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This is actually a combination of two postings to the mailing list, both about a conversation with one of my fur-things.  I figured I might as well share it here, because it gives an insight into how I work.

The guardian of the thresh hold is generally considered to be a frightening thing, a monster so terrifying that its very presence stops the heart of the unworthy. Today, I had an application for that job from an unexpected source.

I have 3 cats. One of these three was with me long ago, but was run over by a car and died. He was fierce and feral then, but this time around we picked up after the car-accident and so he had two broken hind legs when I found him. Of the three cats, he's the most timid, but also the most capable of abstract thought. The other two take their environment as it is; this cat moves things to suit him. He's the only one to have figured out that the hose doesn't shoot water through glass. And yet, terror addles his brains at the slightest thing, the blind terror that will make him run AT the source of his fear, rather than away. His name is Indigo, and he's the scared one, but when something's wrong with me he will not leave my side - he will piss himself in terror (I mean that literally) but not leave my side (and yes, it does get messy sometimes).

Yesterday when I was lying down for a break, Cecil immediately took up his usual spot as the Familiar and comforter, right next to my pillow, and wasn't giving up his pride of place to anyone. Indigo tried to get up to me, but couldn't make the jump with Cecil blocking him, without risking hurting me. So he took another track.

Indigo has been guarding doors. If you can't find him, it's a safe bet he's at an exit to the house somewhere, watching - if he's not in a position to keep an eye on me. He just told me that since he knew he wasn't able to do what Cecil does and ground me when I forget (he's an air cat, Cecil's pure earth), he would guard the doors.

I was touched and surprised. The most frightened of the three cats (Drake is just a love-fountain, and more Rich's cat than mine) offered to be the guardian of the thresh hold. I asked him if he knew what it meant, and he asked me if *I* did.

Because when you get down to it, for the worthy the guardian of the threshold is no more frightening than my poor terrified broken grey cat. And the unworthy never get close enough to find that out. But he has more power and will than he shows, and apparently he's finally ready to take up the birthright denied him in 1992 when he was first killed.

I told him I was honored, and I am... and touched beyond words. I just thought I'd share.

6/28/05, in response to "What is the Guardian of the Threshold?":
It's a mythological concept, a description is given here, which is supposed to prevent the shamanic student from progressing to the upper worlds without facing himself and his own shadow.

It was more of a pun really, in Indigo's case, that was amusing and touching. The Guardian of the Threshold is something else completely than an actual monster standing at the gate. It's a term I've heard used as a reference to the shadow self, it's also a term used as a guardian at a gate of wisdom that must be passed or the supplicant can not enter and learn. I believe in the language of the lapwing, dog, and roebuck it would be the dog preventing you from getting to the roebuck, after spending your years chasing lapwings.

Does that make any more sense?

Joe used to comment to me every so often that puns were sacred things sometimes, that plays on words like that were the gateways to poetic inference and such.

Which adds so many new dimensions to Indigo's offer and our discussion... Hempfling's latest book (it's a horse book) talks about how you often choose a horse, who will be a life partner, that is either just like you, or your exact opposite, and that you should reflect on why you chose that particular horse as your partner because it will teach you much about yourself, and how you should interact with that horse. Reapply to cats, then throw in Indigo's guarding all gates...

It was food for thought.

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