Soul Retrieval

Earlier this week, I had a dream that continued beyond waking.

In the dream, I was exploring a strange landscape with a few friends. There was a low-key vibe of epic quest, if that makes sense; a feeling of weight and importance without an aggressive string section or bombastic drums.

The trip was some kind of magical training, a way of learning ways of being in the world. We were on our way home when we stopped at a sinkhole for one last exploration, into a labyrinth. We had to learn to change shape to navigate the twists and turns.

This is the bit where I woke up, winter sun poking me in the eye through an evidently too-thin sleep mask. But the dream held, and in it I encountered an ex of mine. The meeting was nervous, but not fearful. I looked at her and knew that I had left a piece of myself with her, and that here was an opportunity to take it back.

When she first appeared in the dream, she looked as she had when we were dating, years ago. I took her into my arms and gathered her in, willing myself to feel her as she had felt then. Still holding her, I stepped back, pulling my memory of her with me, into myself, and looking upon her and seeing her as she now is–or at least as she was the last time I saw her, several weeks back.

I told her what this was about, just before allowing myself to fully awaken. There were ways of being, of feeling, of exploring that I allowed myself when I was with her that I had not allowed myself since. If we are meant to learn things from our relationships (leaving aside for the moment the important question, “meant by whom?”), I learned things about myself with her that I associated so strongly with that relationship that I locked them away when we broke up.

This dream-act was my will to reclaim those parts of myself from the time/place in which I’d buried them.

First thing I did upon getting out of bed was to write The Black Heart.

The Black Heart of Innocence is a Feri thing, described by Victor Anderson, so:

How beautiful is the black, lascivious purity of small children and wild animals

I didn’t fully grasp it, when I was actively studying Feri. I could describe it; I had the intellectual definition down. But I didn’t know what it felt like, not until I retrieved a key piece of understanding it with this dream.

And thinking about it, this is what Melek Ta’us was giving me that time He stepped inside my skin when I was warding for someone else’s magic. I’d thought He was using me to get to her–and He was–but I did not appreciate what He gave me in doing so. I was so afraid of what I felt, even as I was going with it and giving in to it, that I did not see what He was opening in me, only what He was giving to her.

So much locked away in memory, buried treasure with only a fixation on the past to point the way.

What I learned of Feri practice was the cultivation of the Black Heart and the balancing of self so that it can safely manifest in life. I need to get back to that work.

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About Lon Sarver

Lon Sarver is a polytheist priest of Dionysos, living in the San Francisco Bay Area and contemplating (with a healthy amount of dread) making a second attempt at a career in Marriage and Family Therapy. View all posts by Lon Sarver

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