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Posted on:  Oct 8, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Goddess
For many years, I’ve been doing ritual work in anticipation of a momentous turning point in our human society — the Great Turning that would decide the fate of our species and our planet home. Life as we know it has been coming apart at the seams, with the turbulence and growing unrest in our political, economic and social systems, and the looming threat of global warming, driving us toward a moment of irrevocable change.
That moment has now arrived. The Great Turning is here, and it’s looking pretty ugly. The world has never been in more of a mess, with the worst of our humanity on full display. At the exact time we need to be getting our act together, we seem to be heading backwards on the crucial social justice, human rights, economic disparity and environmental issues that threaten to take us all down, and Mother Earth with us.
What comes to me as I dig deep into my magic to find my grounding and place in these chaotic, terrifying Great Turning times is a memory of a dark Samhain night, and a small circle of powerful companions gathered around the wild, fierce flames of a ritual bonfire.
In turns, we let the Mysteries speak through us. It’s the Dark Mother who comes to me, and this is what She says:
“This isn’t a time of despair, but of rejoicing. I don’t call for endings, but for new beginnings. And you don’t need to look further than your own self for the change this world desperately needs.
Don’t believe that you are worthless and made of base elements not deserving of redemption. Don’t believe that the hurts you carry are because of some flaw and distortion in your nature. These are lies that have been fed to you, to make you small, to make you weak, to turn you away from the beauty and gifts that shine so bright within the depths of your being.
For you are woven, like all of Creation, from the light and the dust of the stars. In your core rests a unique fragment of the star-bright Universe that is yours and yours alone. You were made to shine your light, brave, bold and brilliant, into the darkness.
No my children, now is not a time of despair, but of courage.
Step out of the shadows into the light of your own profound beauty. Shed the stories that make you so much less than who you truly are. Trust the path that I lay before you to find your way home to yourself, to love, to my life-giving ways.
Know that in healing yourself, you heal the world.
Shine. That is all I ask of you. Shine, as the brilliant, star-made creature that you are. Shine with your beauty, your presence, your love. Shine and the way forward will be made clear to a brighter, more loving and life-affirming future, with me and other waking ones by your side.
This is the moment; you are ripe, you are ready.
I share this memory with you as a gift from the Dark Mother to us, Her waking children, in our time of transition and great need.
I offer these words as a magic medicine and transformative prayer that can wake you up to your true worth, and place your feet firmly on a path of new beginnings.
I reach deep inside and deep outside of myself, from my shining to yours, knowing that together we can shift the tides of this Great Turning, and find a way forward to a better world.
Shine as you step into the star-bright being that you are.
Shine as you embrace and heal the shadowy, painful places inside of you.
Shine as you share your very best gifts with a hungry and waiting world.
Shine into the darkness of fear, greed, injustice and despair that plague our human society.
Shine with your presence, your voice, your actions, your love.
Shine as a beacon of light of what else is true and possible.
Shine, brave, bold and brilliant, and make our world anew.
Shine and we will light the way forward together.Check out Path of She book offerings in the Path Store.
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
Posted on:  Apr 16, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Everyday Magic, Featured, Path Basics, Pathwork
We humans aren’t good or bad, beautiful or ugly, perfect or imperfect, but some complex weaving of all of these things. To witness, embrace and hold space for the totality of our being is a very potent practice that can bring the transformative magic of healing and change to our lives and world.
I am on a hike with a dear friend in a wild area close to the ocean. A creek runs through a small, verdant valley, guarded over by towering evergreen trees. We stop walking, stop speaking, and gaze in slack-jawed wonder at this miniature Garden of Eden, arising from a fertile meeting ground of dappled sunlight and rich, moist soil. The beauty is visceral, a shining green luminescence that thrums up against my own shining core.
“We are this beautiful inside,” I tell my friend.
Later this same day, another dear friend shares a story about having to explain to her ten-year-old son what an army is. Her explanation went something like this: “I am so sorry to have to tell you this, but we give money to a group of people who use it to buy weapons that they use to kill other people.”
This is not a judgment of the courageous individuals in the armed forces who risk their lives in service to their countries, but more a paring war down to its simplest terms and seeing the horror, the ugly, at its core.
We humans are this ugly inside. Not just in relation to war, but in the many terrible, destructive things we do to each other and to our planet home.
Both of these statements are true. We have a whole lot of beauty and a whole lot of ugly inside of us and in our world. These two polar forces, inside and outside, battle for dominion over our soul. And it is here, in these opposing forces, that you find the transformative magic at the heart of your life story and our human experience.The Gift of the Beauty and the Ugly
This is never an easy conversation to have. If you are like most people, you’ve been socialized to push away and transcend the bad and the ugly, and to aspire to the good and the beautiful, while skating around the edges of the uncomfortable, unsavory parts of your own personality and our human society.
If you can do this, become big and wise and courageous enough to embrace these disparate aspects of your life and our world, deep healing and change happens.
A light turns on, revealing what once was hidden: the roots of your stories of wounding and pain, and the profundity of your gifts and powers. And in this place of greater awareness, you get to choose which of these two parts of your human experience to dedicate your life to. You can chain yourself to the ugly or you can embrace your beauty.
And in this choice making, where you show up and take responsibility for the full range of your nature and experiences, you determine the fate of your soul and your life, and that of our world. This is the gift of the beauty and the ugly.The Transformative Magic of Your Life Story
Though these ideas may seem abstract, and perhaps even apocalyptic, the beauty and the ugly play out in the everyday of your life, and this is where real change can happen.
Take for example your imperfection, your personal ugly, that reveals itself in the aspects of your personality and life story that reflect your dysfunction and struggles. First, to be clear, there is no such thing as unsullied beauty and perfection. The ideal of perfection that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe in, and can never measure up to, is a lie, a distortion that blocks our personal healing and growth.
So why not try a different approach, sourced from the sacred feminine, where you show up to the aspects of your life that you see as your personal imperfection, and hold them in the loving embrace and awareness of the beauty inside of you. This is what the process looks like.
1. Start with personal awareness. Bear witness, without judgment or analysis, to your current state of mind in relation to your personal imperfection.
Pay attention to your internal tape about yourself and your life.
What do you see as the imperfect parts of yourself? How do they play out in your life?
How do you treat these personal imperfections? Do you push them away and judge yourself? What emotions do they evoke?
What deeper beliefs underlie your treatment of your imperfection? Do you see yourself as flawed? Do you measure yourself against some outer ideal or yardstick? What is this ideal or yardstick?
2. Access the beauty inside of you, the part of you that holds your love, compassion and self-acceptance. Connect with your perceived imperfection from these beautiful parts of your nature.
Step to one side of your self-judgment and current way of conceiving and engaging your imperfection. Let go of these beliefs and thoughts, if only for the moment.
Step into your beauty. Imagine it bubbling up from the core of your being and filling you with self-love and compassion.
Look for the perfection in your imperfection – what it teaches you about yourself and how it can guide your healing and positive growth.
3. Hold space for the totality of your being. You are both the part that pushes away and judges your imperfection, and the part that loves and accepts you as you are.
You are not good or bad, beautiful or ugly, perfect or imperfect, but some complex weaving of all of these things.
This is not an idea, it is a way of being where you access that part of you that is big, wise and courageous enough to embrace and contain all that you are.
Find this bigness of being inside of yourself and open wide to everything you have experienced and learned about your imperfection and your beauty in this exercise. Imagine yourself as a strong, resilient vessel that can hold the tension and power in the meeting and mixing of these opposing energies.
Don’t be surprised if this feels distressing and difficult. Our human psyche likes dualistic, either-or categories of good versus bad, and beauty versus ugly, and this exercise is outside of its comfort zone. Stay with the discomfort, without trying to repress or resolve it. You are increasing your capacity to be present to the truth that is your life.
What comes next is unknown. You have activated the transformative magic of your life story, both its ugly and beauty, and change will come.Transforming Our Collective Ugly
It is this same transformative magic and bigness of being that can not only heal and evolve your life, but also our world. And this brings us back to the story that began this post.
You, and each of us, are indeed as luminescent lovely as the slice of Garden of Eden I came across on my hike with my friend. And we each have the ugly of human society inside of us that begets war and the countless other abuses and atrocities of our species.
Both these things are true, and both offer us the greater awareness and choice making that can mend and transform our collective ugly from our bigness of being and deepest beauty. Then maybe, just maybe, we will someday live in a world where a child won’t need to ask a parent, “What is an army?”