The Mystical Cave
In 1990 during my morning meditation, I experienced the vision of entering a cave with a deep blue glow along the walls. There were black exits into nothingness and a black pool of water without reflection and without a floor. A white robed female being was at my side and her robe glowed with blue sparkles. I knew I was in a very sacred environment where anything could be asked and form would materialize from nothingness to answer the question. It felt like a natural oracle within the Earth.
When form surfaced in response to my question, it took the shape of an image, or melody, or a phrase, or a memory. It presented itself to invite my attention – to gaze at it, listen to it, question it, accept it, and receive the wisdom it offered. Sometimes I knew the connection to my question immediately and was filled with awe at the wonder of it. Sometimes I needed to carry it with me and engage with it throughout the day to receive that “aha!” moment. And sometimes journaling or drawing brought the clarity.
The Well of Wisdom and Wonder
In my vision, the black pool of water without reflection and without a floor shimmered with wisdom and wonder, a well of never-ending depth. It was encouraging to have this image of an inner “oracle” to ask the hard questions and face my fears. And having a mystical companion at my side created the sense of the sacred. I knew I could open my heart to gaze deeply at what surfaced when I sought answers.
At that time, I was learning about dysfunctional families. We enter this world as whole beautiful spirited beings with a full spectrum of capacities. Then we begin to bury those emotions and behaviors considered unacceptable by our family, our culture, and society.
“The innate wisdom of our pre-kindergarten years (those innocent truths that embarrass or unsettle our caregivers) gets squelched early on to fit the expectations of our families. We grow up filtering those inner signals of who we truly are to become what our culture expects us to be.”
The ABC Path toward True Wisdom, P. 28.*
Science has revealed that the parts of ourselves we squelch or bury do not go away. They can disassociate themselves and disappear from our conscious awareness, only to show up as those things we dislike or resent in others. We don’t recognize them as parts of ourselves.
The journey to reclaim the parts of ourselves that we buried is a journey to wholeness and well-being. And what does reclaim mean? It is bringing into conscious awareness those things we don’t like about others and recognizing they are parts of ourselves. It is noticing what events, people, or situations have a strong affect on us and caring enough to find out why. It is bringing into conscious awareness the deeper truth of who we are and loving ourselves for it.
The Mystical Cave became a trusted place within to speak with the divine about my fears and receive insights. It offered me a sacred environment to bring fearful, unsettling, and ugly aspects into consciousness and hold them to the light of truth.
Reclaiming Buried Aspects of Ourselves
In this world of polarities where things are described as opposites rather than complements of a whole, we have grown up with feminine and masculine qualities assigned to specific genders and then value was placed on one gender over another. Our nursery rhymes told us that girls are to be “sugar and spice and everything nice,” not Tomboys. Boys are “snips and snails and puppy dog tails” not Sissys”! How do we reclaim those buried and shamed aspects of ourselves?
In such heroic tales as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, and Cinderella, the maiden has a very passive role. She has been banished in some way and is waiting for the prince to rescue her, or awaken her. These stories feel representative of the male journey to wholeness by reclaiming the suppressed or hidden feminine aspects of himself.
However, in Beauty and the Beast, a story that originated 4000 years ago, we have a different scenario. The maiden is learning to look beneath the ugly exterior of the beast and see the true lovable nature of the masculine hidden within. Perhaps the female journey to reclaim her whole self is to look into the face of what is ugly or fearful with loving compassion.
A women’s journey to wholeness takes courage, compassion, and commitment to bring to conscious awareness the buried aspects of herself seeking to be seen and heard and embraced. When she opens her heart with the courage to see the truth, and embraces the hidden parts of herself as divinely designed, she recovers her true self. And not just the masculine aspects of herself. She reclaims the aspects of the feminine distorted, shamed, and squelched by a patriarchal culture. When the feminine and masculine are in harmony within the Self, there is no longer anger and resentment to project on to others.
In Preparation for Circle Discussion
Imagine your own “Well of Wisdom and Wonder”. Envision the surroundings. Picture yourself in that place seeking a conversation with a Wise Source. Or, perhaps you already have a “go to place” when you seek to sort out what is disrupting your joy and peace. Who do you meet there, or how do you create a sense of the sacred in that place where you ask the hard questions?
Questions for Circle Discussion
- What was it like for you to envision your own “Well of Wisdom and Wonder”, or to connect with your own “go to place” for spiritual wisdom?
- What feminine qualities have you reclaimed as divinely designed aspects of your true self?
- As one who identifies as a woman, what masculine qualities have you embraced that serve you well in life?
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*Lampmann, Teresa. The ABC Path toward True Wisdom: A Woman’s Guide to Trusting What She Knows in Her Heart Is True, “Body Bonus”, 27-31.
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©2021 Teresa Lampmann