| From now on until the end of December
the days are getting shorter and the nights longer.
For the past six months we have been
in a journey of fire
and the next six months
we will be moving through a journey of water.
We travel in two directions: in an ascent or in a descent.
In the realm of fire and light
we are pulled into great contests, conflicts,
flights of fantasy, creativity and aggression.
Something “breaks out” in our lives
and a fire burns through the opening.
We charge ahead, seek risk and danger,
follow heated vision,
we are pulled into the hands of spirit; without fire,
we may not get off the ground.
However, we can’t soar forever.
We eventually descend to the ground.
Sorrows and ashes accumulate over time.
Ashes are left from years of great, burning fires.
Decent is a watery and dark experience.
We fall down, break down;
we are gathered by some dark wind,
taken down labyrinth paths that seen to have no ending;
we experience prolonged periods of loss;
we don’t know where we are or where we are going.
We only know that “we don’t know.”
In decents we travel muddy roads that lead to depths of soul,
we feel disorientated and lost,
established patterns are worn away,
relationships fall apart and emptiness grows.
A deep keening or lamenting begins.
We feel numb, time slows down;
everything looks bleak and empty.
“Things fall apart, the center cannot hold” (W. B. Yeats).
Here is a story:
Are you longing for God?
Are you longing to be alive again?
To be in love again?
One person, going along the road one day, asked another,
“Have you seen God?”
And the person answered, “I caught one glimpse.
There was a day in which I saw a vision:
God’s presence was before me;
a Fire was on the left
and a fine, stream of Water on the right.
And one group of people walked towards the fire--
they walked into the fire.
And another group of people walked toward the sweet, flowing water—
they walked into the water.
And no one knows which group was blessed and which was not.”
“Whoever walked into the fire,
appeared suddenly in the stream.
And those in the water, as a head went under the surface…
that same head poked up in the middle of the fire.
Most people guard against going into the fire…
so they end up in it.
And those that took pleasure in the water and made it their devotion…
they got cheated too and ended up in the fire.
And the trickery went further.
For a voice from the fire tells the truth and said,
‘I am not fire, but I am a fountain head.
Come inside me and don’t mind the sparks.’
To our eyes, what looks like water,
can burn like the sorrows of grief.
And what looks like fire
is a great relief if you can be all the way inside.
To become the person you are truly meant to be:
you will have to go into the fire…
all the way to the center…
where it will be a fountain head.
Also, you will have to go all the way into the water…
to the center…where some old memory will begin to wash away;
where mourning can be turned into dancing.
And I might add...
each generation must find their way with fire and water.”
When we go down a road we did not intend,
when we are pulled in a direction we have not chosen on our own;
the groundwork for a profound initiation is being prepared.
Grace is coming to us!
One of these storms is heading our way! Fire or Water….