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Into the Shadows

DarkCaveAs 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,

Robin Afinowich



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8 Responses to “Into the Shadows”

  1. Joy Fichiera October 6, 2013 7:29 pm #

    So beautiful and moving…thank you for sharing your words with us. They are so raw and powerful. I think of you so often and am sending love. Stay strong, warrior woman.

  2. Ingrid October 6, 2013 11:43 pm #

    Mama…no one can say it or express it like you do…the light of your heart and wisdom of your old wise soul shines through… you remind me and inspire me to feel and see the divine in all…so blessed to have you in my life. Thank you sista for sharing your raw naked authentic heart and soul..love you so much. Aho.

  3. Sunny October 7, 2013 12:02 am #

    Prayers without ceasing….


  4. Carrie Hensley October 7, 2013 12:40 am #

    You are such a gift… A word weaver… a shadow whisperer… a fierce warrior… a compassionate soul… a gentle spirit. Even in the darkness, you touch the light. What a blessing you are. Love love love you!

  5. Omy October 7, 2013 8:15 pm #

    Oh Robin, love. Moved to tears by your words. Word weaver, Carrie said it right. You are my spirit sister, soul tripper, Warrior-woman. In that dark bear cave, you’re so brave. Isn’t it interesting that you always say that you have terrible night vision, but your teachers tell you that you have a gift for seeing in the dark? ;) <3

    This song reminds me often of you & what you write here reflects the song's lyric.

  6. Flora Farago October 7, 2013 9:31 pm #

    Robin, you bring light into the darkest aspects of life. Your strength and wisdom in these trying times are an inspiration to all. Everything and everyone you touch, including cancer, is transformed by your soaring strength, bountiful beauty, gentle grace, hilarious humor, and perpetual playfulness. Thank you & Much Love.

  7. Murchie October 7, 2013 9:48 pm #

    Beautifully stated Robin. Pain is horrendous and monstrous but it is a gift, a short cut to our very core. It takes us to where we need to be, that which needs healing or release. The hardest part was always remembering that and not getting trapped in the depths of the experience and succumbing to the moment. You are on a journey that will bring you even more into your powers. It is an honor to know you and to help you in what ever way I can on this path. Lots of love!

  8. Gretchen October 24, 2013 10:55 pm #

    thank you for your words and thank you for your wisdom. your great spirit fills me with such awe and wonder.

    love love love love love and gratitude to you. may the great arms of the creator softly cradle and nurture you as you stroll gently down the path of your journey.

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