Happy St. Patrick’s Day! May the luck of the Irish be with you all year. Please remember to wear green: I wouldn’t want anyone to be pinched. ;)
In a few more days, three to be exact, the Sun moves into the sign of Aries: an aspect which officially marks the Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. After a long winter, we enter the season of rebirth.
With the new season comes a rich lineage of myths full of promise and hope. These stories are saturated with symbols of fertility and new growth: rewards after a prolonged journey in the dark.
Whether it is the maiden who is kidnapped (Persephone) or the queen who is guilty of hubris (Inanna/Ishtar), rebirth tales begin with the descent of the feminine into the underworld.
The descent into the dark brings desolation to the land. Without the feminine, plants do not grow and babies are not born. The world is in shut-down. With no other recourse, we stand at the crossroads faced with a choice:
Do we stay in the dark, ignoring what is ours to learn? Or do we shine a light and find our way through the dark?
We face this choice every time we experience a crisis. Our decision is the difference between death and rebirth or as Valarie Kaur so eloquently said in her address to the Washington DC Metropolitan AME Church on New Year’s Eve 2016.
What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?
During childbirth, when a woman moves from laboring to pushing, we say she is in transition. After months of gestation, after hours of work, the woman pushes through the pain to bring life into the light.
And, as most mothers will admit, there is a point when she thinks she cannot take any more pain: a point when she thinks she may die. This dark moment typically happens right before the transition.
She is at the crossroads. Here is where she draws upon a previously unknown strength, where she leans into her supports, and where she trusts something good will come from the struggle. Her willingness to move forward is what allows the transition to occur.
The willingness to move through the pain is the decision which propels the rebirth. And just like the woman laboring to bring forth a child, rebirth happens in the company of others.
Persephone did not emerge from the underworld without help. Her mother, Demeter, campaigned tirelessly for her release and asked allies to help. Inanna was no different. Her faithful servant, Ninsubar, championed her cause and negotiated a trade so Inanna could return. In other words, we do not transition without help.
As we move into spring, I invite you to sit with the question:
What did I learn from the winter season?
Look for patterns, assess your mindset, notice what stands out. Perhaps you struggled with a decision or experienced periods of confusion or sadness. Maybe you made a new discovery or found something meaningful.
Pay attention to what is emerging for you. Notice what people are showing up as well as what people are leaving. What work do you enjoy and what labor are you ready to leave behind?
Then, when the winter observations are harvested, go outside (preferably barefoot) and walk in the yard. Observe the natural world as the feminine returns from the darkness. Stay curious and let your intuition guide your next steps. You are emerging from the womb. Enjoy the wonder of life.
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Five years later, Kim is still in the flow of supporting and building a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.