great Hawk handed me a leather case. “Everything you need for your travels is in here, my child. We will be watching over your spirit.”
“It is so beautiful, Great Hawk” I said as I reached out to receive it. I could feel its good energy and knew it would be a blessing.
The sage woman did not speak, but handed me a little medicine bag, nodding her head as if to second Great Hawk; both were wearing big smiles. I sensed much excitement as many of the natives were positioning themselves around the fire, getting ready to dance.
I recognized the drummers from the evening before, but tonight there were also flute players and a couple beautiful singers. It was a magnificent event; we were celebrating life and coming together in this instant, and the movement of the rushing river that was taking each of us on our way…
There was a huge round halo in the sky around the full moon, which made my heart sing. The moon was so bright, the stars stayed hidden. The music now filling my ears, I focused my attention on the huge halo, when my friend the owl swooped down and picked me up with its claws. Before I knew it, the camp was but a speck of light. We flew to the top of the peak overlooking the camp. There owl left me in the good company of eagle, which, to my surprise transformed into a beautiful Indian whom I quickly recognized as Lives in the Woods, an old flame, a soul mate I had had a couple lives ago.
“Is that really you, Adahy?” I asked, calling him by his Cherokee name.
“It is me,” he reassured. “You are not seeing ghosts.”
I was overjoyed and a bit giddy. “Let me look at you. You are still so handsome.”
“And you are still so beautiful though a little less wild it seems.” He smiled, and we lost ourselves in each other’s gaze, like looking into a, infinite spiral. Next thing I knew, we were sitting on the ground, holding each other. “I told you, remember, that one day? that we would be together where the sky meets the Earth. That is where we are. I have come to wish you well on your journey. I know we will meet again, we always do, but I wanted to give you this.”
He handed me his compass, in a silver case with a beautiful star engraved on the front. “It will always help you find the light, steer you to your North, guide you through the unknown.”
I don’t know if he was crying or if I was looking at him through my own teary eyes, but there was a certain weepiness enveloping us at that moment; a real haze. Although the music from below was barely audible, we got up and danced a little.
He was as gentle as I remembered. Buried embers of passion were waking us. He whispered in my ear. I smiled and before I knew it we were rolling on the ground, covering each other with soft kisses… I awoke in the morning, as if from a marvelous dream, but Adahy was no longer with me. In addition to the compass, he had left me an old peace pipe he had carried for good measure, knowing how my temper could get me in trouble. Good old Adahy; thinking of him always lightened my mood.
I found myself at the bottom of the mountain, but on the other side. Before me were several signs pointing out directions… I followed one that pointed to “the Guild”. It took me to a clearing, where there was a big hot air balloon. An interesting looking chap with crazy hair and deep green eyes greeted me. “Hovovetaso, I have been waiting for you, so nice to meet you. Please get in, we are waiting for 3 other people. As soon as they arrive, we shall take flight.”
I loved flying in balloons. I wondered why I was not travelling on the eagle’s back, as originally planned, but I guessed it was all for the best. Then the balloon pilot, as if reading my thoughts said, “You have already covered much territory with the eagle. But the Guildmistress has asked that you arrive by means of a valid form of transportation. She has also asked me to mentor you. My name is Alo, or spiritual guide; he who looks up.” The Guildmistress would also like you to arrive in your manifested form, and not as a shapeshifter.”
“Oh heck, I so love shape-shifting.”
“Yes, we know, but you now need to focus your energy, and follow your path, one path. That is how you will learn the most now. Your opportunity now is to put together and use all you have gained in your past experiences, through time and space. Are you ready?”
“Oh yes, Alo, I am very ready.”
Just as we were talking the 3 other travelers arrived; all from another time and space, all explorers in their own right, or so I gathered. We set out shortly thereafter. It was so amazing, flying over tree tops and mountains, almost like flying on an eagle’s back, but not quite. We flew with the sun, until the it set, landing in the round Guild courtyard, a miniature paradise, full of activity.
We were enthusiastically greeted by several other guild travellers – all so warm and inviting! There was much excitement in the air, it was palpable, electric. I spied the Guildmistress approaching and felt a twinge of dread creep into my heart. She looked so stern.
“Perfect timing, dear, we are happy to have you here Hovo. I know so many of your ancestors, and am thrilled to meet you at last. We will need a moment together. I have some relics for you, that may help you with your travels, help you unwind the centuries you are carrying. Now, please remember, no shape shifting while you are here. You can change forms while travelling if that suits you, but while on these grounds dear, I must insist that you keep your preferred form. I have many young students here now, do you understand?”
“Yes, m’am,” I replied.
“Very well then, let me show you to your room; come this way please.”