Spider-man: Homecoming is the most recent spider-man reboot. It is part of Marvel’s building to its most recent film, Avengers: Infinity Wars.
This version of Spider-man is so much fun! Tom Holland plays Peter Parker hilariously, capturing the teenager-ness of Spider-man with all its ups and downs. His exploration of this character, his coming of age, his growth as a ‘superhero,’ allow us an opportunity to dive deep into the spiritual path and our own spiritual growth.
Tony Stark (Ironman) found Spider-man and introduced him to the world of superheroes during Avengers: Civil War. He needed additional help — a wildcard so to speak. He offered Peter Parker an “internship” that came with an amazing hi-tech spiderman suit.
Spiderman: Homecoming begins after Avengers: Civil War. Peter has returned to the city. He gets to keep the spiderman outfit. It is new and sleek and awesome. Peter is unaware of all its capabilities, as they have not yet been turned on.
Tony Stark encourages Peter to be a neighborhood spiderman. However, Peter accidentally comes across a gang that is selling illegal weapon made from alien technology. Spiderman decides it is his job to take down these criminals. And thus we begin the journey….
Spiderman is returning home after fighting the criminals for the first time. Someone stole his backpack (where he kept his street cloths), so he must sneak into his apartment dressed as Spiderman.
He sneaks in through his bedroom window, crawls across the ceiling, uses his web-slinger to close the door and silently drops from the ceiling. Unmasked, he turns around and finds his best friend sitting on his bed holding a Lego Death Star that they were going to work on, stunned. The legos drop from his hands and fall loudly to the floor.
Aunt May yells, “What was that?”
Peter yelling back, “Nothing….”
Then he turns toward his best friend who says, “Your the spiderman from YouTube.”
Peter pressed the spider-logo on his suit as he answers his friend. The spider-logo loosens the suit from Peter’s body and it drops to the floor. He steps easily out of it toward his friend.
Our Spiritual Journey
As I said yesterday, our spiritual journey is experience through our heart. However, many of us struggle with how to drop into our hearts. It is not something we are taught by our culture. We are taught in school to be logical critical thinkers.
If we were and/or are church-goers, we most likely still did not learn how to drop into our hearts. You may have had that experience of being in your heart during worship or prayer. Most likely you were not taught how to do that. It just happened because of the moment of worship.
So how do we drop into our hearts?
For me, it was a journey of pealing aways layers of myself until what was left was my heart. As we grow up we learn to take on identities and personas that allow us to function well in the world. Identities and personas are qualities which we cloth ourselves with to keep us safe, to be how we think we should be in the world. They include anything from introvert/extroverted-ness to job-related to family-responsibilities and more.
Here are some of the identities/personas that I have created throughout my lifetime, to give you are way to think about this: Pastor, Spiritual healer, Shy-quiet-invisible high school student, tomboy, smart, free-spirit, good-girl, mystic, contemplative.
These identities gave me ways to be in the world. There is nothing bad about my various identities. When I stand in front of my congregation on Sunday morning, I dress myself in Pastor. It helps me step into the role, expectations and all. This is good. Yet, it masks Me.
Pealing the layers:
This past week as I have been out and about walking and exploring the natural world, I keep seeing snakes everywhere. Not actual snakes. Everything shows up as snakes: from sticks to wires. Snakes keep appearing in my field of vision. I have learned to take this as a message from Spirit.
Snake Medicine is powerful medicine that helps us peal these layers of our identities. When I created High Desert Essences, snake was one of the first animal essences I made. A bull snake literally dropped from the top of my window startling me out of a dream. That began the connection that lasted all summer, and created the essence. This is what Snake had to share with me:
“People fear me because I bring transformation — huge life changing transformation. It is time to shed your old skin that is containing and constricting you. Each skin, each layer, each persona, each identity must be shed until you uncover your Light Body, your Highest Self. This metaphysical metamorphosis is key to your soul-volition, to the obtaining and experiencing of the fullness of your soul’s purpose in this life cycle.”
Snakes teach us to shed our skins. Sometimes it is easy like spiderman pushing the logo and dropping his suit. Other times, it is challenging. You have to rub against rough rocks slowly pealing the layer from your being.
The work it takes to drop the identity depends upon how important the identity is to your day to day life. Do you live that identity often? Have you basically outgrown it? The challenging identities to drop are the ones we still use on a daily basis.
We do not need to drop all our identities. That would leave you raw and vulnerable. The invitation from Snake is to drop those identities that are keeping you from fully being you, that are holding you back, that are in the way of your growth. These are the challenging ones to drop because our minds want to hold onto them. These are the ones that when we release them, allow us to drop into our hearts.
The more we are able to release limiting identities, the easier it is to drop into your heart. With each identity you drop, each layer you peal away, you will begin to notice that you feel more. You feel more connected to the natural world around you. You notice something that you did not notice before. Maybe you feel more awake. Greater awareness to your own feelings deepen. You are more alive!
The more you are in your heart, the more alive you will feel and be.
This weekAs you go through your week, pay attention to the various identities and personas that you cloth yourself with. Experiment with pressing your spiderman logo and dropping those identities. What happens? How does it feel? Do you sense yourself more open to Spirit? Can you hear your heart more clearly?
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.