The Passage and the Girl

Somewhere between the Earth and the End, underground and hidden, is the Passage. The Passage leads from one world to another, a path of transition. It is there in the cervix-vagina : the struggle out from water-womb to screaming airy life. It is there in our intestines of fiery transformation, nourishment separated from waste, the living walls sensing and vigilant to contents of the material pulsing through. The Passage is damp wet rocks and caves, fluid eroded whether by sea or lava. It is always dark, sometimes moist with water and tears or dry and parching. Time is outside it, space seems to stretch out to infinity or close around tight and claustrophobic. It’s hard to sense anyone else when you are in there, struggling or lost. No matter how many souls have worn down this route, It always feels personal.

Help_me_find_my_way_by_Holunder“I’m fed up with this whole bloody thing.” the Girl is complaining. “my life used to be fun, much more fun than this….this…endless tedious exhaustingly boring step-by-step-by-step-by-step. GAH.” She sits down and pouts and kicks a few rocks around with her feet.

The explorations down into the underworld had started long ago – almost a decade! :
Bottom of the Well – 2004 (aged 22) .

Since then I’ve been up and down, switching from silly girl to dark woman and many shades in between. But a cloud of naiveity followed with me, an aura of fool-like protection, as I didn’t notice or know much of what I was really getting into. I didn’t notice the scrapes or damage happening to my essence or those around me until I started trying to come back into one integrated self this year.

And since starting down THAT path, it’s felt like illusions being ripped away from me, and waves of horror as I see back at what I did or said or allowed. At the time, I felt free in my fragmentation, and life was fun even with the drama as no real tie of every day grind was keeping my feathered feet to the ground. Everything was about me, and I didn’t begin to understand the nature of deep care for self or others, the awareness of the world around you and the interplay of effects between people, until this year. Until I started having to care for myself or die to life.

2013 has been a passage year, and it was not the start or end of this longer, slower, more painful growth. Being in the midst of transition though, there are points when the Girl in me is tired and pissed off. It was fun, that falling, and the obliviousness kept a sense of trust in the world around me that I can’t quite claim back. I’m suspicious now, of myself, of the world. Suspicious and watchful, because now I care about my life and self and others it’s hard not to.

I’ve developed a full blown anxiety issue in london, ample material to alchemise but at times I admit it can seem too much, and there is a sort of disorientation to being betwixt and between the Girl and the Woman, with perhaps the Witch looking on to it all and cackling. I can look back at where I was, and feel nostalgic for the way that life felt – looking out through those eyes – but I can’t go back to being that person now because whilst Iove myself then I sort of hate how I was too. A friend of mine going through counselling describes a similar experience.


i’m cradling the hardest, heaviest part of me in my hand
the ship is pitching and heaving, my limbs are bobbing and weaving
and i think this is something i understand
i just need a couple vaccinations for my far-away vacation
i’m going to go ahead and go boldly because a little bird told me
that jumping is easy, that falling is fun
up until you hit the sidewalk, shivering and stunned

-Ani Di Franco – Swandive



All the same as the dark days of winter bring their crispess coldness, and limit the light, I’ve been planting some good seeds and taking in story of the year. When the leaves are gone from the trees, you can finally see the shape of the branches.

And the pouty Girl demanding fun is not something to throw away. It was HER petulance at too many boring indoor evenings, compressed in by work and pressures, that led me to go on meetup groups, looking for sparks of new life and friend connection.

Finding the Heroine with a Thousand faces group caught my soul immedietly. Yet the night before my first meeting, I hit a moment of total collapse, where those Passage walls are pushing in on all sides and it weight of it all brings you to your knees. It is not often when I express my wearyness but when it comes out it’s dramatic. Hopeless exhaustion, wanting to give up on it all, feeling totally alone. Resistant to taking on anything new, or fearful that something I’d had high hopes on would be dissapointing. Myth and stories and women who know alchemy – the idea of meeting others like this – or indeed having a place to Speak – it was almost to precious to risk.

My man helped me that night, and I started the day full of new optimism and determination. Without pushing myself and my knackered body and mind, I nonetheless headed of on the epic journey to go meet the Queen…

Alchemy poems

I only have the first 3 … 4 more to come.

: Calcination – Incineration :

Bring me heat and bring me fire
Encased in furnace flames inspire
Burning through the life that’s old
Truth and doubt with fear enfold

Claim awareness and watch with care
For all that’s burnt as bones laid bare
Mark what passes, let it go :
See toxic poisons melt and flow

Retain all ash of essence true
This Primal Matter now accrue
Embrace the flames to deepest heart
and alchemy of soul will start.


Dissolution – solution SOLVE

Solve-salve flow and sink
start to feel and stop to think
Leave the realm of King behind
In waters dark the Queen to find

She brings a death to structured life
Her realm flows full with bliss and strife
Mark her dragons and meet them well
With courage deep may your heart swell

Let tears of salt from pain and joy
dissolve away and then destroy
all feelings that you need no more
open floodgates – find the door.



Take a breath look hard and well
Discern the residues from hell
Mark what belongs with gold not lead
Be objective – use your head

You may have broken down the old
For want of a new life to mould
But that alone is not enough
With what remains you must get tough

Use decisive swords to cut away
Discard the false so truth can play
Retrieve the essence of spirit-soul
Safe isolation is the goal.