Where do we start? Physically from where we are, however tempting it may be to wait until "the conditions are right," until we move to another place, until we get a new job, until we find more understanding, more congenial people, until... until...
The Grandfathers say, "Start now," Now is all we have, all we shall ever have. Start now."
Our journey is a resumption of the long way we have come, not a totally new start. Spiritually we start from that moment and that place where we decide to re-commit ourselves to the journey, to re-surrender our wills to the will of the Great Source, to enlist with finality in the Company of Light.
Sooner or later this great moment comes to us, but it must be with finality, total commitment, we must stick with it, or it will be only another half-hearted attempt to take a few hesitant steps on one of the ways leading to the Center, and away from it. We must go forward firmly. or we may find ourselves again in the "dark wood." Each time this happens it gets harder to resume the journey, and whether we go on foot, or "over wonderful slippery water" in a Shadow Canoe, resumption of the journey is what our spirits crave.
Today I watched a fraternity of dancers, each group taking turns. I thought about how "for everything there is a season" and how that relates to "taking turns" and wondered what does this have to do with me?
One of the dancers stopped and smiled at me, so I asked him what this had to do with me.
He said, "Not everything is about you."
Back to the Snake Dancers again. This time, a Walpi Snake Priest, dressed for the Antelope dance, explained to me about the Eagle feathers and the cornmeal, both of which are used to control and contain the snakes.
The Eagle feathers represent the sky, the cornmeal represents the earth. And between the earth and the sky is a balance which holds the snake energy.
Friday Aug 15
Today I found Medicine Crow - we sat in a cave together with firelight flickering, and in the sand were lines and circles, and I saw that this was a sort of war party planning session.
He said to me, "You still have a string to that wagon attached to you. First thing is to get that cut." He handed me a big pair of garden shears.
Then he drew in the sand a line leading to a circle. Inside the circle was a map. On the line he drew a symbol representing shears cutting it.
So I said, "OK, and then what?"
He said, "Then what? You know where you're going."
And I thought about a better diet, and I thought about my mob, I thought about the Way of the Shaman and I saw the woods and the valleys and the bright city beyond.... I said, "There." (meaning that journey)
He smiled and leaned back, obviously pleased with the answer, and I'm like... OK? so now what? And he showed me images of me making snares, carving a walking stick, carrying a knife, and matches.
I said, "So, I'll need tools!"
He smiled again, another right answer.
"OK, and then?" I asked. Thinking that since this was us planning a war party, my mind went to the "war" place... war on who? what? where are we going to "make our enemies cry"? Do I really even have enemies? Is war really what we're preparing for?
He said, "Life is a war, a battle, a struggle, and a dance. It's deadly serious for everyone, even this ant." He showed me an ant crawling on his finger. "Now, if he doesn't please me, if I want to, I can crush him right now."
I thought about "The Gods," I thought about how it does seem important to have them on your side, about the relentless force of nature, and how important it is to find benevolence there....
Then, (still talking about the ant, which is now crawling on his arm) he said, "I could help him, I could put him down right here and he could scurry home. Or, I could give him a journey and a vision." He got up and walked out of the cave, several hundred yards away, and put the ant on a leaf high in a tree. "Now he's got a quest," he laughed. "Finding his way home won't be easy from there."
So that was interesting... do the "Gods" act in this way? The Greeks thought so, I wondered about it for a small space of time.. Are there layers within layers? And if so, where do we fit into that grand scheme?
And then we were back in the cave. In retrospect I think maybe I am that ant, high in that unexpected place, wondering and working on how to get "home."
But we were now back at the task at hand, the circle in the sand. I said, "So where am I going? And is there a map?"
He said, "That's for you to figure out. Dream it and a map will come."
Once more we went over the plan.
Cut the string, Saturday is a full moon and an eclipse. So by Sunday night it might be good to have it done. I could work hard and long, and I could get it done. (By "it" I'm thinking closing the blogs in a formal way.)
Then, assemble and create tools. Dream the dream that will provide the map, and head out with my allies (Red Hawk, Crazy Thunder, and Holy Skin).
Today, the halibut fishermen brought in their catch. We met them at the beach. There was a lot of laughter and a good deal of teasing as the men showed off their catch.
The air was cold and damp, it smelled of fish and water. The ground along the shore was soft and muddy. I felt bad for the silver fish in the nets, some still clinging to life.
A grandmother smiled at me and handed me a knife. "Don't feel bad," she said, "this is good. Now we will have plenty to save for winter."
She showed me how to fillet and gut the fish. I was awkward at first but soon got the hang of it, still feeling bad, though, for the fish.
Everyone around me seemed happy - there was a cheer in the air, a spirit of liveliness and fun, and I did my best to just relax into that.
As I was working, I started to wonder. "OK, so this is all find and good, but what does it have to do with me?"
The grandmother I was working with said. "These fish were happy to give themselves so that we can live, and as we live - they live."
I said, "Yes, I can see that," and I did, "But what does this have to do with my life now?"
She stood up and looked me straight in the eye and said in a very direct way. Speaking to my heart. "What you bring into your life now will sustain you through the dark time, through your "winters" - so take thought about what you bring in."
Today was so difficult. I turned to a Flathead mother and her baby. The baby was swaddled into a cradle board that was just beautiful, and at first glance, all I could see was that magnificent baby carrier.
Then I saw the woman, she was decked out in what I'm sure was her finest clothes. She was not new at motherhood and had an air of pride and confidence. Proud mostly, I thought, of the cradle board. That's when I saw there was a baby in it, a very unhappy baby.
It seemed to me that he was feeling cramped and constrained, that he wanted to fling out his arms and kick his feet. I bent down and touched his cheek, and he quit yelling for a moment and smiled at me. I wished his hands were out so that he could grab my finger.
And with that thought, I found myself almost immediately standing in judgment of the mother. Feeling accusatory, and saying to her something to the effect of, "What's more important? The cradle board or the baby?"
And she said, "He's a fine lusty boy. It's good that he has his say."
I kept popping in and out of the meditation, really wanting to get that baby out and let him do some moving around. And even though I knew that she did get him out and he was well loved and well cared for, even though I knew she was an experienced mother, this was the custom, and there were excellent reasons for it... I was still agitating to get that baby out and let him play.
She said, "There is a time and a place for everything. In this time and in this place he stays where he is."
I fussed some more, tried to get into a place of peace with it - didn't succeed. I finally had to just leave it at that, and it felt supremely unsatisfying.
In retrospect, now that I'm writing about it, I can see how antsy I am to get "the baby" out and how well this relates to how I'm feeling (I as the child) about my spiritual journey. It's like, for my own good, I'm swaddled and contained while I learn to speak my truth and be still. And I'd like very much to stretch my legs and get a move on, but the time isn't right. And in the mean time, I'm well loved and in the capable hands of an experienced "mother."
So - that's that!
I turned to the guy putting prayer sticks by a pool of water. I've visited with him before (here's the link).
When he got done placing the stick, he stood up, dusted his hands off, and looked at me. "There, that's done," he said.
And I wondered what this whole prayer stick thing has to do with me. I mean, it's all fine and good that he does (or did) this, but in this now moment, what's the lesson for me? What's the message, the truth for me to take out into my day?
So I asked him.
And he said, "Well, maybe it would be good if you did this too."
I said, "OK, so where do I put them?" I thought about my cottonwood tree, and the other larger one that seems to hold energy as well - between the two of them, I think there's a balance of masculine and feminine. So, OK, both trees and then there's Our Lady of the Pond... and how about the place where the King of the Field Faeries came to watch me dance to release blocked energy....
Then, I didn't want anyone to feel "left out" so I started thinking of all the other trees and places on my property... I said to him, "So, just how many prayer sticks do you think I should make?"
He said, "Well, one for each of the Spirits of the place."
I said, "You mean every tree? Every nook and cranny that is sacred and special to me?"
He laughed and said. "Don't put them everywhere, that would be crazy making!"
So, I'm settled on making four - which seems a balanced number.
This morning I met a beautiful girl - a Wishham Bride decked out in her finest things.
Very beautiful girl, she twirled around to show me all her finery. She was excited and happy about getting married. When I opened to her picture, my first thought was, "Well it's a done deal now - weddings mean vows and promises and life changes and commitment."
I attempted to get a sense of who she was marrying, and an idea of where her life was headed. I was particularly interested because I have no clear idea of what it is that I have committed to and no rational clear cut goal. All I have is a blessing, a path, and some guides. I don't know what that jeweled city represents or where it lies in the "real" world.
So... I was really hoping that she'd give me some insight about that - about "what does this commitment mean" and so that's one of the main reasons I was curious about and asking about her soon to be husband and the direction her life was taking.
All that she said was, "He's a good man." And then she was back showing me her dress and her jewelry.
So, that was fun. Her happiness was infectious. Then she said, "This is not about what my life will be like. And it's not about where your life is going. This is not about the future. This is about enjoying this moment."
(About finding joy in the now - is what came to me later when I was thinking about it, but that's not what she actually said. She said, "This is about enjoying this moment.")
So much has happened in the space of a week. Wow!
So, now I've given up all the blogs except one (Gypsy Magic, for some reason, doesn't count) and I'm sitting in my chair in my meditation room watching the leaves on the cottonwood tree dance and spin.
And my mind is racing and spinning - what to post, how to go about the process of letting the blogs go, what to say about it, the order in which to do it - all that.... realizing also that I'm still clinging, in a way.
I thought about yesterday's meditation, and saw myself picking up a yo-yo out of that pile of stuff to leave behind. And, knowing I should leave it - and yet there it is, staying in my hand.
The woman looks down at me and says, "Leave it here." so I try, but it keeps sticking to my hand. She says, "Put it down, it's the devil."
And I know that she's right, and that by "devil" she doesn't mean evil or "scary bad," what she means is that it's tempting, so very tempting, and that if I givein to it, I'll be selling my soul - selling out - whatever or however you want to label it.
So, I put it down under a tree and when, like a yo-yo it came back, I put it down again. I can see how this is going to be a process, because even while I'm writing this, I can feel it back in the palm of my hand.
I might need an EXORCISM to rid myself of the EVIL YO-YO!
This wasn't even my meditation. I hadn't even opened the book yet!!
So, I opened the book with the thought, "OK. Now what?"
And there they were, my friends and allies, Red Hawk, Crazy Thunder, and Holy Skin. These are the same guys that showed up to help me with the ceremony to release blocked energy, and now here they are again.
So, I said, "Where are we going?"
And they replied, "Through the Badlands."
And I'm like... ok... badlands, huh....Sounds scary and interesting - like one of those adventures that's mostly fun AFTER it's over and you've lived through it.
But I'm game. I'm up for it. I really do want my life to be an adventure, and i really do want to live on the edge. Safe and comfortable for too long makes me lazy and crazy.
So... those were my thoughts. And it also occurred to me that the three of them must be my "guides" in a real sense, and that it might be good to honor that in some way... back in the day... if I was a Sioux and had dreamed them, I'd probably be painting their symbols on my teepee - my body - my drum - my horse - somewhere....
I thought about the big stick I found back last fall when my friend Daniel and I went on an adventure looking for fairies. I thought how it might be good to decorate it in some way... make it into a staff of sorts. Maybe three - strings - strips - feathers - something - waving from the top? It wasn't clear, but I did take this to be a first step in knowing what to do with that stick/staff/wand/linear kimana.
Then I turned to them and I said, "Well, OK, Let's go!"
They looked at each other and laughed, "I think she needs a horse."
So there was a horse, he was black and wild - he was a pinto pony - he was changing shape and color too fast for me to pinpoint exactly what he looked like....
And I was on him, and he was rearing up. We were just itching to ride and ride hard.
I looked at them with the quextion, "Why don't I know what he looks like?"
And they said, "He's a Spirit Horse. He is who and what he wants to be."
Then the horse seemed to settle into the form of a pony, with two feathers tied into his mane and a white hand print on top of a big brown patch on his rump.
We were ready to go. I felt the excitment building... and started whooping and hollering...
The three guides looked at each other and smiled, the way you smile about a silly child that you love. And we started off. They opted for a leisurely pace, conserving energy (I thought) for the hard times to come.
and singing the songs
having a great feast for the dead
for our children are gone
and none remain.
Come back my nephew we miss you
Come back my daughter we miss you
Come back my son we miss you
Come back our lost ones we miss you
Come back we are lonely
Where have you gone
Come back we are lonely
Where have you gone
Come back we are weeping
Where have you gone
Come back we are asking
Where have you gone
Come back my brother
Come back my sister
Come back my father
Come back my mother
We will sing a song for you
We will follow the river to the sea
And add our tears to the waves
The tide will rise
The tide will fall
The night will come
The night will go
You will not come
You are gone.
Where did you go?
We are singing our sorrow
We are singing our grief
We are singing our farewell
and our puzzlement
Why did you go?
From: Daughters of Copper Woman
So... I'm wiffle waffling and angsting over the blogs - the picture blogs in particular - but they do seem to be tangled up with the others as well.
When I did my morning meditation I asked specifically if I could get some insight into what to do about them.
I turned to Tsatsalatksa - a strong, beautiful, Skokomish woman. She wouldn't make direct eye contact with me. She kept looking over my head off into the distance. As I merged into the picture I found myself standing with her on a road at the top of a hill.
In the "dream" I was a child, she the mother. I was looking backward, she was looking forward. Gently, she reached down and with her hands on my shoulders, she turned me around.
Far on the horizon was a beautiful city. She said, "Do you see that?" And I knew that was where we were headed. We started walking and trailing behind me was a wagon piled high with my various stuff.
I thought to myself, this is too apt, too symbolic, I must be making it up. So I tried to forget about the stuff, to NOT see it, to NOT imagine it, but still the wagon full of stuff persisted. So finally, I gave in and accepted that it was there for a reason and a purpose.
The woman looked down at me and said, "Let it go." and I said, "But I need it." and she said, "Let it go." and I said, "But I need it." and she said, "Let it go." and I said, "But I want it."
She was very patient. The dialogue continued. She would say, "Let it go." And I would say, "But I like it." "But what if I need it." "But what if it comes in handy later?" "But what about other people who like it." "But I love it." "But it's fun and interesting." "But... But.... But..."
And to each "But.." She would reply, "Let it go."
Finally, she reached down and unclenched my fingers from the handle of the wagon. The whole time, I'm saying, "But... But..."
And even when I wasn't hanging on to the wagon any more, the stuff was still following us, attached by a string that I was holding in my pocket.
She said, "Really, you must let it go."
And I did try, but I just couldn't seem to cut myself off from it. So she stopped and pointed at the beautiful city on the horizon, glowing and shimmering with golden light. "That's where we are going, you need to let this other go."
She pointed down the hill, and I saw before us valleys and forests, cliffs and dangerous territory. I knew that if I tried to drag my noisy, bulky, heavy wagon through all that - we would surely fail. Maybe even die.
That journey looked exciting, and interesting, adventuresome and dangerous. I let go of the string and the wagon. It felt so scary and vulnerable to do that.
We started off again. "But wait," I said. "I need some stuff. I need to get some stuff out of it to take with us." She didn't let go of my hand so that I could run back and rifle through the wagon.
She smiled and said, "What do you have in your pockets?" And suddenly they were bulging with stuff.
The first thing I pulled out was a whistle. "You can take this," she said, "it might come in handy." I had a small flash of being in a dark scary forest, playing the whistle and finding courage, maybe even faeries.
She insisted that I empty my pockets. So much stuff - a candle, knives, sticks, gum, lots of stuff.
The only thing she let me keep was the whistle. I felt very naked as we turned and began to walk down the hill.
NOTE: I'm thinking that whistle is this one little blog.
Ice mountain melted
and made this ridge,
this place of changes.
Now we are rooted in it,
we of the old ones,
we of the new ones from afar,
oat grass meadow, Douglas fir thicket,
we are rooted in the ridge of changes in the time of changes.
The winds carry strange smells, this is a day of change.
Great ones above and below, bless us!
O shining One above, feed us with your light!
O soft ones, sky darkeners, wash us with your raindrops!
O powers above us, bless us with your gifts,
for we reach up to you,
branching wood and sap.
O Earthmother from whom we grow,
sandy gravel into whom our roots branch wood and sap deep down,
bless us in our night-sleep, in our death and decay.
Bless us, dark earth as we give back
that which we have received
as we make a forest of blessing a ridge of blessings
for the future to grow upon.
As I came up to them, I started to sing.
I'm not going to share that song here, because as soon as the meditation was over, I realized later that it was a power song, given to me for a specific purpose and intention. And as such, it's not to be shared in this way.
This was, really neat! Wow! So totally unexpected.
This is a good meditation for clearing up relationships with people, places, money, success, or any goal-oriented endeavor, as well as for stimulating a flow of creative ideas in relation to it. Many people are doing this without realizing it when studying, planning, or working. The third thing this exercise does is set up a resonance that begins to attract the nearest equivalent to what you are focusing on.
A useful variation is to focus on a symbol, picture, or object related to a problem in your life. This may upset a lot of people who say they don't want to give energy to their problems by focusing on them, but this focus is different. When you focus on a problem with a calm attitude of positive expectation and nonjudgment, the problem changes because you change. You may get different insights or realizations about it, or conditions surrounding the problem may change without your conscious knowledge or effort, but something will change.
We often say that it is easier to resolve a problem if you make peace with it first, and that is what this exercise helps you to do.
So today, I found myself with Spotted Jack Rabbit. Actually - let me back up a minute - I've been reading The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner, and have decided to do all of his exercizes in order and in depth. So I was thinking about that right before I opened the book and found myself face to face with Spotted Jack Rabbit.
He put his hands on my head, and I realized that I was kneeling in front of him, which surprised me because that's never happened before and was totally unexpected.
With his hands on my head, he began praying in his own language which I did not understand. As he was praying, he reached up and pulled water out of the air and sprinkled my head with it.
then he reached down and picked up a handful of earth and sprinkled that on my head too. He then blew smoke in my face.
I was just wondering about the element of fire (I'd just had water earth and air) when he picked up two sticks that were on fire. I thought of them as "fire sticks" and he put them in my hands.
He motioned me to bring my hands (holding the sticks) up over my head. I turned now, and saw that behind me was a mound of sticks and branches - I struck the mound with the fire sticks and it burst into flames.
Now there was a big ceremonial fire, and there were dancers all around it. And I joined in the dancing, circling once around the fire.
Then I saw a blanket on the ground, and I lay down on it.
Spotted Jack Rabbit covered me with another blanket, said more prayers, and then began piling stones on top of me until I was covered except for my head. "He's grounding me," I thought.
And he said, "Call now to Great Spirit," and I called, and he said "Call now to Great Spirit," and I called, and he said "Call now to Great Spirit," and I called. This continued for a while until it became a kind of a chant. And then I saw darkness and a light.
And I said, "Help me and be on my side. Support me. Help me... be on my side. I will do my best to walk the good red road... help me please and be on my side."
Then, without any real idea if Great Spirit would help me or not, I opened my eyes (in the dream) and the dancers were around me, and they lifted the pallet I was laying on - the blanket which now had branches underneath it. They tilted it up so the rocks fell down, and amazingly none hit my feet. The blanket covering me slid off, and I was standing.
I then realized that my hands were tied to the framework of the pallet that had just been lifted. I turned my back to the fire and walkled backwards toward it until the branches caught fire and burned away.
Then the blanket burned away, and my clothes... the fire was not hot. It did not burn me, but the clothes, the blanket, and the pallet went up in flames.
Then my hair caught on fire and burned away, then my skin, and my body, and I became a "shining one" and I danced around the fire with the others who were now shining ones as well.
Then I heard him callime me back. I heard him calling me back, calling me back, and everythign seemed to morph backwards really fast and soon I found myself kneeling in front of Spotted Jack Rabbit, and his hands were on my head.
I thought - this is a blessing - an initiation - an acceptance of my decision to pursue the shamanic training.
I stood up and he smiled at me and ruffled my hair. I gave him a hug. He was pleased, I could see, but he brushed it off as if to say... "Aww... it was nothing really."
And that was it...
It measures 24 inches long, with a five-and-a-half to six-foot wingspan, and weighs four to six and a half pounds. It is commonly found south of the Sahara Desert in the savannahs, open forests and semi-deserts of central and southern Africa.
The Shona people believe the Chapungu bird is a good omen, bringing protection and good fortune. Pretty cool, isn't he? See more pictures of this cool bird.
Here's a video:
And here are some pictures and more can be found here:
For a long time I just sat there with the book and the picture... not really finding a way into it, not seeing or hearing anything at all.
Finally, I heard this:
"You are building something. How high do you want it to go? How complicated do you want it to be? At what point does it become too much?"
And now, later, I'm wondering also about firm foundations and structural integrity, and the importance of community.
So to what was it referring? I'm not sure. Maybe I don't even know what I'm building!
on a steep river bank
there's a voice that speaks
I've seen the master of that voice
he bowed to me
I spoke with him
he answers all my questions
everything that is
little gray bird
little blue breast
sings in a hollow bough
she calls her spirits dances
sings her shaman songs
woodpecker on a tree
that's his drum
he's got a drumming nose
and the tree shakes
cries out like a drum
when the axe bites its side
at these things answer
everything that is
the lantern walks around
the walls of this house have tongues
even this bowl has its own true home
the hides asleep in their bags
were up talking all night
antlers on the graves
rise and circle the mounds
while the dead themselves get up
and go visit the living ones.
It was hot and dry. There was a small breath of wind but not much. Off in the distance I could barely make out a small herd of what might possibly have been antelope.
I turned to go up the rocky stairway, and as I did, I wondered what it was that I wasn't seeing. Then I heard the rattle of a rattlesnake. I didn't see on on the rocks by my feet, or in the crevices of stone around me.
I thought it I must have made it up, imagined it... then I looked up and there in front of me at the top of the stairway was a huge rattlesnake. He was way bigger than me, so I knew he must be a "spirit" snake - a protecting energy.
I knew immediately that if I hadn't seen him or if now that I had, if I disregarded him that he would prick me with his two sharp teeth and a slow poisoning would begin.
I wondered how many hikers had come to this same spot and behaved disrespectfully and unknowingly been bitten.
So, I searched my mind for what I could do to appease him. It occurred to me that snakes like eggs, so I pulled several eggs out of my rucksack and gave them to him.
He swallowed them whole and then slipped down the stairs and into a hole in the stone. He watched me for a moment and then his eyes closed and he went to sleep.
I continued up the steps until I came out on top. It was very beautiful and stark - I looked down and saw arrowheads at my feet. I picked one up, looked at it, and then realized that it would be wrong to take it, gently I put it back where it was.
Once again, I wondered what it was that I wasn't seeing. And when I looked around I saw a small tree, and she was alive - and the stones too. I could see that they lived. Everything around me was full of life and intelligence.
I reached down and patted one of the rocks. It was warm to the touch. I thought. Wow! Everything that is IS alive. Which is something that I already knew in my head, but had never experienced in such a visual way.
I figured he was referring to how late I was in getting my meditation time started, so I said, "I know..." and mumbled on about how I'm tired, and goofing off this morning.
He said, "Balance - you have to get some balance!" And I thought about how many times this week I've allowed my schedule to get out of control, how I've been slacking on my self care, and getting all caught up in blogging and being on the internet til 3am. My schedule, when I stick to it, gives me a nice balance - and I feel better about myself and about life.
Then, the thought occured to me - maybe it's not really this little elder talking to me, maybe it's my own mind, feeling guilty about blowing off the things that feed me spiritually and physically.
So I cleared my mind as best I could, and started over. He said, "This is a serious business. You don't go on a vision quest and then spend your time playing with the rocks. You don't go on the warpath and then stop to play in the flowers. You are on a journey... don't get side tracked. Get your balance back - stay focused."
Ok... sounds clear enough. It's early to bed for me tonight! And back on track in the morning.
She is circumspect, often hairy, always fat, and especially wishes to evade most company. She is both a crower and a cackler, generally having more animal sounds than human ones.
I might say she lives among the rotten granite slopes in Tarahumara Indian territory. Or that she is buried outside Phoenix near a well. Perhaps she will be seen traveling south to Monte Alban in a burnt out car with the back window shot out. Or maybe she will be spotted standing by the highway near El Paso, or riding shotgun with truckers to Morelia, Mexico, or walking to market above Oaxaca with strangely formed boughs of firewood on her back. She calls herself by many names: La Huesera, Bone Woman; La Trapera, The Gatherer; and La Loba, Wolf Woman.
The sole work of La Loba is the collecting of bones. She collects and preserves especially that which is in danger of being lost to the world. Her cave is filled with the bones of all manner of desert creatures: the deer, the rattlesnake, the crow. But her specialty is wolves.
She creeps and crawls and sifts through the mountains, and arroyos, looking for wolf bones, and when she has assembled an entire skeleton, when the last bone is in place and the beautiful white sculpture of the creature is laid out before her, she sits by the fire and thinks about what song she will sing.
And when she is sure, she stands over the criatura, raises her arms over it, and sings out. That is when the rib bones and leg bones of the wolf begin to flesh out and the creature becomes furred. La Loba sings some more, and more of the creature comes into being; its tail curls upward, shaggy and strong.
And La Loba sings more and the wolf creature begins to breathe.
And still La Loba sings so deeply that the floor of the desert shakes, and as she sings, the wolf opens its eyes, leaps up, and runs away down the canyon.
Somewhere in its running, whether by the speed of its running, or by splashing its way into a river, or by way of a ray of sunlight or moonlight hitting it right in the side, the wolf is suddenly transformed into a laughing woman who runs free toward the horizon.
So remember if you wander the desert, and it is near sundown, and you are perhaps a little bit lost, and certainly tired, that you are lucky, for La Loba may take a liking to you and show you something - something of the soul.
~from Women Who Run With the Wolves
by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
one of the greatest extreme athletes in the world.
- Expect a journey and a battle
- Focus on the present and set intermediate goals
- Don't dwell on the negative
- Transcend the physical
- Accept your fate
- Have confidence that you will succeed
- Know that there will be an end
- Suffering is okay
- Be kind to yourself
- Quitting is not an option
"Looks like you're getting ready to do something..."
I saw Strikes Two, a woman sixty years old, riding around camp on a gray horse. She carried only her root-digger, and she was singing her medicine song as though Lakota bullets and arrows were not flying around her.
Then I heard her say, "Now all of you sing: 'They are whipped. They are running away.' Keep singing these words until I come back."
When the men, and even the women, began to sing as Strikes Two told them, she rode straight out at the Lakota waving her root-digger, and singing that song. I saw her, I heard her, and my heart swelled, because she was a woman.
The Lakota, afraid of her medicine, turned and ran away. The fight was won, and by a woman.
Today found me visiting with a war party - just getting ready and heading out - a series of four pictures. I've talked to them before... This is what they said to me:
Yes, make your plans.
Yes, send out scouts.
Yes, dream on it.
Yes, smoke on it.
Yes, make your offerings.
Yes, make your peace.
And yes ride out, singing your death song, singing your power song, singing your war song.
Life is to live in, not to hide under.
Before hanging your dream catcher, go through your house and thoughtfully decide in what room you wish to hang your dream catcher. Think about it.
- Do you want it by a window where it will catch rays of light?
- Do you want it over a television set where it may act as a filtering system catching any negative vibrations that can steal in and rob your family of peace and calm, allowing only what is worthy of being remembered to pass through?
- Do you want it over your baby's crib so that while the innocent one sleeps its mind will be blessed with joy and peace?
The next step is to clear the room of negativity and create a sacred space by smudging. If you are uncomfortable with smudging, do what feels comfortable to you. The idea is to clear out negativity and set an intention that this is a sacred, magical, or special object that you are welcoming into your home.
After you clear the space, hang the dream catcher and then say a thank you or a prayer to the six directions.
- To the Creator, the Never-Ending force that is all, I thank you. (speak directly to Creator Spirit within you)
- To Mother Earth, the place of nurturing and hope, I thank you. (speak directly to the earth below your feet).
- To the Spirit of the North, the place of winter and intuitive understanding, of healing, and the place of beginnings and endings, I thank you. (speak facing the direction of North)
- Spirit of the East, where the sun rises, the place of new beginnings and the promise of Spring, I think you. (speak facing the direction of East)
- Spirit of the South, place of Summer and rapid growth, the place of our heart and emotions, and the place where we learn survival, and develop a trust in life, I think you. (speak facing the direction of South)
- Spirit of the West, where the sun sets and we find healing and self knowledge that gives us the power to use our head and our hearts to serve and to teach, I thank you. (speak facing the direction of West)
As you do this ritual, allow yourself to become aware of the higher power of the Universe called by many names: Great Spirit, Heavenly Father, God, Wakan-Tanka, Jehovah, Allah, The Ascendant, All That Is, and allow yourself to feel the presence of the Power within you.
At this point, face the dream catcher , and speak out loud to it and tell the dream catcher what you want it to do. Speak to the object as a friend, for it is your friend, an aspect of yourself.
Close by thanking it it for the goodness it will perform.
~via Mandala Madness
Traditionally, Native American dreamcatchers were only a few inches in diameter and would be finished with a feather hanging from the webbing. Wrapping the frame in leather would be pretty common too as another finishing touch.
Originally, Native American Ojibway dreamcatchers were made as a charm to protect sleeping children from nightmares. The legend is that the dreamcatcher will catch one’s dreams in the night. The bad dreams will get caught in the dreamcatcher’s webbing and disappear with the morning sun.
Meanwhile, the good dreams will find their way to the center of the dreamcatcher and float down the feather. The Native American dreamcatcher is therefore considered a filter allowing only good, pleasant dreams to get through. Dreamcatchers are also believed to bless those who are sleeping with good luck and harmony.
Today it occurred to me that maybe this picture isn't about him telling me something about me. Maybe it isn't about me at all.
So I spent some time really getting connected in the hope that I would discover something about him.
This is what I got:
He is very sad - deaths in the family - more than one. His father drinks and beats his mother who, in turn takes it out on the boy. Often he hides and is frightened. He is very ashamed of this fear and works hard to cover it up with attitude. He loves his uncle and wants to be like him and live with him. His uncle is one of the Snake Dancers.
What does this all mean to me? I don't know, maybe when the Snake Racers return, I'll find out.
I thought about that for a while, how good it is to honor not just the sacred places, but the beautiful and useful ones as well. I said something to him about that, and he said, "It's what we do." and the way he said it was so matter of fact, it was like a "given" - almost like a "so what." He seemed a little taken aback that this isn't something I (we) do routinely in this time and culture.
I was trying to find some meaning, some significance to it, my intellect was working over time, and I found it hard to relax into the moment and just "be" there.
He looked at me and said, "Maybe you should do this too."And, of course now my mind is off and running, designing prayer sticks, making up all sorts of rules and regulations about where, when, why, and how to use them. Pretty soon I had an eBay store up and running... LOL. The snake racers were having a hey day!!
So, I don't know, maybe I could make one... paint a snake on it... I don't know. Maybe the message is more simple, like... pay attention and be respectful of everything.
Striving after stillness does nothing but create confusion. Stillness cannot be achieved: it is already the case. To see the lie of striving after stillness is to fall into deep silence. There is nothing more to do, hence the stillness. What can you do? There is really nothing to be done. Doing is not going to help. Only being is going to transform you, not doing.
When and Where:
Sit and just be. Or stand and just be. For a few moments allow the inner stillness to be there. IT IS THERE - JUST ALLOW IT. If the mind is too busy, or emotions are in turmoil, then try one of the expressive techniques, for example laughter, gibberish, dancing, dynamic. These techniques help you to release tensions and then just be, suffused with stillness.
In your utter helplessness, in your surrender you find the inner silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms, not the silence that you try and impose on yourself. That is not real silence, it is created silence. And how can your doing go deeper than your being. When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no more spins any thoughts. And that silence is being.
Discover Meditation Training Inc.
Anyway, he motioned for me to sit next to him. He put his arm around me, and we sat companionably quite, watching the leaves on the cottonwood tree, listening to them dance in the wind.
He said, "This is what matters. Do it more often."
And I thought about how I tend to rush through my day. Yes, I take time to meditate, and yes, I say "hello" to the sun - I even do spend more time outside enjoying the outside. But even when I'm doing all that, it's like my mind is racing. I'm thinking about this and planning that and going to do this and say that. It's no wonder that I keep pulling up that boy who is not too happily waiting for the snake racer's return.
I'm not really settled and still ever. I don't allow myself to feel comforted and loved very often either. Interesting!
"The warrior on the right holds the curved staff of one of the tribal military organizations, which, at the crisis of a fight, was placed in the ground as a standard behind which the bearer was pledged not to retreat."
So, I thought about that for a while - about putting yourself on the line like that for honor and for a sense of self. "Kill me if you must, I will not retreat."
Finally, having allowed my intellect to explore the picture and the content of the caption, I was able to let all that go and merge into the picture so that I could talk to them.
The one holding the staff looked down at me and said, "When your staff is firmly planted, we'll back you all the way. Until then..." and the three of them wheeled their horses around and rode off.
So it looks like they aren't talking to me until I make a commitment of some kind, and once I do, I will have back-up. I will have their support.
I wonder what commitment?
Spirit Keeper: Waboose
Plant: Sweet Grass
Animal: White Buffalo
Time of Day: Midnight
The time of life: When we are elders with the snow upon our heads and the time of life when we are newborns coming back into the world.
The North is the most paradoxical time of the Medicine Wheel. It is the time when things seem to be sleeping. Yet within this apparent dormancy some of the deepest growth is occurring. It is in the winter when seeds lie frozen within the earth that they take into themselves all of the earth's energy that allows them to grow in the seasons that follow. It is in the North that our bodies cannot move as easily as they have in the past or will in the future, that we seem forced to take into ourselves the wisdom of the Spirit we will use as we continue our journey around the wheel.
The time of Waboose is a time of slowing down, of apparent restriction, when outward activity definitely diminishes. It is a time of darkness, quiet, and dreams. It is a time when humans are fragile, when their skin is wrinkled and resembles the soil and the face of the Earth Mother herself. It is a time when people tend to reminisce and from their reminiscences share the wisdom they have gained. It is a time of assessing accomplishments and aims and of preparing for the major giveaway of death and of birth. It is a time when many people come to an understanding of their own life, an acceptance of what they have or have not achieved. It can be a time of peace, a time of power, a time of forgiveness and compassion for all around you. It is a time to give up old patterns, to surrender to the small changes of body and mind in preparation for the major changes that will come.
Waboose is a time of both ending and beginning, of life and death, of new life cloaked in apparent death. In the winter the earth appears dead, but there is much happening within. The same is true in human life. Even when we shed our human envelopes, our spirit, our energy goes to a place that prepares us for the new beginning that will come.
The major lesson of Waboose is that of the giveaway. When we are elders it is our responsibility to give away to the people all of the knowledge that we have gained. It is our responsibility to impart to our relations what we have learned as we have journeyed around the Medicine Wheel of life. It is our responsibility, ultimately, to give away our body to the Earth Mother who has fed us during all the time we have walked on her. When we are infants we readily give away all of the love we have gained in the world between, knowing then that the more we give the more we have available.
One of the gifts of Waboose is an intuitive understanding of this giveaway. Coming with this understanding are increased psychic abilities and a great acumen in attuning to dreams or visions, both your own and those of other people.
The white buffalo, the animal associated with Waboose, is an animal who gave up everything for the people: meat, hide, bones, and spirit. It is the White Buffalo Woman who gave the pipe to the people.
When you are experiencing a moon influenced by Waboose, it is a good time to contemplate your life, to contemplate the paradoxes of life. It is a good time to think about questions of life and death and to examine your attitudes toward both. It is a time to learn patience. It is a time when your psychic and mystical abilities will be far above average. It is a time to see how you feel about giving away all the many gifts that life has given to you. It is a time to practice the small giveaways that will prepare you for the larger ones.
During times of Waboose, you will need to make a point of grounding yourself, of remembering that you are a being of the earth as well as the sky. One of the paradoxes of Waboose is that while this is a time of intuition and mystical abilities, Waboose is also the direction that governs the physical level of life, both how we relate to our bodies and how we relate to the world around us. While your mind wanders through the skies, you must also learn that you need to take care of your body here on earth.
Waboose is the place of physical healing, the place we come to give thanks for healing that has occurred and to ask for healing that is needed both for ourselves and for others. This can be healing of the body or healing of the way in which we relate to the world around us. The power of Waboose is the power of spirituality grounded on earth; the power of patience that allows all things to grow in their proper way. The power of Waboose is acceptance of life, acceptance of death, and acceptance of the necessity of sharing all that has been given you.
That was it. I was about ready to flip to another page when it occurred to me that there must be SOMETHING here.... something I'm missing.
I studied the picture. The Kiva to the North was shrouded in mystery. All that was visible was a ladder going down into it through the roof.
"North," I thought, "That's it. Something about North is pertinent for me today." So, I pulled out my "Dancing With the Wheel" book and looked it up...
Today I had a short visit with a Hopi girl all dressed up to get married. She looked almost smothered in her clothes. She said, "Yes, but in the privacy of my hut I will shed these clothes, I will be naked and real, I will bear children, and I will live my life."
And I had this visual image that's a little hard to describe. It was like the clothes were tent shaped and I could see her flying up and out of the top of that tent, like a butterfly almost.
Then my intellect tried to imagine or "see" her life in context of what I know about the Hopi. When I caught myself doing that, I realized that the visualization of flying free from expectations, regulations, limitations, other baggage... that visualization was as much for me as it was for her. That the extra weight I carry is just as confining and smothering as the ceremonial clothing she was wearing.
I overslept, having stayed up late reading (of all things) a romance novel. So, when I went in to do my meditation, I started to ask that my "guidance" be easy and short, simple and clear.
Then I changed my mind - deciding I didn't want to impose those sorts of limits on it. So I explained how I felt, and why, and asked for whatever was best.
I opened the book to three warriors: Red Hawk, Crazy Thunder, and Holy Skin. They said, "We're with you through the badlands and the bogs. We're here."
And that was it.
I'm going to think of a way to incorporate them into my upcoming ceremony to release my energy block.
I wonder if back there in the 1800's if they dreamed or had any intuitive sense that in some distant future time they would be called upon - and if they did, or even if they didn't, I thought they would no doubt be... what's the word... intrigued and interested enough to say "sure, we'll come."
Today I turned again to the Shaman dude wearing the bear skin. The one that told me to feed the ducks. He blew into my third eye and I fully expected something to happen... no that's not true... I wondered if he was opening my third eye and started doubting that it was "real" because I wasn't suddenly having some mega visual experience. (Apparently talking to a long dead Native American shaman and getting "treated" doesn't count as a mega visual experience???)
Anyway, then I felt that he was zipping me open, top to bottom, and sparkles of light flew up from my body. He started dancing wildly on my right side and I knew my intellect was way too fully engaged - I was analysing and second guessing big time.
The right side of my body was fully enlivened and energized. The left side - NOT. I don't know if he said, or I just new that the left side of my body is energetically blocked.
He worked again on my third eye, and I felt it clouding over and kind of running, like it would if a person had a cold or a mild irritation in the eye.
I knew then that my third eye would not be fully open and clear until my left side was properly energized and cleared.
He worked on it some, but my intellect continued to interfere. I asked him what I could do in the "real" in the physical. He said, "The work starts here." (in the energy field), and I said, "I know that, but I'm feeling like I need to take some action in the physical." So he told me to wear something on my left wrist and showed me a "ceremony" for activating my energy and releasing that block on my left side.
It consists of painting my body - left side with white wavy lines and lightning strikes - right side with smoother, colorful rounded forms like waves and swirls, and a third eye painted in white on my forehead. Then, dance - outside - with drums, and fire, and moonlight, by the pond, dancing until something "gives."
I think it's a full moon thing.
I wanted to thank him in a real and concrete way, so I sent Reiki into the past and suddenly when it was done, I clapped my hands, and there was a spark of light, and that was that.
It is better to become a tree sometimes, to become an animal sometimes, to become a bird and sometimes even to become a rock in the sun, because we have passed all these stages and something of those stages still remains inside us, it is part of our being.
Man is not an island, he is not separate from existence. Man is involved in existence, in all its dimensions. The rock contains the man; he is its future. Man contains the rock; it is man's past. We are joined together. If you can start feeling like a rock you will have a totally different reality, a different vision, the way the rocks looks at trees and the sun and the star. One can get into that kind of attunement. Let this be your meditation; sometimes become a tree and forget humanity. You will feel fresh, young and rejuvenated. You will have the silence of the tree, the joy of the tree, the earthiness of the tree. Sometimes become a bird. Close your eyes and go as far away in the sky as possible. Whisper with the clouds...
All this is possible because we have been these things; it is our past, it is our inheritance. Deeper in you than man is the animal. Man is very superficial, just the last coating. Deeper than that is the animal, deeper than that is the tree, even deeper than that is the rock. The rock is our foundation, our very roots are there and we are spread all over existence on many levels, in many dimensions. Man is not so small as he looks. He is infinite, he contains all. So let this be your meditation...
-Osho via the prosperity project
He squatted down and ran his fingers through the water, and they became the water. I could see that he was well grounded, that his feet were strongly rooted. He was as connected and in tune with his environment as were the rocks he was standing on, the trees behind him, and the wild life that lived in them.
"All my relations" to him means all the life abounding around him, nothing between - raw and real.
"All my relations" to me is a nebulous idea, a virtual reality, a concept and a thought. Intellectual in nature - not truly experienced at a gut level.
I thought about how DISconnected I am - my feet don't touch the ground, they touch the floor, which doesn't touch the ground.
The temperature is modified with air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. My food comes in boxes and cans, so distant from the earth it grew in that it is almost unrecognizable, and no aspect of soil remains.
How then can I be "one" with the Earth Mother when I hold my comfort higher than our relationship?
I wouldn't last two weeks in his world, I don't think - not really. The mind is willing, the heart is there, but the body is weak with dis-use and indolence, separated by a culture and an era that speaks to our laziness and our fear.
He could live in my world - I think - and even be "corrupted" by it. Water always takes the path of least resistance, as does the wind, even earth itself, when put into motion, takes the easiest route.
So this pulls me around full circle - Is it our nature to do what is easy... what is most comfortable? Is that true?
Is it true that when I dip my hand in bath water that my hand becomes the water? Are my feet as firmly rooted in carpet and concrete as they could be in soil? Can I find an attunement and a oneness even if I am surrounded by walls, plugged into a virtual world, and eating unrecognizable food? Or do I need to step down and out - do I need to go against the flow and eliminate the "middle man."
I don't know.
I asked him what he thought, and he said, "I am sorry for you."
Long ago the old people used to tell the story of an orphan boy who was always crying and was eaten by the Rainbow Serpent. Once when he was walking around an old lady asked him, 'Why are you crying?' The orphan said, 'They refuse to give me any manburrangkali lily roots.' 'Is that so?' replied the old lady.
Then that old lady went and got a different kind of lily root for him. The orphan was still lying down crying when she brought him back a bag full of yaldanj lily roots.
She placed the lily roots on the ground while she went and got some firewood. She returned and lit the fire and cooked them all. The old woman said, 'Come and eat these yaldanj lily roots.' The orphan stood there and said, 'I don't want those lily roots, I don't like them.'
So he kept crying - he was walking around crying, so another man got up and went to get some bush honey. When he returned he showed the boy and said, 'Come and eat some honey.'
The orphan stood there and said, 'I don't want any honey, I don't like it.' 'Is that so?' said the man. 'Okay, you just cry, and leave my honey alone.'
So he just kept crying. Another lady then got up and said, 'Let me go and get some long yams for him, otherwise he will always be crying.' Then she went and got some long yams for him, filled her dilly bag, returned, put them on the ground, went for firewood, lit the fire, and roasted the yams.
When they were cooked she said, 'Come and eat some long yams.' The orphan said, 'I don't want those long yams.' 'Is that so?' said the old woman.
The people said to him, 'Okay, you just cry, because you didn't want the long yams, the honey, the yaldanj lily roots, because you are always thinking of the taste of those sweet manburrangkali lily roots, because you have an insatiable desire.'
Now there were lots of old people sitting there, and they said to him, 'Why can't you stop crying? Will you always be crying then? Soon the Rainbow Serpent will eat us.' They told him this but he did not stop crying - he was always crying. He cried and cried.
Now there was a Rainbow Serpent at Miya, to the north. The Rainbow Serpent lifted up her head, looked around, listened very carefully, and heard him crying at Mayawunj in the south. That Rainbow Serpent said, 'I will go south to that place and eat them.'
Then the Rainbow Serpent started, she went underground and kept going, she was getting closer to them. When she came to them, she came out of the ground in the south, lifted her head and saw them. She said, 'Ah, this is the place where that orphan is crying - this is where they are camping.'
Then she appeared near them. The people had been looking to the north and had seen something like a fire or a light shining on them and they cried out in fear.
Then they told the men, 'Quick, spear it! Do you want it to eat us?' They kept trying to spear it, but they always missed it, so they said, 'That's it, bad luck. It's no good, the Rainbow Serpent will just have to eat us.'
In fear they tried to run away. The Rainbow Serpent was watching them and hooked her tail around them all, the orphan with them. That Rainbow Serpent ate the orphan first, biting his head and swallowing it. Then she ate the others. This made the Rainbow Serpent from Miya full.
That is what happened at Mayawunj in the south - she went under the ground and was lying there with the people and the insatiable child within her belly, sleeping in the south ready to reawaken.
He looked so unhappy that I said to him. "Look here, it's not as bad as you think! Because of this dull moment someone is looking at you and talking to you and wanting to know you more than 100 years later! This is a moment of honor!"
But he was not hearing any of it, being the child that he was, and he was so NOT listening or talking to me. So I decided to just send him Reiki. So that's what I did. I sent Reiki into the past, with the intention of bringing joy into his life. When I was done, I thought how cool it would be if his picture now showed a smiling happy boy waiting in his finery for the Snake Racers to return - but that didn't happen.
For a more in depth understanding, there's all this:
Roadrunners are ground dwelling cuckoos ranging in length from 20 to 24 inches from the tip of its tail to the end of its beak. Legend has it that the roadrunner got its name from running on the road alongside horse drawn carriages. Also known as the chaparral cock this legendary bird is famous for its distinctive appearance, its ability to eat rattlesnakes and its preferences for scooting across the American deserts as seen in Warner Brothers cartoons.
Because of its lightening quickness, the roadrunner is one of the few animals that preys upon rattlesnakes. Using its wings like a matador's cape, it snaps up a coiled rattlesnake by the tail, cracks it like a whip and repeatedly slams its head against the ground till dead. It then swallows its prey whole, but is often unable to swallow the entire length at one time. This does not stop the roadrunner from its normal routine. It will continue to meander about with the snake dangling from its mouth, consuming another inch or two as the snake slowly digests.
Although speed is its ally time is irrelevant to the roadrunner. It can do several things at once and isn't bothered with completing one thing before moving on to the next. This is partly due to its great mental agility represented by the crest on its head.. Many native cultures believe a "crest" symbolizes quick and efficient thinking capabilities. Those with this medicine have the ability to think quickly on their feet, flow with rapid change and understand the proper use of speed.
The roadrunner is a large black and white mottled ground bird. It has strong feet, a long tail and an over sized bill. It can run up to 17 miles per hour. When the roadrunner senses danger or is traveling downhill, it flies, but it cannot keep its large body airborne for more than a few seconds and so, it prefers walking or running. It has a clownish gait when running or walking and reminds us to laugh with ourselves and not take things too seriously.
The roadrunner is a vocal bird producing a variety of sounds from crows, chuckles, clacking and coos. Roadrunner asks us to use sound to benefit ourselves. Distract unwanted influences or say the right thing at the right time. By listening to the roadrunner we discover the right tone to use in any situation from a low coo to a screeching chuckle. Sound as well as speed can pierce through a situation and change its energy. Shamans are known to use both to shape shift realities when necessary.
Roadrunners are uniquely suited to desert environments and inhabit open, flat or rolling terrain with scattered cover of dry brush, chaparral or other desert scrub. When spring arrives, the male roadrunner acquires food for himself and then offers choice morsels to a female as an inducement to mating. He often dances around her while she begs for food, then gives her the morsel after breeding briefly. Roadrunner teaches us the importance of honoring our personal needs first before giving to others. Some might think of this as a selfish act but in truth it is a balanced one. Although roadrunner has an ulterior motive when offering the female food (that of breeding) it carries the message of survival. Take care of yourself first and then assist others.
Because roadrunner is always thinking of ways to get what it wants it reminds those with this medicine to use the ingenuity of their minds. If a problem occurs "think" yourself out of it. Highly intelligent, roadrunner medicine people have the mental capabilities to fix or change any situation. Procrastination is not part of this medicine. Roadrunner reminds us that mental alertness, speedy action coupled with the right use of sound always produces harmonious outcomes.
I went to the book, hoping, wanting to find some clarity about yesterday's message. I turned to Nez Perce scouts "waiting for the signal". I've met them before.
They do not like to be bothered with small talk because they are intent and focused, waiting for "the signal."
So, I thought I'd wait and watch with them and see what happens. It was a dark night, we were up on a ridge, and off in the distance there was an awesome lightning display. I was watching the lightning when I noticed something so quick and so fleeting that I discounted it immediately.
The two scouts, however, suddenly wheeled their horses around and took off in a hurry. I said to myself, "Oh, was there a sign? I sure didn't see it. Was it that small flicker of something that I didn't actually see? So what was it? What does this mean? Anything? Everything?"
I decided to sit there on the ridge and study the horizon until I got some clarity. Pretty soon it started to rain and I got cold and wet, but I stuck it out. Determined to "get" it.
Then a huge invisible hand came down out of the sky and picked me up and put me into a cave, it wrapped me in a warm dry blanket, lit a fire, and created a nice safe place.
I sat there and stared into the fire, still looking for a "sign" a "signal" and not seeing anything at all except fire.
Then the "hand" blew the fire out and all that was left was ashes. I looked into the ashes and saw that in those ashes was a map, but I had no idea how to use it and the image was wavering and unclear.
The "hand" which had become the "wind" returned as a small funnel cloud, it swirled through the cave and swept the whole are clean. Then the hand picked me up and deposited me back on the ridge. The rain stopped, the scouts returned, and I realized that everything was moving backwards.
The lightning continued in the distance, and suddenly I saw a thin silver shaft flying up from the darkness. It was like quicksilver - that's the word that came into my mind, a "flash in the pan" and then it was gone and so were the scouts. And I was back in my room, back in the present.
I had no clue what it meant until I started writing it down and then I "got" it. I'm not sure I can verbalize it properly.... it's something like this:
The teachings are for the moment. They are like "quicksilver," a glimpse of silver shafted clarity, a momentary map. They are not written in stone, they are a signal for action and forward movement. Wait too long, look away, and they loose their immediacy and their meaning.
Gillian Holloway, Ph.D. identifies being bitten by a snake as meaning different things. She says, "In many dreams a single snake will come to bite you, and you may in fact be bitten after a brief struggle. To your amazement though, you will not die, and may find that the situation is not as bad as you thought." According to Holloway you have this kind of dream if you are struggling with some problem, relationship or challenge. "Such a snake-ordeal is an important signal that you are going through a kind of initiation; a psychological and spiritual trial that has the potential to change your life for the better if you deal with it bravely and with a clear heart. You may have to give up something you thought you couldn't, or take a stand for your principles or faith."
When one is bitten by a snake in a dream, this often actually points to overcoming a situation that appeared dire. The a snake bit dream may point to learning to overcome a situation and regain your power in life. Snake bites can be viewed as in injection of wisdom, rather than life threatening venom.
An historical perspective:
In some cultures snakes are highly regarded and symbolize the ability to transcend into higher levels of consciousness or into areas of knowledge that exist outside perceived time and space. In the pre-Christian days, snakes were considered symbols of fertility, healing, and nurturing (the healing serpent representing a god). Post Adam and Eve, snakes are often considered symbols of temptation and evil, anger, and envy. Snakes emerging out of the ground may represent your unconscious or repressed materials coming to your conscious mind. Freud thought that the snake was a phallic symbol.
But wait, there's more!
It is amazing how many people have snake dreams! Most snake dreams seem to be disturbing and they leave the dreamer feeling anxious and afraid. There are no simple interpretations to the snake dreams. Each dreamer must consider their own situation and all of the details of the dream. Sometimes snakes may be phallic symbols and other times they represent negativity in our lives that hampers our progress and constantly threatens us. In the long run the snake may be a positive symbol; it may represent difficulties that lead us to the center of personality and result in feelings of completeness.