There are certain things that castles need in order to function. The first thing is a good set of fortress walls. This helps keep out invaders who are full of malice. A castle also does well with a moat. This serves as an additional boundary before one even gets to the walls. If there is a moat, then there also needs to be a drawbridge, which can be lowered when guests are arriving and raised when danger is afoot, or when it is time to turn in for the night. Castles also need a warm hearth, a place to gather around the fire and connect with those near and dear to us. On the walls there is often a series of tapestries that bring color to the gray walls and also serve to keep out drafts. It is also important that a castle has a flag that is raised to indicate such things as when the occupants are home, when someone has died, when there is distress and so on.
As individuals, we also need proper walls. These walls are not just to keep everyone out, but to protect us from those with malice in their hearts. In shamanic terms this would be known as a Medicine Shield. We need distinct emotions that are displayed (emotions are the water element...the moat) at appropriate moments and let others know where we are and if we are approachable. We also need to be able to bridge across our emotions and connect with others when we would like to invite them into our sacred space. At the same time, we need the awareness within to know when it is time to draw up the bridge. The hearth is similar to a warm heart. When we meet the world with a warm heart, we find that the world warms to us very well, for the most part. This allows us to connect with those in our lives who are most important, and to be friendly with others who are around us. The tapestries that we create with our lives weave us into the fabric of others' lives, and vise versa. The communication with others can, as a result, become colorful and beautiful in design. This communication with others also helps to keep us warm in their embrace, and they in ours. Now and then, we also need to pay attention to our "flags" of communication. We need to make sure that we send out the correct signals to others, and don't simply expect them to "know" what is going on inside the castle if we don't have the flags functioning. When we are in distress, we need to be able to communicate this clearly so that others can come and help. If we are available, then we also need to communicate this with the proper signals (or flags) so that others can respond by getting together with us for friendly connections.
In many ways, we as humans are like castles. If we take care of our castles they will keep us safe and warm for years and years. If we neglect them, they deteriorate and fall down. The same can be said of our bodies. And when we pay attention to our own inner signals, they also keep us safe for years. When we confuse the signals within ourselves, then we learn to mistrust them and set ourselves up for many a fall over the years.
So keep your castles in good running condition. Treat them well and enjoy sharing them with others who are worthy. Stay connected with the signals and pay attention to the signals in others as well.