It has been one year since I first chanted the directions and breathed into my new altar the intention to walk as a mesa carrier in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. Two years since I was Reiki attuned. Three since I first experienced energy healing and shamanic journeywork. Four since I began practicing yoga, meditation, and breathwork. Five since I stopped eating processed foods and sugars and eliminated chemicals from my environment, beginning the long work of calming my body. I would love to tell a story in which all this has lead to answers or cures, some sense of ease, but it is not so. Still, as I gaze back and even farther back, I feel my path, dark and twisted, has lead me quite purposefully to this Great Work, at this time on Earth.

It’s been six years since my last surgery, seven since the one before that, and farther back time gets hazy, a strange shaky construct that doesn’t touch what lapsed between three more surgeries, back and back to the diagnoses and the onset of symptoms still years before that. Yet where there is no cure and not a moment’s ease, I have found reason, peace, and healing.

In the year since official initiation into this way of being which my heart and soul had long been guiding me toward and preparing me for, my mesa has taken me on a journey that has felt longer than time itself remembers and larger than life. Coming into relationship with my mesa has been more intimate that anything I might have hoped to find. It is a full year after first hearing don Oscar speak that I feel truly initiated into this Great Work, my mesa having lead the way through branching fractal patterned paths, bringing me face to face with goddesses and encantos, challenging me to truly know them. It has initiated me through enveloping experience and direct relationship into its mysteries and medicines, its right and true magic, its infinite healing wisdom.

In the fading light of a chaotic year, old pains resurrected with new force, I gaze back and still farther back and understand the test of time, the beauty of patterns unseen until recently. My mesa has carried me deep into each of its medicines, its directional currents flowing through my every breath and dissolving me within them. It has imprinted body, mind, and soul with its wisdom, awakening its image in my very DNA, giving ample opportunity to consciously integrate.

There were four months at the beginning in the South and West, learning and merging body and emotion in the left field of magic. A fusion of watery feelings long forgotten was allowed to crash over the wounded stone beach of my body, washing into its caves where goddess Lilith lives with ghosts and warms earthen nests of snake eggs. She howls magic spells into rocks and shells, fusing her womb with the moon and the whispering waters and wellsprings. Her tongue, cleansing and wetting, makes way for Snake to hatch from deep cracks, drawing up all remnants of past poisons and leaving me licking old wounds by moonlight, bathing them in saline and sewing them closed with blessed sinew. Kali came then, not with fire but in floods, driving me from left to center, leaving nothing to go back to.

Rolling under her tidal waves, praying to find shore, Thunderbird swooped in from the North, gripping me in his merciful talons and lifting me airborne where I could see and breathe to survey the ruins and find out where they’d lead. And there in the North with the Thunderbeings, four months to find my neutral mind. Athena and Durga showed me the medicines of the middle field. Focus and fortitude start in the heart. Wisdom and insight are born of core strength, of backbone well grounded like sword in stone, and a heart-centered soul to wield it. And wayra has tested my readying of these medicines, tearing through in a forcible quiz of wisdom, when to dig in my roots and bend with the wind or turn my breast to the breeze and take wing, and always to take my body with me even when there’s pain.

All this wind has fanned a flame, and now, even as the sun wanes here, my mesa leads me East on a breeze, to the domain of Inti in the right field of the mystic. I find myself with Fire in this spiral journey, seeing new meaning in the word “inflamed”, something my body has always been. Looking back and farther back, I see it not as the monstrosity I believed it to be, but as my own most intimate flame of transformation, my catalyst for change. As I stand in this fire I’ve been in from the beginning, I relax and let the flames finally take me. There is searing pain as I gaze out on the world from this bright devouring blaze, and even as I let it rend me, burning all that is not soul, goddess Lakshmi shows me the meaning of brightness and the blessings of embodiment. Looks Far Woman gifts me with visions and insights possible only through the new reach of branches and leaves I have grown, all the way up to the sun from deep roots in darkness and strong sturdy heartwood. As the blaze that has at times enslaved me softens to a glow, my tongue flicks in red petaled prayers that carry my step across hot coals where I still have a few months’ walk.

But there is resolution to this cycle in sight. Having let the flames change me, I’m finding myself back with body, where it all began. As they say that to journey is to arrive where one started and know the place for the first time, I view my same body anew.

I journeyed at first to erase the pain, escape inflammation. Far from escaping, I have been delivered into it time and again, coming to know it as deeply sacred, a reflection of the beloved Earth Mother in this intense time, the fate of my body tied intrinsically to hers. It is evidence of my irrevocable connection to something greater than myself and to a wounded culture.

What began five years ago, or long before, as a quest for some cure to a personal misery has lead me back to a body that’s still tired and sore, where some days it’s all I can do to breath. Yet every breath is empowered and fully equipped through my mesa work, turned not towards a cure I know now is not coming, but towards service of a new sense of connection and the slow, steady soothing of a planet that’s on fire, a planet torn in wind and water, a planet poisoned and cracking open. A miracle cure is not coming, and as I have learned to make medicines day by day, healing and balancing even through pain, I complete this cycle. I chant words to stir up mass batches of the medicines I’ve learned deliver nourishment and peace, in a world where pain is ever-present and hope is lost for cures or ease, where rescue is a long way off and transformation is what we need.

With every breath, the powers of my mesa move through me, and with my own sacred bodyache as mirror and guide for the exercise of compassionate wisdom in these challenging times, I gaze into the world, gaining strength in its flames, wholly changed, not yet sure what is to come or what can be done, but confident in the way forward, and done looking back.

About the Author

Carolyn Chlebowski

Carolyn Chlebowski

Featured Contributor

Carolyn is an artist, soul alchemist, dream walker, Earth lover, seer, shapeshifter, space holder, teacher and healer. She works creatively and eclectically to reveal wholeness through exemplifying beauty and connection in all things.

You can find her artwork and jewelry for honoring your animal totems and spirit guides at www.etsy.com/shop/TheWildPsyche and www.facebook.com/TheWildPsyche. Witness her journey at www.instagram.com/wi_psi/