Astral Destinations: The Grief Place

There’s a place somewhere between the realm of dreams and spirits that is for release of grief emotions.

Perhaps you’ve been there. A place where sorrow is understood and, despite the beings moving around you living their lives, you feel comfortable to be in your grief.

It starts at a sandy altar. A table-style of sandstone, about mid-chest to waist high on an adult. Incense burns here, billowing individual trails of smoke coalescing into a wind of fragrant prayers. The altar is in a courtyard with a blue open sky above, but shadowed by the surrounding pale sandstone walls. Awnings of hand-dyed fabric hang high over the altar, protecting it from rain.

In the dream or astral visit, you start here. Most often you’re at the altar and light incense, shakily pray, or simply try to say goodbye through a pinched, watery smile. Some people linger here, wrapping themselves in black homespun fabric and tucking themselves into corners to cry. Sometimes, people are with you, other times they are not. Who? They could be family, friends, lovers, or strangers that could have been more. Sometimes, its just you.

Who is there depends on what you’re mourning. Mourning a family member, a loved one? You may have loved ones alongside you, family to support you, friends to carry you, lovers to hold you, pets to comfort you. If you’re mourning an event that could have been, a situation you might have had or was in, or just losing a piece of yourself, you’re usually alone.

Either way, there you remain. Until finally, you’re ready to move on. You place your final piece of incense on the altar, say a final goodbye that feels like a loss all on its own, a goodbye that isn’t quite as shaky, a smile that isn’t quite as heatbreaking, and you slip through the archway to the left of the altar.

People move here, work here. It’s a dyer’s marketplace. Baskets of little ornaments, flowers and florals, bolts of fabric, and pocket charms sit on sun-bleached tables. You cannot see the sun though. The entire space has flapping cloth awnings on tall pole, protecting the workers from the heat of the sun, protecting you. More fabric hangs, little banners and flag, swatches of material in all manner of hand-dyed goodness. Blues, greens, reds, oranges, purples, and pinks. Natural linen color dominates with a rainbow of tucked away color. In the distance, you may hear chatter, soft and indistinct. A weaver’s loom works, but it’s comforting. the passage between these stalls, with gently smiling people sharing actual kindness, is narrow. People do not get in your way. As you move, they seem to never be in your way or make you slow down or stop unless you want to stop. They don’t readily acknowledge you either, unless you glance at them first. A smile, a pat on the arm, maybe soft murmuring that’s meant only to be comforting, supporting. Then they move on.

The passage is like a C, but there are other corridors that lead elsewhere to the marketplace. You can even sometimes glimpse where the fabric awnings break into brilliantly, unbelievable blue sky.

In time, you do weave your way through, following a course that you only seem to know in your head. Sometimes you find yourself with dried flowers or charms pressed into your hands. A long string of beads around your wrist, a shawl of soft mauve around your shoulders.

At the end, you come out to of the space with nothing before you. More sandstone buildings are to your left, but the doorway is hidden in the depths of that fabric maze. Beyond the buildings and marketplace is nothing but endless white plains and blue, blue sky. Sometimes family and loved ones stands before you, waiting for you. They may even have a car ready to go. Sometimes its just you.

The dream or astral visit ends there. I’ve been to this place several times, each time mourning different things or people. And it is always the same altar, the same sky, the same place, the same twisting, fabric passage.

What happens during that time varies. Once I came out with a long length of wooden beads around my wrist, neither a mala or rosary. Another time I came out of that comforting place with a bunch of tiny purple and blue flowers in my hands. It varies.

This place, a place of letting go of your grief, should be sad. Instead, I’d say its more comforting than anything. Like finally being able to catch your breath or how much better you feel after crying. You’re still miserable, but there’s a feeling of releasing, letting things go. It’s a somber place, but one of profound peace and change.

Have you been here? Does this place sound familiar? I honestly can’t tell you how to get here. I think you just arrive when you need to be there. I hope that introducing people to this special place will encourage more visitors.

As to whether its a dream or an actual astral destination… I think it’s both. I think a place can be both a dream and astral. The astral is connected to dreams. It can be influenced by dreams. And dreams can slip into astral travel. I think its both.

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