Archive for November, 2007

I can’t say that I know what it all means, but in honor of the day, here’s how it happened for me:

I was feeling profoundly restless. I was looking for something I could sense vaguely but didn’t understand. Mostly I was casting around in the dark, but I was trying to follow the chain of synchronicity that was just then returning to my life after many years of absence.

On September 11, 2002, I was driving home from work when I happened to look down at my odometer – not something I do often – and saw that it was showing all ones across. I thought it was a coincidence that my car should hit such a milestone on the first anniversary of 9/11 and that I should happen to look down just then to see it. Then my mind moved onto thoughts of the previous year.

Barely two hours later, my sister was telling me about her recent vacation when she mentioned that the friend she had visited was “into portals and the eleven-eleven.” Huh?!

It felt like there had been a radio playing a half-tuned station in the next room for a long time – just white noise to me – and then, in a flash, it tuned in and I registered it consciously.

“Wait, what is this eleven-eleven?”

My sister said it had to do with “ascension” and “portals.”

“Portals to where?”

She didn’t know. The idea of portals was tantalizing to me even though it made no sense. Now I know that there is a range of interpretation on 11:11, but then my ignorance was total . . .

“But why is it ‘eleven-eleven’?” I asked.

My sister explained that her friend sees elevens everywhere — the number comes up synchronistically for her. I had goosebumps. I told her about how I caught my odometer showing all ones across on the way home from work that very day. I said it was four ones – 1111 – because at the time that’s what I thought, but actually it was five – 11111 (shows how little I pay attention to my car’s mileage).

The odometer turning to all ones on that particular date . . . me noticing . . . then my sister mentioning “eleven-eleven.” There was a convergence of coincidences that felt powerfully synchronous to me. And that was the beginning. Elevens started turning up everywhere. Bill totals, receipts, license plates or signs on cars and trucks cutting me off, email time stamps . . . Odd little things — and some big things — started occurring at 11:11 to draw my attention to the clock at that moment. Some nights I found myself jolting from a deep sleep to look at the clock at exactly 11:11 p.m. Elevens were speaking a secret language to me through the random details of my life.

I did some googling and became familiar with various things people say about the phenomenon. I used to be more interested in reading these theories and speculations, but I’ve lost track of that research. I guess eleven-eleven was indeed a portal and it has led me to other mysteries.

Some say that 11:11 is a wake up call that we coded ourselves with prior to this incarnation. Maybe that’s true. It certainly worked as a wake up call of sorts for me. Whatever the case, I felt the onset was an invitation to the grail quest. I accepted and have been traveling that path ever since. I see the elevens in my life now as little breadcrumbs along the way.

On 11/11/04, at 11:11 PST, Uranus stationed direct in the sign of my Ascendant, Sun and Moon, beginning a long series of transits that are now lighting up my chart like a pinball machine. On 11/11/06, unbeknownst to me, something happened a few hundred miles away that ended up bringing a major crisis into my life for the winter and early spring. When I learned that it all started on November 11th, I knew that however bad it felt at the moment, it would somehow be a transformative experience. It would be a portal to the next level. And it was.

And as many have observed — per the U.S. Naval Observatory — the Winter Solstice will occur at exactly 11:11 UT on December 21, 2012 — which of course is the date posited by people like John Major Jenkins as the culmination of the Mayan Long Count.

I don’t have the answers, but in my experience, the elevens mark the doorway. Approached in a mindful, heart-centered manner, they can lead toward positive transformation. Let’s go through.

Threshold Guardians: The True Story of Falcon, Bear and Me

Last fall, I started having dreams about a black bear emerging from nowhere and coming after me. I would be terrified. I had seen a real black bear in the woods twice – once on my way to a sacred boulder in Maine a few years ago. I was afraid of bear attacks. Inevitably in the dreams, I tried to run and the bear chased me, grabbing my right shoulder from behind.

Meanwhile, little did I know that there was a monstrous thing lurking under the surface of my real life. It started making ominous noises the first weekend of December. By the middle of the month, it was howling and rattling the cellar door from below. Then, on the Solstice, I had the Falcon and the Bear dream.

From the moment I opened my eyes, I knew that this dream was a gift. I’ve always loved birds and felt a connection with hawks, but there was a falcon that used to frequent the window of my third floor office, back when I had an office and the “upwardly mobile” corporate job that came with it. I loved that falcon. His aerial displays outside my window reminded me that there was something true and meaningful to do out there in the world – away from the mind-numbing meetings and soul-sickening ethical compromises. So the dream bear’s apparent partnership with the falcon put the bear in a whole new light for me.

Through the winter, as the monstrous thing broke out of the cellar and tore through my life, I clung to this dream as if it were a coded map that could somehow show me the way out of the crisis.

One January afternoon, I was waiting for a train on a lonely suburban platform. I decided to make use of the ten minutes I had to wait in the cold by meditating on the dream. I closed my eyes, began my breathing and at a suitable point started to replay the dream. Instead of letting it end where it did, I visualized entering my old bedroom, where the falcon and the bear were holding court. I knelt before them and . . . for some reason unknown to me I opened my physical eyes and looked up to see a real live falcon flying low over my head on the platform! I am not kidding. It was not a hawk. It was a falcon.

Prior to this, I had not seen a falcon in life outside the one that frequented my old office window and a few up in Maine while I was on vacation. Hawks are a common sight in my area, but not falcons.

On another day soon after, I was listening to Rick Jarow’s The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide at work. He was using the seasonal cycle of a tree to illustrate the life cycle of all endeavors. At the end of each cycle, he said, was the bare tree in winter – associated with the North and the hibernating Bear. It is a time to draw inward and lie fallow to make way for new growth in the spring. It seemed that I was indeed dealing with an ending in my life. Was the dream bear’s message to simply let go of what was ending, to embrace my present fallowness and to look deep within?

I tried to take that message to heart. Meanwhile, though, the monstrous thing was terrorizing my daily life. I was having trouble sleeping, eating, breathing – yes, definitely breathing – and concentrating. The RIF underway at work made it worse – I felt I had no refuge. Every sphere of my life felt unsafe. For the first time that I could remember, I sometimes had fears that I might not be able to put one foot in front of the other to make it through each day. I could see a sunnier place I wanted to be in the distance, but I didn’t know how to get there from where I was.

The crisis was intensifying as my birthday approached. The total lunar eclipse on the Virgo/Pisces axis occurred the day before my birthday. Every chord of my natal chart was being struck by the transits of the hour. The transiting moon – opposed to my natal sun – was being eclipsed in the same area of life that the monstrous thing was tearing up. Meditating through the hour of the eclipse, I consciously released the part of my life that the monstrous thing had taken over. I offered it up to the eclipse and accepted the loss. Then I replayed my dream of the falcon and the bear. I picked the dream up where it had ended. I visualized walking up the stairs, entering my old bedroom and kneeling before the falcon and the bear. Many times previously I had tried to ask them questions. This time I just listened.

Suddenly they wheeled around the room and came to rest on my shoulders – Falcon on my left, Bear on my right. Then a fiery orb appeared in my lap and I held it. I felt tremendous energy . . . and power.

The crisis came to a head in the weeks that followed, and I had several confrontations with the monstrous thing. In these confrontations, my expression flowed freely and truly, whereas before I felt choked. The confrontations were beating back the monster, but it had only retreated to the cellar.

Then one day on my way home from work, a falcon flew over my car and landed on a nearby pole as I was driving through a railroad crossing. This inspired me to seize the moment and take a bold action that night. That bold action was honest and true and completely unconscious of outcomes. I didn’t plan it, but somehow it exorcised the monstrous thing and something new and better began to emerge in place of what the monster had wrecked. By the summer, I found myself in a new and sunnier place – but not the one I had imagined. A better place.

Today the journey continues and the road ahead me is long. But now I feel grateful to have Falcon and Bear on either side.