ladderDave had been a business client for years. He exemplified upper management, drove a Cadillac, and looked like a model for GQ magazine. It was 1992. I was living in an old farm house on the crest of a mountain in the Columbia River Gorge. My clients commented on the peaceful drive along the Sandy River, telling me what an important inner transition it was.  I imagined Dave motoring along the river, as I rummaged through my closet, wondering what to wear. Deep in the corner hung the Native American ceremonial dress I was married in, more costume than daily wear, more dust catcher than useful. I kept it for its power and beauty. To my surprise, I found myself grabbing it from the hanger and slipping it over my head. 

Dave arrived on time, as punctual as ever. I offered tea and conversation, while noticing his change in attire. He no longer looked like Mr. GQ. He’d let his hair grow, wore turquoise jewelry and a loose fitting shirt over cotton pants. When I closed my eyes to read for him, I was aware of two distinct spirits. It surprised me so much I could not go forward.

Dave, Are you aware of the Indian that lives in you? I asked.

Yes. I’m so glad you said something because everyone else thinks I’m crazy. It happened a few months ago. I suddenly felt this desire to change myself. It is unexplainable, but I know exactly what you are seeing.

I could not do anything for Dave with the Indian in the way, so I stopped the reading.

Do you mind if I speak to him directly, to see what he wants and why he has come?

Please do. I want to know as well.

I made a bed on the floor from a yoga mat and blanket, and watched Dave lower his broad-shouldered body on to the mat, his manicured fingers neatly folded by his side. I sat on the floor next to him with one hand above his heart, another above his belly, and led him through a relaxation exercise.

Feel the welcome weight of the blanket that covers you. Breathe deeper still. Now, let yourself be held in the welcome arms of the earth. When Dave was cocooned and protected, I opened the channel between dimensions and summoned the Indian. I was rooted, calm and centered. I waited and listened, staying neutral and receptive. Then, an unexpected burst of energy literally swept me into another time and place, very much like being in a dream where daily reality ceases, and dream reality becomes total and all that is.

 I was walking with my Indian husband along a barely visible trail. Wind blew against silence, the only sound – a distant cracking of ice. We moved raw and slow through a towering canyon, stone spires and red rock sitting broken and piled below snow coated cliffs, the sky, pale and grey. I felt ice melting against my hair, as I lowered my face into the warm comfort of my buffalo robe. He and I walked heavy with things unsaid, and no voice to say them. I felt pained and inconsolable. Our only child lay buried under mounds of rock, while we moved on in search of food and shelter, our resources depleted.  His love for me was total, as mine was for him. I made a home in that knowledge. I made a life in it. There was no questioning or doubt. The experience of our love was unlike anything I have ever known, or come close to knowing in this life. It filled me.

That’s all there was, a glimpse, a moment, a lifetime. I was fully there, and than I was not. I was drawn back as rapidly as I’d left, my body jerking, small volts of electricity pulsing through my veins. My whole body felt burned, as if I’d stood too near the sun. I fell apart, and wept as if my heart had been cut. I could not console myself and was horrified that I was still in session. Poor Dave was working to bring himself out of trance to attend me. What happened? What happened, he repeated, again and again. What can I do for you?  I rocked back and forth, howling with grief for a dead child and a lost love, my knees pulled against my chest, arms wrapped around them like a teddy bear. 

I know that spirit. I know him, is all I could say. Please go now. I will finish your session another time.

shovel1Dave was reluctant to leave. I insisted. My world was falling apart. My boundaries were shattered. After he left, I paced like an animal. I shivered, felt feverish and sick. I went to the bathroom to find a homeopathic to calm myself, looked in the mirror and saw for the first time the irony of my attire. I had put on my Indian print wedding dress to meet my Native American husband from another dimension. I ripped off the dress, got a shovel and buried it deep in the yard. I didn’t want to have anything to do with a garment that could transport me instantly from one reality to another. I wanted to be in control. I went to bed and stayed there for several days. My body burned, my energy circuits fried.

Dave called often to see how I was, but I didn’t answer. I was afraid of him too, afraid that he could somehow pull me back into that place that made reality dissolve. I phoned him after a week, but didn’t put him back on the schedule for a full month. I needed to work up to it.

When I did see Dave, he looked more himself. Apparently the Indian had moved on, his visit complete. Dave brought a photograph with him of a man called, Black Eagle from the Nez Perce tribe. I knew what he looked like, he told me, so I went to the library to do some research, and there he was.

I held the photo in my hands. It was, without doubt, the face I had seen.

You can keep it, Dave said. And so I did.

Sometimes I place it on my altar and speak with him. Other times I put it away, because his presence feels too strong, yet he is always around. Black Eagle has appeared independently to friends, and once to a client doing a vision quest. He offers support and love to them, sometimes conveying messages to me.

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