Monday, February 17, 2014

The spider & the shadow


“Darkness is the fosterer of splendor”
            Druid saying---source unknown

In my Druid journey I take many paths to relations with spirit and to the deepest truth of me. It is a journey that requires a practice of awareness of home, the land and all beings as well as the awareness of self.  I have learned that I cannot be in relation with spirit, with the land without knowing self. And in that journey to my true self I must step into the depths of my darkness, to the wounds and the suffering they have caused. As a druid I believe that by coming into relationship with the shadow aspects of myself I will find my full creative energy. To deny my shadows, which for me are ways I have engaged the world through my wounds is to deny my wholeness. Most wisdom stories including the Taliesin story tell us that I will achieve wholeness because of my darkness.

So when I seek spirit, the dreams open me to the wounds and to the patterns that I live by to protect myself from the pain of those wounds. What arises from this opening is the rawness of my darkness. The place that I hold close but spills out through my skin into my everyday interactions with the world. Recently the dreams brought me a story that was difficult to hear, that I carried in my shadow aspects of my family that I did not desire. That I fought to deny.

Dream: My sister is on the phone with someone arguing and as she ends the conversation she said’s “okay dad”. But dad is right here I think. She looks at me upset and then looks at mom and said you forgot to tell her.  She tells me our uncle is her father. I am confused, no he isn't. I blow up yelling at everyone in the room. I just know I can't take this anymore and I am getting out of here. I go to my room and start getting dressed as I was in my pajamas. I put a sock on and then starting feeling bites and I yell out. I feel several bites. I take off my sock and discover a spiders nest attached to the side of my foot. I start brushing them off because I have to get out of here and nothing will stop me. I am so angry.


The spiders are the key to the shadow in me. They come to me with a message that I must look deeper into my shadow and see what has been invisible to me out of fear. They bite me waking me up. They remind me that the past influences the present that the wound weaves a pattern that has created a way of being that is destructive and painful to me. That I use rage and blame, that I run instead of facing the pain. In the dream world the spider represents the pathology in me and in the druid world the spider is the creative energy that brings forth the knowledge of that pathology in me. To peer into the cauldron and see that I too carried the shadows of her hurt brought pain up on a very deep level.

The Bible tells us “And the stone which has been rejected shall be the cornerstone of the temple” In acknowledging, feeling into and working with what the dreams have brought, the shadows that I carry can be the cornerstone of my sacred altar. I can step deeper into me and experience the love that is offered. It is here that as a Druid and dreamer I can find my gifts, my passions that I will share with my community. It is through traveling through the suffering, coming to know them, that I can be whole.

As in the myth’s of Inanna’s torture or Orpheus’s decapitation, the stories of old reinforce that the path to the joy and ecstasy of opening to more than who I am, of experiencing union with someone else, of experiencing the awe and wonder and intensity of being alive is also through the wounds, through my shadow. That this will lead to a rebirth, a renaissance and to creating a new story of my life.

And in the same breath the dreams offered a way to hold this pain in love through the brilliance of my star. I am not alone.

Dream: I am walking in a parking garage to my car. A man comes up to me and gives me a packet of papers. He has graded all my naturalist training homework. He tells me to be prepared because there is allot of corrections and mistakes on in the papers. I tell him I figured and ask him if he would be my teacher/tutor. He said he doesn't have time. I feel sad from rejection. I leave and continue walking through the garage. It is very busy with many people looking for their cars. I stop and listen to a family talking to a man about returning a box to the store but they don't have time. I go up to the family and tell them I am going that way and can return it for them.  They give me the package and I realize it is a large star from the sky wrapped up with a bow.
As a Druid I have her to hold me, to guide me and in the pain she offers guidance and love. All I have to do is step outside and listen, feel and be open. For me connecting with her and the wise inner self provides me with the anchor, a sense of spiritual connection and stability that can assist me in opening to those wounds.
This work brings a deeper spiritual meaning into my life.

Why
As a teenager I stood in my strife and fought

As a young adult I ran as far as I could go

As an adult I hid in responsibility

Now in the depths of an unfulfilled life I stand still realizing

That which has been holding me back was me

And like a sudden whip of cool autumn wind through my hair

That which I have been running from

Yet would not give up the chase was my soul