The Lion Who Forgot He was King.


When Dorothy, the Tinman, and Scarecrow were on their way to see the Wizard, they encountered the angry roar of the Lion. Which, of course, most of us know, very shortly turned into a whimper. He cried, and wiped away his tears with his tail, when Dorothy directed her anger toward him.

This isn’t exactly how we would expect the king of the forest to act. How did the Lion forget he was the king?

This forgetting can happen when a child lives in a stressful environment. This causes the child to remain in a chronic state of fight or flight. When he or she grows up, the fear-based memory remains in the body and mind. This memory is then relived as though the original situation is still occurring, even though it has passed.

The Lion wasn’t angry so much as petrified. If anyone got too close, he would roar to scare them off. He wouldn’t let anyone get near him to even discern if they were a potential threat or not. He lived in fight or flight mode. This was his way of being in the world, or hiding from it. He kept others at arms length because he didn’t feel safe.

In order to move from fear to fearless, the Lion had to face what he was afraid of.

This means we have to sit with what we really feel and not deny it. I admit that this isn’t the easiest thing to begin, but it’s worth the effort. The good thing is that the more we do it, the more comfortable we get with just feeling it. When we are able to sit with being afraid, uneasy, unsafe, and vulnerable, the less fearful we feel. Focusing on the sensations felt in the body allows them to diminish.

In the book version of the story, the Lion faces a giant spider that is terrorizing all the animals who live in the forest. He has to face what he fears in order to free himself from it, which he does. That is how he regains his fearless title of “King of the Forest.”




What about that Scarecrow?



Remember when Dorothy came to a fork in the road in The Wizard of Oz and wasn’t sure which way to go? The Scarecrow was in the cornfield, stuck up on a pole, pointing in two opposite directions, to demonstrate her uncertainty.

He represents the intellect that can’t answer the question of which way to go. Many of us have been taught to make decisions by thinking our way through them. This can be accomplished by gathering information on the internet; from friends, acquaintances, and family; searching through memories of similar past experiences, or by reading books to shed light on the subject. The plethora of information available to us can create confusion about which option to choose.

A friend mentioned to his therapist that he was having trouble making a decision. The therapist said, “Make a list of the pros and cons.” When he told me, I asked, “How do you weigh things that cannot be compared?” Some things on each side matter more than others. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. He tried the list and found it didn’t help for exactly that reason.

When the mind gets involved in decision making, we can end up in uncertainty, stuck on that pole like the Scarecrow.

How do we make decisions when we don’t know what to do? Remember in the story, the Scarecrow thinks the Wizard can help. The Wizard can give him a brain to “figure things out.” When they reach the Wizard, he tells the group they already have what they are looking for. The Wizard confesses that he can’t give him a brain. The Scarecrow, like the others, doesn’t want to hear that and insists. The Wizard creates a ceremony to convince the Scarecrow that he has brains. But it was just a show. Then, and only then, did the Scarecrow believe he was sharp enough to solve problems.

The Wizard’s message was that we already have the answers inside us. Sometimes it is referred to as intuition or instinct, but it doesn’t really matter what label it has. We already know what to do. If we are quiet and look inward, we can access our own greater wisdom through intuition, or even dreams. There we can discover all the answers we need. If we are patient, and look, we will know.

Looking for a Sign?



I was driving home from a visit with my friend Teresa, who has been my best friend since fourth grade. I glanced up at the sky and there was a heart in the clouds. I smiled. Not even a mile later, a billboard said, “What are you looking for, a sign?” It made me laugh.

When something out of the ordinary occurs, we pause. We are pulled from our daily state of consciousness into a heightened state of curiosity. What was the message?

I pondered it the next morning and reflected on the events of the previous day. I am surprised every time I do this to discover a daily theme, which I am normally oblivious to. I encountered three separate people who needed to hear that they mattered. Two were strangers.

I experience signs, synchronicities, and coincidences on a fairly regular basis. Despite that regularity, I still am surprised by them. Sometimes, I, or the people I interact with, feel the meetings are divinely orchestrated. Occasionally, I don’t even realize they are occurring, until they are over. I would imagine there are times that I don’t ever notice.

What orchestrates these encounters? What cares enough about us to manifest these experiences?

I had a realization several years ago that the world is all love. I have mentioned that before and also included that I don’t live in that world even though I know it is the truth. Today, it came to me that most of us walk through this world of love in fear, without seeing the love that is always present.

Can you even imagine it? That the world we fear is actually one of love? My dreams have told me this on several occasions. What else could be creating our dreams every night? Guiding and helping us expand into greater awareness. Causing us to grow from children into adults, beating our hearts, inspiring us to take the next breath, or getting us to look up at the sky at the exact right moment to see a heart in the clouds, to remind us that we are loved?

What if the energy that inspires everything to unfold really is love? Jesus said we must become like children to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, which is at hand. What if we are so busy defending and protecting ourselves that we don’t see the love all around us and know we are ourselves love?

And what caused you to read this, if not maybe that same energy that caused me to look up and see a heart in the sky? Just wanted you to know that you are loved and you matter…

Sophia’s Royal Origins ~

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The king and queen rejoiced at her birth, it was the moment when Heaven kissed Earth.

Once upon a time, on a lovely day in early summer, the King and Queen welcomed their long-awaited child into the world. They named their beautiful daughter Sophia. The day was perfect in all regards, except that with the descent of the sun, as the day transitioned from evening to night, the Queen took her final breath and left the world. The King was overjoyed at the birth of his daughter, but equally distressed about the loss of the Queen.

The King dreamt that very night of his dear departed wife. She told him to give their daughter to the nursemaid to secretly raise as her own. No one was to know the King and Queen’s child survived, because Sophia might not be safe if she remained with the King. Those with ill-intent could try to manipulate her and use her for their own gain, since she was the heir to the throne. He was so moved by the earnestness of the Queen that as soon as he woke up, he summoned the nursemaid, told her of the dream, and she took the child home.

The nursemaid and her husband, the cobbler, were such honest and upstanding people, that when they told the townspeople the child came from the nursemaid’s sister in a distant town who had died suddenly in childbirth, the townspeople had no cause to question it. They were mourning the loss of the Queen and her baby, so they never gave it a second thought. The couple raised Sophia as if she was their own.

She was a beautiful child. The girl was humble and adopted the ways of her poor kindly loving parents. They had a simple life in which she worked hard, like they did, and accepted their beliefs as her own, as most children do. Although, her parents didn’t tell her who she really was, to protect her, she occasionally woke from her dreams with a feeling of having been home, but it wasn’t the one that she knew. Those dreams evoked a sense of belonging elsewhere. She never told her mother or father because she didn’t want to hurt their feelings.

Sophia dreamt of her origins on her fifteenth birthday. When she awoke that lovely summer day, she was perplexed. It was the same old familiar dream of being in a home that wasn’t the one she lived in with the nursemaid and cobbler, but this time, a Queen told Sophia that she was the daughter of the King and Queen. There were servants in the dream that helped Sophia put on beautiful clothes of sumptuous fabrics. She knew that she was their daughter and the dream was true. Upon arising, she went to her mother.

When the nursemaid heard the dream, she told Sophia to sit. With tears streaming down her face, she told Sophia the whole story. She said they kept the secret to protect the princess until she was old enough to understand and act with integrity.

Sophia thanked her mother for her honesty and went for a walk in the woods to take it all in. As she ambled along the path, she realized that many of the things she had come to believe, weren’t true. The nursemaid and cobbler weren’t her true parents. She grew up simply and in relative poverty, never wanting for anything, but always with just enough. Now, she understood that she would not only inherit a throne, a castle and all that goes with it, but the entire Kingdom as well. She would eventually rule over all of it. Her future had changed in an instant. She learned the truth of her origins from the dream and wondered who she was without her old story.

Sophia said to herself, “The parents that raised the me I thought was me, are not my real parents. My true parents are those who awakened me in a dream to the me that I truly am. They are not of the world I am familiar with. Abundance is my birthright, the gifts which I have now realized are an everlasting source of wealth. The Queen in the dream castle, my true mother, told me of my real inheritance.”

Sophia had to choose which story she was going to live. When she looked up, she saw that she had walked to the castle. The nursemaid and King were waiting for her. They cried tears of joy as they welcomed her back to her true home.

What Happened to the Tinman?


The Tinman in The Wizard of Oz is a wood chopper, just like his father was. He is a flesh and blood man who lives in the forest alone, since his parents died. He’s lonely until the day he meets a Munchkin girl and falls in love. He wants to marry her, but she wants him to build a bigger house first. He sets out to build that house.

The Munchkin girl lives with and cares for an old woman. She does all of the chores. When the woman hears about the plans of the Munchkin girl and the wood chopper, she asks the local witch to intervene. The woman doesn’t want to lose the girl, because then she would have to do all of her work herself.

The witch put a spell on the ax of the wood chopper. The ax slips as he chops wood for the house and his leg is cut off. That is unfortunate, until the tinsmith says he can make the wood chopper a new leg out of tin. The wood chopper continues building the house.

The old woman discovers the wood chopper is still at it. She goes back to the witch, which means another spell, the ax slips again, and the wood chopper loses another leg. The wood chopper has the tinsmith fix him up again and continues working. The whole cycle repeats, until the wood shopper chops his torso right in half, and loses his heart.

This last slip of the ax means he can’t feel anything and no longer loves the Munchkin girl.

Once he is all tin, he must carry an oil can with him, since he gets stuck whenever it rains.

The wood chopper followed in his father’s footsteps and lived in his parent’s house. This indicates to us that he lives in an old family consciousness. Did he ever ask himself if that was what he wanted? Was it his heart’s desire? To be a wood chopper and live in his parent’s house?

He meets the Munchkin Girl and starts to build a bigger house to get her to marry him. Did he want a bigger house? This Girl represents an out of touch feminine energy, who says things are inadequate as they are and wants more. This is also evident from his behavior as well. Why? Because he doesn’t know when to say “it’s enough” either. He just continues going along, chopping off his own limbs, and never stops to look at what he is doing. The Tinman doesn’t ask himself if the price of this house, or Munchkin Girl, is too high. He is sacrificing himself.

He doesn’t know when to stop, sit down, and look inside at what he is doing, or how he is living. Work, work, work without question. Chop, chop, chop the emotions get repressed. Contact is lost with the body. Go, at all cost, without realizing the price is too high. He is slowly losing too much. Eventually, he cannot even access his heart and love. The body becomes rigid and there isn’t any feeling.

He’s a wood chopper cutting down trees for a living. Trees represent the connection between Heaven and Earth, above and below, the seen and unseen, which he is severing. His activity disconnects him from the below, body, and the above, spirit. The inner and outer life is separate. He is not present or aware.

The fateful rain, which is emotion, when it does come, freezes him up. He gets stuck and is unable to move. It forces him to stop. The Tinman is mired in rigid thinking and predictable patterns of response. He has to be still in order to access the lubricant that will get him moving again.

In order to free him and the heart, the Wicked Witch, who is afraid of water like the Tinman, has to be melted by the waters of emotion. When she takes Dorothy hostage, she puts her to work in the kitchen, which is associated with the heart. Dorothy must learn to tend the fires of her heart and love.

When we sit in stillness, we discover what we feel about what we are doing and how we are living. Wisdom is gained through silence. Things are going so quickly today that it is easy to forget to check in to ask important questions. Are we following the heart? Feel in the body and connected to spirit? Taking time to be quiet, feelings our feelings, linking the inner and outer life through awareness? Or stuck in rigid outmoded beliefs and patterns of response? Is the Wicked Witch alive or has she been melted? Are you free and living from the heart?

Beauty and Freedom~

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The heroine in “Beauty and the Beast” could have easily believed she was a victim. Beauty’s mother died when she was young. When her father lost all of his fortune they left the city, where she was free to read and do as she pleased all day, and moved to the country. Beauty then had to do all of the housework, cooking, and cleaning, while her sisters did nothing, but torment her. Then, her father sacrificed her to the Beast to save his own neck and for financial gain. It would be easy for us to believe she was a victim, but she wasn’t.

The Beast represents an instinctual masculine energy that values the feminine. He is asleep in the unconscious until Beauty’s Father stumbles across him. The Beast awakens because the Father is out of touch and isn’t instinctually aware of what to do when he faces a challenge. He discovers the Beast’s castle on a dark stormy night as he wanders alone deep in the forest, which symbolizes the unconscious. He is lost, in more ways than one.

Beauty selflessly cares for her family. She plans to live with her Father forever, and has no intention of leaving home, which means her instinct is off as well. She should want to grow up and leave home, but is content to stay right where she is, in a limited consciousness, taking care of her siblings and Father.

Since Beauty doesn’t plan to leave home, life circumstances eventually force her to leave her Father’s house, and move into the Beast’s. The Beast represents an instinctual knowing neither she, nor her Father, have. Both the Father and Beauty think the Beast will kill her, but on the first night she discovers an apartment with her name over the door. She finds all of her favorite things inside. Why would the Beast do this if he planned to eat her? Obviously, he doesn’t.

He knows what she loves and who she is, before he even meets her.

The Beast sets the ground rules at the very beginning of their relationship. First, he wants honesty. He doesn’t want her to tell him what she thinks he wants to hear, but the truth. That was an issue he had with her Father. He wants to trust what she says. The Beast wants her to speak up about what she feels and wants fearlessly.

He tells her she can do anything she wants. She thought she would have to obey his every command, but he tells her she doesn’t. Initially, she is afraid of his anger, rage, and that he will hurt her, but she speaks up anyway. He asks her to marry him each night at dinner, and she says no. She finally tells him one night that she enjoys his company, but she will not ever marry him. He accepts what she says, but asks her to promise to never leave him.

Beauty wants to go home to see her Father. The Beast agrees, but wants her word that she will return within ten days. She says she will, but doesn’t. Her sisters distract her and she stays longer than she said she would. She has a dream on the tenth night that the Beast is dying of a broken heart and realizes she’s made a mistake.

She wakes up knowing what to do and what she wants. She doesn’t want to remain a child in her Father’s house, at that level of consciousness, and returns to the Beast. Now she knows she wants to marry him, the instinctual masculine who loves, values her, and insists she is free.

He is a new inner masculine. The Beast speaks loudly and angrily with the Father in the beginning, because he has been ignored, dismissed, and overlooked. He was the rejected masculine voice in the unconscious. He was frustrated with actions that didn’t value the feminine. He wanted to be heard, to get Beauty’s attention as a part of her psyche. He may shout in dreams and through intuition to get her listen and act. Once she begins to respond to him, he won’t have to take such drastic measures.

He is the inner masculine who values the feminine, beauty, love, and the soul. She is free and he wants her to stand up for herself, which she finally does.

Beauty is free. She always was free, she just didn’t realize it, until he showed her that she was. She had to believe it for herself. She eventually realizes she loves him, this part of her that cherishes her and believes in her. This transforms the Beast into a Prince and they live happily ever after.

We all want to be free. When beginning to step out as ourselves, after having not been seen, heard, or valued, the inner masculine can seem like a Beast. Shouting to be heard, angry at gifts being devalued, and feeling overlooked. He eventually calms down as we continue to do what we want and say what needs to be said, regardless of what others think. Through inner listening, we learn to instinctively know when to act and what to do. If we persist, he will be transformed and we will be free to be ourselves.


Viewing Old Stories with New Eyes~

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I have read in a variety of places about how we have lost the ancient feminine knowledge, the initiatory traditions, and instead have stories of women as victims, harlots, or as having naively caused the fall. The suggestion is that we need to figure it all out again for ourselves with only snippets of information here and there to guide us. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

We have been enculturated to read literally. Searching for documents that spell out the old traditions for us like a recipe in a cook book. The feminine does not speak with a literal tongue, but a symbolic one. If what came to us was literal, it probably would not have survived the cultural devaluation of the feminine, and so the search must be through symbolism and there we discover a treasure trove of information.

The Divine Feminine never stopped speaking. She was always finding her way to those with eyes to see and ears to hear. The alchemists hid the truth in the symbolism of their images and wrote nonsense. They knew they were dismissed as crazy and their desire to transform lead into gold was thought to be impossible. It was Jung who discovered the psychological meaning of the alchemical work and their heretical attempts at inner transformation.

Then there are the stories, and poetry, from legends, and myths, to fairy tales, old and new. There’s Arthur and the Round Table who found themselves living in a wasteland. The only way out of their predicament? To find the inner grail castle and drink from that cup. The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Dante’s Inferno, Descent to the Goddess, Apuleius’ story in The Golden Ass of Psyche and Amour, Demeter and Persephone, Isis and Osiris, The Handless Maiden, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Adam and Eve, the Biblical Job, Mary and Jesus, and The Wizard of Oz, to name just a few we are familiar with in the West.

When we read symbolically, tossing out what we have been told about these stories, we discover their deeper meanings. The story of the feminine is embedded within them for those who can perceive it.

The initiatory tradition hasn’t stopped either. We assume, as some scholars suggest, that human beings are in charge of initiations. What if we aren’t? What if the Goddess, like in Amor and Psyche, and many subsequent fairy tales, or Adam and Eve, is initiating us? What if our lives are the initiations? If we stop perceiving life literally, from the personal to the collective, we might realize they are happening to us now.

The princesses in fairy tales aren’t passively waiting for the prince to rescue them, they are doing the hard work. They are courageously facing the inner demons most of us are running away from. What if, every day, from our dreams to our encounters with nature and others, we are being initiated by the Goddess of Love, whether we see it or not? What then?

What if nothing has been lost? If we look at life and literature symbolically, we discover the way is here and always was. Women aren’t being devalued in literature just because that’s what others say. We must discover the truth for ourselves.

Mary Magdalene, we have been told by those in the know, was a prostitute. We can rail against the church or ask, “What does it mean symbolically?” If she has given herself to the physical material world, as almost all of us have, we see her as a symbol of the soul that was co-opted by the world of form. At the end of the story, she sees the truth, essentially is enlightened. She recognizes her soul isn’t the material, which is temporary, but the spiritual, which is eternal. It isn’t a rejection of the world, as some say, but she embraces it, fearlessly and totally. Her soul always had come from spirit, she just didn’t recognize it, until the moment when she encounter’s the “Teacher.” Hmmmm, who might the teacher be?

We only need to open our eyes and ears to a new way of perceiving, and stop accepting literal interpretations. The suggestion that any of it was ever lost would mean that humans are more powerful than the Divine Feminine or Love. Quite frankly, that is impossible.