Spiritual Rendezvous with the Black Horse

Cole’s black coat glistened in the moonlight. Well defined contours beckoned me to run my hands along his firm body, but there was a sacredness about this moment that caused me to refrain. Unbeknownst to me, he had been waiting quietly by his gate for a rendezvous with me.

A few minutes earlier on the other side of the barn, I had been speaking a goodnight blessing to the other horses who were moving out into the pasture for the night. I suddenly became melancholic. Tears of sadness came pouring forth without restraint. I wasn’t sure what had triggered them, but there was an overwhelming desire to connect with a partner, someone who would understand and share the depth of what I was feeling. I stood alone at the fence watching the horses move slowly away in the dim light.

I didn’t realize during these moments that the partner for whom I longed would be a horse. Although having lived with horses for years, such arrangements were not new to me. Cole was calling to me in the other-worldly way that came to me as a sudden remembrance of him, an awareness that sparked hope in my heart.

I walked around the barn to seek him out, not realizing yet that he was the one drawing me. As I approached, I could see a hint of his dark form through the gate and an aura of magnificence around him. I felt a sense of awe as he stood in stillness. With my heart still full of fresh sadness, I spoke through sobbing tears while he listened. Cole had been one of the horses on the ranch that I’d felt sorry for because of hoof issues and needing to be isolated. Tonight, even though he was still separated from the herd, it was different. I began to recognize him as a powerful spiritual being who had only been in the disguise as a victim. Instead, as a sentient being, he was well aware that his challenging path was his own personal language of healing.

After Cole had given me full attention free of interruptions, or demands that I scratch here, or rub there, I grew calm. We stood in full communion in the light of the moon as he shared his own story with me both from his history at the ranch and from the mystical perspective which is the gift horses have offered through the ages. He opened up a new understanding for me of the healing that was transpiring there on the land behind the scenes through the herd of 10 horses here.

I became aware of Cole’s role as leader in that capacity, and the unique gifts my herd of 5 were bringing in participation of the spiritual mission. He revealed the mystical whisperings that brought us here 6 months ago. We too had come in our victim disguise but there was a more honorable purpose emerging. The horses knew all along. They live in that mystical dimension if we allow it. Only now was I invited into the understanding, or perhaps only now was I capable of receiving it.

Cole had initiated conversation those months ago within the first week or so of our arrival. It was clear and concise. I had a message to deliver to his owner. But now the fullness of it was being revealed months later under the moonlit sky.

In those sacred moments of rendezvous, Cole as my spiritual mentor, pulled apart the mystical curtains and let me see behind the veil. I understood his sadness. I understood my tears. I was sharing in the sadness he was intercepting for others. The longing I had felt for a partner with whom to share the sadness, was his longing for a partner with whom to share. That night, I was that partner, and he was mine.

He made it clear that my role was not to pity him nor to try to fix him, but to acknowledge who he was as a spiritual being and to walk beside him as a spiritual, emotional and physical support. He explained that I can be the hands to loosen a tight muscle, or to bring pleasure and relief as I stretch his nostrils, masssage his gums, and roll the tissue around his mouth all of which he loves. I can share in his emotional load as I did this night, and be his spiritual mouthpiece when needed. He reaffirmed that I was to be the the equine spokesperson translating their language for human understanding.

My rendezvous with Cole expanded my vision into the unseen world. The plants and animals and the earth itself are constantly speaking their language to us. We have only to listen, allow them to teach us how to interpret, and discover our own purpose as one with the universe.

The time is now.

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I Held His Tear in the Palm of My Hand

 

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There is a magical passageway that lies between the pastures. Dollar was standing sleepy-eyed in the heart of it.  The air there is moist and cool from the shade of a small tree that hangs over the path shrouded by bushes lining the opposite side. There is a feeling of seclusion and secrecy.

I joined him there to do some bodywork along his back where he had suffered an injury years ago. By the time I got to him, he was already in a deep, contented sleep with head lowered. I quietly hovered my hands over his mane in reiki fashion, my own rendition that I discovered with my first horse.

Dollar continued to drop his head lower and lower, his bottom lip sagging, mouth softly quivering, and occasionally licking and chewing. These are all signs of relaxation, release, and good feelings in an equine. My playful goal has always been to get his head as close to the ground as possible in a full surrender to peaceful relaxation. I’m still trying.

When Dollar awakened and lifted his head, I noticed something in the corner of his eye that appeared to be a little bit of mucous. Instinctively I wiped it away with my finger, and when I looked, a droplet of water ran down down the tip of my finger. I watched it trickle all the way down until it came to rest in the palm of my hand. It was a tear. I held it there as tears filled my own eyes. There was a purity in this moment. The tear itself was clean and clear. I looked at Dollar, searched his eyes for clues, and wondered. There was no recognition from him, no connection it seemed with the tear.

I stopped my analytical mind from stirring up tohubohu as I started to take a microscopic view of all the possible reasons for this tear. Instead, Dollar and I stayed in the quiet of the moment. I continued to hold one hand over his mane. It was a relief to let go of my need to analyze and the work of trying to understand.

Dollar and I stood close as he pressed his head into my body. Then he nuzzled his way into my cupped hand where he placed his soft, warm muzzle, and held it there for a long time as he dreamed. All the while I was being taken on a Spirit-guided journey into the depths of my soul. It was a magical time together, both of us in a trance-like state.

When he awakened again, our time of interaction was complete. We both stretched and flexed our muscles merging our spirits with earthly consciousness.

With it came a memory.

I was taken back in time to Apolinaire, my first horse and spiritual guide, who was dying. When he took his last breath and relaxed into a peaceful smile, he opened his beautiful eyes for the last time and gentle tears fell from the corner. [In Life, In Beauty, and In Death]

Six months later I stand beside Dollar immersed in the emotion of the memory. I suddenly understood whose tear had been tucked in the corner of Dollar’s eye, the tear that found its way to my palm. I understood that Apolinaire had come to me this day through Dollar.

The three of us had communed in that world-between-the-worlds while standing in the passageway between the pastures. Dollar dreamed, and I listened to secret mysteries being whispered to my heart. Apolinaire had visited, Dollar had allowed, and I was being tranformed. The tear of grief that I held in the palm of my hand became tears of healing and empowerment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glory is His Name

“Alleluia, the age-old expression of gratitude in communion, opens us to agape love, the recognition of our connection with all beings. To join together with other creatures in a song of joy moves us to experience the sacred in even the most mundane phenomena, transporting us from a self-centered way of being to a state in which we embrace, and are embraced by, all and everything. …”
-From Horses and the Mystical Path*

His name is Glory. He is a thoroughbred off the race track, the color of mouth watering chocolate accented with the roundest, darkest, and syrupy eyes I’ve ever seen,… When I first met him, he came boldly up to meet me, put his head over his stall gate and in my face. I was intrigued. No shyness with this guy. A leader type I surmised, of humans if not also of his own kind.

After exchanging cordial greetings and conversation with his owner, I turned my attention back to Glory. In a moment of spontaneous inspiration and surprise, I thanked him for sacrificing his spacious pasture for my 6 horses who couldn’t find a home elsewhere. It had been “no room in the inn” for them until the very last minute when Glory gave up his pasture.

At the time, I had not known that notes had been put up at local feed stores offering to give my 6 horses away for free with a telephone number I recognized. It would have been reckless and illegal for that person to have followed through on the act, and in violating the law could have been prosecuted, but that would not have brought the horses back had they been given away without my knowing. Glory’s act helped save their lives.

As I thanked him, he simultaneously moved his head away and to the side and held it there in a shy but powerful gesture. He seemed to be expressing not only humility but appreciation for being acknowledged. It was an electrifying moment. Both his owner and I felt it and looked at each other bright-eyed and speechless. Unknowingly we had touched in with his spirit.

Glory was being acknowledged for the mystical being that he is, and for his work in the unseen world to make sure these horses who have an important destiny to fulfill were protected and safe. It was then that a veil lifted for me illuminating a revelation. I saw with new eyes the behind-the-scenes mystical networking Glory and Apolinaire, the lead horse, and his herd were engaging for a mutual and eternal cause. These are hidden secrets that resonate with the heart not the mind and are whispered to us often times in fairy tales, classic allegories such as the C.S. Lewis Narnia books, movies that feed our souls, etc.. These are stories that pluck the chords within that lie dormant and dusty, awakening a familiar song of transcendence.

From the conventional perspective, it was the humans that figured out the logistics to make room for Apolinaire’s herd, but from the mystical perspective, much more was going on than we had understood at the time. We humans often think a good idea is ours while not perceiving that it has been given to us. In this case, I was given a heartwarming glimpse that the horses were orchestrating changes so the herd had a safe place where they, including Glory, could do their work. We merely carried out their directives! And for a higher cause that perhaps has not been recognized by the human understanding.

Often, when I inform Apolinaire, or ask for his permission to make some changes with his herd, I hear in response, “Where do you think the idea came from anyway?” I can only shake my head and chuckle…and happily immerse myself more fully in the mystical way of living for the sheer delight of it. This was the first time, however, that I encountered the networking with horses who had not physically met each other. It brought together the many snippets of “knowing” I had received through the years, like a group of puzzle pieces that suddenly fit into place. The barricades around my human understanding crumbled as I got a view of the eternal purpose that was operating with these sentient beings.

We humans though talented and gifted as we are, often forget or are most likely oblivious to all the conversations and maneuvers going on in the unseen world around us and we often naively lay claim to ideas that we think were our own. What we can lay claim to when we grab an idea is that we were attuned to the mystical realm and were able to pick up the nuances and the creative solutions that are constantly flowing our way. I am not one to totally invalidate the importance of humans in this process nor to ignore our own inspired contributions. We are each a uniquely designed spiritual being. However, I think we often err on the side of negating all that nature and in this case, what the equine world is bringing to us. It is time for us to become more attune to our spiritual instincts. We are all intricately connected. Not recognizing that does not make it less true.

Seeing the interactions of Glory and my herd are gentle reminders of the space between the worlds that science has barely explored. Glory responded when he was acknowledged and thanked for his heroic deed that could so easily have gone unnoticed in our conventional way of thinking. That exhilarating but sobering moment when we naively tapped into Glory’s spirit, opened the door once again to viewing things more expansively, more mystically. The exchange between human and horse and all of nature awakens us to life beyond the physical realm and its impact on us whether we realize it or not. Thank you, Glory, for being a courageous horse for sharing your gift of safe pastures for Apolinaire’s herd and for sharing a secret of other worlds with your human friends as we are learning to cross over conventional boundaries that we have created.

“…We shift from mere words to a prayerful expression of exultation, a chant of gratitude, if you will, resonating throughout eternity, crossing language, time culture, and even species barriers.”

*Two-part quote above is from Horses and the Mystical Path by Adele von Rust McCormick, PH.D., Arlena Deborah McCormick, PH.D., Thomas E. McCormick, M.D.

Shadow Delight

[edited from a stream of consciousness writing]
There is a ball of chaos, of wiry tangle inside of me this morning.  It threatens to engulf me in despair, but today I’m making a choice not to go there. Instead I see it as promise. How could it possibly be? I sense there is some hidden mystery that lurks unseen, a treasure to be discovered. I wonder what unusual living yarns I’ll discover for the eternal weaving of my life, and what is held wrapped this morning in soft cashmere? It is something that exists within me that I have not yet met.  I write as I’m experiencing.

My attention is drawn to a large armoire near my bed. The morning sun and shadow have created the image of a rose bush that resides just outside my bedroom window. It is quivering with excitement as the wind teases it. I now see the face of a baby deer in this fluid form that plays with me. Yes, it is a fawn. The shadow moves in such a way that its mouth, nose, eye and ears are expressing themselves. Who are you beautiful being and what are you telling me? I can’t wait to discover what healing you bring. Thank you for tapping my mystical imagination and gracing my life this morning. The dark shadow that hovered over me when I awakened has now turned into a playful shadow that brings me delight. You’ve rescued me from myself.

Pasture Music

I carefully maneuver the car to the pasture gate to unload a couple of bales of hay for my six horses. Opening the door, the coolness of the coastal air greets me and becomes my titillating hostess for the evening. Its crispness teases at the cheeks and tingles in the nostrils, inviting a familiar autumn-time nostalgia, a lighthearted feeling of laughter and happy voices. It brings hope of good things just around the corner.

Reflecting the clean sharpness of the air, the sounds that normally fade into the background become strikingly bold, untempered by sight and thought. I become mesmerized by the clunking of feed buckets hitting together as I walk, the swish-swooshing of a water trough running over before I can get to it, the rattling of pellets as I pour them into their hard containers, and the rumble of the hay cart as its worn metal wheels scrape across the packed gravel road.

Filled with youthful exhilaration, I’m surrounded by sound that is bewitched. It has become a wild musical symphony formed from the ordinary, amazingly alive, and delightful to the depths of the soul.

 

Merging With Life

The cement block is cold on my rear end, but it is a place to sit and write while I wait for the horses to finish their supplement. The pressurized water system buzzes in my ear, and traffic nearby with constant whooshing override the soothing sounds of the ocean. All vie for my attention. In the midst is the tweeting of the barn swallows, and a soft vibrating twitter from unnamed birds in the distance. The horses are munching and chewing with occasional shuffling as they reassemble themselves around the hay piles. Three strands of my hair silently wave like miniature flags in front of my face. I sit here and notice as a gentle euphoria holds my spirit in suspension, feeling manmade noises merging with the music of nature.

This is a metaphor for my life. Most of it is flowing and inspired. Some part is still an open doorway for fear and panic that flashes a neon sign seducing me to “come in.”  That small portion is manmade stuff. Noise. Interference. Time and again I think I’ve conquered the giants of resistance only to have them loom again like Darth Vadar in a Star Wars movie. But the tide is shifting. Life is swirling like the ocean waters as all parts of my life merge into one, overpowered by a beautiful new rhythm that can’t be stopped.

 

Frederick

 

A friend who sends me surprises in the mail (snail mail) from time to time, did it again just yesterday. It was a double surprise because she had just sent me something a week ago and I didn’t expect another so soon. It was done on purpose because she’s a bit of a trickster from the fairy realm, a beautiful one at that, and the wings you can make out just barely if you squint a little, but there’s no mistaking that mischievous gleam in her eye.

She often tucks in some money for hay for the horses. This time her gift included a book, a children’s book,… or maybe not? Frederick, by Leo Lionni. Do you remember it? It’s about a mouse, an unproductive mouse. I’m not going to tell you the story, it’s for you to discover. It’s a quick read and you can seek it out at your local bookstore. Pick it up and read it while still in the store, then buy it to send to a friend.

It’s written for those in this world who are dreamers, artists or otherwise, who aren’t behaving in the expected way. In the words of Bruno Bettelheim, “…A story about the glory of the human spirit.”

Off you go on a treasure hunt. I will be curious to know what you think of it.