The Way of the Spiritual Warrior is a Meetup group set up to encourage those whose penchant is to 'work on themselves" through ceremony or inner work. There are those who seek spiritual adventure and experiences which inform them that "they are in contact with the spirit." And there is a place and a time for such activities.

This group however is primarily for those who have realized that they themselves are the Spirit, that the pursuit of information about spirituality and spiritual adventuring is not ordinarily very healthy or even useful forms of spiritual practice (being motivated by spiritual ambition or spiritual materialism), that the essence of the spiritual path is instead inner work on one's self to raise one's consciousness and vibration. 

The ultimate goal is, like the Greeks and many others have maintained, to "Know Thyself".

As many advanced spiritual teachers have maintained for Aeons, there is nothing to teach. This work is not about getting information about the path. We each are the Path--our own unique walk through life-- and our path is walked within our own minds, hearts and body. This experience is not about spiritual authorities, psychics, astrologists, or anyone outside one's self. It is about you and your issues. It is in fact more about stripping off the incorrect understandings, beliefs, fears, assumptions and conditioning that have put one at the effect of our culture, our social behaviors, our opinions, and our own neurotic fixations. Anyone who has done this work will recognize this and look inward instead of seeking outwardly. One has to learn by doing this that no outer authority can tell you who you are if you don't experience it.

Experience is the Greater Teacher.

What we think we don't have, we have. What we believe we are, we aren't. Everything is within ones self, so there is no need really to go anywhere else than "here now." To access those realms of light we all seek, we venture into the Unknown within, into our subconscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche. This journey is known by some as "the hero's journey" and can  be launched by the disillusionment we experience with the values and fear of life in social cultures, resulting in the dissolution of the ego, the reclaiming of the unconscious and repressed aspects of self, and the reconstitution of Will to live by one's own authority and at the effect of no one. 

There are many ways a person can work with their unconscious. We can work with dreams or noticing synchronicities. We can learn to work with intent and to restore our Will and Passion for Life. We can work to raise our vibration and to access our intuitive 'knowing' to be our own highest guidance.

Religious beliefs are usually the most difficult obstacles to overcome on this journey, not because they don't hold some truth but because they normally create barriers for consciousness to overcome. What we a believe tends to create what we experience, so how can we find out "what is" when we go already convinced what is true and what is not? But there is a pearl of wisdom in most religious teachings, and the pearl is the understanding that "God is Love." There is truly no "becoming someone acceptable to God"; because we are already unconditionally loved and acceptable, and we always have been. It is we who punish ourselves by choosing lives of pain and fear, It is we who must accept and forgive ourselves for our misuse of life force energy and straying from the Highest Principles we might choose to live by. It is we who must learn how we've mis-created our own lives through our mistaken assumptions or beliefs, our conformance to society's controlling social mores. It is we who will, in our own time, learn Who we already are, What we already are, and How we serve. The Mystery we seek is within Us, and our fear of that mystery guides our every decision on the Path until we surrender to our own Highest Truth and begin to express ourselves here on Earth as God's Will, as Us as we are.

Here at the dawn of this incoming Age, we are being taught about Spiritual Freedom, and the prospect of such a thing...being Free to become Creators in our own right, scares the holy *** out of most of us...because it means we ourselves must take responsibility for ourselves instead of being in a worshipping or supplemental relationship to the "God out there". It means realizing that the only place one will find or experience That God we all believe is outside ourselves is in our own heart. We are the walking, talking physical expression of That very same God, so to speak. And the quest for our own god within is about how we ourselves choose to express that wisdom, that love, and that heart to one another and to this planet on which we dwell..

The archetype of the Hermit (or the Crone if a woman) is one of the foremost archetypes of transformative experience: the Universal Principle of completion, contemplation and introspection. For those familiar with the Tarot, the Hermit is the 9th esoteric key or "trump card." Like the picture for this Meetup, the hermit carries his (or her) light into his own darkness to discover who he is and restore his own power. For most of us, it is the dark where we discover our own Lightness.

The Hermit is VIRGO, which is the zodiacal sign involving tying up the details from the past, organizing life in harmony, speaking and creating beauty, and reminding us of our own beauty through confronting the inner critic, emotional positivity, spiritual strengths, and external gains in all aspects of outer life. Virgo people create beauty, organize, systematize, bring balance and help to bring harmony.

THE HERMIT is deeply philosophical and demands solitude and space (emotional, psychological, and environmental space). He has a need to experience what is meaningful and significant and has little patience with the superficial or illusory. He holds a deep regard for order and harmony and a deep love for quietude and time spent alone. He is unwilling to communicate or lead in any situations where he has had no experience and  wishes to complete the past before he moves ahead.

The Hermit/Crone is the archetype of the "Wise Person and the Way Shower, Wise Leader, Lantern Bearer"..But the Hermit is also the archetype of Transformation and Rebirth, so the Hermit/Crone contains the entire process of death, transformation and rebirth.

The Hermit knows that he does not know the Truth for everyone and feels that truth in these lower dimensional realities is merely a relative instead of any sort of absolute and final conclusion. He or she recognizes that his own idea of what is true is only his own relative truth, gleaned from his own experience and understanding. Therefore, he does not see himself or herself as “wise”, but as one who knows that whatever wisdom he has absorbed during his life is only his own truth, his own understanding and knowing what works for him. The Hermit therefore refuses the mantle of preacher or counsellor or spiritual advisor and turns any seeker who may come to him back into him/herself for their own answers, guiding if necessary their query into their feeling of separation and isolation.

Hermit is one who leads others in the outer world from that which he or she has directly experienced as opposed to secondary information gathered in from sources like books, magazines, heresay, beliefs, opinions, idealistic goals or made up explanations. He is the “Hand” that reaches out to touch others. His 'teaching' is that each of us must touch Life directly through experiencing it and to avoid willing or advising others to be as he or she is. "Be Yourselves" is his guidance.  If asked for guidance, he asks only, "What are you going to do about your life?"

The Hermit brings a need to explore and incorporate his dark aspects of self before the experience of wholeness or individuality can be actualized. Therefore, his attention and focus is inward into his own thoughts, feelings and patterns of behavior rather than outward upon others. He refuses to judge either himself or another being. He accepts all others exactly as they are without criticism. And when he discovers a judgment within his own mind, he neutralizes it through understanding that his own mind has been conditioned to judge and corrects himself with love and compassion for himself. 

His work is within himself and seldom upon the choices, information or transformative experiences of others. His tools include understanding of  basic psychology, philosophical considerations, his own dreams, and his own introspective insights.

He does not mandate anything as the sole truth or as right for anyone else.. He does not insist on the rightness of his own perspectives. He does not prescribe actions or solutions for others. He does not advise others. He does not interfere in the lives of others in his own authority. He does not attempt to change the choices or intentions of others. He may set an example by his own acts and choices, demonstrating his "Way" of Living", but other than that he is "fatherly" (or she is 'motherly"), supporting others as they live their own lives and supporting others as they find their own answers.

The Lesson of the Hermit is to claim back the power you have given away to feel safe in society or in Nature. No one can give you back your power. You must claim it by doing your inner work to retrieve all the projections of your own Light you've cast upon outer authorities, outer power, or outer Love.

It can be scary realizing that we each must take complete responsibility for our own life. The only time we can do this is once we realize that we ourselves have created the life we are living and that we can assign blame to no one else if we have created a painful or disappointing life. True authority, true power, comes from this realization, and this too can be scary and intimidating. We must choose and integrate the values, ethics, and self confidence to trust our own will, persistence, endurance, strength and character and discern the right thing to choose moment by moment. We must recognize that only our own inner strength, will and fearlessness gives us that power, so we must choose to step into and become the "me" who can hold and exercise power with grace.

Fear of the outside world or lack of self-love and self-confidence will weaken our power and we will fall into victimhood. Knowing how to use our power and having safeguards and clear boundaries will help us relax in life and be able to use will or power to serve the greater good. We learn that each person must attend to his or her own life path and allow others to solve their own inner issues. We learn to balance on ‘nothing at all’ and to hold the tension of the opposites of duality without choosing either polarity. We reject no one for any position they may take,  but understand each of us is exactly where we are supposed to be to learn our lessons. Everything that happens is what must exist. With that principle held close, we flow with life neither seeking to avoid the unpleasant nor grasp the pleasant.

We gain the spiritual understanding and strength to respect our own life and limitations so that others can take responsibility for their own problems and path. 

The archetype of the Hermit's Lesson is Key IV - The Emperor: The Emperor is the energy of the zodiacal sign of Aries, the energy of Mars, swift, male creative energy; the Constituting Intelligence, that powerful creative force which creates all of existence. Both males and females carry this energy within themselves. Stay in spiritual discipline, do your inner work, meditate on Who You Actually Are, and don't abandon your own will or your own power in the outer world. You are Life Itself. You are the Power of Creation.

The Lesson the Emperor teaches is that “you are not alone.”

The archetype of the Hermit expressing itself in the outer world is Tarot Key 18: The Moon. The Moon is the universal principle of choice-making to recover, define and maintain our authenticity in our outer expression of our selves. Often, this symbol is referred to as the karma card. Karma means "work that needs to be done." The ultimate work to be done each day is to choose whether we will support our own authentic self or fall into conformity with the demands or expectations of others that we meet their needs instead, and so live through our false pretend-selves, our needy-wounded child, or our "dutiful" selves.

Everyday as we go out into the world, with our families, our employers, our friends, or our enemies, we make choices to continue in our old patterns of victimization and conformity to the expectations of others or we choose our selves and what we want instead. To choose to be true to our own authentic self both within and without is an act of bravery, because there are consequences to being true to ones self.

The Golden Rule of the Warrior might be said to be:

I do whatever I want to do and take full responsibility for my actions. I do this because this is who I am!

The Path of the Luminous Warrior winds into one's own Unknown Self. It requires determination, an open heart, the intent of harmlessness and peace, Love for self and others, Compassion for suffering--one's own and that of others--and Service to Grandmother Earth.

There are many along that path who are waiting to pull the Warrior down, but his greatest enemy is within...the enemy who fears, who loses and gives up, who despairs and turns aside. It is a path in which one travels alone or, if fortunate, with the companionship of a beloved friend.

The Path is into acceptance of self, one's life as it comes, and into all the possibilities of being human. It is the Path of Earth Stewardship and partnership with divine will that this Earth shall prevail and that Mankind will "Return to Eden"...which he might discover in Jesus' words: "The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the Earth and Mankind does not see it." Those with the eyes to see will in time realize they are Home now..

Unlike our parent-group, Earth Keepers, which has the intention to create a broad community of seekers who are learning to find a spiritual connection with the Earth in their hearts, minds and souls, with this group I wish to create a more personal connection to members who wish to work together on their personal evolutionary goals within the traditions of earth-based spirituality.

Welcome Warrior, your path opens here.....

The Shadow Hermit/Crone

All archetypes have a shadow side which undermine our own best aspects on the Path. In the Old Energies of the Age of Pisces, the Mystery Schools taught that the shadow was evil and badness/instinctiveness as well which was the trait of animal life. In these new energies of the Age of Aquarius, the path is through Love, and in this New energy, we make friends with our shadow....even love our shadow.

To do this we must accept our apparent "imperfection", our human-ness and our frailness. Then, accepting these qualities in ourselves, we must accept them in others as well. As we love all our fraility...we love our fellow humans in theirs. These traits which derive from fear and loss, guilt or shame, anger and grief, even jealousy or envy, and greed, have their purpose in life and offer us the option of choosing these energies to experience the difficult and dark side of life and being. Without having experienced these dark aspects or life lines, how can we understand them and the forces which influence human (or other) lives? The Shadow is actually comprised of living aspects of our own will/needs which have been rejected and live within our subconscious mind as energies...aspects of soul force in fact. It is our task, as Lovers and Introspectives to bring them up into consciousness, heal them, and integrate them. We no longer do this through being ruthless or harsh with ourselves. We work with forgiveness for our own weakness and fears as well as forgiveness and love for these aspects of self.

We cannot do this without recognizing these same traits in others. Our challenge is to accept others who suffer from these same issue and forgive those who judge us or hurt us from their own shadow qualities.  We stop judging ourselves as we stop judging others when we/they display these qualities.  This doesn't mean we must allow ourselves to be victims of others. Our boundaries are necessary to provide a healthy environment for ourselves and our families. But we stop judging and blaming, recognizing how we ourselves are exactly the same as those we fear, those we have blamed, and those we have judged.

We have the freedom to explore such paths, and in so doing, we learn how life endures through difficult times and stations. We are not damned nor rejected by God for choosing such experience, but we must come to see that we ourselves chose those paths. We must then forgive ourselves and those who chose to exercise their dark sides at our expense. Whether we win or lose, we must be well, for we are all learning how to live and be well. We are in fact learning who we are and that all will ascend in time.

Below is one expression of the shadow of Virgo, which is the zodiacal sign associated with the hermit/Crone archetype.

The Virgo Shadow 

From the book "Astrology for Lovers" by Liz Green)

With a sign as obsessive as Virgo, you might expect a fairly twitchy shadow. How right you are. Virgo's shadow side is complex, like his ordinary consciousness. One main face of it we might call the 'I know it all' syndrome. It goes something like this:

WIFE: (to Virgo husband) I've just discovered something really interesting. It was in my oil painting class. If you dilute oil paints with turps and float them on water and then dip paper…
VIRGO: Yes, I know all about that. I learned to do it years ago. But you have to make sure you don't use too much turps, or it gets too runny. Next time let me help you with it.
WIFE: But my paintings come out really well. (Feeling slightly deflated because it would be really nice, once in a while, to surprise him with something he didn't already know.)
VIRGO: I'm sure they did. It's just that I might be able to help you to mix the colours better. It's not easy.
WIFE: Oh, and I read in the paper today….
VIRGO: I know. About the new budget cuts.
WIFE: Yes, I really think that if the government expects to help the economy, they ought to…
VIRGO: Before you criticize the bill, you should really learn more about it. I studied political and economic philosophy for years. I'm convinced it's the best thing they could possibly do.
WIFE: But…
VIRGO: Never mind. I know I'm right.

Sounds fairly innocent on the surface. Just an ordinary know-it-all. But the destructive side of Virgo's shadow takes a long time to bear its fruits. Try this on somebody over a period of a few years and you never allow them ever to learn anything, find out anything, think anything, that they can give you. You've taken it all already. You know it beforehand. It's one of the most insidious and deadly ways of crushing another person's creativity that could happen. And it's one of the darker edges of Virgo. The Virgo shadow slowly and in tiny, unnoticeable steps, completely erodes another individual's trust in their own self, mistakes or not. The Virgo shadow, as one of its compulsions, has a positively horrific fear of being mistaken or wrong. There is something about having something not quite known, labeled, classified, that is intolerable. But life is full of mistakes, and so are people, and so, probably, is God. The Virgo shadow, in its own way, kills life, because it tries to remove life's unpredictability and unevenness.

Another similar face of this shadow is the I-told-you-so syndrome. No great detail is needed to describe it, since we've all met it, in somebody else or in ourselves. It makes you feel like killing. That smug, faintly satisfied look that Virgo can sometimes get - when he warned you about something and you blundered and he knew all along that you would - makes you want to fill the bathtub with piranhas. It's another way of never permitting anything to happen which is unexpected, messy, incomplete. It's Virgo's way of saying, 'But I never would have blundered like that. I know better.'

You get the picture. What is this shadow about? Well, for one thing, it stems from Virgo's fear of the unknown. When a Virgo is really being true to himself, he's ordinarily maybe a little cautious but not ridiculous about it. He's sensitive, he knows it, the world is difficult and full of challenges and problems, and he usually works to find skills and tools which can help him cope. But a Virgo who is really insecure just goes off limits with his caution. Tell him anything new and he'll either pretend he's learned it already, or tell you it's untrue. Show him a side of yourself he hasn't met yet and he'll criticize it or tell you how to fix it, because it threatens his pattern. Show a little spontaneity and he'll try to crush it, because it terrifies him. Show some unexpected emotion and he'll go blank and numb because he doesn't know how to classify it or deal with it. All this is part of the Virgo shadow. It has to do with control, as do all shadows. And with Virgo, it's a kind of crazy, naïve, ludicrous attempt to control life so that it won't contain any unknown or threatening elements.

There's another type of Virgo shadow you sometimes see, and this happens when Virgo's sensitivity has been bruised too badly. We might call it the Hustler. The Hustler is a face of Virgo which appears when reality and its difficulties weigh too heavily on the scale, while hope and faith and trust weigh too light. Then the Hustler appears. He uses Virgo's naturally canny commercial nose and twists it so that everything must be bargained for. The Hustler makes everything into a deal. He's also prepared to sell anything, at a price. In some ways the ancient mythical image of the Great Harlot has here become the mean hooker. Translated, it means, sure, I'll sell that, what's it worth to you? Anything to get a little salted away. Any individual is a potential customer, a potential soak. And this is perhaps the most tragic side of Virgo's shadow, because this happens only when Virgo has become so disillusioned or so frightened that he must put up barriers against everything. Even love is for sale then, and the 'suitable' marriage must include the right amount of money in the bank account. It isn't beyond this side of Virgo's shadow to check your credentials before that first date is accepted. It's also sometimes called as psychological usury.

Sadly, this side of the Virgo shadow appears most frequently in male Virgos. I have come to the conclusion that it's because society makes it a little difficult for the Virgo man. This is a sensitive and receptive sign, not naturally ambitious, and often very aware of subtle undercurrents and intuitive interchanges which elude the thicker-skinned signs. It's also a sign naturally inclined to flow rather than lead. These aren't part of the conventional macho image men are supposed to carry in our culture. The Virgo man often has a hard time being himself in a world which requires him to be more insensitive than compassionate, more successful than skillful, more leader than craftsman, more money-maker than lover of nature. So the Hustler side of the Virgo shadow appears, and it isn't a very lovable one.

All shadows dissolve when light is brought to bear on them. This one is no exception. For a Virgo seeing himself in the light - complete with what he's really afraid of - is a great healer. For him to try, just once, to trust himself and others and life rather than demanding that everything be named and guaranteed is also a great healer. And for him to recognize that life has mysteries he'll never understand or explain, and chaos that maybe shouldn't ever be ordered, and pockets of mistakes, and slips and messiness that perhaps don't really need tidying, is the greatest healer of all. In other words, Virgo, the realist, isn't really very realistic. The reality he sees is only the tangible one. It's the other one he needs to find, and to trust. Then he can become what the myth portrays: the one who can heal and nurture and bring life, whether to people or ideas or his art, because he's made peace with the unknown.

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