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Meditation Archive - THE CAVES OF THE NYMPHS by Caitlín Matthews
In my shamanic practice, I see general cases but, more than anything else, I see those which arise from ancestral or vocational causation.  Commonly, clients come to ask: ‘What am I alive for? What should I be doing? What is my vocation?’

Now a vocation is not a job, but it is our work. Wherever we are put down in life, we will be drawn to certain strands of our vocation over and over. If our gift is about clarifying things, then we will be sought out by those who wish that very skill: we may likely be drawn to work that uses that skill.

A vocation isn’t something that arises without small print, of course. The gift that we have needs to unroll with both the skill blent of practice as well as the discernment that arises from good boundaries. We do not wish to disrespect the gift. But still, many have difficulty discerning just what it is.

In the Hermetic Kore Kosmou, where the Goddess Isis explains the nature of soul-guidance to her son, Horus, she speaks about the nature of the soul which, she says, is due:

‘to the nature of the angels and genii who assist them. For souls destined to (their offices) are not without ministers and escort. ...Where the ministering angels and genii appointed are warlike, the soul in their charge takes that character, forgetting its own, or rather laying it aside until some future change of condition. If the guardian angels are of a gentle order, then the soul follows its path in peace; if they are friends of judgement, the soul loves to judge; if they are musicians, then the soul sings; if they love trust, the soul is that of a philosopher. Thus the souls necessarily follow the teaching of their guardians; falling into human bodies they forego their proper estate, and while exiled from it, they approximate to those intelligences by whom they have been embodied.'

Plato’s Myth of Er (which you’ll find at the back of his The Republic) and Porphyry’s Cave of the Nymphs both treat on this vexed question, ‘What am I here to do?’ And so I’ve created this meditation to help you to find out. It leads to the Spindle of Necessity from the Cave of the Nymphs and, if you follow it, it will show you what you want to know. To learn more about what you discerned during your meditation, ask the Inspirer who joined you for more. This means returning and spending time in the locations outlined here which are traditional paths of learning and vision.

You stand in a grotto in which bees make perpetual music. Graven pillars there support weavings too broad and dark for us to see. * Waters pass through the grotto. On either side of the waters are two doors – to north and south. We follow the door to the left and north and pass within.

The place where Night, the Mother of Necessity, sits and between her knees is a Spindle. The shaft of the Spindle goes into the heavens beyond sight, and about its whorl, turn the seven planets and the fixed stars making their celestial harmony.

As you listen to this music, be aware of the daughters of Necessity,  Lachesis and Clotho and Atropos, - Lachesis singing of the past, Clotho of the present, Atropos of the future; Between the knees of Lachesis in the folds of her deep skirts lie many lots that determine the gift of every being. You are permitted to go and take the one that you alone choose. As you take it be aware of what happens. The lot that you yourself chose has form and power.  What is in your hand? What shape does it have? What power floods into you? *

As you grasp the lot and become aware of it, be aware also of the spirit of inspiration that comes with you, to be the guardian and inspirer of your life who helps you fulfill the gift. You are now led to Clotho who winds you into the spiral of the spindle in her hand, in ratification of your destiny. * Next you pass to Atropos, who spins your thread and it unwinds before your feet as the path that you follow. * Follow now and pass beneath the throne of Necessity.

The path you follow leads you back to the grotto where you began. Look once more upon the weaving that hangs here, as starlight falls upon it from the southern door. * Now your path leads on and your inspirer leads you to a temple wherein are many altars. Go instinctively to the altar that is right for you and lay your hands upon it: this is where your gifts have led you and where you receive the direct inspiration to embody that gift, with the blessing of the god or spirit who has blessed you.  Return to this temple again and again, learning more about the way of your gift from your Inspirer.

© – John and Caitlín Matthews Site design by Ocelot Solutions

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