We left off in the last note with: A quiet place, a seed, white paper and a red crayon, a lit candle, and oil in a jar. I hope that you've been able to imagine into what this might be all about with some good, wintery wonder.
These earthen items represent a first winter bundle for sanctifying a new "hut" space. I am guiding this for now but later you will find all the meanings to bring just the right bundles that you need to fill in some inner spaces as you need to with some inwardly sustaining knowledge out of Anthroposophy.
1. The Quiet Space.
Some people can't feel quiet in any space. Don't be hard on yourself if you're one of them. We're not taught a lot about finding real quiet in the western world. It goes somewhat against a materialistic, industrial mindset in the West that values endless activity toward the creation of sellable things, with the balance of this activity expected to come from exciting sports, entertainments, and too often chatty walls of words that too often mask any real feelings or truly human values. I'm not saying that this is always the case, but it often is.
One way to find quiet for a while in a space is to close away from distractions as much as possible and get in some comfortable sitting position, and then put your thinking to your breathing. Don't judge how you're breathing, just notice that you are and how your breathing is working, without intellectualizing in some scientific explanation to yourself about it. This can happen in a different kind of meditative state. This is a quieting-the-mind kind of practice. You may notice your mind jumping all over the place at first. If you stick to the breath for several minutes, watching your discomfort pass like watching scenes of a movie go by as if you're the light coming through the frames of the scenes on the screen with nothing in you but the light, you'll slowly see your distractedness begin to settle down. Make sure that your body is warm enough.
What thoughts, feelings, needs, or actions arise for you when you practice this? Please feel welcome to offer a comment about it if you like in the Comment section below.
2. A Seed
The seed represents you in the winter. It also represents many aspects of nature in the winter. You might want to pick it up and really look at it, feeling it's hardness and noticing it's colour. Try thinking into not what is inside it in a material way, but what is inside in a dynamic living way. What is the secret in the seed that allows so much to emerge from it in the spring that can't be seen inside of it to the regular, daily looking. How does so much expand from it when it is so small, hard, contained, and seemingly insignificant?
Many seeds have fallen and become hidden in the ground or below leaves since the end of summer. Nature finished it's cycle of abundance by creating seeds to carry through the winter and provide for life in the coming spring. Right now, those seeds are transition and transformation. Some may still be somewhat hard on or in the ground. Others may have swelled somewhat with rain. Yet, they all hold new potential for the coming growing season, when the sun is in it's time of coming closer your way in the world.
Now, let's reframe this last paragraph about the seed as if we're talking about you or people in general:
Many Pearls have let summer activity fall away, have packed or hidden away certain life-envigorating interests for now, finishing a yearly cycle and looking forward to renewed endeavours in the new year. They are in a natural transition time. All of life works this way. They're enlivened forces from other seasons are not dead, they are quietly contained in some ways for now. Some of the Pearl's feelings or impressions, and of course natural human fears, may have swelled with the rains, or crystalized in the snow, feeling hardened.
Yet, you hold great and sustainable potential inside, and when the sun is a little closer in the spring you'll begin to see and realize your natural potentials more. Right now, you're having to push yourself a bit and it feels straining at times because your inner forces are more asleep in the physical realm. They are not asleep, however, in the soul-spiritual realm. Your psyche is being unconsciously envigorated. You're spiritual "I" is able to see some things in yourself as a result. You're getting previews of your amazing nature but just now it's not time to be fully in that state in a way that others in the practical world can see. But there are people who can see you, your profound human nature, and your potential. Try not to forget that. They are bringing loving sun toward you in a kind of prayerful way to remind you that you're truly not alone. We/they know that kinds of struggles you go through.
They and you know that you were also once smaller than this seed, so small in fact that you could't been seen with the eye. The very first seeds of the human embryo, from which a baby is born and from which a whole, profound human being like you developed, has only been seen through a microscope. You were once something so amazingly full of potential but also so tiny, you couldn't be seen by the human eye.
Something else though knew of all of your potential. In fact, many beings, human and otherwise, loved you into the stream of human life in the most mysterious way, one that most people still can't fully describe other than in a kind of mechanical, biological way. Yet, here you are with a warm heart that was also one of the first things to develop out of your seed while you were still being carried in the womb by the person who contracted with that great mystery to conceive and birth you. The person who mothered you into existence. That seed also couldn't have become alive without the mystery of the father who also entered into conception. Regardless of how your parents behaved later in your life, they both worked together with the greatest mystery of somewhat unknown love to have you come to this world as a tiny, secretive seed, and become the adult person that you are with all of your mind, body, and soul potential.
Again, what thoughts, feelings, needs, or actions arise in your awareness when you practice this? Please feel welcome to offer a comment about it if you like in the Comment section below.
3. White Paper (8"x11") and a Red Crayon.
Contemplating yourself as the mysterious seed-being that you were and still are, sit with your white paper and red crayon in front of you and draw a swelling seed of red in the middle of one half of the page. Let it swell to about the size of a quarter. Make sure that there is enough light in the room to see everything quite clearly, even if you have to turn on lights for a moment that were turned off for your seed meditation.
Put the crayon down after you've drawn the seed and then take a full 20 to 30 seconds to look directly at the red seed that you have drawn. (You can count to 20 or 30 if you like.)
Now, look at the blank other side of the page. Look at it directly, just the white blankness. If the red dot on the other side distracts you, you can carefully fold and tear that side of the page off so you can look just at the white page with no distractions. What do you see there after you stare at the blank page for a few seconds?
Comment down below if you like about what you saw. You should see something somewhat surprising. If you didn't see anything, try the activity again with a bit better lighting. You don't have to draw the red dot again, just start over looking at that side of the page, at the red dot for 20 or 30 seconds, then look at the blank page again.
Ask yourself what this image that you see on the white page has to do with how much the universe loves you. I will discuss that in a the next blog. Ponder it. You can take the wonder and pondering into your sleep. The next morning, try to see if something came up in your imagination or thoughts early in the morning about that image that you saw on the blank page.
4. A Lit Candle.
Now, light your candle, but first here is an imagination for you to do so. Imagine that a being from the Sun stands behind you radiating warmth and love. This being gives you forces that create life and light. The Sun truly does give us life forces and light.
The Sun does truly stay with us, even raying toward places in our back that we can't see, that are hidden from our view. In the same way, the Sun rays forces that help us to stay alive even in the dark winter and in the nights. We just don't feel and see the Sun forces with our earthly senses as fully in the winter cloudy, cold, and grey periods yet it is there. We don't see the Sun forces at night since they are on the other side of the earth, but they are there, enlivening other human beings, creatures, and plant life while we sleep. They are also reflected from the moon. So, in essence, the Sun always has our back though we're not so aware of just how much it really does, especially in the winter.
Now, light the candle with the imagination that the fire of the candle is related to the Sun being standing behind you, giving you the life energy to light the candle. Think also about the sunlight of the summer, in those times in the summer that felt enlivening and welcoming. Take one or two of those memories into your heart. Breath deeply the light of the candle as it relates to the summer sun memory, and with the imagination that a Sun being is standing behind and has helped you to bring this light to the candle.
Now, ponder, was this just an imagination?
Feel free to comment in the Comment section below if you care to. There is no expectation that you do so, as this touches some deep inner mystery nature in a person and sometimes, words can't define what we think or feel, or at least not right away.
5. The Contained Oil
Lastly, look at the oil that you have contained. It needs to be a completely clear oil, without color. We won't do anything with this now. Just wonder.
I'll speak more to this in part 3 of this blog series.
The natural state of winter, as we see it out on the frozen lakes, in the leafless trees, or on the frost-bitten grasses, as well as in the early darkness and the shortened days, can inspire a sense of wonder in many Pearls. Yet it may or may not bring a sense of self-enlivening or the strength to meet dark feelings and overcome doubts about oneself, others, or the world itself.
While some boisterous-bodied Pearls can get super-excited for a turn in the snow or a game on the ice, and some simply get busy preparing for some kind of winter light-darkness holiday celebration or another, depending on their faith or sense of winter traditions, others often slowly lose the desire to engage or launch into social impulses, wealth generating activities, or any kind of dream-building activities. With all of the challenges today of climate issues, resource restrictions in some places due to Covid and a myriad of other world problems, it can feel like a depressing time, especially when others are very busy planning family gatherings and the Pearl, once again, doesn't feel very connected to family in the ways that others do. Winter may have rarely meant loving warmth between parents, siblings, extended family members, or others. They may only want to retreat alone and find superficial, easy comfort in sleep or some substance, food or entertainment. Of course, it's rarely what they really want and only after, though the restful sleep can be very helpful, do they often realize how meaningless it felt once again. It's not their fault because there have been some big gaps in their childhood development that has led to these decompensating experiences.
A Pearl who gets anxious or into a kind of rational soul-panic in the winter may consciously or unconsciously plan for how to get some closeness with someone through the cold days without any sense of really noticing what the other person's feelings or needs might be as another, winter-vulnerable being. Much that is "sentient", or alive and feeling on the earth, goes into a kind of survival mode in the winter and the Pearl can also be in "survival personality" without really having the help to know how to do self-care in a way that brings connection well with others.
One thing that some Pearls know is that they don't want to get into some entangled emotional journey with someone that could end up as a divisive and rejecting experience similar to what they experienced too much in their parent divorce scenarios. They know they've had too much of that coldness and they're more or less hyper-tuned to a sense of self-protection. They can easily go "small" at this time of the year when many others are working to go a little bigger among family, friends, or the people they work with. These Pearls have a deep inner knowing, even unconsciously, that their inner balance is tighter and can slip into psychological decompensation if they're not careful, which means a sense of significant and even dangerous psychic or energetic depletion. They may have been in that sense of emptiness too much before.
These Pearls are not necessarily afraid, just blocked. They may not have the soulful foundational people in their family or friend circle to be unconditionally themselves with. They don't really know what it means to be seen, heard, and respected enough for their vulnerabililty to get through it creatively and resourced with the forces of loving and honoring, give-and-take between people and good, creative, willful activity that might mean enduring the right kind of human suffering for the right cause and reasons.
While some Pearls are often able to rise in such times to emboldened actions to secure a greater sense of outer or inner security through hard work despite the more bodily-restricting coldness, pushing caution aside and using a magnanimous personality to get through the cold times, others sink. They can be managing exhaustion on levels that parents, employers, and others can't see the source of rightly at all.
For all people, the inspirational and imaginative life can be dimmed in the dark days of the year, while we rigorously but almost mindlessly obey our known regimens in the day to keep our bodies moving and healthy, keeping fed decently to get our tasks done, and staying active enough to stimulate our blood and a sense of being tuned up in our strength and our thinking to endure the challenges of life right now. Many people turn more to escapist activities in these times, such as excess food and drink (which is different from increasing winter food intake naturally), turning to alcohol, drugs, weed, overly exercising, or cramming-out on on-line anything, or tv sports, movies, or entertainments.
Or some may start to turn on the caution-to-the wind, joi-de-vivre, sexual magnetism energy, imagining that the oxytocin hit of closeness with any array of persons for a while will resolve the alienating challenges of winter and if they don't, well who cares anyway! Or they unconsciously believe that the pursuit of a sexy image might draw people to them enough to excite their energy to be able to ignore the greyness of their winter's discontent. Yet, the sense of hollowness often creeps in and gives way frequently to tears, anger, or a rattly anxiety that something's not really bringing a sense of wholeness and peace to the Pearl inwardly. A Pearl in the winter can long for a steady and welcome sense of self that can endure being in the presence of everything that is not their "self", even if their time is spent more alone than some others.
This is the moment of our most important decision to not retreat on ourselves in the sense of giving in or up, but rather, to be the kindest person that we can be to our own selves and to open the door to our own sanctuary "hut". This place is the seed place of our own loving, self-accepting, humanness. A real humanness in a person sees the greatest struggles of life as the truly painful experiences that they really are, and also as the doorway to finding the expression of an authentic and loving higher "Self", or "I Am", that can be warmed into action in a whole way to achieve what needs to be done for ourselves and others. But what exactly does that mean?
Deeply human Self-ness or "I"-ness, allows us to find wells of capacity inside of ourselves that we didn't know we had because we didn't have it reflected to us in our upbringing. Parent divorce battles can mean child inner perceptions of walls, barriers, hard lines, hateful projections, restricting criticisms, and a lot of cool posturing. It's a brittle inner construction that layers upon the soul, often inflamed by suppressed angers all around. The child is far more oriented toward shattering, tinderbox emotions than wells of support, encouragement, loving connection, and deeply human acceptance. They haven't had the warm soil to grow the loving truth of themselves that reaches beyond the material world but also lives entirely in and around it.
So, as an adult in the west, whether we're oriented in the darkest times to Divali lights, Menorah candles, fireside chats and sing-alongs outdoors in deep-nature, sound-healing gatherings, or hearing the stories of the starry nights and the wealth of Magi kings, while seeing hard-plastic, white or coloured lights, grey concrete, or endless backed-up cars in rush hour with rain or snow sludge all around, the innocent, heart-longing peasant part of us may be looking to fill empty places inside. We need something well beyond Santa Claus, but rather generous to our inner soul-psyche nature, and something sanctified and true.
That's the time to think of building the inner "hut" with the eternal wisdom of our own truly human-cosmic-earthly sustenance and love that was there before human time, is here now, and will be carried inside of us for an eternity. But what does this mean and how do we do it? Where do we start?
Well, five things are essential to begin - a quiet place for half an hour to forty-five minutes, a seed, a lit candle, a red crayon or marker, a white piece of paper, and some oil in a glass or closed container. The rest is all up to individual insights.
Tomorrow, I'll elaborate.