Back again from walkabout in my subconscious. My rucksack feels strangely lighter, odd but not unwelcome. His Nibs is nowhere to be seen but that isn’t unusual. I’m sure he’ll turn up soon. As for my journey, it hasn’t been an easy one. I’ve felt like the proverbial grist for the mill. Please take a seat, this may take a while.
Spring brings with it a sense of relief and revivifies the spirit. The darkness of winter this time round has been both symbolic and physical. It’s felt like a veil obscuring vision, a barrier between the real and unreal. I ask you to focus your attention on the image of a snake emerging from its old skin. Cast aside your fears and instead think about what this represents. Humans engage in the same act each time they succeed in overcoming life’s challenges. I am of course speaking of attitudinal changes. Each time it occurs we are renewed and a step nearer the great river of the Collective Unconscious. Our thoughts and energies mingling in its waters. We are regenerated and achieve a sense of immortality briefly, rising above the restrictions of the mundane. That is the hope. Does this make any sense to you?
Let me put this another way. Throughout the process of transformation and transmutation we are shaped by the four elements, finally made whole by Quintessence. It isn’t always a pleasant process. Feeling the blood flow again and the nerves springing back into life can be a shock to the system. At our feet lie the remnants of our old skins. Not everyone is able to assimilate this experience. Remember, the Alchemist experiences both failure and success throughout their life. I’m not going to make this easy for you.
I did say this would take time! What lies hidden beneath this rambling tale is a comment made by someone I was speaking with recently. “I want to be me”. They were expressing their frustration at circumstances not allowing them to express their true nature and do what they loved. A sentiment many of us can relate to at some point in our lives. For some this cycle can last years, testing the spirit almost beyond endurance. Don’t be scared to be vulnerable, ask for help. The Void can seem terrible, but it is a place of possibilities and renewed life. Some may ask what this has to do with the harsh realities of people’s lives. It has some bearing. Be the guide and support that lights the way for those who are lost and suffering. Listen to them. Throughout my professional and personal lives I have encountered many people who have been bereaved, suffered mental health issues, lonely and just needed someone to hear their stories. We all have a story to tell, stories that need to heard in order for inner healing to occur.
I wouldn’t be “Me” if there weren’t a slight digression from this
journey. We are immersing ourselves briefly in the waters of the Collective Unconscious. There is something important we have to find. Again the symbolic landscape comes into view and a figure steps forward. The Guardian of the Mysteries and Lord of the Animals. He bars the path. I look beyond him and at the slopes of the mountains. Somewhere in their snow clad peaks waits the Hermit. A female figure waits by a tree, sickle in one hand and apple in the other. Her face is obscured, no matter which way we move it is veiled by shadow. The tree holds a huge web; a gigantic spider waits patiently at its centre. The Guardian stares intently and then steps aside. I look at him, hesitate for a moment and then move onwards. He understands what needs to be said can wait until the return journey. “There WILL be a return journey”, the Guardian mutters. I suspect His Nibs isn’t far away. He and the Guardian are universal archetypes. Hail mighty Anpu, Walker between the Worlds and Great Initiator! Life’s challenges are initiations, it matters not whether they are either small or great. Our trials and tribulations are witnessed, help comes when the spirit is almost ready to give up and surrender. Sometimes it is necessary to surrender to the Higher Forces, to face our reflection in the Mirror of Truth. This mirror does not offer illusions and instead lays bare our Soul. Are we ready to for this experience? Not always.
Rather a convoluted tale would you say? I approach the woman and stop in front of her. She lifts her head and looks at me. I step back in shock. My face stares back at me. I sense the Guardian’s presence behind me. This revelation is what we have come to witness. Time to return. Our passage to the gateway is filled with silence. Much to think about. I pay my respects to the Guardian and walk through the mist into reality. Whose reality we may ask?
We all have a story to tell, stories that need to heard in order for inner healing to occur. Our stories hold the secret to self-transformation. They also act as catalysts and initiate change within others. Knowledge and great mysteries are passed from mouth to ear. Words have immense power and should be used wisely.
R J Stewart, The Merlin Tarot. Illustrated by Miranda Gray. The Aquarian Press, 1992.