Artemis met with me and we raced everywhere; running, jumping, skipping up trees, etc. She had the both of us jump up into clouds and sunlight, and then to a large garden that appeared behind the clouds. There were woods that went right up to the garden, and when I looked around, I saw a clearing with some vines, and there Apollon stood. I introduced myself, and he asked me to play some music for him. He showed me his lute, and I began to play.
The strings broke.
I apologized, and then conjured my violin, and attempted to play for him again. I became more nervous and distracted, and immediately, the strings broke again!
He rolled his eyes, invited me to sit down with him, and to calm myself with olives and some wine. I asked him about his insight into "three paths" he discussed via his Oracle a few weeks ago. He responded that I've already Journeyed on it, and that Coyote is the one to give me the most insight into it. I asked if Coyote could join us while we talk and drank, and Apollon refused. Again, I became distracted, and he said, "Go ahead and go, Coyote girl!" I very sheepishly apologized for my lack of attention, and ran back down to my grassy area in the Middle World with Artemis.
Later that day, I attended a MidSummer Ritual with FAWS, of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. During the meditation/oracular portion of the ritual, I had a second opportunity to speak with Apollon in shamanic head space:
He giggled as soon as he saw me coming, and said, "Ahh back again for another try, are you?" (When a god laughs at you, be prepared to push through your fears!) He spoke to me about working with him for my own healing after intense shamanic appointments, and teased me too. "You need someone in your life who's not a Trickster!"
He gave excellent ideas and advice to all participants about jobs and careers ("If you spend your time away from your job recovering from your job, it's not the right job!"), as well as gentle nudging to start up my daily walking meditation practice again. This time, I was able to focus on his words and his energy, and not get too distracted. I thanked him for his offer of friendship, and have started working with him when grounding and centering after shamanic appointments.
Although I have used shamanic journey techniques for 13+ years, I can still be completely caught off-guard by the wonderful and wacky ways the Spirits play games! Have you ever had any embarrassing or mortifying interactions with Spirits? Was it helpful*? Did it strengthen your relationships?
*Note: I do not work with Spirits that play harmful and malicious games within human relationships. My shamanic work is to help heal the Community of humans, and those sorts of games are abusive and can cause psychological damage. I caution anyone who begins interacting with a Spirit that purposefully harms him/her in order to "instruct" or "command" to have a trusted magical worker or diviner to check in with the Spirit's motivations. Soul Retrieval and/or other forms of shamanic healing may be needed to undo the damage.