Opening a Portal

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SUMMER 2019

It was a warm summer night, and as I laid down for bed, I decided I was going to summon a portal to another world before I fell asleep. I had portals on the brain. I had learned in a tarot class that certain cards could be interpreted as portal cards, representations of in-between spaces. I like using tarot for ritual, and this sparked this idea that I could maybe use certain cards to find gateways to other realms. I had also been listening to a lot of Gordon White’s podcast Rune Soup, thinking about journeying, liminal spaces, the imaginal, and Jung’s Red Book.

I had also been re-reading Whitley Strieber’s Communion books. In Transformation he recounts an incident in which he heard knocking coming from right outside on a part of his roof that would be inaccessible without a ladder and setting off the motion lights. The whole passage gave me this idea that mysterious rapping could be initiatory. It’ll make sense by the end of my story why I mention this.

I didn’t have any specific method for summoning a portal. I just laid down, closed my eyes, relaxed and thought something like “show me a portal” or “if I came across a portal what would that look like?” I let the images come to me. I softened into them. I had the following vision.

Right away I was slowly floating in a great womb-like chamber toward something in the center, some indistinct ovoid suspended in the middle of the space. It felt truly vast, hyper-biological, gut-like, raw, like the inside of a cell. I wasn’t scared. The space was eerie but not terrifying. I was cozy and warm, drifting pleasantly.

Then I saw a slender, gray-green hand with elongated fingers. It resembled hands attributed to gray aliens in artist’s depictions. Except it had to belong to an enormous being. I would have fit in the palm. Either I was shrunken, or the being was giant. It was like a split screen in my mind. I was floating in a womb toward something like a seed pit on one screen, and this giant alien hand in a loose fist—just the hand, not the rest of the body—in a pure black void was on the other screen.

So I was floating along, being drawn to the center. Was close to it. Then I saw the disembodied hand make a knocking motion, and at that exact moment someone bangs on the screen door outside bang-bang-bang-bang-bang! It was very loud and abrupt. It was at the back door right below our bedroom window which was on the second floor. It woke up my wife, who’s a very deep sleeper, and I shot out of bed to investigate.

There was no one there. I could see the backdoors of our place and the next-door duplex from the window. There was no one outside. No one was in the backyard at all. We didn’t hear our neighbor’s door open to let anyone inside. We didn’t hear our door. This was like one second after the banging, tops, because I was at that window immediately.

I went downstairs to make sure no one was in our house. Nope. Just me, my wife, and our cats . . . So, who was knocking urgently on our backdoor, which you could only get to by walking down our driveway from the front or hopping a fence, after 11 o’clock at night? And how did they time it so precisely with my hypnagogic vision? And where did they go?

Submitted by Stevie