Thursday, February 21, 2019

A spiral of grief

The image of the spiral and sense of an unfolding process occurring deep within the heart, circling the material of our lives in all its varied layers is such a rich imaginative lens through which to navigate the unique journey we are on.

At times, it can be incredibly frustrating and repetitive as we spin around the same themes, without seeming like there is much movement. At other times, we encounter some crack where the light breaks in; what seemed at first glance to be a mere repetition is somehow different, revealing a piece of the mystery that we couldn't quite see at an earlier time.

The alchemists called this spiral the circulatio or rotatio which was envisioned as a sacred process, a touching and re-touching of the heart, of the material of our lives, where we circle or rotate around the essential themes that are unique for us, that form the prima materia of our own personal opus. From an alchemical perspective, while it may appear that we are no making any progress and stuck, things are not always what they appear.

Even if we no longer grieve the sense of a personal loss, we may be asked by forces larger than ourselves to grieve for the ancestors, the ones yet to come, and the earth and her fertility. At some point, perhaps we can no longer discern between our own grief and that of a galaxy being born and dying.

Grieving is not only personal but cultural, historical, and archetypal. As it humbles and purifies, it opens a portal into the mystery. The invitation into that place will be unique for each of us and regardless of how it appears—sweet, fierce, peaceful, or wrathful—it the activity of love, of the beloved one as it appears here, spinning and twirling out of the stars and dancing the worlds of time and space into being.

Photo of the aurora unfolding light by Noel Bauza

My most recent book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next book, A Healing Space: Befriending Yourself in Difficult Times, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

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