On the surface, there are a thousand reasons not to fall apart: we take pride in holding it all together–our livelihood depends on it–people depend on us–it would leave us vulnerable and unprotected–we’d lose our sense of self and self-worth... These reasonable arguments go on and on, but at the heart of these countless reasons not to fall apart, we may find a single heartbreaking conclusion: if we did fall apart, there would be nothing or no one there to hold us. This is fundamentally a spell about support.
Support can be human and more than human—you may find support in the embrace of a friend or lover, in the familiar landmarks of your neighborhood, in the interplay of spring’s colors, or the soft welcome of your unmade bed. Wherever it is you feel held, this is where to begin to unravel some of what you so often keep tightly wound.
It goes against the norms of Western culture to fall apart, to honor cycles, to rely on others to hold us up when we collapse. It may even be getting harder to let ourselves fall apart as we feel our social order crumbling around us. But this month, we encourage a healing dose of deterioration—not only does this do wonders for the constitution, it is a revolutionary act that brings focus to the webs of support that surround us.
About the spell
We must fall apart—not just once, but regularly. Falling apart is a necessary chapter written into the cyclic script of existence. Just as the moon waxes and wanes and sometimes completely disappears, we each have our own seasons of brilliance and ability balanced by seasons of dissolution and retreat. There is beauty and grace in keeping yourself put together, and there is wonder in all the things we can do with our bodies and minds. But if we refuse to surrender to our need for rest, renewal, and transformation, we fight ourselves to conquer our emotions and conceal our pain and vulnerability, which pushes our bodies to achieve despite fatigue, grief, chronic illness, or injury. Most often, this leaves us feeling very alone.
This month’s spell is about walking hand-in-hand with the pain and discomfort of inability. Falling apart can feel utterly disastrous, but it is a blessing, too—it is permission to be merely alive and to not know what shape you are or will become. It is an initiation, a journey through the dark, and a chance to trust in a sometimes-hidden reality of deep support. When you summon the energy of this spell, you are inviting the deep wisdom of your own internal processes. You are calling care to you, welcoming a chance to release. This month, we invite you to go on gentle swim in the currents you’ve been resisting, and see where the tides wash you.
Meditation on Falling Apart
For this meditation, consider where you feel most supported and secure and bring your body and your mind to that place. Gradually turn your attention to your breath, as though your awareness was a lantern casting a soft, orange glow. Warmly attune to the full cycle of your breathing: the growth and excitement of the inhale; the ripe suspense of the pause that follows; the surrendering fall of the exhale; and the encompassing stillness of the pause that follows—follow this cycle round and round. And now, see if you can exaggerate the experience of your exhale—let the breath sigh out of you, feeling your body slump and give way to gravity—perhaps you let a series of exhales pull desperate wails of release from your lungs. Imagine, as you let go of a single breath, that you are letting go of everything—your responsibilities, your concerns, your possessions, your talents and failures—everything. And then do it again. And again.
Follow your instincts to know when it is time to move on and, when you’re ready, bring your warm attention to your face, your jaw... Let the letting go you’ve begun to cultivate continue to spread throughout your body, but now, empty your face of expression, empty yourself of the effort of being someone. Let your jaw go slack, your cheeks widen, your brow widen, and let the muscles around your eyes be as soft as they can be. Eyes open or closed, let your capacity for vision spread out in all directions at once. Imagine yourself as the autumn turning, a flower decaying, the sun setting... See if you can allow your whole personality to melt off your face and turn to goo or smoke or dirt or dust. And now, for as long as you can bear it, do nothing; be no one. Let it all fall apart... When you’re ready transition, see if there’s an image or a phrase that comes to mind that can symbolize this place of nothingness, of no-one-ness… Consider what it would take to build a relationship with this place… what might it take to trust this process more and more?
About the painting:
Corina: Can I just say how much I love this one? The hallucinatory lusciousness of all those pomegranate seeds. How my sister captured the light on each little nugget really slays me. This is one I had up in my room for a long time, as it’s also a spell I sorely needed.
Jocelyn: I love this one. It was a challenge for me because pomegranates are so sexy, so bejeweled with little shiny fruit pods, and I wanted to get a balance of the richness and depth of their color while also showing their sparkle—I didn’t want it looking cartoony. With time, a bit of trial and error, and my sister’s expressive enthusiasm, I would up pleased with where this one landed. I also remember we had the image down first and a hilarious round of freestyling trying to figure out which words would best capture its medicine. Props to my sister for articulating the spell so perfectly! It’s pretty relevant medicine in my life.
This month's offerings:
We've got a sale going on this image for the whole month of April! Buy a print of “Why Not Fall Apart” and get 15% off, using the coupon code FALLAPART.