Painting by Monique Gaboury 2004

Acrylic on wood panel



Entering the Sacred Gap: Realm of the Po Soul 1 


Temporary Pathways

The atmosphere is charged with an empty kind of fullness as I rise before the sun. Under the black light of a new moon, a grove of fir in silhouette dance like apparitions in the breeze. I too feel like an apparition this morning- between sleeping and waking, night and day, summer and winter.

In my bones is an aching awareness of the seemingly infinite gulf between what is known and unknown, nothing and something, heaven and earth, self and Self, self and other, wholeness and fragmentation, wildness and domestication, questions and answers. Like the moon awaiting her monthly rebirth in the night sky, I await the clarity of light upon the faint, darkened edges of unknown possibilities.

On the beach I notice that the sea is further out than I have seen in a long time, exposing more of the hidden realm than usual. The indistinct vacuum of the new moon is pulling the tide far from the edges of the earth, temporarily offering untravelled pathways decorated in multiverses of living and dead mysteries from the deep sea.


Empty Vessel




I walk out to the end of the bluff where I lay on the light sand and breathe with the earth. Two osprey hunt over the sea in front of me. Mugwort 2 grows in thick clumps along the bluff behind me, delivering me further to in-between where I drift between time and space in meditative emptiness and deep renewal.
And then something shifts.

I feel the new moon reach into me- pulling the ocean of my inner world away from my inner edges- allowing me to enter new territory and discover what is alive and dead within me.


There are ways of seeing and things that can be found only when the tide and the moon are just right.


The soul comes alive in times like this- where we can meet her in new ways and perhaps discover the hidden treasures that she so carefully preserves for our timely arrival. She doesn’t let us see our full gold all at once. We would not be ready. But there are times when we are more able to catch glimpses and find clues when we allow life to form us in the way that water forms life- cleansing us and hollowing out our vessel to receive and embody more of our deepest truth.

The waves grow louder signaling the closing of the gap between low and high tides, visible and invisible realms, and confounding polarities. I rise and follow the furthest edge of this temporary pathway back to where I began.

Seal watches from the water, letting me know she is there. I thank her for the ways she guides me between worlds. As I continue, something squirts up and soaks my leg. I see geoduck dancing with wave and seaweed. Taking in nutrient dense plankton filled water through her long siphon deep down to where she lives below the earth and then stretching up and spitting out what she cannot use. She reminds me to do the same in my inner world.





Returning to the part of the beach where people gather I am greeted by sights and sounds of children squealing, a windsurfer harnessing the wind, a baby sleeping on its papa’s chest, and picnics under umbrellas.

I return to the lens of ordinary reality- the simple pleasures and complex pains of embodied life that dance on the surface of our unawares where labyrinthine caverns of hidden treasures glimmer in the dark beneath us, needing the light of consciousness to be revealed.


The soul is shy. We cannot see her full form all at once or find her by looking for her.


There must be room for soul to come forth on her own accord. There is so much we are bombarded with each day that unless we consciously make time and space to just be, soul may remain disembodied in the shadows unknown and un-lived.

We create the conditions for soul to come forth by engaging and caring for the needs of our bodies and senses, listening for our heart’s truth, spending time with the cryptic messages of our nighttime dreams, caring for the needs of the dark and excruciatingly difficult aspects of our being, and honoring and giving legs to our visions in whatever ways we are called to.

Whether we wish to live from a place of soul within our own being or to nourish the soul of the world, we gain entrance to her realm by way of humility, honesty, sincerity, respect, care, openness and curiosity.

When we enter the darkened spaces between jagged and fractured edges, we make ourselves available to be entered by the endlessly pulsing creative potential of the Tao within and without. We become midwives to new mythologies and entire universes yet to be born.





1 Po spirit lives in the lung and supports our physiological processes from birth until death. It is the physical embodiment of soul, is connected to our instinctual drives, receives inspiration from the heavens, and helps us let go of what does not serve. The po bring us wisdom from the mysterious shadowy realms and must be tethered to the upper spirits of the shen and hun in order to consciously inform and re-form our lives. For more, see p 237 – 272 ‘Five Spirits:’ by Lorie Dechar and p 226 – 235 ‘Kigo’ by Lorie Dechar.

2 Mugwort helps us integrate wisdom from the dream realm into daily life. She assists the soul in its fluid movement between the the subconscious realm and waking realities so that we can more consciously embody the deeper mysteries of soul.




About the Author:  Monique Gaboury is a licensed acupuncturist, in Freeland, WA, specializing in Alchemical Acupuncture. She loves sharing her passion for natural healing at her clinic and through writing her blog ’Nourishing Change Through Connection’.

Juniper Medicine Alchemical Acupuncture serving the greater Seattle area on Whidbey Island. To schedule an appointment call 360-672-1506 or email


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