Embracing the In-Between: Understanding Liminal Spaces

Embracing the In-Between: Understanding Liminal Spaces

In the intricate tapestry of human experience, there exists a realm often overlooked yet profoundly influential – the liminal space. This ethereal terrain asks us to reflect on the very essence of who we are and what we know about the world. In this time of great revealing, many people question what they thought was Truth. And are learning how to navigate uncertainty in many areas of their lives. In this article, we will explore what a liminal space is, why it is so important, and ways to be okay with not knowing.

What is Liminal Space?

 If you are unfamiliar with the idea, it is a transitional space that arises on our passage through something. Usually brought on by a crisis or major life change, it is a time that forces us to be introspective and reevaluate our values, goals, beliefs, and life trajectories. Because of its destabilizing nature, it is a time often characterized by ambiguity, uncertainty and disorientation. 

A Rite of Passage

Most rites of passage are all but forgotten in these modern times. While we have retained some of them like, baptism, confirmation, or marriage. we have forgotten the value that these ceremonies and traditions once held. Helping individuals to embrace change, growth, and the pursuit of a deeper understanding of themselves and their place in the world. That passage between the acceptance of the call to change and the awakened transformation is the liminal space. 

Shedding Identities

Liminal spaces are the in-between spaces where an older version of ourselves becomes increasingly ill-fitted and yet the new version has yet to emerge. Because of the malleability of this time, it can be challenging to navigate. Part of this is because what we thought we knew no longer seems to fit and feels increasingly inauthentic. And partly because shedding old identities and stepping into new ones is, by its very nature, a destabilizing process. The ground is shifting beneath our feet and without a North Star to point towards, it can be a difficult time.

Want to Go Deeper? Read Time As Space

Metamorphosis

Think of this time as the pupal stage in the metamorphosis of a caterpillar into a butterfly. A caterpillar is born with imaginal cells that remain dormant until the onset of the transformation process. Once the caterpillar starts to undergo metamorphosis, the imaginal cells begin to awaken. But if you interrupt the process mid-way, it is neither a butterfly nor a caterpillar, just a big pile of goo.

Space For The Extraordinary

Traversing this space can take a few weeks to a year or more depending on the precipitating factors and how a person deals with the unknowing. In this liminal space, we need to allow ourselves to awaken what lies dormant within us and not rush the process. What’s inside of us might not yet be fully formed, and to push ourselves to figure it out, we risk settling for the ordinary. Pushing ourselves back into the status quo or not giving ourselves enough time for discovery. Shouldn’t we give ourselves the space to make way for the extraordinary?

Read Are You Experiencing an Identity Meltdown by Vidya Frazier

 

Tips For Navigating Liminal Spaces

  1. Acknowledge the liminal space: Recognize and accept that you are in a period of transition and uncertainty. Surrender to it and understand that is normal to feel disoriented, anxious, or confused.
  2. Stay Curious: Instead of resisting – Embrace ambiguity. Stay open and learn to play with ideas, thoughts, and visions without needing them to be the answer. Try them on, like you would a jacket, and see how they feel on you. Do they feel expansive or contractive? How much energy do they hold? Try to resist the urge to make them concrete but rather let them float in and out without attachment. There will be a time to take action, but that isn’t this moment. 
  3. Use this time to explore new perspectives, interests, or pathways. Take a class, read a new author, and learn something new. Engage in novel activities. If you’ve never considered yourself an artist, take an art class or try your hand at writing. 
  4. Seek support and connections. Invite your friends and family with you on some of these excursions. Explore new terrain with people you love. If you feel stuck seek out the support of a therapist or support group. 
  5. Cultivate self-care. Take care of your physical, emotional, and mental health by engaging in activities that bring you joy, relaxation, or a sense of meaning.
  6. Set small goals: Think about what you want to do for the day and set out to attain that. Having small, attainable goals can bring a sense of direction and accomplishment during a time when life may seem unpredictable or uncertain. 
  7. Don’t compare yourself to an older version. You are moving toward something new. This means new habits, new mental constructs, and new ways of being. That means that things will change. Comparing yourself to how you used to do things will hamper this process and increase suffering. 
  8. Be kind to yourself. You are in the process of awakening something very special.

In the intricate dance of life, the liminal space fosters the metamorphosis of the self. It is a realm where identities are shed, and we make way for the emergence of the extraordinary. As we navigate this terrain of uncertainty and transition, let us embrace the inherent ambiguity, stay curious and be open to possibilities. And in the midst of this profound transformation, be okay with not knowing. It’s not going to last and the experience itself is part of our journey. 

Working With The Elements

Working With The Elements

Working with the elements is a powerful way to connect with the natural world. This is because Earth, Water, Air, and Fire are the building blocks of all creation. Each element has its own unique qualities, energy signatures, and symbolism and has been recognized for its spiritual significance in various cultures and spiritual traditions. Remember, we aren’t just part of nature, we ARE nature. So working with these elements helps to create balance and harmony in our lives and deepens our relationship with everything around us.

What Are the Elements?

Each element has its unique properties and associations. It is important to remember that each culture and spiritual tradition might have its own understanding. For example, in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the elements are wood, metal, water, etc. I will discuss those in a separate post. So the descriptions you read below are from earth-based traditions.

The Characteristics of the Elements

Earth: Earth represents stability, grounding, and fertility. Also, it symbolizes physical sensations, material possessions, and the physical body. It is often associated with nourishment, growth, and abundance representing our connection to the physical world and our ability to bring form out of the formless on the material plane.

Air: Air represents intellect, communication, and the realm of thoughts. It symbolizes clarity, knowledge, and communication. Air is associated with the breath of life, and its spiritual significance lies in its ability to bring forth mental clarity and deep insights. Encouraging us to open our minds, seek knowledge and wisdom, and communicate our ideas effectively.  Air also symbolizes freedom and flexibility, reminding us to release any mental or emotional burdens that hinder our growth.

Fire: Fire represents transformation, passion, and spiritual illumination. It symbolizes energy, willpower, and creativity. Fire’s spiritual significance lies in its ability to ignite our inner flame, awaken our passions, and bring about personal transformation. Fire is associated with the spark of inspiration, the passionate pursuit of our goals and desires, and the purification of body, mind, and spirit. It represents inner strength, courage, and the power to manifest change.

Water: Water represents emotions, intuition, and the subconscious mind. It is often associated with fluidity, adaptability, and purification. Water’s spiritual significance lies in its ability to cleanse and purify the soul, washing away emotional and spiritual impurities. It is also linked to the flow of intuition, dreams, and creativity. Water teaches us to be adaptable, to go with the flow, and to embrace the changes and challenges in life.

Working With The Elements

There are some common ways to work with the elements, for example through meditation and ritual. But each of these methods involves connecting with its energetic qualities and incorporating them into various practices and rituals. I have a representation of each of the elements on my altar and utilize their energies on pretty much a daily basis. Remember, working with the elements is deeply personal, and everyone may have their unique ways of connecting with them. Explore different practices, trust your intuition, and find what resonates with you the most.

Working With Earth Element

Here are a few ways you can work with the earth element:

  1. Spend Time Outdoors: Be with and in Nature. Whether it’s in your garden, a park, or a nearby forest simply sit and observe nature. Breathe it in and let the energy of the natural world flow through you. Engaging intentionally with the earth can help you attune to its energy.
  2. Cultivate a plant or garden: Gardening and/or caring for a plant or garden is a wonderful way to develop a relationship with the earth element. Speak and sing to your plants and treat them with respect and reverence. Pay attention to their growth and needs throughout their development.
  3. Connect with Rocks & Crystals: The Earth element has its representation in various materials, such as crystals, stones, and clay. Use crystals in meditation, and place them on your altar or body. Sit on a boulder with your bare feet touching the stone. Working with clay or pottery can be a tactile way to connect with this element as well.
  4. Practice Grounding Exercises: Connect with the energy of the earth by imagining roots extending from the soles of your feet into the ground, anchoring you into the earth’s core. There are many ways to ground using visualizations, find one that works for you. 
  5. Earthing or Earth breathing: Walk barefoot on the grass, ground, or stone. Breathing energy up from the earth and into your body. Then on the out-breath, let your energy flow back into the earth.
  6. Use Earth Rituals: Rituals that honor the Earth’s natural cycles, such as the moon or seasons, can be a powerful way to shift your energy and deepen your relationships.

Moon Spirit: Working with Moon Energy

Working with Air Element

Here are some ways you can work with the element of air:

  1. Meditation and Breathing Work: Use breathing exercises and meditation to connect with the air element. Focus on the movement of breath moving in your body, letting the air cleanse your system and promote a sense of clarity. Use specific breathwork techniques to transmute stagnant energy or shift your consciousness.
  2. Use the Wind: The wind is a powerful tool to purify the mind and energy body. With your intention, open up to the wind and let it sweep through your field, and remove any unwanted energy. Or ask the wind for mental clarity and allow it to bring in new thoughts or inspiration.
  3. Feng Shui: Incorporate air-related elements in your living space. Use light and airy colors, open windows to let fresh air circulate, and choose decor items that evoke a sense of movement and freedom.
  4. Air Rituals: Create rituals to honor and work with the element of air. This can involve lighting incense, smudging, using feathers, or focusing on intentions related to mental clarity, communication, and inspiration.
  5. Feather Work: Collect the feathers of different types of birds and use them in your rituals and ceremonies. Place them on your altar, wear them as jewelry, or carry them with you.

Working With Fire Element

Here are some ways you can work with the element of fire. Remember to use caution and practice fire safety when working with an open flame.

  1. Candle Meditation: Gaze at the flame while allowing your mind to become still. You can visualize the flame growing within you – igniting your passion and creativity. Or see the flame opening up your third eye. After you gaze at the flame for a while, close your eyes and see if you can hold the flame in your mind’s eye.
  2. Candle Rituals: Set an intention. Choose the color of the candle that corresponds with that intention (e.g., red for passion, orange for creativity), and then write/etch your intention on the side of the candle. As the candle burns, hold that intention in your mind and body and build energy around your desire.
  3. Fire Ceremonies: Gather around a bonfire or create your own controlled fire outdoors in an appropriate fireproof container. Sit around the fire, feeling its warmth and energy. Offer prayers, sing, chant, or release anything you wish to let go into the fire. The cleansing and transformative power of fire can help you release old patterns, habits and/or assist in building energy and passion for your projects.

Working with Water Element

Here are ways to work with the element of water:

  1. Meditation: Sit near a body of water, such as a river, lake, or ocean, and focus on the sound of water. Visualizing it flowing and bringing a sense of calmness and emotional stability to your being. Think about the water’s ability to flow with change and move with grace and ease.
  2. Baths and Showers: Whether you are bathing or showering, consciously focus on the water cleansing and renewing your body and spirit. You can also enhance the experience by adding salts, oils, or herbs to the water, integrating their specific properties into your practice. Also, use the opportunity to release whatever you no longer want to hold onto into the water. Then allow it to flow down the drain. You can also do this in a river, lake or ocean. 
  3. Drink Clean Water: Your body is composed largely of water. Being dehydrated impacts your body’s physical and energetic capacities. Drink water with intention throughout the day. Let it cleanse and purify the body as it moves through your system.
  4. Water Rituals: Water will absorb intention. So, for example, you can fill a jar with water, herbs, crystals, or other items that symbolize your intent. Then use that water to drink or water plants or let it flow down the river and give your intention to the universe. Charge the water with your intentions and use the energy of water to manifest your desires.

Working with the elements – Earth, Air, Fire, and Water is a powerful way to deepen your relationship with the world around you. From the grounding and stability of earth to the creativity and passion of fire, the fluidity and adaptability of water, and the clarity and intelligence of air, each element has unique qualities and gifts that we can learn from and utilize. By consciously working with these elements, we develop a greater understanding of our own nature and the world around us, leading to greater harmony and balance in our lives.

Moon Spirit: Working With Moon Energy

Moon Spirit: Working With Moon Energy

Working with moon energy can be a powerful tool to create change in our lives and deepen our relationship with the cosmos. As our closest celestial companion, the moon is not only responsible for the tides of the ocean, without which life would look very different. But also has an impact, although subtle, on human behavior. People across all continents, over many eras, have contemplated our relationship with this celestial consciousness.  Many spiritual practices acknowledge the moon as a powerful force capable of guiding individuals on their spiritual journey. So by honoring the moon and being in relationship with it we deepened our understanding of the interconnectedness of all things and activate one more piece of our true human potential.  The Moon & The Divine Feminine

Each culture has its own view and relationship with the moon. So what I present here is a blend of many perspectives. Use them as an example or guide, but don’t discount your intuitive power. Especially since the moon represents the mystery and divine feminine energy. Associated with goddesses such as Artemis, Luna, and Selene, the moon embodies qualities of nurturing, intuition, and healing. When people talk about going with the flow. There is no greater example of flowing within the cycles as the waxing and waning of the moon. This ebb and flow of life and the rise and fall of energy permeates our natural world. In order to move with the cycles, we first need to understand them. 

Moon Phases

Phases of the moonThe image above illustrates the phases of the moon. The lunar month lasts approximately 29.5 days.

Spiritual Significance of Moon Phases

Each phase of the moon has its own unique meaning, symbolic significance and energy that can be harnessed to create rituals and ceremonies. It is important to note that the specific interpretations of the moon phases may vary depending on cultural or individual beliefs. Not all practices need to start with the new moon, though there is a natural progression, especially if someone is looking to change or let go of something significant. Understanding the energy of each phase of the moon can assist us in understanding how we can utilize its power. 

Here are some common spiritual associations with each phase of the moon:

  • New Moon Energy: This phase is all about setting intentions and planting seeds. Is there something new you are looking to create or a habit to let go of? This is the moment. This phase is all about renewal, new beginnings, and potential energy. Make sure you express your intention in multiple ways. Write it down, say it out loud, and tell a friend. You can also place a totem or other representation of your intention on your altar.
  • Waxing Moon Energy – These phases are all about building energy and persevering. Take action on your goals and desires. It is a time of expansion, growth, and outward momentum. Stay focused and stick with your priorities. Do you need to make a course correction? Fine-tune your goals and actions as needed. 
  • Full Moon Energy: The full moon is a powerful symbol of completion and illumination. It is about celebration and gratitude. It is time to release anything that doesn’t serve you. The moon’s energy is most powerful at this time. So emotions, intuitions, and desires can be right on the surface.  Be mindful, sometimes things can get a little wonky during this time. 
  • Waning Energy – The waning moon is about release and forgiveness. Reflection and introspection are key during this time. Are you ready to let go of an old story? Do you have beliefs about yourself and the world that no longer serve? Time to let it go. Maybe it is time to retreat and recharge. Think about past experiences – what insights did you learn? What worked? What would you do differently? Refine your values and clarify your motivations based on your reflections.

Ways to Work With Moon Phases

Now that you understand the energy and symbolic representations. What are some ways that we can incorporate moon phases into your spiritual life:

  • Track the moon phases: Start by becoming mindful of what phase of the moon you are in. You can add this to your calendar as a reminder. Then be mindful of how you feel, how you sleep, and your energy shifts. Can any correlations be made? The moon’s energy may be subtle at first, but the more you tune in, the more heightened your perceptions become. 
  • Flowing With The Energy: For example, during the waning phase,  take more time for meditation and/or journal about where you are and if it feels aligned. Make the full moon celebratory and have friends over for dinner and dancing. 
  • Set intentions: If you are looking to make a big shift, prepare yourself to begin at the new moon phase. Do some prep work so you have a well-developed intention when the new moon begins. 
  • Create Sacred Space: Honor the moon on your altar or window sill. Use crystals, cards, or whatever symbolic representation that holds meaning for you.
  • Perform rituals: Following the descriptions above, create a ritual that utilizes the unique energy of each phase. For example, during a full moon, perform a fire ceremony. Write down everything you want to release and give it to the universe by throwing it in the fire.  Or maybe an offering ceremony that gives thanks for the many blessing you’ve received. Here is a great resource for creating moon rituals. 
  • Moon Gazing: Spend time in nature and gaze at the moon. The ancient technique of simply observing the moon allows its gentle glow to illuminate hidden truths and soothe the mind and soul.
  • Shadow Work: What is ready to be illuminated? Dive deep into the Divine Feminine and look at what is in your shadow. There are so many interesting frameworks and ways to work with the shadow. Here are a few to get you started.

Spirituality 101: What is Shadow Work or this Substack Post Diving Deep Into the Shadow.

The moon’s spiritual significance reaches far beyond its physical existence. From ancient rituals to modern practices, this celestial body has guided and inspired humanity for millennia. By following moon phases, you can deepen your spiritual journey, connect with the cycles of nature, and understand the connectedness of all of life. As we gaze upon its magical presence in the night sky, may we remember the profound wisdom and transformative energy the moon offers us all.

Balancing the Divine Masculine

Balancing the Divine Masculine

​The concept of the Divine Masculine is often misunderstood and overlooked in our society, which tends to focus more on the negative aspects of masculinity. However, the Divine Masculine represents the best and most inspiring aspects of masculine expression in the universe. The Divine Masculine is thought to reside within all individuals, regardless of gender identity, and is seen as a vital aspect of personal growth and spiritual development. It is complementary to the Divine Feminine, and together they create balance in the universe. In this article, we will explore the Divine Masculine principle, its archetypes, traits, and imbalances.

Characteristics of the Divine Masculine

The Divine Masculine is an energetic, spiritual, and archetypal ideal that exists on a transpersonal and universal level manifesting itself through conscious thoughts, plans, processes, goals, and structures. This principle is very action-based, focused on doing rather than being, and it is represented by power, strength, focus, leadership, and logic. In proper balance, it is confident without being arrogant, rational without being possessive, and strong while still being gentle. It offers safety and guidance through compassion and support.

Divine Masculine Archetypes

In mythology and literature, the Divine Masculine is represented by various archetypes. These archetypes can embody both the light and shadow aspects. Both men and women can embody these representations.

Here are some examples:

  1. The King – represents sovereignty, leadership, and responsibility
  2. The Knight – represents courage, chivalry, protection, honor
  3. The Warrior – represents strength, courage, and protection
  4. The Magician – represents intelligence, wisdom, and transformation
  5. The Father – represents nurturing, supportive, and protective energy
  6. The Lover – represents passion, intimacy, and emotional connection

Examples of these archetypes can be found in various spiritual traditions, such as Hinduism, Greek mythology, and Christianity. Characters like Hercules, Perseus, Shiva, Zeus, and even the idea of a masculine God or “Father” in Christianity embody the Divine Masculine archetype.

Here is a great resource to learn more about Divine Masculine Archetypes.

Unbalanced Divine Masculine

The best way to understand the balance of the Divine Masculine is to see it in relationship to the Divine Feminine. Think of the Ying/Yang. These two energies exist in harmony. If one is out of balance it means that the other is also imbalanced. So if you are too grounded in your masculine energy, you will be deficient in the Divine Feminine and vis versa. Finding a balance between the two is key.  If you notice any of these signs, it may be an indication that your Divine Masculine energy is out of balance, and you may need to work on tapping into your feminine energy or work on any deficiency in your masculine energy.

Here are some common signs to look out for:

  1. Overly aggressive or dominant behavior
  2. Lack of empathy or emotional intelligence
  3. Inability to connect with others on an emotional level
  4. Difficulty expressing vulnerability or emotions
  5. Overemphasis on doing rather than being
  6. Overemphasis on material success and wealth
  7. Lack of focus or direction in life
  8. Difficulty with self-discipline and not taking accountability

Awakening the Divine Masculine

Some practices that can help awaken the Divine Masculine energy within oneself include:

  1. Set boundaries: Being assertive and setting boundaries is a masculine trait. Saying “no” to people and things that do not align with your values is an important step in taking responsibility for your life.
  2. Practice Responsibility and accountability: Take charge of your life and be accountable for your role in situations.
  3. Examine your wounds surrounding the masculine: Reflecting on your formative and important relationships with the men in your life. What did you learn about masculinity? How did this guide your actions as an adult?
  4. Create Structure & Processes: Think about where your lack of structure and self-discipline has harmed you or inhibited your success. Can you create more processes or healthy habits that allow you to be more productive?
  5. Take action: Go get shit done.

By practicing these methods, one can nurture and balance the Divine Masculine energy within oneself, leading to a more balanced and awakened life.

Read: Seeing Beyond the Lens of Patriarchy

The Masculinity Crisis

Initiations and rituals that help boys transition into manhood used to be an integral part of traditional societies. However, over the centuries of civilization in the West, almost all of these ritual processes have been abandoned or discredited. This has led to a crisis in masculinity, where men are struggling to find their identity and purpose in life. The lack of meaningful ritual for masculine initiation has disconnected men from the processes by which they achieved their gender identity in a deep, mature, and life-enhancing way. As a result, many men either had no initiation into manhood or had pseudo-initiations that did not have the power necessary to achieve genuine transformation of consciousness.

It is necessary to find a balance between the Divine Masculine and the Divine Feminine to live a whole, awakened, and balanced life. Awakening the Divine Masculine requires responsibility, accountability, and self-awareness. We need to work on the shadow side of the Masculine to resolve the crisis of masculinity in society as a whole. By tapping into the balanced aspects and engaging with its archetypes, men can become more centered, and generative towards themselves and others, and live a more peaceful, aligned, and meaningful existence.

Jeanne Michele on Spiritual Equality

Jeanne Michele on Spiritual Equality

Subscribe on iTunesSpotify, Google Podcasts or Spreaker

What does the resurgence of the sacred feminine look like? How do we make space for both men and women to evolve? How does one have a courageous conversation?  In this episode, Jeanne Michele and Angela Levesque explore the messages that Mary Magdalene has for us as we move into spiritual equality and the Age of Partnership. We discuss moving out of resistance and getting out of the ‘fight’ mentality, and how to break through our collective molds and allow space for our evolution. Jeanne also shares stories from her pilgrimage to the ancient Mary Magdalene sites in France.

Receive your special gift of a sacred anointing rite that allows you to give and receive a blessing. 

You can find it here at https://drjmichele.ac-page.com/the-anointing-and-blessing

About the Guest

Woman by a treeDr. Jeanne Michele is many things: Part teacher. Part modern-day philosopher. Part change agent. Part Coach.

Her dynamic and engaging mentorship with individuals, couples, leaders, and so many others takes a departure from traditional counseling or marriage counseling in that she encourages people to identify what they really want in life and helps them design a plan to create it.

Through her work with people from many different spiritual backgrounds and belief systems, she is able to help them get in touch with the deeper truth of who they are and how they want to walk in the world. She then merges her passion for helping people create extraordinary relationships with her strong business background to deliver personalized programs to men, women, and couples helping them create and sustain dynamic lives, relationships, and business partnerships.

Dr. Jeanne believes in the power of relationships to help heal the past, and teach us about ourselves. Her relational work helps people deepen their connections with themselves and their partners, and to clarify and live more joy-filled and passionate lives.

Her personal spiritual sojourns have taken her to the heart of Bali, as well as explorations into France and Italy to explore the influence of Art and Myth in the reclamation of spiritual legends. From the small gypsy town of Sts. Marie de la Mer to the caves of Southern France, she has engaged in dynamic discoveries of the powerful legends of the Mary Magdalene Mysteries. She is planning on leading a group pilgrimage to France in 2022.

Links

Jeanne’s Websites

Jonathan de Potter on Psychedelics and Higher States of Consciousness

Jonathan de Potter on Psychedelics and Higher States of Consciousness

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What can someone expect from working with psychedelics? Which one is right for you? How can we get the most out of these experiences? In this episode, Jonathan de Potter and Angela Levesque discuss various plant-based medicines. We explore how we use it to sustain higher levels of consciousness and why this is the real value of this work. We also talk about the different types available, how to prepare for a retreat and why the mental and emotional work is a critical part of the transformation.

About the Guest

Jonathan de Potter is the Founder & CEO of Behold Retreats, a bespoke wellness service that facilitates journeys of self-discovery and transformation, supported by the scientifically proven benefits of plant medicine therapy.

Jonathan is passionate about raising awareness on the benefits of plant medicine therapy, and its potential to improve wellbeing and mental health outcomes. 

Originally from Hawaii, USA, Jonathan is currently based in Bangkok, Thailand, traveling often to continue his research into the best plant medicine retreat centers around the world.

He enjoys yoga, meditation, surfing, and is energized by big, bold ideas.

 

Links

Behold Retreat https://www.behold-retreats.com/

chaosandlight.com