Tuesday, December 21, 2010
It is hard to imagine a caterpillar without also considering his special journey into his silky sarcophagus that has been a symbol of magical transformation throughout time. It is like a great exploration into the mythic underworld. The place of darkness from which one emerges with new abilities and wisdom.
Our dear Caterpillar, the one who challenges our very sense of self, has in front of him a shift in identity that is of epic proportions. Who are you, indeed!
As The Caterpillar goes deep into The Cocoon, he slips into a deeply restful state, and after a complete surrender of mind, body, and spirit, he dissolves into almost nothing. Of course, knowing that he will emerge with a beautiful set of wings and the ability to fly makes it all worthwhile, but this brave little creature doesn’t have a clue what lies ahead. He’s simply following his instincts, his pre-ordained path, and allowing the natural flow to take place.
Now, think about some of the challenges you’ve faced in your life. If you’ve been on your toes, then they’ve all lead you to someplace better. Deeper wisdom, more compassion, greater insight into the world and the self. In the middle of the uphill trek, we can’t see the amazing view, breathe in the fresh air and hear the silence, but once we get there, all the hard work melts away and we are immersed in the beauty we took the journey for to begin with.
You, too, are being called to undergo a transformational process. There isn’t anything that you need to do for this to happen except to let go and allow what is taking place to follow its natural flow.
Eat well, rest well, and take good care of yourself and allow The Cocoon to work its magic. Don’t fear the darkness. Use it as a time for renewal and rest.
Remember: when everything starts to dissolve (this can look like the loss of relationships, possessions, jobs, and other opportunities), allow yourself to see beyond the immediate fear of letting go. Instead, take a step back and entertain the idea that you are simply being asked to take a break and allow for something completely different (and likely much much better) to manifest in your life.
In the moment, it can feel like utter disaster, but from that perfect hindsight perspective, it’s well worth the disruption of the status quo.
Assuming that the death of something in your life is the end of the road is to cut yourself off from the great rewards that lie ahead on the path. If the caterpillar never allowed himself to dissolve, he’d never know the miracle of flight, and some caterpillars who resist change while in the chrysalis never make it out again.
So, take it easy. Be good to yourself and simply focus on letting go of the fear that comes up when facing the end of a cycle (no matter how old, we do get attached and it can be hard to say good-bye even to the things that no longer really serve us).
When you are complete, you’ll be a new person with new abilities.
I am reminded of a very powerful poem by Hafiz: For God to make love, for the divine alchemy to work, The Pitcher needs a still cup. Why ask Hafiz to say anything more about your most Vital Requirement?
The following meditation may help.
Meditation: Sit in a dark, quiet place. Get really comfortable and if it feels alright, wrap yourself up in some cozy blankets. You may even want to lay down. Imagine what you have with you in your cocoon. What does it look like? Is it jade and gold like the Monarch? Is it velvety soft on the inside? How does it feel? What sounds do you take with you into this healing capsule? What scents are there to serve your journey? Allow yourself to create the most luxurious and restful space you can imagine and really sink into it deeply. Now, call your query into focus. Notice the places that feel like they need to be fixed. Notice the places that you are holding on and resisting change. Notice the elements that are moving away from you that you are clinging to. With each of these, take a deep breath (imagine bringing the breath into this area of your query) and as you exhale, imagine releasing any worry or need to fix/change/cling. Just let it go completely. Imagine that everything that happens naturally is for the best, and you can let go of all sense of needing to do anything. Keep breathing in and with the exhale, letting go of all thoughts and feelings that you need to make something happen or that things need to unfold in a certain way. Just keep letting go until you are as restful as possible. Now, if you can, allow yourself to sink into as deep a state of relaxation as possible. That may mean taking a little nap, or simply slipping into that luxurious day dream state. Whatever you can do in the moment, allow. When you are complete, take some time to journal about your experience. Keep up this practice until the circumstances in your query have come to completion. Don’t rush the process. Really let it come to fruition in its own time. If you feel impatient, that is a good time to return to this meditation.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
I want to add in a little personal note here before I start the card reading. I am offering this card now, at this time, because it seems really clear that there are many of us who are walking through some deep wounding. Either we have old core wounding that has been triggered, or we are being faced with powerful transformational challenges that are taking us to our edges. Either way, now is the time to let go of accomplishing and doing, and to allow ourselves to be quiet and cozy. Ride the waves of the storm by staying warm and dry and nourishing yourself. Relax and create as much joy as possible right now.
For the holidays, create a web of connection, next to the fire, and enjoy the dark time of the season.
Now, on with the card . . .
Do you recall the honey-making elephants in the looking glass world? They are there. Hard to imagine forgetting something so large and unusual (even for this strange tale), yet few people recall that Alice spies, what at first she believes to be large honey bees, yet turn out to be elephants.: “. . . why what are those creatures making honey down there? They can’t be bees . . .” Alice is drawn to this breathtaking sight, yet decides to turn around and go a different way, offering “It’ll never do to go down among them without a good long branch to brush them away . . . “
Maybe Alice is heeding good, solid wisdom, or maybe she is just avoiding facing something fascinating and wonderful, out of fear. Either way, Alice seems to recognize that she might come back to this scene later on: “. . . and perhaps I may visit the elephants later on.”
The elephants have probed their way into your reading to ask you if you are truly heeding wise caution in avoiding a particular circumstance, or whether you are letting fear dictate your moves, leading you away from opportunities for growth and deeper appreciation of your internal land of wonder. There is an old story about a family that has an elephant in their living room, but no one wants to upset things by mentioning this, so everyone sits around with this enormous, ridiculous beast in the way, and no one does anything about it. This is a story used to describe denial, and apparently, it is a river that runs through Wonderland as well.
If you are heeding wisdom, it is good to take all of Alice’s advice . . . get those tools you’ll need when coming face to face with your elephants the next time (sometimes a long stick works, sometimes a really great handshake and eye contact does the trick). Most of the challenges we are given are opportunities for growth, and whether we are in the mood to deal with them or not, we usually end up having to meet our elephants head-on. Sometimes avoiding an encounter so we have time to truly prepare is perfectly reasonable. Sometimes it’s time to quit making excuses and see what honey-making elephants are really all about. One thing to think about is that, no matter how strange and hostile the circumstances, Alice seems to be able to get by unscathed. You too, I suspect, have all you need to face what’s in your corner. You just need to decide whether you face the elephants now, or later. If it’s now, allow yourself to explore with the eyes of a child in a fairy tale. Allow yourself to feel wonder and awe.
If it is later that you will face this crazy scene, make sure you take advantage of this time to prepare yourself for the time you do come back for this adventure.
If there is genuine wisdom and growth being offered to us, the elephants will circle around again and again until we are ready to face the music, so quit putting it off, and get to work on the skills you need to meet this challenge.
Distinguishing between genuine intuition that guides us away from needless or harmful contention, and fear that controls our moves and keeps us limited can be tricky at first. With practice, you will learn to decipher between that which should be left alone, and that which you can safely explore.
Meditation: Allow yourself to relax and just focus on your breathing. When you are feeling as relaxed as possible, allow your personal elephants or challenges to emerge. Notice how your body feels. Is there any contraction? If so, where do you feel it? Is it possible to send your breath and awareness to these contracted places? As you focus your breath and awareness on opening up these contractions, notice your thoughts. What comes to you as you breathe? Ask yourself if this is your time to be present with these elephants, and see what your body says. Maybe see yourself looking at the elephants in the distance, and notice if you are drawn to understand and explore them more, or if you are being repelled. Ask for your being to let you know what serves your highest good, and then just take a moment to listen. Sometimes it takes practice to be able to hear this particular voice. Allow yourself as much practice as it takes until you start to feel the difference between communication of intuition and the tantrums of fear. Usually, fear is accompanied by a sense of tension that has a hard time letting go. Fear usually doesn’t offer a point of wisdom. Wise intuition creates understanding and a way to connect with that which we are challenged by. Intuition can frequently be felt as a strong balanced point in one’s “center.” Fear gets in the way of feeling compassion for that which we are challenged by. Intuition helps us to feel closer to it. So, take time feeling in your body, and noticing in your mind, what comes up. Let yourself notice the subtle differences. When the time is right, you will know how to greet those huge pachyderms without any worries.
Journaling about your progress and where you feel fear versus where and how you feel intuition will deepen your experience.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
The White Knight arrives just in time to prevent Alice from being taken prisoner by The Red Knight. After a very brief and somewhat clumsy battle, The Red Knight concedes, and The White Knight generously offers to escort our protagonist to the final square of the chessboard where she will become a queen.
The White Knight, who Lewis Carroll most identified with, is quite excited to play a bit of show-and-tell with Alice as he has many inventions, all of which he is proud of, yet none of which seem to have any practical use: an upside down box for keeping the rain out, “But the things can get out,” as well, Alice observes. There are horse anklets for protecting against shark bites, a saddle-mounted mouse trap for keeping mice away, a device for keeping hair attached, and so on and so forth and it never gets any less silly.
As well as the numerous unsuccessful attempts at inventions, the pale paladin makes plentiful pursuits atop his trusty stead and plunges each time. Alice, logically concludes, “I’m afraid you’ve not had much practice,” though this comment is met with great surprise and a bit of contempt: “I’ve had plenty of practice, . . . plenty of practice!” No, The White Knight is neither incredibly adept at his endeavors, nor is he perceptive of his imperfections. Yes, he has a great imagination, and is quite entertaining, but as a Knight, well, he could use a bit more proficiency.
For better and for worse, The White Knight stands as a symbol of undying resilience, and doesn’t let his multitudinous mishaps quash his spirits. In fact, he seems to be quite proud of himself despite the frequent shortcomings of his endeavors.
Our undaunted templar is not completely incompetent, however. After all, he does manage to rescue Alice from the captivity of The Red Knight, and escorts her to the final square where she becomes a queen. Yes, he is a very powerful and kind-hearted soul, but maybe a bit too much action, and not enough forethought.
There seems to be an imbalance here. The intentions are good, and there’s undying dedication to being productive, yet it comes to little good. Maybe with a bit more contemplation and a bit less forward motion, our good Knight might find himself more frequently atop his trusty stead than beneath it.
This may be your queue to slow down, and quit trying to accomplish so much. Instead of quantity, focus on quality. Balance the helpfulness of critical feedback with your undying inspirations for creation. If you can get this trick mastered, you’ve pretty much won the game.
Meditation: Try doing everything as slowly as possible. Notice if you start to get frustrated, and just take a deep breath in, and let it all out. Sit down slowly. Take your time getting comfortable, and then focus on your breath. As you do, gently start to slow down by deepening the breath. When you’ve got a full inhale, pause for just a moment to see what that’s like, and then slowly exhale, and when you’ve let all the air out, pause again for just a moment before inhaling again. Go slowly (but not enough to get light headed). Now imagine yourself just being. Not doing anything. Not accomplishing anything. Just sitting, like a flower or a tree. Notice what thoughts come up (Frustration? Annoyance? Criticism?). The more time you give yourself to slow down and just notice, the more likely you are to find that essential balance of doing and being that brings a great sense of fulfillment. You may be surprised to realize you’re even more productive and efficient when you take things at a slower pace.
Hello Wonderland fans! I invite you to check out my new website: www.GoAskAliceOracle.com.
Give it a good thorough look and you will find an opportunity to get a free personalized reading.
Give it a good thorough look and you will find an opportunity to get a free personalized reading.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
White King :“. . . the King remarked simply, without the least idea that he was joining the game . . .”
Alice stumbles across the path of The White King as she exits the woods. She has just been swarmed by thousands of his soldiers, all clumsy and disorganized, much like the rest of Wonderland. As Alice and the alabaster king chat, Alice is inspired to start a word game:
“I love my love with an H”, Alice couldn’t help beginning,” because he is Happy. I hate him with an H, because he is Hideous. I fed him with – with—with Ham sandwiches and Hay. His name is Haigha, and he lives—“ “He lives on the Hill,” the King remarked simply, without the least idea that he was joining in the game . . .”
And so it is that the White King has demonstrated how easy it can be to join in the flow without having the slightest clue we are taking part in a collaborative effort. This comes when we are too busy and caught up in our own concerns to really pay attention to what is going on around us. Another way of experiencing this is being ungrounded or “off-center.” When we do this, we miss out on the opportunity to really connect with others, and we miss out on the delightful treasures that social interactions and communal circumstances can bring. It is also difficult to play more than a superficial role in the game of life if we aren’t ready to see beyond our own myopic hopes and needs.
Of course, the strength here is similar to that of the archetypal Fool, who seems to somehow roll through some of the craziest adventures without so much as breaking a sweat. The only problem is that the Fool is always just that. Any accomplishments are the result of dumb luck not actual wisdom or growth. It doesn’t seem like a very empowered position to be unable to actually co-create or purposefully manifest anything tangible for oneself. Without being engaged, it’s very difficult to learn from one’s mistakes (if one is even aware enough to recognize mistakes have been made in the first place).
It is no wonder that all the king’s horses and men are so disorganized and frenzied as they pass through the woods. When a leader is out of touch with what is going on around him, he can hardly expect his subjects to have a clear sense of direction. If things are feeling out of sorts in your query, it is very possible that you, or someone in a place of authority is lacking a clear vision of the whole picture and probably isn’t coming from a balanced foundation. It is loads of fun to play the fool now and then, but if you really need to get something done, then it’s time to snap out of the day-dreaming and put your abilities to work.
In Wonderland, the White King’s crown is up for grabs to the winner of the fight between the Lion and the Unicorn. If you don't want to lose your sovereignty then seeing all that is around you is imperative. It might also be good to note that the White King is a chess piece, and his movements are limited to one space at a time. With this in mind, make sure you take the time to really know what direction you are headed since every move is so critical.
It is difficult to get someone else to see the big picture, but there is no reason why you can’t take a moment to allow your focus to broaden so that new ideas and perceptions can enter into the frame.
Meditation: Taking a moment to relax and settle in with a steady, slow breath, start to check in with yourself. Imagine you are moving through your body, opening up the blinds and letting the sunshine in. This is a gentle wake-up call for any part of you that’s checked out into La-La Land. Start with the feet, and move all the way up to your head. And once at your head, ask if there are any parts of your thought process or your judgments or feelings that have checked out, and invite them back into the game. If you do find a part of you that’s checked out that maybe isn’t ready to be integrated, leave an invitation or an open door, and come back to this place with the same invitation until you have are playing with a full deck again. You can also connect with the energy that runs down your spine and notice if there are any energy leaks or imbalances if you can tune into the subtle energy body. Breathe them back into balance (Qi Kung is great for this). Notice what is required to get your full attention, and notice when it is difficult to be fully present. Finally, notice how things are different when you are taking action that is based on mindful awareness instead of ignorant bliss. It may feel like more work at first, but you’ll probably find that the rewards are a much better match for you when you have a say in the matter.