Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Feel the firmness of the chair that you are in. Feel it hold your body. Breathe deep again, and let your body relax. Let your mind drift, floating in the darkness.
You begin to see stars form in the darkness, small pinpricks of light that seem to be moving way from you, as if you were watching the sky on fast forward. Soon, the moon rises, and you see that you are sitting on a rock in the middle of the crossroads in the midst of a vast plain.
When you stand up from the rock, a bird swoops down and lands in front of you. It is Crow, who says,
“I have come to guide you. Follow me!”
He cocks his head to look at you, and then flies off. You follow.
After following Crow for awhile, you see two orange specks of light in the darkness. As you come closer, you realize that they are two torches on either side of a large arch. The arch looks empty, but when you stand in front of it, you can hear voices from the other side as if they are coming from a closed room. You ask Crow about the arch, and he tells you, as he lands on top of it, that it is the Gateway of the Dead.
He tells you: “I will fetch one of your Ancestors for you, but there must be payment! What shiny thing will you give me?”
You look around, but you are dressed plainly and you have nothing on you to give to the Crow. The Crow begins to caw, which sounds a lot like laughter.
“I do not want jewels, silly human! I want the one thing about yourself that you want to give up. It will be as tasty as carrion!” He flies down from his perch on the arch to land in front of you, dancing a little in anticipation.
You look inside yourself for a part of yourself that you wish to give up: a bad habit, self-doubt, fear about a certain thing, something that’s blocking your creativity, PTSD, or any other thing you feel you can give up. You remember to be specific about what it is so that you don’t damage what’s left of you. You hold out your hands and imagine it as a physical presence. When you finish manifesting it, you offer it to Crow, who takes it and gobbles it up with a satisfying “caw!”
“Wait here!” the Crow says, and he flies through the arch. As you wait for his return, you notice that there are stones close to the circle of light that are just right for sitting on. Eventually you see a vaguely human shape emerging from the arch. It starts to walk towards you, and as it does, it solidifies into one of your Beloved Dead. The Crow follows after they manifest and resumes his perch on top of the arch.
You invite this person to sit with you on the stones and you begin to talk.
After you two talk for awhile, Crow comes down off the arch to where you two are sitting and says to your Beloved Dead, “It is time.” You ask them for any last messages, hug them, and they follow Crow back to the arch. Crow perches on their shoulder as they walk back through the arch. Once they are fully through, you start walking back to the crossroads.
As you reach the crossroads, you hear the beat of wings, and Crow lands on the rock. He says, “I have one last message for you…” and he gives it to you. (…) You thank him, and he flies away with a caw.
You sit on the rock again, take a deep breath, and return to floating in the darkness. And when you are ready, you return to the present, to this room and open your eyes.