Jan 24, 2024
When we are born and take our first breath, our soul enters this physical flesh, and we become animated. We enter this density and forget what it was like to be a spirit. The only thing that keeps us tethered to that experience is our soul - and as we learn things from this physical experience through our five physical and spiritual senses, our experience as spirit gets further and further away. We start building many programs that display our personality and become masks we wear. We project ways of being upon ourselves like a drive-in movie theater screen. For example, if this happens, it means this is about me or another person. I'm not worthy of love because…, we can't have nice things, that way of life is not for me… or in front of my parents, I act this way; when dating, I'm this way; when at work, I am this way. You have so many autonomous programs and various masks. When you are an adult, you forget entirely who you are. You also get super attached to this rental vehicle of physicality (some of us call it a meat suit) we walk around in. We believe this is all there is - perhaps diving into hedonistic pleasures that physicality has to offer us headlong to cope with the sense that this is all there is. Drinking, eating, sexting your way through life, putting more in, in an attempt to fill the void in your heart where a sense of purpose should be.
Or you may bury yourself under another identity - mom, soldier, project manager, content creator, influencer. I don't know whatever form of busy floats your boat and how you associate every aspect of yourself with that job or role. But you can't be that role, job, or version of yourself forever. The flesh gives out, our beauty fades, we get injured, we get fat, we lose our strength, our hearing, our sigh. Either way, our purpose can never be found simply in the job we do because we are more than this body and this physical experience.
We are spirit. (Pause)
We have never been born, and we will never die (as spirit). But this physical body will most certainly die and fall away - that is the one certainty of this physical experience we are all having. Death.
Wow. Angel. What a way to start out a new season of your podcast on a bright note. I am reminding everyone that they die. This is the truth, though. My job as an estate planning attorney is precisely this - I remind people of their mortality and get them to prepare for it so they do not leave their families a big, stinking, expensive mess when the physical inevitability occurs. It is never too early to plan, but it can always be too late. "if you are having trouble with planning, I can help! Feel free to shoot me an email for more information. Stay tuned until the end of the episode for contact info."
But the point of this podcast today is to talk about a smaller kind of death and rebirth. The type of death held and symbolized within the Rider Waite Tarot card (Death), in the Rune stone Eihwaz, and in the cycle of the Phoenix. Renewal through the conscious choice to let go of your shit. Flush it down the toilet and start fresh. Or the willing submission to the holy fire of transformation - by letting go of the old so there is room for the new.
Let's briefly talk about the Phoenix in case you need to familiarize yourself with this mythological being. Per my Signs & Symbols sourcebook, the bird symbolizes alchemy because it is reborn for its ashes after voluntarily combusting. Keyword here. Voluntarily. There is a whole process - where the Phoenix goes around the world collecting aromatic wood, herbs, and spices so it can build its funeral pyre in a date palm tree. Then it lights itself on fire and is reborn upon the next day's dawn.
While alive for 500 to 1500 years, the Phoenix persists only on aromatic wood smoke, thus not harming anything to eat.
Let's focus on the voluntary submission to the purifying flames, thus bringing rebirth as an archetype for us to explore. More importantly, the ritual. The slow, intentional gathering of the right spices, wood, and herbs, building a nest in a particular place, and performing the act in a specific time-space order for the magickal creatures' transformation. What is critical to this ritual is the intention. The willingness to let go of one life/to die because out the other side is more beauty, joy, and freedom.
Now, not every change/little death in our lives happens this methodically. We may be forced to renew an aspect of ourselves because something is destroyed or stolen or a relationship with a person ends suddenly. Proverbial band-aids are ripped off in our lives all the time. I lost a lot of things this last year - so many that a part of me is tired of being resilient - but I didn't lose myself. I found more of myself than ever in the process of losing.
This last year, I found myself robbed in a foreign country, far from home. The violation of that theft and losing all my healing tools became a gift. This is how I approached death. Intentionally and purposefully, I released the attachment, giving me the power to be reborn, just like the Phoenix.
It was late summer; I walked out the door of my hotel in Mississauga, Ontario, at 8 am and looked at the empty parking space where my Luna (my moon rock colored 2023 Toyota 4 runner) was supposed to be and thought, "Where is my car?!"
Yes, My car was gone, not misplaced nor towed, but STOLEN!
Can you imagine my heartbreak when I realized I was suddenly being given the spiritual lesson of "examining my relationship with my car."
It has been said that "to affect reality, you have to acknowledge the actual reality of a situation."
Interestingly enough, I had spent the previous two days listening to Sovereign Ipsissimus Dave Lanyon teach on the hermetic of relationships. Therefore, I was in inappropriate headspace to face the immediate reality that my car had disappeared. This isn't any car. This was my 45th birthday present to myself - and it was gone!
Along with a lifetime of collected tools in the lockbox and my suitcase holding all my gear for the "Warriors of Light Martial Arts Retreat" that I was headed to in a few days.
Surprisingly calm, I returned to the front desk of the hotel, reporting my stolen car. Not being a citizen of Canada, I also realized I needed to learn how to call the police. I sent my friend ahead to class to let them know I'd be delayed due to car theft and set about calling the police, insurance, and Toyota to start the tracking of my vehicle - and then the realization of all the things I had lost began to trickle into my brain.
A huge part of me just wanted to sit down and cry - but I knew denying the loss and getting angry about it wasn't going to change the fact that my car had been stolen. Based on the security footage shown to me by the hotel manager, the skilled and savvy thieves likely had it on a shipping container to Sudan.
Losing my car was an extreme violation. Losing my Life Activation Wand was a heartbreaker. Losing my favorite "Trampled by Turtles" sweatshirt, my adored watermelon patterned dress, and my go-to sneakers was a HUGE bummer.
But I immediately and voluntarily surrendered to the things I had an attachment to - it was just that, THINGS. No amount of emotional theatrics and painful gesticulation would bring them back. I could shake my fist at the sky and call in holy hellfire upon the thieves and their descendants, but that just seemed dramatic, and I had things to do, places to be, and a life to live, which would be a major inconvenience.
And at the end of the day, I was OK. I was OK, mentally and physically; no one had harmed my body or family or dog - it was just stuff.
My colleagues were surprised at how calm I was. Luckily, for the next 3 days, I was in a class called "Know Thyself," where I got to meditate with Jesus, Buddha, and Mohammed and make art. It was the best possible way to recover from this massive violation.
I share this example from my life as my version of "The Phoenix Story" because although having everything stolen from me was not my choice, my reaction to the theft was my choice.
And like the Phoenix, I submitted willingly to the transformation. And this is what made the difference, as it allowed me to upgrade everything about my life and healing practice, which was 100% because I intended to release the attachment and will enable the renewal to occur. On a brighter note, I got the red version of the car that I had initially wanted but had to settle for Moonstone gray.
Change happens in our lives regularly. Deaths happen in our lives as we allow ourselves to evolve. If we get stuck on the old way, the attachment holds us back and causes pain & suffering. If we release the attachment - we can be reborn, fly onto greater heights, and experience joy from the process.
So here is an exercise for you to embrace change and intentionally allow alchemical renewal into your life.
First, identify and create a space to sit and meditate. It doesn't have to be perfect, just quiet, clear of clutter and debris, and in view of an altar.
Second, create an altar if you don't already have one place, two white candles, a rock, a feather, and some incense, or a diffuser with the lovely essential oil you enjoy smelling.
Third, which is a bonus rather than a necessity - collect some palo santo. You can purchase this at your local spiritual or earth magick supply store/crystal shop or order it from Amazon.
Now, in the intentional environment you have set up for yourself, light the candles, burn the palo santo (just a little bit so the smoke wafts over your face and body), burn the incense, or start your diffuser and sit and meditate to get clarity on the things you want to let go of, on the things you need to release.
What are you carrying around as baggage weighing you down? Who do you need to forgive? (remember yourself). What past things are you attached to and sad about or experiencing some emotion that you can now do nothing about?
While you meditate, remember to breathe. Take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Just allow the information to come in however it does, and then after 10 min or so, journal what you have experienced. Write down anything that comes to mind. Allow it to flow from pen to paper so you ground the truth and reality of it for your life. You are taking ideas from thought to reality on paper.
Now, pick one or two of the oversized items and write them out on individual slips of paper.
Then, identify somewhere safe to burn things. You are going to build yourself a little ritual fire. Take your palo santo, and find some dry cedar if it's available where you are. You could find some excellent wood chips that you'd put in a BBQ or cinnamon sticks and pine needles. Just make sure your little funeral pyre is aromatic and intentional to you.
Then light it up! And place your phoenix papers into the fire. Use this purposeful ritual to release those things you are attached to so you can truly be renewed and refreshed and start anew.
Watch everything in the fire burn and hold gratitude as you do. Therein lies your rebirth.
You can do this exercise for any of the things you experienced in your meditation or for things that come up later. What is most important as a takeaway from this exercise is the choice to intentionally and voluntarily submit to letting go. That voluntary and intentional act is the energy that brings renewal.
As I started this podcast sharing - yes - everyone dies. This is part of our physical existence. But so is listening to our soul, getting past the autonomous programming to remember who you really are - which is spirit. A divine being who creates their reality with their thoughts and actions.
If this podcast or anything I've brought up intrigues you - or if you want to learn daily practices that can help you create your life more intentionally, find more joy, or get over your proverbial baggage. I can help with that! Reach out via my website, angellatterell.com, and book a call. Let's talk about the benefits of the Empower Thyself class & initiation and other means of actualizing what lies within you for the best and highest good!