Spirit Leaves: Untangling the Wreckage


“Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,
London has swept about you this score years
And bright ships left you this or that in fee:
Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.”
— Portrait d’une Femme, Ezra Pound

In Pound’s Portrait of a Lady, a popular socialite becomes the hapless repository of wreckage left by her many admirers. Pound compares the lady, with her “sea-hoard of deciduous things,” to the Sargasso Sea, an ocean full of sunken ships with their tangled and motley cargo. In the end, nothing is “quite her own.” This is a great metaphor for the state of our mind when we allow it to amass too much clutter. With a little introspection and compassion for self, we can release the trash and harvest the treasure of the Higher Self.

We are not our thoughts (thankfully!), because our essence is sacred. Every thought is, in one sense, part of the mind of God. Still, the human, living in duality consciousness, is not beaming Divine ideas 24/7. Self-check the anxious thought stream that occupies our idle, daily musings. We wonder whether any sticky viruses have somehow sought us out and latched on. We are concerned we might be caged inside for months as food, income and entertainments dwindle. We worry about growing old and how we look. We anticipate our partners or roommates becoming fed up with us. And we think in panic, “How the heck will I find housing in the midst of a pandemic crisis?”

We’ve all heard of affirmations; it’s time we truly understood how to use them effectively. Performed thoughtfully, we can use them to silence doubts and fears and fill the mind with positive intentions. Wed those with positive emotions and we generate an irresistible, attractive, magnetic force field. The Universe responds in kind by delivering the best and highest. We soon find ourselves surrounded by all things pleasant and desired — things we ourselves have manifested through harboring higher-sourced intentions.

Another thought our mind likes to trick us with is the misguided idea that we are separate from the Oneness that created us: that is the greatest illusion of all. We tell ourselves in despair that we are all alone. We pretend to be “in control,” yet we feel helpless and anxious much of the time. We forget that we are, in reality, as tiny drops of water in a flowing river, gradually making our way back to the ocean of origin. This is Cedric Red Feather’s illustrative metaphor that still resonates within me 25 years later. We think we’re individual drops; once in the larger ocean, we are indistinguishable from all the other droplets.

We’re in the midst of a great shift in consciousness. Reputable channelers tell us we are at the stage of convergence. The old duality of good and evil, light and dark, plenitude and scarcity, wisdom and ignorance — all these imagined schisms — keep us separate and at war with one another. Are we prepared to release duality consciousness? Are the thoughts in our minds limited by outdated notions of hierarchy and rules, or will we work to intensify ideas of love and compassion until all fears dissolve?

Of course, we want to exercise common sense; yet during this pandemic, we’ve become conditioned to view each human being as a potential threat to our very survival. Of course, we want to maintain social distance — but we can smile and be kind and reassuring in what we emanate. Privately, in our homes, we can spend some time contemplating the wisdom of Neem Karoli Baba, who suggested that we see every single being as “yet another mask of the Beloved.”

By holding that thought, everyone becomes sacred and special to us. We begin clearing the mind of fear-driven thoughts and focus upon sending more positive, loving ones out into the world where they are strongly needed. We become loving and compassionate vessels of light, bright beacons for those mired in mental ships, adrift over dark, uncertain seas. That is the best way to expand, rather than stifle, the soul.

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Janet Michele Red Feather
Janet Michele Red Feather, J.D., M.A., is a ceremonial singer who has learned over 60 traditional songs in Mandan and Lakota and sings in nine different languages. Janet was a full-time defense litigator in California for nearly eight years. Her life changed significantly after she traveled to North Dakota in 1993 to fast and pray for a way of life. A regular columnist for The Edge, she has also appeared in Psychic Guidepost, FATE Magazine and Species Link. Her book, Song of the Wind (2014, Galde Press), dealt with her experiences as an empath, and her journey through Mandan spiritual culture. She is currently a full-time, tenured English faculty member at Normandale Community College, having taught Composition and Literature for a span of 20 years.


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