Real Life Japan 2005:
I was walking along a beach with my wife. The beach was covered in little Japanese fishing boats hauled out for the storm. My wife spots a sign, “It says people used to pearl dive here and they were all women”. We both look out over the water, waves collide with one another creating white explosions on the surface. There’s a small island just across from us. It’s rocky, with a small pebble beach. An exciting place to explore on a calmer day I suggest. We start to plan our trip to the island out aloud, “We can paddle over with our boards. Then...” she paused.
“Then...” I said. We were both looking at the water. A white something was bobbing around on the surface. “It must be a buoy," I suggested. Although it seemed to be moving around a lot for a buoy and then it disappeared. We watched for a few moments and there it was again, this time closer to the island. My wife ventured, “It could be one of the pearl divers. They wear white, there’s a photo of them on the board.”
“Seems unlikely, black wetsuits have been around for a long time now,” I said. At that point the white blob seemed to appear from the water. Amongst the sea spray we could see what seemed to be a figure, dressed all in white, walking out of the water through the surf. The figure, who appeared to be a woman, was unfazed by the waves. She emerged from the water and sat cross-legged on the little pebble beach directly opposite us. She seemed to be working with something on the beach front of her. We watched, mesmerised as this super-human mermaid seemed unhindered by waves and now not by the cold. I looked at my wife and said, “I don't think we're looking at a live human here! I think we are watching a ghost!” we both glanced back and she was gone. There was no sign of her at all.
As we drove our little hire jeep up the track and away from the sea I could have not known the significance of what I had said or the fact that my wife would remember such a statement many years later.
The Bee Keeper
Middle of the night
I lay in my bed trying to get back to sleep. Sounds kept coming through. Ignore them, I must sleep. They persisted. Then a clear calm voice simply said, “Look”. I opened my eyes and let out a half scream kicking my legs at the intruder. There, standing right over me, was a person. I did not mean to kick out, but I got such a shock. The figure disappeared instantly. I have a kind of rule in my work about souls not making appearances, as it can be very unnerving. However, this person was not threatening. In fact it was a small woman, in a sort of bee keeper's suit. Oddly the suit had a brown pocket. I sat up a little panicked. I picked up my trusty notebook and wrote down what I had seen and drew the figure. I found it very difficult to get back to sleep that night.
At the end of a journey to help another soul a clear message came through whilst I was drifting in the darkness. A calm woman’s voice said, ”The bee keeper you saw is not a bee keeper. She’s a Japanese pearl diver. She’s been with you for some time now.”
Look Up After Journey
The next morning I did a little research into Japanese pearl divers. They were women who were expert freedivers and historically they did wear white dive suits. These suits had large hoods to protect them from the sun. The diving mask they used was huge with a single circular lens. I could see from pictures on the internet that when the person was not diving and they pushed the mask up onto their head it slipped under the white hood making it look quite like a bee keeper's hat.
Journey: A Multiple Person Journey
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.
In most journeys nowadays I work with 2-3 souls. They are sometimes similar in some way, either through connections during their life, or by the way that they have died, age or nationality. Their stories come to me during the night and sometimes they can be a bit intertwined or muddled. It can make it tricky sometimes to draw out an individual story for a blog post. In this post I'm focusing on the story of the Japanese pearl diver, but you will hear mention of some other souls, too. I helped all of the souls, of course, and I note all of their stories in my personal notebooks. I may write up some of the others mentioned here at a later date as a blog post in their own right. At the moment I draw out the stories that are the most vivid, have offered something interesting for me to learn from, have an interesting message or have been different in some way.
Letting my consciousness shift with the drumbeat, I slip into another world. Suddenly, I see something move in the tunnel ahead of me. I freeze. This has only happened once before, when I had to placate a gatekeeper. It’s moving closer now. It's backlit from the exit into the other world. The moon is out there. The figure in front of me is a rabbit, as before. Makes sense I suppose. He looks a little bedraggled and the top of one of his ears is bent over. I offer a greeting, “Hello again,’ I say.
He responds in a splutter of spits and garbled speech, “Hello?! You might say hello! Too long, it’s been too long.” He stops to itch behind his ear then continues, “Many people waiting. Many. Some too long”. He’s right. He could, of course, be part of my subconscious or perhaps he is his own being, but the fact remains that 2 of my waiting souls are historical deaths: a slave and the pearl diver. Over his shoulder I see ‘She’ appear, silhouetted by the moon. He seems to sense her, too. He flicks his ears to face backwards and then moves to the side.
“I understand," I say as I walk past him.
‘She’ seems to have such presence. I greet her and then ask if she was able to shape-shift and cross the worlds. I already know the answer to this but feel the need to clarify. ‘She’ responds with a simple “yes” and she stands upright on her hind legs, which is quite a sight. Then she speaks in the voice of my mother. The rest of the team are now crossing the wild ground to join us. The Crow Lady has lightened her hair and loves the fact that I had notice. This seems to bring the others closer too, they seem to be vying for attention, but it is time to go to the fire and see who is there.
After dealing with my first, more recent, case. I turn to see who else is waiting and there sitting on the log are the figures of the slave and the Japanese peal diver. They are a contrasting sight: one a black, female land worker and the other dressed in white, her life spent in the sea. And yet they seemed to share the common bond of grace and strength.
I join them on the log by the fire. I turn to look at the pearl diver. I realise now how young she looks, too young to be here. Her white outfit gives her an almost ethereal look. I say simply, ”Show me”.
Instantly I’m underwater. I can hear the crackle of stones in the surf. The cold is making my face throb but I’m free, weightless. I’m looking for sea cucumbers, although shellfish are the main goal. I feel the gentle kicks of my diaphragm urging me to find air. "I’m OK," I think to myself, "I feel great." Out of air so I start to kick for the surface. I’m deeper than I thought. I can see the others above. I just make it to the surface, gasp a deep breath, and pass out - shallow water blackout. I sink back into the depths. The others don't notice at first. I’m in a current. Finally another woman sees me through the water, she’s frantically swimming down after me but can’t reach me, too panicked not enough breath. I'm already too far.
I slip away. I drift, I die, I drift. My soul tries to reach the others but they can’t see souls. My family, my friends, no one sees me for 100 years or so. Then the strangest thing happens, I’m still diving and collecting. I surface and see two white foreigners. A couple. She’s exotic, a yellow-haired woman, and he’s dark with facial hair, which is unusual in Japan.
I swim on and take my catch to the shore to process it and search for pearls. I glance up at the strange couple again. They seem to be looking straight at me. Looking At Me! I focus and can hear him speak, he’s speaking of me as a ghost. I rush across the water to them and try to make myself seen but they've lost me. I don't know why.
I decide to follow them. I must guard them until they can help me. I know they can.
(It was a strange experience to hear all this self-dialogue whilst I’m looking at a younger version of myself and my now wife. I should also add here that language doesn't seem to be a barrier in work with souls. I have helped souls from many nationalities and languages.)
Now back at the fire, my team preform CPR and pump water from the diver's lungs. She begins to speak after hauling her breath back into her body, “They did not watch over me. That's what we’re supposed to do. I had to make my catch. I’m a woman of the sea”.
She looks cold and upset, so I hand her a gift of a blue pearl, "Looking for this?” I ask. She simply nods and I place the pearl in her hand. She looks content for the first time. She can prepare to pass on.
A flash of something behind her makes me jump back and there, zipping through the air as if it were water, is a dolphin. The diver reaches out and clasps the dolphin's dorsal fin. The woman looks at me and gives me a smile, then the pair launch for the sky. Only this time it’s not the sky, it's the surface of the sea. It’s beautiful, with a beam of light shining through. They head straight for the light and then it's gone and so are they. I thought this would be the last I would hear of the pearl diver. I was wrong.
During the second vision of the night I see images of another story being told. It’s actually 2 stories, both from Iran. When I lose the images I shout into the darkness, “Give me a word.” I try to get something to go on, to help me pick up the vision again and reconnect with the souls seeking help. Instantly a word comes forward from the darkness: KODEN. It hovers there for a moment. I repeat the word and then it vanishes. I roll over and jot the word down in my notebook.
Look Up 16/09/20
I sit down at the end of my bed. It’s been a long day. With my tablet in hand I take the chance to find out who Koden is. The search results come up. Koden, it seems, is not a person at all, rather a duty, a Japanese duty.
In Japan, after someone dies its customary to offer 'koden.' This is a special envelope folded in a certain way and imbued with a message. Some money is placed in the envelope and it is given to the next of kin to help pay for the deceased's passage to the next world (not solely their funeral, something deeper). It's a must in Japan. I lie back and encourage my mind fall into the Shamanic state for a moment. I whisper into the void, “Koden, I hear you”.
Real life 'Koden'
I almost certainly could have found a real Koden envelope online, but, I felt that on this occasion it would be okay to have a go at making one. I sat down with my son to do some craft time and in no time we had prepared a replica Koden envelope. We did not have any Yen so we put a small bill from our local currency inside. Locating next of kin was clearly going to be impossible but she had said she was a lady of the sea so it seemed right to offer it to the sea. The Koden was made from light paper and the paint was edible child safe paint so it would disintegrate in no time, vaporised by the waves. Even so, I felt in two minds about it, litter-wise. There is so much litter in the sea - I collect a bag of plastic waste from the beach almost everyday when walking my dogs. However, I felt like it was the right thing by the soul of the pearl diver and so hopefully right by the Earth on this occasion, too.
I drove down to the harbour. It was a rough day and no-one was about except one hardy fisherman. He gave me a nod as I passed. I walked to the very end of the jetty. The tide was running out fast. Perfect. I climbed down the stairs to the water's edge and reached into my pocket to feel the paper of the envelope. Now or never. I pulled it out, held it for a moment and I let my mind wander. The pearl diver's face came forwards. I let the envelope slip from my fingers in to the sea.