Living in a world that values what image we project over who we really are, what we can produce over what we express, how we look over how we feel is a culture that is emotionally and spiritually neglectful. It is a culture that values the external to such a degree that we have become codependent this culture, a death mother, in an attempt to receive the nourishment our psyche is so deeply craving and getting ourselves lost in the process.
We have been split in two...our inner nature and our rational nature. Animal and divine has become animal OR divine. The splitting creates a deep chasm in the in-between, a place that rests in our hearts...where we are actually meant to embody the in-between...to be both instinctual and divine, logical and filled with the creative loving energy of eros; to hold a safe container, respect knowledge and wisdom equally and to navigate through the world fully alive in our cells with feeling, wisdom and grace. We should feel safe to be whole. Yet most of us do not.
This is the essence of the soul wound, the split between our two sides; logos and eros, masculine and feminine, animal or spirit, spiritual or science, dark or light, love or hate, good or bad...and on and on.
When I stopped drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, I had an intuition that a lot of my addiction was related to mothering. It was then I began to explore not only my relationship to my own personal mother but what it is to cultivate a conscious relationship with myself. This is when I first encountered the archetype of the death mother, a representation of the oppression/abuse of the healthy feminine. She is also the shadow side of the Great Mother archetype.
Archetypes are universal energy patterns that humans have experienced through out time. It is also expressed within cultures, as well as personally in each of our lives. This forms the foundation of our internal mother, a combination of universal energetics, cultural expressions and our personal lineage.
The death mother archetype appears in other cultures as an archetype of the soul stealer; the soul ultimately being the feminine, embodied expression of the divine.
The "patriarchy” doesn’t have to just do with men or the masculine principle. Everything is a part of the wholeness and the wholeness lives within all things. There is also very much a feminine counterpart to the patriarchy, a system designed to function through domination, control and power.
This is a system that rose from the transition of worshipping mother nature to seeking to domination not only over mother earth but over our own feminine nature deeply tied to the earth body itself.
The death mother is the counterpart to the death father. These are archetypal energies that exist in the collective psyche. If they did not, there wouldn’t be the kind of situations we are dealing with on the earth at this time.
These archetypal energies influence each of us and are confounded even more if they’ve also arrived into the blueprint of our nervous systems via our actual parents.
The death mother is the shadow part of the feminine who seeks to express herself through power, domination and control of the elemental feminine, of the soul of both men and women. She represents the "cultural subjugation of the wild and unruly feminine (Toko-pa)" and to survive she's become like the death father in order to thrive. Her soul was stolen and now she steals to feel like she has one.
There are so many patterns we learned to survive as children that are ways of being that are acceptable, almost cherished qualities, in our consumer driven, future focused society; one that idealizes perfection as a goal wildly unattainable by the nature of being human.
These internal patterns and habits of perfectionism and people pleasing are soul killers.
They further the split between our "ideal" self and our inner, tender, feeling and creative nature. It creates a deep divide between the wise animal of our body and the divine nature of our hearts.
Perfectionism and people pleasing are expressions of the soul wound, not who we really are individually or as a culture. But, these very pattens enforce us to not reveal the truth of our pain, the roots of our habits because it will wreak havoc to a system that relies on our pain remaining out of our awareness. This leads many to feel ashamed of the truth of their hearts, the wisdom of their bodies, true purpose or calling, or the particular ways genius wants to be expressed in the world.
The death mother is an archetypal energy coined first by Jungian analyst Marie Louise von Franz, then elaborated on by Marion Woodman. This energy is so, so very much alive today in this domination heavy culture, as well as in our own bodies.
This energy gets conflated with the darker aspects of the divine feminine and they are not the same thing. Not even in the slightest.
In order to begin to truly liberate the feminine archetypal energies and heal the masculine archetypal energies as well, we must understand the difference and how the death mother rules our unconscious realms.
The death mother is the dark side of the mother, the shadow side that no one talks about. The cold mother. The resentful mother. The mother that didn’t want to have children. The mother who was not mothered herself. The addicted mother. The depressed/anxious mother. The rejecting or abandoning mother. The intruding mother.
The one who did not nurture or nourish or celebrate or love the way we are trained to think mothers are supposed to be. So much so that we think it’s our fault if this was our mother or that we are not worthy of love because she didn’t know what love was.
This enters our hearts in such a deep way that when we have the impulse towards creativity, new endeavors, life transitions, more soul and life affirming expansion, she enters and pulls us back in.
This is addiction and food issues. A search for a nurturing, soothing energy and returning to what we know..the death mother.
Fear based thoughts aren't really a thing. Thoughts aren't "real". But, the fear is. Energy is real. It lives in your body. Your mind responds to energy a particular quality of thoughts. This New Age patriarchal way of valuing rationality and "mind over matter" has us using our minds as weapons against ourselves, even training us to be afraid of our own fear which drives us further into never really understanding or connecting with our innate intelligence, which lives in the body. As long as we live afraid of ourselves, we are trapped in a game that ultimately we all want to be free of. Our culture counts on this being the case.
Our nervous systems are in a perpetual state of fight or flight or freeze. It is our nervous system that informs the quality of our thinking. This is the neural network that links our bodies up as tuning forks to the divine.
If we want to learn how to become free of fear, we need to discover how to live in harmony with our body, which is also living in harmony with nature, our own nature.
Your body, your nervous system, is what is here living, breathing and having this lived experience of life. Not your mind. Part of our recovery as humans is to bring the mind back on board with the body, to bring the masculine principles of energy back into harmony with those of the feminine, of the earth and the body. We have to heal the patriarchal way we relate to ourselves and our inner life.
Your body has stories to tell and energy to release. Anxiety, one expression of fear, is simply projecting all of the unresolved experiences into the future because there is nothing else the body knows. Shame is a complex collection of relational wounds that trigger fear in vulnerable relating that matches the nervous systems blueprints for relationship.
Part of the work I do is to help support clients in learning how to bring their energy back down into their bodies with gentleness and curiosity. Where is the energy getting blocked? What is the story there that wants to be shared? What wants to be felt expressed or known? We enter the sacred chambers of inner wisdom and healing, holding space for the beautiful alchemical process of creating safety for you to come home again. Your mind will automatically follow suit. Life, joy and "positive" thinking will be sustainable, because you will know the lived truth that there are no "low vibrational" emotions, just parts of you that haven't been heard or loved. You are beautiful.
Your soul is your vital energy; it is life force expressing itself as you. It is your expression of creation. It is creation expressing itself as you. It is the essence of who you are.
The amount of goodness and beauty and love that you really are is indescribable by any words, in any language.
There is nothing that you cannot transform in your life. There is no reason that life cannot be a wonderful experience for you. There is no need to blame karma or fixed astrology as identity and excuses for suffering and pain or why things aren’t happening.
The Universe is flowing and expressing itself through you, there is nothing that you cannot transmute back into your own divinity. Even your feeling of separation is an embodied experience of this sacred life breathing you. Even shame.
Shame is a liberating pathway back to embodying your innate goodness.
Shame: a complicated experience wrapped up in painful thought cycles fed by deep, often unconscious, unmet needs for love.
It’s relational. In other words, it is something that is triggered in the context of relationships and belonging. It touches us right down to the core of who we are and often cuts us right there at that core. It is the soul wound.
It’s a complex belief system based on the experience that there is something fundamentally wrong with you. It’s the pain of original heartbreak.
It is fear. It is anger. It is all the feels. It is also the cultural air we breathe and water we swim in.
It’s the feeling of unworthiness, of not being enough, not being good enough.
It is misunderstanding the nature of pain, it is having no idea what to do with pain. Pain was there when the seeds of shame got planted. When we feel pain and no one sees it, our emotions are shut down. Caregivers are unhappy or we get in trouble for being in pain or having emotions, being told to stop expressing emotions. We feel the loss of love and attention, and feel hurt or abused or neglected.
It is so common, we just think it is normal. Normal does not mean it is healthy.
I have struggled with self-love on a daily basis for a lot of my life. I use the word struggle here specifically because it seems to be a word that is "bad," and associated with "blocks" and negative mindsets. Yet the inner conflict, the inner struggle, is quite real on an energetic, emotional level. For all of us.
I think we are allergic to talking about pain and inner struggle, relegating it somewhere behind closed doors, dirty little secrets or a thing we make bad or wrong. Like it is bad to be in pain; I am yet to meet a single person who is not in some kind of inner pain.
The only way out is to talk about it, metabolize it and work it through. With love.
We make pain wrong though. It's not wrong, we just don't like to be in pain. We fear if we go into it, we will drown in it forever,. But the ignoring of it actually keeps us oppressed by our own pain more than anyone or anything else.
Patriarchy doesn't like pain because healing pain awakens awareness, empathy, love and compassion which is the opposite of that gnawing emptiness inside that we search to fill with something while trying to paint perfect pictures of ourselves for each other.
We are taught that pain is a “selling point.” If we are in pain we will continue to need to buy stuff.
We long for connection. We long to be loved. We long to be free of pain.
The change of seasons brings up a lot of heaviness, the last of the Winter energies asking to be metabolized and released. This can feel like fatigue, exhaustion. It can feel like deep sadness. It can feel like depression. Depression, however, is not the same as feeling sadness, grief or tired unless you resist your experience.
Emotions are life force energy manifesting as a current of information to guide you in making decisions, in navigating life, as well as into a more conscious relationship with yourself and with Spirit. Emotions serve a lot of different functions, many of them are shut down in the same way life force energy is generally shut down, with several few acceptable expressions of it. As a consequence, many of us have come to believe that our emotional life is bad, that it isn't safe to have emotions (or be ourselves) or we fear our emotions because we do not know what to do with them.
What can happen is a shut down, which manifests as depression. All these emotions go inward because we don't know what to do with them. We turn in on ourselves. This is the birth of self-criticism, shame and self-loathing. Especially if we weren't held, seen or supported to understand our own inner experience.
Emotions are relational, they happen in response to our relationship with life. Healing relationships and cultivating a healing relationship with Spirit can be a relieving balm in our current emotionally neglectful (and abusive) society. One of the most potent ways to use ancient spiritual and soul technologies is to learn how to harness the wisdom of your emotional body to tap into the wisdom of your emotions, metabolize your emotions and experience the liberating quality of this connection with life force energy.
Shame is pain inside the heart; a deep hurt that feels like you aren't good enough, aren't worthy in some way, that something is deeply wrong, that you are deeply flawed or somehow missed the memo on humanning well. It's this emptiness that feels bottomless and disconnected.
It IS the soul wound.
Shame has taken up residence in the center of your original heartbreak, at the core of who you are. There are a million reasons we all experience soul wounding and soul loss. It's been said that this is such an endemic at this time.
It's this undefinable yet very alive experience that is constantly running in the background of our subconscious. It is the emptiness that our consumer culture thrives on. We live in a shame culture. A trauma culture. A money culture. These things are so intimately wound up together culturally, our nervous systems cannot quite tell it all apart. As long as it feels like there is never enough or that you aren't enough, you will continue to seek outside of yourself for an experience of wholeness that money cannot buy.
This is the place where wanting more and more becomes the addiction wearing the costume of perfection and abundance and attacking ones core self like a construction project in the hopes that personal enlightenment will bring all the things we've been promised. It just doesn't work this way. It's all perpetuating itself and making most of us feel crazy and desperate. So much so, we are then distracted by what is happening in the world and people are hurting other people. Aren't we perhaps the only species that turns on itself (each other and ourselves)?
This is one of the most important things to me that needs to change. I often wonder what the world would be like if no one ever felt like there was something wrong with them. If we want to change our culture or heal our planet, we simply must start to talk about this soul wound, this sense that somehow being human is bad, that we are flawed, that we need to try to attain some state of divine perfection to transcend it.
Yes, being human is fragile and painful at times, scary even. But, shame is NOT a natural part of our programming. No thing in nature experiences shame or thinks that there is something wrong with it. It is NOT normal to feel this way about ourselves. It is not the natural frequency of our soul.