Saturday, June 23, 2018

It Begins with a Call - Part 7

The traveler finds herself on a misty, tree-lined path in unfamiliar country.  A cloak drapes her shoulders, clearly indicating her royalty, but she knows she is in exile.  Glancing behind her at all she is leaving, all the familiar territory, the companions, the life she has made for herself, she does not yet see the figure of new possibility sitting under a tree alongside the dappled path. 

When she turns, she will find Hecate rooted here at this crossroads, holding an acorn that may be intended for her.  Hecate says, “This is the seed of who you are and must become.  It will not grow unless you plant it – and yourself – in place, in your place.  You must be in that place and rise up rooted, as the poem says.”  She must keep walking.

The path leads her to an ancient tower.  Perhaps, like Rilke, she will circle it and wonder if she is a storm, a falcon or a great song.  Perhaps it will crumble, like the Tarot Tower – a crashing down and crumbling of old forms.  All she can do in her unknowing is close her eyes and put her hand on her heart.  In her inner eye, she sees a spirit of birds and fire, of vines and ferns, in the same posture.  She knows that this spirit is to come into her, or she to it.  She has no idea what this means.  She would prefer water if it were hers to choose an element.  But fire is given to her.  Maybe it was foretold in the time before her birth.  She was, after all, born in the fire sign of Aries, a spring baby.  Her mother was always distressed by her fiery nature and did all she could do to damp it down.  Truly, as a child she strove for obedience, but rebellion struggled with acquiescence within her.  Perhaps the smoldering, barely lit but persistent coals were just waiting to flare up, whenever she learned how to handle them. 

What she does know is that the hardships of life are greater than just hers.  They are also the earth’s pains and suffering.  Her grief is personal and more than personal.  Fire can destroy; it can burn it all down, it can parch and crack the earth.  Her tears might be the only water to nourish what needs nourishing, and even they are hot.

Of course, fire can also bless - the warmth of the hearth, the cheer of flickering candlelight, the beauty of blazing sunsets.

What, if anything, does it all mean, specifically, for her, for healing?

Monday, June 18, 2018

It Begins with a Call - Part 6

Forms of the Dark Goddess
(A SoulCollage® Journey)

The woman is ill and grieving.  The evening is just settling in, bats rising in a cloud of blessing she does not see with her head bent and her eyes closed.  She imagines that the Dark Goddess in the form of Kali Ma is dancing on the back of her bowed head (more headache).  What does the goddess want?  Listen!  She is singing,
                        You will die!  You will die!
                        Sooner or later,
                        You will die!

The words are like honed knives carving her skin.  All she wants to do is cry, or sleep, or disappear.

When she finally does sleep, she visits the underworld.  Her ancestors stand at her back and Persephone is climbing out, leaving her to float or swim or fly through the jewel-tone layers. 

It isn’t as terrible here as she’d thought it would be.  In fact, it is beautiful and peaceful, a place of gestation and quiet.  It feels like going deep within.  She wishes Persephone were staying, but she supposes it must be springtime and therefore time for Persephone to ascend.

Something truly is gestating, but what?  

The goddess, some goddess or other, appears in a new form. Does She have snakes in Her hair?  Is She still the dark one?  She certainly appears brighter, and She comes bearing wheels, setting them spinning.  That has to be significant.

Then she remembers the dream of fixing the hub of the wheel and healing then radiating out through all the spokes.  Something at the very core needs repair.  It has thrown her into crisis, into physical illness, though she knows that at the root it is really a spiritual illness.  

She is growing old.  She has no time to waste.  But urgency is not appropriate.  She knows that, too.  Years ago a psychic had told her, "Follow passion, not urgency."  But the paradox leaves her at a loss.  

All the wheels are spinning and are full of light.

Monday, June 4, 2018

It Begins with a Call - Part 5

(The teacher asked: “How do you bring your work into the dark?”)

I am frustrated.  She has told me this before, or something similar.
I wanted this to be a healing story, not something of the dark.  I wanted it to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.  I wanted it to be complete.
What I have now is trying. I am trying to learn to think mythologically.  I am trying, as the teacher has so definitively taught, to divest myself of my acculturated mind.  I am trying to ask the right questions.  I am trying to live with a broken heart and stay in the pain of it.  I am trying to understand the importance of place, and I am trying to sink roots into this place I have chosen. I am trying to accept living in the tension of the opposites.  That is a lot of trying.  I’m sure there is more.  I would like to be simply doing and not just trying.
Go down, go down, go down.
I am down, damn it.  I get that the ancestral is here.  I know I need to open the box.  I don’t know how.  Is that true?  Or is it that I’m too afraid?
Some years ago, in the temples of Malta, the Dark Mother claimed me.  She who is prior to Persephone, Kali, Hecate, and Oya, put Her hand on my head and spoke to me.  She said, “You are mine.  You gave yourself to Persephone, and your heart swells in the presence of black Madonnas because they are my manifestations.  I am prior to all.”

Ggantija Temple in Malta

I don’t want to be the Judas of my own personal religion. 
One bright note here is that when I went to Topanga asking for more consistent connection to Spirit, my prayer was answered.  That should be the story, the whole story, beginning, middle and end, but it is not.  I am not ungrateful.  I am surprised and bewildered; connection did not come in the form I would have expected or could have predicted.  It came in the form of a headache, and the demand to sort out …. what?  Something.  What is in the box, perhaps.

The Woman in Black

I am wandering around.  The path ahead dissolves in the misty late afternoon winter light.  I walk slowly, with no destination in mind.  I could sink down here and just sit.  It wouldn’t really matter – going, not going.  There is something dead inside me.  I see I have given it a certain amount of sovereignty, and it has been steadily spreading.  A large part of me is numb now.  I will have to muster up some strength and initiative to dispel it, or I risk its complete dominance.  What it insinuates is, “What’s the difference?’  I don’t want to believe that this is the whispering I’ve been hearing in my ear.  No, this comes from the inside. 
I think about that small story reputed to be of Cherokee origin in which a grandfather tells his grandchild that there are two wolves living and warring inside of him, one evil and one good.  When the child asks which one will win, the old man says, “Whichever one I feed.” 
My former teacher, Angeles Arrien, used to say, “Don’t feed your inner critic gourmet meals.”  The same goes for inner demons.
I push myself to visit the oracle tree again.  When I actually visited Dodona almost twenty years ago, the leaves whispered to me to light candles to the gods of my ancestors and to the gods of my land, and to make offerings to the goddesses of my heart.  On that same trip, I also visited Athena’s temple at Delphi where She instructed me to unwrap the cords binding my heart.  Interesting that Athena, always reputed to be responsible for heady things was the one to instruct me about my heart.
So, here I am, come around again to the oracle tree.  This is now the place where Athena rises out of Zeus’ head.  The lady in black is here with her elbow nudging His occiput.  “Headache.  More headache.”
Who are you, woman in black?  I know you come from the underworld.  Are you a dark angel?
She only looks at me with what might be a slight smile.  She does not speak, but stares into my eyes.  I look back.  I cannot tell if she is trying to communicate something.  I do not know if she is mute.
She strokes her long black dress, smoothing it out, and it rustles in that way that taffeta does.  I whisper to her, “Please!”
She blinks.  A message?  I close my eyes to listen to the wind in the leaves of the oracle tree.
“Doldrums.  Doldrums.  Doldrums-s-s-s-s-s.”  That is what I hear.
My eyes fly open.  Is her smile a bit wider now?  I look for another blink or nod.  Nothing.  I don’t know what more I can glean here.  Zeus stares sternly ahead.  He is in pain.  Athena gracefully handles her snake companion.  She turns towards me and smiles.  I feel a blessing wash over me.  I know I must go.  Pulling my cape around me, I walk again.  Slowly, inch by inch, I reclaim my inner territory and oust the numbness.  It is too easy to go dead in the Doldrums.  I am not dead yet.  At least I understand that where I am is the Doldrums.  In the material world, this is an equatorial place of calms and possible squalls or baffling winds.  Oya’s realm, then.  I should make an altar and give Her an offering.  I could be here a while.