Ekunyi's Embers


Art by Ravenari

Animism is an older part of my spiritual history, but one that I still connect with from time to time, and which I wish to share a small experience from here:

“…in the past, I have done journeys in the shower. The combination of water rushing past my ears helps block out the sensation of my surroundings, and the drumming of the cascade as it hits the ceramic flooring is often as good a rhythm as any of my recorded drumming tracks. On this particular occasion I closed my eyes and was almost immediately in a meditative state.

Great Horned Owl was immediately there. She looked me over and said that she was glad that I was feeling better, but that this [illness] would last longer, and happen again, if I didn’t learn a very basic lesson.

“Why do you expect your body to function as though it is living properly when you yourself are not actually living?”

I didn’t have much of a response to that.

She continued, “You do things that bring bad energies into your body, stressful things, things that aren’t necessary for life. If you did them to live, you wouldn’t be stressed. We [implying non-humans] do not exert ourselves for more than what is necessary to live, but you complicate things. You put “should”s and “have to”s on actions which are not and never will be necessary. In your confusion and wasting of self, you break yourself apart.”

It began to rain. She indicated I should follow her. We landed in a marsh, where Bullfrog was croaking quite loudly. He looked at me, expanded his massive throat and croaked what seemed an invitation. I sat beside him and though I was distinctly myself, my throat bubbled up like a frog and I let out a croak — which suddenly sounded like music. We were singing.

And so were the crickets. I shrunk in size and rubbed my back legs together to try to mimic their song as well, but in an instant I had been swallowed by Bullfrog. I felt no pain, but watched as I was dissolved and spread throughout Bullfrog’s system. Part of me nourished Bullfrog, part of me went to her eggs as she laid them. I grew in many eggs, some of which were eaten by fish, which in turn were eaten by hawks. Other tadpole-mes grew to adulthood in the blink of an eye, and became other Bullfrogs who croaked as well. Frogsong pulsed through me in millions of places, me interconnected throughout the chain of life and death and life again.”