Unveiling the Mother Mask I

 “There is a life behind the personality that uses personalities as masks.

There are times when life puts off the mask and deep answers unto deep”

Dion Fortune ~ The Goat-Foot God

The transpersonal call has been to vision at the sacred well, looking into the depths of both the inner and outer worlds. I accepted the kiss of the morning dew. The rope and the bucket portrayed the shattering of old insecurities and patterns around parenting & relationship dynamics, to delve into the unknown waters of being a mother.

When I dwell upon this, I am reminded of the myth of abduction of the ancient vegetation goddess Persephone, Queen of the Underworld and Daughter of the Earth Mother Demeter.  In her maiden aspect, Persephone, known as Kore, is the young part of the personality.  She encapsulates change and engages in the sensual magic of unfolding life.  Initiations and ceremonies are enacted all around her.

Starhawk calls the daughter or maiden aspect the “Younger Self,” symbolising the unconscious part of a being, the child within, who “directly experiences the world through holistic awareness of the right hemisphere.”   Her functions are sensations, emotions, basic drives, image memory, intuition and diffuse perception.”

This Younger Self is affiliated with inspiration, growth and spontaneity.   I encountered the stepping-stones of my life in an adventurous and courageous manner and I can see an aspect of myself in her wild, free and uninhibited nature.

When I meditated upon my Younger Self, I embarked upon my sojourn with much enthusiasm.  Time went by, I experienced difficulties and challenges, much like my own life journey where I become the Maiden Warrior and fought for a sense of justice in the world around me.  I gained more wisdom as I explored different pathways and outcomes at the crossroads.  I embraced my sexual experiences with lust, love and eagerness.  I did not wish to conform or be ‘maintained’ by society’s standards.  As my quest continued I deepened my spiritual views as a self-actualising human being.

Parenting has been a major life transition into motherhood, both personally and politically. Physically birthing my children in my thirties and continuously birthing new ideas and projects within my own psyche.  Ritual played a paramount role throughout this time and defined my initiation into this new undertaking and continued as I am now approaching my Chiron Return at fifty, and my children are teenagers.

As a mother, I observed that we instinctively know how to nourish those around us, sometimes too much.  In general, we are encouraged by patriarchal society to exalt this primary traditional role with unreasonable demands on our time and energy.  I was determined I would not be ‘overly domesticated’ or deprived of my wild feminine nature. I discovered the importance of taking restorative time for myself ‘sacred selfishness’.  In the latter part, there has also been a liaison rekindled with Eros.  This involved the acceptance of a bewitching sensuality that exists in a mature love partnership through the exploration ‘Dialogue with Sexuality.  ‘Adrienne Rich calls this “a world in which every woman is the presiding genius of her own body.”

As in the myth of Demeter and Persephone, the Mother archetype is also familiar with grief and despair.  I call on her in times of need, to comfort and heal my sorrows.  She knows the seasons of change and death of winter.  The Mother gives me reassurance that the seasons do turn and spring will come again.

“I wish I were showing her something else, some relaxed mum who always feels unconditional love for each child and speaks only in calm, kind tones.

Who I am is not really who I would ideally choose to be as a mum; it simply is the best I am able to pull together in the thick of multifarious demands.”

Maren Tonder Hansen ~ Mother Mysteries

In my personal journalling, I explored parenting aspects through ‘Dialogue of Events’ and ‘Dialogue with Persons’.  Mothering has been the most challenging initiation I have ever faced.   I am not perfect and I struggle with the masks that I wear to block my feelings of inadequacy.  I stumble, fall in emotional exhaustion and rise again with my two beautiful children, by my side.  We howl and cry together with the waning moon and we find inspiration again when she emerges in a new cycle.

Each day I stare into the face of the Mother and realise the enormous responsibility I have undertaken.  I recognise the mask of the Mother and I am reminded of one of my transpersonal mentors saying “… as a necessary item when we need to engage in the world in a particular way.  The danger lies in “Am I my mask and nothing else?  Do I kill of a part of Self to wear the mask and I can’t get it off?” 

It has taken me many years to reconcile my initiation as a mother and it has been largely, uncharted territory for me.    However, I know that I am committed to transforming my sacred wound, “ to develop the courage to be naked with the raw energy of anger, without suppressing it or acting it out.”  I have integrated transpersonal resources, creating a weekly practice that supports me to be mindful of my fire energy, to ground myself and to sing a different tune.

“The fiery intensity at the heart of anger does not ask for smothering, spiritual rehabilitation, nor psychological marginalisation, but rather for a mindful embrace that does not necessarily require any dilution of passion, any lowering of the flames, or any muting of the essential voice in the flames.  If such fire destroys, it is only in order to create and heal.  In its flames, the phoenix is more than a myth.   In its fiery heart, love burns brilliantly, ever replenished, illuminating more that we can imagine.”   Reference: The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 2000, Vol 32  No 1

In this synthesis, I have crafted my own ‘unmasking’ recipe for the ‘Terrible Mother’ archetype, allowing the metamorphosis into different states of consciousness.  It is a unique moment of dancing through the threshold.  Uniting this shadow archetype within my own consciousness, opening to new inner wisdom and possibilities. Experiencing the death of the old and the birth of the new, removing the mask that binds so tight.  What seeds do I choose to take and what do l choose to leave behind?  This is an exciting turning point for my soul’s evolutionary growth, and contribution to a progressive future for my children.

* A continuing, deepening of the Soul

* Cleaning the cauldrons and admiring the cobwebs

* Growing magical herbs & teaching my children to heal

* Resting long enough to allow butterflies to land upon my shoulders

* Holding hands in sacred circle

* Gazing nightly at ‘La Bella Luna‘

* Expressing rage through creativity and paint

* Accepting my children as my greatest teachers

* Learning to self-soothe – being mindful that I don’t have to shout to be heard

* Breathing deeply and laughing loudly to release stress

* Allowing everyone to just be themselves.

* Performing rituals, picking flowers and chatting with the faeries

* Learning from nature

* Naming the night-time stars

* Storytelling, singing, chanting and dancing with holy blue teddy bears

* Spending time with inspirational people

* Maintaining all-night bedside vigils, as and when required

* Praying often for guidance

* Loving myself, when the ‘Terrible Mother’ archetype appears unexpectedly

* Kissing my children goodnight and allowing the Great Mother to kiss me for a job well done!

I am experiencing a fusion of immense joy, abundance, nourishment and gratitude.  After the rich blooming of the summer season comes the first harvest.  In my transpersonal journal I am gathering acknowledgments of my achievements, prosperities and successes.  Sometimes not all of my projects reach culmination.   I breathe peace into these situations, and recognise the gift of detachment.  This is a juncture of patience, as I realign myself through change and exploration.

When the Sun’s strength starts to wane with winter, I call to mind, Demeter, reflecting sadly on the diminishing power and vitality of the sun that helped make the harvest successful and abundant.  She is also appreciative of the tests of life, death and rebirth.  When something fades, something new begins.  This is part of the transformational process.   There is a desire to empty out so that I may be a vessel of the deepest surrender.  During the dark winter months it is a time of dreaming, mystery and introspection to meet the crone, at the cauldron of centering and inner wisdoms.

During this time I collect some dry autumn leaves, and write on them all that I wish to relinquish.  I burn the leaves in my cauldron and spend time reflecting on this significant process.  My spirit ancestors commune potent messages throughout the dark of the night.

The Transpersonal Self has pushed and pulled me, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the unknown darkness to release all that is stagnant in my life… whatever it is that does not inspire, energise or give me passion.  Over the last few weeks my Transpersonal Self has been pushing me to the bone and still cutting away to the very end.  Life, death and rebirth are all one during this transitional time.

The Transpersonal Self does not reflect the subjectivity and sometimes immaturity of the Younger Self.  Clear, direct and sharp like a diamond, the Transpersonal Self has been howling in the winds to make sure I hear what it has to say about resistance and authenticity.  I was invited to liberate a dysfunctional pattern that I have been holding onto tightly for many years.

In the darkness I was presented with a seedpod containing several seeds and I had to choose the ones that I wanted to plant and carry through to the next season of my life.  I visualised the seeds in the dark soil, being moistened by the sacred water from the Well.  The symbolic new seeds represented the gifts of music, dance, joy and connection, a treasure from the muses.  I will carry this precious offering with me throughout this time of gaining spiritual intelligence.  The life journey is a spiral that continually flows.  There maybe trepidation, however I am reassured knowing that as I move through the darkest night of the Soul, I give birth to a new creation and embrace the revelations of my journey.  When light gains the seeds will start to sprout with spring.

During the personal explorations I discovered the most poignant transpersonal resource for my destination is creative expression.  I have yearned for this since I was a child ~ an unfulfilled, fragile wish that has resided deep within me to this day, pulsing with its own rhythmic heartbeat.  I have tried to accomplish this several times but alternative life circumstances took priority over my time and energy.  Now I am at a ‘place’ in my life where it is bubbling up so strongly in me, like a stream flowing from the Source, never to be destroyed.  It is vital for my personal and spiritual growth. 

“I am touching my creative soul, the gypsy within, so much more, who has been without.  A starvation of expression.  Trying to fulfill and seek.. the desire. Creativity ~ the pulse of life that frees me…”  ~ Mikailah

My dream guides do not want me to grieve anymore.   This is the genesis of a new time, unfolding with much beauty, love, and grace, as I breathe life back into the lost part of my creative soul and reveal my face.

“Tear off the Mask.  Your face is glorious”  ~ Rumi

Updated for the Solar Eclipse in Cancer – July 3 2019

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