In my twenties, I’d begun participating in Native American ceremonies, which make ritual use of prayer, song, and sweating to heal and elevate the consciousness. The ritual is performed in a simple willow structure which is covered with blankets and tarps. Hot rocks heated in a fire pit are brought into the sweat lodge and used to create the heat. Water and herbs are thrown on the rocks, and songs and prayers are sung and said.
One night in the sweat lodge, my teacher took a small handful of earth and his own saliva and mixed them together in his hands. He began to pray over me, applying this earth mixture to my eyelids and my heart, and down both arms. Then, he opened the door-flap of the sweat lodge, and I went outside, washed off in a pond, and sat quietly. The prayerful seeds of inner sight were planted in me that day, and blossomed two weeks later into a very powerful spiritual experience.
This vision involved my newborn daughter, Selene. I had given birth to her at home, which was a converted barn with lots of windows and skylights. Selene’s cradle was placed close to me in the kitchen so I could watch her when I was preparing food. One day, I was cleaning out the refrigerator when I came across a little vessel that looked somewhat like a plastic test tube, filled with mold. I put it under the faucet, cleaning it with fresh water, and I thought to myself, “This looks like some kind of New Age birth control device” I thought to myself. As the clear water washed through the tube, my baby daughter lay there in the cradle, cooing like a little dove. Suddenly, the God Power began to surge inside of me with great force. My heart opened up like a woman opens herself to a man in the act of lovemaking. My heart opened wider and wider and I could feel the presence of God penetrate my heart, in the most complete feeling I had ever experienced.
God the Beloved took me, and I stood there at the kitchen sink in an orgasmic pleasure that satisfied my soul and body to the very last cell. The Power now moved from my heart and shot out the top of my head, and my spirit began to rise far above this earthly scene.
I realized that my daughter’s spirit was guiding me, and even though she was incarnated into this little human form, her spirit was still very much one with God and had not fallen asleep in human consciousness. She took me to her whom I call the White Mother, the Divine Mother-and whom some know as the Virgin Mary. There I experienced a mystical union with God that was so pure and complete. I was contained within the Divine Mother. I understood for the first time her many names: the Sealed Fountain, the Ivory Tower, the Enclosed Garden. She was totally united with the Beloved in ecstatic union, and this feeling and spirituality she shared with me directly.
Words can not convey nor hold a candle to this experience, for it went beyond the world of thought. All sorrows and disappointments in my life melted in her presence. People who had hurt me-which more often than not had driven me inside-now seemed like events that took me into myself toward the search for the Divine. I could only feel gratitude for all the people I had known in my life, both the good and the bad, for in that moment I was home in the heart of the Mother, in complete union with everyone and everything.
This experience lasted for four days; I did not eat or sleep (but I still could function in my life). I would sit on the couch and put my finger in the air, and the whole universe seemed to revolve around it.
After my ascent to the White Mother, I began to descend to what I call-and honor-the Black Mother, better known as the Black Madonna. This phase of the experience was not the ecstasy that I had felt in the higher planes; instead, it was hard work.
My consciousness began to swim through the wombs of my mother, my grandmother, and the countless generations that had come down into the flesh. Genetic information about my family line and my children was easily read. It was as though I had taken a thread in a weaving of spinning atoms. This weaving was the film-strip outer-world. I pulled the string. All illusions fell away and I witnessed the One Spirit behind everything.
This weaving of the outer “picture show” was made up of millions and millions of atoms vibrating, and even though it seemed solid, it was very lucid and ever-changing. I could see the Spirit of God clothed in the flesh of my children; their spirits were working through genetic patterns they inherited from mother and father, from grandmother and grandfather, patterns that had been passed down from each generation, generations that had fallen asleep to their spiritual birthright. The whole outer movie actually was a weaving of vibrating atoms, seemingly solid, but not. And I kept swimming deeper into the genetic womb until I returned to the first atom.
This process lasted for days, and then, after many hours without sleep, I came crashing back to the earth-plane, not really wanting to return from the union that I had experienced.
It took me weeks to recover and years to totally integrate this experience into my life and to understand what it meant. At first, I only wanted the White Mother-the pure and the bliss-rejecting the Black Mother, but as time passed, I understood what this Black Madonna archetype meant to me. She was the Mother-Womb of the Matter, the ruler of sex, death, and childbirth. She was the embodiment of Mother Nature, and by not honoring her, nature was not honored, sex became degraded, and the Sacred was forgotten.
After this experience, I found a silent secret garden and a spiritual haven within my soul. This was where I spiritually fed myself. A place inside I could connect to the Source and be spiritually nourished. Through meditation and prayer, I would find my silent Beloved who was always waiting for my return.