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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Bright Wolf

Light in the cave of the denigrated slain

“Come with me”, her eyes tracing deeply into mine. “There’s a place I need to take you to”.

I follow her down the trail towards the mouth of a sunken cave. She sits like a perfect statue, wrapping her thick tail around her legs, ushering me to go in alone.

For a moment she looks still and far away, reminding me of a regal guard dog, seated outside of temples in ancient times. But she was not far at all, she had gone deep within her own mind to watch my initiation with the others.

I brush my fingers through the thick of her wolfen fur and stand before the caves entrance, not knowing what is to come.

On this path; as I keep going.. an understanding is revealed that I will never know.

And I am being taught to embrace all the dark and glittering mysteries that Spirit places before me.

In every dark place I have travelled; there has always been magnificent treasures that has reignited a fire in my Soul.

A cool primordial air parts from the caves mouth, and I sense an untouchable darkness in its breath as it wraps itself around my waist and pulls me in…

As I enter, I step into a world of vast shadows, an Inipi to the cosmos, a cavern of mind mirrors and the denigrated slain.

I could not see, blanketed in the thickest veil of black.. but I could hear and sense unusual movements dancing in the darkness.

It is not the monsters in the cave that I need to worry about, it is the monsters of my own mind.

The watery walls drip with mineral deposits and my footsteps deafening against the abyss, betray my instinct to run and hide.

I feel myself being watched by an other-world and a shiver reaches up from the base of my spine to the top of my head, burning my cheeks.

The hairs on the back of my neck stand up to warn me that the veil between worlds are slipping.

Something brushes up against me, a feathery wing sweeps across my shoulder, then, a dense scratchy bouldering weight pushed against my leg, passing me unaware.

I freeze.. wishing that I could disappear.

Faces begin to appear to in the abyss, contorted and twisted, they swim in and out of my visions, pushing me and clutching at me.

I see their pain; a flash of their lives invade my mind. I am witnessed to cruelty, unmet grief, unlived lives, betrayal, shame and anger..

I hear their cries and curdling voices, hands and mouths grasping and reaching towards the eye of the storm to break.

A light turns on just above me and it is as though it was turned on at the deepest depths of the ocean where skeletal sea life are lost for eternity… and the attention of the crying ones suddenly turn to me.

This has been the case for me since I was a child and I remember very clearly a point when I stopped being scared, I had had enough, I felt I was being haunted, but it was not the case, I had to help them and so one day I decided to look back and talk back.

I stood alone in a circle of ghostly figures and realised that they were needing to be seen.

They were moths who had found a flame and were desperately tried to fly into my fire.

I was in charge and they were suffering.

“Please”, they said.. “Please”, they pulled… “Please!” they cried…

I stood silently and gathered myself, I focused on the light above me, and the light above that one, and beyond that one, until I hit a wall.

My arms reached up on either side of me and reached into the holiest of places. Feeling the wall, I broke through.. and the breath opened above us.

Shining on every dark place, reflecting off the stalactites that lay above me like wizard hats threatened to fall.

Off they went, one by one, home.

When all was done, an ancestor approached me with a warm smile,

“Make this”, he said, and he handed me a red drum.

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