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  • Tracy Flynn Bowe

Stepping Stones


The Emerald City - Asleep in the Poppies

As we approach our heart center we discover the opening of a channel that moves us into our spiritual awareness. We can feel our own energy open and expand as we approach this center. However, as our Oz friends show us, our early approaches to this expanding spiritual awareness can be tricky and tenuous. As our friends enthusiastically begin to run toward the Emerald City, the Wicked Witch stops them with a field of enchanted red poppies. As the Witch describes, the poppies are “attractive to the eye,” but they lull our heroine (Dorothy), her intuition (Toto), and her spiritual courage (Lion) into a deep sleep. Again we see the work of the threshold guardians that come to stop us on our path to our soul.

As we walk the hero’s journey and begin to feel the pull of our true spiritual nature, we are often slowed down—by those close to us, by group consciousness, by our fears or insecurities or by the attraction of old patterns, addictions or distractions. We are metaphorically lulled back to sleep into our old beliefs and unconscious patterns. Most of us have had experiences that heighten our awareness of the spiritual or transcendent parts of our nature and that draw us toward a path of spiritual growth. Too often, however, we find ourselves quickly overcome by the “poppy fields” of our life and lulled back to sleep by the safety and familiarity of our old patterns. As we approach the Emerald City, the symbol of our higher spiritual Self, we must pay attention to those presences on the path that call us back to sleep.

Unsure and uncertain in the face of the poppies, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow cry out for help. In response to their call, Glinda offers assistance in the form of snow to wake the sleeping travelers and allow them to pass through the threshold guardian of the poppies. The myths promise that following a sincere call for help on our spiritual journey, help will always appear. So, when we feel the pull of the poppies, we need to trust the power of our soul, to remain awake and aware, and to recognize the openings that appear before us. In the Oz story, the Wicked Witch recognizes the presence of the unseen helpers and says, “Curses, somebody always helps that girl.” Like Dorothy, we will always have help along the path if we simply stay awake, ask for help and recognize the help that appears before us.

Weekly Stepping Stones

When have you experienced the poppy fields in your life? What are the fears, beliefs, or emotional patterns that hold you back from who you really are? Who are the people in your life that seek to pull you back into the sleep of the old unconscious patterns? Who are the people in your life that see and support the emerging parts of your true Self? Have you ever experienced help along the way when you were stuck in the poppies?


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