This week, I am continuing to apply the Hildegard of Bingen cure for migraines, vertigo, anxiety, depression and panic attacks. Specifically, I am sharing a series of poems that arose out of the MANY visionary experiences I had while on pilgrimage to Glastonbury, England (aka Avalon) in 2008. The first is about my personal encounter(s) with Gwyn Ap Nudd, King of the Fae and Celtic Lord of the Underworld – facilitator of shadow work and soul-retrieval and guardian and guide to those called along the shamanic path.
Cernunnous, Gwyn ap Nudd, Hermes and Pan
By whatever name we call thee
God of the Underworld
King of the Fae
How am I worthy of thee?
Yet, here you stand
Calling me home
Home to the depths
To the world beneath the Tor
Through the gateway hidden in the depths of the White Spring
Lord of the shadows
Muse of the Soul
Priest of Change
On dragon’s egg, terror-struck
Resisting your call.
Drenched in sweat and trembling.
Your 2 am wake-up calls left unheeded.
Until the dream of the stag, injured and limping
Returning again and again beckoning me home.
Image credit: Photo taken from inside the shrine to Gwyn Ap Nudd at the White Spring. I have tried in vain to identify the artist. If you are the artist, please let me know so I can give due credit!!!! Thank you!
In the past nine months, I have tried everything to be healed of the migraines, panic attacks and then vertigo brought on by a virus that attacked my inner ear. While I have found some relief through a combination of herbal remedies, chiropractics, acupuncture and physical therapy, the symptoms are still keeping me from being as free as I would like to be (specifically, being able to drive on the highway….driving at fast speeds is a HUGE trigger). When twice in as many months, “Hildegard of Bingen” came up for me through my spiritual director, I turned to her for guidance. It seems she was plagued by the same symptoms when she was unable (or unwilling) to share her visions with the world. So, I’m trying the Hildegard of Bingen cure for migraines…..I’m sharing my visions. Here’s the one through which I was given the command to “Be the Magdalene.” This vision came in April of 2014 while participating in a shamanic journey.
The vision begins with me standing inside the well house at the White Spring in Glastonbury, specifically at the shrine within the well house to Gwynn Ap Nudd. At the back of the shrine is a limestone pool in which the flowing waters of the white spring collect on their journey to the other holding pools and eventually out to the collection pools on the street. In the vision, at the back of the shrine is also a circular, iron portal, similar to a manhole cover, marked with the Vescica Pisces. As in other recent visions, I approach the portal and dive into it, which then leads to a long tube, submerged in water. I am swimming away from the shrine and toward the lower world, but as I swim, I find I keep turning back toward the shrine and away from the entrance into the lower world. With each forward stroke, I find myself closer to the portal into the lower world, but then turn back. I am making progress, but not quite reaching the portal into the lower world. On a final approach, a hand reaches into the water from the lower world, grabs my hand and yanks me into the lower world.
I arrive in the lower world, dripping wet, and Jesus stands before me. “You’re not supposed to be here,” I say to him, now wondering if this is really a journey or just my imagination, colored by my Christian fantasies. But Jesus remains. He then leads me through the meadow where the portal enters into the lower world and towards the woods. Once we reach the woods, he leads me to the clearing where mouse (my power animal) waits and then he disappears.
Mouse instructs me to sit beneath a tree in the clearing and wait. As I wait, a parade of animals and spirits present themselves – ones which have all been part of recent journeys – stag, snake, luna moth, bat, goddess and finally raven. Raven is perched on a tree above me and holds in his beak all the parts of me he consumed in the last journey with him. I ask my question, “What do I need to know to more fully live my soul’s purpose?” Raven comes down and piece by piece by piece, puts the pieces he has consumed back on to me, as if reassembling me….but in a different order and in a new and different form. It is like taking all the pieces of a puzzle and putting it together. This is relevant to several discussions I have recently had with spiritual friends about being aware of bits and pieces of my purpose but not knowing how they fit together and that there is something that needs to happen to put it all together.
Once I am reassembled, I climb on Raven’s back and we fly from the woods. We fly across open territory toward an old gothic cathedral that stands alone in the middle of a wilderness of wide open fields. The cathedral is dark in appearance, but not scary. It feels ancient, the stones are rough, and a dark, charcoal grey. They are the color of charcoal pencils. We fly into the cathedral and immediately descend. Down, down, down, through a series of ramps and chambers all the way to the bottom where the flight ends in a crypt of sorts. A dark, stone walled room which seems to have an altar, some sacred objects. The place feels close, intimate, sacred and forgotten. It also feels holy….as if something very ancient and sacred is housed in this space. As I’m looking around, I am invited to go toward the back, right corner of the crypt. In a recessed area in the wall, there is a standing skeleton wearing a red cloak. The skeleton is ancient. I am told to step into the skeleton and the cloak. I step into them and we become one. As I step away from the wall, one with the skeleton and cape, I look down and see there is a gold ring on my right index finger.
I ask my question again, “What do I need to know to more fully step into my soul’s purpose?” As I finish asking, a man steps to my side and takes my arm. My sense is that we are a couple – romantic, but also partners in our life’s work. For our purpose to be fulfilled, we have to come together. We leave the tomb through the front door of the cathedral (no need to ascend, we’re just there). We open the doors to a throng of people who enthusiastically receive us with cheers. It is a bright, sunny day filled with light.
From that space, I immediately find myself back in the clearing alone with mouse and I ask, “Ok, now what do I need to do to get there? To make this happen?” I’m still the skeleton woman with the cloak, the image I get is like the Day of the Dead masks and makeup. “Be the Magdalene” is that mouse says to me. Then I am instructed to be with the Magdalene, to feel her energy and feel and think of what it is to be her. I sit in this receiving for a long time…it feels like a transmission, a transference, an immersion. I am the Magdalene and I am becoming more of her.
After awhile, the return drumming begins. I feel myself yanked from the clearing and as I am being pulled toward the return tunnel, I feel the Magdalene drop something into my left palm. When I arrive at the other end of the tunnel in Gwynn’s shrine, I find a rough, raw, faceted garnet in my hand.
If you are interested in learning more about the hidden truths of Mary Magdalene and in being activated through her gifts, check out my Mary Magdalene Activation Course. Click on the picture below to learn more!
Or check out the full Mary Magdalene course which includes the Magdalene Ordination:
The Holy Spirit is the Kundalini energy referred to in the Eastern Spiritual traditions. The Holy Spirit is the in-dwelling presence of the Divine and the seed of our human potential. In Eastern Energy medicine the Holy Spirit/Kundalini is imagined as a seed, a lotus, a flame or a serpent that lies dormant in the deepest center of our being – most frequently depicted as lying dormant at the base of our spine/root chakra. This in-dwelling presence of the Divine is God seeking to be expressed uniquely through us through our God-given gifts and call. As we grow spiritually, this Divine potential is unleashed within us, freeing us, liberating us, healing us to embody and live the fullness of our human potential. As we allow the Holy Spirit within us to be unleashed, we are freed to live more and more fully as the uniquely magnificent beings God created us to be. We come to know our gifts. We nurture and cultivate these gift, and we freely and openly share these gifts in the world. It is through the sharing of our gifts that the love of God that seeks to be made manifest in the world is expressed through us and in sharing our gifts, others are inspired to come to know their own unique magnificence as well.
This understanding of the Holy Spirit is present within the Christian scriptures if we take the time to seek the truth beyond the words. The Pentecost experience depicted in the Christian scriptures described this moment of awakening as it was felt by Jesus’ disciples. Through the Pentecost experience, the disciples who had previously been hiding in the Upper Room for fear of persecution, suddenly became empowered to freely and openly share God’s truth in the world (as revealed to them by Jesus, the Christ). Scripture describes this Pentecost experience as flames coming down from heaven. I think it was more like that which is described in the Eastern texts, the Kundalini is awakened at the base of the spine and moves up through the body, exploding out of the top of the head as a flame reaching towards the heavens. Looking at the Pentacost experience from this perspective allows us to let go of our perceptions of God as outside of us, and invites us to seek the Divine that dwells within. Setting aside these perceptions of separation opens us to a deeper and more intimate understanding of the Holy Spirit as the aspect of the Divine that dwells within and that seeks to be made known in the world through our own unique magnificence. Think of it this way, the Holy Spirit is the acorn that holds within it the fullness of our potential, and when we allow this acorn to be open and grow within us, only then can we become the magnificent oak that we were intended to become.
What has been your understanding of the Holy Spirit?
How can you connect more fully with the Divine Potential that seeks to be made manifest through you?
Please find below “Agape” – the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Meditation Supplement for Sunday, May 25, 2014. The topic this week is getting to know the Holy Spirit – the Power of God that awakens, catalyzes, directs and empowers. Feel the Power.
Agape’ Meditation Practices Newsletter
Supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church Service
Jesus said to his disciples: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows him. But you know him, because he remains with you, and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me, because I live and you will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
John 14: 15-21
Acts 8: 5-7, 14-17
Ps 66: 1-7, 16, 20
1 Pt 3: 15-18
Exploring the Trinity
In this week’s reading, we begin our discussion of the Holy Spirit – the third Divine Person of the Trinity. In regards to the Trinity, Jesus spoke first about “the Father” the part of the Trinity that Jesus experienced as outside of him. Jesus experienced this aspect of God as intimately personal and loving, like a father, but not limited to masculine form. Secondly, Jesus experienced God within him and so much a part of him as if they were One. The Holy Spirit, is the aspect of God that moves and empowers. Jesus experienced the third person of the Trinity as flowing out of the love he knew between himself and the Father and that would inspire and activate those who followed his example and came to know the love that he hoped to implant in the world in the same way that the Holy Spirit had inspired and activated him. The Holy Spirit awakens us, inspires us and moves us to be love in the world and is like a fire that cannot be contained. The Holy Spirit is God seeking to be known in the world through us.
How have you experienced God outside of you, God within you and God seeking to be expressed through you?
How have you experienced the FIRE of the Holy Spirit?
In this week’s spiritual practice, you will have an opportunity to have a palpable experience of the Holy Spirit so that you can identify its Presence and Action in your life.
Listen to the song one time listening attentively to the lyrics.
Listen to the song again, this time, feeling the song with your body. Feel the rhythm of the music. Allow the music to literally move you…tap your feet, sway your arms, GET UP AND DANCE. J
Listen again and allow yourself to be ONE with the music. Enter deeply into the song – lyrics, rhythm, even the silence between the notes. Feel the music as part of who you are. THIS is the Holy Spirit seeking to be known in and through you. Acknowledge it.
Rest in silence and be attentive to any thoughts, emotions, images that may begin to arise.
Write your thoughts and feelings in a notebook or journal.
In Amy Grant’s song, The Power, she speaks of the aspect of God that “drives us crazy.” While Authentic Freedom doesn’t specifically address the topic of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit can be thought of as the place within us that feels frustrated, impatient, angry, depressed and anxious when the truth of who God is asking us to be feels thwarted. When we are not living as the person God made us to be – peaceful, loving, compassionate, purposeful and fulfilled, the Holy Spirit lets us know and will continue to let us know until we do something about it. The Holy Spirit is like the fire breathing life into our truest self, driving it to seek after its fulfillment until it is satisfied. This is why we often feel “crazy” in the pursuit of our path, or as a dear spiritual brother calls it, “angsty!”
Where have you experienced the fire of the Holy Spirit through your own restlessness, impatience, frustration, angst, anger, anxiety and even depression?
As I continue my journey through The Wheel of Initiation by Julie Tallard Johnson, I am more and more in awe over what a powerful tool this is for spiritual growth, healing and transformation. Today I am humbled to share with you the most recent revelations on the wheel.
The Pain Story and Related Agreements
As I have previously shared, the pain story that I am currently working through with the Wheel is I feel rejected. Along with this pain story are a wide assortment of agreements that I have embraced to support this perceived rejection that are calling for healing and release. Just to name a few:
I have to be right and therefore others have to be wrong
If I am perfect, I will be loved
Everyone has to love me, if they don’t then I have to hate them
I know, messed up, right?
In My Face!
Recently, my pain story was served up to me in the form of an atomic explosion. I won’t bore you with the details, but after the dust settled, the universe showed me my part of the explosion and has invited me to face my own inner demons and take responsibility for them. UGH! Here is what I had to own:
When I feel as if my needs are not being met, and someone else is the perceived obstacle to me getting my needs met, I cultivate and harbor resentment toward that person.
When I feel as if another has rejected me, I cultivate and harbor hatred toward that person.
Because I don’t want to be alone in my pain and because I have agreed that I have to be right….I often find my inner victim sharing with others “how I’ve been wronged, slighted, insulted, rejected, etc.” That way, I get to be right and the person who I perceive to have hurt me gets to be wrong.
Dang. I hate it when I’m standing there in righteous indignation, valiantly waving my flag of victory (more like victimhood!) and the universe taps me on the shoulder and then holds up the mirror. So after the fallout of the nuclear explosion, I find myself humbled and admittedly, a little shamed. I could probably handle it if the only person I hurt were myself when I go to these defense mechanisms and agreements, but in truth, it is through these actions that many other people have been hurt. In fact, there might be a trail of carnage behind me if I am totally honest with the role resentment, hatred and maligning has played in my 46 years on this big ball of mud. That sucks!
What to Do?
So, now that the universe has made me look into the mirror of truth, what do I do about it?
I own the truth of what the mirror has shown me – the way in which I have used resentment, hatred and slander to protect myself from perceived rejection.
Acknowledge the agreements I have made around this pain story.
Make amends with the people I have hurt through these defense mechanisms.
Return to my intention: I receive everything as love and explore how I can apply this intention to the most recent conflict.
I sense there might be a place for some recapitulation in this experience as well. (See Julie’s book for a detailed discussion of this spiritual practice.)
Work on forgiving myself, lest I fall again into my pain story! (Cultivating shame is simply another way I get to stay in my pain story).
So, I stand here humbled by these recent happenings, AND, I am grateful for the benevolent universe that DOES NOT let me rest for long in self-righteousness. I am also grateful, again, for the process outlined in the Wheel of Initiation for helping me to name, claim and be open to healing my pain story and any other unhealed wounds around it.
What is your pain story?
Where have you recently come face to face with it?
What are the tools you have used to heal and give release to your pain story and its resulting agreements?
Week Two of the Wheel of Initiation, the book and the process by one of my teachers, Julie Tallard Johnson. Ending agreements, releasing my pain story and continuing to integrate my intention as part of my own process of spiritual growth and enlightenment.
This has been a fantastic voyage moving through Julie Tallard Johnson’s book, Wheel of Initiation – Practices for Releasing Your Inner Light. While I have read and moved through many books on spiritual growth and transformation, and now written my own (Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy being released this April!), Julie’s book has provided a depth and some fresh insights that I needed at this point in my journey. One of those depth pieces is the invitation to end agreements that support our pain story. As I shared last week, my pain story is rejection. Here are a few of the agreements that I have discovered support my pain story:
I don’t trust myself – my dreams, visions, hopes, decisions, etc.
I have to be perfect in order to be accepted and loved
It is my job to make ________ happy so that they will accept me
I have to carry the shadow of __________ so that they will accept me
It is my job to save, cure, help __________ because if I do, they will accept me
There is a right answer and a wrong answer and if I get the wrong answer, I will be rejected
These agreements and other like them keep me imprisoned by my own fear of rejection. In the Wheel of Initiation, we are invited to let go of these agreements so that we can allow our pain story to be healed, thus embodying more and more fully the intention that presented itself to me as I entered into the Wheel. My intention? I receive everything as love.
The Power of Observation
What I have been reminded of in the Wheel is that as I state this intention, life will present to me an abundant number of opportunities to put this intention into practice. And has it ever!!!!!!! Every day, I find myself confronted by opportunity after opportunity to make a choice – do I continue to choose my pain story or do I embrace my new intention? What has helped me in this process is again something that Julie promotes: observation! Instead of reacting to life’s circumstances, we are invited in the Wheel to simply observe. Watch and Listen. Where is my pain story being triggered and where can I choose a different agreement?
Recognizing the Pain Story
When I find myself in a situation where I could choose my pain story, it is pretty obvious – I start feeling anxious, closed in, I begin to feel small, my mind begins to race and I doubt myself. I feel a tug from somewhere deep inside me that seems to be drawing my own power and energy out of me as I am tempted to give it away to somebody else. This tug I can actually feel on the physical level. All these have served as red flags to me that my pain story and its supporting agreements are being triggered. So, instead of my normal reactionary stance to these flags, I have decided to stop, observe and wait. Then, I take some time for myself to reflect:
How is this related to my pain story?
What are the agreements I’ve made in this situation, with this person, that support my pain story?
How am I being invited to release these agreements?
How can I now receive this situation instead as love?
A Work in Progress
Yes, I am a teacher of spiritual things. I have written my own book on spiritual transformation and facilitate a process of spiritual growth and transformation for adults. And….I am still a work in progress. Happy to learn. Happy to grow. Happy to be in the company of other teachers who help me to continue to heal so that in turn, I can be a more open vessel through which Divine love can be revealed in the world. So, Thanks Julie, I’m having a great time working the Wheel!
What is your pain story?
What are the agreements that support this story?
How are you being invited to release these agreements?
This weekend, I attended the Wheel of Initiation workshop created and facilitated by author, Julie Tallard Johnson who I am humbled to call my teacher, mentor and friend. The workshop provided an introduction to the process that Julie has shared with hundreds of people through her year-long initiation course, and is now available through her book, Wheel of Initiation published this fall through Inner Traditions. Along with the other workshop participants, I had the opportunity to name what Julie would call my “pain story,” and be open to claiming a specific intention for healing and releasing this story as a process of spiritual initiation and transformation. I share this with you in today’s blog.
Since I have made a vow to be as transparent and open as possible through this blog (without infringing upon your boundaries!), I have to make a confession. I have a pain story and it has taken me until the ripe old age of 46 to truly name, claim and be willing to let it go. My pain story is rejection. I don’t know exactly how, where, when or why it happened, but somewhere in my journey, I agreed to perceive and receive my life experience through the lens of rejection. By entering into this agreement, I got to receive every word said to me, every action done to me, every encounter as some form of possible rejection.
Here are a few examples of how this lens of rejection has operated for me: If a teacher did not call on me, it meant he was rejecting me. When it became obvious that I was not good at sports it meant I was no longer loved by my classmates. If someone acknowledged changes to my teenage body, it meant they were rejecting me. If someone questioned by theology or religious beliefs and it was determined that we differed in our beliefs, then I was being rejected by them. Living in the lens of rejection has allowed me to be the victim and to cultivate a “me and them” defense mechanism where those I have perceived as rejecting me become the enemy and I become the misunderstood martyr.
While agreeing to the pain story of rejection has served me on some level, I also have to acknowledge the ways in which it has held me back in my journey. As a teenager and young adult, living from this perspective seriously limited my ability to enter into healthy, intimate relationships. Living from this lens caused me to be rigid in my beliefs, opinionated and frankly, obnoxious. I spent most of my time living in the tension of some sort of defensive anger, always on the lookout for the next person or opportunity where I would be rejected. In truth, while this perception of rejection served me on some level and kept me safe from something…..in the end, it has only hurt me. The good news is that I now get to make another choice.
Setting my intention
The focus of the workshop I attended this weekend allowed me the opportunity to name this pain story and to be open to making a new agreement. We were invited to let go of our pain story and embrace a new agreement, an intention that will prove to bring healing and release to our pain stories, while opening us up to a life that is a freer expression of our most authentic selves. The intention presented itself to me is the following:
I Receive Everything as Love
Transformation through Intention
Just sitting in the energy of this intention has been a powerful thing for me. For me, this intention changes EVERYTHING! It changes how I have seen the world. It changes all those things I have perceived as hurtful, rejecting, etc. It opens me up to seeing life through a different lens. So, today, I enter into the Wheel of Initiation and allow myself to be open to all the ways in which this new agreement will transform me and my experience of life. And I offer a profound prayer of gratitude to Julie Tallard Johnson for facilitating this intention and for providing through her course and her book the vehicle through which this intention can take root and grow into my life!
What has been your pain story?
What agreement have you entered into that my no longer be serving you?
How might you be open to allowing that to be transformed?
What might be the intention that can heal your pain story and allow you to live more freely?
I want to introduce you to our guest blogger today, author Julie Tallard Johnson.http://www.julietallardjohnson.com. Julie is a licensed psychologist and published author. Her latest book, The Wheel of Initiation, is available through Inner Traditions and at Amazon.com. BUY IT TODAY! Click on this link: http://www.julietallardjohnson.com/ to read Julie’s most recent blog post, Eat, Pray, Disappointment