6 + LESSON: The Third Soul Key + The Blade

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We’ve encountered the Soul in a personified form in our workings, as well as in two abstract forms, the Blaze and the Blossom.

[ 3.04.05 LESSON: They Opened the Door + The Soul Keys ] “The Blaze is the Soul within our Body.”

[ 3.04.05 LESSON: They Opened the Door + The Soul Keys ] “The Blossom is the Deeper Well of Soul, centered in the body, but rooted into the depths of the Otherworld.”

As an animist I believe that all things have a capacity for change, Soul. As a spiritworker I can experience this capacity for change as a great shared force flowing through everything, the way the oceans of our planet are all one body of water. But I can also recognize the discrete identities of the water and sail the Seven Seas. Even the seven can be subdivided into different bays, seas, and even currents.

It can be difficult to tell exactly where one ocean ends and another begins without using landmarks. When, as one sails through the Bering Strait, does the Arctic Ocean start to feel more Pacific? And yet, it is exactly this uncanny ability to identify the edge of the edgeless that is essential to grasping our third Soul Key: the Blade.

Grasping a blade! That sounds a bit hazardous! And, actually, it can be. Focusing on the edge can feel like focusing on separation and could, therefore, increase feelings of loneliness or disconnection. Many of us move through life believing things are connected, but feeling very isolated. Oftentimes, spiritual and religious practices focus on healing that isolation through prayer that emphasizes oneness, or meditation meant to help us cease to identify with our edges.

However, in my experience, counterintuitive as it may be, consciously exploring the edges of my Soul makes me feel more connected. The more I can clearly experience my edge, the easier it is to really feel other spirits, to soften when I want to soften, to allow in what I want to allow in.

Imagine disconnection as being in a body where our skin is numb. We can’t feel a hug or the touch of a friend’s hand. To me, it makes sense to start reaching back out towards our skin, slowly exploring it from the inside, filling out our body again with our aliveness and awareness. Bringing sensation back to the skin, then warmth, then a light touch, and working our way towards that much-needed, deeply-felt, baby-in-the-embrace hug. As we get accustomed to the embrace of another, then, when we’re ready, we can try melting into it and experiencing moments of feeling as one with the other, and then, perhaps, for a moment, one with all others.

But what happens if we skip the edgework and go straight to one with all others?

Well, for one, we aren’t honoring the reason we retreated from our skin in the first place. For many spiritworkers, the profound isolation that we feel comes from retreat deeply into the center of our Soul. We may have retreated because empathically connecting into everything was, actually, our original mode of operation, and it was overwhelming, incomprehensible, and even damaging to our spirit without proper training or a solid cleansing practice! So we had to retreat in order to protect ourselves. Or, it could also have been that there was a specific person or circumstance that drove us away from our skin and into our inner-world out of fear, shame, pain, or even just boredom. Or, perhaps we wandered into the center with adventurous intentions, as in the Adult’s Initiation, trying to find the fire at the center of the cave. But, after a few years seeking our center, we lost touch with our outer-edge. Perhaps feared that we would have to choose between one or the other: either I am centered and know myself, but I’m alone, or I reach out and am influenced and lose myself, but I’m connected. (In the case of this last one, the good news is, free spirits, we can stand in the center and reach out. We’re vast like that. We can also expand and contract, rhythmically, freely. We’re flexible like that.)

So, if we have a reason for our numbness and separation, then meditating on oneness is likely to have one of two outcomes: First, it doesn’t actually work, but we imagine it does. We’re in our heads imaging and getting high off an idea of blissful oneness. Maybe with a lot of practice we start to think we’re profoundly, shamefully broken because the bliss is there, but when we touch our pain of isolation...it’s still there, too. Raw as ever. Or, a second outcome: Our meditation works. We manage to experience oneness again, and the consequences are the same as last time. Overwhelm. Emotional Clutter. Loss of Self. We just solidified our fear of connection!

Now, some folks might be thinking, loss of Self, is that like loss of ego? Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t that, like, the thing we’re supposed to be doing?

[ 3.02.02 LESSON: My Stories ] “But I don’t believe it’s about releasing stories. I think it’s about releasing attachment to stories.”

I mean, if releasing your Self, your identity, your individual Spirit is your goal then that’s your path. As a Spirit+worker, one who works with identity, that’s not what I’m offering here. However, we do, work on releasing our attachment to our inflexible, static Self, in the sense that we seek to marry our Identity with our change-inducing Soul.

Working with the Blade, the Edge of the Soul, is interesting in this capacity as well. Does the Edge of our Soul align with the Edge of our Spirit? Are they wed? Or is our Soul contracted, pulled in, but our Spirit spread far and wide, identifying with things and people and times beyond our reach? This could cause a feeling like there isn’t much we can change, a kind of powerlessness.

Or is our Spirit contracted, like we’re lost in our head and barely noticing the world around us, meanwhile our Soul sloshes around leaving a tornado-like wake of chaos and change in spirits around us?

When we explore the edge of our Spirit and Soul it is interesting to note the condition of the edge. Have we retreated because our skin is so soft, fragile? Or are we retreated into the center of our castle, our skin armored, thick, impenetrable? As we work with the Blade we’ll be trying to sync up our body, soul, and spirit. We will let our physical skin teach our soul and spirit how to have skin, that a wise, living membrane possessed of both sensitivity and immunity.

Etymologically, blade comes from an Old Norse word, blað, which means the leaf of an herb or plant. We still speak of a blade of grass, yes? Leaves are like the fingertips of a plant, and the blade is like the fingertips of the Soul. It’s touch can be soft as sage or hard as holly.

And while it begins with simply rediscovering our fingertips, cleansing them, and gently awakening them, the Blade becomes so much more: a tool that can be used to touch and create change in other spirits by our will. And, yes, that is as powerful as it sounds, and, therefore, requires the responsibility, care, and courage of a Creator, a Parent.