Experiencing Mother Nature in Uluru and the Red Center.
The end of this year, 2020, requires more reflection on endings and beginnings than any other year.
As I was pondering the strange ways of the year and how it exposed (yes, exposed) the artificiality of our lives and the structures around which we built our lives, a trip from a few years ago came to my mind.
Few years ago, after about 14 years of living in Australia, I undertook a long-dreamed-of trip to Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Central Australia. The trip was only meant to soothe the adventurous stirrings in my soul, away from the boredom of academic life and lecturing, but instead it gave me great insight into the discussion on the Mother Goddess, Mother Earth, and the Goddess concept in general.
First of all, let me begin with a description of how it feels to be in the presence of Mother Nature as She is represented by Uluru. Uluru and neighboring Kata Tjuta (also known as the Olgas) feature in the Red Centre of Australia and, as far as we know, are about 550 million years old, so we should show some respect, right?
I can tell you from the experience that you feel a certain gravitas and seriousness in the place, and if you go there because you want to acquaint yourself with Mother Nature, I can tell you right now it is nothing like that New Age nonsense from the film The Last Avatar about Mount Shasta. This Mother means business — the business of life and death.
I must add that the sound of the Aboriginal didgeridoo best expresses the feeling of the place. This area is not the all-loving mother we might imagine; here is a power to respect, love and, at times, even fear.
It is probably no coincidence that just before I went to the Red Centre, I found an article on the Earth’s ley lines. Ley lines, in case you have not heard of them, are subtle energetic centers that criss-cross the Earth. All of them have a certain charge, a current, which is different in magnitude; they are, as someone called them, the ‘energetic signatures’ of Earth.
As mentioned in articles from the Journal of Anomalous Sciences and then repeated in numerous blogs, the lines, metaphorically speaking, are the Earth’s chakras, where often major spiritual centers have been built throughout the centuries or even millennia of human history. Unsurprisingly, many spiritual shrines are on the exact point of certain ley lines.
Uluru and Kata Tjuta are considered the third Earth chakra, or its solar plexus; how appropriate, as the giant red rock looks like a huge navel and could not have been named better. As you drive or, even better, walk towards the rock, you can feel the pull right from your belly towards its magnetic center.
You walk towards it, whether you want to or not, and if you are a little bit open and sensitive, you know it wants you to walk towards itself. This Mother is calling a vagrant child; you know Mother wants to see you and you better obey. This is a place of immense spiritual power.
This is one of those moments in your life when you are filled with awe. Not at the beauty of nature (a completely different feeling) but at the power of the energy around and the gravity of it. A power that you suddenly remember (it is so easy to forget in the modern arrogance of the cities) can destroy you and remake you in a split second.
The power is temporarily dormant, but when it wakes up, you pray with all your might that it likes you. This is a healthy fear of something much bigger and more powerful than yourself.
The place is completely different from Jerusalem, for example, the site of another powerful intersection of ley lines, and which is, by the way, considered (along with the Pyramids of Giza) the Earth’s throat chakra. In Jerusalem, you are not in awe, but you run around amok, like a lover possessed by demons who can’t help but scream to the world about your obsessive love for a deity that cannot be faithful.
Jerusalem is a holy madness type of center, but Uluru makes you feel your being, both the grandness and ridiculousness of it.
Ayer’s Rock makes you remember what Andrew Harvey once so brilliantly said, that the eastern religions came to be because of human beings’ need to transcend Nature and its merciless rules of life and death. That is why we need Brahman, why we need Shiva or Kali – to escape the relentless cycle of death and rebirth. At some point a yogi stood up from meditating and said, “Enough!”
But as Harvey says, we now may have aspired too much in attempting to transcend Nature. I would add that we are so lost in our cities and new technologies that we believe we are robots. And here is what Uluru and Kata Tjuta do — they bring balance.
Curiously, Uluru is where Aboriginal men’s business is done, while across the road Kata Tjuta is a place for women’s business. Balance.
I was, and still am, desperately out of balance, debilitated by the jobs I do to earn a living, and as I was leaving the Red Centre I fell sick for a few weeks. No doctor knew what ailed me. But I did.
The solar plexus chakra deals with action and busyness. The mad accumulation of our modern lives. I came back to Melbourne with 1000 things on my agenda and discovered that I could not do a thing. I had to stand up for myself at my workplace and ask for temporary relief from some of my duties, and I got it. I lay in bed sick, and it took weeks before I fully recovered.
I was in bed long enough to remember that when I started my spiritual journey over 20 years ago and was travelling around Asia meeting gurus, I regularly fell ill. I was told at the time it was due to a cleansing of the system of impurities in the presence of a guru.
Then when I met a teacher, with whom I spent 15 years (12 years in person) and with whom I occasionally stayed in his ashram, I often became sick too. And it was the same inexplicable, violent sicknesses, before a new phase of my life was meant to start. This also happened in Jerusalem. Nobody says that walking the spiritual path is a bed of roses.
J.A. Kent, in her book The Goddess and the Shaman, says this is a normal way of the Goddess. The Mother creates and destroys. If She appears merciless, it is because we forget that She re-creates after She destroys. Like Kali and Durga, She destroys what does not serve us anymore, even if we, on our human level, desperately cling to these things.
We cling to them because we do not know any better, unless we trust the process.
That is why the Celtic idea of Elphame is so interesting. As Kent says, this is the bridge between the worlds. The bridge between what we consider the physical, and the Spirit or the immaterial. In fact, the Spirit (a human invention to escape the wheel of life and death) and Nature (what we perceive as the physical) are one, and are interconnected but limited by our senses.
We are able to glimpse this interconnection only in ecstatic spiritual states or shamanic rituals. Kent calls Elphame the ‘foundational subtle reality’ from which everything springs. Carl Jung, in his Seven Sermons, preferred the Gnostic term for this, Pleroma — the cosmic soup from which everything emerges and which even modern physicists are trying to come to grips with.
It is time we acknowledge that we, the Earth and the Spirit, are one in the cosmic soup.
So, as I was standing in the desert, in the 40-degree Centigrade heat, noting the sky above me was bluer than you can imagine, and that the Red Centre had summoned me, I pondered the concept of God as Love, and the answer I got was, “You do it.” If you want the Universe as Love, if you want the God(dess) as Love, you do it.
You are the next step. Not only in your own life, but also in the fate of the Universe. As Carl Jung said, even gods and demons have to bow to human beings, because it is not up to them, it is up to us where we all collectively go from here.
The fate of the Universe, literally, depends on our choices. Angels and demons are only supporting characters. We are the main players who decide whether we get to the omega point where all consciousness meets.
Take the right step.
Dr. Joanna Kujawa is the author of ‘Journaling to Manifest the Lost Goddess in Your Life’ and ‘Jerusalem Diary: Searching for the Tomb and House of Jesus’, and many short stories, essays and academic pieces. She sees herself as a Spiritual Detective who asks difficult questions about spirituality, such as ‘Can spirituality and sexuality be experienced as one?’, ‘Who was the real Mary Magdalene?’, ‘How can we include eco-spirituality in our belief systems?’ and ‘How can we bring back the Divine Feminine to create a more balanced and interconnected world?’ Her goal is to create and participate in the shift in consciousness about spirituality, our connection to nature, and our place in the Universe. She has PhD from Monash University, and MA and BA from the University of Toronto. She is immoderately passionate about her Goddess News blog. You could connect with her via her website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.