Despite the Wheel turning to seasons and shifting in weather patterns, I sometimes view the seasons in terms of patterns and rhythms. What has it brought in the past? What is it revealing now? Where are the clues to be followed to unveil what's to come? This season has been mixed in emotion, jumbled even, not quite fragmented, but not entirely visible to the naked eye. It has been both bright and dull, both seen and unseen, and, as I reflect to the actualized theme of what is being presented, what lesson I am to learn, who the Teacher actually is... I'm left, not necessarily awestruck, but sort of like a child who has taken a test and the whole time the answer was written right on the desk.
My season? Spider. Spider has been visiting with such enthusiasm, if I didn't know better, I would assume He would want to move in. I have, forever, shielded the "welcome" mat to Spiders, entirely out of fear, it's often joked about that I can walk into a room and sense a spider within a few seconds of being in their presence, a "Spider Psychic". Not a trait I adore, I assure you, instead my toes curl, the high-pitched squeak of fear trembles through my throat, and I plead, begging someone to remove them from my presence. Being told that they are more afraid of me than I am of them has left me with little comfort. I either become so enthralled by fear that I plead with them to keep their distance, or I become vicious, yelling at them, showing them who is boss, and attempting to rule with power over. An interesting view, no doubt, but in stepping outside of this bizarre sequence of events, I am reminded, beyond the sentient being factor, that there is really no room, no pure love or functional energy in power over. Just one of the powerful lessons brought to me by Spider...
Spider comes to visit when I am not paying attention to the deep crux of my own Creation. S/He comes when I am not embracing the beauty of what is to be birthed. Instead I hold it closely, covered under bundles of blankets, maybe even store it in a box, because, as I've come to realize in this "seasonal" aspect -- I am afraid to be vulnerable.
I walk this interesting path of being student and teacher, facilitator and client, healer and one being healed, and I've somehow always remained, to some degree, as vulnerable as I can, as appropriate as it needs to be. I really do believe in this aspect that if I am asking my own students or my own clients to be open to possibilities, to be open to healing, to be open to their natural awareness, then, obviously, I must be too. But I feel it goes beyond that, to some degree. It's not about airing out my fear, my trauma, my dysfunctional (or even functional) shadow self. But I'm there, walking the same road, a very similar path, in fear, in darkness, and even in denial at times. It's a tender thread of expressing that vulnerability and holding it sacred... or secret.
As Spider presented Itself, the variety of sizes were dramatic. He always begins small, a sort of reminder that I need to pay attention to the work, to the art, to the overall development of the Matrix of Creation... and yet, because of the Messenger, and the self-imposed crippling fear that comes with His presence, I sometimes don't listen as clearly as I would or could if it were, perhaps, Bear, coming to share the very same lesson.
And so, I don't listen. Not as clearly, not as concisely. And Spider arrives again... generally much bigger, as though to say "You can't ignore me now, I am here and you must listen"... and so I negotiate. Poorly, but I negotiate. If He keeps His distance, I will do the "work" requested of me. He's smart, though. He knows I will say and do anything to be out of this fear, out of this massive discomfort plaguing me, and then I will drift a bit. It's a common theme, it's been a dance we've partnered in for several years.
Yes, years. Sometimes I am slow/stubborn to the point of ridiculous. However, that is a story for another time...
Beyond the other messages Spider shared with me, things that need to be done, areas needing to be disciplined, thoughts that need to be shared, etc, I floated back to the aspect of Vulnerability. I'm told, some rather contradictory things, that I am open book to all, and yet I am a complete mystery. Either way, when faced with the energy of being vulnerable, there's a degree to which it scares me a little. That openness, that release of confinement, the ability to let go of the bounds of crippling fear, to attune to the spiritual essence of vulnerability, it is another phase my Guides are guiding me towards.
Chogyam Trungpa said "True fearlessness is not the reduction of fear; but going beyond fear." I recognize going beyond fear also sways with allowing oneself to be vulnerable. And so I dip my feet, ever so slowly, in that realm, where it's not about fear or even fearlessness, it is simply about this moment, this authentic breath that means I just allow. Though allowing means flowing, it means letting be, letting go, letting Self stand in the center of Truth, completely neutral to judgment. It's an expansion of what I'm viewing the "traditional" definition of vulnerability to mean.
If I'm vulnerable, what does that look like? Authenticity. It's me beyond the labels, beyond the titles, beyond the various hats worn, it's just M.E. = My Experience.
For a moment My Experience this past weekend had me wanting to retreat in that quiet cavern after being so "exposed". I don't consider myself social or outgoing in the least, and yet part of My Self projects that image, that reality, and so it becomes, in essence, part of my story, because I've agreed to the layout of the puzzle. While this has become easier over the years, and I'm less panicked and confined by the social anxiety that once felt so thick and heavy, it became a balance of honoring those (often) tiny aspects of fear to allowing myself to be open in allowing my core to show (Spirit says "shine", so I feel the need to acknowledge that).
Spider's web spins, Its spiritual venom has penetrated into my etheric body, and while everything, in the end, boils down to choice, I know, ultimately, shying away and cloistering the wisdom I have to share isn't an option -- not from a spiritual, truthful perspective. And even that acknowledgement, in this very moment of vulnerability that sits on the surface of my skin, of my self-claim of wisdom-filled Self, it's sort of this freaking out moment, of "what are you acknowledging... and why aren't you integrating it even further?"... Good question. Plentiful answers, the spinning begins again, and I weave, through, above, within, without...
I need to BE the Spider... that's what I have been cowardly avoiding all of these years. I say that, honestly, without the judgment that it seems to film it -- I have no attachment to that word, "coward", in the way it's so shamefully used. Then again, my language has always felt rather unique to me.
Where shall I go with this? Simple acknowledgment. That's where it begins. Yes, I'm scared. Yes, allowing others in is both terrifying and beautiful. Yes, I do think that even when we are our most authentic selves and allow those parts of ourselves that are so hidden to be exposed that we are opening ourselves up, at times, to pain. It's the Web. It spins, it's beautiful, it's intricate, it's artistic, complex, and yet has this simplicity to it, of just being there in an instant, or so it seems. But, much like the beauty of the web, it's fragile. It breaks, it tears, it's forgotten about...
It's forgotten about... my internal trigger went off there. And that next layer of vulnerability reveals itself to me: I am afraid of being forgotten. I worked hard as a child to not be seen. I carried that into my teen years, and even into my early adult years. I wouldn't even allow myself to be heard, let alone seen. And yet, I desperately wanted to be seen, to be heard, to have more than just this voice that spoke words, but have a voice that shared meaning. I wanted to be seen as me, without comparison, without agenda... I can feel the comparison to the web, to its simple yet intricate nature, to being there one moment, gone the next, to being beautiful and then... not. Becoming something, then becoming nothing. My vulnerability reveals the fear of becoming nothing eventually. Our layers of selves will evolve, but it's that in-between evolution that I'm not quite articulating well. Like the bardo of the mind -- the mind not shared, but the mind playing like the record keeper, for the duty of the Self to replay and record.
I continue to dig through the files of my records, sometimes needing to listen to those old tapes, just to understand more of where the healing needs to begin, and other times, like those filled with cobwebs, just letting it go, telling myself that under this web it is unnecessary to dig, because it's become hidden, cocooned almost, because it's not a gem that needs dusting off. Or maybe I'm a poor treasure hunter, finding contentment in what is here versus what is there.
My sense is that this Season of Spider isn't a short one... and coming to terms with both my fear of His physical presence and being open to His spiritual presence and integrating His medicine is my next and current lesson...