I adore Judith Duerk and this prompt from the Gatekeeper is ripening in the womb of my creativity.

The Gatekeeper gives you a small silken bag… and invites you to fill
it from your conscious woundedness, from your deepest awareness as
woman… and lastly from your joy.



As I read about the bags that others crafted I fell in love with EACH and every one of them… I wondered what my bag would hold. The mandala here is a series of eight women – four with their heads towards the eye of the sixth chakra and four with their heads flying off the edge of the circle. Below the heads are small circles with breasts and below those are circles that many people see as “hearts.” So this led me to reflect a bit on a practice I learned from Angie Arriens. It is about checking in with the status of my four-chambered heart.

In this tradition, we ask ourselves where is my heart full, clear, open, and strong. It begins with a question to appease the inner critic.

Is the good, true, and beautiful within me as strong as the whispers
of diminishment?

What is the condition of my four-chambered heart?

  • Where am I full hearted?
  • Where am I clear hearted?
  • Where am I open hearted?
  • Where am I strong hearted?

When I am  half-hearted, I am not giving my full abiltities to the task at hand. When I am full hearted, I bring every bit of my being to anything I do. Today, in late October, as the nights are lenghtening, I am FULL HEARTED.

When my heart is filled with ambivalence and indifference, I am unable to move. This is when I must sit still and listen for the whisper. I often rush ahead, moving much faster than the pace of guidance. Today though, I am moving at a sustainable pace – not galloping, but perhaps loping or trotting. I am of CLEAR HEART today.

I work a lot with keeping my heart undefended. I struggle to remember that every break in my heart, cracks it wide open. Every wound is just the exact wounding I need to develop my gifts of soul. I am emerging from a time of entrenchment where my heart was very defended. As a moderator of a sacred circle, I felt under attack for my visions. In time, I am removing the defenses that guarded my heart. I am also tucking my heart away into a special transparent pouch that will allow it to be worn on my sleeve and then quickly protected if necessary. Soon I hope to have no need for that protection. Today I am OPEN HEARTED. OK – mostly open hearted – all right as open hearted as I can be in this moment. <that inner critic is something else!>
Rarely do I lack for courage. I may feel fear, but am still willing to be courageous. I am often STRONG HEARTED and it scares the living daylights out of most people.


And that dear Keeper of the Gate to the Cave of Ancients is what I am carrying in my Heart Bag. I am carrying my four chambered heart.