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Paradox of Plagues

Written by Tara Coumoundouros


Posted on October 07 2020

The Paradox of Plagues

Fear ~ Hope
Growth ~ Destruction
Fear ~ Hope
Connection ~ Isolation
Fear ~ Hope
Anxiety ~ Depression
Fear ~ Hope
Safety ~ Instability
Fear ~ Hope
   We sit on the edge.  I write from a place of movement between the two hands of the Paradox of Plagues.  This is the first pandemic that I’ve experienced in my lifetime.  I am still oscillating back and forth between the mucky water of despair and the clearer water of emergence.  Pandemics are hard.  Growth is hard.  Death is hard.  Birth is hard.  Trauma is hard.  I know it hasn’t been easy for me.  How has it been for you? 
The oddity is the moments when you are standing in the eye of the storm.  The center of the paradox.  The middle space between bemoaning how everything is collapsing and manically excited for how everything is growing.  It is so etheric here.  It is so calm.  It makes me want to do nothing but stop and witness, to watch the swirling spiral storm enfold me.  It is in these moments of the in-between that I know with certainty that everything is going to be okay eventually.  It is the holy space that holds us in blissful nothingness.  I have this same feeling during the winter solstice when all is quiet and we are at the point of coming newness but we are still reflecting on the death around us in the wheel of the year, and the circle of life.  Or even more simply after a bitter winter storm when you emerge from the cocoon of your home and stumble out into the frozen landscape where all is quiet, buried, sleeping but still witnessing.  Have you ever felt the most etheric sense of calm from the quietude of snow?  Me too.  I hope that you have found yourself in this space as well.  I am not always there and that’s the conundrum of paradoxes as we wave back and forth between the two sides until we are able to hold ourselves more solidly in the tension of the middle ground.  Once you’ve existed long enough in the soulful center, the eye of the storm oft times we begin to witness miracles and to discover the third way.  One that perhaps we would not have noticed had we kept moving.  The birth of a way that is even better than one we could have imagined before, an alchemical path of the union of dualities and possibilities that emerges from the tension of the two opposites.
Spirit has been whispering to me in more hushed tones than usual.  I claim myself as witch, as shaman, as she who walks through the worlds, playing like the Norns with the invisible strings that are woven through the tapestry that is life and beyond to touch the hidden realms. I have not been moving as frequently through these realms when I have been stuck in the mode of trauma and COVID depression, but still I find the whispered messages have been coming through.  They come in the tiniest moments of pause.  In the simplest of exhales.  It is in the moments of in-between that I’ve had amazing information trickling through.  Even while everything is collapsing I’ve known things like when certain relief funds were coming for our business. What have you known too?  It feels like I know nothing and somehow everything, another mini-paradox within the greater Paradox of PlaguesParadoxes can be confounding.  My knowing has mainly been born out of the need for things that are necessary in pandemics for survival but that are opening me up to third ways. I unashamedly felt relief that I was one of the people that knew to stock up on food and I thank the universe for sending me a warning and deep gratitude for the ability to have the food.  I also unashamedly felt guilt for those who couldn’t.  What is that teaching me?  What mini-paradox is this that points to the larger Paradox of Plagues and possible bigger, new third ways?  Is it linked to all of the necessary destruction of our systems and the social justice movements?  What discoveries have you made that were necessary for your survival of a global pandemic?  We find these moments of survival in the places between.  Please, share with me and leave me comments below my musings to contribute your mini-paradoxes to the grander scale.
Newness is being born yet I am still sitting stagnant in the push and pulse of a global pandemic.  Homeschooling your own kids is hard.  Running a small business in the midst of collapse is hard.  I am pulled in both directions of the pandemic simultaneously.  To stay home and be safe and to exit my nursing to produce on a larger scale.  The whispers in the eye of the storm give me hope that this tension is all going to be worth it.  The miraculous mini-growth inside of the macro-collapse of an all women owned business in a patriarchal system brings me joy.  I hope that you can hold yourself in the tension of the in-between long enough to find inklings towards your re-birth, growth and third way too.     
What have your paradoxes been in this pandemic?  What is it that you oscillate between? Mine as I’ve clearly stated has mainly been homing and producing. My production has taken on a less self-centric form and a more collective growth perspective.  I have been flowing back and forth between the paralyzed fear of shelter and hide and the need to go out and make business magic.   I have been sliding back and forth between the anxious anxiety of making sure everything is right and good for my children at home while simultaneously cheering and clapping for the destruction of systems which simultaneously support us and force us to work.  What is it that we work for?  We’ve been towing the line of a strange paradox inside of my production, a paradox inside of my paradox by working to keep up in a capitalist patriarchal world while simultaneously rebelling against it by running a business that fuels the fires of the resurrection of the feminine divine. She who fuels all of the social justice movements attached to her resurrection.  The spirals in the center of the mini and macro movements are endless but they are finally moving.  Join me in the center and gaze at the wonder of emergence.  A hopeful glimmer of a place of ease where we are joyously producing and simultaneously loving our homing or whatever other beautiful version arises.
When you find yourself stuck on one side or the other or moving back and forth with no rest in between I implore you to try to find the middle ground, the sanctuary.  Trauma is hard.  Pandemics are traumatic, but slowly we will begin to unfreeze from the terror of fear.  I find it easiest to access the middle in the simplest of moments of stillness and quiet, a blessed gift of the pandemic is more moments of isolation where we can get quiet and listen.  The space between the exhalation and the inhalation is a mini-portal, a gateway to the center of the storm.  I promise that I am not lecturing you though because I was too paralyzed in the paradox of fear and hope to accomplish much of anything in the early days of the pandemic.  It has been a slow melting and calming of the vibrating tensions of the paradox and if you’re still there just know that there is both.  There is fear and there is hope but it is what is in-between that makes beautiful things.  It will be the new world that emerges from each and every one of our own personal micro-paradoxes.  The marching of social movements has begun, swaying in a fluid dance between the greater Paradox of Plagues and each of our personal micro-paradoxes.  We’ve become more connected through our disconnection.  I can see it in the strings of the tapestry, the web of life that we as witches and shamans touch, and the potential of what will come.  We will have fires, destruction and death but we will also have change, growth and birth.  So, hold your paradox dear knowing that paradoxes are hard but that they will birth the third way.  I bow to your mini-paradox and know that it is a reflection of the same mini-paradox within me, representing the greater macro
Paradox of Plagues,