Into the Underland
This time we are in seasonally, the approaching winter, as well as the larger time epoch, invites us into the underground, beneath the surface of things, and into the depths of the earth and our inner life. The natural cycle of winter draws the growth energy of trees back into their roots. The dead leaves become compost, disintegrating into the earth. Bears find caves or underground places to hibernate and dream. Turtles burrow deeply into the mud. It is also the liturgical season of advent, the holy dark, the coming, the here and not yet, suspended time.
This past Sunday, our gathering was oriented to the underground. The book, Underland, by Robert Macfarlane, provided the guiding narrative. In his book, he names the ways that humans, across time and culture, have engaged the underland: To shelter what is precious to us, to dispose of what is harmful, and yield what is valuable. These same principles apply to our inner underland. Humans have a deep and ancient fear of the dark and unknown and can be disoriented in the underground. Yet, this is our home. The womb. The dark matter that is the scaffolding of the universe and of us. And, just as what is disposed of under the earth can be harmful (toxic chemicals or nuclear waste,) likewise, the "harmful" things we dispose of within, consciously or unconsciously, that are difficult or painful, can poison the soil and leach into the groundwater of our being. We will then yield on the earth, or in our lives, in the world, whatever dwells, consciously or unconsciously, in that underground.
We do not approach what is disposed of or sheltered within us with the same tools we would to address the disposed of hazardous material in the earth. We don't approach with tractors or shovels, but with gentleness. Not trying to do something, change anything, or effort. Requiring nothing but our awareness and presence, trusting spirit/energy to move and "do" the work. Whatever is there within was placed there for a good reason. Perhaps those things too painful to deal with at the time, overwhelming, grievous. Or perhaps those things too precious to us to release. Either way, the energy of these experiences, emotions, thoughts, or people lodge themselves into our bodies, psyches and subtle energy fields, becoming clutter that crowds our ability to see clearly, perceive from our wholeness, experience life fully, or bring our full selves into the world.
What we yield in the world, to one degree or another, is determined by what we dispose of or shelter beneath the surface. For it is from the underground invisible dimensions that everything we see on the surface of our lives and in our world, as form or concept, has its root. As we bring our awareness to these invisible underground caverns and subterranean rivers within, things we may have long suppressed will rise to the surface to be witnessed, loved, and cleared as they are ready. Our deepest Self longs for this. It is the evolutionary impulse.
The more the disposed or sheltered material is cleared, the more space there is for what is new and life-giving to come through us and into the world.
To become acquainted with the underground inner-world tools, we practiced some movements together at our gathering, which can become an every-day experience, the place that we live from. These movements are vibrational and living, not static things to do or understand just intellectually:
Bring awareness and presence to breath
and then deeper into the heart cavern
and deeper still into the subterranean waters of our soul.
And just be present to what is there. There could be grief long suppressed, trauma, fear, joy, clinging to someone or something, protection, ancient or inherited complexes. Things disposed of, or sheltered here, perhaps long forgotten, may rise in awareness. By turning our presence toward these things, even if uncomfortable, allows them to loosen, become softer, and release from our energy field and body when they are ready. The more is released from our bodies and energy fields, the more space there is for what is new to come forward. We allow and trust spirit/energy to do the work. There is nothing for us to do but to be in it, not observing, but within the experience. We can rest, knowing we are always surrounded by an invisible world of support, guidance, love that is the heart of all of life.
We also practiced going outside to just lay on the earth, with our ear to the ground, for those who could. Or sit. To listen to the heartbeat of the earth. To align with the resonance of the earth. To witness with our experience and awareness. This is also something we can do every day in your yards, or just inside our houses with our attention to the earth beneath us. This too can bring an inner coherence and connect and release those things within us that are ready to move. The deep earth longs for us, and can hold us during these days of advent waiting, of advent immersion into what is, and into the birthing of what is waiting to take form.
These downward embodied movements into the dark, into the underland, are a deeply feminine journey, as opposed to the upward movement of the mind, climbing ladders, progress and doing. We need, and have, both of these energies within us. However, the way of the feminine has been long suppressed, denied, and violently oppressed. As a species, as a civilization, we can no longer rely on the masculine alone to carry us into a new world or create new life-honoring systems. The way of the feminine is not linear Cartesian rationality, but quantum physics, where particles move in waves called potentials. It is the dark descent into the earth and into our inner landscapes. This energy asks us to root ourselves directly into our experience, whatever it might be.
When we practice these internal and external movements together, it builds a collective coherence. In the day-to-day surface level world, we can be bombarded with continuous noise, news, overwhelm, confusion and despair, participants in the collective consciousness of fear. Those who awaken to the possibility of another way of being in the world, to bring healing and wholeness, and less noise and confusion, carry a different resonance. As we connect deeply into the earth and into the invisible underground within and around, we become oriented differently. From that place, we tend to the disposed and sheltered, with love and gentleness, and yield our light as a passageway for Life and Spirit to flow through, with greater purpose aligned with what is emergent in our world.
These unexplored frontiers of the underground are full of luminous darkness, where the seeds of new perspective, perception, purpose, and possibility lie. Here, we become aware of quantum possibility and potential beneath all the clamor, chaos, flurry and drama of life. We remain connected with the surface level, because we are always interconnected, but develop a different relationship to it, and to ourselves, bringing something unexpected, new and life-giving to the world. We become midwives of the birth of the Wild Christ, the Source of the river of life, again and again through us. Or whatever name you give to the numinous, the Divine Mystery, that weaves its way throughout deep time, guiding the evolutionary impulse.
If you feel called to learn more, and to be guided through these movements to tend to what rises within you, please be in touch. I am offering one-on-one guidance via Zoom or in nature. Website and ways to book a session coming soon.