A Year's Journey of Initiation
Invocation Blessing Song
Behold Great Mystery, Creative Force, Spirit That Moves Through All! We call to the Seven Directions of the Sacred Wheel!
We turn to the Keepers of the East, direction of new beginnings, of inspirations, of illumination and creativity, of the dawn and spring, new births, and childhood. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We call to the Keepers of the South, direction of vitality, of high noon and hot sun, of summer and vigorous growth, of youth and passion. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We invite the Keepers of the West, direction of introspection, of the evening, of autumn and maturity, deepening and ripening. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We respectfully summon the Keepers of the North, direction of the night, of winter, of wisdom and transformation, of dropping inessentials to reveal the core. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We look up to the sky and call to the Beings of the sun, the moon, the clouds, the stars, and the endless blue, and we ask that you bring your spaciousness and mystery to this work. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We put our hands on the ground and ask that the great substance of the Earth give grounding to the work, and that the Earth’s beauties give us beauty and that the entire world—the animals and plants and rocks, mountains and rivers and seas, the elemental forces of Earth and Air and Fire and Water, and all the human beings, all the elders, children, teachers, all the red, yellow, black, and white—join in this blessing. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We call to the Sweet Mystery that is the Sacred Center, to hold us and cradle us in your divine protection. Be with us, teach us, show us your ways!
We claim this work to serve, to bless, and to share knowledge for wisdom building and for bringing wholeness to our hearts and to our world. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
(Note: The beginning prayer and a final blessing appear at the beginning and end of each lesson, respectively. These prayers mark the cycle of energy within that lesson and create a circle of connection.)
Right relationship is an ancient teaching, and it is the underlying premise for living in the present. In the past, we lived in a world that was enchanted with myth. We learned right relationship from the stories that our ancestors and elders taught and from the reenactment of myths in ceremony and ritual. These reenactments grounded right relationship in our bodies. Today’s world has been demythologized, industrialized, and made technological. Ceremony and ritual are often not part of our everyday lives. Most of us no longer enact myths, and one of the results is loss of the wisdom of right relationship. Without right relationship, we become caught in cycles of alienation, disconnection, and confusion. Yet we have come too far to return to the days of living in literal orthodox mythology. Our rational mind has been too developed to allow us to completely become myth-susceptible dreamers again. That ethereal dreamer still exists within us; it waits just below the surface of awareness, and it is our deeper, older self. Carl Jung called this part of our psyche “an ancient tree whose living blossoms must trace their origins, their secret sustenance, to its gnarled archaic roots that are deep within the Earth.”
One of the effects of being cut off from these archaic roots is that our natural cycles of emotional growth are hindered or diverted into unnatural energy pathways. The ways of our Ancestors and life in a clan or tribe with a deep connection to the sustaining energies of the Earth gave people a sense of belongingness that allowed them to truly live life, not play at life as a game. This way of life offered a sense of safety that protected people from the anxiety and self-doubt that is so prevalent today. Without connectedness to Spirit, people feel they must manipulate others for life energy; when power is lacking, many believe the answer is to take energy from others. This loss of right relationship causes anxiety, another misdirected way to generate energy; like anger and rage, it may feel awful, and it is energy.
Loss of right relationship also causes the realization that something is not right about what we are doing. To compensate for the resultant belief that something is wrong with us, we develop two emotional drivers (needs) to make us feel better about ourselves: 1) the need for approval from others and 2) the desire to control others. These drivers also masquerade as the need to be right (control) and the desire to look good, save face, or not be humiliated (approval). We will act to satisfy internal needs through external means, which always creates conflict. For instance, we will often join in with the crowd, which is often rebelling to control, to have approval, or save face. These behaviors rarely serve the highest good.
The diversion of natural emotional growth is triggered when our emotional body locks into fear when we are very young, before we learn how to handle normal life situations and crises. We gain release from uncomfortable feelings of anxiety through deep nurturing relationships, such as we used to have with wise mentors and elders who understood and loved us unconditionally. Without such deep relationships, we will accept manipulated approval from others and the emotional “high” that being right gives us. This temporary relief only lasts until those we have manipulated awaken to the manipulation, interference, or theft of their life energy. Even if they do not realize what is happening, their deeper self knows that they have lost a very dear part of themselves and most often responds with resentment. Our emotional high is deflated by the relationship turmoil and hurt that is created, and we enter a perpetuating cycle of highs and lows. Uncertainty and stress from relationship conflicts increase, and we suffer more alienation when all we wanted or really needed was intimate, nurturing relationships. We continue to long for, and search in the outer world for, the energy connection and source of power that rightfully comes from within. This entire process escalates into constant power struggles that reinforce our self-message that we don’t belong or that we deserve to be punished, and these struggles will continue until we recognize the underlying game and choose to disengage from the negativity and perversion of power that it represents. (Exercise 3, later in this section, will you to explore this concept and its effect in your life more deeply.)
The key to releasing ourselves and others from this cycle of misuse of power is recognition of the cycle and its ulterior motives, commitment to end the manipulation and abuse, and development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills that sustain and support the Web of Life. Recognition comes when we are willing to allow our hidden agendas (ulterior motives) to be exposed to the light of consciousness. Remember that hidden agendas underlie many of our deeds, even those that are well meaning. It’s like suddenly remembering that it’s the birthday of a cousin we haven’t spoken to for years, and while we are on the phone wishing them happy birthday, we remember that they are an easy person to borrow money from. Commitment to end manipulation and abuse comes when we consciously choose not to manipulate: for example, we choose not to ask the cousin for the money just because they are easy to coerce. The development of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills comes when we participate in true and sincere communications and acts, such as only calling if we really care about their birthday, or calling only to ask to borrow money and not mentioning the birthday if we don’t really care about it. This is authenticity.
This shift to personal clarity in thoughts and acts is the basis for beginning right relationship. Concentrating on and acknowledging the roots—approval or control needs—is the way to begin the resolution process and end alienation. We are responsible for how we feel and whether we obtain what we want from life. The choice to stop seeking power from others and instead to open to the inner power of spiritual connection is the beginning of accepting spiritual responsibility and maturity. Looking inward teaches us how to consciously embrace our energy connection. The point is to connect with our own energy source, not to take energy from others. In this way, we learn the meaning of the Give-away. In this way, we can use our infinite power for gentle, creative acts that cooperate in the tender loving way of true beauty.
Following are Seven Keys to Right Relationship with ourselves and others. When you can repeat all seven from a voice of power—that is, with no hesitation, no reservation, no inner voice saying, “Well, maybe—you will know you are firmly on the road of right relationship.
- I trust myself.
- I am trustworthy (I mean what I say and do what I say I will).
- I understand my interdependence with all life and the responsibility of that relationship.
- I treat myself and others with kindness and respect and relate from a place of personal clarity.
- I tell the truth to myself and others without shame or blame.
- I am open to novel ideas.
- I embrace life with dedication, devotion, compassion, and passion.
We gratefully acknowledge Carl Jung and all the elders who have contributed to this material.
STUDY GUIDE: FROGS RETURN MOON
Week 2: Exercise 3
What you will need: Your journal and a pen
Journal the answers to the following questions, giving your spiritual Self true devotion by taking time to write out your answers. This is very important to prepare your Spirit body for the initiation process.
- How do I identify the difference between mental feedback and intuitive instruction?
- What do I feel about myself when I don’t agree with mental feedback?
- What do I feel about someone who allows me to manipulate them?
- What do I feel about myself when I try to control others?
- What do I think others feel about me when I try to control them?
- What do I feel about others when they let me control them?
- What do I think about someone who does things they don’t want to do just to get me to like them?
- What do I feel about myself when I do something I don’t want to do just to get acceptance or approval from others?
During the next few days, observe yourself and how you react to others. Focus on how you feel. When you encounter something uncomfortable, ask yourself if your actions are motivated by the desire to look good (seeking approval) or the desire to be right (control issues). Be devotedly honest with yourself. If your actions are motivated by either of these two emotional drivers, get in touch with a deeper layer of relationship. Recognize and acknowledge the cycle and its ulterior motives.
Commit to end manipulations and abuse. Bring the heart of the matter from hiddenness to the healing light of spiritual consciousness. You can close your eyes and visualize gathering the hidden agendas from all the places in your body where they have been tucked away. Then visualize yourself making an offering of them to the spiritual light of healing.
Go inside and explore what it is that you really want from situations you try to control or people you want approval from, and be willing to take responsibility to fulfill your own desires for yourself. Give to yourself the acknowledgment and/or approval that you want. If you want control, take actions that are free of manipulation in areas of your life that effect only you.
Consciously choose to connect with the Web of Power, and visualize drawing down from the Cosmos spiritual energy that is channeled through your body into the Earth. Experience that energy being firmly grounded by the power of the Earth, and then let it flow back through you and return to the Cosmos.
Express your gratitude for the gift of this experience, and let this be your Give-away. Journal about at least one of these experiences
QUESTIONS FOR FROGS RETURN MOON: WEEK 2
If you are studying for certification, you must return your answers to the questions below, along with a copy of this week’s journal entries, to the Institute via your private account.
- Describe your understanding of what it means to be in right relationship.
- What leads people to lose their sense of right relationship and what can be done about it?
- What results when a person loses their sense of right relationship?
- What are some un-serving ways people compensate for a loss of right relationship?
- Describe some of the causes of anxiety that are brought on by life in modern society.
- How does the desire for approval undermine right relationship?
- Describe how you view the ways you gain control in your own life.
- What causes feelings of alienation and can we support those who struggle with such feelings?
- Define maturity, and describe how you know when it has been achieved.
- Describe steps you can take in your own life to become a more trustworthy person.