Today, she is the editor of Women News Network (WNN), an award winning not-for-profit news network dedicated to reporting in-depth regional global women's news not often found in the public media stream. This offering emerged out of her own personal physical crises, when the only thing she could do while lying flat on her back was to find great stories on the Internet and share them with others.
I have always loved this woman, who she is and what she stands for. I was thrilled when an opportunity to get together organically presented itself. Meeting for a cup of tea in a wonderful local cafe, we immediately dropped into an intimate, familiar space together. The only difference was that she was sitting down with me, not standing with scissors in her hands cutting and styling my hair. But you know what they say about visiting your hairdresser —
“When people are going through shit, they tell their hairdressers secrets they won’t share with anyone else, and often the revelation of those secrets changes the person and how they feel about themselves. - Tabatha Coffey
So Lys and I know each other in a somehow different, yet intimate way, and we effortlessly recreated and dropped into this intimate space when we saw each other this summer.
After a rich and nourishing conversation, and as we were preparing to part, Lys unexpectedly gave me a key that she had on a necklace along with a few other precious and meaningful pieces, including the Lady of Guadalupe. I had noticed her necklace as I too wear necklaces with meaningful and significant pieces, including the Flower of Life symbol, the spiral, Green Man and Sainte Sarah. I wear these every day and only very rarely take them off.
When Lys gave me the key, she said that she had never given it to anyone else before and that this gesture was a first. I also suspected that it was intuitively motivated and that neither of us fully understand the power and the love under her gift to me. I have had it close to me ever since she gave it to me, sometimes wearing on a silver chain around my neck, sometimes having beside me in my sacred space, other times having it on my desk as I work. Right now, it is on a much loved silver chain that I recently bought in Glastonbury, resting on my purple computer case right beside my computer as I type.
It seems to be made out of pewter, and is simple and beautiful. The bow (the head) of the key is patterned with swirls and circles with an large opening shaped by the swirls. The blade is a very simple round, hollow tube, about two-thirds of an inch long. Its smooth tubular blade seems like a skeleton key - the key that opens all doors. As I look at it closely, I can see that it has been worn. Its texture is smoothed down and almost soft from Lys’ wearing it all these years. As I write here and connect more deeply with the key itself, I am moved almost beyond words as I feel its love, and the generosity of Lys’ gifting me with her sacred and special key.
Since our cup of tea together, I have been blessed with extensive travel in England and Europe. I have been to Glastonbury, England and the surrounding areas including Avebury and West Kennet Long Barrow. I have traveled to universities in Europe with my younger son, Michael. I have also been to Prague, in the Czech Republic with my husband and two oldest children. You can read about this experience in my blog post, Prague - An Invitation to Cross the Threshold.
I knew at the time that the pilgrimage to Glastonbury and Avebury was a powerful journey. Even more, when I walked the labyrinthian path of the Glastonbury Tor, a nine-hour walk up, down and around the Tor, I knew that this arduous, steep and long spiral journey was a pilgrimage on initiation. As I walked the spiral path of the Tor, I was aware of its physical and spiritual intensity, challenge and invitation, and that I had to find a strength and determination in me to complete the journey.
Just days before, I had an astrology reading with John Wadsworth, who synchronistically also led us on the Tor labyrinth walk. Curious but not one who typically retains the specific wisdom shared with me from an astrological perspective, I had a very different experience this time with John. At the very end of the reading, John mentioned and talked about the placement of Chiron, the “Wounded Healer” in my 8th house of Aquarius. I knew intuitively that this piece of information was the reason that I had done this reading. As soon as we connected with Chiron, my body and soul responded to this key piece of information. I went to the local used book store and got the book, Chiron and the Healing Journey, by Melanie Reinhart, that John recommended. I bought and listened to an online course by Archetypal Astrologer Robert Ohotto called “The Astrological-Archetypal Chiron” as well as purchased the ebook, Chiron and Wholeness – A Primer by Joyce Mason, an astrologer who has studied Chiron for over twenty years.
Mythical Chiron was a misfit, not man or horse, a half-breed with a hoof in both worlds. Yet he was unlike the other centaurs, which were renowned for drunkenness, raping, pillaging, and destroying the environment. Chiron grew into a wise mentor of heroes like Jason, Hercules, and Aesclepius, the Father of Medicine. But it was wisdom for the pain, because Chiron has a history of suffering like no other centaur. It appears his trials softened him—humanized him, if you will—helped him live more in his upper half or man-like nature versus his lower, more animalistic half.
Chiron is the missing link in understanding personal evolution, how we become fully spirited in a body. He represents not just our wounds -- where we were shattered -- but how we pick up the pieces and sew ourselves back together again. Chiron is a first aid kit and our needle to create beauty from the crazy quilt of our lives. Each of us is a work of art needed by our community for our unique talents and abilities. Together, we become a breathtaking tapestry and a society that clicks."
Similarly and according to Robert Ohotto, Chiron provides us with the key to embrace and heal our wound without getting stuck in it. From the myth of his own story, Chiron demonstrates how to live a life of destiny rather than fate, and also gives us the invitation to return to and be who we really are. We can expand to understand that not only can pain be sacred, but also to the possibility that our deepest wounds can be the secret key to our fullest potential. This key is the invitation to live the life aligned with our destiny rather than chained to our fate. Even more, Chiron acts as the bridge to our soul. In working with the placement of Chiron in our own astrological chart, we can become aware of our own personal sacred wounding, and through our accepting and surrendering of these wounds, we can heal and connect to our sacred gifts, connect with our own life's purpose, and step into our own mythic story. Chiron gives us the map and the template to the journey of transforming our fate into our destiny.
Chiron's placement in my chart is in the 8th house in the sign of Aquarius. I'll be honest, astrological language can feel like a foreign speak to me, so delving into this information has actually provided me with the beginning of an understanding and vocabulary has previously boggled my mind. So using Mason's ebook as my reference as well as Ohotto's course, I will dive in and attempt to explain!
Having Chiron in Aquarius suggests that like Chiron, my feeling different my be a primary aspect of my deepest wounding, and that I feel left out, or that I don't fit in or belong. Yet the pain of not fitting in or feeling left out actually becomes my medicine and gift to give. I "get" how individual acts affect everyone in society, and that we are all part of an interconnected web. I've actually often said, perhaps naively, that if everyone were connected with and fulfilling their sacred dreams, then we would have a world of peace and harmony. I strongly believe that everyone's talents and needs to be included and respected. Both my gift and challenge is that I can see the world as it could be, and my challenge is to actually contribute to making that vision real rather than complaining, despairing, and getting stuck in what it is not.
With Chiron's placement in my eighth house, this suggests that my wounding is connected to lovely dark themes of death and rebirth, sexuality, power, endings and beginnings, and inheritance. Fortunately, this house also fosters psychic perceptions and awareness, permanent change, and resonance with life's mysteries as well as transcendence. Mason suggests that this resonance with life's mysteries is the magnet that draws me to my Chironic healing journey so make sense of the losses I have suffered, whether by literal death, abandonment, and that most likely involved my personal power. The upside is that this house is also where power and regeneration live and that I get to knock on the door, or perhaps, with the turn of a key, open the door and receive its gifts that are rightfully mine.
Robert Ohotto spoke of those whose Chironic wounding residing in the 8th house as ones who are here under contract to carry the poisons of others to help awaken and heal others. Even more, that there is a clause in the contract to constantly dip down into the shadow again and again. If this is true, it's as though I have to accept that this is what I signed up for and that what it will look like is being the recipient and scapegoat of someone else's pain and poison, and that I have to be very good at being in the shadow and in the underworld. This house is Chiron going to Hades, and in this placement, lies the invitation, or perhaps recognition of my destiny as a powerful healer and true Shaman.
Quite honestly, I'm not sure that this is a key I want. Can I have another key to another door please?
Yet to ignore this key, invitation from my soul to live my destiny and fulfill my life's purpose leaves me as a victim to my fate. I can choose to accept and surrender to my destiny, or I can try to resist. Resistance only creates struggle and suffering, discontent and misery. So I am left standing on the threshold -- with the key in my hand -- knowing that it is time to put the key in the lock and turn it, and to take the step into my sacred contract as a true healer and shaman, turn the lead into gold, the pain to gifts and to walk my soul's path and fully live my spirited life. Perhaps this is how I contribute to creating Heaven on Earth, by my willingness to go to Hell, dive into the shadows, and tap into the rebirth and regeneration that only is possible through this descent into and through my sacred pain.
How do I choose to work with my sacred wound and cultivate the sacred medicine from taking my soul's journey?
Is it as simple as saying "yes"? Choosing this? And accepting the invitation?
With the turn of the key, I say YES, I choose to live my destiny and fulfill my sacred contract.
And so it is.
And as I say yes, I feel the presence of the Dark Goddess close by...celebrating my decision and offering her hand to guide me on my journey. She has been waiting for me to say YES, knowing that I have been standing on the threshold since Prague. Today, with the energies of this powerful Full Moon, I say yes. `7Thank you, Goddess. Thank you. With you, I will go anywhere.
2 Ibid, p. 6
3 Ibid., p. i