The Mystery of Ecstatic Union

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body photography series whariki beach New Zeland 2007

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body photography series Whariki beach New Zealand 2007

Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body ritualistic photography series Carlsbad, New Mexico 2007
Melissa Weiss Steele
Melissa Weiss Steele Earthen Body photography series Carlsbad, New Mexico 2007

I am going to break a Western taboo now. I am going to admit that I do not fully understand, or have “control” over something I am involved in. This is a radical idea, because many of us were taught to pretend we have it all together, we are the master of our own ships. Living through your intuition has been so misunderstood and maligned in this culture. If you can’t show it, explain it, recreate it, it’s not real. How did we get here??? The scientific empiricism only goes so far, and then we have the very real world of dreams & synchronicities & miracles.

Ecstatic union is an interesting thing. I believe it is what many people are actually yearning for when they reach for distorting substances or intense experiences in an attempt to access this place. We are hardwired for spiritual connection and altered states that we historically accessed through rites of passage and cultural ceremonies & rituals.

In the influential book, Crossroads-The Quest for Contemporary Rites ofPassage, author Christina Groff: “Joseph Campbell believed that the psyche of each human being contains a rich array of mythological symbols, archetypal impulses, and initiatory images which must be expressed and affirmed within a ritualistic context.”

We live in a culture that has elevated the profane over the divine, that has glorified a very shallow and immature form of union and expansion. Most of us do not have groups or organizations that offer truly transcendent experiences. Most do not even realize what they are missing because the externalized distractions and addictions have become so prevalent. To step out of this world of illusion is a revolutionary act.

And…most of the time when some of us actually reach this place-of-the-other-place it is not something that can be quantified, articulated or even understood. The work I do is truly a surrender, an allowing; channeling with no expectations to the outcome. It is not cognitively accessible; it is a visceral, kinesthetic experience; a union with energies and locations. It is setting out, making the time and space, and allowing what wants to come through you; a faithful act of coming back, again and again to that place of opening, and the unknown.

And so much comes through the unknown; The Mystery.

“Each woman/person has potential access to Rio Abajo Rio, this river beneath the river. Shearrives there through deep meditation, dance, writing, painting, prayermaking, singing, drumming, active imagination, or any activity which requires an intense altered consciousness.  A woman arrives in this world-between-worlds through yearning and by seeking something she can see just out of the corner of her eye. She arrives there  by deep creative acts, through intentional solitude, and by practice of any of the arts. And even with these well-crafted practices, much of what occurs in this ineffable world remains forever mysterious to us, for it breaks physical laws and rational laws as we know them.” page 31, Women Who Run With The Wolves; Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

“much of what occurs in this ineffable world remains forever mysterious to us”…

this is so true.

So, this leaves an interesting predicament for we messengers-how do we share the transformation available through dancing with your inner depths when we ourselves are not always cognizant of what really happened-and who we just danced with?

So….How do you access this level of Mystery in your own life? What are the projects and ideas that keep knocking at your door waiting to blossom into something truly unique and magical? How does one reach the archetypal, the limitless within time and space?

Deep listening, allowing, returning again and again to experiences that open you up to your expanded capacity for the imaginative and visionary. I’m not going to say that I know what your gateway is. I can co-create a container for people to explore their inner lives, but if you actually go there or not is really up to you. It takes a tremendous amount of refocusing away from the judgments, voices and miss-interpretations that many of us bought into. It takes a profound trust in the non-linear impulses & yearnings that over time initiate you into reclaiming those more subtle and esoteric skills. It takes courage in yourself to be different. I will not say this happens over night, and it can. I have spent the last 17 years apprenticing to a different rhythm, a different form, expanded truths.

It is a practice.

It really depends on what you want your life to be. What are you willing to risk to reside in the magic and Mystery again?

I am going to share a quote form an earlier post again, I believe we can hear great wisdom again, and again, as it sinks to other levels, so here is Ms. Audre Lorde’s thoughts on reclaiming the erotic {see link to this blog post here..}

“We have come to distrust that power which rises from our deepest and nonrational knowledge….We have been taught to suspect this resource, vilified, abused, and devalued in western society. But The Erotic offers a well of replenishing and provocative force to the person who does not fear its revelation….The Erotic is a measure between the beginning of our sense of self and the chaos of our strongest feelings.…It is not a question only of what we do; it is a question of how acutely and fully we can feel in the doing…We have been raised to fear the yes within ourselves, our deepest cravings.”

We will return to this subject again, this is HUGE, and as I have acknowledged, I am in the process of  exploring it all myself, so lets sit in the innocence and wonder together…and see what emerges!

If you want to comment on this from Facebook, would you link back to the Blog itself and do it there…thanks!

  2 comments for “The Mystery of Ecstatic Union

  1. December 1, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Once again Melissa. I receive these notes from you just at the moments I most need them.
    As I wobble along (in fits and starts, lacking the grace I desire) in the midst of my own adventure in Africa, my own tremendous leap into trusting my intuition and power- the words you share keep me on my path.
    I can’t really thank you enough, please keep me on the list!



  2. bw
    November 30, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Yes Bee, Yes.
    And I do assert that you can “cognitively get there”. if you believe that “there” exists. We can choose to go there and to learn. I do think we need to let go of cognitive thought once we get there, or at least understand that while we are thinking we may be distracting ourselves from the experience. I am on the borderline between these two things: the cognitive and the ecstasy. I am paying attention and I will continue to share what I see. I want to be able to be in both places simultaneously as a link between worlds.


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