Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of life...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Into The Forest...

For some time know I’ve had the feeling of being at a threshold. In my journal last month I wrote: It is time to enter “The Forest” again, “The Dark Forest” – the Unknown – to go deeper into the Unknown; an indefinable space.

As I meditated on this I heard the still small Voice within unexpectedly say: “How serious are you?” “How willing are you to enter the Unknown?” Whoa…

“The Forest” traditionally is a threshold symbol of entering the unknown, the deeper nature, or the spiritual world. In fairy tales it usually represents a passage through difficulties and an opportunity for “transformation” of some kind. I also see it as a sanctuary, refuge, a place of deepening. This entering the “Dark Forest” happens sometimes when I have lost (intentionally or otherwise) the framework which gives structure to my life, when I must find my own way, and be true to the call of Self. Shamans, poets, holy men and women sought refuge in the forest, as a healing place. Going into The Forest represents a return to the Primordial Self – beyond societal, cultural, conceptual and spiritual frameworks. In a way, it is like returning to the child’s heart of innocence - just following the longings of the Heart once again; trusting that I will emerge from "The Dark Forest" with clarity. As a child I often went into the forest next to our house as a place to just sit, to listen and commune with nature, and write poetry. It was a place of experiencing Awareness directly, although back then I called it “God.”

And, since I don’t have a “Dark Forest” handy, and I am spooked by things that go bump in the night, my Forest will have to be the space of Silent Awareness within – navigating the inner Forest of the Unknown – as well as the unknown practicalities of everyday living… In my imagination it is not a “Dark Forest” however. I see a forest filled with tall, white, straight, pole trees that look like birch or aspens – reaching up through the sky. It is not dark, but light here, and the sense of silence and quiet is palpable. My body begins to relax in this Silent Forest. I can feel its depth, its spaciousness, its welcoming… It’s a beautiful space, this Silent Forest, a vast awareness and aliveness live here. And I am drawn into it…

I am willing, I say inwardly, in answer to the Inner Voice, to enter the Unknown – the Forest – to trust Intuition to take me through. I am ready to step over the threshold and see where the Unknown takes me, while also navigating the matrix of practical realities of every day living… Care to join me :) Are you willing...

“The familiar horizon has been outgrown;
the old concepts, ideals,
and emotional patterns no longer fit.
The time for the passing of a threshold
is at hand.”

Joseph Campbell

“Midway upon the journey of life
I found myself within a forest dark,
for the straightforward pathway
had been lost…”

Dante Alighieri
The Inferno

“Sometimes you have to step into
the void and trust
that the ground will appear.”

author unknown

Bottom Photo: Calendar page from 2004
photographer unknown
copyright 2003


You may want to read The Pathless Path post
for more context


  1. There was wisdom in those old fairy tales! Yes to move into the metaphorical forest (and yet we are always there really, clinging to our illusion that we are safe and can see the path clearly). But to choose the forest...

    There is some feeling of something refreshing (as well as scary) to leave behind the old ways of being and dare to step into the forest.

    On someone's blog yesterday there were some Winnie The Pooh quotes. I liked Piglet's which went something like, "I wake up every day and wonder what exciting thing is going to happen today" That clever Piglet is leaning in to the forest! Say hi to him for me if you meet him in the woods.

  2. ZDS ~ So true - we are already there, although "The Dark Forest" doesn't seem to provide safety and a clear path, which is why I think they are metaphors for going deeper into the unknown, and walking the pathless path...

    I think I'm in Eeyore's corner of the 100 acre woods :) As we woke up to more plumbing problems this week :( Need to finish reading the rest of the tale. But I'll watch for piglet and pass on your regards :)

  3. ZDS ~ PS - What I was trying to convey here is that "The Forest" is a metaphor for finding our deepest Being at the core, by entering those deeper places within, beyond the egoic fears, the illusions and delusions. The Darkness is not necessarily bad. It actually brings Light and clarity. It's a passage through uncertainty, not knowing, and then emergence... The Unknown for me is That which we are at the core. :) Just thought I'd clarify that. :) We so often resist the beauty that is here.

  4. "Care to join me :) Are you willing...?" -- YES!!! A thousand, billion times YES!!!!

  5. Leslie - Now we are Forest Travelers! :) Glad to have your company! Love always - C

  6. Out of the seat and into the dark/Light...♥

  7. What a gorgeous Moon pic! It's your heart, lighting the way for you. :)

  8. Maria ~ Your comment is so sweet! oooo - "my heart lighting the way." I like that image! :)

    The pic is through the leaves on our Maple tree, taken through the window! I was amazed... Magical, eh? :)

    Heartbeams ~ ~ ~ <3

  9. "How serious are you?"...that is a fantastic question. One maybe we ought to ask ourselves more often....hhhmmm... I admire your courage as you stand on the threshold, Christine. May the thrill of that great moon guide and soothe your way. :o) Happy Days ((Love & Light))

  10. Tracy ~ Yes, and it came out of "nowhere" during meditation. So it must be important! But alas, I am still standing at the threshold :) Lots of practical stuff going on here, and I seem to be caught in its matrix - thus I have not "entered" the Forest yet... (good fodder for my next post) :) Thank you for the send off though - love it!

  11. I dream sometimes of entering the woods in winter, watching as I go along how the light slants through the trees and makes the snow sparkle. These are liminal days to be sure, and to enter the forest at such times is to undertake a journey into one's deepest self.

  12. Thank you Cate... Goosebumps - "...to enter the forest...is to undertake a journey into one's deepest self." Yes, that's what it feels like - to meet the deepest Essence of Being. And as Thoreau said: "I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately..." to live a more authentic way of Being in the world.


All comments are subject to moderation