Last year, I went to New Zealand as one in a group of eight. I knew going into it that the trip would be life-changing.
I don’t think I can chronicle all that was amazing and all that I learned and experienced and how much I changed, but I can say that the journey brought answers and validation and more mysteries. It brought me purpose.
This plastic dinosaur that I found at the Auckland Sky Tower represents the whole story in one shot. The dinosaur appeared from nowhere, in plain sight with details lost in shadow. Light. Dark. Unexplainable. Old. New. Magical.
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
One of the first places we went on our New Zealand adventure was to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves — a subterranean wonderland where the ceilings of the caverns are alive with twinkles like stars in the sky.
We were one of the first tours of the day. Our guide was a Māori man who, while waiting for the group to gather, touched the entrance to the cave lovingly, bid it good morning, and sang quietly in tribute to the spirits that lived there. I don’t think he knew we could hear or that any of us saw, but it was clear to me and to Lahi and to Lacie that this man was not just our guide, but a caretaker of the cave and all the magic within. As he shared the cave’s history, and his family’s history with the cave, and as we descended deeper and deeper, I opened my heart and my soul and said:
Thank you for allowing me to be here. I am listening.
A voice quickly came to me, “Hello!” After a few exchanges of hellos, I asked who was speaking. The answer that repeated itself over and over: “I live in the cave.”
Remember that I have set rules around knowing the name of the beings with which I interact, but I knew immediately that this was not a being who was hiding its identity by not giving me its name, but a spirit so old and so hidden that it had no name given. It… he…. lives in the cave. And he told me something that for years, I’ve wanted… needed to hear.
He said, “I have a message for you. I am here to tell you your purpose. I cannot tell you the how. But I can tell you the what and the why.”
Needless to say, I listened and awaited his message with bated breath.
He said, and I paraphrase, “As you know, the world is dying. The war, the hatred, the violence, the unrest, all of it has one root cause.
On this Earth, humans started with only knowing spirits — their gods and goddesses and others. They trusted in them, worshiped them. Magic was everywhere, in every culture, in every corner of this planet. Over time, this changed. Science came to the forefront and the ‘old ways’ were all but forgotten. Religion, what some call ‘blind faith,’ is the magic of today. And the gods and goddesses and entities and spirits and energies that made this place… are dying. Not in the same way mortals die. But in a way that is allowing the world to become unbalanced.
Humans can keep science and religion. But the pendulum has swung too far, and the beings that can help bring back the balance have been rendered powerless because their names are no longer on the lips of those who love them and need them.
But you can change this. YOU can bring back the balance by bringing back the magic. Bring back the names of gods and goddesses to the lips of the humans. Bring back magic to this world. Bring back balance.”
Holy Shinto. Heavy. But I asked for an answer about my life’s purpose and there it was, laid out clear as day:
I am here to serve the world and every being in it. I will bring back the names of beings that created this reality- the light and the darkness, since this world needs every point on the spectrum for there to be balance.
I didn’t know how, or if it is even possible, but this was my task as told to me by the one who lives in the cave.
And the balance that comes back to this world does not come without revolution and casualties. It will be a messy return to center. But it is what this world needs and I am not afraid of this fight toward balance.
I am just afraid that I won’t be able to serve in my role well. That I won’t figure my shit out.
All I know is I will not be able to do this alone. I will need guidance and support and others who can help me. And if I call on you to take part in my quest, I thank you now for you are playing a huge role in doing what’s best for our world.
But. Holy. Fuck.
Originally written on June 11, 2017.