On a hot summer morning, my last day of vacation before work resumes, I am searching for something on the back of my horse. Shane has a hesitant energy about her, barn-sour perhaps, missing her goat. I ask her to move on, but she stops three times on the trail. Charlie, my border collie-greyhound mix tucks himself under her tail. Both are usually gregarious, anxious to get out, to run side by side. Not today.
I reminisce. Our vacation in Cancun last week was amazing. A heart felt sensuous discovery. Kundalini energy rising from the alabaster sand through the turquoise sea and into puffy white clouds floating in the azure sky. Serpentine spirals floating in my heart chakra. I see these same serpentine energies—a dance of silver and gold—arising from my pituitary into my crown, down my spine and into my mare’s. Her hooves solidify our connection to the earth.
At the crest of the trail, the watering hole is dry. I dismount at the fire gate and water the dog. My mare is anxious, and Charlie drinks little attending only to her. As I mount up, Shane moves out from under me. Not her usual behavior. “Come on” I say, “Just a short ride up the keyhole and we’ll return.” Shane settles into herself, Charlie at her heels, to trot briskly up the single track. On our left the mountain rises, on our right a 50 foot drop to a dry creek bed. The dusty trail is but three foot wide. We are going too fast.
Before I can check her, my mare leaps. I hear rattling. I look back to see Charlie leap too. Over a huge snake, five to six feet in length, rattling its warning as it tries to cross the trail to the safety of the brushy cliff side. The dog looks back. I call for him. The snake’s rattling follows us as we descend to a wider part of the trail.
I feel exhilarated. I know all is well. That both animals are fine. I wrapped us all in white light before we left, but dutifully dismount to check them for puncture wounds. They are fine just excited. Not frothing with fear, but energized, ready to run. I know Snake has purposefully crossed my path.
On the way home I remember losing a day on the beaches of Mexico. I woke up feeling poisoned. My body ached, skin sensitive to the touch, nauseated, dizzy. Was it the sun? The margaritas? Dancing all night? I’ve done all before and never felt so sick, not hung over, but poisoned. Finally I purged the toxins onto the sand and slept the day away, dreaming serpentine images. Did I transmute snake medicine then?
Before I fall asleep that night, I set my intentions to dream of snake. And Snake comes. This time lying flat on a platform, neatly folded in half, head to tail. I am observing in this dream. Participating yet also observing. I, as a young woman, kneel with a dustpan to sweep very close to the snake. I tell her to get back or the snake will strike. Without a warning rattle, Snake bites her right hand. I go to her and she transforms into a baby. I cradle her in my arms, the poison mottling her tender skin. Before I can take her to the emergency room, others try to kill the snake. They do a poor job and I stop them. I cannot save this snake, but I do kneel by its partially severed head and release its spirit with gratitude before finishing the kill. I take the head and slip it into a purse which rests against my solar plexus.
The doctors take their time in treating the baby. When they finally arrive it has been 22 hours since she was bitten. Her entire body is mottled yellowish green, yet she is conscious, cooing at me. A female physician takes a huge irrigation syringe filled with what looks like marinade and flushes the baby orally. The mottling disappears. I ask what is in the syringe. “Oh, it’s lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, hot pepper and melon!” Similar to my gallbladder flush recipe. The doctor smiles, “We do this for the parents. The child knows how to transmute the poison.”
The baby has gotten up, transformed now to a toddler. She looks at me. It is me as a toddler…big green doe eyes, dark thick hair, and my child says to me the adult, “I have been transmuting poisons all my life.”
I wake up in gratitude for Snake medicine.