The ‘shadow’ Fire of summer

Fire element in distortion

I am exploring the wounded, sensitive point in my psyche that comes up in June, before Summer Equinox. It produced feelings of depression last year, which lasted all the way to Samhain – a long time. This year I am determined to un-tangled and look at what is going on with an aim to acknowledge, heal and integrate. It is the 3rd June and I have been feeling the now familiar energy rising within already. This feels very hard and resistance is overbearing. The defence is always distorted Fire, which is cruel, ugly, merciless, the kind that burns everything to ash without any hope of new growth or so it seems at the time. This Fire is very different to a healthy Fire, which I would normally tap into during winter, post Yule and that energizes me to a degree of high productivity, enthusiasm, high energy and success.

Fire element in its distorted state prevents life from flowing, yet a healthy manifestation offers a chance for a re-birth. Fire is a glorious element, as it is transformative. We often have to burn, be in pain in order for something else to manifest through it. Calcinatio operation in the alchemical process.

This Fire stops a part of me being seen, it blocks any possibility of reconciliation within the psyche and ‘burns’ everything in my physical reality. Yet, we do come back from it every year and every time I look back on it with bewilderment and gratitude for having survived the ‘war’. It often feels like it. Sometimes it goes on for a month or two, other times it lasts longer and it can be exhausting.

I am writing this in hope that it might resonate with many and to explore/explain what happens when we reject, suppress parts of ourselves we are not willing to bring back, integrate and look at. One might refer to it as the material, which resides deep within our psyche and now and again pops out to say hello and we are in no way thrilled to welcome them back. Then a battle commences to avoid, resist, push it back and not having to deal with whatever it is that is asking to come back.

In my case this is my inner child – an extremely sensitive, delicate, vulnerable self that to the rest of me is so overwhelming I get thrown off-balance every time I feel her approaching. In order to defend I tap into my anger self and take a position of a distorted Fire, which is the only way I know how to send my ‘vulnerable self’ back to where it came from. My desire to project becomes almost unbearable, which tells us how difficult it feels for me to contain feelings of that inner child that comes into full view. When previously attempting to heal this I always resorted to giving it away to someone else, who is better equipped to look after it. It had worked for some time, but this time it seems that it wants me to take her in. It wants to come back from exile.

In dreams this part of me comes as one particular person, which I have come to recognise. It always appears a gentle, good part of me that everyone loves, apart from myself. In dreams as it wants to get close to me (not others even though they are more than happy to take her in) I begin my process of avoiding and running away from it. Last night I had such a dream and reflecting back I do recognise having been doing the ‘rejecting’, but on another level wanting to get close to it also and that’s where the clue lies towards integration. Not all is lost. In the dream last night the soft part of me also decided to reject me and that really hurt. It jumped on a ‘runaway’ train seeking separation from me and expressing its disappointment. That hurt. It is not that I don’t want to, but more I can’t bring myself, don’t know how to deal with it. I reject before it rejects. This plays out in my physical reality in a way of projecting exactly that. What I am projecting is the anger with myself and seeming inability to deal with the vulnerable self. Anger is also laced in disappointment, shame, self-punishment, etc., which also manifests in real life and is projected outwards when the angry self becomes shaming of others, expressing disappointment openly and emotional eating, e.g.

These insights are the first steps towards the ultimate goal of integration. My dreams and being aware of my emotions as I awake every day have been invaluable to me in reaching a position of clarity of what is happening within my psyche and physical body, a key to my conscious and unconscious material. Post-insight comes an even clearer awareness and links are made with the day-to-day manifestation of wounds and conditions, i.e. what one does in their physical reality, relationships, work, etc. that manifests that behaviour. Once awareness is established then come choices, processes we put in place to attempt to heal, trial an error, if you like, but nevertheless there are choices. There are opportunities to put things in place in order to move forward. Healing comes from acceptance and a successful implementation of all of the above and integrating day by day, learning a new way of relating to yourself first and foremost before it becomes harmonious on outside with relationships with others.

Insight – Awareness – Choices – Acceptance – Healing – Integration

I am going on a journey with this part of my process actively this month. It is a challenging time, as we build up towards the ultimate Fire festival and Sun in its full power in nature. My aim is not to get hooked and blow it out to a point of losing control completely. This year it is going to be different and what is not present as much I feel, which is a blessing and new, is fear to engage with difficult stuff. This time I know deep down that if we fear ourselves we fear our potential at the same time and fearing potential is a limiting outlook, which simply doesn’t help us progress. The aim is to put things into a healthy flow, into an energy of progressing with purpose without resistance.

Have a good week.

 

Advertisements

The Element of winter

water element magic

My way is the Elemental way. I see the world through the five elements and work with them the most in my nature communication, magical weaving and spells and when relating to others. I have a power and a shadow element and the world makes sense to me in a way it is made of the elements all around me.

The season of winter has always been a Fire element season for me, full of creativity, drive, focus, enthusiasm and passion. It has always been a time when my inspiration would be present and my mind clear and full of ideas. I would complete a lot of projects during winter usually. Many writers report the same thing. This year it is different. This time it feels softer, smoother, slower accompanied by quiet, silence and a peaceful retreat into inner spaces.. In dreams I am met with a lot of shadow material and crying physical tears. The season feels closer to the element of Water. As water here doesn’t freeze in winter it is very much present, but in a state of quiet still standing. Perhaps, it depends on where we are at any given point and what our intentions are and currently my preferred state is of slow motion in silence and solitude with no need for many words or interactions. It is a very relaxed state of being with nothing to do and nowhere to go, quite the opposite energy of my usual winters. Water element is in this year’s signature I also feel regardless of what the season is now and yet to come, as we are in the feminine rising energy, but not for the first time. The archetypal flow is quite advanced this time and more powerful than ever. It is very consious and knowing ready to share its wisdom with us all. What would be interesting to explore this year is that contact with water whether we like it or not. Like for many water is my shadow element and a lot of us have grown up with supression of our emotional states (water energy). If we decide to engage with the element purposefully tt will sure take us on a transformational and insightful journey, no doubt about it. There is that opportunity this year in abundance. I am going to embrace it and put some water magic into my practice more. For the moment, stillness and calm are the energies of the month for me and it feels just how it should be.

What’s your element for the season of winter?

Relationships – another challenge

relationship break up

What’s popped into my awareness this morning post various nightmarish travels overnight is the vibration of a relationship break-up. There is betrayal, abuse, blackmail, manipulation vibrations all mixed into the message that has come through and it relates to what we need to face next year. This past year has been a difficult one in terms of relationships of all kinds. It has been tense, destructive, ugly at times to the point of no return and the reason it has been coming up quite so strongly is to challenge the ways that we have gone about being in relationships up until now. I feel the test, the challenge is closely related to our vibration of pretending everything is fine when something deep within had been telling us it is not. We do this out of fear, not feeling safe in any dynamic different to where we are, but paradoxically keeping ourselves in a place where it is potentially even more unsafe long-term.

Therefore, what next year and this next cycle is asking of us is to sit with the discomfort of the truth about many of our relationships. Face it head on and bring up honestly into the open about whether they are actually working for us. With the next cycle, new moon in place we have a chance to envisage and plant a seed for a relationship that we do want and start working/manifesting/changing either the one we have, doing some reparation/replanting work or a complete renewal brought through awareness and honesty with ourselves and others.

The most important dynamic and a relationship, of course, that we are asked to look at and revisit next year is the relationship with ourselves. Where do we fail and what do we exceed at? Honestly unpicking and looking at each of our own qualities in detail we can find ways of smoothing rough edges or, perhaps, understanding where we don’t always serve ourselves and others and embrace our true gifts, our beautiful qualities, which can be amplified even more with an aim to benefit many around us and feed our soul.

Ready for another ride? Relationships are the hardest to be in, manifest and cultivate things that we experience here in this reality. We grow through relationships, we get to know ourselves through relationships, we live, love and get exposed through them. It is one of the main functions here on earth. It is not going to be easy, but if we don’t attend to our relationship dynamics we risk to be stuck in a vibration of dishonesty, disappointment and eventually resentment.

Many blessings!

When they’ve seen your darkness…

When he’s seen your darkness and he still held you tight in his arms

When screams and tears tore at his soul yet he stood tall with his shoulder over your trembling body and his voice contained

When words of pain penetrated his being, but he received it with gentle calmness

One knew they were ok, they were allowed and they were held…

0142645359ca736ab09c1387db00e7b1

When pain finds a home within your soul

painful emotions

In psychological circles this is referred to as pain addiction. This is real, lived experience for many. It is a state of being where separating pain from anything that we encounter in life becomes impossible. It merges with our being in a way that becomes familiar, safe, even sweet and impossible to imagine not feeling it. It becomes one of the personal signature of an individual, which brings all sorts of distortions with it. The process of unravelling is needed, deep diving into dark places, but mostly reintroduction of the light into a personal experience, as the light often goes into a personal shadow.

This is what it looks like when I tap into that part of myself still present although it no longer affects my life in ways it used to. It is now fully in my awareness and I know this character well, hence able to communicate with it and meet its needs if and when.

Ugly, dripping poison from its finger tips, so wrapped in its own pain it is second nature. This creature outgrown the most excruciating suffering that it feels at home with it, it’s learnt not just to be with it, it is inseparable from her being. It is very old, with bent and crooked limbs, long nails and grey hair or is it fur – both. It is animal-like with human eyes and deep intelligence. There is kindness somewhere there, but it is not apparent. It wants to be bad, it thinks it is a good thing, as it will fill up the cup of pain even more. It seeks the ritual and any opportunity to refill it. Like an addict it is constantly in search of the next fix.

Grown into my flesh it wears deer-skins and smells of wet mud and berries. Like an animal it claws into me holding on with a scowl scary and disturbing. 

I know it well and these days all that is needed of me is the acknowledgement it is there when I begin to feel its warm breath on the back of my neck. It is often present around my shoulder/neck area. It is very warm, sometimes feeling like a burn, but it also shows me some compassion these days and often sweeps away mud and moss pieces when it feels it made a mess. It is a child and an old creature all at the same time. It is deeply broken, but not unlovable and it likes to spread itself on rocks (I love rocks) and roll off them into a wet grass.

I often work with clients in ways of looking at different parts of them. I would ask when they begin to describe an energy that takes over them and affects their life. I seek to bring it to life with my client in a way of seeing what it looks like, what it sounds like and what is its behaviour before moving to what that part of us need. Many find this very useful and become curious about what else is within them that affects their everyday behaviour. When we make those characters real it is easier to relate whether we choose an object representing it, or we do a drawing or find a drawing that most reminds us of them or we relate to them through colours, sounds. However we connect with parts of ourselves it is about becoming conscious/aware of what takes place within our psyches and why.

Transformation after a dark night of the soul

image

My experience has always been that transformation, upgrade, growth comes after a period of darkness of the soul. The darker and deeper the drop the more profound the transformation. It is, however, not easy to realise or get to the other side and comes with practice. There are often steps to follow.

The first one is awareness of light and dark within you, a true connection to both energies within your psyche. Both need to be known intimately, accepted, befriended and experienced. I frequently say that the best awareness comes from repeat lived experience and real life examples. Think of yourself in your ‘dark’ cloak. What does that look and feel like? Is there a clear image of yourself, in what voice and language that side speaks, what does it usually do, what its preferred or default way of behaving. Get to know it, notice, befriend and learn from it. The same goes for your light side of the psyche. What are you like when you are wearing your ‘light’ cloak. What’s the vibration and presentation of that energy within you? When you know both and can easily identify, recognise and connect with both you can navigate both your transformation and your dark nights better.

Another step in the process is to fully stay in the process and yes, natural reaction is to try to get out of it, change it, do something when we are in a dark place. It feels uncomfortable and painful. We resist, reject and want to strip ourselves of all that it brings with it, but even though it is natural to want to do that what if we allowed it to be? After all it is within us, it is part of us and it is there for a reason in any given moment.

Darkness and pain can also be comforting and safe to some of us and it is familiar to a point we get lost and settled into it. To me it feels like a dark cave where no one can find me. It can be soothing and reassuring. If it is so for you recognise it, explore your relationship and history with pain and dark places in general. Is there more to it?

Another opportunity when ‘in darkness’ is your unconscious will be showing itself through dreams more vividly. For me I begin to have profound, vivid, dark and nightmarish dreams. I always find those fascinating and even when unpleasant I find they keep my energies going. It is like stirring a caldron, a process of ‘cooking’ taking place in my unconscious. I get very involved with its content and open up to messages. This part of the process is valuable as much can be extracted from the dreams when in a state of darkness.

I find at this point in my practice that I know when darkness comes there will be light post-pain, post-anxiety and depression. One might say I learnt to keep the faith. In simple terms the only way is up. What’s needed here is trust and again it is another difficult point where we either give up (on ourselves) or manage to override our dark state somehow for the fear of never being able to come out. Never is a strong word, it deletes all possibility for change and it is an illusion. We all know that nothing ever stays the same and change touches absolutely everything. I strongly believe in the ‘Phoenix rising from the ashes’ transformation.

To reach the light we must be patient with the darkness. Not only we need to be with in it, allow feelings to do their thing in their own time, be graceful, soft amidst anger and desperation, be kind to yourself and your darkness. Needs that come up when you are in a dark place will be your usual needs, but amplified a lot and we need to meet those needs. Give yourself what you need in those moments through really listening to the voice of your pain and despair.

Light comes in gradually. First you begin to notice coming back into life through small things, wanting to connect again. You will feel your isolation state stretching into a need to relate. It is like a process of remembering your ‘whole’ self, the way you had been before going into darkness. You remember belonging to a group, family, your usual dynamic. You begin to want to get involved again in small ways, your voice will start coming back, healthy, balanced one. You begin to feel different, lighter, more grounded and less scared. Darkness has done its thing. It’s been and gone and by allowing it to be we allowed ourselves to feel what needed to be felt, worked through and acknowledged whatever that is for you.

I recently have gone through such period of darkness and all of the above was true for me again and when one morning I saw a big beautiful butterfly land on a bench next to me I knew the light was near. Transformation followed slowly with big insights, a strong desire for change and implementing things in a different way, adjusting behaviour and interactions. I also remained strongly aware of my needs, which through being amplified in the dark showed up more clearly in life. Through my voice returning I was able to communicate them to others more effectively. What followed was a sense of renewal, rebirth and upgrade into new ways.

Darkness is a great teacher. It not only puts things in perspective, it brings us literally back to life, more fully engaged in the present. I also find there’s a serene period of contemplation and a silent observation that accompanies the process of coming back to light. That is always very pleasant and incredibly needed.

We all potentially seek light and all leads to it whatever we go through in life and the most profound ‘come backs’ are through deep darkness.

Disconnect to reconnect

image

Points of discord or disconnection in a relationship can be seen as opportunities to re-evaluate not only what the relationship means to you but also look at your role within that dynamic and whether what’s required, expected, etc. aligns with your deeper soul space. What does it mean? What happens to you when the other pulls away or pushes you away and vice versa.

It is vital to look at yourself as you are outside of your relationship and without the other. Even though we make commitment to a common experience we are still individuals with our own purpose and direction and if a discord points towards your neglect of self then it is time you stopped and gave yourself a hug or had a word with yourself. In any case what is the lesson that a situation shows you?

We often face a battle in a relationships between external and internal. External being all the cultural, historical, familial, religious conditions and expectations, e.g. An idea of a woman self-sacrificing for the sake of her man and kids and the whole family. Internal being is our inner most deep desires and aspirations. Our soul’s calling, e.g. Travelling the world, working in the wild saving animals or volunteering in a remote area somewhere being of service, etc.

We are often torn (I am talking about women here specifically) between two worlds and it is vital to become conscious of dynamics that create that struggle in a relationship. Brutal honesty is needed with ourselves and others and that would be the first step I would say after becoming aware of the rift within you. That place of confronting the ‘norm’ is scary, daring and feels like one would be criticised and banished. Here we learn how to stand in our own truth and what often happens, not always, that opening of our own concerns and inner cries invites an opening in others. It is quite profound how we all fall into a trap of being what’s expected and ignoring what’s burning within us deep down. We essentially ignore our voice and abandon ourselves. Tragic if you think about it. Breaking patterns of expectations is incredibly difficult. It is what I would call a radical change and that feels and looks impossible to so many. It is hard especially at mid-point of your life when many say, oh it’s too late, etc.
it is never too late to pick yourself up in a hug of acceptance and understanding even when you are the only one acknowledging it.

Tares in a relationship offer an opportunity for us to step back, to withdraw instead of trying make things better, smooth things over and/or rescue the other despite of your own pain. It is brave to step back and say ‘this is not serving me’, a certain behaviour it an attitude is no longer acceptable and often it would be the same pattern repeating against and again and the thing with patterns they can be broken. Will the other hear you? That’s another thing. When you find that voice within to express your non-compliance to the way things have always been what response do you get? One of denial and criticism or one when you are truly heard and supported. Either is a possibility but with that expression and standing up for your inner deep callings of the soul shifts are possible with or without a relationship.

We disconnect to reconnect potentially either to the other in a different way or to ourselves in a deeper way. Nature demonstrates this dynamic very well. Many of us are disconnected from nature externally and internally and nature is often seen as something scary and wild, something one can’t control. It is scary because nature is a catalyst for change and a mirror into our own worlds. It will reflect all that we seek to hide. It activates our senses in a way that we can’t avoid seeing and hearing ourselves. It wakes us up into awareness of the bigger picture outside of our everyday interactions, rules, jobs, the ‘norm’. Stepping outside of that is scary for many. When we disconnect from nature we disconnect from ourselves.

I often exercise going into nature when I am in a dark place. Yes, it takes some internal struggle to step into nature consciously when in that space, but it always feels necessary. I seek connection to myself when there is a struggle on the external level. Lessons are huge and very difficult material is often present, but one thing is for sure there is no other way. It is going through something and not around it that ultimately changes us and the way we relate to others and ourselves.

So if you are currently disconnected, seek to connect in a different, more conscious way and include yourself in that.