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.
He said, "We do this ceremony because we have to live in harmony with snakes. They are dangerous and deadly. They have power. We harness this paower, we want their good will. So we dance with them, we mesmerise them, we hold them sacred, and thus we maintain relationship with their power."
And I wondered what this had to do with me.
He said, "You are a snake dancer and hugger. Your 'snakes' are your thoughts. Thoughts are things. They have power."
The whole meditation was very wavery and indistinct. I had to ask him to repeat, and I found it hard to keep a focus and kept forgetting what he had just said.
NOTE: After it was complete, I couldn't remember hardly any of it, and totally forgot to write it down. The next day I asked for clarity about it, and that was interesting. Now, suddenly, I remember it and it makes sense!
Smudging is often performed to clear a sacred space before rituals, you can also smudge yourself to to cleanse and purify - especially if you have been weighed down with stress and worry. Smudging is commonly used to cleanse crystals, before dedicating them for healing, and periodically to remove the energies they pick up from doing their work.
Sometimes life creates stresses within families, plunging them into bickering disharmony. Smudging is wonderful for cleansing the whole atmosphere and restoring balance and harmony. Smudging is akin to 'wiping the slate clean' before imprinting your own energies on it.
You can smudge just about anything that needs cleansing. If you move into a new home, it is nice to cleanse it of any residual energies from the previous tenants before perhaps blessing it to create harmony and peace.
Herbs traditionally used in a smudge are sage and sweetgrass, but many other herbs and fragrant grasses can be used. Insense and essential oils can also be used. Choose what "feels" right, and do some research into the meanings and the effects of whatever you decide to use.
Hints and tips on safe smudging can be found here.
And I thought about my new plan for a daily routine - it felt good to think that this was a kind of "blessing" for it.
Then I had a fleeting thought, wondering if this meant I should smudge at the beginning of each day. And he said, "No, when you begin something sacred, when you begin a journey, or something big, then you smudge."
So, I did. I smudged myself, and then I smudged my house. And it was good.
House made of dawn.
House made of evening light.
House made of the dark cloud.
House made of male rain.
House made of dark mist.
House made of female rain.
House made of pollen.
House made of grasshoppers.
Dark cloud is at the door.
The trail out if it is dark cloud.
The zigzag lightning stands high upon it.
An offering I make.
Restore my feet for me.
Restore my legs for me.
Restore my body for me.
Restore my mind for me.
Restore my voice for me.
This very day take out your spell for me.
Happily I recover.
Happily my interior becomes cool.
Happily I go forth.
My interior feeling cool, may I walk.
No longer sore, may I walk.
Impervious to pain, may I walk.
With lively feelings may I walk.
As it used to be long ago, may I walk.
Happily may I walk.
Happily, with abundant dark clouds, may I walk.
Happily, with abundant showers, may I walk.
Happily, with abundant plants, may I walk.
Happily, on a trail of pollen, may I walk.
Happily may I walk.
Being as it used to be long ago, may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
May it be beautiful all around me.
In beauty it is finished.
In beauty it is finished.
Found myself at the edge of a small lake on a clear calm day. The sky, the trees, the rocks, all reflecting perfectly. The water was mirror smooth.
I thought, "The below reflects the above" and I turned to the young woman standing there, she had a balanced on her head.
She said nothing.
I thought about, "as above so below" and how the "inner reflects the outer" and how my home reflects my chaos and lack of self care.
But I already knew all of this. So I said to her, "This is nothing new. Why am I here? Is there more that I don't "see?"
And she said something about how the water is only clear when nothing is happening. That mirror smooth surface would disintegrate immediately if we were to wade into the water - or if geese would land.
And I had a momentary vision of the ripples on the water reflecting hundreds of different views of the sky. I thought of pounding surf, roaring floods, elephants, crocodiles, and turbulent water full of life...
I couldn't make sense of it.. not a clue as to what that meant. I struggled for a moment to frame it into some sort of enlightening though, a "wisdom moment"...
The girl smiled, then she splashed water at me. "Silly," she said. "Don't think so hard, it's not that complicated. Today is a clear calm day. A beautiful day. That's all. Enjoy it."
Immediately, he went to work sewing me up inside some kind of a skin - buffalo maybe - and when I was completely sewed up in it, he tossed me into the pond where I sank to the bottom.
And I was thinking, "Oh great, he's going to drown me!" But then I thought, "OK, well maybe this means I'm drowning myself or something - sinking maybe." Anyway, no water seeped into the skin and it was like a cocoon at the bottom of the pond. Bubbles began to rise from my mouth and they filled the inside of the "cocoon" and floated up to the top of the water.
The bubbles were not really "bubbles" the way I know them when I'm not in a trance state. In the dream, they were round disc shapes with symbols on them in black and white. The one that seemed always to be first was a white circle with a black center and a white cross inside. There were lots of these symbols floating up, and each one was different.
At this point, the little shaman guy fished me out of the water, pulling me out by my feet and hung me upside down to let the water drain off, and the disks - the bubbles - the symbols - (I'm not sure what to call them) spilled out onto the ground.
He then pulled the skin apart and sat me down on a wooden high backed chair. He draped the symbols, (which seemed to be attached together like a necklace of sorts), all around me. The one with the cross in it adhered to my forehead, the rest were here and there, not in any "significant" place on my body, they just fell around me at random.
He wrapped a dry buffalo skin around me, and then handed me a stick that sort of drooped. So, I was sitting there in a chair, wet and bedraggled, with strange symbols draped around me, wrapped in a buffalo skin holding what looked like a pretty pathetic excuse for a power stick. Nothing about it at all... really, a sorry little portrait. My feet didn't even reach the ground.
He stood back and said something like... "Does the robe bring you comfort?"
I said, "Yes."
And he said, "So why don't you wrap your own self in comfort?"
He held his hand out, and I handed him my sorry excuse for a power stick. He threw it into the fire. Then I handed him the robe. It too went into the fire, followed by the necklace of symbols. I then realized that even more was asked for, so I took off my body as well. It went into the fire. I was reduced now to just a pale wavering flame.
He said, "It doesn't have to be this way."
He pulled my body out of the fire and I put it back on. The pale flame that was my "spirit" flared and expanded. He said, "This is your body, take care of it."
He pulled the discs out of the fire and tossed them over my head, and like a necklace, they settled around me. Once again, that same one with the cross on it ended up on my forehead. He said. "You have a lot of knowledge. Don't just wear it, assimilate it." And he put his hand on one of the symbols resting on my arm and it dissolved into my skin. He put his hand on the one on my forehead and it also dissolved and was absorbed into the skin.
He pulled the robe out of the fire and wrapped it around my shoulders. I noticed that it had changed from a buffalo skin to a cougar skin.
He said, "Comfort. Take it where it's offered."
I wondered if he would pull the power stick out of the fire too, but he didn't. He said, "Do this other and the power will come of its own accord."
The little flame that had already expanded into my body, now flared out and there were flames all over me. I was on fire, but not burning or uncomfortable. I went outside and stood there looking at him, wondering if I would remember all of this, and I said, "Tell me again."
- Be kind to your body and take care of it.
- Use what you know, don't just know it.
- Take comfort where it's offered.
- Power comes of its own accord.
Here's what he says about it:
Perhaps something in your life, inner or outer, needs repair or restoration. Life is calling you now to take action and take yourself in hand. Instead of being afraid that you can't do it, allow yourself to feel the One Being acting through you. This pathway of the heart asks for concentrated, creative energy.
Center again in the heart. Breathe the sound Ya JaBaar rhythmically, bending slightly forward as you breathe out, and back as you breathe in. Allow the sound to rock you into action, like the feeling of riding a camel in the caravan of life. Allow the sound to spread first to the periphery, and feel healthy boundaries restored. Then gently invite all voices of your inner self to gather, and allow the arms of the Beloved to enfold you in healing.
taken from Creating the Work You Love by Rick Jarrow
The girls were shy, and wanting to get busy with the whale. It occurred to me that there was a time element here. What wasn't used, stored, or preserved fairly quickly would soon be rotten and fit only for gulls and crabs.
I wondered if that meant that rather than try to act immediately on all my newest "food for thought" and that I should organize and archive so that I can digest it slowly.
I asked the girls, "Are you going to eat the whole thing today?" They giggled, thinking how silly that was, and said, "Oh no, this will carry us through the winter."
Winter - the dry season - it always comes. To expect that it won't, that I'll be in the land of "plenty" and "spiritual bounty" all the time is unrealistic. Isn't it?
So, I'm storing up for the winter to come. Laying in my supplies, getting prepared for the "dry" time that will come.
Today, I turned to the Ritual Bathing image again. The woman shaman who was bathing, turned to me and very clearly said. "First - clean the body, clean the mind."
And I was thinking first before what? anything? the big things? something dangerous? or important? Or does this simply refer to today?
NOTE: In retrospect, I realize that this may have been referring my new understandings of energy and power that I got the day I got serious and read Caroline Myss. She might even have been referring to my "grandiose scheme."
Found myself Sitting on the Rock again. Relaxed and waiting. Relaxed and watching. Relaxed and protectively guarding - being on the look out.
It came to me that:
To be vigilant, to do what is yours to do doesn't require that you be tense or stressed. It can be done from a spirit of relaxation.
I sat down today with Sitting Bear. He fixed me with a vry intense look, and I could see that in his life there had been a lot of heartache and terrible things. And I was sure that his teeth were paining him.
He said to me, "This is serious. Pay attention." At first, I wasn't sure if I was just thinking that he looked serious or what. But he said it again, so I knew that he was telling me to pay attention. I wondered what was serious, but I didn't have time to really sit with it because I had to take my daughter to a Dr appointment and I was already running late.
So, I took that to be my "message for the day" and resolved to take the experiences of the day seriously. I grabbed a book so I'd have something to read while waiting for my daughter, and headed out the door. Interestingly, the book I grabbed was "Anatomy of the Spirit" by Carolyn Myss. I had read it before, but this time, what she had to say really spoke to me. And I took it seriously. So now, I've stepped up and am making some big changes!