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A Council Share

Today was my turn on the email council that we keep as a part of the Soulcraft Apprenticeship Initiation Program with Animas Valley Institute. I'm going to post what I shared here with you. Especially after my wrap on council, it feels right to offer an authentic example. I didn't plan ahead what to say, or edit what I'd written, or try to turn it into something. I just typed what came to mind until I felt done, and then passed the talking stick along with a question.

Also today, I had a session with my therapist. We spoke about some feelings I've been keeping to myself, that I could share with someone close to me. I typically keep all unclear emotions to myself. Once I've got a good hold on them I'll open up, sometimes. But rarely do I express something that still feels open. It is a shame, this shielding people from my experience. Both the council share and this post are practice in coming out with something before it feels tidy, to reveal myself in process, to show up as I am in this moment and have that be enough. I ended up finding what I wrote to be quite beautiful and cohering. So I guess I need more practice. Here it is...

I was given the question:

Heavenly-hell creature, tell us more about how are you a puppet and how are you a puppeteer?

When [the person before] passed to me I couldn't believe it was my turn. I don't feel ready. Usually the council field ripens me in some way, especially when we are physically together, but even online it happens. Not this time. What I mean by ready is some kind of coherency, a tidiness even, polished, digested, which is a regrettable standard I've held myself to for most of my life.

A few years ago, at least, I had a dream where Hawk lands on my bed and pulls up the covers, draping them over their head, and thereby turns into a woman, complexion caked with foundation, garishly made up. Blade worked the dream with me the other day in Dream Cafe. (Come join us, y'all -- it's good). I easily slipped into talon and wing, staring at myself. That's how Hawk sees me, all done up, layers of paste covering my face, concealing my true shade.

This is connected to your question about puppetry. Some of you might remember the dream I had at the wheel training in Sage Canyon, with the master of ceremonies who puppeteers all the patrons of his performance by removing the face of his victims. Wandering with that dream, I encounter what feels like that dark commanding force -- a busted open decaying juniper. Sheaths of bark skin with no muscle, no bone, wiggle. I swallow down my nausea. I'm also disturbed by the bones naked without flesh. Slowly, this darkness comes to use my body and I find myself vastly powerful, and profoundly hungry. I rip off the face of the tree and eat it, rabidly. There inside that mask, I discover a spider, crumpled in on itself. I'm pretty sure it is dead, but I gently poke it with a stick, which must have picked up a small thread of web, because I find myself able to move its legs as if a marionette. It makes me sad to be manipulating the spider like this, especially since I believe I killed it, and at the same time I'm really enjoying the power I have, my dance that the spider dances. Suddenly, spider comes alive and runs off.

This is a big thread - this mask/face/persona/performance, and what is under that? And this question of power. Of who I am submitting to, and perhaps more importantly, who is submitting to me, and what is under that?

A symbol of my protective strategies is a mask, a face caked with makeup, myself a marionette. I'm working to return that mask to Earth, to let Earth eat my face, to turn over all of what I learned to survive into the service of soul.

At the dream training last summer I'm in a booth with Mrs. Maisel and her husband, who is my lover. The crowd is whispering about us, judging. But I realize I'm actually working the room, loving all of their attention, feeding it and feeding off of it. Unconscious puppetry, meeting a forbidden need.

I need to be consciously captivating. Commanding. Yet still tied up by mystery, the red throbbing web behind the curtain. My true face.



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