Hello! I hope this finds you and your loved ones well.
Here in New Zealand it’s winter. A time of withdrawal and hibernation. A time in which we’re invited to go inward and reflect on our lives, and to conceive what we want to gestate and sprout when the energy of spring appears. It’s a wonderful time for self-reflection, and shedding what no longer serves us, making space for what wants to come into being.
I enjoy witnessing the relationship between my inner and outer worlds and finding the synchronicities between them. In my inner world I’ve been preparing for my online course (see below) and re-reading Carole Pearson’s comprehensive book Persephone Rising, about the myth of Demeter and Persephone and the Eleusinian mystery school that came out of Persephone’s underworld journey and her mother Demeter’s journey of grief and restoration. Both these journeys are such relevant teachings for healing from loss, betrayal, and devastating life events.
The Eleusinian mysteries were a sacred teaching in the rites of the Sacred Feminine, closely tied to the cycle of birth-death-rebirth reflected in nature’s cycles. This myth that speaks of the power of the Sacred Feminine, and of transformation, has been a guiding myth in my own life. I know what it’s like to be derailed by life, to have gone so deeply underground that I lost all hope and purpose. And I know what it’s like trying to recover yourself without maps and guidance. In my course I hope to offer some guidance for finding your own path of transformation from suffering to vital engagement. Persephone and Demeter’s myth is one of the wisdom teachings we’ll cover in the course.
In my outer world these teachings on winter, death, the underworld, and the return of Persephone to life in spring, were reflected back to me as I walked with my dog in the dark cold woods after days of rain. Rising through the mud was a carpet of emerald moss, its cushiony softness and vibrant green aliveness so resonant with my own life force.
As I lingered, the sun’s rays glanced through the undergrowth and lit the moss with a luminous green halo. I thought of Emily Dickenson’s line – ‘a resonance of emerald’ – and smiled to myself that she too had shared such enriching moments with the mud and moss that are part of the ground of life. And I thought of visionary Hildegaard of Bingen’s concept of Viriditas – the alchemical greening of the soul that occurs as we transform trauma into meaning, re-visioning our victim story into one of transcendence, re-turning not just to life, but to aliveness.
The catch phrase in modern psychology that encapsulates this concept is moving from ‘surviving to thriving’. That moss lit me up inside and got me reflecting on how things die and new life arises from decay and death all the time. Life is a miracle of transformation. When we tap into this something wonderful happens.
What are the moments when your inner and outer life have aligned, illuminating something mundane with a deeper meaning? Perhaps that moment helped you get through your day? Or perhaps it was a catalyst that changed your life? I’d love to hear your experiences of synchronicity with the natural world that opened you to a whole new level of experience. Leave me a comment and share your soul-greening moments with me and others.
The promise of life’s renewal comes from underground, from the winter earth, the shady, dark places. Like the moss, it is small and humble, yet also as iridescent as a precious jewel. When we can pause in the darkness and allow ourselves to be touched by the emerald resonances in the mud we are letting life heal us. Out of Hades underworld comes Persephone bringing spring. Out of our underworld comes the opportunity of new life.
Here are 5 steps for engaging illumination in the natural world:
- take some time out in nature alone, walking slowly or sitting or standing in one place. (Tip: when you’re beginning, taking your dog may be an unhelpful distraction, but this could be meaningful too).
- be observant, with a soft gaze and a sense of listening with your whole body.
practice stillness and silence (leave your headphones and your devices at home).
- be curious about what might take your attention. Let it grab you, not the other way around. And just be open to whatever happens, even if there is seemingly nothing happening – this has meaning too.
- reflect on the meaning the event has for you. (For example the moss connected me with a sense of the return of life after winter, and the corresponding sense of my own return to life after a time of loss and despair. It reminded me to keep being open to the beauty and life all around, nourishing myself in the process). If you like you might journal about it, or draw it, giving it value in your psyche.
Which brings me to my upcoming offering. I’m currently working away in my winter underworld preparing my online course Healing the Wounded Sacred Feminine. Just as Persephone is described as the seed that is invisible in winter and sprouts new life in the spring, my intention is that the course will be available in spring (New Zealand seasons, actual date to be announced).
I’m delighted to be making this offering for you to learn more about the Sacred Feminine and how to heal her wounds in your life. Please feel welcome to share this content with friends who may be interested in joining us on this mystery path of the Sacred Feminine.
Hope to see you there.
With you on the journey. – Violet