Quan Yin -
Known by many names through the Orient ... Quan Yin in China, Kannon in Japan, Gwan-eum in Korea, Kuan Eim in Thailand, Quan Âm in Vietnam, Kun Yum in Hong Kong, Kwan Im in Indonesia, and Tārā in Tibet.
Many people who purport to follow Celtic reconstructionist forms of neo-paganism have, at various times, tried to give me grief for the fact that my deific journey began with a goddess who was not of my cultural background. How could I expect them to believe that I was being led by a Chinese goddess to a Celtic path?
For most of the year 2000, I had trouble reconciling it myself ... well that AND coming to terms with the fact that the vision I'd experienced during that first Reiki Attunement had been real. I've a skeptical turn of mind, for the most part, and my experiences in the neo-pagan "community" had taught me to make use of said skepticism liberally. It was easier for me to believe that I was going crazy, than it was to believe that I'd had a spiritual event. x_x
During the Attunement, I experienced what I always hesitate to call a "vision". I had gone deep during the preparatory meditation and experienced a dreamlike sequence that culminated in my being addressed by Quan Yin (tho I had to research to figure out who she was .. all I knew was that she was a beautiful asian woman who was dressed in flowing white and blue silks kind of like a chinese Virgin Mary from the iconography of the Catholic church).
She greeted me with the words: "I know your kind. I have taught your like before. If you would walk with me for a while, there is much for you to learn." A statement which puzzled the heck out of me at the time.
I recall the events of the experience, of which I am only recounting the smallest portion here, based upon the lingering memories of what I saw/felt/heard/tasted prior to the Reiki teacher breaking me out of the meditation. I also remember the odd look on her face as she listened to me recounting it after the Attunement was over and we all were invited to share what we experienced.
Late in the year, Nova broadcast a special on the Tartan clad mummies that were discovered in the Taklamakan desert of Central Asia in 1980. I sat through the whole thing enrapt, eyes glued to the set as the program showed us fair haired mummies with distinctly caucasian features clothed in tattered and faded tartan woven fabrics. "I know your kind ..." Her voice echoing in my mind and I began to believe, just a little. ^_^
Further confirmation came about two years later when I went into a jewellery store in Cottonwood Mall, Chilliwack, looking for a small jade buddha of Quan Yin to wear around my neck. The store owner/goldsmith was an older Chinese gentleman who came out to greet me as I scanned up and down the displays for something that would suit. When I inquired about a pendant of the Bodhisattva, he became very intent and curious. He asked me why I wanted something like that and, when I answered that it was because I'd had an experience where I believed I'd seen both her and her dragon companion, he didn't react like I was insane (which is what I was ½ expecting, ½ afraid of).
He leaned closer across the counter and asked me to describe the dragon's colours, in a manner that made me feel that he'd know if my answer were truth or a lie. When I answered, he broke out into a cheerful smile and said "Yes, you've seen her." as if it was the most casual of conversation topics which one could routinely expect to be having in a jewellery store. o_O And then there I am, feeling like four types of a fool, talking to this stranger in my own personal Kwai Chang Caine moment.
He explained that Quan Yin was a patron of his family back in China, that she was a very important deity to his family. He told me that I had described the dragon with exactly the colours in the right places to what he was taught growing up. He waved offhandedly at the corner of the display case nearby where all the jade buddhas were displayed claiming that none of them were "good enough" ... that I needed to wait for a while so he could bring in the right one. All this time, I'm standing there with gooseflesh crawling up and down my arms, back and scalp.
He did indeed bring in something special ... the jade buddha now hangs around Kara's neck as it had around mine from 2000 until 2008 (well after I had followed the turn in my path that led me back towards the mythical shores of my ancestry). She has protected Kara since I gave the pendant to her when she went full time in her transition. Several times now, when someone was becoming belligerent and ugly in their bigoted reactions to Kara, has a Chinese woman (a different one each time) walked up and, taking Kara by the arm, has moved her away from potential danger. Most recently, the quality of that jade pendant was recently confirmed by a jeweller (also Chinese) in Guildford Mall where Kara works.
I walked in Quan Yin's guidance from that Reiki Attunement in 2000 until just after I enrolled at West Coast College of Massage Therapy in 2004. For all that I learned in that time, I am grateful.