Tried journeying for the first time last night. Meditated with a focus on finding my spirit animal to get me focused then imagined a very vivid memory I have of sitting atop a mountain with a giant building storm cloud over the plains to the east and golden dusky sunlight covering the mountains to the west.
The First Journey
At first I was just sitting on the mountain looking, and then suddenly, with the tempo of the drums rising I started running to a small opening between two rocks as if I knew it was there before, but I didn't. Once inside the cave followed an ephemeral stream that was running underground. I was running and couldn't help from doing so, almost at a sprint now. I spooked a deer, who I interpreted to be hiding in the cave because of a wildfire that is burning in the forest above. The deer outran me and was soon out of sight. I stopped for a break from running, I could almost feel the fatigue as if it was real. The the stag walked down from a rock pile on the right, but this time without a trace of fear in his eyes, he seemed very sure of where he was going. We held eye contact as he came down, then started to walk in the direction I had been running. I felt it would be disrespectful to follow it immediately, so I waited a few minutes before continuing. I then walked, and I came upon an exit to the cave. I was much closer to the flames of the wildfire now. I saw the deer, standing near the exit as calm and seemingly omniscient as before. I verbally said "Are you my spirit animal?". He did not reply but began to walk toward the flames, and I felt that this time he wanted me to follow him. I did. We walked toward the flames, and when we were nearly touching them he walked in a circle around me, bringing the flames around us 360º, like a curtain. Then our eyes met and he stopped walking. A strong breeze began to blow, emanating from us, pushing all the fire away so violently that the flames were almost horizontal, parallel to the ground. At this point I heard a raven caw in a distressed seeming way. This sent me flying back to reality and when I opened my eyes, I felt a heaviness on my chest and was confused but excited.
The Following Morning, The Second Journey.
I entered this journey in the same way, except meditating with a focus on learning more about this raven spirit and finding a guide who could let me communicate with the spirit of the fire. I envisioned myself atop a small beige sandstone mesa, sitting still as I had been atop the mountain. I felt a sudden strong urge to begin my journey as I had the previous night. I climbed down from the mesa and found a small fissure to slip into at the base. I went down and down for what seemed like days, in mostly total darkness, but I could feel the dampness of the cavern. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel and soon the roof of the cave turned up and away from me and I found myself in a large cirque surrounded by mountains. I could see the deer from my previous journey atop a hill across from the small lake I was looking at. Feeling protected, I approached a bear who was near the lakes edge. I felt that this bear harbored much wisdom, so I asked him about the Raven I had heard last night. He said the Raven had come to him and wanted to speak to me directly. The bear instructed me, with words, to wait atop one of the surrounding mountains until the raven came to me. I waited for four days. Around dusk on the second, the stag summited the mountain himself and laid down near where I was sitting. We waited, not anxiously, but peacefully. On the fourth day, the raven came and landed on a rock to my left. He spoke, already knowing what I desired. He explained that he was the raven I had heard, and that he was trying to escape the fire. Without another word, he took flight and left. I returned to the lake to find the bear. The stag parted ways with me on the way down. The bear was now a man by a fire with lots of bear items on him and a bear pelt laid across his back. He had a small campfire,which we both stared at. We looked up at eachother after some time, and he said to me that I must meet the fire spirit, but I was too new to the spirit world at the time. He instructed me to find continue exploring, and to come find him in a week. Confused, I asked if he was my guide, he simply said yes. I asked no more questions and peacefully retraced my steps out of the journey.
Both of these experiences were powerful and vivid.
Any comments or thoughts on why I must meet the fire spirit?
I'm fairly sure that the stag is my power animal, and I know that the man bear is my guide. Are there other guides I can find in the lower world or will this be the only one for me?