I have recently discovered the reason why I am here. And I suppose that is enough. I think that is a journey that we all must go on, alone. I cannot tell you why you are here or what your purpose is. As you seek to find this answer in yourself, let me give a bit of a warning. Don’t look for the answer to this mystery with expectations. Some people come into this life with an important job to do. Most of us are not going to change the world the way that Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, Mother Teresa or political leaders have. Although that does not mean we cannot influence or make a different in the world. For the majority of us, our life’s purpose is something smaller and more personal.
Earlier this month, my good friend and fellow High Priestess, Sarah, led a women’s ritual that I attended. In this ritual, we went on a deep journey to meet Sarah’s matron Goddess Nehalennia. As we begin this meditative journey we greeted each element. In the South, I saw a snake twined around a pole. Now for me, snakes are a positive totem to have around. I have a strong connection to the energy of Snake, but it had been a while since I’d seen Snake anywhere. Although I do not fear snakes (I actually like them), seeing Snake in the South made me sit up and take notice. I knew that there was going to be a potent message in the journey.
As we continued through the meditation, we eventually reach the temple of Nehalennia where she greets us with a gift. Along with the gift that Nehalennia was giving to each of us, I also received a snake from her. As she stretched her hand out to me, there was a snake wrapped her arm that unwound itself, slithered over her hand onto mine, and settled itself around my arm.
Snake’s medicine is all about transmutation, change, and growth. Because snakes shed their skin, they are associated with cycles, especially the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. As Snake sheds its skin so we too can shed our illusions and limitations. Then we are able to use our vitality and desires to achieve wholeness.
After our journey, the women who attended this ritual shared their experiences. I told the group about the snake and that I knew I was about to go through another shift in my life. I was either in the middle of or about to begin a period that would require me to grow, change, and become a better person. And in true fashion to myself, I had to make a joke about how it seems like that is all I ever do – grow, change, mature, adapt.
For days after the ritual, I kept thinking about my experience and what Snake wanted with me. And then suddenly, I knew. Snake was me. I am Snake. This is my purpose. My life’s purpose and meaning is for me to grow. That’s why I’m here; to learn, to gain wisdom, to mature, to change, to adapt, to experience and learn lessons. This was an amazing and humbling experience. To be gifted with the insight on to why you’re alive! You may have heard the idea that you cannot be responsible for others, but only yourself. You cannot control others, only yourself. Somehow knowing that my life’s purpose is to transform into the best me that I can be, put that old adage into a new perspective. I am here to work on me, not save the world. I cannot fix the world and fix me at the same time. I cannot help others until I have helped myself.
The longer I think about this, the more it feels right. It would be “right” if I was just going on off of my experience at the ritual. But do you know how when you stumble upon a Truth, you see how other things in your life point towards that Truth as well? All of my main deities are deities of destruction, death, and rebirth. This is the cycle of life, and the cycle of the snake as it sheds its skin. I am born under the sign of death and rebirth in Western Sun astrology. Most of my astrology associates me with snakes and water. And is water not the origin of all life, where things are born out of?
Spring is in the air (and the snakes are coming out) and now is a good time to start becoming more active, and doing all those things you kept thinking about over the Winter. So I encourage you all to go outside, embrace all the new signs of life, and take a few moments to ponder what your life’s purpose may be. Maybe it will be something big, important, and world changing. Maybe it will be something internal. Whatever it is, know that your life’s purpose is amazing and important, and no matter how big or how small it seems, it will change the world. It will certainly change your world.
With wisdom and empowerment,