Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Moth is one of the characters in Wonderland that maybe you haven’t read about. This is because we have passed beyond the last row on the checkerboard of the Looking Glass world, gone through the passageway in the tree of Wonderland, and are deep into the heart of the Land of Unknown.
In fact, The Moth is one of the gatekeepers into this little known corner of the land of mystery. It shows up inside the flames of transformation and it appears to have done a mortal nose-dive into certain death, and in some ways, this is exactly true.
Some have great fear and judgment about these flames that lick at the doorway into the land of Unknown. Some think, and understandably so, that the flames bring destruction, but the Moth is here to help us figure out the secret.
The Moth is a good friend of the Caterpillar and has already passed through one round of metamorphosis from pupa into winged one, and so he is quite confident in his flight towards the flames. This little winged creature knows full well what he’s doing as he moves into the portal of the flames. He knows that his time has come to grow beyond this form and with one last ecstatic breath leaps into the flames for instant alchemical transmutation into spirit, allowing a rebirthing to happen that is far beyond the current imagination of the limited physical mind of the Moth.
The Moth is here to help you to take a similar plunge into the fire of catalyzation into a new way of being. It may seem like a long walk off a short pier, but if you can see beyond the fear that faces you, you’ll find that only the unnecessary and unhelpful parts of your being are consumed, liberating you from the weight that was keeping you from passing through your current limited movements and into something much better.
Here is a more poetic explanation:
Maybe it is not the light and heat of the flame that kill the Moth. Maybe the Moth, knowing its end is nigh, seeks out the light and warmth of one last ecstatic breath of Sacred Fire. Yet this is hard to accept, for as we move away from judgment and blame and closer to acceptance that the passageway is not the cause of our demise, but merely a marker for transition, the closer we come to embracing it, and therefore, embracing our own imminent mortality. It is also our liberation from that fear, but we have to fly into the flame first to attain it.
There are certain rites of passage we all must experience. Sometimes they look very different, but at their core, they are all Sacred Fires through which we must pass with faith, not being able to see what lies beyond.
Don’t avoid stepping through this mysterious and powerful doorway just because it will consume parts of you and open you up to something new. Look at it as a free cleansing of all the old debris you’ve gathered, and once it’s burned off, you’ll be able to experience a completely new landscape.
I know it’s scary, so here’s a meditation to help you take this fiery leap of faith:
Meditation: Sit comfortably and light a candle in front of you. Ask the flame to consume any limiting beliefs and feelings you are able to let go of in this practice. Now, allow your query to become clear in your mind. Take a deep breath in and with the exhale, let the whole image blow into the flame, not to be destroyed, but to be transformed. Allowing anything that is not pertinent to the highest good to be consumed by the fire and transformed into something more useful in the world. You may be left with an image, and you can notice what that is, and then continue to breathe deeply. Take another deep breath and with the exhale, allow an image of yourself to move into the flame. Notice if there is any part of your body that is contracted or resisting this visualization. Breathe into this part of your body and ask if there is any wisdom that needs to be shared before this transformation takes place. Keep breathing into the contracted parts of your body and inquiring into what is resisting this process until you have enough insight and have let go of enough fear that you can, visually, imagine passing into the flame and letting the crucible burn away anything that is keeping you from moving forward on your path. Notice what is burned off and what stays. Notice what is having a hard time letting go. Journaling about this and continuing this process until your query has come to completion is highly recommended.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
The Dodo is a great catalyst and harmonizer. As the wet birds and other small creatures that have crawled out of Alice’s pool of tears gather in a foul mass (excuse the unavoidable pun), The Dodo introduces a game for the sad, saturated squadron. There doesn’t seem to be much structure to it, but he somehow enlists each of the animals to participate. And in the midst of the chaos, confusion and reverie, each creature manages to dry off. And once everyone has dried and worn themselves out with the merriment, he declares everyone to be winners, and indeed they all are.
The Dodo is a great motivator, making the task at hand engaging and fun. The Dodo is also a powerful transformer as he has the magical power of bringing a miserable bunch into more comfortable circumstances through play. The Dodo is a muse, an inspirational incendiary, a spark that offers the invitation to a-muse ourselves through our suffering and beyond it into wholeness (or dryness, whichever you prefer).
The Dodo also is a powerful leader and has nurturing instincts since it is he who takes it upon himself to help out the grim and soggy flock. It may be helpful to note here that the Dodo’s successful method seems to completely rely upon inviting others to join in an experience with him, rather than using a cognitive explanation to enlist participation. Why waste time talking about it, when you can actually Do(do) it? The mind can forget and find reasons to resist, so talking isn’t always so effective. In fact, I think I will take The Dodo’s lead and get right to it . . .
Meditation: Let’s relax together and start noticing the breath. Once you have connected with your breath, listen to what your inner wisdom has to tell you, and then DO(do) IT.
One of my favorite female embodiments of The Dodo is Pippi Longstocking. Here comes Pippi Longstocking1 A hope and a hey and a ho-sha-na!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
The whole of Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and through the looking glass (including the dreaming Red King) exists inside the dreams of Alice, which came from the dream-world of Lewis Carroll. This oracle, as well, is the result of a dream intended for the collective consciousness.
Dreams live inside the creative realms of the imagination, and it is from here that we receive the inspirations for all that we manifest. And whether we are actively participating or fully aware of it, what we dream of (at night and during our waking wanderings) influences what we create in our lives.
Despite this, we seldom give ourselves time to explore what exactly is in our own Wonderland (the world of imagination that is). It is provoking to think what we, as a collective, might manifest if we allowed ourselves more time getting to know and developing our dreams. There isn’t anything that exists in the human-made world that didn’t first exist as a dream, a thought, an inspiration. So, it makes sense, then, that spending some time really developing our dream landscape might yield more inspiration and more powerful manifestation (see the manifestation loop from the Alice card).
The Dream has materialized in your query to inspire you to take some time getting clear on what it is, exactly, you want to manifest for yourself. The following meditation (and the Alice meditation) may be helpful in this quest.
Meditation: Bring something to write with as you settle into this meditation. Take some time to get comfortable in a place you won’t be disturbed. As you settle your focus onto your query, ask for inspiration from your deepest wisdom to guide you on your journey. Now, just allow your mind to wander. With each thought or image that arises, take a moment to be with it. What are the details? Does it make sense in regards to your query? If not, accept that it may have meaning that will arise later. Write down each thought or image that comes after you have had some time to really sit with each one and get the fullest picture possible. Keep going until you feel complete, and then just take a moment to let your mind become as blank as possible. Take a moment to connect with what you’d like to feel when your dream has become real. What does your body, your mind, your heart feel like when the dream has moved into the tangible world? Get as clear of an experience as you can. After your meditation is complete, look at your list of images, and assume that ALL of them are relevant to what you are creating, and play with them: map them out by how they feel connected or disconnected, draw them all together, do some free-writing on what each image means to you. Take all the time that is needed to work with the images until a bigger picture emerges. Collage can be a great way to bring the meditative visions into concrete images, or a diorama. Continue this process until you have manifested your dream.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
In a normal deck of playing cards, the King of Hearts is also known as the “suicide king” because he appears to have a sword through his head. This can’t be far from the truth in Wonderland as the King of Hearts here treads ever so close to the head-chopping frenzy of his wife, and such a close proximity to such a deadly temper could well seem like a desire for doing oneself in.
The subjects of the Royal Court of Hearts run here and there trying to please every whim of the volatile Queen of Hearts and suffer harshly from her imperious demands. There is only one response the oppressive queen has to any sort of dissatisfaction: “Off with their heads!” If an eye for an eye leaves a kingdom of the blind, then it doesn’t take much extrapolation to guess what unbridled beheadings might manifest.
The King of Hearts stands as a necessary balance to the madness as he follows behind the murderous queen granting pardons to the petrified playing cards and other royal subjects. He is quiet, steady and un-intimidated by his blood-thirsty wife . His mercy and ability to stand outside the rage of his betrothed on one side and the fear of their serfs on the other allows him to play an important role of compassionate mediator. Because of him, the queen can continue her tirades, and her minions can keep their heads on straight and everything in the little kingdom maintains a balance.
You may be called upon to serve as this point of balance. Standing equanimous and steadfast in objectivity. This requires great skill and the ability to let go of emotional responses and operate from a more cerebral standpoint. This doesn’t mean disconnecting from the heart or ignoring those important feelings that are involved. This requires a long journey to the heart, through the jungle of emotion, and out onto the plateau that sees the bigger picture, beyond personal biases, attachments and preferences.
If you recognize this calling in your current circumstances, you may want to connect with the following meditation to help you through the obstacles that emotions can create:
Meditation #1: Sit comfortably with eyes closed. Start noticing your breath. Imagine, as you breathe in, that roots are moving from the base of your spine and deep into the earth. Keep those roots moving until they are connected with the center of the earth. Draw that strong sense of foundation up into your place of center (wherever this is for you). Now, imagine branches moving up out of the crown of your head and into the sky. There is a brilliant star up there that holds all the wisdom that has ever been and ever will be. Allow one of your branches to gently plug into this star and feel the liquid light flow down the branch, into the crown, and connecting with that place of center where the roots are firmly in place. Drawing this place of center into your heart, imagine a bright light getting brighter and brighter with every breath, filling the body and moving out ward. Now, imagine the circumstances of your query. Notice what your personal wants and preferences are and allow them, with the next exhale, to pass into the earth through those roots. Keep letting go of anything that you think you need or want in this moment, feeding the earth with those thoughts as they pass into the earth on the exhale. After emptying out your personal attachments, connect with that brilliant star. Imagine bringing your vision up to that point in the sky and looking down on all the elements of your query. Take time to see each person and dynamic from up there, receiving the helpful insight from that omniscient star body. Notice if there are any shifts in what you feel and how you perceive the situation. Ask, from this place of higher wisdom, for the guidance you need to be fair and objective to all parties involved. Continue doing this meditation until the answer comes and creates an expansive feeling inside of that place of center and your heart.
Now, it is possible that the King of Hearts has entered the picture because you are the one who needs the pardon. Especially if the punishment seems incredibly heavy-handed, this may be a “get out of jail free” card for you or someone in your query.
It may be necessary to ask for that forgiveness, but do not fear. This humble request won’t lead you to the guillotine. The only thing that will be cut off is any feelings of guilt or misdeed. So, go ahead, say those oh so rare words “I’m sorry.” And see what comes. The following meditation may be helpful in liberating you from a heavy sense of wrongdoing.
Meditation #2: Get as comfortable as possible in an upright position. Start breathing and ask yourself where you might be carrying heaviness, guilt, shame, or self-criticism from a conflict in your life. Notice any place in your body that feels tight, contracted, heavy, or painful. Gently send your inhale into that part of your body. Allow the breath to bring a gentle expansion to this part of your being, and as you exhale, imagine letting go of any sense of violation or offense. Notice any lightening of your load. Keep doing this process of breathing into the stuck places and letting go of the tension. You may imagine a symbol, color, or healing light that represents a cleansing or pardoning of any faults or harm that you can breathe into your body, and as you exhale, notice if there is a color, symbol, sound, or feeling that leaves, carrying with it any heaviness over the past. Continue until you feel as clear as possible, and repeat until you no longer carry the burden of this circumstance.
You might be the one who is being asked to offer forgiveness. If so, here is your opportunity to let go of a heavy load that, no matter how justifiably in place, is weighing you down. The following meditation can help with this:
Meditation #3: With eyes closed, and being seated in a comfortable position, inhale a sense of forgiveness, and with the exhale, imagine letting go of any sense of wrong-doing. Just pretend, for now, that there never was anything wrong, and breathe in a sense of forgiveness, and as you breathe out, imagine letting go of any heaviness of guilt, shame, or any other sense of blame. Continue to breathe in forgiveness (notice if there is a color or light that is associated with the in-breath) and continue to let go of any blame (does this have a color or sensation associated with it?). Keep this up until you are feeling free of any sense of being wronged. If you are having a hard time letting go, then ask the King of Hearts to take over whatever justice needs to take place for the balance to return to your circumstances. Imagine giving him your load to carry and trust that he will bring things back to order. Notice any insights that come from this practice, and repeat as needed for emotional relief.
Of course, sometimes offering a pardon when an offense has taken place can lead to entropy. If authority is continually undermined, it eventually loses all of its bite and becomes completely ineffectual. It would be wise to take a look at the dynamics of your query. Are there any extreme threats followed by inaction? If so, any sense of jurisdiction that may have once existed is slipping away. Of course, there’s so much chaos here in Wonderland, it is likely that no one would really notice such inconsistency in follow-through (the kingdom of Hearts is full of absent-minded subordinates who can’t even keep their hedgehogs straight, let alone see the lack of bite behind the queen’s bark).
The King of Hearts has promenaded into your reading to grant a pardon for something that has been hanging over your head. It is up to you to decide whether this opportunity is keeping the balance, or whether it is sabotaging authority. Take a moment with the following meditation to get clarity on your query.
Meditation #4: Sit quietly for a moment with eyes closed and just breathe. Now, allow the circumstances of your query to come clear in your mind. In one hand, imagine holding the actions which are being judged, and in the other hand, imagine holding the punishment that is being doled out. Is there a sense of balance between the two, or does one feel heavier than the other? Notice, if there is an imbalance, which side is heavier and which is lighter. Now ask what needs to happen to bring both sides into balance (it may be helpful to look at one hand at a time, making adjustments as necessary until it feels right). It may also be helpful to bring both hands together once you are done making your adjustments, so that both hands can have a sense of working in union for a fair result. If it feels helpful, take a moment to imagine your query with the new adjustments you have made. Does that feel right? If not, keep working on it until it does. Notice how it feels when there is a sense of balance (how is it different from imbalance?).