October 31 – November 1, 2009
In the ancient ways, this is the death of the old year and the beginning of Winter. Today many of us celebrate Hallowe’en (Hallowed Evening). Whether a bright fairy queen or a dark monster, on this one day of the year, we allow our Shadows to rise from the ‘dead’ and come out to play trick or treat. Others of us may celebrate the Day of the Dead, honoring departed loved ones, visiting cemeteries, making intriguing skeleton figures.
On a deeper level, it is a time to face the darkness, to see what is usually unseen, denied, ignored: our Shadows (buried parts of ourselves); unseen spirits; endings and death.
Here is a poem I wrote in 1981 when facing a ‘death’ – the ending of a phase of my life:
Through the Moon Gate go I,
letting go of why,
into the Dark Realms
to meet what overwhelms
Can words express
what seems chaos?
Depression, dread, horror and loss
await me. Nevertheless,
through the Moon Gate go I,
needing to shed my
Beyond the dread Moon Gate,
the Dark Ones wait
to initiate me.
What must I surrender?
Will they dismember
me? Trembling, I yield
to the unknowable
Here is a Shadow dream from 20 years ago, and the Shadow figure’s message, still powerful today. I was startled and scared by this dream. It is so challenging to my usual love of security, stability, peace! Yet this message encouraged me to follow my own inner path of growth and discovery, becoming more alive, more my unique self. I hope it will do the same for you.
Dream: Jana the Performance Artist
A very intense woman – short, strong, perhaps handsome but not beautiful, magnetic due to her total commitment to her path, her truth, her vision – uncompromising, perhaps even grim.
A man begs her to talk with him. She says “Maybe tomorrow”. She never knows where her path will take her so she can never promise anything.
A bar with dancing to recorded music. There are a lot of women wanting to dance but no men, so the women take over and start playing feminist music, dancing in twos, fours, groups.
The intense woman hears of this and is drawn to perform there. She’s a performance artist. Everyone is excited, almost awed. She comes in fully clothed in workman-like clothes and even cloth work gloves –
all a bit too large on her – and with a stripper’s pasties and G-string on top of the clothes. Also, she is wearing a woman’s medicine bag over her womb.
It is beautiful, shining with fine beads and sequins. She starts to dance to music, which starts out loud but quickly fades.
She stops dancing and leaves – only to return, having cut off her hair to about one inch long. She says the group was “worshipping her hair” and the “theology of the group” needed disrupting so she cut it off. Somehow this really does disturb everyone. I am stunned, shocked, and end up crying.
Message from Jana: The Path of Radical Individuation
“We must be free to love ourselves completely – to totally trust our Inner Guidance, in order to transform the World from Hell to Heaven. Imagine what radical freedom one has if one totally trusts one’s Inner Guidance – but to do this takes totally knowing oneself:
* Being aware of all your ego’s tricks and ways of deceiving you, flattering you, inflating your self-importance, posturing this way and that, minimizing your response-ability, hiding your true power and radiance, etc.
* Learning to fully discriminate between true Inner Guidance and ego’s hopes or fears.
* Being fully aware of WHAT IS, facing reality without self-deception, denial, delusions.
“Only then can one follow one’s Inner Guidance completely. Even so, one always risks falling into one of ego’s traps. One must balance this eternal vigilance against self-deception with eternal self-acceptance and self-forgiveness. Mercy & Justice; Compassion & Discriminating Awareness; Tara & Manjusri. Krishnamurti, Jesus, Buddha, the Zen Masters – all are examples of this.
“Imagine how the World would be transformed if more & more people began to be able to follow this path, each one following their unique path so that “the authorities” (those who fear change and are lost in ego-delusions – inner & outer) can never predict us and so can never control us. They may kill us one by one but there will always be some who commit to the path of radical freedom and radical love – to transform the world, to head us away from self-destruction to world renewal.
“Only when one has become totally unattached to ego’s demands and delusions can one live this path – the most challenging path of all – the Path of the Gentle Warrior. Violence is never the answer so this is not a path of political revolution, nor is it a path of organizational action. It is a path of individuals being their unique selves, fully alive, following “that still small voice inside.”
What Shadows have I enacted for Hallowe’en over the years?
How do I deal with transitions, transformation, death?
What is my Inner Guidance telling me?
What is my path of radical individuation?
Your comments are welcome. I’d love to hear from you!