We are in very strange times, Dear Wild Souls,
Collectively we are holding the tension of extreme opposites: in times of crisis there is a universal pulling together but in this case we are being asked to maintain social distance. We are in wildly uncharted territory affecting us on so many levels, much of which we have yet to detect.
In quite a strange synchronicity, in Wildish Collective this month, we are covering a tale from Women Who Run With the Wolves called The Woman With Hair of Gold.
As a way of life, this “strange yet beautiful” woman sacrifices contact with the outside world to weave spiritual wisdom from deep within herself as an offering to all who live outside the serenity of the wild woods she calls home.
The Woman With Hair of Gold exemplifies what it means to cultivate a strong, loving connection to self so that she can serve as a calming anchor in the stormy seas of life.
Just like the women I work with, she embodies the archetype of ancient Greek goddess, Hestia, goddess of the hearth, who is a symbol of ancient feminine wisdom that teaches us that without ritual, solitary tending to the inner sacred flame – the soul Self – there is nothing to hold a people together.
Consider this passage from Jungian Analyst, Jean Shinoda Bolen’s, book Goddesses in Everywoman:
“Hestia’s (symbol of the) round hearth with a sacred fire at the center is in the shape of a mandala, an image that is used in meditation and that is a symbol of wholeness or totality. Of Mandala symbolism, Jung wrote:
‘Their basic motif is the premonition of a center of personality, a kind of central point within the psyche, to which everything is related, by which everything is arranged, and which is itself a source of energy. The energy of the central point is manifested in the almost irresistible compulsion and urge to become what one is, just as every organism is driven to assume the form that is characteristic of its nature, no matter what the circumstances. This center is not felt or thought of as the ego, but, if one may so express it, as the Self.’
The self is what we experience inwardly when we feel a relationship to oneness that connects to the essence of everything outside of us. At this spiritual level, “connecting” and “detachment” are, paradoxically, the same. When we feel ourselves in touch with an inner source of warmth and light (metaphorically, warmed and illuminated by a spiritual fire), this “fire“ warms those we love in our households and keeps us in touch with others who are far away.
Hestia‘s sacred fire was found on the family hearth and within temples. The goddess and the fire were one, linking families with families, city-states with colonies. Hestia was the spiritual connecting link among them all. When this archetype provides spiritual centering and connectedness with others, it is an expression of the Self.”
If any of these words resonated with you in a powerful way then, let me assure you that the archetype of Hestia is alive in you. Most especially during times like these, please do not underestimate how impactful an intentional self-cultivation practice can be.
In the spirit of cultivating inner calm deep within your core, I offer you the following resources:
A ritual centering meditation recorded by yours truly. Use it daily as an intentional, proactive practice or as a calming salve when you feel anxiety starting to spike.
Here’s a 12-minute meditation shared by holistic psychiatrist, Dr. Kelly Brogan, shown in clinical trials to reduce anxiety with daily use. It is one I wholeheartedly recommend from both personal and professional experience. After about three weeks of near-daily use, I noticed such a remarkable difference in feeling both more grounded in my body and significantly elevated in mood, that it has become part of my daily health hygiene. Use this Kirtan Kriya track on Spotify or YouTube to make the timing of your chants and finger mudras effortless.
I am grateful to visionary leaders like Dr. Brogan, who champion a more complete picture of health and share practices that truly empower individuals to take charge of their well-being.
I am praying to the Holy Mother Earth Goddess that she will continue to bring healing calm and loving protection to you and to all beings. May she stoke the inner fire of all human creatures and inspire them to use this time of separation as intentional healing solitude.
My hope is that in this challenging time we are able to make deeper contact with our inner strength and come out in awe and wonder of the eternal resilience of the human spirit.
Will you hold this vision with me?
I am sending you so much golden sunshine and uncontained wildness. My prayer for you is that whatever container you find yourself in right now, that it is supporting your inner alchemical weaving.
In times like this, the healers of the world (ahem, you), must walk with a foot in both worlds. Being present to and fully engaged with what is, while also holding the “transcendent function”: that is, the spiritual dwelling place – that we cannot visit, but that houses the deeper meaning of all that surrounds us. Like Artemis, the huntress goddess, whose fully embodied presence gives her such command over her golden bow that her arrow aimed for higher meaning and the good of all never misses its mark.
I will leave you with the ever-comforting words of a truly wise and wild elder of our time, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés:
“…In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world … in our personal world as well. Do not focus on that. Do not make yourself ill with overwhelm. There is a tendency to fall into being weakened by perseverating on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.
…In the language of aviators and sailors, ours is to sail forward now, all balls out. Understand the paradox: If you study the physics of a waterspout, you will see that the outer vortex whirls far more quickly than the inner one. To calm the storm means to quiet the outer layer, to cause it, by whatever countervailing means, to swirl much less, to more evenly match the velocity of the inner, far less volatile core — till whatever has been lifted into such a vicious funnel falls back to Earth, lays down, is peaceable again.
One of the most important steps you can take to help calm the storm is to not allow yourself to be taken in a flurry of overwrought emotion or despair — thereby accidentally contributing to the swale and the swirl. Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach.
…Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.”
DEAR BRAVE SOULS… DO NOT LOSE HEART. WE WERE MADE FOR THESE TIMES.
In Love & Wildness, even when quarantined,