This week, I was drawn to pick up my least favorite of Carlos Castaneda’s works, The Second Ring of Power. In retrospect, I now know why. I had had the audacity to write about the knowing of the womb last week and the witches came to repay the favor.
When I first read that book, thirty plus years ago, I hated it. I was horrified and confused by Carlos’s lethal encounters with the witches. These were encounters with women who had lost, or were losing, their human form and were capable of anything. When one loses the human form one becomes an energetic being untethered by human roles or conditioning.
The condition of my copy of The Second Ring of Power is decrepit, an old hard cover, still with its original jacket, but with a broken binding, whole chapters falling out, brittle pages that peel off as they are turned. I thought: Well, this is a perfect not-doing. As opposed to the normal pattern of reading a book by turning its pages and holding it together, as I read each page, I peeled it off and placed it in a separate pile.
At some point in the week, I was pulled to put on another of my wedding rings. I stared into a small dish of jewelry on the dresser and selected a ring. In keeping with the practice of not-doing, I placed the ring on the wrong finger on the wrong hand; my wedding ring with Jan snuggling up with my wedding ring with Jeanne. It never dawned on me that I was inviting in the energy of the second ring of power!
In The Second Ring of Power Carlos describes the winds of the four directions and how all female sorcerers draw power from the winds of one of these directions. The winds were wicked this week. Several times they blew open the consulting room door at the office. Sudden wild winds of tornado like intensity appeared out of nowhere, knocking out power lines and just as suddenly shifting back to utter calm.
As abrupt as a sudden wind, Jan and I had a forceful exchange. In an instant, the human form of our relationship dissolved. Reactions shot forth out of both of us like lightning bolts, completely unexpected and totally out of character. Our discussion was around our children. In The Second Ring of Power, the witches speak of completeness, for a sorcerer, as requiring the retrieval of their edge, their energy lost to the children they had borne. In fact, on an energetic level, these sorcerers see those children as their mortal enemies.
For years, I have known and written about the need for all to detach, to break the energetic bindings of the archetypal roles of the human form with its holy days of family obligation, specifically in Your Family is Not Your Family. I notice that I write today’s essay on the eve of the holiest of holies, Mother’s Day. This was completely unintentional. It’s either a synchronicity or the witch’s sense of humor. Ultimately, mothers, fathers, and children need to be freed of the energetic bindings of these human form roles, if they are ever to gather in their energy to individuate or become energetically complete.
Jan and I exchanged verbal blows, confronting each other around these energetic entanglements with our children. The power of these archetypal roles runs deep. As we each held our ground something else took over. Neither of us was prepared for what came through us; it was the energy of the witches, carried on the winds, blowing us out of the human form. This was a decisive shift. We became beings unrecognizable to each other. At the same time we each landed in a very personally familiar place of energetic calm and clarity, utterly detached. We shifted into a formless state without definition or attachment to any roles. For a good twenty-four hours we shifted out of the human form of our marriage with its own set of deep energetic entrapments. We became two warriors, solitary beings, well aware of each other’s power and utter willingness to deliver a lethal blow to the other’s desperate clinging to the human form. Synchronistically, this happened on the day Jan wrote her blog about guidance she had received from the witches of don Juan’s line in her dreaming.
The winds have subsided now. We have “safely processed” our experience. Rationality is restored. Our energy has receded back into the forms of contented husband and wife. We joke about it; we enjoy it, our experience of the human form and our shift beyond it. Neither of us has any illusions about our true formlessness and our ruthless intent upon energetic completion. Archetypal roles provide structure for human completion, but if we cling too tightly we invite the wicked winds of the season of the witch.
If you wish to correspond, please feel free to post a comment below.
Until we meet again,
NOTE: We have nervously added The Second Ring of Power to our STORE under Shamanism. Watch out when you open this book! The witches will come to get you too! Also, listen to Vanilla Fudge sing Season of the Witch, my favorite version.