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Courageously Curious

There is no need to be afraid.

One of the unintended consequences of following the crumbs (clues) Creation puts in my path to help me rediscover my own true nature, my authentic self, is that I don’t have to be afraid of anything new. New places, new people, new ideas, new experiences. They all have the potential to teach me something about myself. I just need to be courageously curious.

The mantra of courageous curiosity gives me permission to explore all manner of things. To be open to what something new might have to teach me without the pressure of feeling like I have to embrace or adopt it in its totality. Courageous curiosity often leads to ideas, once integrated into my life, that provide lessons I never ever could have imaged.

And so it was with Beth.

Beth is a third-degree Wiccan High Priestess, a designation that took her eleven years of study and apprenticeship to achieve. Who knew? So, when a third-degree Wiccan High Priestess showed up in my life, I took notice, armored my ignorance in courageous curiosity, and sallied forth.

Beth taught me, and continues teaching me about many new things and new ways to look at the world. But of all the lessons she taught me, the one that I most needed to learn was As Above, So Below.

According to Llewellyn Worldwide, the world's oldest and largest independent publisher of books for body, mind, and spirit:

As Above, So Below is a shortened version of a passage from a document called “The Emerald Tablet of Hermes.” In full, the section reads: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.”

While interesting, the true meaning of this lesson manifested and presented itself in a circuitous way in my life.

In wanting to learn more about Wicca, the book The Spirit Almanac - Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care by Loewe and Kellner, made its way into my life. In this book, in the chapter about the Winter Solstice, I found a planting ritual for faith. The ritual called for me to write out my intentions for the coming year, wrap them around a crystal, and bury both is a pot for which I would then plant a new indoor plant. The book explained that the ritual calls on us to experience how tending plants leads to faith in what lies beneath the surface. Perfect. So, I gave it a try.

The first year, my plant thrived. Every time I tended it, I talked to it and thanked it for the lessons I was learning. We both thrived, and I was grateful. But little did I know the lesson had yet to present itself.

The second year I did the very same. I wrote out my intentions, wrapped them around a crystal, placed them both in a beautiful new pot and repotted my new plant, an indoor lavender, in fertile and organic soil. And I waited for us both to thrive once again. Rather smugly, I might add. I should have known right then and there I was missing the point; that perhaps some lessons come by way of total participation, not just luck and good soil.

Much to my chagrin, the new lavender plant seemed to have a will somewhere between finicky, fussy, ornery, and obstinate. I toyed with the idea of naming her Audrey II (from the movie Little Shop Of Horrors) but resisted, fearing bad karma for us both. Ours was a total test of wills. At first, she had too much water, then not enough. I bought a beautiful continuous water feeding glass bulb, that was always empty, but seemingly made no difference in her disposition. In one beautiful sunny spot her leaves turned brown. In a spot on my desk, in lovely dappled light, she wilted. Moving her to the kitchen table, half of her seemed to be green and growing while the other half was dying. I added fertilizer and nothing happened. This trial of wills went on for more than 6 months. During which, several times at least, I was convinced I had killed her. But she was not about to go gently into that good night.

And then one day, looking at her in desperation, I decided that perhaps I would just repot her. In replanting her, it would be her choice to thrive or die. I was throwing it up to the fates. “Bloom where you are planted” was the only mantra I could offer.

And when back in her original sunny location in a new pot with her glass watering bulb, she thrived. The lesson was immediate. The lesson was made clear. As above, so below.

I spent 6 months tending to the above ground symptoms that my plant presented, when all along the issue was one that I could not see. And how many times had this been the very same issue in my life? Whatever is happening above has its roots below, a relationship I had never taken the time to consider. I was so busy chasing the permutations and combinations of fixes for my life’s challenges, changing, blaming, and issuing ultimatums as I went along, that I rarely, if ever, stopped to consider their roots—the influences I could not see, but nevertheless were there.

“That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above, corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracles of the One Thing.”

As above, so below. Simultaneously the balance and the grounding necessary to be whole.

Thank you Beth . . .

PS. Have you ever had someone totally unexpected enter your life and give you / teach you a life altering / transformational lesson? Please add your comments.

If you are interested in learning more about incorporating ancient self-care rituals into your life:

The Spirit Almanac

A Modern Guide to Ancient Self-Care

by Loewe and Kellner

The link provided with this book is an affiliate link. If you purchase this book using the link, I will earn a very small royalty, which will be used to support the blog.

Click here to view these in the Pathways store.

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