Two weeks or so back, on the waxing moon of this cycle at the end of my work week, I was ovulating and in need for introspection. To be precise, la luna was moving into her 1st quarter phase, amplifying the Virgin Archetype medicine that I and others in our co-op’s Women’s Mysteries group imprinted on the Equinox.
The Virgin Archetype is she who is autonomous, or at-one-with her whole self, her mind, her heart, her body, her spirit, her sexuality, her soul.
On her own terms.
I was coming into maximum fertility in my personal cycle. I felt overcharged and hyper-aroused. I was intimately aware of my tired, stressed body’s need for stillness and reflection~
To respond to this need reclaims your right to your embodiment. It is to make personal your own return to your own sacred resources within. It is a move towards your autonomy.
To return, again, after a long time or even a little time away is to heal the story of our culture that produce, consume, and exploit are the only values worth having. It is to be autonomous over your choices.
That night, I gave myself fully over to the here and now process of my mindbody. I like the fusion of these words. Let me elaborate that the fusion of the two translate as intuition, and that for me this is a matter of being able to be connected and to respond to the feeling center of my being, the heart.
I am lucky, and so damn grateful, to have access to a room all my own with soft, sacred spaces where I can count on being able to do this work safely on my own terms. I am equally grateful to have had access to therapeutic treatment, and spiritual and behavioral mentors over the years that have held space and process with me during all those countless moments when the injuries and scars of my heart kept me from feeling safe enough to connect.
I try now to provide this, support and access, to whoever needs it.
I share this to encourage you, right now, wherever you are on your own path, whatever your present access to time and space and self and support looks like. No matter who you are, you deserve to be connected with your whole self in ways that demonstrate unconditional self love, and celebration of you as precious. Sacred. No matter what your earlier experiences have been or what your present self-stories actually believe right now. You deserve community and individuals that value and support you. You deserve self-tenderness with the ways and the why’s that you learned to shut off or silence parts of you. You deserve self love and new boundaries towards the ways that you were programmed to align with culture’s stories about your worth or what you deserve instead of your own.
You deserve space, and time.
Which brings me to the insight that arose for me that evening on the waxing half moon. My active or sacred imaginal was really activated. This a concept coined by Carl Jung but known in cultures worldwide, long before Jung, as the Dreamtime. That night Dreamtime or sacred imaginal was right at the edges of my consciousness, arising as soon as I had time to shut my door and get still and breathe. Immediately my bodymind’seye sawfelt emotionally-edged images of a tar-dark wood at twilight, with a cloaked dark figure at the forest’s edge.
Forest’s edge. This is a metaphor in soul work for the beginning of an uncharted journey. This felt appropriate to where I am personally. As I tended, or sat with this scene in the imaginal, it felt at once wholesome and threatening to me. The hooded figure felt like a guide or a guard, a beneficent figure. I breathed and felt appreciative of this Dreamscape figure who appeared to be beckoning, to say follow me. I felt held by warmth and security. As I embraced the goodness of this resourceful feeling, I was better able to sit with the anxiety and discomfort that the forest itself created for me. I sat with all of it.
Eventually, the scene opened and softened for me, dissipating. I journaled about it and soon felt guided to one of my bookshelves.
The book I chose then pressed to my heart for a beat felt clearly connected to the light pulsing in my chest. Here’s the passage, chosen at random: “While much of psychology emphasizes the familial causes of angst in humans,” writes Clarissa Pinkola Estes, in Women Who Run With the Wolves, “the cultural component carries as much weight, for culture is the family of the family. If the family of the family has various sicknesses, then all families within that culture will have to struggle with the same malaises.”
Well if this isn’t the raw real: how disconnected and sick we as a modern culture are, alienating or even demonizing our inherent worth, which in fact is sacred and soulful simply because we are, we exist. This wisdom, meant to find me in the book was a stunning synchronicity. It was in the section subtitled “The Dark Man Dream“.
I thoughtfelt my dark figure with joy.
It continues, “There is a saying culture cura, culture cures. If the culture is a healer, the families learn how to heal; they will struggle less, be more reparative, far less wounding, far more graceful and loving. In a culture where the predator rules, all new life needing to be born, all old life needing to be gone, is unable to move and the soul-lives of its citizenry are frozen with both fear and spiritual famine.”
Now, I work with female trauma survivors and recovering addicts and alcoholics. I can tell you from the front line, for many of us, culture equals predator.
How potent, the profound message from my soul, how it connected me to a message about the anima mundi, or world soul as immediately it registered in my body that the tar-dark forest was significant of my culture on so many levels. How ill the family of the family is right now, how cut off from and unsupportive Western Culture is of the value, the necessity and import of each individual’s right to self, safety and soulful wellness, in the bodymind and heart. How easy it is for us to assimilate our family’s family message that sickness, or being at the mercy of Culture as predator, is the norm.
For so many groups of micro-cultures within the overall culture of the US, this message is in fact the reality.
For so many micro-cultures, the “sicknesses” are specific to the disease of disembodiment, or the story that certain cultures don’t deserve the right to autonomy and safety in their own bodies.
Embodiment at Summer Solstice
The Solstice is a time on the medicine wheel known as a quarter day. There are four quarter days, one for each season. Quarter days are a way of marking the time it takes for the earth to orbit the sun into quarters. Twice yearly in its orbit, depending on the earth’s tilt and point in relation to the sun, we reach a quarter point that is either the longest day or night. Twice yearly it marks a quarter point in the orbit when the day and night are in equal length.
On the earth path or keeping the old way, meaning tracking time against these quarter passings, quarter days are aligned with the four elements and four directions. At the Summer Solstice we honor the direction South and the element Fire.
Summer Solstice kicks off harvest season—when all that light into photosynthetic sugar at its peak capacity starts to translate to fruit form, heavy on the vine.
Quarter days are also in-between times. They are a transient, or changing tide: Tomorrow we honor the passing of Spring into Summer. We hold both, side by side. Ending and beginning again. There is depth value in learning the medicinal power of in-between, of holding both.
Quarter days are powerful energetic tides because they are in between or holding the tension of two different energies–like Jung’s tension of the opposites.
This is personal soul work and medicine wheel work we learn by walking the earth path all year long.
The Summer Solstice is the time of year for cultures in the Northern Hemisphere that the face of the earth gets the very most daylight. This ancient rhythm, this precise, dependable mystery that delivers us in practical ways by the perfect timing of Life.
Mama Nature, or Mama Earth, is an ancient, practical source and metaphor for the life-giving, infinitely dying and re-creating realm of the Divine Feminine.
Part of the modern “malaise” of our culture is rooted in our disembodiment from the larger body of the earth from which we arose. Speaking of the Divine Feminine in her varied and many goddess names, Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., in Crossing to Avalon writes, “When we humans–with the exceptions of some indigenous peoples, such as Native Americans–stopped honoring her, we also lost our connection to the earth as sacred, ceased to be attuned to the seasons and to all life, ceased to have an embodied spirituality. With the domination of Sky Father Gods, dominion over the Earth and all life (including women) was considered a divine right of men, who were supposedly created in the image of God.”
So here we are, at the apex. The week in which the realm of the feminine, Mama Earth, receives the most amount of light–or illumination from the Sky God~the Sun.
What a power-full, power-full time, a power-full power-full tide to hold both. The need for for the rooted sacredness in the body of the feminine, and the need to see how and where we are cut-off, shaming or disembodied from this principal as well.
A time to hold both, and trust in the sacred alchemy of integration this work will birth.
This was the message that was quaking inside me that night in the Dreamscape–the dark malaise of culture, the dark forest–the old, normalized story of the female body, of the nonwhite body, of the nonhetero body. The normalized story of the body of the earth which is our first home and provider. The normalized story: to be exploited.
To be unsafe.
The quaking forest–the disembodied earth, the disembodied right to access:
I am Sacred. My rights are sacred. I am protected. My rights are protected. My safety and my health is sacred, revered, nurtured, valued and protected. The safety of my family, my community, my culture, is valued, revered, held, protected.
May the alchemy of this in between time at the end and beginning of the Solstice quarter day bring you the same guidance as the wise dark figure did in my Dreamtime. As Bolen continues, “In the symbolic language of myth, knowledge of the suppressed Goddess was kept alive, just as dreams “remember” in symbolic language what the ego suppresses.”
As the light grows to its peak this week, may it illuminate for you the ways in which you are ready to be free of culture’s story in your own soul.
May it align you with your own sacred light, your own inner knowing of your value.
May it be light-full, as you hold too your “dark”. May you be strong and soft as you hold both.
May you be good to you~
Don’t let them tame you~!
Happy blessed Solstice friends xoxo
image, Sulamith Wülfing (1901 – 1989)