Leaving Home - The Magician's Offer by Ness Mountain
"They were magical. They did a magic act, which made people happy. They had great powers which they used to help people they met on their travels."
I had a couple of bad years there around 1992-93. I was lonely, not connected to enough people...not knowing how to be connected, or who to try with. I was a single dad, and single dads are really out of luck in this culture. I was far from my family, and having problems with them. I was poor. I had fantasies of being self-employed, but when I tried to start a business with some other people, it fell apart disastrously. I felt lost, an outcast from society, jealous of people with happier lives.
I've always dreamed of being magic: being able to fly or make things happen with my mind. When I dream of meeting a magical teacher, that's always a very special dream. Around the time I've been talking about, I dreamed of magical teachers for the first time.
They came to town in a caravan, like a troupe of gypsies. They announced a special offer to everyone in the town, and everyone was talking about it, but everyone seemed a little afraid to take it seriously. We didn't even know exactly what the offer was. I was worried about missing the deadline, so I screwed up my courage and went to talk to the travelers myself.
They were magical. They did a magic act, which made people happy. They had great powers which they used to help people they met on their travels. They were every kind of people: I remember a big black woman, a skinny white guy, a red-haired woman, a grey-haired man. They came from different places, and yet they all stuck together and believed in each other. They loved to play together. I found one yellow-haired woman, and I asked her about the offer.
"You can join us any time you want" she said. "There is no deadline, the offer will always be open. It is open to anyone." It felt so good to be around her, I can't explain it. She was so open and spiritual, I just felt good around her. I was sure I could trust her, that we would be friends. She explained about their offer to me.
That was another amazing thing about this dream. Have you ever dreamed of someone plainly explaining something to you?
"What is involved?" I asked.
"You have many painful experiences," she explained. "Then, in ten or twenty years, you'll be dead."
"But my natural lifespan is much longer than that," I protested. "I have a duty to the ones here." She smiled. Her smile told me that she did not fear death; she did not feel it was a bad thing.
"Is it painful because what we need to learn is painful?" I asked.
"Well, change is painful."
When I woke up, I had the most amazing feeling. I perceived, with great clarity and immediacy, that I was a spirit inhabiting an animal's body. I never used to believe that. I believed I was a body: when I died, I would rot, there would be nothing left. I used to think, "I will make good compost, and that's enough for me." But this experience changed my belief about that, because I simply FELT that I am a spirit, only living in my body for a time. My body arched and shivered, feeling more alive than ever before.
Since this dream, I've gone through a lot of changes. In dreams, death generally refers to change, and the changes which followed this dream have been positive, if painful at times. I've been trying to prepare myself to be a member of the magicians' troupe, whether in this life or some other.
It's the wintertime, and I know a lot of people are hurting. I've kept this dream private a long time, but now I'm ready to let everyone know that the magicians' offer is always open. Anyone can participate, or at least get ready to participate. It's been a great thing for me.
So here's my suggestion, if you feel the need: every night, before you fall asleep, ask for a chance to talk to the magicians. Just ask in your mind, or pray if you prefer. Pay attention to your dreams. You might want to get a dream workbook. It might take a while, but I believe the magicians will answer you.
Ness Mountain is a counselor and urban shaman living in Portland. Your comments on Leaving Home are welcome: respond to Alternatives or eMail Ness. .cover art © Leo Wyman