Please, join in where ever you are. Awake or asleep. Read this and reflect, and meditate. Wednesday, October 8th 2014 at 9pm EST.
Four months ago, we began a journey towards wholeness by diving deep into our psyches. Through calm reflection and/or meditation, we have explored the foolish “devil’s bargains” that we have made in our past, and what we have given up or what has been taken away from us. We have discovered and continue to discover the things and people which no longer serve us and have learned to healthily cut and break free from them. We have begun to learn to wander with instinct and eat that which feeds our minds, bodies, and souls. We have felt the longing loneliness and pain of the soul and have learned to seek out sanctuary. And now, we delve into the thick of the Wild.
At a fundamental level we all crave to take back which has been stolen from us and to reclaim our own wild sovereignty.
But the reclaiming always takes time and many hours, days, months, and years sometimes to gain it back. This is why creating sacred sanctuary is so essential in the spiritual and personal growth paths. The concept of sacred retreat originated from this premise. We need time not only to heal, but to also grow. Outside the grasp of those who would see us harm. Outside the forces of darkness that would see us fail. Outside of those things in our lives that we have perpetuated in previous toxic circumstances and environments.
Now that we have been tested and have seen straight through the attempts of others to see us backpedal to the very beginning, we are allowed to rest for real now. To seek refuge in a place untouched by the false-ego.
We have gone to the woods. We have begun and been shown the way. We have taken the path into the woods of the soul where we are safe, secure, and will be finally free from worry. And a funny thing happens when we no longer have to worry. We grow…
WE HAVE COME THIS FAR.
Now, we strive to experience something a bit more, something a bit more deep and personal. A new layer to our psyches and consciousness.
We have learned and continue to learn incredible things about our selves, as we take the steps on this 7-Part Healing Meditation practice based on Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ work in her soul-opening book Women Who Run With the Wolves, and the story of the Handless Maiden.
So, welcome again friends to this 7-Part Series of Deep Psyche Digging & Surgery.
Now begins Part-6, the Sixth Stage of Endurance –
The Realm of the Wild Woman. The World of Empowerment & Regrowth.
If you havn’t already done so, or would like to refresh your memory, please read the full short story HERE: http://completehealthcircle.com/2014/07/21/new-moon-blessings-of-the-first-stage-of-endurance/
And if this is your first time with us, please take the time to look over the previous Stages:
- Part-1, the First Stage of Endurance – The Bargain Without Knowing http://completehealthcircle.com/2014/07/21/new-moon-blessings-of-the-first-stage-of-endurance/
- Part-2, the Second Stage of Endurance – The Dismemberment http://completehealthcircle.com/2014/08/04/full-moon-blessings-of-the-second-stage-of-endurance/
- Part-3, the Third Stage of Endurance – The Wandering http://completehealthcircle.com/2014/08/20/new-moon-blessings-of-the-third-stage-of-endurance/
- Part-4, the Fourth Stage of Endurance – Finding Love in the Underworld http://completehealthcircle.com/2014/09/03/full-moon-blessings-of-the-fourth-stage-of-endurance-finding-love-within/
- Part-5, the Fifth Stage of Endurance – The Harrowing of the Soul
IN THE STORY
After the Handless Maiden comes to the largest, wildest forest she has ever seen, there are no disceranble paths, and picks her way over and through and around. Near dark, she is visited once more by the white spirit that led her to the king’s orchard. The spirit leads her through the woods to the sanctuary she most needs, a poor inn run by kind (and one supposes) wildly magical woodspeople. They know who the Queen Maiden and babe are, look after them, and allow her and her child to live there (again one supposes rent free) for seven years.
Throughout this seven year span, a wondrous thing happens. Slowly, the maiden’s hands grow back and return themselves to her.
The wilderness in a way has acted like fertilizer for her power, psyche, healing, and de facto, her hands.
Now, sure, in these seven years the maiden has been separated and estranged from her husband. Abandonment issues abound. She is raising a small child by herself, granted with the help of woodland spirits and fae folk for moral support. But she is also experiencing tremendous “enrichment and restoration and peace.”
There is an “infinitely merciful nature of the deep psyche during these periods of journey. There is always the next helper and the next.” Once we find our true soul homeland, our fiery and flowering heart can regain its roots.
Now, the story does not tell us what happens specifically to the maiden, what specific mystical lessons she learns that brings about this regrowth and restful revivification. However, we know from various traditions that “our lifetimes are divided into phases of seven years each. Every sever-year period stands for a certain set of experiences and learnings. These phases can be understood concretely as terms of adult development, but they may more so be understood as spiritual stages of development that do not necessarily correspond to our chronological age, although they sometimes do.”
Since the beginning of time, our lives have been divided into phases, one rite of passage after the next, each having to do with the changing powers of our bodies. By sequentializing we are able to anticipate and prepare ourselves for “what comes next.” What comes next is the province of the instinctual Wild Woman.
She always knows.
Yet, across time, as the old wild initiation rites fell away, the instruction of the younger men and women by the elders about these inherent stages has been hidden away.
“Unrest, restlessness, yearning, changing, and growing brings the old patterns or phases of deep life back to light. Though we can put specific titles to these stages, they are all cycles of completion, aging, dying, and new life.” The seven years in the woods teaches the maiden the detail and dramas connected to these phases. The following are cycles of seven years each, stretching across an entire lifetime. Each has its rites and its tasks, but it is up to us to fill them in. The ages and stages of life provide both tasks to accomplish and attitudes in which to root ourselves.”
“These phases are not meant to be tied inexorably to chronological age, for some at eighty are still in developmental young maidenhood, and some at age forty are in the psychic world of the mist beings, and some twenty year olds are as battle scarred as long-lived crones. Each age represents a change in attitude, a change in tasking, and a change in values.”
Where do you fall? It isn’t about where you SHOULD be. It is all about where YOU ARE NOW.
0-7 : age of the body and dreaming/socialization, yet retaining imagination
7-14 : age of separating yet weaving together reason and the imaginal
14-21 : age of new body/ young maidenhood or young manhood/ unfurling yet protecting sensuality
21-28 : age of new world/ new life/ exploring the worlds
28-35 : age of the mother or father/ learning to mother or father others and self
35-42 : age of the seeker/ learning to mother self/ seeking the self
42-49 : age of early crone or wiseman/ finding the far encampment/ giving courage to others
49-56 : age of the underworld/ learning the words and rites
56-63 : age of choice/ choosing one’s world and the work yet to be done
63-70 : age of becoming watchwoman or watchman/ recasting all one has learned
70-77: age of reyouthanization/ more cronedom or wisemandom
77-84 : age of the mist beings/ finding more big in the small
84-91 : age of weaving with the scarlet thread/ understanding the weaving of life
91-98 : age of the ethereal/ less to saying, more to being
98-105 : age of pneuma, the breath
105+ : age of timelessness
“As we transit through these cycles from bodily knowing to becoming more internally sensing, our layers of defense, protection, and density become more and more sheet until our very soul begins to shine through. We can sense and see the movement of the soul within the body-psyche in an astonishing way as we grow older and older.”
And as we grow older and older we learn and we learn.
We begin to make use of all of our senses, practical and otherwise.
We awaken, we remember, and we evolve as we make our way along the path towards enlightenment. With each life phase we pass through. As more and more time goes on we develop and all seven of our senses of our “inward holy body” are worked and opened: animation, feeling, speech, taste, sight, hearing, and smelling. “Fire animates, earth gives a sense of feeling, water gives speech, air gives taste, mist gives sight, flowers give hearing, and the south wind gives smelling.”
As these wild senses come to us, our hands, our power, is returned to us.
At first, like the maiden with the hands of a baby, our understanding of all that has happened is imitative. Then we develop, as she does, a concrete but not absolute understanding of all things. Then finally, with a woman’s or man’s hands we have a practiced and deeper grasp of the nonconcrete, the metaphoric, and the sacred path we have been on.”
“As we practice the deep instinctive knowing about all manner of things we are learning over a lifetime, our hands return to us, the hands of our woman/manhood. It is amusing sometimes to watch ourselves as we first enter a psychic stage by imitating the behavior we would like to master. Later as we go along, we grow into our own spiritual phase, into our own rightful shape.”
This is a period when we are charged to rise up to La Destina, the deep sense of our own destiny as a miraculous one.
With our eyes straight, palms outward, with the hearing of the instinctual self intact, we go into life in this new and powerful manner.
The regeneration of our grasp on our life and work sometimes causes momentary hiatus in the work, for we may not be totally confident of our newfound strengths. We may have to try them out for a time to realize how great their reach is.
We often have to re-form our ideas of once without power (hands), always without power. After all our losses and sufferings we find that if we will reach we will be rewarded by grasping the child that is most precious to us. This is where we feel that at long last we have a grasp on our life again, and palms to see with and to fashion life with once more. All through we have been helped by intrapsychic forces, and we have matured greatly.
We are truly “within ourSelf” now.
So we are almost to the end of walking the vast land of this long story. There is but one more stretch of crescendo and completion yet ahead.
So now, let’s consider our centering thought, “In the wild I am free.”
Consider listening to the following music during the meditation:
Now, let’s prepare to meditate. Make yourself comfortable and close your eyes. Become aware of your breath and breathe slowly and deeply. With each breath, allow yourself to become more relaxed. You may wish to use a mantra with this meditation like “Wild is my heart”
Repeat it silently to yourself. “Wild. Is. My. Heart.”
With each repetition, feel your body, mind and spirit open and receive just a little bit more of this nurturing and innate ability that is within you. With each repetition, imagine yourself walking along the path towards your soul’s home.
Connect with it. Allow the moon to pull it out from your depths, and OWN it! Feel the warmth return to your hands. Feel the warmth return to your heart. Feel your entire being warm with the power and strength that is inside of you.
Whether you are male or female, walk into the woods of your inner psyche with no hands carrying a newborn child wrapped to your chest. Allow a white spirit to show you the way to a sanctuary deep in the forest. This place is where you will be safe and protected for the duration of the meditation.
Allow yourself to meet the woodsfolk innkeeper who has been waiting for you for a very long time. You recognize her as a very old friend, beyond time and nationality. Her eyes are kind and her smile is warm. She welcomes you in with open arms.
Imagine yourself spending time here, learning things that you need to know. Allow the forest to teach you. Allow the innskeeper to teach you. For She is Wild Woman. Speak with Her. Ask any questions you feel you need to ask for personal growth and spiritual development. Find out what phase, what stage of life you are on. With each new lesson, imagine time passing. Imagine with each new lesson or insight that your childSelf is growing. And as he or she is growing in age, with each new bit of wisdom you are told you notice your hands growing just a little bit more.
Allow yourself time here. You have an whole hour.
Pace yourself. Really descend into the teachings of the Wild Woman.
Listen. Learn. Use all seven of your senses. Do as She asks, and set the intention that there will be at least seven lessons to learn. At least seven blocks that you will need to break through.
As you unlock the first lesson, imagine your small little fingers to grow with the colour RED.
As you unlock the second lesson, imagine your fingers growing a little bit more with the colour ORANGE.
As you unlock the third lesson, imagine your fingers growing a little bit more with the colour YELLOW.
As you unlock the fourth lesson, imagine your fingers growing a little bit more with the colour GREEN.
As you unlock the fifth lesson, imagine your fingers growing a little bit more with the colour TURQUOISE.
As you unlock the sixth lesson, imagine your fingers growing a little bit more with the colour INDIGO BLUE.
And finally, as you unlock the seventh lesson, imagine your fingers growing to full size with the colour VIOLET.
Once your hands have returned to normal, you experience a new found strength and power and love in them. Continue to meditate for as long as you can or want.
Thank Wild Woman for her gifts, and take everything you have learned back into regular reality and time.
Open your eyes. Look down at your hands. What do they look like? Feel them. Rub them together.
- What do your hands feel like?
- Do they feel different somehow?
- What sensations did you experience?
- What do you remember?
- Did you get glimpses of a past life?
- An answer to a question you have been asking?
- A renewed connection to your path?
- A reclaimed strength inside of you you have long lost?
- A passion you have long ago walked away from?
- What have you learned thus far?
- What life phase(s) are you at?
- Are you older or younger than your years?
- Are you an old soul?
- What are you feeling right this moment in your depths?
- Want to howl at the moon with me?
Be sure to journal your impressions in your journal, and pay especial attention to your dreams the night of the meditation.
Feel free to comment below your experience.
Join us, where ever you are. Awake or asleep. Read this and reflect. Wednesday, October 8th 2014 at 9pm EST.
- Creative Commons Photography courtesy of JosMetadi, abby chicken, Yan Boechat, Ben Raynal, Liz, and Andreas Levers
- Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes pp. 444-450