The Art of Participation
Tuesday, December 13th : 4:05pm PST
We are who we are by nature of our relationships. The people, the land, and the animal familiars we surround ourselves with shape the way we move through the world - always inspiring us to shift, grow, accommodate, and otherwise change based on our exchange.
I have often mused that true intimacy will always ask everything of us.
Is relationship then nothing short of a developmental - even evolutionary dynamic? If so, can this concept of relationship widen to include the relationship we have to the other-than-human world in addition to the social and familial groups that contribute so much to our sense of identity?
I believe so. I believe part of maturing involves cultivating intimacy with the widest network of relationships possible. This understanding of ourselves as one contributing member in a much larger network of relationships is one of the most ancient cosmological perspectives the human species has had. Anne Baring says in ancient pre-patriarchal cultures the feminine principle was understood as;
… “the great matrix of relationships through which all aspects and forms of life were connected to each other. …Life at that time was lived IN the dimension of the Mother, in participation and accord with the cosmic rhythms of her being, and this kept people in touch with their instincts and was the foundation of their fragile trust in life. “
And yet in contemporary western culture we have lost the awareness and even the felt sense that we live in one vast web of connection and intelligence - an intelligence we can, and do participate in.
The full moon in Gemini is the moon that invites us into a wider network of relationships. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the planet named after the messenger of the Gods - the one who is able to traverse betwixt and between dimensions of consciousness. It is our imagination that allows us to exchange consciousness even with what is unseen. In fact it is my experience that we are often asked to get intimate with all aspects of our lives - including our questions, our crises, our longings and our fears.
It is through the imagination that we can connect in a participatory way with the other-than-human world in which we have evolved…a world we too often refer to as somehow separate from us…as “nature” or even “the wilds.” These kinds of distinctions are not un-useful insofar as they ask us to step outside of our human-centric conditioning, but also point directly to what I feel is one of the central tasks of the modern person;
To re-member ourselves as a participatory member of the Earth Community, in relationship and interconnected to all things in irrevocable ways.
Gemini is the sign that speaks to the way we perceive, process and share information with others. Perhaps this full moon is asking us to open our perception to include the great matrix of relationships we find ourselves within? Perhaps the crux of our longing to know our true selves, our particular and unique gifts, and the way we are called to participate in this world while we’re here comes down to the quality of our exchange with others.
This full moon I invite you to venture off the shore of normal into a world in which your intimate participation matters. Perhaps this is a time to surrender to a deeper network of support, or to ceremonially part from a relationship that keeps us small, or a perspective of the world that creates more separation and dis-ease. I leave you with some of my favorite words from Rilke that inspires me to remember myself as a part of a much larger dreaming…
Earth, isn't this what you want? To arise in us, invisible?
Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly
there's nothing left outside us to see?
What, if not transformation,
is your deepest purpose?