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Vesta on Isig Mountain

Late May 1982?, erasable crayon, 11x14", by Chris Wayan

Me as a vesta, a deerlike creature, dwarfed by a huge mountain landscape, all rendered schematically, as ley-lines.

'Vesta' are the horned animal guardians of the northern lands in Patricia McKillip's classic psychological fantasy The Riddlemaster of Hed. Learning how to shapeshift into a vesta is a crucial step of Morgon's quest--his transformation, and the greater ones that followed, had a dreamlike beauty that won the book enduring critical acclaim.

But such transformations had an extra, private meaning for me; my own dreamwork had already begun letting me experience similar transformations. I merged with a wild creature or a tree, I became a spirit or a mountain. McKillip, though marketing her work as fantasy, was vividly describing and indeed clarifying my real shamanic experiences.

This picture was a first clumsy attempt to draw what the world looks like to me in shamanic dreams: oddly geometric or schematic, webbed with lines of energy or binding... what witches and druids once called ley-lines. The ley of the land.

In daylight, in my human body, I don't see like this--but over the years I've begun realizing I do feel living creatures like this. I mostly recognize people and animals by their moods and energy patterns, not their faces at all.

I always thought I was just inept at drawing faces--it was only recently, when I took a drawing class, that I found I could do it just fine--if I ignored the distracting extra information I unconsciously rely on in daily life to recognize others. I had to look through or past that distracting aura to see the face!

I gather this is the opposite of most mystics, who struggle to learn to see past the material world to sense this energy. I don't. It's always been there.

So this image shows you how I see the world normally--this way of seeing is superimposed on the ordinary world.

And until recently I didn't understand that others don't see it.

LISTS AND LINKS: One night I dreamed I was a vesta, not a man - deer dreams - Patricia McKillip - landscapes - mountains - crayons - more views of that energy-world: Cloud of Glory - Utopia - Anorexia Nirvana - Bear, Read, Dune - My Fluorescent World - Vertical Planes - Rousseau

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