I was the second individual to receive Vessel #20 after Phil Cousineau and before I handed the bowl off to my friend Mikkel Aaland.
Phil handed the resonant vessel to me at Esalen in 2013 just before I went to my parent’s house to tell them that my son was not a son but a beautiful trans grand folk named Cassiel. Bowl #20 sat on the fireplace lit by vibrant flames as I explained Cassiel’s story as a transgender child –
The bowl sat like a dragon’s egg opened on the hearth – smeared with a stroke of silver. Was the smear on the bowl a memory of dragon’s blood like a character in my 19 year old kid’s favorite book – Rachel Hartman’s novel “Seraphina”? My child is a beautiful changeling in mythic terms and that night with the bowl’s inherent power to guide us, I would tell my parents the lovely truth.
Phrases flashed across my frontal cortex – “in vino veritas”, “semper fi” – (my father is a Marine USMC), fidelis…
Fidelis and dragon lore…
Like the streak on the bowl, in Hartman’s novel, dragon blood is silver. And my kid, my lovely offspring, felt that she too would bleed silver.
She asked me to carry her secret since she started at UC Berkeley as a frosh and I obliged. But tonight in the firelight and with the Patra Passage #20 I would tell my secret, our secret, to my parents and let the silver truth embrace us all.
Somehow, my coarse words turned beautiful and trans folk appeared at the hearth like ancient spirits. I hung on the phrase “gender queer” and then retreated into the silver bowl. My family and the bowl in the firelight struggled to find meaning in a new definition.
Like a dragon’s egg washed up on the Big Sur coast, my parent’s watched their grandchild reborn not as a Christian acolyte but as a much earlier and much deeper archetype. In my mind, the waves of Big Sur crashed as I explained this new but ancient truth – duality is but a trite convenience – humans are so much more than this. Like a dragon’s egg opened on the hearth, Cassiel appeared.
When Phil gave me Vessel #20, I struggled to open the box. How do I open the box? But my dragon, my Cassiel said “the bowl is already open.” “I have poured my self into this vessel and I just need to pass it on.” My heart opened when she told me she was trans and I hope you as you read/hear this find your heart opened as well. With dragon’s blood upon the lip of Patra Passage #20, I know that I am now in the silver hour. And I give the silver hour back to you. Please hear the call…
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