Part 2: The vision, the descent, the dying…
(following from Part 1, the previous blog post)
I have been (and still am, to some extent) going through the most advanced rite of passage of my entire life so far. It is only now, with having landed in Namibia, that I am slowly but surely making my way back up again from my “Underworld experience”.
It, of course, started when the pandemic hit us collectively last year, accentuating my desire to live in community within an off-grid, self-sustainable setting, but I was really thrown in the deep end when I let go of my seven-year long, intensely deep and beautiful, and equally tumultuous relationship with my partner at the time. Prior to this final step, I have intuited for a while that the time to end the relationship was drawing near, but the courage and divine timing were yet to arrive. It was only once I was led to read the story of The Handless Maiden, for the third time, that I received the vision of me terminating the relationship and in a metaphorical sense, making my way into the uncharted forest, with my baby (my inner child and/or my calling) strapped to my bosom, so as to be able to grow back my chopped-off hands with the aid of the woods people at the inn I would stumble upon. For a more detailed account of this vision, as synchronistically inspired by the story of The Handless Maiden, please read an earlier blog HERE.
At first, and along with experiencing a great deal of grief, I also felt a sense of relief of not having to deal with the difficulties in my relationship any longer, for which I had no more energy or answers, as well as for being able to be free to actualise my dreams of sisterhood and community, living in harmony with Nature, and deepening my relationship with tantra, as conceived broadly as the cultivation and harnessing of sexual energy. While being fueled by my vision and pondering the next step, I needed to deal with the practicalities around moving out and so I spent a large proportion of my savings during December 2020, and January and February 2021 on renting with a girlfriend in a posh area in Cape Town. Here I pendulum swinged to the opposite end of the spectrum of being isolated and impeded in my freedom (the narrative of the past seven years) to being supported by sisters and healing-orientated sessions, as well as enjoying the company of friends and not having to answer to anybody but myself. During those three months I have lost quite a bit of weight and felt lighter on many levels. I also received a Shaktipat (kundalini awakening) from a tantra practitioner, which catapulted my evolution associated with my energy body in relation to the Divine, as experienced and expressed through conscious intimate encounters, ritual, ceremony, dance and energetic practices.
The vision, leaving the security and comfort of a home no more, for the sake of the quest.
When we meet the call for initiation willingly, i.e., when a solo initiation quest beckons, which we may not want to undertake and did not ask for, but we choose to walk nevertheless (as was the case for the protagonists in the ancient stories of The handless maiden, Inanna, and Parzival), the quest is often superseded by a vision. For me, the vision landed as an “Ahaa” moment in associating with the heroine in a story, accompanied by a feeling tone which carried conviction of the path needed to be taken, a non-negotiable one. Here-in lied the choice point and the cross-road: do I heed the call or ignore it by taking the easy way out (staying in the comfort zone and the known, however soul deadening that situation may be in the long run). And so I chose the former, and even with finding paradise along the way on the descent journey which has now been initiated, I had to come to terms with great loss: my relationship, my home and garden, pets, my financial security, and being completely in the dark as to how I will be able to sustain myself in the months to come.
Accordingly, such and initiate who receives the vision may have to be disempowered first, stripped of the sense of power generated by his/her accomplishments in the world and perhaps even the inflation of receiving the vision in the first place. This entails a kind of dismemberment of the sense of self which has been so carefully constructed, where the initiate at first feels like a victim and feelings of complete abandonment by God/the Divine. This period is indicative of the death phase along the initiatory timeline: in all authentic initiations, novices must come to terms with death and the existential loneliness which accompanies awareness of the transience of all things. Six months later and this notion still applies…
The descent journey, which involves a “stripping away” or an emptying out in order to make space for something new and more aligned, cannot be rushed and has its own timing. Also, when we choose the initiation instead of resisting it, and befriend death, we befriend the mystery or the darkness – that which is not known. In other words, with the descent journey and the process of dying, there is a lot we do not know and we may have to come to terms with a lot of change which we cannot control. What we CAN however orient to in the darkness, and where we do have agency is in choosing who we are becoming and Who/what we serve within the context of the natural order of cycles and seasons. This knowledge is what will sustain us through the entire life/death/life cycle.
To be continued in the next blog post....Blessed be!
Image from the timeless story: The Handless Maiden