I have seen a noticeable increase in personal relational misunderstandings since the war in Gaza broke out. Some will say this is due to astrological influences, retrogrades, solar flares, etc. But I think it also speaks to the reality of the relational web that weaves between all life on this planet. I remember feeling a similar sense of dis-ease when the war in Ukraine broke out. It was an awareness that when large-scale harm emerges, it impacts the relational field in ways that are not entirely or traditionally logical.
Yes, we can reduce what is happening to logic… of course when massive amounts of intergenerational trauma, extreme public divisiveness, and abhorrent losses of life are happening, there are psychological impacts that affect the way we show up for our immediate community in tangible ways. And yet, I also feel below the layers of logic to a more subtle realm, the energetic threads of the forces of creation that connect all things as being stretched or torn or distorted in ways that are challenging what I sense as the larger relational field across the entire planet. This includes the non-human realms that have no understanding of geo-politics or historical trauma. I remember feeling something similar the summer that seemed like a tipping point environmentally when the first local wildfires began a yearly trend of devastating fire. Now that I look back on the pandemic, there were not so subtle ways in which this played out in the collective - it was so extreme that I wasn’t even aware of the subtle layers of what was happening, because I was so distracted by the gross issues we were facing.
And there is something to be said about dropping below the surface of things and feeling into and tending the subtle. In my own movement practice I am often feeling like I am weaving or tending to threads of connection, which have always been reminiscent of the Wyrd that the Norse saw as the threads that wove past present and future. This image became so strong for me since the war broke out in Gaza that I started re-watching “A Discovery of Witches”, which has some amazing imagery that reminds me of the Norns weaving the Wyrd.
What gives me hope in the face of these massive disturbances to the relational field is that if things as atrocious as this war, the impact of a global pandemic, and the dire environmental circumstances we are facing can affect the field, so can the patient tending of the field with love and compassion. In fact, I deeply feel this is what keeps the relationship field as strong as it is, those strong human hearts who seek to find understanding, reconciliation, restorative justice, compassion, protect sovereignty with dignity, etc.
And this is why tending the ancestral field is so critical... they are critical allies in the relational field and in fact most of what needs tending in the ancestral realm is what we are facing today - gross violations of the relational field. Their wisdom in this tending and healing helps us heal and tend our current circumstances.
As I feel the relational crunchiness with my immediate community, I realize that this is the part of the web that I can tend to, which the support of my ancestral allies, and, yes, it may not be ending a war, but it does support the integrity of the larger web.
What do your spidey senses feel when they extend out into the larger web of connection?
I take a pragmatic approach to my mythic weaving of reality. This means that I integrate contradictory realities to develop a stable reality that holds space for paradox. There may be oppositional explanations, but I remain true to my foundations. I recently attended a webinar from a therapist who has been using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for acute psychosis. There has been an idea in psychiatry that you can’t reason with someone in psychosis, so CBT is ineffective. But what this therapist has found is that when approached in an experience-affirming way, CBT can help someone see how their interpretations are part of creating the reality they are experiencing and that they have the power to shift those perceptions. If someone is seeing anxiety-inducing entities, they might not be able to stop the visions, but they can explore different interpretations or ways of interacting with those visions that reduce the anxiety, which often reduces or changes the visions. This is a psychiatric example of the fact that we are co-conspirators in shaping our reality.
I believe strongly that there is medicine in the personal myth we create. Shamans build an entire history through their journey work that is not verifiable in consensus reality. There may be synchronicities that confirm their mythos, but their mythos is their personal experience to tend. So what is the difference between this and delusion? I would argue that developing a strong mythos includes a process of initiation and the development of a body-level intuition. Delusional states often come because someone is experiencing an aspect of reality that they have not been fully initiated into. Initiation is a process of awakening and clarifying one’s perceptions while dismantling previous perceptions. I often find through an initiation process that what I thought was one thing is revealed to be something else entirely. For instance, if I perceive a dark, dense energy as evil and leave it at that, then I can remain in a state of delusion with this thing haunting me. But if I invite a deeper communication with this energy, I can discover that this is a powerful entity that I was fearful of because of its power, so I painted it in a dark shroud to protect myself. Upon closer investigation, it actually could be an entity that could be a great ally. This isn’t always the case, practicing good boundaries is a critical part of personal evolution, but this is just an example of a possible scenario where facing our fear and leaning into it with curiosity benefits our process. And it clarifies our intuition.
That is the second piece of discerning myth versus delusion. Intuition. Specifically, embodied intuition. Where do I feel the perception I am having in my body? Am I grounded, centered, clear? Meditational movement practices like authentic movement are supportive for developing this type of intuition. Practices of deepening perception in the body are in themselves a kind of initiation. They awaken and clarify. When a perception is woven into your core in a field of stability and goodness, you are tapping into an innate co-creative ability that humans have the potential for with the unseen realms as our partners.
And then there is the role of pragmatism. I grew up in a science-oriented household and while I believe science is limited in its understanding and is incomplete, I do not refute good science. In matters of whether we should get an experimental vaccine or not, I say that we just don’t know enough to say it is safe, but my personal safety in this case is not more important than the safety of the larger world around me. Pragmatic. I also like the way that I can move through the world with a bit more confidence with the vaccine. This could be a false confidence but, like a placebo, I’m willing to take it if it improves the quality of my life, and the lives of others, in a significant way. I’m not bothered by our lack of knowing the truth to a definite degree - that is a given in this world - and my body is strong, so I believe in its adaptability. There are those who may assess that their body is not strong enough to adapt and so it is up to them to decide if they take what is a larger risk to them than it is to me by taking the vaccine.
This ability to flow between knowns and unknowns is a key part of living from a mythic and intuitional place with integrity. I am co-creating my reality and I am clear that I am doing so. So what reality do I want to co-create? One of paranoia that denies science? Or one that supports the concerns of those who are wary of science as much as the integrity of the scientists. I choose to weave my reality in the spaces giving grace for the unknown. The unknown is truly the only place that the real exists. We like to think in terms of certainties, but life is one huge uncertainty.
There is a group of women who wish to visit Point White Horn where my fae partner lives. There is an essence of this field trip that feels like it could legitimize or delegitimize my personal experiences with this land. I don’t think this is the intention of these women, but there is the potential of their experiences either affirming or denying my own or influencing my experiences for the positive or the negative. I can understand their curiosity about a place where someone is weaving a great personal myth. When collectively recognized, these can become power places. But my strong belief of the imaginal is that it is very personal and I know that one enters a space with one’s own openness, prejudices and assumptions based on one’s character and experience. Their experience can never match my own, because they do not have my unique heart or soul. But they have their own uniqueness, so I have great curiosity about what their experiences will be.
My fae partner has shared that one of the attractions to me was my openness of heart. I trusted my heart and the connection I sensed. It didn’t mean there weren’t struggles as we established our relationship, but even these struggles deepened our connection over time with a building trust through a generous amount of curiosity.
And it is my open heart and soul that has been the foundation of my creation of relationship with this land. There was a comment on the picture of a tree from this land that remarked that there was an energetic “war” happening there. I have been aware of this sort of struggling activity between different conscious energies there, but I have not made it the focus of my energies there. My fae partner has remarked that my open heart, love and joy is the best balm for the energies there, more so than any actions taken out of concern. I practice a stance of reconciliation and emergence with all I do, even when I face struggles, and my relationship with the land is no exception. However, these direct comments about the land were like an initiation for me, I am seeing with more clarity a reality that I was previously leaving below the surface and now I get to discern how to interact with that reality.
Weaving with the unseen is a personal quest that often says more about you than it does any tangible reality. If your experience of the unseen is filled with shadow and terror, there is likely shadow and terror in you that needs to be addressed or within your lineage or within the community you reside. In this way, whatever is revealed during the excursion to the land with these women will be a bigger reflection of those who undertake the excursion than the veracity of my own experience.
There are times like this where external experiences can cause confusion or chaos to a familiar part of my connection to the unseen world and what always resolves that confusion is grounding back into the pragmatic idea that I am co-creating this reality, so I can choose which version of the chaotic jumble of potential realities to subscribe to. And I let my body and it’s foundational sense of goodness guide the reality that I form. This could be described as intuition, but when most say intuition they picture a sense that is sensing the truth of a matter. I see it as a sense that is creating the truth of a matter for one’s personal mythos. Honing that sense is a lifelong process. And this is why inner work is so critical on the path. If your insides are messy, your intuition is messy as well. My intuition has developed more depth and nuance over the years and this has been due to both inner work, initiatory experiences as well as practice. My authentic movement practice has been foundational to the development of my intuition. It helps me clear out the detritus and hone in on the good wisdom of my body.
This good wisdom of the body is the biggest boon given to us humans. It is our window into the unseen from a pragmatic way. And so violations of the body are extra disturbing in their affect of this critical connection. This is part of why there is so much concern over the vaccine and its potential affects to the intuition of our body. But I have seen that when people reclaim this wisdom even after violation they hold it even more deeply. We are resilient. We are adaptable. I respect the intuition of my body even though it is filled with all sorts of modern toxins from every day living as well as the pharmaceuticals I am required to take. This is life on poisoned land.
I consider myself a psychonaut because I am always journeying to places where consciousness meets the seen and the unseen realms and paying attention to how these all interact. If there is one thing to take away from this exploration, it is that pragmatic, embodied goodness can get you far on this journey. I wish you safe and profound travels through the inner realms.
My thoughts on the path of deep animist relationship