The Diamond in the Labyrinth

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A labyrinth is distinct from a maze as there is only one path to the center. Although complicated, it’s not fruitless trickery, but an allegory for the meditative processes of life.

It is the archetypical representation of the Medicine Walk. The labyrinth does not just take us through life but also through ourselves. We can find this pattern repeated in the fold of the grey matter of the brain to the arteries of the heart to the intestines of the gut; our three major experiential processing and intuitive centers. The subtlety of what lies within the center is the cumulative experience of the walk, the diamond we chip our route through stone to reveal.

This is likewise the symbol of the Walkabout. I am using the Australian Aboriginal term Walkabout to describe the initiatory journey after the experience of separation occurs. Separation, like it says on the jar of nut butter, is a natural process. We separate at points in our paths in order to further ascend through the spiral of life. Those who resist experience harder separation, those who embrace often find they have more terra firma to return to following their Walkabout.

Separation is not only from family, or place, or community. Separation can be from a concept of self that is dying away. We can cling to concepts of self; ‘nice guy’, ‘wild one’, ‘responsible one’ and create great suffering for ourselves and those around us with this attachment. This happens either by refusing to journey outward and gather new tools for learning, loving and living, or by resisting the journey inward to integrate our shadow, our regrets, expectations and our truths.

The Walkabout is a process wherein we distinguish ourselves beyond conditioning and external narratives.

When we enter the labyrinth of the mind, either through journeying away from our normal life into a state of pilgrimage or liminality, or by retreating from social expectations and responsibilities, we begin to navigate towards what it is we essentially think. For example you may grow up in a society that decrees that the role of man is to own women, cattle and land, and that this is the Holy calling of Mankind. As you begin to question these ideals you will feel yourself called further away from your kin in order to gain perspective. Similarly, you may perceive the devastation of consumerist capitalism and it’s influence within you and begin to question the norms surrounding you as demonstrably toxic to a healthy life.

In our Walkabout through the mind what does not rest easy within will be met as personal demons. The Walkabout of the mind can likewise be experienced through the Labyrinth of Life. We can encounter these demons in human forms as those who trigger or repulse us. Our Minotaurs, who seek to slay us with our hypocrisies and attachments. In our minds they are the uncomfortable thoughts, the stifled memories and jack-in-the-box epiphanies. On this journey, either of intro(or extro)spection we also meet teachers, guides and versions of ourselves in those we admire or are assisted by.

On the Walkabout of the Heart we are often compelled by a lack of passion, a lack of meaning, a feeling of isolation. We begin to seek true love, real purpose. First we seek with grasping, then as we meet all the ideas that we had of true love, we realise it was not those we were looking for. As we begin to release what we thought true love looked like we create a space of trust i vulnerability of not knowing. Once this space is cleared we can allow for unconditional love to flow.

This Mantra offers insight to a route to this treasure within.

ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ

Om Manipadme Hum

‘The Sound of Silence the Diamond in The Lotus’

My interpretation of this multifaceted Mantra;

‘In the absence of all Thought is Love, Beyond Judgement we find the Jewel of the Heart beneath the protective walls of the Labyrinth, or the guarded petals of the Lotus.’

Eventually the meander through twists and turns to reveal the sparkling source of this seeming chaos is the first two phases of the initiatory process of the labyrinth. The next challenge is to return with your treasure intact. On the Walkabout of the Will our mettle is tested in the change we want to effect in ourselves and in the world around us. This Walkabout is the Walkabout of the intuitive instinct, the ability to trust your knowing above all else, no matter what narratives attempt to sway, entice and compromise you. This is the initiation of determination and practice, wherein we must defeat remaining demons, overcome old obstacles and embrace new challenges so as to implement all that we have learned.

At all points in our lives we are navigating one type of labyrinth or another. To do this with awareness means we can further embrace our calling and better actualise our paradise. Doing this unconsciously can leave us circling through someone elses journey, as we attempt to evade our truth by avoiding the Initiation of Separation.

Life will create initiations where culture will not. By this it is meant that what we do not confront in a timely manner will enter into crisis. An example of this is delaying the ending of a relationship. Many times we can put off ending relationships in a timely fashion before greater interdependence grows (or co-dependence) due to there being something going on for one or both parties. The lesson is that painful endings are never going to be timed well, and the more we delay the more likely it is that the relationship dependency will deepen and it will become a greater and greater challenge for one or both to remove themselves. An example of this is a case where a woman who, after a decade, had finally committed herself to ending her marriage. When she waa ready to speak with her partner she was greeted with the news that her husband was dying of a terminal illness. The decade evolved into a further five years of mediocrity of life and stress. She remained with her husband on his journey through his illness rather than taking her opportunity to self-actualise. Had she left during her initial need for separation who knows what may have come of her life.

Choosing what North American Indians refer to as ‘The Red Road’, the personal Medicine or Power Path is to seek initiation consciously through mapping the contours of the psyche; so that others may walk their path more lightly. The Red Road is the path of authenticity and personal truth. The Red Road requires that we take opportunities to mature as they arise and we do not resist the growing pains of separation, disappointing others and ridicule. We know on this path that all we do is clearing the way for those who will come after. There is no sacrifice, as our engagement with our truth is how we honour our predecessors; and it is a blessing.

Choosing ‘The Black Road’ is to seek ‘ease’ through bypassing (and thus dishonouring) the sacred cycles of death and rebirth in this lifetime. The Black Road is the road of the status quo and stagnant culture. The road of excuses and avoidance, that does not seek integrity but simply accepts applied law and standards. Many will chose the Black Road. Many won’t realise that choice until the initiation of separation is forced on them through crisis. Those who can embrace the lessons of separation will transfer to the Red Road, those who run may never know true growth.

So Brothers and Sisters, Blessings on your Path and Remember;

Seek Initiation, Walk your Red Road, Find your Medicine, Keep the Treasures Safe, and Bring your Power Home.

Ahau

What is Kundalini Awakening?

To put a massive topic into a brief synopsis; it is the awakening of the latent potential of the soul.

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Sometimes felt in strange rushes through the body or heightened awareness of energy held within oneself. Often referred to as spiritual emergence, it is the rising of a greater consciousness through the energetic body. Many people feel it in bouts of depression followed by blissful revelations and intense experiences.

It is often accompanied by increasing awareness of synchronicity, psychic experience and deep revelations (of past lives/traumas and repressed feelings and memories). Some experience visitations from deceased relatives, angels or other spiritual beings. These can be overwhelming and occasionally traumatic. When this occurs in the Western social context it is often perceived and diagnosed as psychosis or bi-polar disorder.
This is the Western diagnostic lens, which I do not dispute as being a valid lens, yet it is only a rationalist perspective that does not factor the presence of Spirit.

People experiencing Kundalini awakening are susceptible to paranoia and compulsive seeming behaviours. Really Kundalini awakening is a deep catharsis process wherein the ego is deconstructed by the soul. The more fear the ego is holding the more the deconstruction disrupts the life of the individual.

It’s the soul’s rollercoaster, represented by the rainbow serpent. It’s both a beautiful and painful process of expanding self awareness. Whatever is not truly something you are doing with authenticity and integrity will have to leave your life, this can include marriages, careers and material belongings. This separation period is profoundly difficult and can make the individual feel deeply despondent.

Siddha Kundalini healing with the Sanjeevni Shakti channel can ease the transition by removing blocks in energetic field that may be stifling the free flow of Kundalini. This can alleviate symptoms such as depression and lethargy, or calm manias and feverish dispositions. It can also give clarity to messages that are being transmitted through archetypical metaphor. For example often those in peak Kundalini experience will believe that they are a reincarnation of Jesus Christ, or some other heroic or spiritual figure. In effect they are realising their duty to be an embodiment of that energy (for example the Christian principle of unconditional love and forgiveness) rather than being an actual embodiment of Jesus. This means they have awoken to that frequency and feel a responsibility to hold that energy on earth.

At this point shamanic grounding practices can help the individual to feel more present on the Earth plane of experience and to return to their ego in a healthful and love-based, rather than fear-based way.

The good news about a Kundalini awakening is that it is the beginning of your own personal heroes journey (check out Joseph Campbell : The Hero With A Thousand Faces for more on this process). A huge amount of energy has come to your disposable to help you along the path of healing so you can come into conscious co-creation on the planet.

What does this mean?

In the wisdom traditions this means there is a call for one to heal something through their own healing process. All the work you embark upon to change your life to a more authentic and personal experience (beyond the conditioning of social expectation and closer to your truth), clears the path for another. So even if you do not become a healer, or Jesus, you may finally begin to immerse yourself in your creative gifts, or start a business, or begin to truly connect with your family, as the blocks are surpassed by your spirit. These connections become more meaningful as you witness them emancipate others on their path.

For example ; How many times have you been healed by a piece of music, even though it was soaked in suffering? Did you ever have a teacher who nurtured and inspired you? Has a family member ever overcome an addiction to connect again to their loved ones?

I am not saying that all of these people experience Kundalini awakening, but their authenticity and determination facilitates yours. Furthermore, by following your truth, you will inevitably facilitate others. You are not only healing yourself, but your family, friends, community, and eventually the planet. When we awaken we effectively become conscious players in the game of duality.

As Kundalini is active in each chakra it triggers different levels and experiences of healing in the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms. If you would like to consult with me on these please feel free to use the contact form or email me directly at
sionnachshakti@gmail.com

The Tantric traditions use the term Kundalini and that has become the shorthand for a universal human experience. Like the biosphere and nature these processes do not belong to anyone, they just are (even though egoic man likes to kid themselves it does). In Celtic traditions it is the Rainbow Bridge, in Australian Aboriginal it is the Rainbow Serpent, the Christian Tradition refers to it as the Holy Spirit, in Hermeticism it’s the process of the Alchemical Marriage (Mysterium Conjunctis). It is often represented by rainbows, snakes and birds.

If you are experiencing this your experience is universal and is one of interconnectedness, although it may feel lonely and overwhelming. You are not alone and help will come when it’s time, if you just ask for it, from source or your guides, healers and shamans or friends who understand. (You can also ask me!)

There is a necessary adjustment period after we awaken to new realms of consciousness and it can be a wobbly first few steps, but trust in the earth beneath and the sky above and you will find your feet.

Believe in your strength as much as your vulnerability. Stay in your truth, grounded and humble and your service to your soul and the planet will flow.

Ahau

The Lighthouse Keeper

“Be the light you want to see in the world”

– (probably misquoted from) Gandhi.

Some vintage good advice there. Right? Maybe. The way I originally encountered this saying was in fact;
‘Be the change you want to see in the world’.

Change…
Therein lies the massive difference.

First of all what is ‘light’?

When chronically confronted with ‘darkness’ and difficulty, as were are in the media, in society and in our personal lives, a sink or swim response is triggered. We feel we are confronted with an ‘either/or’ choice. We can ‘hold light’ as it were, be a bright beaming ray of positivity in a world gone mad, or a situation that is devastating, or we can ‘succumb’ to the perceived negativity and difficulty.


Within the ‘awakening’ or ‘conscious’ community there’s a heavy focus on being ‘positive’ and keeping a ‘positive’ mindframe. Keeping the frequency up and being able to worm through any issue into a positive spin on behalf of others. There’s nothing innately wrong with this ‘brightside’ attitude. It’s often comforting to be in the company of someone who can shift your perspective to a positive, to help you focus on the best ‘possible’ outcome and encourage you to go on in the face of adversity. Yet this is a focus on an outcome, rather than a process. A delayed gratification of living.

This attitude to me is akin to the archetypal role of the lighthouse keeper. The people who are holding this light are standing dutifully by the rocks guiding us away from danger, beaming through the night, aloof and distant, always willing to provide a smile. Yet the existence of the lighthouse keeper is one of the stranger, of the unknowable light. Living alone as a beacon, guiding, giving hope and illumination, but never truly encountering those they guide.

 

When imbalanced the light is a mirage to bypass the connection of the darkness. We grow in the dark just as much as we do in the light, and in the dark we grow together. Think of a time in your life when a connection was forged that was profoundly deep. Was it forged through silver linings or muddy trenches? Think of community responses to crisis. Even the bonds of non-familial brotherhood and sisterhood that emerges in combat and conflict. The connection we make with others who are grieving, others who are struggling with parenthood, others who are struggling with getting up in the morning.

Yet in order to forge these bonds we need three essential steps, the first is to acknowledge our pain, the second is to accept that it makes us feel vulnerable or powerless and the third is to seek relief through connection; to ask for a witness. Lighthouse Keepers as archetypical people have a hard time allowing themselves be loved. They are always in the active role of the lightbringer. The giver, the doer, the space holder. This anxious role is a subtle way to maintain distance and self/image-control. This is so as not to be seen as vulnerable, not acknowledge pain and most fundamentally to bypass the connection one acquires through trusting an other to empathise, accept and witness.

Lighthouse Keepers are the strong ones, who secretly feel that what they struggle with is ‘too much’ for an ‘other’ to hold. This feeling of ‘too much’ relates to the sense of inadequacy that can come from being shamed for being emotional in public as a child, or from an incident of broken trust, wherein the occasions on which they reached out for help, acceptance or witnessing the child, teen or adult was dismissed. They then vow never to be the ones who need but instead engage by being the ones who are needed.  

 

The immense responsibility of this role comes at the cost of healthily diffused intimacy, or in other words having closeness with different people. The Lighthouse Keeper may have one tight bond, or none at all. They may need to spend vast stretches of time alone in order to prepare themselves for the role of lightbringer, to keep their sunny demeanour and be positive with a controlled presence. This again negates their ability to nurture budding connections as they retreat at the threshold of mutual recognition to gather strength so they can maintain their vantage above the riptides.

As an archetype it is fitting that Lighthouse Keepers were often unmarried, lonely, and that in modernity they have been replaced by robots. Without connection through vulnerability we can become a collection of fun memories and some inspirational quotes, little more than a social media presence or a happy go lucky public persona.

To return to our opening gambit, the oft misquoted piece ‘Be the light you want to see in the world’ versus, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. Let’s look again at light. Light is duality, it comes in conflict with dark, comes to dominate the dark. To avoid the growing pains of self and other, to say a new day is right around the corner and automatically beams out positivity without responsive action.

Change is a condition of flowing acceptance, the space of dawn to midday, dusk to twilight. One that acknowledges the nuance of life and that all states are valuable to all people. Many birds sing at dawn, many sing at dusk, others sing at night, swans sing at the point of death. Our most passionate and beautiful moments don’t always come in the light of day. Change is responsiveness to self and other, seeing all states as valid and impermanent. Change comes with the awareness that ‘this too shall pass’ therefore there is no ‘better’ way to be, as who we are right now can either be acceptable or unacceptable, but it will persist in being.

It seems that often what we seek when we are drawn to the Lighthouse is not a stoic beam but something as subject to the thundering sea as we are. Often when we are drawn to the Lighthouse we are looking for reassurance that it’s ok that we are lost. When we are greeted with fervent nudge back en route in the ‘right direction’ we also feel cheated of the connection. We are fooled to believe that the lighthouse keeper is a fellow mariner who can nod and give us the acknowledgement of someone who knows these oceans and sees what they can do, knows the way forward. We feel cheated until we see that often they are there because they became shipwrecked themselves and decided to stay so they could keep others away from the jagged shoreline and the shallow berths.

I have been a Lighthouse Keeper in an attempt to escape the relentless depth of the sea. In that time I found that storms are best traversed in company rather than weathered individually. Without hesitation I am grateful the Lighthouses that have guided me. Still I would rather see them shining from a safe harbour than an abandoned beach.

I urge those of you who resonate with this article to step from your post toward someone who you sense might know your journey. Learn that to acknowledge your pain is not a spread of negativity but a hand outstretched to another who may be suffering. Recognise that real power comes through sharing your vulnerability to emancipate others from shame in their suffering. You will find, even if there are knocks, stumbles, tumbles and falls that allowing ourselves to be witnessed and accepted by those who love us as we love them can part the sea and lead us to our home shores.