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The heART of Ritual


On Dissolution

In times of liminality and transition, grief begins to emerge from the shadowlands. But to even begin to touch it can break us open and shatter.

While we might learn about 'stages' of grief, it is an individual journey and will never fit into the dictates of the psychiatric community, insurance panels, or a world that has marginalized the wisdom (and gift) in the core of mourning. To pathologize the experience of grief is a work against nature.

The grief process may not have an endpoint or state of resolution, where we 'finish' and land in some untouchable place. The heart is endless, and grief may be a companion for the duration of a life ~ not so much a process as a non-linear, unfolding partner. It moves not by way of straight line, but by that of circle and spiral. Even if we no longer grieve the sense of personal loss, we may be asked to grieve for the ancestors, the ones who have yet to come, and the earth and her fertility. As it humbles and purifies, it opens a portal into the mystery.

Things tend to not turn out the way we thought they would, for they are too creative, alive, and majestic. This is not evidence of mistake or that we’ve failed, but of the outrageous nature of form, and how each of the configurations of love ache for reorganization.

At times, to fall to the ground, to stand back up again, to fail well, to be lost, and to be found. To grieve the crumbling and reassembling, the death of a dream that has finished its time here. To provide sanctuary and safe passage for these forms to continue their journey into the other world.

The sorrow of knowing that all form must reorganize, for it is its nature to do so: The people in our lives, who we have come to imagine we are, what has previously provided meaning…with even our greatest revelations ground into dust and sent back into the stars from whence they came.

To turn toward the broken and grieve consciously, to honor the uncertainty, collecting the shards and the ashes and shepherding them into higher forms. To dare to see the dissolution not as error but as holy, painfully and preciously whole, and to stand in awe as the pieces reassemble.' ~ words by Matt Licata.


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