(a story from my program offering Retrieval: Self… Soul… Story…)
A while ago, in the year leading up to my 42nd birthday in fact, I read something about how the body physiologically renews itself every 7 or so years. At the time I was deep into my own radical self awareness journey that I have shared in fits and starts throughout our time together here. It was fascinating research that deserves its own rabbit hole, so if you are interested in the specifics of that science, then click here to learn more. Enjoy if you choose to embark upon that adventure!
Around the same time discovering the idea of a 7 year physiological cycle, I was deep in the study of Tarot, in particular the Fool’s journey of the Major Arcana, which you can visit in the course module on the Tarot Triad. The Major Arcana is a metamorphic experience which can be split into 3 parts, each holding 7 archetypal energies. Lindsay Mack’s Tarot for the Wild Soul teachings explains this process more fully. Eager to learn more, I made the decision to take her yearly intensive course on Tarot because there are no coincidences and I was listening to all connections to the cycle of 7.
Aside from a tarot connection and some interesting science, what does this cycle of 7 have to do with my own personal journey to radical self awareness and healing that led to creating this course? Well, here is that revolutions story. I hope that it offers you a spiral path to your own unfolding healing story.
My healing journey began in earnest at the turn of the new year of 2018. After a nearly year long swim in the deepest abyss of depression that, in December of 2017, for the first time in my life, had me fleetingly contemplating what it would be like for my family if I wasn’t around to ruin everything. And by “wasn’t around” I mean I thought about ending my life or at least spiraling into a situation where I died and everyone lived happily ever after without me ruining everything all the time. That scared the shit out of me and I wanted to never feel that way or think those thoughts again. My perfectionism had become a monster inside my brain telling me clearly every single thing I was doing wrong while amplifying the problems of the world that for so long I thought I was somehow responsible for curing. So I began the quick process to chemical balance that antidepressants provide, but I wanted more than just to be chemically balanced. I wanted to begin the work to fully heal and liberate myself so that, as my dear friend and healer, Courtney Yellowwolf Graham explained to me once, I would never fall so far off the side of the mountain that I couldn’t get back up.
At the end of 2018, I was contemplating how fruitful surrendering fully to the journey to healing had been as well as setting intentions for more in the coming year. I began thinking about what my “Year of” theme would be for 2019. I have never been a big fan of resolutions, as I feel they just end up being disappointments that become too tedious to keep up with for even a week let alone an entire year. But I find that picking a theme and tapping into it in different ways throughout the whole year, works very well for me and has been a centering practice through even the hardest years of a recent memory.
When considering the 7 year cycle discovery and the “Year of” theme together, it got me reminiscing about the previous 7 years and how I had evolved. Here’s the actual blog post from that time, The Power of Seven Years, to use as an example in case you are interested in exploring that practice for yourself. I was in the completion of my 6th 7 year cycle, turning 42 in June of 2019, and the Tarot dabbling I had been doing around the fool’s journey juxtaposed with a recent interest in Jungian archetypal work had me in quite a deep learning spiral. I was excited for the possibilities it could bring forth if I continued to follow this thread.
And so I chose 2019 to be a “Year of Listening” and the downloads began almost immediately. The first connection to doing any research around cycles of 7 was the evocation of the Labyrinth. As soon as it appeared in my research, I knew that I had received an important message and that further retrieval was essential. I did a search, and of course, the first obvious reference was one of my favorite Guillermo del Torro movies that I have loved since it came out in 2006.
El Laberinto del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth) takes place in the post- Civil War Spain of 1944. My paternal grandfather escaped pre-Civil War Spain in 1934 because of his connection to and support of the Labor party and the secular government that won in 1931 and was being targeted because of its anti-Catholic Constitution. He and his brothers escaped just prior to violence erupting all over the country and my grandmother stayed behind with my uncle who was very young. They were safe because my grandmother’s family was deeply rooted in the Catholic Church and after the overthrow by Franco, they were safe.
My grandparents reunited in the Dominican Republic 14 years later in 1948 and my Father was born shortly thereafter. The war in Spain and my grandparents’ reunion was always a piece of lore that laid heavily on my soul because I believe that my grandmother was heartbroken to leave her home and family to reunite with my grandfather across the world. I believe that her sadness and homesickness was threaded into the blood and DNA of my father who was already deeply troubled soul and that his DNA that I carry in my genes is the very sadness shaped around my own soul that I was on this journey to heal; The labyrinth revealing itself to me. The movie, Pan’s Labyrinth was the first story I had ever seen that so closely looped in elements of my own family’s story. I still watch it and can feel my ancestry in its details. When I hear that phrase representation matters, I understand it so much through this movie and am in an allyship for all who believe that to be true and necessary.
I come from a line of storytellers who weave exquisite tales and share them on both sides of my family. My father was the master of magical realism in family taletelling. After he left us, I simply could not get the stories from his side of the family for a long time as I didn’t know the language of his family well enough to connect to the sacred richness of those nuances necessary to fully grasp all the layers of a story properly. My cousin was able to share her version and is a gifted teller as well and from her I was able to piece together a bit more about my family. So in my teens, when I discovered Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his epic tale, One Hundred Years of Solitude, I was enraptured that there was a genre of stories that felt like the ones that had been shared with me as a child and felt like the energy that filled all my senses when I was living with or visiting my family in the Dominican Republic. Garcia Marquez led me to Isabel Allende and her novel, The House of the Spirits, that was even more viscerally connective for me than One hundred Years.
I realized in reading these beautiful family sagas that I was destined to share my own family’s story. And yet I would try to write it throughout the years and it never felt right. I always felt like I was missing a huge piece of the puzzle. In 2002, I stumbled upon a new author writing about life in Spain during the Spanish Civil War and I was besotted with The Cemetery of Forgotten Books series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I devoured his first book and waited impatiently for his second to be translated to english and did the same with that one. Then I discovered that he had released a third book to the series. I read that one in 2014, just after I moved back across the country for a second time, within a year of having my second baby in 22 months which led in part to the breakdown that had to do with moving back across the country and causing our family to be split apart. Clearly I was not in the best mindset and I misunderstood this third book to be a disappointing culminating book of the series. I was unimpressed but had so much going on in my life that a poor ending to what I thought was going to be a triumphant series was just another disappointment to add to what felt like the end of the world for me. 2014 was tough and beautiful all at once. My husband was living across the country trying to make ends meet and keep us above water after my complete breakdown the previous year and loss of a vitally needed second income for survival. My daughters were the most snuggly wonderful medicine and I was devastated that their pap couldn’t be with them because of what I thought was entirely my fault even though my community was taking care of me and trying to help me remember that it was not actually my fault. And that wonderful community, family and friends, were so dear during that time… But reading books, even my favorites, were not a priority of the survival mode that I ebbed and flowed through for the next few years until I crawled out of the abyss at the end of 2017 and slowly began to piece myself together again.
I hadn’t thought about the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in ages. But here I was on this healing journey, listening allowing the universe to guide me. In that google search of the Labyrinth, I was brought to recall a fellow Argentine writer and contemporary of Garcia Marquez’s , Jorge Luis Borges and his collection of short stories titled Labyrinth. I was physcially reading multiple books at the time and was hoping to find his work on Audible. When I did a search nothing came up for him as that collection of short stories had not been added to audio. But another book came up under the Labyrinth title with a cover that looked just like the Borges story of the Library of Babel, which happens to be found in his Labyrinth collection. Anyway, that book took my breath away. The Labyrinth of the Spirits: A Novel (Cemetery of Forgotten Books) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. It couldn’t be! That series ended poorly in 2014. Well in the daze of my life back then I was mistaken! The fourth and final book in my beloved Cemetery of Forgotten Books series was in fact out and had just been translated into english that previous fall. I devoured it and it was every bit the triumphant culmination to the series that I had fallen in love with in 2002. The synchronistic medicine that it offered to me in the winter of 2019 was the elixir that I had been missing in my attempts to write my family’s story. The Labyrinth of the Spirits was a key to my own secret garden of understanding to my own family history and lineage, to coming to terms with my devastation for the state of the world we live in now, and most importantly, to the self assurance that my claircognizance is real and an vital to my own self sovereignty, self healing, and to my calling in this lifetime. The message from the Labyrinth was clear. I need to be sharing my stories for the healing of my ancestral lines and for my descendants. That is my labyrinthine journey and it is for me to explore how to go about that. It was overwhelming and brilliant all at once and propelled me to keep listening closely and deeply for the rest of 2019. I knew then and there that what I needed to hear for this next cycle of 7, my seventh of seven, would reveal itself clearly in 2019.
It was no surprise that the Tarot for the Wild Soul class that I had signed up for that spring began on the first day of Spring, the very day that I finished The Labyrinth of the Spirits. So I spiraled into this deep tarot journey which connected it all back to the battle cry I had been calling out since 2015. TO THE REVOLUTIONS: ALL DEFINITIONS APPLY – the labyrinthine journey , the tarot spiraled journey, the wheel of fortune card that kept coming up encouraging me to create my first spread in the shape of a labyrinth… I just leaned into the messages and let them lead me forward.
I was desperate for more messages from the Labyrinth, so I typed it into my podcast search bar and went down that rabbit hole which led me to an old childhood obsession, Atlantis. The Labyrinth connection came through an interview with a researcher named Mark Adams who wrote a book called Meet Me in Atlantis where he travels to possible locations for Atlantis, one of which is the isle of Crete where ruins found there are rumored to be the ancient labyrinth of the Minotaur from Greek Legend. Regardless, of whether that is true or not, the stories of those seeking the lost city of Atlantis have always fascinated me because as a child my father told me that our homeland of the Canary Islands are said to be the last bit of Atlantis that is above the sea. Whether or not that is true also doesn’t matter. The labyrinthine connections were made and brought me full circle to the deep knowing that I have had since I was a child that I need to tell the stories of my family because we are a living epic novel of magical realism in real life. Hey universe! Message received!
All of these beautiful vibrations coming from a contemplation around an article on the body physiologically regenerating every 7 years.
I want to end this labyrinthine tale with one final spiral deeper. In the fall of 2019, I discovered human design. I had never heard of it before but I was drawn to it because of the “circuitry” involved, which I connected to the 7 circuit labyrinth. Still following the breadcrumbs of deep listening, I created a chart and read a bit about my design type of Projector and it knocked me down. My whole life became so clear and I fully released the shame I held around never feeling like I was enough even though I was pouring my soul into everything I had been committing to do my whole life. Yet I was always ending up in the same place: overwhelmed and exhausted and deeply bitter. Even when, outwardly, I looked extraordinarily successful and like i was kicking ass and taking names doing what I loved and believed in, the work I had created for myself, especially in founding and trying to support a school that I built to set my children free had, in fact, imprisoned me. I saw in myself that pissed off minotaur wandering restlessly through that ancient labyrinth, increasingly agitated every second. I realized in that moment that it was time for me to walk away from this monolith I had dedicated my life and family to account to the shame and fear I had manifested within myself after the breakdown. I was making up for what I felt at the time were my failures and I didn’t want to do that anymore. I had come to the center of the Labyrinth to the deep unapologetic knowing and I was ready to make my way back out again with lessons and healing galore. So I set in motion the process to release myself fully from the school by the end of the 2019-2020 school year regardless of whether the school continued on with me or not. My journey was coming to a completion cycle, interestingly one that had begun 7 years prior in a spiral of increasing anxiety over our dysfunctional education system and my desperation to fix it all in time for my girls to attend school, that was a big part of that nervous breakdown I had in 2013.
In winter of 2020, I decided that this course, Retrieval: Self… Soul… Story… needed to exist so that others could labyrinth their way through to a deeper self sovereignty and maybe tell the tale that will offer another spiral journey on and on like the ripples of rain droplets on a calm surface of water. Low and behold as I began creating the content for this course, I connected the most deeply to Human Design, of all the modalities I offer, other than my beloved Tarot and the Archetypes that weave through all of this work. And in learning about the intricacies of Human Design, I have made it more understandable for myself. In sharing it, I had the realization that all the moving parts of human design can be expressed through a journey from big picture to the individualized gates and channels that make us all different yet so deeply connected as if we are all walking a 7 circuit Labyrinth. And the course brought me to a knowing that I am the magical realism that was missing from my family story and my children are the next iteration of magical realism in my family’s story. So I begin my tale with me. Full circle. A journey through the labyrinth and out the other side. Just exactly in perfect timing, completing a cycle of 7 years. Now that is a REVOLUTION if ever I heard of one!
You have a revolution story too. We all do. We all are in the Labyrinth. Be still and listen. Your story is woven into its pathways. Breath and keep walking forward which is really just wrapping you right back around to yourself.