Updated: May 6
As I enter into the final week of my month long dieta with Master Plant Teacher Bobinsana I was reflecting on the the mythic associations made by the Amazonian tribes regarding the Bobinsana tree. Specifically the myth of La Sirenita (Mermaid) Bobinsana.
In most cultural legends the Mermaid is a trickster who seduces her victims to lure them into turbulent waters only drown them in the depths of the sea. I am coming to understand that this feels more like a patriarchal interpretation coming from masculine dominated cultures who fear the depths of the feminine.
The Bobinsana tree itself has roots that are grounded deep into the earth, the roots will stretch seven times deeper than the tallest branch. The tree is flexible and resilient. They say that if you pull the highest branch down to touch the ground the tree will not break, the tree will rebound back to its full height. Its branches are strong and flexible. The qualities of strength and resilience are said to be the lessons of the plant.
During my meditation I saw a vision of the Amazon river bank, the water flowing rapidly. On the bank stood Bobinsana trees with their whispy pink and white flowers. In the water a strangely beautiful mermaid reaching out as if to pick a flower from a branch that hung out over the water. I had this sense of an energetic circle flowing from the Mermaids tail to the roots of the tree, up through the branches and then back through Sirenita’s arm. It felt like the Yin & Yang symbol of the balance of Masculine and Feminine principle.
The Amazonian Bobinsana myths caution initiates to hold fast to the branches of the Bobinsana tree lest the Sirenita calls you into the depths and you might drown.The mermaid representing the divine feminine who invites us into the dark depths of our subconscious which can be a terrifying place. The tree representing the masculine aspect of strength and resilience that creates the boundaries and keeps us from descending too far too fast and falling into despair or madness.
I thought about it a bit deeper. I imagined I was standing on the bank of the Amazon river and saw Sirenita Bobinsana in the water. I would be so curious to see or even touch her even if she wasn’t working some seductive magic as the myths say. I would grab that branch and try to stretch as close to her as I could to get a better look. Desire might push me to stretch to my limit, with the flexibility of the Bobinsana branch I might be able to expand my limit just a few inches more to see into the depths of her Divine Feminine eyes, I might even catch a glimpse of the terror hidden in her depths.
I desire the mermaid, she is attractive, seductive, but also terrible, will she pull me into the depths and drown me?
On one level the Siren is a metaphor for my stresses and triggers, calling me into the turbulent waters of emotion. Will I be swept away in lust, anger or sadness? I want to observe these triggers and stresses. What are my thoughts? What emotions do they evoke? What sensations do I feel in my body?
I want to observe my temptations, my triggers, the “pruebas” that come to test me. These aren’t enemies. They are messengers from my subconscious, they want to be heard, acknowledged and loved, but I must also hold my boundaries or be overwhelmed.
Indeed Sirenita Bobinsana is a trickster, but her intention is not to drown me, but to call me deeper into my subconscious to find, not enemies, not demons but the rejected parts of myself, my inner children hiding in the darkness longing to be loved.
This is the lesson I have learned from Bobinsana. Hold her branches on the bank of the river of emotion. Lean on her for strength as her roots run deep into the earth providing stability. Her branches bend to allow you to lean closer to get a better look at the mesmerizing siren, flirting with you from the river. Behold her beauty. Discern the pain that lies behind her eyes but hold fast to that branch that grounds you to the riverbank.
Bobinsana is both the feminine calling you into the depths of your subconscious, and the masculine giving you the strength to return in sovereignty.
While meditating on these lessons this morning, I decided to pull cards from Brian Froud‘s fairies oracle deck. The fairies of the north operate, much like the trickster mermaids of Amazon.
“Gloominus Doom” was the first of the fae to greet me. He reminded me that I am responsible for my thoughts about myself. Others may have suggested some of these ideas, others may tell me I’m unworthy; they may have appeared as a mermaid to seduce me into accepting their perspective, but I am responsible for taking these ideas and making them my own.
It's no one else’s fault, but my own that I internalized feelings of unworthiness, I am responsible for not having the boundaries to protect me from those thought beings, those “pruebas” projected on to me by others.
I am easily triggered by those who I view as lacking boundaries because they are a mirror for my own lack of boundaries. I had convinced myself that I had very strong boundaries but in truth, it was a mask I was wearing.
Behind the walls of my obnoxious, aggressive “boundaries” lived a wounded little boy who believes he is unworthy. My mask was in fact NOT a boundaried response built in sovereignty but emotional vomiting. I am now grateful to those mirrors who helped lead me to that hurting little boy inside of me.
So, here are some of the lessons Bobinsana has been teaching me during this dieta:
Triggers are not my enemy. They may show up as the shapeshifting tricksters
to test me, they may look like an enemy, but in fact, they are angels. They are my higher self, the rejected parts of me, calling out to be loved much like a misbehaving child looking for attention.
I can stay compassionately curious. If I can remember that it is the Shapeshifter appearing as my loved ones, politicians, strangers, or memes on the Internet I can be curious about what messages they are bringing to me.
By staying compassionate for the person that is “triggering me”, I won’t be pulled into the rapid waters of the trigger as it roars around me, trying to overwhelm and sweep me away in the current. I can stay calm and still.
Our higher or intuition self speaks to us in a still small voice. We must stay in quiet stillness to hear it’s a message. I can remember that they are a messenger, in fact, my subconscious is projecting a mask onto their avatar. Most times they are probably not even aware. By staying curious, I can inquire into the message my subconscious is sending.
Playfulness helps keep me from taking the trigger and it’s lesson so seriously that I become rigid. Rigidity can lead to judgment. Judgment of self, which my ego may want to protect me from feeling so it may project the judgment onto the messenger, once again, distracting me from the wound asking to be healed. Tricky ego, thank you for being so resourceful but that isn’t the game we want to play right now, the game right now is curious and playful self inquiry.
After I wrote this I received a new Oracle Deck called "Purge & Protect" in the mail. The deck conceived by a dear friend and mentor Carla Mora provides ways to help protect your energy by purging what no longer serves me. I pulled my first card... I think the Universe is really trying to drill this message into my head.