Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Sophia and into the alchemical vessel

I had a dream recently where Sophia (in her form as a Western yidam/ dakini) appeared and showed me a circle. It emerged in the space between she and I, but at the same time was in the center of my heart.

Every aspect of my life – my relationships, my strange body bodily symptoms, creativity, unlived grief, intergenerational trauma grooves, clear light realization, unintegrated shadow – it was all circumambulating around the center and pointing back toward it.

The feeling-sense and imagery was of scattered pieces of soul coming back into linking, revealing their relationship with the center and with one another.

There’s this experience of living in the mandala, where we’re living with the Self as an inner partner, revealing how that orienting principle continues to manifest itself as the phenomenal world.

Whatever image appears – the alchemical vessel, the mandala, Winnicott’s holding environment, the secret chamber within the heart – contains the radiant expressions of wholeness, ornaments of totality.

The hermetically-sealed vessel of the alchemist, signed with the seal of Hermes, the trickster who is ever-revealing the linking and connections within and between the personal and transpersonal Self.

I was drawn toward what Sophia was showing me, as I usually am, but at the same time hesitant, shaky, unsure, a trepidation… because of the implications. Because of the death required.

But even so, to see and feel into that containment, how we’re being held and surrounded as we make the journey, especially in these times when the ground can so easily fall out from underneath us.

Monday, March 18, 2024

The heart knows

The specific forms that love take in our lives arise and pass in time, for this is the way of form. Time is the great dissolver. But love itself is that which never comes and goes.

We never know what form love will choose to take in the future, for there is no love in the future. Love is only now. But it can take a cleansing of perception to see through the veil, behind the scenes where love is always at work… giving birth to one of its forms, one of its children, while recycling and dissolving another.

If we become too fused with a specific form we believe we need love to take—a particular person or way of finding purpose and meaning—our heart will inevitably break when love obliterates that form for something new, which it always will. This shattering is the great gift of form, evidence not of error and mistake, but of wholeness and profound compassion.

This dissolution and reorganization is a special kind of grace that the conventional mind struggles to know. But the heart knows. The body knows.

May we be grateful for the forms of love while they appear, standing in awe at the ways the beloved takes expression within this chaotic, messy, and glorious sanctuary of time and space. While simultaneously allowing the forms to make their own journey, to depart this place and move into another realm.

While we may have a bias for unity, union, and oneness, the Beloved will manifest itself equally as multiplicity and differentiation. Each of these are equal ornaments of its presence as it unfolds and incarnates into the world of time and space, finding its way into the secret chamber within the human heart.

Conscious, embodied, devoted engagement with multiplicity and differentiation is just as holy and sacred as attunement to oneness; each are pieces of the divine body.

Monday, March 11, 2024

VIDEO: Safety on the Spiritual Path, Relational Trauma, and Tending to the Lost Orphans of Psyche and Soma

We can’t ask the spiritual path to always feel safe, at a feeling level, as it is oriented in the archetype of death and rebirth. When it comes to trauma, however, safety is everything.

It’s vital that our relationship with spirituality and healing not remain generalized and abstract, but concrete and embodied; we can’t open our hearts to a concept, to an abstraction.

But we can ask psyche to image itself, to appear as a figure and to enter into relationship with that figure, hold them, and help them to return home.

We can’t stay on the sidelines in a safe position of “witnessing” our deepest unresolved experience; those interior ones carrying that experience have no interest in our clear witnessing, but only in our embodied, ensouled presence.

>>Access a free webinar from Matt - Turning the Light: The Mystery of Presence and Attuning the Creative Unknown 

Saturday, March 9, 2024

An element of the mystery

The path of the heart is not only one of transcendence – ascending and rising above – but also one of descent: into underworld, earth, and shadow, and into relationship with the figures who we find there.

As our personal and collective ancestors, they have something to share with us, that needs to be incarnated, indwelled, and embodied in this time, an element of the mystery that has been forgotten in a world that has grown weary.

The lunar way isn’t as clear as its heroic or solar counterpart. It is unclothed: of fixed concept, a precise map, and knowing how it’s all going to turn out. It has a way not of confirming but of dismantling the spiritual persona.

The gates inside the mandala, that once used to be visible, are now hidden. They can no longer be see with the eyes, but only with the heart.

These gates cannot be revealed if we already know what is “real” and what is “true,” or if we’ve mistaken the map for the territory.

Inside the temple are the holy images of our broken dreams, disappointments, hopes, and fears – the entirety of our unlived life; the grief of the ancestors, the lamentation of the earth, and the sensitivities of the soma. Along with the lost joy, wonder, beauty, and awe.

Here, in the center, the wound is opened and no longer bandaged, which is what allows the tincture to enter. The wound need not be cured, transformed, or even healed but allowed to reveal.

The feast is laid out before us, sprinkled throughout the inner and outer oceans, stars, forests, and beams of moonlight; and all through the eyes of the one in front of us. 

Photo by Erik Mclean

Monday, March 4, 2024

2024 Spirituality & Healing group - closing to new members on Wednesday, March 6

Dear friend, 

I’ve been receiving some questions about whether it’s still possible to join the new 2024 Spirituality & Healing online inner work group and community that started a few weeks ago.

We have decided to re-open enrollment up until the start of the first live session in March (Thursday, March 7). At that time, the community will remain closed for the remainder of the year, so that the group can make the journey together in a contained, boundaried, and cohesive way (the sealed vessel in alchemy, the vas hermeticum).

If you do choose to join now, you’ll be able to catch up on what you missed in February by reviewing the videos, meditations, and teachings for the month, and join us for our ongoing live sessions. Remember that you need not participate live to fully enjoy the benefits and support of the group; many are not able to do so due to other life commitments.

I created this community in response to an inner call that I’ve felt as well as many requests that I’ve received over the years to spend a year together where we can (re)commit to our healing and spiritual path in a new and deeper way, with the support, holding, and containment of a dynamic relational field.

Over the last 30 years (including many years in meditation and my own therapy, analysis, and supervision), I’ve come to see how important it is to bring together the essence of psychological healing, working with early trauma, the wisdom of the body and nervous system, and spiritual and meditative realization together to catalyze a truly integral approach.

We’ll spend the year making a deep dive into the nature of a contemporary, embodied spirituality, in a safe, nurturing, and provocative holding environment, with friends and fellow travelers around the world. I’d love to have you join us.

You can learn more about the new group and community here:

>>Learn more about Matt Licata’s Spirituality & Healing inner work group and community

If you have any questions, please write to

Thank you again for your interest in your own unique path of transformation and healing. I hope to see you online soon or to stay in touch in other ways over the months to come. Please take care of yourself.

With appreciation,


Saturday, March 2, 2024

The path is everywhere

There are times when the ground will fall out from underneath us, when an old dream dies… me and my life and the way I was so sure it would turn out. A person we thought would be with us forever, meaning in our work and creativity, even our deepest realizations… shattered into the vast.

An invitation is presented into the landscape of grief, into the purifying waters of lamentation, deep into a well which has been hidden in soul. But this structure can be seen, felt, and sensed, by way of engagement with the imaginal.

Once located, we can sit by that well and grieve the ending of one world so that another may begin.

The well is located in the very center of the mandala, which is paradoxically where we always, already are, but it can be so easy to lose track of our home base, whether imaged as the palace of the soul, the light of the spirit, or the ventral passageways of the holy human nervous system.

The path is everywhere but it can take slowing down and a cleansing of perception for this revelation to ground in our bodies. Our sensitivities, vulnerabilities, and eccentricities are not obstacles to our path, but are the very path itself.

It is natural to long and ache and burn for answers, but at times we’re taken into the vastness of the question and asked to stay there.

In the language of alchemy, transmutation is a process where the lead of habitual consciousness is converted into the emerald, silver, and gold of aliveness, creativity, and new vision.

This unfolding evokes the image of the elusive philosopher’s stone, the ruby red doorway into the mystery and the majesty of inner and outer nature.

The stone is here now but is outside ordinary view, and longs in its own way to come here and share its qualities and fragrances. Hidden in the moon, in the sand, in the stars, and the heart-cells, it wants you as its vessel.