Work of the Soul

Around this time every year, during Reflections annual admissions’ period, I get questions from folks about what is it that we do in our mystery school. Most folks are concerned about requirements for things like homework, reading assignments and how often they have to come to DC. And every year I promise to fill in the gaps in our FAQ.

I decided this year to not wait for questions, and instead of adding even more items to my growing to do list, I will discuss the deeper issue underlying the work of Reflections.

At Reflections, our focus is soul work. We offer classes on magickal and spiritual topics yes, but our primary area of concentration is evolving the soul.

What is Soul Work?

Soul work has many components, many in line with most, if not all, spiritual traditions at their core.

  • It involves strengthening the core, or one’s sense of self. This portion involves building up inner and outer boundaries, the I and the not-I for instance. This is crucial if one wants to experience the oneness of all. One cannot merge with source until one has a self to dissolve.
  • It involves shadow work. We reclaim our hidden energy and talents, literally the gold held by the Minotaur, so that it is available in our life and in our work. As we take back our projections, cleanse our lens and unearth our repressions, our soul expands. This work is crucial for everyone, but most especially for those that follow a spiritual or leadership path.
  • It involves building a spiritual practice that continually polishes the jewel of our soul. I am often quoted as saying, “It is not how long you can be centered, grounded, compassionate and present, but in how you return to grace.” And the key is having a regular practice of returning to grace.
  • It involves self-awareness as to our strengths, weaknesses, talents, abilities and limits. In this way we can give from our surplus instead of our scarcity. Too often we are not responding to our internal sense of “Yes!” but to an external expression of “No.” So we contour our spherical selves to slip into ill-fitted square holes and then wonder why something doesn’t feel quite right about our lives. At Reflections we start with who and what we are in our core and expand to fill it out by beginning our search for meaning within.
  • It involves discovering our growing edge. What is the growing edge? Our growing edge is the place where it seems like the entire multi-verse is conspiring to draw our attention. The issue will come up at work, at the doctor’s office, and in your intimate relationships, hell even complete strangers will bring it your attention. Everyone and everything seems to be shouting, “Look at this!” It is our belief that if we attend to the edge that is being called to our attention we will have the most traction with our efforts and potentially experience the greatest growth.
  • It involves listening to the ancient voice within. We listen primarily through our dreams. Dream work requires us to learn the language of mystery itself. We attune to this language through the study of myth, folk tales and symbolism. We excavate our dreams for images, symbols and messages. We enact ritual to engage these mysteries and strengthen our vocabulary, grammar and syntax in this ancient tongue.
  • It involves listening to each other. We recognize the divine in everyone and allow ourselves the luxury of deciphering its message within voices of the people that surround our lives, especially those who have made a spiritual commitment to evolve their souls.
  • It involves reaching outside the known. We listen as well to the wisdom keepers of the world. We study, discuss and engage with ancient lessons shared by those we encounter in our daily lives and those we seek out for wisdom and mentoring.
  • It involves all of this and so much more.

And then we rinse and repeat.

So many people I have met wonder what is it that attracts them to Reflections. They are all knowledgeable people with extraordinary gifts. They ask themselves, “What can I possibly encounter that is new in this school?” Which is a good question. If all you do is look at the classes we offer publicly, with rare exceptions, many advanced spiritual practitioners will find that they already have sufficient knowledge and ability in most of these areas.

It is in the portions that are not open to the public, however, that our true worth shines. We are first and foremost a community of fellow seekers on the path. We are a haven for folks who in their respective communities are often sought out for answers. The question is this. Where do you go with *your* questions? At Reflections, you will find peers, mentors and elders.

And finally, when all is said and done, the real reason it works is because we have committed elders and brilliant teachers. Angela Raincatcher, the presiding Celebrant of Becoming, is our School Administrator. Ivo Dominguez, Jr., Elder of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, and I are the faculty. Every year we invite brilliant teachers such as T. Thorn Coyle, Helena Domenic, Michael Smith and Lisa Aerianna Tayerle. Next year we have Anne Hill of Dream Talk Radio and Tigre Cruz of Kiva already lined up to offer classes in 2010.

Obviously, I am not an objective observer. I hope our students, visiting teachers and staff will add their voices to this discussion by commenting.

I am proud of the work we do in Reflections. And every year, we work hard at improving the school, the classes, and our student’s experience. If this sounds like something that may meet your needs, apply. I look forward to hearing from you.

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Fri, 10/16/2009 - 10:35am.

Angela Raincatcher (not verified) | Wed, 10/28/2009 - 5:15pm

Katrina,

This post inspired a short post on my blog: http://www.nineravens.com/archives/soul-divers-shouldnt-work-alone/

"Every once in a while, someone asks me what I get out of my work with Reflections Mystery School, where I have been a student for the last 5 years. I usually find this a difficult question to answer because the work I have done is so personal and intimate and, at the same time, infuses every part of my life."

Thank you for helping me put some words around this question.

love,
Angela

»

Patricia (not verified) | Mon, 10/26/2009 - 10:52am

I think Katrina covered the basic concept of Soul Work very well, and was glad to see she said: we rinse and repeat. There are times this work really feels like going through the wringer, but it is worth it. The work itself is worth it; we are worth it. It is important.

I have taken many public classes, some even basic ones, and I find I always come away with a new idea, concept or perspective, that shows a whole new facet that I had not explored. In the beginning, I took some of the basic classes, because I wanted to see what it was like, what the teaching and style was like before I applied to the school. I obviously liked what I saw (though I was also nudged by deity to explore the school further). I continue to take classes, some even basic ones, because I have recognized the facets are important, and sometimes I find new jewels or peals of wisdom, that deepen my own experience. It is very worth it, even classes I found personally challenging at the time, came to mean so much later.

I agree that the Reflections only work is the deepest, and provides the most meaning. I have sat in class or ritual and seen first hand, others grow and learn. I too have learned and grown and continue to do so. It can be challenging, but that work is good, even when it seem like everything is falling apart, it give you an anchor to hold or can be a tiny beacon in the distance when going through a dark night of the soul. There have been times when we sharing with each other, that someone mentions, how Reflections offers them the only place where they can bring not only their questions, but their concerns. A place where they are taken care of, rather than being the one to take care of others, as they so often do in their work outside of the school. We do take care of each other, but we work to recognize and support our brothers and sisters both those on the path and those seeking it, and we are, in turn, recognized and supported. It is difficult work and we have a support system that allows each of us to have our own experiences, but we do not have to struggle alone or without assistance, if needed or wanted. We share our sorrows, our joy, our struggles, and our triumphs with love and support.

We do have wonderful teachers, faculty and staff. I have never been disappointed in a class, except if it ended up not being able to be offered for lack of enrollment. Our teachers and staff work hard to listen to all of our feedback, both our concerns and praises and use it to shape future class/ritual experiences. Katrina is always willing to accept honest feedback, in fact, she craves it, because she wants us to have the best experience we can while we learn the work and we walk the path. Angela, as our School Administrator, is very approachable even though her role is not an easy one; she works hard and listens to our needs and concerns, if any arise. She is also a student, so she can relate and we appreciate her taking on this role. Ivo is great too, the first class I took at Reflections before being a student of the school, was one of his. It was very informative and intense work and was a wonderful experience. We look forward to seeing more of him. ;-)

Reflections is a school we can all be proud of, I think everyone it touches comes away with something important. The more one puts in, the more ones gets out of it. We learn so much about our work, our path, each other and ourselves in a supportive environment. It can be challenging, but it is an immensely rewarding experience. We also often have fun, humor and enjoy being with each other as we seek/walk our paths.

These, briefly, are just a few of my thoughts/feelings about the School based on the comments Katrina has made. Others at Reflections may have other insights, thoughts or feelings to share about their own experiences with Reflections that they are willing to share.

blessings,
Patricia

»

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Recent comments

  • Nephthys (not verified)

    I've been with Firefly for a number of years, I recently left my position at The Firefly Community to pursue other dreams but to be clear how much I was involved before I address the statements made, I was a teacher, Priestess, member of the Inner Circle of the Council of Elders, Course Contributor, Clergy, Delegate and Divination reader so I was quite involved with Firefly on many levels.

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  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I for one have been pondering this question. Iris did highlight a valuable point - how are checks and balances established to prevent potential abuse and to air concerns. These are hard lessons that groups need to learn.

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  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I have a traumatic brain injury.

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    2 years 3 days ago
  • Kali Firemoon (not verified)

    Katrina,

    I am so sorry that we have not met yet since it so obvious from your comments that you are a close personal friend of Iris’s and know all there is to know about the situation from a front row seat. I mean, after all, one who has seen a woman four months pregnant, losing weight and physically appearing to not be pregnant would of course understand the emotional, and yes, physical stress she was under. But of course, since you were there I don’t need to remind you of that. So lets move on to the rest of the story, you know where her husband chose to have unprotected sex with someone else, who I am sure was a complete virgin and posed no risk to mother or child, and then husband went home to engage in carnal activities with his wife, confident that his unborn child was never at risk. Yes, I am sure that all of your female students understand why you are firmly in the husband’s court. After all, it’s always the woman’s fault when marriages go bad. Or at least that is what I seem to glean from your article. Yes, I am Firefly, and I was one of the one’s chosen to help this woman after she was victimized by this predator who seems to have persuaded the pagan community that it is acceptable to treat not one, not two but at last count four woman as though they were simply a means to his end. And BTW I know she attempted to alert the community to her situation and apparently no one felt it worth even a cursory investigation. Oh yes, one more example of us not wanting to rock any one’s boat. I will tell you that in response to her story, several other pagan women have come forward with similar stories of abuse reported to the male members of a community met with similar disdain and an obvious desire to hide this type of behavior. Do I believe it happened this time, yes; do I believe that this community is willing, no matter the cost, to hide this type of behavior, yes. No one wants to call attention to the pagan community because we already have an undeserved stigma. But that does not mean we should allow behavior none of us condone simply because we are afraid of controversy. If one of us needs be sanctioned, then we either stand and sanction or accept the stigma so many would place upon us. We need to “police” our own. When four and probably five women come forth and tell the same story of predatory behavior against women we either act or fold the tents and go home. So I suggest you talk to all of them before you post any more pontifications. I also realize you can never post this but we both know you will have read it.

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    Hello Katrina,
    Although we know one another, mostly online but also when we met at Sacred Harvest Festival, for your readers let me note that I'm the Managing Editor of PNC-News and the Co-Editor of PNC-Minnesota. I was the primary author of the PNC-News statement that you are writing about.

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    Thank you for this perspective. I very much appreciate the voice of the elders as I struggle with my own (not-voiced) feelings about this situation and its outcome.

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