THE SHAMANIC JOURNEY OF THE SUN

 By Lorraine Exley and Paul Newman

 

 

SHAMANIC JOURNEY

Beyond the Portals of the Sun

Declinations 
25 to 31 degrees North/South.

By Lorraine Exley and Paul Newman 
Copyright 2001

Index to the 'Beyond the Ports of the Sun' :

25th North.  QUEEN OF DIAMONDS
26th North.  KING OF DIAMONDS
25th South.  QUEEN OF CLUBS
26th South.  KING OF CLUBS
A commentary on THE QUEENS (of Diamonds and Clubs)
A commentary on THE KINGS (of Diamonds and Clubs)
BEYOND 26 Degrees North/South
27th North     28th North     29th North
27th South     28th South     29th South
BEYOND THE MOON
THE HIDDEN PATH OF RA - OUT OF BOUNDS and 'Beyond the Moon'
30th South     30th North
31st South     31st North


25th North.  QUEEN OF DIAMONDS

We find ourselves in a special clearing in the wild wood.
The deer is drinking from a pool and watching us.
We are only there in spirit but he can see us.
The clearing is completely surrounded by really tall trees reaching to the heavens.
From the water comes a glow shimmering upwards.
There is silence.No bird song, no sound of water.  This is a moment. A glimpse.
Without moving the deer conjures up a square which floats through the air towards us.
It is a doorway through which we can pass, whenever we need to return, whenever we need safety.

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26th North.  KING OF DIAMONDS

A stag is at a pool drinking water, a mirror image dividing the scene.
Then coming into view above the scene is a large triangle that gets closer and closer floating through the air.
Inside the triangle sits a cross-legged man, whose shape fills the triangle.
Then as I get close, a crescent shape fills it.
The man's head is revealed above the crescent.  He is a 3-eyed man.
Meanwhile the stag continues to graze and drink.
The 3-eyed man watches over all beneath him.
All is still and silent and eternal.

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25th South.  QUEEN OF CLUBS

In a beautiful palace guarded by two lions on either side sits a Queen with an EYE hovering over her forehead.
Everything is symmetrical, except one side is dark and one side light.
(The dark side is on the Queen's right as she looks towards us).
With her right hand she throws forth a carpet which unrolls towards us, then she scatters something into it.
It is toads and snakes and creatures which crawl on their bellies.
They wriggle forwards along the carpet, out of the palace towards a pond which they enter.
The pond is full of golden flecks of light, getting brighter and brighter so that we can no longer see.
Golden sparkles shimmer and rise from the water.
Then the water is slowly surrounded by mist until it is lost from sight forever.

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26th South.  KING OF CLUBS

I am a jaguar, prowling at night.
My sense of smell is overwhelming; everything becomes smell.  I am guided by it.
Everything is very dark around me, but in this darkness I can see clearer than ever.
The blackness allows me to tune in to all my senses.  My vision is increased. I am totally aware.
Vision is clearer in the dark.

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THE QUEENS (of Diamonds and Clubs): A commentary

The image for the Queen of Diamonds (25th degree North) describes a clearing in a wild wood.  The image for the Queen of Clubs (25th South) describes a courtyard in a palace (in which a queen is sitting).  These are hidden kingdoms, otherworldly places, and both contain animal imagery with deer in the wood and lions around the queen's throne.

Yet what connects the two images most closely is a pool or pond of water in which - in both cases - a shimmering glow brightens the picture.  This is not a tangible reflection of the Sun in the sky for these are Out Of Bounds degrees beyond the Sun's path.  "We are only there in spirit" (Queen of Diamonds).  The light appears mysteriously from within the water itself:

"Golden sparkles shimmer and rise from the water" (Queen of Clubs),
"From the water comes a glow shimmering upwards" (Queen of Diamonds).

As in the Jack of Diamonds there appears to be evidence of a hidden light beyond the Sun.

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THE KINGS (of Diamonds and Clubs): A commentary

Animal imagery is again common to both of these 26th degrees.  The King of Diamonds (26th North) is a stag, the King of Clubs (26th South) is a jaguar.  '"Light" is not specifically mentioned in either of these pictures, in fact the action in the King of Clubs takes place at the dead of night, ("darkness,"blackness").
We are now far beyond the Sun.

"All is still and silent and eternal" (King of Diamonds), yet this makes the prowling jaguar (King of Clubs) even more aware: "Vision is clearer in the dark".

Another small detail that connects the Kings to the Queens is the mention of a third eye.  (An inner Sun?)  In the image for the Queen of Clubs (25th South) there is an Eye hovering over the forehead of the queen on her lion throne.  In the image for the King of Diamonds (26th North), a floating triangle contains a cross-legged man who also has three eyes.

The Eye in the Queen of Clubs is most likely a representation of the right eye of Ra, the Egyptian sun god.  This queen is therefore Sekhmet, the goddess associated with twin lions (that in this image surround her throne).  Sekhmet, usually depicted as a woman with the head of a lioness, was the daughter of Ra and was given the divine eye to defeat his enemies.  Sekhmet 'the Powerful' is a figure capable of destruction akin to Kali and other death and regeneration goddesses from other cultures, so it is apt that she stands half in light and half in shadow and that she rolls out dark snakes and toads that are eventually transformed into golden light.

Although none of these shamanic images were received in numerical order it is not unusual to find a link between one degree and the next, (for example the 25th and 26th degree).  We find for instance that the deer drinking from a pool in the 25th North continues with a stag drinking from a pool in the 26th North, before other things happen in that degree.  The ribbon tentacles of the eel-like fish in the 1st degree South become the weaving Maypole in the 2nd degree South; a green shoot in the 14th South follows the buried seeds in the 13th North - and so on.

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BEYOND 26 Degrees North/South

After the initial experiment with the Deck of Cards had been completed it was decided to travel just a little further into the out-of-bounds degrees.  The farthest that the Moon can actually travel is to the 29th degree (28 degrees 30 minutes North or South).  This is three degrees beyond our previous margin, giving six more declination degree images (3 north and 3 south) to explore.  I chose cards from a different unused deck and gave them to Lorraine without telling her which should relate to which (to maintain the random selection practice).  But she was aware that she would now be out-of-bounds, far beyond the portals of the Sun.

In one of these degrees, the 29th South - the farthest south the Moon can go - Lorraine enters a zone "between lifetimes".  Here the image describes the barbs and threads that impede the journeying soul in its continuing struggle to reach the light.  This degree at the very farthest limit south, already way out of bounds, is one of the most karmically testing, bearing in mind that all degrees south of the celestial equator are deemed as karma to be resolved.  The 'lunar' Owl Woman at the 29th North is also a kind of 'holding' degree.  But in terms of retrieving the Earth's soul we are reliant now on the Moon's influence for there are no equivalent solar days to correspond to these deep degrees.  It is appropriate that these degrees of the Moon (a term we could give to the 25th-29th degrees North and South generally) are not tied in any way to the solar calendar and could theoretically be explored at any time.

(In actual fact the Moon can only reach these outer degrees during certain ten-year periods.  1942-1952, 1962-1972, 1982-1992, 2002-2012 and so on, are all possible Out Of Bounds Moon periods).

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27th North

A beam of light connects a triangular structure and a planet, yet it is more solid than light.
The beam shortens as it draws the planet down towards the triangular structure.
The planet gets bigger but the triangle does not change.
Yet it draws the planet inside, absorbing its energy.
The planet then emerges from the other side, growing again in size, but fainter and ghostlike.
Then, as it has fully emerged, it circles around the pyramid,
(up until this moment I did not think it was a pyramid, now that I have written this word I dont know),
making a spiral from bottom to top, with the energy shooting upwards from the top.
The planet disappears in this beam of energy."

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28th North

"I am pulled as if from a deep sleep to a place of nothing.
Here I see a man dressed in rags but laughing.
He carries no past or no future, but on his back there is a bundle.
He has chosen to be Nothing and go Nowhere.
He laughs again, then starts to do somersaults.
As he does this he becomes swirling light.
The light continues to move in somersaults and leaps, then lands at the top of a tree of fruit.
He becomes the man again and picks a fruit which he offers me.
As I take it the fruit becomes a bird who carries the seed inside.  It is a Crow.
He picks me up in his strong claws and starts to fly.
On and on we fly across oceans.
Then in the middle of one ocean he drops me from his claws.
I land in the water and see some rocks beneath, like a small city.
I find a hole and squeeze through.
I become a fish of many colours and swim around the rocks until I am swept up in a net.
Then I am placed in a bowl.  "Ah, this is life" I think.
I am so restricted I cannot move without coming across the barrier of the tank.
It becomes unbearable.  Then Crow appears again.  He picks me up and off we fly.
This time he drops me at the top of a mountain.  As I fall I become a worm.
I start to burrow.  I spend my lifetime burrowing to the bottom of the mountain.
It feels good to be free.
When I reach the bottom, in a crevice I see a golden light.  I move into it.
The gold is so dazzling I cannot see.
I realise that I am no longer a worm; I have sight.  I am sight.
It is impossible to look at the light; everything is gold.
I move through into labyrinths of black cloud.
In front I am led by one beam of gold and as I reach the end of the labyrinth there is a fire of burning gold.
I step into the fire.  I am melting.  It feels wonderful.

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29th North

This is Owl Woman.
She has the head of an owl and her huge body billows outwards, round and expanding, black but lighter around the edges.
We are inside her huge belly.
She knows all our secrets and all our dreams.
We are her children and she holds us inside until we are ready for release.
Then we are spewed out like stars scattering through the blackness, finding our way towards our source.
She will guide our journey.  We are so small.  There are so many, yet each has a blueprint.
We will find our way home, but for now we are waiting in the comfort of her womb."

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27th South

The wolf is prowling high along a mountainlike peak.
All is covered in white.  The contours of black and white are very sharp.
The wolf is the same black and white and blends in.
She becomes part of the Range.  She is swallowing light.
There are many  moons moving through her from crescent to full.
The light is emerging from her as a shimmering haze.
She howls; there is no-one to hear her.
She is in a place where no-one has ever stepped before; a place of void and softness, yet a place of knife-edge sharpness.
Her howl echoes out; it is echoing for eternity.
It is a sound which is giving shape to life.
She is howling for her lost children.  She is howling and howling and will never stop.
The sound becomes part of the Universe and is carried on the winds.
It is reborn in the soul of each new birth.
It is a pain to be carried until it can be seen as the light, until it can be raised and returned to be beamed as one sound.
It is the drop in the ocean which causes the spiral.

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28th South

(I have to write quickly before the feathers of forgetfulness completely cover me.  Am I meant to have been at that place?  I am fighting the softness as it floats over me).

I meet Wolf and Jaguar and Stag - they are surrounding me, with a shadowy dark fourth figure.
I cannot make out who. They are surprised to see me.
They did not know I could enter this place.
I am hesitant, I feel that maybe I should not be here, that I have entered some sacred sanctum.
But I am not afraid.  Just unsure.
They remove their heads, which are masks.  There stand the Shining Ones.
They are white and have vast auras of colour surrounding them.
I still do not recognise the fourth figure. 'Is this what you came for?' they say.
I am split from my head downwards and peeled in two. Inside bubbles a fountain of light.
It is low at first but then shoots upwards like blood from an artery.
It is shooting upwards and as it flows downwards it turns to wings - soft, white, feathered wings.
I am flying above them.  I suddenly realise that I might not be able to return, having seen such sights.
I use my mind to let go of my wings and they fall, where the masters catch them.
Yet still I can fly.  But I dont have any sense of who I am.
Then I land because I know must explain myself.
The 4th figure reveals herself as Owl Woman.
She removes feathers from her white belly and covers me in their down.
They are falling upon me like snow, burying me beneath them.
'What are you seeking?'  they ask.
I remember that I now know the purpose of my journey and ask for any small piece of soul to be returned.
They tell me I cannot go back.  That I must stay.
I am being buried deeper and deeper until I am melting into the softness, until I become part of it.
'It is already within you' I hear them echoing as I fade into lightness.
Then I am fluidity.  'Remember but forget' I am told.
I am floating and returning to my body.  I am light.

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29th South

Here there are layers moving in different directions.
Shifting sometimes from side to side, from left to right, right to left,
front to back, back to front, up and down, constantly changing dimensional form.
Sometimes it is like layers of sky, sometimes becoming layers of earth,
sometimes space between, sometimes between the worlds.
A gossamer mist joins them with threads, making it even more difficult to move through.
Here live the demons of our dreams, the barbs of our soul, clinging on as we move between lifetimes.
We must move through but the way is unsteady,
constantly changing, moving from beneath our feet,
as we push through the threads they wrap themselves around us.
It becomes the place of forgetting as the mist shrouds our minds.
Often we give in, allowing ourselves to become enmeshed, tying ourselves to one place, fearful of what lies ahead.
But with each step forward we remove a barb and the journey becomes freer.
As we gaze out at our demons, they dissolve before us.
The way becomes clear and we are moving with ease.
We forget our fear.  Our hearts and bodies become light.
A song starts in our hearts echoing in the stillness around.
It is the sacred "oooo", "O" for nothingness.
All is dissolved before us, we find we can fly and do not need the surface beneath our feet.
We are no longer tied.
It was worth the struggle as we become light.

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BEYOND THE MOON

Now the shaman faced a daunting decision.  The 29th degrees North or South are the farthest extremes that even the Moon can travel, so should she dare to travel further?  The decision was no longer simply an astrological one.  We should remember that for the shaman the journeys are as real as if she were in this world.  Ultimately the warning of the "Shining Ones" in the 28th degree South was enough to call a halt for now and decide that it could be too dangerous to travel further.

In fact because the declination degrees were tuned into randomly, this last mentioned degree (the 28th South) was the last of the Out Of Bounds Moon images to be visited.  Just prior to this the main purpose of the previous journeys and the entire exercise was thought to be part of a quest to recover lost pieces of the Earth's etheric body.  The shaman, who was accomplishing her tasks before this time in a sense blind to the true purpose, now had questions to ask and answers to find that were more focalised and specific and consequently the inhabitants of the other worlds were starting to react differently.  The idea of going "beyond the Moon" (beyond 29 degrees North or South) had also recently been contemplated before the degrees of 27 and 28 South had been met.  The sombre tone of this degree (28 S) along with the uncertainty of  "Am I meant to have been at that place?" ruled out the next possible steps (beyond the Moon) as too dangerous and not related to the original exercise governed by the Sun god.

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THE HIDDEN PATH OF RA - OUT OF BOUNDS and 'Beyond the Moon'
(No solar or lunar equivalents.)

Inevitably the search for knowledge, the pull of the unknown and above all the shaman's courage, allowed us to take the last steps in the experiment.  Six months had passed since the last declination journeys and now Lorraine received confirmation from her guides that she would have protection if she travelled soon.

The following four out-of-bounds degrees (30th & 31st North and South) were received on and around the Spring Equinox 2000 and a month later on April 19th.  But  this was forbidden territory and the shaman found great difficulty in coming to terms with what she had seen.

In the normal course of events no planet would ever travel through these degrees.  But if the Earth's relationship to the Sun should change, if the tilt of the Earth should be tipped even slightly, then these degrees could be visited by the Sun and the images of bleakness and devastation (particularly as described in 31st South) could become a doomsday reality.

To keep the Sun on course, to keep it to its correct path through day and night, was an abiding concern of the priesthood of Ancient Egypt.  Elaborate ritual and ceremony was devoted to keeping the cosmos pulsating in harmony, with much emphasis on the mighty Sun-god, Ra of the Two Horizons.  Many current theories suggest that the Ancient Egyptians may have held a race memory of a cosmic or solar disaster, with the result that the need to prevent such a cataclysm from happening again was taken very seriously indeed.

Similarly the Incas had a legend that the Sun was once joined to the land by a golden chain which was reeled in and out appropriately by the mountain priests.  One day, through the human guardians' carelessness or forgetfulness, the Sun broke loose and spun wildly across the sky, searing the land and causing universal devastation.  The lesson of honouring the Sun was never forgotten again.

We believe that by defining and honouring the Sun's path through an awareness of its journey through the declination degrees, is to help maintain the delicate Earth/Sun balance.  Old ceremonies like 'beating the bounds' survive into our times, where ancient parish boundaries were annually reactivated by a communal procession singing and chanting along its course.  It ensured that important perimeters and farthest limits were clearly marked and kept in order, and harmony between spirit and land thus ensured.

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30th South

I am pushing against something.
The force against me is so strong; my whole body becomes shapeless.
It dissolves and transforms, changing into a single cell which drifts.
I meet two yellow eyes, staring at me.
I drift into them and am swallowed.
I need a shape to travel and become Wolf.
He is travelling so fast, shooting through the Universe, through stars and planets.
Behind us the Sphinx is watching, the pyramids, getting larger as the earth gets smaller.
Then we arrive at the place of Infinity.  I am just a husk.
A worm-shaped debris is squeezed from me.
It falls away, falling to Earth.  All that is left is an invisible nothingness.
Why am I here?  Do I really want to know what awaits me?
I must move on to get away from this bleakness.
I am too afraid to go on.
I follow the journey back to return.

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30th North

I move through.  I am drawn (pulled) to a place.
This is the route I chose.  It could have been different.
I have gone too far now. Part of me knows where I am going.
Back to the source.
I realise what I am seeing, and know it cannot be revealed.
Mankind cannot take this reality.
I am beckoned but am very afraid.
I know there will be no return.  I am the tiniest speck as I move through.
Yet I am everything.
I have real fear, because I know what awaits.
I cannot make it.
I know that to move through will mean that I can never return to the same life.
Yet they call me. I can enter now.  I am allowed.  This is too far.
I am spinning, spinning all over the place.  OUT OF LINE.  What part of me is this?
The tiniest speck that I am is shattered into millions and millions of tiny fragments that become stars.
They are watching.  Soon it will be time to reveal all that I have seen.

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31st South

"I know I should have travelled further but was afraid, yet I knew I had to complete the journey.
I brace myself to move through.
I am an empty husk, all life has been sucked out of me.
As I move on away from the planet I see a Sphinx with wings.  The wings are moving.
I move further and further on.
I am an atom, so small it is impossible to see; yet that becomes shattered into smaller and smaller pieces.
I look total and utter devastation in the face.
The planet is glowing.  It is molten.
I realise it is on fire, yet there are no flames, just a radiating red glow.
It is so beautiful in its destruction.
I have never seen anything so beautiful yet I know it is the end.
I can take no more.

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31st North

"Where do I go now?  I am off through the spiral.
There are figures in purple.  They are 3 Kings with robes made of sky and gold stars across them.
Jackal is watching.
They are carrying gifts which they place before an altar.
There is nothing left in the world, or nothing that I can see.
There are curved golden streamers coming from the place to guide the way upwards.
The kings are radiating a glow, so strong that I cannot see.
But there is a sense of peace at last.  It is so calm and peaceful."

 

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Copyright Lorraine Exley & Paul F Newman 2001-2006 All rights reserved.
No content (text & images) of any part of this website to be used without prior written permission of the authors. Readers are welcome however to quote or use brief extracts of the material provided credit is given to The Shamanic Journey of the Sun by Lorraine Exley & Paul F Newman