Meeting the Mistress of the Forest


Once I read about a horse that lived in the same pasture for over 30 years, eating the same old tired grass, trying to find shade in the noonday heat under the same scrawny tree. After many years of neglect, the fence that separated this pasture from a lush, grassy meadow studded with beautiful leafy trees crumbled and eventually fell. Stepping over the fallen wood would have been a very simple matter for the horse, yet it stood at the border where it had always stood, looking longingly over at the grass as it had always looked.
I feel so sorry for that horse. It had become so accustomed to its old boundaries that it never noticed when they were outworn. I wish someone from the other side had called it over so it could have spent its final years grazing in a greener, fresher, infinitely more satisfying space.
Many of us have felt our spirits quicken through glimpses of something ineffable in the mist beyond normal awareness and longed to pursue it. But habitual assumptions are not easy to overcome. Moreover, the daily demands of life are so compelling that we usually defer our journey into the deeply alluring recesses of the forest until another day.
What are we to do if we do not want to end up like that horse? Luckily we humans have a special someone who beckons to us from beyond our outworn boundaries: she is the wisdom of the Deep Feminine traditionally called Sophia. But to hear her call we need to turn off the constant flow of words and listen with our hearts and bodies.
Her voice is very soft; her call, though compelling, is quiet. She speaks to us in urges, needs, wishes, emotions, feelings, synchronicities, yearnings, physical symptoms, accidents, instincts, nature, meaningful insights, joyful experiences, bursts of unexpected pleasure, creative ideas, images, symbols, dreams: all the things we have learned to ignore so we can perform with utmost efficiency in the rat race of daily life.
The message in her communiques seems so subversive that we have learned to ignore it too. Do not fear the unknown, she says when we are tempted to risk exploring the wilderness of our souls. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Do not be content with the half life that comes from avoiding your fears. Feel your fears, follow your passions, experience your life with all your being. Open yourself and go deeper, for great treasures lie buried in your depths.
Following Sophia does not result in a quick fix, but if we will go boldly and persevere, the mansion doors to the eternal sacred that lies within will open unto us. The inhabitant of that mansion is the Self, our inner Beloved. Made of equal parts masculine and feminine energy, the Self is often symbolized by the King and Queen. Here in the West we project our King onto the distant Sky God and remain relatively ignorant of his feminine partner, Sophia, the Mistress of the Forest who is as close to us as our own breath and blood. Thus do we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn from her wisdom and cross over into her sacred space.
So how, exactly, are we different from that old horse?
How has the Mistress of the Forest been speaking to you lately? What is she saying?

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0 Responses

  1. The sheer beauty and truth of this have me in tears at the moment…and will for some time to come. Because I see myself, standing with longing, at the edge of the pasture. Thank you for this message, Jean. Thank you with all my heart. Thank you more than you know. Love, Light, and Blessings…Lynne

    1. Dear Lynne,
      You are the person for whom I am writing. You are the one who affirms that I am doing what I was meant to do. The fact that my words have quickened your heart with meaning means everything to me. Thank you for letting me know. Thank you more than you can know. You have made my day…….
      All my love,

    1. Dear Insomniac,
      What a sweet and generous heart you have. I am very grateful. Many blessings back at you, and thanks for writing!! May you sleep well tonight.

  2. divine……appeared wisdom….what one can refer as Sophia….
    our guide through life guiding through language of dreams……
    purpose of all journeys is same…..
    happiness of finding true identity
    and for that rear mirror is there….Sophia channel…
    soul as driver in the car as body….
    can watch the dashboard reading in various senses meter…..
    brain works…..outer signals…..for safe driving…
    ……continuous stream of informations….the thought process…
    as a driver your horizon has a limited vision….
    that is needed for driving in present……
    as driver gets refined so is the appeared
    wisdom clues through rear mirror of Sophia…..
    journey from one clue… other leads to prepare you for final examination……
    the tunnel of darkness…..many refer as dark night of soul…..
    .now….death is the final examination…….
    .the key to pass this examination where no senses
    work…..only wisdom of Sophia which guides everyone…
    Jesus to whispher…..unto your hands God…..
    surrender…. surrender….surrender…….is the message
    of your inner spirit wisdom…feminine Sophia…..
    have trust….
    other wise reappear for examinations……
    pass or fail,,,,choice is ours….
    love all…

  3. Oh, dear Ram0Singhal,
    I hear the inspiration churning in your words, and what an act of kindness it is for you to honor a word that is so meaningful to me in your wise comment. Sophia. Soul as the driver; Sophia as the rear mirror. I love it! Remind me to tell you about my recurring car driving dreams some day!!! Surrender, surrender. Your comments always fill me with delight. Thank you, dear friend.

    1. divine……your blog itself is inspiration……..wisdom appears from no where….from kind Sophia……and what comes…..even make me wonder….
      that is the mystery of God….
      I bow to God in you…..
      love all…..

      1. Dear Ram0singhal,
        Thank you.
        The wisdom, kindness, and mystery make me wonder too! Sophia is kind, indeed. May we both continue to be open to her inspiration.
        I bow to God in you.
        Love all, Jeanie

  4. Jeanie, such a thought-provoking article! i admire each of the folks who have commented–it isn’t easy for any of us to consider how the horse in your story resembles us! it seems to me that there is always another fence, always another horizon, forever a higher vista, from which we shrink back until a crisis, either on the inside or the outside, propels us forward!~
    i have heard that wild animals raised too long in captivity will find it hard to return to their natural ways. when they are released back into the wild, left alone in the wide-open cage they have called home for too long, they will leave it reticently and return to sleep in it at night. finally, something will happen–more often than not, it is hunger–that will force them to give up the habit-comfort of the cage and throw themselves whole-heartedly back into the wilderness…..
    in many shamanic societies they say that shamans are not born–they are created by the trauma of a crisis, most often an illness of the body or the soul…..
    the Beloved indeed! healer of ills and guide through the wilderness of the soul….
    what has she been saying to me lately? “Leap Into the Flow and Make It Your Home!”
    love and admiration,

  5. Dear William,
    I agree. It takes incredible courage for the ego to step out of its cage and some kind of crisis is always the impetus. I know two women who were running so hard from their inner truths that only when they had terrible accidents which confined them to complete bed rest for several weeks were they able to leave their cages and start listening to the Beloved. Others suffer agony because of temptations, losses, crises of meaning, or “dark night of the soul experiences” which force them to pay attention to their inner life.
    What I find truly interesting and exciting is that so many more people than ever before seem to be responding to their “scatheons,” or god wounds, by answering the call to the kind of expanding consciousness that was once experienced only by the rare shaman or spirit person. Does this mean we are becoming more conscious as a species? And if so, will enough individuals step up to create the shift in the critical mass needed for cultural change before it’s too late for us? I do hope so.
    May we follow your example by leaping into Changing Woman’s flow and making it our home!
    Back at you with the love and admiration,

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