The Descent Into the Underworld.
Oh, how they howl.
Oh, how they crawl.
Oh, how they settle into their unique creaturely brine in this strange place, the Underworld.
The descent into the Underworld comes through a series of departures. Eventually you will have to meet the opening these departures provide you. You will break away from the familiar because the call of the dirt road becomes too audacious to bear.
The outcasts know the descent into the Underworld well, so does the beggar, the poet, the weirdo, the witches. They are forced to flourish in the passages that the normal find forbidden.
The raven doors and the forest of smoke open themselves up to you not because you are weak. The Underworld opens for you because you are strong.
In this space, this holy river of blackness, you learn the crooked dreams that the others cast out. You learn the answers to your most pressing questions. Do not fear the doorway to the Underworld, the tiny series of departures that meet you each and every day, or the howling entry that comes for you swiftly on a long winter’s night as you tuck yourself in, thinking all is well.
Celebrate the Underworld. Celebrate the dance of being human, but also being a creaturely mystic with the capacity to dissolve in and through time and worlds.
You know, dear, the human world we live in has been carved up through contorted stories, the Underworld promises no stories — do not even look to mythology for your descent, you cannot give a grand gesture of language to the cauldron of the unknown.
You can only know this place through deep treacherous intimacy.
Why do you run from the heist of your life?
Take pen in hand, fall away from the world, and wander into the forest. Let the world cultivate its own sense of language through the sensuous sounds of the crows, the critters, worms and coyotes. Live not in this world for too long, but be sure to linger here long enough to collect the body of work that called you in. Notice where you lose yourself, notice where you become hyper-focused.
There is much to explore in these crooked cracks that depart the still and stable world.
Live in such a way that you do not need to craft yourself either a destination or a roadmap, let life happen through you in the space of the moment. Let yourself stray from all that you know, let yourself be amongst those who walk the dirt road, the animal tracks, with no highway in sight.
Here you meet yourself, de-forming the images that you were told, the dreams you were sold, the shape that you molded yourself into.
You are much larger than you give yourself permission to see. See the sentience in all things, the messages of the moment that mirror your inner being, the prison and the odd-shaped power that keeps coming back for you.
But alas! For most, the descent is rarely answered, because the world keeps it at bay. The cries of the soul, they are muffled by the machines that march the people on. Onward, and upward! The marriage of mortality is difficulty and production.
But the soul knows. It always knows. The soul sings subconscious signs, fertile for our wholeness and happiness. Ceremonies and rituals come hidden and uncharted within the taboo worlds and beyond the borders of order. Wisdom roams the edges, it is not accounted for in our soul-deprived clean-and-consuming society.
So I ask you, what do you really long for? What does your body truly tremble with?
Would you, could you, will you swim with the songs in your body that feel like they will pull you under?
Are you ready to make defeat your sanctuary? To curate kinship in nature’s darkest hours? To come home to the abandoned and roaring fears of your mortality?
Descent into the Underworld, and your soul, opens not just you, but our entire world. The path is long, it lingers within us all, the cry is often heard but seldom met.
Do you hear the call? Those beating drums and holy jolts that belong to you and you alone?
The Underworld awaits.
Sarah Marie Liddle is a Certified Professional Coach and Archetypal Consultant. Sarah has been a coach for the past 15 years. She is based in Braidwood, Australia. Sarah coaches on a number of topics: archetypes, relationships, pleasure, wellness, trauma, sabotage, expression, co-dependency, love, grief, life, and how we live it. Visit her website for more information.