Mark is a Vietnam Veteran ready to lay his demons to rest. His shamanic journey takes him to a place he had forgotten and uncovers more than he believes is possible

It is dark, really dark. We are quietly creeping through dense jungle, in single file, next to a fast flowing river. Malarial mosquitos whine close to our faces. Our way ahead is illuminated only by starlight. I can feel the fear emanating from Mark, whose stomach is cramping as he grits his teeth holding back the evacuation of his watery bowels. His reconnaissance patrol is behind enemy lines and every cell of his being wants out.

This is not as I remember it. He telepaths. Not what I expected, I hurt people, but not here.

This is where your body has taken us when you commanded it to show where your trauma started. The other things you think are important are not.


What happened here?

Truly – I don’t actually recall…

The soldier in front touches Mark and he passes the signal back. “Stop. Prepare to cross the creek” the touch conveys, the local in front knows the way. But the river looks too fast and deep for an easy ford, His mates have told him there are crocs in there and the area they are in is crawling with Vietcong.

Oh shit! As he enters the water his bowels finally give out and he whole body gives way to abject terror. Will somebody get me out of there? 

His telepathic cry for help screams out across the Universe, so loud he even thinks he may be screaming.

And then it happened…

Mark is a heavy-set man who would have been muscular in his prime. Now his muscles are soft and his once firm belly, sags, He has the washed out, limp, pasty, slightly vacant look of someone who has been on medication for too long. I ask why he has come to see me. 

“I did terrible things…” 

His voice trembles as he recalls his activities as a conscript in a hot and steamy war that nobody really wanted and whose heroes were never truly thanked.

I can see his mind is playing and replaying events he had no control over, internalising and repeating guilt and remorse from his forever tarnished youth. Mark was one of the many unlucky young civilians conscripted when his birthday was drawn in the conscript ballots during the Vietnam war. 

The Australian government, concerned that the conflict might destabilise the region and affect it’s interests in Malaysia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea could see that it’s small standing army would not be enough for a growing conflict being fuelled by its North American ally. So the young 20 something man that Mark was, who had zero interest in being a soldier, found himself kitted out after basic training, travelling to a place he had never heard of to fight people he had no argument with, whose politics were actually not too far from his own.

I can see Mark is about to start a long dialogue and I realise the best thing is to get him lying in the crystal mandala immediately, rather than regurgitate what he has been through with army therapists and veteran support groups, many times. He has come to see me for shamanic journey not another therapy session. 

The process begins and I travel with him into his present life past, where we find ourselves, shuffling through the mud next to a crocodile infested creek. It is crucial that Mark have a clear recall and understanding of what happens next…

Something is happening, I feel the fear easing.


Something is comforting me, offering me succour.

You must examine it.

Why? It’s working, My fear is easing.

This is the key to your depression, it s why you came to see me – to find it.

I don’t want to. It’s not happy you are here.

OK – lets step into no time-space, away from this immediate trauma and invite it to step forward.

Mark does so, with some trepidation, and the source of all his woes is revealed and it is big.

Oh no…

I take a breath. In my business we deal with every kind of entity but the deal Mark made to be less afraid in Vietnam has led to this being feeding off and perpetuating his depression – ever since. 

I greet it formally and politely. 

We are honoured to finally meet you. Thank you for helping Mark.

Is this real? Can this truly be a Demon?

More than that. This is a Mother Demon, the biggest and meanest of them all. Please give me permission to speak on your behalf.

Of course.

Thank you for teaching Mark his limitations, he has learnt all he needs to know about fear and depression. Your service is complete and your contract fulfilled, you may leave now. Thank you. 

I telepath Mark. 

Be still, be neutral, do not say a word. Trust me. She cannot stay here without your permission.

I expect a drawn out negotiation, with threats and abuse, but I have dealt with her kind before – and she knows it.

She focusses on Mark. 

You want this?

Mark is quick on the uptake. 

Th…  Thank you I release you – our agreement is complete. 

I hope he does not say more and fortunately he doesn’t

She turns to leave, addressing me. 

I will see you later. Impudent wretch.

Mark, quickly say out loud after me. “You may not return without my conscious written permission. So be it.”

Mark complies and now free of negative attachments, I guide him to a place where he may meet those who love him unconditionally.

A cheerful, cheeky 16th century Spanish soldier wearing a steel helmet steps forward and embraces him.

Brother, it has been a long time! You are free now.

We go through protocols to ensure that the man is truly his spirit guide and I give them time to reconnect – it is an emotional reunion.

I notice during their chat the Spanish soldier doubling up with laughter as Mark looks totally askance.

The journey ends with me ensuring they have a way to reconnect outside of the crystal mandala, without my presence.

Opening his eyes Mark wipes the tears from them and looks at me with total disbelief.

“You could not make this stuff up! Unbelievable!”

“Please believe it, your depression stops today. If you choose.”

“I get it – I am ready for that, I do believe but… Wow.”

“What was the big joke with your friend?”

“Oh – he told me my mates in ‘Nam were having me on – the crocs in that part of the world are frightened by people!”

“Very funny.”

“And you? That Mother Demon was not happy. What did it mean “see you later”?”

“She will visit me tonight in order to terrify me, but I will be ready.”

“Rather you than me.”

“All part of the service.” I smile as I escort a transformed man from my healing space.

All stories are © 2019 Raym Richards and are extracted from his book “Sprit World. A diary of an Urban Shaman” available through iBooks and Amazon or directly from Crystal Dreaming