In Celtic spirituality, the ‘Wild Goose’ is the symbol of the Spirit of Life. It signifies the divine restlessness within that inspires all living things to grow, change and rearrange. It represents the ongoing journey from one season to another; calling forth an exploration of the vital life giving elements of the world we live in and that live in us. It challenges the notion of domesticated safety and invites us, through the open gate of exploration, into new areas of ourselves and the world with a carefree spirit for adventure.
In approaching this last month of Autumn, which leads to the advent of a whole new cycle of life, it seems appropriate for us to look forward to the transformative adventure of death and new life rather than keeping the ‘Wild Goose’ in a cage. So many of us get caught in the trap of rigid, imposing and controlling lifestyles that we settle for restrictive and closed systems rather than opening to more carefree and adventurous experiences. Rather than more domestication, we need more liberation.
Could it be time for you to become more open to the Spirit of Life and Light in the midst of the growing darkness? Might the Spirit that directs us to the most intimate places in our lives be inviting you into a transition, a pilgrimage, a divine restlessness and carefree spirit of adventure? Might the Spirit of endless love be drawing you into a portal of transformation; into surprise and delight beyond dogma, prejudice and meaningless apathy? Could it be that what you’ve been waiting for is already here?
As I look back over the many decades of my life, I’m surprised to see how often I flew with the wild geese. I’m also surprised at how often the rigid, controlling and safe traps sought to capture me. The intimacy of Spirit however always seemed to ‘spring‘ me from the clutches of those traps and liberate me to again fly with the wild geese that beckon every November. If life is meant to be an adventure, change is a gift we must learn how to use. In folk-tales, being stuck forever is not a blessing but a curse.
Michael Mitton, in his book The Soul of Celtic Spirituality says: The Celtic Church of the first millennium wonderfully and joyfully challenges us to learn once again what it means to have a carefree, spirit of adventure. The Wild Goose is certainly blowing on our land again with renewed force. There are signs of spiritual springtime, despite the frost and ice in many parts of our church and society. Now is surely the time to become open once again to the Spirit of God, who desires to come to the most intimate places of our lives so we may be released into a new sense of pilgrimage and divine restlessness.
This divine restlessness speaks of something within that calls us to grow, change and rearrange. It’s not a trip across the country but into the depths of our own pain, confusion, fear, despair, meaninglessness and all their opposites. It’s an adventure into the sanctuary of our hearts and relationships; into new ways of seeing deeply into situations that call for different approaches. Following the Wild Goose and embracing our inner restlessness gives flight to the homing instinct toward our True Nature. It’s the gift that, as we willingly receive it, transforms our lives and leads us Home. . . .
- If you’ve noticed a kind of inner restlessness lately; what do you discern it’s saying to you? Is it possible that it might be a message from the Wild Goose?
- How has the Spirit been domesticated in your life? What would it be like for you to give flight to your homing instinct and discover the depths of your True Nature?
- What’s the baggage that holds you down and keeps you from flying? What’s at risk for you to let go of this baggage? Be still and ponder what this moment is asking of you.