Pillar I: Surrender
When I think about where the journey of spiritual leadership and priestessing begins, it’s very clear: We begin at the point of saying YES to something bigger than ourselves. For each pillar we study this year, I’ll be featuring an archetype who embodies the pillar to help us define the qualities, characteristics, and behaviors associated with each pillar. For me, when it comes to surrender, no one in embodies this important quality more than Mary, the biblical mother figure who brought Jesus into the world. When she was asked whether she was willing to play this role, to be the mother of God and bring him to life, her only reply was “yes.”
Surrender is about far more than putting the interests and needs of another before your own; surrender is about a release of attachment to any outcome. It’s the hardest work in our early priestessing years because Ego is such a powerful force and in the early years, many practitioners are still doing intense work to balance Ego and Spirit. The Outer and the Inner voices. Letting go of attachment to any outcome requires you to release your expectations of what “could” or “should” be and trust that all forces in any situation collude for your highest good.
I’d like to suggest, as you begin your work on Surrender this year, that you consider journaling in response to the following inquiries:
1) In what ways are you feeling called to deep surrender in your life? How might it help you to release attachment to outcomes? Where in your relationship, in your work, in your health, or in your heart are you holding on too tightly to what YOU think is right or best?
2) What can you say “yes” to in your life that will improve your health and happiness? What or who needs more of your affirmation, connection, and commitment?
Pillar II: Thresholding
Our second study area in the Pillars of Priestessing is the topic of thresholding, of keeping watch over sacred entrances and exists. Cardea is our archetype here, the Roman Matron of entrances and doorways, thresholds to other worlds and interior realms. She was the keeper of the Way, and as we journey into deeper study of spaces and crossings, she becomes a powerful guide and model of how to hold those spaces with grace and ease.
Thresholding is about boundary-keeping, to a certain extent. It’s also about deciding what and where is sacred to you, and then determining who and what shall be given permission to enter those places. I’m talking about “real” places but also about your innermost sanctums. You always have the power to say yes and to say no to the entrance. And you should constantly revisit those decisions, because in every moment you are always the one who holds the key. You, your practices, and your spaces should be offered by invitation only. That kind of mindfulness about your spaces raises your vibration; it keeps you safe.
I’d like to suggest, as you continue your priestessing study and think deeply about what it means to guard thresholds in your life, that you meditate upon the following questions:
1) What areas of your life or space are most sacred to you? Where do you need to take better care of the entrances – to your heart, to your home, to your bed?
2) What totems, items, gems, herbs, flowers, or offerings need to be gathered and displayed either literally or metaphorically in these spaces, both as reminders to you and to your visitors about the sacred nature of these places?
Liminal Space: The Ultimate Threshold
The words you are about to read have been surfacing for several months and displayed to me in many ways, mirrored and echoed to me in all of the events and unfoldings around me. It is time to talk about the unspeakable space, the space in between consciousness and the next level of awareness. The space between where you are today and where you are to go. In anthropology, which is where the term “liminal space” was born, it means (limina
You feel when you have crossed the liminal threshold. You feel when you have changed. You feel when you are no longer where you used to be.
Concepts like this populate most of post-modern theory, which seeks to describe indescribable phenomena. It’s confused, it’s amorphous, and people check out. But as practitioners who are going to take this work way deeper, we must check in. No longer skimming the surface of magical work, we are drilling down into these unspoken-of spaces. We are crossing the liminal threshold and we’ll only be able to feel our way beyond here. There are no more sign posts.
Dante spoke of the liminal in his Inferno when you told the reader to abandon hope if they enter his narrative of that world. He was warning you to let go of expectation because in these other spaces, your expectations won’t hold. There is power in letting go of what to expect. No one created magic by expecting it to happen. I even think of mundane examples, like Disneyland. Walt Disney did not set out to create the Disneyland we experience. But he crossed a creative threshold and let go of paradigms to create what had never existed. Mimicry is not art, in my view. Mimicry results from in an inability (or unwillingness) to cross the threshold. If you copy or create what already exists, you haven’t moved into or through the liminal space. Artists thrive and create in that liminal space and what they birth moves us because we sense and feel that we are looking at the product of true magic, the deepest imagination.
Some call the Liminal Space the Third Space. It’s the next dimension of reality. When you meditate deeply and transition from Beta to Alpha states of consciousness, and even deeper to Theta state, you get a glimpse of this next place. Beings inhabit this third space. We see them in our peripheral vision, sense and feel them around us when we’re still and quiet. Gems and minerals enhance the vibration to attune to this third space. Our second dimension reality can begin to vibrate in alignment with this magical place, which in turn propels us a bit closer to the magic I’m describing.
Shamanic journey takes you into the third space. And you do not return the “same” from that experience; you can’t. Shamanic work shifts you on cellular levels and then your experience of reality shifts to accommodate the new you. Each time you return from the other levels – the upper, the lower, the liminal – you are changed. And you are drawn to these experiences because some part of you is seeking to align with the third space. Some part of you thirsts to evolve. Your soul aches to be free of the limitations you are familiar with. Your comfort stops serving you.
For our purposes, the liminal space is a transition in your awareness of your soul’s purpose in this lifetime. In the liminal space, we sense that our entire life is a learning landscape. Every moment, every person, is an opportunity to learn and experience what is needed. Your life is so very short that you are, in many ways, running a race to learn all you can before you transition. How much can she learn? How quickly can she integrate the awareness?
Integrating the awareness of your life lessons and soul purpose is your work. How do you do this work? You engage in a dialogue with your guides and with your environment. Of everything you should ask, what is the lesson? What am I learning? If it’s all a teaching, then you will start to look at your relationships, your wounds, your sorrow, your fortune, your joy, your health, your life in a new way. You are in a constant exchange of energy on your way through this liminal space. And you choose how you work with this energy. You choose its value, whether it’s “good” or “bad”. You choose its impact, whether it “hurts” or “heals” you.
And you are only responsible for you. Your liminal space, your threshold, is yours alone. Others have theirs. You have yours.
What if …
What if you began today to focus on your soul purpose by sensing and feeling rather than judging and knowing? What if you began to attend to your life and saw everything, person, and experience as a teacher? What if you started asking different questions – of your health, of your partner, of your children – as if all of those people and things and states of being are teachers?
When you begin to sense what you are learning, when you are in dialogue with the Universe and not monologue, and when you recognize the power of this in-between place where you are now, something will shift for you.
And you will realize the true power of the threshold.
Pillar III: Energy Management
With each successive Pillar of Priestessing we study, I believe we come closer to understanding the deep complexity of space holding and what it means to be a magician, a practitioner of magical and spiritual arts, someone whose goal it is to evolve and grow and connect more deeply with Spirit and then, like the Hermit, light the way through darkness for others who follow closely behind or next to us.
Energy management and vibrational monitoring are critical skills for the priestess. One she has crossed the threshold into liminal space and opened a container of energy for others to work and explore within, her job is to become the barometer of energy in the field.
What does that mean? When you hold space, the way your space feels, and looks, and smells, and even tastes is your responsibility. Creating a safe, multi-sensory experience for those in your space is critical. Monitoring what is happening at any given moment is not easy because most people who are held in sacred space can’t be “asked” how they feel or what they need; they may not even know. So you have to intuit and interpret, sense and feel, decide and respond. Then assess again: Did your response shift the energy, address the needs, soothe the discomfort or fear, or allow for the highest vibrations to emerge?
Cultivating an ability to guide, interpret, read, and direct energies is one of the most important tasks for a priestess. It requires a deep release of ego so that you can see and experience ritual and ceremony from the perspective of participants, not simply from your perspective as leader and circle keeper. Following are some journal prompts to help you explore your relationship to energy management as well as my Top Five tips for energy management in sacred circle.
1) Where is my ego manifesting in my work right now? What aspects of my spiritual life are showing me a mirror of my ego and how can I best acknowledge these reflections?
2) How do I sense energies in my spaces today? What is my process for seeing, smelling, and sensing energies? Am I mindful of how I enter a space (going back to our lessons on thresholding) and do I take care to be a good observer of how people and even objects are responding to the way my spaces feel?
Pillar IV: Neutrality
For me, the High Priestess embodies the concept of neutrality more than any other figure. Perhaps it’s because the image of her in the Rider Waite deck, standing between two pillars representing biblical wisdom. She holds almost every sign of spiritual power within her hands and arms. She literally is the pillar of neutrality, of equanimity, of allowing it all and judging none. The priestess makes no sudden movements. She is the figure of waiting, of observing, of allowing nature to intervene before she does. She knows the folly of acting too soon or thinking that an immediate reaction is the most informed one.
Neutrality is a difficult pillar to practice because we are human. It’s our nature to react. To move. To think that our first instinct is the basis for sound judgment. Even though we often know from experience that hesitation is the more rational option. Below are my tips for practicing the art of neutrality in times of stress and challenge. Try journaling to the questions embedded within each.
- Stop and think before you act – not just about the immediate consequences of your actions, but the lasting effects. What might your words shift or create that you can’t see right now? Who might be affected, and how might they react? What would your guides ask you to do in this situation? What is your higher self feeling called to do here?
- Think of balanced scales and ask yourself what a measured and balanced reaction looks like in this situation. If you were acting out of fear or haste, what might a calm and well considered response look like? Draw it out, write it out, role play it with a trusted friend or mentor.
- When you act, stay calm and engaged. Stay centered and aligned. Ask your guides and higher self to be with you in the moment of action, to move through you and to craft your words for you in alignment with the right and best outcome for all involved.
Pillar V: Boundaries & Difficult Conversations
Our guiding spirit for our work on boundaries and difficult conversations is Ishtar, a goddess who represents boundaries and differentiation (what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is yours). She stands between owls, the great figures of wisdom, holding the tools of many traditions (much like the High Priestess in fact!).
It’s important to consider the connotations of the words we choose as priestesses and keepers of the old wisdoms. The word “boundary” creates boundaries in an interesting way and begins to set up a rigid parameter around the energies of this work – so much so that I find myself more drawn to the word “border”, which retains the essence of the idea of separation but without the connotation of exclusion. There is a me separate from you; but that separation of me doesn’t require the exclusion of you, if that makes sense.
Border or boundary work is about integrity of energy – yours, within you and others’, returning to them. Think of energy as information that moves. It moves in three ways:
1) through channels (both people and portals)
2) through centers (like meridians and chakras)
3) through the field (that surrounds people, objects, and places)
All objects possess and energy field. You must carefully observe, monitor, and protect yours. That’s what boundaries or borders are for. They facilitate the enforcement of a protected space, which for an empath or healer is the difference between life and death. When your borders are too porous, harmful energies can leak and penetrate, which can affect not only your spiritual but your physical and emotional health. Serious business.
I notice that energies around me which cause me to feel a need for protection appear red in color, while energies that require me to filter or purify them appear carbon or gray. You may not notice a color as much as a feeling, or a scent, or a sound depending on whether you are clairvoyant (clear seeing), clairsentient (clear sensing), or clairaudient (clear hearing). But this is all reactive, meaning that what I’m talking about here is happening after you engage with energies that stand in violation of you, your aura, or your field. One question I like to ask is, how can I be more proactive in setting intentions for the kinds of energies that are welcome in my space, in my field, in my life?
I like to set my energy rather than set my boundary. One is declarative, affirmative and proactive; the other is defensive, protective, and reactive. What is welcome in your life? Only you can decide. I’ll tell you a story.
A few people in my life have shown themselves to be supremely untrustworthy. Downright scary, in fact, and are no longer welcome in my world. It’s unfortunate, but it happens – part of the lesson that no all is light and rainbows. There is darkness, and it manifests in the world, in people. I don’t spend any time thinking about, engaging with, or sending energy to those folks. Not a single second. What I do instead is focus on what is allowed. Goodness, compassion, integrity, honesty, balance, humor, candor, truth are welcome. All the time. 24/7. The more I focus on what is welcome, the more of the welcome things arrive. The less I focus on what is excluded (back to the issues with boundaries I articulated above) the less energy is expended in that negative direction, and the less I feel compelled to even consider borders. They become the exception, not the rule.
And that’s how I live my life. That’s how I manage communities that total hundreds of thousands of people online. I set energetic intentions for engagement. I manage borders as needed. And I make very clear to the Universe what is welcome. I’m not afraid to be very articulate about what I need and will allow. Which makes difficult conversations less difficult, even unneeded.
A mantra that helps me a great deal in this context is: “I am a complete, powerful, and loving being. I send energy through the higher realms and channels to Source and ask that it be sent on my behalf where it is needed, to whom it is needed, and for what it is needed, in the interest of All. And so it is.”
1) What do my existing energetic borders look like? If I had tighter borders, how would I feel differently or interact differently? With whom?
2) Where or with whom do you notice the most profound need for tighter borders? What emotions surface even as you read that question?
Pillar VI: Faces of Feminine Power
We have many guides and guardian spirits for this month of our work together. The faces of Feminine Power as we will engage with them here are:
The Warrioress (archetype: Athena) brings you a spirit of resilience. She says to you, “Here I stand with shield and spear, ready to protect and serve. I am here not to choose a battle but to prepare for one in the event it is necessary.” The wisest warrioress never fights; but she won’t be caught off-guard when battle comes to her, either.
The Priestess (archetypes: Circe & Pythia) brings you a spirit of possibility and magic. She says to you, “Here I stand with crystal ball and wand, ready to summon the great forces of nature and power. The powerful priestess knows the ways and the means to magic; but she cautions you that much magic comes with a price.
The Seductress (archetypes: Ishtar & Venus) brings you a spirit of sensual pleasure and wild abandon. She says to you, “Here I stand, ready to take your hand and lead you to a place where your body becomes a vessel of pleasure and expression, ready to help you feel the full range of physical sensations some of which you may not have yet explored.” The enchanting seductress knows the art of pleasure; but she cautions you that pleasure is only one sensation – you must not become so attached to it that you ignore the others.
The Empress (archetypes: Ceres & Demeter) brings you a spirit of beauty and the ability to enjoy the present moment. She says to you, “Here I stand, ready to help you see the beauty in all things and create more beauty in the world.” The inspiring empress gives birth to new ideas, new possibilities, and new opportunities; but she cautions you that beauty is already around you all the time. Don’t forget to appreciate what you already have.
The Queen (archetypes: Cleopatra, Elizabeth, Esther, Shireen) brings you a spirit of power and prestige. She says to you, “Here I stand with scepter and crown, ready to help you stand tall in your power and receive the respect and honor you have so richly deserved in your life.” The regal queen does not question her judgment nor her authority; but she reminds you that power can be abused, and you must prevent your ego from making decisions that can have outcomes you might fail to predict.
The Faerie (archetypes: Anya & Morrigan) brings you a spirit of play and connection to the Earth, tree folk and stone spirits. She says to you, “Mine is the realm of enchantment and hidden wisdom, where you must seek in order to find.” The mystical Faerie queens know that nature holds the deepest wisdom and magic. She reminds you to ground yourself in Gaia’s forests and explore your connection to the unseen.
1) Which of the faces of feminine power is easiest for you to inhabit? Which of the faces feels least comfortable or compatible with your energy at this time?
2) Is there another face or embodiment of female power that feels important for you to explore right now? If so, what does it look like and how does it feel when you step inside of it?
Pillar VII: Being vs. Doing
Being versus Doing. It is often difficult for us to distinguish where our pendulum swings on the gradient scale between our active, creating selves and our softer, regenerative selves. We spin into a cycle of endless doing, and then suffer an inevitable crash of illness, injury, or exhaustion. Presiding in a culture where pushing beyond our limits is not only encouraged, but is the norm, denies us the critical insights revealed in quiet and stillness. Cultivating this regenerative space is our work for this, our seventh pillar.
Demeter is our archetype lighting the way to this valuable lesson of being. She is the harvest goddess and loving mother of Persephone. We encounter this golden goddess most intimately during Lammas, the first marking of the Fall harvest. She embodies the fertility of the Earth, tends the seeds of grain, and harvests the season’s wheat when it matures. As the agricultural deity, she shares her wisdom of allowing time to work its magic. She teaches us the energetic balance between work and rest for an abundant harvest to yield. Her message for us is to only sow the seeds we are able to tend with our highest selves. For, a smaller plot of healthy grain nurtures more than a larger plot of withered wheat.
The work of this pillar is about establishing value in being present to your own essence — the sacred self — and thus honoring what your mind, body, and soul need to be healthy. As women and born nurturers, we often say “yes” to requests before considering ourselves; we extend our energy in service of others without honoring our own needs.
I ask you to consider this: how often do you allow yourself to rest in your power? By creating a sustainable cycle of energy, would you not be more present to the relationships and work you are engaged in? The key lesson to learn is this: the less you do, the more you can be. Breathe into that feeling for a minute and tell me your soul doesn’t hum in agreement.
When you are trying to control and do so much, you don’t allow the divine plan of the Universe to flow in your life. Remember the work we did in Pillar One at the beginning of this journey together? Surrender. Being is a surrendering to faith— trusting that the Universe is there to do some of the work for you. You are not alone, there is a plan for you, and there are many divine elements at work. There is wisdom in knowing that not everything is meant for you to do, sometimes people need to fall and learn lessons through their own experiences. Sometimes it’s best to let life unfold in its own way.
This is not easy work, I know. Learning and living this lesson has transformed every realm of my life. In my marriage, as a mother, as a business woman… I learned to delegate so I can make space for being, instead of doing every task myself. While it was uncomfortable at first, I learned that prioritizing who and what I share my energy with has made me a healthier and happier person, and has allowed me to walk my path as a teacher and priestess.
I invite you to explore the balance of being and doing in your own life by journaling responses to these questions:
- What areas of your life can you delegate your tasks and energy to other people? What resistance and emotions arise for you as you consider this release of responsibility?
- Who in your life do you find yourself continuously trying to protect or prevent harm? How could releasing this energy support your personal wellbeing?
Pillars VIII & IX: Mindfulness and Magic, Channeling the Muse
Mindfulness – the process of being fully aware, awake, and alive in the present moment. While mindfulness is formally experienced through meditation, it is also a living philosophy for being that translates into all realms of life. You can mindfully eat breakfast, mindfully communicate with your loved ones, and mindfully connect with divine flow through time and space. That is where magic comes in.
Our archetype for invoking mindfulness in magic is The Muse. In Greek mythology there are 9 Muses: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania and Calliope, each reigning over one of the many fine arts. These beautiful deities are embodiments of the creative realms. They represent divine inspiration and were called upon by many great artists and philosophers in ancient times to channel the heavenly flow of creativity in their work. We work with the Muses to connect to the creative force of the Universe, and call upon them as co-designers of our own life. When we’re mindful and in flow, we are naturally creative and inspired, just like the Muses themselves.
To me, mindfulness is about aligning myself with the creative flow of the Universe. I believe mindfulness is the active walking of our path with conscious awareness of past, present, and future – all while acknowledging and holding space for signs from the Universe to guide our way. The Universe is the divine creator, and as humans we possess this power within our own being — especially as women. We give birth to life, to art, and to the winding path of our life with every thought, act, and expression. Flow begins with Source but channels through us to all of creation.
Mindlessness is the opposite – the state of being without conscious awareness of the present moment. If you’re pushing, forcing, or trying to control your life you are not in the divine flow. When you stop forcing things, your awareness opens to the signs the Universe is trying to send you, to guide you forward and toward your highest potential. These signs come in many forms, and while we’ve been practicing how to open ourselves up to these messages, the most important part of our work as priestesses is trusting the information we receive enough to act on it. If you let go of fear and trust the Universe, you will align with beautiful creative flow and experience true mindfulness. You’ll also receive the keys to the kingdoms of prosperity, health, and joy. It’s all connected.
Are you in mindful creative flow? Consider how you’ve been feeling lately. Are you having to fight for things? Are you expending all your energy just to get by? Or rather, are good things naturally flowing into your life? Noticing synchronicities is a good sign that you’re on your path. If you’re here, doing this work, and care enough to ask, then I am confident that you are on your divine path. Feels good, doesn’t it? I know I am proud of you. This work is not easy – not for any of us.
Check in with yourself using these journal prompts to notice how mindfulness is at play in your life today.
- What in your life comes naturally to you right now? How do you feel when you’re engaged in that activity or process? What can you do to be more present during those experiences?
- How have you noticed the Universe guiding you? Has there ever been a time when you were guided in one direction and went the other way? What events followed?
Pillars X & XI: Engaging your Intuition, Honoring your Gifts
I know you are eager to enter the 10th pillar, and for that reason I am so excited to share this lesson you’ve all worked so hard to reach. Here we honor your intuition, the sacred whisper connecting your humanity to the divine. For years, I have continuously received inquiries about how to develop personal intuition, walk your path, and find the gifts you are meant to share in this lifetime. These are big questions, but ones well worth exploring.
Our goddess archetype for this work is Pythia. Also known as the Oracle of Delphi, Pythia was a priestess who channeled prophecies from the god Apollo. She was revered for carrying his will from the heavens into the physical plane. Working in a trance state, she translated the wisdom she received and relayed it to her community. As a gifted intuitive and psychic, Pythia teaches us to trust the messages we receive through our inner knowing. Follow her example and allow the active thinking of your brain to quiet, so the wisdom of your highest self and Source may come through.
You have a divine purpose, and your soul chose your body for this lifetime to carry it out. At the heart of your journey is discovering what your gifts are, so you may fulfill the work you are meant to do. Intuition is the messenger guiding you to your path, connecting you to the spiritual plane, and supporting you along the way. Accept this support, for the work is never easy. It’s natural to be fearful at first to use your gifts or share them, as they are deeply personal to you. This feeling of gravity is, in fact, a sign of your gift. You should have a deep sense of respect for your gifts, it should feel intrinsic to your being. Trusting the Universe will hold you when you leap is critical to going where your intuition guides you. It isn’t always the most sensible path, but it is the right one.
But how do you begin to engage your intuition? How do you strengthen your connection so you may continuously receive inner guidance? This is where we work with the luminous field. The luminous field is the expansive network of energy that connects everything in the Universe. It’s the underlying force around us that holds the energy of all time. This field contains the wisdom of why each of us are here. Learning to tap into the field is fundamental to developing your intuitive gifts. Intuitive messages are most commonly experienced in three forms: clairsentience (clear feeling), clairaudience (clear hearing), and clairvoyance (clear seeing). With practice, you will understand how you naturally download this information. Here are some intuitive exercises I recommend for your own practice:
- Sensing the luminous field: Rub your hands together, generating energy between them and activating the meridians in your palms and fingers. Then, close your eyes and place your hands out in front of you, asking to connect and receive any information you need at this time. You may feel a tingling; this is your connection to the field. You can direct this connection for specific purposes. Place your hands on the ground to connect with Earth, or facing up to connect with the Divine. Face your hands towards yourself to connect with your chakras, check in with them and heal any imbalances.
- Clearing your perceptual screen: Your perceptual screen is the window of your vision, through which you receive information whether your eyes are open or closed. To encourage intuitive vision, close your eyes and focus on your Third Eye, the space between your brows. Keeping your eyes closed, move your eyes from left to right a few times, and then up and down. Then, gently circle your gaze around in a circle to the furthest edges of your screen, clearing as you go. Once you’ve cleared, soften your gaze to a natural space and notice the clarity of the visions now coming through.
- Activating your coating crown: After you have cleared your screen, , keeping your eyes closed, visualize an indigo beam of light extending from your Third Eye, straight back through your visual cortex at the base of your skull. In your mind’s eye, allow that beam of light to wrap around the right side of your skull, connecting with your visual cortex and then coming back around the left side of your skull and back into your Third Eye, forming an indigo crown of light around your head. This creates a seat for the wisdom of the luminous field to enter your energy body.
- Deepen messages with synesthesia: This shamanic exercise deepens intuitive downloads by activating another sense for a multidimensional message. When you begin to see an image appear in your mind’s eye, ask your brain for clarity from another sense. Ask what it tastes like, what it sounds like, or what it smells like. How does it feel in your body? This practice details your image and strengthens your reception of it.
All of these exercises will support you in strengthening your intuition, and can be used to ask Source for clarity on the nature of your soul’s gifts. Keep practicing, and you will have a deepened sense of trust in yourself and the messages you receive.
- What did you feel called to most as a child? What activities and work comes naturally to you? Alternately, what work that you do makes you feel heavy or drained?
- Describe a time when you felt connected to Universal energy. How did you facilitate this connection? What did it feel like?
- How would your life be different if you always followed your intuition first?
Pillar XII: Embodiment
This month our focus is embodiment and integration – two of the most central concepts to the practice of priestessing or spiritual leadership. Consider this step the pulling down of wisdom from Crown to Core to Root, from Spirit to Center to Earth. If you aren’t living your leadership, then what value does it hold for yourself or others? Our lived experience is the essence of our purpose. Walking your talk as a priestess is key. And it’s difficult. You’ll find many people who talk the talk but can’t walk it, or can’t walk it for long, because they haven’t yet integrated the wisdom, awareness, and strength of their principles. How you live must be a synchronous and aligned example of what you believe.
Psyche, from Greek mythology, is our patron goddess for this facet of our work together. She reminds us that integration of spiritual lessons, while challenging, is key to learning the lessons of love, healing, and peace. Integration at its core is the recognition of individual soul parts as well as the unification of those parts into a greater whole. Alchemy is certainly part of this process, since soul integration requires an honest inventory of your soul’s wounds and traumas, such that integration includes not only the “light” aspects of your journey but the more difficult and shadowy aspects of your journey as well.
There are SIX stages of soul integration. They are:
- Encountering – the meeting of the individual aspects of your soul in order to recognize and account for them. This is the inventory stage.
- Shedding – this is the releasing of any parts of your soul that will not accompany you into integration, pieces that need to be shed in order for your soul to be liberated and free from constraints of past experience (assuming you have learned the lessons of those experiences).
- Allowing – the receiving and meeting of your soul where it is, and the full conscious recognition of yourself without qualification or limitation of love.
- Retrieving – the locating of any parts of your soul that have been subconsciously or unconsciously lost to you along your path.
- Integrating – the gathering of those lost parts and placement of them in conjunction with the rest of the aspects of your soul and your journey.
- Becoming – the celebration of this new “whole” you, less the pieces you don’t need in order to advance, with the addition of pieces you lost that remain part of your soul’s developmental path.