I was not initially grateful when Prairie Dog scurried through my dreams the other night. Cuddly and good-natured as he may be, I was not at a place where I felt I had time for pausing and reflecting on my path. I felt I needed to go, go, go, and maintain this momentum I’ve been building lately. Prairie Dog had other plans, and I was not surprised when I awoke with a stuffy nose and sore throat yesterday morning.
A cold may not seem like much of a gift from the Universe at first glance. However, after some meditation, I can see how the enforced respite is necessary for my growth. Our bodies know when it’s time to slow down, even when our minds neglect the need for patience and pause. A cold forces the mind to come back to the present, where the needs of the body are more immediate. Tea, warmth, rest: these are natural entries into the kind of replenishing inner retreat Prairie Dog calls us to. As I bundle up in my Grandmother’s quilt, and look out at the clear, wintry world of action and progress for progress’s sake, I am reminded of the innate wisdom of the Universe. I hope that if Prairie Dogs visits your dreams during this winter cold season, you welcome him more gracefully than I did at first. Blessings.
My sincerest apologies for failing to share messages and lessons these past few weeks. It seems my life has been touched by Coyote, and a drastic reorganization of priorities took place as a result of his presence. I seem to have forgotten some of my own advice, as humans will do, but my hope is that you will bear with me as I work to find my way back.
I think all writers, sensitives, mystics, everyday folk like myself have the occasional personal crisis. Mine? A regression to that scary, noisy, dark place in my ego-mind where confusion reigns, and it’s oh-so-much-easier to seek outside for the answers. I found myself at that point where I opened myself to the wisdom of the Universe to ask how a certain person was feeling and thinking about me. What did I see? A blank medicine shield. Literally–blank. Which I could take in many different ways, but after some meditation, I came to see this gift as the following message:
While this person may not have decided how s/he feels about me, I am also apparently not sure how I feel about myself. That blank page is both in that person’s mind, as well as in mine. Furthermore, it is MY duty to fill it in as I see fit–not to ask another to do so for me.
I think we can all easily retreat to that ego-mind place, and unwittingly give our personal power to others. The gift we give ourselves is in leaving that place and returning to the deeper, quieter level, where all true wisdom lies.
We’ve all had those moments when memories bubble rapidly up to the surface. For many of us, they occur when visiting our hometowns, or other places where we’ve spent formative years of our lives. For me, this re-visiting is frequently followed by dreams, and sometimes even nightmares. When I wake up with my heart racing and my breath coming in gasps, I go to Bear for help.
Bear is, among other things, a powerful ally and guide in the Dreamworld. He spends part of his year in retreat–hibernation being a time when he lives fully in the Dreamspace, gaining wisdom that will help him while he walks in the waking world. He is an imposing character, to be sure, but I’ve found he can be surprisingly gentle in those terrifying moments when a nightmare has just ended, and I find myself between worlds. Whenever you need an extra dose of courage to face what your nightmares are trying to tell you, I recommend calling upon Bear for assistance.
I’ve been visiting family and friends for a few days. Yesterday, while over at the family house, I watched a bald eagle soar against a clear, blue sky. He reminded me that we’re all capable of flying. All it takes is faith.
Most tribes of The People have stories about Eagle. In many of them, he’s close to the Great Spirit, a courageous messenger. When I saw that eagle yesterday, I felt a joyous lightening in my heart. I was surrounded by loved ones, and despite doubts that have been plaguing me as I prepare for a great transition in my life, my faith in myself was restored in that instant. Why should I feel afraid, when I trust the inner knowing that guided me toward this new path? Why be doubtful, when I have such loving support from friends, family, and the Universe? As his great wings flapped once, propelling him back into the forest, I sent Eagle my love and thanks. If you’re feeling frightened or doubtful in a time of change, I suggest you do the same. There’s a wonderful freedom in ridding yourself of your fetters; after all, you’re the only one who makes them.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama has said: “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” I found the truth of this statement come to me rather abruptly this morning, when I encountered a great teacher in the form of a homeless man.
He began by lighting his cigarette upwind of and a foot away from me, and proceeded to spit in my general direction and talk loudly and angrily to himself. He smelled of alcohol and many days without a shower. My initial reaction was to judge him–to begin making judgments about his behavior and appearance. But when he caught my eye during his rant, I was stopped up short. Something in me recognized that part of him that is exactly like me: that part that just wants to be happy, and free from suffering. I realized then how much easier it is to preach compassion, and to practice it on friends and loved ones, those we easily recognize.
My teacher this morning was more effective than the Tibetan Buddhist monk I went to see at a dharma talk last month; he was a clear message that I am still a novice in this practice of compassion. Today, I urge you to find those people you find difficult or distasteful, and to thank them for being the great teachers they are.
Today’s message comes from Crow. One of the stories about Crow says that he used to be obsessed with his shadow. Wherever he saw it, he stared at it, cawed at it, picked at it. One day, after being picked at for so long, Crow’s shadow came alive, and it ate him. Thus Crow became Dead Crow, and in passing through to the next world, gained wisdom and knowledge that he was able to bring back.
To me, Dead Crow is a reminder of the difference between what is essential and what is not. A hint: most of what our rational, ego-mind deems essential truly falls into the other category. Most of society’s rules and commandments are not truly mirrored in the deep parts of our soul.
Crow is a wake-up call. Life is short, the blessings are many–don’t waste your time picking at your own shadow. Listen to the part of you that is Crow, hear him telling you how to live in accord with your truths and integrity.
Wind has been on my mind today. Whether it’s the refreshing breeze blowing around my backyard and over my face, or the metaphysical air I feel with such strong, airy Gemini influences (both the Sun and Mercury in that sign), it’s clear to me that wind is today’s theme.
Mercury, or Hermes in Greek mythology, is the ruler of all things Geminian–Hermes was a cheeky young god, son of the great Zeus, who served as messenger and trickster. He had winged shoes that enabled him to fly, and a helmet that could render him invisible. He was the only god who often flitted from realm to realm: lofty Mount Olympus to Earth, Earth to the Underworld, and back again. Like a true Gemini, he thrived on the meeting of people from all walks of life, and the many different conversations that are possible in a day. Hermes unites the windy qualities of travel and communication in Gemini.
On the medicine wheel, Gemini’s elemental air lies to the East, the same direction as Eagle, Hawk, Owl, Hummingbird, and our other feathered brothers. Like Hermes with his magic shoes, or the Winged Ones, we can open our hearts and soar in the face of change, riding the currents best when we don’t fight them. Today, I wish you smooth sailing, and faith in the community that flies alongside you.
Coyote snickered through my dreams last night, and reminded me of the wisdom that comes in being able to laugh at oneself. And with the Moon and Coyote’s Trickster planet Mercury both in the dramatic sign of Leo, while Venus and Mars walk through chatty Gemini together, I expect we’ll all find ourselves having the choice of laughter or anger. Just remember: whether you find your foot firmly planted in your mouth, or hear yourself beginning to rant at the cop who’s pulled you over for speeding, Coyote is right there with you, enjoying the show. Why not join him?
Hello to you, fellow Earth-walker and dream-seeker. Please bear with me as I put my Aquarian dreams to use broadcasting spirit messages in this modern, technological form.
Like you, I am a seeker of the largely-forgotten knowledge that is a part of our birthright as Universal beings reborn into Earth’s children. Our souls know how to read patterns in nature, how to tap into the Universal current of life and follow its ebb and flow for the greater good of all. We know the everyday magics of a stranger’s smile, ceremonial fire, Hawk’s cry overhead, and the unbreakable web of heart allies. Unfortunately, the hustle and bustle of maya, this world of illusion we’ve created for ourselves, has largely obscured all that, and we find it hard to hear those foreign, quiet voices of the Universe trying to reach us.
I share these messages in hopes that I will inspire you to reach within, beyond the noise and fear and doubt, and reclaim that connection to the Divine, so that you may remember yourself. You are a miracle and a blessing, and you are part of something much greater and more loving than you believe.