Last night I dreamed of pythons.  I dreamed of fear and running, of a beautiful woman I know at my side.  Both of us were powerful, but the snakes were more than either of us could handle.  We hid behind doors, but they got around the doors, over the doors, under the doors.  I woke to squeezing around my flesh, colors changing in their scales.

A warning of snake energy.  Powerful snake energy I needed to process in times to come.

Months ago, after a class I taught, a giant class that was a sea of faces and ropes, a student approached me as I was surrounded by individuals wanting to ask questions.  He asked me if I ever accepted gifts from students.  I offhandedly said yes, not really present.  He took a snake skin cuff off his wrist, handed it to me, and vanished into the crowd.  I put it on, and went to find him, after the sea died down.  He was nowhere to be found.

Later that night, I ran into him again.  He was wearing a headdress made from a cobra skin, and other snake skin leatherwear.  He told me of his wife who had passes away, of his fear coming into community- and how my class had changed his life.  Amidst mundane topics, I slip in pieces of my own philosophy.  There is nothing profane.  But apparently I said what he had needed to hear.  I said that “if you are called to do it another way, go for it.  Follow what feels right.”

He had feared judgement.  And instead, he was faced with love.  He had given me a piece of the leather gear that he had made himself, cobra skins collected from estate sales and antique stores.  I knew then I would be coming to accept snake energy in my life.  Tonight I moved from accepting it, to embracing it, as it embraced me.  I did so amongst embracing the last pentacle I had sworn myself to work with- a dance between, within, and out again.

Around the neck of the Shiva statue I own, around his neck is draped a cobra.  This venomous beast threatened to drown the universe in toxins.  Shiva swallowed up every drop of poison, conquering death, embracing the cosmos.  At his crown another serpent appears in some depictions, and for others the cobras are one.  The second one represents the awakening of Kundalini, awareness of the Ajna Chakra, the third eye.  Dormant energy awakens, and awareness erupts.

Embracing the Cobra

A gift of a massage came for myself and my partner.  The massage therapist, a shiatsu practitioner who works with a modified modality of practice that embraces trigger point release and that less is more.  It was my first time working with her, but for both of us, her style truly worked for us.

As she worked into my shoulders and up my neck, I felt it curl up at my feet.  A cobra, 8-10 feet in length, massive.  A partner of a friend had twice told me I had a giant serpent waiting behind me, or sometimes some other black form.  But here it was.  I could feel it sliding around my feet, feel it sliding up to my ankle.  I breathed through the sensation, through her working on my body.  I felt it slide up and around my left leg, it’s coils pushing into me but not squeezing.  I felt it push and twist, wrapping three times around my leg, then twist up my back.  It wound left, right, left, right, then up the center of my neck.  It came across the top of my scull, and down the center of my forehead.

My eyes woke, my astral body felt like it was going to explode.  My external body continued to breathe slowly as she worked down into my hips.

Other visions came.  An army amassing.  The Lieutenant of a Prince’s army at the lead.  Clockwork gears in the face of one foot soldier, who looked into me as golden gears turned.  I saw beings of light hiding behind closed doors, unable, unwilling or uncertain on how to take action.  I saw a painting of a great winged scarab.  I saw fields of wheat.  I breathed in, and let them pass through me.

After the massage, I used the restroom then went into the bedroom.  I had to sit with what I had seen, and it was my partner’s turn with the masseuse.  I ate a few bites of tabbouleh, drank water, and lay down.  I closed my eyes, and the hair on the back of my neck began to stand on end.  I took a series of deep breaths, and self the scales wrapping around the base of my feet again.  I looked down, and saw.  I saw.

Awakening the Pearl Pentacle

As I stared at the cobra curling at my feet, I saw his forehead clearly for the first time.  Embedded in his forehead was a black pearl.  This struck me like a wave, an intense feeling of deep water in my body, through my body, over my body.  Two nights earlier I had done my working with the Quartz Pentacle.  My partner, the next morning, had stared at the pentacle tattoos on my body and asked me to lay our each one for him.

I pointed at the Ruby Pentacle on my abdomen.  Honor – Integrity – Discipline – Responsibility – Purpose

I pointed out the Iron Pentacle on my left elbow.  Sex – Pride – Self – Power – Passion

I pointed out the Amethyst Pentacle on my right elbow.  Innocence – Desire – Awakening – Identity – Expression

I pointed out the Pearl Pentacle on my left inner upper arm.  Love – Law – Knowledge – Liberty – Wisdom

I pointed out the Quartz Pentacle on my right inner upper arm.  Compassion – Balance – Patience – Forgiveness – Gratitude

He looked at me and smiled.  “So, Sir, what work do you still need to do on the Pearl Pentacle?”

The tattoos on the Ruby, Iron and Amethyst pentacles had taken perfectly.  The Pearl and Quartz pentacles had come out blotchy, discolored, and imperfect.  I stared at them and smiled as well.  I had just designed and done a major working to finally deal with Quartz issues in my life, to seriously sit with compassion for myself and others, acknowledge out loud that I desired balance in my life, embrace the fact that I was learning lessons of patience, work on forgiving myself, and acknowledge more fully the gratitude in my life.

And here I was, staring down at a large black pearl in the snake’s forehead, and the cobra’s black pearl eyes staring up at me.

One of the rarest gems on earth.  Tales of exotic journeys into the passions of our hearts.  My journey with the Pearl Pentacle was not to be one of mother of pearl, white pearl, freshwater pearl.  Within my heart of hearts, my journey is not better than any other person’s, but I have been told over and over again by the world that my journey is different.  When I speak of my work in the temple of life, the playground of life, the art gallery of life… many stare at me, as if I were recounting a fantasy novel.  My journey is different- why should it surprise me that the pearl my spirit is called to is different?

And so, with a smile, I cleared my heart.  I breathed deeply, and opened up.  I felt the snake curl up my left foot and three times around my left leg.  It twisted up my back.  It wound left, right, left, right, then up the center of my neck.  It came across the top of my scull, and down the center of my forehead.  My eyes opened, all three, my eyes were wide and I was open.  My jade pillow at my ajna chakra had a line of light between them, and I felt in there the seed growing wild called LOVE.  Love, the word writ upon my belly so that I can see it every day.

“God is love,” I said weakly, and the moon flickered through black branches.  I believed then that it was so.
“When you say that, and I say that,” said Qaspiel, I do not think we mean the same thing.  You mean it only as a metaphor.”
I brooded on that, and the angel walked beside me, the hematite in its hair like black tears.
-Catherynne M. Valente, from “The Habitation of the Blessed: A Dirge for Prester John Volume 1”

God is Love, and it is no metaphor.  Through my crown, I can hear the whispers of God that is I AM.  God that is myself.  For we are each God, and God is in each of us.  Namaste on my lips.

Love erupted in my third eye, my crown, my head ablaze with Love.

The next point on the Pearl Pentacle is Law.  I have had challenges with the notion of Law, as have many Feri.  But I breathed in and released, and felt the cobra moving.  As I breathed I felt it wrap down around my neck, wrap twice around my midsection, sliding down the back of my leg like a seamed stocking, wrapping finally around my ankle and plugging into the circle there.  LAW.  Law lit up in my body, and I understood.

Legal Law is the line between what is allowed by our governments and culture, and what is not.  How we keep a sense of order in the worlds we walk in.  Social Laws are those things that we consider taboo, and what we consider acceptable.  Law is about understanding boundaries, and understanding that if we transgress that there are ramifications.  We become anarchists, outlaws, martyrs for a cause, rebels without one.  We become criminals.

Criminals of the spirit exist when we do not acknowledge boundaries for ourselves and our capacity.  Not boundaries that hold us out, but boundaries that create a space called home, within which we can freely explore our psyche and existence.  Law is about spirit of the law, not letter of the law.  Be aware of the letter, for letters make up words and by the Word was the universe made.  I see Law reflected in me and know that without boundaries there can be no adventures out into the wilderness.  Law within myself is an acknowledgement of dreams and desires, acknowledging of capacity, and hearing the Laws of my innermost desire.

Desire.  It hits me.  Desire is the second point on the Amethyst Pentacle.  I pull forth the other second points.  Pride.  Balance.  Itegrity. Law.  Desire.  I lay the five atop each other and see how they dance.  Desires help us create Law.  Laws beget potential for Desire inside and outside of what is appropriate.  Integrity helps us enforce our Law and see and acknowledge the Law and boundaries of others.  Balance helps us create Law that serves all involved.  Pride in Balance helps us lift up and defend our Law, while out of Balance it can have us not acknowledge our own capacity.

I turn back to Love and do the same.  Sex.  Compassion.  Honor.  Innocence.  Love.  I breathe in the revelation, and feel the five dance into and through one another.

Love, Law.  Law, Love.  Love, Law.  Breathe in, and the connection grows, and the serpent slithers through me.  Ankle to Crown to Angle.  I am an angle, acute.  I am acutely aware.

The serpent slithers, the cobra moves through my breath.  The line up my thigh, along my sex, past my midsection.  Across to my palm, where it wraps like a bracelet and nestles itself into the palm of my hand.  The astral body mod I have on my palm blazes upright, and my power surges.  KNOWLEDGE.  Knowledge.  I see it burning bright.

Knowledge that has the power to heal and inform the world.  Knowledge misunderstood, locked and strained, miles of books unread and mistaken for Knowledge.  Knowledge of self.  Knowledge of others.  Information in the form of Knowledge, and Information that buries us under facts and figures, an internet that offers us Information and claims it is Knowledge.  The power of my own Knowledge, used well.  Knowledge.

I turn to the layers.  Knowledge at the third point lines up with Self.  I breathe in, and see Knowledge of Self, the Self-Knowledge that burns bright.  Self.  Patience.  Discipline.  Awakening.  Knowledge.  YES.

Breathing through, Knowledge settles into my core.  Love, Law, Knowledge.  Knowledge, Law, Love.  Yes, yes, I clench in and down and absorb.  Love, Law, Knowledge.  Knowledge, Law, Love.

The cobra pulls out and through my palm, and heads towards my heart.  I feel it wrap around my heart, my Heart, and squeeze.  It unlocks me, it opens me up, and I breathe deep as it slithers through with my moan escaping my lips.  It slithers across to my opposite palm, where it wraps like a bracelet and nestles itself into the palm of my hand.  The astral body mod I have on my palm blazes inverse, and my power surges.  LIBERTY.  Liberty, known by others as Power.  Liberty.

Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Freedom to follow my bliss.  Knowing my bliss to be able to follow it.  The lines build up, layers of meaning within the pentacle.  I see Liberty within the gifts of my work, within the way I pursue love, within me acknowledging this who I AM and not letting it be thwarted by Should.

Liberty at the fourth point lines up with Power on the Iron Pentacle.  Thus the nine-pointed star of Feri for those who call both Power.  Iron and Pearl become one.  But here I see Power.  Forgiveness.  Responsibility.  Identity.  Liberty.  I start to cry.  Without Forgiveness, there is no Liberty of the heart.  Without responsibility for ourselves or the world, Liberty becomes abuse.  In finding my Identity I can pursue Power fully.  Yes, oh YES.  Tears fall, and I feel the cobra twist and turn in me.

The last point.  Am I ready?  I breathe, and feel no doubt.  The cobra recoils to the beginning, and we start anew.  Up the ankle, up my spine, down my crown to Love.  Around my neck, my torso, my leg to Law.  Up my thigh and sex, up to my palm at Knowledge.  Across my chest, around my heart, and over to Liberty.  Down my torso, across my sex and thigh, down and down slithering, around my ankle and plugged into my mod there.  WISDOM.

Wisdom is hearing the truth of our heart and tribe.  Plugging into universal YESes.  Feeling.  Going in, deeper- and not keeping it hidden from ourselves or the world.  How often have I known Wisdom and instead turned away?  Known also as Discernment, Insight.  I cry, I feel my body shake, and as it shakes it echoes up as pleasure awakens in turn.  In the vulnerability of my heart I feel the capacity for the discernment I have so craved bubbling to the surface.

The fifth point of Wisdom is Passion on Iron, Gratitude on Quartz, Purpose on Ruby, Expression on Amethyst.  Passion.  Gratitude.  Purpose.  Expression.  Wisdom.

Oh how I have needed to express my Wisdom, and am learning when to not express the shadow Wisdoms for those not yet ready to hear.  Cast not pearls before swine.  PEARL.  Gratitude for Wisdom recieved.  Purpose through knowing our inner wisdom.  Passion, embraced, finding Wisdom in its wake.

I run the pentacle.  Love – Law – Knowledge – Liberty – Wisdom.  Wisdom- Liberty – Knowledge – Love – Law.  Back, forth, cycling over and over in one direction, then the other.  I run the circle around, creating a pentacle truly.  Love – Liberty – Law – Wisdom – Knowledge.  The cobra becomes a line of black pearl, and I gaze in.  I gaze into myself.  I gaze into I AM.  Glowing.

The energy cools.  It settles.  I run each of the five pentacles in turn.  I see how they dance around each other.

Breathing deeply, I release.

I am.  I AM.