Imagery is healing. The trick is to find the right imagery that the body believes and will act upon lickety-split. The latest case from my travel journals:
I spent a very rocky night after my long journey to Istanbul. My body had been depleted by 23 straight hours of travel, more than half of it spent in the recycled air of airplane cabins. I had also been exposed to some rather murky psychic influences, not to mention a drunken neighbor who not only sprayed me with his miserable view of life but with some horrendous sneezing, insufficiently contained by the back of his grubby hand.
I found myself coughing and coughing, and by three in the morning the infection had rushed down my bronchial chords, hurting my chest and making me rush to the bathroom sink to throw up. I was appalled to realize that whatever infection had gotten inside me, my body's exhausted immune system was letting it go where it wanted. What to do?.
I lay on my back on the bed in my room and basically said in my mind, I could use a little help.
The image of Sekhmet, as I had met her and led others to meet her in my Egyptian workshop the previous weekend, filled my inner screen and brought all my inner senses vividly alive. Her eyes were red as carnelian, red as murder, as one of her praise poems has it. She was mad at the agents of my infection. With her came a whole pride of lions.
They soon defined a field of battle. I understood that they were going to fight whatever was making me sick. Something slashed at me from behind. I turned to see a rabid hyena. Ah yes, the right form for an adversary of my lion protectors. Lions and hyenas are mortal enemies.
There seemed to be hundreds of hyenas, but they had no real chance against Sekhmet, in furious Eye of Ra mode, and her pride. The lions slaughtered hyenas until the survivors fled the field, then moved over the ground of battle licking up any nasty stuff that remained. I felt this as deep healing inside my body.
There was a small catch. I had been wounded by the hyena who attacked me from behind. But now Sekhmet tongued the wound, erasing it, restoring my energy field.
I turned on my side, profoundly grateful, knowing that the crisis was over. My immune system was fully functional again, and I had all the help I needed.
As I lay on my left size, a beautiful lioness my own size settled full-length on the bed, facing me. I felt the warmth of her body. I felt her breathing her energy into me. We lay together like lovers, hearts beating together.
I have been more than fine since the night the lions licked the hyenas.
I have learned that I have an imaginal metabolism, a mythic constitution. My body responds at astonishing speed to the images I permit it to entertain. When the images come charged with mythic, transpersonal power, they work wonders. My experience with Sekhmet and the sickness hyenas is a fresh example. My book The Boy Who Died and Came Back contains many more. I think we are all alternately beneficiaries and victims of the power of imagination. We want to learn how to use it well, and how to draw on those greater powers. This starts with becoming more conscious of the stories we are living, and the images we invite to live in us.
Photo (c) Robert Moss.