Masks in Spirituality: The Rabbit Mask
Imagesource – Tumblr
Masks in Spirituality: The Rabbit Mask
To both the wearer and the beholder mask-magic is a method of overcoming ‘ordinary’ perception and slipping through the ‘cracks between worlds’ into the profound realities of Elphame. The true essence of mask-magic has been ably summed up by Mercia [SIC] Eliade as ‘total transformation of the individual into something other.’ ― Nigel Jackson The Call of the Horned Piper
Masks in Spirituality… Spirituality within masks… Tricky, Tricky, Tricksy…
Spirituality is a journey of personal discovery and theory, based on a belief that lives in the soul and is analyzed by both the heart and mind of the individual.
Nothing in the human comprehension of the universe is finite, there is no singular “truth” – as these ideas are all rationalisations of the human impulse to categorize and validate our powers of deducation. “Truth” is an evolving process with many layers that are peeled back over time, understanding and the accepted rationale adapts over time, and even the most widely accepted theories upon which we base the (current) understanding of our existence are ultimately, theories.
Truth is a mask.
To cling to the concept of one spiritual truth is to seek to validate our existence, our way of life, our beliefs… to others; usually from a place of fear. We wish to see ourselves as individual, separate from our fellow human beings and all other living creatures, indeed the planet itself on which we live and all possible layers to that ecosystem.
Image – El Ritual” — Photographer: Michael Germosén – Blue Focuss Photography
To ignore the interconnected spiritual Ecosystem is a convenience that breeds apathy and allows us to live behind a mask; we are disconnected so we are not accountable. We can segregate and promote an “us versus them” mentality, we can harm other individuals, regardless of the shape of their lifeform (plant, animal, mineral…) without feeling the deep and unpleasant pangs of guilt that accompany responsibility.
“We are all connected. We are not separate from nature, we are nature. The universe and the individual are inseparable. The flowers cannot survive without the bees, and the bees cannot survive without the flowers. So they are one organism. We are part of a tremendous brain which we cannot understand, because the part cannot comprehend the whole.”
– Alan Watts
Whilst theorising about the concept of masks within spirituality in regards to the role of Fear in our spiritual shadows, quickly it became apparent that the attempt to contain such a vast subject in one blog-shaped box was a foolish endeavor, for the notion of masks in spirituality is akin to an ancient tree, with countless branches and roots all stemming from that original trunk, and so for the purpose of clarity it seems wiser to focus on one element at a time in “true” human linear fashion.
And so the most personally pressing concept was that associated with Rabbit as the Fear Caller; how we as human beings take on the mask of the Rabbit, and manifest that of which we are most afraid within our own lives and spiritual spaces.
In the process of seeking to understand personal fear, the message that
“…I will sit with my fear, I will wear it like a mask, I will understand it, in all its complexity, not to simplify it, not to reject it, but to better understand it…”
– Joanne Morris Working with the Dark Queen – an Archetype of alternative Sovereignty
The desire to prove ones self and ones spiritual journey as “real,” “valid,” and the focus on a microcosmic truth of self righteousness is the donning of another mask; the Rabbit mask.
Spirituality can be an adventure and to draw a paradox, it can literally be the journey down the rabbit hole; when the emphasis is of exploration, evaluation, and personal discovery, we can tap into a macro-cosmic evaluation of existence.
That macro-cosmic analysis of the universe is the acceptance that we do not and cannot possibly hope to have one over-arching all encompassing truth; we are small flecks of light in an endless universe, we flash in one brilliant moment of human determined ‘time’.
Put overly frankly, we don’t know shit.
All theory, all theorising, all conceptualisations are systemic from the interconnected spiritual ecosystem that unites all living beings on this planet. The wisdom in plants and trees is no less valid than that of human beings just because we articulate ourselves in a manner that we ourselves have deemed superior.
Art by Sina Domke
Great lessons can be gleaned from “slipping through the cracks” whilst wearing a mask, great magick can be felt in the soul from such experience, and this is also true of the Rabbit mask.
Fear does not have to be an enemy and indeed categorizing fear as a ‘negative’ concept is frankly to miss the point; it all has something to teach us, about ourselves, about the world around us.
All experience is valid.
As we don the Rabbit mask we have opportunities to see through the eyes of others to understand how they have developed fears and behaviours as a result, as well as to see the reflection of who we are in the mask; how we have allowed our fears to define who we are spiritually.
To know that we only reject others from a place of fear and personal wounds that have come about somewhere in our experience of this lifetime, that we declare others “wrong” (amidst uglier words and prejudices) because our focus is on the microcosm of individual expression and experience rather than on a macrocosmic analysis of spiritual pathwalking.
The ugliest and most unfortunate consequence of living behind a Rabbit mask is the tendancy to seek to silence that which is different in the same breath as seeking to validate ourselves as “other.”
We lay claim to titles; Teacher, Mother, Father, Priest, Priestess, Expert, Guru… as though these masks enrich us somehow, make us more accepted, validate our spiritual existence.
More masks, designed to gather acceptance or power.
Image – modernfashionblog.com
Human beings paradoxically seek to belong as they estrange others they have determined to not “deserve” belonging, seeking to silence those that challenge them to look headlong into the Rabbit mask and confront their fear.
As individuals, we must stop seeking to adhere to a comfortable social norm out of fear. If we see lives, indeed ecosystems of life in whatever form they take, being abused, polluted, and destroyed, then we must find our voice, speak out against these injustices, and promote understanding that prevents their recurrence.
As individuals it is our responsibility to understand that we do not belong everywhere, we will not gain the approval of everyone, universal praise in a system that promotes fragmentation is not possible, and individuality is still a strength, even when we accept our interconnectedness.
Further, there is no blame or shame necessary in this realisation.
We are all parts of a whole, no more or less valid than all the other parts, but still, our function is important, unique, and valid.
We all have the rabbit within us, we have all worn this mask, but we can begin a process of metamorphosis using the rabbit energy as a seed to be cracked through, and for new growth to begin from.
Sometimes seeking to please others is as though you had planted your roots in concrete instead of fertile ground. When in fertile ground you find the spiritual nutrients that aid your personal growth; you grow, your roots spread and become grounded even as your branches reach up into the sky, breathing in new life and experience. In concrete you find yourself becoming smaller, dying off on a soul level as your roots are refused access to the grander ecosystem, you are confronted with immovable barriers, blockages and refusals to see your roots as beneficial.
There is no truth, and there is every truth, and somewhere between the cracks of paradox, a measure… a glimpse… of personal understanding takes root, but it does not have to define us.
We too can evolve.
Many blessings, Starlet
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