In meditation I almost always return to an inner landscape which I’ve described in a lot of detail elsewhere, but starting about a year ago I discovered I had access to another world, one that felt like it was directly above the old one — as if it were a mile or two up, floating in the air, invisible.
One of the first times I reached it was when I visited the “Man of the Delta”, who I think may be one of my muses. He is a crooked old man with leathery skin and a wry smile, and he lives in an earthen / adobe tower in the midst of a swampy, sandy delta. When I first visited there, I didn’t know how it was connected to the rest of my inner landscape; but in April of last year I found the path. I was doing a meditation on my fiction writing (which had not been going smoothly) and had drawn the Hermit card. Here are some notes I took at the time.
The Man of the Delta
“I returned to the Hermit’s tower in the Forest of Branching Paths (which I’d first visited last summer, when I was working on that whole ‘deserving success’ issue), and he introduced me to an old man. The old man was old because his energy was spent moving from task to task, never setting his burden down or allowing the gods to carry it for a while. It ran him to age and thus to dust. (Definitely a warning!) What was the alternative? The Hermit pointed me towards a monk, a young man dressed in red with black eyes dotted with stars. He had infinite strength because the gods do his heavy lifting. It’s a matter, the Hermit said, of taking the time to rest, recharge, and allow the gods space to work.
He then showed me a doorway that led to a room where sunlight was falling from high, high above. This room was at the bottom of a tall tower. All up the sides of the tower spiraled a wooden staircase, and I started climbing it. I climbed forever and ever… At last I arrived at the last place I expected — the top of the adobe tower of the Man of the Delta. Everything was pretty much the same there, but now I understood it to be a very ‘high vibration’ place. My sense was that I should visit this area more often, and work with the two men here (who I now understand to be reflexes of the “two” hermits in the tower below).
My big take-away is to allow Spirit to work through me. With rest, exercise, and meditation, the energy will flow and everything will unfold the way it should.”
Since then I’ve visited other upper, ‘high-vibration’ areas. Sometimes I have to climb up to them; other times I slip into them as soon as I enter meditation. This is how I described it in notes last July:
“It’s usually very misty, and the colors less vivid. Also, it’s harder to ‘see’ things; and I have less freedom of movement. It’s as if I am a ‘child’ here — I can’t see the tops of things or around them without a lot of work, and there are some areas I simply can’t go at all.
There are two areas here I’ve explored. One is the Delta area, which I’ve described before. If I get on a boat on the sea at the edge of the Delta, I’ll arrive at a wooded coastline. The coast is cedar trees I think mostly, with a forest floor coated with needles. The woods are inhabited by beings I think of as ‘elves’, with slate-white robes. They are exceedingly tall and thin. Some are bearded, some have long white or blond hair; they are kindly, and they care for me. They have a home, or complex of homes, here in the trees, which are much like the house at Rivendell in the movie Lord of the Rings. Overall it is a perfect place for relaxing and recuperating, and I get a sense that part of my spirit spends a fair bit of time here, doing just that. There are rooms with cozy fires, and somewhere in it I have a small bedroom where they often tend to me…
By the water, there is a dock or pier area, made of marble. I do not know if vessels ever visit here.
Inland a bit the cedar forest opens up into a huge meadow, and in the grass is a complex ‘henge’ of large white stones. It is definitely astrological in pattern. In the center of it is a tall white stone, which I think has carvings on it — though the mists are always thick here, and I can never visit without my tall white guardians. The central white stone is directly ‘above’ Apollo’s temple in the lower landscape.
Beyond that, I can’t see much of the terrain. I get the impression of forests and mountains beyond the meadow in one direction, and the other way I think there are bona fide deserts, perhaps with tall stony towers like one finds in the American southwest, but I’m not sure. I know it is a region of horses, somehow.”
The 2nd week of January, as I mentioned in the Sound article, we flew to Seattle and found our apartment; the third week I had to go to Las Vegas for a business trip; and then the next week we moved away from Pittsburgh. The final week of January we were driving across the country. We spent two nights in Albuquerque, and I particularly felt the touch of the landscape there: as we crossed the continental divide west of the city, it was like I’d tipped over the edge at last and was coming to the Glittering World, as the Navajo call it… And on Feb 1 we rolled into Seattle.
Then there was a lot of unpacking and cleaning and whatnot, and both Alison and I have been a bit off-balance since we arrived. We’ve gotten in touch with some local friends, and taken some long walks in the neighborhoods and parks, and we’re starting to get our bearings and establish some routines.
But one thing that took me completely by surprise was the fact that the higher-vibration landscape is strongly connected with the Pacific Northwest. The forest by the water, with the elvish city and the stone quays — this is the landscape here. The trees are exactly the same as what I saw in meditation — not just in how they look, but in how they feel. I’m not sure about the grassy meadow out beyond the trees, but the white standing stone is some sort of hub, a spiral / web connection with all things. Not the World Tree itself: that I’ve located further out, in the direction of the deserts. But in general, since I got out here, I’ve gotten more of my bearings at this ‘higher’ level, and felt more at home there.
One aspect of the Seattle landscape that was definitely missing from my inner-landscape vision is the white-capped mountains visible to the east and west. They’re not always there, but when the skies are clear they are impossible to miss; and they touch the heart profoundly. For now we’ve only seen them marching in the distance, but at some point we’ll drive out to them and introduce ourselves properly. They are guardians of a sort, I feel; gods, in fact.
Except perhaps Rainier. That one seems older, less friendly… Perhaps less a god than an old earth spirit, a Jotun, a Titan. One to keep an eye on.
- Zen and the Art of Tarot II: Meditation and Release
- Blood and Bone
- On Thanksgiving
- Feather, Stone, and Light: Meditation Interlude
- Mapping the Inner Landscape
- Ruminations Under an Oak
- The Great Bear III: Old Grandfather