As the great Mother shifts into her most beautiful expression of the Fall season we move through the sacred wheel and align our attention to West. The west, as I have learned it, is the home to the bear. The bear can be a symbolic teacher and we can emulate its knowledge and communion with the natural world. As the bear prepares to go into the cave for winter, we too, prepare to step into our own spiritual and psychological shadows. Entering the cave allows us to get quiet, still, and introspective, it allows us to examine the difficult, ‘shadow sides’, and attributes of our self and our life circumstance with acceptance and contemplation. In these ‘darker’ sides there is a richness of experience that strengthens our faith, brings us closer to our core and allows us to live in greater harmony with the ways of the natural world.
Fall is my favorite season, and October is my birth month. As long as I can remember, my autumn transitions have always been magical and provided me with a deep excavation into my spirit and psyche. My spiritual teachers and wise elders have told me I have a gift for seeing in the dark. I am a shadow walker they say, but lately, I feel more like a shadow tumbler as I crawl around on weak knees in this years very dark cancer cave.
I completed my first week of treatment and it took me to depths of my body and soul that I didn’t know I could feel. Pain has a powerful way of waking up those quiter parts. Pain can say mean things and leave you feeling alone and helpless, it can break your spirit and call upon the demons, but only if you let it. In all my exhaustion and fear, in my brittle movements, starved belly, burning bones, tapped veins and spinning head I still look pain in its beautifully repulsive face and I kiss it as it swallows me into its tornado of chaos. This is stepping into the shadows.
Every day of this work I am being broken down and built again. It is the wheel of life moving within me. As I lay vulnerable and raw on the floor of my cave, with Bear in my corner, I listen to the whispers of wisdom that hide in the shadows. In these seemingly ominous and dark pockets of life there breathes black-cloaked teachers patiently waiting to share their messages with me. And when I approach them with faith, humility and reverence they remove their hoods and look at me tenderly through the same eyes of God that dwell in the lighter days of my life.
Aho, Namaste, Blessings,