Meditations on The Great Work
In the line of work that I do, I have many opportunities to attend trade shows and fairs, setting up my business information and a small array of books and such for purchase. Many times, given the titles of books on display and perhaps my brochure outlining services and modalities I provide, I have found myself facing the question “Are you New Age?” Though some of what I do and what I offer does touch on aspects that are considered New Age, it is not a tag I have felt resonated with either my personal path or work. But the question has often caused me pause. Stymied on how to respond, I have pondered: What is New Age exactly? What constitutes New Age practices? What is different about what I do? And, if not New Age, then what am I?
What defines the New Age Movement?
There are so many elements that contribute to the thinking, philosophy, and practices of the New Age, it is a challenge to pin down. Rooted in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century philosophies of New Thought and Theosophy, the New Age Movement gained new form through the social consciousness and activism of the 1960’s, becoming increasingly popular and cemented with new nomenclature as a ‘movement’ in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. The New Age Movement tends to constellate around principles of ‘love and light’ and, in its strictest form, hearkens the arrival of Maitreya, the Buddhist bodhisattva who will teach the law of dharma to alleviate human suffering. Its name is a nod to the concept of the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, although astrologers do not agree on when this New Age will actually occur. Some calculations have it arriving several hundred years from now. Regardless, the New Age movement overall tends to subscribe to the belief that we are moving into a new age of consciousness, bringing peace, acceptance and love to all beings on a global scale, prompted by individual consciousness-raising. To facilitate this process, certain practices became associated with the Movement.
For the full article on The Healing Wheel blog at PaganSquare, click the picture above.
One of the decks that I have just started to play with in more depth is The Mayan Oracle. It actually found its way to me just before the Fanning Your Spark into Flame Retreat to Mexico last October. Seeing it as a serendipitous sign, I tossed it in my suitcase at the last minute, thinking how appropriate an Oracle deck based on the Mayan Tzolk'in calendar would be for a Retreat focused on aligning with the energies in the aftermath of 2012. I appreciated the beautiful simplicity of the deck, but also loved the opportunity to become more familiar with a very complex calendar system, and perhaps gain a bit of insight into the ancient Mayan culture in the process.
To me, these three aspects relate to:
1. Reflecting where I am at in my journey or what lessons I am currently working through (Star Glyph)
2. The best approach or method to take in meeting this part of my journey (numbers)
3. What to keep in mind about how this experience fits in with my Higher Purpose or the Grand Design in my life (lenses)
Over the course of our Retreat in Mexico, I had participants pull one card from each section. As happens so often, it was remarkable and astounding how perfect the cards were that showed up for each person. How the cards spoke to where they were at and what they were seeking within themselves, as had come to light in the previous days' work. What they could draw upon as their strength or what would ease and facilitate the learning at this point in their experience. What of their core Soul and Nature was important for them to grasp hold of and never forget. Granted, we had spent days building up powerful energy through teachings, dialogue, and meditation. But what showed up for each person rocked even me back on my heels! And I am not unfamiliar with the wonder of working with Divine energies!
Sometimes you find an Oracle that seems to have found a laser straight communication line with the Divine with messages that are always completely and powerfully on point. To me, this is one of those decks. Some may find its language a bit heavy on the "New Age lingo". There is a lot of focus on "galactic", "light body", "harmonic" and words to that effect. The sub-title of the deck says it all: A Galactic Language of Light. It is not a language I tend to use a lot, but beyond the words, the concepts are so bang on. The heart of this oracular system is the encouragement to acknowledge and accept one's Shadow in order to transform it into Light, thus allowing one's true nature to shine forth. And it does so by continually referencing the Magical Child within. A great tool for anyone pursing psychospiritual inner work.
This is not a deck I use it all the time. It is a "Truffle deck" - one I use sparingly, particularly when I want to get right to the heart of the matter. When I do, its message rings through loud and clear. And I know what I have to do next...
To play with the Mayan Oracle and see how it speaks to you,
visit The Wonder Room at The Hive and Grove Centre for Holistic Wellness.
Open Mondays - Thursdays and Saturdays, noon - 5
A long-time enthusiast of Alchemy, I have often been awed by its relevance to the path of self-discovery. The Alchemist knows - you are The Great Work, the Opus Magnum. This blog explores the many intersecting paths that lead to embracing the Self and living an empowered, fulfilling life.