One of my very first journeys beyond the veils led me into a desert, following the call of a vulture. I was walking through the dunes under a clear blue sky and the blazing sun until I reached a tomb. It looked like a temple, some of the pillars had fallen. It was ancient. The stairs that led up to the entrance looked worn. Someone was waiting for me at the top of them. I climbed the stairs and found myself facing an old king. He wore a crown that looked dull, his skin and flesh were dry and torn, yellowed bones visible and what was left of his garments was torn and grey. I felt no darkness surrounding him, but I could sense how tired he was.
“Follow me.” He entered the tomb and I went after him. He led me into a chamber full of crowns. There were thousands. Some were made of gold, adorned with emeralds and rubies, others were made of silver and there were crowns, that were made of metals and materials I had never seen or felt before. “Take one of the crowns.” I refused. “Take one. It is yours.” “No, absolutely not.” He looked sternly at me and commanded, “Take a crown. Choose one that is to your liking. It is yours.” “No, I will not take any of the crowns. They belong to others, bearing witness to their merits and achievements. I will not make the merits or achievements of someone else my own and pretend to be the one who is wearing the crown that was given to them, as if I deserved to wear it. If at all, I will look at the crowns and learn from them. Learn, from what they who received them as token of their leadership did on their path. But never ever will I make someone else’s crown mine.”
"White Vulture", white pastels, Kristin Raphaela Otti (2023)
I was getting angry and my anger filled the air. He looked straight into my eyes and said, “Take one of the crowns.” I stared back into his eyes and said, “I am already wearing a crown. I will not take anyone else’s. I have my own. It is in me.” The moment I had said it, a circlet of wood grew out of my body and laid itself around my head. It was incredibly beautiful. I knew that it was made of wood, but it did not know which kind. I had never seen or felt that energy before, but it felt warm and alive. There were no signs on it, no precious metals or gems, yet it was the most beautiful circlet I had ever seen. The old king looked at me and smiled. We left the tomb and said our goodbyes.
Then things started happening on our plane of existence and I was cast into darkness. I had come up with the idea for a project and built it together with others, only to have it taken away from us and others claiming our work as their own. I would not have it and kept walking my path, shedding light on who had really worked on the project and who had not lifted a finger. I was given the gift of being allowed to look deep into my own shadows and the gift of choice of keeping on walking the old path or setting out on a new path. Amidst the chaos, I was called into the desert beyond the veils again.
“Take a crown.” “I have already told you before, I will not take, what belongs to someone else.” “Take a crown.” The anger in me became a roaring blaze, but I did not lash out. Then calmness filled me and I looked him in the eye. “I do not need someone else’s crown. I am enough.”
I was journeying through the sands again, there was a lone vulture circling the sky and after a while I reached the tomb. It looked even more ancient to me now. The old king was waiting for me at the entrance. We greeted each other and I followed him into the tomb. He led me into the crown-filled room again. I looked at him and I felt anger creeping up inside me. “Take a crown.”
"White Bearded Vulture", white pastels, Kristin Raphaela Otti (2023)
“I have already told you before, I will not take, what belongs to someone else.” “Take a crown.” The anger in me became a roaring blaze, but I did not lash out. Then calmness filled me and I looked him in the eye. “I do not need someone else’s crown. I am enough.” He broke into a smile, then a green crystal formed in his hands. The energy emanating from it felt warm. I had never seen a crystal like that before. He placed it in my forehead and it became one with me. “This is a gift. It is for you. You are not yet able to understand, what it means and what it is about. You will in time.” I thanked him and a shy smile crossed my face. “Come.”
We left the tomb and when we reached the stairs that led back down into the desert sands he turned to face me once more. His body began to change. Life flooded back into his being, where his flesh and skin had been dried up and torn, it started mending and healing. His garments regained color and became whole again and the desert sun made his crown glitter. He smiled at me and put his hands on my shoulders. Then I walked out into the desert again.
Every single one of us is unique, a beautiful gift and a flower blossoming, bearing healing wisdom and beauty inside. We all have a crown. We are born with it. It is already within us, there is no need to take anything away from someone else and pretend that their merits and achievements are our own.
There are incredible gifts within you, your heart, your mind, your spirit, your soul. Learn from others with an open mind, observe with open eyes, listen with open ears, open your heart to their ceremonies, but dare to be you. Wear your own crown with pride.