I warn you, whoever you are, Oh! You who want to probe the arcana of nature, that if you do not find within yourself that which you are looking for, you shall not find it outside either! If you ignore the excellences of your own house, how do you pretend to find other excellencies? Within you is hidden the treasure of treasures! Know thyself and you will know the Universe and the Gods
Most of us have heard of the old adage, “Know Thyself” which has traditionally been ascribed to ancient Greece and well known for being inscribed on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, also known as the Oracle of Delphi. But what does it really mean beyond the seemingly simple yet complex superficial layers and context surrounding it and how can we apply this wisdom into our own lives?
The Creation of Adam as painted by Michelangelo on the Sistine Chapel. Note the esoteric symbology associated within the painting.
Photo Credit IanDagnall Computing / Alamy Stock Photo
Know Thyself is an invitation to go deeper into who you are with presence and awareness. As humans we have a natural curiosity to engage with life and discover more about ourselves externally, through the physical world around us. This is how we find out who we are as an individual and what our purpose or function is in life. We are born and as we move through our lives from childhood to adulthood we are constantly learning how to operate within this realm. We ask ourselves questions such as, “Who am I? Why am I here? What is my purpose in life?” With this fundamental desire to know, understand and learn more, we have to look no further than the very center of our own being where ALL truth resides. This calling to excessively search outside of ourselves is in itself the deepest desire to know our true divinity, that which we feel separated from, the Infinite Awareness where we all originally come from. We have been conditioned since birth by familial and societal structures and are disconnected from Nature and Mother Earth, especially if living in the modern world. As a result, we are missing the connection with our bodies, feelings and emotions, which in most cases comes from and causes trauma in the lives of many.
It is especially important right now, to regain our balance and homeostasis in our own lives, which in turn will ripple out into the World. This is the Call to Healing. As a pathway to this it is important to understand that chaos and change are inevitable. In fact, it is essential for all growth. It is woven into the very structure of humanity and is also a component to healing. This is an element of the destruction of the old to make way for the new and also the ultimate gift. In Yoga this is called the Edge, a place that challenges us, YET, INVITES us into a whole new way of seeing, speaking, acting and Be~ing. In life it’s about meeting that Edge and going beyond, it’s about jumping off the cliff into the abyss and discovering that it’s a feather bed, as Terence McKenna once said. This is not an easy thing to do. It is painful and challenging and requires commitment, trust, courage, determination, patience and (believe it or not) LOVE!
If we are able to really pay attention with awareness and allow ourselves to be present in the moment, you will find that life and our surroundings are speaking to us all of the time and in every moment. As things come up for us in life that we view as suffering or struggle, whether in relationships, work or any aspect of life, it is vital to remember that it is all a mirror pointing us in the direction to what needs to be looked at and dealt with in a LOVING way. All aspects of self that carry any guilt, fear, unworthiness, jealousy, shame, etc. are all Soul pieces that are coming to you to be seen, held and loved unconditionally and then reintegrated. See these parts of your Self as your children that yearn to come home. Would you turn away from these children? No, you would hold them tightly to you, hug them and love them! Meet your Self with awareness and courage, grace and beauty, no matter what you may find. It is here that you can honor yourself deeply, right where you are in the present moment.
Another way that you can look at any difficulty that arises in life is to reframe it with a different perspective, such as, “What is this ___________ here to teach me? Or what can I learn from this _____________ ?”(Fill in the blanks with ~ illness, disease, relationship, struggle, etc.) These practices are simple acts and are a true test and testament of your very own discovery and direct revelatory experience of self-awareness. This is a dynamic process of our own evolution and a pathway to understanding and truly knowing the higher aspects of Self that points The Way to show us that we are never separated from God/Goddess/Creation/Infinite Awareness. We are that.
I have added some photos of my creative expression of ritual and ceremony as a means and form of languaging. This is my view of “speaking to the Gods” and communication with the Divine. This is Re-Membering my true essence.
Consciousness is in constant dialogue with itself. And we are constantly communicating with ourselves and consciousness through the things that we create such as music, writing, art and ritual and ceremony, for example. When we create individually we are responding to an impulse that comes to us through our collective consciousness, so that we are constantly informing ourselves to engage in that reality on a conscious level. What we are creating is reminding us about the deepest truth of our existence, which is Infinite Awareness having an experience called ________________ (Fill in the blank with your name) Gabriella, in my case.
The more we transform, spiritualize and alchemize our life (The Great Work) the more that we connect with our true Infinite Beingness.
If we can shift our sense of who we are from “little me” to “Infinite Me”, the transformation in the collective reality will change everything on other levels. The more we give Power to our Infinite Self and our Infinite possibility, the more that will manifest within this World.
If you seek the kernel then you must break the shell. And likewise, if you would know the reality of Nature, you must destroy the appearance, and the further you go beyond the appearance, the nearer you will be to the Essence
I don’t give you anything that you don’t already have. I don’t tell you anything that you don’t already know. The gift that I offer you in this writing is a very gentle nudge of Re-Membrance to point you towards your own inner wisdom. Your inner gnosis. And your moment by moment awareness of living and being present with yourself. Everything is ever changing, shifting and transforming. The question is, how will you respond to this flow – and transform your seemingly “mundane” reality into a sacred place where life feels deep and meaningful?
One simple practice I will share that I am working with right now is looking into a mirror (naked if possible)! Can you look at yourself with unconditional love? Can you look into your eyes, the doorway to the Soul and see your true Being-ness? If not, use that as a doorway, a point of inquiry, to go deeper. This is a powerful practice that I am using as I sit on that “Edge” right now in my own life. This is the Medicine that I am sipping and savoring.
As I write this, I am on the very precipice, an in-between phase, of who I was, who I am becoming and what I will be doing as service to others and Mother Earth as a whole. The next level and cycle of evolution of my own soul plan and template is laid out before me and a new world and new life awaits me. I can see it and sense it, but I know that it is not time yet to fill that space so I wait patiently for the proper timing. In the meantime, I am getting to know my own Self. How can I write this unless I have my own experiential awareness of this inner work to share with all of you? I honor myself and all of you for having the courage to go deeper and deeper into the paradox of this incredible ride called Life, and the wisdom to see the beauty and richness that lies beyond.
In celebration and joy, embracing the gift of our shared humanity (Self) AND expanding our Infinite Awareness
Christ-Mas day ritual play of inherent connection between “Suns”.
A pre-offering to the Gulf of Mexico, my Itu Paqarina and where I was called to have my Vision Quest (Paqowachu) for PMT class.
Leading a group of women on a New Moon with ritual and ceremony focused on Loving our inner and outer beauty and Goddess-ness.
In the Kamasqa Tradition we have a saying that everyone adheres to. When translated it goes like this, ‘The deeper you go, the higher you get.’ In other words, by interiorizing our experience, by allowing ourselves to understand, to feel, to be fully sentient of the fact that it is within the Essence of each living being in which the Universe is revealed in its pleroma, in its plenitude, in its fullness. That no matter how extraordinary our discoveries with external Instruments of exploration are that have yielded the secrets of the physical universe, it is only through our inner explorations that we will attain true gnosis, True self realized understanding and lived experience as the living universe, the Cosmos, the Illa Teqsemuyu Taitanchis Wiracocha Pachakamaq, Itself.
About the Author
Gabriella Galvan is a ceremonialist, ritual artist, shamanic healer and Sanctioned Teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. She walks the path of the Wounded Healer, with apprenticeships in a wide range of modalities and the esoteric arts. By communing deeply with Spirit, Pachamama and her guides, and by diving deeply and doing shadow work into her own psyche, she has brought tremendous healing to her own life. This has been a driving force and catalyst in her service work with others as a mediator between the Worlds. She facilitates and teaches others to empower themselves by showing them that they are already whole. Teaching, assisting and supporting others with a compassionate open heart has brought the greatest joy into her life. Gabriella currently lives in Brownsville, Texas. You can visit her website Sacred Soul Song Healing, her Facebook Page, FB Sacred Soul Song Healing and her Pachakuti Mesa Teachers page at Gabriella Galvan. She is available for sponsorship to your area to teach the PMT Five-part Apprenticeship Series. To learn more about this you can email her at email@example.com or go to the PMT sponsorship page.