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The Spirit of Myss OCTOBER 2002

The Spirit of Myss OCTOBER 2002

This month, Katya Langmuur travels to Findhorn for a conference with the inimitable queen of energy medicine, Caroline Myss.

In the firmament of inspirational and spiritual writing, there are some stars that simply shine just that bit brighter than do their neighbours. Anyone who has ever gazed upon such constellations will immediately recognise author, teacher and medical intuitive Caroline Myss as one such luminary, whose guiding light has long since brought illumination in the form of the 1996 energy medicine classic, The Anatomy of the Spirit, and its acclaimed sisters, Why People Don't Heal and How They Can, and The Creation of Health.

Dr Myss has now added a further member to her cosmic family. Sacred Contracts is a work dedicated to the unearthing of one's purpose in life. Through the eyes of our own individually selected host of twelve symbolic archetypes, Caroline Myss encourages us to identify the often oblique patterns that dominate our physical, emotional and spiritual lives. And with this knowledge comes self-empowerment. 'Archetypes are patterns that represent certain types of power that intrigue us' says Myss, 'They contain you until you are conscious enough to contain them, to be larger than them so that you may choose experiences in your life that do not disempower you.' You get the gist, I'm sure. Heady stuff. True to one of her own archetypal forms, Caroline Myss is hailed as a queen of such things. Indeed even amongst my own students, a disproportionate amount of excited debate is instigated by the mere mention of Anatomy of the Spirit. Reading lists across the land would be bereft without it. So you can imagine my anticipation as I duly made the long pilgrimage north to the equally hallowed Highland Findhorn Community at the end of August to join her in her ' Sacred Contracts mystery school'.

If her books have proven a big draw to many thousands over the years, then her rare visit to these shores provoked a frenzy of excitement that meant the three-day conference was sold out many weeks before the event. Skulduggery amongst the New Age community is not a well-publicised occurrence but I, for one, was offered hard cash for my place. Needless to say, I turned up my nose very snootily at the mere suggestion. Queen Caroline is not a dullard by any stretch of the imagination. With a mind so fierce it could melt icebergs, this woman just knows her own value. And as she strode magnificently into the Universal Hall at Findhorn dressed in that traditional American ensemble of black polo neck, power slacks and diamonds, she drew our collective attention to her as to a great magnet. And there our attention stayed until she released us, three days and many brain cells later, to collapse mentally limp and spiritually stretched to the point of slackness. 'There she is...' trembled a particularly sensitive man beside me as he clapped his eyes upon her. 'Oooh...' That was the last I heard from him for a while. Actually that was the last heard from many in that congregation, oops I mean audience, for a while. This woman, whose body language consistently reminded me of a swashbuckling pirate queen, steered her great ship ruthlessly and seemingly effortlessly through the vastness of her subject to dock as and where she felt drawn along the way. I must say, I felt rather sorry for the non-native English speakers amongst her audience. Whatever else, one thing's for sure, Queen C doesn't like linear very much. Stories came and went at great speed richly woven together or left to fray without a definite ending. Some were part of the great tapestry, others merely entertaining asides to make your mouth water and your mind burst at the seams. And don't think it was like an extended episode of Jackanory either, all kicking back and cosily absorbing the information as it washed gently over us. Queen C makes you sing damn hard for your supper. However she may be 'in real life' after hours I could not say, but when she's working she's in full flight - and she expects exactly the same from you.

There is certainly no messing with this lady. If you engage with her on a one-to-one she does expect you to come up with the goods. Exactly what those goods might be is more negotiable, but one-word answers, staring at your shoes or 'going blank', simply will not do. And this she was extremely vocal about. Nor was she shy to put you in your place if she felt you were starting to lock horns with her. Me, I thrive on rumpus and during a feisty exchange with her about the whys and wherefores of the fireworks (in my mind, at least) of when the queen archetype and the warrior archetype cross paths she told me firmly, 'Now don't get sassy with me!' when I disagreed with something she had said. Afterwards an altogether extraordinary number of delegates came up to me to pass comment about how 'brave' I'd been to stand up to her etc etc. Nonsense. Queen C most certainly doesn't need her audience's approval, and why should we need hers. Far from being a West Coast simperer, this woman believes in 'tough love', consciously being as tough as nails with you in order to train you to do it for yourself when the chips are down. As they most surely will be, if you engage spiritually with yourself at any depth. In her words, 'this is about creating a backbone... not a wishbone.'

But before I paint her as utterly terrifying, I should add a final and very important colour. And that is humour. Man, is this woman some entertainer. She could have you rolling in the aisles with her caustic asides and ebullient outlook on life. And, believe me when I tell you, she is willing to be first in her own firing line. And this is what ultimately makes her human, and accessible, and what gives her the ability really to reach out and touch you. She may be a goddess of energy medicine gifted with extraordinary intuitive vision and ability, but she's also a mere mortal just as fallible as you or I. She may be brusque but she is absolutely on your side - the ultimate ally, wouldn't you say? If you are a timorous soul who wants to be spoon fed pseudo-spiritual mush and made to feel warm and cosy, take my advice and stay at home next time Queen C's galleon rolls into town. If, however, you have even an ounce of chutzpah and even the smallest inkling of a desire to delve into the mysteries of life, beg, borrow or steal a ticket for her mystery school, gird yourself for the bumpy ride and emerge blinking in the light at the other side. But, one last word of advice, just don't even think about asking me for my ticket...

Katya Langmuur is a holistic practitioner, teacher and writer. She can be contacted via katya.l@zoom.co.uk.