rosarium 1

Looking Back / Looking Ahead

With Bob’s transition on the vernal equinox of 2006, my outer as well as inner journey took its most decisive turn since the wintry eve sixty-two years previously when first our eyes had met. I had been fifteen and he seventeen. The above illustration from a 16th – 17th alchemical work titled Rosarium Philosophorum is a picture worth a 1000 words of what the future held for us.

But before delving into the archetypal under girding of the forces of attraction by which two lives who are so destined become conjoined, let me bring you up to date.

In moving into year two of my life after Bob’s transition, I am persuaded to begin a more personal level of sharing from the somewhat voluminous journal dialogues that have transpired between us. Also, with the passage of a full year’s cycles, my vision of what lies ahead is beginning to take shape, this occurring incrementally as we have moved to a surprising new level of our souls’ eternal connection.

My first year after Bob’s transition was spent mostly away from Murray Creek, and culminated with a trip to Scotland accompanied by Anna, our oldest daughter. The trip was to visit our eldest son Robert Jr and was prompted by a dream in which Bob had appeared in full Scottish regalia. In working with this dream and in subsequent journal dialogues, the indication was that an aspect of healing work we had been doing for many years was to continue, but on a new level with him en spiritu and me still physically here. The dream was on July 21st, exactly four months after his transition.

Bob is in full–really full–“Scottish regalia.” Masses of people are congregating. The setting is a combination of an outdoor area with a nearby large parking area. We decide that I should go get our car and bring it to a place where we agree to meet. I am not concerned about getting separated from Bob, although normally I would have been. It is as though we have built-in homing devices. The sense is of some culminating collective occurrence. Most of those gathered don’t seem to understand what is happening, but have been drawn en mass by what I assume to be instinct. Bob, because of the way he is dressed, stands out against the background of the crowd. The outfit he is wearing somehow identifies or relates to his role.

When son Robert was home for Christmas we made plans for me to spend the last two weeks of February in Scotland. This would include a trip to the Elliott clan territory in the Borders region. At that point I had no further specific instructions concerning what Bob referred to as the “assignment.” But I did understand it to be along the lines of the same “generational” healing work we had been doing for a number of years whenever such need had been discerned. By now I also understood that once this “assignmen” was completed I would return to Murray Creek where, as Bob had repeatedly emphasized, our work together could best be carried out.

In preparation for our trip Anna sent for maps of Scotland. We also researched the Borders area and particularly the Elliott clan lands. In studying a map of the area the most significantly Elliott territory seemed centered around Heritage Castle, traditionally where the head of the clan had resided. Further instructions came concerning marking a triangular area on the map. This was in order to limit the scope of the healing work to be done. With Heritage as one point, to find the second point of the triangle I dowsed an enlargement of our map of the area with the indication pointing to Hawick, some twenty miles to the north of Heritage. The third point was then a simple matter of triangular geometry and turned out to be at the edge of the Wauchope Forest, close to but not exactly on a spot where a particularly bloody border battle between the Scotch and English had taken place in 1575. A fourth and the most significant point was given as the exact center of the triangle. Our map indicated this as being on Wyndborough Hill, the site of an ancient burial cairn.

The remaining instructions for our visit to this particular triangle of the Elliott clan territory included some sort of “witness” to be left at each of the four points. For this Anna made laminated facsimiles of a Murray Creek Labyrinth coin designed and minted some years ago by Jim Naylor. We also chose four crystals from Bob’s shamanic bag to leave at each point.

Once in Scotland I asked for a liturgy suitable for the work and which would put it within the context of a sacramental and transpersonal empowerment. The following was given:

Prayer of Divine Mercy for the Repair of the Breech

Eternal Father, Divine Mother, we offer you the Body and Blood, the soul and the divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

For the sake of his most sorrowful passion

Have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Pour out your mercy on this place, and on this land.

We pray for all souls harmed here in any way so as to have lost their way on their eternal journeys.

Pour out your mercy on both the perpetrators and the victims of violence here and in adjoining vicinities.

We petition in behalf of and for the release of any souls or fragments of souls held here.

We deliver any souls so desiring into the care of the Beings of Light and your assisting Angels here to guide their return to pathways of light.

We join with all of heaven in rejoicing at their reunion with loved ones from whom they have been separated, even the lost parts of their own eternal souls.

Gracious Father, Loving Mother, Beings of Light and assisting Angels, we give thanks for the privilege of having a part in this work of reparation.

Return to Murray Creek

On my first attempt to come home  I lasted a week before, from lack of restraint, I suffered a mid-back compression fracture. So back to nurse Annaâ’s I went to have this repaired. The very day after the procedure I was again determined to make the trip back from Paso Robles to Murray Creek in time for the Easter arrival of Conal and Holly with their u-haul trailer of their drastically pared down earthly possessions. They were coming to live in the house Conal had purchased some three years previously on the 20 acres just to the east of our family 60 acres. But my back, instead of quickly restoring me to a pain free life, worsened. And back to Anna’s I went once more for another round of medical treatment and a month of physical therapy. With significant gradual improvement and with the expectation this would continue, Joseph and Ebru came down to bring me home. This third attempt to settle in at Murray Creek seems to be working with proof being that each morning with my trekking poles in hand I walk to and through the Labyrinth and back home.

And so with this entry I once again take up the task of writing about the ups and downs, the twists and turns of this journey called life.

About ann

When Bob and Ann Elliott purchased their sixty acre Murray Creek property in 1974 their purpose was to establish a retreat center for Inner Healing. This was the beginning of Creative Living Center and later the home of CLC Press which gradually evolved into an on-line means of sharing what they were learning and experiencing about the processes of becoming whole. Ann was born in 1929 in Holden, Missouri. Her parents were both journalists and co-published the local newspaper. They had met in Mexico City where her father was on assignment for a Washington DC newspaper and where her mother was doing advanced studies at the University of Mexico. When Ann was six they separated and she moved to Kansas City where her mother began a long career in radio and television. In high school Ann was sent east to Penn Hall in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. And that is where she met Bob who was attending Mercersburg Academy, the nearby boy's prep school. Bob was born in 1927 in Washington, DC. His mother had been a librarian in Hammond, Indiana before coming to Washington during World War I where she met his father, a young Marine who became an attorney when the war was over. Bob attended Sidwell Friends School in Washington through eighth grade and went on to Mercersburg, and from there, near the end of World War II, into the army. The war over, he began pre-law at Northwestern where Ann was studying journalism and doing secretarial work for her mother who was then Woman's Editor of American Broadcasting Co in Chicago. In the fall of 1947 Ann and Bob were married and the following spring left for Stanford University where Bob finished his undergraduate and went on to earn his law degree in 1952, by which time they were expecting the second of what would be their six children. During Bob's years at Stanford Ann studied and worked in the field of design. This led to her interest in symbolism, and the study of symbolism awakened her interest in spirituality, a combination that led to an interest in Jungian psychology at about the time Jung's writings were beginning to appear in English. It was through the writings of Christian Jungians such as John Sanford and Morton Kelsey that Ann became interested in the psycho-spiritual approaches to inner healing. Eventually she would connect with the three grand women founders of the San Francisco based Guild For Psychological Studies, all of whom had studied with Jung in Zurich. Together the three--Elizabeth Boynton Howes, Sheila Moon, and Luella Seibald--had established the Four Springs retreat center in Northern California where they conducted seminars based on "The Records of the Life of Jesus of Nazareth" according to a modified Socratic method. Ann participated in the Records and other related seminars at Four Springs during the 1980s. In the meantime, Bob was equally involved in pursuing his special interest in music as a means of furthering and deepening meditation. He was also studying shamanism with Michael Harner and the Institute for Shamanic Studies, and with Ira Progoff through his Intensive Journal Workshops. All this time, of course, he was carrying on a busy law practice in Lodi, California, some forty miles commute from Murray Creek. From 1984 until his retirement in 1998 Ann served as Bob's legal secretary. Ann, with both of her parents writers, had been writing off and on for a number of years, with numerous writings on symbolism published in magazines and journals, as well as two books on the use of symbolism in Christian education. In 1996-7 Parts I and II of Return to the Whole were published on the C G Jung Web Page, and this was the beginning of web publishing for Ann as a means of sharing the synthesis of ways to inner healing and wholeness she and Bob had experienced and been sharing throughout their years at Murray Creek. With their retirement in 1998 Ann began writing and editing full time, with her in progress "opus" being the series titled Return to the Whole, and including the full length book titled Higher Ground, offered here in its entirety. In 1992 Ann learned she was eligible to "test her vocation" as an Anglican Franciscans and after an inquiry and formation of some five years was, in 1997, professed. These are the TSSF initials that follow her name--The Society of Saint Francis--and for which order she now serves as a formation counselor. Additionally she is a Benedictine trained spiritual director and serves in this capacity also to whomever is willing to make the narrow, winding trip out Murray Creek Road.
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