Through the Cave
Submitted by Jay Bell
Many people have experiences on the astral plane while they sleep. While learning to astral project when fully conscious is considered very difficult by most people, it is common place for people to leave their bodies in their sleep. These experiences usually stand out as being much more vivid and detailed than dreams and much easier to remember as well. That said, you can meet all sorts of people, spirits, and deities in these experiences.
In one such experience, I was having a fairly normal dream. I was trying to escape some people who wanted to kill me and I was running past a deep grassy ditch that ran along side a hill. I had been to this place in my dreams before, but there was something new here now. There was a hole in the side of the hill. I ran into this cave and the second I entered everything changed. The dream-like feeling was gone as if I had woken up and things became much clearer to me. I met a stooped old man wearing a light grey cloak and a friendly grin on his face. He invited me to sit with him at a long table covered in food. He told me that I was welcome and that I was safe from the men who were after me. The thought of the men I was running from seemed silly now as it was obviously a dream. We talked about various things together, but for some reason we never got to the food which I think is a shame. I began to suspect while we spoke that I was facing Manannan Mac Lir, so I asked the old man if this were true. He just laughed and nodded his head in response.
All too soon he told me it was time to go and he pointed to a different door for me to leave through. We embraced briefly and I went through the door. The place beyond was absolutely amazing. It was a paradise full of all manner of amusements and games and I felt that everyone I had ever cared for was there if I wanted to see them. Perhaps this was a part of Manannan's islands beyond the sea? Regardless, I spent a good amount of time enjoying myself.
This is an odd experience to relate, because it starts in a dream setting and moves to something more significant. There is a common theme here that you may find in other peoples stories, especially ones relating to Manannan. He has some guises he appears in repeatedly like this and one guise in particular is very strange. There ha been many times that people have told me they thought they saw him in a dream or an astral wandering and then they hesitantly describe the strange appearance he had. It's always the same description, but describing it here would obviously defeat the purpose. You may like to ask around about people's personal experiences with the deities they have met and worked with. You may learn of a guise, habit, trait or theme that will alert you to an experience you may or already have had.