The wind had transformed my walk into a journey on the Spiral Path. I was blown into a different dimension, out of the normal, everyday realm and transported into a sacred and mystical realm on the sacred Spiral Path. In Jane Meredith's words from The Descent to the Dark Goddess:
..the mystical [realm is the] one...when you slip across from one realm into another, into the sacred; into the realm of the Dark Goddess herself. In this layer you will feel the divine all around you and within you, and you will sense yourself as being in an altered, perhaps luminous space.
As I walked, I reveled in the solitude, the protective intensity of the wind, the safety of being alone out in Nature with my dog as my companion. I laughed out loud, sang, sounded, and delighted in this totally unexpected pleasure of being on the Spiral Path.
Oh, how I've missed Her.
The Spiral Path is a delicious and alive place to walk. It is mystical, nourishing, and so real. Paradoxically, it can seem so unreal and otherworldly at the same time. Ah, the presence of paradox. In Carolyn Myss' words, paradox is the language of Spirit, so when paradox is present, so is Spirit!
As I completed my journey and was heading back to the car, I reflected on this amazing experience and realized that I had walked through five distinct stages of a sacred, spiral journey: Preparation, Descent, Being In, Ascent and Integration. All five aspects were totally present as I walked the circular path around Boulder Valley Ranch.
Allow me to share:
Rupert and I began our walk from the parking lot by circling around the north side of the ranch. Immediately greeted by the ferocious wind, we were pushed us along the path, sometimes very literally. Even my sticks were getting swept by the wind, and at times, I was walking, almost running with the wind. It pushed me up the little hill out of the ranch and onto the mesa. As I looked up and toward the east, I could see the rough, white waves on the water of the Boulder Reservoir, so big that I could see and feel them from where I was a couple of miles away. As I walked, I found myself thinking of the journey I have committed to meet the Dark Goddess, and I asked the wind to cleanse me of all resistance - a request I asked consciously; in hindsight, I was also asking unconsciously to be cleansed and cleared of any place that I am misaligned and attached with my ego.
As we headed toward the furthest distance from the car, Rupert looked back at me as if to say "really, we're really doing this?!". Truthfully, I was asking myself the same thing, because as soon as I would turn the corner to head south down the hill, I knew that I would no longer have the wind at my back.
I turned down the hill, with the wind on my right side pushing me toward the east. It was intense, cold and invigorating to say the least. I was on the path all by myself, with my dog. No one else was coming out in this wind! As I started to walk on the east side of the pond that sits at the bottom of the valley, the coldness of the wind picked up as it gathered the icy air from the top of the frozen pond. Plus, I was down in the bottom of the valley which created a funnel for the ferocious winds. It was so loud, and I realized that I could make sounds to match the wind and that no one would hear me. So I stood facing the wind, asking it to cleanse me in every cell of my being.
I turned so that my back was to the wind, and I yelled. I sounded. I connected to a deep rage and anger that was emerging from my the depths of my being. I sounded from my belly to release the anger, to cleanse it from my system. I found myself thinking of a former friend with whom I have felt angry at our last conversation and betrayed by my perception of her need to be right. I yelled. I sounded. I screamed. And the wind carried away my pain and my anger, the fear that was lying just below began to surface. I turned into the wind and faced the truth that I was afraid of this person, of standing up to, of speaking my truth. It is easier to feel anger than fear, and so I allowed her to dominate me, and leave me voiceless and apologetic.
I breathed deep into my belly and found a deeper voice, a voice below the fear and anger. I found my strength, my truth, my resolve and my core.
I howled and hollered into the wind with all of my being. I became lighter and lighter, stronger and stronger.
I rejoiced in the release. I bowed to the wind and honored Her presence and support. I knew that she had held a sacred and private space for me to sound into, and in turn, She received my anger and fear and used it to fuel her ferocity. Ah. Thanks be to the great Goddess.
I began my walk up the hil. Rupert was delighted to be running again! As I walked, I had the conversation that I wished I had had with this person at the time. I spoke it outloud, from my body, in my strength and truth, with my heart open and my mind clear. I climbed out from the "hell" in the bottom of the valley, and with every step, I embodied the lightness that I had become aware of at the bottom. It infused every cell. My walk shifted to one of purpose, clarity and commitment. I completed the conversation, and at the same time, my relationship with this person.
In that moment, I opened up to know that the issues and challenges, as well as the direct barbs and criticisms that arose out of the original fateful conversation were not mine to take on. I asked, "Are these words and attacks mine, or someone else's?" With delight, I knew the answer and "returned to sender with love and compassion." I took responsibility where responsibility was due, and returned the rest to where it belonged!
I was free.
At this point, I had reached the top of the hill and only had to walk the remaining, relatively flat section of the path along the ditch and bare cottonwood trees.
I fell into deep, peaceful contemplation as I walked. I wondered about my choices and possibilities out of this new experience of freedom.
I found myself thinking of and longing for England. Oh, to go home and to live there.
But more, I found myself longing to go deep within myeslf, to meet my Soul, and to live with Her as my trusted ally and guide. Even more, I knew that I had been given the map for the descent to meet my Soul and to engage with Dark Goddess. I had been given the experience of going in and going down, and most especially of coming back up, whole and complete within myself.
My greatest fear of not returning and of being eaten alive and spit out by the Dark Goddess had been resolved in the healing, love and compassion of my experience.
This journey and descent has to be my commitment, my quest, my journey. To experience my wholeness, living from the depth and truth of my being
No matter what.
To risk who I've been to become who I may be. To meet my Self, my darkness, my shadow, the Dark Goddess. To love, embody and accept all of my Self, my Soul, my purpose and mission, and to be Home wherever I am, with all of who I am.
WIth each step closer to the car, I opened up to an acceptance of myself, my journey and my purpose.
WIth a map and an experience of the sacred, spiral journey to meet the Dark Goddess, I am preparing and being prepared for this sacred journey. The next step beckons...
This is the gift of the spiral path. You do not return to the same place you started, as in a circle. You come back a different person, an expanded and deeper expression of who you were, and so the threshold from which you reenter the world must be different to accommodate this transformation. And so it is, close to and resembling the entrance into the mystical path, but on a different turn of the spiral that you return and reenter your life.
Such is the gift and the magic of the spiral path. For truly, when the spiral path ends, the journey truly begins.
Ahhh. The winds of change, and magic. I offer my gratitude for transporting me into the mystical realm, for giving me the map of my soul's journey, and for preparing me for this most sacred of journeys.