The Second Cycle
There are embers of fire warming my belly again.
I welcome this fire after giving myself a couple of winter months of rest and patience. When I told my friend Vanessa about feeling the flickers of this fiery potential, she told me, “Of course. We’re arriving to Imbolc.” Imbolc, which takes place on the first of February, is associated with Saint Bridget, a Gaelic goddess who represents spring and fertility. The word Imbolc literally means “in the belly”, or “first milk” in the old Irish Neolithic language. “Imbolc marks the Quickening. This is a time of emergence and possibility. New life beckons as sap surges and the first green shoots of Earth awaken” (From the Hedge School).
The beginning of this month, February 1st, marks the beginning of my next semester – the second cycle – of this spiralling Self-Directed Masters of soul-making. The last day of the We Will Dance With Mountains course happened on Sunday, January 31st and it completed joyfully through dance, music and gathering. I don’t feel particularly sad, or compelled to immediately fill the emptiness with something new – I was brought along as a fugitive on this terrible beautiful journey, running exuberantly with others alongside a ghost ship in an ocean of sands. We are on the crest of a moving wave.
Naming this milestone in my Self-Directed Masters also gives me this powerful surge of self-authorship. I want to honour the completion of my first semester by regathering some of the threads that unravelled me, entangled me, and reweaved me in this messy carrier bag. I was going to assign myself an end-of-semester project to synthesize and tie together the insights, the glimmers of truth that I was gifted peeks into. It’s an impossible job though, and I have no desire to box in the Mystery.
What I can say is that from September to January, I gave myself permission to begin to crack open, and among the cracks, I discovered an old well that leads to a deep and dark reservoir underground. This primordial sensual sea sits beneath all my foundations, my slivers of my selfhood swaying on top of its rippling waves. She is vast and limitless, beyond any boundary I can sense or imagine. She’s also too much – too dangerous – for me to sink into (I am not ready, I will drown) so I will pay furtive visits to her, light candles around the well as a sacred shrine. I will honour her, and allow myself to be touched occasionally by a tremendous source that humbles me. I feel stronger and braver in collective containers and campfires as well, surrounded and held by others.
The well is a two-way channel, and I’m beginning to accept and befriend the beautiful monstrosities that are trickling out. There is a sense of something new bubbling forth, but it is mysterious and I want to be surprised. I may write differently, more often, or not write at all. Maybe it’s time for me to paint and draw instead, dance, be silent, run outside all day and all night, and sleep under the stars. On certain days with chosen people, the world may turn upside down and the well will become a waterfall.
I have a hunger to be witnessed though. I am not a solitary creature. And I’m seeking for more than witnesses, but co-conspirators and partners-in-crime who feel drawn to dance in the liminal space, between the veil and what lies behind it, beyond it.
Dear friend, if you’ve stumbled onto this sacred space that I’ve hidden away in plain sight, I have invited you, with trembling anticipation, to dance with me.