To the Great Below…

by Jennifer on August 18, 2017

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

“From the great above,

She turned her ear to the great below…”

~from translations of the myth of Goddess Innana

When I was a little girl, where I’d visit my grandmother in the South, there were abandoned railroad tracks I’d walk for hours.  I’d balance on the rusty rails and let my feet fall on the haphazard wooden planks, nearly submerged in the earth they were slowly becoming.  I’d get down in the small clouds of hot summer dust I made with my steps and put my ear up to the tracks, like I’d seen people do in the movies.  I knew no trains ran on those tracks anymore, and there would be nothing to listen for, but somehow I could hear far-away trains coming sometimes anyway.

A long time ago, long before I had symptoms or signs, and long before there was anything to look for, I turned my ear to the great below.  Before I could see anything coming…before I could walk, before this life…I turned my ear to the great below.

I’m an Oracle…and while you might think we only look up, I’ve turned my ear to the great below long, long ago.

I had already heard the heavenly songs, so beautiful beyond words.  I had heard the songs of nature and the earth, exquisite beyond legend and imagination.  But for a very long time what has called me most is what is beneath it all.  What is unseen and unsaid, what is hidden and forbidden amongst roots where all the forgotten stories are entangled.  Where the treasure is.  Where the healing is.  Where no one is looking for illumination, but where it most certainly lies.

I’ve been reading a journal from the summer when I was twenty years old.  It was the first time in my life the symptoms flared that I would later understand were due to Lyme Disease and the nervous system dysregulation of early trauma in my life.  In that time I wondered why, at the tender age of twenty, I felt like I was 80.  And an unwell 80, since you can be 80 and wonderfully healthy.  I worked at the deli in a health food store that summer, and at the end of my work day I would collapse into the grass and not move for a long time.  In my journal I said I knew that despite my deep connection to the universe and my own essence, there were things happening in my body I didn’t understand, below the conscious level, and I prayed to the universe to please show me…whatever it took.

And the universe has shown me.

I guess some people would find it disappointing that it took almost twenty years for me to see it all…for me to explore the precious underworld I explored.  Or sad that it has taken ten years of being unwell, culminating in nearly three years of unspeakably challenging treatment, to come through.  And I understand that way of thinking, I really do.  But how can I explain the treasures I have found in the underworld, precious indeed…how, when you heal by climbing out of a treacherous tunnel from the center of the earth, hour after hour, day after day in sheer darkness and often monumental pain, giving up a thousand times and then taking another breath and another anyway…how by the time you are near the surface you are not striving for the light anymore because more than ever you carry it within?  How in the end you can move your body like a panther, stretching at sunrise, because you had to embody so fully as an animal that you remember nothing else?

How can I explain how, in the end, you are able to weave golden threads of dimmest sunlight into healing cloths of bone-deep remembering…remembering that doesn’t just move in your psyche but pulses through your veins like wildfire?

There have been wildfires here, to the North.  If I put my ear to the ground I can feel the warmth…I can hear the crackle dying down now.  I watched the light turn golden, and the moon turn red night after night as the fires raged on.  I remembered the red moons I’d seen so long ago, eclipsing or red from the haze of fires and ruin, in ancient times few could look back on.  Times like now that I also pulled a fabric around my arms against the winds of change, and also at the same time let them flow through me.  Times I also tried to trust fully and surrender to what was meant to be…what I could not resist.

And so the wildfires came, and I danced.  It wasn’t a celebratory dance, but a necessary one.  Now moving for me is as essential as having a heartbeat.  And I never took for granted the ability to move, or breathe, or dance, or speak…but it is certain now that I never shall.

Maybe you haven’t had my exact struggle and emerging renewal, but I know you have had your own tunnel from the center of the earth to climb out of.  I know there was a day you turned your ear to the great below, and if you are still deep in the irreconcilable suffering of no movement, no breath, you may feel profoundly, utterly sorry that you did.  But I want you to know that it is worth it…that the darkest hour can feel like it lasts forever…like, forever…but there truly is a dawn that follows it, and a warmth one comes to finally know in the night again.  And the way you find the courage to keep breathing points toward the direction in which entirely new levels of your gifts are going to open up, even if it feels like moving toward them is like trying to chisel an opening through a boulder with a feather.  There will be traction someday.  You will figure out something a feather could do that you never imagined possible.  You will find passages that weren’t there before, appearing slowly before you…

On the outside, except at my very worst which happened almost entirely at home, you would think I have been fine all along.  While I have experienced enormous suffering, I am also plugged in to phenomenal joy and endless ecstasy.  It seems like an inconceivable paradox, and yes it is very strange to be me…and very wonderful.  I have so many gifts already, and I have gained beyond measure from every pain I have ever known.  So, on the outside I have seemed fine.  Radiant even…rosy-cheeked even.  You couldn’t see what I faced in my darker hours.  And now I look much the same…you can’t see how the ground waters inside of me are now running more cleanly.  But I have my ears to the tracks and I can feel it.  A tide of wellness has turned in me, a light is traveling down the tunnel now.  I’m not done.  I’m not out.  And there are other tunnels to explore other times.  But not like this one.  This is the one for me.  The special one that will have given me the most of them all.

I am still aching from my long winter.  I have been lying still beneath a tree where no one could see my seed coming to life, and now it will take me a long time to restore my full vitality and move across the landscape again.  But I have muscles I didn’t have before.  Muscles I am teary with excitement to feel.  Muscles I had when the world was young and we knew what it felt like to have wings.  And when there were wildfires, and the smoke might have made me sick and immobile like it used to, I was able to dance.  Again and again, I danced.

There is another side.  Another side to what feels like it will crush the life out of you.  There are seeds coming to life when everything looks dead in an unending winter.  Put your ear to the tracks, even if they’ve long been abandoned, and one day you will hear the train coming anyway.  Turn your ear to the great below and you will hear the ground waters flowing again…the humming of new life…

Love,

Jennifer

 

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My Great Undoing

by Jennifer on June 16, 2017

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

It wasn’t new…

I had been undone so many times before.  My dress rehearsals were profound and comprehensive.  They were shows unto their own, not mere shells of the one to come.  But there is something to be said for my great undoing.  Its refrain is so different from the rest that the echoes alone could fascinate for an eternity.

It was elegant.  From the very moment I tumbled down the rabbit hole all the way through to the other side.  From the first pull of the corset string to the unraveling of deepest bone.  From the tear of the first fine fabric to the fraying of the twine at the core of all things.

I could not describe it with such love, if I had not already found the way through.  The painstaking way through that one finds only when they make love their art and life their craft.  The path you find when you endure beyond being unmade.

Take my hand.  I am so proud to show you the garden at the center of a desert it took years for me to cross…

Have I told you before about the state I used to reach when I traveled?  I remember it most when I was alone.  I remember the awkward beginnings.  The strange packing of things and goodbyes.  The initial uncomfortable bus ride, boat trip, or flight.  The tiresome riding in cars.  The first meals that tasted not quite right.  It took days, and on some trips even weeks, for me to find the flow.  Once I found it I experienced something only beings like wildcats seem to know about.  A sleek movement through air as if it were water.  An instinct acting faster than thought, as instincts do.  I slid on and off of city streets, through darkened bazaars, and from town to town effortlessly.  I came upon the things I needed as part of one clean movement, and every morning the sky was new…

Yes, being an ancient creature has helped me know a life in general that poetic.  I walk the lines between worlds, and I love them all.  But in many ways it is illness that has given me the deepest secret entrance to the further mysteries while living on this earth.  About a year ago, I wrote that when I had completely healed from Lyme Disease I would be able to say that it was going feral that healed me most of all.  While I am not totally recovered yet, it is indeed becoming more and more feral that has helped me make the incredible progress I have made.  (Oh yes, I see now that that previous post is exactly where I talked about that traveling experience before…)

I thought it was enough that I was so attuned to my body, to the love within me, to my intuition, to my sexuality.  I felt graced by my gifts and by spending my life helping others discover these gifts more fully within themselves.  But life had even more in store for me.  Life wanted me to cross the threshold which involved the torment of utter undoing, and the resultant gift of utter release…

I had already made the underworld my home, a friend.  But life wanted me to make deeper chambers, and then make them my own.

It took about seven years for my health to slowly decline as it succumbed to the infection I had obtained early in my life, and by the time I am done it will have taken a good three additional years of treatment following diagnosis to turn it around.  So, this has been a decade-long lesson.

I know every nuance of the chrysalis now.  The dissolve, the surrender, the place between.  The new spark, the slow growing, the efforted emergence.  Knowing wings.  Flying free.  Finding out it was all worth it.  Every time.

My sensitivity was always a gift.  But now it is a superpower.

Yes, especially while I am still healing, I have to avoid certain smells, sounds and places.  I have to avoid the smoke of a bonfire by circulating around it, but it keeps me light on my feet.  I wear headphones around kitchen noises, but I can hear a lone owl call from a shore far away.  I could always talk to the moon, but the far-off stars know my name now.

There is too much more to tell.  It will take me a lifetime, but luckily I have one.  A lifetime and the unquenchable thirst to write it all down.  In the meantime, take this small slice of my story as a reminder that no matter how you have suffered or struggled, or may be doing so now, it is all for some more beautiful purpose that has yet to unfold.  It will show itself to you someday, just as this rose of purest knowing and love is unfolding itself before me now.  I just feel it coming on now from far away, because that is what Oracles do, and after all I have been doing this for such a very long time.  Before stars were stars.  Being wise, or capable, or loving doesn’t mean you never struggle.  It means that you are no stranger to pearls.

Here is to the pearl you are growing right now…your most beautiful yet…

With all my heart,

Jennifer

 

Love this writing? Hop on my email list to receive each new post!

Also, if you love this writing, you will adore my courses, which you can see here, and my beautiful project…www.orgasmicwoman.com  (for all genders : )

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