during this season of lent, i’ve been hosting a 40 Day Journey to Remembering Soul and Spirit, based on my recently published book, co-authored with Quanita Roberson. the journey is inspired by the Dagara Cosmological Wheel and the elements of fire, water, earth, mineral, and nature. this week has been Earth Week, perfectly aligning with the first week of Spring. i love the intermingling of these ancient wisdom traditions.
Spring Equinox (last Sunday) brought perfect balance between day/night; light/dark; masculine/feminine. i intended to publish a Weavings on that day, marking the turn of the season. the plan was to focus on the dawn goddesses Ostara and Ishtar and the themes of new life, rebirth, resurrection as symbolized by their association with the hare and the moon. against the Kentucky background of the longer and warmer days, blooming daffodils, and birdsong, it made sense to celebrate Spring in this way.
wonderfully, life had other plans.
it was as if the Equinox cued a redirect in my attention to bring balance in my own understanding and being, shifting my focus from the feminine goddess and birth to death, decay, and masculine deities. God Anubis grabbed my attention first. i’m not sure how he came into my awareness but he’s been very present this whole week, reappearing in podcasts, readings, conversations. the other guide has been one of my spirit animals, the turkey vulture. these two both devour decay, taking nourishment from the dead and leaving nothing to waste. together, they held my attention on the necessary role of decay and death in the cycle of life.
it’s been a beautiful invitation in this time.
just before Spring Equinox, my mother shared with me a heartfelt lamentation of despair in feeling useless. when she spoke of this, i knew it to be a gross lie, a symptom of our conditioning. with tears in my eyes, it came that it is literally impossible to be useless. inherent in our aliveness is worth.
this is a radical truth. one our mother earth has showed us from the beginning of time. the story of evolution points to it. great religions and wisdom traditions teach it. and yet…there is perpetual forgetting.
in recent weeks of the Living School, Fr. Richard Rohr has emphasized the core lesson of “Integration of the Negative” in the work of transformation and evolutionary spirituality. Ken Wilbur puts it in terms of “transcend and include”. in other words, evolution knows only inclusion of all. there is nothing wasted; all has purpose. love– without condition–transforms because it encompasses all in its ever-expansion.
i’m guessing this is why forgiveness is the focus of ⅓ of Jesus’ teachings. to include all the parts–the good, the bad, the ugly–there has to be forgiveness. there’s some shit we have to deal with…and include in the next story. if we suppress it, deny and/or avoid it, turns out we end up reproducing and transferring it.
as I continue my work with the Episcopal Church around healing and reconciliation, it is so seductive to vear toward exclusion; to reactively resist; to point fingers and blame. the grooves in the universe (and in our own bones) around these impulses are deep! in the context of Christianity, I find these impulses so revealing and to provide such transformative possibility if we choose to practice our faith.
turning to lent: there would be no resurrection with the passion and death of Jesus. there would be no crucifixion as we know it with Judas or Peter or…the list goes on and on and one. they/we all play an essential role. and as if to really drive the point home, when Jesus returns through resurrection, his wounds remain. he is Jesus and something more–he is also Christ. he’s included the wound in his own transformation.
i heard Lynne Twist say the other day that the “pandemic is the morning sickness to the pregancy of our new species.” i know this to be true. we are in an evolutionary shift and all of us are participating in it, whether we are conscious of it or not. we get to choose how we want to participate! i want to participate in and with love. i want liberation. i want to transform pain and hand down more whole and liberating stories to my children and our future ones.
like Mother Earth, the turkey vulture leaves nothing to waste; the God Anubis devours decay for nourishment. there is nothing but life.
in the beginning of this Spring, i’m resting in this reality as i choose to participate with love. so, i’m asking myself, how can I too (like the turkey vulture and Anubis and Jesus and Mother Earth), practice radical inclusion–where all is included and all belong and all are essential in the ever-unfolding story of life.