A year ago in the Fall of 2012, I was taking archetypal journeys with some of my fellow guides at the virtual spiritual retreat forum known as Sacred Circle Retreats. A small group of us were delving into our personal archetypes in the style of Caroline Myss (author of “Sacred Contracts,” “Entering the Castle” and more.) All of us have studied Caroline’s work and a few have a real depth of knowledge in her archetypal work following certifications and personal trainings with her.
Despite this level of understanding and scholarly aptitude, none of us were probably fully prepared for the chaos to clarity that our work together would yield for each one of us. The process reinforced a quality Sacred Circle Retreats creator, Jackie L. Robinson has quoted from Caroline Myss many times, “We need to become souls with stamina.” Well we certainly did! There were times where the mind definitely got in the way, where we were mired in confusion or doubt, where our unconscious Saboteur felt as if it was fighting us at each turn, or where we simply weren’t ready to go to those places inside ourselves.
On the whole though, it was a time that brought each of us to much greater wholeness withIN. Parts of ourselves that were in need of healing and harmonizing came to the surface. Within the sacred circle of trust we shared, we each embraced these unrealized selves within. It was a powerful experience but not an easy one. One of my dearest friend’s on the planet said this years ago, it is so true:
“Consciousness is not for sissies.”
Consciousness will bring you face to face with everything: the good, the bad and the ugly as they say. And yet, once we shed light on our shadows and acknowledge both our darkness and our light, we blend all the players within us into a great symphony. The shadow and light become principal dancers and our life becomes a work of art. We then are our own masterpiece of creation.
For me personally, one of our shared archetypal journeys became gut-wrenching. It struck a core part of myself that, once owned, brought me to a place of self-compassion and Grace I’d never known before. The getting there wasn’t easy, but like we’ve said, “Consciousness is not for sissies.”
It’s not important for me to share all the gorey details. In fact, I don’t know that I could recall them anyway. What I do remember is recognizing that there was an enormous core part of me that had gone my entire life feeling like I was wrong and that something was profoundly wrong with me. In this particular archetypal session, one of our original guides, Jen Guptil (who was one of Caroline Myss’ first Sacred Contract students) helped me hone inward and feel into the archetype that was located in my 4th house. This is the place on the Sacred Contract wheel that represents ‘home’ both the home we grew up in as a child, the home we’ve created as an adult and the home inside ourselves. Having a double Cancer as my astrological sign (sun & rising), the sign most connected to home and family, this represented an important archetype for me to know and to own. What I was not prepared for was the anguish I felt there. I saw shackles and chains. I felt deep judgment and woundedness, pain, fear, doubt, uncertainty, hyper vigilance, perpetual wrongness and a hopelessness that deeply ached. As I described what came in visions and feelings, and shared a few painful experiences from my childhood and marriage, Jen asked the other guides if they sensed what she did. Intuitively Melynnda Button our ‘Edgy Mystic’ guide said, “Yes” and lovingly encouraged me. She said, “DeAnne this is what you’ve been waiting for. You can do this.” Then gently, Jen said that she felt the archetype of The Puppet or The Slave here in the house of my Home. The Slave??? I lived the archetype of the Slave in my home? Jen emphasized too that this was the home I had created within myself as well. No wonder, I had dealt with such horrific self-judgment for years. I was reeling from the feelings that errupted from deep within me. The journey that day had plunged me into body shaking sobs. It was a catharsis like none I had ever experienced in my life. It most certainly was NOT easy. My fellow guides “held the space” both energetically and emotionally for me to come into this awareness and for that I can never offer enough appreciation.
We are all energetic beings, and these archetypal energies are part of our very Being. We have a dozen or so that are all those inner personalities and qualities within us. Once we understand, befriend and own them, we truly are whole and Holy in a conscious way.
That day, as I was feeling raw and torn wide open, a magical and miraculous synchronicity occurred. While I was immersed in assimilating the energy of ‘the slave’, my daughter literally walked through our door after school as ‘The Queen’ wearing a golden crown on her head. What an incredible juxtaposition for mother and daughter!
She was beaming with excitement and self confidence. Her name had been drawn at her high school’s Homecoming Assembly, and she was called down in front of the entire school to receive a gift basket as part of a community service acknowledgment. It included a golden paper crown that was placed upon her head atop her lovely golden curls. Through most of her high school years, my daughter had been more of a kind, quiet, introverted academic and art student. It was unlike the vivacious, bouncy social butterfly she had been in her early years. She was happy overall at that time, just not as empowered feeling as she had once been. Something shifted for her that day. She was “seen” in front of her peers in a public way, and she was thrilled and amazed by it all. I was so happy for her, and I was deeply grateful that she could appreciate her experience like that. I was also thankful that she could hear of my ‘slave’ awareness with compassion and that it didn’t diminish her joy. Again, we held space for each other and our personal experiences that day.
Later that night, after attending my daughter’s senior high school Homecoming football game, I would continue crying alone in my room until I slept and awoke crying once more. That day provided a core catharsis and awakening. I remembered and assimilated so many parts of myself, so many ages and stages. I remembered the young woman who had been her high school’s valedictorian and yet always carried such a fear of being wrong. I remembered the exuberant child who was fearless. I remembered the little girl who had been empathic and watched so many adults around her not feeling free to be completely themselves while living in a wounded world. I felt that girl adopting an inner slave inside. She had lovingly learned to please others, to bring joy and to bring more emotional ease around her. If she could help keep them happy, she wouldn’t have to feel their hidden pain or experience unpleasant emotions. Unknowingly, she had enslaved herself, allowing herself to be inadvertently puppeted by the moods and expectations of others.
The empowerment of the ‘slave’ was in recognizing that this energy was present and that there was nothing ‘wrong’ with it ~ nor with me. I had known too as a child that I was “a happy accident”, born of teenage parents. I knew that they refused the suggestion of having an abortion and been able to be great parents creating a loving family for my brother and I. Of course we pick up the emotional tones of our parents and families, I could often feel the places in them where they felt enslaved and imprisoned, especially in notions of needing to be perfect in some way. In facing this ‘slave’ archetype, this awareness freed me. Compassion infused me – for myself and for all of us who had ‘imprisoned ourselves’ out of fear. I also believe in my core that we have CHOICE. We create these ‘Sacred Contracts’ with family even before incarnating. Recognizing that our souls CHOOSE to learn through these archetypes and alongside the people in our lives is an empowering idea when fully embraced. I read up on the attributes of ‘The Slave’ and learned that while the shadow side was “giving your willpower to an external authority out of fear of making your own choices and lacking self-authority “, the light attribute to ‘The Slave’ was to become truly free by surrendering to the Divine, the Higher Power ,with complete trust. Those with this attribute can become true servants of the Divine. And I now knew that I possessed this quality in the heart of my home within. It was quite an awareness to assimilate and to begin to humbly magnify through me into the world. I continue learning.
I realized later how extraordinary it was, this day that my daughter and I played out the roles of the Queen and the Slave. It was incredulously symbolic. That day, I “came home” to that ‘home’ of my Sacred Contract, and it all occurred on the actual day of my daughter’s senior “Homecoming” game. That day too, she, in turn, was “coming home” to the empowered Queen within her. The dance of the universe is indescribable at times.
There is a divine timing in it all.
One year later, I would be joining 50+ women for an inaugural Heroines Journey Retreat where we recognized the Queens in ourselves and one another.
It appears those archetypal journeys intertwined for me and came full circle one year later.
~ Creator, Facilitator & Guide – Conscious Connections NOW
~ Opening Guide at Sacred Circle Retreats