Justice XI Week 12

May 8th, 2024

By Bonnie Tarantino

Today I am off balance,

I can feel it as I grab for sugar before protein rather than eating protein before sugar. I can feel it as I put off going outside and taking Walter for a walk. I can feel it as I forget to take my vitamins and walk into a room and forget why I am there and what I was doing.

When I get like this, I take what I now call “ A Sacred Pause”.

During my last tarot workshop, my co-facilitator and high priestess friend Staci reenacted the myth of the great goddess Durga. “Durga was called forth in a frenzy by the Gods and Goddesses to come and help put the world back in order after a great and powerful demon named Mahisha created a darkness over the world. In this suffocating darkness, “the poets stopped reciting poetry, the lovers stopped making love, the fields became fallow, life’s luster was diminished.”

So the Gods set out to call Durga forth into existence. They all met in a circle and began to do their best practices. In the center of the circle, they all beamed their light, and in a whirling wind, Duga was born, and in her, she carried the best of all the Gods and Goddesses who evoked her. Right away the Gods and Goddesses rejoiced at Durga’s emergence and pleaded with her to get right to work and kill Mahisha. Durga calmly held up her hand and spoke, “I will take sacred pause.”

She then left them and headed to the base of a mountain, calling forth the woman of the land to join her. Here, she shows us that before any battle, we must first go within and make a sacred connection. The women spend time with one another, they do their practices, tell stories to each other, rest, meditate, and delight in their connections. Soon, the earth turns a little greener, and flowers begin to open again. The poets begin arriving and recite their poetry. The lovers steal away to make love. Eventually, she is in such a state of joy and bliss that more and more beings begin to join her in the sacred grove, and the earth starts to heal.

The demon Mahisha, feeling disturbed, seeks out the cause of this great change. His anger transforms him into a bull, and he runs toward Durga at full speed. He appears before Durga and is suddenly stricken with how beautiful she is. He declares that she will be his wife. To this she holds her hand up again and says, “I don’t think so. I was born to kill you.” (This is the original “Talk to the hand!”) Durga throws Mahisha to the ground, places the soft underside of her foot to his throat, and holds her trident high. He fully recognizes her grace and power in this moment and spontaneously calls to her, “Maaaaaaa.” Durga pierces his heart with her trident, and he dissolves into the earth. The darkness that settled over the earth is dispelled, and a lotus sprouts from this place.”

And this is one of the great secrets to Justice. We can not have it until we take a sacred pause. We cannot know Justice if there is chaos and darkness inside. If we have chaos within, there will be chaos without. When our lives are filled with darkness and destruction, we must call forth the aspects of ourselves that are in alignment with truth. We must call forth the strongest and best parts of ourselves and then take a sacred pause. We must, in the face of a great challenge, know how to take very good care of ourselves so we are balanced, clear, and powerful enough to slay the confusion, set the record straight, and restore balance.

We must also know our demons and how they spread out into the world. It is our job to transform them, not pass on our darkness. We do this by being very honest, and we do this by having good counselors and training. We also do this by examining carefully what thoughts we are having that are causing our world to be held hostage and in darkness by our unconscious behaviors and beliefs.

When I turned forty, I entered into an excelled period of growth. It began with a dream where my heart was lit on fire. As it burned, I felt myself restored to my original being, my original blueprint. When I woke, I had access to past lives that I had forgotten and was able to recognize the beloved in just about any ordinary person. This seemed like it would cause much joy, but in fact, it crushed me over and over again because no one remembered me. Imagine if everyone had amnesia but you. Imagine no one remembering you while at the same time you are remembering that you were their mother, they were your sister, you were the great love of their life, they were the child you lost. While I was in a deep-dive love affair with the world, the world was under a spell that caused them to forget me.

Our world often seems as if it is ruled by this forgetting and also by fear and separateness, but the truth is the universe is ruled by love. Remembering love at this level felt like a summons from a circle of God’s. In me, I felt a brilliant light burning inside me. Outside of me, in contrast, I felt the weight of darkness and the density of karma. Darkness is simply forgetting who we truly are. Like Durga arriving through a great light, I had been born into a certain level of consciousness, and then I had to withdraw, observe, and take care of myself while I balanced. In the end this great love was the upgrade I needed to be more of who I am in this world. And here is what Justice teaches us: we are all here to put our hand up to something. We are all here to be a force that kills off something for good. Justice takes its sword and draws the line. It cuts through the story and says, “You are the one, this is what you are born to do.”

Our job here may be to end incest in our family line, heal chronic addiction, or challenge misogyny. In time, we may have to pull away, declare our own laws, go forth, and build a new world where we are sovereign and safe. Once settled and strong, we can invite others to join us so they may heal as well. To do this, we must take responsibility for any thought or action we take that perpetuates the demons we have been handed. This is the job of Justice.

Justice can also feel like, “It’s not fair!” When I feel that icky “It is not fair,” or “This should not be,” or “How can this happen to me?” energy, I first allow a sacred pause. I withdraw and take a shower; I step outside barefoot. I take a bath with oils. I slip into a nap. I journal and write. I get quiet and ask all the little gods and goddesses in me, “Why have you summoned me? Why am I here? What is the first little thing I can do to help clean this up?” Then, I head out to restore the land. Flip the laundry, tend to the garden, pick up the milk and eggs, and swiftly declare with the voice of a great Goddess, “Not here, not now, not in my world.”

Last night, I had two bad dreams, one right after another. I am now experiencing a very strange phenomenon when I dream. I get to the part in the dream where I am most scared, and then I get impatient and aggravated. In the dream, I say, “You are not real. I do not choose this. I am leaving this dream now.” And I do. I seem to maintain in my dreams a part of me that is conscious. A part of me is an observer, not just dreaming. A part of me is the judge and jury and says, “No. Wake up, honey. This is not necessary to experience. This is an illusion.” In my dreams I am literally in my subconscious world holding my hand up and declaring, “Hold on a minute.”

I think we all know that this year is going to be a powerful year for change, and a lot is going to be stirred up. In the midst of this, there is a growing desire to really know the truth and not be fooled by demons. To get through this, I think we all are going to have to step back more than ever as the demons show up to confuse us, divide us, and try to put us back into a deep, powerless, lonely sleep. Most of all, though, to get through this, we are going to have to be brave enough to step forward as the raging bull charges, put our hand up, and say, “Ahh, yes.. I have come here for this. I know just what to do. This is why I was born. But first, I will take sacred pause.”

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