Some people have compared this week (the week of 11/9, November Ninth in American date notation) to the week of 9/11 (September 11th in the year 2001) when a terrorist attack involving airplanes brought the Twin Towers in NYC down. An iconic image of horror and willful destruction  imprinted on the retina of anyone alive at that time. In UK date notation we swap the numbers around (September 11th is written as 11/9 over here) but the numbers stay the same.

Last night I taught a tele-class (on-line seminar) for my group of sacred art students in the USA , where two Sami Deities came forward to teach us about the cosmic dance of sacred feminine and masculine. Their names are Juksahkka (or Bow Woman) and Leibolmmai, (Alder Man). We also touched upon Blood Mysteries and the Great Mysteries of the Hunt. You can safely say we covered some ground in this one hour seminar!

While drumming for the participants  I was shown how hunters pull the intestines out of the carcass of any animals they kill and disembowel them. Next I was shown my own intestines and how serious composting is always in process. (From food to excrement!)

Then my spirit allies showed me how The Death Feeds Life Principle allows us to be eaten by something larger and more powerful than ourselves and how both parties evolve in this process. It is gory, harsh, literally bloody and painful. But the death of ego and body both serve a larger process of evolving and returning to unity.

Next I was shown the autumn leaves composting in my dearly beloved Forest and told how there is not much of a difference between that and what is happening right now (and always! For as long as I am alive!) inside my own body.

After the seminar I said to my colleague, friend and sponsor for this sacred art program, Susan Rossi:  I am left with an image of all of us buying our meet cellophane-wrapped in the supermarket. Those same supermarkets now often stock “airport-style “beach reads” as well. Thrillers and books about gory crimes and detectives (e.g. think of the Kay Scarpetta novels by Patricia Cornwell) are best-sellers in our world. People will pick up a piece of meat covered in clingfilm (without any thought for how it got to the shelf, without any respect for the animal that gave up its life to feed us) and add a crime thriller to the same shopping basket. – Have a relaxing weekend!!

In sanitizing death (both the death of the animals we eat and the deaths of loved ones, any deaths in our society where  bodies are washed and laid out (and “processed” by professional rather than the healing hands of loved ones) we cut ourselves off from both Blood Mysteries and the Sacred Mystery of the Hunt.

I am a vegetarian. Not because I think it is morally wrong to eat meat. To me eating plants feels equally “wrong” because I perceive those as vibrant living beings too. Yet…. I need to eat. . We all need to eat!

As Susan reminded me earlier this week:  “all of creation can be summed up in the conjugation of the verb “to eat” :

‘Life force is fed through the giving of life energy of another”

This is the great ontological pain we all face. This is the price of staying alive if we are willing to not numb ourselves and actually feel it. So I am a vegetarian because eating meat feels like “eating death” to me. It doesn’t taste good at all.  I felt this already as a child and remember vomiting after my parents forced me to eat pork. This is just my body taking a stand without my mind being involved. I actually believe that eating responsibly sourced (and farmed) meat is fine.

I kid myself if I believe I can stay alive without other living beings giving up their life for me!!!

From this follows my moral duty to die when my time comes so I myself become food for other organisms and I make space for another person to experience Life on Earth. I just hope that it won’t happen before my three sons are much older, but I am at peace with this prospect. It books-ends my life, gives it intensity and meaning.

Tribal cultures still initiate boys (something we fail to do in our culture and shoulder the consequences of in manifold ways). Those initiations often involve hunting (a boy may starve for days before he catches and prepares an animal over a fire) or warfare: boys are introduced to the sacred wisdom and code of ethics of warriors.  We do not do this. We send our teenage boys to the supermarket with some cash to buy meat (if that, more likely we simply provide and cook it for them).

The greater Life Cycle Of All Living Things sustains a power cut there. Just like a power cut on our electricity board trips the whole system – a similar thing happens in our culture. Animals continue to die in large numbers without their sacrifice being honoured (this would greatly worry and upset tribal hunters!!) And children learn the habit of numbing themselves to pain and death,  nicely and early.

The fact that the Hunt is a Mystery School with powerful teachings, escapes most of us completely.

In the same seminar last we also got talking (a little) about the Epic of Gilgamesh, where young king Gilgamesh and Wild Man Enkidu set out to slay the great “Monster” that lives in the dark heart of the Cedar Forest.  Gilgamesh and Wild Man Enkidu experience a profound friendship, a deep and intense love for each other that seems to surpass what they feel for anyone else. After Enkidu dies – and the grief nearly kills Gilgamesh – it transforms Gilgamesh from an arrogant young king into a compassionate and wise one. This is the story behind the painting I chose for Project Dire Beauty (posting daily uplifting images on Facebook)  today. The title of this painting is: The Face Of Humbaba.

The question it asks is: can we get over our fear of “the monster” and surrender to collective initiation? Can we allow ourselves to be “eaten” in order to feed something greater than ourselves??

Someone became President Elect of the U.S. this week. Never before have I heard so many accusations of a candidate being a “monster” and “sexual predator”.

If you want my take on this: Trump is the shadow manifestation of the Hunter. Rather than the Hunter setting out to support his family and Tribe in an honorable adult way, honoring the lives of the animals he must kill to survive, he appears to prey on women. Beautiful young women, from the little I have sen of it  in the media  (I do not watch TV).

So this is the Hunter archetype gone crazy. Not only that, it is also a complete shadow manifestation of distorted blueprints our society operates when it comes to the relationships between men and women, the cosmic balance between sacred feminine and masculine (this was the title of  last night’s class).

He is also the Old Man who is NOT a True Elder of the Community – another teaching that could just be life-changing if we wake up to it. (See yesterday’s blog: BREXIT – TRUMP – MEET THE INNER POLITICIAN!)

I will play Devil’s Advocate today and say that  maybe we have collectively attracted and created the Perfect Teacher for the Collective Initiation we currently experience. Trump may not realise it… but there is a paradigm shift on!! And I trust that on a greater cosmic level he will play his role (as villain in the drama) perfectly.

My question today is: why are we so afraid of the great mysterious “Monster” that lives in the deep dark heart of the Cedar Forest, represented by Humbaba. When Humbaba dies he (though I experience his energy as a She) speaks moving words, begging for mercy. Humbaba was appointed by the god Enlil to be the sacred Guardian of the Cedar Forest and Humbaba performs that task to his/her best understanding of this role.

Again think of Trump for a moment: in the Karmic Theatre some people volunteer to take on the task of being a Monster in the eyes of others. Because someone needs to do this…

Why are heroes always slaying dragons?  Why did Gilgamesh and Enkidu slay Humbaba  rather than to embrace the Monster as a Teacher?

Gilgamesh and Wild Man Enkidu experience a profound friendship, a deep and intense love for each other that seems to surpass what they feel for anyone else.
After Enkidu dies – and the grief nearly kills Gilgamesh – it transforms Gilgamesh from an arrogant young king into a compassionate and wise one.

I am asking a lot of questions today. The most important ones are:

Can we get over our fear of “The Monster” and surrender to collective initiation? Can we allow ourselves to be “eaten” in order to feed something greater than ourselves?

Are we wiling to engage with the blood and gore and horror (and DIRE BEAUTY – this is Susan Rossi again quoting astrologer Caroline Casey) of The Hunt, of Death Rites, of Blood Mysteries.

Maybe if we learn to initiate our young people again (and offer appropriate initiations and ceremonies opening  and closing other significant times in a human life)  we will not need to elect a Crazy Hunter or Out-of-Control Warrior for U.S. president?

And maybe if we engage with the challenge of dancing with healthy expressions of the relationship between men and women, but also the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves, we will be ready for a truly gifted and empowered Woman President of the U.S. in the future?

These are some thoughts I have today….

And here is the link for our 2 year sacred art program in the USA

Imelda Almqvist

Imelda Almqvist’s book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books on 26th August 2016. She is based in London,UK and teaches shamanism and sacred art internationally.