As long as a woman is content to be a femme á homme she has no feminine individuality. She is empty and merely glitters – a welcome vessel for masculine projections. Woman as a personality, however, is a very different thing: here illusion no longer works. So that when the question of personality arises, which is as a rule the painful fact of the second half of life, the childish form of the self disappears too” C.G.Jung
When Persephone becomes Kore
I have abandoned my identity as Artemis and transformed into Persephone. From a child dreaming of horseback riding, archery and competition, I settled for just dreaming; becoming passive and immersed in the spirit world, neglecting the earthly dimensions of existence. It lasted for decades until the day I could no longer bear this illusion of perpetual innocence. Persephone began to mature as Kore – The Goddess of the Underworld. The Underworld is the place of shadow work, we seek it and enter it to revisit what was lost and what needs healing, the limiting believes, and unfulfilled creative expression are often stored in the Underworld as well.
When we are ready to return to our natural state of creative flow in art and life, we encounter a push back from the shadows of our past – ego’s fight for its dire life. Shamans know how to work with that kind of shadows and that kind of ego, and there are endless techniques of letting go that we can embrace on our own – the Emotional Freedom Technique, The Radical Forgiveness, the Soul retrieval are just a few amongst many.
In shamanism one would go through the act of rebirth; a process that regenerates mind, body, and spirit. This process has aspects of shapeshifting – when experiencing a rebirth, one might turn into a cocoon, an egg or seed, and feel the physical and psychological transformation taking place as the awakening from the state of stasis to full butterfly, eagle or lotus is experienced.
For a spiritual worker, the process of rebirth is a part of spiritual hygiene, performed in ceremonial settings as needed. Once in a lifetime is not enough. Even if the experience is awakening and rejuvenating, life goes on. Unless a seeker is a Buddhist monk or a hermit, most likely life will take over and we will find ourselves by the swamps of the underworld – the land of judgment, bickering, nagging, pessimism, dispute, dogma, etc. And the spiritual work starts all over again. The good news is that the next journey will be nothing like the last one. You are more prepared, better equipped and further ahead. You have been metamorphosed.
Jungian analyst and an author – Jean Shinoda Bolen in her Goddess in Every Woman guided me with so much eloquence through all the seven goddess archetypes. I realized I have spent a big chunk of my life not living my true potential, like a maiden on the crossroads of the underworld just waiting to be rescued, pointed in the right direction, rather than take a step forward – a leap of faith. This understanding came as a heavy burden and I knew I had to get out. The Underworld was the familiar ground for too long.
This personal underworld, as it turned out was more of hell, born from childhood traumas. Not the same as the Shamanic Underworld – a place that can be accessed during meditation or shamanic journeying to reach into deeper knowledge, get to know your ally spirits, power animals, helpers, and intuitive guides, discover symbols and personal metaphors. There are many levels of the Shamanic Underworld and acting intentionally and soberly is required. The descend to the Underworld is often followed by special dreams and precognitions.
The difference is that this inner underworld is made of shadow material, while the shamanic realm is there to help us get in touch with whatever spirit is willing to help in healing and returning to our divine nature. Sometimes the boundaries between these worlds are thinner, like during the Shambhalla / Halloween night, or equinoxes. We might sens a presence, hear a voice, fell a vibration – a message from a deceased loved one, guiding voice, a warning. If it scares the holly carp out of you, you might choose not to perceive it. Until you can’t ignore it anymore.
Sometimes the vail is thinner in our dream work. When I was very young I traveled in my dreams into a place of pure terror. It was a dominion of life devouring ghosts, feeding on the remaining life force of the deceased ones. They wanted to devour my soul, too, but I was alive, they couldn’t eat me, although they sure tried. I have returned there throught my entire life. What secret door has been open for me to return to this precise place? Why, despite my clear protests upon waking up, I went there over and over again?
To leave the Underworld is to go in.
My intention was crystal clear: to leave the Underworld of my inaction, and to find my guiding light. I wanted to be reborn – I need to know if I have what it takes to take over my life and take full responsibility for everything that I do. I was so tired waiting for the rescue I was ready to embrace the truth, no matter what it was. The last decade, despite being filled with healing and efforts to change my reality, offered rather solid push back, especially in spheres of self-expression, and career. Psychologically I was on the outskirts of my breakthrough, but I needed to revisit my personal hell one more time. I was standing on a threshold, almost on the other side, but something was holding me back.
And so I found myself descending into a place that didn’t resemble the underworld of Hades nor Shamanic Underworld. It was wet, jungly, woodsy, dark, airless, full of shadows, spooky and very stagnant.
It was My Underworld Of Great Personal Sadness, a place of unbelievably deep sorrow I was carrying in my soul, around my chest, for so many years. I was immersed in this realm, it narrated many of my life decisions. I was for sure a Queen of the Underworld – Debbie Downer Extroridnaere!
I knew I had to get the hell out and the only way out was to get to work! Transform this deep sadness into joy and be reborn into the light. But I couldn’t find the door. And then I saw them…
They were peering at me from behind the trees and bushes – a thousand little eyes in a land of darkness. Nothing but their piercing sad eyes, and blurry contours. My Underworld was filled with spirits of little children that suffered greatly in life and were unable to process their existence and death, ending up in Hell, a realm between realms. I was able to rescue them from this decaying hell, the place I visited so many times in childhood, but they never saw the true god’s light, they were not free yet. I understood that to set them free the works has to be done internally, I will have to fully accept myself, my divine presence, and let my own suffering inner child go. Easy peasy – I thought. Until …
I was asked to accept my own power and my inner beauty, and I saw with a corner of my eyes this incredible mass of light coming my way, astounding, gorgeous, divine. OK, I can’t accept that – I said. It was overpowering, pure and perfect. To my own surprise, I felt overwhelmed by being present with my own spiritual presence. I didn’t know what to do.
The children were ready to cross over. They were waiting for me. For me? I was to lead them out. Once again I was told I have to accept my own power, but I was pretty sure I can’t. Everything I’ve learned so far about self-acceptance, being open for receiving, loving self unconditionally didn’t apply here. This was just bigger than me.
I was concerned! I was struggling! This was more difficult than I ever anticipated! I looked back at the children, the long path in the Underworld we took together; all the years of struggle, sadness, and misery. Then I saw a child leading the other out. A child with a brave heart, strong resolve, integrity who served as a guiding light in this land of hopelessness. What a beautiful soul, what a brave little child. It is you – I heard in return, and then I remembered.
One day I will lead all of you out.
One day I will lead all of you out – I have given them a promise. I faced the darkness, overcome endless obstacles and followed my heart unconditionally. I was their hero. I was a hero. What I did was epic! I’ve spent 30 years finding these scarred sad lost souls, just for this moment. They were about to be set free. That revelation was so mind-blowing that it caught me off guard and the light has burst through me and blew the doors wide open. I accepted my own power. To my amazement, the entire Underworld flipped inside out, and the darkness was replaced by pure light. The underworld got purified, the sadness had nothing to hold down to, so it just disappeared.
The souls of children have been set free, they dissolved into pure love and light. They were finally at peace. So was I. I was ecstatic and filled with unconditional love for myself. I was reborn and free to create my best new life ever.
I truly got unstuck. I have been experiencing amazing changes in my life since, and a turn of luck for better. I was so stagnant for so long, I forgot how good the small victories feel. And I’m ready for more. I’m rescuing myself, and it is the most liberating and exciting thing I’ve ever done.
The only question that remains is this: are other people experiencing a shift as well? If we are on a split between realities, on a crossroads of our own lives, are we all going onto the better version of self? Which path will humanity choose?
… and then I was given an answer … I found out … this reality is not what we think it is… are we being set up?
Little did I know, 2020 was about to revel a dark truth…
to be continued