On the Croatian island of Pag, four years ago today was my serpent dream that I often refer to as my "switch" event that broke my materialist mindset. Retrospectively I have to admit it already had started a bit before that, but nevertheless it is safe to say that this day played a central role in my magical coming of age.
In summary it was a nightmare turned lucid, a dream nested within a dream, with a fuzzy threshold to wake reality, out-of-body elements and most importantly it had a meaningful symbolic climax: I was shown a shield emblazoned with a vivid red serpent on fire, staring at me.
This serpent has haunted me for weeks and inspired many in-depth research rabbit holes into at that point rather unknown fields of occult knowledge. I started practicing kundalini yoga, meditation, got eventually hooked on the western esoteric traditions and especially their Helleno-Kemetic sources.
On this same day a year later I found myself standing on the highest mountain of the island of Pag, reciting my first Headless Rite, Greek hymns to Agathosdaimon and invoking the Four Kings and initiating myself from freshman armchair magician to fully operand sorcerer.
Fast forward yet another year, again on Pag, I obsessively hunted down the remains of an altar in honor of the local pagan serpentine goddess Heia, syncretized with the Roman goddess Bona Dea.
My job at a local electronic music festival reoccurred annually, so last year at the same time I was also on Pag. I celebrated my magical anniversary and revisited some of my favorite places, but most importantly I made real-life contact with a woman who used to work at the local archeological museum. I had already emailed her the year before, asking for help in my research on the altar.
I visited her in her garden and she was happy to give me a lot of hints what other interesting places to visit on the island. Unfortunately it was the second last day of my stay so I only managed to visit one of them: a newly discovered ruin of a church on a nearby hill.
After I had left Pag we stayed in touch and things got a bit weird. She turned out to be a spiritually minded, magically interested and quirky witch type lady with shadow people and ghost encounters and I felt comfortable enough to disclose my whole magical journey that was so intimately connected to this island. She seemed genuinely excited about it and had some very interesting things to say about the house I had had my serpent dream at three years before:
Several years ago the owner of the house, who runs a construction company, took a few fine stone ornaments from a wall next to the smaller church here in town. The entire square was an enormous basilica with water well, inside walls and so on. Behind the church a famous reliqary from the 4th century was found and some other precious and rare findings. On the right of the basilica there was a graveyard. Now, there were some wild building interventions around those walls and this guy took away some tombstones!! I remember wanting those stones here in our museum but he secretly took them away in the dark of the night and under protection of our local sheriff mayor so I couldn't do anything but alert the Conservation institute. But they also didn't do anything.
This blew my mind. The construction tycoon had stolen sacred stone ornaments from a graveyard and used them to decorate the house he rented out to tourists and in which I stayed every year. The same house I woke up in when I had my weird dream!
One of the main features of the local archeological museum is the entrance to an underground Roman acqueduct entirely carved in stone by hand and over 1 kilometer long with an average width of 60 centimeters. The lady had another story to share that stuck with me:
I used to close the museum and go into the aqueduct as far as I could. The air begins to get fouler the deeper you go inside. It was always interesting to go forward but getting back was kind of creepy. It alway felt as if a Roman cohort was breathing down my neck!
It inspired me to think that maybe the football-armored zombies from my dream might actually have been Roman soldiers misinterpreted by my subconscious.
Anyway, Pag is surely haunted. I am sad that due to the Corona restrictions my annually recurring job got cancelled for this year. This is the first in seven years I can't be there. It would have been nice to celebrate my magical anniversary and to catch up with my new friend and listen to some more of her stories. Coincidentally (or not) she wrote me this week inviting me and my family to come visit, but unfortunately that collides with our plans for this year.
So visiting an ancient and enchanted olive grove from antiquity and hearing the story about the local priest with stigmata who could bilocate will have to wait until some other day.
I will be back for sure. Maybe next year? Just the gods know.