caught within a dream within a dream
a man within a man
caught within a thought within a thought
an ocean so deep
he will drown his sleep
(Above, the song I associate strongly with K, his struggles, and his past lives.)
No, unfortunately this is not an homage to the letter K.
This is about my main Spirit guide, but he's so much more than that. We are not 'involved' romantically; nothing like that. It's hard to explain, but we are like two sides of the same coin; twin souls linked by pasts and strings. We are tied to each other in a way that totally changed my rudimentary ideas about Spirits and Guides.
This post is both extremely sad and extremely necessary. Sad, because K's story is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever known. Necessary, because I need to tell this story, for one or both of us.
Now, his name is obviously not just K, but for protection purposes it will be. I don't want to go around namedropping his identity everywhere, you understand.
This is the tale of how a (young dock boy from London with a lot of cats/quiet teenager from the Midwest/Unhappy writer from New York/Babylonian Temple boy/Wolf god/A lonely man who has always been the watcher and never involved/from the time before time) named K taught me everything I know.
Firstly, the thing that changed my idea of Guides. They aren't some holy being sent from Above to help you. They are ultimately as complex and faceted as you or I. K presented himself to me as an Arctic wolf, and it wasn't until much, much later I grew close enough to learn about his past, and the reason he was always so sad.
Always the watcher, the witness, the quiet writer on the sidelines while people pass you by.
Consider for a moment how hard it would be to be a guide--Say you are forever entwined to be the guide/friend/etc to one soul for a long, long time. You watch them suffer, and perhaps you watch them be a child and abused, or a Mother with depression who is locked up in an asylum, or maybe you watch them suffer war or poverty or disease, and maybe you watch them do this upwards of 20 times. Imagine that for a moment, and wonder if it wouldn't have an effect on you, to be able to watch but not-quite change the course of their lives, life after life, with no conceivable end. Wonder for a moment if it's a blessing to be a guide.
K was a wolf once, Arctic, in the time before time. He was what you would call a Spirit of Place, he had a pack, he led a fairly simple existence. But threads of fate become tangled and friends die and suddenly you gain awareness. It starts as a little tear in the way you think things are, and then it grows. It plants a seed of doubt in the mind that assumes this is-all-that-is.
Consider that K was reborn a human several times, and in each life was much suffering and loneliness; a theme that played out in his life over and over again like a bad record. Was this in itself a punishment as well; a reminder? Who knows. I like to think he liked his London lives best; he presents in Victorian/Edwardian attire most of the time. I think he had many friends there, and it was one of the better lives. When we go traipsing around, he usually conjures images of Shadowy London, kind of cartoony and memory driven.
He had a daughter once (not biological), and he called her Alice, because she was a dream child from the Otherlands, just like Carroll's creation. He never necessarily cared for anyone else in his many lives like he did for Alice. In one of his later lives, Alice met a terrible end.
Say, perhaps, you refuse your own existence, because you lack the desire to live this way forever, you don't want to be responsible for this and you weren't given a choice, and say the powers that be aren't so happy about that. Imagine for a moment that becoming a guide is actually a punishment. It's not, for all beings. But in this case it was. Say you would rather never be reborn again as a human, because you can't handle the suffering anymore, so you become a guide instead so it doesn't have to be you, this time.
That's when we met, a long, long time ago. It was my first human life and his first guide-life. Thrown together by fate or something else. He was tired, and bitter, and he had walls to rival China's. He was, how you say, probably not the best choice of guide for someone like me. This was still in the time before time, you understand. We were somewhere on what is now Ireland area, I was hopelessly lost as to what a Human means, and he didn't know the first thing about guiding something like me. It was in many ways a merciful situation.
Slowly, he learned to care again. He learned maybe this time someone I care about won't meet a horrible end, and maybe this time for sure I can change things, at any cost, to make sure they don't meet that end. Because despite everything, K is a very good person. The best person, in fact, I have ever met. We recognized each other as two sides of a coin; as the same and One. We are terribly similar in how we handle things.
Things went as they will, and I passed on, and went through some human lives, and in every one K was there. And not all of them ended so well, and in only a handful did I have astral awareness to know he was there. Think of being a guide to someone, life after life, because you have a strong soul-bond to them, and they don't know you're there. Think on that loneliness for a minute.
Anyway, fast forward to this life, when I begin noticing a white wolf following me around. In highschool I draw the same character, over and over: a black haired guy in a suit and hat with piercing blue eyes. And lots of wolves, white ones. I could slap myself now, but hindsight and all. I displayed a talent for creative writing and devoured books one after the other. The only other thing I was equally obsessed with was Unicorns, which is another story for another long post.
As a child in this life, I acted kind of strangely. While the other kids played outside, I was inside pretending my closet and dresser and mirrors were portals to some Otherworld, because I had this longing ache I could not describe for something more than this. I remember having that feeling. It intensified when I as on trains, or when it rained, or when I locked eyes with someone who reminded me of something-else-somewhere-else. People who begin to have past life flashes can relate to this feeling. I began having dreams of the Shamanic World Tree and white wolves from the age of 15.
The feeling continued into college, when I began to have spirit-problems. It's like they politely waited until I was 18 to start bothering me hardcore. It broke my thought paradigm of this-is-what-is, but I was less terrified and more excited beyond all reason. This was it; this was that longing to go home, to something other than this. I met pagan friends who reinforced my feelings; they asked about the white wolf following me around without me telling them. It struck a chord. Who is the white wolf, I wondered? The white wolf with the sad eyes that never speaks to me, only sits by my side in dreams on hillsides.
As my spirit-sight intensified, I slowly began trying to reach out and contact him, the Wolf. It began as slow astral trips to fields under trees, and silent sitting. He refused to speak with me or tell me his name. At this point I was very inexperienced with totems/guides, so this behavior was confusing. I was a very young pagan.
It continued like this until the Winter, when I caught a wolf pup running around my room with my Spirit-sight. Follow me, it seemed to say. I did.
We came to a well, and his first words to me were "Look into the well." I did, and I saw my future self. And the second thing he said to me was his name. I said it, tested it out. I felt this strange sense of Rightness. Yes, there you are. I've been looking for you, what took you so long. That's the feeling I got just from knowing his name. I have never felt that so strongly with any other Guide/Spirit before or since.
He showed me a vision for my future as a Pagan; as a beacon for those who would seek information and journey and community. What I saw there has only been proven true, over and over, the more I progress on this path. He told me nothing about himself; that would come much later.
And then, I began journeying to the Shamanic Realms and the Astral, and he would accompany me, since I was new and vulnerable. He began to teach me basic things; seals and defense and the way things worked. It became apparent he knew much more than he was letting on. He didn't speak of his past or his connections, or his extensive reach.
Eventually I met others; facets of my Partner and myself on the astral. I learned their stories too, all of which were varied and complex. K was wary; he didn't make a habit of trusting people. All the same, we were all pulled together, eventually. The bunch of misfits with the varied and challenging pasts; the cliche in the B movie. That's where we are.
He taught me about illusion and the truth of things, and we had delicious tea by the lake in an illusion he created specifically for us, a sanctuary to speak of things we couldn't otherwise.
Me and K grew closer. I was aware this was more than a standard-guide-totem relationship. I had others and they were nowhere near as varied or as deep, and I realize how K encompasses so much within himself I didn't need other guides. By cosmic design he built himself to be everything this soul would need; protector and guide and teacher and confidant in one, because we are the same. I dug deeper. I wanted to know everything.
I traipsed through his memories of his past lives; like a bad film reel they repeated, one after the other. Many things were explained. I learned why he was so sad all the time, but at the same time so untrusting to everyone except me. So much suffering and repeatedly losing the people closest to you, only to be reborn and do it again is harrowing. I wanted to protect this soul just as he would protect me.
K is one of those souls people talk about when they say they were too beautiful a soul for this earth.
K is a silly man that always wants to do things himself and take everyone's burdens on and never work through his own problems. Guides are on a journey too; there is so much to work out, even when you take on that job. You are probably never done learning and working. I'm trying to help K, too, by forcing him to work through his own issues. The same way I think Deities are on their own journies and have a reciprocal relationship with people, guides are the same way. Everything is equal exchange. We carry our old wounds with us, forever if necessary, and that just seems to be the nature of the soul.
Anyway. I hope this enlightens you to all the times I reference "My Guide" in my posts. From now on I'll be writing "K".
This is for you K, the silly romance novel writer with the extremely good fashion sense, haha.