The Caged Bird and Vow to Obey - Swan Blessing Story

“I looked into the water and saw my reflection. As I looked at myself my reflection began to alter, shift and change. I was no longer looking at my face. It was still me, it was still my soul, but it wasn’t the shape I have come to know. The person, the woman looking back at me was a beautiful young Victorian woman in her mid 20’s. She had deep stormy blue eyes and giant golden curls. She carried a parasol and wore a corset. She had a look of wildness and ferociousness in her eyes that betrayed her outward demeanor. She offered me her hand and I accepted. She slowly pulled me through the water and into her world.”

When Sam booked in to see me for a Swan Blessing session, her request was to open up a free flow of her creativity and this is the vision she received. Today I share Sam’s Swan Blessing story of the caged bird and the Vow of Obedience that many women were forced to make on the day of their marriages. I have often thought about this vow and it’s energetic ripple along the female lines of our families and the corset of control that came with it. I have seen this vow turn up again and again in Swan Blessing journeys and it has a strong and lasting impact way beyond the time it was made. After I hold Swan Blessing sessions with my clients I ask them to take a quiet moment over the next week to channel and write their Swan Story - their own personal mythic faerietale and memory of their journey. For some people this is the first time they have been invited to open themselves up to be a channel. What is experienced and produced in these writing sessions is beautiful and I am told it is like a ‘second blessing’ - a reclaiming of our natural ability to receive a vision and the power we feel when we open ourselves to be the mythic storyteller of our own lives.

Thank you Sam for channeling this writing after your Swan Blessing session. I hope it helps anyone who needs this gift of story today and resonates with this difficult vow that may still be carried somewhere in the belief system and spirit. We are free to love without obedience.

I closed my eyes and I entered a forest with ancient redwood trees. I could feel their heart beat and their breath. As I looked onward I saw a glistening up ahead. I walked towards the light only to find a beautiful cleansing waterfall.

I looked into the water and saw my reflection. As I looked at myself my reflection began to alter, shift and change. I was no longer looking at my face. It was still me, it was still my soul, but it wasn’t the shape i have come to know. The person, the woman looking back at me was a beautiful young Victorian woman in her mid 20’s. She had deep stormy blue eyes and giant golden curls. She carried a parasol and wore a corset. She had a look of wildness and ferociousness in her eyes that betrayed her outward demeanor. She offered me her hand and I accepted. She slowly pulled me through the water and into her world.

She sat alone in a library or tea room perhaps. A woman of means she was alone. She had everything but longed for the world. She had married young to a good and kind man that loved her with all of his heart, but could never truly know her and her untamed heart. She loved him too, but knew that he could never understand her and therefore never love her fully. She would never have a true companion that melted into the intimacy of her soul. She spent her days in this room and remembered fondly her days in the park with her friends. Her friends were her family. They would spend hours in the park picnicking and talking and relating, laughing too loud for ‘ladies’ and causing all kinds of delicious mischief. But sadly they grew older and once they left their teen years it was time to leave such foolishness behind. They all married and their picnics became things of child’s play that they no longer had time for, or more truly was time society did not see well spent.

She would sit in her library and stare out the window longing for days past. Longing for the adventure in her heart to fly free. As a child her father would tell her stories of far off adventures. You see her father was an explorer. Well that’s what she thought anyway. No matter the actual reason her father traveled to the farthest corners of the globe. She cherished the moment her father got home, he would tuck her into bed at night and tell her all about the world. She couldn’t wait to grow up and become an explorer herself one day. She dreamt of running barefoot and wild through the wilderness belly laughing her way through life and painting all that she saw. All that she dreamed… collecting those moments trapped in oil and brush stroke and creating a hall of adventures. A life time of adventures, but as time passed and she grew older she learned more the ways of the world and the limitations for a young woman. A proper young woman, never to run barefoot anywhere... never to laugh too heartily, besides how could she in this constraining corset?

So as all proper women do she married and vowed to love and obey. Obey. Obey, would be all that was written on her headstone. “She obeyed” the thought destroyed her. So she obeyed. She sat in the library day after day her only company her song bird. Her beautiful canary, and how she regaled this canary with stories of adventures. Adventures she could only go on in her mind and in her heart. She LOVED this bird with all her might and the bird loved her too. The bird loved her too but more than anything wished to be free. The bird was her you see. Occasionally she would paint. Paint memories, one day she painted a still life of 5 young women having a picnic and laughing too loud in the park as if she was almost in a trance.

When she came to and looked at what she had done, what she had painted, the memory of the joy, the memory of the freedom, the memory of the potential, the memory of the possibility was more than she could bear. In that moment she felt her heart ache and her soul shatter. She vowed to never dream again. To never look back for dreaming did nothing but break your heart. They will only ever be dreams, they will only ever be still life, frozen in time, captured and never lived. She vowed to silence her dreams, to silence her fantasy and silence her soul. The memory of possibility was more that she could bear. She vowed to never dream, to just be present and accepting of what is. Both are slow deaths but one is an agonizing defeat rather than a slow descent into numbness and nothing. Numbness and nothing were welcome homes compared to the scorching pain of potential never evening having had a chance. So she stared out the window and the days turned into months and the months years. She grew old and more and more resentful of her captor... Her sweet unsuspecting husband had no idea the distance and the disdain. He was no longer her husband, maybe he never was. He was her warden no matter how kind.

And now she stands before me, soul to soul, frozen in eternity. She recognises the weight of her vow. Her vows to never dream and to obey, how heavy they have been, not just on her but on her soul and all its incarnations. She puts down the weight. She is tired and as she puts it down the blood rushes to her face again and her soul becomes lighter and lighter… she is free, she is becoming free. The weight of the burden gathers around my feet like a brick of cement guaranteeing my demise, when the women of the water ascends with the tools for my freedom. I chisel and hack and break myself free. Free from bondage, free from obedience, free from the doom of lost dreams. I am free. We are free. We embrace and the energy runs back and forth through our bones, through our hearts, we are no longer sworn to any vow. We are barefoot and wild and beautiful, we are free. I lay in the water and my grandmothers clean me and break my chains... I float up and up and up into the sky and feel the sun kiss my face. The swan takes me in her arms and flies with me into freedom.

I Sam am FREE. I Sam am LOVE. I Sam am SPIRIT.

And so it is.

Artwork: Valentines Mistake and Missive Letter from the Illustrated London News 1883