Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Learning from inner wisdom

How do we ever know the truth about ourselves, and what is next coming to be the mirror? I drew this card when I asked “Who is my next teacher?”

I see an old woman in a long skirt and high collar. She looks old fashioned and a bit plump—like someone else’s grandmother. She is looking up with red-rimmed eyes and an open mouth. The word for me that fits her expression is beseeching. She is holding what appears to me to be a snake whose body makes a large circle, or maybe makes a drum. Immediately I think this figure is me. Many times over the years my spirit guides and dreams have named me “Old Woman.” And many times I have asked to be shown what is my next step. It is the snake that especially calls to me. When I drummed a shamanic journey to the Oracle of my Journey Oracle card deck, I met the Cobra.

This card asks “Do I want to go home?” This is a hard question for me. I know home is supposed to be nurturing and welcoming: sometimes it is but often it isn’t. I think we hope teachers are going to be supportive and helpful; maybe they are but often they are not. Sometimes my most deeply altering lessons come to me from the teachers named Grief and Struggle, Perseverance and Patience. The Journey Oracle is this kind of teacher. An old woman who looks like me—and also looks like the magical Other.

Who is your next teacher? Will you seek her or him in places that feel like home, or in those landscapes that you cannot gain by grace, but can earn through hard work?