Confronting the Warrior Spirit

In these ever challenging days, are we able to embrace our Warrior Spirit?

Are we brave enough to enter the darkness, and emerge stronger than our fears? In silence, I contemplate the words Shaman, healer, and warrior. Of these words, warrior in particular gives me pause, as I’ve become estranged to its energy. It was only a few years ago, that I intuitively chose these three words to represent my craft and in essence, myself. Now, I find that I’m questioning who I am and the very nature of my path.

Recently, it’s the darker aspects of the Warrior that has intruded my awareness, as it demands deeper introspection. The attributes, energy, and nature of the Warrior I must further explore. Coming from that critical place of self judgment, it has become apparent that I’m not owning my warrior spirit. Ironically, there was a long period of my adult life in which I served as a professional firefighter.  A profession which by necessity demands it’s members to embody the archetypal energy and spirit of a warrior. However, even in my former role, there were times in my personal life which I felt disconnected from this energy. Perhaps, I’ve never truly owned my inner warrior spirit?

It has occurred to me that, I had come to view the warrior as being incompatible with a spiritually based life. I perceived the role of the warrior in terms of darkness, aggression, and violence. My view of this energy narrowed until it felt dark, primitive, and unwelcomed. I grew to fear it’s nature and relegated the warrior spirit to the realm of shadow.  I had so distanced myself from its attributes, that it became a foreign, external force, seemingly separate from my being. In essence, the energy of the archetypal warrior spirit felt out of touch with the mantra of light and love.

I had come to deny my inner warrior spirit partly due to life’s circumstances, and also because of my perception of what it means to follow a spiritual path.  In my journey, I had come to disown and disavow this necessary archetypal energy. In doing so, I experienced myself falling into bouts of depression, growing increasingly withdrawn from the world. A pervasive sense of helplessness enveloped my being.  As my power waned, a void developed which slowly became filled with a sense of fatalism.

Despite this distancing, I didn’t fully abandon my primal nature. I continued to indulge in watching action adventure movies, mixed martial arts fighting and other sources of violent entertainment.  As a spectator, I felt alive as adrenalin coursed through my body, the pulse quickens, anger, and aggression stirred within. Then my spiritual conscience would rise to reign me in, shaming myself from these primordial desires. The violent traits seem so out of alignment for those of us who are following an enlightened path.  Yet, I remain enamored with Superheroes and their universal archetypal energy; it called to me on a soul level.

wonder-woman

After all, the superhero in essence is a warrior, but one with a very specific code of conduct. The warrior superhero stands for justice, fights against evil and protects the vulnerable. In denying myself of this archetypal energy, it has become apparent that I have tied my own hands. In a condition of internal conflict,  feelings of powerlessness and frustration have overcome me.

Many of my deepest desires involve creating positive change, and righting injustices within our world. These desires have come to feel more unattainable to me. How can one defeat the destructive forces of injustice without the warrior?

Surely those who wield the sword of injustice and destruction are without such internal conflict? The perpetrators that are wreaking havoc upon our planet and all life do so with the appearance of being without conscience. They show up in our world much like the super villains of movies and seem equally gleeful while conducting their affairs.

We all stand witness to a world filled with atrocities, pain, and injustice. A dark time in which negative forces are destroying our planet and all life upon it. There are individuals who have aligned themselves with these negative energies and have become the instruments through which injustice is being delivered. Religion, capitalism, tyranny, fascism, imperialism are but a few of the negative subversive elements that are destroying humanity, and ultimately our planet.

My shamanic studies share, that if we don’t like something, it’s up to us to change it, and if we can’t then we must change our perspective. In essence, try to look at the issue in another way, so that we may find a path to acceptance. This bit of spiritual wisdom is universally shared within many cultures and belief systems. Some of my personal healing work has also involved attempting to shed my attachment to justice, in the hope of lessening my own suffering.

Another teaching is that every one of us, in essence, are Shaman. What do I mean by this? In the most basic definition, a Shaman is one who dreams the world into being. Every one of us dreams, and therefore we all have access to the realm of imagination and creativity. This dream realm is the source from which all possibilities originate from.

We have not been taught to discern from what we imagine, before pulling creation through that thin veil that separates it from our physical world. Once something is brought back from this realm of possibilities, it becomes either a gift or a curse for all of our world. You see this realm contains everything, not just the good, but also the bad and the ugly all reside here. This is why we must consciously discern before ultimately bringing forth any aspect of creation.

Further teachings reveal that we’re all Sorcerers to varying degrees, capable of manifesting anything from the realm of imagination through our intentions. As a Shaman of light energy, I’ve chosen a peaceful path which is intent on not causing harm to others. I practice an eclectic and somewhat gentler version of traditional shamanism.  A version which is concerned with karma and believes in the necessity to always work from heart space. I remain conscious of my intentions, and desires, striving not to interfere with the free will of others.

I do fear the darkness that lies within the warrior, for what if I were to fully embrace all aspects of its energy? Would I be able to control that power, or would it overwhelm me?  Would it transform me into those negative aspects that I fear, and wish to change in our world? The dark knight, the fictional hero Batman comes to mind. He represents a conflicted soul battling his own inner demons. He has a profound sense of justice, maintaining his integrity, as a champion of the oppressed and exploited.  The Dark Knight owns his power and rage, dancing on the fringe of society, battling the evil that reigns over our world. He is tempted at times to resort to the tactics of his enemies but ultimately manages to stop short of becoming that which he detests.

I’m searching for answers, and admit that I don’t have them, nor do I know exactly how to proceed.  In this spiritual journey, I’m on along with you, my fellow Light workers., I can’t help but question if love alone can win the day? Is turning the other cheek and being passive the best course of action or even effective? I’m doubtful that we can simply “hug it out” with those who live by a different set of guiding principals. I don’t know if our revolution can be accomplished solely through non-violence and peaceful protests. I look to our present day struggles such as with the Water Protectors, the Standing Rock Sioux, and their supporters. They’re doing their best to follow the path of non-violence against a corrupt government and a brutal militarized police force.

I feel the world needs us to be heroes, who by definition embody the warrior spirit. We have examples of peaceful warriors, such as with the Water protectors. However, at some point I wonder if they will be forced to choose a different path?  The global fight requires us to follow the principals of light, but also requires that we own the power of darkness. To fight for justice in an unjust world, we must be able to embrace all of our emotions. We must harness our anger, our outrage to inspire action and stand in opposition to injustice.

In these ever-challenging times, I’ve decided to enter into the shadows where the warrior has been relegated. I hope to emerge from the darkness stronger than my fears. My personal intention is to form an alliance with this archetypal force, to retrieve and embody the warrior spirit.  I wish to honor and embrace my anger, rather than continue denying my humanity. I’m ready to nurture my emotions, and allow myself time to simply be in the darkness. Once I have listened intently to my shadow, I will build a fire to cast off my fears and ignite my passions. The outward flames will rise, and I will tend the flames in a manner keeping with the Great Mystery, and my higher self.  I now chose to embrace the Warrior Archetype, the Hero, fueled by the element of fire.  Destruction and creation are perhaps symbiotic, as these forces must maintain balance for either to exist. The Warrior Hero must walk the narrow path as transformer, protector and Creator.

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