Archive for February, 2018

In and Gradually Out of the Cave


This winter, I’ve been lying low.  As a human, I’m part of nature, not distanced from it.  Winter is a season in which to be quiet, so I’ve been quieter.  It’s a time of dormancy, so I’ve slept more.   Less bustle, more self-care and reflection.

In late December, a group of us gathered in circle to address wintery questions: “What am I laying to rest?” and “What requires care-filled tending?”  We also shared sleep-state dreams that felt like they came from Earth herself.  Our council was a great reminder of how to look after ourselves as well as what each of us needs to be aware of in the entire web of life.  As a contrast to the holiday hustle that was taking place everywhere at the time, we concluded our gathering by dropping into 45 minutes of stillness during which people journalled, napped, meditated, pulled tarot cards for themselves, did energy work on their bodies, and other quiet (non-)activities.  I’ve carried this cave-like, nest-like sensibility throughout the season and, yes, gotten cranky when it has been interrupted or disturbed.  You will have noticed that I didn’t even write any blog entries.

Today is Imbolc or Candlemas, a day when a tiny spark of spring is lit, when Brigid’s creative flame and cleansing well may be experienced.  To be honest, I’d rather spend more time in the nest-like tending of the cave, yet a part of my mind is curious about what’s been gestating in the deep.  Hmm, that curiosity is my small spark, I guess.  If I spend time with it, divine about it, hold council with it in my journal and perhaps with others in circle, what flame might it generate?

And people are calling me to stir the waters and light the fires, so to speak.  Will I offer Circle Way in such-and-such place?  Yes.  Will I present something about justice in the tarot at so-and-so conference?  Yes.  Would I be able to blend circle process and the tarot at such-and-such gathering in late spring?  Yes.  Would I be willing to teach Reiki during so-and-so months?  Yes.

So, for me, this is a moment at which one foot is still firmly planted on the stone and blanket of winter’s restful cavern while two or three toes on the other foot are starting to wiggle and stretch, ready to venture into, or at least point toward, what might come alive in the fields of spring and beyond.  The tending won’t stop, it will simply take other forms.  Less lying fallow, more planting.  Less snoozing, more awareness of opportunities and possibilities.

All of this calls forth questions.  I plan to use them for tarot sessions for myself, for journalling, and as conversation prompts with friends and circles.

  • What have I truly put to rest?
  • What do I still need to lay to rest?
  • What has been gestating in winter’s womb?
  • What does it want to become when it grows up?
  • What fresh spark is calling for my attention?
  • What might its full flamehood look like?
  • What waters are stirring in the well of my soul?
  • What fields, gardens, and meadows need to be kept alive by my soulwater?
  • Which facets of me and/or of my life still require cave time?
  • Which facets of me and/or of my life need to stretch and venture forth?
  • How can I best balance all of this, for my own sake and for the sake of the web of life?
  • Who and/or what can assist me to live in such balance?
  • Who and/or what can hinder such balance?
  • What is my first/next step?

Perhaps one, some, or all of these questions resonate with you.  Which one(s)?  How will you interact with it/them?  Perhaps the cave-tomb-womb of winter has generated very different questions through you.  What are they?  How will you interact with them?  Perhaps there’s a meeting between your questions and mine.  Perhaps we can explore and enliven them together in a tarot session, in a council circle, or over tea.  Whichever, please let me know.  I’m here.  I’m setting aside the blanket, lighting the fire, gathering water from the well, and opening the cave door .  Will you join me?  Where, when, and how shall you and I meet?


Images: The Spirit of Nurture (top) and the Dancer of Beginnings (bottom), both from the Shaman’s Oracle by John Matthews and Wil Kinghan.

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