There is a certain death that occurs as part of the healing process, a part of us unable to survive illumination. As we turn the light around, according to one Daoist alchemical text, a piece of soul will fall away.
While it is tempting to spin out of the uncertainty and quickly into rebirth, there is wisdom and purity within the reorganization which we cannot bring into embodied knowing if we patch it all up prematurely.
The dissolution itself is initiation as it offers vision and feeling not available in the put-back-together state. An old part of ourselves that has accompanied us for so long, a fellow traveler is no longer permitted to continue the journey by our side. This prior soul-companion can be another person or it can be a member of the inner family.
Somehow, we’re asked to bear witness to the crumbling of an old dream – my life and the way I was so sure it was going to turn out. This is the holy alchemical operation of putrefactio, a sacred process that is evidence of high-voltage, though fierce grace.
In order to be initiated, we must slow down, return into the earth, the mud, and the womb, and turn into the not-knowing. To take some time to mourn the reassembling of our world, to grieve all that we will inevitably lose as we heal and awaken.
To tend to the pieces of soul, the shards of the heart, and the fragments of the psyche that are being rearranged, to honor the role they have played, for standing by us for so long, and providing refuge during difficult times.
To lament the loss of their companionship and allow them to continue into whatever realm is next for them, permission to travel and experience new things. Even if we are unable to “accept” this, we can touch the ground where they once were, and bow.
To stand in awe at this process, despite the profound pain and grief, to care for all of it as we allow the mystery to reveal itself in deeper and deeper ways. To know that healing and awakening is messy, glorious, and full-spectrum… and is not only an act of creation, but one of destruction as well.
Sculpture by Krista Marleena - deer as guide through the liminal