WHAT IS NEEDED TO FACE DEATH AND TAKE A LEAP INTO THE PROFOUNDLY UNKNOWN,
AWARE THAT IN THIS PASSAGE, WE RELINQUISH OUR SELVES?
As we move into the initiatory domain of the Great Bear,
we are being invited to traverse the portal into the ultimate initiation,
both in our own personal journeys
and in the evolutionary cycles of our species,
as reflected in the rise and fall of civilisations.
We are invited to stand with our bare feet
in the circle with those who fully love us,
to hold each other as we step into the deep, dark, silence
that holds our circle.
We take with us our breath, our senses, our sense of self.
We speak from and into that silence.
My heart is racing,
urging me to speak.
There is a sacredness of naming certain things.
Thinking about what death means.
My death has been present throughout my life,
since my birth, after an inexplicably critical start.
An out-of-body experience, aged 8.
The deaths of others, spared by nano-seconds:
the acute consciousness of that exact moment
when the thread of life could have been broken.
Sick this summer, fear of the meaning and consequences
of a fever: if you die, what happens?
You could die anyway, at any moment: so what?!
Riding a motorbike—we are alive by being present in the moment.
Such a sense of freedom. In that moment I buried the fear.
What do I still have to relinquish?
Contemplating the death of the people I care about:
that makes me physically sick.
I know that wound, from the sudden loss of my father
at an early age.
And yet, there is still something more to learn.
Going there, shedding tears. My mother, my husband…
We are mortal!
Again and again, visiting this prospect.
If I myself have gained freedom and the preciousness of every moment,
I can do the same for them. Release them of my fear for them,
set them free.
Accepting to let go of resistance,
Accepting the deep joy within.
What is needed?
a community to which we can belong
in our daily lives.
Just the mention of death in the world
has become such an awful thing.
I don’t feel like that.
In India today, there are massive farmers protests,
provoking my tears.
Sacrilege – it must be through war, conflict.
Why must it be like that?
I have written all the ways
I could possibly die.
Sometimes it’s unbearable to be in this body.
I have also tried to kill myself,
but I couldn’t – please, somebody else do it for me.
So much pain associated with death.
This The two weeks between twice-monthly Collective Alchemy Portal Days (when open practice calls take place), when co-sensing and preparation takes place for the next Portal Day. has been so harmonious,
I’m no longer alone.
I’m done with the fear,
and I don’t even know what that means.
There is nothing left.
Nobody to see.
All I hear is little children—
they are the only ones who can see death
without being afraid of it.
I want that childlike joy
without its ignorance.
Earth and darkness:
I’ve been there many times.
It’s like standing at the lake-shore railing in the fog:
there is NOTHING.
I love to expose myself to that big nothing
and accept it with all of my being.
There is no giving up
because all the active parts aren’t there in that moment.
To go there in person is the easiest,
because the senses are there to support it.
I want to call it the NOTHING.
Most probably it is an inner place we go through,
that is not the end; it’s followed by a new beginning.
In these days, we’re not attracted to Nothing.
Sitting alone in the night bus,
the clinical light and the length of the bus separating me from the driver,
it’s just the same.
How to hold when it’s just me?
Then it’s so easy to let go of my inner rubbish.
Holding the passionless place,
where there is no nourishing of useful or useless
That is the place to go
before anything else meaningful can happen.
I can die any moment.
Life is so dangerous, I’m amazed that I’m not yet dead.
Yet I always come back alive.
It’s clearly not yet my time.
Don’t move unless you get an impulse
that is true enough to follow.
It is important to bring myself again and again to that experience,
to strip off the discursive world.
Finding out what is by finding out what is not.
I can only be there by being there.
There was a time
I thought I was going to die.
Thinking back on that moment,
there was nothing to do.
I couldn’t stop what was happening.
That has been an important moment:
it could just happen, and there’s nothing to be done.
I knew that my friend was there.
Being held, being with our tribe
in those moments makes a different.
Since then, I’ve been trying to avoid
any repetition of that experience.
It’s been a long journey,
trying to accept that it’s going to happen anyway.
There’s nothing I can do to avoid death.
As long as I’m doing things, I’m not dying.
It’s when we stop doing
—maybe that’s dying.
As long as we are held by our loved ones
it’s less scary.
Words that came from the silence:
How can we ever be free…
A little phoenix
sitting on my shoulder.
The paradox that
the bird is reborn from its own ashes.
Whatever I exit,
there will be a new form,
that’s me and not me.
I feel a subtle shift of identity.
There’s something inhabiting my body
that is much bigger.
It’s not that that’s inside my body—
rather, my body is arising inside that:
my multidimensional self.
My body and its consciousness is that which is arising
inside space and time.
I’m much more aware of all the clinging,
clutching, grasping, contracting movements
of attachment to habits, patterns, associations, connections
which have formed inside my time-bound, space-bound self.
I’m also aware of the subtle attachment
to this body, this persona, this lifetime, this narrative, this story
that belongs to my multidimensional self.
All nested like Russian dolls.
The prospect of death always brings up the litany of attachments that I hold.
There’s a curiosity in me: what is the point of all of this?
Is there some useful function played by accepting, inviting,
physical forms and ancestral and karmic patterns
to show up inside one’s multidimensional self?
Does it have a higher social function in the Kosmos?
Or is it—just like an air bubble passing through the digestive tract—
moments of discomfort that will pass?
Tuning into that multidimensional self is like “The Nothing”.
Be it light or dark; the silence and the presence
is all there is.
It’s huge. It lives in my heart.
Or, rather, my heart is a portal that opens onto that vastness,
and allows the vastness, the presence
to flood into this dimension
Will I find words,
for all that is present?
It was Goethe who said:
As soon as you trust yourself
you will know how to die.
How do we trust ourselves?
Perhaps we must face birth
before we face death.
I am in the middle of
an ancestral healing story.
Becoming a mother
is part of that.
I carry my grandmothers
in my name.
I have the skills, opportunities, context
that they didn’t have
to bring a new story into this world,
to parent our young men differently.
Whose death do I face?
In all our institutions of power,
there is a voice missing:
the mother, the caring, the mothering.
I have stepped in to that gap,
to speak the unspeakable.
Facing death, talking about birth,
relinquishing the constructed self.
As a mother, I feel a responsibility not to die.
I’m not afraid of my own death,
but of what happens to others if I die?
Returning to trust.
To grieve all that has not been grieved for.
Feeling the leap into the profoundly unknown,
I really did that 5 years ago to the day,
leaving the life story I had worked so hard to hold onto.
As I leapt, I’m still in the passage.
It’s been five years.
I’m still relinquishing.
It’s this process of grieving.
Once upon a time, my strongest impulse was
to drop everything to go and be
with my grandmother in her passing.
But I didn’t: I went to the Burning Man Festival instead.
Since then I’ve been processing the trauma
of not having surrendered to the dying.
Being of service through impulse.
For that, I need to heal, to release,
to grieve for all the things that prevent me
from acting on that impulse.
The abuse, repressed,
returning in a way I could forgive myself
and let it go, being helped to hold me.
Remembering how my mother had hurt me.
Only now have I been able to release that.
Now, all I want is to be with her.
Acknowledging that I am still in the passage,
with all the grief that is between me
and the nothingness.
In the silent dark, I was reminded
of a recent insight that shocked me.
It brings me great grief,
connecting me with an aspect of the human condition
that we don’t often acknowledge:
If I do what I was born to do,
If I live as I was born to live,
I will die; I will be killed.
So instead, I will stay alive,
the living death of living a life
which is not what I was born for.
And that is the choice we are facing now,
as human beings on this planet.
What have I got to lose?
It feels like risking dying in order to live.
As I go into the long barrow,
I feel a sense of relief,
in the coolness and safety of that space.
A sense of joy and peace.
The need for humility and surrender
of being within the earth,
in the care of this great bear,
whom I experience as the emissary
of the Mother Goddess, the creative force,
the source of life that we are all an expression of.
There is no leap into the unknown.
It’s all known.
We might not know the details, but the energy
is with us all the time.
There’s a sense of adventure,
the unknowing is in who I am going to be,
if and when I come out again.
I am acutely aware of the difference between
bodily death and the death of the ego,
aspects of the constructed self,
which is more of a symbolic death.
There’s a trust that I’m held,
and a celebration in the air.
We’re safe to be ourselves
I felt such stillness in my body,
no movement, no weight.
Just a free flow of breath,
I felt that I am possessed.
Joyfully surprised that I had a desire
to be possessed by stillness and peace.
Nothing left, all over, done.
No feelings left, with all that’s gone.
My body felt like a statue,
motionless but possessed with life.
I’m in the body and not in the body
at the same time.
I want to rest there.
There’s nothing else to do.
Thank you. I can’t do this alone.
I’m so grateful.
I have been cultivating the reputation
of being a real bummer!
The mound held a space for me,
asked me question
about my bleak outlook in the world right now:
feeling deeply, powerfully, daily,
this is a shit hole and I hate it here!
Everywhere I look,
I see suffering and horror that I’m repulsed by.
Stepping into the mound,
I was met with a space that asked me
to give up that hate,
my thoughts and feelings on what is wrong.
I saw my ideas of what is wrong, bad, what I stand against
crumbling just as much
as my ideas of what is good and right
have crumbled over the last year.
This is such a huge ask of me.
It’s deeply tied to how I define myself these days,
where so much of my energy is dedicated
to providing some measure of healing
for this awfulness.
It has defined me my whole life.
I have chosen my values through what I want to stand against,
A way to build in brokenness and toxicity.
Here I am.
Filled with anger, suffering and disgust.
I am asked to surrender that,
like I have surrendered everything else.
It’s such an impossible ask!
How am I ever going to do this?
Part of the death is
seeing that world that so troubles you
fading into the background,
Trusting that’s what’s really happening
although it looks so awful in this realm.
It’s becoming more acquainted with the unknown.
When I allow that to be with me
—as I do every day now—
what’s really calling me, and us, together?
As an embodied human
I reside in this dimensional realm, and yet
the potential across different levels of time and space
calls us now.
When I let myself be there—also with others—
there’s a glistening, lighted presence
that comes through, that says Yes!
Here and now! We can do this together.
I don’t feel like I’m dying;
maybe just who I’ve been in this life until now
—ways in which my identity has been defined.
I will always carry, in some way,
that spark of infinity that’s timeless, endless, lighted.
We all carry that.
The unknown is calling us now,
to play, to orchestrate, to dance with it,
in what wants to be born.
That’s the potential I sense we hold now.
It will look different as it comes through each one of us.
I love that! We each play our own note
in this New World Symphony!
Seeing the burial mound,
it was familiar.
I’ve been there before – several times.
Times where I had to change, surrender,
give way, give up, give in.
To become different, new, maybe better.
There’s always a little fear
that surrounds the entry to the mound.
What sustains me, allows me to stay in there?
It’s faith, it’s trust.
Today, my bare feet are cold, despite the fire.
I felt I had layers of clothes on,
taking pieces off, one by one.
It’s painful, it’s suffering that I was letting go of.
There’s something about relinquishing,
without knowing what will replace it,
but it must be more positive than what I entered with.
I was prayerful for that transformation,
that burning away,
despite it’s being cold and dark.
I must experience the darkness
before I can experience the light.
Looking at the mound, at the Guardian,
part of me feels terrified.
Here we go again!
I’m not ready.
The cold stone in my stomach:
the cycle is closing in on that part of me
that doesn’t want to pass through that passage.
Every seven years in this life,
this happens. Profound changes in my life.
I’m scared of them.
There’s another part of me that’s much more relaxed,
that understands the cycle,
has a soft smile for the scared part.
I don’t mind that both these parts are me.
What I hear most profoundly in the stillness
is my breath, my heart beat.
They are precious, and I know
I can be without them.
I love the silence,
what comes through from each of us
that goes beyond the words.
Three strikes of the bowl.
I’ve traveled with this tarot deck for many years.
This is the first time of going into the burial mound
with others. Consciously.
There is significance around there being a sentinel,
the watchful presence of the Bear,
while above, is Ursa Major.
In order to face Death,
we need to be willing to share what that means.
The taboo of culture,
of having this kind of conversation,
An aspect that came through in the research
prior to this wave,
was the different ways there are of navigating.
There are chart navigators, and then
there are the wayfinders, who navigate by the stars,
relying on the sum of the aptitudes of the entire crew
to track the patterns that guide with precision across the oceans.
It’s not that only one has to know:
we all bring in different information that supports the journey.
There are keys in our knowing
that allow us to transition.
I alone cannot hold all the facets.
It’s the accumulation,
the being in the long barrow together
that allows us to see.
How do we live with dying?
How do we live into it,
as a sacred act?
I can see very clearly and closely,
how the grace of being willing to engage with death
allows living to be more profound and more precious.
It’s not what I don’t want, but what I do.
That question stops me in my tracks.
There is a clearing: that’s the choice, now.
How can we be with that question,
while Death is always present,
and continue to live the journey
as fully as it can be lived?
What can we take?
What must we leave?
Ancient knowledge: a dead body is mainly mineral.
What is mineral returns.
What isn’t mineral is the important part:
that’s what we are trying to explore,
from the different angles of our provenance.
In my youth, I could never decide what to do.
Next, I knew what I didn’t want.
That’s already something.
In the end, we need to know—or maybe IT will know—
it’s a question of nurturing the highest of us;
an emotional act
of clearing and cleansing.
Once we know, we know.
Like a bird trapped in a building
finally finding the opening to fly out,
however long it takes.
Knowing why we go into this all:
that’s the really big freedom.
The soul’s right. It cannot be taken away.
I’m not free when I’m not searching that freedom.
Then I’m not living my birthright.
A 7-year cycle has ended.
7 years ago I burned out: dying in slow motion.
Realising that how I was living my life
could not continue.
Since then, there’s been an awakening,
an opening, a discovery of new things.
That burnout was uninvited, but needed.
I’m grateful for it.
Today, what has been on my mind,
is the conscious walking into the burial mound.
What that means for me.
What I have been most afraid of,
is to allow connection.
That’s something I’ve had to learn and develop,
That was most alive in me when the question arose.
Always, this image of engaging with someone else:
to trust and open up to another.
Not to shy away, keep distance.
There is nothing profoundly unknown.
It is safe to be ourselves now.
There is no danger here,
I can allow the peace to settle over me.
The question has lost its power over me.
In the darkness I heard a voice telling me
to stop fighting, as a way to prove
my reason for existence.
That goes pretty deep for me.
What emerged here will continue to resonate
In our journey beyond the circle,
we move from the Great Bear
to journey toward the World Tree.
An ending and a beginning.
A signature of wholeness,
of the cycles of life co-existing.
The destination is to go through the doorway
into the Great Oak,
but the path is labyrinthine:
just as we think we come close to the way out
we are taken away and around
into another cycle.
Beyond is the void
denoted by the Wanderer,
stepping off the cliff into a fresh adventure.
We are sensing and feeling the invitation
for a different pacing and a different quality
of moving together in service of the Era Shift.
From twice-monthly to monthly calls.
There will be continued sensing,
in a more undulating cadence of care and atunement,
calling us more deeply into our practice.
How are we leaving this sacred space as we move onward and into our day or dreamtime?
Staying in the practice of continual relinquishment of self.
Intensified sense of breathing through,
a feeling of deep connection.
Grief, Grace, Gratitude.
Allowing these to be breathed through.
Who I was as a young woman
on a discovery of self.
What might want to live again,
that has been buried by my many other lives?
I am not leaving this space.
I continue to hold it throughout the day.
With all of you.
Gratitude to the holders of this space.
Deep heartfelt reverence
for the being barefoot.
For those of you who stood in the
beingness of barefootedness.
Oceans and oceans of grief.
Throughout this wave.
All you need is to feel my love.
I want to stay in the ocean,
in the darkness.
I’m not done:
much purification remains to be done.
Birthing and dying
again and again.
Joyfilled silence of
having spent this time with you.
Glimpsing your ancestral lineages
has expanded who is with us in this circle.
may things I cannot name.
I want more spaciousness.
Resonating with Grief, Grace, Gratitude.
Feeling my permanent pain again,
grateful for that
I haven’t yet found the words,
and trusting a group is a way of
relinquishing an old way of being.
to what happens if I’m open.
A wish to connect and honour
especially my grandmothers.
The smiling Dalai Lama.
Once you understand that you control neither life nor death,
you might as well smile!
Feeling like a hollow bone:
a lot moving through.
Life energy in my body.
Awareness, sensation, feeling
an electrical connection with all of you.
A melody taking shape:
Take this Walz!
You are shedding light,
dropping musical notes!
We have been in a dance together,
with joy and lightness.
I’m leaving feeling tired.
My inner eye saw a male figure
that turned out to be a half-dead girl,
I’m taking to bed with me.
I feel complete,
Death has been sacred today.
I have longed for death and dying
to be restored to its dignified place in the world.
It surely is that now, in this circle.
I have been and am in debt to death for life.
I leave with that.
A strong sense of our community.
Love for everyone here.
The image of the Polynesian wayfarers,
Gratitude for spaces like this together.
To bring forward what is emerging in us.
As we move into challenging times,
this is more important than ever.
Learning how to stand in my truth,
when that isn’t acceptable to others.
I feel the presence
that goes with me from this group.
We are navigating together.
Here we go in in a different way.
Death has been present in my field these weeks.
It’s been powerful to be part of this circle.
A sense of sacredness,
and still a veil that I have been unable
Calm and taking you all with me.
Softness and appreciation for returning to this circle.
A growing realisation that I need to become
detached from the outcome.
wishing that peace on each of you.
The possibility of rebirth,
the probability of renewal,
if we release what holds us back.
I leave this sacred space
having been lulled into a deep trance state
and feeling curious to explore the unseen realms
that this state has opened up for me to see.
thank you for sharing your presence, your silence, your peace,
in dying I feel like leaving and coming home
Feeling wiser than I was when I came.
Gratitude for being with others
who are also willing to turn towards and tune into such questions,
not seeking answers, just turning some soil,
allowing a different kind of aeration and possibility
for whatever seeds we are asked to plant.
Who showed up:
Daniela Tablado, Dounia Saeme, Ellen Decoodt, Luea Ritter, Julia Hoffmann, Brigitte Kupfer, Jenny Hegland, Wini Condic Begov, Anna Brunain, Patricia Hunt Perry, Madeline Snow, Markus Schneider, Molly Whiteley, Judy Wallace, Cristiano Siri, Louise Carpenter, Pavol Kukucka, Christopher Di Franco, Marina Lynch, Inna Chillik, An van Damme, Pieter De Ceuninck, Marie-José d’Aprile, Aakanksha Singh, Ursula Hillbrand, Brandon Wade, Sarah Whiteley, Helen Titchen Beeth