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Stepping Stones

The Witch's Forest - Creativity v. Dogmatism

The Witch’s forest represents the fifth chakra of the eastern chakra system, the center of authentic and creative expression. The fifth chakra is located in the throat, and its color is light blue. The fifth chakra calls us to drop our external and conditioned identities and to recognize and express our authentic truth in the world from a deep internal sense of identity. Matthew Fox says the birth canal of the higher self resides in the narrow of the throat. In his book Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh, Fox teaches that not giving birth to our higher self through the fifth chakra creates a chasm we desperately try to fill. In the shadow of the fifth chakra we fill this chasm with dogmatism, judgmentalism and addiction to our old patterns. We speak the truth of the small self from its history of trauma and trial, or we speak other people’s “truths”—the truths we have been taught by family, by friends, by culture, by religion—because that keeps us safe. This is a stage many of us enter at midlife - when we are spinning in familiar patterns but know that something needs to change - we just aren't sure what it is.

But if we choose to continue our spiritual evolution through the power of the fifth chakra, we must now use our creative power to give expression to our authentic Self, to our Divine truth. It is in this center that we must surrender our personal will to the Mystery of the Divine Will and begin really saying yes to life and to our full and authentic participation in it. Campbell speaks of this stage as the stage of the spiritual warrior. He tells us that “the warrior’s approach is to say ‘yes’ to life: ‘yes’ to it all.” At this stage we can no longer speak another person’s truth; we can only speak and we can only live our own truth. We surrender to the complete mystery of our life unfolding within the Mystery of the Divine, and say yes to it all; to the joys and the sorrows, to the light and the shadows, to life and to death. The philosopher Heidigger states that “a person is not a thing or a process, but is the opening through which the absolute can manifest.” When we surrender in this fifth stage to the Divine Will operating in our lives, we create the opening for the creative expression of God in the world through us.

This is as difficult a time as any on the path. As close as we are to the truth of our being, the next steps require us to give birth to parts of ourselves that we have kept hidden from others—and perhaps hidden from ourselves. The light of our inner being begins to shine through, and in the face of our own brilliance our first response is to shrink back. It’s risky to show that light. It’s risky to show parts of ourselves that we have dared not show. It’s risky to allow the very essence of who we are to come forward into a world that may not be ready. We look around and hope that someone bigger, stronger, brighter or braver will show up to do the work that stands before us. But at this stage in our journey we come to see that we are all unique expressions of the Divine. A part of us knows that we have a gift for the world that no other person can bring into expression: the bigger, stronger, brighter and braver ones can’t do what we need to do. A part of us knows that the Divine moves into the world through us, and if we refuse to give birth to our higher Self, then God has been stopped from entering the world.

Weekly Stepping Stones

What are the truths about yourself you have learned on the path so far? How is the Divine asking you to give birth to a new part of your Self in your life right now? Where in your history have you risked saying “yes” to life without fear of the consequences?

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