As I stated in my “about me” section I follow two paths, they intersect and I am integrating them, quite beautifully, together. On one path I follow the path to Avalon through the Sisterhood of Avalon. On the other I follow a shamanic path that is based on Peruvian/Andean teachings. I can see their wheels together and they are very similar in many ways. One is sunwise and one is moonwise. Yet both have the similar healing’s and although different symbols are used they take you to the same yet different places in your own sovereignty.
Right now, in the Sisterhood, we are working on the cycle of Emergence. Descent, Confrontation and now Emergence have all been intense for me this year. Some days I have wondered if I would survive this cycle, emotionally. I didn’t consciously work the cycle this time. In fact, I quite consciously, decided to “take a break” because of all of the turmoil in my life. The funny thing is though that when you walk this path there is no such thing as “taking a break.”
The cycle works whether you engage in it or not. It is funny when you realize this. When you can see that your Descent was one of the deepest and darkest you have incurred in all of the years you have walked this path. When you can see that your Confrontation was brutal beyond words. When you want to breathe a sigh of relief because you are coming into Emergence yet you know that it is far from over, there is still healing that needs to be done. When you realize that the cycle is working you instead of you working it. It is amazing. It is beautiful. It is heart wrenching. It is painful. It is worth it.
Integrating two paths together is extremely intense. I was having a conversation last night with a beautiful soul that is interested in learning about Shamanism. One of the things I have learned walking both of these paths is that once you are called you cannot just walk away. They take hold of you, they rule who you are becoming and they rule every little thing in your life at all times. There is no walking away. There is no choice to not engage. You are here, you are doing the work and you are living the work no matter what you are doing in life.
It becomes a part of your being and you can run but you can’t hide. Spirit rules. These paths are not for the faint of heart. They are demanding. They are fulfilling. They are exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. They are why you wake up in the morning and know that somehow, some way, you are standing in your sovereignty, yet, your life is not your own.
What do I mean by “your life is not your own?” Here is the thing, when you start walking either of these paths you have been called. There is no saying no. I guess you could just walk away but you will always have that yearning and Spirit will always bring you right back to where you are being called to, no matter where else you look or what else you choose to study.
When you first start out in the Sisterhood you begin by learning the Holy Days, you integrate them. Then you go on and learn the landscape in which your soul walks. Lastly, you begin working with the Goddesses of the path. In this particular path you get to know Rhiannon, Cerridwen, Bloudewedd, Arianrhod and Branwen.
During this work you will have connections. One holy day will usually become your favorite. One piece of the landscape will call your name no matter where you live. One Goddess will resonate louder than the others. For me the Goddess who chose me was Cerridwen. She can be one of the most difficult Goddesses to please, yet, She is also one of the most giving and loving Goddesses I have ever worked with. Of course this is just my view and experience. Other Sisters may see it differently. That is the beauty of this path, everything is based on your own perspective. Your personal experiences are validated by your work and most often others have experienced similar things at the same time.
When I started my Shamans training I was taught about the animal symbols and what they represented. In my path it is Snake, Jaguar, Hummingbird, Condor/Eagle. The Sun God Inti Tayta, The Earth Goddess Pachamama. I can say that much of my training was working with these entities as well as learning the tools to heal. Much like the Sisterhood your perspective begins to change when you develop a personal connection with all of these beings. Life becomes more beautiful yet it also becomes more challenging. Especially when you do not follow where you are led.
As I said earlier, right now in the Sisterhood we are working through Emergence. The equivalent to this in my Peruvian path is the Hummingbird. The Hummingbird brings you the sweet nectar of life.
Emergence is when you begin to come out of the darkness and can look back at the healing that has occurred. The issues you have faced and the changes within that have occurred. It gives you a chance to see the shift in your perspective. It allows you to look in the mirror and see the woman you now are while seeing the woman you were. You allow yourself to acknowledge that you may not have healed all of you but you healed some of the layers that needed it.
You know that there is more. You know that the next cycle will bring forth more healing, but for now, in this moment, the pain is not so intense, the anger is not so engulfing, the hurt is not so overwhelming and you have changed. It is a good thing. Your life is yours and you have healed, even if it isn’t completely healed, it is complete. You can enjoy the sweet nectar of life with the you that you have become by allowing yourself to be alright with where you are at this moment in time.
Emergence allows you to step into your sovereignty and be the woman that you are suppose to be. When you are aware that you have survived and you are stronger for it. Your perspective has changed because you have changed. You know that life is good. You can stand in your truth. Live unapologetically.
As Emergence takes hold in my life I know that I stand firm. I know that whether I truly decide to engage or not Spirit is working within and without. I know that life is changing and I am working on embracing those changes. Never discount the beauty of the path you walk. When you embrace it you emerge a new person, changed forever but changed for the better. Life is beautiful, now go live it.
In Her Service,