INITIATION BY DESCENT
'We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us" Joseph Campell.
Sometimes called a “dark night of the soul”, descent experiences may appear at any moment in our personal or collective lives. Through loss, disease, conflict, natural disasters, or at times seemingly spontaneously. Through whatever means they present, these experiences disrupt the status quo and take us down to the subconscious and unconscious realms of shadows, death, endings, and change. These places are the cocoon of transformation, the shedding of what was in order for important change and renewal to eventually take place. In many ways it is a coming home. Home to the creative void, the cosmic womb, the deep earth, the river below the river.
This timeless psycho-spiritual journey to “the beneath” can be located in many of our oldest recorded myths, those such as the descent of Persephone, Inanna or Kukulcan. It is reflected in the natural world through seasons, planetary cycles, menstrual cycles and the animal kingdom. But this wisdom has been largely rejected and forgotten by contemporary western culture in favour of valuing an unhealthy masculine narrative of endless growth, consumerism, expansion, the domination of natural cycles, fetishizing positivity, and preserving “life” at all costs. The Hero's Journey of triumphing over external obstacles to reach a goal has replaced the initiations of descent that require alchemical surrender for change to occur. Yet in truth, we need to become well-accustomed with both of these narratives and ways of being in order to be whole.
The cost of straying so very far from intimacy with the descent is costing us greatly, we are living with those consequences right now. Ecological decline, mass extinctions, suicide, addiction, autoimmunity, infertility...all symptoms of a growth obsessed culture, missing the renewing power of the descent.
By reacquainting ourselves to these realms, we access a reserve of wisdom, power, and creativity essential for becoming spiritually mature. Our crises become initiations when we are able to accept transformation and move towards healing renewal having learnt something and become fundamentally changed in the process.
This program is an introduction to that journey. Aligned with the cycle of the moon so we may observe our internal landscape flowing with the natural world around us. In this way, rather than resist and fear the process we start to understand and embody them. We weave our lives in harmony with the sacred patterns and relationships that are always available to support us when we go, as we all eventually must, to the great below, the underworld...The Sweet Beneath.