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Posted on:  Apr 2, 2016 @ 9:00 Posted in:  Path Basics
Hansel and Gretel are lost in the woods and leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way home. Though this plan doesn’t seem to work out so well for them, it offers an evocative metaphor for those of us who are spiritual seekers on a journey home to a soul-based life.
My spiritual journey began in earnest the day I realized there was something essential missing from my life, that was somehow related to my soul. I was in the midst of my MBA studies, lost in a material, career-driven life, with an aching hunger for something I neither understood nor knew where to find.
No matter that I was lost, I had woken up to my spiritual hunger and decided that I needed to change. And that was enough. The Mysteries, those powerful, invisible forces that underlie our waking reality, heard my yes to change, and began to leave a trail of crumbs, in the form of life-changing encounters and events, for me to follow.
A few months later, I completed my MBA and set off on a solo backpacking adventure in Europe. Shortly into the trip, I landed on the wrong train in France, only to hook up with a fellow adventurer, who was also on the wrong train. She was a beautiful young woman from Hawaii, with an edge of wildness and burgeoning, feminine-based spirituality.
We decided to travel together, joining our itineraries. She took me to the subterranean caves of Dordogne to see Paleolithic paintings, and here I encountered the Goddess for the first time. Though I had no words or concepts to explain this encounter, I felt Her pulsing omnipresence the moment I descended into the womb-like darkness of the cave.
My spiritual odyssey unfolded from there; crumb by crumb, clue by clue, sometimes little steps, sometimes huge ones, the Mysteries led me through the dark, scary woods of my lostness. And, like Hansel and Gretel, my travels were fraught with challenge and suffering, but still the Mysteries led me, challenge by challenge, crumb by crumb.
Somewhere along the way, I understood that I was on a Hansel and Gretel journey, and that the Mysteries and my soul were leading me home to the presence of being and soulful life that I longed for. My task was to follow the trail of crumbs, doing the soul work presented by each, knowing that the next crumb would naturally follow.
Posted on:  Apr 15, 2014 @ 13:48 Posted in:  Path Basics
My first, actively-engaged shamanic experience: I have joined a new age group led by a spiritual facilitator who I will call Leanne. I am a complete neophyte; I don’t know anyone in the room, and I have no idea what I’m in for, or even why I’m here.
Leanne’s apartment is like a sixties flashback: all bright colored throw pillows set in a circle on the floor, assorted crystals, candles and potted plans for decor, and great wafts of sandalwood incense. After we settle in, she guides us on a meditation into the astral realm. It’s all very pleasant and relaxing, and then bam! I shoot out of my body and into a misty landscape where my long-dead, beloved Uncle is waiting to embrace and commune with me. He passes on three messages for the living.
Then Leanne’s voice calls us to return to our physical bodies, and bam! I’m yanked downward and back into my limited understanding of reality. Freaked out, I bolt at the first, polite opportunity. To add to the freak-out factor, three street lights blow out, one after the other, as I step underneath them en route to my car. Petrified, I sleep with my light on for the next week.
Did I ever go back? Absolutely, at the next opportunity; my long, delicious, life-altering dance with the Mysteries was just beginning.
To try to clearly delineate or define the Mysteries is a futile, intellectual exercise. Think of reality as a frequency dial that allows us to tune into the infinite, astounding possibilities of the world around us: ‘normal’, everyday modes of consciousness fall within a specific frequency range; the Mysteries exist and are engaged at different frequencies on the dial. When we willingly turn that dial to another frequency, as I did in that first encounter, the Mysteries are there waiting.
Who shows up, and in what form, morphs in accordance with our intention and needs, and our personal aptitudes, gifts and place within the great order of things. We are not alone in our journey work, nor in our desire to heal our souls and mend our world. Our dance with the Mysteries drives our personal evolutionary edge, and helps us be of service in the healing and transformation of others. The Mysteries will take us as deep and wide as we are willing to go, with a sense of humor, a flair for drama and a ruthless commitment to our greatest becoming.
The status quo world labels our encounters with the Mysteries as paranormal. I dislike this terminology because it hides the fact that mystery is an innate and normal part of our human range of experience. I didn’t train or prepare for my first commune with the Mysteries. My part in this dance was to say yes to something outside of everyday reality, and my Uncle was there, waiting to love and guide me. The Mysteries are that close to us, and that available to serve our and others’ personal growth and healing. When you say yes, change will come, along with the guidance and support of the wide, wild world of the Mysteries.