The Figure in Black

Over 20 years ago I was admitted into the hospital for a two week stay due to an inflamed spleen. It had a swollen up so large that it was putting pressure on my back and causing a degree of pain so intense that I required a morphine drip to help manage.

One day, after falling asleep, I awoke to find a strange figure in the corner of my room. He was wearing a long black coat, a wide brimmed hat and was sitting in a love seat with both legs crossed. The shadows of the room were covering him at just the right angle, making it impossible to distinguish any facial characteristics. His presence was intoxicating and ominous. I have experienced night terrors before (the whole demons sitting on my chest while paralyzed deal), but this wasn’t that. What I felt wasn’t terror, but an overwhelming feel of power. It was almost like something omnipresent was focused on me and what I felt was reverence and judgment. I felt tiny and the room was heavy and serious. We spoke for what felt like an eternity and at the end of our discussion I responded,,“…that’s going to be a hard lesson to learn.”

“What’s going to be a hard lesson?” My mother was standing over my hospital bed.

“Mom, where’d the guy in black go?”

“What guy?”

“The guy that was sitting over there. The guy I’ve been talking to.”

She paused for a second

“You have been asleep for hours. You were mumbling and then woke up talking about some type of lesson.”

Later that night my spleen ruptured and I was rushed to emergency surgery. To this day I live with an almost foot long scar going down my stomach to remind me of that night I almost died. But, despite that ordeal, the regret that lingers the strongest is my inability to remember the details of my conversation with the figure in black. What was the lesson? And for who? And why? I think about this quite often.

Down the road, as I began my astrological studies, one the first areas I explored was this event. What I uncovered became a motivation for me to continue studying this system.

Transit Saturn was moving through my 12th house and in square aspect to my natal Saturn.

Transit Neptune had gone into conjunction with my natal Sun.

Transit Pluto had gone into conjunction with my natal 8th house North Node.

Exactly what in the hell did I run into? It would be easy to make lots of wild speculations that involve actual meetings with gods or demons, but it might be a bit more plausible that I had a first hand intimate experience with the archetypal functions/energies of three planetary bodies. That is not to say that all of us don’t experience various archetypes as they manifest in our lives, but just that this experience was so distilled, specific and personal. Even though I can’t recall the details of that conversation, I have never forgotten the FEEL of it…and I wonder if I’ll be reminded of it when I’m eventually on my death bed. Hopefully, I’ll measure up.

What a wild existence this is.

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