This was written for Animal Quills November 2006 writing prompt.
When I was a kid, I was a cat. Maybe a jaguar, maybe an ocelot, I thought; some jungle kitty, that’s for sure. When I was a kid I was a cat who would run arms stretched out with my cloak open, hoping I would fly. Actually, I thought I was made for flying before knowing about cat (then I knew I couldn’t suddenly start flying like a bird), since I was around four year old and not seven. But yeah, as a child I was a cat-of-feather-and-sky.
I instinctually felt drawn to Ancient Egypt. Cat-gods; cat-worshippers. Made sense to me. I was interested in the Greek pantheon as well, especially Artemis. Protectress of little girls, huntress, goddess of the wild, among other spheres of influence – nothing would have felt more natural for some fierce tree-climbing feather-cat tomboy. I also believed in spirits, especially rock and tree spirits. Animal ones too of course, but I was more interested in planting stuff and healing and honouring trees. Sometimes I would feel guilty about climbing them. Is it respectful? Does it hurt? Can we still be friend? I’m an animal person, don’t hate me. They wouldn’t reply, but to me it was more that I couldn’t hear than because they had no voice.
I don’t think I honoured the gods, though I remember the immense respect I would feel for Bast and Sekhmet, and Sobek and Yinepu. Djehuty creeped me out, and so did Ptah and Wesir and Set. I hadn’t much interest for Ra, Heru and the rest of the pantheon. Of course I could only read the average encyclopedia at that age, so their names were misspelled or in Greek form only.
I felt Jaguar’s presence early, nearly as far as I can remember. Raven, I don’t know. It did not matter to me, when I grew up a real skeptical and non-spiritual atheist. For years I didn’t want to consider anything that I could not see. An interesting activity I started though, was dream exploration. As a kid I realized how wonderful dreaming could be, and when my parents once told me they wouldn’t dream that much anymore or wouldn’t remember it, horrified I decided I would fight against this. Brain is a muscle, that’s what they say, I thought. I am going to train myself to remember dreams and enjoy them as much as I can.
My “path” as an oneironaut began. One of the first things I understood was that it was easy to forget dreams because they wouldn’t be “archived” in my brain like normal memories do. Probably my mind didn’t think of them as important and would send them back to my subconscious. Therefore I decided to “save” or register my dreams “manually” so I could keep it in my accessible memory. Writing wasn’t a good idea because you start forgetting the dream as soon as you wakes up, so there is details loss. Therefore what I did, as soon as I would be waking up from a dream, was repeating myself what happened in the dream, questioning myself about the details, characters and actions, in order to record it in my memory before eventually writing it down somewhere. I became pretty good at this and I also got more control over my actions in the dreams, to the point that most of them were lucid, in addition to being as vivid and colorful as you could get. I kept practicing as I wanted to explore it, calling this activity my “secret garden”, something just mine and clearly distinct from reality, but which was as much worth of interest.
This part of me, like therianthropy, transidentity and other aspects, put me in the position of walking between worlds constantly. This is where I belong, and thus I am a liminal being. I am a (inter)mediator, I am an artist and translator. I think Frenglish. I am from Mediterranea, place of crossroads and boundaries. I am a Traveller in dream and in flesh. I feel at home when on the road. My physical transition is a journey itself. I am part man, part woman, and something else entierely. I am both human and animal, half-feline half-corvine. I am full of pseudo-contradictions and yet, extremely coherent in my existence. I think Jaguar and Raven watch over me because I am a feather-cat, but I also think I relate the most to Hermes and Hecate because they are deities of liminality. I am not a Warrior, I do no fight. I am not brave and full of Jaguar’s rage and will-power. I am a Traveller. I am strong, I endure. I make sure I am not dependant of anything in order to ensure my well-being. I know I will go on no matter what. I leave the past behind and I travel light. I make the best out of what I find on my Path.
Cat and corvid.
Self-fulfillment and survival.
I am a Traveller.