There comes a time in all of our lives when we can no longer conform to the rules set by others, we have a longing to find our own way, to break free.
It is a glorious autumn day here and we are in the West Shield right now, the place where nature teaches us the art of letting go with grace. Nature does not do this in a quiet way but in a blaze of glorious colour, the brightness of fire before darkness descends So the Wicked Witch begins to break all of the rules set by others, she frees herself from the conventions of restraint placed upon her. She withdraws into a place of isolation to find out who she really is and to discover her purpose in this lifetime.
This is the work of the West Shield, it is a process of Alchemy, a process of total transformation. When we enter this shield we enter into a place of introspection, craving solitude. In this place we feel deeply and empathically for the world around us. All illusion falls away and at times we may feel as if we are drowning, this is not an easy place to be and many people get stuck here and find it hard to discover a way out.
In Taoism, it is said that the return of the Shen, the spirit, the return of Yang to this the most Yin of places, causes the darkness to transform into the golden light of spirit, this is alchemy, total transformation. The West is a place of not knowing; Dr. Rima Handley, homeopath and psychotherapist, in one of her books said that ‘the greatest gift of any practitioner, is the gift of not knowing.’ It is true that when we think we know, we stop looking. The West is the place where we begin to look again, we fall from innocence into experience, we begin to redefine and are initiated by our experience, the West becomes our rite of passage.
This is a place of descent, a more internal space where we consciously feel and through the push of reflection we begin to observe. We become more self- conscious, more aware of the difference between me and you, more aware of polarities.
We may experience feelings of guilt or shame, pain and remorse. The gift of our growth is that we feel compassion and empathy. We have made mistakes and the teaching is about the power of forgiveness and apology.
So this is the work of the West Shield, it is how we take responsibility and begin to find a way to create form that will be of service to others. It is this form that will manifest our gifts into the world, bringing them into being so that we can offer them to others. In this deep place we discover who we are and not who we have been told that we are. It is a place of powerful revelation. While it is true that many get stuck in this place for long periods of time, it is also true that it is only when we know our own darkness that we truly know our own power. It is only when we are ready to sit in the dark that we discover our roots and we learn how resilient we are.
So, why not take a Medicine Walk in this season, walk into the dark, study the shadows and feel their gift. Look for something in nature that appears to be dying and see what it has to teach you about letting go with grace, about casting off that which no longer serves you. Dance the darkness, feel its patterns running through your body and give it form through your dance or movement. Celebrate the Wicked Witch within, who will not be contained, allow her laughter to bubble up through you, cackle your way home.
© Simone Silver Path.