In the Footsteps of Warriors
It’s early in the morning when the first sounds start to drift into my mind. Dull at first almost distant, then a voice. A panicked voice, crushed at the back of his voice box. Crushed with fear. This is the voice of a man pushed too hard for too long. I start to be able to make out what he’s saying, ”I’m a cold blooded killer.” “I’m American.” “Sniper”. I hear a slicing sound.
“Ok”, I say in a calm voice, “What’s your story?. He does not reply for a few moments, he’s busy. I can hear him dragging something through rough ground. I hear branches snapping. He’s leaving a trail. It’s humid. We are in a jungle.
I hear him breathing heavily then he starts to speak. He’s panicking as his first sentence is a little wrong, “I kill a young VC solider.” There’s a pause, something about that last sentence worries him. I know it’s not his grammar. After a few moments he continues, “I killed him with my knife, now I’m being hunted by VC.”
The image starts to come into view. I’m not quite POV, I’m more looking over his shoulder. The sight is horrific. The man is dragging the mutilated body of a Vietnamese boy through the jungle. The boy is missing his ears. The solider is mumbling. He stops, takes a deep breath, then in a clear almost authoritative voice says, “This is for the VC Patrol to follow.” Another sickening slice.
Next I see his hands frantically working away at the boy’s body. He seems to have cut the boy's stomach open, the boy’s face is now missing its cheek flesh. The sight is gruesome. The solider stops. I can hear the buzz of insects then the muffled sound of voices, not far off. It’s the VC patrol. The solider rolls the boy's body over.
I hear the soldier’s voice again but I realise he’s not talking to me at all, he’s talking to himself, “I booby trap the body, then double back.”
The solider moves away from the body and sinks back into the jungle. Moments later the VC patrol arrives. It’s a rag tag group of men, some soldiers but some local civilians desperately trying to find the kidnapped boy. The VC patrol stops in shock. Then a man rushes forward. I’m unsure at this point why I can still see the boy. Usually I would stay with the soul who called me. The man reaches the body of the boy and the VC soldiers can be heard shouting, but it’s too late -Boom.
The next vision I get is the US solider walking off through the jungle in search of his patrol unit.
The vision goes black, I pull back from this state of being into my familiar, safe bedroom. I lie for a moment. I feel a little nauseous. My head is spinning. A thought passes through my mind, “I’m not sure I want to help this man”. I lie there for a moment. Then reach for my notebook and pencil. That’s not a choice I get to make.
This is when I intentionally enter another state of consciousness to undertake my psychopomp work. I use drumbeat to help me enter this state. I do not use hallucinogenic drugs. If you are new to my blog and some of the below sounds too fantastical to be believable try to just go with it. Different people's experiences of other worlds are surprisingly similar, but they are not exactly the same. I'm sharing with you how I see and experience things.
I take a couple of deep breaths. Why do I still get nervous? I need to pee. “Okay, ready,” I say out aloud. I’m not even sure I want to help this guy. He mutilated a boy. That’s unforgivable. I try not to think about the horrendous images I saw in the vision the night before, nor the sounds. Sounds seem to linger in my mind for longer, it’s hard sometimes to keep focus, keep control. However, I’m doing much better now with regards to controlling the flow and force of the visions. At the start I dared not close my eyes. That was a much harder time.
I take off my watch, sit down at the end of my bed and begin to steady my mind, “ I’m here to help”. I sing my little power song, a short song that helps in many ways. Then I pick up my notebook and write down my intent three times: "To help the solider in the jungle." Then I say the intent out aloud three times. I place my headphones on and lie back. I adjust my body so I am aligned the right way. I'm still not entirely sure why I do this. I tap the play button on my tablet. Here we go.
The ancient sound of rhythmic drumming fills my ears. I start to relax. The beat enters my head. I start to swirl, it's a magnificent feeling, like being adrift on a warm sea. Inky darkness fills my eyes and I start to sink lower and lower. I begin to hear the breeze and the inky darkness starts to give way as my strong eye begins to focus. This never fails to amaze me. It’s light now, twilight in fact. The moon is out, and I’ve arrived. One of my team in this spirit world, the one who I call ‘She’, strides up to me with a confidence that only she could have. She’s moving out of thick ferns and then, without warning, she pounces and I’m floored instantly. She’s play fighting. We wrestle for a moment. I’m no match. Even on the earthly plane of normal reality she would be revered. A night hunter, a shadow.
Suddenly I become aware of being watched. It’s the rest of the team. They are all there, but it is the Winged Lady that comes right up to my face. She fixes me with a hard stare and says, “Look at me and make sure you see me, you will need my help soon.” I say nothing but stare back at her, a dark woman with amazing fire gold rims around her eyes. Not earthly at all. It was at this moment that I realised that she could be an upper world being. She certainly has the power to move between the worlds. I say nothing.
We start our journey down the slope of thick ferns that soon gives way to a scrubland that in turn gives way to sand. I see the usual campfire just off in the distance and can already make out dark figures huddled together by the light of the fire. There are also many figures beyond it, weaving in and out of each other’s paths and watching from the darkness. This is not their time, who ever they are.
As I step onto the warm soft sand an Asian boy leaps up in front of me. I jump back. I really don't like it when people do that. He apologises, noticing that he had scared me. He was polite even when he was clearly in distress. That takes courage. That’s when I noticed he was missing an ear. My stomach turned. He took his hands away from his face and there was a huge gaping wound. Oh my goodness, this is the boy the solider mutilated.
One of my team I call ‘Blue’ swept in and took the boy's hand. He looked surprised at first, perhaps by her appearance, but she quickly calmed him. ’Blue's’ hands started to emit a soft blue light. It was an ethereal fantastical blue. She started to heal the boy magically. I found this sort of thing incredible, albeit very strange at first. It is still incredible, but I'm quite used to it now. The boy looked up at me with a reassured smiled. I was instantly transported to one of his visions.
I stood in the corner of a bedroom in an American home. Sitting on the corner of the bed was a woman from the 1960s (going by her hairstyle, which was a stylish, flicked out bob with a large headband). However this was not the most striking thing about her appearance. It was the fact that she was blue. Nothing else was blue in the room just her skin. It looked quite natural, like she had always been blue. I have no idea why she was that colour, perhaps it's something to do with my blue team member. Or maybe she wished to convey something to me, messages are often indirect, but I haven't worked this one out. She turned and looked straight at me and began to speak. She looked and sounded tired. She told me she was the wife of the man who mutilated the boy. She lifted her elegant hand and pointed a shaky finger in the direction of where the boy sat in another world. She could see him. The vision started to end in a surreal way with the woman’s bedroom fading out, leaving me staring at a man who had been standing in the space behind. He came into sharp focus. It was the American solider. Visions started to pour into me. This man's terrible tour of duty. There was no doubt he enjoyed it, he was a cold-hearted killer. The images started to slow down, and then once again I saw the boy being mutilated on the jungle floor. I really did not want to see this again. I started to realise what was happening. I was not here for the solider, I was here for the boy. I was watching from the boy’s soul's point of view. This changed everything.
The boy’s soul followed its body, stunned and shocked at what was happening, the sheer level of violence. His mum had told him if any soldiers come by, then just stay still do not run. They will leave you alone. So that's what he did, but he had not been not left alone. The boy’s soul followed the man who had killed his body and mutilated it so badly. He followed him to his fellow soldiers and watched as he lied about the boy. The boy’s soul later followed him onto the transport plane that took them back to the USA. He followed him back to his home. He followed him everywhere, even into the bathroom. He was always there, right there. So when the soldier finally cracked, the boy witnessed it. He witnessed him telling his wife. Witnessed her leaving never to return.
The boy’s soul waited until his killer died. So that he was right there to confront his killer. Stop him passing on if need be. I was torn. My job is to help these souls pass, but I also felt like I agreed with the boy, "Why should this man pass?" On the other hand, the boy had finally been able to confront his killer, surely that's honourable. Negotiations started. The boy was happy to pass on. He knew the man was wreaked. The man had not even looked up. The boy was ready to go.
At that moment a huge snake came into view. I gave the boy a small blue stone. He took it and closed his hand around it. Then I let him know the snake was here for him. He replied with, “ I know, he’s been waiting for me a while now”. This is how I generally see things. After any healing, explaining or unfinished business has been finalised a guide comes to take the soul to where they need to go. The guide is almost always an animal. I usually give the soul a small gift to take with them. It is almost always an ethereal blue colour. I'm not sure exactly where they go after that, as I have never been there. My sense is that what is waiting for may depend on their own beliefs about the afterlife, or perhaps everyone goes to the same place. All I see is a golden light piercing the darkness, so bright I rarely see anything else.
The boy and the snake left for the light. Almost by accident I glanced back after them. A risky thing to do. But what I saw was worth it, a land of golden light. Figures came running to greet the boy, it was a very happy sight. My heart swelled.
I looked over at the solider who was looking on in bewilderment at this magnificent vista in a world beyond. This was the first time I had seen the man look up. His face was bathed in golden light. His tears were clearly visible. Then he spoke, “Thank God”. He was clearly genuinely relieved. I looked over at the man slumped before me. He was a shell of a man. I felt a little sorry for him, even after what I had seen him do. He was destroyed now.
“Ok, your turn” I say.
He refuses to go, he is too worried about being judged for his crimes. Then he seems to think for a while. Finally he says, “There can be no forgiveness.” I am looking at his face when a golden light starts to cross it. I spin around to see the boy standing there, happy and full of joy. He thrusts his hand forward and grabs the soldier - the man who had killed him - and pulls him through to the world beyond. The portal closes. All goes dark. I can hear giggling and laughter then that too fades away. My work is done. I turn from the darkness towards the campfire once again. With my team I walk towards three figures, my next cases.
The horrors of war are not simply left behind at the end of the tour.