In one of the traditions that forms my personal practice, the term reconciliation refers to a wide body of ritual lore and ceremonial observances aimed at reconciling lovers, friends, or family members who have parted ways–usually in anger, pain, and almost always deep miscommunication. Reconciliation work is the most commonly requested service I am called upon to provide by far. More than the desire to attract a beloved, more than the blessing of children & families, and more than any kind of abundance work you can think of, folks look to ritual when their hearts are broken and hurting.
Often when I first speak to clients about their desire to reconcile they see it in a very narrow light. We fought, we broke up, I am hoping to make up, so the story goes. And this is fine, it is true in so far as it goes but what I have found in my years of practice is that it does not go deep enough–not by a long shot. So today I want to talk about the spiritual component of reconciliation.
Theologically reconciliation deals with one aspect of salvation: the re-uniting of the soul with the Divine, the Source of All. In the Catholic church the act of Confession is sometimes called the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. This is because, as I understand it, confession is a ritual cleansing, and it allows us to make peace, to reconcile with ourselves FIRST and then with God. Now some people see God/Goddess/Spirit in Christ on the cross, or in Our Lady of Guadalupe, or in Cerridwen, or in the Green Man, or in Yaweh, or in Yemayah, or Buddha, or Krishna, or in the stones, plants, animals, and living soil on which they live. Most religious traditions agree that as it is above, so it is below-that we, each of us, have a share in the divine, in the Godhead, in the Source of All. That means that when we seek to reconcile with our own sense of the Divine we must first reconcile with ourselves. I don’t think its an accident that many mystical traditions such as Gnostic Christianity and Sufism to name a couple, view God as the ultimate lover & beloved, for when we seek out the Divine we do so from an impulse to know and love more deeply and truly.
This is why spiritually speaking personal reconciliation work is so difficult to achieve, not because people fuss and fight or because broken up relationships are beyond repair, but because, as Confucius says-we must look within first and address our shortcomings before commenting on someone else’s. We must look within and see clearly-warts and all our own illusions, shortcomings, fears, mis-placed prides–we must look truly and deeply. Once we see it clearly we can acknowledge and address the scars, the blocks, and illusions. We can apply a healing balm to those parts of ourselves that have been wounded, cut up, and isolated, we can summon a bit of breath and brightness to our hidden places, we can reconcile in, of, and with ourselves and in so doing acknowledge our own blessed divinity. Reconciliation is not for all times and places. It is specific work applied at particular moments in a day, a week, a month, a life. But if you are f
eeling the “fracking F’s” as I call them: fragmented, fractured, fearful, and frazzled, then it might be time to consider reconciling with the greatest lover of all–your own soul and your understanding of what is most Divine and Holy. It is also noteworthy to remember that “holy” springs from the old English halig and literally means to make whole, this of course is the ultimate goal of all kinds of reconciliation.
May there be blessed wholeness and holy-making for us all.