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Posted on:  Sep 20, 2021 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Sabbats
Excerpt from The Path of She Book of Sabbats.
At the twilight hour on the Fall Equinox, when daylight gives way to the dark, settle into an open, meditative state in a private corner of your home. Close your eyes and place your hands on your belly. Breathe in and out, in and out, focusing your awareness on the movement of your belly with breath, rounding outward and flattening inward, slow, rhythmic, entrancing. Feel your whole body soften and relax with every inhale and exhale.
Draw your awareness inward, like turning all the lights out in your home and using a single candle to find your way in the darkness. Quiet your mind. Quiet the outside noises of the everyday world. Pay attention instead to the movements and sounds of your breath, slow in, slow out, slow in, slow out.
Turn your attention to the changing season outside your doorstep. Visualize the quality of the light and darkness, and the altered appearance of the trees and plants. Smell the fall scents in the air and feel the change in temperature on your skin. Sense the presence of the descending darkness, calling the natural realm to retreat inward to stillness and rest.
Breathe these seasonal shifts into your body and inner landscape. Imagine them calling forth your own shifting seasons from the hidden places inside of you. Sense them drawing up the deep mysteries and hungers within you, and the parts of you longing for your conscious engagement. Every new cycle begins here, in the powerful embrace of the sacred dark.
Take a few moments to check in with your emotions before you begin this journey. Whatever arises, acknowledge it and then let it pass through you. If you experience fear or resistance, take a few slow, full breathes and set the intention to only engage the pathwork that is right for you at this moment, and then let these emotions slip away as well.
Focus your awareness inward and call forth the part of you that knows the ways of Persephone and the sacred dark. Open to your profound hunger to experience and become more, and to seek out the lost pieces of your Deep Self and authentic humanity; here you will find your inner Persephone. Let this part of you lead the way, taking you to the outer edge of your known world to a portal that opens into the dark mysteries of the Underworld.
As you make your way to this portal, feel your feet solid on the ground and your breath and awareness centered within your core. Empty your mind, leaving behind any preconceived ideas or expectations you may have. You are traveling beyond what you know into the wondrous realm of what else is true and possible.
When you reach the portal, take in your surroundings and the powerful draw of the energies emerging from the opening before you. Breathe deep of the magic of the Underworld. Be clear in your intention to do your pathwork in service of your greater becoming and in alignment with your highest good at this time.
Someone appears on the steps below you, a magical messenger come to guide your journey of soul. Take whatever time you need to connect, heart to heart and center to center, with this being who has especially shown up to support your pathwork. Speak your name and anything else that comes to you to share. Then reach for this messenger’s hand and follow her/him into the Underworld.
As you descend the stairs, stay with your hunger and curiosity, empty and receptive; you can’t discover anything new if you are too full of what you already know. When you reach the bottom, surrender yourself to your magical messenger and your own intuition and instincts, and see what comes to you.
Let whatever shows ups — images, insights, memories, directives and energies — flow through you. Grab or cling to nothing, just be with your messenger, be with yourself, be with the dark.
When your work together feels complete, let your messenger guide you back to the foot of the stairs. Say your goodbyes and be sure to express your heartfelt gratitude. Feel the rightness and goodness of the energy that flows between you, and know that you are mending and deepening your relationship with the sacred dark. Ask your messenger for his/her continued support as you embark on this new cycle of your journey of soul.
When you ascend the stairs, feel your experiences in the Underworld settle into your flesh and bones. Let them re-arrange your inner landscape in alignment with the profound roots of this new cycle awakening within you. Don’t rush to solidify any of this into words or plans of action. The mysteries of the dark need time to percolate in your psyche.
As you step over the portal’s threshold, you have returned to the sunlit realm of the world that you know. Feel this shift in energy from the dark back into the light. Let it register in your inner knowing and physical body so you will remember the embrace of the sacred dark when you encounter it again. Then bow to the Underworld, honor its beauty and place in your life and our world, and share your appreciation and gratitude.
Then use your breath to ground in your physical body and bring you back to everyday reality. Gently tap your body. Say your name out loud. Open your eyes and connect with the darkness that has descended during your meditation.
Know that your Underworld travels can be the beginning of a brave new adventure of healing your soul and transforming your life. Let these experiences and insights guide you in the months to come. Profound, lasting change finds its source in the mysteries of the dark and leads you home to your greater becoming and the beauty and power of your Deep Self.
Celebrate the Fall Equinox
with the Path of She Book of Sabbats.
Photo Credit: Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash
The Goddess tells me one thing over and over again: to heal and evolve this world, we need to become something different. We need to be love.
Though these words sound simple, what do they really mean? What is this love? And how do we go about being love?
To answer the question: what is this love, I have to tell you a story.
I was attending a workshop on the Buddha’s doctrines on love. As the teacher delivered his dharma talk on this topic, I shifted into a meditative state and opened to this love he spoke about.
Later, in my connection with the Goddess, I came to understand this place or part of me as the golden love of the Goddess that had little to do with my pre-conceived notions of love, and everything to do with my direct experience in the Buddhist workshop.
This isn’t the romantic love of Hallmark Valentine’s Day cards, nor a warm, enveloping, motherly love, but something woven into the very fabric of existence — sometimes fierce, tugging and unrelenting, like the ocean calling us back to its life-sustaining waters — sometimes hot, sensual, igniting, like the skin-on-skin of a lover’s touch — other times gentle, accepting, peaceful, like the hands of the Goddess cupping us in their infinite interior — always as close and intimate as our breath, yet also way beyond our limited human conception of things — something of soul, of body, of experience, not mind.
What I know, beyond all doubt, is that we are this love. Our very beings are woven of its golden strands, and our most sacred purpose is to be love.How Do You Go About Being Love?
To answer the question: how do you go about being love, I offer you a meditation exercise.
1. Start with a simple breath meditation.
Take several full, deep breaths, following the sounds and movements of your inhalations and exhalations. Feel your body soften. Empty your mind of thoughts and worries. Relax.
2. Turn your awareness inward.
Imagine stepping away from your mind’s way of understanding the world, and into the vast wisdom and knowing of your body and soul. Ask to be shown the love that you are. Keep your focus on your breath, with your body soft and your mind quiet and curious, and see what comes to you.
The challenge in this exercise is to get completely out of your own way, letting go of all preconceived notions and expectations, including the story I have just told you.
Be profoundly still and open, and let the love pour into this emptiness.
3. Bring this exercise to a close.
Before you complete your meditation, imagine lighting up your whole being — mind, body and soul — with the golden energy of this love. Totally immerse yourself in the love that you are, and the love that is everywhere and in all things.
Let this connection change you, in whatever way is good and right for you at this moment.
When you are done, use your breath to fully return to your physical form and waking consciousness. Pat your body and say your name out loud. Then slowly, softly get up and continue on with your day.
In the days that follow, and every time you do this meditation, pay attention to any shifts in how you conceive and engage yourself and your outer existence. Set the intention to embody and experience this golden love of the Goddess in your everyday life.
Trust that these things will change you in profound ways. You’re healing and evolving yourself and our world. You are being love.