Have you noticed that the second you say, “I want,” and your heart beats faster and your chin lifts higher, and a smile bursts onto your face as you think, “Oh my, oh my, oh my, won’t it be divine when all this happens,” suddenly everything that stands in the way pops into your mind chanting, “Oh, yeah? Who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve all that?” And then, when you go to bed, when you close your eyes, when you slip into the dream world, all those doubts come crawling out of their secret recesses to poison your dreams. Have you noticed that?
It happened to me the very first night. On December 1st I got excited about calling in my magical year and that night dreamt of a house filled with vermin. There were bugs and when the bugs crawled out of the bedroom door, they were eaten by rats, and the rats were chased by giant rabbits. I woke in a sweat. Fear had come calling in a big way, a way I could not ignore, a way I could not mistake. I had to do something about my fears.
As I said my Covenant the next morning, I had an impulse to check the meaning of bugs and rats and rabbits on Dream Moods, a dream interpretation site I particularly like. Would you like to guess? Bugs = fear. Rats = fear. And rabbits? Yes, they can represent love, but in the Animal Medicine Cards…ten guesses, fear. While I was there I looked up boats, too because boats keep creeping into my dreams. Boats? They represent a fear of going deep into your emotions. OK, lord, I get it. There’s a little fear here.
So off to the page I went. You’ve got to help me, I cried. What do I need to know right now about my fears so I can heal them, release them, understand them, befriend them, better still, transmute them? Because as long as I’ve got the bugs and rats of fear crawling around inside my psyche, I’m pretty sure I can’t call in a magical year. I need to perform a little “magic” trick on my fears and I need to do it now.
I prayerfully shuffled and cut three times (once for God, once for me and once for the question), whispering, “What do I need to know right now to transmute my fears?” With a deep deep sigh, I lifted the top three cards.
First card: Despair/Nature Spirits. That card told me what my fears are. “A feeling of desolation and despair has you in its grip…your fears are blowing things out of proportion.” I didn’t like getting that card but I understood it. My old life-long bugaboo about earning enough money had blow up to three times the size of my joys of teaching and sharing Writing Down Your Soul. The Nature Spirits part of the card told me a solution. Go outside, it said. And I did. I went for a long refreshing walk on the Pinellas Trail.
Second card: Epiphany/Higher Self. This card showed me how to shift my resistance. “Be gently led rather than the old way of figuring things out…trust your vibes at all times.” I understood this one perfectly, too. In the past, when I’ve simply followed my guidance, I’ve been safe, protected, and yes financially secure.
Third card: Community/Spiritual Ancestors. This card showed me that I’m not alone. I don’t have to do this alone. I am surrounded and supported by everyone who has passed. I have a big spiritual village in heaven loving me and supporting me to find my spiritual community here on earth.
I felt deep peace after my card reading. I had received exactly the information I asked for and needed. I had received practical simple solutions and a loving pat on my back from my many spiritual guides.
My interpretation of my fears and my card-reading process for transmuting them may not be right for you. But the fear piece is universal. It happens to everyone. Say “I want” and everything that is the opposite immediately shows up.
So, if on Day 1 of your December Plan, you signed up in your heart and your mind and your soul to call in a magical, beautiful, prosperous, holy year, I bet your fears — whatever they are — showed up too, chanting, “Who do you think you are? What makes you think you deserve that? You’re not good enough, smart enough, capable enough… That’ll never happen to you.”
Has fear crept into your thoughts? Your dreams? Do you know what’s between you and your magical year? Well, what are you going to do about that? Where can you go for help? Guidance? Comfort? How are you going to transmute your fears so you are fresh, open, receptive and ready for the delight of your magical new year?
I stopped going to church my sophomore year in college. Nothing unusal there. Despite the fact that our parents sent us to a Catholic University so we wouldn’t lose our faith, everyone I knew stopped going to church their sophomore year.
I made a big mistake, though. The mistake wasn’t stopping going to church. That, I think, was a natural evolutionary step in my teenage struggle to differentiate myself. The mistake was tossing out the proverbial baby with the proverbial bathwater. With one giant whooosh, the whole thing flew out the window. I consciously wanted to toss out the dogma and theology and obligation and endless focus on sin, but in the same motion I threw out all the beautiful practices, all the prayer, all the mystical symbols and songs. I threw out every method I knew to connect with the divine.
It wasn’t until I woke up 40 and pregnant that I felt an urge to reconnect. I tried going back to the Catholic church, but it didn’t fit. Then, I tried Episcopalian and that went pretty well until one Sunday my 3 1/2 yr old asked as the priest completed the benediction, “Where’s God the mother?”
That sent me searching for a feminine diety. And when I discovered that not only was God originally the Goddess, but she was served by priestesses, well, I was tickled pink. Bye-bye all-male priesthood. Bye-bye only-male altar boys. Bye-bye boys in charge. The girls are back!
But you know what? That felt great for a couple years but not for long. It was still an us/them conflict. It just had the “us” I prefered. But was it really any better that girls and only girls were in charge of dogma and theology and practice? Why did it have to be one or the other? Why did one have to exclude the other? Why couldn’t we both be emissaries to the divine?
Last week as I was having chats with my best friend, my loving wise Voice, a phrase popped onto the page: I am my own priest. I sucked in my breath when I saw it. The seven-year old “good little Catholic girl” who still resides deep under my skin was scandalized. “Whaddya mean, I am my own priest?” I wrote.
But of course, the Voice is right. I am, you are, we all are, we all have to be our own priests/priestesses/shamans/rabbis/imams. No intermediary is required. No intermediary is necessary. Maybe no intermediary is even desired.
It’s lovely, it’s true, to pray alongside someone who has a profound prayer practice. It is divine to be in the presence of someone holy. It is comforting to hear someone else’s words of prayer and hope. BUT, you can do it all by yourself. You can do it right now. In your kitchen. At the computer. Lying in bed in the dark. In the shower. Driving to work. Folding the laundry. You have direct and immediate access to Spirit. We all do. We just forgot that for a few thousand years.
I find this a relief. It’s not about finding the “right” priest or shaman. It’s not about finding the “right” religion. The “right” prayers. The “right” ceremonies. It’s about connecting. It’s about standing in the sacred space that you create, calling forward the words that come from your soul. And connecting, really deeply and truly connecting with that which is holy.
That’s what we’re doing today on day 2 of the December Plan. We are all becoming our own priests, our own priestesses, our own shamans, our own rabbis. We are all stepping into our own divine power and saying to our divine Source: here I am. How can we get closer?
How are you connecting this December?