Metaphors for the month: November 2009

By Suzanne Wagner

Instinctual realms.
by Suzanne Wagner

Arthurian Tarot: Cernunnos
Mayan Oracle: Akbal, Measure
Aleister Crowley: Completion, Queen of Swords, Futility
Medicine Cards: Squirrel, Ant, Grouse
Osho Zen Tarot: Turning In, Breakthrough, The Outsiders
Healing Earth Tarot: Seven of Crystals, Woman of Feathers, Wise Old Woman
Ancient Egyptian Tarot: Six of Cups, Death
Words of Truth: Completion, Alignment, Learning Experience, Divine Intervention

What is beyond the wilderness of your consciousness? What lurks in the shadows beyond what the mind enjoys pondering?

The answer is: your instinctual realm. Many call this the shadow, the primordial energies, the life force. It is your consciousness’s desire to exist and experience the fullness of life that has drawn all of you here. You are creating your reality with every breath and thought.

You create an idea and breathe it into your body. The more you desire it, the more you inhale that possibility deeper and deeper inside until your body begins to move and create in the external world that which you have been dreaming. At the beginning, this process seems logical. Most of us begin with a plan… of sorts. But quickly you realize that life force itself has its own way of creating that may or may not always fit into that lovely picture you have firmly planted in your mind.

Characters in the Star Trek movie “Project Genesis” used the word “protomatter” to describe a quality of life force energy that is unpredictable and unstable, yet required to create life from a lifeless planet. This energy enabled seemingly impossible problems to be solved but that also did not allow a person to completely control the unfolding pattern, thus creating the problem of the planet moving and changing too rapidly and eventually destroying itself.

This movie theme clearly gives us a reflection of what we experience about our own “protomatter” or life force energy. In many ways we are afraid of it. But without it there are problems that cannot be solved. So do you take the risk and attempt to work with the chaotic energy of

life force, knowing full well that the outcome may not quite match what you thought you were going to get? Every day each of us makes that decision to a greater or lesser extent.

When you are caught in fear of the chaos of passion and creation, you will attempt to limit the expression of that energy in your life. You may feel safer but also a bit stagnant, trapped by limiting circumstances.

Yet, when you have those moments of intense desire or bravery, and throw caution to the wind (hopefully in a healthy way), life becomes interesting again.

You do not always get your dream. But you do get something amazing: energy. When you finally decide to let go and risk, you discover that the energy blocked in your body finally has a moment to move. Given a chance, that energy can expand rapidly with tremendous force and power.

Body is as powerful as consciousness but they move very differently. Those differences and the lack of control is what’s terrifying about life force energy. But without it there would be no great accomplishments in history, no great music, no great art, no thrilling movies, and no fairy tales. The thing that you are intrinsically drawn to watch, listen, and read about is the thing that can transform your life into your personal hero’s journey—that is, if you are willing to take a few calculated risks and accept that outcomes are not necessarily what is going to give you the victory.

You do not need to be an outsider in your own story unless you wish for that to be the story line for your life. I would not recommend it but each of us chooses to open and close many times in a day. That’s normal and the way of all things. But when you realize that you are stuck in some rut of life, change things around. Try something that is healthy and puts you on your edge of comfort.

A teacher of mine once said that his goal was to live life constantly testing that edge without making himself crazy. Take a moment to look at where you are feeling futile, hopeless and wanting a breakthrough. Plan a strategy but know that you also cannot be attached to the outcome of this plan. Then leap into the void of your personal edge and find out that you are much bigger than you realize. Life and death hold so much love and light. To make them conscious, to be aware and awake while life and death are happening, rather than blaming and reacting, is the key to awakened consciousness.

Often the information you seek is all around you but you are just too overwhelmed and exhausted to notice that the universe is supporting you at all times in this process of growth and learning.

Suzanne Wagner is the author of numerous books and CDs on the tarot. She lives in Salt Lake City.


This article was originally published on November 1, 2009.