I was already an experienced physician and surgeon by then, as I travelled though the darkening forest, on my way to a small farm that needed a healer, as I was called often. I set up camp by a small stream in a clearing, built a crude shelter and started a fire. I was tired by then and had this day felt a gnawing feeling of unease, like something was following me, a real creature, and a ghost of some sort. Two that were trying to communicate with me, or after me like I was prey, It is hard to define strange thoughts in a rational way. I gathered firewood for a long night, probably for an uneasy sleep. I had read the scrolls about the goddess Freyja, but had no experience with practitioners of the worship of this being, only knowing of the Initiates and their following of the Priest Kings of the Sardar Mountains. I only was sure that there were things out there that few understood, and some even survived. I made a meal of a volo caught on the wing earlier in the day, and a drink from the cold water of the stream. The uneasy feeling continued as I settled down close to my fire.
Suddenly a roar filled my senses, and a blackness blotted out my vision, and something cruelly pinned me down. The fetted breath of a huge creature was going to be the last memory of this moment I knew with no doubt. A heavy weight was on my body, and I knew was no use to struggle or reach for my blade so close at hand. I waited in those few seconds for life to end, yet life did not suddenly end for me. My vision stopped blurring and I stared into the enormous yellow eyes of a gigantic creature, an enormous black panther, that hissed in this moment. I did not move, I could not move, and we stayed in this position, staring into each others eyes, not moving. As if the creature spoke to me, I sensed, heard, envisioned a voice speaking to me.
“I am Freyja, goddess of all that lives and is, and was, and will be. You are chosen to be one of my Shaman, a healer, one that speaks and hears those of the spirit world, my representative. This is Sain, one of my creatures, come to gain your attention, and will be your guide from this time forward. You will understand, and know, and grow in wisdom with her at your side. She will impart knowledge to you, and tell you of danger. That is all you need to know at this moment in time. You have no choice in this for I have chosen you. Learn from sain, and you will grow, you will live”.
All senses passed from me, and in time I awoke to a dead fire, and a body beyond feeling. It was if I had fallen down a cliff, and every bone in my body was broken, every organ smashed into nothingness, and my mind spinning with unknown dreams and thoughts. I could only remember a voice in my mind and a horrible creature of the night about to kill me without remorse. I fell into dreams again, and in time I awoke and the sun was rising though the forest trees.
With great difficulty I sat up, and looked around. I saw the prints of several predators in the dust of the clearing, but also a small black creature laying there staring at me. Yellow eyes that made me think of a far-off memory, that I immediately realized was not far away but suddenly now!
I heard in my mind, like a thought, a whisper from far away, but in my mind right now, a voice. “I am sain, you can call me lil sain, since I am tiny compared to my being of last night. I protected you in the darkness, and nothing could harm you as I am your spirit animal, as Freyja had decided. Vicious creatures came to devour you, but they became my meals. Such is the circle of life. You already have some abilities to see beyond the present, look to the future, sense the spirits that surround all and every thing. Up to now you have dismissed these abilities as something strange, unknown, to be dismissed as not rational, not logical, thinking as the trained physician you are. But now you will learn, you will decide, with me, all the meanings, the realities of the spirit world and help others as the Shamen does. I will whisper into your mind things that you need to know. I am your spirit animal and will always be with you.”
Shamen find their spirit animal in different ways, often using plants and drugs to lead them to states of unconscious awakening. This is how I found my true path. For years now I am a different person than I was. The goddess chose me, and made this change, and led to me, my spirit guide to accompany me along this path. I left the Mighty Zima tribe to find my way to become a physician. In time, the goddess Freyja, chose me to be one of her emissaries as she chooses all Shaman, to do her work in her perfect wisdom. Blessed be.
Ecstasy Zenfold (Shaman of Sa’Jesuil panther tribe)