A Time to Heal and Run with Your Joy
This has been a turbulent week for many. We are each a world within the larger universe. What goes on "out there" will have an immediate impact on our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies. Chaos and change force us to become involved, because onwards we must journey, or be tossed around by circumstance.
This November blog is an attempt to shed some light on our current challenges as a collective and as individuals.
A Time to Heal
I did a card reading, asking the following three questions of Isha Lerner's Triple Goddess Tarot deck:
1. What spiritual lesson are we currently working on as a collective?
The card I pulled here was "Alchemy", or "Judgment" in the traditional Tarot. This card heralds a resurrection of the soul where a new level of healing and self love is attained. Integrating and harmonizing the masculine and feminine qualities we all possess. Those qualities of the masculine principle are the active, rational, goal-oriented, structuring qualities associated with the mind and the spirit, the qualities of the feminine principle are the instinctive, feeling qualities traditionally associated with the heart and the soul. We now face the full consequences of the totality of our life choices and experiences. A final cleansing must occur and all that has been denied or hidden must emerge for better or worse. This is our wake-up call. A time for self-reflection and purification. We are letting go of our dense past finally and irrevocably. We are awakening to our true selves. The Divine Feminine is reemerging and must be allowed to do so fully. This means that we are opening our hearts to the healing of ourselves and the planet. We are rediscovering that nature is our greatest ally in the process of healing our soul and bodies. The preparation for this kind of deep transformation is sometimes ruthless, yet necessary and appropriate. The influence of the 'Judgment" card may manifest itself as catastrophic events that make us feel like life is random and cruel. The benefits we receive from this is that, in times of hardship, the soul learns to surrender to a higher plan, one that involves faith and the willingness to receive spiritual guidance and unconditional love. Spiritual practices, long walks in nature, honesty, courage, meditation and prayer help us endure and prevail. Our destiny as a collective longs to be fulfilled. This is the second to last Major Arcana card of the archetypal journey of the Tarot. The last stop is The World which means completion and living our purpose.
2. What is the appropriate individual response to this lesson (healing)?
I pulled "Fullness of Life" or "The Empress" as this card is named in the traditional Tarot. This is a return to softer values, the earth and feminine wisdom. We are being asked to learn the art of flowing with the natural rhythms of change. The empress represents the grounded and sensual aspect of humanity. Our connection and rootedness. Our belonging to the land we inhabit. Current events mirror back our deepest held beliefs and patterns of relating to the world. Depending on how you have lived your life up until this point, you will either feel secure and get right to work under this influence, or you will become painfully aware of that which is not stable or authentic in your life. Connect with the earth and allow nature to mirror back to you who you are at your core. You need this awareness in order to fulfill your soul's destiny. Other keywords are: Love, abundance, creativity, birth, grounding, nurturing, the Divine Mother. You are called upon to birth something new. Acknowledge that you are a creator and begin to sow the seeds of inspiration that the world is waiting for. What is the song in your heart that is longing to be sung? How can you honor and nurture that song? Create, create, create!
3. What led us to this day of reckoning (past influences)?
The "High Priestess" reversed showed up in this position. The High Priestess reversed indicates that we are disconnected from our wisdom, our instinctual soul-self, our feminine, nurturing aspect, and our inner artist. We perceive ourselves as separate. Inability to feel deeply what is going on in and around us.
I believe that unconditional love and respect for the spirit in all (man, mineral, animal and plant) is the destiny we are all working towards. The reading indicates this as well. Then there is human choice, which is why I didn't pull an "outcome" card. The future is up to all of us to create responsibly.
Facing Our Shadow
The chaos and upheaval of late has lead me to believe that America and the world is coming face to face with its shadow. All that has been suppressed within us as individuals and as a collective, is now surfacing. That which stands between us and our joy must be looked at through the hard lens of truth. We can choose to take responsibility for our own happiness or blame our misfortune or our broken dreams on outer forces. The latter is very difficult, because it leaves us feeling disempowered and unable to influence the outcome of our journey. My hope is that we reach the shores beyond this deep transformational work, in love with our Divine potential and each other, ready to do our great work and shine our light.
The Resilient Nature of the Soul
Many years ago, as I began a more soulful journey, I came across a profound book on the instinctual wild soul. Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, awakened me to the creative life force within. I try to read it every year as a reminder never to go back to sleep.
Soul is hard to define because it is abstract yet has the power to change our lives in remarkable, tangible ways if we allow it to fully instruct us. I like to refer to it as our vital essence, our aliveness, and our joy.
Our soul-self is resilient and brave. I lit a candle at the center of my garden Medicine Wheel one night and sat in the West, the direction of death and letting go. Sudden upheaval, uncertainty, and the prospect of loss creates a sense of urgency. I feel a strong pull to let go of aspects of myself that keep procrastinating and blocking my fulfillment. Something made me lift my gaze and look up at the Watchman, the towering sandstone cliff across from our house. I saw a flickering light near the top. Someone was courageous enough to attempt climbing this steep wall after dark. The view from up there must be grand. I felt expansive, filled with wonder and excitement for this person, whoever he or she was. I felt a connection, as if their bravery was a message for me to live more fully and take more risks.
Following our soul's longing and our great joy may lead us on breathtaking adventures and it often means dangling from the cliff's edge. Living from our soul challenges us to be present, and to feel our aliveness and our oneness with the all.
The soul knows more about our journey than we can comprehend with our thinking minds. Its task is to see us trough to the end, making sure we have learned all the lessons we are here to master. Soul lessons are not about a specific career or romantic partner. The details aren't as important as the experiences and interactions that help us heal and evolve. Choice is what moves us forward.
Soul is our most reliable source of guidance. We will always take the higher road and be on our authentic path as long as we follow our truth and our deepest longing. It may mean making choices that gain little or no approval from our surroundings depending on whether their universe is fear-based or faith-based. We must make these life saving choices nonetheless and at least attempt to live our divine potential.
When we succumb to fear, a part of our soul may go into hiding and seize to inform us in our decisions. We may suffer from what shamans call soul loss. This is what the card in the "past influences" position was pointing to as what led to the many problems we are facing today. Soul loss can occur whenever we have trauma in our life.
It is a helpful response in that it allows our essence to remove itself from suffering and pain. In her book, Soul Retrieval", Sandra Ingerman describes soul loss as “spiritual illness that causes emotional and physical disease…(and) losing crucial parts of ourselves that provide us with life and vitality.”
Soul loss can manifest as prolonged sadness and anger. I have seen many posts on social media this past week, urging people to grieve as a response to the election results. I agree wholeheartedly that it is important for us all to acknowledge our feelings. Surrendering to false hope is an assault on our instinctual nature. It is important not to get stuck in the process, however, because it will prevent us from moving forward and doing contributing to positive change. Do not despair for too long or give away your joy.
Running with Our Joy
Clarissa Pinkola Estes uses wolves to describe and define the wild instinctual nature within all of us. Native Americans view the wolf as teacher and path finder. Wolves are symbols of guardianship, ritual, loyalty, and spirit. Wolf has the ability to make quick and firm emotional attachments, and often need to trust their own instincts. Theirs is a path of freedom and self reliance and they have a lot to teach us right now.
It is time to be the "Eco-Heroine" of our own lives and "understand how deeply enmeshed we are in the web of life on this planet" as Sharon Blackie is saying in her mind-blowing book "If Women Rose Rooted". We must examine ourselves and face up to all that is broken and dysfunctional, answer the call to change ourselves and our communities, step into our own power and run with our joy.
It is more important than ever to own our unique talents and use them to transform the world within our reach. Live and love with the audacity of the soul. Be involved in and fight for the creation of the kind of world you want for yourself, your children, your community and the world. Our services at Soul Garden Companion can assist you in this rise to excellence.