June 1993: Ereshkigal

(Written in June of 1993, in  Writers Group: a guided meditation, I can’t remember now if it was something I read out loud, or something that was on a tape.)
I was on a mountainside, by a stream, a view out over wide plains, very tall trees on the other side.  I follow the path over the shoulder of the mountain and come to a narrow rocky ravine.  The cave is between two bastions of rock, it’s hard to get to, and narrows quickly.  Soon I have to crawl, but I’m also aware of points of gold light, so though I feel a little claustrophobic I’m willing to stay there.  Raccoon comes to me in the darkness and leads me to a place where the cave gets wider, and is lit with an unearthly radiance.  The light is cool and bright, coming from every direction, not like daylight.  I see a bright figure on a petaled throne.  It is Inanna, she is quite beautiful and so bright that I can hardly see her.  She has smooth dark skin, like an Indian.  But when I ask if she is my guide, she takes my hand and leads me to Ereshkigal.  Ereshkigal I couldn’t see very well, she was dark and gnarled, I would say ugly, but I couldn’t see well enough to tell.
Why have you come to me at this time?  — So you will know the pain and rage of the buried sister.
What do you require of me?  — Honesty.
What more is required for me to become fully engaged with this process?  —Listen carefully.  I am not very articulate so I must stumble for words.  If it were a painting there would be a fine gold line dividing two enormous darknesses, like the cave that you entered.  You must go into the darkness to find the light.
No, Damn, I’m willing to listen, but this all sounds like the most godawful platitudes.  I know the pain and rage of the buried sister.  Surely there’s something more here, something I’m missing.  What do you really have to say to me?
—Something about the power of anger, how to use it correctly, how to burn up what should be burned.  You were angry at your friend today for whining.  Correct use, correct use.  “That’s what it costs” you said.  That’s what I say to you, that’s what it costs, that’s what it costs to live.  It’s hard to be yourself, to really be authentic, to stand for yourself against all the pressures telling you that you’re wrong, crazy, isolated, sinful, selfish.  Selfish, by god — yes I say be selfish, be authentic self.  Jesus didn’t die on the cross so you could be Jesus-clone, he died so you could be Jenny.  You must pay the price to be Jenny.  The price is poor health and lack of understanding from society, the price is that many people will not notice you, and many others will be threatened, still others will be jealous and try to tear you down.  The reward is great depth of perception, great power in expressing what you see, and the glorious moments of bringing through a truth from the shamanic world.    The price is self-doubt, and conflict, a struggle to keep your balance among the great spinning wheels, constant effort to see truly, rejection of easy answers.  The reward is the satisfaction of encountering truth: bone-hard, bone-deep.

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