The Five Gates of Grief

The Five Gates of Grief and Their Medicines
by Francis Weller

Each Gate of Grief carries a seed of imagination that reveals a hidden threshold within its core. The grief found at each particular gate, when experienced and expressed adequately, invites us into the medicine that is inherent in the particular shape of sorrow. 

First Gate: Everything We Love, We Will Lose
• We are invited into the mystery of love and loss and the truth of impermanence.
• We are initiated into the Medicine of Vulnerability

Second Gate: The Places That Have Not Known Love
• We are invited into the mystery of our own maturation into Adulthood. We meet with care the parts of ourselves that have been ignored, shamed, and exiled.
* We are initiated into the Medicine of Compassion

Third Gate: The Sorrows of the World
• We are invited into the mystery of our immutable bond with the living earth. We meet the grief of the species and habitats that have been and will be lost as well as our disconnectedness from the whole of life.
• We are initiated into the Medicine of Entanglement

Fourth Gate: What We Expected and Did Not Receive
• We are invited into the mystery of our deep-time inheritance. We grieve the loss of intact and living culture and community.
• We are initiated into the Medicine of Belonging

Fifth Gate: Ancestral Grief
• We are invited into the mystery of lineage and the transgenerational transmission of courage, endurance, and imagination.
• We are initiated into the Medicine of Wisdom

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