On the morning of the first of November, as Halloween merged into All Souls Day, our house burned down. I awoke to hear a strange sound, it wasn’t loud, it was actually quite subtle. I thought perhaps it was my dog, or one of the cats messing around. I started to drift back into a delicious sleep but then the noise repeated twice more and each time it was identical. I opened the bedroom door, which led directly into the kitchen and found the room was full of smoke. Then I looked up and saw a hole in the ceiling at least a metre across and through that, I could see a raging inferno. It was as if Hell had manifested in our attic! The noise I’d heard, was actually the stone slates, sliding off the roof. We all got out (humans and animals), just in time, before the roof came down. We left so fast, my wife had only one shoe on and a coat, under which she was naked. I was barefoot in pjyamas. We stood in the breaking dawn and watched. The stone slates flew off the roof like missiles. Gas bottles exploded. It was spectacular. Twenty-five minutes later, everything was gone. Thirty-five minutes later the fire brigade arrived. Three days later and despite the constant rain, the remains of the house were still smouldering.
Our daughter was away staying with a friend when the fire happened. We were desperately trying to contact her but she had no mobile phone reception. Blissfully unaware of the unfolding catastrophe, she was enjoying the morning, amusing herself with Tarot cards. She decided to draw a card for the day and what did she pull? The Tower! A few minutes later, she got the news. Our little in-joke now, is that when we get some new Tarot packs, we are taking the Tower out! Really though, the Tower can convey an amazingly positive message, it represents an act of divine loving intervention, shocking change, liberation and freedom. It is also associated with the element of fire.
It is often said that those on the spiritual path must lose everything, either voluntarily or involuntarily. All I know is, that we have literally NOTHING material left, everything on that level has been obliterated. The Tibetans say that a house fire like this represents the burning away of all karma. There is really no separation between the inner world and the outer, the spirit world and the material and the fire of Kundalini is not just an internal purification.
All my spiritual diaries are now lost but by chance, I posted this dream/vision on the 3rd of September, on my Facebook page. The symbolism is interesting considering what was to come!
In meditation I see a column of fire blaze up at the level of my heart. Then I dream I’m in the sitting room of my childhood home with my dad. I see that hot coals have spilled on the floor. Little fires are springing up everywhere. I panic and do my best to put them out but the carpet is badly burned. Then I find I’m in the garden and a phoenix is there, it’s feathers are a gorgeous soft pink. Then I see small fires springing up all over the phoenix, I want to help it but it rises up in flames and flies over the garden fence. This seems to trigger some kind of cosmic reaction as hundreds of birds and giant salamanders come back the other way, flying over my head. Then I find myself barefoot, I’m standing in the middle of a river, I begin to walk…
At the end of the day we are grateful, it could have been so much worse, we all escaped unscathed and our dog and three cats made it too, losing any of them would have been too much.
The love and support we have received from friends, community and complete strangers has been phenomenal, I’ve learnt more since the fire than in my entire life before.
I know this was a divine fire, a gift and this is the point I’m stepping forward from now, into a new life, trying to be a Phoenix.