HOW I MET MY GRANDFATHER
ON AN ENDURANCE RIDE
IN THE TAOS WILDERNESS
There is a strict protocol to follow prior to the actual taking of a journey. First, you start by smudging. This is done with a sage stick, which is lit and then the flame blown out, leaving a thick trail of scented smoke. One can smudge oneself, which is always advisable before a journey, by outlining one’s body on the sides, and then going up and down front and back, with the smoke. One can smudge a room, a home, any space at all. It is done primarily for protection, and to keep bad spirits out.
Then, using an Indian rattle, you begin to whistle as you shake the rattle in the four different directions. This is done to invite good spirits in.
At Rorie’s suggestion, I wore a blindfold after this. Once I was done with the smudging and rattling, I laid down and listened to meditation music. It is instrumental, and may be described as New Age. There is also some very nice Native American music, including flute solos, which is conducive to journeying.
I laid down and shut my eyes behind the blindfold. Suddenly, I was in front of a cave. Without understanding why, I knew I was supposed to go inside. Before I did, a beautiful white stallion came up to me and I mounted him. He lifted his legs and we began flying through the cave, which was very dark. I had no idea where we were going, but I wasn’t afraid.
At last, we came out on the other side of the cave. The land was barren, with a large rock formation on the right. Standing in front of me was a tall, imposing man, dressed in Indian regalia, all red and white, with a headdress that consisted of white feathers that hung behind him to the ground.
He called me his daughter, and asked me to sit with him. Two other people appeared, a man and a woman, both Native Americans, dressed in Native American attire. I had seen these people in my dreams at night. They would appear and give me messages, then disappear again. They seemed happy to see me.
My grandfather (for this is what I knew him to be) gestured to the left with his arm. From there, I saw a large group of Indians coming towards me.
“This is your family,” he said.
I don’t know how long I spent there with them. It seemed a short time before Rorie was calling me back, telling me it was time to return. Magically, the white stallion reappeared.
“He is a gift from me to you,” my grandfather said.
I thanked him and mounted the horse, who lifted his legs once more as we flew back through the dark cave. I was only aware of the cold air rushing past me, and of dark, wet stone on either side of me.
Then I was removing my blindfold and sitting up.
“How was it?” Rorie asked.
“Amazing,” I said. I told her what had happened, and she explained that during my endurance ride I had experienced a spontaneous journey.
It was all pretty crazy. But somehow it all made sense.
I was to journey many more times. Each time, I was met by the white stallion, who took me through the cave to the barren land where my grandfather awaited me. He told me many things.
And then, things started to change. I was meeting imps who pretended to be my grandfather or some other guide, but who faded to dust when I demanded to know their identity. I was asked to perform some shaman rituals myself, on people that I knew. I was very nervous and uncertain about doing these things. Rorie cautioned me, saying that sometimes the spirits could push you past your limits. She said it was okay to say no to them.
But how could I? This was my family. And so, regrettably, I stopped journeying all together.
I have had contact with other spirits, as I’ve related in the ghost stories section of this blog, but my grandfather remains silent, elusive. Perhaps he is waiting for me to journey back to him. I’m not sure that I ever will. But I wonder if he is still watching over me. It’s kind of nice to think he is.