oday one of the greatest challenges I see for soulful seekers is developing “skin” – not actual skin, mind you, but emotional and spiritual skin. Our bodily skin is a beautiful thing: it is not a rigid boundary. It offers protection to internal organs, while being a bridge of sensitivity to the the surrounding world. Our challenge is not making thin skin somehow thicker; but trying to work with skin that appears to be missing in the first place. Soulful seekers are delightfully – and dreadfully – open…to possibility, to enthusiasm, to optimism, and enchantment. But with this very high degree of openness, also comes increased sensitivity to all of the stressors in daily life – to those things that cause worry, anxiety, and suffering, to the point where reading the daily news cycle is an exercise in daily open heart and open gut surgery.
What is needed here is that is strong, simple, and durable.
This is a little ceremony that teaches you how to seal yourself and begin to get skin – so that you are better able to choose what and who is allowed into your inner sanctum, as well as what and who is not allowed within your borders. The magic made here is not about cutting off or casting out in most cases, nor about being closed up; rather, it is about you, making the needed effort, to keep yourself – inner and outer – safe, yet dynamic.
What you will need:
A quiet place where you will be undisturbed.
An answer to the following question:
What place(s) in my physical body take in the most external information?
(My answers to this question are: eyes, head, mouth, heart, ears, and hands).
A physical gesture that you decide on to acknowledge each answer you gave.
(I use the traditional sign of making the cross over myself as part of my lineage is Catholic and also as I know that crosses are much older than any one faith tradition, speaking to the crossroads and the liminal).
Any other ritual items you might desire, like candles or incense.
Take a moment to become aware of and connect to the earth beneath your feet, as you do so, breathe in the deep, green, energy of the earth and breathe out in gratitude – thank you.
Take a moment to become aware of and connect to the celestial skies above your head, as you do so, breathe in the high, bright, energy of the stars and breathe out in gratitude – thank you.
Take a third moment to become aware of and connected to your physical body and all that it does for you.
Acknowledge your desire to shield and protect yourself so that you walk in greater sovereignty.
Attending to the answer you gave to the question above, breathe in a blessing on yourself. Exhale in gratitude – thank you, and as you do so make the physical gesture over yourself that you have decided upon.
Notice how it feels to be shielded and sealed.
If you want, conclude with a series of .
Repeat daily. I recommend doing this at least three times, morning, noon, and night, you can of course perform it more frequently than that.
Love and Magic,
PS: the above illustration is from the dark and wonderful story known as Catskin, Donkeyskin and Deerskin and is by Arthur Rackham, an illustrator whose work I deeply love. The story is all about the traumas that happen, even in the “best” families and teaches how skins fit, don’t fit, and can be grown. Read the entire story and for a wonderful exploratory essay on the story, check out from the Journal of Mythic Arts.