You have no way of knowing the cataclysmic change that is upon you. And you certainly never expected to hear from me, I know...
You see, I’ve discovered time travel in the past few years, and to be honest - you were the first person I knew I would visit. I need to let you know, as well- I can read your thoughts, and I know every single feeling you’re hiding in your body and soul. I’m aware of the heart palpitations, and your thoughts of suicide. You wonder how you can leave life here with the minimum of fuss and pain. You are 23. I am 39. There are sixteen years between us.
In the tarot, XVI is the Tower card - ultimate change, upheaval, loss and beginning all at once, suddenly, abruptly and with certain and total finality. The oh-so-vivid imagery gives you and I all we will ever need and want-to-avoid around our breakthroughs, upsets, broken-openness and the inevitable, beautiful and terribly gorgeous transformation that often finds us so ready and simultaneously unaware. How appropriate. And the timing of it all - accurate to the month even, this dimension-defying visit.
You are staring down the corridor of August and I am, too. We are in the Lion’s Gate portal, you and I. We are both approaching the new moon in Leo in the next few days. You will make your leap of faith from the tower on August 7. I am speaking to you from the same date, gazing into you with more love for your tender heart than you can know in that moment you are living right now. The Oregon “Biscuit” wildfires burning in your mother’s mountains of 2002 are the numerous wildfires that fill my same valley with choking smoke this year. I am a lover of symmetry, as I know you are, and so this synchronicity pleases me. It tells me that my timing is divine, orchestrated by some deeply cosmic mathematical equation I cannot decipher.
But you cannot know this pleasure yet. Take some small comfort that you will, that I do, and there is no changing that joy now. This joy I live today is your guarantee in the darkness, young one. Gather it to your heart like a small handful of wildflowers. Breathe them in. You are in a violent moment. All the world feels frightening and much too hot in a body too thin.
You’ve been hungry for a very long time. Ironically, it is your hungry emptiness that has driven you to this precipice, and the jump will save your life. You do not know this yet, of course. What you see and feel is entirely loss, and waste, and fear. And so, from my vantage point- both empathic and detached with time and wisdom, let me impart some hope and comfort to you- to strengthen your resolve in this time of upheaval and emergence into a new self that will heal and blossom. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
The woman who has held your soul and will captive for 8 years, the savior you replaced your predator father with who has become your ongoing nightmare, will not open her bedroom door and shoot you with the gun you know she keeps in her closet, hidden away. You will not die this night. Keep breathing, and watch the doorknob if your must, but know that your body is safe, beloved. Angels guard you.
This is your 8th year in her orbit- this is your VIII-Strength/Justice year in the tarot, and there will be both in great quenching draughts. Not in the form of retribution, but in the liberation of your body and mind from her reaching grasp. Feel that, beloved. Know it now- I send this great strengthening truth to your heart, to embolden you for the words you will speak tomorrow. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
The strongwoman within you will rise up with tomorrow’s sun and she will make plans for your escape from captivity. It is your time to free your legs, arms and throat of the snares that have incapacitated and infected you with the sepsis of fear and self-hatred. Enough is enough and you are done. Now. You will speak your words to the woman and she will be angry. She will glare at you, rage in her icy blue eyes and tight lines around her mouth, but she will not touch you. This will astonish you, but you are moving in a new power now, and your soul has stood up at last to the false authority that blusters and dominates and demands. She cannot speak or move against this power in you. Nobody can. Feel that. You have looked the predator dead in the eye and spoken your truth. You do not know it in this moment, but you are truly free in the second the words “I am leaving, and I am taking my car with me” have left your lips. It is done. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
I know you are scared. I see that you are shaking uncontrollably. I know your heart is racing painfully in your chest and your breath is coming in short bursts to keep up with the frantic pace of your circulatory system. When I remember myself in your body, I can feel the same energies of imprisonment leaving my blood and bone in waves of anxiety. This anxious pain in your cells is the sign to you - you are emerging as a true self at long last. You are taking responsibility for your safety, for your future, for your experience, at long last. Pack those two black plastic yard bags with your small collection of clothing and books. Stuff them into the back of your ‘88 Isuzu Trooper with the almost-decimated clutch. Drive north. Do not waste precious time looking for your cat, even though your heart is breaking for that next last, unforgiveable abandonment. Go ahead and cry. Do not look back. Call your mother and tell her you are coming home at last and you need a place to stay until you can recreate a life. Well done. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
This is ground zero. Spend as much time as you need sifting through the rubble, but do not take a single memento. This is destruction by divine decree and you must honor these ashes, allow them to return to Mother Earth and be reformed into clean, rich soil. Anything you bring with you from this wreckage will bring with it ongoing decay without the final release of death. You will learn this first hand: the energy of kept things, the power they hold as portals, and the need to wipe clean your inner table. Discard all the things. They no longer bless you, but curse your dreamtime and homespaces. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You have much work to do now. With your freedom comes a mandate to learn self-sustaining practices for true life and life-giving love. You will confront and have to reconcile lifelong experiences of poverty, sexual abuse at the hands of your father and the woman, perhaps others you have had nightmares about but no clear daylight memories of, violent misogyny, religious oppression, self-harm and the pain around being labeled ‘other’ - no peer group, no social circle, no friends, and a loving family you have alienated in your attempt to follow the directives of those in power. You are truly alone now, in a way you never have been before, and this is just and good and the work of great healing for you. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
I am telling you now, beloved of my heart- that voice inside you that speaks of your soul’s royalty is true and trustworthy. You will walk through fire, but you will not be burned. These endings you are feeling are the dark side of your moon, and the brilliance of your fullness lives on the opposite side of your perception. It is time to explore your curiosity. Go there with enthusiasm, despite the strange looks and the fear curdling your stomach painfully. Those sensations will cease, I promise. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will spend nearly a year in grief and bewilderment. This does not mean you are unwell. This does not mean you have failed. This does not mean you are worthless. There has been much vile poison to expel, and this is your way. Grieve in your body, and take one shaking, tremulous step at a time. Work slowly at recovery. There is no haste in healing. Everything in its own time. Read those strange books that call to you. Write the frightening words in private moments. Nobody will look, nobody will see. No lightning bolts will strike you dead. You are not in danger of eternal damnation. You are not. As you will come to discover, God is big enough to find you where you are. And you will be found, beautifully, powerfully, astonishingly found. Being found will be the resurrection of you- the remaking of you. Wait for it. Wait for it. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will meet another beloved. And though you recognize the star in his eyes that is your home star, you will not recognize him as a beloved. But you will feel relief at the safety he provides you. You can trust his soul. Trust me. He will hold your heart carefully, and with skill. He will see the strongwoman in you, long before you discover her. In fact, he will cultivate her with gentle watering and tender words. He will prophesy to you of great beauty to be found in your surrender to a magickal being that lives in your skin, but that is invisible to your jaded eyes in this moment. He is a teacher sent to you from the stars and the soil, and he will offer you warm earth as a bed, and laughter to ease your aching heart. He knows loss, too. He will reflect this to you when you forget yourself. You will not fall in love with him for a very long time. But this is not because he is unworthy or unloveable. This is because you have never known how to open yourself to the possibility of that deep vulnerability. It will come. Wait for it. Do not run away, though it is the single most powerful urge inside your body. Do not run away. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
Your suffering- and there will be so very much of it in the years to come- will be rooted in your inability to see who you truly are and the power you hold in your hands- proverbially and actually. It will look like others misbehaving, abusing, condemning. It will look like more loss- jobs, relationships, ideas, hopes. It will look like disappointments. It will look like expectations unmet. It will look like really hard work without a tangible payoff. It will look like setbacks and discrimination. In essence, it will look like everything outside you that you can easily point a finger at and blame as the reason for your misery. It will take you a long time, beloved, but you will at last begin to focus your inner lens, and these thousands of minute adjustments will begin to accumulate in your psyche, creating a crystalline view of your essential self that will leave you thunderstruck and electrified. You will learn with a ramrod strength of inner will the profound power of your perception and intention. This will free you, strengthen you in every circumstance, and empower your body and mind for the Great Work that has always called you to beautiful words, beautiful work, and beautiful healing. It is yours to take, sweet Page of Cups. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will be tumbled violently between desire and fear, daily. This terrible wrenching back and forth will fatigue and sicken you. You will shudder from the confusion surrounding all the important causes, current events, shoulds and wants and needs of others and their messages. You will alternate between longing for tribe and running for the hills and solitude. Mostly, solitude will win out. You will spend years feeling guilt around this. You will feel that your feelings should be different feelings. You will read the words and callings of others and believe for some strange reason that your calling and feelings should be more like theirs. This is false, and dangerous. This is the old way you left behind. But you will not know this for some time. And that is okay. You will be torn to shreds by the politics and structures of those around you, absorbing their passion and anger and desire into your body and thoughts. This will sicken you further. Expel it. Reject it all. You must find your own voice, your own salve, your own medicines. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will be inundated by trends, new language, phrases and words that seem familiar but are entirely new to your soul’s lexicon. You will see new forms of expression emerge around you, and you will feel pressured to conform so that you will be accepted into the new tribes that surface and speak with such authority that you are recalled to the years of obedience and subservience to Those-Who-Speak-With-Loud-Voices. You will experience and have to work through the post-traumatic-stress this triggers in you.
For many years, you will think that your job is to cultivate such a voice. It is not. Other people’s fury and ongoing passionate anger will frighten and paralyze you, and your silence in their presence may infuriate them or worry you. Let it, and get over it.
One day, years from now, you will learn that our earth requires and delights in many types and volumes of voices, and yours is a lyrical river voice that summons and beckons the weary to drink. This is your medicine- not the column of fire that burns you from the inside out in order to offer up your body and soul as a torch to light the way for myriad others. You will learn that you overheat in your body, thoughts and soul when you contemplate such a lifestyle of fire-work and burning words. This is not your medicine. Embrace the soft spaces. They are holy for you, and they will offer sanctuary for others. It is well. You are well. You are a well, and a fount, and a spring of clear water. Let it be. It is enough. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will be afraid, but in the end you will not terminate your unexpected pregnancy when you learn of it in another August portal to come. The voice that came to you in the bath, laughing, promising you that control is out of your hands, and that is as it should be, will prove to be another teacher, in the form your son.
The ensuing months will see you very sick, moving from one home to another, staring into the eyes of an unfamiliar and terrifying beast you will come to call the Mother-Creature. She is going to devour you. I will not soften this truth, sweetheart. You will die to everything that you have built up to contain and protect you in the years after your escape from the woman and all your childhood pain.
You will have a glimpse of what is coming when you have dreams of crocodiles snatching wolves from the shore of muddy rivers by their necks. You will have a sense of what is to come when you contemplate the insanity of your mother’s hard work raising children in impossible circumstances. You will have a small idea of the sacrifice and utter annihilation of the you that you know when you consider that you will never be self contained in the same way every again until you die and leave this body behind forever.
These minuscule knowings will terrify you. This is your wisdom. And even then, you will never be able to comprehend the devastation of the Mother-Creature until you push that child from your womb into your world. As he takes his first breath in, free of your warm center, you will feel your last maiden breath leave you, and you will see Death the Endless One rise up.
This must happen. She will snarl and cackle at you, but she is also strangely familiar and seems like a soft old woman who has waited for you a very long time. You will feel hollowed out and home at last in her frightening, soothing presence. It is a paradox. You will never escape it. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
Your child will be a heaven and a hell.
He has stars in his eyes. You see his ancient soul is exactly the one you knew when you held him within you. He has come to bless you. He has come to destroy you. He is your newest teacher. You are strong enough to learn from him, I promise you. There is no unfamiliarity in that- you know each other.
How close this love is to hate. How close this life is to your death. How terrible this raging beauty. Your body is a wreckage. You are torn. You are low. You are blood and loss and sleeplessness and every ugly thing that smells and wails in futility. You cannot see any light at the end of this tunnel. It is a forever night. Your usefulness is entirely nutritional for your offspring, and you cannot reconcile this with the being you were before you were taken over by this parasitic beauty that demands every single cell of your forever.
This is your next scheduled descent, beloved. Inanna/Ishtar has yanked your ankle underwater and you will learn to breathe water here, as long as it takes, or drown trying. The longer you struggle, the longer you suffer. You will feel that it never ends. It does not end. But it does change. You will become stronger. Your love will deepen and mature beyond your understanding. You will discover a great vat of ability you never knew you held within you. Do not run away. Wait for it. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will navigate and maneuver these labyrinthine trails and trials with nothing less than authenticity and stubborn, willfull tenacity. This will develop you, sculpting and toning you for the deep listening you will come to give others. You will come to the center of your darkness, and you will see that the beast you feared holds your greatest gifts. You will stare the abyss down, and what rises to greet you will bow before your bravery. The frantic desperation to accomplish and produce will mellow in you, as you realize that simply living your beautiful body of truth has always been more than enough, regardless of external outcomes.
You will begin to see your teachers for who they are. You will begin to see glimpses of something sweet, something bright, something sacred that lives in your fibers and filaments. You will begin to consider a new relationship with pleasure, and this will startle you with its power. You will wonder if perhaps pleasure itself is a holy power, sacred in its own right, worthy of spiritual and physical pursuit - this will go against every cellular memory of your life thus far, but something older will germinate some unknown seed planted in your womb with the pondering.
Explore that curiosity, beloved. It is one of the most powerful medicines you will use to uncover deeper and clearer experiences of your Self, your Higher Self, your essential self. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
Some practicalities, now, beloved:
* Your child will eventually sleep. And then he will actually sleep through the night. It will happen.
* When the feelings come up, remember these words: “You did not fail in your breastfeeding journey. It was your own journey, and you managed the challenge and path beautifully. Well done.”
* You will learn the Mother-Creature only from the ground up, from the inside out, in the moments in between moments, slowly and agonizingly. This is the only way it can be done for you, and do not waste your time and tears searching for a short cut. She will not be rushed. She is infinitely patient, this Mother-Creature. She will eat you, inch by anguished inch. There is absolutely nothing to be done for it. This will happen. This will happen. And it is not a bad thing. It is not an evil thing.
* Yes, you will die in many ways. But you will be resurrected, and eventually- you will adore the new skin that is woven over your star-strung bones. The Mother-Creature will come to be your very greatest teacher and healer, but her medicine is gained at a very great cost- your life as you know it. It is okay to grieve. Hear me now- if the cost is very great then the medicine has equal or greater value, at the very least. You are purchasing a deep, old, great, potent power in these days, wheels, months and years before you. Your maiden death is not in vain. You will see.
* You will be required to start completely over in your marriage to the other beloved. This will anger you, frighten you, destabilize you. You will not know yourself as the Mother-Creature in relation to your partner. Because he can never become the Mother-Creature, he cannot understand what is happening in you. Do not expect him to. He has come for a different purpose, and holds an agreement for a different role, carrying different medicine. It is not less. It is merely different. It is holy, as your path is holy.
* Self-Love will make an entrance, and introduce herself as the Next Great Teacher on your path. You will resist her fiercely, because you are afraid. She will tell you that you will never be able to truly love another in the most satisfying and authentic way until you surrender to her. Love and her entourage will present themselves to you in new ways now. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
Your soul will begin to recognize ancient mile markers at this time. Things that felt like destruction will begin to take on a different sheen, something like birth and moonlight on water. Your magick will brighten, in your hands and in your throat. The world around you will become denser as you watch your son grow from infant to toddler, and then taller into the stunning, exponential growth of one who sees; one who knows. His beauty will sometimes blind you. You will marvel at the challenge he is, and the delight he brings.
You will come to see the long lessons he has brought to you, and the shaping of your soul in his skilled hands, offering you opportunities and classrooms of compassion, of love-in-action, of humility, of sacred play, of nothingness, the wisdom of a tired body that stops at last, of boredom. He will have given you a new relationship to your body and her deva. You will finally make peace with food as friend, not foe. You will discover the need for a clean vessel in an intimate way, because you will experience the ease of flow in your work and creation when you are clean and clear, and the muddy sludge when you are not. This will serve you well. Keep moving forward. I am with you, always.
You will approach your fortieth year with a deep sense of gratitude and wonder. You will look over your years thus far as a journey of discovery of self. You will see that you have spent these years very well. You made glorious mistakes. You chose deeply painful experiences that offered you profoundly emotional responses. You alternated between bravery and fear beautifully, learning the intricacies of each, and the gifts that each bestow on your sensibilities and motivations.
You gleefully burned bridges, sometimes walking away unscathed by either smoke or flame, and sometimes you hobbled away missing limbs. You cried rivers over lost relationships, and learned the value of other-as-mirror, and have sliced away cancerous relationships that threatened to sicken you with a deeply stable sense of self.
These experiences have molded you as clay. They have layered and built upon one another a staircase of understanding and deepening consciousness that cultivates your ability to give and receive love from other souls traveling this earth plane with you, and the cosmic family that is your support, source and true home.
You will come to see that your stories are not, have never been, you. The beautiful you at the center of your tales has always been something higher and vaster than you can know. She informs your work- but her wealth of knowledge, her power, her beauty, her understanding of Love-as-Creatrix is the star-infused seed at your core. What she will always know, and what I am beginning to see now is that the Great Work that holds my attention is the tool I wield to shape myself into eternity’s reflection.
My teacher now is time and rest. These two handmaidens walk with me into each new day, playing a game of catch-and-release with ideas, with feelings, and all the other experiences on this earth that provide contrast for the soul.
I stand at the verge again, moving away from the structure I’ve spent sixteen years building. I can tell you now, beloved- looking at the great, desperate, brave, terrifying, exhilarating leap you are about to take all those years ago now, you will live. You will thrive and grow strong and beautiful in a way you could never imagine. And so I will leap again, into this unknown, fully and vulnerably open to the next.
This time, I embark on a journey as the Mother-Creature seeking the Crone. She is the Bone Woman, who has been crooking her finger at me to follow her into the wilds so we may gather my witch bones together. You see, she knows where to look, and I haven’t the first clue. But I see the sparkle in her eye, and I recognize the shape of her face. It is too familiar to ignore.
She has traveled a great distance to be with me here, and her single condition before we embark on this journey of wilderness, wolf-birds and bones is that I speak to you, dear beloved Me. She told me to tell that you are well on your way, that you will live and die and not die, for you are magick, and magickal women always return. I am with you always, She is with Me, and we are with you together. Keep moving forward.