"One day Fawn heard Great Spirit calling to her from the top of Sacred Mountain. Fawn immediately started up the trail. She did not know that a horrible demon guarded the way to Great Spirit's lodge. The demon was trying to keep all the being of creation from connecting with Great Spirit. He wanted all of Great Spirit's creatures to feel that Great Spirit did not want to be disturbed. This would make the demon feel powerful, and capable of causing them to fear him.
Fawn was not at all frightened when she came upon the demon. This was curious, as the demon was the archetype of all the ugly monsters that have ever been. The demon breathed fire and smoke and made disgusting sounds to frighten Fawn. Any normal creature would have fled or died on the spot from fright.
Fawn, however, said gently to the demon, "Please let me pass. I am on the way to see Great Spirit."
Fawn's eyes were filled with love and compassion for this oversized bully of a demon. The demon was astounded by Fawn's lack of fear. No matter how he tried, he could not frighten Fawn, because her love had penetrated his hardened heart.
Much to demon's dismay, his rock-hard heart began to melt, and his body shrank to the size of a walnut. Fawn's persistent love and gentleness had caused the melt-down of the demon. Due to this gentleness and caring that Fawn embodied, the pathway is now clear for all of Great Spirit's children to reach Sacred Mountain without having to feel the demons of fear blocking their way."
-Sams, Jamie and Carson, David. Medicine Cards (Santa Fe: Bear and Company, 1988
I saw my beloved again. After years of crying and dreaming and pain. After years of hiding and longing and hope. I felt like deer as I walked down the long corridor to face the fear demons. I rapped lightly on the door, knowing I would meet the cold chill of anger and pain, and I did. But the deer-within-my-heart remained, open and full of love, until the last of the demons dissolved. I smelled the sharp pungent scent of wild and felt strong arms engulf me.
Deer has always been among my strongest totems, alongside dolphin, butterfly, golden eagle and wolf. Once, when I was much younger, a newborn fawn walked into my lap while I knelt in the woods, confusing me with her mother. I have been visited by them again and again over the years, they have nuzzled and coaxed me into remembering.
After another farewell, this one softer and truer, and two days of crying I awoke this morning with a profound excitement. I did it! After twenty years of fear, I climbed spirit mountain with an open heart. I stood before my greatest fear demons and watched them dissolve. I opened. Whole...deeply in love...integrated and complete and ready, for the first time in my life, to meet love. In the end I had to say good bye...to leave and return again to the slopes and valleys of life. The only difference is now I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that the way to sacred mountain is open and I can return to the beloved, again and again, perhaps not in the form I wanted but in truth. And I suppose that is all any of us can hope for.
This morning as I climbed the mountain behind my house deer came to me again and again. A mother and baby loping along a nearby trail, six stags boasting beautiful antlers and gracefully nibbling at young grasses amidst the newly wetted slopes, a single female watching, and two yearlings exercising their freedom in the early dawn. All along the trail they came to me as I cried, in gratitude and grief, coaxing me to remember and reminding me that an open heart is the surest way to enter into communion with what is. The Great Mystery.