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COCOONING, COVID & HUNGRY GHOSTS PART TWO: Stargazing, Grief & Spring’s Emergence



Before I share this next bit of my journey, I feel the need to tell you that I am an intensely private person. I am challenged, not by the writing itself, but by the vulnerability I expose in my writing.  When I post a blog like this one, it's like standing naked, in a spotlight, singing a song that is unknown to me, but that I cannot ignore or it will burst forth at the most inappropriate opportunity.


My inner guidance prompts me to grow and to allow myself to explore the creative mysteries in ways, new and old, that are unique to me. I share these deeply profound parts of my experience because I am compelled by a need to keep a record of what I've learned and discovered. And if they are helpful to anyone else, I am gratified.


I am revealing a part of my soul with every artwork, spiritual journey & ritual healing art on my path. Sharing my creative process is a calling, as is the spiritual aspect of my life. An artist hones their imagination, which feeds their creativity. An artist also speaks a language that is beyond words.


Herein lies the magic and true beauty of this visionary artist's quest for the truth from a heart-centered, connection with the Multi-Verse’s Mysteries.


The Stargazer Ancestor's wisdom came from an inner journey at Imbolc’s seasonal gate.  Also named Candlemas and Groundhog’s Day, it is a time of liminality and uncertainty.  A time between winter’s end and spring’s beginning when our ancestors took stock of their supplies, measured against the needs of those they served. 


I set my intention for receiving the gifts and blessings of this experience and off I went. Despite my fever-weakened state, I plunged into my inner experience with trust boldly leading the way.


The journey began with our usual and vitally important ritual preliminaries. We set the sacred space and cleared our minds with silent breathing. As I took on the posture of the ancient artifact, the sound induction for entering an altered state of consciousness worked its magic quickly.


I stood in my office, a part of me was elsewhere, as I completely engaged with the process. I was standing in water, waist-deep, watching the full moon's light above me. I got the message that the "water" was the amniotic fluid of the Great Mother's Womb.


As soon as that message penetrated, I opened my eyes to find myself in a cave. There was firelight and flickering shadows on the rough stone walls of my inner peripheral vision. I sensed others around me, dancing about the fire.


I left the cave, stepping outside, into the night landscape. I looked up at the stars as I held the posture of the Ancient Stargazer. I felt the light from the stars washing my brain, opening my pine-cone-shaped pineal gland.


I witnessed my pineal gland’s blossoming, opening its “petals” to the starlight illuminating it. It reminded me of a Disney animation, with its beautiful pale green lobes glowing like a strange phosphorescent flower. I watched as pistils and stamens unfurled, releasing a shower of golden light in my head.


My intuitive receptors were being awakened at a level that I had not been able to reach before. I "heard" the voices of my inner guides speaking. They were saying, "Since time immemorial, we have been receiving the light of higher consciousness, anchoring that celestial light into the Earth and this dimension."


I hummed, feeling the resonant rumble in my chest spread through my body, radiating from my heart center. The light and sound moved through me, connecting my heart, brain, and hands, while clearing my lungs.


My chest was being washed clean of congestion, toxins, and impurities. More messages poured through my consciousness. I heard my guides say, "It's ok to question who you are and what you're doing." “It's appropriate and natural to question the uncertainty, the shifting of your life path now."


I smiled, filled with peacefulness, and surrendered to the wisdom I was being offered. Suddenly a "download" of information occurred. Some of the flood of messages rose to the surface of my awareness.


The messages contained information about my affinity with water and how it affects me. It carries me into who I am becoming, even as it cleanses and nurtures my soul. Water, in the form of tears, washes away the "hungry ghosts" of my addiction to Grief held within me for as long as I can remember.


I was surprised by this insight. The more deeply I listened, the more deeply I felt the grief stirring from my depths. I recognized Grief as a companion that met me as I was released from my mother's womb.


All of a sudden I comprehended something about myself that I hadn't known before. I was shown the "bigger picture" of my life. I felt the keening sounds of Grief from collective consciousness stored in the waters of my birth. 


It was imprinted onto my soul. Branding itself into the synapses of my nervous system. The nation, and the world, were grieving the loss of President Kennedy, who was assassinated only a few months before I was born. In addition to this overwhelming unresolved grief, were the layers of Grief that reached beyond words, stored in my body's unconscious realms.


I was rocked by the realization. My consciousness was birthed into a state of shock and PTSD rooted in the collective. Somehow, I took on the responsibility of holding and healing the Grief of the World. I was becoming more and more aware of the nature of my nature. I was imprisoned in a pattern, not of my own making.


I have lived my life unknowingly as a vessel for Grief. I have grieved for far too long, for my losses, for my family's losses, for all those who are lost, and for the losses of Nature as we destroy our planet and its precious flora and fauna. I feel all of these losses as if they were mine alone to bear.


My life choices made more sense now. My attraction to healing others through creative expression, my compulsion for exploring the mysteries, my drive to heal my psyche, my brokenheartedness, and my soul, had unintended consequences.


This addiction of mine had grown to enormous proportions. It had driven me to take responsibility for something out of my control. I could no more heal the Grief of the World than I could heal the grief of the entire Multi-Verse.


I saw every decision I had made from the need to be a healing force in a world that is more and more destructive. It had caused me to make choices from a place of victimhood despite the time invested as an adult learning how to be an empoweringly sovereign being reigning over myself, my body, and my destiny.


I saw how my life path is being directed by an unconscious imperative to escape these ancestral wounds.  The connections between the lands that soak up the victims' blood from our crimes against Nature, each other, and my body were complete.  


I saw how my choice to heal my ancestral wounds contribute to the healing of every Ancestral line in all of humanity.  Each line was lit up with starlight, lightning bolts shooting back to its origins.


As I forced my heart to remain open in the face of all that pain and all the fears, I suffered and struggled with loving myself, giving myself love, and receiving healthy love.  It became clear how my childhood cultural beliefs and traditions were still affecting me.


I had spent my precious lifeforce spinning my wheels in the mud of the world's despair. I had been sucked into the primal patterns of my unconscious. Until now.


As I wrote my journey down, I began to cry. I allowed the tears to cleanse my soul of the past. I finally grasped that I no longer have an insatiable need to be a vessel for the "Grief of the World". I had given myself permission to say "no" to holding onto grief longer than necessary, to holding others' grief, to being responsible for healing the grief that is not mine to heal.


I was released from this hidden pattern of victimization. I was offered the opportunity to be freed of the addiction, liberated from the hungry place inside my heart that had been fed with grief and pain. Until now.


Gently and firmly, my guides succinctly put it into terms I could understand. Even with a temporarily muddled state clouding my mind, I got it. I was addicted and I had to let that go or it would take over completely.


Through my experience with this virus and my willingness to explore its meaning, I had the opportunity to let go of a lot of old stuff I had been hanging onto for far too long. The toxic buildup within my system was purged through feverish sweat baths, nightmares, and inner explorations.


It is time to let go. Time to release it all and find myself again. Who am I now, I wonder? Who am I becoming?  Who do I want to be now?


Thankfully, my husband and I are nicely recovered, our minds intact, and our energy is almost back to prior levels. I still get tired faster than before and my endurance is not the same. I don't know when that will be fully restored.


The Time of Cocooning showed us so many things. About our world. About ourselves. About our relationships. And now, as Spring arrives, it is becoming time to come out of my cocoon again.


If you've ever watched a butterfly emerge from its cocoon, you will see its wings are all folded and bent at odd angles. They look like they could never fly.


And yet, a short while after breaking through that protective shell, while alternately stretching and resting, the butterfly's wings fully open. They dry in the sunlight and become firm. Not long after, the butterfly takes flight on those gossamer wings of brightly colored beauty.


Taking it slowly is the only way I can move forward. Otherwise, I have setbacks that feel depressing and a bit alarming. Moving around more and more every day as my strength and endurance continue to return to me is a process. I remember that healing is a process.


I am also noticing exactly how and in which areas of my life the past 4 years have taken their toll. On me, on my relationships, in my work. It feels strange and disorienting.


Finding my way back to a life that is so different in so many ways is a process. Few things remain unchanged. Even fewer still are the same. For both of these facts, I am grateful.


Covid changed me. I no longer care about some of the things that seemed to be imperative before. In sharing my experiences, I am noting others' experiences with a variety of symptoms and the many silver linings that this Time of Great Change has brought us.


As the saying goes, it is both a blessing and a curse to be born in interesting times. May the blessings transform the curses into transformations that offer us the opportunity to co-create a healthier world together.


You can find me slowly coming back to life on my website: CShepardArts.com and on Instagram & Facebook under AncientEchoesStudios.



Image Source: "Butterfly Woman" by Cat Shepard of CShepardArts.com


Featured Image of “Stargazer” artifact Source: https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1993.165#

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