Oooh this stage is a tricky stage! As Susanne Fincher is quick to reassure us the Great Round Of Mandala is always turning and we are never in this stage for long….but ouch, it can be painful! We also need to remember that we can be in each stage temporarily in just moments of the day…or in this stage for part of a year or in this stage at any significant point in our life!
It doesn’t matter if you are not experiencing this stage currently (although it sure feels like our earth is!), it’s great to understand each stage in your heart so you can recognise it when it unfolds in your life and recognise all that it has to teach you.
This stage represents the dark evening, the waning moon and hibernation as we move further into the dark, yielding, yin forces… further into the unconscious.
Often in mythology or in our dreams this stage is represented as destruction and the hero having to battle ‘mythical monsters’ in fear, darkness and confusion in order to have her faith tested and discover hidden strengths and abilities and be transformed (e.g. the myths around fighting off dragons!).
It can also be a time of having to face a catastrophic event in your own life, face immense suffering or chaotic energy (just like what is happening on our earth right now) or it could be your true self pushing you to release an outer layer and face your shadow self… those parts of us that we have repressed and hidden.
In the middle of this stage we can feel lost, abandoned, angry, wild, sad, unsure, out of control, chaotic, low in energy and disorientated as it feels like our world is falling apart. This stage can be the experience of the ‘dark night of the soul’ where we question all that is, we question our roles and identity and the rules of society we have been following.
Out of this painful soul searching can come miraculous regeneration, we can creatively express what we have long hidden on the inside, we can connect with our wild, dark self, our Divine source of inner wisdom in order to heal and discover our hidden potential.
Reflection: What role or part of your identity is ready to or currently falling apart? What rules of society are you questioning? What painful soul searching are you doing right now? What is calling within you on the inside to be shown to the world on the outside? What is asking for rich regeneration and renewal?
This is a time when we can feel BROKEN OPEN, where we can do nothing else but humbly surrender to the great Divine, to whatever faith we can find in a higher source, in a Divine order. The Ego self usually resists this process, finding it the most challenging stage, and can feel vulnerable and stripped bare while desperately wanting control. Out of this broken-open heart can come wisdom, love and compassion and the regeneration of the new as you find your true self, your true centre.
Letting go and letting in the Divine, trusting in something larger than yourself can help you to find your true centre. The ego was essential in younger adulthood to help to move you forward but now in mid-life the ego can surrender to the Divine, to the pure consciousness, to the wise, powerful, creative source within, to your authentic, true self. There is a feeling as we move out of stage 11 and into stage 12 of breaking free and formlessness, an increased spiritual connection where there are no self-imposed or society-imposed rules. This falling apart is a necessary process that leads to this beautiful transformation in stage 12, just as fruit falling and rotting into rich compost can lead to new growth.
In this time of surrender and release it can be a good time to do a forgiveness meditation to release anything internal or external that we have been holding onto in our hearts.
Forgiveness Prayer #1:
‘Thank you, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, I forgive you, I love you’
Forgiveness Prayer #2:
‘Thank you for your gifts to me, May your way be filled with love and light’Julie Gibson
The mandalas in this stage can be a safe container for a range of confusing emotions. Often, they are fractured, disjointed, representing a broken mirror or a crazy mosaic with no order, no centre or harmony and yet there can also be a fearless abandon and playfulness as rules are broken. These mandalas may express your shadow self or the roles and identities that you have carried and that are falling apart, no longer needed.
Reflection: What healing and growth has come out of previous times in your life when you have ‘fallen apart?’ How did you nurture yourself? Can you see a time in a loved one’s life when falling apart brought great suffering and also great healing and new growth? How did your nurture them through that time? What growth and healing do you think will come out of the earth as we see her ‘falling apart’ with the fires all around us? How can we nurture her through this time?
Personally the time I experienced this stage most strongly was in November 2017 when after a series of difficult events I had a ‘dark night of the soul’ and all I could do was stand under the stars and beg the Divine Spirit to support me, to guide me as I let go my dreams and expectations of my business…there was so much grief and pain as I did this…and yet within a few short weeks, with Divine synchronicity, I was shown a new direction, a new path. My prayer is that it will be the same for Mother Earth, we will grieve the damage that is done, we will let go some of our innocent hopes and dreams, yet we will also be guided with Divine wisdom to a new path on how to care for her…
Much love and much, much compassion and nurturing to you in this fertile but not so easy stage xx Sara
Information for this blog came from Susanne F. Fincher’s The Mandala Workbook and Julia Gibbon’s Mandala Magic Program in 2017