"This era of so-called informed consent is centered on the myth-yes, the myth-of consenting adults. In sexual circumstances, many of us may not be clearly considering what is really going on and what is at stake, instead making choices from a desire (largely rooted in childhood) to get approval, affection, connection, love, or security, or to be distracted from our suffering."
- Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us from What Really Matters
by Robert Augustus Masters, PhD
THE REASON FOR THE JOURNEY:
Based upon the rising pain in my labia, vagina and lower back, and by the advice of my guides, I decided to take a shamanic journey to a July 4th birthday party, the summer between my sophomore and junior year in high school.
I’m fifteen years old, and I’m dating my best friend Rob. Rob was the popular boy in our group, with handsome blonde hair and green eyes. He had already dated my best friend, from the south side of Chicago, and a close friend in my neighborhood over the past year before he told me that he wanted to date me.
He had been flirting with me for months but I didn’t recognize it. How could I when he was dating my friends?! When he finally told me he thought we would make a good couple because we had our friendship as a solid base, my intuition warned me that it wasn’t a good idea. But over a campaign of notes and cards and sweet gestures, I finally gave in.
Fourth of July was our friend Fred’s birthday. With his parents in Puerto Rico our group had the house to ourselves. There was some hard liquor, and a pony keg in the kitchen but I didn’t drink. My mom’s drinking disgusted me. I wanted no part of that world.
I called in my guides Ken, Emerson, Arch Angel Nathaniel, and Mother Mary. I then asked Sally 15 and BODY to join me, especially my vagina and my lower back.
1. Find forgiveness and compassion
2. Learn some lessons
3. Release anger & rage
***The Journey Begins***
Patrick, Stanley (my protection in the form of a brown bear), Sally 15 and I immediately take off for the Vancouver mainland in our birch bark spirit canoe. It’s a choppy start to the journey, but we quickly hit land, and after a short walk through a meadow we enter into a cave. Inside the cave we approach an area I call the “Lake Below.” The Lake Below is where I enter into the Lower World to meet my principle guide there, Azul, when reviewing events from my life. It’s a dark, underground waterway in which I wade into the past. Knowing what’s coming, I freeze the action of the journey.
One of the wonderful things about a shamanic journey is that you are the director. If things are not going the way you want, you simply tell Spirit to change it up. So I turn to Sally 15 to check in.
ME: Are you OK?
Sally 15: Yes, I think so.
ME: Ok. I need you to keep holding my hand. You are going to be OK.
With that assurance, we walk together into and under the water. Before long a mist unveils and I am in the basement of Fred’s home. I am alone. I hear a few people outside in the backyard. I can see the black pleather sofas in front of me and above me is a low stucco ceiling with silver sparkles to imitate a starry sky. Fred’s parents were dancers and they would sometimes clear the room to tango.
On the stereo blares the song, “The Lamb lies down on Broadway.” I look around and finally find Fred. He doesn’t look happy. I ask where Rob is and he’s frustrated. He turns his back to me saying, “Check my bedroom.”
I slowly climb the stairs to the landing outside his room. I can hear Rob and Karen inside making noises and laughing. Karen is my new high school friend that I’ve invited to the party.
ME: Rob? Are you in there with Karen?
There is a panic inside the room. I can hear whispers and shuffling, something banging against a closet door.
Before I speak again, Rob opens the door a few inches, pushing Karen out and pulling me in by the wrist in one fluid motion. Rob is sweaty. It is pretty hot out tonight.
ME: What were you doing in here with Karen???
Rob: Nothing, nothing!
He grabs my wrist and swings me into his arms, kissing me. He walks me to the bed.
Rob: Sit down.
Before long we were kissing and necking. He is such a good kisser! We began to rub one another over our clothes. Rob asks me to take off my pants and I begin to comply as he drags his own jeans down. He asks me to lie on my stomach. I hesitate.
ME: You have to pull out.
Rob: I know, I know…
Soon he is inside of me, finding his rhythm. It feels so good to have him inside of me! So good it begins to scare me. After a few seconds, I feel panic. I ask him to stop. He is fully on top of me. I am nervous. He isn’t listening. I’m so scared that I tighten my whole lower body, trying to stop him.
ME: Stop. Stop! You need to stop, you need to stop…
I try to move. I tighten more, trying to protect myself. This only makes him more excited. I begin to cry. My thoughts are racing. He drives himself into me, hard. Puncturing. Burning. I’m shocked silent.
Between my legs I feel dripping. My fists are clenched tight. I feel disgust. I’m angry. No I’m livid. My jaw is clenched tight.
I can’t believe he just did that! I say to myself.
After a brief moment, he gets off of me and dresses quickly and silently. I remain face down in the pillow. I’m ashamed. He opens the door to the hallway. I can hear the door creak. I know he is waiting for me, so I look over at him, briefly. He is standing in the hallway, blocking the light, so I can’t see his face. I want to see his face, but all I can see is the black silhouette of his hair, which is wild.
He closes the door.
My guide, Azul, pulls me away from the scene. I’m disappointed and I’m angry.
Me: Azul? Is this all there is?
I check in with Sally 15.
Me: Sally 15, are you OK?
Azul: She can’t talk to you. She’s in shock.
I check in with my body. My vagina assumes the voice of a teenage girl, of course. My back is the voice of a younger man.
Me to vagina: Are you OK?
Vagina: (Timidly) I’m OK. (Pause) No lasting damage.
Back: I’m crunched a little but I’m OK.
Azul: (In her Spock-like way) What did you want?
Me: (Incredulously) I wanted…I wanted…I wanted to lose my virginity later! With someone I loved later! Like, in college!
I pause to myself: I wanted to lose my virginity to Rich! Rich was my college sweetheart.
Azul: Ok. Then let’s create that.
She immediately takes me to the scene of the night of the perfect snow, when Rich and I are on the campus quad together in the middle of the night. We’ve just kissed and are walking back to the Busey dorm, but instead of Rich going home from there, I invite him back in. We spread out a blanket and make love on the floor. It’s gentle. He is kind and holds me in his arms afterwards. It is sweet.
The scene disappears.
I consider Sally 15, still in shock. I remember that in a past exercise she was mad that we repressed our feelings from the abortion. She is upset now because she couldn’t confront Rob as he stood in the doorway. Although repressing is what she needed to do to get through the moment, it’s finally time to let us feel and let go of the rage.
Azul: (calmly) OK. Instead of repressing, let’s have you remember what happened, when you wake up the next day.
The scene rolls out in front of me, just as she stated. I watch myself wake up in my bedroom.
I see the look on my face. Terror and fear. I’m horrified. Upset.
Azul: (from behind me) Who would you talk to? Who could you tell this to? Who would give you the help that you needed? We were there for you. We decided that this was too much. He betrayed you, your best friend! THIS IS THE GIFT. We took it out of your mind until you would have someone safe to remember it with.
She is right. I sensed that Sally 15 understood this also. And with this realization the scene evaporates.
Azul: When you told him to stop, he wasn’t listening. You weren’t really there anymore to him. He was completely in his own head, his own emotions and hormones. He was completely attracted to you and involved in the act of what he was doing. He wasn’t trying to hurt you.
I listen to what she is saying, but I still feel victimized.
Azul: This event did make you stronger.
She begins to flash scenes in my head as she narrates.
Azul: You became more determined than ever to get to college. When Rob came back to you, begging forgiveness, after you found out he was cheating on you with Karen, you threw his high school ring into a nearby field and yelled, “You don’t deserve me!” That was a very strong moment! You instinctively made a decision that you would never be treated that poorly by a man again. And you weren’t.
She is right.
As the drumming nears the end, my hands begin to buzz.
Azul: You are a healer. Your hands are activated now so that you can heal.
And with that prompt, I instinctively placed my hands over my womb, below my navel, forming the shape of a heart.
Me: I return you to the state of health, where you were as a virgin. I return you to the state of health, where you were as a virgin. I return you to the state of health, where you were as a virgin…
In my mind’s eye, I think of my lower back and chant the same lines to it...
And just as the final drumming departed into silence, I can barely hear Azul say, “There is nothing left to forgive.”
***The Journey Ends***