Gathering the Guests

This Guided Meditation was written by Shane the Mindbender with sound design by Luxa Strata for The Green Mushroom Project’s First Birthday Death and Birth Ritual October 31 2021. Here’s the recording on Soundcloud.

In case you’d like to read it aloud for a group or record your own copy, here’s the transcript!

Take a good long look at the picture or memento of your ancestor. While gazing, inhale a deep breath through your diaphragm. Hold it. Exhale slowly. Inhale again and let your breaths fall into a slow deep rhythm. Do you recall a fond memory or trait of your ancestor? 

Hold that memory or trait within you, near your heart. As you inhale, feel your breath filling the memory with life, connecting your ancestor to the living world once again. That memory and your breath are a beacon and a battery for the work of gathering the dead for this celebration. Continue breathing deep slow breaths for the remainder of this journey, and your ancestor will have what they need to journey together with us to The Green Mushroom for this celebration.

Shift your gaze to the flame on your candle with the The Green Mushroom’s hyphosigil on it. This candle is a physical double of a candle burning on the shared altar in the tavern within the Green Mushroom. Close your eyes. Let your imaginal body step up out of your seated physical form. We are all going to meet in the forest to parade with our ancestors all the way to the Green Mushroom, but first we must gather the guests of honor. 

Begin walking from your home into the direction the cemetery or final resting place of your ancestor. At first you walk out of your home or building and down the middle of the road. After a dozen steps your neighborhood begins to get dark. Each step takes you deeper into shadow. Now it is so dark that your arms are stretched out in front of you and your steps are shuffles, hardly leaving the pavement. 

You have entered the void. The place we all were prior to existence. The place everything returns to between lives. The place were individuality ends. Float for a moment and empty your mind.

A tombstone appears in front of you. It belongs to your ancestor. Reach through the void and grasp it with one hand. Then kneel and dig the fingers of your other hand into the soil above your ancestor’s grave. 

You look around now and see that you are in a cemetery. The moon casts a beautiful glow on the vaults, trees, and tombstones. Close your imaginal eyes and summon your ancestor by recalling the memory or trait you have been charging with your breath. Stand, turn around, and open your eyes.

Before you, your ancestor stands, arms outstretched, awaiting embrace. Not as you may remember them on the brink of death, but vibrant and in the prime of their life. As you hug them the beacon and battery fills you both with warmth and light.  Your ancestor grins. They always knew you had potential, but never dreamed you would cross the threshold of life for a visit!

They take your hand and lead you toward a beautiful burial vault at the end of their row of tombstones. You notice it may not look like their physical resting place, then realize that this is a place for all your ancestors to gather. You enter the vault and are amazed by the calamity and cheer. Not only are all your late loved ones gathered, but people from several other times and places in history as well. You even spot one being that hardly looks human. This is a gathering of the best of your entire family from yesterday stretching back to the first times.

Is there anyone else you would like to bring to The Green Mushroom? Gesture to them to follow. If not, you can always come back here to explore connections with your ancestors on your own.

A noise outside catches your attention. You recognize some of the voices from the Fungal Friday chats and from your favorite podcasts. The parade is about to begin! Grab your ancestor’s hand and motion for any other partygoers to follow along. 

As you exit the burial vault look around. On one side of the cemetery is a treeline. Make your toward it and look for familiar faces and voices. Not only do you join up with the rest of the Green Mushroom Council, but it looks like they too have brought ancestors from all places and times. 

“Allright, let’s get this party to the Mushroom!” I shout from the front of the line. You can see me at the front because I’m a head taller than nearly all the other party goers and I’m waving tattooed arms over my head like a grinning idiot. 

The procession moves forward through the moonlight forest. Leafless white birches look like waving skeletons in the moonlit night. The crunch of leaves underfoot and the happy greetings of friends and relatives startle the nocturnal residents of the woods surrounding The Green Mushroom. The pines and shrubs quake with their activity as our party passes them by.

Then we have arrived. A quarter moon glows just over the top of The Green Mushroom. Servitors float, crawl, and slither to their creators as the parade enters the clearing in front of the building. Your ancestors marvel at the structure you’ve helped bring to life and inhabit. 

The guard throws the front doors wide open and gestures for the parade to file inside. As you enter and see the bar counter and tables fuller than they’ve ever been, the light of your candle on the shared altar to one side of the room catches your attention. You stand in front of it. Your ancestor is just behind you, with one hand on your shoulder. 

In that moment you remember that while you are here, in Then Green Mushroom, you are also at home in front of the candle that physically connects you. You open your physical eyes, and still feel the hand on your shoulder.