DARK GODDESS RISING
Session 6 we explored the fifth/throat chakra (communication) and the archetype/goddess, Eris.
Eris is the Greek goddess of strife, chaos, and discord, the cause of #chaos in our lives.
She’s rather an invisible goddess. We don’t know much about her and she’s easily ignored. The most famous myth about her involves an Olympian wedding where she was the only deity on the ‘Do Not Invite’ list. This was because she was known to cause strife.
So in spite of no invitation, Eris showed up anyway and … caused strife! She threw ‘the golden apple of discord’ into the mix, literally. It was cunningly inscribed as being, ‘for the fairest one’.
Naturally the goddesses went berserk, all demanding that the apple belonged to them. Zeus, king of the gods, appointed hapless mortal man, Paris of Troy to be the judge of which goddess was fairest.
They all stripped naked and started parading their divine gorgeousnesses in front of him (whoa!). And they went to every end to win, each bribing Paris to pick them. Hera offered him political power, Athena offered him wisdom, and Aphrodite (goddess of love) tempted him with the most beautiful woman in the world: Helen.
Despite his culture placing great emphasis on power and wisdom, Paris went for erotic love and chose Helen (who was inconveniently the wife of Menelaus of Sparta). Thus began the 10 year Trojan War, and the eventual destruction of the city of Troy.
Some blame Eris for these tragic events.
Another take on it, is that Eris brings needed chaos (and destruction) to our lives, in order to reveal the truth of a matter. Everything is torn down to the very foundations, if those foundations are faulty. Then we have the chance to build our lives anew, this time based on the #truth.
WANT MORE? YOU GOT IT, BABY
CLEARING OLD SHIT
The ‘root clear’ process was around:
*Ignored – the wound
*Chaos – the shadow
*Expression – the challenge
*Truth – the gift
What do you ignore in your life, inside yourself or in others? (hint, it’s often the same thing)
Anything that’s ignored for too long eventually reacts with chaos, wreaking havoc as it attempts to surface and gasp for life-breath. What comes to mind includes:
*the ‘sudden’ midlife crisis
*a ‘sudden’ illness or disease
*a ‘sudden’ relationship collapse
*a ‘sudden’ burnout
Several times in my life ignored parts of my psyche have burst out to rain chaos upon me and others (and I’ve experienced the same in others). Often I didn’t even know what I was ignoring or repressing … it was that deep in my unconscious.
The challenge in this chaos is to find the way to express the suppressed and unexpressed. As a result we can integrate a lost part of ourselves, and live a more authentic life with our true voice being spoken. This gift is ultimately worth all the chaos, and the potential destruction of relationships/communities/systems that can’t cope with our truth (or who need time to expand their capacity, so that they can accept it).
THE PAIN OF MIS-ATTUNEMENT
Were you ignored in your childhood? (and/or later in life?) In many ways I was and it hurt like hell.
This hurting was a natural response … the nervous system of a child wires up based on the quality of ‘attunement’ they receive from caregivers. #Attunement means seeing another person in their realities, and reflecting those back, accurately and warmly. It means accepting a person as they are, and not trying to change or suppress them.
In the absence of quality attunement, a young human feels fundamentally de-stabalised. Their system doesn’t connect up fully, and they don’t know what’s what. They can end up with a lived experience of constant confusion, and nebulous unnameable fears.
I’ve always been comforted that quality of childhood isn’t a life sentence (because so many of us experienced childhood trauma, including my caregivers). Psychology’s ‘attachment theory’ talks about ‘earned secure attachment’ which is a fancy way of saying you can learn how to re-parent yourself, and how to feel foundationally secure inside. You can then interact with the world and others (especially intimates) from a place of security rather than chaos.
It’s a huge journey though, or at least it has been for me. I’ve been greatly aided by findings from Interpersonal Neurobiology and Mindfulness, by being securely responded to by a loving counsellor, and by many of my intimate partnerships (both the good and bad times, and the reflections they showed me). And I’m still learning, still rewiring.
What I can share is that it gets easier and easier. My times of chaotic agony get less; my times of being ‘online’ and able to make quality decisions even in the face of big challenges gets more.
But even more wondrous than that, the experience of mis-attunement has led to massive gifts in my life, and keeps giving (could this be true for you too?). The gifts only came when I embraced the truth of what had happened, stopped wallowing in it as a helpless victim (which was understandable, but never helped me or anybody else), and took baby steps than bigger steps to learn how to love myself and others. The gifts include:
*I have feelings again (I used to just be in my head)
*I can express those feelings (more and more, with practice, with rewiring, with loving support of self and others)
*I have a body again (I used to not feel much below my neck)
*I am present and in my body during sex … sex-in-the-body is so pleasurable (I used to dissociate)
*My story of what happened in my incredibly chaotic childhood is mostly coherent (this reflects making sense of the unsensable)
*My inability to do stuff and beating-myself-up has turned to growing capacity, and self-encouragement
*My judgement of others (which took so much energy, and damaged them, unfairly – they were doing the best they could with what they’ve been given) has turned to understanding
*My self-hatred (so thick, so dark, so drowning me in suicidality) has turned into a very tender self-love
*My hatred for and distrust of humanity has turned into an enjoyment of and basic trust in humans
*I know myself as the divine beyond this human form, more and more. Nothing compares to that. I don’t have words. Everything is worth this treasure, and it’s there for all of us, at core.
THE CHALLENGE OF EXPRESSION
I’m still learning how to speak up for all the lost and mis-wired parts of me, to help them all come home. Maybe you are too?
This workshop has felt very helpful in some important rewiring.
We do the mysterious and powerful clearing process, and discover what our unconscious wants to call in for us (very often a f***ing revelation). Then we use the astrological medicine wheel ritualistically to embody the process more. We use a shaking mediation from Osho and a chakra breathing exercise to help move old stuck energies (on every level: thoughts, feelings, memories, body sensations and more). It helps clear out the old and usher in the new.
Then we voice dialogue with the goddess energy to discover more about how to drink our medicine. Mmm, medicine. My experience is that the goddesses seem to know their shit. I’m really surprised what comes out of my mouth, and how on point it is.
Then we embody the changes during the week, continuing to breathe into all our experiences and receive them. And to breathe out and release everything’s that ready to release.
The clearing process starts in these workshops but the facilitator has let us know it’s just the beginning. Like all human process, it will continue to unfold. We may see the fullness of these changes a year from now … sounds like an exciting year.
WHY IS EXPRESSION HARD?
For me it’s hard because parts of me feel SO scared when I start to speak up or show them. I was punished for speaking my truth growing up so naturally I have an embodied constriction when I start to move in an expressive way. Maybe you relate?
I start to speak a hard truth, and then instead of speaking I cough, for quite a long time.
I start to speak and I notice my body starting to shake. I quiver with fear.
I start to speak and I notice myself saying what I want to say in a backwards and manipulative way … because I fear to say it outright. And I’m repeating the style of communication that was modelled to me, growing up.
I start to speak and I notice myself get angry and incoherent. If the other person gets angry in response (or first) I notice myself shutting down. It’s a kind of ‘going blank’ feeling, and my voicebox seems to turn off.
I’m at a stage of healing/rewiring where I can observe all this as it happens. I can feel the true and deepest me behind all this surface experience, observing it, unphased by it, in love with it all.
I’m (mercifully) at a stage where very often I can speak up about what’s happening and overt it. I just tell the other person exactly what I see inside-of-me without putting it on them or blaming them for it. This seems to be, in my experience, SO much easier for them to receive. Most of the time they welcome my sharing, and feel compassion for me. They often offer support. So wonderful! If it resonates … perhaps, start trying that kind of open vulnerable communication, in interactions where it feels right.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed and go back to my old-wired-ways. That’s okay too. I beat myself up much less, and come out of it much sooner (and so will you, my fellow human, as you practice being more of you). I’m also much more understanding of others’ expressions – the ‘clean’ messages and the ‘dirty-with-old-pain-bleeding-through’ messages.
I have a long way to go. And I’m also already exactly where I need to be, and there’s nowhere to go. This moment is perfect, and unfolding just as it needs to. I’m so beautiful in my imperfection that I could cry tears of relief (and do). Others have the exact same imperfect beauty.
There is no ‘fairest of them all’ who deserves the golden apple. Because it’s all of us.
But hey, if you want to strip naked and parade about boasting and bribing … I’m not going to stop you! 😉
Until session 7.
[Image sourced at https://aminoapps.com/c/pagans-witches/page/blog/owc-the-lovely-goddess-eris/ERZk_wMVIPuwKeG56GJ3JKw1B2Lr6NQ5plY ]