Rebirth, the Journey by Roisin Conroy
While sleeping outside on the mattress that fateful bat night, I couldn’t help but know there was a lesson mixed within the raw fear and unpleasantness of the situation. As bats flew above my makeshift sleep pad (all night long, might I add) I thought about a lot; too much, really, which was spinning me into the “face your fears” tizzy in which I found myself. Unfortunately, the light of day did not put my fears to rest, with the hardest part of my journey to come, represented symbolically by my naked leap over the root of my fears.
Perhaps I was overlooking my connection to nature, and this was an overt attempt by the spirits to help remind me that I, together with every human everywhere, am inextricably connected to all of the other living creatures on this varied, elemental Earth. Then I thought that I must be taking my riches for granted. That night reminded me that merely having a secure roof over my head was not only a gift, but one that I should not take for granted, as I do.
Then, I thought of the book “The Mutant Message Down Under,” where Marlo Morgan learns to commune with nature the aboriginal way. I recalled one passage where she learns, in the midst of dehydration, her exhausted and hungry bones being explored by crawling scorpians and other desert creatures, traipsing in and out of her ears, eyes and mouth, with the sun pounding down upon her, to let go of her mind. Which brought me to investigating Bat Medicine, as ascribed by our Native Americans.
Steeped in the mystery of Meso-American tribal ritual is the legend of Bat. Akin to the ancient Buddhist belief in reincarnation, in Central America, Bat is the symbol of rebirth. Bat embraces the idea of shamanistic death. Shaman death is the symbolic death of the initiate to the old ways of life and personal identity…The final initiation step is to be buried in the Earth for one day and to be reborn without former ego in the morning…
Symbolic here is the Earth as womb, as darkness and the sounds of animals prowling force the “initiate” to confront his or her fears.
So it could have been worse. At least I didn’t have to go into the dark night alone and bury myself alive. Still, I like to think of my own initiation as a reminder of how far I have come in this life, and how very far it is I have to go.