Sacred Wounds and Soul Encounter

March 30, 2007

This is excerpt of an email I wrote in a wisdom circle recently. It was in response to the question about what I mean when I say we are wounded in just the right way.

The idea of our wound as our gift comes from lots of places – Jean Houston – From Pathos to Mythos – where we write our life as a mythic, epic tale, with ourselves as the heroines.
Instead of whining and playing poor me and being a victim, we acknowledge all those hurts and wounds as parts of the journey and we transform them in words to become triumphs.

The handless maiden doesn’t wander around going “poor me!” I have no hands! She doesn’t get stuck in her wound. She goes into the forest and spends seven years growing her hands back.

Having grown beyond the “victim” archetype in myself, I have little patience with women (or men) who are stuck in the wounding. My passion is to work with people who are transforming their wound.

As CPE (and others I am sure!) says – we cannot heal what we will not feel.

Telling the story over and over and over doesn’t mend it. Feeling the story in our bodies with great emotion, ANGER, FEAR, RAGE, JOY, GRIEF are the gateways to wholeness. This doesn’t mean we take it out on others. We don’t blame our mothers, fathers, or other caretakers. We grow our own internal mother and mother ourselves to wholeness. If we
need psychotherapy – we get it.

And in time – we are mended enough – we take the journey to soul, to the underworld, to find our hidden gifts. Once found, we don’t sit in our castle and count our gold, we turn from our own struggles to become generative – we share the gift with our people.

Many hear the summons of the soul – few respond, even fewer are able to complete the Heroine’s Journey. Until we do, we will continue to believe in an us/them world. We will continue to act out of our childhood wounding. We will consume, make war, blame others, escape into our own cocoon. The fate of the world is held in our hands.

Do we have the courage to grow up? become generative adults? navigate the middle passage?

I sure hope so.

For those interested in living a life of soul – the first chapter of Soulcraft can be read here:

Bill Plotkin is the founder of AVI. www.animas.org

The Soulcraft Intensive and other programs offered by AVI introduce many of the ideas of how to live a mythic life! He also has a new book coming out soon – stay tuned! AVI also offers other intensives for those wanting to develop a practice of Soul Encounter.

In May – I will be going to Deep Imagery with Dianne Timberlake. Perhaps you will join me?


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