On Saturday I finished my elemental love working and switched over to the element of emptiness. When Babalon took me and handed me off, she handed me to XAH, the fox lord. XAH is part of my personal mythology, the core of my being, a fox lord, and yet so much more as well...He is not a being I've ever written about before...I've kept him secret over the years. I suppose it's appropriate he comes out now when I'm doing this work at the very core of myself. As soon as I was handed to him, I felt him take me into the center of my being, into the emptiness, with lots of potential, but also an aching sense of nothing...this which has prompted so many of my choices. I painted the elemental symbol of emptiness on my chest and then I felt JAH possess my body. I hunched down on my four legs, one eye open, the other closed, my mouth a rictus snarl...I felt him speak:
"I am the emptiness you fear, the emptiness you seek.
I am the mote of light in the darkness that shows so bright and entices so much,
but leaves you always longing for more.
I am the fox-lord XAH, I am the core of your spirit...melded with you since you were seven...you are mine now...for this year we'll get to know each other well, and see if we can't find some peace with this emptiness.
We sat down and he took my hand and started painting, the painting to represent his face, to represent his presence:
Today, my birthday, I'd told Lupa that I'd be going on a solo hike. I normally spend my birthday with her, but since this the element of emptiness, I told her she was free to do as she pleased and she opted for getting together with a friend. As I saw her leave this morning, I felt a sensation of abandonment and XAH stirred and grinning told me, "Return to Source"
I headed out to the Multnomah Gorge, listening to Current 93 and as I sang along with the songs, I felt XAH stir again and the energy within me seemed to focus on feelings of abandonment, guilt etc...reminded me of something I was told on Sunday, to let go of the guilt others had put on me. The abandonment is a core emotion for me. My earliest memory was of being given away to my dad by my mom, sometime after they divorced, and the theme of abandonment has played out numerous other times in my life. Realizing how tied abandonment has been to my feeling of emptiness was enlightening for me...it's a gateway emotion, but also a distraction from the emptiness.
When I got to Multnomah falls, I got my gear and started to hike. I'd actually had someone recommend a place with caves for today, but I chose where a lot of people went, because many of my experiences with emptiness have happened around people, the feeling of not really belonging, of having no connection with those people...so it seemed appropiate that a contemplation of emptiness in my life start in a place with lots of people.
As I hiked, I felt empty, but also felt emotions come up. Emotions of abandonment, not fitting in, jealousy, guilt, anger, hunger...all the emotions that signal emptiness for me. And I acknowledged these emotions and let them fall away, because again they were distractions...something to acknowledge, but also something that sometimes only allowed me to experience a surface knowledge of emptiness. As I hiked further in and dealt with emotions that came up, I also felt more and more comfortable with the emptiness. I came to a point, where no one was hiking except for me and I was in a place I hadn't been and I felt a great sense of contentment sweep over me and I felt empty and it was good...it was a state of profound observation and awareness, with no mental chatter. I looked around at the way the light kissed the trees and the ground, the way the wetness permeated the air and I felt alive, at peace, empty and free. I realized emptiness itself has never been the issue...it's been the emotions leading to it, the focus on negative experiences and the association that arises as a result. I continued hiking. XAH would occasionally make himself known to me, offering bits of advice or suggestions about where I could go. The gentle humor he offered, as well as the integration of our respective energies was quite comforting. I came away with a greatly enhanced appreciation of what I was experiencing. The emptiness was a place where no thought needed to arise, no emotion needed to be felt. You just experienced. I don't think I've ever felt as close to nature as I did today. The place I was in had a twilight appearance.
I eventually turned around and came home, but I felt touched in a way that is so silent, so graceful, so different from so much of my life. I think I will learn a lot this year.