A couple of weeks ago we found a scorpion in the bed, on the pillow to be exact, lying right next to Caroline’s head. She noticed it first as I sat at my computer. Alarmed, she shot up from the bed – ‘Is that a scorpion!!??’

I rushed over for a closer look and sure enough it was a scorpion. My blood went cold.  I hurried to find a container of some kind to capture the scorpion. I didn’t want to kill it – it had a right to live…. and I say that not due to any environmentalist cause or philosophy because I don’t care at all about environmentalism (it’s just another box). I say that because it does…. that’s pretty much it.

Anyway, I failed at my attempt to safely transport it to its natural environs outside. The scorpion somehow fell off the pillow and I lost sight of it’s brown, spiny body against the striped, dark-colored floor. Oh shit!

I told Caroline to take Solomon, who was sleeping, up to another part of the house and sleep there for the night. I would have to do an intensive search for the venomous creature and this room would have to be off-limits until I found him, if ever.

Finally, after several tense, sweaty hours of searching I found the scorpion inside the pillow case. Sheesh man! It was around 3am and I was worn out by the whole ordeal. I took the scorpion outside and set it free.

I thought about the danger posed by such a small thing in a big world. And how I, such a big man, could be so scared by such a small thing. Granted, this small thing can make you really ill, or even kill you if it’s one of the deadly kinds of scorpions. But still, its physical size is way out of proportion with the danger it poses…. in my imagination.

It’s the kind of danger that convinces me of its presence when I feel the sharp point of a pine needle or the prick of a sharp twig. Scorpions are everywhere, ubiquitously projected through the slides of my imagined fears.

I believe in the messages of Nature; in the subtle communications of plant and animal spirits, expressions of the Universal Consciousness that bear significance and relevance to the open, listening soul. My journey in life has benefited from the signs and signals of the Earth’s soul branched through myriad channels of the symbolic, the spiritual, the whispering breath of a universe aware of itself and its own.

Scorpions are symbols of sex, death, and darkness – all transformational corridors the passage through which the traveler is assured of his place in a new, higher world through rebirth. Scorpions are messengers of new life, delivering it through pleasure or pain depending upon how we use our energies and whether we are attuned to our lessons along the mysterious journey of being.

I am experiencing literal birth at this time – our second child is due in just a few weeks, the day before my own birthday, in fact.

In addition to the expanding size and complexity of our family, the birth of our second child promises to me added dimensions of fatherhood and the uncovering of layers of being hidden to my awareness, in the same way that Solomon, my firstborn, reveals to me so much of myself that I was not consciously connected to. Through fatherhood I am confronted with my light and my darkness, co-existing fraternal twins within the uterus of my laboring, advancing soul. Which to favor and which to love, and how, is an evolving dynamic that is never clear, never consistent, until seen from the higher ground of an ascending vision. Such is the nature of growth and transformation.

By releasing the scorpion back into the wild I consciously rejected the fight-or-flight reflex that would have crushed the life and guts out of it. I chose to acknowledge, accept, and promote the right to life of a monster of my imagination rather than stomp it out.

Likewise, by metaphorical extension, I acknowledge and accept the darkness, the shadows, in my soul. Maybe it comes with time and aging, although time and aging are never guarantees of acceptance, understanding, and wisdom. Maybe it comes with an expanding consciousness, and it does, but even that is not quite as clear to my mind so conditioned to seek for the logical, the rational, the observable, and the measurable. The lines of growth are never quite straight for me…. maybe that’s why my imagination plays such an active part in my life as temple, priest, congregation, and god.

As I write this the sun is shining, radiating with the brightness and heat of the high desert. And somewhere out there, maybe under the shade of a rock, maybe burrowed deeply in the cool embrace of the soil, a scorpion hides itself, reflecting, maybe, on having been captured and freed by the mysterious forces hidden in its world…. just like I was.

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