Intermezzo: 6 Entering the Circle – the Great Womb Space

Intermezzo: 6 Entering the Circle – the Great Womb Space

This is a beautiful companion piece to Intermezzo 5. It is written by Jo Feat. We have done very substantial work together and Jo has meaningfully assisted me on several occasions.

Both Liz the author of Intermezzo 5 and Jo have the comment that what is often described as sexual energy, is not examined in schools. This seems a pity as we would not have taken form without it. There is room for much more immersion in the Masculine and Feminine principles and this will involve a substantial nakedness from teachers. M.B.

When I first arrived in Cornwall, I couldn’t work out why I had such an immediate resistance to the place – the never-ending dampness, the dark, mossy caves, the stark looking stone circles and the disturbing wildness. I didn’t know it then but I was about to do battle with the shadow energies of the goddess and every cell in my body was strongly in denial about wanting to connect into this energy.

My heart felt contracted into a sore crease and yet somehow I knew that it was important to stick with whatever this was about and to find the courage to be with the discomfort. On the following day, during a cranial session, this very clear image of a lion drawn in calligraphy kept coming into my awareness. In the group sharing, Mike commented that this seemed like an important image and asked if I could tell if it was male or female – I said I hadn’t really considered this and yet I didn’t recall seeing a mane so I assumed it was female. Intuitively, I knew Mike wanted to say more and I desperately needed to tell him how my whole being was struggling to be here, so I arranged to meet him for a chat later that evening after dinner.

It was such a beautiful evening, Mike suggested we took a walk past the Fougou (the iron age cave in the grounds of the house) and then go and sit in the woods for a while. Finally we came to a clearing and he asked me if I would like to sit on what resembled a high backed throne made out of stone. We sat there in silence while Mike finished his cigarette – after several minutes of taking in this beautiful space Mike broke the silence to say “You know the lioness is the queen of the animals, she must take back her power and roar again.” As he said this, I felt this shift of primal energy race up my spine and out through the crown of my head, as if it had risen from the depths of the earth like lightning piercing through the stone. I began to tremble with the intensity of an unexplained longing I felt deep inside. I opened up to Mike about the confusion and turmoil in my personal life right now and how my heart had been broken open by an experience of unrequited love.

He simply listened – it was as if absolutely nothing fazed him.

After a spell of deep reflection, Mike said what was important to recognise within all of this is that when both men and women begin to get in touch with their buried life force it can be extremely disorientating and disturbing. Yet if this energy is used correctly – wanting nothing for ourselves – it can often prove to be an immensely revealing phase in our lives.

I slept like a baby that night and then just before the alarm went off I woke out of a dreamlike state with an incessant voice in my head telling me to visit the Fougou at 7.00pm that evening. I lay in bed contemplating what Mike had said the night before and it helped me embrace this passionate awakening as an essential energy of part of the journey to come. Over the following days our surreal encounter began to infiltrate my consciousness more and more, and I sensed that the crucial test lay not in the denial of my yearning and desire but in recognising the deeper nature of its roots and using this energy creatively to transcend thresholds that may have been holding me back from expressing my true nature.

For the first couple of days I’d sat outside staring into the womb like darkness of the Fougou feeling strangely drawn to go in, yet also knowing the time wasn’t right to enter and then I realised – tonight was the full moon, so at 7.00pm I made my excuses before dinner and disappeared. Taking a deep breath I tentatively entered the blackness of the cave. There was a small chamber on the left of the main entrance to the cave where I had to virtually crawl through its tiny opening on my hands and knees. My initial reaction was one of surprise and relief, as now instead of staring into the darkness I was engulfed in it looking out into the diminishing daylight. All of a sudden, I felt dizzy and shaky, the ground began swaying and moving under me, and it felt as if I was literally being spun into another dimension. My eyes were burning with floods of tears and yet I felt embraced and loved by an unseen presence. As I opened my eyes and looked down at my body, I saw crouching in its place a skeleton made of fluorescent light – the bizarre thing was I wasn’t frightened it all felt so natural and safe.

Upon hearing a noise – I was immediately shunted back into present time awareness, I thought I could hear voices approaching so I crept quietly out of the cave. It was getting darker and the stars were beginning to teasingly play with the night sky. This impelling urge came over me to dig like crazy with my bare hands into the damp and fecund soil, not looking for anything in particular, yet somehow knowing that every little thing I encountered in that small patch of earth really mattered and was supremely precious beyond measure.

Suddenly I heard footsteps, as I looked down I saw my hands were covered in mud and leaves and my hair had become loose and bedraggled so I quickly tried to gather myself together and make myself look a bit more respectable – one of the guys on the course, let’s call him Jacob, appeared and he was curious to know if I had been inside the cave. I told him I had and then I don’t know what induced me but I offered to go in with him if he liked. Jacob was about to say something and I could sense his trepidation, so I went into the cave again and he followed. Jacob sat in the far corner while I squatted on the damp floor by the tiny entrance with my head in my hands. Almost immediately I again had a sense of being spun and transported back to an ancient time where I saw myself as this mischievous old crone delighting in frightening this poor man with my lewd and odd behavior.

Jacob began to shift uncomfortably and sigh deeply, and as the energy became more and more oppressive and unsettling I simply knew I had to get out. I scurried outside with my heart racing wildly and ran quickly towards the warmth and comforting light of the kitchen.

I suddenly felt really hungry so I voraciously gobbled down some left over food. Jacob appeared at the kitchen doorway and nonchalantly asked if I would like to come for a walk with him up to the Merry Maidens stone circle. There was still some daylight so I agreed it would be great to watch the full moon rise on this wonderfully clear, warm Summers evening. As we walked Jacob opened up about how he had been struggling to get in touch with really having arrived in this strange foreboding place. He shared the strong need he felt to connect with his feminine side and how he was resisting with every bone in his body – everything was making him wish he hadn’t come – I listened intently and laughed into the wind. I was deeply touched at how this beautiful man couldn’t see how his having the courage to share in this way was part of our shared journey of reconnection.

When we arrived at the circle, there were still a few straggling tourists wandering around taking photos and talking aimlessly on their mobile phones so we hung around impatiently waiting for them to leave and wandered around the perimeter of the stones. Soon we had the place to ourselves. I sat in the centre of the circle and Jacob said he felt he didn’t have permission to enter the circle so he continued to slowly walk around the nineteen stones. I didn’t respond – the thought struck me out of nowhere how wise of him to stay outside – there was no safety here! I was shocked at the grotesque and ghastly images that kept coming into my awareness of slowly dismembering this sweet man, as Kali’s dark, destroying energy spiraled around me. I knew that if I wanted to I could do anything to this helpless man – he was nothing more to me in that moment than a useless puppet.

It seemed as if we were both wrapped up in a time warp and intriguing spell. Eventually, I moved away from the centre of the circle and sat with my back against one of the larger stones to watch the moon begin to make her glorious ascent over the horizon. Out of the corner of my eye I followed Jacob’s movements as he became a little braver and decided to come into the circle sitting with his back against the stone directly adjacent to mine. Jacob knew intuitively to keep his distance as he watched mesmerised as the sun fell softly behind the rolling hills. Sun and Moon moved into perfect alignment and when we finally made eye contact with each other there was an eclipse of sorts – a merging into oneness – it was simply amazing – Jacob as I recognised him simply wasn’t there – just his shape in pure light outlined with a ragged shadowy aura of dazzling black light. We were both utterly present to one another in that dance of sun and moon, mystery and magic. In that kairos moment, space and time dissolved into the light of Oneness.

The sky gradually deepened into a royal blue with splashes of purple and orange. Another couple had parked their car near the circle, walked halfway up the hill, seen us and turned around and gone away again – as if they sensed that they were not welcome and that something unusual was happening here.

As the sky darkened into swathes of draped black velvet and lace and the cosmic dance got under way, we both slowly moved towards each other and came into the centre of the circle embracing, leaping, hollering and shouting like two crazy kids. We fell into a stunned silence as we walked back arm in arm through the ripened cornfields in a state of awe and wonder. When we got back to the house, we were amazed to see we had been gone over three hours and only one or two people were still up.

The next morning, as we convened as a group, Mike asked us how we were all doing with a knowing twinkle in his eyes – Jacob and I smiled enigmatically, said nothing and let our hearts speak.

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4 thoughts on “Intermezzo: 6 Entering the Circle – the Great Womb Space

  1. Wow Mike That has just about summed up my week in France last week. The strong resistance to going there, the bewilderment and utter confusion I have felt for months now. I felt like a caged animal a lot of the time last week, restless but very energised (I only slept 2 or 3 hours max each night) and also there was a deep sense of mistrust towards my captors. I often looked to the hill behind where sit you and had such a longing to run up the hill into the woods at the top – I felt wild ,full of mischief and playfulness and there was a deep longing to be free. It was extremely difficult for me to come to France. The resistance was enormous but something got me there. A week before the course I had been walking in the woods with my dogs and I had suddenly stopped with a thunderbolt realisation that there was nothing I could do anymore, I simply had to let go and that was that – it wasn’t up for negotiation.That was what I did every morning in the boat at the Mill, I just asked for help to give me the courage to be with whatever came up and to stop running from it. On the Thursday something shifted and I guess sunk to a new level or became embodied. A little more trust came, the possibility that it is ok to be here ( I mean be alive here ) and a huge sense of relief. After Embodiment 2 i felt so angry with you Mike (for 3months in fact) and I was disillusioned with you and the work and that was extremely uncomfortable. I don’t know what got me to France but something knew I had to go and I’m very pleased I did. My heart has been hurting so much the last few months and i told you I had been having palpitations and it had felt like I had a vice crushing my chest – it had prevented me from running, something I have always done. This morning I went for a long run, but it was different, my chest felt free and also I felt I wasn’t running out of anger I was running for the joy of running, because I could , because i was free to do so— and it felt wonderful. As usual I can’t find the words. The timing of this piece is perfect. Thankyou Mike. With lots of love from Nicola

  2. The Goddess Awakens !

    Mother Nature must have known that my life needed to change direction because She rudely jolted me from my sleep (along with thousands of other folks in southern Cailfornia) in January 1994. I was making some changes at that particular time anyway. I was forty-four and had been a single mother for more than half my life but my daughters were not even teenagers anymore and options were finally available to me that I had only dreamed of previously. Six months before that cataclysmic earthquake I had put my real estate career on hold to work for a Los Angeles food bank. I was Director of Volunteers, training and developing several hundred people to staff fundraising events and weekly food drives. I thoroughly enjoyed that job and assumed I had found my purpose in L.I.F.E. (Love Is Feeding Everyone was the name of the non-profit organization). However, Great Spirit clearly had something else in mind for me too because L.I.F.E. lost its funding and suddenly I was without a job and my life’s purpose was again in question. Faced with the prospect of returning to real estate, or seeking employment elsewhere, I surprised myself by choosing to learn the art of massage.

    However, some weeks before attending massage school, two events occurred in succession that dramatically altered my path. First, I was introduced to something called energy work when I was invited to attend a weekend workshop with my sister. My sister has had cancer four times, and yet, she is now quite alive and well (thanks to very little conventional medical treatment and several alternative healing modalities). I thought I was going to attend the workshop simply to support her, but, in retrospect, this was a truly critical choice for me and foreshadowed events to come. The workshop itself was fairly uneventful, however, the leader stressed that a very auspicious cosmological event was expected to occur on April 23 – something about the return of The Goddess energy to our planet. I was planning to attend a ten- day silent meditation retreat and knew I would be cloistered at the time of that event, and so, I quickly dismissed the given information. I was much more focused on preparing for the retreat. I had decided to fast for eight days and was going through the mental gymnastics required for me to make that effort. The fast proved to be quite difficult; however, I doubt that I have ever felt more prepared for something than I did for that particular meditation course. And, I received what I thought was a special reward for all my effort. Rolling down the interstate, on the way to the meditation retreat, I was captivated by the penultimate Kodak moment. The Tejon Pass in southern California was totally awash in brilliant hues of gold, lavender, blue, white and yellow splashed upon a canvass of brilliant chartreuse. Something auspicious was surely in the air that glorious spring day!

    The first five days of the course were just too easy. I was bouncing out of bed each morning, literally skipping down the path from the meditation hall to the dining hall and all around the pond. When sitting for two to three hours at a time had become enjoyable, instead of just endurable, I should have realized that disaster was imminent. Wild sexual fantasies began to infiltrate my serene state and equanimity soon flew out the window. Staying focused in meditation then became a challenge like never before. The weather even conspired to defeat my resolve. The days were too delightfully breezy and warm, seductively laden with intoxicating scents; manzanita bursting with clusters of miniature lantern-like blossoms smelling of honey; starry nights were deliciously crisp and laced in the fragrance of jasmine. This was a sylvan setting too perfect for words, and not a word being spoken . . . how perfect!

    I slept very little most nights, always awake when the four o’clock bell announced the break of day. This night was no different in that respect. I was lying in bed recalling a dream about a former lover. As I pondered the disturbing details of that dream, I realized I was standing outside the cabin door upon a deck constructed from freshly milled lumber. The scent of the newly cut wood was unmistakable, and puzzling. All was black beyond the edge of this deck, though light glistened from small puddles of water on what I took to be cedar planks. It must have rained while I dozed. I was drawn to the far edge of the deck and could see steps descending to the left. Without hesitation I took the first step, then the next, and another, then whoosh !!! The cool night air engulfed me as I plummeted down . . . down . . . down . . . I heard a sound, and felt something, like enormous wings in determined flight, but then my fall was abruptly broken, by what I don’t know . . . something soft.

    And then I was lying in bed again, sifting through this last experience, for it must have been a dream, yet I was sure that I was awake when it occurred. Then I saw the little animal. A ferret was clutching the bedcovers, its long furry body hanging down the right side of the bed. The ferret’s dark eyes fastened to mine with great intensity. I mused that I must be dreaming again. By this time I was certain I had blown my synapses with too much fasting, energy workshops and meditation. I decided to ignore this figment of my imagination. I rolled over, turning my back on the phantom ferret determined to get some sleep before the 4am wake-up bell. But, lying there I could still feel those dark eyes intently upon me and I could not stop wondering about the previous disturbing dreams. What was it that rescued me as I plunged to certain death through those stairs that weren’t actually there? Sleep was definitely not happening, so, I turned back to face the little predator, determined to discover if it was real or imagined. Just then a strong, clear, deep voice boomed, “YOU NEED TO BE AWAKE NOW”, and with that command, the ferret disappeared.

    If I’d been dreaming before, surely now I was awake. But why did I need to be? and why was this stated as if a huge finger was being pointed directly at me? Why a furry ferret messenger? I was preoccupied with these questions when I recalled that the leader of the energy workshop I had previously attended stressed the importance of some cosmic event on April 23rd. I had long since lost track of time. I only knew it was the ninth night of this ten-day retreat. I counted forward, on my fingers, from the date the course had begun and determined that it was early morning on the day of the anticipated event. Frantically, I tried to recall what had been said at that silly workshop. Why hadn’t I paid closer attention? I was wracking my brain to remember the details when suddenly, all thought ceased and a strange calm replaced the former chaos in my mind. A vibration began to fill the empty space and grew ever more intense until the atmosphere was completely saturated, every particle fully charged . . . and waiting. W A I T I N G

    Slowly, a mysterious shaft of light pierced the ceiling and moved gradually, and impossibly toward me, seeking what felt like a magnet in the center of my body. Upon contact, this unearthly luminous beam lifted me physically from my bed and held my body suspended. I was surprised that I did not feel frightened by this event and, although I did not perceive the question, I heard myself say, “YES”. Then I remembered the other three women with whom I shared quarters and looked about to see if they too had been “captured” by the light beam and suspended above their beds. They appeared not to be as I was, but seemed to be flopping about in their beds, not unlike fishes out of water. As I continued to observe, from my new vantage point, I saw that more than half the room was cloaked in darkness. I remained suspended for what seemed an eternity, and then the mysterious beam of light detached itself from my chest and slowly receded in the same bizarre fashion in which it had arrived. As it was departing I felt something substantial move up to support my body and I was gently resettled upon the small bed in the corner of the cabin.

    Silence was broken at the meditation course later that day, but I found I had little to say to anyone. Instead, I listened keenly to others conversations, hoping to overhear a word or phrase that might reveal another’s inexplicable experience. But, I heard no mention of small animals delivering commands or of light beams lifting anyone from their sleep, literally or figuratively.

    The following month I enrolled myself at the Institute of Psycho-Structural Balancing, the massage school where I was first introduced to craniosacral therapy. In retrospect, it is clear to me that the Great Mother had been weaving Her way through my life years before I was plucked from my bed by a beam of light. The initial attempts to rouse me from my deep slumber, although noticed as wake-up calls, were in no way attributed to the Goddess. They were viewed through the lens of the human potential movement, spawned in the sixties and seventies, a veritable upheaval of consciousness to be sure, but lacking in the full recognition of the Feminine as the driving force behind that movement.

    In the fall of 1990, years before the terms kundalini or Kali had any meaning for me, I had a direct encounter with the Mother’s potency while visiting friends at a hot springs in northern California. We were soaking in one of the deliciously warm pools when my friends, Lily and John, offered to assist me in floating on the pools’ surface. Lily slipped her hands under my sacrum and legs while John gently supported my head and torso. The temperature of the water was such that I quickly lost all sense of a boundary between my body, the warm water, the two friends who were holding me, and all of the other bodies in the pool with us at the time. Assisted this way, I floated with absolute ease, unmoored and able to flow with the gentle rhythmic movement of the waves generated throughout the pool. No effort. No resistance. Simply This.

    As I dissolved even more completely into the liquid “Thisness” I noticed a pleasant tingling in my hands and feet. What began as effervescence in my extremities, eventually consumed my entire body and coalesced in my sacrum like hot molten lava. My body began to tremble, at first quietly, but that quickly turned into violent, uncontrollable shaking. My friends remained anchored and seemed to be unfazed. Lily asked if I was OK, and to my own surprise, I really was, even as my hands and feet contracted into tightly misshapen and unfamiliar objects of curiosity. The hot molten lava was now coursing through the center of a body that was no longer “mine” and as it erupted from the top of the head I could feel my friend, John, supporting the arched back. I could not see, but only sensed, the serene smile on John’s face. Not one of us knew what was happening but, by some mysterious grace, everyone remained present and either disinclined (or unable) to do anything about it. As the intensity waned, I became aware of the exquisite hue that had permeated the sky during this shared journey. It was now dusk and the canopy above was framed by silhouettes of the tree branches surrounding our “womb pool”. Throughout the experience, which lasted well over an hour, my mind was unbelievably still and I never felt any trace of fear. It all felt so natural that I did not think to question what had taken place.

    So much was foreshadowed in this singular event. Biodynamic craniosacral work was demonstrated before I even knew craniosacral therapy existed. Synergy and Joint Practice were lived before becoming concepts. The magnificent welling up of the life force was met, face to face, without a label and without need of understanding. I only knew that I was inexplicably blessed. This I still know today, and not much beyond that. Nevertheless, I was compelled to seek out the company of fellow travelers on this mysterious path and I am grateful to have landed in the midst of Mike Boxhalls’ BOBOs.

    Love, Julia Marie Gillett

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