By Susan Sherman
It is mid-summer in northern Michigan where the population in the cities and towns are smaller, and the stars have the opportunity to shine brightly. Nearby is one of several designated International Dark Sky Park areas which possess “an exceptional or distinguished quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment.”
Recently, in the depths of a moonless night, I opened the door wide for a peek outside. A gasp breathed through me. The Milky Way —shimmering and stunningly alive in its living energy — offered an invitation into the richness and graceful beauty of the night sky. A sparkling cloak of stars wafted through the heavens. Simultaneously, I found myself entering deeper into the core of my own living essence. And in that moment, I felt at once both connected with the generative life of the stars in the night sky and with that similarly resonant pulsing star essence within myself. I was awestruck, or perhaps I was star-struck!
As morning came around, I contemplated the presence of stars in the daylight hours, and was reminded of a tagline I had recently read – something to the effect that there has been a source of unprecedented energy discovered in the Milky Way Galaxy. And again, a wave of awe flowed through me. Are we not also a source of unprecedented and untapped energies? In what ways might we experience ourselves more fully as “generative sources”? As sources of love, of blessing, of kindness, of integrity, of respectfulness and caring, of compassion, of sacredness? What untapped potentials lie within the inherent essence of our being human? What radiance within ourselves resonates as the radiance of the stars? And though the stars cannot be seen with the human eye in the light of day, they continually radiate nonetheless…Do we as well?
This quote from the book Journey into Fire by David Spangler helps me to attune to the deeper essence of this night-time star experience:
“There is a sacred fire in us as incarnate beings that radiates a Light into the world…it is there in us all for it is lit by the act of incarnation itself. It is at the heart of a spirituality of incarnation, one that does not separate us from spirit or from the Generative Mystery at the heart of the Sacred. Rather it says that we are part of the Mystery, an expression of its generative nature, a source of the sacred fire of life.
We each of us have it in us to find this fire and cultivate it, and when we do, we nourish that which makes us most human. It becomes a journey into the wonder, the presence, the creative power of who we are.”
I am drawn to contemplate these words, “There is a sacred fire in us as incarnate beings that radiates a Light…it is there in us all for it is lit by the act of incarnation itself.” Ah, there it is again – radiant light – like the stars, drawing me into a synchronistic parallel.
The stars have always drawn me and held a sacred place in my heart. And, although I am far from an expert in the naming of stars, the shapes of some of the more familiar stars are impressed in deep memory – the Milky Way, the Big Dipper and North Star, Cassiopeia, Orion’s Belt. Sensing the beauty of these particular stars as ever-present generative powerhouses of energy, radiating their light even in the daylight hours, reminds me that we are also radiant beings of light with an inner Self-burning light always present and available to us. We are human-stars embodied upon the star called Earth in resonance with the stars beyond.
So I open myself to the possibility that we live within an interdependent universe, a relational universe, a synchronistic universe, and that just as the stars are continually radiating their brilliant light and ‘source of unprecedented energy’, we, too, carry within us a generative (even unprecedented) source of sacred soul energy. We are called to shine and share our unique radiance of love and light through our loving care, our actions and words, and by being in dynamic relationship with the living world moment to moment.
When something sparks my imagination through ideas, words, images and experiences, over time I have learned that it is most helpful to take a moment to feel into where the thoughts, words or experiences resonate within me, where within my body is there a sensation, a micro-movement. As I read or speak aloud the quote above – “sacred fire,” “radiates light,” “incarnation” move into my inner awareness, I feel a sense of fullness and density throughout my body, in my limbs and torso particularly, and this stronger awareness of the solidity of my physical body is accompanied by a continuing pulsing sense or vibration bubbling up in me and radiating outward. I feel more alive – in my body and senses – in this moment. I am more conscious and aware of living as a being whose essential energy does radiate out into the world around me – into my environment, into my relationships with the world. I am aware of the interdependent web even in the smallest interactions I may have in life. I am not feeling energized, per se, but alert, aware and present in my fullness. The word “whole” might best describe it. Clothing these feelings of aliveness and radiance in words helps me to capture, express and embody who I am as a part of the Sacred Mystery. And, though our thinking and words sometimes fall short in describing the subtle nature of inner workings, we always have the opportunity to step into the next moment and into the next, and practice allowing and kindling the felt sense of that essential generative flame at the center of our Self, our incarnated being.
We are bridges – we bridge the worlds of the transcendent and the personal – the Stars, Earth and Humanity through our embodied, incarnate Self.
One of the exercises which has helped me to attune to the stellar, generative qualities within my own self is “Where Stars Meet”. When I practice this simple exercise, I feel fully aligned with the Stars of the heavens as an inhabitant of the Star of Earth, and embodied within my own Star Self. We will be exploring this exercise and others in the upcoming Journey into Fire class and I invite you to explore your inner Star and let us know how this practice unfolds for you.
Where Stars Meet
Imagine a spiritual star at the center of the earth. It’s a green star radiant with the power of planetary life. Imagine the light from this star rising up through the earth, surrounding you, bathing and nurturing the cells of your body and forming a chalice around you.
Imagine a spiritual star within the sun in the sky. It’s a golden star radiant with the power of cosmic life. Imagine the light from this star descending from the heavens and pouring into the chalice of earthlight that surrounds you and fills your cells.
Where the light of these two stars meet in you, a new star emerges, a radiant star of Self-Light, born of the blending of the individual and the universal, the planetary and the cosmic, the physical and the spiritual. This Self-Light surrounds you and fills you, radiating back down deep into the earth and out into space, connecting with the star below you and the star above you. You are a Chalice of Self-Light within a pillar of spiritual energy rising from the earth and descending from the cosmos.
Take a moment to feel this Self-Light within and around you, your connection to the earth, your connection to the cosmos, your connection to your own unique and radiant Self. Take a deep breath, drawing this Light into and throughout your body; breathe out, sending this Light out into your world. Filled with this Light of Self, attuned to heaven and earth, go about your day.
For an exploration of the sacred at the heart of our incarnation, join us for a free Teleclass on August 28, 2016 – 7:00 pm Eastern / 4:00 pm Pacific. Then, from September 12-October 16, join us for “Journey into Fire” - a five-week online class exploring ways in which we can discover our inherent sacred fire and learn to fully shine our “star” essence into the world. Click here for more information or to register.