Sunday, March 20, 2005

Wisdom and healing

I use Patricia Monaghan's book, The Goddess Companion, as a guide for daily meditation. Yesterday's text was from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Here is an excerpt:

...why do we not praise ourselves?/ I not praise myself, my dignity,/ my special virtue? All excellence, Minerva thought,/demands respect and praise - even our own.

Monaghan adds commentary:

[Minerva] was [the Roman] goddess of wisdom and healing, for how can true healing not be tied to wisdom? Healing requires balance, which comes in turn from wisdom. Healing also requires self-knowledge and self-development, both forms of wisdom. There is no way to truly heal the body without also healing the mind and soul.

I think that's exactly right. I'm engaged in healing right now, from both physical ailments - recent back surgery and migraines - and the emotional trials of graduate school, which has left me disempowered to an extent I'm just beginning to understand. As part of my healing, I've joined a mystery school. I'm not entirely sure what that means yet, but we're learning how to seek physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and interpersonal health through practices of self-understanding and energy work. While the school isn't explicitly pagan - it's more ecumenically spiritual - the practices I'm learning fit perfectly with my spiritual exploration right now. And the emotional and spiritual work is deeply challenging.