CHAPTER SIXTY-THREE.

 

‘Celeste Enables Forgiveness.’

 

 

 

The Shaman’s practice was in a poorly maintained seventies era building. I was reminded it was an ocean side town by the scent of salty air pinching my nose as I stepped up the cracked concrete stairs. Immediately the scent evoked the memory of Petra and our first ‘session’ together when the seaside had wafted in from her balcony. The memory put me at ease, the magical Petra and her spiritual connection had shown me tenderness and respect and connected with me in a way I had never again experienced. 

 

Celeste had been recommended by my acupuncturist so already I held higher expectations than my experience with ‘Theo the shaman’ almost two years earlier. I'd done my research this time, wasn’t in such a desperate lost mind set. Wasn't grappling to reach solid ground emotionally and spiritually. Shamans were supposed to relinquish their ego. Theo most definitely hadn’t yet I couldn’t deny he had encouraged an awareness, a open channel, a ‘being available’ to heal.

 

Celeste and I had a long phone consultation to prepare me for today. I would ‘journey’ to connect with my ‘power animal’, my supposed guardian who would be with me, to help protect and guide me. I was grateful she didn’t ask many questions, just let me tell her that I needed to forgive a heinous crime against me so I 

could be truly ‘free’. With Diana championing my emotional healing, it was time to be open again to a more spiritual or transformative avenue.

 

My intuition had awakened along with my subconscious and I listened intently and obeyed its gentle nudgings. So here I was, accepting this new direction with aplomb and primed with the kind of bravery that knows doubt still has a presence in the shadows but hangs back knowing its place, and even wanting to be proved redundant. I was embracing change in a facet of my psyche that could have profound effects on my world and the ability to initiate needed change.

 

She lay me down on her massage table, in a room that was small and humble and poorly decorated, making no apologies for it’s lack of style, but softly lit and welcoming. Pleasantly warm, it was an immediate shelter from the late Fall chill and metaphorically from anything painful that would surface during our session. 

 

There were no drums or rattles or icons as there had been with Theo, no commanding showmanship or ‘performance’, just a modest book case filled with very old titles pertaining to energy and healing….and a cactus atop a desk, bare except for an antiquated 80’s office telephone. Celeste explained she would first 

 

clear my chakras and protect us energetically as she waved her hands across my body exhaling loudly as she hovered over each energetic power area, each ‘Chakra’. I closed my eyes and surrendered to what ever would present itself, although skepticism wasn't entirely discarded. 

 

As I willingly relinquished control, it felt like a veil of fabric, soft and transparent evoking a sense of luxury slid over me. Vibrating energy of blackness both fluid yet forming a tunnel, beckoned. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I took a very satisfying deep breath, the air generously filling my lungs with life force. I was traveling leisurely through the darkness, the only sounds were the occasional gentle whooshing coming from Celeste, like those of a whale surfacing for air.

 

Fully immersed in a feeling of safety, I stepped out into an open space blanketed by an Indian ink sky bespeckled with stars. In the stillness it wasn't long before I merged seamlessly with a connection to pure consciousness.... the energy of void, drifting beneath the canopy of tiny illuminaries. The only time I could recall ever feeling this simple existence enshrouded simultaneously with grace and sensuality was when bewitched by the alternate fluttering and purposeful touches of Petra. As I digressed from the present, surrendered to the seduction of an enticing memory,  

 

I recalled the feeling of sinking beneath feminine sexually gilded touch. It's  intensity was interrupted, unexpectedly dissipated into the ether, by the rhythmic flapping of enormous heavy wings. The air beneath these wings forced a powerful shift of energy. I could hear the being gracefully, rhythmically manipulating the energy surrounding me but I couldn't see the owner of such mighty powerful feathers. A sensation of their architecture caressing my shoulders sent a wave of tingling relaxation washing through me...Tightness I hadn't realized I'd been holding onto, released from between my shoulders and coursed down each vertebra, as if beneath the artfully deft hands of some ancient master masseur in Chinatown.

 

A sense of intrinsic empowerment began to creep up on me..as if stalking me..the presence so strong I felt infused with control and poise and......expectation. Suddenly it stepped out from the blackness to my left.. where it had been hidden amongst shadows that coveted influences unseen. I felt it before I saw it, the presence awaiting me in silence. This silence felt more like a gift to provoke solitary evolution, instead of the undermining isolation paired with insecurity that had always accompanied solitude.

 

Without disturbing the compounding effect of peace, there appeared…. eyes. Iridescent as they reflected the moon in crescents of luminous gold. The urge to run overwhelmed me, but run with... Not from.... an enormous obsidian panther whose lustrous coat shone when the moonlight dared catch a portion of its magnificence.  I felt an involuntary smile, a quickening, and infusion of joy…I felt protected, safe….wait…was I really smiling or only in this obscure ethereal happening?

 

“RUN!” I heard.... But I was not afraid.. It was strength, poise, a supernatural power promised from another realm that wanted to run alongside me, not danger, not fear. Looking down at my feet, bare and comforted by warm soft desert sands...I became aware of someone tapping their fingers rhythmically on my thighs... It was Celeste.. And the instant I acknowledged the touch as reality, her voice became audible although muffled. Repeatedly as she tapped on my skin I heard her say.. “I am poised and powerful....no one can take my power... I own fierceness, I am fierce, I am fierce.” 

 

In an instant, an intensely powerful energy sank to my feet as I reeled back into the realm of mystique with the panther aside me. We began to run...and run…and run... Picking up exhilaration with speed, my heart began expanding with an immense sensation of joy and the ultimate freedom to run..unlimited…exalted…all the way to the blackened horizon’s edge. 

 

Never tiring, infused with a passion for living I hadn't felt in decades, my chest heaved with life affirming breaths. I felt limitless, untiring, my lungs perpetually expanded. A tinge of disappointment wafted over me as the panther slowed to stop before turning its luminous green eyes towards mine. The unspoken acknowledgement that 'She' would be there to protect me..... always..... seeped into my spirit. When I heard Celeste's voice calling me back I went willingly, my consciousness drifting towards her, content that I had run with the wind itself, caressed by spirit and received its gift of feminine empowerment and the very fierceness Celeste had conjured from the panther. 

 

“It's time to attend to those who hurt you, those who sent your soul into hiding, it is time to send them.... NOT into hiding, but into exile from your spirit, from your cellular memory and your life as it is now”... Celeste was calm and yet authoritative. Wait.....wait .... How did SHE know I'd been.....'hurt'' by....'those'? Wait.... My conscious awareness began flooding my memory, sifting through the initial 

 

conversation I'd had with her... Trying to find some hint I had given her of the atrocity I needed to 'forget' again. But I could find none. Yet Celeste... Somehow...knew. ‘What’ had she seen in her altered higher state? And then suddenly, quite irrationally, I started to panic.

 

I felt it... Constriction. Invisible hands around my throat... adrenaline replacing the peace only moments ago I had basked in, only seconds earlier. My eyes still closed but I could feel Celeste’s energy..... Strong, heavy, forceful with intent.. She was standing over my torso. And then a tugging, pulling from inside me. The same sensation as when I had mastitis breast feeding. It was like hot sticky string being pulled  painfully slowly through my nipples. The heat extended to my stomach where the pulling sensation intensified. 

 

Celeste's presence was overbearing as she exhaled loudly in short, sharp, exclamation point breaths. I daren’t open my eyes. She moved her cupped hands away then toward my abdomen…I knew because I could feel the energy moving in unison with her silent command. Indeed with her 'pulling' motion Celeste was extracting something invisible from inside me. 

 

“There are three.” She volunteered. “Energetic entities, fragments of souls that have hooked themselves into you.” In my mind I corrected her…

“ No….. there were six”. 

She began making frightening guttural sounds...'Sheeshing', sighing, panting as if laboring in childbirth....and then...THEY were gone! Suddenly detached, disentangled from my very insides...extracted from my essence. I felt as if a void had been created then immediately filled with a deliciously comforting warm liquid, thick like oil yet transparent and glowing and pure. My soul was at last free to roam untethered and my life limitless. Liberation spread hope within this tiny room on the East Coast all the way to infinity. For the first time in over twenty years I felt the heavy sodden cloak of demoralization dissipate.

 

“Now…” she said. “I want you to put these three energetic beings, give them a face, a body, a shape, and put them on an iceberg.”

It was easy to imagine because I was no longer afraid to see them dwelling in my recognition. And so I did. I put those men on an iceberg…..naked! 

“Now when you are ready…..” Celeste continued…”Push that iceberg out to sea.”

I did. I most certainly did….with a real smile on my face. I let them……go.

 

 

“They have absolutely no power to hurt you or make you feel anything now Lyla. Now you can forgive them.” 

I took a deep breath expecting to feel a strong resistance rise spontaneously within me, I expected to feel objection. But I didn’t. I felt too peaceful, and so I allowed a sense of surrender to overtake me and within this surrender, I found the ability to forgive.

I din’t expect apology, I didn’t expect them to feel sorry. It surprisingly didn’t matter. I just…..forgave them. Now I knew, I could truly move forward and embrace an authentic part of my self that had still been held hostage even decades after rescue. I wondered how this would present itself, how this final untethering from the past would manifest in my life.