Despite their disturbing forms, they are helpers nonetheless, whether we view them as parts of ourselves, aspects of the archetypal unconscious, or as autonomous beings with their own subjectivity. Despite appearances, they come not to harm, but to reveal.
At times, they take confusing and aggressive forms, which we see in certain depictions of Christ on the cross, in dismemberment rituals of the shamans, and the putrefactio and mortificatio operations of the alchemists. These images can be disrupting as they provoke confrontation and contradiction, questioning our deepest beliefs about healing and transformation.
We must decide for ourselves how we will tend to these images as they come in dreams, literature, myth, fantasy, and symbol, but one possibility is as a doorway to integration of the darkness within – to touch and metabolize our own unmet rage, unacknowledged narcissism, repressed grief, and dissociated joy – providing a home for this material in a world that does not ordinarily provide a holding environment for it.
To discover the wisdom within the core of these thoughts, emotions, and sensations, entering into partnership with them that we might transmute this energy as way to help ourselves and others. To include the fierce, wrathful side of the psyche so that we are not forced to locate it outside ourselves in a way that will generate additional suffering.
In this embrace, we reimagine the way we have come to see ourselves and others and care for life in new ways. It seems this world needs the wild, relentless, creative energies of compassion, clear-seeing, and skillful activity now more than ever. It is up to each of us to prepare these bodies, psyches, and hearts as vessels where love can erupt and come alive here.
The next event is The Healing Shame Retreat: Spiritual Awakening and Transforming the Core Wound of Unworthiness, April 24-29, 2019 at Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado, with co-facilitator Jeff Foster