Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Rebirth, Quarantine, and the Inner Spring

Wherever You Are, Is Perfect
A quote I've long appreciated, oft attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson is, “It’s not the destination, it’s the journey.”

Yet these days I’ve decided to turn it on its ear. Let’s make it the following:

“The destination is the journey.” Meaning. Wherever you are, it’s perfect. You are perfection. You are that which you seek. You yourself are the destination.

I’ve noticed on the collective consciousness stage that folks are energetically leaving their quarantines even though the shelter in place hasn’t been lifted. People are wanting to travel more in their minds, and bodies, even locally. They are socializing more, trying to find new ways to fill up the space, to bring a sense of what used to be “normal” back into their lives. Perhaps it’s the spring weather; perhaps it’s boredom, a need for distraction. Perhaps it’s simply human nature.

However, many souls are not ready to focus on the outer world yet. You will know that you are in this group if you feel confused or garbled when you’re at the grocery store, when you’re trying to have too many virtual social gatherings, or neighborhood six-to-ten-feet away chit-chats. You might feel like you get clobbered by externalizing your energy. You might get easily fatigued. It might show up in your dreams, imploring you to pay attention.

Last week, I dreamed I was being pulled out of quarantine, and my soul balked. It wasn’t ready. I was attempting to secure a reservation for a weeklong silent retreat, to go back inside. Upon analyzing the dream, it became clear that, even though the earth is laughing in flowers right now, and coyotes are (literally) howling in North Beach SF, for us humans, it is an Inner Spring this year. A deepening connection to the Self, rather than the World, civilization, unnecessary activity. We are springing forth, from the inside first. The destination is us, and we ourselves are the journey.

Sheltering In Place
Time Out of Time

Many of us are in a gestation period, pregnant with something new. It needs a bit more time to cook – that symbolic bun in the oven. Some of us have already birthed a new idea, project, vision during quarantine, and that new baby needs a bit more protection before it is trotted around the neighborhood and exposed to all and sundry outside. Think of a snake that has shed its old skin, a death and rebirth process. It takes time for the new skin to grow, and the animal needs this coat to form before revealing itself to risky elements. Sensitivity is high. 

I find it notable that the animal associated with this pandemic (whether science or symbol) is a bat. In many indigenous traditions, Bat represents Rebirth, and the shamanic, symbolic death of the healer. Jamie Sams and David Carson write of Bat in Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals (Bear and Company, 1999), “If Bat has appeared in your cards today, it symbolizes the need for a ritualistic death of some way of life that no longer suits your new growth pattern. This can mean a time of letting go of old habits, and of assuming the position in life that prepares you for rebirth, or in some cases initiation. In every case, Bat signals rebirth of some part of yourself or the death of old patterns...”
These processes of rebirth constitute "time out of time," and take time. In the recent newsletter from the ashram of Sri Ramana Maharshi in Tiruvannamalai, India, the writers describe Ramana’s various retreats under massive epidemics of the first half of the 20th Century, from cholera, typhoid, bubonic plague. The ashram was shut down to the bare minimum of activity during these times. The sage fondly remembers these months as some of the ashram community's happiest, most peaceful times. A time of deepening and lessening of distractions.

I know many of us absolutely need to get back to work in the world, financially and psychologically. I completely support this and hope this does happen as quickly as possible for folks. Yet, we can also keep in mind: This quarantine is going to pass quicker than we think, even if it chronologically and paradoxically lasts longer than initially thought. When we look back on 2020, and these inner months, we’ll realize that it was restful, healing, revealing. It is an opportunity, and it’s moving fast. We can make best use of the time, and not opt-out of the inner journey before the miracle occurs.

Erin Reese, M.S. is a contemporary intuitive, spiritual counselor, author and guide. A modern mystic with over thirty years of experience, Erin offers incisive, practical intuitive readings to her clients worldwide. She is a spiritual counselor, guide and mentor to those seeking an alternative to traditional psychotherapy or business coaching. For more information, visit 

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