Integration is the process of uniting different, separated things. It’s use here is to describe how different things (animals, plants, and ground) became unified within me. There is a term called soul transmigration or metempsychosis that has been used to describe this process but, for me, it often does not seem to fit because of it's association within the confines of reincarnation, where single soul is reborn into a new body at the time of birth (or, as some believe, in gestation). While I was certainly born with a soul, the integrations I experienced were not exactly that. These integrations I now describe as all of my befores coming together in one body and connection through a particular lineage was the thread that brought them into me.
Integrations are different than, say, channeling or mediumship, though my body has been the channel for communication from people no longer attached to their own body and other Beings. It occurs in the healing process with clients, in sweat lodge ceremonies, and while driving through funeral parade routes. These occurrences are temporary, use little energy, and are not uncomfortable. Integrations, however, are filled with snot, foul language, physical and emotional pain, as well as tears of joy.
My first integration was with a horse and was initially seen as a blip, merely another ‘oh, shit’ moment in a string of them. I met a Dutch warmblood named Marge in August of 2011 through a horse trainer. The trainer had been a client of mine and suggested that I try the work on horses she worked with. For several months, I worked on horses she trained for herself and other owners successfully eliminating behavioral and structural issues as well as laminitis and scar tissue. One day she mentioned there was a horse who, for some mysterious reason, had become ‘crazy’--out of control and dangerous to the point that the owner was considering euthanization. When I finally got to her, frenetic was an inadequate description; she was ready to run through the barn wall, as if she had truly gone mad. Here’s what I wrote a few days after the experience:
"I got started in my normal way and just felt and watched energy move through, in and around. I talked to her a little, watched her fight & respond, feeling it in her own unique way. After several minutes, I felt something strange within me, as if it had moved into me--looked to Michelle and said, “Something just moved into me.” We both noted that was odd because that doesn’t (or didn’t until that time) happen when I work. Things don’t attach themselves to me. Introduce themselves, yes. Attach, move into? Errrr, nope. I kept on keeping on and a few minutes later, energy heightened in intensity, and apparently I looked at Michelle and said, “This isn’t me.” Although I was aware that I was breathing normally, I was quite certain I would pass out because I wasn’t breathing ‘right’. I surrendered and began crying, not of sadness, not in connection with the animal’s emotions, but in communion with something entirely different, larger than either one of us. I kept working with the heightened energy, the horse relaxed and shifted in her own way to something resembling calm. The string of moments was broken only when a truck pulled into the drive. I brought my bits back together, brought the horse’s bits back together, wiped snot and tears, and tried to gather my conscious thoughts. The only thing that really gelled was, "HOLY CRAP! What the hell was that about!
As Michelle was helping me re-ground later with some tea, I told her again that that wasn’t me. That it couldn’t have been. That it felt like Christ himself or the power behind the horse herself stepped into me and that I could no more explain that or what it meant than I could anything else of this strange experience of the world I live in.
When I asked what she felt, Michelle said, “A swirling, powerful peace.” Again, I thought, “Holy crap” because I could not fathom the turmoil that I felt or the way I expressed it through heavy breathing, tears and massive quantities of snot, could possibly be felt as peace, certainly not powerful (never mind swirling) peace. I don’t know if I articulated what I felt while doing the work at the time. When I touched that horse, I did more than touch her hide; I walked into her. There is no other way to describe it. Past hide, sinew and guts, beyond all things physical I walked into her. The ‘swirling’ Michelle felt was, to me, being roiled within a tsunami-like wave of a lineage’s pent up emotions of deep, traumatic loss, particularly a disconnection from mothers; fear from profound physical abuse of many in her line; her own singular desperation to not just bust down barn walls and run but for a different, permanent sense of freedom. As we were joined, her demeanor dramatically changed from frantically crazed to calm and engaged, as if there had never been an issue. Through her, I didn’t just meet her entire lineage. As they thundered through me, I ‘met’ the lineage of Horse and, in those moments became them. Not a singular horse but Horse as a species and spirit. That integration was one that began a deeper relationship with all horses. They are messengers for me, signals for pending travel, protection, and deep love. As I write this now and memories flood back, I can see the experience from afar and marvel at how she and I were brought together in those moments.
As I headed home, still shaken and confused, I muttered over and over, “That isn’t me”, perhaps hoping a bolt of inspiration would make it all make sense. Instead, what I heard out loud from a voice that was not mine and definitely outside of me, with a shaming intensity was, “That IS you. That is the whole purpose of your being! That IS your being. Know this. Own it!” I don’t know who it was that chastised me so, but he did and left me with a no other understanding of what had just happened or why. It was only as the years progressed and similar, more intense experiences came with something resembling regularity was I able to piece the threads together.
Two months later another integration happened in a session with a human client. In her home, in the middle of the session, the focus of energies suddenly shifted from her to me. As they did a flood of sobs, of awe and fear and being in the face of holiness, escaped from me. I could see and feel myself being blown apart in what I later described as a movie-like slow-motion scene where the bomb inside a robot blows up. Chunks of flesh and muscle and sinew expanded with an internal, fiery glow and these fragments of me exploded. When the debris cleared, three distinct energies walked into me, one after the other. When I tell the story verbally, I use the motion of my arm in a circle with a finger snap as each circle comes to a close. That is how the integration of these energies felt, rhythmic, slow, deliberate. As they walked into me, the air around us began to clear and as I calmed, what followed even within my snot and tears, was the kind of peace—the intense peace the horse trainer had described months before—settled into and around me.
As I blew apart, I sobbed, not in fear or grief but with an understanding that I was being touched by grace, god and others. When things had settled, the client, still laying out the table, asked, “Do you know who they are?” I could only shake my head and she pointed to her altar. “Look there. There they are.” On her altar were Paramhansa Yogananda, his Babaji, and Sai Baba. I had only a passing knowledge of Yogananda because his Autobiography of a Yogi was one of those 25 or so books bought to learn ‘how to be spiritual’ in 2008 and 2009 that I didn’t read. I knew that his teacher was named Babaji but I’d never heard of Sai Baba and I certainly had no idea why they would have anything to do with me, especially in such a fantastical way.
Four months later I went for a 45 minute massage and left after 3.5 hours. My massage therapist was initially trying to work my hips from the back and finally said, “I can’t get to it this way. Roll over on your back.” When her hand moved over my heart, the room filled with hundreds and hundreds of energies that we could both feel. “Ingrid, should I stop?” “Whatever you do, please don’t move.” Then, with Ellen’s hand resting over my heart, they—those who had joined us—began moving into me, one after another. This time, though, the tears flowed gently. I knew who they were and I knew they had each been me...before. It made no sense but I knew. The first one in was Jesus. He led opened the way for those behind him and they came, one after another. Some I knew in the same way that I knew Jesus was Jesus, even if I couldn’t see their faces. I could tell by the music or rhythms that came with them their connections to place, art, war, poetry, math, language. Man, woman, sword, shield, Arabic, French, Hebrew....they came. I didn’t know them all but they knew me and knew I was their home. For hours, they came into me, became me.
In those hours, I knew with striking clarity that what was with me was the presence and essence of each who had walked this path before me, each me of before or ago, moving into the me now Although nothing was spoken, there was clear message of who I am and I was made for. Nothing needed to be said because I already knew. As I lay naked on a massage table, heart opened, eyes open, streaming with tears, breathing in a thrum shared by the multitudes around me, each joining me in a way that can only be described as breathing them in, breath by breath. One by one. The peace, power, grace, ferocity, sublime serenity and knowing merged. Into me. One.
As they moved into me, over and over again, with increasing intensity and unmistakable insistence my mouth moved: “Be now. be now, be now, be now, benow.benow.benowbenowbenow” and became “I.am.now.iamnowiamnowiamnowiamnowIAM NOW!” First whispered in disbelief and awe, then loudly as a declaration of existence and primacy over anything that was a “me”, an Ingrid as I knew her to be. The energies in the room dissipated as they moved into me. And as they cleared, Ellen retrieved a bottle of oil, anointed my feet and while doing so, this message came: “Become NOW for in the light of the one, we all become all that is.”
I knew that I had become the resurrection, though certainly not the second coming, of the Christ and that each of those that migrated into me had been the resurrection of the Christed one in their time. And, like other things, drove home wondering, “What the fuck do I do with that?”
In October 2014, the largest integration occurred when a seatbelt crossed my heart while leaving a Santa Rosa, California, movie theater parking lot. Blessedly, this time, too, I was not alone. Robert pulled onto the side of the road with enough time for me to roll from the car onto the ground in a fit of idon’tknowwhat. An outsider might have called it an ecstatic experience or an hours-long epileptic fit. My body convulsed in waves from head to toe, rising from the ground with no sense of control, I felt like my joints would pull apart, my ribs would shatter and I’d vomit out the nothing inside my belly. Instead of being broken or blown apart, I was pulled out of myself.
I later described the experience like this:
"I was surrounded by a universe-sized didgeridoo and everything of me that was me or myself or wasn’t ME was pulled out as my body writhed and flailed on the side of the road. My chest heaved me off the ground in spasms of release while I cursed out loud and tried to manage dry heaves of vomitless air.
I cursed and screamed “If you’re not going to use me now, then you better
fucking take me because this is too much for one being!!!”
If I thought that was too much, the next wave of energy proved
me oh-so-wrong. In it, things around me changed and an
Ingrid-sized didgeridoo enveloped me and, instead of having
shit pulled out of me, I was blown into. Hundreds upon hundreds
of energies poured into me. Hundreds times more than those
experienced on the massage table, they were blown in. This time
unidentifiable by face or name, I could only tell where they were
from on the planet—and they came from everywhere. So, so many and so little space for this one body to carry them all. And, still, they came.
When all was said and done, nearly two hours had passed with me flopping and flailing on the side of the road. As I slowly began to move back into the practical reality of things Robert, who sat with me the whole time asked, “So, what did you become this time?” I don’t recall what I said to him in the moment but, at least inside my own head I thought, “The fuck if I know”. What I came to call that song—for what else would a didgeridoo do but sing—was another reunion with all the mes that have ever been, from each place I’ve touched the earth and given birth, each individual note I’ve ever been, each the Christed one of their time and place on the planet."
Two days later, in an effort to help the body create space for everyone, I went to an acupuncturist. He put a few needles in me for a few moments and, as I was readying to get off the table, he looked at me and said, “Make sure you reveal yourself slowly.” I didn’t have the courage to ask him who he saw.
In January 2015, during a sweat lodge outside of Cleveland, Ohio, I became aspen and water; dropped into the ground as if I were the mother root and spread under the Great Lakes to reach my people and the places they now live through the water. Then, pulled from the ground, I was shot up into the deep sky and became star and fire.
Seven months later, the union with winged ones occurred in the presence of an acupuncturist in the summer of 2015. She placed a needle over my heart and in that moment, I became the colored angel I saw when I was twelve. Feathers sprouted from my arms, those arms became wings, and when she joined me, others came, too. Owl, raven, crow, chickadee, magpie, eagle, hawk and more. We became. Together.
In December 2015, I became wolf. When a pack showed up outside of Helena, Montana, howling in the middle of the night; calling me, calling me home, into the pack, I grew fur from my pores while my socked feet became padded paws on my way to the bathroom. One.
Most recently, there was unification with the rainbow body.
The Occupied Woman
Legions live within
of her skin.
Joined not at the hip but
breath in breath
Old Ones occupy
in one blood
the echo chamber of Ancients.
Spiders occupy her hair,
their lighted threads
weaving to and fro,
stars to sons.
Light occupies her eyes,
Fire is the kindling of her soul,
Roots run through veins
Drumming the lungs of others.
Of hoofed feet,
poured magic from
pawed hands and
horned tendrils of silk.
The pulsing, poolings of stillness
songs of the ancients echoing.
A thousand souls
A multitude of expressions of one flame
Inhabit this mosaic,
This occupied woman.
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