Deep in the Heart of the Cocoon.

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Where do we get the visions with which to shape our lives?

DREAM: Deep in the heart of the cocoon.

I awoke from the dream with the sense that I was in a space of deep transformation. Eventually, I had another related dream in which I followed a yellow and black butterfly as it flew through the house.

These dreams caused me to ponder…

What if you were a caterpillar and spent your days crawling on the tree you were born on eating green leaves? That would be the extent of your world and life. If you saw a butterfly, would you know that was your future? Do caterpillars dream of being butterflies? Do butterflies communicate with caterpillars? Would a caterpillar even believe the butterfly? Do caterpillars hear stories from other caterpillars? And what about us?

If we’re caterpillars, living with other caterpillars, then is it possible to know we can become butterflies? What is the human equivalent of the butterfly? The picture of what is possible may elude us. Some of us do have visions for our future, but often they have emerged from the ego.

Dreams reveal visions of what is possible for our lives that are far beyond the conception of the ego. Dreams break down limitations that inhibit our embodiment of a greater reality. They expand our sense of who we are and what we may become. They reveal what is keeping us from realizing our true nature. They assist us in every conceivable way and address all aspects of our lives.

The dream source has the visions necessary to awaken us to life as a butterfly and guides us toward that destination. If we are willing to listen and follow the dreams, we can raise our conscious awareness of our own transformation.

Visits from Sophia: A divine feminine presence.

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I took a trip to Istanbul soon after I finished my coursework for grad school. The first thing on my list of things to do was to visit Hagia Sophia. All I knew about it was that it was that it was a church. I was thrilled that I was going to see a historical building associated with Sophia, who was a main character in my dissertation. I couldn’t wait to get inside the church to see all the symbolism around Her. Much to my surprise when the country was invaded they installed Islamic images, the Christian ones were minimal. Sophia wasn’t there the way I thought she would be.

Last winter we visited the San Antonio missions in Texas. We walked into the church across from the Alamo on the eve of Christmas Eve and the pipe organist was playing a soul-stirring version of Christ is Born that made my hair stand on end. We sat for a while listening to the music and watching the steady stream of people exploring the church with all of its holiday decorations. Eventually we got up to leave and exited through a side door. We walked toward the road that went behind the church and just as we prepared to cross the street I heard a man call from behind us, “Senorita, Senorita! Wait!” I turned around as he steered the woman behind me toward an opening in a high wall behind the church.

Something compelled me to follow them into the garden and without a thought I did. There on the outside of the church, concealed behind high walls, was a towering statue of what the Mexicans call the Virgin of Guadalupe.

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I was astonished to see this huge statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe hidden behind the high walls of the garden and tucked away behind the church. Then I had another synchronistic experience with her the very next day.

It was Christmas Eve when we went to the Mission of the Immaculate Conception. The curator and park ranger walked up to us as we sat outside looking at the map to see how far the next mission was. They asked if we needed any help. We chatted amicably for a few moments and then I asked, “Who do you think the woman is on the altar?” It wasn’t the traditional Virgin Mary we see in typical Christian depictions, but the Virgin of Guadalupe image. The Mexican-American ranger responded, the Virgin of Guadalupe is the Virgin Mary.

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I explained to them how Sophia was an aspect of my dissertation, but they had not heard of her. I shared how Sophia is Wisdom and that’s who I thought may be portrayed in the Virgin of Guadalupe image. The woman in Revelation is described in the way the Virgin of Guadalupe is shown. They were intrigued by the possibility.

In Revelation 12:2 it says, “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth. In anguish for the delivery.”

The woman in Revelation was pursued by a red dragon and God prepared a place for her in the wilderness and gave her wings to fly away from the dragon. She is to be nourished in the wilderness for a “time, and times, and half a time.” (Rev. 12:13)

A young girl of about eight walked up to us as I spoke with the curator and park ranger at the Concepcion Mission. She placed her hand on the curator’s back, moved her to the side, and walked right through the center of our group. We were standing outside and there wasn’t anyone else on the grounds except for us, this girl, and her family. As she walked through the center of our small circle, her mother called out to her, “Sophia! What are you doing?” Her mother walked up apologizing, until I explained to her that we had been talking about Sophia at the exact moment her daughter walked up. She was astonished to say the least. We all were.

The latest was the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, which is the Mother church of the archdiocese of Philadelphia. A nun was inspired to have bronze statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe made as a site for prayer. It is located in the front of the church to the left of the altar.

I have typically seen these Virgin of Guadalupe statues in areas saturated with those of Mexican descent. This is the first time I have seen this statue in the northeast, which seems unusual. This is the prayer that is near the statue:

Know for certain that I am the perfect and perpetual Virgin Mary, Mother of the True God. …Here I will show and offer all my life, my compassion, my help and my protection to the people. I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear their weeping and their sorrows and will remedy and alleviate their suffering, necessities and misfortunes. …Listen and let it penetrate into your heart. …Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? What else do you need?

You cannot see the word “Mary” in the photo I took because it is where the camera flash reflected. This divine feminine asks in the prayer, “Am I not your fountain of life?” She is the source and all we need.

These types of experiences with Sophia, a divine feminine, have been in dreams and the world. She is and has been opening my awareness to her presence in many ways. I had a dream during the course of my dissertation that revealed a spiritual experience twenty years ago was an encounter with Jesus and her. Through the course of my studies I began to see her on-going re-appearances as an indication of her presence.

I was planning to write a paper in grad school on a common theme in fairy tales which was the sacrifice of the daughter by the father. Before I started writing, I received an intuitive message that it wasn’t a sacrifice by the father, but an initiation by the Mother. I realized in Amor and Psyche that’s exactly what happens. Aphrodite, the goddess of Love, initiates Psyche (Soul) to help her move from being a victim to knowing the divinity in herself. I saw that in subsequent fairy tales, which appeared to be retellings of that myth, that the goddesses had disappeared from the stories.

This is true of the Bible as well. The books not included in the Bible are found in the Nag Hammadi, which has stories of enlightened women, Sophia being one, who are strong and empowered. The women in the Bible are not often powerful in their own right and can be interpreted in a negative light losing the true meaning of their stories.

The manner in which the powerful divine feminine presence is no longer seen in the fairy tales or religion, is also true in my own life. I remember asking years ago where the divine feminine images were? Where the divine female presence was? And I now am left wondering how many times I didn’t see her trying to get my attention because I wasn’t looking, listening, or aware.

After writing my paper, I thought of going back and rewriting my own history to put the goddess back in it. The one who was taken out of the fairy tales, religion, and subsequently my own story. The thing is, once I knew she was taken out of the fairy tales, I could see little signs of her. The helpful animals and the fairy godmothers were a few of the vestiges of her presence. How would rewriting my story change my perception of my life knowing that a divine feminine presence has been with me all along? How would it change your story if you knew she had been there with you all along and you just didn’t see it?

A New Language for a New Worldview.

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I sat in the theater watching the new movie Arrival with tears streaming down my face. I had been thinking since working on my dissertation about the birth of a new world. I knew it required a new language, but couldn’t seem to get beyond just knowing that, to understanding what it meant. In the movie they said when you immerse yourself in a new language you take on a new world view. The language in the movie was universal and not based in duality.

As part of my dissertation I explored some of the old Biblical stories as though they were dreams and discovered new meanings. One of the changes was an understanding that there never was a Fall. It became clear to me that changing our view of the old stories can change our perspective. It widens and deepens possible meanings to what we have been told. What impact does an inclusive language have as opposed to a dualistic one?

That statement alone reveals how inherent duality is in our language, since one is opposed to the other. In a language based on opposites, and opposition, there is tension and conflict. I worked on a dream with a friend yesterday and we talked about the tension of opposites that occurs in resistance. Once we soften that resistance, accept the resistance, and allow it, the resistance lessens and an integration can occur.

A dualistic perspective creates a worldview based on separation. This or that, us or them, defend and protect, victim and aggressor, good and evil. What would a different perspective mean to how we live and perceive the world? What would there be to fear if we saw the world as one that is good?

This isn’t a Pollyanna attitude in which we focus on and only affirm the “good,” and ignore the “bad,” but one in which we don’t judge anything one way or the other. An old Hermetic saying attributed to Hermes Trismegistus is, “As within, so without, as above, so below.” One possible meaning to this is that what we see in the outer world mirrors our inner world. The above and below may refer to a correlation between the spiritual and the physical, like Jesus’ comment that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.

If we accept the possibility that the outer reflects the inner, then what we perceive as other is some aspect of ourselves. When we are activated by what we encounter, it merely points to the places where we are out of harmony with the unitary principle. A place where we fall into separation. When we stop resisting something, our relationship to it changes. When we aren’t afraid, we can approach life with open curiosity and just witness what arises within us.

The soul is a witness

A post-exilic wonder

That stands firm and unshaken

Among the far-strewn rubble…

We can root ourselves in the inner stillness and silence and witness the transformation. When we stand in the truth of our being, undaunted by what falls apart, then something new can be born. I once heard that the caterpillar liquefies in the cocoon. That would be a total breakdown of the old constricting worldview. When the old way of perceiving ourselves and our world falls apart. Then, once the old has turned to rubble, an entirely new way of being, way of life, and a new self can emerge. A new language will be required to describe an entirely new world.

 

 

A Revolution of the Heart is at Hand.

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We stand on the brink of an epochal shift in consciousness. Just as our forefathers stood on the steps of Independence Hall and proclaimed their independence from their Father, the King of England, we are on the cusp of a historically significant moment. Our forefathers sought freedom by the sword. Our freedom will not come by way of the warrior and fear, but by the cup of truth and love.

When the immigrants streamed by boat toward Ellis Island, they were greeted by a majestic woman who was lighting their way to a new life. She stood with a flaming torch in one hand and the Declaration of Independence in the other. There were broken chains at her feet and a halo around her head. She was in this world but not of this world.

The French gave us the Statue of Liberty because they felt a kinship with our revolutionary spirit, but they no longer felt war was the way to freedom. They had seen the result for themselves, how the oppressed had in turn became the oppressors. Lady Liberty’s artist made sure there were no traces of the warrior present in her image or countenance.

The inner structure of the statue is iron, the metal of Mars, the god of war. The outer surface of the statue is copper, the metal of Venus, the goddess of love. In mythology, the two unite and some stories suggest the product of that union was Eros, the god of love. The Statue is of a woman and although the structure that holds her up is associated with Mars, whom we know as the god of war, he was in fact originally known as the god the pagans worshiped in the spring when planting seeds.

The Romantics saw the results of the bloody French Revolution and turned to their pens to create a revolution. In the sixties, revolution was again the buzzword, with a desire to transform the warrior. Now the way is no longer through power at the point of a gun, but through the heart, which is reached through feminine consciousness, as the Statue of Liberty illustrates.

Fairy tales repeatedly show the feminine as evil or hidden, trapped and fearful. These cultural portraits of the collective symbolically represent what’s happening and how to rectify it. The masculine in these stories can be a Beast, frog, devil, or inept father who sacrifices his own daughter for gain. The Handless Maiden’s father, after cutting off her hands, tells her she can stay with him and he’ll always take care of her. She does not accept his offer and leaves her father’s house, as do many of the other heroines in fairy tales.

We need to leave the fear-based house of our forefathers. This house built on conflict must be replaced by one constructed on a foundation of peace and love. This house is created within. A revolution of the heart is at hand. We must set down our swords and walk a new path to freedom. The time of the warrior has passed. Now is the time for the Child of Love to be born.

 

First blog post

Seeing with New Eyes…

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Kansas is a drab and colorless place. Aunt Em and Uncle Henry are gray, the house is gray inside and out, and the landscape is gray. There aren’t any trees, birds, grass, or water. All is sun-parched, flat, and devoid of any signs of life. The couple adopt Dorothy because they cannot have children.

Uncle sits on the front steps of the house, Auntie is inside, and Dorothy stands upon the threshold on the day the winds of change begin to stir. Now you might think those winds would come out of the East and West, where the Wicked Witches reside, but they do not. The winds come out of the North and South, the territories of the Good Witches, which suggests these transformational winds are motivated by the good.

The winds increase , Uncle senses the coming of a storm, and moves into action. He goes to the barn to prepare the animals. Dorothy walks inside as Auntie dives into the storm cellar, or what we might call the unconscious. As most of you know, Toto runs off and Dorothy chases him, when the tornado hits. The house is lifted off the ground, ascends high into the sky, and is carried far away to the inner land of Oz.

Dorothy is jolted awake when the house lands. She opens her eyes, stands up, walks to the door, crosses the threshold, and sees life in full technicolor. Babbling brooks, chirping birds, fruiting trees, the Munchkins and Good Witch. Dorothy has a new vision.

In depth psychology, we perceive stories as symbolically teaching us about life. I have taken some creative liberties here to make a point. We often, at one time or another, have a vision of what is possible for us. The vision may appear through what seems like a great difficulty. For Dorothy, it was when the house landed in Munchkinland that she got a glimpse of what her life could be like, which was the opposite of the way things were in Kansas, her outer life.

Visions can come in many ways. They can appear through story, dream, or imaginal occurrences. They may feel like deep longings for something that remains just beyond awareness. Dorothy has her vision in Munchkinland of what is possible, but cannot remain there. In order to realize her inner vision as the outer world, she has to make a journey. Everything that happens along the way is meant to assist her in uniting these two worlds. Every encounter, experience, and dream are taking us to the place Dorothy fondly calls Kansas, or home.

This blog will address a variety of experiences along this journey home to ourselves. There will be writings about dreams; stories, myths, and fairy tales; the divine feminine and Spirit; our truth; spirituality and material life; as well as our Selves. How do we continue to challenge old paradigms, stories, beliefs, and conditioning so that we might open to a life that is so much more than we are living? These and other topics will be explored as we journey for a time together on this path and remember, “There’s no place like home.”

What is your vision?