Life Itself taught me that there is no separation between human and divine; that there is no separation between within and without, above and below.
It is only our minds and our belief systems (which we have been conditioned into over the ages) that make us believe otherwise. And our minds are incredibly powerful and we will see what we believe to be there. Thus, it can be very challenging and confusing at times, when this exact statement is used against you and you are taught that this also applies to the spiritual life and journey.
There is only one way to really Know and that is through personal direct experience. Until you experience directly, you will always follow the mind and its many theories and concepts. And even then, even after a direct experience, it still takes time and many changes to embody That which you have come to know. So all in all, it requires patience and commitment - every second of every day - and even your deepest Knowing will continually be challenged and opposed in order for you to expand and to embrace evolution of yourself.
Many other amazing incidents happened in Italy. All of those served to create my foundation in my own personal truth and from that trip onwards, life did change drastically. However, the challenges also became bigger and more subtle and the Trickster became much more devious!
I quickly learned that spirituality does not mean angels floating on clouds in heaven and nor does inner peace mean stagnant waters within. Being awake in your life is truly an awesome thing, in other words, something that inspires awe and therefore breaks down the status quo.
On my return I entered my sabbatical - my self-made entry into a life of contemplation. And then the depression assailed me. A deep dank darkness that I could not get rid of. I used a strict routine to help me cope with these unspoken and unspeakable feelings. My dreams were filled with visions and images, symbols and beings. I wrote these down and I journalled and painted the unfolding. I wrote poems and for each of my paintings, but it was as if everything conspired to drag me down into the depths of my own unconscious.
I started Jungian therapy and this led me to explore many other avenues, other than the alternative modalities and therapies. Eventually I found myself in the embrace of a small Roman Catholic community of healers - ex-nuns and ex-monks - who had embraced the alternative into their tradition. During this time I also experienced the old paralysis of my lower back and hip (more about this later). Also during this time, I experienced incredible dizziness and vertigo, even nausea at times and I became aware of an insistent sound in my ear. There was nothing wrong with my ear - I would at times sit and listen to the interesting sounds in my ear - they changed without warning and I noticed that when I meditated, I could focus on the sound to take me deeper into the vastness of the inner world.
All these physical and emotional changes and challenges are indeed part of the awakening and unfolding of the kundalini. And as I said previously, that which I knew about kundalini was not enough to explain this to me. Nor was I ever attracted to find out more about kundalini. At that stage I had not connected the dots yet!
Through the loving healing and support of this community, I started the practise of contemplation and meditation contained in the Cloud of Unknowing. The Book of Wisdom in the Catholic Bible became my mainstay: 'wisdom is brilliant, she never fades, by those who love her, she is readily seen, by those who seek her, she is readily found, She anticipates those who desire her by making herself known first, meditating on her is understanding in its perfect form, and anyone keeping awake for her will soon be free from care'.
I studied Sophian Theology and the many meanings of Mary. Raised as a Calvinist Protestant, this feminine approach, however slight as it is in the patriarchal religion, was like a breath of fresh air to me. I read every book ever written by Marion Woodman and the Jungian approach to individuation and the patriarchal just made so much sense to me. Very soon it became obvious to me that I suffered from the wound of the repressed feminine. You will see in my early writings, how strongly I felt about the patriarchal culture and the mechanisation of the feminine and how this has impacted and still continues to impact the lives of our souls.
During this time I was looking for something in an old storage cupboard and a calendar fell out. I perused through it and found an image and article on Vesta and Bridgid. I was mainly interested in the fire element and the beautiful images contained in the pages.
A few days later I was struck by an image on the counter of a book store. It was the front cover of a box of The Glastonbury Tarot. It had a striking painting on the box of the Tor and a structure on top. On the same day, I walked past another bookstore and a book in the window called me in. It was Glastonbury : Avalon of the Heart by Dion Fortune, which mainly called to me because of the cover of the book : a beautiful painting of the Tor and Tower seen through the walls of Glastonbury Abby. I bought the book, literally ran back to the first bookstore and bought the Glastonbury Tarot Deck as well.
And thus a magical part of my journey started. I discovered that the structure on top of the Tor (a man made mound) is the St Michael Tower. And I discovered that there are two images on either side of the arch of the Tower : one of St Michael and one of St Bridgid. Many other synchronicities followed and I felt called to travel to Glastonbury. During my last therapy session, the therapist said to me, 'may you in Glastonbury find the well that you are looking for'.
I will never forget my first sighting of the Tor - it took my breath away. The entire Tor had a very vivid but yet gentle pink aura. Great big balls of energy was clearly visible around Glastonbury and the energy radiated from the Tower. For the first few nights in Glastonbury I could not sleep at all and wheverever I walked in the landscape my mind was assailed with vivid memories. It also seemed as though the high energy in the area, kept the imprint of times past.
Glastonbury on its own is filled with wondrous tales and magic and it is a wonderful melting pot of all religions and traditions.
I spent hours and hours in the grounds of the old Abbey, lying on my back gazing at the incredible energy radiating from the Tor and Tower. In the town posters was up everywhere about a public performance that night forming part of the Goddess Conference. At this stage my knowledge of the goddess traditions was limited to myths and archetypes. I went to the musical performance and sat next to a very wise and experienced local dowser. He told me about the Michael and Mary leylines and this conversation made my hair stand on end.
The owner of the bed and breakfast at which we stayed was and still is a Priestess of the Lady of Avalon! So the bread crumbs was once again left for me all over the globe. Koko became my very good friend and was a co-presenter at the Goddess celebrations at my own Goddess Temple in 2008! (www.hertemple.co.za).
It was indeed exciting times for me - almost like reading a brand new book as a child, filled with magical characters and wondrous events that pop out at you! My one song to myself was, 'it is true, it is true'. That was the most eloquent way I could verbalise to myself the knowledge that my first and deepest knowing as a child, was indeed true, despite all that 'they', (the grown-ups I suppose) said. I never really stopped to analyse these thoughts; I treasured them to myself till they had seeded and became strong trees under which I could shelter.
Koko arranged a tour for myself of the local Michael and Mary sites as they appeared on the leylines in Glastonbury and Avebury.
Outside a tiny church dedicated to Mary I had my first truly numinous experience with Her. I stood outside the church, near the old well. The Mary leyline always followed the water and the wells and healers in ancient days lived on this line. Churches were later erected on these spots to harness the powerful energies. At this specific spot, the line flowed through two hillocks that looked exactly like two breasts, the breasts of Mary, according to the Avalon Temple priest that was our tour guide.
As I stood there, the wind, the hillocks and the light, all became one sound and one voice and one presence. It blew through me and I was the sound and the presence. Although I say 'voice' no words were spoken; it was more as though a knowing woke up in my brain which I afterwards interpreted as a voice. I knew this numinous experience to be the Presence of Mary, the divine Mother of All.
I felt very shaken after this experience and virtually out of my body. After this I lost interest in the rest of the tour including Stonehenge. I was no longer 'myself' and I just wanted to bask in this absolute feeling of infinity.
I had one day left in Glastonbury and I felt guided to a certain place in the ancient Abby. It was in a corner that I did not explore previously - I think there were too many people there at my previous visit and I preferred the lawns in the far off corners. And in this corner I found Mary's Well.
A meeting at the Well
Parched, dried out, desert
Stone on stone
Arid winds, white skeleton bones,
bleached by the sun
Her body shrunk,
Skin pulled tight,
Waiting by the well
Like Mary of old
She stares down the dark pit
Leaning forward, craning her neck
She smells the air
Hoping, yearning, longing
I need water
The cry sears through her heart
Burns her dry throat
The Siren Song of the Soul
Echoes and shakes
‘Pour Your eternal waters into me
Fill up my well
Oh my Lord
What have I done?
Hear my call
Echoing in my hollowed out bones’
She falls on her knees
Bone on stone
To meet at the Well.
A reposting from 2010