The word that keeps coming to me as I think about the energy of the month is acquiescing. It means to consent, to comply silently. Is it the same as surrender, I wonder...how does it apply to what’s going on with me, with the world? It’s been something that has come with the season for me, which has taken me by surprise, because I have always loved fall. I was born in the fall and I resonate with the cool change that leads one inwards. I love the small of damp leaves and the blazes of color of the trees. Here in Oregon, autumn is gorgeous and crisp and vibrant, but it also means the return of the rains. I was surprised that when the equinox happened in September, I was not ready for it. I wanted more sun. More warmth. More time to wade in the creeks. More quiet college town with mellow sidewalks and plenty of parking. For the first time since being a kid, I didn’t want summer to end so soon. So being who I am, I had to ask, what is it in me that does not want to rush into the fading of the light and the quiet turning within?
Was it the return of the cold and damp and the getting out of work at 5 pm to find it already dark? Is it because the shadow work I started this summer is easier to process in the brightness of sunshine? Now that seems to strike a chord. Bringing those parts of self out from their hiding spots is like finding the little pan squash that fell behind the fruit bowl in the corner of the kitchen. Moving the bowl to find a slimy, moldy fuzz-covered lump of vegetable, and realizing that’s why all the baking soda you put down the garbage disposal did not quite get rid of the odor in the kitchen. It’s like we spend our days grinding through tasks, taking care of business and things on the surface that we process and release, just like the garbage disposal. But the old shadowy parts of something wounded or shameful or that is the limiting belief that is running like a subprogram underneath our daily process is that moldy produce that falls down behind stuff in the corner. It can only be discovered when we rearrange things, when we make some kind of a change.
It’s the changes on the outside that help sync the changes that are made internally as we process, do our work and blossom. We need compost in our garden to get big beautiful blossoms in the spring. We need the long dark nights to rest, reset and germinate new life, new ideas, new ways of being in the world.
I acquiesce to the cycles of the seasons, to this autumn, to the balance of shadow and light, compost and blossom. I got some more stuff to compost. I better get on it.
A tending of the waters are needed inside and out
Acknowledgement of the blushing fluids for the rising tide
Of blood cells and cytoplasm in the mechanics of a drawn breath
The salty release of a single tear
The perspiring of a sacred communal sweat
We are more water inside our skin than any other element
Yet we hardly ever thank the water for our humid breath
or cleansing sweat and tears
Or realize that this powerful elemental undine force lives within us
Oh Mother of the waters
I am so grateful for all of you that I take in
and for all of you that I let out
My life depends on your purity and abundance
Please forgive me for the way I have disrespected you with leaky faucets
and green lawns in the desert
The way I have profaned you with oil leaks and non-biodegradable laundry soap
How I have wounded you with plastic bags used once and thrown away, never connecting them to the manufactured tiny beads washing up on your shores and in the stomachs of your whales and pelicans
Please forgive me for taking for granted ice cubes, hot showers and car washes
And for fearing your abundance as your unrelenting floodwaters sweep away everything in your path
I apologize for calling you polluted when your purity is so deep in the spiritual dimensions that I cannot even comprehend it
In the hottest of days when I enter the coldest of your streams
our waters mingle, and I am renewed
I return to you in my dreams and spiritworld journeys again and again
communing with you in all your forms as if I am embracing a lost part of myself
I honor you with humble and steadfast love, and vow to see you as pure, perfect, pristine, life-giving and full of lifeforce and majesty
I honor you with gratefulness
I fill my heart with love for you
Send blessings to you every day
And recognize you as the powerful elemental being you are
– Mother of the Waters
The hidden jewel of the North Fork of the Santiam River, near Opal Creek, Marion County, Oregon
I wrote this poem last year but was called to revise it after the holy experience of communing with the river this summer.
We are just on the other side of the North American total solar eclipse at 29 degrees Leo. It was the first total eclipse I ever experienced, and it came at the perfect time of my life, in the perfect astrological house at the perfect degree. As it did for everyone I’m sure. For me, this eclipse was all about shadow.
I’ve been in the thick of shadow-work since the new moon in July. It was then that my shamanic path students and I held a fire ceremony to release those things about ourselves that we no longer need; limiting beliefs, cords to things in the past, things we took on from our family and societal tribe that never belonged to us in the first place. We gave them to the fire and asked for release. After that, my Higher Self told me that I can’t get rid of parts of myself that need to be integrated instead, and that it was time for another serious look at shadow work.
Shadow can bring to mind negative connotations of the Dark side, and can evoke images of black magic, sorcery and fear. But when it comes to spiritual and transformational work, shadow means something that you have disowned about yourself. It can be dark or light, positive or negative. You could have disowned your love, your vulnerability, your image of healthy self-worth just as much as you disowned your anger and shame. Whatever you disown, it becomes something you have to reclaim. When you disown something of yourself, light or dark, you lose power. You have to reclaim it to become whole.
There has been a tendency in modern spiritual thought to ignore shadow work. It has been caught up in the dogma of the law of attraction, which says that you attract what you think about or what you feel. So some light-workers don’t want to spend any time thinking about shadow, because they are afraid they will manifest more of it. But in actuality it is one of the highest forms of light work you can do.
There is a reason shadow evokes fear. Most shadow aspects can be tracked back to the emotion of fear. Fear is at the bottom of every well, right back to the root chakra of survival, our limbic system brain, the fight or flight response. When we are little, before we have any emotional maturity at all, we have our limbic brain that regulates our survival. That fear comes from any perceived threat to our survival, whether we think it’s rational or not. As we get older our responses to perceived threat get more sophisticated and we master finer nuances of emotions; envy, shame, arrogance, anger etc. But underneath them all is the foundation of fear. So we need to find fear and look it in the eye, bring it up to a conscious level and integrate it. This is when our heart center meets the limbic brain and embraces it in totality and we become whole.
Sitting under this total solar eclipse, I was blessed to be at home, with myself and my own thoughts and energies. I was eager for a lesson or an energetic assimilation of all the shadow that this eclipse represented. I felt the wind stop as the darkness descended. I took off my protective glasses to see the totality of the dark sphere in the sky, and I felt my primal ancestral self, my limbic brain assert itself and cover me with eerie chills. A lone night bird sang its song for a minute, then stilled as a thin arc of fire came out the other side of the black disc as the shadow moved on across the sun. No channeled messages came from any guides, no epiphanies, no downloads (that I was aware of anyway) that I could take as my lesson. It is only now that I sit with the experience that I see the message in its simplicity, its literalness. Every one of us in that moment was looking at shadow. As within, so without. Perfection in a holographic moment.
When you look at what is coming up in the collective consciousness right now, you see its long snaking roots sunk deep in fear. War, prejudice, hatred, violence are all birthed in fear. Nazism and North Korea threats are echoing two major wars of the last century that have left deep scarring in the psyche of the world. And it’s all coming up to the light of consciousness to be looked at again, and to be owned, integrated and healed now. As the planets move across the sky in the perfect timing of cycles within cycles, we can see that what we have disowned from ourselves is also what humanity has disowned from itself. And that becomes clearer as more and more of us are realizing the energetic connections between us all.
So I encourage you to make the commitment to do your shadow work. Every breakthrough you make on a personal level will ripple out to be mirrored in the collective. You won’t see it on every news channel and Facebook page like a major eclipse of the sun, but know that it’s happening. It’s why you are here now.
When you feel something heavy come up for you, pause and be present, be an observer. How does it feel in your body? Observe emotions, thoughts, images that come up…without judgement. Is it a primal reaction from the limbic brain? Observe yourself making a conscious choice about how to respond from your heart center. Observe yourself owning that shadow aspect, and finding the gift within the darkness. The true gift is in the power you reclaim as you realize your human completeness consists of both light and shadow, but that you choose to respond from the light that lives in your heart center.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindred spirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
Energy Intuitive and Nature Communicator - Cheri Melton's work with Devas and Nature Spirits is profound. So happy to have her as a friend and mentor -