Grief. Sorrow. Heartbreak. This is the overall energetic climate of my past 8 weeks and I know so deeply I am not alone in that. This is the energetic climate of certainly our country and even our planet right now. I keep trying to process it, perhaps even run away from it, only to awaken to the truth that there is in fact no where to go, nowhere untouched by this penetrating force. Just like grief of losing a loved one, this too is grief that we must be present with, we must show up for, hold space for and allow it to move through us. If we, as individuals do not step up to the sacred duty of channeling this grief, allowing it to move through us, transmuted into something possibly more fertile- then it will linger, it will continue to amplify, stagnant and toxify the entire planetary consciousness.
In a weekend of Plant Medicine ceremony in September, I endured some of the most challenging moments, hours and days of my life- that were fully saturated with loss, pain, grief and fear. There was one specific moment where I sat, fully supported in the arms of two beautifully morphed dead cedar tree stumps. To name these trees dead is disrespectful at best, as I have never felt so much life emanating from something before. These stumps had spirit, wisdom, very clear messages, and I was lucky enough to become a channel to them. And to fully understand these messages is not yet in my scope, as I am, humbly, still truthfully learning to listen. But what I felt was undeniable, and that was a feeling of the deepest grief I have ever known. A knowing that the forest, these trees, all the trees, hold onto the grief of our Mother Earth, who in turn holds onto the grief of each of us. For as I mentioned, grief is in no short supply, and when we as individuals cannot make space for its movement and process, it will go elsewhere without ever getting worked through, burned through, transformed. And since this moment, this very deep sorrow has been spiraling through me, and piece by piece burning through layer by layer, everything I thought I was and everything I thought I had. This grief is quite literally breaking me, as it is seemingly doing to the rest of the world.
This grief has a voice, it longs to be heard just as each of us do. It is screaming out in the form of devastating forest fires, hurricanes, earthquake after earthquake. It is awakening overwhelmingly in individuals, viciously making its voice heard through mass shootings, gun violence, suicide. It is the force of corrupt politics that is screaming DIVIDE, DIVIDE, DIVIDE, trusting the truth in it's encouraging message that the only way to truly overcome is to UNITE, UNITE, UNITE. This does not even speak to the indescribable grief we all experience on a very personal level as parents pass on, children die, identities are lost, lovers stop loving-some of which I am personally experiencing. The pain that is a force that calls us to new levels of emotion, that demand community and support, that require unity in order to survive, and if you are like me, require tremendous intensity to force you out of the isolation you’ve succumbed to.
Heartbreak is the inescapable torture
We all must endure
Shall we choose to fly fearlessly
On the wings of Love.
To be inescapable from a pain
That aches deep inside your bones
And trembles within your muscles,
Faithlessly enduring through its end
Which may never arrive.
Oh the courage of Lovers
The rawness of giving way
To a weight
So lately I have been sitting, quite honestly forced to sit with grief, moving it through my body through more tears than I knew could ever exist, uncontrollable quivering- as I literally burn away stored pain, ideals and trauma, and a deep deep cough, as the lungs are the organ that store grief. I have been calling on it in circles, seeking to understand its source. Asking, so genuinely curious, why is there so much pain and loss and suffering to grieve? And in fleeting moments of clarity, I am gratefully reminded by the leaves turning over into new shades of blood red and falling to earth, as the darkness continues to come, reminded of the circular nature of being. Some circles are very small- 24 hours, some circles take a whole year, some take 60 seconds, but some take centuries and centuries and centuries. And then I catch myself, thinking devastating thoughts about the state of this planet, the state of humanity, the state of my own being- complete desperation. I see complete and utter decay and I am overtaken with grief. But in ways the grief is beautiful. It is so needed to experience it as we perhaps witness the beginning of the ending of this circle. To me, its not so much a death, but just as leaves return to the soil to create fertility, it is the preparation for a rebirth.
It is the way that a heart must be broken to open up completely, to allow healing to seep in and to allow ones own medicine to pour out. A broken heart is a desperate vessel through which we arrive at unconditional love, authentic connection and courageous sovereignty. As I have held the grief of the collective, the spirit of the plant medicine moves through my life, giving me thing after thing to grieve on a very personal level. A lost sense of self, a loss of a belief, a loss of identity after identity, a loss of a vision, a perceived loss of partnership, friendship, and the loss of a dream and a deep desire that will not come to fruition as planned. And what I remembered this morning is that She is not taking things away from me, all of these parts of me are dying to nourish the soil that will midwife my rebirth. Just like as a collective, we are feeling these profound labor pains of birthing a new paradigm that is so desperately needed.
And as Women, we have a unique sensitivity to and relationship with grief. We are collectively grieving the centuries of patriarchal, dominator culture that has not only oppressed our sisters and our ancestors but has beat into the submission the Essence of all femininity, Mother Earth. The way we as a culture view the environment is a direct reflection of the way we view Women. And this is not about gender, this is about energetics, the masculine and the feminine, present in each being. There has been dominating and suffocating forces on the very nature of femininity for centuries. Demonizing anything that is not linear and outwardly productive. Not only are we feeling that as a whole right now as Mother Earth makes her pain very well known, but we carry it in our bones, in our wombs, on a cellular level. Epigenetics, if you need a scientific explanation, is now proving what Woman and Healers, as a whole, have known for lifetimes. We are connected to the pain of ancestors through our Womb space, the thread of blood that connects Women across space and time. We fully embody the trauma of Witch burnings, of control and oppression and of all the rapes that came before us and will come after us. We are in relation to it all, and it is hard, and heavy, but the burden of healing is spread as is the deep Wisdom of experience and resiliency.
And not only are we carrying this inherited trauma, but we go through such raw and beautiful transitions throughout our lives that at each step there is a huge space to potentially be filled with profound grief. With each Moon mystery we leave one thing behind and try to take on the task, responsibility, and honor of that which is to come. We become Women, we become mothers, grandmothers, Menopaused Crones. We leave behind the frightened little girl, the free and fertile Maiden, we leave behind youth and bleeding to step into the Fullness of Wisdom available to us. At each Moon mystery, especially in this culture, there is space for isolation, for loss, for shame, for sorrow. I obviously believe that each of these transitions is a powerful Rite of Passage filled with Honor and Celebration, but to not acknowledge the whole of it is to be unjust regarding the complexity of Feminine nature, evolution, and the very truth that in everything beautiful, there is always something to grieve, just as is the reverse. At each step something must die in order for the next to be born. This is the balance of being. This is heartbreak. This is healing. This is life.
So I begin to rather than think about what is ending, use the depth of this grief to begin writing what will be rebirthed. I look at grief with such deep gratitude- what a powerful teacher if only we can learn to sit with it, surrender to it, allow it to break us in ways that actually open us to boundlessness. And there is something so profoundly beautiful about the depth of emotions we are capable of as humans.
So even though these times are heavy, laden with sorrow, these times choose US to exist in, or perhaps WE chose it. On a deep level we each have soul contracts to facilitate this decay and midwife this rebirth. To grieve the loss and envision the future. On a personal level and as a collective. I cannot tell anyone what the cries of Mother Earth are saying, or what the gun violence is proving, or what the racism, sexism and classism truly means, or why your life which no longer serves you is completely falling apart. But I can say that I believe with all of my heart there is deep trauma, which when truly seen can transform to great Wisdom, Peace and Power, in all of our roots and the healing of this cannot be done individually, although that is where it needs to start. It needs to move through us as a collective, as a whole, as a community. So may we sit in circles, may we share our pains and give a voice to this deafening grief, may we learn how to listen to Mother Earth- how to tune ourselves to her voice and her needs, may we strive to live harmoniously with each other and with the elements. May the boundaries dissolve and may this collective death and breaking peacefully make way for the birth of something so much more infinitely Whole.
I see the tress today, being drained of life
I watch the Mum at my alter shrivel up brown.
I feel the earth beneath the forest- Rich with decay.
I know even the sun is retreating.
I look up from this narrow vision to find everything
Cycling into death.
Laughing, I say,
Me too.-Samantha Klim