Fifteen years ago, Psyche’s call brought me to beautiful Siskiyou County, located in Northern California. A refugee from the smog, overcrowding and rat race of Southern California, I accepted a position that landed me in a county full of mountain ranges, wild flowing rivers, and diverse terrains, including high deserts, valleys and mountains.
One Fall day, my husband and I decided to put our dogs into the car and travel to a place called Niki Point. A path blanketed in pine needles, falling leaves & assorted seeds and branches, meanders down to a place where a creek narrows, creating a favorite swimming hole and hangout for many locals. That day, the golden light filtered through a bouquet of multi-colored leaves creating a lattice pattern of shadow and light against the white and gray granite rocks. Water gurgled as it rushed through this narrowing place, its own musical notes combining with the sounds of Oregon Juncos, Stellar Jays and other birds, including an Osprey circling overhead. My heart was full as I took a seat on a rock. I watched as our dogs Cody, BB, and Kali sniffed and scampered about; Bruce picks up a nearby stick and throws it into the shallow end of the natural pool and they immediately go charging forward to catch it. Splashes, shakes of water from soaking fur and then they are off investigating the next bush along the creek. The sun and breeze touch my cheek. I am in heaven.
And then I see Her. A California Sister Butterfly, her wings are black, orange & white. She flits about, circles, and then draws close. There is a cream colored “V” on her black back; a distinct pattern that includes orange “eyes” situated on each wing tip. As I continue to watch her, the most extraordinary thing happens: she comes towards me and lands in the middle of my forehead; I feel the tickle of her limbs on my skin. I remain still, just noticing. I watch as Her wings open and close, the pattern slightly blurry because of how close she is. I sit very still; I don’t want to disturb her. She remains there on my forehead for long seconds, perhaps a minute or two (although it seemed longer).
In that holy moment, all sounds receded and my focus was completely on Her. She finally lifted off, circled, and then after a few moments returned again to my forehead. I continued to watch her, mesmerized. Dark eyes look into my own. It is a holy moment.
Another few seconds, and she is gone.
Or is she? As I share this story here with you, I realize She is not gone. The divinity, the sacredness, contained within those few moments comes back to me, as it does every time that I recall this experience.
The butterfly is the universal symbol for Psyche. Psyche is the Greek word for Soul. Soul experience is that pure connection with something deep inside of us, yearning to be noticed, tended to, and set free. Each of us yearns for that pure experience, that connectedness with the divine.
In these times, it is more important than ever that you tap into and connect with your own pure experience to find out what Psyche’s Call for you is. There are seven key portals, or doorways, in which you can connect with Psyche’s call for you:
Dreams – The images that come to you when you are sleeping are the purest pipeline to your soul. Dreams are the poetry of your soul, the images in the dreamtime rich with metaphor and layered meaning. Take time to write down your dreams and spend time tending to the images there.
Active Imagination (AI) – Carl Jung utilized this often. AI is a way to engage with, and learn from, the images and experiences that come via guided imagery – or with direct contact and dialoguing with your dream images upon awakening. Talk and engage with the images that want to come forward and be known by you. This is a favorite method that writers use to tap into, and get to know, their characters more. Many visual artists also use this process, painting those images and experiences that come forward.
Writing – Stream of consciousness writing is a powerful way to get to meet you via the page. Put pen to paper and let Psyche speak to you through the tip of your pen. Trust your thoughts and ideas. You will be amazed at what swims below the surface.
Art – Creating is Psyche giving from via paintings, sculpture, drawing and more – She informs and inspires if you give time in your day and life to see this manifest.
Music – Psyche sings up and through the body, giving voice to the currents of consciousness within. Psyche plays in and through us with voice, piano, oboe and more. Music holds and transports us to pure experience with the divine.
Dance/Movement – Allowing the essence of your soul up and out through movements; your body is the instrument to connect with pure experience – and Psyche.
Nature – James Hillman, in Re-Visioning Psychology, entertains the idea that Soul is found not only in us as individuals, but in nature as well. Connecting with nature is a portal which allows us, through tending and honoring, to recognize dimensions of experience and understanding that are not open to us when we focus solely on ourselves and/or the words and experiences of other humans. Psyche is part of a greater hoop of experience. Nature Herself dreams and is informed, is informing, our experiences. We deny or neglect this at our peril – and the Planet’s.
Finding those portals which work best for you is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and others. We live at a time when more are being called to heed Psyche’s call. Are your listening?