I'm still transforming and integrating back into home, as a friend put it, I've just walked over a threshold into a very vital place and it's taking me some time to reassemble my home life/roles in a new way. Not unlike those dismemberment journeys I'm so fond of! I love the very concept of retreating in order to step through another door, to have that last little experience that issues permission to cross into the next adventure. So for now, I can only offer some personal anecdotes of what it was like on my end as I catch up with what's downloaded.
I wasn't planning on making a mask of my own when I packed my supplies for one of the classes I taught at SAW last week, Muse As Mask. I figured I'd be busy helping everyone with their masks. Made sense.
However, as the circle began I discovered that what I was asking each of my beautiful students to do was to deeply trust her self-guidance, even the bits that felt like mistakes on the piece. To check out of her left-brain analytics and quietly peruse with her intuition leading the way. And so it turned out that I sang them a Native American song and pretty much was no longer needed. *grin*
I cut my mask out of heavy blue cotton duck and then promptly sewed a piece of bright yellow felt over it. My third chakra spoke right up and I felt that I was working with the energies of my power center. Certainly just teaching this group was a test of how I could do what I set out to, and so I felt a Bear coming into being as I stitched, glued and assembled unconsciously alongside these women. I've painted, written and talked about Bear a number of times here-and she felt like a strong, natural guide for me to sidle up to and also embody. She is brave, sure of herself, plods along at an easy pace, and also very protective. I became aware of how protective I felt of my students and of the space we were working in.
Then I pulled a lamp over on myself, burned my hand at the fireplace and tripped over a cord.
My mask started to take on another face- still an ominivorous, curious creature with a penchant for scavenging through discarded treasures, but one who is known for...his mask. Was it Faulkner who said something akin to having to read what he's written about something in order to know what he thinks of it?
In this application, Raccoon uses the positive aspects of his Mask to become something he is not, or is not yet. He knows when to share information with others and when to hold it close. His mystery becomes magic when used thoughtfully and with good intentions. A little Merlin, he is an expert at disguise and secrecy. Raccoon is a powerful animal when change is sought. He can thrive in any environment, making his dreams attainable if he will but name and pursue them. Working under the cover of night, the nocturnal wizard finds tools for transformation in unexpected places. Shamanic journey, active imagination and work with the dreamtime can produce magical results when practiced diligently, and with care and reverence for the medicine. Raccoon's tricky nature can commit to this work, by making personal growth a fun and thrilling puzzle to be solved. As his dexterous fingers pick the locks of the soul's desires, wisdom and booty are uncovered with glee. At his best, Raccoon does not hide who he really is. Rather, he sets himself up for success, and follows through without revealing his methods unless it serves him. Raccoon people can avoid becoming overly secretive, isolated and surly in old age by being social and having fun with their friends. Deep change is inspired by what Raccoon discovers when he is out of his comfort zone, exploring and seeking treasure.
It would seem as though a tricky messenger wanted to let me know that just because I was teaching, I did not have to be perfect. In fact, I try so very hard not to try to be perfect, I felt comfortable in the discomfort of my bumblings (!) and actually, was able to become a bit more dextrous just by doing *what I do*. Silly me for thinking even for a minute that I needed to show up as anything other than a student of life myself. Together with my students, Raccoon and Bear reminded me that I can be in my power and show up as a strong guide and explorer just as I am. I am already outfitted for this job. This is the beauty of wearing our Muse, our inspirations, on our shirtsleeves.
In a nutshell, we can let ourselves off the hook. Once and for all.