Please, join in where ever you are. Awake or asleep. Read this and reflect, or meditate. Thursday, October 23rd 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. We have delved into the thick realm of the Wild, and now, we wed ourselves to it, to our own wild and free spirit.
At a fundamental level we all crave our true nature of unity and balance.
We know that if we look deep into ourselves that we will find this feeling inside of us, just as much as it is in our physical environment. We can take the various aspects of our personality and become whole. We can take off our many masks and finally shine our authenticity into the world. We can look up at the stars and know this in our bones. We can feel it in the grass under our feet, the wind in our hair, and the warm sun on our faces. We can see it in the eyes of our kindred, the others who run with the wolves. Our brothers and sisters of the wild.
We have suffered much, but our suffering has not been in vain. We have learned a great deal about who we are as human beings, as mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters. We have learned to heal, and we have learned how to howl at the moon.
And we continue to learn incredible things about our selves, as we take these last 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-7, the Seventh Stage of Endurance –
The Wild Bride and Bridegroom.
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
- Part- 6, the Sixth Stage of Endurance – The Realm of the Wild Woman
IN THE STORY
While the Handless Maiden becomes no longer handless, her love, her archetypal King goes on his own initiation rite of passage for seven years.
He makes a vow of purification without eating or drinking for seven long years. Somehow something sustains him, a force much larger than himself. He, like the maiden, must learn the struggles and suffering of loss in life and undergo a primal metamorphosis in which he is given seven untold lessons.
Through him, we reach under our urges and appetites to some deeper meaning that stands behind and down. His initiation has to do with learning a kind of deepening with regard to understanding our personal appetites, sexual and otherwise. Through him, we learn the value and balance of cycles that sustain human hope and happiness. Through him as a metaphor for all of our masculine animus energy, we seek to find the fully imitated feminine energies that are within us, and we hold fast, not allowing anything to get in our way. We initiate into our masculine wild self, and do the real work in preparing for showing and acting the true soul-Self of the newly initiated woman in day-to-day life.
And so the animus in us wanders about in nature towards the forest.
Once his search and journey end with venturing into the deep woods where the maiden and his child are, he is taken in by the white spirit guardian of the inn, and a veil is placed over his face. Here he undergoes a deeper initiation, again like the maiden, so that they may both be on the same wavelength, and see with the same awareness and level of consciousness. When he awakens, he sees two beautiful Beings gazing down at him. They are his wife and child. They declare themselves, and he believes them with utter joy but does not understand how the maiden has hands. After explaining that with her many travails and care that they have grown back, and the inn-spirit retrieves her silver hands from the trunk. Now that they have found each other again, and apologies are exchanged, a great spiritual feast is had and the two have a second wedding.
Here, at the end, the woman has created and acquired deep spiritual archetypal powers:
the kingly animus, the childSelf, the old Wild Mother, and the initiated maiden. She has been washed and purified many times. Her ego’s desire for the safe life is no longer lead dog. Now these powers lead her pscyhe.
And so has the king because when one force of the psyche changes, the others must shift as well.
At this stage, we are no longer the frail wandering soul. Now we have been initiated, now we know our ways in all matters. Now we are wizened with the stories and counsel ways of the Wild Mother. Now, we have hands.
This seven year period in the story represents the empathic reorganization shifts our way of being in the world. We have reoriented the animus in this manner and initiated it into our “female” personal work. Our inner energies have been given time to find harmony. Our “male” and “female” energy have danced their dance inside of our psyches and the energy is now becoming whole and united. Suffering through the same seven-years-long initiation is the common ground between feminine and masculine. It gives us a strong idea that instead of antagonism between these two forces, there can be profound love, especially if it is rooted int eh seeking of one’s own self.
It is important here to understand that both the maiden and king are caused to walk psychic lands where such processes take place, but they can only be learned in the wildish nature, only next to the skin of Wild Woman. It is usual so one so initiated should find their underworld love of the wild nature surfacing in the topside-world life. Psychically she has the fragrance of wood fire about her. It is usual and normal that she begin to act here what she has learned there.
This is one of the most amazing things about this long journey: we do continue to do all the regular topside life living: loving lovers; birthing babies; chasing children; chasing art; chasing words; carrying food, paints, skeins; fighting for this and the other; burying the dead; doing all the workaday tasks as well as this deep, faraway journey.
At this time, we are often torn in two directions, for there comes over us an urge to just wade into the forest as though it is a river and to swim in teh green, to climb to the top of a crag and sit face into the wind. It is a time when an inner clock strikes an hour that forces us to have a sudden need of a sky to call our own, a tree to throw our arms around, a rock to press our cheek against. Yet we MUST live our topside life as well.
It is to our extreme credit that even though we want to, we don’t go driving off into the sunset. Or, at least not permanently. Because we need our outer life to exert the right amount of pressure in order to complete this journey. It is way better to stay in the world during this time rather than leaving it entirely, because the tension is better and tension makes a precious and deeply turned life that can be made no other way.
So now, we see the animus inside of us go through its own transformation, and readying itself to be an equal partner to the maiden and childSelf. At last they have finished their work (for now), at last they are reunited and there is return to the old mother, the wise mother, the mother who can bear it all, who helps with her wit and wisdom… and they are all united and have love of one another.
Beloveds, the endurance of our souls has been tested and met. And we go through this cycle every seven years, the first time very faintly, and usually, one time at least, very hard, and there after in a rather memorial or renewing sort of manner. Here at last, let us rest now and look over this lush panorama of initiation and its tasks. Once we have been through the cycle, we can choose any or all tasks to renew our lives again at any time we wish for any reason. Here are some to pick from:
- to leave the old parents of the psyche, descend to the psychic land unknown, while depending on the goodwill of whomever we meet along the way
- to bind the wounds inflicted by the poor bargain we made somewhere in our lives
- to wander psychically hungry and trust nature to feed us
- to find the Wild Mother and her succor
- to make contact with the sheltering animus of the underworld
- to converse with the psychopomp (the magician)
- to behold the ancient orchards (energy forms) of the feminine
- to incubate and give birth to the spiritual childSelf
- to bear being misunderstood, to be severed again and again from love
- to be made sooty, muddy, dirty
- to stay in the realm of the woodspeople for seven years till the child is the age of reason
- to wait
- to regenerate the inner sight, inner knowing, inner healing of the hands
- to continue onward even though one has lost all, save the spiritual child
- to re-trace and grasp our childhood, girl/boyhood, and woman/manhood
- to re-form our animus as a wild and native man; to love him; and he, her
- to consummate the wild marriage in the presence of the old Wild Mother and the new childSelf
“The Handless Maiden” is a real-life story about us as real women and men. It is not about one part of our lives, but about our entire lifetime. It teaches in essence that for us the work is to wander into the forest over and over again. Our psyches and souls are specifically suited to this so that we can traverse the psychic underland, stopping here and here and here, listening to the voice of the old Wild Mother, being fed by the fruits of spirit, and being reunited with everything and everyone beloved to us.
Yes, the time with Wild Woman is hard at first.
To repair injured instinct, banish naivete, and over time to learn the deepest aspects of pscyhe and soul, to hold on to what we have learned, to not turn away, to speak out for what we stand for… all this takes a boundless and mystical endurance.
When we come up out of the underworld after one of our undertakings there, we may appear unchanged outwardly, but inwardly we have reclaimed a vast wildness. On the surface we are still friendly, but beneath the skin, we are most definitely no longer tame.
So now, let’s consider our centering thought, “I embrace my true nature.”
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 “Om Satyam,” I express my pure awareness into the world.”
Repeat it silently to yourself. “Om Satyam”
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 stars 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.
Visualize yourself in an enchanted forest. Your inner child is with you as a guardian and so is the white spirit innskeeper. Walk around, feel the leaves crunch under your toes. Dig them in and feel the cool earth beneath the soles of your feet. Take a deep breath and smell the forest: the leaves, the earth, the cool crisp air. Watch your breath rise up in front of your face dancing in front of you in a beautiful piece of artwork.
Then, along your path you start to notice a figure walking briskly towards you, but you are not afraid. The figure begins to run faster and calls out your name with his or her arms stretched out, this is your animus.
Run towards your animus with an open heart and stretch out your own arms in tandem and embrace. When you feel the warmth of the hug, feel your skin, the hairs all over your body stand on end. You can feel energy from the forest rising all around you. Your energy fields fuse together in a ball of divine universal life force energy. Your inner child and innkeeper spirit join you, and then even the spirit of the forest rises and mixes until you are all one surging ball of light.
Bask in this fluid energy, relish what feelings and emotions you are experiencing. You are light, you have no form but this one, and with your awareness look out and see that you have become a shining sun… a a single star in the milky-way. You are floating in the expanse of space and are loved and filled with joy and peace and harmony. You are one with the Universe. You are whole. You are the purest expression of the Wild.
In this space you may wish to ask your guides and the cosmos some questions. Be patient. Listen for you answers. They may come in the form of visions, words, or feelings.
When you feel you have received what you need, know you can always come back to this space, and ask what you can do to show your gratitude for your answers.
When you are ready come back down to the realm of the forest and walk hand-in-hand with your animus and your inner child, and notice the innkeeper spirit floating around and dancing happily at your return.
Open your eyes and write down any impressions in your journal. Know that wherever you go from here you carry them always in your heart and psyche.
SOME QUESTIONS FOR YOUR JOURNAL:
- What sensations did you experience?
- What do you remember?
- Did you get glimpses of a past life?
- What were the answers to your questions you have been asking?
- Was there 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 are you feeling right this moment in your depths?
- Want to howl at the stars 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.
NAMASTE BELOVEDS and thank-you for journeying with us on this deeply personal inner quest!
Join us, where ever you are. Awake or asleep. Read this and reflect. Thursday, October 23rd 2014 at 9pm EST.
- Gratitude to Creative Commons Photographers Garret Ward, Brendan T Lynch, Christian Ronnel, Cloudtail, and Garret Ward
- Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes pp. 450-455