all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Friday, 26 October 2012

Mask Wearing...SouLodge

This week has been deep , churning, awakening.
I attended at the beginning of the week
and the soul-work in SouLodge
I have been flying in the heavens 
and walking through the underworld.
I wanted to put to words my week
but seem to be struggling 
so I will keep it simple...

This week in SouLodge the big question was 
I pondered this question for a couple days...

Sometimes there is a mask of being 
in a better place
than I am
Sometimes there is the mask of 
down playing my light, my joy...
I make myself smaller...

And then there are times when I put on a mask
just for the comfort of it
sometimes I want a break from 
"Being seen"
Sometimes I just want to blend in...
none of these mask are worn for long...
but they exist
they are real.

there was something else
Something else came up...
and it is not the first time
often comes up when I am doing soul-work...
when I am "going in"
I think to myself
"What if I am not as wonderful as I think?
What then?"

So I journeyed in
I journeyed deep with Raccoon
Panther, Owl, Bear and Wolf
I journeyed for three days inside
forest, underworld and jungle
to find my answers as to 
How these masks came to be?
What would happen if I took them off?
What help do I need to enlist?

the masks are there sometimes for survival
and as soon as I take them off
the light shines
the Light Shines so Bright
and all that Light reflects in my life
which to me says 

The Help came in the form of a butterfly...
a symbol of change, joy and colour
a symbol of the Soul
Butterflies remind us that life is a dance
not to take things quite so seriously
they remind us to get up and Dance!
THAT I can do...
remembering the joy that is my life!
Growth and Transformation do not have to be 
it can occur gently, sweetly.
One more thing I want to share...
When I was walking in my underworld...
the darkest place with in myself
it was dark,
other than the lava rivers and lakes that were all around
there was a slight smell of sulphur 
and it was very very warm
not unbearably hot, 
but definitely warm
The earth below my feet was dark and rich
and soft to the step
when I was there 
I could feel the physical burning sensation
within my body
making me feel that I needed to treat this area
with a healing balm of some sort
but it would not let me
I discovered
that this place of heat and darkness
is an important part of who I am
there is no need to fix it...
not even heal it
it is a part of me that nourishes my soul
(remember the rich soil?)
it keeps the heat of passion going
and it even offers a place of refuge
when the world turns cold...

I share this with you
because sometimes there can be a fear of going inside
the fear of looking at our masks
and our dark places
maybe my experience might give you
a shifted perspective
make you feel less afraid
of those darker parts of your heart
maybe it will give you the courage
to ask you the questions I asked myself this week

my lovelies
what masks are you wearing?
why do you wear them?
and what would happen if you stopped?

you are as wonderful as you think
have a beautiful weekend

Love and Light

This post is dedicated to 
Russell Means
of the Lakota Sioux Nation.
Russell entered his canoe
to travel to the village of his ancestors on Monday
this world grieves a great man...
~your spirit remains with us
and those to come
thank you for the gift of 
your voice
your passion
your truth
your love~

"Freedom means
Freedom to take responsibility"
~Russell Means


  1. amazing perspective. my masks are trying to hide a tenuous sanity and that I'm happy when I am not. The cost of taking the first mask off is too great in a world that values face values and doesn't look deeper so that is one I only take off when I blog or when I am safely at home and the second is there because sometimes my unhappiness is only the result of a shift in brain chemicals that make everything look dark and bleak and deathly silent and isn't true sadness at all. true sadness I can work with, delve into, figure stuff out, let it move through me but that empty chemicals gone wrong sadness is a waste of time in terms of trying to figure out what is what because it can lift as suddenly as it came on and the same room will look different than it did an hour before with no change in my outer or inner world. Oh, to have just the normal ups and downs. It would be so much easier to take these kinds of journeys. This was a beautiful post. And I agree, you are wonderful. xoxoxo

  2. Wow, I really want to do your soul lodge thingys. Sometimes I am not sure exactly what you are talking about specifically and I guess...I suck at most forms of symbolism:) But I think I get what you are saying. I love the quote at the end as it is very true. Freedom is that we get to take responsibility for our own lives. I love those pics of the racoons. I wanted to reach out and touch them- so cute. As for masks...I was thinking of the Racoon and how it's mask is part of it's make up. How maybe sometimes our masks are not masks at all but part of whom we are with varied people. Of course there are masks that we create over our natural ones that we need to re assess but I AM different with different individuals NOT because I change for them but because they bring out varied aspects of my personality...I don't think that is what you were talking about though.
    As for masks that I should not put on...I mask pain a lot because I feel it a lot. If I did not do this I would not be a good friend at times. It simply is what it is. I also mask my drama to some that would try to ruin it or downplay my world ( and boy has that happened a lot) But hmmmm...Could you repeat the question?:) I'm obviously not too clear on the type of masks you mean.
    How I wish I could do that Soul Lodge with you. What exactly is done? I can't tell when you talk about it if it is all imagery or literally or Both.:) Lol...I'm a little lost lately...can you tell?:)Ha.
    Thanks for this post though- it was a beautiful tribute to your friend and I loved your imagery of the canoe...I had to read it twice because I thought that was how he departed literally but then I read it again because it did not make sense and received the beauty of it. Very lovely. What a wonderful spirit post to a spirit that touched the earth so richly.

  3. Lovely lovely post Cat, as I am learning about you, your writing is so deeply meaningful and insightful. How you expose your beautiful vulnerable self is so inspiring. Keep searching my friend, keep hunting and you will continue to shine and the shadows won't matter.

    My mask has so much to do about never feeling quite good enough, creatively, as a wife, and even at times as a mother. I have battle perfectionism for a long time and though that shadow is not as overbearing as it use to be, I also know it will never go away. A gift and a curse, this is how we learn, how we grow.

    I am so proud to be sharing this journey with you!!

  4. Cat, There are goosebumps on top of goosebumps after reading this wonderful post. I am so envious and 'almost' jealous of your ability to open up this way. I have a hard time being this honest with myself.

    Your photos are a perfect match for the words.

    I wear so many masks - I don't even know what is a mask and what is me anymore. It's as though being open and revealing makes it even more a reality, as though if I don't, maybe I will wake up and find it is all a bad dream.

    I had just posted something and had every intention of being more honest and open, couldn't do it. I came to your blog and read this moving post full of honesty and emotions...thank you.

    Sending much love your way.


  5. "I want a break from being seen. I just want to blend in". Now you know why I like to travel so much. It feels good to be in unfamiliar places and you think different thoughts when on the road. I looooove the raccoon and that the butterfly was your helper. This post is so cool.
    You are a true beauty honoring RM. I am touched by this. He is carrying with him, in his canoe, the love and light of Cat. xx

  6. You have a really beautiful blog. So glad I stopped by this evening. Much love, Brooke


Your voice is welcome here, your connection appreciated. Love and Light