This arrow looks innocuous enough. Hell, with its soft yarn, dove feathers, and crystals it even looks sort of pretty. You would never know that it once had me shaking like a leaf. You would never know that it once pressed into the hollow of my throat, while I stood in front of a room full of strangers thinking "Dammit. I really just wanted to meditate," and scolding myself for not reading waivers more thoroughly. You would never know that it sits on my alter not as a decoration, but as a stern reminder to put one foot in front of the other, to never hesitate, and to accept that this may bring pain, but it will ultimately bring healing.
It is not my place to share the full details of this powerful ritual, but suffice it to say I had to shatter an arrow that was being held in the hollow of my throat. It was a symbolic process of breaking through fears, and the shackles we place on ourselves. I begun with a very clear goal in mind; One I have been muddling through for most of my life. I approached this challenge much like I do all challenges - quiet on the outside while internally cursing and stomping my feet. I've had my throat sliced into before. I'm not a fan. For the first time I found myself questioning the strength of that scar tissue.
I woke up this morning pressing the palm of my hand into my chest, trying to dislodge a deeply uncomfortable weight on my heart, as if it had a physical source. A series of possibly triggering, definitely painful events lays ahead of me. One I chose to face, one I somewhat stupidly dove into, the others have been thrust onto me, and all of them are waiting to unfold in a cascade. The catalyst will be a clients' birth. Once that is underway I will have no choice but to move from celebrating to mourning, and possibly fighting. As some of you may have read, this is a familiar juxtaposition.
As I opened the curtains to give my little alter-plant sunlight I remembered that today is Imbolc. Today, despite the unpleasant cold outside, we begin to welcome spring and new growth. I pulled a card for the day and received Bleeding Heart. Her hand pressed to her chest in pain, is radiating light and healing. For the first time in months I took note of the message on the planter behind her "Bloom where you are planted," and then moved on to take in the message of the arrow. As my dear partner can tell you, I don't do well with subtle messages. She has glared at me (with love, of course) across a tarot spread on more than one occasion.
I wanted to share these messages, because I feel they are relevant for so many of us at this time. I'm sure I will find myself repeating them back at a Red Tent in the near future...
The message I chose for myself because, well, I needed a planter: Bloom right here. Don't run. Don't wilt. Bloom.
The message of my card: There is light to be found in the dark. There is healing in discomfort. Lean into it - heart first. Feel it fully. Your roots will support you.
The message of the arrow: Lean in hard. Do not hesitate. Do not doubt. You asked for this. You cannot heal old wounds without first cleaning them out. Even your scars are stronger than you realize.
Today I will work on replacing the dread with determination. Today I will work to step out of a week of retreating, into a space of openness. Today I will meditate, holding that damn arrow, on being gentle with my muchness and not-enoughness.
At the last few tents I have heard doubt mingled with determination in so many voices. On Imbolc, as we begin the slow process of welcoming spring - feeling dubious that she is close behind this cold - I welcome you to do the same. Lean in, darlings, and lean on your tribe when that gets to be too much.
love, light, and other hippy things,