Last week we finished up the Fall 2011 Reclaiming Beauty Playshop with a ritual designed to share our Beauty Found stories and commit to self-compassion (being our own Inner Mother). It felt good to come around full circle from our explorations of Original Beauty and Beauty Lost. In honor of Kore’s (and our own) transformation to Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, we ate pomegranate seeds and celebrated the gifts of the Underworld.
I loved engaging in the process with this group. My Beauty Found card incorporated an image of the Queen of Wands from the Thoth Tarot deck. The Queen of Wands represents mastery of Self-Knowledge. Here is what Angeles Arrien says about this symbol in The Tarot Handbook:
The Queen of Wands is the knower of the Self. This symbol represents self-mastery and the process of self-reclamation. Her process of transformation and self-actualization can best be described by the story she represents of a woman who, before she knew who she was, had black hair and walked with a panther by her side. As she began to discover more of who she was, her hair turned brown and the panther changed to a leopard. When she fully realized who she was and began to manifest who she was in the world with her pine cone wand, her hair turned fiery red. At this stage of self-knowledge, she pinched the growth marks of the leopard to prevent it from transforming into a beautiful lion that would have matched her self-knowledge because she wanted a reminder of the dark places from whence she had come (the spots of the leopard). This myth represents the process of self-discovery and the splendor of awakening to the deepest essence of who we are (the radiant crown).
I firmly believe that my time in the Underworld led me to the person I am today. I love how this card honors the dark places we have been in our lives as the fuel for awakening to our essence – a process that for me represents reclaiming connection with our beauty. Included in my image are the words “beautiful strength” to represent the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength that is a part of my beauty. I also included a reminder to “be satisfied.” From my study of the Enneagram and learning about my Enneatype, Type 4, the Individualist, I have been able to cultivate mindfulness of the habit of my mind of looking for what is missing. This focus of attention ultimately leads me to dissatisfaction and depression. Through a practice of shifting the focus to the blessings of what is in front of me everyday (without abandoning skills in getting my needs met), I have been able to challenge the perceived emptiness of dissatisfaction. Yay! for self-knowledge to help emancipate (myself) from mental slavery and celebrate the beauty surrounding me in my life.
I also included the Om symbol to represent the role of my yoga practice in my healing journey.
A shout out to other factors that continue to lead me to Beauty Found:
my husband, son, sisters, parents, friends who mirror my true Self qualities back to me every day ~ making meaning out of my struggles by being a light for others ~ forgiveness of myself and others ~ music ~ the beauty of nature ~ creativity ~ moving towards better health everyday ~ love
What are the “spots of the leopard” in your life that have led you to deeper Self-Knowledge? What/who do you want to honor that has helped lead you on a journey of reclaiming a sense of your own beauty? Create your own Beauty Found collage card and share it with us!
I hope that you will consider joining a Reclaiming Beauty Playshop in the future. The next one will most likely start in February 2012. Stay connected through this blog, on facebook, or through subscribing to the newsletter to keep updated of the latest offerings.
I honor the beauty in you from the beauty in me,