Warrior's Journey; The Dark Night of The Soul...
The Warrior’s Journey as depicted in the painting below represents the soul’s journey through the dark night of the soul, a time of spiritual purging and illumination. Whether by choice or by chance, a time requiring courage, fortitude and partnership with Spirit, as the process can bring loneliness and despair until such time of celebratory rebirth.
The Warrior’s scepter represents the ceremonial connection to the supreme source of power. His steed (fortitude and strength) charges forward with courage, prowess and tenacity through the cycle of death (winter), guided by the illumination of the full moon (intuition and the unconscious), towards the evolution to his higher self of full empowerment. The adornments of red represent the passion and fire necessary; as a Warrior he faces his initiation head on in this spiritual rite of passage.
With long tresses (power, strength) trailing from man and beast, he passes through the barren landscape on his Winter passage around the Tarot’s The Wheel of Fortune. The wheel symbolizing cycles and the fullness of journeys without end. Each aspect as a portal of initiation to be passed through for one’s potential outcome, completion and fortune.
The Winter cycle represents death of the old in preparation for rebirth. A time, which if not understood, can be riddled with darkness and mental/emotional demons; the dark night of the soul before the new light is seen.
As Shamans, Medicine people and ancient cultures understand, the Warrior must seek his own death symbolically to be reborn into full potential. This may take many cycles of initiation around the Wheel, as the soul’s journey is never ending. Rather it gathers all lifetimes, accumulating ancient knowledge to engage with one’s current incarnation. As the soul is immortal.
The story of Christ’s crucifixion is one such symbology of the Warrior and of the Hero’s Journey of self-sacrifice for the purpose of evolution into the Alpha and the Omega; the sacred I AM, as one with all things. Christ’s journey was for the cosmic soul, while each of us are on individual journeys on our personal and eternal sojourn.
When approached with intent and knowledge this journey is sought with courage, though challenged by the sacrifices of that which needs to be let go of to achieve, either in form or in thought. Many are called but not all choose to complete this gauntlet. It’s a journey taken in solitude yet can be guided by esoteric symbols, archetypes and guides.
Part of this journey is to face our own shadow; and the letting go process of that which no longer serves us as represented in the Tarot’s Death card. Which represents transformation. This could involve outdated beliefs and obsolete lifestyles. Or it could be literal as we pass into the realm of angels until our next incarnation. In the case of Initiation, it makes way for the next cycle of rebirth; the overall message is that of infinite possibilities. And we learn to face these earthly transitions as the Warrior Spirit.
In his book the "Power of Myth", Joseph Campbell speaks of the Hero’s Journey...
For heroes to begin their journeys, they must be called away from the ordinary world. Fantastic quests don’t happen in everyday life. Heroes must be removed from their typical environment. Most heroes show a reluctance to leave their home, their friends, and their life to journey on a quest. But in the end they accept their destiny.
In this artist’s rendition, the owls surround the Warrior as they guide him through the night. They are the keepers of knowledge which represent the Great Mystery, that which is unseen in a world of illusion. One connects to one’s power guides through various ways; soul journeying, vision quests, purification ceremonies (Inipi), discipline, silent meditation, and solitude. Our spiritual guides, animal spirits and totems provide direction and inspiration to pursue the journey through such an arduous task.
The Journey is to arrive at one’s dharmic destination to uncover cosmic law and order. To dissolve the restrictions placed by ego consciousness. Like an egg cracking open to regenerate a new form, to be fully present in a lifetime of cycles. To break free of karmic debt and self-imposed restrictions. To become the Warrior of Spirit; fully present in Life. It is a journey worth taking.
Peace, love and strength on your journey ...
Rosemarie Ceraso © 2023
Warrior's Journey painting - Artist Unknown. I would have liked to have met the artist who shared his/her journey through the brilliance of this painting. I was gifted a signed print of the original by a student of mine, however, the signature is not legible. It hangs in a place of honor to remind me of my path during these cyclical times whenever I need to recall my own wisdom...