Posts Tagged herbs

Rites of passage – Soul Encounter


“To be nothing but yourself …in a world which is doing its best, night and day to make you somebody else – Means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” – E.E.Cummings

For me a house only becomes a home when I have planted my herb garden, lemon and lime tree.The first time I ever became aware of the word herb, it was as if an ancient knowledge base awakened in me. You can say my soul naturally delights in the contact with herbs. For me, human beings without a soul connection, are like a potted plants. Yes it can be fairly healthy, but it seems to need constant first-aid. The potted plant is far less resistant than those with their roots in the earth. Just like a fish in a pond, it can only grow relatively to the size of the pond. When you plant a potted plant out in the earth, there seems to be an immediate added glow about it. We are just like that when we make soul connection.

“At its inception, the ego is naturally narcissistic, but if it develops wholesomely, guided by both soul and nature, it identifies with an increasingly wider slice of life. A mature ego understands the occasional necessity of surrendering to – or being defeated by – a far greater than itself, sometimes during the death-rebirth encounter (when the ego surrenders to soul) and other times during ego transcendence (when ego surrenders to spirit). Ego obstructs personal development when it gets stuck, lost, or entrenched at any life stage – when it resists change, loss, grief, or radical transformation at the hands of the gods and goddesses.” – Bill Plotkin

For us to develop to our full potential it is essential to move past “the stage-stuckness”. Many of us are stuck in the past without even realising it.

Before I go any further, I feel I must give my personal interpretation of what the ego is, as there are so many interpretations of the word, by so many, that it can be confusing.

The ego means I: It is that which I perceive as my present conscious self-awareness. That part of me that makes the decisions between right and wrong, between the choices I face in life. It operates through a personal paradigm, and cognitive style. One’s personality (persona – mask) is projected through the ego. The ego is the container of what you believe yourself to be.

When I speak of Divine, I speak of something being spirit based.

When I speak of Sacred , I speak of something being soul-based.

“Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of the soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit”

Alice A. Bailey

When we are children our senses are open; we explore the world with an open awareness. As we grow older we all too often become too selective in what we choose to experience. Our sensual interaction with the world around us becomes habitual rather than open. We choose to loose our sensitivity rather than be subjected to pain, and so stop feeding our soul.

Modern Living impoverishes the soul. What does normal living in the rat race actually offer the soul as nourishment? The soul’s voice may be quiet, but persistent in its call for us to connect. This call will often manifest within us as a restlessness, a deep yearning for something, and of course depression.

Connecting with the soul, is however, not a Gondola ride, but rather more like White River Rafting. Yet, we need soul connection to evolve, to grow. It might just be the reason why extreme sports are so popular, especially amongst the male population.

“When Dagara boys undergo their initiation ordeals, the people of the village realise that a few boys will never return; they will literally not survive. Why would the Dagara be willing to make such an ultimate sacrifice? For the boys who die, this is certainly not a therapeutic experience. Although the Dagara love their children no less than we do, they understand, as elders of many cultures emphasize, that without a vision – without soul embodied in the culturally creative lives of their men and women – the people will perish. And, to the boys, the small risk of death is preferable to the living death of an uninitiated life. Besides when we compare Dagara society with our own, we find that an even greater percentage of our teenagers die – through suicide, substance abuse, auto accidents, and gang warfare – in their unsuccessful attempts to initiate themselves.”

Bill Plotkin

In South Africa every year, many boys die during the initiation rituals. Some of these “schools” are run by people just out to make a profit and many boys die needlessly in the hands of unskilled operators. Even here the culture of Materialism invades the once sacred institutions. Yet, despite the dangers, many young men will tell you, that they do not feel that they are men, until they have been through initiation. Western culture can numb us, but cannot still the call of the soul. The voice of the soul may be quiet, but it is persistent.

“Look around you. How many Americans, regardless of age, are caught in an adolescant holding pattern, waiting for the time when thet will magically become adult? In the meantime, they will dream the infantile American Dream of wealth and power, addict themselves to alcohol and (legal and illegal) drugs, become enamored of the glittering surface of the material world, fall into puppy love and get married, readily dream the clever dreams manufactured for them by media and politicians, fight their own kind with rocketships, lasers, and nuclear bombs, worship celluloid and stereophonic personalities, become obsessed with sex, wallow in the depths of narcissistic depression, persist in self-destructive excess, dislike having to be responsible for personal actions … These signs of cultural crisis, and many more, point to the inability of culture itself to provide meaningful rites of passage …into expanded stages of growth.” – Steven Foster

Deep inside us the yearning for soul connection will not go away. But not everyone is ready to enter the forge of the soul, and soul connection cannot be pushed. Just as you cannot push to be loved, it has to be earned. Sometimes it happens slowly over time, sometimes it strikes swiftly, unexpectedly. All you can really do is to make the conditions of the self-soil as fertile as possible for soul-growth.

What we lack here in Africa, in material terms, is abundantly compensated by soul experience. You cannot speak about Africa without speaking about the soul. Even the most insensitive soul can feel its tangible presence here. Africans that emigrate always long for it. Here, I have learned to trust the saying; ” What you need to know, will come your way when you need to know.” It has been proven to me over and over again, and sometimes it comes from the strangest sources. I can truly say that I lived a rich soul life, blessed by the humanity around me.

I look back at my life and I am filled with the wonder of the exquisite timing of my unfolding. With grace I step into my being. Through the radiance of my being, my living awakens the seeds of my becoming. Carefree as a child in loving embrace, I trust in my soul’s “knowing of being in place”, that strengthens my body to follow the destiny my spirit presents to me.

“Each individual, being a conception of the divine mind, is held in that mind as a perfect idea … We have been perfectly conceived and are always held in the perfect mind, as perfect beings.”

Trust in your unfolding.

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The Keeper of the Key II


Previously:

What is home to you he asked? I felt the coolness of the key in my hand and a deep longing filled my being. I closed my eyes in remembrance.

The well worn steps’ comforting familiarity seemed to sing in harmony with my descending steps.  I felt the weight of the key reassuringly hanging from my waist. The day I received the key, I  felt as if I was queen receiving her crown. I treasured the key more than a thousand jeweled crown. Crowns however, come with both sorrow and joy.  With my mother’s passing I became the custodian of the key. The Keeper of the Key, my mother carried the title with both the dignity and grace of a truly great queen. She instructed me carefully in the duties and responsibilities that went with the key. The mistress of the household kept the key to the larder and still room. It was she who had to keep a eye on the provisions and disperse with wise care, and foresight.

Mother was however more than the normal Keeper of the Key, she knew the secrets nature’s hidden language and taught me to read the signs that would tell of lean years to come, when sickness might blow on ill winds and how to prepare. All women of course were schooled from a young age in the art of preserving the any abundance of the harvest, but mother was known also for special skills in brewing the finest floral wines and sweet scented toilet waters.

There were other secrets she taught me as well. Secrets, that I had to swear on the key that I would only impart to the next Keeper of the Key. Secrets that will only be revealed at the dawn of the Time.

As I opened the door, I took a moment to inhale the air scented with fragrant herbs drying. I lit the lamp with a tinge of hesitation. I love the cool darkness of the cellar, that wraps its like a fragrant cloak around me. Shelves of bottled preserves, pickles, the nectar of the fruits preserved in wines and cordials, stand row upon row, in anticipation of the cold darkness of winter, when a sip of their sweet moistness will bring memories of the warmth of summer; the mellow warmth of a late summer’s afternoon golden sun. Here in the cool darkness all care and demands seem to evaporate and for a while I can find quiet solace. I take out my precious little book, hidden behind a row of ferments and bless my mother again for teaching me how to read and write in a time when few women were taught the skill. Here in my secret Kingdom I can open my innermost secret room.  

To be continued …

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