This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to Challis, Idaho for a retreat in connection with the Great American Eclipse of 2017.
Prior to traveling, I began to feel inwardly that this trip was going to be significant for me, and that Freedom was likely a theme.
The night before the eclipse, I was given the gift of reliving a special event that has been in my memory for 30 years as a significant experience of Freedom in my life, though with a few regrets.
Exactly 30 years ago this past summer, when I was 16 years old, I traveled to Challis, Idaho with my family. My aunt lived there at the time with her third husband Jerry. Jerry worked as a cowboy, and while I remember very little about that trip to Challis, I do remember conversations with Jerry and learning some special leather braiding techniques he taught me. I’ve always loved horses, and associated them with Freedom, in that I always felt that way when with them. I shared with Jerry my love for horses, and that while I never had horses, I was fortunate enough to learn to ride at a girlfriend’s house a few times.
One day while I was there in Challis, Jerry called me outside, handed me the reins to a horse and said, “Here you go. Take her for a ride.” I hopped on, and headed on the trail up into the hills by myself.
Never in my life had I experienced such exhilaration, or such Freedom, particularly when I was able to canter, or “lope” as I learned it is also called by the cowboys, on the horse.
Since that time 30 years ago, I’d only ridden on guided trail rides with my children, and had always longed to experience the Freedom with a horse that I had when I was 16.
In finalizing my plans for the retreat with Lisa, the director of the retreat center, she said to me, “You’ve probably never been to Challis before, have you?” I replied and shared with her how one of my fondest memories was of Challis. Before I knew it, I found myself asking, “I don’t suppose you know anyone who has a horse that might let me take it for a ride into the mountains?” Her reply was, “We have a ranch here about 10 minutes away. Let me ask Jerry.” What!!??!! I could not get over the synchronicity…30 years later, the same remote town, a horse ride, and the same name of the person who could make it happen!
Jerry and Lisa connected me with Joe and Carrie, two beautiful human beings who so generously shared their horse, Black Velvet, with me, and allowed me to take her into the hills of Challis. I mentioned that my 16 year old memory, while filled with an awesome sense of Freedom, was also accompanied by some regret.
You see, I went on that ride 30 years ago, and felt that Freedom, but within about 10 minutes, my mind started to take over.
I began wondering all of the “what ifs.” What if I get lost? What if the horse bucks me off? What if we meet a rattle snake? What if …what if…what if? So many doubts and fears came up. My teenaged being succumbed to them, and I turned around and returned to the ranch within less than 45 minutes. Jerry said to me, “I thought you’d be out there for a couple of hours at least.” I felt like such a failure, and always wished I could have had the full experience I was gifted with.
This time, while I wasn’t completely alone as I was the first time, Joe and Carrie gave me such a beautiful experience of Freedom and trust. They followed my lead, allowing me to do whatever I was comfortable with, and I was determined to sink into the gift of the moment, trusting myself, trusting the horse, and trusting in the purity of the Spiritual Love and Wisdom I’ve been given over these 30 years to move beyond my fears and self-doubt. My ride was beautiful, traveling through rolling hills, past coyote dens, rounding up cattle, and, as Black Velvet loped through the fields with me on her back, experiencing the joy of a 16 year old with the awareness and centeredness of the woman I’ve become.
I came to more fully understand my experience with the horse, and what it meant to me and my work in the world, as I went to the base of Mt. Borah Monday morning to view the eclipse. In the retreat, we offered prayers and movement meditation in honor of the eclipse. Between prayers, we would pause, put on our glasses, and check in on the progression of the eclipse. As the light gradually changed approaching the full eclipse, the shadows on the ground seemed so crisp. I thought about the importance of embracing our shadows, and those of others, and how beautiful each shadow was as a part of each of us. As I looked at the group of participants, I was in awe of the beauty of everyone, and felt an overwhelming sense of love and honoring of each person there.
I was also amazed at how even the tiniest sliver of the sun remaining visible generated so much light upon the Earth, just as the tiniest spark of the Divine within each of us shines in the depths of our Soul, supporting us to connect with Spirit, never to be overcome by shadows or darkness if we’re willing to connect to it.
Just before the fullness of the eclipse, we completed the prayers with the words, “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness overcomes it not.” Then we all took a seat on the ground with our glasses and gazed in awe as we witnessed over two minutes of total solar eclipse.
Even as I write about this weeks later, I feel my breath taken away by the experience. In that moment as the Moon and Sun completely embraced, I felt the most powerful experience of Sacred Union. I had the distinct feeling that “He has Her back,” as I witnessed the Sun shining His rays of Spiritual Light like a crown of starlight around the Moon and Her Soulful form. As the Moon began to move away from the Sun, a bright, diamond-like cross of light shone at the edge of the ring of light.
This was the feeling I felt deep inside of me, and it was very much like that feeling of Freedom I felt running across the Earth on horseback. This moment was a union of Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine, a union of Spirit and Soul. This union offers all of us the potential for rebirth, and it’s time for us to step into that potential as Human Beings.
My work as a Spiritual Life Coach has been telling me that I am a “midwife of rebirth,” and that my purpose is to support others in experiencing a limitlessness in Freedom.
I didn’t fully understand that until the eclipse moment. Nor did I fully understand the true meaning of the Freedom I felt riding Black Velvet until that moment.
Over the years, in researching and contemplating Freedom, the virtue of Leo (my birth constellation and the constellation in which the eclipse occurred, as well as the constellation we are currently in according to the sidereal zodiac), I came to a powerful cognitive understanding of what Freedom is. Many years ago, in viewing the dictionary for a definition of Freedom, I resonated with Freedom as the “absence of necessity, coercion or constraint in choice or action,” and as a “quality or state of being released.” In my life up to that point, I’d only experienced brief moments of feeling no constraint, and perhaps never felt a state of being fully released.
I spent years feeling constrained by my own self-impositions of what was “necessary,” or what I thought others wanted of me.
I was constrained by my fears, and doubts in myself. I naively allowed myself to be coerced into believing things that kept me small and enslaved.
In deeper research, I also learned that the etymology of the word Freedom gives it such a beautiful meaning. The second part of the word, “dom,” means “judgment, statute or law.” The first part of the word, “free,” comes from the Old English freogan (v), which means “to love, think of lovingly, to honor” and the Old English freo (adj), which means “noble, worthy of honor and respect.” Thus, the origin of the word Freedom is “The Law of Love.”
The Sacred Union I witnessed, and felt within, at the total solar eclipse was the ultimate expression of Freedom.
I realized in that moment that it is not until we can completely integrate our shadow nature into our light nature, and fully embrace it unconditionally, that we can truly experience Freedom. Until we’re able to bring together in Sacred Union the above and the below, Spirit and Soul, Light and dark, Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine, we’ll never be able to experience true Freedom and live by the Law of Love.
Pythagoras said, “No one is free who has not obtained the empire of himself.” The Empire of the Self includes all aspects of the Self. It does not pick and choose what is comfortable or convenient.
To obtain this Empire of the Self, to obtain Freedom, we must learn to love our selves with deep compassion and self-affirmation, and from there, in Freedom, we can equally love our brothers and sisters according to the Law of Love, with compassion and affirmation for who they are as well.
I believe it is no mistake that the eclipse occurred in the constellation of Leo, whose message is that compassion becomes Freedom. (If you haven’t already downloaded my Balance and Empowerment cards, which share the messages of each constellation, be sure to do so here: http://bit.ly/BalanceandEmpowerement. They’re completely free!)
Upon returning from Idaho, one week later, I celebrated my 47th birthday. My birthdays in the past, as a single mother, have often felt non-eventful, and even lonely at times. I’ve learned to gratefully celebrate my life and those who’ve so generously loved and supported me over the years. This year, my birthday felt like the most magical day of my life; a rebirth indeed. I believe this was true because this year, I’m finally experiencing the full “release” and true Freedom that comes from no longer imposing self-limiting doubts and beliefs on myself. I believe in the work I’m doing, and my ability to share it in the world. I believe in my worthiness and that I’m fully deserving of love. As a result, this was reflected back to me on my birthday.
What made my day so special was my sons. This year, I asked them to go for a hike with me, and we spent the day in the mountains with Mother Nature, enjoying the magic of the streams, a beautiful mountain lake, and the many treasures we encountered along our 7 mile journey, having a lovely time. That would have been a perfect gift, but we returned home and the boys each gave me gifts they had worked so hard and lovingly on. First I opened a gift from my younger son, who is 11. He had drawn for me a gorgeous picture of a Native American Indian Chief, and written a verse on the page that said:
“I am the day and the night.
I am the above and the below.
I am the beginning and the end.
And I do not know what will come and what will go.
But I can tell you this,
There is no future and there is no past…
We live in the present.”
I felt like I had received a message from the Great Creator Spirit!
Then, as if that wasn’t already such a perfect symbol of my eclipse experience of the Eternal Presence of the Sun, my older son presented me with a stunning dark wood carving of the Great Mother holding a candle out as if to say, “Never forget your light.”
A perfect reminder and symbol of my Soul striving and remembering.
Between my experience of the eclipse, the symbols I received upon returning home, and a dream I had earlier in the year in connection with Sacred Union (a story for another time), I feel so deeply grateful for life, and the ways in which the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine weave within it, guiding us to the fullness of who we came here to be.
This year has been a deep validation for me and my work as a Midwife of Rebirth, and I feel more committed than ever to finding more ways to support people on the Spiritual journey of rebirthing.
We’ve seen massive devastation and pain so quickly on the Earth since the eclipse. Our Mother is trying to remind us to pay attention to and remember who we are, to connect to what matters most in our lives, and to re-envision a new future, so that we can rebirth ourselves out of the Sacred Union of Love and Wisdom, and meet our destiny.
My birthday wish is that you be blessed with the experience of true Freedom, embracing the fullness of who you are with the knowing that you are so worthy of all the Love and Wisdom life has to offer.
Kim Marie brings practicality to spirituality as a Spiritual Life Coach committed to midwifing her clients through the transformative and often challenging process of rebirthing themselves into their full potential. Her programs and courses, including “Mother’s Medicine,” support a return to the wisdom of the Divine Feminine, and nurture the Soul’s journey of remembering, reconnecting, re-envisioning and rebirthing for the sake of a new future. If you’re ready to rebirth yourself, schedule your free “Rebirthing Strategy Session” here.