The guidance I received from the earth over the last two years, was to cook. I have been thinking of my evolutionary journey as cooking in a giant cauldron, and I have been called to add ingredients (insights), stir (classes/practices), and solicit the wisdom and experience of other cooks (friends). I didn’t know what I was cooking up, only that I needed to be patient, and tend the fire underneath.
The guidance from the earth changed on the solstice. I am now seeing butterflies everywhere. They visit me on the front porch, they try to come in the window, they follow me as I hike. I take their presence as a sign that I’m entering the next stage of my unfolding. Researching what butterflies represent, I found that their presence can signify a deep soul change, and that feels very much like what is happening to me right now. I feel like my cooking over a fire has shifted into a baking process. I’m often called to lie out naked in the sun, which is something I almost never do.
And recently, I have had many experiences, particularly while having sex, where I felt as if layers were being torn off of me. Layers of shoulds and shouldn’ts, fears and insecurities. I had described the shedding as layers of bark coming off a tree. But now I wonder if it is layers of a cocoon peeling off to reveal a transformed creature underneath? I have been calling this transformation “sex magic” without really understanding what that means or how it works.
The universe has been handing me clues about my becoming for several months now. And each clue lands in my body with a deep, familiar knowing — and yet I haven’t had any idea about what they mean, how they relate, or what I’m supposed to do with them. But I have enough of these clues now and they seem to be leading me in a very clear direction. For the sake of remembering my journey, I want to record the clues and articulate my understanding of what I have learned so far.
The breadcrumb trail of clues looked something like this:
1. An article in Bitch caught my eye about modern-day hedgewitches.
2. Figured out what the hell a hedgewitch was with the help of the Internet.
3. Felt resonant with who a hedgewitch is, even though I currently embody very few of her qualities, skills, or personality traits.
4. Called to sit on the edge of the circle during an ecosexual ritual in the forest, and felt kinship with hedgewitches.
5. Shared this calling, kinship and resonance and yet lack of similarities with a sexy, sister witch, and received her response: “you are a hedgewitch, you just practice sex magic!”
6. Identified as a “bodhisattva” by a bird living in the body of a man.
7. Stayed present and welcoming of the confusion of what it means to be a hedgewitch who practices sex magic.
8. Realized I don’t know what a bodhisattva is or what it means to be called one.
9. Laughed in appreciation of my desire to figure these things out quickly, to take a class, to find a teacher–and then let go of that desire sending it into the universe without doing anything about it.
The articles on Eros and Magic, by Carolyn Elliot, felt like a map that connected these parts: witches, magic, sex, Eros, bodhisattva, entanglement. Here is what I’ve learned…
– The definition of magic is the experience of being felt and cared for by a force bigger than yourself.
– The power of magic is that it connects us to the true, non-dual nature of all things and leads us away from the story of separation and towards the truth of connection.
– The source of magic is Eros–unattached, unafraid, pure desire.
– The practice of magic is to merge our minds (spirit) and our guts/sexual organs (creativity, wildness) allowing them to come together in our heart so we may live from that place and experience “wonderful synchronicity and revelatory intuition.” The practice is subtractive, not additive. We subtract our stories of separation, causality, attachment, and need for conclusion and comfort with numbness. What is left is not righteousness or enlightenment, but what remains is Eros: sensation, messiness, aliveness, creativity.
In another article by Carolyn, the same author as above, she explains that the practice of magic to achieve an awake, alive, undivided heart. This heart state is what Tibetan Buddhists call “bodhicitta” (“bodhi” meaning heart-mind, and “citta” meaning awake). A “bodhisattva” or “warrior of awakening,” describes a person with bodhicitta who has heroically chosen to bring about the liberation of all beings from suffering. And she believes bodhicitta is the same as Eros, the sexual life force energy that lives in desire.
Carolyn sums it up saying: “In other words, the deepest mystery in tantric Tibetan Buddhism is that our most idealistic, compassionate wish to liberate all beings is actually identical with our primal sexual desire.”
This is interesting to me because I thought Buddhism promoted enlightenment by doing away with all desire. I prefer to think of pure, fearless desire as evidence of the interconnection of all beings, the life force that ties us all together, rather than an evil force that must be overcome.
She also says: “this path is hugely important because it leads us towards the experiential realization of nondual truth, and to the eventual deep understanding that we are non-separate, non-alone, non-alienated from each other and from the world around us.”
Now that’s some sexy magic I desire to practice.