The Otherworld is a term, frequently used by those in shamanic practice, to describe the realms of the Spirit/Fey/Magic. It is both mysterious and traversable. It sounds as if it is beyond the reach of ordinary humans but this is not true if you understand that the Otherworld already has its deepest roots in you. Those willing to dive into their own Being, will find an Otherworld perfectly designed to fit their needs, personality, fate, and knowing. Nevertheless, such an exploration is not for the faint-hearted.
The experience of living as human is ultimately spiritual. The ‘who’ of you is Spirit. You animate the gift of a body, but the Being who dwells within it is undoubtedly spiritual. Therefore, it follows that the Spiritual Otherworld is in you as surely as your Spirit is in your body. Children understand this intuitively. They listen to fairy tales (maps of the Otherworld), have invisible companions and place their trust in tooth-fairies and Santa Claus. Some adults never lose this connection to these realms of imagination but many others go astray.
The many and terrible problems being experienced and witnessed on our planet today are the result of a Spirit Sickness that occurs when our connections to the Otherworld have been severed. Gone is the magic, to be replaced by technology and machinery. Gone are the heroines and heroes – in their place are politicians, carpetbaggers and entrepreneurs. Gone is our personal heart-link to the planet around us with profiteering, production and systemic control substituting in its place.
Well… not Gone, but hiding.
The flowering of international movements, like “Occupy” and “Anonymous”, in the face of the globalisation of the Matrix suggests that Spirits from the Otherworld are starting to move within those people who will give them welcome. The recurring Mythic themes of Transformation, Evolution and 2012 all have their origins in the Otherworld as people across our beautiful blue planet start hearing different drummers. Our collective and individual dreams and visions of Love, Peace, Freedom, Growth and Cooperation are all seeded in the Otherworld. But to make these dreams and visions a reality, we have to return to our own Otherworld in order to understand how deeply many of us have been colonized.
Your personal Otherworld is not free. Those who are free are rare birds indeed. Your personal Otherworld has been overwhelmed and controlled by thought-forms and memes belonging to the material reality around you. There are many ways this can happen; family beliefs; religious beliefs; political beliefs; social requirements; work demands; societal mores… the list goes on and on. When these are unexamined and unexplored, the Spirit within withdraws, leaving a person like an empty shell or husk parroting whatever their internal colonizers have told them is true. At this stage in humanities evolution, it could seem that the Colonizer – frequently those with hierarchical power over us – have won. War, genocide, femicide, infanticide, greed, envy, more; these are the hallmarks of Colonizer belief systems. Believe in them and the world will truly come to an end because the power being utilized is that of the Destroyer of Worlds. We need only look around us to see the evidence of this.
But Hope is not lost. Neither are Love, Truth, Honesty, Loyalty, Respect, and many more qualities we find at the heart of Legends, Mythology, Folk or Fairy Tales. Anyone who can sense these archetypal energies flowing through their hearts are still in touch with their Otherworld, even if it feels itself to be a distant possibility.
It is said that if a person takes one step towards God, God will take a thousand steps towards them. This is a Truth that is found in my Otherworld and it is a truth that I teach. Not the truth itself – that is for you to find on your own terms – but the truth of its existence, shyly hiding from the oppression of the Colonizer, within your own Being.
And here there must be a warning. To embark on the Adventure into your Otherworld is a very dangerous action, particularly if you have been deeply Colonized. For you to be truly free inside your own Otherworld, it is necessary to tear down the Colonizer-Within. As you struggle to free yourself from its influence, you will find yourself opposed by those External-Colonizers in your real life who have an investment in keeping you the same as you were. You will find yourself attacked, betrayed, punished, tortured and, at times, facing your own Death. The External-Colonizer fears the powers of the Otherworld because those in touch with their internal Wisdom have the ability to topple structures, within and without, using the Powers of Creation. The Colonizer will use everything at their disposal to try and force you to submit to their will. Many people have already died through this use of force… but Death comes to everyone eventually. After spending time in Otherworld realms, our heroic adventurers discover that Death is an old friend and what should be resisted, at all costs, is the living death being imposed by the Colonizer.
The Otherworld has Laws. Our adventurer must keep to those Laws if s/he is going to survive there and those Laws have no respect for personal ego. The Laws will show you exactly how twisted out of shape you have become under Colonization. They will show you, and then arrange the perfect experience – in your external reality – to correct and heal you. In my own experience, this often takes the form of a direct encounter with a Colonizer and the toxic, corrosive energies used to keep you in their idea of ‘your place’. At such times, we are stripped of any protections we believe we need, standing spiritually-naked for everyone to see and, in my own case, wanting Death to take me. The defences-within us are very powerful, as any therapist will tell you – it takes the severe corrosive quality of the Colonizer to destroy it, which is why such encounters are necessary. But they can also leave individuals broken and despairing if they have no conscious link to their Otherworld-Within. How many lost souls in this state of anguish are living on the face of our planet as I type these words? There are enough to break a heart into over 6 billion shards.
We are never alone when we communicate with and live by the Laws of our Otherworld. The further we fall from the self-image we have of ourselves and into the Truth, so we discover that Nature Herself will send you messages – synchronicities – affirming you are on the right path and that you will ultimately emerge into the Light. You’ll discover an instinctive wisdom that guides you through your darkness. And there are maps too.
The maps are the abiding and enduring stories of our imagination. Fairy tales; Myths; Legends; Archetypes; each hold the key to the path you may be travelling. Which stories speak to you most deeply because those will be the paths you are travelling? Many tales hold clues as to how to approach your path, and what you might expect. And you will always have a choice. Free Will is one of the fundamental Laws within the Otherworld – your personal choice will be respected. Yet, in the lands of the Fairy/Fey/Spirit, there are always consequences to whichever path you choose, which cannot be anticipated or avoided because you are living the legend instead of simply reading about it. It is only ever in retrospect that we understand why we came the way we did and why the agonies we experienced were needed. Be in no doubt; the agony – when it is occurring – is exactly that, shockingly painful at every level. This is the point at which I call Death to me – I can’t speak for anyone else – because life does not seem worth the living. Yet, if we live, something that needed to die within us will have gone. And if we die, or others around us die… then that is the Will of Love and we must Trust that Love knows what She is doing.
The Otherworld is not a toy to play with. Appearing harmless is how it fools the unwary and they are frequently undone by their encounter. Nevertheless, for those who understand Respect and yearn for the Law of the Fair, you might just discover that you have finally, at last, come Home to where you truly belong.
We are not perfect – we are a work in progress and will ever be so. Relating to our Otherworld is to encounter the Artist of Our Creation and to discover that we, ourselves, are co-creators of our Souls; that our Souls are filled with potential for heroics deeds, magical powers and the stuff of living legend.
For the Brave, it is the only ‘Show’ on Earth.